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Two Members Of White House Staff Test Positive For Coronavirus; Businesses Begin Reopening In Most States Across U.S.; Miami-Dade And Palm Beach Counties In Florida May Reopen Businesses Soon; Audio Released Of Former President Obama Criticizing Trump Administration; Hospitals Face Shortage Of FDA-Approved Drug Remdesivir To Treat Coronavirus Patients; U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson To Address Nation. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired May 9, 2020 - 14:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

This hour we are watching the coronavirus death toll climb even higher. Now more than 77,000 Americans have died. Over 1.2 million people have been infected. Despite those numbers, 47 states are partially reopened for business this weekend, even though they have not met government guidelines on reopening safely.

We're also learning about a new case involving someone close to President Trump's daughter. Ivanka Trump's personal assistant has now tested positive for coronavirus. The news coming just hours after Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary Katie Miller tested positive. She's the one on the right not wearing a mask. This photo was taken on Thursday before her test.

Let's start with the growing number of states reopening and the tough decisions businesses are being forced to make on when and how to restart operations. CNN's Natasha Chen has been talking to many of those business owners. And what are they telling you?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, they're in a tough spot because they know what the risks are, but they're really desperate to earn some kind of money at this point. The early criticism for states reopening businesses was that some of them weren't seeing this 14-day downward trend in new cases, which is one of the requirements from White House guidelines for reopening business. \

Here in Georgia, we've had tattoo parlor, bowling alleys, restaurants and movie theaters open for a couple of weeks now, but other states are playing it much more cautiously.


CHEN: By the end of the weekend, all but three states -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

CHEN: -- will have eased quarantine restrictions in some way, even in once hard-hit Rhode Island, where the governor said Friday her state will be the first in the northeast to lift a stay-at-home order.

GOV. GINA RAIMONDO, (D) RHODE ISLAND: If you look at the facts on the ground, the data on the ground, we're doing better. And so therefore we're in a better position so we can start to lift our restrictions a little bit sooner.

CHEN: Restrictions are lifting from coast-to-coast. In North Carolina retail stores have reopened, but at 50 percent capacity. In Delaware, stores can now offer curbside pickup. That goes for California as well, where stores can also now deliver just in time to send flowers for Mother's Day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For me as a small shop, I'm not going to let anybody in. But at least I can operate, cannot just open everything, because we will have a second wave, and then we will go back to square one.

CHEN: San Francisco has decided to keep businesses closed until May 18th. But the rest of the state has some businesses reopening with modifications.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I stay out of the politics. I need to open. We're ready.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is what we have right now for takeout.

CHEN: Nevada and Alaska have now joined more than a dozen states to resume dine-in services in restaurants with restrictions. People can also now get a drink at a bar in Alaska at 25 percent capacity. In Arizona, people can get their haircut by appointment only. Same for Texas, with owners eager to open doors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything is ready, and my clients are more than ready.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything, I lost everything. Destroyed my business. I lost my business. That's what it has done.

CHEN: In Iowa, people can go back to the dentist, go to campgrounds, the drive-in movies, and tanning facilities following special guidelines. Tennessee now joins Georgia in allowing people to go to bowling alleys. Pennsylvania is taking a county by county approach to reopening. Welcome news to this chocolatier in the town of Williamsport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're hoping that the people, especially those who are, let's say, under age 60 come out more because, again they -- you need to just get out, I think.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHEN: Researchers at the University of Maryland have been looking at cell phone data when states started announcing reopenings. Georgia has been very aggressive about that, and researchers did notice that travel from neighboring states to Georgia actually increased 10 percent to 20 percent when that happened, Fred.


WHITFIELD: All right, Natasha Chen, thank you so much.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is updating his states reopening plan, now allowing even more businesses to restart operations on Monday. Here's CNN's Rosa Flores.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two Florida counties that have been at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the state could be reopening soon. I'm talking about Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. The two counties were not included in Florida's phase one of the reopening plan, which kicked off this past Monday.

But Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday that Palm Beach County could move into phase one starting Monday, which means restaurants and retail stores can start reopening there at 25 percent capacity, and restaurants can offer outdoor dining so long as seating is set at least six feet apart.

The Palm Beach County commissioners also voted Friday to reopen beaches starting Monday, May 18th, with some restrictions, although commissioners did say they could rescind, modify, or amend the approval to reopen beaches. And despite videos that have surfaced showing people not wearing facemasks or not social distancing, Miami- Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez says his county is ready to reopen.

