Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
CDC Director Warns Possible Second Wave Of Coronavirus This Winter May Be Deadlier; New Study: No Benefits, Higher Death Rate In Patients Taking Hydroxychloroquine For COVID-19, GA Set To Reopen Some Businesses, Despite Not Meeting Trump Admin's Requirement Of 14-Day Downward Trajectory Of Coronavirus Cases; Senate Approves Nearly $500 Billion Package To Help Small Businesses, Fund Hospitals And Testing; CNN Correspondent Returns To Wuhan, China Three Months After Sudden Departure Before Lockdown. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 21, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Erin, thanks. Good evening, everyone. A lot of news breaking tonight including a dire warning from the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Robert Redfield telling the Washington Post that winter could bring a second wave of the coronavirus.
He says, and I'm quoting, "There's a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through." This is because he says it would likely coincide with the seasonal flu outbreak putting another massive strain on hospitals, having to deal with both the coronavirus and the seasonal flu at the same time.
Director Redfield, who was not at tonight's task force briefing was asked about the anti-stay-at-home protesters as well as the President's call to "liberate certain states". It's not helpful, Redfield said. Meantime at the briefing the President was sending mixed signals again. On the one hand he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would say that you keep away until this thing is gone. It's going to be gone at some point. It's going to be gone, gone and I would say you keep away and you do the social distancing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, there he is seeming to suggest the virus will determine when to end state wide restrictions and that people should do the social distancing, as he says. But at the same time, he also said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You have people, you can't break the country at some point you have to go back. Now, hopefully the governors are going to do -- because I want the governors -- and I've always wanted that. You can call it Federalism; you can call it whatever you want. But the governors, I want them to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And to that point he was asked about Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's decision to allow a wide range of business to re-open as early as Friday and then restaurants on Monday and movie theatres, despite the fact that Georgia doesn't be yet meet his own guidelines, the President's own guidelines, the coronavirus' task force's own guidelines for actually reopening.
He said the governor, quote, "knows what he's doing." Today we learned, however, that the governor's decision came as news to the governors own task force, they said they had no idea and we'll talk about that as well.
It is not all, there is the VA Hospital study on the drug the President has been touting hydroxychloroquine. Unfortunately it showed the patients who took it had higher death rates compared to those who did not. Now, it's not been a peer reviewed study and we'll have more on that tonight.
And on top of all that there is the unexplained departure of Dr. Rick Bright who is the Director of the Federal Agency responsible for the production and purchase of vaccines. That and senate passage of another massive installment of relief money, nearly half a trillion dollars more for businesses affected by the outbreak.
All of this as the coronavirus death toll in this country tonight approaches 45,000, according to the latest count just released by Johns Hopkins. A lot to get to tonight, CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta starts us off.
So Jim, on the CDC Director saying that there could be a second possibly worst coronavirus outbreak this winter, what more was said about it at the briefing?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT; Well, Dr. Deborah Birx was asked about it at the briefing and she said she wasn't sure whether or not the coronavirus will be as bad over the winter as it is right now or whether it will be worse, as Dr. Redfield was saying in the interview with the Washington Post.
She tried to explain to reporters that the country will be better prepared to do testing and all sorts of things by then for this deadly virus and here's how she explained it just a short while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DEBORAH BIRX: I don't know if it will be worse. I think this has been pretty bad. When you see what has happened in New York, that was very bad. I believe that we'll have early warning signals both from our surveillance we've been talking about on the vulnerable populations. We're going to continue that surveillance from now all the way through the fall to be able to give us that early warning signal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: So Dr. Birx sounded confident there that the country will be better prepared to deal with a second wave accompanied with the flu outbreak, which comes every year. And, you know, I think, Anderson, the question that has to be asked as a follow-up, it wasn't at this briefing today, perhaps tomorrow. Is will the country be prepared right now?
The doctor was saying that while they'll be doing surveillance testing and so on there isn't enough testing right now for the current pandemic that is ravaging the U.S. there aren't enough P.P.E. supplies at some hospitals around this country and so on and so I think what Dr. Redfield raised, really raises a whole host of questions about how this country is prepared in case this comes back in a second wave, deadlier wave over the winter.
COOPER: Yeah, what did the President have to say about a potential second wave after states like Georgia start reopening and people are traveling back and forth between states?
ACOSTA: Yeah, Anderson, he was specifically asked about Georgia's Governor Brian Kemp and he described him as a good man and that he was going to talk to him at some point this evening. But the President went on to say that if these outbreaks come around because of re- openings in certain states then we can put them out -- the country can put them out like fires.
