Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Twitter Labels Trump Tweets With Fact Check For The First Time; U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Approach 99,000, Nearly 1.7 Million Cases. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired May 26, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Some models suggesting potentially 125,000 dead in total. Brazil really anxious about what comes next -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, thank you very much, Nick Paton Walsh. And Anderson starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Good evening. We have breaking news tonight. Twitter has begun putting fact checking labels on some of the President's tweets. And Joe Biden has weighed in on the President taking jabs at him for wearing a mask. We'll have more on that shortly.
We begin with the hardest fact that we know. Some time tonight, or perhaps tomorrow, at the current rate, deaths from the coronavirus in this country will surpass 100,000.
One family's tragedy, one spouse's loss, one friend's absence, not ten times or a thousand times ten, it is one life lost and everything that means times 100,000.
Yet even as we grapple with that and we show you the faces of those who died, we want to focus especially tonight on the notion of this moment as a turning point when things could go either way.
Looking at the moving average of new cases nationwide over the last two weeks, you can see it's barely changed, holding steady at about 20,000.
Yet while as that line stays flat, thankfully, states and localities across the country have been lifting outbreak related restrictions.
And this holiday weekend, we saw not every place, but in many places, the almost total collapse of social distancing, which is troubling to the experts, including the World Health Organization who see this moment as a potential turn for the worst, toward a second peak in a first wave that is still hitting.
Not a second wave, a second peak. Others, the President included, are touting this as a turning point toward a reopened country. And for a moment, let's just assume that he's right and ask, what does presidential leadership look like at such a time so that what everyone hopes is a return to some kind of normality doesn't unleash a new wave of disease?
What kind of things should a President be doing and saying? What kind of behavior should he be modelling?
How should he be helping the country get through the loss of 100,000 American lives in just a matter of months?
Well, tonight he once again mocked the man running against him, former Vice President Biden for wearing a mask in public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Biden can wear a mask, but he was standing outside with his wife, perfect conditions, perfect weather. They're inside, they don't wear masks so I thought it was very unusual that he had one on. But I thought that was fine. I wasn't criticizing him at all. Why would I ever do a thing like that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: CNN's Dana Bash spoke with Vice President Biden and joins us shortly with his response to that. But the President asks a very good question considering the governors, Republicans as well as Democrats have been asking, telling and sometimes emotionally begging people to do just that -- to wear a mask.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. DOUG BURGUM (R-ND): If someone is wearing a mask, they're not doing it to represent what political party they're in or what candidates they support. They might be doing it because they have got a five-year-old child who has been going through cancer treatments.
They might have vulnerable adults in their life who currently have COVID and are fighting.
This is a -- I would say senseless dividing line and I would ask people to try to dial up your empathy and your understanding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Think about those two words: empathy and understanding. Those are qualities that have never carried partisan labels before, and they shouldn't.
In any case, asking people to cover their faces in public isn't or shouldn't even be up for discussion. Just ask some of the top -- the President's own top advisers. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: As the country begins to reopen, don't forget to wear a cloth face covering when in public.
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We have the scientific evidence of how important mask wearing is. DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND
INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Go out, wear a mask. Stay six feet away from anyone.
BIRX: A mask does prevent droplet from reaching others.
FAUCI: As long as you're not in a crowd and you're not in a situation where you can physically transmit the virus, and that's what a mask is for.
ADAMS: Remember, I wear my face covering to protect you, and you wear yours to protect me.
BIRX: And out of respect for each other, as Americans that care for each other, we need to be wearing masks in public when we cannot social distance.
ADAMS: We're all in this together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Just think about what Dr. Birx said there, out of respect for each other, out of care for each other. And yet, the President of the United States, the leader of this country, whose own Coronavirus Taskforce is recommending and pleading and urging that people wear a mask when they can't social distance outside, the President himself is undercutting that message.
Not just by not wearing a mask himself, but by mocking Vice President Biden for wearing a mask. That's what he's doing. He's mocking the idea of wearing a mask.
COOPER: And he has the gall to do that when all the people around him, they're forced to wear a mask. He doesn't, so he can appear on camera without a mask, but he can only do that because all the people around him, all the people who work in the White House who don't have a constant doctor like he does, they wear a mask to protect the President. The President does not do that for anybody else.
