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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Coronavirus: Facts And Fears; Brazil COVID Death Toll Nearly 70,000; C.D.C. Director, Dr. Robert Redfield Talks About Safely Reopening Schools Amid Pandemic; CDC Director On Coronavirus Testing; How The New School Year Will Change Due To Coronavirus; U.S. Colleges Prepare For Fall Semester With COVID-19 Threat; Trump Administration: International Students Will Have To Leave U.S. If Universities Only Hold Online Classes. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired July 9, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Right now is flat. That's on the bottom. You can see ours. It's green.
We surely right now could only hope we'd be a little bit more like Italy.
Thank you so much for joining us. Our global town hall, CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS. Dr. Redfield, Sanjay and Anderson starts right now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Hey, welcome. I'm Anderson Cooper in New York.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This is our 16th CNN Global Town Hall CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS.
COOPER: It comes as the virus makes it painfully clear not only has it never left us, it's now growing faster than ever before, which reminded us these last few weeks that it, not us, is in control until and unless we get our act together as a nation.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: People ask about, are we concerned about the second wave? And I keep telling people, what are you talking about a second wave? We are actually knee deep in the first wave. We've never really gotten out of it.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Dr. Anthony Fauci today who warns we could soon be seeing 100,000 new cases every single day. He has been making the rounds on radio and podcasts.
Yesterday he told "The Wall Street Journal's" podcast quote, "Any state that is having a serious problem that state should seriously look at shutting down."
Today, he told the 538 podcast that although some states have a handle on the virus, quote, "As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don't think you can say we're doing great. I mean, we're just not."
Texas and California both today reporting the highest number of COVID related deaths ever, and alarming positivity rates, 26 percent of tests coming back positive in Texas, 28 percent in Arizona. Intensive care units in both states running out of beds.
GUPTA: I'll tell you what, Anderson, it gets pretty ugly and pretty fast. Medical providers, support staff -- they are just working day after day, shift after shift, and stopping only to rest, to eat sometimes, and to call the next of kin.
It's tough work and that's what it looks like on the ground in Texas and Arizona right now; like New York did, you'll remember, during the worst of the outbreak there.
COOPER: Yes, tonight, we're going to talk about how we got to this point and most of all, how to reverse the trend. And with the school year, just weeks away, we'll try to answer the questions millions of parents and kids now have about when, how and even whether to go back to the classroom.
C.D.C. Director and White House Taskforce member, Dr. Robert Redfield is at the center of the controversy over guidelines for that right now. He joins us and we'll be taking your questions.
GUPTA: We've been getting a lot of those questions already. You can see them there on our social media scroll, down at the bottom of your screen.
You can also tweet us your question with the #CNNTownHall, or leave a comment on the CNN Facebook page.
We're also going to be playing as many of your video questions tonight as we can for Dr. Redfield and for other experts as well tonight.
COOPER: In addition, reports from across the country and around the world, including Brazil, second only to the U.S. now in new cases. And we start with where this country is right now.
COOPER (voice over): More than 133,000 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus. There are now more than three million confirmed cases.
In the last 28 days alone, one million new infections were reported. Thirty three states are seeing their numbers rising. This country is now averaging more than 52,000 new cases a day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. PETER HOTEZ, DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Just a few days, we were aghast that we'd hit 50,000. Without a national strategy and a roadmap, we will quickly accelerate to 100,000 cases.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice over): Florida, Arizona, California and Texas are all seeing sharp spikes. Hospitals in those states are quickly reaching capacity.
The Mayor of Phoenix says they will soon be overwhelmed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR KATE GALLEGO (D), PHOENIX, ARIZONA: We need medical professionals we need testing kits. We need supplies immediately. Our hospitals are already in dire straits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice over): Hard hit areas may have to tighten their restrictions, and the school year is just weeks away in some states with no Federal mandate on how to keep students and teachers safe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. LEANA WEN, FORMER HEALTH COMMISSIONER FOR THE CITY OF BALTIMORE: We are in a much worse place actually than we were back in March. Because at that time, there was one epicenter. Now, we have multiple epicenters all around the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice over): There is reportedly progress on a vaccine. Dr. Anthony Fauci says, he is still cautiously optimistic we will have one by the end of the year.
And clinical trials for an inhaled version of the drug remdesivir have begun, which would improve treatment options for doctors.
Despite President Trump's claim, we're in a good place, the pandemic and the virus is by no means contained.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: I think it's important to tell you and the American public that I'm very concerned because it could get very bad.
COOPER: Dr. Fauci certainly got the country's attention this week. His voice was only part of the picture that includes many developments.
COOPER: That's right, Anderson, since our very first Town Hall, we have been hammering this point that we know we need more testing.
We started late out of the gate on testing. We've never caught up on testing. We used to talk about a day where testing can be done so easily that not only would you know if you had the virus, but you could also be reasonably certain that those around you didn't have the virus either. We're not there yet, not even close.
We know that as cases continue to rise, younger people are contributing to this uptick. More than 50 percent of new coronavirus cases in Los Angeles are 18 to 40 years old. A third of new cases in Detroit are people aged 20 to 29.
