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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

U.S. Reports 1,403 Deaths in One Day, The Equivalent of About One Person Dying Every Minute of The Day; Trump Addresses Death of Friend Herman Cain from Coronavirus; Comes Weeks After Cain Attended Trump's Rally in Tulsa; Key Model Now Projects 80,000 More Virus Deaths by November; Trump Sows Doubt on 2020 Election: "These Elections Will be Fraudulent. They'll be Fixed. They'll be Rigged"; Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) is Interviewed About Obama Eulogizing John Lewis, Condemning Efforts to Suppress Voting; Exclusive: CNN Conducts First TV Interview with Head of "Operation Warp Speed", the U.S. Vaccine Project; U.S. Reports Worst Economic Plunge on Record. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 30, 2020 - 19:00   ET

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


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, President Trump passing the buck blaming states for the rise in coronavirus cases, as his friend and ally Herman Cain dies from coronavirus, joining more than 151,000 Americans who have tragically lost their lives. Many of those deaths, preventable.

Plus, scare tactic. The President floating delaying the election because of fraud. What happens if Trump refuses to accept the results of November's vote? I'll talk to Colin Powell's former chief of staff who attended a secret meeting to discuss this very topic.

And the headlines hitting home for Americans tonight, jobless claims are up. The worst GDP drop in history. Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the tragic consequences to Trump's pandemic response. The death toll tonight in this country more than 151,000. Arizona, Florida, Mississippi all reporting record high deaths today. Nationwide, the country on track to surpass yesterday's death toll of 1,403 people which is about one person dying every single minute of the day.

And yet it took a visit to the American Red Cross to see coronavirus patients for Americans to see this. The President of the United States in the mask. It is only the fourth time we've seen him wearing a mask. He was with a patient who was donating plasma when he wore it. Later on in a roundtable, it was off.

This is despite the CDC recommending all Americans wear masks 118 days ago and it was ours before this rare picture of a masked Donald Trump, a sobering announcement came. His friend and ally, Herman Cain, the former presidential candidate has died from coronavirus. A sad loss.

The last time Cain was publicly seen was in this picture. This is a President Trump's campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20th. We all remember that indoor rally that medical experts warned Trump against holding. You can see Cain sitting with a group of people smiling with no mask.

The caption, "Here's just a few of the black voices for Trump at tonight's rally having a fantastic time."

Now, Cain did later claimed that he wore a mask when he was around people. But 11 days after that picture on July 1st, Cain was in the hospital. That same day he also fired off a tweet about the rally in South Dakota. Remember that one? His tweet, "Masks will not be mandatory for the event which will be attended by President Trump. People are fed up." Celebrating no matter.

I mean, it's important to know we do not know where Herman Cain contracted the virus. But 11 days after contracting it is, of course, when many people who become seriously ill from it seek urgent hospital care. And regardless, neither Cain or anyone else should have been at Trump's rally in Tulsa in the first place, because there was no social distancing and almost no masks.

But President Trump can be very convincing. He wanted that rally. Oh, he wanted it bad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to be starting the rallies. The first one we believe will be probably we're just starting to call up, we'll be in Oklahoma, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Beautiful new venue, brand new. I'm looking forward to it. They've done a great job with COVID.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WINKLER: Now, the Trump campaign at that rally did not take the safety of its supporters seriously. That is just the fact. It did not mandate masks. The President's Press Secretary among others made it absolutely clear that she would not wear one and the Washington Post reports that Trump's campaign directed the removal of these stickers, reminding his supporters to socially distance.

We can show you the video. You can see two people actually pulling the do not sit here stickers off the chairs. They were doing that very specifically in an effort to make the room look more crowded, that people all sitting next to each other because the turnout didn't end up what they hoped. They wanted people jammed in. They wanted people not wearing masks. A crowded rally is what they wanted, showing a normal life.

