Return to Transcripts main page


Nursing Homes Required To Report Cases To CDC; Trump: Deal Near On More Funds To Small Businesses; Hong Kong Athletes Shares Hospital Isolation Experience; Backed by Trump, Protests Across America to Reopen the Economy; U.S. Governors Wants More Test to Reopen States; Boris Johnson and U.K. Government Under Fire Regarding Pandemic Response; Turkey Surpasses China in Number of Coronavirus Cases; New Zealand Plans to Ease Lockdown; Nova Scotia Mass Shooting, 16 Dead. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired April 20, 2020 - 02:00   ET




MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I am Michael Holmes. And coming up here on "CNN Newsroom" the U.S. crosses another grim milestone. More than 40,000 deaths as the president presses to reopen the country.

New Zealand meanwhile reporting 12 deaths and it has announced it is extending its lockdown. And the gunman is dead after killing at least 16 people in a mass shooting in Nova Scotia.

With countries like China, Italy, Spain, and France cautiously optimistic that the coronavirus pandemic is slowing a little, there is still a lot of uncertainty and uneasiness about relaxing restrictions too soon. With leaders warning that the crisis is far from over.

Worldwide, the number of cases now is approaching 2.5 million, more than 165,000 deaths. The U.S. has the highest numbers by far. Now, almost a third of the world's cases, but some states are seeing signs of progress including the hardest hit, New York.


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


HOLMES: It is clear Americans are growing restless with the stay-at- home orders -- protesters in a number of states this weekend, pushing to re-open. Now, President Donald Trump showing support for them even though his own medical experts have said it is dangerous to ease up on social distancing too quickly. There is still so much we do not know about how this virus works like whether you even have immunity after you have caught it.


DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: In most infectious diseases, except for HIV, we know that when you get sick and you recover, you develop an antibody. That antibody is often confers immunity. We just don't know if it is immunity for a month, immunity for six months, immunity for six years.


HOLMES: Governors of states in the USA they need more tests before they can safely reopen. The White House says that they have plenty. Well, Natasha Chen looks at the state of the nation right now.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been 50 days since the first coronavirus death in the U.S. Tonight, that death toll is more than 40,000, nearly doubled from one week ago. Yet with 22 million people who filed for unemployment in the last month, there are increasing calls for and indications of America soon reopening.

Florida is reopening beaches, Texas is rolling out plans to soon resume commerce and people are protesting in several states against stay-at-home orders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom and liberty! We are losing it!

CHEN (voice-over): President Trump is itching to reopen America.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are going to start to open our country.

CHEN (voice-over): Not just to reboot an economy in freefall, but with his poll numbers sliding and an election just months away, to resume a treasured pastime.

TRUMP: Well, I hope we can do rallies. It's great for the country. It's great spirit. It's great for a lot of things.

CHEN (voice-over): But Trump has acknowledged it's the governors who are the authorities when it comes to reopening society.

TRUMP: The governors will be empowered to tailor an approach that meets the diverse circumstances of their own states. Every state is very different.

CHEN (voice-over): And many of those governors, from both parties, have said it won't be safe to reopen until the Trump administration extends them one critical lifeline.

ROY COOPER, GOVERNOR OF NORTH CAROLINA: More help is needed from the federal government on testing.

JAY INSLEE, GOVERNOR OF WASHINGTON: We simply have not had enough test kits.

GRETCHEN WHITMER, GOVERNOR OF MICHIGAN: We governors are doing the best we can with what we've got.

ANDREW CUOMO, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: The president doesn't want to help on testing.

CHEN (voice-over): Trump fired back, calling the governors complainers and saying he's already created "tremendous capacity" when it comes to testing.

TRUMP: They don't want to use all of the capacity that we have created. The governors know that. The Democrat governors know that. They are the ones that are complaining.

CHEN (voice-over): Republican governors have been sounding the alarm too.

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


CHEN (voice-over): And just a day after Trump sent a trio of tweets urging his supporters to "liberate Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia" all states governed by Democrats, he openly supported the actions of the protesters who have chosen to disregard social distancing measures while millions more heed the expert's advice and stay at home.

TRUMP: I just think that some of the governors have gotten carried away.

CHEN (voice-over): Offering only blame instead of the assistance governors say they so desperately need.

CUOMO: Don't pass the buck without passing the bucks.

