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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  October 6, 2020 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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night, wednesday night, at 7:00 p.m. on cnn. i'll see you tomorrow. this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." president trump ending talks with democrats on another stimulus bill to help millions and millions of americans facing increasingly dire financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. the virus is spreading further through the u.s. government with a third white house press aides testing positive right now. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff along with several members of the pentagon senior leadership are quarantining after a top u.s. coast guard official tested positive. the white house doctor says president trump, himself, is
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reporting no symptoms today from his covid infection but sources are telling cnn there are lingering concerns about the president's health after he showed some aparntsparent troub breathing on his return to the white house. the death toll tops 210,000 people are almost 7.56 million confirmed coronavirus cases. first, let's get straight to the white house. our chief white house correspondent jim acosta is joining us with another chaotic day at the white house. first complete day back for the president at the white house. >> reporter: right. the president's physician insists that the presses is doing extremely well as he recovers from the coronavirus. sources telling cnn he would like to deliver an address to the nation but does not appear that will happen tonight as he is grappling with the virus. mr. trump did tweet out one major announcement calling off negotiations with democrats over a new stimulus relief bill.
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with president's health cloaked in secretory, a statement released by a physician saying president is doing just fine saying president reports no symptoms and overall he continues to do extremely well. back at the white house mr. trump is throwing his weight around announcing he is ending talks with house democrats over a new coronavirus relief bill tweeting the following. sources tell cnn there are lingering concerns inside the white house about the president's health after he appeared to be having trouble breathing as he stood on the balancony following a return fr water reed medical center. >> i know a risk, a danger but that is okay. now i'm better and maybe i'm immune. i don't know. but don't let it dominate your lives. get out there and be careful. >> reporter: the president is still super spreading misinformation about the virus
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tweeting flu season is coming up. many people every year sometimes over 100,000 and despite the vaccine die from the flu. are we going to close down our country? no. we have learned to live it with like covid and most populations far less lethal. twitter slapped a warning on the release saying it violates the rules of spreading harmful information relating to covid-19. the fact more people in the u.s. have died from coronavirus this year from the flu the past five flu seasons combined. aides to president are making blatantly falls cla blatantly false claims and defending the president saying he removed his mask when he was alone on the balcony but not true. white house staff photographers and other aides nearby. the trump campaign is also claiming the president is a leader on wearing masks. >> this president has led on the issue at every single turn and, right now, is no different. >> reporter: that is also false
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as mr. trump mocked joe biden for using them. >> every time you see him he has a mack. he could be speaking 200 feet away from you and he shows up with the biggest mask i've ever seen use cnn learned trump is speeding unfortunate pharmaceutical companies to speed up the development of a vaccine as he promises americans one is coming quickly. >> we have the best medicines in the world and all happened very shortly and all getting approved. the vaccines are coming momentarily. >> reporter: the virus is still taking its toll. even at the pentagon where the u.s. coast guard member has tested positive and forcing the joint chief of staffs to isolate at home. as defense said in a statement, close contacts for these meetings are self-quarantining. as for the spread of covid at the white house, more staffers
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are coming up positive. a federal health official tells cnn west wing aides are rejecting help to do contact tracing after a rash of positive tests following the announcement of amy coney barrett for supreme court. white house is dismissing the notion that the event was a super spreader. >> certainly several of the people who tested positive were at that event but many of these individuals interact routinely on a daily basis and certainly when it comes to white house staff so no way to put a pinpoint on it. >> nancy pelosi slammed the president's decision to pull the plug on the stimulus talks. it has had an immediate effect on the stock market after dow had a drop. dow down 375 points immediately going down after the president made that announcement on the coronavirus stimulus talks and how he is pulling the plug on
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those talks. that is an indication that the president's decisions which are coming as he is battling this deadly virus can have a major impact across the country. >> jim, thank you. jim acosta at the white house. let's get more on this with chief medical correspondent sanjay gupta and dana bash is also joining us and gloria borger. let me read from this brief note from the president's physician. then i want to get your analysis. the note says this morning's president's team of physicians met with him in the residence. today he reports no symptoms. vital signs and physical examine remain stable with an oxygen saturation level of 95-97%. i will provide updates as we know nor. very brief and vague. what questions did this note answer area what questions did it raise and what questions did
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it not answer? >> like a lot of notes and statements and briefings is more about what they don't say than they do say. first of all, you know, if you read the note and summary it sounds pretty good. the president is doing well. that is, obviously, good news. it means he is doing well at this moment in time. they still have to, obviously, anticipate this disease course. we know there can be significant ups and downs and the doctors acknowledged he is not out of symptoms.. did they examine the president and listen to his chest and does he have pneumonia? we don't know the answer. question know there is an answer because they have examined him and do this imaging and even little things like they say his ambulatory oxygenation is 95 to 97% so when is he walking that is his oxygenation.
