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China: U.S. Has No Proof Virus Came from Wuhan Lab; Trump Reverses Course on Winding Down Task Force; Venezuelan State TV Airs Video of Capture American; Uber and Lyft Announces Cuts; Surprising Pandemic Habits Might Stick Around for Good; Ibiza's Nightlife Shuts Down as it Fights COVID-19; Dad Celebrates Four-Year-Old Son's First Home Run. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired May 07, 2020 - 01:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everybody, I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Studio 7 at CNN's World Headquarters in Atlanta. Ahead this hour, worse than Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 terrorist attacks; Donald Trump's stark assessment of the pandemic crisis in the U.S., but not bad enough it seems to delay restarting the economy. Germany's Angela Merkel moves to reopen businesses and schools even reached up the National Football League, the country she says, can be cautiously bold. And Beijing to Washington, enough with the tricks of the accusations over the origins of the Coronavirus. The response from America's top diplomat to bat.

As hundreds of millions of people slowly emerged from nationwide lockdowns, a striking contrast can be seen between countries, which acted quickly, early and decisively to contain the Coronavirus, and the countries which for whatever reason did not. Worldwide, more than a quarter of a million people have now died during this pandemic. And the countries with the slow hesitant response are now paying a very heavy price in terms of lives lost.

The poster child for what not to do during a pandemic has been the United States, which may explain why the President is increasingly lashing out at China, accusing the communist government are not doing enough to contain the outbreak. a disaster which Donald Trump says is worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11. And in another example of (INAUDIBLE) leadership from the White House, just a day after saying it was time to wind down the task force advising him about the virus, Donald Trump has reversed course because, in his words, he had no idea it was so popular.

A very different approach, notably from Germany's Angela Merkel, the Chancellor has announced limits on social contact will remain in place for another month. But some shops will be like to reopen. And significantly, the National Football League will be the first in Europe to restart with matches likely scheduled in the coming weeks, most likely though, without spectators.

Meanwhile, on the medical side, researchers in the U.S. are cloning antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients for a possible treatment. And doctors also report blood thinners may help some of the most serious cases. Well, since this outbreak began in the U.S. more than 73,000 Americans have died, a number of which continues to rise every day. And with all but seven of the 50 U.S. states planning to ease restrictions and allow businesses to reopen, that death toll will almost certainly surge with some expectations as many as 3,000 people will be dying every day by next month. Here's CNN's Nick Watt.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The New York City subway closed overnight first time in over 100 years to clean the cars.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We have turned the corner and we're on the decline. You take New York out of the national numbers, the numbers for the rest of the nation are going up. What we're doing here shows results.

WATT: Across the country as a whole, the case count is not falling, hovering somewhere over 20,000 every single day.

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER COMMISSIONER, FDA: I think that we need to understand. This may be the new normal, we may not be able to get transmission down much more. I hope we can.

WATT: But many places, reopening anyway. Hotspots now growing in cities like Dallas, some more rural flare ups to like those in Nebraska and Minnesota, but better testing might just play into all of this.

DAVE KLEIS, MAYOR OF ST. CLOUD, MINNESOTA: I don't think there's anyone that didn't know that there were more cases out there. They just weren't known because the testing was so low.

WATT: A former CDC Director told lawmakers today that the U.S. death toll will exceed 100,000.

TOM FRIEDEN, FORMER DIRECTOR, CDC: As bad as this has been, it's just the beginning.

WATT: Airlines now hoping we'll get back in the air. Average passengers per plane is up 23 from just 17 last week. All but these seven states are now taking steps to get back in business. On Monday, restaurants could open in Florida. On Tuesday, cops in Jacksonville had to break up a tailgate party at a taco stand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Their risk of the coronavirus is a scam.

WATT: One company working on creating therapeutics using blood from the recovered now says it might have something on the market by the end of the summer.

DR. GEORGE YANCOPOULOS, REGENERON: We can clone out the best of antibodies from recovered humans. We selected the best ones to create a antibody cocktail as we called.

WATT: And who is this Coronavirus infecting? Well, around 90 percent of positives in San Francisco's Mission District are people unable to work from home, according to a new study. 95 percent of them Latinx. Another new study finds that black Americans are 13.4 percent of the population, but counties with higher black populations are home to nearly 60 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.


LORI LIGHTFOOT (D), MAYOR OF CHICAGO, IL: We're still seeing a disproportionate number of black Chicago as people who are dying as a result of COVID-19.

WATT: And some good news for the 10 million people of Los Angeles County, stuff will start reopening Friday. Starting with some trails, golf courses, and some non-essential businesses we're told. Florists and car dealerships among the first wave. But we are being warned that this process will be very slow and no beaches. Not yet. Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.

VAUSE: Dennis Carroll is an infectious disease expert, former director of USAID's Emerging Threats Division. He is with us this hour from Washington. And Dr. Dennis Carroll, good to see you.


