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Governors Dispute Trump's Claim That There's Enough Testing; Protests Against Stay-at-Home Orders Growing Nationwide; Rise In Hospital Patients Admitted For Suspected COVID-19; British Prime Minister Johnson Criticized For Slow Response To Coronavirus; Mexico's Governor Slow To Respond To Health Emergency; Celebrities Join "All In Challenge" For Coronavirus Relief, Raising Millions Of Dollars To Provide Food For Kids, Senior Citizens, Unemployed & Frontline Workers. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 19, 2020 - 16:00   ET

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


[16:00:00]

TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: From last week, Fredricka, are here.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Yes.

SATER: Again, hopefully not the outbreak that we had last Sunday.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my, hopefully not. Tom Sater, thank you so much and thank you, everyone for being with us this weekend. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic continues with Ana Cabrera after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Cases of coronavirus in the United States has topped 742,000 and more than 40,000 people have died. Just one week ago at this time, the death toll was around 22,000. That means 18,000 more friends, neighbors, relatives, loved ones have died in just the last seven days.

And today we are witnessing an escalating battle, one pitting the president of the United States against governors from both sides of the aisle. The White House claims they have all the testing that they need to reopen their states. But ask these governors and the answer pretty much is, what are you talking about?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R), MARYLAND: To try to push this off to say that the governors have plenty of testing and they should just get to work on testing, somehow, we aren't doing our job is just absolutely false.

GOV. RALPH NORTHAM (D), VIRGINIA: That's just delusional, to be making statements like that. We have been fighting every day for PPE and we've got some supplies now coming in. We've been fighting for testing.

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D), MICHIGAN: It would be nice if we had a national strategy that was working with the states, so every state knew, precisely what was coming in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: In the meantime, frustration with social distancing rules is growing across the country. Protests popping up in places like California, Texas, Maryland, and Wisconsin. Officials warning these demonstrations could lead to a spike in infections and force social distancing rules to stay in place longer.

But, a glimmer of hope in New York. The epicenter of the crisis. The governor reporting that total hospitalizations are down, although the battle hasn't been won yet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: If the data holds and if this trend holds, we are past the high point and all indications at this point are we -- that we are on the descent. Whether or not the descent continues depends on what we do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: And news for millions of Americans out of a job or struggling to keep their business afloat. The Treasury secretary says he is hopeful they are close to a second round of small business loans. After all the initial relief money in this program ran out at the worst possible time.

The president has been clear about his desire to get the American economy back on track while medical experts say any economic reopening will hinge on the nation's testing capability, but as states plea for more federal help to deal with testing shortages, President Trump continues to cast the White House and the federal government in a secondary role, blaming governors for the shortages.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond joins us from the White House now.

Jeremy, we're about an hour away or so from the White House coronavirus briefing today. Do you expect we'll see the president on the attack again after facing a fresh round of bipartisan criticism from several governors today?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, if yesterday is any indication, then that is exactly what we will see, because yesterday we saw the president go on the attack against these governors amid questions about shortages in testing capacity, even as the president is pressuring different states to begin to reopen their economies.

The president yesterday even suggesting that some governors are simply unwilling to ramp up the testing capacity in their states. But what you heard from those governors, Democrats and Republicans, who were speaking this morning on the Sunday shows, they were all speaking with one voice, saying that they are missing some of the critical supplies needed in order to get their states reopened, to have the sufficient testing that allows them to do that. Now, there was, in addition to those governors, another governor who

spoke with our colleague, Jake Tapper, on condition of anonymity, and that governor said that -- how frustrating the double speak is from the White House, saying there's a huge difference between having test capacity and actually running the tests. And that is because we are seeing these governors, they're facing shortages of some of the testing swabs that they need, of the chemical reagent that they need.

Some governors making an appeal directly to the president, saying that the FDA could perhaps approve new regulations for the reagents, and allow testing to double or triple overnight in their states. But so far, the president has been unwilling to listen to those voices, it appears. Instead, claiming credit for past successes on the testing front, but placing blame on them now as there's these shortages.

CABRERA: And Harvard researchers say that they believe there should be three times the amount of testing per day than is currently taking place.

