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Cuomo Prime Time

Gov. Gavin Newson Ordered Californians to Stay at Home; More Hospitals Are in Dire Need of Medical Supplies; California Governor Issues Statewide Stay-At-Home Order; Interview With Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti About All Of 40 Million People In California Ordered To Stay At Home; President Trump Touts Drug That FDA Says Still Needs Trial; Life Before And After Coronavirus. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired March 19, 2020 - 22:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Hey, everybody, I'm Chris Cuomo. And welcome to Prime Time.

We have a load of breaking news for you tonight. Here's the biggest headline.

California has just issued an unprecedented statewide order telling all people to stay home. Obvious reason, coronavirus cases are surging there. What does it mean? How will it work? You've got 40 million residents there. The big question for them will of course be, how long.

Here in New York City cases nearly doubled overnight and there's a dire new warning that hospitals could be just two weeks away from running out of essential medical supplies.

We have one of the president's top lieutenants here to address the needs and the threats and you're going to hear from the leader of the Senate tonight, a CNN exclusive with Mitch McConnell on what Congress is doing to deliver for financially strapped Americans critical aid. We know the problem. What are the solutions? We're a big part of it, so let's get after it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

CUOMO: California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all 40 million residents to stay at home to slow the coronavirus spread. The governor warned the White House today more than half the state's population could be infected with the virus within eight weeks. That's about 20, 25 million people.

Let's go to CNN's Dan Simon in San Francisco with the very latest. We saw something like this from Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti. He put an end date of his, though, in April, 13th or the 17th. What do we know about this? What do we know about this?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, one can only assume that Governor Newsom received a very bleak assessment from his team this afternoon. He said that more than half of Californians could come down with the coronavirus in about eight weeks. Just think about that for a moment.

You see all these people walking along this trail in San Francisco. It means that half of all these people did you see will come down with the virus if these estimates hold up.

It makes you also wonder, Chris, if this is going to expand to other states in the coming days. I want you to listen now to what Governor Newsom said just a short time ago.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We direct a statewide order for people to stay at home. That directive goes into force and effect this evening, and we were confident -- we are confident -- that the people of the state of California will abide by it.


SIMON: Now people who are living in California and around the country who are just learning about this for the first time, I want to sort of explain what we're living with in San Francisco. So, you get a sense in terms of what life might be like for the next couple of days.


So, there are a number of exemptions in place. So, you can go to the grocery store and pick up a few things. You can go to the gas station. Remember your police department is still on duty. You still have your fire department. You still have public transportation. So, in some respects, life goes on.

CUOMO: Right.

SIMON: And you could also come outside, get some fresh air, get some exercise, go for a jog. All those things still exist.

CUOMO: Well, we'll see whether they exist or not. We're going to have to make some sense of the order. You are standing out there in a park or whatever you are. I have the executive department state of California executive order and let me just read through it here in real time with everybody and let's see what it means. Why does it matter?

Well, California is one of your major population centers. It's more than one in 10 of every Americans. I think it's one in eight lives in California, so they are a window into our present and our future.

And again, many of us take this kind of information about staying at home as proof that we are losing to the virus. That thinking, while it may make some sense, is completely wrong headed. We have heard from Tony Fauci, Dr. Fauci, and all of the experts again and again. This is the best weapon. If you stay away from one another, you avoid a really horrible

statistic which is what? Four out of five cases of coronavirus are transmitted by someone who didn't know they had it, OK?

Now, when you look at it that way, what we're doing is buying time to build capacity and to deal with the cases and let cases that can resolve on their own without spreading to anybody else who may have different compromised immunity and give our health care system a chance to cope. It is a weapon. It is not proof that we are losing. That is not semantics. Know that.

So, what shape does this take? So, the beginning of the order, the governor's explaining why he has to do it. He's been told by public health and safety officials that the entire state is at risk and that it is rapidly spread, it's necessitating, updating and more stringent guidance.

Therefore, he says, that he's drawing on certain codes to do the following. To preserve the public health and safety. There are directives consistent with the March 19, 2020 memorandum of essential critical infrastructure workers.

Meaning this isn't going to affect everybody the same way. They will keep state systems up and going, OK? But everyone who is living in this state other than essential operations, employees who will be designated by the state, what does that mean?

