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Health Experts Warn People of COVID Peak; President Trump Want to Reopen the Economy; Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH) Was Interviewed About His Decision to Let Mail-in Voting as Coronavirus Continue to Spread; Trump's New Anti-Biden Ad is Filled with Deceptive Images and Audio Clips; According to the White House, New Antibody Tests are Available "Very Soon"; Psychiatrist on Challenges Frontline Doctors Face. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired April 10, 2020 - 22:00   ET




ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OutFront's next breaking news. President Trump pressing to reopen the government in just weeks as the U.S. suffers its deadliest day since the outbreak began.

Plus, New Hampshire now allowing voters to mail-in their November ballots because of the outbreak, it's an option Trump has railed against, calling it corrupt and fraudulent. New Hampshire's Republican governor responds.

And the Trump campaign trying to paint Joe Biden as weak when it comes to China in the pandemic and they're doing it by implying a former United States governor as a Chinese official. Andrew Yang responds. Let's go OutFront.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OutFront tonight, the breaking news. The U.S. reporting the most deaths in a single day because of coronavirus, 1,935. It is a grim milestone coming on the same day President Trump says he wants to relax restrictions as soon as possible. But a new federal projection reportedly warns of a possible infection spike if it's done too soon.

And today the president's top coronavirus expert warning that now is not the time to let up on social distancing.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: It's important to remember that this is not the time to feel that since we have made such important advance in the sense of success of the mitigation that we need to be pulling back at all.


BURNETT: Yet, tonight, the aides are working on plans to re-open the government, perhaps as soon as May 1st. It is a choice, the president says, for him is like no other.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know that I've had a bigger decision, but I'm going to surround myself with the greatest minds. I want to get it open as soon as we can. We have to get our country opened.

I only hope to God that it's the right decision. But I would say without question it's the biggest decision I've ever had to make.


BURNETT: We have a lot to get to tonight. I want to start with Kaitlan Collins. She is out front, live in Washington at the White House. Kaitlan, the president adamant that he wants to re-open the country as soon as possible, but it seems clear that he understands that if -- if he makes a mistake, this will be on him.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin. I think he's right when he says this could be one of the biggest decisions of his presidency because depending on which way it goes, it's going to have reverberations for not only, you know, what could happen in November, but also for the president's legacy.

And so, you saw him so hesitant to put a date on really what he's thinking today. That comes after he had to already back off the Easter deadline, which, of course, is going to happen this weekend and that is not going to look like what the president initially wanted it to.

And so, the question really is, what does the president decide ultimately? Because we know internally his team is already looking at opening country next month. Some of them are even focusing on that May 1 deadline, specifically looking at what that would look like.

But listen to what Dr. Fauci said when asked today what the country would look like once those guidelines that they put out have been relaxed.


FAUCI: So, don't let anyone get any false ideas that when we decide at a proper time when we're going to be relaxing some of the restrictions, there's no doubt you're going to see cases -- I would be so surprised if we did not see cases. The question is how you respond to them.


BURNETT: I mean --

COLLINS: So, you see, as we have seen for -- yes, still a very different remark coming from the health experts than from the president.

BURNETT: So, you know, Kaitlan, it's pretty incredible when he says that, that there will be cases. Of course, there will. I guess it's a question of how many. And the president -- you're talking about Dr. Fauci, Kaitlan, but also is going to be bringing in a group of business leaders, I understand to make his decision. What more can you tell us about that?

COLLINS: Yes, this is going to be the second task force and it's only focused on re-opening the economy. And we're told it's not going to be as formal as the first one you've seen where they meet every day for an hour and a half to two hours typically, they come out and brief reporters. But it's going to be a mix of officials like the treasury secretary, the president's top economic advisers but also some private sector economic experts as well.

Because those are going to be the people focused on what that's going to look like. Because while the president said today he has the authority over whether or not states and the country largely re-opens, we know it's going to be up to governors, but they are also going to be seeking guidance from the federal government on when they think the best practices could be just like they were on these social distancing guidelines.

BURNETT: We've also heard a lot, Kaitlan, about the racial disparities. And they are pretty stunning in terms of the coronavirus impacts. Hitting communities of colors, specifically African Americans, the hardest.

