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FDA Grants Emergency Use Authorization To Drug Remdesivir To Treat Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients; In Florida, Nearly One-Third Of All COVID-19 Deaths Linked To Nursing Homes; Protests Take Place In Huntington Beach Against California Governor Newsom Order To Shut Down Beaches; Some States In U.S. Begin Phased Reopening Of Businesses Including Malls; China Criticizes U.S. Officials For Blaming Origin Of Coronavirus Pandemic On China. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 2, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Despite that, there are still some businesses taking a more cautious approach, choosing not to reopen. From California to Michigan, governors are facing increasing pressure to end weeks long stay-at-home orders. Demonstrators have even gathered, demanding a return to normalcy.
Meantime, a possible, hopeful sign that a treatment for coronavirus is in the works, the FDA is giving emergency use authorization to the drug remdesivir, allowing hospitals to treat patients with severe coronavirus cases. We have a team of reporters covering the state re- openings across the country. Just moments ago, officials in Florida released new data about the amount of coronavirus deaths occurring inside nursing homes in that state. CNN's Rosa Flores has the details from Miami. Rosa?
ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, we have been monitoring the amount of information that has been released when it comes to deaths in nursing homes for a while now. And on April 19th, it was the first batch of information that was released, and at that point in time, 23 percent of all of the COVID-19 deaths in the state of Florida were related to nursing homes.
Well, new data was just released, and now it is 32.5. Nearly one-third of all of the COVID-19 deaths are linked or associated to nursing homes. And this is residents and staff. It's important to note that for the first time we're also learning the names of the facilities that are associated with these deaths.
Now, we've been monitoring, of course, just about every press conference that Governor Ron DeSantis has had on COVID-19, and he had mentioned before that there were two outbreaks in the state of Florida. One in Suwannee County and another in Broward County.
But now by looking at this new data that was released, we can tell that there have been multiple deaths at certain nursing homes. Three, for example, have 14 deaths associated with them. There is another one that has 12 deaths. So this gives us a better idea of what was actually happening in these nursing homes. Now, it's important to note that Governor Ron DeSantis has sent strike
teams to nursing homes across the state to test both symptomatic and asymptomatic residents and staff to try to control this, and he also very early on restricted visitations to nursing homes. But the governor, himself, has said during multiple press conferences that while some nursing homes have followed the rules, others have not, which makes the next point very important.
There is a federation of about 600 nursing homes in the state of Florida that are asking Governor Ron DeSantis to give them immunity, in essence to free them from liability. And Fred, Governor Ron DeSantis at last check has not made a decision yet. He is still weighing his options, has not announced whether or not he is going to give nursing homes immunity in the state of Florida. Fred?
WHITFIELD: Rosa Flores in Miami, thank you.
President Trump has called on the governor of Michigan to make a deal with angry protesters he calls very good people. This after demonstrators stormed the state capital, some carrying long guns, demanding that the state be reopened immediately. CNN's Ryan Young joins me now from Lansing, Michigan. So Ryan, what are you learning?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Fred, let me tell you something. These were dramatic pictures that a lot of the people across the country have been talking about. We did find out that it's actually frowned upon and you can't take signs into the state capital, but you can open carry into the state capital. That's what these protesters decided to do.
Let's look at some of these images, because they were dramatic. Obviously, they were there to have their voices heard. They wanted to make sure the stay-at-home order was rescinded. But the governor, Governor Whitmore, decided to extend it through the end of May. You can understand why by the numbers that they've experiencing in this state in terms of almost 40,000 people contracting COVID-19. And then you have nearly 4,000 people dying from it.
But across the state there are different ramifications for it. There have been some places that obviously haven't been hit as hard by COVID-19. And some of those folks want to get back to business. But when you go to cities like Detroit that have been hit very hard, the stay-at-home order has absolutely worked.
But listen to the governor talk about the reasons why she believes this is a health emergency and they need to continue to stay the course.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMORE, (D-MI): Yesterday's scene at the capital was disturbing, to be quite honest. Swastikas and confederate flags, nooses and automatic rifles do not represent who we are as Michiganders. This state has a rich history of people coming together.
We are not in a political crisis where we should just negotiate and find some common ground here. We are in a public health crisis. We're in the midst of a global pandemic that has already killed almost 4,000 people in our state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: Fred, look, I've covered protests all across this country. I can tell you, this was a small protest by the number. You're talking about maybe 400 to 700 people. But when you think about the impact of this state, more people have died than showed up at that protest yesterday.
