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Somber Warnings Temper Hopes of Return to Normalcy; FOX Personalities Attack Dr. Anthony Fauci After Testimony; Dr. Fauci 'Cautiously Optimistic' about Coronavirus Vaccine. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired May 13, 2020 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just as dangerous a virus today as it was when it arrived.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In Los Angeles County, the public health director warns stay-at-home orders will remain in place for months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As state relax social distancing more, then, yes, we expect numbers will probably go up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looking at it being 137 or 140 or 145,000 deaths in August is missing the point. Look at how fast this virus can go.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think as far as schools go, Cal State is going to online. I think we're going to probably see that at a lot of universities.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): I don't think you're the end all. I don't think you're the one person that gets to make the decision.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: I have never made myself out to be the end all and only voice of this.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, May 13, 6 a.m. here in New York.

And this morning, parents across the country waking up to new questions about just when their kids will be able to go back to school, physically at least. The answer might be, not soon, after the nation's largest four-year public university system, California State University, announced that almost all of its classes will be conducted online this fall.

Now, this is happening as overnight, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor and one of the most trusted voices on the coronavirus pandemic, came under new attack from some of the president's allies, who are unhappy with his science.

Now the question is: Are these attacks with, at least, the tacit approval of the president?

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: John, as of this morning, more than 82,000 Americans have been killed by coronavirus. And that key University of Washington model has gone up again. It now forecasts nearly 60,000 more Americans dying by July 4.

As of this morning, the CDC still has not released guidelines for reopening, even though most states are already in the process of doing it.

Senators pressed the CDC director yesterday at a hearing about when states would get those guidelines, and Director Redfield would say only, soon.

So let's begin our coverage with CNN's Stephanie Elam. She is live in Manhattan Beach, California, with our top story. What is the latest there, Stephanie?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I have to tell you, Alisyn, when this came out yesterday, there were a lot of people who were very upset to hear this.

With all certainty, those were the words that the director of public health for Los Angeles County used when saying that we're going to see the stay-at-home order here extended for, likely, another three months. They were set to expire on Friday.

But there would be some restrictions easing. Still, people hearing that in the most populated county of the country, very much concerned about what this means for family life, especially with kids needing to get back to school.


ELAM (voice-over): Small steps toward reopening in Los Angeles this morning. People can return to beaches for exercise and recreation. Another option, after hiking trails and curbside pickup at some retail stores opened last week.

While stay-at-home orders are here to stay for at least the next three months, the L.A. County public health director stays restrictions will be gradually relaxed.

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES: It's just a reminder of how delicate and fragile this time is but to not freak out when you hear a scientist say that it's still going to be here, and we're still going to be living under health orders, all of us in America, for many, many months, if not into next year.

ELAM: After announcing new guidelines for regions of California meeting state standards in testing and declining cases, Governor Gavin Newsom provided this tough reminder.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): This disease is still ubiquitous. It's still deadly. Seventy-seven people lost their lives in the last 24 hours to this disease.

ELAM: This while on Capitol Hill, Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Senate Health Committee opening too soon could be deadly.

FAUCI: There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control, which in fact, paradoxically, will set you back, not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided but could even set you back on the road to try to get economic recovery.

ELAM: This fall, most students attending the California State University system's 23 schools will attend classes online.

TIMOTHY WHITE, CHANCELLOR, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM: We're a large university. Over 500,000 students and about 55,000 employees. So if you have 500,000-plus people in close proximity on a daily basis, vibrantly interacting with each other, that's not conducive to mitigating the spread of the disease.

ELAM: That massive closure calls into question whether children will return to elementary through high school classrooms in the fall.

And in New York City, curtains will remain closed on Broadway until at least September, signaling stay-at-home orders may be in place for quite some time.

With most Americans now living under easing restrictions, one key model now projects more than 57,000 more Americans will die by July 4.

DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION: We originally had thought that people would go the distance, keep social distancing in place right through to the end of May. But what's happened is that states have relaxed early, become more mobile. They're having more contact. And we're seeing the effects already.


ELAM: Now, the officials are saying that this prediction of how long we'll be in the stay-at-home order here in California is based on the data.

So keep in mind: about half of the cases of coronavirus in California are right here in Los Angeles County. And we are not starting to see a downward turn here. So that's part of the issue here.

Also, the university system, University of California system also saying it's probably likely that none of their campuses will fully reopen in the fall either -- John and Alisyn.

BERMAN: All right. Stephanie Elam for us in Los Angeles. Stephanie, thank you very much. Joining us now, CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem. She's a

former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security. And Dr. Amesh Adalja. He's an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins.

