Return to Transcripts main page

THE SITUATION ROOM

McDonald's Details Safety Measures for Reopening Dining Rooms; Trump Administration Promises Vaccine by End of Year; Interview with Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA); CDC Director Forecasts 100,000 U.S Coronavirus Deaths By June 1; Virus To Keep Many Students In Online Classes For Fall Term. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired May 15, 2020 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[18:00:00]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: So, he's now saying another 13,000 will die over the next two weeks. That's the latest model that the CDC is projecting.

We continue to see a downward trend, though, in the rate of new cases nationwide. More than half of the states are now seeing declines, even as much of the country moves to reopen. However, fears of a second wave are persistent, and they are real.

Also tonight, the Trump administration is making very ambitious claims that a vaccine will be available to the public by the end of the year, the president sending mixed messages about that potential breakthrough, declaring the country is coming back -- and I'm quoting the president right now -- "vaccine or no vaccine."

Let's get some more from our chief White House correspondent Jim, Acosta.

Jim, a very disturbing new forecast of deaths. We just heard it from the CDC director.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf.

And Dr. Robert Redfield, you just mentioned, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just tweeted this out, that his agency is expecting 100,000 deaths, a total of 100,000 deaths by June 1.

Here's this tweet. We can put it up on screen.

It says: "CDC tracks 12 different forecasting models of possible COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. as of May 11. All forecast an increase in deaths in the coming weeks and a cumulative total exceeding 100,000 by June 1."

Now, earlier in the day, President Trump sent some conflicting signals on the development of a coronavirus vaccine, a sorely needed vaccine. As the president other Trump administration officials were touting a warp speed effort to have a vaccine ready by the end of the year, Mr. Trump also said he wants to reopen the country with or without one. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA (voice-over): As President Trump introduced the two men who will lead the government's race for a coronavirus vaccine, he made one thing clear: He's ready to reopen the country even without a medical breakthrough.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just want to make something clear. It's very important. Vaccine or no vaccine, we're back, and we're starting the process.

ACOSTA: Still, one of the two leaders of what's being called Operation Warp Speed, Moncef Slaoui, said he's optimistic the U.S. could have hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine ready by the end of the year.

MONCEF SLAOUI, CHIEF ADVISER TO VACCINE EFFORT: I have very recently seen early data from a clinical trial with a coronavirus vaccine. And this data made me feel even more confident that we will be able to deliver a few hundred million doses of vaccine by the end of 2020. And we will do the best we can.

ACOSTA: That's an ambitious timeline, and many health experts aren't so sure it's achievable.

Coronavirus Task Force doctor Anthony Fauci is hopeful the government can meet that goal, but cautions Americans should be realistic.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: 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.

Given the way the body responds to viruses of this type, I'm cautiously optimistic that we will, with one of the candidates, get an efficacy signal.

ACOSTA: At his own Rose Garden event, Mr. Trump appeared at times to downplay the importance of a vaccine.

TRUMP: Other things have never had a vaccine and they go away. So I don't want people to think that this is all dependent on a vaccine. But a vaccine would be a tremendous thing.

ACOSTA: The president also speculated that many Americans may already be immune to the virus, even though the scientific community isn't certain of that.

TRUMP: The vast majority, many people don't even know they have it. They have it or they have sniffles or they have a very minor sign. And they recover, not only recover. They probably have immunity, whether it's short term, long term, but they have probably immunity.

ACOSTA: Mr. Trump's comments came one day after he questioned the helpfulness of testing. TRUMP: It could be that testing is, frankly, overrated. Maybe it is

overrated. When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn't do any testing, we would have very few cases. They don't want to write that. It's common sense.

ACOSTA: The president returned to his argument that schools should reopen in the fall, but without older teachers. Mr. Trump didn't sound concerned students could bring the virus home to their families.

TRUMP: I don't think that you should have 70-year-old teachers back yet. They should wait until everything is gone. I don't think you should have a professor that is 65 and has diabetes or has a bad heart back, necessarily, or somebody that's older than that.

But we want to see our schools back. We want to see our country start to work again.

ACOSTA: Fauci warned earlier this week, that is risky.

FAUCI: I think we have got to be careful if we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects.

ACOSTA: As for a vaccine, the president said he would be willing to accept one from China, even as he's been warning of halting trade talks with Beijing.

QUESTION: What happens if it's China? Will the U.S. still have access to that vaccine?

