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Outbreak Putting America's Food Supply at Risk; U.S. Oil Plunged 14.8 Percent in Asian Morning Trade; E-Commerce Soaring in South Korea During Quarantine; U.S. Army Reservist Falsely Called 'Patient Zero'; Children Around the World Draw What They Miss the Most; New Zealand Claims It Has "Eliminated" Virus; White House Unveils Blueprint for Increased Testing; Return to Wuhan. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired April 28, 2020 - 12:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause.

Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM: eliminated. New Zealand declares it has defeated the coronavirus with no community spread and new cases in the single digits. A national lockdown is being eased.

In the U.S., home to about a 3rd of all confirmed cases worldwide, more states allowing businesses to reopen and lifting those stay-at- home orders.

And a COVID conspiracy that claims that this woman is patient zero. She is not. We repeat, she is not. But the baseless allegations have ruined her life. A CNN exclusive comes up tonight.


VAUSE: The urge to reemerge is being felt around the world, in the U.S. with almost one in three cases around the world, states are allowing businesses to reopen, lifting stay-at-home orders. Many countries in Europe are continuing those first tentative steps towards some kind of normalcy.

But it's the small island nation of New Zealand which is the first to report elimination of the coronavirus. New cases are in the single digits. There's no evidence of community spread. But the prime minister is warning in the country is still not out of the woods.

While in Germany face masks are required as many stores begin to reopen, fines for not complying are as high as $5,000.

And, in the United States, on Monday, Georgia allowed restaurants and other businesses to reopen and Texas will follow suit on Friday.

Meantime, reporters asked President Trump if he has any responsibility for a spike in the number of cases of people swallowing dangerous disinfectants to treat the virus. He actually raised the issue last week at a briefing.


TRUMP: I can't imagine why. I can't imagine why.

QUESTION: You take any responsibility?

TRUMP: No, I can't imagine that.


VAUSE: There is widespread agreement among health experts that the key to reopening states across the U.S. is simple: more testing. And now it seems that the White House has a plan for that. Kaitlan Collins has details.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: For weeks, governors have been saying that a lack of testing across the nation is what is going to restrict their ability to open up their states, loosen some of the stay-at-home orders and these restrictions to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak here in the United States.

And it seems at the White House is finally hearing those calls. They put out these 2 documents on Monday that the president said, basically, what they had done to ramp up testing in the United States and a blueprint of what they envision it looking like as states open back up.

While states said that they want the government to basically nationalize the strategy for testing, the document still puts most of the responsibility on the states, though it says that the federal government should be seen as a last resort to get the supplies because that has been another key concern, that has emerged for the states, how to get the supplies they need to conduct the tests, the swabs, the reagents, the chemicals needed to conduct the tests.

They have that has been in short supply. They need the federal government help on this. So what we are seeing the administration say that they want to be able to provide some swabs to the states because what they want and what their goal is, is to have every state testing 2 percent of its population every month.

Now they say the focus in on states with critical hot spots emerging, those still dealing with an influx of cases and outbreaks in their state, that is going to be their focus for now. But the question is if the government is over promising, because the president said testing will not be a problem.

That was the statement he made on Monday. He has made statements before on testing that have later proved to not be true, like what he said at the CDC in Atlanta, that anyone who wanted a test could get a test. Even the vice president was faced with questions about a claim that he

made in March that by the end of next week it would have been in mid March, there would be 4 million tests available. We now have over 5 million people in the United States have been tested.

And Pence tried to say that the reporter was misunderstanding him at the time, that he was saying there were tests available, not necessarily would have been processed at this time. So the question is going to be whether or not the plan will be enough for the states to feel comfortable opening up -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.



VAUSE: And across the U.S., it's a story of some states rushing in, where others fear to tread. Very much a two speed reopening. Erica Hill has details.


ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dinner and a movie back on the menu this Friday in Texas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls can reopen May the 1st.

HILL (voice-over): Occupancy limited to 25 percent. The governor's new executive order supersedes all local measures. The mayor of the largest city in Texas urges caution, holding up a copy of "The Houston Chronicle" with the headline, local cases more prevalent in at risk neighborhoods.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know people want to open up. I got that. But many of the people who live in these communities, these are individuals who are serving the tables and these are the people who are riding the bus.

And what they are asking for is not necessarily when we are going to open but, Mayor, tell me what are you going to do to keep us safe?

HILL (voice-over): Denver's mayor choosing to delay reopening as his state moves forward.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did not feel that we are ready and we felt that more needs to be done. This virus is not going away. It's going to remain with us for a while. We need to make sure we are building infrastructure for the long haul.

HILL (voice-over): Mississippi still urging residents to stay home, maintaining its ban on gathering of more than 10 people, yet allowing retail stores to open today, with restrictions.

