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President Trump Again Falsely Claims He has Right to Override Governors' Decisions on Social Restrictions; Biz Leaders Tell Trump More Testing Needed Before Reopening; Top Scientists Warn White House About Reliability of Antibody Tests: It's a "Work in Progress"; As U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 27,000, a Vaccine Developed by the NIH is Undergoing Human Trials. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 15, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We'll continue to follow all of this for our viewers.

To our viewers, thank you very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, President Trump again saying he has absolute power over the states, saying he will issue new social distancing guidelines tomorrow. This as Los Angeles says the city may not hold any major events including sporting events or concerts until 2021.

Plus, top scientists warning the White House that antibody tests currently are not reliable, which is disturbing for people banking everything on them, why? The doctor who briefed the White House is my guest.

And thousands protesting the Michigan Governor's stay-at-home orders today. Some of the strictest orders in the nation. Many people defying those orders today. The Governor is my guest.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, President Trump's saying tonight he is determined to reopen the economy and again saying he has absolute power over the states.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have the right to do whatever we want, but we wouldn't do that. But, no, we would have the right to close down what they're doing, if we want to do that. But we don't want to do that and I don't think there'll be any reason to do that. But we have the right to do that.


BURNETT: This coming just 24 hours after the President retreated from that position. And tonight, the U.S. reporting more than almost 1,907 new deaths across the country so far today as Trump promises he'll unveil new guidelines on opening the economy tomorrow.

With the death toll rising every single day, doctors and business leaders agree that that cannot happen without more testing. Business leaders on the phone with the President stressing that today and that is where there is still another huge problem.

Tonight, an alarming new study, warning that people might be the most infectious before they show symptoms. Just to state that obviously that would mean seemingly healthy people are spreading the virus. So can seemingly healthy people get tested? No.

Take for example, one of the hottest of hotspots in America at this time, New Jersey. In one county, they've opened a saliva test for coronavirus where you get the results back pretty quickly. But unless you have a doctor's note, you can't get tested unless they're exhibiting symptoms. You drive by a drive through testing site, the sign says no symptoms, no test and that is the bottom line.

Even though we know asymptomatic people are spreading the virus and now we see a study showing that people may be the most infectious before they even have any symptoms. To state the obvious, this shows that opening the economy is not that easy and will carry its own painful costs.

Nick Watt is OUTFRONT live in Los Angeles tonight. And Nick, another grim milestone where you are this evening, record high deaths there.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Erin. For the second day in a row, our peak of our projected death toll not projected to peak here until this weekend. But planning has already begun for the next phase, what California and the rest of America will look like when reopening does happen, and it doesn't look like maybe we had hoped it would.


MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D) LOS ANGELES: It's difficult to imagine us getting together in the thousands anytime soon.


WATT(voice over): So no ballgames, no concerts here in Los Angeles, says the mayor, maybe for another year. Another year.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) NEW YORK: It's over when we have a vaccine. You want to use New York state as a laboratory, we are ready, willing and able.


WATT(voice over): But a vaccine could take anywhere from eight to 18 months. Meantime to reopen at all, we need lots of testing and there's a potential impasse.


TRUMP: The governors are supposed to do testing. It's up to the governors.

CUOMO: We cannot do it without federal support.


WATT(voice over): We'll reopen a bit, but this summer will still be different to all other summers.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D) NEW YORK: If we move too quick, we put 50,000 people in Yankee Stadium and that's part of why you see a resurgence of the disease. That would be the worst of all worlds.


WATT(voice over): California now exploring disposable restaurant menus and servers, wearing face masks.


DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: I do think we're going to have some social distancing that's going to be in a critical part of our strategy as we go forward.


WATT(voice over): Starting soon, New Yorkers must carry a mask everywhere they go and wear it.


CUOMO: Any situation in public where you cannot maintain social distancing.


WATT(voice over): New Jersey now names and shame stay home scofflaws.


GURBIR GREWAL, NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY GENERAL: From loitering in public places to stupid things like holding front lawn Pink Floyd cover band concerts. What's encouraging is that there is more compliance now than at the beginning of the emergency.


WATT(voice over): Reopening will be rolling regional. New York and New Jersey might have passed the peak, meanwhile Massachusetts has climbed to the third highest case count in the country.



DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CHIEF, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, MA GENERAL HOSPITAL: We're probably going to be at the peak number of need for ventilators in about five to seven days and likely the peak number of deaths five to seven days after that.


WATT(voice over): The CDC now estimates nearly 10,000 healthcare workers have been infected with this virus and the food and retail union now running this PSA says 30 members have been killed by COVID- 19.


MARC PERRONE, PRESIDENT, UNITED FOOD & COMMERCIAL WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION: Do I think that they should receive hazard pay or appreciation pay or whatever kind of pay you want to call it? The answer is yes, I did, because they're taking more risk every single day.


WATT(voice over): They want grocery clerks designated as extended first responders. That's our new normal will be for a while.


WATT: Now, California was one of the first places to do social distancing and it's paying off as we just heard Dr. Birx say we haven't really seen a peak here in California. There was also a lot of pre planning also paying off. That entire hospital behind me was set aside just for COVID patients. We are reaching what probably will be the worst weekend in California and there is still plenty of capacity in there, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Which is good and it's going to make a big difference as we do we reopen and people have the confidence that the system has the capacity to absorb what will be increases. All right. Thank you very much, Nick Watt.

And I want to go now to Dr. Sanjay Gupta. So Sanjay, Trump said tonight that some states can open before May 1st. He says data nationwide suggests we are past the peak on new cases. So when he says there are states ready to open before May 1st, do you think that that would be prudent?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that people have been very clear in terms of what is going to be necessary regardless of which state it is before a state can open. I mean, Erin, we have heard stories, obviously, of states that had very low numbers and then within a week or two, the numbers has really started to grow exponentially. Obviously, nobody wants that to happen in these other states. But whenever we look at the numbers and the pictures, we're really

looking at an image from sort of two to three weeks ago. So the question is how did these states - what has happened over the last two to three weeks in these places and that's why we still need to wait a bit to get that data.

But in order for these states to open, you still got to make sure you can test widely and it's sort of back and forth. You need to make sure you have enough tests. Obviously, the tests need to be administered at the state level or the community level.

Right now there's a disconnect, Erin. I mean, if you were to say to everybody in the country now that everyone should be tested, but if people anywhere in the country wanted to be tested, do they know how to do it? Could they get it done? Do they still have to be symptomatic to have it done? Because that's not surveillance. We need to be in surveillance and we're not there yet.

BURNETT: I mean, to this point we were just saying when you drive by a drive-in testing facility in New Jersey, it says no symptoms, no test. And then while you're driving in there, you have to have appointments, the new saliva test, same thing, doctor's note or symptoms, everybody knows asymptomatic people can spread this. And we now have a study showing that people may be at their most infectious, even people who end up developing symptoms before they get those symptoms.

GUPTA: Right.

BURNETT: Obviously, the definition, I'm just making the definitional point, if you're only testing people with symptoms, you are not going to find out who really has this and who could be spreading it. It's just definitional.

GUPTA: Right. Absolutely. You don't know who has it and who's spreading it and you don't have a clear idea of how widespread this is. I mean, the number, I think, whatever, it's 619,000 people have tested positive. I don't really know how to contextualize that number for anybody. What does that mean exactly?

That's obviously the number of people who've tested positive. But if the question is how widespread is this coronavirus in the United States, we still don't have a clear idea and we need that idea. We've known for some time, Erin, as you mentioned earlier, asymptomatic people. People who don't have symptoms, never developed symptoms can spread this. And now there's new studies showing essentially pre- symptomatic people.

So people who will go on to develop symptoms, they are the most infectious, according to the study, before they start to get sick. So the virus is more present in their throat and in their nose at that point. When they get sick, they actually become less infectious. But that's such an important point, you have to test them, you have to trace the context then.

People have to remember, oh, I wasn't even sick yet, but who are the people that I had contact with for the last two or three days before I got sick. You can understand how laborious a task it is, but necessary in order for these states to open.

BURNETT: Absolutely. Because in opening you are accepting some kind of an increase in the death rate from the level that you hopefully were able to get it down to before. That is the tragic truth that they know. That is a reality for many places.

And to that effect, Sanjay, the states are trying to figure out how to do this in a way where you don't get another super spike, right?


BURNETT: And then California, Gavin Newsom, the governor's talked about a lot of limitations there. Those disposable menus that Nick just mentioned.


