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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Trump & Pence Hold Vaccine Events In North Carolina, Florida; Volunteer In First U.S. Phase 3 Vaccine Trial Speaks To CNN. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 27, 2020 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN HOST: Tech stocks are leading the way and leading higher on Wall Street. Let's take a look now. The Dow is up ever so slightly,
about 28 points or so. The big focus on Wall Street is of course to look at earnings and that stimulus package Senate Republicans are yet to unveil.
Those are the markets, and these are the reasons why.
Travel stocks are sinking across Europe as the U.K. puts even tougher restrictions on Spain.
Google tell staff they can work from home until July next year.
And Moderna shares are soaring as it enters Phase 3 for its vaccine tests.
Coming to you live from New York, it is Monday, the 27th of July. I'm Zain Asher and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Tonight, some holidays in Europe could be coming to an end. The travel companies are scrambling after the U.K. re-imposed a mandatory two week
quarantine for people returning from Spain. The British government now discourages all nonessential travel to Spain including its islands as well.
Spain is confronting its worst uptick in coronavirus since early May. Downing Street also warns that new outbreaks could shut down so called
travel bridges to popular vacation spots in France and Germany as well.
The British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, called the decision towards Spain a targeted intervention. I want you to listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOMINIC RAAB, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: We appreciate the disruption for travelers, anyone that risk losing money, needs to go and talk to their
travel operator and look at their insurance. But we must take these measures to avoid the risk of reinfection into the U.K. given the very
serious spiking cases in Spain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Dominic Raab speaking there about protecting British citizens. European travel stocks also tell the story as well, too. TUI, the
continent's largest tour operator is faring the worst, down about 12 percent, almost 13 percent actually than the airlines, EasyJet for example
down six percent, IAG, which owns British Airways down nearly five percent. Germany's Lufthansa down about four percent there at the bottom of your
Tourists and tour operators say they feel blindsided by the U.K.'s decision. The outbreak in Spain is not nearly as bad as it was, but the
average daily case count is clearly ticking higher. You see that there? If you look closer to where it says July, you see the cases rising.
Meantime, the Spanish government insists things are under control. Atika Shubert spoke to travelers left in the lurch in Valencia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Checking into the British Airways flight from Valencia to London and straight into a 14-day
quarantine on arrival. Some passengers are angry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT (on camera): What was your reaction when you first heard that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Utterly stupid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Simply because they didn't give time to the people to know about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT (voice over): A parents-only weekend getaway has turned into a two-week family separation for Phil Bignew. He left the kids with the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we'll end up probably splitting the family up for 14 nights and we don't live too far apart, but it's still a strange scenario
that we've never faced before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT (voice over): And a trip to see parents in Spain now means missing out on crucial work in the U.K. for Miriam Cortez.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)`
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I asked my job and they are going to test us, so I will have to be at home for two weeks and I work in a hospital. So even
being a doctor, we are not tested to be able to go back to work.
SHUBERT (on camera): So a lot of frustration and some resignation from the passengers here, quite a few telling me they actually felt safer with the
tougher measures here in Spain than in the U.K.
The Spanish government, meanwhile, says the country is still safe for visitors.
SHUBERT (voice over): There are more than 200 outbreaks at the moment in Spain, including one in the City of Barcelona, home to several million
people and a major tourist destination.
Despite pleas by the local government to stay at home to curb the spread of the virus, Barcelona's beaches were still busy this weekend. Spain's
Foreign Minister said on Sunday that only certain regions were affected, similar to the rise in infection seen in other E.U. countries.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARANCHA GONZALEZ LAYA, SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER: Spain East a safe country for tourists and for Spaniards. Like in any other European country, we are
seeing outbreaks, the outbreaks in Spain are perfectly controlled.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHUBERT (voice over): But nonetheless, the U.K. is not the only one to take precautions. Norway has also ordered a quarantine on travelers
returning from Spain and France has warned its citizens not to cross the border into Spain for travel to any high risk areas.
Atika Shubert, CNN, Valencia, Spain.
ASHER: Some U.K. operators like Jet2 have already begun canceling all flights to and from Spain. The resurgence of cases across Europe deals a
devastating blow to the continent's hopes for a summer travel season.
It's also damaging the global tourism industry as well and individual economies that badly need the flow of tourists. Businesses from major
airlines to small restaurants and guest houses already struggling to survive the pandemic.
ASHER: Kelly Cookes is Leisure Director at Advantage Travel Partnership, U.K.'s largest travel agent consortium. She joins us live now from
So Kelly, this decision to reverse travel corridors with Spain obviously caught a lot of travelers by surprise. When you have travel companies,
airlines, travel agents at the whim of the government decisions, how does that affect the industry and how does the industry plan for a summer
KELLY COOKES, LEISURE DIRECTOR, ADVANTAGE TRAVEL PARTNERSHIP: It's very difficult. So we all agree that consumer safety absolutely is the top
priority. What is difficult is when we receive the information at the same time as everybody else, and that makes it incredibly difficult to be able
to plan for the safe return of customers, and also for customers that haven't yet traveled, so it makes it incredibly difficult for us to be able
to give the proper customer service and plan for what the rest of the summer might look like.
