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Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on March 22, 2020

3/22: Face the Nation
3/22: Face the Nation 47:07

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

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, @ScottGottliebMD
  • Gary Cohn, Former National Economic Council Director
  • Richard Pollack, American Hospitals Association CEO/President
  • Frederick W. Smith, FedEx CEO/President

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, across the county and around the world. The COVID-19 or coronavirus emergency goes from bad to much worse.

With one in four Americans under orders to stay home unless it's absolutely essential to go out, fear and uncertainty have become the new normal.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's now at one hundred and forty-eight foreign countries. Can you believe that?

MARGARET BRENNAN: States are struggling to line up resources and equipment to ensure they can handle the now inevitable onslaught of new infections. In some places, testing is now limited to health care workers and those who are seriously ill. In New York State, the situation is dire.

ANDREW CUOMO: We are literally scouring the globe looking for medical supplies.

MARGARET BRENNAN: President Trump is under pressure and under fire for continuing to send out confusing signals about the federal government's response.

PETER ALEXANDER: What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I say that you're a terrible reporter, that's what I say. I think that's a very nasty question and I think it's a very bad signal that you're putting out to the American people. The American people are looking for answers and they're looking for hope.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But is the President spreading false hope by promoting drugs that have not been proven to be effective in treating coronavirus?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: May work, may not work. You know, smart guy. I feel good about it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll have the latest on the situation in the U.S. and around the world, as well as an update on what's likely to be the biggest economic bailout in history.

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb, former director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn will all join us. Finally, John Dickerson's perspective on leadership in times of crisis.

All that and more, is just ahead on FACE THE NATION.

Good morning. And welcome to FACE THE NATION. It has been another week of fear and frustration as the country and the world continue to try to cope with the coronavirus. Internationally the number of cases reached a new milestone Saturday and now stands at over three hundred thousand. There have been over thirteen thousand deaths. The rate at which it is spreading is truly alarming. The World Health Organization reported Friday that although it took three months to reach a hundred thousand cases worldwide, it took only twelve days to reach another one hundred thousand.

We begin with the situation here in the United States, where there are now at least twenty-six thousand reported cases of coronavirus and three hundred and forty people have died, an enormous increase from just one week ago. The U.S. borders to Mexico and Canada are closed to nonessential travel, and the State Department is advising people to avoid going anywhere abroad. And now, a quarter of the country is under mandatory stay-at-home orders, allowed to go out only for essential services. One of the states with that mandatory order is California. CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas reports from Los Angeles.

(Begin VT)

JAMIE YUCCAS (CBS News Correspondent/@jamieyuccas): California stay-at-home restrictions went into effect late last week, but for New York, New Jersey, and Illinois, tomorrow will be the first day when most of the close to forty million people in those states are being asked not to go to work. Governors in these hard-hit states are sending consistent messages when it comes to staying home.

GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM (D-California): Those young people that are still out there on the beaches thinking this is a party, time to grow up. You know, time to wake up. Time to-- to recognize it's not just about the old folks. It's about your impact on their lives. Don't be selfish.

PHIL MURPHY: We need you to just stay at home.

JAMIE YUCCAS: In Los Angeles, the Department of Public Health advised providers only to administer a test if a positive result would change treatment. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says his state is following these rules.

ANDREW CUOMO: If you have been exposed to someone positive, if you are showing symptoms, if you meet that protocol, you get a test.

JAMIE YUCCAS: But as more people get sick, places like Maryland activated more than two thousand National Guard troops to help with transporting patients, conducting temperature screenings at state facilities, and working with local hospitals to set up triage tents.

(End VT)

JAMIE YUCCAS: Here in California, the governor deployed the National Guard to assist food banks facing food shortages. The governor also says he's working with Apple CEO Tim Cook and tech titan Elon Musk to produce more masks and ventilators for health care providers. Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you, Jamie.

We go now to Capitol Hill where Congress is working on what is likely to be the largest economic rescue package in U.S. history. Chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes is there. Nancy, how are the negotiations going?

