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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: 231 Deaths Wednesday, Down By 1 From Previous Day; Coronavirus Kills Another 3.2 Million American Jobs, 33.5 Million Since Mid-March; Valet To President Donald Trump Tests Positive For Coronavirus; 3.2 Million Americans Filed New Unemployment Claims Last Week; 33.5 Million Have Filed For Unemployment Since Mid-March. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired May 7, 2020 - 12:00   ET

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


[12:00:00]

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): So now the tenant doesn't pay the rent but I still have to pay the electric bill, I still have to pay mortgage that is true. And we're working on relief from the bank for the landlords also.

And there are programs that the Federal Government is doing and the state is doing to make sure those banks also get relief so they don't have to do any foreclosure and we stop the foreclosures on the landlords. But you're right there is no doubt a tradeoff between the tenant and the landlord.

We are helping the landlord also. But on a human level I don't want to see people and their children being evicted at this time through no fault of their own. My grandfather used to say if you have your health, we can figure out anything else and fix anything else.

If it is about money, we can all figure it out but you have to have your health. That's why public health versus the economy I don't see the tradeoff. We have to have our health. We should protect human life. I don't care if the person is old. I am old by your definition.

I still think they have a value, right? My mother is old, you know, she's the most precious person to me. Protect every life. And I am not going to tradeoff public health and we'll figure out the dollars and we'll figure out the economic impact but we'll protect people in the meantime and we'll protect their health.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor really quickly, you spoken about COVID only over-flow facilities that can take positive nursing home patients are you aware of any in the Hudson Valley?

CUOMO: We have COVID - we have facilities all across the state that can take any COVID positive person from a nursing home. Any nursing home operator who can't provide adequate care for anyone in the nursing home, you call the Department of Health, we have beds and care for that person.

And no nursing home should keep a person in that nursing home who they can't provide adequate care. They violate their legal obligation and their ethical obligation to the State of New York. If they can't provide care for any reason, inadequate care, they don't have enough staff or equipment or I don't care what it is.

Any reason that person has to be referred from that facility and they have to call the Department of Health. That's their legal obligations and not just the right thing to do. Okay, thank you very much. Thank you for letting us be here.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: We are listening to the Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo in Valhalla today in the Hudson Valley of New York doing the daily Coronavirus briefing from the Governor of New York. He is beginning to travel the state to make his case for the go-slow approach to reopening the economy.

The Governor saying he'll not rush this. He says stay the course. This is his philosophy in New York as other states begin to reopen. He says, yes the medical news was quite encouraging in New York but he wants to just go slow and be careful because of the risk of rising Coronavirus cases if you allow too many people out of their house to back into the economy.

I am John King from Washington; this is CNN's continuing coverage of the Coronavirus pandemic. And as we have been watching the Governor of New York, a shock wave through the Trump White House today this breaking news a military aid who works as personal valet to the President of the United States have tested positive.

That's the first known case of the Coronavirus in the west wing. The President who is being tested regularly was described as upset at this news. He was immediately tested again. As we wait for more details on that scare two important numbers to consider today as the United States hits the Coronavirus crossroads 73,000 plus Americans dead more than 33 million now unemployed.

The latter number it is an Election Year implication are now clearly driving administration policy. We'll tell you today the detailed CDC guidelines about reopening offices, schools, restaurants and places of worship are being shelled over concerns the recommendations are too strict.

The 17-page document urges much more cautious much more caution than we hear from the President of late. Governors this morning are asking why the experts and their advice are being sidelined.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. NED LAMONT (D-CT): What do you got to hide? I think it would be very helpful for us. I want to hear what the CDC has to say? I would like to hear what Dr. Fauci has to say? I would like to hear what Dr. Birx has to say? Let us hear from the experts. I think we'll be able to make much better decisions accordingly. Don't politicize this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We heard just moments ago from New York's Governor deaths declining in his state again but many other states including Texas whose Governor is at the White House this afternoon are a way ahead of what that draft CDC document says is wise and is safe.

