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Beaches Brace For Huge Memorial Day Crowds As States Reopen; Uproar in U.K. after PM's Adviser Takes Trip While under Isolation; Plasma Study Results Encouraging; Some Nursing Homes Scrutinized for Poor Worker Conditions; Some Churches Reopening Despite Risks; Experiment Shows How Quickly Virus Can Spread at Table; Protests over China's Hong Kong Security Plan; Syrian Refugee-Turned-Filmmaker Gives Back; Young Artist Helps Others Cope. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired May 24, 2020 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Beaches, parks and pools, many of them are open again in the United States. As 2 states show an alarming spike in new cases.
Here in the U.K., the prime minister's chief advisor is under fire for apparently breaking lockdown rules. Not once but twice.
And how do you protect yourself while eating out?
You will want to see this.
Hello and welcome to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Bianca Nobilo.
NOBILO: Right now, the nation with the most reported coronavirus cases and deaths is facing its biggest test of the pandemic. The virus is casting a shadow over an American tradition to honor its war dead and welcome the unofficial start of the summer.
The big question is, will enough people in the United States heed the calls for social distancing, hand washing and face coverings to stem a new wave of infections?
Here's what we have seen so far. Beaches, parks and public swimming pools opening as officials relax restrictions. Public health officials continue to ask people to cover their faces and to avoid gathering in groups. But at least two states are already reporting a surge in cases.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were positive cases coming out of a high school swim party, a high school swim party than I'm sure everyone thought was harmless, they are young, they are swimming, they are just having activity. And positive cases resulted from that. And so it is just an encouragement for us to be disciplined in our
activities and during this memorial weekend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: Readers of the Sunday "New York Times" will see this on the front page, a headline that reads "U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, an Incalculable Loss." The names of 1,000 victims and snippets about their lives.
Meantime, here in the U.K., a senior adviser to the prime minister is under fire for allegedly breaking lockdown rules twice.
And Brazil now has the second highest number of confirmed cases after a surge of reported infections.
So Americans celebrating Memorial Day holiday this weekend are flocking to beaches and parks. Officials are warning people to keep groups small and at a safe distance from others. We will look at how people are following that guidance in California in just a moment. First, to a busy beach in Georgia. Our Natasha Chen is there.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As Memorial Day weekend is in full swing, we have seen thousands of people come to Tybee Island and Tybee Beach here. You can tell the groups are doing what they are told as far as social distancing from the group next to them.
But they are also supposed to keep their groups under 10 people. And we are sometimes not seeing that. We are seeing groups larger than that.
I spoke to the mayor of Tybee Island about the fact that she saw some Georgia Department of Natural Resources officers trying to break up the larger groups on the north end of the beach.
You can also tell that no one around us on the beach is wearing a mask. There are some people wearing them out in the town. But when I talked to the mayor and we both wore masks because we were close to each other, here's what she said to me about that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was on the north end earlier, I did see the rangers down there breaking up groups. I think they are oversaturated with people and I do not know that -- you know, it's just a difficult task.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one is really wearing masks out besides yourself, of course, and your crew. People are going to take precautions to however they want and, you know, it is their decision. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I also got a Jesus that's a lot larger than any
virus that hits this Earth. So if it is my turn to go, I'm going. If not, I'm enjoying life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: I also spoke to some local residents who say they are highly dependent on these tourists for the town to make money. These cash strapped businesses here are eager to see this income this weekend but are also very frustrated when they see people not abiding by CDC guidelines.
A couple of residents here told me they saw a group of 100 or 150 kids last weekend that required Tybee police to go out there and break them up. So the local residents are concerned, especially because the local population tends to be around 60 years old and some of them are in that vulnerable group.
So as they are appreciative of the income, they are also understanding that comes at a risk -- Natasha Chen, CNN, Tybee Island, Georgia.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in Santa Monica we are seeing social distancing and paying attention to the rules. You can see this bicyclist with his mask on. That is something they decided to do this weekend which is open up the bikeway. It seems to have alleviated a lot of pressure on the sand here in Santa Monica.
They did not want people to gather here in large groups, put down tents or start cookouts. They wanted social distancing. And so far, for this little corner of Santa Monica, it seems to have worked.
For this small city of 90,000, a lot of pressure. This is tourism, this is tourism at its best, where people come here from all over the world together and they have lost a lot of their tax revenue, both hotel tax and sales tax.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has been about 10 weeks since I've really had a good night's sleep or had a day off. And I'm not saying that for pity. It's just the reality of trying to run a local government in these unprecedented circumstances.