People who keep essential services, health care workers and whatever the governor and the public health officials determine must keep going, sanitation, there are going to different things that you see, people who keep power in service.

But otherwise, they are ordered to stay at home. At home or at their place of residence except -- and this is going to be the key language -- except as needed to maintain continuity of operations in the federal critical infrastructure sectors as outlined.

So that's what I was referring to. He had to carve that out, and he did. Now let me look at this to see if there is an end date on this.

It's infrastructure, they've identified 16 critical areas where they have to keep them up and running. That's a good sign for the residents of New York, that those will be kept intact and they'll work with staffing those situations to preserve peoples' safety as best they can while preserving the services.

The supply chain must continue. Californians must have access to necessities, food, prescriptions, health care. When people need to leave their homes or places of residence whether to obtain or perform the functions above or to otherwise facilitate authorized necessary activities, they should at all times practice social distancing.

So, can you go get food? Yes. Can you go get medicine? Yes. Can you do things that you must do? Yes. Can you do what they're doing behind Dan Simon right now? No. Why? Because you will unwittingly spread the virus even if you don't know you have it, even if you don't have symptoms.

So, Dan, now we go from the can to what the realities are. What is it looking like on shelves in the area where you are in San Francisco?

SIMON: Shelves in stores, Chris, you know, when you go to the Walgreens --


SIMON: -- I mean, the shelves are bare. I mean, you can't get paper towels anywhere. You can't get Clorox or the cleaning supplies that you need.


So, really people, you know, stocked up well in advance when they had a sense that this might come down. But, Chris, you think about what this shutdown is going to mean for California. This is one of the largest economies in the world by its own right. And it's going to come to a grinding halt.

Already in San Francisco all of the quote, unquote, "non-essential stores" are already closed. You can't go to a Gap or anything like that. I mean, it's just -- it's just crazy what's happening. And now you're talking about the entire state, 40 million people. What's that going to do to the state economy?

CUOMO: It's going to tank it. But this is obviously a balancing test for the governor in California as it's going to be for governors all over this country. You have to figure out, your only weapon against the virus is to control how many cases you get.

And it is the first state to do this, this way. We've seen it done here in New York as a function of localities and suggestions and self- isolation. The mayor of New York City popped off that he was going to do it. He had to get brushed back by the governor. It gets a curfew or any type of mandatory indoor protocol like this gets very complicated.

And that's why the governor of California took pains to figure out what essential services to keep going.

But Dan, you're raising a good question and it has to be put in the right context. What's it going to do to the California economy? It's going to tank it just like every economy is going to take a big hit. The question is at what point is it worth injuring economic activity to improve the chance at long-time sustainability of health in that state?

That's a call the governor had to make. He will be judged by it and we will see its effects playing out day by day, week by week.

Dan Simon, thank you very much. Reporting is also going to be something that we understand that state governments and hopefully the federal government will recognize as an essential value. And we are taking our own risks. We're all in this together, OK? I have no immunity to a virus any more

than you do. We have to take our jobs seriously right now. You need us as much as ever and we have to take care of our own as much as ever. That's at home. That's here at work. We're figuring out how to do the job just like you have to figure out life one day at a time.

If we stay together, we will get through it together. There are headlines popping all over the country. We have them all. Stay with CNN.



CUOMO: All right. We're living this all together. There's breaking news out of California. The governor there has just issued a stay at home order for the entire state.

This is a huge deal. California, one in every eight of us lives in that state. He's the first governor to do something like this. And it is not a sign of weakness. It is a recognition by this governor that this is his greatest weapon against the virus. If we can stop it from spreading, four out of five cases of coronavirus -- I just learned this.

Listen to this. Four out of every five people who get it got it from someone who didn't know they had it. You see why people are getting so pissed off about the spring breakers and not taking this protocol seriously? You don't even know you have it and could be spreading it.

And this isn't a horror movie. You can take practical steps and cut that down in a big way. That's what the governor's call is about. Now, look, it's a big call for him to make. It's going to have huge economic impact.

So, what you have to balance that with is the understands of what the upside is. Now,I can't find a date when this ends, but we did find language from the governor saying this isn't going to be marshal law. This isn't going to be -- he said I don't believe the people of California need to be told through law enforcement that it's appropriate just to home isolate to protect themselves.

