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Deadliest Day Yet For U.S. Outbreak, More Than 200 New Deaths; Trump: "This Country Wants to Get Back to Work", Health Officials Warn Against Easing Restrictions; Interview with the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio; Dr. Fauci Now Believes Coronavirus Could Be Seasonal; Says "We Really Need To Be Prepared For Another Cycle"; Total U.S. Cases Top 65,000; At Least 921 Deaths; Sen. Bernie Sanders Talks To Relief Bill, Pres. Trump 2020; Soon: Senate Votes On $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill; Deadliest Day Yet For U.S. Outbreak, More Than 200 New Deaths; Remembering The Victims. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired March 25, 2020 - 20:00   ET




This was the deadliest single day of the coronavirus outbreak in this country. More than 200 new deaths reported today.

And at the end of this day, President Trump is continuing to push to reopen parts of the country against the advice of medical and economic experts.

And despite evidence as we'll tell you about in a moment, that in New York, hardest hit of all so far, staying at home appears to be or may be working, though he did not -- he did nod briefly at tonight's task force briefing to social distancing, he kept returning, the president, to the notion of a quick reboot in the workplace, with a rather jarring twist. He signaled it first in a tweet this afternoon claiming the media is hyping the pandemic to hurt his election chances. He was then asked about it at the briefing.


REPORTER: Mr. President, you tweeted earlier, linking the closing of the country to your election success in November. Is this Easter timeline based on your political interests because --



REPORTER: You tweeted and you said that the media wants the country to remain closed to hurt --

TRUMP: No, the media would like to see me do poorly in the election, I think --


REPORTER: Sir, lawmakers and economists, both sides of the aisle said reopening the country by Easter is not a good idea. What is that plan based on?

TRUMP: Just so you understand -- are you ready? I think there are certain people who would like it to not do so well quickly. I think there are certain people that would like it to do financially poorly because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls.

And I don't know if that's so, but I do think it's so that a lot of -- that there are people in your profession that would like that to happen. I think it's very clear -- I think it's very clear that there are people in your profession that write fake news. You do. She does. There are people in your profession that write fake news.

They would love to see me, for whatever reason, because we've done one hell of a job. Nobody has done the job that we've done. And it's lucky that you have this group here right now for this problem or you wouldn't even have a country left.


COOPER: The president tonight, he also said, and I'm quoting now, it's hard not to be happy with the job we're doing, that I can tell you.

Just for a perspective, I want to take you back only 48 hours ago when we came to you Monday night, the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus stood at 40,000. Last night after the president said he like to have the country, quote, raring to go by Easter, it was about 52,000.

Tonight, it's topped 65,000. More than 30,000 of those cases are in New York with about 18,000 cases in New York City alone. And officials here say the caseload could still be several weeks away from peaking.

Now, you may recall two months and a day ago, the president tweeted, quote, the coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone in all relevant countries, CDC and world health have been working hard and very smart. Stock market is starting to look very good to me.

Well, two months later, more than 65,000 confirmed cases. It is clearly not under control. More than 900 people have now died.

New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo, however, did have welcome news. He said social distancing efforts may be working. He says they cut the growth in the number of people having to be hospitalized by more than half. Sunday, he said the hospitalization rate was estimated to be doubling every two days.

Today, he says it's down to every 4.7 days, which is still deeply troubling as is the shortage of ventilators in New York. Governor Cuomo says he needs 30,000. The federal government is sending 4,000. Governor says the state has about 4,000 before the crisis began and has bought another 7,000, which still leaves New York 15,000 short.

As a consequence, and at least one hospital that we know of, they are experimenting with using one ventilator for two patients. And this is not just a New York story. Louisiana this afternoon reporting an additional 407 confirmed infections and 19 deaths and that number rising.

Overseas, Spain's death toll topped China's today. A top American military officer said the Pentagon's modeling shows the pandemic will likely keep growing over the next three weeks. In other words, right up to the president's Easter goal.


BRIG. GEN. PAUL FRIEDRICHS, JOINT STAFF SURGEON: From a three-week perspective, based on the planning factors that we have, we think that we're going to continue to see this -- no surprise -- continue to grow. And what I would ask for everyone's help with is worry about today because if we stop doing the right thing today because we think something is going to happen in four weeks, we will make this worse.