GUPTA: Anderson, we know younger people are less likely to get sick, but we don't really know for sure is how age affects the transmissibility of the virus? Is it harder to contract? Is it easier to spread to others? That's going to be a key factor as we talk about sending kids back to school tonight.
We're not even sure why kids are less likely to get infected. Some have recently suggested it may have more to do with the fact that kids, especially little ones, have largely been home since March.
Also, finally, Anderson treatment-wise, lots of news about hydroxychloroquine. Again, another observational study, one that showed benefit, but also reminded us why observational studies are so hard to interpret.
For example, the majority of the people receiving hydroxychloroquine in this new study, were also receiving a steroid medication, which has already been shown to greatly benefit patients. So how do you know that -- was it the hydroxychloroquine? Or was it the steroid? That's why you do randomized controlled studies. They are the gold standard, which by the way, have been done for hydroxychloroquine and showed no benefit.
That's why the N.I.H. and the W.H.O. halted their trials. It's why the F.D.A. revoked its emergency use authorization of the drug. The gold standard studies showed it had no benefit.
Frankly, Anderson, looking at an observational study results after a randomized controlled study. It's kind of like doing an ultrasound to determine the gender of a baby after the baby is already born. You don't really need that ultrasound, right? You already know the answer.
COOPER: So, yes, it is -- because now Brazil's President has talked about hydroxychloroquine as being something he is taking that is helping him. Obviously, he has embraced this early on despite the scientific -- lack of scientific evidence.
A major development in big money college sports, the Big 10 conference announcing today that all autumn sports including football, will play a conference only schedule, no inter-conference games at all.
I know you went to Michigan, can you explain that to me because I really don't know what that means so much.
GUPTA: We will have much later on that.
COOPER: Yes, more now from around the country. CNN's Sara Sidner is in Los Angeles for us.
So, Sara, California was one of the first states to shut down, reopened slowly, and yet they are now seeing a huge jump in cases. What happened?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's what everybody fears. You know, California, as you mentioned, one of the hardest hit of 33 states that are seeing a rise in coronavirus cases.
And I can tell you that in Los Angeles County, which is the most populous county not only of the state, but of America as a whole with more than 10 million people, the mayor says is partly due to younger people, and we heard Sanjay allude to this.
People between the ages of 18 and 40, apparently are those who are really helping to spread this virus because now, they're looking at the rates that are being positive. More than 50 percent of the people who are testing positive for this virus are in that group.
Now that number just a few weeks ago was 30 percent of the people being tested positive for coronavirus, and so, you are seeing this trend. The mayor is imploring younger people to please follow the guidelines to save lives and to keep people out of hospitals.
Really the worst has happened. It's the thing that everybody had feared. It started opening up and now we're seeing not only the coronavirus cases are rising, but hospitalizations of people going into the hospital with COVID-19 are on the rise. It jumped about 40 percent over the past 14 days.
We have also seen the number -- the rate of infection has also gone up here, and while we know that right now at Los Angeles County, again, lots of people here, more than 10 million, there are enough hospital beds, but there is a worry about ICU beds and if this trend continues, whether they can handle that number of people, they really want to get it down.
We know that at least in one county here, in Yolo County, they have reported they are out. They have zero ICU beds available and we also have a grim number here from California, 149 people died of the coronavirus today here in the state. That is the highest daily death toll that we have seen since the pandemic began here.
GUPTA: And in addition to the ICU beds, as you know, you need to have respiratory therapists and other people to make sure people can actually get the care.
Sara, we've also seen that, you know, Dr. Fauci talked about Florida and Arizona having opened up too quickly. What is the latest you've heard there? SIDNER: I'm going to start with Arizona. They are in a world of hurt.
There is an analysis of John Hopkins data that basically shows that Arizona, its rate of infection is about 25 percent, which means that about one in four people who are tested are coming back positive with the coronavirus.
We've heard from an epidemiologist and you mentioned Dr. Fauci also saying, why is this all happening? Probably because the state aggressively reopened and there are some folks out there who have just completely given up or didn't ever want to follow all of the guidelines like wearing a mask when you're in an area around people like self-distancing, like staying around just those who are in the confines of your home that is not happening and masks aren't mandated across the state.
Some cities are starting to mandate them there. There is a lot of worry in Arizona and Florida also facing a major uptick in cases and deaths -- Sanjay and Anderson.
COOPER: Sara Sidner, thanks. Sara, thanks very much.
More now on Brazil and President Bolsonaro who has mocked the virus and was infected by it. Sadly, his was just one of tens of thousands of new cases in recent days.
Brazil now ranks second only the United States in confirmed cases and in deaths and in the hills outside Sao Paulo, drone footage tells the story row after row of newly prepared graves. None likely will stay empty for long. The way things are going, none will be the last.
CNN's Bill Weir is in the capital city, Brasilia. He joins us now.
So Bill, with the latest there and what's being done to try to deal with this spread.
BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest, Anderson, about another 40,000 or so confirmed cases and other 1,100 fatalities. They are closing in on close to 70,000 tragic deaths due to COVID-19. But the testing here, you've got to keep in mind is one sixth of what's happening in the United States. So most experts think those numbers are vastly underreported by a factor of 10.
