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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

U.S. Deaths Top 157,000 With More than 4.8 Million COVID-19 Cases; Novavax Reports Favorable Results In Its Vaccine Trial. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired August 5, 2020 - 20:00   ET

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


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Thanks to Arwa, and thanks to all of you for being with us. AC 360 begins right now.

[20:00:05]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: And good evening. A new report from CNN quotes a source who says that only does President Trump still not fully grasp the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, he just doesn't seem to be interested in the topic for any length of time.

Last night, the President attended his first meeting with the Coronavirus Taskforce since April. He put out pictures marking his attendance on Twitter last night, but this source is telling CNN that try as the Coronavirus Taskforce might, he was just not interested.

He even tried to change the subject quoting the source now, "He starts talking about something else." He's either not interested, he doesn't care or doesn't think it's a winning topic for his reelection.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the Taskforce joined my colleague Dr. Sanjay Gupta at a conference today in Washington to discuss the virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: There's such a divergence of how people view this and such a divisiveness that is now crept into political -- remember a little while ago, you know, it depends on whether you wear a mask on how you feel politically, which was completely ridiculous.

Because a mask is a public health tool. It doesn't make any difference, and yet, we've gotten into this.

So the atmosphere that we're in right now is not conducive to, you know, to the kinds of things you're talking about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Dr. Fauci had a number of fact based points we hope the President of the United States hears and listens to. One is about how leaders need to change when the facts change.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FAUCI: The true nature of science is that, particularly when you're

an evolving situation, you've got to be flexible enough and humble enough to say, you know, two months or three months down the line, we're starting to see a different set of data and a different set of facts that we may want to modify a bit the kinds of decisions and recommendations that we make.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Full and humble -- those adjectives were not on display at the President's news conference a short time ago. There were props on display, said the Healthcare President. This is the President who vowed and failed to end Obamacare and replace it with a never announced plan, that failed as well. He kept promising a plan, he never came up with one. But now he is calling himself a Healthcare President.

And as of just over two weeks ago, he is still making the same claim about healthcare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're signing a healthcare plan within two weeks, a full and complete healthcare plan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was over two weeks ago. He just says things about healthcare and the virus like it's under control, repeatedly, the same things over and over, like this one at the same news conference about when the epidemic will end.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It's going away. No. It'll go away like things go away. Absolutely. It's no question in my mind, it will go. Please go ahead. Frankly sooner rather than later.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Coronaviruses don't always just go away, nor does the President's promise that it will go away. He has actually been saying that since the start of the pandemic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It's going to disappear one day, it's like a miracle, it will disappear.

It will go away, just stay calm. It will go away.

It will go away, you know it -- you know, it is going away, and it will go away, and we're going to have a great victory.

It is going to go away, hopefully at the end of the month. And if not, hopefully, will be soon after that. I think what happens is it's going to go away. This is going to go

away.

I feel about vaccines, like I feel about tests, this is going to go away without a vaccine.

I always say even without it, it goes away. I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope.

QUESTION: You still believe so? Disappear.

TRUMP: I do. I do. Yes, sure. At some point, you know, I said, it's going to disappear. I'll say it again. It's going to disappear.

The virus will disappear. It will disappear.

You know, I say it's going to disappear. They say, oh, that's terrible. I say, well, well, it's true. I mean, it's going to disappear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: And we saw this during Katrina. Hope is not a plan. There were plenty of leaders back then who had a lot of hope about what might happen, the storm might pass, it's not going to be that bad. The levees will hold. Hope isn't a plan.

This President has no national plan. It is what it is, in his words. He won't listen to his top health officials, even when the lies are potentially dangerous ones.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'm talking about from getting very sick. If you look at children, I mean, they're able to throw it off very easily. And it's an amazing thing because some flus, they don't, they get very sick, and they have problems with flus, and they have problems with other things. But for whatever reason, the China virus, children handle it very well.

And they may -- they may get it, but they get it and it doesn't have much of an impact on them, and if you look at the numbers, the numbers in terms of mortality, fatality, the numbers for children under a certain age, meaning young, their immune systems are very, very strong. They're very powerful and they seem to be able to handle it very well. And that's according to every statistic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: You know, just before he said that, Facebook actually announced it had taken down a clip of the President saying basically the same thing during his interview on Fox from this morning because it's not true.

[20:05:10] COOPER: And it's harmful to spread the idea that kids are basically

immune. A South Korean study published by the C.D.C. said children at least 10 years of age are just as likely to spread the disease as adults and get infected just like everybody and spread it.

