Return to Transcripts main page

CNN TONIGHT

President Trump Downplayed the Pandemic; Joe Biden Accused of Everything; Teacher Succumbed to Coronavirus; Trump Base Ignore Pandemic's Threat; Trump Glued on Television; V.P. Mike Pence on Denial. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired September 10, 2020 - 22:00   ET

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


[22:00:00]

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Because it's really what this administration as I was watching this president today deal with the press and say things like, find out for yourself and just completely spinning about, you know --

(CROSSTALK)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Saying Woodward says I knew something.

LEMON: Woodward is not the president.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Woodward doesn't say it. Trump said it.

LEMON: But Woodward the whole thing about blaming it was infuriating because I'm a journalist, right? And Woodward is not even a working member of the press anymore. He's an author. He was. And very respected, right? You know what he did.

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: Woodward and Bernstein, but he was writing a book. Woodward is --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Second book.

LEMON: Second book. Woodward is not the President of the United States.

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: Woodward did not take an oath to the people. Woodward does not work for the American public, and so as -- as I'm sitting here and he's spinning and lying and doing all this stuff and the press secretary Kayleigh McEnany is doing the same thing, what they have forgotten, two things.

One is that they represent everyone. We pay their paychecks, the American people. And number two, they work for the people of the United States. They have it backwards. They think that they can yell at the press, treat the press any kind of way, lie to the American people, endanger the people that their supporters by putting them in crowds with no social distancing and masks because they are the boss.

They're not the boss. We are the boss. And I don't mean the press, I mean the American people, the people who voted them in office and even the people who didn't vote them in office.

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: The people who actually went to the polls and voted either way, that's their boss.

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: And they have forgotten that.

CUOMO: Right. Well, look, several points and then I'll get out of your way.

LEMON: You're good.

CUOMO: One, we don't just report for the people. We report to the people.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: And that's why he attacks us because it helps weaken the links. He wants people weak.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: He wants them weak and scared. And what hurts most in this tape and him telling his own people not to wear masks when he knew he was exposing them to danger is that he's humiliated his own base. These people who are right to feel disaffected and frustrated and so angry at the political process and the institutions that they went with someone as much of a renegade, at best, as Trump early on, and he's humiliated them with how he uses the office. That's rough.

Second, he's still doing it. He did Michigan tonight. He told them they're rounding the corner or rounding the turn or whatever he mangled. The curve has gone like this with cases in Michigan.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And he had another crowd where they weren't wearing masks and masks are optional, and he didn't tell them about masks either. He's still doing it.

And the third point is, I know what it's like to struggle with feeling that what you're seeing is just horrible and out of control and that you should leave, but you can't because it's too important to the audience. And that's why I stay right before you every night. LEMON: All right. All right. Here's the thing. One thing is that this

is the kind of guy you are. You owed me time. I thought maybe you were getting back at me. But you did. You went over, you went long several nights. And so, I think now you're -- I think it was actually your executive producer.

CUOMO: I gave you time. And fair is fair.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: I mean, your job -- your show is almost --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Is he your --

CUOMO: -- beyond debate more watchable than my show.

LEMON: Well, that's true, but your executive producer as he said you -- we have been going long so we needed to give Don some time.

CUOMO: Why are you talking to my E.P.?

LEMON: Because I'm telling the truth. You don't like the truth. You've --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Don't go sneaking around talking to my E.P. --

LEMON: And then --

CUOMO: -- trying to work relationships.

LEMON: And then, --

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: -- it's frustrating for me, as you know -- you're a mama's boy. So am I. I love that little lady sitting down in Louisiana watching me right now. I haven't been able to see her since the beginning of the year because I'm socially distancing. She's in that age range. And also, she's in a hot spot. She's in Louisiana, the highest number of cases per capita in the country. And so, if I go to visit her --

CUOMO: You got a problem.

LEMON: I got a problem. Well, one, I'm worried about her because I don't want to go, you know, I'm a little bit younger but, you know, not much. You call me an old man. But she's in that category. I don't want to, you know, just by chance if I go on a plane and catch it or whatever, I don't want to give it to her. And number two, if I go see her and I come back, I have to self-quarantine.

CUOMO: I know. Because I'll rat you out and I know who to rat you to. The big dog. LEMON: On this way to this --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: The big dog.