TRUMP: I would say the answer to that would be yes.

[18:05:00]

ACOSTA: The president was touting other potential advances, like a new high-speed missile for Mr. Trump's pet project, the Space Force.

TRUMP: I call it the super-duper missile. Space is going to be -- it's going to be the future. We're now the leader in space.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Now, in case people were wondering what all of that noise was, that low roar during the news conference earlier today, those were truckers, truck drivers in Washington, honking their horns and protesting that their industry is being hammered during this pandemic.

We can show you some video of these truckers down on Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C. The president said the truckers were demonstrating in some kind of show of support for him. But that's not true. They were protesting on behalf of their industry.

Now, as for Vice President Mike Pence, he was not at the Rose Garden news conference earlier today. Officials say he is steering clear of some White House events, out of an abundance of caution, but that he is healthy, will be more visible next week. The vice president is, of course, taking those precautions after his

press secretary tested positive for the virus last week -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Interesting. All right, thanks very much, Jim Acosta, reporting.

As the total number of deaths in the United States keeps rising, more and more states are reopening, at least partially.

Let's go to CNN's Nick Watt. He is joining us from California.

Nick, nearly every state will be in some phase of reopening by this weekend.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf.

Just two states still yet to start. One of them is Massachusetts. And we just heard that they're going to lay out their plan for us on Monday. Meanwhile, so many businesses around this country just trying to make it work.

This is Milo & Olive, a spot near where I live. And the sign on the door doesn't say "Welcome" anymore. It says "Do not come in." And they have been serving takeout all day through that tiny window.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WATT (voice-over): Across Louisiana, dinner and a movie is now an option once more, but your server might be masked.

COLLIN ARNOLD, DIRECTOR, NEW ORLEANS OFFICE OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: We really have kind of crushed the curve, and because -- it's due to our residents, really. They stayed at home.

WATT: Forty-eight states now have an opening plan under way. Today, half of New York state begins is long road back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I can do is get back to work and hope that they'll come.

WATT: Beaches in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will, we're told, be open in time for Memorial Day.

But New York's pause order extended another two weeks for millions in the state, including everyone in New York City, unless numbers improve.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY), NEW YORK CITY: We need a massive citywide apparatus, testing, tracing.

WATT: Meanwhile, in Michigan, resistance to regulations goes on. The blue governor says they're red protesters.

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): These are not just citizens who are unhappy about having to stay home. This is a political rally, essentially. WATT: That might actually delay reopening.

WHITMER: It's the congregating of big groups of people who aren't wearing masks, who aren't staying six feet apart that will perpetuate the community spread.

WATT: And April's retail numbers are out, another historic low, retail sales down 16.4 percent, clothing sales down nearly 90 percent.

PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE OFFICE OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURING POLICY: Most of the 50 states are going back to work in some form. So I like to look forward.

WATT: Ford will start making cars again Monday, and restaurants will reopen in hard-hit Miami as the county looks to hire up to 1,000 contact tracers.

Texas just set a record, most recorded COVID deaths in 24 hours, gyms and offices still scheduled to reopen Monday.

In North Carolina, big box stores can reopen, but church gatherings still limited to just 10 people.

KEITH STONE, NASH COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, SHERIFF: I have not enforced it, and I don't intend to enforce it.

WATT: Other sheriffs say the same.

STONE: And I would rather you turn towards the lord than the liquor store.

WATT: Meanwhile, in Sin City, now you can buy a mask from a vending machine at the airport, as Caesars gets ready to reopen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the new world, there will only be three chairs and nobody will be able to be within six feet.

WATT: Good news from L.A. The USNS Mercy hospital ship just left, after seven weeks supporting the COVID-19 fight. The curve here has flattened.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: So, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut will be opening their beaches, but New York City will not.

And we heard why from the mayor. He explained, listen, in New Jersey, people drive cars. They can spread out along the shore, along the coastline. Not so in New York. People don't drive so much, and maybe we would get a big crush at Coney Island -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, very interesting, indeed, Nick Watt reporting for us. Thank you.

Joining us now, the governor of Washington state, Jay Inslee.

Governor Inslee, thank you so much for spending a few moments with us.

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA): Thank you.

BLITZER: You just heard the news.

The CDC director, Robert Redfield, now says all the models that they're tracking predict that 100,000 Americans will be dead from the virus over by June 1. That's in two weeks, by June 1. That's a staggering number, given the fact the first deaths were recorded, what, in early March.

