tv Cuomo Prime Time CNN May 15, 2020 12:00am-1:00am PDT
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i'm chris cuomo, welcome to a special hour of "prime time." reopen or not? it's a false choice. one made to deceive you into thinking the decision is easy. of course it's reopening. the question answered the least. how to do it. that's the question rick bright the ousted vaccine chief held forth on before congress today. >> time is running out because of the virus is still spreading everywhere. people are getting restless to leave their homes and we have to make critical decisions on how to balance the economy and science. we don't have a single point of leadership right now for the response. we don't have a master plan. >> that's not the first time you have heard that. what was interesting in the context of the scientist was him warning congress of what could be the darkest winter in the modern history. without a ramped up response to this virus.
let's talk about that. with some of the best minds on this. we have doctors ja and william shaf ner. thank you. good to have you. >> good to be with you. >> let deal with this in term of conflict. it will smack political. that's the society we have. this isn't a counsel of elders that goes on what the wisest members of the society say. ashish, i'll start with you. the main push back is if, if, if. darkest winter. we don't know anything about that. there aren't as many dead people as initial models that showed hundreds of thousands dies and millions of case. we know it's bad. there's too much doomsday analysis trying to hold us back. >> so first of all, i would say the last two months have been hard. we have been sheltered in place. yet 80,000 still died. millions have been infected.
as we open up we'll see more cases. we are going to see more death. no question among any public health expert about whether we'll get a second wave. we surely will in the fall kp winter. so the putin move is plan for it and be prepared when it arrives. >> in terms of bright's claims and credibility. what did you take away from today? >> it sounds a little apocalyptic. but i agree. we're going to have a double barrelled winter season with both the flu and covid-19. there are things we can do. the question is not whether or when to reopen, that will be decided by the leadership at the state and local level. the question is how. can we do this carefully and thoughtfully. for example, i don't think any person should leave their home to tomorrow morning without wearing a mask.
i think they should be mindful of the six foot rule throughout the day. i think people who have underlying illnesses and who are older should be especially cautious. a little timorous. don't go out in the first wave. i think hand hygiene must be frequent. and come the fall, i think everybody should roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated for the flu. it's not a perfect vaccine. it can mitigate and awful lot of one of this double barrel shotgun. that we're going to get of both flu and covid-19. >> masks. are a metaphor for mixed messaging. when it started nobody needed it. only for people who are sick. don't use it. healthcare workers need it. you'll touch your face and make it worse.
and it was wear a mask. if you can find one. and everybody needs a mask. it's fed people's confusion but also cynicism. >> what i say to people, this is a new virus. we're learning. and as we're learning we'll change message. based on the latest science and evidence. two months ago i wasn't recommending a mask. the evidence wasn't clear. it's much clearer now. you should be wearing a mask. do you need to wear the same mask the doctors and nurses do? no. you need a cloth mask. something to cover your mouth and nose. and that will make a big difference. that's just the way science works. evidence accumulates. policy and recommendation changes. >> another push back is look, this economic pain could last for years. dreams are being destroyed. businesses will never reopen. a generation worth of wealth is disappearing. we haven't seen job loss since
like what we're seeing since the great depression. those are all real. absolutes. this disease we'll have a vaccine. and maybe it comes out six to 12 months. a lot of people say that's ambitious. we'll beat this virus. we may never be able to undo. economic harm not for years. response? >> that's why we have to open up. i understand that. the trick is to do so carefully to try to minimize the damage. it's an absolute balancing act. we want to open things up, we want to do it as safely as possible. i never used the word safe. that's absolute. we can minimize the risk. reduce the risk, keep the curve flattened and down and we can advance economically, socially and culturally. in a series of graduated steps
ready to take a step back if things aren't working terribly well. with an eye to the future and moving ahead. we can accommodate the two things. easy? no. mistakes? yes. we have to work together. the political side the medical side, culture people. and try to do this in the best possible way. >> wisconsin. has become the laboratory for america. and it is no coincidence that it is also a major state of importance politically. what does it mean to you that a place that is so pivotal to win for president just had a crazy battle in court that wound up in do whatever you want and now bars flooded like it was precovid-19. everybody thought things would change and normal would be different. not in wisconsin.
