Return to Transcripts main page


Oxford Scientists Say Vaccine Trial Has 50 Percent Chance of Success; U.S. Plans Massive Vaccine Testing to Meet End of Year Goal; Photographers Organize Honor Guard for Families Amid Outbreak; NBA And Disney in Talks to Resume Season in Late July; The Milkman Makes a Comeback. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired May 25, 2020 - 15:30   ET



DR. LARRY COREY, PROFESSOR, VACCINE AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE DIVISION, FRED HUTCHINSON CANCER RESEARCH CENTER: Well, it is challenging to design trials with a virus that's sort of moving in time and space.

However, we do feel we've fought through that and have a reasonable strategy. We have a country that has been affected by COVID in many different areas yet we contract the virus. We can set up our vaccination sites in areas where the even virus is just entering, we have predictive algorithms that suggest where the virus even might be, sort of the Wayne Gretzky approach of go where the puck will be.

And we think we do have a strategy, our trials are also bigger, capture a greater geographic diversity of our country as versus Great Britain. Larger numbers of people. We know that density is the fuel of the virus and we know where density may occur that we could anticipate the virus entering.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: OK, I think I'm liking the sound of these odds and, you know, chasing after the puck. I mean if you're attempting to basically to take months to complete a process that having spoken to a number of doctors over the last couple of weeks, you know, it takes up to ten years normally to do this kind of thing. How are your efforts going and how confident are you on this timeline, maybe end of the year, beginning of next?

COREY: Well, we're very optimistic. After all, we have incredible cooperation from the pharmaceutical industry, from academia, from our funders from the National Institute of Health, from all the academic scientists and most of all what gives me confidence is the cooperation of the American people. We know with their cooperation we can get entry into these trials, we feel we have a great strategy to do these trials.

I think the most important thing for all of us to know is that we need to know if these vaccines work. We want multiple vaccines to work. We need to know their safety and that is our mission and we are laser focused on that mission. BALDWIN: All right. So, everyone listening to you loves the idea of

speed and that, you know, you have multiple sort of, you know, irons in the fire so to speak. But can you allay the fears of people who are listening who might be worried that if you're doing this so quickly that it might jeopardize safety. What would you say to those people?

COREY: Quickly does not mean one iota difference in the normal safety routines. All of the vaccines go from a small to a large. If from a small -- what we call phase one step to a larger, what we a phase two study. And then we move into an efficacy-based study.

But most importantly, these studies are overviewed by an independent senior group of scientists who monitor the trial for safety as well as any hints and or evidence of efficacy. And they are the ones who are independently looking at this. They are the ones entrusted to make sure that the trial is conducted at the highest standards and that we are going through and making sure there are absolutely no shortcuts when it comes to the safety as it relates to evaluating these vaccines.

BALDWIN: Dr. Cory, last quick question, this is my crystal ball question, right. When do you hope to have something ready?

COREY: We're designing the trials relatively large, like 30,000 persons per trial and they're designed to give us hopefully an answer within six months. Now that depends on how effective the vaccine is, how efficient we are in our trials. So, I'm still optimistic by the first of the year, February of 2021, we will have answers for us.

BALDWIN: OK, Dr. Larry Corey, thank you very much, nice to have you on.

Still ahead here on CNN, honoring the fallen amid a pandemic. How a pair of photographers is making sure military heroes get the honor guard they deserve.

And the NBA is in talks to restart the season as early as July. How would it work? Let's talk about it with NBA legend Isiah Thomas.



BALDWIN: Today on this Memorial Day we, of course, honor the lives and sacrifices of our military and our veterans. But in this age of social distancing, because of coronavirus, some of those who fought so bravely for our freedom are not receiving their final honors as they are laid to rest.

And it's that sentiment that led this group of veterans -- look at this. In North Carolina to post a video online offering a final honor guard to all of those veterans unable to have the ceremony performed in person complete with the playing of taps and this 21-gun salute.

And joining me, these two awesome guys behind this whole idea and video. Rob Luffman, Jon Brookes. Gentlemen, nice to meet you two. And just thank you so much. Happy Memorial Day to both of you. And Rob, it's my understanding you two normally shoot like landscape photos and wildlife. So, tell me what or who inspired you to do this?

ROB LUFFMAN, MADE VIDEO OF HONOR GUARD AT VETERAN'S FUNERAL: One of our friends on Facebook had her father pass away and she was trying to find somebody to play Taps at his funeral. And that was the first time it occurred to me this was an issue. So, we started calling around and putting things together, finding a VFW group that would do it. We found members from two and they got together, did the film for us.


