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Rationing Virus Treatment; Pandemic Could Change Workplace; Storm Brews off Florida Coast; Update of States Opening in the U.S.; MLB's Return to Play Proposal. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired May 14, 2020 - 06:30   ET



DR. ANNIE LUETKEMEYER, INFECTIOUS DISEASES SPECIALIST AT ZUCKERBERG SAN FRANCISCO GENERAL HOSPITAL: Understand that some really difficult decisions are going to have to be made.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): And not just in San Francisco. In Texas, for example, they have nearly 1,700 coronavirus patients in the hospital, but the state was allocated only enough Remdesivir for about 155 patients.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hasn't explained how they decided how much Remdesivir to send to each state or why some places got it before others. And that spurred this letter Wednesday from two members of Congress asking for an explanation.

REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D-TX): I'm concerned that we're not getting this drug that's the first ray of hope in treating coronavirus to the right places at the right time.

COHEN: He's asking for transparency in how the federal government is rationing the limited supply of the only drug known to help patients with Covid-19.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So, Elizabeth, what does the new study say about these rapid response coronavirus tests that the White House is using?

COHEN: So, Alisyn, what this study from NYU researchers in New York City found is that the Abbott test missed about half of all positive cases. In other words, half the time it was saying that something was negative when, in fact, it was positive.

Now, there have been other studies that have also shown that this Abbott test is missing positives. Abbott, for their part, says that the methodology was poorly done in the NYU study and they say other studies do show that the test works well.

But certainly I've spoken with infectious disease experts who say the White House should really consider using another test. This one is very fast, but they said you sacrifice accuracy when you go for speed. CAMEROTA: OK, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you very much for all of those


Meanwhile, Twitter is now telling its employees that they can work from home forever. Will this become a reality at other companies? More on how the pandemic could change the workplace as we know it.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, millions of Americans are waking up and logging into work from home. Twitter announced this week that it's allowing employees to work from home forever. As "The New York Times" lays it out, quote, driven by safety or financial considerations or both, many companies, big and small, are rethinking the future of work.

Joining me now is Seth Harris. He's the former acting labor secretary under President Obama.

Seth, it's great to have you with us.

There are really two separate issues here, how can we go back to work safely now and what does work look like after this and forever? What do you make of the suggestion that maybe when this is all over going to the office, a physical office, might just go away?

SETH HARRIS, FORMER ACTING LABOR SECRETARY UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think it's very likely that we're going to see more remote work in the future. We've actually, during this crisis, doubled the number of people who have worked from home at least once and the number of employers who are offering remote work has increased very dramatically.

But we've also found some limitations in remote work that I think are going to influence employers' behavior. It used to be they didn't want to allow remote work because they didn't feel they could successfully supervise people who were at home. They weren't sure that remote work involved work. But I think they've overcome that barrier now, but they worry about some of the non-meeting interventions -- or interactions that are very important in the workplace, the hallway conversation, walking into a colleague's office and having a conversation. So I think that is going to cause them to still have people come into the office, but I think it's more likely that we see hybrid schedules where people work from home one or two days a week, maybe more, and then they come into the office for common days where everybody can be around and interact with one another.

BERMAN: You know, there's a quote from the CEO of Morgan Stanley, James Gorman, who said, quote, we've proven we can operate with no footprint. Can I see a future where part of every week, certainly part of every month, a lot of our employees will be at home? Absolutely.

Look, my experience in America, a capitalist nation, is that if companies think they can save money by doing something, they're going to do it. So what are the savings that might be had for companies?

HARRIS: Well, the savings are substantial. If you think about real estate in New York City, my hometown, that's pretty expensive per square foot. So if companies are able to downsize, that's going to solve two problems. One is a cost problem. The other is the return to work problem after this pandemic. In order to continue social distancing in the workplace, it's going to be a lot easier for employers if they could have fewer employees around, right? You can social distance more easily with 50 employees than with 100 or 200 employees. So that's why these hybrid schedules, I think, are more likely.

But I think that folks are not going to give up their offices in the prestige city locations that they've got right now, like New York City. I think the financial services sector is still going to have a footprint, some footprint, in those prestige locations. It's a way to attract talented employees. It's important to their image. It's important to the way they do business with other companies in the city. So I think they will remain.

We went through this discussion, by the way, after 9/11, and folks talked about leaving and then they didn't. But I think that downsizing is entirely possible and a new way of work I think is highly likely.

BERMAN: You're absolutely right, we did go through a very similar discussion after September 11th. I distinctly remember people wondering, would New York City never reopen, would these offices move out to the suburbs?

This is a little different though in that they're not suggesting the offices move out to the suburbs, they're just suggesting they disappear completely. And one of the ways that New York, of course, and other cities got these offices to stay was with huge tax incentives. I'm not sure that that's an option this time. I mean these cities could really suffer if some of these companies leave.

