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Intel Contradicts Virus Theory; Reports on Coronavirus from Around the World; Trump to Visit Arizona Facility; Answers to Your Coronavirus Questions. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 5, 2020 - 08:30   ET



ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Claims without evidence that the virus originated in a Wuhan lab undermines U.S. credibility and coordination with allies.

And I think that is -- that is such a key point as you're looking at, there are questions that need to be raised and we do need to better understand what happened in the early days here. But to your point, perhaps, the way the president and Secretary of State Pompeo are going about it right now may not be the best path.

IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP (via telephone): The worst thing possible is for the Trump administration to give the Chinese an easy out by lying about what's going on. And the fact that Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo have said that there is clear evidence convincing and compelling intelligence community evidence that this actually came from a Wuhan lab, and our allies, including Australia, and the Australians of all of our allies have been the strongest in alignment with us towards China really agitating the Chinese to have said that Australia is like a piece of gum that you need to kick off the bottom of your shoe.

The fact that the Australian government is coming out and saying that the intelligence that's provided by the U.S. isn't plausible, that it's just open sourced, there's no there there, why would you give the Chinese an out like that? I mean the answer is because Trump's decided he's going to go with this. He doesn't pay attention to details and Pompeo cares a lot more about making Trump happy than being plausible with allies. But, ultimately, this is really going to undermine our case against the Chinese. That's a problem.

HILL: And the other thing that I think is fascinating in all of this back and forth is that while we're seeing these leaders go after the countries, we are not hearing President Trump single out President Xi, and vice versa. And there is some strategy behind that.

BREMMER: There definitely is. And that's because I think Trump himself understands that there's still a lot of value in saying that Xi Jinping has done this big deal with the United States, the phase one trade deal, that isn't actually that big of a deal in terms of the way we conduct trade, but it's really important for Trump with an election coming up not to break it because, if he does, that means more tariffs on the consumer goods that will affect the average American voter at the worst possible economic time.

So Trump himself is really, really reluctant to go all in against President Xi.

HILL: Right.

BREMMER: Now, as we get closer to the election, and as the mortality count goes up and as Trump's own popularity ratings probably go down, from the 40s into the 30s or even the 20s, if that happens, I have no doubt in my mind that you're going to see Trump going after Xi Jinping directly. You will then see him breaking that phase one trade deal. And then the gloves are off. That's really a dangerous environment. Geopolitically, this is the single worst thing that could come out of the coronavirus crisis.

HILL: Ian Bremmer, always appreciate your insight. Thank you again for being with us this morning.

BREMMER: Happy to be with you. Sure.

HILL: John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That was a really interesting discussion and perspective there.

So, globally, more than 251,000 people have now died from coronavirus. In Britain, there is concern the death toll may keep rising despite a brief drop. CNN has reporters all around the world with the latest developments.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I'm Nick Paton Walsh in London, the United Kingdom.

And the death toll over the last 24 hours was very low, lowest since late March, of 288. Possibly reflecting a lag in reporting over the weekend and not taking away from the fact that possibly in the days ahead the U.K. may overtake Italy with the worst death toll in Europe, granted a bigger population.

But as the week goes on, focus, too, on how the government intends to reduce lockdown restrictions here, talk of perhaps (INAUDIBLE) being banned, public transport, having social distancing enforced on it. But the U.K. wondering quite how it's been hit so hard.


And Germany's flagship carrier Lufthansa, like so many other airlines around the world, is fighting for survival. Now, Lufthansa gave us access to their hub in Frankfurt, where much of their fleet stands grounded because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lufthansa says it will need billions of dollars in state aid, not just to make it through the crisis, but also to be competitive once the coronavirus pandemic ends.


And a Russian doctor infected with coronavirus is fighting for his life this morning after criticizing working conditions and falling out of a window at a hospital. But, get this, he's the third doctor in Russia to mysteriously fall out of a window in recent weeks. Earlier, one in Siberia died after meeting health officials. Local media said she opposed the hospital becoming a coronavirus facility. And last month a doctor in Russia's main Cosmonaut base also died after falling out of a window. The authorities called a tragic accident.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Sam Kiley in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, where they are waiting this week for evacuation flights to repatriate tens of thousands of Indian workers as part of a mission that the Indian government is putting on worldwide to bring their people home.


This is after weeks of lockdown of 1.3 billion people, coming at a time where there has been an accelerated increase in the last few days in the numbers of people going down with the virus, 3,900 recently recorded, up from 2,644 the previous day. Over a million people, though, have been tested in India and the Indian authorities are now trying very slowly to lift the lockdown that is so crippled the economy there.


