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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

In The U.S., 4.5 Million Confirmed COVID-19 Cases And Almost 152,000 American Lives Now Lost; Russia's Sputnik Moment With A Coronavirus Vaccine; Adm. Giroir Answers Coronavirus Questions; Dr. Fauci Answers Coronavirus Questions; Baseball's First Week Marred By Infection; NBA Restarts Amid Baseball's Flawed First Week. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 30, 2020 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Kyung, thank you. And thanks very much to all of you for joining us. CNN's Global Town Hall CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS, begins now.

[20:00:10]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Welcome. I am Anderson Cooper in New York.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT And I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This is our 19th CNN Global Town Hall, CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS.

It's being seen around the world tonight on CNN International, CNN Espanol and also streamed on cnn.com.

COOPER: Well since last time we gathered just last week, nearly 8,000 more Americans have lost their lives pushing the death toll over the 150,000 mark in this country. Surely before airtime, we got word that the University of Washington researchers have revised their estimates upward predicting almost 231,000 fatalities in this country alone by November. We also saw another 1.4 million file jobless claims and the economy shrink by the largest percentage on record.

Since our last Town Hall one week ago, COVID deaths have reached new highs in Florida, in Texas, in California, with more states now in danger of their own surge in cases.

We've spoken to an ER doctor in El Paso who had to treat a patient in the hospital parking lot because there was no room inside, and we reported on people waiting so long for test results that is often useless for keeping the people around them safe.

In the seven days since our last Town Hall, we've watched the President of the United States attend yet more events where mask wearing shunned and social distancing is nonexistent.

We've seen just today a former presidential candidate, Herman Cain who attended one of the President's campaign events in Tulsa last month, die of the virus.

We've also seen the president re-embrace unproven science, treatments for the disease and late today, he spoke to reporters about the virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: Given to what's happening with Major League Baseball, and now today, the Rutgers football team is quarantined, how can you assure people that schools will be safely reopened?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So can you assure anybody of anything? I do say again, young people are almost immune to this disease. The younger, the better. I guess, they're stronger. They're stronger. They have a stronger immune system.

It's an incredible thing. Nobody has ever seen this before. Various types of flu will hurt young people more than older people. But young people are almost immune if you look at the percentage --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUPTA: Anderson, that isn't accurate, and we're going to talk about why that is in just a moment. But joining us tonight will be two White House Coronavirus Taskforce members, Admiral Brett Giroir and Dr. Anthony Fauci. They're both going to be here tonight taking your questions. Also legendary sports journalist, Bob Costas.

And again, we want to take your questions as well. You can tweet them to us with the #CNNTownHall, or you can leave a comment on the CNN Facebook page.

COOPER: A lot of you have sent in questions already in video form. You can see some of them up on the screen and we'll try to get to as many as we can tonight.

We also have reports from around the country and around the world. We start with where we are right now with nearly 4.5 million confirmed cases and almost 152,000 American lives now lost.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER (voice over): States in what the White House calls the red zone, Florida, California, Texas and Arizona remain a large concern. The White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx said there are signs that cases in those states are leveling off.

Concern is also high for states the White House Task Force has marked in the yellow zone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR Now, we see the virus probably because of vacations and other reasons of travel, moving up into Kentucky, Tennessee, southern Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas Nebraska.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (voice over): The Director of the C.D.C. also now admitting the Federal government was too slow trying to stop the virus initially.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: The introduction from Europe happened before we realized what was happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (voice over): In the world of professional sports, 19 members of Major League Baseball's Miami Marlins have tested positive, continuing a debate on whether any sport should return this season at all.

The NBA, still trying to move forward for now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: If we had any significant spread whatsoever, we would certainly stop immediately.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (voice over): With schools reopening, Dr. Anthony Fauci points out there are still a lot of unknowns.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: This may sound a little scary and harsh, I don't mean it to be that way, is that you're going to be actually part of the experiment of the learning curve of what we need to know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER (voice over): On the vaccine front, Phase 3 clinical trials are beginning this week for the vaccine developed by Moderna. Approximately 30,000 people will start getting shots over the next few weeks.

There's optimism, but it is cautious.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD HORTON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE LANCET: We really need to be very careful to manage expectations. We have a long way to go to make sure that we have a safe and effective vaccine. Corners cannot be cut.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: In a moment, we'll get the latest from Moscow where officials are claiming success for Russian science and a vaccine of their own. But first, Sanjay, what's your take on where things stand at this

moment?

GUPTA: Well, I think we're in a suspended state of cautious optimism especially with the vaccine, Anderson. The F.D.A. is now saying, it may issue emergency use authorization of a vaccine, even in the matter of the next several weeks.

That's the kind of speed I think a lot of people are hoping for. But it's also making some in the medical community a little nervous.

[20:05:22]

GUPTA: I mean, keep in mind, that's at least four times faster than some of the fastest vaccines that have ever been developed in the past and 10 to 20 times faster than most vaccines.

We also know that even if we do have a vaccine by the end of the year, it doesn't work like a switch. It doesn't go on and off. Just because we have a vaccine doesn't mean the virus magically goes away.

But the good news I think, we're learning more and more that so many places around the world, even without a vaccine, even without a magical therapy have returned to some sense of normalcy, because the basics really do work: distancing, masks, hand hygiene. This is within our reach.

I mean, just today, researchers at M.D. Anderson estimated that two weeks, just two weeks of social distancing reduced the spread of the coronavirus by 65 percent globally. We could do that here as well.

Finally, Anderson, you mention this as we continuing to learn more about kids in schools, we now know that young children can carry 10 to a hundred times more the virus's genetic material in their noses, as compared to older children and adults, 10 to 100 times more.

