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THE SITUATION ROOM
Top Three Members Of Coronavirus Task Force In Quarantine; Town Straddling Virginia-Tennessee Border Adjusts To Two Reopen Timelines; Worst Jobs Report In U.S History: 20.5 Million Jobs Lost In April; Pandemic Warnings Go As Far Back As 15 Years Ago; Celebrity "All In Challenge" Raises Millions To Feed Those In Need; U.K.'s Boris Johnson Eases Some Restrictions, Unveils COVID-19 Alert System. Aired 6-7p ET
Aired May 10, 2020 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. This is a special edition of The Situation Room.
This week, the country will hear from three people crucial to the government's response to the coronavirus, three people who also happen to be in self-quarantine right now after being exposed to the virus in the halls of the White House. The top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the CDC director, Dr. Robert Redfield, and the FDA commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, are all scheduled to testify before the Senate on Tuesday, but they'll now give their testimony remotely out of an abundance of caution.
The healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson, meanwhile, announcing it is looking to produce a billion coronavirus vaccines for next year. Clinical trials, they say, will begin this September.
Meantime, more states are easing restrictions beginning tomorrow. You'll be able to eat inside a restaurant in Arizona, go to a barbershop or nail salon in Indiana, visit a gym in Alabama.
In New York, the governor announcing new rules for nursing homes, which he calls ground zero for the disease. The state will now require staffers to be tested twice a week.
And Monday, more major airlines will require passengers to wear masks. Spirit, Southwest and American getting ready to join JetBlue, Frontier, and Delta, all of those airlines following stricter protocols for cleaning and boarding.
Let's begin this hour in Washington, where the heads of the three very important public health organizations are now in some form of self- quarantine after coming into contact with an infected White House staffer.
Let's go to our White House Correspondent Jeremy Diamond. Jeremy, these three officials are all expected to testify via video conferencing before the Senate hearing. Tell us about the latest developments.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right, Wolf. Initially, we were hearing that Dr. Redfield of the CDC and Dr. Stephen Hahn of the Food and Drug Administration, that they were both going to video conference into this Senate hearing on Tuesday.
But today, the chairman of that Senate Health Committee, Senator Lamar Alexander, confirming that all three of those doctors, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, will be testifying remotely via video conference for this hearing about the coronavirus response on Tuesday.
This news, Wolf, of course, coming after all three of those doctors have announced essentially in the last 24 to 48 hours that they are all undergoing some form of self-quarantine for the next two weeks, working from home. Dr. Fauci said that he will be undergoing a quote/unquote modified quarantine because of his limited exposure to a White House official who tested positive for coronavirus.
All three of those officials, of course, entering that self-quarantine because of exposure to a White House official, and it came within 24 hours of Katie Miller, the vice president's spokeswoman, testing positive for coronavirus. She's also a top spokeswoman for this coronavirus task force. And so, she has naturally been in contact with many of those task force members.
So, the question is now, Wolf, whether or not any additional members of that task force or other senior White House officials who would naturally have come into contact with Katie miller, whether they also will be quarantining.
For now, Wolf, the White House is declining to comment. And we haven't heard from the president on this front. The president, though, has been busy on Twitter today, Wolf. He has tweeted more than 100 times today, mostly retweeting a series of comments about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the Justice Department, including some conspiracy theories, Wolf. But we are certainly getting a grab bag from the president on his Twitter feed today.
BLITZER: Yes, he's been very busy on Twitter, hasn't made any public appearances today, but as you point out, more than 100 tweets and retweets. All right, Jeremy Diamond at the White House, don't go too far away. There are more developments unfolding.
In the meantime, I want to bring in former Acting Director of the CDC, Dr. Richard Besser, and the Professor of Medicine at George Washington University, Dr. Jonathan Reiner. Thanks to both of you for joining us.
Dr. Besser, can the president really encourage the country to go back to work when multiple members of his coronavirus task force at the White House have now been exposed to the virus and are in some form of self-quarantine?
DR. RICHARD BESSER, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, CDC: Yes. You know, Wolf, this points to the issue of are we ready? Are states ready to get people back to work in a way that's safe? You know, as I think about these three doctors who are doing self-quarantine, that's the right thing. That's what the CDC is recommending.
