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Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on July 5, 2020

7/5: Face The Nation
7/5: Turner, Gimenez, Gottlieb 47:05

On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by John Dickerson:

  • Ambassador John Bolton, Former National Security Adviser
  • Carlos Giménez, Miami-Dade County Mayor
  • Sylvester Turner, Houston Mayor
  • Stephen Kaufer, TripAdvisor CEO
  • Mark Zandi, Moody's Analytics
  • 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, it's been a disturbing Fourth of July weekend as the coronavirus wildfire continues to spread and the President's fiery rhetoric divides rather than unites America. The nation's capital was ground zero for an eerie and edgy Fourth of July, with images of a birthday celebration featuring Americans exercising their First Amendment rights. There are shocking spikes in new cases, a ninety-percent increase in the last two weeks, particularly in the south and some parts of the west. From coast to coast, there's a divide between Americans assuming personal responsibility in their behavior and a refusal of some to accept the reality of the coronavirus.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And we'll likely have a therapeutic and/or vaccine solution long before the end of the year. We've learned a lot. We've learned how to put out the flame.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But scientists and medical experts see it differently.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: We are going in the wrong direction. I'm very concerned because it could get very bad.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Doctor Anthony Fauci, the country's top virus expert, predicted we could see a hundred thousand new cases a day, double what we're seeing today.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: What we've seen over the last several days is a spike in cases that are well beyond the worst spikes that we've seen. That is not good news. We've got to get that under control, or we risk an even greater outbreak in the United States.
MARGARET BRENNAN: With protests and record high joblessness across the nation, President Trump chose Mount Rushmore Friday to launch a campaign against what he calls far left fascism.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Another attack came on the Fourth of July.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We are now in the process of defeating the radical left, the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters, and people who, in many instances, have absolutely no clue what they are doing.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll hear from the mayors of two COVID hot spots, Houston's Sylvester Turner and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. Plus, former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. We'll talk with former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Plus, we'll have analysis on the week's economic news with Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics and also take a look at travel trends in the COVID era.
It's all just ahead on FACE THE NATION.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Good morning and welcome to FACE THE NATION. It may be the most sobering morning after the Fourth of July in America's history as we wake up to the fourth day in a row of more than fifty thousand new reported cases of COVID-19. They are on the rise now in forty of fifty states. We are committed to bringing you the facts about the virus and the most knowledgeable guests that we can. We think it's important for our viewers to hear from Doctor Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control. But we have not been able to get our requests for Doctor Fauci approved by the Trump administration in the last three months. And the CDC not at all. We will continue our efforts. Our coverage begins this morning with CBS News national correspondent Mark Strassmann in Atlanta.
(Begin VT)
MARK STRASSMANN (CBS News National Correspondent): Washington, DC's, celebration of the Fourth last night masked a feeling far from festive. On the National Mall, police and protesters were in no mood to party. DC's mayor had urged people to stay safe and stay home. And at the White House, masks were available but few people wore them as President Trump bragged about his administration's response to the pandemic.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have tested almost forty million people. By so doing, we show cases ninety-nine percent of which are totally harmless.
MARK STRASSMANN: Tell that to health officials across the country. They saw a parade of nonsocial distancers this weekend.
(Crowd singing)
MARK STRASSMANN: Like this pool party in Michigan and another in Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks area. A rolling wave of COVID already has hit America's Sun Belt. States with the biggest spike over the last week--Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, Arizona, South Carolina, and Florida. This holiday weekend South Florida beaches are closed. On Saturday, the state posted two alarming COVID records, almost eleven thousand five hundred new cases in a single day. And its testing positivity rate hit almost eighteen percent. Roughly one in five newly sick Americans is a Floridian. Governor Ron DeSantis:
RON DESANTIS: I don't think anyone predicted a Sun Belt resurgence in mid June.
MARK STRASSMANN: Not exactly true. Many health experts predicted spikes in states that aggressively stayed open for business like Florida, like Texas. These states averaging sixty-five hundred new cases a day. Three times its April average. A mask mandate now covers most of the state. In California, some beaches were closed, others crowded. The virus has burst again in California, the first day to shut down back in March. Roughly, sixty-three hundred new cases a day.
GAVIN NEWSOM: Avoid crowds and avoid going to large parades outside of your household.
CROWD (in unison): Fourth of July.
MARK STRASSMANN: But for these tailgaters in Folsom, California, COVID fatigue mixed with patriotic pride. The cars were parked six feet apart. In Arizona, free COVID testing drew hundreds of people, a sign of the worry here. Some cars waited eight hours before organizers ran out of supplies. Balancing vital signs and dollar signs remains tricky. Expect fuller flights on American Airlines, it's selling middle seats again. And Major League Baseball's abbreviated season is less than three weeks away. But America's national pastime already has America's virus. At least thirty-eight players and staff have tested positive.
