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Norwegian Cruise Line Warns it May Go Out of Business; United Airlines Warns of Job Cuts; A Video Emerges of a Fatal Shooting of a Black Jogger in Georgia. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired May 6, 2020 - 07:30   ET

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


[07:30:00]

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Business. But if you look at bookings, the future looks uncertain but not bleak according to Bob Livingstein(ph) from CruiseCompete.com. This is a website with about 500-member travel agencies. He says that bookings for cabins for next year are down 25.1 percent. But he says that there are so many passengers who are phonetical, they just love cruising.

And you do see some signs of those -- that optimism in SEC filings. I looked at Carnival and Norwegian's latest SEC filings, and they report that 45 percent to 50 percent of passengers did not ask for full cash refunds. They asked for future cruise credits. Which means that those individuals want and hope to cruise at some point in time, and that's where Bob Livingstein(ph) from CruiseCompete.com says is the real value of these companies, Erica, in the loyalty of their passengers.

And some of those passengers, they definitely want to cruise again. Otherwise, they would be asking for full cash refunds and many of them are not.

ERICA HILL, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: That they would. Rosa Flores, good to see you, I appreciate the reporting. Thank you. Let's bring in our CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans and CNN anchor and correspondent Julia Chatterley. I'm just curious, you know, Christine, let's start with you. Just to get your take on this. The fact that this is what we're hearing from Norwegian --

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes --

HILL: This is, no matter how positive some of their customers may be, as we heard from Rosa, this is a huge deal.

ROMANS: Well, absolutely. I mean, look, the business has evaporated, right? And has been this way for weeks now. And there are bookings into next year. I mean, I think that's really interesting that the cruise lines are seeing bookings in the next year. But it will take years for the cruise industry and for the travel industry writ large to recover back to 2019 levels. It will take years.

So, they're all talking about how they're going to right-size their staffs, how they're going to try to manage through the near-term here, and get back to what will be normal -- a new normal next year. I don't think these -- I think these businesses, if they can get the funding, right? If they can get the funding either into the private markets or some of them are -- some of them are asking for, you know, for further bailouts and help from the federal government. They will survive, but in a different form.

HILL: In a different form, and the cruise itself is going to have to be in a --

ROMANS: Oh, yes --

HILL: Different form. And Julia, as we look at that, even as much as people love cruising, some of the things that they may love, they may not be able to have in the same way moving forward. So, that's going to impact not just Norwegian, but all the other cruise lines.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Floating Petri dish. It was a joke that has been a joke for years until COVID-19 happened, and we saw stark illustrations and people stuck on boats. And I think that mindset is going to be critical here. Look at what some of the airlines have said too. It's going to take two, three, four years to get back to where we started. I think for the cruise industry itself, the fears are going to be bigger actually.

Do you want to be mingling with huge amounts of people stuck on a boat somewhere? So, I think this is important. And actually, to what Rosa said, a lot of people didn't get refunds, they pushed back into a credit, but they were offered incentives, 125 percent of the value, 150 percent of the value. They got more money back in credits. I think the risk is that the expiry on those cruise opportunities runs out, and perhaps these people have a rethink.

The challenges for these kind of businesses are huge, and to Christine's point, they're going to need to borrow money and be given money for a long time.

HILL: Well, and in terms of that, that voucher or that credit expiring, what if something, too, Christine, happens to the company. I mean, then you're --

ROMANS: Right --

HILL: Out potentially. Cruises are not cheap. I mean, you may --

ROMANS: Yes --

HILL: Be able to get a good deal now, and then, but we're talking at least hundreds of not thousands of dollars that you may never get back.

ROMANS: Yes, and it depends on what kind of a bankruptcy your company goes through or sometimes companies just close their doors, and they -- you know, and that's it. That's in travel and outside of the travel industry as well. I mean, I think it's buyer beware here for people. If you were buying plane tickets, you're buying anything right now, buyer beware and asking awful lot of questions. Even plane tickets from last year that you haven't -- you're not going to be able to use, you know, you're getting -- you're getting vouchers to use in the next 12 months, in the next 24 months. But a lot of people are not even going to be able to use those vouchers, right? I mean, are you really going to be able to do the kind of traveling you were doing in 2019, even in 2021 and 2022. I mean, I doubt it.

HILL: And also when we look at airlines, we have this news also out of United, telling staff to take 20 unpaid days off, Julia, before October, and that they're going to be laying off potentially 30 percent. One has to imagine, this is not the last we're going to hear from an airline.