And a new study from doctors at Children's National Hospital and George Washington University in Washington found that not only can the disease infect children, which we knew, but it looked at which children are most often exposed to the virus. The answer is black and Hispanic kids and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

With a thousand of kids tested at one site in Washington, D.C. that were studied, 7.3 percent of white kids were positive, 30 percent of black kids were and 46.4 percent of Hispanic kids. Even when it was adjusted for age and sex and median family income, the inequalities still exist even among children.

The President can't pay attention long enough to hear these facts. It just is what it is, I guess.

More reaction from President Trump's news conference now with our Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta and our chief political correspondent, Dana Bash.

Jim, what we saw from the President today, I mean, it seems to square with your reporting that he just -- I don't know, because he doesn't grasp the severity of the pandemic or it doesn't play into what he thinks is a winning plan for reelection?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think that's a good question, Anderson. I do think it was notable that a source familiar with this meeting that the President had in the Oval Office yesterday with members of his Taskforce would say something along the lines of, he doesn't get it and repeatedly said in this conversation I had with a source that the President doesn't get it when it comes to the severity of this pandemic.

Obviously, members of the Coronavirus Taskforce can't go out on television or feel it they can't go out on television and say that the President doesn't get it publicly, but it not only squares with the President's performance today, not only on Fox, but in the briefing that he had this afternoon with reporters saying once again, as you just laid out, the virus is going to go away and so on.

But when you have members of the Taskforce going out there publicly as Dr. Deborah Birx did with Dana the other day and say that the virus is extraordinarily widespread, when Dr. Anthony Fauci testified up on Capitol Hill last week that the virus is not just going to disappear, Brett Giroir who is the testing coordinator for the Taskforce was on one of the Sunday talk shows over the weekend, saying that hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment for the coronavirus.

You have members of this Taskforce, Anderson, distancing themselves from the President, and I think that was -- I think that was very obvious in some of the quotes I was getting from this source familiar with this meeting that the President had yesterday. There are people inside the administration who just don't believe the

President gets it.

COOPER: Jim, it's interesting, I mean, they are sort of saying he doesn't get it. That's that person's opinion, obviously and it is allowing the President a certain -- I mean, it's sort of premised on the idea that well, it's just a matter of trying to make him understand it, and then he'll get it, and then he'll change, as opposed to what if he does get it? What if he does understand the numbers which are put in front of him, and he actually sees what we are all seeing, but he just doesn't believe that this is a winning topic for him to get reelected.

And so he has a strategy of just push it to the states, get as far away from it as possible. Stay protected in a biological bunker, hope it goes away and just say it's going away and say it's under control.

ACOSTA: I think that's a very good question, and I will tell you talking to my sources over the last several months about this, one of the other words that comes up when it comes to how people inside the administration close to the Taskforce describe the President's thinking, I mean, it has been described as a state of denial on the part of this President that he is just in denial when it comes to severity of this pandemic.

And I think that goes to why he is engaging in this magical thinking that it's going to go way. Now, perhaps you're right Anderson, and perhaps he is just -- he is seeing the data, understanding the data and just flat out lying to the American people, lying to everybody.

But at this point, our sources are not telling us that. They're telling us that he's in denial and that he just doesn't get it and I do think that there is a sense of that you get from these press conferences when the President, you know, I think he just sort of engages in this magical thinking that hydroxychloroquine can fix things and so on when the data just doesn't back it up.

And we've seen this happen in other parts of the government, other episodes throughout this administration where he doesn't trust experts, doesn't trust generals, doesn't trust the scientists and so on.

COOPER: But, Dana, it's maybe magical thinking, but it is all magical thinking to an end, which is don't listen to what the experts are saying. It's not that bad. It's under control and things are great, and I'm working hard.

I mean, it's not as if it is magical thinking that hurts him, it all is to his own benefit.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is except that it is to his detriment politically, talking to sources that I'm in touch with when he ignores reality.

[20:10:10] BASH: And maybe that was working for him for a little while,

potentially working for him for a little while. But now it's like ignoring the nose on our faces. I mean, it's as plain as anyone can see and the fact that he is trying to whitewash it is not necessarily beneficial to him politically, because people are more and more seeing him, not just with a leadership crisis, but with -- questioning whether or not he is living on the same planet that everybody else is living in.

You know, a lot of times, frankly, most times in politics, politicians can give a spin on something because it doesn't necessarily touch people's everyday lives.

Can you remember a time when something like this pandemic touched more people's everyday lives that crossed party lines? That crossed generations? That crossed geography? It's unbelievable.

