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Violent Storms Push Through Southern U.S.; China Adds Restriction To Virus Research And Publication; Singapore Cases Spike, Fears Of Second Wave; Dozens of Tornadoes Pummel South-eastern U.S.; Trump to Reopen U.S Economy; Boris Johnson Out of the Hospital; Spain Lifts Some Restrictions; President Macron to Address France on the Pandemic. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired April 13, 2020 - 02:00   ET




MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Hello everyone, I'm Michael Holmes. Right now we are tracking two deadly and dangerous threats, the coronavirus, of course and also dozens of tornadoes that have struck several states in the U.S. south causing catastrophic destruction and killing at least eight people.

The storm systems capable of spawning the twisters, even hitting populated areas like in Atlanta, Georgia where we are. It's just after 2:00 a.m. here.

Tornadoes twice as deadly when they strike in the overnight hours. And that means millions of Americans could be in for people are in a very scary night. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is tracking all of this for u s. What are you seeing, Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, we've got a couple of more hours ahead of us, Michael, as you know, these storms are just extremely dangerous, especially when you factor in to the overnight hours.

Of course, a lot of people asleep at this hour, going to be hard pressed here to get the alerts necessary to wake them up, get them into safe shelter.

And that's what authorities are urging with a situation like this where we have all of the elements in place to get that gulf moisture, the southerly (ph) falls certainly in place here and tremendous amount of instability in the atmospheres.

So we've seen dozens of reports of tornadoes, and not just your everyday tornado you see in the spring season, which certainly could be very strong by any standard, but these are tornadoes that are at times, reported to stay on the ground for as much as 100 miles. So, long tracked tornadoes that is making them very dangerous here over the next couple of hours. But here is the perspective, the storms producing upwards of 10,000 lightning strikes in the past several hours. That energy now is shifting out of the state of Alabama, into the state of Georgia. You see tremendous activity in place there.

We do have tornado watches across nearly the entirety there of the state of Georgia and certainly on to portions of Tennessee and into parts of western North Carolina.

Here is the perspective. Atlanta tornado watch to at least 7:00 a.m. The instability of the storms will produce tornadoes we think within the next couple of hours.

And the energy begins tapering off as we approach the early morning hours at least for the southern states. And here we go, at least 37 reports of tornadoes across this region. We know that at least 165 reports of severe wind gusts and some 29 large hail reports across the area as well.

So, here we go. The areas that really the most impressive and the most incredible when it comes to these storms were southern Mississippi -- you take a look, right there, we had dual tornadoes that touch down very close in proximity to one another.

Both of them, initial estimates put these at least as an EF3, maybe an EF4. We'll see the official reports come Monday afternoon, but what we do know, is the storm stayed on the ground for upwards of 100 miles, that's 160 kilometers. I looked into the state of Mississippi's historical numbers, and that is among the longest track tornadoes on record for the state.

So, anytime you have a storm with such intensity and it's able to maintain that for an extended period, we know it is a dangerous situation, which is exactly why we've seen some lives lost across the area.

Here is one of those images from Yazoo County in Mississippi, a wedge tornado so again a mile potentially in diameter as it cross this region. Here is the energy. Here is what we are looking at moving forward into Monday.

The eastern seaboard, the mid Atlantic region, at least 55 million people there in line for severe weather. It is on a scale of 1 to 5, a 3 there. That's an enhanced risk indicated in the color orange. And that's Raleigh, Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah.

These are areas the storm that has had a history of producing tornadoes, can once again spawn tornadoes moving forward. But really, the most likelihood outcome here for a very high population an to be precise, the estimate has put it at around 128 million people would be straight line damaging winds.

We know winds at times across this area highlighted in orange, and especially into red, could exceed 50 to 70 miles per hour, and that would be for Monday. If it was any normal day, I would tell you that the travel across this region, aviation would be disrupted severely. You know, that has already been the case, of course, with the

coronavirus, but you take a look, and we know this is going to be wide spread implication when it comes to potentially power outages across a large reaching area of the United States there for Monday. I send it back to you.

HOLMES: All right, Pedram, thank you. Pedram Javaheri there. Let's turn our attention now to the coronavirus, the United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but more than 25 percent of the world cases, and nearly 20 percent of the world's deaths.

