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CUOMO PRIME TIME

Trump Warns Maskless Floridians About Potential Hurricane Strike but Leaves Out COVID-19 Storm; Rep. Jordan Tries To Trap Fauci On Protests & Virus Spread; Trump Campaign Halts Buying Ads In Michigan As Biden's Lead Widens. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired July 31, 2020 - 21:00   ET

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


[21:00:00]

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: -- Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, 6 o'clock Eastern Time, at cnn.com/fullcircle, or watch it there and on the CNN app at any time on-demand.

The news continues. So, I'll hand it over to my good friend, Chris, for CUOMO PRIME TIME.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: My man! Have a great weekend, you and the family. Stay healthy. Stay blessed.

All right, I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

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TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

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CUOMO: This President went to Florida and warned people about an obvious danger.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, I just want to thank everybody here. Be careful a little bit tonight. It's a pretty big storm. I don't know if it's going to be a hurricane or not, but it's a storm, it's significant.

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CUOMO: It was good for him to go and mention a potential hurricane. But he said nothing to them about the catastrophe that is already hitting them this very second.

Standing in front of a mask less crowd, all jammed in together, including Law Enforcement behind him, also, close together, no masks anywhere, you tell me that this is a man who gives a damn about people getting sick?

If he is going to sit there, and say nothing, and in Florida, of all places, that State just set a record for the fourth straight day for COVID deaths, even with their suspect reporting about pneumonia deaths that they called non-COVID related, hiding hospitalizations and other chicanery. They're still drowning in bad data.

Mr. President, how do you find any peace, knowing that you stood there, and you didn't set those people straight? Do you really think being President is just an accolade? Do you really believe you have no duty to these people? Taking this risk in front of your face?

You really don't think that you're one of the reasons why they have no masks that they would pack into a place when the virus is all over the State? And if you really do have no sense of duty, have you no shame, that you would put people in this kind of position of risk?

But, of course, I'm talking to myself, aren't I? We know the answers. Now, he may not know the answers. But we do.

Mr. Trump is all about his interests. Not yours. All "Me." No "We." That's why he attacks Dr. Fauci, and has his State TV pals do it. I know he said, a few days ago, that Fauci's his top guy. But if that's the truth, why is he still having his dogs go at The Good Doctor.

Did you see this from just today?

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REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Half a million protesters on June 6th alone.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Yes.

JORDAN: I'm just asking that number of people --

FAUCI: No.

JORDAN: -- does it --

FAUCI: Yes.

JORDAN: -- increase the spread of the virus?

FAUCI: Crowding together, particularly when you're not wearing a mask, contributes to the spread of the virus.

JORDAN: Should we limit the protesting?

FAUCI: I'm not sure what you mean should - how do we say limit the protesting?

JORDAN: Should government limit the protesting?

FAUCI: I don't think that's relevant to --

JORDAN: And we know the protests actually increase the spread of the virus. You've said that.

FAUCI: I said crowds. I didn't say specifically, I didn't say protests do anything.

JORDAN: So, the protests don't increase the spread of the virus?

FAUCI: I didn't say that. You're putting words in my mouth.

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CUOMO: Look, he has said, and we've all said, yes, the protests increase the risk of spread. Jim knows this.

You know what else he does? No masks. You know what else he does? Denying the pandemic and calling it a hoax for weeks and weeks and weeks. You know what else he does? Not helping out with contact tracing and testing, and Jordan knows every one of these things.

I know Jim Jordan. You change the "R" after Trump's name to a "D," and he'd be all over it.

Jim Jordan tore into Democrats this week to lay off Bill Barr. "Let Barr answer the questions. Come on, man, let's stick to the point of this hearing." That line of entrapment style questioning from the GOP Congressman, we know he did it for one reason, and it's not his constituents. It's a constituency of one, "El Presidente!" "El Jefe!" "The Boss!"

And, of course, he got the pat on the head that he so desperately seeks. "Great job by Jim Jordan," tweeted President Trump.

Great job attacking the man you said is your top guy, the guy you said you like, the guy you said you work with so closely? You like that somebody went after him, pretending that Fauci is the guy who decides what we cancel and what we don't? Shameless!

