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Falsehoods and Misleading Claims During the Republican Convention; State National Guard Deployed in Wisconsin Due to Protests; Interview With Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL); Beijing Prefers Trump to Lose Election; Post-COVID Symptoms; Examining U.S.-China Relations. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired August 25, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Four more years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: High stakes for President Trump at his convention. I talked to a key supporter in a key battleground state, Florida senator and former
governor, Rick Scott.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: China has been taking advantage of the United States for many, many years, for decades.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: We turn to China, one of the president's main election weapons, but will Washington or Beijing emerge stronger over the next four years?
With me to discuss are experts from both sides, Elizabeth Economy and Victor Gao.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL REAGAN, COVID-19 PATIENT: I sat up. I couldn't catch my breathe. I went to the bathroom and immediately coughed up blood.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Our Hari Sreenivasan talks to a New York doctor and his patient about long-lasting COVID problems.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
Like the loch ness monster of the swamp, that is what Donald Trump Jr. calls Joe Biden as family, friends and aficionados make the case of four
more years of President Trump. The Republican Convention paints a portrait of him as the savior of western civilization and the guardian of America
from a dystopian vision of carnage. Of course, it would not be a Trump event without his favorite fake musing. In just one evening, the
Republican's convention fact checkers counted more falsehoods and misleading claims than the entire four nights of the Democrats Convention.
While on the ground, this time in Wisconsin, the struggle between racial justice and law and order plays out in real-time. The state's national
guard has been deployed as people protest the police shooting of another black man, Jacob Blake, in front of his three young children. He still
remains in hospital. President Trump also continues to repeat his unsubstantiated claim that mail-in voting is riddled with fraud.
But in one crucial battleground state, Florida, he's actively encouraging it, and he's even voted like that himself in that very same state.
So, joining me now to discuss all of this is one of the president's supporters, former Florida governor and now senator, Rick Scott.
Welcome to the program, Senator Scott.
Let me just ask you about the tone and the messaging. You know, I said some of the words, Loch Ness Monster and all the rest of it. But, you know, you
would think that COVID was disappearing, that the economy was roaring. Very different to what we all heard a week ago from the Democrats.
Do you sometimes feel like there is an alternative reality that both sides live in alternative realities in the United States?
SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): You know, I think at both these conventions they're trying to show the differences. I think that, you know, Joe Biden,
who is a likable guy, unfortunately, he's now -- seemed like he's become a puppet of the radical left, and I hope that on the Republican side, we get
the message out that we're the party -- as a little guy, I grew up in public housing not even knowing my dad, and the Democrat Party has
forgotten them -- and so I hope that -- my goal this week is that the Republicans will talk about how, you know, the Republican principles of
smaller government, less taxes, helps the little guy, helps him get ahead.
We still have a problem with coronavirus. So, I hope everybody will keep working on trying to, one, get the therapeutics right, to get the vaccine
out and help the people that are -- you know, don't have a job or struggling to open up their businesses.
AMANPOUR: You know, I actually want to bring that up, because obviously coronavirus and the president's response to it -- and actually your own
governor's response to it -- has drawn quite a lot of criticism.
And I just want to bring up what you just talked about, therapeutics. Just yesterday and over the last 48 hours, President Trump talked about
emergency authorization for like a therapeutic, it's called convalescent plasma. And the FDA head had talked it up.
And now, he's saying sort of mea culpa, I shouldn't have talked it up so much. It's not as -- we don't know enough about it. What do you have to say
about that? Because it seemed like it was being talked up kind of, on the eve of the convention. Many people want a treatment, obviously, but do you
feel like sometimes politics is being played with all of this?
SCOTT: Well, we sure hope not. Steve Hahn runs the FDA, and I tell you, he's a serious guy. He's (inaudible). He wants to do the right thing. I
think he's done a really good job allowing doctors to make decisions to keep people alive. I think he's worked hard to make sure we get this
vaccine done as quickly as possible, get the therapeutics right.
So, I think Steve is -- I think Dr. Hahn has really worked hard to try to make this -- you know, keep people alive and keep people healthy.
So -- but it seems like there is lots of politics in all of this, and there shouldn't be any. We should be focused on, how do we get a vaccine, how do
we keep people alive, how do we get our economy going, and just forget about the politics because it shouldn't be about politics.
AMANPOUR: And just, again, Florida obviously has somewhere in the region of just over 600,000 cases. I know the curve is coming down, which is a
good thing for your state.
But nonetheless, it did spike several months after New York, and I'm wondering, were lessons not learned?
And also, over here, we sort of look at this battle, political battle, over face masks and things, you know, portrayed as sort of freedom and liberty
in the United States versus discipline and health security.
Again, do you wish there wasn't so much of a battle over kind of basic health and safety measures?
SCOTT: You know, I think, at all levels of government, it could have been way more consistent on the use of face masks, on social distancing. Instead
of this thing about politics, give people the facts.
While I was governor, we had four hurricanes, I had a healthcare crisis that impacted babies, and my job was to inform you, inform you, inform you.
