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New CDC Guidance Will Dramatically Change U.S Life Going Forward; CDC May Advise Schools, Churches, Restaurants to Make Big Changes; Fauci Says, U.S Goal To Manufacture COVID Vaccine by January. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired April 30, 2020 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Thank you and hello. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN's special coverage of this coronavirus pandemic.
And I've got some breaking news for you this hour. We're getting these very detailed CDC guidelines. The White House is now considering for how schools and restaurants and even churches should move forward. We'll have more on the potential big changes here in just a moment and the specifics, what you need to know.
But first, many of the changes, many of you are experiencing right now as a majority of the states are in the process of reopening some businesses by the end of the week.
Plus, the White House's guidelines to keep gatherings under 10 people are expiring. 24 states, according to Johns Hopkins data are trending down. However, some other critical numbers are not. U.S. cases now surpassing 1,046,000. That means infections in America have surpassed that of Germany's, the U.K.'s, France, Italy and Spain's combined.
The number of people losing their lives from coronavirus in the United States is now above 61,000 and then there is this, another 3.8 Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the very first time.
All of this, no doubt weighting on health officials when Dr. Fauci says states that are reopening, quote, can't leap over things, end quote, and trigger a spike in cases. But Dr. Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, says he is aiming to provide millions of doses of a vaccine by January and the president said this moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- whatever the problem is. And I don't know who said it. But whatever the maximum is, whatever you can humanly do, we're going to have and we hope we're going to come up with a good vaccine. Johnson and Johnson and Oxford and lots of different great companies, representatives of our country in some ways, NIH is working very hard and doing a terrific job. No, I hope we're going to have a vaccine and we are going to fast track it like you have never seen before if we come up with a vaccine. I think they probably will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: We'll come back to this.
Also breaking, moments ago, the New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, is taking a rare step of shutting down the subway overnight. So let's start there in New York with Shimon Prokupecz. And, Shimon, why now?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's a very good question, Brooke, why now, because this has been going on now for several weeks. We're several weeks into this pandemic. The governor is saying that starting on May 6th, between the hours of 1:00 A.M. and 5:00 A.M., they're going to be closing the subways. This is the largest subway system in the country. It's an unprecedented move by the governor here. He's going to do that so they can clean, so they can clean the subways, so they can clean all the different stations.
One of the things that's been going on here that we have all been seeing and have been reporting on is that it's just been a homeless problem within the subways. The subway system has been overrun by homeless, a lot of unsanitary conditions. Transit workers have been complaining about having to deal with these unsanitary conditions.
And so they've been trying to find a way how to deal with this. So perhaps why this is being done now is that this is going to be a way to get the homeless off the subway. So the governor is saying they're going to close the subways between 1:00 A.M. and 5:00 A.M. starting on May 6th.
One of the reasons why they have been keeping the subway system open was for the frontline workers, it's the nurses and the doctors, the grocery workers, the delivery workers who we have all come to rely on. So what they're going to do is those frontline workers who need transportations, they're going to supply them with buses and vans and Ubers and Lyfts to use those vehicles to get them to work, so that at least the frontline workers are not interrupted.
But this is no doubt an unprecedented step. The governor, it seems, came to a point now where he knew they're going to have to start cleaning the subways. He's been talking about it for quite some time. And this is one of the ways in which perhaps we could start seeing them talk about reopening New York City and the subway is a big component of that, Brooke, as you know.
BALDWIN: Yes, baby steps. Shimon, thank you very much. We got it, May 6th, 1:00 through 5:00 in the morning, subway shut.
Now to this, let me show you something. Take a look at all the red on your screen. At least 31 states will have started reopening some businesses by the end of this week. Some like Vermont are just allowing retailers to do curbside pickup. Others like Georgia are allowing customers to come inside. But all are reopening with some kind of social distancing in place.
So let's get beyond the ground perspective from two huge cities, one beginning to reopen, the other not taking as big a step. First, CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Dallas. Ed, what's the story there? ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brooke. Well, politicians right now like to stand up there with the microphones, explain how they're reopening the economies in their own states.
But the fact of the matter is, is that is leaving a lot of business owners, small business owners left to kind of figure out how to make it happen.
And here in Texas where the stay-at-home order is being lifted tomorrow, that means restaurants, malls, small businesses can begin to reopen, movie theaters up to 25 percent capacity.