Yes, you can understand why businesses want to go back to work and why people want to see their livelihoods re-stimulated by this, but when you think about the numbers here in Michigan and how fast COVID spread throughout the state, there is a reason why the governor is pushing forward with this. Again, the stay-at-home order has been extended through the end of the month.
WHITFIELD: Ryan Young, thank you so much, in Lansing.
In California, thousands of protesters packed a popular beach in Orange County after Governor Gavin Newsom ordered beaches there closed. The governor said people were not following social distancing orders. CNN's Paul Vercammen is in Huntington Beach where the protest took place yesterday. But then how does it look today?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It looks calm right now, Fredricka. And in fact, if you look behind me, a lot of people have taken the opportunity to go out and surf, and off in the distance we are seeing a couple pack up. We're hearing police warn people about getting off the beach, and the beach pathway. But so far, we're not seeing any citations. What they've said to us is we want to educate people about this.
Of course, Huntington Beach and its attorneys feel that they were blindsided by the governor, singled out, picked on. Then they went to court late yesterday and tried to get a temporary restraining order to allow everyone back on the beach. The judge denied this order. The attorney general, of course, arguing for Governor Newsom said, look, we are in a pandemic. Safe social distancing is important.
And for the people here in Huntington Beach, we've talked to some of these surfers. They were absolutely floored by the governor's decision. This is beach city. They feel like it's a California birth right to go out and go surfing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL GATES, CITY ATTORNEY FOR HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA: Huntington beach has done an absolutely remarkable job, and notwithstanding the governor issues this order shutting our beaches. We feel targeted. I think it's punitive.
And if it was really a matter of statewide concern, which is his purview, he would have closed all the beaches up and down the state. But he didn't. He is picking on Orange County, he's picking on Huntington Beach. And the empirical data, the data about spread and cases and deaths here in Huntington Beach and Orange County absolutely do not support the beach closure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: Orange County has 3 million people. There have been 50 deaths in Orange County. But on that flipside, that attorney general again arguing we have got to stop the spread of this virus. Social distancing is critical at this time, and basically, alluding to what many people have said in the county of Los Angeles, which is we don't want to undo all of the good work with a busy weekend at the beach and people clustered together.
It's a remarkable debate. You never thought you would see Californian versus Californian, and this showdown continues here in Huntington Beach. Back to you now, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, Paul Vercammen, thanks so much.
On to Georgia now. Officials are reporting a spike of more than 1,200 new cases just one week after allowing hair salons, gyms, bowling areas to reopen. CNN's Natasha Chen joins me now from Alpharetta, Georgia, north of Atlanta. Natasha, I see a lot of people out behind you.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are a few more people now within the past hour, Fred. What we're seeing is that the mall here in Alpharetta is trying to make the walkways one way so that they can avoid cross traffic and getting too close to people. But we do see that there are some people who really have not noticed the signs on the floor or don't care, frankly.
And in the distance there, you can see there are a couple people waiting outside that clothing store. That is because that particular clothing store is only allowing 10 people maximum inside their store at a time, and that includes the employees. So given that you can't have that many people in there, there's been a line sometimes outside.
Then over to the left you see some furniture that's been put out by mall management. It's really spaced out to promote social distancing. They have a lot of different types of shops here. Of course, restaurants, barber shops, tattoo parlors were able to open last week, so as of yesterday the new thing was really the retail and clothing shops. There is a movie theater right behind them, but that theater has decided not to open in the meantime even though they are allowed to.
Here is the general manager we talked to about the difficulties they've had in trying to make sure this is safe for people to come back to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANIELA RESPRESS, AREA GENERAL MANAGER: Sanitizing stations, we have implemented a one-way street at Avalon's. We've spaced all the furniture out, as you can see. But it's really everybody's comfort level, whenever they're ready to leave their house, Avalon is there to be the place for the community to come out to.
KATE MARTIN, SHOPPER: Well, I'm a nurse, so instinctively I think it is still too contagious. It is a very contagious disease, so I still think it might be a little too soon to come back out and be this close together. So we'll see.
CHEN: But you're here.
MARTIN: I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: And you notice that she was wearing a mask there. And some people are, some people aren't. There aren't people exactly right near us at the moment, so we're not wearing them right at this time, but the mall property has recommended that guests wear face coverings. They're also offering them at their concierge as long as supplies last.