The number of U.S. fatalities rising to more than 22,000, well over half a million confirmed cases, that's according to Johns Hopkins University. And there's increasing evidence the Trump administration had plenty of warnings, direct warnings from government scientists and experts, that what was coming could be horrific. And yet, during those times, the president was saying things like this.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: By April, you know, in theory when it gets a little warmer it miraculously goes away.

The coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country.

We're going down not up. We're going very substantially down not up.

When you have 15 people and the 15 within a couple of days, it's going to be down to close to zero. That's a pretty good job we've done.

Anybody that needs a test is a test we -- they're there. They have the test. And the tests are beautiful.

We're doing a great job with it and it will go away. Just say calm. It will go away.

Some of the doctors say it will wash through, it will flow through. Very accurate I think you're going to find in a number of weeks.


HOLMES: So much in those sound bites was misleading or just plain untrue. But what is concerning is the growing body of evidence the president and those close to him knew it, knew that what he was saying was untrue or at best, hiding the real picture.

And medical experts are saying that keeping that reality from the American people and delaying action that his own experts were recommending from literally weeks, may well have cost lives. Sunday, even the nation's top infectious disease expert told CNN's Jake Tapper, early advice was shut down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANTHONY FAUCI, MEMBER, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: I mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. Obviously, no one is going to deny that.

But what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated, but you are right. I mean, obviously, if we had right from the very beginning shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different. But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then.


HOLMES: Yet, the president, Sunday, pushing back on what he predictably called fake news, this time from the "New York Times," which invariably fake news means news he does not agree with rather than is fake.

And CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein joins me now from Los Angeles. He is also the senior editor at "The Atlantic." Always a pleasure sir.

You know, given all this information that's coming out in recent days about how much the administration and the president knew and brushed off warnings about what was likely to come for the U.S., given all of that, is the president exposed politically because as always, his ratings haven't budged much?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. This is the time bomb, Michael, I think politically for the president because as you know, although there have been some polls showing a decline, basically most polls show the country is split 50/5 on whether they think he has adequately responding to the crisis now.

Here is the risk for him, however. Even before these reports, upwards of 60 percent, in fact, over 70 percent in a CBS poll last week said he was not prepared for the outbreak, and/or in other surveys, depending on how you worded it, that he did not respond quickly enough.

And I think that, you know, although there is a tendency in all western democracies as you've seen the leader's numbers have generally gone up initially in response to this kind of crisis, there is a tendency to rally around the leader.

That sense that he did not react quickly enough, that it has been worst than it needed to be because of that failure to react. I think that is indeed a vulnerability that was kind of out there for November.

HOLMES: I mean, I wanted to ask you about this whole issue of the president "reopening" the economy, which most seem to agree is not his decision. It's the decision of governors and mayors and even CEOs. I mean, he can say what he likes, but where does the actual responsibility lie?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, it lies with governors and I think that while primarily -- and as well as mayors to some extent, and obviously the individual business is themselves.

But I do think that while the president cannot to reopen the economy, in effect, on his own authority, he can create a lot of division and confusion and enormously complicate the task of having any kind of unified national response to this.

Because I think if the president does talk about reopening the economy on May 1st, he will put a lot of pressure on most of the Republican governors to follow suit.

And we could can easily be back in the situation we were at the end of the March, where we not only had this patch work between the states where you had some, you know, most states acting to lock things down the lockdown.

But some of the red states particularly, the Republican governor states, are refusing to ask, but even within states, there's just extraordinary division which I wrote about in late March where you had the largest cities, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Tucson, Miami, all trying to impose restrictions because that's where the outbreaks have been greatest.

And there are governors refusing to do so, and the mayors feeling that was undercutting their efforts because obviously he was allowing you have a congregate right outside of their borders.

I think we can easily be back in that situation again in mid May with all of the consequences of the lack of a clear national direction. If the president comes forward and says let's get the economy opening again, some business leaders and some governors I think will follow him.


HOLMES: Yes, well, and a lot of Republicans across field. They need him on-side for their own political viability. Speaking politically, we haven't got much time left, but I wanted to ask you the election approaching, has been interesting that Joe Biden is not exactly being front and center, not exactly high visibility. What do you make of the polling at the moment given everything that is going on at the moment?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, you know, Biden tried to have I think a flurry of visibility and has now receded. He's in a difficult position. I mean, he does not have an actual, you know, position of authority in this. All he can do is make recommendations.

