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tv   WSJ at Large With Gerry Baker  FOX Business  July 19, 2020 9:30am-10:01am EDT

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plus start smart every weekday, tune in right here on fox business weekdays from 6-9 a.m. eastern for "mornings with maria" right here on fox business. have a great rest of the weekend, everybody. thanks so much for joinings. i'll see you next time. ♪ ♪ swraims james hello, and welcome to "the wall street journal at large". the u.s. is facing another political panic over the coronavirus. while several states are experiencing more cases, covid-19 is not taking lives as it did just a few months ago. and overall, hospitals are not being strained the way they were when the virus was at its worst in the spring. yet media cries for locking down american society have returned. in california governor gavin newsom has reversed the golden state's reopening, shutting down bars, indoor restaurants,
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wineries and more citing rising covid-19 numbers. several other states are also slowing their plans to reopen. this is happening even as the economic destruction from the lockdowns has become more clear. the web site yelp carries reviews of restaurants and other services companies and reports that as of mid june, 140,000 of its listed businesses remain closed. but the biggest debate this week and perhaps the most important has been about opening schools in the fall, the two biggest districts in california -- los angeles and sand way ego -- have announced they will not be holding in-person instruction. several other cities are looking at hybrid classes. and democratic new york governor andrew cuomo's education plan comes with a lot of conditions. >> we're not going to use our children as guinea pigs. james: but members of the medical community are warning that not opening schools would put children at greater risk than the virus itself which
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doesn't affect youngsters the way it does adults. former stanford university medical center chief of neuro-radiology dr. scott atlas sounding the alarm. >> i never hear anyone talk about the harms of closing schools. finish the harms are against the children. anyone who prioritizes children would open the schools. james: a new report from the national academies of sciences, engineering and medicine says that school districts should prioritize reopening. especially for younger kids who need in-person instruction and who face little risk from the virus. the report adds that not being in school creates its own health problems because, for better or worse, many kids now rely on schools for health care. the report notes school nurses conduct screenings, administer medications, address acute injuries and illnesses and help students get needed cower. they also -- care. they also help prevent disease
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outbreaks by tracking immunization requirements and monitoring health trends. another area of contention is the wearing of face masks. wall with mart is now requiring -- walmart is now requiring all customers to have them, and the national retail federation wants every store to do the same. president trump donned one in public for the first time at a visit to walter e reed hospital this week, and first lady mel land ya trump tweeted: even in the summer months, please remember to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. the more precaution we take now can mean a healthier and safer country in the fall. but for months we've been given mixed signals about masks. remember how the experts first told us they would do little to protect us from the virus? now we're seeing threats of fines for people who don't a wear them and calls for the federal government to mandate their use. a decision some in the medical community don't support. americans are rightly confused, and tonight we have to bring some clarity to those and other issues related to covid-19.
