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President Trump Announces Operation To Increase Speed Of Vaccine Development For Coronavirus; Reports Indicate Tension Between White House And CDC Over Data Gathering; New York Issues Plans To Reopen Parts Of State's Economy; California Beaches Reopen With Restrictions; Navajo Nation Hit Particularly Hard By Coronavirus Pandemic; New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) Is Interviewed On Reopening City's Economy; Celebrities To Help High Schoolers Celebrate Graduation. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired May 16, 2020 - 14:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Right now there are massive efforts under way to get the U.S. economy back to normal. By the end of this weekend nearly every state in the country will be easing restrictions or be partially reopened for business. Take a look at this map.

You can see 41 states have seen the number of new cases hold steady or fall over the last week. But the nine states that are labeled in orange or red are seeing a rise in new cases. All of this comes as President Trump launches Operation Warp Speed, promising that millions of doses of vaccine will be available by the end of this year, and adding the U.S. economy is open with or without a vaccine.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want to make something clear. It's very important. Vaccine or no vaccine, we're back.


WHITFIELD: But there are serious doubts about how realistic that timetable actually is, with many health experts saying it will take at least 12 to 18 months to actually have a viable vaccine ready.

Let's start right here at the White House. Jeremy Diamond is there. So Jeremy, is there any indication this ambitious plan for vaccines will be accomplished by the end of the year?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: What's clear, Fredricka, is that both inside the White House and outside, everyone is cognizant of the fact that this would be a herculean effort to deliver one by the end of the year or beginning of next year. As you said, many public health experts say it would take typically 12 to 18 months at a minimum to develop a vaccine.

But what the federal government is doing, they're already monitoring 14 different types of vaccines, and essentially they're going to be betting on several vaccines, putting them into production before those vaccines have even finished clinical trials and gotten FDA approval. Listen to the president describing that effort.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Typically, pharmaceutical companies wait to manufacture a vaccine until it is received all of the regulatory approvals necessary, and this can delay vaccine's availability to the public as much as a year and even more than that. However, our task is so urgent that under Operation Warp Speed, the federal government will invest in manufacturing all of the top vaccine candidates before they're approved, so we're knowing exactly what we're doing before they're approved.


DIAMOND: At the same time, Fredricka, you heard the president there talking about the facts that he's not tying a vaccine to a return to normalcy, or even a return to some of these states beginning to reopen. The president, of course, recently has been encouraging many of those states and businesses to begin the process of reopening, and even as far as it concerns a return to normalcy, which many experts say in order to fully return to where we were before this pandemic you would need a safe and effective vaccine.

The president is saying the United States is going to return to that with or without a vaccine.

WHITFIELD: Let's talk about the vice president, Mike Pence, who is preparing to take his first trip since a staff member in his office tested positive for coronavirus. What are you hearing?

DIAMOND: Yes, well, this would be the first trip since the day that that staff member, Katie Miller, the vice president's press secretary, tested positive. Of course, shortly after she tested positive, the vice president that day went to Iowa. But since then he has not traveled outside of Washington.

In fact, he has been somewhat isolating himself, at least from the president of the United States, and working largely out of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building which is on the White House Complex, but not really going into the West Wing.

So this will be the first trip. The vice president headed Wednesday to Orlando, Florida, where he will meet with the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis. He's also expected to deliver some personal protective equipment to a nursing home in the area and meet with tourism and hospitality industry leaders on that same day.

Again, it's notable the fact that the vice president, despite one of his close aides testing positive, has not gone into that full quarantine recommended by the CDC. [14:05:03]

He has taken some precautions, though, but it will be 12 days since he has last traveled when he goes on the trip on Wednesday.

WHITFIELD: And then Jeremy, what's with this reported tension between the White House and the CDC?

DIAMOND: Yes. So according to multiple officials that CNN has spoken with, there are rising tensions between the White House and the CDC, specifically, it appears, between Dr. Deborah Birx who is the White House's Coronavirus Coordinator, and the CDC. One of the issues at hand here is Dr. Birx's frustration with the way that the CDC gathers data, an antiquated system that has been criticized by others as well beyond Dr. Birx.

