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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: States Can't Reopen If "Starved" By Federal Government; Gov. Cuomo: Reopening Versus Staying Closed Each Come With Own Costs; Gov. Cuomo: No Life Or Death "Trade- off" In New York's Reopening Plan; President Donald Trump Says Dr. Anthony Fauci Can Testify Before Senate Panel, But Not House; White House Adviser: U.S. Facing Great Depression-Era Jobless Rates. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired May 5, 2020 - 12:00   ET



GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): The facts are, if the Democratic states, which happen to have high coronavirus content, which actually had put in more money than the Republican states who are now saying why should we bail out the Democratic states?

The Democratic states have been supporting them for years. New York every year, $29 billion more payments than it gets out. New Jersey also a high coronavirus state $18 million more every year than it gives out.

Massachusetts, Connecticut, California and then you look at Republicans who now says well, we don't want to help the Democratic states, and they're actually the states that have been taken more every year.

Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky, Senator Mitch McConnell is Kentucky $37 billion more every year. Alabama, Florida everything is about Florida. Why? Because it is a swing state and we are in an election year. I get it.

Florida gets $30 billion more every year than it puts in. What are you talking about, fairness equity bailout? You look at where we've been over the past five years we've paid $116 billion more than we give back.

You want to be fair, just give New York back the money you took. That would be $116 billion. Who gives and who takes? We know those facts and we know the numbers. But look, this whole discussion that Senator McConnell is raising that some Senators are raising, this is counterproductive and it will lead to defeat for all of us.

You need a bipartisan bill to pass. You go down this path of partnership and politics. You will never pass a bill. If you never pass legislation, you will never get this economy back on its feet. So you go down this path of division, you will defeat all of us because we are all in the same boat.

There is no separating us still the United States of America. This partisanship we have to turn the page. I know how Washington operates? I know how Washington has been operating for many years? We have to stop. We have to change and you do need a totally different mindset.

It can't be is you versus me, it has to be "we," right? We the people. If we don't get back to we and you think about a collective interest you are going to defeat us all. It can't happen. You have to get out of this. Democrats or Republicans it's red or blue. It is not red or blue t is red, white and blue.

This coronavirus does pick Democrats or Republicans. It doesn't kill Democrats or Republicans it kills Americans. The virus is less discriminating and more of an equalizer then the lens that we're viewing the virus through.

And if we can't get pass this now, when can we ever get pass this? You have a national crisis. You have a national outbreak, a national epidemic killing thousands of people. You can't put your politics aside even now, even today?

Families have fights, yes, family have fights. Somebody is going to die and family is still going to carry forward these silly fights? From years ago nobody even remember how this started? If there is ever a time to come together is a moment of crisis. This is a moment of crisis.

We always understood and the great ones always told us that it won't work this way. A house divided against it can't stand. You want to be a leader? You want to go down in the history books there is someone who stood up and did the right thing?

Well then remember what made us great in the first place and that's what a great leader would do. Also last point each of us must do our part. You talk about government, government, government yes government has a lot to do. I understand that fully.

Citizens also have a role to play. You know who's going to keep yourself? You're going to keep yourself safe. You know who's going to keep your family safe? You are going to keep your family safe.


CUOMO: You know who's going to keep each other safe? Each one of us keeps each other safe. Every person has a responsibility here social responsibility that's what wearing a mask is all about. Just wear a mask. It is the smart thing to do it is also the right thing to do.

In all this complexity, there is still a right thing. You still know what's the right thing to do and wrong thing to do? May be right thing is New Yorker expression. I don't think so. You know what the right thing to do is? Nobody has to tell you what the right thing to do is? The right thing to do is to wear a mask because it is not about you. It is about my health.

You wear a mask to protect me and I wear a mask to protect you. And wearing a mask is not the greatest intrusion. I don't understand why people think it is such a burden to wear mask? Look, 99 percent of the people do it. It is the 1 percent of the people who don't do it. That's what we are talking about.

