tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 1, 2020 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
with the president of the united states. the president getting off, first. and saluting members of the military there. so, that is at joint base andrews. again, this was all on wednesday. president, not wearing a mask. doesn't appear, from this angle, that he is socially distancing from the member of the military. again, this was at joint base andrews, yesterday, after he was -- when he was on his way. so, this is the president walking across the tarmac getting onto air force one. boarding the steps. and we are doing this to show you just a timeline of what happened. this was just yesterday. it is believed that hope hicks could have been contagious, and probably was, a few days before becoming ill or showing symptoms of the virus, at least, three days. maybe, even longer. okay. so the president gets aboard air force one.
and then, you have -- there is stephen miller. dan scavino. jared kushner. and hope hicks. leaving marine one at joint base andrews and, now, boarding air force one. again, in close contact with each other and the leader of the free world, the president of the united states. so, they will board. and then, after they fly to duluth, we'll show the president, in just moments, arriving at his rally. there he is, at his rally in duluth, last night. speaking to a crowd of people. as we know, from the reporting and if -- when the camera angle widens, the folks behind him, they put in masks that say massachusetts aga a maga and trump and what have you. but then, people in the audience, most of them, not wearing masks.
the mask part behind him, all for show. people ask on social media, all the time, why are you guys saying no one is wearing masks? or people aren't wearing masks at the rally? because, most people at the rallies are not wear masks. they put the people behind them, they stage them, the ones who are wearing masks, or they give them masks, so that they can appear to be wearing masks as the president is speaking at his rallies. okay? so, that was a timeline yesterday. and then, they all get back onto air force one, in close proximity, and do the reverse of that routine that we just saw you. no masks. no social distancing. and that is why we have our breaking news, tonight. the president, in quarantine and awaiting his covid test result, after his close aide, hope hicks, tests positive for the coronavirus. per current cdc guidelines, the president should continue to quarantine for 14 days, after his last-known exposure to someone who has tested positive for covid-19. in this case, hicks.
even if his test results come back negative, now. so, that is the -- the -- that is because the incubation period for the novel coronavirus can be up to 14 days. so i want to bring in former baltimore health commissioner, leana wen. it's good to see you both again. so, dr. wen, help me through this. rapid tests take just 15 minutes. so the president must have at least a preliminary result, right now, one would think. >> right. if you probably had one from yesterday and he should have one from today. and even the confirmatory test doesn't take that long. and so, one would imagine that there are at least two, maybe three, test results that are out there. that someone knows the answer to. and i think it's really important for people to know because it is the president. but it's, also, important for others around the president to
know, as well. because this is a matter of contact tracing. of identifying all those people around the president. i mean, we're talking about all these staff, the individuals whom were at the rally, also, who may have come into contact with these staff. i mean, the only way for us to reign in an infection is to identify all the contacts. >> so, even if he tests negative, dr. wen, will he -- is he going to have to be tested periodically? because it can take a number of days, sometimes, for an infection to show up and a number of tests. >> that's exactly right. the incubation period is between two to 14 days, with an average of 5 to 7 days. and so, let's say, there was an exposure on day one. on day two, you're almost certainly not going to have a positive test result. you may not have the positive test result for seven days, ten days, and this is the reason why you could have testing all the way throughout, every day, if you want to.
