Return to Transcripts main page

ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

More Than 1,000 New Cases of Coronavirus in Last 24 Hours; President Trump Admits Coronavirus is "Not Under Control". Aired on 8- 9p ET

Aired March 16, 2020 - 20:00   ET

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


[20:00:21]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.

Tonight, some unsettling truths about the coronavirus. Last night, at about this time, there were 3,336 cases in this country and 65 deaths. Tonight, by CNN's count, more than 1,000 more new cases reported, 4,412 and 81 deaths, all in just one 24-hour period. That is unprecedented for this country.

We also heard an admission from President Trump today that this pandemic will not be over anytime soon. It could go on until at least July or August, he said.

Markets, again, fell dramatically today. The Dow down nearly 3,000 points, the biggest one-day drop ever. Despite emergency measures taken by the Federal Reserve on Sunday or perhaps even in lieu of them, because of them.

Today, the president also made this admission when asked if the economy is headed today toward a recession. He responded, quote, it may be. Fear gripping the markets.

Also, worries aboard a JFK flight this evening grounded on the tarmac as we learned the captain is believed to have the coronavirus. We'll have more on that in a moment.

As Washington works on a relief bill, the Coronavirus Task Force issued new guidelines to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Among other actions, they ask everyone who can, particularly older Americans, to stay home. Critically, they say to avoid gatherings and groups of more than 10, not the 50 recommended just yesterday but 10.

Heeding the words of state and local officials is number one on the list of guidelines issued today. New Jersey mobilized the National Guard today, instituting a curfew of 8:00 p.m. Pennsylvania's governor has ordered a state-wide shutdown. Six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area have issued a shelter in place order which means residents have to stay home, something similar to what Italy, Spain, and now France have instituted.

The president also said he's not looking at a nationwide quarantine, contrary to an internet rumor, but he did say that isolated ones in certain areas of the country may occur. But in -- all in all, it was a sobering list of guidelines for all of Americans, as the reality of this virus has hit and hit hard.

Erica Hill starts us off in Times Square for a look at the impact there and across the country.

Erica, pretty dramatic shift in American life today.

ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is.

And here in Times Square, anybody who has ever seen a picture of Times Square knows it's normally bustling, certainly at this hour of the day, with tourists but also folks who work in the buildings around this area. Throughout the day, it's been quiet, a few more people trickling in this evening, but this really illustrated of what has been changed up around the country, and as you said, many of the changes coming at the local and state level.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILL (voice-over): An eerily quiet Times Square, the latest reminder that life today is different and will be for some time.

TRUMP: This afternoon, we're announcing new guidelines for every American to follow over the next 15 days. Avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people. Avoid discretionary travel.

HILL: The guidelines were announced on the heels of several states enacting new operating hours and restrictions for restaurants and bars, now shifting to takeout only.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Many people get in their car and drive to Connecticut to go to a bar, which is the last thing we want.

HILL: Movie theaters, gyms, and casinos will be closed indefinitely, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made it clear more changes could be coming to his city.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: I have been asked repeatedly, are we considering travel restrictions? Are we considering curfews? We're considering everything is the answer. Every option, every tool is on the table. We will decide in turn when we want to deploy each.

HILL: The surgeon general warns decisions made today will determine much of what happens tomorrow.

JEROME ADAMS, MD, SURGEON GENERAL: We have a choice to make. Do we want to really lean into social distancing and mitigation strategies and flatten the curve, or do we want to keep going on with business as usual and end up being Italy?

HILL: For millions of families starting the week with children at home, it is far from business as usual. Parents are learning to teach while also trying to work.

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R), OHIO: It would not surprise me at all if schools did not open again this year.

HILL: Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie calling on the president to close all schools nationwide through May 11th. Ohio announced tomorrow's primary will now be held in June. Life on hold, and nearly every industry bracing. Concert tours, sporting events, day care, businesses large and small in limbo.

Walmart is cutting back hours to give stores a chance to restock the shelves.

While markets ration some of the most sought after items, including milk and cleaning products.

[20:05:03]

REPORTER: Were you able to get everything you needed this morning?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Almost.

