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Ousted Vaccine Expert Laid Out Facts on Administration's Lack of Response; COVID-Like Illness targeting Children; Russian Health Officials Push Back on Wrong Reports; From One Man Infected to Now a Community Affected; Coronavirus Pandemic; Johns Hopkins University, 1.4 Million Cases In The United States; U.S. Vaccine Expert Warn Of Darkest Winter In Modern History; Protesters Demand U.S. States Reopen Quickly; At Least 24 States Are Seeing A Decreased Infection Rate; Questions Over Mexico's Reported Death Toll; Brazil Reports Record Number Of New Cases, Second Day In A Row; United Kingdom Scientist Working On Unconventional Vaccine; Sanofi CEO Walks Back Vaccine Priority Comments; Revealing A Hidden Killer, Japanese Studies Reveal How Easily Virus Can Spread; How To Keep Passengers Safe As Air Travel Resumes; Dubai Airport Implementing Social Distancing Measures; German Bundesliga Ready To Return To The Pitch. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired May 15, 2020 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A stark warning for the United States, why a top vaccine expert turned whistleblower said that time is running out in the fight against the coronavirus.
In France, new COVID concerns grow as a cluster of children become infected. The new symptoms to look out for.
Also, this hour, they've been wondering just how fast and far germs can spread, this experiment conducted with black light will answer that question.
We are live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Hello everyone, thanks so much for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen, and this is CNN Newsroom.
Thank you again for joining us.
A senior U.S. health official warn said that the United States is running out of time to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The disease has already claimed nearly 86,000 American lives according to Johns Hopkins University.
A new model suggests that the U.S. death toll will go much higher.
On Thursday, U.S. vaccine expert Richard Bright told Congress that he tried to sound the alarm about the virus months ago, but, was ignored. He was eventually removed from his government post, in what he claims was retaliation for speaking out. We'll have more of his explosive congressional testimony in just a moment.
Europe, meanwhile, hopes to gradually reopen its tourism industry. Long lockdowns have led to a steady decline of infections in countries such as Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. But the virus is still surging elsewhere, especially Brazil, and Russia.
Johns Hopkins University reports 4.4 million confirmed cases worldwide, and more than 300,000 deaths. A third of those cases are here in the United States, far more than anywhere else in the world. And now, there is this troubling development.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that if a coronavirus test used at the Trump White House isn't totally reliable. The FDA says that the 15-minute test may give false negatives, that means, a person can be infected even though the tests did not detect it. It underscores this dire warning from U.S. vaccine expert Rick Bright as he testifies Thursday before Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD BRIGHT, FORMER FEDERAL VACCINE CHIEF: Time is running out, because the virus is still spreading everywhere. People are getting restless, to leave their homes, and we have to make critical decisions on how to balance the economy and science. We don't have a single point of leadership right now for this response. And we don't have a master plan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Bright also testified that unless the virus is brought under control, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history.
We get more from CNN's Kaitlan Collins, she's at the White House.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Today, the vaccine official asserted from his job during the coronavirus pandemic said the administration's failure to warn the public about coronavirus cost lives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGHT: I believe Americans need to be told the truth. People were not prepared as it could've been, it should have been.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Testifying for the first time since he was removed from his role as the head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Rick Bright with a dire warning that the U.S. doesn't have a master plan, and there still aren't enough tests.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGHT: There's still are not enough tests.
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): So even this week, as we are being told, anybody who wants a test can have a test, is that true in the United States of America?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Right alleges he was demoted for objecting to the widespread distribution of a drug promoted by the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Hydroxychloroquine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: And he says he was pressured to make it more widely available.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the pressure from the White House, and HHS general counsel put you in a difficult position?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Bright says his superiors disregarded his early warnings about masks shortages, even though he passed along this urgent message from Mike Bowen, one of the only mask manufacturers in the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGHT: We are in deep shit, the world is, and we need to act. I push that forward to the highest levels I could in the HHS, and got no response.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The former vaccine chief said he is troubled by the government's seeming inability to ramp up production of simple resources like swabs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGHT: It says to me, sir, that there is no master coordinated plan on how to respond to this outbreak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Bright caution that there could be more shortages to come if the U.S. doesn't make a plan now about how to distribute a vaccine once it's ready. He also cast doubt on the president's optimistic timeline about when that will be. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think we will have a vaccine by the end of the year.
DINGELL: Will we be able to vaccinate people in the next few months?
