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Business Owners Defy Governor's Order; Dark Cloud Darkens U.S. Economy; Millions Expected to File for Unemployment; CDC Guideline Under Editing Phase; Funeral Workers Pay Their Last Respect; Coronavirus Pandemic; Coronavirus Cases In The United States; 44 U.S. States Easing Restrictions This Weekend; One Of Trump's Personal Valet Tests Positive For Covid-19; White House Rejects Proposed CDC Guidelines For Reopening; U.S. Justice Department Drops Case Against Mike Flynn; No Coordinated U.S. Plan To Track Antibody Tests; Russia Sets Record With 11,000 New Cases In One Day; Brazilian Officials Push To Reopen Economy Despite Surge; Australian Prime Minister Outlines Three-Step Plan To Reopen Country; Hong Kong's New Reality As Prodemocracy Activist Return; U.K. Government To Announce Lockdown Plans Sunday; France Calls For Vigilance Ahead Of May 11 Reopening; Europe Marks 75 Years Since End Of WWII Amid Lockdowns; European Restaurants Protest Lockdown; Feeding Thousands Across India. Aired 3- 4a ET

Aired May 8, 2020 - 03:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.

Coming up next here on CNN Newsroom.


MARSHA MILLER, OWNER, HEADLINES SALON AND SPA: I cried through the whole thing because I was so happy that it turned around on me.


ALLEN: Defying orders from desperate business owners in California begin to reopen before they are given the all clear.

Also, the numbers are bad and could get worse. Another 3.2 million Americans filed for unemployment this week. Today's monthly report could be as bad as the Great Depression.

And, Europe marks 75 years since the end of World War II, but will the pandemic restrictions curb the commemorations? We will take you live to Paris.

We thank you again for joining us.

The novel coronavirus has claimed nearly 270,000 lives around the world with nearly 3.8 million people infected. The U.S., and Europe, are the hardest hit regions, with cases surging now in Brazil, and Russia.

New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts lead the U.S. in infections, more than 75,000 Americans have died.

At the White House, a member of the U.S. Navy, serving as a personal valet to President Donald Trump has tested positive for the virus. A subsequent test cleared the president.

But the news is not expected to be good on the economic front. The White House is predicting a jobless rate as bad as the Great Depression. One in five U.S. workers has filed for unemployment since mid-March.

The financial pain in the United Kingdom is also taking its toll, the government is expected to drop its stay-at-home message on Sunday, allowing many outdoor shops to open. Pubs, cafes, and restaurants, they'll have to wait.

The same goes for France, but the finance minister says, he expects 400,000 other businesses to reopen on Monday.

Well, here in the United States, CNN has learned that the Trump administration will not implement guidance from the Centers for Disease Control on reopening the country. A senior official confirms the recommendations were at odds with the president's push to restart the economy more quickly.

We get more on it from CNN's Nick Watt.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Three Forks, Montana this morning, kids walk back into school with tweaks.


BONNIE LOWER, SUPERINTENDENT, WILLOW CREEK: We have six-foot distant marks on the playground so that they can play games at recess and stay six feet away from each other.


WATT: Montana hasn't suffered as much as most. Meanwhile, with Lady Liberty looking on bodies now being stored frozen in trucks in New York City, our epicenter, waiting for overwhelmed funeral directors to catch up.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): If you're going through hell, keep going. And that's what we're doing. We're going through hell. But what we're doing is working, so we're going to keep going.


WATT: Going slow on reopening even though New York's new case counts are falling. Daily new case counts continue to climb in 19 states. Still every one of them among the 44 that will begin to reopen by this weekend.

In Texas, cases climbing but haircuts and manicures are a go as of tomorrow morning.




WATT: The State's Supreme Court just ordered the release of a salon owner jailed for operating under lockdown. In Oregon, the trailblazers practice facility will also open tomorrow. That's OK says the NBA. Up to four players can train solo at any one time as long as local restrictions are followed. And there are now different detailed directions in different places.


GOV. NED LAMONT (D-CT): Restaurants outside only. You're 90 percent more likely to get infected inside than outside.


WATT: More than 33 million Americans have now lost their jobs during the pandemic. Depression era numbers. Others have worked on and paid a price. Teen A, a meat packing worker in Colorado couldn't afford to quit. Now she's infected and fighting for her life.


Three of the country's biggest pork processing plants partially reopening today after outbreaks union and management working on how to keep workers safe.


MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: 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.


WATT: The FDA did just approve another potential vaccine moving into phase two testing. More than 100 now in various stages of development. But you can only rush so much. Needs to be safe. Needs to work.


MARK MULLIGAN, LEAD RESEARCHER, NYU LANGONE VACCINE CENTER: I do really think we're talking about getting through the end of the year and into early next year before we would have a definitive answer.


