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New CDC Guidelines on Reopening Being Revised; Washington State has Kept COVID-19 Cases Low So Far; Some Rural California Counties Defy State Restrictions; Charges Files in Death of Georgia Jogger Caught on Video; French President Marks 75th Anniversary of VE Day; Hong Kong's New Reality as Pro-Democracy Activists Return. Aired 4:30- 5a ET
Aired May 8, 2020 - 04:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: It was more about simplification to really make sure that both the American people as well as public health officials understand the guidelines. And then really working on a whole area on surveillance for asymptomatic individuals. And that was a very new element that we felt very strongly had to be included. Because of the ever-increasing evidence of asymptomatic spread.
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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: The coronavirus has killed more than 75,000 people in the U.S. and almost 270,000 worldwide. The first known U.S. death attributed to COVID-19 is believed to have occurred in Washington state. But as of Friday, months later the state's total death toll is still fewer than 1,000 according to Johns Hopkins. Sara Sidner talks with officials there about what they did right.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This E.R. in suburban Seattle was in the first U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.
(on camera): Describe what that was like.
DR. KEVIN HANSON, EVERGREENHEALTH: Yes, it was a little chaotic.
SIDNER (voice-over): Two months later, it's a symbol of how to contain the virus. Washington state has less than a 1,000 COVID deaths, while densely populated New York has more than 25,000.
HANSON: We're down to probably 10 to 15 percent of what we were seeing with COVID at sort of the peak.
SIDNER (on camera): Wow.
(voice-over): Washington state avoided the predicted COVID-19 surge, partly due to its reaction to a discovery by Dr. Francis Riedo. In February, he tested two patients with no connection to infected countries. Both came back positive.
(on camera): What did you think?
DR. FRANCIS RIEDO, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, INFECTION CONTROL, EVERGREENHEALTH: It was a moment of recognition, realizing that now everything had changed.
SIDNER (voice-over): Then, the first known COVID-19 death in America occurred here. Washington Governor Jay Inslee took immediate action.
JAY INSLEE, WASHINGTON GOVERNOR: I declared an emergency. And so this was an all-points bulletin.
SIDNER (on camera): Three days after the emergency declaration, we were here. There was a noticeable emptying of the streets.
That's because the tech giants headquartered here in Washington, like Amazon and Microsoft, urged all their employees who could to stay home before any order. That was not by chance, according to Seattle's mayor.
JENNY DURKAN, SEATTLE MAYOR: We include them in our plans and conversations from the beginning. The data is really clear. That first phase of having people telecommute and not come downtown really started breaking the back of the virus.
SIDNER (voice-over): The governor then banned gatherings of 250 or more, ordered schools closed, then restaurants and bars.
(on camera): Why not say, all right, we're closing everything down right away?
INSLEE: If you're going to lead a parade, you have got to make sure someone is behind you. And if you go too fast and the public is unwilling to accept, then you have lost your connection to your community.
SIDNER (voice-over): It's a page right out of the CDC's pandemic handbook on communication.
Finally, the stay-at-home order came. We watched boards go up over businesses, and now, two months later, those boards beautified by artists commissioned to remind the public the city is not down and out, just on a break.
(on camera): The world's most famous coffee shop, a Seattle original, is no longer just drive-through only.
(voice-over): The state's largest private employer, Boeing, slowly taking off, but cutting its work force, empty parks now family playgrounds again, construction back in business.
Washington went from number one in U.S. COVID-19 deaths to 18th. Still, there's a slow march to reopening here. INSLEE: And the pace of that will be dictated by the data. It will be based on what we learn every day. This is very important, because, as we move away from the blunt instrument of social distancing towards the smart weapon of testing, contact tracing, and isolation, we have to have that capability up and running.
SIDNER: One thing Governor Inslee isn't being praised for, the nursing home at the center of the deadly outbreak went more than a week without any hands-on government help.
(on camera): Should you have stepped in and said, we got to get people in there faster than this?
INSLEE: This corporation had a responsibility for the medical care of their patients. We couldn't just walk in on day one, without some coordination with them, to really understand the circumstance.
SIDNER (voice-over): But just like hospitals, it was struggling to get testing and worrying about securing protective equipment.
INSLEE: And we did not have enough PPE for nurses in many facilities, and still don't.
SIDNER (on camera): The governor very clear that without a massive amount of PPE, a ramp up of testing or a vaccine, his state, he says, cannot fully reopen. But to give you some idea of what's happening now, this is Height Place Market. And what we're seeing is that businesses, some of them who have been allowed to be open like fruit and vegetable sellers, they've been open but they haven't had as many people coming. Now we're seeing more people showing up as they try and help the economy reopen as well.
Sara Sidner, CNN, Seattle.
ALLEN: Some retail stores in California will be allowed to reopen in the coming hours. The governor says they'll be able to provide curbside pickup and deliveries.
But to CNN's Dan Simon reports some counties are defying the state's stay at home orders.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Marsha Miller has owned this hair salon for 35 years. On Monday, she and her daughter reopened it. Anxious clients filed in.
