tv CNN Special Report CNN July 3, 2020 7:00pm-8:30pm PDT
you could have saved lives. obviously no one is going to deny that. but what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated. >> so in late february, the president was still holding crowded rallies. his administration had not yet recommended social distancing, and they had not solved the problem with the testing kits. then on february 27th, a breakthrough in the form of a phone call arranged by dr. anthony fauci. >> he wants the other health experts on the line. and the message when they get on the line is we're not getting off this phone call until we know how to fix the testing issue. you have the head of fda on this call and we have redfield on this call. it's really striking that this isn't happening until the end of february. one of the solutions that coming out of it is the fda needs to loosen its regulations. >> that was a big deal. those regulations made it difficult for commercial labs to come into the process and scale up testing. the regulations were officially lifted on the last day of february. the same day america reached a
grim milestone. >> let me express our sadness for the loss of the patient in state of washington. >> that was the first known covid-19 death in the united states. coming up -- >> anybody that wants a test can get a test. >> and that was a surprise to people at the cdc. tart... oh, do you want to go first? no, no i don't...you go. i was just going to say on slide 7, talking about bundling and saving...umm... jamie, you're cutting out. sorry i'm late! hey, whoever's doing that, can you go on mute? oh, my bad! i was just saying there's a typo on slide 7. bundle home & auto for big discosnouts. i think that's supposed to say discounts. you sure about that? hey, can you guys see me? little things can become your big moment. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream.
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two months after the trump administration first learned of the contagion taking over the globe, there were 72 known cases in the u.s. and 1 known death. but that was about to change. >> march was an explosive month for this virus in the united states. >> new evidence confirmed that the virus after entering washington state and california was now spreading on the east coast with the first reported
infection in new york. and two days later, a second. >> we're seeing what we expected, what we anticipated, which is a continuing spread. >> in a few short weeks, new york state's second case of covid multiplied into hundreds forming the nation's newest cluster. >> we will continue to do exactly what we're doing. >> but back in washington, d.c., the president had yet to publicly admit the enormity of the unfolding crisis. >> a lot of very exciting things are happening and they're happening very rapidly. >> the month before in february, a team inside trump's own administration had developed an aggressive plan to try to slow the spread of the virus through social distancing, a plan that would effectively shut down a big chunk of the nation's economy. but president trump was still resisting. >> so this is a critical period of time where the coronavirus
continues to spread and no real federal action is taken. >> states begin competing for critical medical supplies and equipment. come mid-march, supplies would become so scarce the cdc would issue guidelines to health care workers to reuse masks or even use bandannas, if necessary. >> that was unthinkable before that point. no one in a million years would ever have thought that in the united states of america that we would tell doctors and nurses, reuse your mask. >> part of the problem in terms of the ppe is there's been a total lack of clarity about process here. mike pence took over the task force. jared kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, has been running what some have described as a shadow task force. that has left a lot of confusion as to who exactly is responsible for helping procure ppe. >> confusion that would continue to plague the administration behind closed doors. and in front of the cameras. >> we're considering -- we're also considering the fact that
you got practically 36,000 deaths due to what's called the flu. >> so the president visits the cdc and famously says, anybody who wants a -- >> wants a test can get a test. >> and that was a surprise to people at the cdc who were working on this issue. they didn't know the president was going to say that. testing was certainly not at a point where anybody who wants a test can get a test. >> and the tests are perfect. like, the letter is perfect. the transcription is perfect. >> the tests were flawed. the tests didn't work. and as a result, we lost valuable time. more people became infected. there were people walking around without any symptoms. no test. and they were continuing to spread the virus. >> it will go away. just stay calm. >> but the day after president trump said the virus would, quote, go away, the country was wrestling with a new reality. hollywood legend tom hanks and his wife tested positive for covid. the nba announced it was suspending its season.