I guess if you are a supporter of the president, the thing it would have to worry you is that even with the rally around the flag instinct that had push up his approval rating -- he's approval rating on coronavirus -- there was not a poll within ahead of Biden. He was still trailing Biden by various margins in all of the, you know, all of -- literally, every survey that has come out to since March 1st.

On the other hand, if you're Biden, you have to worry that there is conspicuous lack of enthusiasm at the moment in polling. The question is for you -- the question is whether as we move forward with former President Obama endorsing, presumably Bernie Sanders endorsing, can he handle that?

But this does show some of the limits of Biden as a messenger. It also is a reminder this is fundamentally a reference among Trump, and that he is facing a reality where I think the odds are very high. He's going to come in somewhere around 45 percent of the popular vote. And the question is whether that will be enough to squeeze in through the Electoral College.

HOLMES: Yes, good point. The enthusiasm factor, very interesting bringing some interesting polling on that. Republicans are a lot more enthusiastic to get out than Democrats, especially with Bernie out. Ron, as always, a pleasure. Good to see you. Thank you.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks Michael. Be safe.

HOLMES: You too.

More than 10,000 people in the U.K. have died from coronavirus so far, more than 84,000 testing positive. Experts say the nation may not have seen the worst of it either.

But the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, well, he is finally out of hospital. He spent a week there with several days in intensive care and he said, "things could have gone either way." He's praising the National Health Service for their heroic fight against coronavirus.


BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: In the last seven days, I have of course seen the pressure the NHS is under. I have seen the personal courage, not just of the doctors, the nurses, but of everyone.

The cleaners, the cooks, the health care workers, but every description, physios, radiographers, pharmacists, who've kept coming to work, kept putting themselves in harm's way, kept risking this deadly virus. It is thanks to that courage, that devotion, that duty, and that love, that our NHS has been unbeatable. That is why we will defeat this coronavirus, and defeat it together.


HOLMES: And Max Foster is in London for us. Good to see you Max (inaudible) discharge that message of gratitude. It was interesting. You got the sense from his tone that the situation was perhaps more serious than many might have thought. It was quite startling in some ways.

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, for 48 hours he is effectively saying it was -- it could go either way. So he was in this critical situation and he used this, that story, to really pay tribute to the NHS workers around, I mean, he names them all and he talks about how we've all got to be aware of the role that the NHS is playing.

And the NHS is very close to people's hearts in this country. And he's using that to try to enforce the lock down, saying that we need to protect the NHS, give them a shield, which is effectively the lockdown.

But as you say, those numbers are startling. The U.K. is one of only five countries with more than 10,000 deaths and we're not near the peak yet. So, he is now outside London, at his country residence recuperating, whilst the government looks ahead at how to deal with the situation in his absence effectively.

HOLMES: Yes. And as you point out, I mean the number is incredible. I mean, we hear these numbers and we report them at every thing -- every one of them is a devastated family. You know, where are things in terms of that all important, you know, curve looking forward and what's the appetite for continuing lockdown versus some easing?

FOSTER: Well, we are seeing comparable countries in terms of deaths effectively. Spain and Italy started to ease their restrictions now and there is some controversy particularly in Spain where they're opening some factories and construction workers going back to work in some areas when, you know, they've only just reached the peak.

The U.K. hasn't reached the peak according to the scientists. This week, you'll have Matt Hancock, the health secretary considering the review of the lockdown. He has to deliver that by Thursday.

I think everything we're hearing from West Minster is that the lockdown will remain in place at least until the peak is identified.


So, going out to the country saying you have to stay indoors, but easier though Michael. You can see today, London back to its normal overcast self. It's very difficult over the weekend though with all the sun out and the real pressure on people to break out and go out to the parks and places. They didn't really do that in huge numbers so the message does seem to be getting through.

HOLMES: Yes. All right. Max, good to see you there. Max Foster there for hours in London. All right. We're going to take a quick break. When we come back, we will take you to France, President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation on Monday, as he now faces the biggest test of his presidency. We will be right back.


