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Over 582,500 Cases, 23,600 Deaths in U.S.; U.S. States Form Pacts to Coordinate How to Reopen; President Trump Says He's Got Total Power; Potential for Second Coronavirus Surge; Spain Gradually Allows Workers Back to Work; South Korea Holds Early Voting; U.K. Still Not Past the Peak; Trump Claims Total Authority To Reopen Parts Of U.S.; WHO Warns Not To Ease Up On Restrictions; SoftBank Warns Of $12.5 Billion Fiscal Year Loss. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired April 14, 2020 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause.
Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, the urge to reemerge: an end run by state governors in the U.S takes the White House out of the equation on when to restart the economy. President Trump continues insisting that he alone has total authority to make that decision.
As coronavirus cases around the world start to (INAUDIBLE), more countries are looking to ease their lockdowns and start to face what looks to be a new normal.
The virus isn't stopping elections from taking place in South Korea. We are live in Seoul, where voting is underway in the midst of a pandemic.
VAUSE: With the spread of the coronavirus appearing to plateau in many countries, governments and health experts are now considering at what point should they restart the economy, when should the lockdowns be lifted, how soon should workers return to their jobs or when can children return to school?
When will normalcy return to our lives?
In France, schools will start to open progressively next month but the French president is extending emergency measures and borders will remain closed until May 11th.
Britain is emerging as potentially Europe's hardest hit country. The virus is yet to peak and the number of dead continue to increase each day. So the government says there will be no easing of stay-at-home orders. In Spain, where the death rate is slowing, about 300,000 workers were
back at work on Monday, mostly construction or factory workers or people who could not work from home.
For the most part, one of the toughest lockdowns in Europe will remain until the end of the month.
In the U.S. that decision is a political legal fight, over who can make that call. Trump avoided any involvement when state government issued stay-at-home orders. Now he says only the president of the United States has total and absolute authority to order an end to those travel restrictions. But he is wrong. We begin with this hour with Nick Watt.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: Using science to guide our decision-making, not political pressure.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The three West Coast governors are now coordinating a plan to open up their economies.
NEWSOM: Tomorrow, we will lay out our California-based thinking on that effort.
WATT: Meanwhile, in the Northeast --
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: I believe the worst is over if we continue to be smart. And I believe we can now start on the path to normalcy.
WATT: New York and neighbors also just began collaborating to create a plan.
GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D), NEW JERSEY: An economic recovery only occurs on the back of a complete health care recovery.
WATT: Massachusetts is still 13 days from peak death rates, according to one model used by the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a wave that's going to play out across the country at different points in time.
WATT: Florida and Texas also nearly two weeks away from their peaks.
GREG ABBOTT, TEXAS GOVERNOR: Later this week, we will outline both safe and healthy -- where we can begin the process of going about reopening businesses.
SYLVESTER TURNER, HOUSTON MAYOR: We're a long way from having the testing that we need across the city of Houston.
WATT: Six hundred seventy-one people died due to COVID-19 in New York on Easter Sunday alone.
CUOMO: But basically flat and basically flat at a horrific level. WATT: Hospitalizations also down a little over the weekend in this hardest hit state. .
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR OF THE U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: We are stabilizing across the country right now in terms of the state of this outbreak.
WATT: The surgeon general tweeted today: NY, NJ and even Detroit and New Orleans appear to be leveling off.
Beyond a test for the virus, an antibody test could also be key in finding out who's had it and can return to work. But --
DR. TOM FRIEDEN, FORMER DIRECTOR, CDC: There are many bad tests, inaccurate tests on the market.
WATT: Many say this isn't really over until there's a vaccine.
CUOMO: OK. When do we get there? Twelve months to 18 months.
WATT: The president had hoped to begin opening up the country this past weekend.
Instead, amidst deadly tornadoes, they were social distancing. In Mississippi shelters, a sailor just died among the near 600 infected from the USS Theodore Roosevelt. And in a Detroit hospital, bodies are stored in a sleep study room and stack indeed a freezer.
(on camera): People are still dying and some places still doubling down on social distancing.
WATT: Here in Beverly Hills now, you're supposed to wear a mask even when you're just walking down the street.
Well, a study here in L.A. County found that if we stopped staying home right now and just went about our business as usual, more than 95 percent of us here in this county would be infected with the virus -- Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.
VAUSE: Joining us now from Los Angeles, Dr. Armand Dorian, chief medical officer at the University of Southern California (INAUDIBLE) Hospital.
Dr. Dorian, thank you for being with us.