CHATTERLEY: This is the reality of the situation. Less people are going to be flying. And that is going to be with us until we get to a point where we have a vaccine and people feel safe. It will be reduced. And this is the message that we've had from the airlines, it's not just United, it's all of them. Our way of traveling is going to be different. We're going to be wearing masks. But there's just going to be fewer people on the planes and they've already cut capacity by what, 95 percent.

They are saying it's going to take years to recover, and job losses, many job losses are going to be at the heart of this. These are jobs than in the short-term at least aren't coming back.

[07:35:00]

HILL: And Christine, Airbnb also --

CHATTERLEY: Yes --

HILL: Laying people off.

ROMANS: I mean --

HILL: I mean, you just look at the ripple effect here.

ROMANS: The travel industry is really at the forefront of this. And there will be millions of jobs that disappear from the travel industry. And we're already seeing that Airbnb laying off 25 percent, I think of its -- of its workers. I mean, when you talk to the travel lobbies, I mean, they point out that already the decline in travel just since the beginning of March has deprived state, local and the federal government of $15 billion of tax revenue. So, it's all tied up together.

HILL: OK --

ROMANS: All of our problems with COVID are all tied up here together. And some of those travel companies -- some of those travel jobs are not going to come back. You know, they're not going to come back right away. Some of the job loss we have seen in other parts of the economy, those jobs will come back eventually, they will come back. But in travel, that's one area I really worry about. HILL: It's a tough one, Christine Romans, Julia Chatterley, always

good to speak with you both. Thank you. Protests in one Georgia community after an unarmed black man is shot and killed while jogging. There is now new video of the deadly confrontation, next.

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[07:40:00]

HILL: Developing overnight, the case of a deadly shooting of an unarmed black man in Georgia will go to a grand jury. And that news comes as video of the February incident emerges, and I do want to warn you, it is disturbing.

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(GUNFIRE)

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HILL: Twenty five-year-old Ahmaud Arbery seen jogging, and is then as you saw in that video confronted by a former police officer and his son after an apparent struggle, Arbery was shot and killed. CNN has not independently verified who filmed the video. But it is consistent with the Glenn County police report. The video was obtained after a local radio host uploaded it on the station's website. The video has since being deleted.

CNN's Martin Savidge joins us now from Glenn County in Georgia. So, Martin, what is the latest in this case? That video is awful, to put it mildly.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is. It is. There is no way to watch that without being moved. The latest on this investigation is, and remember that happened back on February 23rd. It's just been announced now by the third DA who is overseeing this case that he does intend to take it to a grand jury, which is of course, a relief and at least, the first indication, and many of the wheels of justice are starting to move here.

However, we should point out, there are no grand juries that are being seated right now. And no one is really sure when they may next be seated because of the coronavirus that Georgia Supreme Court has at least shut that process off for the time being. The earliest they say that can happen would be around the middle of June which means the wait will continue for many in this community, Erica.

HILL: And in terms of the community, how is the community responding to all of this?

SAVIDGE: I think you look at that video and everyone has almost the same reaction. It's shock, it's horror, it's outrage and above all in this community, it is frustration. Because it has been over two months since the horrific event and many people here believe that an arrest was warranted on the very first day. That has not happened. And so along with the frustration has been the coronavirus. Many people believe that this story would have received a great deal more of national attention had the nation not been focused of course on the horrible pandemic.

Then on top of that, when people got frustrated and they wanted to go out on the streets to bring attention, they couldn't because the state of Georgia was under stay-at-home orders and continues to be under restrictions as far as crowds gathering to demonstrate. That said, there was a protest last night in the community where all of this happened. It was small, but it was poignant and people were apparently saying pandemic be damned, we have to get out on the streets and bring more attention to what's happened.

The NAACP was speaking out about really what many in this community are feeling.

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JOHN PERRY, PRESIDENT, NAACP, BRUNSWICK CHAPTER: To believe that human beings could treat another human being that way, and of course, we see stuff on TV. But to be able to see it for yourself, him fearing for his life and being trapped like some animal between two cars while men with guns set their -- trying to take his life as he fought for his life. It was extremely disheartening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HILL: Disheartening, he puts it mildly. And I know, too, that you -- while you were down there during reporting, speaking with people, you really got a sense of the tension's firsthand. What happened in those moments?

SAVIDGE: Well, we went into the neighborhood to talk to neighbors, to talk to witnesses and to perhaps talk to those who were seen on the video to get their understanding or their take of what happened. We were in the neighborhood only a few minutes when this happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(GUNFIRE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: That is semi-automatic gunfire and nobody was hit. Nobody was hurt. But there was a lot of it. And quite frankly, I can't tell you if that was somebody firing blanks or whether it was just somebody had a very good sound system. But clearly, that was a message directed directly at us, telling us that we weren't wanted in that community. And remember, we're walking down that same street that the young victim here had been running down, and we were going in the same direction. And it was gunfire once again.