VAUSE: Thank you. Now, this -- I want to show you. This is where the individual states stand right now in the U.S. when it comes to the trend in confirmed cases. Almost all of them are seeing their numbers increase on a daily basis. And just add some context to that. This is from CNN's medical unit. "Some states may see their counts rise due to increased cases, or because testing is getting better. So they're confirming more cases." So, it's not entirely clear, but not one of the 43 states, which are lifting restrictions has met the four phases within the guidelines for reopening as outlined by the White House.

So, in governance claim, they're relying on the advice from public health experts at health care professionals. What seems really strange to me is that, who are these experts? And, you know, what are they saying to these governors, which is different to what we're hearing in public? Because every time there's a public statement, we're told that, you know, it is dangerous to move ahead with this idea of restarting the economy until there is a distinct fall of the number of confirmed cases.

CARROLL: Well, look, I think it's clear that governors and politicians around the U.S. are feeling extraordinary pressures, pressures to reopen the economy. And so, they're accelerating this process. And I think it's clear that they're accelerating the process in a way that is inconsistent with good public health measures. And we saw just this past week, a recalculation of what the likely mortality would look like in the United States based on the relaxing of social distancing measures. And we've seen the numbers double in terms of what the projected mortality would be by August 1st, from a 60,000 to 130,000.

And so, it's clear that decisions being made at the state level, and quite frankly, being reinforced at the national level, are flying in the face of hard reality that this virus is still circulating; it is still infecting people. And the only protection we have against it right now is maintaining measures of social distancing, which as we see, are rapidly being relaxed around the country. So there will be, if not a political price, there's clearly going to be a human toll that will be a direct consequence of these actions.

VAUSE: And that social distancing is required because we just don't have that widespread testing in place. And on Wednesday, during a White House press briefing, there's sort of disdain or ridicule for widespread testing with the press secretary saying it would be pointless and nonsensical to test every single person in the U.S. And sort of, I guess, Kayleigh McEnany is technically correct. But I would like you to listen to Caitlin Rivers from Johns Hopkins University to explain how the system actually should work.


CAITLIN RIVERS, SR. ASSOCIATE, JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR HEALTH SECURITY (via Skype): Testing everybody once is not going to get us there. You would need to design a more comprehensive strategy for how you would use that to intervene on transmission. This is why we talk so much about contact tracing. With contact tracing, once someone gets a positive diagnosis, the people that they have been in close contact with are alerted to their exposure and asked to stay home.


VAUSE: You know, this is very little emphasis on the importance of contact tracing. And what we're hearing from the White House indicates, you know, a deep and profound lack of understanding of all of this.

CARROLL: Well, look, let's be very clear. It's not simply contact tracing, nor is it simply testing, it's both that are required. And if we are going to bring this fiber sender control and we can bring the virus under control, it's about knowing where it is, who's infected, and who has been exposed to the infected people. And in order to do that, we need to be able to have widely available at the household level, testing capabilities for people to routinely be able to test whether or not they are infected.


And for that information to be made available for contact tracing, to be able to track down people who may have been exposed, and unaware that they may be infected.

VAUSE: Because testing and contact tracing would not be so crucial if we had a vaccine. And on that there are some optimistic predictions that we'll have one by years end with millions and millions of doses ready to go. First thing, have you seen any real evidence that is probable or even possible? And if there is a vaccine in some timeframe, how will it be distributed? Because there's no international agreement in place for global -- for, you know, just getting this vaccine out to, I guess, what, 7 billion people around the world? CARROLL: Right. Well, first off, I think we all agree that the vaccine is the Holy Grail to being able to really bring this virus under control. But John, what you're alluding to is that there are 8 billion people in this planet that are going to need access to this vaccine. It's not just the American people. And as the vaccine becomes available, there is going to be an extraordinary demand for this. And just the sheer reality of the manufacturing and production of a vaccine is going to ensure that there will be limited supplies.

Last week, the World Health Organization hosted a virtual meeting of world leaders to talk about a coordinated way forward to ensure equitable, fair, and really effective access to this vaccine. And sadly, there was one country not represented at this meeting, and that was the United States. And it's important to recognize that the United States will be, by far and away, the largest consumer of this vaccine.

So, we've set in motion, a very bad precedent for when a vaccine does become available, that it does not turn into a global political squabble as we try and protect the world's population. It needs leadership from all countries, including the United States to ensure that we have a well-thought-out strategic and operational plan for making this vaccine available when and if it does become available.

VAUSE: Good point. We'll leave it there. Dr. Dennis Carroll, thank you. It's good to see you. We appreciate being with us.

CARROLL: Thank you, john. Appreciate the opportunity.

VAUSE: Stay well.

CARROLL: Stay well yourself.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

VAUSE: Breaking news from India now, where at least 1,000 people have been sickened by a leak at a chemical plant in the country's south. So far, at least five people are confirmed dead, more than 100 others taken to hospital. For the very latest, we are live in New Delhi with CNN's Vedika Sud. So, Vedika, just explain to us, what we know at this point about the numbers of people who are being treated, the number who are dead and the likelihood that those numbers will go up?

