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Cal State Cancels Most Classes for Fall; Coronavirus Pandemic Update Around the World; Drive-in Disco in Germany's Club Scene; Cordero Emerges from Coma; Answers to your Coronavirus Questions. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired May 13, 2020 - 08:30   ET



SORAYA COLEY, PRESIDENT, CAL POLY POMONA: Education that the CSU system is known for.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm sure, President Ochoa, that -- that people are pleased with the guidance. I mean I think any time you can remove uncertainty, that's helpful.

But I also imagine there are people asking, well, what about trying to space the students out more in the classrooms? What about trying other ways so that they can be back on campus?

EDUARDO M. OCHOA, PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, MONTEREY BAY: Well, we certainly worked on that analysis. We looked at that and tried to figure out how that could work. In the calculations that we made on our campus, we found that in order to maintain social distancing guidelines, we would have to reduce the capacity of our classrooms to 25 percent of their normal levels. So we would have to drastically reduce the number of students enrolled, at least in face to face instruction, and it just wasn't -- it didn't seem viable.

We were also very concerned about our ability to do testing and tracing of contacts. And, frankly, the prospect of bringing students from across the state and across the country to converge on little Monterey County, we faced the prospect of turning the campus into a cluster that would actually single-handedly drive infection rates in our county. We didn't really want to do that.

BERMAN: Professor Ochoa, you brought up testing and a vaccine. So what would change the outcome after the fall? What would allow you to come back in the winter?

OCHOA: Well, that's a good question. And we will remain to see what -- how things develop. We want to see the course of the pandemic. We're concerned about, as our chancellor pointed out in his announcement, about the risk of a second wave happening. And so we will see. Things could get worse, or things could get better. We will remain flexible.

BERMAN: President Coley, I do want to ask about the type of education that your students will receive in the fall. Now, there are some really wonderful online education programs out there, but it's different. It's different than in person education. And what your university has provided is in person education over the generations.

So how do you convince parents and students that what they're getting is the same thing, and, frankly, what they've been paying for?

COLEY: Well, let me just say that, first of all, we are very focused on providing and continuing to provide a quality education. What we understand is that there are different modes in which that education is acquired. And I think it's important that we understand that virtual education is not -- is different. It is -- does not mean that it is less quality. In fact, we have -- we at Cal Poly Pomona, we have what we call a wall of thank yous. And students have been submitting thanks to professors in terms of the way that they have -- have engaged.

And so we recognize that the thing that's important is engaged learning and providing the kind of goals, learning goals, and establishing different ways of achieving those learning goals. And so we're very focused on remaining connected with our students, engaged with them, and at the same time being very clear about what are some of the innovative and creative ways in which the content can be provided.

One of the things I'm struck by is the learning communities that have evolved out of this, students engaging with other students, working on projects together. In fact, students who heretofore did not have that chance because they were commuter students or engaged in other areas of their lives have really been able to take advantage of the technology as a way of continuing the learning, and even outside the classroom.

BERMAN: President Ochoa, what about sports, college sports?

OCHOA: Well, as a matter of fact, the CCA, which is the division within NCAA that involves many of our campuses, not all of them but many of them, made a decision to cancel intercollegiate competition for the fall.

BERMAN: For the fall. So that's a done deal at this point.


BERMAN: And, President Coley, you know, we often -- the rest of the country looked to California to lead in many ways. You're so big, so influential, particularly in education.

Do you think that this might be a sign of what's to come in other states?


COLEY: Well, I think every state, as they are doing and as we've seen just in general, is having to decide how best to protect the health and welfare of the community. And I think what it is doing is allowing us to be creative, staying focused on what matters, which is making sure that people are safe. And yet how do we have continuity of our lives, and of the work that we want to get back to. And so I think there -- this is an opportunity for innovative and creative ways of still achieving the outcomes.

BERMAN: Listen, presidents, thank you so much for the work you're doing. I know these are tough decisions. As one person said yesterday, there's no good decisions or bad decisions, only tough decisions in this case and we appreciate the work that you're doing to educate. Thank you.

COLEY: Thank you.

OCHOA: Thank you.

BERMAN: All right, so how do you keep the nightclub scene alive in the age of social distancing? Well, this. We'll take you to a drive-in disco, next.



CAMEROTA: Globally, there are at least 4.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases now, including some spikes in places that seemed to have licked the problem.

CNN has reporters all around the world to try to bring you the latest developments.