[18:10:02]

So, over three months, he now says more than 100,000 Americans will have died from coronavirus.

When you hear that, what's your reaction?

INSLEE: Well, my actual reaction is, it's a number, but the number -- we should never allow that number to camouflage the personal tragedies.

That's a number, but each one of these digits represents a family that's had a horrific loss. And I actually think that's important to pause on occasion and think about.

As we're making hard decisions about the pace of reopening our society, I think it's appropriate to think about, those are real people and read some of the stories. I read the stories every morning to be in touch with the real losses that these families are having, because, if you aren't aware of that, you can make some really bad decisions, instead of having our communities walk down the mountain, to force us to jump off the cliff.

And we are not going to jump off the cliff in Washington. We have had very good success flattening the curve. But we realize the science is, is, if we did jump off the cliff, as the president has argued for, we would just have a very, very rapid exponential growth of this very, very infectious disease.

And we're not going to do that. We're going to make -- continue to make smart decisions.

BLITZER: Yes, right now, more than 87,000 Americans have died over these past several weeks, 87,000.

But the CDC director says that number will go over 100,000 by June 1. And you're absolutely right. They're not just numbers. These are real people. They are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. And we always express our deepest, deepest condolences. And we honor many of them here in THE SITUATION ROOM every day.

The president also says, Governor, that, vaccine or no vaccine, we're back. That's a quote from him earlier in the day.

Twenty-eight states are seeing a downward trend in cases. But does that rhetoric match the scale of the challenge that's still facing this country?

INSLEE: Heavens no.

And if the president is saying, we're back to speak, in the past tense, to think this is behind us is to wholly ignore the biological evidence, the epidemiological evidence, the clear biology.

And we just ought to follow science. And the science is very clear. Today, I had one of a series of briefings by the Institute of Disease Modeling. And they and virtually every other modeler who have looked at this said, if you do think of this as being a past problem that has been solved, this thing's going to come roaring back.

All of the epidemiological models show that, if you go back to the number of physical and social interactions that we typically would have, that is just going to go up, and very quickly -- and this is a hard thing to contemplate, because we have had some early success -- we would get back to the rate of fatalities and growth in the rate of fatalities just as desperate and fatal and the kind of thing we saw in New York.

We could be right back into that soup. And that's just a reality. So, we can't make decisions based on wishful thinking or refusal to worry about your approval numbers, or worrying about whether a cruise ship docks because it'll show the numbers will go up and make you look bad.

We can't allow our decision-making to be influenced. That is another virus, which is the virus of self-interest and wishful thinking. And I think you're seeing a lot of good decision-making by governors, Republican and Democrats, to do this in a phased basis, where we can take an incremental approach and innovate as we go along, as we find out what really works, what kind of measures really do work, and which do not.

So, that's the approach we're taking. And I think we're on the right track here in our state, and many other governors as well.

BLITZER: Yes, that model from the University of Washington Medical School that is often cited by the Coronavirus Task Force over at the White House projects, by August 4, 147,000 Americans will have died from coronavirus.

And now the CDC says, by June 1, 100,000-plus will have died.

The president says he expects we will have a vaccine before the end of this year, Governor. You heard him say that earlier today. Does it worry you to see him set such potentially very optimistic expectations?

INSLEE: Well, I don't think there's anything wrong with optimism or hope.

I think it would be a wonderment if we did have a vaccine by the end of the year. And there's nothing wrong with that, unless it blinds you to today's responsibilities and today's necessities. And I'm afraid, with the president, it might have, because we have a

desperate need to increase our testing capability. It requires the president to use the Defensive Production Act and help the states.

[18:15:03]

All the states have been very active trying to get this material on our own. And we're still so far behind the eight ball to get testing material. We're still working to try to get our nursing home facilities tested. We now have outbreaks in food production facilities, where it's difficult to get everyone tested.

And yet, when we were promised our May delivery for test swabs, we have only got 10 percent of them. And it's mid-May. And I got a call yesterday that a shipment of over 150,000 got delayed or lost somewhere. And they said they will try to make it up next month.

We are experiencing these failures of the federal government to help the states on this testing. And so, if the reason for that is not having enough commitment to getting this job done because you have this desire that, around -- we will get a Christmas president in December of a vaccine, that would be injurious.

And we have so much need to act so much more quickly on testing equipment and PPE, which is continuing to bedevil us.

BLITZER: Yes.