The Mayor of Los Angeles says, Mayor Garcetti, he may not allow any sports or concerts until 2021. I mean, is that really the reality of what we're looking at? I mean, Anthony Fauci today, Dr. Fauci was basically saying, OK, if you get major league sports back, his implication was they stay in hotel by themselves and play to empty stadiums, but maybe just to TV audience. Is that the reality for the foreseeable future?

GUPTA: It could be, Erin. I mean, and look, I don't like it, you don't like it, I get no joy in saying it. There's a bad virus going around. It's still going around. I mean, all of this conversation that we have about all the various strategies is very important, but the one constant in all this is that there is a virus that's circulating that is very contagious and lethal.

We still don't know exactly how lethal it is, but it's a bad virus, even if it doesn't make people - even if it doesn't lead to death, it can make people very sick. That's true. And, I mean, we just need to be really honest about that. So until there's a vaccine or there's proof of immunity from people being exposed developing antibodies, I think we're going to have to do this incrementally.

And it might even mean for people who are known to be vulnerable to this illness that this distancing either more consistently or at least intermittently will continue for a while. I do think a vaccine will change that equation dramatically. And we talked to people who are working on that and they say for the general public by next spring that should be ready. They say for healthcare workers maybe even earlier, but we'll have to wait and see.

BURNETT: Right. And that would be a game changer, I think, for many now that the point is maybe next spring is better than maybe some expect. Certainly, we saw that estimate of 2022 from Harvard yesterday, which this would be dramatically better than that.

One final point, the CDC did release today a demographic breakdown, Sanjay, of who has been impacted by this the most. And there's been a real dearth of data, frankly, in a lot of things in this country that we've actually seem to be getting from other countries, whether it would be gender or other pieces of information. What did you see that stood out the most from what we did get from the CDC today?

GUPTA: Well, I mean, you just said it but that dearth of information is kind of what stands out, because I think it was over 70 percent of data we still don't have. So everything you're saying is already sort of trying to extrapolate data and even more so when you're not looking at even half of it.

But we do - we're getting a better idea of the age range of people who are most affected. I believe it was mid 60s to mid 70s. We kind of had an idea of that, but that's a large demographic of people who are most affected.

We know that black America is very affected by this. There's places where they represent 14 percent, 15 percent of the population, but are developing 41 percent, 42 percent of illness and death. So we know that that's significant as well.

We also know, Erin, and it's becoming increasingly clear that there are risk factors for this, that are still coming to light. There are stories that you've heard, that I've heard, I've seen some of the interviews that you've done with people. I mean, some of it is heartbreaking but it's young people seemingly with no other risk factors that suddenly get sick and even die of this.

And so there's something else that we're missing that's starting to emerge in the data. Something else that's a risk factor, maybe something genetic or something else that the virus is doing to the body besides just to the lungs. But we're still learning a lot about that, it's going to be very important, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Sanjay.

And next, antibody tests, you hear it again and again that people say, well, once you have those, anybody who tested there of the virus, they get to go back to work. That's the key to reopening the whole economy. But my next guest warns the White House that these tests are not ready yet and they are not yet reliable.

Plus, the race for a vaccine. I'm going to speak to a doctor who is actually testing on humans right now and one of the participants in that vaccine study is also OUTFRONT.

And tonight, protests in Michigan over the state's strict stay-at-home order, one which includes bans on boats or traveling to vacation homes in state. Did the Governor go too far? Well, she's OUTFRONT to answer.



BURNETT: Tonight President Trump touting a new antibody test saying it will be able to determine whether millions of people have already recovered from coronavirus. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It's a great test. The company says these tests could be available to screen up to 20 million people in a matter of weeks.


BURNETT: Twenty million people in a matter of weeks. Well, the FDA authorized two other antibody test today and CNN learns the top scientists warn the White House in a phone call last Monday that current antibody testing isn't reliable.

OUTFRONT now, Dr. David Relman, one of the experts who was on that call. He is the Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Veterans Affairs in Palo Alto, California and a Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford.

So Dr. Relman, I really appreciate your time. So I know you were on that call, what was your message to the White House that you wanted them to understand about antibody testing?

DR. DAVID RELMAN, MICROBIOLOGY & IMMUNOLOGY PROFESSOR, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Our message in short was that this is a work in progress. There's great promise, but we shouldn't rush because a rush could lead to a misunderstanding of what's going on.

