On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:
- Gov. Charlie Baker, Massachusetts
- Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Former FDA Commissioner
- Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator
- King Abdullah II of Jordan
- Suzanne Clark, President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Click here to browse full transcripts of "Face the Nation."
MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm Margaret Brennan in Washington. And this week on FACE THE NATION there's a new dilemma dividing the country. Is it worth risking the health and potentially the lives of Americans in order to jump-start our paralyzed economy? With signs that social distancing and mitigation are slowing the rate of new cases, the Trump administration issued new guidelines this week, to allow some states to start loosening restrictions on residents. But with the death toll of over thirty-four thousand and rising, the U.S. has reported close to three-quarters of a million cases so far. Those stark statistics stand in the way of the push to reopen businesses. The back to work argument has its own set of jaw-dropping statistics. Thirteen percent of the labor force is out of work. Lines at food banks are getting longer. And as for small businesses looking for loan assistance from Congress' record financial bailout, that money has run out.
CROWD (in unison): You work for us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: That struggle is dividing America even further.
ANDREW CUOMO: How does this situation get worse? And get worse quickly? If you politicize all that emotion. We cannot go there.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Last week President Trump said he had full authority when it came to reopening the country.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP (Monday): The President of the United States calls the shots.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Three days later, he told governors it's every state for itself.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP (Thursday): You're going to call your own shots.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Then on Friday, he urged residents in three states, all with Democratic governors, to take matters into their own hands. As for governors, they're desperate for financial aid and a national testing plan from the federal government. Will they get the help they need? We'll talk with Republican Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts. Plus, take a look at the critical role testing plays in reopening the country for business with the administration's coronavirus coordinator, Doctor Deborah Birx. We'll also talk with former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
All that and more, is just ahead on FACE THE NATION.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome to FACE THE NATION. As America continues to suffer in these troubling times, it's hard to find the right words to begin this broadcast. Today, we thought we'd borrow from one of the country's most prolific writers, Wall Street journal columnist Peggy Noonan who wrote yesterday that this is a never-before-seen level of national economic calamity. History doesn't get bigger than this. Sobering words, but true. First up this morning is CBS News national correspondent Mark Strassmann. He's in Atlanta. Mark.
MARK STRASSMANN (CBS News National Correspondent): Good morning, Margaret. And now comes the tricky part: Reversing the great American lockdown. It's every governor's call to make in this historic health crisis. But as job losses mount so does the pressure to reopen America.
WOMAN #1: Open our gate. We want to work.
MARK STRASSMANN: It's America's corona revolt, protesters storming the gates of power.
MAN: Refuse to comply.
MARK STRASSMANN: Backlash in Virginia, in Texas, in California. They've lost jobs. They're fed up with stay-at-home orders. They worry America in lockdown teeters on a second Great Depression. Twenty-two million jobs lost in four weeks.
WOMAN #2: You can't keep healthy people locked in their houses and watch the economy just go down. You can't do it.
MARK STRASSMANN: Michigan's torn between dollar signs and vital signs.
WOMAN #3: Facts over fear.
MARK STRASSMANN: It ranks third nationally in COVID-19 deaths, fifth in overall cases, and no state has bled more jobs. Almost one in four workers in the last four weeks. By May 1st, Governor Gretchen Whitmer promises to review her stay-home restrictions.
GRETCHEN WHITMER: I'm frustrated, too. None of us wants to be here in this moment.
MARK STRASSMANN: But lifting those restrictions prematurely could spread the virus. South Dakota is one of seven states without a stay-home mandate. This now closed pork processing plant became America's hottest spot for the virus, seven hundred sixty-nine related cases. In this county, cases nearly tripled in one week. More than one hundred mayors pleaded with the governor for a stay-home order.
KRISTI NOEM: I'm not going to do that at this time. I don't believe it's appropriate.
MARK STRASSMANN: Consider the forty-three states with stay-at-home orders. Twenty-three have restrictions that extend to May 1st. The twenty others will continue into May or indefinitely. Phasing out restrictions will vary by state. One major issue: Testing. Who's safe to be around?
MARK STRASSMANN: And nothing will return soon to the way it was like Saturday's commencement at the Air Force Academy. Graduates sitting apart, the stadium empty, but they celebrated progress. The event wasn't canceled.
MARK STRASSMANN: America's reopened economy will have winners and many losers, and thousands of small businesses were counting on the government's loan program. And now, it has run out of money. Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mark Strassmann, thank you.
We want to go now to CBS News senior foreign correspondent Elizabeth Palmer in London.
ELIZABETH PALMER (CBS News Senior Foreign Correspondent/@elizapalmer): Margaret, from China to Denmark, we are seeing governments around the world start to ease restrictions as they think they have the virus under control, but there are other countries which were slower to react that are getting hammered, notably, Russia.