(End VT)
MARK STRASSMANN: The good news, COVID mortality rates are dropping. Still, by the end of this month, some health experts predict as many as one hundred sixty thousand Americans will have died from the virus. People heard the call to have a low-key holiday weekend. But, did they listen? Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mark Strassmann in Atlanta. Thank you.
We want to go now to one of the nation's hot spots. That's Houston, Texas. Mayor Sylvester Turner joins us from his home this morning. Good morning to you, Mister Mayor.
SYLVESTER TURNER (Mayor of Houston/@SylvesterTurner): Good morning. Thanks for having me.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The President said ninety-nine percent of COVID-19 cases are totally harmless. Is that the case in Houston?
SYLVESTER TURNER: No, that's not the case. I will tell you, a month ago one in ten people were testing positive. Today, it's one in four. The number of people who are getting sick and going to the hospitals has exponentially increased. The number of people in our ICU beds has exponentially increased. In fact, if we don't get our hands around this virus quickly, in about two weeks our hospital system could be in serious, serious trouble.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Overwhelmed. Is that what you mean by serious trouble?
SYLVESTER TURNER: That's what I mean, overwhelmed. Right now we have-- we have bed capacity. But let me just tell you, I want to highlight the-- the major problem, the staffing. We can always provide additional beds, but we need the people, the nurses and everybody else, the medical professionals to staff those beds. That's the critical point right now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Who is getting sick? Is this concentrated in any one community? Is there any lesson to be learned here?
SYLVESTER TURNER: Look, this virus is an equal opportunity abuser. It will inflict anyone who comes in close proximity with it. Now, it's having a disproportional impact on people of color. And right now it's especially within the Hispanic community. But we are having young people being impacted as well. Just the other day, I now saw a young woman in her twenties with no underlying medical conditions that died as a result of COVID. So, it's anyone from their twenties into their nineties are being impacted. If you come together in close proximity, you will fuel this virus. And now, one in four people are testing positive for this virus. It's a serious issue, and we need to control it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What do you trace this spike back to? Because I know your Police Chief Acevedo said he believes there is a high probability that many of the officers who were policing those protests in the past few weeks trace it back to that. Others have traced it back to reopening of restaurants. I mean can you concentrate this? And, what does the contact tracing tell you?
SYLVESTER TURNER: Well, at the end of April, the beginning of May, our numbers were relatively low. In terms of people getting infected and people dying, we were-- our numbers were quite good. What we did see as we started to reopen, and I said then we were opening too quickly, too fast, in the month of May, if you look at the second week in May going forward, the numbers started to increase. I was never reporting more than to say two hundred, two hundred fifty cases a day in terms of people testing positive. And then towards the end of May into June, those numbers started increasing exponentially. Around mid-June, I started reporting six, seven, eight, nine hundred a day. And so from the beginning, when we started opening too quickly and when you layer that on top of everything else, all the other activities that were taking place and people starting to re socialize then you started to refuel the virus. And that's when the numbers started to increase.
MARGARET BRENNAN: With testing, we've seen pictures of long lines in Houston. Do you need the state--do you need the federal government to surge capacity to you? Why isn't that happening already?
SYLVESTER TURNER: Well, let me just tell you, this is all hands. We need everybody from the federal level, state level, and local level. The demand for testing in this state, in this city has increased quite a bit. But we-- and we are trying to ramp up. But the-- the demand exceeds the capacity. At the two major testing sites that we have that's out-- where-- we are partnered with FEMA, we can test up to about six hundred and fifty per day at each one of those sites. We are reaching capacity at about noon. We are-- we have opened up some additional testing sites in many of what I call our at-risk, vulnerable communities. But there is a tremendous demand and then there is a wait time for that testing and to get the results back. So we are increasing the testing, but we are also finding and what's most disturbing is that the positivity rate has increased. So a month ago, one in ten tested positive. Today, we're looking at almost like one in four.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mister Mayor, I-- I want to also ask you about something the President said yesterday in his Fourth of July speech. I know you in your city have been supportive of removing confederate monuments because of the moment we are in. He gave extensive remarks, the President, yesterday talking about a fight that he says he's taking on with the, quote, "radical left, Marxists, anarchists, agitators and the looters and the angry mob trying to tear down our statues and erase our history." I wonder how those words landed with you and your decisions.