The question is, does that make them more likely to spread? We still don't know the answer to that, which is why I've said from the beginning, that we all have to behave, Anderson, like we have the virus.

COOPER: And I just want to be clear about something that you mentioned earlier, the President said late today, quote, "Young people are almost immune to this disease." That's just not true, right?

GUPTA: No, that's not true. Well, first of all, we know that they may be less likely to get sick, but they can get sick still, some even die. But the big question is, even if they get infected, can they still spread it to teachers? To parents? To grandparents?

And even if you're older than 10, the answer is yes. You spread it just as much as an adult. Younger than that, we're still trying to learn Anderson.

COOPER: Sanjay, yesterday is upsetting, not surprising development was Louie Gohmert, Congressman from Texas who was very skeptical about masks and has been seen on camera, talking to people without a mask, wandering around Capitol Hill without a mask, very close to Attorney General Barr without a mask. He tested positive.

Today, it was the far sadder news that former Republican presidential candidate, Herman Cain has died. He attended the President's mask optional rally in Tulsa last month. He became ill just a short time later.

The President began his briefing with that before moving off in a bunch of different directions. Our White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins joins us now with details.

So Kaitlan, this week the President's been more vocal about the crisis, the coronavirus crisis, but he has continuously been making more false claims and even medically.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that was the point of these briefings bringing them back is that it could boost the President's standing because the White House and his campaign realized how damaged it was with voters especially when it comes to coronavirus and the people did not think he was doing a good job of handling it.

But you have to look at how these briefings have gone for the last several days and question, the strategy there because even today, you saw the President who was saying something like what you all were talking about, kids are immune. The science is out on that.

Even Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci, the people who work for the President and are helping him navigate this has said as much. They pointed to studies like the one in South Korea, a really big study that said, children over the age of 10 can spread it just as much as adults, and the President seems to dismiss the concern about what it really shows when it comes to kids.

As you know, he's saying something like, well, how can you assure anyone when kids go back to school their kids are going to be safe? Saying you couldn't really assure them of anything. But it's not just that.

The President was also trying to downplay the surges of the virus that we've seen here in the United States by comparing us to other countries that got the virus under control and then have seen surges of their own. Though really, if you look at the numbers, it's a lot different because those countries got it under control.

The numbers that they're seeing now are still not in comparison to what we are seeing on a daily basis here in the United States.

GUPTA: You know, Kaitlan, also, you know we mentioned earlier sadly, Herman Cain, who was a friend and supporter of the President, he just passed away from the coronavirus. I believe, he is his mid-70s. Do we know where he contracted the virus? Where he got the infection?

COLLINS: We don't know. And we should caution, his family said he'd been traveling a lot in the month of June, but on June 20th, he was there in this stands with all of the other surrogates that the campaign encouraged to come at the President's indoor rally where a lot of people were not wearing masks.

And you can see from the photo, he was seen not wearing a mask in several pictures, though he later said he was wearing one.

And just a few days after that, nine days after that, he contracted the virus. He tested positive, and then two days after that, he was in the hospital where he has been for the last four months until he passed away, which is incredibly sad for his family.

And it was notable as the President came out to the briefing today to address it, to talk about his friend and his death. He did not mention that Herman Cain had been at his rally on June 20th. That rally that drew so much criticism because it was not following any of the social distancing or safe practices that health experts have encouraged.

[20:10:06]

COOPER: Kaitlan Collins, thanks very much. Sanjay. I just want to be clear. I mean, if he tested positive nine days after that rally, is there any way to know if it was at that rally that that he contracted this?

GUPTA: It would be hard to know, because if he traveled in between, you know, the likelihood that from the time of exposure to time that someone tests positive, you know, anywhere from, you know, a few days to 14 days, typically, so it's certainly within the range.

But that's part of the problem of not having good contact tracing, which I know is a whole separate issue, Anderson, you and I have talked about. We still have a very hard time tracing then where these infections came from, which would be helpful to slowing it down.

COOPER: More now in Florida, which is facing a bad storm in addition to COVID fatalities that are still rising. Our Randi Kaye joins us now from West Palm Beach. What's the latest?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, nearly 10,000 new cases here in the State of Florida and a record number of deaths, 2503 deaths to report. This is the third day in a row that we've seen a record number of deaths. Yesterday, we saw 216 deaths.

We also have more than 6,500 Floridians who have already died from the coronavirus. Statewide, the positivity rate is 19.3 percent. That's well above the 10 percent threshold that they're looking for. And still about 8,400 people hospitalized in the state here.

Also less than 17 percent of all ICU beds are left in the state and nearly 50 hospitals say they don't have any ICU beds left at all. And on top of these very disturbing numbers, the State of Florida is now bracing for a tropical storm or a possible hurricane in the next day or so.

So Florida has decided to close all state-run coronavirus testing sites including the one that I met just behind me here. They were out here earlier in the day and they were pulling down the tents and the poles and they got rid of some of the cones because these sites just cannot withstand those hurricane force winds if that's what it comes to.

So they got rid of this site including eight other sites here in Palm Beach County and 13 sites in the hardest hit county, Miami-Dade.

GUPTA: I've got to say, you know my parents live in Florida. We have this conversation all the time. Those numbers are hard to hear.

Randi, I do want to ask about the Miami Marlins Major League Baseball. We hear they're struggling. I believe 19 players now out of 30 have tested positive. What are they going to do? I mean, especially as basketball is also getting underway there in Florida.

KAYE: Right. The Marlins are definitely having a hard time with this, 19 players and coaches testing positive. Their season is on pause for at least the next six games.

