Return to Transcripts main page


Countries Slowly Reopen As Global Death Surpass 250,000; Face Mask Orders Trigger Verbal Abuse And Violence; Florida's Governor Claiming Victory Over Coronavirus; Florida's Governor Claiming Victory over Coronavirus; Pompeo Claims Virus Came from Chinese Lab; Israel Announces Plans for Phased Reopening; Greece Begins to Reopen and Prepares for Summer Tourists; Cargo Business Booming for Lufthansa; Bedtime Story of COVID-19 Goes Viral. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired May 5, 2020 - 01:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Intelligence from the U.S. and four other major allies say it's inconclusive. Can someone please tell Donald Trump? Hello. Welcome to our viewers joining us from around the world. I'm John Vause. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

Countries from Asia to Europe to Africa are easing up on some of the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Mostly, it's a slow gradual, incremental process which begins once there is clear evidence the outbreak is peaked. And with billions of people staying indoors for weeks at a time the worldwide death toll is now past a quarter of a million with almost 3.6 million known infections. That's according to account by Johns Hopkins University.

But in a rush to reopen in the U.S., many states are yet to see their numbers peak. The deadly number of confirmed cases continue to rise. And that is one of the major reasons why there are new warnings the United States is once again on track for death toll north of 100,000. One key model often cited by the White House now predicting more than 134,000 thousand deaths by August. That's double that same models forecasts from just days ago.

The Trump administration also privately projecting the number of deaths is about to spike. An internal document obtained by the New York Times warns that by early June, 3,000 Americans will die every day for the virus according to modeling by the CDC. America's leading expert on infectious disease explains how seriously we should take these forecasts.


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I don't know of those numbers because I have skepticism about models, about they're only as good as the assumptions you put into them. But they're not completely misleading. They're telling you something that's a reality, that when you have mitigation that's containing something and unless it's down in the right direction, and you pull back prematurely, you're going to get a rebound of cases. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: These new projections come as President Trump tries to reassure Americans it is safe to reopen. By the end of this week, more than 40 states will have rolled back at least some restrictions even though they're not all seeing a downward trend in the number of confirmed cases. CNN's Athena Jones picks up the story.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The reopening of America gaining steam. In Florida, restaurants and retail spaces are allowed to open at 25 percent capacity. Elective surgeries once again allowed. Some state parks and beaches and popular spots like Clearwater and Panama City now open at least for some part of the day.

CHRISSY MCLAUGHLIN, RESTAURANT OWNER: Wow, just wow. It's been great to see people just really happy to just be released.

JONES: But schools, movie theaters, bars, gyms, and hair salons still shuttered. For now, restrictions remain in place in the state's three hardest-hit counties.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Being safe, smart, and step by step is the appropriate way to consider that.

JONES: In Georgia, Simon malls opening their doors. In Colorado, non- essential offices can reopen today with increased cleaning and employee desk staying 6 apart, while Nevada began allowing curbside pickup at stores and expanded outdoor activities late last week.

By the end of the week, more than 40 states will have begun lifting restrictions meant to stop the spread of the virus. This even as the picture across the country is mixed, with cases rising in more states than they are falling, and the number of new cases confirmed daily remains stubbornly high at around 30,000.

In fact, an influential models cited by the White House now projecting nearly 134,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., nearly double their previous estimate, due in part to the relaxation of social distancing restrictions.

CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: This rise of mobility in the last week or 10 days is likely leading to some increased transmission.

JONES: And the New York Times citing an internal document reports the Trump administration projects about 200,000 new cases per day and some 3,000 deaths a day by early June, nearly double the current total.

SAJU MATHEW, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: We're opening too early. I mean, I'm being honest about that. I'm not surprised at the projection. It's really based on how exponentially this virus can grow.

JONES: With the nation's death toll surging past the 60,000 figure he estimated just two weeks ago, President Trump acknowledging the sobering reality.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look, we're going to lose anywhere from 75,000, 80,000, to 100,000 people.

JONES: Even that number may be low.

DEBORAH BIRX, COORDINATOR, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: Our projections have always been between 100,000 and 240,000. American lives loss. And that's with full mitigation and us learning from each other of how to social distance.

JONES: So there may soon be promising news on the vaccine front with Oxford University scientists predicting there's could be available by this fall.

JOHN BELL, OXFORD UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: We're pretty sure we'll get a signal by June about whether this works or not.

JONES: And the drug company Roche saying the US Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization for its new coronavirus antibody test that it says is nearly 100 percent accurate. The FDA has not yet confirmed it gave emergency use authorization to the Roche test. Testing is critical to reopening safely.


GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): As tough as this moment has been, as great as the price that we have paid in this moment. We know we don't want to do it again.

JONES: Here in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday, he thinks that local governments should be enforcing his statewide order requiring that people wear a mask when they can't socially distance, including by issuing sanctions, because this is a public health emergency.

The governor is saying, you can literally kill someone because you didn't want to wear a mask. How cruel and irresponsible would that be. Athena Jones, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: Dr. Peter Hotez is a professor and dean of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College, and he joins us this hour from Houston, Texas. Doctor, thank you for being with us.