The president has used this sort of analogy before but again, Anderson, that is not how it works in terms of putting out or stopping an outbreak. It isn't like putting out fires. He also, at one point, suggested that perhaps some of these nail salons and other businesses in Georgia could do coronavirus testing for some of their customers coming in.
Anderson, we don't have enough testing nationwide as it is. The governor of Maryland just had to go to South Korea and purchase 500,000 tests on his own because of the shortage of testing in this country. So, it's difficult to imagine how a nail salon or a bowling alley or a gym could do coronavirus testing in Georgia to make sure people are safe coming into those establishments. Anderson?
COOPER: Jim Acosta, appreciate it. Stay right there. I want to bring in our medical and public health team, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta and former Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.
Sanjay, I just want to remind people what the president was saying earlier in this crisis he was out there touting hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment. You know, saying, "What have you got to lose?" And here is some of the things he said about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: The FDA also gave emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine and we're having some very good things happening with it.
It's shown very encouraging -- very, very encouraging early results.
There are some good signs. You've read the signs. I've read the signs.
And I say what do you have to lose? And I'll say it again, what do you have to lose? Take it.
If things don't go as planned, it's not going to kill anybody.
It will be wonderful, it will be so beautiful. It will be a gift from heaven if it works.
If some other person put it forward that say, "Oh, let's go with it." You know, what do you have to lose?"
Try it, if you'd like.
I've seen things that I sort of like, so what do I know I'm not a doctor. I'm not a doctor, but I have common sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, you know, this isn't sort of to blame him, although it does sort of show the dangers of, you know, any elected leader touting one specific drug that hasn't really been rigorously tested. Talk about this new study which unfortunately has had negative results.
DR SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. I mean, I think the one thing that we can all agree on, that it would be a gift to have an effective therapy right now.
I mean, everybody on the planet certainly wants that. But the evidence has not been very good around hydroxychloroquine. These are early studies. I mean, you know, and under any other circumstances, Anderson, we probably wouldn't even be reporting on these studies, but these are not normal circumstances.
This was still a relatively small study as you mentioned at the top of the show. It was not randomized, meaning people weren't randomly put into different groups. It's not peer reviewed, meaning other scientists haven't independently looked at this data, but it's come out of the VA a pretty good study.
We can show you the data here, 368 patients and they were sort of -- some patients got hydroxychloroquine. Some got a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, and some got neither.
The patients who got the combination therapy about 22 percent of them unfortunately died. Patients who did not get that combination therapy, 11 percent of them died. If you just got the hydroxychloroquine, it was even worse, 27 percent died. But again, a small study here. And you know, we need the larger data. There were some 10,000 doses I
believe initially, Anderson, that went to New York. Those were supposed to be given as part of a clinical trial. I know that some of the data now has been sent over to the FDA for further review. We need to see that data because I mean, that's really going to paint the story.
But so far this FDA study, and studies out of Brazil, out of Sweden, and out of France -- some of the more recent studies out of France have not shown this to be an effective medicine and some of them have shown it to be, you know, with significant side effects, even death, Anderson.
COOPER: Were the people who were picked to get the hydroxychloroquine in some ways sicker than the people who were not?
GUPTA: Well, that's the question. When you randomize, you want to, you know, blindly randomize.
COOPER: And so, it was random?
GUPTA: Some will be -- have milder -- this was not randomized.
COOPER: It was not, OK.
GUPTA: You want a randomized trial to be able to do that. There have been studies that have looked at this as a prophylactic medication, meaning giving it -- given it to totally healthy people like health care workers and seeing if they're less likely to get the infection, and then it's gone all the way to people who are critically ill on ventilators to see if it's, you know, likely to take them off the ventilator, make it easier for them to come off.
So, so far, you know, you've had some data going in both directions, but lately the larger studies, all small still, but the more recent studies, I should say, have not been very compelling.
COOPER: Well, I mean, the deaths are very alarming there.
GUPTA: They are.
COOPER: Dr. Wen, what do you make of CDC Director Redfield saying that a second wave of coronavirus this fall and winter maybe worse because it would also be in conjunction with the flu.
DR LEANA WEN, FORMER BALTIMORE HEALTH COMMISSIONER: I mean, it's possible, Anderson, and this is why people have been saying all along that there could be seasonal possibility involved.
So we could see that second wave in the fall or the winter.
But I'm worried about a second wave coming much sooner when these social distancing restrictions are being lifted, and I'm also worried about other states following the -- what Georgia and others are doing because we know that there's a lag in time between when the restrictions are lifted and when people get sick and go to the hospital, and unfortunately, will die.
