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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  September 18, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." tonight, president trump is again trying to hype hopes for an end to the coronavirus as the u.s. death toll nears the truly gut wrenching number of 200,000. there are new signs that the country is again moving in the wrong direction, with the rate of new cases now trending up in 30 states. and against that backdrop, the president is claiming that a coronavirus vaccine will be available to everyone here in the united states who wants one by april of next year. as he faces growing accusations that he's trying to politicize the virus on the eve of the election. the centers for disease control just reversed a move that raised a lot of red flags. the cdc rolling back testing guidance that according to our sources side steps the center's scientific review process. and this hour, we're seeing more evidence of president trump's efforts to undermine health experts and supporters are gathering for a rally in minnesota with no sign of social
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distancing and very few masks. >> let's go to our chief white house correspondent, jim acosta. the president is putting a lot of stock in a vaccine that hasn't even been approved yet. >> that's right, wolf. president trump trying to reassure pandemic weary americans his administration is making progress in its plans to distribute the coronavirus vaccine to every american as soon as possible. today, the president predicted that there will be enough doses of the vaccine for all americans by april of next year. mr. trump made that claim, as you said, wolf, even though a coronavirus vaccine still hasn't been approved for use, but the president is facing a credible crisis on the virus. as the white house has repeatedly interfered with government scientists responding to the pandemic. with the u.s. approaching the grim milestone of 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus, president trump vowed a covid-19 vaccine is coming soon. with enough doses for all americans by april of next year. >> we'll have manufactured at least 100 million vaccine doses
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before the end of the year. and likely much more than that. hundreds of millions of doses will be available every month, and we expect to have enough vaccines for every american by april. >> that's sooner than the timeline laid out by the director of the centers for disease control, dr. robert redfield earlier this week. >> if you're asking me when is it going to be generally available to the american public so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, i think we're probably looking at third -- late second quarter, third quarter 2021. >> but the problems plaguing the administration's response goes well beyond mixed messaging, as recent news reports have found top officials pressuring government scientifics working on the pandemic. "the new york times" obtained emails from two top aides at health and human services bashing comments from a cdc expert who advocated masks with one of the officials saying the doctor's aim is to embarrass the president. she is duplicitous.
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the other official on the email, former hhs spokesman michael caputo who went on leave after accusing cdc doctors of sedition. add to that the white house nixed plans to mail hundreds of millions of masks during the pa people for the virus. the cdc just rewrote the guidelines again. due to the significance of the a asymptomatic, we need to test asymptomatic persons. >> i look at this as someone defacing a historical monument and writing graffiti. >> joe biden hammering mr. trump for downplaying the pandemic. >> he knew it and did nothing. close to criminal. >> inpresident is also taking swipes at his own fbi director, christopher wray, who testified on russian attempts to meddle in the upcoming election. >> i think the intelligence
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community has assessed this publicly to primarily to denigrate vice president biden and what the russians see as kind of an anti-russian establishment. >> mr. trump tweeted, but chris, you don't see any activity from china, even though it's a far greater threat than russia, russia, russia. when the president was asked about that? >> you think you know better? >> yeah, in many cases i do. >> the president also touted hiadministration's announcement of new aid to puerto rico. glossing over his past blundered in responding to the devastation on the island left by hurricane maria three years ago. >> i'm the best thing that ever h happened to puerto rico. >> the president's timeline on a covid vaccine still is based on whether. it may take until the third or fourth quarter for life to return to normal for most americans. take a look at this video. this is from the president's rally comingp later this evening in minnesota. as we have seen at previous
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rallies in recent weeks. people are not practicing social distancing, they're not wearing masks. contrast that with the images we saw earlier today, people standing in line to vote in virgin virginia, yes, you can already start to vote for the upcoming election in virginia. people wearing their masks as they stand in line to vote. a contrast of the two americas that we see out in the country today when it comes to the all important tip coming from health experts that people should indeed wear masks to stay safe. >> and socially distance. both so critically important. life saving steps. so simple, yet unfortunately, a lot of people aren't doing that. thank you very much. let's get more on the breaking news on the pandemic right now. our national correspondent, erica hill, is joining us. erica, the nation is facing yet another very painful milestone. >> yeah, that's right, wolf. we are going to very soon hit a grim milestone of 200,000 lives lost in this country to