>> all of a sudden, everybody was saying, what's going on here? what's the deal with this virus? >> and the world health organization officially named covid-19 a pandemic. >> the president was still contradicting what was actually happening. >> some of the experts i talked to said that was because the stock market was really driving the president's decision-making and he didn't want to do the kinds of things you needed to do to mitigate the spread of this virus because it would further hurt the economy. >> pushed by democrats to more than triple his original request for funding -- >> i asked for $2.5 billion and i got $8.3 billion. and i'll take it. >> trump signed $8.3 billion in emergency spending for the virus yet even then he continued to insist, falsely, no one saw this virus coming. >> very well, but it's an unforeseen problem. what a problem. came out of nowhere. >> every epidemiologist has been
predicting, cajoling, warning, government officials for the last 20 years that a pandemic of this size and magnitude was inevitable, but when our leader denies or refuses to admit the problem, it's confusing at best and it is disastrous at worst. >> chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine. >> but perhaps the most confounding comments by the president in march surrounded his touting of an untested treatment for the virus. >> hydroxychloroquine. a lot of good things are happening with it. >> which the fda would later warn could cause serious heart issues. >> we're going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately. that would be a big game changer. >> the "washington post" reported president trump was so enamored with the drug he asked an acquaintance from mar-a-lago to call the california governor, gavin newsom, on his cell phone,
to try to broker a deal for the state to buy millions of tablets of hydroxychloroquine from india. a source tells cnn that after newsom got the call, he told staffers he thought he might have been punked by a shock jock. such a deal never happened. >> is there any evidence to suggest as with malaria it might be used as a prophylaxis against covid-19? >> the answer is no. >> but the president wasn't the only one that month contradicting the experts. some of his political allies joined in, too, such as congressman matt gaetz from florida who seemed to mock those taking the virus seriously when he wore a gas mask before a vote on the house floor. >> it's a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant. >> also devin nunes, one of his closest allies going on fox news and telling people they should still feel comfortable going out to eat at restaurants when health advisers were saying the exact opposite. >> on the other side of the
political aisle, andrew cuomo and new york city mayor bill de blasio did not initially grasp the full gravity of the crisis, either. >> excuse our arrogance as new yorkers. we don't even think it's going to be as bad as it was in other countries. >> why is everyone panicking? >> then there was the pro-trump media that turned the pandemic into a -- conspiracy. >> they're looking for every way to bash trump. >> accusing them of fear mongering, democrats and the media are blowing this up -- because they want to create more chaos for the president. >> i'm far more concerned of stepping on a used heroin needle than i am getting the coronavirus. >> this disinformation took such a hold on a segment of the public, new polling data began to worry leaders in the president's party. >> what the polling showed was
republicans were taking this virus far less seriously than democrats were and what was circulated to republicans is their tone and message had to change on coronavirus because denial was not going to be a tool for survival. >> but strict social distancing measures were, and as infections spread, some state leaders would begin to enforce them without the help of the federal government. >> to reduce the social interactions that are not necessary in our lives. >> in a moment, dr. acton will be signing an order banning the gathering together of people over 100 people. >> on march 13th, 2 days after the president announced travel restrictions on europe, the president made his strongest stance against the virus yet. >> today i am officially declaring a national emergency. to very big words. the europe travel ban went into
effect. >> we will be suspending off travel from europe to the united states for 30 days. >> the president misstated his own plan to the nation. the restrictions didn't apply to cargo or u.s. citizens traveling h home. >> when you compare what we've done to other areas of the world, it's pretty incredible. it was already too late. the virus has been spreading wildly throughout europe for months. and the travel ban immediately triggered an up tick of travel into the united states. >> considering what this is.
>> chaos erupted in airports filled with american passengers desperately fleeing for home. many of the them bringing the virus with them. this critical misstep among others might have been avoided had the trump administration kept the white house pandemic office. which it reorganized in 2018. fully in tact. those seasoned pandemic experts according to former senior director could have made a difference. >> i didn't do it. >> a pandemic office would have been able to understand exactly what needed to happen more quickly. >> we'd much rather be ahead of the curve than behind it. >> march 16. 70 days after the trump administration learned of the virus the president implemented what had become the nations best tool to slow the spread. >> my administration is recommending all americans
including the young and healthy enga engage in schooling from home when possible. >> what is so stunning is realize this was on march 16. it was the end of february that his health advisers talked about putting these measures in place. >> this is war zone. a medical war zone. >> there's patients building up. >> we're running out of medication and equipment. >> i started receiving texts from doctors and nurses who i have known for decades. brave people. saying i'm scared. one of them said what i'm seeing is armageddon. >> on march 26th the u.s. reached a somber milestone, becoming the new global leader in confirmed infections. the following day president trump approved a historic $2 trillion stimulus bill and he
finally pledged to authorize the defense production act which would allow him to force the manufacturing of ventilators. >> for weeks, we've already had doctors, we've already had nurses, publicly and on television pleading, saying, we don't -- we don't have what we need to protect ourselves from the virus. >> i've been asked by the tennessee department of health to velcro a diaper around my face because i don't have an n-95 mask to be able to wear to see patients. >> it was really perplexing and it still is perplexing why the administration took until march 27th to invoke the defense production act. >> the defense production act it is a failure of the trump administration and is one of the most colossal mistakes i have ever witnessed and unfortunately, it will cause thousands and thousands of lives to be lost. next -- >> so what happened? >> we're not an ordering clerk. we're a backup.
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america now the deadliest nation in confirmed coronavirus cases. >> a record-shattering 6.6 million americans filed for unemployment last week. >> "usns comfort," hundreds of hospital beds on that ship, they're going to provide relief to new york hospitals overwhelmed with coronavirus. >> the city's system for burials is completely overwhelmed. the remains were loaded into trailers and brought to hard island for a temporary burial. >> we're going into a war without protection. >> bring us the ppe, we need it.
