tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 11, 2020 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
good evening. just about an hour, president trump is scheduled to speak to the country from the oval office about the coronavirus outbreak. he is expected to lay out some sort of a plan of action in the face of what the world health organization, today, for the first time, labeled a pandemic. in other words, an outbreak with the potential to touch everyone. not just in america but around the globe. today, it's hard to argue that it hasn't already. all day, hour after hour, there were new signs of new significantly life has changed already and could change even more in the days and weeks and months ahead.
>> is the worst yet to come, dr. fauci? >> yes, it is. i can say we will see more cases, and things will get worse than they are right now. bottom line. it's going to get worse. >> if anyone out there believes it is not going to get worse, you are simply mistaken. the numbers speak to that notion. the caseload topping 1,200 in the united states, up from a thousand just hours before. washington, d.c.'s mayor announcing a state of emergency after a string of new cases there. joining 21 other states and many more localities. new york's governor designating a one-mile radius containment zone in the new york city suburb of new rochelle. more colleges across the country cancelled classes and switched over to distance learning. seattle shut down public schools for at least two weeks. and earlier this evening, a bombshell from the ncaa, the division i college basketball tournament seen by tens of millions and attended by hundreds of thousands around the country will be played woutd spectators. no fans. only families and essential
staff. no fans either at tomorrow's nba game between the golden state warriors and brooklyn nets. the network late-night shows also now audience free. the state department late today suspended all nonessential travel. all of it. late today, we learned all tours at the capitol are being stopped. the announcement is expected shortly. and as all this unfolded, financial markets fell sharply, again. the dow industrials losing more than 1,400 points in the day, officially slipping to bare market territory. this is what the president's up against tonight. it's what we are all now up against. and elsewhere in the world, italy, for one, the situation is even darker. we are going to bring you reporting from there, as well as perspective on whether it is a sign of things to come in this country. and if it is, that is very worrying. first, i want to check in with cnn's jim acosta at the white house. jim, the president's expected to speak. any idea what he is going to say? >> we do have some indications, anderson, from sources briefed on the contents in this address cautioning us that the contents may change. the remarks may change before the president lays them out in
this address to the nation from the oval office. but he is expected to lay out a path out of this crisis according to these sources we've been talking to. and, anderson, what the president wants to convey, also, is the fact that this started in another country. it started in china. didn't start here. and in the words of one source, this did not start in america but america's going to find its way out of this. and so that is an indication, anderson, that the president is going to try to shift the blame somewhat and say, okay, this happened in china. it didn't start here. essentially, to make the point that, you know, this didn't originate here in the united states. in terms of what he is going to recommend to the country, he's going to recommend a couple things. one is how to contain this coronavirus outbreak but also to contain some of the panic in the economy right now. we are told from our sources that the president is going to lay out some economic breaks for some of the industries that have been affected by this. specifically, the travel industry, like the airlines, cruise ships, hotel industry. that sort of thing. those companies, that industry,
should expect some tax breaks outlined in this address. two other things loo to look for, whether the president declares some sort of national emergency. we are hearing that's under active consideration inside the white house. and also, a homeland security official told lawmakers earlier today that the president and his team were also considering the idea of new travel restrictions over to europe. whether or not those are outlined in this address is up in the air. as far as we know at this moment, our sources were telling us earlier this afternoon that he is more likely to talk about these economic breaks for companies impacted by this crisis and they have been tremendously, anderson. >> i'm a little confused. i don't understand, and obviously, you know, we'll know more within an hour. but the whole thing of the president focusing that this didn't start here. what does that matter? like, what's the point of that? >> anderson, i think it is, in part, to address some of what is
being said in conservative media. we have been seeing that brought up in conservative media over the last several days. and the president, we should point out when he was making with banking executives earlier today at the white house, he made the point of saying this started in china. so there is a sense talking to our sources who are familiar with this speech, that the president wants to make that point crystal clear. to some extent, anderson, one of the problems that the president has had and it is to a large extent is that he has not had the facts straight on this crisis. he has been contradicted time and again by his own health experts. and so part of the reason why they wanted to have this oval office address is to show that the president is in command of the facts, that he is in command of where this process is going. and where all of this originated. i was told by one source that he wants to have sort of a ceo-like moment. looking in command from the oval office. the question, according to another source close to this process, is whether he conveys that he's in command of the facts. because, to be fair, anderson,
he just hasn't been up until this point. >> right. so i assume that means tonight he is not going to say that this is going to miraculously disappear from our shores, as he said, i think a week or week and a half ago with diamond and silk, you know, cheering him on. and i assume he's not going to say that this will all just go away, which is what i believe he said, if it was yesterday or the day before that. >> and that this is just like the flu, he has said that as well. even though dr. anthony fauci was saying up on capitol hill that the coronavirus is much, much worse than the flu. anderson, talking to our sources, one of the things they are telling us tonight is they believe that the president is starting to, quote, get it. the question is whether or not that comes across in about an hour from now. >> we'll see. jim acosta, appreciate it. we will come back to you a bit later as we get closer to president trump's address. three medical and health experts now for the reaction on the profound impacts the virus had across the world. with me, chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. also, joining us, dr. lena wen.
