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  • WELCOME BACK TO A LATE SHOW," EVERYBODY.

  • HE IS THE CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN AND THE

  • HOST OF THE PODCAST "CORONAVIRUS: FACT VS. FICTION."

  • AND HE HAS JUST WRITTEN A NEW BOOK: "KEEP SHARP: BUILD A

  • BETTER BRAIN AT ANY AGE."

  • PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO "A LATE SHOW," DR. SANJAY GUPTA!

  • SANJAY, GOOD TO SEE YOU GAIN.

  • >> STEPHEN THANKS SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME HERE.

  • >> Stephen: HAPPY NEW YEAR.

  • WE HAVE NOT SEEN YOU SINCE THE FALL, THE FALL.

  • YOU HAVE BEEN HERE SEVERAL TIMES UNDER COVID.

  • YOU'RE, OBVIOUSLY, A BRAIN EXPERT.

  • WE HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF FOOTAGE HERE OF YOUR FRIEND ANDERSON

  • COOPER.

  • THIS IS FROM THE ANDERSON AND ANDY NEW YEAR'S EVE BROADCAST

  • THEY DID LAST WEEK.

  • JIM, CAN WE SHOW THE CLIP OF THIS, PLEASE.

  • >> HAVE YOU GOTTEN HIGH ON CNN?

  • >> NO, BUT IN FRONT OF THE CNN BUILDING ON SUNSET BOULEVARD, I

  • HAVE.

  • ( LAUGHTER ) >> SNOOP, LET ME ASK YOU THIS,

  • AND THEN I'M GOING TO RAP OUT OF THIS GAME: HAVE YOU GOTTEN HIGH

  • AT A BRIS?

  • ( LAUGHTER ) >> Stephen: NOW, THAT BEHAVIOR

  • SEEMED SLIGHTLY OUT OF CHARACTER FOR ANDERSON COOPER.

  • AND ON BEHALF OF A WORRIED NATION, AS A BRAIN EXPERT,

  • WHAT'S GOING ON WITH HIS BRAIN THERE?

  • >> UH, WELL-- WELL, CLEARLY, HIS ORBITAL FRONTAL CORTEX HAS BEEN

  • AFFECTED BY THIS.

  • YOU LOSE YOUR JUDGMENT.

  • YOU LOSE YOUR INHIBITION.

  • I THINK CLEARLY HE'S LOST BOTH THERE.

  • THE GIGGLING, OR THE LAUGHTER THERE, PROBABLY THE SUPERIOR

  • FRONTAL WAS AFFECTED.

  • BASICALLY, THE ALCOHOL, STEPHEN, IS AFFECTING ALL THE NEURAL

  • PATHWAYS IN THE BRAIN.

  • THE BRITS CALL IT BEING PISSED.

  • THE SCOTTS CALL IT PISHED, INTOXICATED, 19RIATEED, DRUNK

  • WASTED.

  • BUT NEVER SLOPPY.

  • ANDERSON COOPER IS NEVER SLOPPY.

  • >> Stephen: NEAT, THE SILVER SURFER OF CABLE NEWS.

  • FROM A PUBLIC HEALTH PERSPECTIVE, DOCTOR, WHICH WILL

  • BE A HAPPIER NEW YEAR?

  • >> YEAH, I THINK-- I THINK, STEPHEN, IT WILL BE A HAPPIER

  • NEW YEAR.

  • BUT IT'S GOING TO TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF TIME TO GET THERE.

  • I MEAN, IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN RIGHT AWAY.

  • PEOPLE THOUGHT AS SOON AS THE CALENDAR YEAR TURNS, EVERYTHING

  • IS GOING TO CHANGE.

  • THE VIRUS DOESN'T CARE ABOUT THE CALENDAR.

  • PEOPLE ARE SORT OF IN THE STATE OF WHIPLASH, I THINK.

  • BECAUSE THEY'RE, UNDERSTANDABLY-- AND I THINK FOR

  • GOOD REASON-- CELEBRATING THE VACCINES.

  • WE'RE HEARING A LOT ABOUT THAT.

  • BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I MEAN, YOU KNOW, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE

  • IN THE HOSPITAL RIGHT NOW WITH COVID, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO

  • ARE DYING EVERY DAY AND BECOMING NEWLY INFECTED, I MEAN, YOU

  • KNOW, WE KEPT TALKING ABOUT WORST-CASE SCENARIOS.

  • AND WE WOULD ALWAYS PUT THOSE IN THE BACK OF THE NOTES BECAUSE WE

  • WANTED TO JUST SORT OF GIVE THE MORE MIDRANGE SORT OF

  • LIKELIHOODS, WHY UNNECESSARILY BRING UP WORST-CASE SCENARIOS?

  • WE'RE SORT OF THERE.

