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Los Angeles Mayor: Will Proceed Slowly With Reopening; U.S. Markets Look To Avoid Another Huge Sell-Off; CDC: Limited Data On Risk Factors For Severe Disease; Fauci Warns of Serious Consequences in Reopening Too Fast; Putin Spokesperson Hospitalized with COVID-19; All Wuhan Citizens to Be Tested Following New Cases; New Cluster Connected to Seoul's LGBTQ Night Clubs; New Zealand Further Easing Lockdown; U.K. Shops Could Begin Reopening by June. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 13, 2020 - 02:00   ET




ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Anna Coren.

Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM:


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: My concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks.


COREN (voice-over): A stark warning on COVID-19 from America's top infectious disease expert and why the U.S. death toll could soar this summer.

Russia's infection rate also spiking as the virus breaches the Kremlin's inner circle.

And South Korea races to contain a new outbreak and prevent a second wave.


COREN: Little coronavirus spikes might turn into outbreaks. That warning comes from America's top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying the U.S. does not have total control of the virus.

The U.S. still has by far the most cases, accounting for nearly a third of the nearly 4.2 million worldwide. More than 82,000 in the United States have died.

Meantime, Russia, which was slow to address social distancing, now has the second most cases.

And Wuhan, China, the original epicenter of the outbreak, is racing to test all 11 million residents after a small cluster was seen there. The first since the lockdown measures were lifted.

Meanwhile, a model often cited by the White House now predicts the U.S. toll could soar to nearly 150,000 by August. The lead researcher told CNN we will see more deaths as social distancing measures are eased.


DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION: What happened is that states that relaxed early, people have heard the message, they have gotten out, become more mobile, they are having more contact and we are seeing the effects already of that transition.


COREN: He is not the only expert who is worried. Dr. Fauci says he is concerned about states that jump over checkpoints and open prematurely. Fauci appeared while social distancing at a hearing, where top medical officials were at odds with the Trump administration. Kaitlan Collins explains.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the president pushes for the nation to reopen, one of his top health experts had a dire warning about doing so too soon.

FAUCI: If you do not do an adequate response, we will have the deleterious consequence of more infections and more deaths.

COLLINS: Dr. Anthony Fauci was one of four top health experts who testified virtually before a Senate committee today, where he and others were pressed on whether the country is ready to reopen.

DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: It's important to emphasize that we're not out of the woods yet. The battle continues many months, but we are more prepared.

COLLINS: More than 80,000 people in the United States have died from coronavirus. While the president has privately questioned whether that number is inflated, Dr. Fauci said it's likely higher.

FAUCI: I don't know exactly what percent higher, but almost certainly it's higher.

COLLINS: One day after Trump claimed the U.S. had prevailed on testing, Democrats and one Republican on the committee pushed back.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): But this administration has had a record of giving us broken promises that more tests and supplies are coming and they don't.

ROMNEY: I find our testing record nothing to celebrate whatsoever.

COLLINS: Trump's testing coordinator said the administration hopes to have significantly ramped it up by September.

ADM. BRETT GIROIR, U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: We project that our nation will be capable of performing at least 40 to 50 million tests per month, if needed at that time.

COLLINS: Last week, the president told reporters that the coronavirus might go away without a vaccine.

But Dr. Fauci testified today that that won't happen.

FAUCI: That is just not going to happen, because it's such a highly transmissible virus.

COLLINS: Trump has often contradicted his own officials in public, though all denied having a tense relationship with him when asked today.

FAUCI: There is certainly not a confrontational relationship between me and the president.

REDFIELD: We're there to give our best public health advice. And that's what we do.

DR. STEPHEN HAHN, COMMISSIONER, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: Have not had a confrontational relationship with the president.

GIROIR: We have a very productive working relationship with each other and also with the president and vice president.

COLLINS: At one point, Fauci did clash with Senator Rand Paul, one of the president's allies who recovered from coronavirus earlier this year.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): And as much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end-all. I don't think you're the one person that gets to make a decision.

FAUCI: I'm a scientist, a physician and a public health official. I give advice according to the best scientific evidence.


COLLINS: At the White House, President Trump remained behind closed doors today. After one of his top aides tested positive, vice president Mike Pence, who showed up to work in a mask, will now distance himself from the president for the next few days.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON: The vice president has made the choice to keep his distance for a few days.


COREN: Kaitlan Collins reporting. Russia now has the second most infections in the world, trailing only

behind the United States. The country has reported more than 10,000 new cases of the virus every day for the past 10 days.

