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Gas Leak Killed Six People in India; U.S.-China War or Words Worsen Every Single Day; 43 States Failed to Follow White House Coronavirus Guidelines Prior to Re-opening; U.K. to Ease Its Lockdown Restrictions by Monday; Johns Hopkins, 3.7 Million Cases Worldwide, 263,000 Plus Deaths; Total Cases And Deaths Due To Coronavirus In The United States; President Trump Reverses Course On Winding Down Coronavirus Task Force; White House Task Force To Remain Indefinitely; Dr. Anthony Fauci Blocked From Testifying Before U.S. House; President Trump Doing Damage Control After Not Wearing Mask; Jared Kushner Complicates Acquisition Of Supplies; Worst Jobs Report Since Great Depression Expected; U.S. Stockpile Lacked Enough Gear To Fight Pandemic; Uber To Cut 3,700 Full-Time Jobs; Uber's Rival Lyft Has Announced 17 Percent Staff Cut; President Trump To Report Soon On China Fulfilling Phase One Of Trade Deal; The New Normal Of Travel; Brazil Reports More Than 10,000 New Infections In 24 Hours; Virtual Safaris In South Africa See Surge In Demand. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired May 7, 2020 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom. Just ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse in the World Trade Center. There is never been an attack like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Despite rising cases across the U.S., President Trump still pushing states to reopen. One expert warning this is just the beginning of the pandemic.
A gas leak in southern India turns deadly with hundreds affected. We will have a live report.
And masks, disinfectant, and keeping your distance, we take you on an unusual journey across the pandemic-stricken Europe as restrictions begin to ease.
Good to have you with us.
So, only a handful of U.S. states are resisting the trend to reopen businesses and public spaces. Even as the country racks up new cases and more deaths each day.
Disease experts warn that none of the 43 states planning to relax restrictions has met the White House guidelines for reopening. So far, well over 73,000 people have died in the U.S. out of 1.2 million cases tracked by Johns Hopkins University.
Los Angeles will allow many retail stores to reopen beginning Friday, albeit with curbside service. Car dealerships will also return, contrast that with this dire warning from the former head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM FRIEDEN, FORMER DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: It's really bad, and sadly, looking at the U.S. as a whole just calculating forward from the number of people whose infections have already been documented. They will be tragically at least 100,000 deaths from COVID by the end of this month. Second, as bad as this has been, it's just the beginning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well there is no corresponding sense of alarm at the Trump White House, the president say Americans are fed up with being cooped up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think people won't stand for it. Actually, I don't think our people will stand for it. We can't have a whole country out. We can't do it. The country won't take it, it won't stand it. It's not sustainable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Of the 3.7 million cases of coronavirus documented around the world, one-third of them are here in the United States, despite the rising toll most states are moving to reopen sooner rather than later.
CNN's Athena Jones has our report.
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: States across the country rolling the dice as they begin to lift restrictions aimed at halting a virus, the data show is still spreading in many places.
New infections rising in 20 states, hotspots include Minnesota, Nebraska, and Texas, where Dallas County has seen a jump in cases. In Tennessee, the governor last night announcing businesses like bowling alleys and miniature golf can reopen Friday even as he continues to promote social distancing.
By Sunday, at least 43 states will be partially reopened, despite signs that not only have none all of them met federal guidelines suggesting a 14-day decline in new cases before reopening, but that some in fact are seeing cases rise. This, as experts warn that given the viruses incubation period, we
won't know the full effect of this move for weeks and the gains states have made could swiftly be lost.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): You have states opening where you are still on the incline, I think that's a mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: The open is creating a confusing picture for Americans, as recent state and federal actions suggests the epidemic has abated, even amid strong warnings of the risk.
In Atlanta, startling video of people celebrating Cinco de Mayo, many not wearing masks. The mayor says they missed the message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D-GA): They didn't get to the part that said that this is a deadly virus and that you need to continue to socially distance, and wear a mask.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: In New York, where reopening has yet to begin, an unprecedented move to prepare for that day. New York City shutting down the subway system overnight for deep cleaning.
On Governor Andrew Cuomo's orders, the state's health department has issued an advisory to healthcare providers to be on the lookout for a potential complication of COVID-19. A serious inflammatory disease affecting children with as many 64 potential cases being reported.
Symptoms include persistent fever, rash, and even cardiovascular symptoms requiring intensive care. A similar complication in the U.K., where researchers have reported eight children showing the rare symptoms.
Meanwhile, with researchers in Britain saying there's genetic evidence the virus was infecting people in Europe, in the U.S. late last year.
