Return to Transcripts main page


Summer Caps Adjust During Pandemic; Coronavirus Reports from Around the World; Georgia Requests Justice Department Probe; Remembering Jerry Stiller; Answers to your Coronavirus Questions. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 11, 2020 - 08:30   ET



JEFF KONIGSBERG, OWNER OF TWO SUMMER CAMPS IN MAINE: To create a safe environment. We're changing our food service protocols. We've created a satellite health center facility. We've upped our nurses from up to eight or 10 nurses, two doctors and residents. We're doing everything humanly possible to create that environment for kids this year.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I think we can all agree that it would be so great for kids to get away right now. That's what makes it so tough. I mean I think we'd like nothing more for them to have an experience in the woods with each other. Kids don't seem to get Covid- 19, at least not as much or not as severely as adults, so that is a factor there.

But, Paul, on the other hand, camp is the antithesis of social distancing. It's like the complete opposite. You are in a cabin with, you know, six to 12 people. You're in a dining hall with a lot of people. You're at a camp fire. You're at a waterfront. So how do you navigate nuts and bolts the day and social distance at the same time?

PAUL MCENTIRE, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, YMCA OF USA: Good question, John, thanks for having us.

And I would echo the things that Jeff said. A little bit of addition to that. Rather than trying to maintain the physical distancing of the children, which, as you pointed out, not quite possible with the way their normal behavior is, we will be using at our camps cohort distancing, which will keep the children in the smaller groups, like you described, rather than having them move from different adults for activities for meals for different things. They will be much more confined to a small number of adults. And then we will practice cohort distancing so that if there was any kind of an outbreak, it would be limited to a specific cohort and not to the rest of the camp.

BERMAN: And, Paul, if you can, I know, again, with kids, there's not as much of a concern of them getting it but they can pass it. What about the adults? What about the adults? There's no camp without adults.

MCENTIRE: Right. We want to safely and responsibly operate our camps, safely and responsibly decide whether they open. We've had a handful of camps choose for very specific reasons already not to open. A lot more decisions this week.

But, again, another natural part of how camps operate should help a lot with adults. We typically, at a camp, bring adults that are the staff on 10 to 14 days ahead of time. A policy change that will have those staff not leave campsite at all once they're there, provides a natural quarantine on the front end of that. And then, once the children are there, again, nobody leaving camp, no new people coming in to where the children are. You set up a natural isolation for them and from outside influence.

BERMAN: Jeff, it's so interesting what Paul is saying there, you create sort of a quarantine in and of itself at the camp itself. But I know logistically you have to think about a lot of different things. You were talking about eating. People are going to have to eat in waves, much like they will at school if they reopen in the fall, but also the drop off and pickup at camp when parents drop their kids off or pick them up at the end, those could be some of the most dangerous moments.

KONIGSBERG: So, for us, John, I mean you're talking to, you know, a resident camp director here. So, you know, to what Paul is saying, we're able to create a bubble in theory. And so when everybody arrives in camp, they're going to stay in camp. And there's no packages coming into camp. And there's no mail coming into camp. That our food service directors are safe serve trained and we have protocols in place to get the food off the truck. The truck driver is not even getting out of the driver's seat when we take the food off the trucks. You know, we're creating extra meals on a staggered system like a school system so we have fewer children in a dining room.

You know, we're on a few hundred acres, most of our summer camps that, you know, that operate, and so we're in an opportunity where we can take a group of 50 children and split them up among --

BERMAN: All right, we seem to have lost Jeff Konigsberg there. But, Jeff, our thanks to you. Paul, our thanks to you. I really do appreciate the work that both of you are doing. I know this is something the kids look forward to every year. If there's any way to make it work, I'm sure you will find a way to do it.

So many developments on the pandemic and the economic crisis. Here's what else to watch today.


ON SCREEN TEXT: Soon, New York Gov. Cuomo briefing.

11:00 a.m. ET, World Health Organization briefing.

4:00 p.m. ET, White House briefing.


BERMAN: A really sad passing to mark this morning. We learned a short time ago that actor and comedian Jerry Stiller has died. A look back at his most iconic roles, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BERMAN: All right, developing this morning, we learned just a short time ago that South Korea is reassessing parts of its plans to reopen after an outbreak of coronavirus spread through nightclubs there.

CNN has reporters around the world bringing us the latest developments.



The reopening of schools here in South Korea has been postponed by a week after a cluster of new cases in Seoul's nightclub district has raised serious fears of a second wave. A 29-year-old man tested positive after going to a number of these clubs. And, since then, 86 more people have tested positive, all linked to him. Authorities say they have 5,500 people that they want to test in relation to this. They've already tested more than 3,000.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Clarissa Ward in London, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finally laid out his much-anticipated plan to lift the lockdown that has been in place here for more than six weeks. And, basically, this tabloid headline pretty much captures it all, ready, steady, slow. If you were expecting big changes to be happening, let me tell you, they are not.

