Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

U.S. States Grapple with Reopening; U.K. Launches Vaccine Task Force; COVID-19 Affects People Differently; High Cost of U.S. Health Care; Coronavirus Timeline; Journalists Work from Home. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired April 18, 2020 - 02:00   ET

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


[02:00:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, everyone, and welcome to Studio 7 here at CNN Center in Atlanta. I am Michael Holmes.

Countries around the world have come to a screeching halt, thanks to the crushing pandemic that has seen death tolls rise sometimes by the second. Those countries, anxious to reopen but wondering what the new normal might look like.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, says the European Union is facing what he called a moment of truth. He is calling for solidarity here as the bloc decides how to handle the financial fallout of this pandemic, warning if member states do not approve a debt sharing plan, the populists will win and that could mean the end of the E.U.

In the United Kingdom, hospitals being pushed to the brink as the government now advises that health care workers may need to reuse some personal protective equipment. Medical unions warn some hospitals could run out of gowns as soon as this weekend.

Just one day after the U.S. president Donald Trump unveiled federal guidelines to reopen the country and said it was up to the governors to call the shots, he is now defending his tweets, urging supporters to, quote, "liberate three states," yes, liberate, all of which are under stay-at-home orders issued by Democratic governors.

Even though Republican governors and other states have issued similar stay-at-home orders, they were not subjected to those tweets. The U.S. president also trying to blame Democrats for the country's economic downturn, accusing them of not working to approve more money for the next stimulus measure.

The current bailout gave money to individuals and created a loan program for small businesses, which quickly ran out of funds. Now lawmakers are pushing for a new influx of cash. Democrats are fighting for hospitals, states and local governments to be included. For now, Mr. Trump says, he is on board to approve more money.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Nobody knew it was going to be the successful. When you said the money is gone, it has been a tremendous success as a program.

People really want it. Some people will not be able to keep their businesses open unless they get this money. It has been a tremendous success. It has been executed flawlessly. With a few exceptions, it has been good.

I think that the Democrats are going to do it. Nancy Pelosi, she is away on vacation or something. She should come back. She should come back and get this done. I don't know why she is not coming back. The fact is, she's not doing her job. There's nothing unusual about that for her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: In fact, members of Congress are sheltering at home, as has been advised with national guidelines, not on vacation.

The U.S. president is also shifting responsibility when it comes to testing, which experts say, of course, is critical to easing any social restrictions. Despite a shortage of coronavirus tests, some governors are facing growing pressures to open up their states. Nick Watt with the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Huntington Beach, California. A protest march complete with Trump 2020 flags. Similar scenes also other parts of the country. They are calling for the country to open up again.

Jacksonville, Florida. They just reopened the beaches. The crowds came. Immediately. Many completely ignoring the social distancing guidelines that are still supposed to be in place.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR LENNY CURRY (R-FL): Folks, this can be the beginning of the path way back to normal life. Please respect and follow these limitations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: In Texas State, parks will open Monday. A week from now, stores can open for pickup only. But.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: School classrooms are closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Governors not the president will be calling the shots.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must get this right. Because the stakes are very high.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Some saying we're just not there yet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

The fact of the matter is, it's better to be six feet apart than six feet under. And that is the whole point of this. We've got to save lives. Every one matters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: There were also protests against stay home orders in Michigan. And today the president tweeted liberate Michigan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think elements of what they've done is too much.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): You have to develop a testing capacity. That does not now exist. We cannot do it without federal help.

[02:05:00]

MICHAEL PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our best scientists and health experts assess that states today have enough tests to implement the criteria of phase one. If they choose to do so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Reopening will be regional.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Opening some states and not others it's a little bit like, you know, somebody said to me it's a little bit like having peeing section in the swimming pool.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Some neighboring states are coordinating. A new bloc just formed in the middle of the country. And let's not forget there are still thousands of healthcare workers on the front lines.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a lot of sick patients. Multi organ failure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Still too many lives in the balance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this patient here, it's a pregnant patient whose a, unfortunately on the verge of being intubated and was trying to save her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT: Here in California, the governor says we are now in the midst of a pandemic induced recession. Look at LAX. Normally, one of the busiest airports in the world, not a plane in the sky. The governor will not say when he will reopen the California economy. He says that will depend on the science -- Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Joining me now in Glendale, California, Dr. Armand Dorian, chief medical officer of University of Southern California's Verdugo Hills Hospital.

