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Global Concern over COVID-19 Flare-ups; West Wing Staffers Required to Mask; U.S. Deaths Top 80K; New York Hopeful about Virus Battle; Russia Fourth in World for Virus Cases; Questions Remain on U.K.'s Reopening; Most of U.S. Reopening with Increased Deaths Projected; Trump: 'We Have Met the Moment and We Have Prevailed'; China Denies Trying to Steal U.S. Vaccine Data; Toyota Says Operating Profits to Hit 9-Year Low; Turkey Reopens Hair Salons, Malls; Llama's Antibodies Could Be Key to Vaccine. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired May 12, 2020 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause.
Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, corona comeback, from Wuhan, China, to Trump's White House. The coronavirus just keeps coming, with new cases being confirmed worldwide.
Even before an official accusation, China denies allegations that hackers linked to the central government of Beijing have been trying to steal crucial information about a coronavirus vaccine.
And llamas could help conquer COVID-19. How their antibodies might hold the key to fighting this pandemic.
VAUSE: Just hours before his appearance before the U.S. Congress, Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the lead figures in the government's efforts to control the coronavirus, is expected to warn lawmakers that the U.S. will see needless suffering and death if the country opens up too quickly. That late reporting from "The New York Times."
But those concerns have been shared and echoed by world leaders and other medical experts, worried that a country's reopening too soon would see a resurgence of the virus.
And proof positive that there are flare-ups to report in places like Germany, China and South Korea, all of which have rolled back restrictions, only now to backtrack and put some of those measures back in place. The World Health Organization says this is another sign of the challenges ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. MICHAEL RYAN, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: We are seeing some hope as many countries exit these lockdowns and this is good. It allows economic life to return. But extreme vigilance is required and not just vigilance, many countries have made very systematic investments in building up their public health capacities during the lockdowns.
Others have not. Shutting your eyes and trying to drive through this blind is about as silly an equation as I have seen. And I'm really concerned that certain countries are setting themselves up for some seriously blind driving over the next few months.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The WHO also warns that most of the world remains vulnerable to the virus, which has infected more than 4 million people, killed nearly 290,000. Almost a third of those cases and fatalities are in the United States. And, on Monday, the U.S. death toll surpassed 80,000.
Around the same time, President Trump claimed that we have met the moment and we have prevailed. He later said that he meant the U.S. had prevailed on testing, although he did not say that at first.
The U.S. president also repeated a lie that was not true, the first time he said in early March and it is still not true now. Anyone who wants a test can get one; they cannot. A member of the Coronavirus Task Force had to correct him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: As far as Americans getting a test, they should all be able to get a test right now. They should be able to get a test. If somebody wants to be tested right now, they'll be able to be tested.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ADMIRAL BRETT GIROIR, M.D., ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HEALTH: So everyone who needs a test can get a test. We have plenty of tests for that.
Meantime, President Trump has imposed a new policy requiring face masks to be worn at the White House, after a recent outbreak in the West Wing.
VAUSE: We're told those concerns about infections will undercut his message that the country is ready to reopen. CNN's Kaitlan Collins has more.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The White House announced to staffers on Monday it's implementing a strict new mask policy, basically telling people they were coming into the West Wing, they will have to wear something covering their face. And if they have a permanent desk or office inside of the West Wing,
they do not have to wear it as long as they can be socially distanced and that change in policy from a White House, where staffers were not wearing masks comes after two people who interact closely with the president and vice president both tested positive for coronavirus.
However, the question is whether or not the president and vice president are going to follow their own new policy.
President Trump appeared in the Rose Garden on Monday at a press conference focused on testing. He was not wearing a mask and the vice president was not there, which is a pretty rare move for someone who typically does attended these press conferences when he is in Washington, which he was on Monday.
Now the president said the mask policy change was his idea, although he did not get into whether or not he will wear one.
VAUSE: Kaitlan Collins with that report.
Now South Korea is racing to contain a new spike in cases believed to have originated in Seoul's nightclub district. More than 100 infections have been reported as the nation tests thousands of people who were in the area, visiting those clubs, CNN's Paula Hancocks is live for us.
And this is really turning out to be a test of South Korea's ability to contact trace.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we've heard from the Seoul city mayor that the next 2 to 3 days will be absolutely critical in trying to contain this outbreak.
What they're trying to do at this point is testing everybody who they know was in the area within a 2 week period. And they say they have tested more than 7,200 people already and they say that there are another 3,000 or so that they know have been in that particular area.
The way they are doing, this, is they're looking at mobile phone records, credit card usage records, they have police cooperation to try and contain this outbreak. What we did hear from the Seoul mayor was the secondary infection has been an issue.