SYLVESTER TURNER: Well, let me just say, I don't fit into any one of those categories. These statues, confederate statues--and in Houston, we have taken them down on them and they've been taken down very peacefully with the support, I would say, probably of most Houstonians in this city. These statues should never have been put there to glorify that history. It is-- there's a place for them primarily in a museum or someplace else, but not in our city parks and public spaces. The history, and I'm an African-American mayor. I am a nonpartisan mayor. But I can't-- but I was an African-American before I became mayor. I'll be an African-American after I've become a mayor. And the history of slavery and people fighting against the union, that history cannot be a race. And the fact is that those monuments were placed, for example, in Houston eighty to a hundred years ago to glorify the bad things that were done to other people like those-- those of my ancestors. It has been past due time for those statues to come down. We did it in a respectful way. We're not trying to erase history, but we are trying to take the power of placing these statues in public spaces away and to place them where they can be told, where the history can be told and placed in its context. The toxicity--
SYLVESTER TURNER: --that is being bred now in our city and in our country has to come to an end.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mister Mayor, thank you for your time. Good luck with your fight.
SYLVESTER TURNER: Thank you, Margaret. Thanks very much.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We want to turn now to another mayor in another hot spot in South Florida. The mayor of Miami-Dade County is Carlos Gimenez and he joins us from Miami this morning. Thank you for joining us, Mister Mayor.
CARLOS GIMENEZ (Mayor of Miami-Dade County): It's a pleasure.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You've put in some pretty stringent restrictions in the past few days on this holiday weekend, you put in place a curfew. You've stopped alcohol from being served at hotels after 8:00 PM, mask wearing. Are your residents now taking this threat seriously?
CARLOS GIMENEZ: Well, I think they are, but I think the-- the-- my residents also kind of let their guard down around late May, early June, and also some of the protests that we had here, I think contributed to it. So we saw a rapid rise in young people in getting-- being positive to COVID-19 around mid June. And-- and I think that that had a lot to do with probably socializing, young kids going to parties, maybe graduation parties at homes, because it's-- it's been pretty locked down here for-- for some time. We have a strict mask order inside. When you're inside since April 19th, you're supposed to wear a mask. You're supposed to wear a mask when you're outside--
CARLOS GIMENEZ: --unless you can maintain social distancing. We changed that now to wearing a mask all the time. We-- we shut down the-- the beaches this weekend. We-- we restricted alcohol sales. We've also closed, again, some of the places where people can congregate like movie theaters and bowling alleys and casinos and all that, because we have seen a sharp rise in the positivity rate, just like they have in Houston.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you do trace it to the protests because we just heard the mayor of Houston say that was not it. It was the restaurants, the businesses and people gathering in those kind of situations.
CARLOS GIMENEZ: No, I think-- no, I think it's all the above. I think, obviously, the protests had a lot to do with it. We had, you know, thousands of young people together outside, a lot of them not wearing masks. And we know that when you're-- when you do that and you are talking and you are chanting ex cetera, that really spreads the virus. So--
CARLOS GIMENEZ: So absolutely, the-- the protests had something to do with it. But also our people, our residents, you know, did not-- I think they let their guard down and started to socialize. And, again, that also had to do with it. So it's all the above. I'm not saying it's just that---
CARLOS GIMENEZ: --but it was a contributing factor.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Give us a sense of who is getting ill and how ill they are getting. Because as I asked the other mayor, the President said yesterday, ninety-nine percent of these cases are totally harmless. What's happening in Miami?
CARLOS GIMENEZ: Well, there's a difference between what is the real-- what's the official number and what's the real number? We ran a-- a study down here in Miami-Dade a couple of months ago that said over two hundred thousand people had already had the virus or had the virus at the time. So our official number is maybe forty thousand have officially had it. What concerns me is the positivity rate. We had it down to about eight percent of the people getting tested were showing up positive. Now they're over twenty percent are showing up positive. That's the problem for us. And so we have seen because we've seen an increase--
MARGARET BRENNAN: But-- and how ill are they getting with hospitalizations and the-- the degree of lethality to this? Because last week you were on Fox News and you said the good news here is that it's not as lethal as people think it is. That seems--
MARGARET BRENNAN: --in contradiction to your very stringent guidelines now.
CARLOS GIMENEZ: No, because, look, we just have more people that are being positive. And so the more you have at the end, you're going to have more people, you know, pass away, unfortunately, because it's just a question of-- of numbers. And so we do have a lot of young people that have gotten-- that have gotten positive results. We have had-- seen an increase in the number of hospitalizations. We have seen an increase in the number of ICUs and also an increase in the number of ventilations simply because we have a-- more of our people are actually testing positive, which indicates more of the people of Miami-Dade County are coming up with COVID-19. And so when you have more, you, obviously, will have more hospitalizations, more ICUs, more-- more respirators--
CARLOS GIMENEZ: --and, unfortunately, you'll have more fatalities.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you would agree that going on a respirator, being hospitalized means that the virus is not harmless, as the President characterized it.
