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Every U.S State Under Disaster Declaration Simultaneously; Dr. Fauci Says, Antibody Tests Will Be Available Very Soon; MLB Discussing Plan To Start Season Next Month Amid Outbreak; ESPN Host, Stephen A. Smith, Discusses Trump Wanting To Reopen Sports As Teams & Local Officials Urge Caution; Moscow Goes High Tech To Track Residents Violating City's Lockdown; Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne Discusses Fighting On Front Lines Of Pandemic While Pregnant; "CNN Heroes" Help Amid COVID-19 Pandemic. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired April 11, 2020 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERICA HILL, CNN NEWSROOM: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for joining me on this Saturday. I'm Erica Hill in for Ana Cabrera.
Let's get you up to speed on the very latest. For the first time in history, every single state in the United States is now under a disaster declaration. That's happening simultaneously. This as the country approaches a grim milestone the coronavirus death toll of nearly 20,000 people.
New York State alone has more than 180,000 confirmed cases. That's more than any single country outside the U.S. We should point out too, there are still questions about the numbers out of China.
In the nation's largest school district, New York City, there is now a fight over the fate of 1.1 million students. Mayor de Blasio this morning announcing city schools will be closed for the remained of the academic year. Then hours later, Governor Cuomo said no decision has been made and called the mayor's announcement his opinion.
Meantime in Kentucky, state police will be at the ready to record license plate information for church goers or those attending mass gatherings this weekend. The governor warning anyone who is found to have attended a service in person could face a misdemeanor violation. Their information will be given to the health department and they'll be required to submit to a 14-day quarantine.
Beginning today in Michigan, you're no longer allowed to travel between homes. You can't risk or if you do you'll risk a thousand dollar fine or even jail time. That ban, as you can imagine, sparking some pushback in a state where many people own a vacation home, fairly commonplace.
In L.A., it's now mandatory for both employees and customers to wear masks or face covering is in grocery stores and other essential businesses, like pharmacies. So much happening on this Saturday. Let's begin here in New York where we're seeing scenes like this one that has stopped a lot of people. These are crews digging trenches for the bodies of coronavirus victims whose bodies were not claimed or identified by next of kin.
Now, it's important to point out here, this is a public cemetery on Hart Island in New York City. It has been used for years for this purpose among others for bodies that are not claimed. But let's just put it in perspective. Normally, there are about 25 people a week who are buried in that cemetery. Now, the city says it's about 25 people a day.
CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro is live in New York for us this afternoon. There is also a battle brewing in the city between New York City and Albany, frankly, about whether schools will actually remain closed in New York City through the remainder of the school year. What are you hearing?
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erica, you know, we're the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States in New York and we are a little ahead of other people. Other hot spots are coming up behind us in terms of the rise of cases and the curve.
And, you know, the news that Governor Cuomo mentioned today was that we're at the plateau. A very sort of dark and scary time of this plateau, which is many, many people dying, but it also means talking about the future and reopening. And the news from New York is that reopening, when it comes to the rest of the country, is going to be messy.
The school issue is just the first example of that. This morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio comes on television with a big announcement, saying that the New York public schools, New York City public schools, which have been closed obviously for quite a long time, will remain closed through the end of the year, which is a very big deal for parents here. And the mayor laying out the strategy of how to do it and what's going to happen next and just really being pretty direct about how this is going to happen. And then a couple of hours later, the governor comes on T.V. and says something very different.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): You can't make a decision just within New York City without coordinating that decision with the whole metropolitan region because it all works together.
So I understand the mayor's position, which is he wants to close them until June, and we may do that. But we're going to do it in a coordinated sense with the other localities. It makes no sense for one locality to take an action that's not coordinated with the others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: So, look, the mayor says that the schools have to remain closed, and the governor says, look, maybe that's true but it is going to take time to figure it out. I have the power to decide. It is another one of these days where stuck in the middle are people here in New York City who don't really know what's going to happen in the next few months with their schools.
