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Fareed Zakaria GPS

The State Of The Pandemic; How The West And East Handled COVID- 19; The Future Of The Middle East; Chen: Contact Tracing & Selective Quarantines Are Best Method To Contain Spread; Rubenstein: With A Parent In The Forbes 400, You May Lack Drive; Rubenstein: Luck Is Everything, But You Make Your Own Luck; Leadership In The Age Of COVID; The Street To Success. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired September 13, 2020 - 10:00   ET



FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live from New York.


ZAKARIA: On this week's show, it has been six months since many Americans left their schools, jobs, their leisure lives, and shut themselves inside to escape the virus. Today around the world, many kids are back at school, economies are opening up and so are bars and restaurants.

So are we starting to win the war against the pandemic or have we not yet begun to fight it properly?

I'll talk about that and the rest of the top news from around the world with a great panel.

And the best of the best practices on COVID-19. Taiwan. With a population of almost 25 million people, how does it still have under 10 deaths?

I'll talk to the man who masterminded the plan. Chen Chien-Jen was not only the vice president, he is an epidemiologist as well.

Also, how to lead. A crucial question for our times. We'll get advice from Buffett and Bezos, Yoyo Ma and Oprah, RBG and George W. Bush, all by a billionaire businessman, David Rubenstein.


ZAKARIA: First, here's my take. All of us need to start preparing for a deeply worrying scenario on November 3rd. It's not some outlandish fantasy, but rather the most likely course of events based on what we know today.

On election night, Donald Trump will be ahead significantly in a majority of states, including the swing states that will decide the election. Then over the next few day, mail-in ballots will be counted and the numbers could shift in Joe Biden's favor.

But will Trump accept that outcome? Will America?

First, an explanation of why this is the most likely situation based on what we know now. Several surveys have found that because of the pandemic, in-person and mail-in ballots will show a huge partisan divide. In a CNN poll, 87 percent of Trump voters said they preferred to vote in person versus just 47 percent of Biden voters. In another poll by the Democratic data firm Hawkfish, only 19 percent of Trump voters plan to vote by mail while 69 percent of Biden voters said the same.

The firm modeled various scenarios and found that based on recent polling, if just 15 percent of mail-in ballots are counted on election night, Trump would appear to have 408 electoral votes compared to Biden's 130. But four days later, assuming 75 percent of mail-in ballots are counted, the lead would flip to Biden, and once all ballots are counted, Biden would have 334 electoral votes to Trump's 204. This is based on current polling.

You don't have to believe in models to understand that this is a likely scenario. As David Graham writes in an "Atlantic" essay, on the night of the 2018 midterm elections the results seemed very disappointing for Democrats. They appeared to have gained far fewer seats in the House and Senate than the polls predicted. A replay of 2016. Except that as provisional and mail-in ballots were counted, the results changed.

Paul Ryan, who was then speaker of the House, said California just defies logic to me. We were only down 26 seats the night of the election and three weeks later we lost basically every contested California race. In fact, there are perfectly logical explanations for this blue shift as scholars Edward Foley and Charles Stewart termed it. But it is easy to make it look suspicious. And in the wake of the 2018 midterms, Donald Trump declared that a conspiracy was at work.

In Florida, when Democrats started narrowing the gaps in two key states, he tweeted, "Large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible. Ballots massively are infected. Must go with election night."

Now imagine what Trump is likely to do this November when his own fate hangs in the balance. Dan Baer of the Carnegie Endowment outlines a frightening and utterly plausible scenario in an excellent article, "How Trump Could Refuse to Go." Baer imagines close contests in Arizona and Florida where Republican-controlled governments could argue that the election was marred by irregularities and change the law to allow themselves to appoint the Republican slate of electors even though the Democrats might have gotten more votes.


In Wisconsin, where state government is divided, Baer imagines the following sequence of events. The Republican-controlled legislature also moves to change the manner of designating electors and to approve those pledged to Trump, however the Democratic governor invoking Wisconsin's state law signs and affixes the state's seal to the slate of electors for Joe Biden as certified by the state elections commission.

In Baer's vision, Trump mobilizes his base to go out and protest, tweeting, "Thank you, Wisconsin. Don't let your governor rob your president."

