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THE SITUATION ROOM

Interview With Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH); Florida Reopening Barber Shops, Salons In Most Of State Today; WHO Says, New Surge In Cases In Some Nations That Eased Restrictions; German Cases Increase After Easing Of Restrictions; Virus Takes Heavy Toll On Nursing Home Facilities. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired May 11, 2020 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[18:00:28]

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Tonight, as the U.S. coronavirus death toll now climbs above 80,000, President Trump is trying to downplay a new outbreak within the White House, even as staffers are now being told to wear masks in the West Wing.

Mr. Trump appearing in the Rose Garden just a little while ago, with his face uncovered, is claiming -- and I'm quoting him now -- "We have prevailed" when it comes to coronavirus testing.

His mixed and sometimes misleading messages come as he keeps pushing for states to reopen, despite the risks.

A key model just raised its projected U.S. death toll. It now estimates that 137,000 Americans will die because of coronavirus by early August, as restrictions are eased and Americans become more mobile.

Let's get some more from our White House correspondent, Jeremy Diamond, right now.

Jeremy, we heard quite a few conflicting and confusing claims from the president.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We certainly did, Wolf, and particularly on this issue of testing, which was the focus of President Trump's news conference today.

President Trump, of course, touting some of the progress that his administration has made in ramping up testing, but, as he often does, Wolf, we heard the president go much further than the facts actually allow, and we did, in fact, Wolf, hear kind of a mission accomplished moment from the president on this issue of testing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In every generation,

through every challenge and hardship and danger, America has risen to the task. We have met the moment and we have prevailed.

We prevailed on testing is what I'm referring to. That was with regard to testing.

If people want to get tested, they get tested. We have the greatest capacity in the world. Not even close. If people want to get tested, they get tested.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAMOND: Wolf, that statement from the president there was reminiscence of one that he made early in this coronavirus pandemic, when the president said, if you want to test, you can get a test.

Wolf, it was not true then and it still is not true now. And, in fact, what we heard was Admiral Brett Giroir, the administration's point man on the testing front, he tried to clarify the president's statements, saying that, in fact, it is if you need a test and you are symptomatic, having some kind of respiratory distress, then you can get a test in the United States.

Nonetheless, Brett Giroir trying to stress the fact that most states can now enter phase one, based on the current testing capacity in the United States. But, nonetheless, Wolf, these questions about testing were amplified by what we're seeing at the White House, which is an outbreak of coronavirus, with two White House officials testing positive within just a few days of each other last week, particularly the vice president's press secretary, Katie Miller, prompting several officials to go into some form of self-quarantine.

And the president today even noting that he has not actually seen the vice president, not been in his presence since Friday, when Katie Miller, his spokeswoman, tested positive for that virus. Nonetheless, Wolf, the president insisting that the White House has that outbreak very much under control.

But one of the things that we know about this virus, Wolf, is that there is that incubation period of several days, when you may not show symptoms, you may not test positive for the virus, but you could potentially already be infected with it and spreading it to others.

That certainly is the concern among several White House officials right now would

BLITZER: And it's interesting that the vice president was not in the Rose Garden with the president today. He wasn't with the president in the Cabinet Room on Saturday, and you were reporting on that, when the president met with members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Normally, the president and the vice president would attend all of those meetings. Wasn't there -- and at one point, the president said, we could talk on the phone, maybe. So maybe they're not going to be seen and spending a lot of quality time together in the coming days because the vice president's press secretary, Katie Miller, was confirmed to have coronavirus.

That Rose Garden event, I want to get to this, Jeremy, ended rather abruptly and awkwardly, and it was pretty surprising to see what happened. Tell us, for viewers who are just tuning in, what happened.

DIAMOND: It certainly did, Wolf. And it was once again one of those combative exchanges between the president and reporters.

Particularly, he took -- he faced a question from Weijia Jiang, a reporter for CBS News who happens to be Chinese American. And you have to really watch the clip to see how the president responded to her and then how he ended the news conference quite abruptly after that. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WEIJIA JIANG, CBS NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You have said many times that the U.S. is doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing.