Obviously, they'll probably work it out in the next few days. Hopefully, we'll find some sort of answers. But right now, just a real lack of coordination between the two sides that is really putting the pressure on parents and students and teachers here in New York.
HILL: A lot of questions, Evan. Thank you.
Meantime, in Michigan, the governor cracking down on residents traveling between homes. With more than 22,000 confirmed cases in Michigan and more than 1,200 deaths, the state is now third behind only New York and New Jersey when it comes to the number of coronavirus cases. The state's new tougher stay-at-home order goes so far as to ban residents from traveling to vacation homes even within the state.
CNN's Ryan Young joining us now from Detroit. So, Ryan, I would imagine there is a little pushback there from folks within the state.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We'll have to see exactly what happens, Erica, because let me tell one thing. Thursday to Friday was one of the toughest days here. You had 205 people lose their lives to COVID-19.
But something that we've noticed is we've seen more traffic in the last two days sort of around town than we did the initial day. So now, you have another three weeks on the stay-at-home order but you still see more people out. In fact, at one point, they were taking the basketball hoops off goals at certain parks because people were still going out to play.
So they are trying to get the word out for people to stay home. They also have stores putting in some distant requirements, so that when you show up to a store, only a certain number of people should be in the store at a time certain and then there is a line that could almost we're trying get in to something, they have six feet apart, they want people to stand apart. But that's not all helping just yet because it seems like some people are starting to bristle with the idea of staying inside the next three weeks.
We also want to show you this. The refrigeration trucks that have been brought into the area, because they are worried about a surge of deaths. And, of course, this state hasn't hit its peak just yet. So everyone is wondering what the next step is going to be like.
We've been talking to healthcare officials throughout the state about dealing with the numbers, especially when it comes to African- Americans in this area. We do know that 40 percent of the state's deaths have been African-Americans. It shows inequality in the state. Listen to this one health leader talk about the situation here. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. KIMBERLYDAWN WISDOM, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM: When the general population catches a cold, African-Americans experience pneumonia. So because of the comorbid conditions, diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, (INAUDIBLE) pulmonary disease, that are more prevalent at the African-American population, it was clear that the African-American population was going to be adversely impacted at a greater rate than the general population.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: Something else the City of Detroit has done is they ordered Abbott testing, the fast testing that takes about 15 minutes to conduct. That has helped with first responders. So they've been testing police officers, firefighters, bus drivers, and we're told now they're going to take those out to senior citizens to get that done to make sure they can start figuring out the numbers of people who have COVID-19, especially when it comes to first responders getting them back out on the road is super important in times like this. Erica?
HILL: It absolutely is. Ryan Young, thank you.
In California, the state extending its stay-at-home order now through May 15th. And if it's followed, the state secretary says, the peak of cases may not be as high as previously expected.
Right now, California has more than 21,000 confirmed cases, nearly 600 deaths have been recorded. The Los Angeles County health officials are warning that California really needs to continue abiding by the social distancing if they want to continue to slow the virus' spread.
CNN's Paul Vercammen is in Los Angeles joining us now. So, Paul, the L.A. mayor, Eric Garcetti, also implementing some additional measures to help flatten the curve and he is clearly very serious about them.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He sure is, Erica, very aggressive. And among those measures, he is requiring anybody who goes out to an essential business to wear a facemask. And the workers at those businesses, such as a grocery store, must also be wearing some sort of facial covering. And then in L.A. County, they have extended the ban on gathering in public places to public parks.
Now, normally on Easter Sunday in L.A. County, you will see huge family gatherings, picnics and egg hunts, but those are off and also off attending church. Our Lady of Los Angeles Cathedral will not be allowing people inside. Normally on Easter Sunday, some 10,000 people attend mass there. That is spread out over three masses. But tomorrow inside the church, there will be a pianist, there will be a cantor, and the archbishop himself, Jose Gomez.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISAAC CUEVAS, DIRECTOR, IMMIGRATION AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS FOR THE L.A. ARCHDIOCESE: The archbishop has made it a point to continue being our spiritual leader here in the city and he hasn't missed a beat and people really appreciate him for that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should note anybody around the country can tune in on Sunday (INAUDIBLE).