And I'm afraid that people are going to look at Georgia and say, oh, well, they lifted the restrictions and it's not that bad. We haven't seen cases go up. And so we, these other states, are going to be lifting our restrictions as well. And we could really see a second wave of infections now or in a couple months' time that's much worse than what we have now.
And then, if we really hit fall and winter and that's even worse, then we will have overwhelmed our healthcare system several times. And I'm really afraid of what will happen with our healthcare workers if too many of them fall ill. We can build new ventilators, but we cannot build more doctors and nurses. And that's what could happen with this resurgence in the fall.
COOPER: Dr. Wen, I appreciate it. Jim Acosta, Sanjay, thanks very much.
Our next guest is by his own admission not an epidemiologist. He's a Silicon Valley e-learning executive whose post on "Medium" titled "Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now" has been both prescient and incredibly influential. It's been viewed more than 40 million times and shared by the likes of Andrew Yang and cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker.
Tomas Pueyo joins us now. Tomas, thanks so much for being with us. I really read your writings with great attention. I think they're incredibly illuminating for people and I really recommend people read them.
You write about the hammer and the dance in several of your recent pieces. Can you just explain to us what you mean by that? The hammer being the strict draconian social distancing that many countries, most countries have put their people through to varying degrees, and then the dance. Where are we right now?
TOMAS PUEYO, VP OF GROWTH, COURSE HERO: That's right. In the hammer, you don't know what's going on. You can't control it, and so you limit the economic activity so that first you lower the number of cases that you have. And then you can prepare for what's coming next, the dance.
And so in the United States, different states are in different stages. You have, for example, states like Alaska, Montana or Hawaii, they have a handful of cases every day, so they can start thinking, okay, what do I do for the dance? There's a lot of states that are definitely not there, close to their peak, so they're not ready yet to move on. So first that's on the situation of the cases.
Then there is a question of what do you do to dance? What do you do to control the epidemic on an ongoing basis? And there, I would say, most states are not ready yet because there's a set of things that you need to do really well for you to be able to dance. For example, you need to be testing really well. You need to do contact tracing really well. You need to be wearing masks, and so on and so forth. COOPER: And all of those things that you just listed, obviously, for
the United States, are not in place.
PUEYO: That's right. It really depends here on the states, but I think, for example, contact tracing is a perfect example, and testing, too. So let's look at these two. The countries that have done a great job at isolating cases have 3 percent positives over tests, meaning that for 100 tests that they make, only 3 percent turn out positive. So that means that they're testing a lot and they're catching then, as a result, a lot of the cases.
Where is the United States? The United States is around 20 percent. So it's not testing enough to know where the cases are. If you don't know where the cases are, you can't isolate them.
And then the other thing is the contact tracing. It's not just about isolating cases, but also all their contacts so that they can't spread the virus. And so you have countries like South Korea, for example, like Taiwan, that are doing a really good job at figuring out who is sick, but also, for the two weeks before that, who are all the contacts that they've touched, and potentially then quarantining these people.
We are not doing any of this in the United States. There's a couple of states like California, like Massachusetts, that are starting to do this. There's a few plans at the national level, but there's nothing enough for us to isolate these contacts, and if we can't quarantine these contacts. And if we can't quarantine these contacts, these will start again when we open up the economy.
COOPER: Yes, and nobody is -- I mean, no -- from the federal government really seems to be addressing the need for huge numbers of people to be hired to do, and trained to do real contact tracing. The kind of contact tracing the federal government is talking about is not real contact tracing. They're talking about a few CDC people going to various states and kind of pitching in.
In the countries where the dance has started, meaning the opening up has started, what are the lessons to learn from those places?
You look at, again, Taiwan. I've been following Taiwan for weeks now. It's fascinating. You know, there are folks in Taiwan out eating in restaurants every night and Germany has had incredible success.
PUEYO: And Germany right now is actually going up so we'll see what happens but Taiwan has done a really good job. South Korea for me is the golden standard because it's the only country so far that has had an outbreak they were able to control without heavy lockdown.
So you need to look at what they've done. You also obviously want to look at other countries like China, like Taiwan and so what are some of these things, like, first there is a very big number of people, investigators working on this problem. In the case of Hubei in China, there were close to 10,000 people their
only job was to trace contacts, right? And then you take the example of South Korea and they have a lot of data from infected people and the rest of the population to know exactly who they got in contact with.
For example, if you are infected in South Korea, you are going to talk with an investigator and the investigator is going to have access to your credit card data so you know where you spend money so they know where you went.
They will have access to your mobile data to know where you went and then they can publish some of that data to know, say hey, these infected people went to all these places, watch out if you also went there. But also with this information, they can call these other people and say, hey, you were in contact with this person you should quarantine.
