On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:
- Senator Chris Murphy, @ChrisMurphyCT
- Washington Governor Jay Inslee, @GovInslee
- U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, @Surgeon_General
- Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, @ScottGottliebMD
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 nerve-racking week here in the U.S. as government officials scramble to contain the coronavirus spread while trying to calm nervous Americans. There's also been a stunning turnaround in the Democratic primary as the contest for the nomination is now a two-man race. Party moderates breathed a collective sigh of relief last week after former Vice President Joe Biden scored big wins on Super Tuesday.
JOE BIDEN: What a difference a week makes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: With almost all of his serious competitors dropping out and jumping on the Biden bandwagon, it's now down to a two-man race.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS: At the end of the day, I'd rather have the support of organizations that represent millions of working-class people, low-income people than the support of the establishment politicians.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll talk about the road ahead for both candidates.
But, first, a look at the struggle to contain the coronavirus in the U.S. and around the world. Can the Trump administration calm fears and anxiety following a series of missteps and conflicting messages? And are we prepared for widespread cases of the highly contagious virus?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Anybody that needs a test gets a test. They are there. They have the test, and the tests are beautiful. Anybody that needs a test gets a test.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Washington State is dealing with more than a hundred cases of coronavirus, the most in the country. We'll ask Governor Jay Inslee if he's getting enough help from the federal government. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy will also be here, as well as Surgeon General Jerome Adams and former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
Plus, as some European countries see a dramatic case spike in the number of coronavirus cases this weekend, we'll have a report from Italy where sixteen million Italian citizens are quarantined.
All that and more, is just ahead on FACE THE NATION.
Good morning. Welcome to FACE THE NATION. We begin again this morning with the latest on the coronavirus, as the situation both here and around the world has gotten even more serious. There are now four hundred and sixty U.S. cases of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, in thirty-three states and here in the District of Columbia. Nineteen people have died, sixteen of them in the state of Washington. The governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, joins us this morning from Seattle. Good morning to you, Governor.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Good morning. Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You've got more than a hundred cases in your state. Starbucks reported one of them in downtown Seattle just a few days ago, four nursing homes now affected. Why haven't you been able to contain the virus?
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Well, look, this is a challenging thing that the whole world is now recognizing, and what we're doing here is the things I think our state should be doing. We're mourning our losses, which have been significant. We are acting based on science and a-- and a commitment for all of us to be soldiers in this battle. And we're-- we are doing that. We've having citizens who are doing what they need to do, which is we're doing teleworking so that we can reduce people being exposed. People are staying home from work when they are ill. And all systems of government, I think, are working as diligently as possible to be very aggressive against this potentially fatal disease. So those are the things are going on. But we should not minimize the task before us giving the transmission. Every single social contact between humans anywhere in the world today is a potential exposure. So we now are making scientific decisions about making sure--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: --we get as much testing as possible, making sure we restock our medical supply chain and making sure that we make good decisions about minimizing those social contacts which we're doing in the state of Washington.
MARGARET BRENNAN: This is supposed to be state led. Do you have all the support from the federal government that you need?
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Well, certainly there were troubles at the beginning of this with the testing protocols. But right now, I believe the agencies of the federal government are being very diligent and helping our state. They are restocking our stockpile of protective equipment and medical supplies. We've had hundreds of thousands of new pieces of supply that come in the last couple of days. That's been very helpful. We need the federal government to really accelerate the production of these-- the ability to do these tests. And we will need the federal government to certify a new system of providing these tests to really ramp up the capability of the independent labs, which ultimately we're going to need. We've-- I'm very glad we started our testing protocol very early to develop our own state capacity. It's gone up by about twentyfold in the last several weeks.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But--
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: But to do, nationally, what we need, we really need to get the private sector labs and we need the federal government to help in that regard. I think they are moving in that direction. And we need the federal government to help really vitalize and mobilize our manufacturing capacity to do protective equipment--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: --and we need to do what we did in World War II to mobilize that supply chain.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You are at the epicenter of this. I mean your state is in particular. You saw the dramatic actions--
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Mm-Hm.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --taken in Italy with quarantining a quarter of the country. China, obviously, is an authoritarian state, so it can do things democracies wouldn't. But, I mean, you are in the middle of major industry in a big city of Seattle.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Mm-Hm.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you contemplating-- contemplated shutting it down?
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Well, we don't use that kind of language, but we certainly are contemplating requirements for what we call social distancing in the public health realm.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But nothing like what Italy has--
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Which basically means--
MARGARET BRENNAN: --just done overnight.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: We are contemplating, in fact, I'm going to a meeting in about an hour about this subject right now. We are looking at extending what are voluntary decisions right now. And we've asked a whole host of communities to consider whether you really need to have your events right now, and they are being canceled. Comic Con has been postponed. We have a number of school closures. We are contemplating some next steps, particularly to protect our vulnerable po-- populations and our nursing homes and the like. And we are looking to determine whether mandatory measures are required. So far the public is responding very well by making sure that they listen to public health requests. People are now staying home when they are sick. They have telecommuted and teleworked very, very effectively. And so that's working. But we may have to go to the next step. And we are-- we are thinking about those seriously to get ahead of this curve. The difficult decisions I think for the public--
MARGARET BRENNAN: The next step means quarantine?
