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U.K. Announces Progress on Coronavirus Vaccine; Devi Sridhar, Professor of Global Public Health, University of Edinburgh, is Interviewed About Europe and Coronavirus Vaccine; Coronavirus in U.S. Continuous to Surge Reaching Over 3 Million Confirmed Cases; Trump Prepares to Send More Federal Troops in Chicago; Federal Troops Continue to Clash in Portland; Interview With Atlanta, Georgia, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; Interview With Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD). Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 21, 2020 - 14:00   ET




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


CHARLES MICHEL, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: We did it. Europe is strong, Europe is united.


AMANPOUR: Some rare good news. Europe strikes an unprecedented COVID recovery deal, one day after the U.K. announces important progress on a

vaccine. We discuss the latest scientific breakthrough with public health expert, Devi Sridhar.

Then as clashes continue in Portland and coronavirus surges across the United States, key Republicans begin to jump ship. Longtime Trump critic,

Maryland governor, Larry Hogan, joins me.

And --


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D) ATLANTA, GA: If it were up to the governor of this state, I would not be doing this interview to talk about COVID-19.


AMANPOUR: Georgia's Republican governor remains in lockstep with Trump. Atlanta's Democratic mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, tells our Walter Isaacson

why he's suing her.

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

E.U. leaders have agreed a landmark coronavirus recovery package worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and in an unprecedented show of

solidarity, it offers grants, not loans, to the hardest hit member states. There is big progress also in the science lab. Researchers say more studies

are needed on the vaccine that Britain is calling a major breakthrough, but yesterday's results from Oxford University suggests it's safe and can

produce immune responses after human trials.

So, is this good news enough to make up for the U.K.'s fumbles pandemic response? The second highest death rate in Europe with over 45,000 dead,

and it's on track for the worst COVID induced recession, according to the OECD. Now under pressure and with his approval ratings falling, Prime

Minister Boris Johnson has promised an independent public inquiry at some point in the future.

Joining me is Professor Devi Sridhar. She is the chair of Global Public Health at Edinburgh University and she advises the Scottish government on

its coronavirus response.

Professor Sridhar, welcome to the program.

Can I start by asking you, as a public health expert, what you make of the Oxford trials and this what everybody is now calling a breakthrough?

DEVI SRIDHAR, PROFESSOR OF GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH: Yes, I think it's extremely exciting and some good news. I think there is

still a long way to go until there is actually a vaccine that can be administered at a population level, but the early findings published in the

Lancet show that so far it is safe and that it produces an immune response both in terms of antibodies and in terms of T-cells. So, I think it's just

another step forward and something for us to kind of look forward to because science will be the ultimate exit from our current crisis.

AMANPOUR: When you look at it and you hear what the researchers are saying, and they're obviously being cautious, as you are, how long can

people who are watching, listening, reading about this, how long can they expect to wait? Because obviously nothing is going to go back to normal

until there is a vaccine.

SRIDHAR: Well, I think there is still some while to go. I mean, the next big challenge is going to be winter, especially in Europe and in Britain,

and I don't think the vaccine is going to solve that issue, so I think public health measures still need to be implemented going into this winter,

but the hope is that in the next six to nine months there could be a safe and effective vaccine if the next phase goes ahead.

So, I think, all we can do is say it's progressing, it's good news, we've never seen vaccines developed at this rate and kind of keep our fingers

crossed as it moves forward. But also do the hard work of the public health slog to make sure we keep infections as low as possible in the meantime.

AMANPOUR: So, Professor, let me ask you, because you must also be eyeing the polls that show, at least anecdotally, that huge percentages of

citizens in the United States and, indeed, in Europe are very wary and have said they won't take it. And, of course, that is a real problem because

that will render the vaccine pretty much ineffective if you don't have enough people to make it effective. How concerned are you about that, and

what does public health have to do to convince people that this is not just fast track, that when it comes, it will be the right thing to take?


SRIDHAR: Yes, that's a huge worry, and there's really three stages if you think of the vaccine process. The first part is where we are now in

actually developing a vaccine. The second stage is manufacturing enough doses, making it available to all populations across the world, especially

the hardest hit and poorest populations. And then the third part is actually convincing, you know, people to take it and that it's safe. And I

think the way to do that is to provide really clear data and clear messaging on what the risks could be and what the benefits are, and so far,

the risks look minimal.

But it is a big problem. This is still why we still see measles outbreaks across the world, including in high income countries like United States and

Britain, even though we have an effective vaccine.

AMANPOUR: Professor, the other issue that's now sort of coming to the fore, and I wonder if you can fill in some of our knowledge gaps, is the

long-term effects of COVID. You know, people who are recovering, let's say, after weeks or months of having it, certainly in Italy and elsewhere,

reports are coming in that is having effects that may be long-term. Can you sum up what you know, what we know about that?

SRIDHAR: Yes. So, when COVID-19 first arrived, a lot of the modelling looked at it in terms of life and death. Do you live or do you die? And I

think since then we've learned that there is also the morbidity, the illness that it can cause. I think there's two categories there. The first

is people who are hospitalized, on oxygen or on ventilators who survived who seem to need long-term medical assistance, possibly physio, for a long

duration. It's a multiorgan, a multisystem disease. Doctors compare it to polio in terms of the complications it can cause.