By weekend, 44 states in the United States will have un-shuttered American lives in some fashion. Maryland today reopening parts Michigan allowing construction to resume. Mississippi is serving in diners again.

The reopen debate puts health and safety against economic security and there is more evidence today the Americans economy has simply crated. Look at these numbers 3.2 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits just last week. Since the outbreak 33.5 million people now say they are out of work.

[12:05:00]

KING: Also this morning department store giant Neiman Marcus filing for bankruptcy. The President is on record predicting a second half of the year boom but economists say prepare for a much more drain out recovery.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEEL KASHKARI, PRESIDENT, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF MINNEAPOLIS: I am hopeful that we can bounce back and I don't think and I am optimistic that we are actually headed for another great depression. I think it is becoming clear that we are in for a long gradual recovery which is unfortunate.

I wish we had a quick bounce back. I think we're going to overt the kind of depression scenario because policymakers are going to be aggressive to fight that outcome.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: More on the economy later. But let's get straight to the White House with CNN's Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan, what is the White House telling you about this military aide a personal valet to the President testing positive for Coronavirus, now what?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well John, we reached out to the White House this morning with this reporting to get a comment from them. They have only confirmed so far that a staffer who is of course a part of that - informed by the medical unit that a staffer on the White House did test positive but of course we had more details than that about who this person is and just how closely they work with President Trump and how closer they are to President Trump on a daily basis?

Now this is a U.S. Navy member who's assigned to the President's personal valet. That means that someone works incredibly close not only to the President but to the first family as well. They not only handle food and beverage but basically anything that the President needs in that realm.

This elite military medical unit - a military unit that is assigned to the White House they're in and out of the Oval Office and the White House residents on a daily basis regularly interacting with those individuals. And now we have learned that one of those has tested positive for Coronavirus.

We're told this person showed up yesterday they were exhibiting symptoms they were tested and of course then the President was later informed John. And we were told he was upset when he found out that one of the valets have tested positive for Coronavirus.

And of course that news led to the President then being tested again and the Vice President which the White House did confirm earlier today that they both tested negative since then. But of course this is significant. We are told that it really caused quite a stir inside the west wing yesterday.

Because this is the first case that we know about of someone incredibly close to the President who interacts with him on a near daily basis who is testing positive for Coronavirus. And of course the question is going to be what does the White House change about its protocol going forward if anything?

Because so far you've seen the President has been resisted to wear a mask. He often cites the fact that he's tested so regularly as to the reason he doesn't. And that means that aides inside the west wing do not typically wear masks.

I think it pretty much the Deputy National Security Adviser and a few others who actually wears them throughout the workday but the President and his senior staff has not because they say they were tested regularly.

And of course if they were tested positive, they would be sent home. So the question is does this changed anything going forward? What is the reaction from the President? We may hear about him on this subject in the Oval Office when he meets with the Governor of Texas. But so far only the White House has commented and the President himself has not, John.

KING: Kaitlan, I'm guessing you don't the answer because this White House is not always rushing to be transparent with us. But you mentioned the President is supposed to meet with the Governor of Texas.

If you listen to his own advisers at the White House's briefings over weeks and weeks, their advice has been if you come in contact with someone who you know is positive with Coronavirus, you should self isolate. I know you said the President was tested and he was negative again but let's hope that's the case and let's hope that stays the case.

But it is not guaranteed if the valet with exhibiting symptoms yesterday, it could be days, they will have to test the President regularly to see if he develops symptoms here. And if that you or me going to my doctor they would tell us stay away from people any indication of the President prepares to change his schedule just out of caution?

COLLINS: No, but that's certainly is something that people were talking about. And that's why it caused such a stir in the west wing because that was one of the questions that people had. It doesn't seem that anyone really knows what the next step going forward?

And John it is not even really if the White House would have informed us about his beforehand if we had not gone to them with this reporting because that's the question. We're saying this is the first known case in the west wing. We do not know if other staffers have tested positive and then have been sent home?