But Wolf, in states across the country, there are millions of people who wouldn't have that choice. They wouldn't have the choice of being able to safely quarantine away from family members. It's one of the reasons that we're seeing such high rates of hospitalization and death among blacks and Latinos and Native Americans.
People aren't being provided with safe places. And that's one of the things that should be in place before people are sent back to work on a big scale.
BLITZER: Well, what do you think, Dr. Reiner, if Dr. Redfield, Dr. Hahn, Dr. Fauci are going into some form of self-quarantine for 14 days, shouldn't other officials at the White House who were in contact with Katie Miller, the press secretary to the vice president, shouldn't they also go into some form of self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution, as they say?
DR. JONATHAN REINER, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Absolutely. Look, the goal in the White House should be twofold. It should be, number one, to prevent any further infection inside the White House, but Specifically, they need to be laser- focused on protecting the president and vice president. They are very vulnerable to being infected.
Their strategy now, which is to test them every day, will just define when they have been infected. But by not quarantining the president and vice president and the rest of the staffers, what they threaten to do is to have a virus that propagates around the White House from staff member to staff member to staff member, and potentially threatening the president himself.
If I were the president's physician -- and I know him and respect him greatly -- I would not let anyone visit with the president who is not wearing a mask, and I would limit that to a very small number of people.
BLITZER: Well, would you recommend, Dr. Reiner, that the president and vice president spend time together, given the fact that they both potentially could be exposed to this coronavirus? The west wing, as you know, as our viewers, I think, are beginning to know, is really a small place.
REINER: Yes, it's a very small place. I've been there many times. In the aftermath of 9/11, the president and vice president were separated for weeks to protect the continuity of government. This virus has the potential to infect simultaneously the president and vice president.
I think the president just needs to look at Prime Minister Johnson as an example of how sick somebody can be. Prime Minister Johnson is significantly younger than the president of the United States, and he was almost killed by the virus. This is a potentially devastating virus that can infect both the president and vice president, and I would separate them indefinitely. BLITZER: What about you, Dr. Besser? Would you agree?
BESSER: Well, what I think is critically important, Wolf, is that our political leaders are modeling the behavior we want other people to follow. And so it's mixed signals when the word is let's get the economy up and running, but without putting forward the importance of following the measures that can reduce the risk to people across the country, the importance of social distancing, the importance of being under quarantine for 14 days if you potentially have been exposed.
That's something that's critically important if we don't want to see the increased economic activity leading to widespread increases in disease.
BLITZER: Because it's not just Katie Miller, the press secretary to the vice president, who tested positive for coronavirus, it's a U.S. Navy valet, Dr. Reiner, who serves drinks, who serves food to the president and to other visitors at the White House, who has also tested positive. As you know, the president of the United States, he's 73 years old. The vice president is 60 years old. The older you get -- and you can correct me if I'm wrong -- potentially, the greater the danger.
REINER: Absolutely. Age is one of the biggest predictors of an adverse outcome. The president also has an elevated body mass index. He fulfills the criteria for obesity, which is a very strong predictor of a bad outcome with COVID-19 infection. So he needs to be protected, needs to be protected at all odds.
I'll tell you that we've told the country to stay home, to stay out of public places, yet we've allowed people to basically come through the White House, stand on the podium with the president over and over again, arm's length away, without masks, initially with very, very little vetting, maybe only temperature.
Only recently have they started using the rapid Abbott test to test for presence of the virus, but that has about a 15 percent false negative rate, so that's imperfect. We need to do a better job at protecting our leaders.
BLITZER: And even if you get a negative outcome, you say it's false negative. But even a few days before, you actually can get the positive test, you potentially could transmit that virus to someone else.
Dr. Besser, I want to show our viewers once again some video from yesterday. The president of the United States met with members of the joint chiefs, the national security team, in the cabinet room at the White House. This is after Katie Miller, the press secretary, was confirmed to have coronavirus, the valet was confirmed to have coronavirus. No one in that room, none of the generals or admirals, none of the national security advisers, none of the members of the cabinet, and certainly not the president, none of them were wearing masks. To me, that was disturbing, but I wonder what you think.
BESSER: Well, you know, as we reopen the economy, it has to be done slowly, carefully, based on the best public health science. One of the big concerns is that there's not enough testing available around the country to identify people who are infected, even mildly so.
