On this “Face the Nation” broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:
- Kevin Hassett, White House Economic Adviser
- Eric Schmidt, Former CEO and Chairman of Google
- Dr. Christopher Murray, Director, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington
- Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Former FDA Commissioner
- James Ryan, President, University of Virginia
Click here to browse full transcripts of “Face the Nation.”
MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m Margaret Brennan in Washington. And this week on FACE THE NATION, the grim march to reopen the country continues, as unemployment soars to levels unseen since the Great Depression. The jobs numbers for April are abysmal. Twenty and a half million people lost their jobs last month. Thirty-three million have filed for unemployment in just the last six weeks. One in seven working Americans are out of a job. Will the President push for more federal aid to help those who are struggling?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, we’re in no rush. We’re in no rush.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The COVID-19 numbers are staggering, too. There are now four million confirmed cases worldwide. More than 1.3 million just in the U.S., where the death toll is seventy-eight thousand and rising.
DR. TOM FRIEDEN: As bad as this has been, it’s just the beginning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Despite the dire warnings from medical experts, the do what I say, not what I do, mindset at the White House continues, as two staffers with close proximity to the President and vice president test positive for the virus. And three top coronavirus task force members quarantined. The CDC recommends Americans wear masks, but that’s not enforced at the White House.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I feel about vaccines like I feel about tests. This is going to go away without a vaccine. It’s going to go away, and it’s– we’re not going to see it again, hopefully, after a period of time.
MARGARET BRENNAN: That type of wishful thinking drew a rare rebuke from the President’s predecessor. In a recording obtained by Yahoo! News, former President Obama called the response “anemic and spotty.”
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset of “what’s in it for me” and “to heck with anybody else,” when that mindset is operationalized in our government.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ll talk with White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett, as well as former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. He’s now leading a project to reimagine parts of the economy. Doctor Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, will share brand new COVID-19 projections with us. And we’ll hear from former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. Finally, with college graduations canceled or going virtual this year, we’ll ask the president of the University of Virginia, Jim Ryan, what challenges school officials are facing as they plan for the fall.
It’s all just ahead on FACE THE NATION.
Good morning. And welcome to FACE THE NATION. We begin today with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The numbers are brutal. The official unemployment rate jumped more than 10 points, from 4.4 percent for March to April’s 14.7 percent. CBS News national correspondent Mark Strassmann is in Atlanta. Mark.
MARK STRASSMANN (CBS News National Correspondent): Good morning, Margaret. If you think about it, one month is all it took. One month for the best jobs economy in the last fifty years to plummet into worries about a second Great Depression.
MARK STRASSMANN: Hunger is motivating. By 5:00 AM in Connecticut, this grocery giveaway had a line of cars waiting.
MAN: We need food. My son was laid off. My daughter-in-law was laid off. And I’m handicapped.
MARK STRASSMANN: Nearly one in five mothers with children under twelve now report their families don’t have enough to eat. Today’s food lines recall soup lines during the Great Depression.
JILL SCHLESINGER (CBS News Business Analyst/@jillonmoney): There is a broader unemployment rate, a rate that encompasses people who may be sidelined because they are not actually looking for work actively, and that rate is nearly twenty-three percent unemployment.
MARK STRASSMANN: That is a Depression-era number. Like hunger marchers in 1932, protesters in 2020 pushed to reclaim their piece of America.
CROWD (in unison): You work for us.
MARK STRASSMANN: And its economy, in deep freeze. On this Mother’s Day weekend, this protest in Olympia, Washington, drew more than one thousand people. They demanded the governor speed up his reopening plan. Tesla is fed up with California. Let its factory reopen or the carmaker says it will move to Texas or Nevada. And Florida is reopening salons and barber shops tomorrow.
RON DESANTIS: There was a lot of doomsday predictions for Florida. Those have not borne out.
MARK STRASSMANN: Maybe not, but last week was Florida’s deadliest since its COVID outbreak began. So much about America’s economy now rides on the unknown, containing COVID-19, whether the virus resurges later this year and when people feel safe again. Polls show most Americans expect a full recovery to take at least a year. Some financial analysts argue, count on a decade.
JILL SCHLESINGER: Any hope of what we would like to call a v-shaped recovery, one where you go down sharply and recover sharply, I think that’s thrown out the window.
MARK STRASSMANN: Georgia led the country with its limited reopening. Consumer response has been mixed and many eligible stores have stayed closed. And in the roughly two weeks since the state eased its restrictions, new COVID cases have gone up more than twenty percent. Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mark Strassmann, thanks.
CBS News senior foreign correspondent Elizabeth Palmer has our report about what’s going on in the rest of the world.
