Return to Transcripts main page


Coronavirus Pandemic across the World; Pandemic Changes Schools; Answers to your Coronavirus Questions; Humiliating For Charity. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired April 27, 2020 - 08:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: More than 200,000 people have died from coronavirus around the, sorry, two -- close to 3 million people around the globe. CNN has reporters across the globe to bring you the latest developments.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Clarissa Ward in London, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now back at work more than two weeks after being discharged from intensive care with coronavirus. Earlier today he told reporters standing here that essentially there are real signs that this country is close to defeating Covid-19, but he said this is a moment of maximum risk, and he said that those restrictions must stay in place in order to prevent a second wave of infection. The government in the U.K. has been coming under increased pressure from the public, who want to know when that lockdown might be lifted, and what it might look like.

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen in Potsdam, Germany, where most Germans are now required to wear face masks in many public places. Now, in most instances, it's usually on public transport and when going into stores. There are some exceptions, however. And all this comes after Angela Merkel has warned that Germany risks squandering some of the gains that have been made in combating the coronavirus, even as new cases continue to decline.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Barbara Nadeau in Rome, where the Italian government has just laid out the road map for phase two, the reopening of the country. On Monday, May 4th, industries like construction and fashion production will be able to open up again. People will be able to go outside their homes and exercise within their cities and restaurants and coffee bars will be able to offer takeout services.

Then, on May 18th, we'll see retail industries open as long as they can provide safe, social distancing and sanitize things like clothing and shoes between customers. Then, if all goes to plan, on June 1st, bars, restaurants will offer inside seating. Hairdressers, spas and other entities will be able to reopen. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CAMEROTA: OK, so let me be more clear. There are 3 million cases of coronavirus around the world almost, well, now more than 200,000 deaths.

Meanwhile, remote learning is part of the new normal here in America. So when schools do eventually reopen, how different will the school experience be?

CNN's Laura Jarrett joins us with more.

Hi, Laura, great to see you.


You know, there's been so much focus and debate about what it's going to take for states to reopen the economy, but schools are such a key part of this conversation because as long as kids are stuck at home, their parents are stuck at home.


But when schools do reopen, it's going to look really different.


JILLIAN BALOW, WYOMING SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION: I think we would be naive to ever think about American schools going back to the way that they were.

JARRETT (voice over): While the coronavirus has caused a majority of states across the country to keep schools closed for the rest of the academic year --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We decided to continue remote learning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am confident it is the right decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to be able to go back to school.

JARRETT: Governors, school superintendents and teachers are trying to figure out how to safely reopen classrooms, whenever that may be.

BALOW: Not only is this not a one size fits all, it's a brand new size for everyone.

JARRETT: An outlier, Montana, whose governor says schools may reopen as soon as May 7th. And those that do are being urged to disinfect door handles, keep playgrounds off limits and provide hand sanitizer and other precautions.

In Florida, the education commissioner says the goal is to reopen schools this summer, using a hybrid format involving distance learning and classes on campus. Masks, deep cleanings, modified recess and PE all under consideration. JEFF RILEY, MASSACHUSETTS COMMISSIONER OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY

EDUCATION: What we've seen from other countries that have started the process of opening are things like temperature checking students, keeping desks six feet apart from students, some people are staggered schedules.

JARRETT: Officials nationwide all searching for methods that will allow them to reopen schools without putting students and their families at risk.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We just need to do it in a safe way so that those kids are not going to school, getting infected and then coming back home and infecting grandma or grandpa.

JARRETT: But for younger kids especially, principals like Inas Morsi- Hogans in New York say physical distancing won't be so easy.

INAS MORSI-HOGANS, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: When I think about our four-year-olds and everything that they do in the classroom, first of all, they're germ bubbles, right, and how would you even get them to school on a bus? Would you have one student in every seat, and then they'd come in. I mean they're just touching each other. They're hugging each other.

JARRETT: Still, states in the U.S. do have models abroad to turn to. In Denmark, schools have reopened their doors for students under 12 years old with new pandemic-minded rules. Desks separated six feet apart and hand washing at least every two hours.

For first grade teacher Jill Fink in Los Angeles, having enough physical space is key.

JILL FINK, TEACHER: My dream scenario would be that the class sizes would all be smaller. My fear, too, is it's going to take more money. Maybe we're going to have to build more buildings.

JARRETT: Her daughter, Sabra, an eighth grader, says she welcomes any new safety measures. She's just eager to see her friends again.

SABRA FINK, EIGHTH GRADE STUDENT: I want to be back into the action where everything is and I think I'm ready. And I think they'll like have all the necessities they need to get us back in.