CHEN (on camera): Already we are starting to see one state planning to reopen some things this week. According to the Charleston, South Carolina paper, "The Post and Courier," the governor there is expected to announce tomorrow that beachgoers and visitors will be allowed public access to rivers and lakes.

And that retail stores that have been closed for two weeks will be allowed to start accepting customers purchasing clothing, furniture, and jewelry according to the new order.


HOLMES: Anne Rimoin is a professor of epidemiology at the University of California Los Angeles. She has done a lot of research into how diseases spread. So, we are delighted to have you professor. Thanks so much. I mean, the president, again, praising himself, his own administration

on everything, but including testing even though per capita, the U.S. is still well behind other countries.

And again, he is putting the responsibility on state governments. Two questions -- how vital is it that testing ramps up and should not the federal government be coordinating procurement and distribution?

ANNE RIMOIN, PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, UCLA: Well, absolutely. Testing is so critical to understanding where we are on the curve, where we need to go, and how we need to get there. Right now, we just do not have enough testing in place. And the testing is -- the roadblocks to testing are multiple significant and from multiple places.

But the big things are re-agents, swabs, and just accessibility in general for the general public. Until we have widespread testing available in the United States, everywhere, and testing in particular for vulnerable populations, and repeat testing available for our health care workers, we really are just not in a place to be reopening or even thinking about reopening.

HOLMES: Yes, I mean, do we still -- we still don't know, right, if having had COVID, whether you're immune or not and if you're not, does that mean -- what does that mean going forward for managing this virus in a community sense?

RIMOIN: Well, this is a very important point that you're bringing up. And there have been -- over the weekend, the World Health Organization also made a comment about this, suggesting that it was just -- we just did not have enough information to understand what these antibody tests mean.

This is really what we are referring to here because all of these antibody tests that are rolling out everywhere tell you if you have been exposed to the virus, if you may have been sick with the virus, but it tells you nothing about whether or not you have immunity to the virus, whether or not you can fight off another infection.

So there are some very important questions that need to be answered. These are the things that we are answering at UCLA right now. We are looking at if you get infected, does that produce immunity? First you have antibodies, you have a trace of having, you know, the trace in your blood that you may have been infected.

But does that actually mean that you are immune to the virus? And if you are immune to this virus, how long does that immunity last? We do not know. And if you do have immunity, does it wane and can you get re-infected? And these cases in South Korea and reports of this in other place really beg the question as to what immunity means in this case and for how long.

HOLMES: Yes, exactly. I mean, so you got the situation where the president, you know, the president himself talking of opening the economy, businesses and so on. And yet, you know, his same task force does not know that immunity situation. It seems a contradiction I mean, surely until we know such an

important thing, large numbers of people going back to being in close quarters seems incredibly risky.

RIMOIN: Well, exactly. It's this idea of, you know, I mean, everybody is interested to know if you can have some sort of immune passport saying that you've had this virus, but you know, you may need your visa renewed overtime if immunity does not last.

And so I think it's very, very important that we understand these things before we move too quickly. You know, the issue is we're going to lose all the gains that we've all sacrificed. Everybody around the world is sacrificing, really taking on a lot of hardship to be able to flatten this curve and to reduce and to slow spread.

And it's kind of like deciding after you jump out of an airplane, and you have pulled your parachute if, you know, now that you've started to slow down that you say, hey, I don't need this parachute anymore and just cut the cord.


HOLMES: What a good analogy. I haven't heard that one. That really paints the picture. You know, there's going to be more demonstrations Monday in the U.S., organized protest against stay-at-home and we've already seen a couple in recent days. As a health care professional, what goes through your mind when you see that sort of thing?

RIMOIN: Well, I just -- I think it's the -- this whole situation is just so stressful for everybody and it's so fraught. And to think that people are going to be putting themselves at risk in close proximity, we know that this virus is very infectious.

I just -- I think it's, you know, something that is not advisable to be undoing all of the hard work because anytime you have this large groups of people, this is really undoing all the hard work and sacrifice that everybody else has been working so hard and sacrificing so hard to be able to slow the spread.

And you know we have these phases that the government has said that we need to go through and you know, some of these gates include having, you know, reduced spread and reduced number of deaths. And this will actually slow the opening of the states as opposed to accelerating it.