Is there a way out of this national nightmare? Well, two powerful forces could ensure that America, already tarnished by its handling of COVID-19, does not also end up the poster child for dysfunctional democracy around the world.

The first is the media. We have to abandon the notion of election night and prepare the public for election month. In fact, states have never certified winners on election night. News organizations tend to do that on the basis of statistical projections. It's time we educate the public to wait for the actual ballots to be counted.

The second and decisive force will be John Roberts. If this type of scenario unfolds it will end up in court. Ordinarily this would not get to the Supreme Court. The Constitution is crystal clear that it is the states and the states alone that get to determine their electors but the Supreme Court abandoned its restraint in 2000 with "Bush V. Gore." That means a disputed election could quickly move up to the Supreme Court again, where Roberts will be pivotal as both chief justice and the swing vote.

So it might all come down to this. One man, John Roberts, will have the power to end the looming catastrophe and save American democracy.

Go to for a link to my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.

March 13th was the last day that I saw the GPS team in person. That was six months ago today. And so it goes for much of America and the world. Many of us have been in some version of lockdown for half a year. But here in New York City, for instance, there is outdoor dining now and soon indoor as well. Schools are opening up. Some people are returning to their offices.

What happens next? Will the economy come rushing back or will we see a fall wave of COVID?

Joining me now, Zanny Minton Beddoes, the editor-in-chief of "The Economist," Anne-Marie Slaughter, the CEO of the think tank New America, and Ian Bremmer, the president of the Eurasia Group.

Ian, let me start with you by asking, do we even agree on where we are in terms of the disease and the economy? It seems to me at least in America even that very basic fact is now a part of our partisan divide.

IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: It's true. I mean, nowadays you post there's 190,000 plus deaths and you get a lot of people that say, that's not true. They all have comorbidities. They didn't really die of COVID. We do agree mostly economically, I mean, the one good thing is that, say, with the exception of Mexico, almost every major economy on the world responded pretty robustly in terms of relief and support, both for the people as well as for the businesses. And of course, monetary policy, too. That may be slipping now in the United States.

As to whether or not we're fighting coronavirus itself, well, from a health care perspective, I think we're doing better there simply because the people are getting more educated and the science is improving. So for example, you've got a lot of individuals now that are wearing masks, yes, in blue and red states because locally they're seeing the disease more of a problem. They're social distancing more, too, and that's particularly true among the older populations that are most vulnerable.

So even though we still have case explosion in the U.S., the number of deaths are going down and some of that is improved treatment like you don't need ventilators for oxygen, you have steroid treatments, but a lot of that is change in personal behavior and I think that does really matter.

ZAKARIA: Zanny, do you see the same partisan divide on just even things like the basic facts? Ian pointed out that people now say, well, actually the numbers are being fudged, the U.S. is much lower, you know, things like that? What does the picture look like from Europe?

ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE ECONOMIST: You have much less of that compared to the United States. I mean, there is a little bit of that, but way, way less than the U.S. and I think there is a much greater sense of agreement on what the facts are. I think we are seeing differences in behavior. If you look across Europe now, there are -- and in Europe cases really did go down across the summer and it felt really increasingly like a normal summer. People were able to go on summer holidays and so forth.


Now you're seeing in some countries in Europe, particularly in Spain and France, cases are rising very rapidly, it does look like what might be the beginning of a second wave. The U.K., as it was earlier this year, is about two weeks behind also with cases rising rapidly. But I think across the board, countries in Europe are trying to do everything they can to avoid another full lockdown because of the economic consequences in large part.

And I think they're likely to be able to because, as Ian said, we've learned a lot about the disease. And the initial lockdown was designed to buy time in large part. And now we've learned both about how to treat it, we've learned about hospital capacity, and we've learned a lot more about who it spreads and who's particularly vulnerable. So I think we're going to see tougher restrictions.

Actually in Britain tomorrow, indeed on Monday, the rule of six is coming in, which means that you're only going to be allowed to meet six people outside or inside for social purposes, although offices and education, and schools are excluded. But that's a quite considerable tightening. The idea being to do things that fall short of a full lockdown and to try and get what looks like conceivably the beginning of a second wave under control.

