'This Week' Transcript 5-10-20: Larry Kudlow, Neel Kashkari, Dr. Paul Stoffels, Dr. George Yancopoulos

This is a rush transcript of "This Week" airing Sunday, May 10.

ByABC News
May 10, 2020, 9:50 AM

A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday, May 10, 2020 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the "This Week" transcript archive.

ANNOUNCER: "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" starts right now.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS CHIEF ANCHOR: Breaking overnight: three of the nation's top health officials now in quarantine after possible exposure to the virus in the White House. We're tracking the latest this morning.

And economy in crisis.


LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: I don't know if it's as bad as it gets.


STEPHANOPOULOS: The worst jobs report ever.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your choice is, do I pay my rent, do I pay my bills, do I feed my children?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My bank account is getting negative.


STEPHANOPOULOS: States under pressure to get back to business.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): It's not a question of do we reopen. It's a question of how we reopen.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We're going in a smart, safe, and step-by-step way to get back.


STEPHANOPOULOS: But the stock market roars back towards record highs, even as COVID cases continue to climb.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Without continued vigilance, we will again create the conditions that led to us being the worst-affected country.


STEPHANOPOULOS: America debates this critical question:


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: How many deaths and how much suffering are you willing to accept to get back to some form of normality?


STEPHANOPOULOS: Our guests this morning, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, plus Liz Ann Sonders from Charles Schwab, and Fed governor Neel Kashkari.

Top pharmaceutical executives will join us with the latest on the search for COVID vaccines and treatments.

And all the week's politics with Chris Christie and Rahm Emanuel on our powerhouse roundtable.

ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, it's "This Week."

Here now, chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to "This Week," a week that said some of the worst records ever for the American economy.

It all became clear on Friday. We learned that morning that 20.5 million Americans lost their jobs in April, 10 times the record set in 1945, when the country demobilized from World War II.

The unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent, the highest since the Great Depression. We have never seen it rise so high, so fast. Just three months ago, unemployment was at a record low of 3.5 percent.

And, as stunning as those numbers are, they don't capture the depth of the damage. Add in workers who've been looking for full-time jobs, the furloughed who hope to get their old jobs back, and more than one in four Americans is out of work.

The lines at food banks are heartbreaking.

We can all hope that the economy will bounce back once the virus is contained. Investors seem to be betting on it. By the close of business Friday, the stock market was building on some of its best weeks in decades.

So, what is Wall Street's seeing that Americans aren't yet feeling? How long will the recovery take? What must we do to make sure it happens?

And we start with the president's economic adviser, Larry Kudlow.

Larry, thank you for joining us this morning.

And I do want to get to the economy, but, first, this news breaking overnight. We know that two White House staffers have now tested positive for COVID. And Drs. Fauci, Redfield, and Hahn are all self-quarantining.

Will you and other White House staffers be following their example?

KUDLOW: Well, we will take the advice of the White House medical unit, which is the best in the business.

There may be. I don't want to rule anything in or rule anything out. At the moment, there's daily testing, as you may know, for people who come into contact with the president and the vice president. Everybody wants to be safe. We're going to do the best we can. We will follow the rules and guidelines of the White House medical unit.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You just said you had the best White -- best medical unit in the country, the White House medical unit. No doubt that is true.

You're getting tests every single day at the White House, anyone who's in contact with the president.

Doesn't that really expose the challenge for everyone else in the country right now? If the White House is not fully safe, despite those conditions, how can average Americans feel safe with the idea of going back to work?

KUDLOW: Well, look, I don't want to generalize from it, because, although I don't have all the numbers -- I haven't seen that yet -- in terms of the White House complex, which is an enormous place, at least 500 people, probably much more than that, George, the -- those who have tested positive is still a small fraction.

Again, I don't know the specific numbers, but we have had relatively very few.

And, look, I think the key point here, you know, we have established guidelines from our health task force. States are establishing guidelines. I think that businesses, large and small, are probably going to wind up leading this charge, as we attempt to reopen the economy and deal with these heartbreaking jobs numbers, these hardship jobs numbers, which are awful.

So, my point is, why don't we rely heavily on what the businesses, the free enterprise system can produce? Companies are very innovative. They know the job that has to be done. They know, on the one hand, folks have to be safe, must be safe.

They know, on the other hand, we have to have some reopening as much as possible to deal with the economic problem, the pandemic contraction, as I call it.

So, I think, between public and private health systems, we can do this.

I guess about half the states are off to a phased-in start. That's a good sign. Safety is absolutely crucial. But it's not either/or. I think it's safety and reopening for the economy. I think they go hand in hand.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's -- let's talk about those devastating job numbers.