[16:05:05]

Jeremy Diamond, thank you.

It is a slow and painful waiting game right now for Americans all around the country, feeling desperate to get back to work and school, and we are starting to see protests. In many cases, protesters have been defying social distancing rules to demand the stay-at-home restrictions be lifted.

Those restrictions have shut down so many nonessential businesses and limited travel, but they are credited with slowing the spread of the virus here in the United States. And CNN's Natasha Chan is in Atlanta with more on these protests and who exactly is protesting.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Protesters stood shoulder to shoulder in many states over the last several days, to voice frustrations with stay-at-home orders and to demand an end to the economic shutdown brought on by coronavirus.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: Freedom and liberty. We're losing it.

CHEN: Ignoring the social distancing measures that have been key in slowing the deadly pandemic spread, many gathered at the steps of state capitals, directing anger towards governors who President Trump criticized Saturday.

TRUMP: Some of the governors have gotten carried away.

CHEN: But it's the Trump administration who told those very governors to enact state-by-state mitigation efforts. When asked about people who choose not to listen to his own administration's guidelines --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Would you urge those protesters to listen to local authorities? TRUMP: I think they're listening. I think they listen to me. They seem

to be protesters that like me and respect this opinion.

CHEN: And they did. Evidenced by the Trump 2020 flags and the actions that seemed to follow what the president called for in his tweets, to, quote, "Liberate Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia."

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D), WASHINGTON: This is just grossly irresponsible and it is dangerously bombastic, because it inspires people to do dangerous things.

CHEN: Those who dangerously flouted the rules to protest their governor's authority said it was out of frustration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a small business owner and my business was shut down forcefully on the 17th of March, and I have yet to see any unemployment, any money come through from the government, and I'm sitting here without a paycheck with no definitive answer on when I will be returning to work, and I don't think that's right.

CHEN: Desperation is high, but so is the risk.

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D), NEW JERSEY: With all due respect, I think anybody who thinks we're doing this just to take away people's liberties and rights isn't looking at the data that we're looking at. We're doing what we're doing to try to save lives.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHEN: There is a scheduled protest right now in Olympia, Washington. And that organizer told CNN, he's not funded by any big groups. He's doing this as a private citizen. He did also say that he hopes people follow the CDC guidelines in wearing masks and staying apart from each other, but he also told CNN he wouldn't be policing that strictly -- Ana.

CABRERA: Natasha Chen, thank you for your reporting.

In New York, the state hardest hit by this pandemic, Governor Cuomo says if the data holds, he believes his state is passed the high point and is on the descent, yet the number of people admitted to hospitals who are suspected of having COVID-19 is actually up in New York City. As of today, there are at least 849 patients getting treatment in the city's ICUs. This as New York state's death toll is still climbing and its number of cases nears a quarter of a million.

CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro joins us now.

And Evan, Mayor Bill de Blasio was not missing words with his message for President Trump today. What can you tell us?

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. City and state officials here in New York have been warning for weeks that budget shortfalls caused by the loss of revenue around this pandemic will be a big obstacle toward reopening. We're talking about huge cuts to city services, huge cuts to state services. The governor mentioned today possibly state's cuts to hospitals might have to happen.

But here in New York City, Governor Bill de Blasio was not happy with news that the next bill from Congress will not contain aid to cities and states.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: President Trump, what's going on? Cat got your tongue? You're usually really talkative. You usually have an opinion on everything. How on earth do you not have an opinion on aid to America's cities and states?

Mr. President, are you going to save New York City or are you telling New York City to drop dead? Which one is it? But you have to speak up now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: De Blasio and Governor Cuomo are basically setting up a pretty simple equation here for officials in Washington and the president. They say, if you don't send federal dollars to help New York City and New York state, these places can't reopen with a semblance of the way they were before this all happened -- Ana.

CABRERA: Evan McMorris-Santoro in New York City for us. Thanks.

[16:10:02]

Up next, he was a doctor in Queens, then he got the coronavirus. One night after gasping for air, he was admitted to the very ICU where he often treated patients. We'll bring you his story of survival, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: As the number of deaths and coronavirus cases continues to grow, it is easy to feel scared and to wonder how we're ever going to come out on the other side of this. But remember, people do. The majority of patients recover. Like Dr. Arnold Weg. This is him returning to his home in New York after being released from the ICU. Something his family says they weren't sure they would ever see.