This is not just the 101 people who have tested positive, not just people who came into contact with the 29-year-old man who had visited those clubs back on May 2nd then tested positive.
There are secondary infections; 36 percent of them are asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms whatsoever, which makes them even more difficult to try and track this down.
And, also, we know that the rate of spread is very high, according to the Seoul city mayor. So there's a real race against time to contain this outbreak -- John. VAUSE: This does seem to be a poignant lesson, as so many other
countries began to lift these lockdowns, allow businesses to reopen.
It begs the question, why were they allowed nightclubs, with hundreds of people cramped together, allowed to reopen so soon?
HANCOCKS: That's a very good question.
And why would they be open before schools are open?
Schools were supposed to be reopening in South Korea tomorrow, on Wednesday. They're going to have year 3 of high school starting and then a phased introduction of other students over a number of weeks.
That has had to be pushed back by a week because of this cluster outbreak. So there are many concerns as to why people were able to go in such numbers. When they went in, they had to give their names and phone numbers so that they could be traced.
But officials have said that many of them gave false information, so they did find it difficult to trace some of them. Local media has said that some of those clubs were gay clubs, which has added to the issues here in South Korea.
There is homophobia here and certainly we heard from some in the gay community that they were worried there would be concerns of coming forward and saying that you were in that club and you did need to be tested because you would face discrimination.
Officials have caught up to that issue and they have said that, if you are tested, we can keep it confidential. We will not allow your details to be leaked and if anybody does do that, they will face the consequences. But it was an added issue, when time is really of the essence to try and track everyone who has been in that area and test them -- John.
VAUSE: Paula, thank you. Paula live for us in Seoul.
China also dealing with new coronavirus cases, 5 confirmed in Wuhan on Monday. That's where the outbreak began. The city said no new cases have been reported in the past 24 hours.
Wuhan had just lifted its last lockdown last month after 76 days. There are 11 new cases in China's northeast. It's a province which borders Russia and North Korea, raising concerns new cases could be imported.
And across the United States, months of heroic work by so much health care workers to save lives during the first wave of the coronavirus may be undone as most states move to reopen.
VAUSE: And the number of confirmed cases is rising again in some places.
VAUSE: Dr. Comilla Sasson is an emergency medicine physician from Colorado. She's just returned from volunteering for 30 days at a New York City hospital. Thank you for being with us.
DR. COMILLA SASSON, EMERGENCY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: Thanks for having me.
VAUSE: You know, on the one hand it must be great to be home. But then on the other, you know, there are a lot of images coming out of many parts of the country, including from Colorado over the weekend. This restaurant -- it was very busy. It was very cramped. It doesn't look like anyone is practicing social distancing. There are no masks.
We should say that, you know, stay at home orders have been lifted and masks are not required in public. But I wonder if the people in that restaurant had seen just some of what you saw and experienced New York, would they be there at that restaurant? Would they be following the guidance that we hear from the public health experts?
SASSON: You know I think this is probably what makes it so challenging, being physicians and health care providers right now, that we see the ravages of what happens when people get COVID-19.
And I think, you know, spend a day with me in the emergency department seeing what happens and I think people would really think differently about their actions. At least I would hope they would. You know, I think we have this whole movement out here, the anti-maskers and the people who think that this is a hoax, this doesn't really exist.
I'm going to tell you right now it absolutely exists and it has torn up families all throughout New York City and all throughout the world, really.
VAUSE: And you arrived in New York City, you are assigned to a field hospital which, you know, in this day and age seems astonishing that there would be a field hospital. But, you know, for you and doctors and nurses, you know this is all about essentially learning on the job in a way because, you know, with the treatment involved from, you know, I guess -- and it continues to evolve right now.
So would you compare when you first arrived to how you are treating COVID-19 patients to the day you left and how much it changed in just that one month period?
SASSON: Oh, my gosh. You know, it's so crazy and we are sort of living in this really interesting time of continuing rich (ph) and sort of data lacking for much of what we're trying to treat in terms of coronavirus and so we are learning something literally every day.
And I think a lot of folks think, oh, gosh, well, you know what, if it changes every day, then that must mean that we don't know what we're doing. But it's that we're learning as we go. This is such a new disease for us to both treat and try to prevent that I think, you know, it's just kind of the nature of the beast right now. So even in that one month our protocols changed tremendously from day 1 to day 30 and they continue to change and it's just what we have to do to be able to keep up with the pace of science and more importantly save more lives.
VAUSE: Yes. Because the more with deal with this virus, the more we learn, you build on the existing knowledge. And one area, that is ventilators because it seems there are now some questions over whether it is actually necessary to go down that road as often and as early as has been the case.
So is that one of the things that you saw in New York?