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coronavirus. the country currently averaging just over 800 deaths reported each day. and with numbers like that, we could pass that milestone in the coming days. get tested, that's the latest guidance from the cdc for anyone who has been in contact with an infected person. revised again after it was revealed changes last month that focused on testing those with coronavirus symptoms did not come from cdc scientists. >> all of this conflicting information and questions of political motivation are really hampering the efforts to take control of this virus and get back to our normal way of living. >> the virus is not under control. >> we are trending in the wrong direction. >> a blunt assessment as the country adds more than 44,000 new cases. and is about to pass 200,000 covid-related deaths. >> we grow numb to the numbers. 200,000 deaths from this virus. most or many of those deaths
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were avoidable. >> cases are up in 30 states in the past week. just four posting a decline. >> it is concerning. like i said before, we watched this like a hawk. >> georgia has now topped 300,000 total cases. the fifth state to do so. wisconsin, where the president held a rally last night, with few masks and little social distancing reporting more than 1600 new cases yesterday. the most in a single day since the pandemic began. two entire dorms of the university of wisconsin now under second week of quarantine. >> it's been crazy. >> i was hoping like this was the worst case scenario, but i'm glad they're taking steps even though everything escalated quickly. >> providence college urging students to stay home after more than 80 students tested positive in just two days. as schools at every level work to keep students and staff safe, a new study finds as many as 51% of school employees may be at an
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increased risk for covid-19 because of underlying conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and age. low skilled support staff face the highest risk. and concern is growing about younger people passing the virus to more vulnerable populations. >> as societies have opened up, we are seeing outbreaks in younger populations. part of that has to do with the way people are socializing, people are going out and about and living their lives and trying to get back to what is this new normal. >> a new normal that increasingly includes a lot of the old normal. bars in nashville expanding to 50% capacity today. the tennessee titans announcing plans to welcome limited fans. >> we had months to prepare for this day and feel extremely confident in the safe stadium plan. >> as we learn ten people who attended last week's kansas city chiefs game have been told to quarantine because a fan near them tested positive.
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we're also learning more about how this virus can spread on planes. two studies out today show that on long-haul flights early in the pandemic, this was before masks were required, that infections were traced back to these flights, and one case, a woman who had symptoms when she got on the plane, which progressed during that flight, after she landed she was diagnosed. they tracked down 217 crew and passengers on that flight. of them, more than a dozen people had fallen ill with the virus. in fact, 14, and one other crew member. they said the only way they could have contracted the virus was on that flight, wolf. >> that's pretty sad information as well. erica hill, thank you very much. joining us now, our chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta, and cnn medical analyst, lena wen. >> the president said they will have vaccines available for every american by april. can anyone really say with
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certainty at this point something like that? >> no, wolf. we can't, because we don't even have the data yet to show that this vaccine is going to be effective. i mean, there's a lot of enthusiasm around a few of the candidates, but there's really been little data so far, and pretty audacious projections, wolf. you know, it's interesting. i spoke to monsef slowey, this exact issue came up. here's how he described how this might unfold over the next few months. >> if it's shown in november or december, we don't have enough vaccine doses. we have a few million in november and maybe 10, 20 million of each in december. that would be enough to vaccinate certain populations. start vaccinating certain populations, but not the whole population. >> and then the idea, wolf, of sort of trying to really scale up tenfold, 20-fold from there is the real challenge. we simply don't know, and the
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data is double blinded. there's nobody who right now is looking at the data and so far is saying yes, for sure, this looks promising. there's going to be an independent entity that's going to do that, but we just don't know at this point, wolf. >> we all want a vaccine. we want to make sure it's safe and effective. and that takes time to develop a vaccine like that. dr. wen, polling here in the united states now shows a big drop in americans willingness to get a coronavirus vaccine. look at these numbers, from 72% in may down to 51% right now. how troubling is that to you? >> very concerning because we know that it's not the vaccine that's going to save lives. it's the vaccination. and the people who are now suspicious of vaccines, it's not the same group who are suspicious of science and are the antivaxers. there are actually a lot of people who really trust science but are concerned there is political pressure that's driving the approval process. and that's why i actually think the more the president can stop
