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Some States in U.S. Shutting Down Again; Richard Hatchett, CEO, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, is Interviewed About Coronavirus Vaccine; "13th" a Documentary by Ava Duvernay; Khalil Gibran Muhammad and Deborah Peterson Small are Interviewed About the 13th Amendment; Interview With Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Examining Policing in America. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 14, 2020 - 14:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.

Is America back to square one with coronavirus surging? Some states shut down again. I asked epidemic expert, Richard Hatchett, about the race for a

vaccine and putting science before politics.

Plus, the biggest jail in the world. We look at mass incarcerations of blacks in the United States and the failure of the 13th Amendment to really

outlaw slavery.

Then --


JANET NAPOLITANO, FMR. U.S. DIRECTOR OF HOMELAND SECURITY: This is a public health crisis. It should not be a partisan health crisis.


AMANPOUR: Now, reopening schools becomes a political background. Outgoing president of the University of California, Janet Napolitano, joins our

Walter Isaacson.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour working from home in London.

As Europe kickstarts its economy out of lockdown amid a serious test and trace program, parts of the United States are in reverse gear, shutting

down again with a vision surge and record numbers of coronavirus cases across the country. Some states like California are re-imposing

restrictions that have been lifted just a few weeks ago. And at least half the states are putting a hold on reopening businesses.

America's chief infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warns that the nation's public health care is in tatters, he says, and doctors are

"building the plane while they are flying it." And the numbers don't lie. As America still tops the world in the number of confirmed cases and


So, finding a vaccine gets more and more urgent. But just how close or how far are we from getting one? My first guest is Dr. Richard Hatchett. He

served as an adviser on pandemics for President George W. Bush and Barack Obama. And he is now CEO of the Coalition for Pandemics Preparedness

Innovations, SEPI, which has nine vaccines in development right now. And he's joining us now from Surrey in England.

So, Dr. Hatchett, welcome back to the program.

The last time we had you on was a couple of months ago, and you were talking about a timeframe for a vaccine, and you were saying potentially 12

to 18 months. Where are we now, any closer?

RICHARD HATCHETT, CEO, COALITION FOR EPIDEMIC PREPAREDNESS INNOVATIONS: Well, it was a couple of months ago. So, we are closer -- hi, Christiane.

It's nice to be back on the show.

We are beginning to see early data from some of the early clinical studies, and I would say that the data that we're seeing, while it's limited, is not

discouraging, it's even encouraging. So, we're not running into any major hurdles yet. We have a we have a long way to go. When I made that

prediction, you know, really the prediction is that we hope to have vaccines that are becoming more broadly available in the first half of next

year, and I would say that's still what we're aspiring for.

AMANPOUR: So, I'm going to get more detail on the vaccine from you, but first I want to raise with you the obvious problems which are behavioral in

the United States and some other parts of the world. And the head of the W.H.O., Dr. Tedros, had this to say about what's going on around the world

right now. Just take a listen.


DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Let me be blunt. Too many countries are headed in the wrong

direction. The virus remains public enemy number one, but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect of this. The only aim of the

virus is to find people to infect. Mixed messages from leaders are undermining the most critical ingredient of any response.


AMANPOUR: So, Dr. Hatchett, you are also a behavioral expert. I mean, you came up with help pioneering, the idea of social distancing as a necessary

element of pandemic reaction. So, we have issues with social distancing and rules on that, all sorts of mixed messages. We have issues with masks, all

sorts of mixed messages. Even this government here in the U.K. is saying they're going to be mandatory in shops, in stores on July 24th. I mean,

pick that date out of the air. And then only the customers will be having to wear them, not the staff. Just from your expertise, describe how this

mixed messaging is potentially a problem as we see this surge of cases.

HATCHETT: Well, any time you have mixed messaging, it can produce confusion, obviously. So, we do want to be very clear in our guidance to

the public about the steps that they can take to protect themselves, to protect their family members and to protect other members of their

community. And I think the underlying idea behind social distancing measures, behind the idea of wearing masks, behind the idea of, you know,

good personal hand hygiene and -- you know, is that we are all in this together and that the behavioral choices that individuals make and that

groups make have a huge impact on disease transmission.


And people need to understand that while we don't have definitive treatments or vaccines, these are the kinds of measures that we're all

going to have to adopt if we are going to suppress transmission and keep the rates of disease, and of course keep the rates of death, down as low as

we possibly can.

