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CUOMO PRIME TIME

Chris Cuomo Tests Positive For Coronavirus; Illinois Governor: "Federal Government Really Isn't Helping At All"; Nurse On Being At The Front-Lines Of Coronavirus Battle. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 31, 2020 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[21:00:00]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: --tonight. And before we hand it over to Chris, take a look, the Empire State Building, shining red and white, in honor of the first responders, on the front- lines of this crisis, who are risking their lives to keep us all alive.

The news continues. Want to hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST, CUOMO PRIME TIME: Anderson, as always, the perfect message. And maybe more than ever, those first responders are depending on us. Their efforts will largely reflect our own. Thank you for the well-wishing brother. I'll check in with you tomorrow.

I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

Tonight's show is going to be a little different. But the priority remains. Reality has set in all the way to the President. Brace yourselves, not for a hoax, but for the next few weeks of scary and painful realities.

The government is saying we need to keep doing what we're doing. The data shows our mitigation efforts are working. The reality, we are our best and perhaps only defense.

If you need a death toll, you will get it every day, and it will frighten you, 4,000 already, maybe a 100,000, 250,000, trumped-up today by this President potentially saying it could have been millions.

My suggestion, don't get caught in the numbers. Why? They're just scary and they're out of context. We do not have the testing data to make real sense of our reality beyond what we know is the face of it for an overwhelming number who gets sick.

And that face is mine. I tested positive. Scary, yes, as you might imagine. But better me than you. My concern is what I may have put on my family, just like you would. That is hurting me way more than anything the virus can do.

So, let's focus, let's use this example of me having it as proof that you can get it too, God forbid. We have to do everything we can to avoid being sick. We have to do it for ourselves, our families, and for those in the front-lines who are saving the lives of people like me and many of you.

Together as ever as one, that is our remedy. What do you say? Let's get after it.

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CUOMO: Now look, I feel fine. I'm able to do the show. You do not want this. And I am not able to be there for my family right now in the way that I want to be. And I still have to see if I got any of them sick. And you can understand how sickening that is to me, as a husband and a father.

And yet, I'm hesitant to talk about me because who cares? This is so small compared to what so many are facing, and we're going to all go through this together. You're going to have stories like mine popping up all over you, and your life. You probably do already.

Why? Because testing is just starting to catch-up, and pulling back the curtain on what we've known to be true for so long. It's not if, it's not even when. We are in it. This is a fight. It's going to get worse.

We're going to suffer. And you have to accept that not with fear but with almost a fanatical sense of passion to fight because that's the only way you've ever made it through anything hard in your life, and this will be no different.

Let me be proof. We have real vulnerability. You are not too strong. Do not act that way. But show that vulnerability by what you do for yourself, and for others, and not just health-wise, but economically, the toll this is taking.

How many people do you know who are worried about losing a job or who have lost their job and are not sure about how to get food on the table? Everyone gets it now.

Trump even has forgotten ever questioning the hard reality. There is no more hoax. He's worried, and he should be.

So, let's move - move past this idea of fear to fact. What do they need us to do? What is working? What do we have questions about? What remains? For that, there's no one better than Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

It's good to see you, brother.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Chris. Man, I feel for you. I know you well. I know you're saying you feel OK. But you - you look a little under the weather, and I'm sorry, brother. I know you well and I'm sorry that you're feeling that way. CUOMO: Well I probably don't look great because I have Coronavirus. I think that, you know, once we clear that up, that's what it is. And look, I'm a fighter. Most of us are going to be fine. I'm OK with that.

There's so many who are so much more vulnerable and there's so many people, as you know, sacrificing themselves every day, to fight for the weakest among us.

So, what they did today, extending it, they seem to be pretty soft about it. You and I both believe we got to be looking at April, or May, in order for this to work in a way, where we can combat it with our existing capacity.

What are they saying now? How much does it square with reality to you?

GUPTA: Well look, I mean, you know, these models that everyone's talking about, where they're saying, you know, maybe a 100,000 people would die, and that's - that's sadly, you know, a best-case scenario, Chris.

[21:05:00]

One of the things you got to keep in mind, when they look at those models, they're actually talking about maintaining these measures until the end of May, right? So, right now, they're saying end of April.

But even in the best-case scenario, you would - you would extend it at least till the end of May. It also means that within the next few days, every state in the country would be doing that. Not all the states in the country are doing this right now. And if some states don't, that affects all of us, Chris.

