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Coronavirus Death Toll Greater Than Vietnam; U.S. Coronavirus Cases Surpass 1 Million, 58,000-Plus Deaths; Fauci Warns U.S. Could Be in for a Bad Winter with Second Wave; France to Ease Restrictions; Australia's Demand for Investigation Draws China's Ire; Monetary Policy Stirs Inflation Fears; Trump Orders Meat Processing Plants to Stay Open; Food Banks Seeing Surge in Demand; Lebanon's Economic Protests Turn Violent; British Farms Hurt by Lack of Seasonal Migrant Workers; Russia Tops 93,000 Cases as Putin Recognizes PPE Shortage; Samsung Reports 3 Percent Drop in Q1 Net Profit; South Africa Using HIV/AIDS Experience to Fight Coronavirus. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired April 29, 2020 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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, in just over three months, more Americans have been killed by COVID-19 than died in Vietnam. Health experts are now predicting a surge in the overall U.S. death toll.
China warns Australia an investigation into how this outbreak began will lead to a boycott, a potentially crushing economic blow.
A sign of the times, long lines at food banks across the U.S. For many, their first time needing help to simply feed their families.
VAUSE: Amid all the uncertainties of the pandemic, there is one depressing constant for now: each day brings a steady and unrelenting increase in the number of confirmed cases, the number of lives lost.
That means it was only a question of when, not if, we pass grim milestones like this one. More than 1 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and the death toll passing 58,000, which means in 3 months since the first recorded death, COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the nearly two decades-long conflict in Vietnam. And with many states rushing to reopen their states before the virus has peaked, health experts expect an increase in the final death toll, up from 60,000 to 75,000. CNN's Erica Hill has the report.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: Globally, it is exploding in a way that has been unprecedented in the compact period of time. And everyone is at risk.
ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At least a dozen states pushing forward as new models suggest the country could face a major setback if change comes too soon.
DR. CHRIS MURRAY, DIRECTOR FOR HEALTH METRICS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Our forecast now is for 74,000 deaths. There's a lot of unknown factors there. But our best estimate is going up.
HILL: The updated model often cited by the White House also predicting there could be longer peaks ahead if restrictions are eased too soon.
FAUCI: If we are unsuccessful or prematurely try to open up and we have additional outbreaks that are out of control, it could be much more than that.
HILL: Harvard researchers estimate the U.S. needs to test 5 million people a day by early June to safely begin reopening. The White House testing czar disagrees.
ADMIRAL BRETT GIROIR, WHITE HOUSE TESTING CZAR: So we don't believe those estimates are really accurate nor are they reasonable in our society. HILL: Many areas around the country looking to antibody testing to
better understand the spread. Nearly 15 percent of the thousands tested across New York state were positive for the antibodies. That number is closer to 25 percent in New York City.
COREY JOHNSON, SPEAKER OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL: A lot more people were getting infected before it actually started to show up.
HILL: In addition to random sampling, states and cities also testing first responders and front line workers for antibodies. As officials weigh the data, Americans are trying to figure out what the coming weeks and months could look like amid new warnings about the economy.
KEVIN HASSETT, SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think by June, you know, I think that we're looking at numbers between 16 and 20 percent. The unemployment rate at that point will be something that's about as high as something that we haven't seen since, you know, the 1930s.
HILL: The president suggesting in a call with governors that schools should reopen even if just for a few weeks. Yet 39 states have already decided children will not return to the classroom this school year as concerns grow about a deepening divide. New York City trying to bridge the gap with nearly 250,000 iPads and Internet access. Meantime at hospitals, grocery stores and on the streets of America, front line workers push ahead.
Along the East Coast today, grateful cities pausing for a flyover, to honor their sacrifice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a beautiful tribute. No better place than New York City for them to do this.
HILL: That flyover, every minute of how many people not just here in New York but around the country are out there, helping to keep the country running every single day.
HILL: Delivering groceries, whether to your house or to the grocery store, delivering mail, on the front lines in hospitals, there are many people to thank. Back to you.
VAUSE: Erica Hill with that report, thank you.
Now the U.S. president was back before the cameras on Tuesday, making false claims about widespread testing. Most experts believe to safely restart the economy, 5 million tests are needed every day. The president has reclaimed that goal will be met by the government sometime soon.
But the official overseeing the testing strategy said that there's no way that will be possible. The White House is leaving the heavy testing to the states but senior health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci thinks the federal government has to do more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If we are not connecting those dots, we need to help them to do that. We can't just leave them on their own, on the one hand.