The president said on Friday that all these jobs will be back. Is that a realistic promise? Is that a promise the president can keep?

KUDLOW: Well, look, several things.

Number one, as bad as those job numbers were -- and I don't want to sugarcoat it, because I think the numbers for May are going to be also very difficult numbers. It's going to take a while for the reopening to have an impact. So, there's that.

The second point is, inside the numbers, there's a glimmer of hope. I don't want to downplay the numbers, mind you, but there's a glimmer of hope.

We had -- about 80 percent of it was furloughs and temporary layoffs. That, by the way, doesn't assure that you will go back to a job, but it's suggest strongly that the cord between the worker and the business is still intact.

I think, hopefully, that has something to do with the $3 trillion of assistance, including the payroll protection plan. All in on this, we probably, including the Federal Reserve's operations and the budget and fiscal work that President Trump has led, with the bipartisan congressional votes, we have probably had, George, $9 trillion worth of assistance going to 175 million individuals.


KUDLOW: It's a remarkable plan to attempt to stabilize a very, very, very difficult situation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It has been -- it has been an extraordinary response from the government and the Fed.

Now House Democrats are saying, led by Speaker Pelosi, that they need about another $2 trillion plan, aid to state and local governments, much more testing, more direct aid, like unemployment insurance, food stamps, direct checks.

Yet you and the president have said, now is not the time to be dealing with that. Why not?

KUDLOW: Well, I'm not saying now's not the time. And I don't think that's what the president said either.

I think that many people would like to just pause for a moment and take a look at the economic impact of this massive assistance program, which is the greatest in United States history. That's all that is being said.

Now, I was reading in some papers this morning that there's no talks between, let's say, the White House and the Democrats. That's simply not true. There's no formal negotiations yet. I say yet. But, in fact, on Friday, Kevin Hassett, my colleague in the White House, and I did a conference call with about 50 House members, Democrats and Republicans, George.

And we are scheduled to have a similar conference call tomorrow on the Senate side. Democrats and Republicans, we're collecting ideas for next steps, which will undoubtedly be data-driven.

I do think there are issues here. And there are probably going to be some agreements and disagreements. Each side has its own positions. So, it's not that we're not talking. We are. It's just informal at this stage.

And, really, after all this assistance, let's have a look at what the impact is in at least the next couple of weeks for the economy.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We have now heard from President Obama, former President Obama, for the first time on his take on how the White House has responded to this crisis.

Let's listen.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It has been an absolute chaotic disaster, when that mind-set of, what's in it for me and to heck with everybody else, when that mind-set is operationalized in our government.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Your response?

KUDLOW: I -- with all due respect to the former president -- and I -- I really don't want to get into a political back-and-forth here -- I -- I just -- I don't know what he's talking about.

I mean, with all the assistance we have done, with all the infrastructure that we, the Trump administration, working with governors and mayors and with Congress. With respect to testing, with respect to all manner of, you know, PPE, medical equipment, with respect to ventilators, you know, this President Trump, one thing shouldn't be lost here, he has -- and it's unusual in these emergency situations -- he's made great use of the private sector, talking about that earlier in terms of reopening in a safe manner.

You know, we have relied very heavily on the smartest people in this country who run retail operations, pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies. You got automobile companies producing ventilators at a rapid rate. We’ve ramped up the testing. We have the world’s largest testing percentages so far.

So, I just -- I don't understand what President Obama is saying. It just sounds so darn political to me.

I just want to say this -- look, what we’ve done may not be 100 percent perfect. You know, these things happen once every 100 years. But the overall pictures, we’ve created a massive health and safety infrastructure to deal with the pandemic here in the United States.

And judging from the results, where there has been a flattening in the rate of growth in infection rates and mortality rates, it's working, so we're preparing to reopen the economy. And when we do, I think, according to Congressional Budget Office and a bunch of private surveys, we’re going to see a very strong second half of the year, probably 20 percent economic growth.


KUDLOW: Policies that were in place on lower taxes and lower regulations are still in place. We may expand on those policies with the Congress. Next year, 2021 could be a tremendous snapback in the U.S. economy.

So, I’m going to leave President Obama alone. I just want to make the case that I think is the prevailing consensus case right now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Larry Kudlow, thanks very much for your time this morning.

KUDLOW: Appreciate it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's get more on all this from the president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, Neel Kashkari, and Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist for Charles Schwab.

And, Liz Ann, let me begin with you, because I think a lot of people have been puzzled this tremendous rise off the bottoms of the stock market over the last three weeks, even as we’ve seen these absolutely record-breaking unemployment numbers

Can you explain this great disconnect to the American people?