>> the doctor took the home, he said, i'm sorry, but there's no more pulse. >> on the last day of march, president trump was more serious than he had ever seemed to be discussing the pandemic as he addressed the nation. >> i want every american to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. we're going do go through a very tough few weeks. >> of all the briefings he'd done, that was the best one. he was telling the truth to the public. he was doing what elected officials are supposed to do which is prepare their citizens and the general public for what's to come. >> our country is in the midst of a great national trial unlike any we've faced before. shocking numbers. see 100,000, 120,000, 200,000 people, over potentially a very short period of time. >> one of the ways in which he realized it was toward the end of march, watching elmhurst hospital, i think brought home
the reality of this for him in a way that few other things it id. >> five. five ventilators. oh, my god. >> i grew up right next to it. to see the scenes of trailers out there, they're freezers. nobody could even believe it. >> along with the images of devastation, the president heard cries for help. >> really just feels like it's too little/too late. like, we knew, we knew it was coming. >> it's like military people going into battle. i would say you people are just incredible. >> yet, just two days before the president was hurling insults at the caregivers. >> where are the masks going? are they going out the back door? how do you go from 10,000 to 300,000? >> it comes in this period of time when the president seems to want to lash out to a new enemy every day. one day, he's blaming the, quote, invisible enemy. the coronavirus. another day, he's blaming the chinese.
and then he finds this bizarre line of attack against health care workers. then becomes this attack on individual governors. >> it was the governors who president trump had been attacking with a vengeance. >> you need that ventilator. >> the president officially pushed back against their requests for more medical gear saying they were asking for too much and dismissed democratic governors, in particular, such as new york governor andrew cuomo who had been steadfast in his appeal to the federal government to provide more ventilators and supplies to the hardest-hit state. >> here. >> on april 2nd, the situation grew urgent as new york surged to 84,000 cases. of the then-216,000 cases nationwide. >> at the current burn rate, we have about six days of ventilators in our stockpile. >> startling sign of the economic pain. >> this was also the day we
learned 6.6 million workers filed for unemployment in the u.s. for the first time. a historic high. and a 3,000% increase since early march. the president lashed out at governors on twitter calling them, quote, the complainers. >> the states should have been building their stockpile. we have almost 10,000 in our stockpile. we've been building it. we've been supplying it. but the states should be building. we're a backup. we're not an ordering clerk. we're a backup. >> the president had a phone call with governors and he said it was up to them to go look for their own supplies. so what happened? one state began bidding against another and in some cases, there were reports of states bringing in supplies, arranging to buy them, only to have the federal government seize them for their own stockpile. so it became an unholy mess. >> that's what happened to massachusetts republican governor charlie baker. his step's shipment of respiratory masks never made it.
>> we had our 3 million masks we had ordered confiscated in the port of new york. >> look at the bizarre situation we wind up in. it's like being on ebay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator. >> a bizarre situation complicated by the president's son-in-law, also an adviser to the president. >> the federal stockpile was supposed to be our stockpile, not supposed to be states' stockpiles they then use. >> when jared kushner made his first and only appearance in the briefing room, it did his father-in-law some damage when he described the stockpile as "our stockpile" because the federal government is supposed to be there to help the rest of the country. not to be in a fight with states. >> on april 2nd, the president expanded the defense production act to force six medical device companies to produce protective masks and ventilators. the administration was finally taking steps to help states. yet, it continued to be criticized for not pulley unleashing the might of the act.
>> the president has continued to see criticism he's not used the dpa, while treating it as a bat in his toolbox to hit people with. the latest issue with that is swabs and the facts he's not trying to force companies to ramp up production. >> there were unquestionably examples of the federal government stepping up. the u.s. army corps of engineers built field hospitals including this at the javitz center in new york city. the u.s. navy deployed ships to new york and california. on april 3nd, the cdc put out a recommendation urging the public to wear cloth face masks. president trump, however, said he would rather not. >> i don't know. somehow, i don't see it for myself. >> it was hardly the first time he ignored public health advice. >> you're shaking a lot of hands today. taking a lot of pictures. are you protecting yourself? >> not at all. >> how are you staying away from germs? >> by april 10th, there were half a million confirmed
covid-19 cases in the u.s. and the death toll catapulted to nearly 19,000, yet widespread testing remained elusive. >> we're leading the world now in testing, by far, and we're going to keep it that way. >> the country had ramped up testing, but according to health experts, the u.s. was still testing far fewer people per capita than countries such as south korea or italy. but by this time, governors with the help of the trump administration and sometimes on their own had received the much-needed ventilators and many had received enough medical supplies. >> compared to how we have been operating on this new dire circumstances, we are relatively comfortable with ventilators and ppe if the hospitalization rate stays down. >> on april 11th "the new york times" ran an extensive
investigation detailing trump's mistakes during the crisis. two days later -- >> the president of the united states calls the shots. >> -- trump played a video during a press briefing that seemed to be blaming the press for downplaying the crisis. >> coronavirus is not going to cause a major illness in the united states. >> the same press he'd been attacking for overhyping the crisis in february. >> something that was noticeably missing from that video that the white house put out was the president's own comments where he also downplayed and dismissed the outbreak in the month of february and the beginning of march. >> mr. president -- >> white house reporters did not back down. >> you bought yourself some time. you didn't prepare hospitals. you didn't use it to ramp up testing. right now -- >> you're so disgraceful. we have done a great job. >> what we've seen in these daily briefings, that one in particular, is a president trying to rewrite history. trying to say he was the one who was warning all along about the