So, you can still go out and buy food, get essentials, but he doesn't want you socializing. He doesn't want you doing those things at least for the foreseeable future. I can't get you an end date.

In Los Angeles, the mayor had done it. Now that will be superseded by what the governor did obviously. Governor is above mayor. But there it was like April 15, April 17. Now we're seeing that consistently. Measures are somewhere in the several weeks to a month range. Why? We don't know. They don't either, OK?

They will say that on graphs you see that about four to six weeks you see a peaking in cases. But there are a lot of variables that go into that. For instance, another headline for you. In New York we had a doubling

of cases overnight. What does that mean? Well, the cases doubled, fact. But they're still not testing in any real way. Are they playing catch up? Do we believe this number is accurate? It can't be.

They have a huge backlog of tests. I'm going to bring you a family later on that you're going to meet that you may have read about called the Fusco's, F-u-s-c-o, they're from New Jersey, this is one of the most heartbreaking things I've heard come out of the coronavirus.

Their family has been savaged. They've lost four. It's a big family, there was 11 kids. It's like 40, you know, grandkids and cousins. Or make it like 70. It's like an arch type or a big Italian family. They've been savaged by this. They can't get test results. They have 20 of them in quarantine right now.

So, we're so far behind on testing that all the numbers you get are lagging. You may see a little bit of uneven trend but it's going.

Now to bring in some perspective on this, Dr. William Schaffner. OK? An infectious disease specialist, CDC advisor. Doctor, thank you so much. People are so worried about what they're learning and it's so valuable to have you to put some context to it.

So, first with what I just said about the cases. Isn't it a fair assumption that given the lag in testing and the relative inability to keep up with the flow with testing that any numbers we get have to be if anything on the bottom side, right?


WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: That's absolutely right, Chris. We're not testing nearly as many people as we would like to test to give us a sense of actually how many people with the infection are out there.

I'm absolutely amazed that Governor Newsom's order, really impressed. In fact, when I heard it a minute ago, I had to punch myself in the chest to get my heart started again. I never anticipated something like that would happen.

Here in Nashville, we're actually almost there on a voluntary basis. This morning when I went into work, the traffic was less than 10 percent of what it normally is. There are lots of businesses closed, sports venues, entertainment facilities, bars all closed already. We're kind of doing that virtually already.

CUOMO: So, let's talk about why, doctor.

SCHAFFNER This is serious.

CUOMO: So, it's serious. We know that now. The country's never seen anything like it. But that doesn't mean it's easy to understand either even when explained. It's one of the biggest economies in the world. Why does everybody have to stay in? Why don't you just quarantine the vulnerable and the elderly and let the young work? What does this mean in terms of balancing economic impact and health?

How is something like what the governor gave in California something that is commendable to you as a physician?

SCHAFFNER: Well, you said it absolutely right, Chris, a few moments ago. It's everything we can do to dampen the expansion of this outbreak. We want to press down on the epidemic curve to spread it out so that when people are sick and do need care, we don't get a tsunami wave of them coming in all at once.

If we spread this out, we can manage the very sick. And of course, another reason is that everybody no matter what the age, we're learning this, children and young adults can be spreaders. Nobody wants to be a dreaded spreader. And that will spread the virus to the most vulnerable.

So, what we're trying to do is everything we can -- this is our great big cannon. This is our weapon to try to interrupt or at least profoundly reduce, I should say, transmission of this virus from one human being to another.

CUOMO: I don't have to stay home. I'm not sick. Your response?

SCHAFFNER: I think you could be a spreader. You could pick it up and send it to someone else. So, at the moment --


CUOMO: And not even know you have it.

SCHAFFNER: And not even know you have it. That is absolutely right. That's why we all have to do this together and all make our own contribution as uncomfortable and disturbing as it is for a short period of time to try to dampen this outbreak.

CUOMO: Let me ask you one question one step sideways, then I want to get back to you about medical equipment. Do you remember -- what do you think in your life experience is the last time you've seen this country asked to do something that involves this type of surrendering the me to the we?

