Skip to main content

tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  October 19, 2020 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

4:00 pm
show @cnnsitroom. i'll see you back here tomorrow. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, the president tearing into dr. anthony fauci in a whole new way, calling him names. even as one of the nation's top experts warns the united states is about to face the darkest period of the pandemic. why is trump suddenly so focused on making fauci the fall guy? plus carbiden a biden and trump about to face off in their final debate. team trump now calling foul and demanding changes. what do they want and will it fly with team bideen? and five-time grammy award artist christopher cross is speaking out. best known for his hits "sailing" and "the best you can do" on how covid temporarily paralyzed him and nearly killed him. christopher cross is my guest. let's go "outfront." and good evening. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, the president has a bogey man for his coronavirus failure. dr. anthony fauci.
4:01 pm
trump calling fauci an idiot today, stepping up his attacks on this nation's top infectious disease expert. >> people are tired of covid. i have the biggest rallies i've ever had and we have covid. people are saying whatever, just leave us alone. they're tired of it. people are tired of hearing fauci and all these idiots -- these people. these people that have gotten it wrong. fauci's a nice guy. he's been here for 500 years. he called every one of them wrong and he's like this wonderful guy, a wonderful sage telling us how -- he said do not wear a face mask. that's a number of months ago. he said do not close it up to china. don't -- i have a list of 15 things, this guy, and yet we keep him. every time he goes on television there's always a bomb. but there's a bigger bomb if you fire him. but fauci's a disaster. this guy, if i listened to him
4:02 pm
we'd have 500,000 deaths. but fauci, if we listened to him, we'd have 700,000, 800,000 deaths right now. so with that i get along with him. if there's a recorder on you can have it just the way i said it. i couldn't care less. >> okay. so that's it now. all out war. that's the president of the united states trashing the nation's top infectious disease expert who has served every president since ronald reagan. even as today the u.s. death toll tops 220,000 americans dead, 42 states now with an increase in hospitalizations over the past two weeks. so why is trump doing this right now to fauci? well, it could be because of this, this interview fauci did with "60 minutes." >> were you surprised that president trump got sick? >> absolutely not. i was worried that he was going to get sick when i saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded no separation between
4:03 pm
people and almost nobody wearing a mask. when i saw that on tv, i said oh, my goodness. nothing good can come out of that. that's got to be a problem. and then sure enough it turned out to be a superspreader event. >> so who is the president turning to at a time when he's now calling fauci an idiot and saying good reporters on the call there, you have it. at a time when michael osterholm, one of the nation's top infectious disease experts says the next six to twelve weeks could be the darkest of the entire pandemic. dr. scott atlas, that's who he's turning to. the controversial doctor with a history of peddling misinformation on the virus. a doctor slammed by dozens of his colleagues at stanford as promoting falsehoods and misrepresentations of science. just this weekend dr. atlas tweeted masks work? no. well, twitter took that tweet down. today he tried to say he didn't say what he said with this tweet. "potus and i have always stressed all appropriate mitigation measures to save lives including social
4:04 pm
distancing, extra hygiene and mask wearing when one cannot social distance." this is of course blatantly untrue when it comes to trump. we see him day after day physically -- he was never doing the mask and the social distancing. but he got coronavirus. you saw him not socially distanced with no mask in the rose garden. dr. atlas supports that. because here he is defending the president for holding rallies where there is no social distancing and very, very little mask wearing on this show. >> the president sets the policy, and i have agreed with his policy, which is wear masks when you cannot socially distance. >> they're not doing that. >> what i've said, and i'll say it again is the president's policy is exactly right, wear a mask. that's his guideline. when you cannot socially distance. and it is not the policy to mandate masks. i'll repeat it again if you'd like. >> the hypocrisy of saying you support his policy when his actions are completely against that, that he's showing at the moment that you and i happen to be talking is just extremely
4:05 pm
hard to swallow. so you support his policy when everything he's allowing people to do around him is against his own policy. right? i mean, i feel like i'm kind of talking to a wall here. >> dr. atlas and i were talking about this rally. it was happening live as we spoke. dr. atlas would not say that rally where there was no social distancing and the people who were in front of the president weren't wearing masks was wrong. he just wouldn't say it. that's the fact of the matter. the "washington post" is now reporting dr. deborah birx contacted mike pence's office and said she doesn't trust atlas, said he's not giving the president sound advice and she wants him off the task force. but it is clear he's not going anywhere. right? the person that trump is really focusing his ire on is dr. anthony fauci, who he's basically said i'd fire the guy but it would make an even bigger set of waves, so i'm making it clear i don't trust him and don't listen to him but i'm not going to fire him. i want to have the same outcome. kaitlan collins is live outside the white house tonight.
