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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 10,000; Trump Lashes Out at HHS Inspector General's Findings Warning of Severe Hospital Shortages: "It's Wrong"; Dr. Fauci: "Might Not Ever" Get Back to Life Pre- Coronavirus; More Than 97% of Americans Under Stay-at-Home Orders. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired April 6, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Do you have one you have, please, and we'll get to you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, Mr. President. A National Security question and then a question about Gov. Cuomo.
On the National Security front, to the extent that you can comment on this, your administration is making heavy preparations to move against the cartels in Latin America right now and could you expand ...
TRUMP: You said Latin America?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could you expand on the reasoning of why now are they supplying logistics, (inaudible)], is it political?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's the reasoning?
TRUMP: It's a good question. We've moved a tremendous number of boats and ships to the area, different areas of exactly what you're talking about, because we're tired of drugs pouring into our country from other places and we're tired of seeing drugs pouring into different parts of Latin America, South America and just coming into our country.
Now we've got him stopped at the border and they're trying to do it by sea. So we stopped them at the border. And, frankly, with the help of Mexico, Mexico right now has 27,000 soldiers on our southern border. They never had any soldiers. They're doing that because I've asked them to do it. That's the only reason they're doing it. They have 27,000 soldiers.
So now they're trying to bring it in by boat and by ship. The drug lords and the people doing drugs and trying to destroy our country from inside with drugs and we're hitting them very, very hard. And that's why we're doing it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are there other illicit activities that U.S. assets are targeting or ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Say it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... is it beyond narcotics? Are there other illicit activities that (inaudible) ...
TRUMP: Well, there are other, the activities of human trafficking and especially with respect to women and as you know proportionally it's mostly women and it's a horrible thing. It's a horrible thing and there's never been a time like it. And it's because of the internet and this is all over the world, but for the most part they're coming through, in this country, they're coming through the southern border.
But we're hitting very hard. They have a tremendous illegal trafficking in women and children, also, but mostly in women. And it's illegal, and it's horrible, and it's disgraceful and I've seen things that are an absolute disgrace. And we're trying to knock them out and we're knocking them hard.
And again, I want to thank the President of Mexico because he has really stepped up to the plate, 27,000 soldiers. They've never had any soldiers on our border. And I did that because the Democrats will not approve anything to step - because they want to have open borders. They want to have all these people flowing through our border and in many cases they're sick, they have problems that you don't want to know about or they're criminals, in many cases, not in all cases, but in many cases.
And they want to have open borders. They want to have sanctuary cities, so they protect criminals and I don't want to have it. And Joe Biden does want to have that also, as you know, because he said that during numerous debates.
I want to have strong borders and I don't like protecting criminals with sanctuary cities. But we're doing it for drugs. We're doing it for human trafficking. We're doing it because you have to do it. We need to have borders or we don't have a country.
All right. Go ahead, please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) Mr. President, let me have a question of antibody testing which is FDA approved now but not widely available yet. I know the admiral said by May expect to have millions available. How are you going to prioritize who's going to get the antibody tests and what is that going to show you? Do you think that's going to be immunity?
TRUMP: I mean, I have an answer for that, I'd rather have the Admiral answer that.
DR. BRETT GIROIR, HHS ASSISTANT SECRETARY: So let me clarify and I know you probably understand this, the antibody test does not tell you if you have the active virus in your nose. If you're a positive for the antibody, it strongly implies, it means that you have had the virus before and to the degree that we know of medical knowledge, you will probably highly probably be protected against getting the virus again in the future.
So I want to make something clear on that. There's no antibody test approved, OK, approved is not a word we talk about. There is a test or two that has received emergency use authorization and many, many, many others out there that have not gone that way yet.
And I want to take this opportunity to caution, there is a very consolidated effort between the FDA, CDC, NIH to validate some of the tests that are on the market right now, because it is very important that they actually do what they say they do. And we have reason to believe that not all of them are going to perform well.
I don't know the primary source but the Financial Times just reported that the U.K. had 17.5 million antibody tests that they bought and none of them work. So we're not going to get in that situation. We're going to be very careful to make sure that when we tell you, you're likely immune from the disease. That test really said that.
Now, I will also make a statement and there's a lot of work on here and I'm very excited about it.
As opposed to the test for a novel virus, the antibody type tests are very sophisticated technology, but they're old technology. This we expect to have many 10s of millions of tests, the first month that we're really sure that the tests make sense.
So this allows for surveillance, screening and Dr. Birx is one of the world's experts to understand is 1 percent, 5 percent, 20 percent of Americans have been infected. But it also allows us to have very widespread 10s and 10s of millions of people screened with a finger prick on the spot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By when? Just to be - by May, you're saying, this will happen or (inaudible) ...