SCHAFFNER: Well, we've had a number of occasions where we have had other emerging infections. The 2009 influenza swine flu outbreak --


CUOMO: We didn't do anything like this.

SCHAFFNER: No, nothing like this. Nothing like this. We've had an epidemic of anxiety which we currently have when HIV first came on the scene. That got everybody very, very anxious.


CUOMO: And we handled it horribly. SCHAFFNER: We've had two outbreaks -- yes. Well, we have two outbreaks as you well know, the coronavirus outbreak and the outbreak of anxiety, both of which we're trying to deal with.

CUOMO: Doctor, let's do this. Let me take a quick commercial here, come back, and I want to talk to you about capacity, what it means because not just beds. It's ventilators and what you know about what we have and how the richest country in the world doesn't have enough masks for people to wear, gloves. How can this be? Schaffner will give us some great context on this right after the break.



CUOMO: All right. I want to bring back Dr. William Schaffner. He's an infectious disease specialist and CDC adviser.

You can't see, doctor, but my desk is filled with all the latest information about what we just learned about California. This is the first governor to do something like this, statewide stay at home. Not marshal law.

He didn't say. He said people don't need law enforcement to tell them to do this. He did say it was open ended. He did say that 16 or 17 different areas of essential services had been identified to keep the state going. He did say that you can go out in the executive order, that you can get your food, you can get your medicine, you must do your necessities but to keep social distancing when you do the same.

You celebrate this because you say it is -- you agree with the idea that it's wrong headed to see these types of measures as proof of defeat that the virus is getting us. This is the best weapon against us.

So now you get to why we want to mitigate the number of cases other than common sense, less is better. Our hospitals are going to be over capacity pretty much everywhere this hits. The question is why, doctor? Why doesn't the richest country in the world have enough gowns, gloves, ventilators? Why?

SCHAFFNER: So, let me give you three quick reasons, Chris. The first is that about 20 or 30 years ago we decided that we would not over hospitalize. When I was an intern and went to bed at night, there -- I knew that there were always empty beds in the hospital so I would be awakened to take care of a patient who was admitted in the middle of the night.

A lot of the times now, our hospitals are absolutely full. So, we have underbuilt hospital beds because they're very expensive.

Number two is globalization. Sure, we build ventilators here and we make masks in this country. But we've outsourced a lot of that around the world. So, we didn't anticipate international turbulence influencing this. Drugs, vaccines similarly.


The third reason is it's very American to have just in time ordering. We know longer haven hospitals, large stocks of drugs and pharmacies, large warehouses full of these Personal Protective Equipment, it's just in time ordering. That's what we all do, because it's more efficient and less expensive. Now, those seem to be good ideas, all of them some time ago. But they sure do get us in a pinch right now.

Yes. It falls into the category of seemed like a good idea at the time. And then you hear some more context. 2005 and as recently as a year or so ago, there was modeling done about how to handle a pandemic at the federal level. So, the idea that they had no idea like something like this could happen is not exactly true. What's your understanding of how much thinking went into doing what was right in a situation like this before it actually hit?

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Well, there's been an awful lot of pandemic planning that's gone on, and we have learned from Ebola, from Zika, from influenza, swine influenza back in 2009. But putting those things into place requires leadership and organization and coordination. And we don't have to go into great detail here, but it hasn't been optimal, shall we say.

CUOMO: Right. It's not time to play politics, of course. Although I have to tell you, you know, and it's not just the president. We've seen it on local levels in places, also these false promises that things are going to happen. Today the president said we're fast tracking this drug through the FDA. They call it Trump speed, one of his -- which I found really ironic given how slow we were to get into this situation and start fighting back.

But then Tony Fauci, Dr. Fauci on our special, just before this show had to say there is no magic cure. We don't know about any drug that will work. There are a few we think may work. We don't know anything for sure. Who's right? Fauci or the other message?

SCHAFFNER: Let me just say, we all in infectious diseases and public health have an enormous confidence in Tony Fauci.

CUOMO: So, when we think about this now, what should peoples' expectations be? Are we anywhere near having a drug that can cure the bad cases?