Do you expect, Governor, to let your stay-at-home order in Washington state expire at the end of the month and move into your phase two of reopening?

INSLEE: We would like to, but that is not a certainty. It's not written in concrete. We will have to look at the virus.

We have at least a dozen metrics we look at on a daily basis. Like I said, we have had some progress. We have had massive compliance of Washingtonians. And the real reason we have been successful in Washington is because Washingtonians get it.

We act on the science. We act with common sense. And we act together. And so, so far, that has -- holds us in good stead. So, we will have to let the virus play out to see what we can do come June.

There will be restrictions, we know, through June of a variety of measures. And we're going to do smart things to open up some businesses. I did talk to some businesses yesterday, auto dealers, some construction. We have been able to open up some of our businesses, because we have used really strong protocols to keep people safe.

And we're going to continue to do that.

BLITZER: Well, good luck, Governor Inslee. Good luck to everybody in Washington state.

INSLEE: Thank you.

BLITZER: I know these are really tough, difficult, difficult days for everyone.

Just ahead...

(CROSSTALK)

INSLEE: Wash your hands.

BLITZER: Yes, OK. Thank you.

Is President Trump raising false hopes for a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year? Our experts are standing by.

And we will also have more on that staggering number, 100,000 deaths now forecast in the United States by June 1.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:22:03]

BLITZER: A new warning tonight that the U.S. death toll is now forecast to increase significantly over the next couple of weeks.

The CDC director, Dr. Robert Redfield, now releasing a new estimate of 100,000 deaths here in the United States by June 1.

Let's bring back our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, along with Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

Sanjay, you know Dr. Robert Redfield. He says, all the models they're tracking at the CDC have now converged to predict that the death toll will reach 100,000 Americans by June 1. These are mothers and fathers, as I say, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, not just numbers. These are real people.

But how do we wrap our heads around this enormous loss of life since early March?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It gives me a pit in my stomach, Wolf, when I saw those modeling numbers come out.

And you're absolutely right. I mean, how do you wrap your head around it? I don't know. I mean, I think, as somebody who works in a hospital and has seen these patients, it's -- I think it's -- I have known patients who become sick. And, sadly, I have known people who've died of this disease.

And I think, for people, a lot of people out there, they still hear these numbers, and they're just numbers to them. They don't -- they have not been directly affected by this. They don't know anybody who has this disease.

So, I mean, but these are jarring numbers, Wolf. When the pause -- the first pause went into effect for the country back in the middle of March, some 80 people had died. And now we're talking about 100,000 by the end of this month.

It's just -- I -- it's terrible. I don't know how else to describe it, Wolf.

BLITZER: Well, what about that, Dr. Jha?

What does that say about how much more that death toll potentially could rise, considering we know this virus isn't going away, and could even get worse later this year in the fall and winter?

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: yes, Wolf. So thanks for having me on.

The 100,000 number, as Dr. Gupta said, is stunning and catastrophic in many ways, and tells us how deadly this virus is. And this is 100,000 after we shut the country down for nearly two months, so really a reminder that, if we had not acted, things would have surely been much, much worse.

It's also reminder that we have got to get ready. We have got to get ready for the fall, when there's going to be a second wave. Most analysts are predicting a much bigger second wave. I think we can get through it without all of these tests, but we have a lot of work to do to get ready for the fall, and really be prepared for what's coming.

BLITZER: Yes, we certainly do.

Sanjay, the president is projecting that we could have a real vaccine before the end of this year. Do you worry that that statement from the president could give people false hope?

GUPTA: I think hope is important, Wolf.

But I think honesty and hope are always a balance, but I think honesty has got to be in the first position here. I think hope is good, as long as it's channeled and it's strategic and it moves us forward.

[18:25:05]

But it is -- it is very audacious, and it doesn't fit, to be honest, with what a lot of other public health officials that we have been doing stories with are talking about in terms of the timeline.

I mean, you have to have a vaccine. They're going to do things try and manufacture this vaccine earlier, plan distribution channels earlier. They're going to make some gambles and start manufacturing vaccines that haven't even been approved yet.

But you have got to show that it's a safe and effective vaccine. If, in the end, -- I mean, false hope is obviously terrible. But having a vaccine that doesn't actually work, despite pinning all of our hopes on it, that would be tragic.

So, I want this as much as anybody else, but we -- I'm not sure. That timeline does seem very audacious, still.

