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Fed Chair Warns U.S. May Need New Stimulus; Thousands Return To Work As U.K. Eases Restrictions; Volunteers Behind COVID-19 Vaccine Trials. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired May 14, 2020 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I was surprised by his reaction, to me it is not an acceptable answer.
COREN (voice-over): The U.S. president clashes with the nation's top infectious disease expert over when to open schools.
Plus the head of the U.S. federal Reserve warning an economic hit without modern precedents as more Americans filed for unemployment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just like the nurses and the doctors on the front line, you know, I can really take some risks myself if it means we can move through this as a nation and a world.
COREN (voice-over): We met medical volunteers doing their part in the race to create the world's first coronavirus vaccine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: New COVID-19 vaccine trials are underway, all based on the hope or expectation that this virus can be countered and eradicated.
But what if it is here for good?
A World Health Organization official floated that possibility Wednesday, warning, without a vaccine, it could take years for the global population to build up immunity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. MICHAEL RYAN, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities. This virus may never go away, HIV has not gone away and I'm not comparing the 2 diseases. I don't think if anyone can predict when the disease will disappear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: This comes as the global count exceeds 4.3 million with nearly 300,000 deaths, that is according to Johns Hopkins University. And as some countries contain their outbreaks, others are trying to fend off flare-ups.
On Wednesday, Lebanon began a 4-day complete lockdown after a spike in cases. South Korea has identified a dozen more infections tied to the Seoul nightclub cluster. More than hundred 30 cases have emerged from that outbreak. U.S. officials are pushing ahead with plans to reopen.
By Sunday, 48 states will have eased some of their restrictions, this comes as the death toll continues to soar, according to Johns Hopkins University, it is now climbed past 84,000. In many states infections are holding steady or going down, at least for now. CNN's Nick Watt has more on the challenges Americans are facing.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The biggest spike in grocery prices since 1974 says the Bureau of Labor, one in four Americans will lose their jobs, says Goldman Sachs. But as states reopen trying to staunch that economic chaos, one models projected death toll for the U.S. more than doubled in just two weeks.
ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: The bottom line is our political leaders have not done enough to get us ready to open up safely. And again, a large chunk of that is about testing and tracing.
WATT (voice-over): In most states, new case counts are steady or falling for now, but rising in Arkansas, South Dakota and Delaware.
JEN KATES, KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION: We're seeing fatigue of staying inside and also some mixed messages. One state is doing one thing and other states doing something else, federal government has provided just very general guidelines. So I think there's also some confusion what is safe.
WATT (voice-over): Today New Jersey announced gatherings of people in cars are now allowed.
GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): If vehicles are closer than six feet apart, then all windows sunroofs are convertible tops must remain closed.
WATT (voice-over): While Washington D.C. reupped its stay home order.
MURIEL BOWSER, MAYOR DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Through Monday, June the eighth and I should note that based on the data, I can revise this order at any time. WATT (voice-over): A new CNN poll shows a 13% rise and those who say they visited friends or family in the past week.
ESTHER CHOO, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: We really did. We took comfort in the fact that our kids were largely safe. And I wonder if some of that is our comfort with relaxing social distancing measures.
WATT (voice-over): But now 15 states are reporting rare cases of severe potentially COVID related reactions in children.
JUAN DUMOIS, PEDIATRIC INFECTIOUS DISEASES PHYSICIAN: Really high fevers, rashes and sometimes drops in blood pressure causing shock.
WATT (voice-over): The CDC planning today to warn physicians to look out for such symptoms.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We have lost three children in New York because of this a 5 year old boy, 7 year old boy and an 18-year-old girl.
WATT (voice-over): And what does he think about schools opening in the fall?
CUOMO: Where are we going to be in September?
I don't know. I don't know where we are going to be in August. I am trying to figure out June.
WATT: Here in L.A. County, the beaches are open again, retailers are open again but just curbside. The mantra across California, is we are making progress but we are going to take it slow -- Nick Watt, CNN, Manhattan Beach.
COREN: Some top American universities are also taking it slow as they grapple over when and how to reopen. Stanford University says it probably won't bring all undergraduate students to campus in the fall. It's leaning towards some kind of hybrid system of in person and remote classes.
However, Harvard Medical School is planning on distance learning for first year students.
The debate over when to reopen schools turned contentious in Washington. The U.S. president took swipes at his top expert on infectious disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci, because he's been calling for caution and warning against jumping the gun.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: He was a little cautious on reopening the economy too soon. Do you share his concerns?