  • I MEAN, A PERSON IS DYING NEARLY EVERY 33 SECONDS RIGHTNOW IN

  • THIS COUNTRY.

  • AND I HATE TO SAY IT-- IN SOME WAYS I FEEL LIKE I HAVE FAILED

  • MY JOB BECAUSE I'M A MEDICAL REPORTER IN THE MIDDLEAVE

  • PANDEMIC, AND HERE WE ARE.

  • BUT WE WILL GET BETTER.

  • I'M CONFIDENT.

  • I'M OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THAT.

  • BUT IT'S GOING TO TAKE SOME WORK TO GET THERE.

  • >> Stephen: NOW, THE VACCINE ROLLOUT, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT

  • THAT FOR A SECOND.

  • YOU ACTUALLY WERE VACCINATED ON CAMERA.

  • DID YOU HAVE ANY REACTION TO THE SHOT YOURSELF?

  • >> NO, I FELT PRETTY GOOD.

  • I MEAN, THAT NIGHT, A FEW HOURS AFTER I GOT THE SHOT, I GOT IT

  • IN MY LEFT ARM-- YOU ALWAYS GET THE SHOT IN YOUR NONDOMINANT

  • ARM.

  • IT WAS A LITTLE SORE.

  • I COULD STILL THROW A IF I HAD TO.

  • I GET ANOTHER SHOT THIS FRIDAY.

  • BUT I FELT GOOD.

  • >> Stephen: WE WERE TALKING IN THE FIRST ACT OF THE SHOW

  • TONIGHT ABOUT SOME OF THE CONCERNS ABOUT HOW THE ROLLOUT

  • AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE VACCINE IS GOING.

  • ARE THOSE CONCERNS OVERBLOWN?

  • OR ARE THERE REALLY SOME REASONS TO BE DISAPPOINTED IN THE

  • ABILITY SO FAR TO COORDINATE THE DISTRIBUTION?

  • >> I THINK THERE IS REASON TO BE-- TO BE DISAPPOINTED.

  • I MEAN, AGAIN, THE IDEA OF HAVING TWO AUTHORIZED VACCINES

  • BY THE END OF LAST YEAR, WAS A REMARKABLE SCIENTIFIC

  • ACHIEVEMENT, AND I DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING TO THROW COLD WATER

  • ON THAT.

  • BUT VACCINES DON'T WORK.

  • VACCINATIONS DO.

  • AND RIGHT NOW WE HAVE 28%.

  • WE JUST LOOKED THIS UP BEFORE COMING ON THE SHOW TONIGHT.

  • 28% OF THE VACCINES THAT ARE OUT THERE HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN

  • UTILIZED, HAVE ACTUALLY BECOME SHOTS THAT HAVE GONE INTO ARMS.

  • THAT'S NOT ANYWHERE NEAR WHERE WE SHOULD BE.

  • AND THE IDEA OF HOW YOU GET A VACCINE-- MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO

  • IDEA.

  • IT'S PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS I GET.

  • "THE VACCINES ARE OUT THERE, HOW DO I GET MINE?"

  • MY PARENTS, THEY LIVE IN FLORIDA, STEPHEN, THEY LIVE IN

  • LEE COUNTY, AND THEY BASICALLY WENT ON GOOGLE AND THEY LOOKED

  • UP AVAILABILITY OF VACCINES IN THEIR AREA, AND I'M JUST TELLING

  • YOU-- I'LL TELL YOU THE STORY OF HOW IT PLAYED OUT.

  • THEY FOUND THAT THE LOCAL LIBRARY, THE LEE COUNTY LIBRARY

  • WAS GOING TO HAVE 300 DOSES AND THEY WERE GOING TO BE GIVEN OUT

  • AT 9:00 A.M. ON A WEDNESDAY.

  • SO MY PARENTS, WHO ARE BOTH IN THEIR LATE 70s, WENT TO THE

  • LIBRARY, CAMPED OUT AT 1:30 IN THE MORNING TO GET THEIR

  • VACCINES, WERE CAMPING OUT, LIKE GETTING TICKETS TO A GRATEFUL

  • DEAD CONCERT OR SOMETHING-- AND MY PARENTS DON'T GO TO THE

  • GRATEFUL DEAD.

  • THEY WERE IN THE LAST 70s -- >> Stephen: I THINK THAT IS

  • ACTUALLY YOUNGER THAN THE GRATEFUL DEAD, BUT GO AHEAD.

  • >> THAT'S A GOOD POINT.

  • THAT'S TRUE.

  • THEY ENDED UP GETTING THESE TICKETS.

  • 300 DOSES WERE GIVEN OUT, AND MY PARENTS WERE GIVEN THESE TICKETS

  • BASICALLY NUMBERS 288 AND 289.

  • >> Stephen: I THINK I HAVE IT RIGHT HERE.