They have another training facility here in Jupiter, Florida where they could pull some players from if they do get underway again and they think it's safe.

But then you have basketball which seems to be doing things right just up the road from here in Orlando, in Orange County. They have all the teams. They are living in what they're calling the bubble in the Walt Disney World Resort property and they kick off their season tonight.

You have two games, you have the Pelicans and the Jazz and the Clippers and the Lakers and the good news, unlike the baseball teams, all 344 basketball players have been tested. They were tested since July 20th and not a single one of them has tested positive for coronavirus. So, certainly some good news there.

COOPER: Randi, thanks very much for that. More now on what the coming school year may look like. In Miami-Dade County for instance, schools will be all remote when they reopen late next month.

Yesterday, the Indianapolis School Board recommended the same. Today, Fort Worth public schools pushed their school year back three weeks and said at least the first month of it will be all digital, not in- person. New York City schools will be a mix.

These have all been obviously difficult decisions for school superintendents and communities across the country on tight deadlines and news like today's study on young kids and the virus mentally adds to the pressure.

Gary Tuchman tonight is in the small City of Jefferson, Georgia about 60 miles northeast of Atlanta where the school year starts tomorrow.

So what are the schools where you are planning on doing?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, I should tell you, as most of the students in this nation are still on summer vacation, but in some spots in the country, this last week of July is the end of summer. This is one of those spots. Jefferson, Georgia, it's about an hour northeast of Atlanta. It's a

very small town with a very well renowned school system. This elementary school is one of the four schools in this small school district and tomorrow, it opens for every student who wants to be here, all four schools.

The Superintendents says if students don't want to come, if they want to learn virtually, they can still do that. And about five percent of the 4,000 students or 200 have elected to stay home and learn on the computer, but the rest will be coming.

The protocol is in place. Desks are to be spaced apart. Students aren't going to be facing each other, an intense cleaning regimen of chalkboards, whiteboards, doorknobs, doors, desks that will be going out throughout the day.

Also for the small students in the elementary school here, they will not be allowed to go in the lunchroom, they will have to have lunch in their classroom. They will be allowed to have recess, but only a few students at a time. And when everyone leaves school, whether it's the high school or the elementary school, they will do it in a staggered style.

What's important to mention, there will not be daily temperature checks, Anderson. Other schools will be doing that around the country. They are telling students to be checked before they come. They will be doing random checks. No daily checks.

And then masks, that's a big issue. For students who go on the bus, they have to wear a mask, so does the bus driver. But inside the school, no masks required for students or for teachers. Strongly encouraged, recommended, everyone gets a mask, but they don't have to wear it.

[20:15:21]

TUCHMAN: The Superintendent says, they are following C.D.C. guidelines that not every student can medically wear a mask. But there are many parents here in this very Republican county who think it's political. They want their children to go to school. They're telling the children do not take off your mask no matter what.

And then there are other parents that are saying, our students should have the choice. They doubt the effectiveness of masks and they are telling their children, if you don't want to wear the mask, you don't have to wear the mask.

COOPER: All right, Gary Tuchman. Gary, thanks very much.

Russia next and what one top Kremlin financier is calling, quote, "a Sputnik moment." A vaccine with approval being promised in less than two weeks despite concerns about the safety, effectiveness and whether corners were cut in developing it.

CNN's soon as Matthew Chance is in Moscow with some new reporting now on the selling of this, so what do we actually know about this vaccine and most importantly, whether it works or not?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's what we know is that it's going to be approved on August 10th, which is just over a week from now, which of course makes it by far the first vaccine to be approved by any country in this global pandemic. That's why Russian officials are calling it a Sputnik moment, because just like the successful launch of that first satellite into space in the 1950s, by the Soviet Union, they're casting this as a major technological leap forward.

We also know that, you know, over the coming weeks and months, you know, thousands if not millions of Russians starting with frontline healthcare workers are going to be vaccinated with this. And according to Russian officials, at least 20 other countries have expressed interest in in the vaccine.

And so, you know, it looks like could be a significant moment in the response to this global pandemic. In terms of whether it is safe and effective, well, it's harder to answer because you know, human trials, the norms about that have been completely ignored by the Russians. They haven't even completed the trials before this is approved for public use.

And the results and the tests they have done, have not been released to the public so far, but they say they're going to do that soon. So it hasn't been peer reviewed. And so we just can't say whether it's effective or if it even works, or if it is even safe.

GUPTA: I imagine there's going to be a lot of appropriate skepticism of this. Have they been approached -- the Russians, Matthew, by the United States government, do you know, or any American companies?

CHANCE: Yes, well, Sanjay, tonight, we've learned exclusively from Russian officials that actually there have been some private U.S. pharmaceutical companies that have approached the Russians for information about this vaccine.

They're not telling us which companies. They are not telling us the state of those negotiations, but they are saying that there is no official approach that have been made from the United States. You know, the Trump administration is not buying up millions of doses of this Russian vaccine at this stage.

The Russians though, say they are open to that kind of cooperation but privately what they're saying to me is that look, they think it's highly unlikely that will happen. The fact that this vaccine is Russian they say is, you know, is toxic in itself politically, which they say is a shame because obviously the U.S. has a massive coronavirus problem just like Russia does and millions of Americans, Russian officials say could benefit from this vaccine.

COOPER: Matthew Chance, thanks very much. We'll see what happens there. As we said, two White House Taskforce members taking your questions tonight.

