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California Faces Second Shutdown As Cases Rise; Hong Kong Experiencing Third COVID-19 Wave; Covid Testing Results Continue To Lag; Florida, Texas Record Single-Day Highs In Deaths; Surpassing Old Highs Set Earlier This Week; New Daily High In Coronavirus Cases At 68,428. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired July 16, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Welcome, I'm Anderson Cooper in New York.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This is our 17th CNN Global Town Hall, CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS.
It's being seen around the world on CNN International, CNN Espanol and streaming on cnn.com.
COOPER: It comes to perhaps the most difficult public health moment this country has seen since the 1918 influenza pandemic. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there were 66,273 new confirmed cases yesterday.
Exactly one month ago writing in "The Wall Street Journal" that we were quote, "winning the fight against the invisible enemy," Vice President Pence boasted of an average daily case count of 20,000. That was a month ago.
Now, a daily count is more than triple that.
GUPTA: And Anderson, today in Texas and in Arizona, they started bringing in refrigerated trailers. The same as we saw in New York in the spring, because then, as now, the morgues are overflowing.
The sad thing is, you know, we saw all this coming. We saw all of this the moment the cases started ticking up. We knew what would follow after this. It would be first the hospitals, then it would be the ICUs filling up. Then people dying, and now we see too many for the morgues to hold or too many for the funeral rooms to handle.
COOPER: Texas today reported a new high for daily deaths related to COVID-19, a hundred and twenty nine people died. A new high in Florida today as well where 156 more people have died and nearly 14,000 more have tested positive.
Just to put it in perspective, here's a look at new cases in the week since our last Town Hall, the pink line is the European Union. About 440 million people. The green line is Florida, just Florida, population of about 21 million, 4.5 percent of the people, nearly three times more cases.
And as this is happening in Florida and Texas and Arizona and California, red states and blue, urban and rural, the President is attacking the nation's top infectious disease expert in pushing schools to reopen it appears at any cost.
There's still a shortage of PPE. People are still waiting to get tested or being told they can't. Results are taking so long to come back, totally useless for preventing others from being infected. The administration, they're refusing to let members of the Taskforce come on this program and other programs to talk about any of this.
Perhaps the most consequential accountability moment outside of wartime any of us has seen, there simply is no accountability.
GUPTA: Well, thankfully, though, we can still provide you the information you need to keep yourself and the people close to you as safe as possible.
We're joined tonight by a former C.D.C. Director, and also a doctor who oversaw public health for the City of Baltimore and its public school system.
Tweet us your questions. We want to hear from you with the #CNNTownHall. You can also leave a comment on the CNN Facebook page.
A lot of you've also sent in video questions and we're trying to get to as many of those tonight as we can.
COOPER: Yes, we will also be talking to some people who literally put their health and lives on the line to test a new vaccine and we'll be checking with our correspondents here and around the world.
I want to start with a quick look at where things stand here at home.
COOPER (voice over): There are more than 3.5 million positive coronavirus cases in the United States. More than 138,000 people have died. Thirty nine states see their cases rising, only two states are seeing a decline.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: As we tried to open up, you saw that there was a wide variation in how that was done and pictures and photos and films of people at bars with no mass congregating in crowds. The inevitable happened.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER (voice over): Arizona, California, Texas and Florida remain some of the biggest hotspots in the U.S. Texas saw a record number of deaths this week. Hospitalization rates are also up.
Miami-Dade County in Florida has run out of ICU beds. California has shut down indoor restaurants and bars again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: We are on the border of going to red. Red is when everything shuts down again -- everything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice over): There are currently 23 potential vaccines and human trials around the world, including four in the United States. The biotech firm, Moderna, which is partnering with the National Institutes of Health have promising results from their Phase 1 trials and are preparing to move to Phase 3.
The C.D.C. now says 40 percent of people infected with a virus may be asymptomatic. Those who've recovered may only have immunity from antibodies for a few months, according to researchers in the United Kingdom. Masks and social distancing are still recommended.
For right now, there aren't enough people following these guidelines to stop the virus from spreading.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we've experienced in American public health.
COOPER: Again, the President is at odds with the experts or their agencies in the case of the C.D.C. We'll talk more about that in the hour head because a move the administration made today to marginalize the C.D.C. could have serious implications for the public's access to honest information about the pandemic.
Of course, Sanjay, as we do every week at this point in the program. What's your take on where we stand right now?
GUPTA: Well, you know, it's been almost six months since the first patient was diagnosed here in the United States, and it's been quite a rollercoaster ride.
There's so many countries which have returned to some state of normalcy, but we're not in a position to do that safely here. We know the President is pushing for students to return to the classroom in just a few weeks, and I've got to tell you, as a dad of three girls, I want that, too. But it's also a scary time, as I'm hearing from families and teachers all over the country.
The evidence still shows kids are less likely to get sick, but the problem is, it is still not clear how much they spread the virus. In fact, we reported a study yesterday involving one nine-year-old boy
with COVID who exposed 80 classmates and guess what? None of them contracted the disease.
In Germany and Norway, schools have opened up with strict distancing and masks and overall, the cases have remained low.
But we also know that when social distancing restrictions are lifted early and then schools open, as they did in Israel, large outbreaks can follow. And that's the concern here.