ELIZABETH PALMER: At midnight in Moscow's cathedral, the great bell tolled to mark Orthodox Easter. But it was a solemn service. The Kremlin's strict lockdown only imposed in early April came too late. The line of ambulances waiting to get patients into the hospital tells a grim story: ten thousand confirmed new cases this weekend alone. By contrast, Greeks, who also celebrated Orthodox Easter from the safety of their living rooms, are giving thanks. Swift government action there achieved some of the lowest infection and death rates in Europe. Iran's outbreak, one of the most severe anywhere, swamped its hospitals. This week the powerful Revolutionary Guards claimed they'd invented a magnetic device to detect the virus at a hundred yards. Health officials quickly poured cold water on the idea, but it left Iranians weary, worried, and with even less confidence in their government. And, finally, a story to warm hearts everywhere: World War II veteran, Captain Tom Moore, set out to mark his hundredth birthday by crossing his garden a hundred times. His goal: to raise twelve hundred dollars for British health charities. Donations poured in.
TOM MOORE: The sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.
ELIZABETH PALMER: By the time Capitan Tom was finished with a military honor guard--
MAN: Inches to go, and there he is.
ELIZABETH PALMER: --he had raised more than sixteen million dollars.
MAN: Well done.
ELIZABETH PALMER: Here in the U.K., we've had our fairly comprehensive lockdown extended until at least the seventh of May. But here and there across Europe, governments are taking the first tentative steps to reopen businesses, everything from construction sites and bookshops, to hairdressers. Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Liz Palmer in London. Thanks.
CBS News foreign correspondent Ramy Inocencio has been reporting on this story from Asia since the first cases in Wuhan. He reports now from Tokyo.
RAMY INOCENCIO (CBS News Foreign Correspondent/@RamyInocencio): On China's border with Russia, this new six-hundred-bed hospital is prepped for a surge of imported cases. Ninety percent of China's infections have been citizens returning home from abroad. Many through this now locked down border town of Suifenhe. U.S. political pressure on China is also rising. President trump saying he will freeze funding to the World Health Organization.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We're paying them more than ten times more than China. And they are very, very China-centric.
TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS: WHO is reviewing the impact of our work of any withdrawal of U.S. funding.
RAMY INOCENCIO: In terms of a second surge, are you nervous right now?
DR. JEROME KIM: I am nervous.
RAMY INOCENCIO: Doctor Jerome Kim is a leading epidemiologist in South Korea.
DR. JEROME KIM: It's like putting out a fire. There are going to be embers that are glowing or smoking. You want to stamp those out before the fire starts again.
RAMY INOCENCIO: With drive-through testing and a decisive government, South Korea has been praised as the global gold standard. Social distancing at the polls for parliamentary elections was the norm Wednesday, with temperature checks, hand sanitizer, and plastic gloves, all part of the process. The ruling party won an historic majority for flattening Korea's infection curve.
DR. JEROME KIM: Testing and, you know, isolation made the response better.
RAMY INOCENCIO: But to the opposite, in Japan, where Tokyo's busy streets have gone quiet. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared the whole nation under a state of emergency Thursday, one day after Japan's health ministry warned four hundred thousand people could die with no mitigation.
RAMY INOCENCIO: Japan is now scrambling to expand testing with drive-through facilities, like in South Korea. Contact tracing is a major concern, too. Here in the capital, more than seventy percent of all infections are of unknown origin. Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Ramy Inocencio in Tokyo. Thank you.
We turn now to Doctor Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator. Doctor Birx, good morning to you, and thank you for making time for us.
DEBORAH BIRX, M.D. (White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator): Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Here in the U.S., what is the next area that you are concerned about?
DEBORAH BIRX: We watch every single metro county in a very granular, granular way because you have to look at it that way. We're a series of small epidemics across the United States. We're still very much focused on Boston and across Massachusetts where the epidemic's continued to spread across Massachusetts as well as in Boston. And we're watching very closely Chicago. And then we watch every single outbreak that occurs in-- in different states around the-- around the United States, including the most recent one in Ohio.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Here in Washington, there are projections that the virus couldn't peak until June. Obviously, this-- this is the heart of the nation's government. So what is your projection for what the impact here will be?