CUEVAS: Anybody around the world who's ever come by Los Angeles or is dreaming about the day that they want to come visit Los Angeles can start by checking out mass with Archbishop Gomez online.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: And they are inviting anybody who would like to, in a sense, attend mass from home to go ahead and tap into Facebook and hear the words of the archbishop.
Many people look forward to his sermon tomorrow. He basically said that nothing can separate us from the love of God, no persecution, famine, pestilence or plague and not this pandemic. Back to you now, Erica.
HILL: Paul Vercammen in Los Angeles. Paul, thank you.
Just ahead, is testing the answer to getting America back to work? We'll take a closer look at these new antibody tests you are hearing so much about.
Plus, sports normally such a great escape in times of crisis. Of course, this is different. I'll be joined by ESPN Host Stephen A. Smith about navigating the pandemic and what it means for the teams and the sports so many Americans love to root for.
HILL: The White House Coronavirus Task Force says more than 2 million tests have been performed across the country. The president insisting there are no testing issues and yet we are still hearing of people who need to be tested for coronavirus, including healthcare workers, healthcare workers who can't get one.
And that's just one part of the testing conversation.
The other you are likely hearing a lot about is antibody testing. Those tests would let people know who had the virus. Dr. Anthony Fauci says those tests are coming as soon as next week and he cites the fact, as we hear from so many officials, that these tests are critical to reopening the economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: As we look forward, as we get to the point of at least considering opening up the country as it were, it's very important to appreciate and to understand how much that virus has penetrated the society, because it is very likely that there are a large number of people out there that have been infected, have been asymptomatic, and did not know they were infected. If there is antibody tests positive, one can formulate kind of strategies about whether or not they would be at risk or vulnerable to getting re- infected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Joining us now is Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Dr. Lisa Dabby, an emergency room physician at UCLA Health. Good to have both of you with us.
So, Dr. Schaffner, first, just give us a sense, how does this antibody test work? Why is it so important moving forward?
DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Well, the antibody test, Erica, determines whether you've been previously infected with the virus. It tells us whether you've had experience and are now protected. But we'd better be a little bit cautious about this.
First of all, a lot of these tests are coming online without a lot of rigorous evaluation. So how good are they actually? Do they rigorously and appropriately tell us what it is that we want to know?
And then there is another question we ought to think about. Suppose it's been implicit in what kind of Tony has said, that a very large proportion of people in the United States have already been infected. That will let us open things up. But there are lots of experts who think that that proportion is actually rather low. How will that help us open things up?
So there are some problems ahead. There is not a total and easy solution to this yet.
HILL: So it sounds like you are saying, in giving us a better picture of how many Americans have had this virus, even those who didn't realize it, it could actually be further ammunition to keep some of these measures in place if the number is low.
What's interesting too, as we look at what we're learning about people and how they're dealing with this, Dr. Dabby, the CDC this week released these new guidelines for essential workers, saying as long as they're symptom free, they can work after being exposed.
And I'm curious, as an E.R. physician, as someone who is working around folks who likely fall into this category, what are your thoughts on that?
DR. LISA DABBY, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN, UCLA HEALTH: So, you know, this is something I think about every day because I've now been exposed, I don't know, over 30 or 40 times. If we took every physician and every nurse who's been exposed to COVID and isolated them for 14 days, we would have nobody in the E.R., in the hospital, to take care of patients. So the reality is that they're letting us work because we have no choice. We have to be out there working, taking care of patients.