DR. ARMAND DORIAN, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOSPITAL: Thanks for having me, John. VAUSE: The WHO saying this anti-malaria drug shows some promise but nothing more than that, because we know that, in Brazil, recently, preliminary studies were stopped after 11 patients died. Researchers found that high dosages were actually linked to irregular heartbeats.
Also because of cardiac concerns, a Swedish government agency warned that chloroquine should not be used outside of clinical trials for COVID-19. And a similar finding and a warning from a study in France.
They say, "This initial assessment shows that the risks, in particular cardiovascular, associated with these treatments are very present and potentially increased in COVID-19 patients. These drugs should only be used in hospitals under close medical supervision."
So yes, there's anecdotal evidence it maybe did some good. But it's also showing us that could actually be doing more harm than good in patients with COVID-19.
DORIAN: So John, look, "anecdotal" and "maybe," that is why we need to do studies. We need to see if it's going to be beneficial.
Is there some hope?
Yes. But what we really do know, we've known about hydroxychloroquine for years, we have been treating malaria patients with it. We know it causes cardiac arrhythmias. We know it has serious side effects. So for us to blanketly say let's spray the world with hydroxychloroquine is a big mistake.
You're going to actually hurt a lot more people than help them. So we really have to be careful. Then (INAUDIBLE) patients, we've found it actually causes heart problems. It's not just a lung issue, predominantly, lung.
But when you get the COVID-19 virus, it affects your heart. So if your heart is irritated and we're adding a medication that can increase the chance for an irregular heartbeat, that might be a recipe for disaster. So we have to be very careful. We've got to do the studies.
VAUSE: The president has been pushing this as some kind of miracle cure and that's some kind of marketing campaign, extends to his most dedicated supporters over at FOX News, like Sean Hannity. Here he was on Friday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: This is not anecdotal anymore. We're now beyond that point in spite of what the mob in the media is telling you, countries all over the world are seeing positive signs, including in France and China and Turkey and India and Israel and many other countries in between.
We don't have time in the middle of a pandemic to have a two year clinical trial. Hold on, virus, we need a clinical trial. That doesn't work that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know he could not be more wrong on so many levels. Firstly, that's the only message a lot of people are getting about this medication, so that's a big concern.
But can you explain to Mr. Hannity why clinical trials are so important, why we just have to wait?
DORIAN: Clinical trials are so important because, yes, we all want to hope for it to work but if you start doing things like hoping and looking into the data and basically you end up pushing the data the wrong way, it becomes bias.
It's so important for us to make sure we do clinical trials to understand that the medication is actually beneficial, not harmful. This is why people like Sean Hannity should not be speaking about medications. It's why we need physicians and researchers to talk about this.
While we all have the same desire for it to work, we have to be extremely careful. There is no concrete evidence, there is case studies. That is not enough for us just to buy into that one medication as a cure, because we know it's not the cure.
VAUSE: He did go on to say he's not a doctor, which is about the only thing I think he got right. Let's look at the positive side, because the number of new cases in the United States seem to be leveling, off but that good news does come with a warning. Here's Dr. Fauci.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I think the more that we go by each day, I think we're going to see -- again I don't want to get ahead of myself or of Dr. Birx -- but it looks like, even though we have had a really bad week last week, remember when I was speaking to you before I was saying that this was a really bad week, there are still going to be a lot of deaths but we are starting to see in some areas now, that kind of flattening, particularly in a place that was a hot spot like New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: How do you see this right now in terms of where we are in this pandemic?
And I guess if anyone thinks the worst is in the rearview mirror, what would you say to them?
DORIAN: They are completely wrong. Look, New York is the first unfortunate major city that is going through this. Yes, they are seeing a slight plateauing of that rise, of that surge.
DORIAN: But what about all the other cities out there in the United States?
We haven't even hit the iceberg yet. We are not even touching the iceberg. We are still climbing in regard to the surge. We have to be extremely careful, hopeful but careful. The biggest mistake we make is when we see a plateau. Everybody wants to get up, everybody wants to go back into society.
But what are you going back into?
You are still vulnerable, still susceptible. You are not vaccinated, you have no immunity, there isn't people around you that are all cured. So if you go back out, we go backwards. So the potential second surge is sitting there, waiting to happen.
VAUSE: The longer this goes on the more we learn to treat this thing and there is questions now among some doctors, about the overuse of ventilators. They're saying what is driving this reassessment, is the observation about COVID-19.
Some people have blood oxygen levels so low they should be dead. But they're not gasping for air, their hearts are not racing and their brain shows no signs of blinking off from lack of oxygen," which is mind-blowing.
But is there any reassessment, there among doctors, at your hospital or other hospitals, about using less intrusive methods before going on ventilators?
