Return to Transcripts main page


Study: Virus To Keep Spreading For Up To Two Years Until 60 Percent To 70 Percent Of Population Has Been Infected; Gov. Newsom: "Days, Not Weeks" Away From Lifting Some Stay-At-Home Restrictions; Sean Penn's Organization Offers Free Testing For Essential Workers. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 1, 2020 - 21:00   ET





States beginning to partially reopen, at least 32 by the end of the week. That, as the FDA approves the emergency use of its first treatment for the Coronavirus, Remdesivir, not a cure.

A Doctor in Washington State told CNN he would be giving it to every infected patient though. We'll have more on that in a moment because in addition to hope there's also some caution tonight.

New report from the University of Minnesota says that Coronavirus will continue to spread for at least 18 months or two more years. In a moment, we'll speak with the Director of the Infectious Disease Policy Research Group there that published the report about the road ahead.

And the CDC today says in a new report that summer will be a critical month or critical months and that we'll need mass testing and medical facility, if this country is to withstand a possible second wave in the fall.

Tonight, we'll talk with Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, about to push to - about the push to reopen in California, even by his own Governor, Gavin Newsom, who today said that partial reopening of California would be no longer weeks but days.

I want to start with Erica Hill in the epicenter of the pandemic here in New York.

So Erica, what's the latest?

ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the latest here in New York, Anderson, we're learning the NYPD will have more than a 1,000 officers out this weekend. It's supposed to be beautiful this weekend in New York in the 70s. They'll be out to enforce social distancing and also to educate the public.

But we also learned today from Governor Andrew Cuomo that students in New York State will not return to school this academic year. That applies to K through 12 and colleges as well. And, as for the fall, he says districts may need to think about reimagining school, as we watch so many other states reopen.


HILL (voice-over): Mardi Gras, a medical conference in Boston, a large funeral in Georgia, all three February events likely helped fuel the spread of Coronavirus in the U.S. Those new findings from the CDC confirm what many have suspected.

Researchers also single out the role of international travel and certain work places like meatpacking plants, nursing homes, and dense urban areas, like New York City. A lack of testing also contributed.

The news comes as 32 states move to reopen by the weekend, though none appear to have met White House guidelines for a 14-day decline in cases.

MAYOR DAVID HOLT (R-OK), OKLAHOMA CITY: We still have a virus in this community. That virus does not care that it is May 1st, and you still have to take extreme precautions for your safety, and the safety of those you love.

HILL (voice-over): Diners in Texas reclaiming a morning routine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was ready, believe me.

HILL (voice-over): It's not just restaurants and retail coming back online today, beaches, malls, even movie theaters, though at reduced capacity.


JASON GOULD, EXECUTIVE CHEF, COMMON BOND: We really had to think about it, and decide, "Are we ready? Do we want to do this?"

HILL (voice-over): Ohio, Louisiana, and Michigan, among the states extending stay-at-home orders, as California's Governor says his State is now days, not weeks away from being able to reopen some shops and restaurants with restrictions.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): I just want folks to know we're getting very close to making really meaningful augmentations to that stay-at-home order.

HILL (voice-over): That announcement came as protesters gathered in Huntington Beach, calling for an end to the Governor's order closing beaches in Orange County.

In Alabama, beachgoers were ready, Thursday night, as restrictions were lifted there, shoppers and stores adapting in Oxford, Mississippi.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we lower the records down, so they don't have to come close to us or touch us. HILL (voice-over): Fresh concerns about the safety of meat processing plants, and the nation's food supply. Shoppers and military commissaries now limited to purchasing two meat items per visit, in anticipation of possible shortages.

A new report predicts the virus could be with us for at least another 18 months until 60 percent to 70 percent of the population has been infected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think people need to wrap their head around the fact that this is here to stay for a protracted period of time.

HILL (voice-over): Meantime, work continues on a virus, the warning.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: To just say I have a vaccine, throw it into people, what people don't appreciate because they're so intent to getting a vaccine quickly, is that there could be deleterious negative effects of enhancement of infection.

HILL (voice-over): As Americans wait they're also honoring those we've lost. In Connecticut, thousands of white flags, one for each person in the State, who has died, as a result of the virus. Pastor Patrick Collins says the memorial is a somber reminder that we are in this together.


HILL: And, as we all know, so important to remember all of those lives lost like the couple, who's daughter you just spoke to, Anderson, but it's also so important to focus on the hope.

And I think you, and your son, Wyatt, have given people, all across the country and the world, a lot of hope, and I am thrilled for the both of you. So, let me just add my voice to the congratulations. He is a very, very lucky boy.

COOPER: Well Erica, I really appreciate that, coming from you. You've got a beautiful family that you've created. So, I'll be coming to you for advice, no doubt. Thanks, Erica.

Back with us is Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joining us is Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which published that paper that we mentioned earlier that predicted the virus spreading for another 18 months to two years.