As we've been seeing over the holiday, people are following the President's example, and that is the saddest thing of all. The President says he doesn't understand why Vice President Biden would be outside wearing a mask because what the President does and what the person who wants to be President does actually matters to people. It actually has an impact.
People actually follow what the President does. It's amazing that people follow still what this President does after all he has said and all the lies he has told, and all the irresponsible things he has done. But so be it.
But he should know that, and he should respect the fact that he is president and that people look up to him and follow him and he is doing something that is endangering other people's lives. That is just the basic truth. And that's what leadership looks like today. If you can call it that.
Leadership today also apparently consists of spreading vile conspiracy theories on Twitter about the death of a former staffer for then Congressman Joe Scarborough and doing it over and over again, traumatizing her family and her husband so deeply that he wrote to Twitter begging the company to take down the President's tweets because they're not true about his wife.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: The woman who died, who you're suggesting that Joe Scarborough was responsible --
TRUMP: Yes, a lot of people suggest that, and hopefully someday people are going to find out. Certainly, a very suspicious situation, very sad, very sad and very suspicious. Question, please?
QUESTION: He asked you not to tweet any more, sir?
TRUMP: Go ahead, please, go.
QUESTION: Mr. President, have you seen the letter that was written by her husband begging Twitter to delete your tweets, talking about how hard it's been for his family, for him to deal with that?
TRUMP: Yes, I have, but I'm sure that ultimately they want to get to the bottom of it and it's a very serious situation. As you know, there is no statute of limitations. So, it would be a very good thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What a little man. He's just a little man. He's the leader of the free world and he is a little, little man.
A self-proclaimed wartime leader, a leader in the midst he says of a transition to greatness for the country, spreading falsehoods about a dead woman, despite the pain and the pleas of her husband and family, he doesn't have the guts to say he doesn't care about what they think.
No, no, he doesn't have the guts to say, you know what, I don't care what they think because this serves my political purposes. That's why he is doing it.
He doesn't have the guts to say it because he is just a little man despite his girth and size. He's a little man inside and he knows that.
That, too, is now what leadership looks like, the President of the United States raising conspiracy theories about a dead woman, though her family is begging Twitter to take them down.
As vile as the falsehoods are and as distracting as they are from the true facts at hand, the President always seems to have time for more, which is precisely what every expert on public health and public policy raises the opposite of what's called for. Telling the truth, they say, is vital to defeating a pandemic. Telling
the truth saves lives right now. Today, the President also found time to spread falsehoods about mail-in voting. Of course, there is no need to read the tweet out loud. The allegations are not true.
Up on the screen, you can see the blue label at the bottom. It's small. That's what Twitter does. That's their big fact check put there by Twitter to get the facts, and then can press on the link to find the facts.
You won't find the facts in the President's statements. I mean, Twitter is now acknowledging you won't find facts in the President's statements. That's where we are.
In the midst of a pandemic, this is what we're talking about, this is what the President is talking about every single day. Man. You think it's normal. You start to think this is just normal. It's not. Man, we are in trouble.
More on this from CNN chief White House correspondent, Jim Accosta who joins us now. Jim, how are the President and his team -- I mean, I know how they're responding to the move by Twitter, of course.
They're going to use this. They are going to fund raise off this. They are trying to silence him. What are they saying today?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, none of this is normal. The President has been lying on Twitter for many years now, and now twitter is starting to do something about it.
As you were just saying a few moments ago, there is no evidence that mail-in balloting leads to voter fraud, widespread voter fraud, but the President is tweeting about it anyway.
Twitter is just starting to do something about it. By the way, we should point out Twitter is not adding "Get the Facts" icons about the tweets about Joe Scarborough.
ACOSTA: Many of his other lies that he posts on Twitter, but moving beyond that, the President was lashing out at Twitter just a few moments ago saying he is not going to stand for Twitter, as he describes it, interfering in the 2020 election.
His campaign manager, Brad Parscale said that they saw this coming that Silicon Valley would pull out all the stops to prevent the President from getting his message out.
The White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany was putting out tweets just a short while ago trying to establish a claim between mail-in balloting and widespread voter fraud when there isn't a proven connection.
Anderson, this has been going on for some time now. This is one of the President's oldest lies. It goes all the way back to the 2016 campaign. He explained that the reason why he lost the Popular Vote to Hillary Clinton was because of undocumented immigrants voting in the 2016 election.