SASSON: You know, it's very controversial right now, the idea to intubate early, which is to put somebody on a ventilator right away when they start to have problems breathing versus this idea of putting them on positive pressure ventilation, which can be something like a BIPAP machine or CPAP machine or even high-flow nasal cannula.
And it's this really delicate balance between keeping the health care provider safe because it is potentially an aerosol-generating procedure that could bring up coronavirus into the air and potentially get us sick as well.
Versus the idea of you intubate them early, get them on a ventilator, get them on a closed circuit device that actually could help keep everybody else safe and also keep that person's lungs and having breathe on their own. A really delicate balance.
The issue is really coming to the forefront in New York City because that's where they've seen the most number of cases. And I will be honest, I think the data is going to sway the other direction now. I think we're going to have to start figuring out how to do that positive pressure ventilation and try to mitigate sort of, you know, that time that it takes to get somebody on the ventilator.
So again, I think ultimately some folks are going to be sick enough they're going to need to be the ventilator, but I think we're trying to figure out what is that right balance of sort of keeping them on that positive pressure until they actually have to get on that ventilator as a very last resort.
VAUSE: It's because of -- that's the evolution of science. You learn as you go and you build on this existing body of knowledge. Doesn't mean you were wrong at the beginning, it just that it means you know more now.
You kept a video blog of your time in New York. I want to play part of the entry from your last night, your last shift in New York. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SASSON: I am leaving New York City. I'm very hopeful that if we all come together we can actually fight and beat coronavirus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: You know, in theory you are right, but we should have touched on this before. How someone responds to this virus has almost become an act of politics. So just hit the facts here. In particular wearing a mask is mostly for the benefit of those around you. So what do you say to people who don't want to wear a mask in a grocery store, or at a pharmacy, or at a restaurant?
SASSON: You know what, you have to do it for everybody else. Everyone's actions matter. I can't say that enough. I mean it's not about you necessarily, it's about everybody else around you.
So you don't know other people's stories. You don't know if they have multiple sclerosis or they are on chemotherapy. Or maybe they go home to their mother-in-law who's 65 years old and has diabetes and high blood pressure.
SASSON: You know I think it's really just trying to take this out of the -- out of the politics, out of the idea that this is you know, what about my freedoms. It's really just about being a kind person and doing what is right. And you know, it's hard to sometimes get that across to people but knowing what we have seen, what we continue to see with a number of cases rising every day everybody's actions matter.
I don't know how to say that more strongly, other than to just have folks again spend a day, you know, talking to one of my patients, who had four family members die, literally that lives with him.
These are real stories, these are families that will never be the same. And so you don't want that to be your family, you don't' want to be your neighbor's family.
VAUSE: Before we go, I just wanted to mention you returned from New York on Friday, just in time for Mother's Day which was over the weekend. I just want to show you the homecoming because the welcome home is heartwarming. Here it is. Here are the kids and you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is at the door? Do you want to go look?
Oh, my god, hi, guys. Hi, baby. Hi. Oh, my goodness me.
What are you eating?
I missed you so much. I missed you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys surprised?
SASSON: Were you guys surprised?
Did Mama surprise you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my gosh.
SASSON: Holy moly. Oh, my goodness, I just got tackled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: I saw it over the weekend it made me feel really good. Those kids really missed you. And you must be so happy you're all back together.
SASSON: Yes. It was the offensive lineman who tackled me.
SASSON: I don't know who was happier, you know. If it was the kids or it was me or my husband. He has been by himself with two kids for four weeks.
VAUSE: Well, it's a great sacrifice. I hope that sacrifice was worth it. I hope your sacrifice was worth it. You saved a lot of lives and did a lot of good in New York and this isn't over yet but thank you for everything, Dr. Sasson.
SASSON: Thanks for having me.
VAUSE: You're welcome.
Next up on CNN NEWSROOM, shops and cafes opening up again in Germany but as the country sees a spike in new infections. Also new coronavirus rules for Metro riders in Paris. Now they are having to wear masks, that and other new restrictions when we come back.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everyone. Russia is now approaching the top of the list of countries with the most coronavirus cases. According to Johns Hopkins University, Russia is now fourth behind the United States, Spain and the U.K.
Just last week Russia has reported 10,000 new cases every day. On Monday, Vladimir Putin addressed the nation.
VAUSE: And he said local leaders will manage lifting any lockdown and he warned this fight against COVID-19 is far from done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): Throughout
the whole country, any mass events should not take place. And, of course, everyone needs to strictly comply with sanitary rules.
