tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 6, 2020 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
vice president debate of 2020, mike pence and kamala harris face-off with special coverage starting at seven eastern. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. it is the top of the hour. i am brianna keilar and president trump's doctor said "his patient continues to do extremely well and reports no symptoms of covid." this after the president returned to the white house following a brief stay for covid treatment. sources tell cnn nervousness is on the rise among the few residential staff remaining as the still infected president continues to publicly downplay both his experience and the ongoing threat to americans. on twitter the president pointed to the upcoming flu season saying the u.s. has to learn to covid just as it has with the flu falsely claiming covid is far less leith until most populations. twitter labelled this tweet as
misleading. reporter kaitlan collins is withous now. worth pointing out the doctor issued a report but not the most transparent in press briefings on the president's health. tell us more about this statement. >> reporter: it doesn't appear he's giving a briefing today where he will take questions. something he's done the last three days. it's notable they've stopped those now that the president is back at the white house and hopefully will bring them back because it's a short statement but says no symptoms for the president today. he said his vitals remain stable over the last day or so. since he's been checking on the president and since he last updated us yet afternoon. of course, a lot of questions still remain to be desired, especially given comments the president made really downplaying coronavirus, wrongly comparing it to the flu. the way the president has been approaching this is not the way aides have been saying the president is approaching this, talking about how he's going to use this experience when he's back on the campaign trail because he's been through it,
knows what people are going through. that's not the way the president has been talking about it since returning to the white house last night, when he claimed in a video he feels like he's immune to it, of course, because the president is also on steroids and an antibody cocktail that isn't afforded to a lot of americans here in the united states. given he is the president and deserves a different level of care than you see most people get. questions from the doctor's statement, it's pretty brief and comes as, it's notable the vice president's doctor put out a statement a little more detailed, talks how something we didn't know before. that the vice president is getting those daily rapid tests and also intermittently getting the tests that take a little longer for results and have a higher accuracy rate. it's not clear if the president is going to be receiving those. how many tests the president is going to get before cleared to be back in public, but he did tweet today, he is looking forward to debating joe biden in miami, and that's just nine days away from now.
>> yeah. very much in question. we'll see. kaitl kaitlan, thank you. breaking news at the pentagon with the joint chiefs of staff and several members of senior leadership now quarantining after being exposed to this virus. live to barbara starr at the pentagon. what happened? >> reporter: brianna, what happened is yesterday the vice commandant of the coast guard admiral charles rey tested positive tore covid after experiencing mild symptoms. he, however, had been in contact, recent contact, with top pentagon leadership as recently as friday for a top-level meeting here at the pentagon. so that has now triggered the entire joint chiefs of staff, except for one who was not here, basically working from home, working from alternative locations. let's go through the list. it is the pennell leadership. there's no way around it. chairman of the joint chiefs general mark milley. vit chairman heighten.
admiral michael mill day. general james mcdonald's. general charles brown, head of space operations, head of the national guard. the number two general at the marine corps, and general paul nekason yichl nekasoni, national security agency one of the most vital intelligence agencies, very involved in monitoring election security at this time of year. now, we are told all of them so far thankfully have tested negative. none are experiencing symptoms. when will they be able to come back to work? in the building, in their regular offices? we are told that will be up to medical authorities in the military to decide on a day-to-day basis. command and control of the military, everything remains as-is, we are told. general milley, chairman, he has
completely secure communications in his house. he can reach out 24 hours a day anywhere in the world, but is this what you really want to see? what the military has learned once again what they already know. and there is known for months. one positive test, and it can have a ripple effect across a significant population, brianna. >> indeed. they had learned that. barbara, thank you. barbara starr at the pentagon. it's not clear how many cases of covid-19 are connected to last month the supreme court nomination convenient in the rose garden and we may never know. now learning the white house declined assistance of the cdc in contact tracing to help find out who has been factored. kathleen sibilia served under president obama, health and human secretary. thank you for being with us g. to be with you, brianna. >> when you hear about this, the white house refusing the cdc's offer to help contact trace, is there any good reason to do
that? >> absolutely none. every step along the way, this has been a white house refusing to follow the science. so the science would say wearing a mask, don't put people in close proximity. they've paid no attention to that. when they finally had to admit eluct te relucta reluctantly, they weren't saying definitively when was the president first diagnosed? the president is supposed to be isolated. knock on the door. food delivered to the door smop not be around staff or family. instead got in a car putting secret service men putting them and their family the lives at risk. he's back at the white house. there are 90 residents, managers at the white house. there are white house reporters,
