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THE SITUATION ROOM
Trump vs. Top Scientists?; White House Holds Coronavirus Task Force Briefing. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired April 23, 2020 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tomorrow, Georgia will allow businesses like salons and bowling alleys to reopen. South Carolina reopened some businesses Monday. And Texas is expected to make its reopening announcement tomorrow.
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): You're going to be able to go to a hair salon. You're going to be able to go to any type of retail establishment you want to go to.
SAVIDGE: And now a key coronavirus model often cited by the White House tweaked tweeted its predictions Thursday, saying that some states must wait even longer to safely reopen, including Georgia, which the model says shouldn't open until June 22.
The Georgia governor is still planning to begin reopening Friday, however, despite experts warning they're making a deadly mistake.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: There is a danger of a rebound. And I know there's the desire to move ahead quickly. That's a natural, human nature desire, but going ahead and leapfrogging into phases where you should not be, I would advise him, as a health official and as a physician, not to do that.
SAVIDGE: Even as states open, coronavirus continues to spread into the heartland of America, triggering new outbreaks in public fear, new hot spots in Midwestern communities, often home to meatpacking plants and manufacturing facilities.
Boston still hasn't hit its peak.
MAYOR MARTY WALSH (D-MA): And the surge is going to continue.
SAVIDGE: And, in Wisconsin, at least 19 cases are now tied to in- person primary voting.
And a new modeling study reveals a hidden explosion of coronavirus was rapidly spreading through U.S. cities long before many Americans and government leaders understood what was happening. According to research at Northeastern University reported by "The New York Times," outbreaks were blooming in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle long before testing revealed any serious problems.
DR. COLLEEN KRAFT, EMORY UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: You have a lot of community transmission that was really unknown. And our efforts in the beginning to sort of contain and mitigate were -- it was definitely out of the bag at that point.
SAVIDGE: And in a preliminary study announced by New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo today, 13.9 percent of New Yorkers tested positive for antibodies, which could prove the virus spread wider than first thought.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): When we say there are 15,500 deaths, that number is going to go up. Those deaths are only hospitalization or nursing home deaths. That does not have what are called at-home deaths.
SAVIDGE: Wolf, getting back to the confusion here in Georgia, yes, it's true that businesses are expected, at least some of them, to open tomorrow.
But then there is this. The state is still under a stay-at-home order, a quarantine, until the end of the month.
So what is a person to do? Order and follow that to stay home, or go to the businesses that are supposedly opening? No one's really sure what's going to happen tomorrow -- Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Well, we will watch it together with you. Good luck to everybody in Georgia. We're obviously all concerned.
Martin Savidge in Atlanta for us, thank you.
As Georgia's governor faces growing pushback over his reopening strategy, we're also learning why President Trump went from praising the plan that the governor had put forward to publicly criticizing it.
Let's go to our chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.
Jim, the Coronavirus Task Force apparently swayed the president, right?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf.
We're learning new details about how members of the Coronavirus Task Force tried to persuade President Trump to come out against Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's plans to reopen businesses in that state tomorrow.
It's just one example of what appears to be a battle between the president and his own scientists.
ACOSTA (voice-over): It was a major reversal, as President Trump came out against Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's move to reopen businesses in his state on Friday.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the phase one guidelines. He must do what he thinks is right.
ACOSTA: But sources tell CNN the administration's top doctors were trying to convince the president to make that shift, as Mr. Trump was sending signals he was backing Kemp and other governors racing to reopen their states.
TRUMP: He's a very capable man. He knows what he's doing. He's done a very good job as governor, Georgia. A lot of states are in really great shape. You're going to see a lot of openings.
ACOSTA: At a Coronavirus Task Force meeting before Wednesday's news conference, Dr. Anthony Fauci said of Georgia's reopening plans, "I cannot defend this publicly."
Members of the task force then urged Dr. Deborah Birx to try to convince Mr. Trump during a private meeting to come out against George's proposal. At the briefing, Fauci caution Kemp publicly.
FAUCI: If I were advising the governor, I would tell him that he should be careful, and I would advise him not to just turn the switch on and go, because there is a danger of a rebound. Going ahead and leapfrogging into phases where you should not be, I would advise him, as a health official and as a physician, not to do that.
ACOSTA: The battle over Georgia is just one of several flash points between the president and his scientists. Mr. Trump insisted that the director of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Robert Redfield, had been misquoted by "The Washington Post" when the health expert warned a second wave of the coronavirus could hammer the U.S. during flu season.
TRUMP: I don't know what is to follow up. He was misquoted, totally misquoted.
ACOSTA: But Redfield said he was quoted.
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, CDC DIRECTOR: I'm accurately quoted in "The Washington Post," as difficult. But the headline was inappropriate.
ACOSTA: When Mr. Trump doubled down...
TRUMP: We may not even have corona coming back.
ACOSTA: ... Fauci disagreed.
FAUCI: There will be coronavirus in the fall.
ACOSTA: Then there's the sudden departure of Dr. Rick Bright from a key agency working on the coronavirus vaccine. Bright said in his statement: "I'm speaking out because, to combat this deadly virus, science, not politics or cronyism, has to lead the way."
Part of his beef appears to be the president's touting of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus.
TRUMP: What do you have to lose? In some cases, they're in bad shape. What do you have to lose? It's been out there for a long time. And I hope they use it. I may take it. And I will have to ask my doctors about that.
ACOSTA: Mr. Trump claimed he didn't know Bright.
TRUMP: Well, I never heard of him. If the guy says he was pushed out of a job, maybe he was, maybe he wasn't. You would have to hear the other side. I don't know who he is.
ACOSTA: On the issue of testing for the coronavirus, more contradictions. While the president claims the U.S. has tremendous testing capacity, Fauci tells "TIME" magazine, that's not really the case.
FAUCI: I am not overly confident right now at all that we have what it takes to do that. We're getting better and better at it as the weeks go by. But we are not in a situation where we say we're exactly where we want to be with regard to testing.
ACOSTA: The infighting comes as another 4.4 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week for a whopping 26.5 million over the last five weeks.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is blasting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said he didn't want coronavirus relief to become a bailout for states.
CUOMO: New York puts in more money to the federal pot than it takes out. His state takes out more than it puts in.
Senator McConnell, who's getting bailed out here? It's your state that is living on the money that we generate. Your state is getting bailed out, not my state.
ACOSTA: Now, as for Dr. Bright, his attorneys say in a new statement that they will be filing a whistle-blower complaint on behalf of their client.