And the president said, you know, a couple of days ago they were going to be coming out with a lot more information and statistics in the next day or two. What are they saying now?


COLLINS: Yes, one of those is that one in three of the people who end up having to go to the hospital that get diagnosed with the coronavirus are African American.

And so, the surgeon general addressed that directly today in personal terms where at one point he was talking about his own health issues. Where he's carried an asthma with him, he says, his entire life. But listen to what his message was for people who are out there and think that maybe they are not vulnerable to getting coronavirus.


DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: The chronic burden of medical ill is likely to make people of color especially less resilient to the ravages of COVID-19, and if possibly, in fact likely, that the burden of social ills is also contributing.

We need you to do this, if not for yourself, then for your abuela, do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your big mama, do it for your popup.


COLLINS: So, Erin, the surgeon general was saying make sure you are checking in on family members and people to make sure that they're OK during this time period. And he said he wanted to make clear he did not think this was any kind of genetic or biological reason why you're seeing minorities end up with different cases, different numbers than what we are seeing from other races and stuff.

He was saying that it's really a social thing and that's why he wanted to issue that message, saying, you know, here is what's going on, here's what we're seeing. We're still getting more information, but we want to make sure everyone is taking the proper precautions as we move forward.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much.

And the number of cases in the United States has now crossed the half a million mark. That happened just tonight, just a short time ago. So now more than half a million Americans.

And while the president may be eager to re-open the nation, both Los Angeles County and the State of Vermont have now extended their formal stay-at-home orders by at least another month. And that takes them well into the middle of May.

And across the country tonight, there are signs of, well, different places are in different places when it comes to that so-called curve.

Nick Watt is out front.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are triumphs, cheers for the recovered. Numbers in New York's ICUs are actually down for the first time. Some encouraging signs.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We're starting to level on the log rhythmic phase like Italy did about a week ago because of the impact of what the citizens of New York and New Jersey and across Connecticut and now Rhode Island are doing to really change the course of this pandemic.


WATT: But still so much pain. Tara Gabriele's mom now gone, but more than just a statistic.


TARA GABRIELE, LOST MOTHER TO CORONAVIRUS: My mother was a real person. She was loving and selfless and kind.


WATT: In New York now, the bodies of unclaimed COVID-19 victims being taken to Heart Island for burial. The official death count of more than 5,000 in the city could be undercounted with people dying untested at home. According to the New York Times. That state now has more confirmed reported cases than any country on earth, according to data from John Hopkins University. In L.A. now, you have to wear a mask in a store.


MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D-CA): If you're not covering your face by Friday morning, an essential business can refuse you service.


WATT: But in Florida they're thinking about re-opening schools.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): If we get to the point where people think that we're on the other side of this and we could get kids back in, even if it's for a couple of weeks, we think that there would be value in that.

This particular pandemic is one where I don't think nationwide there's been a single fatality under 25.

FAUCI: Yes, people under 25 have died of coronavirus disease in the United States of America.


WATT: Florida's governor has now walked that last part back.


DESANTIS: Not in Florida. And so, in Florida we've had no fatalities under 25.


WATT: And starting tomorrow in Michigan, if you own more than one home in the state, you got to pick one and stay there. In Illinois they're warning all big events could be cancelled until there's a vaccine, months, perhaps even a year or more away. They're also discouraging church services.


MAYOR LORI LIGHFOOT (D-IL): Today is Good Friday. Easter Sunday, we have to stay inside.


WATT: But in Kansas, the governor is still in a legal battle, hoping to limit church services to 10 people.


GOV. LAURA KELLY (D-KS): The need to congregate is important. But not during a pandemic.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WATT: And testing remains an issue even weeks into this pandemic. In one study of 51 coronavirus patients, the current test missed 16 of them. An antibody test is said to be days away to identify those recovered and therefore potentially immune and able to return to work, but can the country start to re-open May 1 as the president hopes? And what might be the toll?


FAUCI: Don't let anyone get any false ideas that when we decide at a proper time when we're going to be relaxing some of the restrictions, there's no doubt you're going to see cases.



WATT: So, yes, here in L.A. County, we were told this afternoon, Erin, that we are going to have to stay home for at least another five weeks, possibly longer, and they say they're extending it because it is working.