So how does this play out? We are at Beto and Son Mexican Restaurant in Trinity Grove just west of downtown Dallas. You might notice this x on the ground here. And we'll get into some of this, but this is a patio that usually have many more tables.
And the owner of the restaurant, Julian Rodarte, is here. Julian, first of all, we'll get to the Xs one the ground in a second, but why are you taking the chance of reopening?
JULIAN RODARTE, CO-OWNER, BETO AND SON: It's really because we have a family to support, not necessarily my person family but my staff family, the staff that has been having a hard time getting on unemployment because so many people are trying -- some of them are trying to get their citizenship and that's not available to them. And so it's really just to help them provide for their families, keep putting food on their table, as well as be able to make those rent and mortgage payments so that they're not without a home in the midst of a pandemic.
LAVANDERA: Right. So you're not a doctor but you're basically trying to figure out how to make this work as safely as possible.
LAVANDERA: What are the Xs on the ground for and what are you doing to keep customers and employees safe?
RODARTE: Absolutely. So we have staff family but we also have a customer base that has helped provide for my family and our staff family. And so we want to make sure that, like a family, we are keeping them safe and we are providing the best environment for them best possible.
So these Xs on the ground are basically where we expect our staff as servers and buses to stand to communicate with the tables and make sure that they are giving a good social distance to our staff or to the guests and to the staffs.
LAVANDERA: And how does the food come out?
RODARTE: And so with the food, what we've decided is because the service will be pretty much talking to each and every table, we have designated runners and buses that will be delivering to the table with masks and gloves to make sure that every time they they go to a table, they've got a mask and brand new gloves on to bring food on the table at the safest possible way.
LAVANDERA: And how tough has this decision been? You were kind of left here. Like the guidance that you've got, has it been enough to help you figure out how to make this happen?
RODARTE: It's kind of just at that point where you just got to do what's best for obviously, like I said, the customers that have been coming here and supporting us for almost four years that we have been here and for the employees that are trying to make a living and keep feeding their family on a day-to-day.
And so, really, that has been the number one reason why we have decided to do this. Because, again, it's 25 percent revenue with only -- with 100 percent of the cost. So we are not going to make anything here. It's just for the staff to be able to keep providing for their families on a day-to-day.
LAVANDERA: All right. Thank you very much. Good luck to you tomorrow. Stay safe. Stay healthy.
So, Brooke, you can kind of see what many business owners here are grappling with as they try to figure out the best way of opening up, the safest way of opening up. And, essentially, they're really kind of figuring that out on their own. And as you heard Julian mention, this is for only 25 percent of their regular business. So in many cases, they're not really making money in all of this, which is the idea of reopening up is very important here for economic reasons for some people.
BALDWIN: Economically, psychologically, and for the the rest of us, it's like welcome to the new normal. Ed, thank you very much.
Let's get a different perspective in Las Vegas with CNN's Kyung Lah. And so, Kyung, what's the story in Las Vegas.
KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me just show you what the story is, and for anyone who has ever stood on a Las Vegas strip looking at all this emptiness. And I'm just going to stop talking for one second, that silence, that silence is astonishing, never, because everything here on the strip is closed down.
If you have ever been to the Bellagio, and you know what the big draw is, normally, the sidewalk in front of the Bellagio, six, seven, ten people thick, it's completely empty. Some people out getting exercise, that's all we see. The iconic fountains, they are off.
So what this sounds like, it's silence to us, but the people who work here in the restaurants, in the casinos, in the hotels, all they hear are jobs disappearing.
I've talked to a number of economists. They say that right now. The state is logging about a 25 percent unemployment figure. They believe it is actually much higher. And what that has meant for the very first time, we have seen food lines at the food banks, people I with cars miles long, waiting hours for free food. Middle class people, casino workers with union jobs who have been furloughed or laid off going to the food bank for the first time.
I want you to listen to what this woman told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCELA MERIWEATHER, FORMER MGM EMPLOYEE: I never see myself to do this before. What can we do? I said before that I'm not going to go there because maybe there is somebody else that somebody who needs that. And then now I have to do it.
I haven't got any unemployment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAH: And you can just hear the agony in her voice there. She is wanting to work but she's also very afraid because that woman we spoke with is a cancer survivor, so she doesn't want to get sick. And that's what we are hearing, the push/pull, open, don't open.
The governor has indicated it's going to be phase three or phase four before these casinos, that are huge moneymaker in the state, are allowed to open. What the governor is expected to announce later today is phase one, which will, Brooke, allow for some curbside retail so you can go to the store, you can shop from your car and have it delivered to your trunk. Brooke?
