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Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Put on Hold after Participant becomes Sick; Many Gatherers at President Trump's Campaign Rally in North Carolina Do Not Wear Masks or Social Distance; Sen. Chuck Schumer (D- NY) is Interviewed About the Senate Voting on GOP Relief Bill Tomorrow; DOJ Wants to Defend Trump in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Suit. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired September 9, 2020 - 08:00   ET



ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS: Very telling. You hive off three to five percent of the Republican Party from President Trump, it is over. And we are working on that every single day, and we're working on that in the battleground states. We're working on that in just broad national messaging, and that is working. You can feel the underlying current of that, and we have got a lot more to do before now and Election Day.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We've got to let you go.

SCARAMUCCI: And hopefully you'll invite me on in February, I'll have a pina colada in our hand.

BERMAN: We've got to let you go. We don't think anything of Steve Bannon. It is you who suggested things that are anatomically impossible having to do with Steve Bannon.

SCARAMUCCI: How do you know. John, he could be doing hot yoga, John.

BERMAN: I don't want to know.

SCARAMUCCI: You never know.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: It's a morning show.

BERMAN: Thank you very much for being with us, appreciate it.

SCARAMUCCI: Good to be here.

CAMEROTA: All right, Michael Cohen is going to join Don Lemon tonight at 10:00 p.m. Tune in for that. And NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have 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: Drug maker 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 the vaccines. They're not toys.

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

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know how many people here, but there's a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a pandemic. What you're really seeing are lemmings heading for the cliff.


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

BERMAN: Welcome to our viewers around the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. And this morning the race for a coronavirus vaccine, it has hit a bump in the road. We don't know how big just yet. AstraZeneca is putting the phase three clinical trial on hold because of a participant's unexplained illness. Professor William Haseltine just told us delay he thinks could last days, weeks, months. In some cases, they last even years.

As of this morning the number of new coronavirus cases appears to have levelled off at 40,000 a day. That is still a very high level. We are learning now that more than half-a-million children in the U.S. have tested positive. That's a 16 percent increase over the last two weeks, and this is happening just as children are returning to school.

CAMEROTA: So North Carolina has a statewide mask mandate. But you would not know that from the president's rally on Tuesday. He was not wearing a mask, and many people in the crowd were also mask free and not socially distanced. Dr. Anthony Fauci had this to say about that moments ago.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it frustrating to you as an expert on this?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Well, yes, it is, and I have said that often, that the situation is we want to set an example. Those are the kind of things that turn around surges and also prevent us from getting surges. So I certainly would like to see a universal wearing of masks.


CAMEROTA: All right, joining us now is CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, Dr. Fauci was awfully even keeled there. We thought that his head would be exploding when he saw that many thousands of people packed into one rally. Do you want to share your thoughts when you look at those videos?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think this is not about educating people anymore. I think in the beginning, it was a question of saying, hey, look, here's how much a mask reduces the likelihood that you'll spread this virus to others. About six-fold, it's pretty significant. And the idea that this is a virus that can spread from asymptomatic people, that changed the discussion on masks initially, right?

In the beginning, the idea is, look, if you have symptoms that's when you're contagious, and you should be staying home. You're coughing, sneezing, you stay home. When we learned mid, end February, that asymptomatic spread, or pre-symptomatic spread, you don't have symptoms yet, is a major vector of this transmission, that's when masks became a very common recommendation all over the world.

And here we are in September, and you're still seeing that. So what more can we say at that point? It does help. We know that in places around the world where they have had masking, universal masking, it has helped. We know that the projections are in this country is if we had near universal masking we could save more than 100,000 lives by the end of the year.

So I think people have heard this by now, and then you still see what's happening in North Carolina, which, by the way, violates the ordinances put in place by the state. They do say you have to wear masks if you're within six feet of people even if you're outside. They do say people should not gather in groups larger than 50 people because the likelihood of you coming in contact with someone with the virus is much higher if you're in a group that size. But there you go. We have said that hundreds of times now on this program.

BERMAN: Sanjay, let's talk about AstraZeneca, which has put a hold on the phase three vaccine trial because one of the participants got sick.


We don't know exactly how, but sick enough that they put a pause on the whole trial. So what does that tell you? We just talked to Professor Haseltine who said that sometimes these holds can last weeks, months, or even longer.