Now, a sliver of good news. Those stimulus package checks will start being sent out to people next week, according to the IRS. Front of the line, if you have filed your '18 and '19 taxes and gave the IRS your direct debit details.

Also, social security recipients, I'm sorry, to the front of the line. Everyone else, I'm afraid to say, it could be weeks or even months before you get that money. Erin?

BURNETT: All right. Nick Watt, thank you very much.

Of course, they extend the filing deadline to July for last year. But then if you already filed and paid, they put you more towards the front of the line.

Well, the president says the facts are going to determine when the time is right to reopen the country. He also says there isn't a big problem with testing nationwide. But of course, do show there is a long way to go. It is often incredibly difficult still to obtain a test across this country.

Out front now, Dr. William Schaffner, a leading infectious disease specialist and a CDC adviser. And doctor, it's good to have you back. So, you know, you have the latest numbers coming out from the White House saying thousands of fewer deaths than before.

Obviously, that is good news. But this is at the same time as we're finding out that they say, well, if things re-open too quickly, you could see a major spike in terms of new cases. So how does this all play out for you? What are you more concerned about, opening too quickly or not?

WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: Well, it's good news but not perfect news, right? We are just at the start of good news, so we have to keep doing what we're doing.

We just saw some -- some models here in Nashville. We thought we were going to be peaking in the next couple of weeks or in May, but the models show that we might peak in June. So that took a lot of us aback. So, we have to keep doing, not just in Nashville, but around the country what we're doing for a prolonged period of time yet, I think.


SCHAFFNER Because we don't want to open things up and then have the virus come back on us.

BURNETT: So, can I just ask you because I know all models depend on inputs. And obviously you've got a lot of inputs going into your model. But what you're saying is it's possible it could go the other direction.

You're looking at a model that possibly says, you know, that you could be seeing around Nashville, that the peak being pushed later all the way into June. What changed in terms of the input that made it go from May to June?

SCHAFFNER: Well, there are all kind of inputs, as you say, Erin. And one of the questions is how much asymptomatic transmission is going on out there? If there's a whole lot of it, then I think we end a little bit sooner because there are more people who are protected, but if there's not as much as some of my colleagues believe, then we can still see cases going on for quite a bit longer.

BURNETT: So, when you look at the issue here, you're also talking about it going into June where there is going to be warm weather. There is no conclusive information, of course, on whether the virus will spread more easily when the weather gets warmer, despite the president, of course, saying it won't. You might remember him saying this, Dr. Schaffner.


TRUMP: The coronavirus, they're working hard. It looks like by April, you know, in theory when it gets a little warmer it miraculously goes away.


BURNETT: And, you know, the former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb also said ordinarily with a coronavirus you would see seasonality and drop in the summer, but he was countering that with this is already so wildly out there and it is so transmissible that the dip that you may, you know, see just in terms of the cycle of the virus may not be what people are counting on. It could be out there much more widely.

SCHAFFNER: Yes, that's absolutely right. And the normal human coronavirus are somewhat seasonal, but not as seasonal as influenza. They keep smoldering along during the summer. And of course, this is a new virus. And as I like to say I don't know

that this virus has read the textbook and knows what to do. So, we can hope for the sunny side of the street, but we have to be aware of the shady side, too. We can't let our guard down.

BURNETT: So, what do you think in terms of when to re-open? I know you can't give a hard date, but, I mean, do you think that this country is re-opened in a way that we would all recognize as normal life with festivals and Major League Baseball games this summer? Or is that not part of any equation?

SCHAFFNER: Rather than re-open, which sounds like very open, I think about peeking through a little sliver of the door. One -- one step at a time. And then opening it up a little bit more. And then a little bit more. And the mass gatherings, those are the things we'll do last, the concerts, the larger athletic events and, frankly, the weekend religious services.


BURNETT: You would say those would be among the last?

SCHAFFNER: I would because those are mass gatherings which bring people very close together intimately and the virus loves that.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Dr. Schaffner. I appreciate your time again.

And OutFront next, the politics in the age of a pandemic. You're going to meet the Republican governor who just broke with the president on a key way to keep voters safe in November.

Plus, Andrew Yang joins me on the growing unemployment crisis and how to pull this country out of an economic pandemic.

Plus, is antibody testing our best hope for escaping isolation? We have a special report from Sanjay Gupta.


