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FDA Approves Use Of Remdesivir As COVID-19 Treatment; More Than Half Of U.S. States To Partially Reopen; Large Crowds Protest Beach Closures Ordered By California Gov; WHO: 102 Potential COVID-19 Vaccines In The Works Worldwide; White House Blocks Fauci From Testifying In The House Next Week; Biden Denies Sexual Assault Claim: It "Never Happened". Aired 8-9a ET

Aired May 2, 2020 - 08:00   ET



GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): This virus doesn't take the weekends off. This virus doesn't go home, because it's a beautiful sunny day around our coasts.



ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up there in Atlanta, we hope that it is for you too wherever you happen to be. And we want to thank you for being with us, whether you're in the United States or somewhere else beautiful in the world, we are grateful for you.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: We are entering a critical period, Christi, in the fight against coronavirus, more states are reopening.

PAUL: Yes. 30 states, more than, we should say, easing restrictions with dozens, planning to be partially reopened by May 10th.

BLACKWELL: A trip to the mall for some people may be an option depending on where you live. Mall giant Simon Property Group says they're reopening 49 malls across 10 states.

PAUL: And in California there's tension over a decision to add some restrictions. Take a look at this large crowd that rallied in Huntington Beach yesterday. They're protesting their governor's order to close all beaches in Orange County.

BLACKWELL: So as we look ahead to what's coming in May. We're also learning about some key moments in March that led us to this point. There's this new CDC report on the key factors that accelerated the spread of the virus in the early days here in the U.S. Some of them: international travel, a lack of testing, asymptomatic spreaders.

PAUL: There are some optimistic news on a treatment for COVID-19. The FDA giving emergency use authorization to the experimental drug Remdesivir. This is allowing then that to be used to treat hospitalized patients with severe cases.

BLACKWELL: Some governors are blaming concerns about testing and tracing capability for holding back on easing restrictions. Others are just going ahead with it, loosening rules in phases. But it's clear that there is not one single lane, one single strategy that states are taking to start to reopen their communities.

PAUL: Yes. CNN's Alison Kosik is with us. Alison I know that you are looking at some of these different approaches. Is there anything that stands out to you?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Victor. Yes, with the calendar turning from April to May, we are seeing at least 42 states across the country loosen restrictions.

Michigan standing out to me. The Michigan governor extending the stay- at-home order until May 15th, but she will allow some businesses to open up on May 7th. Businesses, that she says, are traditionally performed outside like real estate activities, construction and then some manufacturing as well.

California is another one that caught my eye, because seeing mixed messaging there. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti saying he doesn't see his city opening before May 15th, but that's despite the governor saying he expects it to be days not weeks before this state begins to lift restrictions.

New Jersey stay-at-home order remaining in effect at least until further notice. But this morning at sunrise the state opening state parks and golf courses as well. Governor Phil Murphy saying this is a test, though, if you cannot socially distance at the parks, at the golf courses, he will close them right back up. Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right, Alison, you're there in New York. Tell us about the extension of the pause there and decision about schools.

KOSIK: Yes, so the stay at home order here in New York remains till May 15th and Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing yesterday that schools will remain closed the rest of the academic year, that virtual learning will continue.

PAUL: All right. So I wanted to ask you too real quickly about this pandemic and the fact that it can't stop love at the end of the day. There's a new Jersey - New Jersey, as we understand it, allowing weddings to actually go on. How are they doing this.

KOSIK: Yes, it's actually not just New Jersey, California did this, New York did this, showing that love really conquers all even during the pandemic. Usually you have to be in person to get a marriage license with a clerk. Executive orders are saying, you know what, you don't need to do that.

You can get this marriage license on a video conference with the clerk and anyone. It doesn't just have to be a clerk, but anyone who has a license to marry someone can go ahead and do that. So now you can say, "I do" over Zoom if you're in California, New York or New Jersey. Christi and Victor.

BLACKWELL: It's cheaper. Alison Kosik, thanks so much.

PAUL: You want to know something scary, Victor? My daughter was able to get her license over the Internet.

BLACKWELL: Driving license - her driver's license?

PAUL: Yes. She didn't have to take the driving test. She passed and took the written test, but she never took a driving test.

BLACKWELL: Yes, I think she should have to take the road test.


PAUL: She's not driving by herself anytime soon.


PAUL: Let me just put that out there.

