Return to Transcripts main page


Countries in Europe Under Various Stressors Due to Coronavirus; Protests in Georgia as Video of Man Shot While Jogging Becomes Public; Asian-American Unemployment in New York State Up 6,900 Percent Over Last Year. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired May 6, 2020 - 10:30   ET



ALAN WRIGHT, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, ROCHE DIAGNOSTICS CORPORATION: -- actually, this is a venous blood draw. It comes in the tubes, just like any blood draw that we get in a doctor's office, I think just about all of us are familiar with that.

And it runs on an analyzer. It is a completely different test than the molecular test, if you recall, that runs on a nasal swab. And those two testing instruments are completely separate, different consumables or ingredients that go into the tests, different machines, completely separate.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: So there have been a lot of competing claims throughout this about how widely available whole host of tests are.

For folks watching at home who want to know if they've been exposed -- and from place to place, it's so different, you know, what's available, how often, how easily -- how soon will a test like this be available to most people or many people around the country?

WRIGHT: Well, for Roche, this is a global effort and our test will be available throughout the world, including the United States, in the next two weeks. And by the end of the month, we'll have manufacturing capability for the ingredients of the test that will be in the high double-digit millions.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: So people -- good, because I would like to get an antibody test, there's a lot of people that would like to get one. I'm wondering about the cost per test. And correct me if I'm wrong, but this isn't something that people can buy and do at home, right? This is something they have to get done by a medical professional?

And then just on top of it, what about for the uninsured?

WRIGHT: So yes, this test is a prescription test in the United States, so it's under the direction of a practicing health care provider. Roche manufactures the instrument, the ingredients, the recipe for the -- makes the recipe for the test. And then finally, we create the evidence that supports the analytical use and the clinical use.

When you refer to the cost of the test, we're just one component of what goes into getting that test out into the health care community. We don't actually do the test.

And it's Roche's commitment that our portion of that cost will not be a barrier to access to our testing.

SCIUTTO: Dr. Alan Wright of Roche, we'll be looking for those developments. Thanks very much.

WRIGHT: Thank you.


SCIUTTO: Well, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, has returned to the House of Commons for the first time since recovering himself from the coronavirus. He says he will announce plans to ease restrictions in that country soon, despite the U.K. now having reached a grim milestone.


SCIUTTO: The United Kingdom now has the highest death toll in Europe, surpassing Italy and Spain. Germany is unveiling its next lockdown steps and Russian police -- listen to this -- investigating several mysterious, suspicious deaths involving health care workers.

HARLOW: Our team is following all of these major developments. Let's begin with chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward, who joins us in London.

And, Clarissa, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, facing questions from Parliament for the first time since he has recovered from COVID- 19. What can you tell us?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Poppy. And it was the first time we saw him facing some really tough questions from the opposition leader in the Houses of Parliament behind me, being pressed on the issue of why the U.K. has such a high casualty rate, nearly 30,000 people killed. That's more than any other country in Europe.

The prime minister, Boris Johnson, basically trying to evade the question, saying he doesn't think it's the time now for comparisons, that there are differences in population sizes.

One thing he did concede is that the U.K. has not done a good job of trying to manage or contain the epidemic in care homes or nursing homes. That has been where some of the worst death tolls have come out of. He said that was something he deeply regretted.

We do expect to hear from him again on Sunday. He's going to outline to the country what the lifting of restrictions might start to look like. That will begin on Monday, but no one should be getting their hopes up yet. It's supposed to be very incremental, very much a phased and cautious operation -- Poppy, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Yes, it's a balancing act, countries around the world trying to strike.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen, he's in Berlin. And, Fred, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, laying out the country's next moves on reopening. How quickly, how conservatively are they doing it?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Angela Merkel's always quite conservative in a reopening, Jim. But she did say today -- and that was very important -- that Germany is now past the first phase of the pandemic, and that they are pushing the pandemic back. And therefore, can start reopening certain areas of the economy.

She's been under some pressure to do that. Larger stores than before, now able to open their doors again; also bars, restaurants and cafes will be able to open. And for sports fans, the German soccer league is going to get under way again by the middle of May, although it's not clear whether or not there's actually going to be spectators in the stands.


Also, some pretty important information on the medical front, coming from Germany as well. Pfizer and its German partner lab BioNTech have now, for the first time, started clinical trials in the U.S. for a vaccine candidate. They say they've gotten good data in preclinical trials. They also say, of course, still a long way to go, guys.

HARLOW: Yes, for sure. Thank you, Fred.