And as we've seen, and as we've been discussing, you know, from South Korea to Sweden, this virus has really laid bare the strength of communities and the smarts of the people in charge. And it's no coincidence, I suppose that number one and number two, and the worst categories these days are led by sort of cult of personality leaders and just for context, Jair Bolsonaro, a longtime congressman here in Brasilia, far rightwing, former military officer who was best known for singing the praises of the days of the dictatorship.
He is sort of proudly homophobic, proudly racist in a lot of his comments. And so from very early on, he has bucked conventional wisdom, threw out a couple of Health Ministers who tried to just have him adhere to the most commonsense public health standards, and all along his diagnosis has been take this hydroxychloroquine anti- malarial, it's pretty common in the tropics and get back to work, especially if you're under 40.
And you've seen that that didn't flatten the curve. That fattened the curve in the most tragic ways, and it doesn't look like his own bout with the disease is sort of converting him to science.
In fact, his former Health Minister told me he thinks the opposite will happen. He'll come through it with mild symptoms and say, see, I told you so. I'm the model for what can happen for the rest of us.
And he even has his military planning missions to take this hydroxychloroquine into indigenous areas and giving it to the tribes in the Amazon and beyond. At the same time, President Bolsonaro today vetoed a proposed law from Congress that just would have guaranteed hospital beds, clean water and disinfectant for those tribes, some 850,000 native Brazilians, so vulnerable in places.
And if you can imagine if ICUs are filling up in Florida and Texas, what they must be like around here even in the Federal District around Brasilia, 99 percent capacity and their ICU use.
COOPER: Bill Weir, I'm glad you're there. Thank you for reporting on.
Joining us now, White House Coronavirus Taskforce member and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield.
Dr. Redfield, thanks so much for being with us. Yesterday, the President tweeted saying, "I disagree with CDC.gov on their very tough and expensive guidelines for opening schools. While they want them open, they are asking schools to do very impractical things. I'll be meeting with them."
Then shortly after, the Vice President announced with you standing by his side, he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The President said today we just don't want the guidance to be too tough. And that's the reason why next week, C.D.C. is going to be issuing a new set of tools.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Our Kaitlan Collins then asked you at that same press conference, if you're changing the guidance, because the President said he doesn't like it. You didn't answer the question. So I just want to give another opportunity because it does sound like the C.D.C. is caving to the President's demands to essentially weaken guidelines, to make them less tough.
I know a lot of thought was put into those guidelines. Now, all of a sudden, you're issuing new ones.
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: Thank you, Anderson. First, I want to really stress that the purpose of the C.D.C. guidelines are to provide a variety of different strategies for schools to use to help facilitate the reopening of schools.
I can tell you that those guidance that we put out are out and they stand. We do continue to provide additional material and actually had planned for some time to add some resources or consideration documents to help better understand the guidance particularly for communities that are opening K through 12.
We have another document for parents and caregivers, how to plan for your kid to go back to school. Another document for --
COOPER: So you're saying you're not putting out new guidelines, but I mean, the Vice President just said it all right there. He said, we don't want them to be too tough. So you're going to be releasing new tools.
COOPER: I know you said you'd already plan this. It sure seems like a coincidence now that these are going to show up next week, especially because usually these things take so much time to go through.
I don't understand, either the recommendations are based on science or they're not, why come out with new ones if all of a sudden -- these guidelines were worked over for a long time?
REDFIELD: Yes, they're not new guidelines that we're coming out with, Anderson. We've started the guidance for K through 12 back in February and higher learning back in March. We continue to update them.
The guidance that we put out recently for K through 12 and higher learning is our guidance. We continue to expand that with different tools. Like I was trying to complete, we have a tool to help schools understand how to test for symptoms. We have a tool coming out on how to use facemask in the school setting.
We have a tool coming out for parents to understand a checklist of understanding whether their child should come out to school. So the Vice President was referring to the additional tools that we have, that we're planning out, but we're not -- there's not a change in our guidance.
We will continue to work with each --
COOPER: Right, you know, the criticism that the C.D.C. has already received, which is, you know, months ago, there were guidelines, or I should say weeks ago, guidelines for churches. Those guidelines were, you know, pushed back on hard by the White House. You ended up taking out a recommendation to not have choir singing in enclosed spaces, which sounds like a pretty good recommendation based on the super spreader cases we've seen and people in choirs getting sick and people in churches getting sick. That was removed.
There was a guidance -- an extension for cruise ships months ago that the C.D.C. removed under pressure from the White House. So, it does seem -- you know, critics are saying now, C.D.C. is folding to political pressure from this White House?
REDFIELD: Well, that's not correct. We continue to give the best guidance. It is correct to think that these guidance frequently go through an interagency process where different agencies have an opportunity to make recommendations towards those guidance.
But I can tell you, we continue to put out the best public health guidance that we believe is important for the public health of this nation and to confront this pandemic.
GUPTA: Dr. Redfield, I'm curious specifically about schools in part as a doc, but also as a dad. When you look at this guidance, and parents obviously want to make sure their kids are as safe as possible. How good is the evidence when you talk about things like the masks, the six feet distancing, and you look at just the impact in schools overall. How good is the evidence in terms of how we can decrease the spread at least within schools among kids?
REDFIELD: You know, Sanjay, it's really important, and I think one of the important things to put into the formula is, and I've said this, why I believe it's so important from a public health point of view to reopen these schools.
