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Dozens Of Tornadoes Hit U.S. Southeast, Killing 13; U.S. Market Futures Slide After OPEC Deal Reached; Educators And Schools Struggle To Teach Amid Coronavirus Outbreak. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 13, 2020 - 05:30   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Live from Atlanta, it is 30 minutes past the hour.

I want to give you a quick update of our top story this hour. We know at least five people are reported dead here in Georgia, bringing the overall death toll to at least 13 after severe weather ripped through the southeastern U.S. Governors in three states have declared a state of emergency.

Take a look at these pictures. Officials in Tennessee say there are a significant number of people who are injured after these storms moved through on late Sunday. The governor of Louisiana says the damage there is devastating and is planning to visit the hardest-hit areas later on today.

Meanwhile, people in the Carolinas are bracing for heavy rain as this storm moves northeast on Monday. We'll keep you updated on that.

Meanwhile, top oil-producing countries will be slashing production by almost 10 million barrels a day in an effort to boost prices. OPEC and its allies reached the agreement on Sunday during an emergency online meeting.

Oil prices had fallen to 18-year lows in recent weeks due to the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, and the coronavirus pandemic. The cuts will start on May first and remain in place throughout June.

And oil prices moved a bit higher on the news but the global benchmark Brent is now lower, as you can see here. And also, take a look at U.S. futures. They are certainly in the red, sliding this hour.

I want to go to Alison Kosik in New York to talk about that, and John Defterios is standing by in Abu Dhabi with more on the oil angle.

But Alison, to you. It looks like it might be another shaky start to the week.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Robyn. It certainly looks like it will be because investors are bracing for their first glimpse into how corporate America was impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

Today begins first-quarter earnings season -- that's the earning season between January and March. So with the U.S. economy essentially shut down, many companies across the board have literally said that their revenue has evaporated during the quarter.

Now, interestingly enough, last week was one of the best weeks for stocks. We saw the Dow jump 12.7 percent. The S&P 500 jumped 12.1 percent. That's after the outlook for the health crisis seemed to improve.

But the concern is that investors may have set themselves up for disappointment as we get into this first-quarter earnings season because a sharp decline in corporate profits is expected. We've heard from a slew of companies from FedEx to General Electric to Starbucks who said there's so much uncertainty surrounding this health crisis that they couldn't even forecast their own results.

And so, with the economy shut down really only one of the three months, the other concern is that we won't get the full -- we won't get the full picture of how much the U.S. economy was impacted because, once again, the economy was opened in January and February. So we are seeing investors brace for what could be to come -- Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, thanks. We'll chat to you again throughout the week. Alison Kosik there -- thank you.

So let's go over to John Defterios now. Hi, John, good to see you. So a pretty big decision coming from oil producers.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, it is historic by any stretch of the imagination, Robyn. We're at nearly 10 million barrels a day, which is more than double that we saw during the global financial crisis in 2008-2009. It was a painful process because they had to have three meetings between Thursday and Sunday to get this deal done.

When we say that cuts are historic but so, too, is the downfall of demand by about 30 percent or 30 million barrels a day. And the reason the market is not reacting in a very favorable way is that everybody's focused between now and the end of June on the recession and when do we come out of the recession.

But I did the calculation. At 10 million barrels a day for two months and then another eight million barrels a day all the way to the end of the year, they're trying to mop up -- get this figure -- two billion barrels of oversupply.

So this is historic and the cuts will stay until the end of -- or the end of April 2022. We've never seen OPEC+ and these 23 producers try to do something like that.

So, Donald Trump sent a tweet out saying I'm suggesting that I'm saving hundreds of thousands of jobs. It is partially true because there's over 10 million jobs related to the oil sector overall -- real estate, restaurants, hotels -- everything in the shale basins in about 10 different states.


But at a price today, Robyn -- $23.00, $25.00 a barrel -- that will not save the shale basins. They need $40.00, $45.00, $50.00 to survive in the future. This won't do it right away but it should mop up the excess in the second half of the year for sure.

