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Stay-At-Home Restrictions Ease In All 50 States For Holiday Weekend; Arkansas Governor Reports "Second Peak" Of New Cases; How Denmark's School Safety Plan Could Be Model For World; Study: Nearly Half Of Twitter Accounts Pushing To Reopen America Likely Bots; Moderna Executives Sell Nearly $30 Million In Stocks Amid Promising Vaccine News; 2020 Grads Face Worst Job Market. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired May 23, 2020 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DOC HENDLEY, CNN HERO: And it was devastating. So we created this program. We just wanted it to be something that doesn't just give people food to survive during this time.
Fresh apples, fresh oranges.
But also give them things to help them thrive.
It will be ready to hand out and will feed two people for an entire week.
I was terrified when this really got bad but that sense of fear and stress just immediately turned off and was just focused on, what can we do to help?
I saw a single mom and literally when she opened it up, she just started crying.
I really think that we as a people are going to come through this stronger and more together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Anderson Cooper shares the full story of what Doc Hendley is doing to help amidst this crisis at home and globally at CNNheroes.com.
CABRERA: Thanks so much for staying with me. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.
And this Memorial Day weekend, looking in many places as close to normal as a deadly global pandemic will allow. Governors and safety officials in every state right now have eased stay-at-home restrictions to some degree, allowing people to hit the beach, maybe to have an outdoor barbecue or to visit public parks. Some New York beaches opened yesterday as well as beaches in New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut. Strict safety guidelines are in place, though. In Connecticut, for example, some park officials will cap parking at 25 percent to keep crowds from getting too big. But we're also getting a heavy dose of reality that this pandemic may be far from over.
Just moments ago, the governor of Arkansas announcing that his state is already experiencing a second peak of the coronavirus. Already, Governor Asa Hutchinson said at a briefing today that the earlier high point of new cases was about 30 days ago and he reported 163 new cases today.
Public health experts are nervous the crowds of people will attend worship services tomorrow across the country. This is after President Trump declared churches and other houses of worship essential, adding a sharp warning to state governors to not keep churches closed.
CNN is live right now on beaches in Georgia and California where many people are emerging from those coronavirus lockdowns for what might be the first time, and health officials in this country are repeating their guidance as much as they can this Memorial Day weekend, wear a mask, avoid crowds, protect yourself and others around you.
Let's go coast to coast now starting at Georgia's Tybee Island, expecting record-breaking crowds this weekend.
Last Saturday, more than 12,000 cars made their way into the small beach town. That number expected to be even higher today.
CNN's Natasha Chen is live for us there.
Natasha, there's no doubt people are ready to get out and enjoy the sun, but are they being safe?
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are still coming, Ana. They're walking right behind us and you can see they are being safe in the sense that they are keeping pretty much six feet from the next party. They're also supposed to maintain groups of fewer than ten people and unfortunately, we've seen groups larger than that today.
But you may be wondering, looking at this scene, what are the cases of COVID-19 like in this part of the south? Well, we're seeing that the trend of hospitalizations in Georgia is going up, and as you just said, the governor of Arkansas talked about a second peak. He actually said that in Arkansas, several cases were stemming from potentially a single swimming party, and he said that many young people thought it was harmless, but if you can imagine several cases at a swimming party, I'm not sure what could potentially happen at a place like this.
In North Carolina, as well, today, they saw the biggest single day increase and so we are seeing some interesting trends here with COVID- 19 cases as these places begin to reopen in Georgia and in this case it's been a bit longer. In fact, because Georgia was one of the first to announce reopenings of places like beaches, we found a couple that actually made plans to come here when they should have been getting married today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIZA HARTKE, SUPPOSED TO WED TODAY: It was supposed to be our wedding day, and we decided to come here to get away from everything.
KURT MANNING, SUPPOSED TO WED TODAY: We came to Georgia because we knew that Georgia was going to be the first one to open up and we wanted to come here and experience a beach, because, you know, you don't want to drive 700 miles, 14 hours in the car, and come to a vacant beach or a vacant town. So --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: Yes, and we're hearing from the mayor of Tybee Island here that last weekend there was even a group of 100 or 150 kids. The Tybee police had to go and try to break that up and the mayor tells me that some of those kids' parents even gave the police a bit of pushback, Ana.
CABRERA: OK. Natasha Chen, thank you.