AMANPOUR: So, again, I just want to refer to Dr. Fauci who, as you know, and as we all now know, seems to be in some kind of battle of credibility

with the White House. And he's using other avenues to get very serious and important messages across. Allegedly he seems to have not briefed the

president by his own admission for two months, although apparently in touch with the vice president's task force. But here's what he said just now. A

misstep in communicating to the public the benefits of mask wearing early on has hurt its credibility as a public health tool. Do you agree with

that, first, and would you urge people to just do it now in the absence of treatment and vaccines?

HATCHETT: Oh, I absolutely would. I think the emerging data is highly supportive of the idea that if communities adopt mask wearing as a general

behavior, disease transmission goes down. And whether that's because the mask is preventing infected people from, you know, releasing COVID-19, you

know, into the air, whether it protects people, whether it reminds people that they are in the midst of a pandemic or all of those things together,

which is probably the case, mask wearing clearly provides benefits to communities that are facing outbreaks.

So, I would urge people to adopt mask wearing as a behavior that we're just going to have to all get used to during this period when we don't have

vaccines. I would also urge people to adopt other protective behaviors. I think many people have. You know, obviously, everybody has been eager to

come out of lockdown. This has been an extremely difficult period for many people. It's economically challenging, it's isolating socially and people

have been hungry to emerge from lockdown, but we have to do it in a sensible way, we have to remember that the virus is still with us.

We can look at the United States where it's very clear that many states emerged from lockdown too early before they were ready to control viral

transmission, and now, we're seeing dramatically escalating rates of disease transmission, they're seeing escalating rates of hospitalizations,

and a few states are even beginning to see rises in the death rate, and I think we can anticipate that those numbers are going to get probably a lot

worse before they get better.

And those of us in other settings, you know, we should -- we have made huge sacrifices to achieve the gains that we have achieved. We need to keep

disease transmission low. Scientists are working as hard as they possibly can to develop treatments, to develop vaccines. Those vaccines are on the

way, but they are some ways off, and we need to keep this epidemic under control until we can distribute those more broadly.

AMANPOUR: So, you've just mentioned distribute. Again, we don't even have a vaccine and you've all been very clear about the length of time it could

take. There are, you know, dozens in trials right now, some in human trials, in fact. But the question, of course, is also let's say you find

one, there are all sorts of issues that are also very, very closely connected. So, demand and distribution and manufacturing. What are the most

difficult hurdles once you actually have a vaccine that you're most worried about in the immediate instance?

HATCHETT: Well, I think overall my biggest concern, and this has been a concern from the very beginning, is that vaccines, when they become

available, will initially be available in short supply. We really don't see a scenario in 2021 where the supply of vaccine exceeds the global demand.

And we are developing vaccines for one reason, to end the pandemic. And to end the pandemic, we need to use that scarce resource very carefully, we

need to get it to the people who are at greatest risk.

Ending the pandemic initially, I think, will mean reducing rates of suffering and death. And that means getting the vaccine to the people at

greatest risk. It means getting the vaccine to health care workers, getting the vaccine to the elderly and getting the vaccine to people with

conditions that put them at great risk. And that must occur globally if we're going to bring the pandemic under control.


My concern is that individual countries have an obligation to their own populations, and left to their own devices, they will try to secure a

vaccine for their own populations, and my concern is that the limited supply of vaccine could be cornered by just a few countries that

essentially overbuy vaccine for their populations, leading to misallocation of vaccine and leading, actually, to the perpetuation of the pandemic and

leading to the prolongation of suffering increased death and prolongation of the economic disruption that the pandemic is causing. And we've been

working really hard to come up with an alternative.

AMANPOUR: Let me just play what Bill Gates, obviously, who is also involved with you, and he has, obviously, has -- is right in there with the

vaccine development. This is what he said on Saturday about what you were just talking about, about the concerns you've just raised.


BILL GATES, PHILANTHROPIST AND FOUNDER, GATES FOUNDATION: If we just let drugs and vaccines go to the highest bidders instead of to the people and

places where they're most needed, we'll have a longer, more unjust deadlier pandemic. We need leaders to make these hard decisions about distributing

based on equity, not just on market-driven factors.


AMANPOUR: So, Dr. Hatchett, you know, you almost raised an issue of hoarding vaccines, that individual governments could just hoard them and

stockpile them for their own citizens. You know, you just heard Bill Gates talk about leaders to make this an equitable and fair distribution. I mean,

if you could -- I guess if you could organize the distribution, what would you say absolutely has to happen?

