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Wuhan Three Months after Lockdown; Senate Passes $485 Billion Package; Doctors Study Drugs as Treatment; Resisting Calls to Close Tyson Plant. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired April 22, 2020 - 06:30   ET



DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, instead, we're able to drive now through it, but you can see they've closed off the entire market area. No shopping is going on. No business whatsoever. It's just empty.

CULVER (voice over): They shut it down on New Year's Day, trying to ease fears, suggesting they can handle the virus. But the number of cases continues to rise.

A rushed checkout sparked by a 3:00 a.m. phone call.

CULVER (on camera): Our rush right now is to check out, get out.

CULVER (voice over): We headed to the train station as soon as we got word. The city of Wuhan, China, essentially going on lockdown. A drastic effort to contain the spreading and deadly coronavirus.

As we arrived, crowds already lined up for tickets, stretching out the door.

CULVER (on camera): It's 4:15 in the morning here. And the only way to buy ticket at this hour is in person.


CULVER: We're good?


CULVER: All right. What time do we leave?


CULVER: 7:00. All right. Is it at this station or is it at another one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another station.

CULVER: We've got to go to another station?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It's a station closer to the fish (ph) market. CULVER: To the market where -- oh, great. So, to the market that's shut down right now, the source of all of this.

CULVER: So the city of Wuhan essentially on lockdown. But a lot of health experts are now questioning whether this will really be effective in containing the virus or is it a few days too late?


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So that was then. This is now.

David Culver joins us live from Wuhan in China.

And, actually, I see cars behind you on the streets. Someone just walked behind you, David.

You've been there for a full day. It is remarkable to have you back there.

Just give us a sense of what it's like.

CULVER: A bit surreal, John. I mean to think three months ago we were here and got that phone call a little after 3:00 in the morning saying the city is coming on lockdown, you've got to get out.

And I can tell you, even as we were here, we didn't see this much activity. So to see it coming back now, to resume life and come back online and businesses attempting to do that, is -- is reassuring no doubt. But there's just cautious optimism. I mean not everybody is breathing easy thinking that things have passed. That's the reality for folks. Many communities still restricting when you can leave and for how long each day. So it's not like you're free to go in and out as though you were prior to the outbreak.

And I've got to show you what it looks like even checking into a hotel or going into certain buildings, if you're able to get in. Once you're in there, and I think I can show you these images from inside our hotel. The elevator, as you walk in, they've done this in certain places where they have cordoned it off into different sections. Four corners. You stick to your feet setting, essentially, stand here zone. And then you can even use a tissue to press the button, dispose of it there. Everything is about being clean. Hygiene is an extremely important aspect of every part of being here. And they have these little sanitation set-ups all over.

And as you walk into the hotel, I -- you walk in, you go and you get your temperature tested and then you get sprayed with a -- think of a pesticide bottle full of sanitizer up and down each time I go in. They'll do it to your luggage, your clothing, your shoes, just to make sure, John and Alisyn, you're not bringing anything with you.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, my gosh, David, what a remarkable window into what is -- life is like now as I guess the sort of new normal.

But, David, I mean, I think about your reporting from three months ago a lot because of the kind of COFCCA-esque (ph) feeling of what it would have been like to have been trapped in that lockdown. I think for 76 days. So do you imagine what would have happened if you hadn't gotten out that night and what was it like for the people that you've talked to there who were on that -- during that lockdown of all those days?

CULVER: Honestly, Alisyn, when my team and I left, we felt guilty, because we were going back to Beijing. We were able to get out. We were among the few hundred to get aboard one of the last few train rides out. And you feel like you should be here. Naturally, you want to be part of understanding how this story is going to unfolds, and yet there's a reality to the risks that we would face and potentially the risk that we would expose others to if we were to be here for a long duration and then go back to say Beijing.

But talking to the people who have been through this from day one, we were able to keep in touch with them obviously because of technology, just like many of you are doing through Zoom and video chats, and we were able to do that with the people who were still within this brutal lockdown.