coronavirus. >> there was also this. >> when somebody's the president of the united states, the authority is total and that's the way it's got to be. >> total? your authority's total? >> it's total. >> has any governor agreed you have the authority to decide when their state -- >> i haven't asked anybody because you know why, because i don't have to. >> of course, that is not the case. no one would agree with that, including the president's conservative allies. >> the next day, april 14th, as coronavirus cases in the u.s. climbed to nearly 600,000, president trump made another controversial decision. >> today i'm instructing my administration to halt funding of the world health organization. so much death has been caused by their mistakes. >> the fight with the w.h.o. is in part just another element of looking to blame someone besides himself. >> there are some medical experts who believe the world health organization could have
and should have acted sooner. >> i worked for w.h.o. for ten years. i think w.h.o. was late in calling this a pandemic. i think the w.h.o. having lost a lot of its general financial support over the years and got a lot of support financially from china, i do think that w.h.o. was generous in its acceptance of the chinese reports about when the epidemic began. >> people do have very real concerns with the way the w.h.o. is dealing with china early on in this outbreak, but i haven't talked to any public health expert who thinks that the right way to remedy that is to try to strip w.h.o. of funding. >> there was plenty of finger pointing. in late april governor andrew cuomo admitted he wished he had raised flags earlier. >> i would feel better sitting here today saying i blew the bugle about wuhan province in january. i can't say that. >> in early may we learned that not even the white house,
itself, was immune from the virus. three top health officials, all members of the administration's coronavirus task force, entered either full or partial quarantine. after one of trump's valets and the vice president's press secretary tested positive for covid-19. the following week, on may 11th, the white house directed west wing staffers to begin wearing face masks at work which reminded everyone of that recent day when vice president mike pence had been chastised for not following hospital policy at the mayo clinic in minnesota. pence, who leads the white house task force on the virus, wore no mask during his tour. even though all the officials around him did. the vice president later said he regretted that. and two days later he had one on while visiting a ventilator factory in indiana. but the president had no regrets in may when he was maskless
touring a plant in arizona that manufactures medical masks. >> they said you didn't need it, so i didn't need it, and by the way, if you noticed, nobody else had it on that was in the group. and they were the people -- >> you saw the workers wearing them. >> the workers had them on, yeah. >> president, this is where -- >> by the middle of may, the president still didn't have one on as he toured a ppe plant in pennsylvania. perhaps, sending a message to the public that he did not think masks were necessary. on may 12th during, at times, a combative senate hearing, the nation's most prominent health experts testified that the pandemic was far from contained. dr. anthony fauci, speaking remotely, warned that states and stays faced serious consequences if they opened up too quickly. >> there is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you might not be able to control, which in effect would set you back not only leading to some suffering and death that
could be avoided but could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery. you can almost turn the clock back rather than going forward. >> i was surprised by his answer, actually. >> president trump who had been rallying for a swift re-opening and had just considered phasing out the coronavirus pacific force before reversing course, criticized dr. fauci the next day. >> look, he wants to play all sides of the equation. i think we're going to have a tremendous fourth quarter. i think we're going to have a transitional third quarter. and i think we're going to have a phenomenal next year. >> contradictions, conflicting messages. >> usa! coming up -- where do we go now? >> we can't keep our country closed for the next five years. >> open our state! >> the people aren't going to accept it. they won't accept it. and they shouldn't accept it.
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april 2020. >> the death toll as of this morning has doubled in just the last three days. >> america was hurting. >> new unemployment filings. >> record unemployment. >> 6 million people last week filed for unemployment. >> ballooning debt. an economic recession. >> current reality is beyond painful.
>> not a good equation for a president running for re-election. >> he's frustrated by what we've seen happen in the stock market. the numbers he knows of job losses and people who have filed for unemployment are through the roof and they are going to potentially be incredibly damaging to him in november and that's his fear. >> so the president wanted to push governors to restart the economy. at least in part to resuscitate his re-election campaign. and the only way to do both, re-open the country as soon as possible. but that seemed unrealistic when models were predicting 100,000 or 200,000 deaths. according to the "washington post," an impatient president trump sought different data which some white house economic advisers delivered. >> the "washington post" is reporting that the white house led by economic adviser kevin hassett built a different
coronavirus model which aides interpreted to show deaths would have already peaked and there would be far fewer fatalities than initially foreseen. the "washington post" is reporting this presentation affirmed skepticism within the west wing about what people like dr. fauci and dr. redfield and dr. birx were saying, health experts were saying, about the severity. of the crisis. is that true? >> as kevin hassett, himself, said in the story, it was absolutely not true. what he was doing was taking the model from the university of washington and basically smoothing it out to show what is actually happening. there's a difference between a forecast trend and what has actually happened. we didn't change anything based on that. >> we want to have our country opened. won't to return to normal life. our country is going to be open. >> on april 16th the administration announced a plan. >> our team of experts now agrees that we can begin the
next front in our war. >> with no vaccine yet on the horizon, the country had to increase testing and contact tracing capability. decreasing cases over 14 days. >> test and then isolate the person who is infected, trace all the contacts, quarantine them, but we didn't do the first part of this well enough and that's affected everything else downstream. >> i think one of the striking things is there doesn't seem to be kind of an effort to get if front of that. it's always like the u.s. has been a couple of steps behind. >> but the country has struggled with testing since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic. testing was initially limited to small groups. health care workers. people who had known contact with a sick patient. or, this is crucial, people with symptoms. but now in order to re-open the country and prevent further outbreaks, the country needs lots of tests.