I mean, you know, I mean, as we've said for a couple of months now, how you behave affects me, how I behave affects you. That is still true. We've never been more dependent on each other.

And yet, there are some people who probably aren't still abiding by this. They don't see the severity of it. It hasn't affected them directly. Maybe after, you know, hearing that you've tested positive, maybe people will behave differently, I don't know.

But those models are just that, and they're really contingent on the fact that from here on out, every state in the country is really serious about these social mitigating measures. Not easy, and it's tough.

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: It's really tough.

CUOMO: But what do you say--

GUPTA: But - but they're important. CUOMO: --to the people who are in a low-density area, and they want to work, and they can't work, and they don't see the case numbers. They're not New York. They're not New Jersey.

GUPTA: Yes.

CUOMO: They're not the Coasts. They don't have the same risk factors, and there's so much pressure to not crash the economy.

GUPTA: Yes.

CUOMO: How do you convince those people that they need to do what isn't necessary now, because it may be necessary later? That is not a uniquely American instinct.

GUPTA: No, it's not. And - and look, I mean I get no joy in having to say some of these things, you know.

But, you know, we've been sort of looking at this for several months now. I spend a lot of time looking at these models and, you know, I'm not the only one that's saying this. Here's what I would say.

A week and a half ago, Michigan was saying that. They had 15 cases. They said "Maybe we dodged this thing," and now they're well over, you know, 1,500. Louisiana, sort of the same thing, "Hey, maybe this is going to bypass us all together," and now, they're considered a hotspot in New Orleans.

Sadly, this is a virus that is circulating around the country. Virus doesn't care where you live. It does care to the extent that if you're in a densely populated area, like New York, maybe you're going to see these numbers earlier.

But I think if you listen closely to what public health officials have been telling us, and Chris, I think this is interesting, I think even as you listen to these press conferences, and everything, I think they don't want to jar the country with some of what's happening now.

And - and I'm not suggesting that we need to jar the country. But the reality is this that I think every state in the country is in some way following the same curve as you've seen in New York. New York's just earlier on the curve--

CUOMO: Yes.

GUPTA: --for the reasons we just mentioned. It's going to happen. We can do something about it. There is an end. If you act now, you're probably going to reduce the impact from a public health standpoint, and an economic standpoint, later.

I know it's hard. It's like individual like I tell you to eat right and exercise and - and then you, you know, you don't have a heart attack. And was it because I ate right and I exercised, or was it - I wouldn't - wasn't I going to have a heart attack anyways?

How do you prove a negative here? That's the challenge, I think, for a lot of people.

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: But it doesn't make it any less important.

CUOMO: Well let me sharpen focus a little bit. I'll tell you what's scary about this that I didn't realize until basically today. I've never had anything where you cannot control the suck.

You know, even when I've had like the flu, you got the Tamiflu, you took the vaccine, you know, it kind of mutes it, you catch it early with the Tamiflu, it goes good, they give you some of those antivirals, they can work.

And it is scary, Sanjay, to have people say to you two things. One, the real answer is "Suck it up. Stay home. Stay away from your family. Hydrate. Take Tylenol if you need it. That's all we got until you're in extremis." That's scary.

And then the second scary thing is then everybody gives you a million things to take, anti-malarials, Z-Pak, the hydrochloroquine, which the President made very popular with people, all right, everybody's saying that it works so well, and that there are all these other drugs that you can take to keep it from your lungs.

Do we know anything even close to definitively where you would feel comfortable, telling your friend, "Chris, let's go with it. Your cough is getting worse. I'm - I think it's worth the risk of taking this." Do we have anything like that right now?

GUPTA: Well can I just say on the first point, Chris, you know, I'm sorry you're going through this, really. I mean, you know, I - I really feel for you. It's not good. It's a serious thing. And you're a tough guy. But I know it really makes people feel miserable. So, I'm sorry you're going through this.

You know, there aren't any proven medications right now. And - and look, people will say, "Hey look, I mean, if it's not proven, but maybe it works in a situation like this, should we do it anyway?"

Let me - let me take one of the examples you gave, hydrochloroquine and - and the Z-Pak essentially, one that a lot of people have heard about recently. The President's talked about it. A lot of - a lot of doctors have talked about it.

I should point out a couple things. One is that we don't have the evidence that it works. Evidence is important here for a couple reasons.