BLITZER: Well, Dr. Jha, what do you make of that timeline that was put out by the president today?

JHA: Yes, so it's worth for people to remember that it typically takes us many years to build a vaccine.

So, the 12 to-18-month timeline line that we have all been hoping for was already quite aggressive. If we shorten that further, like, I -- I'm with Dr. Gupta. Like, it would be great if we had a vaccine by the end of this year. That would be wonderful.

But we have to make sure it's safe and it's effective. And the more corners we cut to get there, the more we're going to worry about the safety of the vaccine, and as well as its effectiveness.

So I would rather take an extra couple of months, if we need to, to really ensure that the vaccine is safe. My best guess is, it's going to be sometime in 2021.

BLITZER: Yes. People are going to have to have confidence that there's not some complications from that vaccine. They're going to want to go out and be assured that it's OK.

All right, guys, thank you. Thank you so much for joining us, Dr. Ashish Jha and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Just ahead: Millions of people in New York state will have to stay at home longer. We will have more on that.

We will also talk to the mayor of Houston about the biggest one-day death toll in Texas since the start of the pandemic.

There you see him.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:30:00]

BLITZER: We are following breaking news this hour. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, has just issued a new forecast of 100,000 coronavirus deaths here in the United States by June 1st. This come as most state are starting to reopen, the summer moving very, very cautiously tonight.

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz, is joining us from New York City, right now. Shimon, millions in New York are being told they'll have to stay home for, what, at least another two weeks, is that what is going on?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Yes. The governor today, in parts of the state -- we know some parts of the state have opened. They were open today. New York pause was set to expire today. The governor announcing that they're going to extend that now until at least May 28. And, of course, the whole thing here, as you say the summer is coming. Beaches in New York City are not going to be open. But across New York state, outside New York City, you could see some beaches open. And of course, New Jersey, Wolf, a lot of people getting ready for the summer, for their kids with no camps. They're going to need things to do, and beaches is perhaps one of the things the city here just not ready to do that. There still too many people, it's still too crowded and, of course, there are still a lot of concern that infection here, while it's going down and we're on the good side of the mountain, at some point, once people start coming out and going to beaches and getting on trains to get on the beaches, you could start to see the number of cases rise.

And that is what the mayor certainly doesn't want and of course the governor, which is why he is being so careful in doing these openings in these phases. We're still in phase one across some of the parts of the state. New York City, of course, still closed. We still have a ways to go before any decisions on opening the city are made, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Shimon, thank you very much. Shimon Prokupecz, in New York.

This just in, the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, just told teams they can reopen they're facilities on May 19th if they follow state guidelines as well as league guidelines spelled in his letter.

Texas is home to NFL football teams, including the Houston Texans. We're joined now by the mayor of the Houston, Sylvester Turner. Mayor Turner, thank you so much for joining us. Do you feel that Houston is ready for a step like this, making a step closer to eventually holding major sporting events in your city?

MAYOR SYLVESTER TURNER (D-TX), HOUSTON: Well, you know, Wolf, I would love to see the Texans play and with the fans in the stands but we're not at that point yet. A lot is going to depend on what the data says, what the medical professionals are saying and whether or not we see spikes with the states starting to reopen. So let's just take a very cautious approach, take it one step at a time. But right now we're still seeing people testing positive for COVID-19 and we're still seeing people dying in our state. So we just need to be very careful.

BLITZER: That's smart. You know, Texas, as you well know, Mayor, saw its largest number of reported deaths yesterday, more than 1,200. Is this the result of opening up too early?

TURNER: Well, I can't directly say it's the result of. We've been in this phase now for about two weeks. We started on May the 1st. I will say that there still too many people that are dying in our state.

[18:35:01]

In the City of Houston, Wolf, three weeks ago, we had about 30 people who had died. As of today that number is now at 114, where 26 of that 114 coming from nursing homes.

So I want to see that number go down, even though it's relatively low, when you look at other places across the country, but they still were heading in the wrong direction. And that's why we just have to be very, very careful and safe as we start to reopen. I think the numbers, when we take a look at the numbers over the next week or two, I think those numbers will be instructive for us.

BLITZER: Yes, I just want to be precise of the number of the number of your cases yesterday, going up more than 1200, but there are still a considerable number of deaths as well. As you know, Mayor, the Houston Independent School District is says, it's considering year-round remote classes. Can you get behind that proposal about 35 percent of the student in the district don't necessarily have internet access?