I think, you know, when you look at the public health implications on mental health services that many of these students get or nutrition or just the socialization, that clearly we're looking at giving schools guidelines and a variety of different strategies that they can use to try to minimize acquisition of COVID-19.
Whether it's the social distancing, whether it's the mask, whether it's how to space the desks, whether it's the scheduling, whether it's the decrease in the number of individuals, whether it's closing common spaces, like cafeterias and gym, whether it's not sharing different objects.
But at the end of the day, these guidance are just that. They're guidance, which the local schools and local school districts need to then to incorporate into a practical, real plan that they can operationalize to begin to get these young people back to school safely.
And, you know, we continue to -- one of the other resources that we're working to put together now for schools as an evaluation and monitoring system, so we can understand really how effective the school's plans are on limiting COVID transmission within the context of the school.
COOPER: Do you agree with the President that the guidelines that were published by the C.D.C. that are up there now are too tough and too -- in some cases, too expensive and impractical?
REDFIELD: I think, Anderson that's a sort of a mischaracterization.
COOPER: That's what the President said.
REDFIELD: Well, I am saying the guidance are there, and the guidance are there with a series of different strategies, which then each local jurisdiction can decide how they want to use those strategies.
So, we stand by our guidance. We think it's an important strategy for helping these schools reopen.
REDFIELD: But I want to come back and just --
COOPER: But I don't understand, you said it's a mischaracterization. Do you mean it is a mischaracterization by the President of the United States that the guidelines are too tough?
REDFIELD: No. Not by the President. But I do think there are individuals that may say, this needs to be done. This needs to be done. This needs to be done. In reality, what we're saying is, these are guidance. These are not requirements.
And each school district is going to look at how they can incorporate those guidance to make their school in a situation where they can reopen safely.
I just want to come back to that, that that's the purpose. To be clear, the purpose of our guidance is to help facilitate schools to reopen and give them a variety of different strategies that we believe have important role in limiting the ability of this virus to transmit in the school setting and that's what we're going to continue to work with jurisdictions.
If jurisdictions do feel that there's obstacles to it, we're going to work with them to see how we can find a common answer because we want to get these kids back in school.
COOPER: Do you have confidence, though, that anyone is really going to listen to these guidelines, because you know, you've put out guidelines and the Coronavirus Taskforce with great fanfare put out guidelines about how states should reopen with very carefully thought out stages.
I don't think any of the states that reopened followed those guidelines or certainly followed the stages of waiting for a certain number of, you know, cases to default to a certain level. You must be frustrated as a scientist.
REDFIELD: Well, you know one thing as I say, Anderson. Well, I can say and I know I've seen the joy that you have now as a new father. I happen to be a grandfather of 11. I can say that, I think there's commonality in the schools and the school leadership and teachers and the administrators that we all want to protect the safety of the children that are in schools. That's really extremely important to all of us.
And so I have a higher degree of confidence that the schools are going to look at this very seriously in how to operationalize these guidance in a practical way to get schools open, because I want to come back to the comment that I made earlier that there's really a public health price that we're paying by not having any schools open. And I think we need to really get that balance, get these schools back
open and we are going to continue to work with the jurisdictions --
COOPER: Just the problem -- all you're saying sounds very rational. Sorry, sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt. Continue.
REDFIELD: No, I was just going to say we're going to work with the school districts to really work to basically get practical situations that they can reopen their school safely. We're going to monitor obviously in these guidance in the school setting to see that we're really not seeing significant transmission and allow the young people to get back and have the benefits of an education.
COOPER: All of that sounds rational and science-based, but the President who you are working for, and you know, taking direction from is saying that schools who do not reopen will lose funding, and he says that the guidelines you put out to reopen are too tough, too expensive and too impractical.
So I'm not sure how you have confidence that they're going to be listened to or that schools are not going to be in fact punished by having pandemic funding removed from their budgets.
REDFIELD: Well, again, Anderson, I'm confident that there's a joint commitment to protect the safety and public health of the students in the schools and that we're working to help accomplish that.
I'm confident that that, obviously, is what the President wants. I have confidence that that's what the C.D.C. wants. And I'm confident that's what the teachers and the administrators and school wants.
We want to get these schools opened safely, and that's what this is about. And it's going to be effort, and we're going to have to work together to get this accomplished.
COOPER: All right, we are going to take a break. When we come back, more questions for Dr. Redfield.
GUPTA: Coming up, we've got plenty on schools as well as what the Federal government is doing to make sure they are safe for kids and grownups alike.
And later, what campus life might look like. What if colleges open -- reopen and there's in-person learning, how's it all going to play out?
That and more as CNN's Global Town Hall continues.
COOPER: We're back. CNN Global Town Hall Number 16 to get your questions for C.D.C. Director, Dr. Robert Redfield.
GUPTA: Dr. Redfield, I want to go back in time a little bit. The C.D.C. was warned that more needed to be done almost from the start. Dr. Jeffrey Engel, who is from the Council of State and Territorial
Epidemiologists told CNN that on many conference calls in January, they were telling the C.D.C. -- the C.D.C. was being told that testing needed to be expanded and that the virus was probably already circulating in early January.