But I'll tell you what is truly shameful. We topped 4.5 million cases today. We are going the wrong way for the wrong reasons. The CDC now projects we're going to reach more than 173,000 deaths by August 22nd. So, that is bad. Period!

[21:05:00]

But there is also some good new information that we have for you, to help you figure out what the risks are, and what we're all going to face, at one point or another. Let's bring in the Chief Doctor, Sanjay Gupta, to break down the new things we've learned.

Sanjay, great to see you, brother.

"School! School! School! School!"

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Chris.

CUOMO: It's all we're talking about in my house. My kids go to private school.

GUPTA: Mine too. CUOMO: I'm not happy with the process. I'm not happy with what I'm being told. I think this hybrid model, a few days in, a few days out, is the worst of both. So, you create chaos at home, and you expose them to virus in the classroom. I don't get it.

But I do get this. We have to pay attention to this CDC report about hundreds that were infected at a Georgia sleep-away camp. Now, do you believe that this is kind of an analog to what we have to worry about with schools?

GUPTA: I do, Chris. I think that this is a - this is a very significant finding.

But I should point out, I know this camp well. We were following the story of this camp all along, "Should they open? Should they not reopen?" It was a big deal, here in the newspapers, because a lot of kids know this camp. It's a YMCA camp.

Couple things that really struck me about this, first of all, there were 600 kids that went to the camp. They were there for basically five days, including orientation. Camp Counselor gets sick. Camp Counselors are wearing the masks, not necessarily all the attendees, the campers.

Camp Counselor gets sick, they send him home, and then they decide to basically close the camp down, over the next several days, and what do they find?

Let me show you here. First of all, we talk a lot about testing. Not everyone could get tested.

But out of the people that could get tested, they find that the young people, and I have the ages here, between 6 and 10, 51 percent of them became infected, between the ages of 6 and 10, so these are some of the youngest campers, between 11 and 17, I'm sorry, 51 percent, between 11 and 17, 44 percent, and between 18 and 21, 33 percent of the people that were there got - got COVID.

CUOMO: Now, why?

GUPTA: They tested positive. And again --

CUOMO: Was it the camp wasn't following the right rules?

GUPTA: Yes. I think there's - I think there's two things. First of all, there were some specific CDC guidelines in terms of everyone wearing masks.

CUOMO: Yes, you can put them up, Vaughn.

GUPTA: Making sure there's proper ventilation within the - within the various cabins. Windows were closed. And there was a lot of people who were doing these types of activities --

CUOMO: Same as schools.

GUPTA: -- where you were putting a lot of droplets into the air. Same as schools.

CUOMO: Yes.

GUPTA: Same as schools. And I can tell you, Chris, a lot of these kids are the same kids that go to the schools in this area where I live. So, this was a huge concern, and a bit of a trial balloon in terms of what would happen in schools.

I think the fact that young kids were actually the most significant percentage that got infected, I think, was worth noting, and we also realized a lot of these kids were spreading it to each other.

CUOMO: Right. So now, we give them --

GUPTA: So, it was one Camp Counselor.

CUOMO: It's not school.

GUPTA: And then all these kids.

CUOMO: It's not school as an analog, because unless you're going to boarding school, sleep-away school, schools just during the day, these guys were sleeping there at night.

Now, the 51 percent in that younger age range, that leads us into the next piece of research that we have to deal with.

The President keeps saying, "Well don't worry about them, because that 51 percent, they don't communicate the virus to other people. They don't spread it the way other people do."

Now, there was another study that the President has to know about that says that that is BS, that once you get over the age of 10, people transmit the virus at that age the same as they do at our age. True?

GUPTA: That's true. So, that was a really good study. It was done out of South Korea.

They looked at these kids, 10 to 19, and traced them, traced the contacts, and said, "Look, how much are they actually spreading?" And just like you said, they find that kids between the ages of 10 and 19 were spreading just like adults.

What was also interesting about that study, Chris, and subsequent studies, is that we really don't know about kids younger than 10. For the most part, you think about it, Chris, they've largely have been home, since the middle of March. They haven't had a lot of contacts to trace. So, we really don't know.

But then a study comes out that says they carry a lot of the virus, the genetic material for the virus in their noses. They carry 10 times to 100 times as much of this virus material in their noses as compared to adults. That's significant.

