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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Trump Says He'll Resume Coronavirus Briefings Despite Health Officials Having To Walk Back His Advice In The Past; Trump Now Touts Wearing A Mask, Calling It "Patriotic;" Early Results Suggest Oxford's Coronavirus Vaccine Is Safe And Induces Immune Response; Florida Reports 10,000-Plus Cases For Sixth Day In A Row; Los Angeles County Breaks Daily Record For Hospitalizations For Fourth Time In Past Week. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired July 20, 2020 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: May they rest in peace and may their memories be a blessing. Thanks for watching.
"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. now topping 3.8 million as the President changes his tune when it comes to masks and those task force briefings, at least for today.
Plus, safe and promising. New hope for vaccine after early results come in from one leading vaccine trial. A top researcher working on that vaccine is my guest.
And alarming spikes in California. One county, again, breaking its own record for hospitalizations. Where did California go so wrong? Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan in for Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, an urgent plea to the nation's governors, people need to wear a mask. That is the clear and direct message from the Vice President, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx today in a call with governors. So what then will we hear from the President who announced today he's resuming his version of the White House task force briefing?
As we speak, 31 states are heading in the wrong direction. The death rate also now increasing in 20 states. But is that why the briefings are returning? You're left to wonder because this is what the President said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was doing them and we had a lot of people watching, record numbers watching. In the history of cable television and television, there's never been anything like it. So I think we'll start that probably starting tomorrow. I'll do it at five o'clock like we were doing. We had a good slot and a lot of people were watching it. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Bring back the briefings. He mentioned the hot spots of Florida and Texas. But did he once again let that inside voice come out. That for him, it's really about the ratings. He also said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think it's a great way to get information out to the public.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: The briefings were a great way to get information out to the public when the doctors were leading them for sure. But when the President started taking over, you will remember he used the time to push dangerous claims, conspiracy theories and lies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Hydroxychloroquine, which I think as you know, it's a great malaria drug. What do you have to lose? They say take it. There are certain sections in the country that are in phenomenal shape already. Other sections are coming online, other sections are going down.
Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it's ultraviolet or just very powerful light and I think you said that hasn't been checked, but you're going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Shortly after that doozy, those briefings stopped and since then the crisis has only worsened. The number of people infected now surpassing 3.8 million. The number of people who have died from the virus now nearly 141,000.
The key to slowing this surge according to the White House task force, masks. Deborah Birx even telling the governors today that if 100 percent of the population wore masks and limited indoor gatherings and closed down bars, the result would nearly replicate sheltering in place.
Far short of that, but acknowledging reality, the President tweeting this image of himself wearing a mask today suggesting it's a patriotic thing to do.
Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live outside the White House for us. Now, Kaitlan, you have new reporting on what is actually driving this change from the President, not the death rate increasing in these in this deepening crisis?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, because the health experts have been talking about these concerning numbers for several weeks now. I mean, they've been going through all of this data during the taskforce meetings happening here at the White House.
But what we are told by several sources is it's the President's poll numbers that finally made him realize that he needed to change tactics here because basically campaign aides were telling the President that even our internal numbers do not look good for you when it comes to how Americans are judging the response to you and how you've handled coronavirus so far.
So that's what's led to the President's change of heart on masks, now encouraging people to wear them. It's still a welcome change to many inside the White House. They've been fighting with the President for months to try to get him to actually wear a mask, so they don't really care how they got here. They're just happy that he finally got here.
Even though we should know it is July 20th and the CDC back on April the 3rd was when they came out and said Americans should be wearing mask, changing some guidance that you had heard from health officials inside the administration before. So the big question with the President, Kate, returning these briefings, his briefings where he is at the helm is what they're going to look like because the President didn't specify today whether or not those health officials are going to come with him.
He did say he wants to focus on vaccine development, therapeutics, how that's looking because aides have been saying basically you shouldn't go out unless there's good news for you to share. So expect that to be a focus. But, of course, the question and the fear that some advisors have is that will turn into those briefings that you saw in April where he was suggesting things like using disinfectants to try to treat coronavirus.