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talking about a date that's connected with elections and vaccine approval in the same breath, i think the better it will be. and i also hope that the president and everyone else will keep reminding everyone that the vaccine itself may not be the silver bullet. it will take many months for us to get the vaccine because availability isn't the same thing as accessibility, but we also need to figure out how we can live with this virus and institute these other measures like mask wearing, social distancing, that we do have control over right now. >> yeah, as dr. fauci told me himself that even if there is a vaccine that's safe and effective, it may only be 70% or 75% effective, meaning 25% or 30% of the american public who get a vaccine will still be subject potentially to coronavirus. the cdc has now reversed course on testing guidelines. we were all confused why last month they narrowed the testing recommendations. explain what is going on here because this is so, so
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worrisome. >> yeah, this is worrisome, wolf. you know, there's "the new york times" reported on this yesterday. we have corroborated the story that basically said that what typically happens at the cdc is the guidance emanates from the cdc, the goes through a strict vetting process. what seemed to happen here, and i want to show you what showed up on the cdc's website on august 24th. there was this guidance that appeared without having gone through this vetting process that basically said even if you have been exposed to someone with covid, if you don't have any symptoms, you don't need to get tested. that didn't make any sense. public health officials were really confused by this because the concern is that even if you don't have symptoms, you could still be spreading the virus. in fact, some studies have said up to 50% of the spread is coming from people who aren't showing any symptoms. today, wolf, as you mentioned, they reversed course on this. the guidance now basically says,
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basically the opposite. if you have been exposed to someone with covid-19, you have had contact with them, then you do need to get tested. even if you don't have symptoms. so the good news is that the guidance has been updated, but wolf, this is the second time or maybe even more than two times this has happened where this sort of confusing guidance appeared on the cdc's website. we asked a lot of questions when this showed up. they said this had been completely vetted, run by the task force, including dr. fauci. i subsequently found out drdr. dr. fauci was under general anesthesia the day this was run by the task force. it was very confusing, and at least it's updated now, but the cdc, you know, is at least in these situations, has not had the opportunity to fully vet the guidance that we all rely on on its website. >> doctor, i want to show you and our viewers some pictures we're getting in from minnesota. later this evening, the president is holding another political campaign rally. there we see tons of people who have showed up.
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no social distancing, i don't see a whole lot of masks right now. sometimes they put people behind the president speaking wearing masks, but i don't see a whole lot of masks right there. when you see this, what do you think? >> i'm worried about them. i'm worried about them as a physician. i think about these individuals as they may be my patients. there are people coming from all over the country. including from places where there is active viral surge. and they are standing shoulder to shoulder, not wearing masks, potentially spreading the infection to one another. these participants if they're not wearing mafrks are probably also not following other types of public health precautions, and may be gathering in bars and other settings. and then they may go home, and who knows who they'll be exposed to, vulnerable individuals at home or because they're asymptomatic spreaders, they could also be spreading it to other people in the community. so i think it's really important for us to talk about. i know whenever we speak about the trump rallies, we public health experts are also accused of hypocrisy because people will
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say why aren't you always racing the alarm about social justice protests. for many of these protests, people are trying to take every precaution. and i think that's the difference. this is a virus that does not discrimina discriminate. we really shouldn't be having mass gatherings of any kind, but if you are going, please make sure to protect yourself and those around you. >> try to social distance and at least wear a mask. not that hard to wear a mask. it's potentially life saving. doctor, thank you. sanjay gupta, thanks to you as well. >> just ahead, the former obama national security adviser susan rice is getting ready to respond to president trump's attacks on his own fbi director amid new warnings of russian election interference in the current election here. >> and we'll have the latest on joe biden drawing a sharp line between his roots in scranton, pennsylvania, and president trump's privileged youth in new york city. ♪ ♪
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we're back with breaking news. president trump doubling down on his attack against his own fbi director, christopher wray, over his public comments about election interference by russia. joining us, susan rice. she's the author of the book "tough love, my story of the things worth fighting for." there you see the book cover. susan, thanks so much for joining us. the president publicly rebuking his own fbi director, for testifying under oath that russia is in fact interfering right now in the u.s. presidential election to, quote, denigrate joe biden. the president tweeted that china is, quote, a far greater threat than russia, russia, russia. close quote. so what's your reaction to that? >> well, my reaction, wolf, is
