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Wendy's Fast-Food Chain Faces Beef Shortages; NY Governor Cuomo Gives Update On Coronavirus Response. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired May 5, 2020 - 11:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:34:39]

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Concerns over the growing meat shortage across the country already seems to be hurting one major fast-food chain, Wendy's, with some menu items already unavailable.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher is following this and joining me now.

Dianne, what is Wendy's saying?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, it appears their slogan of, "Fresh, never frozen," is what got them into this situation. According to one financial analysis, roughly 20 percent of Wendy's restaurants right now are not serving hamburgers.

[13:35:12]

Look, they have 5,500 restaurants across the country, about a thousand restaurants at this point, Kate.

And much like we've seen this situation play out across the nation right now, depending on where you live is depending on if you see a situation. If you live somewhere like Arizona or Nevada or Louisiana, you're probably not seeing anything happening because those restaurants aren't affected.

But places like New York, Ohio and Michigan, they're seeing an even higher rate of --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLDUAN: Dianne, I have to jump in because we have to jump over to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): -- tend to be a little erratic sometimes. We're not quite sure why. This whole reporting mechanism has been in place a couple months. The first time ever every hospital has reported every day to the state. But it's better than going up.

You see the overall total of hospitalizations is down. Intubations of patients is down. That's good news.

And the number of new hospitalizations is also down. This is an important number. This is how many people came in yesterday with a diagnosis of COVID into hospitals or people who were technically in a hospital and were then diagnosed with COVID.

But again, Sunday is a different day operationally for hospitals. But, again, the number is down. So it is good news.

This is always the worst number when we're going through the facts of the day, and it is not good news. Number of lives lost, 230. Technically up from yesterday. Even allowing for the Sunday reporting. But it is painful, painful news for all New Yorkers. And we'll remember those families in our thoughts and prayers.

There's no doubt that we're coming down the mountain. The only question is what trail we take, what path we take coming down the mountain, how fast does that decline continue. Does the decline continue?

And that is purely a function of what we do. None of this is preordained. None of this is decided by any factor other than our own behavior. You tell me how well New Yorkers socially comply with distancing, et cetera, and I'll tell you what that infection rate is doing. It's that simple. And everything we have done thus far has worked. And that's why the numbers are coming down.

But you tell me what we do today and tomorrow, and I'll tell you the infection rate in the next few days. What we've said from the beginning is the key is testing and tracing and isolating. It's very hard to do. It's easy to say.

No one has ever done this before. We've never put this kind of testing regimen in place industrywide. We've never had a tracing operation that's anywhere near this magnitude. We've never done isolation, quarantine. That's never happened before.

But we do what we have to do. And this is what we have to do to monitor the infection rate and to control it. And that's what we're doing.

We laid out a very specific reopening plan yesterday. We studied all the states' plans. We studied reopening plans of countries around the world. We incorporated all the best practices. I think we probably have the most specific plan for metrics and measuring to make these decisions.

And it's basically a mathematical formula if you look at that reopening plan. And I think that's the way we should do it and proceed. This is about following the data, learning the lessons, listening to the experts, following the science, and it's about being smart.

Everybody is emotional. We're getting more emotional. There's more stress, there's more anxiety, there's more pressure on all of us. We want to get on with life. We want a paycheck. We want to make sure our job is there.

But it's still a time to be smart, right? We don't act emotionally. We act based on logic and fact and science. That's how we make policy. But we have to remind ourselves every day because the pressure is just to respond to the emotion.

And there's also that we're going through a devastating and costly moment in history. It's costly on every level. Number of lives lost, the economic impact, personal impact. Substance abuse has gone up. Domestic violence has gone up. Mental health issues have gone up. So we are -- have paid a very high price for what we're going through.

[11:40:09]

But the hope is that we learn from it and that we are the better for it, right? We endured the pain. Let's make sure we benefit from the gain.

And this is also true -- and people can understand this as a life lesson. You get as old as I am, you go through some tough periods in life. And that's a fact. That's going to happen. You live life long enough and you will go through a difficult period.

I've gone through more than my share. But you take those periods and you try to learn from them and you try to grow, right? That's the best you can do with it.

What can you learn so, when you move forward, you're the better for it? And we do that as a society also. That's the concept of build back better. We don't want to go through all of this and replace what was there before.

Replacing what was there before is a starting point. We want to replace, but we want to improve. And we want to be better for this experience. And we want to build back better.

We were smart enough to do that as a country, as a state after 9/11. We went through pain. We came back stronger. You could argue more united as a country, more united as a state, more aware of our vulnerabilities. And, yes, greatest country on the planet. Greatest state in the nation is our opinion.