First of all, the studies that they did, there were people who, you know, weren't - weren't counted in the study. They started the study. They weren't counted in the final conclusions. But some of those people got quite sick, despite taking the medications.

[21:10:00] And when you do the math, on this very small study of some 20 people, it didn't necessarily show benefit. You've got to trial this out in larger populations.

The French doctor, who actually was the Author of that study, came out today, and said, "Look, I want to be clear. I never wanted to recommend that people just start medicating themselves with this. And, by the way, if you do, you should get an EKG ahead of time. You should monitor your potassium ahead of time. There could be some significant side effects."

I mean the last thing we want to do to anybody, Chris, yourself included, is cause some sort of harm. That's why you do trials. I wish it worked. I wish we could say it worked, and we knew it for sure.

And then I would say my - my pal Chris could take this and he could, you know, it can help him reduce the severity, and the duration of this - of this virus, but can't say that for sure. That's one of the most common ones.

Remdesivir is another one, Chris, you may have heard about.

CUOMO: Yes.

GUPTA: That one is supposed to block the replication of the virus, slow it down. It was trialed in Ebola, and it was trialed in MERS, it didn't - was never approved for those. Lot of enthusiasm about it.

People have heard about these anti-AIDS drugs. That - those are probably the most promising. Those trials were started right after, a week after, first patient was diagnosed in China, and people said, "Hey, we got it. These are the drugs that are going to work."

And you know what, Chris, two weeks ago, final study came out, said they didn't work. That's why you do these studies.

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: There is going to be something. We just don't know what it is yet.

CUOMO: And look, and we do know that the one thing is the prevention, and that if you stay away from people, your chance of getting it is so much less, and then you don't have to deal with the unknown, and it's as simple as that.

And that's the only reason. Look, I wasn't going to have this and not tell people because I'm not going to tell people that they got to be straight about this. I don't care how people live their lives ordinarily.

GUPTA: Yes.

CUOMO: But this is bigger than your own personal choices. So, this is not where you want to be. I mean, look, my basement is great. It's, you know, it's not going to be a hardship. But I can't go hug my kids. I can't be with my family.

GUPTA: Yes.

CUOMO: I can't go out and get anything for them. And I don't know what's going to come next. I don't know if the tightness in my chest is a function of the virus or because I'm so pissed off at myself that I'm not able to take care of what I want to take care of.

And I want people to avoid that. And the - the bittersweet thing is, Sanjay, they can. They can avoid it.

GUPTA: Yes. No doubt. I mean, you know, we - we have data that shows what can decrease the likelihood of this continuing to spread, which can hopefully avoid some of these - these worst-case scenarios in this country.

But Chris, can I just ask for a second just because of what you just said? I mean, you know, there are some things that, you know, are worth probably getting checked out.

You know, the - most - for most people, they're not going to need to go to the hospital. It's going to be a tough, you know, period that they recover from this illness, but they're going to, as you said earlier, going to be OK.

But there are a few things that - that sound sometimes concerning. One is that if your shortness of breath is getting worse, you just mentioned tightness in your chest, I mean I - we don't have to do it right now.

But I'm going to call you. I'm going to ask you more about that. But tightness in the chest, pressure in the chest, especially if it's getting worse, those are things that I worry about.

Obviously, if you're - if you're, you know, developing any - any evidence, where you're not getting enough oxygen, you feel like you're losing your sensorium, your consciousness, or you got blue lips, or anything like that, those are obvious ones. Those are things that should take you to the doctor.

Most people aren't going to need it, Chris. But I want to make sure, especially given that you might have, you know, you just mentioned this tightness in your chest, I want to make sure that, you know, we leave people with the right impression--

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: --that there are situations that need to get checked out.

CUOMO: Yes. Look, I mean this - this is scary.

At the same time, I know you heard what I said at the top of the show. I'm not diving into the numbers, man, because I know we're playing catch-up. And people are getting freaked out by these exponential jumps in the numbers, and it was always going to happen. And the only number, I'm going to argue later in the show, that

matters is one. It's what you choose to decide, what I choose to decide, and who we do it for. That's the only number that's going to matter. Everything else is just going to scare the heck out of you and there's nothing you can do about it.

I'll talk to you whatever you want. I don't want to take up your time because you're being so helpful--

GUPTA: Not at all.

CUOMO: --to so many people. You are the best of us. And I can't tell you--

GUPTA: We love you, Chris, feel better.

