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WHO States No Evidence Those Who Recovered From Coronavirus Not Susceptible To Reinfection; Some Businesses Reopen In Georgia; Medical Experts Warn Against Reopening U.S. Economy Too Soon; Some Beaches In Southern California Open; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo States Coronavirus Testing Capacity In New York Increasing; FDA Criticized For Number Of Possibly Fraudulent Antibody Tests On Market. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired April 25, 2020 - 14:00   ET

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


[14:00:00]

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: But also, I went searching for hope, and actionable hope. And it's a 90-minute year-in-the-making passion project. I hope people check it out.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Lots of grim realities, but there are also lots of slivers of hope, including your baby River who I was hoping you'd bring today.

(LAUGHTER)

WEIR: You want to meet him?

WHITFIELD: Yes, I do. I love seeing him on the air this week.

WEIR: OK.

WHITFIELD: There he is.

WEIR: He's getting more air time than I am these days. Here he is.

WHITFIELD: That is fantastic. That's so wonderful. Congratulations.

WEIR: We are so blessed. Thank you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: And of course, I love reading your dotcom pieces as well, so people go there to CNN.com. And of course, you want to see more of Bill tonight for this CNN special report, "The Road to Change, America's Climate Crisis," that's tonight at 10:00.

Hello again everyone. Thank you so much for being with me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

We begin with a devastating new milestone in the coronavirus pandemic. The worldwide death toll now surpassing 200,000, nearly a quarter of the reported deaths happening right here in the United States. And we're closing in on 1 million cases of the virus right here domestically. There is also an urgent new warning from the World Health

Organization, researchers saying today there is no evidence that those who have already had coronavirus couldn't be re-infected. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the last 21 days have been hell. He is now calling on his state to double the number of testing to get ahead of the virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: The labs are coming up to scale. The collection sites are opening. The more testing we have, the more we will open eligibility. Hopefully one day we get to the point where anybody who wants a test can walk in and get a test.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: That news coming as some states begin to restart their economies. South Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Alaska allowing for partial re-openings, and 15 more states have stay-at-home orders expiring within days.

Let's start our coverage in Georgia where businesses are getting back to work this weekend despite some public outcry. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeting this afternoon that those choosing to get their nails done at salons should share the state's coronavirus statistics with their manicurist.

CNN's Natasha Chen is in Douglasville where business are opening their doors. We're talking about barber shops, nail salons. And then there are many businesses, Natasha, that you are seeing are not necessarily going to open up even though they are encouraged to by the governor.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is definitely a mixed reaction, Fred. And you mentioned the mayor's tweet. Let's show you that tweet right now. She said "If you are getting your nails done right now, please share these new numbers with your manicurist, #StayHomeGeorgia." She follows that with a chart showing the deaths in Georgia are about 34 percent higher than they were this time last week. So there is a clear messaging at least from her to discourage customers from going to shops that may have reopened.

But I can tell you in Douglasville here outside of Atlanta, there are a number of people who have come in to get a haircut. When this barber shop opened for the first time in a month yesterday, there were, apparently, they said 15 people waiting outside. People's hair is getting long. I understand that. So a lot of mixed reactions.

And these small business owners are telling me they really have not gotten the financial aid they need, that they applied for. And that was part of the reason they felt the pressure to open even when they know of a potential health risk. Here is one owner of a bowling alley here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEBORAH HOLLAND, GEORGIA BOWLING ALLEY OWNER: We know that we're strong. We know that we've always been in the business to do the right thing for our clientele. And we know that we're going to survive it, but we're thankful that it's coming to an end we hope.

DONNA WHITFIELD, SALES REPRESENTATIVE, HAMIL BARGER AND BEAUTY SUPPLY: I know I need to get back to work, but I don't want to contract the disease either. God is going to take care of us, and so we've got to keep living somehow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHEN: That last person you heard, she supplies items for barber shops and beauty salons. She said she is nervous to bring the virus home to her husband who has cancer, but she also says she cannot afford not to work. So a lot of tough considerations. And restaurants will be allowed to reopen for dine-in service starting Monday. We know the handful of them plus a large chain here willing to do that. But a number of them are still telling us it is too soon, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Natasha Chen, thank you so much, in Douglasville, Georgia.