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Not necessarily quarantine, but reducing the number of social activities that are going on, and we need to make decisions about that looking forward, looking what the modeling suggests the infection rate will be going forward. And this will be or could be hard for the public--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: --because they may not have seen the full wave yet. We need to anticipate that wave, get ahead of it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: We are thinking about stronger measures right now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Your local paper, The Seattle Times, reports that even before this outbreak of the virus, your local health systems were pretty taxed. In fact, understaffed, underfunded, and they pinned some blame on you--
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Mm-Hm.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --as governor for declining requests for more public health network funding. Do you shoulder some of the blame here?
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Well, look, our-- our national public health system nationally could always have used additional help, but we've had a lot of things to do in the state of Washington, including financing our schools. We were on a Constitutional obligation to generate about eight billion dollars for our schools. And we've done that successfully. Our public health system has remained stable while I have been governor. But, look, all of us can say generating more support for public health nationwide. We're going to look forward to those issues. I'm pleased that my legislature followed my lead and has now appropriated a hundred million dollars to attack this problem. We're pleased that Congress has acted. And we're pleased that the federal government is helping us right now. We had a good meeting with Vice President Pence here--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: --and his agencies now are responding to our-- our requests.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: So-- and-- and so far, we've had enough tests so far so that everyone--
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want-- I want to ask you about that because--
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: --who has been ordered has it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, that's good news. I want to ask you about--
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --the vice president's visit because he praised your action.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Mm-Hm.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You were very complimentary just now to him. But then the President of the United States had this to say on Friday.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP (Friday): So I told my-- not to be complimentary of the governor because that governor is a snake. Okay, Inslee. Let me just tell you, we have a lot of problems with the governor.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Are politics com-- complicating any part of this?
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: Well, we're-- I-- I really don't care too much what Donald Trump thinks of me. And we just kind of ignore that. It's background noise because we really need to work together, Republicans and Democrats. This is a national crisis. We are doing that effectively, as I've indicated. I've had good meetings with the agency directors. I think that--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: --the vice president has been helpful in this regard. So, look, we're focusing on people's health not on-- on political gamesmanship right now. And that's what we need to do.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: And I feel good about those efforts.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Governor Inslee, good luck to you.
GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: You bet.
MARGARET BRENNAN: As the U.S. steps up efforts to contain the virus we want to take a look at what's happening elsewhere in the world. Cases in France and Italy substantially increased this weekend with the number of people diagnosed in France escalating significantly. And Italy reported more than twelve hundred new cases in the last twenty hours. The increase prompted the Italian government to take dramatic new quarantine measures. CBS News foreign correspondent Charlie D'Agata reports from Rome.
CHARLIE D'AGATA: It's a surreal scene here as St. Peter's Square, even Pope Francis just said it seems a little bit strange, normally, people would be watching his address from his apartment window, instead, the scene, the Sunday prayer being held on these wide screens. It's all an effort to keep crowd numbers down here and as we learned overnight that's just the beginning.
CHARLIE D'AGATA: It is by far the most dramatic measure, yet, in the race against the virus. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte declaring the forced lockdown of a quarter of the country's population. Nationwide museums, movie theaters, sporting events shut down, weddings and funerals banned. The contagion is not only accelerating, it's now everywhere.
The really scary part is not knowing. You can pick it up from something you touch or someone you might meet. And when people are really worried they come here. This is Italy's number one hospital for infectious diseases. And behind me you might be able to make out those silver tents which have been setup as a sort of triage area.
They are all over Italy to stop those who may be carrying the virus from infecting the rest of the hospital. And just take a look at the Trevi Fountain this morning. Normally, this place would be heaving with tourists, but hotel cancellations were up by ninety percent in some areas. That's the worst in the world.
Globally, cases have now soared to a hundred five thousand. South Korea has surpassed seven thousand. Countries across Asia and Europe are all reporting a surge in new cases, and they will be seeing Italy as a glimpse of the future.
CHARLIE D'AGATA: The media has been criticized for being alarmist, but the media didn't just quarantine around sixteen million people. A couple of weeks ago there may be two dozen cases here and now there are nearly six thousand. This is real. Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Our Charlie D'Agata reporting from Rome.
One of the nation's top experts in infectious diseases is Doctor Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health. He sat with CBS News chief medical correspondent Doctor Jon LaPook for tonight's 60 MINUTES. Two points that he made we thought were important for our viewers. Let's take a look.
DR. JON LAPOOK (60 MINUTES): Early on the administration was criticized for downplaying the outbreak. On February 2nd, President Trump said we pretty much shut it down coming from China. What's the danger of minimizing the risk of an infectious disease outbreak?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI (60 MINUTES): Well, I mean the danger of minimization on-- on-- in any arena of-- of infectious disease and outbreak is that you might get people to be complacent, number one. Number two, when bad things happen, your credibility is lost, because you've downplayed something.