COOPER: That's incredible.
PUEYO: All of that work, we're not doing anything like that in the United States.
COOPER: Tomas, again, I'm such a fan of your writing and I appreciate you being on.
PUEYO: Thank you.
COOPER: It's so sensible and clear, thank you appreciate it.
PUEYO: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up next, a small business owner in Georgia who is about to get the green light to reopen. The question is will she and what factors went into her decision? Plus, the Governor of Michigan on all her state has gone through and is going through. The protesters call for her to lift restrictions, her answer to the president's call to, quote, "liberate her state." Later my conversation with a woman who had to spend her final hours with her dying father by phone.
COOPER: We mentioned at the top of the broadcast, Georgia governor Brian Kemp's push to reopen a range of businesses in the state took his own coronavirus task force by surprise. He's given the green light to a range of what you might call non-socially distant businesses to reopen, including tattoo parlors and hair salons. The president's Coronavirus Task Force coordinator was asked about the wisdom of that tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIRX: We've been very clear in the guidelines, and I think it's up to the governors and mayors to ensure that they're following the best they can each of those phases, to make sure that both -- the public is completely protected.
But the governors and mayors also need to communicate very clearly on the data that was used for decision making, and make that transparent and available to their communities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We asked Governor Kemp to come on the program. He declined. However, we're happy that Jamie Booth could join us. She owns Melange, a hair salon in Atlanta's Grant Park neighborhood. Jamie, thanks so much for being with us. I'm sorry it's under all these circumstances.
But when Governor Kemp says social distancing will still need to take place for businesses reopening, how would that even be possible in a hair salon?
JAMIE BOOTH, ATLANTA HAIR SALON OWNER: Anderson, thank you for having me. And it doesn't make any sense because once the first person sits in my chair to get a haircut, then I can't promise the next person that sits in my chair that I'm not going to contaminate them, and I can't say that I'm not contaminated at that point.
So if we're supposed to be six feet away from each other, it's physically impossible for me to run my business and feel like I'm not putting someone's life in danger or the life of myself.
COOPER: So will you be opening back up?
BOOTH: No, not any time soon. I don't think I'll open at least until mid-May because we don't know what the numbers are in Georgia and we're not doing proper testing.
COOPER: But, I mean, that's going to hurt you financially, obviously.
BOOTH: It is. I'm a single mom and I have no income other than when I'm behind the chair doing hair. And I don't know that I'll be paying my mortgage or the rent on my salon this month, and I'm still not going to go put anyone's life in danger. So I'll just have to figure that out as it comes, but I believe in my heart that I'm doing the right thing by not going back to work yet.
COOPER: I've got to say, that's a remarkable decision by you. Obviously you would be very justified based on your financial situation and what you're facing, you know, to just open up and get as many customers in as you can.
BOOTH: Yes, absolutely. And I've spent the last 24 hours talking to other hairdressers and aestheticians and people in the industry. And quite frankly I haven't spoken to one person that thinks it's okay for us to go back to work under these circumstances.
COOPER: I understand that you've heard from clients, customers who contacted you out of concern that you were staying safe. It's certainly good to know that they are standing by you in this as well.
BOOTH: Yes, absolutely. I've done hair for 23 years and I've never taken this much time off from work before and I had a lot of people call me to -- most of the text messages I received were saying, please don't open your salon. We don't want you to do that. We want you to stay safe and we want to stay safe. So I'm very appreciative that the clients are being nice about it and they agree, and they're also scared.
COOPER: Well, Jamie, I'm sorry for all you're going through, and I appreciate you coming on to talk. And God know, I want hair salons to open more than anybody. I want my barber back, because, you know, I gave myself a buzz cut, and it's little growing over, but I have a big bald spot on the side of my head which is not really the look I was going for.
BOOTH: Yeah, I actually saw that. That's pretty funny.
COOPER: Okay. Maybe you can give me some pointers, or when you're open and everything is fine, I'll come by and get a real cut from you.
BOOTH: That sounds great. Thank you so much.
COOPER: Thank you, Jamie Booth. Appreciate it. Thanks for all you're doing.
BOOTH: Thank you. Have a good evening.
COOPER: You too. More now on the pressure being put on governors to reopen, ready or not, like it or not. Michigan so far has endured the loss of more than 2,500 lives since the outbreak began.
It's also seen protestors rally against stay-at-home restrictions, egged on by a presidential call on Twitter, in all caps, to, quote, "Liberate Michigan". Michigan's Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer responded today on the opinion page in "The New York Times" quoting, "Americans everywhere are eager to get back to normal. Trust me, we governors are, too, but we need to get this right."
