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Pharmacists will be able to Administer Vaccine Once Available; Top Health Leaders Pledge Science Will Dictate Vaccine Approval; Biden Speaks Amid Damning Woodward Book Revelations on Trump. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired September 9, 2020 - 13:30   ET

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


[13:30:00]

JAMES WALTER KISER, WROTE SCATHING LETTER TO GOP SENATORS ABOUT TRUMP'S MILITARY REMARKS: I just sent a letter September 4th.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: OK.

KISER: So, they probably haven't had time. But I've written to them before. And what I get from both of them is nonsense, gibberish. Political gibberish. So, I'm not happy with them.

But I want to make a comment about your last discussion, where everybody was yakking back and forth about who was telling the truth, who wasn't telling the truth. In America, we have a fantastic system of justice to figure out who's lying and who's not. It's simple. We have a trial. We put people on the witness stand. More importantly, we put them under oath. We cross-examine them, and the truth comes out.

The reason I will never vote for Senator Crapo or Senator Risch is during the impeachment the whole purpose of the impeachment at the Senate was to hold a trial. Crapo and Risch completely abrogated their constitutional responsibility to have a trial. Had we had a trial, we put witnesses on, we cross-examine them, we put them under oath, and we establish what the truth is.

But during the impeachment, I don't care if we'd had a full trial, and Risch and Crapo would have voted to acquit. That's their right, but they have a constitutional duty to have a trial, to put everybody under oath on the witness stand and cross-examine everybody, and they simply didn't do it. They're supporting this president -- supporting this president no matter what.

KEILAR: James, I know you have -- I know you have a lot of frustrations, very clearly, with the leadership of senators in your state.

KISER: Yes.

KEILAR: This letter that you addressed to them about your uncle, I was hoping that maybe you could tell us what happened to your uncle, if you can maybe tell him a little - if you could tell us about his service, and about what happened in the battle of Leyte Gulf? KISER: I can. Let me give you a two cents worth of background. My grandparents came to Idaho in 1904. They homesteaded. In 1909, the government gave them the deeds to their homestead property because they properly worked for it and paid for it under the Homestead Act.

My grandparents then had four children. My father, and he had three boys and one daughter. My father became a lawyer and was a lawyer in Boise for 40 years, but I'm now retired. My uncle, Walter, was the one that served. He went to the navy in January 1944 and he trained first at Farragut State Park in Farragut in Northern Idaho. Then in March, he was shipped out to the Philippines. He served on an LCI which is a landing craft infantry ship. He was a cook. And then sometime, they don't even know the date, he was killed in the battle of Leyte Gulf.

I have in my possession -- his Purple Heart. His Purple Heart on the back says, he was given this for military merit. It's addressed -- I mean it's engraved on the back Walter G. Kiser, seaman first class U.S. Navy Reserves. They gave him a Purple Heart because he was served with merit.

And now Trump implies and says to other people that he's a loser or a sucker. I take great umbrage with that. And Trump and Crapo, they're nothing. They're sick of it.

KEILAR: James, thank you so much. You have so much, and you know this, to be proud of for the legacy of service in your family with your uncle Walter for whom you have your middle name. James Walter Kiser, thank you so much for being with us.

KISER: You bet. Glad to be here.

KEILAR: And moments from now, Joe Biden will speak live as we learn these damning revelations from Bob Woodward's book. He's expected to address the book. We're going to be taking that live.

Plus, what did President Trump mean when he said Kamala Harris becoming the first female president would be an insult to the country? This is CNN's special live coverage.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:39:09]

KEILAR: Moments from now Joe Biden will speak live as we learn the first revelations from Bob Woodward's new book on the Trump presidency which includes the president in his own words knowing how dangerous and deadly the coronavirus was in early February even as he was continuing to downplay the virus publicly. Already today we heard pledges from the director of the National Institutes of Health or the NIH and the surgeon general to protecting integrity of the coronavirus vaccine process.

This is a direct response to the president's repeated comments that a vaccine could be ready before Election Day in November. Their vows, joining a pledge by nine pharmaceutical companies to not rush the process. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: Certainly to try to predict whether it happens on a particular week before or after a particular date in early November is well beyond anything that any scientist right now could tell you and be confident that they know what they're saying.

