Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Tara Reade's Ex-Neighbor Speaks Out On The Record; Trump Claims U.S. Will Be Able To Conduct Five Million Tests Per Day "Very Soon"; Las Vegas Casinos Outline New Safety Measures For Re-Opening; New Jersey Coronavirus Deaths Rise By 402 To 6,442 As Jersey Shore Mayor Plans Partial Reopening This Week; WH Touts Small Business Lending Program, But Many Remain Frustrated Waiting For Applications To Process; WH Economist: Unemployment Could Hit 20 Percent By June; New Zealand Says It Has Eliminated Coronavirus. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 28, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
M.J. LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: She actually hadn't thought about for all of those years. A few years ago she says they got back in touch and last year when Tara Reade mentioned Joe Biden, LaCasse said, "I remember that conversation we had in the 1990s."
And more recently she says that she told her ex-neighbor, "I'm willing to talk publicly about this conversation that we had." Now notably LaCasse says that she is a Democrat and that she is opposed to President Donald Trump, and that she plans on voting for Joe Biden come November because she absolutely cannot support Donald Trump.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: So, M.J., what is the Biden campaign saying in response to this?
LEE: So, the Biden campaign is not addressing the Lynda LaCasse allegation, her account, but they did refer us to the previous statement that they have released from the deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield which reads, "Vice president Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws on violence against women.
He authored and fought for the passage and reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard and heard respectfully. Such claims should also be diligently reviewed by an independent press. What is clear about this claim, it is untrue, this absolutely did not happen."
Now, of course, Erin, all of this comes as Joe Biden is preparing to run against president trump in the general election, and more than a dozen women have leveled allegations against Donald Trump ranging from inappropriate behavior to sexual harassment to assault, and President Trump has denied these allegations. Erin?
BURNETT: All right, M.J., thank you very much. And now more of our special coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. And tonight President Trump is at odds with his own plan for coronavirus testing. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you saying you're confident you can surpass 5 million tests per day, is that -
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, we're going to be there very soon. If you look at the numbers, it could be that we're getting very close. I mean, I don't have the exact numbers. We would have had them if you asked me the same question a little while ago because people with the statistics were there. We're going to be there very soon. We're really doing a great job on testing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Five million tests a day? Well, the President's own plan, you know, put out by the coronavirus task force, is to conduct 6 to 7 million tests a month. Now, they're nowhere near that yet, but 6 to 7 million a month and as opposed to 5 million a day, well, that's just not even in the same stratosphere. And Dr. Fauci on CNN just moments ago saying they still need to connect the dots with states to expand the testing to begin with.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: One of the problems has been is the tests getting to the people who need them or the tests out there we're not connecting the dots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The president also defending the administration's initial response to the pandemic. Here he is when asked if he stands by comments that he made in February. Remember when he said the number of cases would peak at 15 and drop to zero?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: How did we get from your prediction of zero to 1 million?
TRUMP: Well, it will go down to zero ultimately. Any - very good experts, very good people, too, said that this would never affect the United States. The experts got it wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Well, the president also got it wrong even after U.S. officials told "the Washington Post" that they warned President Trump about the coronavirus in more than a dozen classified briefings in January and February. Well, even after those dozen classified briefings as reported by "the Washington Post," at the end of February here was President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: When you have 15 people and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Tonight, of course, the cases are not close to zero. They're more than a million now, and expected to continue to increase for months to come.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: And I'm almost certain it will come back because the virus is so transmissible and it's globally spread.
DR ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: Next fall and winter we are going to have two viruses circulating and we're going to have to distinguish between which is flu and which is the coronavirus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Those top two advisors, and of course, Dr. Fauci. as you heard today, Jim Acosta is at the White House, said, "We could be in for a bad fall and bad winter."
ACOSTA: That's right.
BURNETT: You know, there are a lot of mixed messages coming out of the White House, and I guess to be accurate I should say you have Dr. Fauci, Dr. Redfield consistently saying one thing and you have the president saying another.
ACOSTA: That's absolutely the case and when I posed that question to the president earlier today, he went on to say that the experts got it wrong. That they were going to say that this was going to be no problem. That's absolutely not the case. We should point out earlier in the day in the oval office, the president was asked about the warnings that he got earlier in the year from the intelligence community and he pinned the blame on Dr. Anthony Fauci.
At one point he referred to quote, "Anthony" and said that Dr. Fauci essentially said that all of this was going to be no problem.