HOLMES: Welcome back. One of the hardest hit country, Spain, lifting some restrictions as of Monday. People who cannot work from home such as construction workers and factory workers and others can now return to their jobs, but nonessential businesses like retailers, bars and entertainment venues must remain closed.

For more, journalist Al Goodman is standing by in Madrid. You sort of previewed this happening for us at this time yesterday. How is it going to work and what are the risks?

[02:20:03] AL GOODMAN, JOURNALIST: Hi Michael, the lockdown in Spain continues for a total of six weeks to the end of May, and the prime minister says he will probably have to extend that into May.

But some of these construction and factory workers, who were initially able to work during the first part of the lockdown, then for the last two weeks have not been able to work because the authorities wanted to continue to reduce the infection rate and ease the pressure on the intensive care beds at the hospital.

Now, that sort of stabilized so they are going to be able to work with some conditions. So that's why I've got this mask on because more people are closer to me, coming out of this metro station. They're just off camera. There is a police officer right there. He's been handing out masks.

The government is handing out 10 million masks across the country as workers come back to work. And there are more conditions this time, Michael. They are really testing to see how these construction and factory workers will behave in a country, a Mediterranean country that is so up close and personal.

So, they want people to stay at least a meter, or better, two meters, up to six feet apart on the job and during the commute coming out of the metro. They want them to wash their hands, maintain good hygiene, stay home if they're sick.

So they're really trying to see as they ramp up testing for the virus across the country whether the test of these workers going back to work, whether they can get it according to the health authorities, and if so, other restrictions may be able to be eased here coming up in the following weeks, Michael.

HOLMES: All right. It's going to be an interesting experiment. Al, thank you. Al Goodman there in Madrid for us

And the French health minister says they are "seeing the start of a very high plateau, almost a month after President Emmanuel Macron declared a national stay-at-home order.

On Sunday, France recorded 561 new coronavirus deaths. That's the lowest daily increase in several days. President Macron due to address the nation on Monday. It is still unclear when the country's confinement orders might end. To get a look ahead at that speech, what might we hear, CNN's Cyril Vanier joins me live from Normandy. What do you think, Cyril?

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Michael, I think whether it's myself or the rest of the people here in France who have been under lockdown for almost a month, we want the answers to all the same questions. How long are schools going to be closed?

How long are we going to be under this national stay-at-home order? How long our jobs going to -- when are jobs going to reopen. When is the economy going to reopen? When are we going to get facemask? Is there going to be mass testing of the population? Is there going to be some form of digital tracking of the sick?

We want all those answers, but the government, and the president have been adamant that hey, you know, there are still someone dying in France every two and a half minutes. If you do the math from the numbers you just gave us, Michael.

So, how much he reopens, when he reopens, how much longer he keeps this on the stay-at-home order. All of this, Michael, could add up to one of the most consequential speeches of this presidents mandate.


VANIER (voice-over): The scene plays out almost endlessly on the news, patients unable to breathe, the faces, the names rarely if ever, remember, there are too many.

We are at war, said President Macron, when he addressed the nation mid-March, putting life as we know it on pause. Schools, non-essential businesses, closed. Visiting relatives forbidden. A nationwide confinement declared indefinitely. Almost one month on, the epidemic is just beginning to slow down in France, but hundreds still die every day.

Macron is set to address the nation again Monday evening, this time, two minutes after the traditional 8:00 start, a nod to the new evening ritual, celebrating health care workers. For the president, one unavoidable question, what comes next?

THIERRY ARNAUD, JOURNALIST, BFM TV: The longer the crisis is going, the less popular the president is becoming, and that is a problem for him clearly and that is certainly one of the reasons why he wants to address the nation

VANIER (voice-over): The stay at home order will be extended, that much has been confirmed by the Elysee Palace, but for how long? The government's scientific council advocates several more weeks.

Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macro searching for answers, on the phone with the head of the World Health Organization, in a research lab in Paris and Marseille, but breakthroughs on a possible cure for the virus are still thought to be weeks or even months away.

ARNAUD: He doesn't want to create a false sense that the hard part is over with and that the peak of the crisis is either now or just behind us. And that the weeks to come are going to be very easy, much for the country.

