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Fl. Gov.: State In Economic Crisis; Facebook Warning Users About False Coronavirus Content; China Issues "Revised" Death Toll Numbers From Wuhan. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired April 17, 2020 - 12:30   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- to the president just asking.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Josh Ousley (ph), Kaitlan Collins, appreciate the reporting and perspective as the administration faces some very important days ahead.

Up next for us, we take a closer look at Florida. It's wrapping up coronavirus testing with two new walk-up sites.


KING: A dire message today from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He says his state is in an economic crisis as it tries to deal with this pandemic. Our Rosa Flores is in Fort Lauderdale. Rosa, tell us about the governor's message today.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, the governor is saying that this state isn't an economic crisis because so many people are out of work and of course, the unemployment system here has been overwhelmed, he said. We have seen video of long lines of people trying to get paper applications. It's been a very dire situation.

Now, what you're seeing behind me is the National Guard have been setting up two sites for walk-up COVID-19 testing. This, according to the governor, is in an effort to expand testing in the state. Anyone with symptoms, regardless of age, will be able to walk up to two locations here in Fort Lauderdale and another in Pompano Beach to get tested.

Now, all of this as Governor DeSantis meets with this task force today to reopen the state. He said that he plans to announce next week what the steps will be to reopen to Florida. But Jacksonville beat him to the punch. The mayor there, announcing today, that beaches and parks in Duval County will be open starting today.

Yes, there will be hour restrictions. Yes, social distancing will be enforced. According to the mayor there, he talked to law enforcement and first responders. They made that decision there. But they cited the governor's stay at home order that says that recreational activities like walking and jogging, swimming are essential activities.

Now, data is important. The Florida Department of Health just updated the numbers a little while ago. Duval County reports 790 plus cases of the state's 24,000 cases. Deaths in that county are at 14. State -- the state death toll is at 680.

And John, you remember this very clearly, it was very controversial, Governor Ron DeSantis letting localities decide what to do when it comes to opening or closing beaches. We know that we saw all that video in Tampa of a lot of beachgoers crowding beaches. Well, Jacksonville exercising that power today, reopening beaches and parks in Florida.

KING: Rosa Flores, appreciate that live report, this will be agree or disagree with these steps. This will be how we see the data, how we see whether as more people get out, more people start to move around. Does the case count go up? Does it stay stable? This is the new phase we're into. Rosa, appreciate that live report from Florida.

Coming up for us here, how Facebook is responding to coronavirus misinformation posted on its platform.



KING: The coronavirus is no different. Any big event, there is plenty of misinformation being spread online. Facebook, which, as we all know came under fire for not flagging false stories from Russia during the 2016 presidential election, says it is stepping up efforts to try to stop the spread of misinformation on the coronavirus.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: We work with independent fact checkers. And so far during this crisis, those fact checkers have marked 4,000 pieces of content, individual articles, false, which has led to us showing warning labels. And the warning labels work. Now, we know that because 95 percent of the time when someone sees a piece of information that has a fact check on it, they don't go through and consume that information.


KING: CNN's business reporter, Donie O'Sullivan, joins us now. Mark Zuckerberg makes those comments last night to CNN town hall. He says the warning labels stopped 95 percent of users from clicking on suspect material. Is Facebook doing as good a job as they say?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Hey, John. Well, for conspiracy theorists, the coronavirus really is the Super Bowl and Olympics all rolled into one. There are so many unknowns. The information is changing every day. And they have a captive audience, an anxious nation that are looking for answers.

And we can show you, I think, what Facebook is doing. They're placing these labels on information about the virus that they say is either misleading or false. And in March alone, just to give you a sense of the scale of the problem, they put this on -- this label on 14 million different Facebook posts.

Zuckerberg said last night in the town hall, of course, that, you know, 95 percent of people don't click true once they see this label, but they are still seeing the content. They are still seeing the misinformation. So Facebook is leaving a lot of misinformation up on the platform and people are seeing those headlines. The information they are removing is what they classify as dangerous information.

So there are false claims out there saying that if you drink bleach, it's secure to the virus. That is nonsense. Of course it is false. That is the sort of information, false information they're removing. But they are leaving a lot of this stuff up there.

In fairness to them, they have come a long way since 2016. They've hired a network of fact checkers all around the world, but still quite a long way to go.

KING: One way to go. But if you give him points for progress, I will accept that. You do this as well as anybody. Donie, really thanks for your reporting there. We'll keep an eye on the census. It's a shame we have to keep an eye on it, but we will. Donie O'Sullivan, thank you very much.


Coming up, more scrutiny in China after Wuhan city officials increased the death toll by, get this, 50 percent.


KING: A number of important global developments in the fight against coronavirus today, including this. We are now getting a revised death toll number from places like Wuhan, China, that, of course, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. Our international correspondents show us this pandemic around the world far from over.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in China, they are revising the death toll. Wuhan city officials added 1,290 new death cases to its total number. That's a 50 percent increase. And it comes as China has faced increased scrutiny and skepticism over its reporting of coronavirus cases and deaths.

And as other countries, including the U.S., see their numbers far exceed those from this, the original epicenter. CNN reported extensively on the early claims of cover up and underreporting, some telling us that their loved ones were never tested and died after experiencing coronavirus symptoms, and they were instead marked as severe pneumonia cases and revising their numbers on Friday.

[12:50:05] Wuhan city officials say they did so to show accountability to history, to the people, and the victims, as well as to ensure open and transparent disclosure of information and data accuracy. But the new figures are still met with heavy skepticism, given the increased distrust with China's early handling of this outbreak.