You superimpose that on the camp study that the CDC published, a lot of kids are spreading to each other, admittedly in this camp environment, not necessarily a school environment, but still, they are spreading it, Chris. That is the concern.

They're spreading it to each other. And are they going to spread it to people at home, to their parents, to grandparents, to other people in the community. That is an unknown right now.

But the evidence is continuing to mount. We're learning together. There's a humility that's necessary. We've said that since March. But we are learning that young kids may be more likely to spread than we realized.

CUOMO: All right, two other quick things.

The first one is involves both of us as well. So plasma, this isn't news, if you've been following this, but they've done more research on the benefit of plasma from people like me, who have been sick and have the antibodies to help people who are sick.

Now, a lot of people don't want to do this, Sanjay. They've been reaching out to me. "I heard it's too long, I heard it could be dangerous. I heard that they take out too much of your blood."

[21:10:00]

I think there's some demystifying we have to do here. And I think that you and I should do the story, where you can come and be somewhere near me for when I faint, because we both know I'm going down, if I have to give - if I have to give blood one more time.

But what should people know about giving plasma, other than to not be like me when the - the needle goes in?

GUPTA: I'll catch you. Don't you worry, Chris. I've done that for you, in fact --

CUOMO: Have a pillow.

GUPTA: -- I carried you on my back.

CUOMO: I know.

GUPTA: I'll do it again.

CUOMO: I know.

GUPTA: That's right.

CUOMO: Go ahead.

GUPTA: Well here's what I would tell you. This is - this is very interesting.

And I'll preface by saying, this is not a peer-reviewed study. We reported a lot of stuff lately, in this fast-moving pandemic that is not yet peer reviewed. So, let me just disclose that. Having, said that, this was very interesting findings, if they hold up. Basically, in patients who are really sick, Chris, these are hospitalized patients, patients who are severely ill, they gave some of these patients this convalescent serum. So, it's basically the antibodies from the blood of someone who has recovered.

And what they found, again, in this - this non-peer-reviewed study, was that it basically decreased the likelihood of mortality by about half. They found around 25 percent of people were dying in this severely ill group. But then, people who got this convalescent plasma, about 13 percent of those people died.

It wasn't a panacea. It wasn't a cure necessarily. But it seemed to make a huge difference. You're basically giving the antibodies from somebody, to somebody else, and hoping those antibodies actually get to work.

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: They get to work, and actually attacking the virus and preventing it from continuing to replicate. And it seems to work. And Chris, look, we talk a lot about a vaccine. But the therapeutics like this, we need to be paying more attention to them.

CUOMO: Right.

GUPTA: Because I think they could be a bigger deal. They could be the bridge to a vaccine, if you will.

CUOMO: And this, we already know we have.

GUPTA: And that might be a long bridge.

CUOMO: Right. And we have, look, all you have to do is --

GUPTA: And this, we already know we have.

CUOMO: Right. And we have to just donate blood, basically. That's what it is. There really is not much more. I've looked into it.

And I have to tell you, here's the biggest reason to do it, if you've been sick. We all know how great it would feel for us to make something good come out of something that was so bad.

GUPTA: Yes.

CUOMO: I'm still dealing with it. My bloods are all still screwed up. I'm still dealing with different possibilities. But I know I have a ton of antibodies, I just got tested this past week, ton of IgG antibodies. So, we'll do it together and take people through it.

One other thing that was really interesting to me, until I asked my wife about it.

GUPTA: Yes.

CUOMO: Which goes with a lot of things I think I know before I speak to my wife. But she lost the smell and taste.

Harvard comes out with a study saying, "That's OK. Turns out the virus doesn't attack the olfactory cells, the cells that control, but it's the neurotransmitter cells around them. So, it will come back, you'll be OK."

That's what the study is suggesting, right?

GUPTA: Yes, that's good. That's basically it, Chris. And I know you like new words. Anosmia is the word that --

CUOMO: Oh?

GUPTA: -- is referred to loss of smell.

CUOMO: Ashnozmia? Ashnozmia?

GUPTA: That's not - Anosmia - Anosmia. So, but this is a really important finding because it's been a big question. And, by the way, did Cristina get her sense of smell back?

CUOMO: So here's the thing.

GUPTA: Ultimately?

