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NEW DAY SATURDAY

Donald Trump Announces Ambitious Plan To Develop Vaccine By End Of Year; NY Stay-At-Home Order Extended Until May 28; COVID-19 Continues To Hammer The Economy As House Democrats Attempt To Pass Another Relief Bill; Three Million Americans Filed For Unemployment Benefits Last Week; Trump Moves To Fire State Department Inspector General Steve Linick; Doctors On High Alert For COVID-19-Related Syndrome In Children. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired May 16, 2020 - 06:00   ET

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


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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Vaccine or no vaccine, we're back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A nationwide experiment shifting into high gear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am excited at some, but it's -- you know, like I said, I'm just -- it's just nerve-racking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's either open or close my doors for good.

ANDREW CUOMO, GOVERNOR, NEW YORK: Do not underestimate this virus and do not play with this virus.

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control.

TRUMP: It'll go away at some point. It'll go away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. So good to have you this Saturday morning. I'm Victor Blackwell.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: This morning, the optimism is slamming right into the reality of the race for a vaccine. Researchers around the world are rushing to develop a coronavirus vaccine and President Trump has formally unveiled his administration's Operation Warp Speed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Its objective is to finish developing and then to manufacture and distribute a proven coronavirus vaccine as fast as possible. Again, we'd love to see if we could do it prior to the end of the year. We think we're going to have some very good results coming out very quickly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: So you hear there the president doubling down on his goal for a vaccine by the end of the year. It's an aggressive timeline. Most health experts claim it's unrealistic at best, potentially dangerous at worst.

More in just a moment on why scientists believe over-promising could be so detrimental, but there's also a new warning on the U.S. death toll. States are pushing ahead on plans to reopen here. The director of the CDC now forecasting more than 100,000 deaths by the end of this month. That's just two weeks away.

BLACKWELL: Let's go to the White House now. CNN's Kristen Holmes is there. Kristen, good morning to you and the president outlined the strategy there, introduced the leadership of this new initiative and says the country is back with or without a vaccine.

KRISTEN HOLMES: Good morning, Victor and Christi. Well, that's right and he really doubled down on this idea that a vaccine wasn't necessary.

He said in multiple different ways during that press conference that the vaccine would go -- excuse me -- that the virus would go away without a vaccine and this of course is something that many scientists, including his own task force members, have pushed back on in the past, saying that really a vaccine is the key to returning to normalcy.

But that's not the only part of this launch, this initiative launch that really had health experts and scientists concerned. The other part was that timeline. As you said Christi, this is a very ambitious timeline. He said that he'd like to have hundreds of millions of doses of a vaccine available to the public by the end of the year and scientists, many of them do not think that that is possible, particularly when it comes to coronavirus.

They say we are still learning so much about this virus, how it impacts the body and you don't want to cut out those critical testing phases, but here is what President Trump said on how exactly they would speed up the process.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Typically, pharmaceutical companies wait to manufacture a vaccine -- a vaccine until it has received all of the regulatory approvals necessary and this can delay vaccines 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMS: OK. So there are two things I want to point out here and this is from multiple conversations with different health officials and scientists. One, they say that the manufacturing is not the biggest part of this, that again it is the science and the testing, making sure that it would work.

Now, the other thing I want to point to is Dr. Fauci's testimony in front of the U.S. Senate earlier this week. He said that a timeline of 12 to 18 months was possible, but that there was no guarantee that the vaccine would work. This raises a lot of red flags to doctors, to the medical community.

We know that right now in the U.S. there is a whole anti-vaccination movement. People do not trust vaccines. There is a huge concern that if they release a vaccine that doesn't work that this will quash people's faith in vaccines moving forward and really harm that process.

PAUL: All right. Kristen Holmes, always good to have you with us. Thank you so much for the update. So let's talk about these states that are reopening across the country. Millions of New Yorkers are still under that shelter-in-place order. However, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced five regions in the state will be allowed to begin phased reopenings.

