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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Trump Defends His Use Of Hydroxychloroquine, Calls Study Warning Of Risks "Phony" And An "Enemy Statement"; All States Partially Open Tomorrow; NYC Schools Going Online For Summer School; Growing Number Of Universities To End "Face-To-Face" Classes Before Thanksgiving Over Fears Of Second Wave; Mnuchin: No Workers Should Give Their Lives To Increase GDP. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 19, 2020 - 19:00   ET

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


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Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, President Trump doubles down on hydroxychloroquine, calling a study that shows its ineffective phony and an enemy statement. We're going to talk to a doctor who spoke to the White House about the drug. What did he tell them?

Plus, a new warning from doctors on the coronavirus-related illness in children, what parents should look for and why they need to seek attention immediately. And will parents send their kids to school this fall? Tonight, we're going to cover it from every age group. There is, perhaps, no more important question to many in this country tonight, the New York City Schools Chancellor and the President of Purdue University are my guests.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, enemy statement. This is what the President is calling a study of patients at VA medical centers which shows the anti-malaria drug he has been taking, hydroxychloroquine, has no benefit for coronavirus patients and those patients had a higher death rate when taking the drug.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you look at the one survey, the only bad survey they were giving it to people that were in very bad shape. They were very old. Almost that it was a Trump enemy statement.

That study was a phony study put out by the VA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: All right. Well, that study was, of course, funded in part by the Trump administration via the National Institutes of Health and the University of Virginia. Researchers found those who took it had a nearly 20 percent death rate. Patients who did not take the drug had a death rate of about 11 percent and the drug did not reduce the need for a ventilator.

Now, those are pretty damning results, but the President acting like it's an enemy study. Look, this was a study on veterans, Trump calls it phony. But it's not the only study which shows the drug is ineffective in treating COVID-19. There have been two other major studies published in two of the most prestigious medical journals in the world. The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association, both finding no evidence the drug works.

And, of course, there were smaller studies which show the same. And yet the President is still taking it. Tonight, Republican Senator Marco Rubio was asked about the President encouraging Americans to take the drug. And he told CNN and I quote, Senator Rubio, "I don't know how many people in America take medicines based on what a president or any political figure tells them."

Well, since the President started talking up the drug, the President of the American Pharmacists Association says there's been a spike in demand for the drug, resulting in a backorder for people who usually take it. For example, people with lupus who actually need it. We know that anecdotally and we know that from the Scripps data.

So why is Trump pushing the drug when study after study has shown it does not work to cure coronavirus?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'm just talking about it as a line of defense. I'm dealing with a lot of people. Look at all of the people in the room. I'm the president and I'm dealing with a lot of people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: He's dealing with a lot of people. I guess the translation is so he's taking the drug to prevent him from getting coronavirus in the first place from any of them. So I guess just to summarize here to be very clear, President Trump is saying he would rather take an unproven drug, which is proven to cause heart issues in some patients, a drug that could cause him harm.

He would rather do that than do what the CDC and his own task force are telling the rest of us to do as the first and most effective line of defense, which is wear a mask. And he's sending that message again loud and clear today. Refusing yet again to wear his mask or I guess he doesn't even have one, both in the capital when everyone else was wearing one and at his own cabinet meeting.

Now, there they're not wearing them, so then 1900 [00:03:42] in this, he appears to be relying still on those rapid tests that have a double digit fail rate to allow everyone to go mask free.

Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live outside the White House. Kaitlan, the President doubling, tripling down on his use of hydroxychloroquine today and then having that cabinet back him up.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We saw the President very defensive after there was an outpouring of warnings from medical experts when he revealed that he was actually taking hydroxychloroquine. But what was new today as you saw in that cabinet meeting that several of those officials were reinforcing the President's decision, including his Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar who said that he believe President Trump has the right to try president, of course, referencing that legislation that the President signed for drugs that are still being investigated.

Hydroxychloroquine is an approved drug. The President is just using it for a different use than what it's been approved for malaria, lupus, things of that nature. And so not just the Health and Human Services Secretary though, Erin, it was also the Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie distancing themselves from that study saying that it wasn't a VA study.

Though, of course, as you noted, it was done on Veterans Affairs' patients and after reviewing their medical charts, he was noting that it was not peer reviewed or published in a medical journal, which is correct. But they did not note the fact that the Trump administration, in part, funded that study, Erin.