We were talking about this last night and I was expressing my frustration why some people just don't get it. Well, this has been about from day one of this whole exercise and where I started this on day one. All these things we have done. Nobody is doing these things because government told them to do it, right?

I'm the first Governor of the history of the State of New York to say we are closing businesses, to say you must be quarantined. No Governors ever said that. How do I enforce that? I can't. How do you enforce making 19 million people stay-at-home? I can't. I said from day one.

I can give the facts to New Yorkers but New Yorkers have to decide and agree that it makes sense given the facts and agree to do it. A New Yorkers have agreed to do it all of these things. Closing schools closing businesses and staying at home and socially distancing.

So now wear a mask. I don't understand why this wear a mask is so hard. Mariah suggested that it may be the way I am communicating it. I am just not effectively communicated it. Well first of all this is a common reframe in my house from my daughter that it is me and my lack of ability to communicate effectively that's the first statement.

And I'm guilty. I have no doubt I'm guilty, I'm a bad communicator. And that I haven't been communicating the rational for wearing a mask effectively. So I am open minded and I understand my weaknesses and my flaws. I am a work in progress. We are all a work in progress; I am trying to get better.

So Mariah's suggestion is look, why don't we ask New Yorkers to produce and ad that the State could run on explaining to New Yorkers why they should wear a mask? And the context and the rational and the health reasons and the social responsibilities and it is not that big a deal. Maybe there is a better way to communicate than I have been communicating it.

Again 99 percent of the people are doing it and it is great. We are talking about that 1 percent. Maybe I just have not been persuasive or effective of my communication skills. I said to Mariah, great idea, we'll ask New Yorkers to produce an ad, a 30-second ad they submit it.

Mariah is going to be an unofficial adviser with the Department of Health. Pick the five best, put them online and let New Yorkers pick the best ad and state will run that ad, it will say on the bottom produced by whomever, won the competition they'll get a lot of claim. They'll go on to be the big creative experts.

And maybe we'll have an ad that communicates this better than I have been able to communicate it to date. So I am excited about that. Mariah is going to help on that and take it on as a project. And I'm excited about that. At no cost to the people at the State of New York. She will be a volunteer.

[12:10:00] CUOMO: The boyfriend can try to put in, he could submit a possible ad for consideration that boy friend will lose but he could submit an ad because I'm still the Governor and that's what we're going to do. Mariah, do you want to add anything or did I explain it clearly in my flawed communication modality?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think you covered it. We'll be providing more information in the next few days but if you are interested you can go to

CUOMO: Melissa, anything you need to say?


CUOMO: See sometimes I communicate effectively. You are not alone in criticizing my communication skills. Many people in the room would agree with you. We are New York Tough smart, united and discipline and loving, questions?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, can you come on, it looks like there is some new reporting regarding nursing homes and that would increase the total by about 700 to 800 in terms of total deaths. Does that count towards official tally or them in a different category? How is that being reported out?

CUOMO: You have - I'll ask Melissa to explain this because I don't know the details frankly. You have two categories, confirmed deaths and then probable or presumed deaths. They list numbers in both categories.

Some people combine the two and confirmed deaths and presumed deaths and have one number and some of them keep them separate. And then there often reported separately or they report it together. That's been going on for a while. Jim, is that accurate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's accurate, Governor. We reported in the past, we asked the nursing homes to provide updated information. They originally provided about 3100 total deaths. The confirmed deaths of those were actually 2100, that gets added to the official count.

We are counting both the presumed and confirmed but the confirmed deaths are the one running in the official tally. Other localities are submitting unconfirmed deaths but we want to confirm those things as much as we can.

But now we are putting up both categories so people can clearly see because some other facilities were putting both together and it was difficult to tease out. So we've asked them to report clearly that line of both confirmed and presumed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Especially Isabella Geriatrics Center which is something we do attention to it this week. They introduced statement saying there had been 98 deaths, but the official reporting shows less than that something in 60s. Does it not count hospital deaths in other words if someone goes from a facility to a hospital is that then counted differently? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those get reported in the hospitalization deaths. The Isabella situation they reported 60 but in actualities its 21 confirmed deaths and the remaining being presumed which will have to officially try to confirm one way or another. So it is in line with keeping with what they were sending before but we've asked those facilities to update what they have.

