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Trump Calls For Minnesota, Michigan, And Virginia To "Liberate" During Crisis, Comes A Day After He Said Governors Could "Call Your Own Shots"; Jacksonville-Area Beaches Reopen With Crowds, Despite Restrictions; Wynton Marsalis: My Father Was "Purely About The Music". Aired 9-10p ET

Aired April 17, 2020 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening again. In the last 24 hours, nearly 4,000 more people have died of Coronavirus in this country.

And, in our last hour, you heard a researcher talk about new modeling that shows only about 60,000 fatalities from Coronavirus by early August. Just for perspective, that is more than were killed during the 15 years of fighting in Vietnam.

With that, as the backdrop, with the country grappling with how to safely get back to some semblance of normality, the President and his Task Force briefed the public tonight, featured a lot of PowerPoint slides, technical details, but apparently the same bottom line.

There's federal backup on Coronavirus testing, but not a centralized federal plan for managing it, or implementing it, or helping pay for it, supplying the materials needed to do it, or taking responsibility for it.

The President also took questions about his support for protesters in the three states to resist social distancing guidelines, the same guidelines his own Task Force is calling for. He sent out three tweets saying "Liberate" those states.

That and much more ahead in the hour.

We begin though with Kaitlan Collins at the White House.

So, any better sense of why the President is talking about liberating certain states because what he's talking about is liberating them from the very guidelines that he and the Task Force have been suggesting.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well and he's also urging them to liberate them a day after he said it was up to those governors to call the shots, and decide when their states were going to reopen, and when they were going to loosen those guidelines.

The President didn't really offer a lot of insight beyond he thinks some of them are unfair tonight. But he was asked about some of the governors who, after the President

tweeted that this morning, said they feared that his comments could only incite further protests, and have more of these protesters, who were obviously not observing social distancing guidelines, out in the streets of the cities in their states.

And this is what the President said about those concerns from those governors.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, thank you. Earlier today, Jay Inslee said that your tweets encouraging liberation--


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jay Inslee said your tweets encouraging liberation in Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, were fomenting rebellion. Wondering how that squares with the - the sober and methodical guidance that you issued yesterday to--

TRUMP: Well I think we do have a sobering guidance. But I think some things are too tough.

And if you look at some of the states you just mentioned, it's too tough, not only relative to this, but what they've done in Virginia with respect to the Second Amendment is just a horrible thing.

They did a horrible thing, the Governor, and he's a Governor under a cloud to start off with. So, when you see what he said about the Second Amendment, when you see what other states have done, no, I think I feel very comfortable.


COLLINS: So, you see the President there defending what he said. We should note that the states the President called out on Twitter, of course, Anderson, are all Blue states, battleground states, for that election, in November.

The President did not single out any Republicans who have said they are working with those governors of those states. He noticeably did not - notably did not mention Ohio, which of course is led by a Republican, even though it also had protests in that State as well.

COOPER: I mean this is, you know, he says he's a Wartime President, and said this is fighting a war against an invisible enemy, and - and he's telling people to, you know, defy the guidelines that he himself has set out, and liberate their states from Democratic governors.

I mean where do things stand with - with states reopening because governors and the President, certainly not on the same page in terms of testing, and no sign of a full embrace of further testing by this President.

COLLINS: And, you know, we've been wondering all week if the President was actually hearing those concerns about testing.


Tonight, we at least saw that his officials were, because you saw them come out. They tried to really lay out where they are in testing. And the Vice President said he believes that there are some states that are going to meet that criteria to interface one of reopening.

And he says those states do have the testing levels that they believe that they will need to actually start with that reopening phase, though he didn't say which states they were, and he said he didn't want to encourage that. He was - he was just essentially saying, "I'm leaving it up to the governors."

But we didn't really get a clear picture of what they're going to do to ramp up testing. You saw Dr. Fauci say that testing is not the only criteria, which of course we know that. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been talking about that every single day, hours on in, talking about how contact tracing is going to be just as important.

COOPER: Right.

COLLINS: But we hear from a lot of governors saying that they are not there yet that they are going to need federal assistance if they are going to be able to ramp up that testing.

And the President, today, did not seem to be saying that he was going to step in and step up with that assistance, instead saying it is still up to the states in his mind.

COOPER: Right. Yes. "I'm not assisting on that and not assisting on contact tracing," so yes, Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it.

Joining us now is President Obama's top adviser in charge of the Ebola outbreak, Ron Klain. He's currently co-host of the Coronavirus Podcast, "Epidemic." He's also an Adviser to the Biden Campaign. With us well is CNN National Security Analyst and Obama Administration Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem.

Ron, I mean after the President unveiled his Administration's, you know, reopening suggestions, you tweeted, quote, "This isn't a plan. It's barely a PowerPoint." Just talk to me about your major concerns.

And did you hear anything tonight that changes your view because for all the talk about testing, from the podium today, I don't know that any governors in any states have any real belief that there's money coming their way to higher-up for contact tracing or higher-up for testing.

