Return to Transcripts main page


Another 3.8 Million Filed for Unemployment Last Week; Small Business Relief Program Grappling with Glitches; Some Children with COVID-19 Suffering from Severe Inflammation; New York City Subway Closing Overnight for Cleaning. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired April 30, 2020 - 15:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: More evidence today of how devastating this pandemic has been to American workers. New data out this morning shows 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment last week bringing the total number over the last six weeks to more than 30 million people.

Just yesterday we learned the U.S. economy shrank at its fastest pace since the Great Recession during the first three months of this year. And very clearly this is not over yet.

Joining us now, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody Analytics. So, Mark, one in five Americans are now unemployed. It's like 18 percent of the workforce is that what we're looking at in terms of the unemployment rate right now?

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY ANALYTICS: Yes, somewhere between 15 and 20 percent. And you're right, you have to go all the way back to the Great Depression of the 1930s to find unemployment that high.

And probably, Kate, understates the stress you have a lot of people that are not working, but to be counted as unemployed they have to be actively searching for work. And, of course, in this environment you can't do that. So, they are underemployed. If you include those folks, we're probably closer to 25 percent. And that would be the highest unemployment rate since 1933. So, a lot of stress.

BOLDUAN: A lot of stress and it's really hard to wrap your mind around how quickly these numbers have just plummeted or risen depending on what you're looking at. More than 30 states, Mark, we've been talking about all hour starting to at least partially re-open. There's an obvious potential economic benefit of that. But also, huge risk if it's not done right or done too soon. What impact would a second wave of the virus have on what we're talking about here?

ZANDI: Oh, goodness, I mean, I think that would be devastating, obviously, to confidence.

[15:35:00] So, I think just the uncertainty that would create. Then in terms of dollars and cents. And then think about, you know, what would policymakers do? What would Congress, the administration, the Federal Reserve do with that?

So, I think we're taking a big gamble here. If the gamble doesn't pay off and we have a second wave we're asking for what we may call another "depression." So that would-be double-digit unemployment for an extended period for a year or two or three. So, hopefully this gamble pays off because it's a big gamble.

BOLDUAN: It is. With this super rocky roll out of the SBA loan program, what are you seeing when it comes to just the health of small businesses in America right now?

ZANDI: Well, the PPP program, the program you're talking about is helpful. It's a lot of money. Congress has now appropriated $650 billion and it's flowing. So, it is helping. The problem though, it's not well targeted. It's not going to places in the country that have been most affected by the virus like New York, California, Washington.

The other thing it's not helping microbusinesses, really small businesses. I'll give you a statistic. There are 8 million establishments in the United States, 4.5 million of them have fewer than four employees. Those kind of companies, they don't have the contacts with the banks and the SBA that are necessary to get those loans. So, they are being left out. And that's where the real stress is and where we'll see a lot of lost jobs and a lot of business failures. A lot of companies just won't make it.

BOLDUAN: Those are some important statistics to be remember in the conversation going forward and then, of course, we'll wait for next time to discuss what can the Fed do if they can do anything at this point? Mark, thank you. It's great to see you.

ZANDI: Sure thing.

BOLDUAN: Coming up, some young children with coronavirus are experiencing a rare inflammatory condition. Next, one doctor seeing this firsthand next.



BOLDUAN: Well, the understanding of the coronavirus is changing by the minute. There has been one somewhat consistent belief, the majority of young children were not becoming seriously ill. But now there's some scary new developments. A rare inflammatory condition of the blood vessels in some children with coronavirus. Just today the World Health Organization announced it's investigating these cases now being seen around the world.

Some of these cases have been seen by doctors at Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C. Joining me right now is Dr. Michael Bell, Chief of Critical Care at Children's National. Doctor, thank you for being here and for what you do. Your hospital has seen ten children showing these really scary and serious symptoms described as severe inflammation. Can you describe what you are seeing and honestly what parents should be looking for?

DR. MICHAEL BELL, CHIEF OF CRITICAL CARE, CHILDREN'S NATIONAL HOSPITAL (via Cisco Webex): Sure. Thanks for having me on. The symptoms we're seeing, so coronavirus in general has caused severe inflammation in lots of different places including the lungs and the blood vessels as you said.

We've seen 11 children in ICU right now who have some form of inflammation and one particular child who shows inflammation consistent with the Kawasaki disease that the World Health Organization and the National Health Service of U.K. have been pointing out those cases.

So, we are quite on the lookout for these sort of things, this child is quite ill, so we're looking out for this and try and figure out the associations and how we can best help.

BOLDUAN: Yes and of course, the overarching question that hasn't, of course, hasn't been answered yet, is there a connection between COVID and this severe inflammation like Kawasaki disease? How are these patients doing? I mean what damage for those who don't understand Kawasaki disease, can this condition do to a young patient?

BELL: So, Kawasaki disease was first named in 1967. It was identified in Japan and seems to be a genetic predisposition for the disease in the Japanese community. There have been cases every year and every pediatrician has heard of Kawasaki disease to some degree or not. But this outbreak around COVID seems to be quite a bit stronger but it has always been a viral disease that was thought to cause Kawasaki disease, and seems like COVID is accentuating that process right now.

The difference between COVID related Kawasaki disease and other Kawasaki disease, it seems at least from cases we've heard about, which is pretty anecdotal at this point, is that there's much bigger degree of shock associated with it. So low blood pressure, needing to have heart medications administered to maintain blood pressure. That's what we're seeing at least in our patient and seems like what's being seen other places around the world. So that's the reason for the alert and for the intense interest from everybody involved.

