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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
World Health Org: 102 Potential Vaccines in Works; Dr. Fauci: Millions of Vaccine Doses Could be Ready by Jan; CA County Plans to Defy Governor's Stay-at-Home Order; Group of Elite Scientists and Business Titans Say They Have A Plan and Answer to Pandemic; Sources: Admin Officials Pushing Intel Agencies for Evidence Linking Coronavirus to Wuhan Lab. Aired on 7-8p ET
Aired April 30, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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SONIA(?): She was always the life of the party. When she walk in, she would light up the roll. She was just a joy to be around.
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WOLF BLITZER: Those families and all the families in mourning tonight, we offer our condolences. May your loved ones rest in peace. May their memories be a blessing.
Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Thank you, Wolf.
OUTFRONT next, ramping up the race for vaccine, 102 potential vaccines now in the works worldwide. We're going to talk to one patient in a very closely watched trials. Doctor saying that vaccine could be ready for mass use in September.
Plus, an exclusive group of top scientists and business leaders describing themselves as a modern day Manhattan Project say they have an answer to the coronavirus pandemic. One of the group's leading voices is my guest.
And a doctor who is recovering from coronavirus received five different experimental treatments. So which one does he think worked? I'll speak to him.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, ramping up. The global race for a vaccine now accelerating. The World Health Organization today saying there are now 102 potential vaccines in the works. And the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says it's possible to have a vaccine ready to go by January.
Now, that is months ahead of the very best case scenario that they've been putting out there.
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DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Quickly, but we want to make sure it's safe and it's effective. I think that is doable ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's a big ...
FAUCI: ... if things fall in the right place.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
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BURNETT: And that was specifically about January. Those comments coming after Pfizer said it could have a vaccine ready for emergency use by September.
And tonight, researchers at Oxford University who have told me they hope to have a vaccine ready for mass use by September say things are starting to fall into place. According to doctors, they have now vaccinated hundreds of people. They hope to get an idea if the potential vaccine is working by the middle of June. We're going to speak to one of them in just a moment.
And this comes as the death toll in the United States is now just shy of 63,000 people. And the key model often cited by the White House predicts now that there will be more than 71,000 deaths by August.
Nick Watt is OUTFRONT live in Pasadena, California. And Nick, in some states, they are really full steam ahead, way ahead of the White House guidelines ready to open.
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, it is fascinating to see how different places are doing this differently and also on wildly different timeframes. South Carolina started this process April 20th. It does not look like Connecticut is going to start until May 20th.
But wherever you are, there will be some constants in your life for months to come and they are face masks and hand sanitizer.
WATT(voice over): More than 30 million Americans have now lost their jobs during this unprecedented national shutdown, pain and frustration rising.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Off on taxes now. Off on taxes now.
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WATT(voice over): By this weekend, more than half of our states will have started to reopen with restrictions. In Texas, the COVID case count isn't falling, still restaurants and retail can reopen tomorrow at 25 percent capacity.
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JULIAN RODARTE, CO-OWNER, BETO AND SON: We're not going to make anything here. It's just for the staff to be able to keep providing for the families on a day-to-day.
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WATT(voice over): Tomorrow, you'll be able to get a legal haircut again in Wyoming. In Utah from midnight Friday, bars and restaurants can open. In Oklahoma bars will stay closed but gyms and movie theaters can open.
On the flip side, Louisiana just extended stay home through May 15th. Ohio extended, no end date given. Boston extended its curfew through May 18th.
Now, the federal social distancing guidelines were issued 45 days ago, advice that expires today. And now, it's up to each governor to figure out reopening.
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MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And the new guidance that we've issued is guidance for how they can do that safely and responsibly.
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WATT(voice over): A draft of possible new CDC guidelines for businesses and institutions calls for stationary collection boxes in church, in restaurants, disposable menus, plenty sneeze guards, no salad bars. And in schools, desks six feet apart.
Hard hit New Jersey is taking it slow. For us to open, among other things, golf courses. But one per cart and stay apart.
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GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D) NEW JERSEY: We said, you know what, let's open them up this weekend. But let's make sure everybody plays ball. So this is a real test case for us.