but you still need to be quarantined for 14 days. and actually, if i am counting 14 days, from time of last exposure, we will, then, get into the next debate between president trump and vice president biden. >> does the fact that they -- they were on an airplane mean anything? the risks? >> yeah. so actually, planes are not, necessarily, higher risk than sitting in a room with someone. there is actually pretty good circulation on flights. there is a high-quality filter. there's high degree of ventilation, including with fresh air that's being pumped in. and so, there have been some studies looking at international flights. and when people wear masks, they are able to -- to -- to prevent a number of infections from occurring. now, of course, here, we know that people were almost certainly not wearing masks in flight. but the plane, itself, is not necessarily what worries me. if these same individuals are sitting in a conference room or in an office, the same risks
would probably apply there, too. >> you're shaking your head, dr. reiner. go on. >> yeah. you know, on air force one, you know, there are multiple compartments you know, the president's is up front. and then, he has an office and small conference room. so, the spaces are relatively small and contained. and if you are huddled, you know, around the table in the conference room, on air force one, you're in pretty close, close quarters. the other thing i would -- i would mention is, if you look at that tape of ms. hicks going, you know, boarding air force one. you'll notice that, like anyone climbing a steep flight of stair, she repeatedly touches the handrail, as does everyone who gets on board the plane after her. so, in the hospital, whenever any of us in a hospital touch any kind of public surface, we immediately gel our hands. we're very conscious of that. and, you know, looking at her getting on the airplane and
touching the handrail, and everyone behind her touching the handrail, also. you know, they're almost certainly going to get on the plane, get something to drink, they are going to touch their mouth. it's -- you know, this is how the virus spreads. so, it -- it's concerning. it's very concerning. >> yeah. and the video of what you're saying, right now, yeah. and then, jared kushner touches it right behind her and goes onto the plane. so -- and then, the gentleman behind him touches it. and the next person and the next person. so, listen, doctor. and -- and so, the question is, though, this could have all been prevented. listen. you can't -- you can't stop 100% of it. but you can, certainly, at least lessen the possibility of someone catching it by doing just very simple things, that this president and this administration have refused to do, for so long. >> right. i think -- look, i hope that
this is just a, you know, a close call for everyone. but -- but i think that, going forward, everywhere the president and his team goes, they need to be masked up. everywhere they go. and when -- when they're at the white house, everyone needs to be masked -- masked up. this is a cautionary tale. but it's a cautionary tale to the country, as a whole. i think we'll see changes. i think this is too public an event not to see changes. i mean, i -- i'm constantly surprised by this administration. but i cannot imagine you don't see a much more public display of masks. only an idiot doesn't learn from something like this. >> and you were saying that it was a -- talking about this crisis -- a public crisis. how? how so? >> well, the president has gone out of his way to downplay the risks of this -- of this virus. to downplay the benefit of
universal masking. and now, we see what happens when -- when you continue to flirt with disaster. when you pretend that, somehow, you're immune. you know, what the public doesn't realize is that having access to tests, like the president does, doesn't prevent you from acquiring the virus. it just tells you when you get it. and what they had hoped to do was to create a sterile cocoon around him, by testing just about everybody that comes into contact with him. but it's really impossible to test everyone, every single day, with the number of people working in the white house. and so, you only need one broken link to get the virus inside the wire, and that's what's happened, now. and the virus is merciless. the virus is very contagious. if you're in close quarters with somebody who is teeming with virus, and we think that you're
probably most contagious the day you develop symptoms. so yesterday is when ms. hicks, apparently, developed symptoms. she would be teeming with virus, and that's not the time to be on a small helicopter or in a small conference room on air force one, with a buchnch of people. the president should -- should really quarantine for 14 days, and as should everybody. this is going to be very, very difficult. >> doctors, stand by. this is our breaking news tonight. the president of the united states, in quarantine, while awaiting covid test results after his close aide, hope hicks, tested positive for the virus. first lady, as well, waiting -- awaiting her result. according to cdc guidelines, the president and the first lady should continue to quarantine for a full 14 days after his last-known exposure to someone who has tested positive for covid-19, even if the test results come back negative, now. and that's because the incubation period for the virus can be up to 14 days. let's bring in, now, andy slavitt. the former acting administrator