VAUSE: So, wherever restrictions will be used, whether it's the United States, Nigeria, Italy, wherever, for at least the next two weeks as they start lifting those restrictions, during this incubation period for COVID-19, when patients are asymptomatic, will healthcare workers and officials effectively being blind here, will they know if the spread of the virus has plateaued or decreased or accelerated? And then after that two-week period, if it has been a surge, will it be too late?

HOTEZ: Yes, that's the problem. Once the restrictions are lifted, it's not like all of a sudden you see a gradual increase in the number of cases (AUDIO GAP) and then all of a sudden you see a very steep exponential rise. You know, the models coming out of the Institute for Health Metrics told us that many states we have to maintain strict social distancing until June, early part of June. And a lot of states were not willing to do that because they felt compelled to open up the economy.

And now the revised revision of the models coming out of the Institute is showing that we will pay a price for that increase in mobility in the order of a doubling of deaths unfortunately from the initial estimates of 75,000 to more than 130,000 deaths. So this is very concerning, obviously, and very tragic news.

And it won't be evenly spread across the country. There are some differences. So for instance, the models seem to show that an area cities that are more densely populated such as in New York or Boston or Philadelphia or San Francisco, they may suffer more than some of the cities where they're less densely populated and maybe in the southwestern part of the country.

Number one, and number two, heat also has a mitigating effect or heat and sunlight. So that in cities on the Gulf Coast, like Houston where we are, might suffer less than some of the cities up in the northeast and on the west coast. So again, they're models, they're based on certain assumptions, but the tragic news tonight is we'll be looking at a much larger number of deaths than we had previously hoped for.

VAUSE: One of the resources behind that new modeling is Dr. Christopher Murray. He spoke to CNN a little earlier. This is what he told us about these new models. Here he is.


MURRAY: The things that are going to drive up transmission are people getting out and interacting more. People can protect themselves a bit by wearing, you know, cloth face coverings, masks. That'll help. They can avoid as much contact as humanly possible. But there are some things in our favors. They can scale up faster testing and contact tracing. The faster they do that, the more we can reduce the risk of these resurgences.


VAUSE: But the reality is, right now many places people are getting out, they are interacting. Not everyone is wearing a face mask, and you know, in the U.S., testing is woefully inadequate. And there's this patchwork system of traces which has been put in place which sadly seems adequate at this point as well. So it seems to us is doing everything right to get a pretty big second wave.

HOTEZ: Yes. I mean, I think the big issue that we're looking at -- I understand the urgency to open up the economy and get people back to work. The problem is that they there are a number of states have put together, leaders from the business community to create economic recovery, teams without linking it to public health.

By that, I mean, in the workplace as people come back to work. Obviously, you want to know if you're a co-worker has asymptomatic COVID-19. But they -- but they haven't really put in place a mechanism to rapidly get tested in the workplace number one. Number two, the level of contact tracing, that is identify -- if somebody is identified as being positive, to be able to identify all of those contacts is not geared up to a sufficient level.

In some cities, they're starting to, but the numbers are still pretty small, the number of contact traces you have to hire. They haven't really put in a syndromic surveillance system, using an app system, and also all the public health communications that nearly -- that has to go with it.

So I understand about opening up the economy, but they haven't really put in place a public health system that's commensurate to make certain that you can sustain that. And that's one of the reasons why these numbers are going up so precipitously.


VAUSE: And what we keep seeing though -- initially, the models, you know, a couple of months ago, had up to two million Americans dying because, you know, the coronavirus. That they got scaled all the way back down to say around 60,000, 65,000. And now we're kind of creeping back up again.

And even this latest model has a huge range of up 200,000 possible dead. But I want you to listen to Dr. Birx, the leading medical expert on the White House Task Force. Here she is.


BIRX: Our projections have always been between 100,000 and 240,000 American lives loss and that's with full mitigation and us learning from each other of how the social distance.


VAUSE: And that's a very significant difference from what we're hearing from the president every day, and a very significant difference from all these models have been saying. So how do you see these various projections? Should we ignore them? Are they worthwhile?

HOTEZ: Here's the way it works. The original two million estimate likely came from the assumption that there was going to be no social distancing. That is basically going to be a free for all. We weren't going to do anything and large numbers of people were going to come in contact with COVID-19 patients.

To the credit of the United States, a pretty ambitious program of social distancing was implemented. It came too late for New York City, probably six weeks after transmission started there. And that's why you saw those -- that big surge. In places like Texas, it was probably implemented much sooner, because we saw what was happening in New York. So we never experienced that same rise and the surge, and things were going along pretty well.

And then the modelers told us well just keep it going till the beginning of June. And very -- there were very few governors who are willing to do that, given the massive hit to the economy that a lot of the states were going to take. So now we're opening up and to the surprise of no one in the field, now the desks are going back up.

VAUSE: I just want to finish up with what seems to be a new development in treating this disease as scientists have created an antibody which can defeat the coronavirus. This study was published in the Journal Nature Communications. Here's part of what they found.