BLACKWELL: Let's go to one of them now, Binghamton there in Broome County.

[06:05:00]

CNN's Polo Sandoval is there. Some optimism looking forward, plans still to be developed. What are you hearing about what's next for that part of the state?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor. Quite a bit of optimism, but we are in one of those communities that's allowed this gradual reopening. We should be clear though, this only accounts for a very small percentage of the total population of New York State.

The more populated regions, New York City for example, had been considered ground zero for this pandemic. At this point, people there are still going to have to adhere to this stay-at-home order according to the governor and he made it very clear yesterday it isn't until those other regions are able to meet certain requirements that they'll be able to begin that reopening.

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SANDOVAL: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo extending the state's stay- at-home order through May 28th, maintaining restrictions for the more populated regions including New York City which have not hit all seven of the benchmarks set by the state to begin the reopening process.

CUOMO: If a region hits its benchmark at any time, regardless of the pause order, then that region can open. We're opening phase one in those five regions today.

SANDOVAL: That's allowing curbside retail, manufacturing and construction work to resume in some more sparsely populated communities in the state hardest hit by the COVID pandemic. In upstate New York, building contractor Joe Dundon already busy fielding job calls.

JOSEPH DUNDON, OWNER, DUNDON CONSTRUCTION: I think the most I'm going to have on a job is four maybe and that's a lot different. I mean, we used to have seven, eight guys on jobs. So things might take a little longer, but at least we're going to be safe moving forward.

SANDOVAL: And New York's beaches will reopen in time for Memorial Day weekend with limited capacity and with the exception of New York City beaches. Neighboring states New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut also planning on opening up their shores by Sunday.

Forty-eight U.S. states will have partially reopened. Despite a recent uptick in COVID-19 deaths across the state, Texas is on track to reopen exercise facilities and also expand capacities at movie theaters and restaurants as soon as Monday. And in Florida starting Monday, restaurants will be allowed to serve at 50 percent capacity and gyms also slated to reopen.

RICK DESANTIS, (R) FLORIDA: If you're inside, make sure you're doing the social distance and then sanitize machines and surfaces after use.

SANDOVAL: Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled new flowcharts designed to help communities and businesses decide whether they can reopen. The six short documents came after lengthier guidelines were shelved by the White House earlier this week.

The CDC also issuing a new health alert about a COVID-related inflammatory illness reported among children exposed to the virus, the agency putting an all-call out to doctors across the country asking they report suspected cases. Federal health officials say they're hoping to better understand the rare, but potentially deadly condition.

ROBERTA DEBIASI, CHIEF OF PEDIATRIC INFECTIOUS DISEASES, CHILDREN'S NATIONAL HOSPITAL: We're all putting our heads and cases together to really get an answer to what is driving this, the best treatments and then we can then, once we have those answers, have a -- be in a better position to make data-driven recommendations.

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SANDOVAL: Now, if and when places like New York City do move forward with this gradual reopening, it does come with great responsibility, Victor and Christi. You see, those local governments will have to constantly monitor the number of COVID-19 cases. They'll also have to make sure and enforce business compliance. Any uptick in those numbers could mean repausing things. So at this point, that kind of monitoring, that's what we're seeing in communities like this in upstate New York. Back to you.

BLACKWELL: Polo Sandoval for us there in Binghamton. Thanks so much. PAUL: Polo, thank you. So do stay with us because next hour we're speaking with the general manager of the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina. It's in Fort Myers, Florida. They reopened yesterday and they'd been closed for a weeks obviously.

BLACKWELL: We'll find out what guests can expect during a vacation in the midst of a pandemic. Is it worth it? We'll talk about that later this morning.