Here, we have a situation where someone has been identified who is infected with coronavirus, and we're not seeing the behavior that's recommended being followed. That doesn't put forward a very good signal to the nation over what's expected as we're slowly, carefully starting to open up the economy. If we don't see the behavior practiced at the very top, we're going to have big problems as states start to open.
BLITZER: Yes, they've got send a message to the rest of the country. Dr. Reiner, you mentioned Boris Johnson, the prime minister of the U.K. He addressed the people of the U.K. today about the potential for reopening that country. I want to play what he said juxtaposed to what we're hearing from President Trump. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I know, you know, that it will be madness now to throw away that achievement by allowing a second spike. We must stay alert. We must continue to control the virus and save lives.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People want to come back. I think everybody in this room realizes, we have to come back. Otherwise, you have a broken country. You'll never be able to do it again. You'll never be able to build this miracle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: So, what do you make, Dr. Reiner, of the very different tones we just heard?
REINER: Yes, the very different tones. Prime Minister Johnson is really stressing caution, and President Trump is stressing speed. I'll tell you, Wolf, what I'd like to see happen is the CDC report on opening the U.S. economy be released. I've actually had the opportunity to read the document, and I think it's a very sober, very careful blueprint for opening schools and restaurants and getting the U.S. back on a safe footing, and it should be released to the public.
BLITZER: Well, let's see what happens on that front as well. Clearly, the White House not anxious to release it to the public, at least not yet. All right, Dr. Reiner, thank you very much. Dr. Besser, as always, thanks to you as well. Very important conversation, we'll continue it down the road.
In just one month, the economic chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic has wiped out almost all of the jobs gained in the decade after the financial crisis. The former acting secretary of labor under President Obama is standing by to join us live. We'll discuss the dire economic situation in the U.S. when we come back.
BLITZER: 47 states in the United States have begun loosening coronavirus restrictions and allowing some business to reopen with modifications. But the rules, regulations and timelines for reopening businesses vary greatly. That makes things especially complicated in the town of Bristol. It straddles the border between Tennessee and Virginia.
On the Tennessee side, restaurants are allowed to reopen for in-person dining at 50 percent capacity, but that's not the case, at least not yet, on the Virginia side.
CNN's Natasha Chen is in Bristol, Tennessee, for us. Natasha, how are people there navigating these very different sets of guidelines on two different sides of the street?
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, exactly. I'm on the Tennessee side of the street right now, and you can tell from the restaurants here, they're allowed to take dine-in customers. On that marquee there, we're seeing the sign that says, seating with reservations only, no walk-ins, and that's because, of course, as you said, there is reduced capacity restrictions here, so people are trying to abide by that.
But things become very different once I cross the street, because people on the Virginia side actually cannot do dine-in at restaurants yet. I'm checking for cars. And now I'm in Virginia. And so, over here, people can only do curbside pickup and delivery. Here are two restaurants owners that we talked to from two sides of the street. Here's how they look at it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRAVIS PENN, OWNER OF DELTA BLUES BBQ IN BRISTOL, TENNESSEE: I really would like to see the other side open. I know there are some businesses that are competitors, but it's good for everybody, I believe, if we're all open. You want to see everybody do well.
JOE DEEL, OWNER OF BURGER BAR IN BRISTOL, VIRGINIA: I just kind of wish the governor might come down here and take a peek at what we're doing down here and see if maybe the restrictions should be more about county area code, region, and maybe not statewide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: And that's a really interesting comment about trying to ask the Virginia governor to maybe approach reopening in a state, regional fashion. That's something I asked the chamber of commerce here, who has really been trying to help her members who are frustrated.
There's a bit of confusion here. She said that she has tried to advocate for all of the businesses on both sides of the street. She has approached the Virginia officials about the regional approach. Here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: But it doesn't sound like there's any luck in letting one section of their state open first?
BETH RHINEHART, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF BRISTOL, TENNESSEE AND BRISTOL, VIRGINIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: That's true. We've been told that he's not really interested in a regional approach for a number of different reasons. But for us here, I mean, when it impacts you at face value, you know, you have a restaurant who can look out the window, and 30 yards across the street, there are people walking into businesses, dining, shopping.
And so, that's a challenge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: And, you know, actually, today, a group of leaders from Northern Virginia were advocating for the same idea, a more regional approach, but for the opposite reason. They wrote a letter to the governor saying they don't feel they're ready to open yet. While here in Bristol, they're looking across the street and wishing they were already open about a week or two ago.