We also know that a quarter of our teachers are vulnerable and are concerned about stepping back in the classroom. Some, Anderson, even using the summer months to update their wills.
Dr. Anthony Fauci finally talked to the President, and that's good, because Fauci has been on the frontline of HIV and SARS and Ebola. And Anderson, I want to show you this picture. It was tweeted out by a senior investigator at the N.I.H. That is Dr. Fauci some five years ago, he was suiting up before treating an Ebola patient.
According to his colleague, Dr. Fauci wanted to show his staff that he would not ask them to do anything he wouldn't do himself.
The investigator tweeted quote, "That's what leadership looks like." Quite a picture, Anderson, huh?
COOPER: Yes, that's extraordinary. Sanjay, well, you know, we've touched on this already, but we want to talk more about what's going on in Florida.
Randi Kaye joins us tonight from West Palm Beach. So Randi, I mean, it seems all the numbers in Florida are pretty dire.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, they really are. Nearly 14,000 new cases in the last 24 hours. That brings us to a total of about 315,000 cases statewide and more than 4,600 deaths.
And here is a stunning statistic. You talked about the European Union. But comparing Florida to the entire U.K., Florida has more cases than the entire United Kingdom and the population here is about 22 million compared to 66 million for the U.K.
In terms of hospitalizations, we are still in trouble here, about 9,100 hospitalized in the state. I just checked that before coming on air and that's up from about 7,000 over the weekend. So that's a pretty big jump.
And the state positivity rate is well above that 10 percent threshold that they're looking for. It's about 18.8 percent. In Miami-Dade, it is even worse where they're running out of ICU beds. It's about 29 percent positivity. And some of the hospitals there are now having to convert regular rooms to ICU beds.
And the infectious disease expert we speak with often said that Miami right now looks like what Wuhan, China did six months ago -- Sanjay. GUPTA: Yes, and you know, Randi, I mean, we also saw this in New
York, right, and when New York was seeing new infection rates like Florida has now seen, they went into essentially a lockdown mode. So, I see you where you are. I can hear that noise behind you. What is it like in Florida lately?
KAYE: It certainly doesn't feel like lockdown mode. We're on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach Resort, which is a really popular area for bars and restaurants. And you can see this restaurant here behind me is pretty full. They're at 50 percent capacity. That's what's allowed in the county.
But inside, the bar is full and a lot of the tables are full. We've spoken to the restaurants here, they say they have a pretty regular crowd coming through. And I've seen live music out in a lot of the restaurants here in town. I've seen the bars full inside the actual restaurants. Not a single seat open.
So it doesn't feel like a pandemic is actually surging in this state, but also Sanjay besides the restaurants, Disneyworld has opened. They opened on July 11, but now they've expanded Epcot and Hollywood Studios just opened yesterday.
Epcot debuted a Food and Wine Festival yesterday, and Hollywood Studios is booked solid for the next eight days. And by the way, Palm Beach County starting tonight in just a few hours, because it's so dangerous, they think, they're going to start closing restaurants here including these from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. because they think that they're turning into club-like settings and sort of breeding grounds for the virus -- Anderson.
COOPER: Randi, thanks very much. Now California which until recently was seen as a success story when I spoke with San Francisco Mayor London Breed, last night, she talked about the frustration, reversing steps to reopen. Sometimes the very next day after announcing them in the Los Angeles area where CNN's Sara Sidner is. Conditions are especially troubling. She joins us now.
So you're at Dodger Stadium. It has been turned into one of the largest testing sites in California. What is the latest on testing and contact tracing in California?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, Anderson they could test up to 6,000 people a day here and it has been full all day long, but at five o'clock that cuts off here local time.
But let me give you an idea of the number across California and how dire it is. The 14-day average right now is 8,000 more than 8,000 positive cases per day. This is the first time since the pandemic that we have broken 8,000 cases plus per day on average.
SIDNER: And so there is a dire problem here. At the same time, the Governor had said, look, we're going to get 10,000 contact tracers in place by July 1st. That was the goal. Now, we're hearing from public health officials, but even with that, there is no way to deal with this onslaught. There is no way to really be able to trace all of these people when you take into account that more than 8,000 people per day are actually contracting the virus and then you have to try to call them and then try to figure out all of the different people who they've come in contact with and warn them about it.
So, this is turning into an extremely difficult situation here. All this to be said that we're now hearing from the Public Health Director here in Los Angeles that there could actually be another absolute shutdown here, not just of businesses, not just a few businesses, but a complete shutdown just like we had to deal with at the very beginning of this -- Anderson.
GUPTA: You know, Sara, if anybody knows anything about California, what they hear is that Governor Newsom did act pretty quickly in mid- March shutting down the state. And, in fact, mayors in some of the major cities were starting to shut down even before the state did.
So the narrative was that California seemed to be doing everything right. So what happened here? What do you think caused this surge?
SIDNER: So we've talked to health experts and they have basically said, look, if you look back to Memorial Day, people apparently just went hog wild, not wearing the masks. They must have gotten together with one another, not self-distancing because what they saw in the couple two to three weeks after Memorial Day is this major surge.
What did that make them do? They said, okay, on July 4th, we are going to have to close down some of the beaches in the highly infected areas, but in other areas like San Diego County, they saw people flocking to the beaches and not doing the social distancing.