If you watch my show regularly, then you might remember Dr. Weg. He is a gastroenterologist in Queens. A father and a grandfather. And he contracted COVID-19 early on. Before New Yorkers were told to stay home, he was still seeing patients and one happened to cough during an exam. That patient, Dr. Weg later learned, had COVID-19.

[16:15:09]

Now at first, Dr. Weg was coping with this virus pretty well, but his condition quickly deteriorated, until he was in bed one night, gasping for air and was admitted to the very ICU where he often treats patients. While there, he was on the brink of needing to be intubated. And back at home, his family went online and they pleaded for help. They asked for prayers, they asked for pharmaceutical companies to make experimental drugs available, and for the FDA to allow for more trials.

His son, Russell, came on my show and I stayed in touch with him about his father's recovery. And today, Dr. Weg himself joins us now.

Doctor, it is so good to see you and to be able to speak with you. I know your family was so worried. You know, as we learned and as we continue to learn more and more about this virus, I just think it's helpful to understand what people like you have experienced. Can you share with us what the coronavirus did to your body? What were your initial symptoms and how did they develop over time?

DR. ARNOLD WEG, RELEASED FROM ICU AFTER RECOVERING FROM COVID-19: Thank you very much, Ana, for having me on your program. This means a lot to be able to come full circle with all of this. I want to share my experience, but I'll take a second to just gratefully thank my wife, my sons, my physicians and nurses at Weill Cornell Hospital, especially Dr. Robert Gelfand who advocated on my behalf.

My staff and my patients who reached out in a magnificent way, including all the prayer. And I'm sure that all of that goodwill and all of those tremendous efforts are what brought me here today to be able to speak with you.

The experience was something that I must tell you, I've never ever had the experience in my life, nor could I ever have imagined how difficult it was between the fevers and the shortness of breath, and the sense that I was drowning. There was this overwhelming sense of doom that ultimately wound up in my transfer to the intensive care unit, where I narrowly avoided intubation.

I'd like to take a second just to share what I think really made the difference, acutely what a medicine called Actemra, which is an anticytokine that reduces inflammation in the lungs, taking the water out of the lungs. My physicians were eager to intubate me when I went into the intensive care unit but I had an instant sense of well-being after having received this medication, and I think it contributed to my sense of well-being to the degree that I was able to avoid intubation. And it was followed by Remdisivir, which is an antiviral.

CABRERA: Right.

WEG: That after (INAUDIBLE) subsided helped kill the virus.

CABRERA: That is fascinating. We obviously are all looking for potential therapies and treatments. There's no proven treatment that works right now, but your case certainly is promising. I've heard patients like our own Chris Cuomo say nighttime is the hardest, that these symptoms become worse, and I understand that was the case for you.

That you had been checking your oxygens levels regularly, and then in the middle of the night, one night, you just woke up struggling to breathe and noticed your oxygen level was just 75 percent, if I'm correct, and that's when you went to the ER. Why do you think symptoms get worse at night? WEG: I'm not completely sure what the physiology and what the

mechanism for that is, but I think part of the problem is lying down, you tend to accumulate secretion. I can tell you that the nights were terrifying. And to this day, I wake up with nightmares, hoping that I don't wind up with a tube in my throat. You know, I mean, this is something which is really true. The nights were very, very, very scary.

CABRERA: How quickly did you deteriorate?

WEG: So I had deteriorated, I think, over approximately a 10-hour period of time when things really got bad. I was unable to walk from my bed to the bathroom and I certainly became so short of breath that there was -- it seemed like there was no other alternative but to go to the hospital. So it was over a couple of hours, really.

CABRERA: And I have to tell you, your family seems so close and so wonderful. When I spoke with your son, Russell, they were just in disbelief that you could end up in such bad shape given how healthy you are and how energetic and athletic you are. I just want to play this clip with your son when you were struggling.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSSELL WEG, SON OF DR. ARNOLD WEG: I tell him how much I love him and to remain strong and to be emboldened and that he will get through this and that we and the rest of the country are in this together and he has an army behind him. And he will make it through, just like he's done everything else in his life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[16:20:07]

CABRERA: Doctor, hearing that really touched me. What's your reaction to hearing that?

