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Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D-PA) Discusses Protesters Call For Easing Of Restrictions In Pennsylvania; Biotech Firm Moderna Vaccine Advancing To Phase Two Trial; CDC Warns Of Rise In Mysterious Inflammatory Syndrome In Kids. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired May 18, 2020 - 07:30   ET

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


[07:30:00]

LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Represent a small, tiny minority of individuals that -- you know, I don't know what their interests are but they don't appear to be based in science and some of the underlying figures and numbers of cases.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, and we have some video of the protests from Friday in Harrisburg. And I hear you. I mean, it's small but, you know, they're vocal. They've gone there for the state capitol.

And so, what is your message, then? Look, they are desperate to get back to work, right, and back to their old lives. I think all of us can appreciate that. So, how do you --

FETTERMAN: That's true (ph).

CAMEROTA: -- impress upon them that this is about their health as well?

FETTERMAN: Well, again, the idea that -- I mean, the governor and I don't feel that the anguish and the upheaval -- and, you know, we all miss normal. We all want to go back to normal as soon as we possibly can.

This idea that these -- about the openings being denied -- anybody, based on anything other than underlying science and how the virus is behaving in these restricted (ph) counties is disingenuous. You know, the virus doesn't play politics and the governor and, certainly, I would never play politics on this.

This is all based on a lot of underlying science and the imperfect science of trying to strike that balance of lives and livelihoods. And there are going to be instances where there -- a debate is reasonable and makes sense. But this idea that these counties are being singled out for any reason other than the way the virus has spread and the caseloads is simply not accurate.

CAMEROTA: President Trump, of course, is injecting politics. He often sees things through the lens of politics and so this is what he tweeted about Pennsylvania. "The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now and they are fully aware of what that entails. The Democrats are moving slowly all over the U.S. for political purposes. They would wait until November third if it were up to them. Don't play politics. Be safe, move quickly!"

Your response to that?

FETTERMAN: Well one, I actually agree with the president on one thing, that Pennsylvania does have great people in it.

And the governor and I are absolutely fixated on their health, safety, and welfare. And as the governor pointed out, I don't know how you can move quickly and do that safely at the same time. They seem mutually exclusive.

And the governor's practice has been to consistently -- what does the science say, what do the epidemiologists say, and these underlying benchmarks of cases per 100,000 are pretty straightforward. I mean, as soon as these counties meet these benchmarks they are moved off unless there's some kind of extenuating circumstance.

And as I pointed out, we're well over 40 counties -- approaching 50 counties that are in the yellow phase. And once the yellow phase is established we would move to green, which is even a more liberal opening of these areas.

So this idea that the governor isn't on the actual cutting edge of finding that balance of reopening the economy after flattening the curve to the point where most Pennsylvanians can feel good about where we are in terms of containing the virus.

CAMEROTA: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, we really appreciate all the information. Thank you for your time.

FETTERMAN: No, thank you.

CAMEROTA: All right.

So we have some new developments of a major vaccine study that is underway right now. We have details for you in a live report, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:37:40]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we have a developing story for you -- new information about a coronavirus vaccine that is advancing now to phase two of trials.

CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now with the details. What exactly does this mean, Elizabeth?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: John, good morning. This is good news for this vaccine. What it tells us is that they looked at eight participants and after they vaccinated them they developed high levels of neutralizing antibodies. Those are antibodies, John, that glom onto the virus and disable it from being able to infect a human cell.

I spoke just moments ago with the chief medical officer at this company called Moderna. His name is Dr. Tal Zaks. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. TAL ZAKS, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, MODERNA: This is really a very first important step in the journey towards having a vaccine available for the people who need it the most.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COHEN: Now, notably, the levels of neutralizing antibodies that they saw when people were vaccinated were the same or even higher than people who were naturally infected with the virus and later developed antibodies -- John, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Elizabeth, thank you very much for that update.

So, doctors in at least 17 states are seeing an increase in what's being called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children. This is a condition possibly linked to coronavirus. What does that mean for summer camp, and school in the fall, and your child's health?

Let's bring in Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, a primary care pediatrician and assistant professor at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Doctor, thank you for being here.

Gov. Cuomo has been talking about this and he just said that 120 cases of kids in New York have broken out with this worrisome severe inflammatory syndrome. And he said that they're trying to figure out if it's the tip of the iceberg.

And, you know, you and I are both in New York so I don't want to be too New York-centric, but is there a sense that across the country other doctors are seeing this strange syndrome in children?

