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Three Top Members Of Virus Task Force In Quarantine; Trump Tries To Shift Focus From Coronavirus To Reopening; Unemployment Jumps To 14.7 Percent Amid Coronavirus Shutdown; Interview With Rep. Debbie Dingell (D) Michigan; Despite Health Warnings, 47 States Are Partially Reopening; Global Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired May 10, 2020 - 08:00   ET




JOHN KING, CNN HOST (voice-over): Coronavirus hits the west wing.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I'm not worried, no. I'm not worried.

KING: Plus, many experts worry it's too soon, but reopen is the president's push.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As bad as this has been, it's just the beginning.

TRUMP: Will some people be affected badly? Yes, but we have to get our country open.

KING: And millions of jobs gone, only adding to the pandemic pain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think at first it's not going to last very long. But once you realize you're not going back to work for a while, it's pretty heartbreaking.



KING: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John king in Washington. Thank you for sharing your Sunday.

Both the need to reopen and the risks of doing so are painfully obvious this Sunday, wherever you live and wherever you work, including the White House. Three top Trump administration scientists in quarantine because they came in contact in the West Wing with a White House aide who tested positive for coronavirus Friday.

A military valet who works closely with the president also had a positive test this past week. And Ivanka Trump's personal assist assistant is a recent positive at America's most protective workplace. The White House was not following workplace guidance about They were not following face mask guidance and social distancing before these cases emerge. And the president and vice president continue to ignore some government recommendations still.


TRUMP: Look, I get things done. I don't worry about things. I do what I have to do. We've taken very strong precautions at the White House.

But, again, we're dealing with an invisible situation. Nobody knows. All you can do is take precaution and do it the best you can.


KING: Just consider this moment, three officials crucial to the government's coronavirus response were potentially exposed at work, just as the president goes all in on selling the idea it is safe and in his view past time for all of America to get back to work. Now in 14-day self-quarantine, the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration, the top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says he will adopt a more limited quarantine because his contacts were not extensive.

CNN's Kristen Holmes live for us at the White House this Sunday with more and what has to be viewed there as a setback.


Keep in mind, this is not the conversation the White House wanted to be having right now. President Trump itching to reopen the country. He even went to Arizona last week as a trip that was meant to signal that the country was ready to start slowly reopening.

Now, just days later, as you said, three of the nation's top doctors are all quarantining in some way because exposure that they faced here at the White House. Now, the White House says that they are going to up their precautions. They say that President Trump, the vice president, any aides that are in contact with them will be tested daily.

And they sent out a memo to all staffers on the complex, really outlining what they were doing to stop the spread since the vice president's press secretary tested positive. That includes outside inside of getting your temperature taken, as everyone does, including journalists, they're asking you about your symptoms.

They also say they're going to have heightened cleaning, maximized telework. But one thing that was not present in this outline was anything about masks. Now, U.S. Secret Service agents around the president, we started seeing them wearing masks. But in a meeting with his top security advisers and military advisers, President Trump again not wearing a mask.

And we asked the White House why that was, they said, well, everyone there was tested before the meeting, but I want to point something out. First of all, the vice president's press secretary had also been tested positive -- negative and then positive. So, that doesn't really make it clear. But also this message of broader to the American people, these people are scared to go back to work, they don't know right now if it's safe.

You're looking at a place that has daily rapid tests, something that most of the country does not have, and they're still having several cases here and White House staffers have told us that they're scared -- John.

KING: Very interesting days ahead at the White House.

Kristen Holmes, thank you very much.

Coronavirus in the West Wing is a messaging disaster for a president who made clear this past week, his first, second, and third priority is shaking the American economy from its coronavirus coma. It is a dicey election year collusion of pandemic and politics.

And a look at the map makes clear, this is a giant public health gamble. Let's take a look at the map as you go through it. This is the country. Here's the color coding.

The darker red, that means 50 percent increase from this past week to the week before in cases. You see three states have done that. Ten states had an increase of 10 percent to 15 percent, 15 states holding about steady. You see them in gold.

Twenty-one states do report a decline. Good news in those states -- a decline in the lighter green, from 10 percent to 50 percent of cases. You see up here Montana, a drop of more than 50 percent this past week compared to a week before.


But if you look at this map, 22 states heading down, 15 steady, 13 states heading up as the president says it's time to reopen.

