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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 18,000; Trump Wants to Get U.S. "Open As Soon As Possible"; Update From California Governor; Los Angeles County Extends "Safer At Home" Order Until May 15; Fauci: Despite Progress, Not The Time To Be Pulling Back "At All"; NY Times: New Models Show Cases Spike If Stay-At-Home Orders Lifted After 30 Days; Nearly 500,000 Coronavirus Cases In U.S. Deaths Top 18,000; U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 18,000. Aired on 8-9p ET
Aired April 10, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Anderson Cooper. Thanks very much for joining us.
A lot to cover tonight. That we heard earlier from the president's coronavirus task force, the U.S. death toll now tops 18,000 people so far in this country -- from the White House, believing that the peak may have been reached or it will soon be reached, although there's some disagreement about that on the coronavirus task force.
Let's go first to CNN's Erica Hill who is standing by -- Erica.
Oh, I'm sorry. Nick Watt is standing. Nick, what's the latest?
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Anderson.
So, we had a strange afternoon here in California, the governor of the state is saying the peak is not going to be as high as feared, and then we heard from L.A. County and they extended the so-called safer at home order through May 15th. That's another five weeks from now and they were painted to say that May 15th is not some magic date. They are not promising to lift all of the restrictions when that rolls around.
And, of course, meanwhile, Anderson, there are still so many people fighting a daily life and death battle with this virus.
WATT (voice-over): There are triumphs, cheers for the recovered.
Numbers in New York's ICUs are actually down for the first time. Some encouraging signs.
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We are starting to level on algorithm phase like Italy did about a week ago because of the impact of what the citizens of New York and New Jersey in across Connecticut and now, Rhode Island are doing to really change the course of this pandemic. WATT: But still, so much pain. Tara Gabriele's mom now gone but more
than just a statistic.
TARA GABRIELE, LOST MOTHER TO CORONAVIRUS: My mother was a real person, she was loving, and selfless, unkind.
WATT: In New York, now, the bodies of unclaimed COVID-19 victims being taken to Heart Island for burial.
The official death count of more than 5,000 in the city could be undercounted with people dying untested at home. According to the New York Times, that state now has more confirmed reported cases than any country on earth. According to data from Johns Hopkins University.
In L.A., now, you have to wear a mask in a store.
MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D-CA): If you're not covering your face, by Friday morning, essential business can refuse you service.
WATT: But in Florida, they are thinking about reopening schools.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): If we get to the point where people think that we are on the other side of this, and we can get kids back in, even if it's for a couple weeks, we think there would be value in that.
This particular pandemic is one where I don't think nationwide, there's been a single fatality under 25.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Yes, people under 25 have died of coronavirus disease in the United States of America.
WATT: Florida's governor has now walked that last part back a little.
DESANTIS: So, in Florida, we have had no fatalities under 25.
WATT: And starting tomorrow, in Michigan, if you own more than one home in the state, you have got to pick one and stay there.
In Illinois, they are warning all big events could be canceled until there is a vaccine, months perhaps, even a year or more away. They are also discouraging church services.
MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D-IL): Today is Good Friday, Easter Sunday, we have to stay inside.
WATT: But in Kansas, the governor is still in a legal battle, hoping to limit church services to 10 people.
GOV. LAURA KELLY (D-KS): The need to congregate is important, but not during a pandemic.
WATT: And testing remains an issue, even weeks into this pandemic. In one study of 51 coronavirus patients, the current test missed 16 of them. An antibody test is said to be days away to identify those recovered and therefore potentially immune and able to return to work. But, can the country start to reopen May 1 as the president hopes? And what might be the toll?
FAUCI: Don't let anyone get any false ideas that when we decide, at a proper time, when we are going to be relaxing some of the restrictions. There's no doubt that you're going to see cases.
COOPER: So, this -- I mean, May 1st, which has been floated by some people at the White House, how much of that at this point is just an aspirational goal to begin some sort of opening up, and how much of that is any basis in reality?
WATT: Well, I mean, the first issue is, Anderson, is what the governors of individual states want to do.
But putting that aside for a second, the president clearly is aiming for that date. Dr. Fauci said today, the virus kind of decides, and he says that he and the White House task force team look at all the data every day and then they take that information to the vice president and the president and any decision on opening will be made at that level, and today, the president was asked, will you listen to your medical advisers? And he came back with this, he said, I listen to them about everything. I think they are actually surprised -- Anderson.