HARRIS: No, that's exactly right. I think that there is some risk to urban centers. But, again, after 9/11, when they talked about moving out of town or even reducing their footprint, what happened was cities became more important in our national economic life, not less important.


You know there are limits to remote work. And I think we're all experiencing this right now. There's a very important social component to the workplace. You know, it's a place not only where we spend a lot of time but where we make a lot of friends, some of us meet our romantic relationships in the workplace, hopefully consistent with workplace rules. It's also how we interact with one another, learn things. It's a big part of our working day.

Working from home is a more isolating experience, it's a less engaging experience. So I think employers are going to think twice before they go to zero footprint, but I think downsizing is likely. BERMAN: Look, Alisyn won't talk to me in the hallways anyway, even

when the office is open, so I'm not sure there's much of a difference for me.

I do want to ask about small businesses because the National Restaurant Association put out a study which showed that 100,000 small businesses they're expecting to close permanently, and that may be on the low end here.

How close are we, do you see us being, to a cliff right now in terms of these small businesses maybe never coming back?

HARRIS: Right. Well, I -- I don't think we've gone off the cliff yet, John, but I think we can see it from here. That number, 100,000 businesses closing for good is going to continue to rise along with our infection rate and our fatality rate. That is because, you know, small businesses largely operate like families, paycheck to paycheck. They don't have large reserves of capital. So they've now gone two months without revenue, some of them, and they just are not going to be able to survive that. Some will. You know, about 4.2 million businesses got a Paycheck Protection Program loans. They will likely be able to survive. Or some got commercial loans. Some had a reserve of money. Some were able to adjust their business models. Think of a sit-down restaurant that became a take-out restaurant.

But a very large number of small businesses in our country are at risk now and that is going to be the difference between a very long, painful recovery and a quick recovery, whether or not those businesses survive.

BERMAN: Seth Harris, it's always great to have you on. Thanks so much for being with us.

HARRIS: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: There is new trouble in the tropics. Forecasters watching this disturbance off the Florida coast. Chad Myers joins us next.



CAMEROTA: A potential tropical depression is brewing off the Florida coast and it could become the first storm of the hurricane season, which doesn't officially begin until June.

CNN meteorologist Chad Myers is tracking it.

I guess they did not get the calendar memo.


CAMEROTA: Hmm. Chad, can you hear me now?

MYERS: You know what, Alisyn, we've had hurricanes now, or at least tropical storms, before June 1st for the past five years. So we may have to adjust tropical storm starting season here. Alex, Arlene, Ana, Bonnie, Andrea and also Alberto all before June 1st. So we'll have to see if this turns into Arthur.

This weather is brought to you by Boost, the nutrition you need, the taste you deserve.

So here it is. It's in the Florida Keys right now. It isn't a storm, but it is a rainmaker and it's going to run right over the Keys and into the Bahamas.

Now, it isn't going to be a hurricane. It's going to be a tropical system. We're going to see this rain move up the East Coast, make big waves along the East Coast. Rip currents for sure here along the East Coast over the weekend. We're going to have to be very, very careful with this. A lot of rainfall coming.

Something else to think about. Right here by Freeport and Nassau, there are at least 50 cruise ships parked out there with crews still on those ships. They are going to have a rough little tumble, too. Winds will only be 35 or 40, but an awful lot of rainfall coming down. So this is going to be an interesting day.

Across parts of the Midwest, we also are going to see some severe weather. Also the chance maybe even of a tornado or two. More likely, though, some wind damage and some hail.

Guys, back to you.

BERMAN: All right, Chad, thank you very much for that.

So, this morning, we're seeing a national patchwork of how states are easing restrictions. In New Orleans, you'll have to turn over your contact information if you decide to dine out. And in California, you can go to the beach, but only to exercise.

We have it all covered for you from our reporters around the country.



The area most impacted by Covid-19 in Florida is scheduled to reopen next week, pending approval from the governor. Miami-Dade County announced plans to reopen non-essential businesses on Monday, May 18th with stringent rules. The full list of businesses may include retail stores, nail salons and barber shops. And unlike the rest of Florida, where restaurants are open at 25 percent capacity, Miami-Dade would like to up that to 50 percent. If Miami-Dade reopens Monday, city of Miami Beach officials would like to reopen retail stars, barber shops and hair salons with restrictions starting Wednesday.


The city of New Orleans will begin a phased reopening of the city beginning on Saturday at 6:00 a.m. It will be focusing on contact tracing as an important tool against the coronavirus, requiring all restaurants with table service to collect the names and phone numbers of every customer entering their establishment. And the data will have to be kept on file for 21 days.