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WATT(voice over): Here in California, Orange County beaches opened last weekend but the crowds pack too tight, so ...
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GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D) CALIFORNIA: We're going to do a hard close in that part of the state, just in the Orange County area.
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This Vacaville barber plans to defy the state's continued stay home order.
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JUAN DESMARAIS, PRIMO'S BARBERSHIP: I'm going to defy it all the way to the end.
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WATT(voice over): In Iowa, a gradual reopening but only in counties with low case growth and a nod to our grim new reality.
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GOV. KIM REYNOLDS (R) IOWA: COVID-19 isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The virus will continue to be in our communities. And unfortunately, people will still get sick until a vaccine is available.
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WATT(voice over): Now, we're told one might be ready in January, the white house now calling this Operation Warp Speed. They'll start manufacturing while it's still in trials.
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FAUCI: Assuming it's going to work and if it does, then you could scale up and hopefully get to that timeline.
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WATT(voice over): And a therapeutic remdesivir, that antiviral showing some promise still needs FDA emergency approval.
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FAUCI: They have not made a final decision yet. They have not announced it, but I would project that we're going to be seeing that reasonably soon.
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WATT: And, of course, testing is also going to be key here in Pasadena. We have seen hundreds of cars pass through this testing site all day. Anybody can come, whether you are symptomatic or asymptomatic, if you have an appointment, they'll test you, going to be key going forward, Erin.
BURNETT: Going to be really key and something, by the way, you mentioned they have in California, they certainly do not have a lot of hard hit places in the East Coast, New Jersey forefront among them. All right. Thanks very much to you, Nick.
And OUTFRONT now a participant in the Oxford vaccine study, Simeon Courtie. He got his first dose of the vaccine yesterday.
So Simeon, I mean, everyone is watching this. Look, we'll see how it goes. But a lot of hopes if this gets through the trial, they would know by mid June or July it could be in mass production and for the fall, for September. You have now gotten one dose. You're going to get two or three more. So explain to us what the first one was like and how this is going to go for you.
SIMEON COURTIE, VOLUNTEER FOR OXFORD VACCINE TRIAL: Well, the first vaccine went really smoothly. It was yesterday lunchtime. The vaccine itself didn't hurt going in and it took literally two minutes for the clinician to administer it.
I don't know whether I'm in the control group or whether I've got the New Oxford vaccine, even the clinician putting it in didn't know. It's just a syringe with a barcode on it.
The whole process, though, was a bit longer. I was there about an hour and a half because they have to take so many tests. They took vials and vials of blood. They have to check all my current antibodies and get a baseline so they can monitor me and see if anything is changing.
BURNETT: Right. I guess, they have to make sure, obviously, you don't - I'm sure they checked, right, you don't have antibodies to it already, because that would mean you couldn't be in the study. So did you have any side effects? Have you had any, thus far, and when are those next to doses?
COURTIE: I've been really lucky so far. They do warn you when you go on a trial like this you have to sign a ton of paperwork saying that you are aware of the risks, because even though this vaccine has been through animal testing when the first human safety trials start, there's a small risk that something unknown could happen. But they actually anticipate the side effects will be flu like symptoms.
So maybe a fever for a couple of days, some aches. I had a bad headache overnight after I had the vaccine yesterday and I was up at sort of four in the morning taking some headache tablets. So I felt like I was fighting a cold, I guess. But then by this morning, I felt OK again and I feel right now.
BURNETT: So just to explain to us how did you choose to do this? Why did you volunteer to do this? And as you point out, this is the safety study, right? This is the part where they're testing to see if something goes dramatically wrong. You are really the guinea pig for that.
COURTIE: Yes. That's it. I'm not alone. There are now a thousand of us doing this safety trial. And a bit like your report mentioned earlier, this is a race. These guys are just like your teams in America, they're working against the clock here. So they're running safety trials alongside an efficacy trial to see if it's effective that's being done in primates at the moment.
