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Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) On Alabama Surpassing 10,000 Coronavirus Cases This Week; How Coronavirus Hits The Whole Body; Tips On Staying Safe As States Reopen. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired May 13, 2020 - 07:30   ET



SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): Are being developed but they need to put that urgency on those plans. I think by this summer, I think we can do that.

You know, look, it -- we have got the opportunities to learn from these lessons. We've got to seize those opportunities or as Dr. Fauci said, there is going to be more needless suffering and more needless deaths.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Very quickly, I want to look at what's happening in your state of Alabama.

So, according to Johns Hopkins, the trajectory is still going up. Your state is opening for the most part, I guess, on May 22nd in terms of businesses and gatherings. But this -- the bar graph, if you look at it, the numbers -- I mean, you know, the red line shows that the trajectory since April 30th --

JONES: Right.

CAMEROTA: -- has gone in the wrong direction.

Are you nervous about what's happening in Alabama?

JONES: Yes, absolutely.

I think that the governor has done a pretty good job of trying to thread that needle. She has got a lot of pressure. Every state around us is trying to open back up. People are getting antsy. They want to get out, they want to do some things.

But even the governor, in her press conference the other day, stressed the need to do the social distancing, stressed the need to wear a mask. I think part of this is going to depend on not just the opening but it's going to depend on the American public.

Look, we're in what is amounting to a -- moving into a post-9/11 world where we need to wear the masks, we need to do the social distancing. If we can do those things and open up slowly and work with folks, I think people will have more confidence. But they need to do the social distancing and they need to wear those masks. That's a message that's getting lost as well. People -- and I think

right now, they are so anxious to get out that they're listening to the messages about opening and they're not listening as much to the messages about what you need to do to protect your health and your neighbor's health. If we can do that, we're going to keep the numbers down.

CAMEROTA: Would you like to see the president and the vice president wear masks at all times?

JONES: Absolutely. I mean, you look around the Senate when most of the people -- now, I will tell you, I got -- you know, I was waiting on -- to get on the subway yesterday and a group of Republican senators got off. Not a single one of them or their staffs were wearing masks. I think that sends a wrong message.

I would like to see the administration, the president, and the vice president -- whenever they are out they need to be wearing a mask.

I think part of what we do as public officials is to set an example and I think we have to set an example. I've been trying to do that in my home state for the last six weeks or seven weeks. Set an example and try to tell people it's OK. It's not -- it's not a cultural shock to wear a mask out in public these days because I want to protect your health and I want you to protect mine.

CAMEROTA: I want to ask you about the Ahmaud Arbery case out of Georgia. They are asking for the DOJ -- the -- you know, the U.S. DOJ to get involved with this. Do you think that the DOJ should and will?

JONES: I think they should. I think they have started to look at this. I believe that clearly, there is evidence that this is a potential hate crime. There is jurisdiction there to do that.

But I think there's real questions about why this didn't get pursued early on. Obviously, those that were arrested have some contacts with law enforcement and I think that needs to be examined very, very closely. What happened to that young man was just unbelievably wrong. It was a tragedy.

We've got to do better. We cannot wait two months and for a video to come out that essentially shames the state and local authorities into taking action. This needed to be done early and I think it would be appropriate for the department, the civil rights division, and others to take a good look of not just the crime itself but what happened in the aftermath of the crime and why it took two months to make those arrests.

CAMEROTA: Sen. Doug Jones, great to talk to you. Thank you very much for your time.

JONES: As always. Thank you for having me.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we want to remember some of the more than 82,000 Americans who have lost their lives to coronavirus.

Officer Charles Roberts spent 20 years in the Glen Ridge Police Department, an all-around good guy, according to colleagues. An ambassador for the town, according to its mayor. He leaves behind a wife and three children. The department's chiefs noted Roberts for working tirelessly to keep the community safe.

Daniel Moran prayed over his father Miguel while he died from coronavirus on April 16th. Not long after, Daniel lost his own life to the virus. Daniel's family says he brought them so much happiness.

