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Trump Warned of Threat; Unemployed Americans Share Their Stories; Warning Against Chloroquine; Answering Coronavirus Questions. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 13, 2020 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[08:30:00]

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Calculation, how it affects re- election, particularly at this time, and the impact on the stock market, which, for him, is the weather vane for the broader economy. He doesn't want to see anything upset that. That was what he was wagering this election on. He failed to see that an adequate response would actually serve him politically, not just his handling of it, but, of course, if it could resolve itself by the time of the election.

There's another piece of this that I think goes to the president's paranoia that is unfounded and is so destructive, his aversion to what he thinks of as an entrenched bureaucracy which he derisively calls the deep state. Instead of relying upon the expertise of public health officials who had warned him of kind of scenario before. Maggie and the team at "The Times" write about this going back to the Bush administration when they did similar pandemic war games. So, you know, when we think about 9/11, we think about a failure of imagination, a failure to imagine what could have happened. Here this was an absolute dismissal of years of accumulated knowledge about how to face this kind of threat. There's no excuse for that.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: You know, Maggie, I think that it's strange to see right wing blogs now trying to make Dr. Fauci the fall guy. And one of the things that they're saying is, he didn't know on -- you know, there's this -- this interview on January 21st where Dr. Fauci said, you know, it wasn't time for Americans to panic. That was January 21st. OK, maybe he -- maybe he didn't know on January 21st. But as your reporting shows over the weekend in this comprehensive investigation, February was a real lost time period. So for -- if people could be excused for not knowing exactly what was coming in the fog of war in January, February we lost a lot of time and certainly half way through March we still lost a lot of time.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think, Alisyn, putting Dr. Fauci in a specific category, Dr. Fauci has been the most public facing health expert that you've seen. Administration officials are grown frustrated with the number of interviews that he does, that he -- he has done according to a number of administration officials as, quote/unquote going rogue, and sort of talking to who he wants to talk to. Fauci did say a bunch of things publicly, including in February, that

did not suggest that there was a need to be a move to mitigation, and that's what you see both people inside the administration and these Trump ally websites and commentators talking about.

The main thing that we've found in our reporting, and we -- we highlight this, is a person who has had enormous influence on the president has been Deborah Birx, the infectious diseases expert, who was brought in at the suggestion of the NSC. She was brought onto Mike Pence's team when Pence was taking over the task force at the end of February. She has been able to get through to the president in a way that others have not. Is she the only person he listens to? Certainly not. But she seems to have a style with him and an ability to reach him that others, I think including Dr. Fauci, didn't. I don't think it's a surprise that you're seeing Fauci targeted because the president frames everything as an up/down referendum on himself and a number of people go along with that. And so if Fauci is seen as oppositional, he is going to be targeted.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And, David, the big question now is what -- what does it matter going forward? How does this inform the decisions that are made going forward?

GREGORY: Well, look, and I think there's going to be considerable time for an examination about what happened, what went wrong, and why valuable time was lost, and I think just, you know, the other point about this is so much focus on China and stopping visitors from China coming, which was important. And Dr. Fauci has said that. That doesn't speak to the bulk of the reporting about warnings about the need for surveillance and ultimately the need for testing sooner. That's still the issue now, right?

Now we're talking about when can the country reopen in some fashion, whether it's schools or businesses. That's why antibody testing, more testing on a scale perhaps a million tests a day are vital. So the same issues are at play here, which is the president cannot satisfy himself with the notion that he's being a cheerleader for the country. His job is to tell the truth, to guide the country through the good and the bad, and, yes, to resolve that tension between the economic ravaging of this virus and doing a reopening safely. So all of these issues now are -- are we -- is the team working cohesively? Are they taking all the necessary warnings and are they not acting too precipitously. These are the main issues now.

CAMEROTA: David Gregory, Maggie Haberman, thank you both very much. Great to talk with you.

GREGORY: Thanks.

CAMEROTA: At least 16 million Americans have filed for unemployment in just the last three weeks. So, up next, we're going to speak to some people who are now out of a job and how their lives and their families' lives have changed.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:38:45]

CAMEROTA: The coronavirus pandemic has led to 16 million Americans filing for unemployment in just the last three weeks. Many Americans are now trying to figure out how to keep their families afloat without a paycheck.

Joining us now are Joseph and Belinda Norman. They are business owners from Texas who are having trouble finding work. And Nicole Douglas, who lost her job as a front desk manager at a gym in Oregon.

Great to see all of you. I really appreciate all of you coming in to tell your personal stories. I know that you all have kids and you're all trying to figure out what's next and where you'll get enough income and everything.

So, Nicole, let me just start with you. Your -- you and your husband both lost your jobs. You have two kids, a teenager and a four-year- old. So you're at both ends of the spectrum in terms of stress, I would imagine.

NICOLE DOUGLAS, UNEMPLOYED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS: Yes.

CAMEROTA: And so how has your life changed in the past few weeks?

DOUGLAS: How? Well, just a lot of unknowns, which is scary. Just not knowing how long this is going to last and, you know, what's going to happen really.

