Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on July 12, 2020

7/12: Face The Nation
7/12: Face The Nation 47:10

On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:

  • Dr. Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General
  • Mayor Kate Gallego (D-Phoenix)
  • Terry Shaw, AdventHealth CEO
  • Tom Wyatt, CEO KinderCare
  • Anthony Salvanto, CBS News Elections & Surveys Director  
  • Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Former FDA Commissioner 

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, with COVID-19 cases skyrocketing in the Sun Belt and parts of the west, the mixed messages and political divisions when it comes to trying to contain the virus are growing as well. More than four months into the pandemic the President modeled a new look during a visit to wounded soldiers at a Washington area military hospital.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I think it's a great thing to wear a mask. I have never been against masks, but I do believe they have a-- a time and a place.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The decision to publicly follow CDC guidance came a day after the U.S. recorded more than sixty-seven thousand new cases of coronavirus.

JOSE DIAZ-BALART: Is the United States losing the war against COVID?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: No, we're winning the war and we have areas that flamed up and they're going to be fine.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But those areas, and some new ones, are primarily in states that loosened shutdown restrictions early on. They are now being bombarded with new infections, rapidly growing hospitalizations, and death rates.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: I don't think you can say we're doing great. I mean we're just not.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Doctor Anthony Fauci's diagnosis on what's making the pandemic worse, partisanship.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: When you don't have unanimity in an approach to something, you're not as effective in how you handle it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Some mayors are overruling governors in a desperate effort to get the flare-ups under control. Federal guidance is vague. The Trump administration is now pushing hard to get the nation's fifty-six million K-through-12th grade students back to school in the fall.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: So we're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools to get them open.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Getting kids back to school is something everyone agrees should happen, but can it happen safely? If so, how? We'll talk exclusively with Surgeon General Jerome Adams. Plus, we'll hear from Phoenix, Arizona Mayor Kate Gallego. We'll ask the head of AdventHealth, one of Florida's largest hospital groups, Terry Shaw, about the situation in the Sunshine State. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb will also be with us, along with the head of KinderCare, one of the country's largest child care providers. Plus, a look at how COVID-19 is impacting the presidential campaign in Florida, Texas, and Arizona in our new Battleground Tracker poll.

It's all just ahead on FACE THE NATION.

Welcome to FACE THE NATION. The news we woke up to this morning makes us feel like we've been here before, and we have. Coronavirus cases in parts of the country are spiking and there are reports of shortages of medical personnel, ICU beds, and personal protective equipment. Testing demands in hotspots outweigh supply, the lines are long, and the labs are backed up. What's different? The regions we're seeing these spikes in are primarily not all so-called red states where President Trump won in 2016 and governors are primarily Republican. What lessons were learned from the outbreak this spring? Did they move too quickly to reopen? Some scientists, including Doctor Anthony Fauci, say yes. Our coverage begins this morning with CBS News national correspondent Mark Strassmann in Atlanta.

(Begin VT)

MARK STRASSMANN (CBS News National Correspondent): For these Texans, no masks, no distancing, no worries, despite another wave of COVID battering the state. Record new cases in four of the last seven days. Record hospitalizations for twelve straight days. And the state's deadliest week yet in the pandemic.

WOMAN: We want this to end, believe me.

MARK STRASSMANN: And Texans heard the spikes will only continue.

GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT (R-Texas): The only strategy we have left to avoid having our economy shut down again is for everyone to use a mask to slow the spread.

MARK STRASSMANN: It's like before only worse. Across the south and west, mostly in states that loosened COVID restrictions early on. Twelve states this past week recorded positivity rates higher than ten percent. Seven states set single day death records this week. In Houston, lines of people sweltered to get a COVID test. In San Diego, test results take ten days. Worrisome in a state that set a new single day death record on Thursday. PPE shortages are again an issue. Florida has hired one thousand people to help hospitals under siege.

GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS (R-Florida): They've got beds. They can put down more beds. They just need to make sure they have enough folks to staff the beds.

MARK STRASSMANN: This week expect to see more restrictions. Louisianans do. Starting tomorrow, anyone anywhere in the state ages eight and up has to wear a mask in public.

GOVERNOR JOHN BEL EDWARDS (D-Louisiana): I want people to understand we have no reason to believe that the numbers that we've been reporting over the last few days are going to get any better over the next couple of weeks. In fact, they-- they are likely to get worse.

(End VT)

MARK STRASSMANN: Here in Atlanta, this convention center has been reactivated for overflow COVID patients. And Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has rolled back the city's reopening, most people are supposed to stay home again. But here, as in much of America, there is mixed messaging. The state's Republican governor has told the city's Democratic mayor only he gets to decide where and when to roll back. Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mark Strassmann in Atlanta. Thank you.