Morris Hood worked his way up from the assembly line to the Michigan House of Representatives, eventually being elected as a state senator. Hood's death has been met with bipartisan mourning in his home state. Colleagues remember him for repeatedly encouraging them to stay close to loved ones and his reminders to tell people he loved them.

We'll be right back.



BERMAN: A potentially major development in the Michael Flynn case. The judge hearing the criminal case against the president's first national security adviser has invited outside third parties to file their own briefs. This will likely delay a ruling on the Justice Department's request to dismiss its own case. The judge has already received at least one friend of the court brief in the case.

Sixteen former Watergate prosecutors say the judge has the authority to sentence Flynn despite DOJ efforts to toss the case.

CAMEROTA: The U.S. Supreme Court hearing arguments about President Trump's tax returns and his effort to shield them from congressional subpoena and in a separate case, New York prosecutors. The president's attorneys claim subpoenas by House Democrats are quote "unprecedented in every sense," end quote. And they asked for temporary immunity against a New York subpoena for the president's tax records.

BERMAN: So this morning, new mysteries in the coronavirus pandemic. Even now, doctors are baffled by some symptoms they see in patients -- symptoms that attack the entire body and have proven fatal in children.


I want to bring back Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, you know, we always call this thing novel coronavirus. It's new and we keep learning new things about how it affects the body.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, I think there was a lot of belief that maybe this was going to act like other coronaviruses like SARS or MERS from the past. But this does seem to behave differently in the body and just four or five months into this we continue to learn. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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

GUPTA (voice-over): 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. It can spread through droplets with each cough or each breath.

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

GUPTA (voice-over): But some people have critically low oxygen levels and yet, still appear like you and me.

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

GUPTA (voice-over): 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 and 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 (voice-over): It could have to do with the way the virus typically enters our cells in the first place. You're looking at the ACE-2 receptor. Now, see how the spikes on the coronavirus bind to the surface of the cell?

JUTHANI: This particular receptor is known to be in lung 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 age.

GUPTA (voice-over): 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 Alvega (ph) who had a life- threatening blood clot in his lungs.

WARREN ALVEGA, CORONAVIRUS PATIENT: The next thing I know, I was on the floor.

GUPTA (voice-over): 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), NEW YORK: 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. So this is not like another virus that I've seen.

GUPTA (voice-over): This tiny little virus, which cannot even be killed because truth is, it's not even alive.


GUPTA: As you know, John, these viruses need hosts. They need us, which is where these physical distancing recommendations come from. If you make it more difficult for the virus to find a host, eventually the virus will start to sort of wither away. It doesn't really die because it was never alive -- John.

BERMAN: Every day we're learning something new. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much.

CAMEROTA: High school and college seniors are heading into one of the most challenging graduation seasons ever, but the class of 2020 is facing that challenge with good spirits and optimism about their future.


DERRICK WANG, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: To the class of 2020, let's not pretend like these are normal times. This is no longer the world that we expected. Too many have lost too much. And in the midst of this crisis you have lost something as well, the last moments of your last year, which would normally be some of the most precious memories of our lives.

YASMINE HALMAN, TEANECK HIGH SCHOOL, TEANECK, NEW JERSEY: I never once thought there would be a possibility we wouldn't have prom, graduation, or even the chance to say goodbye.

CHAD BROKAW, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOULDER: I wish I could be addressing my class in person and it breaks my heart that my fellow classmates will not be getting the commencement ceremony that they deserve.

DINA SCOTT, TEANECK HIGH SCHOOL, TEANECK, NEW JERSEY: Despite learning remotely, we've remained determined to finish the school year together and strong.

CAROLINE HANES, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: On the bright side, I will be the first graduating college class to be able to wear sweats to graduation without judgment.

MATTEO EVANGELISTA, YONKERS MONTESSORI ACADEMY: We might not have the senior year that every student would normally expect. However, I realize that this situation will better prepare us for what the future will hold.

WANG: One thing is crystal clear, our society needs you. More than ever, we need the motivated and educated people who can make a difference and begin the monumental task of rebuilding our society.


HALMAN: I know we all feel a disappointment and heartbreak, but a crisis like this can only make us stronger. I know we'll emerge from this with more gratitude and compassion for each other.