And so that's what people will be watching for tomorrow when the President does come out at five o'clock. Does he do it? Some people are hopeful. Just takes a few questions and then lets the experts do the talking. Or does it go back to what we've been seeing at the height of these numbers which, of course, we are now seeing again. We should note, the President has not attended a taskforce briefing. There's only been two since the last several months.
BOLDUAN: So he might be surprised to hear what the facts are if he listens, we'll see. Great to see you, Kaitlan. Thank you so much.
All right. OUTFRONT with me tonight, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Jonathan Reiner, the Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at George Washington University Hospital. He also advised the White House medical team under President George W. Bush.
Sanjay, the President, as you heard him say, he says that the briefings are a great way to get information out to the public. Everyone would agree with that. That's the whole point of the White House task force briefing was to get information out to the public if they could stay on the same page, meeting with the President. But then we played the President's greatest hits from task force briefings in the past, I mean, do you think there is a benefit to having him restarting these briefings now?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think if you take everything in total, I think there's a benefit because I think when these briefings stopped, Kate, I think for a lot of people it felt like this thing was over. I think it obviously has to come With the caveats and I think Kaitlan laid those out pretty well. I have mixed feelings, obviously, we want to have good scientific information going out there and the level of seriousness, the level of gravity that this requires.
So, overall, I think it's a good idea. But it has to be done differently, obviously. It's a good sign that he's wearing a mask. All of these all these things have to sort of come together, I think, for these taskforce briefings to have the most impact.
BOLDUAN: Yes. And there are good things happening with therapeutics and with vaccine development, but you have to talk about the very serious problems that are happening to get even close to anywhere near that.
And then, I mean, Dr. Reiner, you now have the President, we can put up the tweet again of the President wearing a mask and he says, his words, "Many people say that it is patriot to wear a mask when you can't socially distance." I don't think anyone would call that a profile in courage in that statement, but do you think the President is finally understanding how bad things are?
JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I think the President is finally understanding how bad the polls are and I don't think he's reacting to the real carnage occurring across the United States. I think he's reacting to his plummeting poll numbers. The coronavirus task force, actually the CDC recommend it, as you said, mask that the public wear masks on April 3rd, that's 108 days.
On April 3, there were 7,600 deaths in the United States and about 280,000 cases, 7,600 deaths. Since then, over 130,000 more people have died. That's what's happened in the span of the initial recommendation and now this super lukewarm endorsement by the President.
In his Fox News interview yesterday, the President really said masks caused problems too. So what is it? Let's have an unequivocal announcement from the President, even better, how about an executive order requiring Americans to wear masks when they're in public. Let's remove all doubt about what you mean about patriotic duty, say it directly, all Americans should wear masks in public.
If 95 percent of Americans started to wear masks between now and November 1st, when the IHME estimates that over 220,000 Americans will have been killed by this virus, 95 percent of Americans wearing masks will reduce that by about 40,000. Forty thousand lives can be saved. The President comes out and says everybody wears a mask, do it.
BOLDUAN: And another thing, Sanjay, actually and I'm glad you brought up that interview with Chris Wallace, Dr. Reiner, because another thing that the President said in that interview is he called Dr. Fauci the way he put it was he called him a bit of an alarmist. You speak very frequently to Dr. Fauci and many people at the CDC, do you agree with that assessment that Dr. Fauci is an alarmist?
GUPTA: No. I really don't, I mean, and I don't want to be equivocal here. In some ways, I have to say I wish the Dr. Fauci were even, I wouldn't say more alarmist, but certainly more forceful.
BOLDUAN: I'll say it, more of an alarmist.
GUPTA: Yes. I mean, he's very measured, right? He's a scientist. He's very measured in the way that he speaks. I think, the most alarming, I think, we've heard something from Dr. Fauci was when he said, look, there's likely to be a hundred thousand people who are contracting this virus, by whatever date. And now it's looking like he was very much right.