CUOMO: Here's the thing. She did. Now, this is just one person, OK? But I know this for a fact, all right? She lost it. It came back, and then it went away again, a few weeks later. And now, she has a altered taste, things taste putrid to her sometimes.

GUPTA: Interesting!

CUOMO: And we're working with the doctors to try to figure out why. But - and she's not the only person who has said that, you know? She's been reaching out and getting feedback similar.

GUPTA: I think that the study should be some good news for her and for a lot of people who lost the sense of smell.

CUOMO: That it will come back?

GUPTA: And, first of all, loss of smell - that it will come back.

The loss of smell was a very predictive symptom for this - for this COVID 19 disease. I mean, you typically think of cough and fever, and those are there too. But loss of smell ended up being a pretty reliable predictor.

But just as you said again, Chris, we kept thinking that look, this must mean that the virus is actually attacking the neuronal cells that are responsible for smell. Turns out, that's not the case. Those cells were largely spared. It was more the supporting cells that allow those cells to do the work.

What that means is it makes sense that you lose smell. But it also makes perfect sense that it should come back, this should not be a permanent sort of deficit that somebody has.

CUOMO: And it's great piece of evidence as a tell because come the fall, cold and flu season is going to be on us, and a lot of people are going to have fevers, lot of people are going to have runny noses, lot of people are going to have respiratory distress, and won't always be COVID.

But when this loss of smell and taste comes, you have better percentages of it being COVID, so it's a good indicator for our clinicians.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, I don't know how you're keeping up the work rate that you are, but thank God, you are.

GUPTA: Hey, anytime for you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, and I'll buzz you.

GUPTA: Have a great weekend, thank you.

CUOMO: I'll buzz you over the weekend, and we'll figure out how to do this story.

GUPTA: OK, let's do it.

CUOMO: All right? About the plasma.

GUPTA: Absolutely.

CUOMO: So, we'll show people and then they'll feel better doing it, because if my wimpy ass can go through it, they'll do it as well. All right, have a good weekend. I'll talk to you this weekend, Doc.

[21:15:00]

GUPTA: OK, yes.

CUOMO: I don't do well with the needles. I don't know what to tell you. It actually stems from something that happened when I was a child. I'll tell you another time.

Michigan is imposing new restrictions. They're starting right now, why? They're seeing cases start to climb.

The Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, is not spending her time fighting against the obvious. She's dealing with it. She's going to launch the crackdown. Not everybody will like it. That's leadership.

I also want to talk to her about this interesting turn of events in the campaign. The President pulled his ads out of Michigan. The numbers are atypically strong for Biden, in my opinion.

Why does she think - what is the pandemic politics going on in her State? Next.

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CUOMO: People in Michigan are seeing less of two things, TV ads for the Trump Campaign, as he sinks in the polls there, and large gatherings, as Governor Gretchen Whitmer cracks down to battle Coronavirus, after a resurgence in cases. She joins us now.

Governor, good to have you back on PRIME TIME.

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): Glad to be with you.

CUOMO: Governor, I hope you and the family are well. Tell us, what triggered your need to reassess and start some more strict anti- - socialization principles.

[21:20:00]

WHITMER: Well, as you probably recall, Michigan was heating up at the same time New York was. And we got aggressive with it, just like the State of New York did. And, by Memorial Day, we had saved thousands of lives, and we were the two states in line to contain COVID-19.

Since then though, we know, people have gotten laxed, and we've seen our numbers climb. And I'm trying to nip this in the bud, so that we don't have to contemplate going back to a shutdown or back a phase in our - in our reengagement plan.

And so, tightening up right now is really critical. If we want to have any shot of getting our kids back in schools safely, in four weeks, our actions today are going to dictate whether or not that's possible. And that's why we got to tight things up now.

CUOMO: And what are they telling you, in terms of projections, about how this will help?

WHITMER: Well, I'm listening to my epidemiologists. We're letting the science and the facts dictate the decision-making. We are taking a lots of things into consideration.

But when we see our numbers climb, and we see the rate of positive cases climb, we're doing more testing than ever, and that's a good thing. But we do see growth all across the State. And that's why it's really important that we take action now, so that we try to avoid this increase.

CUOMO: Not popular, people don't like to go from more open to less open.

You have this Clare County Sheriff who, in a Facebook post, told State officials to "Stay in LANSING, and we will do what we will in FREE MICHIGAN!! YUP I said it. I'm done with the" blah, blah, blah.