for the centers of medicaid and medicare services. thank you, sir. appreciate you joining us. so, andy, what is your reaction to the president and the first lady going into quarantine, now? >> well, the president said, in his debate i believe with vice president biden, that he wears a mask whenever he needs to. that he's never around people that aren't tested. and i think we just learned that he has not been wearing a mask around people that have had exposure. and so, that's -- that puts us all at risk because this is a deadly virus. it's a serious virus. he's -- he's got risk factors. and, you know, this is not the kind of thing that, you know, you -- we should, as a country, be exposed to. i think he's uncoachable. you know, i -- i wish your -- dr. reiner were correct but i feel like the concern is that, you know, he will expect other
people -- he will essentially blame this on other people for infecting hope hicks. and essentially, say that the lesson is other peoples' to learn, not his. >> he's already done that. he's -- he's saying, in some way, he's done that. he is saying that it is hard that hope hicks, you know, she's been working so hard, which i don't doubt that she's not working hard. but there are people out there, and they want to thank them for such -- the great work that they're doing. so, it's hard to tell them no when they come up to you and they want to shake your hand and they want to hug you. that's what he's saying. that's what he said about this, on -- on fox news. >> well, we do have a deadly pandemic. and -- and i don't know that he fully grasps that. you know, i think he -- she -- he allowed her to get back on the plane with him on wednesday. i think when we are pretty sure she knew, and need to understand whether or not was she exposed to reporters? was it disclosed? you know, there is a bunch of things around the protocol of
these things that lead me to believe he doesn't take this, necessarily, as seriously as he ought to. and, you know, people -- i think one question is around the president's and the first lady's health, obviously. but there are further questions about the example he sets, about the amount of security that the country has, about the kind of risks that we expose ourselves to. and, you know, people have been saying for a long time that this is a serious virus and he's kind of been brushing it off. >> well, he makes fun of the former vice president for wearing masks. saying, oh, he's got the biggest mask in the world or something to that order. and why is he wearing a mask? he's standing on the stage. and he's way, you know, he's not near people. and what's with him and this mask? mocking the former vice president for doing exactly what the former vice president should be doing. he should be taking lessons from him. >> yeah. i don't care if you're a t
tri-athlete. i don't care if you are an iron man. this virus has nothing to do with macho. these are dead rna sells that lodge themselves into people's throats and get into their blood vessels. they don't care whether or not you feel defiant of the virus. whether you think you are stronger than the virus. all these sort of attitudinal things that i think he likes to show, they don't have any impact on something like a global pandemic. and i think, you know, we need seriousness in fighting something serious. this is like fighting a war. you want someone who takes it seriously. maybe, this will change his tune but i -- i have not seen that in the past. >> listen. you are the perfect person to ask this to because i mentioned it earlier. but i think you would know. everyone is assuming, andy, that hope hicks is patient zero here, right? we don't know. hope hicks could have gotten it from someone else in the administration. someone else in the white house. someone else on marine one or air force one. and she could have gotten
infected the same time that, possibly, or come into contact, i should say, with it, the same time or from the same person of the president or jared kushner or of dan scavino or stephen miller. we don't know if hope hicks gave it to everyone. she could have gotten it from one of them or someone in proximity. >> well, this is what we're putting the country through. it's exactly the same thing -- you're exactly right, don. when we have community spread. you know, if you and i were interact with one another. i don't know where you have been, you don't know where i've been. so we both have to assume we might have the virus. a opposed to a country that's contained the virus, where you actually can identify the people who have it, you can test for the people who have it, and you know the kind of risks you are taking. here, you know, we do not have good contact-tracing resources. we do not have adequate testing. they do the best testing, presumably in the country, in the white house. and they, still, weren't able to
test rapidly enough to prevent exposure. the idea is you could test someone rapidly enough, you isolate them before they start to expose other people. you think with the president of the united states, you'd have the resources to do that. whatever's happening here -- migrant labor camp right now, it's a hundred times worse. go to a jail. it's a hundred times worse. go to a homeless shelter. it's a hundred times worse. >> andy slavitt, thank you, sir. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> john harwood, kaitlan collins. excuse me. our white house correspondents, both, join us. so, welcome back. kaitlan, the president, first lady, are now in quarantine. we saw the pictures of hope hicks with others in the administration, boarding marine one. i want you to take a look at this picture. this is a picture of -- this is during the obama administration. the interior of marine one. those are close quarters that they are in. and they were not wearing masks.