This applies to the works of organizations and surprises shops (ph), the service and transport sectors. The increased safety regime must be maintained for people over 65, as well as for those who suffer from chronic diseases.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Germany is easing some restrictions, even though new cases are on the rise and leaders are fearful this could indicate a second wave. CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports from Northern Germany.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Walking through the pedestrian zone in Rostock in Northern Germany, you could almost forget this country is in the middle of a pandemic. Most shops are open and, now, so are the cafes and restaurants.
At the Old Western steak house, owner Borwin Wegener says he is thrilled to be serving customers again, but he doesn't think he is making much money.
BORWIN WEGENER, RESTAURATEUR: I am not even dreaming about making a profit right now he says, but if we are operating at about plus or minus zero for the moment and then we could make a profit when things pick up again, that would be great.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Like all restaurants in Germany, the old western has to adhere to strict hygiene measures. Tables have to be at least 1.5 meters or about 5 feet apart, meaning the restaurant can only be filled to about half of its usual capacity.
Patrons who come to eat here don't even have to wear masks, only the staff wears masks, but you do have to fill out this form here. Now, it ask you for your name, ask you for your address, your phone number, the table that you sat at and the date you are here.
And the reason for that is, should there ever be a coronavirus case in this establishment, the authorities want to know exactly how to trace everybody who is here.
Across the country, Germany is easing many of the measures meant to combat the novel coronavirus. The area at the rugged Baltic Coast is gearing up to welcome tourist back to its beaches soon. While in other parts of the country, people are working out to get in shape for the beach. After gyms in some regions had been allowed to open.
"It is awesome," this man says, "but I am a bit concerned about how many people are in here."
Angela Merkel is concerned as well, telling Germans not to get complacent, or risk a new spike in infections and possibly a harsh new lockdown.
"We are entering a new phase of the pandemic," Merkel said, "and it will be very important that, despite the easing of restrictions, we ensure that people adhere to the fundamentals of physical distancing and wearing masks."
But many are fed up with the physical distancing measures, police made several arrests this weekend, as thousands protested across Germany, against what they feel is an infringement on their civil rights which they say it needs to end now -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Rostock, Germany.
VAUSE: British prime minister Boris Johnson's plans to restart the economy have been criticized as unclear and inconsistent. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will all keep restrictions in place until May 28. It means that England will be the only country in the U.K. following these guidelines.
Those not able to work from home, can now make arrangements to return to work. For those who are not allowed -- sorry -- that are now (INAUDIBLE) meet one person outside of their household.
From June 1st, nonessential businesses and primary schools can begin to reopen. Sports can also start but no crowds or speculators. Finally if the first 2 steps are safe and successful, more public spaces and places of worship will be able to reopen early in July. For more on the plan and the controversy around it, here is Max Foster.
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Boris Johnson has come under a huge amount of criticism for the messaging around the way he plans to lift lockdown here in the U.K. if the infection rates remains low.
A big row brewing amongst the nations in the United Kingdom as well because, in Wales, in Northern Ireland and in Scotland, they're still firmly in lockdown. Those devolved administrations have stuck to that.
And the politicians in those nations pretty frustrated with Boris Johnson when he comes out and makes big announcements and doesn't make it clear that he's only talking about England and people living in England having to live by those new rules.
Amongst those new rules he's outlined are Brits being allowed to go out and meet one other person, but there are conditions attached to that. They have to remain two meters apart. It has to happen outside and not in people's gardens. The sort of complicated set up that is really confusing a lot of people out there.
FOSTER: Opposition Leader Keir Starmer also pointing out that he's concerned about the messaging here. Also talking about workers who are being encouraged to go back to work. How can they be sure that workplaces are safe yet or that the
transport system is safe yet?
What responsibilities are on police to enforce the rules here if they're not particularly clear on them?
These are big questions that do have to be answered.
On the business front, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the finance minister, will come out on Tuesday to offer some clarity there. One of the points he, no doubt, will be asked about is what the owner's responsibility is here.
For example, if a worker can't go back to work, because they can't sort out child care, is the onus on them to try to resolve it somehow?
Or is the onus on the employers to bear the costs of that?
Also, how will furloughing move forward?
Should furloughing rules be relaxed slightly to allow those on furlough to return back to work a bit to try to get the economy going?
Big questions that have to be answered and they have to answered in a clear way for people to fully understand them, but also to have faith in the government -- Max Foster, CNN, Berkshire, England.
VAUSE: France is beginning to lift its emergency measures and in Paris all Metro riders must wear a mask or receive a 125 dollar fine. For more, here's CNN's Melissa Bell.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: For the first time in nearly two months the French are able to leave their homes without a special authorization. The lifting of the country stay-at-home order.
That means that people are back on the metro although in much fewer numbers than they would be on an ordinary Monday. Clearly you can see that a lot of people have chosen to stay at home. Those who do come out have to wear facemasks when they're down here in the Metro.
