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AstraZeneca Pauses Vaccine Trial After Volunteer Gets Ill; U.K. Prime Minister to Limit Social Gatherings to Six People as Cases Rise; U.S. Markets Fall, Nasdaq in Correction Territory; Trump Pushes Unfounded Election Fraud Claims; Police Chief Retiring Amid Outrage Over Daniel Prude Death; Black Man Detained While Jogging Offered Job By Sheriff; Former Allies Torment Trump with Tell-All Books. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired September 9, 2020 - 04:30   ET



ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Robyn Curnow live from CNN center here in Atlanta. Thanks for joining me this hour.

So, I want to give you a recap now on one of our top stories. The race to find a vaccine for the coronavirus has certainly hit a roadblock. The drug giant AstraZeneca has paused its trial because of an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers. They say the illness effective a participant in the U.K., but all trials worldwide are being paused. It's a standard precaution meant to ensure experimental vaccines don't cause serious reactions among volunteers.

Well, CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, explains why issues pop up during these large scale phase he three trials -- Sanjay.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is in part making the case why you do Phase 3 clinical trials. You're trying to prove that this thing works. You already have some idea that this trial is worth pursuing. But now you want to see if you find any of these unusual side effects. Scale matters here. If you think about it and give this to 100 million people. If .1 percent develop of them develop some sort of side effect that's 100,000 people. So, everything counts here when you're looking at these adverse effects. And they're going to try and figure out if this one is related to the vaccine or not.


CURNOW: Thanks to Sanjay for that.

So, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson is expected to soon announce a ban on social gatherings of more than six people amid a spike in COVID infections there. So, on Tuesday Britain reported nearly 2,500 new cases in a 24 hour period. Scott McLean joins me from outside of Parliament in London to give us an update on all of that. So, Boris Johnson is trying to clamp down on this spike. What do we know?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Robyn. Yes, Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister will be inside the House of Commons today taking questions from his peers and explaining this new effort to tamp down this spike, this sudden surge in the coronavirus in the U.K.

As you mentioned for the last three days the country has seen more than 2,000 confirmed cases every day of the virus. But because it's affected primarily younger people, affluent younger people, according to the health secretary, but the country hasn't seen this surge in hospitalizations or a surge in the daily death toll.

But France and Spain may provide a bit of a glimpse into their future. In France they are seeing hospitalizations around 500 people per day. In Spain they've seen the death toll start to tick up after reaching the single digits for a while there in the summer.

So now as you said, the rules are changing. The maximum number of people allowed at a social gathering will go from 30 down to just six. That's indoors or outdoors. There are exceptions though for things like work and school, funerals and weddings.

The changes come after Boris Johnson met with a group of police who told them that the current web of rules is too complicated and too difficult to enforce. Since the beginning of this pandemic the U.K. has not been very strict in its enforcement of the rules that they do have in place. Certainly not compared to other countries in the U.K. like Spain for incidents. So, it'll be interesting to see whether or not this, these new rules actually, come with an increase in enforcement as well.

The government, their MOs lately has been to get the economy restarted. Schools are reopened, businesses. The government is encouraging businesses to send their employees back to work. And so, the hope, obviously with these rule changes that it won't have an impact on the economic side of things, but it might help to tamp down this resurgence of the virus in the U.K. -- Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, thanks so much there, life outside of Parliament in London. Thanks, Scott.

So, Wall Street's losing streak is getting worse by the day as investors are concerned over coronavirus resurgence and U.S.-China relations. Now the Dow fell more than 600 points on Tuesday. Take a look at these numbers. And oil prices fell to their lowest level in three months. And John Defterios has his eye on all of these numbers. Hi, John, good to see you. That was a terrible session on Tuesday. Is there a realization that this market got ahead of itself since March?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, I think so, Robyn. Because we had these six months of gains and all the indices in the United States going up 40 percent to 50 percent on the lows of that shock in March on Wall Street.