>> yeah. those are really close quarters. you see where the president sits, and you see where aides sit. and obviously, marine one is still the same marine one that president trump travels on. and that's what you saw hope hicks getting on with him, yesterday, as they were going to minnesota. and so, it's -- it's a select few aides that get on marine one and fly with the president to joint base andrews. the rest of the aides who are going with the president, go ahead and travel in advance, and they are already waiting on air force one. so it's notable to see that. also, keep in mind what they did after they got there. if you look at the daily schedule, from wednesday, the president attended an indoor fundraiser in minnesota on wednesday, before he went and held that rally last night. of course, hope hicks was there for the -- with the president at this fundraiser. though, it's still unclear what the level of contact was. but it does give you an indication of the concern that they are going to have about the level of exposure, if the president does end up testing positive for coronavirus. though, we should caution, it's still something we do not have an answer to, yet.
the white house has not updated us on this. and so, when you say the president's in quarantine, i want to make sure our viewers know, we're not really sure what that quarantine is going to look like, yet. because medical experts have said you should quarantine if you just did the bare minimum of what we already know has happened, come into contact with somebody who's tested positive. we've already crossed that bar when it comes to president trump but he is saying they are quarantining until they get a test result back. whether he gets a negative result, if he is going to continue with a roundtable and rally tomorrow, that's still to be determined. >> 31 days when people wake up in the morning, until election day, john. 14 days, he's going to quarantine. and then, he's only going to have 14 more days to campaign? >> well, look. i wouldn't bet on him quarantining, if he gets a negative test result. but i think the bigger question, right now, is why we haven't gotten the test result from the
president. it is not plausible, more than four hours after this story broke, that the white house has not gotten at least one test result from the president. perhaps, he is waiting for a confirmatory, second test or a third test. but the president went on hannity, a while ago, and said he had been tested. whether i have it, i don't -- we don't know, we'll have to see what happens. i think that is curious language because this is a president who, characteristically, will downplay the impact of the virus. saying i get tested all the time. it's going to be fine. or i -- i -- i keep my distance from -- he was asked, by a reporter about a rally, and he talked about, well, i keep my distance from the people at the rally. obviously, he does not want to get this. but the language that he used to hannity suggests to me that he's concerned. the fact that they've announced he's begun this quarantine process suggest that he's concerned. and i think the -- as the hours
go by, the pressure's going to increase on the white house to tell us exactly what's going on. >> well, kaitlan, i wonder if he -- if he tests negative, right, if he is going to continue to quarantine because just because he tests negative now doesn't mean that he's not positive for the virus. it just means it depends on when he came into contact with it, right? so, i wonder if that's going to happen. and if he is -- if he -- if he does test negative and he decides not to quarantine, is he going to be tested every single day? are we going to learn the results of those tests, every single day? i mean, there's so much here that we don't know because, sadly, because -- and in a major way, because of this president's recklessness. he is in jeopardy and the american people are in a position where they don't know the health status of the leader of the country. >> well, don, it also raises questions about the actual testing protocol that's happening inside the white house. because they have insisted that
it's stringent, that it is strict, that they are doing it very often. staffers are getting tested as they walk into the white house, before they have a meeting with the president. but if hope hicks got on air force one yesterday, and did not find out until after that, that she had tested positive for coronavirus. it makes you wonder what time they tested her and why they didn't find out that she had tested positive, until safter se had already been on the plane. now, whether or not they tested her after that is still not clear and we have not been able to confirm those details yet. but also, it raises questions about the president being tested because if people found out last night that hope hicks had coronavirus, why wasn't the president tested, first thing this morning? what tit seems is this is linin up publicly with when it broke in the media that she had tested positive. it also raises so many more questions about what they have been insisting they've been doing and whether or not they have actually been carrying through with that on a daily basis. or whether or not they have relaxed those measures whether it comes to the president being
tested every day and when those aides are tested and if they are tested before they actually go and sit down and meet with the president. >> okay. i am getting some new information here. >> don? >> hang on. i want you to respond to this because it's new information. you both will get a chance. so, i am told that alice johnson, the woman who the -- alice marie johnson, the woman who the president pardoned, was on air force one on tuesday, flying with the president to the debate. and so, she was in close contact. let's see. the president's adult children are also flying aboard air force one. criminal justice reform advocate, alice marie johnson, boarded air force one with jared kushner, the president's adult children were onboard, as well. eric and laura trump. donald trump jr., kimberly
guilfoyle, and tiffany trump boarding the plane, as well. who wants to respond to that? john? >> well, don, let me just say a couple things. first of all, a lot of people potentially exposed. and remember, in that debate on tuesday night, trump's team sat in the hall without wearing masks. i believe melania trump wore a mask, but others did not. so the range of people who are at risk, if hope hicks was contagious at that time, is pretty substantial. the other point i wanted to underscore is one that kaitlan's been making all evening and it's the right one. the white house has not disclosed any of this, voluntarily. we did not learn about hope hicks's positive test because the white house disclosed it. we learned it because bloomberg reported it and our colleagues at cnn, pretty quickly, confirmed it, as have others. and then, the president went on hannity and confirmed it, himself. they have not been forthcoming.