So we're the first human safety trial to see if this vaccine is safe in human beings and if it is safe, then they'll do an efficacy trial in human beings which will be a lot bigger thousands of people to see if it's effective. And my motivation for getting into it, although there's a, I guess, a small risk there is when I saw it on Twitter and they were looking for volunteers, I've got a daughter who's 23. She's doing a PhD and she's a research scientist in medicine in a different field in sepsis. And I know how hard it is for these scientists to find humans who volunteer for things.
So I was quick to put my hand up because I know what a struggle it normally is for them. And what a way to be able to help, I'm not a key worker or a frontline worker.
I'd be sitting at home feeling useless if I wasn't helping in some way. And these guys are just down the road and they're the best in the world.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Simeon, thank you very much. We'll be checking back in with you. As you say, this race continues. Thank you very much.
And I want to go straight now to Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Doctor, you heard Simeon explaining how this is going. And the University of Oxford, they've been kind of sort of combining their trials. I mean, the technology that they're doing for this vaccine has been used in other vaccines before.
So they're able to do efficacy in primates, as he said, and safety in humans. They're going to ramp up to a thousand people and they're going to do it incredibly quickly. And they're saying they'll know by the middle of June if it works, which they can know because the virus is so widely prevalent in the U.K., people are getting exposed to it. They'll be able to find out.
They'll have it ready by September, they say if it works. Dr. Fauci said maybe in the United States, January. Pfizer says emergency use by September. This is like a huge turnaround on vaccines.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no question. And a lot of people are paying attention to vaccines maybe for the first time in their lives sort of hearing about this. What you just described, Erin, is totally new, novel and very, very fast, as you pointed out.
We've been following the Oxford vaccine trial for some time. As you pointed out, they're sort of doing phase one and phase two in some ways, overlapping though, so looking at safety and efficacy at the same time. And you're right, they took an existing virus and they basically engineered it. So it wasn't going to cause disease, and it was going to sort of simulate antibodies to the Coronavirus, so it's an existing virus that they sort of engineered a bit. They want to do, I think, 6,000 people by the end of May. So these are
huge numbers. And as Simeon was just mentioning, he described this beautifully. But they've already done some animal studies looking at efficacy. They exposed a bunch of monkeys to a certain inoculum of the virus, certain dose of the virus and they all got it. They all got infected and then they gave six monkeys the vaccine first and then expose them and none of those monkeys got it.
So small, but promising. There is a saying I'll point out, Erin, in this sort of research that says mice lie and monkeys always exaggerate. The point is there's no perfect animal model, which is why we got to see what the human studies actually show.
BURNETT: And one of the things when you've got the Pfizer one now and Fauci being so optimistic, but in the U.K. study they had mentioned and I want to point out there's three or four different technologies. Some of them are newer and less proven than others.
But part of the reason they do different technologies is to see if they can get a more effective vaccine. One of the risks that they put in their grant application for the U.K. one I know is that there is a very small but possible risk that something like this could actually increase one's chance of contracting something as opposed to doing the exact opposite. I mean, it's not just a safety question. There are real risks as to whether these things work.
GUPTA: Yes. What that's called, I think, you're describing is called sensitization. And basically, you want the body to react if it sees this virus in the future. That's what a vaccine sort of creates is the body's ability to fight the infection in the future. But it is possible that it could create a situation where the body overreacts, creating a storm of inflammation and being essentially overly sensitized to the virus and that could actually be more problematic in some situations than the infection itself and that has happened before, Erin.
So you're right, there are real risks of these vaccines. It is possible that in the end, we have a few different vaccines based on different technologies. This one based on engineering an existing chimp virus. There is other ones that are essentially taking a blueprint, part of the genetic material of the virus and teaching the body how to make the antibodies.
And then obviously, there's the conventional ones, where you take a little bit of the virus itself and do a little exposure to the body and the body gets taught how to fight that infection if it sees it again. So maybe there'll be different types of vaccines manufactured in different places around the world and that could be beneficial as well.