In the words of the President, no problem. When the President made that comment on February 26th, about the cases going down to zero, Erin, we should point out, three days later after that remark from the President, Dr. Fauci was on another network saying that there could be a major outbreak.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier from the CDC that same week was saying that the U.S. needs to prepare for community spread. And so the President is trying to rewrite history here, and say that - that the experts were telling him at the time that there wasn't going to be a problem, when of course, we have video, we have audio, and we know that's not the case.
But I will tell you, Erin, talking to my sources, there are surrogates close to this White House - Trump campaign surrogates - who have been putting out, you know, really talking points to reporters, trying to pin the blame on the experts, people like Dr. Fauci, and saying they're the ones who are giving the President the bad information.
And it was - it was really perfect that you played that video from Dr. Redfield from the CDC a - a few moments ago. Because as you recall earlier today, the President was saying, "Well, the worst of the pandemic might be behind us." He said that today in the East Room of the White House, when, of course, we just don't know whether or not that's the case.
And as Dr. Redfield was saying, and Dr. Fauci - they both said that the coronavirus will still be around, and it could combine with the flu outbreak over the winter months, and make things very difficult for the United States.
And so the President, time and again, on opposite ends from his experts in trying to rewrite history, and saying that he never said these things when, of course, we know he did - Erin.
BURNETT: Jim, thank you. And I want to go to Dr. Ivan Walks, former District of Columbia chief health officer, Gloria Borger, our chief political analyst, and Ryan Goodman, co editor-in-chief of the Just Security blog, where he has published a piece dissecting the time line of the U.S. Government's response to the pandemic. He's also former counsel at the Department of Defense. Thanks to all.
So Gloria, let me start with you. The President, you know, basically saying the experts made mistakes. Certainly, some of them did. We've talked about the W.H.O. and mistakes that were made. But we also, of course, have - we know that he did receive briefings. The Washington Post" is reporting at least a dozen of them -
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: We do.
BURNETT:- indicating the magnitude of the problem here. But that is not a responsibility that he's willing to take. I think today, in fact, he said he'd have to check to see how many times he was briefed.
BORGER: Well, that was such a curious answer, wasn't it, Erin? Imagine if you had been given a daily brief on this, and if you had listened to it, or if you had read it. And then according to The Washington Post, these briefings became more frequent, and were more widely distributed.
Imagine if you were President of the United States. You wouldn't recall that something had been told you about a potential pandemic that could cost lives, that could ruin the economy? I mean, imagine not recalling that that had been either said to you or given to you in a presidential daily brief. I mean, that's kind of a startling piece of information to forget, isn't it?
BURNETT: It certainly is. And Doctor , it comes as, again, the President today says that the - the virus, you know, may - may go away, and/or may come back in a modified form in the fall. Which - which seems quite dangerous because it implies it's going to be a different sort of a - a virus, and there's no experts that have spoken of that at all. In fact, Dr. Fauci tonight says we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter. Again, two incredibly divergent stories.
DR. IVAN WALKS, FORMER DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER: Erin, at a time like this, you need two things. You need good leadership and you need good advice. I think most of us are pretty clear that Dr. Fauci and the other medical folks are giving good advice. What we don't have is someone who is willing to say, 'I'm the leader. The buck stops with me. I'm responsible for this. And what happens, I'm the one."
I don't understand how that happens, because the problem with not doing that is that credibility is what leaders need. So this is - this is like Leadership 101. Leadership 101 doesn't allow you to just blame everyone else if you want people to keep following you. It doesn't make - well, it makes sense if there is something called magical thinking going on.
If you really believe that you can just wish it away, if you really believe that whatever you say is going to happen, if you just want it to happen badly enough, then you get something like this. But from a leadership perspective, from a public health perspective, it's dangerous to not have anyone at the top who is willing to take responsibility.
BURNETT: And you know, Ryan, when we've looked at the time lines here, you know, there are some basic things. As in the President, you know, when he says he's - he banned travel from China, which - which he did, in part, but of course - what, 40,000 people still came through.
But even with that, even after he did that, he continued to say that the virus was going to go away. You've looked very specifically at the time line of everything we know about the government response to the virus. What stands out the most to you?
GOODMAN: So, I think what stands out the most to me, Erin, is what Jim Acosta just said, which is we now know what the president knew at the time that he was making these public statements. And what we can derive from it is - I think, is not just wishful thinking, but it's engaging in public deception.