DEBORAH BIRX: You know it's very interesting, as I-- I described, we're a series of independent curves. So, obviously, we all know that the New York metro area had-- had the most cases and the most explosive experience with the virus. And then we looked to Seattle that has been containing the virus and contact-tracing and really finding a series of small outbreaks. Having that first nursing home outbreak really helped them really put in public health measures that-- that's kept their curve very low. And so when the curves are low, it's much more difficult to predict when the curves are going to fully decline. And so we're learning a lot about-- it's easier actually in explosive epidemics. When you look at New Orleans, who went up very high and quickly back down, and we're trying to learn from each of the areas in the country so we can do the prediction that you're asking for.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. We'll watch for that. But policy-wise, Doctor, why isn't there a national strategy for both testing and tracing? Why not provide those guidelines to governors?
DEBORAH BIRX: So, we did do that through the new guidelines. So-- and it clearly shows that there are three ways we want to monitor this virus community by community. The first way is really understanding ER visit and the symptoms associated with COVID-19. And we're tracking and tracing those every day all across the country. The second way is really understanding influenza like illness and converting that entire surveillance program and monitoring program to COVID-like illness, which we can throughout the summer months because we don't have flu. And the third critical leg with those other two legs is testing, but testing needs to be focused critically where you start to see early evidence because no test is a hundred percent specific and a hundred percent sensitive. And so if you test and over test in areas where there isn't virus--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
DEBORAH BIRX: --you can end up with false positives and false negatives.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But-- but I'm sure you know that governors, including the governor of New York, have said that they need more guidance from the federal government and sourcing for completing those tests. The vice president said today there's about a hundred and fifty thousand tests being conducted right now in the United States. Harvard projects you need five hundred to seven hundred thousand a day to reopen by mid-May. How-- how long before we get there?
DEBORAH BIRX: So, I think because we're making national numbers with epidemics that are smaller, each of these epidemics will have a different testing need. And that's what we're calculating now. The numbers originally said that we only needed seven hundred, excuse me, seven hundred and fifty thousand tests a week. We've long since passed that. The new number coming from Harvard is the half a million a day. What we're trying to do is look at this in a very data driven, granular scientific methodologies to protect community by community the testing that is needed. At the same time, working with every laboratory director across the country that have these multiple platforms to really understand and find solutions for them on their issues related to supplies.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Two weeks ago, you said Americans still shouldn't go to the pharmacy or grocery store. You've said just the other day we shouldn't have dinner parties still. What is the moment that we are in what is safe?
DEBORAH BIRX: So, again, this has to be looked at as a community by community. And I am trying to really drive Americans to a website that I think is really quite extraordinary. If you go to the Florida public health website on COVID, they've been able to show their communities cases and tests district by district, county by county, zip code by zip code-- zip code. That's the kind of knowledge and power we need to put into the hands of American people so that they can see where the virus is, where the cases are and make decisions. The one thing I have been so impressed with, if you give Americans knowledge, they will translate that into protective actions that protect themselves and their community. And so we have to really get them information in a much more granular way than a national way or even a state way. It needs to be down to the communities so the communities can see what happens in their communities and make decisions with the local and health officials and the state officials, what can be opened and what needs to remain closed.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Doctor, scientifically speaking, could this outbreak just be the result of a lab accident?
DEBORAH BIRX: You know anytime we have a new virus it's important to figure out its origins. And I think we're still a long way from figuring it out. It took us decades to figure out HIV and Ebola. It's going to take us a while to really map and trace this-- this particular virus, map it through its experience in humans and get the scientific evidence of where this virus originated. We know it originated in China. We just don't know, specifically, how and where.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you're-- it sounds like you're saying it could have been.
DEBORAH BIRX: I don't have an evidence that it was a laboratory accident. I also don't know precisely where it originated. So until we have the concrete evidence which we struggled with, with other pandemics and other zoonotic events. These are zoonotic events. They come from animals into humans. And so figuring that out will be really critical as well as figuring out could it have happened in the lab. Right now, the general consensus is animal to human.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Does the fact that South Korea is starting to see a bit of a resurgence mean that that could happen here in the U.S., that if you get this virus, you are not immune?
DEBORAH BIRX: You know that's a different question. And we're-- that's why these studies that are going on with plasma and giving plasma to sick patients to really see if that antibody confers protective immunity and help to the individual who is sick, as well as really doing studies with vaccines and looking, seeing whether the antibodies that are produced are effective. These are questions that we still have scientifically. I will tell you, in most infectious diseases, except for HIV, we know that when you get sick and you recover and you develop antibody, that that antibody is often confers immunity. We just don't know if it's immunity for a month, immunity for six months, immunity for six years.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Doctor Birx, thank you for your time.
DEBORAH BIRX, M.D.: Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. Stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to Boston and Massachusetts Republican Governor Charlie Baker. Good morning to you, Governor.
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER (R-Massachusetts/@MassGovernor): Good morning. How are you?