And Dr. Adalja, I'm going to start with schools, because I'm a parent. I mean, granted, my kids are in middle school, not college. But when I hear the Cal State University system in general will not open its physical plant in the fall, that makes me wonder what's going to happen in the rest of the country.

So talk to me about that as a medical decision. Why do you think that decision has been made? And how important is it for that to be made?

DR. AMESH ADALJA, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Well, what you're looking at is a university, which is basically its own mass gathering. And what we know about is when you have that many people together interacting, it can really set off a lot of cases, make it impossible for contract tracers to be able to keep track of the number of cases and get complete capture of those cases.

So a university is very different than an elementary school, which is a smaller group of people and different types of epidemiology. But universities are probably going to have to handle this on a case-by- case basis, looking at what type of constraints they face in being able to do contact tracing; what their physical plant location is and how well they can do online learning; what's going on in the state and the municipality that they're located in. And I think that's going to be different across the -- across the country.

So some colleges, I suspect, will open. Some will close. And remember, university students are more like adults, so they shed the virus like adults. We know that they're -- that they drive epidemiology, which is a little bit different with children. We know they get infected. We know they have lots of contacts. We know they've got -- they have virus in their nose. But we don't know how much they actually augment an outbreak or how much they drive an outbreak.

CAMEROTA: Juliette, I'll tell you. Parents are going to wake up alarmed this morning to hear. This is the biggest university system in the country; 23 campuses Cal State is. And so hard to know if this is a harbinger of what's going to happen at other universities and schools, come this fall, and if some universities are yurts are not telling parents that. You know, if they already are thinking this, but they need those deposits to come in, and they're just not sort of being as open as Cal State is.

I thought that Director Redfield of the CDC said something very candid yesterday. Basically, admitted where they went wrong and where they failed that I think is relevant today. So let's play that.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: When the outbreak started, sir, we had an aggressive contact tracing program. But unfortunately, as the cases rose, it went beyond the capacity and we went to mitigation. So we lost the containment edge.


CAMEROTA: They lost the containment edge. They were overwhelmed by the numbers. They could no longer contain it. And so what's changed today?

KAYYEM: Not much, unfortunately. It actually turns out that sort of shutting everything down was probably the easy part. That this reopening, it is not at all clear what the right pacing is. You're seeing variations throughout the country.

And just looking at it from the 64,000-foot level, here's what I think is happening. I think, as these deadlines get closer, jurisdictions -- universities, colleges and school districts, which are remaining pretty quiet right now -- are seeing that they probably cannot pull it off by September. I know that's hard for parents to hear.

But we're not seeing a lot of optimism coming from higher education, at least. And a lot of silence from the public education system in K through 12.

It is very hard to sort of bring everyone together in a school district. I think we can do it better in terms of safety and security for the kids. But I think there's a big question mark. This is what Fauci was pointing to, about whether that can be done by September.

So I view California as sort of a bellwether for the nation, and I think you're going to see a lot of colleges and universities begin to admit what they probably already knew about a month ago, with the failure to have adequate testing and tracing programs, no treatment coming down the pike, that they will have to stay online through the fall.

BERMAN: There are people who are having a hard time processing the science here.


BERMAN: Processing what they are being warned will happen from the likes of Dr. Anthony Fauci. We heard it from Senator Rand Paul yesterday, and overnight we heard it from some of the president's key allies in the media, with really just unbridled attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci. So I want you to listen to this.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Is this the guy into whom you want to invest all of your trust? Is this the guy you want to chart the future of the country? Maybe not. This is a very serious matter, the decisions we're making right now. Tony Fauci has not been elected to anything.

Some people seem to think he should be dictator for the duration of this crisis. That's insanity.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fauci, to be very blunt, is the face of this failed administrative state.

CARLSON: I totally agree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you've got to question the entire premise of this.

CARLSON: The chief buffoon.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Dr. Anthony Fauci also seems to favor what the Democrats want, and that is massive restrictions with no end in sight.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: All due respect to Dr. Fauci's expertise, no one elected him to anything.


BERMAN: All right. So there is a zero percent chance that this was not coordinated when you see it across the entire primetime lineup of FOX. I'm waiting to see how the president responds.

To Tucker Carlson, no one, exactly no one, has suggested that Dr. Anthony Fauci be a dictator of everything. Tucker called Anthony Fauci a buffoon, which might be a subject that Tucker Carlson knows something about.