DR. JON LAPOOK: In China millions are quarantined. Is that where we are headed here in the United States?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: I don't imagine that the degree of the draconian nature of what the Chinese did would ever be either feasible, applicable, doable, or whatever you want to a call it in the United States. I don't think you could do that. The idea of social distancing--
DR. JON LAPOOK: Yeah.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: --I mean, obviously that's something that would be seriously considered, depending upon where we are in a particular region of the country.
MARGARET BRENNAN: More of Jon LaPook's interview with Doctor Fauci will air tonight on 60 MINUTES.
We will be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We're back now with Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who is on the Senate Committee that oversees health care. Connecticut is one of the thirty-three states with confirmed cases of coronavirus. Senator, it's good to have you here this morning. And I'm sorry to hear about what's happening in my home state--
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --of Connecticut. How many cases do you think there are right now? There are two that have been reported.
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY: Oh, listen, I imagine we have hundreds, if not thousands of cases in my state. I think we have no concept of the scope of this epidemic, yet, because we have not been able to test. And the fact of the matter is we can't make good judgments about the measures we should be taking in Seattle or in Danbury or Hartford unless we are able to do these tests. And what is unforgivable is that the administration didn't see this coming and didn't put the resources in early to make sure that everybody had these tests available. But we are likely going to have to take much stronger measures as time goes on. But nobody understands where the epidemic is the worst until we get tests widely deployed.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Now, the administration says there are tests in the pipeline. They said about a million were sent out for delivery, arrival on Friday. Are you seeing that in Connecticut?
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY: We are not seeing that in Connecticut. We now have private lab capacity to do tests. But our understanding is that we are nowhere near that number that was proffered by the administration last year of a million. We are doing a lot more screening in our state, but we do not have the ability to give a test to everyone who wants one, as the President said was the case on Friday afternoon. And that is incredibly concerning given the fact that we saw this epidemic coming we could have made a decision back in January or February to accept the WHO test that was available to us or start putting serious resources into developing our own test. The administration did neither and they did neither, Margaret, because this President has created a culture of misinformation in which no one wants to give him bad news. And that created a disincentive in the White House and in the administration to come up with an early test.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, Doctor Anthony Fauci, who we just heard from and is going to be on 60 MINUTES, said the risk to the average American of contracting the virus is low. And even if they contract it, the risk of a serious outcome is low. So is the anxiety outpacing reality?
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY: Well, I think that is right, that for each individual American, the risk is still low. But if we do get into a situation where we are taking measures on a city-by-city or state-by-state basis in which there are massive school closures, all of a sudden the effect on the average American is very high. And we are simply not ready to be able to support families if schools are closed for two weeks or three weeks in certain municipalities or certain states. And we could have been doing that planning well before now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You've been briefed because you sit on this committee. Should we be expecting school closures around the country?
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY: So I think we need to be prepared for school closures and business closures. And we need to understand that no city is going to take those measures unless there is some assistance from the federal government. So what we should be talking about right now are things like paid sick leave, putting the federal government in a position to be able to assist workers if they have to stay home to take care of a sick child or to quarantine themselves. Instead, we're talking about industry bailouts and tax cuts. We should be talking about assistance for average Americans. And that's not a conversation that's happening.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But that-- how much of that is in the-- the court of the state governments? I mean we're talking about the federal government needing to respond here, but it's governors like Governor Inslee who are on the frontlines needing to react first.
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY: Right. And, listen, the first wave of federal assistance to states will help. The states now have some additional resources to stand up more response efforts. But, again, that money came way too late. We were begging the administration for an emergency supplemental back in February, and they refused to give it. They refused to come to Congress to ask for that money. And I'm glad Congress came to the rescue last week, but that money could have been out the door a lot earlier.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had really sharp words for the Chinese this week. And he said-- he, basically, put some blame on them for not sharing information earlier. And he indicated that is inhibiting the-- the response with the vaccine. Has-- is that real? Is that what's affecting the U.S. response?
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY: Well, the Chinese early on, were not sharing information. So, that is correct. They have been much more forthcoming since then. But what is inhibiting our response in the United States is in part a President who is lying to the American people, who is telling them that a vaccine is a couple of months away, who is telling everybody that they can get tested if they want. If we really want to talk about what is going to potentially create panic in this country, it's an administration that's just not being straight with the American public about the extent of this epidemic and the real-life consequences that could be put upon Americans.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The-- the administration says that that was just an issue with phrasing on part of the President there. But we'll talk to the surgeon general ahead on the program. I want to ask you about Afghanistan. Another extraordinary week. President Trump had a thirty-five-minute phone call with one of the founding members of the Taliban. They're responsible for the death of thousands of Americans. They harbored al-Qaida. Here's what he said about that call.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Other Presidents have tried and they have been unable to get any kind of an agreement. The relationship is very good that I have with the mullah.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The relationship is very good with the mullah. That's an extraordinary statement. You've read the classified parts of this agreement. You can't share the details. But is he-- is he, essentially, right? He got a deal the last administration couldn't. Is this a good one?