VANIER (voice-over): Faced with the biggest challenge of his presidency, Emmanuel Macron has few, if any, good options. The French press expects him to double down on the stay-at-home order possibly until mid-May.


"Expect a Churchillian speech," warns a member of the government. Blood, sweat and tears. The fact is, lifting the stay-at-home order without mass testing of the population and some form of tracking of the sick, could spark a second epidemic wave.

Meanwhile, the pressure to reopen the economy builds. The government's rescue package has ballooned to an unprecedented $100 billion and counting. Eight million workers already furloughed, recession already here.


VANIER: So Michael, that's where we stand at the moment, the French economy basically cannot afford to keep the country locked down. But the French health system, cannot afford to reopen it.

HOLMES: Yes, absolutely. Thanks Cyril, appreciate it. That's Cyril Vanier in Normandy for us.

Hospitals in New York City are working at full capacity due to coronavirus as we know. When we come back, we go behind the scenes of one in Brooklyn, to see what it is like inside for those doctors.


HOLMES: Let's get some more now on one of our top stories. Another round of violent storms moving through the southeast in the U.S. -- we have been seeing some of the dangerous weather in and around us here in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dozens of tornadoes pummeling parts of the south on Sunday. Authorities confirming at least eight people killed. Let's get another update on these deadly storms which are impacting several states now. Pedram Javaheri with the very latest. And what are you seeing then?

JAVAHERI: Michael, you know, we are in the storm system right now. When you take a look at what is happening outside, the radar imagery, the conditions across the region.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Of course, we know the elements have been in place to produce severe weather, but it is at this hour, 2:30 a.m. Eastern time where we think this is the height of the storm when it comes to what it has to offer. And then beyond this, proportions of Northern Georgia, into some of the higher population regions, we think the intensity will begin to wane moving forward, and then all of the energy shifts on towards the Eastern seaboard, and into the Mid-Atlantic region.

But here's the perspective. As the thunderstorms begin to move into portions of Atlanta, points just south of the city, we're beginning to see only some severe thunderstorm warnings, which mean wind gusts could exceed 58 miles per hour, hail at about two and a half centimeters or one inch in diameter across the region.

But there is at least one tornado warning to tell you about which means there is a tornado on the ground or imminent and occurring. And we know this particular tornado is radar confirmed. It is east of Thomaston, east of Barnesville, Georgia which is just to the south and east of say Peachtree City and McDonough area, if you're familiar with the metro Atlanta region.

There is a tornado on the ground, official of course. Everyone urging to not only get it to the lowest point of your home, the safest area is typically away from windows as far, remove as for as many doors in between yourself as the exterior windows and that is the place to be within these next few minutes.

The storm migrates east of this region. And again, these storms are moving at an incredible rate up to 55 or 60 miles per hour. So with a tornado on the ground, it is moving just that quickly, so depending on how long it maintains that intensity on the ground, there certainly could be a widespread damage, as we've seen across portions of the state of Mississippi.

To the north, here we go. This is the heart of the storm across Roswell, Georgia, into the areas around Gainesville, Duluth, certainly on into Alpharetta as well, severe thunderstorm warning in place across those regions. Winds pushing close to 60 miles per hour, certainly some large hail across that region as well.

If we don't see any tornadoes develop across this region within the next say hour or so, I don't believe we'll see any more across at least the metro Atlanta region. But you do notice, quite a widespread coverage when it comes to tornado watches from portions of Eastern Alabama through all of Metro Atlanta into northern Georgia and stretches into Metro Charlotte back towards Greenville, South Carolina as well.

So this is going to continue through at least 7:00 a.m. especially the farther east you travel. You'll notice severe weather reports have now predominantly become straight-line winds, severe wind gusts, versus tornado reports. Now they're outnumbering it by quite a bit here with just shy of 40 reports of tornadoes. So we think the tornadic element of this is going to begin to taper off at least for the overnight hours of Sunday night into Monday morning.

And again, we have already seen a pretty incredible run of tornadoes, especially into Southern Mississippi where two tornadoes touch down simultaneously near one another. And we know the track of at least one of these tornadoes, some 90 to 100 miles on the ground. So those long duration, long-track tornadoes are certainly something that we watch very carefully. They become twice as likely to become fatal into the overnight hours.