ASHER: So Spain is obviously a huge source of revenue for U.K. travel companies. Does that revenue now disappear completely? Or do you think
travelers will swap out Spain and instead travel to France, Germany, other European destinations instead?
COOKES: At the moment, the reaction has been mixed, and we are seeing a good portion of people still choosing to travel overseas and opting to go
for a different destination. But undoubtedly, there will be a ripple effect here and consumer confidence is already low.
So we really need to rebuild that confidence, and this is making it more difficult to do that, but the hope is that the more people that do go
overseas and report back that their experience has been positive, then that will cause more people to feel comfortable with traveling again.
ASHER: So obviously, the U.K. government's priority is protecting British citizens when it comes to health. Is there a way though, do you think that
they could have handled this better, perhaps in terms of effectively communicating with the industry at large before they made this decision?
What way do you think they could have improved communication here?
COOKES: Collaboration for us is key really, so what we would like is more collaboration in advance of these communications going out, that allows us
to be able to plan and look after customers better, and at the moment, with us finding out at the same time as everybody else, it just causes such
And so what we would really like is a collaborative approach and more of a system. So at the moment, making a decision around travel crosses over a
number of different government departments.
What we would really like is an agreed process whereby if countries do need to be taken off that list, we can work collaboratively to make that a
little bit smoother.
ASHER: Are you worried that perhaps after Spain, we're going to see the same thing happen with France, perhaps with Germany? And if that is the
case, if it is, there are quarantine rules imposed for travelers from Spain, France and Germany, does that in effect spell the end of the summer
holiday season for the U.K.?
COOKES: I think what we are seeing is customers that do have a will to travel. So, while there are still options, I think people will still
continue to want to travel.
Obviously, there are less destinations that we have available, it does make it more complex in terms of the availability and what that process looks
So I think what we would like to see is more of a regional approach. So rather than taking whole countries off the list, being able to look at the
different parts of those countries and perhaps just leave some of them off the list and some of them still open to travelers.
ASHER: So given the uncertainty then, I mean, what is your timeline just in terms of when you expect the British travel industry to be able to
rebound from all of this?
COOKES: I mean, that's an incredibly difficult question at the moment, because every different country has slightly different rules, and we're
seeing different spikes in different areas.
So what we're trying to do is adopt a list that is a lot more straightforward. So one list that's very clear, both to the industry and to
consumers. And then I think it's a case of being able to work with the destinations that are open and that we feel comfortable sending travelers
out to, and that will be different timeframes for different parts of the world.
ASHER: All right. Kelly Cookes, live for us. Thank you so much. Appreciate that.
Just as the $600.00 per week Federal unemployment benefits are set to expire, U.S. Senate Republicans are ready to roll out a new stimulus plan.
We are live in Washington for you just ahead.
ASHER: In the next hour, Senate Republicans are set to unveil a $1 trillion coronavirus relief package. It would cut federal unemployment
benefits of $600.00 per week down to $200.00 per week. States would then transition to a new system designed to pay laid off workers about 70
percent of their previous wages.
The plan would also give many Americans a direct stimulus check of $1,200.00. Let's bring in CNN White House correspondent, John Harwood.
So, John, we know there have been some sticking points between Senate Republicans and the White House. What is the source of that tension? And
why has it taken so long for them to be able to get on the same page?
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Zain, there are a couple of sources of tension. One of them is that a large chunk of the Republican
Party would rather not do anything at all. Republicans are very much against government spending if it's not on the military. They are looking
to shrink the size of government.
So after the multiple coronavirus bills that passed earlier this year, they were hoping that positive trends in controlling the virus were going to
persist and there wouldn't have to be any more legislation.
Now we've seen what's happened. The virus is resurgent, especially in the south and west. It is now slowing down the economy. The polls have turned
very negative for Republicans both for President Donald Trump and for Republican control of the Senate.
And so now they're -- especially those Republicans who are on the ballot are feeling a lot of pressure to do something. So they've got a resolve
that with the anti-spending folks within their caucus.
The Democrats are pretty united. They passed a bill two months ago to allocate $3 trillion for a range of things, including the direct payments,
including the extended unemployment benefits. That's $600.00 a week from the Federal government through January, including money for testing, for
election security and relief for state and local governments. Republicans want to do much less than that.
Now, here's the challenge, to resolve the $1 trillion that McConnell is laying out and the $3 trillion that Nancy Pelosi has advanced, that's going
to take some time to go back and forth.
But there's a deadline this week of the extension of those Federal unemployment benefits. So that's $600.00 a week will not go out this week,
unless Congress does something. That's creating a special set of pressures to try to do something more rapidly and the White House has floated the
idea of just acting on that piece deferring the rest while also getting a Republican priority on shielding businesses from liability.
HARWOOD: A challenging political situation. The leverage is with the Democrats, they're ahead in the polls, and the public is scared and they're
responding to those fears.
ASHER: So how important is the stimulus package? Particularly the issue of the unemployment insurance benefits? How important is that overall to
President Trump's chances of reelection?
HARWOOD: It's extremely important substantively for the individuals involved and for the political wellbeing of anyone who is in office now.