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY: So, I don't think this is a good deal with the Taliban. He had made promises that there wouldn't be prisoner releases. There are reportedly massive prisoner releases as a requirement of this deal. At--
MARGARET BRENNAN: May not happen.
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY: At the-- right. May not happen. At the same time, though, I have generally been supportive of the idea of sitting down and trying to negotiate an agreement with the Taliban in which they agree to never again harbor terrorists that may attack the United States in exchange for a phased U.S. withdrawal. What we are doing today is not working. Another twenty years of U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan is not the answer. So I think it was inevitable that the deal this President cut was not going to be as good as a deal that the Obama administration could have cut. But I don't know what the alternative was to having these conversations.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator Murphy, thank you for joining us.
SENATOR CHRIS MURPHY: Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And good luck to you.
We will be right back with the surgeon general for an update on the government's efforts to contain the virus.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Joining us now is the Surgeon General Doctor Jerome Adams. He is part of the administration's coronavirus task force and the Trump administration's representative on our broadcast today. Doctor Adams, good morning to you.
JEROME ADAMS, M.D.: Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about this cruise ship, Princess Cruises. The operator of that ship and the State of California have now announced some of the plans for the passengers. They are going to dock in Oakland tomorrow on a non-commercial port. The President said on Friday that people-- he-- he would rather people not be let off the ship. The vice president said they would, State of California says they would. Can you clarify what is happening to the thousands of people onboard?
JEROME ADAMS: Well, we'll quickly get into the cruise ships. But what I want the American people to know is that the novel coronavirus is a family-- comes from a family of viruses, including the cold, including SARS and MERS, which we've successfully navigated in the past, and that most people who get the coronavirus are going to have a mild disease. Very few will actually need to be hospitalized.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So-- so for those people who are actually infected in this hot spot, on this cruise ship, are they be-- being released into the public?
JEROME ADAMS: Well, what we're-- what we're prioritizing when we look at the cruise ship situation is, number one, making sure people who are sick on the cruise ship get the medical care that they need, that they're appropriately evacuated. And we've sent CDC teams on to the ship. We've sent personal protective equipment on to the ship. We're making sure, number two, that we can get people off the ship as quickly and as safely as possible. But we're working with Department of Defense, Coast Guard, and the local authorities to make sure we have a safe place to take these people to because we--
MARGARET BRENNAN: So does--
JEROME ADAMS: --don't want to endanger--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Does that mean--
JEROME ADAMS: --the local community.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --that people who are infected are going to go to military bases all around the country?
JEROME ADAMS: Well, the plans are still being developed. But I want people to know that we are not going to put infected people into communities. Infected people will be quarantined-- will be isolated appropriately so that we can make sure we're not putting communities at risk.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. Because the governor of Georgia said thirty-four Georgians and additional Americans will be going to an airbase. You're saying none of those people will be infected?
JEROME ADAMS: Well, there's a difference between quarantine and isolation. Isolation is where you put people who actually have tested positive. Quarantine is where you put people who've been exposed. We may be quarantining people in different places across the country while we watch them for fourteen days to make sure they don't develop symptoms. But no one who's tested positive for a coronavirus or who has symptoms will be put in a position where they can expose other people.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. We're going to take a break and talk more on the other side of it. So stay with us, Doctor.
JEROME ADAMS: Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Stay with us here on FACE THE NATION.
MARGARET BRENNAN: There's a lot more FACE THE NATION coming your way. We will be right back with the Surgeon General Doctor Jerome Adams; plus, our political panel and the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, Doctor Scott Gottlieb. Stay with us.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We want to pick up where we left off with the Surgeon General Doctor Jerome Adams. And I just want to just button up where we left off--
JEROME ADAMS: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --on the matter of the cruise ship. If someone is exposed and testing positive, will they be kept in the State of California?
JEROME ADAMS: Some of them-- well we're still working out where we can best put those folks. You have to understand, these are four--
MARGARET BRENNAN: But they dock tomorrow.
JEROME ADAMS: These are four-- yes and that plan is being developed right now. There are four-- almost four thousand people on that cruise ship. We're working with the Department of Defense. The most important thing for American people to know is that folks who test positive will be kept isolated so that they cannot expose other people.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.
JEROME ADAMS: We don't want to put communities at risk.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But people who do test positive could be dispersed to military bases around the country?
JEROME ADAMS: Well, we're going to try to keep them as contained as possible, but we're going to make sure-- and as close as possible, but we're going to make sure they are in a place that we feel we can keep them from exposing the rest of the community.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And we should expect a decision on that by the 4:00 PM meeting that you have at the White House every day?
JEROME ADAMS: Well, exactly. And again, I would refer you to Ambassador Birx for more information on that. We want to make sure the American people know that we're prioritizing the health of the people on that ship, getting them off the ship as quickly as possible, as safely as possible, not exposing the communities.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about-- I mean it seems that nursing homes in particular are very vulnerable.
JEROME ADAMS: Mm-Hm.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Older people are being advised, as you heard from Doctor Fauci there, to reconsider putting themselves in certain circumstances. Would you tell someone over the age of what, fifty-five, sixty--I mean what's the age group that you're saying should not get on a plane or get on a cruise ship?