And so -- and he can't face it with the tools at his disposal, which is the power of persuasion and the desire to bend reality.

COOPER: Yes. Dana Bash, Jim Acosta, thank you. Appreciate it, as always.

For our medical perspective on what we heard from the President, let's bring our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who again interviewed Dr. Fauci today and Dr. Richard Besser, former acting C.D.C. Director under President Obama. He is currently President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Sanjay, the President stood on the podium today with the screens behind him there calling him the Healthcare President. He still doesn't have a plan to battle this virus and again, just saying that it's going to disappear someday, hopefully soon. That's not a plan.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT No, it's not a plan. And you know, I think the thing that I was really struck by is that this tendency to want to hit the homerun, right? Everyone talks about the vaccine and, you know, the magical therapeutic, and everybody wants those sorts of things, most people do anyway.

But there are many things that can be done and should be done now that can make a big difference. And you know, we've seen evidence of how well these things work in other places around the world.

So it may seem silly to talk about masking and physical distancing, and hand washing and avoiding large crowded indoor spaces, when the other part of the conversation is, you know, mRNA vaccine. But these need to be part of the plan.

I mean, that's the thing. There's so much confusion now, I can tell you personally, making lots of calls to people around the country, they don't know what the plan is going to be in terms of opening schools, going back to work, or is there going to be testing available? What is the mask sort of policy in places? Some have it, some don't. So there's a lot of confusion, I think as a result of not having a plan. COOPER: Dr. Besser, I mean, you've run the C.D.C. I mean, do you

think it is that the President doesn't get it or -- I'm not sure how anyone doesn't get it at this point? At a certain point, it just becomes intentional that you're not getting it.

DR. RICHARD BESSER, FORMER ACTING C.D.C. DIRECTOR: Well, you know, I think we are in an extremely dangerous situation as we're moving to try and get children back to where they belong, which is in schools learning to be hearing these kinds of mixed messages about where we are and what needs to be done.

I was on calls today with State Regional Commission that's looking at what efforts can be done in the northeast and I was on a New Jersey call looking at what we can do in our state.

These are many states that are doing the right thing in terms of reducing community transmission. But even with that, if there's not the leadership from the top at the Federal level, as we start to reopen schools, as we get children back into the classroom, we're going to see disease spread in out of control ways.

You can't think about things like school reentry, getting kids back in the classroom as separate from the measures that have to be done, that are basic that have been done all around the world to get this under control in communities and that has to start from the top with the President really leading the charge that this is what we need to do.

COOPER: And Sanjay, you know, when you look at these studies now, the one that we talked about at the top of the program coming out of a thousand kids who were tested at a testing center in Washington, D.C., you know, a little more than seven percent of white kids were positive, some 30 percent of black kids and I think it was 46.6 percent of Hispanic kids.

I mean, even when you put out sort of medium incomes when you factor that in, these inequalities exists, even the fact that, you know, these inequalities that exist in society impact children's lives from the earliest ages.

GUPTA: Yes. Yes, they really do, and I saw that study and I was, you know, obviously you've got to put that in the backdrop of there's still not enough testing as well because when you're getting that sort of positivity rates that means you know, you probably have way more kids who are actually infected than you even realize.

So, I mean that's part of the problem is if you know that you're testing enough people, if you start to see five percent positivity or below, when you're getting that percentage here, it's exactly like you said, first of all, the black and brown America are disproportionately affected by this as Richard Besser has talked about for so long. But we also still don't have enough testing, you know, across the board.

[20:15:29]

COOPER: And Dr. Besser, in terms of testing, when it takes days and days to get results back, you know, and we've discussed this with Bill Gates and others, it does become essentially meaningless, isn't it? I mean, I've talked to the Admiral Giroir about this, you know, who didn't really want to say it's meaningless, but I mean, if it takes you 10 days to get a test result back, what effect does that -- how valuable is that test?

BESSER: Yes, I mean, it's-- I wouldn't say it's meaningless, but what it does is it expands the circle of contacts you have to be looking for. So if I get tested today, and I don't know for a week that my result is positive and contact tracing starts then, they'll be able to find my contacts at that point.

But at that point, it's the contacts of my contacts who are also at risk, and if we're not looking at testing broken down by those demographic factors you were talking about, by race, by ethnicity, by neighborhood, by income, we are going to miss the fact that the resources for testing, the resources for control are not being distributed evenly. They're not being distributed targeting the communities that are getting hit the hardest.