CAMEROTA: And what -- I mean what are you panicking most about? When you let the anxiety kind of wash over you, which I know you've said it does some nights, what is it that you're most worried about?

[08:40:00]

DOUGLAS: Just hoping I can go back to work. I know this is going to take a real big hit on small business and -- which is what I work for -- or I was previously working for was a locally owned small business. So I'm just hoping that -- that it can, you know, hang in there so maybe I can come back to that or -- and get back to normal and get the kids back in a routine. I know school was just canceled through the end of the year, so -- so it's going to be different for a few more months for us.

CAMEROTA: Yes. That was a blow to so many of us.

DOUGLAS: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Joseph and Belinda, I want to bring you in because, Joseph, I know a little bit about your story. You are a worker. You have been a worker since you were a kid and your father took you to the -- to work with him on the oil wells. You're a well technician. You started your own business, I think, several years ago. And it was going really well. And then, you know, no pun intended, it all dried up.

JOSEPH ANTHONY NORMAN, UNEMPLOYED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS: (INAUDIBLE).

CAMEROTA: And so now where do you find yourself?

J. NORMAN: Alisyn, west Texas, we got hit with a double whammy. You know, we got hit with corona and we got hit with the oil wars. So, you know, us, you know, we decided to pivot. You know, the oil and gas industry isn't the only industry in the world. And, you know, four weeks ago I was a well technician. Last week, I wrote my first hit single "Quarantine Lover." And this week I'm being interviewed by CNN. So, you know, all of this is, is an opportunity to pivot to something different. It's an opportunity to spread joy, love and peace and hope to -- and that's what I'm all -- I'm trying to do.

Like, 19 cents out of every single song is going directly to the -- the doctors and the nurses that are on the front lines fighting this (INAUDIBLE). And, you know, that's what I decided to do.

And I know a lot of people are afraid, a lot of people are struggling, a lot of people like are -- have anxiety, but I'm -- I'm here to spread a little joy, a little love and that's basically how I'm responding to it. You know, I can't --

CAMEROTA: Well --

J. NORMAN: Can't crawl up in a little, you know, ball and cry or put my head in the sand, man. It's time to go. It's time to be proactive and it's time to pivot to something that, you know, that can, you know, meet the challenge.

CAMEROTA: Well, listen, you're -- we like your attitude.

J. NORMAN: Appreciate it.

CAMEROTA: I mean I hope it is infectious for all of us because everybody copes with it differently. And you're clearly a man of action. And you have pivoted to writing songs, which is beautiful.

J. NORMAN: Right.

CAMEROTA: But, Belinda, you have two little kids and you're pregnant at the moment.

BELINDA NORMAN, UNEMPLOYED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS: Yes.

CAMEROTA: And so has that -- has that added to your anxiety about the future?

B. NORMAN: No. I'm actually -- I don't really have any anxiety. You know, we have a very strong faith in God and know he's going to take care of us no matter what. I see the end in sight and know that it will be better than we could ever have imagined. And in regarding my pregnancy, I do under -- I do think, you know, pregnant people are kind of forgotten, but, you know, we are very blessed. I have a midwife. I was going to this -- it would be my second home birth. So it's actually falling right into place. I mean I'm sure a lot of pregnant people wish they could be at home and I've heard just stories of women having to go by themselves to the hospital to do this, and I can't imagine. So I'm sure -- CAMEROTA: Yes, that is a scary scenario. You're -- you're so right.

B. NORMAN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: And I just want to bring Nicole back in. Nicole, when you hear -- when you hear the upbeat nature of the Normans, what is it that has most changed for you? Are you -- what's happening with feeding your family and have you gotten a check yet? You know, we've understood that unemployment checks have been deposited in some people's accounts now. So has -- do you know if that's happened yet for you?

DOUGLAS: Yes, we -- I just received my first unemployment check last week. So that was good. After three weeks of unemployment kind of being a nightmare, I was glad to finally get it. So --

CAMEROTA: Yes, we're glad that you got it. And in terms of -- I know that you've had to get creative with feeding the kids.

DOUGLAS: Yes.

CAMEROTA: You can share any hints for other people?

DOUGLAS: You know, we're just -- just trying to, yes, get creative with cooking and try to, you know, keep the budget, be very aware of every dollar right now, because we don't know how long this could last. So we're just trying to be proactive and stay ahead of everything.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean, look, it's the uncertainty. That -- that's what people are struggling with, the uncertainty of not knowing how long this is going to last.

DOUGLAS: Yes.

CAMEROTA: But, Joseph and Belinda Norman, we -- we direct people to "Quarantine Lover," that they can find.

[08:45:05]

J. NORMAN: Yes.

CAMEROTA: I'll put it out on my -- on my social media, on Instagram as well.

And, Nicole Douglas, thank you so much, everybody, for sharing -- for sharing your personal stories and your positive outlook. We really appreciate it.

