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tv   Coronavirus Facts and Fears A CNN Global Town Hall  CNN  July 16, 2020 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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welcome, i'm anderson cooper in new york. >> i'm dr. sanjay gupta, coronavirus facts and fears. st it's been seen around the world on cnn international and streaming on >> the most difficult health moment this country has seen since the influenza pandemic. according to johns hopkins university, there were 66,273 new confirmed cases yesterday. exactly one month ago writing in "the wall street journal" that we were, quote, winning the fight against the invisible enemy, vice president pence boasted of an average daily case count of 20,000. now the daily count is more than triple that. >> and anderson, today in texas and arizona, they started bringing in refrigerated trailers, the same as we saw in
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new york in the spring because then as now, the morgues are overflowing. the sad thing is, you know, we saw all this coming. we saw all of this the moment the cases started ticking up. we knew what would follow. it would be first the hospitals, then the icus filling up, then people dying and now we see too many for the morgues to hold and the funeral homes to handle. >> texas reported a new high for daily deaths related to covid-19, 129 people died. a new high in florida today as well where 156 more people have died, and nearly 14,000 more have tested positive. just to put it in perspective, here's a look at new cases in the week since our last town hall, the pink line is the european union with about 440 million people. the green line is florida, just florida, population about 21 million. 4.5% of the people, nearly three times more cases. and as this is happening in florida and texas and arizona and california, red states and blue, urban and rural, the president is attacking the nation's top infectious disease
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expert and pushing schools to reopen, it appears at any cost. there's still a shortage of ppe. people are still waiting to get tested or being told they can't. results are taking so long to come back as to be useless for preventing others from being infected. the administration are refusing to let members of the task force come on this program or any program to talk about any of this. the most consequential moment outside of wartime any of us have seen. there simply is no accou accountabili accountability. >> we can provide you the information you need to keep yourself and the people closest to you as safe as possible. we're joined tonight by a former cdc director and also a doctor who oversaw public health for the city of baltimore and its public school system. tweet us your questions, we want to hear from you with t the #cnntownhall. a lot of you have also sent in video questions and we're trying to get to as many of those tonight as we can. >> we'll also talk to people who literally put their health and lives on the line to test a new vaccine. we'll be checking with our
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correspondents here and around the world. i want to start with a quick look at where things stand here at home. >> there are more than 3.5 million positive coronavirus cases in the united states, more than 138,000 people have died. 39 states see their cases rising. only two states are seeing a decline. >> as we tried to open up, you saw that there was a wide variation in how that was done and pictures and photos and films of people at bars with no masks congregating in crowds. the inevitable happened. >> arizona, california, texas, and florida remain some of the biggest hot spots in the u.s. texas saw a record number of deaths this week. hospitalization rates are also wa up. miami-dade county in florida has run out of icu beds. california shut down indoor restaurants and bars again. >> we are on the border of going
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to red. red is when it's -- everything shuts down again, everything. >> there are currently 23 potential vaccines in human trials around the world including four in the united states. the biotech firm moderna, which is partnering with the national institutes of health have promising results from their phase one trials and are preparing to move to phase three. the cdc now says 40% of people infected with the virus may be asymptomatic. those who have recovered may only have immunity from antibodies for a few months according to researchers in the united kingdom. masks and social distancing are still recommended, but right now there aren't enough people following these guidelines to stop the virus from spreading. >> i do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we've experienced in american public health. the president is at odds with the experts or their agencies in the case of the cdc. we'll talk more about that in
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the hour ahead because of a move the administration made to marginalize the cdc could have serious implications for the public's access to honest information about the pandemic. first sanjay, as we do every week at this point in the program, what's your take on where we stand right now? >> it's been almost six months since the first patient was diagnosed here in the united states. it's been quite a roller coaster ride. there's so many countries which have returned to some state of normalcy, but we're not in a position to do that safely here. we know the president is pushing for students to return to the classroom in just a few weeks, and i've got to tell you as a dad of three girls, i want that too, but it's also a scary time as i'm hearing from families and teachers all over the country, the evidence still shows kids are less likely to get sick, but the problem is that it's still not clear how much they spread the virus. in fact, we reported a study yesterday involving one 9-year-old boy with covid who exposed 80 classmates, and guess what, none of them contracted the disease. in germany and norway schools have opened up with strict distancing and masks and overall the cases have remained allow, but we also know that when
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social distancing restrictions are lifted early and then schools open as they did in israel, large outbreaks can follow, and newscathat's the co here. a quarter of our teachers are vulnerable and concerned about stepping back into the classroom. some, anderson, even using the summer months to update their wills. dr. anthony fauci finally talked to the president. that's good because fauci has been on the front line of hiv and sars and ebola. i want to show you this picture, it was tweeted out by a senior investigator at the nih. that is dr. fauci five years ago. he was suiting up before treating an ebola patient. dr. fauci wanted to show his staff that he would not ask them to do anything he wouldn't do himself. the investigator tweeted, quote, that's what leadership looks like. quite a picture, anderson, huh? >> that's extraordinary. sanjay we've touched on this already. we want to talk about what's going on in florida. randi kaye joins us from west palm beach. it seems all the numbers in florida are pretty dire?