David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in South Korea, the number of patients who have recovered from coronavirus only to test positive once again is still rising, 163 so far, according to Korea's CDC. And they've tested positive on average, they say, just under two weeks after being given the all clear.

But the range is wide, anything from one day to 35 days. Now, I spoke to the deputy director of the KCDC, and he admitted there is so much they still don't know. But there are six cases that they have fully investigated at this point. And they say there's no evidence of live virus within the body, which means it could be one of three other things according to KCDC.

It could be weakened immunity of the individual. It could be a testing error or it could be the remnants of the virus are testing positive once again. The KCDC is investigating and says it hopes to have more in about two weeks.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in France, the President Emmanuel Macron cautiously added his voice to a growing chorus of world leaders critical of China for its lack of transparency over the origins of the COVID outbreak.

Emmanuel Macron is saying in an interview to the "Financial Times" that there are things that happened in China that we just don't know about. And it's up to China to say them.

The U.S. and the U.K. were saying similar things earlier this week with the U.S. Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo calling on China to come clean. The British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, saying, China was going to have to answer some hard questions on the origins of the outbreak and whether it could have been averted.

Mr. Macron concluded by saying, you just can't compare crisis management in open societies like France to that of China, where there isn't freedom of information.

Cyril Vanier, CNN, outside Paris.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Here in London, the Mayor Sadiq Khan, has tried to push to get people to wear face masks, particularly on public transport, one of a number of measures that seem to show people are trying to see how this kind of social distancing can be sustained in the longer term as people try and maybe go back to work. It's not currently U.K. policy to make people wear masks, maybe because they don't want to place a burden on the supply of protective equipment that's currently, frankly, under a bit of a shortage, particularly for health workers a lot of the time.

But at the same time too, the government saying they will extend the lockdown. This has announced yesterday for another three weeks. They want to be sure they don't lift those particular restrictions until they're sure there isn't going to be another peak, that the health service here can't be overwhelmed by that.

But infection rates are down. The daily death rate is down as well and that they've got enough protective equipment for all health workers. Big challenges here, though. But at the same time, some of the numbers improving, just the government doesn't take the risk of letting people out just yet.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


KING: President Trump tweeting this hour to New York's governor, stop complaining. Well, moments ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo responded.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): How many times do you want me to say, thank you. But I'm saying thank you for doing your job. This was your role as President. OK. So that's the honest statement of fact without politics. I'm not running for anything. I have no agenda but delivering for the people of this state and without ego. You want me to say thank you. Thank you for doing your job in helping build Javits and sending the U.S. Navy ship Comfort. Thank you for participating in a modicum of federal responsibility in a national crisis.


KING: What tension there.


Up next for us, the struggles of remote learning in the age of coronavirus.


KING: Well, the 55 million children across the country home indefinitely because of the coronavirus. Schools closed across every state in the nation. It's led to a dramatic shift in our education system as classrooms move online and teachers like second grade teacher, Islah Tauheed are finding unique ways to ease the transition for their students.


ISLAH TAUHEED, 2ND GRADE TEACHER, P.S. 567 LINDEN TREE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Namaste class mateys? Today is Friday and I'm still in this beautiful garden. Good morning, class mateys. Today is Monday. It is your first day of spring break. And look where I am.

Let's talk about fears. What are some things you're afraid of? Online teaching, I was very nervous to try it or just not knowing when I'll see my students again or what's going to happen in the future. Those kind of things can worry me.


KING: Islah Tauheed joins me now. The smile there, we see it, the smile and the online. Look, I don't say -- I appreciate the laugh because at this time of crisis, I assume the best thing for your students is to see that smile as you try to help them get through this.

You also mentioned the fears. You can't get up close to your students like you normally would. You can't put your hand on their back and say, tell me about this. Let me talk you through it. How do you deal with that part, the distance when you can sense either from a note from a parent or some feedback from the child that they're having some issues?

TAUHEED: Hi. So the challenge before us was very vast and huge. But although the spaces were virtual, we had to make sure that the connections were not. And that we were creating spaces that mimic the spaces in our physical classrooms where students felt safe and happy and loved and able to thrive being themselves.

KING: If we look across the country, 15 percent of U.S. households with school age kids don't have high speed Internet. Are you dealing with this? Do you have a digital divide as well as this now personal divide in your teaching?

TAUHEED: Yes, I work in the Bronx. And so the makeup of my classroom very much reflects the statistics in the country. We have a lot of students that did not have access to virtual devices, WiFi, they didn't have parents who were able to stay and be home all day as many of their parents were the ones deemed essential learners.

So a lot of the inequities that our society has seen emphasized were very much already in place in my classroom. And so we had to lean on our leaders, lean on the community to reach out and get these kids WiFi, get them set up with devices and try to bridge that gap so that they can access education even during this difficult time.

KING: Islah Tauheed, I really appreciate. I wish I had more time to talk to you today. But I'm going to I want to keep in touch as we go forward. The challenge you face, trying to keep children at least as close as you can to what the school year plan would have been. Thank you for what you're doing. I have a third grader at home --

TAUHEED: Thank you.

KING: -- doing this remote learning. And to the teachers are just like the health care workers here. You are our heroes in the middle of all this. Really, appreciate it.

TAUHEED: We miss them so much. We love them so much. I love all my students. And Linden Tree District 11 in the Bronx. Thank you for having me.


KING: Thank you. We'll circle back with you. Appreciate your work. And thanks for joining me today. Have a great weekend.

Anderson Cooper picks up our coverage right now. Take care.