TRUMP: Yes.

[18:05:03]

JIANG: Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you, if, every day, Americans are still losing their lives, and we're still seeing more cases every day?

TRUMP: Well, they're losing their lives everywhere in the world.

And maybe that's a question you should ask China. Don't ask me. Ask China that question, OK? When you ask them that question, you may get a very unusual answer.

Yes, behind you, please.

JIANG: Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically, that I should ask China?

TRUMP: I'm telling you. I'm not saying it specifically to anybody. I'm saying it to anybody that would ask a nasty question like that.

JIANG: That's not a nasty question.

TRUMP: Please, go ahead.

JIANG: Why does it matter...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: OK. Anybody else? Please, go ahead, in the back, please.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I have two questions.

TRUMP: No, it's OK. We will go over here.

COLLINS: But you pointed to me. I have two questions, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Next. Next, please.

COLLINS: But you didn't -- you called on me.

TRUMP: I did. And you didn't respond.

And now I'm calling on the young lady in the back.

Please.

COLLINS: Sorry. I just wanted to let -- I just wanted to let my colleague finish.

But can I ask you question?

TRUMP: OK.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DIAMOND: And as you can see there, Wolf, that was our colleague Kaitlan Collins who was trying to ask the president a question.

She had actually been called on by the president, but wanted to allow her colleague from CBS Weijia Jiang to answer -- to ask a follow-up question of the president, something that many of us in the Briefing Room during these press conferences or out in the Rose Garden certainly try and do, a very legitimate journalistic practice.

And the president there, as you can see, abruptly ending that news conference. And, frankly, Wolf, it had been several weeks since we'd seen the president do one of these news conferences. And one of the reasons why is because many of his political advisers had told him that some of his combative exchanges with reporters were actually wearing quite negatively on many of those key swing voters in battleground states that the president needs to win in order to win reelection in 2020.

And once again, Wolf, as he returns to the podium, the president once again exhibiting that kind of behavior that has many of his advisers concerned.

BLITZER: Yes, Weijia Jiang from CBS News, the White House correspondent, asked a very fair question. And Kaitlan Collins did the right thing very appropriately in allowing her to follow up, and then the president abruptly walked off.

All right, Jeremy, thank you very much, Jeremy Diamond reporting from the White House.

As more people are dying tonight, at least 48 states are moving forward with reopening plans.

Let's go to our national correspondent, Erica Hill. She's in New York City for us.

Erica, even as New York state is now preparing to start reopening in some areas, what are the latest developments you're seeing there on the ground?

ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right.

We are hearing from Governor Andrew Cuomo today, who said that, by the end of this week, three regions will be able to begin reopening. In fact, across the state, low-risk businesses like landscaping and gardening, even drive-in movie theaters, will be allowed to come back online.

But as we have seen throughout this virus, each state's approach, Wolf, is definitely different.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILL (voice-over): Face coverings and social distancing the new normal. At least 48 states will be partially opened by this weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's almost like we -- it's our first grand opening.

HILL: Restaurants, retail and manufacturing coming back online.

CURTIS PEERY, OWNER, VOODOO BAYOU: We're really excited for customers to come back and enjoy the experience.

HILL: In Alabama, gyms, hair and nail salons, and large gatherings also have the green light. Restaurants in Colorado are limited to takeout and delivery, yet this packed dining room was the scene on Mother's Day at one establishment.

The governor's office telling CNN the restaurant is endangering the lives of their staff, customers and community. The owner said she never expected it to be so busy, but was happy people came out to support the Constitution.

In South Dakota, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe using checkpoints to control the spread.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you traveled to or from an area reported with COVID-19 cases?

HILL: Measures the governor says are illegal because they interfere with traffic, though the state does not have jurisdiction over tribal lands.

HAROLD FRAZIER, CHAIRMAN, CHEYENNE RIVER SIOUX: That's all we're trying to do, is to save our people and the residents on this reservation.

