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Stay-At-Home Orders In Seven States Expiring Tonight; Fauci: U.S. Goal To Manufacture By Vaccine; U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Nearing 62,000; Los Angeles Offers Free Testing To All Residents; 30 Million Filed New Jobless Claims Since Mid-March; Trump: I've Done A "Spectacular Job" As U.S. Deaths Near 62,000; Dr. Fauci: FDA Moving "Really Quickly" To Approve Drug Remdesivir To Treat Coronavirus; Remdesivir Trial Shows "Positive Effect" On Recovery Time; Ohio Gov's Slow Reopening Faces New Test: Angry Business Owners; Barron Trump's Private School Keeping Funds From Federal Loan Program. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired April 30, 2020 - 17:00   ET

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


[17:00:00]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: The visit should be brief, but nonetheless permitted and are even beneficial for the mental well-being of grandparents.

Our coverage on CNN continues right now. Thanks for watching.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in "The Situation Room" and we're following new developments in the coronavirus pandemic.

Even as the number of cases and deaths across the United States continues to climb as seven states are not letting their stay-at-home orders expire tonight.

Also, CNN has obtained a draft of new CDC guidelines of how businesses schools other organizations should handle reopening. They include disposable menus and restaurants and desks six feet apart in schools.

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, says the U.S. goal is to have a coronavirus vaccine by January. And he says the Food and Drug Administration is moving quickly to approve the drug Remdesivir as a treatment. Also, as of this hour, the U.S. death toll is nearing 62,000 people with more than 1 million confirmed cases. Worldwide, there are now more than 3.2 million cases and more than 230,000 deaths.

Let's begin this hour out in California where the governor, Gavin Newsom has just ordered beaches closed in Orange County after large crowds turned out over the weekend. CNN's Nick Watt is in Pasadena forest near Los Angeles. So you're at a testing site Nick, what are you seeing? What are you hearing?

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Wolf, Los Angeles has we think become the first major city in this country to offer free coronavirus testing to anybody whether you have symptoms or not. Now, there's a little bit of confusion between the state and the county but that's understandable, and we've come to expect it during the coverage of this crisis.

Here in Pasadena, what I can tell you is if you make an appointment, you don't have to have symptoms you show up here, they will give you a test for free. Now, first responders and frontline workers do get priority and Uber drivers are included in that category. But anybody can sign up and get a test for free.

Wolf, this is how California is going to keep tabs on this virus when it eventually begins to reopen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WATT (voice-over): More than 30 million Americans have now lost their jobs during this unprecedented national shutdown, pain and frustration rising.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER (in unison): All protects us all, all protects us all.

WATT (voice-over): By this weekend, more than half of our states will have started to reopen with restrictions.

In Texas, the COVID case count isn't falling still, restaurants and retail can reopen tomorrow at 25% capacity.

JULIAN RODARTE, CO-OWNER, BETO AND SON: We're not going to make anything here. It's just for the staff to be able to keep providing the families on the day to day.

WATT (voice-over): Tomorrow you'll be able to get a legal haircut again in Wyoming, in Utah from midnight Friday, bars and restaurants can open. In Oklahoma bars will stay closed, but gyms and movie theaters can open.

Now, the federal social distancing guidelines were issued, 45 days ago.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: This is advice on behalf of the President of the United States to every American.

WATT (voice-over): Advice that expires today. And now it's up to each governor to figure out the reopening.

PENCE: And the new guidance that we've issued his guidance for how they can do that safely and responsibly.

WATT (voice-over): A dropped off possible new CDC guidelines for businesses and institutions, calls for stationary collection boxes in church and restaurants, disposable menus, plenty sneeze guards, no salad bars, and in schools desks, six feet apart.

College systems in various states by the way, now confirming they will be back in the fall. Hard hit New Jersey is taking it slow. First to open among other things, golf courses but one per cart and stay apart.

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): We said you know what, let's open them up this weekend. But let's make sure everybody plays ball. So this is a real test case for us.

WATT (voice-over): Here in California Orange County beaches opened last weekend but the crowds pack to tight. So?

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We're going to do a hard close in that part of the stage just in the Orange County area.

WATT (voice-over): This Vacaville barber plans to defy the state's continued stay home order.

JUAN DESMARAIS, PRIMO'S BARBERSHOP: I'm going to fight all the way to the end up with 20 tickets and slot accounts for your court, you know, six months from now. That's a risk I'm willing to take.