BURNETT: OutFront tonight the virus forcing a political shift in a key electoral battleground. New Hampshire's Republican governor will now let voters cast mail-in ballots in November if coronavirus is still a factor.

Governor Chris Sununu is with me now. And Governor, I appreciate your time. Thanks so much for being with me on this Friday. So, I know last fall you vetoed a bill that would have let voters vote by mail. Back then, you know, your comment was sort of that widespread absentee voting would erode part of what makes New Hampshire so unique, but obviously now you think it's necessary to have a change. Why?


GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R-NH): Well, obviously the COVID-19 pandemic changes everything for everyone. So, the bill I vetoed last year is probably a bill I would still veto because that would change the rules permanently to a no-excuse absentee battle process.

You know, here in New Hampshire with our first in the nation primary, we take that incredibly seriously. We have a lot of integrity in the process and we let it go off without a hitch every single year.

So, we always have about 10 percent that vote absentee. This year we understand that regardless of where we are in the epidemic, we'll likely have a greater number than 10 percent, could be 20, 30 percent.

And all we've really done is expanded guidelines, the secretary of state and the attorney general just expanded the guidelines where you check that box that says that you want to get an absentee ballot for disability or health issue.

And, again, you don't want public health to stand in the way of somebody's ability to cast a ballot. That's what this is all about. These are very extraordinary times. So, we've stretched that and opened that up just a little bit. It's just absentee voting for this year and then we go back to a system that has worked very, very well and tried and true for decades.

BURNETT: So, you know, obviously we all saw the pictures out of Wisconsin, governor, right? The health department now there is tracking new cases to see if the virus was spread among voters. You know, we saw the lines. People waiting for two and a half hours in the rain trying to social distance as best they could.

But you know, it was pretty unsettling to see those images, given what the rest of the country and they are also going through when they weren't waiting in line to vote. Did those images and those scenes affect your thinking on this?

SUNUNU: No, because Wisconsin is very different than New Hampshire. I mean, we take our elections incredibly seriously. Not that they don't, we just run things very, very differently here.

So, we'll have a lot of time between now and September and November. I mean, they were really crunched trying to figure out what to do a couple of weeks into a massive pandemic.

So, in terms of presenting guidelines or new protocols for town halls or polling locations, we'll have a lot of time to be able to manage that, kind of go through the processes. There will be funds out there that will allow our towns and polling locations to step up for the potential extra absentee ballots that may come in --


SUNUNU: -- or take time to, again, practice, you know, spacing out the polling locations or practicing the different social and physical distancing that has to happen as part of that process.

BURNETT: So, a lot of people may think about what you're saying and say this makes complete sense, and it is obvious. Others might note you're a Republican governor and what you're saying is very different than what we're hearing from the president. Just to remind anybody who did not hear him say it at the briefing,

here's what he said on Tuesday.


TRUMP: Mail ballots, they cheat, OK? People cheat. Mail ballots are a very dangerous thing for this country because they're cheaters.


BURNETT: What's your response to that, governor?

SUNUNU: Again, you know, just speaking for New Hampshire, we have a very secure tradition when it comes to absentee voting. People take it very seriously. We have a way of making sure that there is not fraud within the absentee system. We've never had real issues around that whatsoever.

So, by expanding it a little bit and allowing people to have a little more flexibility during this pandemic makes perfect sense for the state of New Hampshire. I can't speak for other states and where there might be fraud and issues in other states. Here in New Hampshire we get it right.

BURNETT: But you guys aren't, you're not full of a bunch of cheaters?



SUNUNU: No. Look, I'm not going to comment on the president's comments. You know, I can only speak for what happens here in New Hampshire. There's a reason we are the first in the nation primary. There is a reason you get the results at night. There is a reason we don't have a lot of the issues a lot of other states have.

You have a pen, a piece of paper, there is a ballot, it gets counted that night. We get it right every time. We're very proud of that. And that gives that integrity in the system that public trust that we've built and earned over decades allows us to, again, to make this slight change where we're just expanding a little bit, allowing towns to expand a little bit what they offer for an absentee ballot with assurance that there won't be fraud or any of those issues that might be discussed nationally or in other states.