JARRETT: John and Alisyn, all of the educators that we talked to when doing this story said figuring out how to configure the classrooms, how to make things safe is one thing. And that might actually be the easy part. The harder challenge may be, they say, is figuring out all the social and emotional issues that these kids have been dealing with over the past couple months and where the gaps may be, where they might have fallen behind with virtual learning. That's the next challenge.

John and Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: I certainly understand that eighth grader saying she is ready. I hear that from my kids as well.

Laura, thank you very much.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back to answer your medical questions, next.



CAMEROTA: OK, we've been asking you to send us your questions about coronavirus, and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back to answer some of them.

Sanjay, this one comes from Rosalyn in Alexandria, Virginia. She says, I use a mask when I go out to run errands. I have one medical mask that cannot be washed and one cotton mask. If I spray the medical mask with Lysol, can I keep reusing it and is Lysol effective on the cotton mask or do I have to wash it every time I go out?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, a couple things. Obviously, you know, the most important point, try and limit as many times as you can go out. You can wear that medical mask more than once but you should not be spraying it with Lysol. It's -- the reason is it's a medical grade mask. Part of the reason it works as well as it does is because it's able to filter out these small particles. If you start using these disinfectants on it, you're going to degrade the mask.

The cloth mask you can wash. You don't need to wash it every single time. Be careful how you take it off because the outside of the mask is often what becomes contaminated. But you can throw that in the laundry. Soap and water works well for that.

CAMEROTA: You don't like the spraying with Lysol?

GUPTA: Don't like the spraying of Lysol, no.

CAMEROTA: I'm going to stop doing that right now.

GUPTA: You've been doing it?

BERMAN: Interesting. Now I see why this question got on.

All right, Sanjay --

GUPTA: Is that your question, Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Rosalyn.

BERMAN: So this comes from Peggy, and it really is Peggy, it's not like John/Peggy. I have sheltered in place for two weeks. My daughter has also sheltered in her home for two weeks. Is it safe to spend time together? What if it's not two weeks, what if it's three or four weeks, Sanjay?

GUPTA: Well, I -- you know, I think what this comes down to, Peggy, or John Berman, whoever is asking, is -- is that it really is a question of your confidence in saying this. So if you've truly been sheltering in place, you really think that you have not, you know, been out someplace where you could have potentially contracted the virus, touched a handle somewhere, gone out for an earned, whatever it might be. And the chance of you bringing able to bring this home and spread it now to your -- your loved one is low, but it's not zero. So if you've truly been sheltering in place and the other person's truly been sheltering in place, then I think it might be OK.

But I think most public health officials would still say, you know, the best advice would be not to do it. I realize that's tough, though. I mean I have a lot of people who are asking me these questions about their own family members, haven't been able to see them. If -- it's your own judgment a little bit at this point and being really honest with yourself. Do you really think that there's no way that you've been able to contract this virus based on some other activity that you did.


CAMEROTA: Sanjay, as you know, millions of people tune in to us from around the world, so this one comes from Sosenna in Switzerland who wants to know, how likely is it that the virus will mutate so it will become more dangerous for young and healthy people?

GUPTA: Well, I finally maybe get to give a little bit of good news here. It does not look like this virus is mutating. It seems to be a pretty stable virus. And, you know, we're a few months into this. A lot of people have obviously been infected. As it infects more people, that's when you start to see mutation if you're going to see it. And we're not seeing it. You know, I think some 3 million people around the world now have contracted this virus and confirmed infections.

One thing to also keep in mind, if it does mutate, it is likely to mutate to a less virulent, a less lethal form, so that potentially is good news as well. The reason that the stable virus is good is if we create a vaccine sometime over the next several months, that might be available for release next year sometime. The fact it's not mutated will make it likely that that vaccine will work better as well.

BERMAN: All right, Sanjay, excellent answers to some really good questions this morning. Thanks so much for being with us.

GUPTA: You got it.

BERMAN: So a man who helped create some of the most iconic characters on television today is proving that he'll do just about anything for charity. "The Good Stuff" is next.



BERMAN: So one of the most successful show winners (ph) in prime time TV right now is trying to help those in Los Angeles most affected by coronavirus. And he is willing to humiliate himself to do it. Here to explain is Michael Schur, producer and co-creator of "Parks

and Recreation" and the creator of "The Good Place."

My God, this is the first I'm seeing of the beard. We'll get to that in a moment. It's even worse than I thought.

So, listen, this all started nobly enough with a tweet where you were trying to raise money for the L.A. food bank. You said I'm raising money for the L.A. Regional Food Bank and will match donations of up to $50,000. Please give what you can. And then it spiraled out of control. Explain.

MICHAEL SCHUR, CREATOR, "THE GOOD PLACE": Yes, so it's one of my favorite charities. I give them money every year. And I knew that the demand had obviously soared through the roof. So I had first said I'll match up to $50,000. And then about 30 seconds after I had posted the fundraiser, we had like $10,000 and I -- you know, it sort of excited fit of optimism, said, if we can get to 50 by tonight, I'll shave my head.