WATT: Here in Los Angeles, they are going to follow the California timetable, and begin to reopen Friday, but just baby steps. Retail, but only for curbside pickup.

On the weekend, some golf courses and trails will also open, but everybody has to wear a mask. Now, San Francisco has said that they need a bit more time. They probably won't even start for another 10 days.

Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.

ALLEN: Josh Green is a lieutenant governor of Hawaii and an emergency room doctor and he joins me now live from Honolulu. Dr. Green, thanks for joining us.

LT. GOV. JOSH GREEN, HAWAII: Thanks for having me, Natalie.

ALLEN: We are going to talk more about states opening up and how -- but first I want to ask you overall, how are the islands faring through this pandemic so far?

GREEN: Well, we have heartaches for the mainland and the loss of life there, and across the world, but we are doing very well. We took some deliberate actions to slow the virus, flatten the curve, and it worked. So we've only had single digit cases for the last 14 plus days. We essentially have knocked the virus out here, and we are beginning to reopen.

ALLEN: That's very, very good news. Well, this pandemic unfortunately has been mired in politics. I believe even you, you're running for governor, you are a lieutenant governor now, were somewhat sidelined by the governor even though you've worked on healthcare crises in Hawaii, and you're an emergency room doctor. What -- what's that about?

GREEN: Well, you know, we did the proverbial distance kiss and hug without actually touching to avoid COVID contact, and we're all good. So, you know, it's just real tense times for a lot of people, but we don't worry about politics now, we worry about saving lives.

We've had 17 people die in Hawaii, which is of course an unbelievably low number. We have the lowest mortality rate in the country, and you know, that's -- those numbers don't even compute for most of the mainland.

So, we're -- we're trying to set a standard here and doing our very best, because we want Hawaii to be someplace, some magical place that welcomes people when we are ready to bring travelers back here and when they are ready to vacation again. We want them to be safe and healthy when they're ready.

ALLEN: Well, understand. And we're so glad to hear that numbers are so very low there. Well, there's been much criticism for the lack of coordinated federal response. It's really every state doing its own thing, and we're still, for the most part, you know, in the middle of this pandemic, and expecting a second wave in the fall.

Georgia, for example, right here, has reopened and a reported 62,000 people came flooding into the state to come to restaurants, for example. Everyone wants to help workers and get the economy back on track, but does that make sense at this stage?

GREEN: It doesn't. It really doesn't. I'm very worried about people that have that pent-up need to get out and states that make that decision to go too soon, because you will see a large surge in spread in those different areas and then you'll have cases and fatalities.

And then ultimately, you'll have to lock down again. That is really not the right approach. The best approach is to socially distance, wear masks, and only open up when you can contact trace and test people really deliberately.

We went so far of course to have, you know, a home -- a stay-at-home order and a 14-day quarantine for travelers, but we are also protected by the Pacific Ocean and we're able to do that. I really don't want to see people regress. I really don't want to see that.

ALLEN: Yes, absolutely. And we are seeing squabbles around the country when people show up without masks, and people think they should be, you know, wearing masks. Well, experts though are questioning, you know, where is like the FDA in the federal response? The Food and Drug Administration.

Why aren't we seeing regular news conferences from the CDC? They have the top epidemiologist in the world, or the foremost authority in the world. What do you make of that?

GREEN: Well, there are a lot of politics going on in the mainland. I don't throw stones because we're here in Hawaii and trying to set a standard. But we all know that things get very political where there are challenges and conflicts.


And I'm afraid there are politics going on. So, my advice to the governors and lieutenant governors, and people out there, do what's right for your family. Do what's right to get through this crisis because there will be a bright tomorrow for you if you don't get sick.

But if you let politics decide for you how you are going to out and when you are going to take bad risks, we're all going to suffer, and we'll suffer together. So, please, put your family first, don't let politics insinuate themselves into your lives and you'll be OK.

ALLEN: Well, we've also learned the White House rejected CDC guidelines for opening communities. This is information that mayors and community leaders need. I say make these very important decisions. Dr. Birx of the task force team said on CNN earlier that it was being edited not outright rejected.

And so again, that brings into question, is the CDC the leader here or not at this precarious time? GREEN: Well, it's not. So, I trust the CDC to a great degree. I have

a personal line of communication as our director of health and his deputy. We know that there is government influence in politics going on. But as a physician, and I put my physician hat on first, it's pretty straightforward.

You have to be able to contact trace and test. You have to be able to isolate and do social distancing, and you cannot -- you cannot doubt the epidemiology. When they're spread and we know how these things spread, you have to lay low.