We have 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 a city on roughly 40 percent less money is a real challenge. We have tourism and restaurants providing a great deal of our city budget. And with the hotels and restaurants closed, the very few that are open, they're at 5-10 percent occupancy. That revenue is not going to come in for some time. We know it's not going to come back overnight.
VERCAMMEN: The mayor also telling us that the city of Santa Monica has lost over $40 million in the last few months in tax revenue.
When you look over here at the famed pier, the Ferris wheel is not spinning and that means the economic engines of Santa Monica are not spinning. They're hoping in due time that we will get to a point where social distancing will allow much of this small city to reopen. For now, the beach is a little bit more open and things are calm -- reporting from Santa Monica, I'm Paul Vercammen, back to you.
NOBILO: The opposition here in the United Kingdom is now slamming prime minister Boris Johnson's senior adviser, Dominic Cummings. That is because there are new reports saying that Cummings violated national lockdown rules, not just once but twice.
The Labour Party has responded by tweeting, "There cannot be one rule for Boris Johnson's advisor and another for the British people." Hadas Gold reports from London.
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On Friday, "The Guardian" and "Mirror" reported that, in March, after Dominic Cummings' wife fell ill with the coronavirus, he packed her and his child up in a car and drove more than 250 miles away from their London home in order to self- isolate closer to family.
The reason being they'd have somebody close by to help take care of their child in case they both fell ill, which they both ultimately did.
The government advice at the time said if you have symptoms of coronavirus, you are not to leave your house for at least 7 days after the symptoms subsided. Cummings said he did what he needed to help take care of his family. But the criticisms are raining in.
People say that while the rest of the country was being admonished to not travel anywhere, whether sick or not, a top advisor to prime minister Boris Johnson was driving hundreds of miles away.
The opposition Labour Party has called for an investigation and others are calling for Dominic Cummings to step down. Cummings told reporters he is not going anywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Are you going to consider your position, Mr. Cummings?
DOMINIC CUMMINGS, BORIS JOHNSON ADVISOR: Obviously not (ph).
GOLD (voice-over): So far, Downing Street and the cabinet are throwing their support behind Cummings, saying he did nothing wrong -- Hadas Gold, CNN, London. (END VIDEOTAPE)
NOBILO: Dr. Esther Choo is an emergency physician and associate professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health and Science University. She joins me now from Portland, Oregon.
Thank you very much for joining us today, Doctor.
DR. ESTHER CHOO, OREGON HEALTH AND SCIENCE UNIVERSITY: My pleasure. Thanks, Bianca.
NOBILO: I do not know how closely you have been monitoring things on my side of the Atlantic in the U.K. But I was just speaking about how, in the United Kingdom, the government is under fire for the prime minister's adviser seemingly ignoring the government advice. We will not get into that, do not worry.
But I wanted to ask you as someone who specializes in public health, how damaging is it if there are mixed messages coming from the government, when people really need to all be working together and the effort needs to be coherent (sic) from the population?
CHOO: It is so important that we have clear and consistent messaging so that our elected leaders should really be saying exactly the same thing public health officials are saying. Then showing through example in their own lives how you actually take on the responsibility of things like staying at home and social distancing, wearing masks.
We should really be seeing it from the people who are the most visible, because these are not natural behaviors for many of us. So we need to --
CHOO: -- in order for it to become popular, normalized and easy for people, we need to see everyone making that effort and doing it.
NOBILO: That, of course, brings me to my next question about the United States. When you consider all these restrictions that are being relaxed across the board, there's already evidence in two states at least of small surges in cases.
How concerned are you on this Memorial Day weekend, when you know that people are going out to the beaches and not everyone is applying this advice consistently, certainly about face masks and social distancing?
Are you concerned about a second peak?
CHOO: Yes, for sure. We know it is coming because this disease is so highly contagious. As we go out, it will have a field day in terms of transmission.
But I do think that the majority of people are feeling cautious. They know. We are coming up on 100,000 deaths in the United States. So people are not being -- I am seeing people still wanting to be very careful, especially people who have elderly parents or young children.
I think people want to be careful and be really measured about coming outside. We will see what happens this holiday weekend. There's always going to be a delay before we see what the actual impact was in terms of number of cases and deaths. So we are learning as we go.
NOBILO: Dr. Choo, you mentioned the 100,000 number. You have probably seen the front page of "The New York Times" on Sunday, where they have printed the names of 1,000 people who have died and a little bit about their lives. It is so horrifying to see it in black and white and be reminded of that.
What are the key things that you would be encouraging Americans to do to make sure that the country does not lose any progress that it has made with this deadly disease and certainly not deepen this tragedy, which we see so starkly on the front of that paper?