HILL: South Dakota is one of two states showing cases are up more than 50 percent in the past seven days. A model often cited by the White House is now predicting 137,000 Americans could die by August because of increased mobility.

LT. GOV. JON HUSTED (R-OH): The coronavirus is going to be with us throughout the rest of the year. We need to learn to live with it. We got to learn to live safely with it.

HILL: The government sending remdesivir, which the FDA says can be used to treat severe cases, to some of the hardest-hit states. The first antigen test receiving emergency use authorization, as the WHO on Monday cautions against relying on herd immunity.

Meantime, New York is investigating 85 cases of an inflammatory illness in young children that could be related to COVID-19. Three have died.

DR. DEEPIKA THACKER, NEMOURS CHILDREN'S HEALTH SYSTEM: If the child appears really sick, with shortness of breath, with severe headaches, vomiting, then probably head over to the nearest children's hospital.

[18:10:07]

HILL: A packed cross-country plane prompting Dr. Ethan Weiss to post this photo. He was heading home to California, after volunteering in New York City hospitals for the past several weeks.

Connecticut announcing summer camps can open June 29 with limited capacity. Massachusetts is set to begin a phased plan next Monday, while, in the epicenter, Governor Andrew Cuomo says three regions in his state will reopen on Friday.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): This is the next big step in this historic journey.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HILL: And, Wolf, those three regions can open on Friday, but the governor also said that there are two other regions in the state that have met six of his seven metrics. And there's a chance they could be at all seven -- could have all seven fulfilled by Friday, so we could potentially see five regions in the state open on Friday.

BLITZER: All right, we will see what happens on that front.

Erica Hill in New York, thank you.

Let's get some more reaction to what we heard from the president a little while ago and what -- and other developments.

The Republican governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, is joining us right now.

Governor DeWine, thanks so much for joining us.

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: Let me get your reaction.

The president says -- and I'm quoting him now -- "We have prevailed on testing."

Do you agree with him? Can anyone who wants a test in Ohio get a test right now?

DEWINE: No.

I think we have made a lot of progress. The White House has been helpful to us to get the reagents and get that approved. So we have upped our capacity significantly in Ohio. The actual testing is going up. I think we're up to about 7,500 tests a day.

And we project that that's going to continue to go up. So we're -- we're moving in the right direction. What we have done, Wolf, is prioritized it. We have three levels, one, two and three, in regard to who should get a test.

Now, the private sector is coming on. And so that's a different situation. You're seeing some drugstores, for example, that are -- pharmacies -- that are rolling these things out in the private sector.

But I'm talking about what -- what we're trying to do with the testing that we have. And, as I said, it's gone up significantly. But what we're trying to do with that is to prioritize it to save lives. And that's the most important thing that we focus on every single day.

BLITZER: Because testing is so important, and even testing for people who have no symptoms, because you might have coronavirus and be asymptomatic.

So, people who want to get a test should be able to get a test. But that's not necessarily the case right now, despite what the president says.

The White House did announce today that it will allocate $11 billion in the previously appropriated funds by the House and the Senate, signed into law by the president, to increase testing capacity.

How much of a difference do you believe that will make in your ability to reopen your state of Ohio?

DEWINE: Well, I was on the call, and a lot of the governors were on the call with the vice president today. And we heard discussion about that.

That certainly is going to be very helpful. We're -- one of the things that we focus a lot on is our nursing homes, because Ohio, like most states, is seeing a real fatality rate in some nursing homes. Once it gets into a nursing home, it's very, very difficult.

And so testing is part of that approach. We also have something that we think is unique and we're very proud of in Ohio, and that is, our hospitals have really stepped up and with the nursing homes. And it's a new partnership we have never had before.

But every hospital -- every nursing home has been adopted by a hospital in the state of Ohio. So, when there is a problem, they bring their infectious disease people in, they try to surge in if the nursing home needs PPE. They do with the testing.

If someone is showing the symptoms in a nursing home, they call the local health department. They bring the hospital in. Testing takes place, and really is trying to, again, do the basic stuff, find out who is positive, and segregate them, separate them, so that other people do not become positive.

