tv Smerconish CNN March 28, 2020 6:00am-7:00am PDT
darkening sky. i michael smerconish. while we're witnessing a test of american ingenuity, in many ways, the state of new york has been hit hard with 45,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and at least 500 deaths. in response, 62,000 medical professionals have volunteered their services according to new york governor andrew cuomo. that number includes practitioners who are coming out of retirement to put themselves in harm's way. ppe is now an acronym that is part of our lexicon. personal protective equipment. and as health care workers struggle to protect themselves, there's some good news. a company called fanatics normally with baseball jerseys this time of year, they halted
their production and instead are making gowns for health care workers in eastern pennsylvania. the executive chairman michael rubin explained, quote, the covid-19 crisis has compelled our country to be more collaborative and innovative and strategic than ever before. as the demand for masks and gowns have surged, we're fortunate to have teamed up with mlb in an unique way to 40 the front line workers to stem the virus who are in dire need of resources. the pandemic has closed schools use the country. in my house, three sons are still getting instruction, one in grad school, they're using the same video calling app that enabled their sister to have a virtual birthday party, zoom. the company saw the top free app to be the top downloaded app in the app store.
here's more ingenuity, victory gardens have historically been the sufficient of wartime conflict. they earned their way and underwent revival in world war ii. so many took to it, that it's estimated that home-schooled community gardeners produced more than 40% of the country's fresh vegetables from about 20 million gardens. well, today, according to various gardening metrics, americans worry that routine grocery shopping will increase exposure to coronavirus are toiling again in their own backyards. and then there are entertainers, too many musical performers to name them all, offering virtual concerts to boost the spirits of their fans. miley cyrus, john lend, cold play's chris martin, among them, the boss, bruce springsteen. keith urban did a half-hour set
at this national warehouse and streamed on instagram. tomorrow night, sir elton john will host a living room concert benefitting feeding america and first responders children's foundation. disney brought "frozen 2" to its stream network two months early. vox reports that google docs, google forms and other spreadsheets are circulating online with the words mutual aid in the title. that's a fancy way to say help each other get through the pandemic giving what we can to neighbors and stranges a like. througho thousands of people are jotting down their contact information and offering to do that. perhaps my favorite comes from neil diamond. sadly there's no baseball being played at fenway but we still have this appropriate take on "sweet caroline." >> fans washing hands, reaching
out. ♪ don't touch me i won't touch you ♪ ♪ sweet caroline >> bah bah bah -- the u.s. now has the most known indicateses of the coronavirus worldwide, surfacing china and italy. how deadly is coronavirus? well, that's complicated. earlier this month, the world health organization estimated the virus' rough mortality rate at 3.4%. but they note, there's a catch. we can't rely on simple math to tell us the mortality rate when we don't have an accurate number how many people have coronavirus to begin with. there are likely far more infections around the world that we've identified meaning that the true death rate could be lower hand what we've seen reported. some areas even new york city telling doctors not to test sick
patients unless they're hospitalized. this is just one factor that makes projecting the long-term consequences of the virus very difficult. some worst case scenarios say with out a stay-at-home order or quarantine, the virus can killing more in the u.s. they co-wrote an opinion piece for "the wall street journal" writing is the coronavirus as deadly as they say? joining me now is one of those doctors, a professor of medicine at stanford university. doctor, let's say this at the outset, nobody should misinterpret your opinion as one saying covid-19 is a nonissue. that's not where you're coming from, right? >> you're absolutely right. covid-19 is potentially a deadly disease and we should be very, very concerned and taking precautions. i think -- i don't want my piece to say that, well, we should not worry about this.