And they say the administration has been spreading falsehoods about Dr. Bright -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jim Acosta reporting for us.
Jim, thanks very much. Let's go to the briefing right now. The vice president is just
introducing William Bryan, the deputy undersecretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security.
I'm anxious to hear what he has to say.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
WILLIAM BRYAN, DIRECTOR, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DIRECTORATE: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Thank you, Mr. President, for this opportunity to do this today.
Good afternoon, everybody. My name is Bill Bryan. And I lead the Science and Technology Directorate at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Over the last several months, we have intensified the department's R&D efforts to identify and deliver information that informs our response to COVID-19.
S&T is working to identify, develop, deploy, and deploy the tools and information to support our response to this crisis. As part of our efforts, we're leveraging the unique capabilities of S&T's National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center to study the biology of the COVID-19 virus.
This center is a high biocontainment laboratory located in Frederick, Maryland. It was established in the early 2000s in response to the Amerithrax attacks, and where we study, characterize, analyze and develop countermeasures for biological threats to the homeland. We work closely with the CDC, FDA, HHS, and also our Department of Defense colleagues and many others.
Yesterday, I shared the emerging results of our work that we're doing now with the Coronavirus Task Force. And, today, I would like to share certain trends that we believe are important.
If I may have the first slide, please.
And while that's coming up, our most striking observation to date is the powerful effect that solar light appears to have on killing the virus, both surfaces and in the air.
We have seen a similar effect with both temperature and humidity as well, where increasing the temperature and humidity, or both, is generally less favorable to the virus.
So, let me illustrate with this first slide.
If you look to the right, you will see that term half-life, with a bunch of time stamps on there. First, let me tell you what a half-life is.
We don't measure the virus as far as how long it will live on a surface. We have to measure the decay of the virus in terms of its half-life, because we don't know certain elements. We don't know how much a person expectorates when he -- when he spits, right, when he sneezes, whatever the case may be.
We don't know how much of virus is in there. So, that has a long -- a bearing on how long the virus is going to be alive and active. So, we measure in half-life, because half-life doesn't change.
So, if you look at an 18-hour half-life, what you're basically saying is that, every 18 hours, the virus, life of the virus is cut in half. So, if you start with 1,000 particles of the virus, in 18 hours, you're down to 500. In 18 hours after that, you're down to 250, and so on and so forth.
That's important, as I explain in the rest of the chart.
If you look at the first three lines, when you see the word surface, we're talking nonporous service, door handles, stainless steel.
And if you look at the -- as the temperature increases, and as the humidity increases, with no sun involved, you can see how drastically the half-life goes down on that virus. So, the virus is dying at a much more rapid pace just from exposure to higher temperatures and just from exposure to humidity.
If you look at the fourth line, you inject summer -- the sunlight into that, you inject U.V. rays into that, the same effects on line two, 70 to 75 degrees with 80 percent humidity on the surface, and look at line four, but now you inject the sun, the half-life goes from six hours to two minutes.
That's how much of an impact U.V. rays has on the virus.
The last two lines are aerosols. What does it do in the air? We have a very unique capability. I was discussing this with the president prior to coming out. He wanted me to convey it to you on how we do this.
I believe we're the only lab in the country that has this capability. But if you can imagine a Home Depot bucket, a five-gallon Home Depot bucket, we're able the take a particle -- and this was developed and designed by our folks at the NBACC.
We're able to take a particle of the virus and suspend it in the air inside of this drum, and hit it with various temperatures, various humidity levels, multiple different kinds of environmental conditions, to include sunlight. And we're able to measure the decay of that virus while it's suspended in the air.
This is how we do our aerosol testing. We worked with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, and we actually developed a larger drum to do actually more testing. And it's four times the size of that.
So, this is the capability that we bring to this effort.
So, in summary, within the conditions we have tested to date, the virus, in droplets of saliva, survives best in indoors and dry conditions. The virus does not survive as well in droplets of saliva. And that's important, because a lot of testing being done is not necessarily being done, number one, with the COVID-19 virus, and, number two, in saliva or respiratory fluids.
And, thirdly, the virus dies the quickest in the presence of direct sunlight under these conditions.
And when you look at that chart, look at the aerosol. As you breathe it, you put it in a room, 70 to 75 degrees, 20 percent humidity, low humidity, it lasts -- half-life is about an hour. But you get outside, and it cuts down to a minute-and-a-half, very significant difference when it gets hit with U.V. rays.
Mr. President, while there are many unknown links in the COVID-19 transmission chain, we believe these trends can support practical decision-making to lower the risks associated with the virus.
If I could have my next slide -- and when that -- while that comes up, you will see a number of some practical applications. For example, increasing the temperature and humidity of potentially contaminated indoor spaces appears to reduce the stability of the virus.
And extra care may be warranted for dry environments that do not have exposure to solar light. We're also testing disinfectants, readily available. We have tested bleach. We have tested isopropyl alcohol on the virus, specifically in saliva and respiratory fluids.
And I can tell you that bleach will kill the virus in five minutes. Isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus in 30 seconds. And that's with no manipulation, no rubbing, just bringing it on and leaving it go. You rub it, and it goes away even faster.
We're also looking at other disinfectants, specifically looking at the COVID-19 virus in saliva.
This is not the end of our work, as we continue to characterize this virus and integrate our findings into practical applications to mitigate exposure and transmission.
I would like to thank the president, thank the vice president for their ongoing support and leadership to the department and for their work in addressing this pandemic.
I would also like to thank the scientists, not only in S&T and the NBACC, but to the larger scientific and R&D community.
Thank you very much.
QUESTION: Mr. Bryan? Mr. Bryan?
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
I want to ask Bill a question that probably some of you are thinking of, if you're totally into that world. BLITZER: All right, we're going to continue to monitor this, but I want to get some analysis of what we just heard from William Bryan, the undersecretary for science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, saying that sunlight, humidity, increasing the temperature can have a very important effect in decaying the life of the virus, the coronavirus, and reduce its half-life very, very dramatically.
He said bleach and some forms of alcohol will kill the virus as well.
John King, I just want to get your immediate reaction to this.
It looks like, in the hot weather, if there's a lot of humidity and a lot of sunlight that may do wonders in terms of killing this virus, if you believe what the undersecretary had to say.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right.
And, Wolf, the "if you believe," I hate to say this, but because so much of what the administration has put out has not turned out to be worth it, let's see what other scientists say.