But that aside, Dr. Adalja, I don't want to put you in the position of being a media critic. What I do want to ask you is, as a scientist, what is the impact to public health when people are openly questioning the science like this?

ADALJA: It's -- it's a very negative impact. Dr. Fauci is an icon in the field, somebody who knows so much about infectious disease, knows -- has a breadth of knowledge, has the ability to project what's going to happen in the future, like, looking at the trajectory of infectious disease, understands how to coordinate a response to an infectious disease that really is -- he's really unrivalled in that -- in that capacity. Someone with, basically, a genius-level understanding of infectious disease.

So when people undermine him, it really undermines the entire operation.

And it's important to remember, Dr. Fauci is looking at the data, looking at the science, drawing on his years and years of expertise to be able to come up with what the best -- the best and worst-case scenarios are, what the path forward might be. And then it's up to the policy makers to either accept that or not accept that.

But to attack someone who's really using their mind at the highest level to try and solve an insoluble problem, it really just is disgusting, I think.

CAMEROTA: Look, obviously, it's coordinated. When you start to hear the parroting of the same terms -- no one elected him to anything, no one elected him to anything, no one -- then obviously, it's coordinated. Obviously.

You know, I think that the president's media allies are looking for a foil. You know, everything is set up, Juliette, as black and white, winners and losers. And so if you need President Trump to be the winner here in terms of coronavirus and everything that's happening with this country, you need to find a foil.

And for whatever reason, they've decided that Dr. Fauci is it, despite the fact that Dr. Fauci yesterday in the hearing said, I am only a public health expert. I'm only a medical expert. I don't pretend to know when the country should reopen. I don't pretend to know, you know, what the economics and the financial consequences of all of this are.

Liz Cheney has defended him. And I think that it's worth talking about this, because obviously, she's a high-profile Republican in Congress. And so she says, "Dr. Fauci is one of the finest public servants we have ever had. He is not a partisan. His only interest is saving lives. We need his expertise and his judgment to defeat this virus. All Americans should be thanking him every day."

I just think that's notable this morning.

KAYYEM: That's exactly right. So I mean, this is -- this is consistent with the sort of blame game, as the administration tries to figure out how can it justify 82,000 people dead under President Trump's watch.

So it was China, and then it was the governors, and then it was the Democratic governors. Then it was the Obama administration. And now they are turning inward, and their bull's eye is now on Dr. Fauci.

What I thought was -- was incredible from Dr. Fauci yesterday and really important to -- to listen to what he was saying, is he -- he took what you were just talking about, you know, that everything is stark black and white with the FOX people and the Trump administration. He actually took that on.

He said, you know, you people have sort of presented this as economics or isolation, right, that it's one or the other. And he said it's actually both, that to actually have an economically vibrant nation, one that can really come out strong, we have to take -- we have to sort of release social distancing slowly, focus on critical infrastructure, get kids back into school, and do it in a way that does not lead to additional outbreaks. Because then your economy is over. Right? Everyone is back inside, stores closed. Everything falls apart.

So he really took on that sort of binary approach by the Trump administration. They won't listen. But I think it's important for the American people to listen and say they're related. Our growth, economically, is related to a strategy to get this virus under control. So focus on the second part, not the first.

BERMAN: Yes. Everyone's enemy here should be the coronavirus.


BERMAN: And the only foil anyone should need is 82,000 people dying. That should be enough of a foil for anyone and everyone.

Juliette Kayyem, Dr. Adalja, thank you very much for being with us this morning.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

BERMAN: So when -- when can Americans expect a vaccine? A new timeline or a new way of describing it from Dr. Anthony Fauci, that's next.


CAMEROTA: At least eight potential coronavirus vaccines are currently in development. And this morning, we have new details about when one could become available.

CNN's senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, has the latest.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: John, Alisyn, yesterday we got the most specific timeline yet from a federal official about when to expect a vaccine. Unfortunately, it's not as soon as anyone who like.

(voice-over): It's the holy grail: a vaccine against COVID-19. At a Senate hearing Tuesday, frank talk from Dr. Anthony Fauci about the prospects of making that happen. Vaccine clinical trials in humans have started.

FAUCI: And if we are successful, we hope to know that in the late fall and early winter.

COHEN: That means no COVID-19 vaccine in time for the start of school.


FAUCI: The idea of having treatments available or a vaccine to facilitate the re-entry of students into the fall term would be something that would be a bit of a bridge too far.

Even at the top speed we're going, we don't see a vaccine playing in ability of individuals to get back to school this term.

COHEN: And Fauci was clear: We might not end up getting a vaccine.

