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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  March 25, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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antibodies. go back to work. >> the number of icu cases -- >> i'm sorry, i cut off jessie, and when i cut off jesse, then he gets annoyed at me and then i pay for the next -- >> the number of icu spaces today is a third of the -- or a third of the icu beds that are currently available in the state. do we still not have a bigger idea as to how much the availability of those beds currently is? so, it's 3,000 minus 888 -- >> the icu beds for our purposes are beds with ventilators, okay? that's really -- we can create today more icu beds with ventilators we already have in house, right? so, we have 14,000 ventilatorve. if we had to today, we could create 14,000 ventilated beds, if we were bumping up against
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capacity. is that right? >> that's correct. i think the term icu bed in this world that we're living in right now is different. and so, a recovery room with a ventilator is an icu bed. and so, i think that just fixing on the exact numbers, but we have asked all the hospitals for that information as well. >> but the state only has about 7,000 licensed respiratory therapists. we have 160 that have signed up. what's -- are there plans to try to increase that number? these are the experts that sort of get people breathing. >> we put out a call for about 1.2 million additional health care workers to come to new york state. that's going on a rolling basis, so you'll see many of these numbers, which the governor presented today increase exponentially as those calls are going out. it's not just in state. we've also asked for out-of-state retirees. we've had health care workers volunteer from connecticut, new jersey, and other parts of the country as well.
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and now we're arranging for them to come to this area as needed. >> if you noticed on that list, there was respiratory therapists who have volunteered as well. >> just to piggyback on that question, we've seen reports from federal sources saying that basically new york city will run out of icu beds by friday. are you seeing similar reports and are you reacting to those? >> no, i didn't see those reports. i'm reacting to the numbers that we have. and you saw the numbers. the current number of icu beds with ventilators, that's one number. if you bring, jesse, the ventilators we have in hand and add those to beds, that number goes up 14,000. >> and how quickly will that happen? >> we can move them, you know, in a day. >> when you say they're in stockpile, is that a stockpile here in albany, close to new york city? >> stockpile here -- there are multiple stockpiles, which we did when we ramped up the whole
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disaster emergency management system. so, we have multiple stockpiles. we have these praised in multiple stockpiles, where you have to go to the city. there's a shorter trip. we have a stockpile on long island, a stockpile mid-hudson valley, stockpile in albany, stockpile in my basement, just in case the stockpile runs out. >> -- haven't had trouble filling that out as of yet? >> we have had the icu -- we have the ventilators in the stockpiles. we have not brought them from the stockpile to a hospital because we don't have a hospital who has called up and said, "i need a ventilated bed." >> how concerned are you -- >> where are these reserved medical providers being deployed? are they being deployed to the front lines? are they being sent to work in other parts of the hospital? >> the workers? >> the reserve medical providers who are being called up and asked to volunteer? >> they are not yet being deployed. i'll ask, if i'm incorrect, he can correct me, which he enjoys doing. i don't believe they're being deployed yet.
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they are reserve in case -- well, first, they're reserved for two purposes. you open new beds, you now need staff for the new beds. we open up a dormitory, 200 beds. now you need staff to do the 200 beds. or you have a hospital that has a severe shortage of workers because of hours or sickness. we would backfill. but jim, i don't believe we're now deploying the reserves. >> that's correct. >> are you concerned -- should we be concerned at all about the rollbacks of some regulations? you know, recordkeeping, medical malpractice protections and other, you know, regulations that have been rolled back? >> doctor? >> we're looking at those issues as well. there are some concerns that have been raised, but as we mentioned, and at previous press conferences, the governor said that we should look at our rules and regulations and adapt accordingly, so we're going to do that as well. >> governor -- >> if we did waive -- i was on the phone with all of the hospital administrators. the department of health -- i'm
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going to say this in a nice way, don't worry. the department of health has multiple regulations to run the best health system in the united states of america, and those regulations make it so. the regulations can sometimes get in the way of expedition and facilitation and mobilization. so, we said in this case, we're going to relax many of the regulations so they can staff up, they can increase capacity. you know, you ask a hospital to double capacity. we have all sorts of space regulations, you have to -- so, you need flexibility for them to do what we're asking them to do. >> governor, how concerned are you the cure is worse than the disease mentality? >> governor, do you -- >> i'm confused. >> do you plan to work on new york city -- [ inaudible ] >> if i need to work with new
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york city, but rikers is run by new york city. did you have a point? >> no. i was just going to say, new york city is already doing that on their own, so it's not something that they need us on. but we talk to new york city 77 times a day, so if that conversation needs to be had, it will be had. >> 78, to be accurate. >> do they face that technical error -- >> no. [ inaudible ] >> do you plan to -- >> i can. you need to be a congressperson. you need to be a senator. i've communicated with all of them. i understand the washington bureaucracy. i was there. but i passed bills when i was hud secretary. i know how hard it is. but i also know how high the stakes are here. you look at the loss in the revenue, what you guys have been talking about to me. how do you do a state budget with that dramatic loss in
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revenue? and rob ma heijeeka is saying t the federal government is going to offer a stimulus package that offers additional funding to state governments. okay, here's the package. it gives us $3.8 billion. the hole is as big as, as high as $15 billion. how do you plug a $15 billion hole with $3.8 billion? you don't. >> thank you, governor. how do you respond to the mentality out there, the philosophy that the cure is worse than the disease and the suggestion by the president that he might want to open up the country by easter? >> look, i believe -- it's part language, right? nobody will say it is sustainable to keep the economy closed. it is not sustainable. we all get that. china got it. south korea got it. et cetera. that's point one.