And as we move forward, you know, to reopen schools, we're going to see the same communities and same populations get hit even harder.

COOPER: Sanjay, you spoke to Dr. Fauci earlier on. We played some of that. I want to play what he said specifically on testing because you brought up the fact that you couldn't get a COVID result for one of your patients when you were going to be doing brain surgery on them.

You could get all sorts of other tests done on that person, but not a COVID test. You had to suit up in PPE, which, you know, ate up a lot of valuable PPE that could have been used elsewhere. Let's listen to what Fauci said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAUCI: It's unacceptable. Period. The gap between the time you get the test, and the time you get the result, in some respects only obviates the reason why you did the test. We've got to correct that.

The ultimate goal is that you would have a test that you could do and get a result in 10 minutes that's sensitive, specific and can be up- scaled in the sense of you can do it any place in anywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I mean, we're six months in on this. When would such a 10- minute test become a reality?

GUPTA: Well, you know, we have been talking about needing the big breakthroughs in testing for some time. I had a few long conversations about this today with people who are working in this area and there's probably going to be a couple of what are called emergency use authorizations for antigen tests.

Now, these antigen tests are different than the genetic tests that we've been talking a lot about. They can be more widely distributed. They're easier to do. They're cheaper. The problem with these tests is they're not as sensitive typically as

the other type of tests that we've been talking about. So one of the strategies that comes up is like, look, let's say you have a test that's 80 percent sensitive or 85 percent sensitive. It's missing 15 percent of the people. That's not a good thing.

But if you have enough of those tests, and you can do them repeatedly, then you start to catch people that you would otherwise miss. It's not a perfect solution. But right now, we simply don't have enough testing period.

So we're probably going to see some of these innovative sort of approaches starting to take place in all sorts of places around the country.

COOPER: Dr. Besser, thank you. I appreciate all you're doing and Sanjay as well. Sanjay, stick around. Sanjay, I am going to speak with one of the top research officials at Novavax which just announced some promising news about a vaccine it is working on.

And later, I'll talk with a man who quite literally should be dead right now. He and his wife will be here to discuss how he survived the coronavirus despite multiple intubations and his heart stopping. He was in the hospital for months. It's an amazing story and a cautionary one as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:22:51]

COOPER: More breaking news. Report says U.S. death toll has topped 1,000 again. Right now, it's at 1,053. It's the second day in a row we've topped a thousand. That increases the urgency of course for a vaccine.

The most recent promising result comes from what is now only the third U.S. company to release results showing the efficacy of its vaccine.

Novavax that after two doses of its vaccine, participants developed neutralizing antibodies and more than four times the levels on average than those developed by people who have recovered from the virus itself.

We should note about these Phase 1 results, the report has been submitted to a medical journal, has not yet been reviewed by scientists outside of Novavax or it hasn't been published.

Lots to discuss. Dr. Gregory Glenn, President of Research and Development at Novavax and back with us, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Dr. Glenn, can you just walk us through the results of the Phase 1 data and how those results differ from what we've learned about the other two American vaccines that have released their results from Phase 1 trials?

DR. GREGORY GLENN, PRESIDENT OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, NOVAVAX: Yes, thank you. And thank you for your interest. Thank you for having me and I think you framed it well. So this was a test in 131 subjects. We gave them two doses of our vaccine.

And in the in the context of respiratory viruses, you can take the actual virus itself and mix it with the antibodies you induce and see whether you can you can essentially inactivate it. So that's called a neutralizing antibody.

I think most people in our field believe that, that that's going to be something that will correlate or could induce protection and what we tried to try to do and of course, you know this, all blinded, so we didn't know until a couple of days ago when you pushed the button, we didn't know how well it compared to sera from subjects who had been sick.

We had a colleague at the Baylor College of Medicine. He had a number of subjects who had been really you know, quite ill in the ER or the ICU, and you know, to our pleasant surprise, the vaccine was making antibodies -- neutralizing antibodies that were about four times higher than what you see in convalescent subjects.

And what that means, if you get really ill, I think we're all in my field all convinced, if someone gets really ill from a virus infection, they're very likely to be protected. Where you wouldn't see protection is if you have a minor illness and you have low neutralizing antibodies and that's common with flu, RSV, you have lots of, you know exposure to viruses where people have neutralizing antibodies, but they're not at a level of protection.

[20:25:11]

GLENN: So that's why we're so buoyed. We see these really very robust antibody responses that we know are functional and could kill off the virus, so that's got us excited, and really ready to move on to the next stage of testing.

