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Hard-Hit New York on Track to Reopen Monday; CDC Monitoring U.S. Protests for Impact on Pandemic; Travelers to U.K. Required to Isolate for Two Weeks; Spain reports One New Death in Three Consecutive Days; Tel Aviv Protesters: Palestinian Lives Matter; Tropical Storm Cristobal Makes Landfall in Louisiana; Asian Stocks Rise as U.S. Jobs Data Shows Improvement. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 8, 2020 - 04:30   ET



NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hard hit New York is heading in the right direction though. The state has seen more than 30,000 deaths. But the governor says the trend now justifies entering phase one of reopening today.

Dr. Raj Kalsi joining me from Chicago. Good to see you. Thanks for coming on doctor.

DR. RAJ KALSI, EMERGENCY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: Thank you, Natalie. Thanks for having me on again.

ALLEN: Sure thing. The world is grappling with the pandemic while we now have protests in support all over the world of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. There's concern for the protesters massing together. But first, I wanted to get your thoughts on the data. In the U.S. data indicates the number of deaths and hospitalizations for COVID has been steadily moving lower. What's your reaction to that?

KALSI: I believe it because I see it in my own experience in the different hospitals I work at. In particular one major institution, we're seeing 50 percent less COVID patients not only coming in but being hospitalized. But, Natalie, we're getting really good at treating COVID patients. Initially back in March these patients may be coming in with very low oxygen levels and because we didn't know much about it, we would ventilate them. And it turns out that ventilating them early on is a bad thing and actually may have caused some deaths.

So it's great that science is moving forward as we predicted months ago and you and I discussed months ago. And we are learning. So I do see this trend going down as a good thing. Also, from an epidemiology standpoint, I think the less aggressive viral strain of COVID is being favored.

ALLEN: Well, that is all good news. And you're right. You know, the front-line workers like yourself have figured out more about how to treat this horrendous virus. We don't even want to think about what happened right when it broke out and the folks that we've lost that tried to do that early on. We mentioned New York City starting its first phase of reopening today. The numbers down in that city as well. What will be important for people and establishments now to make sure there's not complacency?

KALSI: It's a great question. And the thing is, this is all just a great big experiment, isn't it, Natalie? We really are just moving forward in something that is uncharted. And nothing we've ever seen really before in this modern time. We can compare this to many other pandemics from before. But the modern time is very unique.

So we have to look for people to commit to at least some minimal PPE like a cloth mask or any type of mask and some distancing. And also, good hygiene as we have implemented in my own family. We made an agreement that we shower before and after any meeting. And its things as simple as that and hand hygiene that can really make a huge difference in decreasing what we call morbidity, meaning people who get sick, and mortality, meaning people who die from this virus.

ALLEN: Washing hands, wearing masks, it is not even that difficult, is it?

KALSI: It isn't.

VAUSE: Also the protests around the world. You see a lot of people wearing masks and they're trying to stay safe and they're outside. So there's hope that perhaps there won't be an uptick in cases as these rallies, these clusters continue to happen in masse around the world. What do you think?

KALSI: Well, I think it's fortuitous that these protests, which are very well-deserved and those who want to speak their voices. I think it's fortuitous that it's happening in June versus March. Because I think if it happened in March, we would have seen exponential deaths and increases in cases.

And speaking to the fact that we think we're seeing the less aggressive virus being favored and less people getting COVID, I think that bodes well for the protesters. And we may not even see an uptick in COVID cases. And look at all these people that are protesting in general, they tend to be younger. A lot of them are wearing masks. It is outdoors. There is some contact here and there but I hope that in general it's not a huge up tick.

ALLEN: Same here. And we should know in a matter of days as well as it's been almost two weeks that people have been on the streets. We always appreciate you coming on. Dr. Rah Kalsi, we wish you the best because we know you are still working on this. Thank you.

KALSI: Thank you, Natalie.

ALLEN: We are seeing a spike in Latin American countries, however. Most notably Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Chile. On Saturday, all four reported record numbers of new deaths and infections. Taken together the Latin American hot spots have more than 1 million cases.

[04:35:00] In Europe, the situation continues to improve. In Italy, the daily death toll has fallen once again to just 53 people and in Spain only one new death has been confirmed daily in three consecutive days.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, the government is imposing new travel restrictions. Visitors can fly to the U.K. but will have to self-isolate for at least 14 days upon arriving. CNN's Anna Stewart is live at London Heathrow Airport for us and Al Goodman is in Madrid for us. Let's go with you, Anna, to talk about this new travel policy. Good morning.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes, as you can see it's still fairly quiet here at Heathrow Airport. A few planes did land early this morning. And from today passengers arriving into the U.K. will need to quarantine for 14 days. Now the way this will work here, is you fill in an online form 48 hours before you travel to the U.K. You list your contact details and the address where you will be spending the next two weeks.