He was being told by his public health officials. He was being told by his economic advisor, Mr. Navarro. He was being told by the secretary of Health and Human Services, Mr. Azar, twice, in which the president responded to Mr. Azar by saying he's being alarmist to raise the seriousness of the virus to him.
And these over dozen intelligence briefings. And then you can look at the timeline, when he's being told this, he, in fact, tries to squelch it and threatens to fire Dr. Messonnier, which Jim Acosta just referred to, after she did try to warn the public. So "The Wall Street Journal" just reported that last week. And
instead, there's a lot of pressure placed on senior officials to fall in line. So the timeline also shows the various ways in which the senior officials start to say things in their public messaging that doesn't step out of line with the president which makes it a very difficult situation for them.
BURNETT: I mean, Gloria, it is pretty stunning, too, you know, in addition to that contradiction, right, consistent, and now we know what was happening behind the scenes that he kept saying this, that it continues even today, right?
BURNETT: In the past few days where he said, "If the virus comes back." When Dr. Fauci said, "I have no question it's going to come back." And then today, the president says, you know, "Maybe it will go away," And Dr. Fauci says, "We could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter."
And the president uses this very dangerous form of words to describe the virus that it may be in some modified form. There is no scientific evidence that this virus is going to change form.
BORGER: Right. And he - I think his language was, which kind of struck me, he said, "We'll be able to put out spurts of the virus" - whatever that means - "and maybe this will just go away for months." And one day, hopefully, you know, he might be right, Erin.
But what the public is seeing is dangerous, which is you have the scientists saying one thing. And, by the way, as we know, that the public trust Tony Fauci, for example, by almost two to one over the president. So you have the scientists saying, "Yes, this could come back, particularly if people ease up too much on the social distancing," and you have the president who calls himself a cheerleader saying, "Oh, no, no, no, this is going to be fine."
Well, there is a line between cheerleading and lying to the American public. And I think that the president is crossing it all the time because he's not listening to what his very own task force is telling him, and he wants to go out there to the podium every day, or whether it's in the Rose Garden or the East Room, or - and say, you know, "We're really -- this is almost over and the economy's going to come roaring back, and don't you worry, I've got it under control."
Beneath all of this is, of course, the question about what the president knew and when he knew it early on in this pandemic.
BURNETT: All right, thanks.
BORGER: Before it became a pandemic.
BURNETT: Thanks very much to all.
And next, a plan to reopen casinos in Las Vegas. I'm going to talk to the leader of the largest casino workers union to see if the risk to his members is worth the payoff.
And then to the Jersey Shore where a major - a mayor wants to reopen his town and the beach even as hundreds are still dying in the Garden State, his plan.
And we're going to take you where fewer people have died during the entire outbreak, than die in a single hour in the United States: New Zealand. We're going to talk to an expert. What is New Zealand doing?
BURNETT: Tonight -- Casinos in Las Vegas releasing plans for how they'll open up for business, with The Venetian Resort today listing safety protocols it will follow, including: they're going to do temperature checks for both guests and staff at every entrance; and in the rooms, if you're going to stay there, a personal care kit will be provided.
Hand sanitizer, latex gloves, and a mask, although you will not be required to wear that mask. Casino chips disinfected every two hours, slot machines rearranged so that they would be, you know, social distanced apart.
OUTFRONT now, D. Taylor, international president of Unite Here, the largest casino workers' union, and I appreciate your time.
Mr. Taylor, so, you just -- I summarized the plan laid out by The Venetian, but you have temperature checks, masks handed out but not required of guests, chips cleaned every two hours. Is that good enough?
D. TAYLOR, PRESIDENT, UNITE HERE: No, not at all. We think there has to be a few things.
One: we think all the workers should actually get tested before they come back. 25 percent of coronavirus folks, as you know, are asymptomatics; we want to make sure the workers and guests aren't exposed. Two: full allowance of P.P.E. for our workers throughout, where needed. Three: enforcement of social distancing in a very strict way. Four: cleaning standards up to the CDC on a constant basis.
Five: we have to figure out shifts. So, for example, around time clocks, around pre-shift meetings, so there's not a congregating of people. I think this has to be not decided by companies. I think both the state and the municipality have to have a standard in the regulation, because we're not going to rely on companies to do the right thing: we've already seen what meatpacking companies have done in the United States.