Governor Whitmer joins me now.
Governor, what is your message to other governors who are already opening up their state economies right now, especially given the guidelines from this White House which is, you know, has very specific, you know, as specific as they are, they're not that specific, but it does have guidelines for what needs to be in place. And in the states that are reopening right now, to the extent they are, those things aren't in place.
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D), MICHIGAN: Right. So, the guidelines call for 14 days seeing numbers start to level off or drop. The guidelines call for, you know, observing best practices even if we do go back to work. Six feet away, wearing masks. These are - these are absolutely essential and I looked to see what other states are doing all I can tell you is we in Michigan are taking this very seriously.
That we are assessing, what is the nature of risk associated with each sector in our economy? How do we scale those and how do we work with our brightest minds and epidemiology to understand what the inherent risk is? And then what protocols can we take to mitigate that risk?
So when it's safe to re-engage, that we have a thoughtful data driven rigorous plan to keep the public safe. I think that going too fast will be harder for businesses to have the confidence of the public to come in any way. If you're not guaranteeing or able to show the thoughtful plan that's gone into people's safety, I think that it's going to be hard to get people to come out and participate anyway. So we gotta get this right so we don't have a second wave.
COOPER: Where is testing in your state now? Where does it need to be in order to have confidence that businesses can reopen? And even things like , you know, hand-held thermometers you can point at somebody's forehead, do you have tens of thousands of those for, you know, those are hard to find. I've looked in a lot of supermarkets and pharmacies looking for them and they're hard to get.
WHITMER; Well, where we were with P.P.E. two weeks ago when I was imploring for help was we were living day to day. At this juncture we are, you know, 8 to 21 days and that's still not a lot, but it's in a much better position than where we are.
We know that in order to re-engage sectors of our economy, we're going to have to be able to take, you know, these kinds of P.P.E. and ensure that they're available. If you are in any sort of a business where you are front and centre touching clientele, people, the general public, you need to have, you know, P.P.E. to protect yourself and protect them as well.
And we've made great strides, our testing, is now we're doing about 6000 tests a day, we really need to be up to 10,000. I could get to 12,000 tomorrow if I had all the swabs that we need to conduct these tests. So we have the capability it's the supply chain issue that every state is confronting that is keeping us from doing even more testing so we can feel confident it's safe to re-engage.
COOPER: So when folks yesterday from the coronavirus task force were saying, the President and others, you know, deriding governors for saying, you know, that they need more testing. And the, you know, these folks are saying at the White House, well, the capacity is there you just don't know what you have.
WHITMER: Yeah, so, you know, we had a call with the White House yesterday, all of the governors across the nation or the vast majority of us were on it. We engaged, I heard over and over again from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle that this supply chain issue is real for all of us.
We have the capacity to process the tests, but if you don't have the swabs and the re-agents, you can't do a test. And so if we could get those fundamentals, if the Defence Production Act was utilized and we went to work and started producing these swabs, they're not complicated things to produce. We just need to have a national strategy and the full force and effect of the Defence Production Act to get this done. We need re-agents, those are the two things - I know that Michigan is
not unique in looking for it and if we could produce it on, you know, on a number that would supply all of the states, we would all have a lot more confidence we could safely re-engage sectors of our economy.
COOPER: Obviously, you know, the President talked about liberating Michigan, you know, encouraging people who aren't social distancing while they're protesting, protesting his own guidelines, he says, you're just being too tough on his own guidelines.
Just the logic of the protest, I mean protest, you know, is a great thing in this country, but I don't understand the logic behind their protesting in support of the president, but against his own guidelines. Where do you see these protesters? I mean now, how do you see this in the grand scheme of what is going on?
WHITMER: Well, let me just explain one thing, you know, Michigan has got the tenth largest population in the country.
We have the third highest death rate in the country. We have a unique problem here in Michigan. I know that the story of young Skylar Herbert has been acknowledged on CNN, a 5-year-old, who lost her battle with COVID-19. Two parents who are front line first responders.
This is a unique problem that we are confronting in Michigan and it calls for a tough solution. I do have some of the most aggressive actions on the books in our nation because I've got one of the worst problems in our nation. I am trying to save lives here, and so while we can respect and revere the right of dissent, the right to demonstrate, right now in this moment to do so in such an irresponsible way endangers the lives of others.
And a momentary sacrifice, which is staying home today, is not just about limiting someone's liberties, it's about ensuring that another person has a right to live. Our parents.