COOPER: He also went on to say that he listens to them, but he also sees two sides and clearly is going to be listening to members of the business community and the business folks around him. He has this -- they will announce a business council looking at reopening the country. He will probably announce the next week.
Nick Watt, thanks very much.
Another big development today, at coronavirus model, cited by the White House suggested that today is the peak for deaths. It also increased its projections for total deaths by about 1,500 to 61,545.
Joining me now is the director of the institute that published those numbers, Dr. Chris Murray, of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in the University of Washington. Also joining us, chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief -- CNN medical analysts, Dr. Jennifer Lee, as well, a clinical associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University.
So, Dr. Murray, can you just explain how you came to the conclusion the United States that have reached peak daily death toll?
DR. CHRIS MURRAY, CHAIR, HEALTH METRICS SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Well, that's what our model is saying. We re-run the model, basically, almost every night and the new returns from different states are suggesting different peaks and different states. But overall, at the national level, we seem to be pretty much close to the peak. Our model has even numbers for the next few days or so. So, it's not as if we are going to see not abrupt peak and declined, but we do see it leveling off.
COOPER: And for overall projected deaths in the United States, the model now projects about 61,500 people in the U.S. dying in the coronavirus by August. That's compared to yesterday where it was about 60,000 or earlier this week.
What -- if the peak is now, is there a reason the number is a little bit larger than it was previously?
MURRAY: Yes, it is, because some states still haven't fully implement to social distancing so we are seeing their peak shifting out in time and we are seeing a peak now, but the decline is going to be very slow as some other states reach their peak later in April and even extending it to May.
COOPER: When, from the research in the data gathering at this point, when you look back at the White House that had modeling between 100,000 and 240,000 dying at one point, not too long ago, does that make sense? Because at that time, I think your model is still in the 80,000 range.
MURRAY: Yes, our model estimates have moved around as we get more data, we get the size of different states going to be like New York, or are they like Washington, in terms of their trajectory, and that early returns tells a lot.
Remember also, in our model, we assumed the social distancing was going to stay in place until the end of May. And we have now started to run some scenarios about what happens if we took them off on May 1st, and that is the early returns on the analysis don't look good.
COOPER: Do you have numbers on that yet?
MURRAY: Well, we are going to release numbers and concrete scenarios by state next week, but it's enough to say that if we were to stop at the national level, May 1st, we are seeing a return to almost where we are now sometime in July.
So, a real -- a rebound, that rebound, doesn't happen in every state because some states are further along. But, definitely, there is a very substantial risk of rebound if we don't wait until the point where most transmissions were near zero in each state.
COOPER: Wow, I just want to drill down that a 2nd. I know you are going to be releasing this next week, but from what you are aware of now, if the model, if the social distancing that currently exist, which as you say is not even at every state, as it currently exists, if it does not go until the beginning of June, then there will be a rebound in some states akin to what we are seeing right now with these high number of deaths, for instance, in New York?
MURRAY: That's what our first round of modeling on that suggest and we will be able to give more precise information next week. But, clearly, the risk of rebound is very great with early release from closures. [20:10:02]
And I think the big issue is when? When can some states transition to something that gets people back to school and work? And it is going to the states like Washington that have, you know, got to the epidemic peaked and is starting to come down, it seems, and they will be able to think about that transition sooner than states that are, you know, the peak is yet to come.
MURRAY: Dr. Lee, what do you make -- I mean, the -- of the idea of, again, the president doesn't necessarily have the power that he is saying he has to issue guidelines about when he would like to see states coming back online, with the economy back online, but a lot of it is up to the governors local officials in each state, but given what you are seeing, do you think it is at all reasonable to think early May you could start getting -- you could start giving up some of these stay-at-home orders?
DR. JENNIFER LEE, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Anderson, I think that would be extremely dangerous. In the D.C. metro area, for instance, we do not think that the peak is going to happen this week, or next week. But potentially, even into June.
You know, we are seeing the social distancing is absolutely helping, but we are seeing a slow and steady continual uptick in numbers of confirmed cases and numbers of deaths. And just as Dr. Murray said, it's going to be a different situation in different regions across the country. And I think it would be extremely dangerous to lift the social distancing and mitigation strategies that we are doing right now especially when we don't have the widespread testing and contact tracing strategies implemented yet.