HILL: Doctors are increasingly concerned about their own supplies, including the nation's stock of life-saving ventilators.

The president today recommended states find those supplies on their own rather than wait for the federal government.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And Erica is there.

Erica, when you reported that Ohio had talked about delaying it, they said they're going to go ahead tomorrow with voting.

How are hospitals in New York handling the rise in cases?

HILL: So this is a major concern for the major, and today, he addressed that. He called this a race against time, Anderson. He said they're expediting discharged, canceling elective surgeries across the city, bringing new facilities on line, and retrofitting some facilities that have nothing to do with health care, in the words of the mayor.

He's asking for some military medical units to be brought in to help out as well and offered a very stern warning to residents of New York city, saying if you don't need to go to the emergency room, don't. There will be people outside, they'll be checking. If it's not an urgent need, you could be turned away, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. And, in fact, what also medical professionals are saying is that if you can stock up in a reasonable way on whatever medications you need on a daily basis, that's a good idea. If you can get two or three months supply, therefore you don't have to go into the pharmacies, you don't have to keep going back and occupying time.

Erica, thanks very much.

For this, I'm joined now by CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, former Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen, who is also an emergency room physician.

Sanjay, according to CNN, cases of the virus now rose by almost 1,000 in the last 24 hours, more than 4,000, meaning people are being tested and now we know more about cases, not that those cases just suddenly, you know, came to -- got transmitted today. Last Monday, the cases were somewhere just over 500. That is -- I just want to make sure this is just because people are being tested now more, or at least in part.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think so. We expected the numbers to go up as the testing went up, for sure.

One thing to keep in mind as well, the timeframe exposure to the time someone develops, you know, would test positive, is usually about five days on average. So, this is a little bit behind the curve, if you will. We're catching people a few days after their exposure on average. But, yes, I think testing is going to cause these numbers to go up for some time now.

COOPER: Dr. Wen, the president said life may not return to normal until July or August. Dr. Fauci indicated they're going -- you know, they're going to recess how these new guidelines are working in 15 days. It sounds like it's certainly going to be an incremental process. This -- I think a lot of people are hanging on to the notion, oh, this is a 15-day period in which we're going to have to stay at home, it's a 15-day period that life is interrupted this way.

The truth is we really do not know how long this is going to go.

DR. LEANA WEN, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: That's exactly right. We have no idea what the trajectory of this disease is going to be. Part of it depends on how we react to it. Are we able to implement the social distancing measures, are hospitals able to do their part to increase capacity?

We have to see how all of this goes. But I do think that there was a change in tone today, again, from the president, that in his press conferences, he's gotten progressively more serious. And today, for the first time, he talked about millennials and young people, and it's not just, well, young and healthy, don't worry about it, but it's actually, it's young and healthy, we need you to be part of this, too. Don't gather, don't going to bars. And, in fact, you could be part of the solution because you know technology better than anyone else.

COOPER: Sanjay, so the CDC last night were recommending no gatherings of more than 50 people for eight weeks. Today, the White House suggested no gatherings of more than ten people. It seems at times the White House has more than ten people on that stage doing briefings at any one time. These are obviously guidelines. They're not mandates, but how

important is it that there are nationwide recommendations? It seems -- it seems kind of ad hoc if the CDC says, oh, yes, 50 or larger. Now it's 10 or larger.

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, look, these numbers are a bit arbitrary. As you point out. I mean, the numbers have been shifting all over the place, and you know, ultimately, I think the goal is to get people as -- get as much space, the social distance between people as possible, and I think that to Dr. Wen's point, you get a sense from a strategic standpoint that, you know, instead of making all these recommendations at once, because it might be too shocking maybe for the country, they're sort of -- they're slowly layering these things out.

Like two weeks from now I think when I saw Dr. Fauci come up to the lectern and talk about that, I think, you know, in two weeks, we might see the recommendations become a little more stringent. So, who knows?

We're going to get through this, but, you know, it's not going to be just two weeks. I think we're going to see a gradual tightening of some of these recommendations.

[20:10:02]

COOPER: And, frankly, you know, gradual -- gradual or not, it's better to have things tighter sooner because the more --

GUPTA: Yes.