And what I found is, if you give people good information, they actually really make good decisions. They want to stay alive. They want to keep
So, it was -- you know, government was inconsistent on the mask, and they shouldn't have done that. They should -- and to this day, they should be
telling us, where is the coronavirus? You know, which business establishments are seeing a coronavirus, which aren't, so we can make good
decisions, because we will. Americans will make good decisions just like people all over the world. They want to be safe. They care about their
AMANPOUR: And of course, lots of bad decisions have cost a lot of lives.
Now, let me ask you this. You just said that you believe that there is, you know, a clear distinction. The Republican Convention, you say, is going to
put forth a message that it believes the Democrats are in the hands of what you said are the radical left.
Now, you said Joe Biden is a likable guy. I know you know Joe Biden very well. He's been on the stage for, you know, many, many, many decades. Kind
of everybody knows him, and this radical left thing, A, isn't sticking. And it seems -- I mean, it's certainly not true. I mean, he's not radical left.
If anything, the progressives were upset that a centrist got the nomination.
And he didn't choose a so-called radical left vice presidential candidate. She's also centrist. Is this actually going to stick?
AMANPOUR: Well, Christiane, if you think about it, look, in America we believe -- we don't -- one government run healthcare, all right. They're
for Medicare for All. That's ultimately going to be government run healthcare. We don't want to kill all the jobs with the Green New Deal.
Those are pretty radical issues in this country.
So, I think if you look at the differences in the Republican platform is we believe in freedom. We believe in focusing on how to get more jobs. We
don't believe -- I mean, Biden's tax cuts could be the biggest -- or tax increase is going to be the biggest tax increase in the history of this
country. You can't do that, especially now in a horrible economy.
So, if you look at taxes, Medicare, if you look at the Green New Deal, versus we want to lower taxes, we want more opportunity for people, we want
an accountable government, that's -- I mean, that's going to be less opportunity under Joe Biden, more opportunity under Donald Trump.
Now, none of us are going to tweet like Donald Trump. Our speeches are not going to be like Donald Trump's. Our convictions are not going to be like
Donald Trump's. But if you go down to the issues, I think -- for the little guy that's trying to get ahead, Donald Trump is better for that guy.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, I want to dig down into that. I think it's really interesting what you say about none of us are going to tweet, say, do, et
cetera like Donald Trump but you're concerned about the issues.
So, the economy was his big issue, his calling card. And to this day, he obviously polls, when (ph) he polls, higher than the Democrats when it
comes to the economy.
However, as you know, the economy is in the tank right now. And, look, I mean, he did actually grow the economy, it did grow in the first three
years, but, you know, afterwards it was weaker than during the last three years of Obama's presidency. You know, there's 1.5 million fewer jobs
created on Trump's watch than during Obama's final three years.
And now, we've got this mega, mega, economic problem with tens of millions of Americans out of work. What is the president going to say and do to run
on his economic record?
SCOTT: Well, what we've got and what we have to do is, we have to keep helping people, you know, if they're unemployed, and we got to help our
businesses get reopened.
I think less regulation, less taxes, targeted dollars as we spend them, are the smart ways of getting that done. I'm hopeful that we'll continue what's
happened the last few months, where we continue to see significant job growth.
I watched my parents, you know, lose their car a couple times because times were hard at that point. It's hard on families.
So, I hope what the president talks about is what he's going to do in his second four years to go back to what happened his first three years as
On top of that, I think law enforcement is a big issue this year. I think support of the military is important. I think trying to hold dictators like
Xi in China or the Castro regime or Maduro in Venezuela and Cuba accountable. I think those are big issues.
So, I think Trump is on the right side of those issues, and I think he's clearly on the right side of those issues for Florida.
AMANPOUR: For Florida, which is a very key state, obviously, as we said, and that's why we're glad to have you on.
You know, you said that Biden's for Medicare for All, but of course he's not. And a recent poll for the economist in U-GOV has said that somewhere
in the region of 66 percent of American people think right now that the country is on the wrong track. In other words, the United States is on the
What is the rationale for a second term? And I ask you because he has been asked that by his favorite chroniclers. Not by anyone else, but by Fox News
interviewers. What is the rationale? What is the agenda? And he's had some difficulty, struggle to articulate it.
I know a whole raft of issues was released on Sunday night, but they weren't detailed. What do you think the rationale for a second term is, and
what should the agenda for a second term be?
SCOTT: You know, what I -- I had two terms as governor, and then I ran for the Senate and I tried to be very clear what we were going to try to
accomplish when I went to Washington, D.C.
And I think that's important this week for President Trump and his campaign to be very specific about their ideas going forward, that he needs to be
very specific about things like school choice, what he's going to do to hold people like Xi accountable and the Castro regime, I think that will be
a clear difference.
I think he has to be very clear what he's going to do in Iran, and I think he's got to -- he's got to be -- there's a lot of issues out here, and I
think it makes it easier to vote for or against somebody if you know exactly what their plans are going forward.
