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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Key Model Projects More Than 134,000 Deaths In U.S. By Early August, Nearly Double Last Projection; CA Governor: Retail Shops Can Begin To Reopen On Friday; Intel Suggests Virus More Likely Came From Market, Not Chinese Lab. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired May 4, 2020 - 20:00   ET

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


[20:00:00]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And good evening. Thanks for joining us.

As people begin to crowd public areas again, new modeling out today projects a sharp spike in both caseloads and death counts.

According to at least one of those reports, the reason is partially the relaxation of social distancing guidelines. That report comes from an institute at the University of Washington, whose modeling has been cited by the White House, and its director is going to join us shortly, in a moment.

Dr. Chris Murray says, quote, "This rise of mobility in the last week or ten days is likely leading to some increased transmission." This is what the rise in mobility looks like: all of this from the weekend.

Take a look at what happened in Panama City Beach in Florida. As you can see, people at the beach are heading to the beach. There they are on the beach, clearly not respecting social distancing guidelines.

You can find a similar situation at the National Mall in the nation's capital. Crowds enjoying the weather, some wearing masks, many not wearing them. New Yorkers also took advantage of the beautiful spring weather to go to Central Park.

The other study that shows a spike in deaths and caseloads was conducted for the government, that was first reported by "The New York Times." Now, the White House and CDC have disavowed the numbers, however, the "Times" and "The Washington Post" report that slides created from the report carried the CDC logo on them. Also, that the numbers come from modeling conducted by Johns Hopkins University.

Now, in both reports, cases are projected to spike, with the death count rising sharply.

Last night President Trump tried to say that, quote, "Everything is working out," unquote, even as he upped his own estimate. Two weeks ago today he projected deaths between 50,000 to 60,000; last night he said it would be 75,000 to 100,000.

However, a member of the president's coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, appeared to contradict the president's projections, all of them. Quoting Dr. Birx, quote, "Our projections have always been between 100,000 and 240,000 American lives lost."

So we want to start this hour with Nick Watt, who joins us from Los Angeles.

So, restrictions are going to ease at the end of the week in California. What's life expected to start to look like there in the near-term?

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in the near-term, Anderson, probably not a lot of change, I've got to be honest with you.

Listen, we were among the first people in the country told to stay home. That's going to be 50 days ago come Friday, when the governor is finally going to start lifting these restrictions.

He's been under a lot of pressure over the closing of the beaches. He's had three counties say that they're going to defy his orders and just open their businesses anyway.

But he says this has nothing to do with politics: these decisions are driven purely by the science. And, actually, he said, you know, local areas, local municipalities can move faster or slower, if the data really supports it, than his statewide guidelines.

And already we've heard from the mayor of San Francisco, who says that her city might need a little bit more time.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WATT (voice-over): Today, restaurants can reopen in Nebraska and Florida, bars in Montana, offices in Colorado. Yes, some social distancing restrictions remain, but by the end of this week more than 40 states will be partially back open for business.

ANDY SLAVITT, FORMER ACTING ADMINISTRATOR, CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: Well, we've been staying indoors; we have been slowing down the spread. But what we haven't done is gotten rid of the virus.

WATT (voice-over): This is what new normal looks like. Eating in Texas, complete with masks. In Miami Beach today they had to close the popular South Point Park again, after police issued 7,300 warnings to people not wearing masks.

The projected number of deaths forecast by early August in this country just nearly doubled, to more than 134,000 in that well-known model from the University of Washington. The reason?

ALI MOKDAD, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: It's one of them is increased mobility before the relaxation, premature relaxation of social distancing. We're adding more presumptive deaths as well, and we're seeing a lot of outbreaks, in the Midwest, for example.

WATT (voice-over): Another model used by the administration projects a sharp rise in deaths, to around 3,000 a day by June 1st, according to sources; and a rough eight-fold increase in the number of new cases every day nationwide.

Now, in 15 states, the daily new case count is falling. Among them, those northeast hot spots.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: You see the decline is, again, not as steep as the incline, but reopening is more difficult than the close down.

WATT (voice-over): But in 20 states the daily new case count is still rising. Among them, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois.

The Governor of California will now allow some retail to open Friday, with significant modifications. He says certain areas of lower concern can move even faster.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: We will afford them that right with conditions and modifications that meet the health needs of the entire state.