And if they want to travel at peak time, they need to have a special authorization from their employer explaining why they couldn't work from home.
So in places like Paris, which remain in the red zones of France, still a lot of restrictions on people's liberty. And the government now looking very closely at the COVID-19 figures to see whether this very slow, gradual resumption of normal life will have an impact on those figures.
VAUSE: An update on those figures; on Monday, France reported a daily death toll, almost four times higher than the day before. Those numbers are fueling fears of a second wave.
As Spain moves to reopen the country, they're reporting its lowest number of deaths in more than seven weeks. The health ministry recorded 123 deaths in a single day, numbers not seen mid march.
Phase one of deescalating the lockdown began on Monday for about half the population allowing groups to up to 10 to gather while opening some restaurants at half capacity.
Meanwhile, in Europe's original epicenter, Italy, the government is taking a region by region approach deciding how and when to reopen. The prime minister office laid out guidelines which said businesses like bars and hairdressers will be allowed to reopen next Monday, that is if regional governments approve.
Still to come, more false claims from President Trump as the U.S. reaches a disturbing milestone. We'll talk about that and the new White House mask policy.
Also how China is responding to accusations cyber crimes, trying to steal U.S. vaccine research.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Most of the United States is reopening in some limited way, even though many states have not met the White House criteria for doing so. Scientists are warning of a second wave of the coronavirus, and there will be more deaths.
CNN's Nick Watt reports restarting an economy safely is a lot harder, it seems, than closing it down.
NICK WATT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today in Kentucky, horses are training again. They'll race this weekend, but with no one watching.
Forty-eight states in all now on the road to a reopen this week, Friday in New York, our epicenter.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): This is the next big step in this historic journey.
WATT: Landscaping, tennis, drive-in movies and the like will be allowed statewide, and a regional phased reopening will begin.
CUOMO: You are going to increase activity. Depending on how intelligently you increase activity will be the possible effect on the spread of the virus.
WATT: The projected death toll does tick up as we reopen. According to that well-known University of Washington model, it's now over 137,000 by early August.
ALI MOKDAD, PROFESSOR OF HEALTH METRICS SCIENCES, IHME: People started moving second week of April, which is of course, will increase the circulation of the virus and, unfortunately, the number of deaths.
WATT: In Arizona, projected death just near tripled today. Restaurants can reopen across the state for dine-in.
In Florida, projected deaths just jumped a third. Today, hair and nail salons can open across that state, and restaurants and retail reopened with limited capacity in hard-hit Palm Beach.
DR. ROB DAVIDSON, EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR: The lack of adequate testing, I think, along with reopening, and people getting together more just, I think, projects a pretty grim outlook over the summer.
WATT: Look at this: a packed the Mother's Day at a Colorado restaurant, and a New York-to-San Francisco flight packed full, tweeted by a doctor flying home after helping fight the virus.
CUOMO: Now, we're worrying about, we have 93 cases that we're investigating of young children who have COVID-related diseases.
WATT: For most kids, COVID-19 is mild, but we're now discovering that, for a small minority, there might be a toxic shock-like reaction. For Juliet Daly (ph), her heart stopped beating properly.
JULIET DALY, 12-YEAR-OLD RECOVERED FROM COVID-19: My mom told me about everything that was happening. It was pretty hard to comprehend, and it was a lot.
WATT: Three have died already in New York. The challenge ahead: reopen and stay safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe that we can do two things at once. The coronavirus is going to be with us throughout the rest of the year. We need to learn to live with it.
WATT: One Ohio restaurant prepping for its reopening, still ten days away, hanging shower curtains between tables.
Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.
VAUSE: On the same day the coronavirus death toll in the United States passed 80,000, President Trump declared we have prevailed. He later said he was referring to testing.
His regular news conference, though, later ended abruptly after an apparent racial slur and a testy exchange with reporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Another day at the White House.
Political analyst Michael Genovese, the author of "How Trump Governs" and also president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles is with us this hour, and Michael, it's good to see you.
MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: Hello, John.
VAUSE: OK. So the only thing missing from the White House on Monday was a banner reading "Mission Accomplished." Here's what the president said. Here he is.
TRUMP: We have met the moment, and we have prevailed.
We've prevailed on testing is what I'm referring to. That was with regard to testing.
What I'm talking about is we have a great testing capacity now. It's getting even better. There's nobody close to us in the world, and we certainly have done a great job on testing. And testing is a big -- is a very big important function.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. There was an a salt of truth in that, but it has never been true that they're the No. 1 in the world -- the U.S. is No. 1 in the world. This is a graph from "The Washington Post," which shows that the U.S. is in the top 10 for testing per capita. Not bad, but not No. 1.
