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President Trump Taking the Drug He Touts; China on Defense Mode; U.S. May Abandon Its Contribution to WHO; Italy's Elderly Population Almost Wiped Out; Biotech Company Moderna Break its Good News; Coronavirus Pandemic; European Stocks Higher On Reopenings, Recovery Proposal; U.K. Expands Testing To Anyone Five Plus With Symptoms; U.K. Defends Waiting To Add Loss Of Sense Of Smell To Symptom List; Surge In U.K.'s Unemployment Benefit Claims In April; Self-Describe Strong Leaders Stumble In Face Of Outbreak; U.S. Reopening Coast To Coast; States Across The United States Continue To Ease Restrictions; Top Researcher, Face Mask Key To Controlling Outbreak; Spanish And English Football Clubs Begin Limited Training; Premier League Takes First Step Towards Restarting Season; Trial Test If Dogs Can Smell Covid-19 In Humans. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired May 19, 2020 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. and I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
XI JINPING, PRESIDENT OF CHINA (through translator): All along, China has acted with openness and transparency and responsibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Except that's not what most people think, with growing skepticism over the handling of the pandemic, the global community is pushing for tougher language on China.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is where the unclaimed dead from coronavirus are buried. Unclaimed because many of them had no family. They died alone with no one to mourn their passing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: CNN returns to the epicenter of Italy's coronavirus outbreak and explores what's being called a massacre that has wiped out an entire generation. Plus, get ready football fans. Some of the world's most famous clubs
are finally getting back on the pitch for training. The details just ahead.
Good to have you with us.
Well, in just the last few hours U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to make his temporary freeze on funding for the World Health Organization permanent as he once again directs criticism at the WHO and its leadership.
Mr. Trump tweeted out this letter sent to the WHO director general, which calls for major improvements within 30 days or risk losing funding for good.
Now this comes as the organization is now promising an independent review of the global coronavirus response. Mr. Trump has given his take, saying missteps by the WHO have been extremely costly for the world. And accuse it of being China centric.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think they've done a very sad job in the last period of time, and again, the United States pays them $450 million a year. China pays them $38 million a year and they are a puppet of China. They are China centric to put it nicely. But they are a puppet of China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: In the coming hours, members of the World Health Assembly are expected to vote on a resolution calling for an independent review of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 100 countries have already voice support for an inquiry including China. Though Chinese President Xi Jinping insists an inquiry should wait until the virus is contained.
CNN's Steven Jiang has more now from Beijing.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Rosemary, China is now supporting this resolution which includes this much talks about international inquiry into the global response to the pandemic.
But the way Beijing is framing this is that this is not an independent international inquiry demanded by its critics, instead, this is an impartial evaluation led by the WHO based on science and professionalism, and only to be conducted after the pandemic has been brought under control.
And the Chinese President Xi Jinping in his address to the forum also highlighted the positive role played by the Chinese government in this global fight against the virus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JINPING (through translator): All along, China has acted with openness, transparency, and responsibility. We have provided the information to the World Health Organization and relevant countries in a most timely fashion.
We release the genome sequence at the earliest possible time. We shared control and treatment experience and we have done everything in our power to support and assist the countries in need.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JIANG: Mr. Xi also made several major pledges including donating $2 billion U.S. dollars to the global fight against the virus over a two- year period, and to set up a logistic center to ensure the flow of medical supplies around the world, especially to Africa where they're also helping build a pan-regional health authority headquarters not to mention the death relief measures for African nations.
And all these moves viewed to be very strategic especially by U.S. officials with some of them calling the $2 billion pledge as a token to distract cause from a growing number of nations demanding an investigation into China's response to the pandemic.
And the African initiatives also viewed to be a move to counter backlashes against Beijing, because of some recent reports of discrimination against African nationals in China's fight against the virus.
But one thing is clear though, that this forum has become a showcase of growing tensions between Beijing and Washington. And now with Mr. Trump, the U.S. president threatening to pull the U.S. out of the Who, this has really created an opening for the Chinese government and for Mr. Xi for them to step in, grow their influence and as we have seen in previous cases, increasingly successful in reshaping the global narrative on China, but also reshaping the global institutions that have long been dominated by Washington previously. Rosemary.
CHURCH: Joining me now is CNN medical analyst, Dr. Celine Gounder. Good to have you with us.
CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: My pleasure.