NANCY CORDES (CBS News Chief Congressional Correspondent/@nancycordes): Well, Margaret, Republicans tell us that the negotiations have all but wrapped up on this massive package. Democrats say they still have some big sticking points. But everyone understands here that time is of the essence because every day businesses are laying more workers off. And one big piece of this package that has come together over the weekend is what some Democrats are describing as unemployment insurance on steroids, where if you have lost your job as a result of this crisis, the government would pay to keep you at your previous salary for perhaps as long as four months. Beyond that, they are still fine-tuning those one-time cash payments for American workers, about twelve hundred dollars for individuals who make up to seventy-five thousand dollars a year, plus an additional five hundred dollars for every child of those workers. Then there's a very robust small business piece, a three hundred fifty billion dollar package of loans and grants, Republicans estimating that that money could keep those businesses afloat for about six to seven weeks. All of these initiatives, plus the loans to the airlines, plus a big surge of funding for hospital gear, will cost, we're told, between 1.5 and two trillion dollars, and those numbers could go up. The four top congressional leaders will be sitting down this morning with the secretary of the treasury to hash all of this out one last time. The goal, Margaret, is still to hold a final vote in the Senate tomorrow, and then send it to the House, hopefully to the President's desk by midweek.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we'll be tracking that. Thank you, Nancy Cordes.

We turn now to London and CBS News senior foreign correspondent Elizabeth Palmer for a look at the latest around the world.

ELIZABETH PALMER: Margaret, I'm standing in the center of London. This is Trafalgar Square, and normally it would be mobbed, but as you can see, it's practically deserted. We've had more than five thousand cases of coronavirus in the U.K. so far and the infection is still spreading, but for reasons nobody really understands it's Italy that has, by far, the worst outbreak.

(Begin VT)

ELIZABETH PALMER (CBS News Senior Foreign Correspondent/@elizapalmer): Doctors in northern Italy are fighting around the clock battle to save lives, and they're losing. Almost eight hundred patients died overnight from Friday to Saturday. And the bad news is there is no evidence the tide is turning.

MAN: I never felt so stressed in my life.

ELIZABETH PALMER: As military trucks transported coffins to the local crematorium outside Bergamo, epidemiologists warn that infection on this scale may engulf the whole of Europe. Spain, already hard hit with almost four hundred new deaths overnight, is getting ready. Health officials in Madrid, for example, are setting up a vast temporary hospital in a conference center. Here in Britain, there was a last Friday night hurrah at pubs before the government ordered them shut this weekend, along with restaurants. Everywhere, along with the anxiety, is extraordinary compassion. When coronavirus meant that the body of Betty Ryan was driven to the cemetery in the west of Ireland with neither funeral nor wake, most of the town turned out to say goodbye in a spontaneous guard of honor.

(End VT)

ELIZABETH PALMER: The other major center of the outbreak is Iran. It's got an infection rate and a death rate similar to Spain's and climbing. And now governments in Africa and India are bracing themselves with billions of citizens for at least a crisis and maybe, Margaret, a catastrophe.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Liz Palmer, with that important look at the pandemic, thank you.

Doctor Anthony Fauci is the director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, and that is where he joins us from this morning. Doctor Fauci, thank you for making time for us. You just--

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, MD (Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases): Good to be with you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You just heard that report from our Liz Palmer about Italy. Are we on the same trajectory as Italy?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: No, not necessarily at all. I mean, obviously, things are unpredictable. You can't make any definitive statement. But if you look at the dynamics of the outbreak in Italy, we don't know why they are suffering so terribly. But there is a possibility and-- and many of us believe that early on they did not shut out as well the input of infections that originated in China and came to different parts of the world. One of the things that we did very early and very aggressively, the President, you know, had put the travel restriction--


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: --coming from-- from China to the United States and most recently from Europe to the United States because Europe is really the new China. Again, I don't know why this is happening there to such an extent, but it is conceivable that once you get so many of these spreads out, they spread exponentially and you can never keep up with this tsunami, and I think that's what unfortunately our colleagues and our dear friends in Italy are facing. They are very competent. It isn't that they don't know what they're doing.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: I think they have a situation in which they've been so overwhelmed from the beginning that they can't play catch up. And in direct answer to your question, Margaret, it is may be, and I hope and I think it will be the case, that we will not be that way because we have from the beginning been able to put a bit of a clamp on it. We're going to get hit. There's no doubt about it. We see it in New York. New York is ter-- is terribly suffering. But the kinds of mitigation issues that are going on right now, the things that we're seeing in this country, this physical separation, at the same time as we're preventing an influx of cases coming in, I think that's going to go a long way to preventing us from becoming an Italy.

MARGARET BRENNAN: This was an animal virus that jumped to a human.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Then it started spreading human to human. Is the virus mutating? Is it changing?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Well, this is an RNA virus, Margaret. And it always will mutate. The real question is so that people don't get confused. Viruses commute-- mutate with no substantial impact on its function. So I have no doubt it's mutating as all RNA viruses mutate. We have not seen thus far any type of change in the way it's acting, but we are keeping a very close eye on it because it is conceivable that it could mutate and change some of the ways that it performs. But we have not seen that yet, but we're not going to just not pay attention to it.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: We're going to follow it closely.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That's very important to highlight there. You know, one of the things that stood out this week in some of the briefings we heard from the White House, was this mentioned, particularly from your colleague, Ambassador Birx, that young people in Europe seemed to be affected in a way that was unexpected.