Great to see you again, Doctor. I wanted to kick off with the president on Twitter, essentially egging on protesters, demanding an end to precautions in their states -- Minnesota, Michigan, Virginia.

What did you make of that not in a political sense but coming from the president in the current situation?

DR. ARMAND DORIAN, USC VERDUGO HILLS HOSPITAL: I am not too happy about it. We have done so much, we have built so much with regards to trust, confidence, in the public, understanding how important it is for us to be at home.

While we are trying to respect the economy, the need to gradually reintroduce ourselves, just to create this type of situation is exactly the opposite of the things we need.

HOLMES: We continue to talk about testing or the lack of it, the ability to isolate, contact trace, as we, have been saying.

Without that widespread testing, talking about opening back up, does it not just invite a 2nd wave?

The ability to test is nowhere near where it needs to be, not to mention the president is leaving it to the states to fight it out.

DORIAN: Without proper testing, we are going about it blindly. Michael, it's not like there is one person in the public who is infected, everybody who is out there is susceptible. There are few people who are not susceptible. Everybody has not contracted COVID-19. One person turns into 2, turns into for and it doubles every 3 to 4 days.

If we are able to contain it, as long as one person gets out, it is a matter of time. In one month, from one person, you average about 1,000 people get infected. You can do the math there. HOLMES: Wow, when you put it that way. The president says are plenty

of ventilators, masks, gowns. I'm curious, you're in the hospital every single day.

Are you seeing that, are you hearing that?

DORIAN: There are certain things that we have adequate supplies of and some we don't. Here's the tricky part, in California, in Los Angeles, because of great social distancing, we have been able to avoid the massive surge. We have kept it at bay.

What happens now is that this becomes a marathon. The sprint becomes a marathon. Our supplies are gradually going to get hit. They're going to do dwindle. It puts an extreme strain on our supply line.

Literally our CFO is panicking on a daily basis, wondering when we're going to run out. So it's a different race that we are in. Especially, when we are worried about a 2nd or even 3rd surge every time we go out, are we going to be ready and prepared for the influx of patients, specifically with regards to ventilators.

HOLMES: You talked about it, what California has done to flatten the curve. It is important to pointed out. It's not a sign that the virus is waning per se; it's a sign that social distancing is working. If that distancing is successful, it would seem obvious what could happen if you stopped and went back to normal.

DORIAN: I tell you what would happen. We are skiing down a slope, we applied the brakes. The brakes are social distancing, as soon as we let go the brakes, guess what?

We accelerate back down the hill again. In L.A. County, if we were to go back to normal, letting everybody out, do what they were doing, like they were doing in December.

[02:10:00]

DORIAN: By August 1st, 95 percent of Los Angeles County will be infected. If that isn't startling enough, I don't know what is.

HOLMES: Yes, that is sobering. I wanted to ask you something, I'm not sure if you have seen it, have heard about it, possible long term damage. If you survive, get over, there can be lasting damage.

In any number of areas, there are troubling signs from heart inflammation, kidney disease, neurological malfunctions, even liver problems. There is still a lot we don't know.

Are you concerned about those after effects, those other impacts?

DORIAN: Extremely. We are in the middle of the battle, we are not even talking about they post-traumatic stress, the damages that are going to happen to our warriors, our patients. They are fighting this fight. What happens to their lungs, they get chronic scarring. They will have

difficulty breathing, multiple medical problems. This COVID-19 process is not just focused on the lungs. It's an inflammatory cascade which scars a lot of different organs.