BURNETT: So, your stay-at-home order in your state when it comes to actual where you are right now is in place until May 4th. You're obviously saying you're going to give people the option even in November, no matter what the situation is, there are going to be a great many people absent a vaccine that is been wildly given out in the population which is going to happen by then are not going to feel comfortable returning to normal life.

The president says he has great authority, but you are ultimately the chief executive of your state. That's your job to make a decision. Your state epidemiologist says your peak in New Hampshire is still several weeks away. Has there been a change in that or do you anticipate extending your order past May 4th?

SUNUNU: No. Again, I plan on probably extending a lot of the orders past May 4th even though the surge may come. Remember, it's not going to be a smooth bell curve that you see. This is going to be a long tail here. We're going to be in this for months possibly bouncing around.

And hopefully the numbers continue to drop, but they're not going to drop to zero, as you mentioned without a vaccine. My guess is sometime over the next few months. Hopefully we see some type of pharmaceutical intervention that help suppress the viral spread and suppress the symptoms in the elderly population to a place and, again, get that mortality rate much farther down than it is right now.


That's what this is all about. It's all about a run on the healthcare system. That's why we stretch and bend that curve, as you know.

So, bending that curve means really stretching it out over a much longer period of time. Will it go to September or November? It very well may. And either way, whether you -- unless you get down to zero, you're still going to be in a position where it's reasonable to assume that people are going to have a lot of fear and trepidation, potentially, especially the elderly, about getting up and going out to their polling places they've been year after year.

This year is very different. And so then, we as governors have to operationalize, not just the opportunities coming out of Washington with funding, but operationalize the opportunities we have to create for that individual.

That's what this is all about. It isn't about a big government solving everybody's problems, it's about actually empathizing and realizing what does the individual go through on voting day, or where do they go when they go to the supermarket, what do they go through when they have to decide whether to go to church or not and congregate with large crowds.

And by doing is that as a governor on a localize level, we can make the best decisions for the citizens.

BURNETT: All right. Governor Sununu, I appreciate your time. Thanks very much.

SUNUNU: Thank you.

And OutFront next, 2020 dirty politics. Is the new Trump campaign ad racist as some critics are suggesting? Well, we'll take it to former presidential candidate and Biden supporter Andrew Yang.

Plus, how to combat the phycological toll this pandemic is taking on America's healthcare workers who are literally putting their lives on the line every day. It is a dark reality now for so many heroes now on the front lines.



BURNETT: "OutFront" tonight, the Trump campaign's latest attack ad is portraying former Vice President Joe Biden as soft on China and coronavirus.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is in our self-interest that China continues to prosper.

(Voice-over): The beautiful history we wrote together.

Banning all travel will not stop it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The president is right, the travel restriction on China, as every public health official we talked to said, bought the country time.

FAUCI: That was a very smart move right there.

BIDEN: Hysterical xenophobia.



I complimented him on dealing with China.


BURNETT: The ad misleadingly takes Biden's words out of context. He has not opposed coronavirus-related travel restrictions. The ad also doesn't make clear that the man depicted in this split-second image -- and I just want to show this to you. We had to pause it because it's important you see it because he is not a Chinese official. He is American.

His name is Gary Locke. He is former Washington State governor. He is the former U.S. ambassador to China. He is Chinese American. He is American. So why was he included as Biden kissing up to China?

At "OutFront" now is Andrew Yang, CNN political commentator and former presidential candidate. You know, Andrew, the Trump campaign responded to the criticism about this today. Their spokesman, Tim Murtaugh, tweeted this. He said, "The shot with the flags specifically places Biden in Beijing in 2013. It's for a reason. That's the Hunter Biden trip. Memory lane for old Joe." But of course, the person that he's with is Locke, Gary Locke. What do you think this is really about?

ANDREW YANG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's very clear that they're casting Gary Locke, who was born in Seattle, Washington, a two-term governor of Washington State, and was secretary of commerce under President Obama as a Chinese leader. And that's flat-out wrong on so many levels. The ad is trying to distract from Trump's epic mismanagement of the coronavirus that has cost us two months of being able to identify patients and trace their contacts. Instead, we wound up in our homes trying to mitigate the spread. It has cost our economy trillions of dollars, cost our families thousands of lives, and cost us millions of jobs. And so he's trying to distract from that.