And of course that has been just kept quite. We don't have any indication that that's the case. We don't really know exactly what the White House is going to do going forward and how this changes the President's interaction because this comes as the White House is starting to travel more.

And the Vice President is hitting the road more often. You've seen several trips he has taken in the last two weeks. The President himself went to Arizona for the first time this week and he wanted to make a trip to Ohio. That's still in question as to whether or not that is going to happen?

So does this change their schedule? Will the President self-quarantine for the next 14-day? It seems to be something that the White House is not on board with yet we haven't gotten any indication they're leading that direction. But it is certainly going to be a question and of course what does his own physician recommend that he do?

KING: Kaitlan Collins, keep coming back if you get any more information from the White House.

[12:10:00]

KING: Joining me now Dr. Cyrus Shahpar Former Centers for Disease Control Official. He's now Director of Resolve to Save Lives. Doctor I was planning to have an extensive conversation with you about other issues but let's get straight to this.

The President of the United States a military aide who works very closely with him has tested positive for Coronavirus. Should additional - and the President was re-tested and that test shows negative but this aid was exhibiting symptoms yesterday.

If it were you, if I showed up or you showed up at your doctor and that was our story someone who had been within inches of us who had symptoms yesterday tested positive what would your recommendation be?

DR. CYRUS SHAHPAR, FORMER CDC OFFICIAL: Recommendation would be to quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the confirmed case. In this case the valet and that means staying home, no visitors separating yourself from others, monitoring for symptoms, wearing a face covering when you're around others, ideally or not but that would be the recommendations.

KING: And so let's step back. This is the President of the United States so it's not you and it's not me by you might call in the ultimate essential employee. He is the President of the United States can he sit in the Oval Office today with the Governor of Texas and have a meeting about America's re opening? Can he have his normal national security and other briefings as long as people are kept at a social distance or are that unwise?

DR. SHAHPAR: I think it's unwise from a public health standpoint. We all don't want to transmit disease and in this case as a high visibility person I think you should set an example and really go into quarantine for 14 days. And don't put too much stock into one negative test it takes time to develop.

You know enough viruses to test positive, so one test today doesn't necessarily mean that you know over the next few days it might be something you might not be something different.

KING: And again my question here are not to cause alarm and the President was tested retested and he's negative and let's hope that when he's tested tomorrow the day after the day after because we know he will be now that those tests continue to turn up to be negative.

But walk us through the concerns here in the sense that we can show you some video - we can show our viewers some video of the President getting off Air Force One, the President gets off Marine One there are military aides around him but more importantly inside the White House this is elite duty.

Its prestigious duty these aides if the President needs food or drink they bring it to him. They help us through the personal residence some time. We don't want to show pictures inside the White House because we don't want to show someone who's not this person or we don't miss identify people but they operate incredibly close proximity to the President. And again that service is a privilege but right now it also appears to be a risk.

DR. SHAHPAR: Yes, that level of contact we know is a significant risk for transmission. It's the type of people - type of situations like household settings when you live with people and interacting with them for a long time. That type of contact has high rates of transmission.

So the amount of access this person had to the President is concerning and I think you know what we talk - what we say about the President also needs to be extended to others in the White House that this person might have come into contact with.

KING: And that's why I want to follow up because we do know that the White House is doing temperature screenings of reporters if they're going to be in the briefing or anywhere near the Present.

They're doing temperature screenings and testing of members of the Coronavirus Task Force people are going to be in close proximity to the President and the reason we know this military aid tested positive as the aid exhibited symptoms and was given a test.

So the tests are available at the White House but if you were called into a meeting right now and said okay, a personal valet to the President of the United States has tested positive. Here's what we're doing today what more should we be doing immediately to get more protection not only around the President but around other vital - the Vice President, the Chief of Staff other vital people in the west wing of the United States what should they be? DR. SHAHPAR: Well, we should be interviewing the person who tested positive to try to identify who is a contact were? Who was he in contact with even up to two days before developing symptoms basically throughout his entire infectious period?