Gimenez is setting a target date of Monday, May 18th, to begin reopening some businesses. The mayor says Governor DeSantis is in agreement. And finally, Governor Ron DeSantis announcing Friday that barber shops, nail salons, and hair salons will be allowed to reopen in Florida starting on Monday, but only for counties participating in phase one of the reopening plan.

Rosa Flores, CNN, Miami.


WHITFIELD: All right, the White House is now responding after former president Barack Obama slammed the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus, Obama giving a stinging rebuke of the way the White House managed the pandemic from the very start. The former president weighed in during a private phone call with some of his former staff.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we're going to be battling is not just a particular individual or a political party, but what we're fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided and seeing others as an enemy, that has become a stronger impulse in American life. And by the way, we're seeing that internationally as well.

And it's part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty. And it would have been bad even with the best of governments. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset of what's in it for me and to heck with everybody else, when that mindset is operationalized in our government.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Jeremy Diamond is at the White House for us. So, Jeremy, what kind of response is coming from the White House?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Fred, it was a searing indictment of President Trump's coronavirus response by the former president, former president Obama calling it an absolute chaotic disaster, anemic and spotty, as you heard in that audio clip there.

The White House is now responding, Fred. The White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, she says this -- "President Trump's coronavirus response has been unprecedented and saved American lives." She goes on to also say that there has been bipartisan recognition of President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

But, of course, what we know, Fred, is that President Obama is just the latest official or individual to add his voice to a chorus of criticism that President Trump and his administration have faced for parts of the coronavirus response.

Some of it, of course, has indeed been partisan, but much of it has not. We've heard from public health experts, from governors, Republicans and Democrats alike, who have criticized parts of the Trump administration's response, including its ongoing struggles with regards to testing.

Now, we also heard from the former President Obama in that audio recording also addressing the Justice Department's in the last couple of days to drop the case against President Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Former president Obama saying that -- warning that the rule of law is at risk with that decision. The White House, though, did not respond to that part of Obama's comments. Fred?

WHITFIELD: All right, Jeremy, and also remember it was just a week ago we also heard from former president George W. Bush in a very poignant, powerful, produced message from him about the need for unity, and there should be less partisanship.


All right. Thank you so much, Jeremy.

All right, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted the first emergency use authorization for an antigen test for the coronavirus. Antigen tests can diagnose the virus more quickly than traditional tests. Antigen tests provide results in a matter of minutes, similar to a flu or strep test, versus other diagnostic screening for the coronavirus, which can take up to a week or more.

According to a statement from the FDA, it says "Antigen tests can potentially scale to test millions of Americans per day due to their simpler design, helping our country better identify infection rates closer to real time," end quote. The downside of this type of test is a higher chance of false negatives, however.

All right, federal officials have shipped 260 cases of the drug remdesivir to states hardest hit by the coronavirus. This comes as distribution of the experimental antiviral drug comes under scrutiny after a recent FDA announcement sparked a rapid rise in demand. CNN's Elizabeth Cohen has more on the distribution concerns.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It was announced last week with great fanfare.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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 person's hospital stay by about four days.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our task force will work closely with Gilead to make sure those medicines, 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 it 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: 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: Doctors want to give to it 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 it plans to publish a report in the next few weeks.

Would it be helpful for to you be able to see the actual published results?

CHIN-HONG: Oh, yes, 1 million percent.

COHEN: Another mystery, why some 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: It was a 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.


WHITFIELD: All right, coming up, 20.5 million jobs were lost in April, and that number has many people worried about money. Our panel will answer your questions about finance, health, and family. And health experts in the United Kingdom are reporting a steady and consistent fall in coronavirus deaths. So will lockdown restrictions be lifted?

And a new reality on planes and trains. See how coronavirus has transformed transportation.



WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. As Europe slowly begins to reopen, people are dealing with the new reality of air travel, including the widespread use of masks. CNN's Nic Robertson traveled from Athens to London and shows us how much has changed.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's 20 past 5:00 in the morning, Athens. I'm checking out of the hotel. It's still dark outside. Long journey bark to London by plane, by train, from a relative cold zone COVID-19 to one of Europe's highest hot zones. See how it goes.

The airport, the sun is rising. Here we go. A lot of destinations. Only two of them are international. Thank you very much indeed. Good luck. So that's interesting. Before you can get on this flight, they want to make sure you have a connection to your final destination, that you're traveling to your home country or have a reason for going to another country.