Now to southern California where temperatures are expected to hit the 90s along the coast for Memorial Day weekend. More than two-thirds of that state is moving ahead with the next phase of reopening, including L.A. and Orange County beaches.
But county officials are warning beachgoers they must practice social distancing.
CNN's Paul Vercammen joins us from Santa Monica.
And, Paul, we checked with you earlier. People were seemingly -- it seemed to be, you know, adhering to those restrictions. Is that still the case?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, we'll take a little tour. So, if you look behind me, right over here, here's a family, wearing their masks as they are told to do. The littlest one maybe isn't but we're seeing a lot of people are wearing their masks. This is the newly reopened bikeway that goes through Santa Monica and then into Venice and other parts.
So it's a mix of people wearing their masks but they certainly are spacing out, so to speak, because when we come over here and pan, look at all that white sand. They are not bunching up so far. It's 1:00 in the afternoon.
But, look behind me. There's the Santa Monica pier, well known throughout the world. It is shut down, and that is really crushing the economy here in Santa Monica. The city has lost more than $40 million in revenue since the COVID-19 outbreak. Imagine being a mayor of a city like this and having to reckon with laying off your employees.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR KEVIN MCKEOWN (D), SANTA MONICA, CA: It's been about ten weeks since I really had a good night's sleep or had a day off. And I'm not saying that for pity. It's just it's the reality of trying to run a local government in these unprecedented -- unprecedented circumstances.
We've had recessions before, but never anything that happened this suddenly or this deeply that took that much money out of the city coffers so quickly. So trying to figure out how to run the city on roughly 40 percent less money is a real challenge. You know, we have tourism and restaurants provided a great deal of our city budget, and with the restaurants closed and the hotels, the very few that are open, have 5 percent or 10 percent occupancy, that revenue is not going to come in for some time. We know it's not going to come back overnight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: And as we look back here live at this bike path, the mayor, of course, glad to see this reopened, but in time, they want to get that pier reopened and the rest of Santa Monica because these small California beach cities have really taken it on the chin. They rely on that hotel tax, they rely on that sales tax, and that is just basically vanished, Ana.
CABRERA: It sure looks beautiful there, though, Paul. I feel that yearning and longing to get out and enjoy as much as anybody. Thank you for your reporting.
I want to bring in Dr. Larry Brilliant now to continue our conversation.
Doctor, as an epidemiologist, you're an expert in how germs and viruses and diseases spread. Do open beaches and parks and barbecues and all this first day of summer stuff, does that make you nervous during this pandemic, or is there a safe and smart way to enjoy these things and minimize risk at the same time?
DR. LARRY BRILLIANT, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: Hello, Ana. It's as if today is a microcosm of these two equally important and diametrically opposite feelings that an epidemiologist has to have right now.
Just like you mentioned, this yearning to go out. People have been cooped up. There's so much mental illness. We've got tens of millions of people out of a job and a billion unemployed around the world. We want to open up.
But as an epidemiologist, I'm fearful of watching a train wreck in slow motion. I'm fearful that there isn't just going to be a second wave. There may not be an end to the first one. I worry 14 days from now, what will we see in terms of incidents of new cases and deaths and look back on it?
I don't want to be a scold or a buzzkill. I'm worried about what I did at the age that many of these young people are, and I worry about alcohol use. I worry about breaking your best judgment. There must be a middle way. If people follow good social distancing,
if they wear masks when they're not going swimming, if they avoid the crowds and locker rooms, if they don't make it into get out of jail party, then we have a chance of getting through this weekend with less damage than I'm fearful we might have.
CABRERA: So, let me just ask you about the proper procedure. If we find ourselves in close proximity to someone on a beach or in a public park, if it's windy, for example, is it safer for everyone because the air's moving around so much, or do you want to make sure you stay upwind of other people?
BRILLIANT: Well, I'm sure that being upwind is a little better than being downwind, but being windy and breezy is good. What you worry about is being indoors where the air-conditioning system is not working and all the viruses are trapped.
So, outdoors is much better than indoors under almost any circumstance right now.
CABRERA: And for people who may be getting out to go hiking or exercising, what about the exposure from someone who's just passing by who maybe isn't wearing a mask? Is a guy running past me without a mask going to put me at risk?
BRILLIANT: I'd wave at them and hope they have a good time. No, just -- this virus is spread mostly by people talking to each other, being in close quarters with each other, and being close or talking for a few minutes, not just a second or two.