SCHAFFNER: Actually, treatment I think is likely to come if everything works well sooner than a vaccine, because we have a number of previously known drugs where we know a lot about their safety issues and how they work. So, we don't have to make a new drug. We're testing old known drugs in this situation. And there are plenty of patients in whom we can do clinical trials and get solid information. So, that may come forward in a matter of months. Developing the vaccine will still take longer even though we're doing a full-court press on that.

CUOMO: Dr. Schaffner, thank you so much for being with me at such an important time. I'm sure we'll be speaking again probably often. So, thank you. Thank you for the advice and please stay healthy.

SCHAFFNER: Hang in there, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. So, that's the medical side of it. That's the big headline.

How is this playing in California? We have the mayor of Los Angeles, mayor Garcetti is going to join us right after the break. Remember, he did this for Los Angeles. He put an end date on it though, April 13th or 17th. I forget, I don't have time to read it. But I have time to talks to him about it and he's going to give us the answer and what he makes of this much bigger move, the first of its kind in the country. All of California ordered stay at home, 40 million people. Next.



CUOMO: Joining us now on this very big news, the first of its kind in the country, a governor saying that everybody in the state should stay home. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joins us now. Mr. Mayor, you today had announced exactly this kind of measure in Los Angeles, only going out for essentials, otherwise staying inside. You unlike the governor had put a hard out on it though at April 19th though saying it was subject to extension. What is your thought about the governor taking your idea for that major city and making it the entire state?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D-CA): It was great news, Chris. And thank you, by the way, for your exceptional coverage during this once, we hope, in a lifetime crisis. Here in Los Angeles, I took that action with a heavy heart but with a very clear mind. The more and more that I talked to people who looked at the data, looked at the trends, and who looked at history, those who act slowly will be punished and those who act quickly have a chance.

And I think for all of us to see a state do that -- and I spoke to the governor earlier today -- say I have your back, we all have your back on this, the big city mayors. We all are imagining that somehow it's not as bad in our city. And we saw it worse in Northern California than in my city in L.A. That there's a magical mode around us or maybe we're just a little bit different than some other place or our country just needs to keep out those people. This is universal.

It's the entire world. And there's nothing that will protect us besides moving swiftly in what public health professionals tell us to do which is to limit that social distance, go to the bear minimum and to try to then help people get through this together.

CUOMO: The big pushback is the cost, that this tanks the economy. And how can it be worth it? This isn't the plague. It's just the flu, 80 percent of the cases are OK. Why isn't this going too far?

GARCETTI: I started with the premise tonight that human life is precious. If we don't start there, I don't know where we ever start. What's the price of that life of that loved one who's battling cancer or has a pre-existing condition or your parents or grandparents just because they're older, they are going to have a one in eight chance of dying unlike your child who may only have a one in 10,000 chance of dying if they get it.


I think, that we hopefully as human beings believe that all human life are precious. And by the way, I think it's a false dichotomy, the blow to the economy of us letting this continue to go forward, of us not treating this with the seriousness, these companies, these places will be under anyway. If we have all of our doctors and nurses sick, they will not only be able to respond to this crisis, but to other health crisis that (inaudible) people's lives and we will lose lives in that scenario too and cripple our economy when people in que-sectors can't even come to work.

So, I think it's only one choice before us and I know it's a tough one. And I think it's up to leaders right now to acknowledge the pain that people are going through, call for the federal government to help with the economic pain, make sure we treat all people equal including immigrants who might not get the federal assistance that they need, but pick the food that we are now eating in this crisis, clean the buildings that we're trying to keep safe. Drive the trucks that get us what we need and then get to the next steps from there.

CUOMO: Right. Let's tick off a few kind of practicalities here. One a lot of the shelves are bare. People think that there are shortages versus just restocking issues. What is the case at your city in your understanding of the state? Is there enough to put back and it's just about the rate of people buying it or is there something bigger afoot?

GARCETTI: Nope. There's plenty. And I actually went to one of the distribution centers with all of our grocery store CEOs and leaders, just this week, so people could see it live.

CUOMO: OK, good.

GARCETTI: It's a stocking issue. I mean -- maybe for toilet paper and paper towels a couple days away, hand sanitizer, probably a few weeks. But there's plenty, don't hoard, don't impulse buy. Buy for a week. It's going to be there next week.