And, unfortunately, this ad is consistent with him calling COVID-19 or the new coronavirus the "Chinese virus." He's trying to cast it as a foreign agent, a foreign effort. And I'll tell you who gets hit the worst from this, it's Chinese Americans and Asian Americans, who have already reported hundreds even thousands of assaults around the country.

I -- like -- it boils my blood that he's trying to distract from his epic failures by racializing this virus.

BURNETT: And this has happened to you, right? I mean, you've talked about this. You've experienced this, this racism now, even in the grocery store.

YANG: Well, I bet it's happened to every Asian-American at this point, Erin. And I heard a heartbreaking story yesterday. There was an E.R. doctor who is Asian American in Brooklyn who literally helped a grandmother say good-bye to her children and is, like, you know, risking his own safety, and then he goes home and gets called racial epithets on the way home when he's literally risking his life trying to help people.

So it's happened to me, but it's happened to Asian Americans around the country. Children got stabbed in Texas, Asian Americans, being blamed for the coronavirus. So, it's not just dirty looks. It's getting much, much more sinister and threatening than that. And it has to stop.

BURNETT: And in an op-ed you wrote last week, you suggested some ways that Asian Americans could combat this, you know, the bigotry. And you wrote in part, Andrew, "We Asian Americans need to embrace and show our American-ness in ways we never have before. We need to step up, help our neighbors, donate, gear, wear red, white and blue, volunteer, fund aid organizations, and do everything in our power to acceleration the end of the crisis."

And since that, some Asian Americans have questioned your ideas. They are saying why do we need to prove we're Americans. Why do we need to do those things when we already are?


BURNETT: You know, what's your response to that criticism?

YANG: Of course, we're all Americans. Asian Americans, all Americans, we all just need to do everything we can to accelerate the end of this virus. And in the op-ed, I noted that 17 percent of U.S. doctors on the frontlines are Asian American. And all I was saying was that all Americans have to come together in this time. BURNETT: So, because of the unprecedented and incredible economic collapse that we've been seeing, right? We lost 16 million jobs in 21 days in the United States. These are numbers that, you know, they're just simply stunning and incomprehensible. In Spain, they're now saying that because of this dire situation, they actually want to establish a universal basic income on a permanent basis.

This, of course, was the cornerstone of your presidential campaign. In Congress, I guess there is an aspect of it, sort of elements of it temporarily, that $2 trillion stimulus package. Do you believe this has a chance of sticking?

YANG: It will stick 100 percent, Erin. Millions of Americans, even tens of millions, are going to get $1,200 in their bank accounts this week and they're going to find that it helps them pay their bills. It helps them secure their families' groceries and help keep a roof over their head. It's not going to do anything to transform their personalities or make them lazy or any of the ridiculous counterarguments that have been used.

This is here to stay. It's common sense. It's going to be vital because our economy's transformation, unfortunately, has been accelerated by this crisis. More and more jobs that are -- that we're losing are never going to come back. Those 16 million jobs you're talking about, they will not be back like a rubber band snapping back into place in a number of months. They're gone.

And we need to start building a new economy that's going to work for people. Universal basic income is going to be a huge, even central part of that.

BURNETT: All right. Andrew, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

YANG: Appreciate you, Erin. Stay safe.

BURNETT: All right. You, too. Andrew Yang there. In "OutFront" next, how will we know when it's safe to emerge from this isolation? There could be a test to help determine that. How soon is it? What is it and will you be able to get one? Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains, next.




BURNETT: The White House says we'll have an antibody test "very soon." But some health experts say it's going to take more than that to get Americans back to work. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb spoke with CNN's Jake Tapper earlier today and says the number of coronavirus cases could still rise in the coming months, and he points out that the vast majority of Americans have not been exposed to the virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: When we test the population broadly to see who's been exposed to this and developed antibodies, I think wire going to find it's a very small percentage, anywhere from one to five percent of the total population. There is not this mass population of people who now are immune to this virus and can return to work safely.


BURNETT: White House experts insist that the antibody test will be valuable in fighting the pandemic. Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has filed a special report.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): According to the Coronavirus Task Force, more than two million tests have now been performed in the United States, and yet there are still people who need to be tested, such as health care workers who can't get one. It is part of the reason there is now so much interest in a different kind of test, an antibody test. Dr. Fauci told CNN on Friday it's coming soon.