MARGARET BRENNAN: And we heard from the CDC this week, twenty percent of the hospitalizations in this country were between the ages of twenty and forty-four. Why--

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: You're absolutely-- yeah.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --are young people getting affected this way when it wasn't expected?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: You're-- you're absolutely correct. And you just nailed the very important critical issue that we're looking very closely at. You know, it looks like there's a big difference between that demography, as we call it, from China and what we're seeing in Europe. Now, we have to look at the young people who are getting seriously ill from the European cohort and make sure it isn't just driven by the fact that they have underlying conditions because we know that underlying conditions, all bets are off. No matter how young you are, if you have an underlying serious medical condition, you're going to potentially get into trouble. But if they don't have underlying conditions, that will be something we have to really examine as to why we're seeing it here, but we didn't see it in China. So we're going to look at that very closely.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You mentioned in particular New York and what may be coming there. The President has tweeted this morning that Ford, GM and Tesla have been given the go ahead to make ventilators. There's been this back and forth over whether the President actually has ordered companies or not to produce needed medical equipment. What have these companies agreed to do and when will medical professionals have what they need?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Well, I mean, as yesterday in the press conference that-- that I'm sure you heard, what the President was saying is that these companies are coming forth on their own. And I think that's an extraordinary spirit of the American spirit of not needing to be coaxed. They're stepping forward. They're making not only masks, but PPEs and now ventilators. So what we're going to be seeing, and-- and we're seeing it already, in the beginning, obviously, there was an issue with testing. The testing now-- a large number of tests are available now, out there because the private companies have gotten involved. The--

MARGARET BRENNAN: But like the mayor of New York has said this week that he was going to run out of medical equipment--


MARGARET BRENNAN: --in-- in a matter of two weeks.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Right. That's true.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So when will medical-- it is true he will run out?


MARGARET BRENNAN: Will the federal government get him what he needs?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: True, true to both of them. Let me explain.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: We were at-- at the task force meeting yesterday, and it was very clear that the issue in New York was right on the front burner. And the situation is now that the resources that are being marshaled are going to be clearly directed to those hotspots that need it most. And clearly, that's California, Washington State, and obviously, New York is the most hard hit. So not only is New York trying to get resources themselves, but we're going to be pouring it in from the federal government. So it would be a combination of local and federal. But it's very, very clear that they are a very high priority.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You are the leading infectious disease expert in the U.S. government. You said this week that you differed from the President in his assessment that a combination of two drugs, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combined could have the outcome that he described to the public. They possibly could. Where-- who is the President listening to? And do you see a concern here that those drugs could become, you know, basically oversubscribed and there could be a shortage that could impact people who have persistent medical issues like lupus and need those?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Okay. So, Margaret, there's an issue here of where we're-- we're coming from. The President, as heard, as we all have heard, what are what I call anecdotal reports that certain drugs work. So what he was trying to do and express was the hope that if they might work, let's try and push their usage. I, on the other side, have said I'm not disagreeing with the fact anecdotally they might work but my job is to prove definitively from a scientific standpoint that they do work. So I was taking a purely medical, scientific standpoint and the President was trying to bring hope to the people.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: I think there's this issue of trying to separate the two of us. There isn't fundamentally a difference there. He is coming from it from a hope layperson standpoint.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: I'm coming from it from a scientific standpoint.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we wish you the best. Thank you very much, Doctor.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Good-- good to be with you.

We go now to the former director of the National Economic Council under President Trump, Gary Cohn. He is back in the private sector now and he joins us this morning from Long Island. Good morning to you.

GARY COHN (Former National Economic Council Director/@Gary_D_Cohn): Good morning, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We have Congress negotiating the largest economic bailout package, relief package in history. And the Treasury secretary said this morning that if it doesn't work, they will go back and ask for more money in ten to twelve weeks.


MARGARET BRENNAN: This doesn't sound like there is a timeline on the horizon. Can you give me a scale of what kind of economic pain is coming?