Yet president Vladimir Putin is pushing for people to go back to work. The Kremlin has come under harsh criticism for the way he and his government have handled the pandemic. Now the virus is reaching his inner circle. Matthew Chance explains.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It has been a pretty negative few days for Russia as it struggles with this pandemic. At least six patients in two coronavirus hospitals have been killed in fires, apparently started by their faulty ventilators.

And, among the latest infections, the official spokesman for President Putin, Dmitry Peskov, very much part of the Russian leader's inner circle.

CHANCE (voice-over): The news that Putin's spokesman has coronavirus is gripping Russia.

Dmitry Peskov may be only the latest official there to test positive, but he's the one closest to President Putin. It raises questions about the health of the Russian leader.

For years, Peskov has been the public mouthpiece of his strong man president. Putin rarely appears without him at home or abroad. There's a strong chance the two could have been in close contact.

To allay fears, Peskov has insisted there's been no in-person dealings between the two for over a month. The Kremlin says Putin has been working remotely from his residence outside Moscow, although he clearly takes some meetings face to face, like this one with the head of the Russian state oil company.

It's a risk in a country reporting more than 10,000 new infections every day. And there are growing signs of the strain. At this hospital in St. Petersburg, at least five coronavirus patients were killed in a blaze on their ward. Over the weekend, another died when a fire broke out in a Moscow hospital.

Emergency workers say both incidents were caused by faulty ventilators bursting into flames. All this as the Kremlin moves to lift restrictions on a national lockdown. But the coronavirus in Russia shows now sign of easing.

CHANCE: In fact it seems to be getting even worse because for 10 consecutive days, Russia has reported more than 10,000 new infections. It now has more than 230,000 confirmed cases, the second highest confirmed toll in the world after the United States -- Matthew Chance, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COREN: In response to a new cluster of coronavirus cases, Wuhan,

China will launch a 10-day battle. Every citizen in the city, some 11 million, will be tested in a 10-day period. It's unclear when the testing will begin. Six new infections have been reported in the city since the lockdown was lifted last month. Steven Jiang is joining us now from Beijing.

Steven, how do they plan to roll out this ambitious testing?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: Anna, they are still working on the details, according to state media. But this is a daunting task even for China. We are talking about testing 1 million people per day.

That's why even some experts here have questioned its necessity and others are pointing to the huge economic cost, as well as logistics, not to mention the relatively high false negative results from these tests.

Some say since all the latest cases in Wuhan happened within the same residential neighborhood, they should just test everyone there instead of the entire city. The real challenge facing the authorities is testing capacity because, even with help from third-party companies, we are talking about 100,000 tests per day, far below the benchmark they need to hit.

So that's why there is now more talk about a staggered approach on a district by district basis in the city, meaning testing of the entire city population of 11 million people will probably take much longer than 10 days. Anna?

COREN: An extraordinary task they are trying to undertake.

Could we see another lockdown of Wuhan if the coronavirus spreads again?

JIANG: They already locked down the neighborhood where these new cases have emerged. And as of now, health officials and experts are saying that that's a likely scenario based on their assessment of the situation on the ground. They also remind you that rigorous health checks and other containment measures remain in place.


JIANG: Not only in the city but through most of China. And we have been talking about this other breaking northeastern part of the country. So parts of the province have been locked down after the outbreak happened there. So I think the message from officials around the country is very clear. They will do whatever it takes to contain the spread of this virus.

COREN: Steven, tell us more about that outbreak on the Chinese- Russian border and how they are working to contain that.

JIANG: That's right. They had reported more than 20 cases since last Thursday, all locally transmitted. So they are doing -- they are expanding the lockdown measures to include a bigger region, not only Shulan city but a bigger one nearby with a population of nearly 4 million.

So now, these lockdown measures including very rigorous temperature checks and tracking of movements, as well as closure of businesses and a suspension of train services. All of these measures are now applying to a wider area as they try to really figure out what happened there.

Because they still have a lot of questions about their patient zero, a laundry worker who apparently had no travel history or contact with other confirmed cases.

COREN: Steven Jiang, joining us from Beijing, many thanks.

South Korea has confirmed another 28 new coronavirus cases linked to a cluster in Seoul's nightclubs. With more than 100 cases in total, the outbreak in the nightclub district is fueling fears of a second wave. The mayor of Seoul has been speaking to Paula Hancocks, who joins us now.

Paula, how long does the mayor think it will take to track down everyone involved?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anna, I when I spoke to him, he did say he was hoping within a week they will be able to, within this week they will be able to trace everybody. But there's already 119 people that have been confirmed positive due to this one incident.