HATCHETT: Well, I think that countries need to come together. There have been a lot of people who have talked about vaccine nationalism which leads

to the kind of hoarding and misallocation that we've just been talking about. It leads to the type of inequity Mr. Gates just was describing.

There is an alternative to that, and that's vaccine multilateralism.

And right now, we are actively engaged with our partners at W.H.O. and at GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance, to develop a mechanism to allow countries to

work together to accelerate vaccine development and to speed vaccine production and delivery and to ensure the vaccine is delivered globally in

an equitable fashion, which is also the fashion that will lead to it being distributed to the people who need it most, which means ending the pandemic

as soon as possible.

And we call this effort -- this is under what -- something called the access to COVID-19 tools which has the acronym act, the act accelerator, as

a pillar under it focused on vaccines that we call Covex. And I'd like to, you know, get the name out. Covex is the effort to promote vaccine

multilateralism to countries sharing risk in vaccine development, sharing the cost of speeding the production and the delivery of vaccine, and

agreeing mutually to share that vaccine equitably so that we get it to the people who need it most as fast as we possibly can with the goal, actually,

of bringing the acute phase of the pandemic to an end by the end of 2021.

AMANPOUR: So, let's say all that is well and good, great intentions. In a perfect world, you'll have the vaccine and then you want to distribute it

and get people to actually agree to take it. Now, listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci's warning.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: There is a general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine

feeling among some people in this country. An alarmingly large percentage of people, relatively speaking.


AMANPOUR: So, Dr. Hatchett, this is actually the anti-vaccine, people worried about taking, you know, a vaccine that they think might be rushed,

that doesn't have the normal checks and balances of, you know, trials and FDA approval. And look at the figures. You know, polls suggesting in the

United States maybe only half to two-thirds will take the vaccine.

In Europe, a very, very trustworthy poll found between that 10 and 22 percent of people don't trust that vaccines are safe. In France, a third of

people disagree that vaccines are safe. In Eastern Europe the number is as high as 50 percent. So, you need 95 percent vaccine take-up for it to

actually make a difference in community health. How worried are you about that problem, if you come to it?


HATCHETT: Well, I don't think you need 95 percent uptake for the vaccine to play a critical role in ending the acute phase of the pandemic. What's

called the herd community threshold, this is when the threshold of immunity in a population that is required to essentially bring the epidemic under

control by itself is estimated to probably be between 60 and 70 percent for COVID-19. So, you don't need 95 percent uptake.

But I think the problem that Dr. Fauci was describing, which is a distrust in governments and a distrust of vaccines, that is a very real problem. And

I think the challenge that we face right now to develop a vaccine as rapidly as we can certainly plays into the fears that some people have

about vaccine safety. And I think what we need to do is, you know, be very forceful in reassuring people that in speeding vaccine development, we are

not willing to take risks on demonstrating that the vaccines work or demonstrating that they are safe.

We are willing to take risks financially. And it's the financial risks that we take that will allow us to speed up the development pretty dramatically.

And those are risks that we should be willing to take, but we cannot take risks in developing vaccines or putting out vaccines that are unsafe. And

we have to monitor the vaccines both during clinical trials but also as we roll them out to large numbers of people. Because we can anticipate that,

you know, if a very large number of people receive a vaccine, particularly people in the highest risk groups, people with underlying, you know, heart

problems or hypertension or diabetes or over the age of 65, you know, there may be chance events that occur where somebody receives a vaccine and has a

heart attack, you know, within a few days, because we're giving the vaccine to lots and lots of people.

And we need to be able to describe those risks, we need to be able to describe the kinds of rates of these bad outcomes that we might expect

normally, even in populations that don't receive vaccine, and we need to be able to have a very open dialogue with the public about what we are doing

and about all of the precautions that we are taking to ensure that the vaccines are, in fact, safe and that they do work.

AMANPOUR: All right. Dr. Richard Hatchett, that is a big challenge, because, of course, science and politics are all mixed up, and it's a very

serious problem right now. Thank you for joining us.

Now, the other pandemic, of course, ravaging the United States is racism. Viewership for Ava Duvernay's 2016 documentary "13th" is surging again. It

shows how the 13th Amendment of the U.S. constitution outlawed slavery over 150 years, but essentially permitted it to continue via the side door of

mass incarceration.

