Jake, United States, New York discussed on State of the Union with Jake Tapper
Tapper in Washington where the state of our Union is looking for signs of hope? It is Easter Sunday but the country is still facing a dark reality. There are now more than half a million corona virus cases in the United States and more than twenty thousand dead and the last forty eight hours alone. The disease has taken more Americans than died on nine eleven. Still as the numbers reach almost unimaginable highs. There are some small signs that the measures that we have all been taking might be working in New York with more reported cases than any other country. The number of hospitalizations has somewhat flattened but as the economic pain for Americans grow. President trump is spending the holiday weekend weighing whether or not to change federal guidelines to push governors to reopen the country. By May I of course that decision to lift those restrictions lies with the states and lies with the governor. So this morning we're going to be hearing from three of those leaders but I do want to begin this morning with a vital member of president. Trump's corona virus taskforce the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr Anthony fouts you Dr Farsi Happy Easter. And thank you so much for joining us today. The United States reached two thousand deaths in one day for the first time on Friday. The United States has passed Italy now for the most corona virus deaths worldwide. Are we in the worst of it right now the US and Wendy? You think we will start to get out of the worst of it you know. It's it's very difficult to predict Jake but as we head said the last time we spoke and predicted last weekend. This was going to be a really bad week with regard to deaths but as you said at the same time that a a place like New York metropolitan area had a very a really terrible terrible week of suffering and death nonetheless the indications of that part of this machine that drives this outbreak is starting to level off because on the same day that the New York Metropolitan area had the highest number of debts. They had when you look at the admissions the hospitalizations the intensive care and the need to intubate. That not only is flat and it's starting to turn the corner so that's what we're hopeful and it's you know cautious optimism that we are seeing that decrease and if look at the the the patterns of the curves in other countries. Once you turn that corner hopefully we'll see a very sharp decline and then you start thinking about how we can keep it that way and prevent it from resurging when you're starting to think about a gradual reentry of some sort of normality some rolling reentry. So he's trying to balance two things you WANNA make sure you don't do something prematurely and precipitously at the same time you pay attention to the need to try and get back to normal. Last time we spoke on this show. You told me that. In order to to eventually be able to loosen the stay at home and social physical distancing restrictions the United States would need testing in place for quote knowing real time if a person is infected and then getting them out of circulation and contact tracing unquote. When do you think the US will have that capacity? Nationwide for kind of testing. Jake I see. We really can't guarantee every every area of the country but what we're told by the companies and the people who were getting the antibody test which doesn't tell you if a person is infected. It tells you if they've been infected and that's going to be important when you think about getting people back into the workplace but the other point which is an important if you start and when one starts to relax some of those restrictions we know that there will be people who will be getting infected. I mean that is just reality. The critical issue is to be able to in real time. Identify isolate and contact trace. That's quote containment right now. In places like New Orleans and in New York City. We're in mitigation. You mentioned the government is. This is really important. I've spent this week on the phone with a a a considerable number of governors. Some of which I believe. We're going to be on your on your program later on. They really important. I'm deeply impressed. About how much. They care about the balance of preserving the health of their citizens in their state at the same time as they cautiously do this re entry. So you know. I have confidence that with the help that we can do. Federally from from the from the federal government to the fact that the states are really committed to doing it right. I think that combination hopefully is going to get us to where we want to be based on what you know right now. Wendy do you think the country will be ready to take some of these steps to reopen based on the availability of testing. When do you see that happening jake? That's a great question and that's really what I was inferring when I said a rolling reentry it is not going to be a light switch that we say okay it is now June July or whatever clicked the the the light switch goes back on. It's going to be depending where you are in the country the nature of the outbreak that you've already experienced and the threat of an outbreak that you may not have experience so it's going to having to look at the situation in different parts of the country. Obviously New York who ends going through. A terrible ordeal is going to be very different from Arkansas. And you'll hear from the governor shortly and very different maybe from some places on the west coast like Washington state which have been successfully able to prevent that big spike. I think it's going to have to be something that is not one size fits all what do you think it could? It could start. You know I think it could probably start at least in some ways. Maybe next month and again jake. It's so difficult to make those