Coming up next, Admiral Brett Giroir and later, Dr. Anthony Fauci. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:22:09]

COOPER: Quick note before continuing. A moment ago, we said Herman Cain, who died has been four months in the hospital after falling ill with COVID. In fact, it was four weeks. I apologize for the mistake.

A lot surrounding tonight's Town Hall, whether it's the new fatality projections from the University of Washington or all the developments on vaccines and treatments, questions about testing.

In addition, there are calls from the American Association of Medical Colleges and others for a new national approach to the entire crisis.

Sorry, go ahead, Sanjay.

GUPTA: Sorry. I'm sorry. Yes. So joining us now take your questions shortly, we have a lot of questions you've sent in is, White House Taskforce member, Dr. Brett Giroir, and in addition to being an Admiral in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He's also Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services. Admiral, welcome.

ADMIRAL BRETT GIROIR, H.H.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY: It's great to be here. Thanks for having me.

COOPER: Really. Appreciate it. Quest Diagnostics said Monday that it is struggling to meet the demands for tests with turnaround times, they said more than two days for top priority patients, seven days for all other patients.

I spoke to Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan on Wednesday, he was saying his state labs are turning around results quickly. He said national private labs can be taking up to 10 days.

You know, we had Bill Gates on and he said, you know, a 10-day turnaround, a two-week turnaround is essentially meaningless. Do you agree with that? I mean, 10 days, is that acceptable?

GIROIR: So I'm so glad you asked me that and this is one thing I wanted to make sure we got the real data out to the American people.

Nationally, about 25 percent of tests are point of care. So, that's about 15 minutes. Another 25 percent are done in local hospitals. And unless you're in the middle of an outbreak, like Dr. Gupta was last week near Emory, that's generally a quick turnaround.

What we really talk about is the big commercial labs and there's no question they've been strained and Quest has been strained more than the other commercial labs.

Our data right now -- and this is the worst week is that 56 percent are back within three days, 76 percent are back within five days, and we know that's getting better from a lot of technology, like LabCorp announced two to three-day turnaround on routine. So absolutely, we want to test back as quickly as possible. I've said

and I've said before, I want the perfect test. I want it to be perfectly sensitive and specific, and back within 15 minutes. That's why we're really working towards more point of care.

But again, it is a work in progress because of the tremendous demand.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, but you agree that a 10-day turnaround, I mean, it does make the test kind of meaningless, because who knows what that person has done over the last 10 days.

I know you've said you're never going to be happy with testing until we get a turnaround time, I think you've said 24 hours. Do you have a sense of when that will be?

GIROIR: Well, we're going to have many more point of care tests. By September, we expect more than half the tests in the country to be point of care and because we have more of that, that's why we're sending that point of care to every nursing home in the country starting with the first 2,000 most at risk and you probably heard that last week.

[20:25:11]

GIROIR: And let me just talk about the 10 to 14-day turnaround, and I'm going to give a little hyperbole, but, you know, if you're waiting to get that test, so you can go and travel to Aruba, you probably can wait because you probably don't need the test to begin with.

Now, I realize that's hyperbole. We really want it to be at a much lower time. But no matter what, when you're waiting for a test or not, you need to do the things we're talking about.

And I know you guys have emphasized so much, you've got to wear a mask. You've got to avoid crowds. You've got to avoid indoor places.

And whether you have a positive test or negative test, you really need to continue to do that. That's so important. And we know that's very effective in stopping the spread.

COOPER: So just so I am clear, you think in terms of a date for 24- hour turnaround, you said by September, this will be point of care tests? Meaning very quick, quick tests?

GIROIR: Yes. Yes. So, look, you know, everything is sort of in layers depending on vulnerability and you guys are sophisticated in your audience is.

Hospitalized patients really need it within 24 hours. Nursing homes, ideally, and that's why they're first prioritized because of the tremendous mortality risk in nursing homes in the closed situations. That's why we're moving to point of care within 15 minutes.

By September, we'll have about half the test in the country will be point of care between 15 and 20 million, not assuming any new technology just based on what we're doing. You might have heard later or earlier this afternoon, a pretty large

investment into BD to expand their Veritor platform, which is one of our two platforms, and you'll be hearing more financing tomorrow from the National Institutes of Health who will be announcing more awardees early in the morning.

GUPTA: Can we just talk about the number of tests, Admiral? This is a virus that can spread asymptomatically -- to spread it. So in order to seemingly adequately address that, you've got to do surveillance. You said it's hyperbole, you know, to talk about the person who is traveling or whatever, but we've got to find those people and some have suggested that requires up to 20 million tests a day.

When will we be using it as more of a proactive tool versus reactive to sort of find hotspots?

GIROIR: Well, we are using it as a proactive tool and in two different ways. Number one, as we talked about last week, we have sufficient testing to know when a hotspot is starting and that's really very important when the percent positivity goes up.

And you know, you can't test your way out of these. You have to institute the measures. Limit that indoor spread, by you know, bars are a big source, indoor dining that's crowded. Mask wearing, it really needs to be well over -- up and good hygiene and you can stop it.

We're also surging to areas where this happens. You talked about Miami earlier in the show. We have a surge site in Miami. We're exploring even a second search site in Miami. We announced New Orleans and Bakersfield, California today.

So we're surging in sort of testing resources to try to get as many of those asymptomatic as possible. So, we aren't doing that. But you are correct, we can't surge everywhere in the country at the same time.

We do have a limitation on the number of tests available, that's going to expand greatly, particularly with pooling and other techniques. But there is a finite limitation of what we have and we're working with that to surge to the areas of most need.

GUPTA: You know, it does feel like, Admiral, that we've been behind on testing for some time. And again, you and I have talked about this. It's been a point of contention, I know.

