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CNN NEWSROOM

Keith Urban Shows Future of Live Concerts During Pandemic; Michelle Nunn, president/ CEO, Care USA AND Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook, Discuss Initiative to Tackle Gender-Based Violence During Pandemic; Update on Coronavirus Response Around the World; Tensions Rise Between U.S. and China over Businesses, Pandemic; TAPS Helps Frontline Workers With Grief. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired May 15, 2020 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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[14:30:00]

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: For instance, concerts are now allowed in Missouri, as long as social distancing requirements are met, which some promotors say that's actually just impossible to execute.

Would you have concerns about performing before a crowd where it's sort of on your honor system of staying a certain distance apart?

KEITH URBAN, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR: Well, I mean, this is the challenge we're all in the midst of promotors, musicians, road crew, we're all in this right now.

The audience, of course, because you've got people who are like, yes, I'll come tomorrow and jump in the mosh pit and other people completely aghast at anyone even considering it.

So we're trying to figure out the right way through it all. But communicating with everybody on what works, what doesn't work, how we can do this.

Again, the case of this concert last night that we did, we spent a month planning it so that we had minimal road crew. I didn't really have a live band on stage. I had two players, but they were eight or 10 feet away from me.

In some ways, it was like glorified car karaoke. There was a guy playing tracks and then keyboard, sort of his laptops of tracks and I'm singing live and playing but it meant that we had very limited crew. All the crew had masks on.

Crew it took to set up the stage. It was very minimal. We were able to do it in a great way and being outdoors help huge.

KEILAR: Yes. I don't think it was glorified karaoke. Maybe glorious karaoke as we watch there.

Thank you, Keith, for joining us. You've been doing a lot of really creative things. Rolled out Urban

Underground, your private studio, which you're in now. And now we have the pleasure of watch you model this potential for live concerts. Thank you so much for doing this.

And, Keith, thanks for coming in.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: States have been grappling with how to handle commencement ceremonies. Tomorrow, CNN honors the graduates of 2020 with a two-hour event. This is going to start with the class of 2020. "IN THIS TOGETHER," at 7:00. This is featuring Bill Clinton, and more. And then at 8:00, join Lebron James and President Obama for "GRADUATE TOGETHER."

The U.N. reporting a surge in domestic violence cases during the pandemic.

Plus, will Americans get another round of relief money? The House set to vote any moment as the Senate pushes back.

And tensions between U.S. and China took another bad turn as China threatens American companies.

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[14:36:36]

KEILAR: While stay-at-home orders and quarantines are essential to containing COVID-19 in every country, the head of the United Nations says the cases of domestic violence spiked, especially against women.

The U.N. predicts six months of lockdown could result in an additional 31 million cases of gender-based violence worldwide.

My next guests have started an initiative to tackle gender-based violence during this pandemic. Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook. And Michelle Nunn is the president and CEO of Care USA.

Thank you so much to both of you for being here. This is such an incredibly important topic that we have been covering here on this program.

I want to begin with you, Michelle, because we know from the spike in domestic assaults many victims, they're stuck. They're quarantined with their abusers. So the irony of this moment for them is that quarantine is not a safe place. What's the biggest challenge they're facing in getting help?

MICHELLE NUNN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CARE USA: Yes, so home is not a safe place for everyone, And we know that with the increase of economic insecurity, mental health challenges, the stress of this pandemic, that women in particular are facing extraordinary crisis as it relates to gender-based violence and domestic violence. And we need to ensure that we are enabling them the capacity to reach out. And that means more crisis hotlines, that means more information about this issue so that friends can help friends.

And it means, around the world and here at home, that we are doing the things that we can. Whether that's, again, opening up shelters and ensuring that they're available for people, or whether that's providing cash assistance that gives women enough economic independence to be able to leave if they need to.

KEILAR: And, Sheryl, this is really a broad effort because globally, women, including pregnant women not getting the health care they need.

SHERYL SANDBERG, COO, FACEBOOK: This is a health crisis. And everyone knows this is an economic crisis. But this is also a crisis for women and girls. And we need to see it that way and see it clearly.

Women do the great majority of the world's work and the world's care giving. They earn a very small percentage of world's income and less of the world's resources. Whether it's health care, maternal health care, clean water, women have less of that, education.

And so, this crisis needs to be viewed with a gender lens, so that we step up and protect women and girls, particularly in the most vulnerable places in the world, which is why the work Care USA is doing is so important.

KEILAR: Michelle, what do you want women who are in a dangerous abusive situation or maybe someone who knows someone who is in a situation like that, what do you want them to know about what's available for, as far as resources go for them?

NUNN: We want them to know that there's help. That they can have the capacity to reach out. There are crisis hotlines. There's a lot of services that are available.