And this is the region again, we're watching Eastern Alabama into Georgia. And eventually, by Monday, this becomes a problem for the Carolinas into the Mid-Atlantic region there, Michael, for the afternoon hours at least.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: All right, Pedram, good to have you there keeping an eye on up for us. Pedram Javaheri, thank you. Well, China tightens its grip on how research on the virus is going to be released. A new government policy mandating all research related to the Coronavirus will face extra scrutiny and must be approved by the government before being published. CNN's Ivan Watson is following the story from Hong Kong. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: China has issued new regulations restricting the publication of research about Coronavirus. CNN learned about this from the Web page of Fudan University. It's one of China's most elite universities. And the guidelines were published there last week saying, "Any paper that traces the origin of the virus should be strictly managed."

And the guidelines had instructions for academics about which government agency they could apply to, to publish the results of their research about the origins of the Coronavirus. That Web site included the name and e-mail address and phone number of an official at China's Ministry of Education.

And we called that individual. The person who answered the phone confirmed these new guidelines had been issued, but said they weren't supposed to be made public. Shortly after our phone call, the Web page was removed from the university site. But we've since learned that at least two other Chinese universities have had similar Web pages published with guidelines and one of them actually removed that information as well.

Now, why is this important? Well, the first cases of Coronavirus were detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December of last year. And there's been a pattern of government officials at different levels, punishing and trying to shut down doctors and researchers who've tried to sound the alarm about this deadly disease. They include Dr. Li Wenliang from Wuhan, who was so into the police and later caught Coronavirus and died in the hospital in February, and he's since become a hero in China.

The disease, of course, has spread to a pandemic that has claimed tens of thousands of lives, and any additional information or research we can have about this disease will probably be important. No country arguably has more data than China, which detected the first known cases of Coronavirus. And now there seem to be new obstacles to sharing that research with the outside world. Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.



HOLMES: Still in the region, Singapore seeing a spike in Coronavirus infections, with 233 new cases reported on Sunday, all of them locally transmitted. The government there had slowed the spread of the virus with strict quarantine measures, but now there are new fears of a second surge. Let's get straight to Singapore where Manisha Tank is standing by. And yes, Singapore being a real example of controlling the number of cases. What's this changed?

MANISHA TANK, JOURNALIST: Well, it's basically a bit of an explosion in cases in the migrant worker population here, Michael. This is a population of workers who tend to come from southern India, places like Bangladesh, they do all the essential work here in Singapore. You often see them on the sides of expressways, cutting trees or on construction sites, building those all essential housing development blocks.

Well, there was a cluster of new cases last week in an area called the Mustafa Center. Anyone who's visited Singapore would be very familiar with it. It is a big tourist spot here. It's in the popular destination of Little India, but it's where you'll find people in very close proximity. And a number of those workers go to places like the Mustafa Center.

You talk about 233 new cases today. We had a spike last week, which was record of 287, of which one of those new clusters was at that Mustafa Center. So now they've seen that multiply out into these foreign worker dormitories. And we're getting this spike now in new cases, which is remarkable, isn't it, because Singapore just a short while ago was held up as being the example of how to get this Coronavirus under control.

You even had the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong being interviewed recently by our very own CNN's Fareed Zakaria, and he was uploaded around the world for the way that he's led the charge against Coronavirus here. But yes, this is a cause for concern. And now, the co-head of the multi-ministry task force on COVID-19 has warned that we might not see these cases stopped spiking for another couple of weeks even though we have new quite draconian measures in place to stop people from going out, Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, indeed. Hopefully, things turn around. Manisha Tank in Singapore, I appreciate it. Thank you. Members of OPEC and their allies held an emergency meeting looking to give oil prices a boost. When we come back here, why the experts say the old producers plan might not be enough. We'll be right back.



HOLMES: Welcome back. OPEC and other oil producers will slash production by nearly 10 million barrels a day beginning in May. The group held an emergency meeting on Sunday in an effort to boost prices that have reached 18-year lows in recent weeks. Oil prices jumping on that news, but analysts are worried it won't be enough to cut the oversupply.