That seems like a significant issue. Why wasn't the -- why wasn't the C.D.C. listening to these warnings and doing more at that time?
REDFIELD: Well, you know, Sanjay, I think it's important. We've looked from a variety of different evidence lines to see if in fact, that was true.
You know, we had the first case reported in January, I think 22nd, and we've gone back and looked both in the flu surveillance studies in Seattle. We've looked by antibody testing in the region back then. We've looked by genomic evolution as a virus. We've looked by claims data with CMS. We published this in our MWR. There really was not evidence of significant circulation of the virus prior to mid to the end of February.
Obviously, then after that, we had substantial seeding of the virus, particularly coming from Europe. So I think first that's important.
Developing the test was an important issue. We've been through that. Getting the private sector to come on board to develop testing was obviously slower than any of us would like. I think now we do have a robust capacity.
But as you've noted, we continue to have greater needs for more testing even though we are now up over 600,000 tests a day, we continue to need more testing in this country to confront this outbreak, and I anticipate that that capability will continue to come.
But I do think it's important that really, there wasn't significant circulation back in January and February. I think we have strong scientific evidence to support that conclusion.
But clearly, there is significant transmission across the country now.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, and I think, you know, it's interesting, because you look at some autopsy data, even from January and there may be some evidence that maybe there was spread, but nevertheless, the reason I asked the CDC has traditionally been this preeminent health organization all over the world. I mean, they are the place people go to for trust and guidance. And I worry, I think I'm sure you worry that some of that trust, a lot of that trust has been squandered because of those testing failures.
Dr. Peter Lurie, a former Associate Commissioner of FDA told The New York Times quote, that this is now an agency that's been waiting its entire existence for this moment. And they mostly flubbed it sad, he said. What -- why? Do you agree with that assessment? I mean, the CDC is this preeminent Health Organization. I've been saying for some time, covered the CDC for 20 years, saying for some time, they should have been given the keys to the kingdom, handle this thing from the start, but they didn't. Instead, Peter describes it as flubbed. What do you say to that?
REDFIELD: Well, I obviously don't agree with that assessment from Peter. I do think the CDC remains the premier public health institution in the world. We have really thousands of outstanding men and women and they work 24/7 to serve this nation, both of these pandemic and other threats. I do think there's been a mischaracterization about, quote, the flub, we develop the test, as I've mentioned to you before, literally within days. Within probably seven to 10 days from the sequence that tested was developed to CDC to put eyes on this outbreak for our health departments. That test was never flawed. It works fine today, as it did then.
When we did try to expand that test to give it to each of the local health departments, there was a manufacturing problem in one of the reagents that had to be corrected. That took about five weeks. And then --
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Director, please --
REDFIELD: But the defect, the real defect, from my point of view, in the whole response was that the private sector took a long time to get involved to provide testing for the medical community at large.
COOPER: Wait a minute, do you think the defect is in the private sector, I understand the difficulty of, you know, moving things just from state labs to private sector that wasn't done fast enough. But there were-- there was basically just sloppy lab work, according to The New York Times in the test kits themselves, and as you said, that delayed things for five weeks, five weeks is I mean, that's a critical five weeks.
REDFIELD: Well, I will say that there was evidence in the inquiry that was done that there was contamination. And again, that contamination was corrected. I will say, Anderson, and I think you know that if you look historically, about the pace in which we were able to develop a laboratory test for this new virus and diploid, even with that five week delay, was is really still one of the most rapid engagements of --
COOPER: Yes, but your laboratory test wasn't all that from what I understand. And I may be wrong. No, certainly no scientist and you are a very respected scientist, I should point out and a very well respected doctor. My understanding is the test that all -- that was quickly developed, essentially wasn't that much better than the tests that were already out there overseas.
REDFIELD: Well, the test is an excellent test. I'm not going to compare it to others, but again, the --
COOPER: But it's important to compare to others, because you're waiting to do your own test -- (CROSSTALK)
COOPER: And then there's sloppy lab work that delays that test for five weeks and there's other test overseas that already available.
REDFIELD: That's not a true assessment Anderson. And I want to just point out that for any test that want to come into the United States, they have to come in through the FDA and regulatory process that there was not another test available in the United States for the use at that time. The first test that was available in this nation was the test the CDC was able to develop within the first 10 days after the sequence was available in January --
COOPER: Right. But --
COOPER: If you mess up the lab work and you can't get the test kits out, it's five weeks is gone.
REDFIELD: Well, the lab test was always available to CDC. You just had to ship it to Atlanta.
COOPER: Yes --
COOPER: But that's disingenuous, because you know that the criteria that CDC was early on using was so specific, was people who had been in Wuhan In fact, there was an example I think of doctors in Seattle or Washington who sent or recommended some 600 different individuals to be tested. CDC only approved some 200 or so of them because the criteria you're using was so limited, because you weren't for focusing on asymptomatic spread.
Even though on CNN in February, I believe you yourself said asymptomatic spread might be a problem. But the CDC really didn't emphasize that publicly until later in March, I think.