ZAKARIA: Zanny, does that mean that in some ways other European countries are beginning to adopt the Swedish model, which was always a little bit more what you just described?

BEDDOES: I think Sweden is still the big outlier. And it's going to be very interesting when we do have this behind us and, you know, the final assessment are written, quite what people make of Sweden's much more, in many ways, relaxed approach. But I think you are beginning to see differences across countries. And countries are grappling with what are the things they can do short of a full lockdown to control a second wave?

And I think you're going to see different kinds of approaches. You're also seeing, interestingly, different kinds of economic approaches. Just to give you one example, as Ian mentioned, in the U.S. the very generous stimulus. Doesn't look like there's going to be a success to the CARES Act any time soon. In Britain, the furlough scheme where the government essentially paid the wages of most workers, is coming so an end in October. The Germans have decided to extend their equivalent of that for two years.

So you are seeing different kinds of approaches. And I think we're going to learn a lot from that. But across the board, there is a recognition that the economic cost and, frankly, the cost in terms of, you know, social and mental health and so forth of a complete lockdown is one that every country wants to avoid.

ZAKARIA: Anne-Marie, wouldn't it be fair to say, though, when you look at it from the big picture, the East Asian countries did stunningly well, despite having all these tourists and travelers from China, despite being much closer to the disease at its outbreak, their numbers, if you look at, you know, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, they're all low, and the West basically handled it badly. I mean, we focus on the United States often but the per capita death rates of Spain, Belgium, Italy, U.K., are not that different.

ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, CEO, NEW AMERICA: No, that's true. Although Germany did very well from the beginning. New Zealand did well. There are specific countries that break that pattern. But, you know, as I look out globally, in the first place, we're just still in early innings. Dr. Fauci just said in the U.S., we really shouldn't be expecting normal life until the end of 2021. And I think what you're seeing are the economic fallout, which I think is just as great as the continued uncertainty and waves of the pandemic.

You're seeing decouplings. Right? You're seeing a decoupling between the United States and China, both not a complete one by any means, but both are adopting what China calls the dual circulation strategy, where much more reliance on self -- being able to manufacture things at home. The U.S. is doing that. But you're still seeing a huge difference in the United States, a decoupling of main street and Wall Street. A decoupling of the digital economy and the physical economy. And

we're just beginning to feel the fallout from that. And similarly, a decoupling of the southern countries of Africa, of India. Look at the cases in India, still in Brazil and Latin America. So even as the -- Europe gets back on its feet, the U.S. seems to be dealing better with this. We're seeing, I think, the beginnings -- we're starting to grapple with huge global implications. And we don't have governments coming together to try to fight it together.

ZAKARIA: Stay with me. Next on GPS, we're going to talk about the UAE and Bahrain normalizing relations with Israel. Is this what Donald Trump and Jared Kushner meant when they said they would bring peace to the Middle East?



ZAKARIA: On Friday President Trump announced that Bahrain would recognize Israel and the two nations would normalize relations. This comes just weeks after a similar move from the United Arab Emirates.

What to make of it all? I'm joined again by Zanny Minton Beddoes, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Ian Bremmer.

Ian, put this in context for us. What does this -- why did it happen and what does it mean?

BREMMER: Well, two big things that people come in terms with. I think the first is that Israel-Palestine is not considered close to the most important conflict in the region. It is for the Palestinians, but when you talk to the Emirates or the Saudis, the Bahrainis, the Kuwaitis, they'll talk to you about their concerns about Iran. They'll talk to you about diversification away from fossil fuels, and the difficulties of that. They'll talk to you about domestic radicalism.


All of these sorts of things. And so as a consequence you no longer have a veto on if you don't get peace with Israel-Palestinian, you can't move on geopolitics.

The second point is that the United States had long attempted to be seen as some kind of honest broker between Israel and Palestine. When we're anything but. Israel is our best ally in the region. The Palestinians, we don't particularly agree with. We have problems with. And so, you know, it's interesting Trump's first trip as president outside the United States was to Saudi Arabia and then to Israel.

