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New Polls Show Trump Trailing Biden 99 Days Until Election; Trump Speaks as Coronavirus Cases Spike Nationwide; Trump Defends Pandemic Response in Visit to North Carolina. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 27, 2020 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00]

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: 49 to 45 percent in Arizona, 51 to 46 percent in Florida, and by a whopping 12 points, 52 percent to 40 percent in Michigan. Again, Donald Trump carried each of those states. They are critical to his path to re-election. And it just I think shows you much as we know that national picture that he's been battling, tough national polls, the state by state, as, you know, the battle for 270, I think it shows you how narrow his path is at the moment.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: OK, let's focus back one of those states you just mentioned, Florida. The fact that the polls have Joe Biden winning in Florida. This is President Donald Trump's current home state. How could this be?

CHALIAN: Yes, it is. Well, first, across all the states, his approval rating on coronavirus, Brooke, is he can't crack 40 percent in any of the three states that we polled. So that is what's weighing him down.

But you ask about Florida specifically and I think this finding in our Florida poll is just astounding. Senior citizens, perhaps the most vulnerable population when it comes to coronavirus, take a look here, Joe Biden is winning voters 65 and over in our Florida poll by 11 points, 54 percent to 43 percent. In 2016 in Florida, Brooke, the President beat Hillary Clinton among seniors by 17 points. So, this is just a dramatic reversal.

BALDWIN: Is there a demographic in these swing states that are pushing these polls Biden's way?

CHALIAN: I mean there are several of them, but I do think it is key to look at white women. I mean this is the target when Donald Trump is talking about the suburbs and he's talking about law and order messaging, he's trying to appeal to white women specifically. Women overall a big advantage for Joe Biden.

But take a look here. Donald Trump won white women back in 2016. In Arizona, he's behind Biden or there within the margin of error there. In Florida, it's still a big advantage for him, 13 points, 55 percent to 42 percent. But in Michigan, I mean, 20-point advantage for Joe Biden in Michigan. Donald Trump bested Hillary Clinton among white women and that's part of what gave him that blue-leaning state four years ago.

So, you're just seeing key components of the coalition he had put together in 2016 just not there for him with that kind of strength at this moment as you noted, 99 days away.

BALDWIN: 99 days. As my producer noted earlier, she's like, Brooke, 99 days ago was just April and here we are just about in August and it is going to be here in a blank. David Chalian, you're the best. Thank you very much.

CHALIAN: Thanks a lot, Brooke.

BALDWIN: I want to tell you this story coming up about this woman who lost her 29-year-old daughter to coronavirus. And then she was forced to leave her job to help take care of her three young grandchildren. And by the way, two of those children also tested positive for COVID. We'll talk to this phenomenal woman coming up next.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- historic initiative to develop, test, manufacture and deliver a vaccine in record time. And that's what it is. In record time. Likewise, therapeutically we are very, very advanced. You're hearing about it and you'll be hearing about it a lot more in the next two weeks.

We will achieve a victory over the virus by unleashing America's scientific genius which is what it is. I'm therefore proud to announce that this morning the Moderna vaccine has officially entered phase three already and that's phase three clinical trials. The final stage before approval.

There's never been anything like this in terms of speed, nothing even close. A second vaccine is likely to enter phase three in a matter of days, under Operation Warp Speed we've shaved years off of the time that it takes to develop a vaccine, in some cases many years. And we've done it while maintaining the FDA gold standard for safety.

This is the fastest a vaccine for a novel pathogen has ever gone. Has never gone like this. And if you look at where we are by phase three, we could say ever gone by far. Four additional promising candidates are expected to enter final trials in the coming weeks including the Nova Vax vaccine being developed right here at this facility.

[15:35:02]

It's is an incredible facility. We're going to making a tour in little while. Very complete tour with the folks that run it and the people that operate. We've just completed a tour of Fujifilm's innovation laboratories and that's going to be done at much higher level in a few minutes after I'm finished and I believe we'll take a few questions too.

Which we're carrying out a crucial bio manufacturing process needed to make the Nova Vax vaccine, this production is made possible by my administration's $1.6 billion award to Nova Vax as part of Operation Warp Speed. It's lets us deliver the final product in a time that never has been achieved anywhere at any time for anything like this.