that is absolutely not the intention. >> okay. so with that as our starting point, here's my question, is the virus widespread but not relatively lethal or deadly but not relatively widespread? >> i mean those are the two poles. either it's a widespread virus that's deadly for some proportion of cases. or it's very, very lethal and it's relatively narrow. that's the two poles in the scientific community. the main purpose of the op-ed is to say we don't know how widespread it is. the reason is, we don't have a population level testing that's been done of how many people have been infected and recovered with the virus as yet. >> why might the nba of all things be instructive? >> so, if you want to try to understand selection bias testing, that's really what we're talking about there, you
need to look for population where is they've looked at everybody or a relatively large fraction of the population. ironically, the nba is one of the very few in the united states thus far that's tried to do testing on a relatively broad set of a well-defined population. the things that we highlight in that op-ed that you mentioned are places where we could find where they tried to do much more broad testing. and in many of those places, first, there were more people infected than people thought. including the people with very few symptoms. and then second, the death rate you that get from those places where there's more broad population testing looked lower than the death rates you get than if you just do the simple math which i think is very -- the simple math is very misleading. but we really need the pop wlags wlag population. >> i was going to say you remind of me dr. jeremy foust, my
guest. a few weekends that the "diamond princess" cruise ship suggests a fatality of closer that 5.85%. >> yeah, the problem is, all of these numbers are based on tests, if you will, there's a n num erator and the denominator. what we really need to do is the number of people who have recovered. in order do that, you need to do antibody tests. actually, this is something that i'm actively working on, develop a population survey using antibody tests that have just recently come out in the last week. first approved for u.s. use by the fda. i think we will know the answer soon enough, but until we know that answer, i feel uncomfortable telling people there's a 3% mortality rate when it could be much, much lower
than that. it panics people in a way that is likely not appropriate. >> dr. bhattacharya, i want to put up on the screen one op-ed you co-authored in "the wall street journal." it says this, a universal quarantine may not be worth the cost it poses on the economy, community and individual mental and physical health. we should undertake immediate steps to evaluate the empirical basis of the lockdowns. explain. >> two things. one, we don't know that the denominator, we need to run tests, population surveys to the antibodies to the virus. that's the thing i told you just now. the second thing, a global economic depression will kill many people, especially in poor countries. if you're on $2 a day is your income and you have a global economic depression. and you go down to a dollar a day, that has deadly
consequences. a universal -- a universal quarantine -- i mean, as you see, as we've seen, and likely to have catastrophic economic effects which will have deaths, and the key thing is there's deaths on both sides of that policy. deaths from covid if you don't do it. and deaths from an economic collapse if you do do it. it's a complicated question. how to balance those. but we need good understanding both sides of that equation, in addition to the population. >> i appreciate your time. i encourage people to get a broader picture of your analysis in that "wall street journal" op-ed. i'm putting it in my twitter feed so it will be easily accessible. thank you. >> thank you, it's been a pleasure to talk with you. what are your thoughts? tweet me @smerconish or go to my facebook page. i'll read some throughout the course of the program. this comes from twitter. this is not worthy of debate. people are dying. more are going to die.
the head line should be universal quarantine will be costly to our economy but we have to choice. please do better than this. i don't know how to do better than bringing you the educated perspective of a stanford phd physician who simply wants to rely on data. and bring everybody's attention to the fact that we really don't know the proper denominator and, therefore, we really don't know the fatality rate. you heard my first question, comment to him, which is to say, no one should misinterpret this conversation of being ignorant of the damage of covid-19. can't do better than that. not junk science. real science. i want to know what you think. go to my websit website @smerconish.com. is a universal quarantine worth the cost it imposes on the
economy, community and individual amental and physical health? up ahead, hospitals are prepari preparing for grim scenarios with rationed supplies. i'll speak to someone who helped design the system for rationing organs in the u.s. and a prediction i made ten days may be coming through. how the politics of coronavirus are playing out and how the president wants to make sure you're aware of it. can clean that... whole situation. you just toss it in before the clothes. it's like two regular tide pods and then some power and then even more power. with 50% more cleaning power, even your large load got clean. how many kids do you have? girl i lost track. there's a lot of kids. and then there's a husband, and then there's me. that's a lot of clothes. teaching kids and having kids of my own.
