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Unemployment Numbers Out; Coronavirus Update from Around the World; Answers to your Coronavirus Questions. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 7, 2020 - 08:30   ET

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


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[08:31:06]

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The breaking news, the Labor Department just released new unemployment figures for last week.

CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans has the breaking details.

Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS: CORRESPONDENT: A devastating, devastating week, 3.2 million new unemployment claims. These are people filing for unemployment for the very first time. That brings the seven week total to more than 33 million people.

April was simply hell for the American worker. So many people out of work, it's making history. In fact, "Time" magazine, the cover of "Time" magazine, with this brutal depiction of the history we're making here. This pandemic, you can see, approaching the levels of joblessness of the Great Depression when we had 25 percent unemployment. You can see this wipes away if these numbers come out at 20 percent tomorrow, wipes away the worst of the Great Recession and, of course, the 1982 recession. So just really ugly numbers for April. And May is not looking any better at this point, John.

BERMAN: No, again, this is the weekly job figures. Tomorrow, a huge day, as you noted. We'll get the figures for April as a whole and a new unemployment number.

Joining us to talk about that and more, CNN anchor and correspondent Julia Chatterley.

Julia, what do you make of these numbers and the overall economic picture and what we might see tomorrow?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: This snapshot of what we're seeing here is devastating. When you're making comparisons to the Great Depression, you know what you're looking at.

But the point is that this has been done deliberately. It's a result of the fact that our economy has been shut down. Huge sways of it have been shut down. The big question for me now is how quickly can we get these workers back to work, even if we're only seeing a phased reopening.

This talk that Memorial Day could be the key, but that doesn't prevent what we see tomorrow, which could be an unemployment rate as high as 20 percent for the U.S. economy. These are frightening numbers no matter how quickly you bring these jobs back.

BERMAN: Yes, just that phrase, that sentence, a 20 percent unemployment rate, it is hard to digest.

Christine Romans, Julia brought up a great question here, though, is, when will we see -- now that states are reopening, 44 states in some capacity, when and how will we see that reflected in the jobs numbers. I'm reading this report just out from Mark Zandi who suggests, you know, there might be some rehiring, some rehiring by Memorial Day, but a fraction, a fraction of that which has been lost.

ROMANS: There's just no playbook for this, right? We did this on purpose and now, on purpose, we're trying to thaw from this deep freeze. We don't know if there's permanent damage done to the labor market. We don't know what percentage of these workers are going to go right back to work. A lot of these are furloughs, remember, so they -- their name and their social security number and their address for their paycheck is still on their company's books and that company hopes to hire them back when this is all said and done.

But we don't know, if there is a rough or a sloppy or a not healthy science-wise reopening, that could damage the labor market even more permanently. So this is science and economics all wrapped up in one story.

BERMAN: Confidence is such a huge factor here. I was just speaking to Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and only -- you know, only 60 percent of people in that state feel safe reopening, even in the next few months.

And, Julia, this gets to the job numbers, right, because what happens when people don't feel comfortable going to look for work anymore. How will they be reflected in the unemployment figures?

CHATTERLEY: This is such an important point. As we always talk about, two-thirds of our economy is about consumer confidence. It's about just spending and going out there.

What was interesting for me in your conversation that you had was that he said we judged on other states of what consumers weren't doing. And that's why they're looking at it and being very careful about how they open up. This is going to be so important, even as we bring businesses back online. Is it worth bringing your workers back if they're already earning unemployment benefits that are higher than the salaries that they're getting if you're only going to get half, a third of consumers coming through the doors for restaurants and bars?

[08:35:12] All of these things are the big unknowns and we don't know yet. This is going to take time.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, what jobs are still being lost if it's possible to categorize that and what jobs might come back most quickly?

ROMANS: It's -- it started really in retail and hospitality and leisure and travel. And those will likely be some of the last, especially those travel jobs, they'll be some of the last to come back.

But, you know, we're looking forward. We're talking about what's going to come back. And -- and -- and what's -- how we're going to reopen. But I have to tell you, I'm hearing from people who still haven't received their first unemployment check yet or they're three weeks behind on their $600 extra a week from the CARES Act, or they've had to basically make a full time job trying to sign up for unemployment benefits. So there's a lot of frustration and pain and, you know, kitchen table economics trouble right now for American families, even as we're trying to look ahead on a way out of this.

BERMAN: I was just reading a report yesterday about how many kids are not getting enough food right now, which is unusual in a recession where things turn down because usually kids are the ones who get fed first in a family. But now there are families struggling to get the money they need and it's hard to get the food that you need, even if you do have money. It just shows what a strange situation we're in, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: This is such an important point as well because even when we're talking about an alarming idea of a 20 percent unemployment rate in the United States, this is not capturing anywhere near the amount of people that have been impacted. Some suggest that if you actually brought in the numbers that have had their pay cut or have had their hours cut, you could be talking about one in three workers. And that cuts to the heart of what you're saying.