LIZ ANN SONDERS, CHARLES SCHWAB CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST: Probably not fully. Everything that's been happening both in the economy given that it was a government shutdown by fiat, effectively, in order to stem the economic impact, also the warp speed in which we saw the stimulus kick in both by the Fed and Congress, we moved into bear market territory at a record-breaking pace. I think at the lows when the market was down about 35 percent, you can argue it was pricing in the type of economic carnage that we're seeing right now.

I think the rally since that low, the speed with which we’ve retraced (ph) about 60 percent of that move down reflects a couple of things. One, the stimulus, which combined represents more than a quarter of GDP. And two, I think is on the assumption that the market is looking through sort of the valley and that maybe April will be the worst month, the inflection point.

I think there's some risks associated with that. You’ve got the potential second wave of the virus. You’ve got the second order effects associated with the economy.

So I think the speed that the market has rebounded does now present some risks. But I think everything is happening in a much more condensed timeframe than anything we’ve seen in history.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No question about that.

And, Neel Kashkari, we see the market pricing in that relatively rapid, sustained recovery. You’ve just heard Larry Kudlow saying he expects a very strong half of the year and a roaring 2021, is that realistic?

NEEL KASHKARI, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF MINNEAPOLIS PRESIDENT: You know, I wish it were, but I -- what I’ve learned in the last few months, unfortunately, this is more likely to be a slow, more gradual recovery.

Unfortunately, the virus continues to spread. People continue to get it. Unfortunately, people are tragically dying.

And when we look around the world, there's evidence that when countries relax their economic controls, the virus tends to flare back up again.

And the longer this goes on, unfortunately, the more gradual the recovery is likely to be.

If we see a lot of small businesses going through bankruptcy, where you’re going to have empty -- empty strip malls for a while until new businesses form, the recovery ends up taking a lot longer.

So, I would love to see robust economy, but that would require a breakthrough in vaccines, a breakthrough in widespread testing, a breakthrough in therapies to give all of us confidence that it's safe to go back.

I don't know when we're going to have that confidence.


KASHKARI: And ultimately, the American people are going to decide how long the shutdown is.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Right, and we're going to be talking about that later in the program with some top pharmaceutical executives.

But in the meantime, we -- we've seen this extraordinary response from the Fed and the federal government right now. You heard Larry Kudlow say it could add up to about $9 trillion.

What more should you, as a Fed governor, where -- what more are you recommending the Fed do right now and will we need another congressional package?

NEEL KASHKARI, PRESIDENT, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF MINNEAPOLIS: Well, the Fed is standing behind the financial system, clearly. We are going to put whatever we need to do to make sure the financial system continues to run.

But this is, first and foremost, a healthcare crisis and so anything Congress can do to support more investment in any of those technology breakthroughs will be money well spent.

And, number two, if this goes on for a long period of time, I think it's going to go on in some phase for a year or two. I think Congress is going to need to continue to give assistance to workers who have lost their jobs.

I mean, as you said, it's really around 23 percent, 24 percent of people right now who are out of work today. And if this is a gradual recovery the way I think it's going to be, those folks are going to need more help.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Liz Ann, what advice are you giving to all of your customers right now about how to think about this market in this economy?

LIZ ANN SONDERS, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT & CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, CHARLES SCHWAB: Again, we're -- we're reminding them that the speed with which the bear market unfolded, the rally that has happened since then, the compression in the economy is unlike we've ever seen. But you really can apply the same kind of logical thinking and disciplines around investing that can apply even in this short-term environment, which is hopefully you had a plan. You weren't winging it. Diversification across asset classes. Make sure you have some sort of anchors to windward (ph) associated with less risky investments. And then use the ability and benefits of rebalancing.

So, trimming into strength and adding into weakness. Sort of just staying on the right side of the -- for lack of a better word, betrayed (ph). And it's really those tried and true disciplines that are the closest thing to a free lunch. Too many investors think the only path to success requires top picking and bottom ticking, all in, all out. And that's just gambling on a moment in time. And investing should always be a process over time, even when what's happening is in a more condensed frame of time. And that's the best advice we can give in this environment.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, finally, Neel Kashkari, you have access to the best economic information in the world. What should everyone be expecting over the next several months as we wait for effective treatments, as we wait for vaccines. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, this morning, is saying that unemployment could go as high as 25 percent.

KASHKARI: Yes, I mean the worst is yet to come on the job front, unfortunately. And that it really is going to be, you know, as these states start to reopen and as businesses start to reopen, obviously we need them to reopen safely. And we need to monitor and look for signs of things flaring back up again. We may be in an environment of gradual relaxing and then having to clamp back down again around the country as the virus continues to spread. To solve the economy, we must solve the virus. Let's never lose sight of that fact.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Neel Kashkari, Liz Ann Sonders, thanks very much.