COOPER: Well, also today, well-known Republican economist Mark Zandi warned about prematurely restarting the economy, telling CNN Business, quote: If the president decides to go 180 on us and open by Easter, that will create chaos and confusion, that is the prescription for depression.

Zandi, John McCain's former top economic advisor, added, quote: It's a massive gamble and one without science on its side.

More than that tonight and the economic relief bill which the president today said he's being -- he's eager to sign. Senator Bernie Sanders is raising objections to that. He joins us shortly as well.

I want to start thing off right now with CNN's Jim Acosta at the White House with late reporting.

So, Jim, the president keeps saying the country needs do get back to work. Probably, everybody agrees with that. Sooner rather than later, the president says. He's not providing any medical data that would indicate it's a safe idea or discussing how the elderly and the most vulnerable would still be protected with others going back to work.


We got none of those details, Anderson. The president was pushing to reopen the country a lot faster than these public experts would like to see. But we saw almost immediately, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top doctor on the coronavirus task force, pushing back on this saying the virus could be hitting the United States in cycles and talking about what's been happening in China, that as they've been getting the virus under control, they've been relaxing travel restrictions and seeing the virus come back into their country via travelers who are going to China. One thing I will say, Anderson, is we did get some useful information

from the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on the stimulus bill. He said that if the stimulus bill is signed quickly and we believe it will, it will inject enough money into the economy and keep it afloat for about three months. But it's going to will take three weeks, at least, for Americans to receive those stimulus checks in the mail.

Anderson, as you know covering natural disasters and so on, for Americans to wait that long for federal aid, that is an excruciating period of time.

As for the president, we heard him talk a great deal about things other than the coronavirus. He was going off on the press as you saw. He was talking about his wall on the border. No details about how he would reopen the country before Easter. We didn't get any details on that.

I will tell you, Anderson, the moment he had when he was talking about the press, I think revealed that he is thinking about how this virus is affecting his reelection chances and I talked to a Trump surrogate this evening who said that's exactly what he is saying, that he's already thinking about how this outbreak, how this pandemic might affect things in November. And in the words of this Trump surrogate who I spoke with earlier this evening, this was essentially the president playing the victim, the victim in all of this -- Anderson.

COOPER: Jim Acosta -- Jim, thanks very much.

Despite New York's Governor Cuomo's welcome news that social distancing may be flattening the growth somewhat in the new cases of the virus, the state, and especially in the city of New York remained the focal point of the outbreak at this moment.

Joining us right now is the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio.

Mayor, how is New York City doing tonight in terms of medical supplies and case numbers? Last time we talked, you talked in alarming ways about the shortage.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: Anderson, when we last talked, we were just days away from some of our hospitals not having the basics to even be able to treat people. And, you know, I think it was important to tell that truth. And I hope it helped to wake up Washington now finally.

We have gotten, especially those ventilators that we need the most, and a lot of other supplies in, but only to get us through this week into next week.

That's the way -- that's the time horizon we're dealing with right now. I can tell you, I'm pretty confident about our hospitals' ability to handle this crisis this week with already now -- it's astounding, 18,000 cases confirmed as of earlier today. But going into next week, we're going to feel more and more stress on our system.

And, Anderson, it's not just about equipment. It's also about the people we need, the personnel. And I fear that if the military doesn't get involved quickly, because they have a lot of great medical personnel and they can help personnel get moved from one part of the country to another, if they don't get involved very rapidly, we're going to have a problem up ahead as are other parts of the country if they don't have that kind of command and control the military brings to get people, get resources where they're needed most.

COOPER: Yes, because when people talk about, you know, the ICU beds, needing more ICU beds, it's not the physical bed. It's the care that goes with those beds -- the nurses, the doctors, same with the ventilators. You have to have enough people to operate the ventilators with all those ventilators.

So, is -- you know, are we still seeing large numbers of medical personnel coming down with this virus?

DE BLASIO: Yes, Anderson, first of all, you're exactly right. It's actually a package. You know, the bed is the easy part. It's ventilators, it's surgical masks and other supplies, and it's a trained professional. You need a whole package to have an ICU bed.

We are concerned about how many people are contracting the disease. I mean, I've been honest with New Yorkers. Probably before this is over, half of all New Yorkers, if not more, will contract this disease. Thank God, 80 percent of them will have a very mild experience.