GUPTA: Yes. The thing is I have been talking to people this morning as well, trying to understand specifically what has happened here. It's a very significant adverse reaction. We don't know what it is for sure. We know that there's been some reporting around this. But I can tell you that there's still not 100 percent clear what happened here. But when they call a serious adverse event in these types of trials, it means that something caused a disability of some sort, where someone became weak in their arms or legs or needed inpatient hospitalization, both, whatever it may be. It's not a more simple adverse effect, which they saw in the earlier stages of this trial -- fever, chills, fatigue, things like that.

So this is significant, and now they've got to go back and figure out is this truly related to the vaccine? They don't know that yet. Phase three trial participants are healthy. They may have underlying comorbidities, but at time they come into the trial they are healthy. So this is something that is truly unexpected. And even if t is one person in this entire trial, the problem is, as we talked about before, let's say you have a side effect that's occurring 0.1 percent of the time. To give it to 100 million people, that means 100,000 people will subsequently have this rare side effect, no longer so rare. So that's what they're trying to drill down on right now. And we have no idea how long this pause is going to last.

CAMEROTA: Well, Dr. Fauci addressed the time line in terms of the vaccine availability this morning, so let's listen to that.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I think that's unlikely. The only way you can see that scenario come true is if that that there are so many infections in the clinical trial sites that you get an efficacy answer sooner than you would have projected. Like I said, it's not impossible, Judy, but it's unlikely that we'll have a definitive answer at that time, more likely by the end of the year.


CAMEROTA: OK. Sorry, he was talking about whether we would have one by Election Day. Sanjay, is that news? I feel like we know that.

GUPTA: No, I think we have known that. I spent some time talking to Dr. Fauci about this, and over the past few days really starting to dig into these trials. When they talk about a signal, you have heard this term now for some time, we're seeing an efficacy signal, what does that really mean? It's not a completed phase three trial. But it's basically saying, look, you have 10,000 people who got the vaccine, 10,000 who got the placebo, and in the placebo group there were so many infections that it's clear the vaccine is working because the vaccine group was not getting those infections.

The problem is it can take time. If you do the math in this country, roughly one in 10,000 people on any given day become infected. So one person in a day in the placebo group versus none in the vaccinated group. Is that enough to say we're confident this vaccine is protecting people? Probably not. And that's the point I think Dr. Fauci was making. Typically, you need weeks or months to see if that vaccine is actually working. Yes, it's really clear that the group that received the placebo are getting infected at a higher rate. What are you going to be comfortable with in terms of the math there? That's what these monitoring boards are looking at right now.

GUPTA: Look, the science on this is pretty clear, and Fauci and you have been clear from the beginning that it's unlikely by Election Day. It's political. It's not about science. It's about the president saying it out loud, getting it in banners on cable TV, putting it in ads and getting the soundbite. It's not about the science. The science, as you and Dr. Fauci say, is clear. It's highly unlikely to be ready by Election Day. On to science, Sanjay, we are learning about the impact of some of the

decisions and actions taken by states and localities earlier on in the pandemic, the stay-at-home orders that were in place in cities and states, and just how effective they may have been. What have you learned?

GUPTA: Yes. I think there were two really interesting things that came out of this. This was from the journal in the American Medical Association. We have this graph, we should show this. What these researchers tried to do was they went back and looked at the true impact of the stay-at-home orders in five states that at the time prior to the stay-at-home orders had the highest rate increase in COVID. And it may be a little bit hard to read there, but you can see when they put the stay-at-home orders in place, and this is mid-March timeframe, two things. One is that people for the most part did listen, which was good. Mobility went down significantly.


Obviously, a lot of people out there, essential workers could not abide by this, but there was a significant decrease. People stayed at home more. Their distance that they traveled was far less, and you saw a significant decrease in COVID transmission as well. So people did abide by the stay-at-home orders and you saw the corresponding decrease.

Now, that may be obvious to a lot of people, but I think to the extent of how significant the impact was, it's like a significant option in a case where you're really getting unbridled viral spread. What they have seen in other studies was had that stay-at-home order gone into effect two weeks earlier, right now there would likely be about 80 percent decreased overall viral spread in this country. Significant. And it just goes to show that these measures, while important, the earlier you do it can have a significant, an exponentially larger impact on the overall trajectory of the pandemic going forward.

So that lesson still holds true today. What we do now will have a much more significant impact a couple months from now, versus if we do that same measure in November, for example. So people abided by the orders and it made a difference.

CAMEROTA: Yes, obviously, it's important to learn that lesson for moving forward, but it is hard not to think about the missed opportunities. But thank you very much, Sanjay, for all of that.