But you mentioned Emory. You know, I was operating last week. I was doing brain surgery on someone. We could get a CAT scan on him. We could get coagulant testing on him. We couldn't get a COVID test on the patient. Therefore everyone had to be in personal protective equipment, you know, the N95 masks and other things during the operation.

The end of July now, sir, that seems like that's not acceptable at this point.

GIROIR: So, so I'll comment on that specifically. And no, it shouldn't be acceptable. And that's why I called Dr. Del Rio after we got off the phone to say, hey, what's -- you know, who's a great colleague an infectious disease specialist. We worked on HIV together.

And he said, generally they're really in good shape, but because they had such a severe outbreak around the Atlanta area, they got overwhelmed. You know, I offered to do what I do to any other hospital to work to improve that and he thought once they get over this backlog, they would be you know, in reasonably good shape.

But you know, there's always going to be a ceiling, Sanjay. We started out doing only -- when I took this over on March 12.

[20:30:00]

We're doing about 2,500 tests a day, now we're doing 820,000, I had to do the math, that's a 32,000% increase, we need to do a lot more and have a lot more available. And I can tell you that I have many sleepless nights, leaving no stone unturned, trying to improve testing but maintain quality. Because if there's a test that only detects half the people or a third of the people, it's not really going to help you because you won't wear that n95 and you will get infected during your surgery.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: I want to get some viewer question. Simon in Toronto sent in this video, let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON WATKINSON, SOFTWARE DEVELOPER: It appears in many countries using pool testing of COVID-19 to a large degree contained and can react quickly to faster turnaround times for test results. Why has the U.S. just started pool testing?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Admiral?

GIROIR: So thank you for that question. So it's a really good question. Pooling is not as obvious it may seem, because when you pool numbers of specimens, you can lose sensitivity. In other words, you could miss people who are positive. So, this went very fast. There are pooled testing now done. I had Quest and LabCorp, there is another lab that has self validated that. So some of the major labs are doing that. But with only pools of four or five, because when you do more than that, you really risk false negatives. Now we're doing a lot of technology work with the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, we have many manufacturers and many universities trying to expand that.

But right now, that's where we are on in terms of authorizations to assure the quality. Because, again, we want people to be sure that if they are told that they're negative, that is almost certainly 100% true, it's never 100%. But when you pull more than five, sometimes those 70%, 60%, 40%, we're trying to improve that but that's where we are. You'll see more of this particularly in our surveillance network, done in university labs sort of below the diagnostic system. Great question.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Let's get to another question from Howard from Mansfield, Texas, which reads this with the upcoming flu season, how will someone be able to determine if they have the flu, influenza, common cold or pneumonia or COVID-19? It seems like a lot of the symptoms are the same for each. And I guess, Admiral this is in the context of, again, not having enough testing. What would you tell us? What would you tell Howard?

GIROIR: So, it's a really good question. And I want to take the opportunity to urge everybody to get their flu vaccines, because every year we lose 30,000, 40,000, 70,000 people to flu. I'm a pediatric ICU doctor, every single year, I had children who died in my ICU because of influenza and that's just awful. So number one, please get your flu shot. We're ordering more nationally, we're going to have major campaigns. I'm working with a number of my authorities to improve the ability to provide that. But secondly, what we're seeing is that almost every platform, even a point of care platform, and a laboratory platform is doing what we call multiplexing. That means they'll be able to tell you with a single sample, whether you have influenza A, influenza B or COVID.

Now, if you got really fancy, you could screen for like 25 or 26 viruses, people do that. But we really want to make sure that the things we can treat, and the things we need to isolate are done. So you'll see that moving together, you know, very rapidly. And again, by September, we expect about 65 million available tests. A lot of those are going to be multiplexed. And with pooling, you know, that expands even more because if you pull three to one, four to one, even on a small number that's 65 million you get to 100 million pretty quickly.

COOPER: Admiral, thanks very much appreciate your time.

GUPTA: Thanks you Admiral.

COOPER: When we return one of the admirals colleagues and the Coronavirus Task Force Dr. Anthony Fauci will join us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:37:39]

COOPER: Well a lot happens to we last spoke with White House task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci, he is of course also Director of National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

GUPTA: It's been more than two months since you were last with us Dr. Fauci and of course, there's lots of questions that we have including a lot of questions from our viewers as well. So let's get started.

Dr. Fauci, you may have heard the head of Operation Warp Speed told my colleague Elizabeth Cohen today that he quote, wouldn't be surprised that the vaccine was about 90% effective. Now, we've only seen Phase 1 data for these vaccines very early data. That seemed like a significant sort of estimate in terms of its efficacy. What evidence is there out there to give people like him that confidence to make a statement like that?

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIAID: Yes. I mean, that's obviously a very optimistic estimate, we will hope it's going to be that way. When we look at the data from the Phase 1 study, relatively small number of people, though it might be, it looks good because the vaccine induced neutralizing antibodies in the recipients rather robust to the level that you would say is at least as good or better than what's induced by natural infection, namely, what we're seeing in convalescent plasma. So that's the first good indication that gets us to be optimistic that will get a good percentage. I'm not sure it'll be 90%. But I think it's going to be reasonably good.

And also the animal data look really good. In fact, in the very recently, like yesterday, published the New England Primate data, it showed really good not only that it protect the animals, but the actual virus was not really seen in the nasal pharynx. And in the lung, which is really bodes really quite well. That's why we're cautiously optimistic. But, you know, as we've said all the time, he just never can tell the proof of the pudding is to do the clinical trial and get the result. And that's actually what we're doing. You know, we started the Phase 3 trial four days ago, this past Monday, and we're starting to enroll patients in a vigorous way. So we're looking forward to it.