ROMANS: Yes.

CHATTERLEY: The damage that's been done over the past eight weeks, we can't quantify. And for all these statistics and the families that we're talking about, the millions and the percentages, we're not capturing anywhere near the number of people that have been damaged by what's been done here.

BERMAN: Again, the breaking news, more than 3 million new jobs lost, reports of first time unemployment claims today. That was last week. Tomorrow, Julia Chatterley, Christine Romans, you will be back as we get the unemployment figures for the month of April, and they will be historic and not in a good way.

CHATTERLEY: Yes.

BERMAN: Thanks to both of you.

Here's a question, was coronavirus spreading weeks earlier than previously thought? The race to find patient zero, next.

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ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Nearly 264,000 people have died from coronavirus worldwide. There have been at least 3.7 million confirmed cases. And there is new evidence the pandemic was taking hold in Europe much earlier than anyone suspected.

CNN has reporters around the world joining us now with the latest developments.

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MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Melissa Bell in Paris, where the mapping and timeline of the initial European coronavirus outbreak have been entirely upended by the discovery that one man treated in hospital outside of Paris in December was in fact Covid-19 positive. What that means is that weeks before the first cases were identified in Europe, and more than two months before the beginning of the outbreak here in Europe proper, when Italy shut down some of its northern towns and villages, Covid-19 was already present in Europe and spreading.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong.

In less than five weeks, New Zealand has moved from lockdown to a cautious reopening with a level three alert. And, today, we heard from the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, who laid out the path ahead. The country could move to a level two alert as soon as next week.

So what is that going to look like? It's going to mean that schools and child care will reopen, as well as playgrounds and gyms, public venues, like restaurants and stores will also reopen as long as there are strict social distancing measures in place. Social gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed as long as there are contact tracing capabilities.

But, there will continue to be a ban on international overseas visitors from entering the country.

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matt Rivers in Mexico City.

Further south, in Brazil, newly released government data shows the confirmed case total in that country now tops 125,000. The official death toll now more than 8,500. This as the official spokesperson for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, tested positive for the coronavirus back on Monday.

Meanwhile, President Bolsonaro continues to attend large political rallies where he calls for an end to the quarantine measures that have been put in place by other government officials in Brazil.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: I'm Steven Jiang in Beijing.

The Chinese government is challenging Mike Pompeo to present evidence on his claim that the virus may have come from a Wuhan lab after calling the U.S. secretary of state an evil and insane liar who now keeps contradicting himself.

Officials here are trying to sew doubt and division among governments and peoples from around the world, including, among U.S. allies, as they see these assertions from Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Trump as well and the origin of the virus increasingly at odds with the U.S.' own intelligence community, as well as other experts and scientists.

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HILL: There is a lot happening on this Thursday.

Here's what else to watch today.

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ON SCREEN TEXT: 10:45 a.m. ET, Nancy Pelosi press conference.

4:00 p.m. ET, White House National Day of Prayer.

5:15 p.m. ET, Joe Biden virtual rally.

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[08:45:16]

HILL: Why are some people getting sick while staying home? Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back to answer your questions, next.

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HILL: We've been asking you to send us your questions about coronavirus. CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back to answer some of them.

For a minute, Berman, I thought you were answer the questions. I didn't see Sanjay.

BERMAN: You're lucky. You're lucky that Sanjay made it.

HILL: OK. So, Sanjay --

DR. SANJAY GUPTA CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I want Berman to answer.

HILL: Well, you know, you guys can do a little rock, paper, scissors. How about that?

So, first question for you about vaccine -- oh, no, my daughter -- here we go. My daughter is six and was diagnosed and treated for Kawasaki when she was just under two years old. With the latest news linking corona and Kawasaki, should I be extra concerned for my otherwise perfectly healthy child, Sanjay?

GUPTA: Yes. Well, so there's no -- two questions in here. One is that before you've had this history -- your child's had this history of Kawasaki, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're -- your child is more likely to develop this time. And what we're talking about is something that is particularly rare.

[08:50:01]

For those of you who don't -- haven't heard anything about this, there's been some concern recently, it started off with an alert that went out in the U.K., about children, young children, developing an inflammatory disease in the body. And, for them, it often, you know, presented as a rash. And I think -- I don't know if we have some pictures -- we can show some pictures of what this rash looks like, if we have those.

But basically it's a rash, sometimes preceded by a fever, a little bit sometimes GI symptoms, a sort of distinctive look in the eye that can be a bit vague. But it's more this rash, which can be hard to look at, I know that. We saw some of these pictures earlier this week.

But, again, this is rare. Just something I think for parents and for clinicians to be on the lookout for. We're not entirely clear whether this is completely associated with this novel coronavirus, but it's looking like it may be, either as a result of the active infection or as a result of having had the infection in the past, not having symptoms at that time, and then developing this Kawasaki-like disease.