I think all along, he has sort of tried to make sure that he was giving this message in a way that could be palatable by the American people, which I understand. I mean, he's a doctor, he's trying to sort of balance this hope and honesty. But alarmist is not the word I would use at all. I think that he in some ways probably needs to be even more aggressive sometimes in the language because people do listen to him. They do.
And if he pulls a punch a little bit, they'll say, well, look, he's pulling a bunch. It's not that big a deal. So I think he definitely has to be out there being very forceful in terms of how he's presenting these things.
BOLDUAN: And that does not help the President if he really wants to get information out to continue diminishing, and in some way disparaging the top infectious disease expert we have in the country.
I mean, Dr. Reiter, the President, also, you pointed out some of the incorrect things he said in that interview, but he also went again to - he completely push incorrect views on basic science or he doesn't understand or did he doesn't care to, again, with you get more cases because you're testing more people. That's just one example.
But then he also said this that really stuck out to me. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'll be right eventually. I will be right eventually.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: I understand.
TRUMP: I said it's going to disappear. I'll say it again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: I mean, Chris Wallace kind of laughed at it. I'm not sure if it is funny at all. What kind answer is that coming from the President of the United States that eventually I'm going to be right about this whole thing that the virus is going to disappear when you're smack dab in the middle of the crisis.
REINER: Yes. Sanjay would remember this model that we have in medicine that eventually all bleeding stops. But occasionally it stops in a way that's not so good for the patient. Yes. Eventually this virus is going to go away. The question is, is what is the toll going to be, will anyone be able really to explain how this President of the United States can essentially laugh about being wrong so many times.
From the beginning of this pandemic, the President has spouted a series of factually incorrect or magical thinking or outright lies over and over and over again. So I agree with Sanjay, I look forward to the task force meetings being televised but I want to hear the truth. I want to hear only the truth and I want to hear the truth from people who understand it.
And if the President can do that great, I welcome that. Welcome to the team, Mr. President. But I only want to hear the truth.
BOLDUAN: Sanjay, the Missouri Governor said something today, I wanted to ask you about.
GUPTA: I agree.
BOLDUAN: That he was saying the state has to move forward with sending kids back to school because this is how he put it, they're at the lowest risk possible and if they do get COVID, they're going to go home and they're going to get over it. But there's also new research that kids over 10 spread the virus just as easily as adults. Do we know enough about children and this disease to make that call?
GUPTA: I don't think we do yet. I mean, and this is something we've been doing some deep reporting on Kate and trying to really understand, A; how sick do children get and I think that data has been holding up. They are less likely to get sick, certainly as compared to adults. But in terms of transmissibility even after I looked at the study, this new study from South Korea, I think it's still a bit of an open question.
Let me show you Missouri real quick in terms of what's happening there. I think that you have to look at what's happening in the community to really get a good idea of whether or not you should open. Kate, I mean, these numbers don't look good. They had their highest seven day average, just over these past seven days.
If your community is growing in terms of overall virus spread, I think it's going to be hard to open up schools and I'm not so sure that younger kids definitively transmit less. I think that's still a bit of an open question.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Great to see you both. Thank you.
OUTFRONT next, encouraging news in the race for a vaccine. One trial reporting safe and promising early results. Does this mean we are close to a vaccine? I'm going to talk to one of the lead researchers working on that vaccine. Plus, four hospitals in Broward County, Florida are now at 100 percent
capacity for ICU beds. I'm going to talk to the county's Mayor about whether he's seeing any sign of improvement.
And Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to be back with us with a special report on what's being done to help stop the disease.
BOLDUAN: Tonight, the race for a vaccine. Three of the world's leading candidates reporting positive early trial results and the major headline coming from the University of Oxford which found its vaccine is safe so far and induces an immune response. OUTFRONT now, Professor Adrian Hill, one of the lead researchers working on the vaccine at Oxford.
Professor, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate your time. Layout for us the promising signs that you're seeing with your vaccine.