JEROME ADAMS: Well, great question. And we're-- we've gotten new data emerging. We know that the average age of people who are dying from coronavirus is eighty plus. We know that the average age of people who are needing medical care and advanced medical care is sixty plus. And so what we're telling folks is that if you're in an at-risk group, meaning you're elderly and or you have comorbidities: heart disease, lung disease, you're immunosuppressed for whatever reason, that you should be taking extra precautions not to put yourself in a situation where you may be exposed.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What if you're pregnant?
JEROME ADAMS: Again, if you're pregnant, I would advise taking extra precautions. But that said, no one under the age of thirty has died of the coronavirus in-- in South Korea. No one under the age of fifty has died of coronavirus in Japan. There's something about being younger that is protective. But if you are in one of those higher risk groups, we suggest you avoid crowded spaces. We suggest you avoid potentially going on a cruise or taking a long-haul flight because most people are going to be fine, but we want those folks who we know are at higher risk for complications to protect themselves.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But New York State declared an emergency and they have said you can't have visitors until further notice. I mean, should other states be doing this? Would you advise other states to do this?
JEROME ADAMS: Well, that's one of the reasons the vice president and I have been going around the country. We've spoken with three-- I have spoken with three governors in the past week saying you need to be having these conversations right now. And I would encourage folks to go to CDC.gov. There is specific guidance for audiences, businesses, schools. I met with the National Association of Evangelicals, faith leaders. We want them to be thinking now about what their triggers would be. But the risk is going to be different in different places. What you're going to do in Seattle is going to be different than what you're going to do in Jackson, Mississippi, for instance.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you've been a state health commissioner. In fact, you were one under then Governor Mike Pence out in the state of--
JEROME ADAMS: We dealt with Ebola. We dealt with Zika. Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And the largest HIV outbreak from intravenous drug use.
JEROME ADAMS: Yes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And some point to that fact, in fact, it was a criticism from Senator Murphy here, that this administration has been slow to respond to this virus. Given that Vice President Pence and you, same team, different situation, how do you respond to that? That there was a slow response then, there's a slow response now?
JEROME ADAMS: Well, I'd rather talk about coronavirus, but it's important for folks to know that syringe service--
MARGARET BRENNAN: But the speed of the response, specifically, is what he was criticizing you were for-- for--
JEROME ADAMS: And I--
MARGARET BRENNAN: --not having kits in place, for not laying the groundwork.
JEROME ADAMS: I appreciate the question. Syringe service programs, which folks really are looking at as-- as stemming the tide of HIV transmission in Indiana were illegal when Governor Pence took office--
MARGARET BRENNAN: He was talking about testing kits for coronavirus--
JEROME ADAMS: Well, okay. And-- and-- and--
MARGARET BRENNAN: --not being ordered.
JEROME ADAMS: And I-- and I was referring to the HIV situation. Governor Pence showed leadership in that situation. Syringe service programs were illegal when he came in. They were legal when he left. He actually was one of the few governors from a red state that actually expanded access to care, which helped in that response. And so we have the right person in charge of this response right now and that's a recommendation of the-- a panel that-- that Susan Brooks led in Congress in 2015, that the vice president leads just such a response. Now as far as the coronavirus is concerned we've been leaning into containment initially which is trying to keep the virus from entering the country. We now are seeing community spread and we're trying to help people understand how to mitigate the impact of disease spread.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Containment didn't work. Now you're looking at mitigation.
JEROME ADAMS: Well, containment worked to slow the introduction of the virus and gave people time to prepare, and now we know that communities need to look at how we deal with-- with community spread and things such as social distancing, not having large gatherings, pulling down events. Those are conversations that communities need to be having right now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Thank you very much, Doctor, for coming and telling us what you are--
JEROME ADAMS: Thank you. And stay safe by washing your hands, by covering your cough, by staying home if you're sick. Masks do not work for the general public and preventing them from getting coronavirus.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. And elbow bumps. Thank you very much--
JEROME ADAMS: Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --Doctor.