But there is also, of course, that issue, this issue of those guidelines for reopening that the CDC had developed. Remember, the CDC had developed 68 pages of documents, and the White House just a few days ago released just six pages of graphics. That was the end result of those guidelines from the CDC. So certainly, some frustration at the CDC with what they feel were their efforts that were pretty fruitless in the end and not given their due. Fred?

WHITFIELD: Jeremy Diamond at the White House, thank you so much.

All right, on to New York now. Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging residents to remain vigilant as the state looks at how best to fully reopen. CNN's Polo Sandoval joins me now. So Polo, what more do we know about the plans?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the governor laid out at least four key points during his latest update. The first one he addressed, this constant and persistent infectious rate of about 400 cases throughout New York state a day. It's a number that's remained relatively steady for the last several days.

Initially, in fact last week, the governor, it was his theory that was possibly those essential workers who were continuing to be out and about, doing their duties, and because of that they were potentially getting infected.

But now we're hearing from his health officials, or his experts, that this is actually likely people who are staying at home and getting infected at home. How, you might ask? The governor suggested possibly these are possibly these are some of those folks who are leaving their homes for some of those essential errand runs, grocery runs, and what have you, returning home after becoming infected, and that's perhaps why we're seeing those. So that was an interesting point.

And then secondly, he's also offering some insight into what we can expect as more and more parts of New York begin that gradual reopening. A reminder, only about a fifth of the state has begun that slow reopening, including here in upstate New York.

The governor saying that when that happens, especially in New York City, when that does happen, then we could see more cases. But as you're about to hear from the governor, he hopes it will be more of a steady increase versus a massive uptick or surge in these cases overwhelming the system again.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: So, if people are smart, then, yes, you will see some increase in the numbers, but you won't see a spike. You've seen spikes in other countries that have opened. You've seen spikes in states that have opened. We have an intelligent, and I believe the most intelligent system, but it is still reliant on what we do. It is reliant on human behavior. So be smart, be diligent, and don't underestimate this virus.


SANDOVAL: It's all about people keeping up with that social responsibility that the governor has described before, maintaining social distance when possible, of course, continuing to wear those facial coverings if maintaining that distance is simply not going to happen here.

Two more points to make here, Fred, that we heard from the governor today. He does anticipate that come June the 1st, horseracing in New York could begin again. That would be, of course, with empty stand. This would be televised.

And also elective surgeries will likely happen in two additional counties, being in Suffolk County and Westchester County. You'll recall that was really more of a ground zero months ago when we first began to see this pandemic. Back to you, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

On to southern California now, where beaches are able to reopen, but with strict rules. CNN's Paul Vercammen is on Zuma beach in Malibu. So, Paul, it doesn't look like it has picked up too much behind. You still seem very alone on that beach.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It looks like it because people are doing what the lifeguards and sheriff's deputies said they need to do, and that's keep moving, like you do when you're doing your running. Out in the distance, you can see there's that lifeguard boat. They are going to tell anybody who tries to cluster up or have a bid gathering here today to move along, and the deputies will, as well. And so far, as you pointed out, it's not that crowded and people are moving.

Let's just talk about L.A. County in general. This is the last of all of the counties to reopen its beaches. L.A. County, of course, has 10 million people. And we know with the very last tally that there was 962 new cases. There were also 47 deaths due to COVID-19.


But county officials saying that a lot of this rise in the new cases have to do with the ability to test more people, not any sort of outbreak.

So they've laid down the law here. They know how these Californians think it's their divine right to go to the beach, especially a beach like this, Zuma. So keep your mask on. Keep moving. Don't bunch up. So far at Zuma so good, Fred.

WHITFIELD: I see people are moving behind you. They are not sedentary at all. All right, Paul Vercammen, thank you so much. Be sure you're doing that sunscreen out there too, clear skies.

All right, on to New Mexico now. The Navajo Nation is being especially hit hard by coronavirus. This weekend the Nation is now under its harshest lockdown yet as it tries to slow the spread of the virus. CNN's Sara Sidner has more.


SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in the Navajo Nation, home of the World War II Code Talkers in Monument Valley, the vast beauty of this place masks the extreme difficulty they're having with COVID-19. It turns out they're being hit really hard here, even though people are spread across 27,000 square miles of space. They have one of the highest infection rates per capita.

And the president of the Navajo Nation has put out a call for help. That call has been answered by several groups including Doctors Without Borders who now have several people here trying to train others on how to deal with COVID-19.

But they also have the devastation of their economy, things like tourism and the gaming industry, their casinos all shut down. And so they're trying to balance these two things like the rest of the country. But here it's even more difficult. Why? Partly because of the space, but also because this nation has an extreme difficulty with poverty. About 40 percent of the families here live under the poverty line.

Sara Sidner, CNN on the Navajo Nation.


WHITFIELD: Still ahead, today residents in New Orleans are getting their first taste of eased restrictions after weeks of lockdown, but many guidelines are still in place. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell joining us next.

Plus, your top coronavirus questions answered. Our expert panel joins us in just a few moments.



WHITFIELD: The city of New Orleans is taking a big step, but with caution. This morning it began phase one of easing its coronavirus restrictions on some businesses. But the city is keeping a lot of restrictions in place. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell joining us now. Mayor, good to see.

MAYOR LATOYA CANTRELL (D), NEW ORLEANS, LA: Thank you so much for having me. Great to see you as well.

WHITFIELD: So you are midway through this first day of partial reopening. How is it going?

CANTRELL: It seems to be going fairly well. After this interview I'll be getting more into the community walking, and kind of getting a sense for myself how is it going. But from what I've seen, so far, so good.

The businesses, we have over 1,800, have registered at our request with the state fire marshal, so that's a good sign. Social distancing, we do see that's continuing to happen, as well as we have required that our residents wear masks, face coverings in public.

So we're -- we've just started today. We're wanting to go slow, but enforcement is going to be key. So businesses that do not comply have to move swiftly with shutting them down.

WHITFIELD: Wow, so when you say enforcement, you're not even going to fine them. It is shutting them down if they don't comply?

CANTRELL: Well, because you know what it means? It means life or death. And we have lost too many of our residents due to the coronavirus, and disproportionately the city of New Orleans. So this is not a game. It's very serious, and it requires a balance.

And this is what we're trying to provide our residents with, and our businesses -- opening the economy, doing it slowly, being very methodical in our approach, being fair, but also being strict about it.

WHITFIELD: Let's talk about how you're doing this. New Orleans is all about food, music, cultural life. And restaurants are opening under phase one, but with serious restrictions. Reservations are needed now. Wandering in is discouraged. Restaurants can only have 25 percent of its usual capacity. Tables six feet apart.

How long can NOLA's restaurants operate under these restrictions? Some of my favorite places are the ones that are smallest, coziest, and to envision them even smaller, you have to wonder how they can sustain themselves.

CANTRELL: You know what, it's about public health. So if we continue to do the right thing, as the residents have demonstrated, we've flattened the curve. We've seen over 28 days of decline in cases and positives. We have our capacity ready at our hospitals. We have the testing capacity that we have been testing more than countries locally in our city.

So if we continue to do the right thing, demonstrate civic trust, then this will not be long at all. We know that we need at least 21 days to assess how well we're doing, and I have not put a date on anything. So as we're continue tock show progress, we'll continue to turn that faucet on a little bit stronger.

WHITFIELD: Also among the businesses that are allowed to be open, bars, hair and nail salons, even movie theaters.


So what was the criteria? How did you come about this list? How did you make a decision about what gets to open phase one and two, et cetera?

CANTRELL: Well, Fredricka, it's following the guidelines. Johns Hopkins has been very, very helpful in this. CDC, their initial guidelines, in addition to our state fire marshal and our experts, listening to the science, listening to the data.

But let me tell you, bars are not included in this. Bars that sell food, being a food establishment, yes, they're able to open at 25 percent capacity. But this is not a free-for-all, and have to maintain progress in order to allow for other businesses to come online.