Just to give you some context, this place has almost 100 tenants with different types of shops, restaurants, etcetera. About 20 of them are open right now, most of them for curbside or appointment shopping only. They expect that about another 15 shops will be open next week, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, we shall see, day to day. Natasha Chen, thank you so much.
All right, stimulus loan money that was meant to keep small businesses afloat has landed in the hands of some wealthy private schools, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is not onboard with that. He is calling on schools with endowments to give the money back. But some private schools are saying no, that they will keep the funds despite having millions in endowments. CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood joining me now from Washington. So Sarah, Secretary Mnuchin clearly wants these schools to return the money. Does he have any leverage? Do they have to comply?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Fred, the treasury secretary saying these private schools with significant endowments should not be keeping money from the Paycheck Protection Program. But the treasury program has not defined what significant looks like. They are not offering specifications on what Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is demanding of these schools.
Remember that the money in the PPP, this program, is meant for small businesses to keep employees on the payroll. So there has been some outcry when these larger organizations, when these wealthier organizations have taken the money meant for small businesses.
So these wealthy preparatory schools are facing a dilemma that a lot of these corporations, these well-known companies, have faced in recent weeks, and that is whether to keep the money and whether to risk inviting a backlash. We saw that happen to, for example, Shake Shack, a large company who returned the money after facing a backlash for taking it.
Some of the schools that have taken this money are right here in the D.C. area. That includes Sidwell Friends here in Washington, that counts Chelsea Clinton and the Obama girls among its alumni, and the St. Andrew's Episcopal in Maryland. That is the school that the president's youngest son attends. Sidwell Friends has said that they took the money and plan to keep it because they are committed to their staff.
And in a statement to CNN, St. Andrew's said, like many of its peer schools, St. Andrew's applied for PPE funds through our longstanding bank to ensure retention of our full faculty and staff, including hourly employees and coaches during this very challenging and uncertain time."
In terms of leverage, Fred, Steve Mnuchin has said that criminal liability could be on the table for borrowers if they have made untrue certifications to banks. Remember, Fred, the way the program is structured, it's banks, not the government who are issuing these loans, and the banks are relying on the information provided by the borrowers in this case, just to get the loans out the door quickly.
WHITFIELD: All right, Sarah Westwood, thank you so much.
Still ahead, your questions on the coronavirus answered from health to money to your child's education. Our panel will separate fact from fiction.
Plus, a major setback in France. Why the country is extending emergency measures for two more months.
Then later, how British Prime Minister Boris Johnson honored the doctors who saved his life.
WHITFIELD: Shortly after surviving a bout with COVID-19, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson became a dad. Today Johnson and his fiancee announced that they named their new son after the doctors credited with saving the prime minister's life. CNN's Bianca Nobilo joins us live from London. So what is the child's name?
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fred. We can reveal the child is called Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson. And the reason for that, Wilfred after the prime minister's grandfather, Lawrie after Carrie Symonds, the prime minister's fiancee's grandfather, and Nicholas. That is really the most poignant name as far as we are concerned.
And you just mentioned that this is a tribute to the doctors that saved the prime minister's life, Doctors Nick Hart and Nick Price. Carrie Symonds said that her heart was full and she was eternally grateful to the NHS for saving the prime minister.
And what a few weeks it has been for Boris Johnson. He was supposed to be back at prime minister's questions on Wednesday. He wasn't. There was some consternation, a couple people complaining. And then it was revealed that it was because his baby boy was being born at 9:00 a.m. that morning. He then returned to work on Thursday, sounding a little bit breathless, but his usual buoyant self.
Now, of course, everybody wishes the prime minister and his new family all the absolute best, but he returns after a long stint of being away, suffering from coronavirus, missing the peak of the virus in the country. So now the U.K. being on track to having the second worst death toll in the world just after the United States. There's only about a couple hundred deaths in it now between Italy and the United Kingdom. And, of course, the outbreak started much earlier in Italy than it did in the U.K.
A lot of questions being asked as to why the prime minister missed key meetings in the early, preparatory phase of the outbreak in the United Kingdom, why there still isn't enough PPE for key members of the National Health Service, why it took so long to get a testing system up and running, and why there were so many flipflops on the strategy, Fred.
So going forward the prime minister is going to be under heavy scrutiny, and, indeed, he may well be a man much changed by his own brush with death, as he referred to it, in terms of how he now approaches this second phase, this crucial next step in managing the outbreak here in Britain.