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doprevagen is the number oneild mempharmacist-recommendeding? on it with jardiance. memory support brand. you can find it in the vitamin aisle in stores everywhere. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. as the coronavirus pandemic continues to swamp the u.s. health care system, some hospitals could soon be making difficult decisions that health care workers in italy have been facing which patients should get
life-saving treatment and which do not. hospitals in the u.s. are required to have some guidelines for addressing ethical issues like this, the overall goal is to save the most lives so hospitals may consider the number of factors. guys singer hospital in new jersey and pennsylvania confirmed to cnn that such conversations are taking place within its hospitals but are still in development. quote, we do not plan to override patient or family wishes, but, rather, our goal is to have these conversations proactively with families early on during the treatment so there is uniform understanding of care that is safe and compassionate for patients, families and staff alike. the discussions were first reported by "the washington post." several other large hospital systems are also discussing issues around dnr orders according to the post. joining me now is art caplan, he helped design the system for rationing organs in the u.s.,
since 1985. dr. caplan is director of the nyu langone medical center. i should say that dr. deborah birx who we're all very familiar now throws shade on us even having this dialogue. let's watch. >> there is no situation in the united states right now that warrants that kind of discussion. you can be thinking about it in a hospital, certainly, many hospitals talk about this on a daily basis. but to say that to the american people, to make the implication that when they need a hospital bed, it's not going to be there, or when they need that ventilator, it's not going to be there. we don't have an evidence of that right now. and it's our job collectively to ensure the american people, it's our collective job to make sure that doesn't happen. >> dr. caplan, are these conversations taking place in hospitals across the country? >> absolutely. and they should.
and i disagree with dr. birx on this. it's not that we have to go out and say to people, you know, the time has come for rationing today. but you can look at hospitals in new york city and in northern new jersey, they're getting close to capacity untin a numbef them. people are worried in new orleans and detroit. and other major metropolitan area where is they think the virus is headed next. so, discussions are taking place. i have about 60 policies for institutions around the country. they're being debated. and they should. you have to be prepared. you have to get ready. >> are these the sort of protocols that are reduced to writing at hospitals across the country, and are they uniform? >> well, we don't know how uniform they are. part of the reason i've been trying to collect them is to compare them. so you're trying to figure out consistency, there are going to be differences.
there could be differences between a small rural hospital with two beds and a gigantic health system like nyu with many, many hospitals with many beds. but the core of your question, michael is, look, you have to have principles in place. the first one is that everybody gets an equal opportunity. we have to remind people that it doesn't matter if you're rich or poor. it doesn't matter if you're male or female, or what race or ethnicity. or disability you are. we have to consider you, even in a crunch on an equal footing. so, i think that's something i'm looking forward in every policy. and i want to say to people making those policies, that's where we start. >> it sounds to me like the sort of theoretical conversation you've been leading in classrooms for more than three decades is now in reality, at least from a planning perspective. >> well, here's the difference. we've been rationing organs in the united states, sadly, there aren't enough organ donors for
decades. people die every day because they don't get a heart or liver. we have a system. we have rules. i think they work pretty well. we're basically maximizing the chance that a person who needs a organ and gets it and will do well with it. however, it's a time when everyone in america could face rationing. it's one thing to be a transplant candidate to know that that world it's a tough system where we will or won't get an organ. i think everyone is worried, will there be a bed, will be there a ventilator, there will be health care personnel if things surge? >> what factors might be taken into can. it physiologist, is it age, quote/unquote professional usefulness? >> let's be sure we're letting everyone have a shot. start out with quality opportunity. done penalize anyone.