MARSHA MILLER, OWNER, HEADLINES SALON AND SPA: And I cried through the whole thing because I couldn't -- 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 she needed to close back up 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 GOLDBY, BUSINESS PARTNER, HEADLINES SALON AND SPA: Emotionally, it's been hard this last week. I mean, watching my mom is -- this is her life. You know, and I took it on as my life a handful of years 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're witnessing is a tug-of-war going on right now between rural California and Governor Newsom. Yuba and Sutter 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's stay-at-home orders.
GAVIN NEWSOM, CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: They put those businesses at risk, not only the health of their communities at risk.
SIMON: Nonetheless, restaurants here now have dine-in customers. It's an image you won't see in other parts of the state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These little mom-and-pop businesses, they've got to open up in order to be able 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 who walked in and said it's like Christmas morning. So, yes, they were thrilled that they can come back in and see their friends they haven't seen for a while.
SIMON: But restaurants too were also putting themselves at risk in defiance of the governor, at least those who serve alcohol. The state ABC, Alcoholic Beverage Control, is informing restaurants they could face disciplinary proceedings, which could include losing their liquor license by remaining open.
HENRY STUEVE, OWNER, KRANKIN HANKS SPORTS BAR AND GRILL: I consider the red coats showed up yesterday and shut me down.
SIMON: For Henry Stueve, staying open was a risk he couldn't take.
STUEVE: It's crippling to our business if we lose our license. We wouldn't have a sports bar. It's kinds of -- you know, you wouldn't have one.
SIMON (on camera): So you said, I need to shut down?
STUEVE: So we shut down.
SIMON: Well state regulators say they are sympathetic to the plight of these businesses. But clearly this is a warning and these places need to decide if they are going to stay open.
Dan Simon, CNN, Yuba City, California.
ALLEN: The coronavirus could kill an extra 75,000 people in the U.S. but not in the way you might think. Experts from the health care group Well Being Trust -- that's their name -- say they're worried people could die from what they call, deaths of despair. That's drug or alcohol abuse or suicide resulted from the growing unemployment crisis and stress from isolation and uncertainty. They're urging officials to bolster mental health services to aid those who have lost their jobs or are lonely and depressed.
Disturbing video leaked Tuesday showing the death of a jogger in South Georgia. A public outcry erupted and now charges filed and arrests made. We'll have the story coming up here.
Plus, muted ceremonies taking place in Europe to mark 75 years since the end of World War II. We'll be live in Paris.
ALLEN: This is a story that's been captivating many people in the United States. Arrests have now been made in the shooting death of a black man that was captured on shocking cell phone video which we will show you. 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was killed in February in a neighborhood near his home outside Brunswick, Georgia. His family says he was simply jogging. Now to white men, 64-year-old Gregory McMichael and his 34-year-old son Travis are being held on charges of aggravated assault and murder. A police report quotes one of them saying he thought Arbery looked like a burglary suspect.
The case burst to national prominence Tuesday when this disturbing video was leaked. It shows a physical confrontation and Arbery's death. There have been protests since the video went public. Celebrities and high-profile figures condemned the young man's death. Georgia's governor promises a thorough investigation.
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BRIAN KEMP, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: Earlier this week I watched a video depicting Mr. Arbery's last moments alive. I can tell you it's absolutely horrific and Georgians deserve answers. I have full confidence in Vick Reynolds and the Georgia bureau of investigation. I know that they will be working around the clock to thoroughly and independently investigate Mr. Arbery's death to find the truth.
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ALLEN: Ahmaud Arbery's sister, Jasmine, spoke a few hours ago with our Chris Cuomo. She says her family is numb but relieved charges have finally been filed. However, they know it's only the first step.
JASMINE ARBERY, AHMAUD ARBERY'S SISTER: There's a relief. This has been a long run. It has been a long time. Feels like it's been a long time. So this day was a turning point in recovering my brother's case and getting justice for him. So we're relieved and happy.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST, CUOMO PRIME TIME: Did your family ever say to your brother, don't run in that neighborhood? That's not our neighborhood? I know that has all kinds of overtones to it. But the way he was treated by these men as not belonging there seems like a suggestion. What do you know about that? Did your parents ever say anything to him like be careful about doing that?
ARBERY: No, because live in less than five miles away from that neighborhood. So in a sense it was his neighborhood.
CUOMO: And how long was he known to run? Like how far would he go?
ARBERY: Maybe five miles, six miles.
CUOMO: How has your family taken this?
ARBERY: It's been a numbing state for the family because we haven't been able to breathe and in a constant fight mode because we're trying to seek justice for our brother.
CUOMO: Why do you think this happened, Jasmine?
ARBERY: I believe it was a hate crime.
CUOMO: How so?
ARBERY: It was one black guy and three white guys.
My brother was jogging.
CUOMO: How does that make you feel that that might have been what took your brother's life?
ARBERY: As if his life wasn't respected.
CUOMO: What do you want for him?
ARBERY: We want justice. We're seeking justice.
CUOMO: What does that look like?
ARBERY: Better, getting consequences of (INAUDIBLE) in the sense. This whole situation is senseless. It could have been avoided. Our brother is supposed to be here. His birthday is tomorrow.