4:06 pm
kaitlan, why has the president chosen to turn his focus on fauci? >> well, erin, the president has never liked seeing dr. anthony fauci on television, and that "60 minutes" interview that aired last night, you saw fauci speaking to him appearing in that campaign ad, something that's been going back and forth for the last week now. and so the president was unprompted today on that call with his campaign staff, which is meant to rally staffers in these last two weeks before the election but instead turned to this venting session on one of the nation's top doctors, where the president is going after him and then of course subsequently went after him three for times today leading to him going after him four times. the president and dr. fauci have had this tension building for a while, but to see it play out in the open so publicly with just 15 days to go as the president is desperately trying to win over moderate voters is not only raising questions about the fact that this nearly 80-year-old doctor who has worked in government since the 1980s news to have security because of threats against him and his family, but it's raising
4:07 pm
questions of politically what kind of decision the president is making here on how he thinks this is in any way helpful to him. because if you look at the news cycle of today it's not about the president doing two rallies and being on the road and making these appeals to voters. it's that he's going after one of the top doctors helping sort through this pandemic as we were still very much in the middle of it. and you're seeing republicans respond to that and try to distance themselves from the president which we may see a lot more of in the next few weeks. senator lamar alexander, who is retiring we should note, put out a statement today distancing himself from the president's remarks, calling fauci a distinguished public servant and saying that if more people did what fauci said there would be fewer cases of covid here in the united states. but of course notice that lamar alexander does not mention why he is tweeting that today, doesn't mention the president's attacks, though of course no one around the president thinks he's going to slow down those attacks anytime soon. even though politically they don't think they're smart. >> thank you very much, kaitlan. and let's go now to dr. jonathan
4:08 pm
reiner, who is a white house medical adviser under george w. bush. our chief political analyst gloria borger and professor william haseltine who did groundbreaking research on hiv/aids and is the author of the upcoming memoir "my lifelong fight against disease from polio and aids to covid-19." so gloria, here we are two weeks before the election and trump is calling dr. fauci an idiot saying to the reporters bring it on, basically it would be even worse if i fired him but i want to have the same essential outcome as firing him by saying this publicly. he wants to make him the villain. so what's the strategy here? >> there isn't any strategy, erin. this is just the president full of personal grievance about tony fauci, who is more popular than he is, who is more trusted than he is, who was asked to throw out the first pitch at the nationals game, and who appeared on "60 minutes" last night saying he wasn't at all surprised that the president got
4:09 pm
sick given the fact that he hosted a superspreader event at the white house. you put that all together and the president is going to attack because fauci also said that he was effectively harassed because they used him in a political ad that he said was taken out of context. >> let me just make it clear. when you bring up the pitch, the president brought up the pitch today. right? >> oh, yes. >> talking about fauci. brought up that pitch at the nationals. right? just want to make it clear you're not just throwing that in there. he threw that in there. >> no issue is too small. nothing is too small for donald trump to be aggrieved about. nothing. >> and that is the amazing thing, that that pitch keeps coming up. it came up last week when he was angry at fauci as well. professor haseltine. so when you see this, how much does worry you? clearly -- i mean, he's been critical of fauci for a while. they hadn't seen each other. but i mean, this is all-out war. this is him saying i don't like this guy, i don't respect this guy, i don't want anyone to
4:10 pm
listen to this guy because i don't do any of those things. >> tony fauci has been the most clear, consistent proponent of the measures the united states needs to protect itself from a deadly disease. what donald trump is doing is attacking the fire department when the house is burning down. this is a very serious time. as you have reported repeatedly, the number of people who are being infected is going much higher. all over the country. the hospitals are filling up. the number of dead is increasing. this is a very, very dangerous time. especially to be attacking the one person the nation now looks to for clear, consistent guidance on what to do. and it's not that complicated. wear a mask and social distance. >> dr. reiner, i want to replay some of what president trump said about dr. fauci on the call. i played part of it. let me play this one little
4:11 pm
specific part. >> people are tired of hearing fauci and all these idiots. fauci's a nice guy. he's been here for 500 years. every time he goes on television there's always a bomb. but there's a bigger bomb if you fire him. but fauci's a disaster. if we listened to him, we'd have 700,000, 800,000 deaths right now. >> so dr. reiner, what does fauci do in terms of responding to these attacks? because when he does do media, and he does try to do media, he's going to have to respond. >> well, i think dr. fauci should just do what he's doing as often as he can, which is to tell the public in clear, unambiguous ways what the public should be doing to protect themselves and what the public needs to do to defeat this virus. and he's doing that. look, i think that dr. fauci should disregard any kind of media clearance from the white
4:12 pm
house and do whatever media he wants to do whenever he wants to do it. i think that would be his public service. i do not think the white house can fire anthony fauci two weeks before the election because he comes out to speak the truth. i would advise dr. fauci to just speak out as often as he can. we haven't had a coronavirus task force meeting in months really, a public meeting where the scientists could be questioned by the media. we really need that. so in response to this i'd like to see dr. fauci feel unshackled and just speak his mind whenever he wants to. >> so gloria, the trump campaign has used, the irony of this, now the president calls dr. fauci an idiot but he used him in a campaign ad. and this is actually kind of what actually made this chasm between the two. here's part of the ad in question. >> president trump tackled the virus head on. as leaders should. >> i can't imagine that anybody could be doing more.