there is staff there. if he will isolate, it might keep them safe and secure, but so far there's no indication, and to refuse to contact trace, which means that every single person who was there should be quarantining at this point, if they came within six feet of one of the multiple people who have been found positive, and they should be turning over their contacts so they can be notified. no one knows off the top of their head who has a cancer survivor in their family moop h, a vulnerable senior, a special needs child, dealing with health situations and underlying conditions. this is dangerous. it's immoral and absolutely does not follow the science. >> it seemed like there was no lesson learned or there was no reality that came to him from getting covid himself. in fact, now she telling people not to let it dominate their
lives, and he's very much downplaying the effect of it. is he now outright pushing herd immunity, in your view? >> well, i have no idea what the president is pushing. i've never quite understood this, but he's been delivering misinformation since january to the american public, and now he is claiming to be all knowledgeable about covid since he indeed has been found positive. following none of the science suggesting that, this is the same as having the average flu. the flu every year kills somewhere between 35 and 50,000 people, depending on how serious the cases are. most of them elderly. most of them with underlying health conditions. we have 210,000 americans dead. we have over 7 million people infected and right now, brianna, in the last month, since
mid-august, cases have increased by 25%. we are at a very dangerous period in the united states with the flu virus now hitting rural communities and states where it hasn't presented before. where people have limited hospital access. the president has more hospital care, more drugs available, more doctors available than any other human being in the united states, and yet he refuses to tell people the truth, and refuses to take it seriously. this is not about him. it's about taking the health and security of the american public seriously. taking the health and security of the staff who work for him seriously. taking reporters' health seriously, and he refuses to do any of it. >> are you worried his actions may result in deaths that could otherwise be preventible? >> well, absolutely. i think that saying to the american public, don't worry about this, don't threat rule their lives is exactly the
opposite message that we should be sending. people are dieing to get outside again, and be with their loved ones. they're eager to send their kids back to school. they're anxious to get back to their old lives. they have been sacrificing a lot, and unfortunately, way too many americans have actually had to bur aloved one without holding hihold ing his or her hand, without being able to be at the bedside. the most tragic situation of all. we've had frontline work toers d toerswotoers workers to die. knowing people will go back inside is enormously dangerous and, yes, risk peemg's lives each and every day. we neem people to wearing a mask, socially distance, wash hands regularly and certainly to follow the guidelines if you test positive. isolate yourself from everybody
else for ten days. if you are proximate to somebody who tests positive, you are supposed to quarantine for 14 days, and test periodically to make sure you don't end up as positive. a test is not clearly a shield from this virus as the white house outbreak indicates. a test gives you a moment in time breeding on what your health is 24 hours later, you may well be positive and have shared it with lots and lots of people. the outbreak at the white house, brianna, is larger than the entire country of australias experiencing right now. i mean, this is outrageous. >> and we're seeing that with testing you mentioned. the press secretary is an example of that very thing you mentioned. tests negative until she tests positive. so the president's secretary is calling pharmaceutical ceos involved in the trials underway now and pressural thek e aing t
it out faster. do you have confidence that those companies and the fda can resist his pressure? >> i have enormous confidence in the wonderful professional men and women at the food and drug administration. they are, the gold standard of efficacy and safety. does it work? and will it hurt you? that has always been the american standard and i believe they will stick to those standards. i was, you know, encouraged by the leading heads of pharmaceutical companies involved in the trials. moderna and others who have said, we will not rush a vaccine. the leader of moderna actually stepped up and said, there will not be a vaccine available until sometime in 2021. trying to calm down people's fears. what they know, what the pharmaceutical manufacturers know very well is that if people
don't trust this vaccine, if they believe this is some sort of political, you know, rabbit out of a hat trick, and it's being pushed out so the president somehow can up his poll numbers, americans will not be vaccinated, and we will continue to have this disease ravage our country, ravage our economy. so they are very wise to say, we will follow all the safety guidelines. we will not prematurely release a vaccine, and i trust the food and drug administration to do exactly the same. not to grant a political, you know, go forward because the president wants it to happen in the next four week, but to make sure that we can assure the american public that we have a safe, secure vaccine and then encourage people to step up and be vaccinated. >> secretary, thank you for talking with us today. >> good to be with you. former hhs secretary kathleen sebelius.