CARLOS GIMENEZ: No, the virus is not-- no, no.
CARLOS GIMENEZ: The virus is not harmless. No, absolutely not.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So that is-- right.
CARLOS GIMENEZ: I mean that's why-- if it were-- if it were harmless, I wouldn't be taking the steps that we're taking here in Miami-Dade.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Exactly. I want to ask you where the concentrations of clusters are.
CARLOS GIMENEZ: Well, it's-- initially, it started out in the middle of the city and-- and also down south, and so we have our-- our farm workers down south, and we had a big concentration down there. And then in the middle of the city in some of the poor neighborhoods we had concentrations, but now it's spreading. And it's spreading throughout the-- the county. So we have what we call surge teams or people with over a hundred people. We go out. We give masks. We give hand sanitizers information and drive home the point that we have to wear our masks when they are inside. We have to wear our masks outside. We have to wash our hands. We need to keep away from each other. And if we do that, if we act responsibly, then we can tap down the positivity rate, get it down below ten percent--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Wouldn't it help you if--
CARLOS GIMENEZ: --which is where we need it to be.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Wouldn't it help you if both your state's governor and the President also issued that call?
CARLOS GIMENEZ: Well, look, the-- the governor and I talk just about every day, and he allows us down here in Miami-Dade to do things a little differently because the virus has actually been more impactful here in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach than other parts of the state. And so it's a big state, and there are-- there are big differences between what's happening up in the north part of the state--
CARLOS GIMENEZ: --and what's happening here in Miami-Dade.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah, that's why I was asking you about your portion of the state.
MAYOR GIMENEZ: Yeah, right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We wish very good luck in getting this under control. We want to leave it there and get--
CARLOS GIMENEZ: Thank you, Margaret. Appreciate it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --we want to get some perspective on what we just learned with former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. He's standing by. Stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: 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: The infection rate spiked this week. Doctor Fauci referred to it as beyond the worst spikes that we have seen. Where are we headed as a country right now?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, I think right now we're where we were when New York City was having its peak epidemic. If you look back, when New York City peaked we had about thirty-four thousand cases a day. At the time, we were probably diagnosing one in twenty infections. So that meant we were having seven hundred thousand new infections a day. Right now, we're going to have about sixty thousand infections a day this week, maybe we'll reach seventy-five thousand or get close to it. We're probably diagnosing one in twelve infections. CDC said one in ten a few weeks ago. It's probably one in twelve now because we're falling behind. That means we have about seven hundred thousand infections a day nationally. So we're right back where we were at the peak of the epidemic during the New York outbreak. The difference now is that we really had one epicenter of-- of spread when New York was going through its hardship, now we really have four major epicenters of spread: Los Angeles, cities in Texas, cities in Florida, and Arizona. And Florida looks to be in the worst shape. And Georgia is heating up as well, and that's concerning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The President has tweeted yesterday that the media is focused too much on these growing number of cases, and he is making the point that deaths and the all important mortality rate is going down, and we're not hearing enough about that. How do you understand what is happening with deaths and mortality?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, we need to separate the number of deaths going down from the actual case fatality rate, how lethal is this? The case fatality rate is going down, although we're not able to measure it right now because we're able to save more people who are hospitalized and get critically ill because of advances in care. The number of deaths has gone down because the number of infections went down for a period of time. And more of the new infections right now are in younger people. And we're protecting more vulnerable populations like people in nursing homes. But the total number of deaths is going to start going up again as the number of hospitalizations starts to spike again. So we're going to see deaths creep up. And I wouldn't be surprised in the next two weeks to see deaths go over a thousand. That doesn't mean the case fatality rate, the actual death rate isn't declining. But when you have more infections, even if the death rate is declining, you're going to get more deaths tragically. So if we cut the death rate in half, if we make this half less lethal than it was, but we double the number of infections, we're going to get more deaths. And I think we're going to start to see that. So we shouldn't just focus on the crude mortality rate, the number of deaths to tell the story of what's happening medically. Medically, we are improving. But we just have so much infection around this country, we're going to see, unfortunately, a lot of lethality.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So when the President said of the increase in cases that ninety-nine percent of which are totally harmless, is he confused?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, I'm not really sure what he is referring to. He might be referring to the number of people who get hospitalized based on the number of people who get infected, which is probably less than five percent when you count all the asymptomatic infection and infection in young people that might not be-- be getting diagnosed. But, certainly, more than one percent of people get serious illness from this. About sixty percent of people who get infected become symptomatic. About ten to fifteen percent of them will develop some form of COVID pneumonia and somewhere around two to five percent might get hospitalized, depending on what the age mix is of-- of the people who are getting infected.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: So this is still a pretty bad virus. What we're able to do is when people do get hospitalized and get into the ICU, we're able to save more lives with treatments like remdesivir, with steroids now, which has a big impact on mortality, and innovations in care like using blood thinners on patients and not incubating them as aggressively.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB.: So that is going to cut the death rate.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to talk to you about remdesivir and about some of those treatments. So if you can stay with us, we will come back and continue our conversation with Doctor Gottlieb in the next half hour.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Many Americans are trying to figure out where they can go this summer for vacations. In our next half hour, we'll talk to the CEO of Tripadvisor. He's got some interesting findings about where they're looking.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back with more from Doctor Gottlieb, and then former national security adviser, John Bolton. He's here to talk about his new book The Room Where It Happened. Stay with us.