HOLMES: Yes. Just finally then, you know, this is your field, I guess. This is primarily seen as a respiratory illness, but hearing a lot more about other health issues with people with COVID, I mean, there's reports of a surge in kidney failure among those being treated, but also even after recovery, reports of heart, kidney, lung, neurological issues. That is quite concerning, isn't it?

RIMOIN: Absolutely. I mean, these are all things that just demonstrate how little we know about this virus. I mean, this is a virus that's new to humanity. We are still trying to learn about it. And as we learn more about what this virus does, the more we realize, you know, we're just kind of scratching the surface and trying to understand it.

I mean, don't forget, we people can spend decades working on diseases and trying to figure them out and understand. You know, we still don't know everything we need to know about many diseases that have been with us for, you know, a very, very long time. So, it shouldn't be surprising that we still don't have this all figured out already.

HOLMES: Anne Rimoin, in Los Angeles with UCLA. Professor, appreciate it. Thanks so much.

RIMOIN: My pleasure.

HOLMES: The United Kingdom's government is slamming a "Sunday Time" newspaper article that says the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not attend the five coronavirus meetings in January and February, crucial times, and also missed opportunities to slow the virus.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the country has more than 121,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 16,000 people have died so far. Here to discuss more is CNN international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson. Good to see you Nic.

Let's start with something we are reporting on yesterday, that is the shortage of protective equipment in the U.K. and a shipment from Turkey coming to the rescue, except it hasn't.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Except it hasn't and except the government, the daily press briefing on Saturday said expect that shipment over the weekend, compounded by the problem that on Friday, late Friday, the government was advising the National Health Service saying that there was a critical and acute shortage of gowns, water repellent, fluid repellent gowns.

The health service, some hospitals, may run out over the weekend. New advice was coming from the government saying that contrary to normal standards and practices, some of these gowns will have to be reused. Now, the government said that wasn't ideal.

And then on Saturday, pointed to the sort of the rescue coming, the rescue package of equipment coming from Turkey, 84 tons of medical equipment, PPE, personal protection equipment, was supposed to be coming from Turkey over the weekend, including 400,000 of those gowns.

But by late Sunday, they haven't showed up. They still haven't showed up. It's a big issue. It's a big credibility issue for the government and underscores the deeper concerns within the health service about frontline professionals, doctors, nurses, going to work without this equipment.

HOLMES: Yes. Absolutely. Yes, questions to be asked. I was going to ask you too about the "Sunday Times" report. I mean, how damaging politically is it that the PM skipped this crucial government meetings, I think just as the pandemic was unfolding there?

ROBERTSON: I think they're big. This is certainly a dominant, big issue here. It is certainly unprecedented that the government should take apart a newspaper report like this one from a credible, respected, widely read newspaper in the country.


Should take it apart and respond to it, rebut it, breaking it down to more than 10 different points of what the newspaper claimed and what the government says.

Look. I talked here about credibility and we are in a current credibility crisis with the government saying that it can have -- that it can get PPE equipment in over the weekend and then failing to be able to do that. But this is much more core credibility saying that essentially the prime minister was absent, that the government wasn't taking the right measures.

The government's response has been that the prime minister was at the helm, at the government's response. They're saying that the government was working through these cobra meetings chaired by the health secretary to listen to scientific advisers, to put in place preparations to have this personal protection equipment that doesn't exist today.

So, what's happened over the weekend really speaks to the credibility issue of the prime minister and the government's preparedness. So, on the one hand, you have claims in the newspaper saying that the government was not doing enough in the early stages.

You have the government saying, yes we were. And you have the reality over this weekend where the country is running short of vital equipment, and I think that this does, you know, this is not a good message for the prime minister as he is expected to come back, you know, to sort of do more work perhaps in this coming week when government will sit again, for the first time on Tuesday after a 3- week recess.

So, you know, the picture that emerges from here at the moment, is a prime minister who is almost a darling of the nation a week ago, surviving COVID-19, now is back on the political ropes along with his government. Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, that's the thing. I mean, he had it himself. Nic, good to see you. Thanks for that. Nic Robertson there in London. Well, Turkey has now surpassed China in the number of reported coronavirus cases. The Turkish health ministry reporting almost 4,000 cases on Sunday bringing their total to more than 86,000.