DORIAN: Yes, we are daily learning more and more about how to treat the critical patients. They are exactly right. People are coming in with blood oxygen levels really low that normally we put them on the ventilator because we think they're about to die.
But here's the problem. We are learning now after putting so many people on ventilators, that the trauma the air, the pressure, that causes to the lungs, from the ventilator, is a double whammy.
So what do we want to do?
We are actually considering going backwards and thinking about putting people on high flow oxygen bypass, which is that mask that pushes air in and out. And that buys you time, a few days of not being on a ventilator.
The problem though with that is, those mist the potential virus in the air. So we have to make sure that health care workers have full PPE to care for them. So it's a catch-22. While we should be waiting a little longer (INAUDIBLE) we have to make a decision on a case by case basis.
VAUSE: Dr. Dorian, thank you very much. We appreciate you being with us. Good luck.
DORIAN: Thanks, John.
(END VIDEOTAPE) VAUSE: CNN is covering the global health crisis with our international correspondents. In a moment we'll get live reports from Rome and Madrid, the very latest on the first tentative steps to restart economies in Italy and Spain.
And then in London and France, where the virus is yet to peak and an end to stay home orders is nowhere in sight.
The coronavirus death toll in Italy has passed 20,000, second only to the U.S. The government says a month long nationwide lockdown will be extended but some nonessential businesses will be allowed to reopen in the coming hours. Live from Rome, Barbie Nadeau with the very latest on what's going on there.
What businesses are we looking at here?
What is likely to reopen?
Given this is on a trial basis what will determine whether it'll continue or will be shut down?
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's quite exciting actually. There are three sectors, that are going to be opening for the consumer, bookshops, office supply shops and stores that sell clothing for children.
And those are among basic needs. You need a book, your home office, people need some supplies and the kids need the next size up. So it's quite sane the way they're doing. Yet these openings are going to be restricted and only a certain number of people inside the stores, strict social distancing.
They are also opening up some industrial sectors as well, people related to the farming industry, that are not going to be for the daily consumer.
But we are really looking at a brave new world here. People are very interested to see how this is going to work. As you mentioned, this is very much a trial basis; if people run out to the streets, they are going to close back down again -- John.
VAUSE: How much did the concern over the growing unrest play into this decision to allow a partial reopening of businesses?
NADEAU: That's right and, you know, some of the agricultural sectors will be opening again today, it will be good for those people who work in those industries in the south. And it is going to put people that work hourly rate jobs back to work today. And that is really important, in cities like Naples and Palermo and in Rome, where we haven't seen the huge numbers of cases like they see in the north of this country.
It gives people just a little bit to hope for. And if this works and we're looking at opening more and more sectors, it's a trial basis, it's kind of unnerving to think that people can maybe do a little bit more now that we've been locked down for so long. VAUSE: I can hear the excitement in your voice. I guess it's going to
be a good day for a lot of people. Barbie, thank you so much.
Well, Spain has decided to ease some restrictions on movement, allowing 300,000 workers to return to their jobs on Monday. Most were construction and manufacturing industries.
VAUSE: Others who could not work from home. Shops, bars and restaurants remain closed, they're saying there are concerns, I should say, about easing these restrictions way too quickly. Journalist Al Goodman is live for us in Madrid.
So there's concern about even this small easing of the lockdown, 300,000 workers allowed back on the job, could see a surge in infections. So explain the logic behind the government's decision.
AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, John, there are concerns from some sectors but the government has decided to do this. Now there are 300,000 who are allowed back to work in the Madrid region. This could be several million here by estimates, because half of the country remain on vacation on the Monday after Easter yesterday.
Now that's changing, so the lockdown continues six weeks long, almost till the end of April. These workers, factory and construction workers, were able to work at the beginning of the lockdown.
But then for the past two weeks, they were told to stay home because health officials wanted to reduce the number of new cases going towards hospitals, they wanted to reduce the number of pressure on the intensive care wards in hospitals.
Those two numbers, the health officials say, have been stabilized. So now they're having these workers go back to work across the country, not just here in Madrid, but with conditions. They are really testing the behavior of these workers.
Will they wear masks, will they keep social distancing, will they wash their hands, will they not share equipment on the job?
These are things that the authorities are watching to see how this works in this test -- John.
An interesting point you raised, will they wear masks, will they follow these rules if you like, in many businesses in Spain, they're the main drivers the economy.
So what's the situation?
Do they have enough protective gear, like the masks and the gloves and are they prepared for life after lockdown?