But that would certainly be encouraging if, as was speculated at the very beginning, if, as it gets warmer, if we move into the summer, the coronavirus is vulnerable to heat, vulnerable to sunlight, as the scientist said there, maybe vulnerable to humidity. The numbers would go down.
I'm really interested in what other scientists and what the doctors say about this.
I will just say this. Having watched all of these briefings...
BLITZER: All right, hold on for a moment. The president is starting to answer questions. I want to listen in, John.
We will get back to you.
TRUMP: But until we feel it's safe, we're going to be extending.
QUESTION: If you have 23 cases where -- new cases -- 23 states where new cases are on decline, what does that mean about when the country can be safely reopened to a more normal point?
TRUMP: Yes, but it means we're going watch those cases very carefully.
I think we have all gotten very good at it. We have gotten good at tracing. We see where the cases are, where they're going. And we're going to be watching it. And it's called containment.
At a certain point, we're going to be able to contain. And, you know, when you see this -- a lot of people have been talking about summer. Maybe this is one of the reasons that we have -- I once mentioned that maybe it does go away with heat and light. And people didn't like that statement very much. The -- the fake news
didn't like it at all. And I just threw it out as a suggestion. But it seems like that's the case, because, when it's on the surface that would last for a long time, when that surface is outside, it goes away very quickly.
It dies very quickly with the sun.
Yes, go ahead.
QUESTION: You said yesterday that you're going to look into Senator McConnell's suggestion for allowing states to declare bankruptcy, vs. the aid.
TRUMP: Yes, we will look into it. And I have been looking into it. I have been talking to a lot of the different senators. But I don't want to talk about it now. That was a very interesting presentation.
Go ahead, Jon.
QUESTION: Well, I wanted to talk about McConnell's suggestion that aid to the states amounts to a blue...
TRUMP: I just told you, I'm not talking about it now. I will talk about it later.
TRUMP: I'd like to talk about something that right now is of more interest to people.
QUESTION: Can I ask Mr. Bryan a question?
TRUMP: Yes, sure. Yes.
QUESTION: Thank you.
When you started your presentation, you described this as an emerging result. Does this mean your study is conclusive? Is there more work to do?
BRYAN: We're continuing with that.
For example, on the aerosol side, you notice the figures were 20 percent humidity. We're looking at higher humidity levels. We would expect that would even have a greater impact on the virus. We're looking at other types of disinfectants.
And so we're -- there -- this is a -- we're -- as a scientific community, we're continuing to study the virus to understand its characteristics.
QUESTION: Mr. Bryan, can you explain why some hot spots we have seen in the U.S. are hot and humid, like New Orleans, for example?
BRYAN: Let me explain.
If you look at the coronavirus as a chain with many links, what we have done through our study is, we have identified some of the weak links in that chain that the virus -- the transmission of the virus depends upon.
We identified that heat and humidity is a weakness in that chain. We identified that sunlight, solar light, U.V. rays is a weakness in that chain. That doesn't take away the other activities, the guidance from the White House, the guidance from the CDC and others on the actions and steps that people need to take to protect themselves.
This is just another -- another tool in our tool belt, right, another weapon in the fight that we can add to it. And, in the summer, we know that summer-like conditions are going to create an environment where the transmission can be decreased.
And that's an opportunity for us to get ahead.
QUESTION: The president mentioned the idea of cleaner and the bleach. (OFF-MIKE) isopropyl alcohol you mentioned.
There is no scenario that that could be injected into a person, is there? I mean...
BRYAN: No, I'm here to talk about the findings that we have in the study. We don't do that within that lab, at our labs.
TRUMP: And it wouldn't be through injection. You're talking about through almost a cleaning, sterilization of an area.
TRUMP: Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn't work. But it certainly has a big effect if it's on a stationary object.
QUESTION: Mr. Bryan, are we simplifying too much by saying that it would be better with the warmer weather and the sun coming out more and more, that people would be outside, than staying inside their homes, confined to the four walls of their house?
BRYAN: It would be irresponsible for us to say that we feel that the summer is just going totally kill the virus and that -- if it's a free-for-all and that people ignore those guidance. That is not the case.
We have an opportunity, though, to get ahead, with what we know now and factor that into the decision-making for what opens and what doesn't.
TRUMP: But are you saying, on surfaces, the heat, the hot summer and whatever other conditions, humidity and lack of humidity...
BRYAN: Yes, sir.
TRUMP: ... that that would have an impact?
So that, on surfaces where it can be picked up, it will die fairly quickly in the summer, whereas, in the winter, it wouldn't die so quickly?
BRYAN: Yes, Mr. President. When it's exposed to U.V. rays -- take a playground equipment, for example.
The U.V. rays hitting a piece of playground equipment will kill the virus when it hits that -- when it hits on the playground equipment.
But underneath, where the sun does not hit, if someone touched that and had it on their hands, it could still be there, right? It has to be in direct light of the U.V. rays.
TRUMP: Would the sun -- would -- if it's on somebody's hands, right...
TRUMP: ... and they haven't touched their face and all...
BRYAN: ... it's exposed to the sun, it will...
TRUMP: I know. But if they're outside, right, and their hands are exposed to the sun, will that kill it as though it were on a piece of metal or something else?
BRYAN: Not -- I don't want to say it will at the same rate, because it's a nonporous surface.
What we do know, what we do know is that we looked at the worst-case scenario, and the virus lives longer on nonporous surfaces. So, porous surfaces, it doesn't live quite as long. So, in theory, what you said is correct.
TRUMP: This is semi-nonporous, right?
BRYAN: Yes, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
TRUMP: OK. Go ahead.
QUESTION: One at a time.
Mr. Bryan, how should governors who are opening their states, working on that, incorporate the findings of this study into those guidelines?
BRYAN: I would leave that up the governors.
This is a...
QUESTION: What is your advice?
BRYAN: This is decision -- this factors into their decision process.
As I mentioned, with -- knowing this knowledge and having this knowledge, as we continue to study and further know what the virus does and how it reacts, it could impact the way a governor will look at what he opens in a state, how he opens it, in what environments these things are opened up.
But I leave that up to the governors to make that decision.
QUESTION: Obviously, at the moment, the advice is stay at home.
By the summer, could we be flipping that and saying, you would be much better being off outside with U.V. rays, all the humidity that Washington brings in August?
BRYAN: I would not go contrary to the guidance that has been issued right now.