WATT (voice-over): In Iowa a gradual reopening but only in counties with low case growth and a nod to our grim new reality.

[17:04:58]

GOV. KIM REYNOLDS (R-IA): COVID-19 isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The virus will continue to be in our communities and unfortunately, people will still get sick until a vaccine is available.

WATT (voice-over): Now we're told one might be ready in January, the White House now calling this Operation Warp Speed.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: You know, is a judge of it, honestly, I am. I'll tell you, I'm really in charge of it.

WATT (voice-over): They'll start manufacturing, while it's still in trials.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Assuming it's going to work. And if it does, then you could scale up and hopefully get to that timeline.

WATT (voice-over): And a therapeutic Remdesivir that anti-viral showing some promise still needs FDA emergency approval.

FAUCI: They have not made a final decision yet. They have not announced it. But I would project that we're going to be seeing that reasonably soon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: Now, here's a situation that is going to arise over and over your work reopens, but your kids school does not. So here in California, they're going to open more than 400 pop up childcare centers for that eventuality.

Listen, this is clearly not the beginning of the end of COVID-19. This is the beginning of a new phase that will last some time. Take Georgia, their shelter home order is going to be lifted tonight, 11:59 p.m. but in a statement, the governor tells Georgians this however moving forward, I'm urging Georgians to continue to stay home whenever possible. Wolf. BLITZER: Clearly, Nick the new normal will be very different than the old normal that new normal should be around, presumably for a long time. Nick Watt in California, from California.

Let's head over the White House right now. Our Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta is joining us. Jim grim, new economic numbers tonight affecting millions of Americans.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right Wolf, the White House is grappling with devastating news on the economy, as some advisors to the President are warning of unemployment numbers straight out of the Great Depression. We asked the President about that earlier today, he said it is what it is. And then Mr. Trump went on to claim his administration has done a quote spectacular job on the pandemic, even though more than 60,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus and that number is climbing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TRUMP: OK, thank you very much.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Staring at what is shaping up to be the worst U.S. economy since the Great Depression. President Trump said he has a feel for what Americans are going through.

TRUMP: I feel it. I think sometimes what I feel is better than what I think.

I view what we have now is obviously a period of here we are, it is what it is. It's just a very tough situation for the people of our country. All the loss the debt.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Nearly 4 million Americans filed Unemployment Claims last week making for a staggering 30 million over the last six weeks. White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said the numbers haven't been this bad since the Great Depression.

KEVIN HASSETT, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: The fact is that right now, you know, 30 million people have filed for unemployment insurance. The unemployment rate is probably around 19%. And those numbers are startling because anything we've seen since the Great Depression.

ACOSTA (voice-over): President has been lashing out at aides in recent days over poll showing voters may punish him in the fall for his handling of the coronavirus is offering only rosy assessments of his team.

(on-camera): Is it fair for the voters to take into consideration your handling of the pandemic when they assess whether to reelect you in the fall?

TRUMP: Sure, I think they do. I think they have to do a number of things. I think we've done a really great job.

I think we did a spectacular job. ACOSTA (voice-over): Mr. Trump is also trying to rewrite history, insisting that he inherited what he calls broken tests for the coronavirus from the Obama administration. But that's not true. COVID- 19 didn't exist until just months ago.

TRUMP: We started off with bad broken tests and obsolete tests.

ACOSTA (voice-over): You say broken tests. It's a new virus. So how could the test be broken when you needed a new test?

TRUMP: It went broken tests. We had tests that were obsolete, we had test that didn't take care of people.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The Centers for Disease Control as drafted new guidelines for reopening the U.S. with recommendations that school space desk six feet apart, houses of worship limit large gatherings and restaurants which to disposable menus and plates. The President said he'll be overseeing a new effort to fast track millions of doses of a vaccine for the virus.

TRUMP: We have, you know, as a judge of it, honestly, I am. I'll tell you, I'm really in charge of it.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The administration is hoping to have that vaccine ready by the end of the year, a timeline Dr. Anthony Fauci said maybe possible.

FAUCI: We want to go quickly, but we want to make sure it's safe and it's effective. I think that is doable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's a big thing -- yes.

FAUCI: A things for the right place.

ACOSTA (voice-over): With a pandemic still raging, President Trump is looking to punish China for its handling of the virus, including the possibility of imposing sanctions on Beijing. President who has praised China's transparency on the pandemic has changed his tune, as critics say he's trying to shift the blame.