And those are the two places where he has the best personal relations. And that's where they really drove. So yes, you had the effort to, you know, talk about peace between Israel and Palestine where the Palestinians weren't even engaged. You had a big conference in Bahrain. Now you've got big announcements and normalization. I think, you know, especially from you and I talking to Jared through all this, that was kind of the game all along. I'm not in any way surprised by this.

ZAKARIA: Anne-Marie, a friend of mine who's from the Middle East, very knowledgeable about the area, says what's really going on here is this is the post-American Middle East. That is, countries like Israel, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, saying, we're going to make our own alliances to defend ourselves against the real threat that we feel as Ian was saying, which is Iran. And we know the Americans aren't going to help us, so we need to ban together.

Is that part of the dynamic here?

SLAUGHTER: Well, Fareed, I think that is right, that, again, Obama wanted out of the Middle East, if you think about the direct line from his refusal to engage in Syria and that's actually an area where he -- his policies and Trump's have been closer than other areas. But I also think you have to think about this in the context of U.S. domestic politics. Donald Trump has two modes. He can be the fear-mongering president or he can be the deal-making president who delivers.

And if we're thinking about October surprises for this election, what he would dearly love is to actually have a peace treaty or an agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which really would redraw the map of the Middle East. And the conventional wisdom is the Saudis aren't ready, but obviously the UAE and Bahrain are stalking horses and Bahrain would not have been able to do this without Saudi approval.

So it's probably a low chance, but there is a real chance, at least of a framework agreement, in which Saudi Arabia and Israel would normalize relations in return for something more, something bigger on the Palestinian side.

ZAKARIA: Zanny, since I have you, I want to just switch topics and ask you something about Brexit. People have forgotten, but Brexit is still going to happen and it appears that it might be -- you know, Britain might crash out once again. It appears that Britain is now promising or intending to violate international law. Explain what's going on and how big a deal is that?

BEDDOES: Well, that is actually the big striking thing that's happened in the last week, when the British government is introducing or has introduced at parliament a bill that has provisions in it that would violate the withdrawal agreement it negotiated with the European Union last year and a British minister stood up in parliament and said, yes, it would violate international law. And that was -- you know, just think about that.

It's absolutely extraordinary that the United Kingdom, you know, one of the few countries that has been sort of an absolute standing for the rule of law internationally, the mother of parliaments, you know, could you imagine that a British minister would say, oh, yes, we're just going to violate international law? It allowed, you know, us to put on the cover of "The Economist" this week a flash, as we call it, and it says, Britain, comma, international law-breaker, question mark.

I mean, if you said to me even a few months ago that we would be doing that, I would have laughed at you. So it is -- it doesn't sound like a big deal. It may not get passed, this legislation, but I think the damage being done by it is already pretty large. You know, the Europeans are saying, well, if you're going to violate what we agreed last year, how can we trust anything else we agree with you?

It was reported very quickly in the Chinese press because, you know, the Chinese want to change the terms of the agreement struck in 1997 over Hong Kong unilaterally. They seem to be suggesting that, you know, Britain is doing it, why can't they, too? I think this caused grievous or has caused grievous reputational damage to the U.K. Just as we've left the European Union, we want to be global Britain and strike all kinds of new trade deals with other countries.

So, it's a big deal, unfortunately. And it's another sign of the -- I think, the sort of rather unfortunate trajectory that this country finds itself on.

ZAKARIA: Anne-Marie, last, final quick question, I realized that I want to come back to COVID. You have been a former senior Democratic official. How would Joe Biden handle COVID differently?


What would be the one thing you would say that would mark a difference between Trump and Biden?

SLAUGHTER: Biden would immediately move to a comprehensive national strategy of testing, tracing and supported isolation. He would commandeer what would be necessary to get the amount of tests we need and the tracing we need, and he would have a national strategy that states would then work within.

ZAKARIA: All right. Well, you heard it here. Let's hope that if he were to be elected, he does, in fact, listen to Anne-Marie Slaughter.

Ian Bremmer, Zanny Minton Beddoes, Anne-Marie, thank you so much. Pleasure.

