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NEW DAY

Fauci Warns of Bad Second Wave if U.S. Unprepared; Trump Orders Meat Plants to Stay Open During Pandemic; V.P. Pence Doesn't Wear Face Mask at Hospital Visit; Researcher: Accuracy of Antibody Tests 'Really Terrible'; NYPD Disperses Crowd at Rabbi's Funeral in Brooklyn. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired April 29, 2020 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're starting to open up a little bit. We're trying do this in a reasonable way.

[05:59:25]

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Amid calls to reopen the economy, a patchwork of rules is spreading as haphazardly as the virus itself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the game plan seems to be ignore it. It will go away. It's completely illogical.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look at some of the most draconian orders that have been issued in some of these states and compare Florida, Florida has done better.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The White House plan, 6 to 7 million tests a month. Ultimately, we need to be at 20 million a day.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: One of the problems has been, is the tests getting where people need them. Or the tests out there were not connecting the dots.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, April 29, 6 a.m. here in New York.

And as of this morning, there are more than one million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. The death toll, more than 58,000. More than 2,000 new deaths reported just yesterday.

Now, it's true the number of deaths is no longer growing exponentially. But it's also true that the daily death count seems to have settled at a level that is very, very high. So what does that tell us?

Also this morning, as more states begin loosening their lockdowns, the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is warning that a second wave of the virus is inevitable, and just how bad it is will depend on keeping measures designed to stop the spread.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAUCI: It's not going to disappear from the planet, which means, as we get into next season, how we handle it will determine our fate. If by that time, we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well. If we don't do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So as you know, different states are taking different approaches.

Today, Florida's governor will outline his plan to reopen businesses. The Texas governor has decided to allow malls and restaurants to open this Friday with limited capacity. That's a stark contrast to California, where Governor Gavin Newsom says his state is, quote, "months," not weeks away, from allowing businesses like hair salons and gyms to reopen.

Meanwhile, President Trump continues to brag about the U.S. being ahead on testing. But the numbers do not bear that out. Experts say we are far from where we should be.

And he is sticking by his remarks from February that the coronavirus will simply vanish.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Back in late February, you predicted that the number of cases would go to zero. How did we get from your prediction of zero to one million?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, it will go down to zero, ultimately.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: OK. There's a lot to get to this morning, so let's begin with CNN's Martin Savidge. He is live in Marietta, Georgia.

What's the latest there, Martin?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Morning, Alisyn.

Morning, John.

Well, as you say, as Johns Hopkins University reporting now, more than a million cases of coronavirus here in the United States. But as states begin to relax their restrictions, and as more and more of life reopening, experts even on the White House coronavirus task force are saying a second round of coronavirus is inevitable.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE (voice-over): A strong warning from the nation's top infectious disease doctor.

FAUCI: If we are unsuccessful or prematurely try to open up, and we have additional outbreaks that are out of control, it could be a rebound to get us right back in the same boat that we were in a few weeks ago.

SAVIDGE: That fear resounding from some state leaders, who continue to say testing is still an issue.

GOV. NED LAMONT (D-CT): There's no way I can safely reopen the state unless we have more testing.

SAVIDGE: But in other states, the open signs are already on the doors of some businesses. Restaurants in Georgia have table service back and by Friday, Texas will, too. Governor Greg Abbott told local leaders they can't override his executive order to relax some restrictions.

MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER, HOUSTON, TEXAS: I hope we don't see a resurge of cases three to four weeks down the road. I mean, people are going to be very careful before they step out.

SAVIDGE: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says he will announce a plan on his state today.

DESANTIS: For Florida, going from where we are now to phase one is not a very big leap. We're going to approach it in a very measured, thoughtful and data-driven way.

SAVIDGE: Meantime in Ohio, some healthcare procedures can be scheduled again starting Friday. And when retail stores are allowed to resume business on May 12, masks will be recommended but not required.

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): My hope is that everyone wears a mask. I've said, Look, I go out in public, I wear a mask. What this does is it protects the workers.

SAVIDGE: Face coverings are required by anyone over the age of 2 in Illinois, where social distancing can't be practiced in public.

GOV. J.B. PRITZKER (D-IL): The stay-at-home order in Illinois is still very much in effect.

SAVIDGE: And as many living rooms across the country turned into classrooms for the rest of the academic year, students in California could be heading back to school earlier than expected.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We're concerned about that learning loss even into the summer. And so we are considering the prospect of an even earlier school year into the fall. As early as late July, early August.