BROKAW: It may not be fair that we inherit such difficulties, but it is by rising to this challenge that we will become the next great generation.

EVANGELISTA: This pandemic will encourage us future college students to become doctors, nurses, police officers, and other essential front line workers.

SCOTT: For the rest our futures, I hope that we'll be able to continue to rise up and overcome any challenges we might face.

WANG: Our generation has already seen more than its fair share of troubles growing up in the shadow of 9/11, the Great Recession, and other defining moments. But your perseverance has gotten you this far and extraordinary times bring out what is most extraordinary in all of us.

TAYLOR ELLISON, HOWARD UNIVERSITY, D.C.: I'm so proud of the class of 2020 because even in uncertain times we are still changemakers. Congrats, class of 2020.


CAMEROTA: Their optimism inspires me, John. They're great.

And, you know, Gen Z, they're not just dreamers, they're doers. Gen Z, they have a vision for their future. And so, I find all of their messages inspiring during this time.

BERMAN: Look, we're going to need them. They're going to be the ones that fix all of this going forward for decades to come.

And I have to say it's on us -- it's on all of us to make this moment feel special for them. We have to do whatever we can.

You know, I see a lot of signs out as I go running. I see signs on people's lawn saying "Home of A Graduate" and I yell and cheer. I look like an idiot but I -- but I'll just yell and scream and cheer these kids so that they know that what they've done is truly special and they get recognized.

CAMEROTA: Is it possible you're scaring people?

BERMAN: Maybe (ph).

CAMEROTA: That you scare children?

BERMAN: I could do that without screaming, but yes is the answer to that question.

CAMEROTA: Be sure to tune in as America honors our 2020 graduates in an hour-long special "GRADUATE TOGETHER" Saturday night, 8:00 p.m. eastern, right here on CNN. It should be great.

All right. So, many states, of course, are beginning to reopen. What can you do to avoid getting sick while heading back into the world? We have some important, possibly lifesaving tips, next.



BERMAN: So this morning, a personal protection plan for you who are returning to work or life out in public. If so much of the country is going to open up more -- and it is, and it has -- how do you keep yourself safe?

Joining me now is Erin Bromage. He's professor of biology at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and he has written about the places that you should and maybe shouldn't go. Professor, thank you so much for being with us today.

You have written this blog post that has 10 billion views, roughly, and the reason is I think it's very relatable for people.

I want to put up the list of places where 90 percent of coronavirus infections are happening. Home, workplace, public transit, social gatherings, restaurants. I'm going to leave home out of it because that's person-to-person. That's if your husband, your wife, your kid has it and you get it from them.

But all these other places have something in common. Namely, they're largely inside with a bunch of other people. What does that tell you?

ERIN BROMAGE, BIOLOGY PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS, DARTMOUTH (via Cisco Webex): So what we're seeing -- in places that are doing really great contact tracing and mapping what's happening with the spread of infection, they're seeing that these enclosed spaces with lots of people and poor air circulation leads to the fairly rapid spread of the virus amongst susceptible people.

BERMAN: I want to give people a visual representation of that. They've heard about this choir practice in Washington State and I want to put up a map of this. Forty-five of 60 choir members were infected. Two died after a 2 1/2-hour rehearsal. That's when one person showed up with the virus.

Now, what is it about the space, the duration, and the nature of singing that might have led to this?

BROMAGE: Yes. So it's important to know that it wasn't a sick person as well. It was an asymptomatic person that didn't even know that they did have the virus came. And this community choir did everything right with space and separation and it was before it.

But when you're singing, you really are pulling down -- like from your diaphragm, you're really pushing a lot of air out and it expels a lot more respiratory droplets into the air. It's believed those respiratory droplets are a little bit finer than what comes out through normal talking. And being in an enclosed space and singing like that for a number of hours just allows it to build up in the environment around you.

And then, the people that are susceptible -- you know, you're taking big, deep breaths in order sing your next note or your next piece and that facilitates the virus getting into you and even deeper down into your throat and into your lungs, which just helps with establishing the infection.