[19:05:02]

It was done by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Virginia, both, and they put out those results in April. Though, of course, now the President is directly disputing them.

But one thing they didn't talk about was the FDA's own warning about using this when it comes to coronavirus. That was something that was published just in April and they were saying there today nothing about this, but instead focusing on this VA study that the President said he believed was phony and, of course, he said put out by someone who is not a friend of the Trump administration.

BURNETT: Right. And using the word enemy. Kaitlan, thank you very much.

And I want to go now to Dr. David Boulware. He is the Principal Investigator in a study on hydroxychloroquine at the University of Minnesota. And I know, Doctor, there hasn't been much research done on using hydroxychloroquine, basically, to prevent someone from getting coronavirus.

So if you're exposed to it and they want to make sure you don't get it, taking hydroxychloroquine in that capacity which is what the President appears to be doing. He said he started taking it about 10 days ago, which is around the time when his personal valet tested positive.

You are researching the drugs use in that capacity. I know the White House did reach out to you to ask for your advice, what happened?

DR. DAVID BOULWARE, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES AND INTERNATIONAL MEDICINE: Well, I think that the issue of does hydroxychloroquine can be used as a preventive therapy is really unknown. And so that's why we're doing the clinical trials to try to answer that question. And so at this stage, it might work, it might not work and so we really don't know.

And so the recommendation really for the general public is that this is not a medicine that should be used outside of a clinical trial or if you're hospitalized where you can be monitored closely. And that's really what the FDA has said before.

BURNETT: Right. So, obviously, the President is not in a clinical trial, he does have access to the kind of round-the-clock medical care that other Americans would not. Is that your understanding was that it was - he made it clear, he asked his doctors he wanted to take it, I presume, then they reached out to you to try to get the best information that they could. But is that your understanding that they thought they could monitor him?

BOULWARE: Yes. So I think that when you look at what's the actual danger of this medicine and so it's certainly a medicine that's been used for decades and decades and people who do not have pre existing heart rhythm problems, it's a fairly safe medicine. And so that when I was asked about this, I did share the types of adverse events and side effects that we saw in our clinical trials. And so overall, we've enrolled almost 3,000 volunteers in our clinical trials over the last two months.

And yes, there are side effects with the medicine, but the vast majority of those are pretty mild, upset stomach, and nausea and diarrhea and sort of mild side effects overall. And so in the 3,000 patients that we've enrolled, we have not seen any serious side effects that have resulted in hospitalization or these cardiac arrhythmias that people are so concerned about.

BURNETT: Right. Now, obviously, the President you can check whether he has a cardiac arrhythmia, for regular people, much harder to do. I mean, obviously, you're making it clear, you would not tell anyone else to do what he's doing, even though it may be OK that he's doing what he's doing. Am I summarizing it correctly?

BOULWARE: Yes. I think that there's no data that this helps and so there certainly are side effects to the medication. And so that's really why we want to do research studies and so if people want to help with this, that there are a number of research studies around the country, our research study is enrolling high risk healthcare workers or first responders, so police, fire paramedics and they can go to our website at covidprep.umin.edu (ph) if they want to participate and really help answer this question, so we know (inaudible) ...

BURNETT: And when are you going to know? Dr. Boulware, when will you know if it works?

BOULWARE: Yes. So we have some trials that are wrapping up and hopefully we'll have some results on sort of post exposure prophylaxis, like President Trump's situation. I really hope to release these in the next week or so. We're completing our final analysis right now.

And then the pre-exposure for prevention ahead of time, that's an ongoing study and the more participants we can get, the faster we'll get results. But hopefully in the next one to two months.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much and thank you for making that distinction. Obviously, pre-exposure preventative versus post-exposure preventative obviously could be significant. Thank you again.

And I want to go now to Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who advised the White House medical team under President George W. Bush, currently Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at George Washington University Hospital and Dana Bash, of course, our Chief Political Correspondent.

So Dr. Reiner, the President stands by his use of hydroxychloroquine today. You heard him say, "If you look at the one survey, the only bad survey they were giving it to people that were in very bad shape. They were very old, almost dead. It was a Trump enemy statement."

Now, of course, the people studied in that survey were the age of Trump. They're between 70 and 75, he's 74 in a couple of weeks. So is anything that he's saying in there true and a reason to ignore not just that study but the other studies which raise questions?

