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Cuomo Prime Time

New Face-Covering Orders In New York, L.A. & Maryland; Sources: U.S. Pursuing Theory That Coronavirus Started In A Chinese Lab, Not A Market; Bishop Who Said "God Is Bigger Than" COVID-19 Dies Of Virus. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 15, 2020 - 21:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST, CUOMO PRIME TIME: And I, for one, say thank you. I need the help right now. Thank you. I'll tell you one thing that's for sure. You'll do a great job as always. I can't wait to watch.

Anderson Cooper, now me, Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

We hear a lot about flattening curves. And let's be honest, that makes us want better days, right? "Good! What happens next?"

First, can President Trump relax social distancing standards? He seemed to say "Yes." Then he said "No." Now he seems back to "Yes." Governors don't agree. New York State's Governor joins us tonight. He says he'll set us straight. We'll see.

But there's also a bigger problem than who has the power. It's where is the plan? All this talk about dates and phases, be clear, the only word that matters almost never gets mentioned by Trump, testing.

Little clue, do you even know who's in charge of planning and texting for - testing for us on the federal level? Here's a hint. It ain't Trump. It ain't Fauci. It ain't Birx. How do we not even know the name of the person who has our fate in his hands?

Together, as ever as one, if that is the key, it has to mean one fate and one concern. That concern, who will keep us safe? Let's get after it.




C. CUOMO: The numbers are going to change, but they're already scary, 30,000 lost to this virus in just 6.5 weeks. We're still playing catch-up. And now, there's all this talk about reopening, but no real plan for how to do it while keeping us safe.

Testing, tracing, treating, who even does it? The virus and the fight is hitting families all over this country harder and longer than expected. We here in Casa Cuomo are living that reality, so I hear you, and we will make sure that your concerns are known to the people in power.

Just today, some of the country's business leaders were convened ostensibly to move public sentiment towards reopening. That was the play.

But they said what anyone, who knows anything, has said. "You want to open the economy? You want confidence with consumers? You better be able to keep them safe. Testing, testing, testing," that's what they said.

It's why the Mayor of Los Angeles now says "Large gatherings? Sporting events? In the immediate future? No way, not in L.A. until maybe 2021."

Now, what does that mean in another State like New York? Is this the new reality? Let's get straight-talk. We have the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo.

Good to see you, big brother.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Good to see you, little brother.

C. CUOMO: You good for a reality check? I want to try and nail some - down some of these things that are going on.

A. CUOMO: Yes, let's start with the reality check. But let's start with our own reality, OK? Your appearance suggests you had - didn't have the best day. One of - your buttons are undone. Your shirt is a little tattered and wrinkled.

C. CUOMO: Yes.

A. CUOMO: How are you doing? How's it going over there? Wasn't good - wasn't a great day, huh?

C. CUOMO: First of all, that's a cheap shot. And you know what? It wasn't.

A. CUOMO: Yes, looks better, not great.

C. CUOMO: I was going to save this till - till later.

A. CUOMO: But it looks better.

C. CUOMO: Thank you. I'll take - I'll take anything better right now.

I've had my own struggles. They're common. And now we have another common aspect of this that, as you know well, and you've been telling me all day, families all across the state and the country are experiencing. It's very rare for a family to be one and done.

Cristina now has COVID. She is now positive. And it just breaks my heart. It is the one thing I was hoping wouldn't happen. And now it has. A. CUOMO: Yes. Well, look, it's something we - something we talked about, right, when this first started?

It's very hard for a person to quarantine in a home and other people not to get infected. That's why we talked about people who quarantine in hotels.

They quarantine in a hotel room. The food for 14 days, the food that comes in, they don't even take the plates out for 14 days. I mean you want to talk about intense quarantine, right?

But to do it in a home where a person is bringing you dishes, bringing you food, even if they're wearing a mask and gloves, you know, that virus can live on some surfaces up to two days. So, in some ways, this was inevitable.

Luckily, it was Cristina, not one of the kids.


Now, this is what families are dealing with, right? The - the point of you communicating this rather than just taking a couple of weeks off is you're communicating to Americans what this is like.

And, by the way, this is what it's like. One person gets the virus. Other people in the home get the virus. You now have mother and a father with the virus. You have three kids that you have to take care of. This gets very complicated very fast, so there is a reality to this.

The good news is, look, to the extent, you think maybe Cristina's going to blame you for this, there's a lot of other things--

C. CUOMO: Yes.

A. CUOMO: --as we know, she can blame you for, so this is going to be number 17 on the list.

C. CUOMO: It is true.

A. CUOMO: So, I wouldn't worry about that.

And you're going to - going to be getting better soon, right, because you have to be getting to the tail-end of this thing. So, you'll be up and you'll be strong.