BURNETT: Well, I certainly would be because of the sheer number that we're going to need. All right. Sanjay, thank you very much. And Sanjay, big night tonight, going to be back at the top of the hour for the Global Town Hall in Coronavirus with Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci. So you don't want to miss that. Stay with us and that will be coming up top of the hour. And next, one California county defying Gov. Newsom, announcing it is
no longer going to follow the state stay-at-home order. That's it. They're done and it starts tomorrow.
Plus, they compare themselves to a modern day Manhattan Project. A group of scientists and business leaders working on a plan to end the pandemic. I'm going to speak to a member of this exclusive group this hour.
And President Trump taking on China in a big way. Now looking at a way to punish Beijing for its response to coronavirus.
BURNETT: New tonight, one California county defying its Governor, Modoc County, which has a population of about 9,000 people is on the border with Oregon as you can see there on the north. Announcing it will no longer follow Gov. Newsom stay-at-home order. They are opening schools. They are opening churches and they are opening businesses and they are doing it tomorrow.
OUTFRONT now, the chair of the Modoc County Board of Supervisors, Elizabeth Cavasso. And thank you very much, I appreciate your time Elizabeth. So look, you're standing up to your Governor, first county in the state to say you're not going to follow the stay-at-home order and you are opening up, as I said, schools, churches, businesses. It's a bold move. Why are you doing it?
ELIZABETH CAVASSO, CHAIR, BOARD OF SUPERVISORS FOR MODOC COUNTY, CA: I'd like to correct you, we're standing up for the people of Modoc County and we have been engaged in this incident for longer than a month now. We have been planning and working as an interagency group in the county with advice and counsel from our Modoc County Health Officer and the Office of Emergency Services as well as our Sheriff.
We've been in daily communication and collaboration with partners, and businesses and entities in the community.
CAVASSO: The facts are with our county is there are no cases of COVID-19 here. We have been testing all along and there are no cases. Yes, there are a few cases in surrounding counties, but those affected people have recovered.
And at this point, we are moving forward not in defiance but in alliance with the State of California and the guidance. And we believe that we can continue with our safe actions and continue to keep the citizens of Modoc County healthy.
BURNETT: So when you say it's an alliance with the State of California, the Governor today, Gov. Newsom was asked about your plan. He did not agree with that characterization. He said local communities cannot enact rules and conflict with his statewide order. He also said this and let me play it for you, Elizabeth.
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NEWSOM: The only thing that will set us back is behavior that's not conducive with those guidelines that are currently in place in a spread of this virus. When you pull back too quickly, you literally put people's lives at risk.
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BURNETT: What's your response to the Governor?
CAVASSO: My response is that our local decisions have proven well and that we have no cases. We have been testing. We have search capacity above the recommended amount that the state requests. We have been communicating in a transparent fashion with our community and the public.
They're well aware of the actions that we're taking. They're informed and they are engaged in social distancing and proper hygiene practices. And all of those decisions at the local government level down to the individual level, are clearly proof that we are following the state's guidance and it's working effectively in our county.
BURNETT: So in terms of when you reopen tomorrow for those schools, for those churches, are there rules in terms of masks or school desks six feet apart or are there any rules, and if so, will there be any enforcement or is it up to the judgment of the individual establishment?
CAVASSO: First of all, there are no schools opening. That decision is delayed until May 15th. There is one school district within our area that has already decided not to open. The others are still on hold. The direction that has been given is completely in line with the state. It's continuing with proper distancing, with sanitation procedures.
Those vulnerable populations are advised to stay home. People that are sick or not feeling well or advice to stay home. So we are continuing with the same actions that the rest of the state are doing. And again, we've been 100 percent successful with no cases of the coronavirus.
BURNETT: All right. Elizabeth, I appreciate your time. Elizabeth Cavasso, as I said, the Chair of the Modoc County Board of Supervisors.
And I want to go up from now to our Medical Analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner also was a medical adviser to the George W. Bush White House for eight years. So Dr. Reiner, you heard her explanation. They haven't had cases. Their nearby counties have, but she says that those people have recovered. But yet the Governor of California when talking about Modoc County today was saying when you pull back too quickly, you literally put people's lives at risk. So who's right? JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, the supervisor's
frustration is palpable and I certainly understand that people are hurting all over the country. There are 30 million people out of work. But the state of California has been incredibly successful in flattening the curve, really squashing the curve.