LEMON: On the way to this room, Chris, I have all this stuff in my hands. I got papers.

CUOMO: Makeup.

LEMON: Whatever. I got the bag.

CUOMO: Lots of makeup.

LEMON: I got -- no, no, no. And I drop the mask. I'm like, I don't know, it's in the hallway somewhere.

CUOMO: Does it have a dog on it. I'll find it.

LEMON: No, no. And so, you know that we have -- we're the only people in the building.

CUOMO: Yes, as weird as that sounds.

LEMON: There's nobody else in the building. So even me being the only person in the building I feel weird not about having a mask.

CUOMO: Yes. You've been very good about it.

LEMON: So, you know what I did? I call the security guards and I say, hey, do you guys have an extra mask downstairs? Because I just need to have it in the studio on my way back to -- what if I run into some -- a co-worker who happens to be here, you know, working the cameras.

(CROSSTALK)

[22:05:00]

CUOMO: You're very conscientious.

LEMON: Or run into the cleaning staff. That's engrained. Why can't other people feel that way? It's an inconvenience, of course. But I'm looking out for other people. I don't understand that about the president and I don't understand that about the people in that crowd. What's wrong with them?

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: And especially the people that he says he loves and he cares about. You know, little inside take. Everybody knows who my brother is, the love gov, right?

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: So, my mother was going to come this weekend. And Andrew says, you know, because we've really been -- my sisters -- my mother stays with my two sisters because the city is not the right place for her.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And everywhere she goes she makes that family a little bit better so everybody wants her. But Andrew is like, listen, you know that you've got the kids and they're seeing other kids and I know you get tested a lot.

LEMON: He's right. He's right.

CUOMO: And I know you think you got the antibodies, but we don't know anything for sure.

LEMON: We don't know. Yes.

CUOMO: And can you guarantee that not only will everybody test negative because I know that. I get them tested all the time. But that mom won't be exposed. And I can't guarantee it.

LEMON: So?

CUOMO: So once again, mom is not coming this weekend.

LEMON: I haven't seen her.

CUOMO: It's very depressing.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I have not seen her at your place in months.

CUOMO: But I don't want that on, you know, I can't -- I could never handle that if my mom got sick on my watch.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Well, we just to just tell them right now that we love them. I love both of them, your mom and my mom more than I love you. I got to go.

CUOMO: Well, you should, I hope.

LEMON: Of course.

CUOMO: I love you, D. Lemon, that's the truth.

LEMON: You too, brother. I love you more than you know. I'll talk to you later.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

Let's talk about Donald Trump, the President of the United States, trying any way that he can to dodge responsibility for the pandemic that, as of tonight, has killed nearly 192,000 Americans. Imagine that. That's a lot of -- 192,000 Americans. And today, he wants to talk about the flu and the flu kills -- 192,000

Americans. Try to picture that in your head. You can't even. You heard from Bob Woodward. Bob Woodward -- you heard him tell Bob Woodward, I should say, that he deliberately downplayed the virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, I think, Bob, really to be honest with you --

BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR, RAGE: Sure, I want you to be.

TRUMP: -- I wanted to -- I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down.

WOODWARD: Yes, I --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Because I don't want to create a panic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He said to Bob Woodward that -- that was on March 19th. The same day that Joe Biden tweeted the truth. He said the Obama/Biden administration set up the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense to prepare for future pandemics like COVID-19. That was on March 19th. That's what Joe Biden tweeted out. That is the truth.

And you know what? That he talked about, that directorate for council or Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, Donald Trump eliminated it, and now we are all paying the price. He is right. We are paying the price in deaths. We're paying the price in sickness. We're paying the price in jobs lost. We're paying the price in families torn apart.

When was the last time you saw some of your loved ones? As I was telling Chris, I haven't seen my mother since the beginning of the year. She's in a hot spot. Louisiana can't -- I don't know what you guys are doing or thinking, but get your, you know what straight. Because what you're doing is not working, it is not right.

That tweet on March 19th, the same day the president was bobbing and weaving on the virus. It wasn't the first time that Joe Biden warned about it. I want you to listen. This is what Joe Biden said way back on January 31st.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: America needs a president they can trust, especially in times of a crisis. You know, we have right now a crisis with the coronavirus.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: You could go even further back to October 2019, nearly a year ago, before any of us had even heard of the coronavirus. OK? Listen to me. When Joe Biden warned -- look, this is 2019. OK? He said, we are not prepared for a pandemic. Trump has rolled back progress. President Obama and I made to strengthen global health security. We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores.