And look, for the kids, I don't - when all is said and done, I don't think this is a bad experience for them to go through.

You want to talk about growing up a little bit and seeing reality a little bit? Bella will step up. So, it's - it's all going to be fine. I know it makes a bad situation worse, but it's all going to be fine at the end.

C. CUOMO: Well look, you know, just to be a little more transparent here, obviously, I've been a little bit of a mess about this today, so I've been talking to Andrew about it a lot.

The person who is not upset is Cristina. Cristina takes everything in stride. And so far, we're hoping - and a lot of this is anecdotal because we just don't know that much.

But in talking to so many of you who've experienced it in your own families, she lost her sense of smell and taste. And this is not science, OK? But anecdotally, the cases I hear about that are more mild tend to have that. I didn't have that.

I didn't lose, and my friends who've had the long fevers, like I have, and the bad chest aspects, most of them didn't lose sense of smell. And that's more about hope than it is about, you know, anything hard, in terms of fact.

But Andrew is telling you the truth about one thing. My 17-year-old stepped up. The kids stepped up. Because Mom is the core, right? I mean, when mom goes down, you feel it.

And they have stepped up. They're helping each other. They're more quiet. They're focused on her. And hopefully, it makes the family even stronger. But I got to tell you, it's tough.

It really makes me understand how people are dealing with so much and so much more than we are, all over the place, and for a long time.

A. CUOMO: You'll get through it. You'll get through it.

C. CUOMO: All right. So, let's do this. Let's talk about getting through. Reality check. Who has the power to reopen New York State?

The President said, "Me." You said, "Nah, nah, nah, you're not the king. You're a President." He said, "OK, OK, but I give Cuomo and the other governors the power." You said, "Yes, not really." And today, he said, "Yes, really, because I have all the power."

Where are we?

A. CUOMO: I don't think I said, "Nah, nah, nah." But I think the essence--

C. CUOMO: What it sounded like.

A. CUOMO: --the essence of what you're saying is - well to you, that's what it sounded like.

But I said Tenth Amendment. I said states' rights. I said the states have clear legal authority when it comes to issues of health and quarantine. That was the Printz case. It was a New York case, 1992 New York versus United States.

So, it's clear on the law, and I did establish that when the President said it. The President said he had total authority. That's not legally correct.

I'm a Governor. I represent the people of the State. Other governors all across the country said it. Governor Lamont said it. Governor Pritzker said it. They all said it, Democrats and Republicans. So, it was important to establish that basic legal fact. It's the governors' power.

I think the President walked it back as best he could and he basically said, "OK, it's the governors' power, but he's going to talk to the governors," or something, which was - look, at the end of the day, it's fine because he said it's up to the governors.

And it's up to the governors when the governor will open their state, and that's true and that's the law. And it is up to the governor. And--

C. CUOMO: But what if that happens, if he says--

A. CUOMO: --the states are in a different position, Chris.

C. CUOMO: I hear you. But let's say he goes bad on that. And he says, "No, I'm going to reopen right now."

Can you take him on? I mean, let's - I'm not baiting you. I don't - I believe you about not wanting fights. It would be much better if this goes smoothly. But this guy's a power player, and he's a good one.

And if he says, "You're going to reopen, Cuomo, you're going to pay because I'm not going to let you keep New York closed and hurt all these people because you don't know how to get your act together. You will pay if you don't play," how do you fight it?

A. CUOMO: Yes, look, you're right. I don't want to fight. I don't want unnecessary fights, right?


This is a very important time. You have this politically-charged atmosphere. Everybody is in their respective corner. Anything can trigger a political brawl. We have a political brawl in the middle of this situation, it's - it takes a - you want to talk about bad - going from bad to worse.

So, I am bending over backwards to stay out of politics, right? That's why I said, 57 times, "I don't have any political agenda. I'm not running for anything. Period!" If people think there's any politics in this--

C. CUOMO: Is there any chances (ph), by the way, you'll reconsider?

A. CUOMO: No, I've not reconsidered. The answer stands.

So, why did I go to such great lengths? If people think there's any political filter here, then their backs are going to get up, their antenna is going to go up, and they're going to say, "Well, something's funny."

No politics. I don't want any unnecessary fights. The President would never say, "I'm going to overrule the Governor of

New York or any State," because he would have no legal basis whatsoever. So, he will never get there.

Obviously, if he put a Governor in a corner, and he poked him with a sharp stick, the Governor would say, I would say, "I'm not going to put the welfare and health of my people in danger." But he would never go there.

