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CNN NEWSROOM

Fitness Expert Jillian Michaels: Let "Guard Down for an Hour," Get COVID; Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) Discusses Failure of GOP Skinny Stimulus Bill & Trump Downplaying Coronavirus Threat; Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward, Discusses Trump Refusing to Admit White Privilege Helped Him in Life & Trump Minimizing Systemic Racism in U.S. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired September 10, 2020 - 14:30   ET

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


[14:30:00]

JILLIAN MICHAELS, HEALTH AND FITNESS EXPERT: Over the course this journey for myself and my friends, we had five false negative tests. And that's the part that really shook me is that not only can you feel fine, look fine, seem fine, but be extremely contagious.

You can also have a false negative test. So this is where I'm asking people to be very diligent, no matter what the circumstance appears to be on the surface.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: So you have a message for folks, right, when it comes to -- of course, we associate you with fitness and you have a message for people when it comes to going to the gym.

Which is something, look, you know, so many people want to do this. It's important for their mental health. They're trying to figure out ways to manage this.

What do you say to them?

MICHAELS: Listen, I will restate the obvious. I'm not a doctor. I'm not a researcher. I'm not an economist. Right? I'm simply an individual who was going to the gym before they were shut down in California and I'm an individual who caught COVID quite easily.

So I'm now looking at this and thinking, OK, I know that when I was there and I'm very fit, you know, you touch the mask, you pull it down, you kind of try to steal a breath. You then touch the equipment and you're being as careful as you can be.

But if you are at all concerned of catching COVID it is probably not the best environment right now.

I'm simply saying, if you do go be overwhelmingly diligent. Do not touch your mask under any circumstances and there are other ways to support your gym.

A lot have online classes. So many personal trainers are doing personal training through Facetime. Again, I was very fortunate that I didn't have difficulties with it.

But god forbid, I had given it to somebody else that's the part that really scares me.

KEILAR: Yes. That you could be -- that you could be a spreader. It's extremely concerning.

And, Jillian, thank you very much. We're so grateful to have you on and share your experience and your message with everybody.

MICHAELS: Oh, thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

KEILAR: Jillian Michaels.

Last hour, a scaled-back coronavirus relief package failed to move forward in the Senate. Democratic Senator Doug Jones joining me live to explain why he voted against it.

And what's next for millions of Americans who are suffering?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:36:18]

KEILAR: The latest version of a coronavirus stimulus deal is dead. Last hour on Capitol Hill, the Senate failed to pass a bill to help millions of Americans who are suffering financially threw the pandemic.

The so-called GOP skinny bill would have provided $300 a week in unemployment benefits, which is half of what Congress included in the March COVID relief package.

It would have also allowed small businesses to apply for a second loan from the PPP, the Paycheck Protection Program and allotted $105 billion in education funds.

What the bill did not include is money for a second round of direct stimulus checks to Americans or help for state and local governments that are deeply in debt.

I'm joined by Democratic Senator Doug Jones of Alabama.

Senator Jones, you voted no. All Democrats did, joined by Republican Rand Paul.

What happens next now in terms of helping Americans if this wasn't good enough to do what you think is needed?

SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): Well, it wasn't anywhere close to being good enough. And thanks for having me, Brianna.

What happens next depends on Mitch McConnell. He has controlled everything since the summer.

The House passed the HEROES Act in May and the fact is that it would have provided a framework. It was not a perfect bill, by any stretch. But it helped the Americans. And we knew this virus would be with us through the summer and the fall.

He refused -- he was the grim reaper and put that in a deep, dark hole in his office. And just, only before we left in August, decided to kind of roll out some things. And he couldn't get his own caucus to do so. So he scaled it back.

Mitch McConnell has more interest in having a partisan vote than he does a bipartisan bill for the American people. So it really depends on him.

If he wants to come to the table and talk, Democrats have been begging for that since May of this past -- this past summer. We would love to do it.

I don't think we should go home until we get a big bill, a full bill for all people, housing assistance, state and local. Get it passed and signed by president.

KEILAR: It's an election year, so likely Congress will go home soon here. You don't want to go home, but that's likely going to happen.

JONES: That's on Mitch McConnell. That's not on me. I didn't want to go home in August. I said we should stay here to get a bill passed.

If we leave now, it's on him. He's going to take this and he will show his hand. And this is just a purely political vote and has nothing to do with wanting to help the American people.

