Return to Transcripts main page


America Braces for Worst Jobs Report Ever; Dr. Birx: CDC Guidelines for Reopening will Be Edited, Released; Manufacturer: Only Enough Remdesivir for 200K Patients Worldwide. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired May 8, 2020 - 06:00   ET



NICK WATT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 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.


AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think that we are seeing the start of a botched reopening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to have increased testing to allow our economy to fully reopen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's absolutely horrific, and Georgians deserve answers.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gregory McMichael and his son were charged with murder and aggravated assault in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We felt like this was a relief. This, like, was a turning point in recovering my brother's case and getting justice for him.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Friday, May 8, 6 a.m. here in New York.

Alisyn is off. Erica Hill in this morning. And if I'm not mistaken, wearing slippers.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: I am wearing slippers, because I forgot to change into my sneakers on my way out the door this morning. And I realized it at 2:45.

BERMAN: It happens sometimes.

HILL: But they're comfortable. They're very comfortable. BERMAN: And supportive.

HILL: Yes.

BERMAN: All right. This morning is jam-packed with news. Some of it historically bad, some just historic.

We're awaiting the release of the April jobs report. There's simply no doubt that this will be the single worst jobs report ever. Economists forecast the U.S. unemployment rate will soar to at least 16 percent and that ten years of jobs gains have been erased in just one month.

Again, no one has ever seen anything close to this, and we're going to cover it from every angle.

Also, this morning, more than 75,000 people have now been killed by coronavirus. More than 2,000 new deaths over the last 24 hours. Still, 47 states will be partially reopened by Sunday.

Overnight, at a CNN town hall, Dr. Deborah Birx addressed the Trump administration's rejection of new CDC guidelines for safely reopening. She now claims the guidelines will be released after some editing.

And through it all, President Trump keeps insisting that testing is overrated, even though he will now be tested every day after it was revealed that one of his valets has coronavirus.

HILL: We are also following breaking news on a story we've been following throughout the week. A father and son charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed jogger, Ahmaud Arbery, two months after he was killed. We're going to speak with Ahmaud's father, coming up here on NEW DAY.

But we do begin with that devastating jobs report.

CNN's chief business correspondent, Christine Romans, joining us now with a preview -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: Erica, these are devastating and historic numbers that will finally capture the damage of the shutdown on the overall U.S. economy. These numbers will be tough to take, and every one of these numbers is a person with bills to pay.

Here's what we know. One in five people who were working at the beginning of March are not today. Let that sink in. One in five.

Thirty-three-and-a-half million layoffs or furloughs in seven short weeks. Ten years of job market gains gone.

It took months -- months -- to shed 8 million jobs during the Great Recession. And that earned the recession its own special nickname. This is four times worse, in lightning speed.

Just two months ago, the jobless rate was near a 50-year low of 3.5 percent. In April, it could reach 16 to 20 percent, the worst since the Great Depression.

There is no playbook for this. We put the economy into a recession on purpose to fight the virus. It's impossible to know how many of these jobs come back and how quickly.

Worst since the Great Depression, with an important difference. America has a safety net this time. The Federal Reserve has announced nearly unlimited support for the credit markets, and Congress has passed almost $3 trillion in bailouts, including more generous unemployment checks than in prior recessions, an extra $600 a week for four months for the unemployed, Erica.

HILL: But still, it is just --

ROMANS: It is.

HILL: It really gives you pause, to put it mildly.

Christine, thank you.

The nation's most heavily-populated state, California, will begin partially reopening today. The mayor of Los Angeles, though, is warning, it will take perhaps a year before any return to something normal.

And after rejecting CDC guidelines for safely reopening, the White House now says they will be released with revisions. CNN's Joe Johns is live at the White House this morning with more.

Joe, good morning.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Erica, call it what you will. Call it a double standard. Call it hypocrisy. It was on full display here at the White House after someone in the president's valet corps tested positive for coronavirus, a day after the press secretary downplayed the need for more testing.

Now people in the West Wing are getting routine testing for coronavirus. One more example of the divide between what the White House is saying and what the White House is doing.


JOHNS (voice-over): Dr. Deborah Birx pushing back against reports that the Trump administration is rejecting guidance from the CDC on how to safely reopen the country.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE COORDINATOR: Those are still being worked on. No one has stopped those guidelines. We're still in editing. We are in constant work with the CDC and really value their partnership.

JOHNS: But an administration official told CNN the CDC advice for the safe reopening of childcare programs, schools, religious institutions, bars and restaurants, mass transit and employers with vulnerable workers with was too specific to apply to the entire country. This as one of President Trump's military valets tested positive for

the disease.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Know who he is. Good person. But I've had very little contact. Mike has had very little contact with him. Yes, it's a little bit strange. But it's one of those things.


