Return to Transcripts main page


Harvard's Dr. Dan Barouch Discusses U.S. Government, Johnson & Johnson Investing Billions To Produce & Test Vaccine He Helped Develop; David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital Systems CEO, Discusses Putting Testing On Hold & Closing Drive-Thru Testing Site Due To Inability To Get Needed Supplies; A Look At How Governments Around The World Are Cracking Down; Former NBA Player, Stephon Marbury, Discusses Working With Supplier To Deliver Masks To New York; Dr. Fauci Opens Up To Sanjay Gupta On Coping. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired April 1, 2020 - 14:30   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Phase one, what happens in a phase one on a trial like this?

DR. DAN BAROUCH, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: A phase one of the trial is the initial test of the vaccine or new drug, in a small number of individuals, the primary goal is to show that the new intervention is safe and raises the type of immune responses that we believe are important.

If that hurdle is cleared, there will be permission to expand into larger scale studies.

COOPER: Obviously, there's a lot of pressure, a lot of people watching this. And obviously, people want it to happen as fast as possible. Science, of course, has its own requirements.

How long, I mean, if the vaccine proves effective, in trials, how long until somebody out there can go to their doctor and actually get this vaccine?

BAROUCH: We are moving forward as fast as we possibly can. The hope is that if everything goes well, and that's a big if, that the vaccine may be ready for emergency use authorization in 2021.

COOPER: And would this be one- or two-time dose like MMR or chickenpox? Would it be a vaccine you have to get annually like the flu? At this stage, do you know?

BAROUCH: It's very difficult to tell at this stage. In previous vaccine studies, for other pathogens, a single dose of this vaccine has proven highly mutagenic for a long period of time. In other types of vaccines second dose might be required. For this vaccine, since it hasn't been tested yet, it's very hard to tell.

COOPER: Is there a chance or a likelihood that this virus could mutate and, therefore, a new vaccine would need to be created? BAROUCH: That's a very good question. It's a question that keeps us up

at night. I've spent a lot of my career developing candidate vaccines for HIV, in which there's a huge amount of virus availability as well as for influenza. We need a new vaccine every year.

So far -- and I should say, we're very early into this epidemic. So far, the amount of mutations has been relatively small. We continue to monitor those mutations and we hope that a single vaccine would be sufficient.

COOPER: That would be great if that is, in fact, if that holds true. Let's hope it does.

Dr. Barouch, I really appreciate you taking the time of your business schedule for what a lot of people hope about what may be coming down the pike. Thank you so much.

The state of Alabama has just passed 1,000 cases and the busiest hospital there had to put a pause on testing because it doesn't have the test kits.

Plus, I'll speak with former NBA star who currently lives this China who is making a big move to try to help New York.



COOPER: The busiest hospital in Alabama has been forced to put coronavirus testing on hold for now as it struggles to get access to supplies. Alabama's Huntsville Hospital System on Monday temporary shutdown the drive-through testing site after running out of necessary materials.

The hospital's CEO, David Spiller, is going public with his frustration and government directives keeping him from getting what his hospital needs.

David Spillers joins me now.

David, this is just unbelievable, this happening to you. Explain what is causing the delay and if anything has changed since you spoke out on Monday.

DAVID SPILLERS, CEO, HUNTSVILLE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS: Yes, there's two types of testing we do. One for the ambulatory outpatients. We've been testing a significant number of those and we have had until recently, adequate supply to test the outpatients.

But the patients that tax the system are the in-patients under investigation and we're waiting to get a result on them. But until they are determined to be either positive or negative, we treat them as if they're positive.

So if we have 40 or 50 of those patients in our hospital, we're consuming a massive amount of resources until we can prove that they're negative.

What we have lacked is the ability in our own hospital lab to test those patients so that we can get quick turnaround on those patients and quit utilizing resources to make them available to the next person.

So when I spoke of this earlier in the week, we did not have access to that. We felt like a hospital of our size that treats, it is the second hospital in all of Alabama, needed access to that type of technology.

So that was why we had this conversation in the press on Monday.

COOPER: And you still don't have that technology?

SPILLERS: We did not have it implemented yet, but someone can supply that to us, as agreed, to put that in our lab. They're in the process of doing that now. It's not a simple process. They don't just walk in and, all of a sudden, we do it.