[22:10:02]

Was he clairvoyant? No. He's a leader. Just listen to what the former president, Barack Obama, said nearly six years ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: There may and likely will come a time in which we have both an airborne disease that is deadly. And in order for us to deal with that effectively, we have to put in place an infrastructure not just here at home but globally that allows us to see it quickly, isolate it quickly, respond to it quickly so that if and when a new strain of flu like the Spanish flu crops up, five years from now or a decade from now, we've made the investment. And we're further along to be able to catch it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: That's why he doesn't like Obama because he's smart. And he's a leader. And he's looking out for the American public, someone other than himself. Imagine that. Seems like a lifetime ago.

But you know in this business, as they say -- what's that from my favorite movie. The season's a lifetime and the lifetime's a season. That was "All About Eve." Look it up.

So, all right, fine, the president didn't want to listen to Obama or use their plan. Wasn't going to listen to Biden, all right? When the Chinese leader told the president -- the Chinese leader told the president this winter about how deadly the virus was, airborne, five times more dangerous than the flu, he did listen to him. He did. He just didn't tell you. He didn't tell you a darn thing about it. And so tonight he tries to talk his way out of it. Sorry, I mean, lie his way out of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Our country is doing great. We had to take a pause to get rid of the China virus, and we got rid of -- we're getting rid of. We're coming around -- we're coming around that turn.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: It's the Trump virus now because he is -- it's -- he has to own it. We have not gotten rid of the coronavirus, people. And he is falsely claiming things are worse in Europe. That's a lie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: In the past five weeks per capita cases doubled in France, surged to over 300 percent in Spain. Which I've been hearing about and speaking to some of the leaders of Spain, and they are having a hard time and increased more than 400 percent in Italy again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. Stop. Hey, what's that sound? That was a lie. Let's hold it right there. He's talking about percentages and rates that sound pretty bad, making it sound like those countries are in worse shape than we are.

OK, so, facts. Let's take a look at the deaths in each of those countries. Look. Look at your screen. This is from yesterday, Wednesday. France had 35. Italy had 14. Spain had 34. And the United States of America, where Donald Trump is president, had 1,206 confirmed deaths yesterday in Trump's America.

Wait, you say that's not fair. That is not fair. The United States is much larger than those country -- countries. OK, that's true. So, you know, you've -- you know what a back of the envelope projection, right? Let's do back of the envelope projection or calculation of how many deaths there might be if each of those countries had a population matching the United States of America, where Trump is president.

OK, so if France had as large a population as the United States, you could estimate that number would be around 171. If Italy were as big, that number could be 76. If Spain were at big, that number could be 237. So even those, even if those estimates are off, all right, even if they are off by a lot, look at those numbers. They're still nowhere near -- can we put that back up, please?

The 1,206 confirmed deaths in this country yesterday, as compared to Europe, that the president was lying about today.

[22:15:04]

Thank you, Ellie. That many people are dying in the United States just about every day, every single day. But the president, he says he is not going to jump up and down. He's not going to jump up and down and say people are going to die, even though people are dying. Americans are dying.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It's always a serious problem. That doesn't mean I'm going to jump up and down in the air and start saying people are going to die, people are going to die. No, I'm not going to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I'm not going to do that. He doesn't want to cause panic. Really? He's doing it again tonight. Trying to cause panic over, wait for it, antifa moving in next door. My gosh. Which, come on, let's be real here, that is not happening. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Does anybody want to have somebody from antifa as a member and as a resident of your suburb? I don't think so.

(CROWD BOOING)

TRUMP: Say, darling, who moved in next door. It's a resident of antifa. No thank you. Let's get out of here. Let's get the hell out of here, darling. Let's leave our suburbs. I wish Trump were president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So guess who I don't want next door, someone who is going to put my neighbors and family and friends and me in jeopardy by refusing to wear a mask. Someone who is going to yell and scream at the local grocery store or hardware store, dry cleaners, pizza place that you're taking away my right. I don't -- I have -- I can't wear a mask.

That's who I don't want in my neighborhood, that kind of selfish person who only is looking out for themselves and who don't believe in reality. The chances of that kind of person being next door to you, you have much more of a chance of that, your odds are better than having somebody from antifa move next door to you.