Let's go to our senior international correspondent Matthew Chance. And, Matthew, I mean, you've spent so much time in Moscow, reporting on Russia. Russian police are now investigating the recent deaths of three health care workers who apparently fell out of hospital windows?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I know. And obviously, my experience tells me that when you hear something like that, you've got to ask the question, is something sinister going on? Because Russia has a track record, as we all know, of silencing its opponents, silencing journalists, human rights activists, political opponents who criticize it -- the authorities.

And indeed, these three doctors, as far as we understand, have all been critical of the coronavirus response in the country, they all had very similar deaths although they were scattered in various parts of the country, they weren't in one place.

But from the doctors' union that I've spoken to inside of Moscow, inside of Russia, what this is about isn't about somebody going around targeting Russian doctors who have spoken, you know, kind of against the response of the authorities. It's more about the sheer stress that the Russian medical staff are under right now, thousands upon thousands of new patients flooding the hospitals every day. It's just placing those doctors under so much strain -- Poppy. HARLOW: Matthew, thank you for that update. It certainly is.

Fred Pleitgen, Clarissa Ward, we appreciate all of your reporting.

So video of an unarmed black man, shot and killed months ago while jogging, is now reigniting calls for justice. The legal action now being taken, we'll talk about that next.



HARLOW: The shooting death of an unarmed black man in Georgia is now going to go to a grand jury. This is after months of outrage and more recently, protests.

SCIUTTO: It's been more than 10 weeks since 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery went out for a jog, but then was chased down by a former police officer and his son, according to authorities. A video of what happened next has now emerged. Now, we want to warn you, the video is graphic.

Martin Savidge joins us now with the details. Tell us what you know.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Morning, Jim; morning, Poppy. And, yes, I would stress it is disturbing. So if you don't want to watch it, now is the time to turn away.

This video, we do not know who shot the video and CNN has not been able to verify its authenticity. However, I will say that law enforcement had admitted that there was a video of the incident, and the events depicted in this video seem to match closely with the police account of events that occurred that day.

With that, here's the video.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): The video begins with a man in a white T-shirt, jogging down the street toward a pickup blocking the road. There's a man in the bed of the truck, and another standing beside the driver's door, holding a shotgun.

As the runner approaches, he goes around the pickup on the right. And just as he passes the front of the vehicle, veers left. And a struggle begins with the man holding the shotgun. A shot goes off, and the two disappear offscreen.

As the struggle continues, a second shot is heard. Then a third.

The man in the white T-shirt, who's been shot, recoils and blood appears below his left ribcage. He takes steps as if to begin running again, then collapses to the street.

The man with the shotgun walks away, while the other man runs toward them with a gun in his hand. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: Ahmaud Arbery died on the street that day. It was the middle of the day, of a Sunday, on February 23rd. We should point out that the two men with guns are father and son. One is former law enforcement. They told authorities that there had been criminal activity in the neighborhood and that they believed that Arbery matched the description of the person they thought was responsible. They simply said they wanted to talk to him, but it turned into more than that.

HARLOW: My goodness, Martin. The response, obviously, in the community has been one of shock and outrage, and I would imagine even more so now, seeing this video. What are the leaders there, the community leaders, saying?

SAVIDGE: You know, what's been frustrating for a lot of people here is not just the passage of time -- of which there has been -- but also the fact that they believe the pandemic overshadowed, in many cases, what would have been story that got national notoriety.

HARLOW: Right.

SAVIDGE: On top of that, people wanted to get out and protest and demonstrate, but they could not because there was, of course, the stay-at-home order in the state of Georgia, and that still there are restrictions on crowds to gather. Nonetheless, protests have begun. People have finally said, look, I'm getting out there, pandemic be damned.

Here is some of kind of a conversation -- confrontation you could say -- between law enforcement and some of the protestors in the neighborhood last night.


NEAL JUMP, SHERIFF, GLYNN COUNTY, GEORGIA: Am I upset that it has taken this long for a verdict -- justice part to come? As the sheriff, I'm upset.


JUMP: It shouldn't have taken that long. As -- if that was my son, I'd be upset. I can only imagine what the mother and dad is going through.


JUMP: I can only imagine. And you all can't imagine what they're going through.


SAVIDGE: And that is the frustration, it's the time that has passed. It seemed like no activity. Now, we hear that the district attorney -- the third one on this case -- says he will take it to a grand jury. But the truth is, there are no grand juries being seated right now, and no one's really sure when they will be. Again, due to the pandemic. Possibly the middle of June, but many think that's optimistic -- Jim and Poppy.

SCIUTTO: Lord help us. That video, just jarring. Martin Savidge, thanks very much for covering.