And the federal government cannot do it by itself on the other hand. So we really have to be having a productive partnership. And I believe most of the governors have resonated with that. We haven't gotten it perfect yet for sure. We know that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips is the chief medical officer at Providence Health and Services, she's a CNN medical analyst and with us from Seattle.
It's good to see you. So Doctor, first off, I want to listen to what the president said on Tuesday when he was asked about this ultimate goal of 5 million tests and how soon it could happen. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Are you saying you are confident you can surpass 5 million tests per day?
TRUMP: We are going to be there very soon. If you look at the numbers, it could beat that we are getting very close. We don't have the direct numbers, if you had asked me that a little while ago, because people with these statistics were there. We are going to be there very soon. We really are doing a great job of testing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: As it happens, I do have the exact numbers. On Tuesday, over 200,000 tests were carried out in the United States, that is for a total of 5.8 million tests. That's the total overall. So 200,000 in one day. And there is nothing in this new White House blueprint that explains how the country will go from 200,000 a day to 5 million.
So what the president says is wrong.
DR. AMY COMPTON-PHILLIPS, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I think you are exactly right. Particularly, if you think about viral diagnostic tests, the nasal swabs, where we actually see whether or not people are shedding the virus and so are contagious.
I do suppose if you were going to have any kind of glimmer in there of something they were thinking about, the test for antibodies, that can be ramped up at a much longer pace.
But that tells if people have been exposed in the past, not if they have the virus currently. And it's that nasal swab test, the one that tests whether or not people have the virus currently, that is the one we really need 5 million up a day.
VAUSE: OK. So there are different kinds of tests. You touched on that. My next question was about -- you said there are three types?
You have the polymerase chain reaction test, the most reliable, the antibody test and the antigen test. The PCR test is the most reliable but it's not easy to make those kits and the other ones come with problems as well, right?
COMPTON-PHILLIPS: They all have what we call false positives and negatives. So what we want to make sure that we can do is not miss people who are infected, right?
So we want them to be very sensitive. We want to identify everybody who has the germ. So we want a very high sensitivity for these tests.
And at the same time we don't want bad specificity, we don't want to inadvertently tell people that they are infected when they are not. So particularly with the antibody tests, there are real issues trying to figure out what are the ones that have the best sensitivity and specificity. We are not as sure about those.
But the viral RNA tests, those are the ones that are pretty good but are more complex and harder to do and harder to scale up.
VAUSE: Very quickly, this is why we need the technology.
COMPTON-PHILLIPS: It is.
VAUSE: The antibody testing has revealed that the virus is much more widespread in New York than first thought. Listen to Governor Andrew Cuomo. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Obviously, we missed it. March, we're taking actions in March, I have the first case in March, but the data is now saying it might have been here in January, in February. If you look at the infection of 20 percent in New York, it makes it hard to believe that this has just been a few weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK, that's a snapshot of what happened but what are the implications of that moving forward?
COMPTON-PHILLIPS: The implications of that is that this virus is sneaky. This virus can circulate in the community before people know it.
COMPTON-PHILLIPS: And because of its rapid contagiousness, the time that it can double very quickly when it is not contained, if you are not proactively looking for it, if you are not doing surveillance, it can sneak in and explode in a community before you find out about it.
So that is why, when we are starting to talk about opening up the economy, why we start talking about testing in the same breath, because we don't want to have a repeat of what happened in New York, as we start opening up economies and getting people out of their house again and back about their daily life, we don't want people to start spreading the virus around and us not catching it, because it is so subtle.
VAUSE: And this is one of the things that has been jumped on by some conservatives, like the town hall website, which had this headline. Antibody testing proves that we have been had, it reads. And goes on to say how these antibodies prove that it's widespread and not as deadly.
Conservatives declare this pandemic is over. Let's stop the economic suicide and get back to work.
This all proves that the COVID-19 is not as deadly as first reported. But they don't seem to understand what is in the data here, because there are two different fatality rates. Those who die from the disease and then the rate of infection revealed by the widespread testing. And both can be right at the same time.
COMPTON-PHILLIPS: Both can be right at the same time and the challenge is that if anybody grasps one small slice of data, you can make up anything about that. Fundamentally, this is a contagious virus, quite contagious. Very few people except, perhaps in New York City are immune to it or have been exposed to it. So presumably immune.
So it is a real risk for exploding again in communities because we can't test for it well yet. We don't have our 5 million tests a day. And there is a very low level of immunity. So because of that, it is a real risk for us having a major second wave if we are not very careful, as we start to open up the economy.
VAUSE: Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, not sure how well I explained the fatality rates but thanks for clearing it up.
Now to Europe. Spain has announced a four-phase plan to ease coronavirus restrictions. With the goal of returning to normalcy by the end of June.