BURNETT: So I was reading an MIT review and it was also raising some big questions about antibody testing. People see it as this panacea. Give everybody a test. If you had it, you can go back out, you don't have to worry about anything and if you have it, you have to be more careful and they kind of exhibited this as this key to economic reopening.

But this article was talking about concerns that you could show that you had had coronavirus in an antibody test when you actually hadn't, because overall in the U.S. population such a small number of people have likely been infected. And the way they wrote it, Dr. Relman, was, "The lower the infection rate, the more devastating the effects of antibody tests' inaccuracies. The higher the infection rate, the more confident we can be that a positive result is real."

Is this what you're worried about that if too few people have had it, your antibody tests just - it magnifies the errors?

RELMAN: That's right. There are two major concerns. The first is the one that you just mentioned. Any test is not perfect. If a test sounds like it's great, but it has a small number of errors, then the importance of those errors depends upon how many true positives you expect to find.

If you expect very few true positives, then you've got roughly equal numbers of false positives and true positives. So that's one problem, how to interpret the meaning of a positive when your expectations is that very few people are real.

[19:20:03] The other problem is that we don't know what a positive means in terms

of protection. We know that if the right controls are done and this first problem is addressed, we know that the test will tell us have you been exposed to this virus.

What we don't know is whether that then means that you are immune to this virus and would be resistant if exposed again.

BURNETT: So Dr. Fauci was asked about that very point today that you just raised, Dr. Relman, here's what he said.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: In general, with viruses that we deal with all the time, when you develop an antibody after infection, it almost invariably means you're protected. We don't absolutely know that for sure yet. So are you protected for a month or two or three, a half a year or a year, we need to get experience to know that.


BURNETT: Which is, I guess, that's the exact point you're making. We don't know if and we don't know how much and that obviously puts the entire safety that you would kind of get from an antibody positive in question, right?

RELMAN: That's right. I mean, I think we're both saying very similar things but coming from different directions. What we're saying at the national academies is that this is a very different virus than those that we're accustomed to.

It's very different than those that it's related to that cause the common cold. We know something about what antibodies mean for viruses that we're familiar with. We really know less about viruses for which we have no experience. They've come out of nature out of the ether, essentially, and we're going to have to learn.

And part of the challenge is that humans are completely naive to this virus and so yes, there may be antibody and some of that may mean some level of protection. But when you start from zero, you're asking a lot of some newfound antibodies to protect you entirely against another infection and we just don't know. We will sort this out, but it needs to be sorted out.

BURNETT: Well, Dr. Roman, I really appreciate it, because I think what you're saying is really crucial for people to hear. Because I think a lot of people, there are a lot of really smart people, but they don't have your area of expertise, they thought that, hey, just get these done and we can be off to the races.

And I think what you're laying out very clearly as it is not anywhere near that simple and it's important people hear it. I appreciate your time.

RELMAN: Not at all, happy to. BURNETT: And next, the race to find a vaccine. I'm going to speak to

a doctor leading the worldwide effort. When does he think a vaccine will be available and someone who's actually a patient right now getting that test.

And Americans running out of money to purchase basic necessities like life saving medications that they need. Where are their stimulus checks?



BURNETT: Tonight, the race for a vaccine. The National Institutes of Health has developed a vaccine that is now undergoing human trials. Emory University is leading the testing effort on humans.

OUTFRONT now, Dr. Carlos del Rio. He's one of the people leading that team at Emory, Co-Principal Investigator at Emory's Vaccine & Treatment Evaluation Unit. And Dr. del Rio. I appreciate your time tonight. How is your trial going so far?

DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, CO-PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR, EMORY'S VACCINE & TREATMENT EVALUATION UNIT: Thank you, Erin, for having me in your show. It's going well. It says we're only right now in what we call the phase one of a vaccine study and the phase one is really where you test for safety and reactogenicity. So it's a very early stage, you're just making sure the vaccine is safe and it doesn't produce a lot of local or systemic reaction.

And therefore a small number of healthy volunteers are being enrolled, both here at Emory and also Kaiser in Washington State. And more probably around 42 people will be enrolled and then we'll observe them and see if they're doing OK, there's no adverse event of the vaccine. And if that goes OK, then the vaccine will move into what we call a phase two study.