RONALD KLAIN, OBAMA WHITE HOUSE EBOLA CZAR, HOST, "EPIDEMIC" PODCAST: Yes, Anderson. I mean, look, the President can encourage crowds. He can rile people up. But if states are going to reopen without testing, they're reopening blind.

They don't know who has the virus and who doesn't. They don't know how widely it's being spread. They don't know how many people are going to get sick. They don't know how many people are going to die.

It's not just a question of money, Anderson. These tests, a lot of the key parts come from overseas. These testing machines are complicated.

When we say tests, it sounds like it's like a pencil and paper thing. It's not. It's a - it's a test kit. It's the swabs. It's the reagent chemicals. It's the processing machines. The machines have many parts. And a lot of that material comes from overseas.

And so, what the governors are saying are "Hey, Mr. President, Washington D.C., you need to work out how to get this stuff from overseas into our states."

So, it's more than money. It's the leadership and the organization in the federal government that's not being provided. And without testing, we just don't know what we're opening up into.

COOPER: Well, Ron, I mean I - I totally understand that it's very complex.

On the swab thing, how is it possible that this country cannot manufacture some frigging swabs and enough - in enough quantity to not have us ever talk about swabs again? I do not understand. These are swabs. I mean--

KLAIN: Yes. Well I will--

COOPER: --what is the complexity of this?

KLAIN: Yes. So, I will say, they are - they are special swabs. They are swabs that are flexible. This isn't just like the Q-tip you buy at the corner drugstore. So, let's put that out there but--

COOPER: Right.

KLAIN: --but to your point, Anderson, I mean some--

COOPER: But I mean how much material - we're talking about, I don't know how many--

KLAIN: Yes. No--

COOPER: It's not made out of, you know, silk--

KLAIN: It is not nuclear physics--

COOPER: --spun by a glowworm.

KLAIN: Yes. Yes. But here's the point, which is there is an answer to this question that you and I could stop debating it, and stop discussing it.

The President of the United States has the authority, under the Defense Production Act, to order the manufacture of these things, pay people to make them, but to order the immediate manufacture of them. It's funny, the President likes to talk about his absolute authority over things he has no authority over. But that's - this is something he does have the authority over. He could give the order. He could order the manufacture of these things, and you and I would never have to talk about swabs ever again.

COOPER: Juliette, what do you make of where we're at?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So, it's - I thought today was very odd. I thought Fauci was essentially saying, "Look, we're not going to have enough kits.

The number of kits that we need, or testing kits that we need, is actually, you know, you have to sort of take them every day or every other day. They're continuous until we get a vaccine."

And so, I thought that he was sort of steering us towards a different way of thinking about what coming, you know, coming outside means, which is there's going to be a level of vulnerability, and therefore deaths, more than - than would be if we were a country that could get its act together.

We're going to focus tremendously on treatment, and there is some good news there. And guess what? Social distancing is going to be a part of our life, whether we want it to be or not.

We are going to make personal decisions about when we go out, and how we go out. With employers, responsible ones are going to ensure that their employees are safe. There'll be rules around that and then, of course, the public sector, in terms of when you open up schools.

Remember, schools are Tier B in the - in the White House plan. They're not - they're not in the first wave. I think that's what we're looking at with a - with more deaths than any other country in the world because we cannot get our act together. It's disconcerting.


And, as Ron said, it means that we're going to go inside. We're going to be sort of forced inside more often than not. I think, economically, it's more destabilizing than if we just spent money on getting these testing kits together. But that's how I left that meeting today.

COOPER: So, Ron, I'm not going to - I don't want to ask about the tweets or anything because I'm - I'm tired of that. We focused enough on that.


COOPER: Just, in terms of, what does it look like to you for a company, if you're a CEO right now of a company of, you know, any size, what do you need in order to get your employees back, and have them be safe, and have some comfort?

I mean, I assume it's companies - as companies that are large enough to do this, and can afford to do it, will - will try to be testing their own employees, as needed, on a regular basis.

If an employee suddenly develops a cough, that person would be tested, and with a very quick test, so that they can know whether they have it or not, I mean, and - and temperature checks would be taken when people come in.

That seems like basics, no?

KLAIN: Well I think it's part of it, Anderson. I'll go back to what Juliette said a second ago that I absolutely agree with.

And part of it will be also changing the way we work, reconfiguring office places, so that people are farther apart, so we're not all kind of elbow-to-elbow, and open space work plans, reconfiguring the way restaurants and shops open, so that their customers are less close together, fewer tables at restaurants, servers and waiters, waitresses, probably wearing gloves and masks, even face masks, so it's going to put more pressure on the supply chain to produce the protective gear.

We are, as Juliette alluded to, we're going to send people back into the workplace with a risk. We're going to send consumers out into the market--


KLAIN: --with a risk. And responsible employers will do their best to reduce that risk.

But what the President is basically saying is, you know, we're - you know, basically, we're going to go forward this way without really knowing what we're sending people into.

KAYYEM: And I think - oh sorry.

COOPER: No, go ahead.

KAYYEM: I think what that means then is that those of us who - who have the options, whether it's with work, or on our personal behavior, are going to be exceptionally risk-averse.