CURNOW: Still such uncertain times. John Defterios, good to see you. Thank you.

So, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Still to come, coronavirus has pushed us into a more digital world -- we know that. Schools have even been forced to take their classes online with the help of parents. But are students really learning? We explore those challenges and questions next.


CURNOW: Welcome back, I'm Robyn Curnow.

So as countries around the world enforce social distancing, physical events are now becoming virtual, as we all know -- like classrooms. So teachers having to engage with their students through a screen. But something like that may impact their learning as Evan McMorris-Santoro has the details.


AUSTIN BEUTNER, SUPERINTENDENT, LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: To put it in some context, it's the moon-shot. I mean, it's akin to landing a mission on the moon.

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Actually, school during a pandemic might even be harder than that.

LILY ESKELSEN GARCIA, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: This is our Apollo 13 moment. We are mission control, we are Houston. And now, our moon-shot might not be landing them on the moon; it's getting them home safe.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): Anyone who has a student in their house knows how important teachers have been in this crisis.

GARCIA: We have never been more relevant. We have never been more foundationally essential to the community, to the economy, to a family.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): Their job has evolved.

HALLIE EIKEN (ph), CHEMISTRY TEACHER, WASHINGTON D.C. PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Whoa, I'm still doing the explosions but I'm doing the explosions at home.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): People like Washington, D.C. public high school chemistry teacher Hallie Eiken are doing their best, but school systems are discovering that virtual learning can't replicate classroom instruction.


So, across the country, policymakers are dropping the focus on academic performance.

BETSY DEVOS, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: Students may not be able to take federally-mandated standardized tests this spring.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): Education Sec. Betsy DeVos dropped testing requirements this year. She says it's wrong to expect students to perform at their best right now.

School systems in New York and New Jersey have canceled statewide testing.

GARCIA: Our chancellor has said that their grades can't be hurt in any way.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): Coronavirus policies vary across the country. At least 15 states have canceled classroom education for the rest of the year.

In Chicago, students' grades cannot be lowered by distance learning. They can only stay the same or be improved.

In Michigan, students who are on track to advance on March 11th will remain on track and be promoted to the next grade.

In Florida, the governor's taking it all one step further.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: Parents may, at their discretion, choose to keep their child in the same grade for the 2021 school year.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): One of the largest school systems in the country is the Los Angeles Unified School District. Administrators are still deciding what to do about grades.

BEUTNER: The part that we're trying to have educators emphasize is engaging with the student -- engaging and learning. We'll get to the grades later.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): Many colleges have switched to pass- fail grading; so have a lot of private high schools.

BEUTNER: In this wireless world we're not all connected, so the first thing we've got to do is connect everybody.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): The biggest challenge of pandemic school is universal.

GARCIA: We've been begging school boards, state legislators that fund our schools, the federal government. Look, a tablet, a laptop, Wi-Fi -- it's not a luxury.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): There are nearly 51 million public school students in the United States. According to the U.S. Senate, 12 million of them don't have broadband Internet at home. And even those that do are stressed out and sometimes aren't logging on. Many teachers say attendance has been a problem during virtual school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do everything we can. We send e-mails and make phone calls.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): In the age of coronavirus, school is about a lot more than a report card.

BEUTNER: We're part of the structure of a student and family's life. Schools are at the center of every community. What happens every day in a school is reading, writing, and arithmetic, and support for that child.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (on camera): Even while academics may not be the focus of this school year anymore, schools across the country have stepped into other roles.

Here in New York City, over 400 sites operated by the public school system giving out meals to any New Yorker who wants them. Parents at home are learning that teachers can be babysitters and help them through their difficult days at home with their families.

So, schools performing more than just grades at this moment, but grades seeming to be a thing that's being lost during this pandemic crisis.

Evan McMorris-Santoro, CNN, New York.