And so that's why it's so important and so when I see demonstrations come together where people are not social distancing, they're not wearing masks, they're handing things bare hand to bare hand to children, passing out candy, I know that when they come from all different parts of our state, congregate, and then go back, that we've got to be very careful and watching, are we going to see a spread of COVID-19 in parts of the state that maybe didn't have it before? Because that's precisely how it spreads.
COOPER: We should also point these protests are actually quite small. I mean, the number of people involved is pretty minuscule compared to the population of your state and in other states. And it doesn't seem to me that they really speak for, you know, the vast majority of people out there who are trying to do their best and, you know, reflective of the sense that we're all in this together.
COOPER: Governor Whitmer, I appreciate your time.
COOPER: That's all right, go ahead.
WHITMER: I just want to say thank you for making that point. The vast majority of the people in this state, and I think across the country, are doing the right thing, and we want to thank them.
WHITMER: We need to double down right now. We will get through this together.
COOPER: And it's working -- I mean, the social distancing -- the one thing -- you know, this is obviously a terrifying situation for everybody, the one thing that gives me, personally as a citizen great hope, is that science knows what to do.
Science tells us social distancing works, and we have seen that, and just, you know, it's a hard thing to do and there's obviously a lot of other factors at play. But we know the only thing that works, it's the only tool we really have.
WHITMER: Right. So just stay away from one another. The virus can't transfer from me to you if we're not together. It's really that simple. It doesn't make isolation easier. It doesn't make the loss of a job easier or the loss of a business.
But we do know that we have the power to bring this virus to its knees. But we have to observe these practices, and that's how we save lives and that's how we shorten the amount of time that we are in this posture and we can thoughtfully, responsibility think about re- engaging sectors of the economy once it's safe to do so.
COOPER: Governor Whitmer, I appreciate your time, thanks.
WHITMER: Thank you.
COOPER: Next we continue this conversation about reopening economies with a story you'll only see on CNN, a life report from the source of the virus, the city of Wuhan in China. How the decision to reopen that city has worked out so far and what life is like for the people who are living there.
COOPER: Tonight, a remarkable report you're only going to see on CNN about Wuhan, China, the source of the virus. As far as we know, our David Culver was there in January and got out just before the lockdown went into place. He's back there tonight three months later.
David, glad you're there. Before we start, I want to show everybody what it was like the last time you were there as word spread the city was about to be locked down. Let's watch this.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): So, this is where authorities believe the source of the coronavirus is. It's the wildlife and seafood market, and you can perhaps see over there it's cordoned off, you've got police on all the corners.
CULVER (voice-over): It is so sensitive within minutes of us arriving and recording, security asked us to stop filming.
CULVER (on camera): So, police just asked us to leave the market area. They said we have to get official permission, and once we get permission we can come back. The reality is we won't be granted that permission, so instead we're able to drive now through it, but you can see they've closed off the entire market area. No shopping is going on, no business whatsoever. It's just empty.
CULVER (voice-over): They shut it down on New Year's Day trying to ease fears, suggesting they can handle the virus. But the number of cases continues to rise.
A rushed check out sparked by a 3:00 a.m. phone call.
CULVER (on camera): Our rush right now is to check out, get out.
CULVER (voice-over): We headed to the train station as soon as we got word. The city of Wuhan, China, essentially going on lockdown. A drastic effort to contain the spreading of the deadly coronavirus. As we arrived, crowds already lined up for tickets stretching out the door.
CULVER (on camera): It's 4:15 in the morning here, and the only way to buy tickets at this hour is in person. We're good? All right. What time do we leave?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 7:00 a.m.
CULVER (on camera): 7:00, all right. Is it at this station or is that another?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another station.
CULVER (on camera): We've got to go to another station?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It's a station closer to the fish market.
CULVER(on camera): To the market where -- great, so to the market that's shutdown right now, the source of all of this.
So, the city of Wuhan essentially on lockdown. But a lot of health experts are now questioning whether this will really be effective in containing the virus or is it a few days too late?
COOPER: David is back in Wuhan now.
I know you just got there a couple of hours ago. What's it like from what you've seen so far?
CULVER: You know, you get the feeling, Anderson, that this is a city trying to awaken once again. I mean it was a 76-day brutal lockdown, harsh conditions, and many of the communities here, folks couldn't leave their homes. They were sealed off, not even to go outside to get a little bit of air.
And so you start to see it's coming back. In fact, one of the things we're struggling with here is the background noise of traffic. But that's a good sign, right? I mean that means that clearly folks are trying to get back to life, trying to get back online with their businesses, and yet there is this eeriness too.
I mean you've got kind of this mist and fog in the air which, kind of, also alludes to the uncertainty that sill surrounds many of the businesses and communities here, quite frankly. On a personal level, Anderson, it's kind of surreal.