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point two, everyone agrees, i believe, in this state, we do everything we can to save a life. we are not going to triage and say, well, these were old people, these were vulnerable people, they had to die sometime soon anyway, so let's move on. i don't believe any american believes that. i know new yorkers don't believe that. and as governor of the state of new york, i can swear to you, i would never do that. so, then you have two parallel thoughts. you have to get the economy running and you have to protect every life that you can. i believe there's a more refined strategy than we are now talking about. i don't think it's binary.
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i don't think you close down the whole economy, which is what we did. i did, too. and then open up the whole society to business as usual. we now have learned that there's a risk stratification quotient. younger people have less risk. people who had the virus and are resolved have less risk. start that economy by bringing in those recovered people, those younger people who are less at risk, and start moving that machine that way. start restarting the economy that way, which is also the best public health strategy, right? to the extent you have a young person who's going out to the park, not playing basketball, because they're not allowed to do that, but they're going out, they're talking to friends, et cetera. they're then coming back into the house with an older person.
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that is not a good public health strategy. so, there is a path that refines the public health strategy and starts growing the economy, and i think that's what we have to work through. >> -- roll back restrictions to you? >> go ahead. >> will the feds roll back their restrictions? does that affect you? i mean, do you automatically roll back? do you keep in place according to your -- >> the federal government has done guidelines. they call them guidelines because they are guidelines. and then states can follow the guidelines. states can fashion the guidelines to fit their specific circumstance. there's no doubt that new york has a different and bigger problem than anywhere else in the country, right? that's every number you see. that's every fact you know. so, there's no doubt. we have a greater challenge here
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in new york -- density, numbers, and one of the most intense economies. so, that all has to be taken into consideration, and i don't think there is any cookie cutter -- you know, what works for new york i don't know necessarily is going to work for tulsa or san antonio, so we'll come up with a plan that works for new york. and the federal government isn't saying we mandate anything. they say we're offering guidelines. >> what do you make of the president's team saying that anyone who's visited new york city should self-quarantine for two weeks? and second question, will you self-quarantine, since you were in new york city yesterday? >> self-quarantine in new york state? >> the president's team said anyone who traveled to new york city should self-quarantine for two weeks. >> in new york. >> in new york city. >> no, i don't think -- if you were in new york city, you must quarantine in new york state. you don't have to go back to new york city to quarantine. i'm going to quarantine in new
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york state. >> what do you make of that victim and what will he -- >> that is a medical advisory. most important thing in life is to know what you don't know. i don't know medicine. i would turn to the doctor. >> so, i think you need to follow the cdc guidelines, and the cdc guidelines recommend that you stay a distance away, social distancing as well, whether it's in new york or not. and this is beyond new york, as the governor's mentioned. it's not just in new york that these cases. >> the feds are saying that if you've been in new york city, you should quarantine for two weeks, right? >> i would not follow that. i believe that you should follow the guidelines in general that you should social distance. and if you were in new york and you go somewhere else -- these cases are all over the country. it's not just new york. we are at the forefront, as the governor has said, but it's elsewhere. >> last question because you're so polite and you wait and you -- >> to rate the budget, is new
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york going to have to resort to emergency loans? if so, what would that look like? and you know -- things like [ inaudible ] >> if we don't get more funding from the feds, i don't know how we write the budget. and that's why this senate bill is so troublesome. i know the politics of play nice and don't say any -- don't put any pressure on any other elected official. otherwise, they'll say you have sharp elbows and you don't play nice in the sand box. this is not a time to play nice in the sandbox. i represent the people of the state of new york. i get paid to represent them. i'm an attorney. i'm an advocate. i'm a new yorker born and bred. i'm new york tough. if you are hurting the people of