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it is a real shame that we have a president of the united states who spends more time trying to muzzle and demean the leaders of our intelligence community and law enforcement community who are trying their best to serve the american people and provide factual information rather than recognize that we face a very real threat from our most committed adversary, russia, to our very democracy. and just because donald trump views himself as the beneficiary of russian illegal interference into our electoral processes, he's privileging his own personal political interests over our national security, the sanctity of our democracy, and the integrity of our elections. and it's shameful. >> it's a pretty amazing when you think about it, this past week, he publicly rebuked the cdc director, dr. robert redfield for what he said about vaccines and wearing masks. and now he's publicly rebuked
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the fbi director, christopher wray, for testifying, as i said, under oath that russia is in fact interfering in the 2020 election. last year, the president -- you want to say something? >> wolf, by the way, just to be clear, the intelligence community has said that russia is the principal threat to our electoral process. that what china is doing, which is far more overt and on a much lesser scale, what iran may be deal, pale in comparison to what russia is doing. it's curious and concerning that the president and those around him like bill barr try to hooyp the china threat in this context, there are many ways to be concerned about china, indeed, but the threat to our electoral process and to our democracy comes principally from russia. >> the attorney general told me here in "the situation room" a couple weeks ago that china was a bigger threat in the upcoming election, interfering in the
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election, than russia was. the president keeps saying that as well. last year, president trump took direct aim at the obama administration for its handling of russian meddling leading up to the 2016 election. he tweeted this, and i'll put it up on the screen. why didn't president obama do something about russia in september before november election when told by the fbi? he did nothing and had no intention of doing anything. two questions. right now, the president has been told by the fbi, christopher wray, the director, that russia is interfering. i don't know if he's doing anything about that, but maybe you do. and is it true that the obama administration, that president obama, when told by the fbi in september, before the election in 2016, did nothing? >> no, that is gnaw true. that is another donald trump lie. what the obama administration did was first of all, president obama personally had a face-to-face-meeting with vladimir putin shortly after receiving that information and
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conveyed to vladimir putin in very -- no uncertain terms what the consequences would be if he pursued further interference in our elections. he issued a very direct threat. and we leveled significant consequences against vladimir putin in december. but the other things we did, wolf, were we worked with the secretaries of state of each state in the union to try to help them secure their electoral systems. we warned the american people in a very clear cut and stark statement on october 7th, 2016, about the threat that came from the highest levels of the russian government. and we prepared punitive options to be leveled against the russians if at any point between september and the election we had a reason to do so and many of those options were deployed later in december. so it's false to say we did nothing. now, let's look at donald trump, by contrast. donald trump has welcomed,
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encouraged, invited and relied on russian support and interference, not only in his election bid in 2016, but he's doing so again now. and his absolute refusal to acknowledge the russian role, his bizarre cozying up to vladimir putin, and his efforts to suppress any and all suggestions, including most recently by fbi director christopher wray, that russia is interfering to disadvantage his opponent and advantage him, he utterly denies. for whatever reason, we can all conclude now, sadly, with confidence, that donald trump has cast his lot with vladimir putin, whom he views as seemingly his best hope to obtain re-election. and he has done so at the expense of our democracy, at the expense of our sovereignty. this is the greatest invasion of our territory that we have faced in years. and donald trump could care less. in fact, he's welcoming it, and
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he's benefitting from it. >> do you have any evidence to back up what the former director of national intelligence, dan coats, is quoting as saying in the bob woodward book, that putin and the russians may have something on the president? >> i don't have evidence to that effect that i can marshal personally. what i do think is absolutely extraordinary is that the man responsible for our intelligence community here in the united states, a republican distinguished former senator and former ambassador, who had access to all of that information long after i left government, had that deep seated concern and worry. that, to me, is extraordinarily disconcerting and telling. >> ambassador susan rice, as usual, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me, wolf. >> just ahead, we're getting new information about the negative reaction inside the u.s. justice department to the attorney general's comparison of the coronavirus lockdown to slavery.