"The antibody known as 47D11. targets a spike protein that gives the new coronavirus a crown-like shape and lets it enter human cells. In these experiments, it did not just defeat the virus responsible for COVID-19, but also a cousin equipped with similar spike proteins which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS. This is very early in the process. There have been no animal trials, there have been no human trials, but it does seem to be significant. How do you see it?

HOTEZ: It's manufactured monoclonal antibody that targets spike protein. The interesting piece about it is it not only it neutralize the spike protein of the SARS 2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it also targets the SARS 1, the original stars that began in 2003. And in fact, one of our vaccines also hopes to cross target more than one coronavirus SARS 1 and SARS 2.

So it's also a first step towards looking at a universal coronavirus vaccine or a universal coronavirus antibody. Because remember, as bad as COVID-19 is, it may not be our last serious pandemic coronavirus. This is our third one now that we've had in the 21st century. We've had SARS 1, then we've had MERS in 2012, and now COVID-19. Likely, others will follow unfortunately.

VAUSE: Yes. And that's why this vaccine is obviously -- you know, it's pressing any treatments as well as any developments this way. I guess these things are being reported with such enthusiasm. Whether it's worth that enthusiasm, I guess is another question. But Dr. Peter Hotez, thank you so much for being with us and explaining all of that. It's great. Thank you.

HOTEZ: Thanks so much.

VAUSE: Doctors in Paris are suggesting the coronavirus was circulating in Europe long before previously thought. The first cases in France were detected in late January, two people who traveled to Wuhan in China. A new test on frozen samples have revealed one patient infected with the virus a month earlier. The doctors say identifying the first patient is crucial to understanding how the virus can spread.

For the first time in a month, Italy has fewer than 100,000 active cases. Some factories and businesses reopened. Millions of Italians are now returning to work. Restaurants and cafes are offering takeout and the parks no longer off limits. It's a seismic change for the draconian lockdown imposed March 10th. Still, on Monday, health authorities reported another 195 people died from the virus in one 24- hour period. That brings Italy's overall death toll to more than 29,000.

World leaders have promised $8 billion for research and development of a treatment and vaccine for the coronavirus. Monday's virtual event was hosted by the E.U. with the President of the European Commission, saying this is just the start. Countries will be called upon again for financial assistance. And the E.U. was the big pharmaceutical companies to commit to making treatments and vaccines available worldwide at affordable prices.

[01:15: 07]


URSULA VON DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: The reality is that we will have to learn to live with the virus until and unless we develop a vaccine. And this is why we have to join forces and pull our money and our minds to kick start work on vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments against coronavirus. We need to develop, produce, and deploy them to every single corner of the world. And we must ensure that they are available and affordable for all. And this is why we must all chip in to finance this truly global endeavor.


VAUSE: Norway, the U.K., Canada, and Japan were among the biggest earners. Notably absent though, official representation from the United States. But the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has promised $100 million.

Still to come, the politics of a pandemic, what's driving the anger behind the protests against social distancing, as well as lockdowns and shutdowns? Why is some willing to kill rather than wear face masks? And a victory lap by Florida's governor on the eve of the state's reopening, but a closer look at the death toll there suggest it might just be a little too soon for celebration.


VAUSE: In the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic and how people respond to it has become more politicized, more divisive, it seems, than anywhere else on the planet. And in many places, face masks have become a lightning rod.

A security guard at a discount store in the state of Michigan was killed last Friday when he told a customer as per the governor's executive order, they had to wear a mask while shopping. Calvin Manali was shot in the head and died later in hospital. Three members of the same family have been charged. This security video comes from Michigan as well.

On Saturday, after being told by an employee that he could not be in the store without wearing a face mask, the customer Then wipes his nose on her shirt saying here, I'll use this as a mask, and then he leaves.

The city of Stillwater, Oklahoma recently reversed course on requiring face masks in retail stores because within the first three hours of those recommendations taking effect, store employees have been threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse. In addition, that has been one threat of violence using a firearm. That is from the city manager. And that's just because of wearing face masks.

Joining us now from Los Angeles, Ron Brownstein, CNN Senior Political Analyst and senior editor for the Atlantic. And Ron, it's been a while, so good to see you.


VAUSE: Over the weekend, the Call To Unite project release a video featuring, among others, former President George W. Bush. Here's a clip.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Finally, let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat. In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants, we're human beings equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God We rise or fall together, and we're determined to rise.



VAUSE: So this Call For Unity, the President Donald Trump responded with a tweet criticizing George W. Bush for not publicly defending the president during last year's impeachment. So, you know, over the past few months, Trump has called out states to be liberated from these lockdowns, he's criticized governors, he's accused health workers for stealing. He may not have caused the division in this country, but it seems he's happy to throw gasoline on it. But to what point, to what end? What does he gain?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, first of all, I mean, you know, we may idealize the extent to which earlier national crises caused America to come together, but I think there's no question that this is unique in our modern history in that this event is underscoring and really intensifying our differences. And to me, it just goes to show how powerful the red-blue division is.

I mean, in some ways, without being hyperbolic, it is the kind of the modern equivalent of the 1850s where every single issue facing the country ultimately kind of fractured along the north-south line. They couldn't even decide how -- where to build the Transcontinental Railroad because they couldn't decide whether it would go through the south of the North.

