tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN May 31, 2016 3:42pm-5:43pm EDT
getting the cadre of people who are appropriately, constitutionally able to be prohibited from owning a weapon. now, some of your states you'll hear that there's -- i think it's three to five states that have legislation saying that we can't give mental health information because it's violation of hipaa rules. simply not true. the department of health and human services has put out a regulation saying it is not a violation. so, when you hear if it's brought up in your legislature or it's brought up in your community that, well, we would provide this information, we can't do it because it's a violation of the privacy rules of -- in hipaa. it's not true. that is simply not true. and it surprised me but it's understandable because i would be the same way if i were a state legislator how many people
in my own state didn't know that that wasn't true, that that wasn't true. and part of this is preaching to the choir here, getting out the information so these false assertions that the information can't be shared are debunked and it's moved. and so, you know, there's -- and there's 26 of your states, we've already received grant funding to support the gaps in reporting that exist in your state to help you put together the system that will fill the gaps of what's not being reported. and now the good news is, since -- over the past three years since we started banging away at this, 70% more records are transferred to the system than were before. so, there's progress. there's real progress. but there's a hell of a lot further to go. and, look, guys, there's going to be and there has been another virginia tech where you got a
guy who if you just reported this information, had been reported to the system, there would be half a dozen people still alive. so, it really, it really matters. there's a lot more to say about the system and a lot more to say about the whole notion of having to register names that, in fact, violate the law and would not be able to own a gun and reporting requirements, but i'm not going to take more of your time. the second issue is you talked about is gun safety. and what we're trying to do, as you all know and you've talked about it today, is keep guns from being able to be used by, intentionally or accidentally, by someone who is not qualified, either because they can't pass the background check or because they are a 6-year-old kid to get
access to a weapon that can be fired. and it's amazing how the nra and some gun owner organizations have become -- gone ballistic, no pun intended, with the notion that we should be looking to safe gun technology. if i can reach in my pocket and take out my cell phone and by my thumbprint activate my phone, the technology exists -- the technology exists -- to be able to make sure that no one ala james bond can pick up a gun and fire it without it meeting the criteria that demonstrates it belongs to that person. now, there's a lot of research going on. this is totally within our wheel house to be able to do this. but it's amazing the pressure that's being brought by the nra
and others not to allow this technology to go forward. i had -- there are two gun owner -- gun shop owners who i met with who said, started to advertise, they were selling rifles with this technology. and they're big, you know, second amendment guys. and they got so much heat. so much heat. from organized opposition led by the nra that they said, we will not sell smart guns. we will not sell smart guns. but the irony of this is, and i could go into detail on that, but you already know most of this, the irony of that is, the one gouarantor that your second amendment law would not be violated and public safety would be enhanced is if only you can fire. no one's denying the purchaser the right to purchase a gun if they meet the criteria of not being a felon, et cetera.
your second amendment rights are totally, thoroughly protected. your second amendment right doesn't say i have a right to provide this weapon to my 6-year-old kid. not that they intentionally do that. no one says you have a right to pass a background check and then hand your weapon over to somebody who you know does not meet the criteria to be able to constitutionally own a weapon in the united states and give it to them. that's not a second amendment right you have. and so, there are a number of -- i won't go into the regulations we've put in place to begin this process in the interests of time. but there's also an awful lot of philanthropists out there who are prepared to invest considerable amounts of money in doing the research and development to be able to develop the capacity to have this safe gun technology cheaply available, cheaply available. that get to the point, one
expert i met with believes they can get to the point where it doesn't cost more than a trigger lock to be able to do this. that should be a goal. that should be a goal. and we should not be intimidated by the opposition who somehow views this as -- and you're going to hear all kinds of arguments. you're going to hear all kinds of arguments. you're going to ferexperiment w the military. it's malarkey. it's within our wheelhouse to do this and everyone is being protected and including innocent bystanders' rights being protected to make sure the gun is not transferred, intentionally or unintentionally, from a legitimate gun owner to an illegitimate gun owner. earlier the president wants to deploy real world smart gun technology. these agencies released reports
last month that among many things defines for the first time the requirements that gun manufacturers need to follow to sell smart gun technology when it appears. how gun manufacturers test smart gun technology within a safe environment at military testing centers. you don't have -- there's ways to protect all the interests here. that are totally legitimate. and we should not be cowed from moving forward with this technology. it can be a game changer. and i understand senator weinberg from new jersey has been and continues -- he has been and continues to be a leader. she continues to be a leader in her state to do more on smart guns, and i think you -- did you get to speak today, senator, talk to this? >> i did. >> well, you probably covered more than i have covered. but the bottom line is, it is a really rich environment that answers clearly two serious
concerns. one, whether you all like it or not or we like it or not, there is a second amendment. it's real. it exists. it exists. exists. it must be upheld two, there is a need to significantly decrease the exposure to violence as a consequence of the use of a gun in american society. and this is a place that could have gigantic payoff for us in my view. last point as the author of the domestic violence act, i held over 1,000 hour hearings literal when the supreme court struck down one part of my bill, they acknowledged notwithstanding -- held over 1,000 hearings. i didn't keep the count. they kept the count. it's interesting what we found out, and it is -- should be no
surprise to anybody that, well, some women survived being brutally attacked when we were unable to find a means to intervene, those who were attacked by any weapon from a hand to a club short of a gun had a significant higher percentage of possibility of surviving, of living. and one of the things we found is that the people who in fact are -- who are the ones that have stay-away orders that are repeated, are the ones who are the people most likely to go do damage to their spouse. they should not be able to own a gun. they should not be able to own a gun. frank lautenberg was a guy who pushed for this -- a majority of committed by the use of a
firearm. 52% of the women in america were murdered, were murdered with guns, killed by their intimate partner. in those states, the required background checks for all handgun sales, including those that are not allowed to purchase those with violations of a domestic violence order, or convicted of a domestic violence abuse, there's 46 fewer, 46% fewer women are murdered by a gun, but an intimate partner. now, you say, well that adds up to may only a couple hundred lives. guess what? one life, one life. it matters. so it does matter if in fact the background check excludes -- and if it's conducted, anyone who is in violation -- has a stay-away order or in violation of a convicted domestic violence
offense smoosh denied the ability to own a gun. so, lookle, there's a couple things that i've learned, not a whole lot, but a couple things i have learned. when the congress is dysfunctional, this isn't the first time. it's the worst time i think in modern history short of the civil war, that this town is as dysfunctional as it is right now. i have never seen it like this, and as was ruefully pointed out to me, there's only 13 people in the history of the united states ever served longer in the senate than i have. so i've been around a while. which is frightening. but i've never seen the dysfunction as bad as it is now.
all of you are in the -- are legislators, you tend to, if you want to be impact where you being known as a genuine expert and others look to you. that's the bigger bang for the buck. that's usually a method by which you can increase your influence and whatever legislative body you choose or if you're an executive. so i've spent an awful lot of my time and foreign policy, this area and foreign policy, and there's an old expression where i come are from, probably exists in your communities, anyone is an expert from out of town with a briefcase. i don't have a briefcase, but i'm considered to be somewhat of an expert in american foreign policy. since we've been in office, because there is no power in the
vice presidency, nor should there about he for real, it's all reflective. the only power that exists to the vice president is the degree to which with whom you're dooling think you speak spoke the president. the partment we have has worked very well. the assignments he's given me, he gives me, i don't have to check, i just go do them, and because he has so much on his plate, and by the way, whoever the candidate is going to be, whoever the next president is, they're going to find that the nature of the office of the vice president has changed markedly not because of me or any predecessor, but because of the nay of what's on the president's plate. it's just you need help. and this has been my area. for the first time in my career, dealing in foreign policy, and i've traveled over 1,150,000
miles so far just as vice president. when i get sent, i get sent to meet with heads of state, because even though the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, the national security adviser, they are all are incredibly important, no one doubt when i speak to a world leader, they know they're speaking to the president. i don't saying anyone. it just cuts through a lot of things. the last five years, the first time in my career, when eye sitting with president xi in china or erdogan in turkeyor colombia, wherever i am and trying to convince with a head of state to agree with a foreign policy issue we're pushing multilaterally or bilateral, and i get an agreement and you reach across the table and shake hands, here is the question i most oft get secretary after all the details is resolved -- mr.