PAUL: So the push to reopen at full speed is fueled by this new round of tough economic headlines this week and despite an effort by House Democrats for money relief, Americans just are not likely to get another check anytime soon we hear.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Cristina Alesci is joining us now. First, let's talk about the economy this week. A lot of new information giving us a picture of how we got to this point and then we can move forward to the passage of this bill.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN POLITICS AND BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Victor. Gut-punch and disaster, those were the words that flooded my e-mail this box (ph) to kind of capture what's happening in the economy right now, but even more upsetting than those, you know, top-line ways to describe this is the way that it's playing out in the real world, how this is impacting people.

Another 3 million Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits. That brings the total to 26.5 million Americans who have sought that benefit over the last six weeks. That is just a stunning number and the way that it's hitting lower-income households also seems to be getting a lot of attention, rightfully so.

[06:15:03] Fed Chair Jerome Powell saying that 40 percent of households making less than $40,000 have lost jobs. That is going to exacerbate the income inequality problem we already have in this country. So given all of that, it is no surprise that retail sales had their worst reading ever since the government started tracking that data, down 16.4 percent. Consumers are not in the mood to buy anything but essentials at this point.

Now, we did hear the president's advisors trying to pivot the conversation to the future, saying, hey, maybe we reached peak pain, maybe things will only get better from here, we still have the stimulus that's working its way through the system.

Those are talking points from the administration which stand in stark contrast to what Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve Chairman, said this week which was the longer people stay unemployed, the harder it is to get them back in the workforce because they lose skills, they lose the connection to the job market and this could be a much longer recovery than initially anticipated, Victor.

PAUL: Yes. That old adage that it's easier to get a job if you have a job kind of rings in our ears here so. I want to talk to you about what happened last night. The House approved this new $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill. There was opposition from Republicans and some opposition from

Democrats on this. We know that some of the Senate Republicans say this is a liberal wishlist. That's how they characterize it. What is the chance this is even going to go for a vote in the Senate?

ALESCI: The chances are very slim, but here's what the Democrats did. They basically laid out a way that they would address this crisis and it was critical for them politically to do this and what's in the bill is very interesting, an additional possibly $6,000 direct payment to Americans, up to $6,000, $1 trillion for state and local funding.

These are huge numbers, but the Democrats want to make it clear that they want to hit this crisis and try and stem the tide of the disaster for average Americans.

What this does, it does make it harder for Republicans just to say no more spending whatsoever. It's going to put pressure on them to do something and it's going to be helped by the fact that the Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, is basically turning to Congress saying, hey, you guys have to step it up. There's still more to be done. So we're going to see another bill is the consensus, just not this one, Christi, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Cristina Alesci for us this morning. Thank you so much Cristina.

PAUL: Thanks, Cristina. So there's an American institution I'm sure you know, J. C. Penney. Well, it's filed for bankruptcy protection now. The 118-year-old retail giant becomes the latest victim in the coronavirus pandemic.

Neiman Marcus and J.Crew both filed for bankruptcy protection last week. Now, Penneys has been struggling financially for the last two decades and as of last February, it owed about $3.6 billion in long- term debt.

Still to come, a Friday night surprise from the White House. President Trump moves to fire the State Department watchdog, the inspector general.

PAUL: And also, the NFL wants more minorities in positions of power. What the league is reportedly ready to offer teams in the name of diversity.

BLACKWELL: And later, have you tried this?

PAUL: No.

BLACKWELL: TikTok challenges --

PAUL: Look at her go.

BLACKWELL: And this video is sped up a bit. So many people are trying this. As you see, not just for the kids. We can do them too. Older folks can do them. We'll take a closer look coming up.

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[06:15:00]

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BLACKWELL: Eighteen minutes after the hour now. President Trump is removing another inspector general. The president gave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi notice of his intent to fire State Department Inspector General Steve Linick in 30 days. He's the third IG to be fired or replaced since April.