BLACKWELL: Good, good for everyone in the surrounding community, we should know that.

PAUL: This is something that's happening in Georgia DMV just so you know.

BLACKWELL: All right.

PAUL: So there's tension in California over the Government's decision to close some of the beaches there. Look what was going on.



BLACKWELL: So this is Huntington Beach yesterday after the governor ordered the closure of beaches in Orange County. CNN's Josh Campbell explain why the beach was shut down, and what, if anything, police are doing to enforce the rules.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: We're here in Huntington Beach in Orange County, California. And this beach behind me is technically closed, this following an order from California Governor Gavin Newsom closing all beaches in the Orange County area.

Now, that follow those images just over a week ago that depicted thousands of people flocking to these beaches. It was that congregation of people that was concerning enough to the governor that then caused him to close all these beaches, issuing what he's calling a hard hold on a temporary basis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mentally it's lot nicer. You get stuck in your house all day long with each other, you start to get on each other's nerves, every little thing starts to aggravate you. We've really gone for a lot of walks lately on the beach. Just pick up trash, try to enjoy, do something.

CAMPBELL (voice-over): Now as far as enforcement we saw a number of police vehicles out here today patrolling the beach, but no citations issued, certainly no arrests. We talked to the police chief here in Huntington Beach who walked us through his thinking when it comes to enforcing the shutdown order.

CAMPBELL: There's an order in place closing this beach. We saw no arrests. We saw no citations Why is that.

CHIEF ROBERT HANDY, HUNTINGTON BEACH POLICE: So the decision to close the beach came late last night after an emergency council meeting. So the governor did issue an order that was effective this morning. Our council had an emergency meeting last night and the beach was closed late last night under our municipal code. We're going to be going out and educating, people asking for voluntary compliance, and then if we have to, we'll be removing people from the beach.

CAMPBELL: What's your message to the community as they try to weather not only the pandemic, but also these closures?

HANDY: See I think it's critical for our people to understand. One, we understand the frustration. We do. We all do. We're all at home as well when we're not working. Our families are at home, our kids are at home. You know people are working from home. The kids are doing school from home, there's a ton of frustration and I understand that.

But really health is the top priority and we've got to listen to the experts. We have to understand that this is a global pandemic that has hit our country like never before and we have to try to keep our people safe.

CAMPBELL: Now it's worth pointing out that there was a large protest here in Huntington Beach on Friday, a large crowd gathering shoulder to shoulder to demonstrate against not only the beach closure, but also these shelter at home orders that have followed the pandemic.

One police official telling us that the crowd estimate came in at some 2,500 to 3,000 people. We saw people waving American flags, Trump 2020 signs, a lot of folks clearly unhappy with these stay-at-home orders.

Now it's worth pointing out also that, although this protest was peaceful, these images run completely counter to what we're hearing from experts. You saw people so densely congregating, people not wearing face coverings, not adhering to social distancing.

Again, we continue to hear from public safety health experts said those are the guidelines necessary to stop the spread of this deadly virus. Josh Campbell, CNN, Orange County, California.


PAUL: Josh, thank you. Let's talk about the race for a coronavirus vaccine now, because this morning the World Health Organization says researchers are working on at least 102 potential vaccines. With us now Dr. Kathryn Edwards, a vaccine trial specialist and Director of the Pediatric Clinic, Clinical Research Division at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Doctor, thanks for being with us this morning.


BLACKWELL: So I want to start here with the optimism and the timeline that we've heard from Dr. Anthony Fauci, also Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, who is the top NIH scientist in charge of vaccine research. Let's listen here.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: In order to get a vaccine that's practically deployable for people to use, it's going to be at least a year to a year and a half at best.

DR. KIZZMEKIA CORBETT, LEAD SCIENTIST, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH: If all things go well, and if these Phase I, Phase II and Phase III clinical trials work simultaneously for the good, our plan is to have people vaccinated all over the world by next spring.


BLACKWELL: So how probable is that, that Phases I, II and III can happen simultaneously and that next spring is realistic considering the timeline of other vaccines that have been created?

EDWARDS: Well, certainly this is an unusual situation, and most of the time vaccines take longer to develop. But I think that Dr. Fauci has really encapsulated that push that we're all having. Some of the best clinical trial groups are getting to work - to begin the trial. Some of the trials have already begun. We have information that at least the first doses of the vaccine appear to be safe.