And I think it's only fair to tell people exactly what you plan on doing. So, I think those are the issues he ought to be talking about this week,
and they ought to show the contrast of where the Democrats are versus where the Republicans are.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, you basically are saying that he's still got to make that case.
I want to ask you also, because the president constantly is deriding and denigrating this mail-in ballot system. And we said, and you know, because
he has a residence in your state, that he's used that many times himself in the past.
There is no evidence of fraud. But, of course, there's going to be, you know, issues when you've got all of a sudden so many more people needing,
perhaps, to use mails -- mail-in because of the COVID situation.
Would you prefer, particularly in your state where elderly people and others might want to vote by mail -- and the president is encouraging them
to do it there -- would you prefer that the president, you know, talks about what he's going to do to bolster the ability of the Postal Service
and the mail-in rather than, you know, claiming unsubstantiated claims of fraud ahead? Does that just scare the bejesus out of people?
SCOTT: Well, Christiane, you're right, on Florida In Florida, we have -- you can vote three ways. You can vote by mail. You can go -- we have early
voting before Election Day, or you can wait and vote on Election Day. And it works. We've been doing it for many elections in our state. So, it
We just had the postmaster general in to a committee hearing on Friday, and he said they have the resources, they have the commitment. They're going to
be able to do all the mail-in ballots.
His only concern is that the state laws need to make sure they get the ballots in on time. We're very specific of when you have to get your ballot
in, in Florida, and that's what these states have to do.
So, you know, what I want to have happen is, I want everybody that has a right to vote, vote. Do it early, so you can make sure your ballot gets in.
And, of course, none of us want any fraud.
So, the postmaster general is committed that it's going to work. They've got the resources. I'm committed that if the post office needs more
resources, we'll provide them more resources. I know we need to -- get them the money back that they've had to spend on coronavirus. And so, I'm
working on making sure that happens.
So, I'm hoping that states will do what we do in Florida. We have a mail-in system that really works well and more people get out to vote.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about this thing called QAnon. I'm sure - I don't know whether you've been asked about it, but it's certainly raised its very
strange head over the last few weeks and months, and the president has been asked about it.
You know, of course, because you've seen the bipartisan Senate report on Russian interference, that it was very tough on that whole issue of
collusion and the Russians, you know, being involved.
This is a whole other level of weirdness that QAnon is about. Some senators and Congress people like Congressman Kinzinger, Republicans, I'm talking
about Ben Sasse, they have come out and denounced this. The president hasn't.
And they are really strange people. I mean, we can go through who they are and what they believe in. But the president hasn't and what he often does,
is sort of, well, I don't know much about it, but I think they like me and they love our country, and et cetera.
What do you think the president should do, and yourself, for instance, and other key Republicans?
SCOTT: First off, Christiane, I don't think many people know that much about it. And so, you know, I think some people are reluctant to say
anything because they don't know much about it.
It doesn't -- what I've read about it, it doesn't make any sense. I don't know -- I've not met anybody that said that they were involved in it, and
so I can't -- I mean, I can't say that somebody has ever explained their theories and things like that.
So, just to me, I don't know enough about it. I don't know anybody that's involved in it. There is a lot -- as we all know, there are lots of people
out there that have a lot of ideas about things, and when you run for office you get a lot of people asking you a lot of interesting things.
AMANPOUR: Yes, I know.
The problem is these are really, really strange. And it's like a cult, sort of, that believes that the Democrats are, you know, pedophiles and Satan
worshippers and they're after President Trump.
I mean, it's really strange. And not only that, there is actually a congresswoman or somebody trying to get a seat in Congress. Marjorie Taylor
Greene from Georgia. She won a primary runoff. She won it. And the president called her a future Republican star and a real winner, you know.
I mean, you know, this might end up in Congress, this -- whatever it is, this potentially dangerous cult.
SCOTT: I don't think I've ever met her, but I've not met anybody that's ever been involved in this. And so, nobody has ever come to me and tried to
explain to me how they came up with their theories.
And so, it's -- you know, it's always hard to respond when, you know, no one ever comes and explains it to you. I mean, just -- everything you read,
it doesn't seem to make any sense at all, but I mean, I have never talked to anybody that's ever been involved.
AMANPOUR: OK. I just wonder whether you might educate yourself on it and you might come out and say something about it.
But I also -- and that's attached to my next question, which is, you've seen that there are several camps of Republicans who have come out against
the president. There is a whole group of former Congresspeople who have, there is national security officials who have, and a bunch of Republicans
who basically are now for Biden.
What do you say to them? Because they're doing it not -- you know, they say for patriotic reasons and they want their country to be in safe hands. What
do you say to members of your own party, you know, who feel that is -- under this leader, is not their party and not their party, you know, to
entrust the future of the United States to?
SCOTT: Well, I think that's what's great about our country. You know, when I ran my first race, I ran in a primary, and there were, you know, clearly
people that -- you know, who were on the opposite side.