[07:45:00]

HILL: Yes, well --

SAVIDGE: John? HILL: Tough stuff, Martin, thank you.

JOHN BERMAN, CO-ANCHOR, NEW DAY: Right, well, I'll tell you that's deeply troubling but thank you, Martin, for that report. This morning, a top biotech company says it might have a treatment for coronavirus available by the end of Summer. It relies on something you've likely never heard of based on a concept from a century ago with a high tech twist. CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The key to making a brand new drug for COVID-19 could be in this vial of blood. It comes from this man, Eli Epstein who has recovered from coronavirus. Now doctors at the Rockefeller University in New York City are searching his blood for just the right antibodies.

MICHEL NUSSENZWEIG, THE ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY: You really want something very potent. Potent means can neutralize, kill the virus.

COHEN: It's a twist on the use of convalescent plasma where someone who has recovered from COVID gives blood directly to someone who is sick. That can work, but it's old technology. Dr. Emil von Behring won a Nobel Prize for his research on convalescent plasma in 1901. The new approach uses monoclonal antibodies and it's cutting-edge. Here's how it works.

When someone is sick with COVID, the antibodies inside their blood fight off the virus. After the person recovers, they donate blood. Scientists select the most powerful antibodies and clone them and turn it into a drug. It's one of the hottest areas in COVID research. Companies in New York and San Francisco, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, even the Department of Defense and many more are involved in monoclonal antibody research. We caught the team at Vanderbilt as they picked their favorite antibodies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of these -- these are all distinct, getting the same site, but distinct antibodies.

COHEN: The treatment could possibly prevent infection or treat those already sick. Vanderbilt's lead researcher around the project, Dr. James Crowe specializes in vaccines, but he says monoclonal antibody research will be faster.

JAMES CROWE, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY: I think antibodies will be finished first, and will be the bridge toward longer immunity which will be confirmed by vaccines.

COHEN: So fast that the pharmaceutical company Regeneron says they might be able to have their monoclonal antibody drug on the market by the end of the Summer. Their technology is already used to treat cancer, arthritis and asthma.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can clone out the best of antibodies from recovered humans. We've selected the best ones to create an antibody cocktail, as we call it. COHEN: With so much work on this --

CROWE: I think the more groups we have working on it, all the better. And the more shots on goal we have for getting an effective prevention or treatment.

COHEN: The hope is high for this old therapy turned new. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: All right, thanks to Elizabeth for that. We want to remember some of the more than 71,000 Americans lost to coronavirus. Emergency dispatcher Nikima Thompson had served with Broward County, Florida, Sheriff's Department for more than 16 years. Her daughter calls her a hero who was put on this earth to save people. The 41-year-old leaves behind four children.

Tony Sizemore was a beloved nursing assistant at a convalescent hospital near Sacramento. Her family says they tried to persuade the 72-year-old not to work during the pandemic, but that she was stubborn. Sizemore was the first staff member at the facility to die. Thirty four other staffers and 32 residents have now tested positive.

Seventy-year-old Donald DiPetrillo was the fire chief for the Seminole tribe of Florida. Officials believe he got the virus at an outbreak at an EMS conference in Tampa. The public safety director says DiPetrillo believes success in life was about just being nice. If you care for people, the rest takes care of itself. We'll be right back.

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[07:50:00]

HILL: If you're among the millions of people financially impacted by coronavirus, we have answers to some of your pressing questions. Joining us now, Jean Chatzky; she's a personal finance journalist and the CEO of HerMoney.com. Jean, so many important questions that we're getting from viewers. And I want to start with this one from Kathy who says -- is asking about supplemental security income. So people on SSI, do they actually have to file for the stimulus check, Jean?

JEAN CHATZKY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HERMONEY.COM: They do not have to file. I know that they're still waiting and it's getting really frustrating. Yesterday was the deadline for people who are on SSI, who have dependents under age 17 to let the IRS know that those people exist. But now that they have passed, we expect to see those checks and those payments flow out in the next couple of weeks. So I know you have to be patient, but it's coming.

HILL: It's coming. Speaking of dependents, this is a question about disabled dependents. So Deborah writes in, "I'd like to know if you claim a person has a disability and they're an adult, why don't you get $500 for them with your $1,200. The IRS says older people with disabilities that you claim are considered a child, so why can't you also receive that $500 for them? CHATZKY: It's just not the way that the CARES Act was structured. And

there is a lot of frustration about this, not just about those adult dependents, but about those college students, people age 17 to 24. There is a piece of legislation proposed in the house, it has some bipartisan support, it's called the All Dependent Children Matter Act, or something --

HILL: OK --

CHATZKY: To that effect. But it does include those disabled dependents, we'll have to see in the next round of legislation whether or not that gets any traction. But for right now, I'm sorry, I don't have better news.

