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South Korea Begins Phased Approach To Reopen Schools; Trump Considering Travel Ban For Brazil; China Endorses Resolution To Review Pandemic Response; India, Bangladesh Prepare For Cyclone Amphan; Trump Doubling Down on His Use of Hydroxychloroquine; U.S. States Further Relaxing Coronavirus Rules; U.S. Treasury Secretary Warns of Long-Term Economic Damage; Some COVID-19 Patients Struggle to Make Full Recovery. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired May 20, 2020 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hi, welcome, thanks for joining us, all of our viewers from around the world. So, you're watching CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow. Just ahead, back to school, as some classroom start to reopen. Many parents and students have safety concerns. We're live in Seoul, South Korea with that. Plus, blame game, the World Health Organization will begin a review into the global handling of a pandemic. But what is China's response? And ...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone is seeing that we are at war. In order to win that war against Coronavirus, you need to ensure that the supplies are available in a timely fashion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: The new effort to battle the pandemic in the Gulf region. CNN's exclusive report on a unique partnership to keep people safe.
So, the debate over how safe it is to reopen is now moving to the world's schools. Schools are starting to open back up and that is leading to new routines and new concerns, of course, as it comes -- as the world approaches a troubling new milestone in the Coronavirus pandemic. According to Johns Hopkins University, globally, we are now due to reach 5 million cases soon. More than 300,000 people have died.
And governments are looking at how to get children back into classrooms without spreading the virus. That often means having to wear masks and some kids are also getting temperature checks. But these school reopenings will not come without a few hiccups. In France, dozens of schools were actually forced to close again after they had reopened over suspected new cases. And then, in the U.K., a leading teachers union says most of its members don't think it'll be safe to reopen primary schools by the government's first date of June the 1st. Some local councils reportedly plan to ignore that starting date.
Well, South Korea is starting its phased approach to reopen schools. High school seniors are now allowed to begin returning to the classroom. The Vice Education Minister says, students and faculty will have their temperature checked twice a day. More on -- for more and all of that, let's go to Paula Hancocks. Paula is in Seoul to explain how this is all going to play out. Paula?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Robyn, we're here early this morning in this school in central Seoul. And we saw the high school seniors turn up. They have their temperature taken before they came onto the grounds themselves. All of them had to be wearing a mask. They had hand sanitizer and wet wipes given to them. And then, they had to queue at least two meters apart before getting into the building itself. And a second temperature check with a thermal camera. Now, we've seen them inside the classrooms, they're at least -- the desks or at least a meter apart; they are trying to keep as much social distancing as possible. The cafeteria, for example, is that is the one place they will be allowed to take their masks off. There are certain seats that they're not allowed to sit in, to make sure they have distance between them. And they also have plastic partitions between people eating.
So, certainly, this school and others around the country are doing everything they can to try and keep the students healthy. Now, there have been some hiccups already. We know in Incheon City, which is just west of Seoul. Three schools this morning didn't open at all because they had two confirmed cases among students of Coronavirus. And then, on top of that, at least 66 more in that district shut, just after a couple of hours, out of precautions, they say, as they're trying to contact trace those two students to make sure that they don't have to virus within the school, as well.
Now, this is all related. It is believed to the soul nightclub district, where there was one individual, a private academy tutor who went to those clubs and then went back to teaching and infected a number of students, infected taxi drivers. It was then transmitted through karaoke bars, as well, to further students. So, this is one of the clusters that officials are worried about, and it has affected the first day of school for some students. Robyn?
CURNOW: And what do parents have to say about all of this? Because on one hand, you want your kids to go back to school, on the other hand, you know, it might be a bit of a tough decision.
HANCOCKS: There is certainly some resistance. We've seen a petition to the Blue House, it has about a quarter of a million signatures, a little less at this point, saying that they believe it's too soon. But many parents believe that the time is right, as well. The fact is, if you want the economy to restart, if you want people to go back to work, then for parents going back to work, you have to have the children at school, as well.
And what they're doing in this school and many others around the country is they're having the high school seniors first because they are the ones that really need the face-to-face classes ahead of going to university, ahead of key exams, and then it'll be a phased approach for the younger years, except for if you have a school, for example, of less than 60 students, they are all allowed to go in at the same time. But certainly, we saw from the students' point of view as they were coming in, they seem delighted to be here. We had some of the students waving at us from the windows up above, giving the victory sign, delighted that they are back here. But inevitably, parents will be torn between needing and wanting to go back to work and have their children educated face to face, which is inevitably better than online learning and the worries about health. Robyn?
CURNOW: OK. Paula Hancocks, thank for that -- thanks for that; live there in Seoul. Now, there was actually a different scene in France where dozens of schools are closing less than a week after reopening. 40,000 schools are back open across the country. But we know at least 70 are shutting their doors once again and after suspected cases of the viruses were found in the community. The government says nearly all the cases were flagged outside, though, of the schools. And a bit of an ominous sign out of England, Cambridge University says its lectures will be moved online during the entire next university year, ending in the summer of 2021. It says some smaller teaching groups may be held in person as long as social distancing is observed.