I caught up with one American who's been living in Wuhan on and off since 2009. And he laid out really what his concern is looking forward. I say they're not breathing easy. Here's how he portrays this post lockdown experience.


CULVER: This makes you happy to see all this.

CHRISTOPHER SUZANNE, AMERICAN IN WUHAN: It makes me happy, but it -- I don't want to see people get complacent. We are -- like we are afraid that there is going to be this second wave. I think everybody here knows --

CULVER: You think it's coming?

SUZANNE: Absolutely. Whether or not it's the severity of it, but it's definitely going to come. And it's just, you know, because people are going to come back outside.


They're excited. They're finally allowed out. It's been almost 80 days, almost 90 days locked up inside the house.

To be able to go outside with just that explosion of like excitement. But then you have the fear of, can I go outside? Should I go outside? Is my family going to be OK if I go outside? You have to start thinking about other people. You know, we have our distance, you know, even as we speak.


BERMAN: Always right there, David. It is so interesting to hear from people there. I have to say, I'm still getting over the delousing, the spray-down

that you got going into that hotel. That in and of itself is staggering.

What was it like to get there, to get back into Wuhan? I know traveling around China is not easy right now.

CULVER: It's not easy at all. In fact, we were based in Shanghai for the past two and a half months, as we've been delivering our report to you all. And you can't just buy a ticket and think, OK, I'll check into a hotel and make my way down there. I mean this took weeks of planning, working with our leadership in Hong Kong and back in the states and trying to understand how we could do it properly.

And you can see, there are a lot of folks travel domestically within China, mostly Chinese nationals who have -- since after the lockdown lifted, felt that freedom to go around from place to place. And should they have a green QR code, they can do that.

And you noticed there was a pretty good crowd, actually, on our train, which surprised us. More than half full. But getting here once you're here, you go through a lot of extra screening if you're a foreigner. And we noticed that, especially being an American, having come through then to be told, OK, we need to see your passport. Know exactly where you've been. When exactly you came into this country. They want to know what you potentially could be bringing with you. There's this fear of imported cases.

And to that extent, we also, to help ease some of the concerns, decided to get testing. And that's something that then, when we want to go back to either Beijing or Shanghai, we have to show proof of the test results. So we had that -- my team and I had that done today. It was not the -- the nasal swab. It was the throat swab option that they employed here.

But, honestly, it was pretty easy to get. We just booked an appointment at one of the local hospital. They told us what time to be there. And it was rather seamless. We paid equivalent of 35 U.S. dollars. Went in. Ten minutes later we were out. We'll get the test results, John and Alisyn, in about 24 hours.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh, David, what -- what an odyssey you have been on. And the idea that you've brought it all to us. I mean you've given us such a window into Wuhan, as well as the rest of China. It's just been fascinating to watch your reporting and now have you back there reporting again. Thank you so much for bringing all of this to us.

CULVER: Thank you, guys.

BERMAN: Hey, David, just quickly, what happens when you leave? I mean can you just go back to Shanghai when you're done in Wuhan?

CULVER: Oh, I hope so, John. I hope we don't end up in government quarantine because that's a -- that's a possibility too.

Now, we shouldn't -- we shouldn't because of how the government has lifted the restrictions and technically said that Wuhan is open. So if we don't, that may be contradiction to what the government has stated because they wanted workers to be going back freely to big cities, like Shanghai and Beijing. So we should maintain that green QR and be able to get back without having to do that government quarantine.

BERMAN: All right, David Culver, amazing reporting there. I really, in some ways, can't believe what you just showed us. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

CULVER: Thanks, guys.

BERMAN: So, here in the United States, the Senate has passed a new coronavirus relief bill. What's in it and will small businesses, real, small businesses get the money they need this time? We'll break it down, next.



CAMEROTA: He Senate has passed another $485 billion relief package for small businesses and also for hospitals and for testing. The House is expected to vote on this measure tomorrow.