Let's talk about the economy. Republicans are rolling out their new plan for economic relief. Does it stand a chance at passing? We're going to speak with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer right after this.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, the Senate could vote by tomorrow on what is being called a skinny coronavirus relief bill. It has almost no chance of becoming law and it comes more than a month after negotiations over the next installment of economic aid stalled in Congress.

Joining us now is Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Senator Schumer, thanks so much for being with us.

This is being put forward by Mitch McConnell, and there will be a vote presumably tomorrow. The bill includes an extension of a small business loan program, an extension of jobless benefits to $300 a week. It would forgive about $10 billion of loans to the postal service, tax credit for private and home schooling and liability protection for employers in coronavirus lawsuits. It would not offer any aid to states.

What is this bill missing?

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Well, there's so much missing in the bill. I wouldn't call it skinning. Their old bill, which is about a trillion dollars, was skinny. This one is emaciated. It's about half that.

They keep the crisis and the pain of the American people and the pandemic greater and greater, and the Republicans keep thinking smaller and smaller. And the reason is very simple. There are 20 Republicans in the Senate who want no money, so McConnell had to in a cynical exercise put together something that would check the box, but left out so much.

At the top of the list, of course, is state and local. There are going to be hundreds of thousands if not millions of layoffs of people who work for our state and local governments. The people who buy -- drive the buses, pick up the garbage, fight the fires, they're not getting any money and they even because of these hard wing -- hard right wing ideologues, they wouldn't even let them use the money they already got that we've put in the previous bill against the resistance of Republicans for lost revenues.

There's no money to feed children who can't get food. There's no money to help people who are evicted from their houses. There's no money for our restaurants, for our spaces, our public spaces, that need help, for our travel industries, for our airlines.

There's no money for broadband. Rural areas are clamoring for broadband and they can't teach the kids. And so, there are so many things that are not in this bill, that are missing. Our bill has money for the unemployed, has real money for the education. Even our education provision is warped.

More than half of the money forces schools to open even if -- they only get the money if they open. They don't leave the decision like we did in a previous bill to schools. There's no money for our hospitals and nursing homes which desperately need help.

BERMAN: Let me ask -- SCHUMER: Little hospitals in particular.

So the list is long. Our bill meets the needs of the American people. Their bill meets the needs of a few ideologues who don't want to vote for anything. But they're feeling such pressure from the public. They have to come to the floor.

It is, John, by Mitch McConnell who seems to be the head of the department of cynicism, a cynical act --

BERMAN: Well --

SCHUMER: -- because he knows it won't pass. He knows it won't pass.

BERMAN: OK. Let me say this: so, yes, the Democrats in the House passed a much larger relief bill months ago, three plus trillion dollars months ago. That was passed in the House, the Senate did not take that up. I will stipulate that.

But what do you say to people who say just on the extension of unemployment benefits, who will say that the $300 that Mitch McConnell is offering is $300 than the zero people are getting right now.

SCHUMER: And the bill we have not only does more for the unemployed, with a more robust bill, but deals with all of these other issues. Why don't they do our bill or at least do what Speaker Pelosi and I said, meet us in the middle? They keep moving backwards, and they know the bill can't pass.

In addition, if you want to ever guess what McConnell's intentions are, he put poison pills in this bill that he knows Democrats will never go for.


BERMAN: But, but the result of the conflict -- the result of the conflict is people will get nothing. They'll get neither, the Republican or the Democratic --


SCHUMER: Well, that's -- I don't believe that.

Let's look at the last three bills. McConnell engaged in the same cynical game. He put a very weak bill on the floor. He challenged Democrats, vote for our bill and you'll get nothing. We didn't vote for the three bills because they were so weak.

And public pressure on McConnell and all his senators, particularly those running for re-election, forced them to come to the table and the bill, the big CARES bill was three-quarters of what we wanted, the 3/5 bill changed the Small Business money. So --

BERMAN: Do you really think -- I have to -- I want to get to different subjects here, but do you really think as you sit here this morning that there will be any bill at all that's passed? SCHUMER: Yes, there's a good chance they feel the pressure. Once they

see the Democrats are not going to fold to the emaciated bill that leaves so much out, the pressure will mount on them as they it did in -- just look at the last three bills. In all three, you had the same scenario. McConnell said, Democrats do this or there will be nothing.


We didn't go along with a very weak bill that doesn't meet the needs of the American people, and they came around.

There's a good chance they will again.

BERMAN: Let me --

SCHUMER: Their members are going home and hearing from Republican mayors, Republican governors, Republican hotel owners, Republican restaurant owners do something that helps us. Their bill doesn't.