We want to go now to the Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Jerome Adams. The doctor joins us this morning from Wolcottville, Indiana. Good morning to you.

JEROME ADAMS, M.D. (U.S. Surgeon General/@Surgeon_General): Well, good morning, Margaret. I wish I was here under different circumstances because, as you mentioned, case counts are going up in many localities and we are absolutely concerned about that. But there are two very important things that I just want the American people to know. Number one, we are in a very different place than what we were in February and March. We have an over three hundred percent increase in available PPE and that's not to say mission accomplished, but we are in a better place. We have Remdesivir, steroids, convalescent plasma. All which mean that if you actually get diagnosed--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

JEROME ADAMS: --with COVID, your chance of dying from it is significantly lower than what it was in--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

JEROME ADAMS: --in February and March. And that's important for the American people to know. The other really quick thing that I just want people to know is that--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah, because I would like to get to some questions.

JEROME ADAMS: --the disease course is only about two-- yes, absolutely. This is an important point, though. The disease course is about two weeks. So while we're seeing cases rise, we can see cases go down just as quickly if the American people will do the things that we know slow the spread of this disease, including wearing a face covering. Critically important--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.

JEROME ADAMS: --for people to know, COVID stops with me. We have the power to-- to turn this thing around.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. Let's start there then because you are wearing a mask. You are clearly trying to make a point. At the beginning of April is when the administration started telling the public to wear masks. But just the last time you were with us here on FACE THE NATION, March 8th, you said this. Let's listen.

MARGARET BRENNAN (March 8): What you are--

JEROME ADAMS (March 8): And stay safe by washing your hands, by covering your cough, by staying home if you're sick. Masks do not work for the general public in preventing them from getting coronavirus.

MARGARET BRENNAN (March 8): All right.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And the week before that, you tweeted in all caps, "SERIOUSLY PEOPLE, STOP BUYING MASKS." You said they were not effective. Do you regret saying that?

JEROME ADAMS: Well, it's important for people to understand that once upon a time, we prescribed cigarettes for asthmatics and leeches and cocaine and heroin for people as medical treatments. When we learn better, we do better and the WHO, the CDC--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you saying at that time you did not know because the CDC in February was looking at asymptomatic transmission of the virus?

JEROME ADAMS: We-- we were looking at that but the CDC, the WHO, and even in May there was a New England Journal of Medicine article that still disputed whether or not masks were effective. We've learned more about asymptomatic spread. Up to fifty percent of people who can spread this disease, spread it without having symptoms. And that's why the American people need to know that science is about giving the best recommendations you can--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.

JEROME ADAMS: --and when you learn more, you change those recommendations. Our recommendations have changed.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

JEROME ADAMS: Now, people of America, important to know you should wear a face covering.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we certainly do--

JEROME ADAMS: When out in public.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we certainly do take that advice. But I think you have to acknowledge that this mixed messaging has created confusion and it has drawn into question some of the credibility of the administration. Are you certain--

JEROME ADAMS: Well, and we're trying to correct that--

MARGARET BRENNAN: --that this wasn't just done because of a shortage of--

JEROME ADAMS: --messaging, Margaret, but it's very hard to do.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I'd like you to clarify it. Were you saying that then--

JEROME ADAMS: Yes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --because there just wasn't enough equipment?

JEROME ADAMS: I was saying that then because everything we knew about coronaviruses before that point told us that people were not likely to spread when they were asymptomatic. So, the science at the time suggested that there was not a high degree of asymptomatic spread. We learned more. There-- there also was, as you mentioned, the very real concern about hording of PPE and-- and--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.

JEROME ADAMS: --people dressing up in trash bags as health care workers. That was a part of it. But the primary reason was because that's what the science said. And I want the American people to understand. We follow the science and when we learn more, our recommendations change. But it's hard when people are continuing to talk about things from three, four months ago. I've said consistently for the past three months, ad nauseum on the Internet and in interviews, wear a face covering. It will help slow asymptomatic spread. It will help us reopen churches and schools--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.

JEROME ADAMS: --and have prom next year and have football in the fall.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, which is why I think leveling with the public is important. When you-- I want to also get to something very specific in terms of what the CDC has revealed this week, and that is, in particular, Hispanics and Black Americans are three times more likely to get the virus.

JEROME ADAMS: Yes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: They are twice as likely to die from it than Caucasians are. You said a few days ago that one of the reasons that you had questions about mandating masks is because you said in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, you worry about having a situation where you're giving people one more reason to arrest a black man. To be very clear, are you saying that racism makes it too risky to mandate masks, and black Americans, you are also prescribing for them wearing masks now?