So they really think this is an issue of people just having fatigue and deciding that you know what, we're fine. We also know there are some statistics behind that here in Los Angeles County that people between the ages of 18 and 40 years old are responsible for about 50 percent or more of the new positive coronavirus cases.
So it tells you that younger people are getting this more often and they link that likely to gatherings and not taking all the precautions that they've been asked to take.
There is certainly fatigue here, but there are a lot of people that are so incredibly frustrated and afraid for the economy and for the health of the state.
COOPER: Sara Sidner. Sara, thanks very much. Now, Hong Kong which is dealing with another outbreak but the response is much different than in the U.S. Will Ripley is there for us tonight.
So, Will, what is the latest in Hong Kong? I know they're experiencing what -- their third wave?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting, it's all relative, isn't it? I'm listening to, you know, the previous reporters talking about thousands of cases per day, Hong Kong had its record high number of new cases, just yesterday -- 67 cases. That was the record high for all of this pandemic.
This is a city that shut down its borders early. They test everybody at the airport. And they pretty much thought they had blocked all the cases from coming in. And up until two weeks ago, there were zero cases of community transmission.
But now you see the chart is darting up there, 355 cases detected just in the last two weeks, and you know, more than half of those are being spread inside the city. And that's very concerning for infectious disease specialists I've been speaking with who say that we might be dealing with a mutated virus that could possibly be more contagious.
And when you have a densely populated city of seven million people, you know, it could spread very quickly, but to think that the number of cases is still below 1,700, and just 10 deaths, two of which died, you know, within the last 24 hours or so, it is certainly, Hong Kong is in a good place, but they're worried that they could get to a bad place if they don't take very strong measures quickly.
GUPTA: And Will, will authorities be able to contact trace and isolate and figure out where these new infected patients are coming from?
RIPLEY: They have been able to identify clusters, Sanjay, bars and restaurants big ones. People taking off their masks and having close conversations in bars, so they've shut down the bars. Restaurants can no longer serve dinner. During the dinner hours, only take away.
They closed Hong Kong Disneyland. They've closed schools. They've closed gyms. They also identified clusters in senior care centers and amongst taxi drivers.
And in fact, today, they're offering free COVID-19 testing for taxi drivers. But there is still a large number of cases, fewer than half, but still significant enough that they can't trace and that has them very worried that there are people walking around asymptomatic, you know, spreading the virus.
COOPER: And Will, you said, so when somebody flies into Hong Kong or comes to Hong Kong, they get temperature taken or they actually get tested?
RIPLEY: They get tested at the airport. So, when I flew back here from Japan, I had to wait about six hours at the airport to get a COVID test and then I had to spend the night at a hotel to wait for my results. I wasn't allowed to leave my room.
So that's the case for every incoming traveler with the exception of flight crew and diplomats who also have to be tested, but they don't have to go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine. I had to stay inside my house and not leave for 14 days. I even had an electronic wristband to monitor my movements.
RIPLEY: There are even some countries now like Pakistan, for example, where people have to take a COVID test before they can even get on board the flight, so they feel like they've essentially shut down the borders and stopped the imported cases. But it's these community cases that really have Hong Kong concerned.
And so the city has imposed basically the most restrictive lockdown measures to date in this pandemic. And we're still talking about fewer than 100 cases per day here.
COOPER: It's amazing the difference in how it's being dealt with and the numbers, certainly. Will Ripley, thanks very much.
Coming next, former C.D.C. Director Tom Frieden on what to do about schools on containing this new surge and what's happening to the proud agency that he once ran and more.
And later, two pioneers in the frontier of vaccine testing, not as researchers, as recipients including the second person ever to roll up the sleeve for a promising new vaccine candidate.
COOPER: At the very moment, this country is sliding back into the grip of the coronavirus, the new school year is approaching. So this week saw school systems large and small reconsider plans for bringing some or even any kids back into the classroom.
We also saw the President push repeatedly for sending every child back to school, but we haven't heard any specifics from him or his Taskforce members about the risk.
In addition to that, the administration is now tangled in controversy over its move to take responsibility for gathering and keeping data of the outbreak away from the C.D.C.
There's lots to talk about with Dr. Tom Frieden who served as C.D.C. Director during the Obama administration. Dr. Frieden, we appreciate you being with us.
So Dr. Fauci spoke just before we came on air, and I want to play something that he said about reopening schools.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: You could be in a part of the country, a county, a city, a state in which the level of virus infection, the dynamics is so low, you could send kids back to school without any modification or any worry.
But there are also some areas, when you look in the dynamics of the infection is so intense, you have to say, wait a minute, let me think about it. Do I have to close the school for now? Or can I go back? But in order to be safe, do I need to do it in a modified way? Alternate days, morning, afternoon or whatever, because paramount to drive it is the safety and the health of the children, as well as the safety and health of the teachers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We also heard from White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany today who said that, quote, "Science is on our side here. We encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science, open our schools."
I mean, is science on the side of just opening the schools?
DR. TOM FRIEDEN, FORMER C.D.C. DIRECTOR: We want to get our kids back to school. It's really important. It's important not just for learning, it's important for health, for society, for mental health.
It's important also, for all of us to be able to get back to our work, and that's why it's so important that we work together to get the virus under control.