One tutor who didn't tell the truth about where they were working and went back to work and then at least 8 other cases spread from there. 6 of them were middle school and high school students. That shows how quickly it can spread.


HANCOCKS (voice-over): This is Seoul's nightclub district. Doors are closed until further notice. Many patrons are being tested for coronavirus. Officials say they have tested more than 10,000 people so far after an infected 29-year old visited 5 different clubs earlier this month.

Seoul mayor Park Won-soon is leading the effort to trace everyone who was in the area over a 2 week period.

MAYOR PARK WON-SOON, SEOUL: COVID-19 is a battle of time. We should be finished within this week.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Park is using all technologies available to track a patient.

HANCOCKS: Mobile phone records, credit cards, CCTV and the interview with the individual?

PARK: That's right. HANCOCKS (voice-over): One issue was local media labeling some clubs affected as gay clubs. Human rights groups said it was difficult for some patrons to then come forward for fear of facing discrimination and homophobia in a conservative country.

(INAUDIBLE) tells me there's also the issue of the 2-week self quarantine, even if they test negative. Patrons would need to tell their employer they were at these clubs and reveal their sexual orientation.

Park introduced anonymous testing Monday, saying the number voluntarily coming to be tested doubled. This incident shows that even countries deemed successful at handling the pandemic are just one patient away from another outbreak.

PARK: We cannot be safe, even though we have zero cases for a long time. So -- and anytime the outbreak can come to our society.

HANCOCKS: Park sees the outbreak as another lesson to stay alert.


HANCOCKS: For those that have tested positive due to this one incident, a couple, we understand, went to church services over the weekend and now the congregation has to be checked. So it just shows how quickly this can spread, if it is not stopped right at the source. Anna?

Highly contagious, as we well know.

Paula, what are the additional repercussions from this latest outbreak?

HANCOCKS: One of the repercussions is the education in this country. Schools were supposed to start, once again, this Wednesday, today. We were going to see year 3 of high school going back into the classrooms with some conditions, temperature checks, distance, social distancing, that sort of thing.

That has now had to be pushed back a week. And the rest of the students going back, that was going to be phased in over a number of weeks. Again, that has all been pushed back again because of this one outbreak.

I asked the mayor whether it was sensible, the fact that they decided to reopen nightclubs before they reopened schools. He didn't admit that was an error.


HANCOCKS: He did say there was a lot of pressure from people to start going out, to start living their lives and they were feeling that acute economic pressure as well.

COREN: Paula Hancocks joining us from Seoul. Good to see you, many thanks. Just ahead, we will ask a medical expert about the importance of the

new outbreaks and in the U.K., one of the hardest hit countries in the world is now taking steps to reopen part of its economy in a matter of weeks. We will go live to London.




COREN: Welcome back.

After a few days of case numbers going down, Italian authorities say the hard hit region of Lombardy has seen a small increase in the number of coronavirus cases for the second day in a row. This comes as Italy has been slowly reopening.

The Lombardy region, where Milan is located, added 264 cases on Tuesday. It has registered about half of Italy's 30,000 deaths from COVID-19. The mayor of Milan is threatening to close bars and restaurants again if people do not abide by social distancing guidelines.

Italy is not alone. As we have been reporting, we are seeing new outbreaks in China and South Korea while the number of cases are soaring in Russia and Brazil. Across the globe, the number of COVID-19 deaths continues to rise. It all underscores the warnings health experts have made about the countries, about how countries should reopen.

Dr. Michael Baker is a professor of public health at the University of Otago. He joins us from Wellington, New Zealand.

Doctor, great to have you with us. Countries that began reopening because they thought they had contained the virus, like South Korea, China, Germany, are now seeing outbreaks, forcing authorities to consider shutting down again.

Do you see this cycle continuing until there is a vaccine?

DR. MICHAEL BAKER, UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO: Greetings. Not necessarily. The outcome depends very much on the overall plan and strategy that a country has. Some of the countries you mentioned are on a trend towards elimination or at least very high levels of containment.

China, South Korea, countries like Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, countries mainly in the Eastern Hemisphere are on track to eliminate the virus or greatly reduce the numbers.


BAKER: So when they come out of a lockdown, they have a strategy to eliminate the virus, potentially, with contact tracing, the use of face masks, so on, that's very different from the situation in Europe and North America, where there is still a very wide spread of this virus.

As you come out a lockdown, you release the virus again and you see an exponential rise. So you are in a cycle of going in and out of lockdown and if you have a different strategy.

COREN: I want to talk to you about the situation in America. Top U.S. health officials paint a bleak picture before the Senate committee. Dr. Anthony Fauci warning of a resurgence if the U.S. doesn't adequately prepare before reopening.