BRIGHT: It's very unlikely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: As he left the White House for Pennsylvania, President Trump said he watched Bright, but dismisses his allegations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: To me, he is nothing more than a really disgruntled, unhappy person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The Health and Human Services secretary also pushed back on Bright's claims as he testified, arguing that they are unfounded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX AZAR, SECRETARY, UNITED STATES HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: Everything he is complaining about was achieved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Now, Mike Bowen is the executive of that company that Bright was talking about as he was testifying warning about a possible shortage of masks. He also testified and he said that he has been a lifelong Republican, but he is embarrassed by how the federal government has responded to the coronavirus outbreak, and he said that they need to be listening to the scientists, something he says he doesn't think they are doing right now.
Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.
ALLEN: Joining me now from Los Angeles is Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, an internal medicine and virus specialist. Thanks so much you for joining us, doctor.
JORGE RODRIGUEZ, INTERNAL MEDICINE AND VIRUS SPECIALIST: My pleasure.
ALLEN: I want to start with Richard Bright who gave a stark warning in his congressional warning saying that 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history. First up here, do you agree with that?
RODRIGUEZ: I absolutely agree that that is a possibility. I actually think that that is a probability. The way that things are going in this country with sort of an unconcerted plan, right, to open up America, so I think it is very possible scenario.
ALLEN: When you say unconcerted plan, I was going to ask you, what should the U.S. government due to plan for this second wave? Do you believe it has a plan?
RODRIGUEZ: It doesn't appear like it has a plan. To me. And the reason I said that is because of what we are experiencing. We are having 50 different states, and I understand, in 50 different states, we have 50 different, sort of, viral hotspots, but at the end of the day, we are all connected, we are all communicating, whether it's by planes, or by cars, visiting families.
So, it is the job of the federal government to have a plan, in my opinion, both a short-range plan, which is testing, and actually, the Holy Trinity where I consider, of COVID containment. The Holy Trinity which is masks, distancing, and hygiene. masks, distancing, and hygiene. And that should be emphasized, and it is not.
And then there needs to then be a long-range plan. Are we going to have a medication to treat people that are ill? Are we going to be having a vaccine that works? And if so, how will is that going to be distributed?
If nothing else, America needs to hear that. Because I think it gives all of us a sense of comfort and not for voting. Right now, it feels like we have a bunch of chickens without their heads running around.
ALLEN: Right, a singular message would be comforting, you're right about that. Bright also testified about a vaccine, you mentioned that that it could be 12 to 18 months. We know that there is a rush to develop one, but what risk could there be with a vaccine that is rushed through?
RODRIGUEZ: Well, the risk is, that we get a vaccine that is not effective, we get a vaccine that could be dangerous. The plus side is, that we could get a vaccine that works. I was just talking to a friend of mine in New York, another doctor, and we were talking about this reality, and she said, how long have we've been waiting for an AIDS vaccine? Or for a hepatitis-C vaccine?
So, if all of the dominoes fall as they should, there may be a vaccine in a year. Now, we are going to have to sacrifice probably safety, because, really, vaccines take five years to develop, especially one with an airborne pathogen.
There are some people that are saying that once a vaccine is developed, we may even have to inoculate people, and then actually expose them, purposefully, to COVID or a sort of milder form of COVID. So, we would be rushing things, perhaps we should be rushing things, but we are going to be cutting corners.
ALLEN: Absolutely. Well, let's talk about the illness that is now sicken some 100 plus children in the U.S. The CDC issued new guidelines to watch out, telling parents to watch out for fever and inflammation in children.
What is this new illness with children say about or understanding of this virus or lack thereof? RODRIGUEZ: It says that we do not have an understanding, a complete
understanding, of this virus. Listen, this is a virus that is brand- new, that is never been seen by the human body. So, the response is one that is almost like a tsunami.
And the message here is that this is not only, you know, dangerous for people that are 65 or older, this can affect anybody. And this unfortunate inflammatory response in children where it can cause, you know, eyes that flare-up, the shortness of breath, the inflammation, needs to be -- it's like a moral tail. We all have to be on guard, we all have to be vigilant, because this predator that we call coronavirus can affect anybody.
ALLEN: Right. So, is now the time to continue to push for schools to reopen as we've heard from the president?
RODRIGUEZ: Well, I personally don't think so. I mean, I've talked to my relatives who have children, and unless they can be guaranteed, unless they know that there are safeguards in place, they're really not going to be sending their children to school, no matter if the schools are open or not.
So, what do you do? You test teachers, you test the kids. How often do you test them? How far away are they supposed to be? Those are the things that are not clear, and there should be a federal guideline for all of that. They are children.
ALLEN: Absolutely, scary times for parents for sure. Last question for you, President Trump worked to discredit Richard Bright after his testimony on Thursday. He has criticized other renowned scientific experts as well, and he paints a rosy picture for the near future. Of course, he wants the economy to come back, but how does that square with reality? Also, could it confuse the public?