You know, even a lot of the folks we're talking about, the health care workers, if they're younger, if they're healthy, they'll probably miss work for a week, ten days, and come back. But at any given point, a lot of them will be out.

So, that adds stress, which is why we must have some source of additional professional soon coming in from other parts of the country.


Again, there's no -- there's no organization that's going to make that happen short of the military. But as you know, Anderson, the military are essentially staying at their bases. I don't think they want to. I think they want to join the fight, but President Trump hasn't given that order.

COOPER: Governor Cuomo said today the projected rate of hospitalizations are slowing down. Quote, the evidence, he said, suggests that the density control measures may be working.

Does that lineup with what you're seeing in the city?

DE BLASIO: Yes, it's a hopeful sign, Anderson. And, look, there's more social distancing than we've ever experienced obviously in the history of this city because the schools are closed. Vast majority of workplaces that are nonessential, of course, are closed.

People are only, you know, allowed to go out briefly to the grocery, the pharmacy, a little bit of exercise, and basically overwhelmingly New Yorkers are staying indoors. So, that's a whole lot of social distancing.

But the truth is we've only had a few days of seeing that improvement. So, I want to be careful before we assume it's working deeply, but it is certainly a good sign.

And, boy, let me tell you, I've heard from my police commissioner -- I mean, our officers are out all over parks and streets, what they're seeing generally is people have gotten the message and they're generally -- if there's a group congregating, they're told to split up, they split up quickly. People are reminded stay six feet apart. They're taking it seriously.

So, I think most New Yorkers really get it at this point.

COOPER: President Trump said tonight that he spoke to you about the amount of ventilators sent to New York. He said you were, quote, very happy and that it's, quote, hard not to be happy with the job we're doing, end quote.

Do you agree?

DE BLASIO: I would say it differently to say the least, Anderson.

Look, I spoke to the president a couple times and I do appreciate those ventilators because for us, Anderson, it is literally going to be hand to mouth. We are going to get a ventilator in and it's going to go right to a hospital.

And I think you know about ventilators. If a patient needs one, you have only minutes to get it to them, to get them to the ventilator. If a hospital is even missing a few that they need, they're going to lose lives that could have been saved.

So, of course, I'm happy when 400 came in early in the week and 2,000 more are coming. But I also told the president we're going to need a lot more than that, and we're going to need the personnel. And we're going to need to go through not just weeks.

I told New Yorkers honestly -- I think April will be worse than March, and I fear that May actually will be worse than April. I don't think this is just a few weeks. I don't think we're going to be okay by Easter. I think it's going to go substantially past that just by the numbers we're seeing alone.

COOPER: Yes. Mayor De Blasio, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.

DE BLASIO: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: I want to bring in our medical and public health team now. Joining us tonight, CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, also, emergency room physician and former Baltimore health commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen.

Sanjay, Governor Cuomo saying today that -- as you heard from the mayor saying, you know, hospitalization rates are going down in New York, somewhat or at least not rising at the rate that they were, heading in the right direction.

Does that -- does that give you some hope?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think for sure, Anderson. It does provide some hope. Maybe a little bit of proof that the social distancing measures that people are talking about work. Sometimes it's hard to convince people of that.

I think of this -- when you think about the numbers, the metaphor instead of thinking about a car that's speeding up or slowing down, think of this more like a big ship. It's got inertia and maybe going at a certain speed, but it's good inertia. So, we got to slowly bring that down. That just takes some time.

These are early numbers. As you know, early numbers, you know, you have to see if you see the trends. But it's a hopeful trend for sure so far.

COOPER: Dr. Wen, if that is, in fact, the case in New York, what does it mean going forward? How much stock should we put in these projections at this point?

DR. LEANA WEN, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Well, I hope that what we are seeing in New York actually holds up. I'm worried about New York. I'm also worried about the next state, the next hot spot, too.

And because we're lacking data was of lacking testing, we really don't know how close we are to frankly to catastrophe in other places, too. We do know we are just so underprepared as a country and I'm still hearing health care workers from all over the country pleading because frankly they feel like they're being sacrificed. They feel like they just don't have the protections.

COOPER: Let me ask you about that, Dr. Wen. The president is saying, you look at a number of states and they don't really have many cases and those states maybe could come online faster. But people could go back to work in those states faster.

Are you saying they just haven't had enough testing to know what's there?