ELIZABETH PALMER (CBS News Senior Foreign Correspondent/@elizapalmer): Margaret, despite passing that grim milestone of four million cases, the overall number of deaths every day is dropping, thanks in part to controlled measures in New York and, of course, in Europe. But many countries are in the real thick of the crisis.
ELIZABETH PALMER: Like Russia. Yesterday was the anniversary of the end of World War II. But there was little to celebrate. In spite of Moscow’s ultra strict lockdown, Russia reported ten thousand new COVID cases every day last week. In neighboring Belarussia, in spite of a serious outbreak, President Lukashenko remains in COVID denial.
(Alexander Lukashenko speaking foreign language)
ELIZABETH PALMER: He’s called it a psychosis, and welcomed huge crowds to his country’s Victory Day ceremony on Saturday. There were crowds in Brasilia, too, demonstrating in support of the world’s other great COVID denier, President Jair Bolsonaro who still refuses to social distance. Though Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statute wearing a mask shows he is out of step with local officials fighting to control the outbreak. South Korea has opened its baseball season with masked cheerleaders performing in empty stadiums. Strict measures early on here have almost eliminated COVID, but President Moon Jae-in warned today–
(Moon Jae-in speaking foreign language)
ELIZABETH PALMER: –it isn’t over until it’s over after nightclubs in Seoul had to close abruptly when there was a fresh outbreak. Now, it’s the developing world that’s being closely watched by public health experts. In Africa and Southeast Asia, the virus appears to be spreading more slowly, maybe because the population tends on average to be young, but no one is sure and it might well be that the worst is yet to come.
ELIZABETH PALMER: Here in Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to go on television tonight to explain how we get out of our lockdown. And there is some speculation that the roadmap will include a two-week quarantine period, Margaret, for anyone arriving on these shores.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Elizabeth Palmer, thank you.
Kevin Hassett is a White House economic adviser and he joins us this morning. Good morning to you, Kevin.
KEVIN HASSETT (White House Economic Adviser): Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You called this one of the worst jobs reports ever. We know that this has hit Hispanic and African-American population exceptionally hard and that these numbers we’re seeing likely don’t reflect the real pain out there. Where is the bottom to this?
KEVIN HASSETT: Well, you know, you are exactly right to emphasize that that the African-American community and the Hispanic-American community have been hit especially hard by this jobs report with both of those communities, which were really experiencing record low unemployment rates even in January, seeing massive, massive increases in unemployment. You know, right now, looking across the U.S., there are more than thirty million people that are getting initial claims for unemployment insurance. And that’s the biggest negative shock to the jobs market that we’ve seen since World War II. To get unemployment rates like the ones that we’re about to see, to get back to your question, which I think will climb up towards twenty percent by next month, you have to really go back to the Great Depression to see that. Now, there are a lot of economic differences between right now and the Great Depression. Here, we understand why the economy is slowing down. And we expect that we can reverse it. Whereas in the Depression, there were a lot of other things, a lot of policy errors and so on, that made the whole thing drag out. And so I think if you look at the Congressional Budget Office, they currently forecast that the second half of the year will be one of recovery. You know, God willing, that’s what’s going to happen. And I think that that’s the view that’s pretty much shared by the White House. And so I think you could expect to see jobs probably trough, you know, in May or June.
MARGARET BRENNAN: May or June would be the low point for unemployment at what? What rate?
KEVIN HASSETT: That– that– That’s about what we expect yeah. You know, I’m looking for rates north of twenty, sadly.
MARGARET BRENNAN: North of twenty.
KEVIN HASSETT: In part– part of the– part of this is not really as science as much as just arithmetic.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. After the financial crisis, it got– it took a decade to get back to employment levels prior to that. You said on Friday that when it comes to this crisis, there’s kind of a silver lining in the jobs report that you saw because you said almost everybody accounted for the increase in unemployment said they expect to go back to work within six months. I’m sure they hope to but isn’t that just wishful thinking at this point? You don’t know that.
KEVIN HASSETT: Right. Yeah. Nobody knows it. And, you know, and it’s very unsatisfying. Just like none of us really, you know, when the– the virus is going to be either treatable or there’ll be a vaccine or, you know, it’ll be gone, in which case we could really just go back to our– to our lives. But the fact is that if you think about the things that would happen that would make it hard to turn on the economy, that’s like bankruptcies and business failures and so on. We’ve built a bridge to the other side by having these business– small business loans called the PPP loans–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
KEVIN HASSETT: –by having a Main Street Lending Facility so that the Fed is making cash available to big businesses, too. And the idea is to try to keep firms up and running, or maybe not running but up, and connected with their workers so that when we turn the switch back on, they can get going right away. Now, again, nobody knows for sure whether it’s going to work–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
KEVIN HASSETT: –exactly that way, but the Congressional Budget Office, that’s their median expectation right now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: If you look at the reality for the people who are getting hit the hardest right now, Brookings says one in every five U.S. children are going hungry. What responsibility does the White House have to respond to that? Don’t you need to look at doing things like increasing the amount of money available for food stamps?
