Return to Transcripts main page
Faith Groups Help with Unemployment; Shooting at Naval Air Station; Americans File for Unemployment; Shocking Images from Coronavirus Survivor. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired May 21, 2020 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BISHOP RONALD GODBEE SR., THE RIVER CHURCH: We want to make sure that we're serving you. That's right, we're here for you.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (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: 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 and everyday life of the people. But now we just see is exacerbated.
YURKEVICH: 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 have been successful in their efforts.
YURKEVICH: 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: 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.
SALAAM BHATTI, AHMADIYYA MUSLIM YOUTH ASSOCIATION: In the age of technology, we are able to do screen sharing to help walk people through doing the applications.
YURKEVICH: Walid Khan 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?
WALID KHAN: Maybe not.
YURKEVICH: Yes, so they were a huge help?
KHAN: Yes, absolutely.
YURKEVICH: Is helping with things like unemployment, is that the role of a faith-based organization?
BHATTI: 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: The Muslim Youth Group told us that the majority of members that are asking for help right now are actually gig workers, these are people who work for Uber or Lyft. And that's because historically they have not been able to apply for unemployment. But now, under these new rules, they can.
And, Alisyn, all the faith groups that I spoke to told me that when someone loses their job and someone becomes unemployed, the first thing they think about is how am I going to pay for food. So now we're hearing, of course, that churches and mosques, in addition to helping people apply for unemployment, are also providing food services for them and their families.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: It is so heartening to see how they are stepping in to fill that void.
Vanessa, thank you very much.
So we get the latest snapshot of unemployment in America. We have the new numbers for you next.
We also have some breaking news at this hour. There's been a shooting at a Naval base in Texas. We have the details, next.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, the breaking news, we're getting new information just in about a shooting at a Naval air station in Corpus Christi, Texas.
So let's get right to CNN's Barbara Starr, live at the Pentagon.
Officials beginning to confirm some of the details, Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.
The Navy, a short time ago, confirmed the very initial details of this active shooter incident at the Naval air station in Corpus Christi, Texas. They say the call came in about 6:15 this morning on the ground in Texas. Naval security forces responding to this.
They say the shooter, according to the statement we just got, has been, quote, neutralized, but one security force member has been injured. All of the gates involved remain on lockdown at Corpus Christi while they investigate this incident.
Very concerning, of course, that a Naval security force member has been injured in this incident. No further details on that.
And, of course, this comes as we, just a few days ago, learned even more details about a Naval -- that terrible shooting at Pensacola Naval Air Station back in December where three people were killed. And the Justice Department announced earlier this week that it had been able to crack into the alleged perpetrator's phone and discovered that that person, that Saudi student that was training with the Navy trying to learn to become a pilot, that Saudi student had had some communications with known terrorist entities.
Too soon to say, way too soon to say what has happened in Corpus Christi.
CAMEROTA: OK, Barbara, please, bring us more as you have it.
Thank you very much.
We also have more breaking news of the financial variety. New unemployment numbers are just in.
CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans has the breaking details.
What do you see?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: A ninth week of unemployment claims in the millions. That's 2.4 million new first time unemployment claims. These are numbers that would just have been unthinkable nine weeks ago and now they are routine. Every Thursday morning we learn more about the millions of people who have lost a job, or been furloughed and who are filing for the very first time for unemployment benefits over the past nine weeks. That is 38.6 million claims here.
Now, one hopes that April was the bottom, but you can see that into May now these big layoffs are continuing.
A couple of -- couple of factors here. The states have to clear the backlogs, big backlogs of people who have been trying to file for unemployment benefits that haven't been counted yet. So that's one reason.
Another, there is this fear of a second wave of layoffs here.
So now that you're eight, nine weeks into this, that's two rent payments, two mortgage payments, two car payments, employers are cutting more workers loose.
BERMAN: All right, Christine Romans, thanks very much.
Joining us now with more on the breaking news, CNN political commentator, former Democratic presidential candidate, Andrew Yang.
Andrew, it's great to see you. Sorry that it comes on a morning where we're getting more dire news about the economy. More first time unemployment claims, nearly 40 million now, 38.6 million people have filed first time claims in the last nine weeks. That's an enormous amount of suffering.
What are you hearing?
ANDREW YANG, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, the suffering, unfortunately, is all too real. We're getting inundated with requests for help at my organization, Humanity Forward. I know non-profits around the country are seeing the same thing. And we have to face the fact that 42 percent of these jobs will not come back. You're looking at essentially long-standing or permanent job loss of 15 million plus. And for reference, the Great Recession cost us less than 9 million jobs. So you're looking at something almost two times the Great Recession permanently.