WEN: We just don't know. We are flying in the dark blind here because we just don't -- we have not done the testing to see how many asymptomatic people are out there who are currently transmitting the disease, how all these people who are being told to go home and rest, if they just have mild symptoms, we don't know how many of them actually have COVID-19. And I'm afraid that we're missing actually a lot of hot spots all over the country.


And because there is a lag, there's a lag between when somebody gets coronavirus and what the exhibit symptoms and get really ill. We could be weeks behind. I'm afraid that's what's been happening all along. We've been responding to what's happened two to three weeks ago instead of predicting what's ahead. COOPER: Sanjay, I want to play something Dr. Fauci said moments ago

at the White House.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: Many of you in the audience have asked of us, would this possibly become a seasonal cyclic thing? I've always indicated to you that I think it very well might. And the reason I say that is that what we're starting to see now in the southern hemisphere, in Southern Africa, in the Southern Hemisphere countries, is that we're having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season. And if, in fact, they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we'll get a cycle around the second time.


COOPER: I'm wondering what you make of that, and the converse of that is, does that mean the idea which we've discussed before, that as of weather warms, this may subside, and then come back? That there may be a natural lowering as it does get warmer as someone has suggested?

GUPTA: Yes, I think that that's sort of the case that Dr. Fauci was making. He's talked about this before. And whenever people have said, look, other viruses including the flu virus, they have this seasonal variation, is the coronavirus going to behave the same way. He basically said, we don't know, but there is a good chance that it will.

Now you are getting evidence as the weather has cooled in the southern hemisphere, you are seeing more community spread. So it may be that one of these viruses that likes cooler weather. There are all sorts of reasons for that.

So, you know, in a way, that would be good. I mean, that helps obviously flatten this curve that we're talking about because there will be fewer cases.

But I think your point, Anderson, that it also means it will come back at some point is true. Hopefully we have more time to prepare fore prepare for that.

COOPER: Yes. Sanjay, stay with us.

Dr. Wen, thank you very much.

Coming up next, more questions about getting lifesaving personnel in the right places. What to make of the mixed messaging coming from officials. We'll be joined by the man who ran President Obama's response to the Ebola outbreak.

Later, the tremendous impacts on families. We'll talk to a man who lost her grandfather to the virus and whose mom is now tested positive for it as well.



COOPER: With the president eager to reopen the country for business despite warnings not to from Republicans, Lindsey Graham, Liz Cheney, most medical experts and others, it is important to underscore who really has the most say in whether or not that actually happens.

It is state governors. Idaho's Republican governor today ordered state residents to stay at home. Missouri's governor asked the president to issue a federal disaster declaration for his state.

It's also governors and mayors as you heard in the last segment who are pushing for greater federal involvement including the military and for the president to actually use the Defense Production Act and other measures to secure, coordinate and deliver lifesaving equipment and supplies when they're needed now most.

That and the mixed messages sometimes coming from the White House, back with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

And joining us is Ron Klain. He ran the White House Ebola response operation during the Obama administration. He's also co-host to the coronavirus podcast, "Epidemic", and a former chief of staff for Vice President Biden.

Ron, what do you make of President Trump pushing for the country to essentially reopen by Easter?

RON KLAIN, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE "EBOLA CZAR": Well, look, Anderson, as you noted, it wasn't the president's decision to close these places down in the first place, so it's not going to really be his decision when they reopen. That decision is going to rest with governors and mayors who actually are moving in the opposite direction. I think the problem is that we need President Trump to do his job so all of us can go do ours.

Before you can reopen places, you need to have testing to separate the sick from the well. You need to have hospital beds to treat the people who get sick. You need to have the gear to protect the people who are treating those people. And so I think rather than focusing on the date, we should focus on getting the work done that needs to get done so we can safely move in that direction.

And that work is not yet done, and we need more progress on that before we can talk about some of these changes to how our economy is working.

COOPER: You know, Sanjay, the president keeps saying the United States has done more testing by far than any other country. Obviously, the United States -- he keeps comparing to South Korea. The United States is far bigger in terms of population. So the numbers may be larger, but when you look at it compared to population levels, it's different.

KLAIN: Yes, no question. (CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Sorry, Sanjay, go ahead.


GUPTA: Yes, I mean, it's an important point. First of all, we don't really know how much testing we've done. As you know, Anderson, we've been following this very closely, but now, there's public health labs, commercial labs, hospitals doing this. They're all supposed to report in to the CDC. They're not doing that yet, so we don't really know.