RODRIGUEZ: Well, of course, it's already confusing the public. Which is why we have so many people who believe what the president says out, I think endangering themselves and endangering others by not taking those precautions of the Holy Trinity, you know, that I mentioned.
Listen, when all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail. And the president is a businessman, and what he knows is economics. So, I think we are painting this with two wide a brush. I don't want to be a negative Nancy, if you will, but we need to be careful.
And what could be is opening something so early that within a month, they're going to close because the popular confidence has completely eroded in our restaurants, and in our schools.
So, a fine line it needs to be walked, but right now, listen, we've already been sort of, not bamboozled, but we've been told that certain medicines like hydroxychloroquine works. It doesn't. So, I think people are becoming very skeptical from what they hear from the White House.
ALLEN: The uncertainty certainly adds to a lot of people's anxieties right now. We really appreciate your insights and your expertise. Dr. Jorge Rodriguez.
RODRIGUEZ: Thank you.
ALLEN: Thank you.
As we talk about the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing an alert for that rare inflammatory syndrome that maybe linked to COVID-19 symptoms including persistent fever, inflammation and poor function in one or more organs.
The CDC warns the syndrome can affect children and young adults up to 21 years old. The department has also released new guidelines to help businesses and other public spaces reopened. The checklist encourages social distancing, handwashing, and intensified cleaning.
However, as our Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains, some were expecting more detailed guidance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it lacks a certain seriousness, and it lacks the specificity. There's not a lot of specifics here and some of it seems very ad hoc. You know, sort of do it if you can, if you can't, it's OK. I was surprised by this. I mean, most Americans know more than this in this decision tree already.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: And we are already seeing this rare inflammatory syndrome appear in France. A Paris hospital on Thursday reported a cluster of children with the same syndrome possibly linked to COVID-19. Seventeen infected children showed up at the hospital during an 11-day period. Initially, doctors thought it was a rare condition called Kawasaki disease, but 14 of the children had evidence of recent COVID-19 infections.
For more on this, let's bring in CNN's Cyril Vanier in Paris. Good to see you, Cyril. What are you learning about these cases there?
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, we're talking about the main pediatric hospital in Paris. And normally, they hardly ever see this disease. Once every two weeks on average.
So, when they saw a cluster of 17 cases come their way with these Kawasaki-like symptoms, over an 11-day period, and of course this is coming in the middle of the coronavirus epidemic, they started wondering whether the two might not be linked.
And it's the same thing that British doctors, Italian doctors, and U.S. doctors have been seeing and every passing day brings confirmation or brings added evidence of some kind of a link.
So, the children that came in were on average eight years old. And they had fevers, they had gastrointestinal distress, and they had high inflammatory markers. So, you can have inflammation of the organs, most seriously inflammation of the heart.
A majority of these children did need intensive care treatments. Doctors wondered whether they had had COVID, whether this could have been a consequence of COVID. It turned out that when they tested the children, a majority of them had antibodies for the coronavirus.
They are not had symptoms. They had been asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic for COVID. So, in layman's terms that means that when they got COVID it wasn't a health threat for these children. But days later, it appears to cause an inflammatory reaction in their body that then cause them to need intensive care treatment.
Now the good news is the children responded well to the treatment that you normally get for Kawasaki. And there is another aspect to this, Natalie, which is that is the doctors noticed a majority of the children were of African and Caribbean origin.
They don't know yet whether this means that there might be a genetic vulnerability in those populations for this disease, or whether it just means that these are populations that are underprivileged kids who came from underprivileged backgrounds.
ALLEN: Yes. As we've seen here in the United States, it is often African-Americans and Hispanics that are --
ALLEN: -- getting this disease so that's an interesting aspect to watch. Thank you so much. Good to see you. Cyril Vanier in Paris for us.
Russian health officials are pushing back at the accusation that they are under reporting coronavirus deaths. They say that there is a perfectly good explanation as to why the numbers of fatalities are relatively low compared with the number of overall infections.
CNN's Matthew Chance takes a look at how Moscow is calculating its figures.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Across Russia, it's become a common sight. Victims of this awful pandemic buried by mask figures in hazmat suits as the bereaved watch helplessly from a safe distance. But one of the most pressing questions has been why, with the second highest number of coronavirus infections in the world, is the death toll in Russia been so low?
Just a fracture of other badly affected states. We now know one factor may be the way that Russia counts its stead. Health authorities in Moscow, the epicenter of the outbreak, have now acknowledged as much, saying up to 60 percent of suspected coronavirus deaths have been listed as other causes like heart failure, stage four cancers, and other incurable diseases.