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the state, i'm going to do everything i can do to defend them, and i'm going to fight for the people of new york to the best of my ability. and we need more federal help than this bill gives us. the house bill would have given us $17 billion. the senate bill gives us $3 billion. i mean, that's a dramatic, dramatic difference. i'm going to go to work. thank you very much, guys! >> i'm john king. you've been listening to the governor, andrew cuomo of new york, "we are still on the way up the mountain." that is governor cuomo's message this morning, meaning coronavirus cases in his state, especially new york city area, keep climbing. the governor says the virus now hospitalizing more people more often than the initial state projections had predicted, but there are some early signs, the governor says, that the
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stay-at-home orders might be working in new york. the rate of doubling hospitalizations is down some. let's get straight to new york and cnn's shimon prokupecz. he says there is data that shows it may be getting a little better, but looking ahead two or three weeks from now, worried about his hospital capacity. >> reporter: that's exactly right, john, and the apex is the key thing. this is all what we keep hearing from the governor. they are preparing for that apex. but we should talk about some of the good news, some of the good signs here. certainly, one of the most important things in all of this is that the social -- the density, the social distancing is working, and they're seeing signs of that. remember that hotspot in westchester, in new rochelle. we've all been there. i was out there. he says that they're seeing signs that the rate of infection is actually decreasing there because of the steps that they've taken. so, there are good signs. there are good signs that social
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distancing is working. there are also signs that the rate of hospitalization is decreasing. it doesn't mean that more people aren't going to get infected. it doesn't mean that more people aren't going to get sick and need hospitalization. but the point is, he feels that right now, given what they're doing, there are signs that some of these methods are working. and i think it's very important to note that. of course, the big concern is the ventilators. the governor's saying that they still need more ventilators, and that is something that is top priority, and they are working on that. he also says that there is, right now, there is enough protective equipment for the nurses and the doctors at the hospitals. it is going forward in the weeks to come that they're going to need more of this, and that is something else that they are working on. a few other things, some stats here, john, and i think it's important to note, the number of hospitalizations. over 3,000 across the state.
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and of course, the number of people in the intensive care units. that is the number that is probably the most important number and why they need more ventilators. that number is going up. we are now at over 800 people who are hospitalized, who need ventilators. they are in these intensive care units. so, again, that is why we are hearing from the governor that ventilators, ventilators, ventilators. this is something that they need and they are going to continue to work on that. also positive signs. you know, he's complimenting the president, and the president's team, they're working together. jared kushner is someone he's been in touch with who's been working with the governor. so, yes, there's still a lot more work to do. there's still a lot more that the state and that the city needs, but he says there are signs, at least for now, that things are working. so, some hope, but of course, we are nowhere near out of the woods here. there's still a lot to come. and as you said, john, it's that apex. we are anywhere from two to three weeks away from that, and that is when we can see significant more issues come
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along, john. >> and to that point, shimon, you're in new york today. you've spent some time in washington. politics is a funny business, even, it seems, in the middle of a global pandemic. on the question of the federal government helping new york state, i want you to listen here. we talked about this yesterday. governor cuomo tuesday versus governor cuomo wednesday. >> only the federal government has that power. and not to exercise that power is inexplicable to me. i do not for the life of me understand the reluctance to use the federal defense production act. the president and his team, i think, are using the dpa well, because it's basically a form -- it's a leverage tool when you're dealing with private companies. >> um, those are two very different people and that's the same man. >> reporter: i certainly sense a different tone in listening to him today from yesterday.