And we want to ensure that's true not only here in the United States but also true around the world. We're seeing, again, 30 to 40 to 50 percent increases to places that include refugee camps or just cities like Atlanta or Minneapolis.

And so we want people around the world to, again, stand in solidarity with women and girls.

Sheryl has rightly articulated women and girls face a disproportionate impact. And we need ensure we are taking a gender lens here.

[14:40:05]

And it's why we're so grateful to Sheryl and others stepping up at this moment to ensure that there's attention and that, again, women and girls know that they are a part of the solution, but there's also a help line for them if they need it.

KEILAR: Such an important issue. Turning now to Facebook, Facebook is factoring very large in this

pandemic for a really myriad of reasons here. This is providing people much-needed social connection.

But there's also these longstanding concerns about the prominence of misinformation on the network that, in the case of coronavirus, could put people's health at risk.

In April, there was a study that showed it can take up to 22 days for Facebook to issue warning labels on false content.

I'm wondering, are you confident that the majority of misinformation now has a warning label on it and that the time frame for labeling it has shrunk?

SANDBERG: If we're doing all we can, we'll never be perfect on a site as big as Facebook but our track record on coronavirus is good. And I think builds on a lot of work we did. The way we prioritize warning labels, things that go viral quickly get seen much faster than that.

With coronavirus, we took a very hard step from the beginning, which is that any information, which could lead to imminent harm, misinformation, got warning labels and then it came down. We are really focused on that.

We've now put warning labels and taken information down on tens of millions of pieces of content. And more importantly, we've pushed about two billion people to accurate health information. Health information provided by local health ministries and the CDC.

And we're going to continue to work really hard to get everything that needs to come down, down, to mark the things that need to be false, false, and most importantly, to get accurate information to people where they need it.

KEILAR: And, Sheryl, I also wonder, we've seen Twitter announcing it's going to allow some of the workforce to continue working from home forever. So that's obviously reflecting a possible new normal for corporate America. Is Facebook going to do the same? Is Facebook thinking about this as a possibility?

SANDBERG: Well, we know there's a lot to be seen. And we're learning a lot through this crisis. We were one of the first companies that sent everyone home. And we have announced we're going to be one of the last to come back.

We recognize that a lot of our jobs can be done from home, and there are essential workers and workers that can't work from home. So we'll keep people to help workers as much as we can.

What we do over the long run, we're learning every day. I think we are learning that more work can be done from home than we thought. But we're going to see what we want to do as this unfolds. Right now, it's really all-hands-on-deck through this crisis.

KEILAR: All right, Sheryl Sandberg, thank you. Michelle Nunn, thank you so much for this incredible effort you're

doing.

We have been covering story after story about the increase in domestic violence and it's been amazing to see the efforts, including yours, to combat this terrible problem.

Ahead, what the Vatican is doing to protect people as services return.

And more on our breaking news. The new vaccine chief says early data suggests the first doses could be ready by the end of the year. But is that realistic? Stand by.

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[14:46:57]

KEILAR: Dozens of newborn babies awaiting adoption in Ukraine are stranded due to the coronavirus outbreak. A nationwide lockdown is preventing parents in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere from traveling to Ukraine to pick up their infants. About 50 babies born to surrogate mothers are currently at a hotel without their parents.

A Ukrainian human rights official fearing that the number could grow by the hundreds in the coming months if health officials do not take action to address what is a growing crisis, as you can see here.

For more headlines around the world, let's check in with international correspondents.

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DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH AND VALUES CORRESPONDENT: I'm Delia Gallagher, in Italy. The Vatican says they'll begin taking the temperature of the faithful going into to masses in the basilica in Rome, including St. Peter's Basilica, as part of the reopening plan. They're currently sanitizing those basilicas but there's no date yet set for when they will reopen for public masses.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen, at the border between Austria and Germany, where both countries ease restrictions that have been in place for about two months. Both Austria and Germany have decided to not only let commuters pass the border, but also day trip tourists.

All this comes as the European Union is trying to revive the struggling tourism sector on the continent. Both Austria and Germany say they want to completely open the border by June 15th but all depends on the pandemic situation.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Rafael Romo, covering Nicaragua. Is the South American country hiding the real number of deaths? The agent who died on May 11 say they were forced to have his burial at night. They say authorities only allowed a handful of relatives to attend the burial and followed by police cars so no one in their words would take pictures. Nicaragua's health ministry did not respond to CNN's request for

interview. The vice president said on interview with the radio station that supports the government that pictures of what people are now calling express burials have been taken in other countries.

Officially, the government of Nicaragua said, so far, only eight people died of coronavirus.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: Thank you all for those reports.

We should note on the last story, five former Nicaraguan health ministers wrote a letter to the WHO director saying Nicaraguan authorities are threatening health personnel to not report the real numbers. CNN requested but got no reply from the government on that either.