and dr. murphy, the 19th surgeon general of the united states. we should mention dr. murphy currently is on joe biden's committee. sanjay, where are we versus where we were yesterday? you see a big reaction in the united states. the ncaa saying no more audiences. talk shows saying no audience. >> i think this is a different phase now of things. some would argue, look, we have been in this other phase for some time. but i think there's been an acknowledgment by lots of different organizations. i think dr. fauci's tone has changed. i mean, basically saying it doesn't matter if you have one case or no cases where you live, these cases are coming. it very much reminded me sort of the idea of a storm coming the way that he was speaking today. and he is essentially telling people to batten down the hatches. you know, he's maybe been saying this for some time. again, that it was going to get a foothold here but i think the language has gotten stronger. >> just for people who are maybe
paying more attention to this today than they were a week ago, what precautionary measures can people take now? >> i think for the individuals, i think there's two major things. i mean, we've been talking a lot about what people can do to protest protect themselves. and at the same time,aying, you know, 80% of people will likely recover. i think there is a couple things to keep in mind. one is that people will get stick still even among those 08%. they will recover but this is something they need to be mindful of. make sure they can take best care of themselves to try and not get the disease in the first place. but their health is able to withstand a significant illness. but we also identified a vulnerable population. the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions, we all now have an obligation to buffer around them, to protect them. >> when you are talking about the vulnerable population, people above the age 70? 75? >> 70s and 80s. according to the data, above 60. but one of the things they wrote
and dr. fauci talked about this yesterday was all healthy people have to conduct themselves as if they are a significant risk to anybody else with an underlying condition. how i interact with somebody, how i'd interact with my parents, for example. how i interact with anybody who has an underlying medical condition. >> protecting the elderly population is up to all of us because we can infect even if we, ourselves, are not showing symptoms or sick. >> that's right. and we have an obligation. >> dr. wen, what do you make of dr. fauci testifying today in congress, quote, bottom line, it's going to get worse. that seems to be an understatement. if you follow what's happening in italy and obviously china, it is much, much worse there. and it seems like we are just starting to kind of get our arms around how bad it could be here. >> that's right. it definitely is going to get worse before we have any chance of it getting better. even if we look at two weeks ago, we only have 15 cases diagnosed in the u.s. now, we're well over a thousand cases. and that's even with limited
testing so as we get test capacities up and going, we're going to find hundreds if not thousands ever cases in the coming weeks. and i'm really concerned about what's going to happen to our healthcare system. we could be overwhelming our hospitals with patients who need ventilators, who need intensive care support. and it's up to all of us, as sanjay was just saying, it's up to all of us to try to reduce the rate of transmission so that we don't overwhelm the healthcare system all at the same time. >> dr. murphy, do you know -- i mean, how many icu beds are there? how many ventilators are there? i'm just trying to get a sense of where this may end up going. and i've just been reading up on what's been going on in italy and we are going to talk about that a little bit coming up. but if there are, you know, hundreds of thousands of elderly people who need to be hospitalized, and among them, tens of thousands or more who need to be on ventilators, is there that capacity? >> well, this is a point of concern because what most
doctors know and nurses know, who are in the healthcare system, is that every year, during flu season, the hospitals get stretched to the limit. you'll see patients lined up in the hallways because there aren't enough beds. you'll see icus that are full. and this is just during regular flu season. in a moment like this where we have this novel coronavirus, on top of the flu, this is really going to stretch our capacity, not just with beds and with ventilators but, we're already seeing that hospitals and health systems are struggling with a shortage of gloves and masks. we also know that healthcare workers themselves, as they get sick and even as they're quarantined, they get taken out of the workforce at exactly the time when we need them. so part of what we need to think about and really figure out as a country, both now and also for future outbreaks, is how do we build the surge capacity to supplement the people, the beds, the space, and the equipment that we need to really protect patients when they get ill? >> i want to talk more about this in a moment.