He made it very clear, this is far from contained. I know it's hard to compare New Zealand, a tiny country of 5 million, to the United States, a population of more than 300 million. But when you consider these stringent measures that have been taken in New Zealand, you must just shake your head at what is playing out in the United States.

BAKER: Yes, unfortunately, the Western world has made a major blunder in its assessment of this risk and how it's being managed. We need to look more to Asia, where the state responded very successfully, particularly in Taiwan, which has had very few cases, very few deaths.

That's because they acted and did the right things. They managed their borders to reduce the entry of cases. And they did a lot of testing and contact tracing. Then they used population measures like physical distancing and the use of face masks.

That combination of acting early and using all of these tools effectively is the winning formula for this pandemic.

COREN: New Zealand was extremely aggressive in tackling the virus.

Is it safe to say that you have eliminated COVID-19 there?

BAKER: I think we are very close to elimination. Technically, we need at least a month with no cases. So far we have had a few days with no cases. We are not letting our guard down because you cannot overestimate how severe this virus could be. So we will be taking a very cautionary approach.

We still have a lot of physical distancing. We have ramped up our ability for testing and contact tracing and quarantining. You need to have all of these capabilities working very well if you want to eliminate the virus. We are close as a nation, just like Australia but we don't want to say elimination just yet.

COREN: Dr. Baker, there is talk about a trans-Tasman bubble being created with Australia that will allow travel between the two countries. But no timeframe has been put on this. What needs to be in place to allow this to happen?

BAKER: Both countries have to feel very comfortable that they have the virus under control. Then there will be a lot of discussions about the process and I guess there will be a need to test it out.

At the moment, both countries have rigid border quarantine. So very few people are coming into the country and you need to be quarantined for two weeks. Obviously, that's not a great process for encouraging tourism and business travel.

To move past it, both countries really have to achieve something close to elimination and work on precautions to make sure we don't introduce the virus into each other's countries.

COREN: The next question, not many people are talking about this because it's too far in the future.

But how do you see New Zealand, which has shut its borders, reopening?

And other countries reopening their borders?

BAKER: For the Eastern Hemisphere, where you have a number of countries that are close to eliminating this virus, Taiwan hasn't had a case in over a month, you could imagine a scenario where these countries gradually resume normal trade and movement with some precautions, obviously.

But they no longer need quarantine at borders, for example. So to open up to the whole world, you will need strong antivirals or vaccines.

COREN: Dr. Baker joining us from Wellington, New Zealand. Thank you for your insight. Great to talk to you.

BAKER: Thank you.

COREN: The U.K. is laying out its plans to get its economy running once again. It comes after prime minister Boris Johnson called on people to return to work if they cannot do so from home. Now the British business minister says shops could begin reopening by the start of June.



ALOK SHARMA, BRITISH BUSINESS SECRETARY: We have published new COVID- 19 secure guidance on working safely, available to U.K. employers across eight work settings, which are allowed to be open and where their employees cannot work from home.

This also includes guidance for shops, which we believe may be in a position to begin a phased reopening at the earliest from the 1st of June.


COREN: Joining us from London is Nina dos Santos.

There has been so much confusion from the government in dealing with the pandemic and the easing of restrictions.

Is there more clarity with this latest plan?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: This latest plan kicks into action today, Anna. Unfortunately, it raises more questions than it answers, for two reasons. Boris Johnson, as the prime minister of the U.K., doesn't have full jurisdiction over certain matters in some parts of the U.K. like Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland.

They believe it will take a lot longer to ease restrictions on the other side of those borders. So the rules that we have today only apply to England.

What can you do in England that you couldn't do before?

You could do things like go outside more often, meet one other person from another household and you could go visit an estate agent. You can visit a new property, move house. You could play golf outdoors. But you can't go to the gym. Children can't go back to school and playgrounds are closed.

There are myriad contradictions in some of these plans that many people say will make it very hard to implement. But what they are trying to do here is balance the public messaging with the health risk, now that the infection rate, the transmissible rate from one person to another person, is now down.

Below what they want to do is keep the attitude there to reimpose restrictions if we see another spike in infections. The problem with all of this is that the economy is grinding painfully to a halt. We just had a jolt here, in the last 5 minutes, to remind people that it is the U.K. GDP figures. The preliminary estimate for the month of March.

The lockdown was implemented toward the end of March. The economy has now shrunk 5.8 percent. It appears that that is the biggest contraction for that type of time period since records were taken in 1997. So obviously, they want to balance wealth against health, livelihoods against lives.