And the second are people who generally have managed fine at home, usually age 30 to 59, they have a mild illness, but it seems to linger for weeks

and weeks and weeks, such as they can be 8 to 10 weeks out and still having fatigue, still having, you know, digestive issues, fever, rashes. And so, I

think there is a lot we have to learn about this, and this is why, I mean, from the start, the, you know, governments, which made sure their

populations were not exposed to this virus, I think, were wise because they were waiting to get more information before you expose people unnecessarily

to it.

AMANPOUR: And they talk also about sticky blood and deep vein thrombosis, heart attack or stroke. A lot of sort of inflammatory lung scarring, et

cetera. But I want to ask you, because Correspondent Isa Soares has been to Italy. She spoke to an Italian diver who contracted COVID in March, and he

spent 17 days in hospital. And three months later, he's still experiencing breathing difficulties. Let me just play this little exchange between

reporter and patient and get you to comment.


ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Emiliano Pescarolo is taking each day one breath at a time. With every exercise, a

chance for this professional diver to train the muscles in his chest which have been weakened by COVID-19. Three months since he contracted the virus.

EMILIANO PESCAROLO, RECOVERING FROM COVID-19: Every simple thing like I'd walk for a couple of miles, it was like climbing a mountain.

SOARES: And after spending 17 days in hospital --

PESCAROLO: I cannot do the same things I did in the past.

SOARES: He needs to pause to take a breath.


AMANPOUR: So, clearly, we can see that it's going to be a long haul. And I just wondered what you know about young people, because, you know, they

have been told and they think that they're pretty much immune to the worst effects of it. Do we know any more about that?

SRIDHAR: Well, I mean, my message to young people would be you do not want to get exposed to this virus because it's a bit like gambling. You really

don't know. You could be asymptomatic and be fine or you could be asymptomatic and have lung scarring, which means walking long distances or

running or exerting yourself will be difficult.

You know, it's same for, you know, people who have mild symptoms. It could be that you have heart issues a few weeks later. This is a real unknown.

And rather than gamble with your health for the next few weeks, just take the precautions to make sure you avoid getting this virus. Just think of it

in the context of a few weeks or a few months of your life now, what it could mean for the rest of your life and all the decades you have ahead of


AMANPOUR: So, Professor Sridhar, you advise the Scottish government, but you also advise the British government through SAGE, the scientific group

around the government. You obviously brought up in America, but you live and you're national here in the U.K. now. So, I want to ask you to put all

that experience to bear, and first and foremost, tell me, do you think Scotland has got it better, has got this control of the disease and the

response to it, better than the U.K.? I mean, the numbers are so relatively fewer up north.


SRIDHAR: Yes, Scotland feels like in quite a good position now. Most days in single or -- you know, low area low double digits around 20 cases,

testing and tracing, working effectively, and a lot of lockdown restrictions eased and test and protect, as it's called here, doing the

work of suppressing the infections. But we know it can all go backwards, and I think there's just, right now, a lot of responsibility and a

collective feeling that if you're in shops try to use masks, face coverings are mandatory, you know, being sensible in terms of following the guidance.

And I think there is a sense that there is a strategy. The strategy is to get out of community transmission to eliminate the virus from communities

and so that we can get back to normality. And the real goal looking ahead is to have schools resume in three weeks full-time with no distancing. It

seemed a completely unrealistic goal a few months ago, but given the progress that's been made and actually keeping on track with strategy and a

plan and a game book and actually working through the phases and unlocking quite slowly and monitoring those changes to make sure if infections did go

up, we could detect why it was, I think, has played, you know, an important role.

As well as, I think, very clear messaging from the government of what is allowed and what is not allowed and why we're all doing these things and

where we're trying to get to.

AMANPOUR: Which sounds, in the way you frame it and the results we see down here, that this government, the U.K. government, England and Wales,

did it very differently. I want to play for you a little excerpt from a video that's been going around, it's gone viral, from a group called Led By

Donkeys, which started off as an anti-Brexit group, but has been, you know, looking at the U.K. government, Boris Johnson's response to COVID. So,

here's just a little clip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Second of March, Johnson finally attends a coronavirus Cobra meeting. 3rd of March, scientists urged the government to advise the

public not to shake hands. The same day Johnson tells the Downing Street press conference --

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I'm shaking hands. I was in the hospital the other night where I think there were actually a few

coronavirus patients and I shook hands with everybody. You'll be pleased to know, and I continue shaking hands.


JOHNSON: As far as possible, it should be business as usual.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 12th of March, the key date. The U.K. government sharply departs from the course of action adopted by Germany and South

Korea and stops mass testing and contact tracing. The Royal Society of Medicine's Gabriel Scally will later say abandoning testing gave the virus

the green light to spread uncontrollably.


AMANPOUR: So, Professor Sridhar, we know that in March, early on, the government here said, you know, 20,000 deaths would be manageable. Well,

several months later it's at 45,000 deaths and counting, the second highest in Europe, relatively in terms of the rate of death, and the economic

impact is on track to be the very worst COVID recession here.

From that clip, I mean, it's pretty much factual, but how would you -- what would your reaction to that clip be?