COOPER: Sanjay, where do you come down on this?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, it is interesting that we think of the United States as a -- as a country, obviously, but it is many different sort of scenarios and different places. But, you know, I'm wondering, Professor Murray, if I could ask a question, one of the things that struck me, and I think Anderson you, too, is that, obviously, it is good news that we see these projection numbers come down, Professor Murray.
But I'm just wondering, is it that the social distancing mechanisms have worked better than you thought they were going to work? Or are you surprised at how well people have actually abided by it? What do you think is driving the numbers down?
MURRAY: You know, I think the -- two factors.
And I think two weeks ago, there was only Wuhan city in China that have had it widespread as an epidemic, peaked, and then come back down. Now, we have another 18 places in Italy and Spain that of peak and come down. That is telling us a lot of information about time from implementing social distancing, to getting to the peak. And so, that is feeding into the models and that's sort of making us much more confident about when the peak is likely to reoccur. The other thing, states like California, and Washington, and others,
where the trajectory of cases has been very different in New York. It has been a much more gradual increase, lower peak, and we believe that's because people have started to social distance even before mandates from state government were put in place.
COOPER: So, Dr. Murray, I mean, it's -- I'm just really not surprised, but it is fascinating to me how clear to you, or based on the modeling that you are doing now, about the implications of getting back to work nationwide, too quickly, I mean, that will -- that will clearly, Dr. Fauci earlier today and say you would expect to see a rise. The idea that in some places, returning back to the levels we are currently at, that would be devastating just in terms of people's confidence getting back to work.
MURRAY: No, I think we have put such a investment as a nation in trying to get this pandemic under control, it makes sense to stay the course because even those extra few weeks is going to make a huge difference. Now, even when you get to the end of May and you got most communities with very low levels of transmission, we are going to have to do something after that point. Not the closures that we have now, but we are going to have to have the capability to test the contacts trace, to quarantine, to control infection coming in from other places.
But, there is a huge difference at least in the way that we see this unfolding between closing May 1st and getting to the end of May.
COOPER: We should also say, Dr. Murray, that -- I mean, there seems to be disagreements, you know, certainly from the president and scientists about what getting back to work, what it actually means in terms of testing and contact tracing.
And I imagine that will affect the model significantly because if you are relying on significant contact tracing and testing, if there -- if that is not the case, the president, today, earlier, the coronavirus talks for said you don't need to do that stuff because they don't have a problem, I mean, that is going to affect the model in a lot of different ways.
MURRAY: I think there is a really importance of issues for every state and nation to grapple with about scaling up testing about a city, making sure the public health system is able to do contact tracing, and making sure that we minimize the risk, do whatever we can to avoid a resurgence, and having to even contemplate closures like we are going through right now.
COOPER: Yes, it's fascinating. Dr. Murray, I appreciate your work as well. As always, Sanjay Gupta, Jennifer Lee.
Up next, a live report from the White House on the factors that may determine whether the president continues to support stay at home orders past this month. And later, my discussion with California Governor Gavin Newsom about his new initiative to share much need hospital supplies and equipment with states in need.
COOPER: Tonight, we've been talking about the timelines that White House and health officials are suggesting for reopening the country. President Trump today said that the coronavirus will be one day gone, not that much longer.
At the same news conference, coronavirus task force member, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that despite the success social distancing has had against the pandemic, now is not the time to be pulling back.
I'm joined now by Jim Acosta at the White House, CNN political analyst and "New York Times" White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, and CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash.
Jim, you were at the briefing today with the president. I was watching you pressing him on his talk of reopening the country. Talk a little bit about what he said, because he's making it sound as if he decides the country reopens when it's actually state and local officials.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was very squishy, Anderson. I mean, one thing we did ask the president is whether or not he was going to listen to these doctors, doctors like Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx who essentially talked him into imposing these guidelines to begin with. And, you know, he said he's going to listen, but he didn't say whether the was going to follow their recommendations.
He also announced that on Tuesday, he's going to talk about this new reopening the country council as he described, which is going to be made up of politicians and business leaders and so on. I asked him whether it would be bipartisan, he said it would be bipartisan, not many other details besides that.