WEG: It continues to bring tears to my eyes. I have to say that I was not surprised by anything my sons and my wife and my family did and my friends. I'm not surprised, but this exceeded expectations, I must tell you. And in a practical sense, it really made a difference because it gave me the courage to know that I had an army behind me and it gave me the courage to know that I could accomplish this against odds as fortunately I have done with other things in my life.

CABRERA: I know you're a long distance runner, I heard you were training for another marathon, in fact. I'm a runner, too, and so often when I've faced challenges, I've sort of leaned into what I've learned through running about how to work through physical and emotional struggles. I just wondered if that made a difference for you at all in this case?

WEG: Yes. It certainly did. And it wasn't just my impression, but my physicians felt that the level of the stamina that I had and the level of cardiac and pulmonary reserve was largely due to the fact that I was a runner. And ironically, as this virus evolved, we had actually plans for me to run from either run the Milan marathon, April 5th, and I was training for that race. Now, in the history of what happened with Milan is well known, so I guess we really didn't get a chance to do it, but that's the race I was training for.

CABRERA: Well, Dr. Arnold Weg, I have a myriad of other questions for you, but mostly of all, I'm just so grateful to see you on your road to recovery. Thank you and I'm sending you more strength and wishing you good health. It's really great to see you doing well.

WEG: Thank you for your support, as well. Thanks for reaching out to my family.

CABRERA: Well, your family is something. Say hi to me for Russell, please.

Still ahead, new criticisms of world leaders not taking the spread of coronavirus seriously enough, including accusations that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson mishandled the crisis.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:26:39]

CABRERA: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is no longer fighting for his life in intensive care, but people close to him are coming to his defense today in light of some very strong accusations that he was slow to take the coronavirus outbreak seriously at its onset.

CNN's Max Foster is outside London right now.

So, Max, who is accusing the prime minister of dragging his feet early in this pandemic?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, it's the best-selling newspaper on a Sunday, the "Sunday Times," making really severe accusations against the government and Boris Johnson, accusing the government of sleepwalking into this disaster and even underplaying the threat of the virus. They say Prime Minister Boris Johnson effectively wasn't leading, particularly well, in the early days.

So he didn't attend five no one was hurt top-level meetings January into February. But the government denies that these are big issues. They say the reporting contains lots of falsehoods, misrepresentations, but it is still making lots of headlines here.

Also, Michael Gove, a senior minister, coming out saying it's not particularly unusual for a prime minister not to attend these very high-level meetings. It can be heads of department, too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL GOVE, MINISTER FOR THE CABINET OFFICE: The truth is that there were meetings across government, some which are chaired by the health secretary and some which are chaired by other ministers, but the prime minister took all the major decisions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: The government is also being accused of failing to build up enough stockpiles of personal protective equipment in recent years, effectively running them down to try to save costs. And that's become a really big problem this weekend. It's the immediate concern of the government because hospitals are running out of gowns in particular, and new guidance had to be issued to say that these gowns could be reused.

That's how serious it's got. 400,000 were meant to be coming in from Turkey. That's being delayed. It's a big problem for the government. But obviously, a much bigger concern for the hospitals and people working within them.

CABRERA: All right, Max Foster reporting for us in the UK. Thank you for that update.

Let's head to Mexico now where top officials including the president there are also being accused of not taking the deadly pandemic seriously enough or making the right moves to protect people early enough.

CNN's Matt Rivers is in Mexico City right now.

Matt, who is taking issue with the government's response?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana, over the last six weeks or so, there's been a lot of people here in Mexico that haven't been thrilled with President Lopez Obrador's administration's response, saying that they were slow to implement preventative measures and now there's more talk of this today, after an interview given by the deputy health secretary here in Mexico to the "Wall Street Journal," where he basically says that as of now he's not convinced that this pandemic is any more lethal than an ordinary influenza outbreak.