ADRIAN HILL, LEAD RESEARCHER IN OXFORD'S VACCINE TESTING ON HUMANS: What we've reported today in The Lancet is a new data set on the phase one trial of our vaccine. Meaning, just over a thousand people. And Firstly, the safety data looks very reassuring in all of those individuals, no serious adverse events, nothing of significant concern.
And then when we look at the immune responses, they are present in everybody. We see good neutralizing antibodies. These are the ones that we are looking for that should inhibit the infection of the virus into cells. And in addition, we see the other arm of the immune system, a cellular arm usually called T-cells, which are there in large numbers as well even after a single dose of the vaccine.
So really results at the high end of our of our expectations. So we are now moving forward. We vaccinated around about 10,000 people in trials so far and we are following those for efficacy to see if the vaccine really works.
BOLDUAN: Right. So now you're charging to phase three. You've got trials in the U.K., Brazil and South Africa. They're underway. Can you say how much closer you are now to a final vaccine?
HILL: Well, I should add that the largest trial should start soon and that is actually in the U.S. so we're hoping that will be underway in the next two or three weeks. How close we are depends, of course, on the incidence of infection in the trial population. That's relatively low in the U.K., but high in South Africa and high in Brazil and we anticipate that in some of the states that we work in the U.S., the infection rates will be high as well. So it's very difficult to call. It could be September, it could be
October, nobody really knows and that we're blinded to the data as it comes in.
HILL: We're certainly hoping for this year, absolutely.
BOLDUAN: Still hoping for this year. The big unknown is how strong the immunity is and how long it lasts. When do you think you will have an answer to that with your vaccine?
HILL: Yes. The two of those two questions how - whether the immune response is strong enough to protect people with high efficacy is really the key question. In terms of how long it will last, we're less concerned about that. We've used this vaccine type before immunity is durable, certainly for a year, probably longer than that, so that's much less of a risk.
The real question that nobody can answer is are the immune responses that we in some other groups are seeing actually strong enough, potent enough to stop this infection happening and to protect people. Based on what we've seen in animal data, the answer is probably yes but humans could be different.
BOLDUAN: The record breaking the pace at which you and other developers are working is so comforting to so many, as vaccine is really the only way out of this global crisis. But what do you say, Professor, to people who are concerned that it's all moving too fast, so much faster than other vaccine development has gone in the past, that speed could compromise safety, what do you say to that?
HILL: Well, I think we can reassure those people along these lines. We're not actually doing anything different to what we would traditionally do in vaccine development. Yes, we're moving faster but all of the checks and balances in the system are being observed in a stringent regulatory review.
We have data safety monitoring committees. Of course, everything goes through an ethical committee, and the quality of the vaccine that we're using is what we would normally use in any development program. And in fact, we're learning a lot more about scaling up this vaccine now that we have to make hundreds of millions of doses, so there aren't any shortcuts.
We're observing all of the safety requirements, but we're doing that with less gap in between all of the stages. So we're getting very rapid response from the regulators, decisions off from the same day, an interactive process and this is the way that all vaccines could be developed if there were sufficient resources and determination in the system to develop other vaccines in the same - at the same speed.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Setting a good precedent, I would argue for vaccines going forward, but let's see what happens here first. Professor, thank you very much for your time and your work. I look forward to hearing how the next phase goes. HILL: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT for us next, Florida reporting more than 10,000 new cases of coronavirus for the sixth day in a row. I'm going to talk to the Mayor of one county where ICU beds are running low right now. How bad is it?
Plus, the search for a motive after police identify a suspect in the deadly shooting at a federal judge's home.