So we also talked to a Chinese restaurant down the street on the Virginia side. The owner's son there said, you know, he understands the governor in Virginia has to make a decision for the entire state and not just for Bristol, and he said what matters most is the customers' health. And if the governor feels it's too soon, then they'll follow those rules, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, very interesting developments. Thanks very much, Natasha Chen reporting.
We've got more breaking news. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: One of the main factors contributing to the push by state officials to reopen are the truly devastating numbers from the April jobs report, 20.5 million jobs lost in April, and the unemployment rate soaring to 14.7 percent.
And keep in mind, these are not just data points on paper. Behind every one of those lost jobs is a person. Those jobs are their livelihoods, gone in just a matter of days or weeks, and there's no clear indication of when those jobs will be coming back.
I want to bring in the former acting secretary of labor during the Obama administration, Seth Harris. Mr. Secretary, thanks so much for joining us. 33 million jobs here in the United States have been lost over the past seven weeks alone. Can you explain to our viewers how devastating these numbers really are, because they don't necessarily even tell the full story of how many Americans are out of a job right now? Many of them have even stopped looking for a job.
SETH HARRIS, FORMER ACTING SECRETARY OF LABOR: That's precisely right, Wolf. We don't want to fixate on the unemployment rate, even though it is the highest unemployment rate since the great depression, because it doesn't tell the whole story. An additional 5 million Americans left the labor force but want to work. By leaving the labor force, I mean, they've given up looking for work.
In addition to that, more than 5 million additional Americans are working part time when they want to work full-time. And there is another 7.5 or so million Americans in the category of employed but absent from work, meaning they're essentially on leave, some paid, some not paid.
So, the devastation is really quite intense. And the troubling thing is that there's every indication that it's going to get worse in the coming weeks as more and more industries shut down. And I'm fearful that we're going to have more and more businesses shut down permanently, and that's going to mean that the recovery is going to be quite slow.
BLITZER: And that means now those people are not going to be able to go back and get their old jobs if the whole company goes bankrupt.
You were the deputy secretary of labor as the economy climbed out of the great recession. The number of jobs lost in April wiped out a decade worth of job gains after that financial crisis. How long do you think potentially it could take for the U.S. economy to bounce back?
HARRIS: Well, I'm afraid the answer is it depends. The good news out of this report, if there is any good news in a really dismal report, is that 90 percent of the workers who lost jobs reported that they believed that their job loss was only temporary, that they were being temporarily furloughed. So, if those workers are able to go back to their employer in the same job at the same pay rate, then we're not going to be in horrible shape.
10 percent of those workers are going to be in a position where they have to find something new, maybe get some additional skills. They're going to have to engage in a job search. But that would be a fairly good outcome, and we would recover in a reasonable period of time.
But if that number shrinks overtime, and there's every reason to believe that it will because more and more bankruptcies are going to occur, more and more small businesses are going to disappear, then we're going to be in for a very long recession and we're going to see a slow, U-shaped recovery from this recession that we're in right now.
BLITZER: As you know, millions and millions of Americans are turning to the government for help right now, but we've heard stories of people not even able to get through to the unemployment systems as these systems are completely overwhelmed with this truly surging, historic demand. Should the federal government be doing more right now to help the states, the systems in those states?
HARRIS: Absolutely, they should. The Congress gave $1 billion in additional funding to the unemployment insurance system. My sense is they need a lot more to hire more people on and to address the technology challenges, because we're hearing stories about websites crashing around the country. It's gotten better as the numbers have gone down.
But still, we're in seven-figure unemployment claims numbers, which means that a system that has long been starved for resources, long has not had updated technology, long has had databases that are not really up-to-date, is being overtaxed. And the consequence of that is people who have gone through a horrible personal trauma, which is what unemployment is, it's petrifying.
People don't know how they're going to pay their bills, they don't know how they're going to support their kids, are then put through the painful process of having to call or get on the website dozens and dozens and dozens of times in order to get in touch with someone so they can file their claim.
And then it takes many weeks longer for them to get their check. It's unacceptable that we do it that way, and it's a real danger to our economy if unemployed people don't have money to spend, that hurts everybody in the economy.