If you're in a place like Phoenix where the virus is exploding right now, it's going to be difficult if not impossible to open schools. If we do the right thing now in the summer, then yes, our kids can get back to school in the fall, and we can get back to work and our economy can be growing again, and we can save tens of thousands of lives. But we can't just wish it away. The virus isn't going to stop until we stop it.
The U.S. is now a laggard. The virus is out of control. We're talking about 60,000 plus diagnosed infections and many times that number of total infections every day, as your reporter just said, 67 cases in Hong Kong and they're shutting the city.
So, we have to handle it differently. But all of us have a role to play. We can do this. We can stop the virus, but it's not going to stop on its own.
GUPTA: Dr. Frieden, first of all, thank you for being here. Thank you for doing this. I do wonder how do you think this would play out if President Trump has his way in school districts simply open and children go back to school regardless of what the situation is like in the area.
And as you're thinking about that, I do want to show what happened in Israel as well. This this graph of what happened when school started to reopen in Israel.
You see there May 17th and look at the trajectory in the days afterward. But what happens if we just open up schools, Dr. Frieden?
FRIEDEN: Well, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty, that if you open schools in communities where you have a lot of COVID spreading, you're going to have to slam them shut again.
Look at what happened in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida. You open too soon. It's one step forward and many steps backward. We're now having this enormous reservoir of viral infections.
Hundreds of thousands of people, actually millions of Americans today are walking around infectious with COVID. We've got to cool it down and we can do this. There are some things that all of us can do with the three W's: wear a mask correctly, mask up America; wash your hands or use sanitizer; and watch your distance. Those inside crowded spaces. That's what COVID likes.
We're going to have to close bars and restaurants in most of the country or this is not going to stop. So, there's something that all of us can do. And then government needs to do a better job testing. It's just impossible to have a useful program if it takes a week for a test to come back. You've got to have it within a day or two at the most.
It doesn't matter if we do a million or a billion tests, if we're not getting them back quickly enough to make sure that people can get isolated quickly and contacts can get warned so they can protect themselves and their family.
GUPTA: I know that you're saying that, you know, these communities where the virus is spreading ought to be treated differently than other communities. But I wonder if you can be more specific.
So I'm talking to a lot of administrators around the country of school districts. They're still confused by this. Many of them are saying they're not going to go back to school in the fall. They're going to extend remote learning.
You know in New York where you are, New York Governor Cuomo has set a benchmark. He says that you've got to be in Phase 4 reopening. You have to have a positivity rate of five percent or less before you send kids back to school.
If you're a parent right now, thinking, am I going to send my kid back to school, maybe in the next month -- because some start in the next month -- what should they be looking for in their community as too much spread?
FRIEDEN: Well, first off, I think just as open and close of the economy, we have to think of it more of a dimmer dial than an on-off switch. It's not so straightforward because you have school district deciding to ease into the year carefully so they don't have to slam shut.
In terms of there's no one magic number but what Governor Cuomo has done matches exactly with the guidance that we've provided and others as well, that if you're at a state where you've got 10 percent positivity or above, it is just extremely unlikely you're going to be able to reopen.
If you're at less than five percent, if you do careful things in the school, that means protecting the vulnerable people, that means re- engineering some of it so you don't have so many kids connected. That means thinking about pods or cohorts.
So you have groups, morning, afternoon or one week on, one week off thinking about distance learning, for some of the older kids, high school kids who can do that for much or even most of their time if needed.
Thinking about teachers who may have an underlying health condition or be older, they may need to tell a school as well. So this is not an easy thing. If you charge right in, you're going to have to slam right shut exactly as happened in states throughout the South.
COOPER: Dr. Frieden, you mentioned testing. We're still seeing major issues with testing across the U.S. I mean, one of the biggest issues, the lag time on getting test results back, some people are waiting a week and in some cases more than two weeks just to get a test back and obviously, if people can't find out whether they have the virus within a day, does it even matter how many get tested.
I mean, Bill Gates was on our program a couple of months ago saying, you know that essentially, those are phony tests if you don't get the results back, you know, until a week later.
FRIEDEN: Absolutely. In a sense, they shouldn't even count as tests. What we need to do is look at more meaningful measurements. We need to make risk transparent so that everyone in this country could type their zip code in and find out how much COVID is spreading in my community, and what is my community -- what is my government doing to stop it? What's my risk? And what's the response? And then we could all work together.
There's a lot of things that need to be done that are not getting done, offering people who are infected, but don't need hospitalization. A safe place to stay, so they don't infect the people around them. Supporting people who are on quarantine, so they don't go out and infect others when they feel well, but are infectious.
There is so much we need to do, but we can do it. Really, it is never too late to do a lot better than we're doing now. Right now, we're failing in our response and the virus has the upper hand.
But if we do better, our kids can go to school. We can go back to work. Our economy can recover, and we'll save tens of thousands of lives. And that's not just guessing. That's what's happening in parts of the U.S. and in resolve, we work in countries in Africa and Asia that are doing this. It's possible, and we can do it, too.
GUPTA: Can I just follow up on testing though, Dr. Frieden. I mean, it's ridiculous at this point. I mean, people can't get tested. As Anderson said, it takes too long. What's the deal? Why is this happening?