I think, though, to tell you that, if I'm having an event with my family, I'm doing it in the driveway or in the backyard, not inside the house with my children.
TRUMP: Because, actually, I'm thinking about moving outside to the Rose Garden.
No, it's a very interesting question, actually.
QUESTION: Mr. Bryan, how much more research, how much more time would it take to have conclusive results that could be used here? You said these were emerging results.
BRYAN: We -- we first were able to receive the virus back in February, is when we started testing.
And it is a science-based approach. Science is a process. The doctor can attest to that. It doesn't necessarily line up with goals and targets and other things. It is what it is.
But we are now starting to get results. And we're -- every week or two weeks, we're starting to find out something new and something different.
And in talking to the task force and the vice president, he's already asked us to come to him every time we come up with some new discoveries that we could be -- that we could share to the public.
TRUMP: Phil (ph)?
Sir, have you compared notes with your counterparts in other foreign governments or in private industry who might have been studying the same thing? And do their findings show the same result that you have found here?
BRYAN: We have.
We do have a very partnership with a lot of our allies. We work closely with them on this particular topic. We actually authored a document called the master questions list.
If you go to DHS S&T's Web site, we have already had about 17,000 hits on this document. It actually outlines what all the countries in the world are doing to fill the certain gaps of knowledge that don't exist within the virus and what we do know.
And that is really what targets and drives the science community to say, all right, what don't we know now, so we don't duplicate what other people have done.
So, we have championed that document. It's well-referenced, and I would encourage you to look at that.
TRUMP: And we are working with other countries on vaccines, as you know.
Yes, go ahead, please.
QUESTION: Thanks, Mr. President.
If there is a summer ebb with this virus, what would the federal government need to do to take advantage of that time?
TRUMP: Say it? In the beginning -- what?
So, if is there a summer sort of ebb with this virus, what would the federal government need to do to take advantage of that time to be better prepared for a possible resurgence in the fall than we were the first time around?
TRUMP: Well, I will tell you one thing. I think a lot of people are going to go outside all of the sudden.
People that didn't want to go outside, they will be going. This is a -- to me, this was a very -- really a very interesting meeting. We covered in great detail. And these are incredible people at that.
We could call it a laboratory, because that's essentially what it is. It's a super laboratory. It's a lot of things going on at that laboratory, a lot of very interesting things going on at that laboratory.
QUESTION: Right, but what would you...
QUESTION: What would you and other areas of the government need to do on testing, for example, or other things like that to be prepared if it came back in the fall? How would you take advantage of the summer?
TRUMP: Go ahead. Go ahead.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's actually a very good question. And it's something the task force already has begun discussing, that we are -- if -- a combination of factors.
Let me say again. As states put into practice the guidelines to open up America again, implement safe and responsible plans to open up their economies, along the lines that the president unveiled a week ago today, as people continue to properly exercise social distancing, as is recommended in each phase, that, in combination with some of these findings, could well give us a summer respite from the coronavirus.
And our team is already speaking about working on a continuous basis through this summer. Every single day, we're increasing testing. Every single day, air bridge flights are coming into the country. There are -- I can promise you, at the president's direction, there will be no letting up on making sure that our hospitals have the equipment, have the personal protective supplies for medical personnel.
There will be no letting up on the development of therapeutics by our great pharmaceutical companies. They're driving toward a vaccine as soon as it is possible to make available to the public.
And there will be no letting up on continuing to scale testing, already more than anyone in the world, but, by next fall, we will have a broad range of testing at variety of different means.
And that's why we say with confidence that, should the coronavirus reemerge at any point next fall or next winter, we will be prepared to deal with it, identify it, do the contact tracing and isolation to ensure that we deal with this epidemic in the manner that we -- that we deal with infectious diseases.
QUESTION: Mr. President, on the subject of medical research, why have you stopped promoting hydroxychloroquine as a cure?
TRUMP: I haven't at all. I haven't at all. What do you (OFF-MIKE) have. We will see what happens.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) talking about it (OFF-MIKE)
TRUMP: We have had a lot of very good results. And we had some results that perhaps aren't so good. I don't know.
I just read about one. But I also read many times good.
So, I haven't at all. And it's a -- it's a great -- for malaria, for lupus, for other things. And we will see what it is.
But I guess, Deborah, they have many -- many studies going on, on that. And so we will be able to learn.
QUESTION: Have you looked at the veterans study that shows the death rate is higher...
TRUMP: I have not. I haven't seen it. I have not seen it.
Go ahead, please.
QUESTION: Mr. President, we're now over 26 million new jobless claims over five weeks.
TRUMP: Yes. Yes.
QUESTION: How -- the vice president talked about this summer getting better, but how -- what do your economists tell you about the time it's going to take to you and the U.S. to create those jobs back?
TRUMP: Well, I know a lot about economists.
TRUMP: Well, let me go. We know the rest of the question, right?
So, I know a lot about economists. And the answer is, they have no idea. I think I have as good an idea as anybody. And I think our economy will start to pick up very substantially as soon as the states get open. And that's happening as we speak.
And it's actually very exciting. And people are just -- just thrilled to see it, because our country has to get back to work. They want to get back to work. You see that, whether it's a demonstration or just in talking to people. They're going to get back to work, and they're going to get back to work very fast.
States are advanced. I look at Gavin Newsom was -- Newsom was very nice today. He wrote a beautiful statement about -- we sent him a lot of -- a lot of things that he needed, OK, things, different things that he needed. We got -- we got it taken care of. They have done very well in California, as you know.
They're doing really well in Florida. They're doing well in a lot of places. New York and New Jersey got hit very hard. They're doing very well.
I spoke again with Governor Cuomo, with Governor Murphy. They're doing -- they're doing a great job.
And here's the thing. We have to see. They got hit hard, everyone close together, tight in. People don't realize, New Jersey is very tight.
You realize that, because you have been covering it for a long time, but very tight. New York, obviously, is very tight. They're doing a terrific job.
I think, for the most part, I will be able to tell you when it's all over, but a lot of the governors have done a really terrific job. Some, I don't think, have, to be honest, but we will be talking about that in the future.
Yes, go ahead.
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.
In a new interview today with "TIME" magazine, Dr. Fauci said that the U.S. is not in a situation where we can say we are where we want to be with regard to testing capacity. He said, we need much more testing capacity, as well as tests.
So, why do you keep saying we have a tremendous testing capacity? And do we have a national strategy that goes beyond tracking just what the states are doing?
TRUMP: The answer is yes.