[19:10:08]

JONATHAN REINER, DIRECTOR OF CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION LABORATORY AT THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Well, what I thought the President said was incredibly dangerous. He called a clinical study phony and he then essentially called the clinical trial participants, the investigators, he called the investigators not friends of Trump, not supporters of Trump.

So a clinical trial that delivered an adverse result, science that delivered an adverse result, the President painted with a political brush and completely discredited the integrity of the people conducting the science, incredibly dangerous. What if he doesn't like the result of a vaccine trial? What if another country comes up with a vaccine first, is he going to doubt the credibility of the science?

Incredibly insulting to the clinical trials who did this. This was a VA study. Outrageous. And it's not the only study with bad results. There's a much larger study, very similar design out of Columbia that showed exactly the same thing, no benefit for the drug.

But I want to say one other thing, your last guest told us something quite disturbing, which is the White House reached out to that investigator and it seems like they shared safety data prior to publication with the White House. That's very interesting. Why isn't the public privy to that?

If the drug is either safe or effective or if it's not safe or effective, that should be shared with the public at large, not with a single patient. BURNETT: So, Dana, the President was on Capitol Hill today for lunch

with Republican senators and I referenced this but, again, he's obviously choosing to take this drug as opposed to wearing a mask. He's not wearing one and others in his inner circle we're not either; Mark Meadows, Kayleigh McEnany, Jared Kushner, his team from the White House.

And then at the cabinet meeting, no masks, and I guess presumably he's relying on that test, that Abbott Lab test that could have a failure rate of up to 15 percent, even though now two people, including the one that he appears to be taking hydroxychloroquine because of his exposure to his valet, obviously, we're taking that test and eventually were positive.

So, is this just now or just a political thing? He's just not going to do it.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's the real answer. Yes, it is political. If he were following the science, then he would do a lot of different things than he is doing now. First on the question you asked about the mask, he would be wearing the mask just to be cautious as the Republican leadership were who were standing behind him on the Hill.

Those who work for him who were appointed by him in the cabinet, whether they were told to or not, I don't think is the case, but they're also not new here in the Trump world and they understand that if the President doesn't wear a mask, there's no way they're going to sit in his cabinet room and wear a mask.

One thing I want to say because Dr. Reiner, obviously, brought the medical reason for what the President said today about these studies being so dangerous, because it just has a cooling effect on the real medicine that people should be listening to and the doctors, the medical advice. One thing that I understand is that you remember, a couple of weeks ago when the President was making that suggestion in one of his last press conferences, the task force press conferences about potentially injecting some kind of Clorox or something along those lines.

BURNETT: Bleach, yes.

BASH: Bleach. His poll numbers internally went down and the reason for that is because people don't like him playing doctor. They like him playing president or businessman or the things that they know him as. And the statement that he made today might be in that dangerous territory and so he might be trying to help himself politically, Erin, but he actually could be hurting himself based on what I'm hearing that they're seeing internally.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

And next, we've all know this at this point, testing is the key to reopening, to preventing a second surge. So should the United States pay people to get tested? There's an idea. Plus, the nation's largest school system revealing new details about

what classes are going to look like in the coming months. Can New York City start school in the fall? Can New York City afford not to? The City School Chancellor is OUTFRONT.

And lawmakers press the Treasury Secretary on why the administration is so eager to reopen the economy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): How many workers should give their lives to increase the GDP or the Dow Jones a thousand points?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:18:36]

BURNETT: All 50 states will be partially reopen tomorrow as Connecticut becomes the final state to lift restrictions. But this comes as at least 17 states still show clear upward trends in new daily cases. Nick Watt is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): Sunset tonight, they'll raise those flags from half staff sunrise tomorrow, Connecticut becomes the final state to start. Restaurants will reopen, but outdoor only.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. NED LAMONT (D) CONNECTICUT: We'll see whether people feel comfortable going back to restaurants.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT(voice over): Indoor office space will also open and in-person retail but many restrictions remain.

LAMONT: We're taking baby steps.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT(voice over): Another big chunk in New York State reopen today but unlike years past, no big Memorial Day parades this weekend, gatherings limited to just 10.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) NEW YORK: Vehicle parades, I think, are appropriate and should be encouraged.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WATT(voice over): This by the way a packed graduation ceremony in

Oklahoma. The assistant principal says people did wear masks. I can't see many or any.