Now, phase two study is where you take the vaccine and now give it to more people, probably around 500 individuals, either by giving them a placebo or the vaccine and then you observe and you see if those that got the vaccine were less likely to get the infection and that's called the efficacy phase of the study. And that's a really important phase because that's when you know if your vaccine works or not and that's going to take several months to happen.

BURNETT: So you've done this, obviously, this is your area of expertise and I know you're early on in the process, but how good do you feel about this?

DEL RIO: Well, I feel great in the sense that it's only three months that we describe this new virus and now we have over seven new vaccines that are being developed and three of them are already in clinical trials, including this one. Three of them are already in humans in three months. That is absolutely unprecedented and that really talks about what science is doing and how rapid science is evolving. So I feel really good that there's 70 vaccines out there. To tell you

the truth, I also work in HIV and we don't have so many vaccines for HIV in the field. So it gives me hope that we will be able to develop a vaccine for this virus and we'll be able to develop vaccine in a relatively short time.

Now, when I say a relatively short time, I'm speaking in vaccine terms. That may be a year and a half or two years.

BURNETT: So it could be a year and a half to two years. So you could be looking at 2022 even if everything goes well, for your study?

DEL RIO: If everything goes absolutely well, I am hoping that by the fall of 2021, early '22, we will have a vaccine. But you got to remember it's also not only showing that it works, it's then producing millions and millions of doses and distributing those (inaudible) ...


DEL RIO: ... them and that's going to take some time.

BURNETT: So one question before we go, this is just something that I've been wondering. Viruses obviously mutate and we know this one mutates on average, what, every a week to 10 days there, 10 days to 14 days there, people are able to determine the kind of trail of the virus by its mutation path.

For example, that there's a difference between someone who had a virus originating in Europe, in New York City versus one that originated in China when it comes to a coronavirus, this Coronavirus, COVID-19.


Does that complicate trying to create a vaccine in this case or no?

DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, WORKING ON CORONAVIRUS VACCINE STUDY: It does not, because a vaccine is targeted to a very specific part of the spike protein. The spike protein is where the virus uses to attach to the human cells, to the human respiratory cells. And that is a very conserve region.

So, it's a little bit like saying, you know, the key to the house doesn't change. You may change the painting, the mutation is changing the painting on the door, but the key is still the same. The vaccine is directed to that key. And therefore, I feel fine that no matter the mutation, that a very conserve region continues to be the same.

BURNETT: All right. Well, that's important to hear. I appreciate your time, Dr. Del Rio, thank you very much and for your optimism.

And as Dr. Del Rio is saying, he feels good about this and it's just starting out in human trial.

I want to go to Sean Doyle, who is in Dr. Del Rio's trial. He is a volunteer in the Emory coronavirus vaccine trial. So, Sean, you know, obviously, people just heard what Dr. Del Rio just

said. This -- the beginning is only, what, 40 or so, and there are risks of the possibility, this is when they find out severe adverse affects.

I mean, what has been your experience so far?

SEAN DOYLE, CORONAVIRUS VACCINE TRIAL VOLUNTEER: That's correct. I'm happy to say that as far as my participation so far, it's just going down like a flu shot. So, you can have mild adverse events occur, such as having an elevated temperature, maybe some pain at the site of injection, and potentially some major adverse, such as anaphylaxis, which is severe allergic reaction. But for me, I have been feeling great ever since I got my first vaccine just about three weeks ago.

BURNETT: Wow. And so, what's the timeline which they are observing you to determine that however they would determine an adverse effect as to whether this is working?

DOYLE: So, the length of this trial is going to be roughly 14 months. And after getting the first vaccine dose about three weeks ago, the follow-up was really continual, and fantastic. So, the lead investigators, including Dr. Carlos Del Rio, and the nurses that are running the trial did a great job following up with all the participants to make sure that there weren't any really serious side effects that folks were experiencing.

BURNETT: So you volunteered to test the Ebola vaccine. You yourself are obviously, you know, an expert in these sorts of things. But I know that your friends and family have had concerns about you doing. This why did you decide to do? And it's something you've done before.

What motivated you to do this and to take this risk to see if this works?

DOYLE: Yes. So, when you are testing an unknown treatment like this or vaccine for the first time, you never really know what's going to happen. For these types of these viruses though where there aren't good preventative measures in place until you have a vaccine developed, the development of the vaccine is really critical for ensuring that the vaccine will be contained.