CURNOW: Thanks, Evan. God bless all of you teachers out there. Thank you, I think from every parent across the world.

And I also want to show you this. A heartfelt reunion has been captured on camera in Turkey between a health care worker and her daughter after spending a month apart because of the coronavirus. Take a look at this.


Mother and child hugging and crying.


CURNOW: No words, really. This little girl, as you can see, really missed her mom. She was staying with her grandparents to avoid the risk of getting the virus as both her mom and dad work in medical facilities.

So, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Coming up, how music is helping people around the world cope while in lockdown.

World-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli did a free performance on Sunday. I think many of you would have seen it at an empty cathedral in Milan. The "Music for Hope" concert was broadcast on YouTube. More than 20 million views.


ANDREA BOCELLI, TENOR: Singing at "Music for Hope" Easter concert.




CURNOW: So, with so many under lockdown, some viral music videos have been helping to pass the time by reminding us that even though this feels very much like a solo experience, we're all still part of an ensemble cast. So, here as some of the best of them -- enjoy.


JIMMY FALLON, STING, THE ROOTS: Signing at-home version of "Don't Stand So Close To Me."

CURNOW (voice-over): It may be the perfect quarantine song. Sting, joined by T.V. host Jimmy Fallon and his house band, The Roots, sing the hit "Don't Stand So Close To Me." And keeping with the theme of social distancing, they performed the song remotely from their own homes.

With concert venues closed and Broadway shut down, music lovers have had to find clever ways for the show to go on despite the pandemic.


CURNOW: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of "Hamilton" gave one young fan a virtual front-row seat to the famous musical as the cast reunited from different locations on John Krasinski's YouTube show.

JOHN LEGEND, SINGER-SONGWRITER: I'm going to do a little concert from my house on my piano and who knows what'll happen.

(Singing "Stay With You).

CURNOW (voice-over): Musicians like John Legend, Keith Urban, and Pink have been treating fans to many online concerts.

LADY GAGA, SINGER-SONGWRITER, ACTRESS: We are all so very grateful to all of the health care professionals across the country.


CURNOW (voice-over): And just because you can't go to a music festival doesn't mean one can't come to you. Next Saturday, Lady Gaga is helping to put on a digital mega concert in connection with the World Health Organization and Global Citizen to raise money for health care workers fighting the virus.

WILLIE NELSON, SINGER-SONGWRITER: Singing "On the Road Again." CURNOW (voice-over): And this weekend, a special at-home version of Farm Aid streamed online with performances by Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp.

JOHN MELLENCAMP, SINGER-SONGWRITER: And hopefully, at the end of this there will be greener pastures.

CURNOW (voice-over): Just another way that music can help to soothe the soul.


CURNOW: I think a lot of people are going to be doing air guitar in their homes to that one.

And as we end, I do want to remind all of us how thankful and grateful we should be to just the ordinary people who are lending a hand. We know this pandemic has escalated the need for hard-to-find medical equipment. But ordinary people around the world are really stepping in to fill the gaps.

David Culver takes a look at how a can-do attitude and a 3-D printer are coming to the rescue.


DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the novel coronavirus first swept through China, millions went into lockdown and factories like this one in Wuhu, where Ben Baltes Toybox 3-D printers are made, went dark.

BEN BALTES, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, TOYBOX: My supply chain was completely shut down for two months.

CULVER (voice-over): But as China slowly restarts, Baltes' production is back up. And as millions in the U.S. are now under stay-at-home orders, Toybox has seen sales go up -- driven, he says, by the goodwill of his customers.

BALTES: You know, without our help at all, they essentially formed a Facebook group and our community was the one really driving it.

CULVER (voice-over): The Facebook group has become an online forum to share about various medical supplies that can be printed in 3-D.

JENNY LEE, RETIRED SALON OWNER: I just recently retired as a salon owner for 16 years and I'm a stay-at-home mom now.