kinds of prediction because they always get thrown back at if it doesn't happen not by you but you know by by an even number of people. We are hoping that at the end of the month. We could look around and say okay. Is there any element here that we can safely and cautiously start pulling back on if so do it if not then just continue to hunker down? And that's what at least from the standpoint of the public health aspect that we look at other decisions are going to have to be made at the level of the president and the governors about what they are going to do with all of the information they get the only thing I and my colleagues public health and medicine can do is to give a projection of the kinds of things. That may or may not happen when you make these steps and I know you're concerned about The idea of what happens if happens too quickly prematurely and then precipitously the US or that area of the US goes back to A dire situation the University of Washington professor. Chris Murray who I know you're familiar with his work. He runs the model frequently cited by Your Task Force. He told CNN That he is worried that if the country opens up too soon quote the risk of rebound is very great and according to his model when it comes to stay at home and social and fiscal distancing measures quote if we were to stop at the national level by May first we are seeing a return to almost where we are now sometime in July. Do you agree with him? And what happens if parts of the country? Try to go back to some semblance of normal but the testing and contact tracing capacity is not there. Well I mean Chris is is a very good model at and and we relied on him heavily to give us some capability of making some projections. But I believe what they were referring to in that model jake and it's important. Is I agree. That's why I said a few moments ago if you just say okay it's whatever you know. May I click? Turn turn the switch on. Obviously if you do it in all non way. There's an extraordinary risk of there. Being a rebound so in that respect that model is correct. And that's why I mean it is not an all or none. It's going to be something that you gradually and carefully in different parts of the country in different ways. Try to get back. I totally agree that all of a sudden we decide okay. It's May whatever and we just turn the switch on. That could be a real problem and everybody knows that so. It's going to be something different from that. It's going to be a concerted way to take a look and try doing it. Appropriately depending upon where you are in the country and what. The nature of the outbreak is in that part of the country. And I'm sure you'll hear the same thing from the governor's South Korea and the US announced their first confirmed corona virus cases at virtually the same time in late January. If you take a look at where we are right now in the US the US now has fifty times more cases on almost one hundred times more fatalities than South Korea. Meanwhile while the US makes up only about four point two five percent of the world's population the US has thirty percent of the world reported coronavirus cases and almost twenty percent of the reported corona virus deaths. Sanjay Gupta said. That's this is all because we got started too late in the. Us is that right. Do you agree you know. It isn't as simple as that Jake I'm sorry I mean to just say this is all happening because we got started too late. Obviously if you look. Could you have done something? A little bit earlier would have had an impact. Obviously but where we are right now is the result of a number of factors the size of the country the heterogeneity of the country. It's I think it's a little bit unfair to compare us to South Korea where they had an outbreak in day Goo and they had the capability of immediately essentially shutting it off completely in a way that we may not have been able to do in this country so obviously I would have been nice if we had a better head start but I don't think you could say that we all where we are right now because of one factor. It's very complicated jake. The New York Times report yesterday that you and other top officials wanted to recommend social and physical distance guidelines to president trump as far back as the third week of February but the administration didn't announce such guidelines the American public until March sixteenth. Almost a month later. Why you know Jake. As I've said many times we look at it from a pure health standpoint. We make a recommendation often. The recommendation is taken. Sometimes it's not but we it is what it is. We all where we are right now. Do you lives could have been saved. If social distancing physical distancing stay at home measures it started third week of February instead of mid-march. You Know Jake again. It's would have what could have I. It's very difficult to go back and say that I mean. Obviously you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier you could have saved lives. Obviously no one is going to deny that but what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated. But you're right. I mean obviously if we add right from the very beginning shut everything down. It may have been a little bit different but there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then. Do you think it will be safe in November for voters to physically go to vote at the poll? I hope so jake. I can't guarantee it. I believe that if we have a good measured way of rolling into this steps towards normality that we hope by the time we get to November. That will be able to do it in a way. Which is the standard way. However and I don't WanNa be the pessimistic person. There is always a possibility as that as we get into next fall and the beginning of early winter that we could see a rebound and hopefully hopefully what we've gone through now and the capability that we have from much much..