Return to Transcripts main page
Shooting Rampage in Canada; Deal for More Aid for Small Business; Outbreak of Severe Storms in the South; Hospital Executive Questioned by FBI over PPE Equipment; U.K. Prime Minister Under Scrutiny for Response; Securing Treatment and Testing; PGA Tour Planning Return. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired April 20, 2020 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Up and down those country roads. There will be so many stories of heartbreak in the coming hours. But right now the most profound, Heidi Stevenson Constable (ph) from that force (ph), a mother of two, died. And many people here talking about a motive, right, but how -- people say, how can you make sense of this in any kind of a motive? Police called it a random act. He knew some of the victims. Did not know others.
And, Alisyn, you have to think, we're in the middle of a lockdown. How do you even begin to mourn these people properly.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, my gosh, it's horrible on so many levels, Paula. Thank you very much for the reporting. Bring us anything new that you have.
Back here in the U.S., if you're a small business owner, listen up, the White House says a $450 billion deal to replenish the relief funds for small businesses could be announced as soon as today. But what do we know about the fine print?
Well, CNN international anchor Julia Chatterley joins us now.
So what's happening?
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Let me walk you through that fine print.
Good morning, Alisyn.
It clearly can't come soon enough. We're talking about potentially up to another $310 billion to be allocated to the PPP, the Paycheck Protection scheme. Also likely to be around another $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. That gives grants of up to $10,000. So that would be useful, too.
The key questions for me, one, conditionality, will there be a chunk of this money allocated to what we call underserved businesses. When I was hearing about the details, the contours of this, at the back end of last week, I was hearing no conditions. We spoke to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin this weekend. He didn't really hint at this too.
Fast forward to today and we've had time now to analyze some of the data that's come from the Small Business Administration about the last chunk of money. Guys, 25 percent plus of the money that was given went to just 2 percent of businesses. It went to big businesses with established relationships.
I can give you a name. Shake Shack was one of those that got some money. The CEO came out over the weekend and said, look, we're giving the money back, all $10 million. There are more deserving causes. And he's absolutely right.
So when we get the details of this, will there be conditions attached? But, guys, John, the money just needs to come. That's the bottom line.
Part of the issue is with the banks, Julia. It's that there are some companies that were approved for these loans but then the bank can't process them quickly enough.
CHATTERLEY: Right. No, you're completely right and we'll talk later on in the show about the online lenders because the key difference, I think, between what we're going to see this time around and what we saw last time is, you've got access points for some of the smallest businesses in the country, and that will be key.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, they've got to figure it out.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, they do.
BERMAN: They've got to figure it out because the money has got to get out to the people who need it.
BERMAN: All right, Julia, thanks very much.
More than 5 million people in the southeastern U.S. under the threat of severe storms and tornadoes.
CNN meteorologist Chad Myers with the forecast.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: John, mainly across parts of Georgia and northern Florida right now, but it will continue for the rest of the day. Tomorrow gets better. And, guess what, we're back into this again on Wednesday. Severe weather season is certainly here, so let's get to it here. Not what we had last week certainly with over 100 tornadoes on Easter. Yesterday, only seven.
But the weather continues. It moves towards Savannah and Jacksonville and all the way down across parts of the big bend there of Florida. Could even see a couple showers and thunderstorms around Charleston this morning.
This is what your radar looks like right now. And we'll move it ahead for you. As you move offshore, those winds will get strong again around Charleston, maybe toward Tybee, maybe Edisto (ph) will see some showers and then more weather across parts of Memphis for late tonight. Notice, that's 11:00.
But now I move you ahead to Tuesday, 3:00. The chance for some weather through New York likely not big, severe weather. But if you look, this is Wednesday, 8:00. We're back in it again in Dallas and all the way to Texarkana.
BERMAN: All right, Chad, watching that very closely. Chad, thank you very much.
There is still a crucial demand for personal protective equipment to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Up next, one doctor's harrowing story. How he tried to get some and it led to a visit from the FBI.
CAMEROTA: As hospitals across the country continue to face shortages of protective equipment, one Massachusetts doctor went to extreme lengths to try to get these surgical masks for his workers, which then resulted in a visit from the FBI.
Here to explain his experience is Dr. Andrew Artenstein. He is the chief physician executive and chief academic officer at Baystate Health in Massachusetts.
Doctor, thank you for being here.
I read your story and I was riveted because of all of the strange details in it.
Let's just start at the beginning.
You got a lead on a batch of N95 surgical masks and you and your doctors were desperate for gowns and gloves and those kinds of masks. You were so desperate that you were willing to pay five times the normal amount for them.
Then what happened?
DR. ANDREW ARTENSTEIN, INCIDENT COMMANDER FOR CORONAVIRUS, BAYSTATE HEALTH: Well, this is actually the great work of our supply chain group of professionals. At that point, we were able to get a small sample of the N95s. They were actually KN95s. The Chinese-made version with N95s. So it's similar technical specifications. We got the samples sent to us to look, feel and test them. They -- they passed the -- they passed the test. And, at that point, we decided to go through with the -- the arrangement --
CAMEROTA: Yes. ARTENSTEIN: Which meant me getting on the road.