TRUMP: We just got hit by a vicious virus that should have never been allowed to escape China. They should have stopped it at the source. They didn't do that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[17:09:59]

ACOSTA: There's an update to the controversy over Vice President Mike Pence his decision to forego wearing a mask at the Mayo Clinic earlier this week. Pence was touring a factory in Indiana earlier today. This time he wore a mask and there was a sign outside the facility asking visitors to wear a mask before coming onto the factory floor. So today Wolf, he did wear a mask. Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, good for him. Glad he did. All right, Jim Acosta, thank you very much.

Joining us now the New Jersey governor, Phil Murphy.

Governor, thank you so much for joining us, as I always say, I know you have a lot going on in New Jersey right now.

You were in Washington here today. You met with the President in the Oval Office. How did that meeting, Governor go?

MURPHY: Wolf, good to be with you. It went well, it went well, I mean, we have found common ground. From the early days of this health care crisis on things like ventilators, personal protective equipment, building out hospital capacity with the Army Corps, FEMA, testing sites and then we just announced today that we got over a half a million test kits, 750,000 swabs, a lot of PPE being shipped directly to nursing homes. We also raised the financial crisis that has resulted from this healthcare crisis and that states need direct help. All in all, it was a very good meeting, including thanking the President and his team for their partnership.

BLITZER: So do you agree with the President's assessment that he and his administration have done what the President calls a spectacular job throughout the pandemic?

MURPHY: Listen, Wolf, I think that's above my pay grade in terms of outside of the four walls of New Jersey, but I know what that partnership has looked like in terms of our state. And again, it's not as though every time we asked, we got all that we asked for. But the fact of the matter is, we were -- were we found common ground and have continued to it every step of the way. And I've got a I've got a call it as I see it.

And I think, the next, you know, other than testing and contact tracing partnerships that we're going to continue to need our back next big mountain decline will be the financial help for states and that's something that we talked about today. And that's something where we're going to need help.

Now, let's talk about that right now. Governor, you're saying New Jersey desperately needs financial assistance to keep its public sector afloat and pay all sorts of employees. Many conservatives, as you know, have derided that as a blue state bailout. Did the President in your conversation with him today, over at the White House make a firm commitment that New Jersey will get the money it's so desperately needs right now, despite whatever political differences you may have with the President?

MURPHY: Yes, listen, I don't want to put words in the President's mouth. But I will say this, we had a very constructive discussion about this, including the history of how New Jersey got to where it is, in some of its structural deficits, the progress that we had made in our first two years in office, and I remind folks, including the President, this isn't about helping us out with our legacy items. We've got a plan for that.

This is about keeping firefighters, police, men and women, first responders, EMS educators, keeping them employed, keeping them at the point of attack, keeping them in service of our residents who are going through the biggest healthcare crisis in the history of our state in our country. And we had a very good discussion through that lens.

And this is not a blue state reality. This is both blue and red. It's an American reality. Let's keep those folks employed. Let's keep them at the point of attack serving our residents. That to me is what's good for not just the health of our country, but the economic health of our country.

BLITZER: Right, it's very encouraging to hear that. The CDC, Governor, has drafted new guidelines for businesses, institutions, churches, synagogues, mosques, that are beginning to reopen. For example, restaurants should use disposable menus. A disposable cutlery, schools should keep desks six feet apart, religious groups should avoid large gatherings all sorts of other recommendations. Will New Jersey be adopting those guidelines? Or will you develop your own?

MURPHY: Well, listen, we've been I think at every step of the way we have been very, I think I'd even use the word faithful to CDC guidance. We put out a six-point plan on Monday this week, Wolf, in terms of the road to recovery, four of those steps are healthcare, the fifth is economic, the sixth is resiliency. But based on what you've just said, those are those are all within the realm of what we've been discussing.

I also established a commission a couple of days ago to advise us on how we can responsibly reopen, and I'm sure that what you've just gone through, will be tabled for discussion. Again, the notion of social distancing, keeping limits on capacity, certain hygiene standards, certain masking and glove standards. Those are all items and steps that we've been considering already in New Jersey will look very closely at what the CDC has put out.

[17:15:13]

BLITZER: Yes, they seem to make a lot of sense right now given what we've gone through over these past few weeks.

Governor Phil Murphy, thanks so much for joining us.