FAUCI: I'm certain that that's going to happen, that within a period of a week or so, we're going to have a rather large number of tests that are available.

GUPTA (voice-over): But what exactly or antibodies? They are proteins in the immune system that develop days after someone has been infected. And it's the antibodies that make someone immune to becoming re-infected. It means two things. You were previously infected and you are now likely to be protected, at least for a while.

STEPHEN HAHN, FDA COMMISSIONER: We think it will be a tool to help us get people back to work. It will be additional information because, as you know, if you have an antibody, that means you are exposed and have recovered from it. That with the information about diagnosis should help.

GUPTA (voice-over): That's why public health agencies around the world want these antibody tests because it could help some people get back to their daily lives. You remember the swab test we're all familiar with? Well, that tests for the virus itself, specifically its genetic material. Problems are, first of all, at some point after you recover, that test will be negative. And secondly, a lot of people have had trouble getting that diagnostic test in the first place.

The antibody test is more definitive. There are only a few reasons you would have antibodies in your blood. You got someone else's antibodies by an injection of their blood, you got a vaccine which teaches your body to make antibodies, or you were infected.

The antibody test requires a sample of your blood in this strip which has proteins from the virus on it. If your blood reacts to that strip, it means you have antibodies in your blood.

DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: And I think really being able to tell them -- the peace of mind that would come from knowing you already were infected, you have the antibody, you're safe from reinfection 99.9 percent of the time, and so this, I think, would be very reassuring to our frontline health care workers.

GUPTA (voice-over): Another benefit of antibody testing, surveillance. In places like Miami-Dade County, Florida, Santa Clara County, California, and Telluride, Colorado, they have already started using antibody tests to get a better sense of how many people, many of whom will be surprised to learn have already been exposed to the virus.

LOU RESSE, CHIEF OFFICER, UNITED NEUROSCIENCE: Whoever volunteers is getting tested twice, and the purpose of that is to see who zero converts and develops the antibodies, meaning who was actively infected during this period of quarantine.


GUPTA (voice-over): A CDC spokesperson told CNN the agency has already used these tolls to "monitor contacts of infected people, and to identify individuals who, due to mild infection, may have not known they were infected."

Getting the antibody tests up and running, much like the tests to detect the virus itself, have been challenging. In a rush to get these tests to market, the FDA lowered the regulatory standards and what followed were a lot of unreliable and inaccurate tests.

BIRX: There's a series of antibody tests out there that have not been validated. Some of the tests that may be available on the internet may have very low sensitivity and specificity and give you a false reassurance that you either -- give you a false positive or a false negative, implying that you may be protected.


BURNETT: And, of course, that was a special report from Sanjay Gupta. "OutFront" next, helping those who are helping us. How do we address the the huge psychological issues, the crisis that is looming for those who are on the frontlines of the coronavirus? The doctor who is treating some of her fellow health professionals who has just survived her own fight with coronavirus is next.




BURNETT: We have taken you into the hospitals. We watched the physical challenges our medical heroes are facing. But that's part of. What about the mental health toll? One psychiatrist who has dealt with coronavirus herself is now helping frontline medical professionals with their part of this extraordinary fight. "OutFront" now is Dr. Anna Yusim. Doctor, thank you so much for your time. You know, before we talk about what you're doing right now to help others, I want people to understand a little bit about you. I mean you and your husband both tested positive for the virus. I know you have recovered. But tell me about that. I mean how that happened and how severe it was for you yourself.

DR. ANNA YUSIM, PYSCHIATRIST: Absolutely. So, my husband and I did test positive. We are not sure how we got it. We could have got it from riding the subway. We think perhaps we got it at a Jewish event that we went to at our place of worship. But we are not sure. The reason we think that is because everybody from that party seems to have come down with some symptoms thereafter.

So, for me, it was minimal. For a lot of people, it was minimal. However, for my husband, he actually started immediately getting really sick and have to -- he was just out and then a few days later started getting shortness of breath. He had to be hospitalized for a few days, which was quite terrifying because this was at the very beginning of the New York epidemic of coronavirus and everything we had heard from other countries.