And the President had been encouraging this deadly mentality that it's not important to wear a mask. That it's not important to socially distance. We've seen it again and again from him. We even saw it yesterday at the Trump event in Midland, Texas, so social distance, no masks.

This is yesterday, people, 117 days after they said to wear masks. Or just two days ago, when the President shared a tweet that claimed that because hydroxychloroquine is a cure, which by the way, it is categorically not, that people don't need to wear masks. And people in power have been echoing Trump, staffers working for Trump's ally, Congressman Louie Gohmert who, as you know, just tested positive for the virus yesterday, they tell Politico that they were berated in the Congressman's office for wearing masks as if it was something bad or weak or inappropriate to do.

The President's allies and supporters have unfortunately all too often followed his lead in their scorn for masks and this has deadly consequences. Listen to the doctors on the President's coronavirus task force.

[19:05:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We believe if the governors and mayors of every locality right now would mandate masks for their communities and every American would wear a mask, we can really get control of this virus.

DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: We have the most powerful weapon in our hands right now. I mean, it's an enormously powerful weapon. It's just a simple flimsy mask. This virus can be defeated if people just wear a mask.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I believe that we could turn things around because we've shown that when you do those things, particularly the physical distancing and the universal use of masks that you can turn around the kind of surges that we've seen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: All right. Well, Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT live near the White House. Pamela, it's just sobering to hear them say that and what happened today. The President began his news conference that he had tonight talking about Herman Cain. They were, of course, friends.

Will the loss though of a friend like Herman Cain to this virus change the President's behavior at all?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, if it's going to change the President's behavior, we certainly didn't see that at the press briefing this evening, Erin. And you're right, the President did speak about his friend and ally, the loss of his friend, Herman Cain, paying his respects to him.

He did not mention that Herman Cain did attend his Tulsa rally, that indoor rally and then tested positive nine days after that, as you pointed out. Herman Cain was seen at the rally not wearing a mask who's with other people. Now his family does point out that he did a fair bit of travel after that rally, so you can't know for sure where he contracted this virus. But it certainly has brought a renewed focus, Erin, on mask wearing at

gatherings and the President's own stance on this very important issue. He's really been all over the map with it. The first time he wore a mask in public was around five months after this pandemic started, well after the public health experts had been urging the American public to wear masks and he did it because we're told through sources one of the big reasons he did it was because he needed to send this message to those who were following him to wear masks that's good for public health and that it can save lives.

And then this week, he retweeted a doctor who said masks are unnecessary. That tweet was taken down because it violated Twitter's terms. So there really has not been a consistent message from the President on this matter, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Pamela.

And I want to go now to Dr. Jonathan Reiner, of course, who advised the White House under President George W. Bush, the medical team and now Director of Cardiac Cath at George Washington University Hospital and our own Dana Bash, Chief Political Correspondent.

So Dr. Reiner, look, we don't know exactly where Herman Cain got this virus. We do know that he modeled Trump's behavior of shunning masks and when he posted what he posted on social media about people being fed up, that's completely consistent with the President who is mocking and scorning people for wearing masks blatantly on social media and not wearing one himself. Herman Cain attended the indoor rally, obviously. Is there any doubt in your mind that the President bears some responsibility for this through his position on masks?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I think the President bears responsibility for the deaths of 10s of thousands of people in this country. This president has scorned the use of masks until basically today. This president has stated that testing is overrated. He's urged states to open before they were ready.

And then in maybe some of the most shocking behavior, he brought thousands of people together in Tulsa, and in Phoenix and in Mount Rushmore during a surge in the pandemic, demonstrating really just a graven disregard for the health of the people that supported him and then protected him. So, yes, I blame the President for the death of thousands of people.

Mr. Cain, I'm sorry for his loss, that's a tragedy. He made his own decisions, but he followed the lead of the President of the United States as thousands of people do every day as millions of people do every day.