CHURCH: So, with the opening of the WHO annual assembly Monday, China's President Xi Jinping agreed under pressure to back a WHO-led review of the coronavirus pandemic, and China also contributed $2 billion to help World Health Organization's, certainly to help developing nations in their fight against the pandemic. In exchange, Taiwan will be sidelined. What is your reaction to all of this?
GOUNDER: I think it's important to remember Rosemary, what the role of the World Health Organization is. It's not the CIA or FBI, it's not meant to be in an investigative organization. It's also not an organization that has the capacity, like organizations like Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF, and others to actually deploy people on the ground to respond to a crisis. They are really in the business of setting guidelines analyzing the
science, making recommendations, providing technical assistance. And so, you know, I think they're getting sucked in to a position that is just not consistent with their mission and their expertise and their capacity.
CHURCH: And what do you mean by that?
GOUNDER: Well, what I mean by that is, they are a scientific organization that is meant to analyze the science and make recommendations to different countries about what their response might be. What the standard should be, that's very different from trying to police member nations about but what they're actually doing on the ground.
CHURCH: And of course, all this comes as President Trump's stopped U.S. funding for the WHO. This means the U.S. has no voice on these matters going forward. What could be the consequences of this, and particularly when the other side we see China stepping up, with its $2 billion money with its contribution.
GOUNDER: Right. Well, I think the United States, and not just with respect to the World Health Organization, but in terms of leadership on the world stage, is really abdicated its role as a leader. And it's pursued isolationist types of policies.
And so, when you do that, you do leave a vacuum for others to step in. And you may not like who steps in for that vacuum, but unfortunately, we have not been meeting our obligations, whether it's respect to funding or support for the World Health Organization and other such multilateral organizations. And so, that really does mean that we as a country have less of a voice, and less of a role in determining the outcome here.
CHURCH: And why do you think the WHO is appeasing China by acquiescing, as it has to Beijing, not inviting Taiwan to the World Health Assembly.
GOUNDER: Well, you know, you have to look at who is finding their budgets, who is allowing their business to move on to do their job, and so, if the very person who is paying you to do your work is making certain demands or request of you, you know, I think most of us understand the psychology behind that, that you may not really have a choice at that point.
CHURCH: So how do you make this work? And what do you feel the WHO has gotten right so far and what is it gotten wrong, and how do you -- how do you stop the WHO from being pulled in all different directions because it does need funds from countries that can afford money like $2 billion, like 500 million.
GOUNDER: Well, I think one, you have to start by recognizing what the mission of the World Health Organization is, what its job is, and if it can't do everything that we wanted to do whose job is it to do those things? I think the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was a great example of that
where we look to WHO to really be the service provider on the ground. And that's not what they do, at least not what they do now. And so that would require tremendously more funding to build up that kind of capacity.
So, I think we have to be very clear about what their jobs is, and if there are gaps who is going to fill that? And maybe it's them, maybe it's not.
CHURCH: All right. Dr. Celine Gounder, thank you for talking with us.
GOUNDER: My pleasure.
CHURCH: Well President Trump says, he is now taking hydroxychloroquine, a drug he has touted is a potential cure for COVID-19. He made that astounding admission at a briefing Monday, even though medical experts question how effective the drug is and warned of potential side effects.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I get a lot of tremendously positive news on the hydroxy. And I said hey, you know the expression I've used, John? What do you have to lose? OK? What do you have to lose?
I was just waiting to see your eyes light up when I said this, but, you know, when I announce this. But I have taken it for about a week and a half now, and I'm still here. I'm still here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: CNN's Jeremy Diamond has more detail now on Mr. Trump's announcement from Washington.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump on Monday, also announcing he is now taking hydroxychloroquine, though the president saying that he is taking a daily dose of this medication that he has touted for months now as a potential treatment against coronavirus.
But since the president began touting that drug there have been clinical studies that have shown no benefit of the use of the drug in coronavirus patients. And certainly, no evidence that it works as a prophylaxis to prevent coronavirus infection in individuals.
Nonetheless, President Trump touting anecdotal evidence, saying that he received from a doctor in New York touting its benefits also suggesting that he has heard that some frontline healthcare workers are using the drug to prevent coronavirus infections. The president, though, again, not citing any scientific evidence for what he's doing.
Jeremy Diamond, CNN, the White House. CHURCH: And during an interview with CNN, U.S. House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi took a shot at President Trump for taking hydroxychloroquine and question the drug's effectiveness.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: He's our president and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and his, shall we say, weight group. Morbidly obese they say. So, I think it's not a good idea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Should President Trump be taking hydroxychloroquine? A short time ago I posed that question to Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute and here is what he told me.
ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: If I were the president's physician, I would strongly discourage him from taking this medicine. I would not prescribe it.
Look, there's no evidence whatsoever that it is helpful in a situation like this, and there is no evidence at all that it's helpful at all for COVID-19. But there is evidence that the drug has toxicity. And so, on balance right now the drug is not recommended clinically.
Now there are clinical trials happening, and if they show benefit, then sure. We can -- we can change our approach at that point. But right now, there is no evidence that he should be doing what he's doing.
CHURCH: So why do you think the president keeps pushing with this, telling people it's beautiful, it's wonderful, try it. He is now apparently trying it, why would he be doing this?
JHA: It really does baffle me. I'm not sure. I don't know what it means for a drug to be beautiful or wonderful, I know whether drugs are safe and effective or not, and this drug is reasonably safe under monitored circumstances for the right patient population, but we don't know if it's at all effective.
And the safety is really under very monitored circumstances. So, people should not be going out there and just taking it on their own. It does have toxicities and has to be monitored carefully by a physician.
CHURCH: All right, let's move on to some very positive news, where we hope certainly in the end, we're seeing promising early results from the U.S. Moderna vaccine with human trials showing participants developed neutralizing antibodies that can block the virus. How positive are you about this very different vaccine that has to be safe? JHA: Yes. So, it's very early days. And look, if you're going just be
kind of hard knows about this we'd say, OK, it's phase one. Phase one wasn't even meant to assess effectiveness or efficacy, it was really for safety. Eight patients showed neutralizing antibodies. We don't really know.
OK. So that's all the skepticism and those all scientifically true and we should have that. But that said, you know, as somebody who is closely tracking this, I look at this and I say, hey, this is good news. It does seem like the vaccine may be working, a lot can happen between now and all the way to approval day.
But ultimately, what I think when I see this is it gives me confidence that we will develop a vaccine that's going to be effective. I don't know if it will be the Moderna one if it will a different one, but it gives me confidence that we know how to induce an immune response in people, and that's good news.
CHURCH: And you can watch my full interview next hour with dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.
Still to come this hour, a tsunami of death among the elderly in Italy. Grief-stricken relatives tell us about the normal enormous lost they've suffered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEDEMAN: The elderly says Alessandro, are part of society with a memory. They gave us life. We can't just throw them away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: We are live from Rome, next.
CHURCH: Italy's coronavirus death toll is continuing to fall. The country recorded its lowest daily increase in fatalities since the beginning of the lockdown in March, with 99 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Bars, restaurants, hairdressers, and museums reopened in most regions after nearly 10 weeks of lockdown. But the Italian prime minister is warning that the next few months will be very hard.
And CNN's Ben Wedeman joins us now live from Rome. So, Ben, COVID-19 of course has hit the elderly especially hard, and particularly in northern Italy where so many lives have been lost. You recently returned to that region where families were traumatized by the loss of their loved ones. What did you find?
WEDEMAN: Well, Rosemary, the death toll here in Italy from coronavirus now exceeds 32,000. Most of them the elderly, most of them in the northern part of the country. In the words of one Italian author I spoke to, an entire generation has been wiped out.
WEDEMAN: The lockdown is over in the cemetery of Nembro in northern Italy. Diacono Mo Boffelli (Ph) succumbed to coronavirus on the 11th of March but only now can family and friends say farewell. Her voice breaking, his daughter Nicoletta says goodbye.
"But we never abandoned you, we never would," she says, "because you'll always be in our hearts."
This community in the foothills of the alps suffered one of Italy's highest per capita death tolls.
"It was as if a tsunami overwhelmed us, especially the oldest people," Nicoletta tells me.
The average age of those who died from coronavirus in Italy is 80. For the town of Nembro the month of March was a month of daily death. You just need to look at the death notices here.
This woman died on the 7th of March. This man died on the 8th of March. This woman died on the 7th of March. This woman on the 9th of March. This man on the 7th.
Of Nembro's main nursing homes original 87 residents, 34 died from the virus, the first on the 19th of February, but it took provincial health authorities more than one month and a half to test anyone in this home.
"The very first swabs done here were the 10th of April" says nursing home director Barbara Codalli.
It's been more than one month since any COVID deaths have occurred here, now relatives can visit their loved ones again at a distance. But the situation remained precarious for the elderly in Milan's nursing home where the death toll has been described as a massacre.
She's also dying without oxygen because we don't have machines says a nurse who shot this cell phone video. We muffled her voice because she fears for her job.