And then of course after identifying those contacts letting them know that they've been exposed and then following up with quarantine.

KING: Can you go to the President of the United States and say sir I'm sorry but you need to dial it back at least for a few days until we have a better perspective on this? You tell me in the last couple of months talking to doctor some people say it takes three days, it takes five days could take as long as 14 days to know if - because you've been close to somebody you've been potentially exposed whether you actually were exposed and get the Coronavirus?

Can you tell the President of the United States sir I'm sorry you need to dial it back?

DR. SHAHPAR: I think if he recognizes the significance of the disease that's going on and affecting everyone around the world this type of adherence the public health measures is extremely important.

And not only is he essential but also the people that he interacts with. So preventing transmission amongst all of those leaders here in the United States is extremely important so even being more conservative with my being approached to take just to make sure that our leaders aren't broadly affected.

[12:15:00]

KING: Before I let you go Doctor Shahpar the reason I originally we're going to talk to is this right here. This is 17 pages of draft CDC document recommendations guidelines for American businesses, American restaurants, American churches, American school administrators about how to go about this process?

If you read this document and the caution it recommends, in phase one again the President supposed to be with the Texas Governor today. His plan is way out over the skis of these recommendations if you will when it comes to restaurants, when it comes to houses of worship.

The White House saw these and said no and set them aside. What does that tell you about who's calling the shots are what philosophy is calling the shots now but in terms of being aggressive or listening to the scientists?

DR. SHAHPAR: Yes. I think it's important. This could be a useful document we've heard that this fills a void that we have now on comprehensive consolidated guidance really specific guidance on what different people should expect as we loosen measures.

And so it's something that could be useful. I think in the absence of this kind of federal level guidance we have states taking it upon themselves to develop things based on what they can find based on their local expertise but we end up with plans that are highly variable across states and I'd say you know the variable quality. So it's more of a fragmented approach and I think that that's less than ideal.

KING: That's great detail in here, obviously they sell the document but it is available if anybody who wants to read it recommends caution as we go forward. Doctor Shahpar I really appreciate your insights and both of these important stories. Thank you very much.

DR. SHAHPAR: Thanks for having me.

KING: Thank you. We'll see you again. A programming reminder Former Vice President Al Gore, Spike Lee the author of the coming play Laurie Garrett joins Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta tonight for a brand-new CNN Global Town Hall "Coronavirus Facts and Fears" that airs tonight 8:00 pm eastern right here only on CNN.

In the last seven weeks more than 33 million Americans filed for unemployment a look at the Coronavirus economic toll next.

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[12:20:00]

KING: More sad and stunning numbers from the government just today another 3.2 million Americans now joining the ranks of the unemployed. That means more than 33 million Americans have filed claims for jobless benefits since the middle of March.

Our Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans is here to break down the numbers Christine?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: John, April was hell for the American worker and May doesn't look much better. 3.2 million people filed for the first time for unemployment benefits in the most recent week that's seven weeks a total of more than 33 million people out of the labor force sidelined here by either a lay off or a furlough.

It's drawing comparisons to the Great Depression. Now Congress has made these jobless benefits more generous than usual there's an extra $600 a week for four months for these workers. But states have been overwhelmed by the demand here and many, many workers say they haven't even received a check quite yet.

In a matter of weeks the unemployment rate has gone from a 50 year low to what many think could be 20 percent Great Depression levels in just a matter of weeks making history on the cover of "Time Magazine" even with the great reckoning showing what the American workers going through right now compared with the Great Depression.

Back to the Great Recession the unemployment rate peaked at about 10 percent. It took months for that to happen in 1982 that painful peak was 10.8 percent for tomorrow's jobs report from the government the expectations that could hit 20 percent John.

KING: 20 percent, Christine Romans thank you. 20 percent unemployment is hard to imagine but the reality now facing so many Americans. Let's talk it over with Mark Zandi; he's the Chief Economist at Moody's Analytics.

