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Coronavirus Pandemic across the Country; Problems Filing for Unemployment; Managing Anxiety During Crisis. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired April 10, 2020 - 06:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: There are nearly half a million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States this morning. And more than 16,000 Americans have died. But as the death toll rises, the number of hospitalizations in New York is dramatically falling.

We have reporters spread out across the country to see how other cities are handling this outbreak.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ryan Young in Detroit, and expanding capacity is the headline here in the city. They want to make sure the TCF Center opens up. It's going to have 970 beds. But we're told, on Friday, the first 25 patients will be moved in.

The numbers here are also growing. More than 1,000 people have died from Covid-19 as we've seen the numbers continue to rise in the state. But as they try to improve capacity here, they're also thinking about bending the curve. The governor has extended the stay-at-home order through the end of the month.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ed Lavandera in New Orleans. The latest coronavirus statistics in this state show a mixed bag of information once again. The number of overall cases and deaths continues to go up and once again the number of people in the hospital because of coronavirus has gone up. But for the third day in a row, the number of people on ventilators has dropped. So that's a good sign.

But health officials and state officials across the area worried about people feeling anxious, getting out for Easter services. The mayor of New Orleans is urging people to stay at home, saying that she understands the sacrifice and the Lord will as well.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Alex Marquardt in Philadelphia. The Coronavirus Task Force is growing concerned that this city may be one of the next hotspots in the country. Now local officials don't dispute that there is serious cause for concern, but they are disputing some of the White House's assessments. In fact, local health officials are saying that the number of new coronavirus cases is slowing, even in the words of the health commissioner, reaching a plateau.

Meanwhile, the governor is welcoming this concern from the task force, saying that it will result in much-needed protective gear for medical workers.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dan Simon in San Francisco, which was the first city in the country to issue that stay-at-home order. It was followed a few days later by the state of California. Now, Governor Newsom saying that the state is seeing a flattening of the curve, but it is being stretched. The state reporting that it is seeing a 2 percent drop in the amount of patients in ICU.

Governor Newsom also saying that state health care workers who want to stay in a hotel room in order to be closer to patients or to prevent infecting family members will be given either stipends or vouchers.

We've also learned that several airlines, including Delta, Southwest, Alaska and United will be offering free flights to anybody who wants to come to California and volunteer for the state's health corps.


CAMEROTA: Really help. Our thanks to our reporters.

So coming up in just minutes, we will speak with America's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci. We have a lot of questions for him.

This morning, we still do not have a full picture of how many people have lost their jobs because thousands of Americans continue to struggle to just file for unemployment. So we discuss the problem, next.



CAMEROTA: Thousands of Americans across the country are still struggling to file for unemployment because the system is overwhelmed by the sheer number of applicants.


HAROLD KAUFMAN GIBBONS, TRAINER: If you're not getting through, if the website's crashing, if the phone's just like ringing and ringing and ringing, your full-time job is then applying for benefits.


CAMEROTA: OK. So this morning, New York state has revamped its website and established a 1,000-person call center, John, to help.

So let's bring in CNN anchor and correspondent Julia Chatterley, and CNN business correspondent Christine Romans about all of this.

So people are still struggling to get through and that's why we don't even know the exact number, Christine, of how many people need these -- need unemployment assistance.

Is there a fix happening right now nationally?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, in New York, yes. And in about an hour, less than an hour, this new interface will be up. And it will be a lot different. Instead of filing electronically and then calling to verify your details, now there's a call center that's going to call you. So you file for the unemployment benefits and then, within 72 hours, you're going to get some resolution. So that's hopefully good news for those hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who haven't been able to file.

There's money coming to these states. The Labor secretary said about half of the money allocated has been released to the states so they can pay for new technology, to hire back retired workers, to just beef up because the system is just not meant for these millions and millions of people who are flooding the unemployment lines.


And, remember, that money is a lifeline to keep them whole so that we can get to the other side of this, until we can reopen the economy. We're also told this week is when those expanded checks, the $600 extra, will start to hit people's paychecks.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, a $2 trillion rescue plan only rescues you if the money is getting to the people who need it, if it's getting spent.

And what's so interesting about the 6.6 million people who filed for unemployment last week, that's actually only the people who could get through.

ROMANS: Right.

BERMAN: That's only the people who could get through. In so many ways, the situation around the country, Julia, is worse than the statistics are showing, which brings me what JP Morgan is now saying, which is that they're forecasting a 40 percent decline in the GDP.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean these numbers are shocking. But I just think they are catching up with what we've been saying. These are recessionary, depressionary-style numbers. But you can see that by looking at this shutdown that we've got going across the country. The numbers that you just described, the millions and millions of people that we're seeing now on a weekly basis saying, look, I need some help and support here.