ALLEN: That interview was conducted a few hours ago. So today, Friday, would have been her brother's -- Ahmaud Arbery's 26th birthday.
The coronavirus pandemic is overshadowing a major anniversary, victory in Europe or V-E Day. Today marks 75 years since Nazi Germany surrendered to the allies marking the end of World War II. European leaders are taking part in muted celebrations amid COVID-19 restrictions. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson there paying his respects at the grave of the unknown warrior in Westminster Abbey. He said the fight against coronavirus requires the same spirit of national endeavor as the fight against the Nazis.
In Paris French President Emmanuel Macron is laying a wreath at the statue of General de Gaulle in Paris. He will also visit the tomb of the unknown soldier as well like Boris Johnson. CNN's Melissa Bell joins us now from the French capital. It looks to be a beautiful day there and it's unfortunate that people won't be able to get out in mass and celebrate 75 years since the end of the war.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. An important anniversary, and one that would have been marked very differently than it will do today. It is a beautiful day here in Paris. We're expecting in the next few minutes the French President to make his way up the Champs-Elysees which had been entirely closed off. And with the rest of Paris around it still in lockdown at least until Monday. The quiet up here is really quite extraordinary.
But of course, very muted celebrations of a significant anniversary, in London, in Berlin, in Paris. Closed ceremonies and much more restricted than they would've been otherwise and yet that sense that it is the very courage that inhabits of those who took on the Nazis in 1945 that is even once again as the world takes on coronavirus. Have a listen to what the British Prime Minister had to say.
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BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The countries who we fought are now among our closest friends. And most of Europe has enjoyed 75 years of peace. We're now engaging in a new struggle against the coronavirus which demands the same spirit of national endeavor.
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BELL: Now for so many of these European capitals remain closed off today and for the next few days we're going to hear more about the United Kingdom's gradual plans for reopening from Sunday. Here in Paris we will see a reopening of the country to a limited extent from Monday since that is when the country's stay-at-home order has been nearly 2 months since this fairly strictly enforced stay-at-home order has been in place. That begins to lift on Monday with a gradual return to everyday life with important restrictions in place like the ones we've seen still in Italy and Spain. The question is how much those restrictions will weigh on these economies as they seek to get something back to normal.
But also, Natalie, the really crucial thing is going to be keeping an eye on those COVID-19 figures. The very restricted policies have seen the numbers improve in a number of European countries with the number of people in ICU units going down, for instance here in France. The question is, as people get back to their lives as normal, even with some of those restrictions, with many more people out in the streets in cities like here in Paris, will the numbers rise? Here in France, at least they made it very clear that they will not hesitate to reinstall another stay-at-home order if that's the case.
Emmanuel Macron just making his way up here now from the statue of Arc de Triomphe down there at the bottom of the Champs-Elysees. His car will be making its way up -- just pasted me here up on the Champs- Elysees. Again, very quiet, the only people who are out are the policemen. On his way to Arc de Triomphe, a restricted closed ceremony with just a few dignitaries where he'll be laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier.
ALLEN: And he's doing that right now, Melissa. Thank you so much. Let's just listen in for a few seconds.
Melissa Bell, thank you so much in Paris. And yes, as we said, very solitary commemoration there across Europe today.
We'll be coming up next with more stories. The COVID crisis will be keeping some people, beach goers apart from each other. Ahead, the clear fact on a new plexiglass safety measure.
ALLEN: in Hong Kong life is slowly going back to normal since the pandemic broke out except for one thing, the political situation there. It is now heating up. Our Kristie Lu Stout is there.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are signs of almost normal life returning here in Hong Kong after the city has reported two weeks of zero local infections. Government employees have returned to work, many private sector employees as well and 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 were closed. People bought and demanded masks.
But four months on strict social distancing guidelines are easing.
With Hong Kong's top leader Carrie Lam announcing this week that social gatherings of up to eight people are allowed. Bars, cinemas and gyms are reopening. Schools will start to reopen at the end of the 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 wave of arrests of 15 high profile democracy activists 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 masked up shoppers strolled by. It was a surreal scene. As Hong Kong reopens, this is a new reality.
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN.
ALLEN: Take a look at this -- JetBlue Airlines found a big way to say thank you to health care workers and first responders in New York City by doing a three-plane flyover on Thursday evening. The airline used three New York City themed planes that says I love NY, NYPD, and FDNY. Jetting across the city's iconic skyline at about 2,000 feet. It's also donating round trip flight certificates to 10,000 health care workers. Way to go, JetBlue.
OK. So in addition to sunglasses and sunscreen, there are some new precautions for tourists when they finally return to Greece's most popular island. The owner of the beach bar on Santorini has placed plexiglass barriers around the lounge chairs to keep people physically distant. It is a reaction of course to the COVID crisis which has slashed advanced bookings here by more than half. The bar owner doesn't like the screens but says he'll do whatever it takes to bring the customers back. He hopes to be back in business in July. Santorini, wouldn't we all like to be there.
Thanks so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. Much more news right after this. See you tomorrow.