FAUCI: First of all, there's no guarantee that the vaccine is actually going to be effective. You can have everything you think that's in place, and you don't induce the kind of immune response that turns out to be protective and durably protective. COHEN: Still, he does think a vaccine will happen.

FAUCI: Putting all those things together, Senator Burr, I still feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a candidate that will give some degree of efficacy.

COHEN: As far as treatments go, there's only one that's been shown to work against COVID-19: the antiviral medicine Remdesivir, which shaves about four days off a hospital stay.

But the distribution of Remdesivir by the federal government has been inconsistent, with one leading Democratic lawmaker calling it bungled.

DR. STEPHEN HAHN, FDA COMMISSIONER: I think we can all agree upon the fact that we've learned a lot of lessons from the Remdesivir situation.

COHEN: Dr. Steven Hahn, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, saying they'll keep those lessons in mind as the pandemic continues.

HAHN: I think valuable lessons can be learned and will be learned with respect to other therapies and to vaccines, in particular, and we must incorporate those into our operational plans moving forward.

COHEN: And he says as time goes on, doctors are learning more about what drugs COVID patients need.

HAHN: I'll give you an example. We do know that, in some circumstances, patients who have had severe COVID disease have developed thrombotic or clotting-type episodes. And so we've prioritized a review of agents that we think might be beneficial.

COHEN: All part of the race to save lives, or better yet, to prevent infection. And it was clear from this hearing that the race is far from over.

(on camera): We tend to talk about a vaccine against COVID-19 when really, what scientists are hoping for are vaccines, plural, against COVID-19. For example, one might be work better in children and the other in adults. The clinical trials this summer will help answer that question -- John, Alisyn.


CAMEROTA: OK. Our thanks to Elizabeth there.

So in terms of family activities, when will we be able to, say, go to a Broadway show or go on vacation to a theme park? More on the timeline for those, next.



BERMAN: Developing overnight, Broadway closed for much longer. New decisions just released on when, maybe even if, we'll be able to see live theater this year.

The coronavirus death toll in the United States now stands at over 82,000 and climbing. Here's the latest from our reporters around the country.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ryan Young outside Columbus, Ohio. And here, the state hasn't seen 14 straight days of drop-off when it comes to coronavirus cases like the CDC recommends before opening businesses back up.

But that hasn't stopped the state from allowing retail shops to open their doors. It's been a tough seven weeks.

Some businesses like this one haven't had their doors open. They've had to lay off employees. So this was a welcome open.

You can see social distancing markings all across the floor here to be ready for customers. They also have hand-sanitizing stations.

This doesn't stop just here. Across the state, they're getting ready for more openings. On Friday, we know restaurants will be allowed to do outdoor seating. Barber shops, spas and salons will be able to open.


Wholesale beef prices have hit the highest levels ever recorded, according to the USDA. And as the country reopens, meaning restaurants are, too, an already struggling industry is now facing new challenges.

A barbecue owner in Tennessee tells us that he's leaving brisket off the menu this week, because it's just too expensive, much to the disappoint of his customers.

At a burger bar in Virginia, the owner tells us that he can only last about one more week with the price of ground beef before he's going to have to increase prices for his customers. He said that every time he sees a light at the end of the tunnel, it seems to go out.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Paula Newton in Ottawa, where Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says stronger measures may be needed at the U.S.-Canada border going forward.

Now, he says this, because as states begin to reopen, he says Canada needs to show extreme caution, given the level of outbreak in the United States. Right now, by mutual agreement, that U.S.-Canada border remains closed to all nonessential traffic until May 21. Both countries are trying to decide whether or not to lift those restrictions. But if they do, there could be temperature checks and medical history checks for those coming into Canada.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR/CORRESPONDENT: I'm Erica Hill in New York, where the Broadway League has announced theaters in this city will remain closed through at least September 6. This impacts 31 Broadway productions. Eight of those were new shows in


Broadway theater shut down on March 12 after an usher for two shows tested positive for the virus.

As for the city itself, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says we are still weeks away from reopening. The first chance to look at doing something differently would come in June, but only if there are indicators of consistent progress.


Disney World theme parks and resorts have announced that they are taking reservations starting July 1 and beyond. So people will be able to go to these parks. There will be some restrictions, of course. They will be operating at a limited capacity. They will also be likely doing temperature checks. They will be incorporating social distancing in those very long lines. And the guests and the characters and cast will be required to wear masks.

So in the Florida heat, we'll have to see how that goes over, with guests going to the theme parks.