So, that is a little bit of a characterization. But this is not popular. What do you say to someone who doesn't want to enforce it? What do you say to people who don't want to do it?

WHITMER: Well it's not popular with some. We know this. But the fact of the matter is the vast majority of people in this State are taking this seriously. They're doing the right thing.

And we might have a Sheriff, who happens to be on the ballot in a couple months, making statements like that, and I've been - I've been tweeted at. I'm not going to be bullied into making decisions that I know jeopardize lives of the people that I serve.

And so, we're going to stay tethered to the science. We're going to make decisions about that are going to save people's lives, and hopefully, keep this economy engaged.

And it's on all of us. Every one of us has a role to play. And if we drop our guard, then we're going to jeopardize all of the - all of the sacrifice that we made to get us into the strong position. And that's why, right now, is the time, and everyone needs to do their part.

CUOMO: So, Governor, let's talk about whether or not that Sheriff is making the right political play during the pandemic. Biden is up. Michigan was huge for the President, Trump, in terms of winning, has a large number of White working-class people that is supposed to be his stronghold.

We've seen in the polls, you know, you're too busy. You're not doing poll analysis, but he is losing those White voters. Biden is gaining there, most of all. And he now, Trump, has pulled the ads.

What do you think is going on with the pandemic politics in Michigan?

WHITMER: Well I want to make two points.

Number one, I think Joe Biden's message resonates with Michiganders. We're hard-working good people, who want competent governance that looks out for us and keeps us safe. And Joe Biden offers the kind of steady ethical leadership that we're craving right now.

And, number two, the fact that they've announced that they're taking ads off makes me very suspicious. I've seen polls that have him up double-digits. I've seen polls that have him in single digits.

The fact of the matter is just by them announcing that, we know that the DeVos Group, here in Michigan, is going to backfill that to some extent. And so, this is still going to be a competitive race. It is going to tighten up. And no one should be taking Michigan for granted.

CUOMO: See, I'm with you. I don't believe the polls, because the economic difficulties and the culture war that's going on now, as captured in the moment of Black Lives Matter, but it's just a latest iteration of a culture war, an "Us Versus Them" war, I think Michigan, and that's why you got this Sheriff, and that's why you have it popping (ph) up like this, near election season, because it's very resonant, especially with some White voters.

WHITMER: Right.

CUOMO: Do you think that Michigan, as you just said there, expanded a little bit for the audience, that you don't care about the polls so much you think it's going to be tight?

WHITMER: I think it's going to be tight. Michigan generally has a tendency to tighten up. We'll get past Labor Day. I know that.

The - if people write off Michigan, it will be a mistake. And so, we just got to make sure that everyone stays focused. We could do our jobs. I'm going to stay tethered to doing mine.

But the fact of the matter is, the path to the White House goes through the State of Michigan, and a handful of other states, and no one should take the State for granted.

CUOMO: Governor Whitmer, I know these decisions are not easy, I know they're not always popular. But you know what, neither is a pandemic. Good luck, the results, you have a platform here to talk about what's working, and what isn't, as always.

WHITMER: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, be well.

All right, we showed you that Jim Jordan, Congressman from Ohio, what he did on the Hill today. He was going after Fauci.

[21:25:00]

He was trying to hang the protests around Fauci's neck, play Fauci as a partisan, when he was supposed to be there, trying to figure out real things to push Fauci on like, "How are you going to roll out the vaccine and when? How are you going to convince people to take it? And what are you doing about testing and getting some results faster for my home state of Ohio, where cases are popping?"

But he didn't choose to do that. He chose to be there for one man, who wasn't even in the room, but you know who it was. I'll show you how he did it, and I'll show you what it means, next.

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CUOMO: Watch out for Trumpets playing the boss' divisive tune. Now, it's Jim Jordan, Congressman from Ohio, attacking Dr. Fauci for being a partisan. His basis? Dr. Fauci not seeing the BLM protests as a main reason for the COVID case spread.

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JORDAN: Should we limit the protesting?

[21:30:00]

FAUCI: I'm not sure what you mean should - how do we say limit the protesting?

JORDAN: Should government limit the protesting?