JEROME ADAMS: So to be very clear, I am not saying it makes it too risky. I'm saying that if we're going to have a mask mandate, we need to understand that works best at the local and state level along with education. We need people to understand why they're doing it. And we need people to understand how they benefit from it, because if we just try to mandate it, you have to have an enforcement mechanism. And we're in the midst of a moment when over-policing has caused many different individuals to-- to be killed for-- for very minor offenses. And that is an important consideration. As Surgeon General, I want people to understand why they should wear a face covering. And they're going to be more likely to do it. They're going to be more likely to do it willingly. And they're going to be more likely to do it when we're not watching, which is important.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about where we are as a country right now. In Texas and Arizona there are reports of refrige-- refrigerator trucks being ordered because morgues are about to be overwhelmed. The two senators from Texas are requesting a field hospital be set up because of concerns about overcrowding. This morning the Republican head of the National Governors Association said there should have been a national testing strategy and now this thing is out of control. Does the administration have this under control?

JEROME ADAMS: Well, what I will tell you is that we're in a very different place than what we were in February. We are much better able to respond. We've sent out ten teams to the most problematic area and we have another nine going out this week to help with staffing, to help with testing. We do have a national testing strategy and we're working with states to give them all the supplies that they actually asked for. So again, please--

MARGARET BRENNAN: But as you-- as you heard--

JEROME ADAMS: --please don't mistake me for saying we're happy with where we are. Please don't mistake me for saying we're happy with-- with where we are. What I'm saying is that we are working with states to make sure we can respond to this incredibly contagious disease and part of that, again, is making sure we're slowing the spread--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.

JEROME ADAMS: --by helping people understand the importance of wearing face coverings and good hand hygiene and staying home when they can.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Understood, but I think, you know, the administration has talked about this tension between reopening the economy and dealing with the virus, the-- the pain that people felt and-- and took to their pocketbooks on the East Coast and the west of this country when they shut down the economy, they were told that was to mitigate the spread. They were told that was so people could get ready for another round of this virus. But right now, what we're hearing sounds like what we saw in April, shortages of PPE, waiting times for test results. What happened and who's in charge of fixing that?

JEROME ADAMS.: Well, I think it's a little bit unfair to say that this is exactly what happened in March or April. Again, a three-hundred-percent increase in personal protective equipment. We're doing a much better job of protecting the vulnerable. That's why you've seen the age of-- of cases being diagnosed drop by over a decade and a half, a much lower fatality rate. We know more--

MARGARET BRENNAN: The CDC director said this week--

JEROME ADAMS: --about the disease. People are living longer.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --that more testing needs to be done. So the administration,--

JEROME ADAMS: Well and we-- and we're--

MARGARET BRENNAN: --health officials are acknowledging that.

JEROME ADAMS: We-- we are doing six hundred, seven hundred thousand tests per day. And I will agree with you that in-- in certain areas we do need to do more testing and that's why we have these strike teams, multidisciplinary teams of health experts going to the problem areas. The other thing to understand is if you look at Arizona, for instance, Arizona as a state is steady. But when you look at it at-- at Phoenix area, Maricopa County, that's-- that's increasing. The-- these increases that you're hearing are very regional. And so we have a very targeted approach to make sure we're getting the resources to the people that need it the most so that, again, we don't see the fatality that we saw in March and April, which Tony Fauci, Doctor Redfield, myself, no one in the task force wants to see that. And we don't think we're going to see that because we're better prepared to respond. But it's got to be coupled with prevention. And I know I keep harping on that, but we have the power to slow the spread. I would ask you to share my PSA, #COVIDStopsWithMe--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

JEROME ADAMS: --on my website because together we can turn this thing around in just two to three weeks if everyone does their part, more studies coming out showing the effectiveness of face coverings.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Sorry, two to three weeks for what exactly?

JEROME ADAMS: The disease course is about two to three weeks. So just as we've seen cases skyrocket, we can turn this thing around in two to three weeks if we can get a critical mass of people wearing face coverings, practicing at least six feet of social distancing, doing the things that we know are effective. And it's important for the American people to understand when we're talking about the fall we have the ability to turn this around--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.

JEROME ADAMS: --very quickly if people will do the right things.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And I think everyone in America wants you to turn this around and wishes you the best of luck in doing that, but a lot of American parents are very worried-- worried about sending their children back into classrooms in the middle of increasing cases in hotspots, in large parts of this country. The President said this week that the CDC guidelines on schools are very tough and expensive. They're asking schools to do very impractical things. The CDC guidelines say use hand sanitizer with sixty percent alcohol, put up barriers between desks to have kids six feet apart. What part of this is too tough and too expensive?

JEROME ADAMS: Well, thank you for that question. I have a sixteen-, a fourteen-, and a ten-year-old and I want them back in school. We know that kids who are not in school are more likely to be obese, to misuse substances. There's less reporting of-- of sexual abuse and of child abuse. There are real health implications to not being in school, but it has to be done safely--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, it's the how.