vice president, can you deliver? hear me now? can you deliver? on what we're agreeing to. because every consequential foreign policy agreement takes place, the other side is taking a chance as well. what they're saying is don't make me walk out on a limb here, and my city constituency, my and take a chance on this compromise, because you're going to go back to washington and the president is not going to be able to get it done because of a dysfunctional congress. folks man folks, one of the things that i have found and we have had to adjust to because of the nature and dysfunction of the consequence today is that we gods back to you. you are more important in terms of national policy -- national policy than you have been in the last 50 years.
why? we can raise up an issue like we have the minimum wage. we haven't been able to get it done nationally, but because we beat the drum so much and raise the awareness of the issue, you've gotten it done. many of you in your cities have made significant changes in the minimum wage. many of you in your states have done the same. so that's a long way of saying to you, just because we have not been able to get it done nationally with this congress, it doesn't mean that you can't change a lot of these parameters of these issues at home. it matters. we're going to keep beating the drum. we're probably not going to get much more done in the next nine months, but this is something that you just got to keep at and keep at and keep at and keep at.
i think if we do our job of continuing to raise this issue up and you are able in your job, even in lot localities, it matters, and has a cumulative impact. as i said, look what o'malley did, and look what the distinguished governor from connecticut has done. it is gigantic. it's a fundamental change affecting an entire state. this can be contagious, so i guess it's a long way of saying, don't quit on this. don't walk out of here, out of washington saying, you know, i know they're not going to get a damn thing done in congress between now and then, so why should i bother doing this? you can make some real changes and set the table for at least
with congress in recess, american history tv programs are airing in primetime on c-span3. look for our history features each night, including a vietnam war summit from the lyndon b. johnson president yam library, a retrospect tiff on the conflict. tuesday authors and historians, then a conversation with ken burns and lynn novak. >> by the time we got four or five decades away where the historical triangulation can actually take place, when you can have the distance and perspective necessary not to just make a reactive or simply journalistic response, but something that is hopefully greater than the sum of its parts, you begin to realize almost everything you thought you knew was not true. >> and wen, a look at the war from the per tect tiff, and those with vietnam. thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, our real america series looks at the 1975 church committee
hearings convened to investigate the intelligence many -- and with the national museum of african-american history and culture opening in september, friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, an all-day conference with talks on african american religion, politics and culture and african american history as american history. >> i couldn't get that out of my mind, that my students were thinks somehow this african-american history wasn't real, because there was no textbook textbook, as there was in all of the american history courses taught in the department of history and so i decided to real a real textbook. for the complete american history tv schedule, two to cspan.org.
group they recently visited laredo, texas, and spoke to a truck driver who crosses the border several times a day. i have approximately seven years of being a truck driver. how long does the process take to be able to drive these trucks? >> you're talking about three months of training before you can make any trips. >> how many trips do you do, approximately? >> approximately about two round trips, which is the equivalent to four boxes daily. four boxes, what does that mean? >> four crosses. i do two imports and two exports daily. >> tell me about a typical day on the road. what time do you begin? what time do you fin?
>> i begin approximately at 8:00 a.m., usual lir around 11 p.m. i check off my seals, head to the mexican customs for process. if i get a green light, i continue my route. once i arrive at u.s. customs, i show mu documentation, which are my cdl and my visa. if i crossed to the past, obviously i show my visa and fast card. there the official decides and lets me know if i continue straight, if i got a green light, or if i go through -- it all depends owhere the official sends me. for example, today i got intense search. well, that's the process sometimes. i have to go through the inspection ramp and x-rays.
brandon darby, for bright bar, texas, talks about illegality imbase. nelly vielma decision citizenship and, and alfredo corchado impacts d. thursday's focus is trade, san antonio express reporter lynn, and then talk about how trade benefits laredo and the country, and bob cash i. state director for the fair trade coalition and nafta critic looks at the deal's impact on jobs. live from laredo, texas, wednesday and thursday. starting at 7:00 p.m. on c-span.
i think we've been the invisible half of the congress the past seven years. we've watched our house colleagues with interest, at least i have, with interest. and the tv coverage in the house. >> the day as the u.s. senate comes out of the communications dark ages, we create another historic moment in the relationship between congress and technological advancements in communications through radio and television. >> 50 years ago our executive brandr bramplg began appearing on twist. today marks the first time when our legislative branch in its entirety will appear on that medium of communication through which most americans get their information about what our government and our country does. >> the televising of senate chamber proceedings also represents a wise and warranted policy. broadcast media scorch.
the need of the citizens of our nation, to know that -- >> thursday c-span marks the 30th anniversary of our live gavel-to-gavel coverage. it feature key moments from the past 30 years. >> i would show to you the body of evidence from this question -- do you trust william jefferson clinton? >> we have just witnessed something that has never before happened in all of senate history. on the change of power during a session of congress. >> what the american people still don't understand in this bill is there's three areas in this bill in the next five years will put the government in charge of everybody's health care. >> plus an interview with mitch mcconnell. >> i'm sure i've made a number of mistakes, but voting against c-span having the senate
televise was one of them. for more go to cspan.org. >> the director of the national institute of allergy and infectionup diseases recently outlined the zika virus in the u.s. and the summer and high mosquito season approaches. he was joined by google's vice president for public policy susan molinari and the centers for dizzy control and preven's dr. ann shugate. this is just over an hour. good morning. welcome to the wilson center. we're impressed that the managed to the metro and the others
issues getting into this building. we're delighted to host or maybe terrified to host a national conversation on zika in the us, can we manage the risk? i'm jane harman, president and ceo of the wilson center, recovering politician, and think that this subject could not be more important. over the weekend in "the washington post," there was an op-i want by ron clain who many of us know from various roles in government, including as president obama's former ebola czar. he has a message for this town, quote -- zika isn't coming to the united states, it's already here, unquote. puerto is already facing a crisis, and when mosquito season picks up, which could be any minute, the rest of the country will, too. zika is an urgent threat to
american public health, but you wouldn't know it from the attitude of my former employer, susan's too, the united states congress. for too many members, this is just another occasion for the blame game. with failures like flint, michigan on anyone's mind, i would have thought there would be a rush to get ahead of the next preventable tragedy, because when they public health crises blow up, politicians who drag their heels get embarrassed. but much more important, people become ill and some die. to their credit, the individuals on today's panel have been out there on the air waves, getting the word out from a range of angles. i'm delighted that they are taking our stage today. susan molinari, as i mentioned, was one of my colleagues in the house -- >> a reforming, also. >> a reforming politician also. she, like i, has escaped the
toxic partisanship. she now heads public policy at google, which has dedicated funds, data and engineers to mapping the transition of the zika virus. thank you, google. like me i'm sure she's frustrated that our former colleagues aren't moving fast. rear admiral ann shugate, principal deputy director at the cdc has been combatting disease for decades. i remember dealing with you when i was in the congress. diseases like h1n1 and sars, ebola, and now zika. for those who missed the memo, she recently suggested we could see hundreds of thousands of zika cases in p weatheror rico, and hundreds of cases of micro cephaly. my sixth grandchild, a very healthy boy was born three weeks ago, and as a grandmother, and as a parent, i can't imagine
what it must be like to have a child born with microcephaly. we really have to do more to get ahead of this. when ann says zika is carry are than we thought, she speaks from a deep medical background and long record of service. the same goes for my rend dr. anthony fauci. tony's a giant in the field, so i can't tell you how nervous i was to hear him say, quote -- we can't pretend to know everything we need to know about zika, end quote. we're grateful, again, to jason bobian, npr's correspond for moderating for such an important conversation. we hope it can be a wake-up call for this town, especially for those folks one mile away on capitol hill. the senate and house have passed different zika funding packages.
they have done something, but now they have to hold a conference to bridge the gap between the two measures. i really can't imagine that congress is so busy that it could find time for this priority. i don't know when they'll conference, but tonight wouldn't be soon enough. in the meantime, please join me in welcoming our distinguished panel. >> thank you all for coming day. i hope it's just a conversation among us, and we'll get to the q&a afterwards. we'll pass a microphone around and get to some of the questions you guys have. susan, i'm going to start with you, just on the amount of interest. you guys to some degrees are gauging that by what you are seeing in terms of traffic, number of people searching about zika in the u.s.