And we'll be right back.


SCIUTTO: The coronavirus pandemic has now left tens of thousands without jobs -- really, more struggling to find employment. Millions, really.

HARLOW: Yes. Our Vanessa Yurkevich has a look at how this crisis is disproportionately affecting Asian-Americans. Watch this.



VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): For 100 years, Nom Wah Tea Parlor has been serving up dim sum, as the oldest restaurant in New York City's Chinatown. But today, it's staring down a different reality.

WILSON TANG, OWNER, NOM WAH TEA PARLOR: The future looks bleak.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): That's because hundreds of restaurants in Chinatown have closed due to COVID-19, leading to thousands of laid off or furloughed workers including 40 from Wilson Tang's restaurant.

TANG: The main hub of Chinatown, we're all pretty empty.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): The service industry has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19.

ED (PH) CHAN (PH), UNEMPLOYED BY PANDEMIC: This weekend, it's the fifth weekend since my last paycheck.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Ed (ph) Chan (ph) works several jobs in the industry as a school lunch caterer, wine vendor, guest service employee at sports arenas, and does marketing for trade shows. In March, he lost all four jobs and is still waiting for unemployment.

CHAN (PH): Day after day, it's like Groundhog Day. You go onto the system, it's still pending.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): He's one of more than 30 million Americans who filed for unemployment since mid-March, and one of nearly 150,000 Asian-Americans who filed in New York State in the past four weeks. It's a staggering 6,900 percent increase from one year ago, the largest among any one racial group in the state. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This particular virus affects severely our

frontline workers, basically, the retail and restaurant workers and the service industry. And so when this thing hit, we were the first one to go down.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Tang closed Nom Wah Tea Parlor before the state's stay-at-home order was announced mid-March, and told his employees to file for unemployment, a move he says goes against a proud Asian-American culture.

TANG: It takes really a pandemic to -- for my -- Chinese people to really go seek out additional help.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Racial discrimination against Asian-Americans has also forced some workers to make a tough choice: staying at home to avoid potential racism, or fear confrontation going to work.

CHAN (PH): There was that brief reference, you know, about the Chinese virus or the Wuhan virus, you know, that had term (ph) (INAUDIBLE) for -- for at least a short period of time. They have since, of course, corrected that. The damage has been done.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Meanwhile, Wilson Tang is preparing for an uncertain future.

TANG: I'm going to continue to be a voice for my community, and a voice for my staff. I'm going to do my best to keep them safe.

YURKEVICH: Now, that dramatic increase in unemployment amongst Asian- Americans here in New York may not even tell the full story. And that's because there are some 250,000 undocumented Asian immigrants here in New York, many of them working in the service industry. And they are not eligible to file for unemployment, and that means they're not counted. So that unemployment rate amongst Asians here in New York could actually be much, much higher because of that. Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, New York.


SCIUTTO: Well, happening right now on Capitol Hill, the former CDC chief Tom Frieden is testifying on the coronavirus. Of course, the administration blocked Tony Fauci, who's been leading much of the response to this, from testifying there, saying that Democrats, in effect, have it in for the administration.

HARLOW: Manu Raju joins us on the phone with more.

Certainly, it's important to hear from Dr. Frieden. But I think the context that Jim set up is really important, that Dr. Fauci was blocked from answering these questions today.

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Yes, no question about it. I mean, Anthony Fauci, Republicans and Democrats wanted Fauci to testify. In fact, Tom Cole, the Republican on the -- on the subcommittee, the ranking Republican, raised concerns himself. He said he made the case for Fauci to come and testify as well, it wasn't just Democrats who wanted him to come and testify.

But of course, the White House has intervened and said that he would not, and he would instead go before the Senate committee next week, as the president's criticized House Democrats.

But Tom Frieden, the former CDC director, in this subcommittee hearing, did raise some serious concerns with the -- with what's happening in New York City in particular. He said it's really bad. He said, quote, "Even now, with deaths decreasing substantially, there are twice as many deaths from COVID in New York City as there are on a usual day." And he expected this is just the beginning there and elsewhere.

So he is also laying out major concerns amid this push to reopen the economy. So this hearing is still ongoing. But clearly, he is voicing concerns as others are, amid this -- efforts by the president and others to get back to normal, that they (ph) are voicing serious caution in moving too rapidly.

HARLOW: Manu Raju, thanks for that reporting. Appreciate it.


Thank you all for being with us today. We'll see you back here tomorrow morning. I'm Poppy Harlow.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto. NEWSROOM with Kate Bolduan starts right now.