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Coronavirus Effects across the U.S.; Loan Website Crashes on Reopening Day; New Zealand Eliminates; Coping with Quarantine Fatigue. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired April 28, 2020 - 06:30   ET



RYAN BROWNE, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Number of coronavirus cases on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt reached 955, nearly one out of every five sailors aboard that ship. The circumstances surrounding the spread of the pandemic there are currently under investigation, the results of which have yet to be made public.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Stephanie Elam in Los Angeles.

California Governor Gavin Newsom says that we are weeks, not months, away from seeing some of these stay at home restrictions eased a bit, but he said that that easing would be based on the data and that the data is based on Californians' behavior. He made this point because over the weekend, as temperatures soared, people flocked to beaches in both Orange and Ventura Counties and everybody was not social distancing. He said some people did get warnings. But if people continue to not listen so these guidelines, he says stricter enforcement could follow.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Our thanks to our reporters around the country.

And now to a really upsetting story.

A New York City emergency room doctor who treated coronavirus patients has died by suicide. Forty-nine-year-old Dr. Lorna Breen worked 18 hours a day for weeks before she, herself, came down with the virus. Her father says she took just a week and a half off before then returning to work, but then she was hospitalized with exhaustion. After being released to stay with her family, police say she died from self-inflicted injuries. Her father says she died a hero working in the trenches against coronavirus.

If you or someone you know is struggling during this hard time, there is help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.

We'll be right back.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New concern this morning for thousands of small businesses desperate for relief after the website used to submit applications crashed minutes after reopening.

Joining me now, CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans and CNN anchor and correspondent Julia Chatterley.

Romans, it's not like they didn't have any warning. It's not like they didn't see this coming. This is what happened the first time around. This is a real problem.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, replay the tape, right? And, look, people are really frustrated. Small business owners are very frustrated. And there was a big, big queue of loans that were -- already had been submitted before the -- the money ran out. And the SBA trying to update its portal and -- and -- and be a traffic cop, essentially, for some of the big banks to that everybody could try to get through there fairly.

But, you know, no matter how you slice it, there is so much need, a crash in American small businesses, that there's just no way they can keep up with the demand. I mean what this tells you is there are all of these business owners who are absolutely desperate and need this lifeline. Some are getting through. Some are not.

BERMAN: And, Julia, we talked about this before, many of these businesses can't wait. The delay could kill them.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: I mean we've got weeks now of this shutdown. The average amount of cash that these small business hold, wherever you look, whatever sector, whether it's restaurants or hotels, is weeks. We've long since passed that. It's a desperate situation.

I mean the only thing that I can say about what we saw in the last 24 hours that was different was that lenders were allowed to bulk submit. If you had 5,000 applications or more, you could send a spreadsheet to the Small Business Administration. That could be the critical difference. We don't know about the processing speed of these. But this is a critical difference.

The other thing, I think, that I would point out here, the Small Business Administration said they got $2 billion back from people who took the money, said, OK, fine, we needed it, others need it more, and they've given it back. And that's now available too. It's tiny as a proportion of the whole amount of money, but it's something, John.

BERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) the Lakers (ph) in NBA got more than 4 million and I just don't think, Christine Romans, that's what people had in mind when this bill was being written.


ROMANS: No. No, but Congress wrote this to be broad and to get the money out there, quite frankly. I mean the statute was written without a lot of -- a lot of rules about this to prevent this. They just wanted to get that money moving.

And, you know, John, there are some 200 publicly traded companies that have taken the money. You know, financial services firms, some hedge funds, a bunch of big restaurant groups, luxury hotel chains, and some of them are unapologetic about it saying, look, we have workers too. The whole point of this was to get money in the hands of workers and make sure that you weren't laying off workers, and that's what we're going to do with it.

BERMAN: So, Julia, there's a really interesting phenomena happening in the economy as certain states begin to allow for reopenings. Talk about Georgia, talk about Texas, for instance. They say they're going to allow movie theaters to reopen in Texas with 25 percent capacity. Well, they're going to allow it, but AMC, which is the country's biggest theater chain says, we're not reopening yet. And even if they did, I don't know what movies they would show. There hasn't been any new content in months.

CHATTERLEY: This is what we're going to find, business by business is going to have to make a decision for their own employees, for their own customers and make a decision whether they're willing to take the risks. It's critical when we look at some of the small businesses that are desperate for money, workers too that are signing on for unemployment benefits, to what extent are we going to see those that have claimed for benefits perhaps be brought back into the workforce. Those that have been furloughed. Those have lost their jobs. Those that are just afraid.

John, what you're pointing out here as we slowly start to see states open up is the challenge, I think, of reabsorbing some of the apparent job losses back into the system. It's going to be slow.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, you grew up in the middle of the nation's food supply --


BERMAN: And now we have Tyson Foods and other companies warning that there could be a slowdown in production --


BERMAN: And there will be as these plants shut down and there could be a shortage at the stores.

