tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 8, 2020 8:00am-9:00am PDT
king in washington. thank you for sharing this very busy news day with us. the president's debate plan now in jeopardy because president trump is mad. the debate commission announcing it plans to switch to a virtual format because the president is being treated for coronavirus and it's too risky to put him in close proximity to joe biden and to the voters invited to the town hall. >> i heard the commission a while ago changed the debate style, and that's not acceptable to us. i'm not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. that's not what debating is all about, you sit behind a computer and do a debate. it's ridiculous, and then they cut you off whenever they want. they called up two minutes ago and it was announced, and they're trying to protect biden. >> we all know the president's first debate performance was a disaster, but there is already grumbling among republicans that backing out of the second debate is a bad idea, because the president needs every
opportunity he can find to change the trend lines of a race that he is at this moment losing and losing badly. joe biden says he's happy to play by the new rules, and like the rest of us, now waits to see if the president blinks. >> we don't know what the president is going to do. he changes his mind every second. for me to comment on that now would be irresponsible. i'm going to follow the commission recommendation. if he goes off and he's going to have a rally, i don't know what i'll do. >> there was a debate last night, of course, the one and only showdown of the candidates for vice president. it will go in the history books as the first for a black woman and it will be remembered for as much how it looked as what was said. plexiglass barriers separating mike pence and kamala harris as they sparred over the coronavirus response, the best ways to reduce the economy and maybe a rollback of abortion rights. >> the american people have witnessed what is the greatest
failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country. >> i want the american people to know that from the very first day, president donald trump has put the health of america first. >> he passed a tax bill benefiting the top 1% and the biggest corporations of america, leading to a $2 trillion deficit. >> joe biden and kamala harris want to raise taxes. they want to bury our economy under a $2 trillion green new deal. >> we count your votes in 26 days. there is another count we do every day, and today it is again quite troublesome. look here. half the 50 states now trending in the wrong direction. more new infections now than a week ago. only two states right now reporting fewer covid infections this week compared to last. let's get more now on the president's big decision this morning and its impact on the campaign. cnn's arlette saenz is in phoenix following the democratic
ticket. john harwood, i want to start with you. the president said they're trying to protect biden and his voters from him. it seemed a pretty logical decision but the president said no. >> reporter: it was a logical decision, but the president made it known that he is not only unwell physically and politically, but he's in a bad way mentally as well. calling fox, saying hillary should be indicted, and also his own cabinet members, mike pompeo, bill barr, the fbi director have turned against him, reversed themselves on negotiating stimulus with congress and even suggested he wants to go out and hold debates as soon as tonight even though he has coronavirus. >> i'd love to do a rally tonight. i wanted to do one last night, but i think i'm better to a
point that i feel better than i did -- you know, i jokingly said 20 years ago. i feel perfect. there's nothing wrong. i don't think i'm contagious at all. first of all, if i'm at a rally i stand by myself very far from everybody, but i still wouldn't go to a rally if i was contagious. >> reporter: i feel perfect. there's nothing wrong. i'm not contagious. john, he doesn't know any of that. he said he had not been tested in the last few days, and his white house still will not tell us when he last tested negative which would tell us when he contracted this coronavirus. depending on when he contracted it, if he contracted it further back in time, he might be getting out of the woods, he might be on the verge of not being contagious, but it's when the white house told us, that is middle of last week when he started showing symptoms and tested positive, he's still got a ways to go with this and his health could take a turn for the worst. not a good situation for the president right now. >> you're right, he certainly
sounded paranoid on that phone call this morning with fox business. the former vice president, the race is his at the moment. he has the lead in the national polls, a pretty healthy lead. he has the lead in battleground states. you're in a state today that the democrats hope to turn blue for the first time since bill clinton in 1976, and what do you know? will he be in a debate next week or not? >> joe biden's campaign says this is pretty straightforward for them, that he has long attended debates, and biden said he would listen to what the recommendations from the health experts are relating to this debate. he said if the president still has coronavirus, this debate shouldn't go forward.