COOPER: -- the more, the less chances this virus has to spread long term, the better we will all be.

GUPTA: Yes, it's really true. And, you know, if you're going to do these types of measures, you want to do them early, because that's when you're going to have the most impact. And it's really interesting to see this play out in real time, because that is the sort of right public health thing to do, but I think, you know, we've seen this all along. There's this balance between what is the public health sort of best thing, gold standard to do, versus trying to, you know, not shock the country, sort of coordinate that with the messaging overall.

COOPER: I just want to point out, earlier I said it was believed an airline captain may have tested positive for the virus. That is not the case, we're just learning now. What's happening, according to two passengers, is while the plane was taking -- taxiing for takeoff at JFK, a passenger learned someone they had been in contact with had just tested positive for the virus.

That passenger alerted a flight attendant. They immediately stopped on the tarmac, and here's what the captain just announced.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DELTA AIRLINES PILOT: If you have been in the presence of somebody confirmed to have COVID-19. No symptoms. The passenger is being questioned. The information will be supplied to the CDC. They will make a decision when it comes to this flight and the rest of us.

So, at this point, all I can say is just please be patient while we work through this and figure it out. We'll give you as much information as we know as soon as we know it.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COOPER: So this incident raises the issue about planes, and we all talked about this yesterday. You know, planes right now, domestically, are exempt from the guidelines that 10 or even 50 -- there's no mandatory guidelines. I mean, if there's 10 or 20 people on a plane, that's more than the guidelines, the White House says of 10 people, or the CDC says of 50 people.

So do you think it's inevitable that domestic plane flights will stop?

GUPTA: Yes, I'll take that. I mean, you know, I think that's been something that people have sort of -- they thought that might even be announced today. They said they didn't get there, although they didn't table it either. It's still on the table in terms of a possibility.

It is interesting, right? Gatherings of ten people, but planes have more than ten people typically. Again, this is a bit arbitrary, but I think gatherings of ten people, people mingling with each other, having closer contact versus sitting in rows on a plane, they're making a distinction here, Anderson, but we may see some increased recommendations even with regard to airline travel.

One of the things they said in the -- in the actual guidelines is avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips and social visits. So, they said, you know, try to make your travel only for essential things. But again, so just a recommendation.

COOPER: So, doctors, if you can -- sorry. Go ahead.

WEN: I agree -- sorry, I agree, too, about the question of discretionary because I think maybe what's been happening is so many people are saying oh, well, now we don't have to go to school, so we're going to do play dates, we're going to do parties.

GUPTA: Right.

WEN: That's what we should be -- that's what we should be cutting out.

GUPTA: Yes.

COOPER: Yes, a good point. Doctors, stay with us.

For most of the show tonight, Dr. Gupta and Wen will be here answering your questions about the coronavirus and how to protect yourself. Something we have been doing to combat the fear and misinformation. There's so many rumors floating out there.

I literally have people coming up to me on the streets today within three to six feet and asking me questions, and I'm certainly no expert. So, we're going to keep the doctors around.

We also have a live report from the White House, a different President Trump we saw today, thankfully, compared to previous news conferences on the coronavirus. We'll have reaction when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:18:13]

COOPER: Before we break, we mentioned President Trump taking a more serious tone today, referring to experts and making some frank admissions about the state of the economy and how long this pandemic may last. He also appeared to walk back a comment he made just yesterday about the coronavirus being under, quote, tremendous control. Though he denied that what's he said yesterday.

Here's what he said yesterday, followed by what he said today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a very contagious virus. It's incredible. But it's something that we have tremendous control over.

REPORTER: You're not saying it's under control, right?

TRUMP: I'm not referring to it, meaning the --

REPORTER: The virus?

TRUMP: Yes, if you're talking about the virus, no, that's not under control for any place in the world. I think I read -- no, I didn't. I was talking about what we're doing is under control but I'm not talking about the virus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So, actually, he said we have tremendous control over it.

Jeremy Diamond is at the White House for a possible reason for the president's new tone today.

So, what do you account for for the tone? I mean, it's certainly different from what we heard from President Trump in the last, you know, many weeks.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It certainly is, Anderson.