This is one reason why I'm advocating that our federal government has to -- has to pass enormous stimulus measures to keep us from teetering into a new Great Depression because that, unfortunately, is where we are heading right now.
CAMEROTA: And I know that connected to all of this you have some big, personal news you would like to announce on our program.
YANG: Yes. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, has donated $5 million to my organization, Humanity Forward, that we're then going to turn around and give away to struggling Americans. We're going to give $250 to 20,000 Americans via our website, movehumanityforward.com. Unfortunately, we already have this -- that number of requests and
more, but the more money we take in to our Covid relief fund, the more we will give out. And we are incredibly grateful to Jack for this $5 million because it will improve the immediate situation for literally thousands of Americans.
BERMAN: And many people right now, the only situation they have is the immediate one. They have to get through today and tomorrow.
But there is a pressure point that I would like your opinion on, Andrew, which is that, when we're talking about the enhanced unemployment benefits of $600, I know that's different than a universal basic income when you're talking about unemployment benefits. But there are people now arguing that that payment is so high that it's serving as a disincentive for people to go back into the workforce. A suggestion they can make more money on unemployment right now than they could be by trying to get a job again.
So how do you address that?
YANG: Well, we need to get cash into people's hands. This is a crisis. But, in my opinion, the cash would be better if it was unconditional, that way you have no incentive except to try and improve your own situation. And that the reality, though, is, if someone's looking for a job right now, this is going to be a very tough time, a tough environment to find a job. So anything we can do to help people is the right thing to do. But long term we should be looking at different ways to get cash into people's hands unconditionally.
CAMEROTA: On that front, you tweeted something that I thought was so amusing yesterday. You said, remember when I seemed like a futurist? Those were the days.
I mean the fact that the federal government is doing something that you -- that people thought sounded radical when you suggested it.
YANG: Well, unfortunately, we're going through ten years' worth of change in ten weeks. The trends I was concerned about, about people being sent home because their jobs were going to be automated away, we are experiencing a version of that. And I'm optimistic at least that we can accelerate some of the solutions, as well as the problems, which includes putting money directly into American's hands. It's the only way we're going to help people get through this time. And I hope Congress moves more of the stimulus money towards direct cash relief rather than money to big companies.
BERMAN: If 42 percent of these jobs won't come back, Andrew, what happens to those people? Where do you think their future employment might lie?
YANG: If we don't do anything, their future is bleak. That's why we need a new marshal plan scale initiative to get millions of Americans back into the workforce, to rebuild the country. We should be hiring healthcare workers, people to literally rebuild the country in the form of a giant infrastructure plan, a mental health initiative, anything we can do to get people back to work because we're in a deep, dark hole that will not resolve itself without some massive intervention and that should be led by the federal government.
BERMAN: Andrew Yang, we appreciate your time. Nice to see you. Please give our best to your family. Hope you're all doing well.
YANG: Thank you, both. Stay safe.
CAMEROTA: You too.
BERMAN: All right, we have a shocking look at what a severe battle with coronavirus can do to your body. Before on the left. After on the right.
That man joins us for his first TV interview, next.
BERMAN: A young, once healthy, San Francisco nurse is getting a lot of attention after sharing dramatic photos of what coronavirus did to his body. Take a look. Here he is before getting sick. And here he is 50 pounds lighter after an eight week long fight with coronavirus in the hospital.
That man, Mike Schultz, joins us now.
Mike, thanks so much for being with us. I have to say, I'm sure my reaction to those photos was the same as everyone else's, which is simply, oh, my God.
But before we get to the pictures, let me just ask you, how are you doing now?
MIKE SCHULTZ, LOST 50 POUNDS WHILE HOSPITALIZED WITH CORONAVIRUS: I'm doing really well. I'm able to move around and walk and go up and down stairs and pretty much do anything on my own, it's just I have to take a lot of rest breaks and I just know that my lung capacity is not totally there yet. So I'm not able to, like, do everything that I want without, you know, some rest.
The picture on the left is obviously you before you got sick.
BERMAN: You got sick around a party in Florida, maybe on a plane afterwards, mid-March.
BERMAN: You ended up in the hospital. What happened?