we are told that biden is looking forward to this debate and speaking with the leadership. biden says the president is unpredictable, so he doesn't know what to make of him saying he won't participate in this debate next week, but biden saying he's willing to do anything in a virtual format if it gives him the opportunity to speak to the american people. while the president is back in washington still at the white house due to his coronavirus diagnosis, the democratic ticket will be here in arizona in just a few hours. joe biden and kamala harris making a rare joint appearance together as they campaign here in this critical battleground state. they'll be launching a soul of the nation bus tour through phoenix and tempe to talk to small business owners in this area. you also have vice president mike pence on the west coast today campaigning in nevada and then here in arizona. this state is going to be
critically important as we head into november. as you mentioned, it has long been a republican-leaning state when it comes to those presidential contacts. but latest polls have shown that biden is up here in arizona at this moment in time. so the biden campaign making -- joe biden making his first west coast swing as the general election nominee as he's trying to put these states in play, and also committing to participating in that virtual debate where the president for now says he's sitting out. >> it's one of the most fascinating states in american politics right now. we will see the changes this year. we'll see if they play out as the democrats believe. arlette saenz on the ground, john harwood at the white house. thank you for that reporting. a debate for a president that is losing. dan, thank you for your time today. i want to read a little from your article this morning, because yes, the two vice presidential candidates went at it last night.
they can both say, i made my point on this, i made my point on that, but you make a point in your article, saying, if there is a debate next week or the week after, it will be left to trump and biden to advance the battle. for the president, running from behind and with time running out, the stakes will be even higher than they were a week ago or on the stage at the university of utah on wednesday night. he has put himself in a bad position and it will be his, not pence's, problem to correct. the president has said he will not attend a virtual debate. >> at this point we don't know what his mood and posture will be if he looks at the debate. if it continues to be a virtual debate, perhaps he will resist it if he doesn't think that's
advantageous to him. another point, john, he's got himself trapped in another conversation about process as opposed to pressing the case against joe biden. and every day, as we've said many times, every day that he is doing something other than that, he is not turning the campaign in his direction. so this is, for him, a distraction that he did not need and should not have kind of fallen into. and we'll have to see in a day or two or three what the situation is. but until everybody knows more about his actual health, some of these questions are unanswerable. >> some of them are unanswerable. let's stay on the campaign for a minute because a lot of trump supporters say, in 2016 he was losing and he came back and won the presidency. joe biden is not hillary clinton. joe biden does well not only with the base hillary clinton had but with supporters.
every day that passes and the president doesn't make ground, it's not just the national polls. if you look here, pennsylvania, ohio, iowa, nevada, wisconsin, florida. the momentum after the first debate has been joe biden's, and for president trump every day that passes is a missed opportunity, because if he doesn't turn that around soon, trouble. >> yeah, john, since the first debate and since the president's diagnosis, the national polls have moved away from him. now, we can say that those are transitory, and they may well be. but if they settle back, they're going to settle back closer to where they were prior to that, which, again, is not a particularly good place for the president. he needs to find a way to change the dynamic, and he's not been able to do it. it may be that it's impossible
to do. i know everybody is a little spooked about what happened in 2016 and for good reason. campaigns do change in the final week or the final ten days or the final 72 hours. we know that from history. but this one appears to be different or has been up to now. in 2016 the national polls were certainly more volatile. the clintonss' le' lead would g and come back down. there was a time when she looked to be in good shape, but prior to that, the polls were in a different spot. what we've seen in this campaign so far is that the biden lead has been pretty steady and the move away from trump in the past five or six days should be very worrisome to him. if he thinks he is a strong debater, he could be a strong debater in a zoom conference or in a studio, whichever he wants to do. millions of americans have had to adjust at doing things
remotely, and it's now maybe the president who is going to have to make that adjustment. >> and millions of americans, dan, are watching whether you support trump or you don't, whether you're still undecided in this race, that's a small slice. you're watching the president of the united states right now and you're asking the question, what is his health? is he up to this? listen to the president this morning on the question of his health. >> for me, i walked in, i didn't feel good. a short 24 hours later, i was feeling great. i wanted to get out of the hospital. and that's what i want for everybody. i want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president. because i feel great. i feel, like, perfect. so i think this was a blessing from god that i caught it. this was a blessing in disguise. >> that was the video released from the president last night, not this morning where he called into fox business and talked about his health. dan, 210,000 americans are dead and the number is going up.