As the pandemic intensify the staff at the Palazzolo nursing home assured Carla Porfirio every day her 85-year-old mother was fine. On Sunday, April 5th, Carla called the nursing home, they said her mother was on oxygen and morphine. The next day, Mikaela died.
"What is so tragic," says Carla, "for those of us who lost our loved ones, we didn't have the possibility, not just to see them for more than a month but we also couldn't be close to them in their last days as they suffered. They needed the hand of their loved ones, and not just that, we couldn't even hold funerals." As the pandemic intensified, the Lombardy regional government asked
nursing homes to accept COVID patients, which may have contributed to the high mortality rates in the homes.
The regional government declined our request for comment, responding that the matter is under investigation.
Alessandro Azzoni's (Ph) mother, Marissa, was in Milan's Trivulzio care home, she's now in the hospital with coronavirus in critical condition. He shows me how sections of her care home, marked in red, returned into COVID wards. Alessandro has founded a group demanding an investigation into nursing homes.
"The elderly," says Alessandro, are part of society with a memory, they gave us life, we can't just throw them away.
In the corner of Milan's main cemetery more than 120 fresh graves, here too, most were old, most were in nursing homes.
This is where the unclaimed dead from coronavirus are buried, unclaimed because many of them had no family, they died alone with no one to mourn their passing.
Small plastic crosses mark the end of lives lost.
WEDEMAN: And now that Italy is getting back to work, the country is reopening, the relatives of those who died in those nursing homes are hoping that attention will not be distracted from their call for justice in the deaths of their loved ones. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Let's hope their call is heard. Ben Wedeman bringing us that tragic story. He's there live in Rome. Many thanks.
Well, meantime, a bleak milestone for Brazil. The country now has the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the world. And more deaths than any other Latin American country. Brazil reported 674 new deaths Monday, bringing the total death toll up to nearly 17,000 people.
This as Brazil's president, Jair Bolsonaro attended a large rally outside his official residence on Sunday wearing a mask, but stopping to shake the hands of supporters and carry children in his arms.
Shasta Darlington has the details.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brazil topped 250,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, surpassing the U.K. and making it the third highest in the world. The death toll is over 16,000.
In Sao Paulo, the mayor has warned that the health system is on the verge of collapse if residents don't start respecting social isolation measures. He said 90 percent of intensive care beds are full but less than half of the population is sheltering at home. The situation is similarly dire in hospitals from Rio de Janeiro to the Amazon. [03:25:03]
Meanwhile, President Jair Bolsonaro is participating in anti-lockdown rallies. On Sunday, he was seen taking pictures with supporters and even doing pushups with a group of men in red berets and camouflage. His health minister resigned on Friday, Bolsonaro has yet to name his
Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.
CHURCH: The FBI has linked the Saudi military trainee who killed three U.S. sailors to a suspected Al-Qaeda operative. Mohammed Alshamrani was killed by law enforcement after opening fire on a Florida military base last year. Investigators just discovered the connection to Al-Qaeda after cracking the encryption on his iPhones.
According to the think tank New America, this would be the first time since September 11th that a foreign terrorist group trained or directed a deadly attack in the United States.
And still to come, promising news about a potential coronavirus vaccine has U.S. markets soaring. But are investors celebrating too early. We'll take a look.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.
Well, the race for a coronavirus cure is picking up with drug maker Moderna announcing a possible vaccine breakthrough. Initial results from the first eight participants in Moderna's trial showed they developed antibodies against the virus.
U.S. markets pouncing on that promising news. The Dow finishing more than 900 points higher on Monday. The S&P and NASDAQ both logging their best day since April. And as you'd expect Moderna shares are soaring up nearly 20 percent.
Well, meanwhile, the European Union's two biggest economies are throwing their weight behind a COVID recovery fund with more than half a trillion dollars. In a joint statement Monday, France and Germany said the proposed aid will help the blocks hardest hit countries.
More than $500 billion will take the form of grants to be repaid by all 27 E.U. members. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the pandemic transcends borders and Europe will, quote, "weather this crisis together."
So, let's get to CNN's John Defterios, he joins us live from Abu Dhabi. Always good to see you, John. So, investors showing confidence that an economic recovery in the second half will be supported by the European stimulus plan and more coming from the U.S. Are they discounting the risk here do you think?
[03:30:02] JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: I think that's a good way of putting it, Rosemary, because these markets are pretty highly valued particularly on Wall Street and in Europe at the same time. So, this is a very sharp reaction, but things came together, three key factors came together at the right time to see investors jump back into the market in a sizable way.