TRUMP: He wants to play all sides of the equation.
QUESTION: What are you suggesting that the advice he's giving is different?
TRUMP: I was surprised by his answer actually, because, you know, it's just, to me, not unacceptable answer specially when it comes to schools.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins picks up the story.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Trump on Wednesday offered his most direct criticism yet of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert. Who, of course, is one of his top health experts during the coronavirus pandemic. Saying that he disagreed with Dr. Fauci after he testified before the Senate the day earlier. And the President saying he found an answer that Fauci gave on opening schools unacceptable.
Now the president said he believed Dr. Fauci was playing all sides of the equation. When he was asked what he meant specifically by that, the President pointed to what Fauci had said about schools. Though he didn't say specifically which comment Fauci had made that it was that he disagreed with so vehemently. We know that Fauci told Senators he believed there would not be a vaccine ready by the time students are returning for the academic year in the fall if they are to be returning. But then he later clarified he does not think those things are tied together, that you have to have a vaccine in order for schools to reopen.
Another comment he made was in response to a question by Senator Rand Paul, one of the President's allies who of course is recovering from coronavirus when he was making the argument for reopening schools because kids have not had as great of an effect from coronavirus as adults have. Dr. Fauci pushed back saying there's a lot of unknowns about the disease. He did not want to say point blank that it was OK for children to go back to school yet because there is so much to be learned including the inflammatory disease that we've seen strike several hundred kids throughout the United States.
All of this comes as we also have new reporting that shows that the President and some of his top aides have questioned the way the CDC and other health organizations are counting the number of coronavirus deaths here in the United States. We're told that basically they think they may be over counting them and they may not be a reliable indicator for making decisions about reopening the country. And that is also a break with Dr. Fauci. Who we saw testify publicly yesterday that he believes the death count was almost certainly higher than what's being reported now -- Kaitlyn Collins, CNN, the White House.
COREN: There is still so much we do not know about COVID-19 but recently discovered that the droplets of someone infected can linger in the air for more than eight minutes. The study found talking loudly for just one minute in a confined space could generate 1,000 droplets. The animation from Purdue University shows how tiny droplets from a single cough can spread through a jet cabin.
There is growing worry about how the virus can affect children and doctors warn we could see more cases of a condition related to COVID- 19. At least 100 children in the U.S. have been infected.
Joining me now to discuss these latest developments is Dr. Raj Kalsi, a board certified emergency medicine physician.
Great to have you with us. You work in the emergency department of your hospital outside of Chicago and as we have been reporting, we have learned what the complexity of the virus every day and how it affects the body.
COREN: From the work that you are doing on the front line, dealing with patients, are you learning new things about this virus all the time?
DR. RAJ KALSI, EMERGENCY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: Absolutely. This virus is extremely bizarre and those doesn't fit any form or factor of any virus that we are traditionally familiar with, like flu, or bacterial infections.
As you are learning about and learning appropriately, there are things, some rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea but the predominant portion of patients have this respiratory illness and the bigger predominant portion of patients have no symptoms whatsoever.
It leads me to believe that perhaps there may be some type of genetic signature that certain patients have that are more predisposed to this illness than others.
COREN: Are you seeing changes or mutations in the virus over the past few months?
KALSI: That's a great question. There is no way for me, as boots on the ground emergency physicians know, if there are mutations, all I see is the same droves of patients coming in with respiratory illnesses, fevers and then 20 percent of my COVID patients who end up having a positive COVID test simply have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.
And I have not yet seen a significant amount of children with the multi system inflammatory disease, thankfully, as I have 3 children of my own.
COREN: Of course and it is extremely alarming when it starts affecting children, considering that we thought initially the start of the pandemic that they were immune. We reported that WHO has warned this virus may become just another virus in our communities and this virus may never go away, I guess, in the same way as HIV is still in the community.
What does that scenario look like to you?
KALSI: For instance we have, four coronaviruses we have already known about for decades and these are very low virulence in terms of how intense they are. They cause the common cold, runny nose, sore throat, a dry cough for a day or 2. Sometimes a fever.
The 2 more severe ones are MERS and SARS-1, which we are very familiar with in the past decade. MERS and SARS-1 have been eradicated for all intents and purposes. The other four are persisted and they are cyclic, seasonal, like influenza.
This new SARS-2, COVID-19, the illness it causes, it's either going to be completely eradicated or it's going to be part of our vernacular every season and if it's part of our disease processes that we have test for, it is going to change the world forever.
COREN: We are just going to have to learn to live with it?