Only deaths, directly linked by autopsy to coronavirus, it says, are registered as pandemic fatalities. For months, critics have accused the Kremlin of a nationwide cover-up and of silencing attempts to expose the grim reality of the pandemic, especially by medical workers at the front line.
Doctors are contacting us from hospitals where people with the coronavirus are actually being sent, she says. But instead of honestly saying this, the authorities are calling them patients with pneumonia, and acute respiratory viral infections.
Recent data indicating sharp rises in April deaths has fueled suspicions. But health officials deny manipulating the numbers, the country's deputy prime minister offering a clinical explanation by video conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TATYANA GOLIKOVA, RUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I would like to point out that a decrease in pneumonia among the affected, almost 9 fold between the onset of the illness to hospitalization, allowed us to have low mortality rates in Russia, which today are 7.4 times lower than the world's average.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: Russian health officials say their methods are unlike other countries, and described their numbers as exceptionally precise. A few doubts that it is at least partly true.
Matthew Chance, CNN.
ALLEN: A massive new testing pushes underway in South Korea as officials work to contain a recent outbreak there that has cause nearly 150 new cases.
We'll have a live report from you -- for you on the latest.
Also, it was hailed as a success story when it comes to containing the virus, but now Singapore is dealing with a sharp increase in cases in its migrant community. Details coming up.
ALLEN: South Korea is now conducting tens of thousands of coronavirus tests, trying to trace a new outbreak linked to a nightclub district in Seoul. Fifteen thousand people were tested Wednesday alone. So far, they have identified at least 148 new cases.
Let's go now to CNN's Paula Hancocks, she is in the South Korean capital for us. And we know that those clubs are now closed, Paula. What else are they learning from this testing?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, one update for you to start with. Now 153 people have tested positive in relation to just this one outbreak in the nightclub district. But that's out of 46,000 tests that the officials have done since May the 6th. So, they are really trying to contain this outbreak.
But what we did learned this afternoon is that officials say that there is still more than 1,000 people, who they know were in those clubs that the original infected man was in over a two-week period, that is still have not come forward. That they still haven't been able to test.
They say they know that through their credit card usage records, and they are trying to contact them, and are trying to make sure that everybody is tested.
But certainly, you can see the sheer amount of testing that is being done by officials shows just how they are trying to contain this. Now we hear from Korea CDC today saying that they do think that there will be cluster infections, they are concerned by them, but they do believe they are manageable at this point.
And we also had a very positive note from the health minister, saying that he does believe that the long war against the virus can be wash -- can won in a very simple way by washing hands, by wearing masks, and by reporting a suspected case immediately. Natalie?
ALLEN: I also want to talk to you about the fact that this cluster is believed to be from bars frequented by the LGBTQ community. And there were concerns that that could cause a backlash against gay people. Have you seen that?
HANCOCKS: Well, the concern surrounding this was when local media first identified some of these clubs as being gay clubs. There was a concern by activists and rights activists, that people would not want to come forward, and that they would effect -- they would effectively be outing themselves. That they were fearing discrimination, homophobia, which they believe is rising in this country because of this latest outbreak, certainly there was homophobia in this country even before the latest outbreak.
So, what has been done about that according to the mayor of Seoul who I spoke to early this week. He said that they've started to do anonymous testing for this particular incident so that people feel more comfortable coming forward, and admitting to feel that they will not be discriminated against. And he said that the amount of people coming forward significantly increased just because of that.
So, certainly, that has been an issue, and officials acknowledge that issue fairly early on, not straight away, and that's when the anonymous testing came in, to try and make sure that they could reach everybody who had been within those clubs. But as I say, as the officials said just today, this Friday, there are more than 1,000 people that they still have not been able to test.
ALLEN: All right. We will wait and see how this develops. Thank you so much, Paula Hancocks for us there live in Seoul.
Singapore is reporting 752 new coronavirus cases. The health ministry says the 99 percent of them are linked to known clusters, which have been ripping through Singapore's migrant community.
Manisha Tank report from the city state on its deep rise in infections recently.
MANISHA TANK, JOURNALIST: Well, it is fair to say that here in Singapore cases are continuing to rise, continuing to rise in triple digits. And the likelihood is we won't see the end of that anytime soon. Why is this the case? It's partly because there is extensive testing going on now across all of the purpose-built dormitories that house migrant workers here in Singapore.
And this is really important that it happens, obviously, from a public health standpoint, from the standpoint of those workers involved and also that the government is able to track and trace this virus.
These migrant workers really from the backbone of essential services in this country and getting them back to work fit and healthy really is a priority. In terms of how they're being taken care of, well the government just this week announced that it would step in, and it would help with the costs associated with the lockdowns of a lot of these dormitories where a number of these migrant workers have had to stay and not move from in the last month or so.
