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24 Hours With Doctors And Nurses At U.K. Hospital; 41 States Have Closed Schools For The Rest Of Academic Year; Detroit Police Force Hit Hard By Coronavirus. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired April 24, 2020 - 07:30   ET




NICK PATON WALSH, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): Dying here without their family nearby. Masked doctors and nurses are the last people they see alive.

DR. ROGER TOWNSEND, CONSULTANT, UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL COVENTRY: I've held a telephone to the ear of a -- of a gentleman who was -- who was dying so that his wife could speak to him. He was sedated but we will always assume someone can hear you. Even the nurses looking after the patient will sit and hold their hand as they pass away as well. So they're always with someone.

When my colleagues confessed that they were scared, I confessed. I said I'm scared, too. Now this has gone on, I think the best we can do is wear the PPE and keep our fingers crossed that we don't get it -- yes. So am I scared? No, I'm not scared like I was when I started.

NERISSA CIFRA MANALAD, NURSE, UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL COVENTRY: There's been, really, the fickle shifts wherein I just cried in the shower -- cried in the shower. I cry at night. Oh, I'm going to cry again.

It's just very -- it's just very -- I'm scared. I'm just scared and I'm -- you know, I'm just -- I'm just basically like oh, when am I going to catch this, you know. Because, you know, we're here. We're dealing with patients who are infected.

Despite having all the PPE, you just still don't know, isn't it? Even if you're -- if you go by the book there are people still getting infected. So it's just really -- I'm just so scared.

WALSH (voice-over): This is not over and it's not even clear if this is the beginning of the end or a lull before another wave.

TOWNSEND: We need to continue with the lockdown that we have to stop it spreading. And so for the next six weeks we're on standby.

WALSH (on camera): For another wave?

TOWNSEND: For another wave, yes.

WALSH (voice-over): Still, the sick come, worsening and improving.

Jacqueline, who delayed coming to the hospital because she feared catching there the virus she already had, is improving.

JACQUELINE SMITH, PATIENT: They called the ambulance three times and I kept refusing to come in. I was scared to come in.

Oh, my goodness, it's so tight. You've got somebody sitting on your chest and you're trying to breathe and you're not getting anywhere. It's really frightening.

WALSH (voice-over): This hospital has had over 170 patients die from COVID. It now has about 170 who have it or possibly have it, a toll leaving them both ready and cautious about a second wave. In a pandemic so riddled with unknowns, it leaves us certain only of how much we need each other.


WALSH: There's so much about this disease happens at its worst behind closed doors, and that's the real feeling you get from seeing inside that intensive care unit -- just how real and deadly and current the pandemic still is.

People discuss should we go back to work? Should we try and get back to normal life? Those are the privileged healthy still able to move around.

But inside here, you saw stories of the bravery -- the resilience of medical care professionals who put their lives, frankly, on the line every single day to try and rescue those who can be rescued. And for them, it's no real debate about whether or not people should try and get back to normal as quickly as possible.

To some degree, the United Kingdom, like many countries, has been sort of lucky in that it hasn't been as bad as it possibly could have been. But that doesn't mean it can't worsen if people go back that fast to normal in the weeks ahead -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The emotional and physical drain on those health care workers, Nick, is extraordinary. And you're right, they don't have the privilege of wondering today what it will be like to go back to normal because it's not anywhere near normal for them -- not now.

Nick Paton Walsh for us. Thank you very much.

We want to remember some of the nearly 50,000 Americans lost to coronavirus.

Jeannie Mayrie Chapman's favorite thing in the world was her birthday. The Arkansas woman had just passed her 35th. Chapman had Down's syndrome and had participated in the Special Olympics since she was little.

On Sunday, friends and family gathered in their cars outside the hospital since they couldn't be inside holding her hand. She died the next morning.

Ninety-three-year-old Alexander Stamatien raised five children in West Haven, Connecticut with his wife of 45 years, Doreen. As a young man, he fixed arcade machines, eventually serving three decades as the city electrical inspector.

Jay-Natalie La Santa was only four months old, the baby daughter of New York City firefighter Jerel La Santa and his wife Lindsey. Jay- Natalie was admitted to the hospital on March 21st. She gradually deteriorated, then seemed to turn a corner -- but on Monday, suddenly crashed and died in a matter of just minutes.

The baby's grandmother shared the story to get people to take the virus seriously.

We'll be right back.