But it sounds like he's moving in that direction, Anderson. He is moving in the direction of reopening this country. And question at this point is what is going to slow him down? May not be the doctors at this point, because you're hearing the doctors saying the country is not ready at this stage and they're not sure it will be by end of the month.
COOPER: Maggie, I'm wondering what do you make of the president's declaration he can override the state stay-at-home orders? You know, when it was question of would he order governors to institute stay-at- home orders, he said he wouldn't because believes in Constitution more than anybody else.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, I think it was one of those things he says that's not particularly based on a plan or any legality. I also think there's a number of people in his administration who would have a real problem with federal government trying to (AUDIO GAP) forcing a national stay at home order. It would be really hard.
What is clear, Anderson, listening to the president, it's not clear what metrics he's going to use objectively to reopen the country. Will it be jobs -- number of jobs lost? Will it be number of tests done? Will it be cases declining in specific places?
These are all real questions. And when he was asked about metrics, didn't answer, pointed to his own head and said this is my metric.
So, I think we're going to see him grappling with this. These are real questions. I mean, to be fair, there's an economic toll and mental health toll on this country.
So, I understand why he's wrestling with this. But I do think it's important to for the country to understand what's going into his decision when that ultimately comes and I think that he has struggled to make that clear.
COOPER: Dana, I mean, you have been talking to a source who's in communication the president. They were suggesting the president should work in conjunction with the governors. What else did they say?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, just that. That, you know, when he finally does make this decision, you are alluding to this with Jim. First of all, it is not really his decision to make. It is the individual governors, but he can show proper leadership by making this announcement and these decisions along with the governors, key governors of course, it is very hard to do with all of them, but the key governors in the states that have had the biggest hotspots.
So the source I was talking about who communicates the White House was suggesting that would kind of be a twofer. First of all, let's get real, given political cover to do it hand in glove with governors, many of whom are Democrats. But more importantly, to have cover when it comes to the health situation, because governors who are in the front lines are going to want to open up their states, and open up restaurants, open up everything that equals normal life until they are ready.
So, it would do both of those things. Unclear if he is going to listen to that.
COOPER: Yes. And, Jim, now you have Professor Murray who just talked to saying that next week, his model has been more conservative, frankly, in terms of death toll in the White House is on model, saying that he is going to be releasing this report next week that shows or we'll show that if social distancing efforts and current efforts to not remain in place through May, there will be a return by I think he said July to the current numbers we are seeing in some of these hotspots.
ACOSTA: That's right, and Dr. Anthony Fauci made that very clear. If you loosen these guidelines, if you remove these guidelines, do not be surprised if you see outbreaks in certain parts of the country because the virus is still going to be there whether or not the president wants to get back to work.
The other thing that needs to be pointed out, Anderson, is that the country is just not ready from equipment standpoint to reopen. We don't have enough tests despite what the president was saying in these facts challenged briefings all week, we don't have enough tests. We don't have enough medical equipment.
After the briefing today, I was getting emails from doctors and nurses.
I'm sure you get the same thing, Anderson, saying, don't listen to what the president says, listen to what we have to say. And what they are saying, Anderson, is that our hospital system in this country is just not prepared for this whole problem to snap back into, you know, another pandemic, even if things loosen back up again.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, I get -- like you, I get email, I get direct messages on Instagram from doctors and nurses who can't get test for themselves, and they are treating in a hospital setting, dealing with this every single day.
Maggie, I mean, the idea that I think Jim raised an important point of, clearly, the president has a concern about the idea of doing a lot of testing, and I don't know if the whole testing issue makes him, or if he feels is an attack on the early failure of the administration, and it's certainly the CDC for -- to get testing and to live up to the promises the administration is making about testing for everybody.
I don't know if it is that, that he doesn't want to talk about testing, but clearly, every scientist is saying testing, and contact- tracing is critical to being able to get back to work.
HABERMAN: No, that's right, and look, Anderson, further to use numbers the way that he sees fit and things that will help make this case. So he is using the sheer volume of tests as opposed to per capita basis which is really what every health expert says it needs to be judged on.
I mean, we are all learning about this as we go. That is certainly what health experts say. I do think it is because the president doesn't want to talk about the failures related to testing that solidly on his administration from the very beginning, he has continued to ask you, my colleague and I reported on this days ago, he has continued to ask people why are we still getting blame for testing? Why are we in this stage now? Why is this still our problem?