VEDIKA SUD, CNN FIELD PRODUCER: Well, India woke up to this distressing news this morning, extremely disturbing news coming in, five people dead. We believe about 1,000 people have been affected. Now, to give you the details on this incident which took place at about 3:30 this morning. That's when the police in the area were alerted in the State of Andhra Pradesh which was in South India. Visakhapatnam is the city where this took place. A chemical plant, there was a gas leak in that chemical plant that took place. Now, this chemical plant, this is important to note, was just reopened after the lockdown in India was eased a bit, and that's when the gas leak took place.

We know the name of the gas is Styrene gas. Now, according to chemical experts, this is a toxic gas, and when you inhale it, it could fit your nervous system as well as affect your eyes and also cause a lot of blisters to the body. About 100 people we believe are seriously ill and have been hospitalized. The officials, when they reach the spot, evacuated about 1,000 people from the area, a lot of them were lying on the ground unconscious.

Now, there is a village very close to this chemical plant where about 3,000 to 4000 people reside. They have been also alerted and a lot of them have been evacuated from the area. The police used loudspeakers early this morning to alert them about this incident. The Prime Minister has also taken to Twitter to inform people that he is taking stock of the situation. It is a serious, serious situation. We've been told that five people are dead and over 100 have been seriously affected by the gas leak in this chemical plant. John?

VAUSE: Do we know sort of what the area around this chemical plant that was impacted by this leak and how many kilometers, I guess, for example, and those people who were affected by this 1,000 or so (INAUDIBLE) what, respiratory problems? Are they having trouble breathing? What more do we know about that?


SUD: Yes, respiratory issues have been reported, because of which were 100 of them are in a critical state as we speak. They're supposed to be in a hospital where the state is being told to us to be a bit serious. Also, what we know is, yes, this was about a radius of 2.5 to 3 kilometers is what reports are telling us where this incident took place. The gas leak affected people immediately outside the chemical plant area. Breathlessness issues have also been reported. But like I said, it's a village, which is right outside this chemical plant area that people were worried about would be directly affected. And it is. A lot of them have been asked to move out to the area. Loudspeakers were used by the police earlier this morning to inform them about the incident. That's what we have for now, John.

VAUSE: So, this is -- this is having while this lockdown has been loosened, but essentially is still in place. So, in the early hours of the morning, let's just set the scene, people would have been asleep, and then suddenly, this gas just descended upon them in this although and this lockdown?

SUD: Yes. That's exactly what happened. Now, you do know that this is the third phase of lockdown that India is undergoing as I speak to you. And one of the restrictions that have been lifted is with some industries in and around green zones, orange zones and red zones across India Of course, green zones being the least affected and red zones being the most affected after which the containment zones as well, which are completely barricaded and locked down because a lot of cases of Coronavirus in those areas.

Now, this chemical plant reopened just about a day or two ago, and what we've been told is that when only the small in the gas leaked, that's when people woke up to the alert that was sounded by the police telling them there has been a gas leak in the area, you need to move away. Also, the people in and around that area as I speak with you are using wet cloth and masks. We also have the disaster team responding to this situation. They are in the chemical plant area.

What we're being told very important is that the gas leak is under control fortunately, but of course, it's already had its impact. We're talking about at least thousand people in the area affected. We're talking about five deaths. This toll could go up in the coming hours. We're also being told that hundred people have been seriously affected by this incident. And also in the coming hours, we'll get to know about the figure rising or not, John.

VAUSE: Vedika, thank you for the update. Vedika Sud in New Delhi with the very latest on that leak from a chemical plant, which has put 100 people in hospital, five dead, thousand impacted by all of this. Vedika, thank you. We will take a short break. When we come back, China hitting back at the U.S. after pushing a theory, a conspiracy theory about where the Coronavirus began. Well, the latest on this war of words between Beijing and Washington live in the Chinese capital in a moment.


VAUSE: Well, just days after passing Italy with the highest death toll in Europe, the U.K. may begin easing stay-at-home orders by next week. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says an announcement will come Sunday after reviewing the latest data and information. There are reports Johnson will encourage a return to work if it is safe to do so. At the same time, the Prime Minister continues to warn of a possible second wave.



BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: We'll be working with the opposition with unions with business to make sure that we get the unlock down plan completely right. And you know, what he says is absolute common sense. It would be an economic disaster for this country if we were to pursue a relaxation of these measures now, in such a way as to trigger a second spike.


VAUSE: U.K. has more than 200,000 cases, more than 30,000 dead. According to Johns Hopkins University. Germany's Chancellor has declared an end to the first phase of this pandemic, which means some lockdown restrictions will start to ease. Shops can reopen, but with more hygiene safeguards, and when meeting anyone from another household, social distancing should be in place and masks should be worn in public. The country's Football League will resume play in the coming weeks. But Merkel has warned restrictions will return if one area reports more than 50 new infections per 1,000 residents within seven days.


ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): We have very, very good developments regarding the new infection rate figures. And these have made it possible to take further steps. We have to be careful that we don't lose control of the situation. And that's why I have a good feeling about this emergency mechanism.


VAUSE: As Germany slowly begins an economic restart, for Merkel has been widely praised for her no-nonsense, consistent, and steady leadership. In many ways, a study in contrast when compared to the U.S. President. One, listen to the concerns and needs of doctors, nurses, and health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic. The other is Donald Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The PPE has been sporadic.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sporadic for you but not sporadic for a lot of other --


VAUSE: That was Wednesday at the White House, National Nurses Day in the United States. One leader did not publicly argue with those who they disagreed with. They work closely with state leaders regardless of political party. The other is Donald Trump.


TRUMP: It's a two-way street. They have to treat us well also. They can't say, oh, gee, we should get this. We should get that.


VAUSE: And one leader spoke to the country like an adult, admitting what was and what was not known. Honestly talking about the risks and the dangers, did not speak about untested miracle cures. The other is Donald Trump.


TRUMP: Then, I say the disinfectant would knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that?


VAUSE: CNN's European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas is joining us this hour from Los Angeles. Dominic, it's been a while. It's so good to see you.


VAUSE: Here are two headlines just in the past few hours, which kind of sums everything up in these two countries. OK, this one Coronavirus, in Germany, "Summer holidays on the horizon as Angela Merkel agrees to ease lockdown restrictions. And from the U.S. in the past couple hours, Police say two Oklahoma City McDonald's employees were shot after being told dining room was closed because of the pandemic. So, the Germans are about to head to the beach, enjoy summer at an appropriate social distance, while in the U.S. anger over the health guidelines is leading to people being shot. Is there any other factor bigger than the stark difference in leadership, which explains where these two countries are right now?

THOMAS: Well, John, I mean, leadership is obviously absolutely key, especially in the face of a global pandemic. But I think that there are a number of factors particular to the German situation that can explain the way in which they find themselves now. I think one of them that's really important is that very early on, testing was not only available in Germany as early as February, but it was also free. This allowed and motivated people to go and get tested and allow the authorities to identify very early on individuals who are infected and to isolate let them. And ultimately what it meant is that the hospitals that were already well-equipped with ICU, equipment, ventilators and so on, never ultimately got overwhelmed.

But there's another factor that I think is also important that the 16 states, the famous lender, the lands that make up Germany, operate in a decentralized system. So, they've got their own health ministers and so on and so forth, and were able to respond to local challenges, but coordinating with the federal authorities. And the other aspect that I think explains the success relatively speaking of the Germans situation, is the fact that there is a very strong and comprehensive social system.

The healthcare system works, unemployment benefits have been extended, furloughed workers have been taken care of, and corporations and small businesses have been provided with tax relief. So this has made it economically possible to go into quarantine for people whereas in so many other areas of the world, that was the fundamental challenge for people and what is driving people towards returning to work.


VAUSE: Yet Donald Trump has an economics degree from the Wharton Business School. His lawyers threatened legal action if his academic records were ever released. Angela Merkel has a doctorate in Quantum Chemistry. She worked as a research scientist before politics. And it seems that background has really paid off to her in this crisis. She understands this stuff. But more importantly, it seems, you know, she's earned the trust of the German people.

THOMAS: Well, that's key, John. But I think it's more -- not just understanding, it's actually believing in science. And that's what's been lacking, of course, in the response in the United States, she's consistent. She speaks to the German people as a mature audience in a responsible way, and is not only able to enlist their trust but also to mobilize them and to follow her particular policy.

So in many ways, she's like a conductor, who has produced something more akin to a symphony in terms of the response in in Germany, whereas across the Atlantic in the United States, you have competing voices, those of the White House, the various governors, mayors, blue states, red states and so on, that is yielded and produce something more akin to a kind of cacophony. And that's the disastrous response to something like this that needs coordination. And Angela Merkel has been able to do that in a very, very effective way in Germany. And the results are there in the statistics.

VAUSE: And also, there's still challenges ahead. There's this huge economic contraction coming from the E.U. about 7.5 percent for the next quarter. Merkel would be very much aware of that, especially because of Germany's role as the economic engine of Europe.

THOMAS: That's true. But I think that it's also and you could argue, a responsible way of dealing with this. There's no doubt about it that we have no idea where this pandemic is going and what the ultimate economic impact will be. But better to prepare the people for the worst and hope for the best. And to have a realistic expectation, as people go along with you and respond to this.

This is a far better and more mature way of dealing with it than to have the president who's essentially running economic campaign in a reelection year that ultimately will produce and make promises that we will be unable to prove to essentially stick to and that will lead the American people to be further disillusioned and disoriented, when really, what they need is guidance here and Europeans know about this. They know about rebuilding after the Second World War, they've been through analogous situations, and they will make their way through this with trusted and responsible leaders.