Last look at Greece. Sure, the plane is clean, but these days you want to be doubly sure. Like the flight when we came in here, leaving on this plane, we have to wear the facemasks. When you go in the back of the cabin, there's almost zero social distancing. Seats are full, three and three.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, keep your distances, and we'll let you know when the doors are open.

ROBERTSON: That was quite an odd experience on a flight, three-and-a- half hours almost, and for the entire flight the aircrew stayed behind their curtain. They didn't come out. That's not something I've seen before.

When we get through, we're given this, COVID-19 instructions. Notice that all persons entering Belgian territory, so these are the regulations you get handed when you arrive in Belgium. In Belgium they're 1.5 meters. In the U.K. and in Greece, it's been two meters, but here it's 1.5 meters.

The next stop is customs and a train.

Do you worry when you pick up the passengers that may be the passenger gives you the virus?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What can you do? This is life. It's your job.

ROBERTSON: I've got to find somewhere to get a coffee or a sandwich. I know you haven't eaten. We had a coffee in Athens at about 6:00 in the morning, and it's the middle of the day now, so a little caffeine would help. Here we are. We're too early. This is the joy of traveling by plane and train when there are only one or two planes and trains. This is the only Euro Star today, so we'll wait four hours.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look after yourself, your fellow passengers, and the train by spreading out, by respecting social distancing, and by wearing your mask at all times.

ROBERTSON: Unlike the plane, the train is really quite empty, and we just learned from one of the staff that there is no service on the train today. It really is bare bones operation.

Fourteen hours to get here to London, but we've made it. Travel definitely has changed. It's slower. There are fewer frills, do expect border guards to ask you more questions. But you know what, underneath their masks, I have to say, everyone has got a big smile. We're all in this together. This is the new normal.

Nic Robertson, CNN, St. Pancras Station, London.


WHITFIELD: Glad he traveled safely.

To avoid overcrowding on public transit during the coronavirus pandemic, the U.K. has announced a $2.5 billion package to get people walking and riding their bikes. The effort to promote alternative forms of travel comes as the country reports a steady decline in coronavirus deaths. Bianca Nobilo is in London for us. And we're also going to hear from Prime Minister Boris Johnson tomorrow, is that right?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: We're expecting to hear from the prime minister at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow, Fred, yes, that's right. This will be one of his key addresses to the nation, where he's going to talk about lockdown, how much longer it will last, perhaps some revisions.

Initially at the beginning of the week we were expecting to see some significant changes to the lockdown in Britain, which many people would argue is still a partial lockdown. We still have planes coming in, and at the moment people aren't forced into quarantine when they arrive. You're allowed to work. You're allowed to use public transport if you're a key worker, and you are allowed to go outside once a day for exercise.

We are expecting that the government will try and relax subtle elements of this strategy, for example, allowing people to exercise more than once daily outside. Maybe opening up some shops.

But one of the key points which you just alluded to, Fred, is this issue of public transport. Anyone who has used the London underground system knows that it's cramped. You're like in a tin of sardines when you're in there.

And as the transport secretary announced today, we're only going to have the capacity in Britain to have one out of 10 of those people in the London underground if they're going to abide by social distancing rules. So plenty of things still to be worked out.

But as for what the prime minister is likely to say, his whole focus going forward as well as maintaining the health of the population and avoiding that key second peak is trying to get the economy back up and running. So we're expecting him to announce some measures for businesses that they can slowly take the so-called roadmap to economic recovery in the coming weeks and months that will give Britain some confidence that there is an end in sight.

WHITFIELD: OK. And it's hard to envision the tube with just a few people in each car, when generally if anyone has been in one of those cars, it is usually jampacked. That will be a sight to see. Bianca Nobilo, thank you so much in London.

All right, is it safe to go to the dentist? Well, what about the hair salon? We'll answer your top coronavirus questions next.



WHITFIELD: All right, even as states reopen, coronavirus continues to have a huge impact on all of our daily lives. Take a look at the numbers. There are more than 1.2 million cases in the United States. A record 20.5 million jobs were lost in one month, the month of April. And children in 48 states are facing school closures through the end of the academic year.

Here to answer some of your questions about health, money, and family, I'm joined by Dr. Darria Long, emergency room physician and clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, welcome. Also, Robi Ludwig, who is a psychotherapist, and personal finance columnist for "the Washington Post," Michelle Singletary. Good to see you both. Good to see all three of you.


WHITFIELD: All right, welcome.