KALSI: We are going to learn with to live with it, learn to mitigate it, so I am hoping that science, with all of the world focusing on one problem right now, all of the best and most intelligent minds in science focusing on one problem, which is the novel coronavirus, I hope we find a vaccine and a way to mitigate patients from going into this life-threatening cytokine storm that is causing the respiratory illness, subsequently causing people to go on ventilators and subsequently causing some people to die from that.
COREN: Doctor, there's been a lot of research and discussion on the percentage of the population that has been exposed to the virus thus far. A WHO official says that the number of people globally who have been infected is relatively low.
What does that mean for the months ahead?
KALSI: It means that there is a lot more of the population that needs to be infected. The concept of herd immunity means that every single person on the planet, the 6 million to 7 billion people on the planet, need to be infected. In the U.S., 330 million to 390 million people need to be infected, which means that we are going to see a lot more deaths. No doubt. No doubt whatsoever.
COREN: Dr. Raj Kalsi, always great to get your perspective. Thank you for your work and thank you for joining us today.
KALSI: Thank you.
COREN: A preliminary study from New York University says virus testing kits praised by President Trump and used by the White House frequently give the wrong results. The university says the rate of false negatives make Abbott's 15-minute ID NOW test unacceptable in their clinics.
The drugmaker insists its test has a high success rate and other studies contradict the New York study. Speaking to CNN's Chris Cuomo, Dr. Sanjay Gupta says even a small rate of wrong results could be dangerous.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The failure rate was obviously very concerning, you know?
Abbott has commented on this, saying they are looking into it. And maybe the tests were not being performed correctly but this is concerning, Chris. We have been doing some reporting on Abbott for some time, as you have mentioned before the commercial break. This was obviously a significant sort of test, because it could give results quickly.
If you're waiting days for test results and end up having the virus and you don't know it, you could be out there spreading. It's been the concern, people needs results quickly. This could give one 15 minutes.
Before the study, which still needs to be peer reviewed. Abbott needs to look into this, more, there were studies suggesting it could have the failure rate, a false negative rate, I should say, of 15 percent to 25 percent. Again, I think people know what that means.
But Chris, if 100 people have this infection and they all get the test, if you have a false negative rate of 15 percent, that means 15 of those people would be told that you don't have the virus, they actually do.
If you are in a hospital and you get put into a COVID-19 negative part of the hospital where there is no COVID spreading, now you spread it. That creates a cluster in a hospital. The same thing could happen in a nursing home or, you know, we are talking about states opening up.
And people out there, out and about, potentially spreading. This is a big concern, especially given people can spread this without symptoms. They have no other barometer of which to measure other than the result of this test. If it's wrong, that's a problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Be sure to tune in for our next global town hall on the coronavirus hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper. Among the special guests, climate activist Greta Thunberg. That's Thursday 8 pm in New York, 8 am Friday in Hong Kong, only on CNN.
A stark warning from the chairman of the U.S. Fed. Coming up what Jerome Powell says is needed to rescue the economy.
COREN: Welcome back.
The pandemic has hit the island of Sicily hard leaving its beaches, hotels and restaurants and historic sites empty.
COREN: And it's what we're seeing in areas that survive on tourism all over the world and business owners call on the government to open up Italy's border so that they can avoid bankruptcy.
The European Commission is urging unrestricted free movement but that might change if there is another major wave of infections. The European Commission has a plan to get planes back in the air for summer travel. It unveiled sweeping guidelines for social distancing, contact tracing across borders and travel bubbles between countries where infection rates are low.
But the E.U.'s blueprint to save the summer season might not help. The International Air Transport Association doesn't expect the industry to return to 2019 levels until 2023. Meanwhile, TUI, the biggest travel operator, warns it could layoff 8,000 employees. Ultimately, the E.U. Transport Commission has a message, travel at your own risk.
CNN's Nic Robertson has more on this.
Travel at your own risk.
How is this going to work in Europe?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: In a phased and coordinated way, that's what the E.U. is calling for. But even when Brussels and the politicians in Brussels say that, it really belies some of the very difficult problems that exist.
The Baltic countries have been given as an example of a bubble, where travel can be organized at a local level between those countries and they can relax border controls because they have similar sort of outbreaks of the virus in their countries.
Therefore, it can be deemed that, you know, you are not going to take a highly infected group of people and then move them to a country that has a low rate of infection. There are similar rates of infection so there are cases like that where it can happen.
But I went to visit a town that is divided between Holland, Netherlands and Belgium and, here, both those countries experienced different intensities of the pandemic and the responses have been different and that creates differences.