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>> reporter: yeah, anderson, they really are, nearly 14,000 new cases in the last 24 hours. that brings us to a total of about 315,000 cases statewide and more than 4,600 deaths, and here is a stunning statistic. you talked about the european union, comparing florida to the entire uk, florida has more cases than the entire united kingdom, and the population here is about 22 million compared to 66 million for the uk. in terms of hospitalizations, we're still in trouble here, about 9,100 hospitalized in the state. i just checked that before coming on air, and that's up from about 7,000 over the weekend. so that's a pretty big jump, and the state positivity rate is well above that 10% threshold that they're looking for. it's about 18.8%. in miami-dade it's even worst where they're running out of icu beds. it's about 29% positivity, and some of the hospitals there are now having to convert regular rooms to icu beds, and the infectious disease expert we
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speak with often said miami looks like what wuhan, china, did six months ago. >> we also saw this in new york when new york was seeing new infection rates like florida has now seen, they went into essentially a lockdown mode. so i see where you are. ky i can hear the noise behind you. what is it like in florida lately? >> is certainly doesn't feel like lockdown mode. we're on clamata street in palm beach, which is a really popular area. this restaurant behind me is pretty full. they're at 50% capacity. inside the bar is full and a lot of the tables are full. we've spoken to the restaurants here. they say they have a pretty regular kroutd cocrowd through. i've seen live music, i've seen the bars full inside the actual restaurants, not a single seat open, so it doesn't feel like a pandemic is actually surging in this state, but also, sanjay, besides the restaurants, disney world has opened. they opened on july 11th, but
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now they've expanded. epcot and hollywood studios just opened yesterday. epcot debuted a food and wine festival yesterday, and hollywood studios is booked solid for the next eight days. by the way, palm beach county starting tonight in just a few hours because it's so dangerous they think they're going to start closing restaurants here including these from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. because they think they're turning into club like settings and breeding grounds for the virus. >> thanks very much. california, which until recently was seen as a success story when i spoke with san francisco mayor london breed, she talked about the frustration of reversing steps to reopen, sometimes the very next day after announcing them, and in the los angeles area conditions are especially troubling. you're at dodgers stadium, it's been turned into one of the largest testing sites in california. what is the latest on testing and contact tracing in california? >> reporter: look, anderson, they can test up to 6,000 people a day here, and it has been full all day long, but at 5:00, that
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cuts off here local time, but let me give you an idea of the numbers across california and how dire it is. the 14-day average right now is 8,000 more than 8,000 positive cases per day. isn this is the first time since the pandemic that we have broken 8,000 cases plus per day on average, and so there is a dire problem here. at the same time, the governor had said, look, we're going to get 10,000 contact tracers in place by july 1st. that was the goal. now we're hearing from public health officials, but even with that there is no way to deal with this onslaugonslaught. there is no way to trace all these people when you take into account that more than 8,000 people per day are actually contracting the virus. then you have to try to call them and figure out all the different people who they've come in contact with and warn them about it. this is turning into an extremely difficult situation here. all this to be said that we're
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now hearing from the public health director here in los angeles that there could actually be another absolute shutdown here, not just of businesses, not just a few businesses but a complete shutdown just like we had to deal with at the very beginning of this. anderson. >> you know, sarah, if anybody knows anything about california what they hear is governor newsom did act quickly in mid-march shutting down the states. mayors in some of the major cities were starting to shut down before the state did. the narrative is that california seemed to be doing everything right. what happened here? what do you think caused this surge? >> reporter: so we've talked to health experts and they have basically said, look, if you look back to memorial day, people apparently just went hog wild, not wearing the masks. they must have gotten together with one another, not self-distancing because what they saw in a couple to three weeks after memorial day is this major surge. what did that make them do?