So while some businesses are getting back to some sense of normalcy, medical experts are warning about the dangers employees and customers will face when they do venture out. Here is CNN's Brian Todd.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

[14:05:04]

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shannon Stafford wrestled with the decision to reopen her hair salon in Savannah, Georgia. She says she'll take the temperature of clients as they enter, make sure they wear facemasks. But as for social distancing --

SHANNON STAFFORD, OWNER, NEW ERA HAIR STUDIO IN SAVANNAH: That's not going to be possible, not with a client and a stylist. You can kind of distance between the next two people throughout the salon, but it's going to be difficult because we're so hands on.

TODD: Keira Johnson owns a restaurant in Valdosta, Georgia, called Steel Magnolias. Despite the declaration from the Georgia's governor that restaurants can reopen with social distancing measures in place, Johnson refuses to reopen.

KEIRA JOHNSON, OWNER, STEEL MAGNOLIAS RESTAURANT IN VALDOSTA: I have a 19-month-old son, one of my managers has three little girls. Most of my chefs have children. And we all have to know what we're going home to at the end of the night is safe, that we are keeping it safe for them at this point.

TODD: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's decision to allow hair and nail salons, gyms, restaurants, and theaters to reopen is drawing enormous criticism from President Trump to mayors and other officials in the state to public health experts who have an ominous warning.

DR. MARK RUPP, INFECTION CONTROL CHIEF, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER: I think undoubtedly there will be additional infections as we try to open up businesses. So this virus has not miraculously just gone away. It is still there. It's still looking for ways to exploit frailties.

TODD: Next week Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is allowing restaurants and retailers to open at 50 percent capacity. One expert says that may not go far enough, and explains how coronavirus can spread in a restaurant setting.

GAVIN MACGREGOR-SKINNER, DIRECTOR TRAINING, GLOBAL BIORISK ADVISORY COUNCIL: This virus spreads through droplets as well as direct contact, so anyone who has touched anything, a knife, fork, spoon, plate, cup, glass, we have to treat it as hot with real virus.

TODD: In one study, person A-1, here marked in yellow, had lunch in a restaurant in China on January 24th and then soon felt sick. Nine others, marked in red, seated nearby, were diagnosed within the following 12 days. In gyms, now reopening in parts of Georgia, experts say the risks could be even higher, even for people in pre-symptomatic stages if they are working out too close to others.

RUPP: If one of those persons goes to a gym and works out vigorously and is breathing hard, exerting themselves, that seems to me to be kind of a recipe for spreading that virus in that pre-symptomatic stage.

TODD: So is it impossible for any salons, stores, and restaurants reopening to operate safely right now? One expert says not impossible, but those businesses have to quickly train their employees.

MACGREGOR-SKINNER: The business employees are going to require the training, but also the necessary equipment to protect their eyes, nose, and mouth. It could be glasses. It could be another face covering. It could be just better use of disinfectant or hand sanitizer or soap and water. But we can do it, but it has got to be done slowly.

TODD: Despite the encouragement of some governors to reopen, many businesses in states that are doing that have told CNN they are not going to reopen right away. For some, they say the cost of reopening with all of the safety measures they have to take are too burdensome. But for many the overall risks are just too great.

One theater owner told the "New York Times," hell no when asked if he would reopen. He said if he did that and another outbreak is traced to his theater, quote, you know what that would do to my business? I wouldn't have one.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: California has now canceled its state fair for the first time since World War II as health experts weigh the risks of mass gatherings, but a handful of golf courses, parks, and beaches are reopening this weekend with some restrictions as a heatwave brings record warm temperatures to southern California. CNN's Paul Vercammen joins me now from Newport Beach. So Paul, what

are you learning? I see surfers behind you. That is a great surfing beach, isn't it?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. Yes, it is a tremendous surfing beach, and a popular beach at that. So we're getting our first real test in southern California with extreme heat since the COVID-19 outbreak. And right now, here on Newport Beach, you can see over my shoulder they are complying.

We have talked to life guards, sheriff's deputies, police. And it seems that the Californians are getting this notion of you can go to some beaches, but you have to social distance. Keep those numbers below six. Stay wide apart. Interesting, though, Newport Beach here in Orange County is open, as are many beaches in Orange County, but up in Ventura County they're also open everywhere, and then smack in the middle, populous L.A. county is closed.