4:13 pm
>> we'll get through this together. >> so that really incensed fauci. all right? to the extent that he has made that clear. and then on "60 minutes" when he was asked to explain why he said that was taken out of context he did. he made it clear he wasn't talking about trump. here's what he said. >> i do not and nor will i ever publicly endorse any political candidate. and here they are, they're sticking me right in the middle of a campaign ad, which i thought was outrageous. i was referring to something entirely different. i was referring to the grueling work of the task force that god, we were knocking ourselves out seven days a week. i don't think we could possibly have done any more than that. >> did the steam start to come out of your ears? >> it did. quite frankly i got really ticked off. >> you know, this is stilt the most raw we've seen him, gloria. >> he's mad. as he says, and i think he's very clear about this, he was stuck in the middle of a campaign ad he didn't want to be
4:14 pm
in the middle of. period. he was taken out of context. he was used in an ad to promote donald trump. and when he said he didn't like, it donald trump said he's an idiot. he said all those scientists are idiots. and that he's been around 500 years, so what good is he? experience might matter but i guess donald trump doesn't think so. so donald trump just turned around and shot it right back at him. i mean, in a way it's predictable. because if you ever slight donald trump he's going to swing right back at you. and that's what he did to tony fauci. the problem the campaign has is that you can't have it both ways. you can't have him in the ad one day and then call him names the next day. particularly since the public trusts him more than they trust donald trump on the issue that is foremost, which is handling covid. so the president is letting -- you know, he can't get out of his own way on this. >> so professor haseltine, what
4:15 pm
are these doctors to do? i mean, fauci has made it clear he's going to stay on no matter who is president if allowed. one would imagine given the situation if president trump wins re-election he would get rid of him. he's making it pretty clear. two weeks before the election he might not. you've got dr. deborah birx. there's been reporting that she has sort of thought about resigning and has gone to pence's office to say atlas is not trustable, this is a problem. what are these doctors supposed to do? >> all you can do is carry on, make sure you're doing your best to communicate to the public. you know, dr. fauci's made it very clear. 80% to 90% of his job is creating new medications to help us recover and stop this epidemic. that's what he does for his day job. what he's doing now is a public service to help us understand how to protect ourselves. especially in the case of dr. atlas. dr. atlas is counseling a course which is going to lead if
4:16 pm
followed to many hundreds of thousands if not many millions of americans' deaths. it is a very, very dangerous policy that everybody in the public health community worldwide disavows. it is a -- it's a deadly, deadly policy that is being advocated. just let it rip. ask somebody like chris christie what these superspreader events are like. and if you could, but you can't, ask herman cain the same question. these are deadly events the president is holding. he's pouring fuel onto the fire of this epidemic. >> all right. thank you all. i appreciate it. sobering point there. herman cain of course dead after he attended a trump rally. up next president trump is in arizona right now, a state crucial to his path to 270 electoral votes. so can he win it? we go to the magic wall. plus it's one of the most closely watched senate races. it is tight.
4:17 pm
i'm going to talk to the man taking on incumbent senator david perdue who has been facing serious backlash after this. >> kamala or kamala, kamal kamala-mala-mala. i don't know. whatever. >> and the man behind hit songs like ride like the wind and sailing, christopher cross says coronavirus left him temporarily paralyzed. he's here to tell us what he's still dealing with. ♪ to make it to the border of mexico ♪ ♪ so i ride ♪ like the wind ♪ ride like the wind you're clearly someone who takes care of yourself. so when it comes to screening for colon cancer, don't wait. because when caught early, it's more treatable. i'm cologuard. i'm noninvasive and detect altered dna in your stool to find 92% of colon cancers even in early stages. tell me more. it's for people 45 plus at average risk for colon cancer,
4:18 pm
not high risk. false positive and negative results may occur. ask your prescriber if cologuard is right for you. i'm on it. that's a step in the right direction.
4:19 pm
4:20 pm
i'm on it. when disaster strikes to one, we all get together and support each other. that's the nature of humanity. ♪ it has encouraged other people to take the time for each other. ♪ ♪ -well, audrey's expecting... -twins! grandparents! we want to put money aside for them, so...change in plans. alright, let's see what we can adjust. ♪ we'd be closer to the twins. change in plans. okay.