You know, if you ask me now, "Will I go out to a drink?" as we start to open up, my honest answer is "No."

I mean I just I won't take that risk. I have three kids. So, I think that - I think that's what's going to happen is that there's going to be sort of a self, you know, sort of a self-social-distancing--

COOPER: Right.

KAYYEM: --because the risk is out there, this is going to harm people who don't have the kind of choices that the three of us do.

COOPER: Right. I mean that's - that's what I would--

KAYYEM: You know. COOPER: --my next point, which is--


COOPER: --this is basically, you know, we all know about the inequality that exists in society--

KAYYEM: Right.

COOPER: --even in the best of times. This is now, you know, enforcing and exacerbating those very inequalities. I mean the people who--

KAYYEM: That's--

COOPER: --who cannot afford to, you know, stay home and - or--

KAYYEM: Have a choice.

COOPER: --work remotely, you know, are going to be exposing themselves to - to this virus.

KAYYEM: That's exactly right. I mean and this is the - this is the damning part of, I think, the strategy by the White House now, by leaving it to states that they know cannot do this is that, I often say, you know, a crisis hits a country as it is, not as we want it to be.

Every division in our society, race, economic, healthcare accessibility, will be exacerbated in this short-term. One hopes that, on the other end, we learn our lessons, and change.

But this is going to be, you know, and it - for the next 18 or 24 months, until we get a vaccine, this is going to show itself, it's going to expose the inequalities for this country as well as for many of us be a sort of type of adaptive recovery. Every day will be different because--

COOPER: And Ron, we're already seeing that. I mean it's - it's, you know--


COOPER: --God bless, you know, grocery store employees, and delivery people, whether it's delivering food, or FedEx or, you know, packages, UPS, I mean it is people who do not have, you know, have to put food on the table, and have to go out, and expose themselves for their own family and for, you know, to basically keep all of us connected in the, you know, and--


COOPER: --and running.

KLAIN: Yes. I mean I think, to build on that, Anderson, on what Juliette said also, we're going to see two kinds of divisions be exacerbated here. First, we talk about the economy being shut down right now. It's not shut down.

There are millions of Americans, at work, so some of us can stay home and work from home, people delivering groceries, as you said, delivering packages, creating electricity and, you know, internet and all these things. And so, those people are already at risk.

The second division we're going to see now is this division we're seeing between Red states and Blue states, the beaches at Jacksonville being open and, you know, different behaviors, different choices by governors, not based on different circumstances, but on different political philosophies. That's going to divide this country even further, even worse than it's divided already.


KAYYEM: Right.

COOPER: Ron Klain, Juliette Kayyem, there's a lot ahead. Appreciate you talking about it. Thank you.



COOPER: Coming up next, reopening the beaches, as we just talked about, in one Florida City, and the social distancing nightmare that followed. And later, Jazz Legend, Wynton Marsalis, on losing another Jazz Legend, his dad, Ellis.


COOPER: We focused on the President's briefing at the top of the program. Right now, we want to take a look at how the goals he set for reopening the country are playing out in one city. Randi Kaye is in Jacksonville, Florida where beaches reopened.

And, well, Randy, what happened next?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, it was a mad dash here for the ocean.

Once police gave the all-clear, all the people who've been lined up in the streets, waiting to get to the beach, when they opened today at 5:00 P.M., they just flooded the area.

They were biking. They were running. They were swimming, surfing. They were fishing, some of them. A lot of people brought their dogs.

It was as if they had been cooped up for so long, for years. That's how they were behaving, when really it had only been about a month, because they first closed this Beach on March 20th.


But this is what the Mayor of Jacksonville is saying. He says, Lenny Curry is his name, he says that these are essential activities that all of those activities, those recreational activities, on the beach, are considered essential, and they are well in line with the Florida Governor's Executive Order.

So, he says it's OK. He is limiting the hours on the beach, Anderson, from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M., so it just closed a short time ago here, and also from 6:00 to 11:00 in the morning, so the hours in - in between there, the beach will be shut down.

So, we talked to some people. We asked them what it was like to be back on the beach today. We also - also asked them if they saw any social distancing, because from what we could see, there wasn't a whole lot of that going on.

Take a look.


KAYE: How does it feel to be back on the beach?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yoo-hoo! Fabulous! We all live on it. And so, it's been torture to be looking at it, and not being able to be out, you know, so.

KAYE: What have you been doing instead?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, sewing masks, reading, sewing masks, cooking, eating, yes, gaining weight.

KAYE: When you look around, do you think people are social distancing out here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sadly. I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't last very long. But I just hope that people are kind of smart about it and - and just try to stay as far apart as they can, and not ruin it for the rest of us.

KAYE: How does it feel to have the beach open?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it's great. We live just over there, and we've been waiting for this day to happen.

Now, I just hope they don't stay open. There's so many people standing around there. Everyone's so close together. I don't know whether it's a good thing or a bad thing but it can't be worse than being on a golf course or being in the grocery store.