GARY COHN: Margaret, a-- as we've all been talking about, the economic pain is enormous. You know, you think of all the workers that have been forced out of their jobs and-- and the economic activity that goes along with that. That is not going on and will not go on any time in the near future. So what Congress is trying to do, and I applaud what they're trying to do, both on the large businesses and the small business, is they're trying to do an income replacement plan. Keep as many people employed and on companies' payrolls as you can and allow them to keep living, allow them to buy their groceries, allow them to buy the drugs and medicine that they need to live their lifestyle, and simultaneously keep them on the books and records of companies. So when the economy does turn around, and it will turn around, people know where they work and they can go back to work immediately instead of going through the whole rehiring process. It would be a shame if we let people go, terminated them, put them on unemployment and then had to try and rehire them once we started the economy.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But despite that, there are expectations and estimates from banks like Bank of America that this week alone, three million people could file for unemployment-- ser-- unemployment, and that Goldman Sachs, your old firm, says that number is like two and a quarter million. These are massive numbers. What about those people? How do you provide some kind of support?

GARY COHN: So what the bill in Congress is doing, and-- and there's two parts to it. There's the Collins-Rubio piece for the businesses under five hundred employees. And there's the larger piece for businesses over five hundred employees. These are massive, and I mean massive, stimulus packages that are designed to allow companies to borrow money and the loans will be forgiven to keep their employees on the payroll. The people that applied for unemployment last week and that were terminated last week, they were terminated prior to these-- this legislation existing.


GARY COHN: Hopefully once this legislation gets passed, and hopefully it's today or tomorrow, and sooner is better, these people can go back on the books and records of their companies and they can get their payroll. They don't have to go on unemployment. What we're trying to do is keep everyone off unemployment, keep them on the books and records of their companies so they can return back to a normalized economy when it exists.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we just don't know when that is yet. Part of what it seems like is unaddressed at this point is what happens to all those people who count as-- as self-employed who-- who are contractors. People who can't necessarily say they're unemployed, but they don't have another paycheck coming. What about them?

GARY COHN: Margaret, I think that you just hit on a very important topic. And-- and I've been talking a lot about this. You know, we've got people that work at big companies. We've got people that work at small companies. And then we've got this big piece of the economy that's either self-employed or contract labor. Think of people that work at stadiums and arenas. Think of people that work in catering businesses. Think of Uber drivers and Lyft drivers. They need to get compensated as well. What I would encourage in the legislation, hopefully this is in there, we go back to those companies that hired part time labor or hired labor as needed. And you go back and look at what you were paying them for the last month or the last two weeks and you go back and pay them that exact amount of money. And those companies can actually go to the two facilities that were created, borrow that money and be relieved of that debt and compensate their people as well.

MARGARET BRENNAN: How long do you think the bailout that's being put together will-- will buy us before you see job cuts?

GARY COHN: Well, what they're trying to do, and I applaud this, is not have job cuts. Allow businesses to keep all of their employees on--


GARY COHN: --the books and records and continue to pay them their salary. That would be the best--

MARGARET BRENNAN: We just don't know?

GARY COHN: --that would be the best outcome. We don't know. If there's any ambiguity, companies are going to act rationally and they're going to cut employees because there can-- they're going to constrain their most scarce capital, which is-- which is dollars. They're going to hoard dollars, which is the exact wrong thing we want them to do. So what Congress is trying to do right now is the appropriate measure in forcing money in-- into businesses and allowing them to keep all their employees on the books.

MARGARET BRENNAN: One of the-- the key economic players in this country, a member of the Federal Reserve, one of the presidents, Neel Kashkari told 60 MINUTES that they are seeing a freezing up of new financings for corporations. That sounds like when he's looking out there in the marketplace at credit markets, that there is a warning that this could be a financial crisis.

GARY COHN: So remember, the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States is the lender of last resort. And so far they have done an adequate job, but they have done many of the things they need to do. What the Fed needs to do now is they need to expend-- expand who can come to the Fed and borrow money and what securities they will take as collateral. So by expanding the collateral window into municipal bonds, bonds issued by states and local governments who are really feeling the crunch here, those are the people paying out some of the medical bills and some of the unemployment insurance and allowing corporate bonds to be pledged at the window as good collateral. We would reopen the corporate borrowing and allow corporates to continue some normal source of economic activity.


GARY COHN: Or? Or-- if we-- look, there is no or. We're in a time where we have to go do these things, we have to allow that collateral to be pledged. And I think the Fed will get there. They've been moving fairly-- they've been moving very fast--


GARY COHN: --on what they've been doing, they just have to continue to expand what they're doing.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Gary Cohn, thank you for joining us.

Important perspective. And we will be back with more FACE THE NATION. Be sure to tune in tonight to Scott Pelley's interview with Neel Kashkari. He helped pull the U.S. out of the 2008 recession. That's on 60 MINUTES.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Stay with us. Up next is former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. He will be with us in our next half hour.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Spring is cherry blossom time in Washington. And this year, the National Park Service is providing a live webcam for viewing. That is the safest way to see it yourself, online at


MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION. Stay with us.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We turn now to former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. He joins us from outside his home in Connecticut. Doctor, good to have you back with us.