What we saw yesterday in anticipation of these GDP figures that were likely to be bad, was the chancellor extending the speed by which the government is subsidizing people's wages, up until October, although employers will have to start contributing for the month of August. Anna?

COREN: Nina dos Santos, thank you.

The Los Angeles mayor has a message for the people of his city. Don't freak out at the likelihood that stay-at-home orders could last for months. We will explain.

Plus, working remotely, even after the pandemic ends. Why Twitter is making that a permanent option.



ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus now tops 82,000, the most in the world by far. And now a key model cited by the White House is projecting 147,000 fatalities by August as states reopen and forego the strictest social distancing measures. It's increasing projected deaths by 10,000 from just a few days ago.

But even as states reopen, more than half of Americans, 58 percent said they do not feel comfortable returning to their regular routine. Only 41 percent so they would feel comfortable going back to what life was like before the pandemic, such as going to work, school, and out to eat.

Well, the tension over when to reopen is playing out in California. On Tuesday, L.A. County's public health director said the region would likely have to extend its stay at home order through July. She later clarified restrictions would be gradually relaxed. The Los Angeles Mayor also responded saying, well, his city's safer at home order would remain in place beyond Friday, it will be adjusted to allow more activities and more businesses to operate.


ERIC GARCETTI, MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES: It's just a reminder of how delicate and fragile this time is. But do not freak out when you hear a scientist say that it's still going to be here and we're still going to be living under health orders all of us in America for many, many months if not into next year.

But at the same time, it really puts that in our hands to know our compliance with these orders helps us take steps forward as we did this week in Los Angeles and as we hope to do a little bit with some more baby steps this coming week two.


COREN: Well, Los Angeles beaches will reopen in the coming hours. But as CNN's Erica Hill reports, there will be restrictions like no sunbathing.


ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Beaches set to reopen in Los Angeles County for exercise only. As the public health director warns, stay at home orders for the county's 10 million residents will remain in place for months. LA's Mayor is confirming the news while trying to ease any panic.

GARCETTI: I think she's saying that we're not going to fully reopen Los Angeles and probably anywhere in America without any protections or any health orders in the next three months.

HILL: Face coverings and social distancing here for the summer at least. California State University system canceling nearly all in- person classes for the fall semester, impacting nearly half a million students and raising new questions about K through 12 schools as Dr. Anthony Fauci warns there is not a single solution, and there likely won't be a vaccine by September.

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The idea of having treatments available or a vaccine to facilitate the reentry of students into the fall term would be something that would be a bit of a bridge too far.

HILL: This as the real-time experiment across America continues. Retail stores opening their doors in Ohio today.

RANDY BENEDICT, GENERAL MANAGER, SECOND SOLE: We are going to stick to a strict two to one. If we have an employee, we can have two customers.

HILL: As more restaurants adapt.

JOHN HORN, OWNER, ANNA MARIA OYSTER BAR: We really felt we needed one more week to let people stay at home and not quite rush into it.

HILL: And baseball preps for a shortened season with fans cheering at home. Broadway's iconic theaters won't be back before September 6th at the earliest. The CDC reporting there could be as many as 5,000 additional deaths in hard-hit New York City as the mayor says any reopening is still weeks away.

BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK: In the beginning of June, that will be the first chance we get to start to do something differently, but only if the indicators show us that. Only if they show that we've reached the kind of consistent progress we need.

HILL: That progress includes a steady decline in cases, part of the White House's own guidance which no state appears to have met.

FAUCI: I think we're going in the right direction. But the right direction does not mean we have by any means total control of this outbreak.

HILL: Alabama, Texas, and South Dakota among those seeing an uptick. In Georgia, one of the earliest states to reopen, cases remain steady. With nearly every state scheduled to be partially open by the end of the week, Americans are not convinced officials have the virus under control. More than half said the government is doing a poor job preventing the spread, according to a new CNN poll, while 52 percent believe the worst is still to come.


MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH AND POLICY, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: I think we're only literally in that very, very early innings of this. And what's really concerning to me is we're not planning for what could be a large wave of cases.

HILL: As states weigh what's next, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is saying that anyone pushing to reopen too soon is both selfish and unsafe and also warned that COVID-19 funding will not go to counties in his state who are operating illegally, in his words. Back to you.


COREN: Erica Hill reporting there. Well, U.S. stock markets are looking to avoid a second straight day of sell-offs. Right now, futures are mostly pointing up on Wall Street. Stocks have gone back and forth this week as concerns continue to grow over when the economy will reopen. For more on those concerns, let's go to John Defterios. He's joining us from Abu Dhabi.