DR. EDITH BRACHO-SANCHEZ, PRIMARY CARE PEDIATRICIAN, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IRVING MEDICAL CENTER (via Cisco Webex): Yes. Good morning, Alisyn. It's good to be with you.

So, as you mentioned, cases here in New York are increasing. I think here in New York we've seen a lot more infections than other parts of the country have seen. And when you see more infections you also happen to see more of the rare complications of the virus.

[07:40:00]

But there are reports in other states -- they are starting to investigate this. And the CDC has put out an alert asking all of us across the country to report these cases so that we have a better understanding of exactly what percentage of children develop it.

CAMEROTA: So does coronavirus, if that's what this is, present differently in children than in adults? What are symptoms with this severe inflammatory disease that first get parents' or doctors' attention in kids?

BRACHO-SANCHEZ: Right, so we are learning more and more. The coronavirus can trigger inflammation in both kids and in adults. In kids, however, it seems like this inflammation is coming weeks after the primary illness.

And remember, Alisyn, a lot of kids don't have symptoms when they have this primary illness. And if they have them, they have mild symptoms. So a lot of parents don't know that their kid has had coronavirus. Now, in adults, it seems like this inflammation is coming at the same time as the primary infection.

But so much to learn still and as you mentioned, the symptoms are very different in kids. So we need to learn the signs and we need to have a reliable way to reach your pediatrician.

CAMEROTA: Let's put these up. So, the symptoms that we are familiar with -- that we've heard about now for months with Covid-19.

In adults, fever, flu-like symptoms, a cough, a sore throat, difficulty breathing, loss of smell or taste.

Then if you look at the right side of your screen, what's being called Multi-Inflammatory Syndrome-C -- I guess for children -- a fever, then a skin rash. You often see, you know, red hives or bumps. Redness in their eyes, lips, and tongue. Swollen hands, feet of lymph nodes. Kidney or heart complications, and abdominal pain.

Also, I think we should add to that those so-called Covid toes. I know that so many doctors are seeing strange cases where kids come in with these red or purple itchy toes, and those have been linked to Covid as well.

So why is it presenting differently in kids?

BRACHO-SANCHEZ: That is the million-dollar question, Alisyn. But to us who are pediatricians it is not surprising that the presentation is different. Kids are not little adults. They have different physiology. We are still learning.

But this syndrome does seem to overlap what we know to be Kawasaki disease. It also has some features from Toxic Shock Syndrome.

The symptoms that you mentioned and how severely these kids are presenting does let us know, though, that this is a new illness that we have amongst us. And we're still trying to understand why this is happening or what kids are at risk for developing this complication.

CAMEROTA: We're starting to hear some testimonials from kids. Of course, there aren't that many. I mean, we need to just keep adding that caveat that this is extremely rare to see it so severe that kids need to be hospitalized, but there are cases cropping up.

And there was this one case of a ninth-grader in New York in Woodside, Queens. His name is Jack McMorrow and he was previously healthy. He was hospitalized with some of these symptoms for heart failure. I mean, as we've heard, this attacks the vital organs.

And I just thought it was interesting how he described what he was feeling. He has recovered and he described what he was feeling. He said you could feel it going through your veins and it was almost like someone injected you with straight-up fire.

I've not heard a description that like that before from any of the people we've interviewed who've come through Covid.

BRACHO-SANCHEZ: And, I mean, some of these kids have such great insight, right? I think -- you know, sometimes adults are surprised. I think to us who are pediatricians, again, we're not surprised that the insight -- the level of insight that these kids have.

And so much to unpack in what you just mentioned, Alisyn. But when we look at the data there really isn't, so far, any underlying predisposition medical condition that makes kids more at risk for developing this complication and that is, so far, what is so striking about this.

CAMEROTA: So let's just show people what to be on the lookout for. I mean, we have a few pictures of -- here you see a child's legs red with rash and hives. Obviously, that looks like a child who has been taken to the hospital. Same thing -- their hands, legs, feet -- we're seeing things like that.

Let's see if we have any other pictures to show people. But, Doctor, in terms -- oh, yes, and then the eyes being inflamed or red.

So, Doctor, if this does mimic Kawasaki disease in some way, is there a treatment for that -- for say, Kawasaki or is there anything that's helping once kids present with this -- helping them get better?

BRACHO-SANCHEZ: So, so important, Alisyn. There are ways to treat this.

So far, what we're doing is treating it like Kawasaki disease and being very aggressive about bringing the levels of inflammation in the body down. So we're using something called IVIG -- intravenous immunoglobulin which, again, targets that inflammation. Some doctors are using steroids.