So, for me, personally, I hope that my participation and the other folks participation in this trial helps to provide potential benefits to the population level to show first of all the vaccine is safe and then potentially it's effective of reducing transmission, preventing transmission of this virus, because we have to have some tools to be able to fight this virus right now.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Sean, I appreciate your time. And I know a lot of people, many people, everyone watching, is grateful that you're willing to do what you're doing right now, that's trying to help everyone. Thank you.

DOYLE: Thank you very much.

BURNETT: And I want to bring in Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He, of course, advised the George W. Bush White House team for eight years.

So, Dr. Reiner, you've been warning, you know, on the show, against moving away from social distancing until we have vaccine. And you just heard Dr. Del Rio. Look, he sounds like he feels as good as he can feel.

He feels optimistic. He feels like this is solid. He feels like this is real. This is what he does for an entire career.

But he says with all of that, he said the fall of 2021 to early 2022, if everything goes right.

So, does social distancing similar to what we have now with some reopening still need to stay in place that long?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CARDIOLOGIST; ADVISED WHITE HOUSE MEDICAL TEAM FOR EIGHT YEARS: You know, after 9/11, people felt that nothing would be the same. And indeed nothing really was ever the same as it was before. But we learned to live with a certain threat environment in the United States. So, we're going to learn to live with a certain threat environment in the United States.

The current, you know, high level of viral infections, and, you know, the horrific number of deaths in the United States will drop off. But we're going to have a low level virus probably continually, maybe during low levels over the summer, but maybe possibly spiking again in the fall or winter.


And we're going to learn a lot from this.

So, some elements of social distancing have to remain with us. I think masks are here to stay. I think we're going to learn a lot how to get back to work. I think people who can telework will continue to telework. But it's going to take a while before we have a virus.

You know, we are seeing this breathtaking display of American medicine and science right now. A vaccine typically takes a decade. And now, you are hearing multiple companies and scientists saying that we're going to engineer a vaccine in 18 months.

It's really spectacular, but until we get that we will have to do less scientific things to get, buy and get back to a functioning society.

BURNETT: You know, some people would say, well, we don't have an anti-HIV vaccine 40 years later. Dr. Roman (ph) was talking about that a few minutes ago, just about HIV.

But, you know, people who look at that and say, well, gosh, you had a lot of great minds dedicated to that. Is there a risk of that now? You say no, why?

REINER: The HIV problem was a special problem because that virus didn't incite a robust immunity response. So, what a vaccine really does is sort of trick the body into believing it's infected by the real virus and having the body produce an immune response to that, to that stimulus.

But the HIV virus doesn't incite that kind of immune response by the body. It attacks immune cells, so it has created a whole different set of challenges. So, I don't think the analogy between the HIV virus and this particular coronavirus is necessarily apt.

BURNETT: Which is -- which is great to hear. I know that people here are waiting for 18 to 24 months, it is jarring and upsetting in many ways, but I think as you said, and Dr. Del Rio says, in many ways, it is -- it is quite spectacular.

Thank you very much.

REINER: My pleasure

BURNETT: And next, the government stimulus checks are going out, but for some families, the relief may already be too late.

And Michigan's governor facing protests and lawsuits tonight over strict stay at home guidelines. The Michigan governor, Governor Whitmer, is my guest, OUTFRONT.


BURNETT: Tonight, for the first time the president's name will be appearing on the stimulus checks that will be sent out to millions of Americans. Two senior Treasury officials tell "The Washington Post" that adding the president's name could delay the delivery of the checks.

The IRS, though, and the president himself insist that is not the case. Just to make it clear, George W. Bush didn't put his name on the check. Barack Obama didn't put his name on a check. Trump is going to put his name in the check.

For many Americans, that seems crazy to delay the check if that's going to happen. And the checks in any case are already too little too late.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.



KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Diabetic counselor Brandi Titus counts her days by the insulin she's got left.

TITUS: When you turn it upside down you see, there's not much left in it.

LAH (on camera): What happens when insulin is gone?

TITUS: I'm worried I will end up in a hospital bed, sitting next to someone that has coronavirus. I contract the said virus and then it ends up killing me. LAH (voice-over): Already rationing her insulin since losing her

housekeeping job in the coronavirus shutdown, this week is the crossroads for her --


LAH: -- and others like Michael Shawki whose survival depends on life saving prescriptions, and the federal stimulus money they are waiting to pay for them.