And we think that it's absolutely essential, for both workers and the future of Vegas, and our industry, to make sure there is a standard that's enforceable, so workers aren't exposed, and guests aren't exposed. BURNETT: So what was your reaction when you heard cleaning the chips
only every two hours, in terms of disinfecting, and that a mask would be given to guests in the room, but they didn't actually even have to wear them? I mean, you know, most of us have been on a casino floor in Las Vegas. That would mean a whole lot of people are in close proximity with no protection.
TAYLOR: Yeah. I - it's not just that. I mean, think about all the different touch points you have in a casino. The casino is really no different than a cruise ship on land. Thousands of rooms, tons of restaurants, the ability to congregate.
I think it has to be totally re engineered. And first and foremost, I can't think of anything that would endanger business than another coronavirus hot spot in Las Vegas. So it's about protecting the workers, protecting the guests, protecting, frankly, the future of this city.
But as we look forward, this is really our industry throughout the country, in hotels and casinos. We've got to be tough in this country about how workers are protected, and guests are protected, in order to have a future.
BURNETT: So obviously, given the incredible uncertainty, the mass joblessness, you know, the true economic tragedy that is also helping - happening across this country, and you are seeing it, of course, with - with your union members. How do you keep them unified, you know, when - when there is going to be a lot of pressure on them to go back to work under any circumstances because they need those jobs?
TAYLOR: Well, there's a few things. One, the unemployment system in this country is a joke. So if they could actually get unemployment - as you know, in places like Florida and Nevada and other states, it's almost impossible, even though they're qualified.
Number two, nobody should have to choose between your life and your job. That's what we're being asked to do here. We're not rats in a lab to be tested. So I think it is absolutely essential that we do this right.
I heard earlier about Dr. Fauci - who we should listen to as compared to the politicians - we have to do this right. We can't cut corners. We can't have workers be expendable, like a pair of gloves or a pair of shoes.
BURNETT: All right. I appreciate your time, D. Taylor. Thank you.
TAYLOR: Thank you. Thank you.
BURNETT: And I want to go to New Jersey now, where the mayor of one town is looking at social distancing guidelines, and the possibility of wearing masks on the beach when he opens it back up. Beach side video there - this is from a few years back - you know, you can see possible social distance in part, but it can get pretty tight on some crowded days down there, as we have seen certainly in California, Florida and elsewhere.
OUTFRONT now, the mayor of Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, Paul Kanitra.
And Mayor, I appreciate your time. So opening the beach - of course, you know, it's the lifeblood of - of your community. There's no question about, right? In the summer, that's when a lot of businesses, you know, make the money they're going to make. So I understand the pressure that you feel on - on both sides of this. But how would you safely bring hundreds, maybe thousands of people closely together?
MAYOR PAUL KANITRA (R), POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NJ: Well I think the whole plan that we have is a common sense one, Erin. It's meant to make sure that we don't just open the floodgates up completely and immediately, and endanger our citizens, endanger the tri-state area, and put us at risk for potential of a second wave.
What we're trying to do is a very gradual approach where we know our residents here on Point Pleasant Beach, we know our taxpayer. Like you mentioned, the beach and the ocean is their lifeblood. And if anybody knows how to handle themselves, I think they do.
And the fact that we can open it on a small scale first, start out with our residents, start out with our taxpayers, and - and make it gradual. Along the way, we're going to find out a lot of these answers. We're going to find out how many resources we need, how many officers up there to enforce social distancing, how many people we can have on the beach. Those kinds of questions.
BURNETT: So, you know, you also have a boardwalk. And this is a question that people, you know, in coastal towns around this country are going to have. A boardwalk is even more difficult than a beach, right? It's narrow, it's jammed. That's the whole point of it. Is there any way you could have that open safely?
KANITRA: Well I think our boardwalk really highlights just how different municipalities, especially beach municipalities, are up and down the coast of New Jersey and across the entire country. We've seen what happened - you alluded to it earlier - in Jacksonville and Orange County, where people opened things up too quickly. There was a deluge. It was unsustainable and - and people weren't practicing proper social distancing.
Our boardwalk at some points is only 10 or 15 feet wide. Now that's drastically different than Atlantic City and Seaside Heights, where their boardwalks are a lot different, and a lot wider. What we're looking for - and the governor here in New Jersey has given us a lot of latitude in this front - is for the municipality, who know their town the best, to be able to make the decisions for them using that data and that knowledge that we have.
BURNETT: So how would you enforce - when you set your restrictions and you say you're going to have strict social distancing which you're going to need to have - how are you going to enforce that?