What this is ultimately doing in the end is fueling the fires, the conversation around restarting the economy. And these are essential discussions that need to take place. But the balance still has to be found, I think, between how we do that to keep people safe at the same time.

I go back to what Jay Powell, the head of the central bank said yesterday, and he said, look, a robust recovery is possible, but we have to continue to follow this social distancing. But we need a national plan in place. And I bring it back to the conversation we keep having. It's a balance of the science and the stimulus here, the cash to people, but also protecting health. And for that we need testing. And there's still denial, I think, about how much we need.


CAMEROTA: And, Christine, that leads us to the White House plan. So there's talk of a second White House task force. This one focused solely on the economy. Do we know who would lead it, what they would do, what the plan is?

ROMANS: What we know is that the president is itching to open the economy. He has said he wants to open it with a bang a few times. And what you're hearing around him is disagreement about when you can open the economy and what you have to have in place to do that.

The big risk here, the big risk is that we all want to get back to some sort of new normal. I think we can agree the new normal is going to be different than life last February or even last summer. But we have to be careful not to have another outbreak of the disease that kills confidence more permanently and really causes the economy to have a long, prolonged depression or recession that's harder to get out of because we haven't done it right.

And there is no national plan right now. Jay Powell was right yesterday to say we need to have a serious discussion about a national strategy that is mindful of the science to get out of this. And I just don't think there's an agreement on that yet.

BERMAN: Sixty percent of Americans in the latest CNN poll say they are not comfortable returning to work if social distancing doesn't continue. So the American people, and Jerome Powell in the same place on this.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, they absolutely are. They're saying, we have to have the protections in place. We're a consuming nation. We've talked about this. We go to restaurants. We go to cinemas. You have to be confident enough to do that.

Remember, we also said in that poll, though, a lot of people believe that this will be a short term blip. So the confidence is there that we can come out the other side of this. The fear is that we get it wrong. We have to go back. And to Christine's exact point, that exacerbates the downturn that we're seeing.

CAMEROTA: Julia, Christine, thank you very much. I know we all can't wait to get back to consuming.


CAMEROTA: Thank you. I, for one. Thank you very --

BERMAN: More than bread and carbs. I mean I've been consuming so many carbs I can't even tell you.

ROMANS: White wine.

CAMEROTA: I totally agree with all of that.

OK, thank you all.

So, obviously, conversations like this enhance anxiety. There's so much stress and fear about this pandemic. And, of course, it takes an emotional toll. So how can you manage that anxiety? We have an expert, next.



BERMAN: So, while Americans practice social distancing, health care workers on the front lines are obviously fighting this pandemic. Due to quarantine guidelines, we can't film them, so we asked them to film themselves throughout the day as they struggle to fight this virus.


DR. JUSTIN SHAFA, CHIEF RADIOLOGY RESIDENT: My name is Dr. Justin Shafa. I am a chief radiologist resident living and working in New York City.

A lot of people. At least everyone's wearing face masks.

For the last couple of weeks, I've been on the front lines just doing whatever I can to help. Mostly it's been placing central lines, difficult (INAUDIBLE) IVs in 95 percent Covid positive patients.

Patient age range from 20s to 70s. Coronavirus isn't discriminating age, sex, gender.

DR. SOPHIA THOMAS, FAMILY/PEDIATRIC NURSE PRACTITIONER: Just getting up, starting my day. Today is a telehealth day today.

My name is Dr. Sophia Thomas. I'm a family and pediatric nurse practitioner.

So I'm going to go ahead and get my Covid-19 swab right now. I want to show people how it's done.

At DePaul (ph) Community Health Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Not that bad.

So our numbers continue to go up. And our death rate continues to rise. Although we're having fewer hospitalizations than we were.

The patient is still not ready.

So my patient, we're trying to keep them at home as much as we can. And so with utilizing telehealth services.

We want to keep them home, keep them safe, and be able to provide care to them through telemedicine and only have them come into the office if they really, really need it.

SHAFA: I love New York. I've loved living here for three years.


And I love New Yorkers. They have a passion and energy unlike anywhere else.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've seen a lot of good and a lot of touching moments.

This was a special moment, seeing the Empire State Building light up like that. Representing the heartbeat.

And I've seen some moments I'm not a fan of as well.

Only about 25 percent of people are wearing face masks, which is not good. You know, the FDA has now recommended everyone wear face masks in public.

THOMAS: Here's study hall for the future of health care.

My family's been very supportive. My son, who is in medical school, has been home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now I am learning about immune deficiency diseases for immunology.

SHAFA: It boosts my morale when I see my baby nephew Noah.

Here we are at a dinner for my mom's birthday in Chicago.

Who's about to turn one on April 13th. I will sadly be missing his birthday in person, but I will definitely be FaceTiming with them.