Next on GPS, in a matter of days, the United States will likely hit a grim landmark. 200,000 people killed by COVID-19. Perhaps President Trump would take a few lessons from my next guest who ran the response where he lives. The nearly 25 million people there have suffered fewer than 10 deaths and without any lockdown. America's per capita death rate is 2,000 times higher than the place I'm going to take you to next.



ZAKARIA, GPS: If you look at just about any list of which places have handled the pandemic the best, Taiwan is usually at or near the top of the list. The statistics stay is all with a population of almost 25 million, the Island has had fewer than ten deaths and just about 500 cases. By comparison, New York State, with 19 million people, has had more than 33,000 deaths. So, per capita, the U.S. has had almost 2,000 times the number of deaths as Taiwan, and almost 1,000 times the number of infections.

There were more known cases on one cruise ship in February, "The Diamond Princess," than Taiwan has had since covid-19 first emerged. How did Taiwan do it? Well, many point to Taiwan's great good fortune of having had a vice president, who is also an epidemiologist. His name is Chen Chien-Jen, and he joins me now from Taipei. Welcome, sir.

CHEN CHIEN-JEN, FORMER TAIWANESE VICE PRESIDENT: It's really my pleasure and honor to join.

ZAKARIA: You're an American-trained epidemiologist, Johns Hopkins trained epidemiologist. Were you surprised at how poorly America handled covid-19?

CHIEN-JEN: At the very beginning, the contagious probability had not been well recognized. That's maybe the reason why at the very beginning people ignore it and also didn't see personal hygiene and social distancing and avoidance of carrier is very important.

Unfortunately, you took very strong effort to lockdown a city, but city lockdown is not a good way. The very careful contact tracing and very stringent quarantine of close contact are the best way to contain this COVID-19. And I think that we always learn from this - from disasters.

And I think the situation in the United States is getting better and better because a lot of the general public know how to fight against the COVID-19 very well now.

ZAKARIA: Now, your testing and tracing program has been lauded everywhere. Part of what made it succeed is you have a single payer system, so you have a single unified health care system, you have a health card, you have electronic information, all of it pooled centrally. Do you think that was key to being able to, you know detect cases and trace back to potential infections?

CHIEN-JEN: Yes, you're totally right. We did not lock down any city and we did not do any kind of mass screening. Instead, we do a very stringent close contact tracing and tracking. We did not do mass screening, but we do a very careful testing of all the suspects with compatible symptoms and signs.

And this way we can see it's more efficient and also more effective. And through this way, we definitely have to combine the whole quarantine. We implemented 14 days of home quarantine for those who were close contact of confirmed cases.

And these close contacts have to stay at home for 14 days without going to anywhere. Among there are 250,000 people who have been quarantined or isolated, basically 99.5 of them are following government's guideline very well. Only 0.4 percent of them got a penalty because they move out of their so-called restrictive area. ZAKARIA: So, I want people to understand how this works because I have a friend who went to Taiwan. When you have quarantined, it's not a voluntary thing in the sense that you are given some kind of an electronic device, a cell phone.

You're placed in a hotel and you are checked on. And if you are somewhere - if the phone rings and you don't pick it up, you've left the phone at home and gone outside, you get - you are apprehended. It is a very strict quarantine.

But by doing that, you were able to have no known national lockdown, businesses were able to stay open, restaurants were able to stay open, right?


CHIEN-JEN: Yes. Basically, I always said that we have sacrificed 250,000 people's freedom. Everybody have to sacrifice for 14 days. But through this kind of home quarantine, we can assure that 23 million people in Taiwan, we can work normally, go to school normally and live normally.

So it's a kind of sacrifice of a small group of the people in a country, and assures that all other people at large and they can live normally. This is the way we tried to contain COVID-19 and reduced the economic decline in Taiwan.

ZAKARIA: Now, while you were vice president, you criticized the W.H.O. You said that Taiwan has been orphans in the global health care system. Of course, a lot of that is because of the People's Republic of China. Do you believe that China - Mainland China, deceived the world at the start in terms of COVID?

CHIEN-JEN: Basically, according to the paper published in New England Journal of Medicine, and we found that in December there's already a huge group of acute pneumonia (ph) cases. They did not report it to W.H.O.

