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Life in America to be Radically Different Until Vaccine; Trump Blames WHO for Handling of Pandemic, Halts Funding; Wealthy Community Near Miami Offering Testing to All Residents; 37 Kids Test Positive at Chicago Immigrant Shelter; South Dakota Governor Under Scrutiny Amid Major Outbreak. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired April 15, 2020 - 06:00   ET



GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): You may be having dinner with a waiter wearing gloves, a face mask, where your temperature is checked.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we might see is this kind of on, off intermittent distancing until 2022.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think there have been some missteps by the World Health Organization. But to stop funding in the middle of a pandemic, I'm not sure that makes sense.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): If he ordered me to reopen in a way that would endanger the public health, I wouldn't do it.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will then be authorizing each individual governor to implement a reopening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Until we have a vaccine, we're not going to be totally back to normal.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, April 15, 6 a.m. here in New York.

And one thing is crystal-clear this morning, that many people have been asking the wrong question about coronavirus. The question is not when the country will reopen. The question is how and to what extent?

And this morning we have the beginnings of an answer. Whatever does reopen will be radically different than we have seen before. Unrecognizable in some cases.

The California governor, who just released new details of his plans, envisions everyone wearing face coverings for the foreseeable future. Temperature checks in public places. Waiters wearing masks and gloves while handing out menus that are disposable.

For schools, staggered student arrival times and reconfigured classrooms. And of note, what is not under consideration any time soon, allowing large gatherings, including sporting events and concerts. Nowhere close to happening.

As for timing, Dr. Anthony Fauci calls a May 1 reopening overly optimistic. He says the country is not there yet on a crucial precondition: testing.

President Trump made a radical reversal or concession to constitutional reality. Call it whichever you like. He now acknowledges that governors will make these decisions.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And John, we're also this morning getting our first look at the national plan that's being developed by FEMA and the CDC.

"The Washington Post" obtained a draft of this. And in it, the government agencies lay out their plan for how to start getting back to some version of life as early as May. So that's the speedy version of recovery.

Then, on the other end of the spectrum is a new Harvard study that finds that social distancing may be necessary through the year 2022. We'll tell you the details of that study.

But in terms of the human toll, 26,000 people have now died in America. Tuesday saw a single-day record for fatalities of nearly 2,500 people in just 24 hours. That's close to a 9/11 amount of loss. But with coronavirus, it's almost ten times that amount now.

President Trump is blaming the World Health Organization and announcing that he will halt funding for that organization.

There's a lot to get to this morning, so we begin with CNN's Athena Jones. She is live for us in New York.

Athena, what's happening?


What American life could look like in the near future is still a big question. California's governor saying a reopening in his state is not going to happen quickly and laying out a plan for what that reopening could look like, acknowledging it's a very different picture than life before the outbreak.


JONES (voice-over): California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiling a new strategy to relaunch his state's economy with a disclaimer.

NEWSOM: I know you want the timeline, but we can't get ahead of ourselves and dream (ph) of regretting. Let's not make the mistake of pulling the plug too early, as much as we all want to. JONES: To reopen, Newsom says California needs to achieve six goals,

including the expansion of testing and redrawing regulations to ensure social distancing at businesses and schools.

Don't expect life to be the same way it was before the coronavirus pandemic. Take, for instance, a night out at a restaurant.

NEWSOM: You may be having dinner with a waiter wearing gloves, maybe a face mask. Dinner where the menu is disposable.

JONES: And this new normal may be here to stay. Harvard researchers suggesting some social distancing measures may need to be enforced until 2022, unless a coronavirus vaccine becomes available soon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone's going to have to realize, until we get the vaccine, it's still a different world.

JONES: Dr. Anthony Fauci telling the Associated Press it's overly optimistic that the U.S. will be ready to reopen by May 1, when federal social distancing guidelines expire. And many state leaders agree.

GOV. J.B. PRITZKER (D-IL): I'm not going to risk having another spike come and having more people hospitalized and more people dying. So we're going to do this very gradually, very carefully.

JONES: "The Washington Post" obtaining a draft documents, outlining a strategy by the CDC, FEMA and government officials to reopen parts of the country by late May, by ramping up coronavirus testing and personal protective equipment production and emergency funding.

But even with a phased approach, the committee acknowledges it "will entail a significant risk of resurgence of the virus."

And while Trump edged away from earlier comments that he could order states to do what he wants, he made this stunning announcement.

TRUMP: I'm instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.