The roundtable is up next.

We'll be right back.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This was an artificial turning off of a tremendous economy. When we turn it back on, which we’ve just started doing, I think it's going to come back blazing. I think next year is a chance to be one of the best years economically we’ve ever had.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This crisis hit harder and last longer because Donald Trump spent the last three years undermining the core pillars of our economic strength.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS CHIEF ANCHOR: Incoming presidents rise and fall on the strength of economy. So, does record unemployment spell doom for President Trump come November, or does this unprecedented COVID crisis upend all the normal patterns?

We asked FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver to weigh in.


NATE SILVER, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: So the conventional wisdom is that if the economy is in bad shape, that's really bad news for the incumbent. And that's backed up by a lot of data. A dismal economy ousted Jimmy Carter in 1980, the recession under George H.W. Bush may have ended in 1991, but the economy still looked really bad to voters by 1992.

And even though Bush Jr. wasn't on the ballot after the financial crisis of 2008, it led to a landslide against Republicans up and down the ballot.

With GDP projected to decline at 40 percent annualized rate this quarter and unemployment having already reached almost 15 percent, we're in for an incredibly severe economic shock.

But it’s also been more than a century that we’ve had a global pandemic this bad. And so, many voters will think of this more like wartime, where there’s a lot of disruption in the economy and elsewhere, but there can be patriotism, and the incumbent can actually sometimes do well in those cases.

In fact, voters in recent polls still give Trump above 50 percent support for his handling of the economy. Those numbers haven’t really changed much since COVID took over our lives, but Trump's approval rating for his response to COVID itself has slipped to 44 percent and has been falling a bit each week.

Meanwhile, new polling shows him trailing Joe Biden in key swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

So, do I buy that it’s business as usual? Not exactly. This is too unique a situation to really fit into conventional wisdom, or for that matter, statistical models.

But doesn't mean the news is good for Trump. If they voters are unhappy with his handling of COVID, it’s hard to expect a tanking economy to save him.


STEPHANOPOULOS: OK. Let’s get more on this now from our roundtable. We're joined by Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, Julie Pace, the Washington bureau chief for “The Associated Press”, and “Axios” national political reporter Alexi McCammond.

Thank you for all joining us this morning.

Chris, let me begin with you. I mean, if you just look at the economic numbers alone, this is something that no politician really could survive. But how does President Trump upend the conventional wisdom again?

CHRIS CHRISTIE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think, George, it's -- it's just an unprecedented event, right?

As Nate just said, we haven't had something like this in over 100 years. And so I don't think any of us really know how this is going to play politically.

And I think, if we're expecting some sharp economic recovery by Election Day, we will see some economic recovery by Election Day, but nowhere near where we were before.

So, I think that what the president has to do is to rally people around his leadership, say, this is not a time when you want to change leaders in the midst of this crisis, and you want to stay the course.

And I think that's going to be part of his argument. And I think there will surely be things that will come up between he and Vice President Biden, where they will disagree, and the American people are going to have to make a judgment.

But the great economy that he thought he was going to be running on, he's not going to be running on now. But there are some real extenuating circumstances here. We will see if the American people react well or poorly to that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the question for Vice President Biden, Rahm Emanuel, is, how can he even get his voice out there in this unprecedented crisis?

RAHM EMANUEL, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I mean, the things -- we were talking about history -- the last person that's actually run for President Trump from their house is William McKinley, who did a front porch strategy.

And I would just say to you that there's nobody around to talk to from the McKinley era.

I actually think, in this case, Donald Trump is his own worst enemy. If you look at the data, the one thing that I didn't see Nate talk about, it's not whether a governor opens the economy or the president rallies people for the economy. It's their fear that is driving their economic and social decisions.

And that fear is around the way the president's conducted himself. By trying to talk about Clorox, Lysol, ultraviolet light, he is giving people a sense of fear about what the health care response will be.

If they were comfortable that there was a health care response, knowing that there's risk involved, they would be more liberal in the way they would go out and about society, the economy.

And I actually think, in this situation, the president is his own worst enemy. And what Joe Biden should do is make this a referendum on the president's leadership, both around the pandemic and about his failure to actually invest in the economy.

And the more he fights investing in the economy and investing in health care, that he will be -- continue to be his own worst enemy in this situation, and then bear the brunt of both the bad public health response and the bad economic conditions.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Julie Pace, the president does have a tough challenge here. He's got to give people hope. He's got a strike notes of optimism.

He's got to cheerlead, at the same time showing that he's in touch with the pain people are feeling.

