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AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial On Hold; Biden Releases Tax And Jobs Plan; Trump Tells Supporters To Be "Poll Watchers" For Voter Fraud. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired September 9, 2020 - 05:30   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, a coronavirus vaccine trial now on hold after one of the volunteers taking it becomes sick.

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news right now. Democratic nominee Joe Biden just releasing some of his plan for taxes and job creation if he's elected president.

Good morning, this is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

SANCHEZ: Great to see you, Laura. I'm Boris Sanchez in for Christine Romans. We are just 31 minutes past the hour.

And we start with breaking news overnight -- a setback in the race for a coronavirus vaccine. Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca pausing phase three of its global trials because of an unexplained illness in one of its volunteers. The company now has to determine whether its vaccine might cause widespread adverse reactions.

Nic Robertson is live from London with the latest developments. Nic, the company is saying that this is a routine procedure but, of course, there's so much hope and emotion invested in this cause that it's disappointing.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, a standard precaution, they're saying. This is a pause, not an end, while they go to an independent review to find out why this particular person had the reaction they had.

You know, this began in the U.K. in Oxford. The trials began at 200 people -- phase one -- around the end of April. The government invested financially more than $20 million. They bought up and paid for vaccines to be made ready ahead of the end of the trial.

The health secretary here, just yesterday -- over the past couple of days, rather, said that the -- this vaccine -- 30 million doses -- would be ready by the beginning of next year.

There's been an emotional investment. I think people in the U.K. have looked at this as sort of their opportunity to get out from under the restrictions of lockdown, the economic investment, the political investment. And right now, that's all on pause.

And it's a disappointment in the U.K. doubly so because today, the prime minister is expected to announce new lockdown measures that people in England can meet only six people, down from 30 -- only six people in their homes and outside locations. So, a double blow here in the U.K.

But globally, 50,000 people -- 30,000 in the United States part of this phase three test by AstraZeneca -- the phase three study -- not just the U.S. Two thousand started in Brazil in the beginning of June. African, Asia, the tests also underway. Ten thousand people here in the U.K.

So, one person in the U.K., adverse reaction. Not to be alarmed is really the message from AstraZeneca. But disappointment, I think, widespread.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Notable that in the last three days there have been nearly 10,000 new COVID cases just in the U.K. We're going to have a live report on that later this hour.

Nic Robertson, thanks for the update.

JARRETT: All right, breaking news just in to CNN.

Joe Biden's campaign is releasing a new economic plan just moments ago. The former vice president heads to Michigan today where he's going to be selling it.

So let's take a look at some of the highlights of his plan.

Biden is calling for a new tax policy to promote American manufacturing and jobs. He's also pledging to create a new "Made in America" office within the White House Office of Management and Budget. And he plans to impose a new tax penalty specifically targeting U.S. companies who move manufacturing overseas and then sell back into American markets. And, companies that create jobs in the U.S. will be rewarded with a tax credit.

A Biden aide also tells CNN he plans to publicly fact-check President Trump's rosy claims of an economic recovery.


The Democratic nominee also sits down with Jake Tapper for an exclusive interview tomorrow. You don't want to miss out on that. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. eastern.

SANCHEZ: In North Carolina yesterday, President Trump launching a new baseless accusation that Democrats will attempt to commit fraud during the presidential election. The president encouraging his supporters to prevent it by becoming poll watchers -- listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You've got to be careful with those ballots. Watch those ballots. I don't like it.

You know, you have a Democrat governor, you have all these Democrats watching that stuff. I don't like it. I look at these crowds and if they're going to cheat, crowds are meaningless. Really, if they're going to cheat, these big, beautiful crowds -- you can have 15,000, you can have 50,000 -- these crowds are meaningless.

Watch it. Be poll watchers when you go there. Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do.


SANCHEZ: This is yet another one of the president's unproven claims that American elections are rife with voter fraud.

CNN's Pamela Brown breaks it down.


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

BROWN (voice-over): That prompted strong resistance from even Republican election officials.

FRANK LAROSE (R-OH), SECRETARY OF STATE: Don't test our boards of election. They're good at this. Go ahead and submit your ballot once.

BROWN (voice-over): On Monday, Trump, once again, railed on mail-in ballots.

TRUMP: You're sending 80 million ballots all over the country -- 80 million ballots non-requested.

BROWN (voice-over): 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'd never have a Republican elected in this country again.

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

In 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 if the ballot is legitimate. And, of course, human beings, being human, sometimes make mistakes.

BROWN (voice-over): 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 begin in key battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania until Election Day --

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Barack Obama, 47 years old. Donald Trump wins the presidency.

BROWN (voice-over): -- 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 and whose votes will be counted election night, and minus-60 among voters who are planning on voting absentee or by mail.

BROWN (voice-over): The Transition Integrity Center, who has played out these scenarios in mock elections, says if the election count is close, every scenario it has gained out shows a political crisis and street violence will ensue.

GILMAN: You've got two totally different narratives being promoted by different media ecosystems, and people are living with really different factual understandings of what took place on Election Day.