WHITFIELD: New Orleans had been hit really hard by this coronavirus. Is there a way in which to gauge what your recovery or rebound has been like? Nothing can replace lives lost, but collectively, as a New Orleans family, how do you assess that rebound?

CANTRELL: Well, we'll assess it by the -- again, seeing a steady decline in our cases, and any new cases that come about that we're able to isolate and have individuals quarantined so that we can keep everyone safe and continue to move towards progress. So it is truly a balance.

But I tell you that our residents are proceeding with caution, as they should. They are continuing to be safest at home. Our people who are living with underlying conditions or chronic illness in our seniors, we're saying continue to stay at home. Only come out essential needs, or the activities that have been allowed. But we are no way out of the woods. But if we do what we've demonstrated that we can do as a city, then I have the full confidence in my people in moving this city towards a full recovery.

WHITFIELD: New Orleans always showing how it's done, especially in the face of hardships and good times. All right, Mayor LaToya Cantrell, always good to see you, thank you so much.

CANTRELL: Thank you so much.

WHITFIELD: Countries around the world are also trying to determine how best to ease restrictions and reopen. Our international correspondents take us around the globe.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Paula Hancocks in Seoul. Officials are hoping that they are to starting to contain the outbreak from Seoul's nightclub district. More than 56,000 people have been tested since May 6th. Just in relation to this one incident alone, more than 160 people have tested positive.

Also on Friday, health ministers of China, Japan, and South Korea had a video conference to discuss how to share information and data, and also to look at what sort of policies they can put in place for a post-pandemic world.



CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Sanofi tried to deescalate its row with the French government, saying that it had been misinterpreted. The row began early this week when the Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson was quoted as saying that the U.S. would be first in line to preorder any coronavirus vaccine that Sanofi might develop.

Now, the notion that a French pharmaceutical giant would prioritize the U.S. market for something as vital as a coronavirus vaccine caused furor here in France. The French president Emmanuel Macron summoned the Sanofi CEO. They're expected to meet on Tuesday. Mr. Macron wants the virus to be a common good, not subject to the laws of the free market.

But even though Sanofi tried to change its messaging today, the substance of its argument remains, and that is that developing and fast-tracking a vaccine is an expensive endeavor, and they want countries to share the financial risk, the financial costs of doing that. The U.S. has already done so, putting tens of millions of dollars on the table earlier this year. France and Europe have not done so.

Cyril Vanier, CNN, Paris.



MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matthew Chance, and dozens of newly born babies born to surrogate mothers remain stranded in Ukraine this morning. Heartbreaking images have emerged of the little ones, 46 of them, that were stuck at a reproductive clinic because pandemic lockdown rules mean their new parents, mainly from Europe and the United States, are unable to enter Ukraine to pick them up.

Ukrainian officials say they're working to resolve the issue, but it's provoking renewed calls to ban commercial surrogacy in Ukraine. As you can see, it's become a booming industry.


WHITFIELD: All right, thanks to everyone around the world.

All right, in just minutes a panel of experts will join me to help answer your questions about health, family, and food in the era of coronavirus. To kick us off this week, a legal question. A viewer writes, "How can mask requirements be legally enforced at stores and restaurants? Is it similar to a "no shoes, no shirt, no service" policy?" To help us answer that, here's CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Shan Wu.



SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So the difference between the signs we've seen saying "no shoe, no shirt, no service" and the mask requirements is really about what authority the enforcement right comes from. For the store owners that put up those signs about no shoes and no service, that comes from the fact that the store's private property, and private property owners can enforce who they want to come onto their property.

But the mask requirements, those come from municipal, city, and state laws. So you need to know the laws in your jurisdiction. A lot of places that have passed those laws may actually enforce them with citations and fines. Most places are not arresting people for this.

So pay attention to the laws in your particular jurisdiction. But also pay attention to the fair enforcement of those, because while we all want to join together for public health, we all have to be vigilant that those laws aren't being enforced in a discriminatory or unfair manner.



WHITFIELD: Americans are facing a new reality as coronavirus restrictions ease in states across the country. But the numbers are still climbing, and they're having a ripple effect on our family, our mental health, even our diets.