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

MARGARET BRENNAN: You've been talking to Congress. You talked to the administration. And you've been clear that you believe there was a failure to plan in January for March. And you're saying now, in March, we need to be looking ahead and planning for May. Exactly what is it that all of us need to be planning for?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: Well, right now, we're engaging in broad-based population-based mitigation techniques, things like stay at home orders, closing schools. These are population level techniques to try to break off chains of transmission. That's the right thing to do in cities like San Francisco and New York, where we see hotspots, where we see epidemic spread. Unfortunately, we're not engaging in those tactics across the whole country. There should be some form of mitigation across the whole country because we're all at risk. But we need to start thinking about how we transition away from that. Come April, come May, when the epidemic curve starts coming down, we can't just take our foot off the brake immediately. We need to start it-- start including and introducing what we call case-based interventions, trying to do mass screening and identify people who either are infected or who've been in close contact with people who've been infected and go towards more of an individual person approach rather than a population level approach. That planning needs to be underway right now. We need to know how we're going to slowly transition into another paradigm. It's not a question of either or. It's a question of substituting in other techniques that are less intrusive to-- for what we're doing now.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You heard Doctor Fauci say there's no doubt we're going to get hit. He mentioned New York. There are some projections from New York hospitals that a peak could hit within the next twenty days. What is it that Americans need to be prepared for?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: Well, I think that the scenes out of New York are going to be shocking. I think that the hospitals in the next two weeks are going to be at the brink of being overwhelmed and we're going to start to see places like Javits Convention Center and other facilities used to start to house people. They're going to start getting thousands of admissions coming into that city. And this was infection that started two weeks ago. The time to hospitalization is nine to twelve days. I think there's other cities that are at extreme risk. New Orleans is at very high risk and they're not taking appropriate measures. This is a sticky virus. We're learning that much more of the transmission probably happens from touching contaminated surfaces. So any city that has a mass transit system is probably at risk and needs to be taking very aggressive steps. Cities like Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Boston. You've seen San Francisco implement tough measures.


SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: Illinois recently implemented tough measures. We need to continue that right now.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is there an existing antiviral drug that is effective and-- in at least containing this or preventing someone from getting seriously ill?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: No, there's drugs that look promising, there's drugs that are in-- in proper trials. We really need to continue to conduct research to figure out what works. Right now, there is no drug that looks like it's proven so overwhelming in early stage clinical trials that we can say it's highly promising. There's drugs that suggest that they may have activity against this virus. But the other question is, when you introduce the drug, sometimes when you introduce an antiviral drug late in the course of the disease, after people are in the critical care unit and very sick, it may not provide a benefit. Sometimes you have to introduce an antiviral drug earlier. And that's how we treat the flu, for example, with drugs like Tamiflu. We introduce them earlier in the course of the illness and that's where they have the greatest benefit.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you would agree with Doctor Fauci that there needs to be clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, which the president said he thinks is already effective?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: Absolutely, and that may not be the drug that ends up holding to his promise. The study that looked at that drug and showed activity was-- was a study that involved about twenty patients and only six in the arm that showed the benefit. And the benefit that they showed was that they decrease the amount of virus in their-- in their noses when you did nasal swabs in those patients. So it could very well be that the drug is reducing viral shedding, but having no impact on the clinical course of those patients. So the data on that is very preliminary. What we need to do is what we call a master protocol, where we basically test a lot of drugs at once. We randomize patients to different treatments so everyone gets a treatment if they need it and we figure out which is working the best. That's what we did with Ebola. We came up with some very--


SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: --effective treatments against Ebola.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The-- the Trump administration announced this past week that the first trial through NIH of a vaccine was started out in Seattle. Given the timeline for this, do resources need to be refocused from a vaccine into some of the treatments that-- that you are talking about?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: I think absolutely. We could have a drug, a potential prophylactic drug that could prevent people from getting an infection or even treating infection as early as this summer, especially when you look at some of the approaches where companies are developing antibodies that directly target the virus. I think this is highly promising. We need to be putting a lot of resources into that. Senator Daines introduced a provision in Capitol Hill that may be included in the final package and what it would do is it would basically scale up manufacturing right away for the promising treatments that make it into the government's sanction trials. So that if one ends up working, we're ready to distribute it on a mass scale. You have literally millions of doses available. Now, what's going to happen is a lot of those drugs won't work and we're going to end up throwing away the drug that we manufactured. But I think that's a small price to pay for the benefit of having drug available, if in fact one proves that it's working.