In Florida, more beaches are poised to welcome residents as the governor once pushing to reopen, adopts a cautious tone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm less concerned about a specific date than I am about getting it right.

HILL (voice-over): Ohio, one of the first states to take aggressive measures announcing today its stay-at-home orders will remain in place. A phased reopening begins on Friday. Retail, however, will not presume for another 2 weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have an obligation as governor of this state to do 2 things right now, get people back to work and keep them safe.

HILL (voice-over): In New York, expect some areas, including hardhit New York City, to open much later.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): In some parts of the states, some regions, you could make the case that we should unpause on May 15th. But you have to be smart about it. There is no light switch, where you flick a switch and everyone goes back to what they are. doing

HILL (voice-over): More than a dozen states have started easing restrictions, as business leaders and health officials warn more testing is still needed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're seeing are governors putting together economic recovery teams but it's completely delinked to the public health component.

HILL (voice-over): Tyson's chicken processing plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee, now closed for deep cleaning amid new questions about the country's meat supply. The company's chairman warning the food supply chain is breaking, as experts note there is enough food, though the variety may change.

HILL: It's important to point out, there are concerns about the supply from the suppliers themselves. We know hog farmers, for example in Minnesota are concerned as processing plants are taken offline for cleaning, that they would have excess animals, they would need to euthanized animals.

We are also hearing of dairy cooperatives in upstate New York that had to dump the milk that they had because their normal supply chain was not there with restaurants and schools not operating in the same way.

To that end, Governor Cuomo announced an initiative that would bring that excess dairy, find a home for it downstate where the need at food banks has grown exponentially.

In Westminster County, just north of where I am, the need is up 200 percent.


VAUSE: More now on testing and why it is so crucial. We are joined by Dr. Jorge Rodriguez in Los Angeles, he's a specialist in internal medicine and has led many clinical research trials.

It's good to see you.

DR. JORGE RODRIGUEZ, INTERNAL MEDICINE SPECIALIST: Thank you, John, thank you for having me.

VAUSE: You are welcome. On Monday, the White House unveiled this plan for national testing. It does not seem to really increase the number of tests, despite this claim from the president, here he is.


TRUMP: We have enough testing to begin reopening and the reopening process. We want to get our country open and the testing is not going to be a problem at all. In fact, it's going to be one of the great assets.


VAUSE: And this is what the state governors are saying about the current level of testing. Here they are.


CUOMO: We have to do more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need more testing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need to do more testing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have got to have more testing than we have.


VAUSE: This is a small snippet but you get the idea. Right now, from the scientific facts based reality world, who is right?

Is it the president or the governors?

RODRIGUEZ: That's a simple one.


RODRIGUEZ: The governors are right. We need more testing, because we don't have enough information and it's only with information that we really can do scientifically guided opening of the economy, opening of the country.

Listen, we all want to go back to normal, as normal can be but we want to do it safely. Without knowing how many people are infected, without knowing how serious, for example, being of a certain age can be, we really can't create a plan.

That's what's lacking, a plan. We could probably have a plan to open up the United States and other countries if we knew, for example, that anyone of a certain age it was safe for them to go back to work.

We could say, hey, if you are between this age and we don't have these conditions, let's go back to the workforce. If you are this age, you might have to stay home, you might have to work from your house. But what we need is information to create a fact based plan. VAUSE: And testing is really only half the solution, right?

You have to do contact tracing?

RODRIGUEZ: Absolutely. Just like with every other communicable disease, it's crazy to me that some people wrap themselves around the flag and say it's unpatriotic to know who did this or that or who contacted, that's bollocks.

Because, for example, with tuberculosis, with syphilis, with almost any other contagious disease, it is so important to find out who is connected to who. Listen, that's where Typhoid Mary, right, came about.

If there's one person that might be working in a very important industry that has a lot of people and contact, we need to know that. So this is not invading anybody's privacy. This is about doing the best thing for the community, for the state and for the country.

VAUSE: There's also this ongoing debate about the virus itself among scientists and researchers about whether or not the coronavirus is transmitted, whether it's airborne transmission.

A new study has found that the coronavirus appears to linger in the air in crowded spaces or rooms that lack ventilation. There was a study that COVID-19 can spread through tiny aerosols. The state did not address that they are contagious and it seems incremental, moving closer to the possibility that the virus is spread by airborne transmission.

How do you see this?

Is it still an open question or are we moving to the point, that it can be like TB, that it's airborne?

RODRIGUEZ: I think there is no doubt that it is somewhat airborne and I hate to sound so wishy-washy. But if you are a few feet away from someone and they sneeze, that particle has to go through the air. There's no doubt about it.

Where some people are concerned and I'm not one of, is that the particles are lingering all over and feet away from where someone was. I do believe that if that were the case, we would be seeing mass infections.