CHOO: I hope that Americans spend time doing what I did today. I just sat with it. I sat and read every single line. I think because as the number goes up, it almost becomes meaningless. It is so hard for your brain to absorb the impact of this disease.
It's not just that it was 100,000 dead; it's that it has happened in a little over 2 months, which is almost too much to think about. It is a tragedy that is beyond our ability to absorb it.
But hopefully, when you sit down and go line by line and you know that it is just a tiny fraction of those we've lost and how special each one of them was, it really makes you think. We must do all the things we are being asked to do, the little things.
The big things like staying away from work and listening to public health officials who may say from week to week, we are reopening and now we have to pull back and go back in because there has been a surge of cases, that will happen everywhere where we open, step back a little after reopening, see if we are successful and pull back.
That will be incredibly hard to be that nimble but it is what we need to do so the number does not keep shooting up.
NOBILO: Dr. Choo, as we learn more about the virus and more studies are carried out, there are pockets of encouraging data that we are seeing, specifically on this convalescent plasma study.
Can you tell us a little bit about what that is and whether or not you are encouraged by what you are seeing from the data?
CHOO: Yes. I think we keep on getting little bits of hope that signal that scientists are working on every front to try and provide both short term and long term solutions to this. There are a few promising drugs, nothing is a magic bullet.
But we see some promise in remdesivir to shorten the course of the disease. We see some early success with convalescent plasma, which is where we take the blood of people who have already had coronavirus and hope to confer passive immunity on people who are sick with it with those antibodies.
Then we also have some promising news about a phase one trial of a new vaccine. That is still very early, we are still very early on all of these things. How much will we be able to turn those few studies into benefit for the whole population around the world, we still do not know.
What it shows is that scientists are working with all cylinders firing in a global race to find both short term solutions like convalescent plasma and medications to treat this, to the longer term solutions, like a worldwide vaccine.
CHOO: So just know that we're all, the scientific community is --
NOBILO: Dr. Esther Choo, thank you very much for joining us. Good to leave things on a slightly more optimistic and promising note. Thank you.
CHOO: Thank you so much.
NOBILO: Over the past 24 hours, Brazil has recorded more than 900 new coronavirus deaths. Amid this worsening crisis, the country's supreme court recently released a video that portrays president Jair Bolsonaro in a very unflattering light. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: The latest numbers for Brazil again making it the second most infected country on the planet and bearing the brunt of Latin America, which the WHO says is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak; 347,000 about cases reported in Brazil, according to the last count.
Just eclipsing Russia's latest numbers. Adding to that sense of concern here in Brazil and outside of Brazil, for Brazil is a recording that has been released by Brazil's supreme court as part of an ongoing investigation into the president's alleged interference in police investigations.
This very explicit two-hour long video is a leaked recording from a cabinet meeting last month. It contains a number of things which the president himself has played down as not significant and not incriminating toward him. He has always denied interference in police investigations.
The key bit, though, in reference to the coronavirus outbreak relates to comments he makes about the governors of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, both of whom have put in lockdowns and asked for face masks to be worn. He calls them feces, manure, to use a more polite term of what he in
fact says. And he is also very explicitly rude about the mayor of a town called Manaus, which is heavily infected by coronavirus, and digging large numbers of graves to cope with the outbreak there.
He's similarly offensive towards that man as well. His environment minister goes on to talk about possibly how this outbreak might enable further environmental regulations to be peeled back. He has defended his comments, saying he's always been in favor of deregulation.
But while this video leaked from the supreme court, it does seem to be more about Brazil's internal political strife and it also carries a clear message to those doubting the president about what he and his inner circle appear to be telling each other about those trying to do what they can to prevent coronavirus from spreading.
The peak here in Sao Paulo, the worst affected bigger city, might be a week to two weeks away. Deep concerns here and the preparations that are being done simply have not been enough so far -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
NOBILO: Elsewhere in Latin America, Peru is second to Brazil with the most cases. On Friday, the president announced an extended national state of emergency beginning Monday and continuing through to the end of June.
Peru has more than 115,000 cases. The death toll is almost 3,400.
Many churches are also beginning to reopen. Just ahead, why health officials warn such gatherings could cause the coronavirus to surge.
NOBILO: Religious ceremonies are once again allowed in France. French officials decreed that services and gatherings can immediately resume. But masks and hand sanitizer must be used.
The number of people allowed into each house of worship will be determined by the local religious authorities. Eid celebrations will be held Sunday but Eid prayers cannot be held in mosques because of the pandemic.