MARGARET BRENNAN: In other words, tax payers helping to subsidize some of this research immediately. When do you see us being able to plan about going back to normal life?

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: Well, I think it's going to be a slow transition. I think that the epidemic right now that's underway is probably going to peak sometime in April, probably late April and tail off into May and June and hopefully transmission will be broken off in July and August. We need to plan for what we're going to do in the fall to prevent another epidemic and outbreak. But life's never going to be perfectly normal till we get to a vaccine. We're always going to have to implement some measures, but they could be case based measures where we look at individuals and screened very aggressively for the virus and quarantine and isolate individual people rather than quarantining--


SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: --mass populations. That's what we need to get to. That's going to be a transition but we can get there. There is light at the end of this tunnel.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Doctor Gottlieb, thank you.

And we want to go now to the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association for the latest on how hospitals are battling the pandemic. Richard Pollack joins us from downtown Washington this morning. Good morning to you.

RICHARD J. POLLACK (President & CEO of the American Hospital Association): Good morning. And let me just say at the outset, I just want to recognize the unbelievable work that's going on in our hospitals by the doctors, nurses, and other health care workers. Their dedication and their efforts are ones that we should all very much appreciate.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And I think everyone in this country would agree with you on that point, sir. I want to ask you, though, about what we need to know and what Congress should be focused on getting to those medical workers.


MARGARET BRENNAN: There is about a hundred-and-ten-billion promised in this emergency legislation. What does that get the doctors and the hospitals around the country? Is it enough to meet the need?

RICHARD J. POLLACK: Yeah, it's a start, and it's a very good start. The American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and us, the Hospital Association, all said that we needed a minimum of a hundred billion dollars. And we're hopeful that that package will deliver us the assistance that's needed, the tools and resources that are needed, so that we can continue to respond to this crisis. This is an unprecedented situation in which we're entering uncharted waters. The congressional leadership on the Senate side, in particular, Senator-- Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer are very attentive to this matter.


RICHARD J. POLLACK: We're hoping to see legislation that provides us with assistance when it comes to increasing capacity--


RICHARD J. POLLACK: --when it comes to paying for overtime, and very importantly, when it comes to helping us with cash flow to sustain our operations. We could see hospitals close in this situation as well because they just don't have the resources.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The White House and the American Academy of Surgeons has publicly called on Americans and hospitals to reschedule elective surgeries because they don't want to overwhelm hospitals, and they want to save equipment for those worst case scenarios. Do you now support that because I know you weren't supportive of that call for a while?

RICHARD J. POLLACK: No, that's not quite right. We support guidelines that were put out by the federal government around the notion of elective surgery. And we have found that in most cases across the country that is the case. Sometimes there's a little confusion between what's considered elective surgery. There are things that are-- might be elective that are, in fact, lifesaving--

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, so do you--

RICHARD J. POLLACK: --like replacing a heart valve.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think--

RICHARD J. POLLACK: But there is no question that--

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, do you think though--

RICHARD J. POLLACK: --we have stopped doing that in a lot of areas.

MARGARET BRENNAN: --on what you're saying is too nebulous? Do you think there need to be specific guidelines set out saying hospitals stop these kinds of elective surgeries, plastic surgery, for example, knee replacement?

RICHARD J. POLLACK: They're already out there.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Are those kinds of specifics-- well, state and districts is what you said should be able to make those calls. Do you want the federal government to provide more clarity on that?

RICHARD J. POLLACK: Federal government has already done it. The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Service-- Medicare and Medicaid Services have put out guidelines. We support those guidelines.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. So how do hospitals then determine who can get needed medical supplies, things like ventilators? Is it-- is there a process? Is there a guideline in this or is it luck of the draw?

RICHARD J. POLLACK: In terms of ventilators, we-- we're going to need more. There is a supply. Many people have them, but there's a gap and we're going to need more. But the most immediate thing we need is personal protective equipment: the masks, the gowns, the goggles, that type of equipment to protect our health care heroes that are on the front lines. That is what is most essential now. If we don't protect our health care workers, the system will completely collapse. That's what's necessary. And that's why, in fact, we need to see the Defense Production Act employed in an aggressive manner. It's great that people are stepping up, but--


RICHARD J. POLLACK: --we need to be more aggressive in getting those supplies to the front lines.


RICHARD J. POLLACK: They may be flowing, but we need more.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, no. And that is why I-- I asked Doctor Fauci about that. Thank you very much, Mister Pollack.