[06:05:03]

SAVIDGE: In New York, after Blue Angels and Thunderbirds soared over the skies to salute frontline workers, Governor Andrew Cuomo giving this tough reminder.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Every day, I think maybe today is the day the nightmare will be over, but it's not. Three hundred and thirty- five people passed away yesterday from this virus in this state. That's 335 families.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAVIDGE: Meanwhile, the largest operators of malls in the United States. That's the Simon property group. They say they're going to be opening up 49 of their shopping centers starting on Friday in ten states. That includes the ones that are located in Texas, Indiana, Georgia and Missouri.

Even small businesses like back here in Georgia at Biscuits and More in Marietta, they're glad to be open, but they are concerned about the future -- John and Alisyn.

BERMAN: All right. Martin Savidge for us in Georgia. Thank you so much, Martin.

Joining us now is Dr. Colleen Kraft, associate chief medical officer at Emery University Hospital in Georgia.

Dr. Kraft, I want to start with the numbers. More than a million cases now reported and more than 58,000 deaths reported. More than 2,000 alone just yesterday.

If we can put the daily chart up, we can see how many deaths we've had each day over time. More than 2,000 deaths yesterday. And I get that it's not growing exponentially anymore, but it's leveled off at a very high level, with more than 1,000 deaths for like two weeks straight. So what does that tell us?

DR. COLLEEN KRAFT, ASSOCIATE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, EMERY UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Well, I think it's one of those things we're thinking about when we're easing restrictions, that we are still having community transmission. And we are still having this occurring during a sort of formal and -- you know, shelter in place.

And so I think that's something that, you know, as we begin to see all these things reopening, we need to be thinking about that we're still having this happen. It's still with us. It's still with us in relatively high numbers.

CAMEROTA: I want to also bring in Dr. Vivek Murthy right now. He's the former U.S. surgeon general and a public health adviser for the Biden campaign.

So Dr. Murthy, what about that? Because just yesterday the University of Washington -- that's the model that we've all heard so much about, that the White House has been using -- released these new, updated numbers, and they got a lot of attention, because they had gone up from their previous expectation of 60,000 Americans dead to 74,000.

But that, they thought, would be by the first week of August. If we stay at this current clip, we're going to hit 74,000 well before August. If we -- if 2,000 Americans -- if we have leveled off somehow at 2,000 Americans dying per day, which is what has basically happened for the last several days, we're going to be at 74,000 in a matter of just a couple of weeks.

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, FORMER U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Alisyn, you're pointing out a very important point here, which is that we have to be cautious with the models that we look at. We have -- we know the models aren't perfect, and we know that they're based on assumptions.

And the IHME model from the University of Washington, which has been relied upon heavily by the White House, is based on perhaps the most optimistic of assumptions, including the fact that every state would do stay-at-home orders, that they would observe those orders, and they would not lift them prematurely.

But we've already seen that those assumptions don't hold water. Many states, even states like Florida, which did put in stay-at-home orders, had larger loopholes for religious gatherings, for example. So -- and now we already see that states are starting to relax these restrictions.

The key point here is that we are not out of the woods. And we are still learning more about this virus each day. Which means we have to be cautious. It means we shouldn't be relaxing restrictions until we see cases coming down significantly for a prolonged period of time. And we certainly shouldn't do it until we have the testing and contact tracing capacity to detect and catch the virus when it does surge again.

BERMAN: There's clearly so much tension, though, out there in this country with the desire among some to get back to work and to reopen and to be normal, if that's even possible, again.

So yesterday, Dr. Kraft, you had the president order meat companies to keep producing, opening up these meat-processing plants. Now, I get that. We'll talk about the economic implications of that. People want their sausage.

But what are the public health implications of forcing workers back in these factories where they've been getting sick?

KRAFT: I think what we're going to start to see is that this is shifting from guidance and consistent messaging to really putting the onus for personal responsibility. So it's now becoming sort of our decision on how to protect yourselves, what to do, because these messages are varied across our country.

And so we -- it's going to be up to us to figure out how we're going to keep ourselves safe and how we're going to keep our families safe and how we keep our co-workers safe. And I think that that onus is pretty clearly putting back on the businesses and the personal individuals or individuals in this country. [06:10:16]

CAMEROTA: Dr. Murthy, I want to talk about something else out of the White House yesterday.