REDFIELD: Yes, there's no doubt that the early case definition of using this test was narrowly linked to travel. I will say that no one ever precluded other universities or other state health departments. So we published exactly how to get the test from the developing the tests themselves. So again, I do think CDC doesn't get a fair knock on this one, we developed a test rapidly. And in the attempt to make it easier for the states in manufacturing, there was a manufacturing problem. I can tell you that the CDC won't be manufacturing tests when we develop them, a little bit contract to manufacturers to develop tests in the future. But I do think we really did a major public health service to the nation to develop that test.
And again, I think one of the lessons from this whole outbreak that I hope we learned, it's obviously something that Korea learned from MERS, to now was to get a better linkage with the private sector to come in alongside the public health sector to develop the diagnostic requirements that we need for the practice of medicine in this country.
GUPTA: And, you know, Dr. Redfield, I think part of the reason we're asking so much about testing is because I think there's still this sort of question was testing minimized? Did we not do enough tests for some purposeful reason? The President still talks about testing, he said he was tweeting this week, he said, for the hundredth time, the reason we show so many cases compared to other countries that haven't done as well is that our testing is much bigger and better. We've tested 40 million people. If we did 20 million instead, cases would be halved, et cetera, not reported.
The -- I mean, what do you make of that? Does that hurt the effort to combat the virus to expand testing? My wife and girls to get tested the other day, they waited four hours to get their testing? Still, I mean, that's, that's now in July. What -- why is it still so challenging? Has testing been minimized or at least not accelerated a proper -- appropriately in this country?
REDFIELD: You know, I don't think Sanjay, it's been minimized, but I will echo that it is a critical piece. And that, you know, I've always said we need readily accessible, timely results, testing. It's fundamental. And --
GUPTA: So why do I still have it though? Why don't we have that July 9th? Why don't we have that right now? Why can't I get a test and be comfortable knowing that I don't carry the virus if I'm going to see Anderson in the office know that he doesn't have the virus? Why don't we have it at that point now?
REDFIELD: Well, I have to say it's probably just the overall production capacity, you know, that it's still increasing. As I said, it's gone from, you know, not long ago when it was 20,000 cases, a test today, and now we're over 600,000. But it's not to say that we're there. I mean, we do need more testing, we do need more breakthroughs. We knew we need more rapid testing that can get results in real time. And I think, you know, we were glad that Congress gave the CDC over $10 billion for the purpose for us to give money to the states so they could develop more testing, we got that money out, probably four to six weeks ago, for them to be able to have more capacity to do testing.
So there is still a great need for expanded testing. In this nation, there's a great need for expanded manufacturing of tests for the -- by the private sector, because I think the demand is only going to continue to increase.
COOPER: Yes. Well, unfortunately, the man you're working for is lying about testing. He's saying that that the only reason we have the cases that we do is because we're testing so gosh, darn much when that is just not true.
Dr. Fauci told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that quote, any state that's having a serious problem that states should seriously look at shutting down. It's not for me to say because each state is different. Do you agree? I mean, should states like Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, they're seeing huge increase in the number of infections is shutting down something just from a, you know, as a doctor as a scientist that they should look at?
REDFIELD: Well, I think the most important thing, Anderson that we need to do and what they have I think we started to do is first and foremost is we have to everyone's got to be wearing a face carving and public. All right, it is really I think one of the most important things. I said, we're not defenseless against this virus. If we social distance and wear face coverings, we can really interfere with the human to human transmission of this virus.
Secondly, we've got to practice hand hygiene. Third --
COOPER: Right, do you say this to the President --
COOPER: -- we know the President has the biggest (INAUDIBLE).
REDFIELD: We do -- I do want to finish. We do have to shut down, targeted business that foster irresponsible behavior like bars. And so it is very selective, but it is powerful. I will say one thing, one thing we've done in our household studies where we looked at how does this virus transmitted households, it's very interesting those households where the index case was diagnosed, and they really practice just what I said. They practice, social distancing, and face coverings, there wasn't household transmission, and those households chose not to do that. There was more than 70 percent of the individuals in those households are transmitted.
So don't -- we need to reinforce that social responsibility that we all have of basically social distinction, wearing a mask. And we've not been able to reach effectively the millennials and the Generation X. And again tonight, I appeal to them, this is our tools. You're seeing the outbreak increase in a number of states across this nation, a number of metropolitan areas, the most important powerful weapon we have is please. All right, social distance, please wear a mask when you're in public, please wash your hands. And please, basically, let's not be going to bars right now. It's just not the time for us to do that.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, actually the most, you know, powerful and important ally, you could have on your side to be a President of United States who says what you just said. But again, the person you work for does not say that at all. In fact, undercuts everything you say virtually everything you say your recommendations, your guidelines, you're urging people to wear masks with his own tweets and his own statements. And I'm sad that you're in that position that we're all in that position.
But Dr. Redfield, I respect you. You're a very respected doctor in your field and I wish you the best in your work. It's not easy. Thank you very much for being with us.
REDFIELD: Thank you very much. God bless.
COOPER: Just ahead --
REDFIELD: Thank you Sanjay.
GUPTA: Thank you.
COOPER: More on the dilemma faced by colleges University Cities over whether it's safe to open up in the fall, and just as importantly, what's at stake for kids in K through 12 classrooms.
COOPER: A reminder at the bottom of your screen, you'll see our social media scroll it shows the questions people are asking. You can tweet us your questions the hashtag CNN Town Hall. You can also leave a comment on the CNN Facebook Page.