Let's be real. He expects you that he doesn't want to cause panic. What was that? Do you really think someone from antifa is going to move next door to you? Come on, really. That's what he's trying to do, cause panic in our cities, in our suburbs, panic that he hopes will get him re-elected, doing it deliberately and cynically. Trying to scare -- look at -- my gosh, this is so scary, trying to scare you.

Tweeting out a campaign video today full of looting and burning. Don Junior tweeting one showing images of a pig's head on fire. And then there was one earlier this summer falsely suggesting that Joe Biden supports defunding the police. He does not. He's said it over and over.

The people who support defunding the police are ticked off at him because he doesn't support defunding the police. That's a lie. He does not support it. But that doesn't stop the president from repeating the lie. He lied again today, falsely claiming that Biden is campaigning against the vaccine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Now Biden has launched a public campaign against the vaccine, which is so bad. Because we have some vaccines coming that are incredible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Gosh, I've never seen anybody that can just lie with a straight face like that, seriously. It's fascinating to watch. Infuriating but fascinating. Do you actually believe him? Are there people out there who actually believe -- believes anything that comes out of his mouth? We've never been in a position where we have to fact check what the

president says all the time. This is where we are. Why do we have to do that? Because there is a more than likely chance that what he's saying is not true. What he just said in that sound bite is not true. You know how we know? Because Biden said it himself this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: If I could get a vaccine tomorrow, I'd do it. If it cost me the election, I'd do it. We need a vaccine and we need it now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, that seems pretty clear to me. And just listen to how the president says he is spending his time in the middle of a pandemic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I watch some of the shows. I watch Liz McDonald. She's fantastic. I watch Fox Business. I watched Lou Dobbs last night. Sean Hannity last night, Tucker last night. Laura. I watched Fox & Friends in the morning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:20:06]

LEMON: Wow. I don't even have that much time and I'm not president of the United States. That must be nice to watch that much TV. Do you have that much time? That's, wow, I wish I could watch that much TV.

But, you know, I have a job, things to do, a lot of time watching TV, a lot of time watching state TV. By the way, can see how, you know, gets it all befuddled and mixed up when you're just listening to an echo chamber. Yes, yes, you're right, you're right, you're so good, you're right, you never lie, you always tell the truth, everything is great.

I mean, if I listened to that much state TV all the time with people telling me how great I am, how I don't lie and on and on and on then, you know, I might start believing it. That's why when you're in this business or in the public eye you don't read your own press and you don't believe it either. You do what's right. You just keep it moving.

Nearly 192,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus and the president says he is not going to jump up and down and say people are going to die. Why is he capable of -- not capable of showing leadership? Well, we're going to get into the president's head next.

Anthony Scaramucci. Frightening thought for you, isn't it, Anthony? The other side of the break.

[22:25:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: So, the president is trying to claim that he did not lie to the American people about the threat from the coronavirus. Even though he is on tape admitting that he downplayed the dangers. He's saying, I downplayed it. Those were words out of his mouth.

So those dangers are still very real. Yet tonight, the president saying at a packed Michigan rally that our country is doing great, ignoring the facts -- the fact that hundreds and hundreds of people in the U.S. are dying from the virus every single day.

Joining me now is a former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. I always wonder who is paying for those rallies and the travel and Air Force One and the gas and jet fuel and all that. Hey, Anthony, how are you?

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, you got $200 million missing from the campaign. They can't find the money, but that's a whole other topic, you know, I mean, it's one thing to the next, Don.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You're bringing the heat right away.

SCARAMUCCI: Come on. I mean, these guys are unbelievable at this point, but you're -- you want to get inside his brain, let me tell you how it works, OK? It's a cycle of deceit and it's a cycle of lying. And so, now that RPM of that engine is really revved up, and so this is a more fascinating time for everybody from a historical perspective because the demagogues always told the biggest lies and they said that the bigger the lie is the more likely that the people would believe it.

So now he's in a triple down zone, Don. He's caught on tape. He's basically telling you he has a callous disregard for the innocent lives of his fellow citizens. He really only cares about himself and his political ambition.

LEMON: Yes.

SCARAMUCCI: He's caught on tape saying that. Let me double and triple down on that. You know what? I'm going to tell you something that's very scary, should scare every one of your viewers. It's actually effective because it's entrapped about 40 percent of the American people.