BOLDUAN: New tonight, Florida reporting more than 10,000 new cases of coronavirus for the sixth day in a row and more than 50 hospitals across the state are at 100 percent capacity for beds in their intensive care units. This as the Governor faces growing criticism over his response to the crisis. Nick Watt is OUTFRONT.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R) FLORIDA: ... be a better option because ...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): In Florida, the Governor was heckled today. Florida's average death toll doubled these past two weeks. Monete Hicks lost two of her children to COVID-19, Brian Francis (ph) and Michaela (ph) in the space of 11 days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONETE HICKS, LOST SON AND DAUGHTER TO CORONAVIRUS: Honestly, I can't say where they got this virus from because they basically was home bound. I mean only thing I'd say we went to Orlando for a vacation and all of a sudden they came home sick. Wear your mask. If you don't have to come out, stay home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT (voice over): But the Governor still won't mandate masks. So in Miami, the city will fine those with uncovered faces.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: It's bizarre that we have turned the mask wearing into something political. Imagine you were an alien coming to planet Earth, you would be totally astounded, puzzled, amazed. You'd wonder what is going on here?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT (voice over): Nationally, we're now seeing three times the number of new cases every day compared to mid June and nearly 60,000 Americans are right now hospitalized with COVID-19. Getting close to the grim record set back in April.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADMIRAL BRETT GIROIR, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR HEALTH, HHS: There is no question that we're having a surge right now. It really is all hands on deck. This is serious, but we know how to stop this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT (voice over): And in this graph, there might be some optimism. Average new case counts are flattening just a little in our hotspots; California, Arizona, Florida and Texas. Let's hope that holds. A possible reason ...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since the mask order went into place, I have seen more people in my community who are wearing masks, who are doing more social distancing. I think some of these individual behavior changes are driving some of the improvement that we're seeing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT (voice over): As New York City moves into phase four opening today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a message aimed at young party goers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) NEW YORK: I'm telling you in plain New York speak as a born and bred New Yorker, it's stupid what you're doing. It is stupid. Don't be stupid. What they're doing is stupid and reckless for themselves and for other people, and it has to stop.
WATT: And he has a message for police departments. Make people wear masks.
CUOMO: They have to enforce the law. That is the only line between anarchy and civilization.
WATT: And, of course, so many places right now, Kate, wrestling with what to do with schools. Eighty-seven doctors in Arizona have written to their governors saying, October at the earliest and anything else would be ill advised and dangerous.
And in Florida, the education association is actually suing some county and state leaders over the order that they must at least offer five day in-person teaching. They say that would be reckless and unconscionable.
BOLDUAN: Thank you. OUTFRONT with me now is the mayor of Broward County, Florida, Dale
Holness. Broward is one of the hardest hit counties in the state.
Mayor, thank you so much for being here. Really appreciate it. Thank you for leading by example with your mask. That is something that I love to see.
The latest that we're hearing is there are currently four hospitals in your county that are on 100 percent capacity for ICU beds and four others just have one bed available in the ICU. That is not a good sign.
Are you seeing any signs that this is going to improve anytime soon?
MAYOR DALE V.C. HOLNESS (D), BROWARD COUNTY, FL: It is definitely not a good sign. We saw large numbers today, 1,700 new cases with a positivity rate of over 17 percent, where we stand today is we have 57 ICU beds available. That's about 10.9 percent of the 521 beds we have available for ICU.
One of our hospitals, Memorial Healthcare System, has -- is pretty much under siege is what they told me today. They have had to expand their ability to accommodate more patients. They're right on the line with Miami-Dade County and we're seeing a large number coming from Miami-Dade. They have a much larger number of cases in total than we do they have over 86,000 COVID cases. We have about 40,000 cases.
Their numbers are usually much higher than ours. They are telling me that we must ensure that we follow the CDC guidelines. Wear facial covering at all time. We mandated that in April 11th.
We further that anywhere you are when you're interfacing with the public as of July 1st, you must wear facial covering.
We know that is something that helps prevent the spread of this disease. We must ensure that we're doing necessary to protect all of us.
BOLDUAN: Let me ask you, because one key indicator to watch is the test positivity rate. In Broward, that just jumped back up yesterday, back up to 17.6 percent. That is the highest as we were looking at it since July 8.
Mayor, what is driving this?
HOLNESS: Well, part of what I think we believe is happening is the many parties that are happening in single family houses and as such, we impose the curfew that prevents folks from being out after 11:00. We know that many of these parties are gatherings with large numbers of people with no social distancing, no facial coverings. In fact, Broward sheriff's office this weekend shut down five parties in one three mile -- three square mile area.