JULIE PACE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It's a fine line that he has to walk. Of course he wants to cheerlead the economy. Of course he wants to be pushing for -- for people to get back to work, to be able to get off the unemployment rolls, to be able to provide for their families.

At the same time, I think what we're sort of living through right now is the reality that this situation is going to continue. A lot of people who got laid off from their jobs at the end of March, at the beginning of April thought maybe they would be back to work by now.

And that's not going to happen. And where this president has struggled throughout his political career is with empathy. And empathy can really be an intangible in a presidential election.

You can have all of the data and all of the numbers that you want, but if people, if Americans feel like you understand what they're going through, they're sometimes willing to give you another chance.

And that, I think, is going to be a struggle for this president. Can he empathize with people, and not just talk about the unemployment rate and the stock market? Can he really show that he understands what's happening in the lives of Americans who are struggling through this economy every day?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Alexi McCammond, one of the things we haven't seen change during this crisis is the extreme partisanship that infects every part of American culture right now.

Even this virus is being seen through a partisan lens. One of the things you guys have seen at Axios is that Democrats think the death toll is being understated, Republicans think it's being overstated.

ALEXI MCCAMMOND, AXIOS: Yes, that's exactly right, George.

And thank you for having me. I know we'd all rather be at the roundtable in person together, but this will do just fine. So it's good seeing you all virtually.

But that's exactly right. The latest Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index showed that nearly two-thirds of Democratic voters thought that the coronavirus death toll was understated, and nearly 40 percent of Republicans thought it was overstated.

My colleague Jonathan Swan had reporting for Axios last week that showed the president himself and some of his closest advisers are now privately and soon to begin publicly questioning the death toll themselves, saying that they think it's overinflated.

It's just another jarring example of how partisan politics have infected this moment, at a time when it's a literal life-or-death situation.

And, to Julie's point, people are looking for empathy. They know the state of the economy is not great. They see their personal -- personal financial situation getting worse. They know that President Trump can't just snap his fingers and get things back to where they want to be.

Chris Christie made a point that things might not be better by the time the election comes around. So, what will voters be looking for? They'll be looking for empathy and the leader of the United States. They’ll be looking for President Trump to act more like --


MCCAMOND: -- their governors, their states’ executives, who they think are being more emphatic right now.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Chris, let me bring you in, as I do that, how about this latest thing the White House is dealing with, the fact that two staffers have now tested positive? You've got the heads of the health departments all self-quarantining. It's unclear how the rest of the White House is going to handle it.

Does the president have to recalibrate how he's handling the public health side of this and the example he's setting?

CHRIS CHRISTIE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, listen, George, I think that we all should be setting the right example. When we're out in public, we should be wearing masks and doing the things that we're being recommended to do by our public health officials.

But, also, you know, as I wrote this weekend in “The Washington Post”, George, you know, what the threat here now is the American way of life. And I don’t think that Americans ever thought that life was without risks. There's always going to be some risks.

But to say that Americans' behavior, if we begin to open our economy now in reasonable ways would be the same as it was before March of this year I think is just foolish.

The American people understand now, we have to social distance. They understand now that we're going to have to wear masks, that we don't shake hands. We can’t get close to each other.

We're not going to open football or baseball stadiums to 50,000 or more people. We’re not going to do those things. And that will make the infection rate go down as well.

So, I do think that we're maybe getting a little slow now, I was someone who’s very -- in favor very aggressive steps earlier than what happened in any of the states, in terms of closing down and having a shutdown order, but I do think now it's time to begin to reasonably reopen, temperature checks before you go into businesses, all the rest of that need to be done, but we also need to get our economy reopen, George.

People are suffering, 33 million unemployed. We had a woman in New Jersey this week on a food line for the first time in her life who said, I feel like a total failure. That's going to lead addiction. That’s going to lead to domestic violence. That is going to lead to suicide.

And we saw that after Sandy here in New Jersey. And we're going to see it in America if we don't get people back to work soon.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Rahm, if you were still mayor of Chicago, would you pushing to reopen the city right now?

RAHM EMANUEL, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think what you have to do is take the data and actually level with the people and say, look, there's risk and in fact there's risks now. You can go to a Home Depot, walk down all the aisles and you'll pass 30 people.

What level of risk are we willing to take?

And then say, we know now more things. If you’re a senior citizen, pre-existing condition, dense-living conditions -- so, we’re going to take our public health resources and apply it there.

To the families that also want (ph), you have to play a role if you're younger in the economy, and you have to have practice all the practices of wearing a mask, washing your hands, social distance in that effort. And here are the stages and here are the sectors of the economy, we will gradually open over the next four weeks but you have to do this.