And U.S. President Donald Trump says he is considering a travel ban on Latin America with particular concern towards Brazil. Now, that country is reporting its biggest daily jump in new Coronavirus cases and deaths on Tuesday. Brazil accounts for more than half of Latin America's total virus death toll. Shasta Darlington has the latest now from Sao Paulo. Shasta?
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In Brazil, record high deaths and COVID-19 infections, setting it on the path to become the world's next hotspot. On Tuesday night, the health ministry reported 1,179 new deaths, a record. The number of new confirmed cases also a record at 17,000. U.S. President Donald Trump says he's considering a ban on travel from Brazil. While in Sao Paulo, officials have declared a five-day holiday to try and get people to stay home. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is focusing his attention on expanding the use of malaria drugs to treat Coronavirus and has yet to name a new health minister, even though his second one resigned last week. Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.
CURNOW: Thanks, Shasta, for that. Now, the World Health Organization says it will soon begin an independent review of the global response to the pandemic. All member states adopted the measure on Tuesday. It does not single out any individual country, but some including the U.S., as we know, have criticized China for its handling of the crisis, saying that WHO did not hold Beijing accountable. Well, China is defending its actions and slammed it later from the U.S. President. He threatened to permanently freeze funding for the WHO.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ZHAO LIJIAN, SPOKESMAN, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translator):
The U.S. letter is full of vagueness. It tries to mislead the public to smear China and shift blame away from its own incompetent response. Currently, COVID-19 is spreading in the U.S. The most pressing task is solidarity and cooperation to save lives. We urge a few U.S. politicians to stop the blame game; and together, defeat the virus.
CURNOW: Well, let's remind you of how this all played out. Here's a timeline of how things developed between China and the WHO on the Coronavirus. So, we know late December, China informed the WHO about cases of pneumonia in Wuhan. By then, Chinese scientists had already determined this was caused by a new Coronavirus. China did not tell the WHO about the Coronavirus until the second week of January. And about a week later, they then shared the full genome sequence. Well, days later, the WHO said there was limited human-to-human transmission. The head of WHO had a closed-door meeting then with Xi Jinping, the President, in late January.
WHO then praised China's transparency in dealing with the disease. In early February, a Chinese doctor who was silenced for alerting his colleagues about the disease died from it. Shortly after that, China allowed WHO observer team into the country. And then, on March the 11th, the WHO finally declared the Coronavirus a global pandemic after initially holding off despite the spread of the disease. Well, Steven Jiang is live in Beijing with more on China's response. So, in that timeline, certainly lays it all out and it gives us an indication of just where some of the pitholes (PH) and potholes have been -- pitfalls.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: That's right. But, Robyn, the Chinese government would probably look at a timeline to point now that as in all cases with dealing with a newly emerged virus, it was a very fast-evolving situation. So, they have said the officials as well as scientists' understanding of this virus was constantly being updated as they gain more knowledge and information about this virus. So, they have said any possible delay in their reporting was due to that, instead of any intentional cover-ups. They also have pointed to the date of January 3rd, which is when they said they started sharing information with the U.S. government about this virus, and then turned the tables on Washington and asking what has the U.S. government done despite being given a heads up as such an early date.
Now, you mentioned this passage of this WHO resolution, that was not really in doubt after the Chinese participation into the discussion process, but because of that, I think some analysts would say the language has been weakened quite a bit. Now, the process is not going to launch immediately, but instead, only after the pandemic is brought under control. And it's not going to be done through a new mechanism, it's going to be led by the WHO. And most importantly, for the Chinese, it's not going to be, in their words, a presumption of Chinese guilt.
Now, all of this, of course, likely work in their favor because with that potential U.S. withdrawal from WHO and with its -- with Beijing's own $2 billion pledge of donation over the next two years, Chinese position, Chinese voices inside the WHO are going to be strengthened. So, they are going to have a lot of say, in terms of who gets to sit on this investigative team and how this process unfolds, which of course, is going to be a lengthy and complex process even under the most ideal circumstances. So, they're really playing the long game because over time, their global economic and political position could be strengthened, while public attention and focus can move away. And not to mention, Robyn, Chinese President Xi Jinping without a term limit, he really can afford to wait us out unlike many other leaders like President Trump. Robyn?
CURNOW: Yes, he certainly can. Steven Jiang, good to have your analysis there, thanks; live from Beijing.
So, tune in for a CNN Special Report, "CHINA'S DEADLY SECRET" hosted by Fareed Zakaria, that's on Sunday, 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time; Monday 9:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, right here on CNN.