FAUCI: I don't think that's relevant to --

JORDAN: Well, you just said if it increases the spread of the virus, I'm just asking should we limit it?

FAUCI: Well, I'm not in a position to determine what the government can do in a forceful way.

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CUOMO: It's true. It's not Fauci's deal. He doesn't make rules about restricting protests.

Why not ask the President why he celebrated the maskless gun guys in Michigan, or at his rallies, or his mask mocking that even you play along with, Congressman?

Here's the next Jordan jab.

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JORDAN: Is there a world where the Constitution says you can favor one First Amendment liberty, protesting --

FAUCI: Right.

JORDAN: -- over another, practicing your faith.

FAUCI: I'm not favoring anybody over anybody. I'm just making a statement that's a broad statement that "Avoid crowds of any type, no matter where you are."

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CUOMO: Fauci's a practicing Catholic. What does Jordan want to say? "Fauci hates Christians. Social distancing is a hoax, to crush Jesus." Fauci didn't make the rules.

Talk to gym owners if you want to talk about being unfairly excluded.

This isn't about keeping people from praying. It's about praying that people act more like Jesus commanded, "Being your brother's keeper," like you need to have happen in your home state of Ohio, where 91,000 people have caught the virus.

Listen to this.

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FAUCI: I don't understand what you're asking me, as a public health official, to opine on who should get arrested or not.

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CUOMO: I mean, come on, why does Tony Fauci have to make these points? What a waste of time, and what an obvious thing that was happening, making bad trouble.

He could have been getting to how we deal with the vaccine, how we do better with testing. That's what we need in Ohio. They're getting in trouble there. They need help. That State's going to need resources.

Why wasn't Jordan talking about this? Because he wasn't doing it for his constituents. He was doing it for Trump. But you know what? He got what he wanted. The line of questioning earned a pat on the head from the President.

More proof of pandering to Trump's true pandemic plan, create pandemonium, not pandemic, pandemonium, distract from all the bad facts, play to White outrage with BLM.

Proof that the Attorney General hearing this week, Jordan played a deceptively edited video of the protests to make the violence seem outsized. I'm not going to show it to you, because it's not accurate about what's actually happening on the streets.

We know that there are riots. We know there are opportunists. We know there are people who are doing the wrong things.

But we also know that, what is right about those protests, and what is wrong about this country, is much bigger than those aberrations. And Jordan wants to hide from that, but you can't hide from the truth.

Each of what he did, in this hearing, these examples, it's just an act. He's trolling you. He would have you believe that he's a serious fiscal conservative, disciplined, a champion.

The first line in his bio, of his campaign website, says "Jim Jordan's background as a four-time state champion, two time collegiate champion in the sport of wrestling, helped prepare him to take on some of the toughest political opponents in Washington."

And you know what? He was a damn good wrestler. He wants you to look at him, and see him, like this. But really, he's this now. It's what he is.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump!

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CUOMO: He's bought holy into Trump's WrestleMania pandemonium during a pandemic. He is only too happy, Congressman Jordan and another of other bunch of Trumpets, to wind up on his back, submitting to Trump's politics of demagoguery and division.

He should be wrestling with the ugly reality in Ohio. Yesterday, the State saw the highest jump in COVID case counts since the pandemic began. Dr. Fauci even warned about Ohio specifically. Listen.

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FAUCI: There are a bunch of other States, for example, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana, which are starting to show that very subtle increase in percent positives among the total tested, which is a surefire hint that you may be getting into the same sort of trouble with those states that the Southern states got into trouble with.

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CUOMO: Why didn't you talk to Fauci about that? That's his area of expertise. Not controlling protests. Why didn't he ask about that?

[21:35:00]

Why didn't you ask him, "How do we do better? How can you guys help us with the testing? How can you help us get results faster, so that people aren't making their whole family sick, while they're waiting for the result for a test?"

3,500 people in Ohio have died, a 11,000 are hospitalized, or were, and you're worried about the protests, that's the big problem with the pandemic.

Jordan can fight, no question about it, but he's Going to the Mat for Trump, not for you.

Ahead, the middleman, or the man in the middle, of that Jordan/Fauci spectacle, House Majority Whip, Jim Clyburn, he clashed with Jordan today too. He was the Head of that Committee hearing.

His takeaway about what's going on, and the bigger battles we're fighting, next.

