May 7 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 10:35 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020
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10:35 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

10:05 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

CNN's coronavirus town hall has ended

CNN's global town hall on the coronavirus has now concluded.

Guests on the show, hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, included medical experts, former US Vice President Al Gore and director Spike Lee.

Scroll through our posts to catch up on what happened during the town hall.

10:04 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Al Gore: It "makes no sense" to filter scientific knowledge through the White House 

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Former US Vice President Al Gore slammed the White House's practice of distributing much of the administration's scientific knowledge on coronavirus through the coronavirus task force and the vice president's office.

"It makes no sense at all," said Gore, speaking at CNN's global town hall. "We have had a tradition in this country of seeking out the best available evidence and testing it with one another in free discourse, and then deciding together in the spirit of camaraderie what is more likely to be true than not.
"That is how science works as well," he said.

Gore also criticized the administration for blocking Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the coronavirus task force, from testifying before the Democratic-led House.

"For the the White House to prevent him from testifying to the House ... on hearings that the American people want to see ... that's horrible," he said.

9:47 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Al Gore: Trump "has failed as president, particularly on this challenge"

Former US Vice President Al Gore said that President Donald Trump and his administration have failed to properly handle the Covid-19 pandemic.

"He has failed as president. Particularly on this challenge. The warnings were ignored," Gore said during CNN's global town hall.

Gore said when he was vice president, he began every day with a report from the intelligence community and:

"There were very few occasions where there was a stark warning about grave danger to the country, and whenever there was such an occasion, we stopped and said hold the show. Get the FBI, get the CIA, get whoever was involved over, we need to learn about this," Gore explained.

Gore said he believes Trump both missed the warnings and "failed to mobilize the resources of the federal government to straighten out this testing catastrophe, to get swabs, and the so-called re-agents they need to do the tests, and the gowns, and masks, and all of the other stuff."

Reopening too soon: Gore also said he's concerned the country is not ready to reopen.

"I think we are seeing the start of a botched reopening," he said.

Trump, Gore said, "may be recklessly rolling the dice hoping that he can goose the economy just enough in the third quarter of this year to enhance his reelection prospects, hoping that he can divert the blame for the extra tens of thousands of Americans who the doctors tell us will die as a result of this, and blame it on the Chinese or former President Obama or whoever, instead of doing what a president needs to do."


9:24 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Life will never be the same after the pandemic passes, says public health journalist

We won't be able to go back to normal life after the coronavirus pandemic ends, warned Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer-prize winning public health journalist, speaking on CNN's ongoing coronavirus town hall.

"I think we're going to get four, five years from now and there will not be a single aspect of our lives that's been unchanged," she said. "It's almost impossible to really fully envision what that will look like."

Garrett said aspects of our lives likely to change include our mode of travel, especially by air. We may reconsider whether it's necessary to go to events and meetings that involve human contact, and adopt alternatives instead. "All sorts of interactions and behaviors that we've taken for granted will look different," she said.

Then, of course, there are the effects of a recession that will reverberate for years.

"As we get further and further into the economic repercussions of this extraordinary pandemic, we're going to see that every single aspect of life is affected simply by virtue of the inability of governments to invest in change, the limitations and cash reserves for companies, and how they're going to approach their own innovations and developments going down the road," she said.

9:22 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Safe grocery shopping: "Get in, get out," Dr. Sanjay Gupta says

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta offered viewers of CNN's global town hall some practical advice on how safely shop for groceries during the coronavirus pandemic. 

First, make your visit as brief as possible.

"The key is, plan ahead, plan your list," said Gupta, showing off his own shopping list.  

Next, make your visit as short as reasonably possible. 

"Get in, get out, as soon as possible," said Gupta in a short video demonstrating a visit to his own local store. "You need to be efficient in the store and think about every surface you might touch. You do not want to dilly-dally."

Next, try to limit your contact with items you aren't purchasing.

"Think about yourself as a SWAT team member," he said. "Get in, get out, leave as little trace of yourself as possible ... Don't touch anything you are not going to buy. Be very focused."

Finally, Gupta reminded viewers of what's coming up on Sunday. "Don't forget to buy some flowers for Mother's Day!" he said. 


9:28 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

"We don't have a unified approach," public health journalist says

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Laurie Garrett.
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Laurie Garrett. CNN

Laurie Garrett, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who has written about public health for years, said that the global community needs to do a better job in unifying its response to the Covid-19 pandemic in order to get it under control.

"The real problem at the moment is we have very fragmented responses all over the world," Garrett, the author of "The Coming Plague," said during CNN's global town hall.

"Every country is doing its own thing. Within countries, every state or province is doing its own thing. Every county is doing its own thing. We don't have a unified approach," she said.

The vaccine race: Garrett said that some countries are simply racing to find a vaccine in an effort to "buy themselves time and solve their own local problems."

"The virus will continue to circulate in the world regardless of whether or not there's a vaccine, unless we're committed to a strategic goal of really getting rid of the virus from the planet with appropriate implementation of a vaccine for everybody, 7.5 billion human beings."

9:01 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

Here are your questions, answered by health experts

Dr. Leana Wen.
Dr. Leana Wen. CNN

Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore health commissioner, joined CNN's ongoing town hall to talk about the novel coronavirus pandemic and answer some viewers' questions.

What can I do to reduce my own risk? States are reopening but the risk hasn't changed, Wen said. This means people should still follow the official guidance: Wash your hands often, stay home, practice social distancing and avoid gatherings -- and work remotely if it's an option. Wear a mask, and try to avoid public transportation.

Is swimming at a lake safer than in a pool? It's not really about what kind of water you're swimming in -- it's your proximity with other people, said Wen.

"If there are other people around you and they can breathe on you or cough on you and there are surfaces that you could be touching, then you could get coronavirus that way," she said.

Should I wear gloves to the grocery store? The key thing is to avoid touching your face, with or without gloves on, Wen said. If you wash your hands often, be mindful of the things you touch, and avoid touching your face. You don't necessarily need to wear gloves out, she said.

I live near a Tyson Foods plant. If an infected worker there is processing meat, can that meat become tainted and pass Covid-19 onto me? No. This is a respiratory virus, said CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

"So really the way you're going to become infected is if someone is putting the virus out in the air around you and you get exposed that way or touch a surface. You don't eat this virus and get it that way," he said.
9:00 p.m. ET, May 7, 2020

A 29-year-old volunteer explains why he's taking part in vaccine trials

Vaccine volunteer Ian Haydon.
Vaccine volunteer Ian Haydon. CNN

Ian Haydon, a 29-year-old living in the Seattle area, joined CNN's global town hall to explain what motivated him to participate in a vaccine trial for the virus.

Haydon said he was one of 45 healthy people selected to participate in the phase 1 trial after thousands volunteered.

He said he was just trying to do his part to stop the virus' spread.

"My motivation for wanting to participate in this trial is pretty simple: this is one way that I can help out, and I'm very fortunate to be in good health. If stepping up can speed up a vaccine, that seems like the right thing to do," he said.
"The weight of the world is on these vaccines right now. No one knows if this is going to be the one. But I think the people involved in the study clearly know they’re involved with something historical here."