It doesn't mean the virus cannot be spread by aerosols and fomites and the accidental both people touching an elevator button two minutes apart. But the virus can be spread by many things, but in general, it's sustained exposure to someone who is coughing or who is ill or who is carrying the virus and doesn't even know it.
CABRERA: And I just want you to talk directly to our viewers who are planning to take advantage of their states' relaxed restrictions this weekend. What do you think are the, maybe, top three most important things they need to be thinking about?
BRILLIANT: Number one, don't lose your mind. Don't lose your head. Don't be intoxicated or have so many wonderful pharmaceutical experiments that you lose track of the fact we are in the worst pandemic of your lifetime. You've never seen anything like this before.
It's not macho to not wear a mask. It's crazy to not wear a mask and, of course, if you're swimming in the ocean, you're not required to wear a mask.
Be practical. Practice social distancing. If there are circles to keep you apart and in groups of less than ten, follow those instructions. Have a good time. But have a safe time. CABRERA: Dr. Larry Brilliant, we have more questions for you, so
please stay with us.
But as people flock to beaches and states do continue to relax these restrictions, an alarming new study is predicting that we could see a surge in some of those states pushing to return to normal, states like Arkansas and North Carolina are already reporting a spike in cases this weekend. We'll discuss that just ahead.
CABRERA: Memorial Day weekend, many states are cautiously opening beaches and public swimming pools and parks all with strict hygiene and social distancing rules in place. You're looking at pictures, obviously, from Texas.
But in Arkansas, we have this just in. The governor there announcing his state is already seeing a second peak in cases.
So, Dr. Larry Brilliant is back with us now.
Doctor, your reaction to this news out of Arkansas, second peak may be already upon us.
BRILLIANT: I wish I could say that I was surprised. I'd like to be surprised. But you know, this virus is a novel virus. It's brand-new to the human experience. It's easy to underestimate it and to want to open up our society or economy as fast as we can. We're all desperate for that.
But it's likely that we will be seeing not just a second peak but wave after wave of this virus until we have a vaccine.
CABRERA: Doctor, putting aside risky behavior we are perhaps seeing today in some areas and to avoid exposure to the coronavirus which we discussed in that last segment, what do you make of this new CDC guidance that came out that about a third of people who are infected have no symptoms and about 40 percent of transmission happens before an infected person even feels sick.
How much harder does that make your job?
BRILLIANT: Well, it makes it a lot harder. I think that the consensus is that the virus is most heavily spread four, five days before any symptoms and four, five days after symptoms in those who are symptomatic. Of course, those who are not symptomatic, it's even harder.
But it doesn't make it impossible. I would remind everybody that polio is a disease that we're close to eradicating but 999 out of 1,000 cases are without any symptoms or asymptomatic.
So, it isn't that we can't do this. It just makes our job harder. It's also not true that an asymptomatic case leads to an asymptomatic case, leads to an asymptomatic case ad infinitum.
BRILLIANT: In between, there are going to be cases that go to the hospital that are sick and a good contact tracing system will pick them up, and that's why in these troughs that we have between waves, we need to double down on finding every case, testing every case, doing contact tracing. If we could quarantine about 1.5 percent or 2 percent of the country, Ana, then the rest of the country could open up.
We've gotten a little confused about this. Every step we take, opening up, should be -- we should at the same time be doubling down on what we know to be good epidemiology and I'm afraid we've lost sight of that a little bit.
CABRERA: There's a new study by the PolicyLab of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia that predicts a sharp surge in cases could be coming, particularly in the southern states, Texas, South Florida, parts of Tennessee. Already, they're running out of ICU beds in some places like Alabama. We have this report out of North Carolina today that Natasha Chen mentioned in which they're seeing their new highest level of cases that they have seen in just one day. We have what's happening in Arkansas.
Is there something unique to the southern states that's making the fight against the virus especially challenging?
BRILLIANT: I don't think it's unique to southern states. I do think sometimes I feel like I'm in a bizarro world where the same week we get a report that Georgia or Texas or Arkansas have their highest number of deaths or highest number of cases, it is in that very week that they're opening up and creating the circumstances that almost inevitably will lead to more and more cases.
We have to really understand that we're facing a unique enemy, a combatant that we've never faced in a hundred years.
CABRERA: Brazil now has the third highest number of coronavirus infections in the world after the United States and Russia. Does this tell you a second wave of cases is coming to the U.S., or could other countries bear the brunt of the second wave?