Any politics that are really focusing on November, I just want to see people die in America. So, please everyone, set the politics aside, take care of your family first then listen to your physician and your health directors. That's a pretty safe place to be.

ALLEN: We appreciate your insights so much, thank you, Josh Green from Hawaii. Thank you.

GREEN: Thank you very much.

ALLEN: And stay safe.

Funeral workers are seeing the human cost of the pandemic in ways that few others do, and giving each victim dignity in death is becoming more demanding.

CNN's Phil Black takes a look at the physical and emotional challenges from London.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We all know this is the time of death. Of loss. So great it's difficult to comprehend. But Tony Oxley knows what it really means. The numbers of people dying. Their faces, their family's grief.


TONY OXLEY, A.D. OXLEY FUNERAL SERVICES: I was called out last night of dear gentleman. It was his wife of many years who passed away.


BLACK: Tony's job is collecting and moving bodies. He's never been busier.


OXLEY: It can be challenging, but I love it. I haven't had a day off since -- since it started.


BLACK: Tony works a patch of territory along England's southern coats. The job has become a constant race around the clock, chasing COVID-19's relentless body count.


OXLEY: The day has changed already. We'll now going to collect some of the deceased from various places.


BLACK: The phone rings and Tony moves, dashing between hospitals, private homes, care facilities.


OXLEY: Collected an elderly lady from a nursing home there and have just bought her here. I'm now moving on again to another nursing home where somebody else has passed away.

BLACK: So many people are dying in this area, they aren't enough places to store them. So, Tony's job now includes shuffling bodies between funeral directors with spare capacity.

But it's not only the vast numbers that are challenging those who are trying to ensure dignity in death. These funeral workers in London follow Muslim tradition. It's an intimate, deeply respectful process, washing, and wrapping each person before burial. But safety is now a key concern. Everybody must be treated as a potential COVID-19 risk.

Issa Assam has been a funeral director for 25 years. He says he's needed all his experience to endure this pandemic.


ISSA ASSAM, FUNERAL DIRECTOR: I've watched a few war films, that's the closest we've got to experiencing something like this in our lifetimes.

BLACK: This day brings Issa a new professional and emotional challenge.


ASSAM: There is a request of a very small baby passing away. I need some paperwork from him.


BLACK: A small stillborn baby and the baby's mother, both victims of COVID-19.


Once collected, they lie side by side in the van. The baby and the adult size coffin.


ASSAM: I'm very sad. I've never experienced that one ever in my life. Together. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACK: Issa wasn't prepared for this.


ASSAM: It's a tough challenge. It's a tough one. It is for me, it's very, very tough. Very painful.


BLACK: Later, Issa arranges another special request. His hearse is driving by a London hospital so the staff can honor one of their own. They are clapping for Abdul Hafiz (Ph), an ambulance care assistant, another COVID-19 victim.

Only a close few can attend his funeral. They must stand apart to pray and can only approach his grave one at a time. When the ambulance came for Abdul, his family didn't know it was the last time they'd see him.


BLACK: Tell me what it's like to lose your brother this way?

TARIQ GELLALEDIN HAFIZ, ABDUL HAFIZ'S BROTHER: It's like to lose a brother is like to lose half of you. You lose half of you.


BLACK: In this time of death, most of us are shielded from its awful reality. What those numbers really mean. While around us, a committed operation strives beyond its usual limits to ensure every person who couldn't be safe for COVID-19 is respectfully mourned and remembered.

Phil Black, CNN, London.

ALLEN: The pandemic is dealing a crushing blow on workers across the world. In the United States, one in five Americans have filed for unemployment since mid-March when coronavirus lockdown measures began. With a total of 3.2 million jobless claims just last week, April will likely paint the grimmest picture for U.S. unemployment since the Great Depression.

CNN's emerging markets editor John Defterios joins me now live from Abu Dhabi. John, good to see you. Of course, these not just numbers but people losing their livelihoods. How bad does it look?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, I think, Natalie, it's fair to say we'll probably never see numbers like this even again post COVID-19, and we hope so for the sake of our children and the next generation of workers because the current generation is struggling in a big, big way.

And we don't know if this is the worst of it, because some of the publicly traded companies are just starting to restructure. So, it could get worse through the end of June. Let's look at the expectations for this April report. An unemployment

rate rising to 16 percent. There are the accurate numbers here. And I've seen expectations even higher than that.


That is exactly five times higher than we saw in February, which was a 50-year low of 3.5 percent. You look at the number here, we usually average creation in the Unites States of 100 to 150,000 jobs a month adding. We're looking at subtracting nearly 22 million jobs.

And since the COVID-19 crisis in March, 33 million people have filed for unemployment benefits. It's extraordinary, and leading some to suggest that this number we see today is backdated because those numbers are very current on a weekly basis.