GOODMAN: Well, the police right here at this metro station, yesterday, on Monday, we are out here, they were handing out some of these 10 million masks, that the government has been distributing. We don't see them here today outside of this metro but they are outside the areas around Barcelona, which are opening up today.
They were on vacation yesterday. This was pretty unthinkable just a few weeks ago because even the health care workers, 25,000 of them, have contracted coronavirus. They did not have enough masks, that is one reason they got so sick.
But now, the small businesses and especially the unions are demanding that the government provide this kind of equipment, so that people, if they go back to work, they can avoid getting sick.
So there's a lot of controversy here and this is why the government says, the prime minister especially saying, the steps are going to be progressive. They're going to see how things go. They're trying not to have obviously a second big wave -- John.
VAUSE: Well, they've been saying it's not like flicking a switch, you cannot turn the economy on just like that and that's what we're seeing play out right. Now thank you so much, Al Goodman live for us there Madrid.
VAUSE: Well, there is good news when we come back the peak is still weeks away, so no plans to ease up on the nationwide lockdown. Also new missile tests from North Korea. We are live in Seoul when we come back.
VAUSE: Seoul's military says in the last hour what are thought to be short-range cruise missiles were fired from North Korea toward the sea between North Korea and Japan. North Korea have carried out multiple launches in the recent weeks. Paula Hancocks is tracking all of this.
So, Paula, what do we know at this point?
What should we really be concerned about?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the latest we have from the defense ministry and the JCS is they were effectively two separate events on this Tuesday morning. There was an air drill, on the North Korean-China border, where there were fighter jets, firing air to surface missiles.
And there were also a number of short-range cruise missiles. Monitoring with the U.S. military, to see if there is any unusual activity. It comes a day before a very significant day in the North Korean calendar, the day of the sun, which is the birthday of the founder, Kim Il-sung.
So it is an important day for North Korea. So it could be linked to that. VAUSE: These missile tests from the North, they pale in comparison to
the threat from the pandemic. South Korea are moving ahead with parliamentary elections, the first major election to be held during a pandemic.
And there are tight restrictions right now, but the turnout is going to be pretty high.
What are South Koreans doing that we're going to learn from?
HANCOCKS: Well, that's right. It's going to be a test that many people are going to watch, there are a lot more people that are going to be involved with this, 20,000 more officials will be involved we are told.
That is just to make sure that the health aspect of it is adhered to and to make sure it is safe for everybody to vote.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): At least one meter apart and have your temperature checked, sanitize your hands and put on disposable gloves and then vote.
This is the South Korea parliamentary election during the pandemic. More than a quarter of the electorate came for early voting, a record, to avoid the crowds on Election Day Wednesday.
President Moon Jae-in was one of them. His election is seen as a midterm referendum for him and his party, over 14,000 polling stations will be disinfected regularly.
For those who tested positive for coronavirus, they were encouraged to vote by mail before the end of March. If you tested positive after that date, you vote at eight special polling stations as long as your symptoms are mild.
But if you're in quarantine, you can vote in the hour after polls close but only if you're symptom-free.
When it comes to campaigning, some of it was virtual. But most of it was not.
It feels like it's been a long time since I saw a crowd like this in central Seoul. It is packed with media supporters and candidates. Nothing about that crowd really says social distancing to me at this point. What we are hearing from candidates is they still have to campaign and they still have to try to get as many votes as possible.
Following one ruling party candidate, the mask was on and off as were the gloves. And physical contact was frequent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Nonverbal language can have more of impact than spoken words. This election has a certain limitation for us to use nonverbal language.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): But as a candidate, when a supporter wants to hug you, it is very hard to say no.
Officials don't believe turnout will be affected too much, borne out by those we spoke to on the streets.
This construction worker says, "Korea has had elections even during wartime. So I think the election should go ahead as planned."
This mother says, "I have no choice but to come out today, to get schoolbooks for my daughter but I'm keeping social distance from others, so I think I should be OK on the election date."
With close to 44 million registered voters, this election is a big test for South Korea and its efforts to fight the virus. As countries around the world plan for their own elections this year, we'll be watching very closely.
HANCOCKS: Now, John, South Korea has been praised for how it dealt with this virus.
HANCOCKS: We had 27 new cases today. That has stayed around or just hovering around the 50 mark for over a week, now. So it shows that it appears to be slowing here but it will be watched very closely, to see if this does have any impact on the numbers. Clearly on Wednesday there will be a lot of people going to polling stations, around the country, wanting to vote.
VAUSE: Paula, thank you, Paula Hancocks live for us.