And ultimately, you know, people, you know, don't all come along because, you know, they got their feelings hurt because their person didn't win.
So -- but what I always tell everybody is this is a great country. You can believe what you want to believe. You should go out and passionately fight
for the person you believe in and the causes you believe in.
And we're going to have an election day, and somebody is going to win. We need to all get behind them and try to do everything we can to help them be
successful, because we want our country to continue to improve each and every year.
AMANPOUR: Senator Rick Scott, thank you so much for joining us. Great to get your perspective.
Now, after he was inaugurated in 2017, one of President Trump's first guest to his Mar-a-Lago Florida estate was Chinese president, Xi Jinping. But
after three years of trade wars, tariffs and a coronavirus war of words, a new U.S. intelligence report claims that Beijing would prefer Trump to lose
the election because "he's unpredictable." The two global powers continue to clash in the run-up to this election with relations at a historic low.
So, with me to discuss is Elizabeth Economy. She's at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York. Also, Victor Gao. He's the vice president
for Beijing Center for China Globalization.
Welcome, both of you, to the program.
This is a really interesting time. I just want to ask you both to weigh in on what we appear to be seeing, and that is at the moment, after all that
I've described, Chinese officials, Chinese diplomats seem to be going out of their way now to call for diffusing tensions, to coexist with the United
States, to try to tamp down what's being a very boiling hot, sort of feverish last few weeks and months.
Victor Gao, why do you think that's happening now?
VICTOR GAO, VICE PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR CHINA AND GLOBALIZATION: Well, first of all, you're absolutely right. China-U.S. relations have never been
as bad as it is for the last more than four decades, and probably will get even worse in the coming weeks. And this is very sad, because China and the
United States are the largest economies in the world. They are the most influential countries in the world. And a lot is at stake involving peace
And I would say China-U.S. relations have been poisoned mostly by Washington over the past three years and a half. And there is no reason why
China should be viewed as an enemy or the Chinese people are viewed as an enemy. I'm confident about the medium- and longer-term relations between
China and the United States. These two countries need to get along with each other. This is the reason why China wants to resume normalcy of
relations between the two countries, and I think we need to work hard to achieve this very important goal for the benefit of both the Chinese people
and the American people.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you, Elizabeth Economy. Your latest book is "The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State." And in general,
the overall argument that you make is that western democracies, including the United States, haven't fully yet come to grips with President Xi's
transformation of China. What do you mean by that, and what are the effects and the potential challenges for western democracies?
ELIZABETH ECONOMY, DIRECTOR FOR ASIA STUDIES, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Well, I think -- look, the major thing that Xi Jinping has done over the
past eight years, almost, since he came to power was really to transform China into a much more repressive and authoritarian system at home and a
much more ambitious and expansive country on the global stage. And we can see that in terms of his, you know, consolidation of power into his own
hands in a way we haven't seen since Mao Zedong. His reassertion of the communist party back into the lives of the Chinese people and the Chinese
economy, you know, his efforts to sort of contain things within China so it's much more difficult now for ideas and people to come to China, to get
into China through the internet is much more constrained than it was before.
And obviously, on the global stage, we're well past the moment of Deng Xiaoping's hide brightness, cherish obscurity to Xi Jinping saying that,
you know, China wants to lead in the reform of the global government system. And we've seen a various sort of China, you know, in areas around
the sovereignty, in the South China Sea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the Belt and Road Initiative, and in effort, I would say, to transform norms on the
global stage in issues like human rights and internet governance. So, this is fundamentally a different China than we saw back in 2010-2011.
AMANPOUR: But conventional wisdom, Elizabeth Economy, was that China would not overtly challenge the United States. The sort of Athens-Sparta
historical reference that the rising power doesn't go full frontal with the existing power. Do you think that has changed? Has China decided that this
is about competition and the desire to surpass the U.S.?
ECONOMY: I don't think there's any doubt that China desires, you know, to move the United States, for example, out of East Asia, right. China wants
to be the dominant power in its own region and Xi Jinping has made that clear. He said at various times that, you know, Asia is for Asians to
decide the future path of the economy and of the region's security. So, that's a think that's a given.
In terms of whether China wants to surpass the United States, wants to assume the role of the United States, you know, as a global, as the sort of
superpower, I think that's still up for debate. I think it wants the rights of being a global superpower but not necessarily the responsibilities. And
I think that's become clear, frankly, over the past three years as we see the United States retrench and withdraw, you know, from things like the
Paris Climate Accord.
We haven't seen China step into the breach. We haven't seen China step up to the plate to take the lead on issues like refugees or on climate change.
So, I think China is interested in all of the rights that come with superpower status but not necessarily in terms of assuming the
responsibilities or the burdens of it.
AMANPOUR: So, that is really interesting. I want to ask Victor Gao to respond to that, because I remember right after President Trump was
inaugurated, Xi Jinping, and not President Trump went to Davos and Xi Jinping there essentially said, we will take on the mantel if the United
States doesn't want to anymore, on climate change and all those things. Do you believe from your, you know, contacts with the inner workings of the
communist party and the leadership there that there is a desire to shift the balance of power not just for the power itself but also to assume the
burden of responsibility?