But we're working to program the instruments and get the material. And hopefully, by this time next week, we'll be able to test in our own lab.

That will allow us to have very quick turnaround on these patients and allow us to conserve our resources, which we're going to need probably a couple of weeks from now when the expected surge hits Alabama.


COOPER: And you also announced on Monday that a hospital staffer tested positive. And 15 others, who had contact with the employee, are being quarantined and tested. How is that impacting the hospital's ability to care for patients?

SPILLERS: So at this point, we've had systemwide probably nine to 12 employees test positive. We had 15,000 employees. A percentage of the employees, it's a relatively small number. We want to keep it low.

Those employees, we would also use in-house testing because we can test them and find out if they're negative as soon as they can get back to work and then go ahead and quarantine them, but quarantine them and work with the people who work closely with them. So at this point, staffing is not a problem.

I think, for Hudson, Alabama, probably seen the grass. We're about two weeks out, maybe a little more than that with a huge surge. We're trying to do everything we can to prepare for that. Trying to protect our employees, and make sure we have enough employees when the surge hits.

COOPER: In Alabama, are they doing social distancing? Is there a statewide stay-at-home order?

SPILLERS: There's not a statewide stay-at-home order. I think there's -- we have in our community what I think are some very progressive methods or policies to try to keep people doing social distancing. I think it's working to a large degree.

I think we're not against populated states. People in the rural areas, it's a little easier to do social distancing there. Our city's not densely populated. Geographically, we're a large city, so we're able to have people over a large area.

I think the in-home orders are clearly much more effective in very dense population areas. I think people here, for the most part, are adhering to the rules that are out there.

So at this point, we're just doing what the state is recommending and that's to try to keep our distance from everybody and try to encourage everybody to do the same.

COOPER: It's probably a matter of time before everybody at state-wide stay-at-home orders.

David Spillers, thank you for all you're doing, trying to keep the system moving forward and getting those testing on site facilities. Appreciate it.


COOPER: Coming up, a look at how governments around the world are cracking down from what appears to be authoritarian power grab in Hungary to some really disturbing scenes in South Africa where the homeless are being rounded up and forced into cramped conditions.

Plus, I'll speak to former NBA star, Stephon Marbury, who now lives in China. He details the deal he struck to get 10 million masks to New York.



COOPER: There are more than 900,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world. And some governments are now taking drastic measures to make sure people are staying home.

In India, Delhi officials announced they are tracking phones of people ordered to quarantine suspected of having coronavirus.

Checking in now with our reporters around the globe, starting with CNN's Ivan Watson who is reporting a surge of cases on a U.S. Navy ship. Nearly 100 sailors have tested positive and it's still out at sea.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The captain of the U.S. aircraft carrier, the "USS Theodore Roosevelt," is so concerned about an outbreak of coronavirus on that ship that he sent a letter to the U.S. Navy asking to evacuate most of his crew of more than 4,000 sailors. Wednesday, the governor of Guam and another U.S. Navy admiral have

agreed they're going to start to put a plan in motion to start to move sailors who test negative for the disease to hotels that used to house tourists to put them there for 14-day mandatory quarantine while they try to disinfect the aircraft carrier.

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen, and here in central Europe, the situation in Hungary is causing a great deal of concern. President Viktor Orban has now gotten the power in that country to essential rule by decree. And he has that power even after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

Also a new law in Hungary that could punish journalists with up to five years in prison if they spread what the government deems to be false information.

Hungary was one of the first countries to close its borders when the pandemic began.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm David McKenzie, in Johannesburg, South Africa. We witnessed how military and police were clearing streets of homeless during a 21-day lockdown here in South Africa.

Now, at least a thousand of them were put in a stadium. Many of those men too afraid to go into tents because they fear the virus. They're sleeping in the bleachers.

This nation has designated schools, churches, even parking lots as shelters for the homeless.

And it's just striking, driving around Johannesburg, how, for some, self-isolation at home is an inconvenience. But for many, many others in this country and across the world, many of them living in shacks, this kind of lockdown is almost impossible.

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm David Culver, in Shanghai, where daily life and businesses are slowing starting to resume and lockdown restrictions easting. But in neighboring Hong Kong, where the territory faces a surge of imported cases, the government issued 50,000 mandatory quarantine orders to travelers returning to the city.