BOLDUAN: Yes, and this gets to how is knowing this, this anecdotal evidence, how is this changing how you are caring or assessing children who come in who are suspected of COVID?

BELL: So, Kawasaki disease as an entity is associated with the development of coronary artery aneurysms in a later period of time. And so that's a weird association but it's been true for decades now. So, we'll certainly make sure we keep a close eye on the children's coronary arteries while they're sick as well as while they're recovering. So that has really been an effect of one thing about how we're going to follow things up.

We're looking, as everyone else is, to try to find the best therapies for all people with COVID disease and so we're excited for the remdesivir study and other studies that are coming out that might be helpful to our kids in a compassionate use capacity or some other way. We're looking for any possible thing we can do to help kids get better fast.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And real quick. Is there a specific age that you're seeing this anecdotally pop up in or is it just generally in the pediatric cases you're seeing?


BELL: Kawasaki disease on a whole, affects kids right around the age of 5, between, you know, 3 and 6. And our kid is right in that range. So, it seems like that is still a manifestation of this disease. And COVID is causing at least some activation of this but we're still working on lots more details.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Much more to learn. Scary but thank god, you're on it. Dr. Bell, thank you.

BELL: Thanks so much.

BOLDUAN: Thank you.

A programming note, everyone. Tonight, a CNN GLOBAL TOWN HALL. Dr. Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates joining Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta for "CORONAVIRUS, FACTS AND FEARS," 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Coming up still for us, New York has been under a stay-at-home order since March 22nd. But for the first time, the New York City subway going to shut down overnight. Why, now? The details next.



BOLDUAN: There just into CNN -- NASCAR will start racing again in just over two weeks. It just announced that the first race will be held on May 17th in Darlington, South Carolina. The following week NASCAR will hold four events in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fans -- here's the important bit -- will not be allowed. NASCAR says it is also implementing other safety measures such as mandated use of personal protective equipment, social distancing and health screenings for anyone who enters the venues.

There is also another major change to life as we know it as cities around the world adjust to life with the coronavirus. The New York City 24-hour subway service and system will no longer be running 24 hours.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is here in New York with more details on this. Shimon, what are the details?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes. So, an unprecedented move here certainly by the governor. He seems to be at the end point here. There's been a problem on the subways with the homeless and given all that. Given the complaints from the transit authority workers, the Governor today announced that they're going to be shutting down the subway system between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. starting May 6 so that they the disinfect the subway. They can start cleaning the subways on a nightly basis.

And so what's going to happen is they're going to have workers fan out all across the subway. They're going to use cleaners. They're going to really get into some of these subway cars, some of these subway stations, buses and clean them. One of the reasons, and

we've heard from the Governor and he's taken some criticism early on in keeping the subways open, one of the reasons he kept the subway open was because of the front-line workers, the doctors, the nurses, the grocery workers, the delivery personnel. All the people that we have relied on throughout this pandemic. He didn't want to shut the subway down. So, what they're going do is between these hours when the subway is shut down, they're going to offer buses to people for the front-line workers. They're going to offer Lyfts and Ubers. They're coming up with a plan. They're going to announce that in the next week, the state is, the MTA is. And they're going to tell people how they get these Lyfts and these Ubers if they need to get to work.

Of course, this was not an easy decision for the Governor, but I think perhaps given what has been going on in the last couple of weeks with the homeless in the subway and that problem, he saw this as a good time to go ahead and start disinfecting the subways perhaps towards the opening of this city. At some point, some indication they want to head in that direction -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Extraordinary times, extraordinary measures, thanks, Shimon.

Still ahead, the drug remdesivir is showing positive signs against the virus in new trials, one of the doctors leading one of those trials talks to CNN next.

But first, one good outcome from the pandemic, with the country being told to stay at home, rescue animals have been able to find new homes at a surprising clip. CNN Hero, Sherri Franklin as one of those people making that happen.


SHERRI FRANKLIN, CNN HERO: When we got the shelter-in-place order for the COVID-19, we moved 86 dogs into foster homes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning everyone.

FRANKLIN: We are having meet and greets virtually so that new adopters can meet their dogs before they actually touch them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How does that feel?

FRANKLIN: It's really been so heartwarming to actually see the first time the new adopter actually gets to meet their dog in person. It's a great time if you have been thinking about adopting a dog. It's nice to able to wake up and not focus on the bad news. (END VIDEOTAPE)

BOLDUAN: For more go to We'll be back.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

Right now, at this hour, we know of at least 61,867 people in the United States that's almost 62,000 who have died from coronavirus. And the death is still escalating at a rapid pace. The nation reached 30,000 deaths just two weeks ago. That means more than half of the total lives last so far happened in just the last 14 days.

Today President Trump said of his administration's response to the pandemic, quote, I think we did a spectacular job, unquote. His son- in-law yesterday called the federal response a great success story. All a part of a piece to convey that no mistakes had been made and everything has been done perfectly, which empirically, of course, it has not.

Two months ago, Vice President Pence told me the risk to the American people was low and that the administration was fully prepared.



We're ready. We're ready. And this is an all hands-on deck effort and whether it be testing kits or whether it be medical devices or protective gear for our healthcare providers.


TAPPER: The fact is, they were not ready and with more than 60,000 Americans now dead, shortages of tests, testing supplies, and protective equipment for healthcare workers continuing to be reported. It seems clear the administration remains unready in some keyways. As more than half the states across the nation are in some stage of reopening. Though it's clear that not all have not met the White House --