So what do we know about what's in this one? Joining us now is CNN anchor and correspondent Julia Chatterley and CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans.

Great to see both of you.


CAMEROTA: So, Christine, how do we know that this time mom and pop shops will get the majority of the money, or do we know that?

ROMANS: Yes, you know, they have to do a better job. They really do because they're running out of time for these small businesses. And the last time it just felt as if the big guys with already established lines to their banks, they got the money quickly and easily and the little guy didn't.

Look, there's going to be $60 billion of this set aside for smaller community lenders, like, you know, you know, your credit unions. And that, I guess, is going to be an idea to get it to their smaller customers. But, overall, they have to do a better job.

There's about ten days of funding here. You know, this money, if it goes as fast as it did last time, it will be -- it will be out in ten days. That's way before any oversight can begin. So they have to do a better job of getting in this -- into the hands of main street.


And, Julia, what about that? I mean because last time we heard that the small mom and pops didn't even quite understand the apparatus of this huge, you know, juggernaut to get their money. So are the wheels greased better for them this time?

JULIA CHATTERLEY CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Look, I'm hearing from lenders already, to Christine's point, that are saying, this money's going to run out really quickly. I've heard from small businesses that say, hang on a second, I -- I have an application in with Bank of America or I've got it in with Chase right now and I got it in right at the beginning and I've heard nothing. So I have plenty of questions even now.

What happens to those applications? And are they going to take the smallest banks first and leave the bigger lenders until later because the system right now is not set up to even recognize what size bank is coming to it and asking for an application. So I'm worried that there's still going to be delays in getting money to these businesses of all sizes.

CAMEROTA: Christine, Democrats say that they fought for and got funding for more testing.


CAMEROTA: Is that a fact?

ROMANS: $25 billion in there. And, interesting that Chuck Schumer, Senator Chuck Schumer calls this a down payment on what will have to be a national testing strategy here.

Look, this is really important, the testing piece of this, because you're not going to be able to open up the economy and actually heal the economy and get people back to work unless you know who is sick and how to find people who are sick, right?


So this is a really important part of this. And interesting to me that they keep calling it a down payment of this $25 billion. More will have to be spent.

CAMEROTA: Hey, Julia, what -- what is this story with Harvard. You know, President Trump went after Harvard, basically claiming that they had sort of sucked up some of the funds that were supposed to be for small businesses. Harvard has refuted that. What's the truth here?

CHATTERLEY: It's a total fabrication. Facts first. The president was completely wrong. Harvard did not steal money from small businesses. Let's be clear. There was a separate multibillion dollar fund set up for educational institutions.

Now, Harvard does happen to be the richest college in the world. It has a $40 billion endowment. So you can understand perhaps some of the questions being asked here.

Two things. Harvard has said, and perhaps we could question the timing, we don't know, that all this money is going to go to their students that come from low to moderate income families. Forbes says that's around 16 percent of their students. The second thing is, an endowment is there to make sure that this

university, this college lasts forever. It's not like a piggy bank, unfortunately, that you can raid. So I think a better comparison here is, are there colleges out there that also have high levels of low and moderate income student that didn't get money or still need money. That's the comparison. But the president's just making it up as he goes along.

CAMEROTA: Really helpful.


CAMEROTA: Thank you very much for all the information.

Julia Chatterley, Christine Romans, great to talk to you.

Doctors on the front lines of the pandemic are finding a common problem in their patients that we haven't talked much about. That's blood clots. Why is this becoming such a critical issue? Next.



BERMAN: This morning, the death toll from coronavirus in the United States has grown to more than 45,000. Just two weeks ago the total was 13,000. We're learning more about treatments that doctors are considering and those they are now warning against.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen with the latest.



ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's President Trump's favorite drug combination to talk about.

TRUMP: And I just hope that Hydroxychloroquine wins, coupled with perhaps the z-pac as we call it.