[20:05:00]

WATT (voice-over): Meanwhile, the White House is now focusing on 14 potential vaccines.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are very confident that we're going to have a vaccine at the end of the year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miracles can happen. It could come together. But I'm certainly not banking on it.

WATT (voice-over): The makers of that potential therapeutic, remdesivir, say they have now donated 140,000 courses to the federal government.

DANIEL O'DAY, CEO, GILIAD SCIENCES: They will determine, based upon things like ICU beds, where the course of the epidemic is in the United States. They will begin shipping tens of thousands of treatment courses out early this week.

WATT (voice-over): And today in D.C. history was made.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! All persons having business before the honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States are admonished to give their attention.

WATT (voice-over): That's the Supreme Court, for the first time ever meeting by teleconference.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Nick, the White House is pushing back on the projections that are reported today. What did they say?

WATT: Yes, pushing back strongly against the projection, Anderson, that says that we're going to have 3,000 deaths a day by June 1st. And we're going to see the daily case count increasing eightfold.

They are pushing back heavily. We just got the statement from Judd Deere, White House spokesperson. This is not a White House document, nor has it been presented to the coronavirus task force or gone through inter-agency vetting.

This data is not reflective of any of the modeling done by the task force or data that the task force has analyzed. Make of that what you will. Anderson?

COOPER: Nick Watt. Nick, thanks very much. Our Chief Medical Chief Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now. Sanjay, I want to get to specific numbers in a moment, but just in terms of what we're seeing and what we're hearing, clearly people eager to get back to some sort of version of normal. Are things happening too fast?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: They seem to be, Anderson. There was these gating criteria that were put forward by the White House, somewhat general, but still, you know, saying 14-day downward trend that you needed in cases.

That was to sort of give some evidence that things were, you know, objectively going in the right direction. And most of the states that -- many of the states that are opening the week, that have opened over the last week, did not meet those criteria.

Many of them had their peak just over the last few days, so I think it's too fast. I think the reality is, any time things start to open, given that there is a contagious virus out there, there are going to be people who become infected, as you and I have talked about -- people who would become infected that otherwise wouldn't if we weren't open.

I think it's just a question of how many, you know. There's all these different models out there. The scenario that Nick Watt was just talking about was a scenario, you know, that -- some version of that's been out there for some time. but there are other scenarios as well.

Right now, I think it's pretty clear that we aren't getting better in terms of the overall numbers of cases every day. We're sort of plateaued. Maybe not necessarily getting worse, but not getting better. Not coming off the back end of that curve.

COOPER: In the new government number, the slides with the CDCs logo on them which were obtained by "The New York Times" first, they project a rise to 3,000 deaths a day in the U.S. by June 1st.

I know the White House is disputing those numbers. They say those aren't White House numbers. They weren't presented to the coronavirus task force. So they are in line with other projections and clearly the administration is concerned that things may be going in the wrong direction.

GUPTA: Yes, I mean --

COOPER: At least some are. GUPTA: -- it's interesting, because I followed these models carefully

since January, and there were these various scenarios, sort of the mild pandemic scenario, the moderate, the more severe.

And what these were, it seems like maybe these scenarios were created more than a month ago, and in some ways the actual numbers that we're seeing in terms of numbers of cases and numbers of deaths, in some ways have been worse than that scenario up until this point.

But the point is, I think, Anderson, is at this plateau right now, are we going to sort of start to head back up or are we going to go down? And there's -- the plateau is definitely lasting longer than I think the modelers would have suggested.

But I think what's concerning at this point is that we're at this inflection point. And if we start heading back up and we get into exponential growth, meaning it's not just going up linearly, but all of a sudden starts to really shoot up, as we saw in mid-March, that would be a real concern.

We could double the number of deaths every single day. We could go from 25,000 people becoming infected every day to in the hundreds of thousands of people being infected every day.

There's just over a million people that have been confirmed right now with the infection. If you start talking about 100 or 200,000 people every day that have the infection, that's a million people a week, even more than that.

[20:10:00]

So that's what we have to prevent. And I think that's -- when you ask me, "Is it too early," that's why I'm answering that I think it is, because you want to avoid that exponential growth again.