BERMAN: I want to put up another chart here. This is of a call center in South Korea. You've talked a lot about airflow and circulation. What you can see here is that the blue chairs are the chairs of the people who became infected. And you can see it's only in one side of this call center.

What does this tell you?

BROMAGE: Yes. So, there's a lot of partitions in that room in that particular floor. It seems to be a very large floor of a building. But it's quite clear that being in an enclosed space with lots of people just gives the virus lots of fuel and lots of bodies that it can find and jump between.


And it wouldn't be that every single person in that call center came in contact with each other. So you do have the transfer of person-to- person through touch or through touching shared surfaces. That's definitely a risk. But some of this has to also be through the air.

BERMAN: So what does that mean -- what does all of this mean for me or for all of us as we think about going back to work or going back out into public? How do we live our lives?

BROMAGE: Yes. So, I mean, a big part of me writing these posts -- and I've been writing them for about 10 weeks -- is just to give some tangible advice to friends, family about what risks they should really be worrying about and wasting mental energy.

And the big thing here is just -- you know, like you pay attention when you're crossing the road, you know the risks of crossing a road. Not a lot of my friends know the difference, like what we should be doing now in this brave new world. So I was trying to give them the tools they need to know.

If you need up indoors, which we're going to, in an environment where there seems like there's a lot of people and it just doesn't feel right, they're the situations that you should avoid. Use your feet and find somewhere else that feels more comfortable for you. So any workplace -- you know, any environment that is not maintaining a reasonable number of people -- like trying to maintain that social distance -- that doesn't have good air flow and everything is being recirculated and you get a lot of people. And if it's noisy, that is a spot that I would say I don't need to be in here or I don't need to be in here for very long.

BERMAN: That's interesting, if it's noisy. Is that because it means that a lot of people are talking loudly and perhaps putting more virus into the air?

BROMAGE: Yes, I was reading some really fun stuff about that. The normal talking releases a certain amount of respiratory droplets and the louder you talk, the more you release. So I was just sort of laughing with my wife the other night talking about loud talkers and how we have to run away from them now. So the environment that you get in, the louder it is the louder you have to talk, which just means there's going to be more in the air if there are infected people around.

BERMAN: That is very, very interesting to hear.

I notice that grocery stores, which is something people are obsessing about, or going out, and surfaces, you don't talk as much about.

BROMAGE: Yes, and I mean, you've got -- I have to be careful with that because grocery stores -- you know, we're not tracking, and if we don't track we don't have the data. So we don't know what is happening there except for the workers. And the workers are at risk in there because they're in that environment for such a long time.

But for you and I that are going into the grocery store -- and the grocery stores in my area are making great adjustments to this. They're limiting the number of people, everyone has to wear masks. And so, by dropping the number of people that you have down in there, that just drops respiratory emissions. You -- everyone has to wear masks, it drops it down again.

And then, your time. You shouldn't be in there browsing. Go in there with a plan, get what you need, get out. So, yes.

BERMAN: I only have about 30 seconds left and I have to let you go. But when you're talking about noisy, enclosed spaces it strikes me that sports arenas where people are cheering loudly doesn't sound like the kind of place you think we should be going.

BROMAGE: Yes, that one really needs to be thought through that -- you know, everyone loves a live game -- sports game -- and getting there and supporting your team is wonderful. And it's not like a single person in an arena can infect everybody. But if you're yelling and screaming and supporting your team, those people in, I guess, the spray zone of your voice -- you know, you're putting them in danger.

BERMAN: I've got to say, Professor, this is eye-opening. Thank you very much for being with us. I'm going to look at things and listen for things that I wasn't listening for before. Thanks for your time. BROMAGE: Thank you for having me on the show.

BERMAN: All right. Concerning new warning signs about a resurgence of infections in certain countries around the world. What that tells us for the United States. NEW DAY continues right now.


MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES: This is just as dangerous a virus today as it was when it arrived.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 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.

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



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

BERMAN: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.

We begin with a developing story -- an ominous warning this hour. A major world leader warning about the dangers of reopening too fast. I want you to listen to what the British Prime Minister Boris.