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that is good but when he get oxygenati oxygenation? they didn't reveal that on saturday during the press briefing so a lot that isn't there. if they are painting a good picture that is great but they have to be closely monitoring him given what we know about the course of covid. >> after the president tweeted he was ending the stimulus negotiations with the democrats on capitol hill, house speaker nancy pelosi suggested in a phone call with house democrats that steroids the president is taking for coronavirus potentially could be impacting his thinking. is that a vital concern? >> we know there is a lot of side effects from these steroids. anybody who has taken high dose steroids or doctors who prescribe them know they can cause behavioral changes. people can become more aggressive, restless. they don't sleep as well. they are often hungry. but i don't know the answer to the question, wolf. it's hard to say someone would
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now adopt a certain position because of these medications. they may be more aggressive adamant, whatever about that position. but, you know, i understand what she is saying. as you might get it's hard to draw that connection. >> dana, it's interesting because of the past 24 hours along, the president returned to the white house and immediately took off his mask and tweeted a false comparison between the coronavirus and the common flu. while ago he ended the negotiations on the stimulus bill that could help millions of people from the outcome of the coronavirus. it seems things are more chaotic since returning from the hospital. >> before coming on with you, it's not just the democrats who are scratching their head. it's some of his fellow republicans on capitol hill. sources i talked to aren't going so far to call this basically
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'roid rage but they don't get it. understanding they have been apart from the key substantive issues that have prevented them from getting a stimulus deal really for the past many, many weeks. but that is one thing. another thing is just the basic politics of it. the president sending this tweet out basically accept blame. accepts blame for the stimulus talks breaking down. this isn't esoteric legislative fight in washington. this is real money, real life for so many people who are hurting. i was just down in pennsylvania last week. even people i talked to who support the president one of the things they were talking about were stimulus talks. they were blaming nancy pelosi. i'm not saying they won't still do that but a lot harder to do that after president of the united states tweeted he is pulling back from these talks. >> gloria, it's amazing what is
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going on with the president ending these stimulus talks. the economic pain, the economic pain from the coronavirus is enormous right now. the u.s. department of labor says the u.s. economy right now has 11 million fewer jobs than the u.s. economy had back in february. why would he scuttle a stimulus package potentially that could have perhaps boosted his re-election chances in these final four weeks? >> you know, it's really hard to understand. even when the chairman of the fed said, you know, this country really needs a good stimulus. if you look at his tweet and you try and parse his tweet, he makes the political point, of course, he didn't want to sends money to the blue states and just pour bad money to blue states who have misspent their money and overspent. and so that is the political, you know, that is what he is going to see politically. clearly, he did this after a phone call with mitchell mcconnell where he was told, of course, that if they were to vote on a stimulus package they would lose a bunch of
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republicans and maybe it would have to be passed by democrats. if you were looking at it in a ration national way, maybe he figured i don't want democrats to get the credit for p this. we are not used to the president throwing the grenade in and tag responsibility for scuttling something that would actually help people in this country. it just comes back to me what he said the other day which is don't let covid dominate your lives. if you've lost your job, if you're worried about your kids school, if you're worried about your friends who have lost their jobs, covid is dominating your life and if you're depending on that check, how can the president say that when he just said, sorry, never mind, no stimulus deal. particularly one other thing. he hasn't a second been involved in these negotiations for the
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last months. suddenly, he comes back from the hospital, he gets on the phone with mitchell mcconnell and he says never mind? what is that about? >> yeah. it makes no sense. sanjay, i want you to fact check something that the president tweeted earlier today and i'll read it from the screen. this is from a tweet. so there is a lot wrong in that tweet. break it down for us. >> well, yeah, there is a lot wrong. first of all, just the basic numbers. i think we have graph to show this. when you look at the last seven, eight months in this country and the number of people who have sadly died from coronavirus, around 210,000 as you know. that is more than the last five years of flu deaths combined.