C. CUOMO: I would like to see him poke you with a sharp stick, by the way. Just as an aside point.

A. CUOMO: I know you would. I'm having--

C. CUOMO: I actually think that--

A. CUOMO: I never doubted that.

C. CUOMO: I would pay to see that actually. Raise revenue for the State.

A. CUOMO: Yes. I know. I know you would.

C. CUOMO: The idea of--

A. CUOMO: Yes.

C. CUOMO: --his ability to do it, OK, let's say you're right. We've seen him do things that he didn't have a legal basis to do before. And he does it because he believes might makes right.

But let's say it doesn't happen. We have a bigger problem, OK? All the plans, and the phases, and "We'll do this, and I'm going to push the states to do it earlier," it's all neglecting the reality that frightens us all most, "Testing."

He says "We don't do the testing, it's on you." You, the Governor of Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, you all say, "We're not prepared to test. We can't handle the scale."

Can you open anywhere, anything, if you can't do testing, tracing and treatment?

A. CUOMO: Yes. That's a legitimate issue. I knew you would get to one sooner or later.

Look, the way I think of - think of it is, when is this over, over? It's over, over when you have a vaccine, right, because then people know the virus is dead. That's 12 to 18 months.

So, the question is how do you get from here to 12 to 18 months? Well, maybe they'll come up with a medical treatment, convalescent plasma, et cetera. Yes, maybe.

Otherwise, we have to get from here to 12 months, 18 months. And we have to start to phase-in the opening of the economy while we're watching the public health consequences and the number of hospitalizations, et cetera.

Testing is the best mechanism for you to get your way through this 12 to 18 months.

Now, why doesn't the President want to go near testing? Because testing is a quagmire. No one can do it. No one can bring it up to scale quickly. It is very complicated. I have spent days and days on this.

Government doesn't really do testing. It's really a private lab function. To now take testing and ramp it up to where you have to bring it, Chris, is an impossibility, right? The private sector companies don't have enough equipment.

C. CUOMO: Wait. Help me understand. Now, we have to take a break.

A. CUOMO: They don't have enough--

C. CUOMO: Guv, we got to take a break. But this matters too much. So, let's go to break on this thought.

Help me understand, because when people hear you say, "Nobody can do it," why? Why is it so hard? Is it about not having enough tests? Not enough people? Not enough labs? Why can't America do it when we can do everything?

A. CUOMO: Yes, it's all of the above. It's all of the above. Look, can we do it? Can you - yes. Can you do it in one month? Well, no.

So, everybody's reaction is hands-off because this is now going to be the blame game. Well, there wasn't enough testing. Who's to blame? That's why the President said 11 times, after I said 11 times, the states can't do the tests, right?

You've never heard me say, "I'm not capable. I give up." I don't like to say it. It's not who I am. It's not what I believe. But I said it because I want to make sure we're clear, "I can't do it. I can't bring it to scale."

This gets very complicated. It was all of the above. They don't have enough manufacturing equipment. They don't have enough vials (ph). They don't have enough swabs. They don't have enough machines.

The private labs don't have the capacity. They need testing agents that don't even come from this country.

There's a whole international supply chain to this. So, to grab hold of this is very problematic, and we just went through this situation of how do we build ventilators in 14 days.

C. CUOMO: Right.

A. CUOMO: And that turned out to be very complicated. So, this testing is now what ventilators was in this new phase.

[21:15:00] And I said I can't do it. The President said the states must do it. The states are saying, "We can't." This has to be justified, this dispute. And it's not even a dispute. The truth is nobody can do it well. You can't bring that industry to this volume, this scale--

C. CUOMO: Well--

A. CUOMO: --nationwide. But we can't have 50 states - what's happening now, is I'm competing against all the other states for those private sector companies that have some capacity.

So, I'm trying to buy tests. I called Governor Pritzker. There's a company in his State that does tests.

C. CUOMO: Illinois.

A. CUOMO: And they're one of the leading companies.

I said, you know, "How do we do this? I don't want to compete with you."

But every state is now competing for it and the federal government. And this is madness. We did this with ventilators. It can't be 50 states scrambling and bidding for the same product from the same 10 companies in the country. It can't be that.

C. CUOMO: All right. Let's take a break.

Because look, this is very sobering because what's the difference between ventilators and testing? Well ventilators is for a very discrete part of the population that so far, hasn't burst. But all of us need the testing equipment.

The reach has to be complete. Anywhere you want to open up, and you want me to go with my kids, I'm going to want to know I'm safe.

Let's take a break. When I come back, we'll talk with the Governor about how do we get somewhere better? And what is the impact that New York is already going to have to deal with economically and in terms of our lifestyle. Next.