4:21 pm
mom, are you painting again? you could sell these. lemme guess, change in plans? at fidelity, a change in plans is always part of the plan. tonight president trump speaking at a rally in tucson, arizona. that is his second rally in the state today. trump encouraging voters to go to the polls early. >> everybody needs to get out and vote. return your absentee ballot or -- you can go out there today. when do you do it? today, tomorrow, whenever. you can go out and vote today, they say. today. go out and vote. >> well, i'm glad he's telling them to return the absentee ballots. he apparently has confidence in them not being a rigged election. that's a separate point. arizona's 11 electoral votes, though, really are crucial. in the path to 270 and who wins the white house.
4:22 pm
phil mattingly is out front. phil, president trump had two rallies in the state today. biden and harris were there just over a week ago. this has become a really crucial state for both campaigns. >> yeah, there's no question about it. for the biden campaign it expands their options. for the trump campaign it keeps alive several pathways that are already narrowing when you look at the numbers right now. i want to track back to 2016. go into arizona back in 2016 and donald trump won the state of arizona. 90,000 votes. about 3 1/2 points. but erin, this was the smallest margin of victory for a republican since 1996 when bill clinton won the state. and democrats have been eyeing this state and its shifting demographics for a number of years. this is the year they feel they can capitalize. now, the trump campaign as you noted, they didn't just visit today and do multiple rallies. over the course of this year they have been several times. six different times across the state underscoring how important this state with a hard, very rock solid trump base but still shifting demographics means to them over the course of their time.
4:23 pm
the biden campaign only one visit up to this point. very recently. but keep an eye on what they're doing on the spending front. look at the amount of money the biden campaign has poured into this state. $32 million. more than $12 million than the trump campaign. you've got outside groups as well. all underscoring, everyone, that for both campaigns arizona, which was once considered rock solid republican, wasn't really considered on the map until maybe late in 2016. arizona is not only very much in play but for democrats they think it could be firmly in their column by the end of this campaign. >> so when you talk about expanding the map for biden but keeping the path open for trump, can president trump win re-election without arizona, phil? >> technically, yes, but i would note no republican ever has won the white house without winning the state of arizona. i want to talk about limiting pathways. what i was referring to at the beginning when you talk about president trump. what you're looking at right now is cnn's ratings up to this point. you see when you factor in states where biden is leaning -- or states that are leaning toward biden he's already above the 270 electoral math that he needs to actually win.
4:24 pm
let's game some things out. if you look at the yellow these are tossups right now. say, you give every tossup to president trump and his campaign. he wins florida. he wins georgia. he wins north carolina. he wins ohio. he wins iowa. he's still short of the number that he needs. so if he wins arizona, that obviously brings him -- sorry, that brings him a lot closer when you get closer to that 270 mark. he still can't win with just that number. that brings in a bunch of the midwest states that obviously everybody is very keen on right now. but erin, i think the big question right now for the trump campaign is when you look at the polling, when you talk to people on the ground in states like michigan, states like wisconsin and states like minnesota that the trump campaign thought they had real openings towards, they feel like those doors may be closing. if you win pennsylvania, you still have to win arizona to get above that 270 mark for the trump campaign, erin. >> all right. so obviously it becomes really must win when you look at it that way. all right, phil, thank you very much. so let's go to van jones now. former special adviser to president obama. and scott jennings, former
4:25 pm
senior adviser to senator mitch mcconnell. so van, you look at that map but then you see headlines like this. "why democrats remain nervous about biden's chances" and like this time in 2016 trump looks doomed to defeat. that's why democrats are worried. a biden campaign memo comes out from the manager of the campaign, "donald trump can still win this race." so van, is this just hand wringing and, you know, trying to get turnout up or is there legitimately something there that they're worried about? >> yeah. there is legitimately something there. and as you remember quite famously this time four years ago i was screaming and waving my arms around. at that point democrats said be quiet, you're demoralizing people and you look like an idiot for saying trump can still win. nobody is saying that now, and here's the reasons. number one, polls are only as good as the people you talk to. and what they tell you. you've got a whole big iceberg of white guys, conservative
4:26 pm