There will be spot checks we're told in some cases. To check that people are quarantining. Failure to do so, breaking that rule could result in a 1,000 pound fine. That's $1,300. However, this is not as strict as many other countries. For instance, people landing here today can actually take public transport to get to the address where they will be spending the next two weeks. They can leave that address to buy food, to buy medicine. So it's certainly not as strict as other places around the world.

Now the government here in the U.K. have come under a lot of fire over this. Some say it's come too late. It would have been effective many months ago when the U.K. had fewer cases. Now the U.K. has some of the worst cases on the continent.

Is it really that effective? Others like the airline industry, hotels, say it will be hugely damaging for the industry. A very little benefit to the health issue here. We've had Heathrow Airport coming out against this. We've had British Airways, Ryanair, EasyJet, the three big airlines in the U.K. all threatening legal action against the U.K. government.

And then right on the other side. Those people that do want to see people being quarantine as they arrive in the U.K., they say the measures don't go far enough given how lax some of the rules are. The fact that people can leave their homes, for instance, to go to the shops to get food or medicine. So really, come under fire from all different angles. The government is considering averages which is a way that you could cancel quarantines from certain countries with an agreements. Certainly, countries that have similar virus case levels. Back to you, Natalie.

ALLEN: All right, we'll see how the policy evolves. Anna Stewart, thank you. Now let's go to Al Goodman with the situation in Madrid with the situation there. Hello, Al.

AL GOODMAN, CNN MADRID COORESPONDENT: Hi, Natalie. Well Madrid and Barcelona, the two largest cities which were the hardest hit by COVID- 19 as a result of the infection rates gone down, are now moving into a more open phase. And for the first time in nearly 3 months Spaniards can go inside a restaurant to have a cup of coffee now.

That lady, that senora, has just finished her coffee. But I can't really tell you how important this morning coffee ritual is in the Spanish bars. A lot of Spaniards don't eat breakfast at home. They come into the bars several times during the morning to have coffee and a roll or something to eat. So this is a really big deal for Spain.

Shopping centers also opening in the phase 2. And that's about just under half of the country. More than half of the country, just over half, has moved to even a more open phase called phase 3 which allows, for instance, in a restaurant like this over here at the bar, that's Enrique, the barman over here. Where you can't come to the bar right now in phase 2 but in phase 3, you'll be able to come up and be at the bar as long as you have social distancing and a mask.

All of this to move the company ahead to open up for tourism by July 1st. Although, even after the state of emergency ends here around June 21st after more than three months, everybody six years and older will have to wear a mask. All of this a very long road for Spain to try to come out of the coronavirus crisis that has claimed more than 27,000 lives here -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Yes, absolutely. I could use a cup of that Spanish coffee. Nice to see that that's getting back to normal for people. Thank you, Al. Thank you, Anna Stewart in London for us.

New Zealand is reporting no active coronavirus cases for the first time since late February. The country has not reported any new cases for 17 days with early action and strict measures being attributed to this success. The news comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern moves the country to level one rules.


This means the easing of all domestic restrictions, including those on businesses, schools which will open and services, though social distancing will still be encouraged.

Ahead here, a rallying cry heard in Tel Aviv. That cry, Palestinian lives matter. We'll tell you about allegations of police brutality.


ALLEN: Raising horns and voices to say Palestinians lives matter. This is the rallying cry as thousands of protesters linking this scene in Tel Aviv to that of Black Lives Matter in the United States. Like their American counter parts, they're angry about police killings highlighting the case of an unarmed autistic Palestinian man shot dead by police.

Let's go now live to Jerusalem. Our Oren Liebermann joins us with more about it. Hello to you, Oren.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Natalie, this was essentially a two-prong protest, not only about what they see as police brutality specifically around the killing of an unarmed autistic Palestinian man in the old city of Jerusalem, but it's also a protest, of course, fueled by the killing of George Floyd. In fact, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem there is now a giant mural of George Floyd on the separation barrier. A very popular place for some powerful political graffiti and that image of George Floyd now as to that.

But it wasn't just a protest about police brutality. This also a protest about Israel's plans to possibly annex parts of the West Bank as soon as a few weeks from now. And in that vein U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders chimed in delivering a video message. In which he called on Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs to oppose illegal annexation of the West Bank.


Meanwhile, Israeli and Palestinian lawmakers came out and said that annexation if and when it happens would lead to violence and apartheid. So it was this two-pronged protest. Police say there was some 2,000 protesters inside Tel Aviv in that square over the weekend, and that's what we'll continue to see, these protests.

Now they have an interesting sort of quasi ally in their protests against annexation. The ideological right wing here is also against annexation. Why? Because they see it as a partial annexation, one that would leave open the possibility of a future Palestinian state which they are adamantly opposed to. We've seen opposition growing here. We've certainly seen advocates for annexation growing as well. In fact, some of them just met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last night.

Of course, we're also seeing opposition spread. Palestinians have made it clear that they see annexation as a canceling of the landmark Oslo Accords. The Arab League, the European Union, all have warned Israel away from annexation with local media reporting that Germany's foreign minister is scheduled to come here over this week to issue his warning as well. But in terms of what's going to happen, Natalie, right now there are very, very few people who know that. Even fewer people who have seen a map. All of those are very close to Netanyahu.