So I don't believe that is the case, a lot of these studies aerosolize a particle in a way that is scientifically important but not reality based.

VAUSE: This study was interesting because it found the virus could linger in bathrooms but not in other areas. Even though they was crowded with people but it kind of differentiated, because of what kind of room it was.

RODRIGUEZ: A lot of rooms have different factors involved in it. A bathroom almost by definition has more moisture and viruses tend to live in humid environments. Usually, dry environments kill a virus. So anything is possible. But my key, in my mind is if something is wet or moist, I would really stay away from that. I clean it down, I dry it off.


VAUSE: Very quickly, the CDC released new symptoms for the coronavirus. They are chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a new loss of taste or smell. Others listed are fever, cough, difficulty breathing.

Is there a combination of those symptoms which should cause more concern than others?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, the shortness of breath is the one that is of the biggest concern. And that is what is usually leading towards death and being placed on a ventilator, which has very small survival.

So if someone is feeling short of breath, if they are gasping for air, they have, what we call dyspnea on exertion, which means you become tired when you walk, even a few feet. That, without a doubt, is the most dangerous of all the symptoms that someone can half.

VAUSE: Dr. Rodriguez, as always, thank you for being with us.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you, John.

VAUSE: Well, New Zealand may have done what no other country has managed to achieve so far, not just contain the virus but eliminate it.


VAUSE: Despite the nationwide lockdown being eased, not lifted, retailers, restaurants, and construction sites and schools will begin to reopen on Tuesday, with some limitations and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has stressed they are restarting the economy, not everyone's social life.


JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: There is no widespread undetected community transmission in New Zealand. We have won that battle. But we must remain vigilant if we are to keep it that way.


VAUSE: Let's bring in Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong, live this hour.

So Kristie, they set as a goal not to contain it, they want to eliminate it. They still have a number of cases still popping up.

Where do they stand right now in terms of bringing this virus under control and getting rid of it?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: In New Zealand the fight is still on. What's happening right now is a cautious reopening. What we've heard from Jacinda Ardern in the last few hours, is that New Zealand is not out of the woods yet.

It's been on a strict lockdown for almost 5 weeks, on the face it looks like it has been very effective, but it's a nation of 4.8 million, people. It seems to be an achievement but New Zealand is staying vigilant, they are staying on alert.

They have moved from a level 4 alert to a level 3 alert. What does that mean, in terms of the economy, they're opening up 75 percent of the economy, about 400,000 additional workers, in addition to the essential workers who have been working, 400,000 workers will go back to work.

And that means everyone else will continue to work from home. There is also something that has been mandated, called contact free retail, for those in the retail and catering industries, they have to engage in this, allowing only curbside pick up of items.

In regards to schooling, students up to year 10 in school, that's like 2nd year in high school, they can go back to school. But for year 10 students on up, they have to continue with online learning and virtual schooling.

In terms of social gatherings, up to 10 people can gather but only for weddings and funerals. We know that domestic travel restrictions will stay in place for only essential travel. International overseas visitors to New Zealand will continue to be banned, not allowed into the country, which is a very punishing and detrimental impact on the tourism industry.

But despite that negative hit, it is incredible. You look at an approval poll, it's 87 percent of Kiwis approve of this. John.

VAUSE: Yes, because not allowing any immigrants, people into the country, you don't have community spread, nobody is going to bring in. That's why they're saying this whole thing has been eliminated and now it's going to be wiped out.

To that end, they are now looking at this for the voluntary mobile contact tracing app, it's going to be a key part of preventing the virus from continuing. And they're working on a similar one in Australia and millions are signed up for that as well.

STOUT: Yes, absolutely, New Zealand has announced it will introduce the contact tracing app, it will be rolled out the next few weeks, this follows the announcement from Australia, that they have a new COVID tracing app modeled after the one used in Singapore.

There's a lot of privacy concerns about these apps. They're trying to pacify those concerns, saying only the health people will be have access to the data and it will be deleted after the pandemic.

But there's an additional concern, that is not only privacy but effectiveness. I've talked to cyber security people and they said that it's possible that these apps could generate a false positive as well as a false negative as there continue to be asymptomatic carriers of the virus.

VAUSE: Kristie, thank you for the update on everything happening over there, thank you appreciate it.

Well, meanwhile in Australia, New South Wales, nearly home to half of the nation's coronavirus cases, beaches reopened on Tuesday. This iconic beach is a tourist hot spot, large crowds are seen on that beach, ignoring social distancing rules.

There you have. It still to come here in Wuhan, they are gradually emerging from that 2 month long lockdown and we're going to see how life is changed.

Plus staying at home is a little easier when you're already doing a lot of your shopping online. Look at how South Korea is using technology to keep distance.





