Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

3.2 Million More Americans Filed For Unemployment Last Week; Kids Hospitalized With Rare Symptoms Possibly Linked To COVID-19; Top U.N. Official Warns Of Potential Virus Boomerang If Wealth Nations Don't Help Low-Income Countries. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired May 7, 2020 - 09:30   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:30:00]

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWSROOM: Any other week, any other time, this single week would be news to talk about for ages. But it's just become almost normal now. More than 3 million additional Americans filed for unemployment claims for the first time in just the last week. That devastating number means that more than 33 million people lost their jobs over the last seven weeks in the midst of this outbreak. Poppy, the numbers are incredible.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: Unbelievable.

Our Chief Business Correspondent, Christine Romans, is with us. You just add this on to all of the other ones and it's just portend what we're going to see in the jobs report tomorrow.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's just hard to take, you guys, because every one of these numbers is a person with a rent to pay, bill to pay, uncertainty and unease about the healthcare situation, it's just awful, 33 million people over seven weeks who either have been furloughed or laid off.

I can say that the numbers each week are devastatingly huge, but look at the trend. Hopefully, hopefully we're putting in the trough, as they say here. And this awful April marks the bottom of this. But there's no playbook, you guys. We don't know what reopening is going to look like. We don't know how confident workers are going to be to go back to work and shoppers and consumers to spend money.

Employers are being incredibly cautious really about when they're going to send people back to work. So, no playbook here.

SCIUTTO: So and issue, Christine, as you watch this, I'm just curious, is that companies are now talking about permanent job losses as opposed to temporary ones. It sort of like went there a bit and then had to pull back because of the bounds of the CARES Act.

When you look at these figures, when you talk to companies, investors, et cetera, what do they say to you when they speak honestly about these lost jobs? Are they ones that bounce up in this hope for V recovery at the end or a lot of these are just not going to come back?

ROMANS: Fewer people are expecting a V-shaped recovery, meaning a quick comeback. And when I ask top economists how many of these jobs are going to come back right away, they just don't know the answer to that. And the longer there is uncertainty, the more risk of permanent damage to the labor market.

Now, I will say there are a lot of furloughs, Jim, companies who have furloughed workers. So they're ready to put them back on the books right away. And the CARES Act, that stimulus, pays extra money to unemployed workers, $600 a week for four months, so there is some kind of rescue money for the right now to try keep people whole. But we just don't know what the end date is of the shutdown and of the virus. There is always a risk you come back too soon, the virus snaps back and then you permanently hurt consumer spending and you got a recovery that's years' away then.

SCIUTTO: Goodness. Poppy, I know you had a question too.

HARLOW: I think we're out of time. Christine Romans, thank you so much.

ROMANS: Nice to see you guys.

SCIUTTO: Well, next, an urgent warning on coronavirus on kids. Doctors seeing an illness similar to toxic shock syndrome. Well, parents need to know. You'll want to hear this segment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:35:00]

SCIUTTO: One thing doctors are watching here is a rise in the number of cases of a rare, dangerous condition in children that's potentially linked to coronavirus. Kids are now being hospitalized with an illness that could attack the heart and cause life threatening inflammation similar to something called Kawasaki Disease. There have been more than 60 cases in New York State alone. So the number is small, but they're growing.

With us now is an expert on this condition, Dr. Leonard Krilov. He's Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist and Chairman of Pediatrics at NYU Winthrop Hospital. Dr. Krilov, thanks so much for having you.

First question here is how widespread is this? Because I know there are a lot of parents watching right now who are going to then look at their kids and say, wait a second, should I be looking for this? How widespread and how concerned should parents be?

DR. LEONARD KRILOV, CHAIRMAN OF PEDIATRICS, NYU WINTHROP HOSPITAL: So it appears so far to be a rare event. As you mentioned, 64 cases reported in New York, again, in a fairly short period, but it is a rapid onset and high fever, so it's going to be known if it occurs. So I think, yes, to be vigilant, observant, but it still appears to be a rare complication. SCIUTTO: Okay. So let's talk about then what parents should look out for in these rare cases. We can put them up on the screen, a list of some of the symptoms to look for. As we tick those off, give us the main ones that parents should be concerned about. I mean, fever lasting five days, redness, dry cracked lips, abdominal pain. I mean, the trouble with some of these symptoms is that, you know, kids exhibit these symptoms all the time. Would you say the swelling of hands and feet is really the indicator here?