He said in part, quote, "I don't know yet. The WHO says it could be 10 times that of influenza, but I think we need to see more evidence." He's talking about the death rate there. And while it's true that it is way too early to know what the ultimate death rate will be from this pandemic, there's a lot of epidemiologists who would say that the death rate is, in fact, higher than that of an ordinary influenza outbreak.

But, Ana, no matter who's right there, the way public officials talk here does have an impact on public opinion.

[16:30:00]

Over the past several weeks, I've spoken to a lot of Mexicans. I spoke to a security guard on the street yesterday who basically says, look, I've been listening to the government. I don't think this is that big of a deal. Now, that's just his opinion.

And to be fair, the deputy health security has always said, this is a serious thing that needs to be treated with the amount of concern. But when he says things like this could just be an influenza outbreak or just about the same, it does lead some Mexicans to think that perhaps they don't have to take this seriously -- as seriously as they should.

CABRERA: And let's be clear, the top experts, when it comes to infectious diseases says, this is not like any old influenza outbreak. There is no vaccine. It's more contagious. And it is turning out, at this point, to be more deadly.

Matt Rivers, thank you for that reporting. As those on the frontlines are doing what they can to help, so are the rich and famous. Actor Kevin Hart will join us next to talk about a viral challenge helping to feed families in need during this pandemic. Stay with us. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:35:07]

CABRERA: Welcome back. Have you ever wanted to co-host "The Ellen DeGeneres Show", direct a movie with Jonah Hill, or have Justin Bieber come to your house and sing to you? Well, this could be your chance.

Celebrities are coming together for the "All In Challenge", auctioning off treasured memorabilia or their time and talents to raise money for those in need during this pandemic. Their goal is to raise $100 million to provide food to kids, the elderly, the unemployed and frontline workers. And 100 percent of all the proceeds go to groups like "No Kid Hungry" and "World Central Kitchen". And actor/comedian Kevin Hart is one of many A-listers going all in to help feed those in need.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN HART, ACTOR AND COMEDIAN: I am going to do my part. Here's what I'm bringing to the table. I will provide a movie star experience for said individual. And by movie star experience, I want you to understand what I'm saying here. I'm talking about giving somebody a speaking role in my next movie. You will have a trailer. You will have an assistant. You will have a car service. I'm going to get you the full shebang, baby! I'm creating the next big movie star.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: The full shebang. And joining us now to tell us more is Kevin Hart along with Michael Rubin who came up with the "All In Challenge". He's also founder of "Fanatics" and co-owner of the "Philadelphia 76ers". First of all, kudos to you both. What a fantastic idea. It's got to feel good to help in this way.

MICHAEL RUBIN, INTERNET ENTREPRENEUR: Absolutely.

HART: You know what, it does. But I don't think that I can sit up here and take all the credit. I got to bow down to Mike. Mike is amazing when it comes to really using his resources and, you know, using his powers for good.

So, this is his idea. And when he told me what he wanted to do, I told him I wanted to do my part and help as much as I could. So, you know, seeing other people step up to the plate and knock that ball out the park is an amazing thing to see and an amazing feeling to have after seeing it work.

CABRERA: And I'm going to ask you more about how this originated, Michael, in just a moment. But Kevin, to your last point there, a number of fellow celebrities have joined on. But I understand you have a challenge of your own to issue to at least a couple in particular?

HART: Oh, yes, yes. You know, the callouts have to continue. You know, I've seen so many. So, you know, when I'm on a platform like this I just use to callout people that I know who will respond, so definitely Duane "The Rock" Johnson. I wouldn't be myself if I didn't put him on the line here and tell him to step up to the plate, provide an all-in challenge for somebody.

You know also, somebody else that I know that has an amazing heart that I got to work with and blew me away, Nicole Kidman. I would love to see Nicole Kidman step up and do something just because she's such a beautiful soul, beautiful spirit.

And, you know, look, I can go on and on. These names are endless that I have here, that can go down. I can say Kevin Durant. I would love to see you step up to the plate and do something, as well. I know I called out Kyrie Irving. That's just a few. I don't want to take up too much time. Last one, Chris Rock. I want to see my (INAUDIBLE) do something as well.