GAO: Christiane, I think you are raising a very important question. Let me answer your question from several perspectives. First of all, China has
grown. China has grown for 41 years and is still growing. And in another 10 to 15 years, China's size will be much larger than it is today. This is
inevitable. It is a mega trend of our times.
Now, secondly, purely from the Chinese perspective, we agree the United States is the top dog in the world. There is no desire or any fun from the
challenge perspective to become the next top dog. Because what China cares about is to maintain domestic stability so that it can really focus on
economic development and keep peace abroad. Meaning, China does not want to be involved in any war or military conflict. And the United States will
remain the top dog in the world for many years or decades to come, and there will be enough breathing space for both China and the United States
to do their own homework, to exercise their own role on the international stage.
This gives me the reason to believe that China-U.S. cooperation is a must because there is no animosity on the Chinese side towards the American
people. We can get along very well the United States. I think the United States should not really indulge in the fantasy that they can walk on
China's kneecap and hold China to the ground without consequences.
If China and the United States cannot get along, then you do get a very unstable and insecure world, and both China and the United States will
suffer the consequences. I think we are at a very important, critical turning point. We need sanity coming back to both Beijing and Washington.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you this, because I want to read you what the vice foreign minister, Le Yucheng, said in response to what some are
calling an ideological confrontation. He said this just last week, U.S. politicians are attempting to define China-U.S. relations with ideological
confrontation and cover up their real strategic agenda to contain China, put together a so-called coalition of free democracies and build a clique
against China. He then went on to say, it's important to understand, China is not the Soviet Union. We're not -- you know, we've got globalization and
it looks like the current U.S. thinking is old think.
Elizabeth economy, what do you say to what the vice foreign minister said?
ECONOMY: I would say just look at China's reactions to the Belt and Road Initiative and look at what it's doing in the United Nations to try to
reform norms around human rights and internet overmine, training officials in the Belt and Road countries on how to do real-time censorship of the
internet, how to control the media in civil society, and how it's trying to rewrite those same rules within the United Nations.
So, I think there is an ideological battle. I don't think it's necessarily simply between the United States and China, though, I think it's a
fundamental challenge that China is proposing to the current rules-based order. And that's the order that has underpinned the international system
since the end of World War II and it deals with freedom of navigation and free trade and human rights, the rule of law, good governance. And these
are across-the-board norms that China doesn't necessarily subscribe to in the same way that the United States and other democracies do.
ECONOMY: So, I don't think this is about the United States and China.
I think this is a bigger issue of how China wants to, as Xi Jinping himself has said, lead in the reform of the global governance system.
AMANPOUR: OK, but do you think the U.S. is trying to contain China, as the official said so?
ECONOMY: I think, at this point in time, the administration's position has shifted from the Obama era of sort of engagement hedge to one that is much
more about competing and countering, and, to some extent, containing China.
It's not about containing China -- China's economic growth. It's not about containing the Chinese people in their quest for a better life. It's about
containing what we would call malign Chinese behavior, right, so cyberattacks on U.S. companies, efforts to shape politics within the United
States, so China-influence activities.
There are a number of efforts to push back against Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, militarizing seven artificial features after Xi
Jinping promised President Trump that he wouldn't do that.
I think, again, across the board, whether you're looking at security, the economy or in the political sphere, China is posing a new kind of challenge
under Xi Jinping to this rules-based order. And the United States is seeking, in fact, to contain those actions that challenge that order.
AMANPOUR: All right, so, how does that sound to you, Victor Gao?
The secretary of defense of the United States today wrote in "The Wall Street Journal" -- as you know, they have defined China as strategic threat
number one -- about the need of America defend itself against China's military modernization, which will normalize authoritarianism.
And he's talked about moving troops, et cetera. He said to me about a year ago that he was beginning to reposition U.S. troops globally to deal with
China as the number one threat. Here's what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ESPER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: What I have to do is think about, how do I reallocate and reposition my forces, and, in some cases, substitute
them with other countries, so that I can free him up to deal with China again, our principal strategic competitor in the next few decades?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, what message does that send to you and the leadership in Beijing, Victor Gao?
GAO: Thank you, Christiane.
First of all, China was a major contributor to the establishment of the current international security order established after the Second World
War. And Chinese transformation over the past four decades or so is really being achieved by living within the current existing order.
There is no reason or incentive to -- for China to rock the boat or create a new international order. No, China is very happy just living within the
international order as it is. Whether there are problems with the international order as we experience it, yes, of course.
But these problems need to be identified and reformed and improved. I don't think the United States is doing a good job by, for example, withdrawing
from the climate change accords, or withdrawing from WHO, or withdrawing from TPP, et cetera.
It is the United States who is really doing things which, in essence, are changing the fundamental principles of the international security order.