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yesterday, we were in a very dire situation and sobering to hear the numbers as he was describing the apex, of course, putting pressure, going after the administration, saying that they needed more help. it seems that, perhaps, maybe something has changed. he was very complimentary of the president. he mentioned jared kushner. he mentioned that he spoke to administration people last night. he's been in talks with them today. he did say that they were sending more ventilators. so, perhaps there's some movement of negotiation that the governor has had with the administration. he also knows that he needs to play nice, right? we all know, having covered the president long enough now, that you have to play nice sometimes, and what you say publicly is just as important as what you say privately to the president. so, we could be seeing a different tone here from the governor because of that. look, you know, it's very clear that he's trying to work through
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this, he's trying to work with the administration, and we'll see. the point in all of this, of course, is the ventilators. that is the key thing here, john. that is what he wants. that is what he needs. and that is what this state is going to need in the days to come, john. >> all right, pretty vivid display there, the golden rule of the trump age, which is praise of the president on television gets you farther and may get you more results than criticism of the president on television. shimon prokupecz, appreciate your frontline reporting in new york. joining me now to consider the conversation, dr. carlos del rio with medicine and global health at emory university in atlanta and our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. sanjay, let me start with you on the question of the good news from the governor. he says the doubling of the hospitalization rate has slowed quite significantly. he also said, look, it's only several days' data, so let's be careful. let's not get too optimistic, if you will, but he does seem to think that the social distancing in new york is starting to work. is that a valid bet or is it too soon to tell? >> well, you know, i think that there is some encouraging signs
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here because you want to look not just at how quickly the numbers are growing, but as you point out, the governor pointed out, the pace at which they are growing as well. so, a lot of people look at this doubling rate, right, just trying to predict how many resources they're going to need. so, for example, you say there is some 800 patients in the hospital, you know, and you say it's doubling every four days or so. you start doing the quick math, after a couple of weeks, the number you're going to arrive at is around 30,000, 40,000. so, that's where they're sort of thinking about these, you knoek the projection for the ventilators, for example, but you've got to use the best data you have. hopefully, the inertia, if you will, john, of this growth starts to slow down. point, butt the numbers. it's how the numbers change as far as a trend goes, and that's at least encouraging, but let's see how the next few days go as well, john. >> let's see how the next few days goes. dr. del rio, comment on that point. when you listen to the governor, he says by far, his state ten
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times the next state. his position is he's the canary in the coal mine and this is definitely moving elsewhere. do we know that to be true or is new york unique in terms of its density and in the number of these cases? >> well, i think that new york is unique, but it's also no different than many other cities, so i think he is right, he is the canary in the coal mine, and many of us in cities like atlanta are simply seeing the same phenomena, just a couple days behind. so, we're trying to do the things that he's been doing in cities like atlanta to prevent us from getting there. i think we've all learned throughout this crisis what happened somewhere. i mean, we could have learned a lot from italy and done a lot of things before now. we could have learned a lot from korea. we could have done a lot of things they've done in testing. so, implementing lessons learned i think is something that really has failed across this crisis over and over and over. >> sanjay, as you listen to the briefing there, both the governor and his state health director, dr. zucker, essentially contradicting the white house task force, the recommendation that anyone
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that's been to new york city in recent days should self-quarantine for 14 days. they seem to say, look, that's not in the cdc guidelines, we don't take -- just social distance. you don't need to self-quarantine. whose advice is best? >> well, look, you know, i was surprised by this advice when i heard it yesterday at first from ambassador birx and then it came up again i think at the press conference. it doesn't make a lot of sense to me. i mean, first of all, as dr. zucker, howard zucker, i believe, the commissioner there in new york, pointed out, there is cases, you know, everywhere around the country. so, you know, is there a reason to sort of, in this case, single out new york? yes, new york has the most cases, they're earlier on the curve, but as dr. del rio just said, these other cities are just a few days behind. second of all, we should all sort of be quarantining, right? as much as you can, work from home. kids are home from school. you know, don't go out as much. that has been the general advice. i guess lot of other people, somebody