BROWN (on camera): Even though the election is on November third, 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 plan 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 you're ballot counts.

Pamela Brown, CNN, Washington.


JARRETT: All right, our thanks to Pamela for that report.

Now to an extraordinary legal move. The Justice Department is asking a federal judge for permission to take over President Trump's defense in a defamation lawsuit filed by E. Jean Carroll. She's the one who has accused him of sexual assault at a Bergdorf Goodman.

The alleged assault occurred in the 1990s long before the Trump presidency, of course, but the Justice Department argues since his comments -- his denials of Carroll's claim came while he was in office, the DOJ should be the one defending the president.


This unusual move comes as critics say the Justice Department has been taking actions that appear to benefit Trump politically.

All right. Well, today, President Trump is also expected to announce a new round of U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq, and another announcement about reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan is expected within days.

A senior U.S. official tells CNN that the Iraq drawdown involves about 1,700 troops. That would leave about 3,500 U.S. soldiers in the country.

Both moves have been in the works for some time now but the formal announcement will happen just days after the president was hit with the fallout from an article in "The Atlantic" claiming he disparaged fallen soldiers as losers and suckers. CNN is reporting the president is now worried that story could hurt his support in the military.

He's also facing a backlash for claiming top Pentagon officials are beholden to big defense contractors.

Well, there's some renewed hope in Congress for a new round of stimulus to help Americans who are struggling with the bills during this pandemic. We'll give you all the details, up next.



JARRETT: Pfizer and the German firm Biontech say they are confident their coronavirus vaccine can be ready for regulatory approval by the middle of October or early November. Biontech's CEO tells CNN he considers the vaccine near-perfect.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is live from Berlin with the very latest. Fred, you interviewed the CEO. What else did he have to say?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, he says right now, Laura, they are in big phase three trials that are going on around the world. They say so far, they have about 25,000 participants who are taking part in these phase three trials and they want to up that to about 30,000.

Now again, he says that he's absolutely confident that it could be the middle of October and maybe also the beginning of November. He said there's a little bit of an unknown in that because, of course, these phase three trials involve people actually having to be exposed to the novel coronavirus so that they can prove that the vaccine actually fights the virus off and does that better than, for instance, a placebo, which is also part of those trials as well.

They say it's a bit of an unknown when they're actually going to be receiving the number -- or getting the number that they need to make their data relevant. But they say once they have that they are going to submit for regulatory approval immediately.

Now, the CEO also says so far, things are going extremely smoothly in their vaccine development. And he says he believes that when they submit for approval they are going to get, he believes, emergency authorization to use and distribute the vaccine very quickly. And then full approval also very quickly after that.

They say if everything goes according to plan, they plan to manufacture around 100 million doses this year, first and foremost for use for high-risk people. Like, for instance, of course, medical workers and elderly people as well. And they say in 2021 it could be up to 1.3 billion doses, Laura.

JARRETT: So much hope riding on these vaccines. But, of course, the question of who gets it first, as you mentioned, is going to be a big issue for everyone around the globe.

Fred, nice to see you this morning, thanks.

SANCHEZ: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to announce new restrictions on social gatherings to control the spread of coronavirus in the U.K.

CNN's Scott McLean joins us now live from London outside Parliament. And, Scott, in just the last three days, they've seen a spike in COVID cases in the U.K.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Boris.

So just about an hour from now, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will step inside the House of Commons to take questions from his political opponents about his plan to tamp down the resurgence of the coronavirus in this country.

The U.K., as you said, has seen more than 2,000 cases for each of the last three days. But because it's been primarily affecting younger people -- affluent ones, according to the health secretary -- the U.K. hasn't seen a massive influx of patients being hospitalized or a massive increase in the daily death toll either.

France and Spain, though, may provide somewhat of a glimpse into the British future and it's not pretty. France, right now, is seeing about 500 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 every single day. In Spain, they are starting to see more and more people dying every day because of COVID-19.

And so now, in an effort to stop that from happening, the U.K. is changing the rules. So, the maximum social gatherings, starting on Monday, will go from 30 people down to just six people. That's indoors or outdoors. There are exceptions for funerals, weddings, and, of course, work and school as well.

The change comes after the prime minister met with British police who said that the current web of rules is simply too complicated and too difficult to enforce. So what will be interesting to see is whether enforcement is actually stepped up. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the U.K. who is likely to tell you that enforcement has been strict in this country when it comes to the coronavirus.

The government's M.O. as of late has been to get the economy restarted. Schools are open and a lot of workers are going back into the office. This plan doesn't require anyone -- or it doesn't require the government to backtrack on that. The only real question is will it actually work -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Yes, and you bring up a good point seeing what's happening in Spain and France -- resurgences in those countries.

Scott McLean reporting from London. Thanks so much.

JARRETT: Well, coronavirus cases are spiking to record levels in Israel and Gaza. Israel is responding by implementing curfews, but the surge of cases in Gaza suggests the strict lockdowns are not working.

CNN's Oren Liebermann takes a closer look.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Coronavirus cases are surging across the region, not only in Israel but in the West Bank in Gaza as well.