So, we know that's a big problem that we're having. Many of our restaurants are acting as clubs and bars, even though we did not allow them to open, clubs and bars, and we are shutting those down at 10:00 in the evening also so that we don't have the partying going on late into the night.
BOLDUAN: Now, I want to play you something. You've put a curfew in place like other counties have, but I want to play something for you. The mayor of Hialeah was on CNN the other day. He seems frustrated not only do you all not have statewide policies but you have different policies from county to county.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CARLOS HERNANDEZ, HIALEAH, FL: Here at Miami-Dade County, our -- the county next to us at Broward County, we have a curfew here where restaurants are closed and in Broward the restaurants are open so what's happening instead of people not going to restaurants, they're just going across the border to those restaurants.
So, as long as we don't work together, and I'm talking counties and the state, we're going to -- we are going to find ourselves in this problem right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Mayor, should you be shutting down restaurants?
HOLNESS: Well, I can tell you this that we had better control of the spread in Broward County as I told you the numbers before. We worked closely with Miami and Palm Beach County especially at the onset before reopened.
Palm Beach moved ahead of opening (INAUDIBLE) Broward County. Miami- Dade also we stayed closed a little longer.
We believe at this point the measures taken, if -- are followed, if they're followed, we will be able to beat this virus.
BOLDUAN: That's the key, if people are following the leadership that you are offering up.
Mayor, thank you for your time. Appreciate it.
OUTFRONT next --
HOLNESS: Thank you for having me. Stay safe, everyone.
BOLDUAN: Thank you very much.
Up next, Dr. Sanjay Gupta with a special report on how antibodies are playing a bigger role in helping keep the sick from getting sicker.
Plus, California quickly closing in on New York as the state with the most cases of COVID. Where did California go wrong?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BOLDUAN: Tonight, could antibodies be the key? They are a protein that your body produces to fight off bacteria, parasites and viruses like COVID. They are not only vital for vaccine development but also in treatment.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is OUTFRONT.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If there's one thing most humans on the planet want right now, it's antibodies. Your body can produce them if infected. A vaccine can also provide you with them.
But there is another way. It is called antibody therapy. That means taking the antibodies from the blood of someone who's already infected and recovered from COVID-19.
DR. MARSHALL LYON, DIRECTOR, TRANSPLANT INFECTIOUS DISEASES, EMORY UNIVERSITY: We've used it for rabies for hundreds of years. More recent history in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa people tried something called convalescent plasma.
GUPTA: Dr. Marshall Lyon is an infectious disease physician at Emory University. He also treated some of the first Ebola patients in the United States.
LYON: So plasma is the part of the blood which contains all of these antibodies.
GUPTA: Within the plasma, you are likely to find antibodies which specifically attach to this part of the virus. It is called the spike protein and it's the key to entering human cells.
BARNEY GRAHAM, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE VACCINE RESEARCH CENTER AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: If an antibody binds this little finger part, that is obviously going to block the attachment to the cell. That will neutralize the virus.
GUPTA: Dr. Barney Graham is deputy director of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health.
GRAHAM: There's other spots that you can bind the protein that disrupts its function.
GUPTA: What he is describing are called neutralizing antibodies. They work to block the virus from actually infecting cells in our body.
GRAHAM: Having an antibody or the plasma from convalescent patients allows you to accomplish at least temporarily what we're trying to accomplish with the vaccine. So you can just give the antibody ahead of time and create temporary immunity.
GUPTA (on camera): Taking antibodies in that plasma and giving that to somebody either to help protect them against becoming infected or even possibly as a treatment. How effective should that type of antibody therapy be convalescent plasma?
GRAHAM: I think it's very important that the serum therapies and plasma therapies and even immuno globulin therapies are tested both as treatment for serious disease but maybe also intervention in the early phase of infection so it doesn't progress to serious disease.
