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Officials Say Los Angeles Faces Long Haul To Reopening; Study Shows Child Mortality Rate Could Rise For First Time In More Than 60 Years; Historic Supreme Court Arguments Over Trump's Finances. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired May 13, 2020 - 05:30   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Could spill over for jobs, relationships, and schools nationwide.

Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Nice to see you this morning. I'm Christine Romans. It is 30 minutes past the hour.

And new signs some coronavirus restrictions are here for the long haul. A disappointing reality hitting Southern California. Health officials in L.A. County, home to 10 million people, signaled reopening will be a slow process. Some stay-at-home orders could last well into summer.


MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES: It's just a reminder of how delicate and fragile this time is but to 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, too.


ROMANS: Baby steps.

Health officials later clarified restrictions will be gradually relaxed, guided by science, but that won't be enough for some schools to open even by fall.

CNN's Stephanie Elam has more for us from Los Angeles.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christine and Laura, "with all certainty" -- those are the words that the director of public health for the county of Los Angeles used when she said that we can expect to see the stay-at-home order here extended for three more months. Now, it was set to expire this upcoming Friday but she says this is based upon the data.

So not really a surprise when right now, we have more than 33,000 cases and there is more than 69,000 cases in the entire state. So almost half of the cases are here in this county.

But she did say that she would hope to see some easing of those restrictions during that time period. To make that case, today, the beaches in L.A. County are opening up for exercise, for recreation, but you've got to keep moving. You cannot sunbathe and you do have to wear a mask unless, of course, you're in the ocean.

And another idea of what things may look like in the fall, we are hearing from the Cal State University system, which is one of the largest in the country. They are saying their fall semester will be virtual. They will be teaching online for almost all of their classes. This is going to affect 23 universities and some 480,000 students -- Laura and Christine.


JARRETT: All right, Stephanie. Thanks for that.

Well, the future of schools in America remains a huge concern during this pandemic. The issue of sending kids back to school came up during a Senate hearing Tuesday and led to this exchange between Sen. Rand Paul, who is a doctor, and the leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): 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. We can listen to your advice but there are people on the other side saying there's not going to be a surge and that we can safely open the economy and the facts will bear this out.

But if we keep kids out of school for another year, what's going to happen is the poor and underprivileged kids who don't have a parent that's able to teach them at home are not going to learn for a full year.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: I have never made myself out to be the end-all and the only voice in this. I'm a scientist, a physician, and a public health official. I give advice according to the best scientific evidence.

We don't know everything about this virus and we've really got to be very careful, particularly when it comes to children. I think we better be careful if we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects.


JARRETT: Some students in Quebec are already back in school with their desks far apart, some rooms closed off, and teachers in masks and gloves.

Fauci, yesterday, said it's unlikely a vaccine or treatment will be ready before kids are supposed to head back to school in the fall.

ROMANS: House Democrats unveiled a new coronavirus relief package with a price tag of more than $3 trillion. This would be a record.

The legislation includes a new round of direct payments to Americans worth up to six grand per family. more enhanced unemployment benefits, it extends help for gig workers, and there's $1 trillion in there for state and local governments.

Now, White House officials have called a fourth stimulus package premature. Republicans warn the bill is dead on arrival.

On CNN last night, Ron Klain, the Ebola czar under President Obama, sent a message to Republicans fixated on the economy.


RON KLAIN, FORMER EBOLA CZAR UNDER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You can say we're going to reopen every state and every business in the country but if people get sick working at them and people get sick patronizing them, and people are scared to go into them, then reopening them isn't going to really restart the economy.


ROMAN: Democrats say help is needed right now.

"The Washington Post" reports a new study estimates more than 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed since the pandemic was declared in March. The study projects at least two percent of small businesses are gone for good, Laura.

JARRETT: The House Rules Committee plans to move forward with a plan that would allow the chamber to operate remotely for the first time in history. The measure caps weeks of talks to change House rules and allow committees to conduct business virtually. It would also permit members to vote while away from Washington during the coronavirus pandemic.


The panel is scheduling a Thursday committee meeting to approve the rules change and send it to the full House for consideration by this Friday.

Well, still ahead, children are usually the first to be taken care of in any crisis. But a new study has some dire predictions about the cost kids could pay in the coming months.



ROMANS: In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel will face questions today from Parliament about efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus. Germany has seen a spike in virus cases as restrictions are eased.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is live in Berlin and that is the big question everyone's asking around the world. When you start to ease those restrictions and the virus comes back, what do you do?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly the question Angela Merkel is going to get again today as well.