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flu causes significant, you know, death every year. a lot of people are surprised by that. still far less than coronavirus. there is a vaccine for the flu. a flu shot. that is a flu vaccine. you know, there is not enough people every year who get it and hopefully more people get it this year. but that is, obviously, a huge difference. overall, wolf, mortality rates. if you want to say what the likelihood and the mortality rate with flu? around 0.1% in the united states. covid is probably five, six times that depending on how you look at the numbers. it's far deadlier and cost many more lives. >> it's the time for everyone watching to get a flu shot. that is very important. dr. sanjay gupta and dana bash and gloria borger, thank you. up next, joe biden talks about the pandemic in a major speech he wrapped up moments ago in gettysburg, pennsylvania. we will be right back. app, you can use voice commands.
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joe biden speaking moments ago. saying mask wearing is not a political statement and election day four weeks away, our exclusive new cnn poll shows the democratic presidential nominee leading president trump by 16 points nationally. let's go to our political correspondent and she is covering the biden campaign for us. arlette, he just wrapped up a speech in gettysburg, pennsylvania, a key state. >> joe biden traveled to gettiburg, pennsylvania, the site of the bloody war of the civil war. he invoked the words of president lincoln saying we are a house divided but no longer
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need to be that way. biden called for bipartisanship and overcoming racial and political divisions and talked about in the coronavirus saying people need to put politics aside and do the responsible thing. take a listen. it's estimated that nearly another 210,000 americans could lose their lives by the end of the year. enough! no more! let's just set partisanship aside and let's end the politics and follow the science. wearing a mask is not a political statement. it's a scientific recommendation. social distancing isn't a political statement. it's a scientific recommendation. testing, tracing, the development and approval and distribution of a vaccine isn't a political statement.
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it is a science-based decision. we cannot undo what has been done. we can't go back but we can do so much better and can do better starting today. >> reporter: biden issued a call to action for americans to vote and once americans vote america's nation will be heard. the latest cnn poll shows joe biden's lead over trump is widest yet up 16 points over president trump among likely voters nationwide. that support is really bolstered by biden's double-digit support among older voters and women. now as this is all playing out, biden's speech in pennsylvania, that critical battleground state today, tomorrow, vice president mike pence and senator kamala harris are set to face off in
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their first vice presidential debate and today mike pence's team is objecting to the use of a plexiglas barrier between the candidates. right now, the candidates are scheduled to be seated about 12 feet apart. yesterday, the commission announced a plexiglas barrier placed between the two of them. vice president's team say they haven't seen medical advice or information requiring that to be necessary. so they are pushing that back and an issue that kamala harris team thought was settled so we will see how that is settled out as the two face off in salt lake city tomorrow night. michelle obama released a very important video message today and called president of the united states a racist. what was her goal? >> reporter: michelle obama released this 24-minute video that is acting as her sort of closing argument heading into the campaign. she had very blunt and frank words for the president. take a listen to what she had to
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say. >> they are stoking fears about black and brown americans, lying about how minorities will destroy the suburbs, whipping up violence and intimidation, and they are pinning it all on what has been an overwhelmingly peaceful movement for racial solidarity. so what the president is doing is, once again, patently false. it's morally wrong. and, yes, it is racist. but that doesn't mean it won't work. >> reporter: michelle obama using her powerful platform. she is one of the most revered figures within the democratic party, to push this message about the president and the need to vote for joe biden. you also heard biden in his speech talk about the need to deal with racial justice issues in this country. michelle obama telling voters today to vote like their lives depended on it and vote for
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biden. >> very strong statement from the former first lady. arlette, thank you very much. let's get more on joe biden in a moment. first, i want to update you on some more disturbing news we are learning from the white house. a fourth press aide in the west wing of the white house has now tested positive, positive for covid. that is very disturbing. it doesn't include the press secretary kayleigh mcenany. four press aides are positive and it is raising a lot of concern. who else might be coming down with a positive confirmation for coronavirus among the press corps as well as among the staff at the white house? let's bring in our senior political commentator and former obama senior adviser david axle rod. you spent a lot of years in the west wing working for president obama. you know how small that certify -- area is. people think it's a huge west wing.