Daryl knows about the video. She's happy with it. She showed her mom. It's better live and in person but this is all we can do. If we knew this was an issue months ago, we would have done this a lot sooner. But I never knew, never thought about it, never occurred to me. When my father passed away in 2005, we had his rights by the graveside, the flag they pulled it over his casket. You know, the people need this right now for the closure.

BALDWIN: Of course, of course they do. And you're helping them provide it in this time of, you know, social distancing and everyone trying to be safe. Jon, Rob mentioned the veteran's groups that you all worked with in North Carolina. Like what was it like organizing this project and how do you get these folks together?

JON BROOKS, MADE VIDEO OF HONOR GUARD AT VETERAN'S FUNERAL: Well, Rob put it altogether and he called me up and wanted to know if I want to be part of it. And I said absolutely because I love the veterans and I'm all about supporting the veterans and I just thought it was a shame that they weren't getting their rights like they normally do. So, we got all of the VFW and they formed an honor guard, two VFW groups and it was just an honor to do it.

BALDWIN: And Rob, I have to imagine, I watched YouTube video early this morning and already thousands of people had watched it. You must be getting, you know, feedback from folks you don't even know. Tell me a story or two.

LUFFMAN: Facebook messages have been coming in. People thanking us for doing the video. And then it falls in line with the reasons why we made it. They had family members pass away during this time and didn't get the honors at the grave site like they should have. And that's really nice that's why we did this. It's for those people. So, they could have it.

Arlis from the VFW was kind of questioning things, wanting to know who to present the flag to and I said well we're going to present to everybody right now so we got the table idea to drape the flag and then present the flag back to the table for everybody that needs it right now.

BALDWIN: It's a beautiful thing what the two of you have done. And just lastly just on more of a personal note, Rob, you know, I know you're a truck driver and because of all of this you're not able to work. And Jon, bless you, you're a stay-at-home dad, just to both of you, how are you guys hanging in?


LUFFMAN: Really Good.

BROOKS: Yes, I mean, my life hasn't really changed a lot. But Rob is an essential worker, so his hadn't changed a lot either. He's still doing the road.

BALDWIN: Oh, you are able to work, Rob. I was told you weren't. So, you are able to hit the road?

LUFFMAN: I've been working. But it's not -- it's not busy. You work enough to make the ends meet and see what the next week has.

BALDWIN: I understand. Take each week as it comes. Jon Brooks, Rob Luffman, gentlemen, thank you very much.

And for all of you watching, you can go to YouTube, I'll tweet it out at Brooke CNN, I'll tweet it out and you can watch the ceremony there for yourself.

Coming up the plan to restart the NBA season in July. We'll talk about what could that look like with the legend Isiah Thomas, and how coronavirus is sparking the return of the milk man. We'll be right back.



BALDWIN: Right now, about NBA fans from coast to coast would usually be gearing up for the NBA finals. That is until the season was suspended in mid-March, of course, because of coronavirus. But today we learn the fans could be reliving those hoop dreams very soon.

The league announcing it is in talks with Disney about using a facility near Orlando owned by NBA broadcasting partner ESPN for games and more in late July. So, with me now on the phone NBA Hall Of Famer Isiah Thomas. And Isiah Thomas, hello, friend, I hope you are well.

ISIAH THOMAS, NBA HALL OF FAMER (via phone): I am well, how are you?

BALDWIN: I'm wonderful. I'm wonderful considering everything else and happy Memorial Day to you. But let's talk hoops. Because, you know, you've been on both sides of the court during your career, you're the President of the NBA Players Association. After you retired you became the founding partner and the executive VP of the Toronto Raptors. Thinking about this happening in July what would your biggest concerns be, just about restarting the season as both a player, Isiah, and an executive?

THOMAS: As a player, I would definitely be concerned about my health and also my family's health. Those are the things that you would be most concerned about right now, because of the virus is the virus. And from all accounts the virus is still out there. Now, as a player, also you would put your faith in terms of the

leadership, the Players Association in terms of Michele Roberts. And also, the NBA owners with Adam Silver.

Definitely as a player, you would make sure that the information that they're giving you is correct. And from everything that we've seen thus far from Michele Roberts and Adam Silver is that they are being extremely cautious, providing accurate information, and I would say proceeding with extreme caution.