CUOMO: Just to be clear, I would take all these numbers now with a grain of salt. People were just saying the confirmed deaths. You know what that means. What is a presumed death mean, right? We presume it, how do you presume it to be coronavirus?

Also the at home deaths, non-hospital, non-nursing home deaths, just that home deaths when do you actually get all the numbers on those and how do you confirm all those deaths as an attributed to coronavirus? So I would just have a caveat with all of these. I think they're going to change overtime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Governor, when you look at these nursing home deaths why were steps taken earlier to protect such a vulnerable population? As you look back now and knowing that this virus is going to be around for a while. Are there things, there mechanisms that can be done differently so when people are sick in the nursing homes, they go to the hospital and stay in the hospital?

CUOMO: Going to hospital and staying in the hospital - first, your basic point is right. The nursing homes we said from day one are the most vulnerable place because it is old people and senior people who are the vulnerable population in a congregate setting. That's how this nation was introduced to the virus with the Seattle nursing home, right?

So it was true around the world also. What can you do better going forward? I don't know. It is something we are studying. We are also doing an investigation with the Attorney General to look at it. We did some very harsh things here that frankly I was not even comfortable with.


CUOMO: The health experts insisted. No visitors to a nursing home for two months? No visitors? How do you do that? Because all it takes is one person to walk in, test the staff and PPE and you know you do everything you can. If there is anything else we can learn from and do. We'll do.

You have people who get sick in the nursing home. Sometimes they're transported to the hospital, that's up to the experts at the nursing home if that's helpful. If they're in the hospital, we also need hospital beds. It is not like we can turn hospitals into nursing home.

Once a person is better, the person has to go somewhere. They don't have to go back to the nursing home by the way.

The way the nursing home operates, they make a determination if they can provide the best care for the person. If the nursing home says I can't provide care for this person then the nursing home must transfer the resident or call the Department of Health and say this person should be referred somewhere else.

I can't take care of this person. We have COVID only facilities that can take people from nursing homes. The nursing home has to make a decision. So if the hospital person says I want to send back a person who had COVID but is now better to the nursing home and if the nursing home think they take them, they should not.

And all they have to do is say no and tell the Department of Health and that person will go somewhere else. So it really comes down to that nursing home has to know what its limits are and who can provide care for and who can't? We have alternatives. We have to get it from that nursing home first. Melissa, do you have anything to add on that?


JOHN KING, CNN HOST: You are listening to the Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo at the end there where we dropped out of that briefing after about 40 minutes or so talking about what will be a legacy stain of the coronavirus crisis that the high rate of deaths in nursing homes not just in New York State the Governor discussing there but across the United States.

The Governor also spending considerable time after opening as he always does with the healthcare numbers, hospitalizations, intubations, new COVID patients all that news encouraging. Governor saying there is no doubt New York is coming down the other side of the mountain. Its curve is coming off the peak and now getting closer to a better situation.

He spent a considerable time on two main challenges. Number one rebutting the President who gave an interview to "The New York Post" yesterday saying Republicans do not want to give what he called blue state bailouts for the Democratic states. The Governor of New York saying it is time to put all partisanship aside and that all states deserve some Federal help to make up for their coronavirus related spending.

And the Governor discussing in quite personal terms the calculation every Governor is going through right now as you reopen the economy. The challenge, you put more people out in public more people out of their homes, they interact and guess what the case count goes up the Governor discussing that in highly personal terms.

Let's bring in CNN's Kaitlan Collins covering the White House for us and our Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, I want to start with you because we look at models we look at data we look at those depressing numbers on the right of our screen every day the case count and the deaths count going up.