We're now living, I think, though something like that where every challenge we face ultimately reduces to the red-blue divide. And we -- if we can't find a way to come together in common purpose at this moment with a virus that, you know, as former President Bush is noting, it has utterly no regard for political affiliation or geographic boundary or race or class, you know, when can we?

And there are lots of reasons for that, but certainly one of them is that we have a president who believes that it is in his interest politically, to widen those divisions. That's been the core of his strategy really from the outset.

VAUSE: While we're seeing this anger isn't just over facemask because in Austin, Texas, a park ranger, trying to uphold social justice guidelines when a man in his 20s pushed him into a lake. There's a small but significant number of people including the Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, who last month posted a picture with the Constitution and the words, permission slip to leave your house.

You know, this is a group of people who believe that they are in fact the true victims here, that their constitutional rights have been violated. But along the way, they dismiss science, they dismiss fact, they give little credence to some of the world's leading health experts. When did this lack of faith and trust in these institutions actually begin and why is it so pronounced right now?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. There are a couple of illnesses. I mean, first, obviously, there's long been a suspicion of central government in American life that is much greater than in most countries around the world. There's always been that kind of anti-government element to our -- to our politics.

But I think in the -- in the -- you know, in the last 30 or 40 years, there has been a growing sentiment particularly on the right, that they represent kind of the virtuous middle, the real America as Sarah Palin first call that in 2008, that is under siege from an effect below and above. From below, from minorities and immigrants who either threats to your economic security or to your physical security, but increasingly, the argument from conservatives have been from the other direction as well, that there are elites who are disdainful of you and they use their expertise as an excuse to try to really control your life. And medical expertise, it turns out is not immune to those kinds of suspicions.

And when Donald Trump talks about the deep state, and when he talks about kind of fake news, and when he talks about coastal elites, he is trotting that kind of -- you know, they are turning over that earth that has already been plowed by conservative voices before him. And I think you see the effect of it here were such a significant portion, not even -- not a majority, but a significant portion of the Republican base is simply disinclined to believe expert opinion because they have been told for so long that it really is elites who are trying to run their lives because they look down on them.

VAUSE: You may recall Dr. Gina. She appeared from time to time on CNN a while back. She wasn't really a doctor, as in a medical sense, but she's a big Trump supporter. And over the weekend, she tweeted this. "We were treated like criminals today, if you're trying to go out in a private boat. This doesn't feel like America. How has this happened so fast? How can we get her back? I detest socialists. I will fight with all I have." And here's a couple of replies which is interesting. "Every American should remember, this is what the Democratic Party is all about." And in this tweet, "We need to get a freedom back ASAP. How? We stand together and fight. We are no criminals. The left are the criminals, and they need to be treated this way."

You know, one of these incidents was it happened in Florida. It's a Republican state. Donald Trump is a Republican president, yet somehow, the Democrats are the focus of the anger. How does that work?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, yes. Look, I mean, I think, you know, it has become almost kind of a flashpoint in the culture wars, as you -- as you were describing in Michigan, you know, believing in social distancing and accepting the norms of how our behavior has to change in order to reduce the communal risk to the society.

You know, there are portions of the right which are essentially portraying this as either the nanny state-run, a mock or plot to take down Donald Trump, or some kind of you know, agenda to kind of eliminate our freedoms in the same way that any effort to control the access to firearms is seen as kind of the beginning of a slippery slope.


The underlying reality, though, is that we are adding 25,000 to 30,000 cases a day with the prospect of that going up substantially as the White House, you know, as the administration's own forecasts that were leaked today show we are still running at about 2,000 deaths a day. The estimates from the University of Washington and perhaps the most widely cited have doubled in terms of the total number of deaths. State - many of the states that are reopening are seeing their caseloads rise.

And in effect, we are asking our frontline responders and our medical personnel to shoulder unbelievable risks because, you know, in some cases people want to go back to the mall. And so it is a real kind of testing moment for America. I think most Americans still recognize the need to stay at home as much as possible and do -- and do, you know, enforce social distancing. But there is a loud minority and they are being encouraged more than discouraged by the President.

Don't forget, he called those protesters in Michigan, very good people, in an echo of what he said about Charlottesville.

VAUSE: There's always been this debate in public policy, this cost benefit analysis. I mean, if you wanted no deaths from road accidents, which will greatly reduce that number, a nationwide 35 mile per hour speed limit, nothing beyond that, because that would save lives. So you made the calculation, that people could drive faster on the roads, and it's worth you know, the cost benefit of having faster transportation.

So it seems in many ways that this is where we're at, a very similar argument is taking place with regards to the lockdowns. How fast it should take place, how many lives you know, is it worth to restart these economies so quickly? Is that a fair assessment?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. I think it is, but there's an extra ideological dimension in it and kind of a geographic dimension. I mean, even -- the virus is spreading more widely into small town and rural America. But so far, it has been concentrated most heavily in the big metro areas of every state which are increasingly trending democratic.