Obviously, the energy cost has risen, the food costs have risen, and the government is stepping in to help the owners of the dormitories maintain that. But with it, it's also looking after those migrant workers, their medical bills, for example, food. There are also charity drives here to make sure that a lot of them are well taken care of.
Outside of the migrant worker community, community cases have dropped significantly. They are down to say two or so. That was the last read we have. And also, the number of cases being discharged has risen to more than 1,000. The government is even indicated that there is a prospect that within the next month we could see some 20,000 cases discharged. It may sound optimistic, but based on current numbers that is a distinct possibility.
But what I can say is, given public health officials that we have spoken to, one of them being Professor Teo Yik Ying who is the dean of the public health school Saw Swee Hock School of Public School here in Singapore. He had pointed out that given the way this coronavirus works, given the cycle of the virus and its infection rate, we will not expect to see these numbers come down for at least another three to four weeks.
In Singapore for CNN, I'm Manisha Tank.
ALLEN: Still to come here, concerns about Mexico's mounting death tolls. Why it's official figures may be misleading.
Also, there is a new kind of vaccine that has never been approved for humans before, but coronavirus may soon change that. We take you inside one of the labs.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [03:30:00]
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and all around the world, I'm Natalie Allen, you're watching CNN Newsroom, and we appreciate it. For weeks, the coronavirus has surged across the United States, but now, there is some good news. 24 states are seeing a downward trend in new cases. Still, there had been more than 1.4 million confirmed infections nationwide, and almost 86,000 deaths now.
And a top vaccine expert warns the virus is still spreading, and the time to stop it is running out. For more, here's CNN's Nick Watt in Los Angeles.
DR. RICK BRIGHT, NIH VACCINE EXPERT: Without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wow. Warnings today in Washington.
BRIGHT: People are getting restless, to leave their homes, and we have to make critical decisions on how to balance the economy and science.
WATT: Meanwhile in Michigan, protesters who just won't stay home anymore.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not going to be bullied, we are not going to be intimidated, and we are not going away.
WATT: Pennsylvania's governor being pressured to accelerate reopening in harder hit counties.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically leaving in fear. They're living under threats from the governor to revoke their license, their way that they feed their families.
WATT: In Wisconsin, some bars open almost immediately after the state Supreme Court struck down their stay home order as unlawful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But, I don't think that the risk presents any higher than me going to a grocery store.
WATT: But is this dangerous?
Well, Georgia started graduating reopening nearly three weeks ago, and since then, the average number of new covid cases every day is actually fallen, down 12 percent. In Florida, Miami-Dade, and Broward County home to nearly half of that states confirmed cases, will now start reopening on Monday. And on Sunday, four of golf's big guns will tee off in Florida for charity, and TV cameras. The governor is now opening his doors to all pro sports.
REP. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): If you have a team in an area where they just won't let them operate, we will find a place for you here in the state of Florida.
WATT: The Jersey Shore will now be open in time for Memorial Day, Midwest, the mall of America reopens June 1st. Out west, Yellowstone will reopen a little on Monday. And other national parks could follow. Case counts are now slowing in nearly half of our states. There could be a rebound in the fall.
BRIGHT: Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to improve our response now, based on science, I fear that the pandemic will get worse, and be prolonged.
WATT: Still, tomorrow, in Louisiana, gyms, barbers, casinos, zoos and more can reopen at quarter capacity.
SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R-LA): Yes there is a risk of reopening, there is a greater risk of not reopening, so we have to use our data to figure out how to thread that needle.
WATT: Today, some good data from New York City. Hospital admissions, numbers in the ICU, and the percentage of positive tests are all falling.
BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR, 2020 U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My friends, today is a very good day. And you deserve the credit.
WATT: The city will likely wait until early June, but tomorrow, parts of New York State which has suffered more confirmed cases than any country on earth, will slowly start on the road back to some sort of normal.
I am now one of the 10 million people here in L.A. County who must wear a mask when I leave my house. I'll take it off so you can hear what I'm saying. One line from the governor of New York State really struck me today. And that is, phased reopening does not mean the problem has gone away. He is right. Covid-19 has now killed more than 300,000 people globally, and it is not done yet. Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.
ALLEN: Mexico is marking its largest daily increase in coronavirus cases, with nearly 2.5 thousand on Thursday. The grim milestone comes one day after the government announced plans to reopen the country. But as Matt Rivers explains the total number of reported cases and deaths could be misleading.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Michelle Garcia Galiseo hasn't slept more than a few hours at a time in weeks. We're working so much, he says, and the numbers just get higher every day. He is referring to the number of dead. The funeral home he works at in Mexico City has almost run out of coffins. They've process seven times more bodies than normal in the last month. The reason? Covid-19.