we're going to take a requestqu break. we are also going to take a look at italy. the tragedy unfolding there. the lessons it may offer and the warning that it offers. not only why it could happen here but some believe it will happen here unless drastic steps are taken. we'll speak with someone who believes social distancing is the only answer in a phrase, cancel everything. they say. also, as we wait to hear from the president, the question hanging over all of this, does he really grasp the impact for the country of what could be just days or weeks away? with advil liqui-gels, you have fast-acting power over pain, so the whole world looks different. the unbeatable strength and speed of advil liqui-gels. what pain?
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the cases and fatalities have sky rocketed. more than 800 people have died there so far. hospitals being pushed beyond capacity and doctors are having to make the kind of treat or don't treat decisions usually reserved for wartime. if the president does not yet see that as a possible sign of things to come here, our next guest does. yasha monk is associate professor at johns hopkins university and contributor of atlantic monthly. quoting now from his piece, he writes, the coronavirus could spread with frightening rapidity, overburdening our healthcare system until we adopt serious forms of social distancing, this suggests anyone in position of power or authority, instead of downplaying dangers of coronavirus, should ask people to cancel big gatherings and restrict most forms of nonessential travel. professor, thanks for being with us. i read your piece this morning. a doctor friend of mine sent it to me in the atlantic. and i got to say it is -- it is terrifying and i am glad i read it because i feel like i have a
greater sense of what is actually already happening in italy. you started off by pointing out, two weeks ago in italy, 322 confirmed cases. one week ago, 2,502 confirmed cases. today, 10,149 cases. this thing is moving fast. talk about what's happening in italy and the kind of choices that doctors are making about who lives and who dies. >> yeah. so first of all, fact you're drawing attention to this disease increases at an exponential rate. we saw that in china. we saw that at the beginning in south korea. we're seeing that in germany and we are seeing it most dramatically in italy right now. now, what happens when you jump in a matter of two weeks from 100 to a thousand and from a thousand to 10,000 cases, is that more and more people come into the emergency rooms, into the intensive care units in hospitals in those cities. and very quickly, it overwhelms the ability of a hospital to deal with it. it overwhelms the material they need, particularly artificial
ventilators. and as a result, doctors are being pushed to the point where they might have to make a choice about which patient gets one of those ventilators and which patient is denied that care, which most likely means that they're going to die. >> you focus in this article about guidelines that italian physicians and that work in intensive care have now put out for other doctors in italy, essentially, telling them or helping them to make those decisions. those triage decisions. and we're not talking about who gets treated first. we're talking about who gets treated and doesn't get treated. for instance, if a patient is very old, they might decide, well, given the limited resources and we don't have enough ventilators or hospital beds, if someone is very old, they're not likely to live longer anyway. and so we'll treat somebody who's slightly younger. or if there's somebody younger but they have comorbidity, that's going to make it harder for them to survive, they won't de
get treatment. we're going to focus on someone else. those are the decisions already being made, right? >> yeah. so we don't know exactly to what extent they're being made. but all the indications are that the emergency rooms are completely overwhelmed at this point. and this is the guidance that the doctors are being given. so, in essence, what they are trying to do is to use those resources in order to increase the benefit to the greatest numbers. and so the guidance says that if a patient is very old and, therefore, has less likelihood to recover and would have less -- fewer life years left even if they do recover, if a patient comes into the intensive care unit with a lot of other pre-existing condition, such that they are less likely to make it, then they should be deprioritized for care. and that care should go to other people. now, i have to tell you, you know, my training, i'm not a medical doctor. my training, actually, is in moral philosophy and political theory. and i've spent many hours sitting around fancy seminar rooms trying to think through, you know, how to respond to those kinds of moral dilemmas.