WHITFIELD: Bianca Nobilo, thank you so much outside London. Appreciate it.
All right, President Trump has spent a lot of time recently blaming China for the spread of the COVID-19 virus. China is not only rejecting the White House's claims, it is pushing back. CNN's David Culver looks at how this blame game is heating up.
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: China's state-run media now ramping up its propaganda against the United States, taking direct aim at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. This week a near daily CCTV commentary attacks Pompeo for calling out China's mishandling of the coronavirus, one saying he is turning himself to be the enemy of humankind by spreading a political virus.
On Thursday "The People's Daily," the official newspaper for China's Communist Party, ran an editorial saying Pompeo's rhetoric makes the U.S. look like it's dealing with a colossal moral deficit. The government-controlled Xinhua tweeted an animation further mocking the U.S.'s blaming, portraying it as hypocritical.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you listening to yourselves?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are always correct even though we contradict ourselves.
CULVER: In the shadows of the coronavirus outbreak, the war of words is creating a deepening rift between the U.S. and China.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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.
CULVER: It is a change from President Donald Trump's more sympathetic tone expressed repeatedly over the past few months.
TRUMP: Look, I know there's President Xi, loves the people of China. He loves his country, and he is doing a very good job with a very, very tough situation.
CULVER: While still not directly criticizing President Xi Jinping, President Trump is increasingly criticizing China for the virus's devastating and deadly spread, echoing Secretary of State Pompeo's hard line stance.
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: While we know this started in Wuhan, China, we don't yet know from where it started. And in spite of our best efforts to get experts on the ground, they continue to try and hide and obfuscate. That's wrong. It continues to pose a threat to the world.
This is classic communist disinformation. This is what communists do.
CULVER: The White House now further pushing the origin theory that the virus started in a Wuhan laboratory. Last week, CNN returned to Wuhan post lockdown. We traveled to the lab in question, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. We captured a few images from the exterior of the gated campus.
Chinese officials dismiss allegations it started here. And a statement Thursday from the U.S. office of the acting director of national intelligence said it concluded that the coronavirus was not manmade or genetically modified, but noted it was still evaluating theories linking the outbreak to the lab.
CNN's early reporting of this revealed China's covering up and silencing of whistleblowers. Our reports also put into question China's official number of cases, which has been revised repeatedly and is widely believed to be vastly underreported.
However, China believes that the U.S. and the Trump administration in particular is trying to deflect for its lack of preparedness in battling this virus within the United States. And so you've got this heated rhetoric, this increased blame, and the world's two largest economies no longer looking at international collaboration but rather in the midst of this animosity filled face-off.
David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.
(END VIDEOTAPE) WHITFIELD: All right, up next, some of your questions. Is the beach safe? What about dining out? We're answering your top viewer questions about coronavirus.
WHITFIELD: Coronavirus has killed more than 65,000 people in the United States, and this weekend more states are beginning to reopen. Researchers are also making progress finding potential treatments and vaccines, but a lot of questions remain. All week you have been posting questions about health, money, and education on our website, and our panel will answer some of those questions for you right now.
Joining me today, CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Celine Gounder, she's an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist and host of the "EPIDEMIC" podcast. We also have personal finance expert Suze Orman, who hosts the podcast "Women and Money," and Michael Gonchar, editor of "The New York Times" Learning Network. Good to see you all. Glad you're all well.
So, Dr. Gounder, B.G. from New Mexico asks, "What are the effects of prolonged social isolation on my health and immune system?"
DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: That is a great question and something that's actually been studied. What we've found is that when people are isolated, when they're lonely, their levels of stress hormones go up. And that means that their immune system is not functioning as well.
There also can be an increased risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular disease. And it's actually been compared to being chronically isolated and lonely. It's been compared to the same health effects as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So it's not a benign thing to be lonely and isolated for very extended periods of time.
And Suze, a viewer asked, "I'm making more money on unemployment than when I was working. What's the incentive to return to work?"
SUZE ORMAN, HOST, "WOMEN AND MONEY" PODCAST: Well, there is a lot of incentive. Number one, health insurance, which maybe I need. Health insurance, as well as they're contributing to Social Security. But here is the real thing. If you don't take a job right now that you could take, is that job going to be there for you in another 13 weeks or 26 weeks?