Other signs were still far from fine. The border with Canada will stay closed at least another month to all but essential travel, apparently, for their safety.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: We know that we need to do more to ensure that travelers who are coming back from overseas or from the United States as Canadians are properly followed up on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[19:20:07]

WATT(voice over): Hawaii also extended that mandatory two-week quarantine for all visitors now through the end of June. More colleges are reconfiguring the academic year to start but then stop in-person classes again around Thanksgiving for fear of a COVID resurgence in the fall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN HEMPHILL, PRESIDENT, RADFORD UNIVERSITY: This is going to be something that I think will change higher education. It will change the landscape of higher education.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT(voice over): And more proof that COVID-19 is not, in fact, a great leveler. New York City released zip code data that shows black and Latino New Yorkers dying around twice the rate of their white counterparts when adjusted for age.

Signs of hope, some NFL training facilities reopened today. Southwest just reported an uptick in ticket sales and this in Arkansas, a concert, temperature checks on the way in and so called fan pots (ph), no mosh pit.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WATT: And here in Los Angeles County, home to 10 million people, the county supervisor has now set July 4th Independence Day as the goal by which she wants most business reopened. We're talking shopping malls and dine in restaurants. But it's reassuring to get a date to see a light at the end of the tunnel, Erin, but also, it's more than six weeks away.

BURNETT: Yes. And for everyone at this point it's hard to imagine. Thank you very much, Nick.

And OUTFRONT now, Dr. Ashish Jha, the Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. So Dr. Jha, the context for this discussion about reopening is are we going to have a second surge or not. In Texas today cases up again, it saw its biggest single day jump on Saturday. Now, the Dallas mayor says that this is mostly about reopening businesses, people coming back out.

But the Texas Governor says it's due to an increase in testing, so the more you get test, the more you see. Who do you think is right? Are we seeing an increase because things are opening or not?

DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: Yes. So, Erin, thanks for having me on. What I would say is Georgia has not seen a big surge. They've actually been pretty flat or down. Texas has been up. And in both instances, I would say it's pretty early, pretty soon to tell, it will take several weeks. And of course, we're not opening up and going back to the old days, so people are still being cautious.

Now, some of those photos or videos you showed in the last report did make me really anxious about people, packing together at that graduation, for instance. But I think if people practice social distancing, maybe with warm weather, we can get bailed out and not have big increases. But we'll know a lot more in the next couple of weeks.

BURNETT: And obviously, then the colder weather comes as, we'll be talking in a few moments about the schools which are already preparing for closures, when that happens, you just mentioned social distancing. A new computer model today shows that a light breeze could carry some droplets from a cough as far as 18 feet. So nine-mile an hour winds, very light normal day, 18 feet in less than two seconds.

The droplets According to the study only stayed within six feet when there was absolutely no wind at all or zero. So does this raise any questions about social distancing?

JHA: Yes. So, look, most of the transmissions don't happen under a casual you're walking by somebody and you get infected. Most of it is much more sustained exposure in indoors or out and this is another reason why we should ...

BURNETT: Right. You need more virus, more conversation or ...

JHA: Yes. It requires conversation and this is why I think universal masking is so important. People should be wearing masks. And if you're wearing a mask and you're staying six feet apart, you're going to be pretty safe, it's theoretical risk that someone coughs in a wind happens and - yes, but it's unlikely and so I think if we stick to the six feet rule for now, unless we get much better evidence that that really is a problem.

And if we're all wearing masks, I think it's pretty safe to get out and talk to people.

BURNETT: And quickly before we go, Washington Post survey, we just talked about this in a moment, you got a lot of people where you have a lot more tests now than people who actually are lining up to take them. I can't believe we're at this point, but now that's what happened. People actually aren't bothering to get the test.

Professor Michael Greenstone suggested in The Washington Post op-ed, people should be paid to be tested. Is that what it's come to?

JHA: No. So the way I look at this, I mean, maybe we will need to do that, but the way I look at this, for months we've been telling people don't bother getting a test if you have mild symptoms, don't get a test, you're not going to - there are no tests available.

Well, we finally have made progress and what I think we need to do is start encouraging people to get tested even if with mild symptoms, not just for their sake, but for the sake of their contacts, so we can identify who else has been infected. So I do think it's important.