Michael, your report predicting that more people need to get infected, and become immune, before the pandemic can end, can you just talk about that, how that squares with social distancing measures, or the idea, obviously, to keep people from getting infected or, at least, delay people getting infected, so that healthcare workers, so the healthcare system can kind of catch up.

DR. MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH AND POLICY, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: Well thank you, Anderson. I too want to offer my congratulations to you and Wyatt.

COOPER: Thanks.

OSTERHOLM: As a grandfather, who hasn't been able to see his grandkids, since March 10th, because of my distancing, I appreciate what you have right now very much.

COOPER: Thanks.

OSTERHOLM: In terms of your question, the important message here is that this virus is going to continue to try to find more people to infect until it does that. All the measures we use will surely suppress it or will slow it down, but no one has the belief that it's going to stop it.

Look at the Asian countries that were supposedly have to - had in place these really very comprehensive programs, they're still having challenges and problems.

So, I - what our report was all about was just saying that in fact until 60 percent to 70 percent of the U.S. population has been infected, and hopefully has immunity, or we have a vaccine that accomplishes that same 60 percent to 70 percent, we're going to be in this, fighting this virus.

COOPER: So Sanjay, is - I mean, you know, a lot of people comparing sweet - what's happening in Sweden, where they haven't had these, you know, restrictive measures and, I guess, the idea was building up herd immunity, which is, you know, in the 60 percent, 70 percent of the population, trying to, you know, get - get it over with, I guess.

How - I mean is what we're doing here essentially going to end up with the same end results as Sweden, just going to take longer, which helps our healthcare system, and therefore, hopefully, reduces total possible deaths?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean I think that part of this was - was trying to, you know, when we say flatten the curve, was to basically say, we don't want to overwhelm our healthcare systems.

I mean in some of these places where you have really high fatality rates, and I should point out Sweden's fatality rate, smaller country obviously, but their fatality rates' actually higher than ours, you know, which is maybe not surprising, considering they're not doing these things.

But part of the flattening of the curve was to not overwhelm hospital systems, so people weren't dying totally preventable deaths because they simply couldn't get any care in the hospital system.


And part of this, you know, is a little bit of the race, as Dr. Osterholm is talking about, and we'd all do well to listen to him. He's been pretty prophetic on all this. But, you know, if we can get a good therapeutic and starting to see

some glimmers of hope there, you know, very early with Remdesivir, or if we can get a vaccine, and sort of outpace this, maybe we have, you know, can reduce some of these deaths.

But I think all along, even with the flattening of the curve, it's sort of a double-edged thing because you're broad - you know, you're lengthening the course of this when you - when you flatten the curve. But, you know, you still may have a lot of people ultimately who still get infected.


GUPTA: Just over a longer period of time.

COOPER: Dr. Osterholm, your report, I think, it's so important. It talks about three likely scenarios for the virus, going forward, all of which lasts another 18 months to two years. Can you just kind of explain what those are and why so long?

OSTERHOLM: Yes. Well, first of all, we all want to believe that we can understand what this thing is going to do. But we really are at the edge of our experience and what we know about an influenza pandemic, for example,

If this were influenza, we would say that this big peak that we just talked about is definitely going to happen. It's going to happen sometime in the fall. That surely could happen here.

Again, this is a Coronavirus. So, that's the one scenario that scares all of us because that is where exactly Sanjay just said we will exhaust our healthcare system and - and bring it almost to its knees.

The other two scenarios that we considered is what if it just has a, what I call, a whole lot of foothills to it, where there are these ups and downs in one City, in one State, one County, one Country, and then it kind of quiets down like we've seen right here in just the past month, or the third one is what if it just kind of goes in slow burn, just continues, every month, we see these cases occur. They just keep accumulating.

But - but, as Sanjay said, what we're really talking about is we're going to get to 60 percent to 70 percent one way or the other.

Either we have a vaccine eventually or, over time, we'll get there, whether it's in six months, 12 months, 18 months, or 24 months. And I think that's what we have to keep reminding people. That's what we're in for the long haul.

COOPER: So, but Dr. Osterholm, I mean to then, people say "OK, well if we're going to get to that place anyway, why not just then do what Sweden did," which is, I mean I think I know the answer, which is that the number of people who would die because the healthcare system be overwhelmed would be untenable.

OSTERHOLM: Well also we have to be very careful. The Sweden model has become, I think, a bit more than it really is.

I mean they're really, right now, only at maybe 30 percent of their population has been infected, and hopefully has immunity to it. They've got a long ways to go yet too. They're not there.

In our case though, what we're all hoping for is that we can postpone enough cases without crippling our society to actually have the vaccine catch up to the virus, meaning that we get vaccine in time, so that we can block the virus from completing this 60 percent to 70 percent or more picture.

And let me remind you, even when we get to 60 percent or 70 percent, that just stops the massive transmission. There'll still be transmission. So, our hope is fewer cases before a vaccine, get a vaccine. That's what we need to do.