KEVIN HASSETT: Right. We– we need to look at everything. You know, we’ve mailed very large checks to like more than a hundred and eighty million families to help them with those costs–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Are you going to have to do that again?
KEVIN HASSETT: –and you’re right to emphasize the schools. So– so many children get two meals a day at school. You know, we’ve got schools within a few miles of my house here in DC where we’re really without the school meals. A lot of the kids that go to those schools, the principal tells me, would go hungry. And right now, our schools are closed. And– and those kids who aren’t going to school, by the way, many of them don’t have internet. So they’re not connected to society. It’s a terrible tragedy. And we’re looking at everything we can do to help with that. And so the White House has an opportunity council that’s putting together a major proposal that we expect is going to be part of whatever happens in the phase four deal to fill in the gaps that we’re noticing as we watch the data. But absolutely, there’s a lot that needs to be done, especially for the most disadvantaged.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you just referenced a phase four deal. Larry Kudlow, one of the White House advisers, said this week that you’re putting off any talks about more emergency rescue packages until maybe even June.
KEVIN HASSETT: Mm-Hm.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Why do you think you can wait that long?
KEVIN HASSETT: Right, well– well, here’s what we are doing, okay? We’ve done this, you know, maybe in counting the Fed numbers up to about nine trillion worth of actions. And now what we’re doing is– and the states around the country, you know, are starting to turn their economies back on. And so what we’re doing is we’re watching very closely what happens to those states, get their economies up relatively quickly. Does the opening of the state lead to a new outbreak of the disease? We’ve built a bridge that pretty much, you know, lasts–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
KEVIN HASSETT: –for– for quite a bit of time right now with that nine trillion dollars. And then the question really becomes, is phase four really going to be extending the bridge because we’re not there yet? Or is it going to be focused on growth and making sure that now that we’re on the other side, that we have a healthy economy again? And so right now, what we’re doing–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
KEVIN HASSETT: –is basically building a plan for either scenario and we’re going to be ready to act as soon as we need to. But– but I think that right now we have bought some time with all the money that we’ve thrown at the economy and we’ve been using the time to do things like develop treatments, improve our treatments, learn more about social distancing and so on.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah. But companies and employers need to know what to do to safely re-open. The White House is testing staff regularly. Is that what you’re advising America’s businesses to do? When will the CDC release specific guidance?
KEVIN HASSETT: You know, I– I’m not a doctor. I’m just an economist, and I– I could tell you–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, neither are these CEOs.
KEVIN HASSETT: –that as– as we learned this–
MARGARET BRENNAN: –that’s why they’re asking for the CDC to provide guidance.
KEVIN HASSETT: Yeah. No, that’s right. That’s– but I’m going to say that, of course, we need to ramp up testing. That’s something that the President has heavily emphasized. And just last week, we had one day where there were three hundred thousand tests and then there is a new test approved that will hopefully increase that by an order of magnitude. But you’re absolutely right that testing is a key component of it, but even testing doesn’t remove all risk. And so the interesting, sad thing about my– my dear colleague who was stricken with the coronavirus this week is that we were getting tested because we’re close to the President every day. And even with that, you know, she tested negative one day and then positive the next day. And she’s going to work at a community where people are being tested. And so this is a very, very scary virus. You know, that– that people are going to go back to work and they’re going to be worried about things. And it’s going to take a while for things to get back to normal absolutely.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah, so–
KEVIN HASSETT: But what we can do is we maximize the chance that that happens quickly by making lots of testing available. And that’s why we’ve focused so much energy on that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: I didn’t hear a date on when that CDC guidance is going to be released. But when it comes to your work environment you just described–
KEVIN HASSETT: Yeah.
MARGARET BRENNAN: –do you wear a mask? Are you going to continue to show up for work at the White House?
KEVIN HASSETT: You know, I– I’ve got a mask right here. And the fact is that– that I practice aggressive social distancing. I’ll wear a mask when I feel it’s necessary. It is scary to go to work. You know, I– I was not part of the White House in March. I think that I’d be a lot safer if I was sitting at home than I would be going to the West Wing. But, you know, it’s the time when people have to step up and serve their country. And if I think about the amazing accomplishments of the team that we put together that’s been down in the basement of the White House getting data from all over the government to help us decide how to solve the ventilator problem and the PPE problem and everything. But I think everybody knows that they go into work. You’ve been in the West Wing. You know, it’s a– it’s a small, crowded place. It’s, you know, it’s a little bit risky. But– but you have to do it because you have to serve your country. And there are a lot of things that you can’t do except there. Like if you’re going to have secure communications, you need to be in the Situation Room.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. Kevin Hassett, thank you for your time.