BURNETT: All right. Dr. Jha, thanks very much. I appreciate it.

JHA: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next from kindergarten to college, schools are struggling to decide how and when to reopen. I'm going to speak to the Chancellor of New York City. The largest system in the country and the President of Purdue University.

[19:25:03]

Plus, the Treasury Secretary warns of permanent economic damage if the shutdown continues. The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston weighs in OUTFRONT tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:29:07]

BURNETT: New tonight, summer school for nearly 170,000 students in New York City will be held online. New York is the largest school system in the United States. It's a bellwether and it could change what schools across the country do.

And this comes as more colleges and universities make it clear that at least another semester could go by with students missing in person classes, fundamentally changing the education they get and impacting their lives too.

We are covering this from all angles. OUTFRONT now the New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, who oversees more than 1.1 million students and Mitch Daniels, the President of Purdue University, which is home to nearly 45,000 students. Also, the former Republican Governor of Indiana.

I'm going to speak to you Governor Daniels in just a moment.

Chancellor Carranza, I want to start with you, though. There's a report in the in the local paper, the New York Post that says just a few weeks ago you told city principals there was only a 50/50 chance that schools would even be open in September.

[19:30:02]

Where would you put that number tonight, Chancellor?

RICHARD CARRANZA, CHANCELLOR, NEW YORK CITY DEPT. OF EDUCATION: I would say that we're probably, we want to be optimistic, but we've got to be realistic and just a few weeks ago, we weren't even talking about the multisystem inflammatory disease in children, MISC.

So this virus is promulgating and iterating in ways that even our scientists don't know, so we have to be just realistic about preparing for the unknown, while at the same time, being optimistic that we'll be back in in-person learning in the fall. So the -- I'm not a handicapper, but I would say we need to be prepared for all eventualities.

BURNETT: So, you know, a new study published in the journal health affairs and I understand you raised the issue of the inflammatory syndrome, but it found that while closing restaurants had a noticeable impact on slowing the spread of coronavirus, closing schools had very little impact. When you take this data into account and certainly something that could be very scary, but is incredibly rare, when that multi -- that inflammatory syndrome, does that lean you towards reopening the schools?

CARRANZA: Well, I think look, there's nothing more precious than someone's child. So we take that trust very sacredly and there are no more closer quarters and tie social distancing if you will than schools. Kids interact. Kids like to be together.

And you put -- you add into that mix adults and we know now that there are asymptomatic carriers of the virus, so we need to be able to account for all of those variables so that parents feel safe and secure that their children are going to be in an environment where they're not going to get sick. But also, that adults are in an environment where they know they're not going to be exposed to asymptomatic carriers as well. All of these are the variables that we're looking at.

BURNETT: So, you know, we've heard about the COVID slide, right? There was -- looking at data from over 5 million kids in grades three through eight. The Northwest Evaluation Association said extended school closures of which we are in one could mean students only retain a one example half of what they learned in math. Never mind everything they should have learned post when school got out.

I mean, this is terrifying, Chancellor, and it could mean that kids fall behind forever. Do you believe in online learning could make up for this?

CARRANZA: You just articulated what keeps me up every night. How -- is this promulgating the opportunity and achievement gap? Are kids are falling further and further behind? I will tell you that, in New York City, we've taken this head on.

We've now shipped over 290,000 Wi-Fi enabled devices to our students. We have singlehandedly in a matter of two months bridged the technological divide in New York City, but we understand that a teacher, a well-trained teacher in the classroom and students can never be replaced by anything else.

BURNETT: Right.

CARRANZA: So our goal is how do we continue to build our capacity to meet the needs of our students while at the same time, make sure that we're being safe for all of our students and staff at the same time.

BURNETT: So I guess I'm just trying to understand how hard you're pushing to open schools. I mean, you've made fighting for disadvantaged children, you know, part of the core of your chancellorship. You said we have to create a school system that is equitable and excellent.

A recent study by Education Week found that teachers in the highest poverty school districts right now say a third of their students, almost a third of their students haven't even logged on once to online learning, three times higher than in the wealthiest districts. So, you see what's happening now is maybe everyone's falling behind. But the poorest kids are falling behind by far the most.

What's a bigger risk for them?

CARRANZA: So --

BURNETT: Getting coronavirus, dying from coronavirus or falling behind forever in life because they can't go to school?