Let's walk through a few of them. Arizona, barbershops, hair salons reopened on Friday. Retailers opened about a week ago. Restaurant dine-in service reopens tomorrow with capacity limits. Now, is that a good idea?

Remember the initial the White House reopen guidelines. One of the requirements, 14 day trajectory of cases going down. You don't me to explain that. That trajectory still going up as Arizona reopens.

Let's look at North Carolina. Phase one began Friday. Retail stores at 50 percent capacity. Restaurants got to stay with takeout and delivery. Gyms, bars and salons are still close.

So, a more conservative approach here, this shows you why. Remember, the original guideline said 14-day trajectory down, that's not what you have as North Carolina reopens.

Let's move on to Texas, barbershops, hair salons reopened on Friday. Encouraged but not required to wear masks when getting those services. Retail, restaurants, theaters reopened nine days ago with limited capacity.

We'll watch the Texas case load in the weeks ahead. Again, the White House guidelines said you should be going down. Texas is going up or flat depending on your perspective, but it's certainly not going down.

Just one more, the state of Mississippi. Hair salons, barbershops, gyms can reopen tomorrow on Monday. One in restaurants already open, 50 percent capacity. Theaters, bar and casinos still closed.

Again, remember the initial White House guidelines to reopen, among them, juts one of them, there are many more, 14 days headed down, trajectory heading down, that is not a trajectory heading down. Mississippi's governor says some risks, you must take. New York's governor says not yet.


GOV. TATE REEVES (R), MISSISSIPPI: There is risk every single time you leave your home. There will be risk should you choose to go to any of these businesses that will be reopened. I'm doing this because I believe that I cannot allow our small businesses to fold.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: I don't want to do a whoops, we made a mistake. I don't want to have hundreds of more people possibly die because it was a whoops, because I responded to politics.


KING: Any doubt the president puts reopening and re-election above science was erased this past week. On Friday, he said governors going slow are doing so because of 2020 politics. Not because of public safety.


TRUMP: You look at some cases, some people think they're doing it for politics. Here we go again. But they think they're doing it because it will hurt me the longer it takes to -- hurt me in the election, the longer it takes to open up, and I can see that because some of these -- some of these people are being unrealistic, they're being ridiculous.


KING: And White House's actions speak louder than even those startling words. The CDC wrote a detailed memo offering reopening guidelines, read those guidelines and it's quite clear Texas, Georgia and several states are way ahead of what government scientists think is safe.

The recommendations though were shelved by the White House. The press secretary told us the other day they never had the approval of the CDC director. But government emails obtained by the "Associated Press" prove that to be another White House lie. The CDC director did sign off on that document and he wanted to post it as public guidance.

This effort to sideline science brought a rebuke from the group representing thousands of infectious disease experts.

The statement reads in part, to backpedal now from the public health measures recommended by administration experts without evidence or resources indicating it is safe to do so would be dangerously irresponsible.

The president of the Infectious Disease Society of America joins us now, Dr. Thomas File, practicing in Akron, Ohio.

Dr. File, thanks for being with us this Sunday.

When you say this, you say it is reckless. You're saying essentially the president makes these calls. The president of the United States is making dangerous calls and putting lives at risk.

DR. THOMAS FILE, PRESIDENT, INFECTIOUS DISEASES SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Well, John, this is certainly a sentinel time as we try to reopen our community and the economy. We have to acknowledge this pandemic had a significant impact on both public health and the economy. We all want the economy to come back. But we have to do this very safely.

And our message from our society is that we still have to use the personal practices that have led us to the present state now where we start to at least, you know, flatten the curve. And that means continue to use physical distancing. Continue to use masks out in public, because until we have widely available antimicrobial or effective therapy and a vaccine, the best defense is, you know, physical distancing.

And we also have recommended that the federal government take a stronger role in trying to standardize the approach all the states are taking so that we don't have a backlash. We certainly don't want that. We don't want to go back and lock down. That will hurt the economy worse.

So, all the practices that have helped us to get to this state, we need to continue as we go forward with reopening our communities.


KING: Well, so what do you say the president of the United States who clearly disagrees with you? He's now encouraging states to reopen, even the states that didn't meet the initial less detailed White House guidelines that included a 14-day downward trajectory in cases. I just went through several states and more are going up or flat at best that are reopening.