Every Governor by this weekend 42 states will be reopened at least to a limited degree every Governor having to make these calculations. The President now pushing even states that have not met his guideline guidelines the President says should move faster in reopening. Governor Cuomo says the politicians are taking the humanity of this. Here is how he framed it.


CUOMO: How much do we think a human life is worth? You stay close there is a cost. You reopen quickly, there is a cost. The faster we reopen, the lower the economic cost but the higher the human cost because the more lives lost. That my friend is the decision we are really making.


KING: In his case Sanjay, he said to him that human life is priceless, one of the reasons he's going to go much more slowly than many other Governors around the country. You know this one you look at the models including the new IHME model which projects as more Americans leave the house go back to work getting in closer situations with other people we are going to have more cases and as the Governor was saying more deaths and the politicians need to acknowledge that.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, I think you know there are two things that can be true at the same time here John. One is that at any point that reopening starts to occur, there will probably be people who become infected and otherwise would not who then may be hospitalized or sadly even die that otherwise would not.

This is a contagious virus. And it is a lethal virus so that would happen. And so the question then that you're asking that I think everyone is sort of posing is so when do you possibly do this? How do you make that balance?

I think that's why the gating criteria ware set up. And I think in some ways they have been sort of you know really overlooked in this entire conversation. People have said you know we just want to open up. I mean, the gating criteria would set a 14-day downward trend which said that you have to have adequate testing in place.

One of the ways that you actually get your arms around something is being able to quickly identify those who are carrying the virus in their bodies even if they don't have symptoms and isolate them. I mean, it is not perfect but it goes a long way.

There are models around the world. You know you look at a place like New Zealand which is a much smaller country than ours but they're getting down to a case count of close to zero right now. They don't have a vaccine, they don't have a new therapeutic, they have the same, exact things that we do.

So it can be done. It requires work and it requires some stringent measures for a period of time. The problem I'm not saying anything that everyone hasn't heard at this point. If we do it wrong, the pain that we'll suffer on both fronts from health standpoint and an economic standpoint will be greater. We are impatient and I get it but this is - there are so many metaphors for this but the pain will be greater later on if we don't do it right now.

KING: And we'll start to see those numbers ten days two weeks from now as the states that are being more aggressive. Your State of Georgia, the Texas among them as they we'll know ten days two weeks we'll start to see the numbers there.

Kaitlan, I want to come back to something else Governor Cuomo said about the bailouts in fiscal assistance in a minute. But I want to start with you on something the President said this morning. He was on his way to Arizona his first trip out of the White House in quite some time.

You know that is significant, he's going to a Honeywell factory where they manufacture N-95 masks. He wants to thank the company. He also wants to show that he thinks it is safe for him to start to move about. So there is a symbolic importance to that.

But as he was leaving the President was explaining why his White House decided, Anthony Fauci, the top Infectious Disease Expert can't testify before a Committee in the House which is controlled by Democrats but can testify before a Senate Committee which is controlled by Republicans. Listen to the President's answer.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The House is a set-up. The House is a bunch of Trump haters. They put every Trump hater in the Committee, the same old stuff. They frankly want our situation to be unsuccessful which means deaths.

Frankly the Democrats should be ashamed because they don't want us to succeed. They want us to fail so they can win elections which they're not going to win. But they want us - think of it. They do everything they can to make things as bad as possible.


KING: The President right there saying that the Democrats so want him to fail that they're willing in his view to let more Americans die if it helps them win the election. That's beyond startling I don't know the right word for it.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and that's the President's mind says something he has been arguing that every time they're criticized it is just because it's a politics matter not that actually some Democratic Governors, some Republican Governors as lawmakers respectively think that the Federal Government was acting too slow.

It is a pattern we've seen play out. But John we saw the President be really blunt of about how he views this today? Because remember last week the White House said that the reason Dr. Fauci was not going to go testify before the House Committee was basically because he was too busy. But that they were going to let him go to the Senate Committee, to Senate Hearing that he had already agreed to go before. And of course it is pretty clear now from the President today why it is? It is because of which party is in charge of which chamber? And so weren't only be Dr. Fauci testifying it is also going to be several other administration officials. But this comes as a broader effort you're seeing from the White House to try to streamline these appearances as they already know that oversight is coming from Capitol Hill.