Now, having said that, they're monitoring us very closely. I get my temperature checked every day when I walk in the hospital. I have forms that I have to fill out screening me for symptoms. And there is a very low threshold to remove people from the workforce if there are any symptoms at all. But at this point, it's a supply-and-demand issue where we've got to keep people working.
HILL: Just a question about testing, in general, Dr. Schaffner, in terms of diagnostic testing and whether or not there is enough of it, and if it is in the places where it needs to be, especially after we learned this week that certain tests are producing a false negative at a potentially alarmingly high rate. Where do we stand on diagnostic testing?
SCHAFFNER: Well, we still aren't having enough diagnostic testing across the country. And even when you can test, sometimes we have to wait quite a long time to get the results back. So we're still working on that, expanding it, but we're not anywhere close to what we would like to be. Each week, we're doing a little better but we have to keep doing better.
HILL: President Trump, we've heard a lot about President Trump, a lot from President Trump, talking about this anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, that it could be a possible treatment for coronavirus. The head of the CDC was asked specifically about it this week. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: I'm not going to recommend it and not going to not recommend it.
The CDC is an organization, as you know, you and I have talked about it before, we're not an opinion organization. We're a science-based, data-driven organization. At this moment in time, we are not recommending it but we're not not recommending it. We are recommending for the physician and patient to have that discussion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: There have been some concerns that there could be deadly side effects. But, Dr. Schaffner, when you hear that, I'm not recommending it, I'm not not recommending it, can you translate that for us? What should Americans take away from that?
SCHAFFNER: Well, I think the important thing to know is that we now have clinical trials under way to determine exactly how effective or ineffective this drug is and what the side effects are. In fact, one of my colleagues at Vanderbilt is running this 40 medical center study around the country. We await those results with great interest.
Evidence-based medicine, w need hard information so we know what we're doing when we're using this drug.
HILL: Dr. Dabby, there is still a lot of talk about personal protective equipment and whether those on the front lines have what they need. We're seeing the push in L.A. for people to cover their faces, not with obviously masks. But when it comes to what you need and when it comes to what you're seeing on a daily basis, do you have everything?
DABBY: So at this point, very fortunate at UCLA that we have what we need. What we're looking at is the long haul, the marathon we're about to enter. And we're trying to find creative ways to make what we have last a long time.
And so what we're looking at now is we have our engineering department 3D printing face masks for us. We are looking into U.V. sterilization to clean appropriately the masks so we can reuse them safely.
So at this point, we do have what we need, but we need to make sure that we continue to have what in the months that come.
HILL: And just real quick final thought. How do you feel about this new directive in L.A. that you could be in big trouble if you're not showing up in a store with your face covering?
DABBY: I'm in full support of this. What we need to do right now is everything we can to stop, to mitigate the spread of this virus. We need to slow the spread. And if we can get everybody, people who have asymptomatic virus, people who are early in their virus course and they don't realize it because they are not sick yet but they are still spreading the virus, if we can block every one of those people from spreading more virus to other people, then we should be doing that. Every single person should feel empowered to help fight this virus and stop the spread of it.
HILL: Doctors Lisa Dabby and William Schaffner, I appreciate your insight and expertise as always. Thank you.
SCHAFFNER: Thank you.
DABBY: Thank you.
HILL: Just ahead, in times of crisis, sports can really be a refuge. But as you all know, it is not happening that way this time around. ESPN Host Stephen A. Smith joins me live on the future of sports and whether athletes should actually be playing to empty stadiums and arenas.
HILL: If this were a, quote, normal April Saturday, chances are maybe you'd be watching a game on T.V., maybe your kids' little league or softball game in the park. But we know that's not happening. And yet despite nearly every recreational professional sport being basically shut down, the odds you'll be cheering for your favorite team soon may actually be on the rise. Here is Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A computer helping call the balls and strikes to keep umpires at a distance, no consultations on the pitching mound, players not in crowded dugouts but spread out in the empty stands, and every team every game in Arizona. That's how it may look if Major League Baseball says play ball next month, according to multiple reports, fulfilling President Trump's repeated call for a fast return of pro sports.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And the fans want to be back too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey. They want to see their sports.