As an executive, I would want to make sure that, A, all that the players are taken care of from a travel standpoint and making sure that their families are taken care of. And I would probably go even one step further just to see if there's been any COVID in any of the family members that are coming to potentially Orlando or Las Vegas. And everything would be around safety and health. Those are the things I would look for as a player and an executive.

BALDWIN: So, Isiah, just obviously health being paramount. You know, The NBA says the Orlando facility would be for games, practice, and housing. I know a couple of players did test positive for COVID. My question would be how much freedom would you give them? Should they be existing kind of in a bubble? How strict should they be at keeping those players in line?

THOMAS: I think the keyword depends on I mean, the key word you just said is the bubble. And when we all think of bubble, we just think of the playing facilities that they're going to be in. But I think when we think of bubble, we have to think of, you know, the hotel, the playing facility, and also the eating environment.

And all of that has to be monitored, has to be enclosed in some form or fashion. And in terms of the strictness, it would absolutely have to be strict from a contamination standpoint in terms of people entering in and out of the building. So, it would have to be rigorously critiqued and also looked after. Once you bring that many players in that environment and you put them there.

BALDWIN: Again, this is all a possibility. The league is in talks with Disney, maybe, maybe it will happen late July. Isiah Thomas, thank you so much, be well. Sending you and your family just the best health. Appreciate you hopping on the phone with me today.

The World Health Organization is now temporarily putting a pause on studying a drug that's been touted by the President as a treatment for the coronavirus. With new details on hydroxychloroquine ahead and how coronavirus is sparking the return of the milkman. We'll be right back.



BALDWIN: A world altered by coronavirus has opened the door to a new and old business model. CNN's Athena Jones has more on the return of the milkman.


DOUG WADE, OWNER, WADE'S DAIRY: These are fresh pints of half and half.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Doug Wade, owner of Wade's Dairy in Bridgeport, Connecticut, March was a scary time, with schools shutting down and stay at home restrictions forcing many other clients to close their doors.

WADE: And we lost 50 percent of our business literally overnight.

JONES: So, he switched gears, supplying grocery stores facing shortages and as schools ramping up programs to feed needy students stuck at home, his company regained some of the lost business. Then --

WADE: The phone started ringing for people looking for home delivery service, do you do this? No, we don't. We did it in the past, but after you get enough of these calls, you start saying, jeez, I wonder if this could be a viable way to sell milk again.

JONES: The delivery service he launched has been a hit with customers like Christine Ostrowski in nearby Fairfield.

CHRISTINE OSTROWSKI, WADE'S HOME DELIVERY CUSTOMER: It's really been a big, big boom for us because we were struggling with grocery deliverers. It's just eased a lot of anxiety and stress.

JONES: Wade's now delivers to 260 customers in some 30 towns across the state and recently bought another truck.

WADE: A hand grenade bottle that was a half pint bottle.

JONES: Being a milkman is in Wade's blood.

WADE: I was 7 or 8 years old, the clink-clink noise of glass milk bottles banging up against the metal dividers in the wooden cases is something I'll never forget.

JONES: His great grandfather began making deliveries in a horse and buggy in 1893.

WADE: People would time their meals around when the milkman was coming.

JONES: After a century, Wade's halted deliveries in 1992 as client's habits changed. COVID-19 is shaking things up all over again. And not just for Wade's. While national numbers are scarce, producers and distributors across the country are reporting a surge in demand for home delivery. Doorstep delivery in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, serves more than 300 families a week. Another 300 or so are on a waiting list and they're hiring more staff to try to keep up with demand. DARLY MAST, OWNER, DOORSTEP DAIRY: We've probably tripled our home

delivery customers in about a three or four-week time until we kind of maxed out our capacity.

JONES: Shatto Home Delivery outside Kansas City, Missouri also has a waiting list. They've seen demand rise some 230 percent since late March to more than 4,000 customers. And have doubled their staff.

MATT SHATTO, SHATTO HOME DELIVERY: We've purchased four new delivery trucks and created countless new routes, probably about 14 new routes throughout the metro over that period of time.

WADE: Each company provides no-contact delivery to promote social distancing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you like home delivery for tomorrow?

JONES: And it isn't just milk. Like the others we spoke to, Wade's sells a variety of dairy and non-dairy products, including yogurt, cheese, eggs, fresh bread, orange juice and meats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bacon will not be available until the end of May.

JONES: The companies are hopeful that strong demand will continue even after the pandemic. Suddenly in this business, everything old is new again.

Athena Jones, CNN, Bridgeport, Connecticut.


BALDWIN: Athena, thank you.