CAMEROTA: Here's where things get weird. OK, even weirder. You were going to have to pay by wire transfer. But first you wanted to inspect the goods. You went to an industrial warehouseman many miles away from where your -- as far as we know, where your hospital complex is. You were met by two semi-trucks disguised as food service trucks.
Then what happened?
ARTENSTEIN: Well, that -- to be fair, that was our decision and it was probably overkill at that point. But the fact that we even thought about being able to get these -- this equipment back to Massachusetts and the concern that it could have been redirected at any point along the way just shows you the situation, I think, that many health systems and hospitals are in.
At that point, when we were down there, we were able to open some of the boxes, test some of the masks, actually you have to fit test them to assure that the seal on the face. And after that proved positive, although we still only had looked at a small random sample, we made the decision to go forward with the deal.
At that point, we were met by two FBI agents, who identified themselves, and told us that they were there to ensure that all of this protective equipment was going to either hospitals or first responders. And, in retrospect, the more I thought about it, the more I appreciate it, even though it is distinctly unusual in my experience in the profession to ever have anything like that happen, especially with something as relatively benign as masks. And that kind of --
CAMEROTA: Where did the FBI think they were going to go? I mean what was the FBI doing questioning you? Where did they think you were taking this stuff?
ARTENSTEIN: Well, our understanding is they told us was that this wasn't just us. This was -- they were fanning out teams across various parts of the United States in response to some reports apparently that some of this material was going to resellers and to places other than hospitals and that it was the concern that they wanted to ensure that it got there.
CAMEROTA: At one point the Department of Homeland Security also intervened in your transaction. So, I mean, at this point, I don't know, when I read your story and I hear industrial warehouse, two semis that are mislabeled as, you know, food distribution trucks, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, you know, I don't know if you're a fan of the Netflix show "Ozark," but that's what it sort of called to mind for me. This is not what you, as the head of a hospital, you know, and as a doctor normally have to do.
And so, at the end of this whole process, what -- what was your conclusion about how it is that doctors around the country are having to procure and secure this stuff? ARTENSTEIN: There's no question, as you suggest, it's highly unusual
in my -- you know, I've been in the game now, in this business, for 30 years. I'm an infectious disease specialist. I rarely, if ever, have I gotten involved in anything do with supply chain, especially for things like gowns and masks. We have people who do that.
But we're in unusual times. And, to be totally honest with you, this is unprecedented unusual times. And we have to do what we need to do to protect our team members who are caring for these patients. That's our obligation. And I think we're no different than other hospitals or health system.
CAMEROTA: So, did it work? I mean did it work out? Were you able to get enough of these KN95 surgical masks after all of the, you know, rigmarole that you went through?
ARTENSTEIN: Well, we got -- we got a portion of what we had originally signed up for. And we were end -- we ended up being able to, several days later, get the rest of them. That will be enough to sustain us for the short run, not for the long run, though, because there's a lot of patients and there's a lot of care that goes on. And you need to keep these masks fresh and ensure that they're doing the job.
CAMEROTA: Desperate times call for desperate measure.
Dr. Andrew Artenstein, thank you very much for sharing your strange, personal story of how to secure this stuff. We really appreciate it.
ARTENSTEIN: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: Two key words moving forward, testing and treatment. So, where do we stand when it comes to finding out if you even have the virus and how to help you if you're sick?
BERMAN: This morning, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, is under fresh scrutiny for his response to the coronavirus pandemic, even as he himself recovers from his personal battle with the virus.
CNN's Max Foster is live at Windsor Castle this morning with the very latest on this.
MATT FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, so the scrutiny on the government is all about its planning. Did it ever plan for a pandemic properly? Take the hospitals, for example. They're currently running out of gowns and masks. They're either having to ration them or reuse them. It's a desperate situation and Boris Johnson's government is getting the blame.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's hard to find words to express my debt.
FOSTER (voice over): While British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recovers from the coronavirus, a week after leaving hospital, questions are being raised about how prepared his government was to handle the crisis that's killing around 800 Brits a day.
Though the government says they started ramping up purchases at the end of January, they now admit they're facing critical shortage of basic items, like gowns. A shipment of 400,000 gowns was due to arrive from Turkey on Sunday, but the government said it had been delayed.
GAVIN WILLIAMSON, U.K. EDUCATION MINISTER: I think we all recognize the enormous strain that's being placed on the whole system. And we also recognize that right across the globe people are actually trying to get the same items of PPE from quite a limited number of suppliers.
FOSTER: An investigation by "The Sunday Times" claims years of government cost cutting has left supplies of personal protective equipment dangerously low. The paper accused ministers of ignoring warnings about the virus, of complacency and of being in a perilously poor state of readiness for the pandemic.