We'll be right back with former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Joining us now is former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. Good to have you back on the program.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB, MD: Thanks a lot.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to pick up where we just left off with the surgeon general who said right there at the end that they are switching strategies. They are no longer looking to contain the virus. They are looking to mitigate it. Does that mean-- does that mean they are acknowledging what they've been doing is not working?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, we have an epidemic underway here in the United States. There's a very large outbreak in Seattle. That's the one we know about, probably one in Santa Clara or maybe other parts of the country, other cities. And so we're past the point of containment. We have to implement broad mitigation strategies. The next two weeks are really going to change the complexion in this country. We'll get through this, but it's going to be a hard period. We're looking at two months probably of difficulty. To give you a basis of comparison, two weeks ago, Italy had nine cases. Ninety-five percent of all their cases have been diagnosed in the last ten days. For South Korea, eighty-five percent of all their cases have been diagnosed in the last ten days. We're entering that period right now of rapid acceleration. And the sooner we can implement tough mitigation steps in places we have outbreaks like Seattle, the-- the lower the scope of the epidemic here.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Let's talk about mitigation because when I asked Governor Inslee what he is doing and I asked him a few ways if he'd consider doing what Italy just did--
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --which is, essentially, trying to-- I mean, they're quarantining a quarter of their population in the most economically vital part of their country. This is a massive decision for them to have made. When I asked him about doing something like that in Washington State, he said, well, they are talking about more distancing and--
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --more measures like that. Is it just that it-- governors like him don't want to say out loud that we may have to do something like what Italy did?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, I think no state and no city wants to be the first to basically shut down their economy. But that's what's going to need to happen. States and cities are going to have to act in the interest of the national interest right now to prevent a broader epidemic.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Shut down their economy? You mean--
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Close businesses, close large gatherings, close theaters, cancel events. I think we need to think about, how do we provide assistance to the people of these cities who are going to be hit by hardship, as well as the localities themselves to try to give them an incentive to do this? Right now, if-- if there's no economic support to do this, you don't want to be the first to go. And I think you're seeing that. This exposes one of the challenges of our federal system that we leave a lot of authority to state and local officials. And there's a good-- there's good reasons why. But in a situation like this, we want them to act not just in their local interests, but the national interests, I think we need to think about both trying to coerce them. We can't force them but also try to provide some incentives in terms of support. And we're going to end up with a very big federal bailout package here for-- for stricken businesses, individuals, cities and states. We're better off doing it upfront and giving assistance to get them to do the right things than do it on the backend after we've had a very big epidemic.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you telling the White House to do these things? You used to work in the administration.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: I'm still having discussions with people in the administration. I've been saying this publicly for, you know, weeks now. I think we should try to get ahead of this right now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The President said this morning in a tweet, "We have a …perfectly coordinated and fine-tuned… plan at the White House for our attack on the coronavirus." And he said, "The news media is doing everything possible to make us look bad." I'm asking you this not because I am a member of the media, but because we were trying to suss out what reality is, versus anxiety for the public. Is this a perfectly fine-tuned plan and is what people are hearing on the news, well as the President said, just to make him look bad?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: We have a narrow window of opportunity to implement tough measures to try to push down the scope of the epidemic. What you want to do is you want to put-- put in place mitigation steps to reduce the peak number of cases you have to get them below the point at which the health care system gets exhausted. Because what happened in Wuhan, China, was the health care system got exhausted and fatalities rose quickly. What we need right now in terms of a good plan is a systematic approach to what you do in terms of mitigation steps and when cities should be implementing that. When--
MARGARET BRENNAN: And you don't see that happening yet?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: There is no systematic plan for when a city should close schools, when they should tell businesses that they have to telework, when they should close movie theaters and cancel large gatherings. We leave these decisions to local officials, but we really should have a comprehensive plan in terms of recommendations to cities and then some support from the federal government for cities that make that step, make that leap, if you will.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So-- but just on the anxiety question here, the administration has compared this to the flu. Is that how people should be thinking about this?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: No, this is not the flu. China didn't shut down their economy because they had a bad flu season. The case fatality rate here is going to be higher all through the age ranges. This is a more severe disease. Now it's true that-- that you don't see the full spectrum of disease that you see with the flu where some people get a mild disease, some people get a moderate disease, some people get more severe disease. Here you're seeing a-- a more binary response. Some people get a mild-to-moderate disease and some people get very sick. But for the people who get very sick, this could be a very dangerous disease. The case fatality rate is probably going to be about one percent. And it's not just older Americans, as tragic as that is. And we shouldn't dismiss the burden that this is going to place on older Americans. If you look at forty-year-olds, the case fatality rate has been anywhere between point two and point four percent. So that means as many as one in two hundred and fifty-forty to fifty-year-olds who get this could die from it.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And this data is based on what? On China? On South Korea?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: This data is based on reporting out of South Korea and China. Remember, when you look at the South Korea data, the case fatality rate in South Korea right now is point six. But the time to death is three to six weeks. And most of the cases were diagnosed in the last ten days. Time to hospitalization is nine to twelve days. So, most of these people in South Korea haven't worked through the severe stages of this-- of this disease. The case fatality rate will go up. And I'll-- one more point, you have to make a distinction between the case fatality rate and the infection fat-- fatality rate. We talk in medicine about the case fatality rate: how many people who get the disease will die? Some people are talking about the infection fatality rate. How many people who get the infection will die? That's not what we focus on in medicine because we know that some people will get the infection, but not be symptomatic. We typically don't count those. We count people who get the disease. And for that, the case fatality rate probably-- it might not reach one percent in our system, but it might get close to that. It's not point one. And that's the seasonal flu. And it's not .05 and that's a mild flu season.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And to get there, you need the adequate number of tests out there and testing to happen--
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Which we're getting.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --which we're getting there.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Yeah.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Thank you very much--
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Thanks a lot.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --for your insight.
We'll be back in a moment with our political panel.
PETE BUTTIGIEG: I will no longer seek to be the 2020 Democratic nominee for President.
SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR: I am ending my campaign.
SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS: I am with great enthusiasm going to endorse Joe Biden.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I entered the race for the President to defeat Donald Trump. And today, I am leaving the race for the same reason.
SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN: One of the hardest parts of this is all those little girls who are going to have to wait four more years.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And a quote, "former Vice President Biden," you heard him at the top of our broadcast, what a difference a week makes. This has been quite a turnaround for him and these campaigns. We've gathered some of the very best in the business for analysis today. Amy Walter is national editor at Cook Political Report and host of The Takeaway, Dan Balz is chief correspondent at The Washington Post, Joel Payne is the Democratic strategist and a CBS News contributor, and Leslie Sanchez is a CBS News political contributor, both are very familiar faces to our CBS and viewers. So it's great to have all of you here. Amy, a week ago--
AMY WALTER: I just-- it can't-- I can't believe it was just a week ago.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Just a week ago.
AMY WALTER: It feels like a-- a year and a half ago.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And-- and we were talking about whether a single win in South Carolina could be--
AMY WALTER: Could be enough.
MARGARET BRENNAN: --enough to keep Joe Biden going in this race, then Tuesday happened. Now, we are calling it a two-man race.
AMY WALTER: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What drove this turnaround?
AMY WALTER: The most important person in the Democratic primary has always been Donald Trump. And being able to beat Donald Trump was the key issue, voters had been telling us for the last two years. They just couldn't quite figure out who the best candidate was to defeat him. I think after Nevada, there was this consensus, especially here in Washington, but even among regular voters that the candidate who was seen as the most, quote-- quote/unquote "electable" was not Bernie Sanders, but he was on the path to winning the nomination after Nevada. And you put that in combination with Joe Biden's big South Carolina win, thanks in large part to Congressman Jim Clyburn's endorsement and then to get all of those candidates who dropped out to endorse Joe Biden immediately is really phenomenal. I talked to one Republican who said, well, I guess Democrats are just-- they're just more disciplined than we are, we never could have done that in 2016. I said, they're not more disciplined than Republicans, it's that Donald Trumpers represents a much more existential threat, at least Democrats see it that way, that's what brought them to the table. I don't know if a president Marco Rubio or a president Jeb Bush would have gotten Democrats to do what they did with Joe Biden this week.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Dan, what I hear Amy saying is basically Democrats didn't fall in love in the week. They fell in line with the party.
DAN BALZ: Yeah. I--
MARGARET BRENNAN: And aligned themselves here.
DAN BALZ: I think they did. And I-- I totally agree with Amy that-- that-- that the issue was who-- who would they rally around eventually? Because we knew that Senator Sanders had a very loyal base of support but what we saw in both Iowa and New Hampshire and to some extent in Nevada, was that he wasn't the overwhelming choice. He was the choice of twenty-five to thirty-five percent of the popular-- of the Democrats. That meant there was a big group that was looking for somebody else. And they were looking for some kind of cue or clue as to what to do, and African-American voters in South Carolina gave them that cue in a very strong way, and that brought everybody together, you know, in a-- in a way that no one could have anticipated.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, Senator Sanders, though, Joel, had been campaigning and on programs just like this one would say time and again that he was unique in being able to bring in young voters, motivated voters to the Democratic Party, but then on Tuesday, he had this to say.
SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (Wednesday): Have we been as successful as I would hope in bringing young people in? And the answer is no. We're making some progress, but, historically, everybody knows that young people do not vote in the kind of numbers that older people vote in.
MARGARET BRENNAN: He says he didn't get the youth vote the way he expected, black voters didn't vote his way. Latino voters, though, in certain states did stick with Bernie Sanders.
JOEL PAYNE: They-- they did. It's not the coalition that you have to build to win in the Democratic primary this time. It's funny, we were told to expect a revolution, you know, Bernie Sanders talks about a revolution except we thought it would be from the left of the party, not from the center left of the party, it was senior voters, it was working class, folks in the middle of the country, it was suburbanites, college-educated women and it was African-Americans. That's the revolution we saw. We saw surges in all of those numbers of voters. We've even seen a surge in turnout in some of these early states, in Nevada and New Hampshire and South Carolina. Big numbers that actually spell pretty well for Democrats this November. And I think the Biden campaign has been saying, as Amy said, the animating issue in this primary is a-- a desire to defeat Donald Trump. And I think that they feel like that is the biggest reason why the wind's at their back right now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Did you think that there would be a time when you would say African-American voters have led the way for the establishment that everyone is following them?
JOEL PAYNE: Totally.
MARGARET BRENNAN: On that nominee?
JOEL PAYNE: I-- I-- not to toot my own horn, but I actually wrote it about-- about four months ago. And I know there are a lot of folks not just African-American, the--
MARGARET BRENNAN: But beyond South Carolina.
JOEL PAYNE: Oh, totally.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
JOEL PAYNE: Absolutely. Look, African-Americans are the core of the Democratic base, and particularly African-American women are the most reliable--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
JOEL PAYNE: --Democratic constituency over the past few elections.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator Harris has reminded us of that time and again.
JOEL PAYNE: Absolutely.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But she didn't get the support enough to stay in the race. This morning she's out there and he is endorsing Joe Biden. Should we expect to see more of her?