>> obviously the legal and political issues are outside of my area of expertise. when i look at what's happened, on one hand i get people's desire to get back to normal. we're not going to be able to get back to normal. bars opening up and getting flooded are not what we need. can some areas of the country open up and do so safely? absolutely. are we going to see and be okay with packed bars any time soon? i think it will be dangerous. in any part of the country. and i look at those photographs and videos and i thought this is going to be hard to sustain. i'm worried about a big out break. >> people say look at georgia. you were all shaken the hands you can't do it, the cases there are still on the decline. and they have people out and using social distancing. not going full wisconsin on it
in georgia. but they are out. they are using gathering places and getting back to normal and haven't seen any spike yet. is it fair to judge? and is there a chance that there's a safe way to do this that's less prophylactic than suggested. >> that could be. we could learn that. good for the folks in georgia. i hope they keep testing widely and encouraging social distancing. different parts of the country may have different experiences and you know we may not be able to understand all of the differences. this is a new virus. look what's just happened in your previous segment. you talk about the new multi-system inflammatory sin drone in children. who knew about that? we didn't know about that from asia. we think it's associated with covid-19. the more we learn about this virus the nastier it gets. we must continue to respect the virus.
and we'll learn even more things going forward. >> it's not a perfect world. that's for sure. it's trickier when you're dealing with something you don't understand and imperfect solutions. and people want normal tomorrow. thank you for having level heads in an unsteady time. appreciate it. big headline today the coronavirus whistleblower. rick bright. he goes up there today, says his piece on capitol hill. takes punches, gives punches. what difference does it make? we talk to the top republican in the room for today. did he hear anything that was helpful? where does he think we're headed? next. want to brain better? unlike ordinary memory supplements neuriva has clinically proven ingredients that fuel 5 indicators of brain performance. memory, focus, accuracy, learning, and concentration.
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ask about cologuard today. all right. what's going to happen? is the crisis going to get worse . maybe. could it be we're over thinking and places reopen safely we'll be okay. maybe. are we going to see something change at the federal level? probably not. well, look, that's the opposite of what rick bright was saying
today. he saying look i know i was on the inside. here's what has to happen. as a scientist now turned whistleblower, those are in charge don't have the right kind of plan. they're not fighting this the right way and this winter when you have the flu and the density and people in school and working you'll have a really scary winter. how did that resonate? ranking member of the subcommittee that questioned bright is texas representative michael burgess. congress, man. always welcome to see you on "prime time." >> thanks for having me on. good to see you back on tv and valuable firsthand experience you brought the nation. >> thank you, congressman, i appreciate the good words. what did you take away from the testimony today? on a substantiative level. anything that you heard that you can act upon? >> there was more heat than light. so the answer to your question is maybe.
but maybe not much. here's the deal, this hearing was premature. yes, dr. bright filed a whistleblower complaint. that's important. that's serious. it deserves to be heard. this is a week into the investigation. it's really unusual to have a full blown committee hearing on something like this prior to doing any of the investigation. we're in many ways we're flying blind on this. we have dr. bright elaborate testimony or letter he provided through the law firm. making those allegations. no data from the other side. we have partial e-mail chains. no full chains. some of the things that dr. bright asserted sounded plausible. other things he asserted knowing some of the individuals, knowing the timeline myself, i found them less than believable. people may remember things
differently and that's possible. here's the deal, democrats wanted him in because they thought it condemned the president. i don't know whether their mission was accomplished or not. if the idea was let's help the country, because we are in a bad crisis, i don't think that really moved the needle. that's unfortunate about this. >> agreed. let's talk about testing. president keeps saying i don't know about testing. i don't know. i don't know. i don't know it's as important as they think. the only reason we have so many cases we keep testing and every time you test you find out something is wrong. they say they need a lot of tests. i don't know. and says we have more testing than anywhere in the world and we have the best testing and everybody can get a test. we both know that every single one of the promises is false. the propositions are false. i know you're holding back a laugh. >> it's a smirk.