I mean the last time I was here was three months ago and I woke up, kind of, in the middle of my nap around 3:00 a.m. local time realizing that three months ago to that day was when I got a call saying, you got to get out, the city is about to go on lockdown.
COOPER: What procedures, I mean what kind of screening process, if any, did you have to go through? Did you have to get tested? What are the controls like in Wuhan for citizens?
CULVER: As you know, we were in Shanghai for the past two and a half months, and we have been working for weeks to try to plan our trip back here to Wuhan because this is not just about getting a ticket, getting on a train and showing up at a hotel that you've booked.
It's a lot of procedures that you have to have in place and I've been working closely with CNN leadership and some of our security team to make sure that we do it with my team here and do it properly. Now, let me show you as you can see on the train that we finally were able to get on board out of Shanghai, there were a good number of people there.
I mean, people, locals in particular, are traveling once again within China. What's interesting though is we've seen less and less of the largely protective garments people were wearing. I mean the white hazmat suits that we saw just a few weeks ago when we were traveling, people have seemed to shed those for the most part.
Everybody wears a mask, of course it's mandatory and a good number of people, ourselves included, wear gloves. One thing that is really interesting, though Anderson, is the treatment of foreigners. We noticed they'll come up to us on the train, for example, want to know where we were coming in from, how long we've been in the country. They'll look at our passport several times, they'll do multiple rounds
of temperature checks and it's not necessarily to ostracize us, though that does happen in some parts here. It's mostly because they're concerned about imported cases and that is something that I've even gotten a few strange looks.
And even a mom and daughter on the train next to us, local, who looked at us and said to the train staff member that they wanted to switch cabins. I think there is that much concern of the unknown.
COOPER: And you know, you've shown us in the past this code on your phone that gets you into public places. Will traveling to Wuhan change that at all? I mean it's an unbelievable system there, you know, for a lot of reasons it probably would not exist in the United States. But will you have to quarantine once you leave Wuhan?
CULVER: Yeah, it flags a lot of privacy concerns there's no question. This QR code is the golden ticket and the way it works as we've explained is each jurisdiction has their own. So ours in Shanghai, for example, doesn't necessarily help us get around here within Wuhan, but it does help us check into a hotel.
So it's the first thing they wanted to see before even letting us into the door of the hotel to go in and continue the check in process. As of now ours has remained green, as you know green is kind of the clear-all to go through. If it goes yellow or red, you can be flagged for quarantine.
Of course we're hoping it remains green and it should remain green according to how the Chinese government has said Wuhan is technically reopened, Hubei province, the original epicenter is now back open and people are able to leave freely.
And so the idea is, at least from the government's perspective, that people who leave Wuhan are able to go back into other cities within China and resume their normal lives. We'll see if that holds true for us, otherwise it could be quarantine.
Cooper; David Culver, I'm glad you're there. Thank you, stay safe, appreciate all your reporting. Up next, a daughter remembers her dad a victim of this pandemic. She and the rest of her family had to say their good-byes on the phone.
COOPER: One of the tens of thousands of coronavirus victims in the United States was a man named Don Adair. He was 76 years old, he was a father of four, a grandfather of five.
Because of the disease, of course, only healthcare professionals could be with him in his final days. But all of his kids, Abby and Emily and Tom and Kerry, joined a phone call and they listened to him breathe, and they talked to him for hours after hours and hours. I spoke earlier with Abby about the family's experience. Abby, thanks for joining us. I'm so sorry that we're talking under
these circumstances. First of all, can you just talk a little bit about your dad? What was he like?
ABBY ADAIR REINHARD, LOST FATHER TO CORONAVIRUS: My dad -- my dad loved helping people and he did that as a business lawyer. He helped people start and grow their dream businesses. He was so supportive of all four of his kids and us reaching our dreams. He was active in our community on boards, and he worked harder than anybody I've ever known, all to help the people and organizations that he believed in.
COOPER: I've talked to, you know, so many people who have not been able to be speaking with, or not be able to be physically present with, you know, their loved one who -- with COVID, who died, or even be able to speak to them.
You were -- had a really, kind of, a unique situation. You were on the phone. Your dad could hear you and I believe you could hear him as well. Can you just talk about what happened toward the end? Because you remained on the phone for a long time.
REINHARD: Yes, so, the nurse at the hospital thankfully offered to take his hospital phone and rest it right up next to his ear. And he couldn't really talk, you know, but we could hear him breathe, and so we just had time together.
I was able to merge all our calls on this one line, and so we were able to share lots of memories with our dad and tell him how much we loved him, kind of cheer him on, and we could really hear him suffering.