We should point out, he established a Voter Fraud Commission to find widespread voter fraud. That Commission produced no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
And so the President is going back to -- and you were just indicating this a few moments ago -- essentially a social media trick that he has pulled before and he is trying to do it again.
And now Twitter and other social media platforms, and perhaps others, will follow, are starting to do something about it. The question is whether or not the President can really do anything about this at this point.
He is threatening to do something about it, but that's all we have tonight from the President, an empty threat he will do something about it.
But Anderson, we should point out. This is -- and you and I both know this, this is a problem going on with this President and this administration for four years now.
Not only does the President have a problem with telling the truth. He has a problem with accepting the truth and all the studies have shown on this subject there is no widespread voter fraud in the U.S. and there is no proven link between mail-in balloting and voter fraud. Republican-led states have been doing it for years -- Anderson.
COOPER: Jim, is Melania Trump still running a campaign telling children online to be best? I mean, is that still like officially her thing?
Because the irony of that is just, you know, it just comes to mind such a strange thing that that's the slogan coming out of her part of the White House when -- I mean, you know, it's an obvious hypocrisy, but just a sad irony. The idea that is this really the best? Is this us at our best?
ACOSTA: Anderson, and they were celebrating the First Lady's Be Best Campaign the other day. I think, the simple way to break it down is perhaps over on the East Wing of the White House, they want the United States to be best, but the President, if you judge by his tweets, it is very much be worst over in the West Wing, especially when he is tweeting about television hosts having something to do with the deaths of a young staffer many years ago when there is absolutely no evidence of it.
And I think what is remarkable about what Twitter has done tonight, Anderson, it has laid down a marker. And I suspect this is not the first tweet that will be fact checked by Twitter in the weeks to come.
What's going to be really interesting to see, how the President responds to it because he has been using Twitter as a dumping ground as you know, Anderson, for his lies and conspiracy theories for years now -- Anderson.
COOPER: Jim Acosta. Jim, thanks very much.
As for how the President is specifically addressing the reality of 100,000 American lives lost on his watch, he tweeted in so many words, it could have been worse.
Quoting now, "For all the political hacks out there, if I hadn't done my job well and early, we would have lost 1.5 to 2 million people as opposed to the 100,000 plus that looks like will be the number (The number). That's 15 to 20 times more than we will lose."
Perspective now from Dr. Richard Besser, former Acting Director of the C.D.C. and currently the President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. And also with us, CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash.
So, Dana, we're nearing 100,000 deaths in this country, and the President is basically saying that if it weren't for him, the number would be much worse.
True, if it wasn't for social distancing, if it wasn't for people wearing masks, if it wasn't for people staying at home under the orders of governors around the country, yes, it would be much worse. That doesn't mean you've done a good job.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Not at all. But this is a President who doesn't really tend to dwell in facts like that, especially when he is trying to make a point and make a case that he wants to stick and this is how he succeeded in business, and you and I have talked about this a lot more lately than we have in the first three years of his presidency.
But he is doing that even more now, Anderson, because he is trying to will people to look at him as a leader, somebody who did well during this pandemic.
And he thinks that if he says it enough, it will make it true enough for people to believe.
But that doesn't make it true, it doesn't make it true.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, honestly -- right. He may have succeeded financially with casinos in Atlantic City. I can tell you there's a lot of people in Atlantic City who once held jobs in those casinos and then once they all declared bankruptcy, they're not particularly fans of his.
So, he may do well, but it doesn't mean that everybody else is doing well because of him.
BASH: No, absolutely. Look, he is desperate for some silver lining in this politically for himself. As the pandemic began to hit, he was telling anybody who would listen
to him in conversations that he had, according to people I talk to who are familiar with those conversations that he couldn't believe that this pandemic was happening to him.
He said, I can't believe this is happening to me. The economy is going so great. Everything was going so great. Everything was lined up so well for me to win reelection. But look at what's happening to me.
That is the mindset that has continued throughout this even as he has had to make, you know, tough decisions along with the governors who really were on the frontlines of this to change society dramatically so that the economy, unfortunately, has done very poorly, to save lives.
COOPER: Dr. Besser, just from a public health standpoint, the idea that the President has essentially now made wearing a mask, the dividing line between his supporters and those who oppose him, between being politically correct and being, you know, a tough person.