SRIDHAR: Well, I think -- I mean, obviously there are mistakes that have been made. And if I could point three, and the first was locking down too

late. And the problem is when you lockdown late, the infection in the community is already spread enough, which means you need a long lockdown

which, of course, hits your economy where the countries that locked down early and hard were able to exit faster because they manage to get a hold

of their outbreaks.

The second was not providing appropriate PPE to help staff from the start and testing. Now, what that meant is hospitals become sites of infections

and also, a number of health workers lost their lives, the same story for those in social care, were not offered testing and appropriate PPE from the


And the third was abandoning testing and contact tracing on the 12th of March, and needing weeks to rebuild that system. And testing and tracing in

England is still not fully functional, because in contrast to Scotland which went through local NHS authorities and using the existing system,

just built it up to a much greater level, in England, they went through a centralized service and excluded local authorities. And I think now they're

pivoting back towards using local authorities, but there was lost time, you know, in those months.

And so, I think what we have to do is look back at what has happened, learn from it, and then make sure going into the winter that those mistakes are

corrected for and we don't repeat them again.

AMANPOUR: So, we probably all remember, and I'm going to play this, the exhortation by the head of the W.H.O., Dr. Tedros, about testing. Let's

just play this quickly.


DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: You cannot fight a fire blindfolded and we cannot stop this

pandemic if we don't know who is infected. We have a simple message for all countries. Test, test, test. Test every suspected case. If they test

positive, isolate them and find out who they have been in close contact with two days before they developed symptoms, and test those people too.


AMANPOUR: So, clearly, it didn't happen, as you've laid out, and the chair of the British Medical Association says that once here, they dropped this

testing. They were, as Dr. Tedros said, effectively working blindfolded.

Now, I'm not trying to look backwards, I'm trying to look forward. Because what does that mean for trying to figure out where the pandemic is here,

and also, as you can see in the United States, there is a massive problem with testing and resurgence of the virus. I mean, clearly, this test and

trace remains the backbone of fighting this properly.

SRIDHAR: Yes, absolutely. And I should say, I mean, there was a playbook from East Asia since January and February of how to contain this outbreak,

and it was not a simple one, it was not a low-cost one, but the premise was around testing and contact tracing. And what this does is move from a

lockdown situation where everyone is quarantined and stuck at home to actually just quarantining those quickly who have the virus. But it does

require, you know, rapid testing, getting the results back to people, tracing who they could have been in contact with in the previous week,

ideally getting those people tested too, and then getting everyone into isolation for two weeks so they don't pass the virus on to other people.

And so, I think that something that's, you know, clearly now across the world, the countries that have done better, including Germany, you know,

including, you know, Taiwan, and this was out of China as well as one of its measures, really emphasized the testing and tracing and also the use of

testing positivity to know where you were. Meaning, it's not just how many cases you have, it's how many cases out of all the tests you're doing, and

that can give you an assessment of where you are with the outbreak and how much more testing possibly need to do to make sure you're catching all the

cases out there.

AMANPOUR: And, look, the idea of a global coordinated effort, it just hasn't happened. We saw in Europe today, that at least on the economic

recovery, they've done an unprecedented deal and it's quite remarkable. But usually the United States plays this role of martialing all its strength

and getting the world together to combat something as, you know, transmittable as this.

Richard Horton, obviously, the head of The Lancet who has been very vocal about all of this has said that the undermining global solidarity to defeat

this pandemic has been one of the worst things that have come from the Trump administration. Do you agree, and how would you have envisioned this

going had there been a martialing of global, you know, coordination?

SRIDHAR: Yes. So, the United States is usually the leader in global health. It's the one who is leaning towards, you know, multilateral

institutions in the United Nations, the World Health Organization and trying to bring countries around the table together to solve global

challenges. And it's played that role incredibly impressively in global health for the last 20 years. But I think what we've seen here is an

absence of U.S. leadership and quite the opposite, you know, even stealing of PPE from other countries or of ventilators, and the language being used,

you know, which was sometimes xenophobic toward people in China.

And I think right now, you know, the withdraw of -- the intention to withdraw from the W.H.O. in the next year and all that is incredibly

worrying because what you want to have at this point is countries working together and actually trying to find a way through this crisis. And I think

scientists and the scientific community have been very good about that, of continuing to work together across the globe, but I think what we had

instead is a pulling back from that internationalism, and I worry that if there is a vaccine and there are limited doses, how that kind of vaccine

nationalism will play out on the global stage.

AMANPOUR: Yes, that is a big question, and we'll continue to follow that. For now, though, Professor Devi Sridhar, thank you so much for joining us

from Edinburgh. Thanks a lot.

And actually, as for the United States, we turn their next to where coronavirus continuous to surge. It's brought the total number of confirmed

cases to over 3 million, which is the highest in the world. A new CDC data has revealed that many more people have had COVID than what was showing up

in official numbers.

Meantime, anti-racism protesters and federal troops continue to clash in the City of Portland. And the Trump administration is preparing to send

more of these federal troops to Chicago this weekend, despite opposition from that city's mayor.