LEMON: Yes.

SCARAMUCCI: And then he's done something very interesting to his staff. He's got them frozen in suspended animation where they've checked out their ethics, they've checked out their personal integrity. They're somewhere frozen in a locker where. They can't move.

And now when this book finally hits and there will be more allegations in the book, and then there's more stuff to come out next week, he'll be -- he'll be in a dither spinning those lies. This is the most dangerous time I can think of because if he gets away with it, just imagine what he'll be like in a second term, Don.

LEMON: Let me ask you this because you mentioned, you know, what people around him have done, what they have given up. Former officials, OK, now like Jim Mattis, Dan Coats, Rex Tillerson. Expressing major concerned or they did express major concerns about the president in Woodward's book. But they're long gone. They're replaced by lobbyists, so who's -- loyalists, excuse me, not lobbyists. I don't know where that came from. Who's left --

(CROSSTALK)

SCARAMUCCI: Well there's a few lobbyists though.

LEMON: That's true. I guess --

SCARAMUCCI: There's a few lobbyists in there, too, by the way.

LEMON: So, who is left to check this guy?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, that's the whole point. There is nobody left to check him. That's why he did the Woodward interviews. You know, he's a star struck guy. He likes Woodward's brand even though Woodward is going to be critical of him. He likes the New York Times. He likes Don Lemon. He watches your show. He doesn't like admitting that. He admitted to all those other shows. But he watches you and Chris. He's got that super server direct TV box in his White House.

But, listen, don, you know this and I know this. He cleared out every single person that had a point of view or any single person that was anchored to their personal integrity or had some set of principles.

You may not like any of those people you just mentioned or Ambassador Bolton, but something John Bolton said tonight that I actually believe, all those people you just mentioned are patriots. You may not like their policies at times or their ideology, but they love the country, and what we know about the president, is he loves -- he loves himself.

You know, it's a one-man Broadway show and he's the only person standing in the spotlight. So, it's a very, very dangerous time because if he gets away with it, the acceleration of this sociopathology is going to extent another four years.

That would be very bad for the country and very bad for the world and that's why all of us -- or Republicans are working super hard to hive off three percent to five of the Republican vote so we can send him to Mar-a-Lago.

LEMON: So, I have to go, so don't get me in trouble. Does he really watch that much TV that he said?

[22:29:56]

SCARAMUCCI: One hundred percent. He's got a server there where he can record every one of those. He's not watching it at the time, like appointment television, but he's got every one of those things stacked and he goes and flips through it on his -- on his remotes. A hundred percent he's doing that.

LEMON: God, that must be nice, man. I wish I had that. That's like retirement but working at the same time.

SCARAMUCCI: He's watching you, so, you know, you can be nice to him every once in a while. Maybe he'll say something nice -- nice to you on the -- at the press podium like he does with Lou Dobbs.

LEMON: Yes, here's what I have to say. I'm good. Thank you, sir. Good to see you. Say hi to the wife and family. Thank you very much.

SCARAMUCCI: You got it.

LEMON: No social distancing, hardly any masks, all at a Trump rally tonight. Is the president just pretending the pandemic is over at this point?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, tonight, here's what the CDC is projecting, that 217,000 COVID deaths will happen by early October.

[22:35:00]

I want to bring in now Dr. Craig Spencer of the New York Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center and CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers.

Good evening to both of you.

Dr. Spencer, you're first up here. A day after the Woodward bombshells, the president held a rally in Michigan, no social distancing. A few masks. Our Jim Acosta caught up with some of the attendees. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Why are you guys not wearing masks?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have one with me. It's my prerogative.

ACOSTA: But why not wear one to stay safe?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a hard time understanding people when they talk, so that's why I don't wear it.

ACOSTA: But you can hear me right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can hear you.

ACOSTA: Sir, please tell me. Why are you not wearing a mask?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because there's no COVID. It's a fake pandemic created to destroy the United States of America.

ACOSTA: But the president said to Bob Woodward that there is a virus, the coronavirus, and it is deadly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's his opinion. The truth is, is that CDC said only 10,000 people die from COVID. The other 192,000 have 2.6 or 2.8 other mortalities.