You talked about the European recovery that is important because of the number one and two economies in Europe seen the future in alignment. Also those European economies are starting to open up again even to tourism, that would be Italy, Greece is trying to welcome bilateral ties to do the same, and Spain is hoping to do that when the numbers come down as well.
And as a result, we saw the Asian markets rally quite heavily today, despite the fact that we saw a horrible economic numbers coming out of Japan yesterday, the contraction of 3.4 percent for the first quarter. By and large, rallies have nearly 2 percent with the exemption of Chain which has the trade frictions with the United States and Australia right now. Shanghai up, better than half a percent.
And going back to this agreement between Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel, it's better than half a trillion dollars. What's important here is that Germany is going to put up 27 percent of the fund. And there was some worries before this, she was resisting this wealth transfer, something that they were debating in Europe for years, going from the north to the south that we saw during the European bailouts going back 10 years ago.
She dropped that resistance and said the collective good is far more important today. And that's what we saw rallies in Europe. A 4 to 5 percent in a single session.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: And John, with high jobless rates, hitting consumer confidence, we are seeing some serious warnings about how this will affect global trade what's the damage look like?
DEFTERIOS: Well, it's all dependent on consumer confidence, and this recovery coming in the second half of the year. We have those factors yesterday, driving the markets higher, but the long term trade trend, it doesn't look promising for the remainder of 2020 and spilling into 2021. Moody's (ph) investor's service is suggesting at the low side, because you can see a contraction of 13 percent, on the high side 32 percent.
Again, U.S./China trade tensions over Huawei, Australia and China are going over farm products and putting tariffs going into China at this stage. Those are not promising, you can see this shocking the market in second half the year, also the International Monetary Fund is suggesting, will not see a real recovery until the end of 2021, spilling in to 2022.
We hear that same sort of narrative when we talk about the recovery in the airline sector, even spilling into 2023. So, we have to separate evaluations today, we see the enthusiasm, for the long time challenge of economic growth, Rosemary and we are going to hear from Jerome Powell, the U.S. Federal Reserve board chief and Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary on Capitol Hill today. Probably debating whether we need another $3 trillion of stimulus for the U.S. economy for the second half and then also going into next year.
CHURCH: Yes, and you and I will talk about that next hour. John Defterios almost great to chat with you, many thanks
Well, the U.K. is expanding its efforts to test and identify those with the coronavirus, the British health secretary announced Monday, that anyone experiencing symptoms, who is age five or older is now eligible for a test. Matt Hancock told parliament that the U.K. has recruited more than 21,000 people to work as contact tracers. (Inaudible) tracking down those who may have been exposed to the virus.
CNN's Anna Stewart joins me now from London. Good to see you Anna. So, how will this new expanded testing and tracing work exactly. And what about those showing no symptoms, will we still not get access to testing?
ANNA STEWART, CNN PRODUCER: That's an interesting question. Yes, currently those who have their symptoms, but may have the virus asymptomatic, they will not be tested at this stage, but this is actually a huge expansion of testing, as it has been so far in the U.K. And mostly reserve for those who are elderly, vulnerable, those who are in the frontlines or those admitted in hospitals.
Now, anyone, with symptoms of coronavirus over the age of five, cash get tested. You go through the government's website, you can get a kit sent to you at home or you can go to a drive thru center. Now the tracing is the other side of this strategy. And also part of the strategy of course, was a tracing app that the government hopes to launch soon, (inaudible). So far, not enough seems to had been done in terms of rolling that out nationwide. So, more tracing I think is where the focus needs to be, in terms of not just finding out who has the virus, but making sure it can't spread any further, Rosemary.
CHURCH: And Anna, why was the U.K. government so slow to add the loss of smell and taste to their list of possible covid-19 symptoms. Given many, including yourself, a loss to those senses, very early on when infected with this virus.
STEWART: This has caused a lot of frustration in the U.K., I mean, yesterday the deputy medical office of the U.K., Professor Jonathan Bentham said, estimates on how comment that symptom was, nausea it's cold in relation to the virus was variable.
However, for weeks now, months really, university research bodies has shown that this is one of the most common symptoms in the U.K. of coronavirus. University, college, King's College London, they have an app for the coronavirus symptom tracker app. They showed that 65 percent of people who have tested positive listed in nausea is one of the main symptoms. I myself -- I have to say was one of them. I woke up one morning, in
April with no other symptoms, but could not taste or smell a thing. On the government guidance, as that wasn't one of the official symptoms, the guidance was to not self-isolate. I actually did just to be safe, because there was so much evidence around it. It could be a symptom, I didn't get fever for several days later.