So more investigation. Again, rare, thankfully. You know, most kids are not going to deal with anything like this. Just something to keep an eye out.

BERMAN: Rare, but we are seeing more reports of it. It may just be because people are now looking for it.

GUPTA: Yes.

BERMAN: But over the last week, the numbers have gone up perceptibly on that.

Sanjay, another question right on the news. This comes from Laverne. Governor Cuomo said Wednesday that a survey showed that a, quote, shocking two-thirds of patients recently hospitalized for coronavirus in the New York area became infected despite largely staying at home. So why could this be?

GUPTA: Well, you know, Laverne, this is one of the key points here. We are dealing with a very contagious virus. So -- and we're dealing with a virus that can be spread by people who are asymptomaticly. You know, as good a job as we're doing as a country at staying at home, and, you know, to be fair, I think a lot of places we're doing a great job, there is likely still sort of people who are coming in and out or there are some other routes of exposure. This isn't a virus, as William Schaffner (ph) said last night, that's just going to sort of fly in through your windows. There are exposures that are happening and -- because it's such a contagious virus, these exposures may be more significant than you realize.

So I know that it's easy to get more complacent. You hear about states reopening. You hear about the task force no longer, you know, at one point the discussion was being disbanded. This is -- the virus is still out there and you have to think about all your potential exposures. Even if you're staying home, which is the right thing to do, think about other people that may be coming in and out of your house, even if they have no symptoms, could they be a source of spread. Maintain that physical distance. Wipe surfaces.

HILL: This next one, Sanjay, is about people living apart. And, you know, people are talking so much about how long all these thing last. A 61-year-old woman living in New York City, who has a history of lung cancer, resulting in a lower right lobectomy, she currently has COPD, but her husband is a civilian employee of the NYPD. He moved out because they were concerned, obviously, about the -- about the virus.

GUPTA: Wow.

HILL: And that the hospital would be too overwhelmed if she got it. He can't stay gone until there is a vaccine. So is there any other milestone, Lilly asks, between now and the vaccine that could change the odds of contracting Covid-19?

GUPTA: These are -- these are real live situations, Lilly, and I get this sort of question a lot. And the answer is, yes, there are other scenarios between now and a vaccine to allow you to be with your husband, be reunited, as you say. And there's two things I'll say. One is, there are other countries which have done a really good job at this. So when we look at the world, and we, you know, are getting discouraged by what's happening right now, remember, there are examples of places that have had success.

Two things I would put on your map, Lilly, and one is that, once we get better testing and you can actually have your husband and yourself tested in some sort of regular way, it's going to be a lot easier. You're at greater risk, as you point out, because of your pre-existing illness. So if you can get tested in some regular way, that's certainly going to help give you confidence, both physically and psychologically, that you can visit with your husband, who should also be tested.

Also, you know, there's these therapeutics, these medicines which are starting to be developed. There's many in the pipeline. We've heard about Remdesivir and its showing some impact on this disease. If we get a good medicine, even short of a vaccine, that's obviously going to, I think, be very helpful as well.

BERMAN: All right, Sanjay, stick around because we have some good stuff here. A major, new addition to the CNN health unit. That is CNN health unit executive researcher Ben Tinker (ph) and his husband David (ph) and that is their brand-new baby Becket (ph), seven pounds, two ounces. And I understand, Sanjay, you've actually had a chance to see him fairly close.

GUPTA: Yes. Well, an adequate distance, I will say. But, yes. You know, I've got to tell you, it was -- the baby was born April 23rd, Ben and David, the dads.

[08:55:00]

And, boy, when you see them together, it makes the world a little lighter, a little brighter.

But they came by the house and we took -- I took some pictures on my zoom -- with my zoom of my camera and I wanted to save those. And, you know, it's funny because last four or five months, Ben has -- Ben has been just -- just -- he's the executive producer of our unit. He's been so busy. And then, in the midst of this, he goes off and he has a baby and -- and it just brought a lot of joy to all of us because, you know, it's been -- it's been tough, it's been rough, I think, for a lot of folks. And that baby comes over and the world felt a little brighter and a little lighter for a while.

So -- and I have some restored faith that things are going to be OK when you look at little Becket Tinker Vanderventer (ph).

HILL: He is a beautiful boy. And we can tell his Uncle Sanjay is already smitten.

Congrats, guys.

GUPTA: I love babies.

BERMAN: All right, he's going to be spoiled. Thank you so much, Sanjay.

And be sure to join Sanjay and Anderson Cooper tonight for a new CNN global town hall. They'll be joined by Al Gore, Spike Lee and author Laurie Garrett who we heard from today. She has a lot to talk about. That's tonight, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, only on CNN.

Meanwhile, our coronavirus coverage continues right after this.

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