JEROME ADAMS: --and the CDC guidelines that are out talk about best-case scenarios, and I'll give you a very specific example. They say that every kid should bring in their own lunch. So you asked for a specific example. We know that in some school districts and many school districts, over fifty percent of kids are eating lunch at school and don't have the ability to bring their own lunch. So that's one case where we need to work directly with local school districts and help them figure out, okay, if you can't do what is the gold standard, best-case scenario, can you do something that's a compromise to safely reopen? That's what we're talking about when we talk about issuing new-- new, more specific recommendations that we can look at school district by school district--

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we'll get those this week?

JEROME ADAMS: --because not everyone can do the gold standard. Yeah, my understanding is the CDC will get those out--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

JEROME ADAMS: --and I know they're working with individual school districts. I actually am here--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

JEROME ADAMS: --talking this morning with my-- with my sister in law, who is a-- who is a principal at a local school here, and they've got a plan. That's what's important--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

JEROME ADAMS: --for each district to have a plan to figure out how to do this safely.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, and I think there's a lot of looking for a national plan. Doctor, we wish you well. Thank you very much for your insight today.

We'll be back in one minute with a lot more FACE THE NATION. Don't go away.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to one of the nation's hot spots, Phoenix, Arizona. Mayor Kate Gallego joins us. Good morning to you, Madam Mayor.

KATE GALLEGO (Mayor of Phoenix/@MayorGallego): Good morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I-- I read that your county has been ordering refrigerator trucks in the expectation that morgues will be overwhelmed. Can you give us a reality check of what is happening on the ground?

KATE GALLEGO: It continues to be a very difficult situation in the Greater Phoenix Area. We are seeing positivity rates above twenty percent. We continue to have a real challenge with testing, although there was some very good news this week about additional resources that are coming. We are setting records of the type you don't want to set for the use of ventilators by COVID patients, acute care beds. Our health care workers are telling us they are already tired and they are worried that there could be an additional growth--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

KATE GALLEGO: --after the Fourth of July. There was a little bit of flattening in the rate of growth, so maybe too early to celebrate. And we don't have a firm trend yet. But I'm looking for positive news.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I read that the City of Phoenix does not have its own health department. But given that the pandemic hit the East and West Coast of this country so hard back in February, why wasn't there more planning to surge testing to your city and to your area?

KATE GALLEGO: We really have had huge issues. We've had people waiting eight, ten, thirteen hours. Back in April I started requesting federal support for additional testing. At the time, our peer cities such as Houston, which is the fourth largest city or the fifth largest, were getting federal support for mass testing. And I requested it at the time. They said we didn't have sufficient caseload. Now we clearly have sufficient caseload. And I began making the requests again and again. It came up at the White House press briefing this week. I think they felt that-- the-- the term they used for me was out of tune. But the good news is they did finally decide that they are going to be bringing that federal testing to our community, and it cannot come a moment too soon.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The governor in your state has now made some accommodations. He's limited indoor capacity at restaurants to fifty percent. Bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks have all been ordered to cease operations. What is it that you want to do in Phoenix that you cannot do right now, and what needs to be done to get control?

KATE GALLEGO: I joined mayors from across Arizona to ask the governor to put in place significant expansion in safety precautions. We do not have a statewide requirement for facial coverings in Arizona and we need one. We would love to see additional protections, including moving restaurants completely to takeout. We would also like to have some of the risky or personal care situations like nail salons. We think that's just not necessary right now while you're seeing such high levels of the virus.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The governor did say this week that he's going to push back school reopenings in your city, in your area. Is there any way you can safely open school districts in the coming weeks, given the numbers you're seeing?

KATE GALLEGO: We have separately elected school boards, and we're now seeing many of those elected leaders say we can't open until at least October. With the levels of the virus so pronounced in our community they just don't feel like it's a safe environment for teachers to go in, and they are concerned about our students, as well as spread of the virus. I hope there'll be full financial support for those school districts, including digital programming.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, there is so much financial hardship right now, and in looking what's happening within your state, the moratorium on evictions expires July 22nd. Do you have a sense of whether the state will extend that moratorium? And in your city are you expecting a spike in homelessness? And what do you do with that in the middle of an outbreak like this?