These same manufacturing processes are being conducted on an even larger scale. In College Station, Texas, today, I'm proud to announce that HHS has just signed a $265 million contract with the Fujifilm in Texas A&M Innovation Center which is quite the place to dramatically expand their vaccine manufacturing capacity. I want to thank Fujifilm CEO Martin Meeson for welcoming us today. And Martin, where is Martin? Thank you, thank you very much, Martin. It's really wonderful to be with you under these circumstances in particular with all of the progress that's being made.

As well as Nova Vax CEO Stanley Erck. Stanley, thank you very much. Thank you very much for being here.

Thanks also to Secretary Alex Azar who is with us. Senator Thom Tillis, thank you very much, thank you, Thom. Stand up, Thom. Good job you've done. Thank you very much. You really have.

Representatives Richard Hudson, David Rouser, Mark Walker, Dan Bishop, and Greg Murphy, thank you all friends, all warriors. Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest who I hear is doing a great job. Where is Dan? Stand up, Dan. Great job, Dan. Really good.

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore. Thank you, Tim. Great job. And President pro tem of the North Carolina State Senate, Phil Burger. Thank you, Phil, very much, I appreciate it.

Operation Warp Speed is funding a historic portfolio of highly promising vaccine candidates in addition to our $1.6 billion investment in Nova Vax, we've issued a $483 million contract with Moderna, a $1.2 billion contract with Astra Zeneca, a $465 million contract with Jansen, and just last week a $1.95 billion agreement with Pfizer. Tremendous progress is being made with all of those great companies.

A groundbreaking agreement with Pfizer includes a guarantee to deliver 100 million doses shortly after the vaccine's approval, almost immediately. With the option to purchase an additional 500 million thereafter.

Not only is Operation Warp Speed accelerating the development of a vaccine, we are also directing a colossal industrial mobilization to ensure its rapid delivery. Nothing's happened like this since the end of World War II.

Instead of the usual sequence of vaccine development testing and trials, followed by production, our strategy is to conduct these phases simultaneously. So, everything goes at one time. We're not waiting and waiting and waiting. It is all going at one time.

We have a system that has -- I think it's unparalleled. Never been done before but we suspect it's going to work and work very well.

We're mass producing all of the most promising vaccine candidates in advance so that on the day one that it's approved, it'll be available to the American people immediately and we'll probably have a lot for a lot of other people throughout the world. The world is suffering from this China virus.

Another dimension of Operation Warp Speed is our focus on therapeutics to treat the virus. Over 140 clinical trials are underway, and a number of effective therapies have already been developed and widely delivered. Including Remdesivir which is having a tremendous impact. You see that with mortality rates and other things statistically.

Dexamethasone, convalescent plasma and antibody treatments, we have numerous treatments right now that are under study and I think over the next couple of weeks we may actually have some very positive answers as to that.

On July 7th we announced a $450 million agreement with Regeneron to begin advanced manufacturing of its antibody treatment which is currently in late stage clinical trials. Late stage.

[15:40:04]

Due to the medical advances we've already achieved and our increased knowledge in how to treat the virus, the mortality rate for patients over the age of 18 is 85 percent lower than it was in April. Think of that, 85 percent. And is 25 percent lower than Europe as a whole. In the middle of April, more than 22 percent of all deaths in the United States were attributable to the China virus as the last week that number has dropped down. As of last week, it's dropped down to under 7 percent.

To decrease the turnaround time for testing, the first two laboratories have been approved to provide pooled testing. Very important. In other words, samples from multiple patients are processed together to. They're pooled. Now pool testing will reduce turnaround times by more than, substantially more than 50 percent. Last week our centers for Medicare and Medicaid services began distributing rapid point of care diagnostic test instruments to all of the nursing homes in the United States. Focusing on the areas of greatest need which is our elderly and our nursing homes.

What we've already sent includes testing instruments to 635 nursing homes for 196,000 rapid point of care tests. It's a tremendous amount. That's -- you'll get your response and answer from five to 15 minutes.

Over the next three weeks 1,700 nursing homes will receive an additional 800,000 point of care tests. Think of that.

The United States has conducted over 52 million tests, that's more than all of Europe put together times two. Nobody is even close. And as countries go, it is as an example, India is up to 11 million tests. We're going to be very shortly at 55 million tests, India has 1.4 billion people.

Through our relentless efforts we've completely rebuilt our stockpile. Which the previous administration depleted and did not refill. The cupboards were bare, I say it often.