Look, we have seen this president repeatedly downplay this pandemic during the course of this outbreak, including yesterday when you saw where he was saying this was totally under control. And we saw that dramatic shift in tone today, where the president really seemed to acknowledge the gravity of the situation, acknowledging how bad this virus is and the impact it will have on Americans' daily lives. That's whey we saw him issue that guidance to Americans on what they can do to mitigate the spread.

Now, what I'm told is the president's shift in tone really underscored a shift among top officials inside the White House over the last couple of days. As officials saw those number of cases surging over the weekend, after the number of tests that were being issued and carried out were also rising, the administration really began to understand how bad this situation was.

[20:20:02]

One administration official telling me that the scale of the problem really became more apparent. And as the scale of the problem became more apparent, we saw some of the administration's top public health officials really increasingly making the case to the president's coronavirus task force that they needed to do something beyond travel restrictions, beyond what we have seen them do so far, and instead, now taking that top-down approach to encourage Americans to really make changes to their daily lives.

COOPER: You're also hearing the president's been very focused on how further restrictions could affect the economy.

DIAMOND: Yes, well, listen, we know that the president has been extremely concerned about the economy throughout all this. This is a re-election year, Anderson, and the president knows that he needs a strong economy in order to get his next four years. That is very much in question now as a result of all this.

And so, the president at times has been spurred on by bad economic news, seeing that as a reason to act further. But over the weekend, we're told that there were some officials arguing these more severe restrictions on daily life for Americans, that could really have an even worse economic impact, but the president apparently, we're told, was swayed ultimately by the argument that these steps need to be taken now. If not, the economic ramifications in the long term would be much more severe.

COOPER: Is the White House considering stricter guidelines, you know, like a national curfew?

DIAMOND: Look, the president was asked about that today, whether he was considering some kind of a national quarantine or a national lockdown of some kind. The president said that at this time, that is not something that is under consideration for him. But he did say that what he is looking at and what he is considering is targeted at specific areas, specific hot spots around the country.

But we should note, Anderson, that the president certainly did not rule anything out. And even as the president was issuing these guidelines about changing Americans' daily lives for the next 15 days, I think it was quite clear inside the White House briefing room today that all of this could be extended. You know, the president was talking about this pandemic in the United States running through July, maybe even August, and perhaps even later than that, according to some public health experts. So, it's quite clear the impacts on Americans' daily lives will be

severe, and the president seems prepared to take further steps beyond what we have already seen him do today -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Jeremy Diamond, thanks very much.

I want to bring in two veterans of the Obama White House, CNN senior political commentator, David Axelrod, served as senior adviser to the president, and CNN political commentator, Jen Psaki, former White House communications director.

What do you make of the president's -- I mean, the president that you saw today versus what we have seen over the last couple weeks?

JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he certainly changed his tone. He seemed to be a little more serious today. However, having worked in the White House for eight years, the public reaction and public panic shouldn't be the trigger for you taking a serious tone for the first time.

And you know, as I have watched this over the past few weeks I have been struck by the fact the White House appears, and the president appears, to be weeks behind what public messaging needs to be, because the American people are looking to the White House, Democrats, Republicans, independents, for accurate information and consistent information. And we're just seeing a lot of inconsistency.

And having spent it last couple days at home with my neighbors or talking to my neighbors across the street, people don't know what to think. They're confused. They don't know what they should do, how serious this is, how long it will last.

There was more information today, but I think there's still a long way for the White House to go.

COOPER: I mean, the president deferred a lot more today, again, to the experts.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, you know what I found kind of astonishing about Jeremy's report, is that they became persuaded in the last couple days this is as serious as it is.

You know, I got secret briefings every day on television from Dr. Fauci and others for weeks talking about how serious this is.

PSAKI: Yes.

AXELROD: And I think the president is just accustomed to trying to spin these things, and you can't, as we said before, can't spin a pandemic. But the danger here is the solution to this, or at least the answer to keeping it from peaking in a way that crashes our health care system, is to enlist the public.

And you can't enlist the public if you're sending mixed messages about how serious this is. They have been trying to do that, the professionals. The president has been sending the message that it isn't as serious as people are saying.