because, as scientists announced in mid-april, people might be most contagious two to three days before they develop symptoms. when they're asymptomatic. >> what's really critical is this constant surveillance for asymptomatic individuals. >> constant surveillance and widespread testing. so those with the virus can be quickly identified and immediately isolated from the rest of us to stop the spread. and according to one study by harvard's center for ethics, the united states needs at least 500,000 tests to be conducted every day in order to safely re-open. maybe even more than that. >> we probably in this country need -- to be testing one to two million people a day. >> we have to have 500 million tests to get out of this.
sufficient quantity. a good test. with high quality. easily available to anyone who wants one. >> we're testing more than anybody -- >> and listening to president trump speak about testing in mid-april, it sounded as though the u.s. had both quantity and quality. >> we have a great testing system. we have the best right now, the best testing system in the world. >> but that claim does not square with the facts and what the experts were saying. >> dr. anthony fauci is raising questions about the nation's readiness. telling the associated press more coronavirus testing is needed, saying, "we have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on and we're not there yet." >> excuse me. excuse me. i know your question. the governors are supposed to do testing. >> get back -- >> quiet. quiet. >> the president also continued to clash with the governors who the president felt should be in charge of testing but the governors argued as they did with ventilators and ppe that they don't have the power of the
defense production act. >> we're going to need testing, more testing, faster testing, than we now have. >> only the president has that power to force companies to get testing up to speed. only he has the power to force companies to make tests. testing reagents and swabs. to hire lab workers. and to manufacture lab equipment. >> more help is needed from the federal government on testing. >> this is probably the number-one problem in america and has been from the beginning of this crisis. >> this tension between state government and federal government, that has always existed since the founding of our country, but this is now life and death, and this question of who should i rely on to keep me alive. >> we actually spoke with several of the president's political advisers who say that they believe the reason the president is pushing the responsibility for testing off on states is that then the
president won't be the one to deal with the fallout if there is any. >> thank you. >> on testing, how -- >> mr. president -- >> this was a back and forth between the president and the governors that created gridlock and confusion. >> it's hard to argue that there hasn't been lost time in this fight over who should be responsible and who's to blame. >> it's frustrating. in some ways it's disheartening because we can do this. >> tens of thousands of protesters are promising to show up to the capitol here to protest the stay-at-home order. >> what happened on april 17th certainly didn't help. >> those protests encouraged by the president, himself. >> when president trump took to twitter. >> tweeting, all in caps, "liberate minnesota, liberate michigan, liberate virginia." >> these are great people. they've got cabin fever. they want to get back. they want their life back. >> he sees some benefit in bolstering this anti-government
message. he is encouraging people to go against what their own governors have said. >> even encouraging protesters to go against the white house's own guidelines. >> to encourage people to go protest the plan that you just made recommendations on, it just doesn't make any sense. we're sending completely conflicting messages out. we're working hard request governors now on testing. >> the president and governor seem to unite around testing a few days later. >> the defense production act to increase. >> the president planned to use the dpa to force production of swabs for testing. federal testing labs offered for some states to use. and the latest economic relief bill allocated $25 billion for testing. by the end of april, diagnostic testing was progressing. nowhere where it needed to be.
>> we are working with more than 400 test developers, 220 labs around the country. >> we're doing more testing than probably any of the governors want. >> four days later the white house announced a blueprint. putting the responsibility back in the hands of the states. >> we have enough testing to begin reopening and the are opening process. we want to get the country open. >> plan that had the administration taking a victory lap. >> we have achieved all the different milestones needed. the federal government rose to the challenge. this is great success story. >> the federal government has done a spectacular job. >> but the plan had medical experts reacting quite differently. >> the white house plan calls for around 7 million a month. we're talking about a million a day. you can see the delta. four times off in terms of testing we need to be doing. >> it's not perfect. we're not there yet. we'll get there soon.
i hope. >> and they'll need to. because the only true end to the pandemic the holy grail. a vaccine. is still on the horizon. >> there's no question that the speed at which the vaccine trials have been going is unprecedented. >> vaccines can take decades to make. hiv aids 40 years and still don't have a vaccine. that's an idea of how challenging it can be. >> all of this is race against time. to reopen. to get back to some normal. and most importantly to save lives. it will be a marathon. not a sprint. and so far, with every step there have been serious communication failures that took and continue to take the country off track. such as. >> the disinfectant situation.