KAYE: The Mayor did ask that people still do their social distancing here on the beach, try and keep six feet away from each other, at least. But certainly, we weren't seeing a whole lot of that.

We saw people with coolers, set up on their beach towels, sunbathing. So, it didn't feel like there was really any hint that we were in the middle of a pandemic on this Jacksonville Beach today, Anderson. There were also very few masks. And we only saw once did an officer go

over to a couple that was laying in the Sun with their cooler, and ask them to leave the beach, because it's not - encourage that you congregate, Anderson.

COOPER: It's smart, at least they did it later in the day, so it's not sort of prime Sun hours, I guess, though other people might come out for that reason. Randi, we'll see how that develops. Randi Kaye, thanks very much.

With so many people and so many young people out on the beaches calls attention to a mystery scientists have been unable to lock. Why the Coronavirus will leave some young people with mild symptoms, at worst, but then leave others with a life-or-death struggle.

Sanjay Gupta spoke to medical experts and the surviving spouses of young, healthy individuals, who died. This is what he found.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These were some of the first heartbreaking images we saw of the Coronavirus in the United States. It was an outbreak at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, a nursing home.

At the time, it made sense. Earlier studies had shown the disease was more severe and more deadly among people who were older, and had underlying conditions. And yet, all along, we kept hearing stories of young, healthy people, also becoming extremely sick, like 30-year-old Ben Luderer.

BRANDY LUDERER, WIFE OF BEN LUDERER: He came into our bedroom where I was laying, and he said, you know, "I got to go. I got to take myself to the hospital." And I said, "Are you sure you want to go there," you know, like "Are you sure?" He said, "Yes, I need to."

GUPTA (voice-over): Or 39-year-old Conrad Buchanan.

NICOLE BUCHANAN, WIFE OF CONRAD BUCHANAN: That day, he was starting to decline because he did not have a horrible cough this whole time. And the 22nd is when I brought him to the hospital.

GUPTA (voice-over): Young couples, husbands and wives, all infected. And yet, in these cases, the wives stayed relatively healthy, while their husbands became suddenly critically ill, and died.

BUCHANAN: They wouldn't let me in the hospital, as he was begging that "I need my wife. My wife makes my decisions."

They told me to park the car. We thought that I was going to get to go in with him. And when I walked up to the doors, the hospital's on lockdown. They wouldn't let anybody in, no. That was it. I never got to say "I love you."

GUPTA (voice-over): And two days, after Ben Luderer was released from the hospital, he was back home in bed. LUDERER: I could hear through the door that he was still breathing, and I fell asleep.

GUPTA (voice-over): By the time Brandy woke up in the morning, Ben had passed away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only just admit (ph).

GUPTA (voice-over): Why does COVID-19 hit some people, like Conrad Buchanan and Ben Luderer so hard, while many others have mild or no symptoms at all? It's a question that Dr. Anthony Fauci posed to me when I spoke with him on my Podcast.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I'm fascinated, Sanjay, by what I would call the pathogenesis. You know, you get so many people who do well and then some people who just, bingo, they're on a respirator, they're on ECMO, and they're dead.


I mean, the dichotomy between that, there's something there, Sanjay, that we're missing from a pathogenesis standpoint. And I don't think it's only if you're elderly or if you have underlying conditions. There's something else going on there that hopefully we'll ultimately figure out.

GUPTA (voice-over): We still don't know the answer to this. But, even over the last few weeks, I've been talking to multiple scientists, and frontline workers, trying to better understand what is happening here.

For older and more vulnerable people, it could be that the virus itself overwhelmed their immune system. For younger people, it could be that their immune system was almost too strong, reacted too violently, resulting in a storm of inflammation.

AKIKO IWASAKI, PROFESSOR OF IMMUNOBIOLOGY, YALE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: And cytokines are immune-defense molecules that are normally used to control the infection. But when it's triggered in this way, it's an uncontrolled level of cytokines that ultimately damage the tissue, such as the lung, or the blood vessels.

GUPTA (voice-over): And some have told me, maybe it's the amount of virus itself.

DR. PETER HOTEZ, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: But for reasons that we don't understand, frontline healthcare workers are at great risk for serious illness, despite their younger age. Maybe it's due to a higher dose of virus they're receiving.

GUPTA (voice-over): A number of researchers brought up the idea that the answer could be in our genes, that maybe there's another risk factor besides just being older, or having underlying disease.

DR. LEANA WEN, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Studies show that those who are more likely to have severe infections are those who are older or have chronic medical conditions. But it's unclear what exactly counts as a chronic medical condition. Some things are very clear but some things are not.

BUCHANAN: There's no discrimination when it comes to this virus. And seeing what my husband had to go through was horrible. And now, our life is turned into this horrible nightmare.


COOPER: So awful!

Back with us now is Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joining us, Dr. Richard Levitan, an Emergency Room Physician, who recently traveled hundreds of miles from New Hampshire to New York, to volunteer at Bellevue Hospital for - for 10 days.

Dr. Levitan, thank you so much for your service. I'm wondering what made you want to travel to New York City to help.