(END VIDEO CLIP) C. CUOMO: All right, we're here with Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, a sobering discussion - discussion about how testing is everything.

Quick question, Admiral Giroir, OK, he is the Official in-charge at HHS for doing all the testing. I've never interviewed him. I've rarely seen him out front. He is in charge of the most important component.

Have you had any back-and-forth with him? Is there any kind of, you know, interconnectedness on that level?

A. CUOMO: No, I'll take your word that he exists, but I wouldn't know otherwise.

C. CUOMO: Well, the Governor of New York, and I'm not calling this about ignorance. I'm talking about this process is not where it needs to be, big brother.

Economically, you're doing your budget right now. How big a bite has this taken out of your State budget? And what will that mean in terms of needs and your ability to deliver on bigger needs than you may have ever seen before?

A. CUOMO: Yes, we actually got the budget done. But I wouldn't suspect that you would know given that you've been sick and in your basement for two weeks.

The budget, we have about a $10 billion to $15 billion gap, which is all the money in the world to us. It's been devastating to the economy. That's the other part of this equation.

The federal government says it's up to the states. "The states should do this. The states should do this."

The National Governors Association, NGA, Chairman is a Republican. I'm the Vice Chair, Democrat. We sent a joint letter saying, to the President, "We've been cut out of the other federal bills. You expect us to do anything, we need funding, as a state, because otherwise we can't do any of this."

C. CUOMO: You say "Cut out." He says "What are you talking about? I gave you like the most amount of money of anybody."

A. CUOMO: No, he didn't give the state government. The state governments got cut out. What they did was it was political pork barrel, especially on the Senate side.

They give every state that has a senator, winds up with a big chunk of money, whether it has to do with COVID or not and as a proportionality or not, and they funded entities in the state, hospitals, this entity, this entity, but they didn't give any money to the state government.

So, then I had to cut all sorts of funds and I don't have any money to implement any of the things we're talking about.

So, look, it's not - you don't pick up a lot of political chits giving money to a state government. So, the politicians don't want to do it. But that's the responsible thing to do. And I've made that point abundantly clear, I think, to my delegation.

C. CUOMO: His criticism is you asked for too much.

"Cuomo's always on the phone "Give me. Give me. Give me. Give me." He didn't even need it. He didn't need the hospital ship, didn't need the ventilators. He didn't need the beds. But we gave it to him anyway because I'm a nice guy."


A. CUOMO: Yes. I don't think he said exactly that. I guess the basic message was right.

C. CUOMO: That was the gist.

A. CUOMO: You said in a more--

C. CUOMO: Just answer it.

A. CUOMO: Yes. Well you say it in a more provocative tone.

But I am - I'm not going to rise to the bait from you, for anyone. I'm not in a fighting mood. There will come a time when I may be in a fighting mood, but that is down the road when we're over the bridge and we have a vaccine. Right now--

C. CUOMO: Yes, I know. Weren't you a cool dude in a loose mood, is that you?

A. CUOMO: Yes.

C. CUOMO: Right? Cool dude in a loose mood?

A. CUOMO: Cool dude in a loose mood. Don't you forget it.

C. CUOMO: What a joke.

A. CUOMO: You can't - can't get me to rise to the bait.

C. CUOMO: That makes me sweat.

A. CUOMO: I said - yes, well everything makes you sweat. It's called the fever.

But anyway, the - the President did say I asked him for help. He was right. I did ask him for help. He is the federal government. And we were afraid of going over-capacity in the hospital system.

He brought in the Army Corps of Engineers. He did it quickly. They did a great job, 2,500 beds at Javits. The U.S. Navy Ship Comfort. I said "Great job." I applaud the Army Corps of Engineers. The President did it in one day.

It was the overflow valve. We've also had about 800 people go through Javits. And you needed that buffer because we were looking at numbers that said we needed three times the number of hospital beds that we had.


And, by the way, those numbers came from the CDC, from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, so it's not, you know, who was dealing with bad projections. The numbers--

C. CUOMO: Right.

A. CUOMO: --from the CDC, from - from the--

C. CUOMO: Hey look, and - and thank God, the flattening is happening.

A. CUOMO: --Coronavirus Task Force.

C. CUOMO: Fattening is happening too though.

A. CUOMO: Yes, that's true.

C. CUOMO: Give yourself credit and give everybody credit.

A. CUOMO: Yes, yes.

C. CUOMO: People have done the right thing.

A. CUOMO: Yes.

C. CUOMO: And that's why, it's not - it's not a gotcha that the projections aren't right.

A. CUOMO: Yes.

C. CUOMO: It means we're doing the right thing. The question is how do you keep doing the right thing?

A. CUOMO: Yes.

C. CUOMO: So, you just put up--

A. CUOMO: Yes.

C. CUOMO: You just put up a muscular measure. Masks everywhere you go? Everybody?

A. CUOMO: No, the Executive Order had a proviso. The Executive Order said masks, when you are in public, if you are in a situation where you can't maintain social distancing, right?