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CUOMO: Well here are - we know this much. It's completely clear. If you go after Dr. Fauci, the President's going to pat you on the head. If you defend him, the President's going to come after you.

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My next guest got a firsthand look at both sides of that equation today, House Majority Whip, Jim Clyburn, Democrat from South Carolina.

Congressman, always a pleasure.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Thank you very much for having me, Chris.

CUOMO: Now ordinarily, I don't care about who the President rewards and punishes.

But we're in the middle of a pandemic. And the person, who we're relying on most, in the Task Force, has become a pivot point for this President, to distract from the seriousness of the pandemic. And attacking Fauci is his way of saying, "All this stuff isn't so real."

How did it play for you today?

CLYBURN: Well I cannot believe some of what Jim Jordan was dealing with.

He seemed to be blaming the spread of the virus on protesters, people who are peaceably protesting, irrespective of where they might be. Now, I don't know why he would zero-in on that kind of a gathering.

He had nothing to say about the President being down in Texas with a fundraiser, no social distancing, no masks, but that's OK. So, Jim Jordan really is just carrying water for the President.

I would hope he would represent the people of Ohio a little better than that because that's where this pandemic seems to be shifting. It was here in the Southern states. We have a problem here in South Carolina. They got a problem in Georgia, in Florida, and Texas.

Now, it seems as if it's moving toward the middle of America. Right in the path of that is Ohio. So, he ought to be focusing on what we can do to come up with a national plan that would include all 50 states and not worry about what may be going on in one State or the other. So --

CUOMO: How worried are you that the President will not do that that he believes the politics of this situation dictates that he can't own it, he can't take charge, he can't have a big national plan. He has to just keep pushing it off, as he has does until now.

CLYBURN: Well the President's not going to take advice from me. And I - I mean I want to see him move up in the polls. But I'll tell you this.

If he were to come out tomorrow, go back to that March, the plan that his son-in-law had, back in March, that they threw away, that national plan that they decided not to implement, because, at the time, back in March, the virus was there, zeroed in on what, New York, New Jersey, and they blame it all on Blue states.

But we now see, it has moved South, now going West, this virus has no respect of a Blue State or a Red State, no respect of a Democrat or a Republican.

Herman Cain, the guy I like very much, he's fooling with the President out there in Tulsa, Oklahoma, passed away yesterday with the virus.

These people are playing with death, and they ought to stop it. They ought to focus in on what is best for the American people. Let's have a national plan.

Let's have a leader who will lead by example, not just precept, but example. And this President refuses to set an example for the country, and we have always been able to set examples around the world. He just won't do it.

CUOMO: You were friends with John - Congressman Lewis for a very long time. May he rest in peace!

CLYBURN: Yes. Thank you.

CUOMO: I thought it was interesting that President Obama, it kind of threw me, to be honest, Chairman, I thought that he was going to talk about how Congressman Lewis had come up, and what he had fought through, and what the impact was, on desegregation and voting rights.

Instead, he identified as what was the opposite or the target for Lewis, in terms of fighting injustice, on what Trump is doing right now.

Let me play a little bit of it for the audience to remind them.

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BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: George Wallace may be gone. But we can witness our Federal government sending agents to use tear-gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators.

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CUOMO: Do you believe that what this President is doing is on par with what Lewis, and you, and so many a generation, fought against in the '60s? CLYBURN: Absolutely. No question about that.

If you look at what John Lewis, and those 600 people, walking across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, back in what, March 1965, they were peaceful.

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They were coming out of church, walking away from a church, and they were put-upon by, what I'd call, state-sponsored rioters, calling themselves "Law Enforcement." That's what they did then.

Same thing at Black Lives Matter Plaza in New York - I'm sorry, in Washington D.C., that's what they were doing. Peaceful! And this President called out Law Enforcement officer on horseback, clearing the way for him to go out, and stage a phony Bible-toting trip in front of St. John's Church. That is the same thing.

This - that's why the President reminded people that there's no difference in what this President is doing - doing today than what was done in Alabama, back in 1965.

CUOMO: You think this President has hate in his heart for people like you and for the idea of justice in society for all?

CLYBURN: Well I don't know about hate. But I know he has tremendous disrespect for people who do not look like him, people whose backgrounds and experiences are different from his.