COOPER: Yes. Dr. Michael Osterholm, thank you very much, appreciate it. Sanjay, going to see you again in just a moment.

Every course of action we discuss tonight depends on, as we just said, finding a vaccine. Last night, Dr. Fauci took part in our Coronavirus Town Hall. This is what he said about that search.


FAUCI: Everybody wants to get a vaccine for their country, for the safety of their country and, if possible, make it available to the world. I mean I can only speak for what we're doing.

We have a core group of a number of candidates that we, at the NIH, and the FDA, and - and other agencies within the government, the DoD, including the Department of Defense, are working together now, to try and get a situation, where we can get something that's done that's safe, that's effective, that's quick, and that you could scale up.


COOPER: Joining me now is Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the School of Tropical Medicine, at Baylor College of Medicine, and Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital. Dr. Hotez is currently working on a COVID-19 vaccine.

So, Dr. Hotez, how realistic do you think the goals set by the Administration around a vaccine are?

DR. PETER HOTEZ, DEAN, SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, WORKING ON COVID-19 VACCINE: Well, first of all, Wyatt, I'm going to add to the congratulate - congratulations. When you're ready to apply for MD-PhD programs, I'm here for you.

COOPER: I should be so lucky.

HOTEZ: Just pass that along to his dad.

COOPER: All right. I don't want to put any pressure on him. But it's a little early. But I'll let him know, thank you. HOTEZ: Good. Congratulations.

COOPER: Thanks.

So, what do you think about - about the Administration's goals?

HOTEZ: Well look, I mean, there's - there's no question there needs to be an effort to accelerate a vaccine. And what we're seeing now is at least a dozen candidates going into clinical trials, hopefully including ours, sometime over the summer. We may get at least 20 candidates.

And the reason you're doing that, of course, is to get as many shots on goal as you can. So, the - the concept is not that complicated. You have to basically create an immune response to that spike protein to prevent it from binding to the receptor. The question is what's the best way to do it?


There are a number of ways to do that in experimental animals, and that's why you're hearing about DNA vaccines, RNA vaccines, adenovirus vaccines, killed virus vaccines, recombinant protein vaccines, like ours.

The problem is we don't know what's going to be the best one in human clinical trials, in terms of what actually works in people the best, I mean, the safest.


HOTEZ: And that's going to be the problem that taking that whatever that time is, whether it's a year or 18 months, to figure that out, that's where the bottleneck is.

COOPER: I've heard you say that a vaccine, while important technology to fight a virus, it's not necessarily a silver bullet. What do you mean by that?

HOTEZ: Well what I mean by that is you're probably going to have multiple vaccines that will come out - remember, 90 percent don't just - 90 percent will probably drop off, then you'll have two vaccines or three vaccines, hopefully, at the end of this. Some will work better than others.

The other thing to mention is in the United States, our history often is that the first vaccine that ultimately is licensed, is that ultimately the vaccine that we - that we wind up with?

So we have a, for instance, the Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine. That first vaccine, that went out worked only in infants above the ages of one or two. And then, John Robbins, and Rachel Schneerson, modified it, stuck it on to - stuck that capsule on to protein, made it a better vaccine than it was used for infants. We saw this with--

(CROSSTALK) COOPER: So, even if there's a vaccine--

HOTEZ: --vaccine, we saw with the Rotavirus vaccine. All - most of our vaccines, Version 1.0, was not the one we wound up with.

COOPER: So, even if there's a vaccine in a year to 18 months, that vaccine might not really be the one that actually works for most people. And I mean does it take another 18 months to then modify that first vaccine, or is that a faster process?

HOTEZ: It's sometimes a faster process, sometimes it can take a couple of years after that. So, what you're going to--


HOTEZ: --roll-out of multiple vaccines, just like you're going to see a roll-out of multiple technology - technologies. I mean I love Michael Osterholm. He's usually right.

But, you know, in that 60 percent to 70 percent, you know, between now and then, we might have, for instance, a form of pre-exposure prophylaxis for - for COVID-19. We might have better treatments. So, you're going to see a whole roll-out of new technologies over this next year.

COOPER: Do we know - I mean, we don't know for sure if antibodies equal immunity, right? I mean they can - that's the kind of thing that still really is in the back of my mind that makes me very worried that what - what if the people who have antibodies, who've had Coronavirus, are not immune?

HOTEZ: Yes. I think it's going to turn out they will. We saw this with SARS 1. If you develop an antibody response, especially if you had antibodies to the receptor-binding domain and the spike protein, like the vaccine we're making, you seem to be protected.

And remember, now, the Chinese have done studies in Rhesus macaques, infecting them to get an antibody response. Then they cannot re-infect them.

I think the bigger problem is going to be - going to be a subset of people with low-grade symptoms or maybe asymptomatic, who don't mount a vigorous antibody response.

But I think for and maybe those who are susceptible to re-infection or have quickly waning immunity, you know, we don't know for certain. This is a brand-new virus. But I think it's a good probability that those who get a full-blown COVID-19 infection, or symptomatic, develop antibodies, will be resistant to re-infection for some period of time.