U.S. president Donald Trump is calling houses of worship "essential" and he's threatening to overrule any state governors that defy him on reopening them. But health officials and many religious leaders warn that such gatherings are risky.
As CNN's Brian Todd reports, new cases are forcing some churches that have already opened to close their doors once again.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New indications of the dangers of reopening churches during this pandemic. The Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle Church in Ringgold, Georgia, and the Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Houston have closed their doors for the second time.
Several parishioners and leaders of those churches reportedly testing positive for coronavirus after they reopened in recent weeks. Officials investigating tonight whether a priest at a Houston church who died recently died of COVID-19.
DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: You bring a lot of people together, put them in small close quarters, you have a lot of, you know, proximity, people touching, people saying, you know, saying peace.
Bringing people together in religious events where frequently there could be crying, there could be shouting, there could be singing, I think all of those may bring significant risk of infection.
TODD: A church in rural Arkansas was what some call a super spreader. Two people who went to events there in early March initiating a chain reaction which infected at least 30 parishioners and killed at least three of them.
But tonight, experts are warning it's not just the formal services associated with churches which are dangerous but also their ancillary events.
DR. LEANA WEN, PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSOR, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: There was a case where one infected individual spread to more than 50 just because of choir practice. Birthdays and funerals and other events where people are hugging and touching would also be such types of events, too.
TODD: Tonight, the state of New York is testing religious communities in New York City for antibodies of coronavirus and is starting to allow religious gathering again but only with a maximum of ten people at a time.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: The last thing we want to do have a religious ceremony that winds up having more people infected.
TODD: As thousands of churches reopen around the world, our ideas of a typical service are going out the window. This week, Pope Francis celebrated the first public mass in two months in St. Peter's Basilica, but only with a limited number of worshippers. Father Timothy Pelc in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, got creative on
Easter Sunday, using a squirt gun to dispense holy water to parishioners driving by.
Health experts are recommending drive-in services in parking lots, virtual services, temporary suspicions of church daycare. But one expert says it shouldn't be doctors or public officials who mandate those changes.
DEL RIO: I think it is not me as a physician to needs to tell them. I work with leaders of the community who then tell the congregation and the people that go to those churches and those synagogues and those mosques what they need to do.
TODD: So is this the end of large religious gatherings like on Christmas Eve, Easter, the Jewish and Muslim holidays?
The health experts we spoke to say it should be more of a pause. But it could be a long one. One expert says there could be recommendations coming that the next large religious gatherings that we see should not be held until around Christmas of 2021 -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
NOBILO: Father Edward Beck is a CNN religion commentator and joins me now from New York.
Father Beck, always good to speak with you, thank you for joining us.
FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: Thank you, Bianca.
NOBILO: This is a time, this pandemic, where people feel lonelier, more anxious and afraid than ever. Obviously faith is a great comfort to many people when they are facing these types of emotions or they're grieving or worried.
NOBILO: But do you think it is necessary for people to go back to churches, to mosques, to synagogues, at this stage of pandemic?
Or do you think maybe people should be more create active and stick to virtual services and other things that you can provide?
BECK: Churches, mosques and synagogues have been doing very creative things via Zoom and virtual worship and community hangouts and all of that. It has been wonderful. But of course, people do feel a need for a physical community. And there are certain rituals with all denominations really that can only be done in person.
So people are missing communion, just receiving communion, something as simple as that. I think eventually we all want to get back to that. But I think we have to do it in a safe and incremental way so that, when we do so, we feel confident and able to celebrate and not just being in a service in fear.
What kind of way is that to celebrate or come back?
Let's come back in a way that there's relative comfort that we are not infecting people and we're not being infected and we can really be about what we are there for. NOBILO: How comfortable do you feel, having read the CDC guidelines,
that if you were to go back and resume some of the rituals that you talk about, taking communion, singing, which we know is an activity that could put more droplets into the air, people tend to be densely packed together in churches.
Do you feel confident with the guidelines you have received that you could hold a safe service?
BECK: I think the guidelines are recommendations and they do not really spell out all of the specifics that churches and mosques and synagogues will need to take into account. That is what I think it is important for all the local churches and local diocese and congregations to really be about, what is right for their specific worship space?
All rituals are different. Jews celebrate differently from Catholics and Christians and Muslims. I think it's important what we do is tailored to that community. Holy water for example, we are told to empty all the holy water fonts. There will be no holy water.
How does someone come up safely for communion?
What kind of physical distancing?
How do you not touch someone's hand when you give them the host?
If you do, how do you sanitize them before you give someone else communion?