Now, to discuss the implications of this today, I'm joined by two guests who are both featured in the documentary. Attorney Deborah Small is the

founder of Break the Chains, an organization that looks at drug policy reform, and she's joining us from San Francisco. And historian and Harvard

professor, Khalil Muhammad is also joining us from New Jersey.

Welcome to you both.

Listen, may I just start by reading the relevant part of the 13th Amendment and get you to explain why it has been such sort of a misnomer. So, it says

in part, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted shall exist

within the United States or anyplace subject to their jurisdiction.

Khalil Muhammad, I had never understood that phrase and how it perverted, in fact, the cause of banning slavery in the United States. Could you first

and then I'll ask Deborah Peterson Small to fill in as well, describe how it has done that?

KHALIL GIBRAN MUHAMMAD, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL: Well, the 13th Amendment, as you just read, has almost universally been

understood as the legislation that fundamentally ended 250 years of slavery. And therefore, the slavery loophole, which is the clause for

punishment as a crime, has never really gotten the amount of scholarly or legal attention that it deserved.


But in fact, it was activated literally overnight within months of the end of the civil war, the former confederate state, as they were going through

a process of reconstruction turned to new criminal statutes in order to re- enslave that population of African-Americans. And so, it's had incredible utility in the American political economy both in the south and across the


AMANPOUR: So, let me then turn to Deborah Peterson Small -- sorry, I mispronounced your name to begin with -- why do you think that language was

used there and continues to this day?

DEBORAH PETERSON SMALL, FOUNDER, BREAK THE CHAINS: Well, I think the thing we have to remember essentially is that racism is a product and in support

of capitalism. And even though -- and that slavery was basically a capitalist enterprise.

And so, from the very beginning of the period after which black people were legally no longer enslaved, the same economic forces were looking for ways

to continue to profit from free labor. And so, this exception in the statute regarding the ability to punish a person for conviction of a crime

created the perfect opportunity. And I think it's important to remember that the kinds of crimes that black people were being locked up for and

convicted of were things like vagrancy, like stealing a pig, like doing basic kinds of survival crimes or misdemeanor offenses, many of the same

kinds of things that are currently being used by our prison industrial complex to support mass incarceration.

AMANPOUR: So, you know, you used that term, and clearly the statistics are shocking. Of course, the United States has the highest rate of

incarceration than any nation around the world. There are more than 2 million Americans in prison currently. And according to statistics, black

men have a one in three chance of being incarcerated over the course of their lifetime, whereas Latino men have a 1 in 6 chance and white men have

a 1 in 17 chance.

How did we actually get to this stage? Let's just take the black men. I mean, the black population, if I'm not mistaken, it's 12 percent of the

entire U.S. population, and yet, you have this complete imbalance in the imprisonment, in incarceration rate. Professor Muhammad, how did it get to

this point?

MUHAMMAD: Well, Deborah is right that the business of the nation and filling an export economy that was helping to literally build the world.

America, by 1913, was the world's largest manufacturer, had the kind of footprint that China has today with regard to manufacturing and well (ph).

And so, the in harnessing of black laborer was always going to continue with regard to the end of slavery.

But the question of mass incarceration is a fascinating one, in part because what we see happen in the south, in the decades following the end

of the war into the early 20th century, was not mass incarceration. It might be better described as mass criminalization. And the entire point of

criminalizing African-Americans was to use the power of the state as a form of coercion for their second-class citizenship, to make sure that they

would work for white landowners in the south or work for white manufacturers in the north under unfair labor conditions, that they would

have little economic bargaining power by the threat of arrest or punishment, they would be absolutely subject to social and racial control.

And that lasted right up until about 1970s when their labor power was not as necessary. They became what the economist called redundant and then

black men met the forces of mass incarceration, the 13th, so eloquently describes.

AMANPOUR: And, Deborah Small, you have done a lot of work on the war on drugs, essentially, which exponentially increased the prison population.

Can you explain how that, when it came in, just as I said, you know, filled the jails more and more and more?

SMALL: So, I think we have to remember that from the very beginning of drug prohibition, the drugs that we chose to criminalize and the narrative

around them was always highly racialized. So, opium was made illegal in response or specifically as a method of controlling the Chinese population

in the west. Cocaine was very early on associated with black people and violence.