GUPTA: He also said as well, Dr. Fauci that he's pretty optimistic that we would have vaccines for everybody within the year 2021 ideally within the first half of the year. Again, you know, I want to make sure that we're managing expectations here? Do you agree? Is that a realistic goal?

[20:40:06]

FAUCI: Yes, yes. Let me tell you where that comes from Sanjay. That the company that is making this, in this particular case, it happens to be Moderna with the mRNA platform technology, that we've already begun the contracting with the groups that make vaccine and we're proceeding in what's called at risk. In other words, start to manufacture the doses of vaccine, even before you know the vaccine is safe and effective, which is a financial risk, not a risk of safety, not a rich of scientific integrity. It's a financial risk. They promise us that they will have in 2021, at least a couple of hundred million doses of vaccine and maybe even by the end of the year of 2021 up to a billion. This is what they're telling us. I hope that that's deliverable. If it is, we're going to have what was just promised.

COOPER: A new study published today found that kids younger than age five have between 10 and 100 times more genetic material from the coronavirus in their noses compared to older children and adults. I know this study didn't measure transmissibility. But it does raise questions about how easily the virus may be spread by kids under five. How much does that concern you? And just the fact that we keep learning more about the virus effects on children?

FAUCI: Well, it does concern me, definitely, because as you know, we're still learning as the weeks go by. And we get more and more information, a lot more about children. There was a Korean study that you remember, that came out just a week or so ago, that showed that children from 10 to 19 transmit virus to adults as well as adults transmit to adults, but that doesn't seem to be the case with younger children. Now you get this study, which is interesting. That's says younger children up to five years old, have many, many more times virus in their nasal pharynx than adults do, which would mean it would be a reasonable assumption that they would be able to transmit the virus.

COOPER: So they're not immune?

FAUCI: It just need to figure that out. And in that -- no, no, I mean, they have virus in their nasal pharynx, which means they very well could transmit it. We're doing a study that we started in May, and will get results in December, called a Heroes Study of 6,000 people in 2,000 families of looking at the incidence of infection and children, how well they transmit, do they transmitted to their parents, and vice versa? And what's the level of virus in their nasal pharynx?

So we're getting more and more information as time goes by. But you're right, the study that shows that young children have a lot of virus in the nasal pharynx is of concern when you're thinking about transmissibility.

GUPTA: I wouldn't forget take a step back for a second Dr. Fauci, is six months in now, where do you think we are in the ark of this crisis? We talked about vaccines in the past you've said, first or second inning. I know you like baseball metaphors. But where are we really, you know, in the ark.

FAUCI: You know, it's impossible to predict Sanjay because, you know, when we were looking at the increase, and then going down, it had gone all the way down to baseline, the way some of the European countries and the Asian countries have done, then you could say, you know, if we hold tight, we may be in the seventh or eighth inning if you want to stick with the baseball analogy. But that didn't happen. We came down to about 20,000 cases per day, 20,000 for weeks and weeks and weeks. And then we had the unfortunate surge in the southern states went up to 40, 50, 60, 70,000 per day, and now it's down between 50 and 60,000.

So, when you're at that level, the thing we need to do is we need to put out all the stops to get it down to baseline, and to keep it there by doing the things that we've been talking about, and that I've been talking about it consistently, if we do that, Sanjay, I think we're well towards seeing is under control. If we don't, then we really can't make a prediction about how long this is going to last.

COOPER: Should -- I saw you say something about face shields, eye coverings, and I just want to clarify because I just saw a headline of it online. And I was -- it kind of concerned me. So, should people be wearing something that cover, protects their eyes as well as a mask?

FAUCI: Right. You know, Sanjay, it's interesting, you sneeze and it's a headline. I was talking to a group of teachers in a chat and a fireside chat. And one of the teachers made the comment that they asked, can the virus enter through the eye because some of their teachers were seeing people on television and wanted to wear eye shields and my response was, well certainly if you want -- if you have an eye shield, and you'd like to wear it --

[20:45:04]

COOPER: OK.

FAUCI: -- it could help because virus could enter to the eye, that's not a recommendation.

COOPER: Got it.

FAUCI: But everybody should be should be wearing an eye shield.

COOPER: OK, because I was about to start searching looking for eye shields. I want to get some questions from viewers. Dave in Kansas City sent in this video, let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BORCHARDT, KANSAN CITY SPORT COMMISSION & FOUNDATION: We have two children ages 10 and 14. And we need to decide what to do with their schooling this year. The two options are in person five days a week with masks and social distancing, or virtual online learning five days a week, we think they would do fine with virtual learning but probably a little less strong on the education front and would also be losing the socialization, but at the same time, it would be less risky. Just wondering what you would choose in the situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It's a tough one Dr. Fauci, I mean for so many parents.

FAUCI: You know it is, but let me just take a very brief general principle that in general, we should try as best as we possibly can to get the children back to school, because we know the deleterious consequences on the children when they kept out of school, as well as the downstream, deleterious unintended consequences on families of parents who have to get off work to take care of the kids. Having said that, there's a however there, and that, however, is that we live in a big country, and the level of virus in one part of the country versus another can be very different.

So, if you have a level of virus that really is very, very low, then you could likely proceed with impunity, depending on the local situation with getting the child back to school with no restrictions. If you're in an area where there is some virus involved. The local authorities may do things like try to modify the school situation, namely, alternate days, morning, afternoon, some outdoor, classes wearing masks. And then when you're in a situation where there's a lot of virus, where you really have an explosion of virus, then you might want to think twice.