GIROIR: So science doesn't run on rails, right, so we need to make sure that the FDA, the NIH, which they're actively doing right now, assure that the tests that they're testing really do perform the way they should. And if things work out the way we believe they will, we will have millions on the market by May in a sophisticated way, in a prospective way that we get the surveillance we need, we can test people to see if they've been exposed, immune and go back to work.
And a combination of that kind of test with the current kind of test we have now is how America opens back up again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do we prioritize who gets those tests? I mean, 10s of million - where a country have 300 million, how do you determine ...
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
And you were just hearing a question there about an antibody testing. That, of course, was the coronavirus task force along with President Trump giving the latest update on the pandemic which comes as the United States today reports more than 10,000 deaths related to coronavirus.
There are though tonight signs that social distancing and stay-at-home orders may be working in some places. New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo telling reporters that New York, which is the epicenter right now in the United States, may be experiencing a flattening of the curve.
You're still seeing an increase. The rate of that increase though seems to perhaps have been slowing. We have a lot to discuss. I want to go to Jim Acosta now, Gloria Borger, Daniel Dale, our fact checker and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. All of you, thank you very much. There's a lot to talk about.
I do want to ask about those antibody tests, because that's going to be a crucial thing. That last point that was just made. But first, as the President was taking these questions, Jim Acosta, he certainly was - I mean, he was going back and forth with people, but he was certainly very defensive, I think would be a fair way to describe it.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, this is a president who sounds, I mean, even though he's been doing these briefings day in and day out for weeks now, sounds like a president whose back is up against the wall. And what seemed to really set him off or questions about this new Inspector General's report out of the Department of Health and Human Services.
That report, the name on that report was from the Principal Deputy Inspector General there, Christi Grimm. At one point during the briefing when he was asked about this Inspector General's report, the President said where did he come from, this Inspector General, what's his name.
Well, it's not a man, it's a woman. And just to give our viewers a sense of what's in this Inspector General's report, it essentially surveyed hospitals around the country and found critical supply shortages, not just critical supply shortages in terms of treating patients, but also protective equipment for doctors and nurses and so on, which puts everybody at risk at these hospitals.
And the President was going back and forth with several reporters essentially saying, well, is this an Obama political appointee. Well, according to miss Grimm's bio on the HHS website, she was appointed by the Trump administration in January of this year and her experience goes all the way back to 1999.
So she has served in government for both Democratic and Republican administrations including the current one and you heard the President rip into Jon Karl of ABC News for a moment there. That was totally uncalled for and refer to Jon Karl as a third rate reporter.
I've known Jon for many years. He's a terrific reporter over at ABC who has lots of experience and was asking the right questions as were others in the room about all of this. But it just goes back to, Erin, what we've heard for weeks now and that this President is just terribly sensitive when it comes to criticism of the government's response and all of this and how they've been able to manage getting these supplies out to states across the country.
It has been a massive failure on the part of this federal government and the President seems to know that and is just bristling and having outbursts anytime a question is asked about this.
BURNETT: And Sanjay, just the facts of this, right, so he's slamming his own appointed Inspector General. But the facts are also not in dispute. I mean, it's nice that we have an inspector general's report to tell the American people what they are hearing from the frontlines from doctors and nurses and hospitals. It's not in dispute.
This is the reality of what there have been, which is massive shortages of a whole lot of necessary things.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: There have been so many voices, Erin, lately. Frontline workers, people that I talk to on a regular basis, they're telling us the stories, Erin. I know they've told you the stories about having to go in, take care of these patients, not have enough personal protective equipment. I mean, it's as simple as that.
And every patient now that comes into the hospital, even if they're not coming in for something that's an infectious disease specifically, they have to be treated as if they might have this coronavirus, which means that everybody that examines that patient interacts that patient would like to have personal protective equipment because then those - again, I'm telling you things you've heard, I think most people have heard.
But those health care workers, they then go home to their families and they worry about taking the virus home, so it's real. It's real that there's a need and there's been a shortage of this PPE in some places around the country. So I think the Inspector General report just sort of codified that, just sort of laid it out in a more clear fashion.
BURNETT: And Daniel Dale, on the fact checking side here also that the President, again, brought up tests, he was showing sort of a ramp up in testing for the actual virus against separate from the antibody point that he was making just a moment ago. But you are also able to fact check some of what he said about that.
DANIEL DALE, CNN REPORTER: Yes. So there were two separate false claims about testing, both of which he said before. Number one he said the initial test that he claimed they inherited, he said, were old and obsolete. There is no inherited test for the coronavirus. It was called the novel coronavirus, because it's new.