CUOMO: --I can't tell you how good people have been, even the ones who hate me are being so nice, and that is a beautiful thing, and that shows our capacity to be much more powerful than any virus.

Sanjay, I'll talk to you soon. Thank you for helping me out, brother.

GUPTA: Stay close. You got it.

CUOMO: All right, not too close, I don't want to get him sick.

The man overseeing one of America's newest Coronavirus hotspots says he is only getting a fraction of what he is asking for. We have to stay on this because this is one of the blurry things, and it can't be blurry. You have to shine a light on it. We got to be blunt about it. We've got to be aggressive about it.

Illinois' Governor says a big shipment did arrive, but it had the wrong masks. Is that true or not? What does it mean for him going forward? How does it get fixed? The Governor, straight-talk, next.

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CUOMO: All right, let's deal with a very big point of contention right now, OK? The President says that the states are getting what they need that the

federal plan has really ramped up. But for some governors, it's simply never enough, meaning what? That the problem is somewhat theirs, not his.

He uses that stick on New York, where the Governor is, of course, my brother. And he also uses it on the Governor joining us now, J.B. Pritzker, of Illinois.

It's good to see you, Governor.

GOV. J.B. PRITZKER (D-IL): Great to see you. We're all thinking about you, praying for you, Chris.

CUOMO: I'm one of the lucky ones, Governor. Thank you very much. I'm going to do the job. And hopefully, I'll just be an example. Anybody can get it. You know, if you think it's not going to be you that's what I used to say also.

So, God bless you, Governor. Thank you. So, the President's--

PRITZKER: An awful lot of people are going to get it, no doubt.

CUOMO: Yes. The President says--

PRITZKER: And - and they'll recover, like you will.

CUOMO: God willing!

The President says, "Pritzker, listen, I get that you're nervous. I get you want, you want, you want. But I've given you plenty. Use what I'm giving you the right way and you don't have to worry about it."

Your response is "You didn't send me what I asked for."

What's the reality?

PRITZKER: Well we asked for 1.7 million N95 masks, and we've gotten about 400,000 total. We asked for many, many gloves, and gowns, and so on. We've gotten about 10 percent of what we asked for.

We needed testing early on. They were promising millions of tests, and you've heard them say that over and over again. The truth is that we've got very few tests from the federal government.

And, in fact, their federal testing is slowed down because they throw it all at LabCorp and Quest, and they've got a huge backlog. Those tests are coming back in four to 10 days.

What we're doing in the State of Illinois, we can do in one day or two days. That's very important. That time makes a huge difference in people's development of their virus and, you know, whether they're going to end up in the hospital or not.

CUOMO: Two points of pushback. One is "Yes, you only got 10 percent. That's all you need right now. You don't need everything that you want right now. We'll do it in stages. Use what I just gave you. When you run out, I'll give you more."

That's the President's rationale for many of the bigger states. What's the reality for you?

PRITZKER: Well that's not been the case. We - we've had to go out onto the open market to find masks, both surgical masks, N95 masks, gowns, goggles, face shields et cetera.

And we're competing against the federal government. We're competing against big states like New York and California. We're competing against other countries because the - the President has not invoked or used the Defense Production Act to help us with all of the needs that we have.

Yes, one company, GM, on ventilators, that's nice. That's good. I'm glad he's doing it.

But we need a comprehensive solution because we need 4,000 more ventilators here in Illinois from the federal government, where we've asked for those thousands of ventilators, we've now received a grand total of 450.

CUOMO: And look, you know, I have a little of a personal insight here. I have been dealing with procurement questions going on in New York, and it's not a question. The Governor is telling the truth.

I have had guys, serving as vendors, who have masks, where they come back and tell you the price has changed, or that they have to give them to Illinois, or to a different state, because they came in and they had money to spend more quickly.

Anybody who denies that is lying to you. That is the truth. Now, how to fix it? That is a question for the federal government to take it up.

But I'm telling you, the Governor's telling you the truth right now. I've dealt with his guys bidding in real-time, and it's a terrible place for the states to be.

What is your one source of optimism right now? You're converting spaces. You're putting a mitigation strategy in place. The numbers are scary. I'm trying to stay away from them because I think they're only revealing the obvious.

But every time you report a number, it's going to pop people's eyes. Why do you have optimism?

PRITZKER: Well my optimism is that the people of Illinois honestly have come through.