[13:40:06]

So, yes. Science and science alone will be the way in which this decision is made. Otherwise I'll have no part of it.

DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: There will be no shortcuts. This vaccine will be safe, it will be effective, or it won't get moved along.

COLLINS: What a heartbreak that would be. If we go through all of this, we come up with vaccine that is safe and effective. We've already lost 190,000 people. We could prevent many more deaths and yet people are afraid to use it. We can't let that happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Dr. Francis Collins of the NIH also responded to a significant development in the search for a vaccine. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is pausing its clinical trial which is in phase three after a volunteer fell ill. Dr. Collins revealed that it has to do with the person's spinal cord.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: And with an abundance of caution at a time like this, you put a clinical hold, you investigate carefully to see if anybody else who received that vaccine or any of the other vaccines might have had a similar finding of a spinal cord problem.

So, this ought to be reassuring to everybody listening when we say we are going to focus first on safety and make no compromises here is Exhibit A.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Surgeon General Jerome Adams also revealing today that when a vaccine is available, pharmacists will be allowed to administer it to patients who are 3 years old and above.

Also, just in, two new studies about young people and the virus and how safe you are inside a hospital.

Plus, any moment, Joe Biden will address the damning revelations on the president in Bob Woodward's new book. Stand by.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:45:35] KEILAR: We have more now on our breaking news. The president in his own words deliberately downplaying the dangers of the coronavirus early on even though he knew how deadly and dangerous it was. I want to bring in CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash. And Dana, you have new reporting. Tell us what you have.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that it wasn't just the American people who apparently were kept in the dark. It was many people on the president's own campaign. A source familiar with the Trump campaign tells me that many are shocked by the president's comments so early about how deadly the coronavirus was. That the president kept that information from his own campaign. We are still just beginning to do reporting on what people knew. Not just about what the president said, about, but more importantly about the content of what he said at the time. And from this source I'm told that the campaign didn't know.

KEILAR: Because there's a question, Dana, about, you know, did the president, certainly he had all the information available to him, but was he sort of cherry picking what it was that he believed and then projecting that erroneously to the American people. But what we're learning from the book is that he seemed to have a very good handle privately on just how dangerous this was and yet that is not at all what he was talking about. He was talking about this thing, you know, going away in 15 days. And there'll be - you know, they're being basically patients in the single digits and then it, going away.

BASH: About that, about the fact that it's not unlike the flu. And now we've heard with our own ears because Bob Woodward taped these conversations. The president saying that it's much more deadly than the flu.

And so, you had a -- a government that was clearly not preparing the way it should have. That's the most important takeaway from this, given the fact that the president himself understood how dire it was, but then just on the politics of this, you had his campaign chugging along, you know, continuing to plan rallies and do other things that maybe shouldn't have been done, you know, early on, given the fact that the guy at the top of the ticket understood that this was an airborne virus that was incredibly deadly.

KEILAR: Yes. I think he said, like, five times more deadly, as he understood it.

BASH: Five times more deadly than the flu.

KEILAR: Five times. Wow. All right, Dana Bash, thank you so much for your excellent reporting.

BASH: Thanks, Bri.

KEILAR: We are awaiting right now remarks by Joe Biden who's expected to address this book. Stand by.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:49:55]

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: -- to take my mask off, they tell me, while I speak but I promise I'll put it back on, Gov.

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

And you know, Secretary Curry and Mr. President, I like the sound of that. Where is my president? There you are. Thank you, pal. Thanks for the welcome. It's great to be here in Michigan and with the United Auto Workers.

Earlier this week we celebrated Labor Day, and here in the heart of the American auto industry we can't ever forget everything that we owe to unions.

Unions built the middle class. Unions built this country. And unions built the economic engine that drove American manufacturing dynamism throughout the 20th century, literally, in the case of the United Auto Workers.

So thank you again, to UAW Region 1 for hosting me today.

It's great to see Senator Stabenow here. We worked together on so many issues that matter to workers and their families in the Senate.

And she was a great partner to me when I was Vice President. We worked in lockstep to get the people of Michigan back on their feet.

And we're joined today by one of the best, brightest, and hardest working Governors around -- my friend, Gretchen Whitmer.

