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New CNN Poll; Trump Leads Biden Among Battleground Voters; NY Governor Cuomo Gives Update on Coronavirus Response. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired May 13, 2020 - 11:30   ET



JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: But remember 2016. We pick presidents state by state. Look at the horse race in the 15 states that CNN designates as presidential battlegrounds.

Take a peek. The president leads in those battleground states, 52 percent to 45 percent for the former vice president. Be careful not to invest too much in any one poll, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

But Biden's numbers are down among women, down among Independents. And in both of those subgroups, the drop is primarily among younger voters.

Let's discuss with CNN senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, "Politico's" Laura Barron-Lopez.

Laura, let me start with you.

If you look again -- don't overinvest in any one poll -- but when you see the drop among Independents, the drop among women being primarily led to a decline among younger voters, my question is, Bernie Sanders got out of the race, Biden is the presumptive nominee. There's been some grumbling among Sanders progressive voters. And there's also been a very targeted Trump campaign effort online trying to target younger voters and Sanders voters.

Do you think that's an impact here?

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, "POLITICO": I think that there's certainly some enthusiasm we have seen from this poll and others that it's down among young voters. That's one of the biggest concerns you hear a lot from people who worked Sanders' campaign, from Sanders himself and other supporters.

We saw that Biden announced this unity council today. And a part of that are former Sanders supporters, like Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez. There's some effort to bring in that momentum Sanders had with young voters. Efforts to address that. Biden's campaign has been talking to more activist groups that were very supportive of Sanders and his progressive policies. But, again, this is a clear issue across young voters, regardless of

race and ethnicity we're seeing. Also young Latino voters aren't very enthusiastic about Biden and he needs to address that.

KING: He has time, and that's why I say don't invest in one poll, but the numbers there do send some warning signs to him.

Jeff, part of the conversation for the vice president is, as Laura noted, you bring in AOC and other Sanders supporters to your council, try to prove I'm reaching out to people who may have questions. He also has to pick a running mate as he goes forward in the process.

In our poll, we did ask some questions in our poll about this. What are you looking for? What are Democratic voters looking for as Biden picks a running mate? Nearly four in 10 say someone who adds racial or ethnic diversity. A third say executive experience. And 32 percent say adds ideological balance. And 31 percent represents the future of the Democratic Party. Prove it to the swing voters. A quarter of the voters wanting legislative experience, 25 percent.

You look at the numbers, and the racial diversity, executive experience, ideological balance, top the list, but no overwhelming wish among Democratic voters saying, Mr. Vice President, you need to pick this. What are you hearing in your reporting?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: There's no question that's the primary task right now on the lap of the vice president, the former vice president, and his campaign, is slowly looking through his roster of potential candidates to find a running mate.

We're told, talking to a variety of people who are close to the former vice president --


KING: Jeff I'm sorry. I need to interrupt you.

The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, beginning his daily coronavirus briefing.

Sorry about that, Jeff.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): -- deputy superintendent of the Department of Financial Services but he has been working with us on the COVID situation, and he's has been doing a great job.

Pleasure to be in the north country today, Jefferson County. I want to thank Dr. Ty Stone for having us and the hospitality today.

I wear a mask. Apparently, it doesn't say anything. You don't see any words on it. But when someone wears a mask, it says to other people, I respect you. I respect your family. I respect the work of our frontline heroes, the nurses, the doctors, et cetera. And I wear this mask to protect you and your family because I respect you. It's a sign of respect. And all New Yorkers, I believe, should do it. Let's talk about the facts today and the situation we're looking at

today. Number of hospitalizations are down again. So that is good news. The rolling total of the number of hospitalizations has been down, and that's good news. Number of intubations and down, and that's good news. And new cases per day, which is something we watch very carefully, little bit up. But overall, down.

That's -- I refer to that as the mountain. You see the outline of the mountain. Adirondacks, we know about mountains. You see how fast we went up and how much slower the design was.

And that's important. That's what the national experts are talking about when they say you could have an outbreak that you couldn't recover from. The increase, the incline is very fast. The virus travels very quickly. And then the getting control of the outbreak is much slower and much harder.


And that was the experience we had here in New York. You see how fast it went up and how many days of super effort by New Yorkers it took to get that spread under control and to reduce the rate of new cases.

The number of lives lost still painfully and tragically high. These are not numbers. These are families. These are lost individuals. They're fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters. And 166 families are in pain today. And they are in our thoughts and prayers.

When you look at where we are today, we're just about where we were when we started this terrible situation. So we have hopefully come through the worst. We paid a heck of a price for it, but we have come through the worst.