up next the risks at the worse. speaking to a former usher about what should be done to protect them. plus, long lines for early voting in ohio and indiana fotoy as a new cnn national poll shows joe biden taking a 16-point lead. later, michelle obama delivers a scathing rebuke of president trump's efforts to stoke racial tensions ahead of the election. >> so what the president is doing is once again patently false. it's morally wrong, and, yes, it is racist. roasted cauliflower tacos with spicy chipotle sauce. [doorbell chimes] thank you. [puck scores] oooow yeah!! i wasn't ready! you want cheese to go with that whine??
from his own infection said americans should not be afraid. try telling that to those currently working inside of the white house with daily direct contact with the first family. sources within the oval tell cnn employees are afraid. they're nervous, and panicked. chris emory is a former white house usher. he worked in the east wing, and he's also the author of "white house ushers: stories from the inside." chris, thanks for being with us. you have an experience that so few people have, and so i know that you have a better sense of what could be going on in here. do you think the president is endangering the staff with his return? >> well, i hope not, and i have to believe that they're taking serious precautions. i would hope. i don't have any insight unfortunately. i hadn't seen anybody from the resident staff since president bush's funeral, but i can tell you the ushers are probably working very hard in conjunction with both the west wing staff and the east wing staff to
ensure proper measures are taken. what that may mean it could mean something as simple as meals left upstairs in the private kitchen. b butlers aren't having to interact with the president. housekeeping may be changing their routine instead of daily cleaning. maybe it's -- it's, you know, once a week. i don't know, but those are the things i would do. and then, of course -- >> sorry. go on. of course, you said? >> well, of course there's other staff, too. it's not just the ushers which have complete access to the first family, but the butlers who handle all needs, meals, refreshments, things like that. but a physical flant has to be maintained. hvac, plumbing, electricians. things that keep this 138-room operating. they need access to the private quarters. could be for the well-being of the first family, could be a safety measure.
so hopefully they're wearing the proper coverings and gloves and masks and everything, and -- and only, you know, spending very little time up there, in the private quarters, but i -- i hope that's the case, because i worry. you know, i've worked with these guys. they're family. and these are just average americans. okay? these aren't people that can have experimental drugs or people that can seek the doctors of their choice. i mean, these are average americans that go home and i'm sure they're families are just have to be worried to death. >> okay. so the other thing is, i mean, look. all of those things you talk about sound very reasonable and we hope that's what they're doing. leaving food in the private kitchen. sort of changing some of the face-to-face interaction, key in this instance, but part of being a staff member in the residence is discretion. right? whether you are the carpenter or you are the pastry chef,
discretion. so if folk there's do have these concerns, we're not going to hear from them. it's not like they come out publicly and say this. do they have an outlet to get those concerns met? >> i hope so. i'm sure the ushers' office is dealing with everybody one-on-one. but you're absolutely right. even a retired executive resident staff, they don't discuss things that took place in the white house. i mention, i wrote a book. my book is about how the white house works. it's not anything to do with what the family told me or any of those types of things. it's just an amazing operation, and it's been, really, the same way for almost 200 years. >> yeah. well, look, we know that it is an honor to serve in the residence, and on the staff. you certainly communicate that here today. so let's just hope that they are getting that reciprocated and that their health is being considered. chris emory, thank you so much for being with us.