The bottom line, Sanjay, you've got to be flexible. You've got to be flexible according to the situation on the ground. And it's a local decision. So I would ask this caller, take a look at what the situation is in the location where you're at and abide by what the local authorities are saying. And the CDC has guidelines that you could take a look at that I recommend.

GUPTA: And as a general rule, if the numbers have been going up the last several days, that could be an indicator as well. I know you've told me that. Dr. Fauci before we let you go. Let's get one more question. And this is from Scott in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. He sent in a video, take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT LOESSY, ASSISTANT STORE MANAGER: Do you think we need to shut the entire country down for a few weeks in order to get a grip on this virus and stop it from spreading?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUPTA: What do you think Dr. Fauci?

FAUCI: That's a good question. Yes, that's a good question. I don't think we need to go to lockdown again and shelter in place. There are situations as I've mentioned to you before, and multiple interviews were when they were trying to open up a state or a city, that there were certain guidelines that was skipped over. Maybe you're in a Phase 2, and you need to pause and maybe go back to Phase 1. That's entirely conceivable and maybe recommended. I don't think we need to go all the way back to lockdown. And the reason I say that is that we're learning more and more if you do five fundamental principles, in any situation, one, wear a mask all the time consistently when you're outside and be exposed. Number two, keep physical distance. Number three, avoid bars or closed bars, if you can. Keep away from crowds, big congregations, and maintain hand hygiene.

Those are five, not rocket science things that one can do. And we know when you do that, and states that have done that they've actually flattened the surging curve and then starting to come down. So bottom line right now I don't think we need to go to lockdown.

COOPER: I think we have time for one more question. This is via Twitter with our hashtag CNN Town Hall. It's at the bottom of the screen, it reads, are there any statistics on how many COVID-19 positive people were or weren't wearing a mask? Obviously, for anybody who's trying to consider whether they should or should not?

FAUCI: Yes, well, you know, the answer to that is we don't have data on who was and was not wearing a mask that we can say with any degree of certainty. However, the one thing we do know that wearing a mask consistently, if you look at all the meta analysis studies are clear cut indication that that has an effect in preventing you from infecting someone and in some respects, in protecting you from being infected. So, I don't have the statistic about mask or no mask, but we do know that masks work, so we should wear them.

COOPER: Dr. Fauci, we appreciate your time. As always thanks very much in all your efforts.

[20:50:04]

GUPTA: Thank you sir.

FAUCI: Good to be with you Anderson, thank you.

COOPER: Along with every other aspects of American life, the pandemic of course has impacted most professional amateur sports in this country just today with a major league baseball season only week old more games were postponed. This time and upcoming series in Philadelphia was called off because Philadelphia coach and a clubhouse attendant tested positive.

A source confirms to CNN, 19 members of the Miami Marlins as we mentioned earlier, including two coaches have now tested positive. They'll not play a game until the weekend at the earliest.

Meantime, National Basketball Association began, it restarts tonight in Orlando. Is it to confirm ironies dead, the first bucket was scored by Utah's Rudy Gilbert, the player who's positive test triggered the NBA shut down.

Joining us now Hall of Fame Broadcasters and most identify with baseball, CNN contributor Bob Costas. Thanks so much for being with us, Bob.

Let's talk about Major League Baseball. It's updated its virus protocols in the wake of these outbreaks. They're now encouraging players to not leave the hotel rooms while traveling, requiring surgical masks instead of cloth ones, mandating teams have a compliance officer, they travel with to enforce the guidelines. Do you think it's enough to prevent more players from getting sick?

BOB COSTAS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Common sense says no even with the best possible protocols, the best possible intentions and medical expertise. It's like swatting at locusts. And you can't expect if you're not in a bubble, you can expect these young people think of the Rutgers football team now quarantine because reports are that some of them went to an on campus party. There's reports that a couple of Marlins went out in Atlanta before they wound up in Philadelphia. Then when there were only two or three positives and they knew about it, they decided to go and play anyway. Now there are 19 on their team. There are Phillies guys affected not players but staff as you said. So the Yankees couldn't play in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, the Nationals don't want to go to South Florida. They balk at that. So the Marlins home is right in the middle of one of the hotspots. The Blue Jays can't play at home in Canada because they flatten the curve there and the government doesn't want American players coming in. So they've got to go to Buffalo, their triple A affiliate, the Marlins may be without a home. But incidentally, their triple A affiliate happens to be in Wichita, Kansas. I'm hoping they make it all the way through. I'm a huge baseball fan, as you may know, but common sense tells me there are so many needles to thread here and so many variables that if they can make it all the way across from one end to the other, and this tightrope walk, it's going to upset all the odds. GUPTA: I think I know your answer to this next question, then, Bob. I mean, it's been one week, since the season opener, this is where we are just like you described. So what do you think? And what is the chances that this season's going to actually be able to be finished out?

COSTAS: If I had a good handle on that I'd be on the phone to somebody in Las Vegas and even a medical expert like you knows that all we have is best educated guesses. I want to say this in defense of Major League Baseball. People said we'll go into a bubble. Hockey and basketball, smaller rosters, they only had to finish what they started and get into the playoffs, baseball had to play some semblance of a regular season, even if it was only 60 games. And the Players Association firmly said, we do not want to go into a bubble. We don't want to be separated from our young families or whatever the case may be. We want to play in our home ballparks. So, they're stuck with that.

Same thing with football, they're going to play in 32 different locations. Think of the size of football rosters and think of the nature of the sport with contact on every play. And then think about college football more and more that seems less and less likely. It may be unlikely that the NFL can get in a full season. But the idea of playing college football under these circumstances, players not compensated, no union to protect them. That's unconscionable.