California is a state with 10 million more people than New York State and they're projected to have about 2,000 deaths by the end of the summer, whereas New York State is projected to have a 10 times that amount.
So what California has done has worked and we've seen around the world, instances in places like Singapore, in places like Japan, when social distancing and these kinds of very effective measures are eased to quickly prematurely, the virus comes back and it comes back with a vengeance, most recently in Hokkaido, Japan.
So, I believe that states should have a coordinated response. And I think the Governor has it right.
BURNETT: And does this concern you though that you're seeing this? And you're right, her frustration was palpable and I shared, I think, by many. But once you start to see this happening, once it starts to become a more broad phenomenon, which is already happening on a state level, does the risk really rise? I mean, right now it seems risk free to people making it about freedom, right?
REINER: Right. So, we live in a country without walls, so despite the fact that her county has not encountered a positive patient, other counties nearby can and we're very mobile in this country.
So people will come to her county whether she likes it or not who are infected.
The other problem is that we've really only been testing the tip of the iceberg. We've only been testing really classically symptomatic people and I think that even in her county, if extensive antibody testing or even extensive testing for the virus have been done, I bet you would find people living in her county right now who have the virus.
So if we're going to open up, we need to open up smart and we need to do it in a coordinated way. And I think the Governor of California has it right.
BURNETT: All right. Dr. Reiner, thank you very much, as always.
REINER: My pleasure.
BURNETT: And next, an exclusive team of scientists and business titans say they have answers to the coronavirus pandemic. One of the group's leaders is my guest.
Plus, President Trump says he's confident the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan China. So is there evidence?
BURNETT: Tonight, a group of top scientists and business leaders have been working on a plan to fight the coronavirus and reopen America, the whole country. The group has compared itself to a modern day Manhattan Project and has delivered a report to the White House.
OUTFRONT now, Steve Pagliuca, one of the group's leading voices. He's co-owner of the Bain Capital and co-owner of the Boston Celtics, as well.
Today, he briefed the Massachusetts governor's office on a back-to- work plan as part of his work with the Massachusetts High Technology Council.
Steve, I appreciate your time tonight. So, in this -- this report, which was delivered to the White House, the scientists that you've been working with explain in detail why remdesivir, an experimental drug is promising. They get down to the dosage levels, the form in which the drug might be utilized, and they were way ahead of the studies in this analysis.
So, there's a lot in here to show they were ahead. They also talk about a vaccine and Dr. Fauci, of course, today said one could be ready by January.
What is the bottom line for your group? Does it seem that a vaccine could be ready, en masse, by January?
STEVE PAGLIUCA, CO-CHAIRMAN, BAIN CAPITAL: I would say they're cautiously optimistic with what they -- because they're cautious -- because there's been many issues with vaccines over the years, it took four years, as you know, for the mumps vaccine, things can go wrong. You can have side effects. There's never really been an effective mRNA vaccine before, but they're cautiously optimistic with all the results we've had. And thank goodness the technology has had over the years, so you can do genetic mapping and they can really bring these things up a lot quicker.
So they're hoping for the best, and they have to plan for it to be longer than that period of time and figure out what are the procedures to kind of get the country back to work.
BURNETT: Which I think is, it's a crucial question, and I think important you raised the mumps vaccine, as people, you know, are getting very excited, they call this warp speed. But there are real concerns and risks to consider.
You know, testing is a cornerstone of reopening the economy, Steven, and we all know that, you know? But you have run the numbers. And they seem to far from add. So, how far short are we of this, OK, we're going to mass test and that's going to enable everyone to go back to work? PAGLIUCA: Well, it depends on how you define it. An outer end would
be, if you want to test every American every day before they went to school or work or left their house, that's obviously 365 million tests a day. That's not realistic. So you've got to use testing strategically.
And you've got to give the industry credit. I mean, we've ramped up from zero tests to -- we've already done 4 million tests and are running at a million a month now and going up. That's -- that's great progress compared to just about anywhere.