He generally doesn't seem to understand or doesn't want to understand why it is the federal government that had issues with this all along is going to own this and the answer is not going to be to keep pointing to the numbers of how many tests have been done until there is better testing, until there is a way to test for antibodies. This is going to remain an open question as to how many people can go back to work. COOPER: Dana, who -- I mean, where else other than scientists, you
know, where is the president getting his advice from? Is it FOX, and conservative media?
COOPER: Is the business people he is friends with? Or people on his economic team?
BASH: All of the above. The biggest concern among some in the White House, according to a source I talked to today, is that more and more, he has been talking to friends on Wall Street, hedge fund friends, others in the financial world who are clamoring for the economy to reopen again, for obvious reasons.
They are losing money, personally. Their businesses are losing money. Their clients are losing money.
So, when the president hears that, when he makes his rounds of calls, he comes back and he puts that pressure on his political and policy staff and more importantly, on the medical professionals and the task force.
But make no mistake: there is and has been, and we all reported on this, a split inside the president's team about just how far to go in closures. Some people in the White House still think the administration, in their guidelines, have gone too far. But right now, it seems to be enough pushback against those voices he is hearing, to keep the status quo.
COOPER: Jim, it is interesting the idea that Wall Street firms, heads hedge funds people pushing to go back to work. I mean, I have yet to hear from the task force of about what sort of basics of getting back to work would look like.
Is every company going to have handheld digital thermometers that they could point every employees' forehead as they come in the building? And see if they have a fever? Are they going to have rapid testing on hand so for the play is coughing, they could test whether that employee actually has something and should go home?
I mean, we haven't really heard what is going to take from a logistical standpoint, let alone the testing standpoint.
COOPER: It's a great question, Anderson. The CDC just put out guidelines for essential workers who are going back to the workplace, and what they need to do. And some of the guidelines are that they shouldn't congregate in brick rooms, and that sort of thing, we shouldn't come to work if they are sick.
But, I mean, Anderson, I will tell you, when I come to the White House every day, they check my temperature. And before I go into the briefing, they check my temperature.
But some of this is inconsistent. Take for example yesterday, before the briefing, they wanted us to take coronavirus tests. I think a coronavirus test, it came back negative. But today, we went into the briefing room, there were no coronavirus tests.
And so, at some point, the administration is going to have to say to you every Fortune 500 company, to just about every employer in America, this is what you need to do to bring people back into the workplace, bring kids back into schools, churchgoers back into churches. And we just haven't gotten to that point yet. And all we hear from the President, it seems day in and day out, is how he wants to reopen the country.
Again, it's just going to get down into the details. And as Dana and Maggie, were saying, all of the people inside the President's team, they seem to be on opposite sides as to where those details are leading at this point, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, Jim Acosta, Maggie Haberman and Dana Bash. Thank you very much.
Up next, my conversation with California's Governor Gavin Newsom, who states so far seems to be weathering the pandemic better than most.
COOPER: Public health authorities in California say the coronavirus curve is flattening but as we mentioned earlier, Los Angeles County has extended their stay at home order through May 15.
Also today California's Governor Gavin Newsom announced a slight increase in the death toll to 541. And thankfully that is much lower than a number of other states particularly that size.
I spoke with him shortly before airtime.
COOPER: Governor Newsome the fact that California with 40 million people in the state hasn't had a surge the way that New York has, what do you attribute to them and you did get a head start on a lot of the other states.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): I think it's 40 million people practicing physical distancing 40 million people by and large staying at home that have really stepped up to meet this moment. And I think there's no greater non pharmaceutical impact to bend a curve then people doing just that and I couldn't be more proud of the state.
COOPER: And Dr. Fauci today said that despite progress, this is certainly not the time to be pulling back at all. Obviously, there's other considerations that the President and others on Wall Street and elsewhere have. In terms of what the virus is doing in California in the coming weeks. Do you have a broad sense based on what you know right now? How long your timeframe is to keep the stay at home orders in place? NEWSOM: What appears that we've not only bent the curve, but we have stretched it. And we've stretched it out a little bit. And we still seen a modest growth rate on a daily basis today, a 2.5% increase in total number of hospitalizations. That's the number Anderson, I look at every morning, number of people in ICU and the number of people that are hospitalized.