Wuhan, the original epicenter, has ordered city wide testing for 11 million residents to be completed within ten days after new cases emerged for the first time in over a month. Some experts have questioned its necessity, with others highlighting the huge economic costs, logistics nightmare, as well as high rate of false negative results. But the biggest challenge remains to be testing capacity, that's why there is more talk about the city adopting a staggered approach on a district by district basis.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ben Wedeman, in the cemetery of the northern Italian town of Nembro, one of the communities hardest hit by coronavirus. Here you see all of the new graves that have been prepared. The death rate here has jumped by more than a thousand percent in the early months of this year. Now, the situation in Italy is beginning to improve, but the wounds of this pandemic will go on for a very long time.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem, where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in town for a short visit to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his national government partner Benny Gantz. On the agenda, the U.S.' plan for Middle East peace, possible Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank, Iran and, of course, coronavirus. Pompeo's team says this visit was at the invitation of the Israelis.

He is the first foreign dignitary to visit Israel since the coronavirus outbreak began. In a last second change of plans, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, one of the most loudly and openly pro-Israel members of the Trump administration, began experiencing mild respiratory symptoms within the past 24 hours according to the U.S. embassy. He tested negative for coronavirus, but he will not come close to Pompeo out of an abundance of caution.


BERMAN: Our thanks to our reporters all around the world. Terrific reports.

Now, what you are about to see is the height of innovation. Berlin's legendary nightclubs, the inspiration for sprockets and too tight vinyl, they're closed but they're finding ways to adapt.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen takes us to a drive-in disco.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They're honking to the beat instead of stomping their feet at Germany's first drive-in disco. Socially distanced partying with DJs and a massive light show all on the parking lot of the country's biggest nightclub Index.

We wanted to let our hair down and have fun despite coronavirus. It's awesome here, this woman says.

To comply with health guidelines, only two people are allowed in each vehicle. Nightclubs and discos have been shut since the middle of March in Germany. The Index's owner says the car rave is popular but he's still not making a profit.

HOLGER BOESCH, CLUB OWNER, INDEX (through translator): You can't really profit from something like this, he says, but we expect that at some point the contact restrictions will be eased and then more than two people can sit in a car. And, of course, it will start to become financially interesting because at some point perhaps drinks can be served.

PLEITGEN: Most clubs are faring much worse. At the Suess war Gestern club, a staple of Berlin's blossoming pre-corona party scene, all they can do is make sure their music and lighting gear still work. Shutdown for almost two months, they've started a crowd funding campaign to stay alive.

PONY SCHWEDLER, SUESS WAR GESTERN NIGHT CLUB: It's been very, very tough, but we're trying to, yes, stay optimistic, which isn't easy at all, but we're trying our best and we can only hope that this is going to end in a more or less acceptable way.

PLEITGEN: At least some cultural institutions, however, are coming back to life, like Berlin's Natural History Museum. However, only 600 people can come per day due to physical distancing rules, the managing director says.

We're sold out for the first days, he says. Of course, 600 tickets per day is not a lot. It's about a quarter of what we usually have, but we're still happy that people are coming back.

All guests have to wear masks while walking through the exhibits.

PLEITGEN (on camera): Asking guests to wear masks is only part of a larger hygiene concept that the museum has put in place. As you can see, there's arrows on the floor here to make sure that guests walk in a certain direction to just make it easier for folks to keep distance from one another. And then at some exhibits, like this one, you can see that it's taped off to make sure people don't touch it.


PLEITGEN (voice over): Strict hygiene rules are required to allow this and other museums to open up again during the pandemic. While other cultural institutions, like most nightclubs, hope they too will soon be able to get back to their business before it's too late.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.



BERMAN: I want to know why Fred only went to the museum and not the drive-in disco. Is it because he'd have to put his head out of the sunroof to dance there?

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, I think he was there, or at least his cameraman. But I can't tell if I hate the drive-in disco or if I love the drive-in disco. I mean I love hearing the music, but what -- what happens when you see a super cute guy in the car next to you? Then what?

BERMAN: You can still wear the vinyl. I mean, I don't know. I don't know if we need to get into the physics of that on morning television.

CAMEROTA: Well, I'm interested in the physics of that.

BERMAN: During the break.


BERMAN: I'll draw you a diagram.

CAMEROTA: You'll educate me on how to -- how do you dance with other people? OK.

Well, anyway, thanks to Fred for that.

There are so many developments on the pandemic and, of course, the economic crisis.

Here's what else to watch today.


ON SCREEN TEXT: Soon, New York Gov. Cuomo briefing.

3:00 p.m. ET, California Gov. Newsom briefing.

3:30 p.m. ET, Illinois Gov. Pritzker briefing.