We will be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We now go to the chairman and CEO of FedEx Frederick Smith, who is in Memphis, Tennessee, this morning. Good to see you. Thank you for joining us.

FREDERICK W. SMITH (Chairman & CEO of FedEx): Good morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Our latest reporting is that this bill Congress is still negotiating contains about eight billion dollars in rescue money for carriers. Will your company be seeking any part of that federal aid?

FREDERICK W. SMITH: I don't think so at this point in time. It would only be available or needed by FedEx, and the all cargo industry if things really get bad and then only in the form of loan guarantees. Now the passenger carriers, which have a fifty-billion-dollar package, that's a different story. They're in very dire straits with significant lack of demand. That's not the situation with us. In certain cases, our business has actually increased because of this situation. In others, it's declined. So I doubt that we'll need it, but it's a good thing to have there so we don't have to shut down long-term projects like facility construction and purchase of airplanes and trucks and things of that nature.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Provide some certainty for your planning. But your CEO of one of your divisions, FedEx Express, signed onto a letter yesterday that was released. He signed alongside some of those passenger carrier CEOs and it urged Congress to swiftly pass this bill they're still negotiating or saying there will be mass furloughs, there will be mass layoffs. What size of-- of layoffs are we talking about? What is your company expecting?

FREDERICK W. SMITH: Well, FedEx is not expecting any layoffs at all, quite the contrary. Our people are working very heavily on both the business-to-business side, moving things for hospitals and diagnostic labs, picking up specimens and getting them into the various locations where they can be tested. The passenger carriers, again, that's a completely different story. They have very little demand at the moment for their services. And if they don't get this fifty-million-dollar relief and I think that's mostly loan guarantees as well, they will begin massive layoffs. They have no option.

MARGARET BRENNAN: There are for you, and in the cargo side, you are still able to function to deliver things around the world. But there are significant travel restrictions. What are you seeing in terms of supply lines staying open?

FREDERICK W. SMITH: Well, we began to deal with this problem in our operations in China in January, and there we took extraordinary measures to protect our people and our pilots. Just last week, for instance, we flew two hundred and forty-six flights in and out of China. So we've been dealing with this for a long time. China is now actually back mostly in production. About ninety percent of their big factories are open. Their smaller businesses, less so, but about seventy percent. So with the shutdown of the passenger operations across the Pacific, we have significant backlogs coming into this country and a significant amount of traffic going back to China. More recently, the same thing's true across the Atlantic. Our--


FREDERICK W. SMITH: --purple tail airplanes are carrying a lot of stuff both ways. Passenger planes, which carry a lot of cargo in the underbellies including some for us--


FREDERICK W. SMITH: --they're all but gone from the market.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But-- but it sounds like you're saying trade can continue, though passenger travel is restricted. I-- I want to ask you about the safety of your employees as well here. I mean, there are reports that we saw in The New England Journal of Medicine recently saying that this virus can survive on different surfaces for different periods of time. On cardboard, it can survive for about twenty-four hours. How do you protect delivery workers who are literally going to Americans' front doors?

FREDERICK W. SMITH: Well, we have massive efforts underway in all of our facilities to try to socially distance folks and their workstations. We're providing gloves and all kinds of antiseptic swabs and things of that nature. For people that are receiving packages, the CDC says not too much risk. But if you've got concerns, take a little alcohol and rub it across the package after it's left on your door, which is what we're doing. We suspended the requirement for signatures in certain cases. So I think that the risk is low and we're doing absolutely everything we can, cleaning our facilities prolifically. The place I'm talking to you from, one floor up, we had an employee last week that tested positive for it. We cleaned the building. We have lots of people working from home. So you just have to work through the issue using every measure at your disposal. We're moving a prolific amount--


FREDERICK W. SMITH: --of hand sanitizer, for instance, in our freight company at the moment.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm sure you are. Fred Smith, thank you for joining us and giving us your insight.

This crisis is having an enormous impact, as-- as you just heard, particularly in the airline industry, but that is the entire travel industry that is affected as well. And we're going to turn again this week to our CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave for more. He joins us from our newsroom. Kris, we were just talking about the bailout that-- bailout that Congress is putting forward. This is billions of dollars, not just for airlines but for retailers, for hotel companies. How much time does this buy them before we see layoffs?

KRIS VAN CLEAVE (CBS News Transportation Correspondent/@krisvancleave): Well, the airlines say if they get the package they want, they can avoid furloughs until at least the beginning of September. I can tell you, though, at least two regional airlines have already said they're shutting down because of the coronavirus and the drop in demand. Marriott Hotels has already started furloughing what it expects to be tens of thousands of workers, not only frontline workers but also amongst their corporate staff as Marriott has started to shutter some hotels temporarily because demand in the hotel industry. They're running at about twenty-five percent of what they should be typically. And the airlines are seeing passenger loads at twenty to thirty percent. It's just not a viable business without help.