These are very detailed things that the guidelines do not address but individual worship spaces must address them.
NOBILO: Without getting into a big theological debate about the extent to which God is involved in our daily lives, how do you feel when religious leaders make statements about how they feel that their faith protects them from the virus?
Obviously it is not many but these voices really cut through.
Does it make you feel uncomfortable that people may be heeding that advice and not taking other precautions?
BECK: Sure, I think it is bad theology and it's bad spirituality and I think it is harmful. I would even go so far as to say that it is simple because it is inviting people to put themselves and others in danger.
We know from experience that God has not, in fact, protected people from this virus. Pastors have died, congregants have died.
So did they not believe enough?
Did God choose not to protect them?
That kind of theology and spirituality just does not hold up. NOBILO: To end on a more positive note, do you think there are any
virtual services that you have begun to offer or creative solutions you have found, which they may be able to keep using in the future?
BECK: We are in a unique position. My community, I'm a Passionist, that's a religious order that I belong to. And we have actually been televising a television mass for over 50 years. It has been addressed mostly to shut-ins and homebound. But now many others have found us during this time of lockdown.
So I think we will certainly continue to broadcast that mass because some people for various reasons like illness and age cannot get to mass. But I think we have gone beyond the mass now. All kinds of things have happened on Zoom and ways that people have connected through community, Bible sharing.
That has been good. It does not replace being together in person. But I think it has certainly augmented it and supplemented it.
BECK: And I see no reason why those things will not continue and should not continue.
NOBILO: Father Edward Beck, thank you very much for joining us from New York.
BECK: Thank you, Bianca.
NOBILO: When we return, he worked as a nurse's assistant at a nursing home for 25 years until COVID-19. How some standard conditions have fueled the spread of coronavirus in U.S. nursing homes with fatal results.
Plus, hear the remarkable story of this former Syrian refugee turned filmmaker and what motivates him to volunteer in COVID-19 hospital wards here in the U.K.
NOBILO: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Bianca Nobilo outside London.
This weekend, a senior adviser to British prime minister Boris Johnson is under fire, accused of violating the country's lockdown twice. Dominic Cummings reportedly traveled more than 400 kilometers from London to Durham on two separate occasions. Downing Street is supporting Cummings as the opposition calls for an investigation.
And in the U.S., people are flocking to beaches on both coasts as the nation settles into its Memorial Day weekend. All 50 states have eased back on restrictions to a degree. But at least two are already reporting a spike in new coronavirus cases.
The governor of New York is responding to an Associated Press report that his state sent thousands of patients recovering from coronavirus to nursing homes. Nearly 6,000 people have died from the virus in those homes. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, says people are trying to exploit the issue for political gain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): New York followed the president's agencies guidance so that depoliticizes it. What New York did was follow what the Republican administration said to do. That is not my attempt at politicizing. That's my attempt to depoliticize it. So do not criticize the state for following the president's policy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: Some nursing homes in the U.S. were already struggling to provide quality care to residents through the pandemic. Government records show supply shortages, lapses in care and inadequate infection control.
NOBILO: Precautions and lack of have fueled the spread of COVID-19. CNN's Drew Griffin has the details on this.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 25 years, Maurice Dotson worked as a nurse's assistant at West Oaks Nursing Home in Austin, Texas, changing bedpans, diapers, sheets and just being a friend to those elderly who no longer had any friends. That ended when he died on April 17th. The cause? COVID-19.
QUENTIN BROGDON, ATTORNEY FOR DOTSON FAMILY: He wasn't given basic personal protective equipment such as a mask.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Maurice Dotson was one of 111 cases of COVID-19 at this nursing home. The state sent in Texas National Guard soldiers to disinfect West Oaks and other facilities.
Quentin Brogdon is the attorney representing Dotson's family in a lawsuit, which says the nursing home failed to properly prepare, respond and provide its employees with personal protection equipment as required.
BROGDON: He gave his life to care for the residents of West Oaks. they were his second family. He could have called in sick, he could have quit but it just wasn't in his DNA. He protected them, but he wasn't protected.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): West Oaks will not comment on the lawsuit. But in a statement, the company said, "Our operations and protocols changed profoundly with the release of the CDC guidelines."
Nursing homes and long-term care facilities, from the start of this pandemic, have been hotbeds of illness and death. One study shows 41 percent of coronavirus deaths in 36 states are connected to nursing homes. The virus spreads quickly to patients and staff, who then leave work and spread it to others.