John, there's been a lot of talk about the widening gap between the markets and the real economy. Yesterday, the markets seem to have a bit of a reality check after Dr. Fauci's testimony to the Senate committee warning of a resurgence with the reopening of the economy. What are some of America's top economists are saying?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, the stock markets are a good indicator because they look out nine months down the road, and there's worries about a snapback. Even in the polls that they were quoting there in Erica's report, 52 percent believe it's going to get worse.

And the view of the economist is that the health of the people and the health of the economy are kind of hand in glove that should go together because consumer confidence needs to be restored as two- thirds of the overall GDP in the United States. The economists are also suggesting we could look back 100 years ago to the Spanish pandemic, the Spanish flu, and say let's not make that mistake again. Particularly about all the technology in place.

Paul Krugman is the Nobel laureate economist. He was saying three key pillars need to be in place, testing, tracing the people going forward, and also isolation when needed. He said it basically takes time to heal the economy, and we should not rush the process. Wait two months after those pillars are built. Let's take a listen.


PAUL KRUGMAN, OPINION COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: But we can do this. It's -- you know, this is not an impossible task. And the alternative is far worse. The alternative is -- the only way you turn this into a depression of years of depressed economic activity is precisely by failing to take the necessary action now.


DEFTERIOS: Take action now. They -- also, Krugman was critical of the Trump administration for not taking action right away and being in denial. And this is reflected in consumer behavior, by the way, Anna. We see that the savings rate is the highest it's been in 40 years. Credit card debt has dropped by a third.

But because life is not black and white, and you see it in the polling right now with all this uncertainty, the society is cocooning. They're not spending because they don't know what is the right solution. They're hearing it from the left, and they're hearing it from the right. The debate that we had on "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" last night with our colleague Richard Quest was let's get to the center. Where's the gap and how do you close it?

COREN: Yes. Well, we've got Krugman who agrees obviously with those health experts saying that we need to fix the problem before reopening. And then we have Ron Klain, the former White House Ebola Response Coordinator who told CNN just a few hours ago, fix the healthcare situation if you want to fix the economy, but not all economists agree, do they?

DEFTERIOS: No, and it's hard to find the middle ground. So again, another centrist member -- former member of the Trump White House was Gary Cohn, the head of the Council of Economic Advisers and actually it was eased out because he on U.S. and China didn't like to take this hard line and kind of bang the drum if you will.

He's saying though that the lockdown is too extreme. And it's not just the healthcare system for those COVID survivors, but also for the elderly. Also, for those who are suffering psychological damage because of the unemployment rate as well. Let's take a listen to him.


GARY COHN, FORMER DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Telling people to stay home 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and only leave your house to go out and purchase groceries or other necessities has other healthcare implications. There are a lot of things that people need in the general economy, whether it be other health care, other medical needs, that are not getting taken care of.

So we are seeing huge instances now of other diseases and other bad health care outcomes starting to spring up in the economy, in the society.


DEFTERIOS: Then there's the cost of healthcare spending, Anna, which you know is enormous and rising quickly, and then the implications of all this spending. A $4 trillion debt deficit, never seen before. It was $1 trillion last year, and that was a record to give you an indicator. The debt to GDP in the United States is probably climbing into 120 percent.

Then the implications on society, who pays it back? They're even talking about a surtax. That debate won't happen for certain until after the election, kind of kicked that one down the road.


COREN: Yes. Striking that balance is proving very, very difficult. John Defterios, good to see you. Many thanks. When the virus started to spread in the U.S., Twitter was one of the first companies to send it staff home. Now, the tech giant says some employees can choose to work from home forever even when the pandemic ends. CNN's Clare Sebastian reports.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Twitter was one of the first companies to implement a work from home policy for all its employees, back in early March, long before most of us had even understood the scale of the outbreak in the U.S. And now the company is saying that this for some employees could be permanent.

The company telling CNN that the last few months have shown that working from home can actually be effective. So it sees no reason to force people to come back into the office if they don't want to.

Now, tech companies, of course, are well placed to be able to do this. Google and Facebook have already extended their work from home policies through the end of 2020. Amazon is saying that those who can work from home can continue to do so until October 2nd.

Now, clearly, this isn't just about the fact that working from home works. Companies are grappling with a new reality of how offices are going to function in a world where this virus is still spreading. They're having to invest in things like redesigns like technology, like enhance cleaning, even in some cases, staggering shifts, a big change, particularly for Silicon Valley, which for so long, had prided itself on open fun, collaborative office spaces.