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flies to florida, if they have to -- again, for some particular reason -- in florida, so the person is then supposed to quarantine in florida? is that going to work? is it really going to be enforced? you know, the virus is here, john. it's spreading. that's clear. the numbers that we're looking at, they are numbers that reflect the image of this country 10 to 14 days ago. it has spread a lot over the last 10 to 14 days and i don't know that singling out new york city for quarantine makes sense in that regard. everyone should be doing this. >> well, dr. del rio, comment on that point. my point, as someone who doesn't understand the science as well as you two doctors do, is consistency of messaging from political leadership. if one group says something and the white house and another group says something in albany, new york, that's confusion to someone who doesn't understand the science, who's not a medical pro, could impact their health. >> well, absolutely right. and the problem is that in a rapidly moving epidemic, as you showed previously, even with the governor, what i said today may
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not be what i tell you tomorrow. and things are changing very rapidly and our messaging are changing. when i heard this from ambassador birx yesterday, i was in my mind saying, well, what does she know about cases going to other states that needs to be communicated? and is she telling us that message because she has some data that we haven't seen? so, i think when you talk about crisis communication, transparency, timeliness, truth is really very important. so, we have to hear consistency, but we also need the information to be done transparently and in a timely manner. >> sanjay, one more quick one on the issue of things change everyday. i understand there's new science about the potential mutation of the coronavirus? what do we know? >> yeah, no, i think this is potentially very good news, or at least good news, john. i mean, there's always a concern that this virus is going to mutate. people worry that it's going to mutate into something deadlier. that actually doesn't happen very often, but that is often people's concern. what they're learning -- and again, always with humility,
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john, because these are early days, but what they're learning so far is there doesn't appear to be a lot of genetic change with this virus. it appears to be relatively stable. now, here's really why that's important, is because as you know, they're working on vaccines now, you know. several different candidates for a vaccine. they've got to basically predict, what is this virus going to look like a year from now, or at least several months from now, and make the best vaccine for that. if the virus stays stable, then their bet, they're hedging their bets a little bit, but it's going to be more likely to be accurate and have a more effective vaccine. so, stability of a virus good for the future of vaccine, john. >> learning new things every day. dr. del rio, dr. gupta, appreciate it very much. the most important thing to do, get facts and insights for us. coming up, what the $2 trillion stimulus package means for you and your bank account and if it's enough to help the american economy.
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capitol hill, trying to get the new coronavirus stimulus deal through quickly. the top republican and top democrat of the united states senate both working the phones today, urging their members to opt for the path of least resistance, unanimous consent, to quickly schedule a vote. the top-line number, $2 trillion, is unprecedented. but more important is where that money goes and how big a slice americans, now in economic distress, will be able to pocket. who gets what also raises big questions about who will need more cash next time and what a phase four stimulus response will try to remedy. joining our conversation, rana, let me start with you. when you look at this massive bill, to you, what is the most important element to prop up an economy that is teetering? >> you know, i look and i'm really happy that we've got some protections for workers, some, you know, barriers and some conditions for large companies that are getting bailed out, and most importantly, some protections for small and
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midsized firms, which are 81% of payroll in the u.s. you know, when i look back to the lessons of the great financial crisis, one that really strikes me is that we bailed out big companies and we didn't help individuals. and this is a different scenario, but i think it's really, really important for both economic and political reasons that we help the little guy right now. >> and diane, to that point, help the little guy right now includes essentially a federal supplement for state unemployment benefits, extra money, an extra month, now four months as well, more money. as many people are, as we've seen in small businesses, we've seen in the automobile industry, the airline industry, restaurant industry, everybody out there right now losing their jobs. why does that make a difference? >> it's really important to sort of -- it's the lifeboats to travers the tainted waters. we need to keep people afloat so at the other side of the crisis there's an economy to rebound from. and it will be a slow ramp-up. it's not going to turn on like a spigot. i think it's very important, though, to keep people
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financially intact, not just able to cover just their minimum rent and shelter and food costs, but more broadly as a small business point was made. i absolutely agree, these small businesses can't go under as of no fault of their own. no small business has enough money to brinl this kind of nuclear bomb on their cash flow, and i think that's very important to understand as well. i would add, and it's something that the governor made the point about, is the money for the states is far too little. and you made the point about a phase four. i'm getting tired of phases, but the reality is, the amount of money that they're offering to the state -- [ inaudible ] >> i think we're losing some connectivity there with diane. the point she was trying to make was that -- and rana, jump in, please -- you heard governor cuomo saying i may have a $15 billion hole in my budget because i've shut down my entire