So, you don't have to wear the mask if you're in public, or outside, and nobody's around, but when you get close to someone--

C. CUOMO: Close, OK.

A. CUOMO: --then you have to wear the mask because, and muscular, I know people aren't crazy about it, and it's an inconvenience. But, look, in the scope of things, you don't have a right to infect me, right?

C. CUOMO: Right.

A. CUOMO: And we're spending all this time, all this money, closing down everything to lower this spread. A mask is not that big a deal, right? It could be a mask.

C. CUOMO: I hear you. But people don't want anything.

A. CUOMO: It could be a cloth, a bandanna.

C. CUOMO: Two - two pushback. First pushback--

A. CUOMO: Yes, that's right.

C. CUOMO: --you can't enforce it. You can't enforce it. You don't have the police. 20 percent of them almost are out sick. You can't be chasing around people about masks. You can't enforce it. Nobody's going to do it.

A. CUOMO: Yes, we can enforce it. And the proviso I can enforce personally. The local governments have police forces. They can enforce it. They will enforce it. We don't have a civil fine that goes with this now, but we could. And I believe people are going to follow it.

Look, Chris, nobody had to listen to anything I said. From day one, I had no--

C. CUOMO: Right.

A. CUOMO: --no ability to enforce this. The reason I communicate so much with the public right now is I want them to understand the facts and the plain truth and why I'm taking these actions.

If they believe it makes sense, they will do it. This is New York. We are not going to force anyone to do anything. But I spend the time to lay the groundwork, so people have followed the advice that I give them and the Executive Orders that I give them because they could have--

C. CUOMO: Fair point. Fair point.

A. CUOMO: --told me to pound sand on any of these things.

C. CUOMO: Fair point.

Second point of pushback, you can't set an example, true or false, for wearing the mask because you can't find one that fit over that huge double-barreled shotgun mounted in the middle of your face.

A. CUOMO: See, I'm not going to rise to the bait. I love you. I love you. "Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. We drew a circle of love that included him in."

C. CUOMO: Oh, boy! Can't be--

A. CUOMO: I love you.

C. CUOMO: Hold on. Hold on a second.

A. CUOMO: Hit you with dad. That's right.

C. CUOMO: Don't you go quoting Pop's poem to me, although that is where you got that schnoz. You drew a circle that kept me out. But love that I had the wit to win.

A. CUOMO: I loved you. I loved you.

C. CUOMO: We drew a circle that kept you in.

A. CUOMO: We drew a circle--

C. CUOMO: Listen.

A. CUOMO: --that included you in. I love you.

C. CUOMO: But not that nose! Let me ask you something else.

A. CUOMO: I know you love me deep down inside.

C. CUOMO: I - no, I love you all the way on the outside. You are my big brother. I'm proud of what you've been doing.

A. CUOMO: Yes.

C. CUOMO: I can't say it enough. But I got to ask you one more thing. Then I'll let you go.

Garcetti in Los Angeles, he's been steady, the Mayor. Mike DeWine, the Governor, Republican, in Ohio, steady. Sports, they're, like, "I don't know. It's going to look different." In Los Angeles, they say, "Maybe not till 2021."

Sports, huge for New York, will we see a Yankees game this summer?

A. CUOMO: Governor DeWine is a great guy. He's been very helpful. I've been a long-term fan of his. And Mayor Garcetti is really top-shelf.

Look, nobody knows. What I say to all these guys, you know, they come up with all these projections, "We're going to do this in May, we're going to do this in June, we're going to do this in July," they have no idea.

We have no idea where we're going to be. Let's find out where we are. Let's find out the facts. Then we'll make a decision.

Everything has - everyone has been wrong about everything for this entire duration, right? 45 days. To now project, 60 days forward, and say, "This is what I think we need to do," stop! Stop with the game. Let's follow the data. On sports, look, I talked to Jeff Wilpon today, the Owner of the Mets. Go Queens! Go New York! I said, "Why can't we talk about a baseball season with nobody in the stands? Why can't you play the game with the players?"


And, look, I think it would be good for the country. I think it would be good for people to have something to watch and do to fight cabin fever. And it's something that I'm going to pursue.

Apparently, Major League Baseball would have to make a deal with the players because if you have no one in the stands then the numbers are going to change, right? The economics are going to change.