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add the more sports and entertainment package for nfl redzone. click, call or visit a store today to learn more. we're getting new information about the backlash against the attorney general william barr after a stunning remarks about federal prosecutors and about coronavirus quarantines. our senior justice correspondent, evan perez, is joining us. you have new reporting that
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there's been a deep blow to morale following attorney general barr's remarks earlier this week where he actually insulted career federal prosecutors within his own department and likened coronavirus lockdowns to slavery. >> yeah, that's right, wolf. look, i think the justice department in the last day says if you read the attorney general's speech, you'll see he has tremendous respect for prosecutors. but i'll tell you, in speaking to some of the career prosecutors and even some of the political appointees inside the department, you're getting a different picture. you hear from people who say that the attorney general was tone deaf in some of his insults of career prosecutors who he compared to preschoolers. and he called some prosecutors, he said they were head hunters. these are the criticisms that have now -- have had a very strong reaction inside the department from prosecutors who say that the department, the attorney general seemed to be going to war with some of the people who report to him.
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essentially, you know, discarding what they do for a living there every day. some of them have a lot of experience, more experience than the political appointees, wolf, and he was insulting all of them. >> you're also learning, evan, more about the attorney general's desire to go after some protesters with criminal charges. what is the latest? >> well, the deputy attorney general in the last few hours, or in the last day, wolf, issued a memo to prosecutors around the country, first of all, he was chas titising for leaking to th press that the attorney general was urging them to consider bringing very aggressive charges, including sedition, which makes it a crime to try to overthrow the u.s. government. he said in his memo, you don't have to seek to overthrow the u.s. government to bring these charges against these violent protesters in the last few months. he says for example that you simply have to oppose by force the authority of the united
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states government or to use force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the united states. this is simply doubling down on this idea that some of these violent protests that have broken out in various cities around the country, the attorney general and the deputy attorney general are saying, wolf, that they want more aggressive action. they want more federal charges against these protesters. not just being handled by local prosecutors, which is usually the case. >> evan perez reporting for us, thank you, evan, as usual. let's bring in senior legal analyst, former u.s. attorney, preet bharara. let me get your reaction to the reporting we just heard from evan. what effect do the attorney general's comments have on the men and women, career prosecutors over at the justice department? >> i'll corroborate what evan perez reported. i have spoken to people, too. you might imagine that it has a blow to morale and people don't like being talked about like
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that by their boss, who has a big public platform. it also is not consistent with, i think, how other people have led that department. and how people should view the backbone of the department, which is men and women who are career folks who give up a lot for public service, to protect their district and protect our country. the other thing i'll say, though, is contrary to what bill barr suggests, comparing them in some instances to preschoolers, they're adults and they have tough skins and tough hides and they have steel spines, and that's why we rely on them to keep public faith and to enforce the laws and to bring about justice where it's appropriate. so for the most part, i hope, not withstanding some morale hit, that in the garden variety cases that are brought around the country every day and in washington, they're keeping their heads down, doing their jobs, and they're keeping the public safe and holding people who have committed crimes accountable. >> these career officials really are so, so important and impressive. the attorney general, as you know, preet, he also attacked coronavirus restrictions.