almost 8 million people have it in the united states. to say that's a blessing from god? that's an odd message. >> it is an odd message, and i would think the families of people who have passed away from this disease will look at this and wonder, what in the world is he thinking? their loved ones did not have access to the kind of health care that the president of the united states gets, and understandably should get. the president is the president. but for him to say, i want everybody to have it is a nice thought, but there is no practical way for that to come about, and i think people who hear him say that know that it is impossible. so i don't know why he continues to kind of make that case. the other notion is that he felt badly and 24 hours later he felt better than he had felt in 24 hours seems disingenuous to say
the least. that is not the normal course of events for someone who contracts covid-19. while he was given multiple drugs that aren't available to most people, perhaps that did help bring him back, and more rapidly than others. but he is a unique case in the way people are being treated, and he should recognize that. >> he should recognize that, but he has his own way, as we all know. dan balz, grateful for the reporting and insights this morning. president trump claiming the experimental drugs he gets from regeneron is the name of the company. the president says they've cured him. award-winning customer satisfaction... or insanely great value. now, with t-mobile for business, there's no compromise. network. support. value. choose. all. three. t-mobile for business. ready when you are.
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himself a clean bill of health, this less than one week after telling us he had tested positive for coronavirus. >> i don't think i'm contagious at all. well, first of all, if i'm at a rally, i stand by myself very far away from everybody whether i was or not. i still wouldn't go to a rally if i was contagious. >> joining us now, cnn medical analyst dr. amy compton-phillips. the president saying, i don't think i'm contagious now. we can't answer that question because the white house doctor keeps putting out vague statements every day, and we have no idea, number one, the treatment right now, and number two, the last time he tested negative. does anything you just heard make any sense to you, or do you trust it? >> unfortunately, it's not what cdc guidance says is actually safe. what the cdc says is anybody with mild or moderate symptoms should isolate for ten days because they're at risk of infecting others for ten days. anyone with a serious illness should isolate for 20 days.
because the doctor got dexamethasone, the question is did he have a serious illness and should he be quarantining for 20 days inn stead of 10 days. >> i wish we would hear more from his doctor. did he have more treatment because his condition was more serious? this is the president talking about his experimental treatment. >> we have drugs now that we didn't even know about four months ago, like regeneron, like -- and i'm not even talking about remdesivir. remdesivir, you know, it's fine. but the regeneron was -- i view it as a cure, not just a therapeutic. i view it as a cure because i took it. >> regeneron is a company. it is not the treatment. the treatment is a monochromal
treatment that the president received. regeneron is the company that makes it. is it a cure? it's an experimental drug. the company says they believe it is helpful. what do we know about it? >> well, we do know that what the antibody cocktail does -- first of all, there's two different doses that are in clinical trials right now. they're not proven as a cure. they are definitely being investigated and they're promising. but there's two doses, one is 2.4 milligrams, one is 8 milligrams. the president got the high dose. what those antibodies do, think about the spikes on the coronavirus. those antibodies buy into the spikes and keep the virus from joining up with cells, so they lower the infection rate. which is not the same thing as a cure, right? and, by the way, again, matter of semantics about cure versus therapeutic, if you had gotten pneumonia and you got an antibody, we could say the antibody cured the infection,
but the body still takes time to heal. whether it's a cure or a therapeutic, i don't know the president's individual records, but the average person who gets any kind of treatment for a >> jerem germ, it takes the body a while to heal from that. we're still looking at recovery. i would say it's a miracle that we have drugs that work this effectively at this point, but saying somebody is cured six days into what is likely a moderate to severe infection is pretty far on the cusp of believability. >> the new england journal of medicine for the first time in its 208-year history deciding to get involved in politics. this is the editorial they write. when it comes to the response of the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. we should not abet them and
enable the deaths of thousands more americans by allowing them to keep their jobs. when is the last time you heard the new england journal of medicine say we need a new president? >> i would say the new england journal of medicine is saying what everybody has been saying the last months. we have to depend on science, we have to depend on organizations to look at what is it we should be doing to keep our country safe and move us forward. unfortunately, between misinformation and conspiracy theories, that belief in science and progress has gotten politicized. so what the new england journal is doing is actually putting into words what those of us on the ground trying to fight an epidemic of misinformation along with the epidemic of a viral