BERMAN: I want to ask you about a matter of local interest here and it's not totally unrelated because you obviously want state and local funds here. The president has been talking a lot about your home state of New York and your home city of New York City.

He wrote, quote: New York City must stop the shutdown now. The governor and mayor are destroying the place and then he talked about the events that are happening in Rochester, New York, with the police there. Police chief and most of the police in Rochester resigned, the Democratic mayor and, of course, Governor Cuomo have no idea what to do. New York state is a mess -- no money, high taxes and high crime. Everyone fleeing. November 3rd, we can fix it.

As a senior senator from the state of New York, how do you respond?

SCHUMER: I respond that the only thing Donald Trump knows is name- calling and negativity. If he wants to help New York more than anything else, come out for state and local aid. The governor, the mayor and others have said that's what we desperately need to help with all of the problems that we face.

And, you know, let me just say this. I think what we have learned in the last few weeks is that the Trump plan to divide us, to throw nasty slings at his enemies without coming up without any constructive solution is failing. The American people knows that Donald Trump and the Senate Republicans, one of the main reasons the COVID crisis is as large and as long as it is, and they want real solutions which we Democrats are offering here in the Senate and the House and throughout the country.

And this idea of just blaming things and saying oh, there's going to be this, there's going to be that isn't working.

And that's why there was no convention bump for Trump. That is why the last two weeks, his calls saying, his ridiculous and irrational calls blaming Democrats for the violence and not even talking about the hard right people and trying to pick sides rather than bring people together is not working.

And so, I don't think this will work either. We in New York, the governor, the mayors, we're trying to be constructive in a difficult situation. We had the worst COVID crisis of just about any state. And Donald Trump instead of helping us just calls names and then does nothing.

BERMAN: Senator Chuck Schumer, we appreciate your time. Thank you for being with us.

SCHUMER: Nice to talk to you, John.

BERMAN: All right. The Department of Justice funded by your tax dollars stepping in to a legal case that involves the president. This time surrounding a sexual assault claim from decades ago. So, should this be allowed? That's next.



CAMEROTA: The Department of Justice says it wants to replace President Trump's personal attorneys and defend him in a defamation lawsuit. The DOJ argues that the president's response to E. Jean Carroll accusing him of sexual assault in a dressing room in the 1990s was made in his official capacity as president.

Should the taxpayers have to pay for a lawsuit that protects the president's personal interest?

Joining us is CNN analyst -- political analyst David Gregory and CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeffrey, let's just recap. E. Jean Carroll -- his new book is titled "True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigations of Donald Trump." There you go. And it's a fantastic book.

E. Jean Carroll says that President Trump raped her in -- well, Donald Trump, well before he was president, in a dressing room of a department store in the 1990s. She came forward with that. He then said he had never met her. She had the photos to prove that he had met her.

She then sued him for defamation for some of the things he said about her.

Why would Bill Barr, the attorney general, want to insert himself into all of that?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the issue is did the president in his denial, which is the subject of this lawsuit, is that something he did in his official capacity as president or is it something he did as Donald Trump the individual. The president doesn't get to use the Department of Justice as his private lawyers. His private lawyers don't prepare his personal -- I mean, the Department of Justice lawyers don't prepare his personal tax returns. They don't pay for his food in the White House.

I mean, the president is not -- does have private interests and this would seem like an entirely private matter -- his denial of a rape allegation of several years ago. The idea that the Department of Justice is defending it seems unprecedented in how presidents are treated as individuals when they're in -- when they're in office. It seems baffling and unprecedented to me.

BERMAN: What does it say about William Barr, the attorney general?

TOOBIN: Oh, are you asking me? Yeah. I mean, look, it's part of a pattern, that, you know, the -- the attorney general since the day he took office has not been acting like the people's lawyer. He's been acting like Donald Trump's lawyer.

And this is an extreme example of this. But, you know, whether it's defending the president's friends, like trying to dismiss the charges against Michael Flynn, getting a lower sentence for Roger Stone, it's all of a piece and all of a piece of saving the president money. You know, the government has spent millions of dollars at the Trump properties.

This is saving the president thousands if not millions of dollars in legal fees. It's part of the grift that is the Trump presidency.

CAMEROTA: David, through a political lens, is there any other way to see it?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALSYT: No, and I would just amplify that by talking about the timing. You know, if this was a position legally that the Trump team writ large wanted to take, why didn't they do it months and months ago? Why eight weeks before an election?

I'll tell you why.