Just from a scientific standpoint, from a public health standpoint, that just seems like an extraordinarily dangerous thing to be playing with as the leader of the country, given what lies ahead in this pandemic.
DR. RICHARD BESSER, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE C.D.C.: You know, Anderson, when I ran emergency preparedness response at the C.D.C., we did everything possible to try and ensure that the response didn't become political, that it wasn't partisan, that we were working with both sides of the aisle to ensure that whatever response went forward was united. It was a time that the nation came together.
Public health science isn't about politics. It's about, what does the evidence say? And what gives me strength is when I see governors out talking about what people in their state should do -- governors from both sides of the aisle.
And they're standing there with their public health leaders and they're letting their public health leaders speak and they're nodding along, agreeing with the science, agreeing with the recommendations that if you're going out, you should wear a mask to protect others, that that's a good thing to do, that that's an American thing to do, that that's what we do to protect the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
It should make you feel good that you're doing this for the others in your community.
COOPER: Dana, you interviewed Vice President Biden today. He responded to the President retweeting that photo of him wearing a mask. What did he say about that?
BASH: Well, it was interesting, Anderson, before I even got a chance to ask about the masks, I was talking to him more broadly about the fact that he left his house for the first time in more than two months yesterday. He brought up the mask. I followed up. Here's what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: You mentioned the mask, that you wore a mask yesterday. President trump went to a Memorial Day service, he did not wear a mask.
Now, to some people, making fun of you, he did.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Yes.
BASH: He did on Twitter. He retweeted a photo of you wearing it. He is trying to belittle you for wearing a mask, making it seem like it's a sign of weakness. Is it?
BIDEN: He's a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way. I mean, every leading doc in the world is saying we should wear a mask when we're in a crowd, especially when you know you're going to be in a position where you're going to inadvertently get closer than 12 feet to somebody.
I know we're 12 feet apart. I get that. But it is just absolutely -- this macho stuff for a guy -- I shouldn't get going, but it just is -- it's cost people's lives. It's costing people's lives.
Like I said, we're almost 100,000 dead today -- 100,000 people. Columbia study is showing if we could have just started a week earlier, it would have saved thousands of lives. I mean, this is a tragedy.
BASH: But wearing a mask has become a cultural and political flashpoint and the President is involved in that, even stoking that.
BIDEN: Sure he is, and he is stoking deaths. That's not going to increase the likelihood of people that are going to be better off.
BASH: Do you think wearing a mask projects strength or weakness?
BIDEN: Leadership. What it presents and projects is leadership. Presidents are supposed to lead, not engage in folly and be falsely masculine.
It reminds me of the guys that I grew up with playing ball. They walk around with a ball in their hand, but they didn't like to hit very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASH: Questioning his masculinity, you know, sure, we're going to hear a response to that. But he's so eager, obviously, to have this contrast with President Trump, talking about masks, saying it is leadership.
Anderson, tonight he even -- the Vice President even changed his Twitter profile picture to the one of him wearing a mask.
COOPER: And so Brit Hume tweeted this out and said the President, you know, doesn't want to look ridiculous. You know what would make the President look ridiculous? A ventilator and a feeding tube. That doesn't look so great either.
That's not something anybody wants to see and anybody wants to have happen. But he is the President of the United States, and leadership matters. It's just so strange to me, Dr. Besser, this time that we're in that -- I mean, that this administration is undercutting their own message on the pandemic for -- I mean, for political reasons.
It's the only thing -- it's the only explanation for what the President is doing.
BESSER: You know, as we look at the way forward here. You know, we talk about what would have happened if we had taken action sooner.
But I think it's much more important to focus on what will happen if we don't follow the public health way forward. And the spikes that the World Health Organization talks about occurring, that's preventable.
That's preventable if we follow that road map. It's not asking a lot of people to say when you go out, you wear a mask, you keep six feet apart, and you wash your hands frequently.
It's the way we protect those essential workers and nonessential workers, people who have to go back to work to put food on the table.
When we think about the disparate impact here, what can we do to reduce that? And it's following public health recommendations and being proud that you're doing so.
COOPER: Yes, Dr. Besser, I appreciate it. Dana Bash as well.
Coming up next, looking closer at where the country stands as state after state opens further. Also, Dr. Besser spoke about both sides of the aisle, later tonight, we are joined by the Republican Governor of Ohio and we're going to talk about the importance as he sees it wearing a mask.