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economy and washington is sending me $3.8 billion. i need more. >> 147bd%. and what's the biggest downside? not enough help for state and local governments. you know, there's so many reasons for this. first of all, this unfolding state by state. the governor in new york thinks we probably won't even reach the peak for another couple of weeks. the rest of the country is going to be behind that. and at the same time, if you look at what's happening in the financial markets, we actually have a major municipal bond crisis that's about to hit, so these states, many states were not in good shape to begin with, they are overwhelmed. and the truth is that in america, most of things like health care, education, a lot of things are done at the local and state level, so it's so important right now that they get what they need. >> phase three now. i suspect there will be a phase four, a phase five, where this one's going to be with us for months and months. appreciate it. diane swonk, sorry we lost that connection. that's part of the issue in the age we are in. next, one colorado town
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as communities and states demand more access to coronavirus testing, one rural county in colorado says it will soon be able to test every single one of its 8,000 residents. the kits being donated to san miguel county come from united biomedical, whose two executives live part time in telluride, the county's popular resort town. unlike the common nasal swabs, the technique involves a blood test to identify whether a patient has antibodies that can neutralize this virus. officials say they're offering
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tests to first responders and their families first and hope then to offer them to residents starting early next week. with me now is dr. deanne e a cullinger. walk me through how you think this will work and why it is so important. >> hi, john. thanks for having us today. well, we're here in san miguel county in southwest colorado, and we have been given this amazing opportunity to add another arm of testing to what we've already been doing in our county. our hope is to do this blood test, which specifically is a test for antibodies to the covid-19 virus, and we are hoping to conduct this on all of the members of san miguel county once and then again in 14 to 16 days to give us a better idea of the burden of this virus in our
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community. >> what do you know currently and what are your big questions that you hope, if you have this wide-scale testing? you'll be able to answer sort of what's behind the current that you don't know today? >> so, there's a lot of unknowns right now, in our community and all around the country and the world. what i do know is that we have been able to do some pcr testing, so the nasal swab testing that everybody's talking about. we have been able to do about 150 in our county in the past several weeks. unfortunately, we've only gotten about 22 of those test results back, one of which is a confirmed positive. but truly because of the lack of availability of that type of test as well as the slow turnaround time, because labs
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are over worked and unable to keep up with the demand, we really don't have an accurate understanding of the presence of covid-19 in our county. we're hoping that this blood test is going to give us a better understanding of the prevalence in our county right now and then moving forward in a couple of weeks when we do the second round of testing. >> i hope we can bring you back in, when you have those numbers, so we can match them up and see the lessons we're learning. it's a great little experiment you're blessed to have there. hopefully, we'll bring you back and talk about in a little bit. appreciate it. >> we'd love to do that. thanks. >> thank you. the united states still has time to avoid becoming the next epicenter of the coronavirus, if officials take the steps, the right steps, right now. things like ramping up testing and quarantining. that message this morning from the world health organization. and it comes as officials in the uk and across europe implement their own restrictions now to clamp down on the movement of citizens. the uk now in its second day of
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a nationwide lockdown. that's where we find bianca nobilo. you're near some key military bases. how are the troops getting involved here? >> reporter: well, as in many countries around the world, as we're seeing, john, the military are now being called in to support the battle against coronavirus. i'm about a mile away from sandhurst, which is considered to be the home of the british army. the army have been used so far to try and transport important ppe equipment to nhs hospitals and critical medics who are on the front line of battling this. at the moment, about 20,000 soldiers have been stationed as ready to fight this battle. they're part of the so-called corona force in the uk, with 10,000 of those on heightened level of readiness. they're also going to be helping to logistically build those hospitals as well. we had announced in the united kingdom that one of the most prominent conference centers, the excel centre in london, is