CAMEROTA: OK, we have a developing story at this hour. There is a hopeful sign this morning for a Broadway star who has been fighting a life or death battle with coronavirus. We have an update, next.



CAMEROTA: OK, new this morning, the wife of Broadway star Nick Cordero says he has emerged from a coma. Cordero spent more than a month in a medically induced coma because of complications from coronavirus. And during his illness, he lost his right leg. His wife says Nick is responsive and following commands, but, of course, he is still not out of the woods.

Let's bring in CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

So, Sanjay, this is good news. People have been obviously following his case because he had such a horrible version of coronavirus. So what do you see this morning?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, it's a -- it's great news that he's re-emerged. You know, they -- they -- he was in this medically induced coma, so they were able to lift the sedation off and it sounds like he's waking up.

I mean it's a long course. I mean I think, you know, he reminds us that this can be a tough disease. I mean he went in, I think, at the end of March, was on a breathing machine, a ventilator by April 1st, and so, what, 38 days, I think, you know, and went through dialysis, had to be put on something known as Ecmo (ph) for a period of time.

He also developed this blood clotting issue that we've talked about. You know, for some reason, this virus makes your blood more likely to clot in some people. And as a result of that clotting, sometimes it can -- I can impair the blood flow to certain parts of the body. In this case, it sounds like his leg. So, sadly, he needed to have his leg amputated as a result of this. So a tough, tough sort of course for him, obviously.

But, you know, people can re-emerge. We'll see how he does. I'm sure we'll keep tabs on him. See how his lungs are doing. But I know that family was really -- and everybody else, really rooting for him.

BERMAN: Yes, this was really a concern inside the theater community in New York. A really popular guy. And then I think the larger community was looking at it for two reasons, Sanjay, he's 41, right? I mean he's not old.

GUPTA: Right.

BERMAN: He is young, apparently or reasonably healthy, we think.

GUPTA: Healthy, yes.

BERMAN: And then the idea that he needed to have his leg amputated just gets to one of the things you've been talking about so much, the different type of symptoms that can emerge from this.

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, this is what's somewhat still mysterious about this virus. It is a respiratory virus. We know how it spreads from person to person. I think immediately you try and put it in the context of things that you know. Well, this is a virus, it's a coronavirus, it's going to behave like SARS, it's going to behave like MERS or maybe it will even behave like the flu.

One thing we are learning with this novel, you know, new coronavirus, is that it seems to do all these different things. Why would someone develop loss of smell as the first and sometimes only symptom of this? Why do people develop these lesions, sometimes on their feet? Shoblans (ph) as they're called, you know. It doesn't always make a lot of sense. It could be that this virus is affecting the blood, something that, obviously, you know, is going throughout the body.

So we're still learning about this. And, you know, people like Nick and other patients, again, young patients, otherwise healthy seemingly, I think will continue to teach us, you know, unveil some of what this virus is doing.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, let's quickly get to a couple of viewer questions while we have time.


CAMEROTA: This comes from Jodie. She wants to know, if everyone strictly adhered to quarantining and staying at home, how long would it take for the virus to die out?

GUPTA: Yes. So I think that it depends on -- if you're talking about within your home, you know, you sort of think about this as an incubation period of 14 days. So if the virus is not in your home, there's been no introductions of the virus into your home, you could think about it that way.

I think if you're talking about the world at large, I think the way to think about this is that, you know, there's a virus out there that is circulating. It is now part of our lives. What is going to change is that we will hopefully have a vaccine and develop immunity from that vaccine to this.

If we waited for herd immunity, which is something that comes up, meaning just people get infected over time, right now there's some 20,000 people becoming infected every day in the United States. Let's say you made that ten times and a million people roughly were infected every week in the country, it would still take four years roughly to develop herd immunity. That's not a really effective strategy. What we need to do is basically outpace this. You know, continue some

form of physical distancing, you know, especially for vulnerable populations.


And this vaccine, hopefully if Dr. Fauci is correct, you know, by early next year, we should be able to have some light on that vaccine and hopefully get it distributed.

BERMAN: All right, Sanjay, thank you, as always, for answering our questions and the questions from the viewers.

GUPTA: You got it.

BERMAN: Sanjay and Anderson Cooper will join former acting CDC Director Richard Besser, former Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and activist Greta Thunberg for a new CNN global town hall. That's tomorrow night starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

All right, CNN's coronavirus coverage continues next.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.


Just hours after the nation's top infectious disease doctor warns about opening the country too quickly, a key model has now increased the projected death toll.