And the answer is, as you know, and as I have said many times, we're very advanced in testing. Other countries are calling us to find out, what are we doing? And, by the way, within two weeks, you will see numbers, and you will see different forms of testing, just like we came up with the Abbott Laboratories machine, which gives it to you in five minutes that everybody wants.
Everybody's asking, can we get that? But you can only make them so fast.
But, as you know, we have done more testing than every other nation combined. And that's a big statement. And, you know, when they talk about different tests and different things.
We're also a bigger nation than most. And so when they look at statistic, because, statistically, we're doing phenomenally in terms of mortality, and terms of all of the different elements that you can judge.
When you look Germany and ourselves, are doing very well. We are very accurate in reporting of numbers. In fact, I go step further. As you know in New York, they actually added quite a few deaths to a list that was done in New York. And they added a number of deaths. We're very, very highly accurate.
And then you look at certain lists of other countries, some are so obvious just to look at, where obviously the numbers are ridiculous in the form of low because they are not accurate counts. They're not even close to accurate counts. In fact, they are insulting to look at them. So we've done very well.
Again, testing, we are doing very well on testing. We've tested far more than anybody else in the world and within a short period of time, you will be hearing about new testing that are coming out that are going to be incredible.
REPORTER: Do you agree with Dr. Fauci that we're just not there yet?
TRUMP: No, I don't agree with him with that. No, I think we're doing a great job on testing. I don't agree if he said that. I don't agree with him. Yes.
REPORTER: Considering ways to get -- if you ramped up production of that, Abbott rapid test --
TRUMP: No, well, they're doing it. I tell you, Steve, they're doing it at a level that they have never done it before. Abbott is a great company. It's a big, highly respected company. They came up with this machine where you do it -- I have done it both ways. I've done it this way, I didn't like it, and I've done it, the Abbott way, where you literally just touch. And five minutes later, you know the answer.
And we use them in the White House. I think you folks have been given that opportunity, which is more pleasant than the first way that they looked at you, right? We're making them hundreds of thousands of machines.
The advantage to the other tests and the laboratory test, we can get millions and millions of those tests done. It takes a day or two days. But, you know, because it's really a delivery situation, more than anything else, the test itself goes quickly once it gets to the laboratory.
But as we have found, and as we, I think, shown everybody in the room, we have many laboratories. We have so many laboratories. Nobody -- a lot of the governors did not know that we had this capacity. But we many laboratories all over our country. Every state has laboratories, and some have a lot of them.
So I think we will come up with things as time goes by. Again, when I started, we ended up -- we started with nothing, essentially. What we started was a broken test, a test that didn't work. We started with a test that did very few people, not millions of people. The problem s if we did 350 -- if we did 350 million tests, one for each person, the media would say, oh, we should have done two for each person. No matter what you do, it doesn't make any difference.
It's just like the ventilators, I talk about it all the time. Nobody ever mentions ventilators. One of on the hardest things, the ventilators. And now we're making thousands a week, thousands of ventilators. And they are calling from Mexico. They're calling from many countries. I have received today four calls. Would it be possible to send ventilators, right? I got four calls today, I got three calls yesterday. No country is equipped like we are. We have 11 different places making ventilators.
Our country, as you know, doesn't need them now. Our governors are very happy. But that's different than test. Because with the test, you can always say, we need more. No, I think we have done incredibly well obviously with ventilators. Well you also have 500 million masks, 500 million masks that have very shortly going to be here. We've made millions of masks. We have ordered millions of masks that have arrived and have been distributed. We gave one hospital in New York City 300,000 masks. Before the virus, they were using 10,000. And now we got them 3000,000. And they got rid of them very quick, which I quickly -- which I sort to say, how did that happen? Why? Because they became very valuable, the masks. So, I say how did that happen.
But we got -- we have done an amazing job. And we've worked with the governors and when the governors weren't able again, they are the first line. When they weren't able to get something, like ventilators. They couldn't get ventilators. They could have bought them. They could have bought them, but most of them, many of them chose not to. So they all needed ventilators and we got the job done.
We have --I'll be introducing the team when we are finished with this nightmare, this whole curse, this whole plague. But the team that worked on the ventilators was incredible. And the team, that worked -- it's a little bit interchangeable, but the team that is working on testing is truly an incredible team. These are brilliant people. And they're doing it for the country.
They're not doing it for other reasons. Some have been very successful. They're doing it for the country.
REPORTER: Mr. President, the house has now passed, since you're here, the relief bill.
TRUMP: Right, I will be signing it probably tonight.
REPORTER: As you know, there is no aid to states and localities in that bill. Mitch McConnell, of course, has talked about states seeking bankruptcy protection. He's also -- his office referred to this as the idea of aiding states, the blue state bail-out. What do you say to that? Do you agree with that or do you agree with Governor Cuomo that that is a vicious attack on state?
TRUMP: I don't think it's a vicious attack, but certainly some people do look at it that way. I have spoken to Mitch about it. I have spoken to the numerous senators about it. And we're working with senators that are on the other side of the issue. And we'll see what happens.
But we're looking to do what's right for the people of this country. We're looking to do what is right for a particular state. And we'll see what happens. But it's certainly the next thing we're going to be discussing, because some states have -- in all fairness, John, some states have not done very well for many years, long before the virus came. You can't blame the plague, this horrible plague that came in. Then all of the sudden that, you know, they can't blame that. You look at Illinois. He's got a lot of problems long before the virus came in.
And so what we're talking about, it will be a subject for a period of time. And right now, we've made this incredible deal for the workers and for small business and I'm very happy that Harvard didn't get covered. We we actually never sent them the check. But they were very nice about it. We never sent them the money. The old fashioned way is the check. The new way is send them the money. And we didn't send them the money. And, but they were very understanding and they were very nice about it, so was Princeton, so was Stanford, so were a number of other schools that we just don't associate with this money.
So, big companies, as you know, you know many of them. It was a relatively small amount of money compared to the whole, a very small amount of money compared. But we wanted it to be fair, we want it to go to the people that are supposed to go to.
REPORTER: Are you open to the idea of state local --
TRUMP: I am open to ideas that are going to be great for the people of this country. And if we can help states, we're always going to help states. Now, there's different ways of helping states. Some ways are better than others. So we're looking.
It is interesting that the states are in trouble do happen to be blue. It is interesting. You know, if you look around, I mean, the states that seem to have the problem happen to be Democrat.