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they said okay, on july 4th, we are going to have to close down some of the beaches in the highly affected areas. but in other areas like san diego county, they saw people flocking to the beaches and not doing the social distancing, so they really think this is an issue of people just having fatigue and deciding that, you know what? we're fine. we also know there are some statistics behind that. here in los angeles county that people between the ages of 18 and 40 years old were responsible for about 50% or more of the new positive coronavirus cases, so it tells you that younger people are getting this more often, and they link that likely to gatherings and not taking all the precautions that they've been asked to take. there is certainly fatigue here, but there are a lot of people who are so incredibly frustrated and afraid for the economy and for the health of the state. >> sara sidner, thanks very much. hong kong which is dealing with another outbreak, but their response is much different than in the u.s. what is the latest in hong kong?
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i know they're experiencing, what, their third wave? >> reporter: well, it's interesting. it's all relative, isn't it? i'm listening to the previous reporters talking about thousands of cases per day. hong kong had its record high number of new cases just yesterday, 67 cases. that was the record high for all of this pandemic. this is a city that shut down its borders early. they test everybody at the airport and pretty much thought they had blocked all the cases from coming in. up until two weeks ago there were zero cases of community transmission. you see the chart darting up there, 355 cases detected in the last two weeks, and you know, more than half of those are being spread inside the city, and that's very concerning for infectious disease specialists i've been speaking with who say we might be dealing with a mutated virus that could possibly be more contagious. when you have a densely populated city of 7 million people it can spread quickly. to think that the number of cases is still below 1,700 and just ten deaths two of which died in the last 24 hours or so,
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it certainly -- hong kong is in a good place. they're worried they could get to a bad place if they don't take strong measures quickly. >> will, will authorities be able to contact trace and isolate and figure out where these new infected patients are coming from? >> they have been able to identify clusters, sanjay, bars and restaurants, big ones, people taking off their masks and having close conversations in bars. they've shut down the bars. restaurants can no longer serve dinner during the dinner hours, only take away they cloeszed hong kong disney land. they've closed schools, gyms. they also identified clusters in senior care centers and amongst taxi drivers. today they're offering free covid-19 testing for ctaxi drivers. there are a large number of cases, still significant enough that they can't trace. that has them worried people are walking around asymptomatic spreading the virus. >> so when somebody flies into hong kong or comes to hong kong they get their temperature taken or they actually get tested?
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>> they get tested at the airport. when i flew back here from japan, i had to wait about six hours at the airport to get a covid test, and then i had to spend the night at a hotel to wait for my results. i wasn't allowed to leave my room. that's the case for every incoming traveler with the exception of flight crew and diplomats who also have to be tested but they don't have to go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine. i had to stay inside my house and not leave for 14 days. i had an electronic wristband to p monitor my movements. pakistan, people have to take a covid test before they can get on board the flight. they feel like they have essentially shut down the borders and stopped the imported cases, but it's these community cases that have hong kong concerned. the city has imposed basically the most restrictive lockdown measures to date in this pandemic, and we're still talking about fewer than 100 cases per day here. >> it's amazing the difference in how it's being dealt with and the numbers, certainly. will ripley, thanks very much. former cdc director tom
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at the very moment this country is sliding back into the grip of the coronavirus, the new school year is approaching, so this week saw school systems large and small reconsider plans for bringing some or any kids back to the classroom. we saw the president push repeatedly for sending every child back to school but haven't heard any specifics from him or his task force about the risk. administration is tangled in controversy over its move. there's lots to talk about with tom frieden. appreciate you being with us. so dr. fauci spoke just before we came on air. i want to play something he said about reopening schools. >> you could be in a part of the country, a county, a city, a state, in which the level of virus infection, the dynamics is so low you could send kids back to school without any modification or any worry. but there are also some areas when you look in the dynamics of
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the infection as so intense you have to say, wait a minute, let me think about it. do i have to close the school for now, or can i go back? but in order to be safe, do i need to do it in a modified way? alternate days, morning, afternoon, however because paramou paramount is the safety and health of the children as well as the safety and health of the teachers. >> we also heard from kelly mcenany today who said, quote, science is on our side here. we encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science, open our schools. is science on the side of just opening the schools? >> we want to get our kids back to school. it's really important. it's important not just for learning. it's important for health, for society, for mental health. it's important also for all of us to be able to get back to our work, and that's why it's so important that we work together