So, what he is saying here is on this death certificate, there's three causes of death. There's acute respiratory failure, there's a typical pneumonia, and there's also probable covid-19. And that is what we are seeing on certificate, after certificate, after certificate.
He had an appointment to pick up a body that afternoon, so we went with him. This person probably didn't die of covid, but Miguel says, it does not really matter. It is yet another coffin in a seemingly endless parade, now on its way to the crematorium. Mexico is only tested about 150,000 people, and confirmed roughly 40,000 cases. But the government has always said that relatively low number is just a scientific sample.
HUGO LOPEZ-GATELL, MEXICAN DEPUTY HEALTH SECRETARY: Nobody is able to identify every single case that occurs in an epidemic.
WATT: The actual number could be well into the millions, as Hugo Lopez-Gatell, the epidemiologist leading Mexico's response, he quickly added, that every country around the world has an untold amount of unconfirmed cases. That is why the government shut down the economy nearly two months ago, and has urge people to stay home.
LOPEZ-GATELL: The size of the epidemic in Mexico is substantially lower than those in other countries.
WATT: But funeral home worker Miguel is worried that won't last. He drives all day through places with plenty of people still out and about.
If the government gave us the real numbers, he says, I think we would all go out less. The official death toll is about 4,500. Lopez-Gatell says the actual number could easily be double that. Miguel thinks it might even be higher, but admits, he does not know the whole picture. All he knows is what's right in front of him. And today, that's body number six being pulled from his truck to be cremated.
I'm just really tired, he told us outside of the crematorium, and this is going to keep happening.
Nearby, earlier in the day, we watched a typical funeral procession go by. Social distancing, not a part of this tradition. Amongst those who are seeing all of these deaths up close, there is genuine fear that the people holding the casket could soon end up inside one, just like it. Matt Rivers, CNN, Xoximilco, Mexico.
ALLEN: And Brazil, added 11,000 covid cases in the last 24 hours. A record number for the second straight day. With almost 14,000 deaths there, and more than 202,000 infections, Brazil has the sixth largest number of covid cases in the world, and the most in Latin America.
President Jair Bolsonaro has criticize the country's governors for their more restrictive quarantine measures, saying, they will turn Brazil into a country of poor people. Scientists around the world continue to try different methods to come
up with a vaccine to this virus. Now, there is an unconventional technique that uses the virus's genetic code. It is called an RNA vaccine, and CNN's Nick Paton Walsh visits one of the labs working on what could be a revolution.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Everywhere there is a race for covid vaccine. But here, in London, Paddington, there is a race for a new type of vaccine altogether.
Professor Robin Shattock is leading a team in Imperial College who are using a new technique to get the human body to recognize the most dangerous part of the virus, the hook, or spike, on its outside, so that the body can be ready if it ever sees the real thing.
We're not even giving the body part of the virus, you're giving the body the plans for the most deadly part of the virus.
ROBIN SHATTOCK, PROFESSOR, FACULTY OF MEDICINE, IMPERIAL COLLEGE, LONDON: Absolutely.
PATON WALSH: They begin human trials in mid-June, and hope for 6,000 human tests by October. Maybe early next year, this revolutionary technique will be ready for you or I. Here is how it works.
SHATTOCK: The spikes on the surface of the virus are what allows it to attack, and get into the cells in your body.
PATON WALSH: Their technique injects the genetic code of that spike into the body, let's your muscle cells make lots of the spikes.
SHATTOCK: And your immune system recognizes that and stop to make antibodies that binds and recognize that spike. So, that when you see the whole virus, having been immunized. Your immune system automatically makes antibodies that will lock on to the spike, and that means that the virus can no longer infect cells.
PATON WALSH: It is a new technique entirely, because most vaccines give a weakened entire virus to the body to learn to fight.
SHATTOCK: The cells are working like a factory. They are making the vaccine themselves, doing the heavy lifting, rather than us having to make a huge amount of virus in a manufacturing plant.
PATON WALSH: And this technique has two advantages. The amounts needed per dose are tiny. And so 16,000 liters could, in theory, they say, be enough to vaccinate the entire world. And two, the technique, if successful, can be used for other viruses to in the future. The huge steps coronavirus is forcing us to take, leading us into a new world of great, unexpected advances. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.
(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: OK. On another vaccine front, this from France, some of the
chief executive, Paul Hudson is walking back his comments after the French government called them unacceptable. Here's what happened, he had previously said that any vaccine developed by his pharmaceutical company in the United States, should go to American patients first.