Britain is facing the possibility of being the hardest hit country in Europe, right now the death toll stands at just more than 11,000, officials and health experts are warning the peak of the virus could still be weeks away and a few scientific advisors say the daily death rate is likely to increase this week. Live now to London, Nick Paton Walsh.
And if we look at those numbers, Nick, they say one in seven facilities, which care for the elderly, have had a positive test.
So in the grand scheme of things, what does that actually mean?
Why is that a concern over anything else I guess?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Partly because the U.K. toll, is over 11,000, it's based on positive cases, that have been diagnosed, people are in hospital and have subsequently died.
That potential excludes a vast number of people in the United Kingdom who have died from coronavirus. But now some numbers for national statistics, the big statistical body in the U.K., last week's weekly batch suggested, using a small period, that we might be talking about a similar number to that 11,000 death toll, having died outside of the scope of the tally of how those figures are taken. That's extremely rough math but government officials have said, both
the daily death tolls they have provided and the weekly figure, are numbers should be looked at. And the one in seven care homes being infected with coronavirus, the stark admission that was dropped in the press briefing yesterday, giving some idea of where those infections may be, obviously every country is facing a difficult challenge in the time lag and how to get the reporting and of getting this done as quickly as possible. So it's not a conspiracy or exception in the U.K. but it is saying that the numbers that they may see in the days ahead may be very troubling.
VAUSE: So when Britain looks at the track they are now on, especially being the worst hit country in Europe, worse than Italy or Spain, the question has to be asked, was the government too slow ordering the lockdown?
And I guess at this point is there anything that can be done that is not being done to minimize the loss of life?
WALSH: Yes, I mean there are two issues really here. The first one is, that the government did seem to be talking about the idea of herd immunity, getting people infected as possible to stir resilience in the months ahead.
Then they got projections that snapped them into the lockdown. They were against testing, it wasn't a priority. Now it is a priority. There's a lot you can publicly fault of their response.
The other side is they've been clear this is about capacity for the free U.K. health service. At this point we are seeing staggering daily death numbers as high as 900, at one point the highest death toll in Europe.
It went down a bit on the weekend, maybe because it was a public holiday, it might have affected reporting times. But certainly the NHS is not at capacity in the intensive care units and sometimes the demand is going down a little bit. So there is an extraordinary paradox between what we have been told was going to be the crisis and how fast the numbers seem to be rising.
It simply could be because of the type of the disease and nothing medical professionals can do about it. But the questions will continue to mount, given that we are dealing with a 72-hour period, where the U.K. has to publicly say -- and they repeated again and again -- that it will continue the restrictions on public movements.
There may be some exceptions in the weeks ahead but on a public level, the government don't really want to come out and say there's too much good news, because it doesn't want people to start flouting the rules.
But at the same time, too, with some of these numbers, they are seen some worrying signs, too.
One thing I want to point out and I slipped out of the briefing yesterday on a slide, they are testing people for coronavirus, very limited testing in the United Kingdom, certainly a very small number. But prioritizing front line health care workers, one number we saw, just yesterday alone, just under 800 front line health care or social care workers tested positive for coronavirus in a sample of about 4,500.
The government said it's great because they're testing more front line workers. But it shows how vulnerable people are on the front line.
VAUSE: Yes, we've seen that in many countries. Spain, 25,000, I think, tested positive for the virus and the situation is being repeated there in Britain. Nick. Thank you. Nick Paton Walsh in London.
We'll take a short break. When we come back, a combative press briefing from the U.S. President continuing to claim he has total authority, just absolute authority when it comes to ordering the country to reopen, but it's not true.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: One quick question on something you just said. You said, when someone is president of the United States, their authority is total. That is not true. Who --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: OK, you know what we're going to do? We're going to write up papers on this. It's not going be necessary because the governors need us one way or the other. Because ultimately, it comes with a federal government. That being said, we're getting along very well with the governors, and I feel very certain that there won't be a problem. Yes, please. Go ahead.
COLLINS: Has any governor agreed that you have the authority to decide when their state --
TRUMP: I haven't asked anybody. Because you know what? Because I don't have to. Go ahead, please.
COLLINS: But who told you the President has the total authority?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: President Trump there batting down anyone who questioned his claim of total authority when it comes to ending those stay at home orders. Just one of the usual tally of false and misleading claims made at the coronavirus briefing. Faced with questions that he was slow to respond to this pandemic, President Trump, well, he went on the attack. Kaitlan Collins reports.
COLLINS: Yes, it was a really extraordinary briefing in the White House where the President came out. He played this campaign-style video of media clips where he said that media figures and Democrats were downplaying the Coronavirus, as he sought to defend his response after the New York Times published that extensive documentation of just how slow the President was to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak here in the United States and how he resisted calls from senior officials to take more aggressive measures sooner.