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let's begin with someone questioning many of the pandemic measures, dr. scott barber, an orthopedic surgeon in atlanta. dr. barber, thanks for joining us. >> happy to be here. james: okay. we should first talk about masks. what is the medical case, the scientific case for wearing a mask? i'm talking not about doctors, people in your field, but for the average person going about their day, should we be wearing masks? >> yeah. actually, a lot of people feel that, you know, you should wear a mask because you want to be polite, because you want to allay other people's fears, but the reality is masks are not necessarily benign, and they may be doing harm to us. and i think having an open discussion is important. people should realize that the concept of masks is not new to doctors. when i was in medical school, it was one of the first things i looked at in depth, why do we wear masks, how do they work,
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which types of masks are efficacious, meaning which ones actually work at preventing transition of disease, and the reality is on the cdc's own web site they have a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of masks from 1947-2017 that basically says that masks are ineffective at preeventing the transmission of influenza-like viruses. this has kind of been the accepted concept of masks, and if you go back and look at dr. fauci 's initial comments on masks, it seemed to be more in line with what the scientific community was thinking of masks before the can covid-19 outbreak. james: okay. yeah, let me ask you though, because you did mention potential harm. because i think for a lot of us, i don't enjoy wearing a mask, but i feel like if that's what it takes for some politicians to give us our economy back, maybe we ought to wear masks for a few weeks. you think there might be a downside. >> yeah, i do. first of all, i'm a surgeon, and so i wear masks every week,
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often when i go into the operating room i put on a surgical mask, and it's a tough thing to wear. it causes your face to be irritated, it makes my nose run, my eyes itch and run, and anybody who knows me will tell you the first thing i do is run to the sink to wash my face, wash my hands, blow my nose. it causes these secretions that we're worried about. so people are incentivized to touch their face, their eyes, their nose which leads them to touch surfaces like doorknobs and countertops, and that may be actually making things worse. when you talk about the research surrounding masks, we're talking about a particular kind of mask called the n95 mask. nobody is really wearing those masks in public. they're wearing these paper masks or cloth masks, and the literature is very clear about that. those are completely ineffective at preventing the transmission of virus. so what happens is we're getting people that are wearing masks that are not effective. it's actually causing people to have their faces become
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irritated and things of that nature. and it has another very insidious problem. everybody is looking at everybody else wearing a mask, and it's a constant reminder that something horrible is going on, and it's extremely demoralizing and devastating and creating anxiety in a lot of people. and it's not necessary because when you look at the facts, there's actually a lot of good news out there. james: and this has been a focus of yours, basically pointing out to people that a lot of the countermeasures we've employed so far against the virus do have a downside. you were part of a letter with nundredsndfdsfto doc docnhenhenn saygaygghahaha f f kid fs f a a r lalal peopleotheoeeore hug h h sttosthe tocow ier ofofofatnt tt tre a a ais mdse rfo-c nid-cididididllssll.sses rr r cldrererehe trey' mis m a m am ng b b i b bchl. we tweheis i mtalta ilesil there tnyny rsonsoo tnk theroems wldn' come ck i i wmpos aos lf owee lkdowow > n>> th egative effects of these to
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lockdowns has been dramatic. people are not going to seek medical care for other issues like cancer and heart disease, and as a result they're having avoidable complications from these problems. in my own practice of orthopedics, people are so afraid of going to the hospital that they're having, they're ignoring significant injuries that need attention. and as a result, they're suffering long-term consequences that could be easily avoided if they'd have just come to the doctor earlier. when you talk about school, school-aged children, the depression and anxiety that's setting in is significant. you know, and the concept of these lockdowns largely came from computer programmers over the objections of epidemiologists for this very reason. and, you know, somehow this concept of flattening the curve -- which was the initial reasoning for this lockdown, meaning we didn't want to have so many people get sick that they overran the system -- well, that never happened. i'm wondering how did this idea
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of flattening the curve turn into this ongoing draconian lockdown that has absolutely no scientific basis. james: and we gotta go soon, but just this question. thanked goodness we're not seeing the high mortality rate we saw in the spring even though we have a lot more cases now. it suggests either a lot more people had it in the spring than we thought or we've gotten much better at treating it, or maybe both, doctor. real quickly, last thought on that. >> yeah. listen, initially we were following the mortality rate, and when that a started falling -- which it's still doing -- that was not as fear-inspiring. and so they transitioned to cases. so now we're worried about cases that are asymptomatic that are positive for covid which is really what's going on. and the reality is on the cdc's own web site, the mortality rate is now more commensurate with what we see with a typical influenza season. we know that our school-aged
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children are virtually immune to this disease, and the other thing we know is that awe symptomatic people are at low risk for spreading the disease. the science and the data tell us to open our schools and communities while protecting the vulnerable which are people in their 70s and 80s with comorbid conditions. james: doctor, thanks so much for joining us. >> it's a pleasure being here. thank you. james: okay. coming up next, we're going to talk to a top public health expert who argues that those who think masks aren't needed are putting our health in serious jeopardy. please stay with us. ♪ liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. i wish i could shake your hand. granted. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ in a highly-connected lexus vehicle at the golden opportunity sales event. lease the 2020 es 350 for $359 a month for 36 months.