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he's undermining americans' trust in the election by falsely claiming voters can't trust mail-in ballots. he's propagating the false idea that foreign countries could fake ballots, for example. have you ever seen an attorney general so aligned publicly with the president's campaign message, which the president delivers almost on a daily basis? >> no, i have not. there have been attorneys general, it's part of the job, if they make an errant comment or they like look they're in the corner of the president and serving the president as opposed to the public, that allegation has been made before. but i don't think anyone has ever seen anything at this level and at this scale. and it's also interesting, one of the things you didn't mention, but i heard susan rice talking about earlier on your show, is this divergence between what the fbi director says, with respect to the volume of activity on the part of russians versus the volume of activity on the part of the chinese with
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respect to the election, and a divergence between the fbi director and the attorney general, bill barr, who said to you also that china is the biggest culprit. well, why do you think that is when you talk about alignment? the president of the united states has a political interest, it seems, to downplay the involvement of russia and to play up the involvement of the chinese. and what i'm most concerned about, given your question, is not what he has said so far, not the things he is pointing out, not his rhetoric, but what the actions of the attorney general will be in this most important election, i think, in the country's history. will he on november 3rd, take actions to protect what will probably be a temporary lead by the president of the united states in the election. he has a lot of authority and a lot of power, and he's making a lot of claims and accusations that he said on your show previously as well, were not based on evidence. he literally admit someday of these claims about outside interference with respect to the mailing in of thousands of ballots not based on evidence. based on what? logic, and perhaps his own
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campaign interest in promoting the campaign interest of the president. no no, i have not seen anything like this and i'm worried it will be getting worse. >> bill barr compared to covid lockdowns to slavery, and also smeared the black lives matter movement. he claimed they're using the deaths of black men at the hands of police as props to achieve a political agenda. this is someone who is supposed to insure justice in our country. so what impact do those words have? >> well, look, i think it has a polarizing impact. we should be clear that violence should be called out. violence should be condemned and people who engage in violent intentional behavior should be prosecuted by the appropriate authority, whether it's the federal authority or the local authority. but to use that kind of language and rhetoric in an inflammatory way when there's a lot of good reason for people to be upset, i don't think helps heal the country, doesn't bring the country together. it doesn't cause us to be unified. and he should maybe think more
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about what he says before he says it. >> preet bharara, thank you very mauch for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. just ahead, in a fiery speech, joe biden slams president trump's handling of the economy as they make dueling campaign stops in minnesota. >> plus, voters facing long lines at polling places as four more states begin early in-person voting. we'll be right back. this is our chance to put the darkness of the past four years behind us.
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to end the anger, the insults, the division, the violence, and start fresh in america. we can stop focusing on a president that thinks it's all about him, and start focusing on what's best for us. we need to get control over the virus. donald trump failed. joe biden will get it done. we need to help working families. joe biden's plan rewards work, and makes the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share. we need to take the next step in health care. joe biden will lower premiums and reduce drug costs while still protecting those with preexisting conditions. we need to take on climate change and protect social security and medicare. we've had four years of a president who brings out the worst in america. isn't it time we had a president who brought out the best? i'm joe biden and i approve this message.