FOREMAN: Baseball's official stance remains unchanged.
ROB MANFRED, COMMISSIONER, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: We're going to resume playing when it's safe for our fans, our players and the public for us to resume playing.
FOREMAN: The plan under discussion would attempt to create a safe zone with teams operating in isolation for months amid rigorous virus testing at their hotels, on buses, in stadiums, closed to all fans. Still, it's a stark contrast to health officials warning against any contact with others.
DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe.
FOREMAN: Other pro sports are nibbling at resuming the similar plans to limit exposure but only tentatively, Basketball Commissioner Adam Silver.
ADAM SILVER, COMMISSIONER, NBA: At least for the month of April, we won't be in a position to make any decisions. I don't think that necessarily means on May 1st, we will be.
FOREMAN: Hockey's Stanley Cup Playoffs should have started this week. Instead, ideas are being floated for returning to the ice maybe this summer in North Dakota. Those seem barely more than rumors, the league is saying little.
And the biggest game around, Football, the NFL's draft is this month with teams planning virtual parties to celebrate. In a conference call with sports officials days ago, the president said he hopes the league can kick off on time in September. But many state and local officials are question all this talk of sports coming back soon.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): That's not something I anticipate happening in the next few months.
FOREMAN: With billions of dollars and thousands of jobs at stake, of course, everybody would like to see sports up and running again. But for now, the teams and the towns that host them seem to be saying they will let health officials, not politicians, make that call.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Bethesda, Maryland.
HILL: Joining me now, ESPN Host Stephen A. Smith. And before we get into sort of what could happen with sports, as Tom just laid out, I'm just curious, as you are watching all of this, I mean, we know you live and breathe sports.
We know about your passion. But also watching this in New York, the epicenter of this outbreak in the U.S., these staggering numbers.
Just on a personal level, what is that like for you to watch this all happening?
STEPHEN A. SMITH, ESPN HOST, "FIRST TAKE": I think it is a combination of scariness and, obviously, devastation from the standpoint that I was born in the Bronx, raised in Queens, New York City. My mother, god rest her soul, was a registered nurse for 25 years at Queens General Hospital, in Queens, New York. And so, you know, to be surrounded by that all your life in terms of seeing people going in and out of hospitals.
And then to get notices from the mayor's office in New York City, from the governor's office in Albany that, you know what, let's do what we can to encourage folks not to go to the emergency room unless it is an absolute emergency because the facilities, the equipment, things of that nature are not readily available, it definitely does get scary.
Then when you see the numbers we've been seeing, obviously, it gives you cause to pause and elevate your level of fear.
But this is America. We've overcome a lot in our lives. I consider this to be the greatest country in the world. And obviously, there's a level of confidence you have because of that, that somehow we'll find our way out of this.
That is certainly the mindset of New Yorkers as well. You've got 50,000-plus workers in New York Presbyterian Hospital doing a phenomenal job doing all the great work they've been doing to keep us safe and what have you.
When you see stuff like that, it definitely elevates your level of confidence but it doesn't necessarily end your level of fear.
HILL: No, that's true. It also elevates your level of appreciation for what they do on a daily basis whether or not in the face of a pandemic.
As we look at what's happening now, this country, when struck by tragedy, has often turned to sports as a way to bring everybody back. That isn't happening. I mean, I'm watching my husband on a nightly basis, you know, re-watch
March Madness from decades ago. He is loving the memories but, at the same time, people really do miss that.
Are you concerned if this lasts for too long what that means?
SMITH: You are definitely concerned that somebody involved in sports my entire career, covering sports for 25-plus years, certainly there's a level of concern because we never experienced anything like this.