With SARS 1, it varied between two years and - and several years, we can - and until we know, if those individuals can remain positive. So, you know, again, it's a brand-new virus. We're going to learn a lot in the coming years.

COOPER: Yes. Well I certainly hope you're right about that. And I mean that echoes what most experts say. So, I'm going to put my faith in that. I really appreciate it. Dr. Hotez, thank you very much.

Still to come tonight, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, joins us. We'll discuss news we mentioned at the top of the hour that the Governor of a State, Gavin Newsom, says that he'll begin to reopen in early stages, State, in just a matter of days, rather than weeks. We'll talk to the Mayor about what that looks like, may look like in Los Angeles.

Sanjay is also going to be back with a report on how Actor Sean Penn and his Organization, CORE, are trying to help complement medical relief, much like they've done in Haiti, this time with Coronavirus testing in the Atlanta area.



COOPER: Tonight, we're discussing the push by many of the nation's governors to begin reopening their economies, allowing their residents to cautiously engage in public life once again.

One Democratic Governor, California's Gavin Newsom had earlier said it would be weeks, before his State could join the other 32 states, slated to begin reopening by this weekend, no longer.


NEWSOM: We are, you know, we said "Weeks, not months" about four days or five days ago. I want to say "Many days, not weeks," as long as we continue to be prudent and thoughtful in certain modifications, we'll be making, I think, some announcements.


COOPER: Joining us now is Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Mayor thanks so much for being with us. What does that look like for you in Los Angeles, the idea of, you know, early steps in a couple of days, what would that look like?

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D-CA), LOS ANGELES: Well I don't know if it means a couple of days. But we're certainly here, where we have an order that runs through May 15th in its current incarnation, looking at those exact same things.

And it's great to hear that from the Governor, who's done a great job of leading here in California.

We've been bringing people together from different industries. In fact, during this crisis, even though we had a stay-at-home order, for instance, in the construction industry, we are able to assess the risk, safely inspect the workplace, get PPE to construction workers, and we haven't seen an outbreak, while we continue with critical infrastructure.

So, it's not just about a date. It's also about the process of really, for me, it's always what's the need, then what's the risk, and how much can you assess that risk or abate it with safety measures.

And if it passes those three tests, I think it's coming time to take some steps forward, but to do them, as he said, prudently, and to do them smartly.

COOPER: Do you see that happening in days, not weeks?


GARCETTI: Well, you know, depends how you count days. I mean, for us, it's 14 days away. It's two weeks from this Friday.

COOPER: And that's guaranteed, 14?

GARCETTI: And then we're--

COOPER: You're going to stick with the 14 before making any kind of adjustment?

GARCETTI: We have guidance before that. We are absolutely open to it. I think it's so important for mayors, for politicians, to listen to the doctors.

If public health professionals tell us, a little couple days before that, "It's now safe to do X, Y, and Z," and we feel we can do the same thing, I'm very focused on, for instance, recreational spaces, maybe some retail establishments, and manufacturing.

Those three sectors would be great places, I think, to take some initial steps, get some people back to work, get some people outside, to be healthy, and also make sure that we have some jobs back in our economy.

COOPER: In places like retail places, manufacturing places, do you have a sense of what - what that looks like? I mean is it, for retail, is it the stores, you know, have a - are people inside the stores?

Is it, you know, a street entrance that people, you know, like right now, I buy coffee from a place next to me that used to be a bar, but they've set up, basically you don't go in. It's like a window on the street, and you get your coffee.

Is that - how would retail work?

GARCETTI: Well I think we've all seen some retail work right now.

We have grocery stores open, but also places like, you know, targets and some of the big box stores or pharmacies, which as we know have more than just medicine and just food in them, have shown that you can mandate rules, space people outside, limit how many people are in there.

That should go for mom-and-pop stores too. We might need some things like temperature checks for people, limit the amount of time somebody can stay in there. But I really am concerned for small businesses. And we've proven ourselves already, even in the worst days, to be able to do this safely, and bend the curve, here in L.A.

I think we can do that across America, as long as we do steps - take steps, wait about two weeks to three weeks, see the impact, and then assess. Do we go forward? Do we freeze where we are? Or, if the numbers are bad, do we retreat?

And I think it's that kind of what's difficult about the days ahead is it was very clear closing things down, it's a little bit of a messier business, but I think it's time for us to start trying that. We've got a lot of info. We've got a lot of examples around the world. And I think we can do that with confidence.

COOPER: And how are you in Los Angeles with testing, contact tracing, at this stage?

GARCETTI: So testing, we were the first big city in America to announce that we were not only testing for all symptomatic people. But this week, very excitingly, two days ago, we opened up to folks without symptoms.

We're able to keep up with that demand so far. It's a critical step for moving forward. With tracking and tracing, our County Health Department has done a great, great job.