then let's make sure we get the resources if they get strained prudently and wisely, let's make sure we give ventilators where personnel is in supply. to make the decision does someone have four or five underlying reasons or heart attacks before they got here in that that could disqualify or lower the probability relative to somebody else. then you look at age. children are certainly a priority, on almost every policy i've seen, relative to somebody else, if they're physiologically capable of. and what about health care workers? you want them back on the job. you want them to care for others, presuming physiologist doesn't sort it out, you might look to something like that. on the other end, michael, you're starting to think when will i stop here. if i'm on a crunch. someone isn't doing well on a
vent eight or nine days, they're frail, they're dieing in a push you might move someone out sooner to make resources available to another. >> a final thought, i can only imagine how the twitter mob will react to this kind of conversation, probably by saying it's ghoulish or worse. my own view, it's planning for the worst case scenario, which most people thing. you could have a retort, but my own view is that hospital systems wore daerelict in their duty not having this dialogue? >> absolutely agree. it's irresponsible not to be planning. you don't want to be planning in the middle of a crisis. we want to get ahead of it. most institutions are having conversations getting ready. i hope dr. birx is right, we don't get there, but if we do,
we better be ready with our policies and explanations to patients and family. >>lan from nyu langone, thank you for being here. let's see what we're seeing via twitter pages. begs the question, whose life is more important, those who will die from covid-19 and people who die from an economic depression. soccer dad, i'm sure dr. caplan has for three decades in his classroom setting teaching ethics to medical students. probably evaluating questions between dueling beds between a 30-year-old who is a drug addict. and an 80-year-old who has lived a very happy and healthy and nonaddictive life. the theoretical co-p al kal cou potentially move into that reality. hasn't gotten there. hospitals need to be planning
for such circumstances. i want to remind you, answer today's survey question @smerconish.com. is the universal quarantine worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community and individual mental and physical health? up ahead, the president raised a huge ruckus by announces that the cure might be worse than the virus itself. but there will be long-term fallout that isn't just economic. meet the doctor advocating what he calls a surgeryic gallon strike. and the president has turned his briefings into a trump tv show. his popularity ratings are going up. trying to compete between a national quarantine, joe biden is doing town halls and talk shows. i'll ask david axelrod, is that enough?
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when the coronavirus shutdown began to crater the economy, the president tweeted in all caps we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself. critics saw this as him only caring about the stock market and re-election. but is there in fact a third path a way to keep people safe and keep the economy going. my next guest a physician suggests that the fight against the virus is a war as many have said, there's a way to do a surgical strike to protect the most vulnerable patients. dr. david katz joins me now. he's the founding director of yale university's cdc-funded yale griffin research center. he's also president of the true health initiative. an expert in preventive medicine. he also got tested this week for the virus. am i right, dr. katz, that you're still awaiting your results? how are you doing? >> thank you, michael.
before we get to that, we're past the point of answers here and you're having the necessary hard conversations, i've been listening to your programming while waiting to talk to you. good job. and i thank you for that. yeah, i'm waiting test results but taking far too long. i'm assuming i have it because i have all of the symptoms, it's the case, we know what's going on in the population. my way is disturbing me not so much about me, because i know what to do in the meantime, but it's disturbing what it means for our ability to respond what's going on nationally. >> we wish you good things with regard to your health. i should also tell the audience, this is a sophisticated audience. you are the guy, you're the physician that tom friedman has been relying ton a great extent. i want to put on the screen something that you wrote, quote, i think the authorities could
align and announce now a commitment to both immediate interdiction efforts that are ongoing. and that data would be on some date a week oar two or three away, it would give people a lot of hope and the time lines hearing about them, that prospects for restoring any semblance of life as we knew it before the pandemic dig figured it all. please explain. >> to be clear, michael, you mentioned the president's tweet sort of a 180 from lock everybody down to indiscriminate largess is not what i was talking about. all of the data from around the world suggests that the risk of severe coronavirus infection, hospitalization, needing a ventilator and death is not uniform. there are massive differentials. we don't fully understand them yet in the united states. one of the things we have to do
is understand them as quickly as possible. by the way, even as we speak this morning, i'm trying to collaborate with colleagues to connect money with 3w5boots on ground with test kits to see if we can do representative random sampling of populations in connecticut, in new york, in other parts of the country, who has it and doesn't know. who has it and has mild symptoms. who is likely to need a hospital bed, who is likely to need a ventilator and at a risk of dying. if there are all of these differentials if all of the risks are concentrated in elderly people. then all of the contradictions should be there as well. that group needs more than they're getting. they need hotlines, services, people testing negative to deliver groceries to their homes. we need everything we can do to keep them away from this bug. but maybe a major part of the population needs a whole lot less because they're less likely to get the infection and become