So, it's a -- I think it's a real holistic approach, and it remains -- a nursing home is something we care a lot about.

Everybody has had somebody in a nursing home at one time. And you think it might be your dad, it might be your mom in there. And so it's somebody's dad or somebody's mom. And we got to do everything we can to take care of our...

BLITZER: Yes, it's so sad that the children of the people in the nursery, they can't come visit their mothers and their fathers.

DEWINE: Yes. No, that's horrible, very difficult.

BLITZER: And grandchildren can't come and visit either. That's so painful for everyone.

DEWINE: It is.

BLITZER: I told that, by the end of this week -- and correct me if I'm wrong, Governor -- some 90 percent of your state's economy will be reopened, at least in some fashion.

But the number of coronavirus cases in Ohio continues to fluctuate. You're clearly fighting two battles right now, the public health crisis, which is enormous, but also there's a huge economic crisis.

[18:15:06]

A lot of people are unemployed, and they're struggling to put food on the table right now. There are competing needs that need to be struck right now. What's the right balance?

DEWINE: Well, Wolf, one of the things we have done is, we want to make sure that, as we open businesses, that we do it the right way.

And so we have put working groups together, not only of people who are in health, but people who actually run that type business, to come up with the best practices. So we're going to open retail tomorrow. So, when these retail stores open, they have to follow the procedure.

I mean, they have to do everything that they need to do to separate people. And they have got to -- can't have too many people in a room. But you're right. It's a risk if you if you didn't open up, and it's a risk if you do open up.

And we're trying to do it in a measured pace. I continue to appeal to my fellow Ohioans, who, frankly, have done a great job through this. They have kept the distance. They have done all those things. And what I'm telling them is, we got to keep doing this, because the risk is up because we're opening up.

And so the importance now of adding the facial, adding the mask to what we have been doing -- we have been doing the social distancing. Now we all really have to put that mask on as we go out into public. And so these are things that are just very important.

BLITZER: Yes.

DEWINE: Every employee now in Ohio in these new -- businesses has to wear a mask under our protocol.

BLITZER: Which is so critical.

And, Governor, I want to thank you, because you were way ahead of the curve in Ohio and getting things done. And in the process, I think it's fair to say, you saved a lot of lives in doing so.

So, thanks very much. And thanks very much for joining us.

DEWINE: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: We will stay in close touch with you. Appreciate it very much..

DEWINE: Thank you. Good to be with you.

BLITZER: Thank you.

And just ahead, we will have more on the new policy requiring staffers entering the West Wing of the White House to wear masks, as the White House now scrambles to control an outbreak inside its walls.

Plus: why the coronavirus is taking such a heavy toll on long-term care facilities. We have new information.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:21:32]

BLITZER: All right, we're following all the breaking news out of President Trump's news conference and conflicting claims about the coronavirus pandemic, as infections have now spread to the White House.

The president speaking in the Rose Garden just a little while ago, until he abruptly ended the news conference in a very, very awkward way.

Let's bring in CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, along with our White House correspondent, John Harwood.

Sanjay, the president says -- and I'm quoting him -- "We have prevailed" on testing.

Is it true, as the president says, that everyone who wants a test here in the United States can be tested? Is that true? DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, it's not true,

Wolf.

I mean, we have a long ways to go for that. And there's a couple things to sort of point out. We have gotten -- doing a lot more testing that we had. But when we talk about enough testing, we're not just talking about the number of people that get tested. We're talking about this possibility that people may need to get tested several times.

I mean, as you know, in the White House, Wolf, their protocol is now some people are getting tested every day. That may, in fact, be too much testing. We don't know yet. There will be a specific protocol that I'm sure comes out of this.

But the fact is that, in order to open places back up, in order to sort of get big institutions, communities, states, the country running, we're going to need a lot of testing. I mean, look at what's happened in the White House.

I think that should give people a good indication of what might be necessary in other places, testing regularly, contact tracing, quarantining. Right now, you got the head of the FDA, the head of the CDC and the top infectious disease doctor in the country all in some sort of quarantine right now.