and i have no idea, at all, whether these doctors are doing the right thing. i -- i -- i have no idea what people should do in those circumstances. but one thing i do know, which is that as we've seen these number of cases rise exponentially in other countries, we have been sitting on our hands here. and right now, we can still act. we can still increase social distancing. we can cancel all of those events so doctors and nurses here in this country are not going to have to take those tragic, those impossible choices days or weeks from now. >> as you say, the end of the article, and i urge people to read it. cancel everything now. yasha monk, i appreciate your time. thank you very much. >> my pleasure. >> back now with our medical team. sanjay, those are stark choices. any doctor makes. you know, we think about that happening on the battlefield. the idea they've now put out guidelines in italy, whether it's happening today or it's going to happen next week. or thankfully, let's hope it doesn't happen at all. but i don't think a lot of people here are used to situations where it's the doctor's call of, you know what,
we just don't have time -- we just can't devote resources to saving your grandfather because there's somebody else who has a better chance of survival. >> we know we could potentially save your grandfather if we had the resources but we don't. that's the thing. doctors make triage decisions all the time but it's usually based on the fact they don't think someone would survive the treatment. these are people who would survive, if only we had enough resources. you know me a long time. i'm not the kind of guy that screams from the roof. our healthcare system does so many things well but it's not a system that's built on redundancy. that's why we don't have all that was talking about in terms of surge capacity. we don't have what we need. i mean, i know the numbers. we would need, potentially, 100,000 more icu beds. we would need to have enough ventilators. we probably have enough ventilators right now but many of them are being used. >> so wait. we would need 100,000 more intensive care beds than we currently have? >> correct. we have about 100,000. the projections are, with a
moderate pandemic, and this may be moderate, hopefully not more severe, you would need 200,000, roughly, icu beds. >> and you are talking about then, assuming doctors get sick or doctors are overwhelmed. you know, we have seen in other countries the military gets called in. the national guard gets called in opening up field hospitals. >> that's right and that likely will happen here because as was mentioned, we need space. every public building as you walk around a city and you look at that, you say that's a big public building. that could be space for us. high school gymnasiums. convention centers. >> it could get to that point here? >> yeah, look. and people are going to, you know, reach out to me on social and say this is being hyperbolic and too much. but look. this is the federal government's own modeling and now we know what's happening with the cases. so many of the patients, if you look at the patients who died in china, many of those were preventable deaths. it was the taxing on the hospital system that led to these deaths. in italy, as yasha just
described, it's a taxing of the medical system. the virus is bad. we know that. we know it can make people sick. but people can be cared for if we plan and prepare ahead. and i'm not sure we have in this country yet. >> dr. wen, what do you make of what is happening in italy? and again, don't want to be alarmist but i want to be realistic. >> i think alarmist is actually the right approach for us to take right now because, if anything, we have been underreacting, which is why we're in the position that we're in now. i mean, this is the calm before the storm. and so i understand why people are saying, well, why are you cancelling events now? why are we doing all these things? well, it's because we see the models of what will happen. we see what's happened in other countries. we know that we are about to get to a phase. and not in a month's time but in days to weeks where we're going to see a really sharp escalation of the number of cases. we can prevent that, though, if we take these social distancing measures that yasha wrote about that public health experts are
recommending. and these are painful, challenging things for people to decide. i mean, they are closing schools. not going to work. shutting down large events. these are challenging decisions to make. especially, when nothing seems to be happening now. but if we don't do that, then we are going to face a situation where we're rationing healthcare and people who could otherwise have survived will die. >> so, dr. murphy, what more needs to be done right now? what more can we do? individuals do? companies do? government do? >> well, i'm glad you're asking, anderson, because this is a moment where we need all hands on deck. if you are an individual, we need you to think carefully about your own personal practices in terms of your handwashing, making sure that if you are you're sick, you stay home. making sure that you're not touching your face as often or hopefully not at all unless you wash your hands first because that is a common way infection gets transmitted. but we also need workplaces to step up and start accelerating
telework options so people don't have to come in and congregate at work. we need organizations that are responsible for large events to cancel those events or postpone them in the interest of not transmitting infection in large groups. look. these are hard decisions to make. there is a cost, an economic cost, a human cost, to making these decisions. but it's important to make them now so that we don't have to make much bigger, you know, payments later on in terms of human lives and in terms of money. you know, finally, let's just remember this. this is the worst pandemic that we have experienced in the last century. and it's going to take a toll on us. but we know how to address this. what we have to remember is that this is a moment, a kind of moment that comes along every so often in the world's history where we have to come together, as a country, as countries around the world, to take on an issue that we can only resolve together. so this is a solidarity moment and that is the only way we are going to overcome this virus.