BALDWIN: I'm still hearing the tremble in that woman's voice and to have to ask for help for the first time. I know she's not alone. Kyung Lah, thank you, in Las Vegas.
CNN is learning that the White House is reviewing recommendations from Centers of Disease Control and Prevention on how to reopen the country. So here are the specifics on the guidelines. Schools, for example, will be placing desks at least six feet apart, avoiding non- essential assemblies and having students eat lunch in the classroom rather than in the cafeteria.
Faith-based organizations should limit large gatherings, relying on virtual or outdoor services where possible.
Restaurants should move towards disposable plates and utensils, install sneeze guards at cash registers and avoid salad bars in buffets.
CNN Medical Analyst and former CDC Disease Detective Dr. Seema Yasmin is with me. And, Dr. Yasmin, I mean, first of all, just -- I said it a second ago. It's like this is the new normal. We're all going to be in this together, learning together. What does this guidance amount to?
DR. SEEMA YASMIN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: So what concerns me about the guidance, Brooke, is that the CDC is a public health agency. It formulates its guidance based on science and the best available evidence. What worries me is that we saw just a month or so ago early in the pandemic, the White House take official CDC guidance and scratch out some parts of it, I'm thinking especially guidance around cruise ships, around older adults traveling.
And so even with the rush to reopen states, even with the issuing of this new guidance, I worry about reopening and next step being much more motivated by political agendas than by the science. And it's so important that we heed history, that remember that with pandemics, as bad as the first wave can be, the second, even a third wave can be even deadlier. So as we reopen, we need to be thinking about the physical distancing measures that the CDC is outlining here.
But as I spend more time with this new guidance, Brooke, I am also hoping that I come across guidance from the CDC about paid sick leave because we cannot go back to the old normal where we had such vulnerable systems, people are so fragile that they were going to work while they were sick.
BALDWIN: What about, Dr. Yasmin, because as we've been covering various states are reopening and we won't actually know the impact, the consequences of some of those states reopening for weeks? What happens then if there is a spike in cases at that point? Will the pendulum swing back in the other direction? Might there be another lockdown situation again?
YASMIN: Yes. And so you think of the containment measures that we've had in place, the shelter in place, all of those things, all in an attempt to flatten the curve. And in some places, that has worked, but the worry is that you can just reopen the floodgates, allow the virus to come back in, as we've seen in previous epidemics and pandemics.
So what we really need to do is even as we take baby steps to reopen in some places, hopefully at the right time, we're always keeping an eye out for a spike in cases. But that doesn't happen magically. It means you need testing. It means you need widespread testing. It means you need boots on the ground, folks doing contract tracing to make sure that as soon as you see a spike in some places, you can jump on that, you can alert people, so that doesn't lead to a second deadly wave.
BALDWIN: Dr. Seema Yasmin, thank you very much for your expertise.
And as Dr. Fauci says, the U.S. is hoping to manufacture a vaccine by January. We will talk to a doctor live who is working on a vaccine, who says this fall is too optimistic.
Plus, just in, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was grilled on his response to COVID-19 in the U.K., the first time he's faced questions since he recovered from getting so sick.
And grim new number show how many Americans are out of work, numbers being compared to the great depression.
I am Brooke Baldwin. You are watching CNN's special live coverage.
BALDWIN: Welcome back, you are watching CNN, I am Brooke Baldwin.
The search for a coronavirus vaccine has become one of the fastest moving in history. The nation's top infectious doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says the goal is to have the vaccine ready by January and he thinks that's possible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We are in the early phases of the trial, phase one. When you go into the next phase, we're going to safely and carefully but as quickly as we possibly can try and get an answer as to whether it works and is safe. And if so, we're going to start ramping up production with the companies involved and you do that at risk. In other words, you don't wait until you get an answer before you start manufacturing. You at risk proactively start making it, assuming it's going to work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: And I know as you've been following this so closely with the rest of us that Dr. Fauci, when this whole thing started, was guesstimating maybe a year, a year-and-a-half, right, to get a vaccine.
But remember, vaccine specialists tell us in the past it's taken years or five years at the minimum to make a new vaccine.
So let's go straight to CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, to help explain what Dr. Fauci is hoping for.