PAUL: Yes. Just since last month. The removal is raising questions this morning, though, after the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, said Linick had opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

CNN White House Reporter, Sarah Westwood with us now. There's a lot of moving parts to this, Sarah, I know, so we need your help to kind of walk through this. What more do we know about the president's reasoning for this decision and the investigation into Secretary Pompeo?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, that's right (ph). Christi and Victor, good morning. There's so much we don't know about why the president chose to make this decision removing the State Department watchdog late last night. We know in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump wrote that he no longer had full confidence in Steve Linick, that's the State Department's inspector general.

And Pelosi responded in a statement saying, "The president's late- night weekend firing of the State Department Inspector General has accelerated his dangerous pattern of retaliation against the patriotic public servants charged with conducting oversight on behalf of the American people. Inspector General Linick waws punished for honorably performing his duty to protect the Constitution and our national security, as required by the law and by his oath."

Now, as you mentioned, after the president sent that letter, House Foreign Affairs chairman Eliot Engel, he's a Democrat, said that he had learned that the inspector general had opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a democratic source claimed to CNN that that involved allegations that Pompeo had used improperly a political appointee to do favors, personal favors for him and his wife. Now, the State Department and the Inspector General's Office did not confirm that investigation.

[06:20:00]

The inspector -- a source close to Linick saying they were not aware of that kind of investigation being opened. So it's still unclear at what stage that investigation, if it was opened, had reached before the president took this step.

Now, this is not the only watchdog that the president has removed. As you've mentioned, he also removed the intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson and also the acting inspector general at the Pentagon. Now, the latter he had viewed as a holdover from the Obama administration. That is what sources told CNN at the time, but the former was seen as a retaliatory move related to impeachment.

And Linick, he did not play a major role in the impeachment inquiry, but he did play a small one. He briefed bipartisan staff on committees in the House and the Senate about Ukraine documents that had been provided by the president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. So there is a tie to the impeachment inquiry here, but again, still a lot we don't know about the late-night firing of Steve Linick, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. Thank you for breaking it down for us. Sarah Westwood, good to see you this morning. Thank you. So doctors across the country are being warned about this rare disorder in children that could be related to coronavirus.

BLACKWELL: We're going to hear from a little girl who is recovering from that condition.

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[06:25:00]

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BLACKWELL: The White House is on record pushing for a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year and the roll-out of Operation Warp Speed made that very clear.

PAUL: Yes. The history of vaccine research, though, in the U.S. suggests that kind of timeline may be too optimistic. CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard is with us now. What are other health officials saying about this projected timeline?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Yes, Christi. You know, there have been talks about we could have a vaccine in 12 to 18 months, but a lot of other researchers are saying, wait a minute, vaccine development typically takes more time.

And just as an example, we typically talk about vaccine development in years, not in months and if you look at some of the most widely used vaccines today like the measles vaccine, you know, research was done in the 1950s, but that was not licensed until the 1960s.

And then if you look at polio, tests were done in the 1930s, but trials were not seen as successful until the 1950s. Whooping cough has a similar timeline and so those are just some examples of vaccines that have years and years of research behind them. And I'm by no means saying that those illnesses are similar to COVID-19, but it's just an example of how vaccine development typically takes a lot of time.

Now, what's hopeful with the COVID vaccine is that even though this is a new virus that we have not really seen before, we do have some research already on other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS and so that can really help inform the development that we're seeing today. BLACKWELL: Yes. This timeline is especially optimistic considering I think four years is one of the quickest periods. Let me ask you about why this takes so long, Jacqueline. Walk us through some of the stages and why this cannot typically happen in just a few months.

HOWARD: That's right. Now, it does take a lot of stages, like you said, but if we're just talking about clinical development, that comes in three phases that involve clinical trials that most of us are familiar with. So phase one is typically a clinical trial done on a smaller group to really look at safety.

Then phase two takes you to a larger group and that looks at safety, but also how effective the virus is -- I mean the vaccine is. I'm sorry. And then phase three, you go to an even larger group and that really determines safety and efficacy.