But anyway, it's not even relevant at this point, because this is where the country needed to be about a month ago, not now.
GENOVESE: That's right. We've only come up in the testing of late. We started very, very late, and we missed a lot of opportunities to both test and to track. And so we're really way behind in the testing process.
But the president -- and really, everyone wants to reopen. It's a question of what's the risk? What's the time when you should reopen? I always tell my students, you don't have to be smart, but do what smart people do.
And the question is, what would a smart person do if we're not ready to do full testing? Would you go for hog-wild in reopening, or would you be more cautious?
And that brings me to armed protesters, marching in state capitals, demanding that the restrictions be lifted, and a president email -- tweeting, liberate these state capitals. The -- you don't want to defy nature, because I have a spoiler alert: nature wins. And so we're taking a pretty big risk.
VAUSE: Yes, absolutely. And what is interesting, though, is that on this issue of testing, which you know, the president doesn't seem to get the entire idea of why the testing is needed. And at that news conference, he was actually challenged on his obsession with where the U.S. ranks in the world for testing, and this is what happened. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEIJIA JIANG, CBS NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Why is this a global competition to you if every day, Americans are still losing their lives and we're 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?
TRUMP: I'm telling you.
JIANG: I should ask China?
TRUMP: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: OK. You know, when the president is cornered and doesn't have an answer, he often lashes out. This seemed added with extra vitriol and a splash of racism, as well.
GENOVESE: Well, the president is clearly on edge. He's rattled and visibly shaken, and you know, it's just yet another of what we're accustomed to, which are, you know, a series of presidential tizzy fits. When he gets upset, he lashes out.
He's been especially fragile of late, because he wants to get credit and he's not getting the credit he thinks is his due. And so, you know, being nasty and rude to reporters is not new for this president. He demeans people for sport. He talks trash to media the way a poet speaks of love. That's who he is. He has to be an aggressor. He has to be the top dog, the alpha dog. And so when he gets cornered, he lashes out and sometimes, exactly the way you saw today, it was an embarrassment for the president.
VAUSE: You know, over the weekend, the Trump economic adviser Kevin Hassett was on the Sunday talk shows. And he talked about his fear of now, you know, going to work every day at the White House, because there have been at least two confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN HASSETT, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISOR: It is scary to go to work. You know, I was not part of the White House in March. I think that I'd be a lot safer if I was at home than I would be going to the West Wing, but you know, it's a time when people have to step up and serve their country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Kevin meets the real world. You know, let's remember, in the real world not everyone is tested every day. They don't have the very best medical care available 24/7, and Hassett's scared? I mean, what about everybody else?
GENOVESE: You know, what ought to be the safest and most protected house in the nation is now hazardous to your health. And it's hazardous, because the White House was very late to ask people to wear masks or demand that they wear masks. The president still refuses to do so.
And so now the virus has invaded the White House. Several people, very prominent people, have tested positive. Several prominent people also are now in a kind of modified quarantine. This should come as no surprise, because the White House had this attitude about, you know, we're impenetrable. The virus won't get us.
And so, you know, now they're wearing masks, but the horse has left the barn. You can't close the barn door and expect to have your fruits of labor rewarded.
Did the president think he was immune from this? And did staff people think, Well, if the president isn't going to wear a mask, do I have to not wear a mask? It is a very dangerous situation when, as I said before, you don't have to be smart, but you need to do what smart people do.
VAUSE: yes. Speaking of smart people, we heard from President Obama. He made some very rare criticisms of Donald Trump. It was during a conference call, speaking to former staff members. And the criticism, it's there, but it's fairly muted. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via phone): It's part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty and -- it would've been bad even with the best governments. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster. When that mindset of 'what's in it for me,' and 'to heck with everybody else' -- when that mindset is operationalized in our government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: For a start, there's no way that leaked without, you know, the Obama people being aware that it would leak and the Biden people, as well. But is this sort of how we'll see this election campaign now, at least for the Democrats and Biden? Just a focus on how this government has responded to the pandemic?
GENOVESE: I think you're right. It was a controlled leak. It wasn't an accident. It wasn't someone, you know, undermining the former president. He's been very quiet up to now, but I think this is a preview of what you're going to start seeing more and more of.
And the whole notion that President Obama said, Well, there's chaos in the White House, it should be noted that the president thrives on chaos. He deliberately sets up chaos and confusion. Because if you read his 1987 book, "The Art of the Deal," he talks about creating chaos and working it to his advantage.
He wrote, "I play it very loose. You can't be imaginative if you have too much structure. I prefer to come to work every morning and just see what happens." He doesn't like structure. He doesn't like process. He wants to just
wing it and thinks, as he said, that he's the smartest guy in the room, know more than the generals.