VAUSE: Welcome back everyone, China claims there are no patients infected with coronavirus currently being treated in any hospitals in the Wuhan. That is the city where the virus originated, which is now seeing a new normalcy. For many other places around the world, it could be a glimpse of the future. Here's CNN's David Culver.

I think we have will get to David's report in a moment, David was actually one of the first people who was in there when it was all happening, he managed to escape before they put the lockdown in place, he's done on that. Let's take a look at his report.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's Tuesday, April 21st, and after what gives us about 2.5 months, we are leaving Shanghai.

CULVER (voice-over): Our journey back to the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak required weeks of planning. While in China, some places are easing travel restrictions, new hot spots can suddenly surface and so too new lockdowns that could trap us mid travel for an unknown amount of time.

But all layered up and we felt that this was the moment to return.

CULVER: This is our ticket, here it might be reverse but you could see it, take a picture. You can see it our destination, is set for Wuhan. It's going to be about a 4 hour train ride. It's relatively full so far, at least half full, pretty significant considering there was almost no one traveling for several weeks. Let's get on board. Here CULVER (voice-over): On board the train attendants take our

passports, they try to place CNN photojournalist Justin Robinson's accent.


I'm from London.


CULVER (voice-over): It is not just from the conversation. They want to be sure that we've been in the country for at least 2 weeks, so we are not potentially importing the virus from another area. The threat to China now, thought to be external.

Arriving in Wuhan, I'm quickly reminded of the last time we were here, almost 3 months to the day. We had spent just 29 hours on the ground, when we abruptly learned that Wuhan was going on lockdown, CNN shared that scramble out of Wuhan with you.

A rush checkout sparked by a 3 am phone call,

Our rush right now is to check out and get out.

We headed to the train station as soon as we got word.

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

It's 4:15 in the morning here and the only way to buy a ticket at this hour, is in person.

From there it was off to a Beijing hotel, quarantining before the rest of the world realized, you would soon be doing the same; 14 days in a hotel room, to make sure we had not contracted the virus. We continued our live reporting from quarantine and then relocated to Shanghai. Here we were, 3 months later, headed back to Wuhan.

The lockdown was over but the hesitation remains. As we interviewed an American who has lived here since 2009, we also experienced the increase skepticism, towards foreigners like us and the growing distrust of Western media. A crowd of police questioning us.

What did he say.


CULVER: What do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are rock (ph).

CULVER: Oh you speak English. I'm from the U.S. But I live in Beijing.

CULVER (voice-over): It was not our only interaction with authorities. When we returned to what some Chinese scientist proceeds believed to be the start of the virus, the seafood market and started recording, police asked us why we were there.



CULVER (voice-over): Perhaps the most sensitive place in our, visit this crematorium. Normally you do not find the police posted outside but last month the Chinese media published a report, saying more urns were distributed, than reported coronavirus deaths, calling into question the figures of deaths. We wanted to investigate but even as we were across the street, police approached us.

CULVER: We just attempted, to go to one of the funeral homes and in hopes of seeing some of the grieving families and hearing from them, their perspective on what transpired, over the course of the lockdown and losing their loved ones.

As we were there the police did not like that we were there, they happen to be positioned right side, held us for a bit, didn't let us leave and then finally after a few minutes, we were able to continue on our way.

CULVER (voice-over): Given that many medical experts believe the virus transmitted from animals to humans, we wanted to go to another wet market to see what they were selling.

CULVER: You know you see markets like this all across China, this is a pretty normal market, they've got a bag full of toads, some fish on the chopping block over there,

CULVER (voice-over): No wildlife here but some snakes, lots of frozen poultry, along with an array of fresh vegetable and spices, all under the same roof.

Scenes like this appear to show the city of 11 million plus people, playing badminton, soaking in the stillness, knowing that this is a luxury after being at home. Though many of the businesses here remain closed, the ones that have reopened are changing up the way they operate, keep keeping customers outside and bringing the products out to them.

Hotels like ours, spraying everyone walking inside with disinfectant. And the elevators are marked with a safe social distance. They provide a tissue to keep your bare fingers from touching the buttons.

All of this as testing for the virus has become streamlined here. Before we left, we had to get ours done, too, an easy appointment to, make a quick throat swab, 35 dollar fee to expedite the results, and 24 hours later, we were handed the paperwork showing we were negative. With that, we could depart.

CULVER: A far left less rushed checkout this time leaving Wuhan, compared to 3 months ago. Get in the car, headed to the train and headed to Shanghai.

CULVER (voice-over): On the train back, police carefully looking at our passports and test results, allowing us to return to Shanghai, without having to do another quarantine. Once again leaving behind Wuhan, as it slowly awakens in this post lockdown era.

The people left a bit shell-shocked and looking at this uncertain moment with a cautious optimism.

CULVER: So the story here finds us here back in Shanghai, now people are asking what's it like in Wuhan, given they technically reopened on April 8th. But the reality is many businesses still remain closed, by our guess about half based on what we saw.