I grew up in New York. I trained at Bellevue Hospital. Friends, family, a lot of people that I love and care about in this world are there. Plus, I have a serious addiction to Papaya King hot dogs, a good piece of pizza, and a good pizza (ph).

COOPER: I got to tell you. I live near a Papaya King. And I didn't - you know, I haven't--

LEVITAN: There you go.

COOPER: I think it's closed. Or is it still open?

LEVITAN: No, no, no, they were open.


LEVITAN: At least some of the day.

COOPER: Well then I got to stop by because the hot dogs and the papaya juice, it's like - like $1.99 or something. You can't beat it. Sanjay--

LEVITAN: Absolutely.

COOPER: --I know you - you have some questions as well. And that - that report, Sanjay, was so just extraordinary, what - what so many families have been through.


COOPER: Sorry, I thought I was the only one who couldn't hear Sanjay. Sanjay, we can't actually - we can't hear you. Sanjay, he's going to try to fix that. Doctor, when you started treating COVID-19 patients, what was different about them versus patients you had treated in the past for - from, you know, other respiratory distress?

LEVITAN: So, as an emergency physician, most of the people who I intubate are literally dying in front of me. They are having trouble breathing.

They're either unconscious because their lungs aren't working, and carbon dioxide is building up, and they have passed out, or because they're shot in the chest, or because they're not getting enough oxygen.

What was amazing about, you know, COVID-19 patients were, these were people with horrific looking X-rays, terrible pneumonia on X-ray, and their oxygen saturations were at numbers that almost seemed to be like non-compatible with life, a pulse ox--

COOPER: Right.

LEVITAN: --saturation of 50 percent, for instance.

But they were on their cellphones as we were connecting them up to the monitors like their brain was working fine but we had this disconnect between how ugly their X-rays looked, how terrible their oxygen was.

But, you know, it was just like nothing I've ever seen. It's unusual to have patients who are talking to you with that kind of chest X-ray, those kinds of numbers, and then, you know, on a cellphone nonetheless, but.


Sanjay, I think you're back.

GUPTA: Dr. Levitan, I was - yes, I think I'm back. I think it works.

Dr. Levitan, I was reading some statistics that people - patients who went on the ventilators that the likelihood of them then being able to come off the ventilator was, you know, sometimes just 20, 30 percent, like really tough to get these patients off the - the ventilators.

I wonder if it makes you think that there's something besides just a respiratory problem going on here, and how did that affect whatever treatments you may have given to the patients?

LEVITAN: So, I'm sorry, you still got me there?

COOPER: Yes, we got you.


GUPTA: We still hear you.


LEVITAN: Yes, so what I was going to say is that trying to come up with a statistic of who survives ventilators is very difficult.

The number of people who die on ventilators, who are young, is extremely small. Unfortunately, in the elderly, the nursing home patients, the death rate on ventilators is very, very high. So, there is no one number to that, you know, to that question.

GUPTA: Right. Did it make you pursue other treatments though, other - other strategies besides putting patients on ventilators?

LEVITAN: Oh, absolutely. So, you know, as I headed down to New York, from New Hampshire, it was eerie. I was driving down the Merritt, you know, coming down the Interstate, and there was nobody on the road.

And I had a long talk with a friend of mine. His name is Nick Caputo. And Nick works in the South Bronx. He's a Emergency Doc and a Critical Care Doc, and he was preparing me for what was coming.

And he explained to me this phenomenon that these people - are awake, you know, they have pulse ox numbers that you can't believe. Their X- rays look awful.

And what he, and others around New York, and there's a large group of people, in emergency medicine, who began to do this, including Reuben Strayer, in Brooklyn, Nick Caputo, a whole bunch of people in Queens, and what happened was they realized that if they put people on oxygen, nasal cannulas, and what's called CPAP masks, and they turned these people on their stomachs, while on oxygen, that their pulse ox saturations would go up dramatically.


LEVITAN: And a whole bunch of people in the New York City, in emergency medicine, began to question whether or not we should be intubating as many patients initially.

COOPER: Right.

LEVITAN: And over the course of time that I was at Bellevue, I saw that change. The intubation rate went down, as we did these alternatives therapies.

COOPER: That's really fascinating. Sanjay, I remember you talking about that a little while ago that you'd heard other doctors talking about that as well.

Dr. Levitan, thank you so much for coming to New York, and helping save so many people, and save the City.

GUPTA: Thank you, Doctor.

COOPER: And thank you for what you do, even in normal times. Thank you so much.

LEVITAN: Well thank you for having me. I just want to mention, you know, that the real heroes here are on the frontlines in New York City, you know, I came for 10 days, but anyway, thank you very much for having me.

COOPER: Yes, well I'm--

GUPTA: Thank you.

COOPER: We're going to have a Papaya Dog in your honor, yes. Thanks very much. Appreciate it.

LEVITAN: All righty, thank you.

COOPER: Up next, a live report from another struggling area of the country, Navajo Nation, poverty, unemployment, now, one of the highest infection rates actually in the country. We'll take you there, ahead.