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now going to be converted to essentially a field hospital that they've called nhs nightingale. so, the soldiers will be helping with that, too. but we've seen harrowing scenes now across europe with the military assisting in italy. they've called for the help of the u.s. military as well to try and get that critical protective equipment in the hands of their medics. and we've seen italian army trucks transporting bodies and coffins to try and take the strain off the local morgues who are just overwhelmed. the military also being involved in other countries now to enforce these lockdowns. as you mention, we're now under a lockdown or a near partial -- a partial lockdown here in the united kingdom, which the army may well have to assist with as the police are going to have to focus on making sure that people don't violate those key restrictions. >> bianca nobilo, appreciate that. it's an important reminder, this is worldwide, a worldwide, complex issue being dealt with. bianca, appreciate it very much. the number of confirmed coronavirus cases here in the
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united states have surged as access to testing expands. from a little over 4,000 on march 16th to more than 52,000 as of yesterday. as those numbers climb, unfortunately, so does the death toll. still, the u.s. death rate currently well below some of the hardest hit countries like italy. director of harvard global institute, dr. shaw, welcome back. i want to look at the death rate right there, why the united states is there in the middle, not as bad as some countries, not as good as south korea, for example. do we know why or is it too early to figure out exactly what's happening here? >> well, look, italy has had a horrible death rate because their health systems got completely overwhelmed. south korea had a very good death rate because they were able to get ahead of it. where we end up will really depend on what we do in the upcoming days and weeks. if we can keep our hospitals open, we can keep enough beds available, we're going to get through it okay. but if we end up in italy's situation with overwhelmed hospitals, our death rates are going to start climbing and
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match those of italy. >> well, i know from speaking to you in recent days that your opinion is the way we keep from getting to that point. it is with social distancing. it is with keeping tough restrictions in place. the world health organization says the united states could be the next epicenter but doesn't have to be. at the same time, the president's saying maybe 10, 12 days from now, we could start to dial it back. who's right and what needs to be done? >> yeah, so, look, whether we can dial it back in a couple of weeks is going to completely depend on the facts on the ground. how many tests we're doing, what the status of the infection is. it's hard for me to see how we get there in two weeks, but the president is right, we're going to have to at some point dial it back, but we've got to get more aggressive on testing. we've got to keep it down. like, we really do have to have a national pause, a national lockdown. and then we have to let the data tell us when it's okay to let go. >> and does the data tell us anything now? to the president's point -- and he's perfectly correct and responsible in saying, let's
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look around the country. maybe there are some places that are not hit as hard where we could ease restrictions here, even if we still have a big problem in new york, even if we still have a big problem in washington state. i think you just heard me talking to a medical person in the tiny little county in colorado. do we know enough now to know, is it guaranteed, as the governor of new york says, that he's the canary in the coal mine and this is going everywhere? or are there places in the united states that you look at now curiously saying, why are they not having as big of a problem, what can we learn? >> when i look across the u.s., what i see is a lot of communities heading towards where new york is today. so, i'm deeply worried about new orleans and louisiana, atlanta, parts of florida, new jersey. i don't want to list them all, but the point, is there are a lot of communities heading that way. what we need to do is if we get extensive testing, john, there will be communities where the infection rate is low and transmission rates are low, and those communities could unpause, but again, monitor carefully. but this is not going to be
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restricted to new york or l.a. this is going to be many, many communities fighting this at the same time. but we need data to help us decide those things. we can't just do it willy-nilly and hope that it will work out. >> how far away are we from having enough testing to get the data that you would find reliable? >> that is the -- i guess a $2 trillion question, right? it's the key question. we're up to about 65,000, 70,000 tests a day right now. my estimation is we should be doing two to three times that. how quickly do we get there? i'm hoping in the next ten days to two weeks. but it just depends on how quickly we get to ramp up. and then it's not just the number of tests. we've got to be testing smartly. we've got to be testing different groups. we've got to know how much transmission is happening, so there's a lot of work to do. i do think we can get there in two to three weeks, but this is like if everything works well. >> well, let's hope everything does work well, after some early
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missteps. that would be a nice stretch if we had such a thing. dr. jha, again, appreciate your insights and help getting through this. new york governor cuomo says social distancing might be working but warns that the stimulus money coming from the government's stimulus plan is not enough. we'll get the views of kirsten gillibrand, next.
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new york governor cuomo insisting his state will not have enough ventilators and getting that vital equipment is his state's single greatest challenge. >> right now, what we're looking at is about 140,000 cases coming into the hospitals. hospital capacity's 53,000 beds. that's a problem. we're looking at about 40,000 icu cases coming into the hospitals. we have about 3,000 icu beds.