I think that we're all really on a fast track. We have to make sure that at each step that the vaccine is safe. But we have a lot of experience in our networks doing this. And, I think, just as Dr. Fauci said, if everything goes well, this is a possibility and it's certainly something that we're all striving to.

If there were a side effect or if the vaccine didn't generate as much immunity, then we would have - then we may have to delay things a bit. But there's a lot of vaccines that are being tested. There's a lot of them that are ready to be tested. So we have a lot of options.

And the best way - best success would be to have several vaccines that work very well so that we would have enough to give this 7 billion people in the world the vaccine. So, I think it's optimistic. It's something we're certainly striving for. We have the best people in the world, in the country working on it, and that is the goal we're seeking. PAUL: So Dr. Edwards I want to expand on something that you just said.

That we mentioned 102 potential vaccines. Half a dozen, we know, according to experts, say that the vaccine programs are in the clinical trial stages. 80 are in the preliminary stages.

If we do or if they do find maybe several vaccines, how would you know if they are able to distribute them to certain people. Is there is there a way to determine that that one vaccine might work better than another?

EDWARDS: I think that we will be studying the vaccine in different people. It may be that young, healthy people will need one kind of vaccine and those people who are older or have immune conditions or over 65 may need a different vaccine. So in this study, we will be looking at the vaccines and various vaccines in all of those populations. So those are all part of the studies we're doing as well.

BLACKWELL: I have another question, but before we get to that, I just want to ask you quickly. Has a vaccine ever been created this quickly?

EDWARDS: No it hasn't. But I don't think that we've ever had a situation certainly in my lifetime that's like this as well. So, we scientists can't rise to this pandemic then that's a problem with us.

So, it is unusual, it's unique, but everyone is really working hard to do it. And - but to do it in a way that's safe and we make sure that we watch and carefully assess all of the recipients of the vaccine and make sure that that there are not side effects that we didn't anticipate.

BLACKWELL: So after the discovery, approval of a vaccine, you mentioned, potentially 7 billion doses that would have to be manufactured and distributed. Is there an expected timeline of how long that will take?

EDWARDS: I think that will be complicated as well, and I think we will have to depend upon the World Health Association, the CEPI, which is a new group of vaccine researchers that are distributing vaccines to the developing world. I think it will take a real delivery effort.

We have a number of efforts that vaccine - that deliver vaccines to children in the developing countries. That the way we develop it and send it to older adults and - will be a little bit of a challenge. So I think that that at each stage there will be challenges. But I think we are all up to this challenge.

PAUL: So Dr. Edwards you talked during a webinar yesterday and said safety, obviously, is the priority when you're testing these vaccines. What have to be present or perhaps absent to secure your comfort level in a potential vaccine?

EDWARDS: Sure. Well, I think, with each dose of vaccine, we watch that the recipients very closely, we measure their temperatures, we measure any reactions to the vaccine. We measure any unexpected event that may happen and in those patients when those would happen we would see them immediately. We also know that sometimes rare, rare adverse events are not seen until it's used in tens or hundreds thousands of people. And so once we license a vaccine or once we use it, we also will have to be very careful and watch about any side effects as well. So I think we are also very carefully in looking at what kind of immunity we need, what kind of immunity is safe and those are all parts of the assessment as well.

BLACKWELL: All right. Dr. Kathryn Edwards, thank you so much for your time this morning.


EDWARDS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, stay safe.

PAUL: Thanks, Kathryn.

So the White House has blocked Anthony Fauci - Dr. Fauci from appearing before the Democratic-led house next week. But he is allowed to talk to with the Senate, they say. The reason that they gave for not allowing him to testify, that's coming up.

BLACKWELL: Also, we've heard a lot about the critical need for antibody testing if America is to get back to work. But getting one is - it's another thing. Later in the hour, we'll take you to a testing site where lot of people - everyone is welcome, and show you just how that process works.


BLACKWELL: The White House is blocking Dr. Anthony Fauci from testifying next week at a House hearing on the coronavirus pandemic. Now, you know, he's a key member of the Task Force, coordinating the government's response to the crisis.

PAUL: As the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, House lawmakers, obviously, want him to answer their questions. He's expected to testify the following week, though, at a Senate hearing.