These tests were developed in 2020 and they were flawed under Trump. He also claimed that people are being tested getting on and off airplanes and he used that to justify why he doesn't want to impose further restrictions on domestic or new restrictions on domestic travel. That is not happening.
People aren't being tested getting on and off planes. He also, again, wrongly described his restrictions on travel from Europe as a ban. They're not a complete ban on Europe. There are many exemptions and whole countries are exempted.
He also made what I thought was an absurd false claim about the Obama administration's handling of the H1N1 pandemic saying the other administration, they didn't even know, it was like they didn't even know it was there. Obama declared a public health emergency within two weeks of the first confirm U.S. case, a test was available soon after that. Obama requested billions from Congress.
So the idea that they just didn't handle this at all is ridiculous. And again, as Jim talked about, he suggested that the Deputy Inspector General who produced this report was an Obama appointee. She's a career official whose career dates to 1999 and he's summarily dismissed her report just saying it's wrong.
That report was based on accounts for more than 400 hospitals in more than 40 states. So Trump can argue that it's a little bit outdated. It's from late March or early April, but to just dismiss it is baseless.
BURNETT: So Gloria, another thing that stands out is in part, but when you hear Daniel, for example, going through these facts is that the President himself is answering most of these questions. I personally would like to hear even more from the doctors, hear some from Dr. Birx, but more from Dr. Birx, Dr. fauci.
People want to understand what does a flattening of the curve mean if New York seeing in. Are cases coming down, explain what a change - a decrease in the growth rate as oppose to an actual decrease in cases what this means, where are we? How many people are dying? Have any of these things changed? And perhaps a medical as opposed to a wishful thinking political analysis on possible treatments like hydroxychloroquine, but instead the President seems to jump in and take almost every question.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think if you take a look at today's presser as a whole, it was quite stunning and a little bit disconcerting, I would think, because the President was defensive. He was a bullying and quite frankly his behavior was outrageous, Erin, not only to the journalists in the room, but here's a president who wanted to take the stage to say, if you don't give me a great grade, give me an A in every question you ask, I'm going to shoot right back at you and I'm going to bully you.
And if I hear about an Inspector General report, what he said was what's the name of that Inspector General, tell me because, of course, he has no faith in the government's ability to police itself or quite frankly any public servants who work in the government and it sounded like a threat. What we all know is what the Inspector General report is supposed to do is to tell HHS and other public servants where the problems are so they can fix them. It's not to lay blame at anyone's feet. It's to help the government Figure out where the problems are.
[19:15:03] But instead, every question the President got that seemed to sort of
say, OK, do we need more tests, what about this Inspector General report, any kind of question he was getting even about Chuck Schumer, what Chuck Schumer has suggested, oh, that's just a bunch of politics.
The President was responding as if it were a personal assault and that all of this is about him, which is, of course, it isn't. So when he is confronted with something that doesn't give him the best grade and say, Mr. President, you're doing a great job, and I know the governors have had to say that to the President to get what they want, quite honestly.
But I think what we saw today was a stunning performance of somebody who is clearly got his back up against the wall here and doesn't want to have an honest give and take with journalists, but it makes you wonder, quite frankly, what is going on behind the scenes between the President and the scientists.
BURNETT: And Sanjay to that front, at that point, what do you understand that this moment is going on behind the scenes? I mean, I know we've heard about real raised voices in that room when it comes to therapies like hydroxychloroquine as an example, whether it'd be Dr. Fauci and I believe Peter Navarro, in that case was the reporting, but what are you hearing right now is that relationship between the scientists and the President?
GUPTA: It's really quite striking to me because I think the message sometimes given to the scientists about the scientist is because you're saying that trials are needed because you just won't sign on and say that this stuff, in this case, the hydroxychloroquine just works that somehow you're being disparaging and that you're being a pessimist and you're somehow not wanting people to get well.
I mean, I found that really striking. I mean, Anthony Fauci talking about the fact that look, I mean, the studies are small, everybody on the planet wants one of these therapies to work, I think, because this is a true pandemic. But you want to test these things.
Hydroxychloroquine, Erin, this is the one that obviously has gotten a lot of attention. Although I thought it was interesting President Trump today talked about 10 different therapeutics that are now being looked at 15 different trials. He didn't seem to lean in as heavily on hydroxychloroquine today as he has in the past. But that particular medicine may work because it is an immunosuppressant. That's why people with autoimmune disease take it to sort of tamp down their immune system.
That could be effective in people who are really debilitated by this disease, because their own immune systems are being hyperactive. But in people who have weakened immune systems already, giving a medication like this could be quite detrimental. We don't know. That's why you study it ahead of time.
But I think the thing that struck me just sort of more subjectively is if you don't immediately buy into this, if you're somebody who asks for data, then you must not want a therapeutic to succeed. I think that was how Anthony Fauci was being painted today by Peter Navarro. I found that quite striking and discouraging, frankly.