VAUSE: Just to finish up, here's part of a story from the Atlantic. It was published a few weeks ago. "Judging by Merkel's approach, her rigor in collecting information, her honestly in stating what is not yet known, and her composure, she may someday be remembered not as Germany's greatest scientist, but as its scientist in chief, the political leader who executed celebrated and personified evidence- based thinking when it mattered most." Has her sort of legacy her place in German history has it been forever changed by this pandemic?

THOMAS: It's been changed. I think it's been further enhanced. She's been subjected to a lot of criticism. She's stepped away from the party leadership and German people have been preparing for the fact that there will be a post-Merkel era, but I think her legacy is still to be written. And what the German people are going to realize is that she's going to be extraordinarily difficult to replace, no matter how many people may be opposed to some of her more controversial policies or to have 14-plus years as a as a chancellor. I think they will realize that the guidance and the stability that they provided Germany are going to make the person who replaces her face up to, you know, an incredibly difficult task, and her legacy will continue to grow and to be enhanced.

VAUSE: Yes, whoever does eventually take over as Chancellor will be a -- she'll be a hard act to follow, I guess, is the best way of putting it, especially after the response to this pandemic. Dominic, it is good to see you. We're out of time, but we appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

THOMAS: Be safe. VAUSE: The White House Coronavirus Task Force will live on indefinitely it seems. So, what's behind the President's sudden course correction? Could it have anything to do with an ongoing pandemic?



VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm John Vause.

The U.S. Secretary of State continues to promote as fact an unproven allegation this strain of the coronavirus was created in a Chinese lab. At the same time Mike Pompeo has also admitted there's no way to be certain if it's true. But he says there is enough evidence to support it.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I have seen evidence that this likely came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. I happen to see other evidence that this proves that. We should get to the bottom of it. It's why we've been asking for months now to give westerners access to this information.


VAUSE: China denies the virus originated in this lab. Points to a lack of proof of the United States to support the claim. And the foreign ministry in Beijing now telling Washington focus on its own problems.


HUA CHUNYING, SPOKESWOMAN, CHINESE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (through translator): We want to urge the U.S. side once again to stop spreading false information. Stop misleading the international community, take a good look at its domestic problems and try to find out ways to control the pandemic in its country as soon as possible rather than continue playing the blame game.


CNN's Steven Jiang live for us at this hour in Beijing.

So this continues further, sort of this tit-for-tat. And at this point, I guess Beijing hasn't really proved that they didn't do it. And Washington hasn't proved that they did.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: That's right. The kind of inconsistencies from Pompeo and other White House officials is very much seized upon by the Chinese government here -- John.

And you know, you heard the Secretary of State just then, just now and sort of doubling down on his claim this virus may still have come from the Wuhan lab. And the Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman we just on Wednesday

actually directly challenged him to present evidence. And then she added he cannot because he has none.

So this is the Chinese strategy here. They were trying to sow doubts and division among governments and people, at least on this issue because they see these assertions from Mr. Pompeo and from Mr. Trump as well on the origin of the virus increasingly at odds with their own intelligence community, as well as their intelligence sharing partners.

Remember we have heard many experts, scientists, as well as government officials and sources from the U.S. as well as other countries basically brushing aside this theory. And at least saying this is not very plausible.

So the Chinese are really trying to isolate the U.S. on the global stage instead of -- instead of, you know, being isolated themselves. So that is why, you know, when she was asked about Mr. Trump's efforts to rally U.S. allies to blame China, the spokeswoman said on Wednesday the choice facing these allies and other governments is not between the United States and China, but rather in her words, between lies and facts, and between bullying and corporation.

Then she highlighted recent reports from the U.S. and Europe about first coronavirus cases in these places may have occurred earlier than previously thought. Again painting China as the first victim of this virus whose origin is very much unknown or possibly with multiple origins.

So John -- I think you're going to increasingly hear this kind of rhetoric and see this kind of tactics from Beijing in this daily tit- for-tat muscling with Washington because the government here is determined not to be blamed for causing this devastating global pandemic -- John.

VAUSE: What is interesting though is this tactic taken by Beijing of trying to muddy the waters, if you like rather than addressing allegations head on. Raising a whole bunch of other theories which have been also -- equally baseless as well. This seems to be a change in how they deal with sort of, you know, criticism from overseas.


JIANG: That is right. But, you know, from their point of view, the stakes are so high in terms of if China turned out to be the origin of the virus and given the pandemic has cost so much economically and in terms of human lives, the kind of accountability they'll have to face, they simply do not want to see that scenario happen because that would lead to all sorts of unpredictable and ominous probably domestic and international consequences.

So that is why they are doubling down as well from their and, and they are trying to, you know, really using the megaphone not only domestically through their state media but also internationally on social media to disseminate their side of the story if you will and their messaging. And having these wolf warrior diplomats as well as their state media reporters to really have this daily war of words with Washington -- John.

VAUSE: Yes, it doesn't seem like it's going any time soon.

Steven -- thank you. Steven Jiang live for us in Beijing.