Another thing I'd add here is that we've lost more jobs in the last eight weeks of the tally than the two-and-a-half-year recession we saw between 2008 and 2010 during the global financial crisis. You can come up with all kinds of records, Natalie, because we've never seen anything like it in our current generation.

ALLEN: It's going to be just terrifying for people that have lost their jobs and we all know how hard it is to file for unemployment here in the United States. They can't even get somebody to pick up the phone.

Is this depression like scenario as far as businesses go, John, hitting both bricks and mortar companies and the digital players equally?

DEFTERIOS: I think it's an important point, Natalie. Because as the old economy and the new economy, if you will, and both of them are getting decimated. Neiman Marcus filed for bankruptcy, the fabled retailer that was founded in Dallas over a century ago.

And then we see that Uber came up with the results in the first quarter with a loss of nearly $3 billion. It laid off 14 percent of its workforce. Oddly, the stock went up because they said traffic starting to pick up again. But they may not be finished with their layoffs because of the dismal first quarter results. They said they need another two weeks to sum that up.

The other thing I would add here. We usually don't think of what, restaurants and the retail sector representing that much in the U.S. economy. It's about 8 percent of GDP. But listen to this number. It is 20 percent of employment. Right?

So, we have a case here, those people usually don't have benefits in the retail sector, in the restaurant sector. They could be hired again if we see the economy pick up in the second half of the year, but it's extraordinary that job dissemination that happens as a result, the destruction of jobs and those sectors alone in the United States. Because consumer spending just came to a halt, and employers laid off all the workers, Natalie. ALLEN: It's just horrible all the way around. All right. John

Defterios in Abu Dhabi, we always appreciate your perspective. John, thank you.

Well, speaking of stores, some retail stores in California will be allowed to reopen in the coming hours. The governor says they will be able to provide curbside pickup and deliveries. But, as CNN's Dan Simon reports, some counties are defying the state's stay-at-home orders.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Marsha Miller has owned this hair salon for 35 years. On Monday, she and her daughter reopened it, anxious clients filed in.


MILLER: I cried through the whole thing because I was so happy that it turned around on me.


SIMON: It has been an emotional whiplash because the very next day, California regulators said that she needed to close backup, and not doing so could jeopardize her license.

Still, Miller is staying open.


MILLER: We haven't gotten a paycheck in six weeks. We haven't got unemployment. What are we supposed to do?

KRISTI GOLDLY, BUSINESS PARTNER, HEADLINES SALON AND SPA: Emotionally it's been hard this last week. I mean, watching my mom whose -- this is her life. You know? And I took it on as my life. (Inaudible) four year ago. And so, for us, it's emotional. It's emotional for our staff, because now they feel conflicted to support us, but they are scared.


SIMON: What you are witnessing is a tug of war going on right now between rural California and Governor Newsom. (Inaudible) counties in Northern California have reported only 50 positive cases of the virus. Its leaders decided it was safe for some businesses to reopen, in defiance of Newsom stay-at-home orders.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): They put those businesses at risk not only the health of their communities at risk.


SIMN: Nonetheless, restaurants here have dine-in customers, it's an image you won't see in other parts of the state. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These little mom and pop businesses, they've got to open up in order to be able to survive.


SIMON: Linda's Soda Bar and Grill in downtown Yuba City, is a local institution.


LINDA MCKENNA, OWNER, LINDA'S SODA BAR AND GRILL: The customers were ecstatic. Somebody walk in and said, it's like Christmas morning. So yes, they are thrilled that they can come back in and see their friends they haven't seen for a while.


SIMON: But restaurants too are also putting themselves at risk in defiance of the governor. At least those that serve alcohol. The state ABC, Alcohol Beverage Control, is informing restaurants they could face disciplinary proceedings, which could include losing their liquor license by remaining open.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I consider the red coach showed up yesterday and shut me down yesterday.


SIMON: For Henry Stevie, staying open was a risk he couldn't take.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's crippling to our business if we lose our license. We wouldn't have a sports bar. It's kind of, you know, we won't have one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you said, I need to shut down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we shut down.


SIMON: Well, state regulators say they are sympathetic to the plight of these business, but clearly, this is a warning, and these places need to decide if they're going to remain open.

Dan Simon, CNN, Yuba City, California.

ALLEN: The United States and China are working together to get phase one of their trade deal moving forward. The Chinese vice premier spoke with the U.S. treasury secretary early Friday.

CNN's Steven Jiang has more about it from Beijing.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: This phone call between the two government's top trade negotiators is not entirely surprising. Now some may have seen this as a result of Mr. Trump's recent threat to slap new tariffs on Chinese imports if this trade deal is not properly implemented.