We can get something done if he would come to the table in good faith, the administration would come to the table in good faith. Because I can assure you that myself and other Democrats are ready. We have been at the table in good faith since last May.

KEILAR: What would you vote for? What do you want to see?

JONES: Well, we need more money for city and county governments. You know, our county governments are -- and city governments are laying off people left and right. And that's only going to get worse.

We need hazard pay. We need more money for the postal service, especially as we get to the election. We need to make sure the PPP program is shored up and that the minority businesses can get the funds and not just the bigger businesses.

There are a number of things completely missing from this package. It contained a couple of good things for sure. But it contained a lot of poison pills.

And $5 billion to give private relief, tax credits for private schools? That's just a sellout to try to get votes on the Republican side. We don't need that kind of information.

We need a clean package that's going to help all American many people across the board and not just a select few. [14:40:04]

KEILAR: Can I ask you -- I hear you say that you don't want to go home, it's Mitch McConnell's problem if you do end up going home.

Would Democrats consider staying even if Mitch McConnell goes home?

But I mean, would you stay to make a point that you're in town and ready to work? Because what we see happen so often is that the leader can go home, the other party can go home, but then everyone else just kind of goes home, too, and blames it on the other party.

JONES: Well, the fact of the matter, the majority leader controls the floor. There's not one thing that people could do in the United States Senate unless the majority leader gives his OK.

If he is gone, and all the Republicans are gone, all you can do is make speeches. I can make speeches at home.

It is his -- it is on him. If he wants to get something done, he can keep us here. He can come to the table in good faith.

But the rules of the Senate are such it is all on the majority leader, not on anybody else. He controls that.

KEILAR: I want to ask you what you make of these revelations of the president misleading American people about the danger of the coronavirus. We have heard him now on tape.

JONES: It's stunning. It is absolutely stunning. I don't know that I can say that I am that surprised though.

Because what he was saying, at the time publicly, was defying every bit of health care professionals. They all talked about this going back as early as April and they were talking about this.

So everything he said publicly was so inconsistent with what I was hearing from health care professionals.

I can't say I'm surprised. But to it hear out of his own words is stunning. And I cannot believe that the president of the United States would literally downplay such an important thing.

He would never downplay a hurricane, a tornado, another natural disaster putting people's lives at risk, just like this COVID did. And it's stunning he would do it just to try to help prop up the stock market.

KEILAR: Senator Jones, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.

JONES: It's my pleasure. Thank you, Brianna.

KEILAR: Next, as racial protests erupt across the country, President Trump refusing to admit that being white may have given him some advantages in life. We'll share those revealing comments that he made to Bob Woodward.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[14:47:11]

KEILAR: One other topic that President Trump has heard downplaying on the Woodward tapes is his white privilege.

Nearly three months ago, at the height of racial unrest sweeping the country following the several killings of unarmed black men and women, Bob Woodward asked the president if he felt he's benefited from white privilege and the president outright dismissed that idea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB WOODWARD, JOURNALIST & AUTHOR (voice-over): But let me ask you this. I mean, we share one thing in common. We're white, privileged, who -- and my father was a lawyer and a judge in Illinois. And we know what your dad did.

And do you have any sense that that privilege has isolated and put you in a cave to a certain extent, as it put me and I think lots of white privileged people in a cave, and that we have to work our way out of it to understand the anger and the pain particularly black people feel in this country.

Do you --

(CROSSTALK)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (voice-over): No. You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn't you? Just listen to you. Wow.

No, I don't feel that at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Glenn Harris is the president of the racial justice nonprofit organization, Race Forward, and he's the publisher of "Colorlines."

Glenn, thank you so much for coming on to talk about this.

What's your response to what you heard?

GLENN HARRIS, PRESIDENT, RACE FORWARD & PUBLISHER, "COLORLINES": Oh, thank you so much for having me.

My response is that the overwhelming majority of Americans acknowledge that being white is an advantage in the country.

My response is to both this part of his conversation and a broader part of the conversation about the pandemic that Americans are tougher than this.

Americans can have honest conversations about the pandemic. That Americans are tougher than this. That Americans can have honest conversations about race.

And in my 30 years of doing this work, that has always been the truth. People want to have discussions. They want to have honest discussions.

And the only way we're getting to the kind of just, multiracial Democratic society that we all want, is through that path.