TURNER: Well, and that's something that we're having to work on right now. It is -- we just had that discussion on yesterday about how to increase digital access to make sure that our kids get everything that they need. That's the other reason why, Wolf, it's so important for us to be careful and methodical on how we open up. If we manage the virus right, if we don't rush and open up too soon, then I think we can -- when we start looking at August, September, it might be a possibility of kids returning to campus.

But if we handle it wrong on the front end, it's going to prolong things in the long-term. And that's why what we do right now, can be -- will have a direct impact on what happens four, five, six months from now. I would love to see the kids back on campus. I grew up in one of these underserved and under-resourced communities. I still live in one of these under-served, under-resourced community. And many of our kids need that personal contact instruction, teachers right there in front of them, don't have access in many of these communities. But if we handle the management of this virus poorly, those kids, those communities are the ones that's going to be disproportionately impacted.

BLITZER: Mayor Turner, good luck to you, good luck to everyone in Houston. We'll stay in very close touch. I appreciate you joining us.

TURNER: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: And just ahead, the question on the minds of so many students and their parents, will schools actually reopen in the fall?

And you may be allowed to eat inside the McDonald's very soon, but it won't necessarily look or feel the same.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:40:00]

BLITZER: The students waiting to hear if their schools will resume in person classes. Some colleges are already making the decisions to keep campuses closed for the fall semester.

Let's bring in Scott Galloway, Professor of Marketing at the NYU Stern School of Business. He featured in the new article in New York Magazine, Looking How the Pandemic May Reshape Higher Education. Professor Galloway, thank you so much for joining us. You're predicting a higher education will be dramatically different because of this pandemic in the immediate future. What changes do you expect to see in college registration, for example?

SCOTT GALLOWAY, MARKETING PROFESSOR, NYU STEM SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: We're going to see incredible demand structure (ph). If you look at the industries that have been hit hardest, they all have one thing in common, and that is they put people shoulder to shoulder, whether it's restaurants, or live events, or movie theaters. And who else does that? Universities.

So we're probably going to see some, if not, the majority of universities unless there's a vaccine not reopen for the typical on campus experience in the fall. And we may see hundreds never reopen, because they just don't have the endowments or the financial cushions to survive a kind of a dramatic revenue loss we're looking at.

So just as equity analysts are looking at how much cash is on the balance sheet of companies to see who might be most vulnerable, we're going to start pretty soon talking about who has the endowments to survive this pandemic.

BLITZER: You told New York Magazine that this change in the moment could pave the way for what, big tech companies like Facebook, or Google, or Apple, to partnership with elite universities. What would these partnerships look like?

GALLOWAY: Well, I think the best universities, the best brands in the world aren't Apple or Coca-Cola, or MIT and Stanford. Nobody pays Apple a $100 million to put their names on the side of the building of the Apple campus, but I think these larger universities will be able to welcome 3, 5, 10 maybe in 20 thousand people to campus to capture some of those or recapture some of those students in those margin dollars. And the partners I believe that will help them get there will be small and big tech, whether it's Google or whether it's Zoom or whether it's Slack.

So you could end up in the situation where you have big tech entering, what is probably the most disruptible business in the world right now other than healthcare, where tuition has exploded 15-fold in the last 40 years. I mean, when you look at big tech going game hunting (ph) for how they increase their top line to justify their incredible market capitalizations, they'll immediately zero in on two industries, health care and education.

So it's just likely we're going to see a warm embrace between big tech looking for high margin, large revenue businesses, they're awry (ph) for disruption, which is education.

[18:45:12]

And education institutions which aren't known for having fantastic technology who need to dramatically expand their enrollment from some sort of a mixed of a hybrid remote offering.

So, I think this is a marriage made in a pandemic, if you will, between big tech and a better university.

BLITZER: Should universities, Professor, be offering any type of tuition reimbursement for in-person classes that are now taking place online.

GALLOWAY: There is already 25 lawsuits from students asking for some sort of tuition remission from what they fell was a spring semester that did not deliver again just what was promised. I probably met with or have spoken to ten advisory boards of different universities all over the nation. And one thing they are not discussing is a reduction in price.

So whether they want to give some sort of rebates, they are going to market, the market is going to force them to lower their prices, whether it's to increase financial aid or grants, or simply lowering their price.