But we were vulnerable to terrorist attacks. OK. So we learned from it and we got stronger and we got better. We've incorporated security into our life in a way that was unimaginable before 9/11.

Hurricane Sandy, Superstorm Sandy devastated thousands of lives. Billions of dollars in damage. We built back and we built back better than we were before. We didn't replace what was. We improved almost everything that we learned during that time. Our housing construction is different. Our power grid is different. Our infrastructure is different.

So you go through these situations and you learn. And that's what we have to do here. We have to have a better public health system. We should never go through this again.

What we went through at the hospitals, what we went through with PPE, staff shortages. That can never happen again. How we used telemedicine. We have to learn. We have to grow. It was vital to what we did here. We have to make sure we're better at it.

Our public transportation system, we're learning. Tonight, we're going to shut down the subways for the first time in history. Why? Because they have to be disinfected. Whoever heard of disinfecting a subway car? Well, now you learn. You have to disinfect subway cars. Figure out how to do it so you can say to people who use the subways, don't worry, it's safe, right? That's a starting point for public transportation.

One of the areas we can really learn from is education. We've all been talking about tele-education, virtual education, remote education, and there's a lot that can be done.

The old model of everybody goes and sits in a classroom and the teachers in front of that classroom that teaches that class. And you do that all across the city, all across the state, all these buildings, all these physical classrooms. Why, with all the technology that you have?

We've been exploring differential alternatives with technology, right? We have classrooms in this state that have technology where they're talking to students on Long Island with a teacher from Staten Island with students from around the world participating with technology. Hearing that one teacher.

And if you look at the technology, it looks like all these different students are in one classroom. All right. Well, let's learn from that. And let's learn from this experience. We did a lot of remote learning.

Frankly, we weren't prepared to do it. We didn't have advanced warning. But we did what we had to do. And the teachers and the education system did a great job. But there's more we can do.

We're still working on providing some students with the technology, with the tablets, et cetera. Some teachers needed training and they weren't ready for it.

Well, let's take this experience and really learn how we can do differently and better with our education system in terms of technology and virtual education, et cetera.

And that's something we're actively working on through this process. So it's not about just reopening schools. When we are reopening schools, let's open a better school. And let's open a smarter education system.

[11:45:14]

And I want to thank the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We'll be working with them on this project. Bill Gates is a visionary in many ways. And his ideas and thoughts on technology and education, he's spoken about for years, but I think we now have a moment in history where we can actually incorporate and advance those ideas. Right?

When does change come to a society? Because we all talk about change and advancement. But, really, we like control. Right? And we like the status quo, and it's hard to change the status quo.

But you get moments in history where people say, OK, I'm ready. I'm ready for change. I get it. I think this is one of those moments.

And I think education, as well as other topics, is a topic where people will say, look, I've been reflecting, I've been thinking, I learned a lot. We all learned a lot about how vulnerable we are and how much we have to do, and let's start talking about really revolutionizing education. And it's about time.

One point I want to make about reopening, not just in this state but all across this nation. There's a conversation that is going on about reopening that we are not necessarily explicit about, but which is very important. There's a question that is being debated right under the surface. And the decisions we make on reopening are really profound decisions.

And the fundamental question, which we're not articulating is, how much is a human life worth. How much do we think a human life is worth? There's a cost of staying closed no doubt, economic cost, personal cost. There's also a cost of reopening quickly.

Either option has a cost. You stay closed, there's a cost. You reopen quickly, and there's a cost. The faster we reopen, the lower the economic cost. But the higher the human cost. Because there are more lives lost. That, my friends, is the decision we are really making.

What is that balance? What is that tradeoff? Because it is very real. If you now look at the projection models of how many lives will be lost, you'll notice they changed recently.

Why did they change? And they went up dramatically. Why? Because now they're factoring in the reopening plans and the reopening schedules that states are announcing.

The federal government's estimate, federal government's estimate, FEMA, has increased from 25,000 to 200,000 the number of daily cases by June. Think about that increase.

The IHME, which is a foundation model supported by gates, which is the preferred model by the White House, when they were projecting deaths by august 4th, they projected in early April 60,000 deaths. They projected mid-April 60,300 deaths. Actually a little lower.

Their new projection is 134,000 deaths. How did it go from 60,000 deaths to 134,000 deaths? This is the model which the White House relies on.

When the director of the institute was asked why those revisions happened, the director said, rising mobility in most viewer states as well as the easing of social distancing measures expected in 31 states by May 11, indicating that growing contacts among people will promote transmission of the coronavirus.