But your point is a good one. It's all about sample size, and the significance of your sample size. Korea is 1/6 or so the size of the United States. If you're testing a certain amount there, the significance of those tests are going to be much more important versus if the population is larger like you said.

COOPER: And, Ron, the governor in New York says the state needs at least 30,000 more ventilators. Federal government has given 4,000. Should the White House have been able to send more than that by now?

KLAIN: Yes, no question, Anderson. I think that, you know, this is not a negotiation about good to have, nice to have. As Dr. Wen said in the last segment, if someone needs a ventilator, they need it right now. I mean, and so -- not having enough means a life or death question.

Now, the president has the power under the Defense Production Act to take control of the entities that can produce these ventilators, direct them to produce more. Pay them for them, of course, and get them to where they need to go. And for some reason, the president has been reluctant to use that power.


During the Ebola response, we didn't use that power. We intervened with a supply chain and really directed the gear, the protective gear to where it needed to go. And I think that's a real challenge here. The president's kind of said every state is on their own, every hospital is on their own, that's not getting the stuff where it needs to go. That's resulting in kind of price gouging, more importantly resulting in not enough supply and supply being in the wrong place.

So, this is not a time to kind of just let the system work. It's a time when we really need to get control of the system and get people the help they need where they need it.

COOPER: Sanjay, overall, you know, the president continually points out that he believes there are other -- some states in the Midwest, elsewhere do not have many cases reported or tested and, therefore, you know, we're looking at New York, California, obviously Louisiana, New Orleans, Washington and some other places.

Is that accurate in terms of a sense that this is really just an issue in those hot spots and not elsewhere? Or is it -- there are just a lack of testing and we don't really know what lies in between those hot spots?

KLAIN: So, I think, Anderson --

GUPTA: I think it's really that --

COOPER: Sorry, go ahead, Sanjay. That was for you.

GUPTA: I don't want to interrupt Ron Klain because he's got --

COOPER: Sorry, it's a weird satellite. Sanjay, you start, and we'll get Ron. Sanjay?

KLAIN: Yes, sorry about that.

COOPER: OK. Yes, I mean, look, we're seeing, you know, a picture right now that is from probably a couple weeks ago. This is an important point, Anderson. Even people right now who are watching, look, I'm fine, this is not going to be a problem.

I hope that's going to be the case. But remember, people can develop symptoms for up to 14 days or so is the incubation, even longer than that as we know from some of the people we've interviewed. So, this is sort of evolving still.

And what we're looking at in terms of these numbers, they really reflect things from probably a couple weeks ago. You know, Michigan had 15 cases last week. Now, you know, in the -- I think 1,300. Louisiana, as you mentioned, had barely any cases, and now I think 1,300, 1,400.

So, you know, a lot of places right now thinking, we've gotten past this and that's the nature of an unseen enemy, I guess. But we have to be vigilant right now. And the fact we haven't had good testing in these places makes it challenging.

COOPER: Ron, so when you hear the president saying that the cure is worse than the disease and you don't want that, what do you make of that idea?

KLAIN: Yes, so let me go back to what Sanjay said a second ago, which I think there's two points about this geographic distribution. The first is, I think it's fairly certain the places that haven't been hit by it yet will. And so it's just a question of not if, but when.

And that goes back to the supply chain point, too, Anderson, which is right now when the president says everyone should go out and buy these things for themselves, what's happening is that these hospitals that aren't yet hard hit are ordering supplies today that they won't need perhaps for a while. And we want those supplies today to go to New York, to go to Washington state, to go to California. So that's why we need more control over the supply chain.

Look, in terms of the cure being worse than the disease, the disease is very, very bad. The best way to get our economy back to work is to beat this disease. You can't run an economy with workers getting sick, with people falling off the job. We're going see that first in our health care system.

As health care workers, doctors, as nurses get this disease and capacity drops just at the time we need for it to rise. We don't want it to spread throughout the economy. Let's get testing to where it needs to get. Let's get the health care system to where it needs to be.

Then we can safely start to gradually build back more of our economic capacity. But you can't have a sick work force be a productive work force. It's just a formula for disaster.

COOPER: Ron Klain, Sanjay, thanks very much.