I talk to people in different countries around the world. They can get point of care testing. It is rapid. It is accurate. Is this a technology failure? Why don't we have the kind of testing that we need?
Did they say maybe 20 million tests a day should be getting performed? What gives here? FRIEDEN: Well, in fairness, testing has gotten better, but the focus
was on numbers instead of quality. And we need to massively scale up rapid turnaround tests. There are some new tests coming, antigen tests that will be screening tests. If they're positive, they're right. If they're negative, you need to check with a PCR test for the virus, not antibody tests, but antigen the actual virus, as you know, Sanjay. And I think with that, we'll have some progress.
But what gets measured gets managed. We've been measuring the number of tests, not the number of tests with results reported within 24 or 48 hours. That's what we need to start measuring. When we measure that, people will start working to that.
And we do need the private sector, the commercial sector, academic medical centers, all doing this, because it's going to take a lot of tests. And remember, it's not going to be one thing that's going to get us out of this mess. Not restricting travel, not staying home, not wearing masks, not testing, not contact tracing. It's a comprehensive response. The three W's: wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance and boxing the virus in with strategic testing, effective isolation, rapid contact tracing, and supportive quarantine.
We do all of these things comprehensively. We use data to iteratively improve our response and we can see progress. We can get our society back. We can get to the new normal.
It's not going to be back to normal, but it will be a new normal that we can go on with our lives.
COOPER: I've been really stunned by the muzzling or the kneecapping of the CDC, either with the, you know, silent, you know, going along of its director or, you know, under pressure. I mean, you along with three others who oversaw the CDC wrote an op-ed this week was titled, We Ran the CDC, No President Ever Politicize Its Science the Way Trump Has.
Can you just talk about that? Because it seems -- we had Redfield on the program last week. And, you know, he denied that they have silenced themselves at times in order for political reasons are under pressure from the White House, but it's clear there have been a number of incidents where they've done that?
FRIEDEN: What I would hope to see is a subject matter expert from the CDC. And there are many of them who spent 10, 20, 30 years working on respiratory viruses like this, briefing the American people many times a week, if we did that we'd be on the same page. Take the issue of masks. Months ago, when we were first learning about COVID, we didn't recommend masks, because we didn't understand that it acts completely differently than most other infectious diseases. If you look at SARS, it's close cousin or MERS or tuberculosis, they get more infectious the sicker you get. And the most infectious people are the people who are in the intensive care unit.
Turns out with COVID it's the exact opposite. They're most infectious early on before they get very sick, even before they get sick at all. And then after a few days of illness, they're much less infectious. That means that first off there's asymptomatic transmission, second, everyone should wear on Ask when they're within six feet of others. Third, contact tracing has to be done really fast because if you get there a week later, it's too late. They're no longer infectious and the contact, would become ill and infectious have already infected others. So there's a lot we have to do to get our response into a much better shape. And hearing regularly from the CDC, and holding every state and community accountable for how they're doing with mask wearing, with distancing, with implementing good programs to support patients and worn contacts.
If we do that we can get our economy back. We can get our schools reopened, and we'll be saving tens of thousands of lives. Anderson and Sanjay, you know, in the 15 minutes, we've been speaking, more than a thousand Americans have gotten infected with COVID and five have died. We are just an total global outlier here and laggard and yet we can do it. We can work together. It's never too late to do better.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Let me ask you really quickly a minute that we have left Dr. Frieden, there was this order that came down this week, that's now forcing hospitals to send their data directly to HHS instead of going to the CDC, where the world's best epidemiologist work. You said this week, there's -- that's no way to run a pandemic. So what about this concerns, you know, my concern that the information is going to get scrubbed? And we're not going to get it on edited as we used to?
FRIEDEN: Well, let's see how it turns out. I think it's a mistake. The National Healthcare Safety Network, which is the network that was used before has been used for over a decade, it works well. We need to strengthen public health not subverted and undermine it. But let's see what comes out. The key thing is to focus on getting in this together. Really, there's only one enemy, the enemy is the virus. And the more we are divided, the more the virus can conquer.
COOPER: Dr. Frieden, we appreciate your time and all you're doing thanks very much.
Coming up next --
FRIEDEN: Thank you.
COOPER: -- two people who did something that most people might think twice about. They've volunteered to try a new vaccine candidate before anyone knew if it would work or even be safe in humans. Talk to them.
And later, Sanjay and I will show you how to have a safe socially distant summer barbecue. Is Sanjay is this a video you put together?
GUPTA: Yes, yes.
COOPER: Excellent, I want to see a barbecue.
COOPER: All right.
COOPER: We just got the new numbers from Johns Hopkins, in a new daily high 68,428 new virus cases in 24 hours. Having spent so much time tonight on what has been a pretty rough week, it's worth noting there were also headlines that give hope. Johnson & Johnson announced data plans to begin human trials next week and is in discussions with the National Institutes of Health to begin late stage trials two months from now, ahead of schedule.
GUPTA: And this is Moderna has reported that its vaccine developed in conjunction with the NIH, and the first to be tested in humans is now moving to later stage trials. That's going to happen later this month, after a quote, robust immune response and all 45 participants in that early stage trial.
And we're happy tonight to be joined by two of those participants in the Moderna phase one study, Neal Browning and Ian Haydon, welcome.