KATE GALLEGO: The best advice that public health professionals give is to stay home, but that's difficult if you don't have a home or are about to be evicted from it. I'm deeply worried about the expiration of the eviction order. What we're hearing is particularly renters are at risk. Many mortgage companies have been willing to say, we have a thirty-year mortgage. We'll add a few months at the end. But if you were in month six of a year lease, you're-- you're at huge risk of-- of being evicted, and I-- I feel for our landlords-- landlords. We have many retired couples who own a duplex, and that's a big part of their retirement. So, we need to think--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

KATE GALLEGO: --about landlords as well.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

KATE GALLEGO: What we're hearing is that our communities of color, who are already so hard hit--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

KATE GALLEGO: --are likely to be among the highest levels of eviction. So it's-- it's concerning from many levels--

MARGARET BRENNAN: We will--

KATE GALLEGO: --in Phoenix.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be watching that. Thank you. Thank you, Mayor. Good luck. We'll be right back.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: Another Friday night bombshell rocked Washington late last week. President Trump commuted the sentence of friend and political operative Roger Stone who was due to report to prison Tuesday to serve a forty-month term. A jury had convicted him of witness tampering, false statements, and obstructing an investigation into interference in the 2016 election. President Trump defended his decision.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Roger Stone was treated horribly. Roger Stone was treated very unfairly.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yesterday, former FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the investigation, saying Stone remains a convicted felon and rightly so.

We will be right back.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: Some of our stations are leaving us now. When we come back, we'll take a look at the hospital situation in Florida. It is one of the states now struggling to contain the virus. Yesterday, they reached a quarter million cases. Stay with us.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: Florida is one of the states now struggling to contain the virus. Yesterday, they reached a quarter million cases. The same day Disney World officially opened up two of their parks. One more example of the tension between reopening the economy versus the threat to Americans' health. AdventHealth is the biggest hospital chain headquartered in Florida. Terry Shaw is its CEO and he joins us from Orlando. Good morning to you.

TERRY SHAW (AdventHealth CEO): Good morning, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you have about thirty hospitals in the state of Florida. You know, in other states in Arizona and Texas, there are these reports of morgues being close to being overwhelmed. Are you at that point in Florida?

TERRY SHAW: It's a very stressful time in-- in Florida, Margaret, but, no, we're not at that point. I'm thankful that we've had several months to learn how to treat the disease. We're much better prepared in July than we were in March. We have adequate personal protective equipment. We have a stockpile of ventilators, and we have an amazing clinical team that have taken best practices from around the globe and put them into our treatment protocols. And I'll give you an example, our length of stay in our ICU for COVID patients has dropped in half. The number of people coming into our hospital with COVID that need a ventilator, we've also been able to cut that in half, and because of those things, our death rate has also been cut in half over that time period. This disease is only seven months--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

TERRY SHAW: --and our clinical team has done an amazing job determining how to care for people better today than they were just even three months ago.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, the state of Florida has only just this Friday started reporting officially hospitalization data, but you know what you're seeing in your own facilities. So can you tell us, based on what you know when you think the peak of hospitalizations will be?

TERRY SHAW: Based upon the testing, my guess is that the peak is sometime in front of us and in July, and that would assume that people do what they need to do from both a distancing perspective and from a masking perspective to slow down the spread of the virus. COVID gets passed from one person to the next, and we can all do a better job making for sure that we're caring for one another, by just wearing a simple mask and staying six feet from a distance perspective from the next person.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So do-- go--

TERRY SHAW: From a hospital--

MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm sorry.

TERRY SHAW: I'm sorry.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So from what you are laying out, do I hear you saying that you currently have enough supplies, PPE, you have enough medical staff to deal with the surge that you say is still in front of you?

TERRY SHAW: Yes. So in April-- so March and April, we spent an enormous amount of money on PPE and we continue to have stockpiled PPE that we so desperately need right now. And so, no, we are not short on PPE. Remdesivir is also coming in. We just got a shipment in from the-- from our state government--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

TERRY SHAW: --this weekend. We were running low last week, but we have enough of that to continue to care for people. Our ICU capacities are running at about eighty-five to ninety percent, but we have the ability to turn some of our progressive care units into ICU units if we need to do so. Also, as a multi-state system, we're working with one of our sister states in Colorado where we have facilities to bring clinicians from Colorado to Florida to help us staff up if we need to on an ongoing basis.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I wanted to ask you, specifically, about that because back in the spring in New York, you saw that happen with medical personnel really being the thing most in demand and coming in from out of state. You-- are you calling for that? Do you need more personnel specifically? What do you need and on Remdesivir, which you just said you're about to get more of? How much supply do you have? How long does that last?

TERRY SHAW: So the Remdesivir that we have-- that I'm just talking about, we got in this weekend and we're supposed to get another shipment in this week. And at this juncture, I think we have enough as a system across our thirty hospitals to care for the people that would be coming into our-- one of our facilities for care. Relative to staff, it's very important that you have the ability to move staff around your state. One of the things that we did in-- back in March was develop and program a staff redeployment program that allowed us to move critical resources around our organization with both within the state of Florida and then move people outside of the state of Florida-- to Florida or vice versa, based upon where spikes were coming and where people would be needed the most.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I was looking at some of the state reports on ICU capacity at your different facilities across the state, DisneyWorlds in Orlando. Many Americans now in the Orlando area and they reopened yesterday. I know your company has been hired by them to help advise on opening safely. But when I look at ICU availability in that area, it's pretty tight. Is it a good idea--

TERRY SHAW: Yeah.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --to open theme parks?