Back now with Sanjay, also want to bring in our veteran of our town halls. Dr. Lena Wen, she's an emergency room physician, the former Baltimore Health Commissioner.
I want to get to as many viewer questions as possible Dr. Wen and in Georgia sending this video on schools reopening. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNIE HUNT, MOTHER: Hi, my question is, I'm completely torn on whether or not to allow my 17-year-old son to go back to school for his senior year. We live in Georgia and it's become a hotspot. While we are extremely careful and wear masks in public, wash our hands and social distance. I know for sure he will not be able to wear a mask and keep a mask on throughout the entire day. And with having to switch classes every 45 minutes or so surrounded by thousands of kids, I'm scared he may catch it or bring it home to me. He has asthma and it could be devastating. On the flip side, keeping him secluded and alone all day I know for a fact is not healthy either. I've weighed both the pros and the cons but both are equally scary.
Any advice for a single mom of a rising senior in the midst of a pandemic? This is just beyond anything we've ever had to deal with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's such an important question that Annie's asking I mean, what do you recommend Doctor?
LEANA WEN, FMR BALTIMORE HEALTH COMMISSIONER: Well, this is so hard. And I think this is that kind of challenging decision that's facing so many different families. And teachers, too. You know, my mother was a longtime school teacher in Los Angeles, and she was passed away, but she had breast cancer and was on chemotherapy the whole time that she was teaching full time. And I think teachers also want to come back to in person instruction, but it's just really hard because of their health conditions, too.
So I don't have answers for Annie. But here are some questions to be asking. I would ask about what is the prevalence of the virus in your community. I would also ask about your risk factors. So Annie mentioned your son's having asthma and asthma could increase the risk of getting severe COVID-19. But also, what about you? Are you relatively healthy or do you have other risks factors? What about other people living in your household? Think also about the -- what are the procedures that the school has putting into place, and also about whether remote instruction is available as an option for vulnerable students and teachers too. And I know Sanjay has kids in Georgia and may have other ideas, too.
GUPTA: Yes. I mean, I think it's, I mean, that's a good point. And I think that the idea that we still don't have a lot of data that's informing these recommendations, I mean, that that's the thing that I was sort of struck by with Dr. Redfield even, I mean, they make these recommendations were what, six, seven months into this, we're still not sure exactly how much kids transmit this virus. There's been some contact tracing studies to suggest, they get it less. But in terms of giving it more, we're not sure about that. We know they're less likely to get sick and all these things play it play a role.
But as you mentioned, Leana, Georgia, the numbers are going up. So every community I think, has to look at this community by community based on what's happening there. If you -- the numbers are going up, or they're high. The chance that you're going to come in contact with somebody who's carrying the virus is going to be higher. It's as simple as that. And that's got to be a part of the equation as well.
COOPER: Yes. Sanjay, I know you made a video about kind of looking at a school and what it might be look like going back, let's take a look.
GUPTA: So I have three girls going into 10th grade, eighth grade, and sixth grade. So as you might imagine, what's going to happen this fall is topic number one in our household. What's going to happen with schools? The American Academy of Pediatrics, they've been very clear on this. They say kids physically in school is key to their development. But we also know that case numbers continue to rise across the country. Still not entirely clear just how transmissible especially young kids are, we know they're less likely to get sick, but how likely are they to contribute to the spread. We also know for sure that schools are going to have to do everything they can to try and keep kids safe. So it's going to look a lot different when you get to school this year.
Now if there's anything we know about this virus, it's that it doesn't like masks. So those are going to be required in all schools. And it doesn't like distance. So you see here, the desks and the teacher's area all six feet apart. Well aware that a lot of school districts can't possibly do this, all the desks facing the same direction. If there's any virus in the air, you want to going in one direction, as opposed to mixing.
Also, there's this idea of cohorting. That means that the same students would be together all day long, less spread, less mixing that way. And also, if somebody does get sick, it's easier to contact race.
Another thing schools are going to have to think about, trying to reduce areas where children are congregate. Think about staggered start times, for example, rotating classrooms, one way hallways and possibly even getting rid of common locker areas. Another thing schools might start doing is having outdoor classrooms or at least opening the windows to improve the ventilation in indoor classroom.
At the end of the day, every family is going to have to look at the risks and the rewards of sending their kids back to school. Also pay attention to what's happening in your community, is the virus increasing or is it decreasing? That may play a factor in your decision. And finally, use the rest of the summer to get your kids used to wearing masks, which they're going to have to do. And of course, washing their hands as much as possible.
COOPER: OK, all good advice. We're going to -- Dr. Wen thank you so much for being with us. We're going to stay on the topic of schools.
I want to bring in Scott Galloway was a professor at the NYU Tisch School. Professor Galloway, when you look at the landscape for the upcoming fall semester, universities are all over the map and what they're doing, whether it's full in person instruction online, full online learning, how do you see this playing out?
SCOTT GALLOWAY, PROFESSOR, NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: So I think we're moving towards or I would say, we're exiting the consensual hallucination phase where we thought things would be somewhat back to normal. And right now you have a spectrum of Harvard going on online. Or a hybrid and then all the way to Purdue that still claiming they're going to welcome kids back to campus. A lot has changed, the curve, unfortunately has not been crushed much less flat and I think we're coming to the realization that there won't be any in-person classes.