That's the example, I think, and the important one, that follows the CDC guidelines for people to meet.

BLITZER: All right, John, I want to talk about the way the press conference in the Rose Garden ended with a rather combative exchange.

Let me play the clip one more time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIANG: You have said many times that the U.S. is doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing.

TRUMP: Yes.

JIANG: Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you, if, every day, Americans are still losing their lives, and we're still seeing more cases every day?

TRUMP: Well, they're losing their lives everywhere in the world.

And maybe that's a question you should ask China. Don't ask me. Ask China that question, OK? When you ask them that question, you may get a very unusual answer.

Yes, behind you, please.

JIANG: Sir, why are you saying that to me specifically, that I should ask China?

TRUMP: I'm telling you. I'm not saying it specifically to anybody. I'm saying it to anybody that would ask a nasty question like that.

JIANG: That's not a nasty question.

TRUMP: Please, go ahead.

JIANG: Why does it matter...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: OK. Anybody else? Please, go ahead, in the back, please.

COLLINS: I have two questions.

TRUMP: No, it's OK. We will go over here.

COLLINS: But you pointed to me. I have two questions, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Next. Next, please.

COLLINS: But you didn't -- you called on me.

TRUMP: I did. And you didn't respond.

And now I'm calling on the young lady in the back.

Please.

COLLINS: Sorry. I just wanted to let -- I just wanted to let my colleague finish.

But can I ask you question?

TRUMP: OK.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right, John, as a veteran White House correspondent, what's your reaction to that display? Have you ever seen anything like that in a White House news conference in the Rose Garden?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I have seen a few Trump press conferences and seen things similar to that.

But there are a couple of points to be made. First of all, the president doesn't like tough questions, especially when he doesn't have a very good answer. He particularly doesn't like tough questions from women reporters. He doesn't like being what he thinks is being challenged by women reporters.

[18:25:07]

Third, our colleague from CBS asked a completely legitimate question, because the number of tests in the United States compared to those in other countries is of no moment to our problem.

The problem that we have is how to reopen our economy safely, and getting the test levels adequate to do that is what we need to do, point-of-care tests, tests in hot spot areas, meatpacking plants, nursing homes, also tests of asymptomatic people, surveillance testing.

All of that is necessary, and the president was put on the spot about that, and didn't like it.

Then, with Kaitlan -- Kaitlan did the collegial thing of trying to defer to her colleague to let her follow up, and the president decided that he was going to punish her, as a representative of CNN, which he complains about all the time. Kaitlan asks outstanding questions at those briefings.

And, again, get challenged by a strong woman reporter, President Trump doesn't like it, especially when he doesn't have a good answer to the questions.

BLITZER: Then he ends the news conference and simply walks out of the Rose Garden.

Sanjay, it was interesting also to see the new protocol being put into effect over at the White House today, masks, more distancing. But could it be too little, too late, at least in terms of containing what may be an outbreak that we're now seeing?

GUPTA: Well, I think it's -- these things should have happened earlier, there's no question. I think you can say that about just about everything with regard to our response.

I mean, even with the testing, it is true that the testing has improved a bit, but it's not one of those things where you necessarily can catch up. I mean, people look at the right side of the screen, and they're reminded that we, as a country of 5 percent of the population of the world, have about 25 percent, more than 25 percent of the world's confirmed cases of coronavirus.

So, that's in part because we reacted late. It's important that they're doing what they're doing now. I mean, masks are not a failsafe, but they can decrease the spread of this virus. Yes, I mean, I wish that that had happened earlier. I think it would have given people a better chance at not potentially being exposed to this virus and being able to contain it, whether it's the White House, anywhere else.

These are basic measures that can go a long way towards slowing down and hopefully containing the spread of this virus.

BLITZER: All right, guys, thank you very...

HARWOOD: Wolf...

BLITZER: Yes, go ahead, very quickly, John. Go ahead.