COOPER: Sanjay, I want to bring in -- stay with us. I want to bring in Dr. Chris Murray. He's obviously the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, we've often had him on.

It's their modeling that we mentioned earlier, that's been cited by the White House, which now projects deaths above 134,000. Dr. Murray, thank you for being with us.

Can you walk us through the new numbers? Because, I mean, I think the last time we talked, I can't remember exactly, but I think your projections were in the 60,000 range. They had been as high as 81,000, I think, at one point.

What are the specific factors that have made the numbers jump so high just since last week?

CHRIS MURRAY, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Well, we had been operating in the modeling assuming that states were going to stay the course, keep social distancing on through to the end of May, bring new infections down to a really low level, and then states would switch over to a testing, contact tracing, isolation strategy.

That's clearly not happening, so we've now built into the modeling what we're seeing around the country, both in terms of the mandates coming off, but also, even before the mandates came off, where we see in the mobility data, people starting to get out more, having more interaction. All that translates into greater risk of transmission.

And what we see is some states will continue going up. Texas, Georgia, Florida, a series of states in the Midwest. Other states will have much slower declines than would have occurred if there wasn't this increase in mobility.

So all that put together gives us a much bigger number by August. It also has a bigger range, and it has states with transmissions running well into July and August.

You know, the way to think about this is there's two things happening: people getting out, being more active, some people going back to work; and, on the other side, states are scaling up testing. That's why we're seeing more cases in some places, and that's a good sign.

And the temperature is going up, and we do see a statistical correlation between transmission and temperature, and what's going to happen is going to be the balance of those forces.

COOPER: Sanjay, do you have a question, I think?

GUPTA: Yes, you know, I'm curious what you -- what thought, Professor Murray, of these -- I guess it was probably a scenario that was released from today, from -- that may have come from Johns Hopkins originally, that suggested that we could go to some 200,000 new infections a day, and some 3,000 deaths a day.

And it's tough to even say that out loud, but that would be about a 1.5% mortality. What do you think of that? Does that make sense to you at all, based on your modeling?

MURRAY: Well, you know, there is a huge range of possibilities out there. Our estimates for June 1st are about 890 deaths a day, so about a third of what that model is saying. And, perhaps more importantly, I think, you know, when you see the graph from that model, it's having the U.S. go into exponential growth, you know, after June 1st.

And I think it's down to this question about how much will testing, contact tracing scale up, rising temperature, put brakes on transmission? How much will people be cautious? Will they wear a mask, will they avoid physical interaction on average?

And if that goes in the direction that we think the balance will be, we'll end up well below the 3,000 deaths a day. But it really depends what states do, what people do.

COOPER: And you found that there is a statistical correlation between mobility and transmission. I mean, does that -- can you explain that? Is that based on data you've collected in the past week or so since the states have begun to ease restrictions? MURRAY: So, what we've done is we've gone back and we looked at this

"R" term, you know, how many people does each case infect? And we've looked at it by state all the way back to mid-March; and then we've run statistical correlations or regressions, you know, to explore that relationship with population density, with mobility, with temperature, and with testing per capita; and we find really strong relationships.

And the strongest is mobility. So there's clearly a huge relationship between how much people are out and about and how much transmission occurs. And it also means that when we cut mobility with social distancing, that was having a very beneficial effect on transmission.

So no surprise, as people go back to being more active and interacting with each other, we're going to see increased transmission.

[20:15:00]

GUPTA: Professor Murray, when I looked at some of your models earlier on, you did show this scenario where we could get to a really low level of infection. I can't remember if it was .1 percent or whatever the number was.

You see places around the world like New Zealand where you get really low rates of infection. Are you still optimistic that we can get there? I mean, there's been a lot of tough news lately. Is there some hope for optimism in terms of these low levels of infection possibilities?

MURRAY: Well, I think New Zealand is a fantastic example because they put in place with clear criteria the, sort of, stay-at-home orders, the whole social distancing package. They waited until transmission got to a really low level and now they're scaling back, and they have clear criteria by which they'll go back to social distancing if it rebounds.

We thought that that's what would happen in the U.S., that -- go the distance, stay to the end of May, get transmission to, sort of, New Zealand levels and then it's, sort of, manageable with contact tracing, isolation, testing.