But behind the scenes, according to both Chinese and U.S. officials I have been speaking to, this process has never stopped or even slow down. U.S. diplomats recently told me even when this virus was ravaging through China in February, they actually got calls from their Chinese counterparts, unprompted with the Chinese reassuring the Americans of their commitment to implementing this deal, including sticking to these billions of dollars' worth of purchasing obligations.

So, this kind of commitment has translated into the figures that we have seen from the Chinese government. During the first quarter, total trade volume between the two countries was down, not surprisingly, but the decrease in Chinese imports of American goods was much smaller than that of Chinese exports to the U.S.

So, as a result, the Chinese trade surplus over the U.S. actually shrank by more than 20 percent. This is obviously the kind of trend Mr. Trump and the U.S. government would like to see continue. And the Chinese, for their part have also been highlighting this significant growth of their American agricultural products, especially soy beans, and pork.

Now these products of course are a big chunk of the total Chinese purchasing obligations, but they are also very important to Mr. Trump politically. Because many of them, most American farmers, have been staunch supporters of the U.S. president and he really needs to keep them as we move closer to the November election.

And the Chinese government is very much aware of this fact as well. So, it seems, as of now both governments are not ready for a total breakdown in this very important, but increasingly contentious relationship between the world's two biggest economies.

Steven Jiang, CNN, Beijing.

ALLEN: Antibody tests have been flooding the U.S. market, but some doctors warn, they are not all up to par.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of the tests that have been given temporary authorization turned out to be not very accurate.


ALLEN: Next here, a CNN investigation reveals why there is so much confusion surrounding these crucial tests. Also, schools and offices in Hong Kong are about to open again, but

for pro-Democracy activists everything is not back to normal. In fact, it might actually be worse.



NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back to CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen, and let's get you up to date on our top story. The United States is leading the world in coronavirus deaths and infections. Johns Hopkins University reporting close to 76,000 deaths now, and, more than 1.2 million cases. New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts had been hardest hit. Infections are still climbing in 19 states, all but six are planning some form of reopening this weekend.

And, in Washington, questions are being raised about coronavirus protocols inside of the White House after one of the president staffers tested positive for the virus. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: For President Trump, the pandemic just hit home, as in the White House, as one of his military valets tested positive for the coronavirus. But the president is insisting, it is no big deal, that a personal aide was infected.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know who he is, good person, but I've had very little contact. Mike had very little contact with him, but Mike was tested, and I was tested, and we are both tested.

Yes it's a little strange, but it's one of those things.

ACOSTA: But the potential for the virus to spread around the White House does exist, White House officials tell CNN that a few aides to the president actually wear masks around the West Wing, just as the president decided to forgo putting on one earlier this week during a factory tour in Arizona.

TRUMP: I just want to wear one myself. I think wearing a face mask as a great president, Prime Ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don't know, somehow, I don't see it for myself. I just don't.

ACOSTA: One White House official said that the president, he's a unique individual. He can't be seen walking around wearing a mask. Another close adviser pointed fingers at the press.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: I think that anybody should start was wearing masks and showing more respect, it should be the media.

ACOSTA: White House officials have said it is not necessarily for the president to wear a mask because he and aides around him are routinely tested for the virus. But the directors of the national institute of health said, one of the test often used by the White House, has a notable false negative rate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the other concern has been, that it does have about a 15 percent false negative rate. If you are in a circumstance where you really, really don't want to miss a diagnosis of somebody who's already carrying the virus, you would like to have something that has a higher sensitivity than that, and I know they are working on how to make that happen.

ACOSTA: As for restarting the economy, the White House is rejecting proposed guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, offering recommendations on just how to reopen restaurants, schools, and other public spaces. But coronavirus task force officials told CNN, issuing overly specific instructions that CDC leadership never cleared for how various types of businesses open up would be overly prescriptive and broad. Guidance in rural Tennessee shouldn't be the same guidance for urban New York City.

DR. RICHARD BESSER, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE CDC: I find it very concerning. You don't want to get into a situation where public health, and public health science, is set up as the enemy of restarting the economy.

ACOSTA: The economy could use a shot in the arm after 3.2 million people filed unemployment claims last week, making for a stunning 33.5 million since mid-March.

TRUMP: He was an innocent man.

ACOSTA: But the president is welcoming a development away from the pandemic after the Justice Department dropped charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators. After once firing Flynn for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about the Russia investigation, the president now views Flynn as an innocent man. Mr. Trump's appeared to signal what was coming last week.

TRUMP: I'm telling you, when I look at what they did to him, they tormented him, dirty cops, tormented General Flynn. Because he is in the process of being exonerated.