And so, it's good, you know, that he's arrived at this point now. But it's unfortunate that it took so long.

COOPER: Well, I mean, what's -- I mean, I don't know if it's criminal, but in any kind of situation like this, if you look at the crisis in Wuhan, had Chinese officials acted, local officials acted more expeditiously the first week, they can now trace how many lives would have been saved, how many people would not have gotten sick if action was taken one week had been taken the week prior.

The same will be the case here, as the president was entertaining Diamond and Silk and commenting on what great celebrities they have become and this virus is just going to maybe miraculously disappear, you know, decisions could have been made, plans taken, you know, choices made that would have already impacted this virus.

[20:25:08]

PSAKI: That's exactly right. And while different, I mean, the people in China didn't have information because the Chinese government was blocking it.

COOPER: Right.

PSAKI: In this case, the United States government is sharing inaccurate, not everyone -- obviously, not Dr. Fauci, the president of the United States, the person people look to at these times of crisis is sharing inconsistent, sometimes inaccurate information. And the public is hearing what they want to hear, sometimes that's I can go to a bar, I can still go to a restaurant. And that's very dangerous.

COOPER: What's also strange is to have a situation like this where the people around the president, the Coronavirus Task Force seem to have to spend a percentage of their public time before Americans praising the president and sort of acknowledging his great leadership --

AXELROD: Yes.

COOPER: -- in order to kind of keep him mollified, I assume, because there's no other explanation for it, to waste time in front of the American public with what you're telling, you know, you could answer four more questions about the virus that people may have while you're wasting time talking about the president's bold, strong, you know --

AXELROD: Yes. This is, of course, the nature of Donald Trump. But the frustrating thing here is, and where his limitations show so dramatically, is that this isn't about him. It's not about him. It's about us.

He needs to enlist the American people and recruit them into a shared community effort to deal with this problem. And instead, he's worried about his grades, you know, today he said he got 10 out of 10, you know.

PSAKI: Quite a curve.

AXELROD: Yes, that's larger than the curve we see on these charts.

COOPER: Also signing a print-out of the stock market rise and giving it out to his friends.

AXELROD: Yes.

COOPER: David Axelrod, Jen Psaki, thank you.

Just ahead, I'm going to talk with a governor who's taking some new moves -- some more moves to stop the spread of the coronavirus in his state. Measures on top of calling out the National Guard.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:31:23]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: There are some historic examples tonight of states and localities taking steps to help mitigate the spread of the virus. As we reported on the top of the program, authorities in the San Francisco area have ordered all residents to shelter in place beginning at midnight local time. New Jersey governor, Phil Murphy, has not only called out the National Guard. He's asking residents, all known essential personnel to remain inside from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. That includes himself, so he joins us now from home.

Governor Murphy appreciate you taking time to talk to us. The executive order you issued today, what other restrictions have you put in place and why take that step now?

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D) NEW JERSEY: Anderson, good to be with you. We started meeting on this in January. We formed a whole of government task force I think on February 2nd. And we've tried to stay out ahead of this as best we could.

And today is just another number of steps in that direction, and although today there were a lot of ones. Calling up the National Guard, closing all schools, public and private, including higher education, closing any nonessential businesses after 8:00 p.m., restaurants and bars are from 8:00 p.m. tonight onward until further notice, eliminating eat-in. They're takeout and delivery only, as you mentioned. Travel around the state between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. every day, for only essential travel.

We have got to break the back of this curve. We've got to flatten it. If we do that, we take pressure off our health care system. While this may be painful, the alternative is a lot more painful. And this is another series of steps we're taking in that direction.

COOPER: You've said that the 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. order it's not a curfew, it's a strong recommendation. Do you see a circumstance where you would have to end up with a curfew, or are there other restrictions you're thinking of imposing?

MURPHY: You know, we imposed a maximum of 250 people gathering in one place. We have now lowered that to 50.

I made a point earlier today that no one appears to have willfully violated -- willfully violating the travel around the state or the 50- person max, or the nonessential entities not closing at 8:00 p.m. We will take aggressive action.