We’ll be back in one minute with some new coronavirus projections.
MARGARET BRENNAN: One of the national death toll models that the White House is watching closely is from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. You’ve often heard it referred to as IHME, and they have some brand new projections out this morning. Institute Director Doctor Christopher Murray is in Seattle and he joins us. Good morning.
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, M.D. (Director, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington): Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What is your model showing you today?
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, M.D.: So our projections through till August 4th are up. We’re up to a hundred and thirty-seven thousand deaths that we expect to see and that’s the effect of two things going in opposite directions. Some good-ish news coming out of New York and New Jersey and Michigan, where the death cases and death numbers are– are coming down faster than expected. Some other states where cases and deaths are going up more than we expected, Illinois and then Arizona, Florida, California as examples of that. And so it’s the balancing of those that is driving our numbers. And then, of course, we’re seeing just explosive increases in mobility in a number of states that we expect will translate into more cases and deaths, you know, in ten days from now.
MARGARET BRENNAN: This is today, the second time in about a week that you’ve raised these projections. What’s driving the change?
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, M.D.: Well, what’s driving the change is, simply put, the rise in mobility and– and that’s the key driver. We’re seeing in some states, you know, a twenty percentage point increase in just ten days in mobility. And that will translate into more human contact, more transmission. And then the other thing that we’re– we’re seeing in some states is, which is why we like to– to revise the forecast on a very regular basis, is that we’re just seeing more cases and deaths than expected in certain places. But it’s mostly mobility that’s driving up the numbers.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And you are looking at mobility through tracking cell phone data. Is this mobility because of loosened restrictions or is it just quarantine fatigue and people are going out and about more than they should?
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, M.D.: You know, I think it is a bit of both. We’re seeing increases in mobility, even in anticipation of the relaxation of social distancing. But there’s definitely a correlation. The places that are taking off the social distancing mandate, the bump in mobility appears to be larger. So somewhere like Georgia, which was one of the first, we’re seeing, is in that category of– of a pretty big increase. So it’s definitely a mixture of both, we believe.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, we spoke just before you with one of the White House economic advisers who said one of the reasons they’re waiting on more emergency financial aid is because they want to see what happens in the states as they pull back restrictions and whether that leads to a new outbreak of the disease, as Kevin Hassett put it. Do you have any indication that that is happening?
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, M.D.: Well, I think that the big challenge here is that when we model the relationship between mobility and transmission, most of the data that’s informing that is coming from when people reduce their mobility and we saw a reduction in transmission, you know, namely social distancing works. Now that we’re coming out, the big question mark is will people’s own behavior, acting responsibly, wearing a mask, avoiding physical– coming into physical close contact, will that be enough to counteract the effects of rising mobility? And so we really are going to have to wait and see. Our suspicion is that there will be about ten days from now in these places that have had these big increases in mobility, we are expecting to see a jump in cases.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And what– what places? What are the potential hotspots in the next ten days?
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, M.D.: Well, as I mentioned a moment ago, the big increases in mobility, there’s five states at the top. Some of those have had modest epidemic so far. So they may not be huge numbers. But, you know, the top five in terms of increasing mobility are Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Georgia. But there’s another ten states or more where there’s been a ten to fifteen percentage point increase of mobility. So pretty– pretty diverse. So we may see quite a lot of states tipping towards increasing cases in the next two weeks.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Would you advise Americans to travel? The Treasury Secretary was on another network this week and he said it is a great time for people to explore America. Would you advise them to do that?
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, M.D.: You know, I would give people advice– you know, I tend to practice what I preach. And so we’re not traveling, my family and I, and have no intention of traveling. And I think it’s all part of trying to think about a route back to work and school. And that entails, you know, trying to minimize exposure and, you know, close physical contact. Hard to do if you’re traveling. So personal advice would be, you know, protect yourselves. Wear a mask and– and try to minimize interactions with– with others.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What does the data tell you about how effective wearing a mask actually is?
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, M.D.: You know, that’s one of the big question marks. We know that the medical masks are highly effective and also very– not available, nor is it likely that people are going to feel comfortable wearing medical masks. And so the big question is the effectiveness of cloth masks. We believe they are effective. Just how effective is the subject of a lot of research and discussion. And I think, you know, we just don’t have an exact number on it. It’s one of these factors that we’re going to have to wait and watch and see what happens. The good news is that there are– there’s more and more data coming in on who’s wearing a face mask. And we may be able to figure out from what’s happening community by community across the U.S.–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, M.D.: –whether those places that are wearing masks more are seeing less transmission. And so, again–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, M.D.: –more data will teach us more.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be watching for that. Thank you, Doctor Murray for that.