DEBBIE BERKOWITZ, NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT LAW PROJECT: In this pandemic, if a worker is infected with COVID-19, then they can not only spread it to their coworkers, but they spread it out into the community.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): A CNN review of hundreds of complaints to federal and state governments show that workers at long-term facilities feel their own lives are at risk, writing complaints like, "Employees are not provided personal protective equipment such as masks," using "coffee filters" as masks and garbage bags as gowns. "Health care workers have died from the COVID-19 and the employer is unwilling to report it."
MARK PARKINSON, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ASSOCIATION: We have been begging for additional equipment in nursing homes for the last two months. And unfortunately, no one has listened. In some cases, we've had to go without it and the results have been tragic.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Mark Parkinson, president of the American Health Care Association, says in the rush to find protective gear for unprepared hospitals, nursing homes have been ignored.
PARKINSON: Unfortunately, the resources that were denied to nursing homes and were -- instead were sent to hospitals, have had really tragic results because it's impossible to stop this virus if you don't have the face mask that you need to keep it from spreading.
BERKOWITZ: It's like government malfeasance, how little they have done. GRIFFIN (voice-over): Deborah Berkowitz is former chief of staff at
OSHA, the government agency charged with protecting workers. She says the government has failed by silently allowing nursing home deaths to multiply without acting.
BERKOWITZ: OSHA put out no specific guidance until just recently and has no mandates. And, you know, guidance is voluntary. Employers can follow it or they can ignore it.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): OSHA's guidelines on protecting nursing home workers during the COVID-19 pandemic were published only this past week, three months after the first deaths were recorded at a nursing facility in Washington, far too late to help workers like Maurice Dotson.
BROGDON: He was 51 years old. He didn't need to die.
GRIFFIN: OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, says it investigates all complaints and has been paying particular attention to protections for those health workers who have high exposure to coronavirus. That is of little comfort to the family of Maurice Dotson -- Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
NOBILO: As U.S. states relax stay-at-home orders, restaurants are slowly reopening their doors to customers with limited capacity.
But just how easily can germs spread?
CNN's Randi Kaye shows us.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Put some in. And should I rub it all together as well?
KAYE (voice over): This yellow tinted goo is a mixture of petroleum jelly and fluorescent solution.
DR. PATRICK HUGHES, EMERGENCY MEDICINE SIMULATION PROGRAM, FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY: Under an ultraviolet light this will -- this will glow.
KAYE (on camera): OK and that's going to simulates germs on my hand?
HUGHES: Correct. So this will simulate contact spread, you know, from you to other things that you touch and maybe touch by somebody else.
KAYE (voice over): Dr. Patrick Hughes is an ER doctor who oversees the Emergency Medicine Simulation Program at Florida Atlantic University.
KAYE (on camera): Hi, ladies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Randi.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
KAYE (voice over): He invited us to lunch, designating me the so- called spreader. So we could see how germs on my hand, which could be coronavirus droplets, could spread in a restaurant setting.
At our table, we keep our masks on to protect ourselves and each other.
KAYE (on camera): There's a menu for you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Awesome. Thank you so much.
KAYE: You want a menu too?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sure, thanks.
KAYE (voice over): I pour water for everybody at the table.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is great.
KAYE (on camera): Thanks for having us for lunch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sure.
KAYE (voice over): And pass around the food, wondering if I'm passing around the virus too.
KAYE (on camera): Chips?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes, awesome. Thank you.
KAYE: Do you want to take the bowl?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Thank you.
KAYE (voice over): We also share the salt and pepper.
Then it's time to turn on the ultraviolet lights to see what I may have spread.
Remember, I was the only one with what could have been the virus on my hand.
KAYE (on camera): You didn't have any germs on you. I was the spreader.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
KAYE: So when you look at my hands and look how it transferred to some of you just by sharing items at the table or a knife in this case or a water glass, I mean, even -- it only takes a little bit, right, to make somebody else sick.
KAYE (voice over): How about that bowl of chips I passed around?
HUGHES: You can see where she touched the edge of the bowl to pass it around, the simulated germs, you know, stuck right to the surface.
KAYE (on camera): Then everybody else touches the bowl.
KAYE (voice over): Same with the salt and pepper shakers and the pitcher of water. There was contact spread on the cups and menus too. Even my lunch friends.
HUGHES: This is the spot where -- when Randi came in to have lunch with her friends, she touched right on the shoulder, just to greet everybody. And you can see the outline of her palm print, her hand print, right on the shirt.
It's quite scary the amount of spread that one person can have in a room like that.
KAYE (on camera): We also wanted to see what would happen if you're out for lunch or dinner with a friend or your family at a restaurant and somebody coughs. So let's turn out the lights and let's see the cough.