You know, we have the testing that we have today because of the hospitals here, because of the laboratories here, because our state government has gone out, and bought machines, and as many swabs, and VTM, as we possibly can, not to mention RNA extractor.

I mean, we've got our own testing that we spun up that takes, you know, two days. Again, the federal government delivered almost nothing, and takes four to 10 days to get results from them. So, my optimism is that we're solving it here in Illinois.

But honestly, I don't know if we're going to be able to solve it fast enough because I can see this curve moving. I can see us moving to the peak here in relatively short order.

And my great concern is that we'll run out of ICU beds, that we'll run out of ventilators, and then there will be people dying because--

CUOMO: What does that look like?

[21:25:00]

PRITZKER: Well unfortunately, we, as I said, we need 4,000 ventilators. And I spoke with the Vice President earlier today. When I said that, and repeated that to him, he said, "Well our models show that maybe you need 1,400 ventilators."

Well I hope he's right. But I said to him, "Well give me the 1,400 ventilators then" because we're only a couple of weeks away from the peak truly. If we don't have those ventilators delivered in the next week, we're not going to be prepared, across the state, for the kind of onslaught that we're going to see.

And again, I'm looking all over the world looking for ventilators. I'm purchasing every ventilator that I can find. But we're buying them in hundred lots and 200 lots. And frankly, I'm taking them 50, 20, 10, wherever I can get them.

We're going to run out of ventilators, and the federal government really isn't helping at all.

CUOMO: The biggest help will be people not creating cases, and that is the scary thing. At one time, our power is in our own hands, but at the same time, if we make the wrong choices, we will see things that we have never seen in this country before.

God forbid that happens. But if it does, Governor, I'm not going to be in here forever. We will be there to tell the story of what's happening in your state, and everywhere. You will always have a platform here.

Stay well. Your state needs your healthy more than ever. Don't wind up like me. And I'll speak to you soon.

PRITZKER: Be well, Chris.

CUOMO: Thank you. Thank you, brother. Governor J.B. Pritzker.

Imagine the pressure on the men and women who are leading us right now when they know they're not going to have enough to deal with what's coming. Imagine that!

That's why, to the extent that any of us can do anything, to avoid what's coming, what reason do you have not to? Now, so how do you help? How do you help others survive? That's a good question.

And what about those who can't be there to say goodbye to their loved ones? Another job that they're doing on the front-lines that they never asked to do, they shouldn't have to do, but it may mean more than anything.

Brave nurses, telling you stories, you cannot believe, next.

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CUOMO: All right, look, I'm telling you, the death toll can only go in one direction, and it's going to go in leaps and bounds. So, yes, the number of nearly 4,000 people having succumbed to this virus is very scary.

But you're going to see more of it. Accept the reality of where we are, and what it takes to get past it. If it were any other illness, OK, usually the dying would be able to see loved ones.

I mean I don't know if you've dealt with it in your own life. But I have in my family, and that's one of the most important moments in someone's life, where you get to have that closure of saying goodbye. And with this virus, that's being robbed from so many families.

So many are dying alone in quarantined units, why? Because we have to keep others safe. I mean that is the reality, but it is harsh, and it's so hard on people's hearts, imagine that, and, for families, but also healthcare workers.

And that's why people like my next guest are doing all they can to help and provide comfort. I want to introduce you to Carley Rice. She is a critical care nurse at a hard-hit hospital in Albany, Georgia.

First of all, thank you for taking the time. Thank you for being one of the angels among us. And I wish the best to you and all your brothers and sisters doing God's work for your community.

CARLEY RICE, CRITICAL CARE REGISTERED NURSE, PHOEBE PUTNEY HEALTH SYSTEM, ICU NURSE AT GEORGIA'S HARDEST-HIT HOSPITAL: Well thank you for having me. I really do appreciate it.

CUOMO: Now, I've watched you guys work your magic, and I've seen what you have to absorb of people in pain, and how you provide, not just for the patient, but for the loved ones.

Now you are put in a unique situation, where you may be the only person that can be with somebody. What is that like for you?

RICE: It's a lot of pressure to begin with. It's overwhelming.

But it's - it's my duty, as a person, as a nurse. I took an oath to take care of these patients from their mind, body, and soul. And that's what I'm doing as long with everybody else that I'm working with. It's--

CUOMO: You--

RICE: --it's heartbreaking.