Tom Bollyky joins me now. He's the Director of Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations. He's also the author of a recent book called "Plagues and the Paradox of Progress." So, good to see you, Tom. Thanks so much for joining us. It's certainly been a heady few months for the world. What do you make of this independent review, this global independent review of the virus? And do you feel like there's going to be an answer at the end of it?
THOMAS BOLLYKY, DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL HEALTH, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (via Skype): So, I think it's overdue. I think at this point, understandably, there was a view taken by the World Health Organization, the United Nations that this is a moment to focus on the pandemic, and that's understandable. But there are -- there is enough of a debate about how this pandemic has been handled, that it really is undermining progress at every global institution, whether it's the G7 or the G20, of course, at the World Health Organization. There's been problems at the International Monetary Fund over these issues.
And at this point, we need that global cooperation to move forward. And if a review is what it takes, I think it's in the WHO's interests that it happened and it'd be independent and rigorous rather than individual countries doing it. So, I think it's welcome. What's not clear is when it's going to happen.
CURNOW: When it's going to happen. And again, if we're going to get a clear answer on what is, you know, what we're looking for here, and I think a lot of people are thinking, well, there will be a review and you will have, you know, X answer, but that might not happen, particularly because this is being politicized with China and the U.S. facing off over this so vehemently.
BOLLYKY: Yes. So, I think that's right. And I think it's clear that there will be questions asked, but, you know, we can't know what the answer will be unless we know what the question will be. And it's not clear if the question will be around the origin and early handling, will it be just around what the World Health Organization has done in its performance, or we'll also look at individual countries and their response, and camps really break down on that issue. China, of course, is reluctant to say the least, to see an investigation into the origin and its handling of the early days of this pandemic. The United States on the other hand, as opposed to a independent review that looks at how individual countries have responded to this pandemic. Everybody knows it'll at the very least consider the World Health Organization but how much beyond that is uncertain.
CURNOW: Thanks, Tom Bollyky, there for his analysis. So, Sweden's foreign minister says she urged the U.S. Secretary of State not to pull funding from the WHO, the World Health Organization, insisting now is the time for cooperation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANN LINDE, SWEDISH MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: We need to cooperate and the United States is a very, very valuable partner in this fight and in this organization. And it would be a bad thing if the United States leaves, both for the organization as such and for our cooperation. We are agreeing with United States that there need to be accountability in the WHO. But we don't think is the right time in the midst of the pandemic; and we need to have all our forces, we need to concentrate on finding the pandemic. And then, after that, we go to the accountability, which of course, has to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Now, when President Trump first announced the temporary funding freeze, he accused the WHO of severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the virus. So, still to come, is it possible to socially distance at an evacuation center? How India and Bangladesh are preparing for a super cyclone while overwhelmed by the Coronavirus. Then, President Trump is once again rejecting science and promoting an unproven treatment for Coronavirus, that's next.
CURNOW: So, we know that millions of people in India and Bangladesh are evacuating their homes amid Coronavirus lockdowns with Super Cyclone Amphan due to make landfall in the next 24 hours or so. It is the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal. Both countries are trying to maintain social distancing at evacuation centers. But the bottom line is, this will be a disastrous event for two countries already overwhelmed by the virus. Well, in the last hour, I spoke with SN Pradhan, India's Director General of the National Disaster Response Force, and he told me how his country is preparing for the natural disaster amid the corona pandemic.
SHRI SATYA NARAYAN PRADHAN, DIRECTOR GENERAL, NATIONAL DISASTER RESPONSE FORCE, INDIA: Monsoon is the time when -- that is sorry to say, the bread and butter of the National Disaster Response Force in India. And 60 percent of our engagement is with the floods and the monsoon anywhere every year. So, we've been preparing for that, and that was for floods in the time of COVID. But before that, we have had this run with the cyclone, and cyclone in the time of COVID. And we -- I think we will take that learning to the cyclone interface and we will be taking all the precautions possible, but I would be the first to admit that it's not easy. It's easier said than done, yes.
CURNOW: And what do -- you know, I give us a sense of the kind of preparations you're taking, eight to 10 hours, how many people need to be moved, and how do you do that while trying to social distance?
PRADHAN: Well, that's very tough. That's very tough, but I think two things are in our favor. The first thing is that only last year, we have -- we have had two back-to-back cyclones. One of them was an extremely severe cyclone, which is a -- which is a similar category as the Amphan now when it lands. The Cyclone Fani I'm talking about. And then, there was another cyclone, Cyclone Bulbul. And in fact, Cyclone Bulbul landed almost in the same area as the Amphan is landing now. So, there is some, you know, some recall value as to what to do in the face of a cyclone. So, people are -- the people are cooperative and they are -- they are cooperating with us and they are listening to the authorities, but -- well, the other aspect of COVID-19 social distancing, sanitation, and all that, that is a tough call. And we are -- we are trying to, you know, somehow compromise on that to the extent is feasible. But now the safety is of our primary concern.