So, yes, it's not a one way bet. That's what we're learning here.

But that Nasdaq fall was the worse since March. And you see stocks like Apple losing 16 percent from the selling last week until the trading on Tuesday. You're looking for a silver lining.

You can find it in the U.S. futures market right now, Robyn. Let's take a look. All three of the indices are above the board here. The Dow futures, S&P 500 futures well above the line and at their highs for the session and Nasdaq composite with that drubbing on Tuesday up 1.7 percent.

But there are three things irking the market right now. One is COVID- 19 and the impact it will have on growth going forward and fact that governments probably can't pump in the same level of money, $11 trillion so far in 2020, and that could hurt growth in 2021.

We have the uncertainty around U.S. election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden and mail in ballots. You know, investors don't like uncertainty. And finally, Donald Trump has been banging the drum on U.S.-China relations decoupling from China is his latest line. It's mainly political. But again, investors don't like it.

So, if you look at Asia, right across the board, particularly in Australia which is suffering right now from a deep recession, Shanghai Composite linked to China, of course, down sharply as well.

Oil prices are rebounding today right now, Robyn, and I'll tell you why. That's because we see a gain of above the line, above 1 percent after the 8 percent to 9 percent selling that we saw yesterday. That's because European markets are trending higher as well. Back to you.

CURNOW: Thanks so much. John Defterios there in Abu Dhabi, appreciate that.

So, you're watching CNN. Still to come, the U.S. President is undermining confidence in his own country's election process. We debunk Donald Trump's election fraud claims. That's ahead.



CURNOW: Welcome back, I'm Robyn Curnow.

So, the U.S. President visited the battleground state of North Carolina on Tuesday as his campaign moves into the homestretch. Donald Trump didn't wear a mask and neither did his supporters as you can see here. Later in another key swing state Florida, he touted his record on the environment even though his administration has slashed a number of critical environmental protections.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Number one since Teddy Roosevelt, who would have thought, Trump is the great environmentalist. You hear that, Ed? You hear that? That's good. And I am. I am. I believe strongly in it.


CURNOW: A new NBC News/Marist poll of likely voters shows Mr. Trump and Joe Biden are tied in Florida with 48 percent each. Well, today will be a busy day on the campaign trail, less than eight weeks before election day. Joe Biden is expected in Michigan while his wife heads to Minnesota. And Donald Trump's family will be out too in a different set battleground states. But all this campaigning depends on a successful election process. Something the incumbent is raising questions about daily. Here's Pam Brown to take a look -- Pam.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The final sprint to Election Day is on. But this year it's not just campaigning that looks different, already the incumbent in the White House is laying the groundwork almost daily for chaos, even encouraging voting twice which is illegal.

TRUMP: So, let him send it in and let him go vote and if their system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won't be able to vote.

BROWN: That prompted strong resistance from even Republican election officials.

FRANK LAROSE, OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE: Don't test our boards of elections. They are good at this. Go ahead and submit your ballot once.

BROWN: On Monday, Trump once again railed on mail-in ballots.

TRUMP: Just sending 80 million ballots all over the country. 80 million ballots, non-requested.

BROWN: Trump is referring to the nine states plus Washington D.C. that will soon be mailing out ballots to every registered voter. A change this year in some places in response to the pandemic. The President is undermining mail-in ballot voting in states where it could hurt him and encouraging it in states where it could help him. Earlier this year he admitted why.

TRUMP: The things they had in there were crazy. They had things, levels of voting that if you ever agreed to, it you never have a Republican elected in this country again.

BROWN: While the President and his allies claim without evidence, the increase in mail-in ballots will lead to widespread voter fraud, there is evidence of widespread rejection of mail-in ballots because of human error.

And this year's primary, more than half a million ballots were reportedly thrown out for simple mistakes, such as signatures not matching the states records. A missing signature, envelope problems and ballots arriving after the deadline.