REPORTER: New Jersey got hit this, you know, as far as --
TRUMP: But New York and New Jersey were in a lot of trouble long before the plague came. They had a lot of problems long before the plague came. I spoke to Governor Cuomo about it. I spoke to Governor Murphy about it. I spoke with Gavin Newsom about it. And I was speaking to a lot of people about it, because it's probably going to be the next thing in the list.
A lot of people understand very well what Mitch is saying and they also understand the other side of the problem. And I will be speaking about it. We're going to do the right thing for our country, the right thing for our country and the right thing for a lot of great people. Okay?
REPORTER: Yes. Mr. President, after the presentation we just saw that the heat and humidity, is it dangerous for you to make people think they would be safe by going outside in the heat considering that so many people are dying in Florida, considering that this virus has had an outbreak in Singapore, places that are hot and --
TRUMP: Here go, the new headline is, Trump asked people to go outside. That's dangerous. Here we go, same old group. Are you ready? I hope people enjoy the sun. And if it has an impact, that's great. I'm just hearing this, not really for the first time. I mean, there's been a rumor that, you know, a very nice rumor that you go outside in the sun and you have heat, and it does have an effect on other viruses. But now, we get it from one of the great laboratories of the world, I have to say, covers a lot more territory than (INAUDIBLE), this is probably an easy thing, rather than speaking for you.
I would like you to speak to the medical doctors to see if there is a way to you can apply light and heat to cure, you know? If you could, and maybe you can, maybe you can't. Again, I say, maybe you can, maybe you can't. I'm not a doctor. And I'm like a person that has a good -- you know what? Deborah, have you heard of that, the heat and the light relative to certain viruses, yes, but relative to this virus?
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: That is a treatment. Certainly fever is a good thing when you have a fever. It helps your body respond. But not -- as I've not seen the --
TRUMP: I think it's a great thing to look at, I mean -- okay?
REPORTER: Respectfully, sir, you're the president and people tuning in to this briefing, they want to get information and guidance and want to know what to do without looking for rumors.
TRUMP: Hey, I'm your president and you're fake news. And you know what I'll say to you, I'll say very nicely. I know you well, I know you well, because I know the guy, I see what he likes. He's a total faker.
So are you ready? Are you ready? Are you ready? It's just a suggestion from a brilliant lab by a very, very smart, perhaps brilliant man. He's talking about sun, he's talking about heat and you see numbers. So that's it. That's all I have. I'm just here to present talent. I'm here to present ideas. Because we want ideas to get rid of this thing. And if heat is good and if sunlight is good, that's a great thing as far as I am concerned.
REPORTER: Mr. President, you talked a minute ago about vaccines and that we're very close. How close do you think? The Oxford University says they could have one by September. Do you think the pharmaceutical companies within U.S. around --
TRUMP: They could have one of what?
REPORTER: Have a vaccine ready?
TRUMP: Oxford is one. Johnson & Johnson is working. They're also working together. You have many companies working together on a vaccine.
REPORTER: Then do you think the scale -- they can scale up production, and the pharmaceutical companies will be able to do that quickly?
TRUMP: If we had a vaccine, it will be scaled up very quickly. In fact, some of the companies, Johnson & Johnson is one, is scaling up already before they have the final answer. A number of companies are doing that. You will save a lot of time. And, normally, you can scale up after.
I have to say, the FDA has been fantastic, Stephen Hahn, Dr. Hahn, he has been fantastic. They are moving along rapidly, rapidly.
REPORTER: Would you say with a pre-time scale on when you think is --
TRUMP: No, not pre-time scale because then the media, the so-called media, live screen media, will say, he said the time. I don't want to say time. Because every time I say a time, if you don't hit it, they will say -- so I don't want to talk about that.
But I will say that it's been tremendous progress made over the last month.
REPORTER: And can I ask a very quick question. You spoke Boris Johnson this week. I just want to -- how he sounded, how he was, when do you think he'll be back at work?
TRUMP: He called me a few days ago. I will tell you, he sounded incredible. I was actually surprised. I thought he would be like, oh, Donald -- he was ready to go. I'm very surprised to tell you this. It's like the old Boris, tremendous energy, tremendous drive. I was very surprise, because he called me almost pretty close to when he got out of the hospital.
I think he is doing great. I think he's doing great. He was so sharp and energetic, pretty incredible. He's an incredible guy. He's a friend of ours and a friend of mine. He loves our country. He loves his country a lot, but he loves our country. He respects our country and they're lucky to have him over there.
Please? REPORTER: Mr. President, you a couple days ago said you might reach out to Kim Jong-un directly, but also that you're working to find out of those reports about him being in possible medical trouble were true. I'm wondering if either --
TRUMP: I hope he's not in medical trouble. I hope he's not.
REPORTER: Have you heard anything from North Korea?
TRUMP: I worked (ph) very well with him. And here we are, you would have been in a war with North Korea if I didn't get elected president. Remember, I was going to be the one that took us into war with my first day in office, okay? Here we are, look at what's happened. Withdraw, we're bringing people home, we're not going to serve as policeman all over the world. I don't want to be policemen all over the world. And yet I rebuild our military to a level that never been built at before. But it's never recognized by the fake news.
REPORTER: But you've been able to use that relationship to get more information about his status?
TRUMP: I think the report was incorrect, let me just put it that way. I think the report was done by a network that was incorrect. I'm hearing they used old documents. But I -- that's what I hear. I hear the report was an incorrect report. I hope it was an incorrect report.
REPORTER: When was the last time you heard from him?
TRUMP: I don't want to say. Yes.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Mr. President, just a quick question about that. So you haven't made any contact, just to make sure?
TRUMP: With who?
COLLINS: With North Koreans.
TRUMP: I don't want to say. I won't say that. We have a good relationship with North Korea, as good as you can have. I mean, we have a good relationship with North Korea. I have a good relationship with Kim Jong-in and I hope he's okay. And somebody would say, oh, that's terrible. No, it's not terrible. I hope he's okay. And I think it was a fake report done by CNN.
COLLINS: So can I ask you a question?
TRUMP: No, that is enough. Go ahead.
COLLINS: That wasn't my question.
TRUMP: The problem is you don't write the truth. So, you know, sort of some concern, I want to go to the next question.
COLLINS: Can I ask you a question --
TRUMP: No, not CNN please. Go ahead.
COLLINS: The White House has not responded to the allegations --
TRUMP: You don't, I told you, CNN is fake news. Don't talk to me. Go ahead please?