He would not rent his apartments to people who look like me. He called on the State of New York to execute four innocent people, young men, who looked like me. He looked in the camera, and called an African- American woman, who even worked for him, "A dog."

That's kind of stuff shows disrespect. Sometimes, I would much rather be hated than disrespected.

CUOMO: Why?

CLYBURN: Because disrespect means I'm lesser than. You can hate the person on your own level. You can hate the person above you. But when you disrespect, that shows a lower denominator, in my opinion.

CUOMO: That is a painful but powerful and strong insight. Congressman Jim Clyburn, thank you very much for weighing in. And again, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, and I'm sorry for the whole country that we lost him, frankly, especially right now.

CLYBURN: Absolutely. Thank you very much for that.

CUOMO: All right, God bless, Chairman. Be well.

Be careful what you say. You don't know who may be listening, especially if you're the President of the United States. Another one of his phone calls was just overheard, and it is very telling.

In fact, I made it a BOLO, Be On the Look-Out, next.

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CUOMO: BOLO, Be On the Look-Out for the double dumb.

A U.S. Senator was secretly recorded, talking about policy with the President of the United States on a speakerphone in a restaurant. That's dumb.

Jim Inhofe, the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, caught speaking to Trump about their opposition to changing the names of U.S. Military bases that are named after Confederate leaders. How can you want that? That's the double dumb.

The call was leaked to "The New York Times." Take a listen.

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TRUMP: Are you doing good? We're going to keep the name of Robert E. Lee?

SEN. JIM INHOFE (R-OK): Just trust me. I'm going to make it happen. All right?

TRUMP: I had about 95,000 positive retweets on that. That's a lot...

INHOFE: Yes.

TRUMP: That's a lot, 95,000, and (INAUDIBLE) you know a lot of it is cancel culture. They don't like... they want to be able to go back to life, not this bullshit that everybody's talking about.

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CUOMO: Yes, this BS like not wanting people who fought to enslave people to have their names in places of prominence on our military braces. Robert E. Lee didn't even think that was a good idea.

Look, I'm all for transparency. But if you are on the phone with the President, discussing policy, take the call in private, Senator.

Second, here goes the President again, showing you that he's completely unburdened by principle, OK, bragging about retweets, you know. That's the way he forms his policy decision?

And listen, he has gotten hundreds of thousands of likes on tweets about not renaming bases. No question about that. But should that be what he bases a policy decision on, especially, on something like this, crowd-sourcing policy for 300 million Americans?

You're the leader of the Free World, not an Instagram model.

One of the qualities that defines a great President, "Willingness to do what's right even if it's not popular." Lincoln knew this. Speaking of Lincoln, let's talk about the issue at the center of this call, President Trump dismissing renaming bases as BS cancel culture.

Here are the facts. 10 Army bases in the South are named after Confederate leaders. And again, they fought against the United States, and they fought for the enslavement of Black people.

I want you to look at the pictures. Sometimes people say "Oh, you know, those are too harsh." Well obviously, we haven't let the harshness of their reality form how we feel about it in the present. Now, thank God, the Confederacy lost, and you did, by the way.

But today, the U.S. Military is united and fights for freedom for all. And there are hell of a lot of people of color, who are doing that fighting.

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So, should our bases honor those, who fought against that very principle? That's a rhetorical question. No, they shouldn't be. And the President should know that. Instead, Trump skews it as cancel culture. You can't cancel history, no matter how dark. We should learn from it, not celebrate it.

The Army says it is open to changing the names. And yet, for some reason, the President of our Union is still fighting for the Confederacy. That is the BS.

We'll be right back.

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CUOMO: Thank you very much for watching. I wish you a good weekend. But you know it doesn't start before CNN TONIGHT with the man, D. Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Ha! How are you? What did you have - did you have a good week?

CUOMO: Been peachy! My hair is growing back. Not everywhere. But it's growing back. But it's coming back.

LEMON: I was just watching you, saying, what is happening with that hair. You're starting to look like --

CUOMO: I look like Cesar Romero, when he was the "Joker."

LEMON: Like Mr. Furley from --

CUOMO: Batman!

LEMON: -- from - Mr. Furley from "Three's Company."

CUOMO: Listen, I'll take it. I just want coverage.