COHEN: But Tuesday the National Institutes of Health recommended against the combination of Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, an antibiotic also sold as a z-pac unless a patient is in a clinical trial, saying, there is potential for toxicities.

At the White House briefing Tuesday evening --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A panel of experts at the NIH is actually now recommending against the use of Hydroxychloroquine in combination with z-pac, which is something you've -- had recommended.

TRUMP: OK. Well, we'll talk a little bit -- I'm always willing to take a look. COHEN: There are several other drugs being studied to see if they'll

help Covid-19 patients, such as the antiviral drug Remdesivir. The NIH panel didn't endorse any of them, saying more clinical trials need to be done.

And now doctors are planning to study another class of drugs, those that treat blood clots.

DR. JEFFREY LAURENCE, WEILL CORNELL MEDICINE: Virtually every single person that I'm seeing, that I'm asked to interview and examine has a clotting problem with severe Covid disease. And the clotting problems are the most profound that I've ever seen in the ICU setting.

COHEN: Broadway actor Nick Cordero (ph) contracted the novel coronavirus and had his leg amputated because of a blood clot. He survived, but blood clots can be deadly. Doctors trying to figure out the right drug to prevent these clots, another way to save the lives of patients with the novel coronavirus.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN reporting.


BERMAN: We are learning so much new information every day about this virus.

Calls for Iowa to shut down a pork processing plant linked to nearly half that state's cases, but the governor is pushing back. We'll explain why, next.



CAMEROTA: This morning there's growing pressure to close an Iowa pork processing plant that is linked to many coronavirus cases. But the state's governor is resisting calls to temporarily shutter this plant.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher joins us now with the latest.

So what's the status here, Dianne?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Alisyn, I have watched this escalate in Waterloo over the past week. The local officials, the mayor, state senators, the county health board all essentially begging Tyson Foods to shut down this pork processing plant as they watch their cases of coronavirus grow.

Now, Tyson has responded by saying that, look, we've put in safety measures. We're doing what we can for the safety of our workers. But there's a resounding, it's all too little too late coming from the elected officials and the community. One hundred and eighty-two of the 374 cases in Blackhawk County, Iowa, are directly linked to that processing plant. But the mayor says that he believes that the actual effect of the plant on the county is much higher. And, at this point, they're at their wit's end. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR QUENTIN HART, WATERLOO, IOWA: We stand at about 380 with 90 plus percent of all those cases linked to the Tyson plant.

The place needs to be closed down. I had 20 elected officials within the county, that was just on one call, that all sent a letter to the plant asking them to close, to clean, to test everyone there, and that's not happening.


GALLAGHER: Now, the governor has talked about the fact that they sent testing to Blackhawk County and to the plant, but the officials there say it's simply not enough. They can only test symptomatic people. And we know that the virus can spread before people are symptomatic.

They're only asking, they say, for Tyson to shut the plant down temporarily. The county health board passed a proclamation yesterday doing that, asking them, can you shut down temporarily, can you test the people who work there, all of them, and can you do a deep clean? Alisyn, they don't have the power to shut it down. Only the governor can do that. This is pretty much all they can do, continue passing resolutions and asking the plant to close down.

So far, Alisyn, the governor has not indicated that's something she's willing to do.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting.

Dianne, thank you very much for all of that reporting.

So, overnight, we've learned that coronavirus was spreading in the United States earlier than previously known.

NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The virus will return this winter and it might be even worse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If it comes at the same time as flu season, you need a lot of those same resources that you would need for a coronavirus outbreak. And both those things coinciding would be of concern.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know if it will be worse. We'll have early warning signals both from our surveillance on the vulnerable populations from now all the way through the fall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll be damned if the way this works is we flatten the curve and then we create some run up again in the fall because we don't handle the re-opening in a way that keeps people safe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp facing heat for signing off on businesses to open this Friday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All you're doing is potentially throwing some gas on the flames there.



ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

BERMAN: All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world.