that is the pattern of the administration. and so, it raises the question of what do they know, right now, that they're not telling us and haven't told us these last four hours? i think that's, again, as i mentioned earlier, that's the question that's going to get louder and louder and louder as the hours go by. >> and the question is they say he is in quarantine, but what do we really know about that? what does that mean? so we will have to figure all that out over the coming hours. stand by, kaitlan and john. this is our breaking news tonight. president trump in quarantine. he says awaiting his coronavirus test after his closest -- his results, i should say, after his closest west-wing aide, hope hicks, tests positive for the virus. what do you look for when you trade?
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the moment you sponsor a job on indeed you get a shortlist of quality candidates from a resume data base so you can start hiring right away. claim your seventy-five-dollar credit when you post your first job at indeed.com/promo so here is our breaking news. the president of the united states in quarantine, tonight, awaiting his covid test results. after his closest west-wing aide, hope hicks, tested positive for the virus. a source familiar with hicks' symptoms describe her as being achy and feeling pretty bad. so i want to bring in cnn's chief media correspondent, brian stelter, to talk to us about all of this. so, listen. you know, the president, we'll play that a little bit later, on fox news talking about this and that was really the first, official comment from the white house. but, brian, why did we not learn directly from the white house? why did we have to hear it as
sort of an aside from somebody else? >> breaking from a bloomberg reporter, confirmed by cnn and other outlets. this leaked, it was not confirmed by the white house. and trump only confirmed it, after it leaked out. that is the sign of a dysfunctional white house that doesn't know how to handle this situation, doesn't know how to handle this problem. and of course, hope hick social security a communication expert. she is the president's most trusted aide. she was with him ever since the very embryonic stages of the campaign in 2015. she has deep relationships with lots of reporters. obviously, all those reporters, myself included, are hoping that she is doing just fine and will make a quick recovery through this. but to know the most-trusted aide to the president was sick and tested positive. and to hold that information a secret for the better part of a day is a very bad look for this white house. and it goes to another, broader point, don, which is, these are the moments when white house
credibility matters. these are the moments we need to trust what the president and the white house say. and unfortunately, we cannot trust a word that this president says. he says he is going to start quarantining, but until we can see it, with our own eyes, we can't believe it. >> so, i was just going to ask you about credibility. i mean, these are the times when you need credibility. and this administration, clearly, has squandered that credibility. speaking of, if the timeline is correct, and i say that because, you know, i preference it because -- or preface it because you know how -- >> we don't know. >> we don't know. and then, kayleigh mcenany will say tomorrow, we don't know and cnn got it wrong. i said if the timeline is correct, that means, they waited, as you said, a day possibly to tell people, or maybe longer. she held a press briefing, today. she was, no doubt, in close proximity with a number of these people, if not all of these people. she went to the briefing room, today, no mask, and briefed people. did not mention this, one time.