>> the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. one minute. and there a way we can do something like that by >> to think that bleach could cure someone of coronavirus is ludicro ludicrous. >> the month of may continued down the same path. >> a lot of good things have come out about the hydroxy. >> including an announcement from the president he was taking hydroxchloroquine to ward off the virus, despite mounting evidence it doesn't work against covid-19 and could be harmful. >> hydroxchloroquine. hydroxchloroquine. right now, yeah. couple of weeks ago started taking it. >> it is terribly irresponsible and sets a bad example and it may be dangerous.
>> dangerous and distracting. >> with a majority of americans, the president spent may looking to divert attention to a range of other topics. >> who does? sleepy joe biden. >> attacking joe biden. focusing on michael flynn. >> he was targeted by the obama administration and targeted in order to try to take down a president. >> there seemed to be a concerted effort from the white house in the month of may to focus on other things than the virus. >> as the coronavirus death toll neared and past 100,000 americans on may 27th, the president was silent about the deaths. >> the president did a remarkable number of other things and went to cape canaveral florida twice to watch a rocket launch of space x.
first day it was bad weather. he flew down again on saturday. he spent several days stoking a theory that a morning tv host had committed murder. >> the president pushed a decade old false conspiracy theory about joe scarborough and a dead young woman. >> on the 28th he tweeted we just reached a very sad milestone with the coronavirus pandemic, deaths reaching 100,000 and the extended heart felt sympathy and love to the families and the friends of the people that passed. we wanted to interview someone from the white house for the program but they declined to participate in the documentary. getting answers from the trump administration is getting more difficult as news continues to come out that the president has been weeding out and replacing
truth tellers and government watch dogs like the woman that was running the office of the inspector general of the department of health and human services. >> president trump's pick -- >> if confirmed. >> then the reassignment of a former whistle bower. rick bright. >> time is running out because the virus is spreading everywhere. >> administration officials claiming they were telling truths that apparently president trump did not want told. >> i will never forget the e-mail that i received indicating that our mask supplier was completely decimated and said we are in -- the world is. we need to act. i pushed that forward to the
highest levels that i could in hhs and i got no response. >> i watched him and he looks like an angry, disgruntled employee that didn't do a good job. >> a contradictory back and forth. so for now americans need to keep their eyes looking straight ahead to the finish line and listening to the experts and not getting distracted by confusing and unfounded messages. >> i don't think there is only one path to defeat covid. we need our leaders to be focused, serious and honest and deal with new fast-moving scientist information. that is the path to defeat
covid. >> why now, in the middle of the pandemic are we investigating the record? well, since the documentary originally aired the united states hit two grim milestones, more than 2 million americans diagnosed with covid-19 and more than 100,000 dead. startling numbers that remind us every day how lives are literally at stake. that is the reason that we are investigating now. not because we want to point the finger or blame the chinese government or president trump. the reason that we look back now so the same mistakes are not repeated as the numbers continue to rise in case there is another outbreak this year or next. we want to get the facts on the record. the time to do that is when people can recall what was done
you are my pride. [vo]: when the world presents a path, and you seek to forge your own. when you feel you're not enough, and it feels like you're alone. you are my pride. [vo]: when you feel you cannot breathe. when it's hard to see the light, but still you choose to fight, although it hurts, because it's right, and when it's dark, you still shine bright. just call my name. i'll hold you tight. together we will find our might, because... aiden. bryan. my son. my mom. this is my sawyer. raquel willis. my grandson. my parents. miller coffey. [vo]: you are my pride.