COOPER: We talked about the politics of the presidential behavior surrounding the outbreak tonight, we want to look closer right now at the public health facts on the ground as states reopen.
Officials make tough choices, and in some places, hospitals continue to cope with the strain.
Take a look now from CNN's Nick Watt.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): We're nearing 100,000 dead
and we're reopening. While the rate of new cases still climbs in 17 states, including California.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We are walking into the unknown, the untested, literally and figuratively. And we have to be guided by the data.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT (voice over): Among the 20 states seeing new case numbers fall, New York.
Some traders today back on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. It's been more than two months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN CORPINA, SENIOR MANAGING PARTNER, MERIDIAN EQUITY PARTNERS: It's a great sign, it's a great symbol of our economy getting back in motion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT (voice over): Mandatory masks and everyone must sign a waiver stating they know the risks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): They wanted to get back to business but they wanted to be smart, and they're doing it in a way that keeps people safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT (voice over): Long Island starts to reopen tomorrow. New Rochelle, that early New York hot spot, starts today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR NOAM BRAMSON (D), NEW ROCHELLE, NEW YORK: I think people in New Rochelle take special satisfaction in reaching this milestone, and we are cautiously optimistic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT (voice over): Will there be a fallout from that now infamous Memorial Day party in the Ozarks? Well, we'll find out in a week or two.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SAM PAGE, COUNTY EXECUTIVE, ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI: The responsible thing to do now is to self-quarantine. Don't put others at risk. Don't put your loved ones at risk. And make better decisions moving forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT (voice over): Neighboring Arkansas, a month after reopening began, now suffering a sharp spike in cases.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREN LEE, VISITING HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS: I could get killed by COVID today or I could get hit by a bus or a car tomorrow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT (voice over): Meanwhile, in Vernon, California, more than 150 workers at this meat processing plant have tested positive. Outbreaks reported at eight other facilities in the city.
The union wants the plant closed for cleaning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN GRANT, President, UFCW LOCAL 770: The spikes keep coming and it's sort of like Amity Island. There is an invisible insidious deadly shark out there and it's time to get people out of the water to figure out what's going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT (voice over): C.D.C. numbers show nearly 80 percent of COVID deaths are among 65 and older, but interestingly, nearly 80 percent of cases are in the under 65.
Attempts at potential vaccine is moving into human trials and today Merck announced it's also entering the race, but an effective vaccine is still far from guaranteed.
WATT: And today, some bad news on the antibody tests. Here was the hope, that if you had COVID and recovered, you would produce antibodies, you'd be immune and you could go back to work.
First issue, we don't yet know for sure that if you've had it and recovered, you are immune. And now the C.D.C. is saying that those antibody tests are wrong, maybe half of the time.
They are nowhere near good enough to be sending anyone back to school or back to work. They are not good enough to be making any policy decisions -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, that's a blow. That's really upsetting. Nick Watt, I appreciate it. Thanks, though. It's good to know the facts, though.
Joining us now, Chris Murray, Director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, also Michael Osterholm, Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, also CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Dr. Murray, your newest forecast showing numbers trending downward. Can you explain what you've been finding?
DR. CHRIS MURRAY, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Yes. Our release from today we're forecasting through to early August, 132,000 deaths. That's down. That's a real surprise to us.
And, again, it's reflecting that the scale up of mobility that started late April ran all the way through May took off over the weekend, has not yet translated into big numbers.
And so the data are suggesting that our forecasts were a bit high and so we're coming in at 132,000 deaths now. But there are some states that look pretty troublesome in the near term.
COOPER: When you said pretty troublesome in the near term, what do you mean?
MURRAY: Well, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, the Carolinas and Arizona, the trend up in cases has been there, but it's also turning into a tick up in deaths. And, you know, people sometimes argue that up trends in cases are due to more testing, but that's not going to explain the rise in deaths. And so we're expecting -- we're certainly going to watch those states really closely, and those are top of our concern list for what may happen in the next week or two.
COOPER: Michael, you know, when you see videos of, you know, like the party in the Ozarks in that pool, obviously those are very alarming things to look at. You know, again, one can say, well, that's just one group of people. Maybe it's not representative of what's happening elsewhere. How do you see where we are right now?
MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH AND POLICY: Well, I think one of the challenges we have is helping people understand that when they protect themselves, they're not only just protecting themselves, they're also protecting others. This has been a real challenge to get them to see that. That basically, you know, if I drive too fast and I go off the road, it's my issue. If I smoke it's my issue. But here we're actually seeing that they can transmit the virus to others.
And also what is happening is in our health care facilities around the country that they're overtaxed right now in intensive care units in a number of locations and they pose a real risk to transmitting that virus inside that hospital if we don't have adequate protective equipment. So we have to be mindful and actually keep hitting home the message, you're not just doing this for yourself, but you're also doing this to protect others.
COOPER: Sanjay, I mean, you know, you heard the person in Nick Watt's piece saying, well, look, I could get hit by a car tomorrow or I could get COVID. Obviously the difference is, you know, if you get hit by a car tomorrow, you're probably not going to be taking out a lot of people with you. Whereas, if you get COVID, you very possibly could be infecting an awful lot of people and some of them could die.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, it's forced I think people to re-evaluate risk in a different way. I mean, as Michael Osterholm said, the idea that it's just my risk is not the case. I think the good news is, and maybe this is part of what's being reflected in Chris Murray's models as well is that I do think, you know, a significant percentage of the country sort of does get that. I mean, obviously there are these just crazy scenarios that we see in places like the Ozarks. We saw some of that in other places in Houston, here in Georgia, you know, more than a dozen students at one high school have tested positive after -- from what we hear, a graduation party.
So, you're going to hear about those situations. But it does seem, even as I go around here in Georgia, you know, people are out and about. It's open, so to speak. But you sort of get the sense, it's not a bifurcated thing either you're open or you're shut. People are open but, you know, there are people who are maintaining physical distance, wearing masks and I think we're getting better evidence than even before that that does make a difference that, you know, we thought it would. But it seems like it's making maybe even a bigger difference than we realized.
COOPER: Dr. Murray, I mean, there are some who look at, you know, the models and say, well, the data changes so often. Should anyone take any real stock in them? You know, a week from now or two weeks from now, you might find because you put in other data, you know, and obviously things change in a situation like this. But they might go up, they might go down. After a while people start to kind of discount the whole idea of the model. What do you say to that?
MURRAY: Well, I say that I think the trajectory of what's going to happen with the pandemic in each state is really very much in the hands of the people in those states. It's -- you know, we now have really clear evidence that wearing masks works. It's probably a 50 percent protection against transmission. We know that social distancing works. We see that in the statistics as well. Those places that, you know, have been wearing masks that seems to decrease transmission at the community level as well.
And so, you know, what happens in the next month or two is very much in the hands of how people respond. Particularly, as the weather gets warmer, they're getting sick of quarantine, they want to get out. It's now this critical period that's going to determine the course of each state. So, of course, we're going to get some surprises.
The data are going to come in and say that some people are more cautious in some states. You know, up in the northeast that had the big epidemics, the survey data show that people are much more likely to be wearing a mask all the time, because they've seen how bad it can be. And I think the real risk is in the places that have been spared the big epidemics, may not understand how serious the risk is. And then they're going to end up with a lot of transmission.
COOPER: Michael, you know, I talked to a professional last night who kind of, you know -- I don't know if throwing cold water on is the right way to describe it, but raised a lot of concerns about the likelihood of actually getting a vaccine in, you know, 12 to 18 months, which is the figure that's been thrown around since, you know, since back in February, I guess. I'm wondering, I mean, is it -- and a lot of the points you made seemed very rational given the history, the difficulty of getting a vaccine. You said a lot of money is being thrown at companies that don't necessarily have a track record of -- on vaccines and that, you know, there's a low likelihood that there will be a workable vaccines that's, you know, effective and available in that kind of time frame.
OSTERHOLM: Well, you know, I think you just --
COOPER: Do you think -- are you --
COOPER: -- gung-ho on the idea that there will be a vaccine in that timeline?
OSTERHOLM: Well I think you just laid out a whole number of issues when we're talking about a workable vaccine. It's how soon could a vaccine be available? How much would could be available. How well will it work? What if it only just reduces the severity of illness and doesn't actually prevent infection?
We know that in some of the monkey studies that were recently done with vaccines, it didn't prevent them from getting infected, it just prevented them from getting sick. We have a number of questions yet to ask. So as I've said to you before, you know, we hope we're going to have an effective vaccine available for everybody but hopes not a strategy. So I think it really is a serious question.