A lot of the folks are still hesitant, uncertain about what they believe might come assuming that could be a second wave -- David Culver, CNN Shanghai.


VAUSE: The world's second largest meat processor, is warning that the food supply chain in the U.S. is breaking because of the pandemic, more of that in a moment. And also the price of U.S. oil, plummeting again, what's behind it more when we come back.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Many supermarkets across the U.S. are placing limits on the amount of chicken or pork which customers are allowed to buy. It's a very real-world impact of the coronavirus spreading like wildfire through meat-processing plants.

Farmers are also plowing crops grown for restaurants and schools back into the ground, and milk is being dumped. As for the meat, virus outbreaks at meat-packing plants have led to closures of major beef, pork, and poultry facilities.


VAUSE: Juliette Kayyem was a former assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration. She's a CNN national analyst, and she joins us now this hour.

So Juliette, it's been a while. Good to see you.


VAUSE: OK. So, Tyson Foods, the second largest meat processing company in the world, took out full-page ads in major newspapers with this warning from their chairman: "The food supply chain is breaking. We have a responsibility to feed our country. It is as essential as healthcare. This is a challenge that should not be ignored. Our plants must be operational so that we can supply our food to our families in America. This is a delicate balance, because Tyson Food places team member safety as our top priority."

You know, this ad ran on the same day that there were reports of poor working conditions at many Tyson plants. So when you've got a situation with farmers slaughtering, or rather euthanizing or putting down, tens of thousands of animals, this doesn't seem to be a food supply issue. This seems to be a, you know, workplace safety issue more than anything else.

KAYYEM: That's -- that's exactly what it is. I mean, if you actually look at what -- why the plans are closing down, it's not about there's not enough supply or demand. It's actually that the people are getting sick. Lots of people, hundreds of people.

And that goes, clearly, to you know, what kind of protections were they given as they were asked to continue to work. What kind of PPE, what kind of policies were in place to protect individuals on the front lines.

That is not solely Tyson's responsibility. Of course, the government has a responsibility, but it's odd that Tyson just sort of throws up its hands and says, you know, there's a problem here, as if they were responsible for the problem.

Remember, Tyson did not have -- require masks until April 15. Until April. I mean, a lot was happening before April 15, and that they should have known that, as part of the food supply chain, they should have protected their employees.

VAUSE: Well, Tom Vilsack, the former agricultural secretary, he did not agree with Tyson's assessment there. He said there were supply in certain parts which is being threatened, but he also added this. Listen -- listen to him now.


TOM VILSACK, FORMER AGRICULTURE SECRETARY: I think the solution is that the companies have to be creative. They are -- that they need to be committed to workers' safety. They need to agree that these workers are essential in the economy, which means that they ought to have access to protective equipment, that they ought to have access to testing.


VAUSE: And that's part of what, you know, the government's responsibility is. But what we're looking at right now, plants closing in more than a dozen states. Others are struggling to stay open. Social distancing in a meat plant is not going to be easy. And there are implications here which go way beyond the supermarket.

KAYYEM: That's exactly right. So I mean, you're -- we're possibly looking at the first disruption of the supply chain outside of the healthcare needs that we've been experienced, like PPE and masks and gloves.

And that is -- is scary for the American public, because even though there's been some disruption, some things are missing from markets, we certainly have not been sort of deprived of sort of provisions, especially meat.

And so the companies -- look, there's a testing problem in this nation. We simply don't have enough tests. The companies can either sort of privatize it and try to get tests for their employees. They can require more massive -- more extensive PPE requirements, in other words, full gowns, you know, these plastic helmets, or -- or masks that people are putting on now, but they have to protect their employees first. Without the employees, the system doesn't work.


And that's related to your point about the farms. The reason why the farms have an overabundance of things is because it is cheaper for them to get rid of the food or the stock or whatever they have there, then to hire people to come in and work, because you know, basically, people are sick, and the supply is limited.

VAUSE: So that's why we're seeing thousands of gallons of milk being dumped. We're seeing, you know, fields being plowed back into the ground, because it's just -- what, it's not worth their while to donate it?

KAYYEM: Right. So basically, they've lost employees due to sickness, for what we're seeing as Tyson's, as well, and it is just cheaper to get rid of everything than to try to replace those employees at this stage.

It's inconceivable, and it's hard to put your head around, so we have people who are desperate for food because of unemployment and the economy. And farmers are just making their calculation, just based on what their needs are, that they're better off just getting rid of the food, then trying to hire, train, and get people into their -- into their companies.

VAUSE: That's where that national leadership stuff comes into play. We can see this just going to the supermarket now. You know, many places limited how much chicken customers are allowed to buy.