bats throughout human history have some image as evil, dark, and dangerous. they seem to have gotten this bad impression in our conscious. there is definitely something odd about them. just because they are odd does not mean they are bad. bats are fascinating animals. the more you get to know them the more social creatures that you see them become. it is actually really beautiful. but unfortunately here, right now it is very strange with the
bat virus that is killing people. when covid-19 first surfaced in 2019 scientists around the world wanted to know where it came from and how the deadly virus ended up in humans. the answers are not certain but it seems likely coronavirus originated in bats. bats are a diverse and ancient creature and have been on earth longer than we have. but still there is a lot we don't know. we look at this animal and dig
into the mystery of covid-19. in the last 20 years some of the deadliest virus outbreaks came from bats. sars. marburg. ebola. what is it about the way they spread pathogens and how they are so dangerous. >> every animal has it normal suite of viruses and bacteria it normally carries and people do as well. we carry viruses and bacteria. some of which cause disease. it is the fact that bats tend to carry a higher proportion of viruses that have the ability to affect people. the question is why we see some of the incredibly bad viruses coming out of bats. >> it was 7:00 p.m. on december
30th, 2019 when a package arrived at the wuhan constitute of virology. local samples from an infectious disease hospital. several patients there were suffering from atypical pneumon pneumonia. >> she got a call from the boss saying drop whatever you are doing and come back to the lab right now. >> she is known as the bat woman, one of the world's leading experts on bat borne diseases. >> it is a biological level 4 facility. that is certainly the highest level of containment that exists for studying pathogenic viruses. >> doctors feared the cluster in wuhan might be infected with the same family of viruses that caused the 2003 outbreak of
sars. severe acute respiratory syndrome. >> more and more people were getting infected. we started to see that the concern was growing. >> in new york eco health alliance a nonprofit organization began to take notice. >> we started to get our first inkling by looking on to social media in china. i remember talking to peter about the potential that it might be another sars-like event. >> the president of ecohealth alliance worked closely with the wuhan constitute. their collaboration was crucial in discovering the origin of the 2003 sars outbreak. the world health organization assembled a team to find the
source of the deadly outbreak. these virus hunters were pursuing a theory that bats could be the origin of sars. the team headed to southern china to try to solve the mystery of sars. >> she and a team of researchers started to explore caves in southern china looking for bats that could have been the origin of the first sars outbreak. >> dr. john epstein was a researcher on that expedition. >> when we go into an environment like a bat cave to catch bats, we have to protect ourselves. gloves. we will wear a respirator and eye protection. >> we walk into caves that could carry the next pandemic. we go in during the day to scope out where the bats are and look at what species are in there and
we set up our nets outside and catch bats as they fly out in the evening and go back in the morning. >> we do everything we can to ensure the safety and the well-being of the animals. oral swabs, fecal pellets, we collect blood and take measurements. >> they sampled caves all over southern china and took all of the samples back to the lab. >> it took the better part of eight years of consistent and persistent sampling and testing different populations around until we finally found the missing link that we were looking for. >> that link was a bat virus connected to sars and capable of jumping directly from bats to humans. >> that was the nail in the coffin for us. >> he said it will cause more outbreaks. we need to find them before they
find us. >> that original sars coronavirus in 2003 started in guandong province, spread to hong kong, taiwan and the rest of the world causing 8,000 cases and 800 deaths. >> the same year the chinese government approved construction of the level 4 lab, first in china. it opened in 2015 and is rated to study the world's deadliest viruses. >> this will be used for research on highly pathogenic infectious diseases for which there are currently no medicines or vaccines. >> flash forward to the end of 2019 when the team in wuhan began to investigate the strange new virus. the genetic sequence of the virus was mapped quickly and compared it to a database of 500 new coronavirus previously identified by ecohealth alliance and there was a match.
the official name became sars cov-2. it emerged in 2019. the new coronavirus was 96.2% similar to a sample taken from a horseshoe bat in 2013. so, what does that mean exactly? >> well, 96% is a different virus. the difference between us and chimps. it means sars cov-2 probably came from bats. >> wuhan is a thousand miles away from the southern subtropical regions where the coronaviruss have the greatest risk of jumping from animals to humans. >> most she had studied were in southern china and wuhan is in central china. when she first found out there was a coronavirus outbreak in wuhan she did initially wonder
is there some chance that it could have come from her lab. >> the wuhan institute of virology was just a few miles from where the first institute was reported. >> they isolated the virus, sequenced it, tested the behavior and she was very relieved to see it did not come from the laboratory and the virus was never seen anywhere in the world. >> as her team raced to find answers the disease was spreading fast. >> when the chinese minister of health announced that community spread was rampant in wuhan and asymptomatic spread was occurring that meant the disease was out of control. >> the chinese government said they traced the source of the new virus to the western edge of
a seafood market in wuhan where wild animals were sold and slaughtered for food and medicine. >> i can't think of a better place for a virus than a wet market. >> 16 years before animal traders caught the original sars virus in a wildlife market. >> the virus takes hold, swaps around and then people come and breathe it in and get exposed to it. that is how viruses spill over. >> in wuhan the initial cluster of 41 cases of severe pneumonia, half of the patients had been to the market or worked in the market or had a degree of contact with it. >> the chinese government shut down the market and early on tried to keep information from spreading. communicating little about the early cases. >> not only was it shut down but it was covered with police at
every corner r. the chinese announced while the new virus was found in several locations at the wuhan market all of the animals they sampled tested negative. since then other sourtheories emerged. >> one theory is that it came from a wildlife trapper. someone that brought it in for sale. >> only information we have from the investigation of the market is that environmental samples were collected and of about 580 samples that were collected about 37 of them came back positive for sars cov-2 for this virus. >> dr. epstein said that the jury is still out on whether the wuhan market is ground zero for covid-19. but he agrees wildlife markets are breeding grounds for the next biodisaster waiting to happen. why wouldn't china just shut down markets that are selling
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all named for the shape of their noses. there are dozens of varieties of horseshoe bats living in a number of places. in fact there is incredible diversity among bat species. bats can be found all around the world on every continent expect antarctica. but the diversity and the unique abilities of bats make them tough to contend with when it comes to disease. they are the only mammal capable of actually flying so they can spread to other communities. >> some actually migrate thousands of miles and the viruses they carry travel along those routes. >> some of the pathogens bats play host to can make them sick, they have the unique ability to host and withstand some without
getting sick. >> understanding how bats co-exist with disease is very critical. they have a unique relationship with pathogens generally. they have a unique biology and it allows them to co-exist with pathogens in different ways. >> various theories about why that is and it might have to do with how long bats have been around. >> they have been on planet earth for a long time, and that means they have had a long history of being exposed and adapting to viruses in nature. >> another theory involves their body temperatures. >> a lot of people came up with the arm chair solutions like maybe because they fly and when they fly their body temperatures get higher so it is a fever and that allows them to handle more than other types of animals would.