BERMAN: Extraordinary sacrifices being made by health care workers on the front lines to keep us safe, risking their own lives for ours. So if you are a health care worker on the front lines of this virus and you want to share your story with us, please reach out to us on NEW DAY's FaceBook or Instagram accounts.

Officials in Spain believe they are nearing the peak of the pandemic. But the number of deaths may be higher than the government there is reporting. We have a live report, next.



BERMAN: This morning, Americans across the country struggling amid fears for their own health and their own job.

Joining us to discuss, Dr. Jodi Gold. She's a psychiatrist and the director of the Gold Center for Mind, Health and Wellness. Dr. Gold, thanks so much for being with us.

Look, we talk about 16 million Americans losing their jobs in the last three weeks. But I like to point out, the most important number is one, when it's your job. And it creates a completely different kind of grief than over the loss of a loved one.

How do you manage this specific type of grief?

DR. JODI GOLD, DIRECTOR, GOLD CENTER FOR MIND, HEALTH AND WELLNESS: I feel very sorry for everyone out there that's struggling and it really is grief. You used the exact right word.

I'm seeing sadness and depression and PTSD, but I'm also seeing a lot of grief and sadness over loss. And not just loss of a loved one or loss of health, but loss of jobs, loss of like normalcy, loss of freedom, especially for those that are losing their jobs. I know it's actually like a mourning process. It's like the death of a loved one in the sense that you can be sad and frustrated and angry. And that's completely normal. I'm not sitting here telling you not to be sad (INAUDIBLE) frustrated. I am telling you that there are things that you can do to take care of yourself.

BERMAN: And one of those things that I found was really interesting is, you say set a time -- set aside a time, an hour a day, to worry about this.

GOLD: Yes, that's what I'm recommending. You could spend all day worrying and it's not going to do any good. So what I'm suggesting is, literally set a timer. Give yourself 30 minutes, give yourself an hour to completely freak out. That's completely fine. I'm OK with that. But I need it to be a timer. And when the timer goes off, you've got to take a deep breath and you've got to deal with what's in front of you.

The big deal is you've got to deal with the moment and not to catastrophize. Catastrophizing is when you see the worst case scenario.

I'm also suggesting that people not fortune tell. Fauci, President Trump, the viewers out there, you and I, we don't know the future. No one knows the future. So we have to live in the present and focus on what you can control.

BERMAN: It's so true.

GOLD: You can control that your -- yes. I mean you can control that you're taking care of your parents and your kids. You can control that you're trying to sleep. You can control that you're giving yourself 20 minutes of exercise. You can control that maybe you're going online and looking at new jobs. Maybe this is an opportunity to spend a half an hour a day exploring things you never had a chance to explore, watch a YouTube videos, work on a resume. Maybe something that's productive and growing so that you can -- maybe this is transformative. Maybe you'll use the time to change jobs or to think about something else. And I know it's hard to do that when you're sad and panicking. But if you can just give yourself a little bit of time to do that, it will really -- it really goes a long way for self-care.

And the other --

BERMAN: Dr. Gold, we only have about 30 seconds left. I just want to get -- you have a really interesting point and we only have about 30 seconds left and I want you to get to it. You talk about automatic thoughts and managing an automatic thought.

GOLD: So an automatic thought is your reflective thought. It's the first thing that comes to your mind. You look at -- when you turn on the news and you're like, oh, my gosh, everyone I know is going to die or get sick. That is a reflex. It's your brain playing tricks on you. We all do it and they're all patters. But if you can recognize what an automatic thought is, you can counter it. You can say, wait a minute, everyone I know isn't going to get stick and die. Actually, I'm taking care of my health. People are mildly sick. We can manage this.

By doing that and practicing it every day, you can use your brain and your intelligence to manage your anxiety and that also leads to better behavior, more productive behavior, like watching YouTube videos, making a resume, instead of having a panic attack.

BERMAN: And getting the sourdough starter going, which is a mental health (INAUDIBLE).

GOLD: Yes, absolutely. Everybody find a goal. Set a goal every day. It can be as -- as silly as making bread or learning how to do the splits.

BERMAN: Right.

GOLD: Something that you can set a goal each day. Focus on one day at a time. Give yourself time to freak out. Please make sure you're sleeping. Just regulations is the biggest problem I'm seeing, that people aren't sleeping, they aren't eating at regular times. Everyone's dis-regulated and taking care of your sleep and wake cycle and all of that will go a long way.

BERMAN: Dr. Gold, thank you so much for this. Really appreciate it.

GOLD: Thank you for having me.


BERMAN: So, Dr. Anthony Fauci standing by to join us as NEW DAY continues right now.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: Every day there seems to be a record of number.