But if Major League Baseball and the players could make a - come to an agreement on how to adjust the economics for that reality, I think that would be a good thing. You know, we have to start to move to normalcy. And people have to start to see some hope and light.

C. CUOMO: Absolutely. Let's end on that.

Everybody's having their little picture of what normal will look like, what they want to get back to. With the summer coming, what does the future look like in your mind's eye? What are you looking forward to being able to do again?

A. CUOMO: You know, I think this is one of those situations in life that shows us really what to be thankful for and gives us some perspective, right? And it's simpler than we tend to make it.

What do I want? I want to be able to go fishing with you and throw my cellphone in the ocean and not worry about it.

I want to be able to sit around the table with Mom, and laugh, and your kids, and my kids, and be able to hug them without worrying about social distancing. I would never want to hear about social distancing again.

I don't want to get up at 4 o'clock in the morning, and the first thing I have to go through is understanding how many deaths we had the night before. I don't want to talk to any more families who lost family members. I want the pain to stop. I want the fear to stop. I want the anxiety to stop.

I want you to get out of your basement. I want Cristina to be OK. I want those hospital workers to be able to go home and sleep a full night.

Just let's get back to normal. Let's get back to family. Let's get back to all those simple things that we took for granted and we were wrong and now we miss. And when we get them back, maybe we'll cherish them more than we ever have.

C. CUOMO: That is beautiful. I share your dream. You get a big amen. You know, I was reading the other day, you quoted FDR beautifully a

short while back, and I was reading some of his stuff last night about the Four Freedoms that came up, you know, running into World War II.

And I'll tell you, freedom from fear, and freedom from want, boy, do those ring true in a way that they never did before now.

Governor Cuomo, my big brother, Andrew, thank you. I love you and I appreciate you.

A. CUOMO: Love you. Thanks.

C. CUOMO: I'll talk to you soon.

A. CUOMO: Same here.

C. CUOMO: New York - well said, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo.

All right, some people with COVID, all right, we got to get a new understanding of this. There's been a lot of hype about what this virus is. They told me, "14 days, you'll be back, guaranteed!" Was nowhere near it after 14 days.

Then these other people have COVID, never a symptom, never a symptom. Even more reason why wearing masks is a big deal. That's why the Governor of New York is passing it. I don't like it. It's not convenient. Neither is having Coronavirus. Trust me, literally, feel me.

There is new research on when those who develop symptoms may be likely to pass it on. And there's talk about all these tests and antibodies, I want to truth-check these things. What should we really be putting hope in?

Sanjay's got the answers, next.









C. CUOMO: All right, we have breaking news on our watch. It is a very provocative headline. I'm just getting it. Let's go through it together in real time. Here's the headline.

"The United States is pursuing the theory that the virus started in a Chinese lab, not a market."

I know the Internet is rife with conspiracy theories and concerns that this was something that was worked on, that was designed, and that's why we don't understand it.

And, you know, as we had to learn from the White House backwards, COVID-19 isn't the 19th version of anything. It was discovered in 2019. That's what it means.

But beyond the coding of it, we know very little. And part of the curiosity is we don't know a lot because somebody changed a virus structure enough to make it a mystery for us.

Now, what is behind the headline, all right? I think we're going to have to back off about a half a step, here's why.

U.S. Intel and National Security officials say the United States government continues to investigate whether the Coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory, not a wet market. This is according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

So, they are investigating. It's not as strong as they believe that's what happened. They're investigating a theory. So, it doesn't take us close enough. But what does it do?

Well it starts to push holes in the idea of why was this lab in Wuhan? One theory is "Well it's in Wuhan because it's a catchment area. Food comes from all over China into this area with these markets, so it's a logical place to be."

But if they're investigating it, and they can get sources, other sources told CNN, the U.S. Intel hasn't been able to corroborate the theory, but is trying to discern whether someone was infected in the lab, or it was about poor handling.

So, this is a story to watch. I know many are curious about it. New information, they are looking at it, at the U.S. Intel level. As we get more, you'll get more.

Now, let's bring in Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, this gives us an introduction into the world of the possible versus the probable, OK?


"15-minute tests for FDA, what we think we know about when people transmit symptoms, at what point in their illness, antibody tests, now three have been approved," the more we look beyond the headline on each of these stories the less compelling they become.

The 15-minute test, not that available, not that reliable. The antibody tests, Tony Fauci says we don't even realize what antibodies mean with respect to immunity and this virus.

And then the understanding of when people are contagious, it keeps moving about when we can transmit symptoms. Let's start with that one. What is the latest?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean we - we are learning as we go along, Chris, as we've been saying the entire time. So, there is a humility here because this is a new virus.