Meantime, France, hopes to begin lifting its lockdown May 11th, when shops, businesses and some schools will reopen. CNN's Melissa Bell has more on that.
But we will start in Spain where Scott McLean reports from Madrid.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in Spain, the prime minister announces the plan to relax restrictions and move towards the, quote, new normal. The normal that has been new even two months ago was not on the horizon at all.
Phase one of the reopening will allow some stores to reopen while restaurants and churches can open at 30 percent capacity. There will be special time set aside for senior citizens to go out.
Schools will not come back until September, then they should be on phase two, where even outdoor shows might be allowed with some limitations. In the final phase, masks will still be encouraged and social distancing will still be mandatory.
Some regions will be able to move through these phases quicker than others but free movement across the country will not be allowed until all the regions are on the final phase. None of these have hard dates, except each one will last a minimum of two weeks -- Scott McLean, CNN, Madrid.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The French prime minister has been outlining what the lifting of France's partial lockdown in place for six weeks will look like from May 11th, it will be a partial lifting of the lockdown that will begin.
School children will begin to go back to school on a voluntary basis, although that will be staggered according to age. And businesses and retailers will reopen with restrictions on the number of people allowed inside the shop at any given time.
People will be allowed to go back to work, although still the government is urging people who can to continue to work from home. What they are worried about is a deluge of too many people getting back to work and public transit being overwhelmed. That will be limited to those who really need to take it at peak
hours. So a lot of more details to be worked out on how this will work in practice. But it was times that the prime minister looked to getting back to a sense of ordinary life after a lockdown that has really seen the country come to a standstill.
This because the fight against COVID-19 appears to be being one for the time being.
BELL: Although the French government was at pains to explain that it would continue until May 11th, keeping an eye on crucial figures and more specifically, the numbers of people who are being treated in hospital.
Were there a spike, said lawmakers today, they would rethink the lifting of the confinement. That staggered lifting will take place from May 11th into June, a preliminary period to make sure that it is working and that the critical second wave is still being avoided -- Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
VAUSE: Still to come, in the U.S., desperate times, long lines at food banks and at one the food running out after just an hour. The struggles meet the surging demand for help.
Also ahead, anger boils over in Lebanon. Banks set on fire during protests about unemployment and the soaring crisis.
VAUSE: Welcome back.
When the U.S. president openly and repeatedly accuses China of failing to prevent this pandemic and talks about an investigation, Beijing has been silent. But when the Australian government called for an independent international investigation, the response from the Communist government was swift and severe.
China's ambassador in Canberra warned of a backlash by Chinese consumers over the push for an inquiry. He said maybe the ordinary people will, say why should we drink Australian wine?
Eat Australian beef?
The parents of students will also wonder if this is the best place to send their kids.
China is Australia's biggest market. After the energy sector, education and tourism are the biggest export industries. Any type of boycott would be devastating for the economy, especially now.
For more, we head to Los Angeles. Ryan Patel is senior fellow at the Drucker School of Management.
Ryan, nice to see you. This dispute between Canberra and Beijing is escalating. Australia's foreign minister warned Beijing, the last 24, hours against economic coercion.
At the same time, there is another scathing opinion piece in one of China's newspapers. It read, "The Morrison administration," a reference to the prime minister, "is spearheading this malicious campaign to frame and incriminate China with groundless conjecture and outlandish fabrications.
"During a global existential crisis, Canberra is exercising despicable opportunism and is deluded in thinking it will result in geopolitical gains. All governments should be following the basic principles of humanitarianism during these dark hours of human history and rally behind a global fight to end this pandemic instead of guilefully trying to stab China in the back."
Unlike the U.S., Australians cannot go one-on-one with China. They tried this with Beijing before. And now, they can either toe the line or speak out and pay the price.
PATEL: Well, you are right. They cannot toe the line. They actually need more help. One of the biggest trade partners, as you mentioned, $190 billion in two-way trade is with China.
PATEL: So that's one. Two, 65 percent of Australia's trading partnership is in Asia, which obviously is predominantly tied to China. So they will need other countries to step in here.
And I am not shocked, actually, John. Tourism was thrown in the language as well, not sending tourism to Australia. That's a big deal, if you think about the GDP of Australia, you have enough people growing, it grows at a nice clip.
However, it's tourism that pushes the services, exponential stuff that goes into Australia, like New Zealand did with that trade deal, it was tourism. They didn't leave anything off the table. It made it really clear that there would be an economic impact.
Unfortunately, in this scenario, you mentioned about the U.S. and China going back and forth. China was really showing force right away.
You know why?
Because they can.