I think one of the things we should all take stock in, is that over the last three months, we've learned that the American people have stood up and actually taken responsibility for their behavior and their actions. I think you could open parts of the economy by engaging the public in their role and responsibility. They want to do something. They know they have a role to do not only for their own health but for their neighbor's health.

And I do think there’s a part of this for this society, and, (INAUDIBLE), I don’t think, George, it's really the metaphor of just opening the economy. I think we dial it up stage by stage in a sense of the lights getting brighter, but engage the public in their role and responsibility, and then use our health care that we’ve built in the last three months to apply to the most vulnerable parts of our population, because we know whether you're a senior, poor, a person of color, you are more vulnerable to this disease and its devastating consequences.

And that is where we should apply public resources so the rest of the economy and society can come back to life slowly but surely. And I again, I want to repeat this.


EMANUEL: This president is his own worst enemy in trying to rush something people know you cannot rush.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Julie Pace, I think what you’re seeing both campaigns and Republicans and Democrats across the board struggling with how to even conduct a campaign in the midst of this crisis.

JULIE PACE, ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: It's really incredible. I mean, this is not what anyone working on a campaign expected to be doing right now, and I think the reality is that neither campaign knows when they're going to be able to get back to some semblance of a regular presidential effort, if they are at all.

I mean, there’s a lot of discussions happening in both parties right now about a convention. How could you possibly put thousands of people in a arena in August? That just seems really untenable right now.

Is it going to be possible to have campaign rallies? We're seeing the Biden campaign starting to really add to its digital presence, knowing that that campaign is going to be fought out on the Internet. It's going to be fought out, you know, screen to screen because that's how people are -- are engaging right now. And I think that just adds so much uncertainty to how voters are going to be engaging with both of these candidates, to whether Biden, frankly, is -- is -- is relevant even in this. I talked to a lot of Democrats and Republicans over the past week who have said versions of, you know, Biden's kind of a side show right now, and that's OK. This is going to be a referendum election on President Trump.

So I -- I think that everything that we know about presidential politics, every prediction that we could make based on past campaigns really has to just go out the window because we are just living in such an unprecedented moment.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS ABC NEWS CHIEF ANCHOR: Yes, that -- that is such a point well taken.

Meantime, as you -- you hear more talk about a referendum election, Alexi, that has more Senate Republicans nervous that perhaps, for the first time, their Senate majority may actually be in danger.

ALEXI MCCAMMOND, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, "AXIOS": That's exactly right. I had some reporting for "Axios" last week looking at different states, like Montana and Colorado, Arizona and others, where there are these really competitive Senate races happening where we're seeing Republican Senate candidates who are tying themselves to Trump ultimately slipping in their standing with voters relative to how they feel about the Democratic candidate, and that's because they're watching the ways that President Trump is handling the coronavirus and it's sort of tainting these down ballot Republican's chances, at least right now in the polls that we're seeing.

Obviously, things can change and will change between now and November. It remains to be seen how. But the polls are not looking good for Republicans in competitive races.

And to your point, George, that matters for their ability to control the Senate in the future. It's still an uphill battle for Democrats to be able to take back the Senate. But the other thing that I would point you to, and others, is the House, control of the House. Before all of this, Republicans were looking at 30-plus districts Democrats held that they flipped from Republicans. Those are obviously competitive by nature. Now things are looking a little bit stronger for Democrats in terms of maintaining control of the House when previously Republicans were really hoping to tie down (INAUDIBLE) Dems to Bernie Sanders as the nominee. Now they have Joe Biden and things work out a little differently for them in that strategy.



EMANUEL: I was going to say, it's upending for the campaign, it's upending for us.

One historical point, second quarter economic data would pretty much tell you historically what's going to happen in the presidential election. Unemployment, income growth, GDP, that is -- I -- I don't know if I would use that anymore as a reference point. And for all of us trying to evaluate a campaign, looking at historical data, I'm not sure that's going help. So the campaigns are somewhat in vertigo. We are also somewhat in vertigo in the sense, everything we know by history as reference points, I don't know how much stock you can put into it any more.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, this is all brand new.

We also saw an unprecedented move this week by the Department of Justice, that move to dismiss the charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI, even though he had pled guilty on two occasions to that. That's now going to be before a judge.

And we heard former President Obama weigh in on that on a phone call this week with his former staffers.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: There is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who's been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. You begin to get worried that basic -- not just institutional norms -- but our basic understanding of rule of law is -- is at risk.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Chris Christie, this is something we've never seen before. And even you, as -- you've been on this program many times, said that the president was right to fire Michael Flynn for being dishonest back when it happened.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, well, listen, he was dishonest to the vice president and that doesn't change. But, George, there's a bigger point here that the president, former president, Obama, is running away from. The history of his Justice Department right now is getting pretty battered this week. The conduct of these FBI agents in dealing with Mike Flynn -- and I was a U.S. attorney and worked with FBI agents and helped to direct them.