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to get the virus under control. if you're in a place like phoenix where the virus is exploding right now, it's going to be difficult, if not impossible, to open schools. if we do the right thing now in the summer, then, yes, our kids can get back to school in the fall, and we can get back to work and our economy can be growing again, and we can save tens of thousands of lives, but we can't just wish it away. the virus isn't going to stop until we stop it. the u.s. is now a laggard. the virus is out of control. we're talking about 60,000 plus diagnosed infections, and many times that number of total infections every day. as your reporter just said, 67 cases in hong kong and they're shutting the city, so we have to handle it differently, but all of us have a role to play. we can do this. we can stop the virus, but it's not going to stop on its own. >> dr. freeden, thank you for
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being here. i do wonder, how do you think this would play out if president trump has his way and school districts simply open and children go back to school regardless of what the situation is like in the area? and as you're thinking about that, i do want to show what happened in israel as well, this graph of what happened when schools started to reopen in israel. you see there may 17th and look at the trajectory in the days afterwards. what happens if we just open up schools, dr. frieden? >> well, i can tell you with 100% certainty that if you open schools in communities where you have a lot of covid spreading, you're going to have to slam them shut again. look at what happened in arizona, texas, georgia, south carolina, florida, you open too soon, it's one step forward and many steps backward. we're now having this enormous reservoir of viral infections, hundreds of thousands of people, actually millions of americans today are walking around
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infectious with covid. we've got to cool it down, and we can do this. there are some things that all of us can do with the three w's, wear a mask correctly, mask up, america. wash your hands or use sanitizer and watch your distance. those inside crowded spaces, that's what covid likes. we're going to have to close bars and restaurants in most of the country or this is not going to stop. so there's something that all of us can do, and then government needs to do a better job testing. it's just impossible to have a useful program if it takes a week for a test to come back. you've got to have it within a day or two at the most. it doesn't matter if we do a million or a billion tests if we're not getting them back quickly enough to make sure that people can get isolated quickly and contact can get warned so they can protect themselves and their family. >> i know that you're saying that these communities where the virus is spreading are going to be treated differently than other communities, but i wonder if you can be more specific.
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because i'm talking to a lot of administrators around the country of school districts that are still confused by this. many of them are saying they're not going to go back to school in the fall. they're going to extend remote learning. you know in new york, new york governor cuomo has anteriset a benchmark. he said you've got to be in phase four of reopening, a positivity rate of 5% or less before you send kids back to school. if you're a parent thinking am i going to send my kid back to school maybe in the next month, what should they be looking for in their community as too much spread? >> well, first off, i think just as open and close of the economy, we have to think of it as more of a dimmer dial than an on/off switch. it's not so straightforward. you have school districts deciding to ease into the year carefully, so they don't have to slam shut. in in terms of there's no one magic number, what governor cuomo has done matches exactly with the guidance that we've provided and others as well that if you're at a state where
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you've got 10% positivity or above, it's just extremely unlikely you're going to be able to reopen. if you're at less than 5%, if you do careful things in the school, that means protecting the vulnerable people. that means reengineering some of it so you don't have so many kids connected, that means thinking about pods or cohorts so you have groups morning, afternoon, one week on, one week off, thinking about distance learning. some of the older kids, high school kids who can do that for much or most of their time as needed. thinking about teachers who may need to tell a school as well. this is not an easy thing. if you charge right in, you're going to have to slam right shut, exactly as happened in states throughout the south. >> dr. frieden, you mentioned testing. we're still seeing major issues with testing across the u.s. one of the biggest issues is the lag time on getting test results back. some people are waiting a week and in some cases more than two weeks just to get a test back,
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and obviously if people can't find out whether they have the virus within a day, does it even matter how many get tested? bill gates was on our program a couple of months ago saying essentially those are phony tests, if you don't get the results back until a week later? >> absolutely. in a sense, they shouldn't even count as tests. what we need to do is look at more meaningful measurements. we need to make risk transparent so that everyone in this country could type their zip code in and find out how much covid is spreading in my community and what is my community, what is my government doing to stop it? what's my risk, and what's the response? and then we could all work together. there's a lot of things that need to be done that are not getting done, offering people who are infected but don't need hospitalization a safe place to stay so they don't infect the people around them. supporting people on quarantine so they don't go out and infect others when they feel well but are infectious. there is so much we need to do,