The Cook County, Illinois medical examiner now plans to review previous deaths involving heart attacks and pneumonia for indications of COVID-19 as far back as November. A new study shows the virus is killing more African-Americans in the U.S. than any other group.
amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research using data from mid-April finding that while blacks make up just 13 percent of the population, counties with higher black populations account for more than half of the coronavirus cases and nearly 60 percent of deaths from COVID-19.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GREG MILLET, V.P. AND DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC POLICY, AMFAR: We were hoping by releasing our study results early, that it could help give some of the state's pause so that they can understand that there is going to be disproportionate impact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Also, disproportionate, police enforcement of social distancing seen leaders like New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries who worries officers are using excessive force in black and brown neighborhoods while handing out masks to sunbathers.
The bottom line is this virus is like a flood in a place with no high ground. It doesn't respect state lines, and it doesn't respect opinions or beliefs about how serious it is, or how under control it is.
The hard facts about this virus haven't changed as the daily number showing an increase in new cases in many states are bearing that out.
Athena Jones, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: The White House laid out four benchmarks before states should consider reopening. But in congressional testimony on Wednesday, a research with Johns Hopkins University said none of the reopening states has met all of those goals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ROSA DELAURO (D-CT): To the best of your knowledge, is there a single state that has met the necessary parameters to ease restrictions?
CAITLIN RIVERS, SENIOR SCHOLAR, JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR HEALTH SECURITY: There are four criteria that state should meet in order to safely reopen, and not all states have adopted these criteria, but I'll review them just as a starting point.
The first, is to see the number of new cases decline for at least two weeks. And some states have met that criteria. But there are three other criteria, and we suggest they should all be met.
The other is enough public health capacity to conduct contact tracing on all new cases, enough diagnostic testing to test everybody with COVID like symptoms, not just those people severe illness. And enough healthcare system capacity to treat everyone safely.
To my knowledge, there are no states that meet all four of those criteria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So, let's talk now with Dr. Marybeth Sexton. She is an epidemiologist at Emory Clinic here in Atlanta, and also an assistant professor in the infectious disease division at Emory University School of Medicine. Thank you so much for joining us. MARYBETH SEXTON, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF
MEDICINE: Thank you for having me.
CHURCH: So, the Chicago area medical examiner is looking into a possible coronavirus linked to deaths as far back as November. Of course, we've heard about the case in France, possibly going back to December. Why is it so critical to find out if this virus was circulating late last year, and how much does that change anything that we are dealing with right now?
SEXTON: So, I think that it doesn't change a lot that we are doing clinically, or a lot that we are facing now or how we would handle anything currently.
I think what would be interesting to know how far back it was here is that it will let us look at our systems for early warning signs, ways of doing what we called syndrome surveillance where we can look at medical records and see if we are seeing an unusual uptick in something.
And if we do see that going back to say, December, when we compare to prior years, that may help us in the future to build better warning systems so that if there is an uptick in something that's unusual, that might tip us off to a novel virus, we'll have a better idea of how to do that.
CHURCH: Interesting. And then science author Laurie Garrett who predicted the coronavirus pandemic says she believes the best-case scenario is that this virus will be with us for three years. Do you agree with that assessment?
SEXTON: I think it's very hard to know for sure, but that that certainly could be accurate. Based on what we are seeing right now, and the ease with which these spreads, and the number of cases that we've seen, I think it would be very hard to eradicate this without a vaccine.
SEXTON: And even that will take some time to get into place and to get numbers of people vaccinated where we could truly get rid of this. So, I think that that's probably a reasonable estimate.
CHURCH: And of course, there is work at Emory on a vaccine. Are you able to update us on any situation with that?
SEXTON: So, I am not part of our team that is working on that, but I know that we have a dedicated team who has been participating in clinical trials and is really committed to seeing what they can contribute to that field as everyone really tries to push toward vaccine availability.
CHURCH: Yes, it's all most people can think about right now, isn't it? And of course, we are also learning something new about this virus every single day, and now a study at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital shows that blood thinners may help severe COVID-19 cases. What's the science behind that and how significant could that be?
SEXTON: So, we don't know yet why, but it does appear that COVID affects blood clotting. Particularly in severe cases that people seem to be more likely to have pulmonary embolisms, triplet clots in the lung, to have deep vein thrombosis, potentially to have heart attacks and strokes and some things that are associated with the blood not clotting the way that it should, in some cases clotting excessively.
And so, there is a lot of work going on now about whether in people who are severely ill and who have markers on their lab work that their blood clotting is abnormal where we may want to give them medications that thin the blood to prevent some of those effects.
CHURCH: And of course, we now know that Remdesivir is a drug that could certainly help severe coronavirus cases and the maker of that drug, Gilead, is going to allow other companies to copy that drug. Antibody efforts are also underway and they are around what 100 or so vaccine efforts in the works, about seven or so looking very positive at this time.