MARGARET BRENNAN: Very well. And as we just heard from Doctor Birx, she is very concerned about what's happening in your state, which is experiencing such an outbreak right now. I want to ask you about how states are working with the federal government, because the President said this week he has the ultimate authority to make the decision to reopen. That same day, you and a number of governors throughout the Northeast announced you're going to come up with your own regional strategy. The White House has now said, okay, you're in charge of it anyhow. Did-- do these mixed messages impact your planning? Do you as a governor need more federal guidance?
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: Well, I guess the first thing I'd say is part of the reason we chose to join that collaborative is there's a tremendous amount of cross-border activity that takes place when there is a functioning economy between and among all those states in the Northeast. We have people who work in those states. We have people who live in those states and work in Massachusetts. We have tons of companies that do business back and forth. And I think us thinking about this regionally is an important element because I don't want Massachusetts to do something that makes life incredibly complicated for New York or New Jersey or New Hampshire or Vermont. And I certainly don't want them to do something that unwittingly creates issues and problems in Massachusetts. I think, generally, the-- the biggest thing we're interested in guidance from the feds on is a lot of the stuff that comes out of the CDC and the FDA, which we take very seriously and incorporate into our own guidance and our own advisories and in some cases orders that we issue in Massachusetts. I know that's true for many other states. I also think the other issue that's important from the feds is-- is they approve and drive a lot of the policy and what ultimately becomes sort of the facts on the ground with respect to testing and treatments. And-- and as-- in a state where there are a number of companies that are deeply invested in either the development of treatments or vaccines or have hospitals that are involved in clinical trials associated with treatments for COVID-19, the federal government's role with respect to treatments is enormously important. And on the testing piece--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah, do you need a national strategy?
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: --they fundamentally have a huge role to play.
MARGARET BRENNAN: For testing?
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: Pardon me?
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you need that national strategy for testing?
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: I think, generally speaking, governors appreciate the fact that the feds have acknowledged that the surge is in different places and different states at different times. We're in a very different place here in Massachusetts than other states are. We're right in the middle of the surge now. But I certainly believe that the more guidance and-- and expec-- especially the ability to put the foot on the accelerator with respect to advancements in testing--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: --everything associated with testing ultimately has to be approved by the CDC and the FDA.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: As it should be. The states shouldn't be making their own decisions on that stuff.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, one decision you have made in your state is to launch contact-tracing. You're getting that program still up and running.
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: Yep.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You're doing it with phone calls. You're about to hire about a thousand people to do it. Explain what the idea is.
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: So there's an organization in Massachusetts called Partners in Health, which has been doing work in developing countries around public health for years. And-- and they are, in my opinion, kind of the gold standard around contact-tracing generally. And they've been doing it in-- in places where Ebola and Zika become horrible epidemics and outbreaks. And they started talking to us about creating a contact tracing program in Massachusetts. And, first of all, it's not theoretical. They've done it before. They know how to do it. Secondly, I absolutely believe that, in Massachusetts, any way, for us to get back on our feet and start thinking about reopening, we have got to have better knowledge and better understanding and support for people who are dealing with this virus and those they've come in close contact with--
MARGARET BRENNAN: But why do it--
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: --and this is going to be a big initiative.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Why do it the old-fashioned way of-- of phone calls? Couldn't it happen more quickly if you did it digitally?
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: Well, I certainly think that there's going to be a role for a variety of digital interventions to support this. I don't think it's an either or. I think it's a both and. But just based on this stuff we started doing already, there's tremendous value in having conversations with people who are COVID-19 positive, not just in terms of who they've been in contact with, but also what it's going to take to help them stay isolated and, you know, manage their way through the-- the virus themselves. And when we have a thousand people working this, and it may be more than that over time, the goal here is to push back on the virus the same way they did in South Korea, to contain it, understand where it is, and control it. And I think it's going to be critical for every state that wants to get open and back to something like a new normal to put some kind of mechanism like this in place.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right now there is this struggle in Congress and with the White House about how much money to give to states and if it should be included in this upcoming package. Does Massachusetts need more federal funding? I know governors in a bipartisan group said they need about five hundred billion dollars in unrestricted aid.
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: Well, the big issue for states is not dissimilar to the one you see for municipalities and other entities, which is if you shut down the economy, you shut down the revenue stream. But that doesn't mean you're no longer in the business of providing health care for people. You're not out of the business of operating correctional facilities. You're not going to get out of the public safety business or the environmental protection business or the transportation business. But I think every state in the country is struggling with what the hit to their economy has done to their balance sheet and to their budgets. And if the feds are interested in sort of reopening the economy and they've certainly talked--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: --a lot about the importance of stimulating the economy going forward. For states to be able to support that initiative--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: --obviously, it's important for the feds to support our efforts to-- to fund the stuff we do.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: If we're laying off tens of thousands of people at exactly the time when they want to reopen the economy, we're going to be swimming against the--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Exactly.