JOHNS: Trump tested negative, the White House says.

But there is a risk for the virus to spread at the White House. The culture war of whether to wear masks playing out nationally is there, too, as few of Trump's aides wear them during the day.

According to Dr. Birx, White House staff does work to avoid getting infected.

BIRX: I think all of us are very nervous every day. None of us want to be the one to ever bring coronavirus into the White House.

There are people who wear masks on the White House complex. I'm very scrupulous, and I know all of the meetings we have are very much focused on social distancing and ensuring that we maintain that separation.

Sometimes in meetings in the Oval, it's more difficult. But we really concentrate on this.

JOHNS: As the White House moves toward daily rapid testing for those inside the West Wing, Trump once again downplaying the need to do so nationally.

TRUMP: They do the tests, and it just shows you that the -- the fallacy is what I've been saying. Testing is not a perfect art, no matter what you do.

JOHNS: Ramping up testing is crucial to Governor Gavin Newsom's reopening of California, as residents have the green light to begin phase one under relaxed restrictions this morning.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We're moving forward, but we're doing it always with an eye being led by the data, by the science, by public health and these public health indices.

JOHNS: While San Francisco's mayor extended its stay-at-home order until May 18, Los Angeles will allow some shops to offer curbside services. Even though some parks and trails will be open again by Saturday, don't plan to take a trip to the beach in L.A. this weekend. They're still closed.

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES: And we won't hesitate to step back from these steps if we don't get this right. So let's take these new freedoms and use our responsibility to make sure that we can get through this. (END VIDEOTAPE)

JOHNS: President Trump will head to the World War II memorial on the National Mall today to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. He and the first lady are expected to meet with several World War II veterans, which would also underscore the fact that this health crisis is disproportionately affecting older Americans.

BERMAN: Right. These veterans older than 80 years old, which puts them squarely at the at-risk group. Some of their relatives not pleased it's happening. Still, they are going on their own volition.

Joe Johns at the White House, thanks very much for being with us.

Joining us now, Dr. Colleen Kraft, associate chief medical officer at Emory University Hospital; and Juliette Kayyem, CNN national security analyst and former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.

So Juliette, 47 states will be partially reopened by Sunday. Each of these states, no doubt, wants some kind of guidance about how to do it safely. As we've been discussing, the CDC put together a 17-page document. It was, CNN has reported, rejected by the administration.

But now Dr. Deborah Birx, in what seems to be a reversal, says that it's still being reviewed and will be released at some point.

People do want the guidance. It seems that she got the message that something has got to come out?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think so. Or maybe something about the timing that the administration actually wants it to go faster, and maybe the CDC document was cautious.

It sounds like the CDC really does want it out and may be doing these leaks to sort of force the White House's hand.

The irony here is, of course, is that many of these businesses that the White House wants open so badly cannot open until they have guidance, or at least some sort of, you know, approval by public health authorities.

Think about restaurants. Think about places where people congregate. So if the White House actually wants things open, they should get the guidelines out.

It's so late at this stage. Right? We should have been preparing for this gradual opening up over the course of the last 12 weeks since we've been inside.

But everything with -- with the response by the White House is always just not a little bit, often too late.

I should say just -- just quickly, that what we are getting from Germany is a little bit disconcerting. Germany, of course, we know opened up very slowly, very aggressive social distancing. They've now had three days in a row of a rise.

So we should anticipate major rises in numbers, increases in numbers over the next couple weeks. And these governors are going to have to balance whether they close back down or more gradually open up.

HILL: And as we've been talking about, since these reopenings began, we won't know for a couple of weeks what the actual impact is. But we are starting to get an idea, just based on some cell phone data, actually, from the University of Maryland. They have a social distancing index. And in looking at that. The period between April 23 and May 1, it was actually down 12 points. And 12 states partially reopened during that time.

And what they found, Doctor, is that, specifically in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Indiana, there was a 30 percent decrease in people staying at home.


When you hear those numbers, what does that tell you?

Dr. Kraft, I'm not sure if you can hear me.


HILL: I'm sorry. My apologies there. So when we hear numbers like that, and when we see this decrease in certain states and, certainly, since states have started reopening, are you concerned?

KRAFT: Absolutely. We are trying to balance all of these aspects of our society, such as the economic impact, which you've already talked about earlier with job loss. And I think going forward, you know, very quickly before we have a complete understanding of the transmission, and we have the ability to contain it, I think, is very concerning.

BERMAN: People are moving. That's what this University of Maryland study shows, Dr. Kraft, is people are moving around. Now, I guess we don't know if they're moving within six feet of each other or if they're moving around wearing masks. But if you remove stay-at-home orders, people will go out. And that's beginning to happen. So what's your advice to them if they are out?