And that was Vice President Pence went to visit the Mayo Clinic, and every single person that he was around and encountered had a mask on, because that's their policy. And he was well within six feet of people, as you can see. He's elbow bumping various people and talking to them, talking to patients. He's not wearing a mask.

And his rationale is that, well, he was recently tested, and he was negative. So if you're negative, you don't have to wear a mask?

MURTHY: No, Alisyn. Listen, the CDC has issued clear guidance that people should be wearing masks in public. Because you tested negative a few days ago does not mean that you are negative today.

And especially when you go to healthcare settings, it's important that we observe these guidelines to protect the people around us.

And this is also a time where we have to rethink how we greet each other. For weeks and weeks, we've been saying that handshakes and even fist bumps and elbow bumps, they require proximity, and they involve contact. That's simply not advisable at this point.

It's incumbent upon our leaders, especially visible leaders, to lead by example and to do so by wearing masks in public, keeping distance from others.

It's also worth noting, though, that in this time, when we're talking about the different states going their own way and making their own decisions, that this is dangerous. Because we have to -- there are times where we act as 50 states and we do our own thing. And there are other times where we have to act as one country.

We have to think about the United States as a single house with 50 rooms. If a fire starts in one house, it spreads to the entire country. And if we see an outbreak surge again in a single state, it can quickly spread to other states.

That's why it's so important to act in a unified way, to have strong leadership from the government and, certainly, to lead by example.

BERMAN: Doctor, stick around, if you will. Because another example of this tension that we're talking about, a striking scene overnight. Hundreds of people gathering for a rabbi's funeral in New York, despite social-distancing rules. Now, the New York City mayor had an extremely controversial response to this. But it does beg the question: How should something like this be dealt with going forward?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:16:47]

BERMAN: New scrutiny this morning for one key component of the testing in this country: the antibody test which helped determine if you have had coronavirus. Real questions this morning about whether they work. One researcher says the accuracy is, quote, "really terrible."

CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Antibody testing to check for past infection. Officials have said these tests are critical to reopening the economy. But there are concerns many of them don't work very well.

FAUCI: The problem is that these are tests that need to be validated and calibrated. And many of the tests out there don't do that.

COHEN: So scientists in California, including at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, decided to see how are they working.

Out of the 12 tests they looked at, several had frequent false positives. One got false positives more than 15 percent of the time. Three others, false positives more than 10 percent of the time or more. One of the researchers calling these results really terrible.

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxed their standards for these tests, allowing them to be sold without submitting any data showing that they work.

For weeks, the FDA and other federal agencies have been saying they'll figure out which tests work best. But the FDA telling CNN they have nothing to share on this effort.

While government scientists try to work this out, doctors at Texas A&M announcing they're going to start a clinical trial of a 100-year-old tuberculosis vaccine. It can help boost the immune system, and they hope it will work for COVID-19.

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: Sometimes we have found that an old drug, one that we've used for years, can serve a new purpose.

COHEN: An advantage of old drugs for new purposes: they've been used before, so doctors know a lot about their safety profile. Hundreds of millions of doses of the BCG vaccine are given every year, mostly in developing countries. A disadvantage: since it wasn't designed specifically for COVID-19, it might not work for COVID-19, and it could be harmful to some.

SCHAFFNER: Seems a bit of a stretch. But it's very novel. And desperate times demand desperate measures. It's worth a clinical trial.

COHEN: In the end, it could be a combination of old and new drugs that get us out of this pandemic.

SCHAFFNER: We need a multipronged approach, because we need help here; and we need to go down every trail, investigate every possibility. COHEN: Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: All right. Thank you very much for that update.

Back with us, Dr. Vivek Murthy and Dr. Colleen Kraft.

Doctors, I want to show you a picture from last night that caused quite a stir here in New York City. This was at a funeral in Brooklyn for a rabbi. You can see many, many people there, Hasidic Jews, largely, showing up for this funeral, not social distancing. I mean, that's just crystal-clear from this picture.

The New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, went to help break the gathering up, and he said things in response that offended many people, over generalizing about the Jewish community in general. We'll talk about that later.

What I want to tell you, Dr. Kraft, though, again, we're talking about this tension between what people want to do and really should do. A gathering like that in the epicenter of this pandemic right now in the United States, that has to be dangerous.

[06:20:13]

KRAFT: Yes, I agree with you. I think one of our concerns is that we are getting such mixed messages, and we are sort of making our own choices that it's really difficult to know how this is really going to be controlled as we continue to sort of ebb and flow on some of these gatherings that happen and events that are happening.