  • THERE THEY ARE.

  • >> 1:30 IN THE MORNING THEY GOT THERE.

  • >> Stephen: JUST BARELY GOT IN UNDER THE WIRE.

  • WIRE.

  • >> YEAH, AND THEY HAD TO WAIT 10 HOURS UNTIL THEY GOSS THEIR

  • VACCINE.

  • >> Stephen: MY QUESTION IS, I PAY ATTENTION TO THIS STUFF.

  • I KNOW THAT I'M NOT, YOU KNOW, FIRST-LINE, YOU KNOW, RECEIVER

  • OF A VACCINE.

  • I KNOW-- I WAIT MY TIME.

  • I'M A YOUNGER FELLA.

  • I DON'T HAVE ANY COMORBIDITIES, SO I'M HAPPY TO WAIT.

  • BUT I'VE GOT FAMILY MEMBERS-- I HAVE A 91-YEAR-OLD

  • FATHER-IN-LAW.

  • I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO ADVISE HIM.

  • I DON'T WHERE HE GOES.

  • I DON'T KNOW IF THESE THINGS ARE AVAILABLE IN SOUTH CAROLINA OR

  • WHERE YOU WOULD CALL TO FIND OUT.

  • IT'S THE COMMUNICATION THEY FIND SO-- SO-- WELL, UPSETTING, IS

  • THAT WE JUST AREN'T BEING TOLD "A," WHAT THE TIMETABLE IS, OR

  • "B," WHERE THE RESOURCES ARE TO FIND OUT WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW.

  • >> YEAH, NO, I MEAN, THAT'S THE-- THAT'S BEEN THE PROBLEM

  • EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.

  • SINCE YOU AND I SPOKE BACK IN MARCH, I THINK THAT'S BEEN THE

  • PROBLEM.

  • WE DON'T-- THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A NATIONAL

  • STRATEGY.

  • IT MEANS YOU DON'T HAVE A NATIONAL MESSAGE.

  • IN FLORIDA, YOU COULD BE IN ONE COUNTY AND TOTALLY QUALIFY AND

  • HAVE A SMOOTH EXPERIENCE-- GET THE VACCINE, BE IN AND OUT IN A

  • FEW MINUTES.

  • IN ANOTHER PLACE YOU HAVE TO CAMP OUT, LITERALLY, OVERNIGHT

  • IN ORDER TO GET A TICKET AND POSSIBLY GET A VACCINE.

  • I MEAN, THAT IS NOT THE WAY -- >> Stephen: IS THERE NO

  • CENTRAL SILO FOR THIS INFORMATION?

  • >> NOT ONLY IS THERE NOT A CENTRAL FEDERAL SILO, THERE'S

  • NOT EVEN A FEDERAL STATE SILO.

  • SO EACH COMMUNITY IS SORT OF HANDLING THIS ON THEIR OWN.

  • IN FLORIDA, THEY SAID, "OKAY, HERE'S HOW MANY VACCINES ARE

  • GOING TO THIS COUNTY.

  • HERE'S HOW MANY ARE GOING TO THIS COUNTY."

  • AND THE COUNTIES SORT OF:FIGURED IT OUT.

  • IN SOME PLACES, AGAIN, IT WENT WELL.

  • MOUNT SINAI IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY THEY CREATE AID VACCINE

  • DISTRIBUTION CENTER AND BY ALL ACCOUNTS IT WENT WELL.

  • AND MY PARENTS IN LEE COUNTY HAD TO CAMP OUT.

  • THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

  • WE'RE NOT TREATING THIS LIKE THE BIGGEST PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

  • OF OUR LIFETIME THAT IT IS.

  • WE SHOULD BE.

  • WE'RE NOT DOING THAT THAT.

  • >> Stephen: YOU HAVE RECEIVED ONE OR TWO SHOTS?

  • HAVE YOU RECEIVED BOTH SHOTS?

  • >> NO, I'VE JUST GOTTEN THE FIRST.

  • I'M GETTING THE SECOND ONE THIS FRIDAY.

  • >> Stephen: AND ONCE YOU HAVE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED WHAT IS--

  • WELL WHAT, IS YOUR ABILITY TO MOVE AT LIBERTY?

  • ARE YOU STILL GOING TO HAVE TO STAY MASKED OR ARE YOU BACK TO

  • NORMAL?

  • >> WELL, NO, I WILL STILL HAVE TO STAY MASKED.

  • AND I THINK THAT THIS IS A FUNDAMENTAL POINT ABOUT THE

  • VACCINE, STEPHEN.

  • WHEN WE SAY THE VACCINE IS 95% EFFECTIVE, I THINK A FAIR

  • QUESTION IS 95% EFFECTIVE AT WHAT?