We’ll be back in a moment with a lot more FACE THE NATION.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The Justice Department dropped charges Thursday against President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who twice pled guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the FBI did not have a basis for the investigation.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ll be right back with former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb, former chairman and CEO of Google Eric Schmidt, and University of Virginia President Jim Ryan.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We go now to Westport, Connecticut, and former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. Good to have you back with us.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D. (Former FDA Commissioner/@ScottGottliebMD): Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We heard from the FDA that they have given emergency use authorization for the first antigen test to discover COVID-19, so that’s any substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it. How significant is this authorization? How will this work?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D.: Well, I think this kind of technology is a real game changer, and this test was authorized by the FDA under the leadership of Jeff Shuren who runs that device center in twenty-four hours from receiving the application. What it is it’s a very rapid test that could be used in a doctor’s office. Doctors now have about forty thousand of these Sofia machines already installed in their offices. And you do a simple nasal swab and the test itself scans for the antigens that the virus produces. The test is about eighty-five percent sensitive. So let’s say a hundred people come into a doctor’s office who have COVID-19, eighty-five of them are going to be able to be tested positive with this test very quickly. It’s a cheap test. It’ll probably be about five dollars a test and you can get a result within five minutes. For the other fifteen, the doctors are going to have to have an index of suspicion that the patient may have COVID-19 and send off one of the PCR-based tests, which take about twenty-four hours to get the result back. But for those eighty-five patients that you could screen out right away, you’re getting a very fast result and you can start to take action immediately. The company itself said that they’re going to be able to produce about two hundred thousand of these tests starting right away. But in several weeks they’ll be able to produce up to 1.5 million a week. So this dramatically expands our testing capacity as long as doctors are able to run these tests in their offices.
MARGARET BRENNAN: As long as they can run them. How different is this kind of testing from what we’ve heard so much about where states are struggling to get capacity and they’re looking for, you know, reagents and cotton swabs? Does this solve those challenges?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, it helps solve the challenges. I mean, every test paradigm is a little bit different. It has pros and cons. The PCR-based tests, where the states have struggled to get the testing supplies, those are more accurate, but they also take more time and they cost more to perform. The reimbursement is about a hundred dollars. Maybe if you do that at scale, you can get the cost down to fifty dollars. There is point-of-care-based systems like the Abbott machine that the White House is using or the GeneXpert, which is very reliable. Those take a little longer to get a result. Their sensitivity isn’t as good as the PCR-based machines, with the exception of the GeneXpert, which is very accurate. These antigen based tests aren’t as reliable, meaning they’re not as sensitive. So they’re going to miss some patients who have COVID. But in the hands of a doctor who already has a high index of suspicion that the patient may have the disease, and if they get a negative test and they still think the patient may be infected, they’ll send off a PCR-based test. They allow you to dramatically expand testing. And they’re very cheap. They’re very easy to perform. And again, most doctors have these machines already in their offices. They’re using them for strep throat and flu. The challenge is going to be what the guidance is from the CDC and public health agencies about how doctors test in their offices. If turning over a positive case in your medical office means that you have to do a deep cleaning and quarantine your nursing staff and close your office, doctors aren’t going to be testing. And that would be unfortunate because there’s a big, installed base of these tests already in place. So, CDC has to come out with flexible guidelines on how doctors can protect their offices and protect their staff and also be testing in the community because if we can’t do that, then we’re not going to have access to tests. And the challenge won’t be the platforms. There’ll be plenty of capacity to perform tests. The challenge will become where can you go get the test.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You said this could be more accurate than the testing system the White House is currently using. Let me ask you about these aides who have been testing positive at the White House. Our top three medical officials in the U.S. government are now in self-quarantine because of possible exposure. They work in a White House that’s a fortress. But the virus has still made it inside. I want to play for you what President Trump said this week when he revealed one of Vice President Pence’s aides tested positive.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: She tested positive out of the blue. This is why the whole concept of tests aren’t necessarily great. The tests are perfect, but something can happen between a test where it’s good and then something happens. And all of a sudden, she was tested very recently and tested negative. And then today, I guess for some reason, she tested positive.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The President seems to be doubting the value of testing in the workplace. What’s your view?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, look, I think testing has value in a workplace, especially when you’re dealing with places where there’s people who are at higher risk of getting infected. So you think about people who work on a shop floor or in a grocery store. The machine– the antigen-based tests that we’re talking about here that was just approved is actually less sensitive than a machine that the White House is using. They’re using an Abbott platform. But that flat– platform also has false negatives, meaning that sometimes patients– people are going to have the virus. But the test is going to say they don’t. There’s machines that are more accurate than that Abbott machine, like the GeneXpert. They take a little longer to perform the test. The reason why the White House prefers the Abbott machine is it gives a result in five to fifteen minutes. GeneXpert takes about forty-five minutes. And so I think that’s why they prefer that platform. But this is why we need to have testing out in the community. This is why we need very accurate tests if we’re going to be testing asymptomatic people. In the setting of a doctor’s office where someone is symptomatic–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: –using a test that doesn’t have very high sensitivity might be okay because the doctor’s going to run a confirmatory test anyway. But in the setting of where you’re testing people who are asymptomatic, as the White House is doing, and you’re trying to catch that– those people who don’t have any symptoms, you want a very sensitive test for that kind of a purpose.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: And that’s what we should be using out in the employment setting, as well.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ve talked a lot about remdesivir. We interviewed the CEO of the company that makes that drug last week. He told us at that time the government would be deciding who the drug gets to and where. The rollout this week was pretty chaotic. Yesterday, HHS revealed its new plan for distribution. What does this indicate to you about how things will work in the future with other drugs or potentially a vaccine?