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it's a really small area. >> it's tiny. the first thing that strikes you when you get there for the first time. so it's not surprising if highly contagious virus gets loose in that building that it becomes epidemic very quickly there. you hope that everyone is going to be okay. i suspect, sadly, wolf, this is not the end of the story. >> i suspect you're right. i think it's going to grow and grow. every day we are getting mo confirmations among the white house staff and associates and all of them go home and meet with their family and meet with others and this thing could clearly spread. i hope it doesn't but it looks really awful right now. you just heard the forlm earl vice president make an appeal for gettysburg whether that is fighting a mask or racial injustice. biden made an effort to keep their messaging positive right now but didn't stop him from
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drawing sharp contrast with president trump, did it? >> no. i think the gloves are off. the president declared in his strange return for the white house yesterday that everything is full speed ahead. and so, you know, i think whatever deference was being paid to him as he was cl convalescing that has become moot. people associate the president with disunity. he is someone who has relentlessly mind divisions in our society for his own political purposes and there has been a lot of chaos that has resulted from that and there is a hunger for unity and hunger for -- when you will look at the poll you can see that 61% of americans say biden is the guy to do it almost 2-1 lead over trump that he can unify the
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country. a huge gang fadvantage for joe s campaign. >> we have to apologize for your audio but we could understand what you were saying. coming up, why did the trump administration turn down the cdc's offer to help with contract tracing after the coronavirus outbreak over at the white house? we are standing by to discuss that. all of the national security implications of the crisis with the former national security adviser susan rice. woman: my reputation was trashed online. i felt completely helpless. my entire career and business were in jeopardy. i called reputation defender. vo: take control of your online reputation. get your free reputation report card at find out your online reputation today and let the experts help you repair it. woman: they were able to restore my good name. vo: visit or call 1-877-866-8555.
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breaking news. in addition to kayleigh mcenany, now a fourth press aide in the west wing has tested positive for covid. this as president trump's behavior since arriving at the white house is raising questions of u.s. national security. let's discuss some of those concerns with susan rice who served as president obama's national security individualser and was the also the ambassador to the united nations and also the author of this book.
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thank you for joining us. the president is back in the residence at the white house where he potentially, you're familiar with that area, could expose other top administration officials, white house staff, white house workers. on the big picture, how much of a national security risk he is bringing on his own administration right now? >> there are many dimensions to the national security threat that president of the united states, himself, is personally posing. but let's start with the people around him, whose job it is to help do the nation's business on a daily basis. he could care less about his top advisers, his staff, not to mention the household staff and the ushers and the butlers and the housekeepers and secret service. all of these people doing their utmost in the most trying circumstances to serve this man and this country, to whatever effect he could care less about them.
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he doesn't seem very bothered about the effect most of the joint chiefs are now quarantined because, you know, one of the vice chiefs came into the white house earlier in the week and caught covid because the white house is, guess what, wolf? the nation's business hot spot right now for the coronavirus. certainly in this area. and washington, d.c., which had been doing quite well with respect to covid-19 in the last several weeks with a low positive iterate and a low transmission rate and low numbers, is now starting to spike because of the hot spot at the white house, which is now a congressional and pentagon hot spot. so this is very dangerous. when our adversaries look at this, they have to be looking for opportunities to catch us while they may suspect our guard is down, while we are at least disbursed and focused on many things, but perhaps not as well focused as they think that they would like to think we are on matters of national security.