You know, someone said to me a month ago and something in it still holds up. In blue America, this is a public health crisis, in red America, it is seen primarily as an economic crisis, as the health problem is happening somewhere else. And as long as that is true, I think Republicans are going to come down more on the side of reopening the economy, particularly since, you know, the victims tend to be concentrated in groups also that aren't voting for them.

That is changing. I mean, it is reaching more deeply into rural America. But until it is, I think, blazing as hot there as it is in the big cities, you're going to see this political divide, this geographic divide, reinforcing the ideological divide that we were talking about earlier.

VAUSE: Yes. It's always been that, you know, at this country, national crises, they come together, you know, at least for time. That just hasn't happened, which is --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. It did not happen this time.

VAUSE: It's amazing. Ron, thank you. It's good to see you. Ron Brownstein in Los Angeles. I'm glad you're well. Thank you.

BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, Florida's governor is boasting about his administration's response to the pandemic as much of the state now prepares to reopen.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): The facts are that since this has happened, hospitalizations, ICU, rate of positivity ventilators, that has all declined. Those people were wrong and the folks in Duval County behaved appropriately. I think apologies can be sent to city of Jacksonville. Attention, Mayor Curry. You may want to see the mayors of Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, and Atlantic Beach, but I won't hold my breath on that happening.


VAUSE: And there has been praise from President Donald Trump for Florida's relatively low numbers considering its large size. Florida has seen nearly 37,000 infections, 1,400 deaths. But now there are questions about how the state is actually counting those cases. CNN's Randi Kaye has details.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As some of Florida's beaches and businesses start to reopen today, the state is also opening up the records of coronavirus cases and deaths in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The list from Florida's health department details more than 300 facilities where staff or residents tested positive for the coronavirus including those who have died. But the numbers don't always add up.

Take the Atria Willow Wood assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale. Officials there tell CNN, seven residents have died from the coronavirus. But the chart released by the state May 1st tells a different story, just three resident deaths, noting that three others are "under investigation."

And there's more. The state's data also indicates a staff member died. The facility told me a staff members did test positive for the virus but recovered and even return to work. Still, that's hardly the only discrepancy. At Five Star premier residences in Hollywood. The state's chart shows one resident and two staff members died. But Five Star told me by phone that its three confirmed deaths from the coronavirus were all residents. Five Star says they did not lose any staff, as the state's most current list suggests.

JORGE ZAMANILLO, MOTHER DIED OF COVID-19: It was sad to say. You know, I couldn't understand how something could escalate so quickly in a matter of days.


KAYE: Jorge Zamanillo's mother died from coronavirus at the Residential Plaza at Blue Lagoon in Miami. The state's chart shows three deaths at that facility. But George shared these letters from the facility to families -- one dated April 20th reports the death of three residents; another from April 27th, reports the death of another resident bringing the total to four. Yet, the state health department's chart, which is supposed to be updated weekly, still shows three deaths at that facility.

Our calls to Residential Plaza were not returned, neither were emails or calls to the governor's office and the state health department. Jorge says families deserve the real numbers.

ZAMANILLO: And when the state provides a list that we know is incomplete or doesn't match up with the total counts that have been released locally, we know something is wrong. We know it for a fact that, you know, the numbers are definitely off and it's very disturbing. We're not sure what is being covered up.

KAYE: Perhaps it is just fuzzy math. Whatever the reason the numbers just don't sync. At The Court at Palm Air in Pompano Beach, the state's chart shows seven deaths, including six residents and one staff member. The facility tells us there have been seven deaths but they were all residents.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the U.S. president doubling down on accusations against China and the origins of the virus. Beijing also firing back.

Ahead, the fallout for global markets and already record-low price of oil.


VAUSE: For weeks the U.S. president has played conspiracy theorist in chief alleging the coronavirus leaked from a lab in China and more could have been done to prevent the pandemic. But the latest intelligence shared among the Five Eyes, a group made up of the U.S. and four close allies continues to support the original claim from Beijing that it most likely emerged from a wet market in Wuhan.

The U.S. Secretary of State though continuing to insist that China was responsible.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Secretary -- have you seen anything that gives you high confidence that it originated in that Wuhan lab?

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: There's enormous evidence that that's where this began. We've said from the beginning that this was a virus that originated in Wuhan, China. We took a lot of grief for that from the outset but I think the whole world can see now.



VAUSE: And China hit back with this in state-controlled media. "Politicians in the United States appear to run out of new ways to smear China. They have frustratedly repeated their wild claims and continued to propagate the idea that the virus is manmade and leaked from a laboratory. United States politicians have evil intentions behind the political farce."

Let's get more on this now from CNN's Kristi Lu Stout, standing by live in Hong Kong. Also John Defterios in Abu Dhabi.

Kristi -- first to you. There are a lot of accusations flying back and forth between these two countries right now. And it seems right now there's not a lot of evidence or proof to back up any of these claims.

KRISTI LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, there is a lot of rhetoric, and there is a lot of name-calling. And we are also waiting to hear another response from the ministry of foreign affairs in China to repeated claim from the Trump White House repeating that they believe that the virus came not from a live wild animal market but from this lab in Wuhan, China.