BRILLIANT: I was on a call with WHO last week, and we went around the world looking at places that are badly infected and Africa is catching on fire. Latin America is catching on fire. Russia, as you mentioned.
This is a time when we are at the peak of the disease. This is not the bottom of a wave. As far as the world is concerned, this is the worst moment in time we have had in the history of this coronavirus.
So, of course, the virus will come and ping-pong back and forth between countries until we have a vaccine. CABRERA: Let's talk about that, because there was progress this week
on a number of potential vaccines with animals and humans developing neutralizing antibodies in different vaccine trials. Companies are now being identified for manufacturing the vaccine when it exists.
Based on what we know now, what is your best estimate for the earliest the public will be able to get vaccinated, if everything goes perfectly?
BRILLIANT: If everything goes perfectly, I'm very excited. Look, we're doing something that we've never done in vaccinology before and I was vice president of Google and having learned from Silicon Valley the importance of doing things in parallel rather than in series or sequentially.
I'm excited that we're doing safety trials and efficiency trials and effectiveness trials all in parallel, that we're building assembly lines for making the vaccine even before we know what vaccine it is we're going to be making.
Having said that, reality test. The fastest any vaccine has ever been made is the mumps vaccine. That took four years. Ebola took decades. The polio vaccine took decades.
And even after the vaccine has been available, it takes a long time to develop a vaccine program. When you get a vaccine, you don't get rainbows and unicorns. You get people in jeeps going to every corner of the world.
We had the smallpox vaccine for 150 years before we eradicated small box. We had the polio vaccine for 70 years, before we've come as close to eradicating polio.
So, when Tony Fauci says we'll have a vaccine in 12 to 18 months, he's not saying that's the average. He's saying with the amazing concentration of science and everyone working their butts off, we will break all speed records and get a vaccine in 12 to 18 months.
And I think we're pretty much on that schedule. Bigger issue is will we run into obstacles that make it impossible to get a vaccine at all? I don't think that's going to happen. But there's a number of very credible scientists who are worried about that itself.
CABRERA: Yes, and at any point along this vaccine producing process, things could go sideways or prove that it's ineffective.
Thank you very, very much, as always, Dr. Larry Brilliant. I always appreciate your expertise and enjoy our conversations. I hope you have a great weekend.
BRILLIANT: Thank you, and to you as well.
CABRERA: Thank you.
There are growing questions whether or not schools in the U.S. will even open this fall, but could one country's plan be a model for what to do here? We'll take a look.
CABRERA: Right now, parents around the country are wondering if and how schools could reopen in the fall, but overseas, we are already getting a glimpse of what classrooms could look like post-lockdown. Denmark was the first country in Europe to reopen schools, already last month. And their methods, while unconventional, could be a model for the rest of the world.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Math lessons from the pulpit. When the Veksoe School outside Copenhagen didn't have enough space for all kids because of physical distancing rules, the local church became a classroom. Students don't mind.
MARIE ERIKSEN BOEGNER, STUDENT: It's different but I like it and we learn a lot.
PLEITGEN: To help with their statistics lessons they needed a place with lots of numbers, so they just moved to the church's graveyard.
Denmark's government is encouraging as many lessons as possible outside, the teacher says.
ANETTE DA CRUZ, TEACHER, VEKSOE SCHOOL: We had to study statistics and math, so instead of doing it inside the school, now we can use the cemetery. They can collect data and we can work with it and they get much more curious.
PLEITGEN: Denmark is rapidly reopening its schools under very strict hygiene measures. Arrival times are staggered so there aren't too many kids at school at once.
You won't see students or teachers wearing masks, though. Instead, here at the Hendriksholm School in Copenhagen, they use police tape to make sure children don't cross paths on the stairs and in the schoolyard children should keep at least three feet apart. And they wash their hands and sanitize at least every two hours, a new experience for many.
ANDY CHANG JOHANSEN, STUDENT: It is a little hard to get used to but when you get used to it, it definitely feels more normal.
PLEITGEN: With that concept, Denmark first brought the youngest students back to school and now, the older ones as well.
The head of secondary education at the Hendriksholm School, Jimmy Adetunji, says the key to making it work is trusting the kids to be responsible.