BURNETT: Right. And I will just note also just as a point, the President talking about a call that he had with the largest exporter of that hydroxychloroquine, India, with the Prime Minister there, Narendra Modi, and saying that he had no idea that anything about India possibly halting all exports of that when, of course, their own Ministry of Commerce and Industry this weekend said they were doing that, banning all exports.
So you would think that it's something you'd be up in arms about or even acknowledge that he knew about, but he didn't, which I found to be extremely odd given his as we all know, intense focus, let's just put it that way on that particular therapy.
Jim Acosta, then at the end there were questions about antibody testing and the President did ask the admiral to take that question from Jonathan Karl. But let me just ask you about that because this is really crucial. We do know that in one country where they did completely random testing in Iceland, right, they tested 5 percent of the population randomly and only 1 percent of them had had coronavirus.
So we don't know what the numbers are in the United States. But if you're going to use an antibody test as some kind of a gauge or metric for returning to normal life and your numbers aren't going to be huge, like I don't know what they need to be, but I mean they'd need to be huge in terms of the number of people who've had it.
This completely changes the game of when people can return to normal life and those are a lot of the questions it seems that the President should be addressing.
ACOSTA: That's right and really those are the questions, Erin, that we need to have addressed by Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx. And I thought what was striking at one point was when Dr. Fauci one of the rare moments that he had to talk during the press conference over the last hour, when he was asked how can we get back to a way of life before the coronavirus and he was doubtful as to whether we would ever get back to that kind of way of life in a way that this country is somehow permanently scarred by all of this.
That may well be the case. But if past is prologue, Erin, the government's ability to get an antibody test out there, I mean, I think there's going to be great skepticism about this. And I think the President is obviously, once again, going to feel like a shirttail is on fire when these questions are being asked.
But when you have problems going from testing to medical supplies like ventilators to personal protective equipment and every step of the way, every possible piece of equipment that's needed during those crisis and there are breakdowns in that supply chain. It just begs to, I think, to be called into question as to whether or not this antibiotic test will get out in a reasonable fashion. I will tell you going back to what you were saying just a moment ago
about this conflict going on between Dr. Fauci and Peter Navarro, the trade advisor, we have some reporting on some of that and that is that Dr. Fauci really felt like Peter Navarro was going at him at this situation room meeting that occurred on Saturday and all Dr. Fauci was trying to say was when it comes to the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine is that where is the proof that this is a proven treatment for coronavirus. It just doesn't exist yet.
And, Erin, this goes back to a big problem that we've seen throughout this administration. When the President doesn't like the questions from the press, he engages in a war against the press. When he doesn't like the court system restraining him, he engages in a war on elements of the court system. And my goodness, in the middle of a Coronavirus pandemic, do we really want the administration to go to war against the scientists? I mean, obviously, that is the very definition of putting lives in danger, Erin.
BURNETT: And it's well said, I mean, Sanjay, let me ask you about another point that happened, because when the President was talking about some of the risks here, he was talking about the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who we do know is in the ICU, which is a pretty stunning thing. Just take a deep breath here and think about the importance of that.
President Trump talked about it more than once and in both cases say this is a serious thing, this is a serious thing. I don't know what he knows that we may or may not know, but that was the comment that he made about the British Prime Minister. Meantime, this is a president, of course, who have said he will not wear a mask and we actually have a picture of it, is standing up there. And obviously, they're getting regular testing, but he's standing up there right next to the Vice President of the United States, no social distance between the person who is running the country and the person who would need to run the country where the person running the country to be sick or anything like that and yet there they are.
GUPTA: There is still a lack of practicing what is being preached here. And, look, this is serious, I mean, some people may see this just as optics. I mean, even Prime Minister Johnson, I believe, was talking about that he was still shaking hands right before he was diagnosed, I think, 11 days ago. This is serious stuff and we are telling everyone to stay-at-home, to practice social distancing because this virus is highly transmissible. It can move person to person.
As you point out, both the President and the Vice President are getting tested. I think they're getting people who they're interacting with, who they're having meetings with. They're getting them tested as well before these meetings.
So in that sense they obviously have a level of concern, but one of the most basic things that could actually help really reduce the impact of this pandemic and how quickly it spreads is that social distancing. And we see this up over and over again every day and even the admiral was standing right next to the President, at one point, I was quite surprised by it.
Ambassador Birx, I think, was trying to tuck away a little bit more, perhaps being more cognizant of it. The reporters obviously really more widely distributed now in the room. But you're right. I mean, I've taken note of it. I get a lot of emails about it from people saying, why don't you say something about this.