white guys who actually didn't even vote in 2016. i've got sources telling me about a third to 25% to a third of the people going to these rallies didn't even vote for trump in 2016. some didn't vote at all. they're therefore not likely voters and probably not being talked to. as that iceberg thaws, what do you expect to see? voter registration. and that's what you're seeing. a surge of republican voter registration. there's a big iceberg of votes for him that are not being polled. they're coming in. this thing is more likely to be very close. do not believe the promise of the polls. rely on the power of the people. run all the way through the tape. this thing could go any direction. >> all right. a really interesting point when you say -- i know it's anecdotal but your sources are saying that you've got a quarter to a third of people going to trump rallies who weren't even voters last time. that's pretty powerful. yet scott what you also have on the other side here, let's just take senator john cornyn, up for re-election, so he's evaluating
4:27 pm
what he sees on the ground and what he sees is giving him cause to distance himself from the president. his comment in a recent interview is trump is "like a lot of women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse and that doesn't usually work out very well." so these are senators who are on the ground up for re-election who clearly see being close to trump as not a good thing. what does that tell you? are they wrong? >> well, i don't totally agree with the fact that they don't see being close to trump as a good thing. if they really thought that they wouldn't be voting with donald trump 90-plus percent of the time. stylistically john cornyn is very different from donald trump and that's true for a lot of the senators on the ballot this year. and i don't see these comments as an effort to distance. i see them as honest answers to questions from reporters who are finally covering, you know, these big senate races. i just think the idea that you would distance yourself from a president of your own party with two weeks to go in an election, i mean, nobody believes that john cornyn is not running in the party of donald trump in texas. but that doesn't mean john cornyn can't express some disagreement stylistically with
4:28 pm
donald trump down the stretch. i think it's easy to overread this and what's happening in a couple of races. but especially in texas i think trump and cornyn are likely to win down there and have similar vote totals. >> okay. so van, let me play something the president said on that campaign call. i was playing some of the fauci part earlier. let me play something about the election. >> we're going to win. i wouldn't have said that three weeks ago. three weeks ago, two weeks ago i don't know, i wouldn't have said it. it was tougher for me. >> okay. so the reason i played that, van, is he's talking about two or three weeks. now, you know, he needs to say that. but nonetheless, in the last month of 2016 you had a lot of late decided voters and of those late decider voters more of them went for trump than clinton. you know, big-time. you saw that. now, this is not an election where people run decided. you're pointing out it could really be about new voters and new registration. but do you think trump is right, this two or three-week window has perhaps changed things? >> listen, we still evaluate the
4:29 pm
trump campaign based on 1996 criteria like how much money is he spending on television and stuff like that. they have a big operation online. and you may have noticed that you have friends and relatives who are starting to sound completely bizarre to you. they're talking about pedophilia and all kind of bizarre stuff. why? because they're being bombarded online with one of the most sophisticated influence operations that you've ever seen and that is going to have an effect. and so they probably have some data that is showing that some of this stuff is starting to eat in. we don't know how strong these floorboards are under these numbers and how much the termites of disinformation online and frankly just persuasion online and motivation online is affecting us. you don't see the same ads that your cousin does on facebook. you don't see the same posts that your cousin does on instagram. that's a big deal in terms of we don't know what's going on and he could have data that we don't
4:30 pm
have. >> scott, quick final word. >> yeah. i agree with van. the trump campaign does have sophisticated online organizing tools. they've also been utilizing traditional field organizing tools. they're actually going door to door. van's point at the start of the segment was true. they've had huge success on voter registration. to overcome a polling deficit you have to have some kind of field campaign that maybe the polling isn't picking up. that's what they're banking on. the question is is it enough? and i guess we'll find out in a couple of weeks. >> all right. thank you both. and next, trump and biden days away from facing off at their final debate. and now the president's campaign wants a major change. so we'll tell you what. plus, breaking news. a big upset for trump and his campaign and their efforts to stop from ballots from being counted. priceline works with top hotels, to save you up to 60%. these are all great. and when you get a big deal... ♪ feel like a big deal. ♪ priceline. every trip is a big deal.
4:31 pm
tonight... i'll be eating 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?? introducing the new sleep number 360 smart bed. now temperature balancing so you can sleep better together. save up to $1,000 on the new sleep number 360 smart bed and adjustable base. plus, 0% interest for 48 months. ends monday.
4:32 pm
record heat waves, does that worry you? well it should. because this climate thing is your problem. forty years ago, when our own scientists at big oil predicted that burning fossil fuels could lead to catastrophic effects, we spent billions to sweep it under the rug. so we're going to be fine. but you might want to start a compost pile and turn down the ac, you got a lot of work to do. because your kids are going to need it. lcv victory fund is responsible for the content of this advertising.