VAUSE: That was my next question. There has been such a scorched earth policy when it comes to the Australians not only because they can but it sends a message. They may not be able to take on the U.S. but they can take on everyone else. PATEL: That's key. Remember, Australia, most people forget, it's in
the Asia pact. China's influences in there. How they deal, predominantly with Australia, sends a message to the rest of Southeast Asia, which is really important to China.
And this has been brewing. The idea of having an independent search. It is interesting to see if Australia would be able to gain a bit, gain some frenemies to be able to get this going.
VAUSE: Here is a snapshot of the economy we are heading into. It drives home the point about the serious nature of the threat to Australia coming from Beijing.
Airlines are posting their earnings in the U.S. and elsewhere. Southwest, its first loss in a decade. Stock is down 45 percent this year. Revenue for April and May seen as crashing down at least 90 percent. That's what happens when travelers buy just 6 percent of seats. British Airways has a restructuring plan which could see up to 12,000 workers laid off. Already, more than 22,000 workers are on a temporary furlough.
Revenue is down 13 percent in Q1 but that's just the curtain raiser. Q2 will be a lot worse. Then there is the oil and gas industry. BP reporting their profits down almost 70 percent in the first quarter. At this, point no one can afford a trade war.
PATEL: No, and we try to predict things but you will see Australia back down a little bit. This is not the time to be putting your economy in a crunch. You talk about airlines. Southwest is predicting next month 95 percent down and revenue from last year's sales going into that month. That is huge.
What do you do?
They have come out and said, by September, should this keep up, they are going to have to downsize and probably they are staying in because of bailout money. The second piece of the airlines is, it is the confidence. It's the ability to get safety.
How do you do that in an industry where it is really unclear and, unfortunately, airlines, you speak to CEOs, they're handcuffed. Right?
Many CEOs are not taking any salary like the CEO of Alaska Airlines. They're trying to come through the other side. You mentioned BP and their big revenue loss. Obviously, they are down 65 percent from last year in revenues. They are talking about alternative energy.
They are talking about, in 2050, they will go net zero and their mission is to do that earlier. This is an eye-opening moment for the oil industry, the travel industry. We see alternate ways of innovation. Don't be shocked in the next quarter if you see more of these pivots.
VAUSE: OK, I will not be shocked. One thing I am puzzled about is we are now getting warnings that some of the measures the U.S. Fed and other banks are taking to try and stave off the worst of this economic fallout are sparking concerns about inflation, because they're printing a lot of money.
One indicator of inflation is the measure of them to, the money supply. It is growing at a rate of naught. The year over year growth from April 13th, 10 times what it was back in 2018 and 2019. According to Axios, this is looking to be much higher than it ever was in the financial crisis.
When the Fed printed money and called to ease the financial crisis, there were concerns about inflation but it never happened.
Why is it different this time?
PATEL: It is because of the way we are spending and the lack of consumer spending. In 2009, there was still spending going on. When you shut down the economy, when you shut down work, unemployment spikes that high, no revenue stream immediately.
PATEL: The why there is more concern is, you and I have talked about this, I wish there was a button you could press on and off. And here it isn't. It is going to be multiple phases, if it's done right, which then forecasts what does oil even look like at the end of the year?
I am worried it will stunt the growth for many of these countries. You were talking about the oil industry. I assure you, many of those companies won't make it at the rate oil prices are going. That hadn't happened in 2009, either, in that kind of disruption.
And the airlines. You will see closing of these major corporations. And that is because of the impact of shutdown globally. I want to take a step backwards and say this is affecting not just the U.S., everywhere. Ten years is a pretty fast time in the global realm.
VAUSE: Ryan, thank you. We appreciate the explanation, analysis and insight. It's a complicated and terrifying time. Thank you for being with us.
PATEL: Thank you, John.
VAUSE: Small businesses receiving U.S. government loans will face increased scrutiny from this point. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told CNBC, any company that takes up more than a $2 million loan from the small business loan program will be audited. The Paycheck Protection Program faced a backlash when companies like Ruth's Hospitality Group and Auto Nation managed to get loans. Both companies said they would return the money. The White House is already warning the country could soon be facing its highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN HASSETT, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: I think by June, we are looking at numbers between 16 and 20 percent. The unemployment rate at that point will be something that's about as high as something we haven't seen since the 1930s. GDP growth, the 2nd quarter will be a big negative number. The president and the whole team have been fully briefed on all that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: A good point to take a break. When we come, back a new warning from Russia's president as the country surges past China and the number of coronavirus cases. Also this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
VAUSE (voice-over): That is the U.K.'s food supply at risk. How farmers are dealing with a lack of seasonal workers. You are watching CNN.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The U.S. president has signed an executive order which forces meat processing plants to remain open. Some of the largest plants in the U.S. have had to shut down after thousands of workers tested positive for the coronavirus. At least 20 workers have died.