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>> as you know, the white house is still refusing to tell the american people when the president last tested negative for the virus. today, we have learned they are even refusing contact tracing help from the centers for disease control and prevention. all of that makes it tough to know who else might have been exposed last week. it was reckless what was going on clearly in the rose garden with the announcement of the supreme court nominee and we saw what happened there. how reckless from your perspective as a former national security adviser is all of this? >> it's mind boggling and it's callousness and recklessness. never in my memory have we had a president of the united states who doesn't give a damn about anybody around him, perhaps about himself, at least nhis health. he seems to care about power and wealth. it's just unbelievable. he doesn't care who he in
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fact,s. he doesn't care what this does for our economy now that he is, you know, completely thrown the white flag on trying to get new stimulus package and covid legislation through. he doesn't care about the american people. it's unbelievable. i've never seen anything like it. >> the former homeland security secretary told me he thinks the line of succession to the presidency, the vice president, the speaker, the president, pro tem, go down to the secretary of state and secretary of state of the treasury should consider quarantining until the president makes a complete recovery. do you agree? >> well, i think we all need to see care taken by our senior most leaders. i'm concerned, for example, not only with the president's reckless behavior. now we learn that apparently
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vice president pence doesn't want to agree to precautions, including what the debate commission was recommending for a plexiglas around all of the key participants. we see the white house trying to block the fda's critical guidance that would ensure that any vaccine that gets to emergency use is both safe and effective. the callus regard among those leaders for their responsibility of office is really quite extraordinary. i have much greater confidence that others in the line of succession, particularly speaker pelosi, is trying to do her best to protect herself. we can't just shut down entirely but when you have people who have been immediately exposed as the vice president has been to the president and as many others have been to the president, it is their responsibility, according to cdc guidelines, to quarantine and they seem not to care about that. i think the model we should look
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to is what the pentagon leadership is doing. they are responsibly responding to a threat that they face from covid coming out of the white house. >> it's interesting because it's not just the white house staff and their families and their friends that is at risk right now. it's the pentagon. you noted several members of the joint chiefs of staff are quarantining after exposed to the coronavirus. how concerning is the possibility of a widespread outbreak of this virus among the senior u.s. military leadership? >> well, we have to be concerned about that obviously. i think they are taking the appropriate precautions. it's important to know these senior military leaders are also always in communication. they never cut off. they are paying very close attention to what is going on around the world. they have access to all of the classified communications and information that any need so nobody should view their quarantining a moment when people are not vigilant. but we do need to be worried not
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only about the pentagon, but, frankly, about all of the agencies. just like the vice chief of the coast guard was in the white house, people from all of the agencies are coming in and out of the white house on a daily basis or at least they were for many days after this became an issue. >> ambassador susan rice, thanks so much for joining us. i want to remind our viewers the book is titled "tough love my story of the things worth fighting for." thank you again for joining us. a closer look coming up at what may happen if the president were to become too sick to govern. we will be right back. >> tech: every customer has their own safelite story. this couple was on a camping trip... ...when their windshield got a chip. they drove to safelite for a same-day repair. and with their insurance, it was no cost to them. >> woman: really?
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masimo. together in hospital. together at home. we are following multiple breaks news. the united states nears 211,000 deaths from the covid-19 and tamping down outbreaks in new york. erin hill has more. >> reporter: this bustling new york neighborhood, one of nine hot spots in the city. >> i do think there is fatigue. i think it's been a long six months. >> covid isn't tired! the virus isn't tired. the virus still energetic and strong enough to kill you. >> reporter: the governor cuomo has limiting gatherings and closing nonessential businesses and schools. 300 have closed in the new york city hot spots. >> we have to get ahead of this. >> reporter: new york among the
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22 states reporting an uptick in new cases over the past week. one of five with an increase of more than 50%. >> there are a number of us who fear that over the next six to 12 weeks, we could see a very substantial increase in covid-19 cases that would far surpass even the peak we saw earlier in the summer. >> reporter: alaska, utah, kentucky just saw their highest seven-day average of new cases. governor andy beshear is asking his state to mask up. >> now is our test. are we willing to live for other people. >> reporter: the cdc adding information about airborne spread, guidance is posted and then removed last month. hospitalizations hitting reported highs in a half dozen states. >> this is potentially a perfect storm for nebraska. >> reporter: new research shows 82% of patients hospitalized for covid-19 developed neurological symptoms and ranging from
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headaches and muscle pain to altered brain function. the push for a vaccine continues. dr. fauci sticking with his time line. >> i think comfortably around november or december, we will know whether or not the vaccine is safe and effective. >> reporter: we already know masks can save lives. a new poll finds 21% of americans are more likely to wear one after the president's positive diagnosis. he is defiant photo op striking a nerve. >> it was the cruellest yet. cr. i wonder how many he guild with his actions yesterday. >> how we behavior the next few months will determine how many will die from this virus. the president sent a message to the american people let's go for the 40000,000 number.