>> i looked at some of the data. what are you seeing? it looks like you're seeing a lot of concern. >> for sure. >> first of all, i want to thank the wilson center and my dear friend jane bringing us all together. and any time i get an opportunity to be in the orbit of dr. fauci, i feel extremely blessed. so google, if i could backtrack a bit to put some of this in context, has decided by a little over a year ago to work to try and get our arms around zika. this initially started not in the united states, because so much of the attention when we began this project and our partnership with the cdc and nih was when we were focused on other parts of the world particular places where we have a large employee base like brazil, for example. so we have three main components of our global -- and very quickly -- product integrate on search and awareness campaigns.
what we do on that is working with groups like unicef. we try and predict -- and we do this for over 900 health conditions. people go directly on search, and now we're trying to provide more information in over 17 languages on what zika is, how to detect it, you know, symptoms, how to deal with it, how to prevent it, an overview of the virus, and public health alert that we keep updating. so we do that on search. on youtube we've partnered with including sesame street and the brazilian figures to get the word out there, via all their channels and subscribers to provide information on prevention, content in both spanish and portuguese. the last thing which we have done for a long time is we've mapped global interest on the zika virus, starting in october
2015, highlighting the timeline. with all that, plus we've given over a million, and we can talk about that i could get deeper into what we're doing on the day to day, but know that's the kind of information we look to compile, right? that's what google does. we try to order the world's information. so the concern around zika is clear. we've seen as of march, since november a 3,000% increase in searches. and so a lot of times google searches are very predictive of what's going to happen. i think both, as my partners on stage will tell you, we with work with them on flu trends, when people start to search antihistamines -- i guess that would be allergy trends, how to cure a sore throat or deal with a high fever. we can sort of help the -- on you guys will tell you that --
people started to see this amazing burst on the scene of people trying to figure out how to get second mortgages. so now we started to see this amazing growth. 3,000%, just from november to march, in terms of people searching. so that really is a dramatic increase. i dare say, though i would love to say it's out of pure curiosity, it's from real intense concern. >> that's the big issue. people are concerned. i would like to send it over to you. how prepared is the u.s. to deal with this. we're going into the summer season. both to manage the disease itself. >> i need to say we're not starting at a good place. really the surveillance and the resistance pattern that they have, so we really have a
patchwork nation around mosquito capacity. the state health department. the local governments are really concerned and working on this, but we absolutely need resources to get ahead of it. this is the season when the mosquitos are coming, so we really have worked out plans on how to be ready and what to do each step of the way. we need to build that up. we have prepared the labs across the country? and a number of other countries around the world, but those are new lab tests that don't work as well as we would like, so we also need to get better diagnostic tests developed that will answer more questions i realize right at the beginning of this, there wasn't a definitive test for the zika, was there? everything is getting sent to your lab in atlanta. is that correct? >> that's right. the cdc developed lab tests based on the 2007 yap outbreak of zika before we knew it was
related to birth defects. but the virus itself can cause no symptoms. one person will have symptoms that are relatively mild, fever, joint pain, red eyes, a rash that's itchy, and the lab texts don't really give you a perfect answer, because they have to be collected. that said we're doing thousands every week to get information to family so they can plan. >> we were talking about of coming out here. i asked how many pregnant women are there on an annual basis? i have two children, a lot of people have gone through pregnancies. it's a very nerve-racking time for people. you think about the number of women who will get bitten by mosquitoing this summer and will be concerned. is the health scare system and the capacity there to manage that concern?
pinches every day about 10,000 babies of born, and we are recommending you see your health care provider, that you get a test in the first trimester and again potentially later, but that you actually understand whether you were exposed and got infected or not, but we don't yet know whether babies that are born looking healthy following the zika infection are going to be developing normally, and so we really need to be able to follow these babies longer term. last week we announced a new tracking system. and we hope to be following women and their babies longer term so we can understand and give good information to families about what to expect. as you were saying, what we know about this virus is pretty concerns. the micro cephaly concern, these
babies may never walk, talk, feed for themselves or care for themselves. their families are affected for life, their siblings, communities, we want to prevent that kind of problem for families, but we need to know more. >> where does things stand in terms of a vaccine in terms of this cries behind us. with zika with what we have done with rubella. some people may remember in the 1960s, there was considerable risk, about congenital rue bea
babies were born in the united states, and the rubella vaccine was really originally directed to women of child-bearing age. the way you get women of child-bearing age, you vaccinate everyone when they're children so they wind up being protected. the good news is we have made successful vaccines against other flavi viruses. others fever are yellow fever, de dengue and west nile. conceptually i don't see any scientific road block to developing a vaccine for zika. in that regard, as soon as we realized we would have to put a full-court press on this, we started working on a zika vaccine. we have done it with the kinds of technologies we have made out
successful vaccine. we have a list of about four or five vaccines that are at different levels that we can move them from preclinical into phase 1 study to see first if they're safe. the big thing about vaccines, the most important thing is saved, because ear giving it to hundreds of thousands of normal people. so we have several candidates. the first one in the queue may not necessarily be ultimately the best one, but the first one in the queue was going to go into a phase 1 clinical trial for safety, and if it induces the kind of response you would predict would be happy. we'll do it here, including at the nih in bethesda. we should know by the end of
'16, 2017 whether it's safe. if that's the case, then we'll start what's called a face 2-b large multipatient trial to determine if it works. the thing that confuses people about timetables. we know when it's going to start, we know when we'll get that early data. how soon you get efficacy data depends on two factor, the more effective a vaccine, the quicker you know it, who. the second important factor is how many infections there are in the community at any given time. if there are still as many infections in the first quarter of 2017, as we're seeing now in bra sith, colombia and puerto rico, we could know if the convenience weeks by the end of 2017, beginning of 2018. if the infections go down, it may take a couple years longer.
that's what happened with us, with ebola. we had a pretty good vaccine, and as the cdc and nih, they did it in sierra leone and, as soon as the vaccine got going, the infections disappears. we kind of feel it's a good vaccine, but we haven't -- >> if you look at the yap island outbreak, philippines, and even in cape verde, they believe it's peaked at the moment, it's quite possible we won't have a vaccine until after we've had a peak in the u.s., if history -- is that right? >> be careful when you say peak in the united states, because we don't fully expect -- we're going to be prepared for everything, but we have travel-related cases in the correspondent nenl case, over a 00. 800-plus more in the puerto rico and the territories. we almost certainly are going to be local transmitted. so we need to get ready for what
the public and press response to that will be and local transmitted will be where someone never leaves the continental united states and gets infected. we know fairly certain we'll see it. the critical issue is how to prevent that from becoming sustained and disseminated. it can be a real disseminated outbreak, but we need to be action-oriented to do that. with regard to vaccines that a population would use, i think it would likely be in those countries in which you have a degree of endemicity, that it doesn't just come and disappear. dengue has been in the caribbean for a -- and it hasn't disappeared. it's still a problem. so i don't think it will disappear after one year.
we had a story on our air this morning about people collecting mosquitos in houston and looking at some of the mosquito control programs there. is there all across the u.s. people where u.s. are collecting -- or is it very patchy? tell us a bit about what it's like in terms of the monitoring for zika virus out there, especially across the southern gulf states? >> much of mosquito control efforts are local, and so they can be, you know across the board in texas, from one county to another, what the capacity is. we're intensively doing mosquito surveyian and control in puerto rico, trying to understand where are the populations and hot spots are the mosquitos resistant to certain insecticides and what works in terms of reducing the aims and the density of the mosquitoing. across the southern states it's
variable. we have a summit in atlanta, where about 30 state leadership teams came to atlanta to talk about. what were they doing? what could they do? could they learn from the best practices in some of the other jurisdictions? we know there's a lot of room for improvement. there's some excellent programs, but across the street it might not be as strong as wherer, and of course the mosquitos aren't following the district lines the joy that's the principal one that spreads this virus is really difficult to control. it is quite hardy. it can over-winter, very little water is needed to maintain it. bites during the day and the night. it's not the mosquito that you notice is biting you. it can be very subtle. so it can be inside and outside the house. so in puerto rico or some of the southern states where people leave their windows open to get that nice breeze, they can have mosquitos inside and outside
that are quite difficult to control. this is an intense part of our work right now, really evaluating a lot of different efforts to understand the best strategies. >> do you also have a strategy if you start getting local transmission? also just to deal with public reaction. >> the implications are large, but issues about the blood supply, in puerto rico we shipped blood there about six weeksant we can't get adequate screening tests to screen the blood. this is an area where the state and local governments are intensively trying to prepare, and where the resources are soresly needed.
we recommend if you come back from puerto, you should repellant for about three weeks, you might have picked up the virus silently, and if you get bit by a mosquito in your own area, that mosquito could pick up the virus. that's not intuitive, but we do recommend that. in atlanta the airports actually have a loop. of course if there's more wand one case, is it the same household or nearby? these are drills the states and locals need to do now. we need to surge the lab testing, get the communication out there, we need to dural a lot of work to do.