In total, we've now distributing nearly 100 million N-95 masks, 35 million surgical masks, 15 million face shields and much, much more. In addition to that, ventilators, the most difficult thing of all, we are now building thousands a month and we're distributing them, we have all we need in our country but to other countries that in desperate need. Other countries are having a tremendously difficult time with the virus.

Last week, FEMA sent additional personnel protective equipment to over 15,000 nursing homes including 643,000 pairs of protective eye wear, 7 million masks, 34 million pairs of gloves and 6 million gowns. That's a lot.

Over the weekend cases in Florida, Texas, and Arizona held steady and are now heading down. In Arizona they're heading very substantially down and rapidly. We've been constant and in constant communication with the states and are surging them resources when requested. They largely had what they needed but anything they need we send them immediately. We are totally full. We have everything that we need. We get it to states immediately. We deal with the governors, the relationship with the governors has been very good.

These states are not out of the woods but rigorous compliance with guidelines should allow them to turn the corner and very, very quickly. We are working with every governor and health commissioner across the country to bring a complete individualized analysis to each state as well as tailored recommendations. States are different.

My administration is also closely monitoring the surging case load in Latin America, which is now the region in the world with most active reported infections by far. Due to the relative scarcity of testing in Latin America, however, the region's reported number of cases is also likely to be dramatically undercut or undercounted and I could say that's probably true throughout the entire world.

We report our cases, most of the world doesn't. They either don't do testing therefore they have very few cases even though people are sick, or they just don't report.

And given the reality of what we just said, we're focusing aggressively on the Texas border and countries that we think have to be watched very, very carefully. Because you have some very, very highly infected countries outside of our borders.

[15:45:00]

I've spoken with Governor Abbott, terrific gentleman, and I can report that over 3,300 federal personnel on the ground in Texas, we've given them a tremendous amount of extra help including doctors, nurses, front line people. We've supplied Texas with more than 2.5 million gloves, 800,000 goggles, 337,000 surgical gowns, 1.8 million surgical masks, 1.36 million N-95 respirators and half a million KN-90 masks.

Beginning this week Texas hospitals will receive 500 cases of Remdesivir. Which has proven very effective. Enough to treat 3,200 patients.

In addition to the cross-border spread, the stage of the pandemic is being fueled by younger Americans who generally have little risk of being seriously harmed by the disease but can spread the disease. We need all Americans to be conscious about their actions and to exercise extreme vigilance.

I trust all Americans to do the right thing. But we strongly advise everyone to especially, especially focus on maintaining a social distance, maintaining rigorous hygiene, avoid large gatherings and crowded indoor bars and wear masks when appropriate.

We also strongly urge citizens to take extra precautions to shield those at highest risk which are in most cases in many cases the elderly, especially the elderly with medical problems such as heart or diabetes. But you want to shield them and you want to guard them and you want to protect them from the virus, especially, especially those that are really targeted, almost targeted, you could say, by this horrible, horrible plague, this horrible epidemic pandemic.

America will develop a vaccine very soon and we will defeat the virus. We will have it delivered in record time. As our visit here demonstrates and I want to thank all of the people and representatives from the great state of North Carolina, this is a great place.

It's a phenomenal place. And we've had so many great meetings and such a great time. I want to drive -- and tenacity of your representatives and politicians has been incredible. When they call, I'm there. When they call, most of them, many of them are sitting here right now, I will always answer their call.

So, thank you very much, I appreciate you being here with us and let's get on to a few questions. Tremendous progress has been made. And it's been made rapidly, and it's been made in areas that nothing like that has taken place before.

So, please, thank you very much. (APPLAUSE) Thank you. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's been a lot of despair when it comes to the virus, is today's event about giving Americans hope, a sense of optimism? Is that what you're trying to do?

TRUMP: Well, I think so. But, you know, there would not be the same kind of hope if we weren't going so well.

You know, just before I left the White House, in the Oval Office, we had a meeting with our doctors, scientists, some others and they're making tremendous progress with respect to therapeutics, I can tell you therapeutically, I think over the next couple of weeks we'll have some really very good things to say. We're just having great answers.

So, it is about that. And it is also the vaccine that we discussed today at even greater length is just coming along really well. And it's not just one company. It's many companies have had tremendous progress. So that'll be announced over the next very short period of time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do you expect the vaccine to be ready for Americans? TRUMP: Well, I heard very positive things, but by the end of the year we think we're in very good shape to be doing that by the end of this year. In terms of the vaccine, I think in terms of therapeutics even sooner than that.