TERRY SHAW: So as a health care provider, my job is to help people do things safely. Whether it's NASCAR or Disney, we have strategic alliances with those organizations. We work very closely with them to help them determine a way to reopen and do that safely.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

TERRY SHAW: I will tell you, based upon the way Disney is approaching this--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

TERRY SHAW: --with limiting people in, doing all the screenings that they're doing, I'm-- I personally am a Disney season ticket holder.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

TERRY SHAW: I wouldn't hesitate to go to Disney as a healthcare CEO--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

TERRY SHAW: -- based upon the fact that they're working extremely hard to keep people safe.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Thank you very much. Good luck to everyone working in your hospitals.

We go now to Westport, Connecticut, and former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. Good morning to you.

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D. (Former FDA Commissioner/@ScottGottliebMD): Good morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Last Sunday, when you were with us, you said we had four major epicenters of spread, and you predicted we would get to about sixty thousand infections a day. That's right about where we've been for the past at least three days. You said within two weeks we'd be a thousand infections a day-- excuse me, a thousand deaths a day. What do we need to be prepared for next?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, look, I think things are going to get worse before they get better. There's some private modeling floating around that shows that this is possibly going to peak in the next two or three weeks. You see Google mobility data and OpenTable reservations starting to decline in these Southern states where these dense epidemics are happening, which is an indication that consumers are pulling back. And that's going to create somewhat of a backstop. But I think what you're likely to see in the South, which is different than New York. New York really followed the pattern of Italy, where it was a sharp up, a huge epidemic, but it came down rapidly. I think in the South, you're likely to see an extended plateau. We really don't have a national approach here. What we have is state approaches that are creating regional effects. And so those regional effects are different. The New York experience mirrored Italy. I think the Southern experience is more likely to mirror Brazil, where you're likely to see more of an extended plateau once we reach that apex. And you could reach the apex in the next two or three weeks.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The next two to three weeks, that-- which is the same time frame the surgeon general referenced there. But when we talked to you throughout this pandemic, you had been warning, take New York as a lesson on what you need to be doing. It was a message to other governors for PPE, for preparing to get ahead of this. Why do the Southern and Western states not appear to be prepared?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, look, I think that they felt they were out of the woods after that first wave passed, but this has really been a regional experience in the United States. And what happened was they reopened against the backdrop of what was a lot of spread. They hadn't really crushed--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Too early?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: --the virus in those states and people became-- too early, in my view, and people became complacent, especially younger people. They were going out, not taking precautions. Older people were taking precautions. They were protecting the nursing homes and the vulnerable. But, inevitably, what happens is if the younger people go out and get infected, because they're not taking those precautions, it's going to get back into a more vulnerable population. And that's what we're seeing right now. You're seeing rising cases in nursing homes. Positivity in these states is actually declining in the younger population, but rising in the older population. And if you want sort of a proxy for that experience, you look at Iran. Iran had a major epidemic. It came way down. They had a second peak. It was mostly in younger people. They said, don't worry, it's younger people so we're not going to see the same level of deaths. But, eventually, the infection seeped into an older population. That's what's happening now. You're starting to see more outbreaks in nursing homes. So, tragically, we're going to see deaths start to rise. And that's why I said in two to three weeks until you see deaths get back above a thousand.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You've spoken before about this question of whether the virus is spread through aerosol transmission. And now we know the World Health Organization is looking at it. Should offices and schools be changing their filtration systems?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: I think this is something they should look at. Remember, it's not binary. It's not either airborne or droplet transmission. This could be spread primarily through droplet transmission, but in certain settings that are very conducive to respiratory spread, you get something that approximates airborne transmission. And what-- what are those conditions? It's enclosed spaces, spaces with recirculating air, air-conditioned spaces where it's cooler and it's more conducive to spread. So in optimal conditions, indoors, you might get the kind of spread patterns that approximate airborne transmission. And in those settings, we should be thinking about trying to improve conditions--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: --putting in HEPA filters, putting in UV light in the air-conditioning systems. I think these are things you should be looking at. And, in fact, many businesses are doing that. They are looking at retrofitting, you know, air-conditioning systems. In some cases, it's not very expensive to do that. In other cases, it might be more expensive.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, perhaps that's something we should ask about with schools. The education secretary on another network said this morning that there is a lot of data to suggest that kids are not spreaders of COVID-19. She was talking about putting kids back physically in a classroom five days a week. In your medical opinion, is that data definitive and is it convincing?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, look, the data isn't definitive, but it's certainly suggestive. And what we've learned from this virus is it has surprised us. It has both-- we've both underestimated it and overestimated it at the same time. So we need to be prudent. I think it's important to give discretion to local districts to take steps to try to de-densify schools and protect kids so we don't have outbreaks. Everyone should be working to reopen the schools. It's critical. And when I talked to Republican and Democratic governors, they are, in fact, doing that. But I think districts need discretion to try to put in place measures to keep kids safe. No other country, with the exception maybe of Sweden, reopened their schools or kept their schools open against the backdrop of so much spread that we're attempting to do in this country. So we do face a unique risk. And while the balance of the data shows that kids are less susceptible to infection and less likely to transmit it, less susceptible doesn't mean they're not susceptible. And sometimes-- some of the studies show that they can compensate for their decline in susceptibility by their propensity to spread infection, by their behaviors that are more likely to propagate infection. And one final point here. You know, if we look at the 2018-2019 flu season, 11.3 million kids became symptomatic from flu that season. There were four hundred and eighty tragic deaths. We have not seen 11.3 million kids get symptomatic COVID yet because we've largely sheltered the children. And we don't want to see it. We've got to take measures to make sure it doesn't become epidemic in children in the same way that flu becomes epidemic in children because we don't know what the impact's going to be on kids. Right now the kids have been sheltered. I would guess that the infection rates among children--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