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the need, the value of a mask when people are out in public doing business, what have you. i'm wondering, do you recommend a mask for me in order to make people feel comfortable, or am i making a meaningful improvement in their life expectancy if i wear a mask? >> yeah. so the evidence on this has evolved, t gotten were the. -- it's gotten better. obviously, we're learning about this virus. but i would say at point with all the data and evidence, it is quite clear that if people wear masks, they certainly protect others. thaw reduce the likelihood that other people will get infected. and there is some evidence, not incredibly strong, but some, that they probably protect themselves as well. james: okay. are you saying wear masks, wash hands, do these other things, and that will allow us to avoid lockdowns, mandated social distancing, the really expensive government orders that we saw in the spring? >> so here's what we know.
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let's just talk about what we know about the transmission of the virus as of right now. what we know is that being outdoors is much, much safer than being indoors. why is that? because what happens is when you're indoors and you're breathe or coughing, but even just breathing, the virus comes out, and it accumulates over time. people beyond 6 feet can breathe that virus in and get infected. so what i'm saying is there is no zero risk game here. there is only reduced risk, and the more you reduce risk, the fewer people getting infected, the more of our economy we can open up safely s. and so there are things we can do. i really do think that indoor gatherings of any substantial size is incredibly risky. so if we avoid those, it lets us kind of keep infection levels down and lets us us do other economic opportunity and get people back to work in other ways. but large are indoor gatherings
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right now are the biggest risk factor, even if all those folks are wearing masks. without masks it's incredibly risky. james: you're talking about infection level, and that's been an issue lately. we've seen cases rising but, thank goodness, not deaths so much. for example, a lot of the states that people are focusing on right now -- georgia, arizona,california where you see rising cases, in terms of per capita deaths, nowhere near what we have seen in new york and new jersey. so does this give you comfort that we can live our lives, take those precautions we're talking about but not shut down the economy given this lower mortality rate? >> yeah. so let's talk about what we know. here's the data. if you take the ten states, for instance, with the highest number of infections, arizona, texas, florida, the number of people who died yesterday is twice as many as the number of people who died two weeks ago. deaths are increasing pretty stably. this is how the -- substantially. this is how the virus works.
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so people get infected, about 5-67 days later -- 5-7 days later they show symptoms, some sick enough to be hospitalized. and thankfully, the people who die die two, three weeks after that because we're good at people alive. there is somewhere between a 3-5 week lag between day of infection and day of death. so what we've seen is infection starting to go up in early june, and in the last two weeks we've seen clear evidence that in those hot spot states and in others, number of deaths are starting to rise. james: okay, but we -- >> yeah, yeah. go ahead. not as bad as new york and new jersey. james: over the next two weeks, if we don't see anything close to that new york/new jersey level, you would be comfortable saying, okay, time to reopen? >> well, we are open. i mean, i don't know what reopen is -- james: well, california is backsliding now. they're closing again. so -- >> yeah. james: should california reopen as well? >> well, their deaths are
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rising, and in southern california -- california's a funny state, right, because it's big. so their deaths are rising in southern california. pretty clear like this is not something anybody's debating. more people died yesterday in california from this virus than a week before that, and more people died a week ago than two weeks before that, so it's headed in the wrong direction, and it's rising quickly. james: we need to take a quick break, but i want to talk more about the virus and how optimistic we should be about a vaccine becoming available soooo at the investments, which we can't control, and let's now look at our goals. in other words, we only want to take as much risk as is necessary to achieve our goals.
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♪ ♪ james: and we're back with the harvard global health institute, doctor, we -- there's this ongoing debate about how we respond to a virus without a vaccine.
