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Llama Antibodies May Hold Key To Coronavirus Treatment; Back- To-School For Students In Quebec; Germany Reports Sudden Surge In Coronavirus Cases. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired May 12, 2020 - 05:30   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Dr. Fauci and other health officials were not there despite being at the White House earlier on Monday.

On the same day the U.S. Covid death toll topped 80,000, the president boasted about his administration's achievements, falsely claiming the U.S. outpaces the world in coronavirus testing.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have met the moment and we have prevailed. Americans do whatever it takes to find solutions, pioneer breakthroughs, and harness the energies we need to achieve a total victory.


JARRETT: Here's the thing. The numbers just -- they tell a different story. So far, just under three percent of Americans have been tested -- far, far less than other countries.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Money is flowing into Americans' pockets to help with the damaging impact of the coronavirus. Many wonder if they'll have to send some of that money back come tax time.

The good news, the stimulus check is tax-free. The bad news, any unemployment benefits you collect are not. That includes the extra $600 a week for four months that Congress approved as part of the rescue package.

One in five people have filed for unemployment benefits since mid- March. For those workers, all the federal and the state unemployment benefits they receive are subject to taxes.

If you are still waiting for a stimulus payment, an important deadline here for you. The IRS says you have until noon on May 13th to submit direct deposit information to avoid having to wait for a check to come in the mail.

Many economists, meantime, say more stimulus will be needed to help workers and businesses. House Democrats are moving ahead with another recovery package despite opposition from the White House and Republicans. That bill is expected to mirror or potentially go beyond the $2 trillion package passed in late March. Republicans, so far, have rejected calls for new stimulus.

Over the weekend, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said another bill is premature.

JARRETT: Still ahead, how could schools look in a post-Covid-19 world when they reopen? Our first big look at the changes in Canada.



JARRETT: There's a surge in demand right now for llamas -- yes, llamas -- since news broke the animals' antibodies could be a key part of treating coronavirus.

CNN's Nic Robertson went to Belgium, the home of the llama at the center of this promising research. Nic joins us now from The Netherlands. Hi, Nic.


And what is amazing about the llamas, unlike humans, they produce two types of antibodies to the coronavirus. One's a big one, one's a small one, and it's the small one that the researchers are so interested in.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Say hello to Winter -- not just any llama. Her blood might save us all from Covid-19.

ROBERTSON (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 llama antibodies, they're binding entity is much smaller and much more stable.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The eureka moment at this tiny Belgian lab came January 20th. They realized 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 and especially in February and March when we were racing to get the antibody.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Now they're racing to test their antibodies on mice and hamsters.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Everything here is happening at much faster speed than normal but it still takes time. That white flask there contains billions of antibodies that could be used in about 100 animal tests, but even that can take up to 10 days to produce. ROBERTSON (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 experiments. And then hopefully, by the end of the year, everything should be in place to do the first clinical test.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The biggest beneficiaries could be the elderly because generally, their immune systems are weaker. The labs' antibodies could aid the effectiveness of vaccines already being tested.

SCHEPENS: So it could be that the vaccine might protect healthy adults, but it might be less useful in the elderly. And this way, just by providing the antibody itself directly, you might protect elderly as well.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): 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, THE LLAMA PARK: We have had rather silly people, in my opinion, who have phoned up 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 (voice-over): 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, they're 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 we relax things with international travel it's going to come back, 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.


ROBERTSON: You know, what's really interesting when you talk to all of these researchers, it's not just their energy that they're putting into this but they're learning so much along the way.

I think we kind of get focused that there's going to be an end product that's going to be useful in terms of antibodies and the virus -- the -- you know, the vaccines that are being developed, but it's what they're learning along the way that's really powerful and important here.

And I have to say that these researchers are completely energized by what they're doing. If they could go faster they really would.

JARRETT: Well, and it's such a race against time. As you can see in your piece there, they're trying to do this before the lockdown measures start to ease and more and more people are out and about.

So it's just incredible. Such a great package there, Nic. Thanks so much.

ROMANS: Yes, really interesting. It all takes time, right? It just takes time and we're all so impatient.