>> right. she could have disclosed it at that white house press briefing. maggie haberman of the yo"new yk times," our cnn colleague, reporting that many aides, including mcenany did not travel with the president today. so the timeline does matter, here. what matters more is the lack of credibility of this white house. and the fact that this positive test inside the west wing goes to the heart of the president's denialism. to embrace this and talk about this and say he was voluntarily quarantining before the story leaked, he would have been showing leadership. he would have been showing best practices. but it would have flown in the face of his denialism. so he is a president against his own record and own narrative on this story. honestly, hope hicks is the closest thing he has to a child who is not a member of his actual family.
he thinks of hope hicks as one of his daughters. this is an incredibly personal thing for the president. and, you know, maybe that's weighing on him as he decides to stay silent right now. >> brian, i want to bring in white house correspondent kaitlan collins. kaitlan, didn't you report to me, earlier, that he went to a fundraiser after knowing, possibly, we think he knew about it? >> yeah. we do think he knew about it because this -- as "the new york times" is reporting, that people started finding out in the white house as of wednesday. of course, that fundraiser was indoors and it was today, don. and i just looked at the schedule to make sure i had everything right. so, not only that, did the president go to an indoor one today, after hicks tested positive. also, yesterday, they attended an indoor fundraiser before going to that rally in minnesota. that was a trip that hicks was on. so, of course, they flew to minnesota. went to a -- excuse me -- a fundraiser. then, went to the rally. came back to washington. and then, the president went to another fundraiser that was behind closed doors, inside, at
his new jersey golf course today before coming back to the white house. so, that's not quarantining. if you came into contact with someone you know tested positive, and you still went indoors with a bunch of people and weren't wearing a mask, that is not what they would consider quarantining, by any stretch of the imagination. and we are railroalready seeinge who did come into contact with hope hicks, not just the president, also aren't doing that. you saw kayleigh mcenany. she came out to the briefing today, and briefed us, as she normally does, not wearing a mask. even though she had been in close contact with hicks, i am told. so it is going to raise a whole slew of questions, and, of course, as is often the case with this white house, the coverage terms their actions. so we will see what this changes tonight, based on the fact that we have now learned on our own that hope hicks tested positive. but there are definitely people who work in the white house, that i am speaking with tonight, that either didn't know or they are freaked out because hope hicks is someone who everyone knows. she works very closely with
everyone. and, of course, the ultimate question is about the president and what his result is going to be, and we, still, do not know the answer to that. >> i want both of you to stand by and take a listen to this. this is the first, i guess you can call it official. because it was an offhanded comment. this is the president on fox news earlier, the first time he is asked about this. here it is. >> so, she did test positive. i just heard about this. she tested positive. she is a hard worker. a lot of masks. so she wears masks a lot but she tested positive. and i just went out with a test. i will see because you know, we spent a lot of time and the first lady just went out with a test, also. so whether we quarantine or whether we have it, i don't know. it's very hard. when you are with soldiers, when you're with airmen, the marines, and the police officers, i'm with them so much. and when they come over to you, it's very hard to say, stay back, stay back. you know, it's a tough, kind of, a situation.
it's a terrible thing. so i just went for a test. and we'll see what happens. i mean, who knows? but, you know hope very well. she is fantastic and she's done a great job. but it's very, very hard when you are with people from the military or for law enforcement. and they come over to you, and they -- they want to hug you and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for 'em. and you get close and things happen. i was surprised to hear with hope. but she's a very warm person with them. and she -- she knows there's a risk. but she's young and i just -- i just went out for a test. they just do it. it'll come back later, i guess. and the first lady, also, because we spend a lot of time with hope and others. so we'll see what happens. but i'll get my test back either tonight or tomorrow morning. >> okay. so -- so here's -- here's my question. okay? there was some -- there were a couple important things that came out of that interview. he did disavow white supremacists, in that interview.