Clearly that's not going to happen. I think we've entered a new phase. People in the U.S. are going to become more active. States are going to take off mandates. So now it's going to be really up to individuals to try to minimize their exposure themselves, especially those that can.

Some people don't have the luxury of having jobs where they can work from home. But, you know, wear a mask, avoid as much contact as possible, and we've really got to focus on scaling up testing and contact tracing and isolation.

And I think the most important thing is, if we can just space out, you know, the relaxation of social distancing even a little bit more, it's going to make that task more possible, right.

COOPER: Wow. This is -- yes, it's depressing. More deaths -- we're talking about more deaths, more transmissions. Obviously, there is a trade-off for getting the economy going, as well, but that's what it boils down to. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you, Chris Murray, as well. Appreciate all your work.

Still ahead, how should the federal government respond to these projected spikes in fatalities and caseloads? Two former Secretaries of Health and Human Services join me to discuss. Also, the spike is yet to alter any state plans to reopen. Ohio governor, Mike DeWine, is going to join me to talk about whether these new projections in any way affect his timeline for Ohio.

[20:17:30]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: We're focused tonight on the sharp increase in the number of projected deaths from coronavirus, two reports basically projecting a large spike in fatalities.

And before the break, I spoke to the head of the institute that authored one of the reports about the reason for the spike. Dr. Chris Murray at the University of Washington said there is, quote, "clearly a relationship between how much people are out and about and how much transmission occurs."

Joining me now are two former Secretaries of the Health & Human Services Department. Donna Shalala, who served in the Clinton administration, is currently a congresswoman from Florida, and Kathleen Sebelius, who served in the Obama administration, is the former governor of Kansas.

Secretary Sebelius, how concerned are you, first of all, about these new higher death toll projections and compared to what we are already seeing, which is people coming out, not wearing masks, and states opening up?

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, FORMER SECRETARY OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Well, Anderson, I'm very concerned, and I think that we all should be concerned. We are a big country. We have a disease that's moving from spot to spot.

I listened to Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, over the weekend, who talked about the fact that we are in for a slow simmering summer where disease outbreaks are likely to occur.

And what he said is that although the last six weeks of mitigation -- strong mitigation in some states, of staying at home and social distancing and really locking down, definitely had an impact, but it didn't have as much as an impact as people would have hoped.

The curve has really not gone very much down. We're on a plateau, which means as we open up, as we continue to have hot spots and meatpacking plants in places like Kansas, in nursing homes, in prisons all over this country, we are going to see outbreaks continue to occur. And I don't know any state, as a former governor, any state who has

actually met the guidelines that the CDC put out, of 14 days of decline in disease, or is ready for the kind of massive contact tracing that we need to be able to do with testing to isolate cases as they begin to reoccur.

COOPER: Congresswoman Shalala, given what Secretary Sebelius was just saying, none of these states really have met the 14-day criteria. I find it sort of stunning that -- obviously President Trump was embarrassed by suggesting that perhaps studies should be done of injecting disinfectants into people, and so coronavirus task force briefings have stopped.

It seems like the administration now essentially just wants this to be a state-wide effort, state by state, and not have the Trump administration be the face of this on a daily basis.

REP. DONNA SHALALA (D-FL): You know, it's a stunning lack of leadership and it's a human tragedy that's unfolding. Each of these lives are precious. The administration should have hit this with a hammer.

They never purchased the testing supplies that would have been necessary. They never purchased the PPE. This should not have ever -- the supply issue should have never been left to the states.

And the standards and the states' strategies should have been brought to the federal government, approved by them, and then implemented by the states and funded by the states. A group of us have introduced a bill that does exactly that.

But hitting it with a hammer was very important initially. And instead they went tap, tap, tap, and basically said, okay, states, you decide. You purchase everything. And they left it to the states.

[20:25:00]

You know, it's like the Articles of Confederation when they were sort of competing against each other. We are one country, and it demanded fabulous leadership, and we just didn't get it.

And hitting it with a hammer, it's our behavior -- hitting it with a hammer and then asking people to stay at home as part of that strategy, it would have at least driven this downward.

And now we're out there opening up restaurants with no testing. We have grocery stores opened and everybody that works there is not being tested. We're not even testing all the people that are cleaning buildings, including our hospitals.

And we're falling further behind, in my judgment, even though it looks like we're leveling-off. And I'm -- I'm scared to death about these frenetic openings, and it's not like I stay -- like staying inside. I hate staying inside.