But still, that's going to -- that's going to be used strategically. There's going to be a ramp-up of the test over time and you're never going to get to a level where you can test everyone. You know, nirvana would be to have a home test you could take before you take before you go to home and school, that's 360 million Americans that's every day, that's not realistic.
So the testing has to be used strategically. You have to use it to look at hot spots, use it for front line workers, and keep building it up. So, we're recommending in Massachusetts, you know, moves up from 8,000 a day to 20,000 a day, maybe to 100,000 a day. It will be a part of the solution, but it's not the entire solution.
BURNETT: Right, so not the entire solution. So, you know, you mentioned, you were briefing the governor's office in Massachusetts today. You suggested that initially, you know, because you don't just suddenly have this testing, you know, switch to turn on, that there are a few things you can do. And by the way, the testing switch is not only technically impossible right now, but obviously very expensive, that initially workers over the age of 60 would not be permitted to return to work.
Explain how this would work, this concept of segmentation.
PAGLIUCA: Well, we've come up with three concepts to reduce the strain on the hospitals. The goal of any back-to-work, back-to-school plan would be, make sure we don't have a strain on the hospitals again. And the way you do that is by treatments, that's therapies and vaccines, and by looking at the population and segmenting the risk areas.
In Massachusetts, about 95 percent of the deaths in hospitals have been people over 60, a lot of them with comorbidity. So if you look at a phased back to work plan that's not going to strain the hospitals, you might step back and say, let's find a segment of that population that's putting that strain and make sure that they self-isolate longer, so that takes the strain off the hospitals.
BURNETT: Right. And, obviously, you know, you also talk about things like masks and requiring masks to be worn, you know, all day, right, in the office.
PAGLIUCA: Well, that's a -- masks are really key. If you're looking to reduce that exponential growth number, the R-naught number and there are two ways to do that. One is changing workplace enormous and the second is testing and tracing. If the testing and tracing is going to take a while to roll out,
because not only do you have to have the test, you've got to have tracers, you have to have technology to find out where people are, and you have to get to people in 48 hours, because the virus very quickly. So the tracing isn't worthwhile if it takes five or six days.
So you're left with workplace norms. And we've seen many studies that show it's very effective to have masks. If you run a curve on masks and everyone wore masks, it prevents expo, and they're showing reductions of the r-naught number from 2.5 to somewhere in the 1.8 range.
And then you chip away at the rest of it by doing a self-check before you go to work. Every day you wake up and say, do I have a fever, do I have a cough, do I have the sniffles and you opt out.
PAGLIUCA: So, you try to chip away at this r-naught number before it gets down below one. And with workplace norms, you can probably get there.
BURNETT: Quickly, before we go, LeBron James, you obviously is owner of the Boston Celtics, LeBron James addressed some reports that the season might be canceled.
He tweeted: Saw some reports about execs and agents wanting to cancel season. That's absolutely not true. Nobody I know is saying anything like that. As soon as it's safe, we would like to finish our season. I'm ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be canceling anything.
What's your response to LeBron?
PAGLIUCA: Well, LeBron is consistent with what Adam Silver is trying to do. He's looking at the data every day. He's a fact-based commissioner and monitoring the situation. His big concern is he wants the players to be able to go back safely and fans to be safe when fans come back.
And so, they have incredible medical staff, they have access to these reports, to global reports. And they're working with city officials and state officials. And they're hoping to get the season back, but the key issue with that is will it be safe for players and fans. If it can be, the season will go on. If not, Adam will be patient and wait.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Steve. I appreciate your time tonight.
PAGLIUCA: Great to be here. Thanks very much.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Trump taking aim at China, now threatening to punish it for its handling of coronavirus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They could have contained it. They were either unable to or they chose not to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Plus, a doctor tonight recovering from coronavirus after receiving five experimental treatments. Which ones and what worked? He's OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: New tonight, a stunning accusation. President Trump says he's seen evidence that the coronavirus originated from a Chinese government lab. That comes as the Trump administration is drawing up plans to punish China over their handling of the virus.