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that's a challenge. what is an icu bed for these purposes? basically, a bed with a ventilator. the ventilator is the most critical piece of equipment for an intensive care unit bed. because this is a respiratory illness and people need more ventilation than usual. >> new york democratic senator kirsten gillibrand is with me now from capitol hill. senator, good to see you. obviously wish it was a different circumstance. when you hear your governor make this urgent appeal, what can you do? what can be done here in washington to move the powers that are necessary to get new york what it needs before it's too late? >> well, right now we care most about the health and well-being of our citizens. and we are trying to get the supplies and the medical supplies specifically into the hands of the doctors and nurses that need it. one thing we are doing here is the defense protection act. we've put $1 billion to create a federalized, nationalized
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medical supply chain. there are ventilators that the armed services has that are going to be made to new york hospitals as well as masks, millions of masks they have in reserve will be made available to the state. but what we're trying to do right now is just to make as many families and workers whole so they can pay their bills, so they can put food on the table. families are so stressed out right now. they are so worried. they are so fearful, and they're doing what they're being asked to do, which is to stay home. that's what each of us can do to help win this war against covid-19. and this money that we are putting forward's going to allow a lot more people to get the care they need to get the funds they need, and to make sure their businesses don't go out of business. >> i assume -- i know the leaders are making calls today trying to get the stimulus through the senate as quickly as possible. help us understand. do you know the current state of play? will there be a vote today? will this be unanimous consent? >> yes, i believe there will be a vote and it will be unanimous or near unanimous and then will
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go to the house for a similar vote. hopefully they can do it on consent. what the bill has in it that's meaningful is there's a marshall plan for our hospitals, to get the ventilators, to get the masks, to get the gowns, to get the equipment, to make sure they can stay in business and able to treat the patients. i've talked to almost every head of our hospitals throughout new york. they are accessing more icu beds. they are taking away regular surgeries, things that are not emergency, so they can make those icu beds available. we are building facilities. our governor is making sure the javits center is going to have beds. we are using suny dormitories to be beds for people who need it because the schools are closed to the end of the year. so, it's really an all hands on deck moment, and new yorkers are coming together, as the rest of the country is, to do what's necessary to protect our most vulnerable and to make sure they get the care they need and to protect our critical workforce. >> your governor was quite critical of the bill in terms of how much the $2 trillion -- and wow, that's a big price tag --
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but how much the $2 trillion does for state governments. he says new york's got a hole in its budget, $10 billion, co-go to $15 billion because of the economic shutdown and he'll get $3.8 billion. a, will you fight to get him more? and i assume that would be part of phase four, that you're not going to hold up this bill now to go back and deal about some of the complaints you're getting not just from your governors, but other governors as well? >> correct. this bill is very helpful, but it's just the first step. this is going to be a very long-term crisis. it's going to take months and months to get out of it. and frankly, i don't think our economy is going to return to where it was for a long time, more than months, perhaps years. and so, the truth is, our job is to do triage. right now we needed to get real dollars into the hands of real people. that's why the unemployment insurance is so generous. it also includes furlough money so that people who are still employed but can't go to work because they have a sick child at home or their child's school is closed or they're sick
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themselves, they can get -- for most americans, they can get their full pay. that's helpful. it's why we have a surge to our hospitals. new york has some of the best hospitals in the country. they're getting billions of dollars to make sure they can have the resources available to treat these patients. and then small businesses. so many people have lost their job. we want to make sure small businesses can get low or no-interest loans, that if they keep their employees on payroll, those loans become grants, so they don't have to pay it back. those are the provisions of this bill that will help our governor and help our state so that it can weather the next month. but again, this is not intended to make all states whole. it couldn't possibly do that. but it's intended to get us through the next four weeks, and hopefully, the next four months in terms of the coverage of employees. this unemployment benefit covers four months of workers, because frankly, most people, their kids' schools are closed, and i won't be surprised if they don't reopen by the end of the year. so, we need that furlough and
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that unemployment in place to give them real dollars to pay for food and medicine and things they need. >> senator, one of your colleagues, rand paul, has tested positive, others in self-quarantine. do you think the senate's going to hang around or after you pass this, do you think congress will have to go get some space as well? >> i'm hopeful that we can pass this bill today and then begin to work remotely. i think it's really important that people can be with their families in their communities, in their states to make a difference and to be talking to, at least remotely, their constituents about what's going on. i do think that will probably happen, but we stand ready to do the next bill and the next bill and the next bill, and we are eager to keep working for our states and our communities. >> senator gillibrand, appreciate your time at this very busy time up on capitol hill. stay safe and take care. >> thank you. and john, for your viewers, this is a really important time to understand how strong america is. we have extraordinary resilience. we are the strongest country in the world, and we will make sure people have the money they need to protect their families and
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our hospitals, the money they need to stay open. so, do not worry and just continue to stay home, stay safe, and stop every transmission of this virus by following those rules. >> senator, again, appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> thank you. take care. still ahead for us here, a woman struggling with coronavirus speaks with cnn. plus, more and more new york police officers now calling out sick. brianna keilar picks up our coverage after a quick break. in? yes! okay good. when it comes to response times, just okay is not okay. that's why at&t is building it's 5g on america's best network.
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i'm brianna keilar live from washington. and under way right now, the senate trying to rush a mammoth stimulus package through today. this is a bill that promises to inject $2 trillion into the american economy. the end goal is to fend off a new great depression. this morning, new york's governor offering a glimmer of hope, evidence suggesting that social distancing and