One of the things we have been very diligent in doing is taking care of our essential workers. We owe them. You know, there's still a right thing in life and a wrong thing. There's still obligation and gratitude. And the essential workers we owe.

We close down everything. We communicated how important it was to do that, how deadly this virus was, and then we told the essential workers, but you have to show up tomorrow even though this is a deadly virus. We need you to show up, nurses, doctors, transit workers, police officers. We need you to go to work while everybody else can stay home and try to be safe.

They made a tremendous sacrifice. And I asked them to do it myself, day after day. And I told them we would do everything we needed to do to protect them.

We have been doing testing of the essential workers to see if we have a problem anywhere. And good news has been the frontline workers are testing at lower rates than the general population.

So Downstate New York, the transit workers tested about 14 percent of the overall number tested positive. That's compared to New York City where about 19.9 percent of the general population. The health care workers, 12 percent. Think about that. Nurses, doctors, in emergency rooms, 12 percent.

You know what that means? It means PPE works. Masks work. Gloves work. Hand sanitizing works. How do health care workers have a lower percentage of infection than the general population? Because people don't wear these at home. And they don't take the same precautions. But this works.

NYPD, 10 percent. Fire department, 17 percent. We then sampled the New York State police, who have been doing extraordinary work. We sampled 2700, which is a large sample of the state police. Only 3 percent tested positive. That general population, Upstate New York, of about 12 percent. That's also very good news.

And then we tested the people who work at docks, our Department of Correction Services, prisons. We have also been very careful because prisons, you have a congregant population. Wherever you have gatherings, that's where we see the virus spread. We did a test of those people who work at the Department of Corrections, primarily corrections officials. We sampled over 3,000. And 7.5 percent. Again, below the general population rate.

So that should give us all some peace of mind that the essential workers were out there, they are doing fantastic work for us. And we have made sure that they're protected in doing the work that they're doing. All of the frontline workers, public service frontline workers, tested below the general population. So we should feel good about that.

Also, I want people to know that elective surgeries are going to start in 12 more counties. And that's important. We had stopped elective surgeries so we had additional hospital capacity for COVID patients. But as the COVID, number of COVID cases has come down, we can restart elective surgeries. Also, ambulatory services. So that's good news.


A lot of attention on reopening now. And we're doing something in this state that no other state is doing. We're doing the most transparent discussion and reopening operation of any state.

Why? Because it only works if people understand it and if people are part of it. Right? This is not a government exercise that we're doing here. This is a social exercise. The 19 million people of New York State are doing this.

And the best I can do is give them the information, and I believe in them, and I believe in the people. And I believe when they have the right information and they trust the information and they know the information is actually factual, as opposed to some type of political jargon, they will do the right thing. And they have. And that's how we bent that curve and flattened that curve.

Same thing on reopening. You will know exactly what is happening in your region, in your county. You'll know the facts and the numbers on a daily basis. And you'll know what we're doing. We heard testimony yesterday from the national experts, Dr. Fauci, who

warns of suffering and death if the U.S. reopens too soon. OK. If you reopen the economy too soon, people are not taking the precautions, you have gatherings, the virus will transfer, and you'll see a spike in hospitalizations and you'll see a spike in deaths.

OK. What's the key in that expression? The key is "too soon." If you open too soon. All right. What does that mean, too soon? Too soon means you're opening and you're increasing activity at a rate that the hospital system cannot handle and people are not taking the right precautions. That's what too soon means.

OK. Well, then how do we calibrate too soon? You can measure exactly what you are doing. The red valve is the reopening valve. You start the reopening valve. Activity increases. You're doing diagnostic testing. Are you positive, are you negative? And you watch that rate. You're doing antibody testing, which tells you how many people were infected, and you watch that rate.

You know on a day-to-day basis now how many people are walking into the hospital with COVID. We have those numbers. Never had them before. We have them now. You watch that rate every day.

And if you watch those rates, you know how fast the virus is spreading. What they call the rate of transmission, the R.T. So too soon, watch the numbers. Watch the measures. There's a science to this.

And that has to be watched in every county, in every region, and it has to be monitored. You see those numbers starting to move. You will know if you're reopening too soon and if people aren't taking the right precautions, and if you see that virus spreading.

So give the information to the people. That's what I'm trying to do. That's what I have been trying to do from day one. Because government can't do any of this. This is a function of the actions of every individual and every family.

We'll have a regional control group for the north country, for every region in the state. Watch those numbers every day. Make sure those businesses are complying. Make sure people are complying. And watch it day-to-day and you'll know if the activity is increasing to a level that is increasing the rate of transmission. And act accordingly. And that has to be done on a region by region basis.