What will we feel as consumers?

ROMANS: I think you're going to feel less of variety, less choice. I don't think you're going to have run out of meat in America. And this is, of course, because they've had to close some of these facilities because they're full of people who work closely together and this virus was spreading, right?

[06:40:05] So they had to close some of these facilities to test for Covid-19 in their workforce. And that has disrupted the food supply. It means the farmers who have -- have pigs that are ready to go to slaughter don't have any place to go to be processed. And that has just caused this huge disruption here overall.

I think ultimately, in the next few weeks, maybe months, it's going to mean less variety for consumers, maybe -- maybe higher prices, but less variety for consumers. And I think that they'll get it worked out eventually.

BERMAN: This has to do with workplace conditions, to be clear, Romans.

ROMANS: That's right.

BERMAN: This is the conditions inside these plants with people too close together. It's just -- that's it.

ROMANS: Look -- absolutely. And let's talk about those workplace conditions because what if you are a worker and you decide -- for example, say you're laid off, right, and you decide you don't want to go back to that AMC movie theater because you're -- you're afraid. You might not qualify four your unemployment benefits anymore if you are told to go back.

Same thing with some of these plants. What about OSHA requirements and what about requirements for people when they go back to these plants if they don't feel comfortable, can they be laid off and get unemployment benefits instead? You know, there's a lot of tricky, tricky legal territory here for workers.

BERMAN: Really tough decisions for so many people.

Christine Romans, Julia Chatterley, thank you very much for being with us this morning.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: So, New Zealand loosening its lockdown today after saying they've eliminated coronavirus. How did they do it? We have a life report, next.




JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: So with more people going back to work today, we need to be even more vigilant at level three, to prevent any inadvertent spreading of the virus. We must continue to stay home when possible, including for work and education. Please stay regional and limit nonessential travel. And even though you can expand your bubble, keep it as small as possible and exclusive.


CAMEROTA: That is New Zealand's prime minister urging caution as the country eases out of its lockdown. She's announcing that they have effectively eliminated coronavirus there.

CNN's Ivan Watson joins us with more on New Zealand success.

So what was the key to their success, Ivan?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it was moving very quickly when there had not even been any deaths in New Zealand yet due to the disease to shut down the entire country. So it was a very strict four-week lockdown that ended as of midnight New Zealand time on Monday going from what they described as alert level four to alert level three. But it's still pretty strict.

You heard her talking about that bubble. That's the term that the government came up with for your immediate family that you say in isolation with. So the way the prime minister put it was they're starting to open up the economy right now, but they're keeping social life very much shut. So they are urging people to go back to work and estimating that some 400,000 Kiwis (ph) went back to work on Tuesday. But if you could work from home, you were told to continue working from home. And shop keepers, store owners were supposed to engage in what they describe as contact-free retail. So you come, you're not allowed into the store, you get whatever you want at the door and then you leave.

Schools have not been entirely reopened. And you can have gatherings in New Zealand of up to ten people. But, get this, only for funerals and weddings. They are allowing some domestic travel basically if you were caught somewhere before the lockdown to then go where you wanted to be and they're calling it one-way travel.

So, New Zealand is taking this still very, very carefully, as Prime Minister Ardern put it, you know, the disease could be like smoldering ashes right now. And if you don't stay vigilant, it could explode into a wildfire again. And that's what they're very concerned about. They haven't opened up their borders yet. You cannot fly in and out of New Zealand at this time if you're a foreigner, and that's going to be a key question for that country, which relies very heavily on foreign tourism.


CAMEROTA: Really interesting to watch their success and see if there's anything we can emulate from that.

Ivan, thank you very much for your reporting.

So the coronavirus pandemic has been stressful. I don't have to tell you that. It's stressful for parents, for kids, for all of us. Is going stir crazy a real condition? Well, up next, a pediatrician tells us about that and shares her tips for coping with quarantine fatigue.


CAMEROTA: Stay at home orders are taking a toll on all of us and our kids. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia have closed schools through the end of this academic year. So is going stir crazy a real mental health condition? Our next guest has tips for how to cope with the stress of this pandemic.

Joining us now is Dr. Wanjiku Njoroge. She is a child psychiatrist and medical director of the Young Child Clinic at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Doctor, it's great to see you.


CAMEROTA: Let me just start there. Is going stir crazy, or cabin fever, is that just a feeling or is there a real mental health condition connected to that?

NJOROGE: So it's a couple of things. I mean, first off all, it is a feeling, but what we were typically -- if we'd call it a disorder, it's actually called acute stress disorder. And that can happen after having experienced a traumatic event.

And for many people, this has been very traumatizing. So there are several other things that go along with that disorder that most Americans probably are not feeling, but there really is something that we should be looking at and thinking about as we continue to stay at home.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean, I've also just begun to wonder if human beings have some sort of expiration date or shelf life on the amount of time that we can stay indoors. I see it with my kids, particularly my son, who is starting to get this kind of low ebb energy from, I think, not being able to, at, you know, 13 years old, go outside with friends and, you know, run around and all of this stuff -- you know, wrestle and all of the stuff that he's sort of used to doing.