ACOSTA: As for taking precautions here at the White House, the president said you will be receiving a coronavirus test on a daily basis. Same goes for the Vice President, other aides who work closely with the president. That is a major change in protocols here at the White House, and provides a stark contrast with what many Americans have experience across the country, that it is sometimes difficult to get tested. Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.


ALLEN: While testing for the virus is important, antibody testing is also crucial for economies to reopen. But a CNN analysis found that questionable tests, a lack of tracking and changing rules have led to confusion across the country. Our senior investigative correspondent, Drew Griffin, looks into it further.



DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: The antibody test, the blood test that can tell whether someone has covid-19, even without symptoms, has been so important. President Trump last month announced the test would be a major decision-maker in getting America back to work.

TRUMP: We are also working to bring blood based serology test to the market as quickly as possible, so that Americans can determine whether or not they've already had the virus and potentially have immunity.

GRIFFIN: But as millions of antibody tests are being shipped across the country, a CNN analysis finds there is no coordinated effort by the federal government to track the full number, or all of the raw data of those tests from every state. Like other areas of the U.S. coronavirus response. The antibody testing process has been confusing. A mix of false starts, changing rules and no coherent plan for all of the states to report results.

DR. PETER HOTEZ, VACCINE RESEARCHER, DEAN OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AT BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: The way it usually works is that data is fed into the various state health departments, then the state health departments will often funnel information to the CDC.

GRIFFIN: But many states are not collecting any antibody testing data. Of the 41 state health departments that responded to CNN's questions, only 22 states said they are currently collecting some data on antibody testing, and only California, New York, and Louisiana said that they required it.

HOTEZ: One of the problems has been that a lot of the tests that have been given temporary authorization turned out to be not very accurate.

GRIFFIN: As a CNN has reported in its rush to jump start antibody testing across the country. In March the FDA allowed antibody test to be sold without any federal review, and many inaccurate tests flooded the market. This week, the FDA reverse that policy, now requiring test makers to prove test work like they should. But the damage was already done.

Oregon's health department said, antibody testing data are of dubious reliability. Several other states like Vermont, saying the tests are not accurate enough to use them for any public planning.

CAROLINE BUCKEE, T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, HARVARD UNIVERISTY: They're a couple of reasons that we really want to know who had this virus, the first is, just to figure out where we are on the epidemic curve, and that has really important implications for policies like whether we are going to go back to work, and whether we are going to reopen schools. GRIFFIN: The CDC is only collecting data from some states, but it is

also doing what is called zero prevalent service, collecting blood samples from labs across the country that were originally used for other purposes like routine cholesterol tests and performing testing to look for antibodies in the blood sample. For now, the real number of people who had been infected with covid in the U.S., is still unknown.

HOTEZ: Saying 1.2 million people had been infected is almost certainly a vast underestimate. The problem is we don't know if that real number is 10 times more or 20 times more. And by having widespread antibody testing, that will give us a better idea.


ALLEN: Drew Griffin with that report there.

Russia announced a staggering new record of coronavirus cases in one day. More than 11,000. The country has surpassed 177,000 total cases, according to Johns Hopkins, with more than 1,600 deaths. Russia is on mandatory lockdown until May 12th, but the mayor of Moscow extended it to the end of the month. He is also requiring people in the city to wear masks and gloves in public.

Brazil is also seeing a spike with more than 10,000 new cases in just 24 hours. But President Jair Bolsonaro, and other officials, are still pushing to reopen the economy. CNN's Matt Rivers is following the stories from Mexico City.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this outbreak continues to gets worse in Brazil after yet another day of the government reporting thousands of additional cases, this comes just one day after the government reported its highest day-to-day increase in terms of confirmed cases. So far, the number of total confirmed cases in the country now is more than 132,000. The death toll is now more than 9,000, and yet, the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, spent his day on Thursday, talking about how much he wants to lift quarantine measures currently in place in many different parts of the country.

And his speech at the Supreme Court of Brazil, he talked about how concerned he is, about the economy. He talked about how concern he is about unemployment there. He said quote, we can't let side effect of the fight against the virus be more harmful than the disease itself. Something that is a sentiment that he has said many times before.

Meanwhile, his economy minister said, he is concern that the economy might collapse and that he doesn't want to see Brazil become another Venezuela. Here's the problem though. Most experts, if not all experts would tell you that when you want to begin to think about lifting quarantine measures, the total number of confirmed cases, the total number of confirmed deaths, the number of hospitalizations, should at the very least be plateauing if not going down substantially?

[03:40:20] That is not happening in Brazil. In fact, the opposite is happening.