HARWOOD: I was just going to say, the one consistent thing in this White House is being behind the curve.

They have never gotten ahead of the issue, first downplaying it, then declining to use presidential powers to try to augment supply. Then, under pressure, they change course. They do take some actions to augment supply.

Saying governors are responsible for testing. Then they're under pressure. Now they come out and say, well, we're going to give some more money, we're going to backstop the states.

They have failed consistently to get ahead of the problem. And that's the challenge.

BLITZER: Everybody who comes into the White House now is supposed to wear a mask, except the president and the vice president. They're not wearing masks, at least not yet.

All right, Sanjay and John, guys, thank you very much.

Just ahead: All but two U.S. states are now moving to reopen, to some extent.

We're going to take a closer look at what's going on in Florida, what they're doing, what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:30:00]

BLITZER: Tonight, as the U.S. death toll from coronavirus has jumped to above 80,000 and only two months ago, it was only 38 confirmed deaths in the United States, the State of Florida is now allowing barber shops and hair and nail salons to reopen across much of the state.

CNN's Randi Kaye is joining us from Palm Beach County right now down in Florida. That's just beginning to reopen today, Randi. Florida is faring better than some had expected. Update our viewers.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Well, some of the restaurants here in Palm Beach County are finally open as well, Wolf. You can probably see one over my left shoulder here. It's very crowded, but people are concerned that because Florida has been doing well, it has fared very well under the coronavirus according to the governor and many here, that people coming out would cause a spike in cases. And the question is will that happen.

And I could tell you that The Tampa Bay Times did this really great investigation. They talked with three private companies who tracked location data from apps on millions of cell phones and they were able to see whether or not Floridians actually stayed home and self- isolated as this virus spread through the state.

And what they found was that many people here did what you might call a self-imposed self-isolation. They stayed home. They didn't wait for the governor to tell them that there was a stay-at-home order. They didn't wait for the county to tell them. They did it on their own their own.

So take a look at a couple of graphics here there I want to share with you. This is from The Tampa Bay Times. If you look at the Miami-Dade County graph here, you can see at the blue line, it starts at 100 percent. It takes a big dip down. And it's almost at 0 percent. That's movement. That's cell phone data.

So that shows you that there was hardly any movement by the time April 1st rolled around and April 3rd when the governor's stay-at-home order went into effect. And then that's the perpendicular line. And then the same thing with Palm Beach County. You can see that the blue line also takes a big dip, Wolf, and you can see that it's almost at zero by the time that the governor's stay-at-home order went into effect.

[18:35:08]

So, clearly people stayed at home here in Florida, Wolf.

BLITZER: Which was the right thing, of course, to do. Randi Kaye in West Palm Beach for us, Randi, thank you very much.

Let's get an update now on what's happening across the country in California. We're joined by the mayor of San Francisco, London Breed. Mayor Breed, thank you so much for joining us.

You have taken a rather conservative and successful approach to combatting this pandemic. Why are you not in line, let's say, with the governor, Gavin, Newsom when it comes to reopening?

MAYOR LONDON BREED (D), SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Well, I think that I am in line with the governor, but I think that there are different areas of California that have more cases than others. And so the ability to move faster in those particular counties are possible.

Here in San Francisco, even though we have flattened the curve, we have not seen a reduction. We continue to see the numbers go up. And we have provided a guideline for opening with pickup and delivery in some non-essential businesses. But the fact is, Wolf, we're not out of the woods and it's important that we remember that and we move with caution.

BLITZER: What will reopening look like for residents of San Francisco?

BREED: Well, it's going to look like, for example, May 18th, we provided a guideline for, for example, our florists, our bookstore, our pet stores and other non-essential businesses, many of our small retail establishments in San Francisco, to do pickup and delivery.

And so, similar to the guidelines of our grocery stores and other essential services, we want to be sure that they put similar guidelines into play, which will provide an opportunity for people to go out to cosmetic stores and other things that people would like to get. But also this helps with those small businesses, because, as you know, our economy is suffering as a result of this and the need to get businesses going is important. But, again, we want to be very careful. We can't just go back to normal and move around in the same way because we want to make sure that we not only curve the virus, we want to reduce the curve overall.