HILL: Well, for the first time in more than a month, President Trump is hitting the road. We'll tell you where and why, next.


HILL: In just hours, President Trump hits the road for first time in months, heading to the key battleground state of Arizona.

Kyung Lah has more from Phoenix.


KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As President Trump heads to Arizona, businesses prepare to open up, sort of.


LAH: Victoria Linley's boutique, Muse Apparel, sells curbside now. The state's governor allowing retail to open statewide this week.


Like many across the country, she feels the push/pull of this virus.

LINDLEY: It's just been so weird being closed. So I'm really looking forward to having this part behind us and moving ahead.

I do think that most people are a little hesitant, a little nervous, and mostly it's because if you look at the statistics in Arizona, they're not great.

LAH: Arizona is not among the worst states in the country, ranking 23rd in the number of reported coronavirus cases. In the last two weeks, that number has ticked up. The president is making the cross country flight to Arizona as his first major trip outside the D.C. region since coronavirus shut the nation down. President Trump will visit the Honeywell aeronautics plant that's now producing N-95 masks.

Those masks are also being produced at the Honeywell plant in Smithfield, Rhode Island, much closer to the White House. But Arizona is a battleground state for Trump's re-election.


LAH: And Trump's Arizona base is looking forward to his arrival.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's awesome, Trump 2020, amen.

LAH: Carrying Trump flags, protesters packed the lawn outside Arizona's state capitol. Like other reopen protests around the country, they are calling for the state economy to fully open back up. Few wore masks. No social distancing.

LAH (on camera): Do you feel safe being in this crowd with your child?


We want President Trump to know that we love him.

Do you like -- baby, do you like Trump? Do you like Donald Trump? Donald Trump's going to open the parks for you, huh? Yep.

LAH (voice over): Some carry guns, others, signs denouncing vaccinations, sharing with us dubious theories.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wash your hands of fears, lies, mainstream media, CDC, WHO, Fauci.

STEPHANIE ODOM, OWNER, JEWELRY STORE: Masks have been proven to be ineffective. We have immune systems.

LAH: Stephanie Odom says also driving her, financial need. She feels safe to reopen her jewelry store by practicing smart hygiene.

ODOM: We have people wanting to come in. We have employees wanting to work. And we're not allowed to. But Walmart can. Costco can. Target can.


LAH: Now, the president lands here in Phoenix a little later this morning Arizona time, when he gets off the plane, he'll sit down for a Native American roundtable and then he will tour the Honeywell plant. Traveling with the president aboard Air Force One is Arizona Senator Martha McSally. She, like Trump, is on the ballot later this year.


BERMAN: Yes, it will be very interesting to watch this. Will he wear a mask? How will he interact with people? How closely will he interact with people?

Kyung Lah, terrific report, thanks so much for being with us.

So how long after being exposed to coronavirus will it show up on a test? Dr. Sanjay Gupta answers your questions, next.



BERMAN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta back to answer some of your coronavirus questions.

Sanjay, this question is from Renelle in San Francisco. How long after being exposed to the disease will it take for it to show up on a test? If someone encounters a person with a virus on Thursday, maybe they test negative on Friday, does that mean they didn't get it?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the short answer is no. You can't say that for certain. A couple of things to keep in mind. First of all, it does take a little bit of time after the virus gets into your body to get to a detectible sort of point. There's different testing that are going to be more sensitive than others, but it does take a little bit of time.

Second of all, you know, you might -- if the test is not performed at a time when the -- the virus load is adequate, the test may come back negative, even though the virus is inside your body.

So what we've sort of been looking at is, you know, this -- this idea of incubation between the time someone's exposed before they develop symptoms. They said it could be up to 14 days. That's where that came from. But it's closer to five days. But now we know people actually can spread the virus even before they become symptomatic. So I would say probably two to three days probably on average before you're going to test positive.

HILL: This is a great one, Sanjay, from Loretta, who writes, if I wear a mask, do I still have to stand six feet away from another person?

GUPTA: Well, Loretta, you know, first of all, we're all learning as we go along together here. What I would say is that, you know, if you look at the guidelines specifically, then the answer is no. The physical distancing is the most important. You release these respiratory droplets into the air. Someone else can be exposed to those respiratory droplets. That's the real concern.

If you wear a mask, you're going to decrease how much respiratory droplets you put out into the air. So it's a good idea, certainly, if you're going to be in places where you might have a hard time maintaining that physical distance. But strictly speaking, Loretta, you're right, if you can -- if you can

for certain maintain good physical distance away from people, you don't necessarily need to wear a mask. I keep one with me all the time just in case all of a sudden I'm going to be closer than I expected to others.