So those numbers are modest, which is bought us time allowed us to procure more assets, not only physical alternative care sites, but the human resources and appropriate protective gear. But it's still too early to say and the worst thing we can do is run the 90 yard dash on this virus.
COOPER: So right now, what are you telling people? It just for the foreseeable future? Have you said we're going to reassess at the end of April or have you not specified?
NEWSOM: We haven't specified because it's really on the basis of the virus and the determination of individuals to bend the curve, to mitigate the spread of the virus. It's literally that question is best answered by asking 40 million Californians what they will do to meet the moment every hour of every day, over the course of the next few weeks.
And over the course of the next few weeks, if we see this modest growth begin to bend in a different direction, then I will be in a position based upon the expertise of our health professionals and based upon where this virus is, based on more and expansive and comprehensive community surveillance, meaning testing, make that determination.
COOPER: If the President decides in coming weeks to make an announcement to reopen the country, I mean, the White House has been talking about May as -- somewhere in May, ultimately governors like yourself will be the ones determining when stay at home orders will be lifted or to what degree. The President said today that he can override state stay at home orders if he wants. I mean, is this a mixed message? What -- how do you interpret this?
NEWSOM: Yes, I don't anticipate that will happen. I mean, at the end of the day, I think the government will be led broadly and the President will ultimately be led by the facts on the ground, and that's federalism, 50 parts one body and I get the incredible power and potency of his voice. But at the end of the day, the practical application of that reality is at the state level, and I have all the confidence in the world that if we made a determination what's best interest for the state of California to keep people healthy, keep people safe, which will buy us the opportunity to get this economy back on track in a much more sustainable way, then short, fusing this process. I have a confidence to President, will support those efforts.
COOPER: Yes, "The New York Times" is reporting today that the new federal projections show a spike in infections, if stay at home orders are lifted at 30 days at the end of the month, that certainly is in line with all the scientific advice that's out there. NEWSOM: Look, the worst thing we can do again is, you know, as we're getting so close to turning the page, turning the corner on this, is to get ahead of ourselves to trip over ourselves. And to see the kind of spike that we're seeing around the rest of the world. What more evidence do we need than to see what happened in Singapore? And let's see what's happened in Hong Kong and Wuhan province and elsewhere, where we're seeing people that were starting to come back out now are being pulled back in.
So we're the beneficiaries of some of those facts in some of those examples. Let us not be ideological about this. And let's deal in real time on the basis of real data, real scientific evidence and on the basis of the spread of the virus, but again, there's no substitute for making a determination of when that date occurs, where we give new guidance than the determination of millions of individuals practicing safe physical distancing.
COOPER: Have you given much thought? Or do you have people sort of just thinking that far ahead whenever the date may be about what coming back online looks like? I mean, the President's talked about a big, big bang. You know, Dr. Fauci has said, this is not going to be turnkey and suddenly everything, you know, starts going full bore, it's obviously some sort of a gradual thing. But testing is obviously and you've already said, this is critical in all of this contact tracing. Is the state right now set up to do the kind of testing the kind of public health contact tracing that would be needed?
NEWSOM: Every day we're making real progress in that space, or continue to be limited on the progress we otherwise could make if we had more supplies. Particularly swabs I can impress upon you more in particular, it's now collecting the samples and the media related to the samples more than the RNA extraction and the reagents. That is a limiting factor as relates to expanding testing. But testing is improving not only testing, but the diagnostic side in terms of the time to get the results of the test. So we're going to start to see that scale.
But the answer to your question is yes, we have a team of people focusing exclusively full time on what the parameters look like, what the expectations are. And if we meet those thresholds, how we can architect a strategy to very thoughtfully and strategically get back to some sense of normalcy with heightened sense of vigilance, so that we can make sure we don't have a second wave.
COOPER: How would that mean -- I mean in a company, how might that work? Would it -- I mean would people's temperatures be taken when they came in to a, you know, an office building if it was a large company would there be quick testing available if an employee had a cough, I mean, I, I'm just trying to get a sense of what that might actually look like sort of company a company.
NEWSOM: No, and the answer is yes. And yes, all of the above. Again, the beneficiaries all of us are beneficiaries of best practices, and bad practices from around the rest of the world. You'll see more face coverings, face masks, more PPE is procured, you'll see more points of temperatures being checked, you'll see much more aggressive efforts to socially isolate individuals and quarantine individuals in real time based upon new technologies on tracking and tracing.