>> doctors, appreciate it. thank you. coming up next, president trump does propose federal financial relief for the crow ma virus pandemic tonight, what would that look like? and is congress satisfied with what it's been hearing so far? more on that and the virus when we continue. as your broker, i've solved it. that's great, carl. but we need something better. that's easily adjustable has no penalties or advisory fee. and we can monitor to see that we're on track. like schwab intelligent income. schwab! introducing schwab intelligent income. a simple, modern way to pay yourself from your portfolio. oh, that's cool... i mean, we don't have that. schwab. a modern approach to wealth management.
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with the president expected to speak at the top of the hour, we wanted to take a closer look at what lawmakers may be called on to do in the coming days and weeks. they are already doing fact finding. we played a clip at the top of the program, dr. fauci warning the public things are about to get worse. happened at the house oversight
committee. congressman, thanks for being with us. how do you reconcile what dr. fauci told your committee today with what you have seen and heard from the administration so far, and particularly the president, who says, you know, i think he said it was 15 cases that, you know, may soon end, two weeks ago. and you know, late yesterday, it was this is all just going to go away. >> well, i think that dr. fauci was telling the truth. i think that the cases that we identify going forward are going to be more numerous than what we've seen so far. and so it is going to get worse before it becomes better. and i think that does run contrary to some of the programming, if you will, or the spin that the president seems to put on what's happening right now. i think i saw a quote that he said everything's going extremely well. well, as you can tell, most of the public does not think so. and it's having ripples in the economy, not to mention, obviously, the health impact on so many communities across the country now. >> also, i mean, just doctors
that i am talking to, they seem more concerned about this. i mean, i got -- i talked to a number of doctors just today and yesterday, and i was surprised at the urgency and great, great concern about what many of them are expressing about what they are seeing in hospitals. the president expected to say tonight as part of his comments tonight that the crisis isn't america's doing. and he'll likely note the virus was first detected in china. do you understand the -- the point of why that would be worth the valuable time of the president and the american public? >> well, it's finger pointing, right? i think that he wants to, potentially, say that this was a -- somehow a chinese-sponsored virus. when, of course, the w.h.o., today, certified this as a global pandemic. meaning that it's something that has spread throughout the world at this point. and so now, we're dealing with an american problem. not just a problem that was originally in another country.
because it is an american problem, now we have to move very quickly. for instance, with testing. and, here, we have been, unfortunately, flatfooted in terms of testing as many people as possible who may be in hot zones or wareas where there migt be community spread. >> health and human services alex azar still cannot say how many people have been tested in the united states, which i find remarkable. i mean, i was just talking to sanjay gupta in the commercial break. cnn's been calling around state by state to find out, locally, how many tests are being done to try to get an accounting of this. but the idea that the federal government doesn't know is kind of -- i don't know -- it's -- it sounds stunning to me. do they -- is there reason why they wouldn't want to know? >> well, i think that today we elicited the fact that director redfield of the cdc thinks that there's probably, you know, about 5,000 tests that have been done in total.