Maryland's Republican governor, Larry Hogan, has been sharply critical of the president's handling of these crises. He's written a new book called

"Still Standing: Surviving Cancer, Riots, a Global Pandemic and the Toxic Politics that Divide America." And he's joining me now from Annapolis,



Governor Hogan, welcome to the program.

You just heard my previous guest, the public health expert, say that, you know, there needed to be a coordinated effort globally and the United

States should have played that role and actively didn't, did the reverse. Just your reaction to that.

GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R-MD): Well, I would agree with a lot of what your previous guest just said. I talk about this in my book, that we could have

had a more coordinated effort right here in the United States and didn't. Let alone, you know, taking that leading role in the rest of the world. I

talk about how in the early part of this pandemic that mistakes were made at the federal government level. We weren't taking it seriously enough and

we didn't develop a national testing strategy.

Really, our 50 states were left on our own to kind of, you know, make up our own 50-state strategy. We were all fighting for PPE, we were fighting

for test kits and swabs and reagents and ventilators and all those kinds of things. And now, eventually, we got the utilization of the Defense

Production Act and the federal government did a good job in producing ventilators that we're now sharing with the rest of the world, but the

first few months were critical.

And we're still having, now with this resurgence here in the United States, massive problems with our testing program, which is still kind of a

patchwork of different testing going on in different states around the country.

AMANPOUR: I must say to my mind having been reporting this for the last several months, it is incredible to hear that about testing, not only in

the U.K., as we've seen, but as you say, in the United States, because it is key before you have -- until you have a vaccine to getting this under


Can I just read a little bit from your new book? You say, it was clear that waiting around for the president to run the nation's response was hopeless.

If we delayed any longer, we'd be condemning more of our citizens to suffering and death. Do you, therefore, believe that a late lockdown in

this hopeless situation that you -- you know, that you describe from the White House led to more deaths, avoidable deaths?

HOGAN: Well, look, I think there is no question, we could have taken steps earlier on in the process that could have helped us get a handle on this.

On the one hand, taking action earlier could have saved some lives. On the other hand, look, we were projecting 2 million deaths in America. We have

somewhere around 140-some-thousand deaths as of today. It's terrible and it's tragic.

But we have caught up and -- it's not as bad as it could have been. So, we've saved some lives, but some lives were lost, there is no question

about that. And while we've made some improvements since the beginning, that I talk about in my book, was in the early part of the process, we've

still got a long way to go. This virus is not behind us. We're still continuing to fall short in many areas, and this robust testing that we

need across the country, it's -- we started to improve.

And now, with the virus spiking up, we're running into shortages, waiting 10 days, lines. It's getting -- it's looking a lot like it did back in

March and April where we're still not up to speed on contact tracing, and we've caught up a little bit on personal protective equipment. We've made

some progress, but I feel that as we head into this fall with the confluence of the flu season, with the spike and rebound of this

coronavirus, we could be caught short once again, and it could be even a more difficult situation that we're facing in the future.

AMANPOUR: So, Governor, then, let me ask you, because quite a lot of these states where we're seeing these spikes, quite a lot of them are run by

Republican governors. And while we said that quite a few, you know, governors are sort of, if not jumping ship, then at least trying to figure

out how best to run their states despite the mixed messaging and the, you know, the -- I don't know, counterfactual messaging coming from the White


There are other states that are sticking close to the president's line, and in many of those states, we're seeing this resurgence. I mean, even now

this is happening. How do you explain that? I mean, what goes on in the mind of a governor, an executive, that's responsible for life and death?

HOGAN: Well, I can tell you, it's -- as a -- I'm the chairman of the National Governors Association. I work almost every day with my fellow

governors on both sides of the aisle, both Republican and Democrat, and we've been on weekly calls with the president and/or vice president and the

coronavirus task force. I have several discussions with my fellow governors. And I can tell you one thing, that the virus doesn't care

whether you're a Republican or Democrat. It doesn't recognize state border lines, it doesn't care about political affiliation. It's affecting all of

us and it's the most difficult challenge, I think, any of us have ever faced as governors.


But there is no question that the lack of clear messaging and the lack of taking it seriously has hurt. And so, when the president was saying early

on that it was nothing to worry about, that it was going to disappear when he was really belittling the wearing of masks and things like that, it hurt

in our response. I'm very happy that just yesterday, I think the president was seen wearing a mask and saying it was patriotic to wear a mask. This

should have happened a while ago, but everybody in this administration has been talking about these safety measures. And sometimes the president steps

on the message of some of the hard-working people in the administration who have been trying to get people to do the right thing.

AMANPOUR: So, that's putting it nicely. Let me just add the governor of Utah, Arkansas, Ohio, Massachusetts, all of them are Republican governors

like yourself who are calling for these sensible measures that you're talking about. Even Mitch McConnell in his own home state of Kentucky just

last week seemed to break from some of the less scientific words coming out of the White House. Just listen to what Mitch McConnell said.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): And so, each of us as individuals need to take responsibility for doing something that's not that complicated, wear a

mask, practice social distancing, prevent the spread. That's the single best advice we've been given as to how each of us can participate in

preventing the spread. Because this is going to be with us for a while. It's not going to magically disappear.