And CNN's Manu Raju adds this reporting: "Spoke with Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson about the threats to the nation's pork supply, and he said that farmers will have to kill tens of thousands of pigs a day because of shuttered processing facilities, and says that the U.S. pork supply is now at serious risk."

So until we get those measures in place, until the PPE is there, until the testing is done, is this just going to get worse, if it, in fact, ever gets better?

KAYYEM: Yes. In some industries it will get worse. And one of the most important things for any countries to protect its supply chain, which of course, includes food and water security, you want the food to be able to move so that people aren't desperate for it.

So what you're seeing happen now is because the processing plants do not have enough people. Then the people -- then the farmers cultivating the pigs simply have to slaughter them, because they can't do anything with the meat.

It is -- it's just a disruption of the supply and demand of the distribution system, because it's all based on healthy people. That's all it is. Healthy employees, that's what this is all about. This is why there was social distancing in the first place. And until we're able to protect them, bring them back and protect them with a national program of testing and PPEs and providing employers with intelligence and with the guidance that they need, we will see these kinds of disruptions, not for very long, but certainly longer than we've ever experienced in the United States.

VAUSE: Well, we all eat too much meat, probably, so it's a good time to think about vegetarian diets, I guess. Juliette --

KAYYEM: If they can get rid of carbs, I'd be happy over here.

VAUSE: There we go. OK. Juliette, good to see you. Thank you for being with us.

KAYYEM: Talk to you soon.


VAUSE: Well, the U.S. futures are relatively flat at this hour. That's after a 1-percent gain on Wall Street. We can see the Dow futures there, a third of a percent down, NASDAQ about the same. Half a percent down there for the S&P 500.

Major markets in Asia are also mostly down. Tokyo's Nikkei low, moving from positive into negative territory in early trading. You can see there it's down by a third of one percent. Hong Kong up by almost one percent.

U.S. oil, though, plunged nearly 15 percent in early trade. Kaori Enjoji is in Tokyo with more on that. So what we're seeing here, you know, the price of oil falls, and then that brings down the U.S. futures, as well. So we're in that sort of cycle, I guess.

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Yes, that's right. I think people are -- continue to be really worried about the price of oil, and you're seeing WTI has skid again. It's down below the $11 per barrel mark. That is on top of the 25 percent drop that we saw on Monday.

A fairly similar picture for Brent, as well. And as you know, with that below $19, you're looking at a situation where we saw, you know, 10 days ago, sparked another renewed sell-off in the equity markets.

So people are very nervous about that. And even though the output cuts of 10 -- 10 million barrels a day goes into effect soon, from May 1. People are worried that it doesn't go anywhere near in offsetting the demand destruction, which is happening around 30 million billion [SIC] -- 30 million barrels per day. So I mean, that is the concern, and that's one of the reasons why we're seeing difficulty in the equity markets today.

And continued concerns from central banks. We saw the Bank of Japan here announce fresh stimulus measures, and that's likely to be repeated when the ECB and the U.S. Federal Reserve meet later on this week, and I mean, joblessness all around. I mean, John, 2 and a half percent unemployment in Japan is probably a

dream for a lot of economies at this point, but for a country like Japan which has long prided itself on lifelong employment. Some of the background numbers to these unemployment figures are very, very worrying, because you're seeing temp people getting laid off very aggressively over the last month at a pace that you haven't seen in over six years. And I think that's because this coronavirus has hit not just the manufacturing industry, but the services sector. [00:40:25]

So I think the government is acutely aware of this and is trying to lend more to these mom-and-pop companies, because they're having trouble with financing. That's the case. And I think it's filtering through the large corporations, as well.

I mean, we're going to hear a lot of earnings numbers over the last couple of weeks. The airlines are up first, with All Nippon Airways out later on today. I mean, they've already warned. But I think it's going to be a fairly dire picture, and that's why the central bank is trying to put up a wall of money to try and prevent a collapse in some of these sectors that are particularly vulnerable, John.

VAUSE: And you know, we're seeing a lot of empty flights traveling around the world right now, but even though the earnings are coming out, they're finding some unusual ways, I guess, to fill these seats on these -- on these flights. Lufthansa, for example, is turning them into cargo planes. And I guess we have sort of a similar situation there in Japan.

ENJOJI: You know, it's right. Because no one's traveling, or they're being told to stay in place because of the national -- because of the state of emergency. The domestic flights are pretty much empty, as well.

I mean, international flights dried up more than a month ago. The problem for Japanese airlines is pretty unique, though, because the government has said that you are an essential business, so you have to keep flying to these hundreds of routes across Japan, where Japan is a pretty long chain of islands. Right?

So they are forced to fly at a time when demand is pretty much drying up, and I think that might be, or at least analysts are saying this could be a very, very big problem going forward if this continues and they extend the state of emergency beyond May 6.