That is, even though some of his headquarters are in Paris, France. Hudson now says that no country would ever get priority whenever a coronavirus vaccine shows up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL HUDSON, CEO, SANOFI: We will make doses here in France, we will make doses in the U.S., and we will try to make more than enough for everybody. Not just because of the companies will to, but I am, you know, deeply sorry that there's been such a debate locally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Right, because folks in Paris were not happy about that when he said that the U.S. would go first. Well, the French president has summoned Hudson to a meeting next week. The (inaudible) palace says that meeting will take place Tuesday.
Seeing is believing when it comes to the spread of covid-19, when we return, we will show you how much damage one infected person could potentially do.
Also, mask, temperature checks and Plexiglas barriers. How one of the world's busiest airports is preparing for a new kind of air travel. We will have a live report about it, just ahead here.
ALLEN: In the Spanish capital Madrid staffers at La Paz hospital gathered to honor the memories of health workers who lost their lives during this global pandemic. Doctors and nurses gathered outside to observe two minutes of silence. They held a banner, as you see here, with the names of some of their colleagues who have died from this disease, 20 percent of those who have tested positive in Spain, our health care workers.
Two new Japanese studies are revealing some disturbing ways the coronavirus can spread. A video released from one of the studies shows how infectious the virus can be through droplets in the air, or on surfaces. For more, here is CNN's Anna Coren.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Common sight on cruise ships, resorts, and casinos. Piles of hot food in communal trays. Each patron, helping themselves to as many servings as desired. It's just one is infected, it may be the perfect setting for a virus to flourish. And a new video, out of Japan, shows how fast it could spread. Medical experts teamed up with the country's public broadcaster, NHK,
in an experiment that simulates a cruise ships buffet style restaurant. First, when the 10 participants rubs his hands with the special liquid, only visible under black light. He represents an infected person, who had coughed into his hands. Then, he joins nine others, as they spoon food on to their plates and sit down to eat.
After 30 minutes, the room goes dark, before an ultraviolet light comes on, the fluorescent liquid is now visible on a lot of surfaces. Items, the so-called infected person had touched. Tongs, pitchers, food trail lids, left residue that others picked up. And in turn, it's spread to the silverware, dishes, glassware, clothing, and phones.
After a half hour, every participant who had come into contact with the liquid. Three of them had gotten it on their faces. A visual show of how easily a contaminated substance can travel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The issues with that videos like -- there is a lot of materials are put on the hands, and so that's a very artificial situation, but I think what they've been able to do is to actually show just what the consequences are of the spreading of potential infectious disease, from hands when -- proper hand hygiene is not performed.
COREN: Video of the experiment has been viewed millions of times since it was posted by NHK. The joint project supervisor says, it is partly meant to illustrate how often surfaces are touched by many people. Like handrails, light switches, or door handles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It may seem radical, but I think that video should be put in front of every single public restroom. Many of the countries that opened up is that the outbreaks had been linked to small clusters, and what you call -- not necessarily the (inaudible) super spreaders, but locations are being the super spreaders. Which highlights a need for that you must be having much more attention to hand hygiene, as well as the social distancing.
COREN: NHK, and its collaborators did a second cleaner version of the experiment. Using hygiene changes like separating dishes, replacing tongs frequently, and asking participants to wash their hands during, and after the meal. 30 minutes into that experiment, no one had picked up the fluorescent paint. Anna Coren, CNN.
ALLEN: So, that is the indicator of how fast coronavirus can spread. Now, imagine, trying to prevent that from happening in Dubai international airport, the world's busiest for international arrivals. Last year, a staggering 86 million passengers went through there.
CNN's John Defterios has been speaking with Dubai airport CEO about what passengers can expect as travel resumes. I cannot imagine the monumental task here John. He joins me now live from Abu Dhabi. Slightly will be reopening next week, does Dubai want to service a case study for the rest of the world. JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: That's a good way of
putting it, Natalie. It prides itself on being a bridge between the east and west as an airline hub. And because it is tested more than 10 percent of its population against covid-19, it thinks it can reestablish its air links faster than other countries around the world, and other hubs for that matter.
It serves better of 160 destinations just for Emirates Airline alone. But we get a very clear indication, listen to this, about how much the user experience is going to change at the busiest airport for international arrivals. This is the CEO, as you suggested, Paul Griffiths. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL GRIFFITHS, CEO, DUBAI AIRPORTS: What we've had to do is reconfigure the airport to conform toward the social distancing rules. So, the check in has been segregated. We have now got barriers separating people, we've got stickers on the floor to make sure that people don't breach the social distancing distances.
And of course, we'll have our staff protected in masks and various hazmat accessories to make sure that they can direct people. Plexiglas screens in front of check in desks, and all the way through the entire airport process, people will have to observe those social distances.
DEFTERIOS: You did mention on site testing. The false negative results are scaring people. It doesn't rebuild confidence. You are not confident in them?