And if I can, just on the previous story, you mentioned Chris, because I've been following that story about the Wuhan lab for some time that's been percolating out there.

Just, you know, one thing, to be clear, the first patient that was ever diagnosed for certain was not actually affiliated with that wet market. So, that was a clue early on, Chris that maybe this - this virus was already in the community or had come from somewhere else.

As far as that lab goes, I think that the one thing I'm thinking they're - they're not suggesting at this point that this - this virus was actually created in the lab, it may have been a virus that existed in nature, was being studied in the lab, the lab itself may have had some safety issues, and it may have spread, as a result.

So, is that a natural spread or not, you know, that - that's sort of the backstory that I think they're looking into.

I think with, you know, with regard to these - this - this asymptomatic transmission, we've heard that term since January 31st. Tony Fauci talked about it at the same time this - this travel ban from China was announced.

So, we've known about the idea of asymptomatic transmission. You never have any symptoms, yet you have the virus, you can still spread it.

What this new study now is talking about is essentially pre- symptomatic transmission. So, you're about to develop symptoms, you just don't know it yet. It's two or three days away. And yet, you are still shedding virus. That - that was striking obviously.

But I think what was the most striking thing about that study, Chris, was that they actually were making the case that you're most infectious during that pre-symptomatic time that actually when you start to get sick, maybe the virus goes deeper into your system, you're not as likely to spread it, whatever it might be.

But not only could you spread it before you develop symptoms, that was the time you were most likely to spread it as well, at least according to this study.

Again, everything with humility--

C. CUOMO: Yes.

GUPTA: --Chris, because we're learning as we go along.

C. CUOMO: I mean, look, as we just saw with that French study that we were all waiting on about hydrochloroquine--

GUPTA: That's right. C. CUOMO: --now, all the sudden, they're all backing off it. And I have to tell you what's scary to so many people who deal with this virus is how fast the information change, as you say, the humility of the situation.

You know, so many of us were told just weeks ago when diagnosed, "Ah, you know, if those people were around you early on, they're probably OK, because you weren't symptomatic yet."

Now, two weeks later, it's "You maybe most contagious before you get symptoms." We just keep--


C. CUOMO: --getting surprised by this thing and it's what makes it so scary.

GUPTA: It does, Chris. And again, you know, I mean you're - you're living some of this. I imagine, and I pause, I didn't hear the entire conversation away. But Cristina, I don't - you don't know how she - she contracted this. I mean it's hard to know.


GUPTA: You'd have to actually do all sorts of tracing. But you're living this. I mean that - that's exactly the point now. So, how do you - how do you conduct your lives now, right, with both people having to isolate themselves. You got kids.

And you've interviewed people who are in that exact same situation, and they're wondering "Well I wasn't symptomatic. You know, did I do something wrong?" The answer is "No."

We're all learning together. I mean we should all behave like we have the virus. But it's very hard for people who are perfectly healthy to think "Gosh, I have the virus. I could have spread it."

We know that to be the case now. But, you know, again, we're learning some of this - some of these new studies are coming out, even over the last couple of days, Chris.

C. CUOMO: Well, look, you know what they say. Live and learn, trite but true.

I think that we have a lot to learn about this virus about how it affects people emotionally, intellectually, how long it lasts in their system, what it can do to us, over time? I think that we are just at the beginning of a very painful journey.

Sanjay Gupta, thank you for helping us understand where we are a little bit better.


C. CUOMO: All right, the next story is a tough one. You may have heard about this prominent Virginia pastor. He just passed away from Coronavirus.

Now, he had made very strong arguments that he wasn't believing the hype about COVID, and that God was larger than this virus, and we had to keep praying together.


His daughter is now begging everybody to take the virus seriously. But she says that people haven't been fair about what was driving her father.

So, let's hear about the man who's now gone from the center of their family, what that's like, as they struggled with the virus, and this reckoning of why all this happened, next.








C. CUOMO: It's a really tough story, certainly for a family, but an entire community in Virginia. Bishop Gerald Glenn passed away from Coronavirus after making comments that had gotten a lot of controversy. Here's a sample.


BISHOP GERALD GLENN, PASTOR OF NEW DELIVERANCE EVANGELISTIC CHURCH, VIRGINIA: Don't be afraid, don't be neurotic. Yes, it's out there, but God is out there too.

God is bigger than the virus. God is bigger than our struggles.



C. CUOMO: Now look, a lot of members of the faithful all over the country have been preaching this method that - this message of "Don't worry, you know, God will protect us. God is bigger." The problem was that they were also congregating at the same time, and that created controversy.