But I'm calling nationwide for, something I call, a CARES Corps, together with Mayor David Holt of Oklahoma City, and Dr. McClellan, who used to run the FDA. We've said that we need 300,000 people.

And Senator Chris Coons is introducing legislation, in a bipartisan fashion soon, to get those contact tracers, to get, you know, what the Peace Corps was to the Cold War, or the Civilian Conservation Corps was to the Depression, it's time to get people back to work, and get that contact tracing that we need to have the confidence that this won't spread more quickly.

COOPER: Do you know how many people you would need for contact tracing in Los Angeles?

GARCETTI: We probably need to add a couple thousand people, if we want this for a county of 10 million people.

I mean if it's 300,000 for the country, it might be even more than that, 3 percent of the population lives here in Los Angeles County for the nation, more or less. So, that could be as much as, you know, according to those stats, that people have said 9,000 people.

It's a great way though to get, I think, some of our young people, to have a summer job. It's a great way to get the unemployed back to work.

And we have a lot of city workers who can't go back to places like libraries. And we see London Breed in San Francisco enlisting them as supplemental staff. They're already on their payroll. Let's put them to work in this new role.

COOPER: Mayor Garcetti, I appreciate your - your taking the time to talk to us.

GARCETTI: Before - before you go--

COOPER: Yes, yes.

GARCETTI: --I have one quick thing for you.


GARCETTI: I know that in the midst of all of this, you had an amazing thing happen, and we have a certificate.


GARCETTI: This is my daughter, Maya.

COOPER: Oh, hey, Maya!

GARCETTI: We wanted to congratulate you on the birth of Wyatt.

COOPER: Oh, that's so nice.

GARCETTI: We can't give this to you in person. But it's amazing to see something so beautiful happen in the midst of this crisis. So, congratulations.

COOPER: Well I appreciate it.

GARCETTI: Love from us.

COOPER: I pieced together a nursery in the midst of this. So, there's nothing hanging on the walls, so I'll hang that on the wall.

GARCETTI: Awesome.

COOPER: Thank you so much.

GARCETTI: We'll send it to you.

COOPER: I really appreciate it.

GARCETTI: All love. Take care.

COOPER: All right, thank you, thank you, Mayor. Thanks, Maya.

Up next, Sanjay is going to have an update on where we stand with testing and how Actor Sean Penn's Organization CORE is helping with that effort in Atlanta.



COOPER: There's little doubt that there is more testing available as the Coronavirus pandemic continues, thankfully, and there's also little doubt that much more testing is needed. Sanjay went to a testing site in Atlanta, where Actor Sean Penn and,

his Organization, CORE, helping as many people as they can.


SEAN PENN, CO-FOUNDER, CORE: It's a call to arms. To arms means a call a unity in this country that is exhilarating to be part of, whether we win or lose.

GUPTA (voice-over): Win or lose, Sean Penn, along with his Organization, CORE, is in the fight, trying to fill in gaps, during emergencies, like he did in Haiti, in 2010.

PENN: --came up to our hospital.

GUPTA (voice-over): Now, during this pandemic, his focus is on testing.

PENN: The reality is that in a time where we know there are very limited PPE and test kits available, for these kinds of operations, the reality is that we should be testing, re-testing, and re-testing.

GUPTA (voice-over): Reopening here in Georgia will look like this over the next few days. The problem is many of these people, even if they have no symptoms, could still be spreading the virus. That is why testing is so crucial to know that you don't have the virus before going into public.


GUPTA (on camera): Do you think of testing generally and, you know, at a doctor's office, or a hospital, or something like that, obviously, these are unusual circumstances, but is this necessary? I mean, is this because there are gaps in testing overall here in Atlanta?

ANN LEE, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, CORE: Most definitely, I think, just everywhere, not just in Atlanta. We need to have a huge volume of people tested. And trying to rely on the existing infrastructure is just not possible.

GUPTA (voice-over): Just how much testing is enough though to get the country up and running?

Harvard researchers say we're going to need 5 million tests per day by early June. And by late summer, some experts say, nearly the whole country would need to be tested every 14 days. That would mean 20 million tests a day.


GUPTA (voice-over): It's a number White House Task Force member, Admiral Brett Giroir told TIME Magazine, quote, "There is absolutely no way on earth, on this planet or any other planet, that we can do 20 million tests a day or even 5 million tests a day." PAUL ROMER, FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST AT THE WORLD BANK: I just think the people who are denying this possibility are not talking to the people who know something about what is possible.

GUPTA (on camera): Just in over your left shoulder is the Mercedes- Benz Stadium. It's a football stadium here in Atlanta. How did this come together, specifically here for CORE and this testing site?

PENN: So, this was a sort of a direct extension of what we were doing in Los Angeles. And in that situation, we - it occurred to us that we had a model to share, our Los Angeles site of this size, we can do above a 1,000 tests per day in a single site.

GUPTA (voice-over): Like in Los Angeles, they are offering the diagnostic swab tests, for free, through appointments, on their County website.