So those are the phases and stages that we see, but outside of that, you also have to license the vaccine, you have to have manufacturing and so, you know, there's really more to it than meets the eye and that's why it will be really, really interesting to see what timeline we are able to achieve with a COVID-19 vaccine.

BLACKWELL: And of course the strategy around administering it. Who will get it first? Jacqueline Howard for us. Jacqueline, thank you so much. This week, the Centers for Disease Control, they issued this warning to thousands of doctors to look out for troubling new symptoms in children that may be associated with coronavirus infections.

PAUL: Multi-system inflammatory syndrome. It's been seen in children across Europe. It's been in at least 18 states now plus Washington D.C.. CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta fills us in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIET DALY, CONTRACTED COVID-RELATED ILLNESS: My stomach started to hurt pretty bad and it felt like my legs were kind of really weak and I was pretty tired.

SEAN DALY, FATHER OF JULIET DALY: She started having blue lips and her extremities were cold. So that's when it was like this is not a, you know, normal flu.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Sean Daly is Juliet's dad. did you think that this might be COVID or coronavirus?

DALY: My wife thought it was a possibility. She called to try to see if she could get tested. She didn't meet the criteria. You know, she was more or less a healthy 12-year-old.

GUPTA: By that evening, Juliet was nearly dead.

DALY: They had me leave the room to intubate her. So they put her under an anesthesia and then she went into cardiac arrest for a little less than two minutes and they had to perform CPR.

GUPTA: What was her condition when you first saw Juliet? JAKE KLEINMAHON, PEDIATRIC CARDIOLOGIST, OCHSNER HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN: She was about as close to death as you can get.

GUPTA: Dr. Jake Kleinmahon is a pediatric cardiologist at Ochsner Hospital for Children in New Orleans.

KLEINMAHON: Her heart was barely squeezing. She was going into kidney failure, liver failure, intubated emergently and put on a ventilator.

[06:30:00]

GUPTA: It's hard to believe we are talking about this same beautiful little girl. But it's also hard to believe that all of this was possibly related to COVID-19, the disease that wasn't really supposed to severely affect kids. Now, it even has a name, it's called Multi- System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot of cells and cells signaling in the body that is just going crazy. And what that is doing is it's creating a lot of inflammation, it's affecting the heart, the liver, the kidney, and really all the cells of the body.

GUPTA: It's been described as a Kawasaki-like disease, that's another inflammatory disease most commonly diagnosed in children or for rashes, a strawberry-appearing tongue and destructive inflammation. But this is also different.

There are so many questions, like why now? Why months into this pandemic are we first seeing this, and why is it so devastating to children in the United States and Europe, but not so much in Asia where some of the first children were infected?

JANE BURNS, DIRECTOR, KAWASAKI DISEASE CLINIC AT RADY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: We have interesting information coming in from Japan, as well as Korea and Taiwan, that no one there that we have been in contact with has seen the severe form of cardiovascular collapse in children.

GUPTA: Dr. Jane Burns is director of the Kawasaki Disease clinic at Rady Children's Hospital, Santiago.

BURNS: No one can tell you for sure that the SARS-COVID-2 virus is a trigger for Kawasaki disease. But there's certainly a circumstantial evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're seeing this in kids who don't have an active COVID infection. Some of them do, but a lot of them are testing positive for antibodies.

GUPTA: A study published in "The Lancet" on Wednesday found that the number of children diagnosed with the Kawasaki-like disease in Bergamo, Italy, jumped 30-fold after the pandemic overtook the region. Still, in the United States as frightening as it is, for now, it still appears rare. Juliet was discharged after 10 days in the hospital.

GUPTA (on camera): How are you feeling now? You look great. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I am feeling good, and still, doesn't seem

to be any long term effects.