KANITRA: So we're in the process of looking at printing up temporary resident and taxpayer badges. We're looking at how we're going to have badge checkers on the board walk, and how many seasonal officers we're going to have up there. Point Pleasant Beach in the off season is only 4,500 residents.
Now in the - the main season, we grow to almost 50,000 plus residents on some busy weekends. So again, this small approach, where even if we only have 5 or 10 percent of our residents on the beach, it's a very manageable 250, 300-or-so residents up there, and I think that that's something really palatable, and something that we can really figure out how to do this properly. And see if it's scalable, too, on a larger scale.
BURNETT: All right. Mayor Kanitra, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
KANITRA: Thanks for having me.
BURNETT: And next, a small business owner on why some big companies and organizations, like the L.A. Lakers, could get a small business loan from a federal program, and he can't.
Also tonight, New Zealand's prime minister expecting 75 percent of the economy up and running, coronavirus-free. How was it -- is it possible? One of the nation's top doctors is OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: President Trump holding an event today with small business owners touting the paycheck protection program known as the PPP.
(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When 14 days they did more work and more loans, both in terms of applications and in terms of dollar amount than they did in 14 years, and then the kind of jobs that have also been saved, it's incredible, you'll be seeing that in the coming weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It comes as many business owners, though, have been waiting weeks to find out if their applications have been accepted and others have not been able to get past glitches on the website due to what it says, "Unprecedented demand." OUTFRONT now Tom Sopit he owns the Los Angeles restaurant employees only. And Tom, you know we talked recently about the status, you had, you know, tried to get a loan the first time and then, boom, the money is all gone. Where are you now in the process now they have a second tranche and you're applying?
TOM SOPIT, LA RESTAURANT OWNER STRUGGLING TO GET SBA FUNDS: I'm not exactly sure because they just really send a generic message on, you know, "Hey, you're in line, we're working on it," but there's really no concrete details to where we stand, so we're just kind of still waiting.
BURNETT: So, the small business administration I just referenced there, but, you know, the unprecedented demand is how they're describing what happened to their website when they relaunched the program yesterday. So, you're basically saying you have no idea - I mean, it went into the ether and you have no idea if someone will see it or if you'll get a response?
SOPIT: Yes, I have no idea. I just know I sent it in and it was submitted, but we don't know if there's -- you know, where we stand in that virtual line. we're just -- we're just waiting like many other Americans and business owners out there.
BURNETT: So, when, you know, the president says in the past 14 days they've done more work than they've done in the past 14 years in terms of the small business administration getting these loans out and that it's going to be saving a whole lot of jobs. What's your kind of gut reaction when you hear that?
SOPIT: That's great. We haven't had a pandemic like this in the last 14 years, so that -- that sounds accurate. It still doesn't help our cause as much as I would like to, you know, try to understand that, but our bills are still not being paid. We're still not getting the loan. People need jobs, so it's still not very helpful.
BURNETT: So, you know, last time we spoke you said you had lost faith in the system because a lot of big businesses were able to get loans as part of this program. and now the treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin is saying, "Look, there's going to be stricter oversight of these loans, this won't keep happening, they're going to have an audit on every loan over $2 million." Do you think any of this will actually help when it comes to your situation where you need money right now to keep your business and your family afloat?
SOPIT: No, that -- that doesn't help that they're going to retroactively do something later because we need the money now. The funds that are being returned do not even get automatically redistributed. New loans can't be made against those funds because congress will still need to authorize another loan, so it doesn't matter that all these companies are returning $20 million, what's probably well over $100 million now, it's not like we get a piece of that.
BURNETT: All right, well, Tom, I am glad to check in with you. I really hope that you'll have some -- some news for us next time we speak. Our fingers crossed for you. and I want to go straight to Austan Goolsbee, the former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Obama.
I mean, Austan, you know, you've heard Tom, you know, speak before trying to keep his -- his business -- his restaurant just afloat to get through this. It is pretty incredible, right, just the frustration. Last time applied just, you know, basically doesn't get a response. Now they open the -- the money again yesterday, and you go in and it just says unprecedented demand and -- and who knows what's going to happen?
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS UNDER OBAMA: Yes, look, first of all, every time we hear from Tom, you -- you can sense his frustration. and we should be frustrated, we're the taxpayers.
I mean, we -- put hundreds of billions of dollars into this program to try to try save businesses exactly like Tom's. The neighborhood restaurants, dry cleaners, beauty salons, whatever they might be, we're trying to prevent this thing from turning into an epic history- making recession or even depression.