Now, also, with this virus, we must stay alert because we're still learning. And what we thought we knew doesn't always turn out to be true. OK. This virus has been ahead of us every step of the way in this country.

When we first started with this virus, we were told it was coming from China, right? Wuhan Province, it came from China, and it's going to come from China, now to the United States.

[11:45:09] Turns out it didn't come from China to the United States. It did in some parts of the country. But the east coast, it turns out it came from Europe.

I talk to everyone all day long. In the beginning of this, nobody ever said it's coming from Europe. We had two million Europeans come to New York, New Jersey, big airports, international airports, JFK. And no one knew it was coming from Europe because it had gone from China to Europe and it gets here from Europe. No one knew.

When this started -- oh, once you have the virus, you have antibodies, and then you're immune from further infection. That was stated as a fact. Now it turns out maybe you're not immune even if you had it. Maybe you have some immunity but not total immunity. We're not sure.

OK. Then we were told children are not affected by COVID virus. Great. Sigh of relief. Less than 1 percent of New Yorkers who are hospitalized under 20 years old.

Now, we're finding out that may not be 100 percent accurate either. Because now we're seeing cases, the Department of Health is investigating. And New York is in many ways the tip of the arrow here, looking at 102 cases where children who may have been infected with the COVID virus show symptoms of an inflammatory disease like the Kawasaki disease or toxic shock like syndrome.

We have lost three children in New York because of this, 5-year-old boy, 7-year-old boy, and an 18-year-old girl. And these cases are all across the state, predominantly where the population is.

And 60 percent of these children tested positive for the COVID virus. And 40 percent tested positive for the antibodies of the COVID virus. OK. That means children either currently had the virus or could have had it several weeks ago and now have the antibodies, saying that they had the virus and they recovered from the virus.

And 70 percent of the cases went into ICU, which means they're serious. When you're going into intensive care, it means it's serious. And 19 percent resulted in intubation, which means they're very serious. And 43 percent of the cases are still hospitalized.

On the age, when they say children, it's across the board. It can be under 1-year-old. It can be up to 20, 21-year-old. Majority between 5 years old and 14 years old. It affects children of all races.

And it's not just in New York. The Department of Health sent an alert to 49 other states. Dr. Zucker has been leading this conversation nationwide. And 14 other states are now investigating cases in their state for possible inflammatory disease for children related to COVID. Five European countries are now looking at this.

Because it happened after the fact and does not present as a normal COVID case, it may not have been initially diagnosed as a COVID case. COVID cases are normally respiratory. This is not predominantly respiratory. It's an inflammation of the blood vessels, which could affect the heart. It's more of a cardiac case than a respiratory case, which is a new manifestation of the COVID virus.

The Department of Health is being very aggressive in doing the investigation and also talking to other states, countries, about what they may have learned, partnering with Rockefeller University and the New York Genome Center to see if there's anything in the DNA of these cases.

But parents have to be aware of this. The predominant signs, fever, abdominal pain, skin rash. Other symptoMs, change in skin color, difficulty feeding, trouble breathing, racing heart, irritable or confusion. It's a wide array of symptoms, as you can see, which makes it even harder for a parent to know exactly what they're dealing with.


If your child has been exposed to someone who had COVID, even if it was several weeks ago, that is a special alert in this situation.

Department of Health has told the hospitals in the state to prioritize COVID testing for children who come in with any of these situations.

And if you want more information, this is the health site to go to.

Now, as a parent, I can tell you, this is a parent's worst nightmare, right? To have a child -- we thought that children were not especially affected by the virus -- to find out that they might be and it might be several weeks later, this is truly disturbing.

So, we raise it because it's something that parents should be aware of. We're still finding out more about it. We're working very aggressively. The more we know, the more we'll communicate. For now, everything we know is on that Web site.

But parents say, you know, should I be concerned? You should be aware. You should be aware. First job is to protect our children.

My baby is 22. Not really a baby anymore, she likes to tell me. She's theoretically -- this is 21 and below -- she's 22. Maybe I have nothing to worry about. I still worry. Because that's what you do as a parent, you worry.

I tried to get her up to come with me today, Mikaela, 22 years old. Do you think you have any power in life? Try to get a 22-year-old out of bed at 7:30 in the morning, and you will quickly come down to earth about any expectation of anything.

But go to the Web site in the meantime.

New York State, I'm proud of what our people have done. And we're proceeding with caution and with intelligence.

