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Albany, GA, Democratic Mayor Bo Dorough, Discusses State Mayors Blindsided By Governor's Opening Of Economy; Study Says No Benefits And A Higher Death Rate For Patients Taking Hydroxychloroquine For Coronavirus; Oil Prices Plunge & Market In Free Fall; CNN Updates On Coronavirus Response Around The World. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired April 21, 2020 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:30:00]

MAYOR BO DOROUGH (D), ALBANY, GEORGIA: The Georgia governor said no local government can implement any measures which are more strict or less strict than the executive order. I think that's irresponsible. I question the legality. There's a question under Georgia law. That will have to be decided at a later date. But the litigation would be protracted. That is more of an academic issue.

I just think it's unreasonable for the governor to impose that restriction, particularly as hot spots in the state like not only Albany in Dougherty County and I surrounding counties, more than 60 people have died and we are talking about small counties, populations of 30,000 to 20,000 people.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: What are you hearing from local businesses about -- I mean some could decide not to reopen, I suppose? What do you think is going to happen?

DOROUGH: Well, I'm encouraged. I can say, though, there are many local businesses that are relieved by the governor's decision. And, Anderson, it's true. People are on the verge of bankruptcy. They have to continue to make a mortgage payment. They have to continue to pay a utility bill. It is a lot to ask of folks in these leisure industries.

Those people, I think, are glad that they will be allowed to reopen.

We are encouraged, however. One local gym, we had word today they have taken out half the equipment so, true enough, all of the bikes, the weights are all at least six feet apart and some of our larger churches have announced they will not hold services in the sanctuary until May 17th and we are certainly encouraged by that and appreciative.

COOPER: Do businesses have -- I mean, there's a socially distancing, the six feet apart. You know? Even things like, you know, being able to check customers' temperatures or employees' temperatures. I don't know if the situation what it's like in your county, but a lot of places, it's hard to get thermometers to do that, the kind you would hold and point at somebody's forehead.

DOROUGH: Well, if you look at the executive order, it says measure temperature over 104. When somebody has a 104 temperature, I don't think they will be reporting in a restaurant to report to work.

Be that as it may, a lot of other provisions are more advisory and that complicates any effort to enforce those provisions.

COOPER: The governor says he is aware cases will likely rise as a result of this reopening, the cases rise, then, sadly, that also means deaths may rise. Is your county, is the city of Albany, can it handle medically in nursing homes and hospitals arise?

DOROUGH: That is two different issues. Our hospital here, we have seen some positive trends. Since I believe April 3rd, we have actually been admitting fewer patients with COVID-19 symptoms than before, which is a consistent decline.

However, we have, as I said in one of our surrounding counties, Mitchell County, they had 23 deaths. One nursing home in Cuthbert, Georgia, has 38 positive results in a nursing home.

Any time you have this congregate living, it could be a tinder box for the virus. We're been fortunate, in our county jail, no inmates infected whatsoever, which is, I think, surprising.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, that is remarkable news.

Mayor Bo Dorough, I appreciate talking to you. I wish you the best and we'll continue to follow it. Thank you.

DOROUGH: Thank you for having me. Good day.

COOPER: President Trump once touted the effectiveness of the drug Hydroxychloroquine in treating coronavirus but now researchers say not so fast. We will talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about that.

[14:34:05]

Plus, Sanjay gets tested for coronavirus. He joins me live to discuss the process and the results.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: A major setback in hopes the drug Hydroxychloroquine could be used as a possible treatment for coronavirus, a study indicates the drug touted by President Trump does not work and, in fact, have a high death risk.

Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent joins us.

What more about the study?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT; This is one of the largest studies we have seen on Hydroxy chloroquine. It's relative a small study. We are reporting on these things because of the intention interest into these medications, obviously. It's a small study. It's not a pure review study. That is the sort of things you want to see.

Let me show you basically what they showed here. This was 328 patients. This was done at the veterans administration hospital and what they found was that they sort of gave some of the patients Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin.

They did not see the need for a ventilator but what they did see, I think a graphic to show this. And 22 percent death rates among those who got the max, Hydroxy chloroquine and 4 percent death rate for those who did not get the medications. It was almost twice as high for the people who got the medications, the death rate.