MARGARET BRENNAN: There's been this debate over whether the U.S. government and the U.S. taxpayers should essentially just hand over money in a grant to these airliners or whether it should be essentially a loan that could end up looking something like taking a stake as they did during the auto bailouts. What is it that the industry is actually asking for?

KRIS VAN CLEAVE: Sure. So the airlines are asking for a mix of immediate grants to keep their payrolls operational through at least the end of August. They're also asking for a package of loans and some tax changes, some tax benefits that would help them weather this. You know, an airline told me that, listen, they're going to operate about forty percent of the network they were operating just at the beginning of March. And they said we can't afford to be forty percent of an airline with a hundred percent of the payroll unless somebody steps up to fill in the gap. It's just not viable. What's in the Senate bill appears to be a package of loans and airlines and their labor unions are worried that that won't be sufficient to keep-- to avoid large scale furloughs in the airline industry. The hotels are already seeing that. So clearly there is a pressure to-- from the airline standpoint to get an influx of cash immediately. In exchange for that, they've said that they will-- will not furlough workers until at least September that they'll put limits on executive compensation, stock buybacks, and dividends, and certainly Congress can add other terms to that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So functionally what does that mean? Is their travel essentially going to be shutting down?

KRIS VAN CLEAVE: Well, we just today saw that Emirates, one of the larger global carriers is going to suspend all passenger travel later this month. U.S. air travel domestically. The President has said he wants to keep it-- it going domestically at least for absolutely essential travel. But the airlines, without any support, say they'll be out of money in the coming months. Already we've seen a dramatic decline. Some numbers for you, a year ago TSA screened 2.5 million travelers in a day. On Thursday, they screened fewer than six hundred thousand. At the beginning of the month, they were screening about 2.5, 2.3 million. You can see the drop off, seventy-six percent decline in travel.


KRIS VAN CLEAVE: That's very challenging, Margaret.


KRIS VAN CLEAVE: But the plan is to keep the planes flying for now.

MARGARET BRENNAN: No doubt. Kris Van Cleave, thank you.

We'll be back in a moment.


MARGARET BRENNAN: 60 MINUTES correspondent John Dickerson is our resident presidential historian. So we asked him for his thoughts this Sunday about leadership in times of crisis.

(Begin VT)

JOHN DICKERSON: As America struggles through quarantine, we're all improvising. Officials at the podium and parents at the kitchen table, as we shift to a social distance archipelago, each island six feet apart. This marching coronavirus is new but America has faced similar times--the Great Depression, World Wars, after 9/11. Each crisis has produced a leader, the names were different but there is a pattern.

PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

JOHN DICKERSON: Franklin Roosevelt targeted fear in his inaugural address because while his programs would take time to kick in. The fight against fear could start right away and success in that fight would make future ones easier. We could use a little of that, every television seems tuned to the panic station. Seventy-five percent of us say we're worried, according to one poll. But Roosevelt didn't dismiss fear, he gave Americans a ladder over it, reminding them of all that previous generations of Americans had overcome and survived. After FDR's speech, one listener said, any man who can talk like that in times like these is worthy of every ounce of support a true American has. A leader helps tell us who we are, says Reagan's speechwriter Peggy Noonan. We leaned forward, hungry to hear, she says, now we will hear the thing we longed for. That's how leadership works. It's not just blowing a trumpet but sounding a call that people hear and respond to. It's the difference between a locker room speech and locker room talk. The best leaders trust the public and make them allies, says Amanda Ripley, who has studied disasters of all sorts and how to respond to them. The public performs extremely well when they are treated like grown-ups and told the truth. This is why Doctor Anthony Fauci has become a hero. People crave facts. Leaders know people don't panic when they are informed instead they are spurred to help. President Eisenhower said leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility including for everything that goes wrong, and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well. A leader taking responsibility, no matter what, shows that someone asking for sacrifice is also willing to sacrifice. Showing grace in that duty also puts a leader in worthy company with all the nurses, doctors and other Americans who show us every day that while the vaccine will come from the laboratory, the will to fight is already inside us.

(End VT)

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we'll be right back.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We thank you for watching FACE THE NATION today. We've worked hard mostly from home like many of you, but we are here with minimal staff. We'll be back next week to continue giving you the best information that we can. Today, we end with a view of isolation around the world and remind you we are all in this together. I'm Margaret Brennan.

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