We also need help from Washington. I understand the federal government has said, you know, it's up to the states, it's up to the governors. Great. But we need help to make this happen. And we need help from Washington. I think that the decision or realization that it should be done state

by state makes sense, but it doesn't mean the states are on their own, either. And we need federal legislation.

We need what's called state and local aid. Our state budget, our state economy has suffered. We have a significant funding gap. And states need assistance. New York has about a $61 billion funding gap, which is a very, very serious funding gap.

What does -- who does the state fund? If we don't have funds in our budget, what does it mean? States fund local governments. We fund police, firefighters, and schools.

If our budget doesn't work, who gets cut? Police, firefighters, schools, local governments, the very people who we need to fight this virus and the very people who we all call the essential workers and the heroes who have been doing a great job. Then how do we not give them support that we need?

We also need funding for state testing. Everyone says the key is testing. The key is testing.

By the way, this is a tremendous operation to put in place. This will be millions of tests in New York. Tracing, never been done before to this extent. It's going to be thousands of people who do tracing. We need funding for that.

The Washington bill should finally provide a real economic stimulus that helps this nation rebuild. Every president has talked about the need to rebuild our infrastructure, our roads, our bridges, our airports. Every administration does a report. The bridges are falling. The roads are crumbling. Our country doesn't build airports anymore. Which it doesn't.

We're building a new airport in Downstate New York, the LaGuardia Airport. First new airport in 25 years in this country! How can it be that we haven't built a new airport in 25 years? You fly around the world and everybody's airport looks amazing. It's like a shopping mall, hotel, entertainment complex. And then you come to an airport in this country.

You need to stimulate the economy. You need to create jobs. Do what every president has said but none has done, Democratic and Republican.


The bill that was introduced yesterday has something that's very important to many states. It repeals what's called SALT, S-A-L-T, the State and Local Tax Deduction. This was a tax change made two years ago, three years ago in Washington.

It increases the taxes of homeowners in certain states. New York is one of them. It costs New York State about $29 billion per year. State of Massachusetts, $11.8 billion per year. It also affects New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland.

That is repealed in this bill that the House put in. It's the single best piece of action for the state of New York.

And we have representatives who know this very well in Representative Lowey and Representative Neal (ph). I applaud them for putting it in. They have to make sure it's in the final bill, because the only thing that matters is what's in the final bill. But that is good news in this bill.

And the need for state and local aid. This is not a Democratic- Republican issue. You have Democratic governors. You have Republican governors. All governors will say they need assistance from the federal government.

The governors work together in an organization called the National Governors Association, NGA. The chairman is a Republican, Governor Hogan, from Maryland. I'm the vice chairman, Democrat.

Governor Hogan and I did a joint statement on behalf of all the governors, saying, we understand what we have to do, we're prepared to do it, but we need help from Washington and we need that state and local funding. So, this is not a partisan issue.

Something else that Washington has to do, which is very important. Special interests always rear their ugly head. And these bills that are coming out of Washington, they have a lot of funding to get the economy running, a lot of money for big businesses and a lot of money for millionaires and a lot of money for large corporations.

I fear what is going to happen is that corporations are going to use this pandemic as an excuse to lay off workers. They're already telling analysts that their profits are going to go up because they're going to reduce their payroll.

So, you'll have Americans who are now out of work, who think they're going to get their job back, but the corporation is going to announce, by the way, we don't need all those employees back. We're going to reduce our number of employees. And you'll see layoffs for Americans.

We went through this before, 2008. We had the mortgage fraud economic catastrophe, right? And we bailed out the banks. I was attorney general at the time. So many banks took the bailout from taxpayers and then gave themselves bonuses or gave their employees bonuses with taxpayer dollars.

And as attorney general, I had to bring actions against these corporations to get the money back. How absurd, they create a financial catastrophe in 2008 because of these mortgage scams and mortgage frauds, taxpayers bail out the corporation, they turn around and use the money to give themselves a fat paycheck when they're the ones who caused the problem in the first place.

So, we made this mistake before. We can't make this mistake again.

I did an op ed today in the "Washington Post" that speaks just to this. You want to provide subsidies to corporations? I understand that. Make sure the subsidies are tied to worker protections. Very simple. If a corporation gets a check from the government, that

corporation must not lay off any workers. Have the same number of workers after the pandemic that you had before the pandemic.

And don't think taxpayers are going to subsidize you, Mr. Corporation, so you can then lay off workers. And then the taxpayers can then pay for that. I call it the Americans First law. No corporate bailout if you're going to lay off workers.


And it's going to be introduced by members of the New York congressional delegation. And I'm very proud of them for their leadership.