Well, I guess that's what we're doing right now. We're saying something about it. I'm sure other people have told them, but they're still not practicing that basic strategy.
BURNETT: And Gloria, this is a situation in a sense where no matter how protected the President may be, first of all, I again, I bring up Boris Johnson who the President then went on talking about what a great person he was. This can happen to anyone, OK, and anybody can get it and be in intensive care, OK.
Boris Johnson is the ruler of the United Kingdom, I mean, he's the Prime Minister and he's in the ICU. So practicing what you preach matters and it may matter for a lot of people out there who still sort of may not want to take this seriously and the President may say what he wants to say, but it is what he does and what he does not do, whether it'd be a mask or how he stands that may be so important to many Americans out there.
BORGER: Right. And I think that the President was clearly very concerned about Boris Johnson, his friend, and we know how he processes these things. He talked about the hospital in Elmhurst, he talked about his friend who was in a coma and now he sees his friend, Boris Johnson, in ICU, which he says is very, very dangerous and he understands that.
And I think what we're seeing is a president here kind of under siege in many ways, just a week or two ago, he's talking about everybody is going to be back by Easter. We're all going to be in church by Easter. Then he extended it to April 30th. Now, he's fighting with the scientists who are saying, wait a minute, not so fast. And now he feels like there's a drug that might help people and why are these scientists fighting me on that, because I want to give America hope. We can't let the cure be worse than the disease and all the rest of that.
And so here he is, he thinks, trying to provide good news to the American people, which he doesn't actually have. So what he ends up doing is providing bromides and mixed messages which don't give the American public the information that they so desperately are craving.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. Gloria, Jim, Daniel and Sanjay, thank you.
And next, when you talk about where this is spreading and moving, Maryland tonight seeing its cases triple, quickly becoming a new national hotspot. The governor of Maryland is my guest. Plus the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he is now in intensive
care with coronavirus. And just moments ago, the president multiple times calling it very serious. We are live in London outside the hospital where the Prime Minister is tonight.
And something that could potentially save lives and that is blood from people who have recovered from coronavirus. I'm going to speak to one recovered patient who has donated his plasma to three patients.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Breaking news, President Trump's top infectious disease expert Dr. Fauci warning the country will likely not get back to normal until there's a vaccine for coronavirus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If back to normal means acting like there never was a coronavirus problem, I don't think that's going to happen until we do have a situation where you can completely protect the population.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: This as the U.S. sees some signs of hope in the fight.
Nick Watt is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is what we train to do and this is what we signed up for, just not in this volume.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In New York state, the rate of new infections is finally falling.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: It is hopeful but it's also inconclusive, and it still depends on what we do.
WATT: So despite good news, the governor just extended their stay at home order through the end of the month and doubled the fine for noncompliance.
CUOMO: This is an enemy that we have underestimated from day one, and we have paid the price dearly. While the numbers look like they may be turning, yay it's over. No, it's not. And other places have made that mistake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have any pain anywhere?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
WATT: Even if peak infection has passed, health officials say peak death rate still likely to come.
ADMIRAL DR. BRETT GIROIR, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF HEALTH, DHHS: For New York and New Jersey and Detroit, this week is going to be the peak week.
WATT: In New Jersey, Sheryl Pabatao just lost both her parents, both health care workers.
SHERYL PABATAO, PARENTS DIED OF COVID-19: This is the year that they were supposed to retire. And, you know, this is their retirement.
VICE ADMIRAL JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: This is going to be the hardest and saddest week of most Americans lives, quite frankly. This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment.
WATT: Around our nation's capital, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, confirmed cases have near tripled in just a week. More than 10,000 Americans dead already, according to John Hopkins University, and one model, the White House Task Force is using, suggests we're still 10 days from the peak when we could lose 3,000 or more in one day.
In Michigan, more than 600 dead and counting.
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D), MICHIGAN: We are running dangerously low on PPP. At Beaumont Hospital, we have less than three days until N95 masks run out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is nationwide impact and it's hard to adjudicate those resources across the nation knowing that you're not going to have enough for everybody.
WATT: Peak infection in California now not projected until mid-May.
LT. GOV. ELENI KOUNALAKIS (D), CALIFORNIA: I think it's pretty clear at this point this is what April's going to look like.
WATT: Most of us still told to stay home at least another three weeks, likely longer. In Louisiana, the same model suggests they've actually passed their peak need for beds and ventilators. It was grim, still is.
MAYOR LATOYA CANTRELL (D), NEW ORLEANS: Our coroner's office is at capacity as it relates to our dead bodies of our loved ones.
WATT: So we have been told to expect rolling peaks across the country. California hasn't been hit very hard yet, so the governor has given 500 ventilators to the national stockpile.