Our economy is 70 percent consumption. Those unemployed workers are our consumers, along with people who have jobs. We need to put money in their pocket to keep our economy going at a reasonable pace.
BLITZER: And what's so sad is to see those huge, long lines of cars backed up for miles, people who never needed help all of a sudden trying to get to these food banks because they've got to put food on the table for their families. They've never needed this kind of help before, and now they're waiting to just get food here in the United States of America.
When was the last time we saw that?
HARRIS: I fear that we would have to go back to the soup lines of the Great Depression to see this kind of need. And I think you're exactly right, Wolf. You put your finger on a very important point. A lot of the people in those food lines are people who never thought they would be in this position. These are middle-class workers who were not living on the edge. They were living fine on their paychecks.
They were maybe living paycheck to paycheck, but they were able to support themselves. And then suddenly, out of nowhere, a virus causes the economy to contract, and they are left with no job. That is a horrifying situation. It is a traumatic situation. The government needs to step in to support those workers so that they don't have to wait on a food line. They can buy the groceries themselves. And by the way, the grocery stores would benefit from that as well, as
would farmers and other food producers. So we really need to fix this system of getting money into the pockets of people who need it, both so that we don't have the tragedy of poverty for people who were not in poverty before or even those who were, but also that we don't have protracted hunger, poverty and pain in our country, that we can support our economy.
BLITZER: Yes, these are really, really dire times.
The former acting Labor secretary, Seth Harris. Mr. Secretary, thanks for joining us. We really appreciate it.
HARRIS: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: It's been 48 days since Prime Minister Boris Johnson locked down the United Kingdom. Today he announced the plan to ease the stay- at-home order.
We're going to go to London. Downing Street, next. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: President Trump said in March that the coronavirus pandemic was something that nobody expected, but for 15 years, some of America's top disease experts have been predicting a pandemic like the one we're going through right now. And what's worse, they're warning that we were not prepared and we certainly are not yet prepared for what comes next.
CNN's Brian Todd explains.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The prediction was daunting, quote, "This is a critical point in history. Time is running out to prepare for the next pandemic. We must act now with decisiveness and purpose." That was in 2005, and the author was Dr. Michael Osterholm, one of America's top epidemiologists, who issued those warnings in an article in "Foreign Affairs" magazine.
DR. MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT: I think everyone's ignored them. The media ignored them. The government ignored them. Private sectors ignored them because they just didn't believe that an infectious agent could do to us what this one is doing.
TODD: Dr. Osterholm wasn't alone. Listen to what Dr. Larry Brilliant, another preeminent expert on diseases said in a TED talk in 2006 about what a similar pandemic could do.
DR. LARRY BRILLIANT, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: The world as we know it will stop. There will be no airplanes flying. Would you get in an airplane with 250 people you didn't know coughing and sneezing when you knew that some of them might carry a disease that could kill you?
TODD: Dr. Brilliant painted such a vivid picture of the danger. He was tapped as a consultant for the 2011 thriller "Contagion."
MATT DAMON, ACTOR, "CONTAGION": Joy, don't touch anything.
TODD: Brilliant and Osterholm both say that at that time and for a few years, America was better prepared than it was for this coronavirus pandemic. What happened?
BRILLIANT: I think we dropped the ball in forgetting about science. Anyone who looked at that cadence, those outbreaks coming, would never have reduced our pandemic preparedness the way we have done in the United States.
TODD: Other crises in America seem to take priority. But for years, the warnings kept coming from America's top scientific minds, warnings chronicled in a recent "Vanity Fair" article. In 2015, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote in "The New York Times," "Our preparedness for a pandemic was like taking a knife to a bazooka fight. We know the cost of failing to act."
This past January, as the threat was barely registering in the U.S., infectious disease expert Luciana Borio wrote in the "Wall Street Journal," if public health authorities don't interrupt the spread soon, the virus could infect many thousands more around the globe.
LUCIANA BORIO, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT: I felt that a pandemic was inevitable at the point, but that there were steps we could take to contain it, if we took measures early.
TODD: It didn't happen. And Osterholm says he's still in the same position, now worried that Americans and their leaders are not taking the next stages of coronavirus seriously enough.
OSTERHOLM: Many people think that all we have to do is get over this hump right now going into the summer, and this pandemic is gone. We're in the earliest days of this pandemic.