This shutdown has prompted fears that the food supply chain was actually breaking down. But now with this executive order, the country's largest meatpacking unions says that the president needs to come forward with safety measures for workers, added this statement: "While we share the concern over the food supply, today's executive order to force meatpacking plants to stay open must put the safety of our country's meatpacking workers first. Simply put, we cannot have a secure food supply without the safety of these workers."
VAUSE: Well, there are long lines for the food banks, and that's become an increasingly common sight and a distressing sign of the impact this pandemic is having across the United States.
Many of those waiting for food say they've never had to ask for this kind of help before, but they're been laid off from jobs, and they cannot feed their families.
As CNN's Jason Carroll reports, food banks are struggling to cope with this surge in demand.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The line of cars stretched for more than a mile.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many people in your household? CARROLL: The wait for food at this emergency distribution site in
Newark, New Jersey, more than an hour. But the need is so great that those who came looking for help were more than willing to wait.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've never done this before. It's a shame that I have to do this.
CARROLL: Many here say it is their first time asking for food.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's two families in here, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open your trunk right here.
CARROLL: People like Rita Charles, who brought her elderly neighbor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're alone. You know, even my neighbor, you know, she's alone, too, so that's why we appreciate it.
CARROLL: Julio Ortega, a furloughed truck driver, came with his wife, who was laid off from her job at a dry cleaner.
JULIO ORTEGA, FURLOUGHED TRUCK DRIVER: It is an experience.
CARROLL: New experience?
ORTEGA: First time. The kids, it's hard for them.
CARROLL: 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 bank 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 the demand becomes more worries about meeting those demands, giving diminishing donations food banks once received from what were reliable sources before the pandemic.
ERIC COOPER, SAN ANTONIO FOOD BANK CEO: Restaurants, hotels, and caterers aren't donating. Grocery stores are selling out, and so there's not as much food to collect while the demand has doubled.
CARROLL: 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 such as Paul Fouts forced to dump 8,000 gallons of milk last week.
PAUL FOUTS, NEW YORK DAIRY FARMER: It makes you feel sick to your stomach, really.
CARROLL: 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: Farmers -- farmers have it, and the consumers need it. Somehow we've got to get the system in between to work for that.
CARROLL: 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 percent jump in food bank demand, launched an initiative to help cut the waste.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We're also immediately to stop this dumping of milk and get it to people who need it.
CARROLL: In the meantime, the lines and the demand keeps growing.
Jason Carroll, CNN, Newark, New Jersey.
VAUSE: Before the pandemic, Lebanon was already seeing widespread unrest in response to high prices and unemployment. Now after only two months of a lockdown, demonstrators are back on the streets. They're protesting rising poverty and soaring food prices.
The uprising began last year, and as Arwa Damon now shows us, these demonstrations have turned violent.
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Protests broke out across Lebanon, but we're really focused in the northern city of Tripoli, where some pretty dramatic images emerged, showing buildings being set on fire, banks being attacked, ATMs being vandalized.
People are enraged. They have had it, and they are hungry. One of the protesters who was killed in clashes with Lebanese security forces was just 26 years old. And he's been dubbed the martyr of the hunger protests.
Lebanon, of course, has been in an economic tailspin for months right now. It is a country that is crumbling very quickly, and its population is growing increasingly desperate.
Protests first broke out because of the economic situation back in October of 2019. These current clashes that are taking place were described by one of the protesters as being the fiercest in all of Lebanon's recent demonstrations that we have been seeing taking place. What COVID-19 has done to the Lebanese economy is, quite simply, further exacerbate an ongoing problem.
In fact, the ministry of social affairs says that 75 percent -- 75 percent -- of the Lebanese population is in need of aid at this stage.
The people are angry at the government, but they are especially angry at the banking sector. Banks have been imposing discretionary controls on people, which means that for months now, they're waiting for hours, begging tellers to release their money.
And the banks, the central bank has been refusing to formalize these capital controls, which many have feared would just be hurting them, the average citizen, hurting small businesses while allowing the financial elite to be able to access their funds.
And those fears came to fruition when the Lebanese prime minister announced that, in January and in February, 5.7 billion U.S. dollars were transferred out of cash-strapped Lebanon.
(on camera): At this stage, it's not just the Lebanese population that is suffering, too, but also Lebanon's refugee population, with the International Rescue Committee saying that 87 percent of refugees living in Lebanon are also in need of food, and it doesn't look like the situation's going to get any better any time soon.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.