>> he did. >> and after -- my question is why -- why does he do that? does it have to be dragged out of him, after he gives the wink and the nod to those people, those folks? okay. that's important. but is there a more important subject than 207,000 americans who have died? the millions upon -- 7 million people, almost 8 million people at this point, who have been infected by the coronavirus? wouldn't you think that would have been the first thing the president would have mentioned? that my close aide has tested positive for the coronavirus. the first lady and i don't know. we've just had a test. and now, we're in quarantine. that happened at the end of this interview, almost as an aside from sean hannity, brian. >> well, that's what you would do, if you want to be a leader and show leadership. and show best practices. fumt if you want to model best behavior, that is what you would do. i was thinking, don, about what happens whenever there is a positive covid test result at
our office, at hudson yards, cnn in new york or any other cnn office around the world. the people who work in that office are a very small number because we are in this pandemic mode. we all get he an e-mail. we all get told what floor that person was on and when they were last in the building. these are basic sorts of steps that companies are taking all around the world in order to keep their staffers safe. and it seems like the white house is not operating at that same level of basic safety norms. just the basic things you do to keep your staffers informed. it doesn't seem like that's happening, at the white house. the president did not take this opportunity to share the news, and try to get ahead of it. and try to model best behavior. instead, as you said, he brought it up kind of as an aside. and he seemed to suggest it was the fault of the police officers and the members of the military, who wanted to go up and hug and kiss hope hicks. now, again, to our viewers who are watching this, how many of you have hugged someone that's not a member of your family in
the last seven months? i'm guessing very few of you. most americans are practicing social distancing. are being very careful about those situations. but the white house is not. the trump family is not. trump aides, oftentimes, are not. so again, it speaks to this difference, this contradiction, between what the cdc is recommending and what the trump white house is doing. >> as you call it best practices because when i spoke with huffington post, the white house reporter said he was on air force one with hope hicks, president trump, multiple white house staffers. he didn't find out about this possibility that, possibly, that she had tested positive. didn't find out about it, until he heard the news. from the news. >> from the media. yeah. >> from the media. thank you, both. i appreciate it. kaitlan, stand by. we'll be getting back to you, i'm sure, before we go off the air on this program tonight. before i go off the air. we are going to continue on but with our live coverage. if it's not me, it'll be someone
else here on cnn. so this is our breaking news. the president and the first lady, in quarantine, tonight. awaiting the results of a coronavirus test. after top aide, hope hicks, tests positive for the virus. we'll be right back. we've often wondered what keeps the world running. economics? algorithms? magic? turns out, it's you. doing your thing. dreaming dreams. building new worlds. it's why we built our workspace technology. to help you do your best work and to see what you can become. you're made for bigger things.
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we are back, now, with our breaking news. the president of the united states in quarantine, tonight, while waiting for the results of his coronavirus test. i want to bring in, now, cnn national security analyst, myles taylor, former chief of staff at the department of homeland security. and former secret service agent, jonathan. good evening, to you, sam.
and welcome back, myles and jonathan. so, sam, you say this is a code-red moment for the u.s. government. why are you saying that? >> don, this is a worst-case scenario, from a national security perspective. just at a basic level. this news castrates the trump team's own talking points on their covid-19 responsiveness. a deadly pandemic got within breathing room of a purposefully unprotected president. and there could be a deadly pandemic roaming the halls of the white house. based upon that, we know that, operationally, there is already an impact. critical resources have be to diverted to try to mitigate the outbreak within the halls of the west wing. i can tell you that infection spreads incredibly rapidly within the white house. social distancing is not an option, and that's why masks would have been so critical in this environment. and there is a strong possibility that more personnel within the white house, including, potentially, the president, himself, could be infected.
that means key personnel, even if they're just in quarantine, even if they're home staying sick, aren't able to fully do their jobs. we won't have a full team on deck as they cannot fully perform their taxpayer-funded duties. and for that reason, don, this is really a code-red moment for the u.s. government. >> myles, if there is an outbreak in the west wing, how does it affect how our government is going to function? or will function? or should function? >> well, don, it affects everything. and i've got to echo that point. i have spent a lot of my life in the west wing of the white house. you sneeze in that place and it hits everyone. it's a stuffy environment. americans don't know. whether you're in the white house situation room or whether you're close to the oval office or in the oval office. it's a stuffy environment, that's poorly ventilated. and is one where, if someone's sick, you kind of feel like you're going to get sick. that may be okay, if you are talking about a warehouse in
la port, indiana, but you are talking about the west wing of the white house, right? the power center of the united states. so this is a big deal. it's significant. and i think, right now, what people should be worried about is whether the plans are in place for continuity. and when i was chief of staff at department of homeland security, that's what we would think about is how do you ensurenment in th situations? now, i don't want to hyperventilate because we don't know if the president's been infected and it might be that hope hicks is fine. and we all hope that she's fine. but she's a close aide to the president of the united states, right? the commander in chief of the united states' military and the leader of the free world. and if he's been sickened and other people around him have been sickened, we've got to make sure the systems of government function. my concern, don, is that, in this white house, my experience is they never wanted to exercise for these scenarios. they never wanted to practice for and prepare for these sorts of outcomes, and that was a big concern for us.