B. NORMAN: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK, we have some breaking news -- you too.

We have some breaking details right now on concerns about one of the drugs that President Trump has continued to promote to treat coronavirus patients. So Sanjay Gupta is going to join us to talk about this, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: We have some breaking details on the potential use of Chloroquine to treat coronavirus. A preliminary study in Brazil has ended early after 11 patients died. Researchers concluded that a high dose of the drug was associated with a severe, irregular heartbeat.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back with us.

Sanjay, we normally wouldn't report on studies of this size at such an early level, but we've reported on some on the other side that have suggested some utility in these drugs.

[08:50:03]

So what do we know about this study?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'm glad you gave that caveat, John. These are all very early studies. They are very small studies. They are not peer reviewed studies. So whether they're showing benefit of these medications or, in this case, showing harm of medications, we do have to take these with a grain of salt. We do need larger trials, let me just, you know, be clear about that.

What this particular study out of Brazil, and, again, a very preliminary study, not peer reviewed, they had 81 patients they divided into two groups. One group got a lower dose of the -- of the medication, the Chloroquine, which was 450 milligrams twice a day for 10 days. Another group got 600 milligrams twice a day for 10 days. What they found was the people who got the higher dose were the ones that had these significant side effects, John. There were patients who died in that group of -- that was receiving the higher dose, and there were patients who had these cardiac arrhythmia, these heart rhythm abnormalities.

Again, you know, a very small studies, very early studies. And we don't know with some of these who died, did they -- did they die related to the medication or something else? We're not sure.

They are starting to get -- I think what this says more than anything else is that before this we didn't really have an idea of what the dosing might look like, how frequently the medication might be given, and now we're starting to get some early indications that the higher doses here are potentially problematic.

This is a medication that has been used for decades for people for things like malaria, but at lower doses. So, you know, we have -- we've got to figure that out, John. It's not totally to throw cold water on the Chloroquine idea, but it is another sort of cautionary tale here.

CAMEROTA: OK, Sanjay, we're going to quickly move on to some viewer questions while we have you. This comes from Joanne in Delaware. She says, I'm 67 years old. I don't know if I've ever had the virus. I have a daughter who is pregnant, due in September. I would love to spend time with her before and after she gives birth. Is there any way to visit her safely?

GUPTA: Joanne, we've got to get you to see your -- see your daughter. This has got to happen somehow. And, luckily, we've got a little time because it sounds like September. So sometime between now and September.

A couple things to keep in mind. Your daughter, who is pregnant, some studies have shown she's really at no greater risk of this infection than others. This was a question mark before but the CDC has released some guidance around this. So that's one piece of news.

I think between now and then, Joanne, there's going to be more testing available and that's probably going to be the key to making this happen for you. And it should happen for you. One is you could be tested for the virus more easily to make sure you are not infected. Two is that these antibody tests, which will basically show, have you been infected in the past and do you have some immunity now might be another good option for you.

Again, not widely or easily available, as things stand right now in, what is it, April, but I think within the next couple of months, this should be a good option for you, Joanne. So we're going to -- we're going to get you there. I think you're going to be good.

BERMAN: All right, a quick one, Sanjay, from Kay. My husband is driving two hours with a colleague in the same car. Will there be enough distance between them and should they wear masks"?

GUPTA: That's a tough one. That's prolonged contact with somebody. I don't -- you know, if he -- it's tough to main social distance in the car. Obviously if you have any symptoms at all, you should not take a trip like that. The CDC is now recommending wearing cloth masks, which I would recommend in this case, to protect the other person from you, more so than protecting you from the other person.

BERMAN: All right, Sanjay, thanks so much for this, as always.

GUPTA: You got it.

BERMAN: Up next, Andrea Bocelli unites the world with music. "The Good Stuff" is next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREA BOCELLI: Amazing grace how sweet the.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:58:20]

BERMAN: All right, time now for "The Good Stuff," and the healing power of music.

Italian opera legend Andrea Bocelli moving fans around the world, performing live at an empty Duomo Cathedral in Milan on Easter Sunday. Feast on this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREA BOCELLI, OPERA MUSICIAN (singing): Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: It's hard to even speak. Bocelli was accompanied only by the cathedral organist, which you don't even hear here, due to the pandemic. His livestream concert showed images of major cities around the world that just look frozen in time. No one at all on the streets.

It turns out, I think he's got a pretty good voice and can sing.

CAMEROTA: Yes.

BERMAN: He may want to do something with that.

CAMEROTA: Yes, he could do something with that. It gives me chills. I mean it gives me chills. First of all that the beautiful visual of the starkness of him just standing there and his voice has always done that for me. It just gives me chills. It's beautiful. I have had the chance to meet him, thank goodness, and fawn over him, as you can imagine.

BERMAN: You are no doubt his muse. I mean no doubt he is singing to you here and the rest of the world, but you mostly. It's beautiful.

CAMEROTA: That's fair. That's fair.

John, thank you. That was beautiful. That was a great way to end the show.

[09:00:00]

CNN's coverage continues right now.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good Monday morning, everyone.