[07:45:11]

And all of this also tells us that we need to start studying. We need to start standardizing the treatment for this new syndrome.

And again, I just can't say it enough, parents need to learn the signs. When their kids are reaching that third day of fever it is time to start calling, especially if you're noticing the other symptoms that come with this new syndrome. CAMEROTA: Dr. Bracho-Sanchez, we really appreciate your information.

Thank you.

BRACHO-SANCHEZ: Thank you, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: John.

BERMAN: We want to remember some of the nearly-90,000 Americans lost to coronavirus.

Joseph LaMarche (ph) was an active churchgoer and father of five, including two sets of identical twins. His daughter describes him as an avid hobbyist who loved the ocean, gardening, and making his own furniture. He is remembered by family as a real teddy bear of a man.

Augusto Valderez (ph) was a social worker and youth basketball coach. He came to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 1988. His daughter says he was a loving and noble family man. Valderez is survived by his wife and three children.

And, three sisters in Detroit passed away from coronavirus within a couple of weeks of each other. Geraldine Slaughter was 86. Her two sisters, Ruth and Jeannine, were also tested but died before getting the results. They were remembered as loving members of a tight-knit family.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:50:41]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: Assuming there's not a second wave of the coronavirus, I think you'll see the economy recover steadily through the second half of this year. So, for the economy to fully recover, people will have to be fully confident and that may have to wait the arrival of a vaccine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Wow, a lot in that one statement from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, now being poured over by investors as the markets get ready to open this morning.

Joining me now, CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans, and CNN anchor and correspondent Julia Chatterley.

Romans, really interesting to hear from Jerome Powell there on "60 MINUTES." He says he does think that things will get better in the next quarter but not fully recover until there's a vaccine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, EARLY START: Yes, and so that's being interpreted as -- well, that's 2021. That's sometime next year, at the most optimistic here. And he's saying that things will get better. This isn't a housing

bubble, this isn't a financial crisis. This isn't something that happened to the economy because there was something wrong with the economy. This is a health crisis that we're dealing with and so that makes it a little bit different and that means the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

But the right now, John -- the right now, he's saying, is going to be ugly. That it will be Depression-era-looking numbers for the right now but that we can get through it.

BERMAN: He said, Julia, that we can expect to see 20 to 25 percent unemployment. And again, much of what we've been hearing from Jerome Powell over the last few days has been by way of trying to convince Congress that they need to get their act together.

Well, the House did pass a $3 trillion relief package. It's dead on arrival in the Senate. But, Congress needs to do something, Powell thinks.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: I don't think there was any accident in the timing. We've heard from Jay Powell twice in one week -- in the same week that, as you point, the Democrats came up with their options for what next.

Jay Powell said this. He said look, in order to have a robust recovery and what we hope to see from this economy, you have to make sure that businesses are in a position to be able to reopen, to rehire. Individuals are in a position to be able to spend. He said this kind of shock is nothing like we've seen in our lifetime. Their response has to match that.

He said that they do more -- that Congress needs to do more. And again, unprecedented for a central bank governor to start talking about extended unemployment insurance. He was asked the question, he responded, careful not to be too obvious to push lawmakers.

But all the things that we know now that the Republicans are at least talking about -- to come up with their own options -- were things that were debated by Jay Powell.

BERMAN: Yes.

CHATTERLEY: Unprecedented times.

BERMAN: Both of you have been talking about how the small business loan program needs to be fixed and you've been hearing from people running businesses, particularly restaurants and things like that over the last month or so.

It has to do, Christine Romans, with how these owners are required to use the money that they're given, and now there might be a change. This is really important.

ROMANS: This is, and we've been talking about this for some time because so many of these small business owners were saying that the timing was too concrete. They have to pay it -- they have to use it in a certain amount of time and pay it back in a certain amount of time. And they have to use it -- 75 percent has to be for payroll.

And some of these small business owners are saying look, I need to use that money to transform my business. I need to use that money to put in partitions, for example, between customers and my workers. And they wanted more flexibility for how to use it in the timeline.

"The Wall Street Journal" is reporting that there could be some movement on this and some flexibility for these small business owners for this very important money.

BERMAN: And again, it's not, Julia, because these small business owners don't want to see people paid. It's that if you're a restaurant, for instance, they don't think they need to be paying or can pay waiters if they're not going to be open for another month, in other words. And those waiters could get unemployment.

CHATTERLEY: Absolutely. We've got a situation now where you're workers -- and particularly for the restaurant industry but more broadly -- could be better off earning benefits.