and now, we've seen it with the coronavirus epidemic. they've been flippant about it. and they haven't wanted to wear masks and they have turned it into a political symbol so the concern is that, that politicization of the crisis has turned into a national security concern. >> jonathan, let's talk about the secret service because i have reported, we have reported on cnn, secret service agents having to quarantine before. what does that mean, now? will agents, some of them, many of them, have to quarantine because of this? >> absolutely, don. i mean, it's not just some of them. there is a significant amount of agents that have come in contact with the president over the past few days, that will have to go quarantine. but it goes beyond that. remember, the secret service is not just protecting the president. they are protecting the first lady. they're protecting the chief of staff, the national security adviser, other key, government officials that may have been exposed to this virus. so the ripple effect that's going to go through the secret
service is significant. and all of this, i just want to put a button on what was said just a moment ago. all of this was avoidable. we should not even have been into this, at this point, right now. the virus is very simple. if we wear a mask, it's the key mitigation. and we chose not to do that. it's -- it baffles me. it is, literally, health security malpractice. the fact that the president of the united states, we know that there is a threat out there. and we did not insist, no one insisted that the president, within his circle, wear a mask. from the secret service standpoint, we would never put the president out into an environment, where we knew that there was gunfire, without potentially putting a vest on. think of that, the same way of -- of we know that there is a threat out there. he should have been wearing a mask. health security malpractice, 100%. >> i've got a question for each of you. an important one. we'll do it right after the break. don't go anywhere. more with our breaking news. >> thank you. beautiful. but support the leg!
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together. proposition 16 provides equal opportunities, levelling the playing field for all of us. vote yes on prop 16. and raise property taxes w$11 billion a year? small businesses get saddled with big tax bills they can't pay. they're forced to cut jobs. or, pass on higher costs to consumers. that means we pay more for everything like gas, food, utilities and health care. and the cost of living in california gets even more expensive. now is the wrong time to raise taxes on californians. vote no on prop. 15. we are back now with our breaking news, president is in quarantine while waiting for the
results of his coronavirus test. so listen, how many months have we been reporting. we have a short time left here. i want to say did you ever think we get to the point where we would be reporting the president of the united states possibly has the coronavirus, may have to quarantine and we would possibly be in a similar situation as boris johnson? >> don, this feels like a night mare scenario that we can't get off from. i lived through h1n1 during that outbreak during obama. we informed the public. this president has made everything political even matters of life and death and unfortunately we are reeking the
consequences. >> what do you say to that, miles? >> i would say this. i went through starbucks today, the covid-19 preparations at starbucks were better than the people at the white house. i talked to the people at the white house and i know how they are dealing with this. it is politicized and staffs feel like they should not wear masks because the president does not like it. if your neighborhood starbucks is handling covid better than the west wing of the white house is not just a safety concern but it is because the white house should be the example for the country. if the president of the united states gets sick, you may not get a right response through a national security dilemma or a major crisis, that's the concern here.
they got to take it seriously and because they have not, we are the consequences of the american people. we don't know if the president is sick. the culture of the west wing led to this point is a concern. >> that's the point as i leave you i should say, thank you miles, jonathan and sam. that's the point. it has been hours and we don't know if the president of the united states is positive or negative for the coronavirus after receiving the test. we know that he's in quarantine along with the first lady. we know this all happened because his close aide, hope hicks, testing positive from the virus and now at home feeling the symptoms. thank you for watching everyone, make sure you stay for cnn's breaking news tonight and
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