  • WELL, IT'S 95% EFFECTIVE AT KEEPING ME FROM GETTING SICK

  • WHICH IS REALLY IMPORTANT AND DOES GIVE ME A SENSE OF COMFORT

  • THAT I WON'T GET SICK.

  • BUT I COULD BECOME INFECTED AND CARRY THE VIRUS IN MY MOUTH, MY

  • NOSE, AND I COULD POTENTIALLY TRANSMIT IT.

  • THEREIN LIES THE ISSUE.

  • IT'S GREAT THAT IT WILL KEEP ME FROM GETTING SICK, DO A VERY

  • GOOD JOB AT THAT, BUT I WILL STILL WEAR MASKS UNTIL ENOUGH

  • PEOPLE HAVE BEEN VACCINATED THAT THEY ALSO WONT GET SICK.

  • AND THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN IN DAYS AND WEEKS.

  • THAT'S WHAT TAKES MONTHS.

  • >> Stephen: NOW, WE HEAR NEWS STORIES-- ACTUALLY, JUST FOUND

  • OUT A FEW HOURS AGO THAT IN GEORGIA, IT'S DISCOVERED THERE

  • IS THIS NEW STRAIN FIRST IDENTIFIED IN THE U.K., AND THEN

  • IN COLORADO AND CALIFORNIA AND NOW IN GEORGIA, AND PROBABLY

  • EVERYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES.

  • THERE IS THIS NEW STRAIN OF A CONSIDERABLY MORE CONTAGIOUS

  • VERSION OF THIS VIRUS.

  • SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT THAT?

  • BECAUSE IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EVEN, TALKING TO YOU LAST SPRING, THAT

  • I HEARD THAT THERE WOULD BE-- THERE WOULD BE EXPECTED

  • MUTATIONS OF THE VIRUS, BUT THEY WOULDN'T NECESSARILY BE MORE

  • LETHAL JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE MORE CONTAGIOUS.

  • >> THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT.

  • I MEAN, WE EXPECT THESE VIRUSES AS THEY SPREAD MORE AND MORE

  • THROUGH PEOPLE TO JUST ACCUMULATE SOME MUTATIONS.

  • THAT DOES HAPPEN.

  • AND WHAT'S INTERESTING-- AND, YOU KNOW, I-- I DON'T WANT TO

  • SIGN A PERSONALITY TO VIRUSES.

  • VIRUSES AREN'T A LIVING THING.

  • YOU CAN'T KILL THEM BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT ALIVE.

  • BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE TRAJECTORY OF THESE MUTATIONS

  • WHAT A VIRUS WANTS TO DO IS BE ABLE TO SPREAD MORE EASILY, FIND

  • LOTS OF HOSTS, HOMES-- WHICH IS WHAT WE ARE, HUMANS ARE-- BUT

  • NOT NECESSARILY KILLER HOSTS BECAUSE YOU LOSE YOUR HOME.

  • THE IDEA THAT THE VIRUSASPREADS MORE EASILY AS A RESULT OF THE

  • MUTATIONS BUT DOES NOT BECOME MORE LETHAL, MAYBE BECOMES LESS

  • LETHAL IS A POSSIBILITY.

  • WE HAVE TO KEEP AN EYE ON IT, HOW MANY MUTATIONS AND HOW

  • SIGNIFICANT THEY ARE.

  • BUT I DON'T THINK IT'S WORRISOME IN TERMS OF THIS IS A DEADLIER

  • VIRUS, SOMETHING WE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BECAUSE OF THAT.

  • >> Stephen: YOU HAVE THE NEW BOOK, "KEEP SHARP: BUILD A

  • BETTER BRAIN AT ANY AGE," SANJAY GUPTA.

  • AT ANY AGE?

  • REALLY?

  • I'M IN MY MID-50s.

  • I STILL HAVE MY MOMENTS OF SHARPNESS, BUT I CERTAINLY DON'T

  • FEEL LIKE I HAVE THE MEMORY I HAD WHEN I WAS 25.

  • IS THAT-- IS THAT BECAUSE I'M IN MY MID-50s?

  • OR IS IT BECAUSE I TAKE LETHAL DOSES OF TWITTER THAT IS ROTTING

  • MY SKULL?

  • >> WELL I CAN'T DO ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR TWITTER, YOU KNOW,

  • SORT OF TOXICITY, STEPHEN.

  • BUT I CAN GIVE YOU GOOD NEWS IN THAT I DON'T THINK THE MEMORY

  • PROBLEMS YOU'RE DESCRIBING ARE BECAUSE OF YOUR AGE, BY ANY

  • MEANS.

  • FIRST OF ALL, MOST MEMORY PROBLEMS AT ANY AGE ARE REALLY

  • BECAUSE OF INATTENTION.

  • IT'S NOT NECESSARILY THAT WE'RE FORGETTING THINGS.

  • IT'S THAT WE NEVER