So in Twitter's announcement, this shows us that radical shifts may be taking place in the way we work that won't be eliminated when the virus is. Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.


COREN: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo taking a break from sheltering in place, arrived in Israel a short time ago. He was wearing a red white and blue mask during an extremely quick visit. He'll meet with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then with his coalition partner, Benny Gantz. Well, this comes as Mr. Netanyahu eyes a U.S. backed plan to annex part of the West Bank.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is following this visit from Jerusalem. And Oren, Prime Minister Netanyahu's election promise to annex dozens of Jewish settlements in the West Bank could have explosive consequences for the region. What are we expecting to hear from Mike Pompeo during his visit?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, frankly, we're not expecting to hear all that much. And there is not really an expectation that we'll hear some sort of big announcement coming from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, or from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This was an invitation that Pompeo's office says was at the invitation of the Israelis. It is -- Pompeo becomes the first foreign dignitary visiting Israel since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. And it's important, Pompeo's team says, because of the tight relations between the U.S. and Israel, and the need to execute the Trump administration's foreign policy vision. And that means talking about the administration's plan for Middle East peace, known as the Vision of Peace.

That will certainly be on the agenda. The two that is Netanyahu and Pompeo are expected to meet shortly and we expect statements from them shortly right at the beginning of the meeting. And then I don't think we're expecting any statements from Pompeo and Gantz other than a short look at the beginning of the meeting.

Again, not really an expectation of big announcements here, but we know what's on the agenda. First, of course, is the administration's vision for Middle East peace which involves annexing or applying sovereignty, Israeli sovereignty that is, two parts of the West Bank. Pompeo says that he wants to see discussions and negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. And then of course, Iran is always on the agenda. And in today's day and age, coronavirus will also be on the agenda.

The Secretary of State's team was clear that this whole visit will be taking place under the care of medical advisors. The secretary will have his doctor with him at all time and everyone traveling with the Secretary was tested for coronavirus in the days before this visit simply because of an abundance of caution and the reality in which this visit takes place, Anna.

COREN: Oren, obviously the clock however, is ticking for Netanyahu to get this annexation through before the U.S. election in November.

LIEBERMANN: That's right. If Netanyahu wants to push forward annexation of parts of the West Bank, his deadline is effectively Election Day or perhaps January 20th when perhaps, depending on the results of the election, a new president could take office.

Crucially, though, it's a question of what does Netanyahu want to do. And that's where some political analysts here don't expect him to annex because of the abundance of caution of what might happen on election day. It then becomes a political calculus. And this is where the politics looking at it might not be Netanyahu his favor.

What do I mean by that? Well, certainly he has the cover of the Trump administration openly and loudly the most pro-Israel administration the U.S. has ever seen and has pushed a lot of these policy decisions and changes that have frankly broken line with decades of U.S. foreign policy such as recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the embassy, recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.

And that's where Netanyahu might be put in a position where he can't be seen as being less pro-Israel than the Trump administration. And that may force him into a position where he has to make some sort of move on annexation. What will that move be? Well, we'll see if we get any hints today or in the days, weeks, and months ahead here.


COREN: Watch this space. Oren Liebermann joining us from Jerusalem, many thanks. Coming up, U.S. doctors say they still don't know a lot about the Coronavirus and why it affects some people more than others. We'll hear from some frontline health care workers next.


COREN: In Japan, an experiment using invisible fluorescent paint showed just how quickly the coronavirus can spread. Broadcaster NHK and a team of medical experts apply the special paint on a hypothetical patient and set them to a buffet with several other people. In the end, a blacklight revealed that the paint, which represents the virus has spread all over the place. Three people even got some of it on their faces.

Well, there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the coronavirus. At first, older adults and people with underlying conditions were believed to be most at risk. But now, it appears the virus is also affecting younger patients and even children. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the details.


MATTHEW BAI, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN, MOUNT SINAI QUEENS: Now, I'm ready to go into the E.R. I don't know quite what to expect yet.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You don't know what to expect in so many ways. The coronavirus has challenged E.R. doctors like Matt Bai since it hit, baffling doctors with its mysterious symptoms. Coronavirus is a respiratory virus. They can spread through droplets with each cough or each breath.

MANISHA JUTHANI, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE AND EPIDEMIOLOGY, YALE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: If you have a droplet that then goes into your nose, maybe down to your throat, and eventually down into your lungs.

GUPTA: But some people have critically low oxygen levels, and yet still appear like you and me.

RICHARD LEVITAN, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN: It's almost unimaginable how people could be awake and alert and have oxygen levels that are half normal.