We've got an unemployment rate in our country above 10 percent. This is the only time that's ever happened. The highest unemployment we've had since
the Great Depression. So there's a lot of pressure to sustain those benefits.
Now, Republicans ideologically say that extra federal unemployment benefit on top of state unemployment benefits pay some people more to stay home
than they were making before the pandemic happened. But that's not a very easy argument to sell to people who've gotten used to that $600.00, who've
seen the range of economic dislocation, and know that as the reopening of the country retrenches, a bit with a resurgent virus, it's going to get
harder to support their families, to find new jobs to engage in economic activity.
So the President is going to be forced by political circumstances to do something. We just don't know where exactly they're going to land this
ASHER: So you've got a lot of people's livelihoods, John, hanging in the balance right now. If the unemployment insurance benefits is cut from
$600.00 a week to $200.00. I know that the states will make up a portion of that, but if it is cut to $200.00, what does that mean for ordinary
Americans who are unemployed, who are just desperate to stay afloat and pay their bills?
HARWOOD: It's a $400.00 a week pay cut for tens of millions of Americans at a time when a large majority of the country thinks things are going in
the wrong direction, a large majority disapproves of President Trump's handling of the coronavirus.
A significant majority is now embracing the candidacy of Joe Biden. It will be very dangerous if President Trump and Republicans are seen as
responsible, dangerous politically, I mean, seen as responsible for a $400.00 a week reduction in income for tens of millions of Americans.
ASHER: John Harwood live for us there. Thank you so much.
And escalation of tensions between the U.S. and China Beijing has officially closed the U.S. consulate in Chengdu. The American flag outside
the building was lowered Monday morning. The move comes days after the U.S. shut down China's consulate in Houston last week alleging espionage and
intellectual property theft.
Craig Allen is the President of the U.S.-China Business Council. He joins us live now from Washington via Skype. So consulate closures are quite a
big step. They're quite hard to undo. How much of a downward spiral are we in, do you think?
CRAIG ALLEN, PRESIDENT, U.S.-CHINA BUSINESS COUNCIL: Well, this was definitely a major escalation in the tension. First the closure in Houston.
And secondly, the retaliatory closure in Chengdu. Both of them are quite unprecedented.
Both of these offices have been open many years. They are big important offices with dozens of diplomats in them and thus, this is a major step, a
slamming of the door, if you will, making resolution of the U.S.-China bilateral issues even more difficult.
ASHER: So just in terms of what this relationship looks like going forward at this point, with a hundred days to go until the election, is China just
crossing its fingers hoping that there's going to be a new administration that comes in in January and much of all this will be reversed. What's
their game plan? What's their thinking at this point?
ALLEN: Well, I think that the Chinese are watching very closely and retaliating to American measures in a very calculated and reciprocal
We closed Houston, they will close Chengdu. We sanctioned some people, they'll sanction some people. They are not initiating retaliatory measures.
They are not actively hostile.
Indeed, American companies in China are not reporting any retaliatory measures. So, the Chinese side is very much in a reactive mode, responding
to initiatives by the Trump administration.
ASHER: So when you think about just how significant these rising tensions are, particularly this year, obviously there have been rising tensions for
quite some time now, but particularly in the last few months. What does that do to the corporate environment when you have the world's two biggest
economies at each other's throats in this way?
ALLEN: Well, the corporate environment is very uncertain, currently and it's uncertain going both ways across the Pacific.
ALLEN: The tariffs per se, have been set and the Phase 1 agreement seems to be working out quite well and thus, within the overall geopolitical
storm, trade is flowing both ways across the Pacific in a pretty normal manner.
Where I would say that we have been affected is in new investment, or marginal investment that would either be coming from China to the United
States or from the United States to China, some of that has slowed down.
It is a little bit difficult to differentiate between the geopolitical tension and COVID and exactly why, but there has been a slowing of
investment. While the bulk of the trade activity is carrying on pretty much as normal, and indeed in some areas, particularly in agriculture, we see a
big uptick, quite a bit of new U.S. export in corn and soy bean and meat and in other agricultural commodities.
So it's a very mixed picture in an overall environment of considerable instability and uncertainty.
ASHER: When you look at the relationship overall, and just some of the pressure points and problem points over the past few months, you think
about the trade tensions, the consulate closures, accusations of espionage, rhetoric when it comes to COVID. Hong Kong, of course. Does the business
environment at this point feel that unless there is another administration that comes in, this relationship is beyond repair? What is the business
community saying about all of this right now?
ALLEN: Well, I do think that the results of the election are obviously very important. But at the same time, the Congress has been passing
legislation that is quite anti-China almost unanimously.
In some cases, the Hong Kong act would be one case. The Uighur, yet another. And therefore, I think even with a change of administration, we
don't expect a dramatic shift in tone.
The U.S.-China bilateral relationship has many challenges and businesses are working within those challenges, meeting their legal obligations on
both sides with more and more difficulty, and I think that we expect that uncertainty and that volatility to continue.
At the same time, China's economy is delivering quite robust growth, even in 2020 and for the rest of this decade, China will produce 30 percent or
more of the world's growth and therefore businesses have to be there.