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: If you are at home with your children this morning, I don't have to tell you these are challenging times. At least 41 states have ordered schools closed for the rest of the academic year. Is this pandemic somehow reshaping education for good and are some kids being left behind?

Joining us now is Jill Biden. She's the wife of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and a teacher for 35 years. And, Lily Garcia, president of the National Education Association. And they held a telephone town hall last night for educators trying to confront the coronavirus crisis. Great to see you both, ladies.

Dr. Biden, I want to start with you. Tell us about this 10,000-person sort of virtual or telephonic town hall you had. What was the most pressing issue you heard from educators?

JILL BIDEN, FORMER SECOND LADY OF THE UNITED STATES, WIFE OF PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE JOE BIDEN, TEACHER: You know, Alisyn, it was so exciting. We had, really, over 13,000 teachers on that phone call.

And I promised the teachers that when Joe is the nominee that we would listen to the teachers, and that's what we're doing and we're starting now. So this was our first phone call in a series.

So I heard three things actually from our teachers.

I heard that they're worried about the inequity in education. You know, some kids who are at home have broadband, have laptops and some kids do not.

I heard about unemployment. Some of the support workers are -- like the bus drivers, the cafeteria workers -- you know, they're worried about will their jobs still be there when they go back to school, hopefully in September. [07:40:00]

And then, the third one was mental health. So, of course, a lot of people -- most people are feeling anxiety during this time. And so, what's this going to look like when these children come back into our classrooms? You know, how are the teachers going to handle this?

And so, I've seen and I've heard over and over again teachers asking for more mental health in the classroom and that's why my husband, Joe, is going to double the funding for psychologists and counselors and social workers. It is so needed in our public school system.

CAMEROTA: That's really interesting.

And so, Ms. Garcia, what do you think has been lost during these months the kids are not physically in school? What do you think the lasting impact of this time will be?

LILY GARCIA, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (via Cisco Webex): What we're hearing from teachers, from support staff, from counselors and social workers, and folks that are that family -- that village that educates a child -- they're worried about trauma. And they're worried because they know the trauma they're going through.

This is a scary time. It's a scary time for you and me and the big people in the world. Imagine a little kid that all of a sudden, their whole world is different and all they know is that they have to stay home and they can't even give their teacher a hug.

So what we are looking at is the social-emotional well-being of these kids. When they come back -- and I think this is the good thing that will happen -- more and more people will see what an educator sees.

I'm an elementary teacher. We know that it's more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. That's what we deliver every day.

But we also know those kids need to know they can count on someone. That someone loves them, that someone believes in them and listens to them. And it's OK to be afraid and it's OK to be angry when you're -- when you're -- when you're scared but here is how you deal with that anger.

And so, the rest of the world is understanding the whole blessed child the way that we do. And we're going to need a lot of time when we get back into those schools to get those kids to understand that there is still somebody out there -- that the big people are still protecting them.

CAMEROTA: But, you know, Ms. Garcia, I also read that you said that too many students have disappeared during this crisis. What do you mean? Where have they gone?

GARCIA: It's back with what Dr. Jill just said -- that if you live in certain neighborhoods -- it was very easy, although nothing's really easy -- that's a relative term. It was easier for you to contact your kids. You do a Facetime call or a video call. You can connect with the parents.

And then there were other kids where the only -- the only technology in their house was maybe a cell phone that mom had to take to work with her because she was a cashier at a grocery store. So you couldn't even phone them to find out if they were there.

And so, we had a lot of teachers in their cars. They'd drive up, honk the horn, and wave at their kids out the window or leave a homework packet. Not every kid is easily found in this crisis and all of the sudden, those are the inequities that have been laid bare.


GARCIA: Who has (audio gap).

CAMEROTA: Yes, who have slipped through, obviously, what was supposed to be the safety net.

And so, Dr. Biden, so many parents are struggling. So many people have lost their jobs. So many public schools and states are now financially struggling with their budgets. And so, for the vulnerable kids that we're talking about, what will become of them?

BIDEN: Well, I think with my husband as president, I think that we want to put -- one of the things Joe wants to do is put more money into education. We've seen that -- you know, we've seen the needs of the schools and the schoolchildren. And so, Joe wants to triple the funding for the Title I programs and they're the most -- the Title I programs are for the most -- the children who need it the most.

And so, you know, there are so many needs to be addressed. There's special ed programs, there's kids with disabilities. Joe wants to fully fund the Disabilities Act.

So there will be hope for these children when they come back to school. And, you know, we have a lot of work to do.