So, by not including this as a key symptom early on means plenty of people may have been wandering around, virus shedding, not knowing they had the virus, still taking the government's advice. Kings College London say between 50 and 70,000 people, have probably been undiagnosed as a result of this symptom not being included early on the official symptoms list.
So, from now on, if you lose your sense of taste or smell in the U.K., all you have a cough, or you have a fever, you are told go to self- isolation for at least seven days. More if you live with more people in the household, but really key to know what those symptoms are, the early ones who ensure that you are not spreading the virus, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes. So important and before you go Anna, I do want to ask you, apparently a new U.K. employment numbers have just come out, tell us about that.
STEWART: Yes, we have a surge actually, in unemployment benefit claims for April. So, it rose by 69.1 percent for March, this is the claims for people that need welfare due to unemployment, currently unemployment statistics in the U.K. are still fairly low, just under 4 percent for the first quarter.
However the Bank of England, a couple of years ago, forecast that that could be set to double by the end of the year. And something that's actually rather optimistic that we could see double figure on unemployment. Certainly with that sort of optic in unemployment benefit claims us for April, which is really the first month when lockdown really hit the U.K. It could mean that the unemployment figure is set to go much, much higher. Rosemary.
CHURCH: That's not good at all. Anna Stewart always good to chat with you, joining us live from London, I appreciated it.
And we've been discussing this criticism against the WHO, over its handling of the pandemic, but the agency isn't the only target. As Nic Robertson shows us some of the most powerful leaders in the world have been accused of failure in the fight against the virus.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Vladimir Putin, as he likes to be seen tough guy, but not riding so high now.
Russia roiled by coronavirus has raced to number two spot behind the U.S. for infections. Indications are Putin's early tough it out stance imagining the nation in his own invincible image. Even exporting PENZONE: overseas and late lockdown are coming back to bite him. No clearer indication of his discomfort than Russia's apparent
dissembling off the covid 19 death toll in Moscow. Effectively underreporting, although the city's health department says the way its recording death is extremely accurate. Putin is not the only strongman leader, humbled by his handling of covid-19.
Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's so-called Trump of the tropics. A Populist. Pushes back against lockdowns, actively encouraging public rallies to demand businesses reopen. And he has now lost his second health minister this month, over covid-19 differences, even as Rio's poverty driven Favelas teamed with infections. A national rates rise. Covid-19 is no respect for strongman logic. The reverse it thrives on ineptitude.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: I was in the hospital the other night where I think there were actually a few coronavirus patients, but I shook hands with everybody, and I continued to shake hands.
ROBERTSON: Even Britain's rich man's populous P.M. Boris Johnson, was felt after upstaging the virus. A month later, after he said this, he was close to covid-19 death in ICU.
President Xi, autocrat (inaudible), did what really powerful leaders can do, shutting regions down, stopping the virus in its tracks and deflecting blame for the spread beyond China's borders. But even he is not immune to covid-19's invisible peril, his outreach of medical aid to the world, some of it faulty, too little too late for many. And that coupled to China's own crippled economy, could downscale his reach.
Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko, Europe's longest surviving strongmen embodies the blindness of unchecked power, instructed no cowing to the coronavirus. Ice hockey and other sporting events to continue when even Putin (inaudible) to covid-19, canceling his biggest annual power parade this month, victory day, Lukashenko went ahead.
Thousands marched in tight formation in extreme on pandemic proximity. So far though, according to the states own less than transparent stat, Belarus not ravage as a result of Lukashenko's month-long lockdown rejection. And his autocrats like Lukashenko economic with the truth we may never know the real picture.
Putin, who in his early covid-19 days, had Russia's patriarch over fly and blessed the country, still has the worst to come. And won't be able to hide from it easily. Covid-19, may not finish this strongman off, but it may well leave them diminished for years to come. Nic Robertson, CNN London.
CHURCH: Well coronavirus cases are still rising, in a third of America's states, but in bars, beaches and stores across the country, Americans are rushing to get back to life as they knew it. A look at the risky transition, when we return.
CHURCH: Well across the United States, many states continue to ease restrictions from opening up their beaches to allowing diners back into restaurants. But this comes even as some spots see a rise in covid-19 cases. Nick Watt takes a closer look at the latest moves
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Massachusetts today became the 50th and final state to lay out its plan to reopen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Positive case rate are moving in the right directions and hospitalization are down.