Alex Marquardt is OUTFRONT.
ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a theory about the origin of the virus that has long been out there. The Trump administration has repeatedly pushed the narrative that the coronavirus may have escaped from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan, rather than originating with an animal in a seafood market in Wuhan, which is the leading medical theory.
Tonight, the president telling reporters he has seen evidence that indicates the virus did come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's a lot of theories, but, yeah, we have people looking at it very, very strongly. Scientific people, intelligence people, and others.
REPORTER: What gives you a high degree of confidence that this originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology?
TRUMP: I can't tell you that. I'm not allowed to tell you that.
MARQUARDT: Several sources tell CNN that top administration officials have been pushing the U.S. intelligence agencies for evidence to support that theory. So far, the intelligence community has not come to any conclusion, saying today in a remarkable statement that all they know is that the virus came from China and that it is not man- made or genetically modified.
The intelligence community will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence, the statement said, to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.
Today, the president seemed to dismiss that statement.
TRUMP: You would know that, huh? National intelligence --
MARQUARDT: The head of the lab in Wuhan has rejected the lab theories, telling "Reuters", they could not and would not create a new coronavirus. And that their security is strictly enforced.
The experts on the White House coronavirus task force have said that the virus went from animals to humans.
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: It's going to take us a while to really map and trace this particular virus, map it through its experience in humans, and get the scientific evidence of where this virus originated.
MARQUARDT: With the U.S. passing 60,000 deaths and over 1 million positive coronavirus cases, the Trump administration is stepping up its efforts to pin the blame on and punish China. Multiple sources tell CNN the White House is coming up with long-term efforts to use against them, tactics like sanctions and new trade policies.
TRUMP: China's a very sophisticated country and they could have contained it. They were either unable or to or they chose not to. And the world has suffered greatly.
MARQUARDT: Well, we saw today was yet another example of the president being at odds with the intelligence community, something that started at the beginning of his term and has continued throughout. Erin, this is exactly where the intelligence community does want to be, where it is afraid of, what it hates, and that is involved in politics. But clearly given all the pressure, all the questions, they felt the need today to say what they know and what they don't, which includes the exact origin of the coronavirus -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Alex, thank you.
And next, I'm going to speak to a doctor who's recovering from coronavirus as he received convalescent plasma and remdesivir, among other treatments, all of them. So which worked and how is he feeling?
And see how the world is coming together to celebrate a 100-year-old hero who has raised tens of millions of dollars on his own to help fight coronavirus.
BURNETT: Tonight, a doctor recovering from coronavirus after receiving five experimental treatments. Dr. Scott Kaatz battle the virus for nearly a month at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. His condition so dire that on Easter Sunday, he FaceTimed his wife and his two children to say good-bye. But after eight days on a ventilator, he woke up and here he is now.
Dr. Kaatz joins me now. I mean, look, to get to a point where you were saying good-bye to your
family, you thought, nearly a month in the hospital. I know, Doctor, you've only been home for about five days. Ten days ago, you were on a ventilator in a medically induced coma.
How are you feeling today?
DR. SCOTT KAATZ, DOCTOR WHO RECEIVED 5 EXPERIMENTAL CORONAVIRUS THERAPIES: I am feeling fantastic. I think I've been very fortunate. I have no residual side effects, outside of just getting stamina back from the weight loss and being in bed and weak for a month. It's just been a rapid and dramatic recovery.
BURNETT: Which is wonderful to hear. I know many, many have not had that. And obviously, I know you are very grateful for that.
BURNETT: So, you know, obviously, as a doctor, you're familiar with this, in a way that a lot of people were going through this are not. Your doctors, when you were in the hospital for the month and then intubated, went down that list of every experimental treatment they could think of or get their hands on, as your condition worsened.
My understanding is, at one point, you were infused with convalescent plasma, right, kind of, essentially, the part of the blood, the serum from you had hydroxychloroquine the anti-malaria drug, remdesivir, which, of course, is not yet approved, was originally designed for Ebola. Interleukin 6, an immune system stimulant and steroids -- aAll of that.