If W.H.O. received the information and helped China to contain COVID- 19 in December, I think in Wuhan, the disease can be contained there quite well and there's no way to spread out to the whole world.

So I think at the very beginning in Wuhan, they should do that. And furthermore, in Wuhan, they only took care of the severe cases in the hospital. And they ignored the mild cases and then they didn't go out to the community and spread out the virus to their colleagues, to their classmates or to their family members. And this is really unfortunately to cause this on a large scale outbreak in Wuhan.

ZAKARIA: Where do you think we are now for the next few months? Is the virus, you know, exhausting itself as some people believe? Is it still as virulent and we still needs to be as vigilant? How would you describe the next few months?

CHIEN-JEN: I think the first wave of this pandemic has not grown a lot. It's still there and persists there very well. If we look at the number of increasing cases, it's still going on. So, we have to be very careful.

ZAKARIA: Vice President Chen, pleasure to have you on, sir.

CHIEN-JEN: Yes, it is my pleasure. Thank you very much.

ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," if there's one thing America and the world need during this crisis, it is leadership. In many parts of the world, in many sectors, it is sorely lacking. Up next, David Rubenstein on how to lead?



ZAKARIA: David Rubenstein is a leader. He is the Co-Founder and Co- Executive Chairman of one of the world's largest investment firms, the Carlyle Group. He's been the Chairman of the Board of many of America's most important nonprofit institutions.

He's led the charge on preserving some of the key American artifacts and monuments. And now he has edited a book about leadership called "How to lead?" In it he offers insight from many of the major leaders he's interviewed on his own a popular TV show. Welcome back to the show, David.


ZAKARIA: So, one of the things I've always wondered about leadership is, is it really possible to have a kind of theory of leadership? Because it does seem people have so many different traits that, you know, they're able to put to use.

So, in your own book I noticed there are people like Phil Knight, who say, you know, the most important thing is judging the quality of people, being able to evaluate people. Other people say it's having a great idea. Jeff Bezos says its teamwork.

You get this feeling that Warren Buffett is more of a loner. You know, there are people who talk about really - the importance of humility. Oprah has this wonderful line where she says, I knew deep down that I was the same as my audience.

Clearly, there are other people with healthy egos. Did you - do you find there's any common trait that really spans all these different styles of leadership?

RUBENSTEIN: Well, there's no one common trait because if there were, everybody would pursue that trait. And I think many people have a view, as I do, there are many different traits. The ones I've summarized in the book as a result of interviews with these 30 individuals are some of the ones you mentioned.

But they also include persistence, failing early in life and recognizing you need to be able to communicate with other people, learning how to empathize? And I think integrity is very important. Some of the people you just mentioned, like Phil Knight, very modest.

Warren Buffett, relatively modest, a lot of humility involved because a lot of people realize that they've had luck in their life and a lot of that luck is really the result of things that they may be couldn't control and maybe they're humble about it.

Now there are many different leadership styles and I tried to interview many people with different backgrounds and so forth. But there's no doubt that leadership is something you learn, in my view and you learn it early in life and then you work on the qualities and you perfect them later on.

ZAKARIA: You list a series of them, and you say - and you point out, you think this applies to you as well, and the number one quality you say is luck. Do you think most super successful people recognize, as you clearly do, just what large role luck plays?

RUBENSTEIN: Absolutely. Because I suppose Bill Gates had not dropped out of Harvard, suppose Jeff Bezos had not read about the internet, suppose many things had happened differently in people's lives.


RUBENSTEIN: I met many people that enable me to do the things I've done. Had I not met those people, I might be doing something else may not have been able to do what I'm proud that I'm able to do. So, luck is everything.

But you make your own luck. I think if you sit in your house and you don't do anything else, you're not likely to have luck. You have to go out, meet people, experiment and fail. Learning how to fail is very important because if you don't fail, you're not likely to have the resilience you need to pick yourself up and go about and achieve something.

Most of the people in the book are people that failed at some things in life. They picked themselves up, they got back on their feet and they proved what they wanted to do was actually something that could be done.

ZAKARIA: Now, you have this very interesting typology at the start where you say that there are three phases of one's life the early phase where you're kind of building up your credentials, college, graduate school, early work.