And so I think it just brings us back to the same message, which is we really have to work ourselves, and it's within our own control, to prevent this transmission for ourselves and our loved ones.

So hand hygiene, face hygiene, you know, doing physical distancing when you're in public, don't trusting surfaces -- don't trust any surfaces you haven't cleaned. And if you can't kind of create that scenario for yourself, then you may want to avoid this interaction.

There are lots of things that are important to many of us. We want to -- all of us want to get back to doing what we were doing before. But it's going to be very difficult to get there if we continue to practice kind of sort of haphazard infection prevention practices.

BERMAN: You know, Dr. Murthy, I put this in same category as the vice president not wearing a mask at the Mayo Clinic. We all want an exception. We all want to find someplace where maybe we can do something that's not necessarily advised, but it's OK, because I think I'm doing it responsibly. Or it's OK, because I really want to do it or need to do it.

Mourning is very difficult. Right? We all want to mourn. We all want to go to funerals. I get that. But still, it's hard to know what is right when there is so much mixed messaging around the country. MURTHY: Well, this is why communication is so essential during

pandemics like this. And there are some core principles in how you communicate during a pandemic, which it's essential that we observe.

For example, you always have to be transparent and truthful. You always have to lead with science and with scientists. But you also have to be empathic in your communication. And that might seem like a soft thing, that's not important, but it actually is. Because people need to know that you understand the challenges that they're facing, that you feel the pain and the struggle that they're enduring.

And right now there are millions of people around America who are not able to say goodbye to their loved ones who can't go to ICUs and nursing homes to visit their elderly relatives. This is extremely painful. And if people don't think that their leaders understand that, they're not getting clear, consistent messages from them, then you run into situations where they're not -- they feel they don't need to observe their rules or they just can't anymore. We've got to be able -- to be able to support people, empathize with them but communicate clearly about what needs to be done.

BERMAN: One other key piece of news overnight, Dr. Kraft, was that Simon Properties, which owns shopping malls around the country, has now said it's going to reopen 49 of them, largely in states that are beginning to reopen themselves.

Now, again, that's an economic story. But where it concerns you and public health, it's something you raised before that's fascinating to me. They may open, but are people going to go? That's what we don't know yet.

Some stores in the malls won't reopen. Right now, Gap, which owns Banana Republic and a ton of stuff, says it's not reopening its individual stores.

But the other question is, what will people do and how do people need to feel in order to reopen?

KRAFT: Yes. And I think Dr. Murthy really said it really eloquently. That, you know, we -- our messaging is becoming -- is mixed. It's unclear what -- what is the appropriate course of action or not.

And so I do think it comes back to, again, us taking within ourselves the -- the control to prevent the transmission. And so I will be very interested, as well, to see if people actually attend -- attend events and go to malls if they're -- if they're really concerned about their health, if they have a medically fragile family member, if they themselves have medical, you know, diseases. We want to prevent this transmission, because we want to save lives.

And so I think it will -- it will -- unfortunately, we'll be seeing how we're going to balance that with some of these openings.

BERMAN: Dr. Kraft, Dr. Murthy, thank you both very much for being with us. Dr. Murthy, you're going to be back to talk much more about a subject that I think is of paramount importance that you just wrote a book on. And that's loneliness during this crisis. So thank you very much for being with us.

President Trump ordering meat-processing plants to stay open, but workers are getting sick. So what's the answer here, so that we can get the food we need and keep workers safe?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:28:48]

CAMEROTA: President Trump invoking the Defense Production Act to order meat processing plants to stay open to avoid a meat shortage. But thousands of workers have gotten sick with coronavirus, and at least 20 have died.

CNN's Omar Jimenez is live outside a meat-packing facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with more. So what's the plan, Omar?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alisyn, President Trump's executive order likely to have an effect on the affected plants that we have seen here in the Green Bay area and, of course, across the country as well.

You know, with this order, under the Defense Production Act, it is declaring these meat-processing facilities as critical infrastructure in the United States.

And this comes as some manufacturers, Tyson Foods, for example, were considering operating at just 20 percent capacity due to closures we have seen over coronavirus clusters at different facilities across this country.

There are some estimates that had all of these closures in total affecting around 80 percent of the meat processing capability in the United States.

And of course, when you look at a place like here in Green Bay, Wisconsin, this place is not immune to some of those effects, both on the health and on the business side, as well.

END