Return to Transcripts main page


Fauci Is Cautiously Optimistic for Vaccine In 2021; FDA Will Provide Guidance to Vaccine Developers to Speed Up Approval Process; Biden Says as President, He'd Ask to Stay On Board And Allow Medical Experts to Speak Freely; Biden on Cognitive Decline, Watch Me and Can Hardly Wait to Compare His Capability with Trump; PPP Application Process Expires Tonight with $134 Billion Untapped; Fauci Says New Swine Flu Found in China; Top Health Officials Push All Americans to Wear Masks in Public. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired June 30, 2020 - 15:30   ET





DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: There is no guarantee and anyone who has been involved in vaccinology will tell you, that we will have a safe and effective vaccine, but we are cautiously optimistic. Hopefully, there will be doses available by the beginning of next year.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: The nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci today in what appears to be an attempt to lower expectations for an effective vaccine in the coming months. Dr, Fauci also warning that if states do not start turning things around, the U.S. could see a rate of 100,000 new cases of coronavirus every day. Making a search for the vaccine all the more crucial.

CNN senior correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now. And Elizabeth, the FDA commissioner also said today that they will provide guidance to vaccine developers so they can get a vaccine approved faster, is that right?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And actually, members of Congress have been asking the FDA for a while now, please tell us what requirements will you have for a vaccine makers? For example, how many people will have to be in clinical trials? And actually today, Dr. Hahn at the FDA was quite vague. All of this unfolding as those large-scale trials start this summer.


COHEN (voice-over): Half a year into the coronavirus outbreak, and the best bet to stop it, a vaccine. 17 teams around the world now testing COVID-19 vaccines in humans according to the World Health Organization. Three supported with U.S. funding. Yet there is no published data on how well these three vaccines are working in human studies so far. Dr. Anthony Fauci says data is coming out any day now.


FAUCI: What I've seen thus far looks good.


COHEN: Final trials are expected to start this summer with the goal to deliver 300 million doses by January. But the Army general in charge of the government's vaccine effort, dubbed "Operation Warp Speed", offering no assurances.


SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): Those numbers of doses are a possibility and a hope, but you can't make any promises or commitments as to the number or when they'll be actually available?

GENERAL GUSTAVE PERNA, COO, OPERATION WARP SPEED, U.S. ARMY: I'm working on the goal to achieve as you articulated but I cannot promise its end state right now.

COHEN: And there's a potential problem. Dr. Fauci tells CNN it's possible that a COVID-19 vaccine will only be 70 to 75 percent effective. That might not be enough to stop the outbreak, given that a CNN poll shows that about a third of Americans don't intend to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

FAUCI: There is a general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling among some people in this country and an alarmingly large percentage of people relatively speaking.

COHEN: Six months into the outbreak we do have new treatments. There's Remdesivir, an IV drug that a large study shows cuts down on hospital stays by about four days. Supply has been limited and the U.S. government plans to continue managing shipments of the drug to hospitals until the end of September.

The company that makes Remdesivir is working to make a version that can be used outside of hospitals. Steroids also showing success with a study showing they reduced the risk of death by a third for the sickest patients.

ALEX AZAR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: We have promising therapeutics that are benefiting tens of thousands of American patients and in all likelihood have already saved thousands of lives.

COHEN: Doctors are studying several other treatments, blood transfusions from recovered patients, antibody cocktails, a drug for heartburn, another for gout to see if any of them will work to help people with COVID-19.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COHEN: Now as we've noted, many Americans say they don't want the COVID-19 vaccine. So really, if not enough people get it, it doesn't matter if we come up with a great one. Dr. Fauci says there is an education program in place to explain this vaccine, but we talked to CDC and Operation Warp Speed. We have found no evidence that such a vaccine education program is in place. Dr. Fauci and others saying that program is crucial -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much. Appreciate that update.

At midnight, small businesses across the country lose access to what has been a vital lifeline for so many, PPP. What happens to the millions of dollars that are left over in that program? Stay with us.



TAPPER: In the 2020 LEAD today, point by point, Joe Biden laid out how he believes President Trump has failed the country on coronavirus, costing the nation American jobs and American lives.


JOE BIDEN, PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: More testing is not only how you find more cases of coronavirus, Mr. President, it's how you stop the coronavirus cases. Fix the shortage of PPE for our health care workers before you tee off another round of golf.


TAPPER: CNN's Arlette Saenz is in Wilmington, Delaware where Biden spoke today. He also took questions. And Arlette, the former Vice President also outlined how he would respond to the pandemic as President. How specific did he get?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, Joe Biden's overarching message today is that he believes President Trump has failed when it comes to grappling and handling this coronavirus pandemic. He portrayed the President as saying that the President has called himself a wartime President, but Biden says he is now surrendering to this virus. And Biden went point by point laying out a plan of what he thinks President Trump should do and what he would do if he was in this situation.

He talks about the need to ramp up testing, to produce more PPE. He also talked about a need to focus on treatments and vaccines as well as establishing some national standards when it comes to reopening as many states are doing this right now on a state by state basis.

And his final point was that people need to wear masks. That is something that Biden has continuously stressed over the past few weeks. He also said that he would ask Anthony Fauci to serve again in his administration and give him a platform to voice what his concerns and opinions are. And you've really seen Biden zeroing in on the coronavirus pandemic as

this has become a big issue in the general election campaign.