Do you have a hunch on which or if any of those were responsible for your recovery?
KAATZ: No, my thought is, and I think what makes it scientific, is whether one, some or none, we still don't know. But I do know that at least I was fortune to be in a health system that had all the therapies available. And we usually reserve all of those for really, right now, the most desperately ill and apparently I fell into that category.
BURNETT: You certainly did. As I said, they were FaceTiming to say good-bye. For 22 days you were in the hospital. Obviously, they did think you were one of the worst cases, really at risk of dying.
Do you know how those treatments were administered? Were they trying some of them at the same time? Not the situation they're desperate, trying to do anything they can. Do you have any idea how this happened?
KAATZ: I don't because when they were throwing three of the therapies at me, I told everyone, I was taking a nap on the ventilator. So I don't know the exact timing of that. But I do know talking to my wife for a couple of days, you know, she
was getting worrisome reports because they were having trouble getting me enough oxygen, despite doing everything that we had, including I was prone or face down. I think a lot of people have heard that, for three days. That I've learned since.
BURNETT: Now, you know, part of your story and your quick recovery obviously is incredible, but we keep hearing this, and people in the same family getting so desperately ill. I know, Dr. Kaatz, your father is still fighting the virus. He was being treated on the floor just above you. He has been recovering. Obviously, I believe, he did not get the plasma treatment.
But what is his condition right now?
KAATZ: Yes, so he just came off two days ago off the ventilator. He's been on ventilator for about a month. ICU nurses have been nice enough to turn on this show right now. So would it be too much to say hi to dad if that would be OK?
BURNETT: No, please, send him a message.
KAATZ: Yes. So, dad and I are both Michigan State fans. In fact, he was, when he went into the ICU, wearing his Michigan State hat and joking with the nurses before he got put on the ventilator.
So, dad, this is for you. Go Green. Get better. All family is worried and praying about you. So thanks for that, Erin.
BURNETT: Oh, and thank you. I'm sure he saw it. It will bring a smile to his face. I hope you'll be able to see him in person soon, recovered. Thank you so much.
KAATZ: You're welcome. Thank you.
BURNETT: And our best to your dad, hopefully watching out there now.
And next, we'll introduce you to a remarkable hero. This veteran 100 years old who was raising tens of millions of dollars to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
BURNETT: Tonight, a war veteran being hailed as a hero on his 100th birthday for raising millions of dollars to fight coronavirus.
Max Foster is OUTFRONT.
CROWD (singing): Happy birthday, Captain Tom, daddy grandpa, happy birthday to you --
MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A rare tribute to an even rarer individual. Captain Tom Moore and his family waving to aircraft in the Second
World War in which he served, as they flew over his home to mark his 100th birthday.
But it was a more recent mission to his back garden that made him famous. Captain Tom sponsored walk in aid of the U.K.'s National Health Service charities. He has raised nearly $40 million at the last count.
Donations super charged by good humor TV appearances and a charity single.
TOM MOORE, WAR VETERAN: When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high.
FOSTER: Prime Minister Boris Johnson even sent a letter to the captain, recognizing him as a point of light in all our lives. And he recorded a special birthday message for him.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Captain Tom, I know I speak for the whole country when I say, we wish you a very happy 100th birthday.
MOORE: Well done, prime minister. Thank you very much for your message.
FOSTER: Captain Tom was also made an honorary colonel by the army on his birthday.
MOORE: Thank you very much. That really is one of the greatest honor anybody could get.
FOSTER: A sea of birthday cards received from across the land, expressing gratitude for what Tom Moore achieved. But also, a tribute to his no-nonsense positive attitude in these uncertain and worrying times.
MOORE: There's no doubt will be, one day, one thing is to get better.
FOSTER: Even the queen sending a tribute from self-isolation at Windsor Castle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: A birthday card from the queen is a birthday card from the nation, and recognition of an unlikely role model to emerge out of lockdown -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Max, thank you very much, and just a lovely story. We need some of those.
Thanks very much to all of you for joining us.
CNN's global town hall, "CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS" with Sanjay and Anderson begins right now.