There are more than 1.4 million cases in the United States. The World Health Organization says 45 percent of Americans feel distress, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics report a 2.6 percent in food prices last month.

Here to answer your questions about health, family, and food, I'm joined by Dr. Jennifer Lee, CNN medical analyst and Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University.

Good to see you. We also have Dr. Gail Satlz, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, and author of "The Power of Different." Good to see you as well. And Registered Dietitian Maya Feller. Good to see you.

All right, ladies, so, Dr. Lee, you first. The World Health Organization is catching so many of us by surprise, warning against using spray and ultraviolet light disinfectants. What are the risks? And what are we supposed to be using instead?

DR. JENNIFER LEE, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: So, hi, Fred. It's great to be with you. So what this recent alert that just came out is specifically talking about using sprays just broadly in the air. It's still fine and it's actually a good thing to use disinfectant sprays on surfaces when you're cleaning and disinfecting your home, for instance.

But just spraying it into the air, it talks about spraying it on people or in confined spaces into the air is going to be not safe because some of those chemicals can be irritating when you inhale them or when they get on the skin.

So use them to disinfect surfaces, use cloths and cleaning wipes with those as well. But don't just spray it out into the air or on people in confined space.

WHITFIELD: Don't use it like you would an air freshener, just spraying all over the place, and your eyes, too, could potentially be in danger, right?

LEE: Exactly.

WHITFIELD: OK. Dr. Saltz, a viewer writes "My daughters are struggling with the pandemic. They miss their friends and their teachers. How can I help them cope?"

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST AND PSYCHOANALYST: That is right now pretty ubiquitous. And children are no exception. Two things. You want to be compassionate with your child about what they are feeling in terms of missing their friends and their teachers, but know also want to know that children have the ability to cope with loss.

And right now we're having a temporary loss, so you want to be both compassionate about how they feel and help them in a safe way to be social where they can. So that's online that they should set up playdates with friends to get online on Facetime and talk.

And eventually they'll be able to socially distance with masks, et cetera, and stand apart and still be social with friends. You do want to encourage those things because children do benefit from that, and sharing their own feelings with each other.

WHITFIELD: Isn't it amazing. For so long, many of us were trying to get our kids off the computer. Go outside and play. And now we're like, OK, get on the computer and be social that way. You got to be adaptive right now.

All right, so Maya, John writes "I find myself snacking all the time when I'm working from home. How can I stop this habit? And what types of snacks should I be eating?" I think all of us are putting on extra lbs as a result.

MAYA FELLER, REGISTERED DIETITIAN: So that's a fantastic question. The first thing that I would say is it's important to evaluate actually how hungry you are. Right, so sometimes we feel like we want to snack, and sometimes we're actually hungry for a meal.

So I often say to my patients, take a look at what you ate before you felt hungry, right? Was that meal, in fact, well balanced, or was it just a slice of white bread with butter? Then that might be an indicator that, you know what, it's in fact time for a meal rather than just a snack.

Now, to the second part of his question. What should he eat when he snacks? Great question. So snacks in general should bridge this gap between meals and give some nutrition throughout the day. So I, of course, love to say things like fruits, vegetables in their whole and minimally processed form as well as things like nuts and seeds. I even like whole grain toast topped with nut butter and a little bit of fruit on the side. And if you're a savory person, I see a small portion of a meal that you actually love.


WHITFIELD: OK, that is tantalizing. I like that.

Stick around, ladies. We have got more questions, and you've got more answers for us in just a moment.

But first a question about going back to work. A viewer writes, "What changes should I expect to see at the office once the pandemic is over?" How will meetings be impacted and will I have less face-to-face contact with my co-workers and supervisors? To help us answer that, here is CNN law enforcement analyst and security consultant Jonathan Wackrow.


JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You can expect there to be a variety of changes or control measures within your workplace upon your return, all predicated around the health security of you and your co-workers.

Some of these changes will be temporary in nature, lasting as long as it takes for our community to become healthy. Others will become institutionalized as we realize the long-term benefits of their implementation.