VAUSE: U.K.'s coronavirus death toll is looking to be one of the worst in Europe, and it's about to go even higher. The government will now include community fatalities like those who die in elderly care homes. This will be included in the daily count, which up until now has only included those who died in hospital.
This new data shows that, as of April 19, the total number of fatalities, including those who died in community settings, now top 24,000. It is unclear how much that overall figure has risen since then.
Well, with seasonal migrant workers stranded at home, the U.K. government is now encouraging unemployed British workers to head to the fields and till the soil. Here's Nic Robertson.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: In the garden of England, the county of Kent, a crisis looms. Lettuce harvest has begun, row upon row ripe for picking.
Any other year, this would look like locked-in profit, but not this. COVID-19 is killing markets and cutting off workers from farms.
McDonald's, now shuttered, normally stuff their chicken wrap with this specially-grown Apollo lettuce.
NICK OTTEWELL, PRODUCTION AND COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, LAURENCE J. BETTS LTD.: Potentially, there's 25 or 30 tons a week of crop there that currently we don't have a home for.
ROBERTSON (on camera): What does the rest of the season look like for you, directly (ph)?
OTTEWELL: We break even this year. That's how we end up.
ROBERTSON: Really? That bad?
OTTEWELL: That bad.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Bad is an understatement. Nick Ottewell has managed these 1,750 acres, one of the largest lettuce producers near London for over a decade. COVID-19 isn't just costing him sales. It's cut him off from his regular annual migrant workforce.
OTTEWELL: It's seasonal work, and British people haven't wanted to do seasonal work for whatever reason, and companies like ours have relied on migrant workers for decades now.
ROBERTSON: As the lockdown tightened, Ottewell helped fly some of his regular skilled Romanian seasonal workers in early but is still down 45 workers.
(on camera): The government says it is acutely aware that the fresh produce picking season is beginning now. They estimate that only one- third of the total migrant labor force is in the country, and they're hoping that furloughed workers will help out with the harvest.
Ottewell is skeptical, but giving it a shot; whittled 50 local e-mail applicants to these eight inductees for trading. The farm needs them until fall.
Sally Penfold, 45, lost her restaurant job; says she is good to stay.
SALLY PENFOLD, ACCEPTED FARM JOB: For me, this is security. This is money coming in. And it's giving me something good and honorable to do. I'm going to be outside in the sunshine.
ROBERTSON: Daniel Martin, 32, furloughed civil engineer in training to be a forklift driver, maybe not.
DANIEL MARTIN, ACCEPTED FARM JOB: I could go back at any point, really. It's still going to be potentially a couple of months.
ROBERTSON: Industry experts the Alliance of Ethical Labor Providers say, of 55,000 farm job applicants following the outbreak of COVID-19, only 150 got placement. Most couldn't commit the time.
Ottewell knows he's gambling, says each worker costs him $1,200 to train, money he cannot spare.
OTTEWELL: I'm so nervous, because I've been working in this industry my whole adult career, and all of my experience tells me that people are going to think they can just turn up, treat it like a bit of a fun thing to try for a couple of weeks.
ROBERTSON: As we talk, some of his prayers answered. Three Romanians arrive, recently COVID-19 unemployed, let go by a local restaurant.
OTTEWELL: That was quite fortunate. They were working at an Indian restaurant. Obviously, the restaurants had to shut. The first I asked those three was are they going to commit for the summer, and they said yes, so I said OK, let's go.
ROBERTSON: This, a summer like no other. Will there be tossed salads? Much now depends on the British worker.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Kent, England.
VAUSE: A nationwide lockdown in Russia will be extended for at least a few more weeks. President Vladimir Putin is wearing the peak there is yet to come. With over 93,000 cases, Russia has quickly become one of the world's worst hit countries.
And as bad as those numbers are, CNN's Matthew Chance reports that there are questions about their veracity.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage Russia, the country has extended its strict lockdown measures that were expected to be lifted at the end of this month.
In the address on state television, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said the lockdown would now be in force until May the 11th, through a traditional holiday period in the country.
Earlier, Russian authorities said more than 93,000 people have been confirmed as infected with the virus, meaning Russia now has more cases than China has.
But there's still skepticism of the figures, including 900 deaths in a country of more than 140 million people are accurate. According to President Putin, the peak of the outbreak in Russia is not yet behind us. And he warned Russia that they must face a new and grueling phase of the pandemic.
The Russian leader, who faces some criticism himself for the official handling of the outbreak, also acknowledged shortages of protective gear or PPE for Russian medics. Production of PPE said it was high compared to what it was before, but still not enough, he warned, for what was needed in the future.