The country had already overtaken Iran for the most cases in the Middle East. CNN's Arwa Damon joins me now from Istanbul. So tell us more about the penetration of the virus and government action to combat it.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, look, at this stage, the Turkish government hasn't implemented a full on lockdown or a curfew. Those kinds of measures only apply to people who are under 20, interestingly, and over 65.

But the rest of the country, those who lie within that age group, in theory, are not under any sort of restriction, although the government does constantly and consistently urge people to stay home. Parks, restaurants, bars have been closed for a while. Schools, universities, are closed as well. A lot of public spaces, you're not allowed to access.

But when you look at the numbers, a lot of experts will tell you that with the type of growth in positive cases that Turkey is exhibiting on a daily basis, roughly around 4,000 a day right now, more severe measures should be implemented.

This is something that the government has been reluctant to do, trying to ease the hit that the economy would potentially take, but might end up in a position where it doesn't really have a choice.

On the flip side of that though, right now, when we look at the situation inside the hospitals, Michael, unlike what you've seen in some parts of the United States, unlike what you see in some European countries, at this point in time, the hospitals are still very well able to handle the influx.

They don't have a shortage in PPE, that's what we're told. That's what we also saw over the weekend. There are plenty of beds in the ICU. There are plenty of beds inside the ward, but doctors themselves are saying that even though right now they're handling the situation, that could change very, very quickly as we have seen demonstrated in other parts of the country.

So, the medical staffs that we have been speaking to are saying that they believe that the government should be implementing stricter measures. They do have full curfews in place, Michael, but only on the weekend. So, during the week, in theory, people can still go out.

And despite the fact that many area actually abiding by the government statements urging people to stay at home, there is a big campaign that's going on with regards to that here. The weather on Sunday is beautiful.

And on Friday, before the weekend curfew went into effect, for example, there were some neighborhoods in Istanbul that were packed with people out on the streets. Yes, all wearing masks, but many of them not really social distancing. So Turkey, right now is entering a very critical one to two-week period.

HOLMES: Yes, absolutely. Arwa, thank you. Arwa Damon there in Istanbul for us. Well, New Zealand is going to stay in lockdown for an additional week.


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing just a few hours ago, while praising the country's successful effort so far.


JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: You, all of you, has stopped the uncontrolled explosion of COVID-19 in New Zealand and I couldn't feel prouder of the start that we have made together. But I also feel a huge responsibility to ensure that we do not lose any of the gains that we have made either.

On that basis, New Zealand will move out of alert level 4 lockdown at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 27th, one week from today. We will then hold an alert level 3 for two weeks before reviewing how we are tracking again.


HOLMES: The extension means the lockdown will continue over and that day, and important public holiday of remembrance for Australia and New Zealand servicemen and women. The annual event normally marked with a dawn service and a lot of commemorative ceremonies as well.

Well, Canada has just seen one of the worst mass murders in its history. We'll bring you the latest on the shooting rampage in Nova Scotia when we come back. You are watching "CNN Newsroom."




JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADIAN: My heart goes out to everyone affected in what is a terrible situation. I want to thank the police for their hard work and people for cooperating with authorities.


HOLMES: That is of course the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking at a news conference after a horrific shooting rampage in Nova Scotia. Police say at least 16 people were killed. The shooting beginning late Saturday night, this is in the small town of Portapique. The suspected gunman leading police on a chase that ended more than 90 kilometers away in Enfield on Sunday morning. CNN's Paula Newton with more.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Canadian police describe this as a reign of terror that went on for more than 12 hours. The 911 call started to come in late Saturday night. Police say they went to one property and saw several people, several victims, both inside and outside the property.

But at the same time, they saw lots of fires in that area and in other areas, in some cases dozens of miles apart. They were trying to attend all of these multiple crime scenes. At the same time, there was a manhunt on for a local businessman.

People say they had no indication that anybody would try and attempt this kind of a rampage in what is really a rural and very quiet community. The manhunt continued throughout the night. People terrified already, already in lockdown, we're told, to really barricade themselves in the basement if they had one and to look out for this man.

He was said to be perhaps wearing some type of RCMP uniform, a police uniform and perhaps in a police car. Police point out that this means that these acts were in some way shape or form premeditated. They also say that in terms of the victims, he may have known some of them, but others, the acts really looked senseless and absolutely random.

They finally tracked the suspect down at a gas station. They won't say exactly how he died, but do confirm that he is in fact deceased. Now, the heartbreak will be coming in the next few days, but one personal story already.