As tensions rise between the U.S. and China, the Commerce Department is extending a temporary authorization for U.S. companies to do limited business with Huawei. The Chinese technology giant has come under strict scrutiny from national security officials.

But today's extension for 90 days could be the last. And Chinese state media says it could retaliate by targeting specific U.S. companies, including Apple and Boeing.

We are covering this from all angles. CNN international correspondent, Ivan Watson is in Hong Kong.

But let's first start with CNN tech reporter, Brian Fung.

What can you tell us, Brian?

[14:49:59]

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECH REPORTER: Brianna, the Trump administration is ratcheting up the pressure on Huawei, a company that national security officials say is a spy risk.

Friday's temporary authorization allows companies like Google and Microsoft can continue to keep phones updated with the latest software.

Rural phone companies that use Huawei could continue to carry the calls but that will expire mid-august and may not be renewed again, officials say.

That is not the only change the Commerce Department announced on Friday. The Trump administration is also trying to cut off the semiconductor chips that it used in its products.

The Commerce Department is creating a new rule saying any company looking to sell or make chips for Huawei using U.S.-made equipment has to get a special license from the U.S. government.

That could deeply affect Huawei's international supply chain.

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IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: China's foreign ministry on Friday sounded a moderate tone in response to the latest rhetorical broadsides coming from Trump against China with even threatens about severing ties.

The Chinese foreign ministry saying that maintaining stable development of bilateral ties services the fundamental interests of the Chinese and the U.S. people.

But make no mistake, Beijing and Washington have been hurling verbal abuse at each other off and on for weeks now over the coronavirus pandemic.

And more hardline voices coming out of Beijing, such as the "Global Times," a state-run newspaper, have actually flirted with the idea this week of completely severing ties.

They called out the Trump administration for alleged lunacy and suggested that the possibility that China could be considering putting U.S. companies on a list of unreliable entities.

This, in response to recent warnings from the Commerce Department about further restrictions against the Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei.

These are the two world's biggest economies at a time of real pressure on the economic situation. And it's anybody's guess where these tense relations could go from here.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: President Trump claiming the U.S. is back with or without a vaccine. His new vaccine chief suggesting that doses could be ready by the end of the year. But there are some very big caveats with that timeline.

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[14:56:27]

KEILAR: The U.S. death toll from coronavirus has now passed 86,000. And as families grieve, a nonprofit called TAPS, The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, is stepping in to help.

For nearly 30 years, it has been guiding Gold Star military families though the grief of losing a servicemember. They're the leader in this, helping children and spouses and others.

And now they're sharing resources with civilians, those frontline responders in the fight against COVID. I want to bring in Bonnie Carroll. She is the president and founder of

TAPS and the surviving spouse of Army Brigadier General Thomas Carroll.

Bonnie, tell us what you're doing here. We've talked many times before. You're do amazing work for Gold Star families. How did you come to this decision we're going to help frontline workers and what are you offering?

BONNIE CARROLL, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, TAPS: Thank you.

You know, the military has stood shoulder to shoulder with our nation through this just as the nation had the backs of our military for decades. After 9/11, America poured out support with ribbons on cars and shows of just beautiful love for our men and women in uniform.

And now what TAPS has done with surviving families of our nation's fallen what we have learned about grief over the past 30 years is now available to everybody.

KEILAR: You know, I remember, just about four years ago, my mom passed away and you sent me some grief resources that you use in TAPS, including a book. Now whenever I have a friend that experiences loss, that is the book that I get them.

You're experts in something that people don't realize there are people that are experts in this.

So what do you have to say to those families of frontline workers who are at risk or have passed away as they try to get through this unmanageable pain and loss?

CARROLL: On our Web site, at taps.org/covid, we have our Mourners Bill of Rights. Everyone has the right to experience their own unique grief, whether it is a loved one or the life they thought they would have. That they have the right to make use of ritual, to make meaning of our loss, to honor what we have lost.

And you know it is really important and what we have learned and what I learned in the loss of my husband is that death ends a physical life but it doesn't end a relationship. That love transcends and that love lives on.

KEILAR: So people are going to be looking for that, Bonnie. Just a reminder if they want to connect with TAPS what, do they do?

CARROLL: Please go to our Web site, taps.org/covid/together. And we have so many resources. We have all of the services that are available for families who are searching for that kind of support. So please, please visit that.

Know that the families of America's fallen heroes stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone grieving a loss right now.

Military families understand isolation and the fear of losing a loved one when they can't be with them. And now what we have learned is what we want to share.

We wish we could wrap our arms around everyone who is grieving because we understand that pain and that loss. But it is with so much love and support and care that we share.

[15:00:03]

KEILAR: Well, Bonnie, this is a tremendous service and we appreciate you coming on to talk about it.

Bonnie Carroll, with TAPS.