NJOROGE: Yes. So, I mean, I think that's interesting. The shelf (ph) life piece is interesting. But what I would say is that for all of us I think part of what's happening is that we just aren't sure about what's next. So there is this uncertainty that really adds to this -- feelings of restlessness, like you're seeing with your -- with your son. And I think when you think about the first segment, at least the part that I heard, about what's happening in New Zealand, those messages as well continue to add to how we're all feeling when you see that some countries are starting to open up or even some states, then it adds to this feeling of, you know, when can I go out or when can I resume my normal life?


CAMEROTA: For sure.

NJOROGE: And I think that's what's the hardest part.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean certainly the uncertainty, the not knowing, that's stressful in any situation. But you have some suggestions for people for how to get through this and how to manage it.

So let's dive into those.

We hear this a lot, but I just want to know what it means to you and particularly with kids. You say, number one, practice self-care. Can you just give us some examples of what we should do here?

NJOROGE: Yes. Well, so I think this is really individual, but the -- the take home point is to do what makes you feel better. So for some people that's meditation or deep breathing. For others it's exercise. For some it's just dancing around your house. It could be very simple things.

But it also means talking to your support system. So that may look a little bit differently now, right? So you may not be able to go to your best friend's house or even to your parents' house, but what you want to do is still try to have those conversations, even though they aren't quite the same as they usually are, because you find joy and peace and satisfaction in those kinds of things.

So self-care can be reading a book, it could be lighting a candle, it can be talking to friends, it can be any and all of these things. But the important thing is that each of us does that every single day. And I think adults in particular are really good for not taking care of themselves and taking care of everybody else. And we really need to understand that if we aren't doing well emotionally, psychologically, physically, then we can't help anybody else.

CAMEROTA: Number two, you say stay informed. And I think that this is a double-edged sword. And I see it with my kids.


CAMEROTA: So everybody has their own kind of information saturation level, obviously. And so my 15-year-old daughter is hungry for more information. Every time I come home from work she says, OK, what happened today? What are the developments? What did you learn? And then my 13-year-old son, again, I see him getting stressed when we have the news on.


CAMEROTA: I see him getting kind of anxious with the headlines.

So what's the right level of staying informed?

NJOROGE: Yes. So I think -- so this is interesting, particularly for children and adolescents, right, because developmentally they're quite different. So you see this gap between your son and your daughter, between 13 and 15, and also just their personalities and their temperaments. So as -- for parents who are looking at children, and thinking about

their children, it really is monitoring how much information they need to feel comfortable. And that is going to differ on their age.

For adults, it's really kind of the same thing. And I think that the -- at the end of the day it, for some people it's absorbing as much content as possible. For others that adds to their stress because they're getting these various messages.

So I think the goal is, is to pick your -- your content of choice, whether it's CNN or your favorite print or online magazine or newspaper and maybe just check in once or twice a day in the morning and at night to keep informed. And then going to websites like the CDC or the WHO to also get some of that content.

But it really is recognizing when you've had more than enough. And if you're, you know, watching 13 hours of programming, that -- that's just not going to be helpful for anyone.

CAMEROTA: Yes, and, I mean, I really like the idea of reading. That definitely slows down the information intake, you know?


CAMEROTA: Just quickly I want to wrap through what -- the final ones. You say recognize that you're not alone. Of course people -- some people are actually physically alone, but I know that Zoom conferences and phone calls and everything can make people feel less alone, just, you know, touching base with people.


CAMEROTA: You say stay active. Obviously if exercise is your self-care and your go-to routine, you should continue to go for a run or go for a bike ride or whatever, you know, you like to do physically. And then, number five, just very quickly, we only have ten seconds left, plan for the future. How can you plan for the future when we don't know what the future looks like or when it's -- when it is?

NJOROGE: Well, I think it's not about having the, when this will happen plan, but what we will do plan. I think that's the important thing. It's just giving people the ability to think past today to tomorrow, whenever that tomorrow occurs.

So, again, you don't have to say July 1st we're going to do this, but you can say, when we're able to leave our homes, this is what we're going to do.

CAMEROTA: Doctor Njoroge, we really appreciate your great tips and just your soothing presence has also been helpful.

NJOROGE: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: So thank you very much for being here.

NJOROGE: Thank you. Thank you again. Be well. CAMEROTA: You too.

The death toll here in the United States forecast -- it is forecast go up even more than it was yesterday. This just happened overnight. NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're not going to get to the light at the end of the tunnel if we keep turning around and walking backwards. And that's what we're doing in this state. It's happening in Texas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let us open. Let us open now. We're ready to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't want to undo what we have successfully done. I think you have to ease into it very slowly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't heard any health professionals who are recommending in southern California to open the beaches yet.