Well, Vedika Sud is standing by in New Delhi. He was trying to remain optimistic, saying, you know, this could be contained. It was easier said than done, though. It certainly is a massive natural disaster potentially heading your way.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN FIELD PRODUCER: Absolutely. And when I did speak to Mr. Pradhan moments later and even early yesterday, he did mention two words. It's a double challenge, the pandemic and evacuating these people to safety areas, would be the biggest challenge that this team is facing here in India, also in Bangladesh. We're hearing that 2.2 million people have been evacuated since yesterday back in India and the coastal regions of the two states of Odisha and West Bengal, about 400,000 people have been evacuated from the coastal areas. What we have to remember, though, is these are very poor people.
And the biggest worry is that they live in homes that are made of thatched roofs or tin roofs with asbestos sheets. So, that is where the damage really is going to be. They're right at the frontline when it comes to the cyclone. It has weakened, fortunately, while it approaches the mainland, but there is going to be a lot of destruction that we're going to witness in about eight to 10 hours from now.
CURNOW: Yes, and I want to talk about that double whammy, because, you know, how difficult is going to be to try and get poor people, lots of people, millions of people to social distance? And then, we also know that a lot of the evacuation centers have been used as quarantine centers. So, even trying to move them to safe places is also proving slightly difficult. SUD: Good question you asked. So, what we do know is that as far as the eastern coast of India is concerned, we're talking, of course, about the two states that will be facing this Cyclone is concerned, they have schools that have opened up as well to keep people in these homes that they've converted temporarily into shelter homes. But yes, awareness is paramount right now. We talked about villagers, most of them remain uneducated; they're just still coming to terms with, you know, the reaches of the pandemic. And then, comes the second whammy in the form of the cyclone. So clearly, awareness is one big challenge for the people who are there for rescue and relief work in India.
The second biggest challenge right now is sanitation. You're just about getting them to the shelters of the last 14 hours, then you have to even teach them to social distance. What we've also got to know, especially from Mr. Pradhan, who is heading that team for the rescue relief work, is the fact that a lot of these shelter homes could, in fact, have more people coming in, in a normal situation. But given that the pandemic has already hit India, and has hit India hard at this moment, they have to half the numbers of the people who can be in these areas -- in these shelter homes, so that's the second big challenge that they're facing along with sanitation.
CURNOW: Yes, it certainly is. You mentioned sanitation. What about water or at least water purification products and tarpaulins and stockpiles of food? I mean, is there a sense that there is at least some preparation for that?
SUD: Yes, there is preparation for that. But we're talking about huge numbers here, aren't we? We are talking about 400,000 people here in India. Now, in villages, water will have to be brought over the last -- over the next few hours as well, that's a good question you ask. That is something that the task force that have prepared in these areas for the onslaught of the storm are also equipped with. We also do know that the army and the Indian Air Force is on standby. Supplies will keep coming in to these areas. Hygiene, sanitation will be the biggest priority after the storm hits. We're also being told that those homes that I'm talking about, those temporary homes that are built along the coastline where the storm is going to hit, they'll be destroyed. Plus, over and above that the problem will be the huge storm surge that will destroy these homes as well because they will be at the level of, you know, the first floor of an apartment.
CURNOW: Yes, and I want to talk about that with Pedram Javaheri in just a moment. Vedika Sud, thanks so much from -- for that report from New Delhi, appreciate it. Good stuff. So, let's go to Pedram. She was -- Vedika was talking about the storm surge. Give us a sense of what people might be facing. And also, I mean, I can see from your sat image there, I mean, it's the huge area that this storm is hitting, that is going to impact how and where folks evacuate to.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: It is, and you know, as remarkable as a storm that this has been already getting into the record books when it comes to the intensity of it, with Category 5 equivalent, super cyclone as it was in the past 24 hours, it is that sheer size really that makes it most dangerous here. And you kind of look at the broad cloud field associated with this, and it spans about 3,000 kilometers, or you put it in a Europe, it's from Lisbon towards Warsaw, or put it in the United States, it would be from the Canadian border near the Mexican border. So, that is how expansive of a system that we're covering here. And of course, that displaces quite a bit of water.
And the storm surge threat is potentially going to be higher as well as you kind of move that energy and move all of this water and funnel it into the northern tip there of the Bay of Bengal. The area, very low lying as you just heard. And, of course, all of this goes to occur here within the next, say, six to eight hours. So, into the afternoon hours of Wednesday, as we head on into the evening hours, Kolkata and areas near the coast, three to four-meter storm surge there. And just to the east of this region, as much as four to five meters.