AMANPOUR: So, not going to magically disappear. What effect do you think? I mean, you know the president, you know -- I know that you've been against

him politically, but you know how he reacts to criticism. And yet, as I say, this is life and death, and many of the Republican governors are

trying to do their own thing. How difficult is it to thread that needle?

HOGAN: Well, yes. So, early on, the president made it very clear, he said governors were on their own, that states had to do their own thing. So, we

each had to step up and make our individual decisions. Sometimes he made it more difficult by telling states, you know, he would say, do your own

thing, and then he would criticize whatever it was that you did or didn't do.

So, without taking the responsibility, he would then criticize the actions and he would criticize people who were taking aggressive actions. But then

now you see Republican governors who are changing their tune a lot, and you're seeing more and more people speak out. I've been talking this way

since February, and being very clear in my messaging. But places like Texas, you've now shut down. They're mandating mask wearing. You're seeing

this in places like Mississippi where you would never expect it. Southern Republican governors are taking stronger action, and you even have the

president in the past week or so starting to change his messaging.

I think he's having another coronavirus press conference today for the first time in a long time. He's starting to realize that the American

people need to hear him speak clearly on this, and he's starting to wear masks and no longer -- he's trying to downplay this political divide,

because it's crazy to make this into some kind of a political argument about whether you should wear a mask.

If we wear masks, we can -- just that one simple fact can help us keep our economy open, it can stop the spread and it's probably -- it's a very

simple thing that can help us save people's lives and keep our economy open and keep people working. It's not that difficult.

AMANPOUR: So, let me go back to the early days, because you famously took matters into your own hands when you found that the federal government

wasn't assisting in the way you're talking now. And you struck a deal with South Korea to get testing equipment, and your Korean-American wife helped

broker this deal. Were you desperate at that moment? I mean, did you feel - - what made you do that?

HOGAN: Well, we were really desperate. And if you look back, and this is - - I talk about it in my book, it was in early March. I think we had only done 2,800 tests in the entire United States and that's when we started

reaching out. Governors all across America were desperate. We knew how important this was.

South Korea had done an incredible job on testing. And so, we started talking around the end of March when the president said, you know, I'm the

president of the United States. I'm not going to stand on the street corner testing. That's the states' job. They should do their own testing. We

couldn't find the available quantity and the availability of testing anywhere in the United States. And I reached out -- I asked my wife to get

on the phone. We know President Moon. We knew the ambassador.

We -- on a Saturday night, we got on the phone with the ambassador, spoke to him in Korean. That started a 22-day process with eight of our state

agencies negotiating with a South Korean company, and we had half a million tests flown into our state which became a critical part of our long-term

testing strategy. We're utilizing them now still to help us with our outbreaks and clusters. We're using about 3,000 of them a day.


We have a supply that is -- we're still utilizing that will last us another couple of months. But we are probably going to have to order more of them

to take us through this now big demand that's happening in the -- with the fall coming.

Many of the American labs are slowed down with this spike in other states. They're waiting 10 days. We're still turning them around. In our state, we

had to build our own lab at the University of Maryland-Baltimore, with Korean machines, with our Korean tests, hiring people, and actually stand

up our own lab to produce these things and get them done.

We're turning them around in 24 hours.

AMANPOUR: And just to go back to that deal, you know, it was a grand gesture, but how effective really was it?

I know you're saying you're using them all now. You may have to reorder them.


AMANPOUR: But we heard later that actually the U.S. was -- it had been producing, they were kind of ready to go when you made that deal with South


HOGAN: Well, no, actually...

AMANPOUR: And yours were unable to be used because you didn't have the right reagents.

HOGAN: Well, no, we said when we announced -- first of all, yes, there was a story that said somebody said they offered us tests about three weeks

later. I'm not sure if that was real or not. Somebody said they sent an e- mail.

All I know is, we were desperate. At the time when we got those tests, it was more than the top four -- four out of the top five states in America

combined. It was difficult. This was only one part of a nine-step process.

These are test kits that go into machines. We had to buy the machines. We had to build the lab. We had to scrounge around to get swabs and transport

tubes and reagents and transport mediums.

I mean, it's a very complicated process. You don't go down to the pharmacy and just order some tests. But now, after that, they started producing more

things in America. We have used another, you know, 800,000 or 900,000 tests from various American companies and labs.

It's all part of a master strategy, but -- and we have gotten some help from the federal government on some of those pieces of that. But it's been

a very difficult process, which could have been made a whole lot easier with a national strategy early on.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you to -- we're sort of switching lanes for a moment.

But, you know, they have described it as a twin pandemic. Obviously, the state of structural racism in the United States has been dreadfully

highlighted for the whole world to see, since and with the killing of George Floyd.

And now we're seeing the president sending federal troops un-sort of marked cars, destination unknown, when they snatch people off the streets. It's

going on in Portland. It may go on in cities like Chicago and elsewhere, where they don't want these federal troops.

What is your reaction to that? I mean, how -- I mean, you have written you have written about a divided America. How much of a -- I don't even know

what to call this. It reminds me of Russia and the little green men that were sent into Ukraine.

How can this be happening in the United States?

HOGAN: Well, it's hard to imagine how any of this could be happening. We have got these kind of triple crises happening in America, with the health

crisis of the global pandemic, the worst economic crisis in our lifetime, and we have got this unrest after the tragic murder of George Floyd that

has brought to the surface all of this frustration over systemic racism that's boiled to the surface with demonstrations across America.