Mark if you walk this out I just want to put up the claims and it is depressing over the last several months. It was 3.3 million then it was 6.8, 6.6, 5.2, 4.4, 3.8 and 3.2. I guess is there something encouraging that's the wrong word that this last week's number is a little below the week before? I mean is the bottom in sight?

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY's ANALYTICS: Yes, John I think we're - the bottom is coming into view. So I think we're going to have elevated claims for the next two to three weeks. But I do think by Memorial Day with businesses reopening in many parts of the country the job losses will abate.

And then as we make our way into June, we should start to see some job gains. But you know obviously significant amount of economic damage here. The unemployment rate's going to peak out at some work as Christina said close to 20 percent.

And the underemployment rate which includes a lot of other folks that are kind of on the periphery of the labor market will be closer to 25 percent. So that gives you just a - you know a sense of how serious and damaging this is? And how long it will be to get back to anything resembling full employment?

KING: Right. That's the part I wanted to pick up on because the President talks often about flipping a switch or taking off like a rocket. He thinks the third quarter will come back good and the fourth quarter is going to be gang busters.

You seem to have a more cautious view. I want to read a little bit from your weekly analysis. A resurgence of the virus seems highly likely given the history open in many parts of the country. Even if not nervous consumers will almost surely self-quarantine to some extent.

Businesses not knowing if the virus will make reappearances will remain cautious in their investing and hiring. And global trade, immigration and foreign investment will surely remain impaired as most nations will be reluctant to re-engage with the rest of the world until they can make sure that the virus won't spread.

So if I'm reading this right and I read your report on the week you do see a modest rebound once we hit that bottom in a few weeks. But then very long roads ahead where are we? I mean do we get back to high single digit unemployment. Do we stay in the teens and for how long?

ZANDI: Yes. I know - so we're going to get a bounce right so as businesses reopened across the country over the next two, three or four months we'll get a bounce.

[12:25:00]

ZANDIS: So unemployment will come in from say 20 percent roughly to the high single digit. So if you told me you know end of year around Election Day let's say we have an unemployment rate that's 8, 9 or 10 percent. You know that sounds reasonable to me.

And then it's going to be slog and I really don't think the economy kicks into any kind of gear until we get a vaccine or some kind of therapy that everyone feels comfortable about. And even then it's going to take several years to get those jobs back - businesses love to reform because a lot of businesses are going to fail between now and then.

And so it's not really until mid decade with a little bit of luck that we get back to the 3.5, 4 percent unemployment we had before this. So this is a process. This is not the V. This is a slog.

KING: Mid-decade, wow! That I would say long term perspective and I just - have you ever seen I just want to put up as we go through this. And I do hope you're right about starts the growth then we'll see about the slog.

Let's look at these just - you look state by state. Kentucky 33 percent of the labor force has filed for unemployment claims in the last seven weeks. In Hawaii is 32 percent, in Georgia its 31, in Rhode Island is 27, in Michigan its 27 and it is just stunning.

It is the third - look around the room one in three people or look around the room one in four people have lost their job in a month and a half. We've never seen anything like that.

ZANDI: You know, I mean not in my lifetime and I don't think in anyone's lifetime. And again, that's just part of the iceberg, right? I mean, because you got all these folks that are still working but their hours have been cut back. They're still working but they lost wages.

So I would say at least half of the entire work force has been affected in a negative way directly by what's going on here? That's how broad and deep this is.

KING: And a stunning, Mark Zandi appreciate your insights today. We'll continue this conversation as we go through the challenging days weeks and months ahead. Mark thanks very much.

Another example right here Neiman Marcus now filing for bankruptcy as a consequence of the Coronavirus. The high-end retailer the second to file for bankruptcy protection this week J Crew did it back on Monday. Neiman Marcus Management says they're going through the chapter 11 process to cut their debt, restructure financially so they can stay open now and they hope after the pandemic.

Before we go to break a look at the economic pain many are feeling. Right now Pittsburgh International Airport look at this converted one of its parking lots into a drive through food bank and distributed more than 53,000 pounds of food in just two hours. We'll be right back.

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