As of Wednesday, people will be allowed to go outside and do exercise as often as they would like to. They'll even be able to sit down on a park bench, but that is about it. And there's a lot of criticism of the measures, too.


Some saying it's too confusing. The prime minister saying he'll do whatever it takes to make sure that the U.K. isn't hit by a second wave of infection.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen in Berlin. And Germany is continuing to open up as the amount of active novel coronavirus cases in this country continues to decline. Bars, restaurants and cafes will open throughout the entire country during the course of the week. However, all this comes as the German Center for Disease Control is warning that the virus might be speeding up again. The reproduction number has been above one for two days in a row. And Angela Merkel has also warned that if the cases spike, Germany risks another lockdown.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Scott McLean in Spain, where stores, churches and restaurant terraces will be able to open at limited capacity starting today. This applies to a little more than half the country, including the island of Ebetha (ph), famous for its beaches and nightclubs. Now, the island relies heavily on tourism, but Spaniards aren't allowed to travel outside of their home regions. And, obviously, it's pretty hard to social distance at a nightclub.

We visited one outdoor venue that had weeds growing up through the dance floor like an abandoned parking lot. The island's president is hopeful that domestic tourists will be able to return this summer, but he wants to see every single one of them tested before they arrive.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Our thanks to our correspondents around the globe.

Back here in the U.S., Georgia's attorney general now asking the Justice Department to investigate the handling of the Ahmaud Arbery case. Remember, it took more than two months for the suspects to be arrested.

CNN's Martin Savidge is live in Brunswick, Georgia, with more.

What's the latest, Martin?


Easy to understand why this request would be made. As you point out, after all, when this case was in the hands of local authority, it languished over two months. And yet when state law enforcement got involved, there was an arrest within two days. Many here are wondering if the connections of one of the suspects, that's Gregory McMichael, who used to work in the local D.A.'s office, may have granted him and his son some kind of favored status in this investigation.

Also, too, we should point out that the family attorneys that represent Ahmaud Arbery have come out and said that they welcome this investigation. It has not yet been accepted by the DOJ but they say it has been warranted since day one. They're glad to hear about this request.

And also there is new video that has come to light of Ahmaud Arbery on the day that he died. We know that this video shows him, because his family has also seen this video, and they positively identify him in it.

It's video taken by security cameras at a site of a home that was under construction. It is in the neighborhood where he was killed. You can see him sort of briefly walking around on the inside, looking, and then he leaves and begins his run. He doesn't take anything. Many people have done this sort of thing, walking through the site of a home under construction, out of curiosity.

It would be at its worst deemed as trespassing and would not be considered a felony offense. In other words, it wouldn't seem to justify a citizen's arrest or any kind of hot pursuit.


BERMAN: All right, Martin Savidge, thank you very much.

All right, very sad news this morning. Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller has died of natural causes. He was 92. His son, Ben Stiller, did announce the news on Twitter, calling his father a great dad and grandfather and the most dedicated husband.

Stephanie Elam looks back on Stiller's career.


JERRY STILLER, ACTOR AND COMEDIAN: Serenity now! Serenity now!

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Jerry Stiller's acting was anything but serene. Best known as George Costanza's dad Frank on "Seinfeld."

STILLER: Stanza, you white hat (ph).

ELAM: Millions of people also knew him as Arthur Spooner on the TV series "The King of Queens," a role he played for nearly a decade.

STILLER: You delivery people got your foot on our throats and you won't step off.

ELAM: Famous for playing father figures, Stiller credits his own father for inspiring his career.

STILLER: I'm my father. Of course he doesn't realize this, but everything I've taken in my life is my father. I says, what is it in life you really wanted to do instead of driving a bus? He said, I wanted to be an actor. And that -- the shock hit me.

ELAM: Born in 1927, the funny man met his match and married Anne Meara in September 1954. The two started a husband and wife comedy duo, peaking during the 1960s and '70s. Stiller and Meara performed on a handful of variety programs such as "The Ed Sullivan Show."

STILLER: If I lose an arm, Rhonda (ph), it's $12,500.

ANNE MEARA: And what's (ph) wrong.

STILLER: An arm and a leg is $17,500.

MEARA: Arm and a leg I don't want.

ELAM: As the variety series gradually faded, their success declined. But unlike many Hollywood actors, Jerry Stiller said he had a blessed personal life.


STILLER: Anne and I have been lucky. We've got two beautiful kids, you know, and we love the work. The work is -- you hear people laugh is what fills me, keeps me going.

ELAM: The couple's two children, Ben and Amy, also followed with careers in Hollywood. And when Ben Stiller was making a name for himself, he was better known as Jerry's son. In 2001, father and son even went on to collaborate in the blockbuster hit "Zoolander."

STILLER: I love that kid. Dumb as a stump, but I love him.

ELAM: But it's his work on "Seinfeld" that Jerry called life-changing, a job he initially turned down.