And the appeals have been made to the European Union to help with those differences but no one has a solution for it. Here's what we found.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Once seamless borders now controlled. Europe's unity facing new strains and nowhere starker than the border enclave town of Baarle.
ROBERTSON (on camera): This is Belgium over here and The Netherlands over here -- B and L. And the border crisscrosses this town right through the middle of the road, creating a dizzying array of divisions the coronavirus lockdown is driving to previously unseen proportions.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Belgium's lockdown tougher than the Dutch.
ROBERTSON (on camera): And here, the border runs right into the store. I'm going in.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Artist Sylvia Reijbroek loves her special border status but not the uneven lockdowns. Her shop, despite the obvious division, is technically Belgian.
SYLVIA REIJBROEK, STORE OWNER: Now it's a big problem because the law said you can't open, only for the Belgian people.
ROBERTSON (on camera): So you can only sell to Belgian people --
ROBERTSON (on camera): -- because you're in Belgium?
REIJBROEK: It's a really strange rule to ask people where are you from. So I have to boycott my customers? Who's paying my bills?
ROBERTSON (voice-over): In the weekly market on the Dutch side, the cheese seller is hurting, too.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Normally, you have a lot of people from Belgium coming here to this market to buy your cheese.
GERTJAN VAN DER HEIJDEN, CHEESE SELLER: Yes, at least 20 to 30 percent and now we don't see Belgians.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Why not?
VAN DER HEIJDEN: The border line is closed, so --
MAYOR MARJON DE HOON-VEELENTURG, BAARLE-NASSAU, NETHERLANDS: We're the most peculiar municipality in Belgium and The Netherlands.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Caught in the middle, the towns twin mayors --
MAYOR FRANS DE BONT, BAARLE-HERTOG, BELGIUM: People are shocked now, yes -- personal but also the countries. I think they are shocked together.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): -- both in lockstep about who is suffering most --
BONT: In Belgium, it was stronger. The shops were closed. The playground for the children, they were closed. They closed the border over there. ROBERTSON (voice-over): -- and both in agreement it's not right.
HOON-VEELENTURG: We're trying to make them listen to us.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): She explains they've pleaded with their own national governments and the E.U. to fix the imbalance now and make sure it can't happen again. For some here, the fix can't come soon enough.
JULIEN LEEMANS, HOUSE BISECTED BY BORDER: Ninety percent of the house is Dutch. Ten percent, only the toilet.
ROBERTSON (on camera): It's Belgium.
LEEMANS: Yes, it's Belgium.
ROBERTSON (on camera): So on coronavirus lockdown, are you doing Dutch or are you doing Belgian?
LEEMANS: Official, Belgium.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Because his front door is in Belgium.
LEEMANS: As you know, the difference from the count (ph) is about the corona. Belgium, Dutch, Germany, England --
ROBERTSON (on camera): All different.
LEEMANS: -- all different.
ROBERTSON (on camera): So is it a union anymore?
LEEMANS: I believe not a union.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Experience has taught the townspeople a lot. When Europe is well so are their lives. Now in its worst crisis since World War II, the evidence in Baarle shows how quickly a fundamental of the European project, openness, can be undone.
ROBERTSON: If you are in that town today, as a tourist, you would be able to move between both sides. But if you are a Belgian citizen you still having restrictions about using the Dutch side and vice versa.
These are the complications that exist. And that control we saw on the main highway that never would have existed before, if you were a Belgian or a Dutch person trying to drive to Belgium, let's say, to buy cheap fuel, the police would turn around because the Belgians don't want people coming across the border that might infect their population.
However, one of the sort of E.U. components that sort of bring this travel back and opening up your supporters again, was a truck lane. And you can see it at the checkpoints, the trucks are able to go through because transport of goods across Europe, the E.U. is prioritizing that and they are not slowing them down and controlling them as much, Anna.
COREN: It will be a lot of teething problems as they try to navigate this new reality. Nic Robertson joining us from London, many thanks.
Germany is closed to a lot of visitors but Angela Merkel wants to end border controls in the Schengen area within weeks, if it's safe to do so. Germany has been praised for keeping its death rate relatively low and Ms. Merkel is urging her citizens not to jeopardize what they have achieved so far, as they tried to reopen the country. Her message comes as the infection rate is rising there again
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): If the infection process allows it, I want to stress that, from June the 15th, border controls in the Schengen area can be completely eliminated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Officials in Wuhan, China, the city of 11 million people, have reportedly started testing all citizens in a renewed effort to stop the spread of the virus. The state run global times report says people who are classified as high risk will be tested first.