People, unfortunately, are going to have consequences years down the road. It's going to be a huge burden on our health system and our economy. We also have to keep that in mind.

HOLMES: It's a good point. You don't just get better, go home, not everyone does get to go on with life. There are going to be lasting impacts for many. Great to have your expertise as always, Dr. Dorian. Thank you so much.

DORIAN: Thank you, Michael.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: On Friday, the British government confirmed it was forming a vaccine task force to help fight the coronavirus. They are investing more than $17 million U.S. to help bring a vaccine to market as soon as possible. For more on all of this, let's turn to CNN's Nina dos Santos from London.

Good to see you, Nina. Tell us about this task force.

Who is in it and what is the mission?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: Good morning to you, Michael. The aim here is to try and leverage the significant business expertise -- the big track records and producing successful, safe to market vaccines are actually in the United Kingdom.

So it was up to the business secretary to host that coronavirus briefing, daily briefing that we saw yesterday evening, during which he outlined the fact that they were planning on trying to leverage this type of expertise but also that academic expertise as well, to try and make sure they can get a vaccine out to the public as soon as possible.

But the chief scientific adviser to the government also present at the press conference said this would not be something that would just be around the corner, tomorrow within weeks; it could take many months to develop.

In the meantime, scientists at Oxford University and Imperial College London, which is at the forefront of the epidemiological research that has gone into this, advising the government, say that they are somewhat confident they could try and have a vaccine that could be ready potentially to be tested or even go to market as early as the fall, so maybe September.

There are some teams in the USA that also believe that this is possible but overall, around the world, the world does generally believe that it may take up until spring to try and roll out some kind of vaccine that is effective and safe as well -- Michael. Yes crucially, going through the testing is required to make sure it

does not do more harm than good. Meanwhile, the lockdown continues where you are for another three months, I think it is.

How do Brits feel about that?

DOS SANTOS: There have been some surveys in this country and in other countries as well. More and less what they've noticed in the surveys and polls has been that the overwhelming majority of Britons believe that to save lives as far more important than to talk about saving the economy.

Obviously, the real concern here for many people is that they risk coming out of this lockdown whenever it ends. We know it will be extended until at least May the 7th as per the government's latest edict on the subject at the end of last week.

This past week, in fact. What people are wondering, though, is whether or not there will be any livelihood for them to go back to at this stage. Many people who have been self employed, many people out there with businesses, are concerned about how long the government's lifelines can really carry on.

For the moment, the government has said it's going to be making up the difference for many workers. It's rolled out as much help as it can. People who were self employed as well, to tide them over.

But at some point, people are concerned that there really isn't enough of a strategy here that has been properly communicated by the government about how and when this lockdown will and.

It will depend on two things. One, the vaccines, which is why, of course, the government was looking to stress that yesterday that they're putting money into the task force, building new facilities to try and develop this vaccine.

[02:15:00]

DOS SANTOS: But also a lot of it will depend on testing and mass testing, as we know in this country, has been described as woefully inadequate by some of the government's own advisers -- Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, in the U.K. and here in the U.S. as well. Nina, good to see you. Nina in London.

We will take a short break. When we come back, it's not just the elderly and the most vulnerable, though it is certainly them. We are hearing more stories of young and healthy falling victim to the coronavirus. Why some people may be at more risk than others, what the research has to say. When we come back.

Also, we trace the timeline from the first report of the virus to today and the many, many missed opportunities along the way to make a difference.

(MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

HOLMES: As we know, the coronavirus does not discriminate, from teenagers to the elderly, men and women, people of all races and ethnicities. But it does remain a mystery why some people show no symptoms while others struggle to survive.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta shed some light on some possible reasons why certain people are at more risk than others.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These were some of the first heartbreaking images we saw of the coronavirus in the United States. It was an outbreak at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, a nursing home. At the time, it made sense.

Earlier studies had shown the disease was more severe and more deadly among people who were older and had underlying conditions. Yet, all along, we kept hearing stories of young, healthy people also becoming extremely sick, like 30 year old Ben Luderer (ph).