These are small studies. It's harder to read into it when they are smaller studies but we have seen scholarship data now out of brazil, out of France, and out of Sweden.

In Sweden, they gave guidance to the entire country's hospitals to stop using this medication. Hopefully, we are going to get larger trial data which had been going on in New York for some time where you are. That data needs to be analyzed.

So far, the drum beat around this has not been very positive -- Anderson?

[14:40:03]

COOPER: Yes, I mean, it's disturbing that not only was it apparently not effective that more people died who were getting it than those who were not getting it. Again, not peer review study?

GUPTA: Right, right. Why exactly would that be? Is this somehow causing harm? We don't know that. In the study out of France, they did show higher doses, this medication did have some toxicity on the heart and it was actually causing heart arrhythmias. You want to know is it safe? Is it effective?

I think it's becoming increasingly clear it may not be effective, no more effective than not giving the medication. So there's other trials being looked at and other medications. I'm optimistic that one of these medications will show some positive results because so many trials are going on.

The Hydroxychloroquine has gotten a lot of attention thus far, at least so far I think the enthusiasm is starting to be significantly dampened by this trickle of evidence.

COOPER: The president would say what do you got to lose. Clearly. in this case, again, if this study holds up, there's a lot to lose.

GUPTA: Yes. Even if it didn't cause any benefit and didn't cause any harm, the idea that you need to be looking at these other medications and investing the same sort of time, attention, and resources toward these other medications, because you don't want to miss something that could potentially provide a lot of benefit so that is one of the concerns.

That's why when we talk about it from scientific terms, you want to always be optimistic but you need to see the data. COOPER: Come Monday, in Georgia, where you live, people can go to

movies and out to restaurants. If you decide to go to movies or for dinner, if you're sitting a few seats away from others, I mean, are you safe? We were showing this diagram which shows, I guess, the spread of coronavirus in a restaurant in China, one person which is the -- one person, who is the primary patient, then spread it to other people in the restaurant.

GUPTA: Yes. There's one person at these three tables. It's the person in the table in the middle, a table. A1 is diagnosed with the disease and doesn't know it when he has a meal at this restaurant. He infects four people at the same table and two people in the table behind him and two people from the table across from him.

COOPER: That is incredible.

GUPTA: I found this -- yes. I found this to be quite storied. There was an air-conditioner, I guess, by table C. It was blowing air across. No one is suggesting this got into the air-conditioning system. Clearly. we are dealing with a really contagious virus.

I think people should look at this because despite the fact that you can maybe go to restaurants starting Monday, I think a lot of public health officials think that is a bad idea, but despite the fact you can, doesn't mean you should.

I certainly don't want to unnecessarily frighten people, but I think that imagine, which is on the CDC's Web site, Anderson, should be something that people look at and are reminded of as they go.

Do you know if the next person has or does not have the virus? Do you know if the place is deep cleaned and if the ventilation is addressed?

This is all we need to do besides tracing and testing and all of the things we talk about pragmatics of returning society back to some sort of normalcy.

COOPER: I saw you getting tested. How was it?

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: The nasal swab seemed to be spending a lot of time in the upper regions of your nasal cavity. Does not look presence!

GUPTA: I think you would enjoy looking at this video, Anderson.

COOPER: I really don't.

GUPTA: I did not like that. That was pretty deep in there. It's the nasal pharynx, which is behind your nose and above your mouth. That's where they swab.

I don't know if you've ever had something like that done. You remember it if you have!

COOPER: I think I had a flu test two years ago or some sort of a test I had. But any way.

I assume you're OK? What do you think the value going through it is?

GUPTA: Well, two things I'll tell you. Ultimately, we need to expand testing a lot. Up to one million people a day, according to some studies, in order to really know what is going on. It may involve people getting studied and tested on a regular basis before they go into public situations where they can't distance.

But good news. I found this out just a couple of hours after I had this done that there are far less invasive ways to do this.

Literally, just a couple of hours after I had it done, I found you can use a flocked swab, it's called, to just swab the nose as opposed to going into the nasal pharynx.

[14:45:04]

So they are coming up with saliva tests and other tests. They're becoming more ubiquitous. My test was negative and I hope I don't have to go through that again.

COOPER: Yes. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, always good to see you.

Sanjay, thanks.