KAYE (voice over): There were now more droplets on the bowl of chips, the menus and the water pitcher too.
KAYE (on camera): Look at what happened to the fork after that simulated cough. Those would be real germs if that was a real cough on my fork. And I would have picked up the fork, not being able to see those germs with the naked eye.
KAYE (voice over): Even the woman sitting to my right, several feet away from the mannequin that coughed, had droplets on her face.
HUGHES: You can see it's on her face, her glasses, her mask.
KAYE (on camera): And if she wasn't wearing a mask, she would have breathed it in.
KAYE (voice over): Randi Kaye, CNN, Boca Raton, Florida.
NOBILO: Quite horrifying. We definitely all need to wash our hands.
Protests in Hong Kong are expected to start in the coming hour. Beijing's hugely controversial security proposal for the city is the main reason behind it and the fact that the proposal is essentially bypassing local legislature. It is adding to insult to injury for the protesters. Joining me live is CNN's Anna Coren in Hong Kong.
Anna, I understand you are seeing some scenes develop where you are.
Who are you speaking to and what is the mood at the protest?
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bianca, about 10 or 15 minutes ago, a pro power party, which is a democracy party, held an impromptu speech if you like in Causeway Bay. That's one of the biggest business centers here in Hong Kong.
Within minutes, there were dozens of police that had surrounded him. They grabbed him and they took him for a 10-minute walk. We've been following him the entire time and he was just put into a police van and driven off. They said he was arrested for unlawful assembly.
A march has been organized by protesters today. That is what has been put out on social media and on Telegram. That is due to start at 1 o'clock, in about 15 minutes time. There are hundreds, if not thousands of police that have been deployed around Hong Kong.
Now this obviously comes in light of that national security law that has been proposed by Beijing during the National People's Congress meeting on Friday. We are expected that law to be implemented within the next week.
What this means is that sedition, subversion and secession, any act of treason will now be banned in Hong Kong as will international interference. It also means that China can have branches here in Hong Kong and act as their own force, if you like.
These police are now heading back to where the march is due to start. But this national security legislation, when the bill was proposed back in 2003, there was a huge outpouring from the public, the biggest demonstration at the time, half a million people, took to the streets.
The pro Beijing party here in Hong Kong (INAUDIBLE) we're absolutely shocked and stunned that they shelved the bill, despite the fact they had the numbers to pass it through. Beijing says you've had 23 years to pass this since the handover from Britain to China.
COREN: And we are taking it upon ourselves to now enact this as law. That should be coming into play within the next week -- Bianca.
NOBILO: The situation you describe just now, there was a police presence, we can see that around you. Of course, the concern with this security legislation is that it will make that even worse, that there will be even greater opportunity for Beijing to crack down on any kind of democratic protest or movement within Hong Kong.
So what are the protesters concerned -- or happen tangibly with their ability to express themselves?
It is clearly so limited already, as you just described.
COREN: As many of the protesters have been telling us, this could be the last day that they can protest. As you have seen in these scenes in the last 15 minutes, a man taking the stage with his loudspeaker, chanting slogans about the freedoms of Hong Kong, the police were on him like that.
That is what we have been seeing. Obviously there was so much violence last year on the streets of Hong Kong. It started off as peaceful demonstrations back in June with 2 million people taking to the streets over the extradition bill that is now being shelved.
But with the government not listening, the protesters felt like they had no other choice but to turn to more aggressive tactics. We have seen the violence, we have seen the vandalism, we have seen the petrol bombs. It has, as many would think, gotten out of control here in Hong Kong.
This is something that Beijing has tolerated for so long. They say enough is enough. We are moving in and stopping this. No more demonstrations. No more violence. This is about national sovereignty. This is about national security.
Hence they are pushing through this legislation without the Hong Kong legislature. This is quite unprecedented. It has people furious because that freedom of expression is something that separates Hong Kong from Mainland China. Now that could just evaporate. So the protests we are expecting to see
today, we do not know if there will be hundreds or thousands of people, maybe more. Or maybe it's the fact that police will be onto these people as soon as they begin. As I say, this could be the last day of protests as we know it before this legislation comes into force -- Bianca.
NOBILO: Anna Coren, thank you so much, wonderful reporting from where you are watching this all unfold.
As Anna was saying, potentially the last day that these protesters will be able to express themselves in this way, rights being curtailed right in front of her eyes. Thank you so much. We will be right back.