RCMP lost Constable Heidi Stevenson, a veteran of 23 years, a mother of two. And this isn't the middle of this pandemic, where people cannot even properly mourn, just trying to process all of this. Certainly, it will be one of Canada's worst mass killings in history and really, a national tragedy, which will be so difficult for that community and for the entire country, really, to cope with, given what so many are already dealing with. Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.

HOLMES: We're going to take a short break. When we come back, New York's governor has called them a feeding frenzy for the coronavirus. The new requirement for U.S. nursing homes as the shocking number of deaths in these facilities just keeps rising.

And, an Olympic hopeful from Hong Kong catches the coronavirus. Now, he is sharing his experience with the world, having spent more than a month in isolation. We will be right back.



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back. The Trump administration will now require nursing homes to report coronavirus cases directly to the Centers for Disease Control as well as to patients and their families, surprising perhaps that hasn't been done already. Well, the move is designed to improve tracking of the virus and containing it spread. Families have been complaining they haven't been given any information about their loved ones.

A tip last week led police to 17 bodies in a holding room at a New Jersey facility. At least 36 residents from the virus have died there. In New York, new data showing the viruses killed more than 1,100 nursing home residents as well.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Nursing homes are still our number one concern. The nursing home is the optimum feeding ground for this virus. Vulnerable people in a congregate facility in a congregate setting where it can just spread like fire through dry grass. We have had really disturbing situations in nursing homes and we're still most concerned about the nursing home.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: California is struggling with the surge in coronavirus cases in its nursing homes as well. Paul Vercammen with that power of the story.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The mayor lost Angeles delivering an evening address, a state of the city address in saying that Los Angeles is grieving but not broken. It's grieving in part because of what has happened at nursing homes. Brier Oak, East Hollywood, 80 residents have tested positive for Coronavirus, 62 staff members. Throughout the state, more than 3,000 cases linked to nursing homes.

In Central California, Redwood Springs has had 107 residents test positive, 10 have died. 54 residents have tested positive including one we spoke to over the phone. She wanted to keep herself anonymous. She said she came down with COVID-19, pass it on to her daughter. She told tales of working with just a paper mask and said that nobody wants to do a job that requires people to be very close to those residents, including giving them baths.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody wants to sign up for --

VERCAMMEN: Tough work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's back-breaking. It's rewarding to see like, you know, your patients getting better at certain points, but it's -- we're putting our lives on the line as well.

VERCAMMEN: The Redwood Springs facility in a statement saying it did provide N-95 mass to the caregivers and also saying it was vigilant in trying to protect them. California going through a surge in cases tied to nursing homes. Reporting from Los Angeles, I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back to you.


VAUSE: And joining me now is Dr. Michael Wasserman. He's president of the California Association of Long Term Medicine. It's such an important thing to be reporting on here. This is one of the great tragedies of this pandemic, not just in the U.S., globally. I mean, we don't even know how many people have died in care facilities. What we do know is it's incredibly high.

Now you've devoted yourself to the needs of seniors, I think the 30 years. What is it like to see what's unfolding in these facilities?


MICHAEL WASSERMAN, PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF LONG TERM MEDICINE: Well, Michael, it's really been difficult than tragic. These are the people who cared for us when we were younger, and many of them fought in wars for us, and really have dedicated their lives. And to see them suffer the way they have has really been tragic.

HOLMES: Yeah. What already existing issues have been, I guess, exposed by the crisis? I mean, things like a staffing levels, staffing pay, proper regulation of infectious diseases. You know, a lot of these places are privately run for profit. Has there been enough oversight?

WASSERMAN: You know, I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of over- regulation and oversight per se. I believe in trying to share best practices in what we know. And I will say this has absolutely exposed the fact that most nursing homes around the world really weren't prepared from an infection prevention perspective.

HOLMES: Yes. I think one official in New York called them in a situation like this death pits, which is a horrible term, but it just sort of shows to go -- goes to show what this is like. I mean, some -- the governor in New York, for instance, says nursing homes is his number one concern and that the virus is like a fire through dry grass was his term. You have also described homes as accelerators. You know, tell us why.

WASSERMAN: Well, folks living in nursing homes, number one, are the ones most vulnerable to this virus. And they don't bring it in themselves, the staff brings in. The staff and visitors are the vectors. They bring it in. And once it's in the facility, if you're not doing good infection prevention, this can spread like wildfire.