The fact that there's so much over subscribing of people wanting the money is a sign of desperation. I mean, you've seen the surveys of small business.
Most small businesses have less than six weeks' worth of cash on hand.
That if we get to June 1 and rent is due, and payroll is due, and materials and they have their inventory and they can't pay it, that's going to be a deciding point. There are going to be a lot of companies that have to shut down for good.
And I certainly hope that Secretary Mnuchin is right, that they're going to have more oversight and better discipline on the money this time around. But, I mean, do you really think they're going to?
What happened last time is they ran through the money, they blew through $350 billion in less than two weeks, and the companies that needed it didn't get it. The companies that were the bank's favorites got concierge service and they got the money.
BURNETT: I mean, it's outrageous.
GOOLSBEE: So, now we gave more money to that system. I don't know if it's going to work.
BURNETT: It's outrageous. And, you know, I'm not saying that he doesn't want to have more oversight, I'm sure he does, but it is what it is, that, you know, there hasn't been a lot of investment in the small business administration. Who -- how are you suddenly going to have the head count to be going through this in a different way than you did a couple of days ago?
It doesn't add up. And you know, when I mentioned the L.A. Lakers earlier, Austan, that they were able to get a loan. They have returned the money, along with other high-profile companies. But it's sort of crazy when you look at it, that something like the L.A. Lakers would have even been able to get one to begin with.
Never mind their judgment in using their, you know, ability to go through all the red tape to get one in the first place. And the treasury secretary felt the same way about it. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN MNUCHIN, SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: I never expected in a million years that the Los Angeles Lakers, which I'm a big fan of the team, but I'm not a big fan of the fact that they took a $4.6 million loan. I think that's outrageous and I'm glad they've returned it or they would have had liability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: I mean, doesn't -- does he bear ultimate responsibility for this? It's his program ultimately.
GOOLSBEE: Look, I think he does. And the administration actively went out of its way to say, "We want to be in control. The president said he doesn't have to respect the inspector general." They control the money.
And the thing is, if you take all the power of controlling the money, then you have to take the accountability that comes with it. And what nobody's saying at this point is the biggest amount of the money of all is still coming down the pipe.
Five hundred billion dollars for big business with a $5 trillion lending facility coming through the Fed. Now, is that going to be better monitored than this $350 billion was for small business? It better be or there really is going to be hell to pay.
BURNETT: So, this all comes as the economic crisis here -- we're just really, I think, starting to see how horrible it could be, and that's saying something because the numbers that we've seen have been absolutely horrible.
Kevin Hassett's one of the president's top economic advisors. He's now predicting the unemployment rate could be 16 to 20% by June, and he's saying that's like the Great Depression, right? The Great Depression peaked at 24.9%.
These are unimaginable numbers, and yet he comes out and says this, Austan, as the President of the United States says something very different.
So here is Kevin Hassett today and here is President Donald Trump today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN HASSETT, PRESIDENTIAL ECONOMIC ADVISOR: GDP tomorrow will probably be a negative number and then that will be just the very tip of the iceberg of a few months of negative news. It's unlike anything you've ever seen.
TRUMP: Third quarter, it's obviously a transition quarter, but I think it's going to be OK, maybe better than OK. And then I think fourth quarter will be great. And I think next year's going to be a tremendous year for this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Why do you think they aren't on the same page? I mean, is there any possibility that, in a sense, it's coordinated? You know, you've got the good cop and then the bad cop, and then, you know, if Trump doesn't hit 16% unemployment, he looks good? Or do you think they're just not on the same page?
GOOLSBEE: Yes, that's an -- that's an interesting -- that's an interesting idea that I hadn't thought about. I don't think they contradicted each other because Kevin Hassett is saying the second quarter is going to be epically horrible, and Donald Trump is saying, "Well, the third quarter is going to be good."
Now, the thing that everybody should try to wrap their head around is both of those could be right, but if we have, let's say, the GDP growth rate is minus 20% in the second quarter and is the worst number we have ever seen, and then in the third quarter we come back 8%, are you going to feel better if the unemployment rate goes up to 16 and then comes down to 11?
Are you going to feel better? Maybe you'll feel better, but I kind of think the economy is mostly going to feel worse.