CUOMO: Now, we're going to hold that thought about why they hoard for one more practical question. Then I want to get to that more philosophical question. How is this enforced? The mayor said they don't need law enforcement to tell them that they're better off at home. But what if they don't stay home? How is it enforced? Is it enforced?

GARCETTI: You know, one of the questions we had in our press conference a couple hours ago was -- this -- one of those if you see something, say something? And I said yes, absolutely. But don't call a cop. Go and tell somebody they shouldn't be doing that. Then if there are cases where people are blatantly violating this order, yes, we'll visit them. When we said restaurants were closed to eating indoors, 99.9 percent of them closed. The press found one restaurateur who said I'm not going to do this, it was in one neighborhood in L.A., we visited them. We brought a police officer, it was closed down immediately. They got had a smile, it's not open.

You know, people are getting guns. They're going crazy. I'm saying crime is actually way down and generosity is way up. This is different than a riot or a public safety emergency. This is a public health emergency and we have to remember that it's on all of us to do this. But we're certainly going to deputize many city employees to walk those streets, to drive around. If we see any folks that are still open, we'll just pay them a visit and let them know that this is something they have to comply with. And it's for their own health. In the very rare cases with someone who doesn't comply, of course we can enforce that.

CUOMO: It's not unusual in times of panic to see people buying guns and ammunition. It doesn't help when you have state TV saying the Democrats are using coronavirus as a reason to take peoples' guns away. That's certainly going to encourage a lot of panic activity. Let's put it to the side.

Mayor, I want your take on one more thing. The idea of people being so afraid is understandable. The idea of people not going along with things that everyone in their country is telling them they need to do is less understandable. What do you say to the people who say I'm not doing it? I'm not sick. It's too much of a restriction. Everything's going to be fine. This is overhyped.

GARCETTI: Well, to be clear, especially younger people who feel that their immune or everybody said let's go the beach. I just remind people there's somebody you care about. There's somebody you know who is in treatment for something or whose compromised in their health before this, somebody you love who's older. You will kill them and I think it's straightforward saying that, letting people know that this is unlike a fire.

You saw the heroic work of the fires out here in California last year. But the first responders aren't dressed in uniforms. They are us. We are the first responders. And the hand you shake is another one and it could kill somebody. We have to stay constant, consistent. Anybody who violates that, we have to let them know there's now an order and the difference between survival and not depends on you.

CUOMO: Heavy heart, clear head. That's a good way to put it. Mayor, you know the right thing to do, but you know it's going to cost and you know, it's going to be hard, but it's about what the long term gain will be for all of us. Mayor Eric Garcetti from Los Angeles, his state just the first in the country to say through the governor everybody should stay home. God bless, be safe. Let us know how we can help.

GARCETTI: Thank you. God bless you too, Chris.

CUOMO: Be well.

All right. Now, who do you go to in times like this? We have to have our better lights tell us why this is going to be OK? OK? Tom Friedman is absolutely one of them.


He wrote a fascinating op-ed about life before and eventually after coronavirus. What message does he have for you? I want to hear it as much as you do. I guarantee you that, next.


CUOMO: I know. I know. Every day you wake up and you look at what life is now all over the place, not in the pocket, not in one place that got hit by a hurricane or a tornado or a power outage or a temporary thing, and the new normal is scary as hell, especially because we don't know what's going to happen and how long it's going to take. And now you see that reality reflected in California.


All 40 plus million people told to stay home. What does this mean? Let's talk to New York Times Tom Friedman. Listen brother, I know this is a tall task. But I wanted you on, because we need better lights right now. You're getting the same questions that I get. Everywhere I go and thank God, right now, I can't go many places, because I don't have good answers. But what are we supposed to think in a time like this?

THOMAS FRIEDMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, Chris, I think we have one goal as a country right now. The governor of California emphasized it. The mayor of Los Angeles emphasized it. Your doctors on the show emphasize it. And I believe the president needs to stress this from the White House podium at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. We have one goal. We need to manage what is now unavoidable, so we can avoid what is unmanageable.

We need to manage what is unavoidable now, so we can avoid what would be unmanageable which is that our health system gets completely overwhelmed. I appreciate why the president wants to talk about cures and vaccines. He wants to emphasize the positive.