>> do you have any sense of how likely it is how likely is it that someone is has gotten infected and doesn't know it? >> we know that over 500 people have traveled back from zika affected areas to the 50 states and developed zika infection. we probably have many more than that, and there would be people who see, and through the detection efforts, so we probably have had thousands an thousands of travelers. we know of over 500. there's issues with probability, but the reality is one bitings and you're pregnant, your baby could be harmed. that's a phenomenon problem to be working on, and that
motivates you. cdc has over 1,000 people who have been part of our response already, and there are actually 11 different centers of cdc are involved, because it's birth convex and mosquito experts, infectious disease folks, so the probability only gets you so far. >> the other issue that ann was saying, it is counter-intuitive, you come back from brazil or puerto rico, you think, i made it, why should the put on the repellant. it's complicated and confounded that it's sexually transmitted also, so men who return from -- it's sexually travel to our knowledge from men to women, but not from women to men. we've been able to demonstrate not only the presence of the virus in the siemen semen, but also the documented case of transmission. it's always a man as a transmitter, that when you come back from a region it's welt
delineated on the crisis website. if you come back from the region, and you have a pregnant wife, clearly if you're infected or even highly suspected, use a condom for the duration of the pregnancy. if you don't have known press nan sexual partner, if you have a documented infection or high suspicion, you should either refrain from sex or have sex with a condom for six months. if our down there, don't have any symptoms and you figure maybe i'm one of the 80% that don't have symptoms, you should use safe sex eithabsencety nens. that's a difficult message to get across to people. you can see that, i go on vacation and now i come home
and -- it's nots an easy ily acceptable, but it is confounding if you think in terms of how it can be spread. being infected, get bit by a coit which bites someone local, which is a local transmission, but -- are we getting more information about exactly when people are at risk? is it possible that if you were infected just before you got pregnant or if it was the end of the third trimester, are we getting more -- >> there are cohort studies and case-controlled studies, the cdc is doing one, we're doing one with the national child -- of 10,000 pregnant women in a study that's call the the zika and infancy and pregnancy study. like any virally transmitted disease that results in congenital abnormality, the first trimester is always the
most vulnerable. but we have concerning evidence that there has been transmission at a time beyond the first trimester, well into the second trimester and beyond we now know this we don't know how often that happens. if you have a zika infection, what are the chances? so the studies at the nih and cdc and collaborators are doing are so important. the other kind of study, which is ongoing, that we really want answer toss is about what the virus does in the body, as tony was saying, this persistent virus is why we have to have this is complex guidance around sexual transmission.
we've been seeing survivors start a flare-up. it's up to 18 months. it's been documented my goodness. the beginning of an emerging infigures is it's the uncertainly that causes concern. >> susan, i wondering if you're see peep drilling down to what they're searching for, are you getting some beyond people who are freaking out?
again why i'm here. what we're seeing, when people start to look, they're looking deeper, they're asking more questions, and it is mirroring the epidemic. when you take it past a -- and so that's why we're at the point where we're starting to shift some of those engineering to the united states, and to try to get a handle. out to in terms of our concern, our knowledge, so now very recently we have put of
knowledge panels and directed people to places that they can go, but definitely the intensity and click-throughs have just gro grown. >> it is very frustrating in how you control, the species that is particularly recalcitrant, so that address i would say a dimension of frustration, because there isn't a lot you can do. you can try your best cleaning up the environment, but even with that history has told us this is a -- it's a whole new
venue of transmission, which is quite difficult to contain. >> are you getting some resistance there. >> this is going to be variable. there is one incorrect cried we know that works from ourite's testing. there's one that works throughout, but one of the issue says how to deliver it, inside outside, adults, larvae, there's some innovative traps that have been developed, where the mosquitoing are sort of attracted by a bit of a sweet substance, and they end up, you know, essentially killing the mosquitos. so there's a lot of different approaches. people are naturally questions, you know, is it okay. what's it going to do to me? to my child? there are procedures to make sure the production that are
being used in and around homes will be one with that safety -- or the benefit-to-risk ratio will be on the benefit side, but it's an area where understanding the full range of options, and investing in some innovate is very important. you probably heard about some of these innovative strategies for mosquito control, the genetically modified mosquitoing, the bacteria, i think it's exciting to have several new avenues being evaluated, but in the meantime, better they're really ready for massive scale up. giving that so many of the cases we're dealing with are travel related. i have to ask the travel question, everyone wants to know if i'm going to go somewhere, can i protect myself? is it possible to go to, say the olympics in brazil, and protect might haveself? and come back and be fine? >> of course you can.
now is 100%. first of all, to reconfirm what we've been saying if you're pregnant, might be pregnant, don't go to an area in which there's a local outbreak. if you do go, there are thing can you do to protect yourself. there seems to be she reluctance to use insect repellant. the approved repellant are safe, safe to use, so you should hesitate. obviously when you're in a country that, there's not a lot of screens, sometimes it's difficult to protect yourself in that regard. it's easier here in the consequence in this united states, we do have that, we do have air conditioning, we do have screens, but proper dressing, keeping it in a place
that is not mosquito friendly, mosquitos don't like air conditioned rooms, and using insect repellant is a way to help protect yourself. i. i would love to open it up to questions in the room tell us who you are. >> thank you so much for all your expertise i'm a senior associate, with the innovation program, so we've been looking at this issue for some time now. you know, this -- the way you frame this problem seems to be really about uncertainty management and knowledge translation from expertise to the citizenry. would you u.s. consider two strategies that have been used in orange roans? europe and in latin america? one is the use of genetically modified mosquito that has been used in brazil and in other
places? and then could we harness the power of the citizenry, of citizens? could we harness their power to better -- to improve in monitoring of mosquito pop wlagz? and to distribute -- can we think about, you know going further, using citizen signs using really the power of citizens that understand better what the problem is about, to actually innovate? >> yeah. >> maybe i can start. i think that the issue with the genetically modified mosquitos, there are some evaluations being considered. sew the communities are considering whether they want to go that route or not. in terms of the citizen engagement, incredibly important. this is an area where everybody has a role to play. i don't know that i would say
for diagnostic test distribution, i think at least in the u.s. we have a pretty good diagnostic test distribution, but i think in terms of source control, in terms of making sure you cleaned up the neighborhood, cleaned up the back yard, got rid of the standing water, the satires and stuff, clean up the garbage areas, but also in terms of the information. so that issue of pregnant women making sure they know what they need to do to protect themselves, i do think that question of mosquito monitoring, there are probably innovative weighing they could be tapped into that. there's certainly a science to figuring out which kind of science it is and is it resistant or not? i think there's more power of communities. that is part of what is being developed for about weathero rico and i think the southern states is a good idea as well. >> i wonder, susan, is there some way to get people to move beyond just searching? i don't know whether there's some way to take that interest
that's there and channel people to take action the way she was asking. >> i was thinking about that as you spoke. i think one of the things we have done successfully in latin america is using our youtube channels and partners, because you have an ability to deal with the subscribers, and it's not a one-shot message, and you're reaching so many populations, and the world health organization in terms of how to get that message out there. the knowledge panels are written particularly here in the united states with the help of our health partners, because that's not what we do. and so whenever we get the opportunity to get a message from these amazing individuals, we will put it on our health panels. so as we were here, i was just thinking about the memo i'm going to send to mountainview. this is why jane invites me here. it's not what i say, but what i
do after i leave, to talk about some more proactive things that people can do in the united states in particular, and maybe involving some more less traditional media outlets to get some of this conversation going. >> one of the things that would help in areas where there's a lot of circulation like puerto wrecko is installing screens, so all of the schools or clinics that need these screens, it's a he amongous effort, but community volunteer and engagement may help. there are some private sector companies helping think through the product availability one day you can help with screener nets ands available. >> all the way in the back, that corner over there. tell us your name as well.