Now, for him with his own money, to be rash and to take risks, well, that's fine. He can risk, what, four or five bankruptcies, or however many he's had. But he has a fiduciary responsibility to the American people as president. He is responsible for helping protect our security and our safety. And it's here that I think the chaos has backfired.
And it's not going to be something to go away. It will probably only get worse. We're 80,000 deaths now. At what point do you get to 100,000, and then where will we go?
VAUSE: Yes, exactly. And just for the record, I think it's five bankruptcies, but we will check.
Michael, thank you so much for being with us.
GENOVESE: Thank you, John.
VAUSE: Well, China is denying new accusations from the U.S. of cybertheft and hacking. This after a report in "The New York Times" that Washington is about to accuse Beijing of stealing research related to coronavirus vaccines.
CNN's Kylie Atwood has details.
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): China is denying any links to what the U.S. says are cyberattacks being carried out by China in an effort to steal data with regard to research being done in the U.S. over vaccine research, to help try and create a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
Now, U.S. officials have told CNN there have been increasing cyberattacks on U.S. health agencies. That's hospitals. That's pharmaceutical companies. That's research labs. And even the Department of Health and Homeland Security has seen a number of increased attacks. And the U.S. officials are particularly worried about those attacks coming from China.
Now, "The New York Times" is reporting that the FBI and the Department of Justice are preparing a statement warning about these Chinese cyberattacks that are coming in.
And when DOJ's John Demers was asked about this today on CNBC, he was asked, you know, Why wouldn't the U.S. want China to have this data with regard to the viruses and with regard to the vaccine research?
And he said that the U.S. wants China to have that information but not before U.S. pharmaceutical companies are able to develop it on their own, arguing that they should be, then, selling it internationally, and at this point, it is the U.S. intellectual property. It's the intellectual property of those companies, and the U.S. does not want China to steal that information before the companies here in the U.S. are able to develop it.
Kylie Atwood, CNN, Washington.
VAUSE: Well, in Turkey, locked-down locks are getting a much-needed trim. CNN's Arwa Damon first in line for a haircut. We'll show you the new safety measures in place just to get a wash and a blow dry.
VAUSE: Welcome back. Some of the sports leagues around the world are now looking at plans to resume seasons which have been cut short or postponed by the pandemic.
In the U.K., the Premier League's chief executive says all 20 clubs have expressed interest in finishing the 2020 season, discussed ways to get back on the field, but he says the league would not -- would need to confer, rather, with managers and players before any plan is announced.
Meantime, in the U.S., owners from Major League Baseball have reportedly agreed on a proposal to begin a reduced season in early July, without spectators, though. The league expected to present the plan to the players association in the coming hours. 2
In Japan, two of the world's biggest carmakers are releasing their financial results from the past fiscal year. They should give us a clearer look at the impact the pandemic has had on the auto industry. Honda's numbers are expected soon. Toyota just released their numbers. And CNN's Kaori Enjoji is live from Tokyo.
So Kaori, this looks -- Tokyo, I should say, still profitable but it's not looking good.
KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Yes, the outlook from Kyoto is dismal. They are saying, John, that operating profits will crumble by 80 percent in the new business year that just ended, and they will post an operating profit of just 500 billion yen. This is the lowest profit that Toyota will report in nine years since the big earthquake here in Japan.
And the company says that it's only going to be able to sell 7 million cars this year, which is down from close to 9 million in the business year that just -- just ended.
And -- but the company says that it's almost impossible to give a forecast. Remember, a lot of companies are skipping guidance altogether. But Toyota is such a powerful business in Japan, with tentacles that reach throughout all corners of industry. The company said it needed to give some kind of guidance to help the companies out there that are relying on business from them.
So the forecast for them is very, very weak. Just an operating profit of 500 million yen.
To recap the numbers that just ended, they said operating profits were down 1 percent to 2.4 trillion yen. So the fiscal year that just ended wasn't too bad, even though the shutdowns did start affecting them from about mid-February, and by mid-March, most of the North American facilities, as you know, were close to shutting down.
They're starting to come back in North America from this week, from Monday, but the recovery is expected to be very patchy, and as a result, the company says it's going to be extremely difficult to give regional breakdowns of what kind of recovery this is going to look like -- John.
VAUSE: Kaori, thank you. We are short on time. We appreciate your update.
Well, in the next hour, oil producer Saudi Aramco is expected to release first-quarter results, analysts predicting lower earnings and a decrease in tax flow. This comes as Saudi pledges to cut further production in an effort to revive the crude oil market.
Turkey testing the waters by slowly lifting its coronavirus restrictions with hair salons among the first businesses to reopen.