Today, just as an example, to California based companies made an announcement we've been working with them, Google and Apple in terms of helping with the tracing, all of that will be deployed all of that's part of the architecture of which we're considering, and we'll be making public very, very shortly.
The California I know loan 500 ventilators I think it was to a number of states in including New York, New Jersey, you said the California hospital systems only about using about 31% of the state's ventilators. If the peak is still coming in California, you're confident obviously you're prepared for that. If you've been loaning out ventilator.
NEWSOM: Yes, we have over in fact, as I speak, at this moment, I just cut the new numbers 8,700 ventilators that are not in use, that exists within our hospital system and exist with our cash in the state. I would love to deploy all of them to the hotspots to Illinois, New Jersey, and to New York and elsewhere. We were proud we were able to provide a few hundred. And we of course are prepared to do more if we feel we can.
But to your question, we're cautious, none of us are spiking the ball. None of us are suggesting first, second, that we have turned the corner here. Again, modest growth, but not the kind of acuity of growth, not the slope that was originally anticipated. And again, that's because of millions of people practicing physical distancing.
COOPER: And finally, tonight, you know, obviously, you've had differences with the President in the past tough words on both sides. You've been able to work together, it seems in this for the needs of your state.
NEWSOM: Yes, look, I mean, as it were involved in 68 lawsuits with the Trump administration, I've been on your show, I haven't been timid. He certainly hasn't been timid. But I got to say this, it's just the fact I'd be lying to you. I'd be lying to the American people, every single direct request that he was capable of meeting he has met, we have the U.S.N.S Mercy in California because of his direct intervention, and support 2,000 of these federal medical stations because of his direct support.
And so I can only speak for myself, but I have to be complimentary, otherwise, I would be simply lying to you misleading you. And that is a wonderful thing to be able to say, and I hope that continues. But this has been a remarkable moment or at least we've been able to rise above that partisanship.
COOPER: And just finally your message to Californians tonight and not just California, but really all Americans about where we are where we went lies ahead. NEWSOM: Stay the course, stay the course. I mean, the fact is, let us, let us not run as I said, the 90 yard dash. If we stay the course we'll get this economy back sooner, we'll save lives. We'll avoid a second wave, will buy ourselves time for more and better treatment. And of course, a vaccine and the kind of humor that kind of immunity herd immunity that ultimately will get this economy back on its feet and get Americans back at work and back spending more time with their family and less time at home.
COOPER: California Governor Gavin Newsom. We appreciate his time.
A lot more coming up tonight, stories of health professionals around the country who say they have been punished for speaking out about safety concerns.
COOPER: Some health care workers say they've come under fire for speaking out about what they say is a lack of adequate personal protective equipment, vital gowns and mass and other items they need to wear when treating coronavirus patients.
Randi Kaye tonight has more.
LAURI MAZURKIEWICZ, NURSE: This virus was in the air and that would -- that's what I was really concerned about. And so I wanted to wear an N95 mask.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This nurse from Chicago says she was fired for raising the alarm about not being allowed to wear an N95 mask at work. Health officials consider the masks the best line of defense because it filters at least 95% of airborne particles.
MAZURKIEWICZ: We were told that we could only wear simple masks. I just didn't think that that was enough protection.
Lauri Mazurkiewicz, says her unit at Northwestern memorial in downtown Chicago was treating patients diagnosed with coronavirus, many of whom she said had fever and bad coughs.
MAZURKIEWICZ: Because I was a travel nurse I had my own N95 mask.
KAYE (voice-over): Even though Lauri wasn't taking a mask from the hospital supply. She says she was still told by the hospital not to wear her N95.
MAZURKIEWICZ: So I e-mailed the manager, I basically said, I don't think it's safe enough. I want to wear an N95. And then I'll wear a simple mask over the N95 mask. I then sent out an email to approximately 50 co-workers. I basically said to them, I'm going to, I'm going to wear an N95 mask along with a simple mask.
KAYE (voice-over): The following day, Lauri says she was let go from the hospital without being given a reason. Lauri is now suing Northwestern Memorial. Her lawsuit alleges she was terminated for the purpose of quelling her speech.