The second phase, the main career phase, and then the third, in a sense, a kind of post-career phase. And you say - you point out a lot of people who are leaders, first of all, don't come from a great background in terms of great wealth and privilege.

And they often actually don't even do that well early on in life. Why do you think that is? Why do they then become successful?

RUBENSTEIN: Of course, this could be a rationalization for my own situation, but actually I think the situation is this - if your father or mother is in the Forbes 400, while that might be very impressive for what they did to get there, you're not likely to have the drive to be able to go ahead and build something great yourself.

It's possible but generally the people who are the leaders in the world came from lower income families or maybe middle income families, but not necessarily the wealthiest families. There are some exceptions, but that's generally the case.

I also think that people who are the superstars in life early on, the Rhodes Scholars, the Supreme Court Clerks, the White House fellows, the All-American Athletes, those are the people who might coast a little bit after they have achieved those things.

And maybe in the second or third phases of life, they're not the leaders. So take a look at the people running the world today. Generally they were not student body presidents or Rhodes scholars and so forth there are exceptions.

But generally they're people maybe like me who had some modest abilities early on. We just persevered like the tortoise and the hare and we went out.

ZAKARIA: So I look at the list of traits you say that are important for leadership, hard work long hours, focus, learning from failure, humble demeanor, sharing credit with others, the ability to keep learning, and integrity. Do you think that President Trump shares those qualities?

RUBENSTEIN: President Trump has a different leadership style than the leadership style that I found in the people I interviewed. But it clearly works for him and his supporters. He has an intense support among people and he obviously is their leader.

Those are not generally the qualities that are the people that I interviewed have. And so everybody has their own different approach.

ZAKARIA: So I would add to your personal list of traits, David, you're a good diplomat.

RUBENSTEIN: Well, I haven't been in the Foreign Service, but as a general rule of thumb, I recognize that might be a good thing to do from time to time is not say something that's going to get me in trouble.

ZAKARIA: David Rubenstein, pleasure to have you on.

RUBENSTEIN: My pleasure. Thank you for having me, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," I have been working harder than ever these last six months on a new book. I hope you will want to read it. I think you will. I will tell you all about it when we come back.



ZAKARIA: And now for our last look. We are six months into a pandemic that has changed the world. You'll often hear people including President Trump say nobody could have predicted something like this. But the real tragedy is that many people did predict it epidemiologists, scientists and other experts.

Bill Gates gave two very public warnings about it. In fact, over three years ago, in June 2017, when Donald Trump proposed budget cuts in the key agencies that dealt with public health and diseases, I devoted a segment of this show to that topic.


ZAKARIA: One of the biggest threats facing the United States isn't big at all. Actually, it's tiny microscopic thousands of times smaller than the head of a pin. Deadly pathogens, either manmade or natural, could trigger a global health crisis and the United States is wholly unprepared to deal with it.

One only needs to look back 100 years to 1918 when the Spanish flu pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people around the globe. In many ways, we're even more vulnerable today. Densely packed cities, wars, natural disasters and international air travel mean a deadly virus propagated in a small village in Africa can be transmitted almost anywhere in the world, including the United States, within 24 hours.

Bio-security and global pandemics cut across all national boundaries. Pathogens, viruses and diseases are equal-opportunity killers. When the crisis comes, we will wish we had more funding and more global cooperation. But then it will be too late.


ZAKARIA: It was too late, too late to have properly prepared for it. But it is still not too late to learn from this experience. That's what I've tried to do over the last six months. I've read, researched, talked to experts and written with great intensity and focus than ever before.


ZAKARIA: The result is a book, "Ten lessons for a post-pandemic world" request. I try to explain what will be the consequences of COVID for the economy, politics, technology, our cities and ourselves as human beings.

I am very proud of how it's come out. The book will be out in a couple of weeks, but you can preorder it now by visiting I really think you'll find the book an invaluable guide to the future. So, please do order it. You'll make me and my publisher very happy. Thank you for spending an hour with us. I hope to see you next week.


BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: I'm Brian Stelter and this is "RELIABLE SOURCES."