Now, the significance of that is that storm surges of that magnitude are typically associated with tropical systems that are Category 4s or Category 5s. When you bring a storm system in, say the normal sea level, you kind of see it depicted here. Typical storm surge of, say, one to two or three meters that is reserved for cyclones that are, say, Category 2, Category 3. But this particular storm, the intensity it achieved, the energy that it displaced with water in front of it, has risen that storm surge or essentially the new sea level to be some four meters above what is right there on the immediate coast.
So, that is why we think absolute destruction certainly going to be a possibility on the immediate coastline where the storm system makes landfall south of Kolkata. And again, just about six to eight hours left before this occurs. And of course, on top of that, the risk here for a significant flooding, heavy rainfall and landslides in places well, later on this evening, into the early morning hours of Thursday, as well, Robyn.
CURNOW: Yes, just so many people vulnerable, including the so many people also in Bangladesh. Pedram Javaheri, great to speak to you. Thanks so much for that update. So, I want to take you to the Middle East now where Mahmoud Abbas says Palestinians are absolved of all agreements with Israel. The implications of the Palestinian authority's president's surprise statement late Tuesday are unclear. Abbas accused the new Israeli Government of annulling the Oslo Agreement with the possible annexation of parts of the West Bank beginning due July 1st. One Western official says it's important to see how the situation plays out in the coming days.
Still to come here on CNN, he still won't commit to wearing a mask. But the U.S. President seems rather committed to a controversial drug. Plus, the U.S. Treasury Secretary makes a stark prediction about the American economy, further fueling the debate over how quickly to reopen the country.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: It is 30 minutes past the hour. Thanks for joining me.
I'm Robyn Curnow here in Atlanta.
So around the world, countries are racing with how to revive their economies without risking a second wave of COVID-19. The virus has already killed more than 323,000 people worldwide, and there are close to five million infections. That is according to Johns Hopkins University.
Almost a third of those cases and fatalities are in the U.S., here in the United States where President Trump still won't commit to wearing a mask, not at the White House and not during a visit to an auto plant later this week where masks are required.
President Trump is also doubling down on his use of the drug hydroxychloroquine which he says doesn't harm you. But studies show it doesn't help and sometimes causes life-threatening heart problems.
Here is Jeremy Diamond with that -- Jeremy.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, President Trump defiant. Defending his decision to try and ward off coronavirus by taking an unproven drug -- hydroxychloroquine.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Many, many doctors -- many doctors came out and they said it is great. Now, you have to go to a doctor. I have a doctor in the White House. I said what do you think?
And it's just a line of defense. I'm just talking about it as a line of defense. I'm dealing with a lot of people. Look at all the people in the room.
DIAMOND: The President ignoring an FDA warning against using hydroxychloroquine outside of a hospital setting which said the drug has not been shown to be safe and effective for treating and preventing COVID-19.
TRUMP: But I think it is worth it as a line of defense. and I will stay on it for a little while longer. I'm JUST very curious myself. But it seems to be very safe.
DIAMOND: And rejecting a clinical study that found hydroxychloroquine ineffective against coronavirus.
TRUMP: There was a false study done, where they gave it to very sick people -- extremely sick people, people that were ready to die. It was given by obviously not friends of the administration. And the study came out. The people were ready to die. Everybody was old.
That was a phony study. And it is very dangerous to do it. The fact is, people should want to help people, not to make political points. It is really sad when they do that. DIAMOND: That study, conducted on hundreds of patients at V.A.
hospitals, was partially funded by the government's National Institutes of Health.
Trump also falsely claiming the drug is risk-free.
TRUMP: What has been determined is it doesn't harm you. It is a very powerful drug, I guess, but it doesn't harm you.
DIAMOND: But clinical trials have shown the drug can cause serious heart rhythm problems, a heightened concern for a president who has a common form of heart disease, according to the results of his physical exams.
Dr. Sean Conley, physician to the President, revealing in a new memo that he concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risk.
Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday saying that he is not taking hydroxychloroquine, even though his press secretary did test positive for the virus. So he is not following the President's lead on this questionable decision to start taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure.
President Trump, though even as he dives in headfirst into this hydroxychloroquine pool, he is not following the advice that public health experts are saying could help prevent the spread of coronavirus. And that is the issue of wearing a mask.
The President on Tuesday was noncommittal about whether he will wear a mask when he visits a Ford manufacturing facility in Michigan on Thursday. Ford though has said that it did inform the White House that anybody who goes into that facility is required to wear a mask. We will see whether the President follows that directive.
Jeremy Diamond, CNN -- the White House.
CURNOW: Thanks -- Jeremy.
Now we know a lot of Americans are choosing not to wear a mask or follow social distancing guidelines.
Erica Hill now looks at the numbers and how they are playing out as the country reopens -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A packed high school graduation in Norman, Oklahoma looks like a flashback. But it's not.
MATT COX, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL, COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL: We had permission from anybody and everybody that we needed. And so we had the graduation.
HILL: The city manager gave the school of go ahead -- 600 people showed up. There were temperature checks, though masks were optional.