JIMMY SKOV GLASDAM ADETUNJI, HEAD OF SECONDARY EDUCATION, HENDRIKSHOLM SCHOOL: If you follow the guidelines given, if you keep distance, if you make sure to wash your hands, keep sanitizing, coughing in your sleeve and not in your hand, and so on and so forth, I think we'll be safe.
PLEITGEN: With many parents fearing for their kids' safety, the Danish government worked with parents' and teachers' groups to build support for the plan, the country's education minister tells me.
PERNILLE ROSENKRANTZ-THIEL, DANISH HEALTH MINISTER: Without that dialogue, I think many people would have felt that it wasn't safe to send the children to school. I think the guidelines that we would have made wouldn't have hit the target and then we would have outbreaks in different schools. And that would have made other parents uncertain about the situation.
PLEITGEN: Opening schools does not appear to have led to a spike in coronavirus infections in Denmark. And while some might find math lessons on a graveyard a bit awkward, well, so far, Danes say their way of bringing school back is working.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Copenhagen, Denmark.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: We want to welcome back Dr. Glenn Budnick. He's a pediatrician and chairman of the Pediatrics Medical Group. He's been with us answering questions about how to keep children safe during this pandemic.
Dr. Budnick, I know you personally have been focused on schools in the country's second-hardest-hit state, new jersey. Some of the things we saw in that piece, staggered arrival times, but no masks. What do you think about that?
DR. GLENN BUDNICK, PEDIATRICIAN & CHAIRMAN, PEDIATRICS MEDICAL GROUP: Well, I personally think masks are helpful. And although I do like what they did in Denmark, and I do like what they did was they tried to build a protective bubble around 10 children and try to keep these 10 children together throughout the school day.
In the United States, maybe, for older children, we'd have them wear masks. In Denmark, although they didn't say in the report, they are wearing masks when they're in common areas lake hallways.
So, I would be pro-mask. But I do like the theory of what they did in Denmark with the protective bubble. We want 10 children in a protective setting in one classroom where they use the outside a lot. But we could use one classroom setting, socially distanced apart, and keep these ten kids together throughout the school day.
And I like the theory. It's a protective bubble for our children. And we're going to try to keep them safe while -- we're going have to keep them safe through good practices, social distancing, hand washing. We'll discuss face masks on a totality basis of wearing it all the time or just in common areas.
But their system, taking 10 children at a time and working with spaces in different areas, is a good way to begin.
CABRERA: I know a lot of states have set up advisory groups or task forces to work on this issue. An advisory group in D.C. recommended its schools don't fully reopen without a vaccine. That would be phase four.
Until then, there are some suggestions for phase two. Students should attend schools on some days and participate in distance learning on others. No more than ten people, including teachers, should be in each classroom, which I know have been saying is seeming to be a good guidepost. Lunch and breakfast should be eaten in classrooms instead of cafeterias.
In older grades, teachers, not students, should switch classrooms at the end of the period. And students should also have staggered arrival and dismissal times.
Do you think these different items would go a long way in protecting kids?
BUDNICK: I think all the items you mentioned are very important.
Plus, two other things. One is we should have a very good testing program in place at the schools where we're testing statistically important segment of the population every week, let's say 5 percent of the students and 5 percent of the teachers, so that we can be right on top of the illness if it begins to crop its head.
Also, by having just 10 students, from a tracking standpoint, we're going to know where every student is at every time and who their contacts is and who their teachers are so that, if a case does pop up, we can shut that one bubble down, that preventive bubble, and follow all the contacts there.
The third and important things is something, Ana, you've discussed before many times, immunization.
This year, more than ever, we have to do what we have and the flu shot is going to be extremely important because if we can mitigate the flu this season, so that there's not a lot of illness in our school system, it's going to make, A, easier for the doctors, B, easier for the patients, so that we can sort out what is COVID, what is not COVID, and have people as healthy as we can have this year.
CABRERA: Such good information.
BUDNICK: And the risk factor is with immunizations is that the immunization rates gone down significantly and people do not want to turn a pandemic into an epidemic of measles and whooping cough. So before school starts, please get your immunizations.
CABRERA: It is such a crucial reminder there.
Dr. Glenn Budnick, always good to have you here. It will be so interesting to see how school districts end up coming up with their plans. As a parent myself, with a second grader currently, I'm really anxious to find out how this next phase of this experiment that we're all a part of is going to work.
Dr. Budnick, we'll talk to you again soon. Thank you.