All of these control measures that are implemented are focused on decreasing the likelihood of transmission within the workplace. There's a hierarchy of control measures you may experience, such as physical distancing between co-workers, engineering controls that create physical barrier, administrative controls that are implemented to reduce the contact between individuals by utilizing technology to facilitate communication. And, of course, personal protective equipment such as appropriate masks and gloves when necessary.

While it's hard to predict with certainty what the future will hold, what is certain is that employers and employees need to be adaptable around the various methods to ensure that the workplace remains safe.




WHITFIELD: Right now our panel is here answering your questions about health, family, and food, questions that you emailed in. Let's welcome back Dr. Jennifer Lee, Dr. Gail Saltz, and Registered Dietician Maya Feller. Good to see you back, ladies. So Dr. Lee, Maryanne (ph) from New Mexico writes "I have moderate COPD and have a great deal of trouble wearing masks. I often have to pull down the mask to catch my breath. What should I do?"

LEE: So, Maryanne (ph), someone with COPD, which is a chronic inflammatory lung disease, if there's any way you can avoid going out, that would be the safest bet for you, because, of course, we know that people who have COPD or asthma or other chronic lung conditions are at higher risk of having bad outcomes with COVID.

If you do have to go out, though, if you really have no choice, then think about how the timing, maybe you can go out, make sure you check the weather, maybe you can go out at a time when it's not as hot, because when it's hot outside that can make it difficult to keep your mask on. Think about the kind of mask you're wearing.

If you can access one of those surgical face masks, they do tend to be a little lighter. They can be purchased. Again, we do want to reserve them mostly for health care workers, but if you absolutely have to go out, it might be a little bit more comfortable.

Make sure it fits around over your nose and mouth and covers your face comfortably. And be sure to wash your hands whenever you're taking your mask on or off. But the best, safest option would be to stay home and see if you can avoid going out, being someone who is high risk.

WHITFIELD: Dr. Saltz, a viewer writes, "I often feel anxious when food shopping or when I see large crowds. How can I prevent an anxiety attack?"

SALTZ: Well, actually, as this is a great concern, that as things open up, we've put the fear into everyone, and then coming back out again after you've already been so afraid is going to be difficult. I would say you need to tell yourself that you're doing all your reasonable problem solving.

So for most people that's going to mean picking low traffic times to go out and about to do what they need to do, trying to stay socially distant, wearing a mask. Sometimes if, for example, you're grocery shopping, you might also choose to wear gloves.

But basically, the idea is you're doing your problem-solving, so you're diminishing your risk significantly, and you need to remind yourself of that, and any additional anxiety is probably essentially leftover fear from how anxious this whole situation has made everybody. You can do things to calm yourself down in the moment.

Slow, deep breathing, abdominal breathing anywhere you are is very helpful in reducing anxiety. And you can do preventive mental health care for yourself when you're at home even before you go out, which has to do with things like aerobic exercise every day, which reduces your stress level, practice of mindfulness, talking to others for social support to reduce your anxiety.

And when you reduce your overall anxiety level, it is going to help when you go out to do what you need to do.

WHITFIELD: Understandable why some feel a lot of anxiety right now. Maya, a viewer writes "With food prices rising, what is the best way to grocery shop to maximize my budget?"

FELLER: That's such a great question. Yes, so the food prices are on the rise. What I'm suggesting to people is actually skip the single serve items and skip the things that are already processed. So let's say you purchase yogurt. Instead of having the individual yogurt, purchase a larger tub. If you're purchasing chicken, instead of buying the parts, purchase the whole thing. Anything that you can buy in bulk, do so.

Also, if there's a sale. This is a time to maybe buy one or two of the sale items, and especially if it's produce or fruit or delicate things like berries if they're on sale, you can buy extra, bring them home, wash them, dry them, process them, and freeze them for later use. That way you're getting the most out of that purchase.

Dr. Saltz, Sharon (ph) writes "My high school senior is upset. Her graduation was canceled. What can we do to cheer her up?"