Priority for testing will be given to key groups and other communities with dense and fluid populations. Officials announced the measure after new infections emerged in recent days. The virus is believed to have originated in that city.
In South Korea, 12 new positive cases are being connected to that cluster linked to Seoul's nightclub district that makes more than 130 cases so far, sparking fears of a second wave and prompting more than 35,000 tests of those who may have been exposed to the virus. That cluster began with one man who tested positive almost a week after going to a number of clubs.
Still to come, the coronavirus batters the U.S. labor market with millions more Americans filing for unemployment. The staggering details just ahead.
Plus, while thousands of people return to work in England, there is still confusion on how the country is planning to reopen overall. We will go live to London next.
COREN: The U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman says the hit to the economy is "without modern precedent." Jerome Powell warned Congress and the White House that had better increased financial support or the damage could be permanent. Well, President Trump has said the Democrats $3 trillion stimulus
package is dead on arrival. Well, Powell says the country is facing waves of bankruptcies and long-term unemployment without additional rescue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEROME POWEL, CHAIRMAN, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE: Among people who are working in February, almost 40 percent of those in households making less than $40,000 a year had lost a job in March. This reversal of economic fortune has caused a level of pain that is hard to capture in words as lives are upended amid great uncertainty about the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: Wall Street tumbled for a second day in response to Powell's grim forecast. Asian markets followed Thursday. Our John Defterios joins us now from Abu Dhabi with much more on this. John, as we talked yesterday about that growing disconnect between the stock market performance and the grim outlook for the American economy, it would seem that the Federal Reserve chief is refocusing investor's attention on the risks again.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, being very blunt, Anna. That's a good question you're asking there, and it's not an easy time to be a long-term investor. And I think there's two major themes that pop out today for me, and that is the WHO's outlook here that we could be living with the virus for years because that's hard to restore confidence in manufacturing and tourism. It's very difficult for the retail sector at the same time.
And it's never good that we have the Federal Reserve Board Chairman, the central bank chief with independence disagreeing perhaps with the President of the United States and the Treasury Secretary, I would not classify this as deep divide, though. However, Jay Powell was very blunt suggesting about the unemployment hitting those who can least afford it.
It was great with his candor to suggest so. And then he said that the toolbox for the Federal Reserve is not going to remain open for years to come. They have limits of what they can do. They're lender not a spender, and saying that he doesn't like negative interest rates. This is where he disagrees with the Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin. He says these low-interest rates are actually good because they can restructure their long-term debt going forward. Let's listen to Mnuchin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY, UNITED STATES: I can tell you, as the largest borrower in the world, I'm going to take advantage of very low rates, zero rates, cheap long term rates, and we're refinancing a lot of debt. So one of the reasons we feel comfortable with this deficit is we can lock in for 10, 20, 30 years, a lot of money at very, very low-interest rates.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: Very low-interest rates indeed, but don't say that to the retirees or the baby boomers are about to retire because that hurts their savings rate in retirement when they try to build up a nest egg that is stable. And that debt, Anna, has been growing. It's $25 trillion of overall government debt. The GDP of the United States is 20 trillion. So you get the message here, way above by 120 percent of GDP.
And a third of that debt actually, a little bit more is held by foreign governments, and China is one of the top holders of that debt.
COREN: John, as we know, the U.S. unemployment rate is already exceptionally high. Goldman Sachs predicting it could soar to 25 percent. What are we expecting from the jobless claims report that will come out later today?
DEFTERIOS: Well, it is, if you will, heading lower, so it's like a slide, graduate slide lower. We peaked out of the jobless claims at 6.9 million at the end of March. That was just three weeks ago. The expectation for today is 22.5 million, with the overall number now surging since COVID to 36 million, so it is brighter that it's slightly lower.
But as you suggested here, Goldman Sachs is thinking that the unemployment rate is going to go to 25 percent. You could see up to 50 million people filing for claims going forward. And then the big worry that Jay Powell was expressing yesterday is how do these people get rehired in the future? How many cannot find jobs because the new normal won't need as many workers?
We often talk about the flexibility of the U.S. workforce. This is what it serves at the detriment of those who can least afford it because they may not get rehired at all and they're low on savings and the health benefits, as you know, extremely expensive in the United States.