The energy market has of course been rocked by a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, but also the plunge in demand because of the pandemic. CNN's John Defterios joins us now with more from Abu Dhabi. I mean, this process seemed to be a painful one for pretty much everyone. In the end, who got what?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, Michael, it was painful because they had to have three meetings over a span of just four days. And one of those was a G20 energy ministers meeting as well. That goes to show you how difficult was to get the deal done.

If it plays out as planned and prices do rise over time, it's a win, win, win for Donald Trump, also, Vladimir Putin, and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. Nobody can live with prices where we are today between $23.00 and say $30.00 a barrel. It's just not something that would be lasting.

But there's a harsh reality in the market today, Michael, and that is thee billion people are living under lockdown because of the coronavirus, which means that demand is down by about a third in the month of April. Does that improve in the second half? That's a huge question mark, of course.

They're cutting just under 10 million barrels a day. It's under that mark because Mexico held out at the very end and said they're only going to cut 100,000 barrels a day. They're calculating that there's another three to four million because of natural declines in the United States, Norway, Canada, even Brazil. And that will again, probably play out that way, and we're going to see some g 20 members fill up their strategic petroleum reserves over the next month to eat up the demand and the oversupply that we see in the market today.

But Michael, the shale producers in the United States, they need $40 or above at least, and we're still down 50 percent from the January highs before the price war started, and the Coronavirus did set in.

HOLMES: Yes. And I wanted to ask, you know, Mexico playing the holdout as it did. And what was interesting was Donald Trump getting pretty heavily involved. He's always, of course, pushed oil in the U.S. How heavily involved was he in all of this and how unusual is that?

DEFTERIOS: Well, what was unusual is that as soon as the meeting was over here, this virtual meeting of the OPEC plus ministers, which is some 23, he did a victory lap saying that this will save hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States. He's not wrong if they can see the market balance in the second half of the year.

What is different here from OPEC plus, Michael too, is that the cuts will stay until 2022. They'll still be kind of six million barrels a day. That's how bad the oversupply is right now. But for Donald Trump, there's a good cop, bad cop scene playing out. He played the good cop bringing Saudi Arabia and Russia back together.

The bad cops are on Capitol Hill. They leaned on the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, saying that if you don't do something to get this deal done by the end of Sunday, there's a threat of tariffs. We may cut military spending, allow you to buy arms in the future will be cut off as well.

So Abdulaziz bin Salman, his elder brother and the son of the King Salman in the country, made sure he had all the ducks in a row to get this deal done. He didn't want the market to open today, Michael, and not have Mexico onboard even at a lower level. He wanted all 23 producers backing him to make sure it did happen. That is the win, win, win, if you will, but with a lot of pressure from Capitol Hill.


HOLMES: Yes. Good to have your analysis, John. I appreciate it, John. Defterios there in Abu Dhabi.

DEFTERIOS: Thanks, Michael.

HOLMES: Well, the Coronavirus is taking a devastating toll on the U.S. economy. Nearly 17 million workers have filed for unemployment in just three weeks, 17 million. On Sunday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer spoke with Robert Reich, who was Labor Secretary under Bill Clinton. He described just how dire the problem could become.


ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY, UNITED STATES: This is not a typical recession. It's not even a depression. This is a public health crisis and people are losing their jobs. Some of them are sheltering at home because they have to or they want to. It's necessary that people be home. In fact, it's necessary that a big and significant part of the economy be shut down. So the big question is how to get money out as quickly as possible to people who don't have money.

There are a range of estimates. The Federal Reserve Board of St. Louis just put out a report estimating that 47 million jobs will be lost in between April and June of this year. That would put the unemployment rate up to about 32 percent, which is higher than we would have had ever in this country, much higher than during the Great Depression.

So the scale of this problem, the scale of this challenge is huge. Congress does need to act again because what it's done, although it's done some significant things, the money is not getting out and it's not nearly enough.


HOLMES: Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich there speaking earlier. Now, we'll take a short break. We'll be right back. Stay with us. You watching CNN.



HOLMES: Welcome back. As we have seen over the past few weeks, hospitals in New York City are overwhelmed, and doctors are desperately trying to save the lives of thousands of patients infected with Coronavirus. CNN's Clarissa Ward introduces us to Dr. Melanie Malloy, a physician on the front lines. These two women were college roommates and remain close friends.