It's important to note how little I thought that through. Like I had not -- it was a completely impulsive thing. But then a lot of my friends got very excited by that. And I think a lot of people in general got excited by that. And so we hit $50,000 in an hour.

And so then it became, well, if my ritualized humiliation raises more money for charity, who am I to judge? So I just started throwing out things that I thought would be humiliating and would help raise money.

For example, I'm a Red Sox fan and I said if we get to 100, I'll wear a Derek Jeter jersey, which is my personal nightmare. And then I also hate fruit pie and so I said I'll also eat a fruit pie. And I just kept going and eventually it got up to like I think $150,000 or something like that. So it was wonderful.

And then the final step was a bunch of people -- I used to -- so I wrote for "The Office," the American "Office," and I used to play a character on the episode (ph) named Mos (ph). You may remember if you've seen the show, he was a certain ghoulish, beet farming weirdo and he had a neck beard. And a bunch of people wrote in and said, instead of shaving your head, would you consider re-growing the Mos beard? So, again, not thinking any of this through, I put up that as a poll, would you rather I shave my head or grow the neck beard? The neck beard won. And now I'm, I don't know, five weeks into this nightmare.

BERMAN: That's -- that's five weeks?

SCHUR: Yes. I mean, I -- well part of the reason I played Mos on the show was because this is my natural beard growth. It's weird and ghoulish. And, you know, eventually when I actually make the video wearing the Derek Jeter jersey, eating a fruit pie, which I hate, I will shave the mustache, if you can picture this, shave the mustache and this, whatever it is, and just have that. That's where we're headed, folks.

BERMAN: How much did you raise, when all was said and done?

SCHUR: I sent my matching gift in I think when it was at $153,000. So -- so I think in total, the last time I checked, and I haven't checked in a while, it was -- the total amount donated to the L.. Regional Food Bank was somewhere in the neighborhood of $335,000 or something like that.

BERMAN: That's wonderful. More than 300 grand for the L.A. Food Bank.

Look, why has it been so hard for you to get ahold of a Derek Jeter jersey?

SCHUR: Well, it's kind of hard to get a hold of anything right now, frankly. And I don't want to make people do unnecessary things for this dumb humiliation -- this humiliation. So I -- I -- instead of just ordering it through, you know, a website, I'm trying to find a contact -- I found a contact within MLB who was going to send it to me so that it doesn't put anyone's, you know, health at risk.

BERMAN: Also you don't have to pay for it.

SCHUR: And I'm going to try to find -- that's true. I can't quite bring myself to just like give a credit card number and have like Derek Jeter jersey on my receipt. That would be too much.

BERMAN: What are you going to do -- what are you going to do with the Jeter jersey when you're done?

SCHUR: So, here's my plan. I was going to, you know, obviously just throw it into my fireplace and burn it, which is the only -- it's the correct way, according to the military, to properly dispose of a Derek Jeter jersey. But I think what I'm going to do is get a bunch of Red Sox fans to autograph it and then maybe try to auction that off. Maybe there's some demented Yankee fan who would enjoy owning a Derek Jeter jersey signed by a bunch of Red Sox fans.

BERMAN: All right, I'm in if you want -- if you want, you know --

SCHUR: Oh, yes. You're -- believe me, you're the first guy I'm coming to.

BERMAN: If you want -- if you want me, I'm available.


You're also involved in something really terrific this week, which is this special episode of "Park and Rec," which is airing later on in the week, bringing everyone back together.

How on earth did you do this?

Actually, let's play a clip and then -- and then -- and tell us how you did it.

SCHUR: Sure.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you doing? Are you in your cabin?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am. I come up here to hunt meat so I don't have to go to the grocery store. I've built up about a 12-year supply of venison jerky. I can ship you some. You probably have to get your incisor teeth sharpened


When you travel, are you --


BERMAN: So, quickly, Mike, how did you put this together?

SCHUR: Well, NBC asked us if we would reunite the cast and I said to do like a table read, I said, you know, sure, but if we do that, we should do something new. So I asked the cast. They were all in immediately. And so we wrote a one-time special. It's going to be -- it's going to air Thursday night at 8:30. It's a fundraiser for Feeding America, which is another great charity. And Subaru and State Farm and NBC Universal and the cast and crew are matching donations up to $500,000. So please watch it and donate, if you possibly can.

BERMAN: Michael Schur, terrific work for the L.A. food bank and it's a terrific cause. Anyone who can donate, please do. The Go Fund Me page is still available.

It is terrific seeing you, even with that beard. So thanks so much for being on NEW DAY.

SCHUR: Good to see you, buddy.

BERMAN: All right, CNN's coronavirus coverage continues, next.