SHAWKI: So, this is my last injection.

LAH: A two-time cancer survivor and Crone's disease patient, Shawki has insurance, and yet --

(on camera): What is the co-pay on all of that?

SHAWKI: This is around 500 total if I've got all of these, the taxes, probably, yes, about $500.

LAH (voice-over): He was able to afford these life-sustaining drugs by managing a chain of New York bakeries. But when the coronavirus hit Manhattan last month, he was laid off. Now, he is rationing what he has left without knowing when his expected stimulus money will come. In

SHAWKI: Each day just gets scarier.

LAH (on camera): How dire is this crisis for you?

SHAWKI: I think life or death for some people, you know? Like, for me, my fear is if I will cause long term damage to myself. People are living check to check when they're working. What you think when that income goes away, do you think they're going to be able to survive on a few weeks? No.

LAH (voice-overr): Shawki took to Twitter begging for help, along with so many others. An essential employee rationing's seizure meds until my stimulus check comes.

A single mother who needs prescription for her family, for each, winnowing their supply of necessary treatments is a deadly game of chance.

TITUS: I wake up about 3:00 am with a blood sugar that is 400 and 420.

LAH: Brandi Titus's blood sugar levels are four times higher than average. She says it's not if she goes to the emergency room, but when.

TITUS: I don't have a choice. My body will go into diabetic ketoacidosis.

LAH: Unlike those expecting government relief in the coming days, she won't be getting a stimulus check. She is behind on her child support. So, like thousands of others, she doesn't qualify. She is on her own.

TITUS: It is hard. $100 might not be that much to you. It could be my saving grace for tomorrow.


LAH: Michael Shawki, who you heard in that story, was watching President Trump's White House briefing tonight. He says this issue of the president's name on a stimulus check angry isn't the word. He uses the word hurt. He says Americans are hurting.

And then all of this, Erin, needs to be about helping those Americans -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Kyung Lah, thank you very much.

And next, protests in Michigan. Over the governor's tough new stay at home guidelines. Governor Whitmer is my guest.

Plus, Jeanne on the search for substitute to sports.



BURNETT: New tonight, thousands descending on Michigan's capital in Lansing to protest the governor's current stay-at-home rules.

Blocking traffic, honking their horns to protest some of the strictest rules in the country, rules which include bans on all gatherings outside a single household, travel to in-state vacation homes, the use of motorboats. Also, a dramatic reductions in capacity for stores begin and small.

OUTFRONT now, the Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.

And, Governor, I appreciate your time.

So, obviously, there are critics who say your order goes too far. They say it's unconstitutional and that it's hurt too many businesses.

Why do you think the measures are needed?

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D), MICHIGAN: Well, let's just look at the fact that Michigan right now has the third highest most number of people that have died from COVID-19, and we are not the third biggest state in the nation. The fact of the matter is, we have a unique challenge here in Michigan, and it requires a unique solution.


We have to be really aggressive. Our hospitals were at capacity very early on. We know that COVID-19's been here longer than it was ever detected. And so, we've got to be really aggressive here in order to save lives.

BURNETT: So here's what one woman who attended the protest, she says she works in health care. Here's what she had to say, Governor.


MONICA MONZO, PROTESTING MICHIGAN STAY-AT-HOME ORDER: I truly believe that restrictions should have been put on the people that are sick, that are coming down with the illness. I truly believe there are some people at a higher risk than others. Us people that are at a lower risk, I feel that we should have continued with our lives and continued working.


BURNETT: So what's your response when you hear that?

WHITMER: Well, the fact of the matter is COVID-19 is a virus that there's not -- there's no cure, there's no vaccine. It's incredibly contagious, and it's deadly. And the worst part is that you can carry it for a week without showing a symptom.

Some people are completely asymptomatic and what is -- you know, it could manifest in, you know, a fever or some sore muscles for one person in the household, it could be deadly for another, and that's precisely why everyone needs to do their part. This virus has been spreading by people who didn't even know they had it.

Every time you touch that gas pump, think about the fact that COVID-19 stays active for 72 hours, our doctors are telling us. That's three days of people touching that same gas pump.