The President denied that report, but not specifically anything included in the report including about how his HHS Secretary came to him in January warning of a possible pandemic, but instead, the president focused on other's response to the Coronavirus outbreak, including in the media and with Democrats as he defended his moves in that.
And of course, this comes as now the president is weighing when to reopen the country. And we know that inside the White House, there have been discussions about May when those guidelines that the President has put in place to the end of April expired, an what he's going to do then. And the President made an argument in the briefing room that he believed he has total authority over when that happens.
Governors say that is not the case. The President does not have the decision -- the final decision on when it comes that they will reopen restaurants, stores and whatnot, and they say they're going to do that on a state by state basis judging on the data that they are seeing. But the President falsely insisted that he has total authority as President of the United States to make that case. So of course, we know the constitution would say otherwise.
And when I asked the president who it was that him told him and told him wrong that he actually had that authority he did not answer and instead moved on to other questions, as we wait to see what exactly the final decision is going to be about when the president says it's time for the country to reopen. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.
VAUSE: Pinar Keskinocak is a professor with the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. She is with us this hour from Atlanta. Professor, thank you for being with us.
PINAR KESKINOCAK, PROFESSOR, STEWART SCHOOL OF INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING, GEORGIA TECH: Thank you for having me.
VAUSE: We heard the U.S. president on Monday. He's adamant he has the authority to force this country to reopen. I want you to listen to part of what he said during a regular White House briefing. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I've been having many discussions with my team and top experts and we're very close to completing a plan to open our country, hopefully, even ahead of schedule, and that's so important. We will soon finalize new and very important guidelines to give governors the information they need to start safely opening their states.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: I know you're not a legal scholar, I don't want to get into the policy of all this, but state governments were the ones who implemented the shutdown, the president avoided having any direct involvement arguing states' rights, surely lifting those stay at home orders is an issue for each of those states for the same reason, right?
KESKINOCAK: So, I cannot comment on the legal aspect, but the fact that the majority of states order their residents to shelter in place, asking them to stay home on this, they need to perform essential tasks such as getting food or medical supplies. This is an example of what we call social distancing, or physical distancing, where we significantly reduce our interactions with others in the community, and this helps lower the chances of threats of spreading the infection. And we have already seen some positive impact of this, and hopefully, we'll continue to see increased impact as we move forward.
VAUSE: And as Dr. Fauci has said, the virus sort of decides the timeline here, not us. The governors right now, and more importantly though the public, overwhelming in favor of continuing this shutdown, so most of the health experts. So why not make the most of that public support while it's said? Because in countries like Spain and Italy where the economic pain has been so acute, the goodwill is sort of evaporated the longer the lockdown last.
KESKINOCAK: Yes. I think following shelter in place orders impacts families financially, socially, emotionally. We all are experiencing this right now. But in the absence of a vaccine or treatment, social distancing is the most effective non-medical intervention available to us at the moment.
On the bright side, we already see the positive impact of this with new infections and hospitalizations numbers slowly going down in some areas. But unfortunately, these positive results may not be sustainable if we go back to normal too quickly. So the current estimates suggest that an infected person could pass the infection two to three people on average. This is a very large number, which means that the disease could spread very fast and wide if we all continue our kind of -- or go back to our normal patterns of life.
So we need to remember that this is a pandemic, so none of us are immune. At the beginning, none of us are immune, and the entire population is susceptible to the disease. And we still have a lot of people out there who could get infected.
VAUSE: The World Health Organization on Monday said the Coronavirus is 10 times more deadly than H1N1, the swine flu from a decade ago, and issued a warning about easing up on any of those restrictions of movement. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WHO: We know that in some countries, cases are doubling every three to four days. However, while COVID-19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly. In other words, the way down is much slower than the way up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So given that, what concerns do you have for Italy and Spain as they emerge from their shutdowns?
KESKINOCAK: I mean, as I mentioned before, the infectivity with this disease is quite high. A person could pass the infection to two to three people on average. This is a lot higher than what we experienced for example, with H1N1. This number was around 1.3 to 1.5. So, there's a significant difference in terms of how quickly the disease can spread.
So far, the confirmed cases in the U.S. are likely to be a very small percentage of the population compared to what we might see during the entire course of the disease. So there are still many people out there who could get sick, and our numbers might also be underestimated because of the lack of testing. So I think we just need to be very careful before we eat any kind of social distancing practices that we have in place.