The fact that we use the word marijuana as opposed to cannabis is directly related to the history of using it against Latin X populations. And the

modern war on drugs, which started officially under President Nixon, his aides have admitted that one of the main motivations behind launching a

drug war was to have a method to be able to use law enforcement against the Antiwar Movement and against the Black Liberation Movement.

And so, the drug war was a direct response to the events around the Civil Rights Movement and the increasing demand of black people, not just for the

end of basic racial discrimination but for economic justice and political justice. And that movement, as we know, was decidedly crushed through the

force of the state, and then once those initial leaders were neutralized primarily through death, but also through incarceration, the drug war

served as a method of continuing to target those populations and to have wide public support, because the public had already bought into the

narrative that drugs were associated with minority communities, particularly black and brown communities.

And that's directly contributed not just to mass incarceration, but as Professor Muhammad said, to mass criminalization, and the increasing

militarization of the police who now see themselves as warriors in this drug war, and the people that they're after are the very same people

they're supposed to be protecting.

AMANPOUR: So, can I ask you, then, Professor Muhammad, because -- explain to us, then, how contemporary policing has roots in the slave patrols of

the pre-civil war.

MUHAMMAD: Well, you know, it's not so direct a line as we might describe in a context like this. But if we think of it in the biggest sense,

policing has always been about controlling essential workers in the world, by and large, but most especially in American society.

So, when we go back to the 17th century and we look at the point of slave controls, the very point was to make sure that the slave population would

stay put on those plantations, that they would not engage in insurrection, that they would not steal themselves, they were, in fact, property. So, to

actually take one's own self to freedom was a form of felony theft.

And so, policing, as America has always known it, has focused most explicitly on the least powerful, the most vulnerable and those who have

been tasked with the most essential jobs in this country to literally keep the economy going. And so, from slavery to freedom to the past several

decades, African-Americans and others in brown communities as well have been subjected to forms of surveillance and control over their class

position in the American economy.

AMANPOUR: Well, I want to talk a little bit more about the economy, because it's kind of shocking the way "13th," the documentary, lays it out.

And, you know, given a direct link between slavery and incarceration and involuntary prison labor, which has played an enormous economic role,

similar, as many say, to slavery pre the civil war. Can you just give us an example or some of the ways in which prison labor is used in the economic


MUHAMMAD: Well, today, prison labor is a mostly state-run system. Meaning that the vast majority of people incarcerated in prisons are in public

facilities paid with public dollars. The footprint of privately run prisons mostly runs through the federal system and that mostly pertains to people

being detained or violations of immigration law.

So, the point of harnessing the labor power of people incarcerated is to keep taxes low in states. In other words, to pay people who are being

punished by losing their liberty. A dollar a day to do things that state workers, public employees would otherwise do or would be outsourced to

private companies. There is also a small amount of people today who work for private corporations, they've been subcontracted by the state to

private industry for the purpose not unlike what was happening in the Jim Crow period of convict leases working for U.S. Steel, for example, in



So, our system is mostly committed to spending about $80 billion in punishment, of which a significant portion of that either alleviates the

cost of incarceration for the state by having incarcerated people do the work, or gets receipts or revenue from private corporations for a small

number of people who work for private industry.

AMANPOUR: And, Deborah, I want to ask you, because a lot of your focus is on the war on drugs. And you talked about the story and the narrative.

And, obviously, a lot of that comes to the public view via television, via culture. And David Simon, who wrote "The Wire," has spoken a lot about the

war on drugs and how it's contributed to this situation.

I just want to play something that he said to me about this and get you to react afterwards.


DAVID SIMON, CREATOR, "THE WIRE": I know I sound like a broken record, but we have to end the drug war. We have to end the prohibition against drugs.

It has become an overlay for the worst kind of police excesses.

It has taught generations of police officers -- and it's happened geometrically in some respects, because we continue to militarize, and now

the sergeants and lieutenants who learned how to do bad police work one generation ago, they're training the new guys coming in how to do bad

police work. We have to stop that.


AMANPOUR: So, Deborah, two issues there, one, the state of mind of the police, and, two, the idea of just stopping this war on drugs and reducing

the incarceration rate that way.

People are going to say, well, yes, you say that this percentage is going to jail, but maybe they commit the most crimes. Can you address that issue

first, and then the issue of, if all of this space was liberated, and the money was liberated, where -- where might it be able to be redirected to?

PETERSON: So, I think it's important for us to really think about the fact that, as a country, we have made prosecuting the drug war the priority for

police departments across the country.