What overall is your assessment of the progress made so far in terms of fighting COVID-19?
SEXTON: So, I think in some ways when you consider that it wasn't until the end of December that we have had an inkling that there might be a new virus.
The fact that it's been identified, that there is a test for it, that there is antibody test for it, that there are treatments that may have some effect and that people are moving forward on vaccine trials and additional therapeutics is really remarkable.
But I do think that while the Remdesivir information that it may cut the time to recovery is encouraging. We don't yet have statistically significant data about its impact on mortality, and there's a lot more to learn.
And so, I think that all of that research needs to continue to be ongoing, but we also need to continue to take the other measures like social distancing, like being very careful about things like mask wearing and hand hygiene, to try to prevent case numbers in other ways while that science catches up with us.
CHURCH: Yes, absolutely. And I did want to finish on that because with at least 43 U.S. states partially opening up along with many countries across the globe, the virus is still there and people need to remember that.
So, you think the best advice is to continue with the social distancing and handwashing? And wearing a mask, presumably?
SEXTON: Yes. I think that because we do know that COVID is still circulating in a lot of our communities, we have to be very careful as things start to open up to make sure that we don't have a second surge of cases that could really overwhelm our healthcare system and lead to more deaths.
And so, things like not congregating in big crowds, not going out in public or going to work if you yourself are sick, wearing a mask when you can't distance more than six feet from other people, having other people wear them.
What we say a lot at Emory is my mask protects you, your mask protects me. And continuing to do things like wiping down surfaces, practicing good hand hygiene, all of those things are critically important as we try to cut the number of cases further.
CHURCH: Yes, very good advice. Dr. Sexton, thank you so much for talking with us. I appreciate it.
SEXTON: Thank you so much.
CHURCH: We are following a developing story out of India with some 200 people have been hospitalized after a gas leak at a chemical plant. At least six people have died.
The gas leak happened in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh as the plant was restarting operations after lockdown restrictions were eased.
And joining me now from New Delhi is CNN producer Vedika Sud. So, Vedika, what more are you learning about this gas leak?
VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCER: Well, India woke up to this disturbing news this morning, we believe that a gas leak took place between 2.30 a.m. and 3.30 a.m. India time. What we also do know, like you pointed out, is that the death toll has gone to six, and about a thousand people were evacuated from that area.
Officials who have been speaking to us have also told us that once they got to the spot, they saw a lot of people who are lying unconscious on the ground.
We've heard now finally from the parent company of this chemical plant in Andhra Pradesh, it is a South Korean company. They've spoken to us where they say is that the person was on the night shift actually discovered this gas leak and then, you know, alerted the authorities about it.
What we also know from the company as I speak with you, is that they are trying to assess the damage to the local people in the area, as well as employees and they're trying to take all precautionary measures, and all measures to ensure that all of them remain safe.
What's worrying is that there were villages around this chemical plant area. We are talking about 3,000 to 4,000 people residing very close to this plant and a lot of them were alerted by the police through loudspeakers early this morning about this gas leak.
We do you know about the gas leak being a styrene gas that actually was emitting from the chemical plant. What we do know about the nature of this gas, is it leads to nausea and vomiting, in some cases, it does lead to massive respiratory issues as well.
What the prime minister of India and the president of India have tweeted over this and express their concerns, also we do know that the state government is taking all precautions and trying to investigate the issue as we speak, Rosemary.
CHURCH: And we will continue to follow all those developments. Vedika Sud reporting there from New Delhi, many thanks for that update.
Well, the U.S. and China are battling over the coronavirus. President Trump now says China could have stopped it spread, but China is firing back, and we will have reaction from Beijing. That's next.
And the U.K. is set to ease its lockdown. We'll explain when that's to take effect and why Boris Johnson is waiting until Sunday to formally announce it. Back in a moment.
CHURCH: The blame game between the United States and China is getting heated. President Trump is continuing to blame China for the outbreak. Alleging that if China had been transparent from the start, the pandemic would have never happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center. There's never been an attack like this. And it should have never happened. It could've been stopped at the source. It could've been stopped in China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And despite saying he couldn't be certain of the origin of the virus, just hours earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now doubling down on his claims the coronavirus came from a Chinese lab.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I've seen evidence that this likely came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. I'm happy to say other evidence that disproves that. We should get to the bottom of it. It's what we have been asking for months now, to give westerners access to this information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: But China is not taking these accusations lightly.
CNN's Steven Jiang has reaction from Beijing. STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: With U.S. Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo doubling down on his claim this virus may still have come from a Wuhan lab, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman on Wednesday directly challenged him to present evidence.