CULVER (voice-over): Jenny Lee, from Southern California, has mobilized her whole family to help. They are printing out Y-splitters for ventilators. It's a simple plastic that channels air from one input to two outgoing tubes, potentially maximizing the use of ventilators of which some hospitals are experiencing dire shortages.

LEE: So, there's so many people that reach out to me and I'm like loaded right now. I have, like, so many. CULVER (voice-over): In Washington State, aerospace manufacturing engineer Christian Parker working from home and joining in on that effort, along with his three kids.

CHRISTIAN PARKER, PRINTS Y-SPLITTERS FOR VENTILATORS: I am not a medical professional at all but if this is something that I can give that helps save somebody's life or help take stress off of a doctor or take stress off of a nurse or whoever and help on those front lines -- if it does that then I'm good and I'll keep doing it.

HELEN XUN, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: So, the splitter will allow for one ventilator to be used by multiple patients.

CULVER (voice-over): Helen Xun, at Johns Hopkins University, says several hospitals in the U.S. without enough ventilators are now finding success with the simple Y-splitter.

XUN: Usually, you have one ventilator, one patient, and the clinician can change the settings to give the patient exactly what they need. But what happens when you have multiple patients on one splitter, you don't have as much fine-tune control for the patients.

CULVER (voice-over): So she and her team are now working quickly to develop an advanced type of splitter. In the meantime, she says the simple splitters printed in homes across the U.S. appear to be effective and they're allowing people of all ages to stay home and help.

ADON WILCOX, PRINTS Y-SPLITTERS FOR VENTILATORS: Because usually, we'll just print a toy and play with it. But now, we're able to help people by printing what they need.

PARKER: And I shipped out ten units to a lady in California who is coordinating with hospitals in Zimbabwe and Ghana as well. So we're now reaching international locations.

CULVER (voice-over): Lee's family is now getting requests for other printed items like S-clips for face masks.

LEE: I want to do something. At least I put a smile on the nurses and doctors, you know.

BALTES: Nobody really saw coronavirus coming. Supply chains are shot right now but anyone with a 3-D printer is able to build these things at home now.

CULVER (voice-over): Baltes says it's not about people buying his product. In fact, he's made the source code for the splitters, S- clips, and even children's face masks free and available for any brand of 3-D printer to use.

From a factory in China to families in the U.S. creating their own at- home assembly lines, a globalized effort to give back.

David Culver, CNN, Shanghai. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CURNOW: Thanks, David, for that.

So in this strange new world of social distancing, self-isolation, and working from home, people are finding new ways to entertain themselves or just stay a little bit sane. The previously mundane can suddenly be the highlight of your day because I want to show you these photographs like taking out the trash. These people have made that simple task into somewhat of a social event by dressing to impress, whether it's as a unicorn -- this is my favorite -- or if you really, really miss going to the beach or the waterpark.


These are Australians but I think you probably guessed that, didn't you?

Or if it is a wedding anniversary there certainly seems to be a lot going on around the bend. I suppose any excuse to show off or not to show off your slippers and track pants.

Thanks very much for watching. Let's help everyone and our medical workers by staying at home and staying safe.

Thanks for watching. I'm Robyn Curnow. "NEW DAY" with John and Alisyn is next -- enjoy.



DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: It is not going to be a light switch. I think it's going to have to be something that is not one-size-fits-all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are discussions inside the White House underway about when they can begin to reopen the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we don't keep our mitigation and restrictions in place we could have a spike that could be more severe than the peak was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reporting that we document in the piece that warnings were there if the president had wanted to listen to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were quite concerned in January that this was a contagious disease that was going to make its way to the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think February 2020 is really going to be seared in Americans' memory as a month where we really dropped the ball.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Monday, April 13th, 6:00 now in New York.

Twenty-two thousand Americans are dead and counting. A growing debate about whether it's too soon to ease restrictions on social distancing. And just as that's happening, breaking overnight, President Trump publicly signaling his frustration with a man seen by some as the public.