CARRANZA: Well, we can catch kids up. We can accelerate, we can help kids get back to the levels of education that we want for them, but if they die, we can't help them. So, safe -- safety and security is by far the number one driver of when we will open our doors to interface learning.

But I will tell you, in New York City, we have, we did a student survey. We also have metrics to gauge who's logging on, who's turning in assignments. We have an engagement rate in New York City of about 85 percent. So those other students that are not, weather got people following up and finding where they are.

So again, we want to make sure that when we come back in-person learning, it's a safe and secure environment for adults and children, everybody involved. At the same time, we're building our capacity to be able to teach in ways and individualize instruction in ways that heretofore we've never been able to do, and I give a lot of credit to our students and our teachers and our principals, but especially our parents who have been thrust into a role where they're doing multiple things now.

[19:35:00]

So I think this is just a tremendous effort from the entire community and we want to continue to be able to support that.

BURNETT: Chancellor Carranza, thank you very much. I appreciate your time tonight.

CARRANZA: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, our special look at education continues. I'm going to speak to the president of Purdue University. He's ready to return in the fall. But what does he say to some members of his faculty who say no?

Plus, the treasury secretary pressed on the administration's push to send Americans back to work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): How many workers should give their lives to increase the GDP or Dow Jones by 1,000 points?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Tonight, more colleges around the country planning to open for the fall semester, but ending in-person classes by Thanksgiving, including at Purdue University, which is nearly 45,000 students.

OUTFRONT now, Mitch Daniels, the president of Purdue and former governor of Indiana.

So, Governor, thank you for your time tonight. So what made you decide this is the right thing to do. You'll open for the fall and I want to make sure -- just because we were talking with New York City school's chancellor was talking about online learning.

When you say open, you mean people coming in, in class, in person until Thanksgiving, right?

[19:40:02]

MITCH DANIELS, PRESIDENT, PURDUE UNIVERSITY: We do. Maybe not to the same extent as before, not in the same numbers, the same kind of classrooms, very, very different in many ways, but yes, we believe the on-campus, in person tutelage and mentoring that our faculty can provide as an indispensable of a real higher education and Erin, so do our students.

I want to mention that I want to specify we would not have made this decision in February or March. We've learned a lot since then and two important things we've learned is first of all, there's almost zero lethal threat to young people from this virus. They are literally, statistically, provably at greater risk from car wrecks, accidents, cancer, even it appears pneumonia, than this particular virus.

The second thing we've learned is that our students overwhelmingly want to be here. Our institution only exists for the benefit of students. Not as an institution per se, and not for the adults working in it. So, our job is to find way to help those students make progress just like the younger people you just talked to chancellor about and we think we can do that by concentrating relentlessly on the protection of the vulnerable, our faculty and staff.

BURNETT: So when you say ending in person classes by Thanksgiving, I believe right that's because of the expectation that as things get colder, you could see cases surge again. Is that set in stone or would you be able to change that? I mean, basically, what's the date at which you could say we don't need that Thanksgiving closure. We're going to have a normal year or has that point already passed?

DANIELS: I think that point has passed. Now I will say that just as things have changed dramatically in the last several week, they could change again. We don't know. We'll try to stay light on our feet for that reason.

But let me just give you a slightly different view. We changed our calendar and I notice other schools now beginning to do the same. Not so much because of what we expect the flu season to look like, but because we want to minimize coming and going. It's one of literally scores of changes we will make to make our campus particularly for those who are now provably vulnerable to this terrible disease.

We want -- we want the Labor Day break and conventional fall break to come and let people leave and then come back. So, that -- it's more about that and the flu season.

BURNETT: So, a local Indiana paper was taking -- you know, you're talking about students wanting to come back. I know in so many institutes of higher learning, that's true, right? They only get one shot at this. They get four year, they're at a place where they're supposed to go. That's part of the experience they've chosen, they want to do it.

Faculty though not -- maybe more mixed feelings. So this paper found that while many want to go back, there is apprehension. They quoted one professor saying, I don't want to think about face-to-face teaching. The hordes of students I usually teach until there is a vaccine. Obviously, that -- that would put next year completely out of the picture.

You know, what do you say to save some of your faculty who feel that way?