WATT: Construction and manufacturing are back already.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On May 25th, retail establishments may also offer curbside service and some personal services, such as barbershops and hair salons may reopen.
WATT: And roughly a third of states, the new case count is now going down, holding steady in another third, and in the final third, it is actually going up. Texas? Two weeks after reopening began, saw some busy bars and the biggest number of new cases in a single day on Saturday. Yes, there is more testing now but --
MAYOR ERIC JOHNSON (D-DL): The reopening of restaurants, and movie theaters, and retail and our malls, up to 25 percent occupancy a couple weeks ago. So, I think that is probably the main reason.
WATT: Still, gyms opened up at reduced capacity in Texas today, and the governor announced phase two.
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Starting immediately, childcare services are able to open. Beginning this Friday, May the 22nd, a long list of businesses can now reopen or expand capacity.
WATT: Gyms in New Jersey are not yet allowed to reopen, this one did anyway. And here's how Compton County cops reacted.
Restaurants also reopening today in Miami, as Florida's most populous and hardest hit counties start their process. Beaches were open with restrictions on both coast this past weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was amazing. Yes, we've been pretty coop up like everybody.
WATT: Most doing their best to social distance. New York City beaches remained closed, but the big apple might start reopening the first half of June.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's been clear progress -- WATT: In South Carolina, some stores opened exactly a month ago. And
in-person classes will resume at the University of South Carolina in the fall, but they will revert to remote learning after thanksgiving, because our best current modeling predicts a spike in cases of covid- 19 at the beginning of December. The WHO says that it will start ASAP a review of the global reaction to this coronavirus, saying that we must learn to prevent a repeat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been humbled by this very small microbe.
CHURCH: We certainly have Nick Watt with that report.
Well, the researcher behind an influential covid-19 model, Dr. Christopher Murray tells CNN, controlling the pandemic appears to have more to do with using face masks than restricting mobility. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: There is not a strong correlation where -- between where mobility has gone up and the trend in cases of deaths. Even when we take into account the increase in testing. And our explanation for that is if you dig a little bit deeper and look into, how the fraction of the population in different states that are wearing masks, we think that is really the key difference there. Both their behavior and mask wearing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Well as often as we hear that advice, to wear masks and make other changes, many Americans just won't do it. Brian Todd looks at why the urge to return to life before the pandemic makes experts an easy.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On New York's upper west side, a cluster of people gathers outside a newly reopened bar. In L.A. County, thousands flock back to re-open to beaches, many not appearing to the rule to keep moving.
On some of Hawaii's most popular beaches, the crowds have returned. Beachgoers appear to avoid gathering in large clusters, but many are not wearing masks.
In Wisconsin, social distancing went out the window. People crowding into a bar in Oshkosh. With so many states and cities reopening, and people eager to get out, it seems like the one in Wisconsin are becoming more common. But in some cases worrisome to health experts.
WILLIAM HANAGE, EPIDEMIOLOGIST HARVARD UNIVERSITY: People are crowded together in bars like what happened in Wisconsin. And people here in a noisy place, shouting, leaning into each other's ear -- shouting to each other's ear, stuff like that. Those kind of things, especially in poorly ventilated areas are absolutely -- those are the kind of conditions where the virus thrives.
TODD: But some establishment aren't leaving it up to their customers. At the fishtails restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland, they have made individual tables for customers, attached to large inner tubes to ensure distancing, but are these measures working? Most indications are that new coronavirus cases and deaths in the United States have slowed in recent days.
The broad scope restrictions across the country, in place since early March, seem to have made a significant difference. A new study, published in the journal health affairs, calculates that the state of Kentucky would've had far more cases by now if no lockdown or distancing policies were put in place. Nationally, the numbers could have been 35 times higher. The study's chief author told CNN which measures they believe worked best.
CHARLES COURTEMANCHE, ECONOMIST, UNIVERISTY OF KENTUCKY: The shelter in place order had the largest effect. The other restriction that had a clear impact was the closing of these entertainment related businesses like restaurants.
TODD: The jury is still out of whether the states which had the earliest reopenings made the right call. Georgia made some of the earliest and most extensive moves to reopen, cases there have remained steady over three weeks. But in Texas, where places like this Houston gym have been open for a couple of weeks, there has been a recent spike in cases.
The confusion could be due to uneven testing rates. One health expert predicts these early reopenings, with more people moving around will lead to an uptick in coronavirus infections. And he spoke about when we could see that larger second wave.
HANAGE: That second wave. That second surge could be on us sooner than we think. However, if it is not coming in the next few months, we should be absolutely prepared for it to be coming in the fall.