All right. On Monday, schools across Quebec reopened and students were invited to return to class. The province is the first in Canada to widely reopen its school and one of the first in North America.

We get more from CNN's Paula Newton.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys notice what you're stepping on?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After two months of homeschooling, the Brown family is getting a whole new education in a different kind of distance learning.

For some kids in Canada, these were clearly tentative steps into a new reality. Hundreds of thousands of kids in kindergarten to grade six were invited back to class in the province of Quebec this week. It was voluntary and some schools put out videos to let kids know what to expect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, kids. Don't be alarmed. This is what we're going to look like when you return back.

NEWTON (voice-over): And it's not just the teachers who will look a little different. Six feet between desks in all classrooms, no sharing school supplies, play structures are off limits. And --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gym, library, NPR, cafeteria all are closed.

NEWTON (voice-over): Posted on YouTube just last week, this school video has already been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, a measure of the curiosity and apprehension some are feeling about a return to school.

MELANIE PRIMEAU, PRINCIPAL, HOWICK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: It's like the first day of school with new rules and we need to show them those new rules and make it that they're as happy as possible so that they can learn.

NEWTON (voice-over): This mother says it was a nerve-racking decision to come back, but -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: September is coming and I said you know what, let's try and get things going and get them back into reality and get them back into somewhat of a routine and to realize what is going to be the new reality.

NEWTON (voice-over): And this exhausted parent said she'd had enough of a homeschool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're dairy farmers as well, so that hasn't stopped at all. The cows don't know that there's a pandemic going on.

NEWTON (voice-over): And as the pandemic continues, for now, this is what a Covid classroom will look like.

NEWTON (on camera): Fewer than half of the students showed up for school. Parents are still quite reluctant. In fact, in Canada, most schools remain closed. Still, this offered a first glimpse into the future of education during this pandemic.

Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.


JARRETT: All schools are going to look very, very different.

Thanks to Paula for that.

It looks like Republicans may pick up a House seat in a special election in deep-blue California today. A big reason to keep an eye on this race, it will be a big, big test of mail-in voting, which the pandemic may thrust into wider use this fall. President Trump has spent days laying baseless seeds of doubt about mail-in voter fraud.

It's been more than 20 years since Republicans gained a Democratic House seat in California, although Katie Hill picked it up from a Republican just two years ago before she resigned in a scandal.

We'll be right back.



JARRETT: Parts of Spain starting to loosen coronavirus restrictions but not all regions or all businesses are on board.

CNN's Scott McLean is in Spain for us.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): After eight weeks under lockdown, a little more than half of Spain is allowed to come out of hibernation. This is what phase one of the government's reopening plan looks like in Cuenca, Spain, about an hour and a half east of Madrid. Here, under phase one, restaurant terraces are allowed to open at limited capacity. They're allowed to have about 50 percent of the tables on their terraces as they would normally have. Stores are also allowed to open with some limitations. People still have to keep the safety distance. This weekend, churches will also open their doors.

A lot of businesses, though, are still choosing to stay closed. Given the lack of foot traffic and perhaps the economic circumstances here in the country, there may not be a lot of people willing to spend money on things that are not essential.

We spoke to one cafe owner who said that his decision to reopen, given these restrictions, may well end up costing him money. Even in the main tourist part of Cuenca where there are terraces -- there's a really stunning main square there -- there was only one or two establishments that had actually chosen to open because there are no tourists.

Spaniards are not allowed to leave their home regions -- at least not yet.

Left out of the reopening, so far, are the two main cities, Madrid and Barcelona, as well as wide swaths of the rest of the country. The government, before they allow them to move to phase one, wants to be absolutely confident that they have their caseloads under control, that they can do effective contact tracing, and that their health care systems won't be overwhelmed if there's a second spike in cases.

Scott McLean, CNN, Cuenca, Spain.


ROMANS: Well, let's get a check on CNN Business this Tuesday morning.


Taking a look at markets around the world you can see that Asian shares closed lower and Europe mixed -- these early going here in trading there.

Futures right now in the U.S. down slightly. Stocks closed mixed on Monday as investors focus on states' efforts to reopen their economies. The Dow down 109 points, the S&P 500 ended flat, the Nasdaq up just a little bit.