But just hearing him breathe it was like our connection to him, and how we knew he was still alive.
COOPER: How long did you stay on that phone?
REINHARD: It was over 30 hours.
REINHARD: It was like quiet, you know, and we would doze off, and then one of us would say, we love you, dad, we're here for you, dad. And you know, it was a really long call, and we were all in different places in the world, Denmark, North Carolina, Texas, and Upstate New York.
COOPER: How many of you were on the call?
REINHARD: All four of us.
COOPER: Wow. What an extraordinary thing. My mom died this past summer and me and my family were able to be -- to be with her at the end and with her throughout, but it's so important to - it's such a -- I mean, it's an extraordinary experience, and even though obviously it's different on the phone, to be able to have that time, to be able to say all the things you want to say, that must - I mean, and so -- it's -- it sounds strange to say but, I mean, that is a great blessing if one is going through this.
REINHARD: It was a huge blessing. It allowed me to have some sort of closure, you know, like you said, I was able to say what I needed to say knowing it was the end, and even though I couldn't see him, and I couldn't hold his hand, having that connection over the phone was incredibly valuable.
COOPER: You wrote a Facebook post about this, and I was really just so moved by what you said, and one of the things you said, "What was done was done. The weight of this hit hard.
The dam broke and I sobbed realizing I couldn't go to be by your side, no visitors, a COVID wing, I felt a huge rush of fear and then anguish, but I couldn't stay stuck there. I needed to talk to you, dad, as soon as possible." Can you talk about the things you sort of said to him?
REINHARD: I --
COOPER: I mean, I don't want to get too personal but whatever you feel is, you know, appropriate.
REINHARD: I thanked my dad for being there for me, for loving me. I apologized for what I needed to apologize for. I forgave him for what I needed to forgive him for and just started sharing memories and songs.
COOPER: Songs that you used to sing around the campfire.
REINHARD: Yes, yes. So I just -- I wanted to bring him back to all the good times that we had and with singing around the campfire, him playing his guitar, and so I just started singing those Peter, Paul and Mary songs, and it was really poignant, and then when I could connect my siblings, just that we were able to talk about all the good times, and his excessively long toasts at our weddings because he was so proud of us.
COOPER: The other thing that struck me, I mean, just when I -- when I was reading your Facebook post is just how -- and I don't really even know how to say this, and it's not really a question so much, but it just -- how in the end, it just -- it does all boil down to, like, love. I mean, I know it's a cliche and silly to say, but, I mean, in the end, there really is nothing else but the bonds one has with those you love.
REINHARD: Exactly. And, you know, I own a small business, and so the few weeks leading up to this, I was really stressed up about that, but my God, losing my dad put everything in perspective. You know, and it all just becomes crystal clear that it's about family, and it's about love.
COOPER: Abby, thank you so much for talking with us.
COOPER: And I wish you -- I wish you peace in the days ahead.
REINHARD: Thank you, you as well.
COOPER: We remember Don Adair. As we approach nearly 45,000 deaths attributed to the virus in this country up, next we remember more people who died including a grocery store worker and a 5-year-old girl.
COOPER: Tonight we take a moment to remember some of the other victims of this pandemic.
Vitalina Williams worked as a cashier in a supermarket in Salem, Massachusetts. She's among the growing number of grocery store workers who died from the virus. She was from Guatemala originally, came to the U.S. in the late 90s to help earn money to send to her family. She met her husband, David, here. They were married for 22 years. Her husband told us he never knew anyone more loving and open than his wife. Vitalina Williams was 59 years old.
Ruben Burks was the first African American Secretary-Treasurer of the United Auto Workers, the second highest position in the union. He started working for GM in 1955, was active with the UAW for more than 60 years, pushing for women's rights, the rights of people of color in the labor movement.
He was known as a community leader in Flint, Michigan. Even after retiring, he organized fellow retirees to protest the toxic water conditions in the area. Ruben Burks was 86 years old.
And one of the youngest victims in the U.S. is Skylar Herbert. She was just 5 years old. She developed a rare form of meningitis and swelling on her brain after she contracted the disease last month.
She died this past Sunday. Both her parents are first responders in Detroit. Her mom is a police officer and her father is a firefighter. Her mother said that Skylar was a beautiful spirit who was friendly and loving and caring and funny. She was a happy 5-year-old girl who was full of life.
We remember Skylar and Ruben and Vitalina, three lives being mourned tonight. The news continues. I'm going to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Anderson, thank you so much for reminding people about the human cost of this situation. I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to "PRIME TIME." The head of the CDC has everyone repeating his warning tonight.