BRANDY LUDERER, BEN'S WIFE: He came into our bedroom where I was laying and he said, I got to go. I have to take myself to the hospital.

I said are sure you want to go there?

Like are you sure?

He said yes, I need to.

GUPTA (voice-over): Or 39-year-old Conrad Buchanan --

NICOLE BUCHANAN, CONRAD'S WIFE: That day he was starting to decline because he did not have a horrible cough this whole time and then 20 seconds when I brought him to the hospital.

GUPTA (voice-over): Young couples, husbands and wives all infected. Yet, in these cases, the wives stayed relatively healthy, while their husbands became suddenly critically ill and died.

BUCHANAN: They would not let me in the hospital as he was begging that I need my wife. My wife makes my decisions. They told me to park the car. We thought I was going to get to go in with him and, when I walked up to the doors, the hospitals was on lockdown. They would not let anybody in. And that was it. I never got to see him. I never got to say I love you.

GUPTA (voice-over): Two days after Ben Luderer was released from the hospital, he was back home in bed.

LUDERER: I could hear through the door that he was still breathing and I fell asleep. GUPTA (voice-over): By the time Brandy woke up in the morning, Ben

had passed away.

Why does COVID-19 hit some people like Conrad Buchanan and Ben Luderer so hard, while many others have mild or no symptoms at all?

[02:20:00]

GUPTA (voice-over): It is a question that Dr. Anthony Fauci posed to me when I spoke with him on my podcast.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I am fascinated, Sanjay, by what I would call the pathogenesis. You get so many people who do well. Then some people who just, bingo, they are not on a respirator and they are on ECMO and they're dead.

I mean, the dichotomy between that -- there is something there, Sanjay, that we are missing from a pathogenesis standpoint. I don't think if it's only if you are elderly or if you have underlying conditions. There is something else going on there that, hopefully, we will ultimately figure out.

GUPTA (voice-over): We still do not know the answer to this. But even over the last few weeks, I have been talking to multiple scientists and frontline workers, trying to better understand what is happening here.

For older and more vulnerable people, it could be that the virus itself overwhelmed their immune system. For younger people, it could be that their immune system was almost too strong, reacted too violently, resulting in a storm of inflammation.

AKIKO IWASAKI, YALE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: The cytokines are immune defense molecules that are normally used to control the infection. But when it is triggered in this way, it is an uncontrolled level of cytokines that ultimately damage the tissue, such as the lungs or the blood vessels.

GUPTA (voice-over): Some have told me, maybe it is the amount of virus itself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For reasons we do not understand, frontline health care workers are a great risk for serious illness, despite their younger age. Maybe it is due to a higher dose of virus they are receiving.

GUPTA (voice-over): A number of researchers brought up the idea that the answer could be in our genes, that maybe there is another risk factor besides just being older or having underlying disease.

DR. LEANA WEN, E.R. PHYSICIAN: Studies show that those who are more likely to have severe infections are those who are older or have medical chronic conditions. But it is unclear what exactly counts as a chronic medical condition. Some things are very clear but some things are not. BUCHANAN: There is no discrimination when it comes to this virus and

seeing what my husband had to go through was horrible. Now our life has turned into this horrible nightmare.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Sanjay Gupta reporting.

We just saw, the coronavirus can require serious medical treatment. In the United States, that could come at a premium cost. I spoke with Wendell Potter, a former health insurance executive and now president of the group Business for Medicare for All. I asked him about what sorts of things he is seeing in terms of how health insurers are handling the pandemic.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WENDELL POTTER, BUSINESS FOR MEDICARE FOR ALL: It depends on a lot of factors and we have so many health insurance companies in this country that there is no way of really knowing whether they are working in the best interest of patients or not.

Some of the insurance companies have announced or said that they will be covering all the costs of testing and treatment for COVID-19-19. That includes covering out of pocket expenses in this country. Many people, even with insurance, have spent typically hundreds of thousands of dollars out of their pockets before the insurance kicks in.