The number of confirmed cases saw its biggest day-to-day increase just one day ago since this outbreak began. The number of confirmed deaths continue to rise and so as the Brazilian president talks about wanting to lift quarantine measures. He is doing so at a time when it seems like the problem, the outbreak, in Brazil, is only getting worse. Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.


ALLEN: Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has outlined a three-step plan to safely reopen the country's economy and society, Mr. Morrison said he hopes to have the plan completed by July, but he urge each state and territory to work at their own phase. CNN's Simon Cullen has more for us.


SIMON CULLEN, CNN PRODUCER: The Australian government has announced its clearest plan yet for how it hopes to ease coronavirus restrictions, and gradually reopen the economy. The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison today saying, that it will be a three-stage process. Which he hopes will be complete by July. Although ultimately that timeframe could be change and it will depend on each state and territory.

But at stage one, gatherings of up to 10 peoples will be allowed. Schools will be reopened, small cafe, and restaurants, are allowed to trade again, albeit with social distancing rules in place. By stage two, gyms will allowed to operate again and more shops will be allowed to trade. By stage three, this is in July, public gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed. Most people will be back in their work places. Pubs and clubs allowed to reopen in most cases, and domestic travel restrictions will be gone. But Scott Morrison today insists, nothing will be done that will put at least Australia's coronavirus response and this timetable could be pushback if there is a second wave. Here is part of what he had to say.

SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: There will be risks, there will be challenges, there will be outbreaks, there will be more cases, there will be setbacks. Not everything will go to plan. There will be in consistencies. States will and must move at their own pace and we will cut and pasted out of this plan to suite their local circumstances.

CURRY: Now, Scott Morrison also address the issue of overseas travel, at this day, as Australia borders remain close, Scott Morrison can't see that changing anytime soon. He also says that the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for anyone arriving from overseas will remain in place. Simon Cullen, CNN, Stanthorpe, Australia.


ALLEN: Well, Hong Kong has not reported a single local infection in more than two weeks, and life is slowly going back to normal, except for the political situation there. It is now heating up. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout is there.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are signs of almost normal life, returning here to Hong Kong, after the city has reported more than two weeks of zero local infections. Government employees have returned to work. Many private sector employee as well, virtually everyone is wearing a mask.

Now, Hong Kong was never under any full lockdown. When the virus hit in January, people knew what to do because of the memory of SARS. People stayed home, schools are closed. People bought and demanded mask. But four months on strict social distancing guidelines are easing, but Hong Kong's top leader, Carrie Lam, announcing this week that social gatherings of up to eight people are allowed. Bars, cinemas, and gyms, or reopening schools will start to reopen at the end of a month, but tight border restrictions will remain to isolate any imported cases.

But on the streets, there is still a lot of anger directed at the Hong Kong government, especially after the recent (inaudible) arrest of 15 high profile democracy activist in a single day and after the 2019 Hong Kong protests, police here are not taking any chances. On Labor Day, I saw geared up riot police patrolling a popular shopping district while mass of shoppers strolled by. It was a surreal seen as Hong Kong reopens, this is the new reality. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN.


ALLEN: Britain could find out this weekend with the government's lockdown plan will be. The final decision are still being discuss but a source familiar with negotiations told CNN, that the government would likely drop stay at home as a core part of its message. CNN's Bianca Nobilo is just outside London.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN PRODUCER: No changes to the lockdown rules yet. Or at least until the Prime Minister addresses the nation on Sunday. That was the message from the Secretary of State Dominic Rob as he address the coronavirus press briefing on Thursday.


He said, any next step would be modest, incremental and used very cautious language about any kind of lift of the lockdown.

Britain's office of national statistics has revealed that the country's reproductive rate of coronavirus has dropped below the critical threshold of one, to somewhere between 0.5, and 0.9. So, in theory, the virus will continue to slowly decline in the country until it eventually dies out in theory. That's why we expect the Prime Minister to announce some kind of revision to the lockdown when he speaks to the nation on Sunday. Especially as the economic pressure is mounting. The bank of England, saying Thursday, that Britain is facing the sharpest recession on record. Bianca Nobilo, CNN, outside London. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: OK. Now to France. The French Prime Minister says his country is on schedule and hundreds of thousands of businesses should be able to reopen on May 11th. But, he also says, Paris, and the surrounding areas are going to need extra discipline because of how dense the population is. Cafes, bars, and restaurants though will not be able to reopen just yet.

The number of active cases is going down, but even then it is higher than what the Prime Minister says he hope for. Well, Europe is marking 75 years since the end of World War II when Nazi Germany surrendered to the allies. But, coronavirus restrictions are putting a damper on some of the commemorations this year. We will have more about it in a live report.