BURNETT: I mean, look, it is tragic that this happened. And Dana, this afternoon the President tweeted about Herman Cain's passing. He was obviously talking about him at the press conference and he wrote, "I loved Herman Cain, a great man Herman, Rest in Peace."

Look, the thing is, Dana, you know when he heard this sad news, he had to have thought about that rally and the picture where Herman Cain, 74-year-old cancer survivor, without a mask is sitting surrounded with people at the rally days before he tested positive. Does this hit home to him, Dana, at all to the President?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Of course, this death hits home to him and it was pretty clear in that tweet and in the fact that he said something at the beginning of his statement earlier this evening. But the question is to what end.

I mean, just look at yesterday, the President has been saying wear a mask.

[19:10:03]

He's been saying the right thing when he needs to, but he doesn't do it. He was in Texas. He was around people in very close proximity. There are people in the room where he was very close to one another, not wearing masks, looked a lot like that photo with Herman Cain who is now gone from coronavirus.

As you mentioned, it's important to say we don't know exactly where he contracted it. But we do know that Cain just was like the President and saying masks are necessary and we shouldn't wear them and he kind of was very open about not wanting to wear one.

And the one thing I want to connect here and, Erin, you know this better than the other two of us, is it's the health of people medically, but it's also the health of the economy and the numbers that we saw today are so incredibly bad from the President's own commerce department, 32.9 percent annual growth rate of decline. That is the equivalent of what we saw today. They are so connected.

And that is what the President has said privately and even publicly what he has cared the most about, because he knows that that sort of dictates his reelection. They're completely intertwined and if that number isn't a wakeup call, in addition to the 150,000 Americans, including his friend, Herman Cain, I'm not sure what is.

BURNETT: Dr. Reiner, Herman Cain is the same age as the President. They're both 74 years old. He was a cancer survivor, of course, that made him high risk, which is a complication that the President does not have. The President does have other comorbidities though.

Does any of this finally get through to him, right? Then he goes to Midland, Texas and he's in these crowded rooms inside. Sure, they caught a couple people yesterday who had coronavirus who were going to be on Air Force One or meet him, they didn't end up around him. But yet there is still very cavalier attitude that he is putting forth about his own risk.

REINER: Well, the President is really insulated from the pain and risk that the rest of the country faces. Everyone who meets the President is tested before they come to his presence. So he doesn't really worry that he's going to contract the virus. He doesn't worry that he goes to the store that the cashier might have the virus or the cashier might get the virus from the person buying a bag of potato chips. He doesn't worry about these things. He shield it in his cocoon at the White House. So no, I don't think he's going to equate Herman Cain's risk to his own.

BURNETT: Well, I appreciate both of your time. And I appreciate your point, I guess that seems to concern - at least what concerns me is that he doesn't seem to care about the fact that everyone else who's at these events with him does not have that bubble and they could get very, very sick. Thank you both very much.

And next, breaking news, the coronavirus model used by the White House now increasing the number of deaths by November by 11,000. Why is that number going up?

Plus, Trump stepping up his attack on mail in voting claiming that it is not safe and it is not secure. How dangerous are his claims? Commissioner with the Federal Election Commission is OUTFRONT.

Plus, former President Obama honoring the civil rights icon, John Lewis, today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: He knew that the march is not over, that the race is not yet won, that we have not yet reached that blessed destination.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:17:09]

BURNETT: Breaking news, a new model projecting a rising number of Americans will die from coronavirus. The University of Washington predicting 80,000, nearly 80,000 more deaths, OK, which would bring your total to about 220,000 dead Americans by November. It's a quarter million people dead from this virus by November.