Now, not only is the pastor gone, but four other family members have the virus as well, including one of his daughters, who joins us right now, Mar-Gerie Crawley. Mar-Gerie, I am so sorry to have you come to the show under these circumstances. But I wish you and the family a lot of strength during this time.


C. CUOMO: First, let's talk about what matters most. How are you coping with the loss of a father and such a massive figure within your own family and the community?

CRAWLEY: Well Chris, it is extremely difficult.

I don't think we have had an opportunity to really process what has happened because the same night that he passed, my sister and my husband were admitted into the hospital, and so, all of us kind of took sick at the same time.

So, it's been very difficult to be able to grieve or even think about all that this means for our new normal because we're all trying to just heal, and we have kids, and - and try to stay strong for our kids. So, you know, I really don't know. It's just been almost like a daydream.

C. CUOMO: It's a worse kind of shock. And obviously--


C. CUOMO: --as you know, being a pastor's family, you've comforted so many people.


C. CUOMO: This is going to be a process that takes time. But closure matters. Have you been able to say goodbye to your father? Have you been able to have the kind of ceremony--


C. CUOMO: --you wanted? Not yet, huh?

CRAWLEY: No. Haven't been able to see him, haven't been able to really say anything, do anything. We've been isolated. So that is probably the hardest part about this all is, is when this infects your family, it's so isolating, so that's been very difficult.

C. CUOMO: Now, in life and in death, your father deserved fairness on why he was doing what he was doing. I wanted to talk to him earlier. I didn't get the chance. But I want to talk to you about this.

You say people don't have it right that it wasn't about flouting information.


C. CUOMO: It was about not understanding the information for your father. There was confusion. How so?

CRAWLEY: Well I think, you know, I think it's unfair to say that he didn't care or - about the virus or - or anything like that. We took many precautions. The information that was coming out every day was ever-changing.

I mean, you know, in the morning, it would be one thing about the virus, and by the afternoon, it'd be something different. And so the government was doing its best. I truly believe that they do their best to get us the information, the best that they know.

And so, it was always ever-changing, and there were recommendations being made, and different things of that nature, about public gatherings, and things like that.

And so, my father did take that stuff very seriously. His message was clear, and we will stand firm behind that that God is still bigger than this virus. We will believe that as a people of faith.

But when he decided to have services, he was very clear in posting signs, and having hand sanitizer, and wearing gloves, and not community - or congregating with people after service, during service.

People were asked to sit six feet apart. Family members sat together. That's it. After service, there was no talking and hanging around. Everyone left. So, there was a lot of precautions being made.

In his mind, my father is a wounded healer. He is someone who is a pillar of strength in our community. And there were a lot of people that were nervous, and anxious, and he wanted to give them a message of hope that it's OK that this virus is out there.

God is out there too. And we believe that God will protect us. And how he chooses to heal us, it's totally up to him. But, as a people of faith, we will hold strong to "He" is still larger than this virus.

C. CUOMO: Listen, we better hope that God is bigger than the virus, and that we have something higher drawn to keep us all together. And I know that, Mar-Gerie, you're also saying to people, "Pay attention. Take the virus seriously."


C. CUOMO: "Listen to the information that's out there."


C. CUOMO: And I hope your family comes through this OK. Is everybody home and recovering? Is anybody still in the hospital?

CRAWLEY: No. My baby sister today came home.

C. CUOMO: Thank God.

[21:55:00] CRAWLEY: And we all - we're all home, we're recovering. So yes, we're just taking it one day at a time right now. But we do believe that we will be healed.

C. CUOMO: Well and we'll heal each other too.


C. CUOMO: People draw strength from what your family is dealing with. I hear about cases all over the country. So, I wish you healing, and strength, and closure with your father. May his memory live long and be a positive influence for your community. God bless your family.

CRAWLEY: Thank you. And - and if I can say this to you, thank you for sharing your story, and doing your video about your exercises, and all that you've gone through with this because I do truly believe it helped to save my sister.

When she started to get sick, she took hold of everything you said in your video. My mom shared your video with people.

And it has been a true blessing for us to see you be so vulnerable in public with what you're going through and helping others. You have no idea how much that has helped our family, so we appreciate you, and we love you and your brother so much.

C. CUOMO: Well that is a strong testament to your faith. It is not easy to love my brother.

Mar-Gerie, thank you very much. We're all drawing strength from one another. God bless your family.


C. CUOMO: And I'm sorry for your loss.

CRAWLEY: Thank you.

C. CUOMO: All right? I'll stay in touch.

CRAWLEY: Thank you so much.

C. CUOMO: Let's take a quick break.