This is why we have to keep considering the fact that in this country, about 5 percent to 7 percent of the population has been infected to date. This virus is not going to slow down his transmission until it gets to the 60 percent or 70 percent level, and then it just slows down it doesn't stop. So yes, we have to be prepared for a world where vaccine may not be what we all hope it will be a number two is this whole idea of coming out now is just to start This is the second inning of a nine inning game. And we have to understand that.
COOPER: Yes. Michael Osterholm, Chris Murray, Sanjay, as always, thank you very much.
Just ahead, given all the video you've been seeing. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine joins us to continue the discussion about how to get people to take their safety seriously and the safety of their loved ones and the people around us and strangers that they don't know, fellow citizens. Also have a talk about the President's role in that. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:42:02]
COOPER: Tonight, we've been talking about the difficulties reopening with death still rising and infections a threat and how we've already seen this past Memorial Day weekend examples of people who fail to heed guidance about social distancing and wearing masks.
Our Gary Tuchman was in Alabama this weekend and one beachgoer explained to him why he doesn't wear a mask, because the President doesn't.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, if he's not wearing a mask, I'm not going to wear a mask. If he's not worried, I'm not worried.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The President?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joining us now is Governor Mike DeWine, Governor of Ohio, where death just crossed the 2,000 mark. Governor, thanks for being with us. I know how busy you are. You've been a vocal proponent for wearing masks. It's something you tried to enforce and had to kind of back off it and leave it up to people's good sense of judgment and care for their fellow citizens.
When you hear that young man say he's not wearing a mask because the President isn't wearing a mask, obviously, the President -- all the people around the President are wearing masks. So he is not wearing a mask for, you know, because I guess he feels he doesn't have to. What do you say to people in your state to try to get them to wear masks?
GOV. MIKE DEWINE (D), OHIO: Well, I say that they should wear masks. And first of all, Anderson, one thing that I think that we have going for us, this past weekend was the first weekend that our restaurants were open inside and that our bars were open inside. And I got some very good reports back. Sure, there was a few outliers.
But by and large, very good. And everybody who works in any business retail or manufacturing in Ohio today is wearing a mask. What we're urging people to do is when they're out in public with other people, when they go into a store, we're urging them to wear a mask. And kind of the way I explained it today was that this is about loving your fellow human being. You know, the instruction is old as the Bible. You know, you're supposed to love your fellow man and woman and that's what we're really doing.
And I think that's the message that you're not wearing it so much for yourself as you were wearing it for that person that you're going to come in contact with. And that -- and I think the thing that the science, part of the science behind this is we have so many people we found who are walking around, they have absolutely no symptoms. They don't have a clue they have this, but they do, in fact have it. And that's why it's so important I think that we just assume that that person we're coming in contact with that they have it, and they should assume we have it. And if we both wear the masks, that gives us some added protection. You know, in addition, to that, 6, 8 feet distancing
COOPER: You've talked about this yourself that wearing a mask is not about politics, it's about protecting people. And I think that's such an important point. The idea that now this line is kind of being drawn between wearing a mask is somehow, you know, you're giving into political correctness as opposed to caring about the health of your fellow human beings and your fellow citizens and, you know, your fellow countrymen and women.
But the idea that it's now politicized -- the act of wearing a mask is politicized somehow just for -- I mean, just from a rational public health standpoint, that just seems such a dangerous thing in the midst of a pandemic.
DEWINE: We had two doctors today, my press conference, they came in by Skype, and both of them had had the coronavirus. The one very, very seriously in the hospital for, I think well over a month. Just horrible and I'll paraphrase what he said. But he talked about, you know, what he went through and what they did to him to help him breathe. And he says, you know, if you think wearing a mask is something that's bad, so you want to try what I went through.
He says wearing a mask is nothing. And I thought that was, you know, pretty apt. And here's a man who went through it, his wife went through. They suffered through this. It was just horrible if you've listened to him. And so I think that's important thing for us to remember.
And I think the other thing I took away and we should take away from his -- what he said today at our press conference is, we're approaching a huge number, a number of Americans who have died. And that's just absolutely gut-wrenching and horrible. But in addition to that, we have a lot of Americans who suffered, like this doctor did, who went literally through hell.