So if I were you, if you had a job, I would be taking it rather than just taking unemployment. And remember, unemployment is taxable to you, so just don't think you're getting away from taxes, because you're not.
WHITFIELD: Not just free money. And Michael, George from Rhode Island asks "How can I make virtual learning more bearable for my fourth grader? That is everybody's question right now, for the parent, too.
MICHAEL GONCHAR, EDITOR, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" LEARNING NETWORK: These are difficult times. And if you're a parent and you have young children or older children, it definitely can be a challenge. One thing we've found, I have a ninth grader, my 14-year-old son, and he has come up with his own schedule. He is a little bit older. But we found that having a schedule can really make a difference. So for him it starts with two hours of video games, and then he gets started on his school work, and then he takes a break and eats lunch and so on.
WHITFIELD: How old is he?
GONCHAR: He is 14 years old.
WHITFIELD: OK. He needs to talk to my 15-year-old. But go ahead.
GONCHAR: It's important that the school day doesn't blend into the rest of the day, just like we don't want our work day to blend into the rest of the day. It is important. So it's school time, and then it's play time, and our house life that we're living in the self- quarantine time doesn't just become a blend and a blur of everything.
WHITFIELD: Just kidding. My 15-year-old, John, you're doing really good with your personal scheduling and fitting it all in. I am proud of you.
Dr. Gounder, Denise asks "when can grandparents over 65 see their grandchildren again?"
GOUNDER: So that is really going to depend, Fredricka, on the local situation, the local transmission. So if you are in a place where there is still transmission, especially if you're in a place where cases have not peaked, where deaths have not peaked, so for example, Georgia, which is reopening, is in that category, I would caution still against going to visit your grandchildren, going out into the community. Unfortunately what the states are doing in terms of lifting social distancing guidelines may not be what is best for you in this situation.
WHITFIELD: OK. And Suze, Michelle in Missouri writes, "My husband was laid off. We can't afford to pay the bills and pay $500 a month for health insurance. So what should we do?"
ORMAN: Well, you have to have health insurance, especially at this time. So since you were laid off or your husband was laid off, you now qualify really for Obamacare. So go to healthcare.gov. That is the site. Apply. And depending on your income, which you don't have any, maybe it will only cost you $50 a month. Remember, there are still subsidies. So just go there and try because you now qualify for it, even though there isn't open enrollment, because he was laid off you can apply.
WHITFIELD: Michael, a parent asks "How do you teach art, music, and physical education at home?" Remember, this is so new to so many parents, and now they've got to put on their hat of being a very versatile teacher of sports, art, and music. How do you do that?
GONCHAR: Parents can only do so much. So I would recommend that parents play to their strengths. If they feel artistic and they want to do a crafts activity, then great. I know I mentioned my son before, that he was very athletic before. Now that we are living in the house he has somehow adapted incredibly well to getting maybe 50 steps in a day.
And it's disconcerting, but I think we have to temper our expectations. We can't do everything. Parents can't be cafeteria workers, teachers, maintain the household, and hold a job. These are complex times. So we do what we can, we try to do our best, and that's what we can do.
WHITFIELD: Just bite off little pieces at a time, because we can all feel overwhelmed and feel like we're never doing enough.
All right, everybody, stay with us. We have got so many more questions from our viewers. And you will be tasked with answering them all.
But first, a show in the sky over Baltimore this afternoon. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds conducted formation flights in honor of frontline health care workers battling coronavirus. They also did shows in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta today, and in New York City and New Jersey earlier in the week.
WHITFIELD: All right, during these difficult times CNN is dedicated to helping you and your family understand and cope with this pandemic. Right now our panel is here answering your questions about health, money, your child's education. Let's welcome back CNN Medical Analyst, Dr. Celine Gounder along with personal financial expert Suze Orman and Michael Gonchar of "The New York Times" Learning Network. Welcome back, everybody.
Dr. Gounder, Herbert asks, "Dr. Fauci says we could have a vaccine by January, but how do we know it will be safe, especially when researchers are working so quickly?"
GOUNDER: This is precisely why it takes a long time to actually develop a vaccine, because it does need to go through safety testing and trials. We do need to see if it actually works. And so while we do have a couple vaccine candidates under study right now being studied in human subjects, we are unlikely to have an answer as of this fall yet. So, even once we do have a vaccine, it is really going to be targeted at frontline health care workers first and those at highest risk.