Then, she said he cannot because he has none. So, this has been the Chinese strategy, sowing doubt and division among governments and people around the world. At least on this issue, because they are seeing these assertions from Mr. Pompeo and from Mr. Trump as well on the origins of the virus, increasingly at odds with their own intelligence community, as well as their intelligence sharing partners.
We have heard from many experts, scientists as well as government officials and sources from the U.S. as well as other western countries to brush aside this theory, or at least calling it not very plausible.
So, the Chinese, in a way, are trying to isolate the United States on a global stage instead of being isolated themselves. When she was asked about Mr. Trump's effort to rally U.S. allies to blame China, this foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday said the choice facing the U.S. allies and other governments is not between the United States and China, but rather into the words it's between lies and facts, as well as between bullying and cooperation.
She then highlighted reports from Europe and the U.S. about first coronavirus cases in these places may have occurred earlier than previously thought. Really, again painting China as the first victim of this virus whose origin is very much unknown, or possibly with multiple origins.
So, I think this is the kind of rhetoric, this is the kind of tactics we are going increasingly going to see from Beijing in their daily tit-for-tat muscling with Washington because the government here is determined not to be blamed for causing this devastating global pandemic.
Steven Jiang, CNN, Beijing.
CHURCH: The United Kingdom is preparing to ease some of its coronavirus restrictions beginning Monday. Britain's Telegraph newspaper reports the official government advice will no longer be stay at home.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will announce the changes on Sunday. Here's how he is explaining the timing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We have to be sure that the data is going to support our ability to do this. But that data is coming in continuously over the next few days. We'll warn you if we possibly can to get going with some of these measures on Monday.
I think it would be a good thing, Mr. Speaker, if people had an idea of what's coming the following day. That's what I think Sunday, the weekend, is the best time to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And Isa Soares joins us now live from London. Good to see you, Isa. So, the U.K. government set to ease coronavirus restrictions on Monday. How is this next phase likely to look?
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, everyone will be listening very closely. If you look, Rosemary, at the newspapers this morning, one newspaper has to call it magic Monday. People obviously are very restless. But there are reasons to be concerned about ends of restrictions given the numbers that we have seen out of the U.K.
The prime minister, like you said, expected to address the nation on Sunday, and is expected to announce sort of ease of lockdown measures which may come into effect as early as Monday as you heard there.
Now, British media reports and the Telegraph reporting that the government slogan of stay at home, that may go, that perhaps we'll see also more forms of exercise. People are allowed to go outside for longer periods of time. Perhaps encourage people that can work, can go to work and keep social distancing to do so.
Although there are several hints yesterday at the COVID press conference that perhaps those who can commute -- can commute to work, or by bicycle, or walking to work, if that is possible to do with by keeping social distancing to do.
In terms of businesses, I think we have heard several times from ministers within the cabinet that perhaps it would be mostly construction workers because they will be outside and they can keep, obviously, they can keep the social distancing.
In terms of schools no signs yet of that happening anytime soon. Bars, restaurants, that is expected to be much later, perhaps late in phase three. But I think it's important to point out while these may be baby steps that, you know, this may only be baby steps. This is not going to be a full unlock especially given the precarious situation of more than 30,000 deaths in the U.K., Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes. The numbers are indeed shocking. And while Britain prepares for this how extensive is COVID-19 testing there? And what's the situation with PPE supplies in hospitals?
SOARES: Well, how long do you have? Look, Rosemary, this has been a huge concern here, and you know, you and I have spoken about this and the government has faced increasing questions over this.
We heard yesterday, Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition reproving the prime minister and prime minister's questions, basically saying that he had failed and was too slow to act in every stage of the COVID -- of COVID-19 crisis. He says slow -- slow into lock down, slow on testing, slow in protective equipment and the PPE. In the last few minutes, CNN has confirmed that a shipment of gowns,
of surgical gowns that the U.K. bought from Turkey earlier in April that came into the U.K. That those, unfortunately, have been impounded because they do not meet standards.
We're talking 400,000 gowns, surgical gowns that came into the U.K. that are supposed to -- supposed to have been delivered to hospitals but clearly that hasn't been done because they do not meet standards. That's on the question of PPE.
We also heard -- seen -- I've also known in the last few minutes in the survey from the BMA, the British Medical Association who said that almost half of doctors actually sourcing their own PPE or getting donations from elsewhere.
So, very, very shocking to see those figures. On the question of testing, do you remember that figure the government sent out of 100,000 tests a day? That's their own figure, their own really target. Well, it's gone four days now, the U.K. government, without meeting that target. Yesterday's testing was 69,000.