COOPER: Sanjay?

GUPTA: Dr. Glenn, I wonder if you -- first of all, this a nanoparticle vaccine. So this is I think, new for a lot of people. I'm curious, has there ever been a nanoparticle vaccine? And if you could just very briefly for our audience, explain, how do you how do you make a nanoparticle vaccine?

GLENN: So you know, nano means it's at the scale or the size of a virus and so what you're trying to do with a vaccine obviously, is create immunity without ever getting sick.

The immune system is programmed to see the nano size. If it sees a nanoparticle, it becomes activated and you get these very robust immune responses. So there are a few different nanoparticles. And you know, by the way, you know, hepatitis B vaccine, which has been, as you know, has been very successful, a very good vaccine was kind of the first particle vaccine made recombinantly.

We have a little bit of a different take on that. These are respiratory viruses. They have a complex mechanism by which they bind to a human cell and basically, this protein called the spike protein, acts like a syringe to inject the virus genetic material into a host cell, and that takes over and that your lung cell now becomes a virus factory and at its very course, very destructive to that tissue.

So if we can block that, if we can make an antibody to that spike protein, so to do that, we have to make the spike protein, almost, you know, exactly like it isn't the virus, but we put it into a little particle and that's all it's in our particles, not a virus.

It's not living. It's just this recombinant sort of glycoprotein that's like this syringe, as I said, and if you make antibodies to that, you're going to block the infection with a lot of certainty. That's what we do. That's why it's such a good vaccine.

COOPER: Of the 106 study subjects who got the vaccine, I understand five developed severe side effects, which I think lasted on average two days or less. Have you adjusted future trial phases based on that or adjusted dosing based on that? And what sort of side effects did they have?

GLENN: Yes, yes, those are -- you know, look, you know, it's always important to explain, first of all, collect safety and explain it well, and so, you know, what we do at a trial is we're blinded, so people get saltwater, and they get, you know, the vaccine. And there's a couple different formulations we have.

So in, you know, in the trial, you ask people, well, did your arm hurt? You know, did you feel tired? Do your muscles hurt? Et cetera, and there's going to be a certain number of people in the placebo group that report many of these symptoms, and in fact, you know, severe symptoms.

So there's a smattering of things where what severe means is they didn't feel like they could do their normal activities that day. So these are short lived severe outcomes, you know, like malaise or you know, muscle aches. They're transient.

And so, you know, I think that's pretty normal. If you look across the whole percentage of subject, these are one and two, you know, subjects having these kind of events. So that's pretty normal for a vaccine.

You know, we've compared our nanoparticle vaccine with for example, with flu, and so it's pretty similar to that and I think that's not terribly unusual for a vaccine.

So, you know, there is no such thing as a free lunch. There's going to be some arm pain and some of these symptoms and one of the things our vaccine does not do, which complicates you know, a COVID vaccine is we don't induce fever, and some of the other vaccines have some levels of fever and that, you know, that's a hard one, so we're -- that's one of the positive things in our safety profile that we saw.

GUPTA: Well, it's always one of these things, I've imagined, Dr. Glenn, when you study it in Phase 1, it's mostly healthy people, right, who are younger, maybe don't have preexisting conditions. So how much do you worry about those side effects you're just talking

to Anderson about when you start to really widen the population of people who are getting this?

GLENN: Well, the good news is, you know, and I used to be an Army doctor, the biggest babies in the world are the ones that are 18 to 25. So you know, when you get old like me now, the symptoms tend to be much, you know, to be less, okay. People who are older, you know, complain of less pain et cetera.

So, actually, it goes the other way around, and you know, you're right. We're in the population of 18 to 59 and now we're going to go into older adults. We just have very recent experience, you know, we also were a flu vaccine company that has a really good a new flu that addresses, you would understand this, the changes the antigenic drift that goes on where you're choosing strain one year, it reappears as a new strain in the coming year and then your vaccine isn't relevant.

[20:30:09]

We just unblinded a Phase 3 pivotal trial in March, showing that we can address that. And in that we have safety with our formulation, it's very similar to COVID in 65 years and older, so we have a lot of experience with this older group that have comorbidities et cetera.

And, you know, we are vaccine performed very well there. We met all eight co-primary inputs, we had a very good result. So we've transitioned to COVID. We know that's going to be an important population. I think you'll see, you know, the kind of things we're talking about in terms of safety. They'll toned down a little bit in that older population.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Doctor and I got to go, but I just want to -- just briefly you had said before a while ago, I think that you were looking for as early as in December for, you know, frontline responders. Is that still possible?