So that is putting extreme pressure on both of these counties to handle all of these people who are flooding toward the beach because it is so hot. Let's hear from a person who lives in Ventura County.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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ANGELA BRISTER, RESIDENT OF OXNARD SHORES, CALIFORNIA: The biggest concern is whether or not we could stay mindful and keep our social distancing. The biggest concern is that for those areas where beaches are closed, people want to get out on a beautiful weekend like this, and, unfortunately, they're coming here. I understand that we want to enjoy life. We want our state to open up again. We want our counties to open up again. But we have to take care of each other.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERCAMMEN: And so what are the rules as they take care of each other? The boardwalk is closed and the pier is closed. It is just mainly the sand, and of course you can go in the water although it's rather cold right now. And we understand, also, further alleviating pressure, San Diego County, the county just to the south, will open its beaches up on Monday as southern California tries to reckon with the heatwave in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. Back to you now, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Wow. Couldn't have any more extreme conditions with such a convergence. All right, Paul Vercammen, thank you so much.

Now to New York where Governor Andrew Cuomo is vowing to ramp up both diagnostic and antibody testing, especially for the state's health care workers and first responders. Evan McMorris-Santoro is in New York. So, Evan, now that the state is on, quote, the downside of the mountain, what's the governor doing to ensure the state will be ready to reopen eventually?

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Fred. The talk now really is about the calendar. That's what was on the agenda at Governor Cuomo's press conference today. He mentioned hospitalizations here are now down to where they were on April 4th, 21 days ago. It is not a great number, but it's a sign that all the bending of the curve we've been trying to do here in New York for the past five weeks is actually working.

And then the other part of that conversation then comes in to do the testing. And Governor Cuomo mentioned today that testing capacity in the city and the state are now at a level where he can make the diagnostic tests, one that determined whether or not you have COVID, available to all those essential workers who had been out here working during this entire five-week period where we've been on the New York pause. He also mentioned antibody capacity is up, and he is ready to roll those out as well, starting with some of the workers that dealt with the sickest people during this crisis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: We're also focusing on our health care workers and first responders. We're doing antibody testing for our frontline health care workers. And we're starting today coming up to scale with four facilities in down state New York. Obviously down state New York handled the bulk of the cases, not just in this state but in this nation.

So we're going to those hospitals that had a large number of COVID cases come in, and we're doing antibody testing there as quickly as we can and to the largest scale that we can. Elmhurst Hospital was one of the city's, New York City's public hospitals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: So look, it's important to know here that we are still not in a reality where anybody who wants a test can get a test. We're not at enough testing availability to start talking about some of the reopening stuff that people really want to talk about. But we are seeing an increase in testing, and as the calendar keeps moving forward, if he keeps being able to add capacity and add more people available for the tests, that is a sign that maybe the worst of this is over. Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right, thank you so much, Evan McMorris-Santoro, appreciate that.

Coming up your coronavirus questions answered. From reopening businesses to family matters, our panel will discuss all of your concerns. Plus not all antibody tests are created equal. An investigation uncovers a market free for all involving invalid and inaccurate tests.

Also ahead, deaths and desperation in Ecuador, how the United States is helping the country deal with coronavirus.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:18:15] WHITFIELD: A congressional subcommittee memo obtained by CNN says the FDA is not doing enough to protect Americans from unproven virus antibody tests. The memo says some companies are taking the test public with no guarantee they actually work. CNN's senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Slammed by criticism it slowed down testing during the early coronavirus outbreak, the FDA sped up the process for the next step by allowing dozens of antibody tests to go straight into the marketplace most without FDA authorization.

DR. STEPHEN HAHN, FDA COMMISSIONER: President Trump asked the FDA to remove all unnecessary barriers.

GRIFFIN: An antibody test is supposed to detect whether someone has had a novel coronavirus infection and recovered even with no symptoms, but except for a handful which have been authorized by the FDA, it's hard to tell whether the 100 odd tests out there work.

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI, (D-IL): Basically, the results could be catastrophic for so many people. Just imagine someone who thought that they are somehow immune because of the presence of antibodies, and then they go out and they expose themselves and they get other people sick.

GRIFFIN: Illinois Democratic Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi is chairman of a House Oversight subcommittee investigating the antibody test market. Its preliminary report obtained by CNN says a lack of enforcement by FDA has allowed manufacturers to make fraudulent claims, that the FDA is unable to validate the accuracy of antibody tests that are already on the market, and FDA has failed to police the coronavirus antibody test market, has taken no public enforcement action against any company, and has not conveyed any clear policy on serological tests.