In a strongly worded rebuttal to "The Sunday Times" report, a government spokesman says, this article contains a series of falsehoods and errors and actively misrepresents the enormous amount of work which was going on in government at the earliest stages of the coronavirus outbreak.
Doctors and nurses say they desperately need more PPE and will run out any day. But as anger over lack of medical supplies grows in the U.K., medics carry on with what they have and face dark days as they care for the dying.
NATHALIE HOOVER, HEALTH CARE ASSISTANT: All of a sudden now, being in that environment where, you know, it's just us with the patient is -- it's very difficult. But, you know, what I will say is that, you know, we're always with them. And if we're (INAUDIBLE), there's always a nurse holding their hand and we do the best we can.
FOSTER: The pandemic is unlike anything medics here or elsewhere have ever seen before. And they don't know when it will end.
FOSTER: Boris Johnson was initially criticized for not bringing a lockdown in as quickly as other European countries. It seems, though, that now he's actually concerned about lifting the lockdown as other European countries are doing currently, Alisyn.
A CNN source in politics saying easing lockdown restrictions would be -- could potentially cause a second wave of contamination. That's his concern now. So an about turn, but an interesting lesson perhaps he's learning from all of this.
CAMEROTA: That is the fear of many people, Max, about the second wave. But thank you very much for the update from the U.K.
So, reopening the U.S. hinges on making progress in testing and treatments for coronavirus. Where are we with those antibody tests? How about the Remdesivir? How about Hydroxychloroquine?
Well, CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has the latest developments.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For weeks President Trump has jousted with health officials over the drug Hydroxychloroquine to fight coronavirus. The president seems to be a big fan.
TRUMP: What do you have to lose? I'll say it again, what do you have to lose? Take it. I really think they should take it.
COHEN: But the nation's top infectious disease doctor says we need to study it before we know if it works or not.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: There are no proven, safe and effective therapies for the coronavirus.
COHEN: Today, we expect to get a hint as to whether Hydroxychloroquine could help treat coronavirus patients. Preliminary results are expected from the first large scale study of the drug in coronavirus patients, funded by the state of New York, it involves hundreds of hospitalized patients and was conducted by the University at Albany.
New York not only making headway on investigating possible treatments for the coronavirus, but on testing as well. Governor Andrew Cuomo, on Sunday, announcing that his state will conduct the largest antibody survey in the nation. If someone has antibodies to Covid-19, it means they were infected and may now be immune.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We will take thousands of tests, antibody tests, over this next week, all across the state, to give us a real snapshot, a real baseline of exactly how many people were infected by coronavirus.
COHEN: Public health experts are hoping to eventually conduct widespread antibody testing across the nation. If enough people are immune, then possibly the country could start safely opening up again.
Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, reporting.
BERMAN: Our thanks to Elizabeth for that.
So, a great green glimmer of normalcy. The first professionals sports we've seen in a long time on the way. That's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BERMAN: The PGA Tour, the first U.S. sport league to officially plan its return, and its commissioner says it is an important step in the road to recovery.
Andy Scholes with the very latest on the "Bleacher Report."
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, John.
I got the chance to speak with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan about getting back out there on the course. And, you know, Monahan is on President Trump's sports council, along with the other commissioners from the big sports leagues. And I asked Monahan, you know, what have you learned from his conversations with President Trump and the other commissioners about sports returning?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY MONAHAN, COMMISSIONER, PGA TOUR: You see the collective power of an industry when we all come together and we talk about how we're thinking about the impact that the coronavirus has had on our business and how we're thinking about our respective returns, whether it's testing protocols, social distancing, fans or no fans. Being able to get those insights from other leagues to share our own at a time when the president has come out and said that he sees sports as a critical element to the reemergence and revitalization of our country is -- is very powerful. We don't -- there are very few instances -- or certainly have been over the last several years where we all come together and have that kind of conversation. I think in having that conversation, you realize the important role that sports plays in our society. And that's incredibly inspiring.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: Yes. And the PGA Tour plans to return June 11th in Fort Worth.
And, you know, Monahan said, you know, luckily, his sports naturally does social distancing. The first four tournaments, John, are all going to be done without spectators. And I asked Monahan, you know, what does that mean for no media coverage? And he said, well, you know, if we're trying to limit the amount of people that are at these tournaments, it might mean that the media has to conduct their interviews virtually.
So, John, you know, we really should just prepare for, you know, when sports does return, it's going to look very different.
BERMAN: Oh, so different. You -- you know, you're not going into another dugout for a long, long time, Andy, I have to say that, one way or the other. SCHOLES: Right.
BERMAN: Thanks so much for that.
NEW DAY continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America continues to make steady progress in our war against the virus.
We've tested 4.18 million Americans. That's a record anywhere in the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So say that the governors have plenty of testing and they should just get the work on testing, somehow we aren't doing our job is absolutely false.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump will be invoking the Defense Production Act to increase