Matthew Chance, CNN.
VAUSE: Still to come here, the world's biggest smartphone maker reporting its fourth -- first-quarter earnings.
So this included (ph) Samsung. How much did they lose? And it was kind of not that much, but they're expecting worse to come. We're live in Tokyo.
Let's take a look at the Asian markets here. We have the Nikkei, which is down slightly, but Hong Kong up by a third of one percent. Also Shanghai composite up by nearly half of one percent. Seoul KOSPI up by, what do you know, almost 1 percent, as well.
And then we also have the Dow futures looking good, almost a percent there. NASDAQ up by one and a quarter percent, and also, the S&P up by more than 1 percent, as well.
All positive, it looks like. And Samsung is reporting a small fall in first-quarter profits. But the world's biggest smartphone maker says the worst may be yet to come.
Kaori Enjoji live in Tokyo this hour. So what was interesting is that earnings actually went up for the first quarter, compared to the previous year?
KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: I mean, look at our offices now, right? I mean, our homes are our offices, and this is being played out all around the world, and schools are closed, so people -- kids are, you know, doing distance learning or online learning somehow.
And that puts a lot of demand on the servers, and it's the chip business that's supporting Samsung for now. And that's one of the reasons why operating profit came in line with expectations.
And they're saying operating profits were up three percent in the first quarter but the good news really ends there for them. And they have warned that they're going to bear the brunt of the economic fallout from COVID-19 in the second quarter and beyond.
And like other big tech giants like intel, they are saying that the future looks very, very uncertain, particularly because they're gadget business. Smartphones, televisions, they expect a fair -- pretty big decline, they say, a significant decline in that operation.
So as a result, the first quarter seems to have been so-so for the company, maybe even a little bit better, but they are saying that the worst is still yet to come. Despite that, Seoul stocks are rising today, as are the rest of the markets in Asia, John.
VAUSE: So a bit of a global rally happening at the moment. The Asian equities are up. We've seen the Dow futures in the U.S. there, all looking positive territory, as well.
I mean, again, you know, we're talking about all these markets being driven by emotion. What is the driving force here in the moment?
ENJOJI: And oil is up again to. And I think a lot of that has to do with reopenings that we're seeing around the world, some parts of Europe, New Zealand, Australia and, you know, parts of the U.S., as well. So I think that is supporting sentiment a little bit.
But I think if we dial back, when this all started, Asian markets were the first to react. They basically led the way lower, and the market crashed, because the epicenter was so close to this area and then what we're seeing right now is that the Asia markets are the last to come back. I mean, we have seen a monster rally across the world since late March, since the feds, whatever it takes, added towards this crisis.
But Asia has been a little bit of ho-hum and much more tentative than the rest of the world. So I think it's playing catch-up to that.
But I think when you talk to analysts, they say that, you know, it's going to be a very different -- different picture for the corporations going forward, because when you take a look at the NASDAQ 100, which is big companies.
That seems to be painting a fairly so-so picture, but when you take a look at the Russell 2000, which is the smaller or medium-size companies, that index is down 23 percent.
So I think you're going to see a lot of divergence, and when you consider the fact that earnings have been down so sharply, and this is a very, very uncertain earnings season, and that the stocks have been rallying for the last couple of weeks. That means the ratio between the 2 of those elements is higher, and that looks like a very precarious situation.
I think the fact that finally, Asia is responding is a little bit of a positive sign, but as we talk about, you know, almost every day, a lot of it depends on the vaccine and the raised to find that. You would hope that maybe one out of the -- what is it -- two, two dozen companies looking for a cure will find some kind of breakthrough in the weeks ahead.
VAUSE: Yes, I think there's, like, 70 trials under way right now. Only a handful of those are endorsed by the WHO, but there are a lot of companies looking for a vaccine and other treatments. And hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later for everyone.
Thank you, Kaori. Kaori Enjoji for us in Tokyo, as always. Appreciate it.
Well, former Democratic president nominee Hillary Clinton officially endorsed Joe Biden during a virtual town hall on Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I am thrilled to be part of your campaign, to not only endorse you, but to help highlight a lot of the issues that are at stake for this presidential election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE; Even though, as Biden picked up that key endorsement, he's still facing scrutiny or allegations by a former Senate staffer, Tara Reade, who claims Biden sexually assaulted her during the 1990s.
Reade's former neighbor has come forward, saying Reade told her about the alleged assault a few years after it happened.
The Biden campaign denies the allegation, has reissued a statement, which says in part, "Vice P resident Biden has dedicated his public life to changing the culture and the laws around 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."