ALLEN: We'll wait and see the plans Mr. Netanyahu has. Thank you, Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem for us.

ALLEN: Next here, in the United States, tropical storm Cristobal has made landfall lashing the Gulf Coast with heavy rains, we find out where it's headed next.



ALLEN: Tropical storm Cristobal has made landfall in Louisiana. It is drenching the Gulf Coast with heavy rain and high wind gusts. CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam is in New Orleans. He's got the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: So far this has been a manageable tropical storm for the city of New Orleans. A city that is so susceptible to flooding. Of course, this one has been different. Because it is against the backdrop of several national emergencies taking place across the country. Namely the COVID-19 pandemic.

We'll call this a trial run for what meteorologists believe and are predicting to be an above average and extremely active Atlantic hurricane season. There are still threats going forward for the greater New Orleans metropolitan area and across southeastern Louisiana and the coastal areas of Mississippi, Alabama and into the panhandle of Florida. Namely, storm surge threat potential overnight and the potential for flash flooding as well.

In the city of New Orleans the sewage and drainage system here is well over 100 years old and can quickly be taken over by extremely heavy rain.

I'm CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam from New Orleans.


ALLEN: And that storm is on the move causing a lot of rain in Alabama and now heading into Mississippi.

Want to take a look at some business news for you now. Asian markets are mostly higher following a U.S. report showing an unexpected jump in unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic. You can see all the green arrows there on the screen.

Let's go to CNN's John Defterios with me now live from Abu Dhabi. Hello to you, John. Is this response today in Asia, still a reaction to the good U.S. jobs report and a stronger U.S. economic rebound?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, there's a belief we can have a v-shaped recovery, Natalie. There were some aberrations in that report Friday which meant that some people had claimed they're still working with the company they were with even though they've been laid off temporarily. So it took some of the shine off of that report.

But the overall theme is we're adding jobs again as opposed to subtracting. That was a swing of 10 million. And as a result we saw the Dow Industrials on Friday drive up 3 percent. The S&P 500 up 2.5 percent.

If you look at U.S. futures they've been in a tight range. Mostly in the green. But I wouldn't say an overwhelming rally. Tokyo was a standout market in Asia. And the predominant theme in the oil market is what has happened with the OPEC+ over the weekend.

This led by Saudi Arabia and Russia decided to roll over their agreement for another month. They didn't extend it longer. Because they are concerned if we have a sharp recovery in the second half, prices rise too high then the U.S. production comes to the fore. President Donald Trump was congratulating OPEC on Friday for their plan to move over the weekend. They don't want to be seen to be too accommodating to the U.S. President and trying to find a middle ground of a price. And right now we're around $43 a barrel which is two times where we were at the end of April.

ALLEN: Other related story, another force at play in the oil market is that storm Cristobal that we just saw come to shore in Louisiana. Looks like the oil and gas industry though can avoid disruption. Is that the case?

DEFTERIOS: It certainly seems that way right now. You never want to test the will of mother nature in the oil and gas industry. And as a report from Louisiana was suggesting, that they are in the front or the eye of the storm many, many times. Especially the refining facilities on the coast there. The same in Texas.

Right now we see that the oil and gas industry prepared for the worst. And took a third of their oil and gas production offline. Offshore that meant nearly 200 rigs. And that represents about 700,000 barrels a day. The U.S. was producing around 11 million barrels a day. So it's not a shock to the market.

And as you suggested, Natalie, it's almost we could wipe the brow. Because it seems like the worst is over. You don't want to call it too late or too early of course because it could provide some flooding. But the market's pretty stable when it comes to the threat of Cristobal on the oil and gas industry.

ALLEN: Third named storm of the season with a few months to go here. John Defterios in Abu Dhabi for us, thank you, John.

DEFTERIOS: Thank you.

ALLEN: Let's talk about all of the young people who are graduating during this pandemic. It's a difficult time for that. A gathering though of leaders and celebrities for a virtual commencement has offered a message of hope.


South Korean megastars, BTS, Beyonce and Lady Gaga were among the performers and speakers for YouTube's Dear Class of 2020 event.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama also made an appearance. He had this to say to the graduates.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You don't have to accept the world as it is. You can make it into the world as it should be and could be. You can create a new normal, one that is fairer and gives everybody opportunity and treats everyone equally and builds bridges between people instead of dividing them.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: The virtual event also featured a rendition of the famous poem "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelo. Recorded by black female artists and entertainers. Here they are.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Out of the huts of history's shame I rise up from a past that is rooted in pain.

I rise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a black ocean leaping in wine, welling and swelling. I bear in the tide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leaving behind nights of terror and fear. I rise into a daybreak that's wondrously clear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I rise bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the hope and the dream of the slave.





ALLEN: And that is CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for joining me. I welcome you to please follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I'm Natalie Allen. The news continues next on "EARLY START."