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Interview With Former Secretary Of State, John Kerry; GA State Rep. CaMia Hopson Discusses Georgia Governor Reopening Businesses Starting Friday; FDA Approves 1st At-Home Test For Emergency Use; Study Says No Benefits And A Higher Death Rate For Patients Taking Hydroxychloroquine For Coronavirus. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired April 21, 2020 - 13:30   ET



JOHN KERRY, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: They got tough immediately. They didn't play games. They saw it not as a hoax. They saw it as a genuine threat and they responded immediately.

I think it is clear -- unfortunately, the president keeps on extoling the virtue of the testings of this administration. But in fact, if you ask the governors, and you are, the media is all around the country, you know these governors don't have the tests they need and supplies they need.

It takes federal leadership. Really, the most important role for the president is keeping Americans safe. It is standing up for our security. It is protecting us against external threats.

This virus was an external threat. It came from another country and we know it was China. It came over here. And so it has been compounded by this absence of effective leadership.

The number of tests we are doing today on a per capita -- and we are a big country of 140 million people. We should be doing millions of tests all the time and every day. We are not.


KERRY: That -- by the way you, know this this, Anderson, is the wisest way to reopen the economy. We want to see the economy open. Everybody does. Everybody wants to get out of the House. There are a lot of safe ways to do it.


KERRY: The safest way of all is clearly by being able to test the virus itself and test the antibodies to determine who may have had it.


KERRY: That's the smartest way to reassemble in the marketplace.

COOPER: There are about 150,000 testings done roughly every day. The latest Harvard study shows initially four million need to be done every day and going up to double digits by July just to get everything going and people confident.

Secretary Kerry, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

KERRY: Great to be with you. Thank you. Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: In the last hour, some beaches reopening in South Carolina, even though new cases of coronavirus infections are being counted every day. Some cities have pushed back on the governor's plan to get back to normal. I will have details on that ahead.



COOPER: Aggressive plans to reopen has been surprising and disturbing them. The Republican governor of Georgia announcing barbershops and salons and bowling allies and gyms will be allowed to reopen on Friday. On Monday, dine-in restaurants and theaters will be back in business as well.

Despite the fact the state has not hit President Trump's phase-one goal of 14 straight days of declining case numbers. It caught many local officials off guards, including my next guest, Georgia Representative CaMia Hopson.

Thanks so much for joining us.

What do you make of this decision? Do you think it would come this quickly?

STATE REP. CAMIA HOPSON (D-GA): Thank you, Anderson, for having me on today.

No, I did not think it may have come to a quick decision as you heard from several other mayors in the state of Georgia that they were unaware this decision was coming so it was a shock to them and to all of us.

COOPER: The governor acknowledged this may cause a spike in cases. I want to play this for our viewers.


BRIAN KEMP, (R), GEORGIA GOVERNOR: I will say, you know, that when we have more people moving around, we'll probably have -- see our cases continue to go up. We are a lot better prepared for that now than we were over a month ago.


COOPER: Do you think that's true that the state is better prepared?

HOPSON: I can speak for Albany. We're better prepared. We do have the supplies we need. The state and federal government have been very helpful and responsive in getting us the supplies we need. And we are in the process of getting one of our locations, our hospital locations set up to house additional patients there. We do have what we need.

But at the same time, we are one of the biggest hot spots in Georgia if not the biggest per capita. We are the largest. We have over 100 deaths just in the Albany area alone.

COOPER: When the governor says it's likely cases will rise, that also means that deaths may occur as cases rise. And this is an order which is across the entire state and there's no wiggle room for local officials, right?

HOPSON: That's correct. It is a statewide decision. But we would love the opportunity to be able to create some type of amendable situation that applies for Albany.

I heard a quote this morning that said we are all in the same storm but we are in a different boat when it comes to Albany, Georgia. We are completely different from any other city in the states. We need specifics on what we need to be doing to continue to see a decrease in some of those cases that we have seen.

Over the past four days, we have seen some improvements but reopening right now is in no way beneficial to our city.


COOPER: Representative CaMia Hopson, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

HOPSON: Thank you.

COOPER: the United Kingdom is set to begin human trials on a vaccine this week.

Plus, a new at-home test has just been authorized by the FDA. We'll break down the latest developments in testing and treatment, next.



COOPER: Two new reports say a major boost in testing is in need of handling the pandemic. One calls for a three to 30 tests a day are needed. The other says 20 million tests a day are needed.