DANIELS: Well, we have over 2,000 and we celebrate adversity of opinion on our campus, so we have every stripe of opinion. I'd just say that that's a very tiny minority view and, frankly, not from the most scientifically credible corner of our very STEM-based campus.

So, you know, no one is compelled to work or teach at Purdue, but let's give that person the benefit of the doubt. On the day that statement was made may not have been that plain to her that everything we're about to do, changes in physical facilities, de-densifying of campus. A third of our staff will now work permanently off site. Absolutely stipulating minimal distance between her and her classroom and the nearest student. Much more teaching online, and many other changes.

She'd probably be teaching from behind a Plexiglass screen to a room full of students wearing masks mandatorily.

So, let's give the benefit of the doubt. I think that very human fear that one person expressed is one that we sympathize with and we'll -- we're doing everything we know how to to address.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it, Governor.

And OUTFRONT next, he helped guide this nation through the last recession so how does today's depression compare to 2008? The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is my guest.

Plus, an exclusive new look at the complicated life and the many conflicting statements surrounding the woman accusing Joe Biden of assault.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:48:03]

BURNETT: Tonight, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin insisting people shouldn't have to put their lives at risk in order to grow the economy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Pushing people back into the workplace. There's been no national program to provide worker safety. The president says reopen slaughter houses, nothing about slowing the line down, nothing about getting protective equipment. It's -- it's how many workers should give their lives to increase the GDP or the Dow Jones by 1,000 points?

STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: No worker should give their lives to do that, Mr. Senator, and I think your characterization is unfair.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

He's joining me on the phone. We had a bit of a technical difficulty and I know you tried hard to get through on video.

But as it is, the Fed chairman says the economy will recover. But says this could stretch through 2021, which is more optimistic than a lot of other people would say. So, where are you? I mean, I know we're going to, at least expectation is there's going to be an economic improvement, but we are now at such a nadir that that improvement is still going to leave us in a big hole, isn't it?

ERIC ROSENGREN, PRESIDENT, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF BOSTON (via telephone): That's right, Erin. I expect the unemployment rate by the end of June to be around 20 percent and by the end of the year, I would expect it to still be in double digit. So while we're going to see growth, you have to think about the unemployment in two ways. One, there's the unemployment because of the shutdown. Then there's the unemployment that occurs because businesses don't have enough demand and that businesses are shutting down.

So that combination is what we have right now. So, we're going businesses open up but we still need consumers to be confident enough that they're willing to go into retail shops, that they're willing to go to restaurants and they're willing go on the plane.

But we need to do a lot more to be able to open businesses. We need make those businesses a comfortable place for consumers to go.

[19:50:01]

BURNETT: And how do we do that? You've said easing shutdown restrictions aren't a panacea for economic challenges, you know, which, of course, we've seen even in states which have reopened, right, people aren't rushing out and they're not full reopenings, nor should they be scientifically, but I guess -- nor is there a panacea.

But what gets people out enough so that people can spend money and, therefore, people can be employed, and you can start some sort of a cycle that begins a real recovery?

ROSENGREN: For a complete recovery, we need the end of community spread. We need to get to a situation where somebody who is over 50 feels comfortable going into a store or a restaurant. That's going to require the infection rate to get lower than it currently is.

So, one option would be that we are able through public health means to get the infection rate down. The other options involve getting health improvements either through new drugs or through a vaccine.

BURNETT: And a vaccine obviously, you know, we guess would be at best a year away for everybody to get it. I'm probably very optimistic with that.

You're currently, President Rosengren, the largest currency Fed maker. You took office in July of 2007. I remember July of 2007. That was the month where the entire world changed for the financial crisis.

How does this crisis compare to that one?

ROSENGREN: This is a very different crisis in that it's a public health crisis. It's not a financial crisis. So, fortunately, our banks came in with a lot more capital.

But I would say just because it's a public health crisis doesn't mean that it's not a very severe problem. So having unemployment rates go as high as they have and having an unemployment rate that may be in double digits at the end of the year, double digits is the highest point we got during the height of the financial crisis. So we do need to be very concerned that what we hope is going to be temporary unemployment actually becomes a more permanent problem.

And one of the issues is that retail and restaurants are areas that hire an awful lot of employees, roughly 20 percent of the labor market is composed of those two industries. So until you're comfortable getting back to those kind of organizations, we can't have a full recovery.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Sobering, but I know very realistic. Eric Rosengren, thank you, from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

And next, Tara Reade has accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, but we have uncovered some new details which add some important new wrinkles to a very muddy picture.