And also, what does he mean when he says they are manufacturing it at risk?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. What he means by at risk, I think, although he didn't elaborate, and we've asked him, but he hasn't explained, what we think he means is that we decide now. You know what, we're going to pick whatever number, a handful of vaccines that we think are going to work out and we're going to start manufacturing them now even though they might not work out. They might not work and they might not be safe or one of the other or both.
So you might be making duds, basically, and you might have to just waste that and spend money on it for nothing. But if you want to have this at the ready the minute that the FDA says, yes, go ahead and sell it, you want to have a lot made. So that seems to be what the strategy is.
Now, as far as Dr. Fauci's timeline, it actually really hasn't changed. The first time he said 12 to 18 months was back in January. And so if we're going to have a vaccine ready at the end of this year, that's 12 months. So it is the sort of the lower end of that timeframe.
And we should say, we were looking for the World Health Organization website and it's interesting, in just four days, there are 13 more companies that are working on vaccines. In four days, 13 more companies working on vaccines. So it's over a hundred now. That's a lot. Most of these are going to turn out not to work. There's only about seven that are in human clinical trials. We'll have to see how they do.
BALDWIN: Okay. Elizabeth, thank you for that.
Let's get some perspective from a man whose expertise is in vaccine. Dr. Peter Hotez is back with us this week. He's a Professor and Dean of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. He's also part of a group developing a coronavirus vaccine. So, Dr. Hotez, nice to see you again.
DR. PETER HOTEZ, PROFESSOR AND DEAN OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Nice to see you. Thanks for having me.
BALDWIN: All right. You're the pro here. What's your reaction when you hear Dr. Fauci say there is a potential for vaccine in January?
HOTEZ: Well, we're working day and night to get our vaccine in clinical trials as well. And hopefully by the summer, we'll have that. So we have a recombinant protein vaccine that uses an older technology, the same one used to make the hepatitis B vaccine. That's why we're pretty excited about it because we're using established technology.
The big question is whether we can meet that goal, that is by the end of the year, to have enough data with respect to whether the vaccine actually works and whether the vaccine is safe to really lead to licensure, whether it's emergency licensure or otherwise. And I don't know. We have never done this before and so this is absolutely unprecedented. So we're trying, we're working day and night as are the other groups.
One of the problems that I see is that the early vaccines that have started clinical trials are using technologies that have never before resulted in a licensed vaccine. So that is doubly hard, because not only is this a very tight and a very aggressive timeline but also technologies that we have not yet seen resulted in actual vaccines before always does. And so it's a little bit of (INAUDIBLE) but we'll see how it goes.
BALDWIN: Yes. No, I appreciate the dose of realism. How about whenever someone, because someone will, right? Maybe it will be you, Dr. Hotez. Whenever someone develops this vaccine that will, in fact, works, can you just imagine -- I mean, people are going to be clamoring for that vaccine. Explain, as we play it forward, how it will be prioritized, who gets the vaccine and when? HOTEZ: Well, I think also it's quite likely that, first of all, we'll probably be in the 2021 before we actually have such a vaccine and scaled up, and even that's optimistic. And then remember, we may have more than one vaccine. We may have two or three vaccines that work because you've got 20, 30 that are going through the pipeline, 80 percent, 90 percent will drop off for one reason or another because they're not --
BALDWIN: So who'll get to it first though?
HOTEZ: Well, so I think what you're going to probably see is that certain vaccines might be better for a certain population. So one vaccine might work better for older Americans, for instance, those who are at risk, over 65. Some might work better for those with underlying disorders. Some might be a pediatric vaccine or one for adolescents or ones that will work quickly for healthcare workers.
So I think we shouldn't expect just to see one single vaccine at the end of this, probably several different vaccines, each with different strengths and weaknesses and then sorting that out of who gets vaccinated first. We know healthcare providers urgently need that protection so they can feel safe going to work. That's the weak link in any COVID response in the country. So I would they would be prioritized.
BALDWIN: Dr. Hotez, keep going, keep at it, we need you. Thank you for your invaluable work. I appreciate you and your perspective in all of this.
And let me just remind all of you, do not forget to tune in, Bill Gates joins Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta live for a new CNN global town hall. We're calling it, Coronavirus, Facts and Fears.
It is tonight, 8:00 P.M. Eastern right here on CNN.
Just in, as the U.K. revises its death toll upward, Boris Johnson, the prime minister, is grilled with questions about his response in his first news conference since recovering from the coronavirus. We'll take you there.
And American universities across the south revealed when they will reopen.
And Costco will force customers to wear masks. Is this the future of retail?