NOBILO: The COVID-19 pandemic is prompting people around the world to seek out opportunities to volunteer. CNN's Hala Gorani brings us the story of a former Syrian refugee and filmmaker. He's taking the time to get back to a community that he says helped him when he was in need.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST (voice-over): From a perilous journey from war-torn Syria, to a career as a BAFTA and Emmy-winning filmmaker, Syrian refugee Hassan Akkad
is taking on one of his biggest challenges yet, cleaning COVID-19 wards in his local hospital in East London.
HASSAN AKKAD, NHS WORKER: Since I've been here, I have to say I've been treated very well by the community. I've lived with a British family in their spare room in south London for a year until I can get back on my feet. I was supported by the community, by the public. So this is my way of saying thank you, basically.
GORANI: A tweet Akkad posted last month went viral. It showed the 32- year- old in full protective gear in a hospital restroom.
AKKAD: It's mentally demanding because we're cleaning and disinfecting every inch of the wards.
While wearing PPE which makes you sweat, out of breath because of wearing the masks. And mentally because you do, unfortunately, see some patients passing away.
GORANI: It is a dangerous job handling bags full of COVID-19 contaminated trash, he works five eight-hour shifts a week.
Akkad says he never wanted to leave Syria but says he was detained and tortured after taking part in anti-government protests.
He pays tribute to make of the frontline workers in his coronavirus ward on social media like Gemba (ph) who didn't take a day off even when her own mother became ill.
AKKAD: I work with heroes. That's all I can say.
GORANI: But it sometimes takes a toll on a man who hasn't seen his own family in a long time.
AKKAD: A guy came to drop some stuff for his mom, a patient in our ward. He was begging to come in and see his mom. No one is allowed in for health and safety reasons. He said, I really want to see her. For a second, he cried and walked away.
And it hurts because I also haven't seen my mom in years and I know exactly how he felt. Yes. It's changed our rituals. We no longer -- sorry.
GORANI: After this is all over, Akkad wants to make films again but says he's ready for the next time he might be called on to pay it forward -- Hala Gorani, CNN, London.
NOBILO: That is such a heartwarming story and he has been making a lot of waves where I am in the United Kingdom.
Coming up, we will take a look at the effects of coronavirus through the eyes of a child. How one young artist is using her talent to help others cope with the uncertainty.
NOBILO: For children, the uncertainty and isolation of the coronavirus pandemic can be overwhelming. One young artist is using her talents to help others cope. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports.
ARANYA DUTT BEDI, ARTIST: This is a story about a girl named Aranya.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): For Aranya Bedi, like many children around the world, this is life now. Indoors and unsure, she tries to understand the pandemic out there.
BEDI: Outside my house there is such a big problem. It's coronavirus.
STOUT (voice-over): Aranya first learned that word in March, when India imposed a strict lockdown of its 1.3 billion citizens to prevent an outbreak.
BAHAR DUTT, ARANYA'S MOTHER: She keeps asking me, what is that?
I said, that is the coronavirus.
STOUT (voice-over): Then she saw scenes like this outside her Delhi home, migrant workers now without out income lining up for free meals at a government center.
DUTT: It really bothered me. It bothered my daughter as well.
BEDI: I felt sad for these poor persons.
STOUT (voice-over): Aranya wanted to help. So the 5-year old did which she loves, she drew.
BEDI: I made a book. It's to help the poor people fight coronavirus.
DUTT: Oh, my God, what is she doing?
STOUT (voice-over): Her parents, both professional storytellers. Mom Bahar is a journalist, and dad Vijay, CNN's own Delhi based camera man, turned these pictures into an ebook.
BEDI: See, I met a girl. Her name is Tia (ph). She always wanted to go out to the park.
STOUT (voice-over): The tale of a young girl who dreams of helping others but cannot leave home.
DUTT: Children are definitely impacted by the lockdown. They are not going out, they are not going to school, they're not meeting their friends. And I think what is perhaps also sad is that children are not always able to express themselves.
So it comes out in other ways.
STOUT (voice-over): India is home to 472 million children. The government wrote its own story to help, a superhero who explains COVID-19. And now, many children are doing their part, too. Some even opening their piggy banks to support virus relief funds.
BEDI: This coronavirus and me washing my hands.
STOUT (voice-over): Aranya's book is free though she hopes readers donate to NGOs like UNICEF. So far, it has raised over $1,000. When lockdown is over, maybe at month's end, Aranya is excited to draw with friends but afraid that the virus is still a threat. She is reluctant to go outside -- Kristie Lu Stout, CNN. (END VIDEOTAPE)
NOBILO: Thank you for watching, I'm Bianca Nobilo. I will make myself a cup of tea and be back with you with more news in an hour.