JONES: But some lawmakers suggest it's a means for the Trump administration to deflect blame for its own mismanagement of the crisis at home.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Pulling money out of the WHO has nothing to do with keeping America safe. It's all about the president's attempt to try to find scapegoats.


JONES: Now, New York City is changing the way it counts deaths, now reporting two lists: one of confirmed COVID-19 and another of presumed COVID-19 deaths. This new cap (ph) bringing the total for the city to just over 10,000 deaths.

It's not clear how this change will affect the official overall count. Johns Hopkins is right now not including these presumed COVID deaths at this point. It's just one more sign that we may not ever really know the true death toll -- John, Alisyn.

BERMAN: Athena, any way you count it, it is tragically high. Athena Jones, thanks so much for that report.

Joining us now, Dr. Ashish Jha. He's the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute; and CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem. She's a former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.

And I want to start with what America will look like when it begins to reopen. And Dr. Jha, I want to start with you.

And I want to put this up some of these California recommendations. And people shouldn't think of this as California. People should think of it as one-sixth of America. And people should think of it as what you are likely going to see in your own state.

Face coverings, temperature checks in public places. You know, waiters in masks and gloves handing out disposable menus. If schools reopen, staggered student arrival times, reconfigured classrooms. No large gatherings, meaning no sporting events with any kind of audience.

So Dr. Jha, that's the what. What I want to know from you is the why. Why and how will this help get over or beat this pandemic?

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Good morning. Thanks so much for having me on.

And the reason we need to do all of that is we want to stay open. So we can open -- we can't open May 1. Or if we do, we're going to have a shutdown right away. But if we open by May 15 or June 1, and if we put these things in place, along with a very, very, very aggressive testing and isolation scheme, there is a pretty good chance we can stay open for long periods of time.

If we don't do this, the virus isn't gone. It's going to come right back. And basically, we're going to find ourselves in the same place we were in before, and we're going to have to shut down again.

And so these ideas and these policies, which I generally and largely agree with, are meant to keep us open for as long as possible.

CAMEROTA: Juliette, I'm just trying to get my head around it. I'm just trying to get my head around what Gavin Newsom has described, because I wasn't imagining going back to a restaurant and being greeted by a waiter in a face mask, with gloves, being handed a disposable menu, and having to sit far away from other patrons.

I know that we have much bigger issues than my comfort at a restaurant. But in terms of that scenario, I'm not sure that that will make people rush back to spend money at restaurants and in public. JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think that's right.

I think what's not taken into account in these plans is their own personal risk assessment. Is it really worth going to a restaurant? Is it really worth going to a bar or to a movie, assuming that movie theaters open?

I think, you know, look, in the same way that we had to get our heads around social distancing, we're going to have to get our heads around the next two years, if we're lucky, in terms of a vaccine and a vaccine distribution. You can call it the new normal. I call it the now normal, because I think every day is going to be different.

But it's really going to be what Governor Newsom said: a recovery that sort of changes, based on the health assessment. So it's going to be an adaptive recovery. Every day will be different for the goal of keeping as much open as possible.

If you go too fast, we're back inside. And everyone wants to get outside and at least start to spend money, start to see each other and start to get this country moving again. But it will not be a light switch, and it won't be a light switch for years. That is the shocking thing. But it's also something we have to embrace.

BERMAN: So for years. There is this study out of the School of Public Health. Dr. Jha, I guess, down the hall from where you are right now -- and this is P-12 in our control room so people can see it -- which says that intermittent distancing may be required into 2022 unless critical-care capacity is increased substantially or a treatment or a vaccine becomes available. Intermittent distancing, not complete, you know, 97 percent of the country stay at home. But we may have to do something until 2022, Dr. Jha.

And when you read the study, the reasoning is because there's still a lot of fresh meat out there. And I don't mean to be glib. But there's still a lot of people. There's no herd immunity. There's no public immunity to this. There's still a lot of people who can get this.

JHA: Yes. So first of all, it's a great study, and the team that did it I know very well, and they really are the premiere team on this. So I have no questions about the underlying science.

But there are things that can change those facts on the ground. So it is possible that we could get a vaccine sooner than that. We're not getting one in 2020. I think that's out of the question. But we could get one early enough in 2021 and get it out far enough that, instead of two years, this could end up being 12 to 18 months. Again, so we're going to keep our fingers crossed.

It could be that we do such a good job with testing and tracing and isolation, that we would only have to kind of re-shut every -- you know, kind of much less frequently.