President Trump reversed himself on Wednesday announcing the white House coronavirus task force will stick around indefinitely, just a day after saying he would start winding it down.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports now on the flip-flopping.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People said we should keep it going, so let's keep it going.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Reversing what he and the Vice President told reporters yesterday, President Trump now says he won't shut down the coronavirus task force after all.

TRUMP: I get calls from very respected people saying I think it would be better to keep it going. It's done such a good job. It's a respected task force.

COLLINS: The comments came one day after Vice President Pence, who leads the task force, said it could wrap up its work by the end of the month. After facing backlash for the move, given that the nation is still in the middle of a pandemic, Trump says it will continue on indefinitely, and may add new members.

TRUMP: We'll be adding two or three additional members to the task force.

COLLINS: But questions remain about how public his health experts will be going forward. A house panel met today without Dr. Anthony Fauci after the White House blocked him from testifying because the committee is led by Democrats.

Even the top Republican of that panel said he wanted to hear from Fauci.

REP. TOM COLE (R), OKLAHOMA: And I want the record to show, I joined the chairman in urging that Dr. Fauci should be allowed to testify here. I think it would have been good testimony, useful to this committee, I think useful to this country.

COLLINS: The President also now says he did wear a mask during his first trip across the country in months. though he didn't appear in front of cameras in one, Trump says he wore a mask as he toured the Honeywell plant in Arizona.

TRUMP: Yes. I can't help it if you didn't see me. I mean I had a mask on but I didn't need it. And I asked specifically the head of Honeywell. COLLINS: Today, a new report form "The New York Times" details how

Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner installed a team of volunteers to help with the federal government's efforts to obtain medical supplies but only ended up making it more complicated.

The young volunteers mostly had experience in venture capital and private equity but they knew little about government procurement.

While sorting through tips about desperately needed supplies, the volunteers were told to prioritize those from political allies and they often ignored the federal officials who had spent years preparing for emergencies.

JARED KUSHNER, TRUMP ADVISER: The President wanted to make sure that we had the best people doing the best jobs.

COLLINS: The White House is also bracing for a grim jobs report that's expected on Friday after the President's top economic adviser said that unemployment could hit 20 percent.

KEVIN HASSETT, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: This is the biggest drop that our economy has ever seen.

COLLINS: Trump says he doesn't think he will be blamed for the economy.

TRUMP: You know, it's very interesting. It's one thing -- nobody is blaming me for that.

I built the greatest economy with a lot of great people that we've ever had. And I'm going to rebuild it again.

COLLINS: And the President said that Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci are expected to stay on that task force that he now says is going to continue on indefinitely. He says they will be in their normal roles and he praised their work. Though some people around the President are questioning what exactly the task force is going to look like going forward given the fact that they already scaled back their meetings. They're no longer appearing at briefings in the briefing room with the President.

So still a lot of questions about what they're going to do going forward.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN -- the White House.


VAUSE: After the break, a closer look at how the ride sharing services have been impacted by the pandemic with both Uber and Lyft announcing big cuts in jobs.



VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody.

Venezuelan state television has broadcast images of a U.S. man accused of taking part in an attempted presidential coup. The video has been heavily edited and Luke Denman appears to confess to his part in this failed coup against President Nicolas Maduro. But it is unclear if Denman was speaking under duress.

Venezuela's embattled president says Denman and another detained American will be tried for taking part in that operation. Mr. Maduro says the U.S. government was also involved. Washington though denies that.

Like almost everything else these days, demand for ride-sharing services is way down. Uber says plans -- has plans now to cut 3,700 full time jobs. That's about 14 percent of its global customer support and recruiting staff.

Contract drivers will not be affected though. Uber's CEO will waive his base salary for the rest of the year. Last week, Lyft announced it will reduce staff numbers by 17 percent as well.

CNN's John Defterios is live in Abu Dhabi with more on this.

Ok. So what -- riddle me this, Batman -- what is interesting is that, you know, obviously things are not great for the ride-sharing services, but the first quarter for Lyft at least, you know, they have burned into a lot of cash but they had a lot more cash compared to the previous quarter -- or the same quarter last year -- 23 percent more. $170 million more in fact.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, the revenues are going up -- John, just not the profits right now. This is the biggest challenge for the ridesharing group. And I think if you combined both Uber and Lyft, what I find interesting is that they put the brakes on this because of the coronavirus.

But the fact they needed to root response so quickly to the challenge here with 14 percent of the jobs at Uber and as you're suggesting 17 percent for Lyft at this stage. The challenge for all of these companies -- John, because they were the darlings of Wall Street. In fact, we've had Middle East sovereign funds invest quite heavily in Uber -- $3.5 billion by Saudi Arabia back in June 2016. And Softbank of Japan is kind of show-me the profits. And this has been a huge challenge.

In fact in the statement from Uber that was put out in a memo, Dara K., the CEO of Uber with a very long last name -- Iranian last name -- was suggesting this is not the final word. So you'll have a final outlook in two weeks' time.

Now Lyft without the earnings, you said revenues went up but they're contracting in terms of their earnings going forward. If there is a silver lining, I think this is not a very strong one, it's that United Airlines had to lay off, for example, 30 percent of its staff.