HILL: Yes, for a lot of folks, there are questions about unemployment. And we've been talking about this a lot too just in terms of some of the meat-packing plants that we've seen, people having to go back to work.

[07:55:00]

So, Joseph writes in from Colorado, saying "if my employer will not lay me off, if I quit, even for good fear of my life, I won't qualify for unemployment insurance, right? Is there anything available to help me and others in my case?" So, essentially, if you're scared of returning to work, so you say that you won't, you're effectively quitting, is there anything to help?

CHATZKY: You know, this is a squishy area. And a doctor's note might help, but I wouldn't use one until you talk to a labor lawyer in your state. Because it really is a state-by-state thing. And should you go forward, should you quit, the unemployment commission in Colorado will decide your case. You want to base this on what other people have done before you.

So pick up the phone, call a lawyer and understand if you do file, it could take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks for your benefits to start, you want to make sure you can tide yourself through that.

HILL: Good point right there. We're also hearing from Kathleen who is wondering if there will be a second stimulus check to residents for the month of May.

CHATZKY: Not right now. The president is angling -- you've been talking about this already today for a payroll tax holiday for cuts in capital gains taxes. We're not seeing a lot of traction for a second round of actual checks to go out to people, at least, not to this point.

HILL: There are also -- we have this question as well from Susan who says that her check was smaller than expected. Noting that they got their check, it was $760 less than expected. Because it was based off their 2018 taxes, and in 2018, her husband got a severance when he retired. So, their income was higher that year, $164,000. She said this year for their taxes, they owed $600. But the IRS, of course, didn't have the return because they were awaiting to pay that amount since we know, the tax headline has been extended. Is there a way for Susan and her husband to recoup that $760?

CHATZKY: They'll get it back. They just won't get it back now. So, the way that this is set up, these stimulus payments are actually a refundable tax credit for 2020. So when you file your 2020 taxes, they'll actually get this money back, either in a deduction off the taxes that they owe, or a refundable tax credit. It will come to them as part of their refund. And for anybody who's had a baby this year, they're in the same situation because they didn't get the extra $500. You'll get the money, you just have to wait.

HILL: All the waiting, that can be the hardest part with so much --

CHATZKY: I know --

HILL: Of this, especially with folks who really need it now. As we know, Jean, always appreciate it, great to see you, thank you.

CHATZKY: Nice to see you too, bye.

HILL: NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As far as the task force, we're now looking at a little bit of a different form, and that form is safety and opening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's bad idea. It sends the message this is over. We've gotten through this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The faster we reopen, the lower the economic costs. But the higher the human cost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We all want to be safe, but I guess we're already a support for the economy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In a new whistle-blower complaint filed today, Dr. Rick Bright alleges his early warnings about the outbreak were ignored and it led to his removal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He pushed back on this idea that we should flood the streets with this drug because he knew it wasn't safe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world, this is NEW DAY, it's Wednesday, May 6th, 8:00 in the east, Alisyn is off, Erica Hill in this morning.

HILL: Good to be back with you.

BERMAN: So 71,000 deaths in the United States from coronavirus this morning. That's an increase of well over 2,000 in just one day. New data shows that while the New York area has seen a drop in cases, you can see it there on the left, drop in new cases, the numbers in the rest of the United States have steadily increased. That being said, the White House is moving to wind down the coronavirus taskforce by Memorial Day. Why?

Now, they specifically say this is not a declaration of victory, but what message does it send? We'll explore that. Also this morning, the ousted director of the office in charge of developing a vaccine is filing an extensive whistle-blower complaint, it alleges his early warnings about the coronavirus were ignored, and that his questioning of a treatment being touted by President Trump led to his removal.

HILL: Despite these grim numbers, that growing death toll, increasing number of governors are moving to reopen their states, that adds to the number of new infections continues to rise as well across the U.S. There is also a new genetic analysis that reveals the coronavirus was circulating, beginning late last year and it appears to have spread rapidly after the first infection. We're going to explain why experts say that information is so important moving forward.

BERMAN: We're going to begin with the whistle-blower complaint. Joining me now is Debra Katz, one of the attorneys for Dr. Rick Bright. Counselor, thank you very much for being with us. This is an extensive complaint. A lot in there, we'll dive in, in just a second. But just broadly speaking, what does the doctor want out of this?

DEBRA KATZ, ATTORNEY FOR DR. RICK BRIGHT: Well, we have asked the special counsel to stay his removal from his position as director of BARDA.

END