>> go ahead and stand up. we're not quite hearing you. >> hey, i'm a physician, tropical diseases, and currently studying anthropology. my research has to do with cultural factors, so my questions continue with the idea of people's behavior in prevention. that deals with different cultural conditions that would, you know, frame the way that people react and makes discussion of the disease. >> i can say there has been some involvement of that in some of our field work, in particular really focusing on planning for
the communication or outreach efforts, where we have done focus groups or informed interviews on a lot of women in puerto rico to understand what are their concerns, what are their practices? what are they interested in? so -- but there's probably a lot more that could be done. i'm not sure about nih's work. >> we're not doing this ourselves in funding it, but our interaction with his our colleagues in bra sith, what you want did sorm determinant is very important. we're finding the ability of people in a particular region to have even any control of their risk is very difficult. like in many diseases, poverty is a really bad thing, if you live in an area where you have still water that you can't get rid of, you have environmental neglect, which leads to the
breeding of mosquitos, makes it very, very difficult. the people who at least in the beginning of the emdemocrat that suffered the most were the people who lived in the very poor the very poor northeastern section of brazil, states there, was really the epicenter early on. we're seeing it more diffuse now. it had nothing to do with social, behavioral issues. it had to do with the unfortunate poverty circumstances that they were in. >> take one down here. yep. with the beard. here, the mike's coming. >> thank you. herb rose. >> i'll get to you next. >> i have a quick question. most of the news stories have been directed towards encephaly and the effects on pregnant women. i'm wondering if it affects another demographic, neurological diseases that would affect another part of the
population. >> you want to talk about that. >> no doubt we're seeing, we don't know the exact incidents of it, the paper published 24 per 100,000 infections that's not necessarily the most accurate number. we need to do more cohort studies to follow prospectively but the relationship to zika infection is pretty clear. we have seen individual case reports and we've got to be careful because we see this in almost any viral disease. there are outliers, like a case of myelitis in a 17-year-old woman, a case of encephalitis in an 81-year-old man, four cases of acute encephalo miyelitimyel there doesn't seem to be anything of any significance above and beyond guillen barais
condition. what we look at as microcephaly, if you look at the babies microcephaly may be one reflection of developmental abnormality or direct destruction of developing tissue but the babies as you follow them have a variety of other issues. retinal, eye problems. deafness problems and a variety of other things, so i think when we do finally get the full scope we're going to see that microcephaly may be just the most obvious, gross manifestation of the effects, and there are a lot of other things that we'll be seeing that will be detrimental to the developing fetus. >> did you want to add? >> in terms of the neurologic
complication of zika in a nonpregnant setting, we've made recommendations for avoiding travel if you're pregnant because we have enough data to say the risk is high enough, you know, in terms of the concern about the birth defects. we don't know of factors that make it more likely that somebody will get neurologic diseases following a zika infection and based on what we know now we don't know that the risk is so high for everybody that nobody should go to these places. in general, it increases with age. the older you are, the higher the risk is. but it's a pretty uncommon condition. the full study of the full spectrum of zika speak trum ctr help us understand whether there are predictors that would help give some warnings to people. >> i wonder if zika is showing us some overall weaknesses. is there the potential that
another virus that's also mosquito-borne could be creating diseases at a much higher rate than what did you say 24 per 100,000. is it showing us that there's the potential there in terms of the way that diseases spread that something that could be even far worse than zika has access. >> it may not necessarily be happening now but you said is the possibility of other infectious diseases. yeah. they're going to keep coming. at the end of 2015 i was giving talks as was anne and tom frieden at the end of the ebola epidemic you can be absolutely certain we'll see another emerging infection in some time and no sooner did i catch my breath than zika came. we'll continue to see emerging and reemerging infections.
it's the interaction between microbes and humans. sometimes you get something like hiv-aids and you have things that are little blips that are curiosities. you have things that come and then good public health measures suppress them like sars. we didn't have a vaccine for sars but very intensive classic public health measures suppressed them. and you getting? that's devastating to a region like ebola and now something that's causing concern in the americas, but beyond the americas because i can tell you the europeans and people in africa are quite worried that this is going to be seeing what we're seeing in the americas we're going to see there, so, jason, you're right, there's a possibility that we'll see a lot more of this. >> between the way that we live and the way microbes evolve there will always be new ones. this is more concerning than a lot of them because the permanent harm that babies can
experience but we know that there are more of them. there are some circumstances that let us know it was happening. a very dense population in northeastern brazil. good system to -- of surveillance to detect it wasn't just dengue or chikungunya but it was zika useve cau causing t. and the alarm was raised but we need every country to have a strong frontline public health system where they can detect new problems and react quickly and prevent catastrophe. if we'd had a strong public health system in guinea and sierra leone we would not had 28,000 people suffer from that disease even in the u.s. where we have a good system we weren't as ready as we needed to be for the importation. between human behavior and the mosquito concern and then these pathogens that just really adapt and evolve and spread, we know we have to be ready for multiple
outbreaks at the same time. >> i'll go to this guy right here who i was calling on last time. tell us your name. >> thank you, jason. gavin mcgreggor from hershey medical college penn state university. recently come back from a number of countries in south america doing risk assessments for zika at hospitals and laboratories and doing the same thing in the u.s. but at the state and local county level. what's really evident from people that i talked to is that zika's become a gender nightmare. the burden we put on women of reproductive age, whether they can protect themselves from mosquito bites or decide when and how and when they're going to have sex they're not empowered to do that. we've seen a lot of worried will in the countries i went but also in the united states and the worried well are turning up i'm pregnant, do i have zika. we're talking to a lot of physicians and nurses about the counseling and mental health needs for the families, the
grandparents, the community. and i put the analogy to other programs that we're familiar with like malaria, national campaigns, we've gone to schools. is it time for a u.s. national zika, a united states national zika campaign so that we do mobilize the community and we do address the needs and we take that burden off just the moms? >> you know, we do think that everyone has a role to play. and i know that pregnant women have so many things, you know, we're telling them don't do this and do do that and, you know, often they can feel like they're in this alone. but i think the idea of protecting our communities against the harm that zika can cause is very important. but we have to remember that the risk is really different, you know, in minnesota than the florida keys than puerto rico. and so right now we are launching a communication campaign in puerto rico to really make it a whole community issue with billboards and bus signs and the full works partly funded through the gates foundation because we don't have a lot of money yet. but i think the issue of this is
not any one individual's problem, it's all of our problem, we need to work together and we need to not put even more pressure on one person. the other thing to say is that in puerto rico two out of three pregnancies aren't planned. in the u.s. one out of two isn't planned and if you're not planning to have a pregnancy, you know, having access to safe contraception is a good thing. because having that access would be important if you're not trying to get pregnant since there's a new threat to a pregnancy that you have to be concerned about. >> speaking about this issue of it not being as much of a threat in minnesota, is there more clarity on the transmissibility versus -- because the way that the two mosquitos if you look at the map of them it's very different. so, do people all up the eastern seaboard need to be worried about this. is there more clarity on that?