The lack of testing and medical equipment we've been talking about tonight in this week have hit poor, often minority communities, particularly hard. Native Americans are no exception.

Navajo Nation, which covers about 27,000 square miles across three states in the American Southwest, is a prime example. It already suffers from chronic poverty and unemployment. On a per capita basis, now their Coronavirus infection rate ranks behind only New York and New Jersey. There have been more than 40 deaths so far.

And our Gary - as our Gary Tuchman discovered, it doesn't have the - have the facilities really to match the crisis there.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Take a look at the nurse in the yellow being suited up.

The protective mask she is wearing is a welder's mask. Personal protective equipment is at such a premium that this hospital has bought 60 masks from a welding company.

This, one of the many challenges for the Gallup, New Mexico, Indian Medical Center, which sits adjacent to the remote splendor of America's Navajo Nation.

DR. JONATHAN IRALU, INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE: This is the largest ICU in Navajo Nation.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): An Infectious Disease Expert for the federal Indian Health Service takes me inside the intensive care unit.

IRALU: We transformed this kind of regular ICU into a COVID unit. We're doing this we never would have thought were proper, like put the IV poles out here in the doorway, where some might trip over them. This is the best way for the nurse to be able to manage the medications without having to put on PPE every time the nurse goes in the room. TUCHMAN (voice-over): In that room, a very sick woman who has been on a ventilator for about a week.

And in a nearby room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Roll it down and squeeze it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Like toothpaste, huh?





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just be careful with the one that's got the thing missing. Because, like I said, it will squirt your face.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): A woman who appears to be in even more dire shape, about to get what's known as a fresh frozen plasma transfusion.

IRALU: It's an FFP transfusion to prevent breathing problems, at this time. And it's part of her resuscitation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take a few deep breaths (ph).

TUCHMAN (on camera): And how serious the revivability?

IRALU: That's a very critically-ill person right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She went in there. There was a patient in there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. So, we'll just go ahead.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): While this is the largest ICU of the four Indian Health Service hospitals in the Navajo area, it is much smaller than you would likely think.

TUCHMAN (on camera): There are six rooms. Right now, they're all full.

And what happens when people come in, and have to go into the intensive care unit, and no rooms, often they have to be flown 130 miles to Albuquerque. It's very upsetting for members of the Navajo Nation to leave their nation, to go to Albuquerque. But unfortunately, that's become a necessity.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): It also happens when people with COVID-19 already in the ICU needs special surgery, or procedures, that aren't able to be done in such a rural area.

IRALU: The Navajo people live between four sacred mountains. And, in general, people prefer to stay in this area. They're basically their homeland. DR. LORETTA CHRISTENSEN, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, NAVAJO AREA INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE: Many of our staff speak Navajo, so it's - it's very comfortable for them to be here with us here on Navajo Nation.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): When members of the Navajo Nation feel they might have COVID-19, they are initially seen outside this hospital, in tents that have been set up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any body aches, muscle aches?


TUCHMAN (voice-over): And then.

TUCHMAN (on camera): This is where suspected COVID patients are first brought, the emergency room.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Patients are evaluated here, and then they might go to a Coronavirus ward, where there is some good news today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to get a chest X-ray, some labs.

IRALU: Yes, sounds good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to re-test her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I think likely we'll be able to get her out of here.

IRALU: Super.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the - that's the plan.

IRALU: That's outstanding, thank you.


TUCHMAN (voice-over): The Navajo Nation, with about 175,000 people, who live here, has more cases of COVID-19 than nine entire states, more deaths than 13 states.

And according to the Chief Medical Officer of the Navajo Area Indian Health Service--

CHRISTENSEN: I do not believe we have hit our peak yet.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): There are believed to be enough ventilators here. But the PPE shortage is very concerning.

IRALU: Try to tell them to be strong, to use all their PPE, and try to get some rest, so that they stay healthy.

TUCHMAN (on camera): But it weighs on you.

IRALU: It does.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Before we leave the hospital, a decision is made. The woman in this room, who needed the transfusion, needs critical care she can only get in a bigger city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Patient coming through now.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): So, she is brought out on a stretcher, and will be taken by ambulance to a plane, for a flight to a bigger city hospital, where doctors will try to save her life.


COOPER: Gary joins us now from Window Rock, Arizona, the Capital of Navajo Nation.

Do we know how the woman in your piece is doing?

TUCHMAN: I'm sorry, Anderson that I don't know that answer. The hospital has a policy where it doesn't release conditions.

What I do know is that we are thinking about her and her family. We feel like we know her, Anderson, because we were in the ICU for much of the afternoon, watching the amazing work of these doctors and nurses.

COOPER: Yes, it's extraordinary. What are the - the leaders of the Navajo Nation trying to do to protect the community?

TUCHMAN: Well the leaders from this Capital here in Window Rock, Arizona, have issued orders that are very stringent. The most notable is a curfew that begins in about 20 minutes. It will last for 57 hours, until Monday morning. Everyone who lives here has to stay on their homes.