GUPTA (voice-over): The hope is that these antibodies can do a preemptive strike, preventing more serious disease from developing in someone who is infected or maybe even blocking infection all together in people who are at high risk like health care workers. Some have even called it a bridge to the vaccine. Companies like Eli Lilly and Regeneron are now trying new therapies using neutralizing antibodies recovered from patients, but then manufactured in the lab. They're known as monoclonal antibody therapies.
GRAHAM: To be able to put them to good use in therapy and prevention is an exciting new technology.
GUPTA: But there is an issue, some recent research has found COVID-19 antibodies may wane after several weeks, and it was those who are sickest who tend to produce the most antibodies. And keep in mind, the majority of people with COVID experience just mild symptoms.
(on camera): How does it compare to how long the antibodies should last from a vaccine?
GRAHAM: For antibodies the typical half life in humans is around three to four weeks. And so, those antibodies if given at a high dose could last a couple months.
GUPTA (voice-over): These are all considerations in developing a COVID-19 treatment as well as a vaccine.
BOLDUAN: Sanjay is back with me.
Sanjay, this is so fascinating and important.
BOLDUAN: But this that bit on how concerning is it what we're seeing with this waning antibody response, what does it really mean?
GUPTA: Yes, I think it's a concern and I think that the vaccinologists, people who are working on this are really trying to address this. I watched your interview with Dr. Adrian Hill who says with his type of vaccine platform, the antibodies should last a long time.
But one other thing I stick in your head, Kate, it's the antibodies which people are measuring but we should also be looking at what is known as T-cells. And T-cells, again something Professor Hill mentioned, T-cells are sort of the core component of this immune response. So even if you have antibodies that have waned, over time, if you have still T-cells, the T-cells can quickly ramp up the immune system in response to a virus.
So, you've got to look at both. It looks like the T-cell reactivity is still there and prominent. So, that's going to be helpful.
BOLDUAN: Learning so much but still so far to go. It's great. Thank you, Sanjay.
OUTFRONT for us next, California breaking records when it comes to new cases and hospitalizations. So what can be done to reverse this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to just shut down for now.
I think that is our only way out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: And the FBI just now naming the person accused of opening fire on a federal judge's family, killing the judge's son. What we're learning now about the suspect.
BOLDUAN: New tonight, for the fourth time in one week, Los Angeles County is breaking its own record for the number of people that are in the hospital with coronavirus, which also means California is inching closer to surpassing New York's record of having the most cases in the country.
What went so wrong in California?
Sara Sidner is OUTFRONT.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you're sleeping you're on your belly? OK. Good.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The staff at this California hospital is nearing exhaustion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every breathing minute, I think about COVID-19.
SIDNER: In a video diary from inside Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage, nurse Catherine Davis says she is used to seeing one death a year in her unit. With 700 COVID patients treated here so far, she has now seen 40 deaths.
CATHERINE DAVIS, COVID-19 UNIT NURSING DIRECTOR: We would ensure that a patient did not die alone. So, you know, we would take turns spending time with them and holding their hand and talking to them.
SIDNER: Doctors knew they had the beds to treat the surge but not the staff.
DR. ANIL PREUMBETI, PULMONOLOGIST, EISENHOWER HEALTH: When we heard that the next, you know, wave of relief might come in in two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, you know, that's when things become a little bit desperate.
SIDNER: They asked the federal government for help and it arrived an air force medical team help shoulder the unending load. The stress repeated over California.
So, how did we get here? The state was the first to announce a stay- at-home order, that was March 19th.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: This is a moment we need to make tough decisions.
SIDNER: Seven weeks later, the governor reopened the state on May 8th.
NEWSOM: You have bent the curve.
SIDNER: But that wasn't to be.
By early June, the seven-day average for new daily coronavirus cases was more than 2600. By July 11th, it peaked at more than 9,400, more than a 250 percent increase.
(on camera): Anne Rimoin, you are renowned epidemiologists, what went wrong in California?
ANNE RIMOIN, UCLA EPIDEMOLOGIST: You know, we opened up too soon. We didn't have the virus totally under control.