VAUSE: When it comes to you know, resetting the economy, the White House trade advisor, Peter Navarro, had some harsh words with medical experts and others. He accused them of essentially having tunnel vision. He told The New York Times they were tone-deaf to the very significant losses of life and blows to American families. Instead, they piously preen on their soapboxes, speaking only half of the medical truth without reference, or regards to the other half of the equation, which is the very real mortal dangers associated with the closure of the economy for an extended period.
So when medical experts and people like yourself sit down and make this decision about the right time to end this lockdown, do you do a cost-benefit analysis here to look at the pros and the cons?
KESKINOCAK: I mean, it's hard to put a price on human life, but I think we need to keep in mind that for a long time, the way we've been dealing with COVID-19 has been like fighting your fire blindly, without seeing where the fire is, where it's spreading and how fast it's spreading, because we didn't have widespread testing.
So the diagnostic testing helps us identify infected individuals, it's been extremely limited. So that was a big -- that's still a big limitation for us to understand where we are. And serological testing is another one that could help us understand if somebody actually was taken and recovered and could be partially immune.
So I think in terms of being these things, we first need to have a good understanding of where we are. And then continuing forward, if, if we continue our social interactions as usual levels, especially in large groups, this is just like strong winds fueling the spread of the fire, maybe not pouring gasoline but strong winds. And when we reduce these interactions by social distancing, the speed slows down significantly, and so do the number of hospitalizations and deaths.
So our ability to cope, especially with limited resources goes up significantly. So going back to normal to quickly, I understand the economic impact of this, but it would almost be like throwing away our weeks of patients with shelter in place, and inviting these strong winds back again to come back from all directions in a hot and dry area. So we have to be really careful as we ease up on these.
VAUSE: Life is all about the timing, I guess. Professor, thank you for being with us. We appreciate it.
KESKINOCAK: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
VAUSE: The Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is warning of huge losses because of the pandemic. The value of its tech-focused vision fund has plummeted costing the company more than $12 billion, maybe as much as $17 billion, putting the company on track for its worst performance in his 39-year history. Kaori Enjoji is live for us in Tokyo.
So Kaori, tech focus fund was struggling before the outbreak, but I guess the pandemic made a bad situation, a whole lot worse.
KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: It did. And these are the kinds of numbers you really haven't seen before, really a loss of $12.5 billion we're expecting for the full year. And a lot of it has to do with, as you pointed out the vision fund, which is this huge tech fund, the biggest ever in the world. But there were problems are ready. And we knew about them, the saga with WeWork and Uber and so forth.
But I mean, John, we're in an era of social distancing. So the sharing economy type business model is not going to work in that environment. You're looking at companies that share office space, share rides, and things like that. And SoftBank, the vision fund was invested heavily in these tech startups. And it really moved -- it really shows the risks of investing so much in these tech startups in away from some of their core businesses like telecommunications.
And SoftBank warned that this might not be the final number, and that there may be more ahead because they still don't know what this month of April and beyond is going to look like. So this was a huge shock on investors around the world, and it rippled through last night. The share price today is moving higher, sharply higher, in fact.
A lot of it has to do with thin trading. A lot of it has to do with the fact that people were expecting bad news not quite as bad as this, but now that it's out, maybe it's a good chance to look at the stock because it's down already 50 percent from its peaks. And in fact, some brokerages were raising their outlook on the stock today in light of this.
It does highlight though, that we're going into one of the most unpredictable earnings seasons we've ever seen not only for Japanese companies but around the world with big banks reporting later on today and throughout the week.
And I think that's one of the reasons why trading has been fairly thin throughout the Asian region, although we are seeing signs of life coming back into the market. The Tokyo market is up more than three percent, best levels we've seen in more than a month. We're seeing broader gains across the region in Asia as well.
But having said that, the SoftBank news is a big shock. This is the second-largest company in Japan market cap-wise after Toyota. And you're continuing to see more and more companies are faced with a prolonged downturn in business not only here but around the world, John.
VAUSE: Yes. Kaori, this is -- sadly, this seems like this is just you know, the first stages of many big companies who will be reporting these huge losses, but we'll see what happens. Kaori, thank you. Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo. We'll take a short break. When we come back, school could be in next month, but for everyone else, stay at home. Look at how France is dealing with a lockdown and the pandemic.
VAUSE: African experts living in Guangzhou in China were reportedly forced into quarantine and to take Coronavirus test regardless of their travel history. And there's outrage in Africa as video circulated the experts harassed by police, sleeping in streets, and getting locked in their homes. This backlash comes with fears in China of a so-called second wave brought into the country by overseas travelers. Earlier, I spoke to CNN Jenni Marsh about what is going on in Guangzhou.