GRIFFITHS: Well, I think the thing is, there's two problems with it. The false negatives, and the reliability of it. And also, the time it takes, and whether it is scalable.
The difficulty is you might be able to operate some form of preflight testing using the current techniques with a limited number of passengers, but if each of those passengers need to wait 10 minutes before the result is there, again, that's a further limit on our capacity.
I think there are techniques being developed which will take that pre- flight testing to a much, much quicker result, and if we get that, and it's not so intrusive, that actually might be quite a good way to go.
DEFTERIOS: And 10 minutes being too long Natalie, how is that for testing on site at the airport. Because of the volumes they want to rebuild up to here, 90, to 100 million passengers in capacity, they need that to be quicker.
And the other thing I thought was interesting is that, Griffiths says he is a supporter of the immunity passport, that is you can carry a document like immunization and go around the world and say I have immunity, but it has to be globally suggesting and it is something that has trust of all international authorities, and all international countries, and airports for that matter.
Now the other headline here is that he said that the industry can't survive on 30 to 50 percent capacity, because it just costs the same amount of money to fly an airplane around the world. So, right now, if we keep this capacity, because of the fears of covid-19, plane travel will be double or four times the amount over the next 18 months, because they have to charge more for the tickets.
ALLEN: Right. We knew that was coming, didn't we. Well, it is the world's busiest airport for international arrivals, John, but the population itself isn't very large. So, is the role of the airport even larger there?
DEFTERIOS: Well, I think they are building themselves as a hub for the last 30 years that is on travel, tourism, and trade. The three T's. Right? And they have a population of about 3 million in Dubai, the whole country is only 10 million. So, this hub had serve as a feeder into the economy for decades. And it's fostered finances at the same time it's going to be fourth pillar of what I was talking about here.
It is almost a third of the economy having these passengers come in. Many stay, many come for business and the exhibition and conference businesses is very big normally. It hasn't been, of course, for the last two months under covid-19. So, it plays an outside role here, and it was interesting because I have been covering the region since 1990.
I remember taking one of the first Emirates flights and said, wow this is something different. And from that point forward, they kind of built this huge hub, and as I said, that the bridge between Asia and Europe, and now spreading to Africa, and Latin America.
ALLEN: All right. Challenges ahead as they open up. Will be watching it. John Defterios in Abu Dhabi, as always John, good to see you, thank you.
Football is about to return to Europe. Next here, how the league plans to resume, and the big question, is it safe?
ALLEN: One of Europe's top football leagues returns to action this weekend as the German Bundesliga takes the pitch. But some players have already tested positive for coronavirus, and many say it is too soon to return. Fred Pleitgen reports from Berlin.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Bundesliga is coming back. After more than two months, Germany's top soccer league will play again this weekend. Although some fans seem to have mixed emotions about the move. I don't think it's a good idea, this man says. People in Germany are
suffering from coronavirus, and we are now making exceptions for soccer players?
But she says, I think a little step back to normality, that we can at least watch football on TV, is a good thing. We just have to see if it will all work.
The Bundesliga hopes an extensive hygiene concept will make it work. Stadiums will be empty, the matches can only be viewed on TV. Players won't have to wear masks on the field, but coaches will. That will require some coordination (inaudible) the manager says.
I will have to pull the mask off shortly before yelling commands, and then put it back on right after I stop screaming. That's not so easy.
The league's coronavirus testing scheme is extensive. All players, coaches, and other staff will continuously be tested for coronavirus, requiring thousands of tests. And the teams have gone through quarantine training camps, to try and ensure no one will be infected when the matches start.
Germany is one of the first big soccer countries to restart its professional league, and many football federations will be looking to see whether the Bundesliga's path and its hygiene concept will prevail. But, there had been problems. Three people of first FC Cologne tested positive for covid-19, and were quarantined.
And two players from the second division club (inaudible) also came down with the disease. And, there had been disciplinary issues. (Inaudible) forward Solomon Calu (ph) was suspended by the club for seemingly laughing off coronavirus safety rules in a leaked video.
If there are new coronavirus infections, the leads play could be shut down again by the German government, says Phillipe Costa of football magazine is (inaudible).
This is an experiment with an unknown outcome, he says. It could indeed happen that we might see two or three weeks of football, and then everything gets canceled. The teams don't have the same capabilities, if, for instance, there are many infections, or if there are very serious infections.
The head of Germany's football league has said they are playing on parole. Soccer is coming back to Germany, but no one knows if it's here to stay. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin
ALLEN: That is the first hour of CNN Newsroom, I'm Natalie Allen. I invite you to follow me on Twitter or Instagram. And I will be right back in just a moment with our top stories.