If you look at the detailed CDC guidelines that the White House set aside, they were very clear, cautious recommendations for businesses, restaurants and bars, mass transit systems. And, again, if you look at Texas, you look at Georgia, you look at some other states, they are nowhere near. They're way out ahead, way out over their skis if you want to use the term.

So, what should the president of the United States do? Do you think he's pushing science aside? FILE: Well, John, obviously, our society is very well aligned with the

CDC. And the CDC is the predominant policymaking expert that should be listened to and we recommend what they state and I think it is important for all the policymakers in the federal government, in the state governments, to look at their recommendations and as best as possible follow them.

KING: And what is the result if they don't?

FILE: Well, the concern is we just mentioned that there could be a potential backlash on the public health increasing cases. I mean, if there's increase in cases, and increases admissions to hospitals, that's going to hurt the economy. Don't want to go back to lockdown of businesses, because that's going to hurt the economy worse.

So the important issue is to maintain safety as we increase and open up the communities.

KING: Doctor, you're on the frontlines every day trying to battle this coronavirus. One of the things we learned about this past week is some glimmer of hope, maybe small glimmer of hope, with this drug remdesivir. But we also know the federal government is in charge of the distribution. The drugmaker says it will give it to the federal government, the federal government decides who gets it, when they get it, how they get it.

Where does that stand?

FILE: Well, that's a positive development we have at least an antiviral medication that has shown in a randomized clinical trial to show benefit. I mean, it reduces the duration of the disease. It actually suggests that it reduces mortality. That's very important.

So the maker of the drug, Gilead, has donated millions of doses to the federal government to be distributed. Actually last week I had several contacts from several members of our society and they also contacted our staff as well indicating they were unable to get it, even in hot zones like New York or Boston.

I'm happy to indicate, though, that yesterday the HHS issued a statement that there is going to be better transparency, better equity of how this medicine is going to be distributed over the next several weeks to months. So that's going to be helpful. Once that supply is, I guess, finished, then we're hoping that Gilead will be able to ramp up commercial supplies so we'll be able to use it in all of our patients who need it.

KING: Dr. Thomas File, appreciate your expertise and insights this morning, sir. Best of luck in the days ahead.

FILE: Thank you very much.

And let me just say, if there is -- our viewers want additional information, they can go to We have a coronavirus resource page they can look at and get information and also happy Mother's Day. KING: Thank you, again, Doctor. I looked at the website. It is very

informative, very different from what we are getting out of the White House now, but very informative website. Dr. File, again, thank you so much.

Next for us, coronavirus in the West Wing. As we go to break, a flashback. The president of three months ago sounds different than the president of today.


TRUMP: Well, I think, John, it is very professionally run in the sense that they have everything under control. I believe they're going to have it under control fairly soon. You know, in April, supposedly, it dies with the hotter weather. We sent some of our best people over there, World Health Organization, and a lot of them are composed of our people, they're fantastic.

And they're now in China. And we're helping them out. We're in very good shape. We have 11 cases and most of them are getting better very rapidly.




KING: The White House chief of staff told reporters that America's most famous address, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is, his words, probably the safest place you can come to. That safest place is now a coronavirus hot spot, two aides who work closely with the president and vice president tested positive last week. Because of that, three top scientists involved in the coronavirus response are among those now in quarantine because of potential exposure in the West Wing.

The timing could not be worse for a president pushing the country to reopen and insisting it is safe to go back to work.

With us to share the reporting and their insights, Julia Hirschfeld Davis of "The New York Times", Josh Dawsey of "The Washington Post."

Josh, I want to start with you and just put up a couple of the headlines from the recent "Washington Post" reporting here, as death mounts, Trump tries to convince Americans it is safe to inch back to normal. White House aides rattled after positive coronavirus tests and officials sent mixed messages on how to respond.

I mean, the timing here is horrible for the president. What is the mood in the West Wing as they have to deal now with quarantines and the president still insisting, no, go back to work?

JOSH DAWSEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Well, the president wants to hit the road and travel and go out and about and do political rallies, even this summer, and signal to different states it is time to reopen and he's ready to go. [08:20:04]

Meanwhile, his own valet and the VP's press secretary both were diagnosed within this 24 hours.

And you have a White House that is now pretty rattled by this. You have folks who called, emailed, said were you in contact with either of those people, people who were sent home, you have contact tracing operation happening right in the walls of the White House. So, you have a president who is publicly signaling to the country, you know, this is under control, even as deaths climb to 78,000, this is under control, and meanwhile, inside you have them furiously trying to make their home workplace safe.