GLENN: Yes, I think that's possible. We're -- I can't tell you this is amazing global collaboration vaccine companies are focused in a way that -- it's just really incredibly be a part of it. And that's a goal. I think that's people have set out that goal by the end of the year. Maybe we'll be deploying these vaccines and, you know, changing all this curse that we have with us right now. That's how the virus.

COOPER: Dr. Glenn, thanks for all you're doing, appreciate it. Sanjay as well.

Ahead on 360, a man has been called the miracle COVID survivor who was on a ventilator coded once his leg was amputated. His wife was told several times he was not expected to survive. Thankfully he did. It's an amazing story. Chris Rogan is his name, his wife Crystal share how he spent 132 days in the hospital and survived. When we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:36:12] COOPER: With the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. topping 4.8 million and the death toll approaching 158,000. Tonight we continue to share stories of survival and this is incredible. I want you to meet Chris Rogan. Some call him the miracle survivor, he's 29 years old from New Jersey was hospitalized in March. Doctors didn't expect Chris to survive. Chris' wife was planning his funeral, had been intubated twice, coated once, his heart stopped for four to five minutes. He suffered a blood clot, had to have his leg amputated. His situation very similar to that a Broadway actor Nick Cordero who lost his life but amazingly, thankfully, Chris Rogan is a survivor and he's survived.

When he's released on June 16th, he spent 132 days in the hospital more than four months. Chris joins me tonight along with his wife Crystal. I mean, I'm so glad you're both here in so many ways. And I'm sure both of you here as well. Chris, you were just released from the hospital yesterday. How are you doing? But it's all I mean, to be out of the hospital after 132 days. What's that like?

CHRIS ROGAN, COVID SURVIVOR: It's amazing. I'm elated. You know, I felt like there was a point that I was never going to come home. So to have been released yesterday was a success, was wonderful.

COOPER: How much -- how long were you in a coma for I guess it was -- I'm assuming it's a medically induced coma? Is that right? And I mean how long were you out for>

C. ROGAN: So the long -- the second stretch, which is the longest was about 61 days. Yes.

COOPER: Wow.

C. ROGAN: Sixty, yes.

COOPER: And I read that when you when you woke up, usually people can't even speak when they wake up. I heard that was not the case with you.

C. ROGAN: No. My first words were good morning. So the nurse and they were shocked.

COOPER: That she was freaked out. Did you realize that -- you didn't realize. I mean, I assume that you had been out for so long.

C. ROGAN: Yes, exactly. So I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know that that wasn't the case normally. And it didn't even feel like it had been 61 days. It felt like it had only been two weeks when I woke up.

COOPER: And I understand that when you woke up, you didn't nobody -- you didn't know that your leg had been amputated. And it wasn't until -- I mean how did you find out?

C. ROGAN: So the surgical team had come in, and I didn't know what they were doing. But one of them had asked me do you still feel like there's a leg there? And I said, what do you mean, is there a leg there? And yes, that was shocking news. But figured from that point, I had to be serious. So I've lost my leg. Yes.

COOPER: And Crystal. I mean, obviously you're aware of everything that's happening to Chris. You weren't able. Were you ever able to be with Chris in the hospital?

CRYSTAL ROGAN, WIFE OF CHRIS: Not at first I was able to visit him a couple of times. And I also was able to get his parents in to see him. At first they were saying how you don't want to be able to see him because if you're allowed to come visit, it means, you know, he's dying.

COOPER: Had -- I mean for you. I mean, you know, when someone's in the hospital, it's their loved one is in the hospital as much as anybody I mean, they're with their loved one is going through this at that, you know, in the same way, what's it been like for you, the ups and the downs of this?

C. ROGAN: It -- I mean, to be honest, it hasn't been great. You know, I would not ever want to relive the last couple of months. But it was -- it's all worth it because he's OK. Yes, I mean, it's been literally we out we were taking it day by day, sometimes hour by hour and It's just how we had to roll you know, just literally rolling with the punches.

[20:40:04]

COOPER: Gosh. Yes and you were following Crystal, Nick Cordero's journey. He had a very long battle with a virus, tragically died after months of treatment. I mean, in many cases, Chris' case was very similar. Have doctors been able to -- I mean, is there an explanation for why one person does better and another doesn't?

C. ROGAN: No, they have no, they have no idea how he's doing as well as he's doing.

COOPER: Wow. Chris, what do you want people to know about the virus because, you know, there's, as you may not know, you just kind of the hospital and you've been there 130 days. I mean, there's, you know, there's places where people aren't wearing masks. There's all sorts of different perspectives on this. You have seen this. You've gone through this, you know, as tough as anybody. What do you want people to know?