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[19:55:16]

BURNETT: Tonight, new details related to Tara Reade. She, of course, is accusing Joe Biden of sexual assault, and it is complicating what is frankly a really muddy picture.

M.J. Lee is OUTFRONT with the previously unreported count from Reade's former coworker about why she may have left Biden's office in the 1990s.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

M.J. LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tara Reade made a bombshell allegation earlier this year. She said then Senator Joe Biden sexually assaulted her while she was working in his office in 1993.

TARA READE, FORMER SENATE STAFFER FOR BIDEN: You and I were there, Joe Biden. Please step forward and be held accountable.

LEE: It's an allegation Biden has vehemently denied.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm saying unequivocally, it never, never happened. It's simple. What are the facts? Do any of the things she said, do they add up?

LEE: And since Reade went public, varying accounts have emerged from Reade herself and former colleagues, friends, and acquaintances, painting a complicated and is sometimes inconsistent picture of Reade's experience of working for Biden.

READE: My end game is that basically telling my story in a dignified way, not be torn apart. And it's being able to move on with my life and heal.

LEE: Tonight a new account from Ben Savage, Reade's former colleague in Senate office from 1993 about the circumstances surrounding Reade's departure from Biden's office. He said the two words closely and he saw her at times overwhelmed by her job. While Reade now says she was fired after complaining about alleged sexual harassment, Savage says Reade told him at the time she believed she was being terminated for a medical issue.

Reade's attorney Doug Wigdor taking issue with Savage's claim that Reade was fired for performance issues. Wigdor also telling CNN Reade did have health issues, saying, yes, she was being sexually harassed and retaliated against and ultimately sexually assaulted. She did miss days of work because of all of this.

And a muddled picture of why Reade ultimately left Washington, D.C., in a now deleted Medium post, Reade wrote she resigned to pursue acting and writing. In another deleted post, she said she was returning to the Midwest so her then boyfriend could manage a congressman's campaign.

Reade telling CNN, she wrote a stupid blog post at a time she wasn't ready to talk about Biden.

In recent years, Reade has at times praised Biden on social media and acquaintances. Reade telling CNN she has been conflicted about her feelings towards Biden, saying many things are true at once.

READE: I didn't want to talk badly about him and I wasn't ready to tell my history with Joe Biden at that point at all.

LEE: Victims of sexual violence do not always tell consistent stories about their abusers and experiences. Sometimes they have even praised the individual that they later accuse of assault as Reade has of Biden. A complicating factor in Reade's life, a name change to Alexandra McCabe after she left what she said was an abusive marriage.

Some parts of Reade's life after that remain hazy. Reade told CNN that she received a bachelor of arts degree from Antioch University in Seattle under what she called a protected program to help protect her identity. She also said she was a visiting professor at the school.

But Karen Hamilton, an Antioch University spokesperson, telling CNN Alexandra McCabe attended but did not graduate from Antioch University. She was never a faculty member. She did provide several hours of administrative work. A school official also telling CNN that such a protected program does not exist and never has.

Reade graduated from Seattle University law school in 2004, gaining admission through its alternative admission program.

Reade's description of Biden's alleged misconduct changed since she first came forward last year. Initially she said Biden made her feel uncomfortable, touching her arm and her hair. This year she said the story she didn't share is that she was also sexually assaulted by Biden in a hallway in Capitol Hill in 1993.

CNN spoke to ten former Biden Senate staffers who worked for him in the '90s. None of them were aware of any issues of sexual harassment or assault involving their former boss, but others close to Reade have also corroborated parts of her story, including a former neighbor and Reade's brother.

According to 1996 court records, her ex-husband said Reade related a problem she was having at work regarding sexual harassment and U.S. Senator Joe Biden's office on multiple occasions. The document does not, however, state who perpetrated the alleged harassment or mention sexual assault. (END VIDEOTAPE)

LEE: Now, Erin, what makes reporting on the story so complicated is that we're talking about a period of time some 30 years ago and Tara Reade told CNN that she vaguely remembered Ben Savage, this ex- colleague, even though he told us their two desks were next to each other and the two of them worked very closely together -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. M.J., thank you very much.

And thanks to all of you for joining us. Anderson Cooper starts now.