There's a lot that can change in that prediction. Almost all of it is up to us. If we do a good job, we can stay open longer and do more -- get more of our lives back than we would if we don't do those things that are so important. CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean, Dr. Jha, on that point, I feel like your

colleagues are painting a worst-case scenario. You can correct me if I'm wrong.

But when we talked to the researchers who are working on the vaccines at this hour -- I mean, these are the people who are working on it -- they believe that there will be one in 2021. This isn't, you know, rose-colored glasses. They think that they're fast-tracking it. So I mean, the Harvard study that says 2022, I just don't know how much stock to put in that.

JHA: Right. So first of all, again, the people who did that are -- are really the best in the field, and they're making the best prediction based on today's evidence.

And I am optimistic about a vaccine in 2021, as well. But it's always worth remembering, we've never built a coronavirus vaccine before. So are we confident we're going to have one in 2021? I am hopeful we're going to have one in 2021, and I'm hopeful that these predictions of 2022 won't come to be. But is it possible? It is. And we just have to have that kind of expectation in our minds that that's a possibility that we will have to live with.

BERMAN: I don't think that's a radical prescription at all. Because I think it's right in line with what California is actually saying, which is some social distancing for some time.

And if you look at what FEMA and the CDC are putting out, "The Washington Post" is reporting -- people should look at this. This is P-21. These are conditions for mass reopening.

They are genuine low -- genuinely low infection rate. Well-functioning monitoring system, robust public health system, health system with enough beds and staffing.

The first two, you know, we're not there. And we may not be there for a long time, Juliette. Genuinely low infection rate means that, you know, we've not just flattened the curve but crushed it. A well- functioning monitoring system means testing at a level which we are not at right now.

KAYYEM: That's exactly right. The pre-conditions to even get us started on opening up are not being met in a timely fashion. They will be over time.

So one way to think about this is between today and the vaccine -- 2021, or if distribution takes too long, 2022 -- you're going to have -- we're going to have more tools available to us to essentially manage with the vaccine. So that's just how to think about the next 18 months. All fingers crossed that we can get the vaccine and get it distributed and it's into people's arms.

But in the meanwhile, we're going to have this period in which you're going to need better tools to manage the virus, and we're still going to have to behave differently. And that is what exactly is going on.

In the end, most of these reports are saying the same thing. Get better with the tools and continue to do the social distancing.

President Trump, if I could say, is focused, I think, on a political response. These documents are about, I think, the health and science response. And -- and they all -- they all converge at the same place, right? Essentially, get the -- get the testing, get the treatment, eventually a vaccine and in the meanwhile, our behavior will change.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Jha, Juliette, thank you both very much.

BERMAN: All right. So President Trump cutting U.S. funding for the World Health Organization and criticizing this group for making some of the exact same statements that he made. What's the impact of this? We'll discuss, next.




TRUMP: Today I'm instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus. Everybody knows what's going on there.


CAMEROTA: That was President Trump blaming the World Health Organization for the severity of the pandemic here in the United States and announcing that he's halting funding to the organization.

Let's bring back Dr. Ashish Jha. Also joining us is CNN White House correspondent John Harwood. OK, great to have both of you.

Let's talk about what this means. So the United States gives a lot of money to the World Health Organization, Dr. Jha, something to the tune of half a billion dollars. I'll put it up on the screen for everybody.

The U.S. gives the most, at $553 million. And then the second biggest contributors are Bill and Melinda Gates and their foundation, at $367 million. Obviously, they have, you know, spent much of their life focused on issues like this pandemic.

Then the Gavi Alliance, which also works on issues of stopping pandemics and world health. That's 316 million. Then the U.K. and Northern Ireland at about 300 million. Then Germany at about 200 million.

And so the U.S. is the biggest contributor. If that half a billion dries up, what does that mean?

BERMAN: Dr. Jha with a pregnant pause there. I can tell you, Dr. Jha -- here we go

JHA: -- and even though -- CAMEROTA: We can hear you now.

JHA: Can you not hear me?

CAMEROTA: Now we can.

JHA: OK, good. Sorry about that. OK, good.

So what I was going to say is that what we know is the WHO is really important for fighting the pandemic, especially in low- and middle- income countries. They really rely on WHO's expertise and guidance.

And if we hobble WHO right now, what we're basically saying is we're going to let this pandemic run much worse in large parts of the world.