TODD: Larry Brilliant worries about how we'll handle the vaccine when it arrives.
BRILLIANT: I worry that when we get that vaccination program, it won't go fast enough, there won't be enough funding for it, and it will last many, many years and the virus will have a chance to hide someplace and then ping-pong back into New York or into Chicago.
TODD (on camera): Dr. Brilliant, Dr. Osterholm and others are also worried about how America's leadership will handle future pandemics and how they're going to handle the rest of this one.
Osterholm believes it's time for something like Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats during the Depression in World War II, a leader with consistent, unvarnished, clear guidance for the nation, telling us exactly what it's going to take to get through the next 12 to 18 months of this pandemic.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
BLITZER: Very interesting indeed, Brian. Thank you very much.
And meanwhile, a birthday party with Pearl Jam or a private meeting with Snoop Dogg, even a putting lesson with Tiger Woods. These are some of the prizes that have been offered by the All In Challenge, an online initiative raising tens of millions of dollars so far to feed those in need during this pandemic.
The idea was the brainchild of Michael Rubin, he's one of the co- owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, in what's now become something of a Sunday tradition here on CNN.
And Michael, you brought a special guest along with you today. This week it's the president and owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft. I want to welcome both of you to THE SITUATION ROOM.
Everyone knows, Robert, your team having, what, six Super Bowl wins? But you've also been heavily involved in the coronavirus relief efforts. You've helped purchase, I take it, more than 1.5 million N-95 face masks and even used the New England Patriots team plane to fly those masks back to the United States from China, something you called the most challenging operation your team ever had to do.
And now you're about to talk about the "All In Challenge," and you actually have a special announcement about what you're planning to auction off right now. Tell us.
ROBERT KRAFT, PRESIDENT AND OWNER, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Well, my good friend Michael came up with this fantastic "All In Challenge" and asked me a couple of weeks ago, when he was thinking about it, to think about something really special that we could do and auction off. And I've been thinking about it, and I've never seen a situation in our country where there are so many hungry people.
We have to have food lines, people getting delivery of food. And I thought about all the hospital, the medical people, the doctors, the nurses, the support people, and how they're putting their life on the line all the day and what's happened to the country.
And you know, there's a feeling in the country like we've never had in my lifetime and it sort of brought me back to our fifth Super Bowl, when two minutes to go in the third quarter, we were down 28-3 and had a 0.04 percent chance to win. Nine -- to lose. To win. To win. 99.6 percent chance to lose.
And we came back. And it was through great teamwork, great effort, and no one believed that could be done. And so, to me, that represents where we are in this country today. We have the greatest country in the world. We have innovators. We have people of compassion.
We have philanthropists, and we all have to put partisanship aside, pull together and fight this virus. So, I thought this ring from Super Bowl LI, when we were down 28-3, was a good thing to auction off and allow someone who's an NFL or a Patriot fan to come.
I will send my plane anywhere in the continental U.S. to the person who bids the most, and we'll meet in our conference room with the trophies and have a meal and have a good time.
BLITZER: Wow, that's pretty exciting, indeed. And thank you so much, Robert, for making that opportunity available.
Michael, as a lot of our viewers know, every Sunday we get the update on how much money you have actually raised for all these really, really needy people out there. Last week it was $30 million. What kind of good news can you share with us right now?
MICHAEL RUBIN, CO-CREATOR, "ALL IN CHALLENGE": Yes. We're really excited. We've now raised over $38 million in less than a month. And we've got to give a special thanks to all the athletes, celebrities, artists, team owners like Robert, leagues, business tanks that went in and donated incredible experiences and incredible items and really more than 700,000 people that donated $10, $25 for a chance to win incredible experiences.
And everyone's done this together. It's been truly amazing. We've got really ambitious goals, want to help feed as many people as possible. And Robert, this was really special to me, because you know, Robert and I started talking about this. When I first had the idea, the first day I had the idea, two weeks before we launched, I called Robert, said, I've got this amazing idea. And Robert said to me, Michael, I want to do everything I can to help.
What do you think I should do? And I said, what do you think you should do? And then he called me, yes, and said it finally just hit me. You know, with what the country's going through right now, and you look at the way we came back, being down 28-3, wouldn't me auctioning off that ring just be something symbolic of the way our country's going to come back?