Therapeutics meaning you go and give somebody whether it's transfusion or shots or whatever it may be and they heal. And they heal quickly. So, we've had tremendous progress. We already have, if you look at Remdesivir, and you look at some of the other things, but we'll have some announcements on that over the next two weeks. Yes, it is hope. But it's only hope because we've gotten such incredible results scientifically. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin and I wanted to ask if you did bring up the reports of Russia having bounties on our soldiers in Afghanistan?

TRUMP: We don't talk about what we discussed but we had plenty of discussion and I think it was very productive. Please.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Larry Kudlow earlier today said that the V shaped recovery is showing signs of moderating. Do you think given what we're seeing with the increase in cases that the recovery could be in jeopardy at all, the economic recovery?

TRUMP: I don't think so. I think the recovery's been very strong. We've set record job numbers. We've set record numbers. Whether it's pure V or a little bit less than that, I think it's going to be very good.

If therapeutically we come up with some answers very quickly, which I think we will, then you're going to have a tremendous recovery. Likewise, with the vaccines if you do that by the end of the year. That's ahead of schedule substantially ahead of schedule and it's ahead of anything that's ever-taken place in terms of vaccines before.

So, I think if those things happen, if just one of those events happen, you'll go right back into that V, and I think you're probably in the V anyway.

I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that they're not opening. And we'll see what happens with them. But a lot will have to do with the fact that therapeutically, I think you're going to have some great answers vaccine-wise, likewise. Yes, please go ahead in the back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- from the "Raleigh News and Observer" now that you've canceled the Jacksonville portion of the RNC, do you think Governor Cooper made the right choice in limiting attendance in Charlotte?

TRUMP: Well, we're actually coming to North Carolina, as you know. We're having a very major -- I guess that would be the nomination night. So that's Monday, that'll be Monday they're going to be here. And the rest we'll do in a different form. We could have done it many different ways. But I think we did the right thing. And I'm really happy that we're going to be having a piece of it, at least a very important piece in North Carolina. Yes, please, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, your poll numbers suffered in recent months because of your handling on this pandemic. There appear now today. What's your plan going forward to prove to Americans that you're the right person for this job?

TRUMP: I think the poll numbers are very good. The poll numbers we have are very good. We're leading in North Carolina. We're leading in Pennsylvania. We're leading in Arizona, our numbers. We're leading in Arizona. We're leading nicely in Florida.

I think our poll numbers are very good. We're leading substantially in Georgia. I mean we get a lot of suppression polls. We get a lot of fake polls, just like we have fake news. I mean it's a terrible thing when you look at it.

But I had the same thing four years ago. I was losing everywhere, I had poll numbers where I wasn't going to win any state and I ended up winning every one of them, you know, the swing states. I wasn't going to win any of them, and I won all of them.

And I have the same thing this year. This year they have it even closer. They have it closer but it's the same suppression type polls. We have polls that show me leading in almost every swing state, and substantially in other states by even more than I won in '16.

When you look at Florida, as an example, you have thousands of votes out on the ocean, out on the intercoastal. You look at other states where likewise you have thousands of boats and they're all waving the Trump sign, Trump/Pence sign, and they're so proud.

Thousands and thousands, you've seen it where you have Bikers for Trump with lines that are miles long on highways going along on weekends. I think there's more spirit now than there's ever been for my campaign. And that includes 2016 where obviously there was great enthusiasm, great spirit. We had great spirit.

I think there's more today because what we've done, nobody's ever done before. Nobody has ever rebuilt the military, cut taxes the most in our history, created the greatest economy we've ever had, cut regulations at a level that nobody's ever done, and all of these different things -- the V.A., we got V.A. choice, we got V.A. everything for the V.A. right now they had a 91 percent approval rating in a recent poll.

I was just speaking to the secretary, 91 percent in the VA, that's never happened before. I think when people see all that we've done, even Space Force, we created a force, an actual, you know, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, right, it's pretty amazing, Coast Guard and now Space Force. That hasn't happened in 75 years.

What we've done working with some of those warriors over there by the way. But what we've done has never been done. If you look at Alaska with ANWR perhaps the biggest drilling site in the world, even Ronald Reagan and Bush and Clinton, everybody wanted to get it done, I got it done, ANWR in Alaska, probably or possibly the biggest drilling site in the world.

You know, what we've done has been incredible. Recently it looked like the energy business was going to be a catastrophe. We were number one in the world and then we had the pandemic, and nobody was using energy, nobody was driving in automobiles.