What they did with Mike Flynn was an absolutely classic perjury trap. They knew what the truth was of what he had done or not then before they walked in. They didn't need to interview him. And they went in there and then wrote notes afterwards about trying to decide whether or not they should try to get the truth out of him, or they should try to get him to lie so that he would -- he would get fired or charged. And then this week as well, and one that involved me and my former team, the Supreme Court rejected 9-0 a false prosecution that was brought by the Obama Justice Department and a vindictive prosecutor politically motivated against -- against folks who worked for me when I was governor of New Jersey.

You know, it's a bad week for the Obama Justice Department, for Jim Comey and his FBI and for Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch and their Justice Department. You can't run away from that.

These are unprecedented times because we're taking the covers off of what was some really awful conduct by prosecutors and investigators. And, you know, George, I usually stand up for these folks, but you cannot defend this conduct.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS CHIEF ANCHOR: By I -- it seems like by that definition -- I want to bring this to Rahm Emanuel, every time an FBI agent investigates someone when they have some evidence is a perjury trap. I don't fully understand that.

CHRISTIE: That's not true.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Rahm, you just heard what Chris Christie said about the Obama Justice Department and the hits it's taken this week.

RAHM EMANUEL, FORMER CHICAGO MAYOR AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Look, George, all of us on this show know there's a rule, you lie, you die. That's the rule when it comes to the FBI. And -- and, in fact, on December 2, 2017, President Trump said the reason he fired Flynn is because he lied to the FBI. It's a jury of one. That's what it is stated was. And the fact is, you cannot lie. And this is now up to the judge to as whether we're going to be a country of laws or not. Unfortunately, that's where the burden is.

This is an unprecedented decision. And the president got something out of this, and we should be clear, two case, his ability to destroy the reputation of intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies, and his ability to have somebody else make a decision because he knew full well if he hadn't (ph) made this decision, he would own the consequences of upending a prosecution and a conviction.

So I think, in this situation, what happened with Flynn, if we're going to all that -- both Flynn-Stone case, and you look at the culture of corruption in this administration, and I think one of the issues is -- will be coming out over the next seven months, is the issue of a culture of corruption, whether it's this case, whether what's happening over at HHS and the health department and how contracts are being awarded, what's happening with the relief funds and how -- who's getting contract, you will see a growing issue of a cultural of corruption. And it starts at the top because the president has a history of not telling the truth and actually lying when it comes to his benefit. And he's actually imbedding that into the law with what he's doing with both Stone and Flynn, that it's OK to lie on behalf of your political goals.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Alexi McCammond, we're just about out of time, but, quickly, you -- "Axios" is --



CHRISTIE: George, it start -- it does start at the top, George, because --


CHRISTIE: When you have FBI leadership like Jim Comey and what they did, that's what's now being uncovered. And Rahm doesn't attempt to defend any of that at all and I'm glad he doesn't because that conduct has been outrageous. It's been outrageous by prosecutors in the Justice Department and outrageous by the former leadership of the FBI that Chris Wray is now cleaning up.

STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, we're -- as I said, we're just about out of time.

Quickly, Alexi, you all are reporting that Vice President Pence might be open to having Mike Flynn return to the White House in?

MCCAMMOND: Yes, George, so, tomorrow night on HBO, "Axios" on HBO has an exclusive interview with Vice President Mike Pence and my colleague, Mike Allen, talking about this exact situation. The White House has previously said that lying to the vice president was the reason that Michael Flynn was fired. Now, Michael Flynn has Pence's own blessing to return to the inner circle. Mike Pence told my colleague Mike Allen for "Axios" on HBO, airing tomorrow, that he would welcome Flynn back into the administration, just as we've heard President Trump say in the past. And as President Trump tweeted earlier this week, there is much more news to come. So I'd imagine we should all stay tuned to see what happens with Michael Flynn returning to the administration and definitely check out HBO -- "Axios" on HBO tomorrow night.


STEPHANOPOULOS: We will be watching.

Thank you all very much.

Up next, the latest on the race for coronavirus treatments and a vaccine.

We'll be right back.


STEPHANOPOULOS: How soon until we see a coronavirus vaccine and treatment?

Leaders from two companies leading the charge join us next.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They feel about vaccines like I feel about tests, this is going to go away without a vaccine. It’s going to go away and it’s -- we’re not going to see it again, hopefully, after a period of time.