CNBC is reporting the Simon Property Group, the country's biggest mall operator, plans to have half of its malls reopened this week. Simon began reopening some of its malls on May first as states began easing lockdown restrictions. As of Monday, it has reopened 77 properties.

The clock is ticking for another iconic retailer. JCPenney could file for bankruptcy as soon as this week. It has missed two debt payments in the past month. Only 16 of its 850 stores are open. More openings are expected to be announced tomorrow.

The coronavirus recession is hammering the job market. Unlike the 2008 financial crisis, women are bearing the brunt of the damage. The unemployment rate for women climbed to 15.5 percent in April. The rate devastating for women of color.

Women make up the majority of workers in the hospitality and leisure sector, which has been shut down by closures and stay-at-home orders.

After easing restrictions, Germany has tried to contain a sudden surge in coronavirus infections. The number nearly tripling in one day driven by three large meat processing plants.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Berlin.



Yes, the German government says it's extremely concerned by what could be a new acceleration of the novel Coronavirus in this country. The German Center for Disease Control says the reproduction number has been above one for three days running and that could mean that the disease is spreading again rather than getting pushed back. However, they do say they are keeping that situation under very close observation.

At the same time, there have been some pretty big outbreaks over the past couple of days. The meat processing industry seems to be one of the hotbeds. At least three big meat processing plants across the country have had large outbreaks. And in one state where one of these plants is located, the local government there has said they believe it's workers living with each other in close quarters that contributed to the spread -- Laura and Christine.


JARRETT: Fred Pleitgen, thanks so much for that.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments by phone today in the battle over President Trump's tax returns. The justices will decide the case before the November election.

The main issue -- well, whether Congress has a legitimate legislative purpose for requesting the president's returns. District courts and appellate courts have already ruled the House is well within its authority.

ROMANS: Twitter says it will put warning labels on some tweets containing misleading or disputed statements about Covid-19 even if that information is tweeted by the president, himself. Twitter said in March it would remove tweets posing a direct risk to people's health or well-being. Now it will use warnings to provide additional explanations for confusing tweets where the risk of harm is less severe.

The president, last month, made the dangerous suggestion that ingesting disinfectants could cure the virus. JARRETT: It may be the most hopeful sign yet for the return of live

sports. Major League Baseball owners will reportedly present a proposal to the players today, the season to begin on Fourth of July weekend.

The owners, Monday, agreed on the plan for a shortened season with 82 games, down from the full 162-game schedule, and expanded playoffs. Teams would hold another version of spring training for two or three weeks in June. The regular season would begin in early July in ballparks without fans, as long as state legislation and health officials allow it.

Back in March, all 30 Major League teams committed $1 million each to help ballpark employees affected by the delay of the season.

Some good news there.

ROMANS: Yes, live sports.

This could be wishful thinking at the happiest place on earth, but Walt Disney World theme parks and Disney resorts in Florida now accepting reservations starting in July. Guests will be allowed to modify their bookings if the resort opens before or after that date.

Shanghai Disneyland started the process of reopening yesterday.

Disney's profits dropped a whopping 91 percent during the first three months of 2020 because of the shutdown of those theme parks worldwide.

All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett. Have a great day, everyone. "NEW DAY" is next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Anthony Fauci is expected to warn lawmakers that the U.S. will see needless suffering if the country opens up too quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Despite a warning, all the public health officials are united in that.

TRUMP: Testing certainly is a very important function and we have prevailed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I hear the word we've prevailed, that's hard to understand. We're only in the second inning of this nine-inning game.

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R), OHIO: I think we've made a lot of progress. The actual testing is going up.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: When you see the number of lives lost, in my point of view, we're on the other side of the mountain.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And we want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, May 12th, 6:00 here in New York.

And this is a significant morning in terms of our health. This morning, the nation's top health officials will testify in front of Congress for the first time since the coronavirus became a pandemic. A lot has changed in those two months. Medical experts have learned a lot and this morning we will hear from them.

"The New York Times" got a preview that they -- they have a report on what Dr. Anthony Fauci will say. He will issue a stark warning to the American people. He'll say that reopening the country too quickly.