immune. i'm hoping that's the case with me. i want to get over this thing, i want to donate blood so somebody can use the antibodies. and i won't have to wear a n95 mask, i won't get this. at least that's what we hope. and when we get over there are, mr there are anecdotal responses that people are getting it twice. these are the questions we're answering, here's how we intend to use the answers. stay put, social distance in place. rest assured we're working on this in the next space. what comfort would be that's what's going on. >> bill gates participated in a
town hall this week. here's a short snippet of something he said to anderson cooper. roll it. >> so, we're entering through a tough period that if we do it right, we'll only have to do it once for six to ten weeks. but we have to do it, it has to be the whole country. >> what's your reaction to what you just heard? >> so, here's the interesting thing, michael, when i wrote my thing about a more surgery gak c surgical strike i wrote it ten days before it got to the "the new york times." it had to be fact-checked and 9 whole thing again and again. when i was proposing it, i was still looking at data from abroad thinking that we could look at risks here and shelter the most vulnerable. and that ship already sailed. i agree, all of the action right now is for everybody to stay away from everybody. we don't even know where the virus is. let me explain what will i was thinking we sent mostly healthy
college adults home from college camps because they were laid off and the university is closed now. we sent them home to their parents. these 20 somethings were sent home to 40 or 50 something parents many of whom have diabetes or conditions, and in many ways they're multigenerationals. did we test these kids? of course not. did we even take their temperature? no. that was an opportunity to say, wait a minute, deep breath. there may be risks here. with may be sending people who can afford to get it, most likely get over it, home to people who can't afford to get it and who are going to overwhelm our hospital systems. that's what i was talking about. again, that ship has sailed. everything moves really fast. right now, i totally agree with bill gates. i totally agree with everyone who is saying our only immediate
option is social distancing. interdiction wherever we can. minimize the spread. i don't want to think about what dr. caplan was talking about. let us do the data analysis right now. i'm working on it many others as well. the public deserves to hear about it to answer the risk and can we in fact do a better job allocating those who protect those who can really least afford to get this thing, and can we invite a portion of the population back to the world earlier because they're least likely to get severe infection. and for them, this is much more like seasonal flu. and can we start getting intel about immunity. who has antibodies. because people with antibodies are a valuable asset. >> dr. katz, godspeed, thank you for your expertise. we wish you good health.
>> thank you, michael. social media, i think, katheri katherine, from facebook? troubles me, michael, seem to be more concerned with your wallet than the health of your brothers and sisters. how much is a human life worth? it occurs to me that you don't want to have a conversation that's based on data. you couldn't be more incorrect in your assessment. i have brought to you so far today, let's just see, dr. katz from yale, dr. caplan from nyu, the doctor from stanford. these are the best minds with the most expertise. i'm not a physician, and i don't play one on tv. i'm just giving you well-informed bright perspectives that you apparently don't want to hear. i want to remind to you answer the survey questi question @smerconish.com. is a universal quarantine worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community and individual mental and physical
health? still to come, the coronavirus pandemic has forced democratic front-runner joe biden to throw out the normal playbook. i'll ask david axelrod how biden can compete with the president's megaphone. and ten days ago, remember i tweeted president trump would want his signature on all of the checks center to the americans if the coronavirus pandemic relief bill passed. well, it passed and guess who wanted to add his john hancock to the checks. no. n... ni ni, no no! only discover has no annual fee on any card. until i found out what itst it actually was.ed me.no! dust mite droppings! eeeeeww! dead skin cells! gross! so now, i grab my swiffer sweeper and heavy-duty dusters. duster extends to three feet to get all that gross stuff gotcha!
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signature on all of the checks sent to americans if the coronavirus bill passed. then i doubled down on my prediction a couple days when i opened my mailbox and i got, yeah, that postcard which had cdc guidelines on one side. and on the other side, it was described as president trump's coronavirus guidelines for america. now, that the relief package has passed, "the wall street journal" is reporting this, quote, mr. trump has told people he wants his signature to appear on the direct payment checks that will go out to many americans in the coming weeks. according to an administration official. the white house didn't comment. here to discuss on the phone is david axelrod former senior adviser to president obama. david, it occurs to me that if a check shows up in the mailbox of a family of four, it could be $3400. $1200 for the husband, $1200 for the wife, $500 in my hypothesis, for each of two kids.