COREN: Yes, it's a frightening prospect. John Defterios, thank you for putting it all into context with us. Good to see you. Thank you. Well, the economic news isn't any better for the U.K. Britain's economy shrank by a record at 5.8 percent in March. Bear in mind, the full lockdown didn't begin until March 23rd, which means numbers for April and May will likely be even worse.
But the economy is showing you signs of life as thousands of people get back to work. Some were saying filling trains and buses in London on Wednesday. This week, the Prime Minister encouraged people to return to work if they cannot do so from home. But the Prime Minister is again facing criticism for how he's handled the reopening with some saying his plans are vague and confusing.
Well, CNN's Nina dos Santos joins us now from London. Nina, it would appear that many Brits are keen to get back to work despite all the uncertainty. NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: They're keen and they're also
afraid of losing their jobs, quite frankly, Anna. And that was the situation that the government was presented with yesterday, Wednesday, when it was the first day that people were encouraged to go back to works to the types of jobs that they can't do from home say, you know, I'm coming to you from my study but a lot of construction workers, manufacturing workers, and other workers as well who just really concerned that they have to start showing face time here after seven weeks-worth of lockdown.
The government has been accused of being chaotic and lacking in joined up thinking in its response. It started out on Sunday with a broadcast by Boris Johnson that left many people thinking that on Monday morning, they could just pop it back into the office. Wrong. They had to wait until Wednesday. And then there was the problem of public transport not being available because it's been so strictly curtailed especially here in the British capital over the last few weeks.
DOS SANTOS: London's usually bustling King's Cross Station looked more like a ghost town. A few commuters outnumbered by railway staff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The trains are totally empty and everything's fine.
GARY TUNSTALL, CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGER: It's really quiet. Normally, London is just absolutely here even 24/7 (INAUDIBLE).
DOS SANTOS: Elsewhere in the city, there were more signs of life. Traffic clogging roads and buses packed as parts of the U.K. begin to tentatively ease coronavirus restrictions.
From Wednesday, those who can't do their job from home like construction workers, manufacturers, even garden center staff are being allowed to return avoiding public transport when possible.
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: I don't want to see crowding on a mass transit, public transport in our capital or anywhere else.
DOS SANTOS: It's a mixed signal for many low paid Londoners who have no other way to get around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's a risky strategy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. This thing is ridiculous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone is really excited to go out and it kind of doesn't help because no one is really following any rules for even the second phase now.
DOS SANTOS: Well, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists that common sense will prevail. His Sunday address appears to be Britons even more confused than they had been before.
KEIR STARMER, LEADER, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY: After the confusion of the last few days, gaining public confidence in them is crucial, crucial. The prime minister says his decisions were, and I quote, driven by the science, the data, and public health. So to give the public confidence in the decisions, can the Prime Minister commit to publishing the scientific advice that the decisions were based on.
JOHNSON: Your own sage advice is published in due course. I think people can see exactly what we're trying to do as a country and they can see that everybody is still required to obey the social distancing laws.
DOS SANTOS: Many aspects of the lockdown remain in place. And even the small relaxation could be revoked if infections spike again.
JOHNSON: What we are doing is entirely conditional and provisional. The U.K. has made a huge amount of progress. The people of this country have worked incredibly hard to get this all done. We cannot now go back to square one.
DOS SANTOS: Even within the U.K., there's no consensus on how exactly to get back to business. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland with their own public health powers are continuing to tell their residents to stay home, a message that's more clear cut than England's advice to stay alert.
DOS SANTOS: Well, Anna, that's the problem. Boris Johnson doesn't have full jurisdiction of all four corners of the U.K. on certain matters, like for instance, public health. He also isn't able to ramp up capacity on the London subway system, and so on and so forth, very quickly to accommodate all of these people who are desperate to get back to work and whose employers are desperate for them to get back to work as well.
In the meantime, we've learned over the last couple of days from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the UK's finance minister de-facto, if you like, that the U.K. is probably already in the grips of a very, very severe recession. And all the while, the death toll still is climbing. This is a country that's had more than 33,000 deaths on coronavirus, more than 427 just yesterday alone.
And when it comes to that testing capacity that's been such a national embarrassment for the government, again, we had confirmation yesterday that they are below the self-imposed target of 100,000, that it was supposed to reach at the end of April. Remember, Boris Johnson has promised to double that pretty soon. It's looking unlikely, Anna.
COREN: Yes. The British government really needs to get its act together. Nina dos Santos, lovely to see you. Thank you. For 11 consecutive days, Russia has reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases. With more than 242,000 confirmed infections nationwide, there now comes another setback. The government has suspended the use of some Russian-made ventilators blamed for two hospital fires, which killed at least six COVID-19 patients. The same models were sent to the U.S. early last month but were never used and have been returned.