>> thank you. good luck. facebook has taken down president trump's blatantly false claim the flu is deadlier than coronavirus, but there is nothing stopping fox news from spinning this. and an in-depth look at propaganda machine, next. robinhood believes now is the time to do money. without the commission fees. so, you can start investing today wherever you are - even hanging with your dog. so, what are you waiting for? download now and get your first stock on us. robinhood.
president trump pretended it was no big deal. then it landed him in the hospital on supplemental oxygen pumped full of steroids and aggressive medications. grimacing while he breathed with obvious effort arriving loam at the white house last night. that "no big deal" of a coronavirus showed the white house and inadequate precautions were an opportunity waiting to be seized but the president supported by helicopter transport and the best medicine that your taxpayer dollars can buy is still unencumbered by science or fact. and now he's trying to sell his infection as the sacrifice of a true leader. >> as your leader i had to do that. i knew there's danger to it but had to do it. i stood out front. i led. nobody that's a leader would not do what i did. and i know there's a risk. there's a danger, but that's okay. and now i'm better, and maybe i'm immune. i don't know. >> leading people off a cliff is
technically leading, but it's also stupid and deadly. so where did he come up with this brilliant argument? >> this is like when the genera enemy. goes, patched up and gets right back to the front line. >> except trump hasn't assumed the risk that he is demanding americans take. he's not fighting on your battlefield fop put this into firm terms he would understand, doing what we refer to in golf as sandbagging. evening odds against the game and lying. surrounding himself by people who get rapid coronavirus tests before they get to see him yet he still got it. he's not personally willing to take on the rick sk sitting in room full of fifth graders or side-by-side with co-workers at a frct factory or an assembly l. he stood far away from the crowds he wanted gathered to absorb their adulation they
stood chockablock shouting, talking and breathing all over one another. masks, the key wep ton fight the virus, he doesn't wear them. a red carpet rolled out and the virus walked right in. that according to this campaign is actually a person experience he can tout from a position of strength. >> listen, he has experiences as commander in chief, that experience as a businessman and now experience now fighting the coronavirus as an individual. those firsthand experiences, joe biden, he doesn't have those. >> so the strategy now is, cast his likely self-inflicted infection as a strength and downplay covid's lethality as he did just this morning while he is still not out of the woods according to his doctor. trump, again, comparing it to the flu, and where did he get that from? >> nob oumber one, it's haven't contagious and number two,
nearly as lethal at experts told us it would be. >> serious. very infection but probably not, almost certainly not going to kill you. >> fair, balanced, unafraid to be dangerously ignorant. it will probably almost certainly not kill you, except when it certainly does, like it did to the more than 210,000 americans who have died in nearly eight months. severely out pacing the flu. look at the past decade. a season that lasts seven months the flu kills about 60,000 americans. in about the same number of months of coronavirus, we're at almost four times that right now. the number of covid deaths have surpassed the past five flu seasons combined. according to the cdc. and according to the president as well, because, remember, this is how he described coronavirus privately back in february. >> it's also more deadly than your, you know, even your
strenuous flus. >> he tells the truth in private, but tells the public the opposite. and fox backs him up. it's most prominent voices promoting a dieing by covid is okay theme, as they tell millions of viewers many of whom are older and more vulnerable to this virus, this -- >> the median age of death for coronavirus in this country is 78 years old. as it happens, 78 is also the life expectancy for all people in this country. in other words, it's dangerous to be an old person who has the coronavirus. it's also dangerous to be an old person, period. at some point, we are all going to die. dieing is the central fact of life. unfortunately, a secular society has no answer or explanation for that and no comfort to give us in the face of it. so no wonder we're so terrified. >> the median age of a fox news viewer is 67 years old. that's the median age. and tucker carlson is bringing
his show to them from the comfort and isolation of a studio where health precautions are taking place. perhaps he should listen to someone that he admires very much, who said this in march -- >> people you trust, people you probably voted for, have spent weeks minimizing what is clearly a very serious problem. no doubt these people have good intentions as they say. this many, anyway. may not know any better. maybe just not paying attention. maybe they believe they're serving a higher cause by shading reality, and an election is coming up bp not to say anything that might help the other side. we get it. but they're wrong. the chinese coronavirus is a major event that will affect your life and by the way, it's definitely not just the flu. >> that's right. before tucker carlson subscribed to the no big deal school of b.s. coronavirus, he told viewers about the dangers of it. what the president appears to call for is herd immunity and his tv buddies fushing it.