CUOMO: You are very experienced, and you're getting more and more than you ever imagined by the hour. But you're also young.

How hard is it for you, emotionally, to see people who should not be ready to die? And the desperation that I know that you see, and the helplessness, how do you handle that emotionally?

RICE: I have good days and I have bad days. It's very hard to see someone close to your age, and they're fighting for their life, completely healthy, and the virus, the Beast, has taken them down so quickly.

I handle it because of my faith and my support system at home, my husband, my family, and friends. I honestly could not get through every single day without them. I just get so emotional about what we have to see like with me being so young, I didn't ever think that I would see this amount of deaths all at one time.

I mean you think about it throughout your nursing career, you're going to see a bunch of them, but all at one time is I don't know how to explain the feelings that I have for it, I guess. Sorry!

CUOMO: Sorry?

[21:35:00]

Listen, you are the best of us. So many families are going to be given a gift by you that nobody else could. And that is so sad, and it is tragic, and it is wrong that that is put on you. But that is why we call you guys "Heroes."

And I know that it doesn't end with you at that bedside. You have to think about what you're bringing home to your husband, young family, your loved ones, day after day, and with the equipment, and I know you guys feel alone.

I know you're calling the virus "The Beast." I'm hearing that all over the country.

And I know you guys feel like you're not sure if people get what you're up against. We get it. We get it enough, God willing, to stay home, and keep our asses on the couch, so that you can do your job saving the rest of us.

And I promise you, the people in my business get it, and they will push people in power to make sure you have what you need because you are doing everything for us. I'm just sorry you're in the position.

RICE: I'm not. I was led here. This is my journey. And this is what God wants me to do. So, I will do it with my faith and my head held high and do what I need to do for your family, and my family, and the community.

CUOMO: You know what? I knew you were going to say that.

And do you know why? Because every person I talk to in your situation it's like it's got to be something genetic, where you have a quality in you that just allows you to care for other people in a way most don't.

But even now, when they keep saying, "The apex is coming, we haven't seen it yet, the curve is going to get steeper, it's going to get worse," what does that look like to you day-to-day in terms of your fear? And what does that do to you emotionally and internally in terms of how you prepare for each day?

RICE: Each day is different. Some, you've had deaths while you've gone home to - your house to go sleep, when you come back, people are gone. The fear I have is we won't be able to do enough. We try and we try. We're the fixers. And we're not able to fix everybody.

And then, it's very hard. And I just pray for our community. We're such a - a smaller hospital compared to the bigger ones in New York. And we're using our resources the way that we should. We have what we need.

But eventually, we're going to run out of space, and we'll have to rely on the other communities to be able to help us in other hospitals and stuff. And I just pray that each patient is taken care of the way that they need to be taken care of and we have everything that we need to.

CUOMO: Well it should be a prayer from you. But it should be a promise from the rest of us because that's what this time is about. I'm talking to you for a reason. There are people in bigger hospitals that are doing the same thing but you matter just as much.

Every FaceTime call that you make, by somebody's bedtime, where you give a family an opportunity to look at their loved one, are you aware of what you're giving them as a gift?

RICE: I hope I'm giving them peace and comfort. That's my main goal. I will do my best to keep the patient comfortable, no matter what.

But I'm also supposed to take care of their loved ones, even if I can't see them, or touch them, give them a hug. They're always in my prayers. They're always going to be in my mind no matter what.

The FaceTimes just give me another chance to connect with them, and to let them know that they're not alone. Their family member's not alone. I'll be there no matter what.

CUOMO: It means so much. It has to mean so much. I hope that that gives you a measure of solace.

I know there's so many mixed emotions for you of what you can control, and what you can't, and is it enough, and why does it have to come this way. But you don't determine who lives and dies, but you do have a huge hand at how it happens.

And what you're doing with those families, Carley, I'm telling you, it is a gift for people, and they'll remember it the rest of their lives. I thank you.

RICE: Thank you.

CUOMO: And I want to stay in touch, and you let me know what you need, and God bless your husband and your family. Stay well. We need you.

RICE: Thank you, appreciate it.

[21:40:00]

CUOMO: Carley Rice, Albany, Georgia. I can touch my face, I'm already sick. It's amazing what they're doing for us.

Can you imagine not being able to say goodbye to a loved one? Oof! Think about it, and then think about what you can do to help make something like that less likely to happen.