COOPER: Secretary Sebelius, I mean, what's your advice to people who are watching tonight? Because, I mean, this -- it is frightening. Obviously, look, everybody wants to get back to work, get back in business and get going, and -- you know, be outside.

But this is not a situation where an individual just being responsible protects that individual.

SEBELIUS: That's right.

COOPER: It's -- your safety is dependent on other people, you know, behaving, at least wearing a mask.

SEBELIUS: Well, I think that in many states, and I'm fortunate to live in one where our governor has been excellent at every step along the way. We have a wonderful Secretary of Health and Environment who gives very clear daily briefings, who believes in science. We follow the science, and we're going to do that.

The problem is, you know, across the border we have a governor who is not paying so much attention, and we have a big bi-state Kansas City area where half the people are in Missouri and half the state are in Kansas: very different rules.

We desperately need federal guidance. I'm terrified by the fact, now, that I hear that the administration not only blocked Dr. Fauci from testifying in the House, as requested on Friday, but now they're going to block task force members, and I'm really interested in the scientists. I'm not so interested in the politicians.

I want the scientists to talk clearly to the American public about what is going on. I want CDC to put out federal guidance on how contact tracing should be done, what are the criteria, how fast it should be done; and I'm hoping that Donna Shalala and her colleagues in the House, as they have provided such terrific leadership, demand transparency on what is going on, and demand that the federal government step up with one voice.

Because until we have some kind of confidence that we are getting a message, no one is going to leave their own neighborhood, or their own block.

COOPER: Yes.

SEBELIUS: You can rely on what you can see around you. Until you have some confidence there is some pattern of similarity, nobody is going anywhere.

COOPER: Well, congresswoman Shalala, I mean, what happened -- like, you know, the president talked about "Liberate Michigan." Liberate the scientists. Why aren't we hearing -- if the president doesn't want the coronavirus task force any more, I get that, I get why he wouldn't want to, after the last performance.

But why aren't we hearing from the CDC every day, and the National Institutes of Health? And, you know, the CDC used to be a really respected organization. It seems like they've been muzzled or kneecapped. SHALALA: In fact, they've muzzled lots of people in the government,

including firing the I.G. at H.H.S, who put out a report that was so evenhanded they literally must not have read it. And the idea of firing someone who has oversight is really outrageous.

But the idea of telling Tony Fauci, one of the world's greatest scientists that he can testify at the Senate, but not at the House because they don't want him to spend the time, after they have tied him up in briefings and in meetings for literally two months, is really unacceptable.

COOPER: Yes.

SHALALA: And it's unacceptable to muzzle any scientist, because we need clear information, as my colleague has just said.

COOPER: Yes. Congressman Shalala, I appreciate your time. Secretary Sebelius, as well.

A quick programming note: you can join Jake Tapper as he investigates what has happened during the U.S. fight against COVID-19. The CNN special report, "The Pandemic and the President," that airs tonight at 11:00 p.m. Eastern. It's definitely worth watching.

Up next on 360, I'll talk to the Ohio governor Mike DeWine about his state slowly reopening against the stark backdrop of a big jump in the projected death rates nationwide.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:34:30]

COOPER: Breaking news tonight, a key modeling projection has vaulted the number of estimated deaths caused by the pandemic to more than 134,000 by early August. That's nearly double the last projection, due in part to relaxing social distancing. This, as dozens of states start to reopen.

Joining me is Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine, a state that is slowly starting to reopen.

Governor, thanks so much for being with us. I know how busy you are. How concerned are you that your state -- about the pace of opening?

Obviously it's always a balance. You're in a difficult position.

[20:35:00]

How do you balance these new projections, the modeling showing potential increases, with the need to have people work and get back to their lives?

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): Well, that is the balance, and we think we can do two things at once. But, obviously, the news out today is very concerning: it should be concerning to every American. We're trying to balance it this way: you know, we've seen for about

three weeks a slight downward trend in hospitalization, which we think is good. We'd like for it to be, obviously, much -- much more downward.

You know, we now have something we didn't have a couple weeks ago, and that is a real capacity in regard to testing. We dramatically increased this with a contract, and also with Ohio manufacturers making a lot of the swabs.