The flip side is that there are alternatives and those are being discussed ad nauseam. The likelihood of playing games without fans in attendance to honor the social distancing that all of us have been asked to exercise. Certainly that comes to mind.
Then you start thinking about, OK, what sports can be played without fans in attendance? You know, obviously, it will cost everybody money. We get all that.
In terms of the plausibility of the sports actually taking place. I am one who believes baseball can be played without fans in attendance. Golf can be played without fans in attendance. Tennis can be played without fans in attendance. Because it's not a lot of social interaction that takes place with those individuals performing. It is not the contact sport that football and basketball are.
Then from a pugilistic sport from terms of boxing or the UFC -- even though the UFC, Dana White, the commissioner, just postponed his event scheduled for April 18th -- the reality is that if the two combatants and the referee in a ring or an octagon were tested and they tested negative, conceivably speaking those are sports that could actually take place.
In the end, the world of sports is going to be compromised in terms of the interaction with the athletes and with the fans and what have you.
But because of the elevation of television contracts and the networks' partnerships with these respected leagues and how the billions upon billions of dollars are raked in primarily through that source, I do believe it is entirely plausible that sports could return sooner than later.
And I am certainly hopeful. And I think your husband should be as well.
HILL: He is right there with you.
When you say sooner rather than later, I'll push you on that a little bit. We've heard so much and tom touched on this. There was all this talk this week about baseball heading to Arizona. I mean, in your mind, is that the first we would see and does it make sense?
SMITH: Well, I don't know if it should be restricted to just Arizona. But as my partner on "First Take," every weekday morning on ESPN, Max Kellerman, so eloquently states religiously, we've got an obligation to be responsible and not just throw out there just getting back to work.
Of course, we understand that is important but you have to be reasonable with all of this. Being in one location suffocating and condensing everybody in one particular environment, I'm not sure how effective that would be. I think pick three or four different places for them to be able to play baseball and you go about it from that perspective.
Again, there are a multitude of options being considered. Major League Baseball knows what they're doing, as does the NBA and the National Football League. So when you look at them, somebody is going to set the bar. Somebody is going to take that first chance.
Again, I'm not here to predict when that will be. I am very, very hopeful it will be sooner than later.
Because, regardless of what anybody says, and nobody is saying this enough, Erica, but it is important to recognize that when you look at the working world, the average Joe out there can't afford to be unemployed, at home, not receiving a paycheck for months upon months at a time.
Certainly, the need for a virus is paramount and testing is pivotal. If you find a way to test and get results quickly as opposed to a week to two weeks, what have you, I think you'll see the government and the sports leagues, themselves, follow that lead and get back to work sooner than later.
HILL: Stephen, the president has weighed in on this and spoke last week with all the heads of the major sports leagues, and this is what we heard following the call. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want fans back in the arenas. I think it's -
TRUMP: No -- whenever we're ready. I mean, as soon as we can obviously.
And the fans want to be back, too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey. They want to see their sports. They want to go out on to the golf courses and breathe nice, clean, beautiful fresh air.
TRUMP: I can't tell you a date but I think it is going to be sooner rather than later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: Clearly, he has been listening to you, sooner rather than later.
In all seriousness, as we look at that, as you point out, people need a paycheck to be able to go to some of these events. A poll this week from Seton Hall found seven in 10, more than seven in 10 Americans polled said they wouldn't attend a game without a coronavirus vaccine.
It's a two-prong issue here though. It is not just making it safe enough for fans to go back there and them having the disposable income to buy the tickets. There are all of these people who are not working because sporting events are not happening.
Put the athletes out of it. We have vendors, parking attendants, custodial staff, restaurants and bars in the area. You have video crews, commentators, out of work, with no sign of going back.
That is a lot to think about, too.
SMITH: Erica, I want to thank you because, facetiously speaking, evidently, you must be watching me a lot on "First Take," because that is exactly what I've been saying over the last couple weeks or so.