CABRERA: All right.

HART: So, you know, look, as many -- as many as I can right now.

CABRERA: Yes. I say bring it on. The more the merrier, right? It's all for such a good cause and I love the creativity behind it.

Michael, in just four and a half days, I know you've already raised more than $11 million. That's amazing! Walk us through your vision and what is your end goal?

RUBIN: Yes. Look, first, it starts with why did I raise as much money as possible for people that are hungry. And this is one of the biggest issues the pandemic is people need food, whether it's kids who used to go to school and kind of have a meal in school, they don't have that today; whether it's one of the tens of millions of people that are going to be unemployed that need food and the food banks are the busiest they've ever been. Or it's an elderly person who used to have meals delivered, they don't that.

So, our goal is to raise a minimum of $100 million and give to four incredible charities that you mentioned earlier in the show. And the way we want to do it is by bringing everyone together to get every athlete, every celebrity, every artist to donate one incredible item or one great experience. And to be honest, Kevin was one of the first phone calls I made.

I called Kevin with the idea. I said, Kevin, what do you think about this idea. What do you think about being a trainer for somebody? He said, trainer? I'm going to make somebody a movie star. And as soon as he told me that, I'm like, wow! This really is a big idea. If Kevin is going to make somebody a movie star, then how many other great people are going to come in?

There's so many people. I mean, we've got, you know, as you mentioned, Justin Bieber is going to fly to somebody's house and sing them a song one on one. You've got Peyton Manning who is going to fly to somebody (INAUDIBLE) and then take them to dinner. Tom Brady who is donating his first jersey and cleats from his first game in Tampa Bay and then going to dinner with them afterwards.

So, there's so many incredible (INAUDIBLE). There's already 150 people that have taken the "All In Challenge". We've already raised $12 million. But we've only been at it for five days. So, I think -- you know, I encourage everyone to go into the allinchallenge.com website and you can see whether you want to bid on Tom Brady's jersey -- there's currently $775,000 to have dinner with him or whether you want to donate $10 or $25 for the chance of being in Kevin Hart's movie or Leonardo DiCaprio's movie together with Robert De Niro. There's so many incredible experiences --

[16:40:30]

CABRERA: Yes.

RUBIN: -- for everybody to participate, help make a difference.

CABRERA: I love this so much. You guys are literally making some people's dreams come true and you're helping so many others in the process. I wanted to ask both of you this. Because, Michael, you're co-owner of the "Philadelphia 76ers". Kevin is from Philly and can often be seen courtside.

Burt first to you, Michael, on Friday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said, he's still not sure when or even if the season will resume. What conditions would you want to see met before continuing the season?

RUBIN: Look, it's really all about keeping our players and their families safe and about keeping fans safe. I can tell you that (INAUDIBLE) in sports. They're all working so hard with their teams to bring sports back as quickly as possible. To be honest, America and the world need sports, but we can't do it until we can do it in a way that's safe for fans and safe for players and their families. So, it's going to happen as soon as we can do it in the right way while keeping everybody safe.

CABRERA: Kevin, LeBron James has said he wants a conclusion to this season. You're an entertainer who plays to packed crowds. Do you think they should return even without fans in the building?

HART: I mean, look, it's a tough question. You know, I think right now, like Mike said, the biggest thing is safety. So, you know, ultimately, we would love to get back to entertaining, and I know that they would love to get back to playing basketball.

But nobody wants a problem to rear its head again. So, I think being patient, taking our time, and really being diligent about the process is the priority. And as long as we have that in mind, I think, you know, we'll all be okay in the long run.

Our priority right now are the people and the people that are actually in need. And that's what I love. I love to see, you know, us putting our things on the back burner and dealing with the things that should be dealt with right now, which are the people that are on the front line, like you said, the elderly, other people that are just in need, you know, this hunger stage that we're in right now where people are just like really trying to figure out where that next meal can or can't come from. That's the focus.

So, when I get to see people actually stepping up and showing that their powers can be used for good --

CABRERA: Yes.

HART: -- and it's a chain effect, other people start to do it. That's what the world needs to see right now. I'm big on that. I always have been. I'm positive. I love to love and I love to spread love. So, this is the best way to do it.