That is where the exports are. That is where the market is and businesses will grow go where there's growth.
ASHER: All right, Craig Allen, thank you. Appreciate you joining us.
ALLEN: Thank you very much.
ASHER: HSBC is taking to Chinese social media to say that it is not hostile towards Huawei. This as China's state run media news claims that
the bank is to blame for the detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. She is being held in Canada and faces extradition to the United States/ Sherisse
SHERISSE PHAM, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: HSBC pushing back on claims it helped frame Huawei. The bank making headlines in China for all the wrong
reasons over the weekend.
Chinese state run media accusing HSBC of being quote, "an accomplice" of the United States, saying the bank conspired with U.S. authorities against
Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhou.
Meng has been in Canada under house arrest since 2018. She awaits a hearing on whether she will be extradited to the U.S. to face criminal charges.
U.S. authorities accused Meng and Huawei of misleading HSBC about its business dealings in Iran, leading to violations of U.S. sanctions. Meng
and Huawei deny those charges.
Now HSBC is not a party in that ongoing case, but Chinese state run media has long blamed HSBC for its role in Meng's arrest. The bank saying over
the weekend that contrary to local media reports, it doesn't have any hostility towards Huawei. It didn't frame the company and it didn't
fabricate evidence or hide facts.
The latest criticism in China coming after new documents submitted by Meng's defense team were made public last week. Meng's lawyers say the
documents prove that HSBC knew about Huawei's business in Iran, and that Meng did not mislead the bank.
Huawei declined to comment on the latest development, citing the ongoing legal case.
Sherisse Pham, CNN, Hong Kong.
ASHER: The White House is getting out in public to push the vaccine race while the first Phase 3 trial in American soil gets underway in Georgia.
More to come after this break.
ASHER: Hi, everyone. I am Zain Asher. There is more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment when we'll tell you why Google is telling its employees to work
from home for another year.
And I'll speak to the Arizona Chamber of Commerce about flattening the COVID curve while keeping business open.
Before that, though, these are the headlines we are following for you at this hour.
U.S. lawmakers are paying their final respects to the man known as the moral conscious of Congress. The body of Civil Rights hero, John Lewis is
now lying in state in the Capitol Building. After private ceremony, a public viewing will take place outdoors.
The U.S. National Security Adviser has tested positive for COVID-19. Robert O'Brien is the highest ranking member of the Trump administration known to
have contracted the virus.
The White House says he has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating. Earlier, President Trump told reporters he hasn't had any recent contact
Major League Baseball is postponing two games scheduled for Monday because of COVID-19. The decision revolves around the apparent outbreak among the
Miami Marlins. The team remains in Philadelphia where they last played Sunday and the league says it is conducting additional testing, but it's
not yet clear when or how the team will resume in the season.
The Trump administration is putting its public focus on vaccine as of this Monday. The President is touring a facility in North Carolina and Vice
President Mike Pence is in Florida meeting with researchers.
It is worth noting that both those states are politically vital for Republicans come November. And recent polls have them well behind in both.
Meantime, the first phase three trial in the U.S. is beginning in Savannah, Georgia. Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is live there for us
now. So, Elizabeth, phase three trial run by Moderna, just walk us through what the parameters are of this trial, including who's going to be tested
during this trial. And how many people are going to be on the drug versus placebo? Just walk us through the parameters here.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Zain, the plan is that 15,000 study subjects will be given the actual vaccine and another 15,000
approximately will be given the placebo. And nobody knows who's getting what. The patients don't know, the doctors don't know. And then, we'll see
how people do. Now, I've got a chance to sit down and speak with the very first person in the United States to get this vaccine as part of a phase
three trial. Her name is Dawn Baker. She's actually a television news anchor here in Savannah, Georgia. And I asked her how it felt to be a part
of this historic day.
COHEN: Now, you don't know if you've got the vaccine or the placebo, but either way, you're helping to find a cure.
DAWN BAKER, MODERNA PHASE 3 VACCINE VOLUNTEER: Either way, it's a really important role to have to be a part of that research. I never thought that
I'd do something like this.
COHEN: You are the first person in the United States to get a shot in a phase three COVID trial. What does that feel like?
BAKER: It is very exciting. I'm very anxious about it. I just hope that they're really, really good results. I know a lot of people are doing a lot
of different vaccine trials and things are going on but I've been want -- I feel so proud.
COHEN: Now, phase three is the last round of studies that are done before a vaccine is approved to go on the market. This vaccine in the U.S. is the
fifth one in a phase three trial. There's also one that's going on right now that already started in the U.K. That one's run by AstraZeneca and the
University of Oxford, and then there are also three in China. Zain?
ASHER: Okay. So, this is the phase three trials, what we're talking about here with Moderna in the U.S., but how promising is this phase three trial
based on the results of phase one and phase two? What could you tell us about phase one and phase two, and just in terms of how much hope we should
COHEN: Zain, phase one and phase two looked very good. They elicited -- the vaccine elicited a strong immune response when they looked at -- so, they
gave folks the vaccine, and they saw it elicited an immune response, did their T cells respond, did they develop good antibodies, and also was it
safe? So, they found that it was safe; it did elicit a good immune response. But I have to say that doesn't necessarily mean that it will
prevent people from getting sick with COVID-19. So, we have to have two things going on at the same time. We want to have hope. But we also want to
be realistic; this might not work out.