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, look, I think we need to get a better system in place. If the government’s going to take control of the supply of these kinds of therapeutics and they don’t necessarily have to do that, they chose to do that, they need to have a good system in place for allocation. Here, in this case, Gilead gave a half a million doses to the federal government. They distributed initially about four thousand in New York City, which is the city that I’m familiar with. I think they should’ve been trying to push out as many doses as fast as possible because more supply is coming into the market. There’s no reason to hoard it or hold onto it. And so, hopefully, when they start to contemplate the next therapeutic and there will be more therapeutics in the fall or a vaccine and how they allocate that, they’re going to have a better system in place based on clinical need.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Thank you very much for your insight, Doctor Gottlieb.
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Thanks a lot.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ll be right back with a look at how some businesses may be looking a little different in the near future.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We want to go now to the former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt. He is leading a New York commission to reimagine sectors of the economy in light of the coronavirus pandemic. He joins us from Miami this morning. Good morning to you.
ERIC SCHMIDT (Former CEO and Chairman of Google/@ericschmidt): Good morning.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We just heard from one of the White House economic advisers that the– the worst is yet to come on the unemployment front. What jobs, in your view, will continue to exist?
ERIC SCHMIDT: Well, a lot will but they’ll operate in different ways. We’re going to have to reimagine how the workplace works. We’re going to have to figure out how to get people into buildings that they’re fearful of. My guess is we’ll have more demand for office space, not less, because people will want social distancing. We’re going to have to think about hub-and-spoke systems where local people don’t travel so far because they don’t want to be in public transit for so long. So we’re going to have to really rethink how businesses operate. They need their employees back.
MARGARET BRENNAN: After 9/11 in– in Manhattan, you saw people establish homes outside the city. You saw businesses move and have backup facilities outside of major cities. Is there something that we know is in the works this time around?
ERIC SCHMIDT: You can be sure that something like that will happen. If you think of it as an employer, you have a bunch of employees, some of whom are dying to get back to the office, and some people who are afraid that if they go to the office, they will die. They’re very concerned about– they’re immunocompromised or what have you. So they’re going to have to come up with flexible arrangements. So imagine that there are three or four people. One will go to the office. One will stay home. Someone– some will go to some local or near their– near their town working environment. It will change the pattern. We’ve had this situation where people move to super cities in these incredibly concentrated ways. That will change in the next few years. You don’t need to be in the super city in order to participate in the ex– excitement of these super cities. The commission, by the way, is intending to work not just on the city, but also suburban and all the rural folks. We have to be sensitive to the fact that everybody has problems. Everyone has concerns. And they’re very different situations.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, corporations are being forced to try to do things in a different way right now. But many of them may use this as an excuse or as an accelerant to make–
ERIC SCHMIDT: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: –some big strategic shifts. What does the economy look like on the other side of it? What does that mean?
ERIC SCHMIDT: One way to think about this is that this one month, two months period has brought forth ten years of forward change. So all of a sudden, the Internet is no longer optional. It’s fundamental to doing business, to operate, to live our lives, all sorts of much higher expectations as a result. For example, we need much better broadband in the rural areas. Another example will be tele-health. Eighty percent of the visits to doctors are right now in tele-health. People have been wanting this to happen for years. Now using remote monitoring, we can actually measure everybody and do it remotely. And then only if you have to, you go in to see the doctor. And by the way, that’s more convenient for you as a– as a patient. There are all sorts of examples. Another thing that we’ll have to do is we’ll have to have all sorts of interesting sort of social monitoring of one kind or another to look for these hotspots. So systems will have to be developed to see, oh, my God, there’s an outbreak over there. Let’s get to it right now before the spread begins.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But one of the things that this crisis has also made obvious is not just income disparity, but– but access to Internet as you just said. If someone doesn’t have access to broadband or they don’t have the computer, how do you make up for that difference? Who pays for that?