Now, I would say, between China and the United States, war is not and should not be an option at all, because these two countries are both
nuclear weapon-armed. And any conflict between these two countries will trigger the mutually assured destruction. And it will bring disaster and
catastrophe to both the Chinese people and the American people and mankind as a whole.
So, we need to stand firmly against any warmongering between China and the United States. We need to stand firmly for peace. And I think anyone in
Washington who clamors for war or conflict probably will suffer the bad consequences for themselves.
We do not need a war with the United States. We want to really build on peace and development. The Chinese people and the American people can live
in peace and harmony with each other.
There are problems between the two countries. We need to have wisdom and courage and vision to solve these problems in a peaceful way. I think this
should be the mega-trend.
Whether Trump becomes the next president or Biden becomes the next president, Beijing needs to engage with one of them in real earnest to make
sure that neither China nor the United States suffer from the overhand of anyone who is really eager to plunge our two countries into war against
AMANPOUR: So, you raise a very terrifying specter.
I want to ask you, though. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for an end to -- quote -- "blind engagement with China," to free the world, to
allow it to triumph over tyranny. And the West is very concerned about what China's doing in Hong Kong with its new national security law, what that
It's worried about Taiwan. It's worried about, obviously, the South China Sea. You know, there are real worries in the West about what China wants to
do on the stage get rid of some of the democracies in your region.
GAO: Well, first of all, the West is not monolithic.
And if we talk about the United States, I would say, Mike Pompeo doesn't seem to be the top diplomat of the United States. He's probably enjoying
doing things not related to what the State Department is supposed to do. He is not really enjoying doing diplomacy and dialogue and negotiations,
either with China or, for example, with Canada, or with the United Kingdom, for example, or the United Nations regarding the Iran situation.
The setback the United States has suffered recently is a typical example of failure of diplomacy of the United States. Now, between China and the
United States, we want to engage with the United States in peaceful way, both as an equal, rather than, for example, one country keeps lecturing and
manhandling the other side.
China and the United States need to get along with each other.
GAO: Whether we like each other or not, that's another issue. We need to get along for peace and development for the fundamental interests of both
our two people.
Well, some -- many people would say that.
So, let me turn you to you finally, Elizabeth Economy. The economy is a major, major thing, obviously between China and the United States.
Sometimes -- just recently, President Trump has raised the possibility of decoupling the U.S. economy from China. He said that during a FOX News
I mean, is -- what would that look like? And isn't China sort of too big to fail in this regard?
ECONOMY: So, yes, I think the president, at this point, there's a lot of electoral politics that might be playing into things that the president is
And the idea of completely financially decoupling from China, I think, would wreak havoc globally or certainly wreak havoc in the United States
and would do an enormous amount to undermine U.S. global standing in the economy.
So, I tend to think that this is one of his more extreme off-the-cuff remarks. But it is probably true that we are headed down a path toward
fairly significant technological decoupling. And I think we can already see that emerging with what's going on with Huawei, for example, and sort of
the decision now of many countries -- a process that was begun, frankly, by Australia, not by the United States -- to keep Huawei out of their 5G
future networks, telecommunications infrastructure.
But now many countries in Europe seem to be joining in as well. And so I think that this is part of a larger trend, that we're going to have to
figure out how to navigate that, because we are heading toward a position where we might have two very separate Internets.
And I think that unfortunate -- that is unfortunate, and I think to the detriment of the global system and the global economy.
AMANPOUR: Really fascinating.
Thank you both so much, Elijah Cummings and Victor Gao. Thank you very much.
Now, how coronavirus affects the body is still unclear, particularly the impact on those who are sick with the illness for months, People like our
next guest, Michael Reagan. He was fit and healthy before contracting COVID-19 in March. And, since then, he's been in and out of New York's
Mount Sinai Hospital.
Here he is talking to our Hari Sreenivasan, along with alongside Dr. Zijian Chen, the medical director of Mount Sinai's post-COVID care department.
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks.
Michael, I want to start with you. Describe what you have been living with.
MICHAEL REAGAN, COVID-19 PATIENT: OK, starting March 22, I woke up. That was my first day have any kind of symptom.
I woke up in the morning, and I felt like I had a fever. I sat up. I couldn't catch my breath. I went to the bathroom and immediately coughed up
blood. I ended up in the hospital, the E.R. that day, where they went ahead and swabbed me, and it came back positive.
And since then, I have had a whole litany of symptoms, ranging from the pulmonary, cardiovascular stuff and a lot of neuro issues.
SREENIVASAN: So, give me an example. What does that mean?
REAGAN: I still am having a hard time catching my breath, a lot of chest pain, especially on the left lung.
Any kind of activity results in a coughing fit for hours. My heart rate at rest gets up sometimes to almost 200 beats a minute.
SREENIVASAN: Wow. That would be -- that would be most people running at a full sprint, the maximum they could possibly do. And you're saying that,
even if you're sitting down, your heart rate is that fast?
REAGAN: And it seems to be worse at night, when I try to lay flat. I have noticed the symptoms get a lot worse, both the breathing issues and the
heart issues, a lot of pain, and like rapid heart rate and hard time catching my breath.