ASHER: Good point. There is obviously so much uncertainty here. Elizabeth Cohen live for us there, thank you.
ASHER: And even with a vaccine, it will take a while to return to old routines. Google is telling employees, they don't have to be back in the
office until July 2021. July 2021, that is literally a year from now. It previously said most staff would work remotely through the end of this
year. CNN's Cristina Alesci is in New York for us. So, Cristina, another year for Google employees working from home. Google, obviously, one of the
largest companies in the U.S. How much of a surprise is this announcement?
CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN BUSINESS POLITICS & BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: This is an aggressive move. It is aggressive and cautious at the same time. So, this
is a surprise because this is the first company, major company, to announce plans so far out and such an extended period of time working from home.
Now, this has implications, and I'll talk about those in just a minute.
But first, I want to talk about why the company said it made the decision to extend work from home for another year. And that's because it wanted to
give employees some certainty to make life decisions like, for example, whether to send kids back to school or perhaps whether to move from their
current location. All of those decisions, as we know, hinge a lot on what happens with work from home for not just millions of Americans, but also
millions of workers around the world. And until Coronavirus is contained and controlled, you can see how these decisions will be rolling --
ASHER: Cristina -- and this is though -- Cristina, I have to interrupt you. Cristina, I have to interrupt you. It looks like Donald Trump is speaking
right now. Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- ever gone by far for additional promising candidates are expected to enter final trials in the
coming weeks, including the Novavax vaccine being developed right here at this facility. It's an incredible facility. We're going to be making a tour
in a little while.
Very, very complete tour with the folks that run it, and the people that operate it. We've just completed a tour of Fujifilm's innovation
laboratories, and that's going to be done at a much, much higher level in a few minutes after I'm finished. And I believe we'll take a few questions,
too, which we're carrying out a crucial biomanufacturing process needed to make the Novavax vaccine. This production is made possible by
administration's $1.6 billion award to Novavax as part of Operation Warp Speed that lets us deliver the final product in a time that never has been
achieved anywhere at any time for anything like this.
These same manufacturing processes are being conducted on an even larger scale in College Station, Texas today I'm proud to announce that HHS has
just signed a $265-million contract with the Fujifilm Texas, A&M Innovation Center, which is quite the place to dramatically expand their vaccine
manufacturing capacity. I want to thank Fujifilm CEO Martin Meeson for welcoming of us today. And Martin -- where is Martin? Thank you. Thank you
very much, Martin. It's really wonderful to be with you under these circumstances, in particular, with all the progress that's being made. As
well as Novavax CEO, Stanley Erck. Stanley, thank you very much. Thank you very much for being here.
Thanks also to Secretary Alex Azar, who is with us. Senator Thom Tillis. Thank you very much. Thank you, Thom. Stand up, Thom. Good job you've done.
Thank you very much. You really have. Representatives Richard Hudson, David Rouzer, Mark Walker, Dan Bishop, and Greg Murphy, thank you. All friends,
all warriors. Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, who I hear is doing a great job. Where's Dan? Stand up, Dan. Great job, Dan, really good. North
Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore. Thank you, Tim. Great job. And President Pro Temp of the North Carolina State Senate, Phil Berger. Thank you, Phil,
very much. I appreciate it.
Operation Warp Speed is funding a historic portfolio of highly-promising vaccine candidates. In addition to our $1.6-billion investment in Novavax,
we've issued a $483-million contract with Moderna, a $1.2 billion contract with AstraZeneca. A $465-million contract with Janssen, and just last week,
a $1.95 billion agreement with Pfizer. Tremendous progress is being made with all of those great companies. A groundbreaking agreement with Pfizer
includes a guaranteed to deliver 100 million doses shortly after the vaccine's approval, almost immediately, with the option to purchase an
additional 500 million thereafter.
Not only is Operation Warp Speed accelerating the development of a vaccine, we're also directing a colossal industrial mobilization to insure its rapid
delivery. Nothing's happened like this since the end of World War II. Instead of the usual sequence of vaccine development, testing and trials,
followed by production, our strategy is to conduct these phases simultaneously. So, everything goes at one time. We're not waiting and
waiting and waiting. It's all going at one time. We have a system that has, I think, it's unparalleled, never been done before, but we suspect it's
going to work, and work very well.
We're mass producing all of the most promising vaccine candidates in advance, so that on the day one that it's approved, it'll be available to
the American people immediately and we'll probably have a lot for -- a lot of other people throughout the world, the world is suffering from this
China virus. Another dimension of Operation Warp Speed is are focused on therapeutics to treat the virus. Over 140 clinical trials are underway. And
a number of effective therapies have already been developed and widely delivered, including Remdesivir, which is having a tremendous impact. You
see that with mortality rates and other things, statistically.