pathogen has been doing now for many months. >> dr. amy compton-phillips, thank you for your time. >> thank you. the coronavirus is making a very troublesome comeback. more than half the 50 states trending up right now. ♪ ♪ this is the feeling of total protection now that we protect your identity, and mobile phone, as well as auto home and life you've never been in better hands allstate click or call for a quote today
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here's a sad statement as we assess the current coronavirus situation. only two of the states right now heading in the right direction. that is a sad statement. let's look at the 50-state trend map. half of the 50 united states, 25 of them, heading in the wrong direction. meaning more new infections now compared to a week ago. a lot of them in the west but really pretty much everywhere. 23 states holding steady. that's not heading up, but that's not progress, either. only two states trending down. they are alabama and hawaii, the two states that right now can say we have fewer covid infections now than we did a week ago. if you look at the case timeline, one of the candidates
on that stage last night, vice president mike pence, said back in april this would mostly be behind us by memorial day. that's about right here. he was wrong. 78% of the cases in the united states since memorial day, more than 50% of the deaths since memorial day. and you see the case track. the summer surge down some. a month ago we reported 24,000 new infections, just maybe pushing the baseline down. forget about it. yesterday back up 50,000 and you see the red line trending back up. it is not going straight up as it is here, but it is going back up. about 45,000 new infections a day. that is the new american reality as we head into fall and the colder months, and as we get closer to an election where the pandemic is issue number one. this is another line we wish we could shut down. it is persistent, a flat line below a thousand, but wednesday,
50,000 more cases. 915 deaths yesterday, now averaging between 500 and a thousand. most projections say this will go back up to a thousand. the deeper blues show you higher positivity. 24% of the coronavirus tests in idaho coming back in the past week positive, 20% in south dakota, 15% in nevada, 14% in utah. high positivity like that means more cases and it means it's harder to break this cycle. you watch the positivity rate. because of the high positivity, some states are now taking a step back. wisconsin putting some new restrictions in place, the kentucky governor going back to a mask mandate, boston delaying the opening of in-person schooling in boston public schools and new york as well. some new restrictions in new york city that have members of the jewish community mad, taking to the streets.
they don't like these new restrictions put in place by the mayor. shimon prokupecz in new york with this. shimon, the mayor saying this is necessary in certain areas, but as always, some object. >> reporter: the issue with the jewish community and brooklyn dates back to the beginning of the pandemic when the governor ordered all of the jewish religious places shut down because of the pandemic. they took issue with the governor and the mayor doing that back at the start of the pandemic, and now to have to go back to limiting the number of people who can gather at these locations, and they're not happy about it, the governor and the mayor both saying, this is because people in these communities, people in brooklyn, it's not just a jewish community, but there are other communities as well across brooklyn and queens that have seen an uptick in cases. one of the issues is at
religious institutions, the governor has said they're not listening to the advice of doctors, of scientists, who say you need to socially distance, you need to wear masks. that is not happening in a lot of these locations. we saw some of that last night. the last two nights during these protests in brooklyn by this community, most of the people were not wearing masks. they were carrying trump flags. of course, when you talk to the people in this community, and i have talked to some of them. from the beginning of the pandemic on, they take their cues from the president. they're not socially distancing, they're not wearing masks. at the beginning of the pandemic when schools were shut down, they were having underground schools that the city had to shut down. so this all stems from the beginning. they are now not happy with the governor, with the mayor and the fact that he's limiting, they're trying to limit the number of people who gather at religious institutions in these neighborhoods. of course, we are in the middle of some of the highest, holiest
jewish holidays. they're not happy about that. they feel like they are being targeted by the governor and the mayor, so they are taking to the streets like we saw the last two nights, john. >> if they take their cues from the president, maybe they can learn a lesson from his positive diagnosis, but perhaps not. safety is what matters. shimon prokupecz, grateful for the live reporting there. coming up, key moments from last night's one and only vice presidential debate. can we vote by mail here?on por) (grandma vo) you'll be safe, right? (daughter vo) yes! (four girls vo) the polls! voted! (grandma vo) go out and vote! it's so important! (grandma vo) it's the most important thing you can do!