MURPHY: Thanks for having me Wolf.

BLITZER: And good luck to everyone in New Jersey.

And to our viewers, be sure to tune in later tonight, 8:00 p.m. Eastern for a live CNN Global Townhall: Coronavirus, Facts and Fears, Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. They will be joined by special guests including Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force along with Microsoft founder Bill Gates. That's later tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern only here on CNN.

Coming up more on the new guidelines under consideration for reopening schools, churches, restaurants, will they be approved by the White House? Will they be followed by the American public? Also, will the FDA live up to Dr. Anthony Fauci's prediction that it will act really quickly to approve an experimental drug that's showing signs, serious signs of helping coronavirus victims?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:20:29]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: China is a very sophisticated country and they could have contained it. They were either unable to or they chose not to. And the world has suffered greatly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Serious words about China just from the President. Right now, we're following the breaking news over at the White House. The President spoke about the possibility of the United States punishing China because of the coronavirus pandemic. Sources say the Trump administration is formulating a long-term plan to punish China on multiple fronts for the pandemic. The President use some strong words today either was accidental or deliberate on the part of China, very strong words serious allegations from the President of the United States.

Let's bring in our chief political correspondent Dana Bash, and our chief political analyst Gloria Borgia.

Dana, you just heard the President blame China specifically, the new measures could include canceling debt obligations, rewriting trade policies, developing new sanctions against China. How significant are these battle lines? He seems to be drawing against China right now, despite all the glowing words, he said over the past few years about the Chinese Leader Xi?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Very significant. And as you have said, I've heard you say, Wolf, you know, the President tries to walk a line between praising the leader of China, but condemning the country of China, we'll see how that plays out as they start to really hard in this strategy that has been in the works for at least a month now. And that strategy is going into the election year, seeing where they are with this pandemic, making China the boogeyman.

And it's -- when it comes to political, you know, strategy. And when it comes to what they're seeing in the polls, it's a no brainer. You talk to people who are looking at those figures and thinking about the best way to go forward. He doesn't have a lot to work with right now.

The economy that was great is not great. The people are scared beyond belief of healthcare and about their jobs. And, you know, everything that goes along with the situation we're in right now. And China presents a good Boogeyman. And that is very clear in the polling that they're seeing in private and also polling that we're seeing in public. So I think we're going to see a lot more of this and a lot more intense way. And they're going to start to also shift it not just about China, but also talk more about China, vis a v Biden and the Obama-Biden administration, expect that to come probably to a TV near you soon.

BLITZER: Yes, I'm sure it will. And Gloria, as you know, the President has been trying to focus the attention on China since last month, calling the coronavirus the Chinese virus for example. How does all this fit into the larger pattern of trying to deflect blame for some of the administration's own failings in its response to the virus?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that's what he's doing. He's trying to deflect blame Wolf, you know, this is a this is a President who's kind of a master of deflection. And as Dana was saying, their internal polls are showing them that China is a pretty good country to blame, not popular can use it, they believe against Joe Biden.

The problem they have Wolf, is that people are looking at what the administration has been doing since the coronavirus pandemic broke out here. And his poll numbers have been going down because people don't believe that he handled it very well. So while they're blaming China on the one hand, and we'll see how that goes, on the other hand, you have people like Jared Kushner, saying, you know, this is a great success story, Kayleigh McEnany, the new press secretary saying, this is the greatest effort since World War II and trying to kind of diffuse the mixed messages that have been coming out of this White House, which is the President saying, oh, we're going to open in April, we're going to open by Easter, it's going to get down to zero, et cetera, et cetera.

So they're trying to kind of erase history in a way, find the boogeyman as Dana points out. And then on the other hand, saying, look, we're doing a fabulous job.

BLITZER: You know, we also got some very awful economic numbers today, more than 30 million Americans have not filed for unemployment. They've lost their jobs over the last six weeks alone. Thirty million Americans have lost their jobs within only six weeks.

As we reported yesterday, Dana, the President is clearly worried about how all this could affect his reelection campaign. How do you see him?

[17:25:04]

BASH: It's devastating. I mean, just stop for a moment and talk about all of those people, those figures equal people and their families and people who are really, really struggling. You see them on the screen there.