If you're wondering what responsible, strong leadership during COVID- 19 looks like -- it's right here in Michigan.

Governor you've done an incredible job steering the people of Michigan through this turbulent time.

You've been rock solid. You've listened to the experts, and you've led with science. And you've put the needs of people who are hurting first -- helping them get through this crisis.

Meanwhile -- on the day that we hit 190,000 people dead in the United States, we've just learned from the Washington Post columnist Bob Woodward -- that the President admitted on tape in February -- that he knew that COVID-19 passes through the air. He knew how much more deadly it was than the flu. He knew and he purposefully down played it.

Worse, he lied to the American people. He knowingly and willingly lied about the threat it posed to our country. For months.

He had the information. He knew.

And while a deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed to do his job -- on purpose. It was a life or death betrayal of the American people. Experts say that if we had acted just one week sooner, 36,000 lives would have been saved. If we'd acted two weeks sooner, 54,000 lives could have been spared in March and April alone.

His failure to act not only cost lives -- it sent our economy into tailspin that cost millions more Americans their livelihoods. This is a recession created by Donald Trump's negligence -- and unfitness for this job.

How many schools aren't open right now?

How many kids are starting a new school year the same way they ended the last one -- at home?

How many parents feel abandoned and overwhelmed?

How many frontline workers are exhausted and pushed to their limits?

How many families are missing a loved one at their dinner table -- because of his failures?

It's beyond despicable. It's a dereliction and a disgrace.

Today, I want to ask a simple question: What is the value of a promise? What is the worth of a woman or a man's word, of a president's word, if it is not matched with action?

In 2016, then-candidate Trump came here to Warren, just days before the election and said this:

"If I'm elected, you won't lose one plant. You'll have plants coming into this country. You're going to have jobs again. You won't lose one plant. I promise you. I promise you."

Donald Trump makes a lot of promises.

He promised that he alone could stop the offshoring of jobs.

He promised that he would bring back jobs, and stop companies from leaving -- that "nobody else could do it."

He promised that his Administration would enforce "every last Buy American provision on behalf of the American worker."

He makes wild claims and hopes that we won't notice or won't remember when he doesn't follow through -- or when he does the exact opposite.

He doesn't give us much credit. But the American people are smart. We're honest and decent. Hardworking. And we expect our president to be straight with us -- to do what he or she says they are going to do.

So let's look at the reality of Donald Trump's economy and what exactly his promises to the American workers are worth.

He's on track to be the first president since Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression to see the number of jobs in our economy go down, not up.

Our economy is down 4.7 million jobs since he took office.

Even before President Trump's failed response to COVID-19 crashed our economy, his tariff war with China had thrown American manufacturing into a recession -- it was already contracting in 2019.

Even before COVID-19, Trump was creating on average 500,000 fewer jobs per year during his first three years in office than in the last three years of the Obama-Biden Administration.

And when the GM transmission plant here in Warren closed last year, I bet the folks around here weren't all that comforted by Trump's empty promises.

Under Donald Trump, Michigan lost auto jobs even before COVID hit.

And what about offshoring? Has Trump delivered on stopping companies from shipping American jobs overseas?

You already know the answer to that. Of course not.

The rate of offshoring by federal contractors -- big companies being paid with U.S. taxpayer money -- more than doubled under President Trump.

He invited companies to the White House to make a "Pledge to America's Workers." He couldn't even keep those firms from outsourcing. Many were given lucrative federal contracts. But, then some of them turned around and shipped more than 7,000 American jobs overseas.

Under President Trump, the U.S. trade deficit in goods hit an all-time high. An all-time high.

And President Trump's answer to all of this is the same as his answer for everything -- corporate tax giveaways that actually reward offshoring. You heard that right.

His 2017 tax bill slashed taxes for companies that send production and jobs overseas. These corporations then make huge profits by exporting their goods back to the United States to sell to American consumers.

And no industry has taken a greater advantage of Trump's offshoring tax loopholes than the pharmaceutical industry. Big pharma lobbied Trump for a handout. That's exactly what they got from him.

Pharma is building -- U.S. pharma is building factories overseas, instead of the United States, skipping out on having to pay U.S. taxes. And then, sending those same foreign made drugs back to American consumers. All while raising their prices on prescription drugs.

[14:00:00]