The -- look, I -- when I first became governor in 2015, right -- five months after I became governor, we had the worst violence break out in our

largest city, in Baltimore, in 47 years after the death of Freddie Gray.

And we had a lot of destruction and violence happen in the first few hours. And I, as a governor, had to bring in State Police and the Maryland

National Guard to help protect the citizens of Baltimore and keep the city safe.

And that's really -- so, I have -- I understand saying we can't have lawlessness and we can't have mobs taking over cities and destroying

property and hurting people. But I'm -- I don't really -- I don't like the idea -- I don't think we need to have federal troops coming into a city.

But I do believe some of these -- I do understand the other side of it. Peaceful protests, I think we ought to make sure we protect everybody's

right to peacefully protest. And they have very legitimate frustrations, and they ought to be able to express that anger and frustration in a

legitimate way.

But we can't have mobs destroying property and taking over our cities. So I think that the mayors of the cities need to step up and have a police

presence. And I think the governors have to come in, so that the federal government is not taking these kinds of action.

They shouldn't have to be in that position.

AMANPOUR: Right. And these governors haven't asked for them. And, by and large, these protests have been peaceful.

But I want to turn lastly to your book. And the mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, she's taken a bit of a jab at you, saying "We're

led by a governance seeking advancement to the national stage not by uplifting black communities and leaders, but at their expense.

Unfortunately, as long as Governor Hogan is still standing, the black community will languish at his feet."


I mean, she's basically saying bad schools, high crime, high unemployment, and saying that you made -- you didn't direct all your efforts to those

communities of need, but more to the maybe the more affluent white communities in Maryland.

HOGAN: Well, I think it's sad that she would say that, and I would disagree with that assessment.

Look, I have spent almost six years as governor. I have spent a lot of -- put a lot of time and attention and money invested in the city of

Baltimore. I have a 70 percent approval in the black community in Baltimore, which is almost impossible to do as a Republican, because I

invested so much time and energy.

Not only did we do a very good job, I think, of responding to the riots, but I have had record investments and education six years in a row. We put

billions into redevelopment of Baltimore, tearing down blighted properties, job training.

And so the mayor and I have a different opinion. I think the mayor left and didn't run for reelection because she was very unpopular. And many of those

are her responsibilities as mayor. But I have tried my very best as governor. It's a small part of our state, less than 10 percent, but we have

put about half of our time into trying to help address some of those issues in Baltimore, after decades and decades of failure and problems.

AMANPOUR: And a one-word answer.

Given the state that we're in right now, and these protests for justice, would you put that at the top of your political agenda?

HOGAN: Well, I think we obviously need to address -- we need to address the issues that are at the -- on the top of everybody's discussion right


We have also got not forget, though, that, right before this all happened, the number one concern of the black residents in our largest city, in

Baltimore City, was the violent crime and the murders.

So, while we're talking about addressing the problems of racism, we can't forget about the other problems that are happening in our city as well. We

have got to work on those problems at the same time.

AMANPOUR: To bring security to those black neighborhoods.

HOGAN: Exactly.

AMANPOUR: Governor Hogan, thank you very much, author of "Still Standing."

Thanks so much for joining us.

And we now turn to the state of Georgia, where, unlike Governor Hogan, Governor Brian Kemp is on the same page as President Trump all the time,

and he is suing the mayor of Atlanta to block the city's mask mandate.

Democrat Keisha Lance Bottoms was elected in 2017. And she's reportedly on Vice President Joe Biden's short list as a potential running mate.

And, here, she's speaking to Walter Isaacson about that and about why she doesn't support defunding the police.



And, Madam Mayor, welcome to the show.


ISAACSON: You lost your friend the great Congressman John Lewis.

Can you give us a little bit more of a personal reflection, some story that reveals to us his character and what he meant to you?

BOTTOMS: Certainly.

And I can't help but smile when I think about him. This is such a sad occasion for all of us. But when you think of Congressman Lewis, there's so

many things that bring just joy to your heart.

And, for me personally, it was this very personal connection with Congressman Lewis. Congressman Lewis worked very closely with my aunt Ruby

Doris Smith Robinson in SNCC.

And she died when she was 26, well -- many years before I was born, but each time I would see Congressman Lewis and I would mention her name, he

would cry. And it always struck me that, so many years later, that he still felt so strongly about someone who had worked alongside him that it would

bring tears to his eyes.

And, to me, it really was representative of more than just my aunt's memory, but just really the heart and the emotion and still the commitment

to the movement that Congressman Lewis carried with him into the halls of Congress.

And he was just such a very special man. And growing up in Atlanta, you have this distinct pleasure of seeing these giants amongst you in places

like the grocery store or in a church service.

And so, for me, he was more than my congressman. He was a part of my community and he was my friend.

ISAACSON: What's the best way we can honor his legacy?

BOTTOMS: The best way that we can honor his legacy is to continue to fight the good fight.

And we made so much progress in this country because of the sacrifices of Congressman Lewis, but he was very clear that the fight was not over and we

still had miles to go.