And the President has so keenly focused on the economic impact of this since day one. I mean, at the beginning, it was watching the stock market crash. And now it's about the unemployment numbers rising. And that is why as Gloria was saying, he's trying to talk his way out of it, because he has had so much success in his life doing just that, using his power of persuasion, to say, everything's fine here. The danger that he runs into is there is -- it there -- the runs the risk of being a big disconnect between what he is saying and how people are feeling.

You can only have happy talk for so long before people start to get upset. And, you know, one of his top advisors said that these are numbers that look like the Great Depression. He doesn't want to be Herbert Hoover, and he's not a big student of history, but this might be one area of history might want to study.

BLITZER: Yes, Dana Bash, thank you very much. Gloria Borger, thanks to you as well.

Coming up, I'll speak with a doctor who was the principal investigator for the study showing Remdesivir holds promised in treating coronavirus. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:31:19]

BLITZER: Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he expects the Food and Drug Administration to move in his words really quickly to authorize the emergency use of the antiviral drug, Remdesivir, to treat symptoms of COVID-19. With us now, Dr. Andre Kalil of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, he's the principal investigator in the study that found Remdesivir showed some significant progress. Thanks so much, Dr. Kalil for joining us.

As you heard Dr. Fauci, once again, sounded another optimistic note about Remdesivir earlier today. As the principal investigator for this trial, do you share his confidence that Remdesivir is a real potential breakthrough as a treatment for coronavirus? It's not a vaccine, but a significant potential treatment?

DR. ANDRE KALIL, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER: Thanks, Wolf, thanks for the opportunity. Yes, I do agree with Dr. Fauci, this is a very exciting data because at this point, as you know, we've not had any proven and safe treatment for COVID-19 and this is something quite different from other studies. We, you know, this is the study sponsored by the NIH, that here in University of Nebraska in Omaha, we were the first one to participate in a row, the first patient of trial in February 21st.

And after that, we built up a network with about 70 different hospitals, 50 in the U.S. to any in Europe and Asia. And we complete the study in 58 days with over 1,000 patients. So this is -- first of all, this is a -- it's very important to just note that, you know, a high quality, very robust scientific methodology trial can be done in the middle of an outbreak and actually can produce successful results. So this is simply a credible lesson that we are learning right now at this moment during this COVID-19 pandemic.

BLITZER: So how quickly, Dr. Kalil, should the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration move to authorize the emergency use of Remdesivir? KALIL: So, you know, Wolf, my, you know, my job is to take care of my patients and provide them the opportunity to participate in different clinical trials. So that's really -- I'm not involved with the FDA or with some of these policy issues, but based on the preliminary results of our clinical trials showing this significant benefits, in terms of faster recovery, and also a trans to better survive with Remdesivir, in my opinion is that, you know, it would be set certainties -- would be for a good consideration of the FDA to, you know, be able to offer -- to allow this drug to be offered to other patients. Because the results in our study were so significant that we decided not only to make that public before even the final analysis, but we decided to remove the placebo group of our study.

Because we believe that at this point, with the data we have, would not be ethical to, you know, to have a placebo group anymore, because now we know that Remdesivir actually has a significant activity. So based on our results, I do agree with Dr. Fauci and with your suggestion that it would be something to be considered by the FDA to move forward.

BLITZER: All right. So let's say they move forward on this emergency basis. What specific data, Dr. Kalil, will you and your colleagues over at the University of Nebraska be looking for when the final results of this trial are released, let's say a month from now?

[17:35:12]

KALIL: So, you know, Wolf, the plan now it's to actually continue to trial. We are reopening the trial in the next few days, trying to reopen all over the country and other countries as well, you know, around close to the same number of sites that we had before because now we are very effective in terms of being able to offer this trial to, you know, patients all over the country. And so, we're going to be restarting the trial in which we're going to offer Remdesivir to all patients that are going to be in the trial, and we're going to be testing new drugs. The next one is going to be a medication, anti- inflammatory medication called baricitinib. And so that's going to be in conjunction with Remdesivir as well.

But -- So the idea here is that both the clinical trial here in Nebraska and the centers who would be offering Remdesivir to all patients participating in the trial, and if the FDA approve the medication, then, you know, there will be no issues with patients that will need to, you know, receive the drug if they need but also they can participate in the trial. One thing very important, Wolf, is -- as also you brought in the beginning of this -- of the program is that Remdesivir is the way we are studying and the way that we saw in the first preliminary results of these studies is we notice that the patients that are benefiting from Remdesivir are patients that are, you know, the most ill with the COVID-19.