COOPER: The NBA's mission they restart their season tonight. Do you think what they've done in terms of the bubble is going to work?

COSTAS: It seems like it has a good chance to work. They've got to go for a lesser period of time. They have smaller rosters. They're enforcing the bubbles. So far as we know last report on a single positive test, either with NBA players in Orlando or with NHL players in Toronto, and in Edmonton. I wanted to get this thought in Sanjay and I'd like your thought about it. Eduardo Rodriguez pitcher for the Red Sox had COVID. He has since recovered, but now he has inflammation of the heart muscle. We know that that's one of the secondary effects after recovery. And then I think of football players. Obesity is a pre existing condition. A generation ago, you hardly ever saw a football player over 300 pounds. Now there are hundreds of them with BMI is well in excess of what qualifies as obese, aren't they in particular peril?

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, I just quickly I'll tell you, the NFL Players Association has raised this Bob as you know, and looking at the stats, they'll say 70% this surprised me, but 70% of NFL players would be considered vulnerable because of pre existing conditions like that. So that's --

COSTAS: So there you go.

GUPTA: -- that's a real concern.

[20:55:08]

COOPER: I wanted to just set Bob on another sort of note on this, the NBA season, restart opener tonight we saw both teams players and coaches taking major in the national anthem NBA does have a rule against this, but NBA Commissioner Adam Silver just said in a statement, he respects teams peaceful protests, and he'll not enforce the rule. As you look at this, what does it say about how the players view their role in the movement for racial justice?

COSTAS: Well, it's obvious that a great number of them wish to be active in some way. And I think Adam Silver's decision is correct. They have a long standing rule. They're progressively always have been in every respect, including racial matters, but and they've had this rule however you stand for the national anthem, will you stay in the locker room, but they've suspended it under this unique set of circumstances when they're back to playing a full season, hopefully next year, that then the circumstance may change. But for now, I think it's the right thing to do.

COOPER: On Monday, the NCAA said it'll allow schools to reduce their fall sports schedule. I think that to half of the typical season, but it wouldn't apply to football. How does that affect the athletes of these other sports, not just from a health perspective, but a performance perspective thing?

COSTAS: Well, every sport differs in terms of -- yes, you can play tennis, you can play golf, there are certain things you can do more or less safely. But there's also this Stanford which is renowned for having a broad based sports program, multiple sports, a couple dozen, if not more, they had to cut a number of them in anticipation of loss revenue from football and basketball, whatever the flaws may be, whatever the hypocrisy is, may be surrounding big time college sports. It's those two sports that pay for tennis, and lacrosse and crew and all the rest. So that takes a hit as well.

GUPTA: You and I both love sports, Bob. We've talked about this but it's not central, right. I mean, people love it. But it's not as money is obviously a factor, as you mentioned since the business, but what point do you think different leagues will have to consider stopping a season? I mean, what will be the trigger do you think for something like that?

COSTAS: When it just becomes impractical, when the health considerations are overwhelming, and even the desire to recoup some of that television money, and there's a lot of television money if baseball can make it through to a World Series, and with football, even the regular season, that's a huge Bonanza. So that's their incentive for owners and players both, but it may just reach a tipping point and where that is, is subjective. But then they can't wait for a league wide outbreak.

Plus, if you start losing teams because too many players on a team can't play. So they can't become competitive. You can't continually dip into free agents and minor leaguers. Then you have difficulty putting together a schedule or having competition that has the requisite integrity. But again, I don't know that there's any objective point at which you say we're throwing in the towel. But subjectively they could get there.

COOPER: I think we have about a minute left. How do you think the -- not having fans changes the experience?

COSTAS: You know, I've been watching a lot of baseball games. And I see that the players are every bit as passionate and competitive and tuned in to what they have to do. But it's a strange thing to watch. That makes a spectacular play, somebody hits a Grand Slam home run, and all you hear is the echoes of the crack of the bat, maybe a little bit of chatter, coming from the dugout. I think in basketball and in hockey, continuous motion sports, maybe the momentum that they feel the adrenaline they feel from crowds that are generally closer because they're in smaller arenas rather than large stadiums. Maybe that would have a larger effect than it would have in baseball. And we'll have to see about football if they're even able to play any football.

COOPER: Yes. Bob Costas, always great to have you. Thank you so much.

COSTAS: Thanks, Anderson. Thank you, Sanjay.

COOPER: All right you take care. With all the information that we brought you in tonight CNN Global Town Hall, there's one more thing that you should know how yourself -- how you can help yourself.

GUPTA: Yes, for more information on that, you can go to cnn.com/impact. Also, our impact or roll team has put together an interactive guide of resources. And that's at cnn.com/coronavirus. How to help you can find that there, you can also find a list of organizations, resources, ideas for where you can find help for yourself or a loved one. And also where you can donate.

COOPER: And Sanjay just so you know, I'm surprised where we were still are on testing. I mean, we talked to the Admiral, it's extraordinary to me that I don't quite understand what the problem is.

GUPTA: I don't either. I mean, this is this is probably the area where you think we should have had some of the biggest breakthroughs technologically, medically from a public health standpoint. I mean, there is no but bigger issue in the world right now than this Anderson. And there's this idea of what people call assurance testing. Just giving people the assurance that they don't have it, the people around them don't have it and we're nowhere close to that yet.

COOPER: Yes, I mean waiting for 10 days as somebody who says it seems to be meaningless. The -- Sanjay as always, thank you. Hopefully, see you next week.

[21:00:09]

The news continues next with Chris Cuomo.

END