This is not just stay-at-home order. You cannot go outside for exercise, you cannot go to the gas stations, you cannot go to stores, unless there is an absolute emergency or you're an emergency worker.

If you go outside, and the police see you, they'll give you a citation. They're doing it this weekend. They're doing it next weekend, the weekend after, and maybe more weekends in the future.

And Anderson, they did it last weekend for the first time. We talked to a gentleman who lives here in Navajo Nation. He says his children were outside playing. Police came by, and issued him a warning, and told him you need - you have - "You need to have your children indoors."

COOPER: Gary, appreciate it. Thanks for the reporting from Navajo Nation.

Coming up, the story of two healthcare professionals, married, and on the frontlines in two different cities, their experiences, over the course of this pandemic.



COOPER: While we continue to take a look at healthcare workers, making a difference in this pandemic, I want you to meet a very special couple.

Jim Mullen, a registered nurse, travelled here, to New York City, to volunteer at an emergency room. He left his job as a lawyer to return to nursing, and help out. His wife, Gina Mullen, is an Emergency Room Doctor, Physician, and Medal Director of two hospitals in Dallas. They both join me now.

Thank you both for what you are doing.

Jim, you've been in New York, two weeks now. I understand this is your day off. So, I'm sorry that you're spending part of it with - with us here. But I appreciate you - you doing this. I guess there's not really much else to do in New York City, I should say, since I live here as well.

Why did you decide to come in and help out? I mean you're - you're living in Texas.

JIM MULLEN, REGISTERED NURSE HELPING IN NYC: Yes. You know, we had a stay-at-home order in place for a couple of days or a week. And that gave me opportunity to be home, and see the news, and see people, like you, telling us all about what was going on.

And because I had this background as an ER nurse, and I really wasn't putting it to use, I just kind of felt obligated to go help, so that was really the reason.

COOPER: That's - I mean that's amazing. And you - there's - we're showing you the picture of you on the plane. Clearly, you - you had choice of seats there because obviously people were not - not flying.

Dr. Mullen, you were already treating Coronavirus patients as an ER Doctor in Dallas. I'm wondering what your reaction was when suddenly your husband says, "You know what? I'm actually going to go to New York."


But, you know, Jim felt it in his heart to go and help out his nurse colleagues and the patients of New York. And, you know, he had this duty to serve in his heart, and it was kind of hard not to support that.

COOPER: And Jim, I heard - what was the first thing you did on your first shift when you - when you got here?

J. MULLEN: So, when I got here, I'm actually - I'm at a hospital in Queens now. But my first hospital was in the Bronx. And, you know, within like five minutes, I was asked to go do a body run.

So, what I was doing was essentially collecting all of the people, who had expired, and bringing them to the refrigerated trucks, out in the back. It was a - it was an interesting experience to be sure.

COOPER: Yes. I mean it's a sobering first - first job to have to do. And I know you post updates on your social media account.

And you said one of the biggest problems initially was just the pace of patients coming in and needing treatment. I mean was that anything like - like anything you had seen before when you were working as a nurse?

J. MULLEN: Yes, no, the first six or seven shifts that I've had have been unlike anything I've ever seen or could have possibly imagined.

You know, I worked at some of the - one of the largest trauma centers in Atlanta, when I got my start, which was very busy, and you'd have four, maybe five really critical patients, while you're there.

But I had 11 or 12 critical patients, I'm talking, people on vents, people in diabetic ketoacidosis, people who are in critical drips that you need to be with at all times really.

And my job was essentially just to run from patient to patient, and try to keep them alive for 12 straight hours. So, you know, it's unlike anything that I've ever seen or imagined.

Luckily, it has started to trend downwards over the last three or four shifts. But that's not an invitation to go outside right now. You know, I think people need to take these order seriously and stay at home, so we can hopefully continue this downward trend.


COOPER: Yes. Yes, I mean, I've noticed, you know, just a couple days - last couple of days, I ride my bike to and from work, and - and, you know, you start to see more people on the streets, and it's a very strange feeling, and an uncomfortable feeling.

Dr. Mullen, what's the past couple of weeks been like for you because I mean you're working, seeing, you know, dealing with this in - in your hospitals. You also have a two-year-old daughter, who I should point out is incredibly adorable, Gracie, how is - how is juggling all this been?

G. MULLEN: So, you know, right now, we are predicted to be about 10 days from our peak. So, at both of our hospitals, we're just getting prepared to take on a higher load of patients.

Currently, we're actually seeing a decreased amount of patients. But the ones that are coming in are sick and infected with Coronavirus. But I think that the people in Texas are taking the shelter-in-place seriously. And we're not seeing a lot of non-emergent cases in the emergency department. COOPER: Yes. We just had Dr. Murray on, earlier tonight, who does a lot of the modeling that the White House depends on. He was saying the good news is that in Southern states there has been much more effective social distancing than they had perhaps modeled.

The bad news is, in places like New York, the - you know, we're in the sort of the high point for a longer period of time.

Dr. Mullen, I appreciate so much what you're doing. And Jim Mullen, as well, thank you so much for coming to this City.