SIDNER (voice-over): Experts agree. Residents and local governments got complacent. Case in point, three suburban counties in L.A. all lifted their mask requirements under heavy pressure from angry residents.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: None of this is based on science, but rather a nefarious political agenda to silence the people and strip freedoms from hard-working Americans.
SIDNER: Now hard-working Americans in all three counties are seeing a COVID surge and hospital beds are filling up.
DAVIS: And that's frightening, because where do we go from there?
SIDNER (on camera): Are patients telling you how they might have gotten it?
DAVIS: Yes. Well, some of them are partiers. Some of them have gone out and gone to parties, no masks.
SIDNER (voice-over): But Los Angeles County did and still does have strict mask requirements. Tickets are even being issued if you don't compile and yet, it's still the epicenter of a California surge.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: How much worse does it have to get in Los Angeles before you feel compelled to issue another stay-at-home order?
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES: Well, I think we're on the brink of that.
RIMOIN: People are not following the rules, they are not wearing masks. They're not social distancing.
SIDNER: Among them, California's 40 and under who make up more than half of the state's new cases. Also hard hit, the Latino community that makes up a third of the population but more than half of COVID infections.
DAVIS: Sometimes it's mom and dad's work experience that has brought them into contact with it and then it goes through the whole family.
SIDNER: Experts say fixing all this comes only one way.
RIMOIN: You have to just shut down for now. I think that that is our only way out.
SIDNER: And that is really depressing for most anyone. Everyone worrying about the economy coming back but as a couple people told us, you have to have a healthy society to have a healthy economy.
And one of the other big issues is testing. It used to take a couple days. Now it can take up to a week just to get an appointment. When you get your results back is a whole different problem -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Sara, thank you.
OUTFRONT next, a gunman appearing to wear a FedEx uniform kills the son of a federal judge. What police are saying about the suspect and the motive tonight.
BOLDUAN: Tonight, the FBI identifying the man suspected of going to the New Jersey home of a federal judge and shooting and killing her son. Authorities say Roy Den Hollander began shooting as soon the 20- year-old son of Judge Esther Salas opened the door. The judge's husband is also injured by the gunfire. Hollander was found dead from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Evan Perez is OUTFRONT now.
There's a lot going on here, Evan. What are you learning about the suspect?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Kate, the suspect, the shooter is believed to be someone who is active in men's rights movement and anti feminists. And we believe that -- our investigators believe that the beef he had against the judge seems to dwell from a case that she was involved with.
He had one case before her in which she ruled partially in his favor but the case is still on going. It involves the selective service and draft movement and essentially, he was arguing that it is a sexist program by the government. It appears so that this is partly why this shooting occurred.
Now, this is how it went down. On Sunday afternoon, the family is quiet. They're in New Jersey. There is a knock at the door and someone is dressed as a FedEx driver is at the door. Apparently, as soon as the door is opened, the gunman opens fire.
Daniel Anderl is the son. He is hit and killed at 20 years old, barely 20 years old. The husband is also shot in the process. It is a very, very tragic story, but it appears according to investigators that he had some kind of grudge against this judge. We found some of his writings online, Kate, including where he's making racist and sexist comments against this judge.
There's a lot of investigating still to be done here but it appears this man had a grudge against this judge.
BOLDUAN: So horrible.
Evan, the judge's husband, her son has passed. The husband remains in the hospital this evening. What is the latest on his condition?
PEREZ: That's right, Kate. He's in stable condition according to a law partner of Mr. Anderl. It appears that he is going to have another operation on Tuesday. The judge, Esther Salas, is not -- was not harmed in this attack. Obviously, there is a lot of tremendous concern about the safety of judges around the country as a result of this attack -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Oh, absolutely. I mean, there's no question. This is a rare thing to happen but it's so tragic what we are looking at right now.
BOLDUAN: It's just truly unbelievable. A lot to learn.
Evan, thank you so much. Much more to come on that.
Thank you so much for joining us this evening. I'm Kate Bolduan.
"AC360" starts right now.