So, there are questions as to why block him from speaking before the House? CNN's Kristen Holmes is at the White House right now. Kristen, what reasoning are you hearing from the White House?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Victor. Well, the White House is saying it's counterproductive to have Dr. Fauci testify in front of the House at a time when the coronavirus response is still ongoing.

But, of course, that raises the question that you just asked, why in two weeks then will he be allowed to testify in front of the Senate. No model that we've seen shows that the coronavirus response will be over in two weeks.

Now, of course, this has led to speculation that this could be political. Democrats run the House, whereas Republicans run the Senate. And one thing to note about Dr. Fauci, he has been outspoken during this, and at times even as recently as this week, clashed with President Trump.

BLACKWELL: All right. Kristen Holmes, thanks so much for being with us. Thank you, Kristen.

The White House has announced President Trump's new pick to be the next Health and Human Services Inspector General. He is Jason Weida, currently serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston.

PAUL: If confirmed, he'll replace Christie Grimm who angered President Trump last month with a report on hospitals lacking protective equipment and testing needed to effectively combat the coronavirus pandemic.

BLACKWELL: Former Vice President Joe Biden is again denying sexual assault claims made by a former staffer. Biden addressed the allegations for a second time, while speaking last night, at a virtual fund raiser, that the campaign says attracted 2,200 people and raised more than $1 million.

PAUL: It was part of his denial. He's asking that any information related to the assault allegation has to be released from the National Archives.

BLACKWELL: CNN's M.J. Lee has more on the story and some of the language you might find disturbing.


JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No it is not true. I'm saying unequivocally it never, never happened and it didn't.

M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time, Joe Biden personally addressing a sexual assault allegation dating back to 1993.

BIDEN: This never ever happened. I don't know what is motivating her. I don't know what - I don't know what's behind any of it. But it's irrelevant. It never happened, it never happened, period. I'm not going to start questioning her motive, I'm not going to get into that. I'm not going to start - I'm not going to go after Tara Reade for saying these things. It's simple. What are the facts? Do any of the things she said do they add up?

LEE (voice-over): The presumptive Democratic Nominee for President defiant and unequivocal, denying that he sexually assaulted Tara Reade, an aide in Biden Senate office in the early 1990s.

Reade telling CNN that in 1993, she was ordered to take a duffel bag to her boss. In a corridor, somewhere on Capitol Hill, Reade alleging that Biden had her up against a wall, spread open her legs with his knee and put his fingers inside of her.

Reade, also among multiple women, who said publicly last year, that she experienced physical interactions with Biden that made her feel uncomfortable. But none of those women, including Reade at the time, accused Biden of assault. Reade alleging, she complained to multiple colleagues in Biden's Senate office in 1993 about sexual harassment, but not about the alleged assault. Biden saying such a complaint does not exist.

BIDEN: I'm confident there's nothing. No one ever brought it to the attention of maybe 27 years ago. This has any assertion at all. No one that I'm aware of in my campaign, at - my Senate office at the time is aware of any such request and/or any such complaint.

LEE (voice-over): But three people close to Reade telling CNN they did hear about the alleged sexual assault. Reade's former neighbor Linda Lacoste, telling CNN this week, Reade told her about it sometime in the mid-1990s, saying, somebody putting their hand up to her skirt that's something you don't forget. Reade's friend declining to speak on the record telling CNN, Reade confided in her in 1993 within days of the alleged assault.

And in 1993 segment on CNN's Larry King Live appearing to feature Reade's mother who died a few years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, hello. I'm wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington. My daughter has just left there after working for prominent Senator and could not get through with her problems at all. And the only thing she could have done was go to the press and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.

LEE (voice-over): The anonymous caller not naming Biden or describing in any detail what problems her daughter confronted. Reade, telling CNN, the voice on the show belongs to her mother and that she told her about the alleged assault the night that it happened.


CNN has interviewed half a dozen Former Biden aides who worked in his Senate office in the early 1990s. All of them said they were not aware of any sexual harassment or assault allegations. Biden seeing Reade's stories should be fully examined.

BIDEN: From the very beginning I've said believing women means taking the woman's claims seriously. When she steps forward - and then vet it, look into it, this - that that's true in this case as well. Women have a right to be heard and the press should rigorously investigate claims they make. I always uphold that principle. But in the end in every case the truth is what matters. And in this case the truth is the claims are false.