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but we can do it. really, it's never too late to do a lot better than we're doing now. right now we're failing in our response, and the virus has the upper hand. if we do better, our kids can go to school, we can go back to work. our economy can recover, and we'll save tens of thousands of lives, and that's not just guessing. that's what's happening in parts of the u.s. and at resolve, we work in countries in africa and asia that are doing this. it's possible, and we can do it too. >> can i just follow up on testing, though, dr. frieden? i mean, it's ridiculous at this point. people can't get tested, as anderson said, it takes too long. what's the deal? i talk to people in different countries around the world. they can get point of care testing. it is rapid. it is accurate. is this a technology failure? why don't we have the kind of testing we need? 20 million tests a day should be getting performed. what gives here? >> well, in fairness, testing
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has gotten better, but the focus was on numbers instead of quality, and we need to massively scale up rapid turn around tests. there are some new tests coming, antigen tests that will be screening tests. if they're positive, they're right. if they're negative you need to check with a pcr test for the virus, not antibody but antegenerantigeantigen, the actual voi rirus. what gets measured gets managed. we've been measuring the number of tests, not the number of tests with results reported within 24 or 48 hours. that's what we need to start measuring. when we measure that, people will start working to that. we do need the private sector, the commercial sector, academic medical centers all doing this because it's going to take a lot of tests. and remember, it's not going to be one thing that's going to get us out of this mess, not restricting travel, not staying home, not wearing masks. not testing. not contact tracing. it's a comprehensive response,
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the three w's, wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance and boggsixing the virus in wit rapid contact tracing and supportive quarantine. we do all of these things comprehensively, we use data to itera iteratively improve our response and we can see progress. we can get our society back. we can get to the new normal. it will be a new normal that we can go on with you aour lives. >> i've been stunned by the muzzling or the kneecapping of the cdc, either with the, you know, going along of its director or, you know, under pressure. i mean, you along with three others who oversaw the cdc wrote an op-ed this week, it was titled we ran the cdc, no president ever politicized science the way trump has. can you just talk about that? we have redfield on the program last week, and you know, he denied that they have silenced themselves at times in order for political reasons or under
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pressure from the white house, but it's clear there have been a number of incidents where they've done that. >> what i would hope to see is a subject matter expert from the cdc, ask there are many of them who have spent 10, 20, 30 years working on respiratory viruses like this briefing the american people many times a week. if we did that, we'd be on the same page. take the issue of masks. months ago when we were first learning about covid, we didn't recommend masks because we didn't understand that it acts completely differently than most other infectious diseases. if you look at sars, its close cousin, or mers, or tuberculosis, they get more infectious the sicker you get. turns out with covid, it's the exact opposite. they're most infectious early on before they get very sick, even before they get sick at all. after a few days of illness, they're much less infectious.
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that means first off, there's asymptomatic transmission. second, everyone should wear a mask when they're within six feet of others. contact tracing has to be done really fast because if you get there a week later, it's too late. they're no longer infectious and their contacts have already infected others. there's a lot we have to do to get our response into a much better shape, and hearing regularly from the cdc and holding every state and community accountable for how they're doing with mask wearing, with distancing, with implementing good programs to support patients and warn contacts, if we do that, we can get our economy back. we can get our schools reopened, and we'll be saving tens of thousands of lives. anderson and sanjay, you know, in the 15 minutes we've been speaking, more than a thousand americans have gotten infected with covid and five have died. we are just a total global outlier here and laggard, and yet we can do it.
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we can work together. it's never too late to do better. >> let me ask you really quickly here in the minute we have left dr. frieden. there was this order that came down this week that's forcing hospitals to send their data directly to hhs instead of going to the cdc where the world's best epidemiologists work. you said this week that's no way to run a pandemic. so what about this concerns you? my concern is that the information is going to get scrubbed and we're not going to get it unedited as we used to. >> well, let's see how it turns out. i think it's a mistake. the national health care safety network, which is the network that was used before has been used for over a decade. it works well. we need to strengthen public health, not subvert it and undermine, but let's see what comes out. the key thing is to focus on getting in this together. really, there's only one enemy. the enemy is the virus and the more we are divided, the more the virus can conquer. >> we appreciate your time and all you're doing.
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thanks very much. coming up next, two people did something that most people might think twice about. they volunteered to try a new vaccine candidate before anyone knew if it would work or be safe. in humans, we'll talk to them and later sanjay and i will show you how to have a safe socially distant summer barbecue. sanjay is this that video you put together? >> i want to see you barbecuing. >> yes. okay, give it a try. between wisdom and curiosity, there's a bridge. between ideas and inspiration, trauma and treatment. gained a couple of more pounds. that's good for the babies. between the moments that make us who we are, and keeping them safe, private and secure, there's webex. ♪ ♪ beautiful.