but in comparison to some of our allied countries so, for instance, korea or italy or the uk, that is a poultry number of tests that have been conducted. just as an example, in korea, there, they have tested 4,000 people for every 1 million residents, compared to the united states where we have tested 15 people for every 1 million residents. so our -- our allies, so to speak, are moving aggressively on this and we're not. >> you know, the vice president has been saying, you know, that a million tests are out there. and that all state, you know, laboratories are able to conduct tests. all the accounts, though, people trying to get tests. it is not -- it is not an easy thing at all to get tested. >> no, it's not. it's one thing to -- to actually ship these tests and, again, we don't know exactly what the numbers are. we -- we seem to get, you know, different estimates on that.
but, really, at the end of the day, anderson, it boils down to how many tests have actually been performed? and, there, we do run into a lot of constituent complaints that are coming into my office every single day. where people are saying we don't know where the tests are. doctors are calling health departments. and the health departments are saying they don't have te test kits. and so we're basically running into a problem where we just don't have enough people being tested. that's the bottom line. and unless we can outpace the spread of the virus, if -- if we cannot test more people or go at a rate that's faster than the virus is spreading, then we're not going to get ahead of it. we can get ahead of it just like korea and the uk have. but we've got to move vfr very quickly right now. >> congressman krishnamoorthi. >> up next, we'll talk to the doctor who went on a ski vacation to italy. all of them came back with the virus.
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in 20 minutes, what began as a ski vacation to the italian alps, all 14 men from that trip have now been diagnosed with coronavirus and four were hospitalized. joining me now, the doctor who is currently traetding two of the men. doctor, thanks for being with us. these -- these group of 14 skiers, many of those who got sick are relatively young. can you just -- i understand some of them -- are they in their 40s and 50s, is that right? >> well, what struck me and the reason i posted on facebook was because all 13, actually, it was 13, became positive. they got to italy, ni on that s vacation. within one day, one became ill. within two to three days, everybody was ill. within a week, they had dry cough. some were short of breath. then within another week, four of them had to be hospitalized, including my patient. and three of those hospitalized are placed in the icu and remain
in the icu and they are quite ill. fortunately, my patient went home yesterday. >> so your patient went home. the others are still in the icu. you wrote in that facebook post about this. you said i practiced for over 30 years and have seen it all, or so i thought. nothing has worried me like this. what about this worries you so? and i know you believe more should be done right now. >> yes, i do. i mean, i've never seen any illness where out of 13 people exposed, 13 get it. and out of 13, four of them get hospitalized. three of them until tin the icu. the ages of the people in the icu, they're in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. only one has a pre-existing condition. so this really worries me. in audition to what's been done, i think wesh should be closing l schools at this point. people do well in general but then they come home and hug their grandpa and they go to the icu. one of the ways we can do this is by minimizing the number of
cases we see. coronavirus is here. you know, it's present. there's not much we can do about it. but one thing we can do is do the best we can to minimize the number of cases and lessen load on hospitals and icu beds. >> doctor, i want to bring in dr. sanjay gupta i know has questions of his own for you. >> one of the things that keeps coming up, dr. fink, and you are on the front line of this, is we don't have enough of these beds. we don't have enough of these ventilators. and i feel like people have been talking about this for some time. is there -- is there a solution? i mean, more money? you know, buying ventilators? how do you think this is going to play out? >> well, i think it's difficult because we have to operate with what we have now. right now, we have only a few tests out there. we don't have a vaccine. although, one will be around within six months. it's not going to -- this outbreak. we don't have treatment. although people that are very ill can receive experimental treatments. so in my mind, if i wanted to solve this now, i want to help it now, i try to minimize the
number of cases. in my mind, that is the best approach to deal with this because i don't want to have to make the choices they're making in italy. the america i grew up in never had to make those choices. >> so if -- if the people you saw who are on this trip are in their 40s and 50s, that's not the 70s, 80s and older people we have been told about. that seems to me, and correct me if i'm wrong, there's just a lot about this virus we still don't know. is that correct? >> that's very true. in fact, one of the interesting things is that the person that is the least ill, he's 82. the oldest member of the group. >> dr. fink, i appreciate it and i hope your -- your folks get better, quickly, and their families are doing okay. sanjay, thank you. we're just about 15 minutes away from the president's oval office address. coming up next, what we know about what he will say. we'll talk about that ahead.