C. ROGAN: Definitely to take it seriously because when I had gotten sick I never thought it could be me. You know, back in March, mask store mandatory New York wasn't on a lockdown yet. And I figured I'm young, there's no way it's going to happen to me. And if it did, it's probably going to be mild. And here we are now, almost four months later, and that wasn't the case. So, you know, it's not a joke. You know, you could get unlucky, you could get lucky but either way, it's better to be safe than sorry.

COOPER: And I mean, you're out of the hospital or use it is recoveries a long process from here on?

C. ROGAN: It's still a continuing process for sure, but it was definitely a blessing and a miracle that I made it through and everything can be said I went through.

COOPER: And I mean looking this video of you being wheeled out of the hospital and they're all applauding and cheering for you. I mean, what a feeling that must have been.

C. ROGAN: Yes, it was. I'd heard about it being done for other COVID patients too, but to go through it myself was definitely a unique experience. And again, you know, just made it more serious like that so many people have died from this virus. And it's a thing to celebrate when people do recover.

COOPER: Well, you know, Chris and Crystal, you give hope to a lot of people out there whose, you know, someone tonight might be watching this whose loved one is in a hospital somewhere in this country or somewhere around the world, and you give them hope. And, you know, if you can make it out after 132 days, I mean that is that's just inspiring for all of us. I'm so happy you're home and I wish you the best in the road ahead.

C. ROGAN: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. I would say stay strong, but you don't need me to tell you that you're already or you're way stronger than I'll ever be. So, all right. Well, I wish you continued health. And I hope to see you again.

Up next we're going to be rude for an update on the explosion. There's caused more than 100 deaths left 5,000 others wounded.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:46:38]

COOPER: Authorities in Beirut say they are launching an investigation to that explosion that rocked the city yesterday more than 100 people are now confirmed dead and as many as 5,000 others injured. The blast was centered in the port of Beirut. Meanwhile, drone footage shows major sections now look like moonscape. It's extraordinary the effects of this blast.

President Trump today, continue to indicate the blast might have been intentional, he said quote, perhaps it was an attack, just speculating. His own defense secretary Mark Esper said he felt the incident was an accident. CNN Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman has latest from Beirut tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): George Faraoun has come with a friend to see what they can salvage from the remains of his parents apartment, which looked directly onto Beirut's port. Tuesday's blast turned it into a moonscape, a panorama of utter destruction. Dried blood marks the spot where his mother was resting in bed when the explosion sent to wall slamming on top of her. She's still in hospital. This was his parents' retirement home.

GEORGE FARAOUN, BEIRUT RESIDENT: This is their life. Everything they did here, look what happened?

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Given the damage, they probably will never be able to move back. Many neighbors were badly injured, others killed.

(on-camera): In addition to the dead and the wounded. Many, many people have lost their homes. According to the governor of Beirut, more than 300,000 people in the city have been made homeless.

(voice-over): Officials believe the blast emanated from a warehouse filled with 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate sitting there under lack security for six years. The government has promised a quick transparent investigation. Yet going back decades, Lebanon has witnessed a series of high profile assassinations and rarely if ever, has the truth emerged.

JAD ACHKAR, BEIRUT RESIDENT: This accident here, this crisis for 20 years going to talk about the investigation is never going to end. No conclusion, no results.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): And no confidence among many here that the truth will ever be known.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: It's so extraordinary Ben. And I mean, I know you felt the blast yourself in the Bureau, I can't believe you said I think as many as 300,000 people are homeless because of this, how our search and recovery efforts going?

WEDEMAN: They're pretty much over at this point in terms of looking for people who may be alive under the rubble. At this point, what we saw today, were hundreds, if not thousands, of people, mostly young people who flocked to the area around the port to help to people who needed to remove their belongings from their damaged homes, to clean up the streets, to help shop owners sort things out. What was remarkable was that did there wasn't much in the way of government involvement. This was very much a community effort. And I think you may recall, Anderson when you were covering the aftermath of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri in February 2015 how there is this community spirit that has is still very much alive in Lebanon despite decades war and the tumult and troubles for this country. But that spirit is still very much in evidence, despite it all.