I believe that over time, we will decide probably not to invite students to these small towns that I don't think are prepared for outbreaks. So I think slowly but surely we're headed towards a recognition that universities and academic institutions are the warriors against this virus. Not the spreaders or the enablers, and I think slowly but surely we're moving to an all online fall semester, Anderson.
GUPTA: You've talked about Harvard going fully digital for their fall semester. And I know you say that the people are putting in their deposits now, paying their tuition and then are going to be told that they're going to be going digital, whatever it may be, but Harvard's classes you actually compare it to Netflix, which is an association, that I'm not sure any university wants to hear. What did you mean by that?
GALLOWAY: Well, someone snarky but there's some inside here. If you don't have the experience and you don't have in-person, then but effectively what you have is an institution that spends billions of dollars on content and then streams to over broadband. And that looks, smells and feels somewhat similar to Netflix and Disney Plus, we're charging you $120 a year and $80 a year. And now Harvard is effectively a streaming service charging $58,000 a year.
So a lot of the reason that universities have been so reticent to acknowledge that we're going fully digitally -- digital and fully online, is a kind of turns on this very ugly light that this 40 year party of academic institutions raising tuition and faster than inflation. The lights have come on, and it's pretty ugly in terms of the price value trade off. So I think a lot of us are coming to the recognition that, you know, universities buy become totally overpriced and a lot of families are now saying OK, I am not going to continue to engage in this trade off if I can have if I'm only getting the certification, the education, not the experience, and unfortunately our industry is going to have to face the same economic pressures as every other industry and we haven't yet come to grips with that.
COOPER: I think I was in the hallucination phase when you first came on, Professor because I said you were with the Tisch School, I apologize. You're with the Stern School of Business at NYU. So I apologize for that.
GALLOWAY: No problem.
COOPER: Yes. But I love the phrase, by the way, the hallucination phase. The Trump administration has decided to revoke the visas of international students who are enrolled at universities in online learning for next semester. How do you think that changes the landscape of what's to come? And -- yes.
GALLOWAY: It's our cash cows.
GALLOWAY: It's a million international students, $41 billion in revenue, NYU has 28 percent international students. I mean, I would imagine that's 50 percent of our cash flow. So at best, this is nothing but a xenophobic and wrongheaded economic devastation of our economy. A half a million jobs created by international students, $40 billion in revenue, some incredibly talented people.
And Anderson, I think there's something darker here. I think that if you were to take the bluest state within every state, it would be called a college town. In Bloomington, Indiana, Hillary won by 17 points, but in Indiana as a state she lost by 17. So if you want it to defund a newt are these sources of truth, these sources of evidence based research to call the president out on his philosophies, you would go after university. So I see this as something much darker that we are allowing the administration to neuter sources of truth and what are have been neon blue districts in America.
GUPTA: Last time Professor we spoke you said something that I remember you said that I think we've kind of stuck out the mother of all chins you said and the fist of COVID-19 is coming for us. Obviously, the us you're talking about I think, is the university system, of which you are a part. Is has your prediction come to pass isn't happening?
GALLOWAY: Well, there's no doubt we're going to see, we're going to see a financial distraction similar to what every other industry that sits shoulder to shoulder and the consumption of the product, whether it's sports, restaurants, or you know, any industry that we're travel, it's coming. Unfortunately, we have not cut costs. We are still under the illusion that if we offer labs and studios and welcome people back or invite them back to those college towns that justify these extraordinary costs. But no, those fists of stone are coming. It's about time. Hopefully it'll result.
If we spent a fraction the time Sanjay, as we do in these protocol meetings, trying to improve the online offering and decrease the delta between online and offline learning. We come out of this crisis stronger and be able to educate people for less money and increase those admin rates such that we could move back to a society where we have more freshmen seats and more upward mobility for more great middle class kids in this country.
GUPTA: We just have a minute, but just really quick, the delta between online versus in person learning, you just use that phrase, what how do you calculate that? What is the Delta? How much of a difference is there?
GALLOWAY: Well, there's a lot right now. But there's the reality is if you were to take 50 percent of the learning, 50 percent of the classes, maybe where there's more less interaction, and more actual just teaching, or you could probably take between a third of the half of the classes online and with some improvements in online learning, not really substantially erode the experience. And what that effectively does is it doubles the size of our campuses and in my university, UCLA, we could go back from 13 percent admittance rates to where the admittance rates were in the 80s in the 90s.
GALLOWAY: So I think this is a huge opportunity to substantially expand the number of freshmen seats. And again, put universities back in their role of expanding upward mobility Americans.
COOPER: We got to end it. I'm so sorry though. Professor Scott Galloway, thank you -- by the way, I'm reading your Book Algebra of Happiness. I'm really into it. I really like it. You also have a pod -- your co-host for podcast The Pivot, which I encourage people to listen to.
Sanjay, thank you. Thanks. And we want to thank Dr. Rob Redfield, Dr. Leana Wen, everyone else who joined us tonight. Also thanks for those of you who submitted questions. If didn't get your questions answered, the conversation continues cnn.com/coronavirusanswers.
The news continues after a quick break with "CUOMO PRIMETIME".