So these are patients that needs to be hospitalized, these are patients that already have the virus inside the lungs, causing pneumonia, requiring oxygen, requiring mechanical ventilation. So these are patients in a more severe spectrum of the disease. This is not a drug for patients with mild disease or for patients that do not require this type of medical care. So this is something very important to be clear, Wolf.

BLITZER: And what's the name of the other drug you're going to use together with Remdesivir that potentially might make it even more effective?

KALIL: So what we'd like to do is exactly bring the, you know, the effect -- the efficacy even further. So it's called baricitinib. This is a anti-inflammatory drug that has been used for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, has a property to come down to inflammation because, you know, once you are very ill with COVID-19, there is a, you know, a significant inflammatory response. So the idea here is that sometimes the inflammatory response can be harmful even though initially it's supposed to be something that's part of our defense, but the inflammatory defense gets too out of control. It potentially can cause more harm like, you know, like we see with fevers and in all the symptoms that we see with severe COVID-19.

So the idea here, the hypothesis that if we can combine Remdesivir and with baricitinib, then potentially can have an antiviral and anti- inflammatory together with the idea to bring the disease down, and even, you know, make the recovery even faster than it is now with Remdesivir. So that's a hypothesis, that's what even test in a trial.

BLITZER: Well, good luck, Dr. Kalil. We're grateful to you and your colleagues for undertaking these tests. Let's hope it works brings down coronavirus and saves lives in the process as well. Thank you so much for joining us.

KALIL: Thanks so much, Wolf. Appreciate it. Have a good night.

BLITZER: You too. Thank you.

And coming up, we'll take you to Ohio where some business leaders are frustrated and rather impatient with their Republican governor's go slow approach to reopening. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:42:47]

BLITZER: With the Trump administration social distancing guidelines expiring tonight, more than half the states are enacting plans to restart their economies in Ohio. For example, some business leaders are pushing the Republican Governor Mike DeWine to speed up his plans to get things going again. CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHEILA TRAUTNER, OWNER, HUBBARD GRILLE: I would say it's been frustrating, strenuous obviously.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sheila Trautner bar and dining room is frozen in time. From the night, restaurants across Ohio were ordered to close on March 15th. Since then, she's had May 1st etched into her mind, a date she hoped to learn when she could at least start planning to reopen. TRAUTNER: I was hoping that we would hear that restaurants could open in some capacity by a specific date.

ZELENY (voice-over): She and other restaurant owners have not heard a word as Governor Mike DeWine inches toward reopening parts of the Ohio economy on Friday.

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): We're starting to open up a little bit. Not fast enough obviously for a lot of people but we're trying to do this in a reasonable way.

ZELENY (voice-over): DeWine, a Republican was the first Governor in the country to close schools. Sounding a serious alarm about the threat of coronavirus well before the White House. But now a stay-at- home orders are expiring across the nation, his slow and measured approach is testing Ohio's patience. That became clear here this week as he encountered sharp criticism for ordering all citizens to wear masks in public as he does.

DEWINE: It was quite candidly a pretty much an explosion, people felt fronted by that.

ZELENY (voice-over): Within a day, he pulled back deciding to only require store employees to wear masks, but leaving the decision for the broader public to shop owners. But he still holds up his own mask as an example for what he hopes Ohioans will do voluntarily.

DEWINE: It doesn't have to be as pretty as this or -- my wife Fran made this -- but just putting something, so you're covering your mouth and your nose.

ZELENY (voice-over): The Governor staggered reopening plan starts Friday, with hospitals allowing procedures not requiring an overnight stay. Followed on May 4th, by construction and manufacturing. In May 12th, with retail and customer service shops. Other businesses like barber shops, gyms and restaurants are not on the immediate horizon.

[17:45:01]

DEWINE: But all of my decision is my decision and I take full responsibility for the decision.

ZELENY (voice-over): But with 1 million people across Ohio seeking unemployment benefits since the coronavirus outbreak began, DeWine faces extraordinary pressure to reopen the economy. His cautious approach is suddenly facing a new test.

LISA KNAPP, OPEN OHIO ORGANIZE: So I'm not going to question his -- really his initial actions, but the continue actions in not opening it up are what's really bothering a lot of people.

ZELENY (voice-over): Lisa Knapp helped organize Open Ohio, one of the groups protesting at the state capitol that believes the Governor is crippling the economy and needlessly taking away civil liberties.