Now, the Mayor of Dallas is pleased with landlords today. Why? Have a heart. Rent and plenty of other bills are coming due. What can be done? What makes you an Ameri-CAN?

I have a financial expert who's not just here for her analysis. Alexis Glick is here to look at solutions. We have a bigger need than we ever imagined. It is real. It is acute. And we have to address it.

The good news, we can, if you listen to her, next.

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[21:45:00]

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CUOMO: All right, health first, always, always, but survival means money as well. First of the month looming over millions of Americans, April 1st, forget about April Fool's Day. This virus played us all for fools.

So, even during the best of the economic times, we're stretched. Now, there're going to be record spikes in people out of work who have great need.

One of those needs is going to be literally the basics of food. Kids aren't the only ones that depend on meals at schools. There are a lot of families that are going to need food on the table. How do we deal?

All right, the good news is I have somebody who's working on this problem. Her name is Alexis Glick. And yes, she's a well-known Economic Analyst. But she happens to be an example of an Ameri-CAN as well as figuring out a solution.

Thank you for joining me, my friend.

ALEXIS GLICK, FINANCIAL EXPERT, CEO, GENYOUTH FOUNDATION, FORMER WALL STREET EXECUTIVE: Thank you so much for having me. And I'm - I'm thinking about you. I'm here for you.

CUOMO: Why do you look so much better on your shot at home than I look?

GLICK: You know, this is a - we've got to get used to this stuff. I was thinking I got to be bright and happy for you. So, I'm bright orange for you, Chris.

CUOMO: So, the need - look, Alexis talks to me all the time. She coaches me up before the show on a regular basis. The need is greater than we imagined. Why and how so?

GLICK: It is tremendous. As we sit here today, 124,000 schools are closed in the United States, impacting 55 million kids.

But, as I've been telling you, the thing that keeps me up at night are the 30 million kids who rely on school meals. Right now, Chris, those school buildings have become school feeding sites.

Every one of us can, you know, we think back to our, you know, our - our youth, right, and stepping into the school lunch room, or into the cafeteria, and that man or woman puts food on your plate. Well those people right now are on the front-lines. Those are the school nutrition teams and the volunteers.

And what's happening in our school buildings today is they are ground zero for feeding, so they're providing meals, whether it be Grab & Go or through buses to ensure that every kid gets access.

And Chris, it's not just the 30 million kids who rely on those school meals. Because of what you just referenced, families getting layoff, people getting furloughed, those school buildings are not just feeding the kids who need the meals, but now many more kids and families who are coming to those school buildings hungry. CUOMO: So, we have to make sure that the people on the front-lines get treated that way, so that they're able to stay there, and keep feeding people. That's about PPE. What else do you know about the need and what resource do you have for people if they want to help address it.

GLICK: So, what we did is we launched, literally 24 hours ago, a COVID-19 Emergency School Nutrition Fund. It allows school buildings, these school feeding sites, to apply for up to $3,000.

And for that - those funds, what they can do is go by those containers that they need, whether it be cooler bags, whether it be Grab & Go packaging for those meals, because the delivery mechanism of those meals are now being changed to school buses, and being handed out on corners, so that they're not congregating, plus the PPE that they need to protect themselves.

Thus far, Chris, we've been able to raise $3 million to help support schools. We've received 750 applications in the first handful of hours yesterday.

CUOMO: So, you need more. Where do we go?

GLICK: These are--

CUOMO: What's the site? How do I get there? Pitch!

GLICK: OK. So--

CUOMO: Pitch! Pitch!

GLICK: Oh, OK. So, what you do is you got to go to genyouthnow.org or you can text "Schools" to 20222.

But let me just tell you. We launched a campaign, and the campaign is "For Schools' Sake." We want you to raise your hand "For Schools' Sake" to help us feed our nation's kids.

And so far, Chris, I've had America's dairy farmers, who I went to at the very outset, who have been hit so hard, who pledged $1 million out of the gate. I'm asking friends like Cris Carter, and Kyler Murray, and Claressa Shields, to raise their hands, in video messages.

[21:50:00]

And I want Ameri-CANs to know to number one, put up that video, post yourself "For Schools' Sake" raising your hand to help kids in needs, and number two, put your heart in your hand, and if you can donate even a little bit, let's help our front-line workers who are feeding our nation's kids and families in such a difficult time in this country.

CUOMO: I'm sick. I forgot where to go. What is the website?