The fact of the matter is so many people think about, when you think about sports you are thinking about the multi-millionaire athletes, the multi-millionaire coaches and executives or whatever.
What the leagues don't get enough credit for, the NBA, National Football League, Major League Baseball, Tennis Association, golf, PGA, everything, they employ thousands upon thousands of people who need their checks and cannot afford to be sitting at home for six weeks, two months, three months without getting a check.
This $2 trillion stimulus package, approved by the government, you have a multitude of individuals getting $1200. I hate to tell you but that is not going to be enough. At some point in time, you'll have to get back to work.
We have to be responsible as a nation. We've got to come together, practice what the medical experts have been telling us to practice in terms of social distancing and what have you.
They also have to do their part in doing what they can to expedite the testing process to make sure that equipment and things of that nature, medical facilities, medical professionals are provided with every single thing they possibly need.
You want to get the athlete back to work. But the reason why you want to do that is so the people that are employed by these leagues can ultimately end up receiving a check, unless people are furloughed, laid off, fired, etcetera, etcetera.
You want to do everything you can to minimize that. And you are not going to pull that off by telling people to stay at home.
Somehow, some way, we all have to come together to assist one another in coming up with a remedy to the situation.
HILL: Stephen A. Smith, good to talk with you. Thank you.
SMITH: Take care of yourself.
HILL: Just ahead the Kremlin's crackdown. How Moscow is using a digital app to track residents who violate the city's lockdown.
HILL: This is video from Russia. The streets of Moscow there. Look at that. Eerily quiet and empty, like so many places around the world this weekend.
Russian officials are going high tech in their efforts to make sure people comply with the official guidance to stay home.
Senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance, joining us now with more.
Matthew, what, specifically, are they doing and how are the Russian people taking it?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are in a difficult position in Russia because they've got this huge outbreak of coronavirus. It's really escalating quite quickly in terms of the number of people infected.
And even though you can see the empty streets in the Russian capital, not everybody is complying with the lockdown.
So the Russian authorities, the Moscow authorities have moved to tighten that lockdown. They are introducing a system of electronic passes that will only allow certain people -- emergency workers, people in essential professions -- to go about their business on the streets.
People have to apply for special permission to even go outside of their compounds or their apartment blocks.
So it is a much tighter regime of restrictions they're going to be implementing from Monday morning.
There was a lot of talk as well about an app, a telephone app, to be downloaded by people in Moscow, which would use facial recognition technology and geolocation technology to make sure the government knew exactly where everybody was.
But in Moscow, like elsewhere in the world, those kinds of things are having a real concern for people worried about freedom of movement and things like that.
Back to you, Erica.
HILL: I can imagine.
Matthew Chance, with the latest for us. Matthew, thank you.
Just ahead, fighting on the front lines of the pandemic while seven months' pregnant. An E.R. doctor shares her story, next.
HILL: The White House Coronavirus Task Force is now commending the mayors of Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia for starting to change the curve just days after warning those very cities could be the country's next hot spots. It, of course, does not mean they're out of the woods.
Philadelphia's mayor this week saying their healthcare workers do still need more personal protective equipment.
In Maryland, this nurse practitioner tried making a face shield out of a plastic page protector and a headband.
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UNIDENTIFIED NURSE PRACTITIONER: I put it on and I -- I started crying. And I thought, I can't imagine anybody working -- wearing something like that.
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HILL: There are also concerns when health care workers return home, just what could they be bringing back to their families.
Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne works in the E.R. at the University of Maryland, Prince Georges' Hospital Center. She is also seven months pregnant.
Dr. Clayborne, good to have you with us.
First, this really struck me this morning. I read you told the "Wall Street Journal," quote, "I feel my baby kicking all the time while I'm working. It's a reminder that I'm not by myself when I'm serving on the front lines."
Doctor, has there ever been a moment so far where you felt that you or your unborn baby were unsafe?