And one of the things that that means is that many poor communities, especially poor black and brown communities, suffer the phenomenon of being

both overpoliced and underpoliced. There are overpoliced for drugs. They're underpoliced for violent crimes, like homicides and rapes that don't get

solved and don't get tested because the police are too busy going after drugs.

I think it's important to note that, in 2018, there were 1.6 million drug arrests in the United States. But 87 percent of those arrests were for

possession, which means that they were small amounts of drugs.

There were 663,000 arrests for marijuana; 92 percent of those were for possession. So we're devoting a tremendous amount of resources, both police

resources and correction resources, in addressing crimes that aren't even worth the amount of money that it costs us to lock people up.

We're literally keeping people in jails and prisons for crimes that, theoretically, amount to a few hundred dollars on the street, and having

their lives ruined forever. And whether or not a person goes to jail for a drug crime or to prison, having a drug conviction can affect your access to

employment, to housing, to education, to all types of benefits.

And why is it that we're doing that? Why are we not using our police resources to go after the people who are despoiling our environment,

ruining our economy, committing financial crimes?

Even with respect to drugs, when we think about drug dealers, nobody thinks about banks. And yet you cannot have a successful drug operation without

having bankers to launder the money.

Almost every major American bank has pled guilty in one form or another, one time or another to having laundered drug money, but they haven't been

prosecuted. They have been able to pay a little money in fines and go on about their business.

At the same time, we have people languishing in prison for 10, 12, 20 years for having sold small amounts of cocaine or heroin.

AMANPOUR: And, finally, Khalil Muhammad, Professor Muhammad, are you hopeful now that this whole issue, police brutality, obviously in the wake

of the killing of George Floyd and so many others, has become such a big political issue, with at least 67 percent of the population supporting the

Black Lives Matter movement?


Do you think, from all that you have studied, given that you have written about this going back at least since 1919, which was one of the first sort

of papers on race and police malfeasance, do you think things could change now?

MUHAMMAD: Well, I have to be hopeful.

But I also have to be a realist. And so my job is to make sure that the public has all the information it needs to be wise and intentional about

what didn't happen in the past, and, therefore, to make what's possible in our present for a different future.

There's no need to speculate about how police reform itself is going to get us there, because police reforms have failed for 100 years. Asking police

to change their behavior is like asking the fossil fuel industry to solve our climate change problem.

So, my job, like Deborah's job and the media in general, to make sure that the public has everything they need in front of them to learn from the

past, so that we can actually chart an effective future for change.

AMANPOUR: And we will obviously keep watching as this is charted.

Thank you so much, Professor Muhammad and Deborah Patterson -- Peterson Small.

Thank you for joining us.

Now to coronavirus and the battle to reopen schools and universities.

Few have more experience with this dilemma than our next guest, Janet Napolitano. She was the first female president of California's sprawling

public university system. And she was also the first female secretary of homeland security. That was under President Obama. And she has been, among

other things, dealing with the outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu when she was at DHS.

She talks to our Walter Isaacson now about what her university is doing to help students at this time and what the White House should be doing to save

American lives.



And, Janet Napolitano, welcome to the show.


ISAACSON: Congratulations on a, what, seven-year run. So -- and you're leaving in a very difficult moment.

Tell me how the changing situation this week on coronavirus is affecting how you're going to reopen the University of California's 10 campuses.

NAPOLITANO: So, we're actually reimagining how we're going to reopen.

Two of our campuses open in August. That's Merced and Berkeley. The others don't not open until the end of September. So they have a bit more time.

But for Berkeley and Merced, we're really having to go back and revisit the density of the dorms that will be safe, revisit the number and types of

classes that can be offered in person.

I think the bulk of the academic program will be online, by necessity, but we still want to have some in-person classes, to the extent that we can do

so safely. So, we had some initial plans in the beginning of July. The resurgence happens, and you have to be agile and flexible in these


So we're going to go -- like I said, revisit what had been originally planned.

ISAACSON: Why bring people back at all?

NAPOLITANO: You know, partially because there are just some classes that are better in person, certain, for example, laboratory classes, classes

that are in the performing arts or the studio arts, where there is a significant and unique value add to being in person, and then the advantage

of having small classes, where there can be not just classroom instruction, but facilitating that kind of off-class conversation that really goes into

the university experience.

And so that's part of it. And then, in terms of dormitory living, we have students for whom the dorm is actually the best place for them to live.

They may not have an adequate housing situation otherwise.