LEE (voice-over): The allegation coming as Biden prepares to take on President Trump in the general election. More than a dozen women leveling allegations against Trump, ranging from unwelcome advances to sexual harassment and assault. Trump has denied those allegations.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've been falsely charged numerous times and that there is such a thing.

LEE: Now, a lot of questions have been raised about what kind of documentation, if any, might exist that shows that Tara Reade complaints, because remember, Tara Reade says that she verbally told a number of colleagues at the time about the alleged sexual harassment and that she also filed a complaint with the Personnel Office on Capitol Hill.

And what the Biden campaign and Biden himself is saying is that all personnel records from his Senate days would be at the National Archives and that he would like the National Archives to do a search and release anything that might be related to complaints. Back to you.


PAUL: M.J. Lee, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

So we're getting a real look at what nurses are dealing with during this pandemic right now. They're giving medical care, obviously, but they're providing emotional support not just to patients, but to their families also. We're speaking with a nurse who's working at a New Jersey COVID-19 unit who has a connection with one of our guests from last week. Stay close.



BLACKWELL: You've seen the stories of how fighting the coronavirus is taking this physical and emotional toll on healthcare workers across the country.

Well CNN's Jeanne Moos shows us how the country is honoring the heroes.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (VOICE-OVER): There's another location where the tributes are more concentrated, where images are shared of medical workers with Angel's wings grouped among other masked super heroes Photoshopped with an added Cape, #CourageIsBeautiful bubbled up when Dove soap made it its tagline in video that went viral.

Showing the marks made by the protective gear medical workers wear, Dove donated some $2 million to the cause and paid to promote the hashtag. Now relatives of frontline workers are adding their own images - my daughter, my beautiful niece, my cousin ICU nurse and indeed praying before shift with no N95 masks.

Tributes range from a shared montage of exhausted health care workers to this sand sculpture of a medical worker holding the world in her hands created by a New Jersey couple, John Gowdy, has won prizes in sand sculpting competitions. But those can't compete with the emotion that went into this one.

New Orleans artist, Terrance Osborne didn't know his painting front line had been shared on #CourageIsBeautiful.

TERRANCE OSBORNE, NEW ORLEANS ARTIST: I'll take it. I mean that's nice, of course that's what it's about. So the piece is a nod to the Rosie the Riveter piece. You know that piece from World War II.

MOOS (voice-over): Rosie didn't face the dangers medical personnel do. The next time you hear--

Leave a piece of it for those who wear their mask in marks even when they take it off. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


PAUL: And we say thank you to each and every one of you. So many of these frontline workers - I mean they probably don't even realize how important they are to the families of these patients. Dom Porco lost his mother. He was with us last weekend and he posted this tribute.

He said, "I've had a beautiful opportunity to talk with a nurse who held my mom's hand as she left this world. This nurse has been so kind and comforting, she put the phone next to my mom's ear so my mother could hear my voice one last time. I am forever grateful."

Well, that nurse, Christina Pascarelli, is with me now. Christina, again, I cannot say enough about how highly we hold you in our regard, how grateful we are to you. When you hear words like that from Dom - well, I mean, did you ever in your mind set, when you were training to be a nurse, when you were getting your education, think that this is where you would be? That you would be not just helping physically, but the emotional being the last person somebody sees before they die?

CHRISTINA PASCARELLI, NURSE WORKING WITH COVID 19 PATIENTS: You know, never in - into this extent. I've only been a nurse for about four years, so this is probably the hardest thing that I've personally gone through as a nurse. But I'm sure all of my other health professionals that I work with, it's been the hardest thing.

And usually having family around helps the patient get through their illness and now having no family around, getting one phone call a day from a doctor, we are the closest thing to their family that they have right now. So we're kind of playing a medical role and a family role.


PAUL: Do you remember that moment with his mother Francesca?

PASCARELLI: Yes. Yes, I do. It was Easter weekend actually. It was the Saturday of Easter weekend. And

PAUL: What was that like for you?

PASCARELLI: It was it was - it was like an interesting moment. It was a calming moment. It was just like - I felt like it was just me and her in the room, even though there was another patient, there was another nurse, the doctor was there. But it just kind of felt like me and her at that time. And then when I had called him after, you know, he obviously was very upset. But he - you could tell he had a calmness in his voice, because he knew that we were there with her.