And the interesting thing that if the governor of New York is now concerned about nursing homes, I wish she'd been concerned when he instructed nursing homes to accept patients from hospitals who brought the virus into the facilities in New York, because that was not the best plan.

HOLMES: Yes, I can imagine. I mean, is it too late in your view for effective mitigation right now? Has that horse bolted? I mean, is there even enough in this thing of residence for that matter or staff?

WASSERMAN: No, actually, Michael, great question. And actually, there's a lot we can do. And especially in the United States and around the world where nursing homes have not been hit by this yet. There is a lot that we can do. The first thing we can do is actually make sure we're testing all of the staff, because we don't know what we don't know.

And if we know that the staff have the virus, we can prevent them or make sure they're wearing protective equipment, so they don't give the virus to the residence. So that's number one. Number two, is we need to make sure that nursing homes have an adequate, actually more than adequate, that they have an abundance of personal protective equipment.

You know, a lot of that equipment has correctly gone to hospitals, but no one has been paying attention to the fact that we need to protect the residents of nursing homes. And so yes.

HOLMES: No, we -- yes, yes. And you make the point to that we don't even know how many people have died in these nursing homes. The counting and accountability is, is not there. I'm not sure if you do, but if you had a family member in a nursing home or assisted living facility, what would you do? WASSERMAN: You know, I was asked that question a couple few weeks ago

and I said I pull them out in a heartbeat. But that was my heartfelt response. And the caveat is most people are in nursing homes for a reason. They're there because they need assistance 24 hours a day. And most people at home aren't capable of providing that level of care for their loved ones.

The other thing that is the third prong of protecting folks in nursing homes and assisted livings is we must be doing stellar infection prevention. So absolutely incredible hand washing, paying attention to all those things. The average family isn't necessarily skilled in that.

So bringing grandma home, if you're not the best of the best in terms of caring for her and taking care of the infection prevention part, it may not be the best idea for everyone.

HOLMES: Yes. Just finally. I mean, after this is all over what needs to change in a regulatory sense? I think the administration was actually in the process of doing away with a regulation that each home had to have an infectious disease expert or specialist in it. That was about to be abolished or it may well have been. What needs to change after this?


WASSERMAN: Well, in the last six weeks, we -- the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine has made recommendations to both the governor of California and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, that every nursing home in the state and in the country should be required to have a full time, full time, infection preventionist.

And I will tell you, if that had been the case, we would not be losing as many lives as we so far with the caveat that they still need testing of staff and they still need abundant personal protective equipment.

HOLMES: It is a huge tragedy. It continues to unfold. And as you say, a lot of it probably could have been prevented. Dr. Michael Wasserman, I got to leave it there. I appreciate you coming on and telling the story.

WASSERMAN: Thank you very much, Michael.

HOLMES: Well, U.S. crude oil takes a beating in Monday trading. It hit a low that has not been seen in decades. We'll discuss when we come back.


HOLMES: Welcome back. President Trump says Republicans and Democrats are near agreement on extra money to help small businesses. The Small Business Administration officially ran out of money on Thursday for the Paycheck Protection Program. Sources telling CNN, a sticking point is how to spend the billions of

coronavirus on coronavirus testing. The White House wants testing done by the states while Democrats are calling for the federal government to coordinate it.


STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY, UNITED STATES: I'm hopeful that we can reach an agreement that the Senate can pass this tomorrow and that the House can take it up on Tuesday. And Wednesday, we'd be back up and running. I'm hopeful. I think we're very close to a deal today. And I'm hopeful that we can get that done.



HOLMES: More money for small businesses would be welcome news for investors as U.S. futures are down suggesting last week's rally on Wall Street could be over. It's looking fairly flat down about half a percentage point.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude, that's down by more than that, a plunge below $15.00 a barrel in early trading on Monday, the lowest level in more than two decades. The collapse in demand during the pandemic battering oil prices despite that deal to cut production.

John Defterios is in Abu Dhabi for us. Is this just a case where supply and demand are just out of whack?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: In a big way. Historically, in fact, Michael, that's the mismatch that we're seeing in the market today. And this is particularly acute in the U.S. market. And if you take a look at prices right now, the benchmark crude, and that of the international benchmark Brent has about a $12.00 spread. It's a record spread that we've seen in years in fact.