Coming up, oil prices plunging far below zero and taking other stocks down with them. We will take a look what it means for the broad economy ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: The price of oil is in freefall for a second straight day. Concerns that the coronavirus will keep demand down for months to come is driving sell-off. But oil producers are running out of space to store their oil. That's making matters worse.

[14:49:59]

President Trump tweeted today that he's instructed the secretaries of energy and treasury to formulate a plan, in his words, to make, quote, "funds available" to help oil and gas companies. Offered no specifics beyond that.

The oil plunge is having an effect on other markets. The Dow is down more than 500 right now, almost 600.

Julia Chatterley is with me.

Julia, will this bounce back after the pandemic ends or, at this point, is it just unpredictable?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: That is the critical question and this relies on, one, how long the pandemic goes on for, and, two, what shape the oil and gas sector and the small businesses within it, what kind of shape they're in. But the final thing is what consumer behavior is like coming out of

it. And 50 percent of oil demand is us driving our cars and our trucks around. And industry. So that is a crucial determinate on the demand side.

You mentioned the other critical factor, too much supply and nowhere to put the oil. And that is what is driving it in the last 24 hours. Fear first and foremost.

So we need to answer a number of the questions. If I show you what the oil price looks like today, it is very different from what we saw yesterday.

What we're look at is the price of oil to be delivered. A barrel of oil in around a month's time, there's some hope that we'll come out of this over the next four to five weeks. But it is vague hope.

And in the short-term, particularly for the smallest businesses in the oil and gas sector, to go to what President Trump said, they are going to need loans and financial support at least in the short-term.

This is 10 million jobs we're talking about that are supported by this industry. That is what it comes down to -- support, like always, in the short-term.

COOPER: Julia Chatterley, thank you very much.

Still ahead, desperation as coronavirus spreads. People fighting for bags of food in Africa. We'll check in with our CNN reporters around the globe ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:56:26]

COOPER: Two of the most iconic festivals in Europe are the latest cancellations amid the coronavirus outbreak. Germany has pulled the plug on Octoberfest. Which was expected to draw nearly six million people. And in Spain, there's no running of the bulls. The nine-day festival, which attracted a million visitors, will not happen this July.

I want to take a look at what is happening around the globe and check in our CNN reporter, starting with Stephanie Busari in Nigeria.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These scenes show young men looting a truck carrying bags of food in Nigeria's capital. There's very little social distancing and they're concerned only about getting their hands on the food.

These are signs of the desperation and hunger that people feel here as the country battles the pandemic.

Nigeria's police said it has dispatched extra forces to deal with the trouble and urges citizens for calm.

But as hunger bites in the poorest communities, the president ordered 70,000 tons of grain to be released from the country's reserves and hundreds of bags of rice seized by Nigeria customs are also being distributed to the country's poorest.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Arwa Damon, in Istanbul. Turkey has recorded more than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths. And the country, outside of the U.S. and Europe, have the highest number of confirmed cases.

We were inside an ICU in one of the Istanbul's hospitals, and although the staff there are exhausted, they say have the situation under control. They have spare beds, no shortage of live-saving medical equipment.

But the doctors we were talking to say they have been warning the government that it needs to implement more severe measures.

Right now, the country is under something of a partial lockdown. But Turkey may have to change that. Otherwise, the situation could escalate very quickly.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Clarissa Ward, in London, where parliament is back in session. But a new temporary hybrid version. Only 50 lawmakers will actually be allowed into the chamber with another 120 members calling to join via individual link to preserve social distancing.

This comes as the U.K. government continues to come under fire for the lack of PPE for health care workers. According to a recent survey by the Doctors Association of U.K., 47 percent of doctors do not have access to long sleeve gowns.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I'm Barbie Nadeau, in Rome. We're tracking an incredible story of a town where the last passenger cruise ship is set to begin disembarking around 1,500 passengers and 900 crew members.

This is a pre-pandemic cruise ship. They left the port of Venice on January 5th for 115 day around-the-world-tour.

Many port calls were canceled, which kept them safe. There's not a single case of COVID-19 onboard the ship.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Our special coverage continues now with Brianna Keilar. I'll see you later tonight on "360" at 8:00 p.m.

[14:00:03]

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Hi, there. I'm Brianna Keilar, in Washington, on Tuesday, April 21st.