PAUL: "The New York Times" reporter Nicholas Kristof followed Dr. Deborah White through New York City Hospital and the images are so striking. Let's listen to bit of it here.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, for upstairs, for upstairs.

KRISTOF: while also keeping up morale. On this day almost 800 New Yorkers died.


PAUL: It is striking to see patients on beds lining corridors of the hospital as doctors are trying to take another patient on another bed through. Is that - is that what you're working with right now?

PASCARELLI: Yes. So at Hackensack University Medical Center we've basically converted all of our general med surg floors - oncology floors to COVID ICUs or COVID med surg floors. So the hospital has turned into a COVID hospital. We actually even converted our entire cafeteria into a patient care unit.

The leadership and the maintenance crew just put that together in less than a week and it was miraculous. Patients are being taken care of in all different parts of hospital that patient care is not even usually taking care of like the cafeteria.

PAUL: I think one of the things that is hard for a lot of families is knowing that their family members that they love are dying and they have to be alone. They can't be with their family. Let's listen to part of that - piece of this from the story.


KRISTOF: Death here has no dignity. Patients can't have visitors. They're scared. They can't even see their nurse's eyes.


PAUL: Christina, how do you give these patients dignity in those moments?

PASCARELLI: So, as you know we are garbed up from head to toe, we have our face shield, our mass, so it is very hard to see us. But we kind of just hold their hands and tell them our names. And as these patients are there longer and longer they will recognize our voices. And as they start to wake up they know that we've been there for two three weeks with them.

And then with their families, we've been able to get multiple iPads throughout the hospital to just video conference with the families. And even if they are on a breathing machine and sedated, the family just still feels comfort in seeing their face. And it's it really is it's great to at least have something when you know we're in this pandemic right now.

PAUL: So Christina we asked Dom if he wanted to say anything to you, if he wanted to come on with us and he said he didn't think he could make it through this. He's been very honest. He's, obviously, emotionally lost his mother. But you being the last one that saw her and helped her to that place. He did have a message for you. Here he is.


DOM PORCO, MOTHER DIED FROM COVID-19: Hi, Christina, I just wanted to say thank you so much for allowing me to speak to my mom one last time and thank you for replying back to my e-mail.

Knowing that my mom didn't die alone and you held her hand as she departed this world truly comforted me and gave me a sense of peace. I'm so grateful for all the hard work you and Dr. Kim and many of the other medical workers have provided throughout this.

I pray for you guys every day that God will protect you and guide you through this terrible nightmare. I'm so grateful. Thank you.


PAUL: Christina, what does that mean to you?

PASCARELLI: Well it's - that was really cool.

PAUL: Is there anything you want to say to him? OK, we - definitely we wonder. We wonder if you all realize what you're dealing, the difference that you're making to these families.

PASCARELLI: Just like thank you for everyone for letting - I know you guys can't be there, but just for putting your trust in us to take care of your family members when you're seeing so much in the media - good, bad, everything. But just to know to trust us that we are doing everything we can to take care of your family members.


PAUL: Anything specific you want to say to Dom before we go?

PASCARELLI: To Dom, just thank you for reaching out to me, because it kind of gave me a sense of like - OK, we - I am doing something right in this whole pandemic and if I could reach one family, which I did, then it makes going to work every day worth it.

PAUL: Christina Pascarelli, doing a lot of God's work right now. Thank you so much for everything you do.

PASCARELLI: Thank you.

PAUL: We are praying for you. PASCARELLI: Appreciate it. Thank you

PAUL: Always. Thank you.

PASCARELLI: Thank you. Appreciated.

PAUL: We'll be right back.



PAUL: Now, the struggle to feed families has been one of the things that's become this devastating consequence of this pandemic across the country. There are people lining up at food pantries. Volunteer groups such as the Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens are having a hard time just trying to keep shelves stocked.


LUIS ESPINOZA, PARISHIONER, ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S CHURCH: We don't work right now, so we needed some food for my kids.

RICHARD SLIZESKI, SVP, CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF BROOKLYN AND QUEENS: We will run out of food today, there's no question. We packed for 1,200 bags. There's probably easily 700 more people in line after that.


BLACKWELL: Catholic Charities filled and gave away 12,00 bags of food in one day and still there were people who were there in line.


PAUL: And, Victor, look at Hawaii. More than 200,000 pounds of food - look at this - were passed out to people who need it.