Now, Mayor LaToya Cantrell made this announcement on a live radio town hall Wednesday. She said that the city has been seeing a downward trend of Covid-19 cases for more than 21 days.


Among some of the business that will be allowed to reopen are retail stores, churches, hair and nail salons and gyms.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Nick Watt in Manhattan Beach, California.

And the beaches are open across L.A. County, but exercise only and masks are mandatory. Also in L.A. County, all retail is now open, but its curbside pickup and it doesn't apply if you're inside in a mall.

Golf and tennis also now a go across California. Some counties are allowed to take it quicker.


Just across the river in New Jersey, some potentially good news from Governor Phil Murphy. He says hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and even those on ventilators, those numbers are all down. And he's announcing some plans to reopen in the state, including allowing people to gather but in their vehicles. So drive-in movie theaters, church services, he says, you can have more people at those gatherings if you stay in your cars. The caveat, if your car is closer than six feet to the one next to you, your windows, sun roof and, if it's a convertible, your top need to remain closed.


CAMEROTA: Just amazing to watch all of these measures that states are trying.

Now we want to remember some of the more than 84,000 Americans lost to coronavirus.

Maria Lopez (ph) worked as a registered nurse for 20 years. She was supposed to retire at the end of April, but she got sick before she could retire. A colleague said that a nurse's attitude is to help and Maria exemplified that.

Dr. Elise Golati (ph) was a psychiatrist, university professor and civil rights activist. She was one of the nation's premiere voices on substance abuse, serving in the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations. The president of Howard University honored Dr. Golati's unparalleled service to the school, noting her role in educating and training thousands of physicians working today. Rose Laberto (ph) was a mother, nurse and cancer survivor. Rose knew she was at a higher risk from the coronavirus, but she was determined to continue helping patients despite protests from her family. Her daughter, Jennifer, said her mom was a fierce warrior who sacrificed herself to save lives in this truly awful pandemic.

We'll be right back.



BERMAN: This morning, a twist on the path to Major League Baseball playing again. All-star pitcher Trevor Bauer calls the proposal from Major League Baseball owners to return to play laughable.

Andy Scholes with more in the "Bleacher Report."



You know, it certainly looks like the biggest obstacle for baseball returning now is agreeing on the money. According to multiple reports, the owners want the players to agree to a 50/50 split of the revenue for this season, which is going to be way down. Now, the two sides agree to the players taking a prorated salary back in March and Red's pitcher Trevor Bauer says the owners now asking for more, well, it's laughable.


TREVOR BAUER, CINCINNATI REDS PITCHER: To ask us basically, take more risk by getting back sooner, and take less pay than you've already agreed -- you know, we've already agreed to take, under this proposal, 82 games, half -- you know, 50 percent pay cut.


BAUER: And now they're asking us to take another pay cut.


SCHOLES: All right, the NBA, meanwhile, working on ways to complete its season, if possible. And Celtics star Jaylen Brown, who's also the vice president of the Players Association, told CNN's Brianna Keilar that safety is the top priority.


JAYLEN BROWN, BOSTON CELTICS FORWARD: We don't want to come back too early and make the people feel like things are OK and things are not, you know, potentially dangerous. So all of us want to play. I think everything leads to the players wanting to proceed to play. We just want to make sure that it's safe and as the NBA and as a brand, we want to make sure that we're on par with the science and the research that's being done.


SCHOLES: Yes, and the NBA is reportedly going to make a decision on its season in the next two to four weeks.

And, John, you know, in a perfect world, well, we could have both the NBA and Major League Baseball back on TV by the end of July. But, still, just so many hurdles to get over before that can happen.

BERMAN: Yes, we're going to have to get past that before they get back on the field.

I will say, the one thing that disappointed me with the Brianna Keilar interview was she got to do it. Jaylen Brown is one of my favorite players. How come Brianna got to talk to him? That's not fair.

SCHOLES: Well, I mean, you got to negotiate that and get him on NEW DAY, I guess, John.

BERMAN: All right. All right, Andy, we're going to work on that. Thanks very much.

SCHOLES: All right.

BERMAN: So we have breaking news on the first state to have its stay- at-home order struck down in court.

NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Wisconsin supreme court overturning the state's mandate to stay at home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will cause spikes across the state. There's no question about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Rick Bright is giving fair warning, without more action, the year 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea of having treatments available to facilitate the re-entry of students would be a bit of a bridge too far.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To me it's not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump questioning the accuracy of the coronavirus death toll in the U.S.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The number of deaths we have right now is not the right now. It is higher.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

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

And breaking overnight, all statewide coronavirus restrictions in Wisconsin have been lifted after that state's supreme court struck down the governor's stay-at-home order. Now, bars in the state quickly reopened, leading to scenes like this.


You can see crowds enjoying their newfound freedom, but certainly not socially distancing, definitely not wearing masks.