Dexamethasone, convalescent plasma, and antibody treatments. We have numerous treatments right now that are under study. And I think over the
next couple of weeks, we may actually have some very positive answers as to that. On July 7th, we announced a $450-million agreement with Regeneron to
begin advanced manufacturing of its antibody treatment, which is currently in late stage clinical trials. Late stage.
Due to the medical advances, we've already achieved and our increased knowledge and how to treat the virus. The mortality rate for patients over
the age of 18 is 85 percent lower than it was in April. Think of that, 85 percent. And it's 25 percent lower than Europe, as a whole. In the middle
of April, more than 22 percent of all deaths in the United States were attributable to the China virus. As the last week, that number is dropped
down. As of last week, it's dropped down to under seven percent. To decrease the turnaround times for testing, the first two laboratories have
been approved to provide pooled testing, very important. In other words, samples from multiple patients are processed together. They are pooled.
Now, pool testing will reduce turnaround times by more than -- substantially more than 50 percent.
Last week, our Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began distributing rapid point of care diagnostic test instruments to all of the
nursing homes in the United States. Focusing on the areas of greatest state, which is our elderly and our nursing homes. What we've already sent
includes testing instruments to 635 nursing homes for 196,000 rapid point of care tests to tremendous amount. That's -- you'll get your response and
answer from five to 15 minutes. Over the next three weeks, 1,700 nursing homes will receive an additional 800,000 point of care tests. Think of
The United States has conducted over 52 million tests. That's more than all of Europe put together times two, nobody's even close. And as countries go,
it is -- as an example, India is up to 11 million tests. We're going to be very shortly at 55 million tests. India has 1.4 billion people. Through our
relentless efforts, we've completely rebuilt our stockpile, which the previous administration depleted and did not refill. The cupboards were
bare. I say it often. In total, we've now distributed nearly 100 million N95 masks, 35 million surgical masks, 15 million face shields, and much,
much more. In addition to that, ventilators, the most difficult thing of all, we are now building thousands a month, and we distribute them -- we
have all we need in our country, but to other countries that are in desperate need.
Other countries are having a tremendously difficult time with the virus. Last week, FEMA sent additional personnel protective equipment to over
15,000 nursing homes, including 643,000 pairs of protective eyewear, 7 million masks, 34 million pairs of gloves, and 6 million gowns. It's a lot.
Over the weekend, cases in Florida, Texas and Arizona held steady and are now heading down. In Arizona, they're heading very substantially down and
rapidly. We've been constant and in constant communication with the states and are surging them resources when requested. They largely had what they
needed, but anything they need, we send them immediately.
We are totally full. We have everything we need. We get it to the states immediately. We deal with the governors. The relationship with the
governors has been very good. These states are not out of the woods, but rigorous compliance with guidelines should allow them to turn the corner
and very, very quickly. We are working with every governor and health commissioner across the country to bring a complete individualized analysis
to each state, as well as tailored recommendations. States are different.
My administration is also closely monitoring the surging caseload in Latin America, which is now the region in the world with the most active reported
infections by far. Due to the relative scarcity of testing in Latin America, however, the region's reported number of cases is also likely to
be dramatically undercut or undercounted. And I could say that's probably true throughout the entire world. We report our cases; most of the world
doesn't. They either don't do testing, therefore, they have very few cases, even though people are sick, or they just don't report it.
And given the reality of what we just said, we're focusing aggressively on the Texas border and countries that we think have to be watched very, very
carefully because you have some very, very highly infected countries outside of our borders.
I've spoken with Governor Abbott, terrific gentlemen. And I can report that over 3,300 federal personnel on the ground in Texas. We've given them a
tremendous amount of extra help, including doctors, nurses, frontline people. We've supplied Texas with more than 2.5 million gloves, 800,000
goggles, 337,000 surgical gowns, 1.8 million surgical masks, 1.36 million N95 respirators, and half a million KN90 masks.
Beginning this week, Texas hospitals will receive 500 cases of Remdesivir, which has proven very effective, enough to treat 3,200 patients. In
addition to the cross-border spread, this stage of the pandemic is being fueled by younger Americans who generally have little risk of being serious
harmed by the disease, but can spread the disease. We need all Americans to be conscious about their actions and to exercise extreme vigilance. I trust
all Americans to do the right thing. But we strongly advise everyone to especially, especially focus on maintaining a social distance, maintaining
rigorous hygiene, avoid large gatherings, and crowded in-door bars, and wear masks when appropriate.
We also strongly urge citizens to take extra precautions to shield those at highest risk, which are, in most cases, in many cases, the elderly,
especially the elderly, with medical problems, such as heart or diabetes, but you want to shield them and you want to guard them and you want to
protect them from the virus, especially, especially those that are really targeted, almost targeted, you could say by this horrible, horrible plague,
this horrible epidemic, pandemic. America will develop a vaccine very soon, and we will defeat the virus, we will have it delivered in record time.
As our visit here demonstrates, and I want to thank all of the people and representatives from the great state of North Carolina, it is a great -- it
is a great place, it's a phenomenal place. And we've had so many great meetings and such a great time. I want to drive -- and the drive and
tenacity of your representatives and your politicians has been incredible. When they call them there -- when they call, most of them, many of them are
sitting here right now, I will always answer their call. So, thank you very much. I appreciate you being here with us. And let's get on to a few
questions. Tremendous progress has been made. And it's been made rapidly and has been made in areas that nothing like that has taken place before.