So Michele, you first. A viewer writes "I'm going to be laid off in the coming weeks." How should I organize my finances?

MICHELLE SINGLETARY, SYNDICATED PERSONAL FINANCE COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": So what I've been telling people is that if you have had a disruption in your income or laid, you have got to triage your bills, so you have to take care of the most critical bills first. So that's the roof over your head, food on a table, and if you're still trying to look for a job.

But other than that, everything else has to go. And that means that maybe your credit card bills don't get paid. And you need to call your lenders and let them know that I can't make this payment on my credit card because I'm out of work. But take care of the things that are most necessary, the most critical. And unfortunately, you're going to have to let a lot of other stuff go.

WHITFIELD: And so when it comes to utilities and all that, there are utility companies that will work with you too, but you have to call them and let them know?

SINGLETARY: That's exactly right. So call everybody and find out who can give you a break, and if you've been on budget billing and things like that, that might help you as well. But just all your lenders, all your creditors, anybody that you owe -- your landlord if you're renting, and let them know what's going on.

If you're in a federally subsidized housing or federally backed housing, you will get a break on rent at least up till July. So just call everyone and just pay the things that you absolutely have to pay. You can't get a break on your groceries so you've got to pay that. But everything else, you try to take a break in payment.

WHITFIELD: Good. Hopefully everybody, folks who need it will find a lot of compassion out there. All right, so, Robi, a viewer writes, "Is it appropriate to ask someone to wear a mask even if it's a stranger?"

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I think it is, especially now. It's what they are recommending that we do, the CDC is recommending it. It's really all in the approach. You don't want to put yourself in harm's way and approach somebody where it causes an argument. I would even recommend having an extra mask with you so that you can provide it to somebody and just say, hey, listen, we all want to get through this together and do it as quickly as possible, and this help move us in the right direction.

WHITFIELD: That's a kind way of doing that. Dr. Long, Michelle asks, "What do you know about this mysterious illness in children that's similar to Kawasaki Disease? Should I be concerned as a parent?"

DR. DARRIA LONG, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Yes, hi, Fred. Michelle, this is a great question. I think this new Kawasaki-like disease, for myself as a parent, too, it has made me more vigilant, because up until this point we've been saying COVID causes less severe illness in children overall. And that is still fair to say, absolutely.

But I think this Kawasaki-like syndrome does highlight that there are some children for whom if there is a tie with COVID and this Kawasaki syndrome, could be making them definitely more ill, and it means that we need to be more vigilant and conscientious of how to make sure we're protecting our kids as we start releasing lockdown.

WHITFIELD: Michelle, Joe asks "How long does unemployment insurance last, and are there any other resources after it expires?"

SINGLETARY: So, how long it lasts depends on what state you live in. So all of those directions are by state. So, for example, if you lived in Florida, you get 26 weeks, Minnesota, 26 weeks. Minnesota, you get 700 -- the maximum benefit is $740. So you have to check your state unemployment to see what the maximum weeks are, and the maximum payment.

And then on top of that the CARES Act added an extra $600 a week until the end of July, and then you get an extra 13 weeks. So definitely contact your state office, apply for the benefits. Even if you're denied, file an appeal, because a lot of these systems, they are not catching up with a lot of things. It's hard to get into them. Maybe you answered a question incorrectly. So keep trying.

And then try the community resources, the food banks. If you're a member of a church, contact them. This is a time to call on the folks in your community and neighbors and maybe your friends and family and say, I've lost my job. I need help. We got to pack our pride during this time. It's OK to ask for help.

And if someone calls you, and let's say someone calls you and they've not been very good with their money, and you know that, they've been a little irresponsible. This is not the time to wag your finger at them. This is not the time to do that. You help people where they are. And when this is over, there will be programs and things to help people get back on track and maybe help them make better financial decisions.

WHITFIELD: Make comforting a priority.

All right, we've got so many more questions coming from viewers. Stay with me. We're going to answer them in just a moment.

But first, a question about going back to work. A viewer writes, "My employer has started their reopening process and has asked me to report to the office next week. What kind of questions should I be asking my boss to make sure I feel safe when I return to work?"


We're going to answer that. To help us answer here's CNN law enforcement analyst and security consultant Jonathan Wackrow.


JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Great question and very relevant as many others like yourself may be soon returning back to work. The concept of feeling safe in the work place is very subjective, and only you can answer the question of what is it going to take to be safe in your return. I encourage you to open up dialogue with your employer to discuss what concerns you may have upon returning to the office.