[11:50:19] That's a very nice way of saying, when you accelerate the reopening, you will have more people coming in contact with other people, you're relaxing the more people contact with other people, the higher the infection rate of the spread of the virus. The more people get infected, the more people die. We know that. That's why projection models are going up.

There's a cost of staying close. There's also a cost to reopening quickly. That's the hard truth we are all dealing with. Let's be honest about it and let's and be open about it. Let's not camouflage the actual terms of the discussion we are having and the question comes back to how much is a human life worth.

You see that projection model go from 25,000 to 200,000 cases from FEMA. You see the number of deaths go from 60,000 to 134,000. How much is a human life worth?

That's the real discussion that no one is admitting openly or freely. But we should. To me, I say, the cost of human life is priceless. Period.

Our opening plan doesn't have a tradeoff. Our reopening plan says you monitor the data. You monitor the transmission rate. You monitor the hospitalization rate. You monitor the death rate. If it goes up, you're have a, quote, unquote, "circuit breaker," you stop. You close the valve on reopening.

But it is a conversation that we should have openly. Hard conversation? Painful conversation? Controversial conversation? Yes, all of the above. But it's also the right conversation.

Because as we are going through this, it is important that our leadership be factual and productive and united. This is a time when government has to work and government on all level has to work. It has to work now better than it has worked in the past.

All the craziness that we have watched in Washington -- now is unacceptable. What the government does will literally determine how many people live or die. That's not over dramatic. It is a fact.

Federal government has to be able to pass legislation. And to pass legislation, it has to be in a bipartisan place. You have the Congress. The House is controlled by Democrats. The Senate is controlled by Republicans.

Unless you get a bipartisan agreement, you are not going to pass legislation. If you do not pass legislation, the federal government does not work. If the federal government does not work, it makes it virtually impossible for a state government to work.

This is not something that a state can control. Well, the governors are in charge, the governors are in charge. I can only be in charge to the extent I have the resources and the means. That comes from the federal government, not just for New York but for every state in this country. That federal government has to work and legislation they pass is

important. They have to pass legislation. That only happens on a bipartisan basis.

There's no choice. Well, just the Democrats can do it, well just the Republicans can do it. They can't. It takes two to tangle. It takes two houses to pass a bill. One is Democrats and one is Republicans. The facts are important. So the facts are important.

[11:55:04]

The president gave an interview, as reported in the "New York Post," blue states coronavirus bail outs are unfair to Republicans. Bailouts. This is the topic of whether or not the federal government should provide aid to state governments. It has been a discussion for weeks.

The federal government passed legislation in the past that helped airlines, small businesses, hotels. Great, great. They have not provided any aid to state and local governments.

Why is that important? It is the state and local government that funds police, fire, education, teachers, health care workers. If you starve the states, how do you expect the states to be able to fund this entire reopening plan?

Well, the governors are in charge. But the states are in dire financial circumstances because our economy suffered when all businesses shutdown.

The debate now is, well, it is the blue states that have the coronavirus. OK? New York they call it blue state. California they call it a blue state. The Republicans are saying we don't want to give money to the blue states.

First of all, this is not a blue state issue. Every state has coronavirus. And it is not just Democratic states that have an economic shortfall. Republican states have an economic shortfall.

Well, it is the mismanagement of blue states for decades that they want us to bail out. It is not a fact. It is not a fact. First of all, no blue state was asking for a bailout before this coronavirus. I was not asking for anything from the federal government before the coronavirus.

And by the way, the federal government was not giving New York anything. For years, everything they were doing was negative to New York. Then comes the coronavirus, our economy stops because we shut it down and now we have a $13 million deficit because we stopped the economy.

So we are asking, every state is requesting asking, because of the coronavirus, we need financial help in restarting the economy. That's what we are asking for from the federal government.

How do you call it a bailout? Which is such a loaded word, such a rhetorical hyperbolic word. It's a bailout. There's no bailout. Because of the coronavirus, this nation has been impacted and states have been impacted because the states make up the nation. And we need financial help because of the coronavirus situation.

This is not any mismanagement by the states. If anything, the mismanagement has been on behalf of the federal government. And that's where the mismanagement has gone back decades.

Senator Moynihan, God rest his soul, New York Senator, great man, said decades ago that New York has been continually shortchanged by the federal government. Why? Because we've always given them more money than they gave us back. Right?

How does the federal government work? The federal government collects taxes and puts it in a pot and then takes money from that federal pot and gives it back to the states. Every year, New York State has put more money into that federal pot than the federal government has given back. Every year for decades. And that's just a fact.

[11:59:47]

Also, you want to try to divide, divide, divide.