KING: And, Julia, to that point, I'm going to put up a schematic of the White House, the most unique work place in the world and yet, it's not that much different from other people's workplace, it might not be 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, put here is the boss' office. That's the Oval Office.

Here's the number two, the vice president, he's down here, here's the chief of staff, there are meeting rooms here, dining room here, press secretary in office here, the press briefing room here, people familiar with this on TV, then narrow corridors with railings, with desks, with door knobs, all the things you're not supposed to do in a pandemic. If you work the at the White House, you have no choice, it is cramped, it is tight, people are moving around, in some ways, it is a surprise maybe that this didn't happen sooner.

JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. I have been surprised that it has taken this long and, of course, we don't know whether these are the first cases in the West Wing or whether there may have been cases prior to this that we weren't aware of.

But one thing that you immediately notice when in the west wing, it is smaller than most people think it is. It is quite tight quarters. Actually, a lot tighter than some professional office environments, and by necessity, people are working very close together, in meetings, tables and chairs with speaker phones and the like that, you know, there is plenty of opportunity for a virus like this to spread and spread rapidly.

And particularly because, there appears to be, at least in public, and, of course, we can't speak knowledgeably to had they do in private meetings, but at least in public, there has been a reticence to wear masks, not a lot of attention to social distancing at the task force briefings, people are not standing that far apart. Anthony Fauci may be one exception to that. He's tried to keep his distance, some of the public events.

But they have by necessity a lot of mitigation steps they could have been taking that we have not seen them take and that tone is set from the top. The president said early on, he didn't want to wear a mask, he didn't think he should have to wear a mask and we haven't seen a lot of those measures being taken at other workplaces that remained open as the virus continued to spread. KING: So now, faces we're familiar with from the White House

briefings, which have become less and less common, but Dr. Redfield now says he's going to work from home, he's going to testify from Capitol Hill remotely in the week ahead. Dr. Hahn from the Food and Drug Administration is going to work from home, also testified remotely.

Dr. Fauci said his exposure to the aides, especially the one for the vice president, was not as extensive. And so, he's going to have a more limited but still quarantine. If he goes into the office it will be if no one else is there and he'll wear a mask on Capitol Hill.

The president's attitude, you see the quarantining, they are following the rules, the rules they laid out. If you come in contact with someone who tested positive, you should self-quarantine. The president and the vice president are not because the president is determined, he keeps using the words warrior, yes, it's a little bit risky, but this is America, go back to work.


TRUMP: Now it is time to open it up. And you know what, the people of our country are warriors.

Our country is now in the next our country is now in the next stage of the battle. A very safe phase and gradual reopening.

We have to be warriors. We can't keep our country closed down for years.

Right now, we're all warriors. You're warriors, we're warriors.


KING: I mean, the science is not on his side. So, he's trying to make the psychology be on his side.

DAWSEY: He's trying to make the psychology on this side. He's trying to convince people that it's time to do this. The difference, though, John, is that, you know, the unemployment rate on Friday, 14.7 percent, you have, you know, tens of millions of people out of work and the president is messaging about that.

But he's not messaging about his -- the deaths on the other side of, you know, opening too prematurely. As you saw on the chart earlier you put up, some of the states are maybe ready to go. But some of them aren't. President's rhetoric is across the board, that it is time to essentially reopen now.

And you have folks in the administration who still would like to be a little more patient and concerned about doing this, because if you start reopening now, even if you keep saying four years, in a limited way, there will be a spike in cases.

KING: And, Julie, we always question why does the president -- what does the president make his priority, the best way to put it, this morning he's treating it mostly -- retweeting, he says he's getting great marks for handling the coronavirus.


But then mostly, it's about the special counsel investigation and the Democrats and fake news and all that. The American people are worried about a pandemic and the president is tweeting about grievances.

DAVIS: He's worried about his political enemies. He's worried about his re-election. He's made that very clear and I think the frustrating part for him is that, you see the polls, you see the consumer numbers, as much as he may talk about wanting to get past this and reopen, people are scared and they're still not in a place where they're ready to resume life as normal.

And that's going to be a problem he understands politically, for many, many, months to come.

KING: Many, many months to come. Julia Hirschfeld Davis, Josh Dawsey, appreciate your reporting and insights this morning.