And what we've got to do -- it all just goes back to we've got to get control of the spread of this virus. That's the best way to get the economy back and growing, because if we don't do that, we're going to need more and more money for relief, over and over, because every business, like the small businesses you have on, Erin, is going to be saying, "I can't survive. I need help."
BURNETT: All right. Austan, thank you.
And next, New Zealand says it has eliminated coronavirus -- eliminated. One of the nation's top public health experts is OUTFRONT.
Plus, a spectacular aerial tribute to the superheroes down on the ground here in New York.
BURNETT: Tonight: New Zealand says it has eliminated coronavirus. After five weeks of strict lockdown measures, 400,000 New Zealanders went back to work, 75 percent of the economy up and running. There were only 19 deaths in the country, the entire country, for the entire outbreak.
OUTFRONT now, Michael Baker, epidemiologist and professor of public health at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Professor, I really appreciate your time.
So - you know, first of all, when people hear the word "eliminated," I think eyes light up around this planet to think how that could happen, and yet that is exactly what you are saying right now in New Zealand. So what exactly does "eliminated" mean? Does that mean you think it's gone, and basically no one can come or go from the country until - while the rest of the world deals with this?
MICHAEL BAKER, PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO, WELLINGTON: Yes. Good evening. Yes, I - I think we're still working on all of the details around what elimination looks like. But basically, our health authorities are using a definition that there is no community transmission despite very large volume testing across the country in many sittings.
BURNETT: So - OK. So you're - you're in the situation where now you have some return to normalcy. Could you explain what "75 percent of the economy" means? Did you put any - you know, any restrictions on that - as we're hearing Italy consider - in terms of the age of people who can go back to work to protect the vulnerable? Or - how did you define the 75 percent opening?
BAKER: Yes. It's a very good question. We have a four level alert system. We were in level four, which is essentially a lockdown of the whole country. Now moving to level three, certain workforce groups can return, but not many children are back in school yet. Only some.
And also, any industries that involve contact with people, like retail settings, they've gone to a - contactless approach. So it's still a very intense scrutiny of - of physical distancing and travel restrictions. So it could be many weeks before we're back to normal.
But certainly "the new normal," as we are calling it, also involves very intense control of the borders. There's very few people coming in, and they all have to go through two weeks of quarantine. So it will be a long time before we can even think about resuming contact with the rest of the world. And that will only be with countries that have also achieved elimination, or the widespread use of an effective vaccine, or very good antivirals.
BURNETT: Right. So it's interesting. As you say, I mean, it's obviously something to celebrate. But it isn't a return to normal in - in any way. And as - if we look at this as an indicator of where the rest of us could hopefully be going, it is a long path.
And to that point, Professor, Dr. Birx today - Deborah Birx, you know, in the U.S., who's been sort of - you know, one of the leaders, obviously of the Coronavirus Task Force in the White House - she said she really is watching what happens in New Zealand.
And, in part, because in the coming months is when normally respiratory diseases move from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere. Do you have concern that, you know, as you come into the winter that it could get worse in New Zealand?
BAKER: Yes. If we have circulating virus, it will get worse in winter, because all respiratory viruses love winter conditions. But if we have - if we succeed in elimination - and this is the first stage, it will involve several stages along this path to be assured we don't have circulating virus - it can't come back in winter because it won't be here.
I mean, we are doing the same thing that Taiwan did, you know, a month or two ahead of us. They've also succeeded very well. And Australia is also succeeding on this path. And I think it would be an option for any country, or even region, that can put a ring around its borders and pursue this elimination strategy. It is - it is possible for anywhere in the world, theoretically, to do this.
BURNETT: The world, of course, will be watching New Zealand. Incredible country, and one that I suppose will be staying on my dream list to visit for a little while longer. Thank you very much, Professor Baker. Appreciate your time.
BURNETT: And next, food banks faced with challenges likely not seen since the Great depression. These images are - are heartbreaking and incredibly powerful. People who say they need help feeding themselves and their families for the first time in their lives.
Plus something to nourish the spirit. Even if it means a rumble in the Bronx.
BURNETT: New tonight: President Trump signing an executive order to keep meat processing plants open, amid growing concerns about the nation's food supply. This is -- there are fears about food banks out of food, as families across the country are turning to them for the first time for help.
Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The line of cars stretch for more than a mile.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many people are in your household?
CARROLL (voice-over): The wait for food at this emergency distribution site at Newark, New Jersey, more than an hour, but the need so great those who came looking for help were more than willing to wait.