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live pictures out of minnesota. the president getting ready to speak there at a campaign rally shortly. you see a lot of people there, not much social distancing, if any at all, and not much mask wearing either. very disturbing when we watch that. meanwhile, in a fiery speech, the former vice president, joe biden, slammed president trump's handling of the coronavirus and made an economic appeal to voters hurt by this pandemic. let's bring in c nnn's jessica dean. she was in minnesota. still there, she covered the biden event. biden is clearly trying to make a pitch to white working class voters. what are you learning about this part of his campaign strategy? >> yeah, that's exactly right, wolf. he was in minnesota today, where early in-person voting started today, as a matter of fact. he was here making that pitch to working-class voters. these are voters that didn't -- that swung toward donald trump in the last election. hillary clinton didn't perform as well with these voters as
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democrats had in the past. these are voters that biden and his campaign truly believe that they can get back on their side, and we heard him preview his pitch last night during our town hall when he talked about this being scranton versus park avenue. it's a theme that he brought here to minnesota today. take a listen. >> i view this campaign as between scranton and park avenue. all trump sees from park avenue is wall street. that's why the only metric of the american prosperity for him is the value of the dow jones. like a lot of you, i spent a lot of my life with guys like donald trump looking down on me. looking down on the people who make a living with their hands, people who take care of our kids, clean our streets. >> and he really drew that framing also used that framing, rather, as it relates to the coronavirus response. that joe biden said he really
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believes that the response to the covid pandemic should be for everyone in the country. if he was elected president, he would be focusing on how to make sure everyone can recover from it. he argues that donald trump, again, that park avenue mentality that joe biden is talking about, that he's describing, that donald trump is only focused on millionaires and billionaires and what the stock market is doing, wolf. again, also, too, if you look at where joe biden has been in the last week. he's been here in minnesota, in michigan, in pennsylvania. these are battleground states where, again, he's taking this message to white working-class voters he hopes to bring back to his side. >> these are the battleground states that will determine who wins the presidential election. jessica dean, in minnesota for us, thank you very much. >> just ahead, voters enduring long socially distanced lines as more states begin early in-person voting here in the u.s.
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early in-person voting kicked off in four more states today. throngs of lines in virginia, wait times reported to be hours long. our political correspondent is looking into all this for us. abby, voters are turning out early and in big numbers. how significant is that? >> we've been talking all summer about high turnout in some of these states that have been
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voting during the pandemic. and now we are seeing it in the early voting period for the general election. six states are voting already, starting today in four of those states, two of them -- alabama and pennsylvania -- started earlier this month. virginia, minnesota, south dakota and wyoming began today. and you can tell how critically important this is because both of the candidates, trump and biden, campaigning in minnesota today. and earlier today we were in virginia. look at these lines. this is in fairfax county, a northern virginia suburb of washington, d.c., lines that stretch for what seem to be a football field or more of people willingly waiting for hours to cast their ballot on the first day of early voting, some of these individuals telling cnn that they are concerned about reported delays in mail delivery. they wanted to be sure their ballot could be counted in person. so, they're willing to wait masked up, socially distanced in
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that line after the room got to capacity. we also heard from fairfax county election officials that they have never seen this level of interest in early voting in this part of that state. it's an extraordinary development because there are all of these voters have many days to do this. they are choosing to do it on the very first one. it also goes to show, wolf, that from now until november 3rd, voting and election day is every single day. there's no such thing, anymore, as just one day of voting. >> people are going to be voting in person early. they're going to be using the mail, obviously, as well. and on november 3rd, people will show up at that time as well. there's a lot of enthusiasm out there, abby phillip, thank you very much. we have much more news after this. aetna medicare takes a total,
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finally our nightly tribute to the victims of coronavirus pandemic. mike steinbrenner of ohio was 85 years old. he was a u.s. army veteran and a hardworking union carpenter who loved playing golf and coin collecting. his daughter-in-law says he set a great example of being a good husband and a father of five children. harry basker of new york was 89. born in poland, he served in the israeli army before coming to the united states. he leaves behind three children and grandchildren who says he danced ball room style every week until he became ill. may they rest in peace and may their memories be a blessing to. our jewish viewers in the united states and around the world,
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safe and happy new year. "erin burnett outfront" starts "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com "outfront"next, trump claims every american will now have access to a vaccine by april. how is that possible when a safe and effective vaccine has still not yet been proven or approved? dr. scott atlas who was closely advising the president on coronavirus is my guest. long lines outside polling stations as early polling is under way in several states as the president is making claims of voter fraud. a pastor who called himself a no-masker is in the icu with coronavirus. we have that story. ets will go "outfront." good evening, i'm erin burnett. president trump putting lives at risk holding another crowded rally, this time in minnesota, a state where there has been

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