COOPER: Yes, thanks so much for being with us. Ian, as Dr. Fauci said in an interview late today that the antibodies that you guys now have in your bodies are, quote, gold standard -- the gold standard of antibodies. He predicted that this vaccine will likely be successful. What's it like to hear that?
IAN HAYDON, COVID-19 VACCINE TRIAL PARTICIPANT: You know, it's encouraging news, obviously. And you know, it's a little strange to be the subject of that data. But, you know, it's what we've all been hoping to hear. You know, it's still preliminary, though, there's many phases still to go.
COOPER: And, Neil, I mean, have you had a chance to kind of wrap your head around how important the study is just the enormity of the contribution that you that you're making?
NEAL BROWNING, COVID-19 VACCINE TRIAL PARTICIPANT: At the time, it was definitely not something that came to the forefront of my mind. But now it's really big news. It's great news. And it really helps build on the initial report that was released back in May, with just eight test subjects.
GUPTA: We finally get to look at some of this data guys. It was published, as you know, yesterday. I'm curious about it because I looked at the side effects sort of section of the paper. And Neal last time we talked to you, you said that you had some significant side effects after your second I believe injection and you were receiving the highest dose. There's a 25 microgram, 100 micrograms and 250. You're getting the highest dose. How are you doing that? If you can tell us a bit more about what those side effects were and how you've been doing since then.
BROWNING: Yes, I'll start by saying I'm doing great now. And really for almost all of this trial, I've been in normal health feeling fine. There was about a 24 hour period there where I was one of the unlucky ones, maybe one of the most unlucky ones. I ended up having some severe side effects. They lasted about a day. And those were things like a high fever, over 103, fatigue, muscle ache, nausea, things like that. I ended up going to urgent care as this was happening, so that the doctors could keep an eye on me and run some tests. But like I said, after about a day, those tapered away, and aside from that brief episode, I really had no issues whatsoever.
GUPTA: I mean the reason this is important, obviously, is the people in the trial all healthy between the ages of 18 and 55. We get to see what if the side effects are a larger concern. As more and more people start to get this vaccine. Did it surprise you Ian to learn that you weren't the only one to have some of these side effects?
HAYDON: It did. And, you know, in a very small sense, it's somewhat comforting to know that I wasn't totally alone in this, there may have been two other people in the high dose group who had something like what I went through. And as a result of that information, that high dose is no longer going to be tested.
COOPER: And Neal, what's next, as far as this study goes.
BROWNING: So, I went back in on the seventh of July and had a blood draw, and I have three more coming each three months apart, those are going to be sent off to a lab and analyzed and the idea there is to track how long those valuable antibodies are lasting in our bloodstream.
GUPTA: And I understand that, you know, Moderna has asked you guys if you would donate some of your white blood cells for them to study further, I guess is that what they're specifically looking for? But there was a study that recently came out saying, antibody sort of concentrations may start to wane. And people were infected around, you know, 30 days or so. Is that what they're sort of looking for with you guys as well Ian?
HAYDON: It seems to be the case. Yes, Sanjay, as you know, the antibody response is one component of the immune system, but the T- cell mediated component of immunity can protect against viruses too. And so, both of those things are being monitored and patients like us.
GUPTA: Yes. So even if you don't have antibodies, if your body can quickly make antibodies, because it has the memory from T and B cells, that can be helpful. Ian, I heard that your mom's also going to be a part of this trial. Is that right?
HAYDON: Maybe. She just found out -- she was asked to come in for a screening visit for phase three. She lives in California and put her name in the hat like a lot of other people are doing. And she already got a call back.
GUPTA: It's amazing. COOPER: Is that just by like, did she? Obviously, she knew you were in it. Did they know she was in it?
HAYDON: Total coincidence.
COOPER: Wow. That's cool. That's cool that your -- people in your family are doing it as well. It's really extraordinary. Neal. I mean, do you get it -- you know, are you informed as this goes along, or do you read about stuff from the paper or, you know, online is as the news comes out?
BROWNING: I'm basically just self-informed, I'd make sure that I keep really abreast of the situation, but they definitely keep this blind. So much so that even asking some of the people when I go in for blood draws at the Kaiser Research Center, they've said that they have no idea of what's going on until it's publicly released either.
GUPTA: So that the phase three is going to start July 27th. You guys probably knew that. Does that involve you guys at all? I mean, are you going to be -- is there anything more for you to do besides getting these blood draws?
BROWNING: No --
HAYDON: So, my understanding is --
BROWNING: -- we're locking us in the phase one and the idea there. My understanding is that they're just locking us into phase one, because we're going to be monitored as it goes along through that one year cycle, just to see how long the valuable antibodies and our immune reaction stays a legitimate level to hopefully protect someone.
COOPER: It's amazing what you're doing and, you know, certainly appreciate it and thank you for talking to us about it.
GUPTA: Thank you.
COOPER: And taking all along. We've been talking a lot of times these last few months. Neal Browning, Ian Haydon, thanks so much.
We'll check back with both them later on. See how they are doing through this study. Reminder at the bottom of your screen, you'll see our social media scroll shows questions that you are asking. You can tweet us your questions with the hashtag Cnn Town Hall. You can also leave a comment on the CNN Facebook page.