WHITFIELD: Suze, John asks, how should I invest my money during the coronavirus pandemic? ORMAN: John, this is a hard one to answer for you because there is not
much that I know about you. But let's just assume you have an eight- month emergency fund. Let's assume you have no credit card debt.
Let's assume that you still have money coming in, you should be dollar cost averaging every single month into the stock market where you take a specific sum of money and invest it in to either the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index funds or things like that, the total stock market, so that you have a variety and you have diversification. If you do it month in and month out and you have at least three, five, or 10 years or longer until you need the money, you will be happy. If you need money within one year -- take it out now.
WHITFIELD: All right, Michael, Steve asks, "should schools change how they grade students during the pandemic? Is it better to have a pass/fail system?"
GONCHAR: I think there is no perfect answer to this question. We actually asked students this question on the Learning Network because it is part of our daily writing prompts, and some students said that they wanted to have grades. They were working so hard to maintain a high average and they wanted to go to a competitive school, and they would be upset if their school changed it to a pass/fail system.
On the other hand, for many students there is a real issue of equity. So many students don't have Wi-Fi. They don't have lap tops. They're not able to get the learning that they need to be done during this time of remote learning. And so having a grading system is unfair to so many students. And so different districts in different schools across the country are coming up with their own policies. I don't know if there is a one-size-fits-all answer. As long as people take into account the different experiences that kids are having across the country.
Dr. Gounder, William in Texas writes, "Can air conditioners spread COVID-19 at restaurants?"
GOUNDER: Right. So we have seen some reports of this happening, for example, in China. My advice for you at least in the next couple months is if you're going out to eat, try to go to restaurants that have outdoor seating. The risk of getting COVID if you're sitting outside as long as it's not very crowded is quite low. So that is probably the best way to hedge your bets there.
WHITFIELD: OK. And Suze, another viewer has a question about that unemployment benefit. "Are there extra unemployment benefits available during the pandemic?"
ORMAN: Well, there are extra unemployment benefits available with the federal government. So if you qualify for your state unemployment, then the feds are going to give you an extra $600 a week for 13 weeks. That is a big deal because some of the states, like Florida, the maximum unemployment per week is $275 a week. So that $600 extra is a big deal. So yes. That is a big extra benefit.
WHITFIELD: Michael, Amanda from Texas writes "I'm a first-year teacher and I'm really worried about what school will look like this upcoming fall. How can I make sure my health concerns are being heard?"
GONCHAR: I think we don't know what the fall is going to look like. We're figuring this out. It seems like we're going week by week and month by month. But I would recommend, Amanda, that she contacts her school, that she contacts her district and finds out what policies they have in place to make sure that students and the teaching staff and all of the staff are safe, because safety is the most important thing. So we should remember even though these are very isolating times, we're living in our homes and often not seeing others, reach out and ask the questions you want to the right people.
WHITFIELD: And sometimes people are afraid to ask, especially if you are new. She is a first-year teacher. She is probably a little nervous about what kind of potential repercussions might come. But that is great advice.
So Suze, a viewer writes, "My student loan provider just informed me they charged off my debt. Do I still owe them money? What is the difference between charged off and discharged?"
ORMAN: This is a great question, because if your debt has been charged off, it just means that your lender got tired of trying to collect it, but you still owe it. So be very careful. If it was discharged, it means you don't owe it anymore. But if it was discharged from anything other than a nonprofit entity, you will then owe taxes on it. But because it was charged off, you don't owe taxes, but you still owe it. So be very, very careful here.
WHITFIELD: Does that mean there would also be added interest?
ORMAN: It depends. But they will come after them probably again sometime in the future. But they just got tired of trying to collect it, so this person obviously hasn't been paying it for a long, long time.
WHITFIELD: OK. All right, please stand by. We're going to answer more viewer questions in just a moment.
And a reminder. Join CNN's Jake Tapper as he investigates what really happened during the U.S. fight against COVID-19. CNN's special report "The Pandemic and the President" airs tomorrow night, 10:00 p.m.
WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. What do you want to know about coronavirus and its impact on your health, money, and your child's education? Your questions are being answered right now.
Dr. Gounder, Marybeth writes "Americans are being told to wear masks, but why aren't they told to wear disposable gloves in public?"
GOUNDER: So if you wear disposable gloves, it's not perfect protection, because you could still touch something and then touch your face with your gloved hands. [14:50:04]
It is a bit different from when I am caring for a patient in the hospital where I'm literally changing gloves and washing my hands between patients. So it is just a different situation. I think in public you should be wearing masks. It is really to protect others in case you might be a carrier and don't even realize it.