PENN: Every essential worker, symptomatic or asymptomatic, is invited, encouraged to come here, and we will test you. Because we are - face capacity issues, resource issues, we are beginning with a criteria of symptomatics, if they are not essential workers.

GUPTA (voice-over): And by essential, he doesn't just mean healthcare workers; anyone, who is on the frontline, like grocery workers, delivery people, Rideshare, and public transit drivers, and those in construction.

The hope, according to Penn, is not to take over the world of testing. That's going to require major steps by public health agencies and commercial labs. But it is about creating a model on a smaller scale, where cities can team up with organizations that are ready to help in this time of crisis.


COOPER: And Sanjay joins us now. And Sanjay, I also want to bring in Danielle Allen, the Director of Harvard's Edmond Safra Center for Ethics.

Professor Allen, you've emphasized the need to massively scale-up testing, potentially 20 million people a day by the late summer.

You heard the White House Task Force member Admiral Brett Giroir, in Sanjay's piece, essentially saying that's just not possible, 5 million is not possible. Do you - is he wrong?

DANIELLE ALLEN, DIRECTOR, HARVARD'S EDMOND J. SAFRA CENTER FOR ETHICS: So, to be very clear about our numbers, we advocate 5 million a day with good contact tracing. If contact tracing is not effective, then you do find yourself needing to get it up 20 million a day.

So, I think I'm not exactly sure what Admiral Giroir meant in that moment. The White House testing blueprint that came out on Monday points to an innovation pathway for testing. So, the White House policy, at this point, actually has pointed out quite a significant number of tests. In particular, the blueprint includes the fact that the genome sequencing capacity of the country could be turned on to support testing, and that is capacity that could absolutely do millions a day.

There are 400 sequencing machines in the country. Each of them can do about 750,000 samples a day. So, we do have a capacity, the White House blueprint pointed straight to that capacity, so it's an interesting conversation, of Giroir.

COOPER: Yes. I mean it's amazing, in your estimation, you know, the difference between needing 5 million tests a day and 20 million tests a day is contact tracing. What kind of numbers do you see - I mean, do you have a sense of how many people are needed nationwide for contact tracing?

ALLEN: Well I think the Mayor earlier talked about the need for 300,000 people nationwide. And that does seem like a very good number to be focused on. It's really important that every state and local government is making a clear plan. And that's really the part that matters now.

The CDC changed the guidance, for testing, on Monday. And so, the guidance does now include that asymptomatic people are a priority. They were not previously included in the priorities. And the guidance for testing asymptomatics is that should be according to the plans of local official, public health officials, local and state plans.

So, we really have hit that point where every municipality, every state government, needs to be figuring out what its own targets for testing are. And that will really answer the question for us of how much contact tracing we need.

COOPER: Sanjay, one of the things we were talking about with Bill Gates last night in the Town Hall was, you know, this idea of home testing, a quick turnaround time, so people aren't unknowingly infecting other people.

Is it - what is the holdup on that? I mean is it - because Gates is saying, you know, that sort of, you know, there's enough data to show other forms of swabs, not just this one very particular kind of swab are--


COOPER: --are effective. Is it, you know - you know, he was talking about the FDA. There's a whole approval process. What - do we know what the holdup is, is on that?


GUPTA: No. I think - I think, you know, some of it it's the same sort of supply chain issues that you've had with the other tests, I mean, you know, as was just mentioned, I think, the testing capacity has improved.

Some of what, I think, Bill Gates was talking about was the idea of being able to do it in the home, and even getting some of the results back in the home, which would be better, obviously.

Because one of the big concerns is someone gets tested, a couple of days goes by, before they get their results, and they're out there, even asymptomatically, potentially infecting people. So, that would be a significant, you know, move, if we could actually do that. We're not there yet.

The other thing is that, you know - you know, you see these big testing sites, like what Sean has set up, but the idea of having more point of location sort of testing, so at workplaces, or at places where people actually are being able to take the testing to them there, as opposed to having people come to certain sites for testing, I think we're going to see more of that happen as well.

COOPER: Sanjay, thank you. Professor Allen, I really appreciate it, as always. Thank you very much. Here's the website--

ALLEN: Thank you. Thank you.

GUPTA: You got it.

COOPER: --for Sean Penn's Organization, CORE, if you'd like more information. It's

As more and more states begin to slowly open up, there's bound to be anxiety over whether people would be vulnerable to the virus. That's understandable. Up next, we're going to take you to a lab in Florida to see exactly what an unprotected cough looks like, and the potential danger it poses.



COOPER: As we've been reporting, there are great many states tonight beginning the slow process of opening up their economy.

But, of course, that doesn't mean the virus is any less contagious, any less deadly, than it was when it was - when it all began back, or at least when we found out about it, really in - back in March.

So, if you're one of the millions of Americans now wearing a mask, or even thinking about wearing a mask, our next story will be especially significant. It's about how far an unprotected cough can travel, and what the impacts might be.