RITA CHARLES: I've never done this before. It is a shame that I have to do this.
CARROLL (voice-over): Many here say it is their first time asking for food.
RITA CHARLES: There is two families in here, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open your trunk right here.
CARROLL (voice-over): People like Rita Charles, who brought her elderly neighbor.
RITA CHARLES: We're alone. You know, even my neighbor, you know, she's alone, too, so that's why we appreciate it.
CARROLL (voice-over): Julio Ortega, a furloughed truckdriver, came with his wife, who was laid off from her job at a dry cleaner.
JULIO ORTEGA: It's an experience, is, you know, first time. The kids, it's hard for them.
CARROLL (voice-over): Week after week as the number of unemployed rises across the country so too does the number of people needing food assistance. Feeding America, the nation's largest group of food banks says it is now seeing a staggering 100 percent increase in demand at some of its distribution sites. Like this one in Little Rock, Arkansas, where they ran out of food in less than an hour Tuesday.
The states seeing the biggest spike Ohio, Florida, California and Texas where in San Antonio last week people lined up for hours and with the increased demand comes more worries about meeting those demands given diminishing donations food banks once received from what were reliable sources before the pandemic.
ERIC COOPER, CEO SAN ANTONIA FOOD BANK: Restaurants, hotels and caters aren't donating. Grocery stores are selling out, and so there's not as much food to collect while the demand is doubled.
CARROLL (voice-over): So much need and yet so much waste. Down the food chain, hogs in Minnesota to be euthanized, chickens slaughtered, their carcasses thrown out while dairy farmers forced such as Paul Fouts forced to dump 8,000 gallons of milk last week.
PAUL FOUTS: It kind of makes you sick to your stomach really.
CARROLL (voice-over): Part of the problem restaurants and schools now closed so farmers have fewer outlets to sell in bulk to. And with so many people sick, it has crippled their distribution channels like the trucking industry.
FOUTS: I mean, the food's here and the farmers - the farmers have it. And the consumers need it. Somehow, we got to get the system in between to work for that.
CARROLL (voice-over): Billions in federal assistance is scheduled in the next few weeks to aid farmers along with a program to get distributors to work with food banks. And at the state level, New York which saw a 60% jump in food bank demand, launched an initiative to help cut the waste.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: We're also immediately to stop this dumping of milk and get it to people who need it.
CARROLL (voice-over): In the meantime, the lines and the demand keeps growing. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BURNETT: And that was Jason Carroll. And finally, tonight, a beautiful noise from out of the blue. A soaring voice to compliment the cheers at 7:00 every night here in New York for doctors, nurses and everyone else on the front lines. Here's Jeanne.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Instead of sending thank you cards or flowers why not send the thunder bird and the blue angels. Blue angels make sense when you're honoring medical workers being hailed as angels. Here in Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, workers gathered outside for the flyby dedicated to them and others like them.
New Yorkers watched on roofs, on tables and on beaches. Gun boats patrolled the Hudson. Choppers buzzed by. But this was the buzz, the city elated flying in formation 1,500 feet above, spewing white trails. They were fueled in the air and did more flybys over Philadelphia and Trenton. Even celebs like Hugh Jackman couldn't resist posting video shot vertically, Hugh.
HUGH JACKMAN, ACTOR (voice-over): Look at that, that is amazing. Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (on camera): I had goose bumps, it was so beautiful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (on camera): Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (on camera): It was so, so beautiful. It was a little fast, though.
MOOS (voice-over): Up to 400 miles an hour. So fast Elmhurst Hospital workers said they didn't have time to get their cameras rolling. Masked faces and gloved hands underscored the medical nature of the thank you mission. Spectators tried to social distance with varying degrees of success.
MOOS (on camera): Yes, well, are those airplanes six feet apart?
MOOS (voice-over): Actually, the jets meet social distancing standards, staying apart in formation about ten feet. As for those medical workers --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (on camera): I don't think words can say how grateful we are.
MOOS: And we can all use a little sparkle these days as the blue angels fly by, will the real angels in blue stand up.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BURNETT: And thanks for joining us. I'm going to hand it off to Chris Cuomo. Chris, I will say it was absolutely beautiful to see those -- those planes fly over, but it was really, really fast. Let's hand it over to Chris now for Cuomo Prime Time.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I love it. I love having our most powerful show of respect for the people who are most powerful first line defense against this virus. I love it. We'll be talking about it as well. Erin, have a great night. I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to Prime Time. Is the worst behind us?