But here in L.A. County, we have now been told to brace ourselves. The county health director said today if you have enough supplies this might be have a very good week to avoid, Erin, even going to the grocery store.
BURNETT: All right. Nick, thank you very much. And I want to go now to Republican governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan.
He is the chair of the National Governors Association and was on a conference call with Vice President Pence today with governors, where I believe, Governor, you were told the administration now considers the Washington metro area which does include Maryland a hot spot.
And I know you have now, what, more than 4,000 cases, nearly 100 people have died. You had a tripling in your caseload, and you are -- you are still where your rates of growth here are growing right now. Is that correct?
GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R), MARYLAND: Well, so we're a couple of weeks behind some of the places that we just heard about in the previous report. We're just really starting to escalate. We're several weeks away from the peak. But I've been working to convince the leaders in Washington that we were the next hot spot.
We were pleased today that -- that the administration recognized Maryland, D.C. and Virginia as a hot spot. We've got about ten jurisdictions in our state, about 5 million people, between Baltimore and Washington that are really impacted directly and that are now considered hot spots.
We've had almost a quadrupling of our numbers and it's really -- kind of the Washington metropolitan area that's going to be the one of the next real spots to watch.
BURNETT: Do you have everything you need? And if not, what do you need the most?
HOGAN: Well, it's the same thing that you're hearing from other governors. I mean, this is problem across the country and we're working very closely with federal partners. That's why we continue to have these discussions with the president and vice president and his team. And there's no sense just regurgitating the same stuff that you've heard from all the governors, but every single state has, you know, the same resource problems.
And when you hit that peak in your curve and you don't have enough ventilators and you don't have enough PPE, you don't have enough masks and all the protective equipment, it's the overload of the system that is causing the problem. That is why we're all trying to take these aggressive steps to flatten that curve. We were -- we took some of the earliest and most aggressive steps in the country to try to not get to the point that we're seeing in some of those other places. But time will tell, you know, how successful they're going to be.
BURNETT: So, you know, the president was talking about the call you were on today with the vice president, with the governors, and he had this to say about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're working very well with the governors. Now, they may see you and say, uh-oh, we're not happy, but they're very happy on the phone. And Mike Pence is a straight shooter, and he had great phone conversation with them with all the governors, teleconference, and they're very happy, every one of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is that fair to say that you're happy? You're happy with the situation, you're happy with what you're getting?
HOGAN: Well, the president was not on the call today and wasn't a part of the discussion, but I would agree that Mike Pence has been a straight shooter, that there's been really good discussion. And the governors for the most part, look, we were thanking the vice president and the team -- there's a great team of people working really hard.
HOGAN: Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx and all those folks that are trying their best to help us. But to say that we're completely happy would be an over-exaggeration. Obviously, you heard from governors on both sides of the aisle, we're pleased by the effort by team members, everyone's in this together. But we're not completely, you know, everybody's got issues. We know everyone's working on hard on it, but I think it's -- everybody's not completely satisfied.
BURNETT: So, you also heard Dr. Fauci, just the sound bite that I played at the beginning, I don't know if you heard it, but he was saying there would be no returning to normal in this country --
BURNETT: -- fully until there is a vaccine.
Would you agree with that? I mean, because -- obviously that -- you know, that -- you could talk about all sorts of -- with doctors, all sorts of models how they would try to rush that, but it seems like the best case scenario for that to be available and broadly distributed across the population is at best 12 to 18 months.
HOGAN: Well, so I've had a number of great conversations with Dr. Fauci and not only with all of the governors but individually one-on- one, and we have a great team of folks here that we talk to almost every other day, folks from places like John Hopkins and all our top hospitals here in Maryland. And, you know, there's all kinds of different modeling.
Nobody knows exactly how bad it's going to be or how long it's going to last. Fauci is one of the guys who I respect the most. I think what he was trying to say is that even if we start to really come down on our numbers, and we're not going to be able to return to completely just ignoring the virus and going back to our total normal lives where we're out shaking hands and not having some kind of distancing if we don't have a cure, we don't have a vaccine to stop it because he's afraid it might come back up again in the fall. So, look, everybody wants to try to get this thing beaten down and get
back to some type of normalcy as fast as possible. But it's true that -- in talking with all of our experts, and we're working on possible vaccines here in Maryland at both Fort Detrick and at Johns Hopkins and a number of other -- we're the home to NIH and FDA.
HOGAN: But it's a ways off. I mean, we're 12 to 18 months from actually finding a vaccine and cure if you will.
BURNETT: Yes. Well, Governor Hogan, thank you very much, sir. I appreciate your time.
HOGAN: Thank you, Erin.
And next, the breaking news from London, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tonight is now in intensive care. He was admitted to a London hospital last night with coronavirus. Obviously, his battle with the virus is very serious. We are live at his hospital.