KIRK CALDWELL, HONOLULU MAYOR: You see the kind of cars coming through there. They're now busted up cars. These are people who had jobs their entire life, never asked for any type of assistance and now they don't have a job and they need food.

CLARKE BRIGHT, ROYAL HAWAIIAN BAND MEMBER: When I see this many cars coming through the line it just touches my heart. They wouldn't wait in line for two hours or so if they didn't need it.


BLACKWELL: Yes, that's true. Organizers plan to do this twice a week in different locations for the rest of the month and they expect to hand out 3 million pounds of food in May.

PAUL: That is unbelievable. Antibody testing, of course, for millions of Americans is critical

during this pandemic too. Getting your hands on one - that could be tricky. Much of the testing available today is for people with underlying conditions or who have specific occupations.

BLACKWELL: For now, a renowned hospital in Denver is making antibody tests available for anyone who wants one. CNN's Gary Tuchman goes through the process.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Getting your blood analyzed for COVID-19 antibodies has not been easy to do if you aren't a first responder or health care worker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this was one thing we could do to really reduce the barriers to care and expand access to testing.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): At Denver's National Jewish Health Medical Center if you want an antibody test you can get an antibody test. You don't need connections or even a doctor's recommendation. You make a reservation and drive into a parking lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple of questions for both of you, in the last two weeks, have you had any fevers?




TUCHMAN (voice-over): This type of interview starts an easy process.

TUCHMAN: Hello there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello, sir. How are you doing today?

TUCHMAN: How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could I get your name please?

TUCHMAN: My name is Gary Tuchman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right (inaudible).

TUCHMAN: Thank you.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): I made an appointment a day before to get a close look at a process that will hopefully get more and more common across the country. And to answer a question as I continue to cover stories on CNN, have I already had COVID-19 without knowing it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the last two weeks have you had any fever.

TUCHMAN: No. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Any new or worsening cough.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Following the interview you walk into this trailer for a 10-minute visit to get your blood drawn.

TUCHMAN: You did a great job, right in the vein, right?


TUCHMAN: All right. Good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, (inaudible).

TUCHMAN: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You relax your fist.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): My blood and the blood of others is then walked over to the Medical Center campus into this lab. The vials go into a centrifuge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Gary Tuchman's vial right here.

TUCHMAN: That's mine?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): Molly Wolfe (ph) is the lab supervisor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This process is called aliquoting where we pull the serum off the whole blood.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): And then this is the final step for our blood. This machine is called the automated ELISA analyzer. The analyzing will take a little over four hours. This test which has been submitted for emergency use authorization to the FDA costs $94, but is eligible for insurance coverage.

Hundreds of people are getting tested here each day. So while it's important for this country to have a better idea how many people have or have had COVID-19, what does it mean for any of us who test positive for the antibodies?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would not let your guard down. So even if you have it you do not know how much protection you do or do not have and how long that protection will last.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Well my guard will definitely be staying up either way. I got my results the next day. The determination not detected, which means negative. I have not had the coronavirus. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Denver.


PAUL: And we are glad to hear that for you for sure. Thank you. Thanks Gary.


So I know there's a lot of stressed feelings out there. Maybe you're scared, you are unsettled about the coronavirus. Well celebrities are too. Oprah Winfrey says she's feeling uneasy these days. That's why she kicked off a 24 hour "Call To Unite" event. It's actually happening online right now. But we have more for you on what it is and how long it's lasting. Stay close.




BLACKWELL: Some quality harmonizing right there, 98 Degrees. Right now celebrities around the world are part of this 24 hour livestream event. It's called the "Call to Unite". Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Mandy Moore, also former Presidents, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush all taking part. And they're asking you to find a way to help someone over the course of this day by making a donation or volunteering or just sharing a story of hope and compassion.



BLACKWELL: So this is fun. A Nigerian filmmaker has created a free online animated film to convince children to stay at home. There's a little girl who tries to stop her brother from leaving the house to play soccer. Its 90 seconds long. Dubbed in to multiple languages and depicts the coronavirus as a giant green monster.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Its real, its real. What should we do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The coronavirus is out there. We should stay at home for now. Always wash our hands with soap and water.


PAUL: So creative to help find ways to help your community during the pandemic go to, and thank you so much for doing so. So we're going to be back with you in an hour.

BLACKWELL: SMERCONISH is next. We'll see you at 10:00 Eastern.