But you're going to have kind of a high, low if you will. You are going to have the top tier universities, sort of the Tiffany, if you will, will be just fine, and the value oriented -- California State will be fine. It only charges $7,000 and $19,000 for in state and out of state tuition. And the I-Campus experience was never a big part of that experience in the low price point.

But all the guys in the middle, the JCPenneys and the Sears, if you will, who charge $55,000 for a nice leafy on campus liberal arts experience without a great brand, they probably go away.

BLITZER: What a change that will be.

All right, Scott Galloway, Professor, thank you so much for joining us. We'll continue this conversation with you down the road. Appreciate it very much.

Just ahead, states loosen stay-at-home orders. We're going to tell you how McDonald's is preparing to open dining rooms, and how they will drastically look different.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:51:29]

BLITZER: As states ease stay-at-home orders, dining at McDonald's will soon be vastly different. The fast food giant outlining its plan to serve customers safely inside its restaurants.

CNN's Brian Todd has the details.

Brian, what are you learning?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it's a bold move by McDonald's all the way around. Tonight, despite extensive new safety measures planned by McDonald's, health experts are concerned it's way too early and may carry way too much risk.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) TODD (voice-over): Tonight, McDonald's is planning to reopen its restaurants for people to dine in -- a bold step for America's oldest fast food icon. The McDonald's experience may never look the same again.

Some tables will be closed. A table will be sanitized after each customers use. The bathrooms cleaned every 30 minutes.

And you won't be able to tap your drink from those famous self-serve beverage fountains with the free refills, an employee will port for you. Experts say these days, even that simple tap and pour fountain is a risk.

PROF. ANNE RIMOIN, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, UCLA SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: You are stepping over people, you are topping talking in line, that's a problem. Also, any area where you are going to have multiple people touching something is problematic.

TODD: The McDonald's reopening playbook, a nearly 60-page document obtained by CNN, also says, employees have to wash their hands every hour. Touch screen pay kiosks have to be cleaned after each use. Other restaurants opening for dining in our taking additional creative measures, like the federal American Grill in Houston.

MATT BRICE, OWNER-OPERATOR, FEDERAL AMERICAN GRILL: Disposable men use, masks, gloves, we have different color linens on our tables. So if it has a black linen on it right now, that we're not seating it.

TODD: McDonald's internal guidelines first reported by "The Wall Street Journal", don't say that every McDonald's restaurant has to reopen for dining in services right away. Each franchise operator gets to make that call as they weigh the reopening guidelines of their local governments. But public health experts say, all restaurants in America are getting ready to throw open their doors have to think about even more stepped up measures, like what one expert says restaurants he went to in Hong Kong did recently, where servers gave how to instructions for customers.

GAVIN MACGREGOR-SKINNER, DIRECTOR OF TRAINING, GLOBAL BIORISK ADVISORY COUNCIL: Every time I went to a restaurant, they would take my temperature for me. When I sat down, they would explain, here is the knife, fork and spoon that is used to pick up the food, this is the separate knife fork and spoon that is going to be used to put the food in your mouth.

Even with all the safety measures McDonald's is taking, some health experts are not comfortable with reopenings at this stage of the pandemic.

RIMOIN: We know that current transition is spread through small droplets, and so it makes it very difficult to be bringing people into small, enclosed spaces, like a McDonald's restaurant, and to be able to say to people it's OK to eat, to take your mask off, top.

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST, NYU SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Who is going to enforce? This and how do you enforce that employees adhere to this, how do you make sure that they are indeed sanitizing surfaces, tabletops, bathrooms, as often as outlined in his plan?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: Then there is the matter of McDonald's employees having to enforce healthy behaviors on the part of customers. The new playbook instructs employees how to gently tell customers to distance and stay clean, but that can be dangerous. One woman in Oklahoma was arrested recently on suspicion of shooting a McDonald's employee when she was asked to leave a restaurant, because of coronavirus restrictions -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Brian. Thank you very much.

We'll have much more news right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:59:26]

BLITZER: Finally, tonight, we have more finally tonight we have more personal stories of Americans who have died from coronavirus.

Bill Mantell of New York was 68 years old. He ran a pharmacy for 31 years, with a community hit hard by the pandemic. He insisted on keeping it open for customers to get their medication. His wife and two daughters say he was selfless.

Varsenik Morse of Michigan was 93. "Vi" as she was known leaves behind nine children, 37 grandchildren and 51 great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild. She loved bowling and playing slots at the casino.

May they all rest in peace and may their memories be a blessing.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.