And remember, the government has bailed out Japan airlines four times in the past. And a big reason that they had to do that is because they are so many domestic routes. And they have to keep flying, because they built the airports.

And it's kind of playing out in a similar fashion right now. So I'd be very concerned about some of the prospects for some of these airlines, Japanese domestic airlines in particular, in the months ahead.

VAUSE: Yes. And some airlines here in the U.S. are now asking passengers to wear masks, or they're providing those face masks, as well so the -- you know, cabin crew can be protected. So it's a whole new world we're getting into here, in many ways.

And Kaori, thank you. We appreciate the update. Kaori Enjoji, there for us in Tokyo.

Well, there's long lives at many stores and empty shelves, orders to stay at home, but round the world, many are turning to the Internet to do their shopping. Hello, Wayfair and Amazon and all that kind of stuff.

But shopping online for many others is not new. CNN's Paula Hancocks tells us for the high-tech-minded in South Korea, it's long been part of their culture.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Staying at home's means shopping from home, something South Koreans have done for years. There was no panic buying, no empty shelves. People here know they can get what they need online delivered within hours or at least the next day. Coupang is the largest delivery platform in Korea. It saw it's next-day delivery orders jump from just over two million to 3.3 million a day when the coronavirus hit.

BOM KIM, CEO, COUPANG: We saw surge of demand across all categories. Of course, you would imagine fresh products: milk, eggs, basic necessities surge more in the -- in the short term. The equipment to work from home, educational toys for the -- for the children.

HANCOCKS: South Korea has plenty of options to choose from when it comes to e-commerce. A recent study says last year alone, 2.7 billion parcels were delivered, maybe not that surprising for a country where 9 out of 10 people own a smartphone.

KIM: The mobile and Internet infrastructure that existed and the ease with which customers were able to access technology. By the way, it's not just e-commerce. When you think about educational, you know, classes online or just consuming media and other services online.

HANCOCKS (on camera): In some ways, south Korea has been setting itself up for social distancing for years. This is how a lot of people shop here, myself included. And for the customer, at least, it means that from start to finish, there is zero contact with another human being.

(voice-over): Delivery men and women are being praised for being on the front line, allowing people to stay home and social distance. Coupang says even before the virus, it was delivering 1,200 products to customers every minute. Delivery men leaving a package outside a front door. A photo and a text to let you know it's arrived. A faceless hero of the crisis.

(on camera): Do you feel like a hero?


HANCOCKS: Yes. (voice-over): It's hard to know if this increased demand will stay

once the crisis subsides, but it is clear the e-commerce industry made social distancing in South Korea a lot easier.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Hwaseong (ph), South Korea.


VAUSE: I'd say he's a hero.


Well, still to come, what's it like being in the eye of the storm of a dangerous and totally fictitious conspiracy theory?


MAATJE BENASSI, VICTIM OF CONSPIRACY THEORY: It's like waking up from a bad dream, going into a nightmare.


VAUSE: The Army reservist falsely accused of being COVID-19's patient zero. Her exclusive CNN interview is next.




DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Kim Jong-un? I can't tell you exactly. Yes, I do have a very good idea, but I can't talk about it now.


VAUSE: The U.S. president there with his cryptic comments about the health and whereabouts of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Kim has not been seen in public for more than two weeks, and President Trump says nobody knows where he is.

Last week, the U.S. was monitoring intelligence about Kim, suggesting his health was in grave danger after surgery, but North Korean state media has published two messages since this past Sunday, claiming both are from him.

And President Trump stepping up his criticism of China for not doing enough to stop the pandemic. He says the U.S. is conducting very serious investigations and looking at ways to hold Beijing accountable. Trump has repeatedly stopped short of blaming the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, whom he calls a good friend.

The coronavirus has upended a lot of lives around the world, but one couple in particular has been -- their life has been turned upside- down. It's all been based on a false accusation made by a conspiracy theory who has tens of thousands of followers.

CNN's Donny O'Sullivan has their story.


MAATJE BENASSI: It's like waking up from a bad dream, going into a nightmare, like day after day.

DONNY O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is Maatje Benassi. She and her husband, Matt, are in the center of an elaborate conspiracy theory promoted by George Webb.

GEORGE WEBB, CONSPIRACY THEORIST: This goes back to our story here, which is patient zero, which is Maatje Benassi.

O'SULLIVAN: He's a conspiracy theorist who has nearly 100,000 subscribers on YouTube, who falsely claims, without any evidence, that Maatje brought the virus to China during a cycling competition.

Maatje is in the U.S. Army Reserve, and last October she competed in the Military World Games in Wuhan, China.

Six months later, comments under Webb's YouTube videos about the Benassis have become the stuff of nightmares.

MATT BENASSI, VICTIM OF CONSPIRACY THEORIST: "Execute them by firing squad."