Up next for us, coronavirus is a jobs killer. House Democrats say it requires trillions more in federal spending. We are reminded the statistics count people and count pain.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of my co-workers are actually in that boat, you know, of loving to come to work and helping out the community in a very positive way and then not knowing when we'll all return. So, yes, it's definitely impacted a lot of people that I know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is hard emotionally, financially, everything. Our life has changed 180 degrees. I have two teenagers to raise up, we have to keep up the good spirit, but we're all scared.




KING: Front pages this weekend capture the economic pain. Jobless rate is highest since the 1930s. "Off the charts" is another way to look at it or more bluntly the "jobs report from hell".

Friday's unemployment report made clear the depth of the coronavirus punch.

Let's take a look at the numbers.

Number one, just this -- 20.5 million jobs lost in just one month, the month of April. The unemployment rate officially at 14.7 percent. It's higher than that. A lot of people left the workforce because of this -- so 15 percent and heading higher.

Who got hurt? Well, just about everybody. Nearly half the jobs in leisure and hospitality gone. 13 percent of the jobs in retail, gone. 13 percent in construction, gone. Manufacturing, education and health services -- jobs wiped out by the coronavirus.

If you look at it from here, you see that drop? You see that line right there. This goes all the way back to the 1940s. Jobs up, jobs down. That's the swing. Never before have we seen anything -- anything even close to that.

You look at it here, remember the financial collapse of 2008, 2009 -- almost nine million jobs lost. 21.4 in March and April -- the devastation continues.

The other day I spoke to the chief economist from Moody's Analytics. He says, guess what, even if we start to come back, it is going to be years to get those back.


MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: As businesses Does businesses reopen across the country over the next two, three, four months -- we'll get a bounce and then it's going to be a slog. And I really I 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.

So it's not really until mid-decade, with a little bit of luck, that we get back to the 3.5 percent, 4 percent unemployment we had on before this.


KING: Michigan is among the states hardest hit by the coronavirus and this economic fallout.

Democratic Congresswoman Debby Dingell is with us this Sunday. Congresswoman -- it's nice to see you. I wish the circumstances were better.

So you know the numbers. You know them in Michigan as more painful than most-- 25 percent of your state now unemployed if you look at the numbers.

So one of the questions is what can Washington do to help? At the moment, Republicans are saying, let's wait. We don't want to do another stimulus package; we don't want to spend more money until at least we get a better sense of what's happening out there.

Listen to your leader the Speaker saying, oh, no, we need a lot and we need it now.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think the American people are well aware of the need for us to be doing more in that regard. So I'm optimistic. But we'll move forward in a big way because we have a big challenge to our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With all of that, Madam Speaker -- is there an estimated price tag?

PELOSI: We're working on it -- big.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A trillion? Two trillion?

PELOSI: You're getting warmer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three trillion?


KING: Congresswoman Dingell -- $3 trillion, $4 trillion -- what are we looking at?

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): I think Nancy's word big is probably the right description for the moment and there will be a lot of discussions this week.

And you know, John -- you got to break this down into two categories. I've been working in both of the categories pretty intensely. One is how to take care of people's immediate needs so they're not panicky. And we keep the structure of a civil society so that people are able to access unemployment.

We're still trying to move PPP funds for the small business owners, the restaurant owners -- give economic security. People who have rent payments and mortgage payments, how do we keep them safe? And make -- keep that structure of the civil society so people don't have to worry about basic needs.

Another day, I'll talk to you about what we need and how we need to fix the health care system, too. But I've also -- I've been working every single day from the time this started to the closing of the auto industry to the reopening of the auto industry.

And in Michigan, those numbers that you talk about are very much impacted by those figures. And the reality is it's going to be a slow opening. And I would divide this into three phases for the autos. In some of it -- 25 percent number will go down when you start to build the industry back up and also incentivize demand.

First of all, the workers have to be safe when they go back to work. Safety has to be the number one priority. They've totally revamped the plants. They've totally revamped the processes. You have to answer ten questions. You're not allowed in the plant if any of them are positive. They're taking their temperature. You've got PPE in the plant.

Workers need to listen to what they have to do, the spacing there. Plexiglass has been installed and the workers -- we open slowly this week. Workers are going to be educated about what those changes are.

[08:35:00] KING: But you see --

DINGELL: And then you have the supplier -- go ahead.