In Delaware, face coverings are now mandatory for anyone over 13 at church services.
Meantime, one often-cited model which just revised its predicted death toll down shows masks maybe helping.
DR. CHRIS MURRAY, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: 40 percent of the U.S. wears a mask all the time. About 80 percent wears a mask sometimes. And that is probably helping separate out that impacted rising mobility.
HILL: As mobility and testing increased, states are monitoring new cases. Numbers over the past week are up in 17 states, including Florida, where Miami is preparing to reopen parks and businesses tomorrow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are just ready. Ready to get back to work.
HILL: Nevada also seeing new cases rise as The Venetian in Las Vegas said it's accepting reservations for June 1st.
Hawaii, among the 16 states seeing a decline in new cases, just extended its mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors through the end of June.
In North Carolina, Tyson Foods closed this chicken processing plant for the second time in a week due to positive cases.
New York City offering a sober picture of those most impacted by the virus. New data broken down by zip code confirming communities of color and low income areas have seen far more cases and deaths then whiter, wealthier areas, mostly in Manhattan.
The mayor announcing today some of the city's more than one million public school students will continue online learning this summer.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: Distance learning creates challenges but it also creates a world of possibilities. And for so many kids, this summer will be a chance to keep learning.
HILL: A handful of universities will limit in-person classes this fall. Some ending before Thanksgiving.
REV. JOHN JENKINS, PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME: We have to be able to deal with this in a way where we can educate our students and keep -- make the campus safe and healthy.
HILL: Texas restaurants can increase capacity to 50 percent on Friday, but even that may not be enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is going to be tough. Houston's going to lose some good restaurants. HILL: Outdoor dining and in person retail returning Connecticut
tomorrow, a planned opening for salons has been pushed to June, as concerns grow about just how many small businesses will survive.
GOVERNOR NED LAMONT (D), CONNECTICUT: I haven't calculated it, but I'm afraid there could be a sea change.
HILL: Erica Hill, CNN -- New York.
CURNOW: Well, my next guest is the chief medical officer at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Anish Mahajan is with me from L.A.
Doctor -- good to see you.
You heard our correspondent there at the White House describe what has been happening just in the last few days in terms of the President's messaging. As a doctor, what do you think when you listen to that?
DR. ANISH MAHAJAN, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, HARBOR UCLA MEDICAR CENTER: Well, you know, in general, the FDA itself has issued a warning against using hydroxychloroquine, unless you are in a hospital setting or you're part of a clinical trial.
So in general, you know, my feeling is that we should follow that very good guidance. And we have many excellent clinical trials ongoing, funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.
To answer the question, does hydroxychloroquine help patients with COVID? Does it help patients stay out of the hospital with COVID? Does it help them survive COVID? We will have those answers and we will have those answers safely once those trials are completed.
CURNOW: You also heard that the President is refusing to wear a mask. Again, is that the kind of advice you would give to patients or to anybody who was looking for help on how to manage this?
DR. MAHAJAN: Well, I think we have all understood that we have been able to start to see the reduction in transmission and cases across the country and the world when people stayed at home. In the places where people were unable to stay at home, such as in food processing plants, in nursing homes, in jails -- these places are places that people could not socially isolate, and we saw lots of infection.
So as we move into reopening across the U.S. and in other parts of the world, it is very important that people attempt to use their masks, maintain good social distancing as much as they can. Businesses and workplaces have to be smart. And so wearing a mask is actually essential while we do not yet have a treatment or a vaccine for coronavirus.
CURNOW: Wearing a mask, social distancing -- how much does time spent with someone who is infected impact whether or not you will get it? And that's, you know, obviously linked to church services or going to the gym or hanging out in a restaurant. And that also, I suppose, impacts doctors who are treating patients.
DR. MAHAJAN: Well, that's a very good question and it's something that scientists are really trying to understand. We don't yet understand how effectively the virus is transmitted from people who may be asymptomatic but carrying the virus, versus people who have the virus and are sick from the virus.
But we do know that that transmission is occurring. So while we are still in this period of time, as a human race trying to understand how COVID actually transmits between people, we should all be taking the maximum precautions, because as we know, COVID disease is very dangerous, especially for the vulnerable in our society. We don't want them to contract the virus and see those terrible outcomes.
CURNOW: And before we go, we know that the vulnerable -- those who have underlying conditions, the elderly, but then also we are hearing about healthy people having strokes, about COVID toes, about a variety of clotting issues, and also children -- not a lot. What is your advice to parents who are concerned about these really high -- these high concerns about inflammatory problems with children?
DR. MAHAJAN: Well, I mean the first thing is to say, like in adults, the large majority of children, if they end up getting coronavirus and COVID, they do ok. They have a mild respiratory illness.
But yes, we are now seeing a very small but rare condition among some children who get coronavirus. And it is called multi system inflammatory condition. It is a lot like something called Kawasaki disease which is an inflammation of the blood vessels that can cause severe disease.