Brazil's President has repeatedly dismissed the coronavirus as a little flu. Well, now, several weeks on, the country is marking its highest daily increase in cases with 11,000 reported on Wednesday. CNN's Matt Rivers has more.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brazil continues to set records that no country would want to set. It was on Tuesday that Brazil reported its highest day today death toll increase so far reporting 881 deaths as a result of this outbreak.
And it was on Wednesday that the country reported nearly 11,400 new cases of this virus. Those new cases mean that Brazil now has the sixth most confirmed cases out of any country in the world. And over the coming days, it is likely that Brazil will keep climbing up that list that no country wants to be on.
Meanwhile, the president of that country, Jair Bolsonaro continues to express his grave concern over the economic future of Brazil. He has consistently said that it could be facing a horrific recession in the months and years to come. And so, he's been laser-focused on trying to ease quarantine measures and open the economy back up.
One of his latest moves is to issue a presidential decree that would call for the reopening of certain businesses like gyms and beauty salons. But some governors in different states around Brazil have already said that they will ignore that presidential order.
Meanwhile, the country's former health minister who was fired in mid- April after disagreeing with President Bolsonaro and how he wanted to lift a lot of the quarantine measures that have been put in place around the country, that health minister spoke to CNN's Christiane Amanpour. Here's a little bit of what he had to say about that disagreement.
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LUIZ HENRIQUE MANDETTA, HEALTH MINISTER, BRAZIL: We were clear in opposite sides. So once thess differences were public, I think that -- I mean, he did what he decided that he should do. But history will tell who was right and who was wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERS: And clearly, the health minister was right when he was saying back in March and April that of quarantine measures were lifted, that the number of deaths and cases would rise. And that's what we're seeing right now. But that has not dissuaded the Brazilian President from saying the economic threat from this outbreak is equal to if not worse than what we're seeing this outbreak due to people's health. Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.
(END VIDEOTAPE) COREN: We have this use just in from Afghanistan. A car bomb has exploded near a Defense Ministry facility near Gardez killing at least five people and wounding 19 others. It comes hours after the Afghan President visited a hospital in Kabul where 15 people died in another attack.
Ashraf Ghani toured the hospital's maternity ward and send condolences to the victims' families. Officials say several newborns mothers and nurses were among those killed in Tuesday's massacre. Ghani blames the Taliban and other insurgent groups. The Taliban denies involvement.
Putting themselves in harm's way.
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ABIE ROHRIG, VOLUNTEER, COVID VACCINE TRIAL: Just like the nurses and the doctors on the front line, you know, I'm willing to take some risks myself if it means that we can move through this as a nation and as a world.
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COREN: Coming up, we'll meet some of the brave volunteers taking part in human trials of potential coronavirus vaccines.
COREN: Around the world, there are more than 100 coronavirus vaccines currently in development. And how much promise do they show? Well, according to the World Health Organization, at least eight have been approved for testing on humans after successful animal trials. Well, those eight vaccine trials are now relying on brave men and women to take part CNN's Drew Griffin has been meeting some of the volunteers.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He donated a kidney last summer. Now Abie Rohrig is ready to medically volunteer again, this time as a human guinea pig in a vaccine trial designed to infect volunteers with the virus the world has never known.
ROHRIG: Just like the nurses and the doctors on the front line, you know, I'm willing to take some risks to myself if it means that we can move through this as a nation and as a world.
GRIFFIN: He's 20 years old, lives in New York, has seen what the pandemic can do and has signed up online to be a volunteer in a potential COVID-19 human challenge vaccine trial. Unlike other vaccine trials, in a challenge trial, a group of volunteers would first be injected with a potential vaccine and a second control group would be injected with a placebo.
After allowing sufficient time for the volunteers who got the vaccine to hopefully build up immunities, it's all challenged. All the volunteers, those with and those without the vaccine candidate are intentionally contaminated with coronavirus. Risky, potentially even deadly. Yes, all of that. But it also might be a quicker path to an actual vaccine for the rest of us.
This is designed to get some people sick.
MARC LIPSITCH, EPIDEMIOLOGIST HARVARD T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: That's right intention is to make some people at least infected.
GRIFFIN: Mark Lipsitch, Harvard Epidemiologist is one of the scientists whose idea of using a challenge vaccine for COVID-19 is now gaining interest from the World Health Organization.
