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Global Coronavirus Cases Surpass Five Million; Three Wounded In Arizona Shopping Complex Shooting; Faith Groups Helping Members File For Unemployment. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired May 21, 2020 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Level of pain and suffering.

Sam Kiley for us. Thank you so much, Sam.

EARLY START continues right now.

Still, a long way to go. A record number of new daily coronavirus cases as the global case count tops five million. A new warning this morning to expect future shutdowns.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, three people shot at an Arizona shopping complex. People on site forced to shelter in place all night there.

Good morning and welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: Good morning, I'm Christine Romans. It's 30 minutes past the hour this Thursday morning.

And the global push to reopen from coronavirus colliding with this harsh new reality.


DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: In the last 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to WHO, the most in a single day since the outbreak began.


ROMANS: The World Health Organization says nearly two-thirds of those cases were in just four countries -- the U.S., Russia, Brazil, and India -- and the real number is likely higher because of delays in reporting. Overnight, global coronavirus cases passed the five million mark.

JARRETT: In the U.S., California recorded its second-highest daily Covid death toll as most counties moved forward with reopening.

Meanwhile, a new coronavirus model projects spikes in some areas that have reopened early and aggressively. The model by Pennsylvania researchers predicts rapid upticks in places like Miami, populous parts of Texas, and parts of Alabama and Tennessee as well.

ROMANS: And now, embattled CDC chief Robert Redfield is warning there may have to be a second round of lockdowns later this year. Redfield told the "Financial Times" the rapid spread in the southern hemisphere suggests a likely flair-up in the U.S. this fall and winter as seasonal flu coincides with a second wave of Covid-19.

JARRETT: And new overnight, some startling research from Columbia University. It suggests if the U.S. had locked down just two weeks earlier, 84 percent of deaths and 82 percent of cases could have been averted.


JEFFREY SHAMAN, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SCIENCES PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: If you don't recognize the problem early and if you don't jump on it, it's going to really come down on you harder than it would otherwise. If we don't monitor this and if we don't recognize it really early and jump on it, it's going to jump out of control again.


JARRETT: Well, the proof is in the numbers. Last Friday, 28 states had the number of new cases trending in the right direction but this morning, that is down to 12 states.

ROMANS: All right.

Breaking overnight, a suspect is in custody after three people were shot at a shopping center in Glendale, Arizona. This is 15 miles outside Phoenix. One person is in critical condition.

Police asked people inside the Westgate Entertainment District to shelter in place. They were just let out about 90 minutes ago.


TIFFANY NGALULA, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, GLENDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT: Those first officers arriving heard no further gunshots. We were able to locate that suspect in the Westgate area. Our officers challenged that suspect and were able to safely take that person into custody.


JARRETT: The FBI is helping with the investigation.

There has also been a power outage in the area. Unclear if that's related somehow.

Police acknowledge reports there may be video of the shooting and are asking anyone to turn that evidence over to the police.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says the Department of Public Safety has been in contact with the Glendale police and the state stands ready to support. ROMANS: A ruling that would allow Texans to vote by mail in November amid virus concerns is now on hold. A federal appeals court is temporarily blocking a lower court's ruling while it considers whether to take up this case.

There are broader implications here. President Trump and some Republicans have tried to sow doubt about mail-in voting. Many states could use it in November so people don't have to choose between health and their right to vote.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mail-in ballots are very dangerous. There's tremendous fraud involved and tremendous illegality.


JARRETT: Again, the president has absolutely no evidence. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped him from escalating his rhetoric threatening to withhold money from critical electoral states, like Michigan and Nevada, for offering the option.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, mail ballot fraud is incredibly rare. In five states -- Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington -- mail balloting has been the primary method of voting there and none have had any voter fraud scandals.

Well, coming up, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, as we all know. Even if you have a job, your income could take a hit. How some groups are stepping up to help. Stay with us.



ROMANS: Coronavirus is hurting millions of Americans across the country but the pain varies depending on where you live. Your leading indicator this morning, a new report from the Census Bureau shows nearly half of U.S. households have lost some income since mid-March. Thirty-seven percent expect to see a loss over the next month, too.

Now, some of the hardest-hit states are Hawaii, New York, and California. They depend on tourism. That's an industry in sharp decline as millions of people stay home.

Nearly six in 10 adults in Hawaii live in households that have lost income. That number is 57 percent in New Jersey and almost 56 percent in Nevada.