So some insurance company said they will waive those expenses. But we're not sure if they all will do that. So we are waiting to find out and a lot of people --

(CROSSTALK)

HOLMES: Yes, there is no firm guidance on this. I mean the president made a big deal about people not being billed for tests or what they call in America copays and so on. But if you are uninsured in America, as nearly 30 million Americans are, millions more underinsured, I mean what kind of bill could you get if, heaven forbid, you are underinsured or uninsured and you spend a couple of weeks in intensive care?

POTTER: It could be enough money that you have to pay, that can send people into bankruptcy. It happens all the time. Even people with insurance in this country, in many cases, have to file for bankruptcy because they had to pay so much out of their own pockets for care.

There is no way of knowing how much, how long, a person might need to stay in the hospital. It could be days; in some cases, it could be weeks. Staying in the hospital in this country can be many, many thousands of dollars. It depends on what kind of plan you have.

Most Americans are in these plans with very high deductibles or obligations to pay a lot of money. So people could be on the hook for thousands and thousands of dollars. HOLMES: Even if they are insured, paying premiums and all of that,

they are still faced with big bills, right?

POTTER: Exactly right. It is an industry wide strategy now for several years, to move all Americans into these plans that require them to spend a lot of money before their insurance kicks in.

So that is a situation that many Americans are now finding themselves in and there is no reason to really trust insurance companies, that they will do as they are saying.

[02:25:00]

POTTER: There is no enforcement mechanism. The (INAUDIBLE) negotiations in this country have no enforcement mechanism, neither does the government for that matter. The government or the president might say they'll be doing this but who is to say that they will?

HOLMES: How in your -- as you observed the industry you knew so well, how are insurance companies avoiding taking a financial hit from coronavirus?

What you see them doing?

I think you tweeted the other day, one in particular, just made a huge profit, even in this time.

POTTER: That is exactly right. The biggest health insurance company just announced its quarterly earnings, made $5 billion just in the first 3 months of this year. That is $5 billion in profits. We have several other companies that will be announcing their earnings in the coming weeks.

If this one insurance company is an indication, they all will be doing very well. They will undoubtedly be among the big winners, believe it or not in this pandemic, because one thing that is happening is that a lot of doctors and patients and hospitals are canceling elective procedures just in case beds and personnel are needed for the pandemic.

So they are not having to cover expenses for those procedures that have been canceled. They are even telling their investors that they might have a net savings this year even with --

(CROSSTALK)

HOLMES: That just seems extraordinary. You are talking to an international audience that, by and large, live in countries with universal health insurance. Everyone is covered. No one gets massive bills because everyone insured.

The U.S. is the only major developed nation without that kind of universal coverage.

Do you think this pandemic and what could happen to a lot of people financially could lead to a push towards the kind of system that exists in other parts of the world?

Or is the current one too entrenched, lobbying too influential for that to happen?

POTTER: I don't think it's too entrenched or I would not be doing what I am doing if I felt that. I think this pandemic will wake more people up than we see in the past. Already, before this pandemic, we saw rising support for getting rid of private health insurance companies and moving to a system more like other developed countries.

One very popular proposal is to expand our Medicare program, which has been around for half a century. That is the insurance program that is covered by the government for people who are 65 years old and older.

There is growing support for expanding that to include everyone in this country. I think that will gain steam. I think more people will begin to support that as we see people in this country lose their insurance, because we have a system in which health insurance in many cases is tied into where we work. And you are seeing millions of people losing their jobs in the very first weeks of this pandemic.

HOLMES: That is true. That is the other irony. You lose your job, you lose your health insurance in many cases. It is a fascinating time. Wendell Potter, great to have you on. Great to get your insights. I appreciate it.

POTTER: Thank you very much.