We continue our conversation now with former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. I want to pick up on this idea that we left off on, which is that treatments, there is hope on that front. Specifically, on remdesivir, that drug that's made by Gilead, we've talked about it on FACE THE NATION before. It shortens recovery time. It was a sign of hope. But now we are hearing that there may not be enough of it. Does the administration need to be doing more? I know HHS said that they're purchasing five hundred thousand doses of it. But, is that going to meet the need?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, look, we need to accept the fact that we are in the second wave right now. Two months ago, there were about ten states that-- where the reproduction number was above ten, meaning they had expanding epidemics. Now, there's forty. So, we're in that second wave. And it's not a clear line of sight on how we're going to get this under control. So, it makes us more and more dependent on technology. And there's only a handful of technologies that may be available between now and the end of the year. Remdesivir is one of them. We have enough of the drug if the epidemic stays at its current level and we continue to use remdesivir as it's approved for patients who are more sick and hospitalized. But if the epidemic worsens and we want to extend use of the drug to patients who aren't as ill but have pre-existing conditions, that-- that predict that they may become very sick, we don't have enough drug for that. And that's what we would have wanted. We would have had to set the groundwork for that months ago and we didn't do that. I think right now we need to be planning for other drugs that may become available this fall, like the therapeutic antibodies, and make sure we invest right now in manufacturing capacity and have a coordinated strategy on that so we can have them if those drugs do become available.
MARGARET BRENNAN: When you say we, who do you mean? Is that something that needs to come from the White House? Is that something Congress has to mandate? Are we looking for corporations to decide to do this themselves?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, the corporations are doing it themselves. There is a lot of collaboration going on, discussion between pharmaceutical companies about trying to free up capacity to increase the manufacturing of these drugs. I think we need a more coordinated national strategy around this. There's things that government can do to either pay companies not to produce certain drugs or try to consolidate manufacturing for products we don't really need right now, or maybe boost manufacturing in the short term and freeze some of those drugs, put them on hold so you can free up the domestic manufacturing capacity. We don't have a lot of excess domestic manufacturing capacity for these drugs. So we need a strategy to try-- try to free that up. And it doesn't mean the government steps in and uses the Defense Production Act to take over facilities. There's ways that they can work with companies to try to coordinate this. That's what should be happening, particularly around the antibodies. We missed the window to do it on remdesivir. Because that drug has a long manufacturing cycle, we're unlikely to be able to ramp up supply between now and the end of the year. And that's when we would have needed it because we face a hard fall. We're going to take all this infection into the fall and winter. It's not clear that it's going to get better. We're going to have epidemics that-- that come and go across the nation in different cities. They'll light up at different times. But we're not going to really be able to crush this virus at this point because there's just so much infection around.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: We really don't seem to have the political will to do it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You told us in April on this program that doctors should not be using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. Do you stand by that recommendation now?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, that's certainly clear. There's been definitive studies that showed it doesn't provide benefit-- benefit to hospitalized patients and it doesn't work as a prophylaxis, so if you take it when you're exposed, it doesn't prevent infection. There's still some studies underway looking at whether it could be helpful in mildly symptomatic patients on an outpatient basis. But most of the evidence has been turned over to answer that question isn't suggested that there is a benefit. So I don't think anyone should be using it right now, pending results of another study that might demonstrate that there is, in fact, a benefit, because the margin of all the data we have gotten from all the credible studies really shows no benefit and, in some cases, increased risk.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Doctor Gottlieb, always good talking to you.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Thanks a lot.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We want to go now to former National Security Adviser John Bolton. He has a new book out. You might have heard about it about his time in the administration called The Room Where It Happened. Good morning to you, Ambassador.
JOHN BOLTON (Former National Security Adviser/@AmbJohnBolton): Good morning. Glad to be with you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Glad to have you back on FACE THE NATION. I want to talk about a number of topics with you, but you in your book lay out a number of incidents in which you came to the point of potentially resigning, but you stuck with it for about seventeen months. The President, however, continues to refer back to one specific incident on this program with you as the reason for your relationship going south. It was a comment about North Korea. I want to play it.