BUDNICK: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: Flip a coin. The new study says there's a 50/50 chance that person you are arguing with online about the coronavirus is actually a bot.
CABRERA: A lot of the discussion and divide over reopening America is playing out on Twitter. But researchers say nearly half of the accounts tweeting about the coronavirus could be automated bots, not real people.
Carnegie Mellon University researchers discovered misinformation campaigns using Twitter bots to fuel conversations about stay-at-home orders and this pandemic.
And CNN Business Reporter, Donie O'Sullivan, has been looking into this.
Donie, some of these bots are spreading baseless conspiracy theories and researchers warn they lead to more extreme behavior. What else did they find in this study?
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: That's right, Ana. We hear an awful lot about Twitter bots. And there's no real universally agreed definition of what a Twitter bot is.
But normally, it is a sometimes automatic tweeting account, so an account that's controlled by a computer rather than a human, and where one person can control hundreds or thousands of accounts to push their point of view to make it appear that their point of view is more popular than it actually is.
Now, the researchers at Carnegie Mellon found a whole lot of bots tweeting about COVID-19, specially around the debate to reopen the country.
It's important to point out here, as Twitter has done in a blog post, that oftentimes researchers in this space can be wrong. They can label, characterize a Twitter account as a bot that actually turns out to be a real person. And also, we see a lot of people, too, sometimes, when they see a Twitter account that just disagrees with them, they'll say, oh that account must be a bot. But here is what we do know. We do know that misinformation about
COVID-19 is just absolutely rampant on social media platforms. There's no other way to put it.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, they've all said that they're trying to remove dangerous misinformation about the virus, but you know, I think all of us, when we open up our phones, open up Facebook groups and Twitter feeds, it doesn't take very long, as you scroll, to come across information that is just blatantly wrong and oftentimes dangerous.
CABRERA: And sadly, a lot of people are only getting their information from social media as we have seen in previous studies and polling.
The World Health Organization said fighting misinformation is just as important as fighting the virus itself. And it is investing in combatting misinformation campaigns.
Donie, what other kind of misinformation is out there and how big is the problem, and why do people believe it?
O'SULLIVAN: Yes, I mean, pretty much every aspect of this virus, from its inception, where it started, how it started, you know, to treatment to potential cures to preventive measures, there's misinformation about every single aspect of the virus.
Some of it is being pushed for ideological reasons. We've seen the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party support the notion that, you know, the U.S. government is in some way responsible for the virus, which is totally false. There's no evidence for that.
So, really, every step of this COVID-19 journey, there's misinformation along the way.
I think possibly the most concerning thing is that if and when a virus comes for COVID-19, there's a really concerted and organized community of anti-vaccine activists online. And this really is their moment to shine. So that could be really dangerous if people start seeing this misinformation.
Why are people believing it? Well, I guess there's a void of information because this is a novel virus. And also, people have been stuck at home for two months. They are looking for answers.
And you know, I think even in my family, I've experienced people who might not normally fall for conspiracy theories online or blatant misinformation sharing and forwarding information that is just wrong about this virus.
I think people are pretty desperate. They are looking for answers. And there's a whole community of grifters online, basically, trying to cash in on that.
CABRERA: And so it's so important for people to be vetting the information that they're seeing, digging deeper beyond the headline that they're perhaps coming across on social media. Donie O'Sullivan, as always, good to have you here. Thank you.
O'SULLIVAN: Thank you.
CABRERA: A quick programming note: Join CNN's Fareed Zakaria tomorrow night as he investigates the moment the pandemic was born. CNN's special report, "CHINA'S DEADLY SECRET," begins tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern on CNN.
After one company revealed promising news in their hunt for a coronavirus vaccine, their stock price jumped as much as 30 percent. And as investors piled in, you might be surprised to learn that two top execs with that company tapped out.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Stay with us.
CABRERA: Welcome back. This week, the biotech company, Moderna, announced promising early results from phase one human trials for their vaccine for coronavirus. Not surprisingly, Moderna stocks soared by as much as 30 percent. But then two Moderna executives dumped $25 million in stock.
CNN's Cristina Alesci explains -- Cristina?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN POLITICS & BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Ana, a windfall of profits for two executives at biotech company, Moderna. After the company released positive and encouraging results of a COVID vaccine trial earlier this week, company shares soared by as much as 30 percent.
And as investors were buying, some of the company's insiders were selling. Both the chief financial officer and the chief medical officer exercised options and then sold shares for profits of $17 million, and then $8 million, respectively.