This is something that we're all studying and trying to learn more about. My advice to parents would be to take all of the precautions that you would normally take to physically distance, mask wearing, and follow the guidance from your public health officials to keep your family and your children safe.
CURNOW: Doctor's advice -- wisely taken. Thank you very much -- Dr. Anish Mahajan. We appreciate it.
So U.S. Treasury Secretary says the American economy could improve later on this year. But he also warns of long term damage, the longer states remain closed. Steve Mnuchin's warning came as he updates lawmakers on how a massive stimulus package is being implemented.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Are you going to require companies that receive money from this half a trillion dollar slush fund to have to keep people on payroll? It is a simple question. Yes or no? Are you going to require that?
STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: First, let me say that our number one objective is keeping people employed. WARREN: Good.
MNUCHIN: I want to be very clear on that.
WARREN: -- taxpayer money. That's my question.
MNUCHIN: Again, we negotiated very significant restrictions on employee compensation, on dividends, on buybacks, and in the Main Street facility, we have put in a provision that we expect people to use their best efforts to support jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Richard Quest has more on all of that from New York -- Richard?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN EDITOR AT LARGE: At it's most simple, this was seen as U.S. Senators taking up the debate on whether to protect lives or to protect the economy. The Treasury Secretary and the Fed chair both testified before the Senate Banking Committee.
Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary said the economy could not afford to stay locked down, even though he was asked firmly about the risks of reopening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SENATOR SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: How many workers will die if we send people back to work without the protections they need, Mr. Secretary?
MNUCHIN: Mr. Senator -- we don't intend to send anybody back to work without the protections.
BROWN: How many workers should give their lives to increase the GDP or the Dow Jones by a thousand points?
MNUCHIN: No worker should give their lives to do that -- Mr. Senator. And I think your characterization is unfair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, for the chair of the Fed -- Jerome Powell warned lasting damage would take place if Washington, for that you can read the administration, failed to do more. In other words, Congress must be ready with a greater policy response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE: When you have a situation where people are unemployed for long periods of time, that can permanently weigh on both their careers and their ability to go back to work and also weigh on the economy for years. Equally so with small and medium sized businesses which are the jobs machine of our great economy. This is the biggest response by Congress ever and the fastest and biggest from us and it still is the biggest shock that we have seen in living memory. And the question looms in the air of is it enough?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Wall Street is now starting to give its own verdict on what shape it seems the recovery will be.
No longer perhaps looking forward to a straight V-shape recovery, where the upside comes quickly, but now perhaps more a U shape, where the economy will go along the trough of the bottom for some time to come.
Richard Quest, CNN -- New York.
CURNOW: And coming up -- the new efforts to battle the coronavirus in the gulf region.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone is seeing that we are at war. In order to win that war against coronavirus, you need to ensure that the supplies are available in a timely fashion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: We'll look at the company in the UAE that is pivoting from making airplane parts to medical masks.
CURNOW: So with the need for medical masks growing around the world, the UAE is hoping to become the first producer of masks in the region.
John Defterios reports now on a partnership between an aerospace firm and Honeywell.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: In a COVID-19 world, N-95 mask production is viewed as essential protection against a viral enemy. That's exactly what's happening in Abu Dhabi.
The initial scramble for personal protective equipment prompted a rethink in the United Arab Emirates. Ismail Ali Abdulla is chief executive of aircraft parts maker Strata.
In normal times, he says, he delivers orders of over $7 billion for the likes of Airbus and Boeing, who are now facing their own economic turbulence.
ISMAIL ALI ABDULLA, CEO, STRATA: Everyone is seeing that we are at war, in order to win that war against coronavirus, you need to ensure that the supplies are available in a timely fashion.
DEFTERIOS: Now, he is in partnership with U.S. giant Honeywell to become the first producer of N-95 masks in the gulf. With the continued coronavirus threat, the two partners say they went from a handshake to production in just 30 days.
Aside from oil, this region traditionally has been import-dependent especially for critical supplies. But this entire facility is a signal that approach is rapidly changing.
Mubadala, Strata's parent company, launched a "we are dedicated" plan to buffer the country's citizens and economy from coronavirus risks, sitting atop $230 billion dollar strategic investment fund.
MIROSLAV KAFEDZHIEV, VICE PRESIDENT, HONEYWELL: A lot of the countries have introduced restrictions when it comes to the materials, when it comes to the machines, even when it comes to the actual finished good masks. This is what enables the region to be self independent.
DEFTERIOS: The plan is to roll out enough masks to meet domestic demand and export to regional neighbors from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, for health security in areas like construction sites to hospitals and a lot more.
DEFTERIOS: This is just a test run to fine tune the process, but by this time next week, this machine can pump out 45,000 masks a day over three shifts.