>> you know how important testing is. do you think you can get your colleagues on the right who work with people on the left to do anything on the federal level to make testing a priority in this country? >> what i do think is we cannot criticize the president on this issue when we were so inert. and inactive through february and the first half of march. i had asked our sub committee on health. we got a bad problem here. >> january. in january you were saying things. >> right. as far as the testing that -- >> february. >> it became a problem in february. i don't know why the cdc got so far mind the curve. it's the system that he was handed and there were decisions made at the agency level of the fda in 2012 and 2014 that i don't think were well thought through. because we were going to drive
the private sector out of the laboratory developed testing market. and i thought that would leave us exposed. i didn't know it would leave us exposed on this. we need those laboratory developed tests. fda regulated them like medical devices. that takes forever to get something through and investment dried up on that front. now, we had the problem. cdc couldn't deliver. wisely the fda said i have trouble and i have to allow the emergency use authorization. it was one of the new york hospitals the first ones around valentines day said you can to your own test. that's the thing. hospitals do this all the time. it wasn't that exotic a test. i don't know why the cdc failed on that. but we as a congress could have started asking those questions and didn't get anyone's attention that south korea had
done 100,000 tests and we did 90. that didn't make any sense to me. i brought it up at a hearing we were having in february. i got chastised by the committee chairwoman who said we have time for this later on. we'll have secretary aczar in and we have time to deal with it this. chairman told me in march we'll get to it later on in the month. we were locked down and gone. we never got to it -- we'll put money in it. let's do it right. from this point forward and we can't just criticize the president. we have to look at ourselves as well. >> i'm fine with that. i have been looking down while you were speaking and not out of the disrespect. i'm looking at a list of about 15 different statements the president made through february, march, april and now. denigrating testing. playing down the importance. telling governors to do it
themselves. not fighting for the money to get the same and not helping. he's been against it because he believes it will retard efforts to reopen the country. because it will be a flow of -- we don't have to debate the information. we can agree to disagree. it's about how we go forward. the president said today, i think that this testing is over rated and we test so much we have so many cases. that attitude will kill us. you have to do better than that. you have to test more and trace more to deal with what will happen in the fall. we have one company in this entire country making testing material. it's not enough. what can you guys do to incentivize the president or on your own create more manufacturing of what you know you'll need in the fall? the testing equipment to go along to the states. ppe equipment. what can you do to get it done?
>> first thing is happening. it happened in the second response bill that passed in march. >> not enough. >> wait a minute. it's $75 billion and more added in the last bill. i don't think they know how to spend all the money right now. that's another thing that concerns me. we send the money to the agencies, we don't give them guidelines or direction. and we say we'll clobber you if you don't do it right. we have three committees. >> executive leadership? >> actually it is about our oversight of the -- we should do the hearings. we should do the work ahead of time. >> hearings take too long. we can't wait to check the agency. you need agencies to execute the law. >> we need to collect data. before we advance the money. that's really should be the standard way to do this. and had we started in february, like i thought we should have, we wouldn't be so far behind now.
there's some testing mechanisms that will be great. others will leave something to be desired. the president i think in what he's seen himself is some tests are positive some are negative on the same person in a same day. this maybe unreliable. i get that. i get why there's a skepticism. doesn't mean you don't test and it's not important. and as we collect more information with this as we gain experience with a new disease, i think you'll see the body of evidence accumulate that will be -- this is why i don't think the second phase of this or second round of this it will be nearly as devastating as the first. because we will have those tests. they will be available. i agree with the guests earlier get the flu shot this fall. don't run the risk of compounding the problem. people say i don't take the flu shot. take it. that will be an important part of how we arm ourselves against what is coming.
>> congressman, we always agree. i love having you on the show. it's not about getting into an argument. it's about finding how to move forward in a better way. that's never been more true than where we are now. i agree about the fall. there's no reason for us to get as hard as we did the first time. the big reason is we weren't ready. if we're not ready this time, shame on us. congressman, i know you're ahead of the curve on telling people to lookout for what's coming. >> president did put in a travel ban. which i could never get the previous administration to do with the ebola. i have give him credit. that was important. >> no question what he did in china was helpful. should it have been with europe and testing. there's plenty of blame. just not the next time. the next time we can't make the same mistakes the first time. otherwise it will be exposed for what it is. people playing politics.
you always have a place here to argue your points. i welcome you back. defense lawyers for one of the suspects charged with murder in the kill of ahmaud arbery. says don't rush to judgment. you shouldn't rush to judgment. you have to follow the facts. we'll do that with laura coates. what do we know and what does it mean? next. ♪
charges in the shooting death of 25 year-old ahmaud arbery. in georgia. travis lawyers say he's been vilified. before being heard. >> no matter how you look at this case, a young man has died. that is always a tragedy. that is at the forefront of the minds as we proceed down this road. but that doesn't mean that a crime has been committed. >> all right, let's take the comments to a top legal mind. former federal prosecutor laura coates. sorry about the last night and losing you early. appreciate it. always good to have you. he said something else that i think you'll probably find very interesting. he said there's going to be a trial probably and we will bring evidence before a jury at court at trial. and so will prosecutors.
very interesting because as we know, the defense has no burden of presenting evidence at trial. and him suggesting that they will probably speaks to a self-defense case. probably speaks to a stand your ground case. i don't know what else in terms of evidence they would want to put on and risk putting on any evidence at all. >> first of all the irony is not lost on anyone that they are asking for people to with hold judgment and not to immediately avoid the presumption of innocence here. which really was not afforded to the victim in the case. that's not lost. you're right, it's the prosecution burden to be able to make a case beyond a reasonable doubt. if they fail to do so the defense has options. they can get into the minds of jurors and say has the prosecution not met a defense.