So, please, thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've seen a lot of despair when it comes to the virus. Is today's event about giving Americans hope, a sense of optimism, is that
what you're trying to do?
TRUMP: Well, I think -- I think so. But you know, there would be not that same kind of hope if we weren't doing so well. We're -- you know, before --
just before I left the White House in the Oval Office, we had a meeting with our doctors, scientists, some others, and they're making tremendous
progress with respect to therapeutics. I can tell you, therapeutically, I think over the next couple of weeks, we'll have some really very good
things to say. We're just having great answers. So, it is about that. And it's also the vaccine that we discussed today at even greater length is
just coming along really well. And it's not just one company. It's many companies have had tremendous progress. So, that'll be announced over the
next very short period.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the vaccines made for Americans --
TRUMP: Well, I heard very positive things, but by the end of the year, we think we're in very good shape to be doing that. By the end of this year,
we're going to be -- in terms of the vaccine. I think in terms of therapeutics, even sooner than that. Therapeutics, meaning you go and you
give somebody, whether it's transfusion or shots or whatever it may be, and they heal, and they heal quickly. So, we've had tremendous progress. We
already have -- if you look at Remdesivir, and you look at some of the other things, but we'll have -- we'll have some announcements on that over
the next two weeks. Yeah, it is hope, but it's only hope, because we've gotten such incredible results scientifically.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One final question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And I wanted to ask if you did bring up the reports of Russia, having bounties
on our soldiers in Afghanistan.
TRUMP: We don't talk about what we discussed, but we had plenty of discussion. And I think it was very productive. Please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) talked about earlier today said that the V- shaped recovery is showing signs of moderating. Do you think given what we're seeing with increasing cases, that the recovery could be in jeopardy
at all, economically?
TRUMP: I don't think so. I think the recovery has been very strong. We've set record job numbers. We've set record numbers, whether it's a pure V or
a little bit less than that. I think it's going to be very good. If therapeutically, we come up with some answers very quickly, which I think
we will, then you're going to have a tremendous recovery. Likewise, with the vaccines, if you do that by the end of the year, that's ahead of
schedule, substantially ahead of schedule, and it's ahead of anything that's ever taken place in terms of vaccines before.
So, I think if those things happen, if just one of those events happen, you'll go right back into that V. And I think you're probably in the V
anyway. I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that they're not opening and we'll see what happens with them, but a
lot will have to do with the fact that, therapeutically, I think you're going to have some great answers vaccine wise likewise. Yeah, please go
ahead in the back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) now that you've canceled the Jacksonville portion of the RNC, do you think Governor Cooper made the right choice in
limiting attendance in Charlotte?
TRUMP: Well, we're actually coming to North Carolina, as you know, we're having a very major -- I guess that would be the nomination night. So,
that's Monday, that'll be Monday, they're going to be here. And the rest will do in a different form. We could have done it many different ways. But
I think we did the right thing. And I'm really happy that we're going to be having a piece of it, at least a very important piece in North Carolina.
Yes, please. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, your poll number suffered in recent months because of your handling on the pandemic. You're here now today.
What's your plan going forward to prove to Americans that you're the right person?
TRUMP: I think the poll numbers are very good. The poll numbers we have are very good. We're leading in North Carolina. We're leading in Pennsylvania.
We're leading in Arizona, our numbers. We're leading in Arizona. We're leading nicely in Florida. I think our poll numbers are very good. We're
leading substantially in Georgia. I mean, we get a lot of suppression polls, we get a lot of fake polls, just like we have fake news. I mean,
it's a terrible thing when you look at it.
But I had the same thing four years ago, I was losing everywhere I had poll numbers where I wasn't going to win any state, and I ended up winning every
one of them. You know, the swing states, I wasn't going to win any of them. And I won all of them. And I have the same thing this year, and this year,
they have it even closer, they have it closer, but it's the same suppression type polls. We have polls that show me leading in almost every
swing state, and substantially in other states by even more than one in 16.
When you look at Florida, as an example, you have thousands of boat out on -- boats out of the ocean out on the intercoastal. You look at other states
where likewise you have thousands of tons of boats, and they're all waving the Trump sign, Trump-Pence sign, and they're so proud. Thousands and
thousands, you've seen it, where you have Bikers for Trump with lines that are miles long on highways going along on weekends. I think there's more
spirit now than there's ever been for my campaign, and that includes 2016, where obviously, there was great enthusiasm, great spirit. We had great
I think there's more today because what we've done nobody's ever done before. Nobody has ever rebuilt the military, cut taxes the most in our
history, created the greatest economy we've ever had, cut regulations at a level that nobody's ever done. And all of these different things, the V.A.,
we got V.A. Choice. We got V.A. everything for the V.A. Right now, they had a 91 percent approval rating at -- in a recent poll. I was just speaking to
the Secretary. 91 percent in the V.A. that's never happened before. I think when people see all that we've done -- even Space Force. We created a
force, an actual, you know, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, right? It's pretty amazing. Coast Guard and now Space Force. That hasn't happened in 75
What we've done working with some of those warriors -- over there, by the way -- but what we've done has never been done. If you look at Alaska with
Anwar, one of the -- perhaps the biggest drilling site in the world, even Ronald Reagan and Bush and Clinton, everybody wanted to get it done, I got
it done. Anwar in Alaska, probably or possibly the biggest drilling site in the world. Now, what we've done has been incredible. Recently, it looked
like the energy business was going to be a catastrophe. We were number one in the world. And then we had the pandemic and nobody was using energy.