CNN's Arwa Damon was one of the first in line.
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Turkey says it is entering the turkey says that it's now entering the second phase in the fight against coronavirus. The slightest easing of restrictions and what is being called controlled socialization, with some businesses being allowed to open, like hair salons.
Full disclosure: I actually booked one of the first possible appointments because, right now, it is by appointment only. And then we decided to shoot.
There's all sorts of restrictions in place here. The temperature checks, the social distancing.
This is Errol (ph). He cuts my hair, and this is exactly why I wanted to get back in here.
So it's been quite tough on the staff here, obviously, as it is for kind of all sorts of businesses, not knowing if they were going to be able to recover and stay open through all of this.
You can see the chairs have the red tape on them. That's to ensure social distancing among clients. So right now, maximum, they would open up at half capacity. And Errol (ph) was telling me that some of their clients wanted to come in right away. Some are still wanting to stay at home and wait.
And, you know, like everybody, the questions he's asking himself, they're asking themselves is when is this going to end?
We've been talking about how, as Errol (ph) was saying, it's interesting how you mentally adjust to this sort of new normal. You adjust to living at home. But he has a 2-year-old son. So you know, that's been quite difficult, trying to keep a kid that age confined inside.
Well, that's definitely a lot better than what I walked in here with, and I can guarantee that I am completely incapable of trying to even replicate this at home.
And you know, the sense now with this first day of this new phase is that there's still a lot of anxiety. There's a lot of unknown. This isn't being viewed by many as being a normalization, as much as it is an entirely new mental adjustment to what is now, potentially, going to be normal.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.
VAUSE: Three hours? It's totally different.
Still to come, what do llamas have to do with a coronavirus vaccine? I'll tell you after the break.
VAUSE: And so it might come that the blood from a llama could be the savior of all mankind from the plague which has spread across the earth. Actually, a llama in Belgium, to be more specific. And CNN's Nic Robertson went to Belgium to meet said llama.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Say hello to Winter, not just any llama. Her blood might save us all from COVID-19.
(on camera): Researchers have discovered that llamas produce a type of antibody that could be vital in fighting the coronavirus infection in humans.
BERT SCHEPENS, VIB CENTER FOR MEDICAL BIOTECHNOLOGY: Those lama antibodies, their binding entity is much smaller and much more stable.
ROBERTSON: The eureka moment at this tiny Belgian lab came January 20. They realize research with llamas a couple of years ago could catapult them to a cure fast, and scaled up immediately from two to 20 staff.
NICO CALLEWAERT, VIB CENTER FOR MEDICAL BIOTECHNOLOGY: So we've worked really, really long hours, especially in February and March, when we were racing to get the antibody.
ROBERTSON: Now, they're racing to test their antibodies on mice and hamsters.
(on camera): Everything here is happening at a much faster speed than normal, but it still takes time. That white flask there contains billions of antibodies that can be used in about 100 animal tests, but even that can take up to 10 days to produce.
(voice-over): Unusually for an academic lab this small, they're working parallel tracks, refining the antibodies as they go, planning to pick the best and scale up for humans as soon as they can.
SCHEPENS: You have to do multiple other studies like toxicity, repeat some animal experiences. And then, hopefully, by the end of the year, everything should be in place to do the first clinical test.
ROBERTSON: The biggest beneficiaries could be the elderly, because, generally, their immune systems are weaker. The lab's antibodies could aid the effectiveness of vaccines already being tested.
SCHEPENS: So it could be that a vaccine might protect healthy adults, but it might be less useful in elderly. And this way, just by providing the antibody itself directly, you might protect elderly, as well.
ROBERTSON: But many people are impatient. At a llama farm in the U.K., owner Bobby Schuck is already getting calls about the healing possibilities of llamas.
BOBBY SCHUCK, OWNER, LLAMA FARMER: We have had rather silly people, in my opinion, who have found out and asked can they come and take blood from the llama to drink it, but no, we're not going to let people drink their blood.
ROBERTSON: And if they did, it wouldn't help. That's not how antibodies work.
What worries the researchers in Belgium is they may be running out of time as lockdowns begin to ease.
CALLEWAERT: If you look at the daily case numbers globally, it's just flat. It's just -- we have about 100,000 cases every day --
ROBERTSON (on camera): Across the world.
CALLEWAERT: -- for the last month, yes. It's pretty clear that as soon as we relax things, with international travel, it's going to come back. And -- and so we need to be ready for that.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Winter, on the other hand, can take it easy. Her job, gifting her antibody code, is done.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Kent, Belgium.
VAUSE: Said llama. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with
us. I'll be back with a lot more news after a very short break. You're watching CNN.