Back now with Sanjay and want to bring in -- one of the veterans of our global Town Hall, Dr. Leana Wen, former city Health Commissioner in the Baltimore and emergency room physician.
Dr. Wen, great to see you as well. Let's get right to viewer questions. This one is on vaccines. If you already contracted the virus, this person wants to know, would you still need a vaccine? If yes, then why? LEANA WEN, FMR BALTIMORE HEALTH COMMISSIONER: Yes. So based on what we know today, Anderson, the answer is yes. And that's because if you do get COVID-19 and recover from it, you develop antibodies, but we don't know yet how long these antibodies last and we don't know how much protection you get. Do you get protection for a few months a year? How complete is our protection. And the hope is that whatever vaccine is developed is a lot more consistent and that it will provide better and longer protection than your own natural immunity alone.
GUPTA: And I should say there was these really interesting studies out of China and Italy. You probably know Leana basically said, the sicker you got, the more antibodies you made. So there may be a correlation there, between, you know, how significant your illness was, as well.
COOPER: Sanjay, Michelle, in Virginia sent in, in this video, let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE: It has been reported that kids are less likely to get sick. How do we know this? What is the evidence? Does this evidence take into account the fact that schools have been closed? Is it possible that the school closures have caused or contributed to the decreased number of deaths and illness among students?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Sanjay What about that?
GUPTA: Yes, that's a -- it's a good question. There is some, some data around this and let me show you a little bit about what we now trying to look at, you know, how likely are young people to get in affected, how likely are they to be hospitalized. So see their children under 17 they make up about 6.5% of all the cases. But if you go to hospitalizations are just about 1% of hospitalizations, and about 0.3% of all deaths. So, it's the risk is not zero. It's low, but it's not zero. And I think that that's part of what this discussion is. Also keep in mind, you know, kids have largely been at home since March. My kids have mostly been at home since middle of March. So that's part of the reason we don't have great data and just how much they're transmitting yet.
COOPER: How -- just what's it like having kids at home that long, I mean as a parent, I you know, thankfully, right now my son is sleeping most of the day, so he has no idea what's going on.
GUPTA: No, it's, it's challenging. I mean, my girls are preteen and teenage girls, they're going stir crazy. They want to be with their friends. You know, sort of funny thing I think you guys will appreciate they said at times I think they blame me for all this because they see me on TV talking about it all the time. So they sort of say it's my fault. You know, so --
COOPER: Yes. GUPTA: -- no love there on that. But, you know, they're doing well. And, you know, we're blessed. We have a roof over our heads and food, and all of that. But, so, but it's challenging for them.
COOPER: Sanjay, this is a question from Rachel in Michigan, which reads, a lot of people are still having their graduation parties, they aren't wearing masks and on social distancing, and are sharing buffet style food, they're outside. Should people have graduation parties, and should people attend?
GUPTA: Yes, this is a big question. And, you know, one of the most common questions I get with my, my neighbors and things like that, I think there are ways to do this safely. But I think you just have to be thoughtful about things in a way that you haven't been before. Take a look at this video that we made.
GUPTA (on-camera): I think we can all agree that outdoor activities have been one of the bright spots during this pandemic. And it is true, you're a lot less likely to get infected. If you're outside, the virus has a lot more room to disperse. And when you're outside, one of the things people like to do barbecues. So if you're thinking about having a barbecue at your house, how do you do this as safely as possible? A couple things. First of all, this isn't going to be some big bash, you're going to have to limit the number of people you invite. And the people that you do invite, think about how they're going to be seated ahead of time. People can be seated together if they're part of the same household, but they should be at least six feet away from another household who's sitting over here.
You also want to think about how are they getting into the house, hopefully, they can just cut around to the backyard. But if they need to go through the house, or they need to go into the house for to go to the bathroom, prop doors open, so that people don't touch handles. Also, you know, one of the things I think is important is just let people know that you're taking this seriously, have hand sanitizer stations around where they can either use hand sanitizer like this, or just wash their hands.
Now, one of the big questions is, how do you handle food? Encourage people to bring their food as much as they can. But of course, this is a barbecue. So let me show you what I do. So I am the grill master today. And as the person who's going to be serving the food, I do wear a mask. People are going to come up one by one. They're going to wear a mask as well. That's one way we can cut down on transmission. You have to think about the surfaces that you touch, just have to be more mindful now in situations like this. So for example, I have a bowl of chips out here as an example of what not to do. Lots of people sticking their hands in that bowl of chips, that could potentially be a way that the virus is transmitted.
Think about what you do think about the fact that you want to come in as little contact with other people as possible. But you can still have some fun. If you're sick, if you're having any symptoms at all, obviously, you should stay home. Otherwise, it's good to be outside. Good for the physical health and good for the mental health.
COOPER: I'm such a bad cook. I was hoping you would actually give some advice on like how to actually grill. Yes, I'm just --
GUPTA: One lonely hamburger there.
COOPER: Right, no, yes. Well, hey, that's better than I could do to be honest. But I mean, it's an issue thing, the bowl of chips obviously, you know, I guess you know, a package of, you know, chips individually, so people can just take a bag of chips as opposed just sort of reaching in rummaging around.