[14:20:01]

The FDA tells CNN it is policing problem tests, citing a statement by its commissioner the day after the FDA met with the committee. "We have and will continue to take appropriate action against firms making or distributing unvalidated tests or those making false claims, such as issuing warning letters requesting that companies stop their unlawful promotion."

Still, the Democrats on the committee insist the FDA's actions have led to a free-for all, tests popping up on the Internet for sale. The congressional committee citing a report that a Texas emergency room spent half-a-million dollars on 20,000 tests from China that were worthless. Congressman Krishnamoorthi says the FDA needs to act immediately and stop unverified tests from being sold.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: They should clear the market. GRIFFIN: While the FDA has not banned sales, it has set up two

pathways to approve tests. Just four of those have received emergency use authorization so far, though dozens of others have applied. Meantime, companies are allowed to sell tests as long as they are clearly labeled as not FDA approved, to be used only in a laboratory setting. But according to David Grenache, chief scientific officer at TriCore Reference Laboratories, the rules are vague and require doctors to read fine print.

DAVID GRENACHE, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, TRICORE REFERENCE LABORATORIES: I've seen some e-mails from marketers, from salespeople, who are quick to sell their devices, and honestly, some of them are very deceptive. They don't make it clear that these really should be performed in a laboratory.

GRIFFIN: Health experts say antibody tests are crucial in reopening the country, advising the public who may or may not be susceptible to further infection, which is why Chairman Krishnamoorthi is adamant about making sure the tests for sale worked.

KRISHNAMOORTHI: I fear that a lot of people are going to continue to buy these tests based on faulty assumptions, and then get faulty conclusions that could lead to dangerous life decisions.

GRIFFIN: The FDA tells CNN it is constantly reviewing and upgrading its policies, but as for now the policies stand. These nonapproved antibody tests will be sold on the marketplace as long as they are clearly labeled to be not a sole basis for determining infection, a clear admission by the FDA that it is not sure the tests actually work.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: President Trump says the U.S. is sending desperately needed ventilators to Ecuador. The number of confirmed cases there doubled in one day this week, and as the country suffers through one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world. There are reports of hospitals and morgues filled beyond capacity and bodies being left in the streets. CNN's Matt Rivers is with me now from Mexico City. So, Matt, describe in detail what's going on.

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is arguably one of the worst outbreaks in the world, Fred, specifically in the Guayas province in Ecuador where those reports of bodies being left in the streets, cardboard coffins being brought in from the government were in the press, we reported it just a few weeks ago. But it was on Thursday really in terms of the amount of testing that's being done, there's been a lot of criticism that Ecuador hasn't done enough testing but when it has done testing, it has shown how bad things really are.

So what you mentioned a bit earlier, it was on Thursday that in a 24- hour period the number of cases doubled from about 11,000 to about 22,000. That wasn't because the outbreak all of a sudden got a lot worse. It was because the government actually got around to processing a bunch of tests that had been backlogged. And so when tests are being done it is showing how bad the outbreak is there.

And I spoke to two different epidemiologists in Ecuador yesterday who said, look, if the government moves ahead with a plan they announced yesterday on May 4th to start to reopen the economy in Ecuador, much like the conversation we're having in the United States, that the events we saw a few weeks ago, morgues being overrun, private funeral homes overrun, families forced to leave their dead loved ones out in the streets because if they leave them inside there is a risk of contamination, of contagion, that's what epidemiologists in Ecuador are fearful of returning to. And so the amount of testing that needs to be done in that country very clearly, Fred, needs to be ramped up.

WHITFIELD: Wow, sounds like a horrible situation. Matt Rivers, thank you so much.

Up next, we'll answer your coronavirus questions, and it's not just the adults who have questions. Kids have a lot of questions as well. Here is CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with the help of our friends at "Sesame Street" answering one of those questions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do some people get to go outside and I can't? It's not fair.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I hear that a lot. It's not fair. This is tough. This is a hard time right now for everybody.

[14:25:00]

One thing to keep in mind is that there are people who are going around outside because they're helping keep the country running. They're helping all of us. They're transporting food. They're transporting packages. They're taking care of people in hospitals, all that sort of stuff. But the reason you stay inside is because you don't want to get the virus even if you don't know it, and accidentally bring it back to your house and to your abuela and possibly get somebody sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Coronavirus has killed more than 200,000 people around the world, and this weekend we are closing in on 1 million infections in the United States.