COOPER: Earlier today, you said New Jersey is, "woefully short on hospital beds." How do you go about solving that problem? What else are you lacking when it comes to medical equipment? Where are you on respirators, other essential equipment?

MURPHY: Listen, we're like most states. We're short. We have been asking the federal government, a good back and forth over the past couple weeks with the vice president. We were with the President and vice president today.

Our three asks are personal protective equipment. We got some of our asks from the strategic stockpile. But we need more.

We need boots on the ground. That's part of the reason we called up the National Guard. I'm happy to say FEMA has designated New Jersey as one of its first 12 states to put boots on the ground. That will help us with drive-through testing. And thirdly, Anderson, we're going to need an enormous amount of help to get the economy back on its feet for workers, for small businesses, for all of us. Probably not unlike any other state, but the economic impact here is severe.

COOPER: For the National Guard, what do you see them doing? And can you foresee a situation where obviously the military, that's not your purview, that's the federal government, but the National Guard, of setting up field hospitals? Whether it's for triaging and treating patients with the virus or other concerns, perhaps nonemergency concerns that would free up hospitals more?

[20:35:15]

MURPHY: Yes, we're clearly not there yet. We've got a sort of a series of realities in terms of hospital beds. But in an eventuality could we see that, absolutely. National Guard could play any number of roles. Some of which include making -- helping us deliver food to those kids whose only hot meal or best meal of the day has been heretofore through the school system. Helping us on the intake up front side of testing, so it's some of these drive-through testing areas.

And to your question, repurposing closed wings of hospitals or hospitals that have been closed in their entirety or repurposing dormitories for potential quarantine use, so the National Guard, we can envision playing a whole range of roles, as we could see our federal partners. As I mentioned, FEMA is going to come in and specific on the testing side, and that's where we probably need the help the most right now.

COOPER: Just finally, you know, there's a lot of folks who are going to be in their homes who are working from home or may, you know, soon be out of work. Do you have and want to get involved, want to help other people, what advice do you have for people who want to feel like, what can I do to help? There's a lot of folks who are out there wanting to be good citizens. What is your advice to them?

MURPHY: Listen, we've got an extraordinary state. And we've got as big a heart as any state in America. There's a lot of anxiety, understandably, and our job is to be straight with people, to make sure they know we're going to get through this together as one family, to wherever we can lessen that anxiety. And there's an incredible spirit of goodwill.

And you know, I can't read off a whole series of program sitting right now, but I promise you there's going to be lots of ways to help. But as I say, New Jersey has as big a heart as any American state. And as long as we each do our part, and that's the important thing, all of us, including yours truly, have to do our part. As long as we do, we will get through this together and stronger than ever before.

COOPER: Governor Murphy, I appreciate you talking to us. And I wish you the best in these difficult times. Thank you.

MURPHY: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Want to turn back now to our two medical experts, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Leana Wen. They're going to take your questions on the coronavirus. So, doctors did precisely this during the past two past town halls and the response was overwhelming. We should note we're going to do another one coronavirus town hall this coming Thursday night from 10:00 p.m. until midnight Eastern. If you want to send our video questions, please do to CNN.

Let's get to the questions we have tonight. Matt Arnold (ph) from Dallas, Texas, has a question. Matt, go ahead.

MATT ARNOLD, DALLAS TEXAS: Hi, guys. Just curious, has anyone or could anyone get reinfected after recovering from COVID-19?

COOPER: Yes, great question. Doctors? Sanjay?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, you know, there was some reports of this early on that maybe some patients had recovered from the coronavirus infection and then become reinfected. You know, it doesn't seem like that's actually likely. That may have been just a problem, like with a patient that we talked to, Anderson, who still had coronavirus in his system, some 28 days now, I think. Remember, we talked to him last Thursday?

COOPER: Yes.

GUPTA: So, it's more likely to be something like that. Typically after you develop an infection like this it's kind of like getting vaccinated. You should actually have some immunity to getting infected again. We don't know for sure, it's a new virus, but that's what should happen.

COOPER: Yes. Ben Sharp (ph) from Annandale, Virginia sent us this video question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BEN SHARP: It's been suggested that we stock up on essentials, such as food and bottled water. The food I understand, but why bottled water? Are we really expecting the water supply to be contaminated?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It's a great question. I've got a lot of people ask me this question. Doctor Wen, will you take this?