CAMEROTA: And, Dr. Biden, speaking of your husband, while I have you I just have a couple of campaign questions that I want to take an opportunity to ask you -- particularly, it must be tough to campaign during a pandemic. So what is yours and your husband's plan for the coming weeks and months?


BIDEN: Well, we've been campaigning over Zoom and over video chats. And actually, we're reaching thousands of people, just like the teacher chat that we did last night where I spoke to 13,000 people. So -- and I -- we're -- so that's how we're reaching people.

And we're -- and we're keeping in touch with -- yesterday, we made a call to President Nez of the Navajo Nation. You know, we're talking to people who are truly suffering and they hadn't received food or supplies there. So, we're talking -- I'm talking to cancer patients that are isolated

and alone, and military families. We're keeping connected in so many ways.

And actually, if there is a silver lining in this as far as campaigning -- I mean, Joe's strength is one-on-one with people and he loves to be out there shaking hands. But look at the number of people that we can reach via Zoom or via video chat. So for that -- for us, that's been kind of a blessing.

CAMEROTA: I know that your husband is in the process of considering a running mate. Who do you want it to be?

BIDEN: Oh, my goodness. You know, there's so many qualified, strong women and you've seen them in the process that we've gone through. And so, I'm going to leave that up to him.

I think that Joe has always said that he and Barack shared the same values and that's what was so important to him, and that's why they got along so well.

And I think that's who he'll look -- for a woman who has the same values and -- that he does. So I think that's really important.

CAMEROTA: Well, then, I have a suggestion. I don't know -- I mean, this is just off the top of my head. Maybe former first lady Michelle Obama?

BIDEN: (Laughing).

You know, I'd love it if Michelle would agree to it. But I -- you know, I think she's had it with politics. I don't know. She's so good at everything she does. That would -- that would be wonderful.

CAMEROTA: Dr. Jill Biden, we really appreciate you being here. And, Lily Garcia, thank you very much for everything that you're doing for kids and for sharing with us what the future may look like after we're out on the other side of this. Thank you both, ladies, for being here.

BIDEN: Thank you.

GARCIA: Thank you.

BIDEN: Thanks, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: We have a quick programming note. CNN is teaming up with "SESAME STREET" for a special town hall tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. eastern. Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Erica Hill will be joined by Elmo, Big Bird, Abby, and Grover to tackle your family's and your children's questions. So you can go to to submit your questions.

So in the past couple of weeks, we've seen small pockets of protesters demand that the country reopen now, ignoring medical advice. It turns out we have seen this before in our history and John Avlon will have a CNN reality check, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BERMAN: Coronavirus has cut a devastating path through the Detroit police force, making it one of the hardest-hit law enforcement agencies in the country. CNN's Ryan Young with more on how they went beyond the call of duty.


CHIEF JAMES CRAIG, DETROIT POLICE DEPARTMENT: You know, Jonathan, was an extraordinary officer, a leader.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mere weeks after the loss of homicide unit Capt. Jonathan Parnell, police chaplain Valerie Parks, and civilian 911 dispatcher Shawn Pride, some 102 officers and 55 civilian department employees are quarantined.

CRAIG: You can feel this virus trying to take over your body.

YOUNG (voice-over): Even Police Chief James Craig was forced to stay at home after getting the virus.

Currently, at least 278 out of the 2,200 officers on the force have tested positive for the deadly virus, waiting a full two weeks before being allowed back.

Among the first to announce he was ill was Corporal Maurice Alexander.

CORPORAL MAURICE ALEXANDER, DETROIT POLICE DEPARTMENT: I called off work the very first time on March 16th. That's when I started developing symptoms.

YOUNG (voice-over): He fears a delay in testing results may have led to the infection of others.

ALEXANDER: This issue with being tested, like on a Friday and I didn't get my results until Tuesday. But the issue is that in your mind, I'm thinking that I do not have it. I don't have a fever. So at that point, I'm going on about life -- carrying on like normal.

YOUNG (voice-over): With a police force numbering in the thousands, controlling the spread of COVID-19 is crucial for public safety. The department has secured at least 100,000 masks for its force and advises officers to disinfect their cars every two hours.

CAPTAIN JEVON JOHNSON, DETROIT POLICE DEPARTMENT: It's been tough. It's been really tough to have everybody to be exposed or worried about themselves and their families.