And, also, we know that dormitory life is part of what young people want out of college or out of colleges and universities like the University of

California. So, we want to facilitate that, to the extent we can.

ISAACSON: Do you get a lot of pushback from parents who say, hey, wait a minute, this is not what we signed up for, give us our money back, if

you're not going to take our kids into campus?

NAPOLITANO: Yes, well, we have been sued a couple of times. We did provide refunds for housing and dining last spring, when we had to shut down

rapidly due to COVID.


In terms of tuition, the way we view it is that tuition is really designed to pay for the faculty and to pay for the delivery of educational content,

so that students can make progress towards their degrees.

And it's not specifically tied to being in person or online or remote or whatever you want to call it. But we think the fundamentals for why tuition

is charged and how it's calculated still remain.

And so we have no current plans to reduce tuition.

ISAACSON: Should we use this crisis, though, to rethink fundamentally the financial model for higher education, maybe go online a whole lot more, or

just change the notion of what research universities should be doing?

NAPOLITANO: I think that, definitely, lessons learned in terms of how we do online instruction will now be a permanent part of the University of


But I think we should view them as a supplement to and not a substitute for the residential college experience. I think what we're learning here is

that there are values to being a student at a residential university, values in the social interactions between students and students and faculty

and staff, the participation in extracurricular activities, the ability to take a conversation from in the classroom, and keep talking while you're

walking down the hall to the dining room, and keep it going there.

And that value add is something that we should not want to lose as a country. It's a great time of -- for social maturation of 18-to-22-year-


But, again, Walter, I do think that the pedagogy, the way we teach, will change in light of what we have learned during the COVID crisis.

ISAACSON: You all, the California system and many other universities, are suing the Trump administration for new immigration enforcement rules saying

that foreign students can't have their visa extended if they're at a place that's doing mainly online learning.

Why push back on that? Why should the visa be extended if most of the learning is online?

NAPOLITANO: Well, because international students at University of California, they are students, but they're also research assistants.

They're teaching assistants. They're a vital part of the graduate education at the University of California.

And, really, the Trump administration rule was an ill-considered lever to force colleges to not do online learning and to reopen, as if the virus

doesn't exist and we're already through the pandemic.

And there was no thought given to the role that international students play in American higher education. And it's an important role.

ISAACSON: You and others at the University of California have now endorsed a proposition that will be on California's ballot to repeal Proposition

209, which banned affirmative action.

Do you think we should now, especially in the light of what's happened after George Floyd's death, use race as a consideration when determining

who gets admitted to colleges?

NAPOLITANO: I think it should be a consideration.

At the University of California, our admissions officers review a student according to 14 different criteria. They want to evaluate the whole

student. They want to evaluate how the student would contribute to the university, should they be admitted.

The only thing they can't look to is the student's race, gender or ethnicity, which is a key part of a student's identity. It's such an

artificial limitation.

So, I hope that the ban on using that -- those factors is repealed by the California voters in November.


ISAACSON: You also are trying to drop the ACT tests, the SAT tests.

Is that so that you get more racial diversity? What's the reason for dropping standardized tests like that?

NAPOLITANO: This actually started with a request I made to the faculty back in 2018 to evaluate the use of the SAT or ACT in U.C. admissions.

Faculty came back, recommended continued use of the SAT for a period of years, during which the university would develop its own test, and its own

test designed to measure whether students had mastered the preparatory coursework we require of applicants from California to the University of


I looked at it, and the way I saw it was, we were doing all of these things in our admission process to mitigate for the simple fact that there's this

correlation between SAT and a student's, basically, zip code, the income level of their families.

And we were doing all of this work to try to erase that implicit bias in the test. And then, in the end, the test didn't give us all that much

better knowledge of how a student would do at the University of California.

So I just thought, you know what? It is time to wean ourselves away from use the SAT. So we're not going to do it all in one fell swoop. We're going

to be test-optional for two years. Many universities across the country are going to be test-optional because of the interruption caused by COVID.

Test-optional means a student consider the score. But if they don't submit a score, they're not penalized for that. Then we will be two years test-

blind. What that means is that, if a student submits a score, the score can be considered for something like course placement, but it cannot be used in

the actual admissions decision.

And then, by 2025, we won't use the SAT at all.

ISAACSON: What are the fundamental moral and educational reasons to take race into account when you're admitting students?

NAPOLITANO: We're a public university.