DR. ELIZABETH CLAYBORNE, E.R. PHYSICIAN WHO IS SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT: Absolutely. I mean, every time I go in to work, I'm certainly taking a risk, and so there's a degree of me feeling unsafe in those moments. I'm just trying to balance that every day with the duty that I feel to come to work.
And an article you might have seen, I work with two other pregnant E.R. doctors, and all of us decided that we were going to stay as long as we felt we could protect ourselves as well as we could, and if that risk becomes too great, then we are going to have to stop.
HILL: Do you have everything that you need? As you're assessing that risk every day, do you have the PPE that you need, that we talk so much about?
CLAYBORNE: I would say that PPE is an ongoing concern. It seems like every day when- I show up, it's a little bit unclear how much PPE is in reserve.
We get emails from our administrators every day talking about when there might be some shortages and so far we haven't run out. But it's not like we feel comfortable that we have reserves for the one to two weeks in the future, which is especially important right now because we're expecting to hit our surge in Maryland very soon.
HILL: As you ramp up to that surge, I have to say, E.R. doctors I've been speaking with here in New York City, they tell me each shift is worse than the next. Is that what you're seeing as well?
CLAYBORNE: I would say, in the last week, we have seen an increased acuity of the patients showing up so we haven't gotten the volume that is feeling overwhelming.
But the degree of illness that people are showing up with is becoming more severe so our ICUs are becoming overwhelmed. We actually had to activate surge in our ICU, which means that we're reaching our capacity.
And I do notice an increased tense feeling when I go into the E.D. because we kind of sense the storm is on the horizon and we are preparing ourselves for being overwhelmed by the number of sick people that can all show up at one time.
HILL: You mentioned that tension. Is that a tension that you're feeling amongst your colleagues at the hospital or are you feeling that from patients as well when they come through the door?
CLAYBORNE: I would say both groups. This is -- you know, E.R. doctors are known for being pretty calm, cool, and collected in chaotic environments. That's what we do on a day-to-day basis.
But this certainly has everyone on edge, including veteran physicians that are very well experienced, feeling a little bit tense when they show up.
And then, of course, patients and their families are extremely nervous, which is why we have so many people who are confused sometimes about when to come to the E.R., which, if they show up, when it's not appropriate, can overwhelm us.
So we've been really clear with the public in telling them that you should only show up when you're having respiratory symptoms or severe symptoms that are requiring medical attention. Otherwise, to stay home. Because that helps us. That helps us to focus our efforts on those who are most sick.
HILL: Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne, we appreciate everything you're doing on a daily basis. And best of luck with that baby.
CLAYBORNE: Thank you very much.
HILL: We look forward to that good news.
Just ahead, as we look forward, we've been talking so much about the "CNN Heroes" every day going above and beyond during this pandemic.
Here's Anderson Cooper now with a look at three "CNN Heroes" who are doing whatever it takes for their communities.
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ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "A.C. 360" & CNN HOST, "CNN HEROES" (voice- over): These "CNN Heroes" are finding new and unique ways to help their communities in the face of COVID-19. Whether that's bringing their programming online for those recovering from addiction --
UNIDENTIFIED "CNN HERO": For somebody in recovery, social isolation can often lead to the relapse. It's crucial to keep each other connected so now you can come to a class every hour of the day.
COOPER: -- Delivering meals for children who no longer access them in school programs --
UNIDENTIFIED "CNN HERO": So we served a thousand pounds of pasta a week. Last week, we served 5,000 pounds. It's stunning, the demand.
COOPER: -- or providing supplies and emotional support to struggling members of their community.
UNIDENTIFIED "CNN HERO": We have intensified our food distribution to about 2,000 families in the past week. We are sewing masks and gowns. COVID-19 has taught us that nothing, nothing can break the human spirit.
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HILL: To see Anderson's full story on how these and many other heroes are working to combat this pandemic, just log on to CNNheroes.com.
HILL: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Erica Hill, in for Ana Cabrera.