Now, a number of southern states -- more people struggling with essentials like food and shelter. In Mississippi, 45 percent said they missed a rent or mortgage payment in April. Twenty percent said they sometimes did not have enough to eat.

The data just the latest in a devastating slew of economic reports that show just how painful the recession is. Ten years of jobs gains are gone. The unemployment rate is at a record 14.7 percent and economists expect it will be even worse. Goldman Sachs expects unemployment will hit 25 percent, Laura.

JARRETT: Yes. You know, Christine, more than 36 million Americans have lost their jobs during this pandemic. Many are frustrated, confused, and desperate, trying to file for unemployment. Now, some faith groups are stepping up to help.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich has more for us.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Sunday sermons look different these days at River Church in Durham, North Carolina.


YURKEVICH (voice-over): That's because Bishop Ronald Godbee Sr. is now leading them online.

GODBEE: We want to make sure that we're serving you. That's right, we're here for you.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): And their mission is different, too.

GODBEE: We're seeing people come to us for things that otherwise, we wouldn't have to deal with. But they're looking for guidance and direction.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Bishop Godbee and his team are helping parishioners file for unemployment, something the church has never done before.

Eighteen percent of the workforce in North Carolina has filed for unemployment due to Covid-19. And the national unemployment rate for black Americans soared to 16.7 percent in April, nearly triple the rate in February.

GODBEE: Unfortunately, we see the disparities existing in everyday life -- in the everyday life of the people. But now, we just see it exacerbating.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): The unemployment system is strained. Many Americans are still waiting to get through, leaving applicants frustrated, without answers, and praying for divine intervention. Faith groups are stepping in to help.

GODBEE: A number of people in our congregation went to apply for unemployment and couldn't log in. And so, not only were we able to provide direction and insight, but also encouragement so that they could go back and try again. And they've been successful in their efforts.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, a faith-based community service group, also shifted direction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are the links to apply for unemployment benefits.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): The group is now holding online unemployment tutorials and blasting out a step-by-step resource guide in English and Urdu to their 25,000 members, while also walking people through the process one-on-one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the age of technology we are able to do screen sharing to help walk people through doing the applications.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Waleed Kahn (sp) is one of those members who didn't know where to turn.

YURKEVICH (on camera): If you hadn't had the help of this group, do you think you would have gotten your unemployment?


YURKEVICH (on camera): Yes, so they were a huge help?

KAHN: Yes, absolutely.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Is helping with things like unemployment -- is that the role of a faith-based organization?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it is because faith groups aren't just to come together once a week or five times a day and pray together. There is so much more that happens as a result of that faith where we are there for each other. So we need to be able to rally and marshal our resources and help each other out.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: That's a great piece. It's been amazing to watch how faith groups have had to sort of sacrifice their weekly meetings, but they're doing so much in their community every single day.

All right. Michigan authorities say the Tittabawassee River crested at 35 feet Wednesday after two dams failed, causing catastrophic flooding. A flood warning will continue through Sunday in Midland as residents wait for the water to recede.

A new photo shows Wixom Lake almost totally drained. It had been held back by the Edenville Dam, one of the two that burst.

Locals say this is an especially traumatic experience after another major flood back in 2017.


BRIDGETTE GRANSDEN, MIDLAND COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR AND CONTROLLER: A lot of our folks in this community who had damage and loss have really just recovered. And, you know, this is just, I think, going to have an impact not only on them financially, but emotionally and mentally.



JARRETT: CNN has also learned federal regulators warned about inadequate spillways at the Edenville Dam for 20 years. The federal government even threatened the private company that operated the dam with large fines before revoking its license back in 2018.

We'll be right back.


JARRETT: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is defending his push to fire the State Department's inspector general, but he's refusing to explain his reasoning.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: In this case, I recommended to the president that Steve Linick be terminated. I, frankly, should have done some time ago.


JARRETT: Now, the secretary faces a lot of questions about his role in fast-tracking an arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Pompeo dismissed the idea that he fired Steve Linick, the I.G., as retaliation for investigating him.


POMPEO: I didn't have access to that information so I couldn't possibly have retaliated. It would have been impossible.

There's one exception. I was asked a series of questions in writing. I responded to those questions with respect to a particular investigation. But I don't know the nature of that investigation other than what I would have seen from the nature of the questions that I was presented.



JARRETT: Linick was the fourth inspector general removed in recent weeks. Those jobs, remember, are supposed to provide independent oversight and prevent fraud and abuse.