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we just got the new number from johns hopkins, 68,428 new virus cases 24 hours. it's worth noting there were also headlines that give hope. johnson & johnson begin trials next week. >> and this as moderna has reported that its vaccine developed in conjunction with the nih and the first to be tested in humans is now moving to later stage trials. that's going to happen later this month. after a quote, robust immune response in all 45 participants in that early stage trial. we're happy to be joined by two of those participants in the moderna phase one study, neil browning and ian haden, welcome. >> as dr. fauci said in an interview the antibodies you
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guys have in your body are the gold standard of antibodies. he predicted that this vaccine will likely be successful. what's it like to hear that? >> it's encouraging news, obviously, and you know, it's a little strange to be the subject of that data, but you know, it's what we've all been hoping to hear. it's still preliminary, though. there's many phases to go. >> neil, have you had a chance to wrap your head around how important the study is, just the enormity of the contribution that you're making? >> at the time it was definitely not something that came to the forefront of my mind, but now it's really big news. it's great news, and it really helps build on the initial report that was released back in may with just eight test assumptio subjects. >> we finally got to look at some of this data, it was published yesterday. i'm curious about it. i looked at the side effect sort of section of the paper. ian, the last time we talked to you, you said that you had some significant side effects after your second, i believe, injection. you were receiving the highest dose.
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there was a 25 microgram, 100 microgram and 250. you were getting the highest dose. how are you doing now? if you can tell us about more of what those side effects were? >> i'm doing great now, and really, for almost all of this trial, i've been in normal health feeling fine. there was about a 24-hour period there where i was one of the unlucky ones, maybe one of the most unlucky ones. i ended up having some severe side effects. they lasted about a day, and those were things like a high fever over 103, fatigue, muscle ache, nausea, things like that. i ended up going to urgent care as this was happening so that the doctors could keep an eye on me and run some tests. but like i said, after about a day those tapered away and aside from that brief episode, i've really had no issues whatsoever. >> i mean, the reason this is important, obviously is that people in the trial are all healthy, between the ages of 18 and 55. we've got to see what -- if these side effects are a larger concern as more and more people start to get this vaccine. did it surprise you, ian, to
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learn that you weren't the only one to have some of these side effects? >> it did, and you know, in a very small sense, it's somewhat comforting to know that i wasn't totally alone in this. there may have been two other people in the high dose group who had something like what i went thererough. as a result of that information, that high dose is no longer going to be tested. >> and neil, what's next as far as this study goes? >> so i went back in on the 7th of july and had a blood draw, and i have three more coming each three months apart. those are going to be sent to a lab and analyzed. the idea there is to track how long those valuable antibodies are lasting in our bloodstream. >> i understand that moderna has asked you guys if you would donate your white blood cells for them to study further. i guess is that what they're specifically looking for? there was a study that recently came out saying antibody sort of concentrations may start to wane in people who are infected around, you know, 30 days or so. is that what they're sort of
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looking for with you guys as well, ian? >> it seems to be the case, yes. sanjay, as you know, the antibody response is one component of the immune system, but the t cell mediated component of immunity can protect against viruses too, so both of those things are being monitored. >> so even if you don't have antibodies, if your body can quickly make antibodies that can be helpful. i heard that your mom's also going to be part of this trial, is that right? >> maybe. she just found out -- she was asked to come in for a screening visit for phase three. she lives in california and put her name in the hat like a lot of other people are doing, and she already got a call back. >> that's amazing. >> is that just by -- like did she -- obviously she knew you were in it. did they know you were in it? >> total coincidence. >> wow, that's cool that people in your family are doing it as well. it's really extraordinary. neil, i mean, do you -- do you get -- you know, are you informed as this goes along, or
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do you read about stuff in the paper or, you know, online as the news comes out? >> i'm basically just self-informed. i make sure that i keep really abreast of the situation, but they definitely keep us blind, so much so that even asking some of the people when i go in for blood draws at the kaiser research center, they've said they have no idea what's going on until it's publicly released either. >> interesting. the phase three is going to start july 27th. you guys probably knew that. does that involve you guys at all? i mean, are you going to be -- is there anything more for you to do besides getting these blood draws? >> no. we're phase one, and the idea there -- my understanding is that they're just locking us into phase one because we're going to be monitored as it goes along through that one-year cycle just to see how long the valuable antibodies and our immune reaction stays at a legitimate level to hopefully protect someone. >> it's amazing what you're doing, and you know, certainly
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appreciate it, and thank you for talking to us about it. and for talking all along. we've been talking a lot of times these last few months. neil browning, ian hading, thanks so much. we'll check back with both of them later on to see how they are doing through the study. a reminder at the bottom of your screen, our social media scroll shows questions that you are asking. you can tweet us your questions with the #cnntownhall. you can also leave a comment on the cnn facebook page. i want to bring in one of the veterans of our town hall, former health commissioner in baltimore and an emergency physician. dr. wen, great to see you as well. let's get right to viewer questions. this one is on vaccines. if you already contracted the virus, this person wants to know, would you still need a vaccine? if yes, then why? >> yeah, so based on what we know today, anderson, the answer is yes. that's because if you do get covid-19 and recover from it you develop antibodies, but we don't know yet how long these antibodies last, and we don't know how much protection you