DR. LEANA WEN, FMR. PRESIDENT OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA: Sure. I went to the grocery store earlier today, and toilet paper and water are out. And these are not items that should be out for this type of emergency. We do tell people to have a two-week supply of water, drinking water, for all emergencies, if there's a hurricane or bad weather. But there's no reason why we should believe that water will be affected for coronavirus.

COOPER: Yes. And Sanjay, you know, again, this is not -- you know, the water from your tap is not going to go out. The water supply is not affected. The electrical grid is not affected.

GUPTA: Yes. I mean people typically think of this when you have a national emergency and FEMA is involved. They think of storms and, you know, the possibility of those things going out. So maybe that's sort of just the reaction that people typically have to go buy these types of things. But, yes, there is no evidence that this is contaminating the water supply or that it's transmitted through water.

[20:40:04]

COOPER: Yes. This next question from Eric Bisen (ph) in Carlisle, Massachusetts. Eric, go ahead.

ERIC BISEN, CARLISLE MASSACHUSETTS: Hi. I noticed that the approach at this point is social distancing, which will level out the curve and probably defer when some of us actually get this, but as contagious as this is, I assume that we are all going to get it. It would be interesting to know what people are actually dying from. Is it from pneumonia or whatever? And how do we prepare given we have a little extra time here against that?

And then if we do get it, what is our best course of action? What should we be doing as a practice to recover quickly?

COOPER: OK. Great questions, Eric -- Sanjay?

GUPTA: Well, you know, let me take the sort of middle question, because we get this a lot. . This idea of what actually is happening in the body when someone gets this infection. And Anderson, we created this animation to sort of give you some idea. So take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the coronavirus you're looking at. As it enters healthy cells, it uses the cells make copies of itself. And then the infection spreads. It also triggers the immune system to try to kill the virus and attack infected cells, including ones in the lungs.

That battle inside the body causes inflammation. And in severe cases, that inflammation can lead to pneumonia, organ failure, or even septic shock. Especially for high-risk people, any or all of those can eventually lead to death.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUPTA: Now, I should point out again, you know, this is a novel virus, so you know, we are still learning things. It may not always be pneumonia that this is leading to.

There has been now some suggestion that this virus actually leads to some destruction of these particular lung cells that causes a situation known as ARDS, respiratory distress syndrome. So, there's different things that are likely happening, but that's one example, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, we have to take a quick break. We'll have more of your questions and answers from our folks when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:46:04]

COOPER: Back now with our medical team, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Leana Wen. More of your questions, this is a video on -- from Jennifer Wilson (ph) in California. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER WILSON, CALIFORNIA: If someone who has COVID-19 swims, can he or she transmit the virus to others in the pool?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Does this go through water in a pool, chlorine in a pool, assumed? Dr. Wen.

WEN: There's no evidence that COVID-19 could be transmitted through water, so you're not likely to get it by swimming with somebody who is on the other side of the pool, but if that person is next to you and they end up sneezing on you, then you could still get coronavirus that way, too.

COOPER: So, you mean, if they sneeze in your face, not like underwater, though? But anyway, that's probably too complicated. I don't know what the science of underwater sneezing is.

WEN: Exactly.

COOPER: The next --

GUPTA: Can you sneeze underwater?

COOPER: Well, I don't know. Actually, yes, anyway. A dumb thing for me to even bring up. This is from Bobby in Tennessee. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOBBY: Does the virus die after it runs its course in an infected person or does it continue to live? And if it does, is that person still contagious?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That's a really interesting question. Sanjay?

GUPTA: Yes, no, you know, I think this virus needs a host, you know. And in this case, we are the host. So once the host -- if the host dies, then the virus typically doesn't live. There are some pathogens to the person's point, which can persist after a person dies and they need to be very careful for example --

COOPER: Like Ebola.

GUPTA: Ebola, yes.

COOPER: Yes.