COLLINS: Then he says he was retaliated against, and that is why he with you removed from his job. Do you have a response to that?
TRUMP: Okay, next question.
REPORTER: Mr. President, I have two questions, one behalf of my colleague because he's not here because of social distancing.
TRUMP: Just ask, one please.
REPORTER: First one, could you talk about your decision-making process on governor of Georgia?
TRUMP: The controversy?
REPORTER: No, you said yesterday that you told the governor of Georgia that you were concerned about.
TRUMP: I had a good talk with the governor of Georgia.
REPORTER: Earlier in the week, you spoke and you did not convey this kind of message. Was there change in your thinking.
TRUMP: I didn't convey the message. I didn't like the fact that he's leaving certain things.
I want the states to open more than he does, much more than he does. But I didn't like to see spas at this early stage, nor do the doctors. Is that a correct statement, Deborah?
I didn't like to see spas opening. Frankly, I didn't like to see a lot of things happening and I wasn't happy with it.
And I wasn't happy with Brian Kemp, I wasn't at all happy, because -- and I could have done something about it if I wanted to, but I'm saying, let the governors do it. And I wasn't happy with Brian Kemp.
Spas, beauty parlors, tattoo parlors, I don't know, that's -- and, by the way, I want them to open -- excuse me.
I went them to open and I went them to open as soon as possible and I want the state to open.
But I wasn't happy with Brian Kemp. I will tell you that right now. Yes, go ahead.
REPORTER: Are you surprised he defied you on that?
TRUMP: No, he didn't -- no, he didn't defy me at all. That's your language. He didn't defy me.
You know what happened? I said, you make your own decision. I told him that. I said, you're not in the guidelines but I'm letting you make your own decisions. But I want people to be safe, and I want the people in Georgia to be safe, and I don't want this thing to flare up because you're deciding to do something that is not in the guidelines.
And I went to Deborah and Dr. Fauci, and other people, and they weren't thrilled about it. And I could have stopped him, but I decided and we all agreed, we got to watch it closely. So, we'll see what happens.
I told him very distinctively, I said -- Mike was there. I said, do you what you think is best. But if you ask me, am I happy about it? I'm not happy about it and I'm not happy about Brian Kemp.
REPORTER: A question for Dr. Birx, if I may, Mr. President, about the rate of the decline of the curve in the U.S. You and the vice president tonight talking about meaningful progress, promising progress.
Can you speak to the rate of decline of cases --
TRUMP: We can do it quickly that would be great. If you --
REPORTER: And if you have any information from other countries that would inform us about the decline.
BIRX: Yes, so, many of you -- and I have spoken to all of us from this podium about -- there's weekend's different in reports, often a spike on Monday. If you look at Mondays over Mondays, if you look at seven- day reporting, we are starting to go down. We have had a long, flat peak, largely driven, of course, by New York, which is 45 or so percent of the cases. As New York goes down, so will the rest of the country, have a decline, even more accelerated.
I want to say, though, we have had outbreaks. We had outbreaks in specific prisons. We had outbreaks in specific nursing homes. We had outbreaks in specific plants.
And when that happens, that adds 200, 300, 400 cases on that single date. So, we track very carefully not only what the country is doing, but what each state is doing, each county is doing, and we look at data (ph) changes across all of the counties so that we find early signals for these types of outbreaks, because we want -- we want the whole country to go down, but we also want to prevent the outbreaks before they occur.
REPORTER: Mr. President --
TRUMP: Go ahead, please?
REPORTER: Yes, thank you.
Looking forward to November, the election, given the risk that the flu, and the coronavirus --
TRUMP: Yes, that's --
REPORTER: It could be a problem. Do you think that there is a risk there will be some -- there will be lack of agreement, lack of legitimacies of the results in a very close election and people start saying, well, a whole bunch of people --
TRUMP: I can't tell you what's going to happen in an election. Yes, a great question. I can't tell you what's going to happen.
We have a sleepy guy in a basement in a house that the press is given a free pass to who doesn't want to do debates because of COVID and lots of things are happening, right? And I watched a couple interviews and I see, oh, I look forward to this but they're keeping him sheltered because of the coronavirus. And he is not moving around. He is not moving too much.
And then I watch what the press does to the Republican Party and to me in particular. We had the greatest economy ever put together. We were doing numbers -- this is a month a half ago. We were doing numbers the likes of which we have never done.
African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, the best employment numbers in the country. Our employment numbers -- the best in the country, almost 160 million people. The stock market -- record numbers, many, many times during my tenure, many, many times.
But now, we have a country that we had to close because of this, and frankly, if we didn't close it, we would have lost millions of people possibly, but certainly, we would have lost a million people. You take the high number and cut it in half, cut it in half again.
But whether it would have been 600, 700, 800 -- you take a look at the travesty that -- you take a look at this horrible, horrible scene of hospitals with bodies and black body bags, right, multiply that times 10, 15 or even 20, because that would have happened.
So, we did the right thing. So far we did the right thing. So far, we've called it right.
We've mobilized like it was a military operation, and it was largely a military operation between ventilators and testing and so many other things. We've had a lot of good partners. Not all are good partners, but we had a lot of good partners.
Gavin Newsom today thanked us very much. Gavin Newsom, California, thanked us so much for getting him all the things he needed so he can keep going and keep doing a good job. We got it to him today. Tomorrow, we're getting him even more.
It would have been harder for him to get it than us. We agree to get it, we got it on time. He said, promises made, promises kept. He actually said that in his statement today.
We've done a good job. We've gotten very little credit for the great job we've done because of the media, because the media is not an honest media, in my opinion, much of it. Not all of it. We have some great reporters and I have tremendous respect, but much of the media is not honest.
So, I can't tell you about the election. You have a Democrat Party and you have a large portion of the media automatically giving the guy a pass. He's been given a pass, whether or not he's going to be the nominee, I have no idea. But he's getting a pass.
And the media isn't covering the great job that we've done, whether it's Mike's task force which has been incredible, whether it's the way we mobilized in a war-like operation to build these incredibly complex and very expensive ventilators. They're very expensive to build, and very complex.
The job we've done has been an amazing job -- and I'm not talking about me. I'm talking about everybody. I'm talking about the generals, the admirals, Deborah and Tony, and now, Bill. I mean, something we hadn't heard today.
So I can't tell you what's going to happen with the election. I think that had we not gone through a fake Russia, Russia, Russia deal, an impeachment hoax, that was a total hoax, from day I got elected -- but you know it wasn't the day -- it was many months before I got elected. This has been a witch hunt that was illegal. It was an illegal witch hunt. It was illegal.