We did not know which direction it would go. Was he going to get on a ventilator? Was he going to get better? Thank god, he got better. You know, I am a spiritual person. I ended up calling every single spiritual person I knew who could pray for my husband. So we had tons of rabbis, tons of priests, tons of (INAUDIBLE), a lot of energy workers working on him.

So he was discharged within a few days of going in for oxygen. Thank god. And then, as all this was happening, I was also sick with coronavirus myself, feeling just a little under the weather. And all my patients were starting to -- I treat so many frontline workers -- go a little crazy. So, all of this was happening all the same time. It was a bit pandemonium, both personally and professionally.

But having both recovered, we actually are so glad to now be able -- I was able to, you know, offer patients the help that, you know, most people get through this and it is OK.

BURNETT: I mean, that is kind of an incredible part of it, plus the fact that you've gone through it. You can now see them, some of your patients. I mean, I understand you're now treating about 15 frontline medical workers.

I mean, we can all sort of imagine from afar or when we have family members who are in that line of work, try to understand what they are going through, but we really can't, because we are not there putting our lives on the line every day as they are. What are they really talking to you about? I mean, what are they going through?

YUSIM: Yeah, for a lot of these people, it is actually quite unimaginable. They have never felt that lack of safety and security in their lives. And one of my nurses that I treat, she said to me, you know, I didn't sign up for a suicide mission. And some of them are thinking do I quit because this is so dangerous? I don't want to endanger my family and my children. I don't want to endanger my aging parents that I have to care of. There is that question. Where do I keep going? Most of them choose to keep going because this is my commitment. This is why I went into medicine. I want to care for people.

And yes, all of us, including the hospital administrators and everybody else, are faced with these problems of lack of PPE and really just so much uncertainty as to what is this disease, how do you treat it, what do you do. And it's really this overwhelmed on so many levels. So, lack of safety, lack of security. That is just the tip of the iceberg. But then, it's everything else. It's putting the people that you most loved in danger by virtue of this lack of safety.

BURNETT: So, what are you -- what do you tell them? I know they are also seeing death in a way that they often -- they usually don't see it. They are accustomed, I know in many cases, to seeing death and the tragedy and loss, but not death alone in a room where there is no family, with anybody, you know, death in this lonely isolated way.

I mean, what are you -- what do you tell them? I mean, I know it is deeply individual, but for many people out there are now who are having all of these feelings of fear and loneliness.

YUSIM: Yeah, absolutely. I think you are exactly right.


YUSIM: People have never -- the majority of people I've treated have never dealt with this level of death because hospitals are at capacity. There are enough people to treat because so many doctors are coming down with COVID themselves. So hospitals are completely flexed to the max. And really people are just overwhelmed. They are being told that they have to run a marathon, but they're like, I'm already burned out at the end of 100 yards.

So, what do you tell them? You tell them that they have to do the best they can and they have to keep going. You remind them why they went into medicine. When something so dark and bleak comes upon us, something as -- that we really don't know what we're facing, we don't know when it's going to end, but we do know it will end, one day it will end.

So that is another thing you have to remind people of, there is a light at the end of tunnel. And we also just don't know how to work with our inner world in the midst of the circumstances because they are so overwhelming.

I feel that my job is to give people the strength to overcome and to move forward, work with their inner world no matter how much the outer world is dangerous and unsafe and unpredictable. And the way you do that is every day you have to find that place of center within yourself. You have to look within and find the still and quiet even when everything around you is yelling and screaming and just full of uncertainty. And then, second, you have to also all the emotions that come at you and there's going to be a lot, you have to let yourself feel them. Sometimes, it's very tempting to desensitize (ph), to not feel. Sometimes, for the sake of survival, you have to get through the day and not feel. But if you keep doing that and you keep hiding your heart in that way, eventually what happens is the emotions get the better of you and you break down.

But if you actually are able to feel that pain, the feel the pain of your patients, feel the compassion for all the family members, for all the people going through this, also for yourself for being in the situation, you're able to move through this and metabolize those emotions much more freely than if you just put up a wall. Those are two things.

BURNETT: All right. Dr. Yusim, I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

YUSIM: Thank you.

BURNETT: "OutFront" next, back to school? A warning tonight from the nation's top infectious disease official after Florida's governor floats the possibility that he could be close to doing just that.