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in just a few minutes, president trump will talk to the country from the oval office about the coronavirus pandemic that a top member of his task force, dr. anthony fauci said today would get worse. in another sign of how quickly this is deteriorating, there's this. the nba game between the utah jazz and the oklahoma city thunder was abruptly postponed tonight. the players were on the court for warm ups. the game broadcasters said the decision to not play was made by the nba and not by either team. as we get ready, i want to quickly go back to the white house and cnn's jim acosta. only a few minutes left until the president's going to speak. do we have any more information on what he may be saying? >> yeah, a few more details, anderson. we expect this address to be about 10 to 12 minutes. the president is expected to announce a new batch of travel
critical because many people may be interested in going to europe where they have may jr. problems with the coronavirus. i'm told by a source that the batch of travel restrictions announced by the president, it is based on input coming in from the scientific and medical communities so the source was saying we know the president likes to shoot from the hip but much of what the president will lay out tonight is based on the input from the scientist, from the medical community, so that is a striking contrast from what we've been hearing from the president in the last several weeks. the other thing to point out, anderson, the president is expected to urge americans to follow the cdc recommendation, wash hand, practice social distances and this is one of the areas where the president has always led by example and continuing to shake hands despite the cdc telling the public that they should not shake hands and keep their distance to not catch this
virus. and the president's chief speech writer was apparently a driving force and jared kushner, the president's son-in-law is, playing a more instrumental role in guiding the coronavirus response. and sources telling dana bash and myself about it this evening. >> jim acosta, thank you. >> and whatever he says tonight, criticism of the pandemic, stems from the original comments, that underplayed the severity of the virus. take a look. >> by april, in theory, hen it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away. >> the coronavirus, which is, you know, very well under control in our country. we have very few people with it. the people are getting better. they're all getting better. >> we're close it a vaccine. >> we're going down, not up. very substantially down, not up. >> of the 15 people, the original 15, as i call them, eight of them have returned to their homes, to stay in their homes until fully recovered.
and again when you have 15 people and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done. >> it is going to disappear. one day it is like a miracle, it will disappear. and from our shores, it could get worse before it gets better. it could maybe go away. we'll see what happens. nobody really knows. >> anybody that needs a test gets a test. they're there. they have the test. and the tests are beautiful. anybody that needs a test gets a test. as of right now and yesterday, anybody that needs a test, that is the important thing, and the tests are all perfect. like the letter was perfect. the transcript was perfect. this is not as perfect as that, but pretty good. >> it will go away. just stay calm. it will go away. >> joining us now is david gurgen cnn's political analyst who advised former presidents. and rick santee and dana bash.
david gurgen, you have advised a lot of presidents, would you advise this president to continue saying things like he has been saying? >> no. i'm glad the president is making an address. millions of americans are nervous on the edge of their seats asking about the future of the health care and the families asking about the future of savings so it is good to make the speech but the big question more happy talk tonight or straight talk. the happy talk from trump has been this is all going to go away. fauci legendary figure to six presidents, six presidents, saying it is going to get worse before it gets better. president said say vaccine is near and fauci said a year to a year an and a half for that. you go down the line of the questions, the president will seize on the science and make it a happy ending and that is not what the country is going through. just here in massachusetts, two weeks ago, we had biogen, a
company to have a conference. two day conference. we have 92 cases of -- in this state now of people who have the virus. 70 of them, 70 of them came from that bio gen conference. >> senator santorum, what do you want to hear from the president tonight? because to hear him say that anybody who wants it could get a test, we just know that is not true. it is not going to just disappear. let's hope it does. hope is not a plan. >> that is not a plan. so, look, i think this is maybe the most significant speech of his presidency. at least i think we're getting into a period of time which i think his presidency will be judged on. this is a moment when presidents matter. as david said, in the last few days i think things and attitudes and moods have changed in this country, and looking at schools closing, and the nba shutting down. again, this is now reaching a big threat.