GUPTA: And it gets even more confusing. A respiratory virus doesn't typically cause isolated loss of smell, or bumps and lesions on the feet. From nose to toes and nearly every organ in between. How does a microscopic strand of RNA wreak so much in such varied destruction?


BAI: So when they come in, they can be to the extreme where they have no pulse already or they're coming in breathing really fast and hypoxic with a very low oxygen level and cold and blue.

GUPTA: It could have to do with the way the virus typically enters ourselves in the first place. You're looking at the ACE-2 receptor and see how the spikes on the coronavirus bind to the surface of the cell.

JUTHANI: This particular receptor is known to be in long tissue, but it's also known to be in the heart and other parts of the body. It seems that this ACE-2 receptor is expressed more potentially with the age.

GUPTA: higher levels of ACE-2 are often present in men, which could also explain why they are most likely to be affected more severely. Patients like 33-year-old Warren L. Vega who had a life-threatening blood clot in his lungs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next thing I know, I was on the floor.

GUPTA: Then there's the mystery of what it's doing to some children, at least three dead now in New York. From an illness with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease, a condition where the blood vessels become inflamed.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We have about 100 cases of an inflammatory disease in young children that seems to be created by the COVID virus.

JUTHANI: The children that are having these signs of inflammatory conditions, they already had the infection over two weeks ago. This is not like another virus that I've seen.

GUPTA: This tiny little virus which cannot even be killed because truth is it's not even alive.


COREN: That was CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reporting. Well, as the pandemic continues to weaken healthcare systems around the world, a new report finds the impact on young children could be devastating.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins estimate in a worst-case scenario 1.2 million children under the age of five could die within six months from preventable causes unless urgent action is taken to ensure routine health services are not disrupted any further. The report also estimates that nine of the 10 countries most likely to see higher child mortality rates are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Well, celebrities are stepping up to help graduating students in the age of coronavirus. Ahead, how some stars are making commencement ceremonies special in 2020.


COREN: Well, London celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of legendary nurse Florence Nightingale by projecting her image on the side of St. Thomas' Hospital. Nightingale, known as the lady with the lamp rose to fame after traveling to treat British soldiers during the Crimean War. She famously told nurses to wash their hands. A message still so relevant today.

Well, millions of graduating students won't have typical commencement ceremonies this year due to the pandemic. But thanks to the world of technology, some celebrities are trying to make this year special by offering words of encouragement to 2020 seniors virtually. Our Jeanne Moos reports.



JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lucky me, I always h1ave my blurry old graduation photos oblivious to social distancing tickling a fellow grad with a tassel. But now, what a hassle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Class of 2020, what is up?

MOOS: A pandemic is what's up. Instead of caps tossed and celebrations on stage, flesh and blood grads are being replaced.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Emily Kristin Allen --

MOOS: By picture. She barely have to get dressed for a commencement address.

PHARRELL WILLIAMS, SINGER: I'm at home you're at home.

MOOS: Pharrell Williams once sang.

WILLIAMS: Happiness is the truth.

MOOS: But now, graduates have to be happy with a video commencement. The most famous celebrity to suffer from the virus told grads at Ohio's right state.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: You started in the olden times in the world back before the great pandemic of 2020. You were finished right state during the great reset.

MOOS: And America's doctor during a great reset told Jesuit High School grads that now is the time to --

FAUCI: To care selflessly about one another. Please hang in there.

MOOS: Stephen Colbert hung out on a couch delivering his message to grads at Northwestern University in Qatar.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: I'm living by my family's motto which is never stand when you can sit, never sit and lie down.

MOOS: Instead of a gown, Ellen settled for a bathrobe.

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW: We need smart people. Actually, you don't even have to be that smart. Just don't tell people to drink bleach.

MOOS: Invincibility juice, Alec Baldwin called it in his SNL commencement address.

ALEC BALDWIN, COMEDIAN: I'm so honored to be your valedictator, but today is not about me.

TREVOR NOAH, COMEDIAN: Even without this pandemic, nobody reaches their dreams.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most people just end up doing a job they don't hate until they retire.

MOOS: But leave it to Oprah appearing on John Krasinski's some good news to find the literal silver lining in a dark cloud. OPRAH WINFREY TALK SHOW HOST: When it's really dark and dreary on the

ground, and then you get in the plane, and within three minutes you shoot above the clouds, and you see the sun was always there.

MOOS: Now, finally we get up the nerve to fly again. Jeanne Moos --



NOAH: Good luck.

MOOS: New York.


COREN: How good is that? Well, thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Anna Coren. My colleague Rosemary Church takes over after this short break.