JOEL PAYNE: Totally. And I, look, I think, obviously, she is-- she is a-- she is a clear candidate for the vice presidency--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
JOEL PAYNE: --that-- that folks would kind of make that-- that grouping, that Biden-Harris grouping. But you also have to think about if you're Joe Biden, how do you pull in those Sanders voters if-- if Bernie Sanders is not the nominee? How do you pull in those folks to make sure that they do not feel ostracized and alienated by the party? Does Kamala Harris do that? Is there another person of color, younger, woman candidate who can do that? Maybe there's something else out there.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Leslie, I want to ask you, you know, Senator Warren, we played that clip of her talking about promising all those young girls and they're going to have to wait another four years. She also said something very specific to gender and how it factored in this race. Let's listen.
SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN (Thursday): Gender in this race, you know, that is the trap question for every woman. If you say, yeah, there was sexism in this race, everyone says whiner. And if you say, no, there was no sexism, about a bazillion women think, what planet do you live on?
MARGARET BRENNAN: What did you make of that? We didn't hear this from Senator Klobuchar when she dropped out.
LESLIE SANCHEZ: No. And I think that's an interesting distinction that you have there. Traditionally, on the road to the White House, there are these unique challenges. There are narrations that they have, kind of frameworks they have for-- for male candidates, their authoritative, the leadership style, it-- it bolsters kind of their sense of commander-in-chief. For women, in contrary with the similar traits, there's-- or more feminine traits, it's viewed through a different lens. In many ways sometimes women are categorized as the-- as ditzy, as a witch, or as somebody who's a media darling, we can never really look at them in a whole in terms of what they represent.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you agree with her?
LESLIE SANCHEZ: I think there's some legitimacy to that. But look at the-- let's look at the distinction she raised over a hundred million dollars. She's coming off the back of a Congress, a Democratic Congress where more women were elected than they had, historically, and the eighteen million cracks of Hillary Clinton who was at the top of the ticket in 2016. So there has been momentum for female candidates. It-- it's hard for candidates, male or female, to face that their policies did not connect with the vast sum of voters who are looking for a nominee and in this case to take on Donald Trump.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you agree?
AMY WALTER: Yeah. Well, and every campaign has to meet the moment, right, and this moment for-- I-- I like Joel's about the-- the revolution of the center, which was this was not a time when voters were willing to take a risk, take a risk on a thirty-eight-year-old candidate who's openly gay, not willing to take a risk with a candidate and Elizabeth Warren who also was seen as-- as too far to the left might not be able to beat Donald Trump. And if you talk to strategists, I'm-- I'm sure that Dan has heard the same thing, Democratic strategists will tell you we sat in focus groups whereas many women said I'm worried that a woman can't beat Donald Trump as did men.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Dan, you had an extraordinary week for President Trump, not just because of the coronavirus that we have been talking about, it was not a good week for him in the financial markets. You had the airline industry getting hit hard. Southwest CEO says it has a 9/11-like feel these days, the Federal Reserve stepped in and took extraordinary measures, cutting rates. Is the President losing his best pitch for reelection?
DAN BALZ: Well, we don't know how long this is going to last. Right now we're in a terrible moment, and-- and sort of the economic carnage that we're beginning to see is going to continue to ripple, I mean, in listening to the experts who were on here earlier today. We're at the front end of some of this and it's going to get worse. So, in that sense, the biggest issue that has-- he's had going for him is a strong economy and he now faces a period in which that's not going to be the case. I think the issue is going to be how long does it go on? And what do people think about what was the reason for it and the degree to which he gets the blame as opposed to somebody else. But we're going to go through a bad period and if you are the President of the United States, that's never good politically for you.
JOEL PAYNE: Margaret, I think the worst thing that happened for the President was his comment to that town hall about Social Security and Medicare. I can tell you, as someone who's spoken to a folk-- few folks near the Biden campaign, they saw that as a fastball right down the middle for Joe Biden to start to make his general election case against Donald Trump. It's not the first time he said it but the fact that he would say that to combine with all the other things that are happening, that's very ominous politically for the President to be talking that openly about that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Indicating potential cuts?
JOEL PAYNE: Yes.
LESLIE SANCHEZ: No, I was going to say, I think the-- the President is trying to influence the nation to keep that stiff upper lip, right, to stay informed but not to buy into hysteria as the public sentiment tries to go up. And the reason it's becoming so politicized, which is the unfortunate part, and it's hard I think, Margaret, what you're trying to do is cipher fact from fiction here, is because there is this lane across the Democratic kind of thinking and what they're saying and their messaging, is this a failure of the presidential management style, just similar to George W. Bush and Hurricane Katrina? Are we falling in that line?
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
LESLIE SANCHEZ: And the President's going to push back and say I have the task force. We are, you know, aligned, working private industry and the federal government, 8.3 billion dollars, that was a joint--
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
LESLIE SANCHEZ: --Republican-Democrat initiative. That-- that's where this gets political.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And it will be interesting to see what the new chief of staff at the White House will do. And what impact he will have.
We will be right back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: That's it for us today. Thank you for watching. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.