KING: But you see -- I just want to put the numbers up on the screen. You know, automakers, April sales forecast versus this time last year. Fiat Chrysler down 60 percent; Ford down 50 percent; General Motors down 39 percent.

So I get the economic need, you talk about all of these steps that are being taken in these plants. Are you sure they're enough because they have access to rapid testing at the White House like that and coronavirus is in the West Wing?

Are you confident you can open a General Motors plant or a Ford plant or a Chrysler plant and not three weeks from now see a spike in cases?

DINGELL: John -- no one can give you that answer. I think it's going to be really important for this to be a partnership, a team. I'm as nervous about anybody else, but you're going to have to make the decision at some point -- when do you reopen?

I sort of say that -- and I'm -- look, I talk to Rory Gamble, the president of the UAW every day and we both are, you know, working with everybody else. Companies are worried about whether they're going to be able to survive but that their life is more important than anything.

But ensuring employees are answering the questions right that they know, if they have symptoms, they could be sick, they will have paid sick leave and that they abide by what has -- the protocols that have been put in the plant, will be really critical.

KING: You do talk to a lot of people that's why I like to talk to you because you're a reporter who is a congresswoman in a sense when you're home in your district.

We focus on, you know, how big will the next stimulus package be, how big will the fight be with Republicans, what's the numbers on testing, what's the numbers on unemployment?

I want to try to lift our heads a little bit. The historian Ron Chernow was quoted in "The Washington Post" saying this. "I have no doubt that the resentment, fears and grievances that people are experiencing right now are going to shape our politics for the next generation very much as what happened after 2008.

After 2008, we got the Tea Party. After 2008, we got in your party, the Democratic Party, a lot of the liberals saying, hey wait a minute, why is all this -- why is all of this government money going to businesses. It should be going to people.

What's changing out there on the streets?

DINGELL: Well, for starters, making sure that the money goes to the workers and people I think is something that's very real and that you see more people across the political spectrum looking at.

I think you've seen a microscope put on a number of problems, fractures that some of us have been talking about for a long time. Health care system totally broken. What are we going to do? Only industrialized nation in the world that's got some of the problems that we have.

But I think the other very significant change we're going to see is that people now understand what's happened with shipping the supply chain overseas. And as we deal with our economic problems, we're going to bring that supply chain back home.

PPE is front and center, but our medicine -- 80 percent to 90 percent of our medicines are made in China and India. We can't be dependent on a foreign country. And there are other kinds of manufacturing that we need to be looking at that we should be making here, not overseas as a national security issue.

I think that would be -- I think you're going to see people -- I don't like the word nationalism, but I do think because I'm somebody who thinks we need to bring jobs back home and we need to make it in America.

KING: Well, we'll see if this conversation plays out and we'll continue the conversation in the days and weeks and it will be months ahead.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell -- appreciate your time this Sunday.

DINGELL: Thank you. Be safe.

KING: Thank you. You be safe as well.

Up next for us, a medical perspective as America reopens with a mix of relief and caution.



KING: Flattening the curve is one of the terms we're all learning together. "Flattening" means progress and here's what it looks like. In New York and New Jersey -- two of the states hardest hit by coronavirus -- going down there.

"Plateau" is another word we suddenly hear a lot. And here's what that looks like. The average case count nationally in the United States flattens, yes, but look at that in a stubborn and telling plateau.


TOM FRIEDEN, FORMER CDC DIRECTOR: Just calculating forward from the number of people whose infections have already been documented -- there will be tragically at least 100,000 deaths from COVID by the end of this month. MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH

AND POLICY: We're really in the second inning of a nine-inning game. What we've seen so far is just the start. All the things we're doing to kind of control it will help but it's going to keep moving like that. That's what these viruses do.

LAURIE GARRETT, AUTHOR, "THE COMING PLAGUE": And I think we're going to get out four or five years from now and there will be not a single aspect of our lives that's been unchanged.


KING: With us this Sunday to share their expertise, Dr. Ashish Jha, he's director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, and Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency room physician and Brown University researcher. Thank you both for being back with us this Sunday.

Dr. Jha -- I want to start with you. The constant conversation you've tried to push the country to accept is the need for more testing. I want to put up the map. You were here last weekend saying you thought your estimate might even be conservative. Now your institute says we need even more testing.