ALLEN: That is welsh singer Katherine Jenkins who will mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday by singing to an empty Royal Albert Hall in London. Jenkins called performing in an empty auditorium, surreal, but she is honored to be singing at the 150 year old legendary venue. The concert will be streamed online via YouTube. Of course, you are looking at pictures from the war, her singing is just one example of just how sober victory in Europe Day celebrations will be in Europe this year. Many commemorations are having to go virtual, and those that are maintained are just a shadow of what they deserve to be 75 years ago, yes, 75 years ago, massive crowds poured out into the streets as Nazi Germany surrendered to the allies.


Then, British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who you are seeing here, had an essential role, of course, to mark such a momentous day, some European leaders will be laying wreaths to honor the dead. CNN's Melissa Bell joins me live from Paris. Victory in Europe Day, 75. It's really sad to know that it just won't be, and feel, like it has in the past. And good morning to you Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Natalie. That's right. For 75 years this extraordinary anniversary has been in mark. It takes this sort of anniversaries, these sorts of dates for us to understand just how profoundly the world has changed. Because of course, those ceremonies will look so different today. There will be in the United Kingdom be a two minute silence, the queen will make an address.

Here in Paris we are expecting Emmanuel Macron to make his way up, a completely closed (inaudible) within the next hour for closed ceremony. Angela Merkel also closing, holding a close ceremony in Berlin. So, the enormous celebrations have been put on hold, but there is something about the courage that it took those who saw the allies through World War II, that is being called upon once again. Boris Johnson did it in this address.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: The countries who we fought are now among some of our closest friends. Most of Europe has enjoyed 75 years of peace. When I engaged in a new struggle against the coronavirus, which demands the same spirit of national endeavor.


BELL: Now Emmanuel Macron will make his way up to (inaudible) a little bit later today in what is still a partially lockdown front. The stay-at-home orders is still in place. It will be progressively, gradually, lifted from Monday. But as you mentioned a moment ago, Natalie, Paris is one of those areas that will see some restrictions still placed on people's movements. Elsewhere in Europe, loads of countries are looking towards reopening. We've seen Italy and Spain taking steps towards reopening their economies, but those restrictions of course, will continue to weigh on many European economy that had suffered profoundly as a result of these lockdown measures, and that are really looking to open as quickly and as completely as they can.

But they need very much to do it in a gradual way. The Prime Minister here in France said just yesterday, that France will be looking very closely from Monday at how those figures of people entering ICUs for instance, new cases develop and new deaths were evolving and if there were rises as a result of the lifting of the restrictions, then France would not hesitate to bring in a second stay at home orders. That's what you're seeing in Europe now. Countries looking toward opening again, but keeping a very close eye on the figures that covid-19 figures that will tell them whether that reopening has come too soon, and whether they need to go back to further restrictions, Natalie.

ALLEN: Yes. Just the thought of going back, that is what a lot of people may be seeing if they just jump it too early. Melissa Bell in Paris, thank you so much, Melissa.

Two brothers in India thought they would be applying for jobs now, but the pandemic change their plans, and their priorities.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are providing 4,000 people on a daily basis.


ALLEN: College students come home to help feed their community. We will have their story, next.



ALLEN: Many hotels, restaurants, and cafes in Europe have been close now for nearly two months. But now some chefs in Europe are tired of the lockdown, everyone is of course, they are tired of the measures in a lockdown. They want to get back to the grill. And Chefs in Brussels cooked up a scheme to show their displeasure. They laid down hundreds of white jackets, in the middle of the renowned, grand place. Spread out in neat rows, the jackets are meant to resemble a cemetery.

And restaurant owners in Milan, Italy, also staged a protest against lockdown measures by placing empty chairs in front of the Arch of Peace.

And now, we have this. Two brothers in India are taking a different approach, they started an initiative called Feed The Needy, that provides meals for 1,000 people a day. Anna Stewart has more in the good stuff.


ANNA STEWART, CNN PRODUCER: Lemon rice, bubbles away in a pot, ready to feed 1,000 people. Across India, many daily wage workers struggle for food after the national lockdown stop their income.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're students studying in the U.K. Queen's University Belfast.

STEWART: Mohammed and his brother Sultan have been studying in Northern Ireland, but when lockdown was impose there, they flew home to Chennai and started the initiative, Feed The Needy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we are thinking about how to make a difference, and how to use our experience that we gained at the University. So, we used our experience to pull a group of volunteers, and we are providing for 1,000 people on a daily basis.

STEWART: It is not quite what they imagine that they would be doing right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we were technically going for internships or applying for jobs. But yeah, that's the life has brought us here now.

STEWART: And it's likely that it has, for the thousands here, waiting in line for much needed food.


ALLEN: Way to go guys. Thanks for watching this hour. Please stay with us. I will be right back with another hour of CNN Newsroom.