[14:30:05]

And as states begin reopening and new research emerges, there are new questions about the virus and its impact on our daily lives. And many of you have posted questions on our website. Right now our panel of experts will answer some of them. We've been doing this for about four weekends now. It has been hugely popular, and I think it has been helpful for a lot of viewers and a lot of us here working as well.

So I'm joined now by Dr. Darria Long, emergency room physician and clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Wendy Walsh, psychologist and adjunct professor at California State University Channel Islands, and Shan Wu, a former federal prosecutor and CNN legal analyst. Good to see all of you.

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Good to see you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Glad you're all well, well enough to be with us. Excellent.

So Dr. Long, you first. A viewer writes, "Gyms and salons reopened in Georgia yesterday. Is it safe for me to go to them? Is there anything I should be doing differently?"

DR. DARRIA LONG, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: This is a question as a fellow resident at the state of Georgia I am being asked, I am asking myself. And I think to answer that question we have to back up, because we have to look at the CDC guidelines and the White House guidelines. And they said that essentially before you start reopening, before we start this phase one of reopening, you need to see two things.

You need to see a decline of 14 days of cases, and you need to see your hospitals not operating in crisis mode. We're not there yet in the state of Georgia. So that is the first step. So I say until we reach that first with stage we shouldn't be even as individuals may elect not to go back to these different businesses.

Once we do reach that point, because we hopefully will reach that point, then I think it really depends on the specific business. What are the different metrics that they are doing to stay clean? Are they allowing only a certain number of people in at a time?

Is the salon having people wait in their car as opposed to the waiting room? How do they clean up after between each individual? Those will make the difference between businesses that we go to first more smartly versus we may need to stay away from for a little bit longer.

WHITFIELD: So those are some questions they can ask themselves now because there are some businesses and they do have some customers right now who are going, and that perhaps answers the what should I be doing differently for those who are taking advantage of the fact that some have reopened. So, Wendy, Susan writes, "My husband and I both work from home and we're seeing a lot of each other in our small apartment. How can we keep our distance and avoid conflict?"

(LAUGHTER)

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Distance is two things, right, Fredricka. It's physical distance and it's also emotional distance. Remember that emotions are running high, and we should not judge our partner based on their coping strategies during this kind of stress. Everybody has a kind of neurochemistry. They're wired to respond in a certain kind of way. So don't go into that thinking of I'm going to leave this person because they can't endure during stress. Instead, focus on forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness, and ask

yourself every day what you can do to catch them being good and verbalize that, because you've got to water what you want to grow, right? Not the weeds. So try to bite your tongue as far as the criticism, and when you compliment your partner, you're also reminding your own brain of why you fell in love with that person, why you're there.

Now, physical things, physical distance you've just got to talk about even in small apartments. This is your corner. This is my corner. During these hours let's make a game strategy for this team. I always say with relationships, whenever there is conflict, if the relationship wins then you got to win.

WHITFIELD: All right, accentuate the positive. All right, Shan, Ashley wants to know, can companies force employees back to work? What rights do employees have if they fear getting sick?

WU: Basically, the answer is, yes, but there are some important exceptions. So, for example, if you the employee have any kind of underlying health concern that may make you more vulnerable to getting sick, then you may be able to talk to your manager and talk to the employer about being exempted, particularly if you already have a recognized disability under the ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act, then they need to accommodate you just as they normally would.

WHITFIELD: All right, everyone stay with me. We're going to take a short break. We have got lots more questions coming your way. And of course, don't forget to down load CNN's new podcast, join Dr. Sanjay Gupta for "Coronavirus, Fact Versus Fiction." Listen wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:38:46]

WHITFIELD: During these difficult times CNN is dedicated to helping you and your family understand and cope with this pandemic. And right now, our panel is here answering your questions. Let's welcome back Dr. Darria Long, psychologist Wendy Walsh, and CNN legal analyst Shan Wu.

So Dr. Long, here you go. "If my child breaks a bone, is it safe to visit the emergency room during this outbreak?"

LONG: Fredricka, and to the person who wrote this, yes, yes, yes. If your child breaks a bone, go to the emergency room. But this speaks to really a bigger point. I was in the emergency department working a shift last night, and we are seeing many people too scared because of COVID to come to the emergency department, and they are truly delaying care.

I was talking to some cardiologists. We're seeing less heart attacks, and then when people do in, they are so late in the game that their heart damage is irreversible. People coming in later with strokes. I had one patient say she didn't want to come in because she didn't want to take a bed from a patient who may have COVID and may need it.