SCOTT GOTTLIEB: --has been relatively low in this country.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. We're definitely going to talk to you again about that. As you said, we just-- we don't know with kids. So, it's something we will be tracking as the science develops.

We'll be right back with a look at the challenge faced by working parents of young children, childcare.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: We go now to Tom Wyatt, the CEO of KinderCare, a company that operates about fifteen hundred childcare and early childhood education facilities in forty states. He joins us from Seattle, Washington. Good morning to you.

TOM WYATT (KinderCare CEO): Good morning, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about some of the lessons you've learned, but just right of the bat, I see that there have been reports of clusters of COVID cases in some childcare centers in Charlotte, North Carolina, just this week. Out west, as well, there have been some. How does KinderCare handle outbreaks like this and-- and how many have you seen in your facilities?

TOM WYATT: We've seen a few. What we do-- let me take you through the-- the health and safety process. We-- we keep children in one pod. We keep them in one classroom. We feel that that's very important because we don't want to have people be exposed to different people, different teachers, what have you. So we keep them in pods. And by doing so, we have two forms of, if you will, a generation or transmissions. One is if we have one case in a center, we'll close that center for seventy-two hours. We will disinfect it then we will reopen it. If, in fact, we have more cases than that, we will actually close a center for fourteen days. We have closed, in the last three months, we've closed about seventy of our centers for fourteen days and we have closed a hundred and twenty of them for seventy-two hours. And-- and we feel like that means that our process is working, our protocols are working, which we worked very closely with the CDC. And, candidly, we are above what their requirements are because--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

TOM WYATT: --we actually feel very strongly that we're-- we're taking care of the most precious asset a family has.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm sure every parent would agree with you in that. But, specifically, what does that mean? What kind of protections are you giving your staff? Are you testing them? And if so, how regularly? And-- and is there any data that you have that shows that kids are spreading it or not spreading COVID?

TOM WYATT: We have no data to say they're spreading or not spreading it. As far as what we do, all of our teachers wear masks. All of our teachers that are in states that are offering essential workers testing. We encourage them to do so. We actually gave shields to our newborn and infant teachers because we wanted the children to actually see the expressions of their teachers because they connect that way. We do a temperature check every time a child comes to the center every single day. We also have a questionnaire for the families to fill out. We don't let families take their children back to the room. We actually have a teacher that will come from that pod to escort the child back to that-- that room. As I said, the children stay together. We sanitize the playground equipment--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.

TOM WYATT: --every single pod that comes in. And when the children take naps during the day, we actually position them in a way that they're actually six feet apart. So all-- all in the preservation of-- of health and safety.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So McKinsey says about twenty-seven million workers, sixteen percent of the workforce is dependent on child care in order for them to do their own jobs. But we know there are lower income workers who have front line jobs and it's difficult to afford childcare even at a facility. Like you're saying, you're trying to keep open.

TOM WYATT: Right.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What is the solution to this, since it is part of reopening the economy. When you talk to people in Washington, are you suggesting that Congress provide subsidies to childcare? I mean the federal government doesn't do that for early childhood education.