And the best way to do it is to honor his legacy, in the same way that he fought the good fight. He fought it, being very thoughtful, in a nonviolent

way, but always very firm and very clear on where he was headed and where he knew we needed to go as a people.

And I think that's the best way to honor his legacy. And I think it's so appropriate that one of his last public appearances was at the Black Lives

Matter mural in D.C. I think that said it all for all of us.

ISAACSON: You, your husband, your son, have just tested positive for COVID.

First of all, how are you feeling and how are they feeling?

BOTTOMS: Thankfully, we're all feeling so much better.

My husband really had the worst of it in our household. And it was so frightening to watch someone like him, who is, by all accounts, in

perfectly good health, be taken to his knees by COVID.

And by the grace of God, our household did not suffer the fate that we have seen so many other families suffer when COVID has hit their household.

And it is even more of a reason that I am so passionate about continuing to push for masks to be worn, and also for us to just really be responsible as


As a mayor, I was not prepared or even anticipating to have face a pandemic, but we have all had to adjust. And that's what it's going to take

for us as a country to get to the other side of this virus. We will all have to make adjustments that may be uncomfortable for us.

But when you have thousands upon thousands of people in our state who are testing positive, thousands who have died, and, of course, millions across

the globe, we have to do all that we possibly can do to slow the spread of this virus.

ISAACSON: Why are things so bad in Atlanta and in Georgia?

BOTTOMS: I believe things that are so bad because we have not followed the science, because we were reckless in reopening. At that time, we didn't

even follow the guidelines from the White House that said we weren't ready to reopen.

Our numbers were not where they needed to be. And so it's no surprise that we have amongst the highest infection rates in the country. We're running

roughly around number five in the country. And that's not in line even with where we are population-wise with our state in terms of the highest

populated states.

So, we're outpacing so many other states in this country. And it's simply because we aren't following the science.

ISAACSON: Now, you have been hit with a lawsuit from your own Republican governor, because you have a mandate for people to wear masks in the city

of Atlanta.

Other cities in Georgia also have that mandate, but he seems to have gone after you personally. In fact, you're being sued personally, not the city.

What's that all about?

BOTTOMS: I have no idea. In the midst of a pandemic, I have no idea.

When I have seen the report that was published -- or that was not published by the White House, it says that Georgia is a red zone state, with a set of

very clear recommendations that local municipalities should be allowed to place stringent guidelines around crowd gatherings, et cetera.

When this report also speaks about the need for us to wear face coverings, it makes no sense to me. And there was leadership from Mayor Van Johnson in

Savannah. July 1, he instituted a mask mandate. On July 8, the mayor of Athens, Georgia, the governor's hometown, instituted a mask mandate.

There were several other cities that followed. Yet, when the capital city of Atlanta pushed forward with a mask mandate, he sued me personally and is

also asking that I be silenced. If it were up to the governor of this state, I would not be doing this interview to talk about COVID-19.

So, it's a Trumpian play. And it is not helping us get outside of this pandemic. It's a waste of resources, and certainly my time and energy, when

the better use of time, energy and resources would be for us to continue to push forward to get over COVID-19.


ISAACSON: But is there something personal?

I mean, you're the only woman mayor, and he goes right after you. Or it's because of the demographics of the city, or what is it that's causing him,

in your mind? What do you think is causing this dispute?

BOTTOMS: Well, it certainly feels personal, because he sued me personally, in his name, not the state of Georgia vs. city of Atlanta, his name,

Governor Brian Kemp, vs. me and members of our City Council. So, it feels personal because it is personal.

I don't know if it's because I am a woman who pushed forward with this mandate. I don't know if it's because of the demographics of our city, or

if it is because of my very vocal support of Joe Biden. We know that Georgia is a battleground state.

Whatever the reasons are, he can speak to that. But he certainly singled me out and singled out the people of Atlanta. And it really is something I

have not seen happen in this state in many, many, many years.

ISAACSON: Why don't you pick up the phone and call him or have him pick up the phone and call you?

BOTTOMS: The governor and I do talk regularly. We don't speak weekly. I have not spoken to him since he filed his lawsuit.

I actually led the governor's task force on COVID-19 as we dealt with our homeless population. So we have never been completely aligned with some of

our approaches, but certainly in a better space than we are now.

I think it was noteworthy that this lawsuit was filed the day after Donald Trump came to our state, and I pointed out that he was in violation of our

city ordinance because he was at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is owned and operated by the city of Atlanta, and he did not

have on a mask.

I don't think it's happenstance, the timing of the lawsuit, after I pointed that out. So I am sure, at some point, the governor and I will speak again.

Even when we have had the highest of disagreements, we have continued to communicate, but certainly we're in a very different space, as a he has

sued me and is seeking to silence me.

ISAACSON: When you see the spike in violence that's happened in Atlanta recently, what do you think when you hear people say, defund the police?

BOTTOMS: I don't agree with that concept.

I -- what I believe is that we need to be smarter about how we allocate all of our resources. We have done that in the city of Atlanta. We began

looking at our budget two years ago, two or three years ago, when I came into office, and we began to really reimagine criminal justice reform in


We began looking at our city detention center. I ended up cash bail bonds in the city of Atlanta, meaning you don't stay in jail simply because you

don't have the money to pay to get out, to pay a city fine. I also ended our city's relationship with ICE.