4:33 pm
4:34 pm
new tonight, three days from the final presidential debate and team trump is demanding changes. trump's campaign manager writing a combative letter urging the debate commission to make foreign policy the focus of thursday's debate. it comes as the commission is meeting to discuss potential rules changes. so jeremy diamond is out front traveling with the president in tucson. all right, jeremy, obviously
4:35 pm
this is this final debate. now questions as to whether it happens because of all the imbeaulieu around it. what is the trump campaign demanding and what happens if the commission doesn't change the topics? >> reporter: well, erin, linls, here's the timeline. on friday the debate commission announced the topics for the final debate would be the same essentially as those of the first debate, focus on covid-19, american families, national security, climate change, among some other issues. and today a few days later the trump campaign essentially saying no, we don't want those topics, we want this to be a debate focused almost exclusively on the area of foreign policy. here's the statement -- or the letter, rather, from the trump campaign manager bill stepien that he sent to the commission on presidential debates. it says, "for the good of the campaign integrity and for the benefit of the american people we urge you to rethink and reissue a set of topics for the october 22nd debate with an emphasis on foreign policy." the trump campaign is claiming that this debate was always supposed to be about foreign policy, but that's not true. that is not what the agreement
4:36 pm
between the two campaigns and the debate commission actually said. and while there has been a tradition of the third debate being focused on foreign policy it wasn't the case back in 2016 when the debate commission also announced then that the topics of the third debate would be the same as the topics of the first debate. ultimately, it doesn't seem that there's much that the trump campaign can do to provoke this rule change and as of now they haven't said this is an ultimate im of any kind. >> of course we'll have to see whether they, do whether the debate happens. what's been the response, jeremy, of the biden campaign to this request? >> well, the biden campaign says the trump campaign is lying. they point to that agreement between the two campaigns and the debate commission that the moderator would be the one to choose the topics here. now, joe biden for his part, he has also looked for a couple of changes including, for example, this issue of the microphone. and he has said he would like to see some changes to the format to prevent the kind of interrupting that we saw from president trump during that first debate. joe biden also demanding, erin, that president trump test
4:37 pm
negative for coronavirus on the day of the debate. that is still an open question as to whether president trump actually tested negative for coronavirus on the day of that last debate. the president, the white house has refused to say when the president last tested negative for coronavirus. erin? >> all right. thank you very much, jeremy. and turning now to the battle for control of the senate. cnn projecting eight races as either a complete tossup or one party with just a very slight edge. now, republicans are defending all eight of those seats. democrats need a net gain of four. they get four they win back the senate. so those are the numbers you need to know. my next guest is one of those democrats trying to turn a red seat blue in a tossup. "outfront" now, jon ossoff running in georgia against the incumbent senator david perdue. and jon, i appreciate your time. you say more than 40,000 donors have given more than $2 million to you since friday and that is when senator perdue mispronounced senator kamala harris's name during a trump rally in georgia. take a listen.
4:38 pm
>> but the most insidious thing that chuck schumer and joe biden are trying to perpetrate -- and bernie and beltz beth and kamala -- kamala or kamala, kamala-mala-mala. i don't know. whatever. >> put under fire for those comments, clearly mocking her name. why do you think this has been such a galvanizing moment for your campaign? >> i think what really struck a nerve here is what my opponent did really epitomized everything that's wrong with the trump era in american politics. he's not addressing a pandemic that's taken nearly a quarter of a million lives. he's not offering solutions to make health care more affordable for people during a public health crisis. he's not talking about how we jumpstart our economy. he doesn't want to talk about the issues. so he resorts to schoolyard insults, bullying, mocking people for their heritage. and that's really trumpism in a nutshell. and it's so out of touch with where georgia is right now. this state, my state has become
4:39 pm
younger and more diverse over the last five years. we want leaders who unify us to confront the challenges of our time, not mock their political adversaries at rallies to score cheap political points and are ignore the issues. >> we hear some viewers may say oh, well, that was him but it isn't just him, it's president trump as well and actually mike pence. you don't know this yet, jon, but the president at a rally in tucson moments ago did something similar. mispronounced senator harris's name three times. this just happened a moment ago. here it is. >> biden even chose as his running mate the most liberal senator in america. kamala. kamala. senator kamala harris. >> he knows how to say her name. of course she is the vice presidential nominee running against him. he has done this before, though. so has vice president pence.
4:40 pm
what do you think is behind this? >> well, i think this is what's accurately described as ethnonationalism. this is why, for example, they always refer to barack obama as barack hussein obama. it's about trying to identify people by their race and their herdtage rather than acknowledging that we're all americans, we're all in this together. and we need to come together as americans regardless of our different backgrounds to solve these problems like a pandemic that's out of control. this is all meant to distract people from the unfolding human tragedy in our country. >> many people watching know your name from the special election in 2017, right? when you were going to flip a georgia congressional seat. you raised a lot of money. you got a lot of national attention. $24 million. and that race really became a referendum on president trump. you lost by three points to a veteran republican lawmaker. so now you're up obviously with senator perdue, up against another veteran politician. it is another referendum election on this president.