[20:50:19]

COOPER: I mean that is such a hopeful thing. Because I mean, it's such a remarkable city. And I mean, you know, better than anybody all that that city has been through for decades. It's extraordinary that they now have to deal with this, but to see people coming out like that, it's just amazing. Ben Wedeman. I'm so glad you're there. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Up next, President Trump's latest attack on Nevada for passing legislation that expands mail-in and voting.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: For breaking news, President Trump is going to suing Nevada for passing legislation greatly expanding mail-in voting. President's remarks coming its next White House briefing, in this afternoon and remarks Arizona Republican governor. Now the President supports Arizona's Governor's mail-in ballot plans, but not Nevada is with a Democratic governor.

[20:55:07]

Last night in the program, you may remember Nevada's governor said the President concerns had no basis. In fact, all this coming after the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit against Nevada's legislation.

I want to bring back in CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash. Also with us White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

Dana, I mean, so you tax the mail-in voting in Nevada with Democratic governor says it won't work. The reason won't work is quote, pure, basic, beautiful intelligence. I have no idea what that actually means. But with Republican governors in Florida, elsewhere, it's fine. I mean, could it be any more just nakedly political?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: No, it couldn't. It really is. In Florida and in Arizona there are Republican governors and there are -- so that means that there are Republicans who can, who he can trust to better control the situation. Whatever that means. Now in Nevada, there is a difference to be fair in how they have crafted their law. And I know you talked to the governor last night, and it is that anybody who's a registered voter will get a ballot. That is what the President of the White House now say that they're complaining about an order to differentiate between that state which is a very important swing state and to others, also important, but are run by governors.

COOPER: And Kailtan the President's always already use the White House for political purposes with campaign style speeches attacking Vice President Biden from the podium. He said today, he may actually give his Republican National Convention speech from the White House. Chief staff Mark Meadows tried to differentiate between the President giving the speech from the Oval Office versus the residence or the east wing. I mean, the White House is the White House, isn't it no matter what wing it's in?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right, and if you're doing it from the South Lawn of the White House, where you very often see the President hold events for the White House. That doesn't really help you make your distinction because it's not like the President is going to be holding this speech from his bedroom in the actual residence of the White House, which of course, is taxpayer funded. And so, you saw that explanation come after the President had floated this idea. But he seemed to say that he may get criticism over it. And he did even from Republicans. (INAUDIBLE) the second Senate Republican said he thought it would be illegal if the President did that. And then you even saw Senator John Cornyn of Texas, raised questions about the legality of the President doing that. And then several others just raising questions about the optics of doing that on federal government property holding a major political speech, maybe the most major political speech.

And so Mark Meadows is trying to kind of say, well, if you're over in the east wing, and it's not as political as if you did it in the Oval Office, which no one had really floated the Oval Office. The idea is to do it on the South Lawn. But what it really shows you is they've kind of run out of venues they that they've been thinking of for the President to give this speech because they still want it to feel convention style, but it seems like they're not really sure whereas they could hold it.

COOPER: And Dana, they're seen and film on the trail and it follows a number of reporters and beds on the campaign trail as they cover the 2020 presidential election premieres tomorrow night on HBO Max. What do we expect to see?

BASH: You expect to see a bunch of the women that we work with, who have been out on the trail, particularly the younger women who are in beds and people like Kaitlan who covers the White House and the Trump campaign in action.

I mean, Anderson, you know, you're, I'd say this in a very complimentary way. You're a road rat like we are, you love to be out there so you know how it feels, and how different it is and how important it is to be out. Unfortunately, pandemic the pandemic has changed everything, but how important it is to be with the voters, with the candidates. And it really does a fantastic job of showing, not just the people we see on the air like myself and Kailtan. But the embeds who are eating, sleeping, breathing that campaign sometimes on four planes a day --

COOPER: And often eating very poorly from my memory.

BASH: Eating very poorly.

COOPER: Yes. And no, it's amazing to see. I mean, you know, Kaitlan and folks out there especially, you know, really young, the youngsters, are just the grind of it is extraordinary. I really look forward to this On The Trail debuts Thursday on HBO Max. Look forward to that. Dana and Kaitlan, thank you so much.

As you just heard, they are several of the correspondents and on the trail inside the 2020 primaries follows them as they report in the 2020 presidential primary. Looking forward to that.

Another programming note, don't miss Full Circle. It's our new digital new show. It gives us a chance to dig in some important topics, have in-depth conversations. You can catch it streaming live Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 6:00 p.m. Eastern at cnn.com/fullcircle. You can watch it there live or anytime on the CNN app, anytime On Demand. You can also get alerts on the CNN app.

[21:00:03]

The news continues right now. I want to hand things over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME". Chris?