MARGARET BRENNAN (April 29, 2018): Is it a requirement that Kim Jong-un agree to give away those weapons before you give any kind of concession?
JOHN BOLTON (April 29, 2018): I think that's right. I think we're looking at the Libya model of 2003, 2004.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The President told Fox News, "that was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen on television." Was it that moment that ruined your relationship?
JOHN BOLTON: Well-- well, who knows, I guess the President's discontent with me ought-- ought to have him asking, who hired that guy to begin with? Maybe he's the one who needs to be fired. You know I don't think I could be clearer in talking about the Libya model of 2003, 2004. We had a clear strategic decision from Muammar Gaddafi to give up Libya's nuclear weapons program. We have never gotten that from North Korea. So the fact that seven or eight years later, in the midst of the Arab Spring, Gaddafi was overthrown--
JOHN BOLTON: --nobody predicted in 2003, 2004. I'll stand by my comment. One-- one day the president will learn a little history and he'd be better off for it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Does the President and his thinking get more shaped by television or government advisers?
JOHN BOLTON: Well, I think it's a combination of television and listening to people outside the government that-- that he trusts for one reason or another. I think that if you could clock the amount of time he spent actually in the Oval Office versus the amount of time he spends in the little dining room off the Oval Office with the cable news networks of one form or another on, it would be a very interesting statistic.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to move on to some issues on the national security front. You're not in government anymore, but I know you watch Iran closely. There have been at least three mysterious explosions in the past few days, specifically, one at the Natanz nuclear site. Does this look like U.S. or Israeli sabotage to you?
JOHN BOLTON: Well, it-- nobody is claiming credit for it except the dissident group inside Iran. The Iranian government itself is trying not to comment on it. The Israeli government is not commenting. It's not clear--
JOHN BOLTON: --whether this is the precursor of a larger attack or not. But if somebody is beginning the process of taking down Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile program, I say more power to them. And if they have some spare time, maybe they could try the same on North Korea.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, we'll see what we hear from government officials. The Israelis are not confirming, as-- as you mentioned there. On Afghanistan and Russia, as you know, the current national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, has acknowledged that the U.S. did, indeed, have intelligence that Russia was paying bounties for American dead. But he said that information was withheld by a CIA officer from the President, even though, it was in the brief. Were you ever aware of bounties when you were national security adviser?
JOHN BOLTON: Well, I'm not going to comment on what I knew or didn't know out of the intelligence, but I do think it's important for people to understand. Intelligence doesn't come in only two qualities, the fully verified intelligence and then the unverified intelligence. All intelligence is--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I want to narrow in on this because this morning-- I just want to make sure, you know, this morning Susan Rice, the national security adviser to President Obama went on television on another network and said the information came to light in 2019 when you were in the job, and she believed you would have told the President. Is she wrong? Did you know about that?
JOHN BOLTON: Well, I-- I've said in countless other interviews, I'm not going to disclose classified information. I've got the struggle with the President trying to repress my book on that score already. I will say this. All intelligence is distributed along a spectrum of uncertainty. And this intelligence in 2020, by the administration's own admission, was deemed credible enough to give to our allies. So, the notion that you only give the really completely hundred percent verified intelligence to the President would mean you give him almost nothing. And that's just not the way the system works. And it's certainly not a decision made only by the briefer who briefs the President twice a week. That's a decision that at least when I was there, would have been made by the director of National Intelligence, the director of the CIA, myself, and the briefer together.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. Well, I mean, this information that Russia was providing weapons and money to the Taliban was made public in 2018 by the then-commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. So, you may have known about it when you were in that job. I'm wondering if you are in your remarks today, sort of, politely saying that the current national security adviser failed in his job.
JOHN BOLTON: Look, I'm-- I'm not going-- I don't want to make this a matter of personalities. And by the way, what was made public in 2018 was Russian assistance to the Taliban, and that's been known for some time. That alone is troubling. What-- what is particularly troubling, if true, is this latest information that they were killing-- they were providing compensation for killing Americans. And that is the kind of thing that-- that you go to the President on and say, look, this Mister President heads up, we may not know everything on this, but a nuclear power is reportedly providing bounties to kill Americans. That's the kind of thing you need to have in the President's view so that he can think about it as he develops-- well, at least as normal Presidents develop strategy to handle Russia, to handle Afghanistan.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah. Before I let you go, I want to ask you, you in your book were very critical of some of your fellow cabinet members. Nikki Haley, you really unloaded on her. You called her untethered, a free electron. You mentioned her going on this program and saying things she shouldn't have said about Russia. You seem to have a pretty low regard for someone who's viewed as having a bright future within the Republican Party. Why did you do that?