So we're going to have, really, a very vigorous tracing program, about 1,800 people around the state of Ohio. So that's one way that we think that we can stay on top of this.

But you're right; I watched part of your program tonight.

Look, people -- it's warmer weather, people want to get out. There certainly is more movement in Ohio than we have seen before, and I think all of that is natural, but what we're trying to get people to do is wear the mask when they go out, and, you know, keep that social distancing. It's very, very important.

COOPER: So, you said you have 1,800 people for contact tracing. Do you know what the number was prior to this? Just in, you know --

DEWINE: Yes, we don't have them yet, though. You know --

COOPER: Okay.

DEWINE: Anderson, we don't have them yet.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: That's the point, 1,800. What is that compared to normal times?

DEWINE: Yes, we probably have about 660, something like that, right now, which is norm. We're starting to ramp that up; we got a crash program to do that. But it's not going to come overnight, we know that, but it's just very, you know, very important that we do that.

The other thing we've done is we have slowly started to roll out, and gone into different industries.

For example, we've got -- we're talking -- looking at restaurants and bars. We have not done them yet, but we've got -- we put together business working groups, who worked alongside health people to come up with the best practices in every one of the industries.

So, it's not only about when we're going to do it, but it's about how we're going to do it.

COOPER: Yes.

DEWINE: And we think that, with that business help, we've got the "How" down as well as we can get it down. COOPER: You had amended it that people wear masks in stores, and

correct me if I'm wrong, and then there was, obviously, a backlash to that, and so you went back on that.

I'm wondering what's wrong with the idea of people wearing masks in stores, in an enclosed space? It's not even for them, it's for everybody else in the store. Can a -- if that's not law, can a business still insist that people either wear a mask, or -- and if not, they don't come in?

DEWINE: Sure. Yes. No, no, absolutely, a business can do that. You know, we're trying to, you know, change the culture of wearing mask to show that it's exactly what you said it was, and that is you're wearing it for someone else. It is the right thing to do. What our -- what we came back with, though, was a mandate that every employee would have to wear a mask.

As you pointed out, we wanted to mandate that for people who would go into a restaurant, or people who would go into retail. The pushback we got was pretty hard. It became clear to me that this was just something that was a bridge too far, people were just not going to accept a mandate from the government.

What we are now doing is I'm talking a lot about it, and we really, you know, hope that people, when they think about this, will understand that this is a very important thing to do.

COOPER: I want to play something that former New Jersey governor Chris Christie said to our Dana Bash today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: Of course everybody wants to save every life they can. But the question is towards what end, ultimately? Are there ways that we can thread the middle here to allow that there are going to be deaths, and there are going to be deaths no matter what.

And if we can do things to keep people in the mode of wearing masks, of wearing gloves, of, you know, distancing where appropriate. We've got to let some of these folks get back to work, because if we don't we're going to destroy the American way of life, and these families, and it will years and years before we can recover.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEWINE: Well, I think --

COOPER: And that is what it boils down to. Do you agree with what he's saying?

DEWINE: Well, I think that it's absolutely true that there are a lot of costs for high unemployment, and a huge crash in the economy, that we have seen. And they're not all -- there are a lot of social costs, there are, obviously, the economic costs, but there are also medical costs, in the sense of health costs. [20:40:00]

You know, we -- generally, when the economy goes down, you see domestic abuse, for example, go up. You see depression go up. So there are, in fact, a lot of costs.

And so, we're trying to do two things in Ohio at once, and, you know, we're trying to do it very, very carefully. But I think that, you know, you are trying to do both of those things. But the bottom line really is, Ohioans have been great about distancing. They've got us this far. They flattened the curve. They got us to the point where we are today.

They're going to have to continue to do that if we're going to avoid a big spike in the number of cases and see a dramatic increase in the number of deaths. I have confidence that they can do that. But really, it's not the orders I issue or my health director issues. It's really what people do every day in their own lives that ultimately has this huge effect across the state.

COOPER: Yes, well, I'm sure you and the folks working with you are agonizing over these decisions. There is no easy answer. Governor DeWine, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

DEWINE: Congratulations on the baby. Great thing.

COOPER: Thanks very much. Thanks. Appreciate it.

DEWINE: Thank you.