Plus, President Trump urging patients to take an untested drug. My next guest, though, who advised the George W. Bush White House has a warning tonight about that very drug.
BURNETT: Tonight, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care with coronavirus. His office saying in a statement the prime minister's symptoms have worsened.
President Trump calling the situation his words scary at tonight's briefing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When you're in intensive care, it's a big deal. I found Boris to be a fantastic person just like a fantastic, warm, strong, smart guy. He loves his country. You see that. I mean, he fought like hell for his country. And intensive care is big stuff, really big stuff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And it is.
Clarissa Ward is OUTFRONT. She's in front of the hospital where the prime minister is being treated.
And, Clarissa, what is the latest on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's condition?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So what we know, Erin, is that he is in the intensive care unit, that he was admitted there earlier this evening because his condition was deteriorating. It does not appear at this stage he's been intubated or that he needs a ventilator to breathe.
But I did speak to one ER attending physician at a different London hospital who basically explained to me that they would have moved him into the ICU as a precautionary measure.
That also gels with what Downing Street is saying because on day 10 or 11 things can go badly very quickly. You do often see patients start to deteriorate very rapidly.
And what they wanted to do is have him in a situation if they did need to intubate him, it wouldn't need to be done in sort of an emergency manner. He would be there, ready, the staff would be ready there and he'd be getting the full resources of the St. Thomas Hospital behind me.
But the question, Erin, that a lot of people are asking is how did this happen? Because I've been standing out here all day, all we've been hearing from Downing Street is he's in great spirits, he's running the country from his hospital room, and now, it's become very clear things have escalated dramatically and the question a lot of Britons have, is when did things start to go wrong? When he was admitted last night, was he really in such good spirits? Why was he admitted?
And I think there's a sense here people are feeling anxious and want to know the truth and the seriousness and the gravity of what is actually really transpiring, Erin.
BURNETT: Yes, that's a pretty incredible, you know, that you're just not getting those answers. Pretty stunning.
All right. Clarissa, thank you very much.
And I want to go to Dr. Jonathan Reiner who advised the White House medical team for eight years under President George W. Bush, continued to be a consultant to the White House medical unit for years afterward, currently the director of the cardiac cauterization program at GW University Hospital and, of course, was Dick Cheney's cardiologist as well.
Dr. Reiner, what do you make of this? Obviously, President Trump saying this was really big stuff, repeatedly talking about Boris Johnson, and as Clarissa said the situation as escalated dramatically and no one seems to know what the real situation is. What does this tell you?
DR. JONATHAN REINER, CARDIOLOGIST, ADVISED WH MEDICAL TEMA FOR EIGHT YEARS: Well, like every American, I wish the prime minister a speedy recovery, but it's an ominous occurrence. The best data we have actually comes out of the U.K., which recently published from the intensive care National Audit Research Center which looked at about 165 patients admitted to the ICU in the U.K. with COVID-19.
And the mortality rate, people who need intensive care unit management is about 50 percent. For those who need to be intubated, need to be put on a respirator, mortality is 66 percent. So, almost two thirds of people who are intubated in a setting of COVID-19 don't survive.
BURNETT: Go ahead.
REINER: What I was going to say, Erin, it's a terrible cautionary tale because this is a virus that has become ubiquitous. And when I watch our leadership do these daily press conferences, worry for their safety. This shows anyone can be infected with the virus. And I just don't think that our leadership here is taking this seriously enough for their own safety. I worry about the safety of the president and vice president.
BURNETT: And to that point, you know, I showed this picture to Sanjay Gupta, earlier, but it is pretty incredible when you hear the president of the United States talking about Boris Johnson, and he seemed very somber and sort of chastened in a sense when he was talking about him as he himself is standing right next to the vice president and, of course, has been very public about how he's not going to do anything like wear a mask because he's getting regularly tested.
REINER: Yes. You know, in the days after the 9/11 attacks the president and vice president were never together, because the concern was that the enemy could deliver what would hardly be called a decapitating attack, right, and kill the, you know, leadership of this country. So the president and vice president were never together.
Well, this is an enemy that can do the same thing. So why would you have the president and vice president together frequently when one can infect the other? Right, the president should be basically on lockdown. There isn't a meeting he can't do without secured videoconferencing. And you can try and test as many people as you can.
And I think testing people that are going to be in the presence of the president is great idea, but the testing isn't 100 percent. You have to test everybody that meets with him every single day and I hope they're doing that.
But if the virus gets through that defense the president is going to get sick. And the president is 73 years old -- 74 in June. He's at high risk of dying from this virus.
So I think that for the sake of our leadership, there really needs to be very, very limited physical access to the president of the United States.