is it mainly one mosquito that we're worried about? >> it can be transmitted by one, but in situations where there are overlap, but one is a dominant vector for this disease. for a number of reasons, one mosquito focuses on one species, the human. other mosquitos get distracted. they bite animals. we dilute it out. but one has one objectives, bite humans and only humans, indoor, outdoor, morning, noon, night. whenever there's a competition, the human one is the one you have to be worried about. >> one down here. >> hi, my name is erin kenny and recognizing that i'm speaking to public health professionals and business representatives, i'm curious if you could reflect on
the media landscape associated with zika and public health threats that are popping up in the past generally. how can we learn from the domestic media frenzy related to ebola and how does increased attention to the public health threats help or hurt domestic and international response raising the political profile of health threats, helping or hurting, if you could just speak on that. >> susan, do you want to try and tackle that one? >> no. >> no. >> i mean, i think, you know, we have the -- the comfort of google at least where people have to come seek us, right? so i think probably what we're talking about here is not causing panic in areas where there need not be panic. certainly i was pregnant twice and, you know, went through anxiety every day for everything that i caught or did or damaged,
you know, and so to make sure that we don't -- that we arm people with knowledge but not produce undue panic and make sure. i think that's one of the things that google is helpful because people who do have concerns will be brought to a series of levels particularly now in the united states with these knowledge panels that are going to be updated all the time. so, those people who are concerned who may be at risk are going to be getting the information at the same time working with these individuals so that when we start to see mappings that mean that we and the rest of the media have to be more aggressive. we can see those trends. >> yeah. i think the media has been pretty good about not being overly hysterical at all about this. in fact, i think they've been really -- i've been pleased with it. so, i don't see -- i mean, there's always exceptions, but
for the most part there haven't been stories or headlines that have been egregiously misleading about threats that aren't there. usually -- i mean, there was a situation, and it was really, you know, isolated during the ebola outbreak when there was this paper that came out that said that ebola is a virus that's mutating and the next thing you knew somebody who shouldn't have said it, ah, mutating, it could be respiratory borne. the next thing you knew there was the concern that all of a sudden it would be respiratory borne. i didn't like that. i thought it was a little bit over the edge there talking about that when there was no evidence whatsoever. but i wouldn't blame that on the media, but that'sing? that came out in the media that i think misleading. >> but that's really the challenge, it's informing and not alarming. >> exactly. >> i do agree i think the media has been responsible and frankly this virus is scary enough on
its own, you know, you don't actually have to hype this to have a virus that a mosquito bite can infect you and you can have a baby that's harmed forever. but i actually think we have another problem that we just get fatigued with the new problem. and, you know, tony and i will be working on something for years but the public moved on years ago. and we can't fix this overnight. this is going to take time and a lot of work. and so whether it's the media or some of the social media, the attention to it can't fade before our response is strong and we really need to not hype this but find a way to have persistent attention and focus and in public health and research, you know, we're really activated. we're working verytenseintensel. but how to get the public support without alarming people is a challenge. >> time for a few more questions. let's take one way in the back on the right there.
again, tell us your name, please. >> i'm an ob/gyn at the george washington university and it's going to be a long summer for us with every woman coming in with a mosquito bite. is there general advice you have for that? i appreciate that. >> oh, boy. >> thank you so much for what you do. you know, i know in ob/gyn you're always counseling because, you know, people want to take care of themselves. they want a healthy baby. and, you know, there's probably many other things besides the insect repellant that are important for women to do during their pregnancy. but we hope to have better and better information that can help put the risk in context. right now we don't have any local transmission in the 50 states. the only part of the united states with local transmission from mosquitos is the -- puerto rico, u.s. virgin islands, american samoa, the territories. so, really right now the focus is travel risk.
and having that health department come out and assess the travel associated circumstances. but good luck with the summer and the women that you'll be seeing. >> what's going to happen is that women -- the first message you give to your patients is that if there's no local outbreak, there's very little chance that a mosquito bite, that that person got in their backyard in bethesda is going to get them zika. you never say zero but it's almost zero. if we do have local outbreak which as i mentioned just a few minutes ago i think there's a reasonably good chance we'll see it likely on the gulf coast the way we did with dengue and with chikungunya, then it's not going to be unreasonable for someone to come into your clinic at gw and say i was sitting in my backyard and i got bit by a mosquito and i know there's zika in florida and texas, so how do i know that mosquito, that's going to be the problem because
they'll be demanding to have a test for zika. and when you have the demand for tests, there's two types of test. there's a test am i infected now. a pcr test that will tell you whether you are actively infected and then there's one that if you got infected three weeks ago the question was i infected and that's the test that we're working on to get a great deal of specificity to make sure you don't confuse it with something else like having been vaccinated with yellow fever or if you happen to live in the southern part of this region to have had dengue. so, that's going to be a challenge and that's the reason why the cdc to a great extent and nih to some extent were working on getting diagnostic that's highly specific and highly sensitive to be able to answer the question of somebody was i infected four weeks ago because i'm eight weeks pregnant now. that's the question. >> when you look at the idea of are we prepared as a nation for this.
we were talking earlier and what was the number of tests you said you could do a week on pcrs, 23,000? >> that's what we're doing right now. we have capacity for that. >> and potentially millions of women who are pregnant. >> one of the things we're -- we have a couple tests the fda has given emergency use approval for and there are two companies that have also recently gotten approvals i believe. i think we really want the commercial sector to step up with this and that's another reason bloiwhy i think the resos are important, if they see it as a real commitment there will be a real commercial interest in doing their part. ideally we get better tests and ideally we can scale even further with the tests we have right now. >> i don't mean to play up the doomsday scenario of the scenario you were playing out, if you start to have local transmission, it's not just the woman that was bit and my husband works as a roofer and do i need to be concerned whether or not there's sexual
transmission. i do think if we start to get local transmission a lot of this would -- some of that will really ramp up in terms of the concern. and how that gets managed i think is going to be really the hallmark of how we deal with this. >> you know, it's very interesting because we have faced this with other perceptions of risk, you know, with the anthrax letters people were asking me whether i actually picked up the letters that came into my house. >> i used to keep it in the garage. >> a variety of things in the early years of hiv/aids whether or not you could get it by casual contact. the issue of relative risk. a risk may be a new risk, namely the risk that the patients perceive that they have, the risk may be far, far less than the risks they accept every day of their lives but they're risks that they're used to.
new risks even if they're much less risky than the risk of getting on the beltway every morning which is probably more risky than anything your patients face, there's the extra twist with this. when the risk is to your developing baby, that trumps everything. >> absolutely. >> that's really the thing that's going to transform people's perceptions of risk because that brings it into a whole new category. >> totally. well said. well said. >> i think we have time for one more question. >> well, so, what a superb panel, first of all. exceptional people who know how to tell it straight and not scare us to death, although as a grandmother, now i'm scared for the yet unborn pregnancy -- pregnant, you know, grandchildren my children will have. but my question is about congress. i started there. susan, i know you want to answer this question. do we need these bills that
are -- have been passed by either house -- by both houses, do we need congress to step in? what do we need from congress? and how do we make that happen in this toxic, partisan town? >> well, i guess my initial reaction would be that even though this town is extremely partisan one would hope that an issue like this would certainly not be partisan. doctor, you know, so when you were talking about the difference in this, which really is that emotional and societal difference of taking responsibility for something and making decisions to deal with your unborn baby or, you know, your child is something that i don't know that we've, at least in my lifetime experienced. >> right. >> with regard to the level of concern and the generations after. the repercussions for generations after. so, it is saddening that this is one area. because what i've heard you say
the entire time is this a significant matter of resources to get it done well and thoughtfully. >> but, jane, the answer to your question is the president asked for $1.9 billion because we need $1.9 billion. he didn't ask for slush fund. we need it. so, what the cdc is doing, what we're doing, what other agencies are doing we are now using money that we would otherwise be using for other things. you can only do it for a certain period of time. you can't go beyond that. then you have to start paying it back and you have to stop doing things that are also very important. we really need the congress to act quickly. and taking money from the ebola account is not the solution. it's just not. because as anne said we're still seeing this outbreaks of zika that if we lay our guard down the cdc is doing how many a week, thousands tests? >> 10,000 a month. >> a month. we can't stop doing that. short answer, we need the money
while congress is on break this week we're going to bring you "american history tv" programming normally seen on the weekends here on c-span three. tonight the 50th anniversary of the vietnam war with filmmaker ken burns and secretary of state john kerry. "american history tv" tonight at 8:00 eastern. "washington journal" looks at issues along the u.s./mexico border. they visited laredo, texas, and visited with a cuban national who traveled four days straight to find a new life in the u.s. >> translator: how long was your journey to the united states? >> translator: from saturday until today, from cuba to cancun, cancun to monterrey and
monterrey to laredo. >> translator: why come in through laredo border? >> translator: laredo because it's always been mentioned back home. >> translator: what documents do you have with you? >> translator: my passport. >> translator: just your cuban passport? what other documents do you fill out once you get here and what do they ask? >> translator: the money and things i have with me. >> translator: you came alone? >> translator: alone. >> translator: do you have family here in laredo or anywhere else in the united states? >> translator: in dallas, texas. >> translator: are you headed to dallas, texas? >> translator: yes, with my brother. >> translator: do you plan on staying in the united states to live for good? >> translator: yes. >> translator: why? >> translator: what are the reasons you left cuba? >> translator: financial reasons.