I think great progress is being made by Johnson & Johnson, by Oxford and some others. NYU, I see as very advanced. But if you don’t get it, this is going to go away at some point.


STEPHANOPOULOS: President Trump bucking the conventional wisdom on Friday. Most experts agree that we can’t get fully back to business without more effective treatments and a vaccine. And we’re joined now by two top executives working on that, the Chief Science Officer for Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Paul Stoffels, and Dr. George Yancopoulos, the Co-Founder, President & Chief Science Officer of Regeneron.

Thank you both for joining us this morning. And Dr. Stoffels let me begin with you. Will this pass without a vaccine and where do things stand with what you’re working on right now?

DR. PAUL STOFFELS, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Well we all hope it will pass by -- without a vaccine because that would be great if the disease goes away very quickly. But we don’t think so. It’s now spreading around the world so fast and so significant that we need a vaccine to control it.

Where are we? We are in -- we are preparing clinical trials. We are fully and (ph) upscaling. And we start clinical trials in September and hopefully have data by the end of the year, as well as now working towards 1 billion vaccines for next year. So we are upscaling manufacturing and we start producing later in the year with our (ph) aim to deliver 1 billion vaccines next year.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So that’s all next year. Is there any possibility that the hope that the president had called for earlier in the week that there could actually be some kind of an effective vaccine in 2020? Is that realistic at all?

STOFFELS: Well clinical trials will need to be done to show that it is effective and that will take some time. We will have some vaccine available this year but it all depends on -- it will depend on the authorities, the FDA and others, to decide whether it can be used earlier, before clear efficacy data are available.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Dr. Yancopoulos you’re working at Regeneron on an antibody cocktail to both treat and prevent COVID. Where do things stand with that combination right now?

DR. GEORGE YANCOPOULOS, CO-FOUNDER, PRESIDENT & CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, REGENERON: Well we’re on track to go into clinical trials in about a month, in June, and if all goes well it’s possible that within a month or two after that that we would actually have data that our antibody cocktail could be important stopgap until we get effective (ph) and safe vaccine. That it could actually prevent disease in people who are not yet infected and even treat people who are actually at earlier or even the late stages of the disease. And it might be possible that if all goes well hundreds of thousands of doses of this could be available by the end of the summer.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Can you explain a little bit about how that -- how that works? How can you prevent -- something that’s not a vaccine actually prevent the transmission or prevent it from taking hold?

YANCOPOULOS: What a vaccine does, as we all know, is it generates immunity in the person who gets the vaccine. What is that immunity? Those are antibodies against the virus that bind and kill the virus. What we’ve developed is technologies that allow us to make exactly these antibodies that the body makes in response to the vaccine. We make them outside of the body, we scale them up in bioreactors and then we inject them into people. And immediately it’s if they’ve been vaccinated. It’s called a passive vaccine because it doesn’t depend on the body having to make the response itself, so it can actually work much faster than a egular vaccine and it can also work in settings of treatments where you're already infected where vaccines are not affective.

Of course, vaccines can provide permanent immunity to much larger number of people. This is why we need all of these efforts. We need the sort of efforts that J&J and others are doing and we need the sort of efforts that we're doing that can provide these immediate sources of both prevention and treatment that can have an impact until we get the vaccine.

STEPHANOPOULOS,: And, Dr. Stoffels, as you all are working on that vaccine, how do you also solve, assuming you come up with something that is effective, something that is safe, how do you solve the problem of getting it out on a large scale around the world at an affordable price?

STOFFELS: Well, we have a very effective manufacturing procedure where we can produce up to 3 million out of a 2,000 liter vessel. And so we are now multiplying those manufacturing sites by -- we will have four or five available in the course of the year where we can start producing from, and that will give a more than 1 billion vaccines in the course of next year. It's the science and technology which we have the platform which allows us to go that fast, that -- and that -- and in those quantities.

What's also important is that the vaccine is stable, that you can transport it around the world (INAUDIBLE) in order to make sure everybody can get access, from north to south, east to west, the entire world will probably will need a vaccine, and that's what we are working on.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Dr. Yancopoulos, as only have a little bit of time left, but how do you assure, as we're trying to rush this all to market, that it's done in the safest manner possible?

YANCOPOULOS: I think the most important thing -- you already heard from Dr. Stoffels -- is that we have a strong and powerful set of technologies throughout the ecosystem in basic research and in industry that allows us to fight these battles when they appear. And so we have to be ready and we have to make enormous investments as a society, both in the NIH, we have to up our game there, but also to support, to have such a robust set of industries and companies that can come forward and try to fight this epidemic when it occurs. And being ready means making those sort of investments beforehand.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you both very much. Important information.

We'll be right back.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us. Have a great Mother's Day. And I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."


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