And - and I know there's so many folks, who are at the place you're staying, who've also come here, and traveled here, and are just - it's extraordinary, the work, so many people are doing, so thank you both.

G. MULLEN: Thanks so much for having us.


COOPER: Yes, you take care.

Just ahead--


COOPER: --remembering a legendary musical patriarch, Ellis Marsalis Jr., who died of complications from Coronavirus. We're going to talk to one of his sons, Wynton Marsalis, when we continue.



COOPER: We take this time during the program to remember people who have lost their lives during this pandemic.

Tonight, we honor a legendary musical patriarch, Ellis Marsalis Jr., who died because of complications of the virus. He was a legendary figure in his hometown in New Orleans. His sons, most notably, Branford and Wynton, of course, have become stars in their own right.

Here's just a glimpse of Ellis and Wynton performing together.




COOPER: Wynton Marsalis joins us now.

Wynton, I'm so sorry for - for your loss. Your father was just, I mean, obviously such an extraordinary musician, an educator to so many people. What - he played every - am I right that he played like every Friday night, two sets, at Snug Harbor for like-- WYNTON MARSALIS, SON OF ELLIS MARSALIS JR., MANAGING AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER: Right.

COOPER: --three decades?

MARSALIS: Well for a very long time, yes.


MARSALIS: He was a - he was a local legend, and fantastic teacher, and person, very sweet-hearted person.

COOPER: And did he - did he want you to be a musician? I mean was that grown up in the family - grew up, was that sort of?

MARSALIS: Not really. He wanted me do whatever I wanted to do.

When I graduated from high school, I had a lot of scholarships, just academically, and everyone around me was saying "Don't go into music because you're going to struggle like your father has done." And I asked him "What should I do?" He said, "Man, don't have nothing to fall back on."

So he, you know, he believed in the music. And he was - he was more about the kind of spiritual and emotional, the community aspect of the music, and not about whether you can buy things.

COOPER: So, he said don't--

MARSALIS: And he lived that way.

COOPER: --he said "Don't have anything to fall back on?"

MARSALIS: "Don't have anything to fall back on."



COOPER: I mean that's extraordinary advice.

MARSALIS: And, look, I was 17. When I left home, it was kind of contentious. I had all my stuff in a box. He said "Is that all your stuff in there?" I said "Yes." He said, "What is in there?" I said "Three jeans and something else." He said, "Are you OK?" I said, "Yes, I'm OK" like I had kind of attitude with him.


MARSALIS: And then he asked me again. "What's in there?" I said, "It's this (ph)." He said "Are you OK?" I said, "Yes, I'm OK." He said, "Remember man, you can go down to what's in this box and you'll be OK."


MARSALIS: And it stayed with me.

COOPER: That is a great lesson. I mean it's a - it's a - I mean most, you know, as you know, most parents would say, "Well, look, sure it's great, you love doing music. But, you know, why don't you get an accounting degree first? And then," you know.

MARSALIS: And this is a man who struggled in music to make a living. So, I saw him broke. We've been struggling.

And when I had the opportunity to play with Art Blakey, and leave school, I said "Should I - should I play with Art Blakey or stay in school?" And I was - I was attending Juilliard, which is the greatest Conservatory in the world. And he said "The Conservatory is going to be there, man. You need to go get that education with Bu." That's Art--


MARSALIS: --Art Blakey's nickname. "You need to go - go play with Bu."

COOPER: That is incredible. And I mean your dad grew up at a time, you know, in a - in a very different time and place.


COOPER: How did that, I mean not just affect the, I mean, arc of his life, but the music? Did it - did it have an impact on the music?

MARSALIS: Of course, he grew up in a time of segregation, and so did we, as a matter of fact. I was born in '61 so, you know, it was during the Civil Rights Movement. We were basically segregating, grew up in segregation. And there's still a lot of segregation.


MARSALIS: So yes, the music - the music has consciousness. That's why it's not that well-known. And my father was pure consciousness. He was purely about the music. And he loved people and humanity. And he had a very broad vision of the world.

We were joking about the Coronavirus two or three days before he went in because I would always tease him. So, it wasn't like I was joking like it was a joke. But I was saying, "Man, you better watch out too, in that age, and you got - you got health problems." He said, "Man, everybody is struggling with this," you know.


MARSALIS: So, your loved one being hurt is no different from anybody else.

COOPER: Yes. Wow! He just sounds like a remarkable guy. I'm going to remember that about the box. I mean that's such a--

MARSALIS: Oh, yes.

COOPER: --that's an important message.


COOPER: That's strong - strong man.

MARSALIS: He had many of them.

COOPER: Yes. I wish we had more time. But I appreciate you talking about him.

MARSALIS: It's all right.

COOPER: It's really--

MARSALIS: Thank you.

COOPER: Thank you. Thank you very much.

MARSALIS: Just glad to talk about him, thank you.

COOPER: Yes, take care. Our hearts go out to the--

MARSALIS: Yes, great, OK.

COOPER: --to you and - and your family. Quick programming note--