4:41 pm
why do you believe, jon, this time will turn out differently for you? >> here is what is so exciting about these two senate races in georgia right now. remember, we're the only state with two senate races in a single state in a single year. georgia literally becomes younger and more diverse by the hour. there is a multiracial, multigenerational coalition demanding change. stacey abrams only lost the governor's race two years ago by 50,000 votes. and we've added nearly 800,000 voters to the rolls since then. georgia is changing. and the new georgia rejects bigoted mockery of political adversaries as a distraction from substance and wants political leaders who unify and inspire us to take on something like covid-19. to rebuild our economy, to invest in making america the global leader in innovation again. the kinds of goals and vision that can bring this country together and stand in stark contrast to division and fear of donald trump and david perdue.
4:42 pm
>> all right, jon, i appreciate your time. thank you very much. >> thank you. and next, breaking news. a major blow to the trump campaign tonight and their specific effort to stop one state from counting some mail-in ballots. and the grammy award winner behind popular slienongs like "sailing." ♪ sailing ♪ takes me away to where i've always heard it could be ♪ >> he was partially paralyzed because of covid. what was going through his mind then and now. christopher cross is out front.
4:43 pm
ok everyone, our mission is to provide complete, balanced nutrition for strength and energy. whoo-hoo! great tasting ensure with 9 grams of protein, 27 vitamins and minerals, and nutrients to
4:44 pm
support immune health. and nutrients to after gutting protectionsf rejecfor our air and water, and putting us at risk, isn't it time to wipe things clean? joe biden has led the way, with a bold plan that protects our environment while creating new jobs. and tougher rules for clean air and water. so all of us can live healthier lives. it's time to get back on track. lcv victory fund is responsible for the content of this advertising. beautiful. but when i started cobra kai, the lack of control over my business made me a little intense. but now i practice a different philosophy.
4:45 pm
quickbooks helps me get paid, manage cash flow, and run payroll. and now i'm back on top... with koala kai. hey! more mercy. save over 30 hours a month with intuit quickbooks. the easy way to a happier business. who'sgovernor gavin newsom. the governor says prop 15 is, "fair, phased-in, and long overdue reform", that "will exempt small businesses and residential property owners." join governor newsom. vote yes on 15. i'm voting 'yes' on prop 19. nineteen limits taxes on seniors. it limits property tax on people like me. nineteen limits taxes on wildfire victims.
4:46 pm
it says so right here. if 19 passes, seniors can move closer to family or medical care. i looked at moving but i can't afford the taxes. will you help california's most vulnerable? vote 'yes' on prop 19. who's supkamala harris.5? harris says, "a corporate tax loophole has allowed billions to be drained from our public schools and local communities. no more. i'm proud to support prop 15."
4:47 pm
vote yes. schools and communities first is responsible for the content of this ad. breaking news. in a major defeat for the trump campaign, the u.s. supreme court will allow mail-in ballots to be counted in pennsylvania if they are received by three days after the election and are postmarked by election day. it was a split decision. chief justice john roberts sided with the liberal members of the court. this as more than 28 million ballots have already been cast in the 2020 election. some states haven't even begun early voting yet. pamela brown is out front with the latest. >> there's a chance that your voice is not going to be counted. why risk it? >> reporter: just 15 days to go and many voters are taking no chances. already more than 28 million votes have been cast nationwide.
4:48 pm
that number representing almost 20% of the more than 136 million total ballots cast four years ago. ballots are now available in all 50 states and d.c. with in-person voting beginning in several key swing states in the coming days. >> good morning. >> reporter: today it started in 52 florida counties. and rain this morning in south florida didn't stop voters from lining up before sunrise. for those voting by mail by midday monday, more than 2.4 million ballots have been cast in the sunshine state. that's only about 260,000 ballots fewer than all the mail-in ballots tallied in 2016. >> i did have an absentee ballot, but i wasn't comfortable with everything that you hear on the news. so i just decided to come in. myself. >> reporter: 30% of ballots coming from republicans. 49% democrats. and 20% with no party
4:49 pm
affiliation. which political experts say is a growing trend in florida as more voters are turning their backs on both parties. in georgia early voting continues to shatter records a week in. a massive 653% increase in absentee ballots cast by mail over 2016. today in colorado vote counting begins, as does in-person voting. >> say this is very incorrect -- >> reporter: meanwhile, president trump continues to give democrats every reason to be concerned about a potential peaceful transfer of power if he were to lose to joe biden. >> then they say, if you lose will you have a friendly transition? i say i want a fair election. >> reporter: cnn is now learning that congressional democrats, the outside groups are working on contingency plans behind the scenes. coming up of that very scenario. preparing for a legal battle and messaging war into combatting
4:50 pm
missing information about voting. pamela brown, cnn washington. >> now our next christopher cross, the grammy award winning artist, the best you can do. speaking out next, revealing his experience with coronavirus which has been all -- he's next. ♪ it has encouraged other people to take the time for each other. ♪ ♪ for as little as $5, now anyone can own companies in the s&p 500, even if their shares cost more.