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: --the current they're trying to create.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be watching for that. Governor, thank you for your time. We'll be right back.
GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER: Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. Joining us now to help us educate our viewers about new COVID-19 developments is former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. He joins us from his home in Connecticut. Good morning to you.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D. (Former FDA Commissioner/@ScottGottliebMD): Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm wondering, we heard from Doctor Birx and then we heard from the governor of Massachusetts. I know you've also been advising him. There's a lot of concern about Boston and Chicago, Birx said. What are the other areas of the country that you still see as very worrisome?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, I think when you look at the Southeast and the Sun Belt, you still need to be worried. You haven't seen cases really spike in Texas or Georgia. In fact, it looks like cases are slowing there. But there's parts of those states where that are hot spots, counties that are moving very quickly. Parts of the Panhandle in Florida, you see cases growing very quickly. So the parts of the country that were later to enter their epidemic portion of this crisis, I think still are going to come out of it later. And you still have to be concerned about that. And-- and really any part of the country is vulnerable, even rural parts of the country, saw that with South Dakota. Once a case gets into a situation where you have people tightly packed indoors, it can spread very quickly. You see these super-spreader situations, as you saw in South Dak-- Dakota. So I don't think anyone's out of the woods right now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But you are seeing some governors start talking about and opening up things like beaches in Florida, parts of that state. You heard Doctor Birx say that there is, in fact, a national strategy from-- for testing. Do you think that strategy is adequate?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, look, I think it's a loose strategy. I think states are largely on their own trying to get testing resources into their states. And I think one of the things they should be doing right now is trying to work together, at least on a regional basis, to move around samples, to take advantage of capacity for testing that exists in a regional location within the country. Where we need a national strategy, first and foremost, is on the testing supply chain. So all the cheap, low-commodity components that go into testing like the swabs and the reagents and we've been talking about this for weeks now, those are all in short supply. We don't have shortages of them. But whatever gets produced is getting consumed because it's a global supply chain that testing sites are tugging on. And so if you had the government more engaged in trying to manage that supply chain, getting supplies to the states that need it most and trying to look for ways to increase manufacturing at a national level, that could help the states get the supplies they need. It's not the testing platforms per se that are in short supply. A lot of states have testing capacity within the states. It's the components to run those tests that they're having trouble getting their hands on.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, and-- and Doctor Birx said that that there is an attempt to try to help the states. What's missing there? What kind of coordination does there need to be between states and labs and the federal government?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, I think the federal government has more capacity to try to tug on that global supply chain, get more supplies into the country while other countries are competing for the same supplies. And also look at how we ramp up manufacturing of these-- these components. These are low-commodity components. There's a lot of plastic parts that could be 3D printed. There might be ways to increase manufacturing in the United States. It's something that we should be looking at trying to do if we can bring on manufacturing sites that can make some of these things here domestically--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: --both in the near term and the long term. Right now the swing capacity in the market, if we're going to see dramatic increases in capacity coming into the market in May and June, it's going to be from new systems coming into the market. The point of care diagnostic systems like the Abbott machine that we've seen or the Cepheid GeneXpert, those companies are probably going to increase their supply of the machines that they have available and there's a couple of other companies awaiting approval with the FDA or authorization to come into the market. And now probably-- probably be the inflection point if we're likely to see one, at least in May and June.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You said employers should look at things like onsite testing before their employees return to work. Do you think that's something that governors should mandate companies to have? What co-- corporation is going to spend the money unless they are required to do so?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Right. I don't think there's should be a mandate because there's a lot of corporations that are going to have difficulty bringing this onsite. I think where the government can play a role is helping to subsidize these activities in the near term so that we can make sure it's available not just to white-collar jobs and offices, but also shop floors and factories where there's actually more risk to employees because they can't naturally social distance or helping small businesses come together and put machines in local communities because they are going to have a hard time doing this. You're going to see a lot of office-based jobs actually bring testing onsite. I'm talking to a lot of companies that are actively working on this right now. And you're going to see provider groups step in to provide those facilities to companies. And what I worry about is it's not going to be available to all employees and employees who are most at risk of contracting COVID at work because they can't naturally social distance are the ones who aren't going to have access to these facilities. And so I think states have a role to play in helping to democratize these kinds of technologies so that more employees can take advantage of them.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And does that mean expanding the health care requirement, the paid leave policies that expire under current legislation in December?