So bottom line, if there is something that could cause you to come to the emergency department before COVID, it should cause you to come now. We're taking many steps now to keep people separated, keep them safe, keep everyone safe. Please do not delay care. Your life depends on it.

[14:40:04]

WHITFIELD: Yes. All right, Shan, a viewer asks, "Will my family be able to travel to America under President Trump's immigration ban? Will I be able to get a green card?"

WU: That's a complex question I know that affected a lot of people. President Trump has instituted what he calls a pause on the green cards. A lot of exceptions to that. American citizens as distinguished from green card holders or lawful permanent residents, they can still petition to bring in their immediate family members.

But Americans who are lawful permanent residents, not yet citizens, there is going to be a pause on them being able to bring in the family members. And that is going to affect a lot of people because a very large majority of the green card applications do come from this family preference. So for now there is definitely a pause on that.

There's still some other exceptions. People who are here already and working and they are applying, there is no pause on that. So if you are already here and working, that's fine. The people that are really going to be affected by this are going to folks who are not here yet and the family members trying to bring them in are not yet American citizens.

WHITFIELD: OK. And Wendy, John writes "Is there an appropriate and effective way of dating while social distancing?"

(LAUGHTER)

WALSH: Well, dating has seen a big rise in traffic because humans are wired to bond. We need social connection. And for many people who are alone in apartments, this is a sort of an emotional crutch, if you will. But the answer is, can this kind of online virtual relationship grow into a real world relationship later?

And it really depends on how you navigate it. If you're using the apps to talk to five or 10 people at once, you're going to probably going to suffer a paradox of choice, meaning the more choice you are given the less likely you are to make a choice and the more likely you are to not value that choice.

If you focus on one person and spend some time getting to know them, have dates by Zoom and Facetime, laugh, talk about your fears and your life and your family instead of just like oh, what movies do you like to see or music, get into some real deep stuff, it might be a chance to really grow a deep, emotional bond.

WHITFIELD: Wow. OK, and, Dr. Long, why are young people with coronavirus having blood clots and strokes?

LONG: So the answer to this question about why young people are seeing blood clots and strokes is something very unique to coronavirus. Usually we see blood clots and heart attacks and strokes in people who are older and they have high cholesterol and their blood vessels are thickened.

What it seems to be with coronavirus is that we're even seeing these blood clots and strokes in people who aren't having severe other symptoms, the shortness of breath and other things. And it seems to be due to the inflammation reaction that's causing blockages in really big vessels. Those big vessels can be in the lungs, or they can be in the brain and causing a stroke.

So it's really important, again, that people of all age, 30s, 40s, and 50s, if you have shortness of breath, chest pain, blood clots in the lungs or signs of stroke, weakness, numbness, difficulty speaking, seek medical care. Don't delay.

WHITFIELD: All right, stand by, everybody. We've got more questions from viewers coming your way.

But first, these are tough times for families in particular. And one of our friends at "Sesame Street," Elmo's dad, had a message for all the parents out there during today's CNN town hall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, everybody, Elmo's daddy, Louie here. I know we're all trying to keep our little ones on a routine. But have you been feeling like the days get away from you? The things you plan for the morning are suddenly happening in the afternoon? That's OK.

Our routines can, and should, be flexible. It's OK if we don't get to do something in the morning. If we get to do it in the afternoon, great, or even the next day. These are challenging times, and juggling child care while working from home is difficult. Don't put pressure on yourself to get everything done. Children are resilient, just like you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:48:41]

WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. What you want to know about coronavirus and its impact on your family, career, even your legal rights. Your questions are being answered right now.

Shan, this one comes from Danielle in New York. "My lease expires at the end of the month, and while movers have been deemed an essential business here, my landlord is demanding another month of rent and an additional 1,000 to sterilize an apartment I haven't been in since March. Is any of this legal?" WU: That sounds highly illegal. Let me at that landlord. Her lease is

what controls here, and there is nothing in the lease that says the landlord can just unilaterally add on another month or add on some sort of bogus charge for cleaning. Usually in leases the security deposit can be used for extremely unusual damage, carpet got burned up or something like this. The notion that they can tack on some made up charge for disinfectant, very questionable. And I would not go along with that. Tell him that you'll see him in court.

(LAUGHTER)

WHITFIELD: That's right. She is listening, I'm sure, and taking notes.

Dr. Long, Ann from Massachusetts writes "I heard about a mysterious skin condition called COVID toes. What is that? And does it mean you have coronavirus?"