KRILOV: Well, I think it's a number of things. One is the degree of fever. They get high fevers persisting of five days or more, yes, the constellation of rashes, the eye changes with the inflammation can be quite striking, as well as the rash on the trunks and the swelling of the hands and feet.

[09:40:13]

And I think the other is the non-specific gestalt that they look very sick. And so I think when you see that combination, it would lead one to seek attention.

SCIUTTO: Okay. I believe we have some photos too which might help parents here just as they try to be aware of this kind of thing. This is you looking into the eye of a child, some swelling there. What should parents do if they see symptoms like this? I assume call up their pediatrician?

KRILOV: Certainly. First step would be to call their primary care provider. And if they are that sick, whether going to the physician or an emergency department, that would include medical evaluation.

SCIUTTO: Okay.

Now, from the very beginning of this outbreak, the one confident thing that doctors and epidemiologists have said is that, by and large, children not particularly at risk, in fact, might be somehow protected from this in some way. Does this give you a signal that that's not entirely true, at least in a small number of cases?

KRILOV: Well, certainly, again, in terms of hospitalized events from COVID, children are still a small piece of the puzzle, whether they're getting milder infection and what the exact extent of disease in children, I think we still have to learn. But, again, yes, this is telling us something, the fact that these events are starting to be reported four weeks after the peak or the start of the outbreak certainly argues that it's a post-infectious inflammatory phenomenon, but, again, the numbers are small and it is still rare. So, yes, be vigilant. But I don't think it changes the concept that children are somewhat differently affected by this virus. And in severe disease, it's still less common in children.

SCIUTTO: Okay. Final question, just quickly, is this any indication to you that the virus is mutating in a way that makes it more of a threat to children?

KRILOV: Well, it seems that there has been some change. The original virus reported out of China and then when it came to Europe does appear to have undergone some changes. And this syndrome, this Kawasaki or inflammatory syndrome seems to have started in the European strains and that's what's come to the east coast of the United States as opposed to the original virus from Asia that came to the west coast.

And so far this, phenomenon has been described in England, parts of Europe and the east coast of the United States. So I think it does say something about how the virus is evolving or mutating, but not enough that we understand quite yet.

SCIUTTO: Goodness. Well, we will stay on top of it and we'll welcome you back as we learn more about this. Dr. Leonard Krilov, thanks very much.

KRILOV: Thank you very much. It's a pleasure.

SCIUTTO: Tonight, former Vice President Al Gore, Spike Lee and the author of The Coming Plague, Laurie Garrett, join Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta live. An all new CNN global town hall, Coronavirus, Facts and Fears, starts at 8:00 Eastern Time only on CNN.

HARLOW: In just hours, students at two small schools in Montana will be among the first in the nation to return to school, to the classroom. This as officials say they have come up with comprehensive plans to try to keep teachers and students safe.

Let's go to our Evan McMorris-Santoro, who has been doing a lot on the education front and all of this. I mean, we all have so many of these questions, when will our kids go back. In Montana, two really small, like single room, at least of them single room schoolhouse, they're going to let kids back?

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I mean, these are very, very small schools. There are two public schools in Montana. The rules in Montana allow district-by-district to start reopening, starting today, and most schools in Montana are like most schools in America, not reopening before the end of the academic year.

But these two schools, one elementary school, Cohagen and Willow Creek School, Cohagen has 14 students from four families and Willow Creek has around 60 students. So these are not normal public schools in terms of their size. But the parents and the school boards in those places decided to open for the last two weeks to give the kids some kind of normalcy, is what the parents said.

And we're getting some early reports from the ground. Obviously, I'm not there, but we have a producer out there, and I'm talking to her, and she's telling me that we're seeing kids arriving at these schools and they're getting their temperature taken.

[09:45:04]

We're seeing the way that school is being taught, even in these small schools being very different in terms of separation. And also we're just seeing that like this is voluntary. They're not telling every student to come back. In fact, if students want to stay, want to stay at home, they can and Zoom in to the classrooms.

HARLOW: I think it's so interesting on a number of levels. One of them being what does it tell us about what the school year next year could be like for a lot of our children, right, in schools that are much more densely packed, and if there is a second wave, you know, temperatures, staggered classes, fewer kids in a classroom.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Well, I can say this. I've been talking to administrators and parents and teachers about education at the beginning of this pandemic. And the plan so far when it comes to next semester, do not factor in a second wave in terms if that's the plan. But the idea of changing the way the buses work, the classrooms work, no more lunch and cafeterias, these are all things that we're seeing at these two schools in Montana that will be things that we will probably see in the rest of the school system around the country come the fall.