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Yeah. Look, I-- I have a letter I'm working on with a bunch of public health officials, a bipartisan group making recommendations to Congress to look at ways to provide paid sick leave to people who have diagnosed COVID so that they can self-isolate at home, as well as provide money to people who are self-isolating at home awaiting a test result. You don't want getting a positive COVID-19 test result to be punitive. You don't want to tell people they have to self-isolate at home. And, oh, by the way, they are going to lose wages and they are going to incur other expenses and hardships. So while you don't want to make it something that's fin-- and a financial inducement to get coronavirus, you also don't want to make it punitive. And we have to balance that. We have to find that happy medium. And that means, I think, providing for lost wages and maybe providing a stipend, a small stipend to people similar to what we do when they serve on jury duty because there are costs that people are going to incur by self-isolating at home if they have a coronavirus illness. And as a society, we're going to want them to do that. That's how we're going to stop the spread.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And, very quickly, how close are we to some kind of treatment or a vaccine and is China going to beat us there?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: There's a risk that China may get to a vaccine first. I don't think their Adenoviral vector vaccine is very good, but they may get it to the market before we do. I think that is a concern. In terms of the vaccine here in the United States, we may have hundreds of thousands of doses available in the fall for testing. And if there is an outbreak, a big outbreak in an American city, I think it would be made available in that city in some-- under some kind of protocol. So we would have it available in this setting of an outbreak, certainly not a national epidemic like we have right now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: We may have one or more treatments by the fall. I don't think anyone's going to be a home run, but we may have something that can help.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Doctor Gottlieb, thank you very much, as always, for your insight.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Thanks a lot.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back with a look at the financial fallout from the coronavirus crisis.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to the economy and the continued financial fallout from the coronavirus. Suzanne Clark is the president of the Chamber of Commerce based here in Washington. Good morning.
SUZANNE CLARK (President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce/@SuzanneUSCC): Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The volume, the amount of demand that small businesses had for emergency aid was so great that that three-hundred-and-fifty-billion-dollar fund ran out on Thursday. We know from congressional leaders and the Treasury that they expect some kind of deal to replenish those funds. Is two hundred and fifty billion dollars enough?
SUZANNE CLARK: Well, we know that the small businesses out there are really hurting. And every hour and day that goes by without this assistance is really hurting them. And so we know that it's a really good start; and it's part of why we are working on a path forward on how you reopen businesses so that they can get back in some kind of gradual, phased-in way to work.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you do believe this two-hundred-fifty-billion-dollar package will be approved this week. But, I mean a senior Fed official I spoke to this week said even the two hundred and fifty on top of the three hundred and fifty billion may not be enough because small businesses are in such acute pain and they make up such an important part of the U.S. economy. I mean what's the timeline?
SUZANNE CLARK: I think the two hundred and fifty billion dollars is just another really important step on getting aid to the front lines as fast as possible. I do think it will get done this week, and the Chamber is delighted about that. What we really believe, though, to your point, is that these businesses in getting paychecks in the hands of Americans at some point requires getting back to work, of course, safely and sustainably when the public health officials say it's okay to do so.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But when it comes to your members, how many of them had a hard time getting access to this money? Because CBS, in our reporting at this net-- network, has found that many of the smaller businesses didn't get their applications through.
SUZANNE CLARK: We know that there was great demand because we know that there's great pain out there. We know that the banks, you know, this didn't make different banking regulations go away. So they had to deal with people they knew bus-- did business with. They had to deal with anti-money laundering rules, etcetera. So it was easier to do business with people that they knew. But we know now, as other non-traditional lenders get into this space, that they are ready to give the money and make it easier for small businesses to access as soon as that fund is replenished.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you expect it to function better--
SUZANNE CLARK: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --this time?
SUZANNE CLARK: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The Chamber released a poll showing at the beginning of April that one out of ten members say they are less than one month away from permanently going out of business. What are your projections on bankruptcies and closures?
SUZANNE CLARK: It's really terrifying these numbers. You had something like fifty percent of small businesses say that they were eight weeks away from closing forever. And so that's why these bridge programs are so important; but also why it's so important that we start to think about reopening in a gradual, phased-in way. We know that certain regions were hit harder than others. We also know that there were certain regions that weren't hit as hard. We know that certain sectors, as Doctor Gottlieb just said, will have a harder time coming back. But there are other sectors that may be able to open. So the faster that we can get people back to work-- we know what this job means to a community and to a family, and the faster we can get paychecks into their hands and get these businesses to open the sharper and faster the recovery will be.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What is the cost to a small business owner of trying to provide and what is the legal expectation for that small business owner to try to provide testing or protective equipment to their employees? Are you telling businesses to go ask their governors and mayors or is that the business owner's job?