BLAKE HORWITZ, ATTORNEY: I cannot fathom a legitimate reason to muzzle a doctor or a nurse. They obviously fired her because she was speaking out with regards to a matter that was designed to her safety.
KAYE (voice-over): Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital would not comment on Lauri's pending lawsuit, but told me via e-mail the hospital is committed to the safety of our employees who are on the frontlines of this global healthcare crisis. Adding the hospital follow CDC guidance regarding the use of personal protective equipment for our health care providers.
But Nisha Mehta a radiologist and physician's advocate from North Carolina says she's heard about hospitals around the country, silencing healthcare workers and trying to control the message. Even giving some physicians talking points to use.
NISHSA MEHTA, PHYSICIAN'S ADVOCATE: A lot of physicians that are very, very scared of telling the truth or challenging any of the policies that are being put forth by their institutions because they're afraid of being fired.
KAYE (voice-over): Nisha runs two Facebook groups with more than 80,000 physicians who these days sound off on their frustrations about lack of adequate protection from coronavirus.
MEHTA: Every day I get at least 10 to 20 messages from physicians around the country. People need to know how scared we are and we're not able to get these stories out because of our hospital policies or because we are afraid of being retaliated against.
KAYE (voice-over): Back in Chicago Lauri Mazurkiewicz says she didn't speak up to cause problems, but to save lives.
MAZURKIEWICZ: I just wanted everyone to be protected. I didn't want people to get it. I didn't want people to die from it.
KAYE (voice-over): Randi Kaye, CNN, Palm Beach, Florida.
COOPER: Let's get some perspective now from Art Caplan, a CNN medical analyst and Director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University Langone Medical Center.
Art you just heard Randi's piece, obviously, you know, it's difficult hospitals, you know, want to protect the privacy of their patients, but they also want to protect their own reputations. And yet other, you know, there's other concerns of getting information out and, and getting action on to fix wrongs. What do you make of the nurse being fired? Or are you surprised at what we've been saying? ARTHUR CAPLAN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I'm not totally surprised, but I am really disappointed. And I'll tell you why. Anderson, you know, we're in a tense, tense environment. There are a lot of our frontline workers, hero who are out there taking risks, some field not with adequate protection at the right kind of protection. There are certainly people who said to me, I'm reusing masks that aren't supposed to be reused. So it's a tense, tense, tough situation. And it's not one I wish that we would see lawsuits and firings.
You know, if we're stressed out on the frontlines, we don't have enough workers, the last thing we want to do is go around firing people who speak up. I think what we want to do is look for some mediation, I think we may want to try and do some counseling, we may want to put the whole matter off until after this epidemic is over. But you have to have some sympathy for people who are nervous, afraid, feel like they're being asked to take risks that you know, are just out of the ordinary. I get that the hospital wants to control the message a lot of institutions do. I'm sure, you know, many companies would be furious if employees just talked out in social media or to the press.
But now's not the time to go to war over free speech. That just isn't the right approach.
COOPER: It seems to me -- I mean I get I was talking to Jim Acosta about this earlier, I get a lot of direct messages on Instagram from nurses, other employees in hospitals, frontline workers who, you know, they don't want their names use, they don't want the name of their hospital use because they're afraid for themselves, but they want people to know, what they are facing and with the difficulties and what the needs are.
What do you think is the best way for a frontline employee to try to change, you know, a wrong or, you know, difficulty that they are all facing?
CAPLAN: Well look, social media, the internet, it's really tough to please that a lot of these policies about you have to clear this with a PR department at your hospital. They were built for a different era. We're not in that era. So some venting, some complaining, there is an outlet, it's going to be through the social media. And people have a right I think, to speak up and say what they want, they're on their own time. You know, it's kind of a free speech zone, if you will.
At the same time, I think writing something thoughtful trying to make presentations you know that go letters to the editor, whatever, get them cleared. It's fine to do that too. I don't want anybody to feel though that if their life is on the line, they're being asked to take terrible risks and bravely taking them.
CAPLAN: And somehow they're going to wake up fired for it. That just isn't the right interaction. COOPER: Yes. Art Caplan, I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks very much. Good to talk to you as always.
Coming up. an update on the still complicated and confusing status of coronavirus testing. Will trace the arc and President's comments and pronouncements about the pandemic, ahead.