BLITZER: As you know, Mayor, your city is being sued by the University of California Hastings Law School, which is in San Francisco, together with residents and businesses as they urge you to clean up homeless encampments. What's your response to this lawsuit?

BREED: Well, it's really unfortunate. The fact is the problems around homelessness that exist not just in San Francisco but other major cities throughout this country around substance use disorder, around mental illness, they don't just go away and it's as simple as providing someone with a home.

Not only does it require a lot of wrap around support at services, but in the age of social distancing, it's been even more difficult to get the resources and the people and build the capacity necessary to support this population.

But when you look at what San Francisco is actually doing as it relates to housing over 1,000 people in hotel rooms, a number of trailers, our collaborative approach, no, it's not enough, but it's better than most cities. And so it's going to take a lot of work and it's going to take our state and federal officials to help us with some new regulations so that we can get moving on addressing this issue quickly.

BLITZER: Well, good luck, Mayor Breed. We'll stay in very close touch with you. I appreciate it very much for joining us.

BREED: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Coming up, troubling signs around the world as countries that have lifted restrictions now report new clusters of coronavirus infections.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:40:00]

BLITZER: The World Health Organization today reported some nations that eased lockdown restrictions saw a surge in coronavirus cases over the weekend. CNN's David Culver is in China.

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, two contrasting narratives that we're seeing play out here in China. You go to the northeast of the country, one of the cities there going under a Wuhan-like lockdown. You've got folks right now sealed inside their homes as they're trying to contain a hotspot, not the surging cases.

Go to the original epicenter itself in Wuhan and over the past couple of days, a total of six cases have been reported. That's the first time new cases have been reported in several weeks. And then come here, Shanghai Disney, you can see in my backdrop, the castle, well, it is very different. They are reopening, a phased reopening. They have limited it to 30 percent capacity. However, they are expected to be well under that as they try to get back to business and yet maintain health safety. Wolf?

BLITZER: David Culver, thanks very much.

South Korean officials closed bars and nightclubs once again after a wave of new coronavirus cases in Seoul. CNN's Paula Hancocks is there.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The reopening of schools here in South Korea has now been postponed by a week after a cluster of new cases in Seoul's nightclub district is raising real concerns of a second wave, a 29-year-old man tested positive after visiting a number of clubs on May 2nd.

And since that point, we understand from authorities that 86 further cases have been confirmed. They believe they are all linked to this incident. Authorities tell us they have 5,500-plus people that they want to get in touch with and they want to test. They've already tested, they say, more than 3,000. These are people who went to this particular area within a two-week period.

Now, we know from Seoul City mayor, he said that the next two or three days will be critical in trying to control this outbreak.

Wolf?

[18:45:06]

BLITZER: Paula, thanks very much. Paula Hancocks reporting.

There's also some troubling signs in Germany right now where cases are increasing as businesses reopen and restrictions are lifted.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in northern Germany.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf. You know, Angela Merkel has said that Germany has now moved past the first face of the coronavirus pandemic, and can therefore start loosening some of the measures meant to combat the virus.

Now, what's happening in Germany is that larger stores are allowed to open, as well as bars, cafes and restaurants, all of this under very strict hygiene measures. We saw some of that here when we went through towns. For instance, in one restaurant we were at, you had to give a lot of your personal data, as well as your phone number, so that if there should be a case of coronavirus in that restaurant, the authorities would know exactly where to find everybody. Of course, that is the contact tracing, which, of course, is so important.

At the same time, some troubling news for the Germans as well, is this country's Center for Disease Control has said that the reproduction number for the novel coronavirus has gone up, and that could potentially mean that the virus is spreading again, and not getting pushed back anymore. And Angela Merkel has warned people to continue to adhere to these

physical distancing measures, or risk a new spike in infections, and then possibly a new lockdown -- Wolf.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: All right. Fred, thank you. Fred Pleitgen reporting.