Meanwhile, the government says, Rosemary, that despite all the criticism and that figure topping 30,000 deaths here in the U.K., more than any other country in Europe, that this is not a time for comparison. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHNSON: At this stage, I don't think that international comparisons of the data is yet that a draw of the conclusions that we want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: So, we are seeing increasing criticism here in the U.K. that perhaps the government has been complacent. Others saying that underestimated. The gravity of this crisis and the reason that there have been comparisons, and important to point this out to our audience, is because the government themselves have been putting up charts and graphs every day, comparing the U.K. to other countries. So, perhaps, the reason for this comparison is that they're not very favorable. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Yes, indeed. And it's hard not to make comparisons, because these are very similar stories coming certainly out of Britain compared to the United States.
CHURCH: It's hard not to compare, right? Isa Soares, many thanks with that live report from London.
Well, in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has now laid out her country's plan for a gradual reopening. After weeks' long restrictions, shops will be allowed to open their doors again with hygiene measures in place. There is still will be limits on social contact until June 5th.
Germans are now allowed to meet with members of one other household but must maintain social distance and cover their faces in public.
Mrs. Merkel also says Germany's top football league, the Bundesliga can begin playing again in the second half of May. Though, she didn't give details about whether spectators would be allowed. And she said the first phase of the pandemic is behind them, but officials will remain vigilant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): We have very, very good developments regarding the new infection rate figures, and these have made it possible to take further steps. We have to be careful that we don't lose control of the situation, and that's why I have a good feeling about this emergency mechanism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well, now, even the White House is calling America's job numbers very, very chilling. Ahead, we will break them all down for you and give you the global economic picture.
Back in just a moment.
CHURCH: The relentless spread of the novel coronavirus has now infected 3.7 million people worldwide, and killed more than 263,000. A third of those cases are in the United States. More than any other place in the world. Yet, the majority of American states are already preparing to relax stay-at-home restrictions, and let businesses reopen. U.S. President Donald Trump is encouraging that trend, saying keeping the U.S. economy shut down is not sustainable.
President Trump reversed himself on Wednesday by announcing the White House coronavirus task force will stick around indefinitely just a day after saying he would start winding it down. Kaitlan Collins has more now from the White House.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People said we should keep it going, so let's keep it going.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Reversing what he and the vice president told reporters yesterday, President Trump now says he won't shut down the coronavirus task force after all.
TRUMP: I get calls from very respected people, saying I think it would be better to keep it going. It's done such a good job. It's a respected task force. COLLINS: The comments came one day after Vice President Pence, who
leads the task force set it could wrap up his work by the end of the month. After facing backlash for the move given that the nation is still in the middle of a pandemic, Trump says it will continue on indefinitely and may add new members.
TRUMP: We will be adding two or three additional members to the task force.
COLLINS: But questions remain about how public his health experts will be going forward. A House panel met today without Dr. Anthony Fauci after the White House blocked him from testifying, because the committee is led by Democrats. Even the top Republican on that panel says he wanted to hear from Fauci.
REP. TOM COLE (R-OK): I want the record to show that I joined the chairman urging that Dr. Fauci be allowed to testify here. I think it would've been a good testimony, useful to this committee. I think useful to this country.
COLLINS: The president also now says he did wear a mask during his first trip across the country in months. No, he didn't appear in front of cameras in one, Trump says he wore a mask as he toured the Honeywell plant in Arizona.
TRUMP: I can't tell but if you don't see me. I had a mask on, but I didn't need it. And I asked, specifically, the head of Honeywell.
COLLINS: Today, a new report from The New York Times details how Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner installed a team of volunteers to help with the federal government's efforts to obtain medical supplies. But only ended up making it more complicated. The young volunteers mostly had experience in venture capital in private equity, but they knew little about government procurement.
While sorting through tips about desperately needed supplies, the volunteers were told to prioritize those from political allies, and they often ignored the federal officials who have spent years preparing for emergencies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president wanted to make sure that we have the best people doing the best job.
COLLINS: The White House is also bracing for a grim jobs report that is expected on Friday after the president's top economic adviser said that unemployment could hit 20 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the biggest shock that our economy has ever seen.
COLLINS: Trump says he doesn't think that he will be blamed for the economy.
TRUMP: It's very interesting. It's one thing, nobody is blaming me for that. I built the greatest economy with a lot of great people that we have ever had, and I'm going to rebuild it again. [03:35:03]
COLLINS: And the president said that Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci are expected to stay on that task force that he now says is going to continue on indefinitely. He says they will be in their normal roles and he praise their work. Though some people around the president are questioning what exactly the task force is going to look like going forward given the fact that they've already scaled back their meetings, they are no longer appearing at briefings in the briefing room of the president. So, still a lot of questions about what they're going to do going forward. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.