The second part of this understand that employers are faced with mandatory and discretionary decisions around health security. So things that you should be asking directly of your employer include, how have they prepared the office, and are they following the CDC guidelines? Are there any new health screening protocols that have been implemented, such as temperature checks or health declarations that you need to be made of aware of?

Are there policy changes, such as modified sick leave instituted during this time of crisis? Have they instituted any social distancing plans coupled with physical space adjustments? And are they providing you and your colleagues with the appropriate PPE, such as masks and gloves, for your safety?

Understand at the end of the day any plan that's put forth today is going to change over time. Employees and employers have a shared fate when it comes to the success of health and safety initiatives within the workplace. I urge constant communication between you and your employer to ensure a successful and safe return.




WHITFIELD: Welcome back. Right now our panel is here answering your questions about health, money, and family. Let's welcome back Dr. Darria Long, Psychotherapist Robi Ludwig, and personal finance columnist for "The Washington Post" Michelle Singletary.

Ladies, Robi, you first. John writes, "I was recently laid off and money for food has been extra tight. How do I explain this situation to my children without scaring them?" I think everybody can relate, because when the kids are home, the food bill has become the biggest bill in most of our households. But money is tight. So what should he say to his kids?

LUDWIG: Such a great question, and I think it's important to acknowledge the reality to say, listen, we're going through a tough time financially as a family. We are going to get through this together. I'm going to make sure that we are all taken care of. And let's figure out a way that we can all do our part to make this as easy as possible for everyone. The most important point is to underscore that they will get through it together as a family, and not to trigger any fear in the children.

WHITFIELD: Dr. Long, Maureen from Florida asks "How safe is going to the dentist? What type of precautions should I ask about or look for?"

LONG: Yes, so the good thing about going to the dentist is among all the different jobs out there, the dentists are probably the most focused on how to prevent the spread of germs in the first place, even in the non-COVID era. So I think that going to the dentist is perfectly safe to do. I think most dentists are already employing a lot of strategies.

But you're going to want to do the same things we're doing in many place, try to wait in your car, not wait in the waiting room, you're wearing a mask when you're not doing -- when you don't have to have the mask on at that point. But I think going to the dentist, preventive care in general to your doctor, to your dentist, those are things we should not be delaying at this point.

WHITFIELD: Michelle, Sharon writes, "Should I be saving money while on unemployment? If so, what's the best way to do that?"

SINGLETARY: So, I don't know too many on unemployment who have any extra money to save, but perhaps you're part of a partnership, you're married, and you can still make it on your spouse's salary, and then the unemployment helps contribute to that, then, sure, try to save what you can for the time where the unemployment runs out, because it will run out. Even though the CARES act put in some extra time for people in terms of being able to collect the money, but at some point usually about -- the way it's going to work now, probably about the end of the summer, that's when we're really going to hit the wall unless there is policy changes and more benefits coming. So if you can shave off to save, sure, do that.

And can I just jump in about the whole thing about the kids?


SINGLETARY: Because I'm home with teens, young adults. Cut my lights out, I'm just saying, cut my light out. So I think the older the children are, I think you can have some real candid conversations with them about, hey, listen, we are in this together, but I need to you do some things, like why do you need to open up my refrigerator and look in there all the time. You know what's in there. Open it up, get what you close, close my refrigerator door.


SINGLETARY: It's a good time to have those money talks that you've not had before. And you can show them what happens, and this is how you can explain to them, this is why we need an emergency fund. This is why you need an emergency fund, even as a student this. This is real live trouble that you can use as a tool to teach your children how to handle money and turn your lights out.

WHITFIELD: Yes, here's something I tried. I told my kids one night, I was like, OK, kitchen closed. Really mostly because I had been in the kitchen all day cooking, it seemed. But they all looked at me like I was crazy and didn't even buy it, so it wasn't very convincing, because they're back to opening the refrigerator and just staring at it and hoping something jumps out.


WHITFIELD: It's all of our struggles right now.

Please stand by. We're going to answer more questions from you, viewers at home, in just a moment. But first a question about going back to work.


A viewer writes, "My workplace has reopened and employees have been asked to come back into work, but my child's day care is still closed and I don't have any other child care options. I'm scared I will lose my job if I don't go into work. What should I do?"

To help us answer that question, here is CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Shan Wu.


SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Two things. First, a lot of states have actually expanded their unemployment benefits so you can use them even if you're not unemployed to pay for child care while you go back to work. Number two, there's new federal legislation called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

That legislation lets you use paid family leave and paid sick leave to care for your child. That way you can actually go back to work but take the leave and get paid while you're on that leave to take care of your child.