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the positive possible good news is we have a lot of vaccine candidates now i in trials. should we be optimistic? pessimistic? what are you expecting here. >> >> i am incredibly optimistic. you know, among all the public health folks who have been following this, i'm probably on the more optimistic side of things. i believe we are going to have not one vaccine, but probably several that clear the hurdle of being safe and effective. my guess is by late fall, over the winter. so early 2021 we'll have the vaccine, and then the job will be to have enough doses we can give it to tens of millions -- actually, hundreds of millions of americans. and, of course, it's a global pandemic. is so the world going to be working on getting vaccinated. so we do have to think through all the supply chain issues and making sure there's enough doses for everybody. james: okay, this is a little chilling that you're an optimist and you're saying next year. you really e don't see it in the
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cards this year in terms of people actually getting the virus which, as we do the math, one estimate says lockdowns and the virus have cost us $2 trillion. we -- we're going to break the society if we have to wait long term for a vaccine. are we? >> yeah, so this is, to me, the most frustrating thing that we keep -- like, there are two or three things that the if we just did them, we'd suppress the virus, we'd get our economy back and we'd get kids back in school, and we're just not doing them. we're the only country in the world that is debating masks. there's nobody debating masks. masks just work. we're the only country that debates whether we should have more testing or less testing. it's silly. we should are more testing. and if we did that, we had more testing, more mask wearing, we got rid of no bars, no nightclubs, we actually could get our -- james: wait a minute. we have to take this up another
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day, you're saying masks but still need to restrict a lot of that service economy. these are, this employs a lot of people. there's a lot of businesses if we're saying next year as an optimistic case. the costs are staggering. and they're not just economic, as you know. when people lose money, their health care decline. >> absolutely. and the way we are managing this right now -- by the way, it is not some theoretical. look at germany. look at what's happening in france. look at what's happening across major european countries. it's not just south korea and taiwan that have managed to do this differently. you know, their economies are doing much, much better. and so we have to make some decisions. if we say we need bars to open, let me tell you right now looking at the data, two-thirds to three-quarters of all public schools will be closed in the fall. james: okay. doctor, we're going to have to leave you there. thanks so much for joining us. and just ahead, while we've been focused on the coronavirus, an important economic change has been happening in america. i'll tell you about it next.
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♪ ♪ james: given all the bad recent news, let's not lose sight of another inspiring example of american exceptionalism. this is a story of the resilience and creativity of u.s. workers and business owners and gives us a hint of the prosperity ahead. after the devastating economic destruction of the spring shutdowns, u.s. job creation
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blew away expectations in may and again in june. economic strength defied predictions again with a surprisingly strong revival at retail sales last month. then the federal reserve said that america has also been exceeding expectations when it comes to industrial production. speaking of making things here in america, analysts of research firm cornerstone macro say middle america is our favorite emerging market. a long-term renaissance in u.s. production will continue as firms keep onshoring. you heard that correctly, onshoring, not offshoring, manufacturing into the u.s. and shifting investment out of china. it may be hard to be optimistic when we see a state as large as california shutting down saloons and restaurants again, but let's remember that whether or not american workers are allowed to head out to bars this evening, they've been getting a lot done during the day. and if we can avoid california-style political decision making, the u.s. economy is ready to roar again. that's it for this week. for the latest show updates, be
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sure to follow us on twitter, facebook and instagram. gerry will be back next week with more in-depth interviews right here on "the wall street journal at large." joining us.reeman, thanks for ♪ ♪ >> "barron's roundtable", sponsored by: ♪ ♪ jack: welcome to "barron's roundtable" where we get behind the headlines, i'm jack otter. coming up, what you can do to equip yourself for the new reality of work and how to future-proof your career. we begin with what we think are the three most important things investors should be thinking about right now. the powerful rally e in tech stocks showing signs of faltering. what to look for as big nameses announce earnings next week. the ipo market, though, continues to boom. which new issues are surging in the outlook for the coming months. and retailers have been hit hard by the


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