ROMANS: A former Green Beret and his son arrested in Boston for helping smuggle embattled auto executive Carlos Ghosn out of Japan. He was awaiting trial for financial misconduct. The attorney for Michael and Peter Taylor says they plan to challenge Japan's extradition request. Authorities say Ghosn's escape in December involved Michael, Peter, and a third man meeting Ghosn at a Tokyo hotel with two large equipment cases. Two days later, Ghosn turned up in his home country of Lebanon.

JARRETT: Millions of Americans have the same question on their minds. What will the Covid-era office space look like when you finally go back? That's if you go back at all.

CNN's Clare Sebastian has a look.


STEPHEN ROOT, ACTOR, 20TH CENTURY FOX "OFFICE SPACE": If they move my desk one more time, then I'm quitting.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This, from the movie "Office Space" is what offices used to look like -- confined spaces, nominal contact. Over the past few decades, they've evolved to this -- open plan social hubs like the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco.

ELIZABETH PINKHAM, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT GLOBAL REAL ESTATE, SALESFORCE: We love to come together, we love to collaborate, we love to have face-to-face meetings. We loved it when the offices were crowded.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Salesforce has spent the last eight weeks turning those principles on their head. Inspired by this model from real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield dubbed the six-feet office, it's not exactly a return to cubicles but there are eerie similarities.

PINKHAM: There are going to be Plexiglas dividers between workstations on the open floor plans. And then, even meeting rooms will have big capacity signs because they are not able to hold as many people as before. It's really about giving people visual cues to help remember about that physical distancing.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Plans are still being finalized but masks will be mandatory, shifts will be staggered, temperatures checked, elevators in the company's many towers socially-distanced.

Across the corporate world, high-rise offices present a particular challenge.

SCOTT RECHLER, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, RXR REALTY: We're changing technology to be able to use Bluetooth to go touchless into the elevators.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Scott Rechler runs RXR Realty, the fourth- largest office landlord in Manhattan. He is reevaluating every detail of his buildings.

RECHLER: All the HVAC systems have been changed so that they have filters. They're the highest-grade filters that will pick up the smallest particles. Where possible, we're changing locations, like for pantries and printers that usually are in corners where they get congested, to more open spaces.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And technology also critical to his plan.

RECHLER: We'll have an app that before they even come to work they'll be able to actually look to see what the health index of the building is. When you go into your space there's going to be a tool on your app that actually will monitor your extreme social distancing. And at the end of the day, you'll be able to see that I was at 70 percent-75 percent.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): Amidst all that change there's one part of this new office reality that's already here.

SEBASTIAN (on camera): And that's working from home. Many companies are planning to stagger shifts. Others are telling staff who can work from home that they can keep going. Twitter has even told its employees that if they want to they can work from home forever.

It's clear in this world where the virus is still a threat the ultimate trick to keeping offices safe is having fewer people in them.

Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: No more crowded elevators, that's for sure -- all right.

Taking a look at markets around the world right now, you're seeing some disappointment in the Asian markets. They're all closed now. And, European shares have also opened lower here.

Some good news for travel with Europe. EasyJet will restart a small number of flights June 15th, mainly in the U.K. and France.

Looking at Wall Street right now, U.S. futures are also leaning lower with the rest of the world. That's after a rebound yesterday in stocks.

The Dow closed up 369 points. The S&P finished up 1.7 percent. That's a 2 1/2 month high. The Nasdaq also closed higher.

All right. Apple has rolled out an easier way to unlock your iPhone while you're wearing a face mask. Face I.D. will now recognize users wearing a mask and give them an option to put in their password immediately. Many people were experiencing delays using this feature.

Apple is also introducing software supporting apps from public health authorities that notify users if they come in contact with someone who has coronavirus. This is going to be so key as we go forward with the reopening in fits and starts making sure you know who you've been in contact with and whether they have become ill.

JARRETT: Absolutely. Everyone has to adjust.


Thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.




GHEBREYESUS: In the last 24 hours, there have been 106,000 cases reported to WHO, the most in a single day since the outbreak began.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tensions simmering between the White House and the CDC.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are health experts. So if you aren't listening to the leaders of the CDC, I'm not sure who you will listen to.

REPORTER: Do you think Robert Redfield is doing a good job?

TRUMP: Yes, I do, I do.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A 50-state experiment now in full swing.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: If people get arrogant, if people get cocky, you will see that infection rate go up. This has always been about what we do.


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

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Thursday, May 21st, 6:00 here in New York.