But right now actually, the greatest gift he can give the country, he's greatest act of leadership actually would be to maybe instill a little fear in people so they would shelter in place. So they will socially distance. So we can manage what is now unavoidable and avoid what is unmanageable.

CUOMO: I love your line. But I want to just test one thing for a second. And I want to talk about something else. It would be right, it would be understandable for an over exuberance of optimism to be coming out of the president. I don't think that's what it is, Tom. I think him talking about this drug is going to get through, we are going to do it. I think he knew that wasn't true. And I think for Tony Fauci to have to go on CNN tonight and try to clean it up. The most trusted man in America, probably.

This is what the president keeps doing in this situation. He says what he thinks people want to hear. But this ain't politics. This isn't about a tax cut. You know, people are freaking out about this. And they are pinning their hopes on what they're hearing from government. I don't know that it's the time to be selling snake oil.

FRIEDMAN: I don't think it is at all. That's what I'm trying to get across in everywhere I can through my column, through this appearance on your show. I'm trying to do it in a constructive way. There's been enough Trump bashing out there. I'll be happily to contribute afterwards when we sit down and decide what was right and what was wrong here. But right now, he has a podium, Chris, like nobody else.


FRIEDMAN: And he needs to actually get away from the cures and the vaccines. That's later. Right now we have got to -- and this is (inaudible), it comes from climate scientists. We got to avoid what is unmanageable, so we can manage what is unavoidable. And there's no one in the country who can get that message across better, wider, louder than him.

He can start by calling the governor of Florida and saying what kind of knuckle head are you? Close your beaches. Those kids go from those beaches where they are all choked together and they get on planes and they go all over the country. What planet are you living on?

CUOMO: And most of them are drunk. So that they are going to have a lower immunity and make stupid choices. Now, you then get to the next level of what we really see and to need. And this is something I don't get. I want your take on. What is life going to be like after this?

We'll make it through. We are going to make it through. This may take a bite out of our ass, this type of -- the likes of which we have not seen in a couple of generations. But we are going to make it through. Where is your head in terms of what after looks like?

FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, one thing we know about innovation, Chris is that necessity is the mother of invention. And some of our greatest companies were born in economic downturns. Companies like Intel and Microsoft. And I think you are going to see a massive amount of innovation around first of all e-learning. Distance learning. It's already been out there through companies like Udacity and Sero, Khan Academy, but I think what you are going to see is an explosion of it afterwards.

And that could be a great thing for the country. Because it could actually deal with this huge debt -- student debt load we have. Another thing I'm sure you are going to see is a huge explosion in 3D manufacturing. So, we aren't dependent on these massive long supply chains when we do need whether it's special face masks or when we do need ventilators. The ability to manufacture in this country close to home, I think to me, explosion of that too. But let me just say one thing, Chris.

CUOMO: Please.

FRIEDMAN: This is not the time for a U.S. China cold war. I can't think of anything more reckless. China is a source of capitol that we are going to need when we want to grow out of this. It's a source of manufacturing prowess. These people can put up a hospital in a week. [22:55:15]

We may as their crisis winds down, we may need to draw on that. Their manufacturing prowess and at the same time, there our source of science. OK? And really both the president of China and the president of United States now, because they both feel guilty about, I think acting too slowly early on, have found the perfect enemy to deflect, you know, their guilt and it's on each other.

And it's absolutely the wrong time. You know, one of my rules of life, Chris, is do you want to make a point or do you want to make a difference? You want to make a point about China now? This is not the time. If you want to make a difference, then we should be talking to the Chinese every day, how do we leverage their manufacturing capacity. Their scientific capacity and ultimately we are going to need their capital just as we did in 2008, to stabilize the global economy.

CUOMO: I give you a big amen. And I'm trying to follow it. I make a point of what this president does wrong in this situation to give him a chance to make a difference. That's where I'm trying to keep to account. Because he's got too big a stage and time is too short. Tom Friedman, we need your head, we need your heart even more. Brother, be safe and be healthy. And thank you for talking to the audience tonight.

FRIEDMAN: Any time, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. I appreciate it. Big breaking news. This is the biggest move we've seen in coronavirus. California, all 40 plus million stay at home. You can only go where you have to go. Because coronavirus may hit half the state with cases. What does that mean? A prominent medical authority, next.