HOLMES: China is facing increasing criticism over the coronavirus. Up next we will take a look back at when the virus first appeared and how it was managed. We'll be right back. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

[02:30:00]

HOLMES: A lot of political charges have been lobbed back and forth about how leaders reacted to the first reports of the deadly coronavirus. David Culver cuts through the blame game and traces how the world got to this point.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On December 31st as the world rang in the new year, Chinese authorities in Wuhan were treating dozens of cases of a severe pneumonia of unknown origin.

At the time there was still no evidence of human to human spread. In Wuhan, Dr. Lee warned friends about the threat of a new virus. At the time, police reprimanded him for spreading rumors.

Less than a week later, Chinese authorities confirmed they had identified the virus as a novel coronavirus. On January 11th, Wuhan's health commission reported the first known death.

Chinese officials had evidence of clusters suggesting human to human transmission as early as January 14th.

According to a new Associated Press report, based on leaked internal documents, on January 16th, as the impeachment trial of President Trump began in the Senate, Japanese authorities confirmed a man who had traveled to Wuhan was infected with the virus.

Wuhan health officials continued to downplay the danger of how quickly the virus could spread.

"The contagion of the novel coronavirus is not high. The risk of sustained human to human transmission is low. With the implement of our prevent and control measures, the epidemic is preventable and controllable."

By January 20th, China had reported 139 new cases and 3 deaths. And Beijing acknowledge the virus was spreading from person to person.

The very next day, the U.S. saw its first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a Washington state man who had recently returned home from a trip to Wuhan, China.

On January 23rd, Chinese authorities closed the city of Wuhan with its population of more than 11 million people to the outside world. By the end of January, six days later, President Trump announced a creation of a task force to monitor and contain the spread of the virus.

The United States saw its first confirmed case of person to person transmission on January 30th and the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency.

TRUMP: And now we are working very strongly with China on the coronavirus. That is a new thing that a lot of people are talking about. Hopefully it won't be as bad as some people think it could be.

CULVER (voice-over): A day later, the Trump administration announced the U.S. would deny entry to foreign nationals who had traveled to China in the last 14 days.

CNN spoke by phone with whistleblower, Dr. Lee . He had contracted the virus after being silenced by authorities and returning to work. On February 3rd as the Iowa caucuses posed the first big test for the Democratic presidential candidates, the war of words between China and the U.S. began.

China's foreign ministry accused the U.S. government of inappropriately reacting to the outbreak, saying, quote, "that the U.S. is turning from overconfidence to fear and overreaction."

On February 7th, Dr. Lee died of the coronavirus. After that news broke, topics like "Wuhan government owes Dr. Lee an apology" and "We want freedom of speech," trended on China's highly censored Twitter- like platform Weibo before disappearing.

That same day, President Trump said, his relationship with Chinese president Xi Jinping was "in great shape."

TRUMP: We are working on the problem, the virus. It is a very tough situation but I think he's going to handle it. I think he has handled it really well. We are helping wherever we can. But we have a great relationship. It is incredible.

CULVER (voice-over): On February 10th, President Trump claimed that, as the weather started to warm up, the virus would go away.

TRUMP: The virus, they are working hard, it looks like by April in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away. I hope that is true. But we are doing great in our country. China, I spoke with President Xi and they are working very, very hard. And I think it's going to all work out fine.

CULVER (voice-over): As Democratic voters in New Hampshire were casting their ballots in the presidential primary, the World Health Organization named the disease caused by the virus COVID-19.

Throughout the month of February, news of increased cases poured in around the globe and the U.S. saw its first case of community spread transmission.

On February 28th at a rally in South Carolina, the president lashed out at Democrats.

TRUMP: Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything. They tried it over and over and this is their new hoax.

CULVER (voice-over): And that very same day --

TRUMP: We did something very fortunate. We closed up to certain areas of the world very, very early, far earlier than we were supposed to. We only have 15 people and they are getting better and hopefully they're all better soon.

CULVER (voice-over): March 11th marked a turning point for the U.S.

[02:35:00]

CULVER (voice-over): Actor Tom Hanks announced he and his wife had contracted COVID-19 in Australia.