LIPSITCH: This could save months off the time required to evaluate a vaccine. The goal is to do the fastest, responsible, and scientifically valid way of evaluating the vaccine.
GRIFFIN: Multiple vaccines could be tried at the same time. Controls put in place for proper medical care for all the volunteers. And by selecting only young healthy adults, Lipsitch says, the chances of someone dying is extremely low.
LIPSITCH: But it is not zero. And that's why this is an altruistic act to volunteer for this.
GRIFFIN: It's not just the risk, it is the unknown risk, says Professor Robert Reed at the University of Southampton in the U.K. He's in favor of the idea but insists there would need to be full disclosure.
ROBERT CHARLES READ, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON: This case is different. We're not able to quantify the risk to the volunteer. And when we take informed consent from them, well, we will have to say to them, that we cannot say exactly what is going to happen to them.
GRIFFIN: You're going to be infected with something for which there is no treatment for at this time.
GRIFFIN: Does that give you pause?
ROHRIG: It certainly gives me pause. And I don't want to be naive or arrogant. And I don't want to hide myself from the fact that there is a serious not at all trivial risk to me doing this.
GRIFFIN: Despite the risks 16,000 people from more than 100 countries have already signed an online form saying they're interested in becoming volunteers. That includes U.S. Army veteran, businessman, husband, and father of four John Gentle of Alabama.
JOHN GENTLE, VOLUNTEER, COVID VACCINE TRIAL: Yes, I'm putting more people directly related to me at a greater risk if something were to go wrong, but I feel like the risk is low.
GRIFFIN: So far, the challenge vaccine trial is hypothetical, but john gentle, Abie Rohrig, and 16,000 others say they are ready if needed to take the risk if it means they can be part of ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
COREN: Well, after being indoors since early April, kids are finally free to go outside in Turkey. And as you can imagine, there's plenty of pent up energy. Those details ahead.
COREN: After being cooped up at home since early April, kids in Turkey are now allowed to venture outside. CNN's Arwa Damon joined one of them for a very exciting playdate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One, two, three, go.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the first time that these kids are being allowed out of the house since early April. It's all part of Turkey trying to ease up on restrictions. And you can just see, I mean, they've had so much pent up energy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can go really fast.
DAMON: This is Sue, not a random piled off the street. She's actually Gul, our senior producer's daughter. It's her first day out and what, like two months?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
DAMON: How does it feel being out, buddy?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It feels pretty cool.
DAMON: It feels pretty cool?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
GUL TUYSUZ, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: You're going really fast.
DAMON: You can do that? I can't do that.
TUYSUZ: One of the hardest things that I was getting was about not being able to go to the park because she's got a lot of friends in the park, and explaining that to her was pretty tough. And then obviously being cooped up in a small city house.
Sue, don't get too close to other people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This hurts.
TUYSUZ: What hurts?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My face.
TUYSUZ: Your mask? Here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TUYSUZ: OK, well, you can't touch it though, OK. If we put some hand sanitizer on your hands, rub them really well, and then really, really rub them, OK. Now that your hands are a little bit clean, you can touch but not too much, OK? Just a little bit. There you go.
Well, the mask was because she started seeing us wear the masks, she's actually quite into wearing it.
DAMON: Do you feel like she's been psychologically impacted by this or she kind of OK.
TUYSUZ: I think she's having a wonderful time. This is -- no, no, it's true because she's got mom and dad at home. But seeing her adopt was one of the -- I guess it was one of the toughest things for me because it was so quick for her to understand that when mommy or daddy walks in through the door, you're not allowed to hug or kiss them anymore.
We're in Turkey. I'm Turkish. Culturally, it's extremely important, you know, to hello, hug. And to see her go from doing that, in that rush and run and hug, to being very aware of the fact that nobody gets touched until they get in the bathroom and wash their hands has been tough for me. But for her, she seems to be handling it fine.
DAMON: This is where it actually starts to get really tricky. Can people, as restrictions or easing, still continue to adhere to the coronavirus guidelines of social distancing, mask wearing, and handwashing. Turkey right now is slowly putting its own population to the test. Arwa Damon, CNN Istanbul.
COREN: And finally, after weeks of home confinement, some people in New Zealand just want a decent haircut. Well, customers lined up outside of barbershop in Auckland at midnight Thursday. Well, that's when certain businesses were officially allowed to reopen.
New Zealand has been among the most aggressive in trying to contain the virus and has seen a sharp decline in new cases over the past month. These people obviously desperately needed a haircut. Well, thanks so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Anna Coren. The news continues with the lovely Rosemary Church after the break.
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