And that meant that this 400,000-plus-square-foot facility that once housed hundreds of people a night, we now house maybe 25 to 30 people. So we have

begun some transformative work on transitioning our jail into a community center of health and equity and wellness.

That's the type of thoughtfulness we need to give to our city budgets. We slashed our Corrections Department budget by over 60 percent. We have

reallocated our -- many of our corrections employees to put them in community-based employment categories to go out and be boots on the grounds

with our communities.

That's the thoughtfulness I think that we have to give to our budgets across the country. In one city, it may be that that budget can come from

the police department, but, in another city, it may be that it comes from another department.

But I think it's important to look at our budgets as a whole, and not just focus on one department or one area, when we need to focus on what the goal

is. And the goal is to create more equity in our communities.

ISAACSON: Well, just so I understand, you don't feel in Atlanta that you should be reducing the budget for the Atlanta Police Department, do you?

BOTTOMS: I don't, but I do think that we need to look at that budget and make sure that it is achieving all that we need -- need it to achieve.

When I looked at our budget for this year's budget process, what I saw was worker compensation, I saw capital costs, I saw salaries, I saw pension.


I didn't see a way for us to slash our Atlanta Police Department budget without laying off officers. So, I didn't think that was the appropriate

thing for us to do with our budget.

But I do think there's an opportunity for us to layer on additional support services in our police department and many of the things that we have heard

people talk about in the context of changing on how we allocate our personal safety -- our public safety dollars.

ISAACSON: Give us your reaction to what's happening in Portland, Oregon, the unrest there, and the use of federal agents there to try to cope with


BOTTOMS: It's despicable. What's happening in Portland.

And not only is it happening in Portland, but this president is threatening to send in agents into other cities. And we should all be alarmed by that.

The thought that there are agents taking people off the streets in unmarked cars and unidentified agents doesn't sound very much like America that I


And no matter what your politics are, that should give us all cause for concern. And, certainly, we should all demand that it stop, and even have

an understanding on why it's happening in this way to begin with.

The challenge -- the biggest issue and exception that I take is that, if you actually care about helping cities, then why don't you ask what cities

need help with? And, as far as I know, the great mayor of Portland has not said that he needs any help from the federal government to snatch his

citizens off his streets in the cover of night.

And it is -- it's -- we have got to be very careful on how far we let this go. If we let this happen in this instance, then it -- what is going to

happen in the next instance? And it's frightening and certainly not -- it just seems very un-American to me.

ISAACSON: Do you worry that the ongoing pandemic will overtake the fight for racial justice that we're going through?

BOTTOMS: I worry that our country is on a collision course for disaster. Certainly, this pandemic is challenging the movement that's happening

across this country.

It is -- people have lost patience. And it does not help that it is -- the uncertainty of this country is big inflamed by the person who's in the

White House right now.

But what I do know about this country and about this democracy, no matter how many times we get it wrong, the beauty of it is, there's always another

opportunity to get it right, because I know that we will get it right. But for the sake of us all, I do hope that there's a vaccine very soon for


And, certainly, it goes without saying I hope that there's a change in leadership in the White House very soon.

ISAACSON: You have been vetted to be a possible running mate for Joe Biden. He's always said he wanted somebody who would be ready on day one to

take over.

Do you think you have the experience, having been the mayor of a city, to take over on day one, were you to be chosen to be the vice president?

BOTTOMS: I certainly do.

I personally have a background, varied experience. I served as a judge. I also served in the legislative branch for many years as a part of our City

Council, and now, as mayor, at one of the most challenging of times in America.

And so much about leadership is about leadership in the midst of crisis. There's been no handbook and no playbook for what mayors across this

country have had to deal with as it relates to COVID-19, the protests that are happening across this country. And we're doing it with a lack of

leadership from the federal government and, in my case, with challenged leadership at the state as well.

And there are 19,000 municipalities across this country. So, there are -- there's a very large and diverse group of folks across this country who

understand and appreciate what leadership as a mayor entails.


And, certainly I know that I am qualified on day one, and I'll put my experience and my qualifications up against anyone's.

But, as I have said, this certainly will be Joe Biden's decision. And he knows better than anyone of what a good vice president, a great vice

president should be. And I trust that he's going to make the right decision.

ISAACSON: Madam Mayor, thank you so much for joining us.

BOTTOMS: Thank you for having me.


AMANPOUR: Such an important conversation on the election, on racial justice, on battling COVID. It's really incredible, that conversation.

And finally tonight, the Italian Coast Guard is trying to free a huge sperm whale that was caught in a discarded fishing net a few days ago. These

incredible pictures show the diving team in the sea of Italy's Aeolian Islands.

This, of course, serves as just another reminder of the devastating impact that abandoned and illegal fishing nets pose, as well as plastics and other

garbage. All of that has such a bad effect on sea life and eventually on our own lives through the food chain, of course.

Now, the whale itself has been named Fury because of its strenuous efforts to break out of that net. Remember the film "Free Willy?" Well, let's hope

there's a free Fury story to report.

That's it for now.

You can always catch us online, on our podcast, and across social media. Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.