One sick person touches it and a nurse who's going to her shift touches it, and a food worker who's going to that store to stack the shelves touches it. You've just taken out people who are part of the life-sustaining work that needs to be done in a global pandemic. And so, everyone has got to do their work.

BURNETT: So, we have video today, Governor Whitmer, from outside the capitol during the protest. You can see people standing together on the steps, people talking.

Now, I want to make it clear, most people were in their cars, but there's a lot of people standing around, some of them not wearing masks.

Jeff Zeleny was there, our reporter, covering the protest. He said he saw a lot of people not social distancing. He said dozens upon dozens as he was -- as he was there.

Do you think that the protest put people at risk today?

WHITMER: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I can give you one clear example of how that is. It was a car protest and they were backed up to in front of a hospital.

There was an ambulance that could not get into the bay for 10 minutes. They absolutely impacted people's lives today and threatened people's lives. And we'll never know the precise number of COVID-19 cases that come as a result of the gathering, but we know there will be some.

There are definitely people that are asymptomatic functioning in society that continue to spread the disease. We're seeing continuous positive tests and precisely events like this that contribute to how long we're going to have to be under the stay-at-home order that they were protesting.

BURNETT: So, Governor, you know, President Trump said tonight it's up to governors to be responsible for testing. He said he could take strong action against them if he didn't like the job you're doing. That he could do that.

Then he also, you know, back-and-forth over the past couple days, he's been sort of saying he has the power to do whatever he wants. You, the governors, don't. He backed off that yesterday.

But today, again, when it came to who's in charge, you the governors or him, he said him. Here he is.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have the right to do whatever we want, but we wouldn't do that. But no, we would have the right to close down what they're doing if we want to do that. But we don't want to do that. I don't think there will be any reason to do that. But we have the right to do that.


BURENTT: Does he have the right to do that? I mean, he didn't two days ago. Does he -- are you surprised he's now saying, again, he has the right to tell you what to do?

WHITMER: Listen, my responsibilities and duties and tools at my disposal as governor don't depend on one interpretation one night, another on another night. The fact of the matter is, you've seen governors across our country on both sides of the aisle take action necessary to protect the people in our states. We will do the same when it is time to re-engage sectors of our economy.

Our powers are inherent in our offices. And it's not something that's debatable or it's opinion, it's just fact. And what we all need to remember is that we are not one another's enemy. The enemy is COVID- 19. We all got to be on the same page to beat this enemy, and that's precisely what our focus is on as governors across the country.

BURNETT: Governor Gretchen Whitmer, I appreciate your time. Thanks so much.

WHITMER: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, Jeanne on how sports fans are handling the coronavirus cancellations.



BURNETT: Here's Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Baseball is not even a shadow of its former self. While fans pine for the crack of the bat, the ball in the glove, the bleachers are bleak, the stadiums empty.

TRUMP: But we have to get our sports back. I'm tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old.

MOOS: But if the Boston Red Sox organist can't play at Fenway Park --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boston Red Sox hat, but it's got a built-in mullet.

MOOS: Why not try to take us out of our misery with take me out to the ball game.

Streamed live daily from Josh Cantor's (ph) living room, he then takes requests.

Remember the movie "Dodgeball" and it's parity of EPSN 8, "The Ocho"?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it's almost a sport, we got it here.

MOOS: ESPN moved up its homage to that parity and featured the stupid robot fighting league.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really an exciting battle.

MOOS: And the cherry pit spitting competition right down to the slow motion replay of an almost 47-foot pit spit.

Actor John Krasinski's YouTube show some good news. Commentators Joe Buck voiced over videos, not of major league pitching but a woman pitching laundry into her machine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And now watch this wham right off the face. That's a little bit of quarantine frustration right there.

MOOS: "SNL" made fun of the search for substitute sports by watching matches burn.


MOOS: And popcorn pop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god, from out of nowhere this is why we watch sports.

MOOS: The Mets' public address announcer will now announce you.


MOOS: Colin Cosell is a legendary Howard Cosell's grandson.

COSELL: This is a way to bring the ballpark home.

MOOS: Giving fans a customized introduction for a little comic relief.

COSELL: The relief pitcher, number 15, Jeanne Moos!

MOOS (on camera): I don't have a ball let alone a ball game.


BURNETT: And thank you for joining us.

Anderson continues our coverage now.