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the coronavirus was flash point number one in last night's vice presidential debate. >> on january 28th, the vice president and the president were informed about the nature of this pandemic. they knew and they covered it up. >> the reality is dr. fauci said everything that he told the president in the oval office, the president told the american people. now, president trump, i will tell you, has boundless confidence in the american people and he always spoke with confidence that we would get through this together. >> laura lopez is a political lawyer and political reporter. laura, thank you for your time today. they were evasive, at times they were laughable when it came to the administration's response on
the coronavirus. he said they trusted the american people. it would be nice if the american people could trust them on this issue. kamala harris had some punting to do. she was asked the question, if the democrats win this election, are they going to pack the supreme court? >> they want to know if you're going to pack the supreme court if you don't get your way in this nomination. >> do you know in the court of appeals, not one is black? you want to talk about packing a court, let's have that discussion. >> i just want the record to reflect she never answered the question. >> in that case she didn't, in other cases, he didn't. i guess that made it a normal debate, if you will. what was your biggest takeaway? >> certainly that was one of the moments that a lot of us took
away from it which was harris not answering, the same way biden hasn't answered so far when he's been asked on the campaign trail whether or not he wants to add seats to the supreme court. that being said, on the issue of the supreme court, a majority of voters, a little more than half, say that they would like the senate to wait until after the election to fill the vacant ginsburg seat. in addition to that, one of my biggest takeaways, john, was the fact that immigration was not discussed at all. across the first presidential debate, which may be the only one as of this morning and trump's reaction, but the first presidential debate, the debate last night, there was no discussion of immigration, which is stunning given the fact of immigration and building the wall is what trump ran on in 2016 and in 2018 when republicans lost control of the house. >> it is stunning, and perhaps, we'll see if the second debate a week from today that is supposed to be in miami, and supposed to
be a town hall with voters, we would hope it would come up. the president has backed out because he objected to it being shifted to virtual. one of the things that did come up last night was the issue of race, talk about breonna taylor and george floyd, and the vice president trying to turn it into law and order. >> this presumption you hear consistently from joe biden and kamala harris that america is systemically racist, and as joe biden said, he believes law enforcement has an implicit bias against minorities is a great insult to the men and women who serve in law enforcement, and i want everyone to know who puts on the uniform of law and order every day, president trump and i stand with you. >> as you can see, that was one of the fly moments in the debate. we'll leave that for a little later. we'll leave the fly aside.
this is one of these issues that's interesting, actually, because the democrats think they make their case when they talk about the murder of george floyd, what they see as the injustice in the breonna taylor case, and this is where the two campaigns just see this issue completely differently. >> that's right, when harris was asked the same question as pence, which was whether or not in the case of breonna taylor's killing by police that justice was served, she said, no, justice was not. pence, as well as the president and the administration, have repeatedly said that they don't believe that systemic racism is an issue, whether it's in law enforcement, the criminal justice system or in other institutions. and what we do know, the facts we do know is that after studying police shootings, african-americans are killed at 2.5 times the rate of white americans despite them only making up 13% of the population. so it was an interesting answer
from the vice president, especially given that after a summer of protests and racial reckoning and cries about injustice from black americans across the country that, again, he and the administration have pivoted towards embracing law enforcement. >> it is their answer. we shall see. maybe they should get out of washington a little more and see what's happening around the country. laura barron-lopez, thank you. cnn changing its electoral college outlook in a way joe biden should be happy. i'm voting 'yes' o
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breaking political news into cnn related to the president's decision to back out of the presidential debate scheduled a week from today. joe biden earlier this morning said he was prepared to show up, waiting to see if the president would change his mind. a new statement released from the biden campaign, the campaign manager says joe biden will look for an opportunity a week from today to have some other forum to talk to voters, some other town hall opportunity. she suggested the presidential commission not let the president evade having a meeting with voters on october 22, which was to be the third debate. the joe biden campaign suggesting that format changed to the town hall event. make one planned on october 22nd a town hall, biden will have his own event a week from now. let's discuss with david chalian. a little chess going on. the biden campaign says if the president backs out, we'll have our own big event.