4:51 pm
at $5 a slice, you could own ten companies for $50 instead of paying thousands. all commission free online. schwab stock slices: an easy way to start investing or to give the gift of stock ownership. schwab. own your tomorrow. before we talk about tax-s-audrey's expecting... new? -twins! ♪ we'd be closer to the twins. change in plans. at fidelity, a change in plans is always part of the plan. with this seal, this restaurant is committing to higher levels of cleanliness. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ the expertise that helps keep hospitals clean, is helping keep businesses clean too.
4:52 pm
look for the ecolab science certified seal.
4:53 pm
scott wiener immediately went to work, making sure families could put food on their tables, defending renters facing eviction, securing unemployment benefits, helping neighborhood businesses survive. scott wiener will never stop working until california emerges from this crisis. the bay area needs scott's continued leadership in sacramento. because we know scott is fighting for all of us. re-elect scott wiener for state senate.
4:54 pm
tonight christopher cross, "ride like the wind." ♪ that's my personal favorite. christopher cross was temporarily paralyzed and nearly died from coronavirus. he's out front. you know you tested positive for coronavirus in march, and you thought things were okay and all of a sudden something changed. tell me about that moment. >> i was feeling a little better after three weeks, feeling crappy and suddenly my legs just gave out, i was paralyzed and i could not walk. it was complications from covid-19, i was rushed to the icu and i was there for ten
4:55 pm
days. i got the treatment to a degree. mostly to my waist, i did have some paralysis. >> you are three weeks past, you think you are getting better and this happens, i mean paralysis. why do doctors believe that was related to covid, something so drastic and illogical? >> well, i did a test for it and what's wrong with me is access to a viral infection which covid is. i was only the second person in the world to have this happen. typically it is only one in 100,000. there are a lot of cases where people don't realize and that's why i have to warn people that you got to be careful, this could happen to you. >> especially people now there
4:56 pm
is fatigue and perhaps people don't realize how truly awful this could be over the longer term. i know you dealt with memory issues all because of the virus. i notice that you are not using a wheelchair anymore but you are walking with a cane, you are living with this every single day. here you are and thank you for the courage of sharing this so that people can see what you had to endure. how long will you be doing this during recovery? >> they say nine months to a year or whatever. i could be like this forever. you know back in march, i was on a trip and no one wore mask on the plane and the administration did not tell us about it so i didn't know and now we know. again, that's the good news.
4:57 pm
i have no idea. they don't expect for me to heal completely, i hope to do better than i am. i am able to walk with a cane and i can live my life and i am fortunate. >> are you -- how are you coping? your songs have bring joy to so many. do you get joy from that? are you able to sing? are you making music? >> yes. >> i was in the studio doing something recently and i d do -- it has been a single passion and definitely, i am just honored to have brought solace or happiness to my music. this has been hard. erin, the big thing is acceptance. whatever happens going forward, i did feel blessing to be out of the wheelchair.
4:58 pm
and so i am grateful for where i am at, you know, it is all about acceptance. i am grateful that i healed as much as i did and i hope to tell people that they need to be careful and wear masks and take care of themselves. >> there is no way they're not going to watch you and take that away from this. you are supporting joe biden, the president has said things frankly, christopher that speaks straight to people in our situation. maskless rallies and after his diagnoses with coronavirus and after in the hospital for three days, he tweeted "don't be afraid of covid and don't let it dominate your life". >> i went through it and now they say immune. i feel so powerful, i will walk in there and kiss every one of the audience.
4:59 pm
>> how do you respond to that? well, you know i would say to everyone be afraid, be very afraid. you know people know me and know me through my music. this happened to me and it can happen to you. because the drug and care president trump had. this has been awful and certainly nothing like a lot of families had to deal with. we need to not listen to him. he's spreading this information and really hurting people as we go forward. we need to wear a mask and take care of ourselves and you are right. i hope for a change of le
5:00 pm
leadersh leadership. this happens to me. it can happen to you out there. please be careful. >> i hope people will listen to you. i know they will. it is true. how could it happen to you and it did and you are dealing with it. i thank you for sharing. i wish you all the very best in getting 100% better. thank you. >> thank you very much, erin. >> thank you to all of you, anderson starts now. good evening, 220,000 americans dead from the coronavirus, we begin with president's own words and how they speak to his priorities which seems to evolve right now, holding grudges. the first are from a campaign conference call he phoned in today. before he play it for you, you should know today marks day one of what the white house declared to be national character count this week. reading from the proclamation, "throughout this week,