GUPTA: Are you back a 100 percent, would you say back to normal?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I still feel a bit out-of-place. I feel kind of like 99 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll take 99 percent.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA: Well, Christi and Victor, I want to emphasize again that what you just saw there, I know was frightening, but also rare. Thankfully rare. Even when it comes to Kawasaki-like illness, the inflammatory disease I mentioned in the piece, there's some 20,000 children in the United States every year that may be diagnosed with this. We're talking about 200 children with this new illness.

So thankfully, again, rare. I think the message is for nurses and doctors, but also parents, stay vigilant. If your child has abdominal pain that is unusual or persistent, that could be a sign. And keep in mind that even after a child recovers from COVID, this post- inflammatory state might be a concern. So, stay vigilant.

If you would have taken your child to the emergency room last year for something, then you should take them this year as well. And on the other hand, if you wouldn't have taken your child to the emergency room for something last year, you probably don't need to this year as well. Also, point is, use your judgment, use your logic and consider tele-health, telemedicine that might be one way to get an evaluation at home without having to go into the hospital. Christi, Victor?

PAUL: Sanjay Gupta, thank you so much for the guidance, we really need that right now.

BLACKWELL: So, we're a few months into this pandemic, and there are still some significant disagreements about the specifics of how this all started. Next, we'll get some answers to the questions, becoming a political one about how this started and it's outpacing the science.

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[06:35:00]

PAUL: There's still a lot of talk about how this pandemic started and its origins are more or less settled, but other details are still really unclear and they're now becoming a point of international dispute particularly between the U.S. and China.

BLACKWELL: Alex Marquardt has the story.

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ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The pandemic that has now blanketed the globe is universally accepted to have exploded out of the Chinese city of Wuhan. What is not known or agreed upon is the exact origin, now less a scientific question than a political one.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think they made a horrible mistake, and they didn't want to admit it.

MARQUARDT: The Trump administration has been stepping up the blame of the Chinese regime, leaning hard on the theory that the virus known as SARS COVID-2 may not have come from a Wuhan wet market which China claims, but leaked accidentally from a government-affiliated lab.

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: I have said before, I've seen evidence that this likely came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Happy to see other evidence that disapproves that.

MARQUARDT: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo points to the security risks at the Wuhan lab. According to cables reported by "The Washington Post", the State Department warned in 2018 about safety and management issues. The body of evidence is circumstantial.

[06:40:00]

U.S. Intelligence agencies say there's no smoking gun. But what they do believe is that the virus was not man-made and was not released purposefully. The Trump administration isn't ruling out that the virus came from elsewhere, but it has been much more aggressive than other countries in pushing the lab theory, which foreign intelligence partners dispute.

SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER, AUSTRALIA: There's nothing that we have that would indicate that was the likely source. You can't rule anything out in these environments.

MARQUARDT: That lack of certainty has allowed the Trump administration to use the lab theory to be more critical of the Chinese government.

CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON, PRESIDENT, CHINA STRATEGIES GROUP: It makes a more compelling case for Chinese Communist Party malfeasance and cover-ups, and you know, foisting this on the globe basically, which helps, I think the administration's blame to some degree.

MARQUARDT: Without more evidence, the World Health Organization which has been blasted by the Trump administration says the lab theory is speculative.

PETER BEN EMBAREK, FOOD SAFETY & ZOONOSES SCIENTIST, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: The markets must have played a role somehow, either as the source of the outbreak or an amplifying city, meaning a city where the virus was introduced.

MARQUARDT: The virus could have been carried to the market or to the lab which are eight miles apart. What is clear, health experts say is that at some point last year, the virus moved in nature from an animal to humans. Dr. Anthony Fauci told "National Geographic", everything about the step-wise evolution over time strongly indicates that this virus evolved in nature and then jumped species. That doesn't discount the lab theory. The Trump administration and Republican allies in Congress argue that

the delay of China's warnings and its alleged stockpiling protective equipment bolster the possibility that the virus escaped the government lab since they likely would have known sooner. Still, if it leaked from the lab, and the government knew, former CIA China analyst Chris Johnson says U.S. Intelligence would likely have picked up on it.