The government adopted a zero-tolerance policy after people breached their mandatory self-isolations and now offenders may be sent to closed quarantine centers and face up to six now the coronavirus.



COOPER: Now we go to ground zero for the coronavirus, China. It's the current home of former NBA player, Stephon Marbury. From a world away, Marbury is working with a supplier to sell 10 million masks to his native New York at cost rather than profit. He joins me now from Beijing.

Stephon, thanks for joining us.

What prompted you to do this?


I'm from New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn borough president asked me to help him and I just came to bat for him.

COOPER: How did you arrange this deal?

MARBURY: Well, we had some people that knew some of the factory that made masks and the opportunity presented itself for us to be able to help and we came.

COOPER: I know you've got a cousin who died from coronavirus.


COOPER: Can you tell us been I'm -- I'm sorry about that. Could you tell us about the circumstances?

MARBURY: My cousin went to the hospital. They told him that he was sick and he was trying to figure it out. He left and went home and pretty much that was it after that.

COOPER: When you returned to China last month, I know you had to quarantine for two weeks. What's it like there now? And when you look at what is happening in the U.S., I'm wondering what you think?

MARBURY: I mean, when I came back it was pretty different from what I saw in America and in New York. People were walking around without a mask and people were looking at me like I was strange for having a mask on when I got here.

I went directly to the hospital, took my test, tested negative. After that 14-day quarantine and then after I quarantined I went on to my life.

But it's completely different in how they're structuring things here as opposed to America which I believe that system will change soon.

COOPER: And life in Beijing now that the peak seems to have passed in China, what's it like?

MARBURY: It's normal. It's getting back to normalcy. When I was here and went back, it was just getting ready to start. And then it started when I left to come back to China in America.

Now you can do the things that you would normally be doing, like going out to eat and doing regular things --


COOPER: It does seem like the key is the social distancing, the stay- at-home. In America, not all of the states yet have stay-at-home orders. I'm wondering, what message would you send to people here in the U.S. about coronavirus?

MARBURY: That is the only way to really stop this, is to stay-at-home. To stop everything and shut everything off so you can separate the negatives and the positives. You can't -- you don't know who is who if you don't do that.

Right now, you see so many people having gatherings still. That wasn't going on in China during this time. So I think that is very vital and very important.

COOPER: Stephon Marbury, I appreciate all you're doing to get masks over here to New York and --


MARBURY: I'm sorry?


COOPER: I just said I appreciate all you're doing to get masks over here to New York.


COOPER: Everybody needs to do their part and you're doing that.

Thank you so much.

MARBURY: Thanks for having me.

COOPER: Continue to stay safe.

Wisconsin is still moving ahead with the primary vote next week despite concerns about spreading the virus. The National Guard is being called in to help staff the polls.


Plus, the New York governor said police officers may have to get tougher on enforcing the stay-at-home orders. That's next.



COOPER: Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the country's most recognized voice on this virus but he opened up to CNN's Sanjay Gupta how he personally is coping through it all.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASE (voice-over): You know, I'm doing fine, Sanjay. It is very exhausting. I think I maybe, about three or four weeks ago, I realized that I was really running myself completely into the ground. And it was the wisdom of my wife who is the head of the Department of

bioethics, but before that, she was a nurse and is still is a nurse, and she's pretty good clinician. And she sort of said, Tony, you have to just really be careful because you're going to burn out in about a week.

So with that, what I did is I started to -- I wouldn't say pull back, but I made sure I ate. I would go a whole day without eating anything just because I didn't have time to eat and the adrenalin was so high that it doesn't make you hungry.

And then I find out at the end of the day I'm feeling hyperglycemic and I don't know why. And my wife goes, duh, you're hypoglycemic because you didn't eat anything. And it is the same thing with sleep.

So I'm really trying now, to the best as possible, to get five hours. I was getting three to four, which --


COOPER: And now you can check out that from Sanjay's podcast, "CORONAVIRUS: FACT VERSUS FICTION." Check that out.

Special coverage continues right now with CNN Brooke Baldwin. I'll see you later tonight.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi, there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. Thank you for being with me.

The next two weeks will be painful.