JOHN BOLTON: Well, she wrote about this--the-- the conversation on your show in her book, and it was inaccurate. And I just felt that it was important to get the record straight. I really wrote this book in large measure for history. Other people will write their books and scholars in the future will-- will-- will sort it out. I-- I wrote as best I could recollect what I saw and I thought that was important--
JOHN BOLTON: --when somebody actually gets the title of their book out of the incident and the facts are wrong.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Ambassador Bolton, always interesting to talk to you. We will leave it there.
And we'll be right back with a look at some good economic news this week.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The U.S. added 4.8 million jobs in June, but that data was compiled before the coronavirus spikes that started mid-month. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, joins us now from Philadelphia this morning. Good morning to you, Mark.
MARK ZANDI (Moody's Analytics Chief Economist): Good morning, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You had already predicted this would be the shortest but, arguably, most severe recession in history. What did we learn from the data we got this week?
MARK ZANDI: Well, it was good, about as good as you could expect. Almost five million jobs were created during the month. That's on top of 2.7 million in the month of May. So we've gotten about a third of the jobs back that we lost in-- in March and April. Unemployment declined. Properly measured, it's about twelve percent. Hard to imagine that that's a good number. But it is a good number compared to twenty percent, which we got in-- in April. That was the peak. But here-- here's the thing, Margaret, the unfortunate thing. You know, the-- the unexpected, better economic news is the result of the very rapid increase in business reopenings, too fast. Because now the virus is reintensifying, and the pandemic is raging. In a lot of key states across the country they're pulling back. And that's not in the data yet. That's coming down the road. So I fear that the best economic news was in June. And as we look to July and going forward, the job statistics are going to look meaningfully-- meaningfully worse. The-- the pandemic is a real issue now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And these are-- these states that are seeing these spikes are important to the U.S. economy, very large economies: Texas, California, Florida. How much do you expect to see consumers pull back?
MARK ZANDI: They are-- they're big. I mean, if you add up California, Texas, Florida, let's throw in Arizona, you're-- you know, you're now talking about over a fifth of the economy, probably closer to a third of the economy right there. And I-- I do expect that we're going to see pullbacks by businesses in those states. And here's the-- here's the thing, it's not just businesses that are directly impacted. It's not just restaurants and retailers. I think all businesses are going to be nervous about the uncertainty that this all creates. And so they're going to become even more cautious in-- in hiring back workers. And then, of course, you've got consumers.
MARK ZANDI: You and I, you know, we-- we're-- we already had one hand on the bunker. I can't imagine that many of us aren't going to go right back into the bunker as a result of all this and wait this out. So this is very disconcerting. And if Doctor Fauci is right and we-- we're headed towards a hundred thousand per day, I think the prospects of going back into recession are pretty high.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, we know certainly at the White House and on Capitol Hill, they are going to have to take a look at what kind of emergency aid will need to be provided in light of some of this changing information that we're receiving. In your view, do you think Congress needs to provide some kind of help to American families? Eighty million Americans have children under the age of eighteen. They can't necessarily send them back to school in the summer. Maybe not in the fall. Child care is also in question. How important is it to address that specific challenge?
MARK ZANDI: Critical-- it's absolutely critical. You know if Congress and the administration don't get it together in the next few weeks before Congress goes away on its August recess, I-- I fear we are going back into recession because it-- the economy needs a lot of help. And you-- you point out there's a lot of-- even though unemployment's back down, if you add up folks that are unemployed, people who have got their hours cut, they're still working, but they got their hours cut, and then consider those folks that are still working, haven't gotten their hours cut but got their pay cut, you're talking about a third of all American workers that are still struggling here. And if they don't get some additional help on-- you know, and as you know, the-- the unemployment insurance expansion that was part of--
MARK ZANDI: --the original help to the economy is-- is-- is going away in two to three weeks. So if-- if Congress and the administration don't figure out how to provide more help to these folks, they're-- they're going to have absolutely no choice but to stop paying bills, cut spending, and the economy is really going to struggle. Here's the other thing, state and local governments are hemorrhaging red ink, right?
MARK ZANDI: So every-- every state and local government across the country, it doesn't matter whether you're in a Republican state or a Democratic state, you're hemorrhaging red ink. And they're slashing payrolls. And these are middle-income jobs, they're teachers, they're fire, they're police, they're emergency responders. These are the kinds of folks we need working at any time time, but particularly in a pandemic. So it's-- it's just absolutely critical-- critical that Congress doesn't take the wrong message--
MARK ZANDI: --from the June jobs number and says, okay, mission accomplished, we're okay here. We're far from it. They need to provide a lot more help and very soon.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But what about the specific childcare issue? How does-- how does Congress solve that?