Now we did hear he mentioned. The CCTV commentary last night is scathing commentary. They called the U.S. Secretary of State evil and accused of spewing poison and spreading lies. They also name-checked two scientists -- you know, name-checked a Columbia University biologist as well as an executive director of the (INAUDIBLE) organization. Both of them saying that they believe the virus is natural in origin.

Now there is growing pushback to that White House claim, coming from the Five Eyes as well. This is the security alliance involving the U.S., U.K., New Zealand, Australia and Canada -- they are contradicting the Trump White House claim. They're also saying that there is no evidence to support it.

Look there are a lot of reasons why there have been question marks about the Wuhan Institute of Virology. It is known for its research into coronaviruses in bats. Also U.S. diplomats, have reportedly in the past in 2018 sounded the alarm twice, about safety issues at the lab.

But when Secretary Pompeo repeated these claims over the weekend he did not offer up any new concrete evidence. And scientists for a while now have been calling it a conspiracy theory saying that they again, believe that the virus comes from the live wide wild animal market, not from the lab.

But China and Chinese officials are also putting forth their own conspiracy theory. For weeks now senior Chinese officials have been peddling a theory that the U.S. Army is somehow to blame, for bringing the virus into China.

So at this critical stage, when we need openness, transparency, (INAUDIBLE) of resources and the need for therapeutics, as well as getting a vaccine, we have two of the strongest nations in the world not cooperating but squabbling over an origin story -- John.

VAUSE: Yes. It's a great time for it.

John -- to you -- the baseless claims though are having a very real impact on the world economy.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they can -- John, particularly if this spirals out of control and goes into that trade friction that we saw in the second half of 2019.

But the focus in the markets today, is not the geopolitical tensions, but rather the reopening of say California coming forward, as the G-7 economy on its own; Italy and Spain reopening their economies at a gingerly pace here.

And they're watching Greece and this idea that tourism can open up in July if you put in the right measures.

The Asia markets, many are closed but the ones that are open are higher. Hong Kong, even though we saw that horrible economic performance of a negative 8.9 percent is up about eight-tenths of 1 percent.

Australia's market is up about 1.5 percent. The Central Bank saying we're going to see a contraction of 6 percent this year, but perhaps a v-shaped recovery and go up 6 percent next year.

But if you're looking for some real dire news, you have to look at the factory orders in the United States -- the worst on record in March and that's the rearview mirror. That's the one plus side here but down better than 10 percent.

And then we saw GE Aerospace lay off 13,000 workers because of the demand in the airline industry. As you know, John -- right now it's extremely. The president of Emirates Airlines at the end of last week said that we could not see a recovery in the sector -- get this, John -- by 2023, and that 85 percent of the airlines will need government support to survive.

This would have an impact of course, on oil demand with jet fuel. But we see oil prices again rising today -- 7 percent roughly for the WTI- U.S. benchmark above $21 a battle. And Norsi brand is rallying as well. We see that this could be the bottom of the demand destruction in the oil industry going forward.

$30 a barrel though -- John, here in the Middle East, does not do the trick. We see the major oil exporter Saudi Arabia, actually cutting back spending in a very radical way. They need something closer to $60 a barrel to survive.

Back to you.

VAUSE: John -- you're calling a bottom for the oil, ok. Good to know, let's make a note of that.

John Defterios there in Abu Dhabi, we appreciate it. And also Kristi Lu Stout in Hong Kong.


VAUSE: Thank you both.

Well, Tanzania's coronavirus testing kits have come under scrutiny after the president said a goat, and a piece of fruit tested positive for the virus. It comes amid growing criticism of the government's response to this pandemic.

CNN's Farai Sevenzo reports.



FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tanzania's president, Mr. John Magufuli caused a great deal of controversy over the last weekend. He reckons that the whole idea of COVID-19 is being taken too seriously. He has refused to close down his country. There's been no lockdown in Dar es Salaam, the capital.

And at the same time, over the weekend, nighttime burials have been seen on social media. But some other footage (ph) say those burials could've been from anything else.

Further to this -- this laboratory, the Tanzanian laboratory, testing people for COVID-19 have suspended the director and he reckons why is that. Because he says, several samples were sent over to the laboratory, some from a papaya tree and some from a goat. And they both came back positive.

His skepticism over the whole idea of what COVID-19 means for his country is staggering. There have been 480 cases of coronavirus infections in Tanzania, 16 deaths. And at the same time, the opposition is saying in Tanzania, the government has not done enough to lock down people, the enforce our people to wear masks. And of course, the entire east Africa region is very worried right now, it could actually even have gone (ph) out yet.

Farai Sevenzo, CNN -- Nairobi.


VAUSE: Israel laying out a detailed plan for reopening, and the prime minister warning it could all stop if cases start to rise again.

And summer in Greece, the government hoping tourists return by July. It comes with a caution though; this will be a very different summer.


VAUSE: Israel has revealed how it will end the coronavirus shutdown. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says gatherings of up to 20 people will be allowed. People can visit immediate family including the elderly but he has warned if there are more than 100 new infections a day, or more than 250 patients in serious conditions the reopening will stop.