JENNI MARSH, CNN SENIOR DIGITAL PRODUCER: Guangzhou has a really big African population. It's the biggest in China and perhaps in Asia. And what happened last week was every single African in Guangzhou was tested and asked to go into a 14-day quarantine regardless if they had any contact with these and five Nigerian cases, or indeed, if they were even in the same community.
So it was a completely sort of a blanket approach to every African in the city, regardless of their travel history, whether they had a certificate to say they've recently tested negative for COVID, or any contact they've had. So it was quite unprecedented. Other foreigners didn't face the same kind of regulations.
VAUSE: To be clear about this, this is potentially the work of just one or two government officials in the city of Guangzhou, this is not a national policy, right? This is just the city and maybe you know, an outlier if you like?
MARSH: Yes, absolutely, John. So this is Guangzhou's specific problem. I spoke to other Africans living in Beijing, for example, they hadn't experienced this kind of treatment. And there's kind of a history to this, which is Guangzhou does have this large African population, which is been there for about 20 years now. And it's the most visible African population in China and so it's always attracted a lot of attention and a lot of hostility with the local authorities.
Their visas, and there are suspicions that large numbers of Africans overstay their visas there as well. So this comes off the back of a lot of tension with authorities. And this group was also sort of reported racism for a long time in Guangzhou and finding it sort of a challenging place to live.
VAUSE: Yes. That is an ongoing story. I remember well, a decade ago, so I guess things haven't changed that much. Jenni, thanks for being with us. We appreciate it.
MARSH: Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, a three-week lockdown in India has been extended down to May 3rd. That's more than two extra weeks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that decision during address to the nation about an hour or so ago. Mr. Modi had praise for those who have followed the restrictions. While there is pressure to restore the economy, cases in India continue to spike.
Well, connected while apart. Music easing the hardships of life under lockdown in cities around the world. We'll have some of the good stuff up next.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everyone. Music has long been a powerful social glue. And now, when we're forced to say apart, it's being used to bring Communities closer together. As CNN's Anna Stewart reports, the lockdown playlist will be hard to forget.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Isolated at home, but united by song, led by a vigor determined to lift spirits on London's famous Portobello Road. In Paris, from balconies, from streets, a city alive with music, with singers dedicating their songs to health care workers.
And from an empty Milan, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli stunned the world in his performance music for hope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And quickly, before we go, an update from France where emergency measures have been extended until May 11th. Let's go to Cyril Vanier in Normandy, France. So Cyril, why are these measures been increased, and at the same time, why is this decision being made to progressively allow kids to go back to school?
CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hi, John. Yes, we have a much clearer idea of the path forward for France now since the President addressed the nation last night 8:00 p.m., local, two minutes, in fact, after the traditional start time of 8:00 p.m., which was a nod to the new daily ritual in France of people clapping and acknowledging healthcare workers.
So what's going to happen is on May 11th, four weeks from now, the schools, high schools, daycare centers will start reopening and the -- so the kids will go back to school, the parents will be able to go back to work, all of that gradually. But it depends exactly who you are.
If the weaker members and older members of the society will be asked to stay under, to remain under this stay at home order for a longer period of time, and that's indefinite. We don't know when the over 70- year-olds will be allowed to leave their homes. The rest of the population will be able to go back to work, go back to school.
And the way it's going to work is this. There's going to be mass testing, not for everybody, but for everybody who presents a symptom. So if you are symptomatic for COVID-19, you will be tested, and if you have the virus, you will be isolated and you will be quarantined.
Now, we also know that life -- the full extent of life in France is not going to come back to normal because bars, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, museums, festivals, anything that involves a large gathering of people is going to be close to at least mid-July possibly longer.
And the President directly address this notion of what is normal life going to start again, and he said, look, we simply don't know because look at what happened in several countries in Asia where they thought they had this virus under control, and then they saw the start of a second wave. And that's what we want to avoid.
VAUSE: OK, Cyril, thank you. Cyril Vanier there bringing us up to date with that announcement by the French President last night. Cyril, thank you. Very quickly, a round of applause at a hospital in Brazil.
That applause for this 97-year-old lady who recovered from the Coronavirus. She was hospitalized at the beginning of the month, battled the virus for close to two weeks, and there she is being wheeled out of the facility over the weekend. Doctors say she is a ray of hope and is Brazil's oldest known survivor of the virus, and that if she can do it, so many others can as well.
Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Our news coverage continues next with my colleague and friend Rosemary Church after the break.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM and I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: You're so -- you're so disgraceful. It's so disgraceful the way you said it. The President of the United States calls the shots.