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Fauci's Memorial Day Advice: "Go Out, Wear a Mask, Go for a Walk"; Beaches Open for Memorial Day in Hard-Hit New Jersey; Alabama Mayor Says ICU Beds Are Scarce as State's Cases Rise; Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young (D-Baltimore) Discusses His Strong Message to Trump: Don't visit on Memorial Day. Aired 11:30a-12p ET
Aired May 22, 2020 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Including beaches opening on the east coast. You see several states here, from Virginia to Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, opening beaches. Most with significant restriction.
But as we head into this holiday weekend, more beaches are reopening, including in the state of New Jersey, which, next to New York, was among the states hardest hit.
If you go back to the end of the month, New Jersey's cases were up here. The seven-day moving average, that's the red line. New Jersey is on decline. Still around 1500, just shy of 1,000 cases yesterday. Let's hope it stays down there. But New Jersey heading this way. An improved situation.
Enough so that even the cautious head of infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says, it's Memorial Day weekend, get outside, just be careful.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We're not telling people to just lock in unless you're in a situation where you have a major outbreak going on. We don't have too much of that right now in the country.
Go out, wear a mask, stay six feet away from anyone so you have the physical distancing. And go out, go for a run, go for a walk, go fishing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro joins us now. He is right there in Point Pleasant Beach in New Jersey.
Evan, you're right there at the collision we're have this week between Memorial Day, the love of the beach and our new normal. EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Where I'm
standing right now, it seems to be very pleasant to be standing in the middle of that new normal.
But you're right. The beach experience will be different. Up and down, New Jersey, these beach towns are welcoming visitors again because they want to get that economic engine chugging along. But they have to do it in a way they can keep the beaches open and people safe at the same time.
Here in Point Pleasant, beach access is limited. The authorities have determined what they think is a capacity level than can maintain social distancing. And if you arrive at the beach and it's already reached that level, you'll be turned away.
Our view today, we filmed around the area. You can see the boardwalk still remains closed. That's full of businesses that for the time being remains closed.
And the beach is pretty empty. It looks empty because today is actually forecast for rain. But eventually, it is expected to be full of people maintaining social distance.
It's a whole weird new reality for leaders of towns like this that are used to, during beach season, trying to pack as many people as they can into these towns.
I talked to the mayor about what's different this season than past seasons.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL KANITRA, (R), MAYOR, POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NEW JERSEY: Here's the key. Nobody wants to be the mayor from "Jaws" who lets everybody back in the water a little too soon, right?
At the end of the day, I just started on January 1st. I'm trying to do the best I can, just like mayors up and down the coast are.
We have our own unique set of circumstances and situations here in Point Pleasant Beach, resources available to us. So we're trying to use that, the information we have, the resources available to us, just to create a very safe environment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: If you do make it onto the beach at Point Pleasant, which right now you would be able to do, you're able to do all the things that you would normally do on a beach, sunbathe, swim, hand out, whatever, but you're asked to do it in a socially distant way. If you don't, authorities may come up to you and ask you to obey the guidelines.
And masks are recommended highly but not required. If you're in your own social distance group and in a socially distanced environment, you don't have to wear a mask. But if you're in line to get a beach pass or you're around other people, you're asked to wear a mask.
It's all part of the new way the beach is going to work this summer so far as this economy tries to get going and also mitigate the pandemic -- John?
KING: It's a new wrinkle in this very complicated experiment we're all going through.
Evan McMorris-Santoro, I really appreciate it. We'll watch it throughout the weekend.
Up ahead for us, cases are now rising in Alabama. One mayor now sounding an alarm that his city is running out of ICU beds.
KING: In Alabama, the mayor of Montgomery sounding the alarm, saying the city's hospitals is now running out of ICU beds and saying sick patients now being forced to travel more than an hour away to get treatment.
CNN's Victor Blackwell joins us live from Montgomery.
Victor, short-term crisis or longer-term big problem?
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The mayor at this point does not know. What he knows is that the numbers at this moment are going in all the wrong directions here across Montgomery County.
Let's go through them. The number of COVID-confirmed cases going up. Up 45 percent in the first week of May, up 46 percent in the second week of May, up a double-digit percentage in the third week.
The number of COVID hospitalizations going up at three Baptist Health hospitals across central Alabama. And each of those facilities for three weeks, the number of available ICU beds going down.
I'm in front of Jackson Hospital here in Montgomery. They had just one bed available when I arrived here yesterday, and now all 30 beds of the ICU critical care beds are occupied.
The mayor says there's a direct connection between the numbers and the loosening of restrictions across Alabama. The shelter-in-place order was allowed to expire at the end of April. The retail and restaurants and bars and salons and fitness centers all allowed to reopen with some rules.