KNAPP: Small businesses are going to lose everything if they haven't already and so many people are going to be out of jobs.

ZELENY (voice-over): The question is Ohio's tolerance for a third straight month of DeWine strict approach. Inside the Hubbard Grille, Trautner isn't demanding to open her doors tonight, but she says she deserves to know when that could happen.

TRAUTNER: We need clarity as to when we can reopen and a potential timeline and that will help us plan appropriately for the future.

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ZELENY: And there are business owners here in Ohio, Wolf, that are looking to other states and seeing there's lights going on. They're wondering when that can indeed happen here. But as state said stay-at- home orders are expiring across the country. Governor Mike DeWine said something else today. He said when Ohio's expires tomorrow at midnight, he will extend it. He said the virus is still very dangerous. And he believes in this slow incremental approach that he says ultimately will save this economy. Wolf?

BLITZER: Better to be safe than sorry as we know. Jeff Zeleny in Columbus, Ohio for us. Thank you.

Coming up, wealthy private schools, including the President's son school, they are getting and keeping millions of dollars meant to keep small businesses afloat. Plus, there's breaking news, California's Governor orders Orange County beaches closed after a huge weekend crowds.

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[17:51:55]

BLITZER: The federal government has handed out billions of dollars to small businesses to help keep them afloat as the coronavirus pandemic shreds the U.S. economy. But there are some surprising recipients among those getting their vital loans.

CNN's Brian Todd is joining us now. Brian, what are you finding out?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, some of the elite private schools, including some with some famous students and alumni have taken and are keeping those small business loans at the same time that many struggling businesses are being squeezed out of those loans.

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TODD (voice-over): St. Andrew's Episcopal School in a wealthy D.C. suburb just built a 31,000 square foot building for elementary school kids. President Trump's son Barron is among the high profile middle school students there. Tuition for high schoolers $44,590 a year, but St. Andrew's applied for received and is keeping money from the Trump administration's program to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. St. Andrew's has endowment the cash that some private schools have in reserve from gifts and grants was reported at nearly $9 million in the 2017 tax filing. RICHARD LEVICK, CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST: For any company that's receiving money in these academic institutions are no different. They have to look at what's their access to capital. And if you have access to a lot of other capital, audiences are going to be less sympathetic.

TODD (voice-over): In a statement to CNN, St. Andrew's said it applied for a small business loan to ensure retention of our full faculty and staff, including hourly employees and coaches during this very challenging and uncertain time and that it also hopes to help school families facing hardship remain at St. Andrew's next year. It's not known how much money St Andrew's got in the loan.

According to "The New York Times", another elite private school in the Washington area, Sidwell Friends, were Chelsea Clinton and the Obamas daughters went to school, got $5.2 million from the small business loan program. Sidwell Friends, according to "The Times" has an endowment of $53.4 million. But said in a memo to the school community, it's taking the loan money "in light of actual and anticipated shortfalls, mounting uncertainty and the importance of maintaining employment levels".

Private schools do have a right to apply for small business loans related to the pandemic. But much of the money in these loan programs has run dry, squeezing many struggling businesses out. So some deep pocketed private companies like Shake Shack valued at $2 billion, gave back the money they got from the loan after public criticism.

RANDY GARUTTI, CEO, SHAKE SHACK: You started to hear these stories that the very people, the small businesses, our friends, who own small restaurants, couldn't get access to this capital. And they were in line or their banks couldn't get it done. That doesn't seem right to us.

TODD (voice-over): The LA Lakers, the second richest team in the NBA, also gave back their small business loan money, as did Harvard University, which has an endowment of $41 billion. But an advocate for private schools says for some institutions like Barron Trump's school, the money they have publicly listed doesn't tell the whole story.

MYRA MCGOVERN, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS: Those endowments do not necessarily translate into liquidity.

[17:55:01]

Some of these endowments are restricted funds that can't just be accessed like you might access a savings account. Pandemic has really resulted in a lot of schools, losing income as they've had to change their programs.

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TODD: Still, many other notable private schools from Chicago, to Washington, to Atlanta told CNN they either did not apply for those small business loans or they received them and then return them basically because they believed other businesses needed the money more. Wolf?

BLITZER: Brian Todd reporting for us, thank you,

Coming up, seven states are letting their stay-at-home orders expire tonight, even as the number of coronavirus cases and deaths across the United States continues to climb.

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