WHITFIELD: And Suze, a viewer asks "What should I do if I haven't received my stimulus check yet?"
ORMAN: If you haven't received it yet, you should go onto IRS.gov. And there is a little segment there that's called get my payment. And so if you were to check there, they will tell you where your stimulus check is, when you should get it, and all of those things. So if it were me, I would go to IRS.gov and go to get my payment, and you'll find out.
WHITFIELD: And Michael, a question from Tom. "Are school boards evaluating virtual classrooms to reduce school overcrowding and save on infrastructure costs?"
GONCHAR: We hear from thousands of students each week as part of our writing prompt series, and what students are telling us is that the experiences they're having across the country and across districts are very different. Some students are saying they're getting too much homework. Other students are saying they have very little work to do at all. Some students are having synchronous classes with their teachers so they can see each other and are learning together like a regular classroom a few times a week. And other students aren't doing that at all.
I think at the end of all of this we will have a chance to breathe and see what worked and what didn't work. I think we've been building the plane as we are flying right now, and it is a challenging situation. I am hoping summer gives us a chance to see what lessons can be learned from this.
WHITFIELD: Right. There is going to have to be a whole lot of evaluating because this is unchartered territory for so many. Educators and for kids, and families of course.
Dr. Gounder, Susan asks "Is it safe to go to the beach this summer? What should I do if there is overcrowding?"
GOUNDER: I think if there is overcrowding at the beach you should probably turn right around and go elsewhere, maybe to a park, maybe to some other public outdoor space. Outdoor spaces are much safer than being indoors with other people, but if it is a crowded beach, we can't guarantee that there can't be transmission in that setting. So, I think try to use some common sense here and spend as much time as possible outdoors but not in crowded outdoor places.
WHITFIELD: And Michael, a viewer asks, what are the best practices when setting up a virtual classroom? GONCHAR: One practice I would strongly recommend is to remember what
teaching is all about. And it is about personal relationships, it's about reaching out to students. And just because we're in this virtual universe that we're living in and doing school in right now, that teachers should reach out to their students. They should try to have one-on-one connections with students. I think that is really important.
After that, there is a whole bunch of other resources and technical resources they can find online, free resources like "The Times" Learning Network. And they should talk to their colleagues and other school teachers in other schools to find out what is working for them that they can borrow. Teaching is about borrowing best practices.
WHITFIELD: And Dr. Gounder, Roya from New York asks, "Can a person who recently recovered from coronavirus still be contagious? Can they catch it again and be contagious at that point?"
GOUNDER: Well, that's a great question. And as somebody is recovering from coronavirus, there are some people who will still be contagious, especially people who are older, who have weaker immune systems. They can shed the virus for longer, and, unfortunately, we don't have a great way of saying who is definitely infectious still or not. So we use sort of averages in terms of our advice.
Can you get coronavirus again? Well, if you look at other coronaviruses, the immunity to those tends to last anywhere from one to three years. We are hopeful that that kind of thing might apply to this one, but there is still a lot that we don't know, and we're still studying that.
WHITFIELD: Suze, Monica asks, "Will I get my money back if I cancel travel plans like flight and hotel reservations?"
ORMAN: Well, it depends on the hotel as well as the airlines. Most of them have been really good and been giving you your money back. Cruise lines, however, even though I know that is not what she asked, it hasn't been the same, what many of them have been doing. They've been saying we're not going to give you the money back, but we'll give you a trip a year from now. I don't know. Do you want to go on a cruise ship anymore? I'm not sure you will.
So it just depends. But that is why it is always a good idea, especially if it is a large amount of money, to get travel insurance.
WHITFIELD: And Dr. Gounder, Hayward is thinking about fall already. "Is it possible to contract the flu and the coronavirus at the same time this winter?"
GOUNDER: Absolutely. We know you can get multiple viral infections at the same time. We often see this in the winter. We didn't see that so much this particular flu season because the coronavirus was really coming on the scene as our flu season was waning. But we fully anticipate there could be some people getting both, sometimes at the same time, next fall and winter.
WHITFIELD: All right, well, great questions, great answers. Thank you to all of you, our panel. I'm feeling safer, smarter, and less worried already. Thank you so much. You all are fantastic.
All right, thank you so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. NEWSROOM continues with Ana Cabrera right after this.