Next up on CNN NEWSROOM, never again. South Africa vows to learn from the past mistakes fighting HIV, and use those lessons to tackle COVID- 19.
VAUSE: Nigeria's president extending the lockdown for three major states there due to the pandemic. Abuja, Lagos and Ogun will stay locked down until May 4. The country will then allow some businesses to reopen, along with an overnight curfew for the public.
The northern state of Khana (ph) will also go under lockdown for two weeks because of a spike in the number of deaths, not all of which are virus-related.
Johns Hopkins University reports over 1,500 cases in Nigeria, with at least 44 dead. It's one of about 10 African countries with more than 1,000 infections so far, the ones you can see there in red.
When U.S. President Donald Trump suggested using household disinfectants to treat COVID-19, South Africans were quickly reminded of their own dark past, a time when then-President Thabo Mbeki suggested strange and unusual ways of treating HIV and AIDS.
South Africa has since moved on, adopting life-saving measures to fight HIV and is counting on that experience now to contain COVID-19. We have more now from CNN's David McKenzie.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the township, there is no denial of COVID-19.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So there is a lockdown, but the clinic system is open.
MCKENZIE: Only fear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are just scared. Otherwise, if I've got corona, I will die.
MCKENZIE: Here, they know exactly how a virus can destroy the very fabric of the nation. They lived through the worst of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
ANITA PATO, COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER: That was AIDS (ph). It was completely -- everyone's scared of testing. They're scared of things. We didn't do much.
MCKENZIE: Health worker Anita Pato wants to make sure that people know that this virus is different, and so, too, is the government's initial response.
In the early 2000s, when HIV/AIDS spread uncontrollably in South Africa, it was met by a president and a health minister who failed to grasp AIDS for what it was.
THABO MBEKI, FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: How does a virus cause a syndrome? It can't.
MCKENZIE: Failed to listen to experts when it came to lifesaving treatment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I say garlic. I say lemon. I say pinch (ph) root.
MCKENZIE (on camera): You remember those days, and I remember them in South Africa. Were you thinking about that when COVID looked to strike South Africa?
DR. YOGAN PILLAY, DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: Every day. Every day. We can't get large numbers of people dying, you know. We -- we came from a period where we had large numbers of South Africans dying from HIV. We can't beat that, clearly, and we shouldn't.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): So the current government listened to its own experts, like Yogan Pillay, in taking decisive action, including a swift nationwide lockdown.
PILLAY: If we had a very robust economy that could withstand the shock, you could say that, you know, it was an easy -- easier decision to take.
MCKENZIE (on camera): It was a tough decision.
PILLAY: This was a very tough decision for the government to take, but they took it because they don't want to repeat the mistakes.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): South Africa still has the world's highest number of people living with HIV, close to eight million. But thanks to anti-retrovirals and an army of community health workers, with funding and advice from the United States, the disease is no longer the death sentence at was.
Thirty-five thousand of them, trained for the fight against HIV, now containing the spread of COVID-19.
(on camera): So what she's explaining to them is that, even though there's a lockdown, that they should go to the clinic that's open 24 hours, if they feel the symptoms of COVID-19. PATO: I feel like I'm a -- like I'm a bullet to shoot these -- this
disease must stop, must not control us. We have to control this corona.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): And it's why here, even in the purest communities where social distancing is impossible. There is hope that the curve can flatten, and lives can be saved.
David McKenzie, CNN, Tacosa (ph), South Africa.
VAUSE: Well, you may remember, he captured hearts around the world. A 99-year-old World War II veteran who raised millions of dollars for Britain's healthcare workers single-handedly, lifted the morale and spirits of an entire nation.
Captain Tom Moore has received more than 125,000 cards for his 100th birthday, which takes place on Thursday, enough to fill the grand hall of the local school.
Earlier this month, Moore walked 100 laps in his garden. The aim was to raise money for the NHS. His goal was about $1,200. That was just small beer. Ultimately, his efforts put in more than $36 million and counting. Good on you, Tom. What a champion.
OK. Thank you for watching. I'm John Vause. I'll be back with another hour of CNN NEWSROOM after a short break.
VAUSE: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from around the world. Good to have you with us. I'm John Vause.
Coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM, in just over three months, more Americans have been killed by COVID-19 than died in Vietnam. Health experts are now predicting a surge in the overall U.S. death toll.
China warned Australia its pushed for an investigation into how this outbreak began will lead to a consumer boycott of Australian exports, potentially crossing an economic blow. And a sign of the times. Long lines at food banks across the U.S., for many their first time needing help to simply feed their families.