I want to remind everybody Sanjay and I will tomorrow have another town hall. They are ongoing, now virtual Facebook CNN town hall, "CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS", a two-hour international event from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern. We'll have a chance to get questions answers from our medical experts about the pandemic. Task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci joins us to take questions. Bill Gates who has been on the forefront of public health issues for decades, he's joining us as well tomorrow night. All starts tomorrow night 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Still to come tonight, how the coronavirus has devastated one family and the message one family member has to make to people who want to end the social distancing guidelines.



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: As we reported earlier Dr. Anthony Fauci says tonight we need to be ready for another cycle of the coronavirus. We now believe it could become a seasonal virus. The message from my next guest is please stay home and help fight this pandemic. Jen Wadeyka has paid a terrible price, two family members diagnosed with coronavirus. Her grandfather Ralph Amato, Korean War veteran has died. Her mother Karen fortunately released from the emergency room, Karen can attend the funeral of her father she has to say goodbye via an iPad as she's under quarantine.

Jen Wadeyka joins me now. Jen, I'm so sorry for your loss. And I'm glad your mom is out of the emergency out of the hospital. How first of all, how is your mom doing?

JEN WADEYKA, MOTHER HAS CORONAVIRUS: You know, my mom is making progress thank goodness. But she's not there yet. She's on D-13 (ph) right now having a consecutive fever. She's experienced all the symptoms that are associated with the virus except for sore throat. So she's getting there but she's not there yet.


COOPER: And what's it been like for your dad to be taking care of your mom while she has the virus? WADEYKA: It's been really stressful on my father. You know, not only is he taking care of my mother, but he's also just monitoring himself to make sure that he doesn't begin to show symptoms as well. My parents have a very strict protocol in place for how they're interacting with each other. So for instance, when my father brings food to my mother, he puts on a mask and gloves, brings it to the door and he goes downstairs and then she will open the door and retrieve it.

Over dishes, go in the dishwasher, the laundry, he's wearing gloves, he's washing everything in hot water and then disinfecting the laundry basket. And we've even put a camera in her room so we can monitor her at night and make sure that you know, when she's sleeping, she's doing OK, and then of course, all of us are checking in with her multiple times a day FaceTiming just to get eyes on her to make sure she's making a speedy recovery.

COOPER: Yes. Tell me about your grandfather, means just sounds like an incredible guy.

WADEYKA: He was an amazing human being. He was a loving grandfather. He was independence and a healthy 91-year-old. He was a Korean War veteran who was proud to have served his country. He was extremely active in the Veteran Foreign Affairs Post 5481 in Montville, New Jersey. And most importantly, he just enjoyed being with his family.

His latest fashion was spending time with my two children and his three grandchildren, Molly and Cooper.

COOPER: I mean, what a blessing that he was able to spend time with his great grandchildren. I mean, that's incredible. And for you to have him in your life is just extraordinary.

WADEYKA: And it has been I mean, I mean I've had 36 wonderful years of him in my life and he's seen me, you know, from grow up and been through there through the tough times and the good times and I will always remember him and love him, dearly never forget him.

COOPER: What's your message tonight to families, you know, who are out there who, you know, are obviously worried about this happening or think, you know, that that this may not happen to them.

WADEYKA: Yes, you know, my message for everybody watching tonight is that you think it can't happen to you and I'm telling you that it can. Never in a million years that I think that this virus would affect my family and I the way (INAUDIBLE) that has. So if I could have folks take three things away from watching our story tonight, the first is stay home. You -- by you staying home, you are good at keeping your family, your friends and your community safe.

The second is, please encourage others to stay home, tell your friends, tell your family it's not worth it. It's not worth to go out and infect another person. And then last but not least, you know, by staying home just remember that you are saving someone else's life. So the next time free walk out the door. Just think about that. COOPER: It's so one of the things that's so -- I mean just adds to the sadness of so many of the family's losses is their inability to be with their loved one, in their final moments because of quarantine and because of the concerns about the virus. Your mom's not going to be able to attend the funeral. Is that right?

WADEYKA: That's right. So not only did my grandfather go into that hospital and die alone in that hospital room, my mother is not going to be able to attend this funeral and I'm going to have to FaceTime her from my phone so that she can say goodbye emotionally to her father. And same with my father. He's not going to be able to say goodbye to his father alone. I'm going to have to FaceTime him separately because they're not together in the house so that they could say goodbye to him.

