Mike Bloomberg Donates $10 Million to Testing and Tracing

In order to combat the coronavirus pandemic, it is crucial to test and track the virus, and to warn citizens who may be infected to self-isolate. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating $10 million to this effort. His close aide and former presidential campaign manager Kevin Sheekey joins the show to discuss.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Let me start out, obviously, by asking you how this test and contact trace, you know, system is working. Because clearly that is really what is needed right now. Is it up and running? Where are we after the 10 million that Mayor Bloomberg has put in?

KEVIN SHEEKEY, GLOBAL HEAD OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS, BLOOMBERG LP: Well, you know, listen. What you just said I wish everyone really knew. You know, your previous guest talked about that we need to do two things. We need to come back as an economy and we need to keep people safe. And what we have seen around the world is where that has worked, principally in Asia where this virus started, was the ability to test, to trace and to ultimately quarantine. You know, my real fear is that the United States is now poised to do this worse than any other industrialized country in the world. But it really starts with the basic idea that we have learned for hundreds of years, find out who’s sick, find out who else they have been in contact with and quarantine them until their better so this doesn’t spread. Unfortunately, this is happening at a national level and every other country in the world. We are, in the United States, constrained by constitutional limits where we (INAUDIBLE) certain powers to the states. In my view, we’re also constrained by the individual holds in the most important constitutional office in this country. So, it’s really being left to governors, county leaders and mayors to put this practice in place until, what you said, we are helping Governor Cuomo of New York develop the New York State Program. Unfortunately, it’s the largest and first to go, large because of the tragedy and the cases that have occurred there. But we’re rolling out, as we speak, and we’ve had 60,000 applications for people to become contact tracers in New York state alone.

About This Episode EXPAND

Arizona Senator Martha McSally discusses the tough reelection battle she faces in November. Michael Bloomberg’s former presidential campaign manager Kevin Sheekey discusses the fight against the pandemic. Writer Matt Ridley tells Walter Isaacson about the fascinating history of innovation, from post-it notes to vaccines.