STILLER: I got the call that they wanted me on "Seinfeld" and I turned them down because Tony wanted me for "Three Men on a Horse." And that's typical of my life.

The tradition of festivus begins with the airing of grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! Now you're going to hear about it.

I have no grievances. I've got everything.


BERMAN: He was so --

CAMEROTA: John, that is my -- he's my favorite character. He's my favorite character on "Seinfeld" because I like all the yelling that he did.

BERMAN: So, what's fascinating, he was only in like 30 episodes of 150. I mean he didn't show up until the fifth season. So that shows you how incredibly talented he was and what an impact he could make. And he was a great actor, too. It's not just the shouting. He was really, really good. And Stiller and Meara, also, just a wonderful, wonderful routine. He'll be missed.

We'll be right back.

CAMEROTA: I agree. It's great -- great to see them.

We'll be right back.



CAMEROTA: As always Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back to answer some of your biggest coronavirus questions. So let's dive in.

Sanjay, great to see you.

OK, this comes from Susan in Jacksonville, Florida. She says, what is the point of businesses taking temperatures when so much of the spread is by asymptomatic carriers?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. No, it's a good point, Susan. I mean these thermal screeners are really to try and detect a fever. Sometimes they can find symptoms that the person they themselves don't yet know that they have. So, in that case, if someone is symptomatic, they should obviously not be entering a public place.

But, you're right, Susan, that the asymptomatic spread is something that is significant with this particular coronavirus. One thing I will tell you, when it comes to screening, when it comes to testing, a positive result is going to be more meaningful than a negative result. Meaning that, if you find out that, yes, the test came back positive for the coronavirus, that's giving you real data. If it comes back negative because there are false negatives, it tells you less and, obviously, the next day you could be tested and it might come back positive the next day.

So take these things with a grain of salt. But Susan makes a good point, temperature screenings have some effectiveness but less effectiveness here.

BERMAN: Just to follow up, there are fewer false positives than false negatives?

GUPTA: So it depends what kind of test. So this is a diagnostic test that we're talking about. With diagnostic tests, false negative rate is higher and more concerning, right? If you get a diagnostic test, you're told you're negative, and you're not, then you might go out in public, feel more emboldened that you're not going to spread it. That would be a mistake.

If it's the antibody test and you get back a false positive, now you think, well, I've got the antibodies, I'm protected, I'm good to go, a false positive would be more of a concern with a test like that.

BERMAN: All right, Sanjay, this question comes from William in Nebraska. With the vaccines currently being tested on human subjects, how is the vaccine's effectiveness determined? Is a volunteer who has received an injection of one of these trial vaccines subsequently exposed to an individual who is an active Covid-19 patient? If not, how is effectiveness determined?

GUPTA: Yes, this is a great question.

So, typically, the way that vaccine effectiveness is determined is you get the phase one trial, which is safety. Phase two you basically now expose a large -- you give the vaccine to a larger number of people and then you test their antibodies, you take some of their antibodies, you put it in a test tube with the virus, you see, is it neutralizing the virus. Phase three, you do this in a large population of people, where the virus is circulating. You give a bunch of people the vaccine, a bunch of people don't get the vaccine and see, does the vaccine seem to make a difference.

But what William is suggesting here and could be something that is talked about more is what's called the challenge test. Once someone is vaccinated, now you knowingly expose them to the virus and see what happens. Now, that's been done before but it does, you know, it does raise some ethical questions about when you knowingly expose something to somebody where it could cause them illness or even death. So those are real discussions that are happening right now. These challenge tests, if they happen, if they're allowed to happen, people volunteer to go through this process, it could expedite the vaccine, you know, sort of overall formation because you could get through this effectiveness trial part of the trial sooner.

CAMEROTA: OK, Sanjay, this comes from, I believe, Frances in Stockton, California, who says, I hope to get to the mountains soon, but I need to make pit stops. How can I sanitize public restrooms? That sound ambitious.

GUPTA: Yes, it's tough to get out and about nowadays. And, you know, one thing to keep in mind is that when you go to a public restroom, in addition to, you know, people potentially putting respiratory droplets out in the air, you've got to watch surfaces. The CDC says if you're going to sanitize, wear gloves. Make sure to wash your hands after you touch surfaces. Again, it's surface, hand-to-surface, and then that hand to contaminate yourself.

BERMAN: All right, Sanjay, thank you very much, as always.

Time now for a quick "Good Stuff."


The New England Patriots give us one more reason to love them. The six-time, six-time Super Bowl champions lent their truck to deliver 84,000 meals to help the hungry affected by the pandemic in Chelsea, Massachusetts, which has been hit so hard. The donation from the Kraft family and the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation. Each of the boxes weighs 50 pounds. It's enough to feed two people three meals a day for two weeks.

Good for the Patriots, and, as I said, Chelsea is an area of the city there in Massachusetts which has been hit so hard.

All right, CNN's coronavirus coverage continues right after this.



POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. Good Monday morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.


Just hours from now, the president --