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get. do you get protection for a few months, a year, how complete is that protection, and the hope is that whatever vaccine is developed is a lot more consistent. and that it will provide better and longer protection than your own natural immunity alone. >> i should say there was these really interesting studies out of china and italy, you probably know lina, basically said the sicker you got the more antibodies you made. there may be a correlation there between how significant your illness was as well? >> sanjay, michelle in virginia sent in this video. let's take a look. >> it has been reported that kids are less likely to get sick. how do we know this? what is the evidence? and does this evidence take into account the fact that schools have been closed? is it possible that the school closures have caused or contributed to the decreased number of deaths and illnesses among students? >> sanjay, what about that? >> yeah, it's a good question. there is some data around this, and let me show you a little bit
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about what we know trying to look at, you know, how likely are young people to get infected, how likely are they to be hospitalized. children under 17, they make up about 6.5% of all the cases, but if you to hospitalizations, they're just about 1% of hospitalizations and about 0.3 of all deaths. so it's -- the risk is not zero. it's low, but it's not zero, and i think that that's part of what this discussion is. also, keep in mind, kids have largely been at home since march. my kids have mostly been at home since middle of march. that's part of the reason we don't have great data on just how much they're transmitting yet. >> how -- just -- what's it like having kids at home that long? as a parent, thankfully right now my son is sleeping most of the day so has no idea what's going on. >> no, it's challenging. i mean, my girls are preteen and teenage girls. they're going stir crazy. they want to be with their friends. you know, sort of a funny thing, i think you guys will appreciate. at times i think they blame me for all this because they see me
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on tv talking about it all the time, so they sort of say it's my fault. no love there on that. they're doing well, and you know, we're blessed. we've got a roof over our heads and food and all of that. it's challenging for them. >> sanjay, this is a question from rachel in michigan, which reads a lot of people are still having their graduation parties. they aren't wearing masks and aren't social distancing and are sharing buffet style food. they're outside, should people have graduation parties and should people attend? >> one of the most common questions i get with my neighbors and things like that. i think there are ways to do this safely. i think you have to be thoughtful about things in a way you haven't been before. take a look at this video that we made. >> i think we can all agree that outdoor activities have been one of the bright spots during this pandemic. it is true you're a lot less likely to get infected if you're outside. the virus has a lot more room to disperse. when you're outside, one of the things people like to do, barbecues. so if you're thinking about having a barbecue at your house,
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do you do this as safely as possible? first of all, this sbisn't goin to be some big bash. you're going to have to limit the number of people you invite. the people you do invite, think about how they're going to be seated ahead of time. people can be seated together if they're part of the same household. they should be at least six feet away from another household who's sitting over here. you also want to think about how are they getting into the house? hopefully they can just cut around to the backyard. if they need to go through the house, if they need to go into the house to go to the bathroom, prop doors open so people don't touch handles. one of the things i think is important is let people know you're taking this seriously. have hand sanitizer stations around. how do you handle food? encourage people to bring their food as much as they can, but of course this is a barbecue, so let me show you what i do. so i am the grill master today, and as the person who's going to be serving the food, i do wear a mask. people are going to come up one
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by one. they're going to wear a mask as well, that's one way we can cut down on transmission. you have to think about the surfaces that you touch. just have to be more mindful now in situations like this. so for example, i have a bowl of chips out here as an example of whatnot to do. lots of people sticking their hands in that bowl of chips. that could potentially be a way that the virus is transmitted. think about what to do. think about the fact that you want to come and have as little contact with other people as possible, but you can still have fun. if you're sick, if you're having any symptoms at all, obviously you should stay home. it's good to be outside, good for the physical health and good for the mental health. >> i'm such a bad cook, i was hoping you would actually give some advice on like how to actually grill. >> one lonely hamburger there. >> that's better than i could do to be honest. but i mean, it's an interesting thing, the bowl of chips. obviously you know, i guess, you know, a package of chips
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individually so people can just take a bag of chips as opposed to sort of reaching in and rummaging around. >> setting out individual bowls and things like that. what i sort of realized making that video, you've got to take an extra beat. all of the things you sort of did mindlessly before, you have to take an extra beat. i think the situation i described can be very safe. and frankly necessary for people to be able to get together so they're not going stir crazy all the time. >> dr. wen, this next question is from a -- >> gyms are recently opened in my state but it has recently come out that the virus can stay in the air for several hours. are gyms really safe? >> so there is increasing evidence now. i think it is pretty clear that you don't just get coronavirus from these large respiratory droplets you expel when you cough or sneeze that there are also these aerosols that carry very small amounts of virus but can linger up in the air for up to three hours. not to say you'll necessarily get infected after three hours but that does exist and is a
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mode of transmission just by breathing and speaking you can expel these aerosols. going to the gym is not something with zero risk. there is risk but you can reduce the risk. if for example you are near an open window where there is a fan, the wind and circulating air can help dilute the virus. you can also go off hours and make sure you are staying 6 feet ideally 10 feet from somebody else who is there. the other thing if you are someone with chronic medical conditions, multiple risk factors and you still want to go to the gym maybe go once a week. don't go every day. >> dr. wen linda in new york state sent in a video i want to play for our viewers. >> thank you for having me. my question is, my daughter is a teacher. will she have to wear a mask all day facing and teaching the children? what is she to do?