KRAFT: I -- you know, I've kind of come full circle for myself after -- after rounding in the hospital currently and seeing how devastating this illness can be. I really think we should be wearing masks in public, without a doubt. We should be very adherent to hand hygiene.

This is the only way we can come back to a new normal in our country, is if we can contain the transmission as we go about our daily business.

HILL: It's such important advice and especially as you're seeing it on the front lines, as we're hearing all of that.

But as we know, Juliette, we have this message from people like Dr. Kraft, who are seeing firsthand the impact of this virus. And we have messaging from the White House that we're advised to wear masks. But we don't see the president of the United States doing that. And there are questions about just how many people in the White House are wearing masks on the heels of learning that this valet tested positive. What do we do with that messaging?

KAYYEM: Yes. So the modeling, by the way, has -- from the beginning has been sort of disconcerting. I mean, remember, early on, they were still shaking hands, and we were told not to shake hands. They're still very close to each other. We're told to stay apart.

And so I think the American public is sort of -- needs to sort of have it own modeling at this stage. And as Dr. Kraft said, I am now sort of full-on masking at this stage. And it's not ideal, but it is certainly going to be one of the ways in which Americans just sort of own their own healthiness and safety, because the modeling from the White House is so bad.

I am in shock that he is going to go to an open event, the president is going to go to an open event with people who are, like, beyond in the vulnerable population at this stage. They're very elderly. It is -- it is just a horrible statement to Americans.

We need to control our own behavior. It is a new normal, a now normal. Call it what you will. The only way we are now going to be able to curb, aggressively, transmission is that our personal conduct will change at this stage.

And you are actually seeing it. I know everyone wants to open up the economy. I do, too. We have to do it slowly. But you are not in the -- in the states that are opening up, people are not going out. They call it the empty table economy in Europe. They're experiencing the same thing.

People are not running to these open places to sit and socialize. They need to feel like their government has a handle on this disease if you actually want the economy to get running.

So we've got a chicken-and-egg issue going on here. We've got to get better with getting those numbers down. But the economy is not going to go blasting forward if people will not go out and if their children are still home.

BERMAN: Well, testing will make people feel more comfortable.

KAYYEM: Exactly.

BERMAN: The White House now testing every day after the president's valet came down with coronavirus after the White House said people can't be tested every day. We'll watch what happens there.

Juliette, Dr. Kraft, thank you.

Manufacturers of the only FDA-approved drug for coronavirus treatment, they're warning they only have enough doses for a fraction of patients worldwide. Doctors say they're getting little guidance about how to decide who gets it. We'll discuss, next.



HILL: New questions this morning about the rollout of Remdesivir, the only FDA-approved drug to treat coronavirus. The drug's maker says it has only enough for 200,000 patients worldwide. So the question is, which hospitals, which patients should get it?

Here's CNN's Elizabeth Cohen with the story.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was announced last week with great fanfare.

TRUMP: An important treatment for hospitalized coronavirus patients.

COHEN: It's Remdesivir, the first and only drug shown to work against COVID-19 in a rigorous clinical trial. Made by the company Gilead, preliminary results show it shortens a patient's hospital stay by about four days.

MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our task force will work very closely with Gilead to make sure that those, starting on Monday, are distributed to hospitals where patients are struggling.

COHEN: But there's a problem. Gilead says there's only enough Remdesivir for 200,000 patients, at most, worldwide, not nearly enough.

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, was happy last week when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of Remdesivir for COVID-19.

DR. PETER CHIN-HONG, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO: I think there was that excitement and then there was sadness and disappointment.

COHEN: Why do you feel sad or disappointed?

CHIN-HONG: Every day you don't get a drug, it means that more patients are potentially going to do badly. Because time is of the essence when you're talking about treating a virus.


COHEN: So doctors have to choose which of their patients will get Remdesivir.


COHEN (on camera): They're kind of asking you to play God. Who gets the medicine and who doesn't?

WALENSKY: It's been challenging. I do believe that people who merit it are not going to get it, because we simply don't have enough.

COHEN (voice-over): Doctors want to give it to their patients who could benefit most. But they don't necessarily know who those patients are, since the study on Remdesivir still hasn't been published.

The National Institutes of Health sponsored the study and told CNN in a statement that it plans to publish a report in the next few weeks.

(on camera): Would it be helpful to you to be to see the actual published results?

CHIN-HONG: Oh, yes, one million percent.

COHEN (voice-over): Another mystery: Why some hospitals were sent Remdesivir and others were not and how those hospitals can get the drug. The Department of Health and Human Services, which is allocating Remdesivir, did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

Dr. Chin-Hong says he's asked and received no answers.