On Monday, Israel set a new daily record of new coronavirus cases with 3,425 in one day, breaking the record set only last week as COVID continues to spread here. In response, Israel declared curfews in 40 cities with high infection rates -- so-called red cities, mostly ultraorthodox and Arab cities.


But the question is, as the country heads into the holidays with large religious and family gatherings, will it be enough to curtail the surge of cases here.

Meanwhile, one day earlier, Gaza saw a record of coronavirus cases in a day at 182. That may sound like a small number and truth be told, it is. But when you look at the past year, only two weeks ago, Gaza was at about 10 new cases a day or less. So at 182 now indicates Gaza may have lost the control they once had over COVID that they used for quarantines and lockdowns.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank, which puts out numbers that include East Jerusalem and Gaza, recorded 717 new cases earlier this week. That's not a record but 10 deaths in a day is a record. All of these numbers troubling across the region. And in another blow to Israel, the country's coronavirus czar,

Professor Ronni Gamzu, also has to enter quarantine after a member of his team tested positive for coronavirus. He can still do his job but he says he will continue to do his job from quarantine. But it's another blow to a country and a region struggling to contain this outbreak.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.


SANCHEZ: Oren, thank you for that.

CNN business now. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell unveiling a slimmed-down coronavirus relief bill that he plans to bring to a vote later this week. After weeks of stalled talks, the legislation is not expected to advance. It requires support from Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling the measure pathetic. McConnell is hoping the GOP package will at least pressure some Democrats.

The roughly $500 billion bill does include enhanced unemployment checks through the end of the year and help for small businesses.

But, McConnell has struggled to even gain support from Republicans who don't want to spend more money. If the bill doesn't get the 60 votes needed to break a Democratic filibuster, the months of partisan bickering over a new round of stimulus will drag on.

JARRETT: Well, it's the morning after another ugly day for stocks. Oil prices also taking a plunge.

Let's go live to Abu Dhabi and bring in CNN's emerging markets editor John Defterios. John, is there any end in sight for investors waking up to these numbers?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, indeed, there is, Laura. A turn for the better in the last 90 minutes of trade indicating a stronger open on Wall Street after that drubbing you were talking about on Tuesday.

Let's take a look at U.S. futures. The Dow and S&P futures are up one- half to three-quarters of one percent. But look at the Nasdaq trading up nearly 1.9 percent after that huge sell-off, the worst performance since March for the Nasdaq Composite.

Keep an eye on Tesla today. It was hoping to get into the S&P 500 and Standard and Poor's said no. So its stock went down better than 20 percent.

Its competitor, Nikola, shot up 40 percent even though the cars are not on the street yet. But, GM took an 11 percent stake and that certainly helped the stock.

But in general, the market is still nervous about COVID-19. The size of the stimulus packaging coming from Capitol Hill, too small. And then overnight, we saw that Donald Trump was banging away at China again about trade and decoupling from China, and the markets don't like it.

So let's take a look at global markets. Asia was down across the board, with Shanghai the hardest hit at 1.8 percent lower. But the European markets started higher and this is providing the lift across the board for U.S. futures.

And even oil prices, Laura, which were down six percent yesterday, trading up about one to 1 1/2 percent. The international benchmark is above $40.00.

So I wouldn't say clear sailing from here but clearly, much better than we saw on Tuesday after the Labor Day weekend.

JARRETT: All right. Well, we will see what the day holds. John, nice to see you this morning.

SANCHEZ: The Motion Picture Academy is setting new inclusion standards for films to be eligible to win the Oscar for best picture. They're designed to increase representation on and off-screen throughout all stages of film production. A film will have to meet at least two of four benchmarks, including the use of actors from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups.

The inclusion thresholds are being phased in. They will not be required until the 2024 Oscars.

JARRETT: Yes, and it's so important that it's not just the actors on- screen but the folks behind the screen -- the producers and all of the executives that go into making the film. It will be interesting to see whether that works. All right.

SANCHEZ: No question.

JARRETT: All right. Boris, great to have you --

SANCHEZ: Thanks, Laura.

JARRETT: -- and thanks for joining us. I'm Laura Jarrett.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Boris Sanchez in for Christine Romans. "NEW DAY" is next.




FAUCI: We've got to regain the trust of the community. We have to be very transparent with the data that goes into the decision-making process about approving a vaccine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drugmaker AstraZeneca says late-stage trials of its Oxford University vaccine are now on hold after one of the research participants developed an unexplained illness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to take things carefully with vaccines. They're not toys.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joe Biden heads to Michigan and we expect the overarching focus to be about the economy.

TRUMP: I don't know how many are people here but there's a lot.

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST, CARDIOLOGIST, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: This is a pandemic. What you're really seeing are lemmings heading for the cliff.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Wednesday, September ninth. It's 6:00 here in New York.

And this morning, the race to a coronavirus vaccine has just hit a bump. How big, we're not quite sure.

What we did learn overnight is that the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has put its phase three coronavirus vaccine trial on hold because of an unexplained illness in a study participant. Now, this is not uncommon in large vaccine trials but it will slow things.