I think most Germans and really most people around the world, Christine, really believe that Germany has done a good job in trying to contain the virus and certainly keeping the death toll low if you look at the numbers.

However, there are a lot of people now who are questioning whether or not this country doesn't need to open quicker and how dangerous that might be, especially as this country's economy continues to take some serious hits.

And then if you look at the numbers, the German Center for Disease Control is sending out a bit of a message of warning. They're saying that the reproduction numbers for the novel coronavirus continue to hover at around one. They say that the decline in new infections that Germany has been able to achieve over the past couple of weeks seems to be ebbing off and may have reached a plateau.

So at the same time the Germans are continuing to open their country up, there are certain things, however, that are not possible yet -- like, for instance, to open things like clubs and nightclubs.

However, there are some Germans who have come to a solution for that. They've initiated a nightclub in your car where you can drive in and have a party there. There's a deejay, there's a sound system. And apparently, a lot of people are going to it and they are loving it.

The club owner says it's something that he came up with because he had to shutter his club and he believes that that is something that could be a model for at least the interim period. But he, of course -- he also hopes that he can open up again fairly soon as well, Christine.

ROMANS: All right, a nightclub in your car. That's a new one.

Fred Pleitgen for us. Thanks, Fred.

JARRETT: Everyone has to get creative.


JARRETT: Well, stay-at-home restrictions are being eased today across the United Kingdom, but England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are all taking slightly different approaches. And the British government has spent the last two days simultaneously clarifying and muddying what Prime Minister Boris Johnson had announced on Sunday.

Nick Paton Walsh joins us live from London now. Do you get the sense, Nick, that this confusion has been cleared up? You know, this has been sort of a messy start.

NICK PATON WALSH, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, I think to some degree, it is now clear what people are expected to do. The question is are they willing, necessarily, to go back to work if they can't work from home, as is now the government's advice?

At the rush hour, behind me -- we're told by staff they're at about 60 percent of what you'd expect to be normal traffic here. But this is King's Cross station in central London and let me just pause for a moment. It's silent, frankly, to some degree, so we haven't got that massive sense of hubbub that you would normally expect at a busy commuter area like this.

And the mixed message visible to see. This is an old poster. The slogan is now "Stay Alert, Control the Virus, and Save Lives." And that has left some people in the U.K. unclear exactly what the government wants them to do.

But there have been, frankly, pages now of detailed advice saying to people you can possibly meet somebody from outside your household -- one person -- so long as you're outdoors. And suggesting possibly that in the future, the restrictions will relax more to enable households to perhaps meet in what they call a bubble.

But today, we're hearing from the government that you should not really be planning a summer holiday. You take a risk if you do that, they say, because they may change the travel restrictions backwards again if we see a second peak here.

And, too, of course -- the reason why the British government is pushing out this advice, particularly here in England on the forefront -- here in London, frankly, where the infection rate is thought to be even lower than the 0.9 it may be in other parts of the country -- maybe as low as 0.5 here -- is the damage to the U.K. economy.

Two percent contraction in the first quarter of this year; possibly graver in the second. That's got everyone worried as to how long they can sustain the furlough system that's paying so much of people's wages across the country who can't go to work.

Back to you.

JARRETT: Well, you can see a lot of people staying home there. That train station is empty.

All right, Nick Paton Walsh, thanks so much.

ROMANS: So, children could pay a very heavy price for coronavirus. According to a new study, more than 6,000 kids could die every day because of health care services that are strained by the pandemic. Countries in Africa could be affected the most.

CNN's David McKenzie is live for us in Johannesburg with more. What are we learning here?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christine, this modeling is very disturbing. It's coming from UNICEF and Johns Hopkins University. They say up to 6,000 children a day could die in the next six months because of the indirect effects of Covid-19.

You know, at the highest levels of projection, the worst-case scenario, more than a million children could die because of big disruptions to health systems and also lack of food because of just the economy shutting down -- being locked down and being adversely affected. Even the best-case scenario, Christine, they're saying more than a quarter of a million children could die because of these indirect effects.


They're saying because of these numbers they want policymakers to really look very closely at the way that they are trying to control the virus and be mindful that a cure could be worse than the virus itself if not managed carefully.

Nine out of the 10 worst-affected countries in terms of excess child mortality could be in Africa. And it really is one of the best news stories that people don't necessarily realize. Since 1990, child mortality under five has just dropped massively across the world, especially in Africa.

And scientists worry that those gains could be lost as mothers and children cannot access clinics. Can't get the lifesaving drugs, necessarily, because of restrictions. And especially, can't access nutrition and food to help them thrive in those youngest ages, they say.