If you look at that, the gold states meet the minimum standard, the light red states are close but some of the closest to find is at 50 percent or a little better than to the goal you say is necessary. And the dark red states are way behind, far fewer testing than you believe is necessary.

There's been -- even Governor Cuomo yesterday saying his state is making progress. Where are we in testing?

DR. ASHISH JHA, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Yes. So the good news, John -- is we are making progress. Testing is better now than it was two weeks ago.

And -- but we are for many, many states still far behind. The reason we have to update our numbers is because all the models have changed and the number of cases and the number of deaths has gone up. And so you have to have more testing the bigger outbreak you have.

And you know, one of the things we learned this week, John, as the virus has hit the White House is the White House kind of coming out and admitting that testing is a really key part of keeping businesses safe. They're testing all of their folks every day. And I support that by the way.

And I don't think all Americans need to be tested every day. But it's really a tacit acknowledgement that we have been way behind on testing. And when the President says there's plenty of testing, it's not true for most of the country.

KING: It's still not true for much of the country anyway, if not most.

And Dr. Ranney, you're in now, I call this a 50-state experiment. The Acela Corridor, if you will, from where I live in D.C. up through New England hardest hit, New Jersey and New York the hardest of the hardest hit. But Rhode Island among them and Rhode Island's governor listen here says, "I believe first in the northeast, I'm going to start to reopen." Listen.



GOVERNOR GINA RAIMONDO (D), RHODE ISLAND: Our plan is to go slow, you know. Our plan is social gatherings limited to five, wearing your masks, doing everything that we've learned how to do. But that's exactly why -- you put your finger on exactly why -- I'm imploring the people of Rhode Island not to go too fast in this first phase. The risk of going too fast in the next couple of weeks is enormous.


KING: Let's look as you jump into the conversation at the five-day rolling average of cases in Rhode Island. It's flat and it's coming down a little bit. It's not dropping precipitously. Are you nervous or is your governor making a safe call?

DR. MEGAN RANNEY, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: You know, I think my governor is doing a terrific job of leading from a data-driven perspective. Since the beginning of this epidemic, John -- she has been out ahead of the curve in terms of her public health leadership in conjunction with Dr. Alexander Scott, who runs our Department of Health.

We shut things down early. We stopped schools. We put social distancing in place. We shut down most businesses and restaurants but still allowed restaurants to do takeout.

And now as she watches the data, she is, as she says, doing phase one, testing the waters -- we are the Ocean State, right -- with some very, very limited reopening, but only in the context of adequate testing, contact tracing, protective equipment for front line health care workers, hospital beds and other basic public health measures.

The other really important part, John, is that she's saying that she's going to pull back if we start seeing numbers to go up. So from the point of view of those of us on the front lines in the hospital, listen, this virus is not going away. As everyone has said, our goal is not to stay shut down forever, it's to reopen intelligently based on science.

And I think Governor Raimondo is leading the way in trying her best to do that.

KING: And Dr. Jha, come into the conversation. I'm going to put some graphics on the screen. This is from an organization called SafeGraph -- I'm sorry.

And you see on April 7th -- you see all this dark blue, those are people staying at home. The dark blue means you're staying at home. Then you see April 30th here, and you see a lot more movement around the country. The lighter means people are getting out.

Part of this is states are reopening, part of it is the American people are losing patience with these stay-at-home orders. Dr. Ranney just talked about the data-driven approach in Rhode Island.

As you know, the White House shelved CDC guidelines that were much more cautious than prescriptive than what the President has been saying. He says we have to reopen. Let's go. Let's be warriors.

When you see the much lighter map, people moving around, does that concern you or are we ready for this?

DR. JHA: Yes. So John -- first of all, I think the White House came up with its own plan opening up American again maybe about two or three weeks ago. And that was pretty good. Like that was pretty science- driven.

And so I think if most states followed those guidelines, we will be in much better shape. It's been unfortunate that the President has abandoned his own plan on this.

You know, as I see those graphs, it makes sense to me that people are getting bit restless. What most Americans are saying is they do want to get back to work. They just want to get back to work safely and they're hoping their government can help in getting testing and tracing and all the things that we know are going to make workplaces safer, up and running.

So that's what I'm seeing in those graphs is a bit of antsiness (ph), but the poll folks (ph) will say Americans want to be protected when they get back to work.

KING: Dr. Ranney -- we're almost out of time but very quickly as a parent, you hear about this Kawasaki syndrome. We thought that kids were safer -- are they?