to have the president's signatures on the bottom of a $3400 check could impactful, politically speaking? >> yes, i suspect it occurred to him as well, michael. and you were pleasurescient bu d well-founded ten days ago, donald trump is a promoter. he wants americans to believe that he did this for them. that he is giving them this money. so it's -- it's it was axiomatic that he was going to sign the checks. i don't know what the restrictions are. i'm sure they're exploring the propriety of that. but i would be shocked if he doesn't take advantage of this opportunity. >> doesn't it also heighten what you and i were intending to discuss before "the wall street
journal" published what they published. and that is the difficult faced by former vice president joe biden, there's just no blueprint for him trying to compete with a pandemic and a president taking all of the oxygen out of the room. >> yeah, there is not. just ten days ago seems like a millenia ago. i said one of the great difficulties is going to be the president now had a platform, and he was going to use that platform to the fullest. and it was going to be very hard for biden to break through. that has been the case. he did a town hall last night i thought he used it to good effect on cnn because the contrast with the president was quite vivid. biden was empathetic, he drew on his experience in crisis management. he talked a lot about relying on the science and was a very reassuring figure. but he doesn't get many opportunities to do that. they're going to have to work
hard to break through. yes, this was an advantage. but it's also true that the president is the leader of this country in the midst of a great crisis. and how that crisis turns out and how he behaves overall is also going to impact on him. and, you know, we've seen, the best and the worst of trudmp at those pressers. including the best thing he knows how to use that platform more than anybody. the worst is that it's full of self-puffery and half truths and misleading information. and claims that this thing is going to go better than it may. and so, how this works out is very much -- will very much have impact on what happens to both trump and biden. and neither of them have much control over that. >> hey, david, a quick final comment. a radio listener of mine said that biden may -- may as well stay in the rec room in
wilmington. because in the end, this election will rise and fall based on how president trump responds to the virus. and, frankly, it's therefore out of biden's control. >> yeah. >> and what you said, it sounds like you buy into a bit of that. >> i do. i mean, i think that biden needs to be more visible than he was at the beginning of last week and through last week, he's been much better lately. but it's just there's a limit to what he can do. and that, you know, you just have to accept that. this is going to be very much about how trump handles the crisis. and how the crisis evolves here. and, you know, biden is a little bit at the mercy of events. and, you know, we shall see where that leads. but he's in uncharted waters here, and they're choppy waters. >> david, stay safe. and thanks for your time. >> same to you, michael.
thank you. let's check in on your tweets and facebook comments from facebook, i think. signing the check is another disgraceful display of caring more about himself and his campaign than he does about american health and lives. laurie, you may feel that way, if you were a political strategist on his team. which clearly you are not. would you be saying to him, mr. president, it's political genius. people are going to open up their mailbox and there will be a check and your signature. in fact, i bet some of that base of his might think twice about even cashing it. still to come, your best and worst facebook and tweets and comments. go to smerconish.com, is a universal quarantine worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community and individual and mental and physical health? the sleep number 360 smart bed is on sale now.
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time to see how you responded to the survey question this week at smerconish.com. question was, is a universal quarantine worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community and individual mental and physical health. survey says -- 84% yes, it's worth it. with nearly 16,000 casting their ballots. i'll leave the question up for the duration of the weekend.
what do we have from social media? what a 1984 question to ask. my god this is a disturbing question that only a sick twisted society would ask. man, you guys are rough. no, it's a question put forth by two stanford physicians and professors who said we don't know the denominator and we need more impeer cal study as we approach which policy is in the best interest of the united states and around the globe. read what they wrote at "the wall street journal". i'll put it in my twitter feed. stay safe. see you next week. ♪ trelegy ♪ the power of 1,2,3 ♪ trelegy ♪ 1,2,3 ♪ trelegy man: with trelegy and the power of 1, 2, 3, i'm breathing better. trelegy works three ways to open airways, keep them open and reduce inflammation, for 24 hours of better breathing. trelegy won't replace a rescue inhaler
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want to wish you a good morning, thank you for being with us it's saturday march 28th i'm krisi paul. >> i'm victor blackwell. >> the fda authorized a new test that can give results in 15 minutes. the company that makes them hopes to deliver them next week. but shortages of equipment could slow down the testing. >> cases in the u.s. now at more than 102,000 those people tested positive for the virus on friday alone, consider this one day, 400 americans were killed by covid-19. that number just a fraction