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>> fda making it clear there is little chance a vaccine will be granted emergency use authorization before the election and it will require at least two months of data after a second dose of the trial vaccine. head of the nih saying anyone concerned about mischief that little chance that could enter into the process. coming up, what happens if president trump were to become too sick to govern? we will be right back.
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. president trump's battle with covid-19 is raising some urgent national security concerns. cnn's brian todd is working that part of the story for us. brian, there are multiple scenarios, should the president become too sick to govern. >> if there are plans in place to mike pence and others if pence gets sick but the virus presents concerning scenarios. president trump's doctor says he's doing, quote, extremely well. but america's top voice on the pandemic warns trump could have a setback. >> sometimes when you're five to
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eight days in you're going to have a reversal. his -- a reversal going in the wrong direction. >> trump's doctors have not revealed information from a scan of his lungs. he's on a steroid which experts say could mask some dangerous symptoms and suppress the immune system and there are questions about the president's mental state following his bizarre display on the truman balcony and his tweet yesterday telling americans don't be afraid of covid. >> if they don't put the brake on what's the next tweet going to be, what's the next decision that's going to come out of this? >> one trump aide says the staging on the balcony was designed to show strength to the american people and america's allies. but with all the questions being raised about whether president trump is healthy enough to lead, another key question arises tonight, if he gets too sick to govern, what happens next? >> there is a real question of whether or not, if real existing responsible leadership
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prevailed, whether or not the 25th amendment would be invoked to turn over the powers of the presidency to vice president mike pence. >> reporter: the first step would be to determine whether president trump is inkpas at a timed. according to the 25th amendment of the constitution trump could make that determination himself. >> he can notify congress, the house and senate, that he is going to be incapacitated because he'll be sedated on a ventilator, and until he says so, that -- the powers of his office would be transferred to mike pence, who would serve as acting president, until the president's health improved. >> but what if the president is so sick and incoherent that he can't make the determination himself to hand over power? the 25th amendment says pence and the cabinet can essentially take it from him or a supermajority of congress could. pence has so far tested negative for coronavirus. and his doctor says he's in good health. but covid has infiltrated the white house, and president trump has been in close contact with
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pence. if pence gets the virus, and becomes incapacitated, next in line to be acting president would be the trump team's political arch rival, democratic house speaker nancy pelosi. >> i don't think they'd let it happen. they'd find a way around it. possibly the secretary of state. someone in the republican line, either the elective line in the senate or the cabinet line would take over. it's just untenable. and nancy pelosi would recognize that as well. >> if pelosi is by passed or doesn't want the job the rules call for the presidency to go to the senate's president pro tem pore who is 87-year-old republican chuck grassley, but political experts say getting to that point is very unlikely. >> another key question tonight, what about the election? what if trump or biden have to drop out because of the virus? well then their parties would have to select a new nominee and they would have to scramble to
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do that. there's breaking news next, president trump suddenly ends talks with congressional democrats on another economic stimulus bill.
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♪ whoa! ♪ i feel good ♪ i knew that i would, now ♪ i feel good ♪ get a dozen double crunch shrimp for one dollar with any steak entrée. only at applebee's. >> tech: every customer has their own safelite story. this couple was ontrée. a camping trip... ...when their windshield got a chip. they drove to safelite for a same-day repair. and with their insurance, it was no cost to them.
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>> woman: really? >> tech: that's service you can trust. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ but before we sign i gotta ask... sure, anything. we searched you online and maybe you can explain this? i can't believe that garbage is still coming in. that is so false! frustrated with your online search results? call reputation defender today to join tens of thousands who've improved their online reputation. get your free reputation report card at or call 1-877-866-8555.
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this is cnn breaking news. we want to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. we're following breaking news on president trump's abrupt decision to end negotiations on a new economic coronavirus relief bill, leaving millions of americans in need right now as he's battling the infection


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