CNN's Oren Liebermann live in Jerusalem for us. So Oren -- unlike other leaders, when Netanyahu talks about a government response being a success story, he is right. Israel has emerged through all of this with a very low death count.

OREN LIEBERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And we've seen that again in Israel's latest numbers from the coronavirus. As of Monday evening, Israel has just over 16,000 cases and 235 deaths as a result of the coronavirus, according to the ministry of health. That means the mortality rate is right around 1.5 percent.

Crucially there were only 44 new infections in the last 24 hours, and three new deaths. It's because of those numbers, those numbers that are seen very positively here especially when compared to, for example, what we're seeing in Europe or the U.S., that Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have implementing this gradual reopening of the economy.

The school system, for example, a number of grades began earlier this week and will continue over the course of the month. And now, as you pointed out, the economy has begun to reopen.

First of all, gatherings are allowed, groups of 20. Weddings are allowed in groups of 50 but there are still restrictions on many places. For example, at weddings dancing is forbidden, to make sure social distancing requirements are maintained. [01:44:59]

LIEBERMANN: Malls and open air markets will reopen on Thursday. They too will have certain restrictions. For example, you're not allowed to sit and eat at those.

Netanyahu has warned this will be a gradual process, and it's one that could stop. as you pointed out, if there are more than a hundred new infections a day, more than 250 cases in serious condition, the whole process of reopening will have to stop and the country will move back wards, which will be seen as very difficult.

There are more openings expected over the course of mid-June. For example the tourism sector, hotels and motels, and of course, as we head into the summer, for Israeli's the beach is very important. As of right now sea sports are allowed, although beach activities are still forbidden.

Again, John -- it's part of a gradual process here, and one that is based on the numbers. And Netanyahu has again made it clear that if the numbers start moving in the wrong direction, this gradual process could start very quickly.

VAUSE: Houdini strikes again -- Benjamin Netanyahu. Just in a moment of political need, he's getting over-lauded for this, and I guess we'll see what happens then.

Thank you. Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem.

Well, Greece too, has been relatively unscathed by the virus, mostly because of rigorous testing and monitoring. Some businesses are reopening and there are hopes tourists will be back by July.

In a CNN exclusive, Nic Robertson spoke with the Greek prime minister who's optimistic that the worst has passed.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Greece's economy is dependent -- heavily dependent on tourism. 20 percent or more, dependent on tourism. So opening up means letting in tourists.

KYRIAKOS MITSOTAKIS, GREEK PRIME MINISTER: Not at the first stage. We are not more dependent than say Portugal, or even to a certain extent, Spain. We are -- all southern countries are heavily dependent on tourism.

Now the real question is will we be able to have tourists come?


MITSOTAKIS: -- in the later parts of the summer. Only if we agreed to very specific protocols. But hopefully at the European level, let's assume people, you know, get a test before they -- before they fly out and then we carefully monitor them either an antibody test or a PCR test. And then, of course, the tourism experience this summer maybe slightly different from what you had in previous years with more social distancing, maybe no bars maybe open or no tight crowds but you can still get a fantastic experience in Greece. Provided but the global epidemic is on the downward path.

But the best case scenario is Greece is open for business July 1st. And we are working towards that. So we're preparing towards that. But of course, it involves airlines because most people fly into Greece, and very you know, very strict but also enforceable protocols.

ROBERTSON: Can you put a figure on how big do you think the economic loss might be from even in percentage terms?

MITSOTAKIS: I've resisted because it's going to be very different. I don't want to give you a big range, but it's going to be much worse if we don't open up at all for the summer.

ROBERTSON: Do you have that?

MITSOTAKIS: If we manage to get some tourists, it's going to be better, but you know, all -- it's around 10 percent seems to be a consensus amongst most European countries as what could happen, which is a massive contraction.

ROBERTSON: It's going to be a very different summer, isn't it?

MITSOTAKIS: It is going to be a very different summer. But we hope that the worst is behind us, and again what I -- what I keep as a legacy of this crisis is the sense of collective success. And I dare to use the word "pride". Greeks have not been proud in a long, long time. You know for 10 years we were the punching bag of Europe.

ROBERTSON: Will this change the situation?

MITSOTAKIS: I think it has changed in terms of our self confidence, and ALSO confidence in the state. I'm not saying confidence in the government necessarily. But people trust the state. They trust the experts.

The first thing I did was to give to floor to our top, you know, epidemiologist. And he's doing the daily briefings. It's not me.

ROBERTSON: This seems to be, dare I say, a very strong message for the United States and the United Kingdom whose track records at the moment on this pandemic are probably some of the worst in terms of death and infection rates.

MITSOTAKIS: Well, everyone is doing it their own way. This is the way --

ROBERTSON: I know but is there a right way? And does Greece have the right way?

MITSOTAKIS: Well, I think there is -- I don't think there is a single right away, but I think we clearly did it at least in terms of the first phase. Until now, I think we have done it the right way.


VAUSE: Parts of Spain are emerging from an eight-week long national lockdown. Restrictions on Spain's islands will be eased faster than the mainland because of fewer confirmed cases.