Most of the industrial groups in the United States -- it's been 25 percent or more when it comes to job cuts. They slashed back here but 14 to 17 percent kind of gives hope that as the economy opens up in the United States, their services will pick up as well. But Lyft is not in the delivery area when it comes to restaurants and this is where Uber has an advantage -- John.

VAUSE: The other issue which I guess is many people are wondering about and what the future will be, it comes at U.S.-China trade deal, the one that they reached an agreement back in January. This is before the -- you know, the coronavirus went global with the pandemic.

The U.S. president now saying he will know what -- in about a week or so if Beijing is sticking to the details of phase one. How will you know? And what happens if they don't?

DEFTERIOS: Well, this is a fantastic point. This is a dual track approach by the Trump administration, it includes the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.


DEFTERIOS: Maximum pressure on China with the blame game which plays to his base back in the United States, particularly suggesting that this coronavirus emerged from the Wuhan lab. And I heard Steven's coverage out of China.

But at the same time pressure here on the trade in this phase one agreement which calls for $200 billion more spending this year and next but the President obviously in an election year is very concerned about 2020 and the $77 billion commitment on farm products and on energy -- things we've talked about over the last week.

But at the same time this is very difficult for China because the latest survey, the (INAUDIBLE) survey shows that export orders were down for China so the revenues are down. The economy shrank 6.8 percent. The worst performance in nearly three decades.

So they have a pretty decent argument to say we are in a recession. Our order books going outbound are not strong from the United States and Europe. Yet, you are telling us we have to live to the letter of that agreement of $200 billion. I would imagine within a week or 10 days' time, the Trump administration will come and bang this drum again saying you're not living to the spirit of the agreement.

Even the Chinese are suggesting they are mixing the two here which is not helping bilateral relations.

VAUSE: John -- thank you. John Defterios there with the analysis of what is happening with China and the U.S. with that trade deal. Thanks -- John.

Well, the coronavirus has changed so many parts of our lives. (INAUDIBLE) handshakes are on hold, so too, hugs. No more kissing on each cheek when you greet someone in Paris.

Brian Todd takes a look at now what behaviors will be around long after the pandemic is gone. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At a hair salon in Germany, customers and stylist wear masks. A stylist carefully clips around the man's mask strap.

At a bakery in Houston, masks are worn on both sides of the counter. Hand sanitizer is right there by the touchscreen.

America's top health experts are saying after the worst of this pandemic has passed, many of these practices may well stay with us.

DR. TOM FRIEDEN, FORMER CDC DIRECTOR: When we go out, it's not going to be back to normal. It's going to be to a new normal with hand sanitizer and perhaps face masks, we're spreading widely and no touched doors and no touch elevator buttons and lots of ways to engineer risk out of our lives.

TODD: Public health experts hope people keep wearing face masks in public after this and the next waves of coronavirus pass. At least for several months. Much like millions of people in Asia did for years after the SARS outbreak passed in the early 2000s.

And experts say Americans can get used to them.

PROF. ALEXANDRA PHELAN, GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERT, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: It is possible that as people get more comfortable wearing masks here in the United States that we will see that acceptance. and that we will see people feel more comfortable wearing masks in the future particularly during flu seasons.

TODD: Top physicians say it is important to remember what masks are used for -- usually not to prevent you from giving COVID-19, but to prevent you from transmitting it to others if you are infected.

DR. PETER HOTEZ, DEAN OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Just through the act of speaking, you are actually shedding virus into the environment and that mask keeps those virus particles from spreading any appreciable distance. So you greatly reduce the likelihood that you are going to spread virus into a place of work or if you're at a restaurant.

TODD: Masks have become so critical that cottage industries have popped off to get them in circulation, and sports gear manufacturers, and clothing lines like Brooks Brothers and Gap have pivoted to mask- making.

But many are still resisting mask wearing and flouting distancing guidelines like at this Cinco de Mayo gathering in Jacksonville.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Six feet means different things to many people.

TODD: But officials say distancing has to be part of the new normal. And as for handshakes, America's leading voice in this pandemic says never again. DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND

INFECTIOUS DISEASES: As a society, just forget about shaking hands. We don't need to shake hands. We have got to break -- we've got to break that custom.

TODD: And one expert says there are practices we haven't thought about during this pandemic that we should get ready to adopt.

HOTEZ: We are finding people who have been in places where there is a lot of virus around like in hospitals have significant amount of virus on their shoes. So, possibly taking off our shoes when we walk in houses. That may become kind of a new normal.

TODD: Dr. Peter Hotez says another part of the new normal may very well be that we get used to hearing from our top scientists more and more, maybe even looking to them more than our elected leaders.

He says for decades, scientists have been largely invisible. But now and going forward, they may very well become some of our most popular public voices.

Brian Todd, CNN -- Washington.


VAUSE: Deserted beaches and empty nightclubs, it seems the party is over for the ultimate party town, Ibiza, at least for a while, that is.