CHURCH: When the virus first started to spread in the United States, it quickly became clear that the country didn't have enough resources to properly deal with a pandemic. Now, CNN's Sarah Murray reports that is largely because of the federal stockpile of protective gear was woefully underfunded and under equipped.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: As governors, doctors and nurses desperately pleaded for supplies from the federal stockpile to protect against the deadly coronavirus.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are running low on masks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don't have the proper equipment. They go into those rooms with fear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need these resources now.
MURRAY: Suddenly, a little known division of health and human services, the strategic national stockpile was front and center. But, there wasn't nearly enough and store to arm the entire nation to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
TRUMP: Many of the states were totally unprepared for this, but we are not an ordering clerk.
MURRAY: Trump was slow to use the defense production act to get the private sector to ramp up production, and states wound up in an international bidding war for medical supplies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are all competing against one another. It shouldn't be states that having the, you know, Wild West fight over this.
MURPHY: When they turn to the stockpile for quick release, it was under stop. Its federal stewards in disarray.
GOV. J.B. PRITZKER (D-IL): Here in Illinois, we have maybe received 10 percent of what we needed, and so they have turned it back to the states and said you guys are on your own. MURRAY: Other states say they were received vital supplies that were
expired, deteriorating, or malfunctioning. A spokesperson for HHS said states should inspect products as they arrive, an acknowledged that states receive less than they hope for, but each state quote received its fair share.
Overall, the federal response appeared erratic. Jared Kushner, the president son-in-law and senior adviser was brought in to help manage supply chain challenges. But another controversy was created when he claimed the stockpile was meant for the federal government, not for states. In direct contradiction to the website about the stockpile.
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: The notion of the federal stockpile was supposed to be our stockpile. It's not supposed to be states stockpiles.
MURRAY: The day after Kushner made those remarks, the government website was changed from a long mission statement saying it's steps in for a public health emergency, severe enough to cause local supplies to run out to a shorter statement that says supplies can be used as a short term stopgap buffer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no sense of urgency.
MURRAY: The pictures was made more complicated when a whistleblower alleged to the stockpiles system had been corrupted by outside lobbyists. Dr. Rick Bright was recently ousted from a top position at HHS. He said when he began pressing his bosses to increased mass production months ago, the cries fell on deaf ears.
DEBRA KATZ, ATTORNEY FOR DR. RICK BRIGHT: We didn't increase mass production. There is no effort to do that. What should have happened, as soon as this pandemic hit.
MURRAY: Created in 1999, the stockpile includes about $8 billion worth of supplies for the U.S. to deploy in natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and pandemics. It's shielded in secrecy, exactly what is in the stockpile and where it is housed are classified.
TRUMP: When I took this over, it was an empty box.
MURRAY: Trump has blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama for failing to replenish supplies after a 2009 swine flu outbreak, which the Obama administration failed to do partly because Congress wouldn't approved funding increases for the stockpile. A coronavirus relief package that passed recently included 16 billion dollars for replenishing the stockpile.
TRUMP: We are building up our stockpile again, like crazy.
MURRAY: But experts say it will take more changes like increasing domestic manufacturing for medical gear for the U.S. to be prepared for the next pandemic. Sarah Murray, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: And right now, we are waiting for the official jobs report on
the world's largest economy to come out this Friday. But ahead of that, we are learning that more than 20 million American private sector jobs vanished last month. That's according to numbers from the payroll processing company 80P. That's as the White House often came to cheerlead the economy warns just how devastating the economic shocks are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN HASSET, CHAIR, WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: The jobs numbers are very, very chilling and I think that it's very important to let people understand that in a very somber way that this is the biggest shock that our economy has ever seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So, let's cross over to John Defterios now, he joins us live from Abu Dhabi. Good to see you, John. In the last few hours, we have been learning about major companies making significant job cuts. One of them is over Uber and another is Lyft. What more are you learning about these companies' plans?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, the reality is, Rosemary, under the cloud of covid-19 there is not one sector that can escape the financial storm we are facing. That private sector report is extraordinary from ADP and it is closely watch by the industry and ridesharing groups are quick to respond right now and put the brakes on any sort of expansions. So they are cutting expenses rapidly.
Uber, cut 14 percent of the workforce, but that may not be all because the CEO is suggesting they will have a final word on this in about two weeks' time. Uber earnings coming out later Thursday. Lyft earnings were not pretty, it's competitor in the United States of course it lost nearly $400 million in the first quarter, even the revenues were up by nearly a quarter in that timeframe, Rosemary.
So, with the reality is on these two different companies, they are transformative all around the world. Uber has a big footprint, for example, here in the Middle East, but they are not moneymaking organizations and I know back in 2016, Saudi Arabia decided as a sovereign investor to come in at $3.5 billion and it has lost a lot of money.