"We need to be killing these key people."

"These people will get a bullet to the skull."

WEBB: The conspiracy theory has even reached China. Webb has been featured in media controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, which has sought to deflect blame for the coronavirus.


MATT BENASSI: We've gone to law enforcement. Because they're not direct threats, there's not a lot that they can actually do. For folks like us, it's just too expensive to litigate something like this.

O'SULLIVAN: Could you talk me through the specific evidence you have that -- that she is, as you described, coronavirus patient zero?

WEBB: Yes. Well, I have to -- there's a lot of circumstantial evidence, and then there's a source here that I cannot reveal.

O'SULLIVAN: So specifically on Maatje Benassi, how do you know that she has the coronavirus or has antibodies? Or how do you know that for sure?

WEBB: Well, I have a source at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, and she actually works at -- where I have someone saying that she works at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, and she tested positive for the coronavirus. O'SULLIVAN: She denies that.

WEBB: She denies that? Does she deny that she works at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital?

O'SULLIVAN: She's denies that she's had the coronavirus, that she has any symptoms of the coronavirus.

(voice-over): A YouTube spokesperson told CNN the company is committed to promoting accurate information about the coronavirus and taking down misinformation when it's flagged by users. YouTube took down some trending comments under Webb's videos after CNN asked about them.

MATT BENASSI: A couple years ago I was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Dealing with that situation is way easier than trying to deal with this George Webb situation.

MAATJE BENASSI: It's getting out of hand, and it needs to stop.


VAUSE: Thanks to Danny O'Sullivan for that report, and you can see a lot more of his exclusive interview at

Friends, family, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Some are the things missed most by children in this pandemic. Their stories after the break.


VAUSE: When you're a kid, this whole pandemic thing, well it just sucks. Let's face it. You're stuck indoors. You can't play with your friends. All this social distancing, it's just -- you know, it's horrible.

So, when asked about the things they missed the most, the answers are pretty simple. Here's Robyn Curnow. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Lydia (ph). I am 10 years, and I live in New York City.

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: Lydia (ph), like many children around the world, is on lockdown. A scary time for kids, even with family members around, because they know that life just isn't the same.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; I miss being social with people, and I drew this picture of me selling lemonade.

CURNOW: When asked to draw what they missed the most while riding out the coronavirus, two brothers in Hungary said they missed playing sports.

For this young lady in Sri Lanka, it was dancing.

A trip to the zoo in Prague, even if it means wearing a face mask.

This young man is 10 and lives in New Delhi, and like most growing boys, he misses the food.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I'd do, basically, was like all my favorite restaurants. I'd do Starbucks, KFC, McDonald's.

CURNOW: Perhaps the images depicted most were a family and friends. Figures like Grandma and Grandpa, once regulars in young lives, and the ones that 6-year-old Tom in Germany says he wants most to see.


This big sister in Tokyo showed us a picture of her friends. And she says she feels anxious, because she doesn't know what will happen next.

Little Halla (ph) n Damascus said this is a portrait of some planets, her brother and the coronavirus. She says she spends a lot of time drawing and plans to keep doing it until it's safe to go out again.

Indelible images crafted by children that somehow seem universally true, no matter how old you are.

Robyn Curnow, CNN, Atlanta.


VAUSE: So this wasn't meant to happen this way, but a group of Dutch students have finally made it home after sailing to the Netherlands all the way from Cuba.

Now, because of coronavirus travel restrictions, after more than five weeks at sea, the 24 students, they arrived safely on Sunday. But they've been on this sail study program in the Caribbean when the outbreak and the pandemic was declared. And they were unable to fly home in March as they originally planned.

So all these teenagers, along with three teachers, 12 crew members decided they just had to get home by boat, so they sailed more than 7,000 kilometers in a two-mast schooner.


LOTTE, DUTCH STUDENT: Well, sometimes it's difficult. It's -- a boat is a very tiny space, and you're with a lot of people. There are a lot of friction and sometimes fights or something, but it's very quickly solved, because you are in such a small space and you have to solve it creatively.


VAUSE: Now, before beginning this deep-sea voyage, they stopped in St. Lucia to stock up on supplies. A doctor monitored their health throughout the journey and determined the vessel was free of the coronavirus after two weeks. Way to go! Well, for the first time, scientists have created a blueprint of the

entire surface of the moon. The USGS partnered with NASA to map the lunar geography. They've used information from Apollo missions, as well as recent satellite images, to create the guide.

Scientists say it will be a roadmap of sorts for future missions to the moon. Possibly new real-estate projects. Move to the moon, where there is no coronavirus, in years to come.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause, and I will be back with more news about an hour from now. In the meantime, please stay with us. "AMANPOUR" is up next.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "AMANPOUR." Here's what's coming up.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: To everyone on whom our economy depends, I understand.