Bossert is 'very disappointed' by Carson's message of 'individual prevention'

Dr. Jen Ashton and Tom Bossert discuss the threat that coronavirus poses to Americans and the Trump administration's preparedness for the spread of the virus on "This Week."
5:29 | 03/08/20

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Transcript for Bossert is 'very disappointed' by Carson's message of 'individual prevention'
Let's get more on this from Dr. Jen Ashton and former homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert. Tom, you were part of this whole effort to have bio preparedness. What do you make of what we just heard from Dr. Carson also more broadly what people should expect about the magnitude of this crisis? There's a difficult inflection point that we reached. They acted quickly to contain this. We're at a second inflection point. I'll be honest, I'm very disappointed to hear the message we just heard. But as a collective public we need to start mobilizing this collective risk mentality. People not getting sick have to do with arresting the spread of this disease. This virus is demonstrating a potential that's way more significant than the flu and when I hear people we're dealing with the flu or something like it, I get awfully nervous. The numbers suggest that if we don't act to intervene, interact with this disease in a way that's collectively aggressive, this disease spreads three times more quickly. Among a populous that doesn't have any immunities to this virus. It can kill ten-times more than the flu. That estimate at top of the program, potentially 100 million people, that's not outlandish. We don't want to make a prediction, but the potential for this virus has demonstrated that it could have a 30% attack rate. Apply that to the U.S. Population, that would be 100 million people infected but not sick. That's a terrifying number. But we have seen that in Singapore and Hong Kong, we can intervene and we can change that outcome, so it's not a prediction but that potential is dangerous and it's important to understand it. Dr. Jen, like Dr. Carson, you're a doctor. What did you make of what you hear. To echo what Tom said, we have to stop thinking just about how you can protect yourself and how I can protect myself, but the fact of the matter is, when you talk about aggressive social distancing measures like school closings. It's not just trying to protect children, they're relatively spared at this point of coronavirus because those kids don't go home to their 85-year-old grandparents, the vulnerable population, and infect them. We have to broader out in a ripple effect. As usual, there seems to be a big disconnect what we're seeing at the top of pyramid and what's really going on clinically in the trenches with patients, nurses, doctors and hospital, doctors' offices and there's a lot of confusion, concern and chaos. A lag time in some of the administration's response. As Tom pointed out, the administration moved quickly on the travel ban. Dr. Carson, the cruise ship gets into port in Oakland tomorrow and they're still formulating the plan. Yeah, and here's the thing about that, George. The cruise ship as we heard with the diamond princess and now with the grand princess, you know in medicine we have to get up to speed quickly and the clock is ticking, so time matters. If left unchecked, this is a virus that doubles roughly every seven days. It's not that difficult -- test every single person onboard. Those who are asymptomatic, in quarantine. Those who have mild symptoms get isolated. Isolation is for people who have mild symptoms and those who have severe symptoms, and there are over 1,000 people over age of 70 on that ship need hospital care. Off the ship. It's not acceptable to say we have seen it before, we know how it turns out but we're not going to get them off the ship until Monday. Tom, what broader community measures should we consider? George, as people think about whether they would go on a cruise ship now. Think about going into a dorm room where there's communal food. We need to think about this as a means of time and planning right now. I suppose I'd give two big messages, it's not so much that the administration is not prepared, that's not accurate. We now have an inflection point we're moving forward. We have this message properly to empower the state and local officials who are going to make these decisions, to make them with confidence. If it doesn't seem like a big disease -- somebody told me it's like looking at star, the light that you see left that star in the past. Because of that lag you referenced we'll have to make decisions at state and local levels, at corporate levels, before it appears to the public before it's any to do so. That's the message. It will be a joint and shared decision. George, it's also important to remember when we hear numbers it's not just a case count, these numbers represent people. And so it's important, when you're communicating health and medical information to understand that anxiety is higher, people are concerned, people are afraid and when you hear politicians or government officials say don't panic, it can run the risk of being dismissive or insulting and actually can create panic. So I think we need to act here based on evidence and not emotion. When we come back, it's now

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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