And they've increased that projection by 11,000 people in just a week and that increase is partly because they say of people refusing to wear masks. Nick Watt is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): The Sun Belt surge is seeping north.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIRX: So now we see the virus probably because of vacations and other reasons of travel moving up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT(voice over): Michigan just closed a lot of bars again when the percentage of tests coming back positive in the state claims, that's the danger sign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAUCI: We're starting to see that in some of the states now; Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT(voice over): Ohio just reported the most cases in a day, Illinois, the most cases since late May. Mayra Ramirez from Chicago, just 28 years old, fell ill in April. She's one of the first COVID-19 patients to receive a double lung transplant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYRA RAMIREZ, DOUBLE LUNG TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT: I wasn't aware that I had received a lung transplant. When I awoke, it wasn't until weeks later that I had the ability to think to myself there's a family out there that's grieving their loved one. I have that person's lungs and how lucky I was to have received it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT(voice over): Yesterday across this country, 1,403 lives reported lost to COVID-19, highest number in nine weeks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JODIE DIONNE-ODOM, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA: It's really a travesty that we are where we are today. I'm worried about the future. I'm worried that unless we make some significant changes in our response, this death rate is going to continue to rise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT(voice over): The NBA season restarted tonight in a bio bubble in Orlando. This weekend Philly's Blue Jays series is off after two Philly staffers tested positive. The NFL watching and learning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE TOMLIN, PITTSBURGH STEELERS HEAD COACH: We're working our tails off to familiarize ourselves and adhere to the COVID protocol.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATT(voice over): If we all do that, there is a way out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIRX: We believe if the governors and mayors of every locality right now would mandate masks for their communities and every American would wear a mask and socially distance, we can really get control of this virus and drive down cases as Arizona has done.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WATT(voice over): Some Arizona cities began mandating masks June 19th

and look what happened two or three weeks later, the average number of new cases in the state every day starts to fall.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: So Nick, there was a new study out today looking at coronavirus immunity and it's getting a lot of attention because the findings were somewhat surprising.

[19:20:04]

WATT: Yes. So, Erin, this study took 68 healthy adult Germans and in more than a third of them, researchers found in their blood T-cells that are reactive to this coronavirus.

Now, one theory is that maybe these people have had similar other corona viruses in the past and their body is using almost the kind of memory of fighting those viruses potentially now. Now, we really don't know the full ramifications of this but another very, very interesting study. Another thing we're learning as we go along, Erin.

BURNETT: Right. And it's something that as they learn more could obviously be hugely significant. We just don't know. I mean, it is or it isn't, but it could be.

WATT: Yes.

BURNETT: And that is why so many are obviously clinging to that. OK. Well, Nick, I appreciate it. Thank you, as always.

The next, what if Trump does not accept the results of the election in November. I'm going to talk to Colin Powell's former right hand man who was part of a secret meeting playing out that very scenario.

Plus, a passionate President Obama as he remembers the late Congressman John Lewis today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:25:16]

BURNETT: Breaking news, President Trump sowing doubt about the 2020 election results.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't want to delay. I want to have the election. But I also don't want to have to wait for three months and then find out that the ballots are all missing and the election doesn't mean anything. I don't want to see a crooked election. This election will be the most rigged election in history if that happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: This came after Trump's earlier tweet suggesting, "Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote?"

OUTFRONT now Ellen Weintraub, Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission. And I appreciate your time. It's good to have you back with me. All right. So the President tonight says he wants to know the election results on the night of the election. You actually wrote in an op-ed, "The widespread switch to absentee ballots this year could slow things down so it takes a week or more to make accurate calls in some major elections - including, perhaps, for the presidency."

The President knows that, so when he says what he's saying now that implying that any delay at all from the election night is somehow massive rigged, a massively crooked and rigged election. How dangerous is that?

ELLEN WEINTRAUB, FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION COMMISSIONER: Well, Erin, there's no reason to think that it's going to be a rigged election and certainly we shouldn't depend on knowing the results on election night. There's nothing magical about election night that's not written into law anywhere that we have to have the results on election night.

Yes, of course, we're all going to be eager to know who won the election. But in every single election, there are some elections. There are some races in Congress for state races where we don't know the results on election night because it's too close or because in this year what is likely is we're going to have an enormous number of mail in ballots that is unprecedented because of the coronavirus, because a lot of people are demanding the right to vote by mail rather than vote in person because they will feel safer doing that.