Just ahead, a look at the terrible impact off the pandemic on nursing homes here in the United States. The New York governor is calling it ground zero for the virus.

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BLITZER: Long-term care facilities, home to so many older Americans who are the most at risk for this virus, are seeing thousands of positive cases and deaths among residents and staff.

CNN's Brian Todd has been looking into this for us.

So, Brian, what are you finding out?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it has gotten so bad at nursing homes that Vice President Pence is now telling governors that they have to develop plans to test all nursing home residents, something President Trump said a short time ago that he would support.

This comes as we're getting some jarring new numbers on a nursing home deaths.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): Leland Gebhardt is fearful about his 69-year-old mother, who lives at this Phoenix area nursing home. His mother doesn't have any symptoms of coronavirus at the moment, he says, but the facility says about four dozen residents there have tested positive, and at least seven have died.

LELAND GEBHARDT, SON OF RESIDENT AT GLENCOVE NURSING FACILITY: It's definitely been very fearful, because you -- all you can do is just wait and hope that nothing happens and hold your breath.

TODD: Tonight, there are shocking numbers on the ravaging toll COVID- 19 is taking on American nursing homes.

Nationally, long-term care facilities are linked to 11 percent of reported cases, and more than one in three deaths, according to a tally by "The New York Times."

In recent days, CNN has reported on individual states with spiking numbers that are simply flooring. In New Jersey, more than half the state's deaths from coronavirus have come at long-term care facilities. And in New Hampshire, as of a few days ago, nearly 80 percent of the deaths were at nursing homes. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to head off further disaster.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: This virus uses nursing homes. They are ground zero. They are the vulnerable population in the vulnerable location.

TODD: Governor Cuomo is now requiring that nursing home staff members be tested twice a week for coronavirus and says hospitals cannot discharge a patient to a nursing home unless the patient tests negative.

But nursing homes still present what one expert calls a perfect storm of factors which put their residents at higher risk, in addition to the fact many of them already have chronic health problems --

DR. JENNIFER LEE, FORMER DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY OF HEALTH, VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: These residents are confined to where they live, and many of them live in pretty and interact in close spaces, and so that puts them at high risk because they can't effectively distance.

TODD: And staff shortages at nursing homes which one expert told us were a problem before this outbreak are now making the risks even greater for staffers and residents.

DR. JAMES PHILLIPS, DIRECTOR, DISASTER & OPERATIONAL MEDICINE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Within the nursing home, the nurses and the technicians that work there could be dealing with tens of patients at a time. What that means is you've got one person going back and forth between all the rooms and all the different patients.

TODD: Those conditions have led to scenes like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Better safe or worse.

TODD: Relatives have to check on their elderly loved ones through the windows of those facilities. In mid-March the federal government issued guidance banning nearly all visitors and communal activities at nursing homes.

At a nursing home in Pasco County, Florida, relatives couldn't get anywhere near their mothers and grandmothers to celebrate Mother's Day. So they had to drive by, honk, wave from a distance, and call them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, you can. It's emotional. All right.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: But "The Wall Street Journal" is now reporting that federal regulators are drafting new guidelines to allow visitors to go back to nursing homes under some very strict standards and in multiple phases. But they're getting warnings, Wolf, and health experts, they should not reopen these facilities too soon.

BLITZER: Yes. This is all so, so sad. Brian Todd reporting for us, thank you.

We have more news just ahead.

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BLITZER: Finally tonight, we want to share with you some more personal stories of Americans who have died from coronavirus.

Daniel Zane of Haverford, Pennsylvania, was 94 years old. While serving in World War II, he dodged enemy fire across an open field to give first aid to a fellow soldier. His wife of 71 years, Valerie, died two days earlier.

Annemarie Thelma Robain of New York City was 83 years old. She was born in Trinidad and moved to the United States in 1973. She leaves behind her husband Leo and five children. We're told she loved to cook dishes from her homeland and talk politics.

To their families and all the families in mourning, may your loved ones rest in peace and may their memories be a blessing.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

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