But will the good times return? Once the pandemic is gone?



VAUSE: Brazil has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Latin America with 10,000 new infections in just 24 hours. 8,500 people have died there and the President Jair Bolsonaro is facing some harsh criticism for the way he's responded to this pandemic.

He has repeatedly attended large political rallies. He called for an anti-quarantine measures across the country.

This is the time of year when the Spanish island of Ibiza would be gearing up to welcome millions of tourists from around the world. But the coronavirus has ruined the party.

CNN's Scott McLean looks at how the island's popular nightclubs are now adjusting to a new reality.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If Ibiza is known for one thing, it's this -- the pulsing music, near constant sunshine and beautiful beaches attract tourists by the boatload. Packing in the harbor front, the streets of the old town and, of course, the clubs. This year all, of the biggest venues were promoting the most famous names in house music -- Guetta, Van Buren, Black Coffee. 2020 was building up to be a banner year.

Then COVID-19 arrived.

Looks like the morning after a pretty wild night out.

ROBERTO DE LOPE, CLUB MANAGER: It's quite like a hangover.

MCLEAN: Roberto de Lope is a club manager for the company that runs High Nightclub and Ushuaia which holds 7,000 people.

DE LOPE: We already make, this decision is here. The summer's here. And there are no flights. There are no boats. There's no movement between borders in Europe. It's quite difficult. It's really difficult.

MCLEAN: Especially when your business involves thousands of people packed shoulder to shoulder on a dance floor as. Even when Spain lifts its lockdown, its new normal will still so require social distancing.

Is there any way to social distance at a nightclub?

DE LOPE: No. There is no way to do this without any vaccine.

MCLEAN: In the meantime, de Lope's boss is working on a virtual reality clubbing experience. The famous Pacha Club is hosting literal house parties. Famous DJs spinning on Zoom for thousands in their living rooms.

VICENTE MARI, PRESIDENT OF IBIZA ISLAND COUNCIL: The impact has been terrible. The only industry we have is the touristic industry. So now there is no people coming.

MCLEAN: Vicente Mari is the president of the island which welcomes more than three million visitors every year. The vast majority from abroad.

Cut off from the mainland by the Mediterranean, Ibiza has had only had 186 cases and 13 deaths. Mari wants to see tourists return ASAP, just not the virus.

MARI: It's necessary to make controls in all the airports to control the people who come is free of the virus.

MCLEAN: Testing.

MARI: The testing is the only way to have tourism again.

MCLEAN: Until then, Ibiza's nightlife will have to wait.

DE LOBO: Without music, and at the same time without clubs it's different. I mean you can't enjoy Ibiza for sure, but you are not going to feel the same. You are not going to feel the real Ibiza.

MCLEAN: Scott McLean, CNN -- Ibiza, Spain.


VAUSE: We've been told not all superheroes wear capes but for the street artist Banksy, they really do. He donated this new painting to the University Hospital of Southampton in the U.K. through the child playing with a nurse doll wearing a cape.

That man is Spider-Man though, these are go-to guys, they are totally ignored. The hospital with Banksy's approval is calling the piece painting for saints -- a good way to say thank you.

Well, not every sporting event, professional or otherwise, is on hold. There is one baseball game which seems well worth watching.

Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos with the play-by-play.



JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was the home run that hit home, not so much because of the ball -- going over the fence, as for the dad going out of his mind.

Corey Willig, himself a former professional baseball player and now instructor, celebrated his son's first home run. Celebrated it for longer than it took four-year-old Asher to circle the bases.

COREY WILLIG, FORMER BASEBALL PLAYER: I was ecstatic because I know how much went into this. I know how many swings he has taken.

MOOS: During our interview, Asher was the MVP of mugging for the camera, giving us a look in his mouth, at his teeth, even showing a little shoulder.

Father and son had spent quarantine time practicing in front of their home. Asher hitting with such gusto someone wondered "how are the House's windows still intact".

The home run happened the same day Georgia's stay at home order was lifted.

WILLIG: He had so much energy balled up, and he just wanted to get out there and go.

MOOS: Asher has plenty of swagger on deck. He likes to tap the plate, and he loves to flip the bat.

This baseball prodigy went viral once before. At 22 months, his bat handling got him invited on Jimmy Fallon's show for a hitting contest with A-Rod. A contest that Asher ostensibly won with A-Rod predicting


MOOS: Asked to react to his first homer, this slugger of few words pronounced himself.


MOOS: His father's pitching is --

A. WILLIG: Fast.

MOOS: And what he wants to be when he grows up?

A. WILLIG: Acuna.

MOOS: That would be Ronald Acuna, Jr. -- star outfielder of the Atlanta Braves who applauded Asher's homerun with emojis.

But watch your back, Acuna --

A. WILLIG: Bomb's away.

MOOS: -- it's bomb's away all right -- even if it is his dad who detonates.

Jeanne Moos, CNN -- New York.


VAUSE: Some good things do come from a lockdown.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. News continues right here on CNN after a short break.