CHIN-HONG: What was the process of applying? We were told that, Don't call us. We'll call you.

COHEN: Gilead says it's ramping up production, hoping to help a million patients by December. But Until there's more, doctors will continue to fight for their patients.

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN reporting.


HILL: Dr. Colleen Kraft is back with us. Also joining us, Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena, an E.R. physician at Staten Island University Hospital and director of global health at Northwell Health.

Dr. Cioe-Pena, when you hear what Elizabeth laid out for us, and I know you know how this is, we think, going to work, are you concerned at all about these doses of Remdesivir and how they will be getting to people and who's making that decision?

DR. ERIC CIOE-PENA, E.R. PHYSICIAN, STATEN ISLAND UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Yes. I mean, I think unless you are up front with the way that you are going to be distributing this drug and you select criteria that are objective, there's always going to be concern with patients and the medical community about how this drug is getting distributed.

So the best thing that I think that Gilead and the federal government could do is say, These are the qualifications of who gets this drug. This is what's necessary in order to treat a patient with it, and this is how we're allocating.

And be completely transparent with that process, especially with limited quantities. BERMAN: One of the -- one of the issues with Remdesivir, Dr. Cioe-

Pena, is you know, it's a little bit harder to scale than a simple generic pill. This is something, it's a ten -- five- or ten-day course, intravenous. Needs to be administered in a hospital. It was always going to be a challenge. And these, I know, are the early stages.

CIOE-PENA: And this, keep in mind, you know, this is a medication that has significant side effects. So this is not a medication that I think -- you know, we haven't seen the data yet, but I don't think this is being used on every coronavirus patient.

I think this is a medication that we're using on severely ill patients, because the benefit of the drug is outweighed -- outweighs the serious side effects of the drug.

And I think so that we need to be really careful about how we market and talk about this drug with patients. It's not the silver bullet. It's a patient -- it's a drug that, I think, would be very useful in very select cases.

HILL: I also want to get your take, doctors, on what we're learning, more now, about hydroxychloroquine. So there's this new study. It was funded by the NIH, done at New York Presbyterian Columbia Hospital here in New York City, and found that hydroxychloroquine did not help the patients. In fact, 60 percent ended up more severely ill, Dr. Kraft, within 48 hours. That seems like a staggering number.

KRAFT: Absolutely. And I think, in general, we need to move away when we're getting these results. That was more of a -- a study that was looking at outcomes and was powered to look at outcomes.

And I think, in general, we need to move from that therapeutic and try to look at other therapeutics that -- that have a mechanism of action against viral diseases.

BERMAN: Right. This study didn't have a control. It's an outcome-based study, Dr. Kraft.

And hydroxychloroquine, there have been a number of studies now, albeit on patients that have not shown a benefit. In some cases, have shown some harm.

I know the supporters of it still say, Well, look, we need a big study with a control. We think it might be effective as a prophylactic for healthcare workers. We haven't been able to study that yet. What do you think there?

KRAFT: Yes. I mean, I'm just struggling with using a drug that doesn't appear to have an actual mechanism against a virus. So that's a very plain way to say that and maybe overly simplistic.

But we have a cadre of antivirals that have been used for other similar and related viruses that I think we should be tapping into to try to -- to try to curb this -- this pandemic. HILL: There's obviously also a lot of focus on a vaccine. We know the

FDA has cleared now Moderna's vaccine for a second phase in testing, which is a really important phase, because now they'll start to look more, Dr. Cioe-Pena, they'll start to look at the efficacy. What should we be watching for in that?

CIOE-PENA: So I mean, what we really want to see, is I'm sure that they're going to have preliminary results based on that second phase. And this is the first time we actually are looking or measuring whether it protects anybody. And it's going to be a small-scale study.


But usually, for the FDA to approve a vaccine trial to go to the third stage, there has to be suggestions that it's going to be protective in that small group of people that it's studied in.

And so this really is a vaccine's first test at -- at protecting us against the virus.

HILL: Doctors Kraft and Cioe-Pena, always appreciate you joining us. Thank you.

KRAFT: Thank you.

CIOE-PENA: Thanks for having me.

HILL: Overnight, a father and son charged with murder in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery. The breaking details. We have a live report for you, next.


BERMAN: Breaking overnight, a father and son charged with murder in the shooting death of a jogger, Ahmaud Arbery, two months after he was killed.

CNN's Martin Savidge has been following the story. He joins us now live with the breaking details -- Martin.

SAVIDGE: Morning, John.

This case has really had two speeds: stagnant and lightning. And the difference between the two has been the horrific video that was released on Tuesday that allegedly showed the death of Ahmaud Arbery.