So if you're getting ready to go back to work and you're worried about not having any child care and the child's school is closed, as many are, then look into those two things -- expanded unemployment benefits and whether you can utilize family and sick leave to take paid time off to care for your child. (END VIDEO CLIP)



WHITFIELD: Welcome back. We received great questions from you all at home, and so now we have got some answers on health, money, and family. Let's bring back our panel. Dr. Long, Susan from Wisconsin writes, "Now that golf courses, beaches, and parks are reopening, how far can the wind carry the virus? Is six feet of social distancing enough?

LONG: So, Fred this, is actually -- brings up the theoretical risk, and then we want to talk about the actual risk. So theoretically, especially if it's windy, the virus can be carried much further than six feet. When the wind is involved then all models become kind of un unpredictable. That's the theoretical risk.

The question I think Susan is really asking is, what's the actual risk that I will catch the infection? And I just saw a recent study out of China. They looked at about 1,200 people who had caught coronavirus, and of those people only one was attributed to an outdoor transmission.

So what that tells me is that, yes, theoretically it's possible, but the risk of catching it outdoors are much less. Of course, Fred, that really does depend on density. So, yes, walk with your family, go for a run, that's fine, not a lot of density of people.

Be careful, though, if you have 20 or 30 people all gathered together then saying, oh, but we're six feet apart. That's not enough of a protective for me. So remember, density is just as important, really, as distance.

WHITFIELD: So outside there is a feeling that it weakens or dissipates?

LUDWIG: So it can, yes, absolutely. And it's the sort of thing, sure, it can blow on you, but mainly if you're directly in line from somebody running right behind them on a bicycle right behind them, or big density.

WHITFIELD: Robi, John writes, "One of my friends lost a parent to coronavirus. What's the best way I can be supportive?"

LUDWIG: Well, the best way to be supportive is to reach out and let your friend know that you're available. And listening is so powerful. To ask your friend what they need from you at this time, and if you have a special memory of a parent or somebody who was lost, share that memory with your friend. And don't forget to follow up a month down the road, six months down the road, because that's when the grief can really hit.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Michelle, Jeff from Massachusetts asks, "Will we have to pay taxes on our stimulus checks at the end of the year?" SINGLETARY: No. There are no taxes on this stimulus payment that came

through the CARE Act. And you don't have to pay this year or next year. There are no taxes. You don't have to pay it back. And it doesn't impact a refund that you would get next year, because people don't realize that this is actually an advanced credit for your 2020 tax return which you file next year.

So that's the great news. And it won't be reduced if you owe taxes as well. The only way they would take some of the money if you owe back child support.

WHITFIELD: OK. Dr. Long, Jerry from Texas writes "I travel two or three weeks out of the month. How should I clean my luggage? Do I need to leave it outside my home and hotel room?"

LONG: So I consider luggage a public surface, just like anything else, just like those elevator buttons. You can look at the airplane and see your suitcase on the ground there. So even non-COVID situation, treat it like a public surface. Bring it home, don't put it on your bed. Leave it on the floor, get your clothes out of it, set it to the side. Wash your hands and you'll be fine. You don't have to take any other additional measures beyond that.

WHITFIELD: OK, Robi, a viewer writes "I've been feeling lonely, depressed, and anxious. Is this normal, or should I seek professional help?"

LUDWIG: It is completely normal, and you can seek professional help because you don't need to be clinically depressed or clinically anxious in order to benefit from therapy. So I would recommend anyone who is dealing with challenging emotions, now is the time to embrace telehealth, reach out, and benefit from those services.

But certainly, if somebody is feeling depressed or anxious for two weeks or more and they notice a change in their appetite, in their sleep pattern, that they're not able to do the things that they normally do, they should definitely contact their doctor.

WHITFIELD: And this is mental health awareness month, so there are a lot of resources that are available, and there are lots of outlets that are letting you know about those resources. Thank you so much to all of you, Michelle, Dr. Long, Robi. Good to see you, continue to be well. Can't wait to have you back because we keep getting a whole lot of really great questions about coronavirus.


And here's another one, like what happens after the pandemic? Watch "The Post-COVID-19 World: A Fareed Zakaria GPS Special" tomorrow morning at 10:00 right here on CNN.

And thank you so much for joining me all day. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The NEWSROOM continues with Ana Cabrera right after this.