SALTZ: So many children across the country and young adults have missed all kinds of things that were supposed to happen this spring that were milestones. There are two things to think about. One is that this is a real loss. And it can't necessarily be 100 percent replaced.

And you know what, that's OK. Hopefully this is the biggest loss of their life. But probably it isn't. And to some degree with losses and the acceptance of losses, we build resilience. And so that's something to talk with your teen about.

But in addition, there are sort of substitutes that are going on that actually can make her feel at least that she's part of a collective, because what's graduation about? It's the accomplishment of having finished and learned all you needed to learn in high school. That's what it represents.

So you want to reward them for that. You want to actually bring in friends to celebrate that. So that could be through Zoom or it could be through -- you see these virtual graduations going on where incredible figures like the Obamas are joining in.

But it's basically, what really matters is what they've accomplished. And you can remind them of that, and you can actually let them have a global but distant celebration, and you can help them accept that there are losses right now, and that's sad, but it probably won't be the last one.

WHITFIELD: Yes, there are great varieties of how to celebrate yourself, all graduates, all you 2020 graduates out there.

Stand by, ladies, we've got more questions, and you've got more answers for us. And speaking of graduations, Dr. Saltz, you talk about the high-profile people involved. As the pandemic spoils ceremonies nationwide, the class of 2020 is scrambling for new ways to mark their moments.

And local communities are getting creative to help. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, billboard company High Road Advertising is giving families free ad space to brag on their grad. So far, they've featured more than 300 students with many more requests on the way. And an added bonus, a few of the company's paying clients are donating their ad spaces so seniors have more time to shine.

Out in Oroville, California, special seniors can see their names in lights at the Oroville State Theater. When the pandemic stopped the scheduled performances there, the theater switched its marquee to salute the top ten scholars from nearby high schools. Later this month the names of all local graduates will scroll on the marquee.

And in Springfield Parish, Louisiana, an assistant principal and his wife gave students a personal final farewell. Each senior got a large banner for the entire town to see. Assistant Principal John Chewning says he wants to make sure his students get honored as a class and as individuals.

And in Klamath Falls, Oregon, local business Impressions Designs and Market is selling personalized yard signs for seniors. For every sale, $5 goes towards scholarship funds to help some of the towns graduating seniors cover next year's expenses.

And of course, be sure to tune in as the nation pays tribute to its 2020 high school graduates in an hour-long special "Graduate Together." That's tonight at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.



WHITFIELD: We're back answering your questions about coronavirus and its impact on your health, your family, your nutrition. Let's bring back our panel. Dr. Lee, Ian writes "What is the latest on a coronavirus vaccine? Do you think we will see one by early next year?"

LEE: Well, we all certainly hope so. There are a lot of -- there's a lot of activity happening on the vaccine front. There are worldwide more than 100 different candidates that are being investigated, and right now eight of the potential vaccines are in human clinical trials.

There was a big announcement yesterday at the White House that there's going to be an accelerated effort to get to a vaccine by the end of this year. And while we certainly hope that that happens, there's also some skepticism about that just because we -- that all depends on how the clinical trials turn out.

There are three right now in the United States that are ongoing. They're going to be moving forward to enroll thousands more through the summer. And we need to see the data from that to know whether this is both safe and effective. WHITFIELD: Maya, a viewer writes, "How do you stop emotional eating

during this pandemic?"

FELLER: So, the first thing that I say is give yourself some grace. This is an unprecedented moment. So it makes complete sense that we're turning to food for comfort. So I would actually say, if there is a food that is comforting, make it and have it in a mindful and intentional way.

If you see that it's cookies or something that is high in refined sugars and you're going to it multiple times over the course of the day and it's making you feel unwell, then think about how you can actually change the proportion of how often that is showing up, right? So instead of making cookies every day, maybe switch to making it once per week. But give yourself some grace, because this is a very tough time.


WHITFIELD: It is, indeed. All right, thanks to all of you, really appreciate it. And thank you at all home for all of your wonderful questions you submitted.

And thank you for joining me this afternoon. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Newsroom continues with Ana Cabrera right after this.


ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for joining me. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.