or go ahead and do that very thing. if they are saying they will case a will be about self-defense. that is what it will come down to. the law is clear as we're reading it now. and the video tape. they don't have a lot of standing when it comes to having witnessed a crime firsthand or immediate knowledge of citizens arrest requires. they don't have defense of property. it wasn't their property. the claim has to come down to what transpired in the immediate altercation between ahmaud arbery and travis mcmichael. did he use lethal force because he believed it was kill or be killed? was he right to be in the mindset. that's going to be the right question to ask add a prosecutor and defense attorney how to present your best case. >> in terms of the federal level, the fact that the federal authorities are looking at this as well. the civil rights case they would
make. does anything that you see here line up as making this a more likely scenario than the past of a federal case happening? >> normally federal cases when there is a local prosecution that is pending, they serve as a backstop. after local trial takes place. they are waiting and figure out where they are needed and if they're needed. it usually comes down to civil right context if race is a factor. we're already seeing the climate. the atmosphere of the discussions. we're asking questions about the motive. was it racial profiling. was it about somebody racially targeting and profiling an african-american man. ironically in georgia there is no hate crime legislation. they tried in the past, supreme court in georgia struck it down. it wasn't specific. they tried last year. of the house passed the senate said no. they don't have any hate crime prevention act. the federal level does.
the federal level has to look at the case to determine whether race is a factor, and whether there's enough evidence there to substantiate any claim of a hate crime. it's a difficult thing to do. unless you have the dillen roof manifesto or clear indication of bias or historical context. it's hard to prove. it's not impossible. the federal government can look into prosecutorial misconduct. what caused an 80 day plus delay. and the recusal. and what caused all of the sequence of events we're seeing now that led us to be behind the 8 ball. >> a lot of people keep making the mistake of analyzing as if the mcmichaels were police. and he shouldn't have run and he should have stopped. and he shouldn't have gone at him when they pointed the gun. how different is the analysis
when it's not a police officer you're dealing with. t citizen that made a decision to chase someone that saw jogging past their house? >> it makes all the difference in the world. my colleague were talking about earlier, it was the idea of who are you? to tell this person to stop and the authority to believe that person should stop upon your request. you have haven't identified yourself as an officer. you're not an officer. you're no different than somebody walking by and demanding i hand ore a license or registration. who are you? but, there is a law in georgia that says a citizens arrest can be made. they have to meet certain criteria. the reason why it is so frowned upon to try to execute that sort of citizens right is because think about this, think of the flowchart analysis we go through thinking about this case. about probable cause. about suspicion. about identifying a suspect. about how to approach.
these are things that are helpful talking about people who are trained and very dangerous to the people you approach and people engaged in the behavior to try to usurp the authority of police. i wonder why we haven't heard from law enforcement on these issues. it's vital to the community to have law enforcement and also essential that law enforcement not be usurped by people who resemble vigilante. people don't understand boundaries and victims could be targeted and killed. >> laura coates. intelligent and helpful. as always. thank you. >> thank you. we have another special guest tonight. one of the stars of west world. mr. jeffrey right. i'm not talking to him about imaginary vision of the future. i'm talking about the real and right now.
he's part of a mission to ease the pain for small business owners and heroic essential workers in new york. he's in the here to talk to me. here's here to talk to you. how can you help? - when i noticy sister moving differently, i didn't know what was happening. she said it was like someone else was controlling her mouth. her doctor said she has tardive dyskinesia, which may be related to important medication she takes for her depression. her ankles would also roll and her toes would stretch out. i noticed she was avoiding her friends and family. (woman sighs) td can affect different parts of the body. it may also affect people who take medications for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. she knows she shouldn't stop or change her medication, so we were relieved to learn there are treatment options for td. - [announcer] managing td in today's uncertain environment may seem daunting. but we can help.
one of the stars of hbo west world. and a ton of other tv shows. very talented guy. he's not just an artist on the screen that feeds a passion for community. and humanity. especially in new york. he's launched a non-profit that helps both small businesses and essential workers in brooklyn. which if you didn't know is one of the hardest hit in the pandemic. the non-profit is brooklyn for life. already raised $800,000. it needs more. cnn and hbo parent companies warner media and at&t have donated 250 grand so far. jeffrey, welcome to "prime time." >> thanks, chris. glad to be here. i'm glad to see you on the better side of this thing, too. and i hope you're the same for your family as well. >> thank you so much. i'm one of the lucky ones. let's talk about those who need help.