Nobody was driving in automobiles, no gasoline.
And by the way, gasoline prices for everyone a very, very low, in many cases, less than $2.00. That's pretty incredible. And I saved the energy
business. I got Russia and I got Saudi Arabia on the phone and they cut way back and we're now at $40 and plus a barrel, and we're saving tens of
millions of jobs and energy. We're the number one in energy in the world.
So, with all that we've done, we made and brought this country to the greatest point in its history. We never had an economy like we had prior to
the China plague or China virus coming in. We never had numbers like it. We are going to have them again. And everyone knows I'm going to rebuild it. I
had to close it up. We save millions of lives by closing it. If we didn't close it, you would have seen numbers that would have been 15 times what
you have right now. One death is too much, but it would have been 10 to 15 times maybe more than that we could have. We closed the greatest economy
ever, far bigger than China, better than China. China was having, by the way, the worst year they had in 67 years. Tariffs, they paid us tens of
billions of dollars.
The worst year they've had, think of it, in 67 years. We were having the best year we've ever had. I had to close it. And now we're reopening it.
And next year, we'll be stronger. It'll be the strongest year so far. It'll be better even than last year. Okay, thank you very much. I'll be heading
back. And I'll see you back at the White House. Thank you very much. We're going to take an additional tour of the facility with your great leaders.
Thank you very much to the people of North Carolina. We love being here. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, how do you plan for --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Here, I'm hearing more questions shouted. Let's see if he goes back. No. Okay. So, you just heard from the President. I
just want to hit on two notes as he was touting how great testing is in America. Testing is great in America, because we have one fourth of the
number of all COVID infections globally. So, that's not good news at all. And the other piece of it is the fact that people are now having to wait
something like two weeks once they are fortunate enough to get a test to get those test results. So, that's not something to be thrilled about.
Number two, the President made news by saying -- oh, let me -- let me give you the quote. This is when he was asked about this recent phone call he
had with Vladimir Putin on the intelligence that Russia had paid Taliban militants to kill American and U.K. troops in Afghanistan.
And the quote from President Trump was, "We don't talk about what we discussed. But we had plenty of discussions and it was very productive,"
President Trump. Let's go to Kaitlan Collins, she's our white house correspondent, she was listening in on all of that. Kaitlan, what did you
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he did not say, yes or no, Brooke, whether they discussed that intelligence that we talked about
for so many days; about that purported Russian bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops. Now, that is something that the White House disputed at
the time, saying that they did not believe there was a unanimous agreement among the intelligence community about that intelligence, even though we've
heard from several other former national security officials who said, it doesn't have to be unanimous for you to bring it to the President. That was
the only time the President had talked about it, was saying he had not been briefed on it in person by his own staff.
And that is the first time, Brooke, there that the President has actually been asked about these bounties that I can recall in the last several weeks
since that news first broke. And he would not say, yes or no, whether or not he brought it up with Vladimir Putin. He said only that they do not
talk about what was discussed. They -- he said they're in a very productive conversation, and they discuss a lot of things, but he would not say, yes
or no, which is really notable because the White House has also refused to -- has also declined to answer that question saying, whether or not, they
talked about it.
And even some Republicans have said that if this intelligence is true, and if this intelligence does exist, and it's this concerning, then this is
something that the President should be talking about what he's going to do moving forward. That is not the response we got there from the president.
And the other thing that he was talking about is, you know, is this visit to North Carolina today to visit this facility where they're making these
key components of what could go into a vaccine candidate, you know, is this is an effort, a larger effort, Brooke, to change the message because of
course, we know several polls have shown the president leading or trailing Joe Biden in several key states, the North Carolina, Florida, all of these
states are concerns for the campaign right now, Michigan, especially.
He claims that his campaign has polls that show him leading in some of these swing states, Brooke. That is not what we hear from people on the
campaign. And actually, they say, telling the president that internal polls look just as bad as some of the public polls is what got the president to
course correct here, start holding these briefings, again, with reporters and holding COVID-19 dedicated events, because a lot of them were showing
that voters really rejected the way the President had been responding to the pandemic so far, and thought that Joe Biden would do a better job.
You see that one there from CNN, just another poll, putting Joe Biden above the president, and it's something that concern him, though. Of course,
there, he denied it, Brooke, and pointed to those voters for Trump that you've seen people out in their boats with a Trump flag. He used that as an
example of great support he has in the country instead.
BALDWIN: Kaitlan, thank you for all of that. We'll let Jake pick up where we left off. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks much for being with me. Let's go to
Washington. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.