Meantime, the prime minister will ask parliament for a two-week extension to the state of emergency. The conservative opposition is opposed to what would be a fourth extension of those emergency powers.

Even with its cargo business booming, Europe's largest airline group, Lufthansa is asking the German government for financial help like other airlines. Travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic left most of its passenger fleet idle.

Our man in Frankfurt with exclusive access is Fred Pleitgen.



FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: While most of Lufthansa's passenger fleet stands idle at the company's hub in Frankfurt, grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic, the cargo wing is still humming. This plane carrying medical gear, among other things, getting ready to depart for the U.S.

The pilot saying they constantly have to adapt to new rules for international travel in times of a pandemic.

JENS PIOTTER, CAPTAIN, LUFTHANSA CARGO: We have longer duty periods. We have -- we need more pilots in the cockpit. We are flying with more pilots for example than flying through China.

PLEITGEN: Lufthansa has even had to convert some passenger planes into cargo planes to meet demand. Those weren't hard to find, as defensive group says it's only flying about 1 percent of its usual passenger load.

Management saying Europe's largest airline group needs billions in bailout money from the German and other European governments.

The Lufthansa Group says of the 760 planes that they own, about 700 are currently on the ground. Many of them don't look like they're going to be taking off anytime soon.

Now Lufthansa says it needs government assistance to get through this crisis, but also to be competitive in the future.

European competitors like Air France, KLM have already secured state assistance. And the Trump administration says it will prop up struggling U.S. carriers with billions of dollars.

Lufthansa says it believes the market for international air travel will remain volatile. And Lufthansa Cargo CEO tells me, the company is currently adapting to an ever-changing business environment.

PETER GERBER, CEO, LUFTHANSA CARGO: This is clearly a change because we have all of these assets we have to plan. We need the pilots, we need traffic rights, all that sort of (INAUDIBLE), of course, some days but sometimes we have to adapt really in hours.

PLEITGEN: For now, Lufthansa continues to bleed money as its planes standstill with only the occasional one taking off from what is normally one of Europe's busiest airport.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN -- Frankfurt, Germany.


VAUSE: Just ahead, the kind of bedtime story we all need right now. How the world could change for the better.

Also, this.


JOHN KRASINSKI, ACTOR: Class of 2020 -- what is up? You thought you weren't going to have a graduation this year? You're crazy.


VAUSE: John Krasinski called in some major favors to surprise the class of 2020. The stars' advice to graduates when we return.


VAUSE: Imagine your receiving little life advice from those who singlehandedly changed the world. Well, for his YouTube show, some good news. Actor John Krasinski took questions from graduates of the class of 2020.

But he managed to surprise some of the grads by having icons like Malala Yousafzai, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey personally provide those answers.


OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: There have been many times when you are on the ground and you're going to fly somewhere. This is my favorite moment in life that when it's really dark and dreary on the ground and then you get in the plane and within three minutes you shoot above the clouds and you see the sun was always there.



VAUSE: What will we say about this pandemic when it's all over? A man in London wrote a bedtime story for his future son about the good things that have happened during bad times.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Celebrities ranging from Michelle Obama --


MOOS: -- to Danny DeVito have been reading stories to kids during the pandemic.

DANNY DEVITO, ACTOR: I am the Lorax. He coughed and whiffed.

MOOS: But the one who hasn't whiffed is an unknown British poet whose storytelling from the future has gotten millions of views.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell me the one about the virus again.

MOOS: The kid playing the son is actually Tom Roberts' seven-year-old brother.

TOM ROBERTS, POET: It was a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty, back before we understood why hindsight's 2020.

MOOS: From the future, Tom describes our present.

ROBERTS: We'd always had our wants. But now it got so quick, we can have anything we dreamed of in a day, and with a click.

MOOS: The poet's sister, his mom and his dad all worked at British hospitals.

ROBERTS: But then in 2020, a new virus came our way. The governments reacted and told us all to hide away.

MOOS: The story imagines phone-obsessed families in a polluted past transformed.

ROBERTS: And with the skies less full of voyagers, the earth began to breathe. And so when we found the cure, and we were allowed to go outside, we all preferred the world we found to the one we'd left behind.

MOOS: Viewers seemed smitten -- love, love, love.

"Gave me chills of sadness, but then hope."

ROBERTS: I would love you to understand I'm not naive, you know, to thinking that coronavirus is in any way a good thing. Maybe out of the bad there can be some good.

MOOS: Drew Barrymore posted the video, "The Great Realization". Jake Gyllenhaal messaged Tom about working on a children's book.

ROBERTS: Overwhelmed because it is overwhelming. MOOS: This from a 26-year-old who had a card from his mom posted

behind him.

ROBERTS: Go forth, act decent, and call your mother from time to time.

MOOS: Now he's getting calls. His little brother set up a clincher.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But why did it take a virus?

ROBERTS: Well, sometimes you've got to get sick before you start feeling better.

MOOS: Kind of puts the doctor in Dr. Seuss for the COVID generation.

Jeanne Moos, CNN -- New York.


VAUSE: The best thing I've seen in a while.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause.

Anna Coren takes over for me right after this.

You're watching CNN.