Maryam Al Nyadi joined the first of two production lines as supervisor after nine years of working on aircraft wings and stabilizers.
MARYAM AL NYADI, PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR, STRATA MANUFACTURING: We are looking to the small details. We're applying the same measures in aircraft parts, the same we're doing with the masks.
ABDULLA: The world will change post COVID-19 and there will be more importance in investing in medical supplies, especially PPE. This is where we are deploying our expertise to manufacture these products.
DEFTERIOS: Strata CEO says there is more to come soon, but just this N-95 mask production, they expect nearly a billion orders over the next five years.
John Defterios, CNN -- Alain, Abu Dhabi.
CURNOW: New Zealand has launched its coronavirus tracking app to make contact tracing easier. It acts as a digital diary of sorts, QR codes will be available for users to scan businesses and public areas in order to keep track of their movements.
But the app isn't completely finished yet. An update planned for June will be the most crucial aspect, allowing users to submit their data and be alerted if they have come into contact with anyone who tested positive.
So, you're watching CNN.
Still to come, while most patients make a full recovery from the coronavirus, doctors are left wondering why others have lingering effects even after they have beaten the disease.
CURNOW: Among the many mysteries of COVID-19, researchers are zeroing in on one in particular. Why do so many patients make a full recovery, while others suffer from symptoms that seemingly just don't go away?
Well, Dr. Sanjay Gupta now reports.
MICHAEL HERBERT, COVID-19 SURVIVOR: He said, I need to do a rather aggressive treatment on you. Do you have a wife and children? If so, we need to call them and tell them, you need to essentially tell them goodbye because you have about 20 percent chance of surviving this.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I can't even imagine. I mean Is it hard to talk about?
HERBERT: The hardest part of all to remember is the phone call to my wife and kids. I mean that was just awful.
DR. GUPTA: What started as a cough and a fever ended with 49-year-old Michael Herbert in the ICU on a ventilator for seven days, unsure if he'd ever see his family again.
HERBERT: I didn't know what was going to happen, if I was going to wake up or not.
GUJPTA: In all the numbers we hear about coronavirus -- number infected, number who have sadly died, we haven't heard as much about another group of patients -- those who have recovered.
DR. MARIA VAN KERKHOVE, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: There are more than a million people that have recovered. Many people are doing very well. There may be some individuals who will have some long term effects because -- it depends on how severe the virus was.
DR. GUPTA: How are you doing? What does recovery mean for you?
HERBERT: When I first got out of the hospital, I was very weak. And I had been told by the doctors, the pulmonologist in particular that my lungs would probably take four to eight weeks to heal.
DR. GUPTA: Was that a concern that you might have long term impact on your lungs?
[01:54:56] HERBERT: I can tell they're 100 percent right now. And I guess I
shouldn't expect them to be. They told me it would be a while for them to be all the way back. Again, just like everybody else, I think there's a lot of unknown here.
There are still a lot of unknowns, and even studying recovery of coronavirus patients seemed like a luxury in the early days of this pandemic.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today is pretty intense.
DR. GUPTA: But now Dr. Reynold Panettieri is trying to decipher these unknowns by conducting a six-month study of coronavirus patients who have recovered.
DR. REYNOLD PANETTIERI, RUTGERS INSTITUTE FOR TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE AND SCIENCE: There's several, several cases and participants who described this ongoing fatigue and malaise -- A feeling of not well.
What is curious is these patients, pre-morbid or prior to the infection, were even aggressive athletes. We would not have predicted that.
DR. GUPTA: One thing and that could help predict long term effects is looking at what happened during other coronavirus outbreaks.
Take a look at this. Those are fibrous stripes on the lungs, it almost looks like spattered paint. This could be an early sign of pulmonary fibrosis, that's a type of scarring of the lungs. Previous studies of coronaviruses like SARS and MERS have identified patients who had long lasting fibrosis.
And now we are seeing reports of COVID-19 patients with these same fibrous stripes on their CT scans. It's another example of what we are still learning from infection to recovery. We are still not sure exactly how this virus will truly affect us long term.
In six weeks since you were quote, you know, "off the breathing machine and in the process of recovery", how are you doing six weeks later?
HERBERT: I'm doing so much better. When I finally got to see them again, eventually -- once I was taken out of the ventilator, it was like the best thing that ever happened to me.
DR. GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN -- reporting.
CURNOW: Thanks -- Sanjay for that.
So we have one restaurant in the U.S. state of Maryland has a unique idea for social distancing. Check out these bumper tables. They are large inner tubes that you can stand inside, and it keeps you about two meters apart from others. You can walk around and mingle since they have wheels. The Fishtails Pub will put them to use once they are allowed to reopen. I'm not quite sure how that's going to work when people have had a few drinks. Needless to say they are trying.
So you have been watching CNN. I'm Robyn Curnow.
I will be back with more news after this quick break, so join me for that.