I think other people are going to follow suit. And I just want to say that a friend of mine named John Morgan and myself -- Mike, I don't know if I told you -- but we're putting another $1 million into the "All In Challenge" just to keep it going just to let people know that, you know, it's not just about the conversation. It's about the action as well. So, you got another million coming in.

Major thank you to John, as well, known him for years. So, that's another million. So, right now, take your total up from 12, bring it to 13, and hopefully, the people that I tagged, you know, play a significant role, give some other people things to bid on.

CABRERA: Wow! Generosity and that heart.

RUBIN: Yes, that's amazing. Kevin, thank you so much. You couldn't give me a better moment in this show than to hear you and your friend John donating another $1 million. That's incredible. I can't thank you enough. And I could tell you, we've got a big, big goal ahead of us to raise $100 million plus. And you know, I guess now, I can -- $13 million into it, five days into it. I think we're off to a great start.

But people like you, Kevin, you've made such a difference. And again, when I had that idea popped to my brain two-and-a-half weeks ago, Kevin was one of my first few phone calls. And him being all in from the second we discussed it gave me the, you know, I think the focus and determination to work with everyone to make this happen.

I think it's so exciting to have so many athletes and celebrities and artists working together to make this happen. We already have hundreds of thousands of people that have already donated $10 to $25 to help make a big difference here.

CABRERA: It's so beautiful. Guys, I really, really would love to have you back on my program next week so we can check in and see where you're at and see if your callouts, Kevin, caused action. Kevin hart, Michael Rubin, really, really appreciate you joining us and thank you for what you're doing.

HART: Thank you so much.

RUBIN: Thanks so much.

HART: Thank you for having me and Mike. Thank you, man. You are an amazing guy. You're doing amazing things. This is just who you are. So, it's an honor to be your friend and your brother, man. I love you, dude.

CABRERA: Feeling the love. Guys, thanks again.

RUBIN: OK. Love you back and thank you again so much for the extra donation. It's spectacular! I'm beyond touched. Thank you.

CABRERA: Thank you, guys. Okay. So, let's talk about what's happening on Capitol Hills to also get money into your pockets, especially people who are, you know, out of jobs and who have small businesses that are barely hanging on.

Senator Cory Booker has been part of those negotiations among lawmakers right now. He's going to join us next live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:49:44]

CABRERA: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi say they are very close to possibly reaching a deal. It could come as soon as today on a fourth relief package to bring desperately- needed aid to the small businesses struggling to keep Americans employed.

Here's what we are told this package will include up to $310 billion for the Payment Protection Program with some of the funds set aside for businesses run by minorities, $75 billion for hospitals and community health centers, another $25 billion for testing, and up to $60 billion for disaster loans under the separate economic injury disaster loan program.

Now, Secretary Mnuchin says he is hopeful the senate can pass this tomorrow and then send it to the House. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker joins us now. Senator, will you support this package?

[16:50:33]

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): Well, I've been talking to Chuck Schumer and others who are negotiating it. And we're just still in the trenches right now. I know it's almost come to a conclusion. But trying to make sure that there is a lot more resources for small businesses and those very small businesses that often don't have banking relationships, like community development finance institutions and others that cannot really get to those businesses.

So, in general, we know the urgency that the Paycheck Protection Program exhausted its resources and there are literally thousands and thousands of American businesses on the brink, threatening to shut down, even, and leave us with hollowed out main streets and boarded up businesses. So, I'm going to do everything I can to try to get this thing over the line. And I will look forward to supporting anything that's right by businesses and some of the other priorities that we have.

CABRERA: And speaking of other priorities, as recently as Friday, you said, and I'm quoting here, we also have to act now to help cities and states. Towns that are in financial freefall might have to cut services; firefighters, teachers. You call this money critical. But our understanding is more money for states and localities won't be included in this round of funds.

BOOKER: Got it. I appreciate you bringing that up because I don't think people understand the level of crisis that we're in. And there are towns and cities and states across this country right now who are rightfully doing everything they can to meet this crisis, pouring out resources, and are finding themselves in deep, deep holes.