I think these numbers are incredibly important to pay attention to as people figure out what to do next with this virus pandemic -- Christine.

ROMANS: I agree, very important -- very important angle to the story.

David McKenzie, thank you so much for that.

We'll be right back.



ROMANS: A new twist in the Michael Flynn case. A judge will allow legal challenges against the Justice Department's move to drop all charges against President Trump's former national security adviser. The decision means the judge could hear arguments that the DOJ's move was politically motivated. Flynn, as you know, originally pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI but

the Justice Department's about-face last week led to criticism that Attorney General Bill Barr had intervened to satisfy the president's political wishes. Barr denies it.

JARRETT: President Trump's effort to keep his tax returns and financial records under wraps is now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. The president's attorney pressing really hard for what he's calling temporary presidential immunity, arguing congressional subpoenas are simply too burdensome.

CNN's Jessica Schneider has more now.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Laura and Christine, a whirlwind array of momentous arguments unfolding, of all things, over the phone over the course of 3 1/2 hours before the Supreme Court.

The president's attorneys arguing that this is all just harassment by House Democrats, and also saying that the president is immune from any criminal subpoenas while in office. Of course, attorneys on the other side saying that congressional oversight is necessary. They need to see these financial documents.

And the Manhattan D.A.'s office saying that the president is not immune from this sort of subpoena to third parties to try to get those financial records from his banks, and his financial institutions, and his accountants.

And in this case, what we saw from the bench was a real stark divide between conservative justices and liberal justices. In particular, on the conservative side, we had Justices Alito and Kavanaugh and Gorsuch really asking the questions when does this legitimate oversight end and when does presidential harassment begin.

SAMUEL ALITO, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: But when you talk about interfering with the president's ability to do his job, you mean this is going to take up too much of his time? Or do you -- does that include the potential for the use of subpoenas solely for harassment and political purposes?

DOUGLAS LETTER, GENERAL COUNSEL TO THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Your Honor, if they were solely for harassment, then they wouldn't meet the standards of they have to be pertinent to a legislative purpose.

SCHNEIDER: A note we saw from the liberal justices -- they asked why should this president be any different than others? In particular, Ruth Bader Ginsburg referencing Presidents Nixon and Clinton.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES: As far as the impact of the president is concerned, I think there is no case more dramatic than the Nixon tapes. Devastating impact on the president. He resigned from office. But yet, that was okay. So, I really don't get it. SCHNEIDER: The stakes are high here. It's not clear what side is going to win. And, of course, the stakes are high because any ruling here, it could mean that the president's financial documents finally get released on the eve of the election -- guys.


ROMANS: All right.

Grubhub stock soared Tuesday on reports Uber has made an offer to buy Grubhub. The deal would merge two major food delivery platforms at the very moment demand for those services rises with millions of people still at home and ordering in. "The Wall Street Journal" reports Uber approached Grubhub with an offer earlier this year and that the companies are still discussing a potential deal.




ROMANS: That's going to be stuck in your head all morning. You are welcome.

Soon, you're going to have a front-row seat to "Hamilton" and you won't need a ticket. Disney is fast-tracking the filmed version of the original Broadway production of "Hamilton" to Disney+ this year. It will now stream July third. Disney is rushing it to capitalize on people stuck at home during the coronavirus crisis.

JARRETT: Well, some sweet justice for a teenage ice cream shop employee in Massachusetts who quit after she was harassed by customers there.

Polar Cave Ice Cream parlor, in Mashpee, launched a GoFundMe page for the 17-year-old girl. It's already raised nearly $40,000.

Owner Mark Lawrence says the employee kept scooping through nonstop bullying by customers impatient with social distancing, but then she turned in her apron.

The money will go to her college fund.

ROMANS: Good for her.

JARRETT: Good for her, exactly. Who is bullying an ice cream employee right now?

ROMANS: I know people are stressed out but come on, we all have to be nice to one another.

JARRETT: Exactly.

ROMANS: All right.

JARRETT: Good thing she can go to college on that.


ROMANS: Exactly.

Fifty-four minutes past the hour. Thanks for joining us this morning. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.



GARCETTI: This is just as dangerous a virus today as it was when it arrived.

ELAM: In Los Angeles County, the public health director warns stay- at-home orders will remain in place for months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As states relax social distancing more, then, yes, we expect the numbers will probably go up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looking at it being 137 or 140 or 145,000 deaths in August is missing the point. Look at how fast this virus can go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think as far as schools go -- Cal State going to online -- I think we're going to probably see that at a lot of universities.

PAUL: 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 have never made myself out to.