NILS GILMAN, TRANSITION INTEGRITY PROJECT: You have to go through a process to verify that the ballot is legitimate. And of course, you know, human beings being human sometimes make mistakes.

BROWN: Election experts say one likely scenario is what is known as the blue shift. With Trump ahead, winning on election night in the rural states where he has more supporters and Biden pulling in front winning after election night through mail-in ballots. Counting of those ballots don't began in key battlegrounds states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania until Election Day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack Obama. 47 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump wins the presidency.

BROWN: Meaning a declared winner on election night is highly unlikely.

GILMAN: In some swing states, Trump is plus 40 among voters who plan on voting on Election Day. Whose votes will be counted election night and minus 60 among voters who are planning on voting absentee or by mail.

BROWN: The Transition Integrity Center who has played out this scenarios in mock elections says if the election count is close, every scenario that has gained out shows a political crisis and street violence will ensue.

GILMAN: You have two totally different narratives being promoted by different media ecosystem if people are living with really different factual understandings of what to place an election day.

BROWN (on camera): Even though the election is on November 3rd, voters in North Carolina can already send in their votes through mail-in ballots and early voting starts in several states soon such as Pennsylvania.

Now, election experts say that you should planned to vote just like you would plan to go to the grocery store during the pandemic. And they say if you are voting by mail to read the instructions carefully, to make sure your ballot counts.

Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.


CURNOW: The police chief in Rochester, New York says he's stepping down at the end of the month after days of protest over the death of a black man while in police custody. Daniel Prude died after officers forcibly restrained him during a mental health arrest back in March.


In a statement, the police chief said, as a man of integrity I'll not sit idly by while outside entities try to destroy my character. The mischaracterization and the politicization of the actions that I took after being informed of Mr. Prude's death is not based on facts and is not what I stand for.

The city's mayor is promising changes.


LOVELY A. WARREN, ROCHESTER, NEW YORK MAYOR: While the timing and tenor of these resignations is difficult, we have faced tough times before. I truly believe that we will get through this. I will be meeting with city council to chart a path forward. I can assure this community that I am committed to instituting the reforms necessary in our police department.


CURNOW: Well, Prude's sister filed a lawsuit against the city, the police chief and 13 officers. She said her brother was suffering from a psychotic episode at the time of his arrest.

And in the U.S. state of Florida a black man was detained by police while jogging through a mostly white neighborhood. Now authorities say Joseph Griffin fit the description of a man who was a burglary suspect. Here's a part of that encounter from body camera footage and his cell phone as well. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen, bear with me, all right. Because you fit the description.

I'm not saying you're guilty. My sergeant is telling you to detain you. That's my sergeant.

JOSEPH GRIFFIN, DETAINED BY POLICE WHILE JOGGING: I got you. I just had a daughter born two days ago so I just have this on, right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You mind stepping it down here? OK, look, I'll place it for you, OK. But for now, I'm going to detain you.

GRIFFIN: In the cop car, so everything going on it just a little bit scary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need your hands.

GRIFFIN: It's serious, it's not a joke.

We don't know that for sure, you know what I mean. See, that what I'm trying to say, see it through our eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We appreciate you being very cooperative. Other people would have been just --

GRIFFIN: I don't want to get shot over this.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CURNOW: Well, Griffin was released once police confirmed he was not the man they were searching for. Now after that experience Griffin says he doesn't believe he was stopped just because he was black.


GRIFFIN: It was just everything. I wasn't initially sure what was going on. So definitely confused. Also, a little nervous and scared, honestly. Very scared with everything going on in the news today. No, I don't believe they just stopped me because I'm black. No, there was a description. The scary thing is the witness descriptions are never 100 percent accurate. And to have your future on the line of that, not accurate at witness description is very scary.


CURNOW: Well, the local sheriff called to apologize and actually even offered him a job since he had experience as a military police officer.