And I think a public university has a public responsibility to be open and accessible, to be a creator of opportunity. And I think what the country is

recognizing now, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the protests that have occurred since then, is that the issue of racism in our country,

it's not gone away. It's not magically disappeared.

It's going to require some focus and intentionality to -- for our country to meet its aspirations for equality. And so, for a university like the

University of California, I think it means we have to make special effort and recognize that racism has affected students of different colors and

creeds throughout their upbringing.

And we need to cut through that and make sure that our student body is as diverse as it can be.

ISAACSON: You were secretary of homeland security. And you took on the H1N1 flu epidemic. What did you learn from that? And what lessons from that

are not being applied today?

NAPOLITANO: The number one lesson learned, I think, in H1N1 was the importance of clear and consistent science-based communication with the

public, so that the public knows what it needs to do and what it can expect.

I mean, in H1N1, the members of the Cabinet who were involved, myself, Secretary of HHS Sebelius, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, when we

spoke with the press, we spoke only in terms of what we were being told by the CDC, the importance of handwashing and handwashing properly, the

importance of coughing into your elbow, very basic tools that the public then could use to its own advantage.


The next thing we learned during H1N1 was that pandemic planning really matters. We were able to use the playbook that had been developed during

the Bush administration and adapt it to H1N1. But we didn't need to start from scratch.

And then, thirdly, I think we learned a lot about vaccine and vaccine manufacture. The first case in the United States was found in April of

2009. By the next fall, we had a national vaccine campaign under way.

We were able to move very, very swiftly there. Now, it was different than a coronavirus, which is a much more difficult organism to create a vaccine

for than H1N1, which was a form of flu. But, nonetheless, we put a lot of energy into not just the development of the vaccine, but having a vaccine

distribution plan.

ISAACSON: Why can't we match the success of other countries that have pretty much successfully gotten to very low numbers?

NAPOLITANO: Well, we had that opportunity. We let it go. We were slow to the ball. We were slow to the ball on testing.

We were slow to the ball in terms of establishing supply chain for critical reagents used in testing, things like PPE, personal protective equipment,

for hospitals. It's still chaos out there.

And we have been absolutely, in my view, misguided in terms of any communication coming from the White House in terms of what the country

should do and what is expected of the citizens of this country.

We all have a role to play here. And so that chaos, that lack of leadership has had a real impact on our public health response.

ISAACSON: You were governor of Arizona. That state's getting walloped right now.

What's happening and what went wrong there?

NAPOLITANO: Oh, my gosh. Yes, I follow Arizona closely.

And I think that's an example of a state that never really shut down and, when it reopened, reopened far too widely far too quickly. And when you

look at the resurgence of virus there, the ICU beds are at capacity, the trajectory keeps going up.

That is a state that probably should consider going back into shutdown mode.

ISAACSON: Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican. You were a Democratic governor.

Has this become so partisan that he has not even consulted with you, or have you been talking to him?

NAPOLITANO: I have not spoken with Governor Ducey.

But I will tell you, Walter, this is a public health crisis. It should not be a partisan health crisis. And one thing I do fault the administration,

the Trump administration, for is seeing everything through a political lens.

This virus affects Republicans and Democrats alike. Your ICU bed capacity doesn't depend on how many Democrats or Republicans are in your state.

Wearing a mask is a commonsense intervention that can really reduce the frequency of virus.

How this got wrapped into Democrat-vs.-Republican politics, I think hindsight will -- not hindsight, even now -- will teach us is just the

wrong way to approach it.

ISAACSON: Are you being vetted to be Joe Biden's running mate in this election?

NAPOLITANO: Not to my knowledge, no.


ISAACSON: I guess you would know, right?

NAPOLITANO: I guess I would know, yes.


Janet Napolitano, thank you so much for being with us.

NAPOLITANO: Thank you, Walter.


AMANPOUR: And, finally, the anonymous British street artist known as Banksy has a message: "If you don't mask, you don't get."

That's the title of his latest artwork that he shared in this video on his social media today. It shows the insurgent artist spray-painting a tube car

the London Underground with his trademark images of rats, some sneezing, and some with masks and hand sanitizer.

And although he's all covered up, it is the clearest glimpse of Banksy to date, an art installation that highlights the importance of covering your


And shoppers here will have to wear masks entering stores in England starting 10 days from now. "Why the wait?" you may ask.


That's it for now, though. Thanks for watching, and goodbye from London.