ERIC SCHMIDT: Well, we have to– we have to solve that problem. And when the government does another one of these huge stimulus bills, let’s put some stimulus into broadband access, especially for rural areas. The cities are in pretty good shape. And then let’s figure out a way for people who don’t otherwise have access to computers through libraries or– or whatever, find a way for them to get access. Many people can access through their mobile phones. That’s another solution. You can’t participate in this new economy without access to the Internet. It’s how you’re going to learn. It’s how you’re going to deliver services. It’s how you’re going to market it. By the way, it’s how you’re going to sell.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Right? So sales people won’t be traveling as much. They are going to be doing it with the equivalent of Zoom and other services like that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But it’s not just– you’re talking about federal funding to build out infrastructure like WiFi. But what we’ve learned, because of some of these backlogs in unemployment claims with the states, is that their basic infrastructure, their computers are so outmoded, they can’t even process the amount of demand right now. Where does that come from? I mean, you’re talking about re– not just rebuilding. But, you know, completely remaking how states function.
ERIC SCHMIDT: What you’re learning through this is that the government at the federal and state level have just terrible infrastructure in the software department.
ERIC SCHMIDT: They’re still using COBOL systems, which is a pro– system I programmed in forty-five years ago. And those systems, you know, the programmers are no longer with us. So we’ve really got to upgrade these systems. And there are much better technologies that are much more secure, much quicker and so forth. You can see them in the– in the private sector. The public sector has lagged for whatever set of reasons. Because of this, this will accelerate all of that. If you look forward to it, what you’ll do as a citizen is many of your services will be online, your health will be online, much of your education will be online. And then there’ll be other systems like we need to figure out a way to de-densify public transportation. People will say it’s better if you get on the subway now because it’s less crowded, right? Because you don’t want to be on a subway when it’s full of everybody.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
ERIC SCHMIDT: These kinds of changes are easy for computer systems to do if they’re in place.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that the Trump administration’s in talks with Intel and some other companies to move facilities back to the United States to have manufacturing be here. Do you see that change in the global supply chain happening?
ERIC SCHMIDT: Well, we’ve built in the last ten or twenty years this extraordinarily efficient global supply chain with many, many steps. We’ve now learned that it’s not resilient. There has been for at least a decade a great concern about our over-reliance on Taiwan in particular about foreign chip manufacturing and there is an initiative within the government which is very important, that we get domestic supply of foundries, literally the– the places where chips are made. And companies like Intel and Samsung and TSMC. TSMC is the largest foundry. It’s in Taiwan, at the seven nanometre level, trying to get them into our country. So we have better control. It’s important from a standpoint of– of our own economics. It’s also important for national security. We want to make sure that our critical infrastructure is owned and controlled by America, right?
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Never bet against America. We are the innovators in our world. We should be able to do this well.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ll leave it on that note. Never bet against America. Thank you, Eric Schmidt.
ERIC SCHMIDT: Thank you.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We will be back in a moment.
MARGARET BRENNAN: It’s graduation season. As students finish high school and college in the next few weeks, the big question that students and parents have is what will the fall and their future look like? Jim Ryan is the president of the University of Virginia, my alma mater, as well as the alma mater of our executive producer, Mary Hager and former FACE THE NATION moderator John Dickerson. Wahoowa.
JAMES RYAN (President, University of Virginia/@presjimryan): Wahoowa, Margaret.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you have not yet canceled all summer courses or the fall semester.
JAMES RYAN: Right.
MARGARET BRENNAN: How do you make this decision? What are you telling parents right now?
JAMES RYAN: So, we are in the midst of trying to figure out how we can have as many students back on grounds in the fall and in classrooms and to do that safely. And we’re working night and day to figure out exactly how to do that and we’ll make an announcement about the fall in mid-June. We’re trying to push back as far as we can so we’ll have the best information when we make the decision but we also realize that people need to be able to make plans.
MARGARET BRENNAN: They certainly do. But what do you mean when you say, you know, you’re taking into consideration health standards? Do you expect to have to–
JAMES RYAN: Yeah.
MARGARET BRENNAN: –test every student before they come back to grounds?
JAMES RYAN: So, you know, I think in order for us to be able to have students back on grounds and in classrooms, there are a few basic things we’re going to need. One is testing capacity. I think we would need to test students when they first arrive and faculty and staff before the students arrive. We’re going to need to have the ability to do contact tracing. We’re going to need the ability to be able to isolate and quarantine students who have been exposed. And then we’re also going to need to enact a bunch of social distancing protocols in terms of how far away students need to be from each other in the classroom or in dining halls. As you can imagine, it’s a– it’s a complicated task. College campuses are a difficult and challenging place for contagious viruses.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What you just described is what mayors and governors tell me they have to do. It sounds like you’re planning for– for basically a city.