And as a result, we're running out of storage in the United States. We have about a half a billion barrels of oversupply in the U.S. And despite as you were saying, the Saudi Arabia and Russia into their price war on March 6th. That carried on for a month. They're going to cut a record 10 million barrels a day or just under that starting May 1st. We do see this dramatic oversupply.

The IEA, the International Energy Agency, Michael, is suggesting demand has dropped by about 30 million barrels a day. So, we have OPEC plus cutting just under 10 million. You can see why we've been building up these stocks and something we're not going to see in terms of rebounds well into the second half of the year.

HOLMES: Yes. So what does that mean? I mean, Donald Trump has been heavy finger in this all along, and he's very interested in preserving the U.S. industry. What does this sell-off mean for the, I think, the term is oil patch in the U.S. this year and next?

DEFTERIOS: That's a good way of putting it. I think Donald Trump took a victory lap a little bit too early, Michael. He was taking congratulations for linking Saudi Arabia and Russia back together after the start of their price war on March 6th, and then having them ended just over a week ago. It was all too little too late to be frank.

It's ironic because we started the year with the U.S. benchmark around $65.00 a barrel in tensions with Iran. It seems like a century ago, doesn't it, because we've had this 70 percent correction. But we're in the eye of the hurricane right now, and here's the simple math. The OPEC plus cuts between May and the end of the year, we'll take out two billion barrels. The projections are that the U.S. will take out or lose about a half a billion barrels.

So by the August September period, we should see prices almost doubled by then if the cuts go into place. But if the mentality right now is we have a three to one ratio between the drop in demand and the cuts that are coming into the market starting in May. And we haven't been in this place, Michael, in terms of prices for two decades.

HOLMES: Yes, head-spinning stuff. I mean, you don't hear the term, as you just put it, 70 percent correction very often with anything. John good to see you, my friend.

DEFTERIOS: Yes, thank you.

HOLMES: John Defterios there in Abu Dhabi. A quick break. When we come back. He hoped to qualify for the Olympics. Now, Lee Chun-ho simply hopes to beat the coronavirus and leave hospital isolation. His experience in quarantine after the break.



HOLMES: Welcome back. Karate athlete Lee Chun-ho dreamed of representing Hong Kong at the Tokyo Olympics. In February, he and his team traveled to Paris to train far away from the coronavirus. But when the virus hit Europe, they were forced to return home. Lee testing positive for the Coronavirus once he was back in Hong Kong.

At least three other team members have tested positive as well including his coach. Now, Lee always thought he would meet his toughest opponent on the mat not in a hospital. Well, now, he's sharing his new normal spending more than a month inside a medical isolation ward.


LEE CHUN-HO, ATHLETE, HONG KONG: They have confirmed that I (INAUDIBLE) on 18th of March early morning. I never feel bad like this in my life. I feel very tired and I can't move my body. And I've been in an isolation ward. Here's my bed. Here's my toilet. Here's my family and my friends. They send me some things.

I've been in the hospital a week already to have a treatment. And I do the test again today. The result was positive again. So that means, at least I have two weeks I have to stay here.

I just wake up because I have to give them my saliva sample to them because I have test again. I'm looking forward to see this out because I'm I feel very good now. So I think the result they'll bring me may be negative.

Two bad news. One, I still get positive in the test, and second, I'm sorry to hear that my coach is getting positive today.

I think my physical level is lower than normal, so it's tough. I need time to get back up.

Normally, every day, I have to eat three kinds of medicines. One is antibiotics, one is used to heal aches, and the other one is used to heal the hepatitis. So all this kind of medicine that I take. It's just -- it's the mental stage --


Today is the 31st of March. And I will give them a sample again to test my coronavirus.

I just see the doctor. The doctor just said that my lung is OK. So we are looking forward to the test result today. I hope it will be turned to negative.

So how about me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is still positive.

LEE: So is it -- how much is it though, for the violence?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think 30 or something still. 34 points or something.

LEE: 30-something?

Today is my day 25. I stay in the hospital. Still positive. Last few days, I was a bit frustrated, but now, I just kept no expectations. I just try to not negative thinking stay in my mind too long, then try to -- try to hold that positive thinking. I know the time will come. They will tell you negative soon.


HOLMES: And we wish him well. Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM, spending part of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes. The news continues with Rosemary Church, a vast improvement. That's next.