COOPER: And more breaking news ahead. There is new reporting on what key American allies are saying about the origin of the virus. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:45:00]

COOPER: There is breaking news tonight in the intelligence tied to the origins of the coronavirus. Our senior national security correspondent, Alexander Marquardt, joins us with details. What have you learned, Alex?

ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, this is -- what we're hearing now is that the Trump administration pushing this line that this virus came out of a lab in Wuhan is really at odds with some of its closest intelligence partners.

There have been these two main theories, that it came out of a lab or it came out of a market. And I spoke with a western diplomatic official who says that the intelligence assessment -- this official has seen the intelligence -- says that it is highly unlikely that this was a lab accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Rather, that it was highly likely that this was a natural occurrence, that the virus was passed from an animal to a human. This is, according to this official, the growing assessment of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence sharing group. That is a crucial intelligence sharing coalition that the U.S. is part of, along with Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

And I spoke with another Five Eyes official who concurred that this is their assessment, this is what makes the most sense. This is only, Anderson, I should caution, an assessment. This means that it's not 100 percent that there is no smoking gun, according to the greater intelligence community.

This, Anderson, is not just a theory that is being pushed by the Trump administration. Sources have told us that senior officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has asked the intelligence agencies, including the CIA, to find evidence that lines up with this theory, that the virus came out of a lab.

So far, the U.S. intelligence community has not given their own assessment. In fact, in a remarkable statement last week, they came out saying that they are still looking into both of those theories, that it either came from the lab or it came from the market. Anderson.

COOPER: Alexander Marquardt, appreciate it. Thanks. President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been blaming China for causing the virus, as Alex was just saying. With me now, CNN chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta. So what have the president and Pompeo being saying about China?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, as Alex was just saying a few moments ago, they have been pushing this theory that it came out of a lab somehow. They've been pushing the line that it was more of a mistake in that lab in Wuhan, China, and not that it was a bioweapon.

We heard the Secretary of State on one of the Sunday talk shows over the weekend, saying that there was enormous evidence that this came out of a lab, and we heard the president at that town hall on Fox say that he believes that this was some kind of terrible mistake on the part of the Chinese, and that they are embarrassed by it and are covering it up.

Anderson, what we are lacking at this point is any evidence to back up any of these claims. And in addition to the skepticism that was expressed by the other intelligence communities, four U.S. partners that Alex was just talking about a few moments ago, there are reservations about this theory inside the public health community.

I can tell you a source close to the coronavirus task force has told me that it is still the belief among some members on that task force that this started with an animal to human infection, and not out of that lab. And in the words of the source, every time one of these outbreaks occurs, there is a theory that it started in a lab in China.

And sometimes it just doesn't pan out. That theory just doesn't pan out, and so you are seeing the administration trying mightily to lean in that direction, but they haven't presented the evidence to back it up yet.

COOPER: All right. Jim, appreciate it. I want to bring in CNN's David Culver who has reported extensively on the virus. He's in Shanghai tonight for us. And in Washington, we have CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

David, the DHS findings amplified by Secretary Pompeo that China was stockpiling supplies, hiding the seriousness of the virus, does that align with your reporting?

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mishandling, cover-up, some of the underreporting, silencing of whistle-blowers, Anderson, these are some of the many things that we highlighted early on in this.

To suggest, though, that this cover-up was also coexisting with a stockpiling of some of these badly needed PPE, doesn't really align. I've got to say, some of the folks that we would talk with on the front lines early on in this January into February -- there was a dire need here, so it wasn't that they were able to really stockpile, even.

They couldn't even meet the demand at the time. We know that because medical personnel were getting infected, some, in one hospital, by the dozens, and many losing their lives.

It also became highly politicized. You will recall when one of the first evacuation flights took off on January 29th, there was a week delay to then evacuate more American diplomats from Wuhan. And what we have learned shortly thereafter, was there was a back and forth between the Chinese and the U.S. governments over PPE.

Essentially, the aircraft that was coming into Wuhan was coming in empty. That angered the Chinese. They said, no, we've got to prioritize that airport for the aircraft that are coming in from South Korea and Japan bringing in medical supplies.

So it was something that was very sensitive early on. It was badly needed here. That said, we are now at a point where certainly, the Chinese have ramped up production, and there is a surplus.