>> translator: is it too expensive or exactly why 14? >> translator: everything is too expensive there and the salary is low. >> translator: do you leave behind a job or a family in cuba? >> translator: i leave behind my family, all my family, my daughters, my wife, and my brothers. >> translator: when you get established in the united states, do you plan on bringing your family from cuba? >> translator: if god allows it. >> c-span's "washington journal" will be live in laredo, texas, for two days starting tomorrow. brandon darby managing director and editor for breitbart texas talks about illegal immigration in the area. local immigration lawyers discuss citizenship and deportation laws and "dallas morning news" mexico city bureau chief examines the impact of mexican drug cartels.
thursday's focus is trade. san antonio express reporter lynn breshowsky will talk about trade and bob cash state director for the texas fair trade coalition and a nafta critic looks at the trade deal's impact on jobs from southern texas to mexico. "washington journal" live from laredo, texas, wednesday and thursday starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. federal reserve board member jerome powell now on monetary policy and the status of the u.s. economy. he said he would not make a decision on voting for or against a rate increase until the fed's next meeting in june. mr. powell spoke at the peterson institute for international economics. this is an hour and ten minutes.
>> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. it's my pleasure to welcome you back to the peterson institute for international economics. i'm adam posen, the institute's president. and it's a genuine pleasure as well as obviously an important event to have the honorable jerome powell, member of the board of governors of the federal reserve system to speak to us today. his topic is recent economic developments, productive potential of the economy and monetary policy, and it is that linkage between the real side productivity questions and monetary policy that i think jay and his colleagues in the fomc and many of us here at the peterson institute are very concerned with. there used to be a very simple
translation if you thought productivity was better, you would have a looser policy and if you thought productivity was worse, you would run a tighter policy. it doesn't seem to be quite working out that way but also because productivity is doing such strange and interesting things in the u.s. at this moment, so we're delighted to have jay powell with us. just for bio, as all of you know jay took office as a member of the board of governors of the federal reserve in may of 2012. he was reappointed and sworn in in june of 2014 and in theory can serve until 2028. i say in theory not because of any doubts about his longevity or his commitment to public service, it is merely myself someone who gave up after being on the inside after three years a question of sanity. but more seriously in obviously a very fractured political system here in washington with a very fraught appointment process, jay powell has been a
hero in standing up and staying and serving at the federal reserve under these circumstances and contributing importantly to many debates both on monetary policy and on financial regulation and bank supervision. prior to being appointed to the board jay was a visiting scholar at the bipartisan policy center in washington, d.c., and focusing on federal, state and fiscal policy issues. from 1997 to 2005 he was a partner at the carlyle group and prior to that he was an assistant secretary under george herbert walker bush with responsibility for financial institutions and treasury debt market and related areas. he had previously had a distinguished career in the private sector as a lawyer and investment banker in new york city but after this amount of time we claim him as one of washington's own. i hope that will not be misinterpreted in the press as something scandalous. that's meant as praise for someone who has put public service ahead of personal profit. i look forward to jay's remarks.
we will have on-the-record discussion and questions following. jay powell, thank you very much. >> thank you very much, adam. it's great to be here today at peterson. and i really appreciate the opportunity to speak here and thank those of you who came out. so, i will begin by reviewing recent economic developments and then i'm going to turn to supply-side considerations such as the level of potential output and the potential growth of the economy. and i'll conclude with a discussion of monetary policy. as always the views i express here today are mine and mine alone. so, on the state of the economy, the u.s. economy has improved steadily since the recovery began seven years ago with growth sticking right around 2%, oscillating around 2% and our economy is 10% larger than it was at its previous peak in
2007. employment has now passed the 2008 peak by 5 million workers and the unemployment rate has fallen from 10% to 5% which is close to the level that many observers associate with full employment. labor markets remain healthy with employers adding roughly 2,000 jobs per month. so far this year, a pace similar to that of the past several years. and here i will attempt to get a slide. there we go. so, i'm going to go through a few slides as we talk. job growth continues to be substantially faster than the underlyi growth of the labor force, so the labor market continues to tighten. despite the strong job gains the unemployment rate has flattened out at 5% over the last 6 or 7 months thanks to a welcome increase in the labor force participation rate which you can barely see in the middle chart there. meanwhile, there are tentative
signs in a firming in wages seen most clearly in the data on average hourly earnings, the right panel, which are rising faster than inflation and productivity. all told, labor market indicators show an economy on a solid footing. recent spending data, however, has been a bit less positive. growth of personal consumption slowed notably in the first quarter. business fixed investment has fallen for two consecutive quarters mainly but not exclusively because of a steep decline in energy-related capital expenditures. as a result gdp over the two quarters ended march is now currently estimated only to have run at a rate of about 1% on an annualized basis. and that estimate may and probably will continue to move around as more data come in including tomorrow. there are also good reasons to think that underlying growth is stronger than the recent readings suggest. labor market data generally provide a better real-time signal of the underlying pace of economic activity.
in addition, retail sales were reported to have surged in april. as did consumer confidence surge in may. suggesting that the pause in consumption may have been transitory. more fundamentally stronger demand would be more consistent with an environment that remains quite supportive of growth. with low interest rates, low gas prices, solid real income gains, a high ratio of household wealth to income, healthy levels of business and household confidence and continuing strong job creation. indeed, current forecasts for second quarter gdp are for a rebound of around 2.25%. inflation remains below the 2% target of the fomc with total inflation on a 12-month basis for pce measured at 0.75 and core at 1.5%. both a little higher than a year earlier but still well below target. core, of course, has been held down by falling import pricing owing in part to the large rise in the dollar as well as
indirect effects of oil prices on core. as recent financial market tensions have eased oil prices have increased and the dollar has weakened a bit on net. so if oil prices and the dollar remain broadly stable inflation should move up over time to our 2% objective. inflation expectations do seem to be under some downward pressure. some survey-based measures are at the recent historical levels. so, while i see expectations as reasonably well anchored, it is essential that they remain so and that inflation return over time to our 2% objective. the easing in global financial conditions since mid-february and the associated waning and downside risks are, of course, welcome and in part reflect expectations that the fomc would
move more slowly in removing monetary accommodation, however, the underlying rinks will likely remain until global growth is on a stronger footing. growth and inflation remain stubbornly low for most of our major trading partners. in china stimulus measures should support growth in the near term but may also slow china's necessary transition from its export business model. meanwhile the ongoing buildup of debt is notable and there's remaining uncertainty about china's exchange rate policy. elsewhere there's the brexit vote and challenging conditions for emerging markets, economies such as brazil, russia and venezuela. despite, i see u.s. demand growing at a moderate pace with the labor market continuing to heal, inflation returning over time to the 2% objective. the economy is on track to
obtain stable prices and maximum employment. now, we generally talk an awful lot about demand and that's appropriate. so, i want to take some time here to talk about supply-side considerations which, of course, are more important over the longer term, albeit less to do with monetary policy. so, turning to supply-side considerations. for several years after the crisis, economic activity remained far below its potential and the need for highly accomdaytive monetary policy seemed clear. as the shortfall has narrowed supply-side considerations like the level and growth of potential output naturally begin to matter more for policy. the tension that i mentioned a moment ago between labor market and spending data is not a recent phenomenon. throughout the recovery period forecasters has consistently overestimated both actual and potential gdp growth while underestimating the rate of job creation and the decline of the unemployment rate.