>> when the virus gets into a human and a human responds by producing a fever which is effective against a lot of viruses, it does not work on the bat ones because they are used to the warmer temperatures anyways. >> so that rising of the fever in a human may not be effective to kill off the virus? >> exactly. >> some bats have the ability to drop their body temperatures low in the winter. perhaps that also helps their unique immune systems. normally the pathogens stay hidden in bats bodies and they don't make the jump to humans. so how do humans get infected? that is what is zone as zoonotiz spillover. sometimes it occurs between an animal and a human and transmission going forward is human to human.
that is called community spread. >> perhaps the best example of that would be hiv, the transmission happened from primates to humans many years ago and now transmits in human to human transmission. >> covid-19 is another example. you can also have a disease that stays in a particular type of animal then acting as a reservoir. humans are usually affected by an animal. >> sometimes they are carried by mosquitos. >> no matter how a disease makes a transition, there has to be contact. >> oftentimes it is through indirect or accidental exposure.
an animal may contaminate food or water. >> there are a lot of people. it is a very conductive environment. >> it is an opportunity for animals that might not have contact with each other naturally in the wild to be brought into a that situation. >> it probably varies from any one case to another. >> typically bats shed viruses the same way that humans do, saliva, urine and feces. >> that is one of the issues with the wet markets. for bats they have coronavirus they have adapted to. but you put them in a wet market they are sick and stressed. just like if you worked too hard and suddenly came down with the flu. the bats get overworked.
>> sometimes there can also be an animal where bats transmit to and they transmit to humans. as for covid-19 nobody can say for sure how it ended up in people. >> all of the evidence says it mads it way to people through a natural process. >> at this point the greatest risk of getting covid-19 is from other humans, not bats. >> really what matters is the way that we interact with bats. most epidemics are driven by human behavior. it does not matter that the viruses are happily existing in a wild animal in the middle of the forest. when people encroach on the environment we are creating an opportunity for a bat virus to get in to people. to severe psoriasis,
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the american museum of natural history. why are bats nocturnal? >> well, the thought is that actually the ancestors of all mammals are probably nocturnal. small mammals scurrying around in the age of dinosaurs. it gave them access to resources others like dinosaurs couldn't use and bats never gave up the lifestyle where the ancestors of the primates gave up the nocturnal lifestyle. >> working at night, helps the bats how? >> if you think about what the animals are that are active in the air during the day it is bitters. by being active at night they fulfill all of the same roles
that birds do, only they do it at night. >> bats are unique mammals and in some ways are similar to human. >> bats have four limbs. >> two of them are the wings. they have all of the same bones that humans do in the upper arms. and then the bones that support the end of the wing are long finger and hand bones. >> bats living and eating habits vary widely. there are some that roost in trees and others under leaves and some in caves. some bats eat insects. others fruit, fish, frogs. >> some of them are living next to each other. >> one square mile of rain forest like in the brazilian
amazon could have 100 species of bats. >> the smallest bat in the world, this tiny thing in thailand that weighs less than a penny. a bat in the cloud forest of ecuador that has the longest tongue of any mammal. it is one and a half times the length of its body. you stick your arm out in front of you, it is three times that long and so big it can get into a flower topol nate it. >> if my tongue goes to the end of my arm this bat's tongue would go two more arms? >> that's right. >> there are a number of cute bats including the panda bat. and another, the two-nosed bat discovered in 2017 making news
fors it resemblence to the former hair style of lance bass. >> there is the honduran white bat that looks like a cotton ball. then you have really weirdly ugly bats like wrinkle faced bats. i like the ugly bats more than the cute bats. >> blood feeding bats or vampire bats exist but only about.2% of all bat species. they live in central and south america and prey on birds, pigs and cattle. >> vampire bats sneak up on a cow and put their face against the cow and has heat sensors on their nose. they shave the area with their
teeth. they lick the area to clean it. they make a little divot with their front teeth and they lick and they drink and they pee. it is completely creepy. >> a serial killer does that. >> vampire bats don't kill their victims but act like a mammal-sized parasite. >> i heard you say the weirdness of bats is interesting to you? >> it is a perfect example of that. take a bat with a weird flap ones it nose and you think that is just a strange looking adornment, a lot of bats have food in their mouths when they echo locate. they hum their echo location and that nose leaf, the weird flap points it where they want it to go. >> most bats navigate and hunt for food in