So, there's those symptoms. And the neuro symptoms are the ones that I really didn't begin noticing until about May, the middle of May. I was on
the phone one day and I just had a seizure. And then, about five days later, I had another seizure. And then I started noticing tremors in my
hands, and really troubling memory loss.
I'm talking about getting lost when I was going somewhere or repeating myself over -- people around me actually noticed it before I noticed it. My
partner and my family and some co-workers were a little concerned, because I would call them up and have a conversation and not realize I had just had
the conversation with them an hour before.
SREENIVASAN: Is there any history of anything like this for you or for your family or for your friends? Do you have any kind of allergies, any
medications that you're on that could have possibly lead to any...
In my past, I had a history of mild asthma. So, during summertime, when it got really hot, I would just carry an inhaler in case I needed it. But I
never have had issues like this. I have always been very high-functioning, always on the go. I'm very active, both in my professional and personal
And I have like an elephant's memory typically, before this. And it's funny. Right now, I'm able -- I don't know how -- exactly neurologically
what has happened,. but I'm able to recall vividly things from when I was 7 years old. But I can't remember anything about the first half of today.
SREENIVASAN: You can't remember anything about the first half of today, but you can remember things from your childhood?
REAGAN: Exactly, like details.
SREENIVASAN: Dr. Chen, this might seem an overly simplistic question, but what's happening inside Michael's body? Why is this happening to him?
DR. ZIJIAN CHEN, MOUNT SINAI CENTER FOR POST-COVID CARE: I wish I actually had an overly simplistic answer for you.
Right now, we're not sure. We do have ideas. One of the prevailing ideas is that the infection itself, the initial infection, caused a very, very acute
response with the immune system. And what that can do is that can actually damage Michael's organs.
And, because of that, what ends up happening is this collateral damage, if you can call it such, is now in long term affecting what's -- Michael's
SREENIVASAN: Yes, how many people like Michael, I mean, kind of dubbed the long-haulers, are you studying at your hospital?
CHEN: Well, currently, we have more than 300 people that we have seen come through the center.
These patients, we have evaluated. We have sent to our specialists who have been taking care of COVID-19 patients since March and April. And we have a
very long waiting list as well. Currently, I believe we're having a waiting list that's up to three months' long.
And when we see -- when we saw this, we're actually actively expanding what we can do in regards to seeing these patients.
SREENIVASAN: So, Dr. Chen, the CDC recently had a study out that said a little more than a third of people that they surveyed over the phone who
had COVID-19 were not back to normal two to three weeks out, right?
So that is automatically way worse than the flu. What percentage of the people who have COVID have the types of symptoms or these long-term
effects, like Michael is living through?
CHEN: I don't think anybody knows the answer to that question.
We're still at the acute phase of the infection in some parts of the country, meaning what we're doing in New York, being able to see these
long-term COVID patients, much of the country has not been able to do that.
And while I hope that number is less overall, as we do more population studies, there could be a chance that it's actually more and that there are
patients still quarantined at home that has not been evaluated, because doctors are afraid to open their offices to these patients.
SREENIVASAN: Michael, I have got to ask, did you ever think you were going crazy here? Because most of your friends, if they're watching the news,
most doctors, none of these things that you're describing in any way lined up with COVID.
REAGAN: Yes, I found it a little bit frustrating and overwhelming, especially some of the less informed contacts I have, whether it's family
or co-workers or friends, who might have read some misinformation on the Internet and swear that they know COVID.
And my experience, my reality was so very different. I found it kind of sad, and it would make me angry every time I would hear someone say
something that was just not true, like, well, I have a friend who had it, and they were only sick for two days, or I think it's just a hoax, or on
and on and on.
And so, at first, I got really angry when I started hearing these things. And I realized I can't tell everybody who was misinformed and ignorant to
go kick rocks.
REAGAN: So, I realized that I had to be my own advocate and my own support system, and I needed to help my doctors to help me and other people in any
way possible, and that it was my responsibility to share my story, and my experience to help enlighten and bring light to the situation for people
who may be misinformed and unaware of the reality of COVID.
SREENIVASAN: And, Doctor, considering Michael has a set of symptoms and a set of issues, and that's not uniform across these survivors with long-term
issues, right, how do you treat for something that's presenting in so many different ways across so many different patients?
CHEN: I mean, it's not easy.
What we do is we look at each individual symptom. And that's our approach. And we bring in specialty doctors who focuses and specializes in those
areas. Let's say, if Michael or another patient is short of breath, we bring in the pulmonologist
If they have chest pain, and they have rapid heartbeats, we bring in a cardiologist. But, beyond that, we have to make sure that these doctors are
talking to each other, so that performing teams have pooled their knowledge, because what we're looking for is, we're looking at how to treat
individual symptoms, but also how these symptoms are maybe relating to each other, and then from there form of regimen, a protocol to be able to treat
the patient as a whole.