TODD: But the leader of that study published in health affairs says we are on dangerous ground right now with these early reopenings and the intermediate restrictions in place. He says that new cases could shoot up dramatically if we get some of those intermediate measures wrong. And he says it's absolutely critical to go slowly with the reopenings. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH: And coming up next. Some of the world's most successful football clubs are finally getting back on the pitch for training. We'll look at when the season could be restarting there and across Europe. Back in a moment.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Right now, some of Europe's biggest football tournaments are
taking their first tentative steps to kicking off their seasons again. Players in England's premier league will start training in small sessions again on Tuesday, after all 20 clubs agreed to do so.
And that is just a day after teams in Spain's top two divisions including clubs like Real Madrid, and FC Barcelona started training in limited size group as well. And for more, let's bring in CNN World Sports, Alex Thomas. Good to see you, Alex. So, limited training sessions start Tuesday. How is this likely to play out and what are the fans saying about it?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORTS: It's such a different picture across Europe, Rosemary. But when it comes to football or soccer, the biggest player's stars, the most money is all made in the top five European leagues. That's Italy, Germany, Spain, France and England. And it is such hugely different picture purely because of how each nation has dealt with the coronavirus and how badly they've been hit by it.
For example, the Bundesliga is back in action. It was viewed and their matches are staring on Tuesday and again, on Monday night where (inaudible) will lost a violator (inaudible).
Whereas in Scotland, they've decided not to even try and finish the season and it took players (inaudible) champion (inaudible) had been relocated. Spain have resumed training, on Monday (inaudible) later on Tuesday, or even as I speak, we expect players in England to resume training. That is phase one, of what they call in project restart and it means players -- at least get back to the training facilities, and possibly practice one-on-one with the coach.
Hopefully they will come together as groups of maybe six or more from next week. All with the plans of possibly resume games by mid-June. But there is a big but. German, if you think about it, they resumed training on April the 6th, but didn't play a match until May 16. That was sort of six weeks in between mode two.
So, if you do your calculations in your head, there could be a couple of matches in mid-June, when only was resuming training now is quite ambitious especially as the U.K. has had more than 34,000 deaths, according to WHO figures compared to Germany, fewer than 8,000 deaths, and only around 300 new cases a day. The U.K. still has about more 3,000 new cases of coronavirus each day.
At stake is up to a billion dollars in TV money which the English Premiere League would have to (inaudible) rule cards of they don't resume their season.
In Spain's La Liga, they started training groups of 10 or more from Monday, another huge liga as far as of world football is concerned. With massive stars like Real's Eden Hazard. Have a listen to what he had to say about getting back to training with some of his colleagues.
EDEN HAZARD, REAL MADRID FORWARD: Now is better, we can train more, like we like to do it. You know the first week, it was a bit strange, but now we can be back in the group and with goalkeepers as well, so it's more like we want, so now we just want to be altogether and try to work as a group.
THOMAS: And Rosemary, while here in England, there are still lots of question marks, about how the restart is going to go ahead, because the coronavirus is still a huge problem in this country. In Spain, they've drawn up a detailed plan of how the matches would look if they get the go ahead from the government, and health authorities. For example, they've work out with a 197 people have to be present at the stadium. Players have to (inaudible) and even change their kits halftime.
CHURCH: Wow, a lot of things to consider. Alex Thomas, thank you so much for bringing us up to date on that situation, I appreciate it. Well the fight against covid-19, might look a bit fury in the future. A trial is underway in the U.K. to see if six especially trained dogs, can sniff out the virus early before symptoms appear. CNN's Max Foster has our report.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: This dog is being trained to detect prostate cancer. She is presented with urine samples, and rewarded when she identifies the correct one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good girl.
FOSTER: This dog, is able to identify the odor of malaria sufferers. Their next mission here, is to train dogs to sniff out people infected with covid-19.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The way we're going to do that is by collecting using face masks, and we're asking people to wear this face masks for a few hours, and we carefully collect those. And the other thing we're going to do, is get people to wear nylon socks that sounds a bit strange, but we know from previous experience, that this is a real way of collecting odors from people in such an easy way to that.
FOSTER: If the training is successful, one of their first deployment is likely to be airports. Where dogs are already used to sniff out drugs, and other contraband's. If they help reopen the travel industry, that could be the boost to international trade. That governments everywhere have been looking for. Max Foster, CNN, outside London.
CHURCH: And I'll be back in just a moment. Do stay with us.