And all of those mail in ballots have to be opened and counted. And that's not an instantaneous process. Some states have rules that say that you can't even start the count until after the polls have closed. So they can't get a head start on it. They're not going to know when the polls have closed, what's in all of those ballots and we're just going to have to be patient.

BURNETT: So I just want to be clear, we know that what the President is saying about voter fraud is not true, right? What he said about that is completely false. However, there have been some troubling and unacceptable issues with mail in voting that we've started to see in the primaries. The state of New York, where I am tonight is still counting ballots five weeks after its primary and the New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, actually address that today. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) NEW YORK: We have to get it better and we have to get it better quickly, and hopefully these boards of elections are now identifying issues from the primary election and then we'll resolve as many as we can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: OK. So what needs to happen? Because there are issues that need to be fixed, the President is conflating that with fraud and corruption, which is false. But it's a very fertile ground for that message to take hold. What must change now, Commissioner?

WEINTRAUB: Well, I think the first thing that has to be done in Washington is Congress has to appropriate funds and the President has to sign that law that would appropriate funds to the states to get them more resources to do what they need to do to get this election right. Because they are going to require more resources, state and local governments are strapped.

They are suffering from the same economic hardships that the entire economy is suffering from and this is going to be an expensive election because they're going to be more mail in ballots and because it won't be exclusively a mail-in race. There will be a desire for some people to vote in person and the states and localities are going to need more people. They're going to need more space. They're going to perhaps some of them are going to have longer early voting periods in order to allow the space people out more, all of that requires money.

So the first thing that needs to be done and this is really long overdue, but every second counts that Congress has to get more money to the States.

BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate it. Look, it's actionable and it's specific and that's what we need right now. Commissioner, thank you.

And I want to go now to retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson. He was Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell. And I appreciate your time, Colonel. So you're part of this bipartisan group, I know, 80 former government and military officials that met secretly to sort of game out at what could possibly happen if President Trump does refuse to concede the election if he loses.

[19:30:02]

BURNETT: So, take us into that room if you can. What did you envision the scenario? I mean, this is sort of an impossible thing for many of us to even imagine in this country, but that's exactly what you were trying to do to see what would happen. What did -- what did you envision?

COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON (RET.), FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO COLIN POWELL: Well, I belong to three groups. The National Task Force Relation Crisis, which we've been meeting since June of 2019 and the one you're talking about, the Transition Integrity Project, which has been running table top exercises with some of the best political operatives in Washington, scholars and so forth playing the Trump team and playing the Biden team. This is an exercise I'm familiar with from my military experience. The

Trump team makes a move, the Biden team makes a countermove and so forth and so on. The insights we get from this game are vivid. You don't learn lessons but you do get insights.

One of the insights is blinding clash of the obvious but it's important. The person who owns the government owns the power. That's a very good insight for everyone to have. If you have the departments, the homeland security department, the military, all the other elements of executive power, you have enormous advantage.

And so, you have to play off that insight and you have to start to develop mechanisms, means, legal and other otherwise to combat that incredible advantage, especially if you have someone unscrupulous, dishonest, frankly, and willing to go beyond the law to do whatever he needs to do to stay in power. And that's a problem. That's a real challenge.

BURNETT: So, you know, some Republicans are -- you're obviously not downplaying this and you see the significance of it and the danger. Some Republicans are downplaying the president's tweet today saying it was just a joke.

Senator John Cornyn of Texas saying I think it's a joke, obviously, he doesn't have the power to do that, which sort of flies in the face of exactly what you're just laying out, because, by the way, he says this all the time. This is not a new thing, right?

Here he is actually just in an interview with Chris Wallace.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results of the election?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have to see. I'm not going to just say yes, and I didn't last time either.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Yes, no, no, I'm not going to say yes, I'm not going to say no. I mean, what? What do you make of that? Is this just a joke for him?