ACOSTA: Does it worry you guys at all to be in this crowded space with all these people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not afraid. The good Lord takes care of me. If I die, I die.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to get this country moving. Can't -- what are you going to do wear masks and stay inside for another year? Huh? Where will that get us?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. I -- I don't want to -- if you wear a -- he's outside, first of all. He's not inside. He can wear a mask. Right? That's like -- and he said, if I die, but what about the other people, your fellow man? He said the good Lord. Isn't if you're supposed to look out for -- I don't really get it.

So, this is -- it's -- it's exactly the kind of misinformation, doctor, the president and maybe only the president could have prevented it, and instead, he made sure that this is where we are today.

CRAIG SPENCER, DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL HEALTH IN EMERGENCY MEDICINE, NEW YORK-PRESBYTERIAN/COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Yes. Yes, well, I think there are two issues here. One, the revelation in the Woodward tapes, quite frankly, is not surprising to anyone. All public health professionals knew all along how bad this was and we tried warning people and tried speaking out about it on programs just like this, and the problem was that the president has a larger platform, and in theory he should be trusted on things like this.

It's his job to lead us through a crisis line this, but at the same time that he was telling people in private how bad this was and how concerning it was, he was telling people in public that they didn't need a mask, that they didn't need to trust public health professionals.

The long-term impact is what you heard in that clip tonight. People have -- have no faith. Having very little trust in our trusted medical and public health accomplishments and all of this was set in February and March when the president demeans, denigrated and really downplayed the severity of this virus and undermined the public health expertise that we were trying to share.

LEMON: It just makes -- there are you know, all the hot spots. Doctor, I just want to -- Kirsten, I'm going to get to you, but I wonder if I should get -- bring my family out of a hotspot there in Louisiana to have a life because they have a life.

Guess what? We social distance. We wear masks and we keep moving. But my mom has been trapped in the house since March and it's heartbreaking because there are these people like these folks right here who don't care about anybody but themselves.

SPENCER: Yes, I mean, it is really hard. I worked in New York in March and in April. I saw the surge. I was on the front lines. I saw so many people die of this and you don't hear people in New York City talking about how this is a hoax or some made up virus.

We all lived through this reality. And that happened in many other places around this country. It will continue in communities that haven't been affected yet. It will continue to roll around this country. It will impact those communities until we put in place public health guidance, until we listen to professionals, not the mistruths and misinformation that is spewing from this president's mouth and his Twitter feed on a daily basis. That is our public health crisis.

LEMON: Kirsten, I mean, it is really infuriating when you see that crowd, all of those people squished into an airplane hangar together and then he says this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Our country is doing great. We had to take a pause to get rid of the China virus. And we got rid of -- we're getting rid -- we're coming around. We're coming around that turn. I'm tell you, you watch, next year better than last year. It's going to be better than last year.

(CROWD CHEERING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: He's not downplaying the virus. He's pretending the pandemic is over.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. I mean, and this -- it's really -- it is a tragedy on so many levels, but it is particularly sad to watch these people who believe him. Right? I mean, it's -- when there's all of this information to the contrary, you can't even say with the Bob Woodward book that he didn't say it because you can hear him saying it.

[22:40:03]

It's -- it's a recording. And yet somehow you still have Fox News covering it like it's no big deal and it didn't happen.

And, you know, it was interesting listening to that man who said the good Lord is going to protect me and I have to go on with my life. I've heard some version of this from various Trump supporters. And yet when the caravan is coming, allegedly, the good Lord is not going to protect them. When antifa is coming, the good Lord is not going to protect them. Right?

None of it makes sense. Like, the things that they choose to be scared of and that Donald Trump scares them about aren't even the real things that they need to be worried about, and yet they're in this panic, and then you have the president saying, well, I don't want to cause a panic when that's essentially all he does as president, is try to insight panics in the country and in the people who support him.

LEMON: Kirsten, doctor, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

A 28-year-old teacher dying of coronavirus complications a week into the school year. I'm going to speak with her uncle and a lifelong friend. That's next.

[22:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, I want you just to take a look at this picture, OK? This is Demetria Bannister, Deme to her friends and family. This past Friday, she was diagnosed with COVID-19. On Monday, she died. She was just 28 years old. She had been teaching at Windsor Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina for five years and just started virtually teaching third grade students on August 31st.

Demetria's one of at least three teachers across the country to pass away due to complications of COVID-19 in recent weeks. That's according to reports from CNN and local media outlets.