go out. be normal they say. in parentheses they don't say a lot will die. not percentagewise, just hundreds of thousands. no big deal. right? what they're really saying is that some people will have to be sacrificed, but they're not raising their hands. they're raising the hands of american whose have given them their trust. case in point. the campaign says it won't change a thing about its rallies. >> we're going to make sure we take everybody's temperature as they're coming in to events. going to give everybody a mask. >> what you've been doing. >> land sanitizer. >> what you've didn't doing. >> encourage people to wear their masks. you know what? a safe and very responsibility thing to do and done it from the beginning of are this. we're taking vis their seriously. >> jason -- jason -- >> we've all moved on that. >> and team trump is still mocking masks. >> that's a political statement to scare people wearing that mask. you do not need that mask when you're standing on a podium and nobody is within half a football
field of you. i don't wear a mask as probably i should, and i haven't gotten covid either and a lot of people on both sides of that. what they claim as science is nonsense. >> rudy guiliani, mind you, coughed through that interview. it's not just masks thatycophan. putting plexiglas between mike pence and kamala harris, and mike pence spokeswoman mocked it saying, if senator harris wants to use a fortress around herself, have at it. katie miller, infected herself this summer, is mocking a campaign that has been more careful and hasn't had an outbreak like it's a weakness. she's representing a white house that is now hone to a covid cluster of the president and aides hacking fatigued struggling to breathe or quarantining working from home refusing the cdc's lep to figure out how big that cluster is.
as team trump tries to spin this, irony is as undivided as the west wing. tweeted out an nfl clip with the president's head on a 49er heads. guess they forgot the 49ers lost that game and senator loeffler tweeting out a picture of trump pinning down a wrestler at a wwe match. wrestling is fakened so the prop ganld da that says coronavirus is not big deal, but the cost is real. still ahead, joe biden takes his biggest lead yesterday in a poll before the election and getting help from michelle obama who post add 2ed a 20-minute vi. you'll hear her argument, next. when we started carvana, they told us
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now check out all of the people who were waiting to vote in indianapolis today. among the 3 million americans who have voted early in the general election. and we're talking about indiana. the vice president and his wife will be traveling home friday to vote. and a new cnn poll finds that joe biden is polling ahead by lis biggest margin yet with less than a month until the election. he is right now leading president trump by a 16-point margin. the poll shows voters prefer bitd ton handle most major issues facing the country like the economy, coronavirus, health care, racial inequality and also crime and safety. biden also leads big with minority voters. 72% of people of color support the former vice president. with white voters almost evenly split. former first lady michelle obama pointing to unrest in the u.s. she posted in a video in support of joe biden. less than a month before the election says the president's
actions have been morally wrong and racist. >> put yourselves in our shoes for just a moment. imagine how it feels to wake up every day and do your very best to uphold the values that his country claims to hold dear, truth, honor, decency. only to have those efforts met by scorn. not just by your fellow citizens, but by a sitting president. imagine how it feels to have suspicion cast on you from the day you were born. simply because of the hue of your skin. to walk around in your own country scared that someone's unjustified fear of you could put you in harm's way. terrified of what four more years of this kind of division might mean for the safety of you and those you love.
living with the knowledge that no matter how hard we try, how much good we do in the world, there will be far too many who will never see our humanity. who will project on us their own fears of retribution for centuries of injustice and thus only see us as a threat to be restrained. and you know what happens next. a racial slur from a passing car. a job promotion that never comes. a routine traffic stop gone wrong. maybe a knee to the neck. racism, fear, division. these are powerful weapons. and they can destroy this nation, if we don't deal with it head-on, because we can no longer pretend that we don't know exactly who and what this president stands for.