And with all that of, I'm doing fine, because the people see we're doing a great job. And you know what? We'll continue to do a great job.
If we had an honest press, this country would be even greater.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
You have been watching there, President Trump and some members of the coronavirus task force, the president social distancing guidelines could extend into the summer or even longer. He asked a top official from the Department of Homeland Security to show the effect of sunlight on coronavirus. A lot of details there. This is a theory, of course, the president spoke of back in February.
I want to go straight to our panel. John King, Jim Acosta, Daniel Dale and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
First, let me start with you, John King. The president, of course, this is a theory he has been putting out there and we will get some scientific analysis of this. But this, of course, is something he has been pushing for quite some time, right? Even last night when he said that maybe the virus will come back in the fall, of course, Dr. Anthony Fauci immediately said, no, it will be here definitively, it's not a question, it's a fact.
But he is here laying out how summer could hurt the virus.
KING: And, Erin, let's hope the research is correct and let's hope we get a summer respite from the coronavirus, but let's also not let the president again try to rewrite history.
After the presentation was made, the president kind of said in a snarky way, some said that. He did say that, right? He did say that. But remember when he said it, remember exactly what he said. He said back in February at a campaign rally it looks by April, you know, by April you know, if it gets a little bit warmer, it miraculously goes away, and then he said to weeks later, we are going substantially down not up. We have 15 people, within a couple days is going to go down to zero.
So, let's remember, the president said by April. We brought our numbers on the screen, you don't need to go again, we are approaching 50,000 deaths, we are approaching 1 million cases here in the United States. Back in the beginning of this, that time in February and March is what the president bristles that when he's asked questions as to why questions was a wrapped up then. Why were the PPE stockpiles ramped up then? Not in later March, where the alarms all did go off.
And so, again, let's hope the science is right. Let's hope the people outside the government who can verify it. Let's hope we get some respite.
But let's not let the present rewrite history saying, I told you so because when it gets warmer, it was by April and then he said it would be down to zero. It was not gone by April. We are not down to zero.
One more quick point and I'm sure Jim is going to make this as well. Erin, I spent nine and three quarter years in that room, it's just reprehensible when the president United States that attacks reputable reporters asking very legitimate questions like "The Washington Post" did, like our Kaitlan Collins did, I wish, I wish, I know we can't do that, I know it's important for the country to get information, I wish they would say thank you, Mr. President, and leave.
BURNETT: So, Jim Acosta, let me get your chance to respond to that. Of course, he did do that as he does every night now. ACOSTA: Yes. And as John King knows and I've tried to pass this along
from time to time. When the president attacks the press, when you calls his fake news, that's when he's in trouble. And when he goes after Kaitlan Collins, who was asking a very legitimate question about what is happening with Kim Jong-un in North Korea and he attacks Kaitlan and refuses to answer the question, that's just going to raise more questions.
But, you know, getting back to what John was talking about, I mean this is sort of becoming President Trump's traveling medicine show. The way he is coming into these briefings from time to time and putting out there are some very questionable ideas in terms of how to treat the coronavirus. In addition to saying that the sunlight could kill the coronavirus, he was saying at one point, I'm just trying to read this, suppose that we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it's ultraviolet or very powerful light and I think you said, it hasn't been checked and you are going to test it, saying if you hit the body with light in some way that would kill the coronavirus.
And then, Erin, he went one step further and said, there I see the disinfectant were knocks it out in one minute. Is there way we could do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? President appeared to be suggesting at one point, that you can inject disinfectants into people to kill the coronavirus.
We want to caution everybody at home, please don't do that. Please don't follow the president's medical advice here. It appears at this point he has been proven on hydroxychloroquine studies coming in, and saying that might not be the case, it might not be effective, but he's going further with sort of these baffling medicine shows, snake oil ideas that just don't really, I think, fall in line with the science.
And Dr. Birx was asked during the briefing whether or not that could be some kind of treatment, and she said while going offside is a good thing for the body but not as a treatment. So, I thought that was disturbing.
BURNETT: So, I want to bring in some doctors here to get some analysis on this. Dr. Jonathan Reiner did advise the White House for eight years under President George W. Bush, now the head of cardiac cath lab at G.W. University.
What is your reaction, Doctor? There's a lot I want to ask you about. But first to the point that Jim was making when the president was sort of talking about some sort of an injection of some kind of a, I don't know what it would be, something to disinfect the person could kill this.
DR. JONATHAN REINER, CARDIOLOGIST, ADVISED WHITE HOUSE MEDICAL TEAM FOR EIGHT YEARS: Yes. You know, the president has a bully pulpit and people listen to the president. So, everything that comes out of the president's mouth as it pertains to health and medical recommendations need to be really vetted because people listen to him. And, you know, I watched the press conference and very little of what the president said, as it pertains to disinfection or a photo therapy makes any sense. And, look, everyone wants a quick fix and the president clearly wants
a quick fix, we all do, but there are no quick fixes. We have to do this the right way. We have to do this with science.
If the president thinks that tanning beds are going to cure the coronavirus, he's mistaken, it's not going to happen. We have to do this through clinical trials and real science and do the painstaking work.
And we're doing it. He just needs to leave it -- you know, leave it to the professionals.
BURNETT: So, let me ask Dr. Meghan Ranney also with me.
Let me ask you, Dr. Ranney, about the other part that was presented here. This was presented by the scientists. They had studied what happened to the viruses in various temperatures. Now the president said it will go away when it got warm in April. It has not.
However, there had always been the assumption that a virus does not do as well in sun and humidity and indeed that is what they are showing today that as you put the virus in sunlight, it doesn't live as long. So, if you go to 95-degree temperature in the summer without even any sunlight, it lives for two hours and if it is 70 to 75 degrees and you do have sunlight, it could only perhaps live for four minutes on the surface.
Does all this add up to you?
DR. MEGAN RANNEY, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN, LIFESPAN/BROWN UNIVERSITY: So there is certainly truth to the fact that in warm weather and in direct sunlight, viruses and bacteria don't live as long. Listen, I lived in Africa for two and a half years, we use sunlight to disinfect water. There is some truth to that.
However, it's not going to kill the virus with the speed that is being suggested. Based on our experiences in Australia and in other countries in the southern hemisphere, I wouldn't predict that is going to completely disappear just because it gets warmer out.