So I want to bring in now Heyward Bannister, Deme's uncle and them Kambrell Garvin a South Carolina State Representative and a lifelong friend of Deme's.

Gentlemen, thank you so much. I appreciate you coming here to honor her life.

KAMBRELL GARVIN, DEMETRIA BANNISTER'S LIFELONG FRIEND: Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Heyward, I'm so, so sorry for your family's loss. She sounds like an amazing person. How is your family holding up right now?

HEYWARD BANNISTER, DEMETRIA BANNISTER'S UNCLE: We are grieving. We are grieving but we are grateful. And the first thing I'd like to just thank you and CNN for creating a platform for us to talk about my niece, as well as to talk about the seriousness of this illness. But thank you so much for creating this opportunity for our family.

As I said, we are grieving but we are grateful. It's tough to get your head around, you know, the suddenness of her death. But we cherish the memories that she left through her legacy and many people will live through her legacy, particularly the young people who she tried to pour her heart and did all the best things she could do in order to make them grow and make them become law-abiding and productive citizens. LEMON: Well, you can see, you know -- some people you can just look at

them and you can see how -- the light that they have in them and the smile that she had. You can just see that. That came across in the pictures. I mean, look at her there. What a great, great smile.

Kambrel, you and Deme were close friends. Tell me about her -- the principal said she was known as Windsor's songbird because she loved music. Let's play a little and then we'll talk about it.

GARVIN: Sure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(DEMETRIA BANNISTER SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Wow. Her students were her passion.

GARVIN: Absolutely.

LEMON: Go ahead, Kambrell.

GARVIN: Yes, absolutely, Don. I think, you know, Deme had certainly had the voice of an angel. As you mentioned earlier, she and I were middle school and high school classmates and have stayed in contact over the past several years.

At 28 years old, she's certainly an individual who is gone far too soon. As you could tell in that video, she was passionate, she loved life, she had a beautiful spirit and she was certainly a loyal friend.

I last saw her in January. It had been some time since I saw her and she just greeted me with, you know, such warm thing and such an energy. And you know, and prior to seeing her last in January, I would see her at the statehouse. So not only was she an amazing teacher in the classroom, but she was also an advocate for her students as well.

LEMON: Yes. Heyward, she was teaching remotely but she was in-person for teacher work days on August 28th. There's so much debated about schools and kids attending in person or remotely and the risks teachers face. What do you think?

BANNISTER: Well, I think that we have reasons to put things on pause as it relates to reopening schools. And particularly in light of the fact that we don't have a uniform testing program in place, coupled with the fact that there's no known cure, vaccine.

[22:50:01]

So, I think we really put our students, the public in harm's way in the an sense of those measures.

LEMON: Well, gentlemen, I want to thank you both. I just want to put up her picture back up. This is Demetria Bannister, Deme to her friends, 28 years old, teacher at Windsor Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina for five years. And she is now gone. Look at that smile. But will always be remembered by her friends, family and loved ones.

Thank you, gentlemen. Be well. Our hearts are with you.

GARVIN: Thank you.

LEMON: Thank you. We'll be right back.

[22:55:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Take this. Vice President Mike Pence expected to attend a fund- raiser next week hosted by a couple who appeared to have expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. The couple, Caryn and Michael Borland, have several social media accounts found by CNN, that share memes and retweet posts from QAnon accounts. Pence has said he knows nothing about QAnon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know anything about that conspiracy theory, John.

(CROSSTALK)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: How can you not know about it, given how much it's been in the news?

PENCE: Or people that are involved.

BERMAN: How can you not know about it at this point?

PENCE: Well, honestly, John, I just -- I don't know anything about that. I've heard about it. We dismiss conspiracy theories around here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, this is for you, Mr. Vice President. Here it is, everything you need to know. Followers of QAnon believe there is a deep state within the U.S. government that is controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles and Trump is trying to take them down.

They say thousand ss of deep states will be arrested and prosecuted at military courts followed by executions. QAnon is a virtual cult labeled domestic threat by the FBI. President Trump has said he (AUDIO GAP). He refused to disavow it.

The president called the Georgia congressional candidate who praises QAnon, a quote, "a real winner." He invited her to her convention speech.

Trump and Pence can say they know nothing about it, but this baseless, deranged and dangerous conspiracy is part of their party now.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)