TOM WYATT: Very, very good question. Let me tell you a couple of things that we are in conversations with Congress on and we feel like we'll be a part of. We hope we'll be a part of phase four when they return on the 20th of July from recess. Two things that we've asked them for is we are operating at a compromised state. State mandates have been certain number of children in a room, much less than we've had in the past. Our centers, given those mandates, can only get to forty-five, fifty percent of their capacity, which, candidly, we don't make money at that rate. So we need to relax those over time and when it's safe to do so. So we've asked for a rebound grant fund and that fund is for the next six to nine months. We're asking for between twenty-five and fifty billion dollars to help us get through the additional cost of PPE, the additional cost of training. We have more labor in-- more-- more labor in the center than we had pre-COVID. We have a-- a dedicated ambassador for health and safety, which is additional head count.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

TOM WYATT: And all of that with less than fifty percent of the children that we had pre-COVID.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, we will--

TOM WYATT: That's one for me, but to answer your question, we've--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, we actually-- I'm sorry. I have to-- I have to leave it there. But we will be tracking what happens with you and childcare on this program ahead. Thank you for sharing your insights, Tom Wyatt of KinderCare.

We'll be back with some politics in a moment and how the virus is impacting campaign 2020 in those hotspot states.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: It's just over a hundred days until Election Day. And this morning, we have a new CBS News Battleground Tracker out that looks at the presidential race in three states heavily impacted by the coronavirus. That's Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Results show former Vice President Joe Biden will be competitive or better in all three states. Mister Biden and President Trump are tied forty-six to forty-six in Arizona. President Trump is up forty-six to forty-five in Texas. And the former vice president is up by six points, forty-eight to forty-two in Florida. CBS News elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto joins us from his home this morning in Westchester County, New York. Good morning, Anthony. Good to have you back.

ANTHONY SALVANTO (CBS News Elections and Surveys Director/@SalvantoCBS): Good morning, Margaret. Thank you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So these states are heavily impacted by the virus itself but is that influencing votes?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: In a short answer yes. And here is how. First, for some context we asked people if their state reopened and reopened the economy too quickly or at the right speed and a majority in all of them said they thought their state went too quickly. And then they also told us that they felt that the state did that because of pressure from the Trump administration. So you combine that with the President's low approval for handling COVID in these states, and he may be paying something of a political price, at least for the moment there. And then the other thing that struck us is that people in these states are concerned about getting COVID. And the more concerned that someone is, the more likely they are to say that they are voting for Joe Biden. So that's that personal connection we see in relation to the policy and it's part of what's reshaping the Sun Belt and putting some of these states in play, maybe reshaping the overall electoral map. Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But what we've been hearing is that people are viewing this as sort of a vote against Trump rather than enthusiasm for Joe Biden. Is it enough for Biden to be this opposition candidate?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: I think that's a central question to watch going forward. When you look at people who say that they are for Donald Trump, they are voting for him because they like him, but a comparatively larger percentage of Joe Biden's voters say that they are voting for Joe Biden to oppose Donald Trump, to vote against Donald Trump. So that's a dynamic, sort of a classic case in any election, is it enough? We'll have to look and see. It also might translate into enthusiasm, the President has very enthusiastic supporters. And I would add this too as we start to look at the economy, well, that's a place that the President still does at least relatively better on the economy than he does on handling COVID. Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, that's interesting because, of course, COVID and the economy are intertwined because the-- the economic crisis has been triggered by that, you have this skyrocketing jobless rate. Joe Biden this week came out and made a big economic speech saying he can be the guy to best rebuild the economy. Can President Trump make the argument that is more convincing to voters that he can do what he did before and do it again as he keeps saying on the campaign trail?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Well, so far in these states, slightly more feel that the President's policies would help the economy recover, more so than hurt it or hinder it. So that's one thing relative to his handling of COVID that is in his favor. And the other part of this is that, by and large, voters across the political spectrum say that the economy is still a top issue. Yes, COVID is very important for Democrats and their vote; for Republicans, less so, but all partisans agree that the economy is important so that as well could be central going forward. Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You're a data guy, there's not a lot of data about what it looks like to try to go out and vote in the middle of a pandemic. The President says he's against mail-in ballots. Do we know what this election's going to look like in terms of turnout?

ANTHONY SALVANTO: Well, the indications we get from having watched these later primaries where we saw people by the tens of thousands requesting mail ballots, turning in mail ballots and then as polling places were forced to close because they couldn't find enough poll workers, well, that led to longer lines. People standing in line for hours in order to cast votes. If that happens again in November, and every indication is that it will, then the old line that it all comes down to turnout goes double or triple in these cases. I think it shifts the entire dynamic of this campaign and what happens if voters can't easily get access, can't easily get a mail ballot, can't easily get to a polling place. And I think as we watched the polls going forward, this is an election about intensity and access.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back.

(ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MARGARET BRENNAN: That's it for us today. For FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.