WILKERSON: Well, you know, you look at it and you look at his past and some of the things he's said and done in the past and you have to say this man could be serious. As long as you have to say that, and I think you do in our table top exercises emphasized that, you've got to be ready. You've got to have some ammunition in your quiver, so to speak, to deal with it if it comes to the point where it's really serious.

Let's say, for example, these deployments of homeland security, contract, and other law enforcement agents to Portland, to Detroit, to Albuquerque, Chicago, and elsewhere are strategic tests of what could be done in very critical states and very critical places where voting will take place. This is not a good development, not a good development at all.

It's not like we haven't done this before. General Grant, President Grant deployed forces during the election of 1876 and they influenced voting. They influenced voting against the Ku Klux Klan and others who would stop blacks from voting, so we can say that was okay. That was okay. But we don't want to see that happening on the other side of the coin. We don't want to see military forces being deployed to influence voters.

BURNETT: All right. Colonel, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

WILKERSON: Sure.

BURNETT: And next, devastating economic numbers. When you think about the U.S. economy on an annual basis shrinking one-third in just a few months, it's a seismic adjustment that, frankly, we're not ready for, period, full stop.

Perhaps that's what the president wanted to distract from when you tweeted about the election this morning.

Plus, President Trump's message -- President Obama's message, I'm sorry, at John Lewis's funeral.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: John Lewis will be a Founding Father of that fuller, fair, better America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:38:07]

BURNETT: -- honoring the life and legacy of civil rights icon John Lewis and condemning (AUDIO GAP) during eulogy at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Lewis' mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once preached.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: He, as much as anyone in our history, brought this country a little bit closer to our highest ideals. And someday, when we do finish that long journey towards freedom, when we do form a more perfect union, whether it's years from now or decades or even if it takes another two centuries, John Lewis will be a founding father of that fuller, fairer, better America.

He knew that the March is not over, that the race is not yet won, that we had not yet reached that blessed destination.

We may no longer have to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar in order to cast a ballot, but even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darnedest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that's going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don't get sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina, long time friend and colleague of Lewis.

[19:40:01]

And I appreciate your time, Congressman.

You know, you met John Lewis nearly 60 years ago during the civil rights movement. And I know you remain friends ever since, and you've talked so much about him. When you heard that today, visibly emotional President Obama, not just focusing, though, on Lewis' legacy, right, although, he did that when he talked about him being a founder of the movement, but he made this about the future, he made about the people, the person in the White House right now, he made it about threats to voting rights in this presidential election.

How important was that to you that he chose to do that as well?

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC), HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: Well, thank you very much for having me, Erin. It was very, very important.

I'm very pleased that President Obama went there because that's what it's all about. There have been so many people expressing their love and their admiration for John Lewis.

John Lewis gave his all to giving the right to vote. Born in Alabama, and at the time that he crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, only 2 percent of African-Americans in Alabama had the right to vote. He always said, that the vote -- the vote is precious, almost sacred.

So, I think that John would really want to hear what President Obama had to say today. And even more so, I think that John would love for all of us, and as I've said several times recently, to dedicate this year's election, the voting that will take place this year, dedicate that to the life and legacy of John Lewis.

Words are great. Showing up at memorials are fantastic. But the greatest of all would be going to the polls this year in what I consider to be the most consequential election maybe since 1860.

I feel that. I've studied enough history to know that the consequences that could flow from this election could completely reverse that, which started out in 1860 with the election of Abraham Lincoln.

BURNETT: So, when you talk about Congressman Lewis, what he did, you know, he did -- you know, there was obviously that op-ed today published posthumously by "The New York Times", right, where he said the vote is most powerful non-violent change agent you have in democratic society. You must use it. It is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

Right? So, that happens today.

On the day of Lewis's funeral, President Trump tweets: With universal mail-in voting, not absentee voting, which is good, 2020 will be the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history. Delay the election.