[14:50:01]

LONG: So this is a question I've been getting. This one and a lot of other questions on my Instagram account where I've been answering viewers' questions, and happy to take others there, because what COVID toes are is they're a kind of an atypical presentation of coronavirus. And it's probably due again, to inflammatory changes in those little tiny blood vessels we have in our toes and in our feet. Your feet get itchy, they may look kind of bruised. They may hurt. And it may be in young kids who don't have any other symptoms of coronavirus.

Again, the big bottom line I want people to take away is there are many different presentations of coronavirus. There are those people with the shortness of breath and cough that we talk about and the fever, but in kids it could present in funny ways, in rashes. It can present with G.I., kind of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. A lot of different ways that COVID can present, and it is really important for all of us to know as we start to think about who has been exposed to it.

WHITFIELD: And now your toes, too? I just can't keep up. This is unbelievable and bizarre.

All right, so Wendy, Catherine asking what are divorced parents supposed to do if they are not in agreement about quarantines, quarantining their kids?

WALSH: Is that question for me or the lawyer?

WHITFIELD: Yes. For you.

(LAUGHTER)

WALSH: I think the answer is call a lawyer. No, the truth is you have to figure out what your rights are as far as your custody is concerned, and I do believe that the courts are allowing children to move between homes if the custody arrangement allows for that. The most important thing with kids always, whether your parents are together or divorced, is you try to maintain some unified front. Of course, the problem is if parents couldn't get along when they were

together, they're less likely to get along when they're apart. But, also, that you create some degree of consistency so the kids know what's happening. And if somebody is violating the terms of a custody arrangement, then you might have to make a phone call to a lawyer.

WHITFIELD: Yes, so Shan, what about it? If this is potentially a violation of an arrangement or the parents are not seeing eye-to-eye, even though they are not together, there may be something that says they have to agree on the health and welfare of their kids?

WU: A good family relations attorney, divorce lawyer, is always going to have the interests of the children first, and hopefully in time of emergency, a global emergency like this, parents are going to remember that and try to work together for the health of the children.

Unfortunately, right now even if you call your lawyer, at best they'll call the other party's lawyer and they'll try to work out. Many of the courts right now are essentially closed. They are doing hearings remotely. It will be very hard to get something on a docket right now.

So, really, if there is a big problem, absolutely call your lawyer. And of course, if there is a really serious problem with health really being endangered, you might have to consider calling the police. But hopefully, most people, like all of us, are going to try to work together right now.

WHITFIELD: Quickly, Dr. Long, two cats tested positive for coronavirus this week. Should pet owners be worried?

LONG: Friend, did Joe Exotic put you up to this question? I want to know. I think a lot of pet owners are asking this.

(LAUGHTER)

WHITFIELD: Cat's got my tongue.

LONG: We know that cats -- there you go. Very nice. We know that cats can be a reservoir for coronavirus. Can it spread from a cat to a pet owner? We don't know that yet. But I thought the CDC put this really well. They said treat your cats like any other member of your family. If you are isolating in quarantine, keeping them from contacting other people, then your cats probably shouldn't be going on play dates either to keep everybody safe.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks to all of you. So fantastic. So glad we could get through so many of those questions. Dr. Darria Long, Wendy Walsh, and Shan Wu, appreciate it, and you all continue to be well. And of course, folks, you can continue to submit your questions to CNN.com. It will be answered at some point on the air here on CNN.

And don't forget to join Bill Weir for a CNN special report on the devastation of climate change and how it is transforming life as we know it. "The Road to Change, America's Climate Crisis" showcases his journeys to the Alaskan glaciers, the Florida Keys, and the struggling heartland. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This whole lake was -- there was no lake in the early 1950s. So the ice went all the way down to the end of the lake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: End of the lake down there, right.

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: This is what is left of Alaska's Spencer Glacier. What took thousands of years of snow to grow has melted away in mere decades.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ice that we're standing on is probably about 5,000 years old. Once the water melts off and goes into the ocean, as long as we have all this carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it is not coming back here.

[14:55:07]

WEIR: And if you count Greenland and the polar caps, since 1961, earth has lost the equivalent of a block of ice the size of the United States, 16 feet thick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Wow. Extraordinary, the CNN special report "The Road to Change, America's Climate Crisis" tonight at 10:00 p.m.

Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. NEWSROOM continues with Ana Cabrera after this.

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