search your hearts, and your conscience, and then vote for joe biden like your lives depend on it. >> abby philip joins me now and abby, she outright called trump racist. these are carefully chosen words and that's what she said. >> reporter: yeah, and this is a continuation of what we've been hearing from michelle obama for months now, and it really, i think, reached an apex over the summer with the george floyd protests that touched off racial justice protests all across the current, and she talked about in her podcast the impact that had on her personally and in that clip you just played, she xpounds expounds on that even more, pleading, really, with white americans to envision themselves in the shoes of their fellow americans, their fellow black americans, and really appealing to them not to get drawn in to
what she called the president's racist appeals to white people, to fear minorities moving into the suburbs, and specifically, i think this message really is going to be aimed at women, who she's always had a lot of sway with. suburban women, always had a lot of sway with them, but they are also the constituency most open to this kind of message, and most likely to have such a pivotal role in this election, as they continue to move away from president trump, because of his actions and because of his words especially around issues of race and on the issue of the coronavirus. >> and biden, abby, just gave a preview to reporters of a speech he's going to be giving on unity at gettysburg today saying it's about "the soul of america and racial equality and what significant trouble we're in right now." do you think that it strikes voters as authentic when he is speaking about race?
>> reporter: you know, that's a good question. historically i would say that joe biden has not necessarily been known for being the, the candidate who is sort of speaking to racial issues centrally as a politician. you know? as i'm sure you know, brianna, i think his sort of identity as a politician is on this idea of, speaking to the working class. speaking to sort of middle-class people who grew up the way that he did in scranton, pennsylvania, and in delaware, but what has happened recently is that because he served as vice president to the first black president, he now has to carry on that mantle. it's one of the reasons that he won the democratic primarieny ai think the speech today is going to be him trying to make that case in a more full manner. he started the campaign saying he got in, into the race because of how president trump dealt
with charlottesville and is now making a closing argument on those same themes and i think trying to get that credibility. does he have it right at this moment? i'm not so sure, but it's critical for him to develop it between now and november 3rd. >> abby, thank you so much. abby philip, and we are back now to our breaking news. pentagon leadership including chairman of the join chief ares now forced to quarantine after a top coast guard official tested positive for coronavirus. plus, the widow of broadway actor nick core vaicorever oh - varo who died of coronavirus. >> it's beyond -- have empathy. why are you bragging? [doorbell chimes] cheers. i win again, patrick. that's siiir patrick. oooooow. sir.
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when president trump told americans, don't be afraid of covid, don't let it dominate your life, the message did not sit well with many people who have lost loved ones to coronavirus. among them is the widow of the late broadway star nick cordero. nick was hospitalized in march, he was put on a ventilator, he had one of his legs amputated and he suffered severe lung damage. and he fought like hell against the virus, but he still passed away at the young age of 41. here is his wife's message to the president. >> that everyone is lucky enough to walk out of the hospital after two days, you know, so we saw what this disease can do, so
guess what? we are afraid. we are. i still am. and, you know, i think about if i got it, if i got as sick as nick, little elvis, he doesn't have his mom anymore, so i'm afraid. and, you know, let it dominate your life? no one is letting it. nick didn't let it. it wasn't a choice. and it dominated his life, it dominated my life, it dominated our family's lives for 95 days, and because he didn't make it, it will forever affect my life. even if he would have survived, it would have forever affected and changed our lives. it's beyond hurtful, and have some empathy. why are you bragging? have empathy to the americans that you are our leader. have some empathy to the people who are suffering and grieving. >> nick is just one of the more
than 210,000 americans lost to this virus. and it is important that we honor them and we acknowledge them. julie davis was a third grade teacher in north carolina, just 49 years old. she died just days after learning she had the virus. her daughter says she was selfless, caring and that she loved being a grandma. her grandkids called her lolly. 73-year-old rebecca cryer was a district court judge of the choctaw nation. she leaves behind a husband, three children, and five grandchildren. jay johnstone played for 20 seasons starting in 1986. he is best known for hitting a home run for the donnedgers in e 4 of the '81 world series. johnstone was 74. finally, a respiratory therapist
at a texas hospital. her daughter says she's proud of her mom. she's proud of her for being brave enough to risk her life to save others but believes her death could have been prevented. >> my mom did not want to leave this earth. she had a grandchild for the first time in 64 years, and she was so excited to spend her first birthday with her grandchild on august 25th, and she didn't get to because she died on july 4th. she didn't want to die. she didn't deserve to die. don't live in fear? that's just not the kind of message that we want to hear. of course, we don't want to live in fear, but we have to, because the policies are not put in place to protect us. >> in isabel's obituary, her family asked everyone to honor her by wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing.
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