GUPTA: Yes, setting out individual bowls and things like that. You know, what I what I sort of realized making that video even -- it's just -- you got to take an extra beat all the things that you sort of did mindlessly before. You just have to take an extra beat. But I think the situation I described there can be very safe and frankly, I got to tell you necessary for people to actually be able to get together, so they're not going stir crazy all the time.
COOPER: Dr. Wen, this next question is from a viewer in New Hampshire who's asking, gyms are open in my state, yet it's recently come out that the virus can stay in the air for several hours. Are gyms really safe.
WEN: So there is increasing evidence now. I think it's pretty clear that you don't just get coronavirus from these large respiratory droplets that you expel when you cover or sneeze, that there are also these aerosols that carry very small amounts of virus but that can linger up in the air for up to three hours and not to say that you're necessarily going to affect it after three hours, but that does exist and that is a mode of transmission just by breathing and in speaking you could expel these aerosols. And so, going to the gym is not something that has zero risk, there is risk, but you can reduce that risk. So, if for example, you are near at open a window, where there's a fan, the wind in the circulating air can help to dilute that virus. You can also go during off hours and make sure that you're staying at least six feet, ideally 10 feet away from somebody else was there.
And the other thing too is if you are someone with chronic medical conditions with multiple risk factors, and you still really want to go to the gym, then maybe go once a week. Don't go every day.
COOPER: Doctor Wen, Linda in New York State sent in a video. I just want to play for our viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDA: Thank you for having me. My question is my daughter is a teacher. Will she has to wear a mask all day facing and teaching the children? What is she to do? I hear wearing a mask for long periods of time is neither good nor healthy. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Dr. Wen, what about that?
WEN: Yes. So, a lot of school districts are going to be mandating that teachers and students wear masks. I mean, that's following good public health guidance. I know that this is something that's not comfortable and not natural for a lot of people. But at the same time, wearing a mask does not pose health risks. And actually, it's quite the opposite. That we know based on studies that if everyone wears masks that we reduce the risk of transmitting and acquiring COVID-19 by up to five times. So in a way, think about it like a medicine, if there's a pill that can reduce your chance of getting coronavirus by five times, I think we would all want to take that. And so we can think about masks the same way, it protects your daughter. It also protects the other students and teachers and staff and their families too.
COOPER: So Dr. Wen, just to be clear, this notion that that this woman has heard and certainly others have, you know, spread online that wearing a mask for long periods is dangerous for you, for yourself. That's not true.
WEN: That's not true. There are certain people who should not be wearing masks. So for example, if you are very young if you're under two years of age, if you're someone who cannot easily take off a mask by yourself, those -- there are certain people who should not be wearing masks, but for everybody else, it is safe to wear a mask. If you wear a disposable mask, throw it away. If you wear a cloth mask, wash it frequently. And it should be very safe and again, protective of everybody around you too.
COOPER: And just be clear, the under two doesn't need to wear masks is that because of fear of, you know, choking, they can't take the mask off themselves or is it they are somehow just it's not going to affect them the virus.
WEN: It's the former (ph). So we know that little children can still get coronavirus. As Sanjay mentioned they probably don't get it as much. They're not going to get as sick, but they can still get it the issue. I mean, I have an almost three year old and he can't really keep the mask on himself very easily. He'll be fidgeting with his mask a lot. Also, I think for really young kids for babies, there is the chance that you put the mask on them and then they can't remove it and that could be a hazard and of itself. But over to should be wearing a mask.
COOPER: All right, Dr. Wen, Tom in Ohio sent in this video. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM: There's been a lot of reporting recently about the resurgence and spread of COVID-19. Most reports focus on Florida, Texas and Arizona. The common thread with these three states is that they did not follow federal guidance and open too early. California has also experienced the same spike at the same time. By most, if not all reports, California followed federal guidance and open properly. Is there something we are missing about the recent increase in cases?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Dr. Wen?
WEN: Yes. This is a really good question. We know that anytime you have reopening, that you are going to get a resurgence in the number of cases. That's just the way that this virus works. It's very contagious. And what was keeping it in check was people separating from one another. So the resurgence that we're seeing is not unexpected. It's actually completely predictable. In the case of California, it was much faster. I think that a lot of us anticipated. But then the thing is, we also don't know the what if the counterfactual as in if they didn't follow all the guidance that they actually did, what they have seen a much higher peak, a much faster resurgence, and I think the answer almost certainly is yes.
COOPER: Interesting. Dr. Wen, really appreciate it as always, when the CNN Global Town Hall continues, ways you can help others during the pandemic.
COOPER: And welcome back to our CNN Global Town Hall Coronavirus Facts and Fears. We hope tonight we've helped with some of your answers to questions about the pandemic.
GUPTA: And, you know, we've seen so many of our viewers asking about resources for how they can help. You can find out by going to cnn.com/coronavirus. Find out how to help there. There are also categories to search for where you want to contribute and ways to search for help yourself. You can also go to cnn.com/impact. Anderson, thanks a lot.
COOPER: San -- yes, Sanjay. As always, thanks so much. We also want to thank our guest, Dr. Tom Frieden, Neal Browning and Ian Haydon. Also, thanks to those of you who wrote in with your questions, everyone who joined us. If you didn't get your question answered tonight, conversation continues at cnn.com/coronavirusanswers.
News continues right now, with Chris Cuomo.