what are you doing? how does it work? how can we get a piece of the action? >> this thing started simply, i was really just trying to help out a couple friends of mine who are restaurant owners here in brooklyn. the brooklyn moon in the community for 25 years. i have lived here 20 years. he wasn't so delivery oriented. we went on lock down and he tried to convert to delivery mode. i'll help you out and boost you on social media and make it known. and so i did. called him back the next day after we went on lock down. he said i have five orders today. that's not going to work. we caught wind another friend has a place over here. my kids and i eat the pizza every day since he's been there. for 15 years.
he's a friend as well. he was having folks call in to order pizza on behalf of staff and brooklyn hospital. in fort green. where dr. fauci was born. 175 year-old facility. safety net facility in the community. we met with a guy over there external affairs. he said -- you know him well. we can use the additional support. we have folks working 15 hour shifts and not going home. they're staying in hotels. all the restaurants are closed. whatever you can do to support us would be welcome. we started on march 27 supplying 200 meals from those two restaurants to brooklyn hospital. i hope opened up a go fund me page it fun raise on that. so as of this week, we passed 120,000 meal mark. so since march 27, we have threw
a circle of 50 restaurants now from bed sty to bay ridge. provided meals to ten medical facilities and all eleven ems stations. averaging 2,500 meals a day. and the great stories about this is those have all been coordinated by my friend mike's daughter. she's hold up in her apartment. 27 year-old. and she is coordinating with the hospitals and the restaurants, taking in orders. quality control. and she by herself has been responsible for 120,000 meals going out to the places. >> one day they did 5,000 meals. he went from five with one guy. because that's all he could do by himself. he was part of something bigger. which is what we're encouraging people to do.
five meals to 200. and one day they did 25,000. the biggest is 5,000 in a day. over 120,000 over all. ten different hospitals. these people aren't starves. yes, they are. they're working tremendously long shifts. they burn a ton calories. and need food and they don't have time to go out. even with the money. a lot of the people don't make the cash you think they do. and feeding first responders of the fire department. and police as well. how do we get in on the action? www.brooklynforlife.org. it's not easy for a guy from queens to say the words. i'll say them, they are about the bigger community. i'll put brooklyn for life out of my mouth. ordinarily i would never say. brooklynforlife.org. where do you hope it goes?
>> you're welcome here any time. we'll get you on the ball court. >> please. >> we'll talk about that. that's been one of the really exciting things. the go fund me page was set up march 27. we raised $300,000 now on that. that was largely through five and $10 donations. from brooklyn who wanted to get involved and folks from around the country. we had some larger dollar donations on the outside. my buddy daniel craig. my james bond brother. reached out and he pitched in. jay-z pitched in. spike lee. it's been evenly split with those smaller dollar donations. it's democratic in that way. and as you said, at&t and warner media. now pitched in. and they are the first major corporate sponsor.
we need those to step in and support too. we're all in this together. what serves any one of us, whether individual or corporations. serves the whole. back to your point about the 5,000 meals. we did that. we had to pull back on that. we were serving a dozen police precincts. that was through sources. it was too quick. we have gotten back to 2,000 meals. i'd like to keep it going for at least three more week. however long it takes. so we can be a bridge back to something that resembles commercial viability for the small businesses and so that we can perhaps bridge a gap to better suited public funding for them as well. the ppp didn't really shape their needs in a way that was helpful. we're here for as long as it takes. >> government will never be enough. people have to do things for
themselves. a beautiful demonstration. the web site is on the screen. the more money they get the more manpower they can have and the more meals they can deliver. jeffrey wright, always a fan. >> one last thing. you're talking about the need from hospitals. i'll give you app example. we provide 600 meals a day. the reason being they had a private company who is running the cafeteria. and had to downsize during the out break. that cafeteria was providing meals for patients. you had hospital staff there caring for the most sick that didn't have access to food at all. and of course all the restaurants in the area are closed. this is a critical need provided by small businesses. supporting the healthcare workers not only helping their
own economic interest, but looking out for the needs of the front line who are fighting this thing on our mbehalf. i want to make that clear. this isn't luxury this is necessity. >> great idea in the head from the heart. i love it. everybody when can get involved should. i didn't think i could love you more. now i do. good luck with the efforts. >> i appreciate it. thank you, chris. keep well. >> all right. we'll be right back.
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all right. let us bask a little in the light of good covid news. witness tom recovered after a month at new york presbyterian hospital. [ cheers and applause ] the little things, baby, the little things. dancing on your own two feet after being knocked down for so long by this virus. god bless him and his family. thank you for watching. please stay tuned. the news continues here on cnn. y proven ingredients that fuel 5 indicators of brain performance. memory, focus, accuracy, learning, and concentration. try neuriva for 30 days and see the difference.
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