SREENIVASAN: And there does seem to be a pretty big area here between mild -- quote, unquote -- "mild symptoms."
I think that way that we are categorizing it right now is mild or hospitalized or dead, right? And what Michael and his peers are describing
is very different. And it seems debilitating.
And I also wonder, as you mentioned, this is still really, really, really six, seven months -- seven, eight months into understanding this virus.
What about the prospect that there could be long-term effects here, longer than what Michael's already been living through?
CHEN: I mean, the prospect of that is, to be truthful, very frightening. I mean, if you look at the volume of patients over the next six to 12 months
who will be recovering from their initial COVID infection and possibly developing symptoms, the volume of patients alone will be a very
devastating number that is going to require a very large amount of health care resources and dollars to be able to treat these patients.
And when you think about that number, in addition to all of the other patients who normally need medical care, you can very easily overwhelm the
health care system as a whole. So I think the more focus that you, as news sources, and also Michael in telling our stories, telling our patients'
stories and the need to be able to take care of your patients, the more focus we can put on to diverting resources to start managing
SREENIVASAN: So, Dr. Chen, is this also similar in what studies overseas are showing, that there are these cohorts of people who have very long-term
CHEN: Yes, absolutely.
There's a study from Italy, short-term, but looking at patients who had symptoms and then post-disease, how many long-lasting symptoms they have.
And they were quoting numbers that were much higher than the 35 percent that the CDC actually posted in regards to our results.
So, I think it has to do -- the difference in number has to do with the amount of patient engagement and study that was done, how many patients you
actually interview. But, yes, we are seeing worldwide that there are patients who are having symptoms many weeks and months after their initial
SREENIVASAN: Michael, I want to take you back a bit to the beginning of when this started for you.
Back in March -- it seems like another era -- but New York was in the middle of it. It was the worst that you could imagine for the city. What
were you experiencing by the time you got to the hospital and when you were in there?
REAGAN: When I got there, it was absolutely horrific to see people coming on stretchers gasping for air, having to be an isolation room. I don't
think they knew what to do.
There was one nurse, I know -- there was -- there was one nurse named Michelle when I was in isolation room in the E.R., and everyone else was
scared to come in. And -- sorry.
I remember her putting on PPE and coming into the room with me and just handing me tissues, and talking me through it, you know? And she was
And I think -- this was at Mount Sinai -- the level of compassion and care was so selfless and admirable. I will forever be indebted to everyone who
was a part of my care every step along the way.
I saw some awful things. Being in the city, it was really bad. There were the freezer trucks or the bodies. I had several friends die, a couple of
old co-workers, a neighbor. And I have one friend who lost both her parents. We have another friend who lost five family members.
And I know firsthand what they must have experienced when they were dying, because you're not allowed to have visitors. You're by yourself. No one
really knew at the time how to take care of us or what was going to be successful or not.
And just the idea of that is heartbreaking. And it wasn't until I started to feel better generally that I just -- this very quiet sadness came over
me and this total horror of what had happened in the city.
When I was acutely ill, I was just focused on like fighting to breathe. And then once I started to feel better, I was in shock of what had happened.
And that's part of why I feel a responsibility to share my story, because there are so many others who are not lucky right now, are not lucky enough
right now to be able to share their story.
And I have an obligation, I feel, to speak out for all the people whose lives were lost, because they're not here right now to help educate people
that this is not just a simple flu. It's a very serious disease.
SREENIVASAN: Dr. Chen, is there something, is there anything -- I know everybody wants a silver bullet, but is there anything that you're looking
out across the research space and saying, OK, if we could get a handle on X, then I could help this long-term need?
CHEN: I don't think we're, unfortunately, there right now.
I mean, as you said, I wish I had this -- the elixir, that silver bullet, as you said, but we don't have that. Currently, what we're doing is, we're
doing the best we can in observing the patients during treatment, because, again, treatment experience will be what we can use to build and to learn,
and then eventually to be able to take care of everybody.
But, as far as I can see right now, there's nothing that's going to be that magical cure.
SREENIVASAN: Thank you both for joining us.
And, Michael, thanks so much for sharing your story with us too.
REAGAN: Thank you for giving me the opportunity.
And, Dr. Chen, thank you and the entire team at the post-COVID Center. You guys are awesome.
CHEN: Michael -- thank you, Michael, actually, for being a patient.
AMANPOUR: So much warmth, but a lot there sobering as well.
And, finally, as America reckons with racial injustice, it's important to reflect on how long black leaders and activists have been making the case
for change, from Reverend Jesse Jackson, a former presidential candidate, 37 years ago in Washington, D.C.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: From the outhouse, to the statehouse, to the courthouse, to the White House, we will march on!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Marching all the way on to the Senate for future leaders like South Carolina's Tim Scott, a featured speaker on the opening night of this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): Our family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime. And that's why I believe the next American century can be better
than the last.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Progress indeed for this post-civil rights generation.
Incredibly, though, Scott is one of only three black senators today. So, there are still many, many miles to go before the promise is met.
And that is it for now. Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.