360's Randi Kaye went to a lab in Florida, where they can actually measure these things.



RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inside this lab at Florida Atlantic University, two engineering professors are measuring the power of a cough.

VERMA: Three, two, one.

KAYE (voice-over): Using a dummy, they fill its mouth with a mix of glycerin and water, then with a pump, force the dummy to cough, then wait to see how far the droplets travel. They fill the air, visible with the green laser light, simulating what happens when we cough.

VERMA: It generates particles on the order of 10 microns to 20 microns, which is roughly close to what the smallest droplet sizes are when we cough.

KAYE (voice-over): Take note how quickly the simulated respiratory droplets spread.


KAYE (voice-over): The droplets expelled traveled a distance of three feet almost immediately. Within five seconds, the droplets were at six feet, then nine feet, in just about 10 seconds. Remember, nine feet is three feet beyond the recommended social distancing guidelines.

VERMA: It's already reaching roughly nine feet now. It's still moving farther slowly.

KAYE (voice-over): The fog of droplets lingered in the air, but kept moving forward, taking just another 30 seconds to 40 seconds to float another three feet.

VERMA: It's getting closer to 12 feet now.

KAYE (voice-over): Yes, he said 12 feet. Over and over again, the simulated droplets blew past the six-foot mark, often doubling that distance.

VERMA: OK. That's passed three feet already, approaching six feet, and it looks like and that has crossed six feet, and now it has slowed down, stayed--

KAYE (on camera): How long might they linger at nine feet and 12 feet?

MANHAR DHANAK, CHAIRMAN, FAU ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT: So, at nine feet, they could linger for, provided still air, two minutes to three minutes, OK? But the - the concentration is less than what it would be at six feet by about a factor of eight.

KAYE (voice-over): The professors say the droplets become less dense the further they travel. But they still hang in the air, still with the ability to carry disease.

And watch this, even when we put a simple mask on the dummy, particles still dispersed from the sides of the mask, though they didn't travel very far.

KAYE (on camera): Certainly if you're not wearing a mask, you're supposed to cough into your elbow. But if you cough into your hand, this is what happens.

Let's turn out the lights. I'll put my hand up against the mouth of this dummy, and simulate a cough. You can see the droplets spray in all directions. They may not travel as far, maybe about three feet or so, but they spray everywhere, and they can linger in the air, possibly for as long as three minutes.

KAYE (voice-over): Intensity of the cough matters, so we tested a gentle cough too.

The lighter cough didn't go very far at all, about three feet, but the question remains, how close is too close?

KAYE (on camera): Do you think, based on what you've seen in your own lab, that six feet is enough for social distancing?

DHANAK: Six feet is a minimum distance that you should keep. It seems that--

KAYE (on camera): But further is better.

DHANAK: Further is better.


COOPER: Well it's amazing to see that, Randi. I mean that really blows me away. I'm guessing they'd have different results outside the - outside.

KAYE: Yes, absolutely, Anderson. We shot that indoors in a small lab. So outside, they say, would be a completely different story.

Even with a slight breeze, like I'm feeling here in Florida tonight, they say that the jet from that cough or the droplets would disperse upward and even to the side. It wouldn't travel very far, maybe three feet or four feet.

But what was - what was most fascinating to me was indoors, how long those droplets would hang in the air.


So, at times, you heard them say, maybe three minutes or four minutes. So, if you walked into an elevator indoors, or a restaurant, now that they're starting to open, and somebody had coughed and you didn't know about it, those droplets would still be in the air.

And with the sneeze, I asked them about that, they said a sneeze is much more powerful. There would be more droplets, and they would travel even further, so not exactly comforting.

But Anderson, as I toss it back to you, one thing that we're all finding comfort in is the growing Cooper family, so because we're social distancing, I'm going to congratulate you this way.

COOPER: Well thank you. KAYE: And just tell you how thrilled I am for you, and how beautiful Wyatt is.

COOPER: Thank you.

KAYE: I'm going to virtually pinch those little cheeks of his, so.

COOPER: Yes, he's--

KAYE: He's just great.

COOPER: Randi, thank you very much, really appreciate it.

Well it's the reality that Randi was just showing us. It's partly why many businesses are keeping their doors closed, even if they are allowed to open. Jamie Booth, the owner of a hair salon in Atlanta is someone who's making that choice, keeping her shop closed, when she, by law, could open up.

Jamie, thanks - thanks for joining us. I'm, you know, I'm sorry it's under these circumstances. Georgia's obviously been on the forefront of opening back. Just talk about the decision not to open.

JAMIE BOOTH, ATLANTA HAIR SALON OWNER: The decision not to open is based on looking into what the CDC has to say, what the Mayor of Atlanta has to say, and what science has to say, versus what everyone else is doing in Georgia or what some people are doing in Georgia right now because I'm seeing the numbers climb every day in Georgia.

And as much as I want to go back into my salon, and open my doors, as the numbers are climbing, I still don't feel comfortable doing that.