So, it's a bone of contention for, you know, the Middle East funds. Those in Asia as well, thinking that this could turn the corner and be profitable. It's just not happened yet. And I think covid-19, even though Uber is in the delivery business, it's still not counter balancing the ride sharing that they need and Lyft is not in that sector whatsoever.
CHURCH: Yes. Understood and John, is President Trump, while accusing China of being the source of the coronavirus, wanting to lean on Beijing to deliver on their bilateral trade agreement? DEFTERIOS: I think it's a slippery slope, if you will, Rosemary.
Because it's kind of a dual track strategy from the White House. And the state to (inaudible) with Mike Pompeo doing the attacking against Beijing, almost on a daily basis, suggesting that the coronavirus emerged from the Wuhan lab that needs to be more down on their front.
At the same time, President Trump again brought back up the phase one of the trade agreement, saying that China agreed to expand its purchases over the next two years by $200 billion. Almost $80 billion comes in 2020 which is an election year. So, the president is leaning on Beijing here to live to the spirit of the agreement particularly when it comes to farm products and oil and gas exports into China.
And I think this is actually very dangerous, because geopolitically Beijing is kind of firing back and seen it almost as an active war suggesting this is straining relations. So, whether within a two-week window, President Trump here's what he wants to hear out of Beijing and they live to the spirit of that agreement it's not certain at this stage as the tensions get strained even more in this period.
CHURCH: Yes. Very unnerving where this has brought us. John Defterios, bringing us a live update on all of this from Abu Dhabi. Many thanks.
And just ahead here on CNN Newsroom, the new normal for travel in the age of coronavirus. What it's like to make your way across Europe? That's ahead.
CHURCH: Brazil has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Latin America so far and it's getting worse. The health minister there says the number of cases have shot up by more than 10,000 in 24 hours, and the number of people who have died from covid-19 has also gone up dramatically. CNN's Matt Rivers breaks it down for us.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: While Brazil is the country in Latin America with the most confirmed cases as a result to this outbreak, the most confirmed deaths and newly-released government data on Wednesday does not change that fact. A surge of new cases has pushed the confirmed case count in Brazil to more than 125,000. The confirmed death toll now more than 8,500. This as more sobering news comes out about people who are close to President Jair Bolsonaro.
The president's official spokesperson tested positive for the coronavirus back on Monday, although he says he is not experiencing what he calls any wearing symptoms. And he is the second high-profile communications aide to President Bolsonaro to test positive for the coronavirus. If you remember it was back in March that the president's press secretary said that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. That was shortly after he had visited Mar-a-Lago, where he got his picture taken with President Trump. Meanwhile, the Brazilian president continues to attend large political
rallies, even as he faces a lot of criticism for his response for lack thereof to the coronavirus outbreak in his country, but at these rallies, they are attended by a whole bunch of people, he continues to call for an end to quarantine measures that had been put in place by other government officials in Brazil, in Latin America.
Brazil has the most confirmed cases, the most confirmed deaths, and yet its president continues to attend these rallies, saying it is not that serious, and that these quarantine measures designed to protect people should end. Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.
CHURCH: Well, whether by plane, or by train, traveling looks a whole lot different now than before the pandemic. CNN's Nic Robertson and his team trek across Europe to show us the new normal of travel.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: twenty passed 5:00 in the morning, Athens checking out of the hotel. It's still dark outside. Long journey back to London via plane, by train from a relative call zone covid-19 to one of Europe's highest hot zones. See how it goes.
This is the airport. The sun is rising. Here we go. A lot of destinations. Only two of them where international. Thank you very much, indeed. Good luck.
That's interesting, before you can get on this flight, they want to make sure that you have a connection to your final destination that you are traveling to your home country or have a reason for going to another country.
Last look at Greece. To be sure the plane is clean, you want to be sure. So, unlike the flight when we came in here, leaving on this plane we have to wear the face mask. And when you go in the back of the cabin, there is almost zero social distancing. Seats are full. Three and three.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will let you know when the doors are open.
ROBERTSON: That was quite an odd experience on a flight. Three and a half hours almost and for the entire flight, the air crew stayed behind their curtain. They did not come out. That's not something I have seen before. When we get through, we are given this covid-19 instructions notice that all persons entering Belgian territory. So, these are the regulations you get handed when you arrived in Belgium.
In Belgium, they are 1.5 meters. In the U.K. and in Greece it has been 2 meters. But here, it's 1.5 meters. The next stop is customs and a train. Do you worry when you pick up passengers that maybe the passenger gives you the virus?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is life. It's your job. ROBERTSON: Yes.