MELANIE MALLOY, ATTENDING PHYSICIAN, MOUNT SINAI BROOKLYN HOSPITAL: Hello. My name is Dr. Melanie Malloy. I am an attending physician at Mount Sinai in Brooklyn and in Mount Sinai in Queens. I'm on my way to work.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've asked my old friend to show us what life is like on one day in one New York hospital.

MALLOY: I'm picking up my PPE. I'm going to get some scrubs. I'm going to get mask, face shield, things that I need to be safe on my chest.

WARD: For Dr. Melanie Malloy, this is the new normal.

MALLOY: I am going to start my shift.

WARD: The emergency room at Mount Sinai Brooklyn hospital has been overflowing.

MALLOY: I walked in and they said, everybody is intubated. And it looks like it's true actually. Most of our beds are taken up by intubated patients, meaning patients who can't breathe on their own and who are on the ventilator. Almost everybody is on oxygen and almost everybody is a COVID patient.

WARD: Since the pandemic began, more than 1,200 Corona cases have flooded in, pushing the hospital to 150 percent of its capacity.

MALLOY: Today, there are 43 people in the department. That's pretty much full. But I have to say it's doing a lot better than a couple of weeks ago when we had 86 to 96 in the department, already people boarding. It was really tough. It was really bad, bad week.

WARD: In the intensive care unit, it's a similar scene.

MALLOY: I just wanted to give you guys a little look at the ICU. So we have a full ICU. We have every patient in here on a ventilator. As you can see, it's not a huge space, but it's quite full. Every bed is full. Now I'm going to try to go to the tents. This is our fast traffic (INAUDIBLE).

You know, from the get-go, you can see now we have to tell people we can't test them for mild symptoms.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you just get registered here.

MALLOY: Good morning. Here is our fantastic staff, and then we have separate areas for people getting treatment.

WARD: For the doctors working around the clock to save lives, there are occasional perks.

MALLOY: One of my favorite things to do is be free food. I'm super excited because we have Shake Shack.

WARD: Moments later, it's back to work.

MALLOY: So I'm waiting for my next patient to be placed in a room. This one is different because as opposed to the mostly older patients we've been seeing today, he's in his early 20s I think one thing we're learning is that we don't really know what somebody is going to come in with and have COVID. Everybody has Coronavirus but some people also have heart attacks at the same time. This happens, and it makes things even harder. Well, my day is over. Well, my hospital days over. It wasn't the worst day I've had, but it's always pretty draining. It's just -- it's hard. It's hard to think that some of your patients that you diagnosed today might not be here tomorrow when you come back for your shift or you know, I don't know. I'm just (INAUDIBLE).

WARD: For Dr. Malloy, the challenges don't end with her shift. A widow, she's raising three children on her own.

MALLOY: So, it's almost 10:00 at night. And on my way home, I got a FaceTime from my youngest child who's four. And I think that's the hardest part. I think that's like just being alone when I come home, knowing that, you know, my childcare is going to go home, my helpers are going home and it's just me and whatever state my children are in, and I don't really have a lot left in me.


WARD: The next day, Dr. Malloy takes a moment to talk to us.

It's crazy what you're seeing and dealing with. Have you ever experienced anything like this?

MALLOY: Never. And, you know, like even the older folks, like the older doctors are like, I've never seen this before in my life.

WARD: So one thing that I know you weren't allowed to show us is the morgue.

MALLOY: There are now two large tractor-trailer trucks that are refrigerated. They are full of bodies wrapped in white plastic bags. I was told that they can hold 50 people and the one that I saw was full.

WARD: Do you not worry about getting sick?

MALLOY: Of course, we do. Of course -- of course, I do. The way that our -- that we're working in the E.D., it's so -- it's a pit of Coronavirus. It's literally dozens of positive patients and viral load in that place must be astronomical.

WARD: What do you wish all Americans understood about what you're going through?

MALLOY: I really want Americans to take this seriously, to know that even if you're in an area that's not a big city, you still are in danger and we don't know who is going to get really sick. It does not spare anyone, particularly.


HOLMES: Clarissa Ward reporting there. We are following the severe weather in the southeastern U.S. with parts of Georgia under tornado warnings. Pedram Javaheri will be joining Rosemary Church at the top of the hour. Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes. The news continues.