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COOPER: Gloria, China is certainly, you know, there is a lot to point the finger at, there is a lot to, you know, be concerned about: their lack of transparency, a whole host of things.

It certainly, though, also plays into, you know, President Trump's favor, in terms of the election, in terms of making China the enemy, downplaying, you know, the -- his own wasting valuable time, the lost month of February that this administration had, where the president was, you know, pushing, you know, the idea that this was all going to disappear by April.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they're looking for an easy scapegoat, and they've clearly found one, I think, in China. China is not very popular in this country. Internal Republican polls show that China can be an easy scapegoat for them. But I think the problem they have here, Anderson, is that this raises

more questions.

For example, if the president was so convinced that China's to blame, why did he consistently praise President Xi, more than a dozen times in January, February, even into March? Why did he continue to communicate with him, and say, you know, they've got it under control? Was the president asleep at the switch here?

Was the president more interested, for example, in getting a trade deal with China at this point than getting at the truth? Was the president not briefed? Was he not paying attention to his intelligence briefs? I mean, these are all questions that have to be answered.

And, Anderson, you know, one day after the president said he was briefed on January 23rd, but it wasn't a really scary briefing about coronavirus, he said that he had spoken with Xi, and he said they had been working very hard to contain the coronavirus, and we appreciate their efforts and their transparency. And he then went on to thank the president.

COOPER: Yes, and Jim, obviously transparency is something they weren't being; the president said they were. Now the president, I assume, has talked to other people, and realized the benefit of going after China, and, you know, using that to, you know, dissuade people or kind of shield his own failures in this.

ACOSTA: Absolutely, Anderson. I tried to press the president on this late last week, and he suggested that one of the reasons why he was praising China and praising President Xi earlier this year was because he was, as Gloria was just saying, in the middle of these trade negotiations with China, trying to get a trade deal with China.

But, you know, you talk to Trump's surrogates, you look at Republican memos that are handed out to candidates up on Capitol Hill, lawmakers who are trying to keep their seat up on Capitol Hill. A lot of these internal strategy memos say, "Blame China. Defend or don't defend the president, but definitely blame China," and so it's a recurring theme inside the Republican party at this point.

What the president has not adequately answered are two things. One is, why was he praising China, praising President Xi, calling them transparent for months and months and months; and where is the evidence now that this is all China's fault?

Obviously, there is a lot to criticize when it comes to China. They're not the most transparent, obviously, they're a communist totalitarian regime, and so on. But that does not the president out of the fix where's he's at right now, which is in many ways the president was asleep at the switch, he was downplaying this for weeks, and now there is a very catastrophic death toll in the making -- Anderson

COOPER: Jim Acosta, David Culver, Gloria Borger, thanks very much.

Up next, we remember more of those who have died in this pandemic, including a five-month-old. We'll be right back.

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COOPER: Tonight, we remember more of those who died during this pandemic. Troy Sneed was a Grammy nominated singer, producer of gospel music. He grew up in Florida, and as a teenager, he dreamed of playing in the NFL. He had to give up football, though, in high school, because he sustained injuries.

That's when he turned to music. He joined the choir at Florida A&M University. From there, he went on to sing and produce gospel radio hits. In 1996, he appeared with the Georgia Mass Choir in the film, "The Preacher's Wife", with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston.

He and his wife, Emily, ran their own record label called "Emtro", which is a combination of their names. They were married for 27 years. They had four children. Troy Sneed was 52 years old.

Jay-Natalie La Santa is one of the youngest known victims of this virus. She was born just last November. Her dad, as you see, is a New York City firefighter. Her mom works for the Board of Education.

Jay-Natalie had a heart condition, so when she came down with a fever in March, her parents took her to the hospital. Her father called her a warrior princess with a fighting spirit, and she did fight this virus for a month in the hospital.

At one point the fluid in her little lungs started to clear and her parents were optimistic for her recovery. But she went into cardiac arrest and doctors couldn't resuscitate her. She was the only child and only grandchild in the family. Her grand mom said she was the most precious thing they had. Jay-Natalie La Santa was just five months old.

Our thoughts go out to them and all the families impacted by this virus. The news continues. I want to hand it over to Chris for "Cuomo Prime Time". Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: So much bad news, Anderson. I can't let go of the good news. How was the weekend with Wyatt? Come on, let's see the smile. There it is.

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