New York's governor says that'll be the biggest topic of conversation when he meets with President Trump at the White House today.

Meantime, the FDA just approved the first at-home coronavirus test for emergency use.

CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, is with us.

Some study results or lack of effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine.

DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hydroxychloroquine you may remember is the drug that President Trump has been touting, calling it a game changer.

This study, done by Veterans Administration doctors, found that those who took Hydroxychloroquine, the drug that Trump likes. had more than twice the death rate compares to patients who did not take it.

One note of caution, this study was published on the preprint Web site. It has not been reviewed by other physicians and not been published.

Hydroxychloroquine is one of this drugs that are being studied. Also. at the same time, doctors are really trying to get antibody testing going. That's testing that can see, it is not about treatment but testing to see how may already possibly have antibodies to coronavirus and may be immune.


COHEN (voice-over): Antibody testings, we can't get back to normal without it.


COHEN: These tests shows whether you have been infected with COVID-19 and develop antibodies and may be immune.

This week, we are learning there are several problems. One, some of the tests don't work.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The problem is that these tests need to be validated and calibrated. Many of the tests out there don't do that.

COHEN: Two, the tests need certain materials to make it work. Many officials say it is not enough of these supplies.

ANTHONY CUOMO, (D), NEW YORK GOVERNOR: Those labs can only run as many tests as the national manufactures provide them chemicals, reagents and lab kits. The national manufactures say there are supply chain issues.

I would like the federal government to help on those supply chain issues.

COHEN: Even if you have antibodies, it is not clear what it means.

FAUCI: There's an assumption, a reasonable assumption that when you have an antibody that you're protect against reinfection. But that has not been proven for this particular virus.

COHEN: While work on antibody testing continue, researchers are working on a drug that'll fight COVID-19.

Novartis announces it will begin new clinical trials to study Hydroxychloroquine.

President Trump has touted this drug. And there are 25 other studies that are getting started.

The University of California, San Francisco, is recruiting 6,000 patients with COVID to see if the anti-inflammatory will treat it. It is used now to treat gouts.

Hoping one drug or another will save people from dying during this pandemic.


COHEN: Looking again at Hydroxychloroquine, that's the drug that Trump has been touting, it is a mystery here. Anderson, we were told yesterday to expect results from a New York study of preliminary results of a large study we are looking to see what that would find. It was not released and not exactly clear why

Governor Cuomo talked about having to share some information with federal agencies. We don't know when we are going to be getting those result - Anderson?

COOPER: Thank you, Elizabeth Cohen. Appreciate it.

President Trump comes to the rescue of oil and gas companies today after an historic drop in oil prices and as the pandemic continues to torpedo demands.


Plus, U.S. official monitoring that Kim Jong-Un may be in a grave condition after a surgery. We'll tell you what we know about the North Korean leader's health, coming up.


COOPER: The price of oil staying in brutal territory today after turning negative yesterday. June futures now around $10 per barrel. Concerns that the coronavirus will have a negative impact on consumers for months to come is driving the sell-off. But oil producers are also running out of space to store their oil.

President Trump tweeting today that he instructed the secretaries of energy and treasury to formulate a plan to, quote, "make funds available to help oil and gas companies." He offered no specifics beyond that.

The oil plunges also affecting other markets. You see the Dow down more than 500 points there. That is after an almost 600-point drop yesterday.

One California man has found a way to help his neighbors during the pandemic by serving up free hot coffee every day from his kitchen window. Ben Ramirez says many are nurses and doctors and post workers who could use a smile.

His 5-year-old had the idea to instate social distance by using a toy gorilla arm. Ramirez is a tech designer full time. He's doing this to open his own coffee shop one day, which he is kind of doing there.

To find ways to help during the pandemic, go to the

We want to tell you about a very special coronavirus global town hall is this week. Alicia Keys joins us for the world premiere of her new song dedicated to the everyday heroism on the frontlines of this pandemic. It's Thursday night at 8:00 Eastern on CNN.


Back to our breaking news, lawmakers reaching a deal on hundreds of millions in new relief for struggling small businesses and hospitals. First vote in the Senate is just a few hours away.


COOPER: Hey, I'm Anderson Cooper. And I want to reset our continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.


We begin the hour with the deepening life-and-death debate how states should reopen as a number of U.S. cases near 789,000.

Three governors, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, are easing some restrictions the next week or so, and allowing certain nonessential businesses to open.