TAPPER: And Arlette, President Trump and his various supporters in Congress and on Fox, have been attacking Biden in terms of his cognitive ability, he was asked about that today.

SAENZ: Yes, he was, he was asked whether he has undergone any cognitive tests, I believe this may have been the first time that he had been asked that question and take a listen to that exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I forget my train of thought from time to time. You got 12 years on me, sir. Have you been tested for some degree of cognitive decline?

BIDEN: I've been tested and I'm constantly testing. Look, all I got to do is watch me and I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to that cognitive capability of the man I'm running against.


SAENZ: Now the Trump campaign has repeatedly tried to question Biden's mental acuity and you heard him right there trying to turn the tables on Trump, questioning whether it's his cognitive ability that should be under the microscope -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Arlette Saenz in Wilmington, Delaware. Thank you so much for that report.


In our money LEAD today, today is the last day that small business owners can apply for money under the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP which provides forgivable government loans for companies that keep employees on payroll or quickly rehire those employees. 4.8 million small businesses have had loans approved but since the pandemic, smaller companies have shed 18 percent of their work force.

Let's discuss with CNN business anchor Julia Chatterley. And Julia, amazingly about $130 billion for the loan program may go untapped given how many people are out of work, tens of millions, why hasn't that money been used?

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Jake, despite how it looks, it certainly wasn't about a lack of need. I could pinpoint, a few things, a lack of banking relationship, a fear of debt but I'll hone in on the fact that the rules of this program changed 18 times. And despite that I think in many cases for some of the hardest hit industries like those in hospitality, this program was still not fit for purpose.

Let me illustrate. What we saw for the food and for the hospitality, the hotels industry, they shed near half of the jobs of the entire industry and yet they took less than 10 percent of the loan amount. That makes no sense. They should have been going hand over fist for these loans.

Now Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, addressed this today. He talked about taking that remaining money and repurposing it and pushing it toward these industries. This is a good idea but for me there's bigger at foot here, Jake. According to National Federation of Independent Business, two-thirds of the businesses that took PPP money will have used it by the end of this month. What then? The emergency situation isn't over, the health crisis isn't over, they're going to need more support. Why end this program at all?

TAPPER: Indeed, that's a great question. Julia Chatterley, thank you so much.

It's in China and it can infect humans and it's a brand-new virus. It's not COVID-19, it's another new virus. Scientists say has pandemic potential. Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our world LEAD, Dr. Anthony Fauci today addressing concerns about a new type of swine flu recently discovered in China which scientists say can infect humans.


FAUCI: It's something that is still in the stage of examination. It's not so-called an immediate threat where you are seeing infections, but it's something we need to keep our eye out on just the way we did in 2009 with the emergence of the swine flu.


TAPPER: CNN's David Culver is live for us in Beijing, China. David, this new virus is related to the H1N1 swine flu which killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide including the United States, so why are doctors such as Fauci saying there is not any need to panic right now?

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the biggest differentiator right now, Jake, between say this swine flu which they're labeling as G-4 and COVID-19 for example is human-to-human transmission.

As of now this does not appear to go from one person to another, it seems to be going from the pigs to humans. Now this is all rooted in a study that was done over the course of seven years, 2011 to 2018 by Chinese researchers.

Essentially, they went to pig farms in ten provinces here and they swabbed some 30,000 pigs to figure out what kind of swine flus they were carrying. They found that 1 of the 179 swine flu viruses was consistent year after year, and even intensified at times, and that is the G-4 one that they've labeled now.

And the concern here is that while it's not deemed an imminent global threat, is that it can cause severe infection and that it can even cause death, and more than that, they know that in two of the provinces, for example, more than 10 percent of the folks who are working in those pig farms contracted this virus.

Now, the other big concern is the obvious, where it is emerging from? Right here in China, and you and I, Jake, we've talked about this. The skepticism towards the handling the COVID-19, going back to late December into January.

Especially when you hear things like lack of human to human transmission, that was certainly something that was put out early on here in China. And we know obviously that was not the case, so it's something that needs to be watched with this new swine flu virus.

TAPPER: All right, David, thank you so much, appreciate your time today.

100,000 new coronavirus cases a day, that's a possibility and a stark warning from Dr. Fauci. What he says needs the be done to make sure this does not happen.

Then we all know masks make a difference, but a new study shows the kind of mask you wear, a bandana versus a fitted mask can also make a difference when it comes to spreading of the virus. That's ahead. Stay with us.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

TAPPER: And welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington and we begin this hour with breaking news our health Lead, an urgent plea and a dire prediction from America's top officials on Capitol Hill today.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warning that he can envision the U.S. hitting 100,000 new coronavirus cases everyday if things don't turn around. The U.S. is at 40,000 new cases a day.

The head of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield, imploring all Americans to unite and take the necessary personal steps to defeat the deadly pandemic including wearing masks in public.

This as the virus continues to spread out of control throughout the nation, at least 36 states are right now seeing a spike in the number of new infections, 12 are holding steady, only two states are seeing declining numbers.

Hospitalizations are up in nearly a one quarter of the nation, despite the White House insisting that curve has been flattened. The curve has not been flattened, just take a look at the graph showing that the curve dropping precipitously in the European Union, that's the number in pink. And then remaining flat in South Korea, those are the numbers in yellow.