And so when we look at numbers, and sometimes we say, well, you only, you know, you're probably going to be fine, unless you're old. This doctor was not old. And look middle aged to me. He was very active. He did everything right. And he got deathly sick and went through hell for a couple months.
COOPER: Yes. Yes. I mean, to me, it's -- I mean, if you care about doctors and you care about nurses, you care about first responders, firefighters or EMTs or police officers who may have to deal with you if you get sick, you just wear a mask. It just seems like if you care about first responders, that just seems like a simple thing you can do for them.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, I appreciate your time tonight.
DEWINE: Thanks, Anderson. Thank you. COOPER: I know how busy you are. Thank you.
Up next, our Randi Kaye explains the worries about so called super spreader events. We'll be right back.
COOPER: On Sunday, a key member of his Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Deborah Birx said that she worried that events where large numbers of people gather risk, what are called super spreader events, or one or more infected person spreads the virus to many others. Randi Kaye has more on that.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In March, this choir gathered for a rehearsal in Mount Vernon, Washington outside Seattle. The coronavirus had been spreading through the state for nearly two months at this point. The CDC says choir singers were just inches apart during a two and a half hour rehearsal. They shared snacks too.
No one in the group showed any symptoms of the virus. But by the time it was over, it had become a super spreader event. Fifty-three of the 61 attendees were infected. Three were hospitalized, two later died.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really shocking how contagious it is.
KAYE (voice-over): In Boston, the annual leadership meeting for drugmaker, Biogen, also became a hotbed for the virus. Those infected went home to families and friends in at least six states. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health estimated 99 people got sick at this super spreader event, including employees and others.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very difficult to be able to trace steps that they've come in contact with.
KAYE (voice-over): Overall super spreader events mostly occur when people are in close contact indoors, often with poor ventilation, like religious services or nightclubs. These scenarios usually involve people from different households.
In Westchester County, it was about mitzvah at a synagogue. After an attorney had attended the event in February, New York State suddenly had more than 100 cases, with most of them linked to that attorney. Those included his wife and children and his rabbi.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: It took off like fire through dry grass.
KAYE (voice-over): In Albany, Georgia, it was a funeral with more than 200 mourners, someone carrying the virus came to pay respects. And "The New York Times" reports two dozen of the dead man's relatives got sick from the funeral, including six siblings. A few weeks later, hospitals were overwhelmed, running out of protective gear and ICU beds
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the first, it was six the next day, it was eight the next day, and it just began to cascade from that point.
KAYE (voice-over): The county coroner told "The New York Times", quote, it hit like a bomb. In Chicago, a funeral and a birthday party, both super spreader events. The CDC says someone who attended the funeral which lasted about two hours and included a shared potluck meal was carrying the virus.
Soon after the funeral, that same infected person attended a birthday party. By the time it was over, the virus was passed to seven others at the party. A few of those party goers went on to attend a church service where the CDC says the virus infected someone else sitting in the same pew who passed the offering plate. In all, 16 people got sick from the events and three died.
And it's not just in the United States. In Seoul, South Korea, more than 100 coronavirus cases are being linked to a nightclub cluster and the 29-year old man believed to be at the center of it. The man tested positive for COVID-19 just days after visiting several clubs. Officials in Seoul have now shut down all bars and nightclubs indefinitely.
Randi Kaye, CNN, West Palm Beach, Florida.
COOPER: Up next, we continue to remember those who lost their lives. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Tonight as the death toll in the U.S. is nearing 100,000 people, we remember an honor some of the lives lost so far. Bob Glanzer was a state representative from South Dakota, served two terms in the South Dakota House of Representatives after a career in banking. His son said that his dad wanted to go into politics because he loved the state so much and he wanted to serve the people of South Dakota and he did that. He was an anchor of his community and his church. Bob Glanzer was 74 years old.
Yasmin Pena is one of the younger victims of this coronavirus. She was in 12th grade at the Waterbury Arts Magnet School in Connecticut. Yasmin was involved in theater and the performing arts. She was popular with students and teachers. They say she was the kind of girl who always had a smile on her face and was always laughing.
She want to go on to become a fashion designer and study theater. Family called her their ray of sunshine. And they say their homes now dark without her. Yasmin Pena was 18 years old.
The news continues right now. I want to hand over to Chris for "Cuomo Prime Time". Chris?