And I'm so appreciative of Robert. Really so appreciative to everyone who's come together, because the whole " All In Challenge" is about not only helping to raise as much money as possible to help feed everybody in need, but also do it in a really uplifting way, and that's why we're so excited about having raised over $38 million in less than a month.
BLITZER: Yes, it's pretty amazing, you know. And it's interesting, Michael, because, look, I'm a sports fan. We did have -- we miss sports right now here in the United States. We had two developments this week in your respective sports. The NBA allowed teams to at least open up their practice facilities. The NFL actually released its schedule, said it would start on time this fall. We can only hope.
So, Michael, who's going to be playing first, your Sixers or Robert's Patriots? RUBIN: I'm not going to make that prediction. What I will say is that
I think all of us in the whole country, in the whole world, want sports back as quickly as we can get them. But at the same time, we've got to do it in a way that's safe not only for our players and their families, but also for fans and everybody involved. You've got to do it in a safe way.
So, I think we're all anxious. I think it was great to have the UFC fight last night. It was an incredible fight. I think it brought a lot of joy to so many people, but we've got to do it as soon as we can do it in a safe way for everybody involved.
BLITZER: Robert, is it at all realistic to think that there could be NFL games without fans in the stadium?
KRAFT: Well, that is an alternative because, look, in the end, it's about the safety of our players, our people, the fans who would come, and, you know, I think over the next 60, 90 days, a lot of things are going to evolve, and we're going to put safety first. And in the end, that's what's going to drive everything. At the same time, there's a crossover point where people really -- we know we had over 50 million people watch our draft, which broke records.
And they just want product and product as part of their community that they can connect with and be part of. And at some point, we have to move on. And there's a lot of people hurting in America today, way beyond anything I would ever dream. So, in a safe way, we've got to bring this country back. And I hope our sports collectively can help in that process, but I'm worried about the people who live paycheck to paycheck. And we have to do something for them.
BLITZER: Let me ask you a sports question, Robert, before I let you guys go. When the Patriots do start playing again, and we hope it's sooner rather than later, it will be without Tom Brady for the first time in 20 years. Will that ever feel normal from your perspective?
KRAFT: Well, Tom is one of the finest people I've ever met in my life. I have deep love and affection for him, and I'll always be rooting for him, except when he's competing against us. It will be different and strange, but, you know, life is having things happen that we can never anticipate, like this pandemic. And we -- I've learned every difficult situation in my life we've been able to turn into something positive, if we manage it correctly.
So, now it's on our football staff, who are pretty capable and able. I think we have one of the most talented coaches in the history of the game and some wonderful support and personnel people, and we have to move on. It won't be the same without him, but he is 43 years old, and eventually this day was going to come.
BLITZER: Robert Kraft, Michael Rubin, gentlemen, you guys are doing really, really important work right now. We are so grateful for everything you're doing. Thanks very much for joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Appreciate it very much.
And to our viewers, we'll take a quick break. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: People in the United Kingdom seeing some light today at the end of their coronavirus lockdown. The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a televised speech laying out new guidance that will allow people in the U.K. to get back to some public activities.
CNN's Max Foster is joining us from London.
Max, give us the latest details. What are you learning?
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a three-stage plan really. What Boris Johnson wants to do is monitor the infection rate. If it doesn't go up very quickly then he wants to start opening school potentially next month in phase two. And then in July potentially the hospitality industry. But it's very conditional on whether or not the infection rates rise. So that's the plan.
But I'll have to say the big story here is all the confusion about this very wooly messaging coming out from Downing Street currently. There was a very clear motto coming out during this crisis which was stay at home. He's now switched up to stay alert.
I think Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland, the first minister, a lot of people are saying what does stay alert even mean? And what we've got is a situation now where Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are sticking with stay at home as a message when England, under Boris Johnson, is sticking with stay alert.
So there's clearly some big breakdowns between the nations in the U.K. which is pretty significant here.
Also the opposition party saying Boris Johnson just isn't being clear on his messaging, Wolf. So there's lots to play out here as Boris Johnson tries to lift this lockdown.
BLITZER: Yes. Lots of developments in the U.K. All right, Max Foster in London, thank you.
Back here to the U.S., three top Trump administration scientists are currently in some form of quarantine. So what does that mean for the public health of the nation as states are continuing to reopen. We'll be right back.