How do you rehire all your workers back in the next eight weeks but then only have, what, half of the revenues because you have reduced staff, reduced customers? You could go bankrupt in the short-term. This could be such a huge game changer for employment going forward.

I spoke to Deutsche Bank last week and they said that just based on the PPP loans that have been given out, up to 68 million workers are attached to those. You've just got to create the right conditions for them to be rehired.

[07:55:08]

So to Christine's point, eight weeks to spend the money is too short -- extend that. Extend the deadline on the hiring beyond June 30th. Simply give these businesses enough chance and flexibility to make decisions -- and that could be a real game changer for rehiring.

BERMAN: And I just want to make clear in this world where everything is so partisan and split, there's broad agreement on this and everyone wants to find a way to make this work better. This is not people arguing over something; this is people universally wanting to fix it.

Christine Romans, rent in New York City -- holy cow.

ROMANS: I know.

BERMAN: People renting apartments, they just disappeared.

ROMANS: They did. I mean, down 71 percent -- new lease signings. Lease signings down 71 percent. I mean, that is just breathtaking. And vacancy rates are up.

I think you're going to see that in some big cities around the country. The question is how long does it last? But it really puts pressure on landlords and puts pressure, really, on

the real estate industry writ large here because you've got just a seismic shift here in what's -- in what's happening.

It could be good for suburbs, quite frankly, where people are trying to go find a house to fix up so that they're going to be working for home -- from home for the next year or so and teaching their kids from home as well. So I think you're going to see some real interesting movement in the real estate landscape here.

BERMAN: It is interesting, Julia. It might be one reason that we have seen landlords be more flexible in some cases than I've ever seen them be in the past. Where if people can't pay all their rent, they're forgiving a month here or there. They're saying pay what you can because they just may not be able to get money from anywhere else.

CHATTERLEY: Anecdotally, hearing that left, right, and center in New York. One, two months free in order to get people to continue to resign.

But I'm not surprised to see a 70 percent drop. In April, New York City was the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis. If you could avoid it in any way -- by sleeping on someone's sofa, going back to parents, for example, doing other things -- you would have done it.

ROMANS: Yes.

CHATTERLEY: So I think the next few months are going to be the decider of what activity we see, including jobs, of course. If people don't have jobs to come back to or opportunities then they're going to stay away from the city.

So one month does not a trend make. But we'll definitely see pressure on tenancy agreements, on the prices being dropped, and, of course, for individuals, too. In one way, prices are going down -- and one way they're going, and that is down.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, one final big-picture question here that's been looming over I think everything the last few weeks. The stock market has been remarkably resilient. There is a huge disconnect between where stock prices are right now and what the economy is doing.

What does this mean, and it is reason for concern?

ROMANS: You know, the stock market is looking way ahead. The stock market knows that April investors, writ large, know that April was terrible and May will be terrible.

They're looking ahead. They're looking ahead to a vaccine. They're looking ahead to reopening and what the economy is going to look like down the road.

I mean, earnings are just cratering. I mean, all of the fundamentals are just terrible. But this is that age-old situation where Main Street is not Wall Street. Those two things are very separate right now and investors are looking very far ahead.

And, you know, they could be getting ahead of themselves, too. I mean, they're pretty much pricing in, and I think Julia will agree with me, the best-case scenario for reopening. That's what the stock market is telling right now.

BERMAN: All right. Julia Chatterley, Christine Romans, thanks very much for being with us this morning -- appreciate it.

We do have breaking news on the vaccine front. NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Texas reported its highest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases yet on Saturday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There should not be one-size-fits-all approaches to reopening, but reopen we must.

PETER NAVARRO, WHITE HOUSE TRADE ADVISER: The CDC really let the country down with the testing. They had a bad test and that did set us back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you hear Navarro talk, it's very discouraging because you can tell that there's an agenda.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want to make something clear. Vaccine or no vaccine, we're back.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Doing what's convenient, what's easy, that's how little kids think. Unfortunately, a lot of so-called grownups, including some with fancy titles, still think that way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

CAMEROTA: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.

And we begin with breaking news on the race to develop an effective vaccine for coronavirus. The biotech firm Moderna reports that early results from its vaccine trial shows that patients did develop antibodies against the virus. Now, this trial moves to phase two.

We are going to speak to Dr. Sanjay Gupta in one moment about what this means for the rest of us.

Also developing overnight, tensions between the White House and the CDC boiling over. A senior CDC official expressing anger and frustration in response to what you're about to hear -- direct criticism from a top White House adviser.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NAVARRO: Early on in this crisis, the CDC, which really had the most trusted brand around the world --

END