MARK ZANDI: Well-- well, they're-- I mean, you're right. They-- they-- they have to provide support through to-- to support for child care on the other side-- during the pandemic and once schools, during the summer and once-- once school-- if schools don't reopen. So there has to be additional support there. You know, there's different ways of providing that support, direct aid to people who are unemployed or, you know, through the-- through unemployment insurance or through the tax code. There is a child tax credit that could be used to make it refundable to different households so that they can get cash back if, you know, if they have child care needs. But, you know, all those things need to be part of any additional support that Congress comes forward with. And, hopefully, again, they come forward with that quickly here.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And we'll be covering it. Mark Zandi, thank you.
We'll be back in a moment.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Summer vacation looks a lot different this season. Short-distance road trips, visits to national parks or, for some, no trips at all. For a look at how Americans are thinking about travel, we know you're at least thinking about it, Tripadvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer joins us from his home in Newton, Massachusetts, this morning. Good morning to you.
STEPHEN KAUFER (Tripadvisor CEO/@kaufer): Good morning to you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So travel was supposed to be inching back up this summer. Now we have these spikes in the south and in the west. What is that doing to the consumers that you are watching?
STEPHEN KAUFER: Yeah. So if you look at the traffic on our site, we have hundreds of millions of visitors on Tripadvisor each and every month. You look at the top searches and I think five or six of the top ten a couple of weeks ago were all wonderful southern beaches. Texas, Arizona, Florida, great places to go but that switched. Everyone's moving, essentially, up north away from all these hot spots which is totally understandable, given the safety concerns that nine out of ten travelers tell us are most important.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We hear the President continue to float this idea of giving a potential tax credit to Americans if they take a vacation. We don't know that Congress will take that up. But I'm wondering in the travel industry, if you think or if you're betting on needing that?
STEPHEN KAUFER: I-- I think everyone in the travel industry is really, really concerned about this slip backwards that we've now seen in the U.S. and what's best for the travel industry, at least my opinion, is really getting the pandemic under control. And that isn't about a tax credit for someone to take a vacation it's really about leadership from our federal government, from the state governments, from local governments, all telling people to do the basic things that everybody needs to do to keep us all safe. That's what will get travel going again in this country.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And safety is the number one priority that you are seeing in the consumers who are looking to travel and to book something right now? I mean how do you offer that to someone on the other end of a computer screen?
STEPHEN KAUFER: Yes, so we-- we asked. We asked hundreds or thousands of people and they said, nine out of ten said, safety is the most important thing that that they are looking for when planning this next trip. So we went out as Tripadvisor, like the premier travel guidance company, and said, how can we help our travelers really understand the details about what makes a hotel or a restaurant or things to do safe for them? So we went out to all of the businesses, eight plus million businesses on our site and said, come-- come tell us, come tell all the audience that is on our site everything that you as an individual business are doing to help keep your guests safe. And as of this morning, close to fifty thousand different businesses had uploaded some information already. And this was just a program that was launched last week so we expect many, many more.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We know American-- different American airlines are going to the government to get emergency help. We saw new terms negotiated just this week. And I wonder if you are seeing Americans have the confidence to go and buy a ticket on a plane a few months out. Are they confident that airline isn't going to go bankrupt?
STEPHEN KAUFER: I don't think they're worried about airlines going bankrupt, but they remain concerned about their health. And to the degree that the whole country can come together, as much of Europe has done, and really take a concerted effort to treat everyone safe-- doing everything they can to make sure everyone feels safe when they travel--
MARGARET BRENNAN: But what does that-- what does that mean? Does that mean masks are sort of the magic solution for a business to provide confidence? Does it mean face shields? Does it mean something specific, like how do you actually trust the safety measure?
STEPHEN KAUFER: I'm-- I'm personally less worried about getting on an airplane if I have a mask and I know every other passenger is wearing their masks. That would make me feel personally safe to go to a place if that place is not now a hotspot of the coronavirus. So, again, with government recommendations, with our President, with all of the national leaders saying this is what every American of every political persuasion should be doing, I think that would go a tremendous way to really helping take-- start the-- start the downward trend in cases. If you look at what Massachusetts is doing. We have a Republican governor, Charlie Baker, led by science--
STEPHEN KAUFER: --who's looking at opening up the state after we clearly took care of the--
STEPHEN KAUFER: --coronavirus in the hundreds now and he's opening up very slowly.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. Well, we will see. Thank you very much, Stephen Kaufer from Tripadvisor.
We'll be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: That's it for us today. Thank you all for watching. And many of you were not able to attend fireworks last night or there were no fireworks displays to actually attend. So we want to leave all of you with some of the country's best displays. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.  

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