COOPER: Oh, Jen, I mean, I'm so sorry for your losses -- for your loss and I'm glad your mom is doing better and we wish her the best and stay strong and thank you so much for spending some time and telling us about your grandfather. Just what a -- what a remarkable man and with remarkable service to all of us. Thank you, Jen.

WADEYKA: Thank you, Anderson for giving me the opportunity.

COOPER: Jen Wadeyka.

Just ahead we're going to check in on Congress's $2 trillion relief bill with Senator Bernie Sanders. What does he think about it? We'll also talk about President Trump's Easter deadline. And the senators on presidential campaign We'll be right back.



COOPER: Tonight agreement on a $2 trillion relief bill that has been hours away for more than a day is still yet to be found, this time because of a standoff between Democrats including Senator Bernie Sanders and four Republican senators Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, and Rick Scott. The four senators want to cap on extra money for unemployment insurance, quoting Lindsey Graham, we have incentivize people not to go back to work.

Joining me now for discussion, the bill, also the President's Easter timeline to reopen the country's Senator Bernie Sanders.

Senator Sanders, what to Americans who say they can't afford to have the stimulus bill delayed any further. They want you, your colleagues to vote, send it to the President for approval. What do you say?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I agree I want this thing passed as soon as possible. What happened is Senator Graham and some other Republicans they are just terribly upset that low income workers might receive a bit more money than they otherwise would have earned.

Here we are in the midst of the worst economic downturn perhaps since the Great Depression. Tens of millions of people are worried to death, about how they're going to feed their families pay their rent, prevent a foreclosure, and these guys are just staying up at night, worrying about low income workers getting a few bucks more. And what I have said is if they are prepared to drop their hold, which I believe they are, by the way, I am certainly not going to persist in what I want.

But I just wanted to make it clear. So I will not sit back. Nor should anybody sit back and allow these guys to attack the needs of low income workers, especially at a time when in this particular bill, there are $500 billion available to the President for all kinds of corporate, welfare and chicanery. They don't object to that. They worry about the working people getting a few bucks more.

COOPER: When you hear Lindsey Graham saying incentivizing people not to work. I mean, I know a bunch of people are out of work and they -- the only thing they want is to get back to work right now.


SANDERS: That's right. That's exactly right. I mean, it's just, it is -- it is amazing to me that you have all kinds of people here who voted including Senator Graham and the others. They voted for a trillion dollars in tax breaks for the 1% and large corporations. And now they're really worried that a low income worker might receive extended unemployment plus $600 a week. Oh, my goodness. How terrible is that?

You know, I just, you know, it's hard for me to understand that kind of value system and that kind of mentality. What they're going to do is I understand that they're going to bring that thing up as an amendment. They got to get 60 votes. They're not going to get 60 votes, that'll be the end of it. And hopefully we can vote for this thing tonight.

COOPER: You think -- do you think it'll get voted on tonight?

SANDERS: That's what I'm hearing. Although I -- you know, who knows? But I am hearing that, you know.

COOPER: The President yesterday talked about seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Wanted pack churches for Easter. Do you see a light at the end of the tunnel? I think back to you know, I think was nobody November of 1967, General Westmoreland talking about, you know, light at the ends of tunnels and, you know, the war dragged on for many years after that.

SANDERS: Anderson, this is even worse than that. You have all over the world, countries, obviously, including our own New York, Washington state the whole country, dealing with a pandemic, with a huge increase in the number of people who are infected, people who are dying. And what all of the experts tell us is that we need to distance ourselves from each other.

In many states, now, people are being asked to stay home. Congregations should not be any larger than two or maybe 10 people and keep your distance. And you are talking about a president who is speaking in opposition to all of the major medical advisors in our own government and in this country that, oh, yes, come to church, on Easter, sit next to somebody else. Why don't you spread the virus so that we'll never get rid of this pandemic?

You know, you got a president who is arrogant, who is ignorant? Who is self-centered? And to me, I mean this is as dangerous as he gets in suggesting people to defy what the healthcare experts are telling us. So this dangerous moment for him.

COOPER: Even if, you know, by some, you know, miraculous event, that the numbers go down greatly before Easter, though there will still be a need for some time for distancing precautions and other precautions, particularly to protect the, you know, an old, the older, an older generation, the idea to encourage people to pack into a church or any facility. It just even in the best case scenario, that's just not feasible.