Trying to find somewhere to get a coffee or a sandwich. I mean, I know you haven't eaten. We had a coffee in Athens at about 6:00 in the morning, and it's the middle of the day now. So, little caffeine would help. Here we are, we are too early. This is the joy of traveling by plane and train when there are only one or two planes and trains. So this is new to start a day. So, we will wait for hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your fellow passengers are (inaudible), by spreading out, by respecting social distancing and by wearing your mask at all times.
ROBERTSON: Unlike the plane, the train is really quite empty. We just learned from one of the staffers, there's no service on the train today. It really is barebones operations.
14 hours to get here from London, but we have made the travel. Definitely has change. It's slower. There are fewer frills, do we expect border guards to ask you more questions. But you know what, underneath their masks, I have to say, everyone has got a big smile. We are all in this together. This is the new normal. Nic Robertson, CNN, Sempurnakan Station, London.
CHURCH: Great package there. I need to pack your patience there to. We will take a short break. Still to come, the African safari industry may be shut down for now, but demand for an online tour is skyrocketing and we will show you one of these wildlife experiences. That's next.
CHURCH: Well, the travel industry is trying to adapt as many people across the world, stay home for the foreseeable future. In South Africa, the pandemic has opened the door to online Safari experiences. And CNN's David McKenzie received exclusive access inside South Africa's Sabi Sands Game Reserve were one company is producing virtual safaris for all the world to see. And David joins us now with more on what exactly he saw in the bush. So, David, how does this work on these online safari experiences?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, here a cheetah playing, you know, they are normally draw top dollar tourist to their luxury villas, but there are no tourist here in South Africa. In fact, all the airports are closed to international travel. That really has (inaudible) the safari industry which is critical for conservation, but one company is opening a virtual door into places like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: In South Africa, the elephants at least are free to roam.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just beautiful, the light is just stunning.
MCKENZIE: But its conservation tourism industry is under lockdown. Which means, Maude and her camera man are some of the last people left in Sabi Sands. They broadcast animal sightings twice a day for free.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The trunk seems to be stuck on its tusk.
MCKENZIE: That people would normally pay thousands of dollars to see in person. It's live.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You still have this feeling like, you know, I can do it. I can do it. Oh -- oh, oh.
MCKENZIE: And unscripted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you see?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you see wild dogs. I had a dog feeling today.
MCKENZIE: So, there's a pack of wild dogs that just come in the middle of our interview through these small dam. And this is incredible to see. I mean, my entire, life of coming to the bush, I've never seen wild dogs like this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You beautiful puppies. Just gorgeous. Many of them are going to space.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 30 seconds.
MCKENZIE: Wild earth was around long before the pandemic, but now it's viewership of safari life has shut up five fold.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jonathan, age six in the USA.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, birds (inaudible) --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our viewers around the world to be able to be here with us during this experience is --
MCKENZIE: Graham Wallington never imagined his company success could signal a collapse of the industry. Across Africa, nearly 8 million tourism jobs are now at risk.
GRAHAM WALLINGTON, CEO WILDEARTH TV: That's what we have to figure out now. We would figure out how we can both (inaudible) safari experiences. How we can create and learn experiences that can give revenue, you know, down here to the people keeps us -- keep this whole conservation engine running.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need people to sustain this nature and to sustain this businesses.
MCKENZIE: Owners here know, it's not as easy as locking their front doors and coming back when the pandemic is over. JAPIE VAN NIEKERK, OWNER CHEETAH PLAINS: Tourism keeps the rhinos
alive, keeps the elephants alive, keeps the lions alive, the leopards. Tourism pays for that. No one else will.
MCKENZIE: Look at this, have managed to come right with our kitty cats.
Someone is stuck in their apartment in Italy or in New York, what does this mean do you think for them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope that it means some kind of healing. The whole of our species has been infected -- affected by one thing. And there is a tremendous feeling of solidarity. Nature is just doing its thing. Nature just carries on.
MCKENZIE: But for this iconic reserve to survive, they desperately need to adapt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCKENZIE: Well, Rosemary, it's a privilege to come here as a tourist, it's a privilege just for us to be here to kind of lead that trauma of the lockdown and show what happens here every day, all day. While everyone is still stuck in their homes. But 3,000 people are dire employed just here in Sabi Sands Reserve, just think of those families that depends on these tourist dollars. It's a tough few months up to a year. Think industry analysts ahead for them and they want people just to remain engaged with this product even if it's virtually and find some way possibly to monetize that, so they can just survive. Rosemary.
CHURCH: What an extraordinary experience and so many more people will get to experience this over a different experience compared to actually being there, as you are. How fantastic. Thank you so much, David McKenzie. I appreciate that.
Well, an incredible gesture shared by all of us around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, thanks for watching CNN Newsroom. I will be back with more news in just a moment.