KEILAR: The president, as you know, Glenn, also shared that he thought there was less systemic racism in the U.S. compared to other places. I want to listen to that part.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOODWARD (voice-over): Do you think there's systematic or institutional racism in this country?

TRUMP (voice-over): Well, I think there is everywhere. I think probably less here than most places. Or less here than many places.

WOODWARD: OK, but is it here in a way that it has an impact on people's lives?

TRUMP: I think it is and it's unfortunate. But I think it is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[14:50:03]

KEILAR: On one hand, he seems to contradict himself a little bit there, acknowledging it exits. But it seems to me he's minimizing it, grossly underestimating the intensity and impact of it?

HARRIS: No question. The president has been repeatedly trying to attack our ability to have honest, open discussions about race in America.

And there's no question that, at the core, that COVID, the pandemic, has laid bare the realities how racial inequity is playing in our economies for black, brown and indigenous communities.

The reality of the murder of George Floyd made it completely clear how systemic racism plays in our policing system.

And the reality of the economic collapse we're currently in is playing out in disproportionate ways again for communities of color.

We're in a moment where you can't deny it's up front center in our face about inequality based on race in United States.

And simultaneously, the president continues to push for shutting down actually having those conversations. And if we're being honest, actually seemingly to promote violence over the need for discussion.

And, you know, at the core for us, in our work on racial justice, we're really clear, the only path forward for us as a country to adjust multi-racial Democratic society is us finding better ways to have these discussions, and the ability to name it, to be honest how we got here, our history, and its current manifestations in our lives.

KEILAR: When you talk to someone who maybe doesn't understand what white privilege is or what privilege is, how do you get through to them to show them that trickle-down effect over years and over generations to explain it?

HARRIS: Yes. I think it's about acknowledging the way in which our systems were constructed, that create advantage based on race in America.

And, again, I think the piece that is, in doing the work, it becomes really clear is that the majority of Americans actually see that and understand that.

And I think the right question is, is it not what is it? But what do we do with the moment we're in?

And that is what I think is so exciting about what we have seen over the course of the summer, this movement towards racial justice, this movement towards having more honest discussions that would allow us to talk about how we take our history, acknowledge it, think about repair, and move forward to the kind of country that we all know we deserve.

KEILAR: Glenn, thank you so much. Glenn Harris. It's great to see you.

HARRIS: Thank you so much.

KEILAR: Minutes from now, President Trump will be holding a news conference. You are looking at live pictures there coming to us from the White House briefing room.

And of course, this is all happening -- it's unscheduled. We just found out about it. It's happening in the wake of those damning recordings to show that he lied repeatedly to the American people about how deadly the coronavirus was. We're going to bring that to you live.

First, this week's "IMPACT YOUR WORLD." Learn how you can help nonprofits like the AWARE Wildlife Center save injured animals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT LANGE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AWARE WILDLIFE CENTER: AWARE is a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation center, like a hospital for injured and orphaned native wildlife.

We are responsible for feeding them, medicating them. They might need swim time or other physical therapy to get their strength back. We just try to get them ready for release back into the wild.

We had 1,300 patients in the last year. The most patients that have to come in for care are coming in from human impact.

And the number-one reason is being hit by a car. People throw food waste out the window and it brings small animals to the side of the road. And then larger animals come and they get hit.

MARJAN GHADRDAN, DIRECTOR OF ANIMAL CARE, AWARE WILDLIFE CENTER: Cats, as much as we love them, they are hurting the wildlife. They're responsible for five billion deaths every year.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Hi.

LANGE: When we put out rat poison to deal with mice and rats, that gets into the food chain and hurts fox and owls. We do occasionally go out and rescues ourselves. We usually give the public instructions on how to safely bring animals in to us.

NEAL MATTHEWS, GOOD SAMARITAN: The goose showed up in the backyard and the foot ensnarled in fishing line and it was having trouble walking.

They loaned us an air-propelled net to get the goose. We picked it up and they operated on it. We brought it home the same day and released it back.

It was special because we knew, because of us, this goose was going to live.

[14:54:58]

We can't save them all but I think it's important that we help those that we can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Here we go. Hi, there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me on this Thursday.

[15:00:03]

We'll get you a quick live picture. A sneak peek into the White House briefing room. Waiting to hear from the president of the United States. He is expected to hold a news conference there at the White House any moment now.