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i hear wearing a mask for long periods of time is not good nor healthy. >> dr. wen, what about that? >> yes, so a lot of school districts are going to be mandating that teachers and students wear masks. that is following good public health guidance. i know this is not something that is comfortable and natural for a lot of people but at the same time wearing a mask does not pose health risks and is actually quite the opposite, that we know based on studies that if everyone wears masks, now we reduce the risk of transmitting and acquiring covid-19 by up to five times. so in a way think about it like a medicine. if there is a pill that can reduce your chance of getting coronavirus by five times i think we all want to take that. we can think about masks the same way. it protects your daughter. it also protects the other students and teachers and staff and their families, too. >> just to be clear, this notion that this woman has heard and certainly others have spread online that wearing a mask for
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long periods is dangerous for you, for yourself, that's not true? >> that's not true. there are certain people who should not be wearing masks. for example if you are very young, under 2 years of age, someone who cannot easily take off a mask by yourself, there are certain people who should not be wearing masks but for everyone else it is safe. if you wear a disposable mask throw it away. if a cloth mask wash it frequently. it should be very safe and protective of everybody around you, too. >> just to be clear the under 2 doesn't need to wear a mask is that because of fear of choking, they can't take the mask off themselves? or is it they are somehow just, it's not going to affect them, the virus? >> it's the former. we know little children can still get coronavirus. as sanjay mentioned probably not as much. they are not going to get as sick. they can still get it. i have an almost 3-year-old and
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he can't really keep the mask on himself very easily. he'll be fidgeting with his mask a lot. also i think for really young kids, for babies, there is a chance you put the mask on them and then they can't remove it and that could be a hazard in and of itself. over 2 should be wearing a mask. >> dr. wen, tom in ohio sent in this video. let's take a look. >> there's been a lot of reporting recently about the resurgence and spread of covid-19. most reports focus on florida, texas, and arizona. the common thread with these three states is that they did not follow federal guidance and opened too early. california is also experiencing the same spike at the same time. by most if not all reports, california followed federal guidance and opened properly. is there something we are missing about the recent increase in cases?
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>> dr. wen? >> yeah, this is a really good question. we know that any time you have reopening that you are going to get a resurgence in the number of cases. that is just the way this virus works. it is very contagious and what was keeping it in check was people separating from one another. so the resurgence is not unexpected. it is completely predictable. in the case of california, it was much faster i think than a lot of us anticipated but then the thing is we also don't know the what if, the counterfactual. as in if they didn't follow all the guidance they actually did would they have seen a much higher peak, much faster resurgence? i think the answer almost certainly is yes. >> interesting. dr. wen, really appreciate it, as always. when the cnn town hall continues ways you can help others during the pandemic. they will, but with accident forgiveness allstate won't raise your rates just because of an accident, even if it's your fault.
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welcome back. to our cnn town hall coronavirus facts and fears. we hope we helped with some of your questions and answers about the pandemic. >> so many of our viewers ask about resources for how they can help. find out by going to and find out how to help there. there are also categories to search for where you want to contribute and ways to search for help yourself. you can also go to thanks a lot.
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>> as always, thanks so much. we also thank our guests. also thanks to those who wrote in with your questions and to everyone who joined us. if you didn't get your question answered tonight the conversation continues at answers. news continues right now with chris cuomo. hey everybody i'm chris cuomo. welcome to primetime. will today be the last day that we wait before fighting back against this pandemic? i say we. because after 138,000 dead this president has not really moved much from his original delusion. >> they timed the impeachment hoax. that was on a perfect conversation. and this is their new hoax. >> we now all know that the pandemic is all too real. and that the real hoax


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