JAMES RYAN: That’s it, yeah.
MARGARET BRENNAN: What is– what– what is the state telling you? Will all Virginia state schools make the same decision at the same time and do the same thing?
JAMES RYAN: So, we are in contact with the Department of Education, and I’m also in close contact with my colleagues at Virginia colleges and universities, and we are all trying to work against the same challenge. And my hope is that there will be a set of guidelines that we can all agree to and all follow. But not all of us are in the same situation as well. Some of us are– have smaller campuses than others, some are more local than others. So I think we’re all following the same principles and all guided by concerns around public health. But because circumstances differ from campus to campus, some might be able to open sooner rather than others. Some may be able to have more students back than others.
MARGARET BRENNAN: UVA has a relatively high percentage of out-of-state and international students.
JAMES RYAN: Yeah.
MARGARET BRENNAN: As you look at– at applicants, you know, how are you taking into consideration not just where people are coming from, but how many people to accept at the university?
JAMES RYAN: Yeah. So international students are– are a particular challenge. A number of them are not likely to be able to be back in time. So one thing that we know for sure is that we will have courses that are online in order to provide an education to students who can’t come back to campus. That may be true for students who are out of state or in state, who are at high risk as well. But our admission season this year was remarkably strong. We had a higher yield than we did last year, and we fully expect to have a fully enrolled class when fall– when fall comes around.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Higher yield. Do you mean more acceptances?
JAMES RYAN: I mean, more people have accepted our offers of admission, a higher percentage accepted our offer of admission than last year, which is a little surprising given the uncertainty.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. UVA obviously has a strong athletic program on the basketball front, certainly on the football front as well. Those are also revenue streams. What do you know about the athletics season? What is the plan?
JAMES RYAN: Yeah. That’s a great question. We’re taking it day by day. Obviously, we need to have students back on grounds before football can begin. But our athletic director, Carla Williams, and our head football coach, Bronco Mendenhall, are committed first and foremost to the safety and well-being of their players, our student athletes. And they’ll begin practice when the medical experts tell them that it’s safe to do, so. Our hope, obviously, is that there’s a football season this fall. I don’t imagine it will look like normal football seasons, just like I don’t imagine even if we have all students back on grounds, it will look like a normal semester. It will not be a normal semester next fall, regardless of which path we follow.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you know, the federal government passed this massive package called the CARES Act and private universities with very substantial endowments like Harvard and Princeton took a lot of public pressure for even applying for any kind of financial help. UVA has an endowment just short of about ten billion dollars and did take it. How do you explain that?
JAMES RYAN: Well, we accepted the funding because it is helping our students. Half of the funding that we receive goes directly to students in need. We created a student hardship fund that we’ve been using to provide grants for technology, for online learning, for transportation, for living expenses. And those needs are only going to continue throughout the summer and the fall. So half of the funding we received is directly related to providing assistance to our students.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
JAMES RYAN: The other half reimburses us for costs that we incurred–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.
JAMES RYAN: –including rebating housing and dining costs. So we’re really passing on these savings to our students. And I think that’s a good thing to do.
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. President Ryan, good luck to you and to all–
JAMES RYAN: Thank you very much.
MARGARET BRENNAN: –the upcoming graduates.
JAMES RYAN: Thanks so much.
MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ll be right back with a tribute to mothers.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Today, we honor and celebrate mothers. They continue to go above and beyond, more so today than ever before.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Across the country, moms are keeping households afloat, turning kitchen tables into school rooms and home offices. And trying to explain to little ones why life as we knew it disappeared. The reality of gender dynamics is being revealed. Seventy-five percent of mothers with young children are in the workforce. Moms are the primary or sole earners for forty percent of those households, according to the Labor Department. This week we learned that they’re losing their jobs at a higher rate than men.
WOMAN #1: I was laid off due to a decrease in patient volume. I’m teacher, mom, nurse, provider, everything. I’m all of it. That– I mean, it’s a challenge.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The majority of nurses, nursing home aides and childcare workers are women. Those moms must figure out who protects their children while they continue working.
WOMAN #2: I wonder how much my children suffer from me kind of giving everything at work and coming home to it. Tomorrow is going to be tough because I am going to home-school all day and I work overnight.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Some of us are mourning mothers lost to this virus in an isolation that robs families of last moments.
WOMAN #3: Oh, my God.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Other first-time moms are unable to hug grandmom and granddad. We cannot gather. But Mother’s Day is about celebrating those who gave us life itself. And this year we are especially grateful for that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And we want to wish all the mothers out there a happy Mother’s Day. And to my mom and my mother-in-law, happy Mother’s Day. And thank you for all that you do. For FACE THE NATION, I’m Margaret Brennan.