And you know, the awkward thing for me is I've often been a critic of WHO, and here I am saying, what are we doing? Like, we're scapegoating WHO. We're going to make the world worse off. We're going to leave more pandemic hotspots so they can re-infect our country, just in the middle of the greatest pandemic of a century. This just makes no sense to me whatsoever.

BERMAN: Right. And again, I want to reiterate what Dr. Jha is saying right there. He has been critical. You have been a public critic of the WHO for years in many different instances.

But the issue is, is pulling money out now, during a pandemic, is it the right move? Bill Gates, who Alisyn pointed out there, has given a lot of money to this, said, "Halting funding for the WHO during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19, and if that work is stopped, no other organization can replace them."

And what's ironic, John Harwood, politically so, and probably not surprisingly ironic, is the president is criticizing the WHO for some of the exact same things he did and said in relationship to China.

He tweeted -- and this was on January 24 -- "China has been working very hard to contain the coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. And it will work out well. In particular on behalf of the American people, I want to thank President Xi!"

So what's going on here, John?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: What's going on is a bunch of political nonsense. Look, as you indicated, the president did exactly the same thing.

Assume that the WHO is guilty of what he was accusing them of doing. President Trump is guilty of the exact same thing. And when he was pressed on that by Kaitlan Collins, our colleague and others at the news conference, he gave a response that also didn't make any sense. He basically said, Yes, but I made a trade deal with them, and they're

paying tariffs to us. That's not responsive to the question. That's not relevant. He said, I cut off travel. That is true. But really, the -- that's one step. And the issue is all the other steps that he did or didn't take.

The more significant thing, I think, about it, John, is it's a statement of the president that, This problem is too hard, and I'm not going to solve it.

He came out into that Rose Garden at a time when the United States is in crisis, more than 10 percent of the American people are out of work, our cases are going just beyond 25,000, more than half a million cases. And he is doing a backward-looking statement of blame at the WHO. It does not solve -- that statement does not solve one single problem that any American has right now. It is simply a political venting.

The other thing he did in the exact same vein was the one thing we know that is necessary to open the country, which the president says he wants, which governors says [SIC] they -- say they want, and all of us want, is massive upgrades in testing and contact tracing.

And when the president was asked, What are you going to do about that, he said, Well, that's for the governors to do.

Take those two things together, and it's a statement of the president in this crisis saying, It's too hard. I'm going to let other people lead.

CAMEROTA: John Harwood, Dr. Jha, thank you very much for explaining to us what this looks like, this news this morning.

Americans across the country are struggling to get tested. But in one of the richest neighborhoods in the U.S., tests are available to everyone. How? How does that work? That's next.



BERMAN: More than 26,000 Americans have died from coronavirus so far, with the highest death toll coming in just the last 24 hours. There are a number of new developments of the pandemic this morning. And we have reporters across the country to bring you the latest.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Rosa Flores in Miami, where everyone on exclusive Fisher Island is getting tested for COVID-19 antibodies with a simple blood print (ph) test.

This was one of the richest ZIP codes last year, according to Bloomberg. The average income is $2.2 million. Most of the people on the island are over the age of 60, many from the hard-hit Northeast. Meanwhile, in nearby Hard Rock Stadium, Miamians are spending hours in

line at a drive-through-style swab testing center. The good news there is that testing has been expanded to include everyone with symptoms, regardless of age. The bad news is that testing has been capped at 400 daily.


At least 37 children at a shelter for immigrant youth have now tested positive for coronavirus. The shelter houses kids that came to the United States as unaccompanied minors. And officials At Heartland Human Care Service say they're operating under the assumption they are going to see more positive diagnoses as they begin to get test results back.

This first wave accounting for more than half of the kids at this particular shelter.

Now, so far, the shelter says the kids are in good condition and that they've been in touch with the Chicago Department of Public Health throughout this.


The state of South Dakota has just under one million people. Already, nearly 1,000 of them have tested positive for the coronavirus. And more than half, nearly 550, either work at or have come in contact with employees at the Smithfield Food pork processing plant in Sioux Falls.

The mayor there issued a proclamation for people to stay at home, but he asked the governor to issue an official order for his and the surrounding counties to make it easier to control. She is resistant, saying at one point that South Dakota is not New York City, and she believes the outbreak, which is one of the worst in the country, would have happened anyway.


Defense Secretary Mark Esper says, for U.S. troops, their restrictions will be lifted when he is convinced the science tells him there will be minimal risk. He says any decision will be made based on the science that he sees and that he is advised about.

From this point forward, the restrictions on U.S. troops will be reviewed by Esper.