JOHNSON: The administration is trying to make this case very hard. They would leak it if they have it, and they don't or it hasn't been leaked. So they probably don't.

MARQUARDT (on camera): One big thing that the Trump administration can point to when making the case that it's possible that the virus escaped the lab in Wuhan through workers is that it has happened before multiple times in fact, not from Wuhan specifically. But in 2004, two lab workers in Beijing, so also in China were infected with SARS.

And the year before in Singapore, a student was also infected with SARS through accidental contamination. But for now, outside of the U.S., almost everybody is saying that it is highly unlikely that this virus came from the lab in Wuhan, China for its part has called the idea absurd and said that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is insane for pushing it. Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLACKWELL: Alex, thank you. So for the first time since March, sports fans, you will finally be able to watch some new live events. Question, why does a top NASCAR driver say his wife is not happy about that. We'll find out when we come back.

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[06:45:00]

BLACKWELL: We're getting new information about that helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight others in January. The autopsy report for the pilot shows that he had no drugs, no alcohol in his system. Now, it's still not clear what brought the helicopter down, but the pilot's qualifications were said be ample, up-to-date. An official investigation into the crash, Christi, is ongoing.

PAUL: Yes, the death of the NBA star and his daughter, Gianna, they just reverberated through the sports world and beyond, we should point out. Now, Bryant will be posthumously inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame later this year. Let's move to the NFL because they're trying to address what the league itself has called issues with a lack of diversity.

BLACKWELL: And the 32 owners are reportedly going to vote on a resolution that would incentivize teams to hire minorities for head coaching and general manager positions. Let's bring in Coy Wire, Coy, good morning to you. Now, the league, there's already a rule to promote diversity at those positions, but it's not working. COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Yes, and that's clear, and Commissioner

Roger Goodell, he addressed that a few months ago. And here's the case, nearly two-thirds of players in the NFL are black. There are only four minority head coaches, just two teams have black general managers. That's despite to your point, Victor, the implementation of the Rooney Rule 17 years ago, and that requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate when hiring at those positions.

Now, according to multiple reports, the resolution will be presented to owners on Tuesday during a virtual meeting, and if approved, a team would improve its third-round draft selection by 6 spots if they hire a minority head coach. Teams who hire minority general manager would move up 10 slots in the third round. The selections would be made ahead of the second season after those positions are filled.

And, again, back in February, Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league needed to consider changes and determine better outcomes. Just three of the past 20 openings for head coaching positions have gone to a minority. Now, in a memo obtained by CNN, the NFL is telling teams that they can start re-opening facilities on Tuesday in accordance with state and local regulations.

No coaches or players unless they were already an injury rehabilitation program before facilities were closed back in March. The league is allowing no more than 50 percent of staff, and a maximum of 75 people at any one time in the facilities. Teams, they also have to have an infection response team as well as an officer who will enforce CDC recommendations.

[06:50:00]

OK, well, for the first time in over two months, I am happy to say this is a big weekend for sports. This morning, Germany's Bundesliga will become the first top flight soccer league in Europe to start playing again, it will return without fans. Tonight, UFC is holding its third event in Jacksonville over the course of the past eight days. And tomorrow, a golf match featuring Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson facing off against Matthew Wolff and Rickie Fowler.