What -- what in the world do you say to that?

CLYBURN: Well, you asked the question correctly. What in the world is this man thinking about? We've had Election Day set, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, set since what? The 1840s?

We've had a civil war since then. The civil war was in the 1860s. How many times -- we've had world wars. We have never postponed an election.

This president is off in never, neverland someplace. He knows better than that. He has no authority to postpone an election.

The dates for elections are set by the United States Congress, and it's already set. And we do not need to postpone an election. This president, I've been saying for a long time, is looking for a way not to have an election at all. He fashions himself as a strong man.

He wants to do in Oregon what they can't do for themselves. He wants to do for Portland what the mayor cannot do. That's not the way we run business in this country.

This is a democracy, a representative democracy that yields a republic. And I remind all your listeners, when Benjamin Franklin emerged from that meeting setting this republic up, and he was asked, "What have you done?" He said, 'We have given you a republic if you can keep it."

It's up to us this year to hold on to this republic because you've got somebody in the White House who would love to see it be something else.

So, that is what we ought to do this year, say, John Lewis, you gave your all to help preserve this democracy. We're going to do our fair share to move it forward.

BURNETT: Congressman, I appreciate your time as I always do.

[19:45:00]

I think your point about --

CLYBURN: Thank you.

BURENTT: -- never having postponed an election in world wars, pandemic, civil war, it's incredibly powerful. Thank you so much, sir. I appreciate it.

CLYBURN: Thank you very much.

BURNETT: Next, a CNN exclusive, the head of Operation Warp Speed speaks to CNN and says he expects there will be a vaccine by the end of the year and that it will be about 90 percent effective. So, how does he know?

Plus, bleak job numbers and the worst economic plunge on record. And now, more and more small business owners are not making it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Breaking news, a CNN exclusive. The chief adviser of Operation Warp Speed, which is the government group working on a coronavirus vaccine, in his first television interview tells our Elizabeth Cohen that he expects there will be a vaccine by year's end and that it will be highly effective.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MONCEF SLAOUI, CHIEF ADVISOR, OPERATION WARP SPEED: It's very hard to predict, of course. That's why we're doing a trial. My personal opinion based on my experience and the biology of this virus, I think this vaccine is going to be highly efficacious.

[19:50:04]

I wouldn't be surprised if it's in the 90 percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Elizabeth Cohen joins me now.

Elizabeth, obviously, that is way more optimistic than many people -- you know, experts are, even those who are relatively optimistic. So, it really does sound great.

How does he back it up?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, he just said that based on the biology of this virus, that when you look at how it works, he thinks it can be that effective.

It's not so pie in the sky. Chickenpox, measles, polio, those are all vaccines that are in the 90s. So, it's possible this one is, too. Dr. Slaoui, while he was at GlaxoSmithKline, he headed up the development of five major novel vaccines. So let's hope he's right about this one -- Erin.

BURNETT: And, Elizabeth, you know, when -- when you look at that, you also have this new study out today in the journal "Nature" which I mentioned earlier with Nick Watt, picking (ph) people who never had COVID possibly having immunity to the virus. Is that possible or just picking up people who have had a common cold, which is a coronavirus, but doesn't mean anything about immunity, what do you know?

COHEN: You know, it's really unclear what this means, Erin. But it is intriguing. So what these researchers found is about 35 percent of the people they looked at, had some T-cell activity, some immune activity that would have made them -- or could make them immune or help partially immune to COVID-19. These are people not exposed to COVID- 19.

What it might be is that COVID-19, and you're alluding to this, is a coronavirus, and other things, or other coronaviruses out there, too. So maybe some people sort of got lucky and have a little immunity because they were exposed so similar viruses, but we're not quite sure at this point.

BURNETT: All right. Well, obviously, that along with a vaccine, crucial things to get answers to, as I know they're rushing to do. Hence the name Warp Speed, which I know it has its own issue.