So still to come here at CNN, Michael Cohen's book is out with some pretty sordid details about Donald Trump and it's not the only tell all that might cause headaches in the White House. That is next.



CURNOW: So South Africa is condemning U.S. President Donald Trump over allegations in a new book by his former attorney. Michael Cohen claims Mr. Trump crudely insulted South African president Nelson Mandela following his death in 2013. A statement from South Africans ANC party described Mr. Trump as divisive and disrespectful. The White House calls Cohen's book lies. But that's just the tip of the iceberg as Brian Todd now reports.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Michael Cohen now says working for Donald Trump was like being in a cult. The President's former lawyer, fixer and henchman is out with a new book titled "Disloyal", in which he describes Trump as a bully, a liar, and as he told NBC news, a blatant racist.

MICHAEL COHEN, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER PERSONAL ATTORNEY: Right after Nelson Mandela had passed away and I talk about this in the book, he asked me if I had known of any country that was run by a black that's not an s-hole, and I said well, how about America, in which he gave me the proverbial F-you.

TODD: The White House calls Cohen a disgraced felon who has lost all credibility and is trying to profit off of his lies. It's one of many denials and counterattacks that the president and his team have made this summer, as an onslaught of tell-all books about Trump and his family have hit bookstores. ALEX BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: You know, I don't think I have ever seen this kind of avalanche of insider accounts on a presidency this close to an election, or even at any point while the president is still serving.

TODD: Another insider account, "Melania and Me", by Melania Trump's former friend and adviser, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff depicts a cold relationship between Melania and Ivanka Trump, both denied it. Many of these tell-alls reinforce what some voters believe about the president's public personality. But his niece, Mary Trump, has another take on the family in her book titled, "Too Much and Never Enough"".

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: She really goes after his father and his mother in an analytical way and reveals the cruelty that was practiced against Donald himself as a child, the way that his father treated him, his mother's absence.

TODD: Trump tweeted that Mary Trump's book was an untruthful account from a quote, seldom seen niece who knows little about me. Investigative journalist Bob Woodward's book, "Rage", about to be released, has shocking details of the president's behavior and decision-making during the coronavirus pandemic and the racial justice protests.

The season of bombshells began with a book by Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, which claimed Trump asked for China's help in this year's election and got played by Kim Jong-un. Trump called Bolton a warmongering fool, a common theme in many of these tell-alls, analyst say. They all paint unflattering portraits of the President's character and temperament.

D'ANTONIO: The people who work around the President and his family work with so much lying and deception.


They experience so much fantasy and they are enlisted in promoting these lies and deceptions, that eventually they reach a point where they can't stand it anymore.

TODD: But will any of these books hurt the President on Election Day? Or will they have the same lack of impact as the Access Hollywood tape released just a few weeks before the 2016 vote?

ALEX BURNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't know that these books are going to take people who are core Trump supporters and turn them into Trump skeptics. I don't know that it's going to crack the President's political base, but I do think that it reinforces and emboldens the folks who are pretty much inclined to vote against the President to begin with.

TODD (on camera): One other trait that these tell-all books share? Their ability to fly off the shelves. They have all been hot sellers, especially the books that Trump says he hates. As one literary agent told "The New York Times", quote, you pray for Trump to hate your book, and you pray for him to tweet about it. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CURNOW: Thanks, Brian for that.

Now the Oscars are taking steps to ensure films vying for the top award are meeting standards of inclusion. Starting in 2024 films will have to meet a series of inclusion and diversity requirements both on and off camera in order to be nominated for the best picture. The change has come following outrage over racial disparities in the Academy, Oscars So White movement.

And after 14 years and 20 seasons pretty soon you won't be able to keep up with the Kardashians anymore. Reality TV's most famous family is calling it quits. In a joint statement the Kardashians announced their long running show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" will end next year. The show premiered back in 2007 and has been a huge success for E network.

Well, thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow. "EARLY START" is up next.