Finally, start your engines, NASCAR making its return to Darlington tomorrow with Brad Keselowski drawing the pole position for the race. I talked with Keselowski this weekend, he says he's excited about getting back into racing, but I was wondering how is his family feeling about him going out there despite the pandemic to go back to work. He said his wife is actually sad she will not be there. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRAD KESELOWSKI, NASCAR DRIVER: She usually comes to all the races with me, and, you know, she's been my biggest cheerleader. And of course, she can't come with the rules and it's minimal personnel and so forth. So she's bummed about not being able to come, especially because that means she has to stay home with two real little kids. I think she needs a little bit of a mommy break, if you know what I mean. But no, she's obviously excited for me to get back racing as well, I

think. There's a lot of, you know, emotional stability that comes from returning back to normalcy and going back to the race track is our normal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WIRE: Now, Victor and Christi, that last sentiment right there that the drivers and their families might be feeling is what many sports fans right across the country and around the world are feeling. Having sports back does bring that sense of normalcy that we are so eagerly seeking in all walks of life.

BLACKWELL: Yes, and you know, we're seeing that there are some changes to the sports that people are actually enjoying. I don't know if NASCAR will benefit from not having an audience. But the UFC fight, what was it a week ago, two weeks ago, there were a lot of people who said that was great, they enjoyed it more without the audience. So, we'll see how this goes over as things get back to normal there. Coy, thanks so much.

WIRE: You're welcome, thank you --

PAUL: Thank you, Coy. Listen, it has become one of the most popular apps of this pandemic. TikTok, of course, we're talking about it, millions of family and friends going viral. We're checking out some of the best dance routines, wait until you see some of these and why everybody wants to join in.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:55:00]

PAUL: So, I'm sure you have heard of the app TikTok, obviously. I mean, it's become a social media sensation of the lockdown.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it is a new, and you know, this is really something typically that teenagers, kids get all excited about. But now with everybody locked in the house again, all ages are getting into this. Here is CNN's Max Foster with a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When a guy drops off shopping for his grandmother during lockdown, he asks her to do a TikTok dance with him. The same dance is being done many times before, but the secret to TikTokking is making it your own. And if the lockdown had an anthem on the platform, this is it.

(SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bored in the house and I'm in the house bored.

FOSTER: The platform's biggest star, American teenager Charli D'Amelio garnering 8 million likes with her take on the sound. D'Amelio's profile reveals she has an astonishing 55 million followers, and getting on for 4 billion likes on her videos, dwarfing any of the celebrities that join the platform after her. Like D'Amelio, Australian Dante Moeller found stardom dancing and lip-synching in his bedroom. His mother getting in on the act in this video, which is being viewed nearly 5 million times.

DANTE MOELLER, TIKTOK STAR: Beforehand, I think everyone was kind of just doing it for fun, and now it's kind of like a way to escape. But now I think everyone is doing it, everyone, grandma, just because they're bored sitting at home. So I think they might as well do something creative.

FOSTER: And the power of the platform lies in the fact that anyone can go viral if they hit the right vibe. British psychologist Julie Smith has gained hundreds of thousands of followers with educational videos like this.

JULIE SMITH, PSYCHOLOGIST: Your brain can read a word faster than it can label a color. It's a lovely light-hearted platform, and that's partly what drew me to it in the first place, is things that just give you that little lift, that just bring you a moment's joy or make you laugh for a moment. So, you know, those little -- those little moments aren't to be, you know, dismissed because that can help you to get through a day.

FOSTER: Girl, don't do it, it's not worth it. Even journalists are finding the joy on TikTok, trying to make sense of lockdown like everyone else. Max Foster, CNN, in social media's wild west.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(LAUGHTER)

PAUL: You know what else is proven, Victor?

BLACKWELL: Yes --

PAUL: It has proven that mamas can still dance.

BLACKWELL: Some of them.

PAUL: I mean, some --

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: Some of them.

PAUL: Too sure.

BLACKWELL: Yes, all right. Moving on to President Trump --

PAUL: Yes --

BLACKWELL: And the optimism that there will be a vaccine for COVID-19 before the end of the year. He says maybe sooner. The scientists just are not sure.

PAUL: Yes, we're live from the White House on the next hour of the NEW DAY starts with you right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Vaccine or no vaccine, we're back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A nationwide experiment shifting into high gear.