SUZANNE CLARK: That's exactly where we're doing our work. So the Chamber's path forward is all about gathering all of the questions and concerns that small, medium, and large businesses across the country have and helping develop a framework for policymakers and businesses so that when we get the yellow light, the proceed with caution light, to reopen, they are ready. And you're right, that that's part tracing and testing. But it's also part, which equipment and how do you train? And then there's the best practices and guidelines. Are we asking employers to check whether you've been tested? Are we creating some kind of immune registry? There are a lot of regulatory and legal questions here that small business owners and big business owners want to know. There's no playbook for this. It's unprecedented. And they want to know if they take a risk in an imperfect information situation that they are going to be protected.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And who is answering those questions? Is that the federal government?
SUZANNE CLARK: It's really a coordinated approach. You have federal guidelines that then have to be implemented on a state and local level because the conditions vary so much by zip code.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Well, very quickly, before we leave, can I get you to clarify--do you expect the requirement to provide health care coverage, paid leave to happen because it currently expires in December?
SUZANNE CLARK: I don't know what the Congress will end up deciding. What I expect is that companies and communities are going to do the right thing by their people. We don't want sick people in the workplace. We can't get back to work until we get back to health.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
SUZANNE CLARK: And I expect that the government and business will work together to figure that out.
MARGARET BRENNAN: A lot of big questions still unanswered. Thank you very much, Suzanne Clark.
SUZANNE CLARK: Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be back in a moment.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Of the populations most vulnerable to a COVID-19 outbreak, the world's twenty-six million refugees are at the top of that list. They often live in close quarters with access to only basic health and sanitation facilities. An outbreak of the virus could be devastating. The country of Jordan is home to at least three and a half million refugees and also the world's largest Syrian refugee camp. We are joined now by the King of Jordan, His Majesty King Abdullah II. Good morning to you, Your Majesty.
HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH II OF JORDAN (@KingAbdullahII): Good morning, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Social distancing is next to impossible for-- for refugees. How do you plan it-- to limit the spread?
HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH II OF JORDAN: Well, we acted quite early on, and that helped us flatten the curve quite-- quite well. And we created obviously some tough measures and-- and lockdown and-- and-- and quarantines over the whole country, although we're in the process of opening that up slightly. The challenge with refugees, obviously, they're about twenty percent of our population. The majority are not in refugee camps. So that is a challenge but we sort of treat every person inside of our borders, whether you're a Jordanian citizen or a refugee, in the same manner. Excessive testing has helped us figure out what our challenges are. But definitely, a country with a twenty-percent increase of its population through refugees, it's a major challenge as we go into the future.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So given that not all refugees live in camps, what kind of sense do you have of the degree to which the virus has penetrated that community?
HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH II OF JORDAN: Well, again, we-- we do random and targeted testing throughout the whole country. Refugee camps, because, obviously, people are much closer together in living conditions, was something that we looked at earlier on. So there is a lot of testing. The lockdown on the quarantine has helped Jordan sort of flatten the curve quite quickly. The cases that we've had over the past week are under the-- under ten people every day. We average fifteen give or take on a-- on a-- on a-- on a-- on a weekly basis. So it seems that we're-- we've got things under control and within the capabilities of our medical and health establishments. But, again, there's always that question out there: is there a gap in society that you don't know of? And so, again, testing at a massive scale is-- is how we're relying on, hopefully, getting the right figures.
MARGARET BRENNAN: This pandemic is global and the U.N. has called for a global response. But, frankly, Europe is struggling with this virus. The United States is. The U.S. President just cut funding or froze it, at least, to the World Health Organization. Who do you see actually leading a global response?
HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH II OF JORDAN: Well, I-- I think this is a challenge that took everybody by surprise, by the impact and the magnitude of-- of this pandemic. And I think the question is nobody is going to get a perfect score on this issue. Each country has different ways of handling it, nuances of their societies and-- and what their country faces. The question that I think you're alluding to is where are we four months, six months, a year from now? Do we understand that this is a-- a new world that we're living in? This is a disease that, or a virus, that crosses borders. It's an invisible enemy. It will target developed countries, undeveloped countries, whatever your religion, creed, color, or race. Unless we work together, we will not be able to overcome this in the way that we need to. So our enemies of yesterday or-- or those that were not friendly countries yesterday, whether we like it or not are our partners today. And I think the quicker we as leaders and politicians figure that out the quicker we can bring this under control because it's not just COVID-19 that we're worried about. It's what does it bring for us on the world in 2021, '22, '23? Are we going to be prepared for the next wave of this? And that could only happen if we reach out to each other.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, the IMF has said that if countries don't handle this right, that the virus could destabilize countries, in particular, because of the economic strain. Are you worried about instability in Jordan? Are you worried that this could be exploited by extremist groups?
HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH II OF JORDAN: Well, I think all over the world extremist groups and the usual suspects will, obviously, try and take advantage of that. We as a country that have come out of the-- the regional shocks of-- of wars with a massive surge of refugees that we've had, plus, being a poor country on a very strict program with the IMF and trying to get the economy back and running, obviously, this is a major concern. Having said that, we have seen areas of our society where actually we can be supporters for the region. But it's, I think, a challenge that all countries are facing of whether or not we get the economics right. So here's the risk. I mean, obviously, we are now slowly, gradually opening up, understanding that it could really move us back a couple of paces. But I think with this type of challenge, we've got to be very light on our feet. So mistakes, I keep saying, that are made yesterday, as long as we get them right today and-- and keep our-- our institutions and our people flexible enough to be able to-- to-- to take on the challenges that we may not have foreseen tomorrow.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you spoken to the president of China or asked him for help?
HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH II OF JORDAN: No, I-- I have not. I have been in touch with the leaders around the world. At the beginning, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the leader and my dear friend in the United Arab Emirates, he got in touch with me and asked what could he do to help. And, again, we had a problem with test kits. Jack Ma of Alibaba gave us a hundred thousand test kits that almost tripled our capability overnight. Many individuals and countries have helped us as we have in turn been helping them. And this is, I think, the flavor I hope that people will get. I mean, to be really honest, Mother Nature gave us a big kick up the backside. And are we smart enough as-- as a race and as a people to understand that we've got to get it right and-- and do we now serve humanity in the right way to be able to make sure that everybody is looked after because those that have not are going to suffer as much as those that have. And if we don't reach out to those that are in need, even though, we may have limited resources, it is at this stage doing what's right to help all of us because we're all in the same boat.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Your Majesty, thank you for your time.
HIS MAJESTY KING ABDULLAH II OF JORDAN: Thank you very much, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Finally today, with the nation's governors becoming familiar faces to all of us, regardless of where we live, thanks to technology, we asked 60 MINUTES correspondent John Dickerson for his thoughts on the crucial role they're playing in this crisis.
JOHN DICKERSON: While the medical laboratories search for a coronavirus cure, the laboratories of democracy are also hard at work. That's the phrase Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis used to describe the fifty American states. The political scientists in these laboratories are the governors, facing the toughest issues of the virus. From overburdened hospitals and equipment shortages--
CHARLIE BAKER: Our first responders, our health care workers, everybody deserves to have that gear and I'm telling you we're killing ourselves trying to make it happen.
JOHN DICKERSON: --to exploding unemployment.
ASA HUTCHINSON: our economic condition is uncertain, but the state of our character has never been stronger.
JOHN DICKERSON: In their response, they have reminded us what leadership looks like, where its limits are, and how generously citizens respond to grace under pressure. In a crisis when there is no end date, people crave specificity and plain speaking, even if it's tough medicine.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE (D-Washington): What's the penalty for a young person going out to a restaurant or hanging in a social get-together? And it's true the penalty is you might kill your grandparent.
JOHN DICKERSON: Voters in a state may know their governor, but, usually, the rest of the country only tunes in when a disaster hits. Then the governor is the one in the windbreaker, standing behind the President surveying the damage. Now governors are center stage because the disaster in one state is the disaster facing every state.
MAN: All these patients here.
JOHN DICKERSON: When governors remind their constituents, they also remind the country, that we are all connected.
GOVERNOR MIKE DEWINE (R-Ohio): We have to pull together, and, ultimately, it's going to be the small acts, what seems small, of each and every American that truly is going to make all the difference in the world.
JOHN DICKERSON: In an age of finger-pointing, blame-shifting and spin, it can be bracing to simply hear a leader take responsibility.
GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO (D-New York): If you are upset by what we have done, be upset at me, my judgment is do whatever is necessary to contain this virus. And then we will manage the consequences afterwards. The old expression: The buck stops on my desk. The buck stops on my desk. Your local mayor did not close your restaurants, your bars, your gyms, or your schools. I did. I did.
JOHN DICKERSON: Voters notice when leaders step up. Polls show that the governors in the states of California, New York, Ohio and Arkansas, have approval ratings in the seventies and eighties. State laboratories also showed the limits of what works. In Michigan, Governor Whitmer has rallied the public and won its approval, but recent strict stay-at-home orders caused a backlash, which in its responsible form reminded us that leaders can only do so much through coercion. Leaders identify a need, make a plan, and follow through. So this week, three sets of regional governors formed groups to think through the next phase in COVID-19 response that might boost economic output, relying on evidence, consultation, and persuasion. There's much work ahead. Because even when the medical laboratories find a solution, these laboratories will have to keep working.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And we'll keep working, too.
That's it for us today. Thank you for watching. Until next week for FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.