YOUNG (voice-over): Captain Jevon Johnson says new Abbott rapid testing procedures have ensured the department is now able to quarantine its staff faster and more reliably.

JOHNSON: You walk in and they swab you through the nose and when the status bar fills up over 10, 13 -- 10 minutes and it's able to give you a result. It gives you your status right now.


YOUNG (voice-over): Currently, more than 170 out of 2,200 officers on the force have tested positive for the virus, waiting a full two weeks before being allowed back.

ALEXANDER: As you can see, I'm in uniform so I'm back to work now.

YOUNG (voice-over): Those like Corporal Alexander that have fully recovered say they've been eager to return to duty.

ALEXANDER: If you make it through and if you're one of the lucky ones, you can truly appreciate that.

YOUNG (voice-over): Ryan Young, CNN, Detroit.


CAMEROTA: Our thanks to Ryan for that.

So everyone longs to get back to their old way of life, of course, but what happens if states open too early? Well, it turns out history has an answer to that. And, John Avlon has our reality check.


JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Politicians were feeling the pressure during the pandemic. There were protests as businesses agitated to reopen and deaths were going down. It seemed time to declare mission accomplished and get the economy moving again, especially with an election looming.

In this case, it was 1918 and Denver Mayor William Mills bowed to pressure and decided to back off social distancing. Now, this was soon after Denver's health manager had declared that the plague is under control. The city had banned large indoor gatherings for weeks but they'd made progress. Even in those early days of public health, social distancing and masks were understood to help stem the tide.

Then, as now, rolling nature of pandemics affected coastal cities first and more remote areas later. But folks were bristling at social distancing for weeks and businesses, especially movie theaters, they were irritated about losing money.

They scapegoated immigrant communities and Native American tribes, arguing it was better to simply quarantine those who showed symptoms and let everyone else go about their business. It backfired big-time.

By November 22nd, deaths were spiking as Denver officials scrambled to reinstate bans on gatherings requiring masks, but the damage had been done. The "Denver Post" headlines blared bad news, saying "All flu records smashed in Denver in last 24 hours," claiming that more Denver residents had died of influenza than Coloradans killed in the First World War They'd failed to flatten the curve and suffered a more serious second bump as this graph by National Geographic shows. Now, compare that to Philadelphia, which suffered the deadliest outbreak in the early days but then saw a dramatic sustained decline or St. Louis, who learned the lesson about social distancing and kept deaths relatively low.

But, San Francisco provides another cautionary tale because after initial success, an anti-mask league protested local laws that made citizens wear masks. They held masks protests. They demanded the city health officer be fired, complaining that his order was contrary to the desires of the majority of the people. And as if on cue, influenza cases spiked in San Francisco, extending into 1919.

Now, there is, of course, a darkly ironic echo to the protests we've seen lately.

In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp was late to the lockdown trend and now wants to open up early. But then he's the same governor who was surprised to learn that asymptomatic people could spread the disease, weeks after it was widely known. Now he's allowing some businesses to reopen, even without consulting his own coronavirus task force.

Look, a century ago, politicians didn't have precedence or modern science to learn best practices. But we do now, which makes the protesters who are projecting their paranoid-style of politics on the pandemic look like members of the Flat Earth Society competing to win the Darwin awards.

It's worse, of course, that the president's been egging them on with calls to liberate states against the guidance of governors and even his own health experts.

As Harry Truman once said, the only thing new in the world is the history you don't know. What's unforgivable is for our leaders to remain willfully ignorant of history and therefore, doomed to repeat it.

Public health issues are hard. When they succeed it can feel like we've been overreacting. And we are making progress against COVID-19, collectively bending the curve, but it's not over -- not by a longshot. Our lives will get back to something resembling normal at different speeds and different regions. We can never entirely eliminate risk but we need to be smart and science-driven about our decisions.

Here's what's clear. Premature declarations of victory only guarantee defeat. And that's your reality check.


CAMEROTA: It is always great to get some reality with John Avlon.

We have some new developments and NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's plan to relax some social distancing efforts begins this morning.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I wasn't happy with it and I wasn't happy with Brian Kemp.

MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: Exercise common sense. Listen to the science and stay home.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: But we are not in a situation where we say we're exactly where we want to be with regard to testing.

TRUMP: I think we're doing a great job on testing. I don't agree. If he said that, I don't agree with him.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The idea that we would inject some people with disinfectant and see what happens, that would be dangerous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to be telling the unequivocal truth. Do not try these things at home.


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

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our viewers in the United States.