number two, put pressure to force the president into a room with voters. >> i wouldn't call it competitive chess. the biden campaign is winning this completely. this is playing directly into their hands and their strategy around debates. they're not the ones walking away from the debate, that was donald trump's decision. they're not the ones saying we need new rules after the chaotic, noisy debate where he interrupted last week, that was a whole conversation. they were going to put in new structure. no, it is because of coronavirus, the issue the biden folks want to keep front and center. they're saying we are ready, willing, able. the president is backing out. it is because of coronavirus. and by the way, he's afraid of voters too, let's do the town hall which is a better format than a regular debate anyway. they're able to take this moment and dictate the terms frankly because the president let them do so. >> and frankly because they're in the driver's seat of the race in part because of the math you do as political director. we changed it for the first
time, you can see biden is 290. he is now at 290. he was 269 when we woke up yesterday. here's what we changed based on the math. we moved pennsylvania. had it as a toss up. several polls show an open biden lead. we made that lean blue. iowa, you had leaning red. one poll showed joe biden competitive. we made that a toss up. we have seen recent polling and other evidence to suggest that now being blue. david, what this does is with 26 days to go, puts joe biden in a remarkable driver's seat in a race, dark blue, solid biden, light blue, leading biden. this race is tilting lopsided at the moment. >> it is. it is not just poll numbers that caused us to move this, it is what's underneath the numbers.
what's driving joe biden's strength in these states and it is the biden coalition. if joe biden ends up winning, it is not because of recreation of the obama coalition, elt win with a coalition older than the obama coalition. you look at places like pennsylvania and michigan and wisconsin, that had older voters, white voters, this is why it is a position of strength for joe biden. he is digging into some of donald trump's turf. remember, trump won the blue wall states very narrowly with biden showing strength of seniors and male voters, he poses a threat now to donald trump in a significant way. >> if you look at the map as we now have, florida, georgia, north carolina, ohio, iowa as tossups, and second congressional district in maine, the remaining states in the toss up, i want to pull up this. we have seen recent polling. let me unlock this and get it,
move it up for you. that's not going to work. we see polling in these states that tells us in ohio it is competitive. north carolina it is competitive. iowa, joe biden is ahead. pennsylvania we shifted it. florida he is ahead. donald trump is running out of time to change state dynamics. now we may not have a second debate at all. >> which is a huge problem for donald trump. you know joe biden doesn't need another debate. it is all risk, very little reward for him even though he got a nice, big boost out of the last debate. it is the guy who is the incumbent in the oval office sick with coronavirus now who is trailing by double digits nationally, trailing in key battleground states. he's the one in need of debate as opportunity to turn things around, yet he's the one walking away from it. >> joe biden trying to change dynamics of the campaign. david chalian, grateful for the reporting. when we come back, we continue the conversation. the president wakes up this
very important day, breaking political news. the presidential debate scheduled in jeopardy. the commission of presidential debates deciding to change the format for the schedule a week from tonight. saying because the president was diagnosed with coronavirus, deciding next thursday's town hall would be conducted virtually, joe biden and the president in separate locations. voters gathered with the moderator in miami. the president objected saying he's fine. he wants to campaign. he wants to be out doing rallies, he could attend the debate. the president didn't like that. joe biden initially saying he would participate and saying perhaps the president would change his mind. now the biden campaign says forget it. if the president won't participate next week, joe biden says he will have an event of his own and the campaign now urging the debate commission to reschedule the town hall for october 22nd. again, the president saying this morning he won't show up next thursday because he is not getting his way. >> i heard the commission a little while ago