These sales were done through what's called 10b5-1 plans, which regulate how company insiders sell options and shares and, oftentimes, they're done automatically.
The experts that CNN spoke to said there shouldn't be a legal issue because the sales happened through these plans. But optically, if the shares keep declining, it doesn't look great for the company.
And, in fact, on Tuesday, shares did decline by 10 percent after reports surfaced that the company did not release enough information to know how significant those phase-one findings were.
Now, the stock price declined even further during the week until the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, had positive things to say about the Moderna study, and he said he is cautiously optimistic -- Ana?
CABRERA: All right, Cristina Alesci, we know you're going to stay on top of that. Thanks.
We'll be right back.
CABRERA: The class of 2020 has had a tough go. And now, as they enter a job market during a pandemic, the effects could linger with them for decades.
Bianna Golodryga reporters.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN SENIOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST (voice-over): For newly minted Boston University graduate, Shadae Leslie, senior year didn't end quite as expected.
SHADAE LESLIE, BOSTON UNIVERSITY CLASS OF 2020: And I walked down the street and I finished my finals and I was hoping I would, you know, see somebody that I know and say, hey, we did it, like, we're done! And there isn't really much of that experience that's there.
GOLODRYGA: Aside from pomp and circumstance, there's another thing missing from Shadae's life now, a job.
When college seniors entered their final year just last fall, the national unemployment rate was at a near record low of 3.7 percent. Today, it's at a jaw-dropping 14.7 percent. The jobless rate for those aged 20 to 24 is even higher, at 25.7 percent.
As a result, an exciting job Shadae had planned to take after graduation in real estate has been rescinded.
LESLIE: Unfortunately, when I wake up, it's straight to the e-mail. I have my alerts on for Linked In, various different Web sites.
CORY SANNING, UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE CLASS OF 2020: Many of the responses I've gotten have been, hey, we don't know if this position's ever even going to reopen again. We appreciate your interest. Best of luck.
GOLODRYGA: Cory Sanning finds himself in a similar position. The University of Tennessee grad has long held aspirations in sports media. Prior to the pandemic, he had many promising job leads. Now, he has none.
(on camera): What have the past few months been like for you as you've been rewriting what your future looks like, trying to get job interviews and offers now?
SANNING: Its -- it's definitely been -- life altering I would describe it as.
GOLODRYGA (voice over): If history is any guide, Cory and Shadae are part of a demographic that economists worry could bear the brunt of the coronavirus recession.
Graduates entering the labor market during a recession are shown to earn less than those who entered during a healthy economy for at least 10 to 15 years.
Those job market challenges are leading some colleges to take matters into their own hands.
DAVID GREENE, PRESIDENT, COLBY COLLEGE: What we're trying to do is identify job opportunities for all 500 of our graduating seniors, and to be able to do that in one of the toughest job markets we've ever seen.
GOLODRYGA: Colby College in Maine is already making good on its promise to get job offers for 100 percent of its graduating seniors.
GREENE: To find a way to say, hey, can we get together and call on our entire network of alums, friends and others to help these students?
GOLODRYGA: No one should bet against the class of 2020. If anything, the current crisis has graduates like Cory and Shadae even more determined.
SANNING: I applied to jobs in Cincinnati, Charlotte, Memphis, Kentucky, Florida. I'm willing to drive as far as Seattle, Washington, to anybody that will hire me because I'm willing to start from the ground up and do whatever they need.
LESLIE: Maybe a potential positive of this, if there can be any positives, is that, years from now, decades from now, whenever we all reflect back, we all had this common and shared experience. And you'll always be able to say, oh, you're class of 2020, I know what happened.
GOLODRYGA: Bianna Golodryga: CNN, New York.
CABRERA: The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, today delivering a virtual message to the 2020 graduates of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Fauci serves as President Trump's key advisor on the U.S. coronavirus pandemic task force and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Warm greetings to you all.
My name is Tony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
I'm really delighted to address the outstanding graduates in the Johns Hopkins University class of 2020.
We are currently confronting an unprecedented global pandemic. And I am profoundly aware that celebrating your graduation virtually is extremely disappointing at best.
However, we must adapt to this extraordinary situation, as you have done so well, and unite in overcoming the challenges we face because of COVID-19.
We need your talent, your energy, your resolve, and your character to get through this difficult time.