COOPER: You and I spoke, was it a week ago, or two weeks ago?

BOOTH: One week ago.

COOPER: One week ago. And you had customers calling you saying, "You know what, not saying I want to book an appointment, but saying, you know, how are you doing? You know, stay safe. Don't do something that endangers yourself."

BOOTH: Yes. And for the most part, they're still saying that. And, of course, they've got another week's worth of growth on their hair, so I'm sure that some of them are starting to get frustrated, and wonder when I'm going to open the doors.

But they are being supportive of me because I know that they think I'm making the right decision. And everybody wants to stay safe. And I still stand by my decision, as the numbers climb in Georgia, and I just don't feel safe opening up again yet.

COOPER: But I mean I just want people to understand. This is - I mean, this is a really difficult - it's a difficult decision for a lot of people. But, in your case, I mean the cutting - you've been cutting hair for over two decades.


COOPER: It's your main source of income. It's the only source of income you have, from the - it's from the number of haircuts you give every week. That's a really tough decision.

BOOTH: It is. And I've gone through, you know, I go through so many different emotions every day. I've done so many things like I did call my mortgage company to find out about their forbearance program. And I'm doing that.

And I've got the bills at the salon, the bills at my house, and I'm a single mom of a 16-year-old son. And I am the only financial provider for both of us. And I'm just going to figure this out, as I go along, because I feel like in my heart it's the only choice I have right now.

COOPER: I understand you were contacted by somebody who talked about possibly paying your rent and your mortgage?

BOOTH: Yes, I was. I've had a lot of people reach out, and show me kindness, and love. I could tell stories for the next hour.

But there was a lady by the name of Kaari (ph), and she said, Kaari (ph) like Ferrari, to make sure I pronounced her name right, because she was excited about me being able to tell the story.

But she reached out to me and said that someone showed her some kindness about a decade ago, when she was in a tough spot, and she asked me how much the rent was, on my salon. And three days later, a check for that amount showed up in my mailbox. And we had become friends.

COOPER: Oh my Gosh!

BOOTH: And I've talked to her for about 30 minutes on the telephone today, in fact.

COOPER: I mean, that's incredible, someone who went through troubles of their own, passing it forward, years and years later, I mean that's - that's such a blessing. To those watching right now, to your clients, your supporters, what message do you want - want to share with them?

BOOTH: Well, I started getting my PPE supplies today. Boxes are showing up at my house. And I'm doing everything that I can to prepare to open when I feel safe to do so.

And my clients already know this, but I love them. They are like family to me. And they've been with me for five years, 10 years, 15 years, and some of them, for 22 years. And I want them to know I love them.

And the moment I feel safe enough to go back into the salon, my doors will be open again, and I'll be ready to hopefully go back to some semblance of normality at that point in time.

COOPER: And the salon there, as I remember its name, it's called Melange, right?

BOOTH: That is correct.


BOOTH: It's Melange Hair Studio.

COOPER: All right, well, Jamie, I think I said that I'd love to get my haircut with you sometime. So, I'll - next time I'm in Atlanta, I definitely will. I'd really appreciate it, Jamie.

BOOTH: That would be great. And congratulations on the birth of Wyatt. He's beautiful. I'm so happy for you.

COOPER: Thanks. Thanks very much. He's got a little bit of hair. So, he doesn't need a cut just yet, but maybe someday.

BOOTH: That's wonderful.

COOPER: Thanks a lot, Jamie.

BOOTH: OK. Thank you so much.

COOPER: All right, I wish you and your family the best.

Up next, we remember the victims of this pandemic, including a beloved sports photographer and others on the lives they lived.



COOPER: As we do on so many nights, we want to take some time to remember some of the lives lost from the Coronavirus here in the U.S.

Anthony Causi was a longtime sports photographer for The New York Post. He grew up in Brooklyn. Joined The Post in 1994. It was his dream job to cover New York sports teams.

The Editor-in-Chief of the paper said he was one of the best sports photographers in the business. He was loved and respected, not only by his colleagues, but also by the players that he covered. He leaves behind a wife and two young children. Anthony was 48 years old.

Reggie Bagala was a freshman state lawmaker from Louisiana who was elected to Office just last year. He was a Republican, represented Jefferson and Lafourche parishes in the Southern part of the State.

Before running for Office, he was a businessman, but always an active volunteer, wanted to make his community a better place to live for everyone. His son said he was profoundly honest and decent man who loved unceasingly. Reggie Bagala was just 54 years old.

Michael Yun was a Councilman from New Jersey. He emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea in 1979. He and his wife Jennifer settled in Jersey City, where they ran a small convenience store. He later told a local paper that it was the start of his American Dream.

2013, he was elected to the Jersey City Council, and his slogan was simple, "Serve the people." He was also a devoted dad, grandfather and a husband. Michael Yun was 65 years old.

Our thoughts go out to all of their families, and all families, right now, impacted by the Coronavirus.