Hours later the NBA suspending its season after a player tested positive moments before a game.

The WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic. At this point, leagues, companies and states began the process of telling Americans to stay home. The economy and stock market began a fast track to historic losses.

After President Trump repeatedly praised China's response to the coronavirus, on March 19th, Chinese officials reported no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases for the first time since the pandemic began, touting success at controlling the outbreak despite widespread skepticism over the transparency of their reporting.

And on that very same day, as the number of cases and the death toll continued to rise in the U.S., President Trump suggested China should have been more transparent.

TRUMP: It would've been much better if we had known about this a number of months earlier. It could have been contained to that one area in China where it started. And certainly the world is paying a big price for what they did. And the world is paying a very big price for not letting them come out. Everybody knows that. We all know that.

CULVER (voice-over): Throughout the month of March, the numbers of COVID-19 cases continued to rise in the United States and, on March 30th, the president said this.

TRUMP: Nobody could have predicted something like this.

CULVER (voice-over): But the White House economic adviser did warn the president about the threat of the virus back in January.

By April 2nd, the pandemic had infected more than 1 million people in 180 countries and regions, killing more than more than 51,000. And on April 8th, just over a week ago, China lifted the 76-day lockdown in Wuhan.

CULVER: Meantime, as the distress between China and the U.S. grows, so, too does the skepticism of China's transparency or lack thereof in reporting cases and deaths.

To that point, city officials within Wuhan on Friday revised their death toll, adding another nearly 1,300. That is essentially 50 percent more than they had initially published -- David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: Working from home is becoming a new reality for many of us. But try doing a newscast from home. When we come back, we will show you what it takes to anchor a show from your kitchen. We will be right back.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

HOLMES: Well, working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, a new reality for a lot of people and, for television journalists, getting a show to air can be especially challenging. We are still here in the studio but my colleague, Hala Gorani, is in the kitchen, literally.

[02:40:00]

HOLMES: Let us see how she and her talented camera man husband made that happen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hi, I'm Hala Gorani and this is my working from home setup.

So, we're about to go on the air in a few minutes, "CONNECT THE WORLD" on CNN International. But our day starts a lot earlier.

With a morning meeting, and I don't walk into a meeting room. I walk in a living room for that, my own living room.

Full disclosure it a bit of an adjustment. But we try to keep the lines of communication open with the tools we have. I sit on my sofa with a cup of coffee and everything is done remotely.

But this is based on maintaining social distancing measures.

After that is done, obviously, there is still a lot more to do before we can take the show to air. And I have even more respect for our makeup artists, who do in 20 minutes what I'm barely able to achieve in sometimes over an hour.

But here's the result. I did my best.

Then it is research time. I sit at my home desk in my study and that's where I read in, that's where I do research for my guests.

We're learning Boris Johnson's condition was serious.

Time for a quick phone call with my producer, all remotely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is an employment counselor for the Madrid region.

GORANI: Meantime, my husband, cameraman Christian Streib, is setting up in the kitchen for the show.

And broadcasting doesn't involve any satellite truck parked outside the house. It is all done over the internet. You plug in, you run the cable as far as you possibly can and plug it in the other end.

And right before air, let's not forget, there is one member of the family that needs to spend some alone time in another room.

So we're about ready to go, we are 10 minutes away from air. Here is where I broadcast from. It is not a professional television studio as you can see. It is a kitchen.

This is my kitchen table. I have a sofa throw on the kitchen table to muffle the sound. I don't have a prompter. My scripts are on this tablet. I try to look down as little as possible.

I do get dressed up for the show. The upper half doesn't always match the bottom half. And this is return, as we call it, which means this is where I see CNN International aired to make sure I know when I'm on camera, what video is running, when I'm broadcasting.

And now, we're ready to go live. On the air, from my kitchen.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: And it's a lovely kitchen, too. It does help when you have Christian Streib as a husband. He is a very talented camera man.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, I am Michael Holmes. I'll be back in 15 minutes with more news. I will see you then from the studio.