GLICK: It is genyouthnow.org. It's where you can go to the website to donate for--

CUOMO: Genyouthnow.org, and what can I text?

GLICK: And you can text to Schools 20222, and you can donate through the text.

CUOMO: Schools 20222.

Alexis Glick. If you go to the website, you'll see all these big shots on the sports world and beyond, are telling you to do it. You shouldn't need it. What Alexis just told you is more than enough. If you can help, help. Together as ever as one, we get through this.

Alexis, I love you, best to the family.

GLICK: I love you too honey. I'm here for you, and stay safe, and my love to Cristina and the kids.

CUOMO: Thank you very much. They're all upstairs. Nobody's talking to me right now.

All right, I am now among those who have contracted what they are calling "The Beast" this virus, proof positive that you are not too strong that there is none who is immune.

But what does it mean? What have I learned more acutely than I ever wanted to? I'll tell you next.

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[21:55:00]

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CUOMO: I don't know if you agree with me. Let me know. But, more than anything else, this situation is just so weird, right? Isn't that the word that just keeps coming up that we're just like living a sci-fi thriller, and it turns out that fact is stranger than fiction, right? I mean that's the reality.

So many of the traditional differences among us are disappearing, why? Because we're all in the same bucket, stuck in the house, sharing fears, sharing worries about providing, and wellness, and leadership, feelings of doubt. Can this really be as daunting as everyone seems to think now?

Well, on that question, let me serve as confirmation of the reality, OK? You can get this. Now, unlike me, you will not have the added oddity, of watching in real time, as your brother addresses the nation, and discusses the fact that you have just caught the virus.

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GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): My brother Chris is positive for Coronavirus, found out this morning. The - now, he is going to be fine. He is young, in good shape, strong, not as strong as he thinks, but he will be fine.

And now he is quarantined in the basement but he's funny as heck. He says to me, "Even the dogs won't come downstairs," he says so. But he is concerned about his wife and his kids.

People wind up exposing you and then they find out they're positive a couple of days later.

It's my family. It's your family. It's all of our families. And this virus is that insidious.

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CUOMO: Look, let's just be clear about something. Captain Banana Hands is right. It is all of us. But it is literally me, OK? And I know he was trying to be comforting to the rest of you.

Hearing him talk to me about - that way about me made me very worried about what the road ahead could be. I started calling all these doctors after that I was like "This is not a good indication of my future." And luckily, what's going on is what's going on with everybody.

Man, are we scared when it's someone we know and we love? He raised me. Of course, it's going to freak him out. And I don't want to be a cautionary tale.

But I am fighting something that we don't really understand, and you do not want to be in that position. No one can really give me anything good to do about it. It's - it's really I've never seen anything like that before where there's like nothing you can do.

The tightness in my chest, it's tough to account for. Is it the virus or is it the choking concern of my inability to do what matters most, which is the same thing for you, to care for my family.

Look what I've done, look where I am now. I can't help. I can't be there. I can't even hold them. For how long? Weeks?

Now, look, it's no longer an opinion. One of the only things we know for sure is that staying home is our best if not our only chance of avoiding long-term suffering. What else do you need to hear? Even Trump gets that now.

Look, I am honestly happy that it is me. Better than you, better than my family, God forbid. I'm waiting for that information, and that will take me way lower than any virus ever could.

And I hope so strongly for your family and for you. I mean that. And I hope you feel that as well. We have to fight for one another in a way that we really never have here before. And that is a daunting challenge. But it's an exciting one as well. It is time to walk the walk.

I'm going to be in the basement in self-quarantine. Big deal! Of course, emotionally it's hard for me.

But to reduce the strain on our angels, on those front-lines, like you met tonight, Carley, so that we don't expose other people, we don't create more caseload, more risk to her to go home to her family with how long she's going to have to do this, weeks and months, do what we need to do to remind everyone of who we are at our best, and that is the only reality that we need to motivate us right now, not numbers.

Forget the numbers, why? We're playing catch-up. They can only jump exponentially. They can only be scary. The only number that I argue matters, is one, you, me, what do you choose to do, to do and not to do, right?

You know the phrase, to borrow from Shakespeare a little bit, it's not the question. It is the answer. The only good news is they're telling us it's working. Staying away works.

Let the fact that I'm doing the show and I'm doing OK be a comfort that the numbers are not everything. Most of us are going to be fine. Hopefully, it stays that way for me.