BERMAN: So, Sanjay, we have a question about heat. And I think this is a question that a lot of people have as we get into the summer, or we get closer to the summer. This comes from Lucie in Arizona who says, if heat kills this virus, why is it spreading in Arizona? Our temperatures are supposed to hit 105. Will that at least slow it down?

GUPTA: Yes. Well, this has been a big issue, a big question. You know, I think a lot of times we've looked at other viruses and said they seem to spread better in -- in -- they seem to spread more easily, I should say, in cooler and dryer temperatures. And that's probably the case here as well.

There's two things that sort of change this equation.


One is that when we started looking at China, even when it got, you know, much warmer and much more humid there, the virus was still spreading. That was the first clue that maybe this virus was not going to diminish much in the warmer temperatures. And that's probably going to hold true in Arizona as well.

What we now are saying, what we're now learning, is that about every degree Celsius increase in temperature probably decreases transmissibility by about 2 percent. So not a lot, but it -- but it probably does have some impact.

The biggest issue really is that none of us have immunity to this. So if you had some immunity, you added in the heat and the humidity, it would probably have more of an impact. But because this is a novel coronavirus, whatever the weather is, this is still going to be something that's contagious.

BERMAN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you for being with us today.

GUPTA: You got it.

BERMAN: We are always glad to see your face without a mask. It's how -- it's how we prefer it.

GUPTA: You got it.

BERMAN: Time now for "The Good Stuff."

Ten-year-old Hannah Hyatt (ph) had a social studies assign, write a paragraph about her hero. For Hannah, that was her mother, a doctor in Denver.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I chose my mom because she's going -- we're waking up in our pajamas and needing breakfast and she's waking up and putting on a mask and going out to work.


BERMAN: That's awesome.

With a little help from her father, Hannah turned her school assignment into a song for her mother, Mandy, and all healthcare workers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Doctors don't have super strength, capes or matching ties (ph), but they have their sense of duty, they run towards the fight (ph).


BERMAN: That's the best song ever. Let's make that a hit. What a wonderful story that is.

All right, the bedtime story that has taken the coronavirus world by storm. That's next.



BERMAN: All right, just in from the White House, our Kaitlan Collins reports that the White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by the vice president, will hold an in-person meeting today. This is their first in-person meeting since Friday.

Kaitlan has previously reported that the task force is going to scale back on the number of meetings it has. It is interesting that as the models people are looking at indicate that the number of cases will continue to rise, that the task force has decided to scale back the number of times it meets together.


HILL: It is indeed.

You know, as we talk so much about the country reopening and we're seeing things happen, and we're seeing the modeling, there is a real wonder for people about what life will actually be like after this pandemic.

And, John, I don't know if you've seen this yet, but it's a -- it's a new bedtime story that millions of people have seen that could hold part of an answer. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): 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 he whiffed.

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

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

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a world of waste and wonder, poverty and plenty, back before we understood why hindsight's 20/20.

MOOS: From the future, Tom describes our present.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'd always had our wants, but now it got so quick. You could have anything you dreamed of in a day, and with a click.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But then in 2020, the new virus came our way. The governments reacted and told us all to hideaway.

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

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

MOOS: Viewers seem smitten. Loved, loved, loved. Gave me chills of sadness, but then hope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would love for 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 (ph) messaged Tom about working on a children's book.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Overwhelmed because it is overwhelming.

MOOS: This from a 26-year-old who had a card from his mom posted behind him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go forth, act decent and call your mother from time to time. MOOS: Now he's getting calls. His little brother set up the clincher.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But why did it take a virus?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes you've got to get sick, my boy, before you start feeling better.

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

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


HILL: It makes you think.

I do love it. I also love the note about calling his mother.

BERMAN: Yes, which he should no doubt do.

I have to say, I was just sort of hypnotized by his voice.

HILL: Yes.

BERMAN: I kept on feeling like I was in Narnia or something, expecting Aslid (ph) to walk in, you know, and give me a cup of tea.

HILL: Maybe that's what your future holds, John. Who knows?

BERMAN: Yes, no doubt.

Well, good for him. I mean, I -- you know, it's always nice to get a DM from Jake Gyllenhaal, not that I would know.

HILL: Yes, I wouldn't know either, but I hear it s fantastic.

BERMAN: All right. Well, as always, thank you for being with me.

HILL: My pleasure.

BERMAN: Here today.

CNN "NEWSROOM" has got some news coming up, including some information from Pfizer about some new vaccine trials.

"NEWSROOM" starts right now.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: A very good Tuesday morning to you. I'm Jim Sciutto.