SANDERS: I mean, you know, it again, it is in defiance, and dangerously in defiance of what the medical experts are telling us. This is a moment when you got to listen to the epidemiologist, you got to listen to the infectious disease experts, we got to do what they say. And what they are saying is right now, we have got to do everything possible to prevent the spread of the epidemic. That means social distancing. And social distancing is not being packed into a church, or any other room where you can infect somebody else, so that we never get an end to this epidemic.

So I think his -- what he is saying is totally absurd, and extremely dangerous. And it is an embarrassment that the American people have to be told to completely ignore what the President of the United States is saying.

COOPER: Vice President Biden was asked about whether there should be another debate in in April, he essentially said, you know, that the time is done for that. I'm wondering what you made of his response.

SANDERS: Well, I, you know, I don't agree with him. I mean, I think that what is happening right now, obviously, it's a very strange moment for any campaign, and that is state after state I think Pennsylvania yesterday or today is delaying their elections, Kentucky has delayed their elections, New York State considering delaying their elections. So we got a strange moment.

But I think, you know, one of the things that I think that people want is, especially in this unprecedented crisis in modern American history, is to hear the ideas have candidates as to how we got into this disaster. Why do we have such a dysfunctional healthcare system? Why do we have an economy in which half of people living paycheck to paycheck, scared to death tonight, that if their paycheck ceases, how they're going to feed their kids, and take and pay the rent?

So I think we need a good debate as to where we go, not only just now but in the future. And to my mind, if there's anything that this unprecedented moment in American history should teach us, we got to rethink the basic structures of American society and that is guarantee health care to all as a human right, create an economy that provides for all people, not just the wealthy.


COOPER: Senator Bernie Sanders. I appreciate your time. Thank you.

SANDERS: Thank you very much Anderson.

COOPER: Up next remembering the coronavirus victims, a journalist, a chef, a psychiatrist among the dead.


COOPER: Joining us now something has been devoting a portion of his program every night to highlighting just all the stuff that's going on, or actually all of it Chris Cuomo. Chris, what are you working on? I know what? Sorry, I got distracted.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: No, no, that was fine. Nobody noticed.

COOPER: It's been a long day.

CUOMO: I can hear you laughing because we're only a couple of cells away from here.

COOPER: I know.

CUOMO: So we have Anthony Fauci on tonight Coop, and we're going to ask him, why us? Why is the United States growing in cases and problems the way it is compared to what's happened in other places in the world? And why are we seeing these hotspots pop up now in Louisiana and, you know, what does it mean about what we're doing right and wrong and what has to change for us to get to a better place.


Got the right guest. Hopefully we'll get the right questions.

COOPER: All right, Chris, see you in just a few minutes about five minutes from now.

Coming up next, honoring the lives lost families changed forever. We remember, ahead.


COOPER: Many of those who die from coronavirus die alone because of fear of the spread the virus, they're unable to have friends or family by their side. Tonight as we've been trying to do every night we want to tell you about some of those that we've lost.

Tonight we remember Alan Finder, a former New York Times reporter and editor tested positive a few weeks ago. He was retired but still worked at The Times a few days a month on the international desk. During the 1980s and '90s Alan covered the New York metro area and was described as a star reporter. His remembered by colleagues for his patience and his generosity. They say he was always willing to help and give guidance. Alan Finder was 72 years old.

Dr. Charles Rodney Smith just lost his wife a few months ago. They were married for 57 years and for the past four years lived happily together at a nursing home in Louisiana. Charles didn't last long after her death he contracted the virus and died last week. He was a psychiatrist in New Orleans for more than 50 years. He helped a lot of people in that time. He served on the faculties about Tulane and LSU. Loves spending time with his family and had a special love for the opera. Dr. Charles Rodney Smith was 92.

Floyd Kardos was acclaimed chef who ran restaurants all over the world including Tableau one of the first Indian fine dining establishments in New York City. Floyd was born in Mumbai and went to culinary school in Switzerland before coming to New York. His fellow chefs call him an innovator and a constant source of knowledge and inspiration. He leaves behind a wife and two sons. Floyd Kardos was 59 years old.


Our thoughts are with all the families suffering tonight. Our coronavirus coverage continues. Time to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME". I'll see you tomorrow. Chris?