Because now they're saying that any requests for these officials, these professionals to go on Capitol Hill and testify basically going to be told no for the month of May. And if it is going to be granted it is going to be with the approval of Chief of Staff Mark Meadows who is going to be basically overseeing this process because they know Democrats are going to be wanting to call these officials up to Capitol Hill.

So of course the question about the timing was really, you know, what the question there was because we have seen these briefings played out where you're seeing Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx and Dr. Stephen Hahn from the FDA on stage with the President for some times hours on end as he was fielding questions from reporters.

But the President made it pretty clear today that he believes it is because Democrats are in charge and not Republicans are in charge of the House.


KING: Now there are Democrats on that Committee in the Senate. We'll get to asked their questions the Chairman Lamar Alexander somewhat critical of the administration to Sanjay's point about ramping up testing and some other things. So we'll see how that plays out but for the President of United States to say they frankly want our situation to be unsuccessful which means death which means death.

We'll leave it to the American people decide how they want to judge on that one. Sanjay I want to come back to you on this re opening question. Governor Cuomo says every human life is priceless.

The administration had its own projections which leaked yesterday the President's downplaying that document but his own scientists saying as we go through May get closer to June they believe the case rate and the death rate is likely to grow and quite significantly as people again get back out in the workplace.

IHME also came out with the model later yesterday. I believe you have some of the numbers to walk through essentially saying as you - we have to re open the economy at some point the question is how do you do it and what are the risks? IHME predicting that as mitigation is reduced and people start to be back together what?

DR. GUPTA: A significant change in the numbers. And we can show these numbers. As you look at the numbers I mean, I think that people will say you know - I'm just saying a lot of numbers here and the numbers do they make sense? First of all they predicted you know by states how much you know the predicted death toll might go up as a result of this? And you know I mean look these numbers are a hard to get your head around. I mean we're talking thousands of people here right now in New Jersey. 8800 people in New York 7800 people Indiana 5200 people.

These are all additional deaths they think might result as because of these increased movement in the reopening that's happening in several of these states. They are models they're hard to predict things like this. I mean there are lots of things that go into it.

Not the least of which John is that despite the fact that states reopen and the fact that people can go do these things doesn't necessarily mean people will go out or that they should. You know I think is the case has been made in fact there's some polling this morning showing a lot of people even though they can go to some of these places like barber shops and you know tattoo parlors whatever bowling alleys.

It doesn't mean that they are going to do that. So we'll have to wait and see how that actually plays out. But the issue John is that that people are still going to be going out and about and even for people who are then staying home and trying to do things right mostly going out just for essential things.

Everyone is at increased risk then because this is such a contagious virus. That's the thing that was quite striking. People say you know what it's my choice, my decision well kind of but not completely because how you behave affects me? How I behave affects you?

I mean you can't say that about a lot of things in human health or in society in general but that is the case right now. People make these war metaphors and say it sacrifice, it is sacrifice but the reality is that you know people are taking risks on behalf of other people right now with how they behave?

And I think most people fundamentally understand that but I think it's a point that needs to continue to get made.

KING: Needs to continue to get made and every time. Yes, it's a projection maybe will be off some but you look at those numbers and you look at those numbers on the right side of the screen there they're not a projection. That's the case count was a real everyone of those it's not a number every one of those is a human being with coronavirus or gone because of coronavirus.

Dr. Gupta and Kaitlan Collins I appreciate it very much. We'll continue the discussion as we go to break though the President's Senior Economic Adviser Kevin Hassett with a blunt assessment this morning.


KEVIN HASSETT, SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: My guess right now is that it's going to be north of 16 percent maybe a size 19 or 20 percent. And so we are looking at probably the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression.


HASSETT: That is a tremendous negative shock of a very, very terrible shock.