DR. RANNEY: So I think that we're going to see more reports of this Kawasaki-like syndrome in the days and weeks to come. We know there are other infections that cause post-infectious inflammatory syndrome in kids.

To me as a parent, the take home is still I've got to keep my kids safe from COVID-19 not just because of their own health but also because of the health of the larger community. I hope that we won't see more kids die, especially today on Mother's Day.

I want to reassure other moms out there that this will be rare, but it is a -- going to be a real thing. So may we all keep our kids and our families safe.

KING: Doctors -- thank you both again this Sunday. I really appreciate it. We'll see you again soon.

Up next for us, the global response.


KING: A global look at the reopening debate now beginning in the U.K.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: CORRESPONDENT: I'm Nick Paton Walsh in London where Boris Johnson is expected late Sunday to announce slight tweaks to the lockdown policy. People may, I'm told by an official people close to the deliberations, be allowed to mix in larger groups.

Outdoor exercise will be permitted more regularly and possibly outdoor stores may be allowed to open.

You can see around me here in Central London a lot of people are taking advantage of the better weather. Bu the changes, I'm told, will be slight.




Here in France, the country is looking forward to Monday when the very tightly enforced stay-at-home order which has been in place now for nearly two months will begin to be lifted. People will essentially be able to leave their homes again.

The government is very much hoping that it can get the economy back to something like normal although, again, there's crucial parts of Parisian life -- cafes, restaurants will remain closed for the foreseeable future.



BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in Naples where we are, one of the most obvious changes is that the city's famous pizzerias are open again but only for take away and delivery. They were closed in mid-March on orders of the local governor who was worried that if there was a massive outbreak of coronavirus, the local health facilities would have been overwhelmed. Fortunately that didn't happen.



KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Across Asia, schools have been closed since late January, but finally they are starting to reopen including here in Hong Kong. And let me tell you, this city is ready after reporting more than two weeks of zero local new infections. And schools here will start to reopen on May the 27th. In South Korea, schools will reopen on May the 13th, starting first

with older students. Then all students by the end of the month.


STOUT: In Japan, schools in big cities like Tokyo and Osaka will remain closed throughout May. The government there taking sort of a watch, wait and see. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN -- Hong Kong.


KING: South Korea is a case study in the reopening with schools about to resume as you just heard right there. But suddenly also a new cluster of cases.

CNN's Will Ripley joins us from Tokyo with details of that setback -- Will.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 34 cases, the highest single-day spike that South Korea has seen in a month and all of them or at least many of them tied to the nightclub district in Itaewon. Somebody was at the club, interacting with hundreds of people. Now people are starting to test positive. Seoul has ordered all the nightclubs and bars in the city to shut down until further notice.

China also seeing its biggest double digit increase, the first time in 10 days, including a case in Wuhan, the original epicenter. Of course, there's a lot of concern here in Asia about that second wave -- people getting complacent and letting their guard down -- John.

KING: Will -- you have this fascinating piece. Japan for years has been known around the world for technical innovation. And yet your reporting shows that its response to the coronavirus has been stalled because of the use of fax machines and snail mail.

RIPLEY: I talked to a Japanese doctor who was so frustrated because yes, he had to fill out this complicated form by hand, put it in the fax machine, it gets sent to the health department. They have to put their Hanko seal on it, then they have to input the data into the computer.

This is a throwback to the 1980s but that's how Japan is keeping track of the coronavirus and it's part of the reason why Japan has been accused of this really slow, inefficient response.

Just this week, John -- Japan is now starting to allow doctors to input that information online. But it's not just the government. It's also businesses that still rely on the fax machine, you know, basically refusing to go electronic because they like to have that hard document in front of them. It's really been fascinating.

Although in America we write checks, though, and they think that's really weird here in Asia that Americans still write checks and clear out credit cards when you can do all that on your phone and electronically as well.

KING: A sea of facts in the middle of this. It's quite remarkable. Will Ripley -- appreciate the great reporting.

And that's it for us. Hope you can join us weekdays as well. We're here at 11:00 a.m. and noon Eastern time.

Up next, don't go anywhere. A very busy "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper. Among Jake's guests: the White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett, the Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and the CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Leonard Schleifer.

Thanks again for sharing your Sunday. Have a great day. Happy Mother's Day. Stay safe.