SCHULTZ: Yes. Yes, it was actually in the beginning of March, before any of the restrictions were out, I got flown -- after I came back, I was fine. And I -- I was going to -- I flew to Boston to see my boyfriend, Josh, over the weekend. I was fine up until about Monday evening. I started feeling -- I had a cough and it wasn't really any big deal until Tuesday, March 17th, I started having -- spiking a fever of 103, coughing more and it just got harder and harder to breathe. That's when we decided we should go to the hospital because it was just really being too difficult to breathe. And being a nurse, I knew that wasn't good. So we went right to the hospital and they took me right in.
BERMAN: And you were on a ventilator for four and a half weeks?
SCHULTZ: Correct. They -- I had -- the doctors diagnosed me with pneumonia and severe respiratory distress syndrome. And I actually -- it took different complications to -- took that long to get me off the ventilator.
BERMAN: Wow. And, again, we can see by the before pictures, I mean, you we a big guy. A solid guy.
BERMAN: A strong guy. So what did it feel when you came off the ventilator, you regained full consciousness, you know, 50 pounds lighter. What did that feel like?
SCHULTZ: I didn't even recognize myself. Like, I had hair on -- like where I can grow hair and, you know, they had shaved my beard because they needed to put a tracheostomy in and obviously the weight loss, I felt like I had -- I pretty much cried when I looked in the mirror. I'm like, oh, my God.
BERMAN: You were lucky to be alive.
SCHULTZ: Yes. And, like I said before, like I had no idea how long I had been there. So it was like kind of a shock all -- taking all this in at once.
BERMAN: So you dropped 50 pounds. I mean have you put some of that weight back on?
SCHULTZ: Yes. I've slowly gaining weight. I'm about -- I may have lost more than 50 pounds because right now I weigh about 143. And they really didn't -- they didn't really weigh me too much right when I woke up. So I'm guessing it's between 50 to 60 pounds.
BERMAN: I mean you look like a completely different person. It really -- when you put the two photos up, it's a different human being. Maybe, if not for the tattoo, you would never even imagine it's the same guy.
BERMAN: I mean your face, the bone structure looks different there.
SCHULTZ: Yes. Yes. I look very sunken in and my face is starting to fill out more and I'm getting stronger, but I know it's going to be a long road, but I'm hoping to get somewhere to where I was. I don't know if I'm going to get totally back there, but I'm not in a total rush right new.
BERMAN: Again, because you're alive and you're lucky to be alive.
BERMAN: And it's a lesson, though, right?
BERMAN: It's a lesson to 43 year old -- you're 43, right? I mean, you know, a young --
SCHULTZ: I'm 44. My birthday was yesterday.
BERMAN: Well, happy birthday.
BERMAN: But what's the message? What's the lesson to people your age, young, really healthy people who think they might be invulnerable?
SCHULTZ: Yes. Yes, like I said, I went, you know, to that party before there were any restrictions. There was no lockdown. And right when I started getting sick is right when things started to shut down, actually. And I was probably like a lot of people, I didn't realize how serious it was. It only affected older folks and people that were sick. And I had no prior conditions. And just thought, you know, I -- and everyone was doing this there, they were washing their hands more. There was lines to wash your hands. At the airport, at the gym and not touching your face and I thought that would be enough. But, you know, obviously it wasn't.
BERMAN: And it still hit you, right? I mean you're -- you still feel the impact of this.
SCHULTZ: Oh, yes. I can -- I like I have a little lingering cough and I can't breathe in all the way without feeling like I need to cough and just you definitely feel it. It's just -- doctors say it's -- it's the lung capacity is one of the slowest things to come back. So it's going to be a while.
BERMAN: Well, Mike, you know, we're so happy that you're back up moving around. We're sorry you went through this.
BERMAN: It's remarkable to see the difference. But I expect, you know, it took a lot of work to get to look like that on the left. You'll get back.
SCHULTZ: Yes. BERMAN: You'll get back to whatever you want to look like.
BERMAN: And the important thing is you're well and healthier now.
BERMAN: So, congratulations and thanks for being with us.
SCHULTZ: Thank you so much.
BERMAN: Be well.
SCHULTZ: OK, thanks.
CAMEROTA: Yes, John, what a -- what a valuable reminder. I mean visually and just his speaking to us about any of us who think we can let our guard down, you know, as our states reopen and this holiday weekend, I mean he's just living proof.
BERMAN: Yes, I just don't think we can say it enough, this can affect anybody. You can get sick. And even if you get better, it stays with you. This is a real, real problem. But I'm thrilled that he's up and moving around again.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I'm so glad he talked to us.
OK, CNN has new reporting on the tensions between the CDC and the White House. So our coverage continues, next.