and if the president doesn't grasp that and show leadership and show -- and display confidence in a plan that not just trying to get the economy going, the issue is not the economy, the issue is trying to assure the american public that we have a plan in place or we'll be putting a plan in place and do whatever is necessary to make sure that we arrest this virus before it becomes lethal to our -- to too many people in the country and to the economy in the country. so that is what the president has to do. he has to begin that. he won't do it on one speech. i don't expect him to do that but we need a change in tone and attitude of this president assuming leadership and, again, i don't expect him to do it all. he has a great team around him. he has people that the public trusts. he needs to put them front and center and they need to be telling the truth and hopefully the american public will listen to that. because what we saw in italy is
the italian public didn't listen and look at the consequences. >> and you said look what a good job and lambasted for that and the president has day after day said the equivalent of that, the tests are perfect, anybody could get one, that it is going to disappear, that it is going to be a miraculous disappearance from our shores, what are you hearing from your sources about will there be a change in tone or approach from the president, will he acknowledge the reality that so many doctors are telling us? >> well i was told by sources familiar with the president's thinking that he has begun to understand the reality that senator santorum said that we've been reporting 24/7. this is not something that he can will away. this is not something that he clearly believed before that he could change with his remarkable power of persuasion that he has
done in business before, in politics before. this is a completely different animal. and we're talking about two things. first of all, just the fundamental health issue, the health crisis, but what is in the back of his mind that -- that has driven all of his analogy heck of a job brownies statements he has been making is his concern for the economy and the two have come together in the fact that he has believed that he can calm the economy by saying nothing to see here. when, in fact, i'm told that reality is setting in, it is setting in that he's starting to realize that by saying nothing to see here, it is rattling the economy even more. never mind, never mind what matters more than that which is the public health and safety of the people he's leading. >> david, if the president does not go on television tonight saying with a different tone as senator santorum pointed out and hope, according to doctors, if
this does get as bad as, here, as it is in italy, where doctors are drawing up guidelines for how to, you know, who lives and who dies, and how to make those choices to advise other doctors, there is going to have to be another speech down the road -- >> exactly. >> -- for that. >> yeah, worst thing you could do as what the senator says, is a serious moment for the country, that you engage in happy talk, that you oversell and underdeliver and he'll be held accountable for that politically in the reelection campaign if that is the case. i can't emphasize enough, when you have a crisis like this and next door to italy angela merkel said in the last 24 hours that as many as 70% of the people in her country of germany could be infected before this is over, that's an astonishing number. and that is why the president has to take this seriously.
>> i have to toss over to chris. the news continues. we hand over to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> i'm chris cuomo and welcome to "cuomo prime time." any minute, the president will address us. will he face in reality the biggest of his tenure. so far this president has been far from perfect. the country is struggling with the unknown and changes to every day life. trump frankly has added to the distress by telling us there are enough tests, not true. that this will all be gone soon. not true. you know that there is only one way for the numbers to go right now. and it is up. will he be the leader this country needs? will he tell you the truth and more importantly will he give you confidence in what he and the government can do about it. is there a plan? is there an outline of what happens and when? we'll see. let's get insight from cnn jim acosta at the white house. >> reporter: we're expecting this address from the oval
office in a few minutes from now. the president is expected to talk for about 10 or 12 minutes, from what we understand talking to our sources briefed on the remarks and they caution us things could move into and out of the remarks but that he is expected to recommend new travel restrictions and/or advisory for airline passengers heading overseas and expected to offer up new tax breaks and other economic breaks for these hard-hit industries clobbered by the coronavirus like the air lines, hotels and so on. and then urging americans to follow the cdc guidelines, wash their hands, practice social distancing. some of the things quite frankly he's been criticized for not following. but at the end of the day one source told me the president wants to project calm, that he has a way out of this crisis. the question that i think tonight, chris, is whether or not americans trust the president to see this country out of this crisis. >> that is a complicated question because he said things early on that he had to know were not true.