No gasoline. And by the way, gasoline prices for everyone are very, very low, in many cases less than $2. That's pretty incredible. And I saved the energy business. I got Russia and I got Saudi Arabia on the phone and they cut way back. And we're now at $40 and plus a barrel.

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And we're saving tens of millions of jobs in energy. We're the number one in energy in the world.

So, with all that we've done, we made and brought this country to the greatest point in its history. We never had an economy like we had prior to the China plague or China virus coming in. We never had numbers like it. We're going to have them again and everyone knows. I'm going to rebuild it. I had to close it up, we saved millions of lives by closing it. If we

didn't close it, you would have seen numbers that would have been 15 times what you have right now. One death is too much. But it would've been ten to 15 times, maybe more than that.

We closed the greatest economy ever, far bigger than China, better than China. China was having, by the way, the worst year they had in 67 years, tariffs. They paid us tens of billions of dollars. The worst year they've had, think of it, in 67 years.

We were having the best year we've ever had. I had to close it and now we're re-opening it. And next year we'll be stronger, it will be the strongest year so far. It'll be better even than last year.

OK, thank you very much. I'll be heading back, and I'll see you back at the White House. Thank you very much. We're going to take an additional tour of the facility with your great leaders. Thank you very much to the people of North Carolina. We love being here. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, how do you plan for --

BALDWIN: I'm hearing more questions shouted. Let's see if he goes back. Nope. OK, so you just heard from the President.

I just want to hit on two notes as he was touting how great testing is in America. Testing is great in America because we have one-fourth of the number of all COVID infections globally. So that's not good news at all.

And the other piece of it is the fact that people are now having to wait something like two weeks once they are fortunate enough to get a test -- to get those test results. So that's not something to be thrilled about.

And number two, the President made news by saying -- let me give you the quote. This is when he was asked about this recent phone call, he had with Vladimir Putin on the intelligence that Russia had paid Taliban militants to kill American and U.K. troops in Afghanistan.

And the quote from President Trump was, we don't talk about what we discuss, but we had plenty of discussions and it was very productive, President Trump.

Let's go to Kaitlan Collins. She's our White House correspondent. She was listening in all of that, Kaitlan, what did you think?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he did not say yes or no, Brooke, whether they discussed that intelligence that we talked about for so many days about that purported Russian bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops.

Now that is something that White House disputed at the time, saying that they did not believe there was unanimous agreement among the intelligence community about that intelligence even though we're heard from several other former national security officials who said it does not have to be unanimous for you to bring it to the President.

That was the only time the President had talked about it, was saying he said he had not briefed on it in person by his own staff. And that is the first time, Brooke, there, that the President has actually been asked about these bounties that I can recall in the last several weeks since that news first broke.

And he would not say yes or no whether or not he brought it up with Vladimir Putin. He said only that they do not talk about what was discussed. He said they had a very productive conversation and they discussed a lot of things. But he would not say yes or no, which is really notable because the White House has also refused -- has also declined to answer that question saying whether or not they talked about it.

And even some Republicans have said that if this intelligence is true and if this intelligence does exist and it's this concerning, then this is something that the President should be talking about, what he's going to do moving forward, that it's not the response we got there from the President.

And the other thing that he was talking about, as you know, is this visit to North Carolina today to visit this facility where they are making these key components of what could go into a vaccine candidate, you know, this is a larger effort, Brooke, to change the message. Because, of course, we know several polls have shown the President trailing Joe Biden in several key states, North Carolina, Florida, all of these states are concerns for the campaign right now, Michigan especially.

He claims that his campaign has polls that show him leading in some of these swing states, Brooke. That is not what we hear from people on the campaign. And actually they say, telling the President that internal polls look just as bad as some of the public polls is what got the President to course-correct here, start holding these briefings again with reporters and holding COVID-19-dedicated events.

Because a lot of them were showing that voters really rejected the way the President had been responding to the pandemic so far and thought that Joe Biden would do a better job.

You see that one there from CNN, just another poll putting Joe Biden above the President. And it's something that concerned him. Though, of course there he denied it, Brooke, and pointed to those voters for Trump that you've seen, people out on their boats with the Trump flag, he used that as an example of great support he has in the country instead.

BALDWIN: Kaitlan, thank you for all of that. We'll let Jake pick up where we left off. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks so much for being with me. Let's go to Washington. THE LEAD with Jake Tapper starts right now.