And now as we go into Memorial Day weekend, there's the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases up at UAB who is really, really concerned. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. JEANNE MARRAZZO, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA, BIRMINGHAM: I'm quite worried with the Memorial Day weekend coming and the restrictions loosening that this is going to go like a prairie fire. It's been smoldering. We've had a lid on it. But now it really has the potential to get out of control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: What some hope, what most hope, actually, will not be any kindling added to that fire.
The governor, Kay Ivey, has announced she will amend her order to allow schools, public, private, K-12, the technical schools, colleges and universities to reopen next Monday. That's June 1st.
The mayor here so concerned that he's considering his own shelter-in- place order -- John?
KING: Victor Blackwell on the ground. One of the places we need to watch very, very closely as this unfolds not only this week but going forward.
Victor, appreciate the live reporting in Montgomery, Alabama.
When we come back, a strong message from Baltimore's mayor to President Trump: Don't visit on Memorial Day. The mayor joins us in just a moment.
KING: President Trump and first lady, Melania Trump, planning a Memorial Day visit to an American historical treasure, Baltimore's Fort McHenry.
With us now, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young.
Mayor, your city still currently under a stay-at-home order. And you hope the president changes his mind. Why?
BERNARD "JACK" YOUNG, (D), BALTIMORE MAYOR: Yes, because, right now, we had a 4 percent increase in COVID cases. We have 399 hospital stays, and we have over 200 deaths in the city of Baltimore.
And for months, I've been asking our citizens to stay home and only come out for essential reasons like your job, going to get food, or, you know, going to the pharmacy, things of that nature. And that has made my job more difficult since the weather is getting warm and all of this is happening with this pandemic.
So I'm asking the president to rethink his trip. It sends a bad message to the citizens of Baltimore because I'm asking them to stay home and only come out for essential reasons.
And we have a president that's coming to a city that he just berated over a year ago. I just want him to set the example for the rest of the country and not do this trip, because it's not essential.
He can take the lead and honor veterans or have Memorial Day right in the White House just like we're doing in our homes. I think the president is sending a bad message.
This has nothing to do with him personally. My city is seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, and we don't want to spread it.
We told our people, no more than 10 can gather anywhere. And his entourage, I guess, is more than 10 just with the Secret Service alone.
KING: Mr. Mayor, the White House answered -- so far, you've been very clear you don't think it's helpful. You think it's a bad example from the president of the United States.
They White House answered, saying too bad. I want to read this from the White House spokesman. They said, "The great men and women who have preserved our freedom for generations did not stay home. And the president won't, either, as he honors the sacrifice of such a historic landmark in our nation's history."
That is as closed as the president of the United States essentially telling you, the mayor of Baltimore, go away.
YOUNG: OK, I can understand that. But there was not a pandemic of this nature. I'm pretty sure we can honor our soldiers.
My father was a soldier in the Korean War. My grandfather was a soldier. I have relatives that were soldiers. And I'm pretty sure they will understand during this pandemic of us honoring them at home. We can do virtual. We can do what I'm doing with you all.
We told our people they cannot have their prom because of this pandemic, weddings and funerals. So, I mean, the White House is going to say what they want to say and do what they want to do. And I'm just hoping the president will rethink this because it's not a smart thing to do.
KING: Did they give you a courtesy of a heads up? You would think, if the president would travel to any city, anyway, even in normal times --
YOUNG: No, no, no.
KING: -- to give the mayor a heads up. Nothing? Nothing?
YOUNG: No, no, no.
KING: They just sprung it on you?
YOUNG: No. Right. He's done that twice. That's the second time he's done that.
We're taking our resources, our police department. We're trying to manage the social distancing and trying to make sure when we get calls for businesses that are not following these orders. We just send our police officers to shut them down.
And when we have social distancing, they're out trying to tell people in a reasonable way this is for your health and your safety. Please, please put on a face mask and practice social distancing.
I don't understand why the president won't set an example not only for the city but for the country and stay in D.C. and honor our veterans, which I'm honoring myself, by doing virtual or being on Cisco, like you guys are on, and being on any kind of social media to honor our soldiers and our people who served in the armed forces to protect us for the freedoms we enjoy today.
YOUNG: So I'm not expecting a response from the White House.
KING: That's a shock. A challenge for you, Mr. Mayor.
Really appreciate your time today. Good luck this weekend and beyond as you try to deal with the situation in Baltimore. We'll stay in touch, sir.
YOUNG: OK, thank you and be safe.
KING: Thank you, sir. You be safe as well. Thank you very much.
We'll be right back.
KING: A local government spokesperson says two survivors have been recovered after a Pakistani passenger plane crashed into a residential area of crowded Karachi.
Video from the site, you see here, shows smoke and debris on the street. Buildings are damaged. A total of 107 people were onboard, including eight crew members.
There are reports that at least five survivors have been taken to a local hospital. But it is unclear if those were on the ground when the airliner crashed or onboard the plane.
Up next for us, a big new study says Hydroxychloroquine not only doesn't help coronavirus patients but made them more likely to die.