GUPTA: So yes. During autopsies, you remember, Anderson, during burials, you have to be very careful with Ebola. But I think, and doctor, you can correct me if I'm wrong, I think with this one, it needs a host. And if some -- you know, when the host dies, the virus should not be able to live.

COOPER: Dr. Wen, do you agree?

WEN: That's exactly right. Yes, I definitely agree. I think if the person is alive and they end up recovering, there is still the chance that they could pass it on to somebody even if they have no symptoms. And that's important for us to consider, too.

COOPER: So, you know, we just kind of have a minute or two left here. What do we know now that we didn't know, Sanjay and Dr. Wen, when, you know, two weeks ago, when we started doing town halls on this? I mean, it seems like tonight, based on one of the answers to the questions, the notion of is somebody able to get reinfected shortly after they've already been infected, it seems like there's more clarity on that now than there was two weeks ago.

GUPTA: Yes, I think so. I mean, we do have more clarity on some things such as that. Although, you know, there's some open questions still. You know, for example, we said the incubation period was closer to 14 days. And Anderson, again, I was really struck by the town hall last week, Dr. Wen you were there as well, the gentleman says after 28 days, he is still, you know, showing positive testing, when they're swabbing his nose for this coronavirus 28 days later. So, there are things we continue to learn.

I think we have a better idea of just how contagious this is. It's measured by this thing called the R-naught, something that people may have been reading a lot about over the last month. But basically how many people is one person likely to spread it to. It's somewhere between two and three.

And flu for just sake of reference is, you know, I think 1.28 I read. So, this is more contagious than flu.

I think we're still figuring out exactly what the fatality ratio is. I don't think we still have clear vision on that, especially in this country, again, because we haven't done a lot of testing yet. I think that's going to become clearer over the next several days and weeks.

COOPER: And it still --

WEN: And we still don't know --

COOPER: I'm sorry, go ahead, doctor.

WEN: No, I was just going to say, we still don't know what the actual spread of this disease in the U.S. is. Now that we're doing more testing, we're seeing more cases, but we still haven't done surveillance testing --

COOPER: Yes.

WEN: -- to find out all the undetected cases that might be out there too.

COOPER: Yes. Because we don't have enough tests, we can't do really good surveillance because we can't tract -- we don't know all the people who have it. Again, the fact that we're still talking about testing and getting tests out there is infuriating.

[20:50:07]

Doctors, thank you very much. Of course, thanks to all of those who submitted questions. We cannot get to all of them, but we're going to get another chance, I said earlier, our response to the town halls of the coronavirus has been heartening.

A lot of people telling us they're getting good information. So we want to keep doing that. We're holding another CNN Global Town Hall, Coronavirus Facts and Fears this Thursday 10:00 p.m. until midnight Eastern Time. Send us your video questions for that. You can send them to my Instagram @andersoncooper or DM me or anywhere at CNN.

Still ahead, how two children are bringing smiles to neighbors in these unsettling times through music.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:55:10]

COOPER: Lot going on, quite a lot today. Let's check in with Chris to see what he's working on for "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: All right, so first, what I'm going to put a little bit to the side, coop, which are these headlines about the President changing tone. The fact he is now where everybody's been for two weeks, welcome to the pandemic.

I don't know, you know, I'm not going to spend so much time on that. I'm going to bring in my brother, obviously, the governor New York, about what the real deal is and what's still coming our way. The idea of, you know, what we need to do, you, me, everybody else, what will the states still have to handle, and what does it mean? What is the need coming our way?

See if we can get some straight answers from my brother. He's certainly, you know, knows the answers to the questions.

Now we're going to have Mike Chertoff, remember him? Head of Homeland Security under Bush? What does he see as the variables here? From a national security issue, is the economic insecurity of so many being out of work at the same time, we've never seen anything like it since the great depression, what's the security issue there, what has to be down done? That's what we'll be doing.

COOPER: Yes. Chris, thanks. I'll see you then couple of minutes from now. Four minutes exactly.

Up next, neighbors helping neighbors, a reminder of the good that does exist, even when things seem so bad.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: It can be difficult to find any good news in the avalanche of warnings and shutdowns in the abrupt vanishing of what used to be normal life. But we want to leave you tonight with a glimpse of sunlight.