HARLOW: Probably. Evan, thanks for that reporting. Wishing all those kids, teachers luck.

A stark warning from a top U.N. official today. He says there could be a boomerang effect for nations around the world if low income countries and developing world do not get the adequate help they need to fight coronavirus. We'll talk about the response and what can help as this global pandemic expands, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:50:00]

HARLOW: No one is safe until everyone is safe. That is the message from a top U.N. official this morning. According to USA Today, that official warns coronavirus could boomerang back to countries that have already gone through the depths of it and how adversely it can affect the developing world and low-income nations.

I'm joined by former U.K. Foreign Secretary David Miliband. He, of course, now is the CEO of the International Rescue Committee. David, thank you so much for being here.

And Melinda Gates, six week ago, was sounding this alarm bell about Africa and the toll it's going to take on Africa that doesn't have the resources and can't social distance in the way many in the U.S. can. Your numbers from IRC are stunning, so much so that I had to double- check them. You're looking at up to a billion COVID infections and as many as 3.2 Million deaths particularly in fragile countries?

DAVID MILIBAND, FORMER U.K. FOREIGN SECRETARY: Thanks, Poppy, yes. Obviously, there is a real trauma in the United States and Europe, but these are advanced industrialized countries with vast health systems. Imagine what it's like when you've got a million in the Cox's Bazar part of Bangladesh, these are refugees from Myanmar, who have density between four and seven times greater than New York. Imagine what it's like in South Sudan, where a hospital bed, never mind a ventilator, is a real luxury. So our message is a very simple one. We've taken the World Health Organization data and we've shown that between a half a billion and a billion people are going to be infected. And on quite conservative estimates about the healthcare provision, we've shown that we could be looking at one-and-a-half to 3million deaths. And that's why the U.N. appeal today is so important. We need to up our game internationally urgently.

HARLOW: What does that mean in terms of the U.S. response? We saw what the U.S. did in terms of sending military assets to Africa during the Ebola crisis to help on that front, right? What do you think that means we should do now?

MILIBAND: Of the $2 trillion package that went through to support the domestic economy, 0.05 percent, so an absolutely infinite decimal amount was for U.S. global humanitarian effort.

And so there is a new bill coming through Congress, we hope, in the next couple weeks. And the coalition, the U.S. global leadership coalition, which sees the importance of American leadership on humanitarian issues globally is saying that at least $12 billion needs to be invested globally so that the most vulnerable parts of the world are protected from this disease.

There is still some time for prevention, and it's essential that time is well used to save people from this disease to do the basic handwashing, the fever testing, the isolation that's so important.

HARLOW: I was really struck by this op-ed that you and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in Politico just about a week ago. The headline is a second coronavirus is coming. And you write this, quote, early numbers indicate that COVID-19 hospitalizes and kills more men than women.

In terms of its total impact on people's lives though, the virus will hurt women and girls most especially in the poorest countries, but in the United States too. Can you explain that?

MILIBAND: Yes. 70 percent of the caring workforce are women around the world. And we talk about a double emergency. There is the health emergency, where women -- healthcare workers are especially exposed, but then there's the social and economic collateral damage, the loss of income, the rise in violence against women, which we see in all of these crises.

And so we're warning that there is going to be a double inequality here if we're not very careful indeed. Although there are hospitalization rates that are higher for men in the U.S., the global picture is that women are going to be doubly affected.

HARLOW: Wow. I encourage people to read it, because it is a stark warning that more people need to pay attention.

Before you go, if you could just weigh in on news we've learned in the last 24 hours that Boris Johnson, of course, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is going to give a speech on Sunday evening, and it's expected that he's going to lift many of the restrictions for the U.K. in terms of COVID on Monday, even some reports that schools in England could open as soon as June 1st.

[09:55:07]

Is that the right move?

MILIBAND: Well, I'm very concerned, obviously, that the U.K. is one of the hardest hit. It seems to have had some of the similar struggles with testing that the U.S. has suffered from despite a very strong public health infrastructure.

And, obviously, the great fear is the lockdown being relaxed and then a second wave coming --

HARLOW: It looks like we lost David there. But we thank him for his time, David Miliband. Jim?

SCIUTTO: Life in the time of the pandemic.

As President Trump pushes to get the economy going once again, we're learning that his administration is ignoring its own health recommendations as the pandemic sadly shows no signs of slowing down.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[10:00:00]

HARLOW: Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto. The White House has mixed --