to put the blue chip forecasters in the docket, in the dock, this chart shows that for the years 2011 through '15 these forecasters every year overestimated growth and underestimated the amount of decline in the unemployment rate year upon year upon year. this next chart i think is even more interesting frankly and it shows, if you take just blue chip, blue chip estimated the long-run potential growth of our economy in 2007 at 2.9 % and that has now declined to 2.1% while also underestimating the more impressive-than-expected decline in unemployment. other well-known forecasts shown here such as that of the survey of professional forecasters, the congressional budget office and, yes, fomc participants, followed
pretty much the exact same pattern. and that pattern suggests that forecasters have only gradually taken on board the decline in potential in the wake of the financial crisis. output growth can be decomposed into increases in hours worked and changes in output per hour or productivity growth. for the united states much of the post-crisis declines appear to reflect weak labor productivity growth rather than damage to labor supply. and labor productivity has increased only one half percent per year since 2010, the slowest five-year growth rate since world war ii and about one-quarter of the post-world war ii average. for further perspective productivity growth averaged 1.5% during what we used to call the slow productivity% from 1974 to 1995 and it averaged 3% during the tech boom decade from 1995 to 2005.
so, this shows -- this is the familiar regime change chart which shows that productivity has tended to go through high regimes and low regimes and now it's at a very low regime for the last five years. interesting also that the slowdown has been worldwide. this is all the oecd countries, all 30 of them. and you can see the red lines below there suggest productist has been lower in this period than in prior periods. so, given the global nature of the phenomenon, changes in factors specific to the united states are probably not the main drivers. i don't know if you have this experience, but i find that people tend to see u.s. economic developments through the lens of u.s. political events. and this i find that when an event has -- when a trend has sort of -- present throughout the globe you have to really look beyond u.s. specific institutional factors. so, what's causing this?
one factor holding back productivity in recent years has been the meager growth of capital stock shown here in figure four. this shows that capital deepening is at truly anemic levels and in the view of the work we've done at the board that weakness is consistent with and is well explained by the weak recovery in demand. another important factor is the marked decline in total factor productivity or tfp and tfp is that part of productivity that is not explained by capital investment or labor quality and it's thought to be mainly a function of technological innovation, although the story is a lot more complicated than that. it may also be that the broad decline in dynamism in our economy across many measures is contributing to lower tfp. the last thing i'll say about tfp there's strong evidence that
the slowdown preceded the financial crisis particularly in sectors that use information technologies. this is the work of john furnl and many others. the range of opinions looking forward on the future path of productivity growth is wide and historical record provides ample grounds for humility. what seems to have happened is a middle ground position has emerged that probably appears to assume that productivity is still being held down by cyclical factors and the lingering effects of the crisis and as they disstate laipatdiss to be the generally assumption behind forecasts and i can't really disagree with it. so, in addition to productivity the other principal factor in potential output is labor supply which is determined by the working age population, the natural rate of unemployment and
the trend labor force participation rate. and both the natural rate of unemployment and labor force participation initially appear to suffer crisis-related damage. more recent data, however, are i would say a bit more encouraging. natural rate of unemployment reflects the matching of characteristics that employers are seeking with those of the unemployed with the dramatic labor market dislocations of the crisis it was not surprised to see matching efficiencies deteriorate and many raised accordingly. but there are other factors like demographic change that have led to a decline and pushed the other way and blue chip forecasters estimate it at 5% which is where it was before the crisis suggesting the factors are roughly offsetting. of course, estimates of the natural rate are famously and highly uncertain. trends in labor force
participation add another element of uncertainty. labor rate of participation are declining in the u.s., driven by population, aging and other longer-term trends such as decline in participation by prime age males. but participation rate fell sharply after the crisis, much faster than its apparent trend, and it's been important to understand how much of that post-crisis decline is cyclical and thus amenable to repair by supportive policies and how much is secular due to either longer-run trends or crisis-related damage. it's been relieving to see the participation rate improve over the last two years relative to estimates of its trend and indeed in some estimates participation is now close to its longer-run trend. still, defight thspite this imp,
the u.s. performance has been poor compared to many oecd countries. for example, we fesexperienced decline in the prime age group of 2% while most oecd countries saw an increase and we now stand at the low end of the labor force participation for both men and women in the prime age group below italy but well above italy, france and spain. you can see we are at the low end. there are different -- different countries have different ways of calculating labor force participation but i'm not aware and i haven't been able to find anyone who would make the argument that there's a systematic overcounting of participation in those other countries. maybe someone can do that here today. but i would say this is -- this is probably a real trend and certainly if it is a real trend it's not great news. lower potential growth would likely translate into lower estimates of the level of interest rates necessary to
sustain stable prices and full employment so estimates of the long-run neutral federal funds rate have declined about 100 basis points since the end of the crisis and the real yield on a ten-year treasury is close to zero compared to 2% in the mid-2000s. so, to sum up so far estimates of the long-run potential growth of the u.s. economy have dropped from about 3% to 2% in the wake of the crisis, much of the decline being attributed to slower productivity growth. the decline in realized productivity seems to be driven by both low capital investment and by lower tfp growth. expectations of lower productivity growth going forward are more a function of slower gains in tfp. lower potential output growth would mean that interest rates would remain at pre-crisis le l levels.
over time our understanding of the relationship between recessions and supply-side factors has evolved. there's a growing body of work suggesting that recessions can leave behind lasting damage especially severe recessions associated with a financial crisis. one recent analysis olivia blanchard being one of the authors along with larry summers suggests about one-third of the time there is no permanent supply-side damage, about one-third of the time there's a reduction in the potential output and one-third of the time there's a reduction both in the level of the output and in the subsequent growth rate. unfortunately as this chart shows recent experience suggests that the united states is in the risk of falling into the latter category. the point being the black line is actual growth and the blue line is pre-crisis trend growth. you can see that not only is the black line not catching up to the blue line, it's actually
getting farther apart which is just another way of saying that our trend growth rate has declined. i would hope that it would go without saying that economic policymakers should use all available tools to minimize supply-side damage from the crisis. we need policies that support labor force participation and the development of skills, business hiring and investment and productivity growth. policies that are for the most part outside the remit of the federal reserve. monetary policy can contribute by continuing to support the expansion as long as inflation remains consistent with our 2% objective and inflation inspectations remain stable. strong labor markets do seem to be averting some of the damage that might otherwise have become improvement. reducing the natural rate of unemployment. potential workers are being pulled into the labor force by rising real wages and the recognition that jobs are becoming easier to find. over a longer period stronger demand should support increased
investment driving productivity higher. moreover as the economy tightens firms have rising incentives to get more out of every dollar of capital and every hour of work. real-time estimates of potential output are highly uncertain. forecasts of potential growth even more so. we can estimate the growth of the working age population reasonably well. future levels of labor force participation are less certain and least certain of all are forecasts of tfp. if the optimists are right there will eventually be another wave of productivity growth driven by the truly remarkable evolution of technology and higher potential growth and faster increases of living standards and a return to higher interest rates over time. what if the pessimists are right and it remains low for another decade or indefinitely? the consequences would include lower potential growth and relatively lower living standards and our long-term fiscal challenges would be that much greater.
turning to monetary policy. the implications for monetary policy of these supply-side issues have been limited but they begin to matter more as we near full employment. so, for the near term my baseline expectation is that our economy will continue on its path of growth around 2%. to confirm that expectation it will be important to see a significant strengthening in growth in the second quarter after the apparent softness of the last two quarters. to support this growth narrative i also expect the ongoing healing process in labor markets to continue with strong job growth, further reductions in headline unemployment and other measures of slack and increases in wage inflation. as the economy tightens i expect inflation will continue to move over time to the committee's 2% objective. if the incoming data continues to support the expectations i would see raising the fund rate.