And as this thing goes on, if we don't get support to our cities, to our states, even to a lot of small towns, we're going to see awful layoffs and crisis, critical services being cut for the remainder of the year. So, it is one of my top priorities is to get resources for our state and local governments. If we don't do that, it's going to be punishing in our ability to have state and local governments provide critical services and keep key personnel employed.

CABRERA: But if that money is not in this next package, then what?

BOOKER: Well, let's hope that there's another package coming. And again, I want to do everything I can to make sure it's in this one. But if it's not, a lot of folks on both sides of the aisle are talking about the need coming for another big package as we continue to see this crisis evolve. And that would involve everything from our testing and tracing resources to more.

So, we have a lot more to go before we get out of this crisis. But, God, we got to prioritize those governments right now. Like, I saw in New Jersey during 9/11, I saw in states that were hit by hurricanes like Texas and Louisiana, when you go through a crisis like this, your states and your local governments severely need help because they're making major outlies, overtime for police and fire and more and they're going to need the help or else they're going to have -- be crippled for the rest of the year.

CABRERA: Your state, New Jersey, is the hardest hit of any state outside of neighboring New York, more than 4,000 residents now dead, just a staggering number. As an elected leader, what do you see as the biggest challenge in getting your state back up and running following a loss of this magnitude?

BOOKER: Well, first of all, my heart goes out to all of those people who are grieving right now; and in many ways, grieving without funerals, and without being able to gather together with families and more. The stories coming out of New Jersey, heart-breaking ones of medical professionals dying, firefighter, police, it is a very painful time for our state, but we've got to keep fighting through this thing.

And the only way we get out of this, again, and this is not a political decision. This is a decision that must be made on the facts, on the science, and with health professionals guiding us along the way. Every one of us want to open up businesses, open up our communities, but we've got to do it in a way that's not going to put our health even more at risk, so there will be more deaths.

And so, my governor, Phil Murphy, working with other regional governors, because we're all -- these invisible lines that we call borders, but the New York Metropolitan Area includes a lot of New York, a lot of New Jersey. We just got to make sure that we are phasing this in the right way with keeping the health and well-being especially of vulnerable populations really at the center of our concern and compassion.

CABRERA: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said this weekend that cases and deaths from coronavirus are running about 50% higher for African- Americans versus the overall population in your state. What is being done specifically for New Jersey's African-American residents to help stop the disproportionate impact on that community?

[16:55:05]

BOOKER: Well, you know, look, we cannot leave anybody behind. And when you have fires in buildings, for example, you bring your resources, right -- with the urgency to put out those fires. What we're seeing in New Jersey, like across the nation, certain communities are getting devastatingly hit from nursing homes to, in this region, African- Americans and Latinos; in other regions, Native American populations.

So we, as a nation, with our compassion and sense of urgency to leave no one behind, we need to be putting more resources in those communities to make sure we can stem the tide of the death that's coming from these -- the coronavirus to those communities.

So again, I've been advocating very strongly on a federal level to get more resources targeted towards those communities that are being hardest impacted. And that means for testing, that means for local community-based health centers, and more, because it's not enough to decry the circumstances. This is calling for the urgency, for action, and for us to be doing more, so we cannot have these terrible disparities and outcome with this disease.

CABRERA: Senator Cory Booker, thank you. Wishing you health and safety as well as to all the residents of the state of New Jersey. Good luck.

BOOKER: Thank you.

CABRERA: We all want to help, of course, but sometimes that means putting yourself at risk. That's par for the course for volunteers with "Team Rubicon", a nonprofit that helps veterans give back during times of crisis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE WOOD, TEAM RUBICON, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO: "Team Rubicon" has launched a nationwide neighbors helping neighbors campaign. Our volunteers are engaged in hundreds of communities all across the United States ranging from helping to establish testing and screening sites in collaboration with major health care systems, to assisting organizations like "Feeding America" and "Meals on Wheels".

Veterans may have taken the uniform off, but they still have service in their hearts. They still have those incredible skills. And in times like this, we should be turning to the veterans in our communities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Anderson Cooper shares more about his story and how you can get involved at cnnheroes.com right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Thanks for staying with me. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Delusional? Absolutely false. Irresponsible.