Thank you very much. Elizabeth, I appreciate it. Elizabeth with that first interview with the man in charge there of that effort.

And next, the U.S. economy plunging like we've never seen before. It is now at a whole new stage. This isn't just a temporary things are bad and things are going to reopen. This is different.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole prospect of having a business in this climate seems impossible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:56:17]

BURNETT: Tonight, the U.S. economy is shrinking by nearly 10 percent in the second quarter. More than 32 percent at an annualized rate, which is the worst drop on record. It comes for the second week in a row the number of Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits rose, which could be a sign the economy is slowing down again, another round of layoffs.

Meanwhile, Congress is still negotiating an extension of the $600 unemployment benefits, which ends tomorrow.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JENNIFER YATES, CO-OWNER, STUDIO METAMORPHOSIS: Good morning, everybody. Hey, MJ. Hey, Molly. Hi, Dana.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An early morning workout.

YATES: And three, two, one. Separate your legs. Don't leave the floor.

LAH: In the new abnormal for Studio Metamorphosis. All virtual, facing a seemingly never-ending contagion.

ALEX HARTUNIAN, CO-OWNER, STUDIO METAMORPHOSIS: It's just that the whole prospect of having a business in this climate seems impossible.

LAH: Five months ago, owners Jenny Yates and Alex Hartunian closed their three Los Angeles studios. Then, a lifeline.

HARTUNIAN: We heard back from the PPP. We're going to get some money for you guys.

(CHEERS)

LAH (on camera): Were you able to cover the rent, were you able to cover salaries?

YATES: For about a month.

HARTUNIAN: I mean, rents are expensive in l.a.

LAH: So it didn't last very long?

YATES: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are we doing with this thing?

LAH (voice-over): Now, $150,000 behind in rent, they're selling off equipment to stay afloat. Cleared rooms for a virtual future on California's reopening.

HARTUNIAN: When we reopened, we realized, oh, my God, like no one's coming, really, because people are scared.

YATES: OK, let's regroup. We are going to have to rebuild. We know that. Which locations are we going to have to close?

LAH (voice-over): More business closures is what Congress hopes the latest stimulus proposal prevents.

TOM SOPIT, CO-OWNER, EMPLOYEES ONLY: Six feet there.

LAH: But Tom Sopit isn't waiting on lawmakers any more.

SOPIT: We realized at some point we needed to really innovate and just keep moving. We didn't want to keep stopping and let the virus control the narrative.

LAH: The path here has been painful.

(on camera): Are you scared?

(voice-over): This was Sopit in March as the virus closed his restaurant, employees only.

SOPIT: I'm concerned.

LAH: Today? (on camera): This used to be a parking lot.

SOPIT: It was a nice, dirty old parking lot, and we turned it into this -- basically we created a paradise in the middle of the pandemic.

LAH (voice-over): Re-innovating his entire restaurant outside, open thing weekend.

(on camera): How many small businesses do you know that have closed?

SOPIT: A lot. More than I can count. And I'm hoping to not be one of them.

YATES: Take a deep breath.

LAH (voice-over): Small businesses employ 60 million Americans, about half of the private workforce.

YATES: Do not drop out of this.

LAH: That's what is at stake in the next stimulus package say these owners.

YATES: One, you made it.

LAH: Even more than just their brick and mortar shops.

YATES: People are losing their lives. Millions of people are losing their lives.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAH: Here's one example of businesses fighting to stay open. This is Pasadena, California. And on both sides of the street, restaurants have spilled into an entire lane of traffic so it can serve their customers outside. The Yelp Economic Survey says California leads the country in overall business closures since March 1st. And, Erin, the hardest hit city is Los Angeles -- Erin.

BURNETT: Kyung, thank you.

And thanks very much for all of you for joining us.

CNN's global town hall, "CORONAVIRUS: FACTS AND FEARS" begins now.

END