BURNETT: And the president, again, continued to promote the use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine which he has done repeatedly, he did again today. His comment what do you have to lose.
What do you say to the president as a heart surgeon? I believe you would have a different answer to that question.
REINER: Well, what you have to lose is your life from the drug. Even if the drug is potentially effective and I pray to God that it is, do you start it at the very beginning of the illness? Or do you -- is it best to start it when people get sick? What is the dose of the drug? How long should you give the drug? Which patients should you not give the drug to?
So, well, a lot of questions. And the way you answer those questions is by doing clinical research. There is such a huge volume of people with this virus now, we have the capacity to do these studies very, very quickly and have all these answers and understand if the drug works, and then how to get it to work as best as possible, and then to understand who really shouldn't take the drug. These are really important questions.
BURNETT: And on that point, you have, I believe talked about, this drug itself can do damage to the heart, it can do damage to the liver. It can do very serious damage to some people.
REINER: Yes, the drug in particular can cause a malignant heart rhythm, a dangerous heart rhythm that can result in something that we indelicately call sudden cardiac death. So, what do you have to lose? You can lose your pulse.
This is not a drug to play around with. If it works, we need to understand who it works in, how best to use it, and who not to use it in. Let's get the data now. We can get it very quickly.
Here's the other point, Erin. This disease is not going away in the next four weeks. It may drop down to very low levels over the summer. We all hope it is. We're expecting it.
But we're going to need to know what works for the long term and the only way to do that is to trial it.
BURNETT: All right, Dr. Reiner, thank you as always, sir. I appreciate.
REINER: My pleasure.
BURNETT: And next, could blood from coronavirus survivors be a key to stopping the virus? In the race to the cure, I'm going to talk to one man whose plasma is now being used on at least three patients.
BURNETT: New tonight, the CDC preparing to test more people for infection identifying antibodies in their blood specific to the coronavirus. It comes as scientists are working on a therapy to see if some people who had coronavirus may be able to help save the lives of others by taking their blood and basically giving, injecting their antibodies into somebody who is very sick.
OUTFRONT now, Jason Garcia, he donated blood to help others after fully recovering from the virus.
Jason, so, you know, tell me about how this even came about. I know people who have recovered who have been really trying to do what you've actually successfully managed to do. Your plasma donation came about because of a Facebook post. Tell me about it.
JASON GARCIA, RECOVERED FROM CORONAVIRUS, DONATED PLASMA TO THREE PATIENTS: Yes, so, I mean, at the time I just wasn't aware that, you know, donation -- this was even an option or being explored. So when I got out of isolation, there was a letter from San Diego County public health verifying I completed the isolation requirements and I took that letter and I kind of made a Facebook post about it. Just kind of claiming victory over COVID-19 and saying, hey, I defeated the disease and I'm feeling great.
And that from that post, I had a friend that also saw a similar post from a colleague of hers from Saint Joseph's, and they were looking for someone who had tested positive for COVID-19 and had been in recovery and symptom free for 14 days. So, seeing both posts, she kind of put us in contact together and Saint Joseph's reached out to me and from then we were starting to arrange the donation. So that's how it came about. It was kind of very lucky.
BURNETT: Pretty incredible. And so, I know now your plasma has been used to help three people who have coronavirus.
What do you know about their conditions now?
GARCIA: So, there's one patient that immediately got it that same day. And they've been given updates on the media. I haven't checked in with them since yesterday. I hear that patient's improving, but everything is still too early to tell if the experimental treatment was a success. But at least the patient is improving, so that's really promising.
BURNETT: Yes. I mean, I can only imagine how that must make you feel to make a difference for someone else.
I know the hospital says you were the first plasma donor on the West Coast. The FDA has since approved clinical trials to explore the treatment. And I know they've been looking for donors. That's been happening here on the East Coast.
How easy was this? You know, if someone out there is considering being a part of one of these trials or doing this, how easy was it for you to do?
GARCIA: So, for me, like everything was kind of lucky how this came about. I can tell the hospital kind of arranged this on their end and getting the FDA approvals and all their internal administrative approvals because this to them was a first. So, it was a little -- there was little hurdles and challenges because we thought Saint Joseph's was the first hospital to store -- pioneer this on the West Coast.
But now I'm hearing because of the interest that this type of experimental treatment is having, there's more hospitals opening up to this treatment. And I know the Red Cross right now is taking information from recovered patients to sort of arranging this.
BURNETT: Well, hopefully, hopefully this is something that will work. And I know for those three patients, I'm sure they and their families were very grateful they were able to get that from you.
Jason, thank you so much.
GARCIA: No problem.
BURNETT: And thanks to all of you for joining us. "AC360" starts now.