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Source Says, CDC Reports Altered To Line Up With Trump's Messaging; Nearly 100 Wildfires Burning Across West Coast; Director Rob Reiner & Actor Cary Elwes Discuss "The Princess Bride" Cast Teaming Up With Wisconsin Democratic Party To Help Joe Biden Carry The State; Key Model Predicts 415,000 COVID Deaths By Jan. 1; CDC: Virus' Death Rate Less Than One Percent For Everyone But Those Over 70. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 12, 2020 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:00]

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for joining us.

We begin with yet another case of playing politics with people's lives during a pandemic. A federal health official tells CNN some of the president's appointees have been pushing to get language changed in the CDC's weekly report, so as to not undermine what the president has been saying about the coronavirus.

This report, the morbidity and mortality weekly report, it's often called, quote, the voice of the CDC, this MMWR, has more than 190,000 subscribers, primarily those on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic, doctors, medical staff, researchers.

A source says that chief Health and Human Services spokesman, Michael Caputo, and his team have been demanding to see these reports before they're released to ensure they don't interfere with the president's messaging.

Now, Caputo is a former Trump campaign official. These allegations come just days after the release of damning tapes in which the president admits he has knowingly downplayed the severity of this virus and misled Americans about the risks.

And on top of all of this, tonight, President Trump will head to Nevada to hold another big rally, his 17th since February 7th, when he described the coronavirus as deadly stuff and worse than the flu in private discussions with journalist Bob Woodward.

Let me turn to CNN's John Harwood at the White House. John, do we know exactly how these CDC reports were changed?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We don't know exactly the editing, Ana, but we know that it flows in the direction that you alluded to and that President Trump spelled out to Bob Woodward in those audio tapes we've heard, that is to try to minimize the severity of the outbreak, to avoid unduly alarming in the president's view the American people, or in the view of public health officials, giving them a realistic picture of the situation.

Michael Caputo has a science adviser, Dr. Paul Alexander, he's an Oxford trained epidemiologist, who has been interjecting himself into the process of those weekly reports.

Now, Michael Caputo has justified this by saying, Alexander is a scientist himself, scientific disagreement is part of the process. Let me read an official statement he gave to CNN, which is, our intention is to make sure that science and data drives policy through this pandemic ulterior deep state motives in the bowels of the CDC, not those ulterior deep state motives.

Now, Michael Caputo there makes a nod to science and data, but, really, he is expressing with that deep state remark the same sentiment, the same conspiracy theory the president has articulated about members of his own administration suggesting that they want to magnify the impact of the pandemic, prevent the country from reopening, even delay a vaccine to hurt his reelection chances, Ana. And that's one of the things that poses the risk of really undermining confidence in the U.S. government.

CABRERA: In the meantime, he carries on as if this virus were improving and we know it only is expected to get worse, not better as we head into the fall. The president holding another rally tonight in Minden, Nevada, despite several health warnings in that area. And those warnings are not just about the virus, right?

HARWOOD: They're not. The wildfires are raging across the west coast that's damaging air quality. The Trump campaign is not saying whether or not they're going to limit attendance at this rally. We've seen from previous rallies that President Trump supporters gather, most of them without masks, most of them not socially distanced. Again, that's part of the president's effort to communicate a message of normalcy to the American people that we're behind this pandemic.

Now, Nevada is a state he's trying to win back from Democrats. Hillary Clinton carried it narrowly in 2016. He will then make a quick stop to California, McClellan Park in Sacramento County to get briefed on the wildfires. And then on Monday will go to Arizona, another swing state that he won in 2016, that he desperately needs to defend against Joe Biden. Joe Biden has got a lead there, Ana.

CABRERA: And we know Nevada right now, the latest polling shows that race a virtual dead heat. Thank you, John Harwood, from the White House. We'll check back.

Now, as we learn about the political interference at the CDC and we await the start of yet another Trump rally, I want to remind everyone what the president has known since at least February.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: It goes through air, Bob. That's always tougher than the touch. The touch, you don't have to touch things, right? But the air, you just breathe the air, and that's how it's passed. And so that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one. It's also more deadly than your -- you know, even your strenuous flu.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Joining us now, former White House Communications Director and Founder of SkyBridge Capital, Anthony Scaramucci. Anthony, good to have you here.

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Thanks, Ana. Nice to be here.

CABRERA: We have now heard from the president himself that he has intentionally been concealing the true threat of this virus and misleading the public. What is your reaction to this new CNN reporting that appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have been altering CDC documents so they don't contradict the president?

[15:05:07]

SCARAMUCCI: Well, you know, I'm concerned about that. It is predictable because he thinned out the ranks of people that have ethics and are ranked criminals, and so that is predictable, what's going on. But there's supposed to be layers of checks and balances in the system, and so one then has to ask what is the Justice Department doing under William Barr in terms of oversight or who are the inspectors general in those that can look at this sort of nefarious behavior and call it out.

Now, we know the Department of Justice has had an associate there resign over the pressure on Russian interference. Now, you've got the situation in the HUD. It's just pancake layer upon pancake layer of different things. We've heard from the president's family --

CABRERA: Hold just a second, Anthony, because we are talking about HHS. So I don't want get our viewers confused. It's HHS that's applying pressure to the CDC. But here is what I don't understand. You said it's predictable.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, I'm sorry, I'm just talking about the whole soup of everything.

CABRERA: No, and I get where you're going.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, but let's talk about HHS then.

CABRERA: But when you talk about this being predictable, what I don't understand is that, you know, his public messaging at the beginning of the pandemic didn't make the reality any less lethal or devastating. We fast forward six months and it's horrific and people are now living it.

So what political advantage could the president and his supporters, his appointees at HHS possibly see in not giving the best and most up to date information to Americans to help them save themselves and each other?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, go to his rally in Michigan where CNN reporters are interviewing people that think it's a hoax. And so if you can cover up the information and color it more beneficially, you've got a very large group of people that have bought into the president's big lies about the pandemic. And so they're just trying to further that by backing up data that's altered.

So, remember, there's one strategy on the Venn diagram for the president right now. That's to convince his base to reelect him. The moderates and independents have shed the president. Obviously, the Democrats have shed the president. More Republicans have shed the president than the president is willing to admit. But he has a base and he's bet is to try to increase the voter participation of that base in those swing states. So altering the data would be consistent with that strategy, Ana.

CABRERA: So, we have the president, again, on tape saying what he actually knows when he was saying something totally different publicly. Now, the president was asked why he even agreed to talk to Bob Woodward and I want to play his answer for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I did it out of curiosity because I do have respect and I want to see I wonder whether or not somebody like that can write good. I don't think he can, but let's see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Let's see what happens, he says. The president has survived scandals that would be career-ending for someone else, maybe anyone else. What do you think happens now? Does this move the needle at all?

SCARAMUCCI: So, it doesn't look like it's moving the needle. But remember, I came from a family of construction workers and my dad had a saying about rocks. You can hit it 50 times and it doesn't look like it's going to burst, but on the 51st time you hit it, and it shatters. And it may not be that last hit but its accumulation of hits.

And I think you've got more information coming out next week and the week after. And as I've said, it's starting to happen, you're going to have people resigning from the administration. It's sort of their last opportunity to explain to the American people how serious this is and how bereft the president is.

And so it may not look like it's working but I do think it is working. I think it's going to move the needle for 3 percent to 5 percent of the people that will reject the president at the polls.

And I will point out that voter registration is way up for Democrats, and that's another good sign that Joe Biden is going to be the next president.

CABRERA: You keep saying more information is going to drop. What kind of information?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, again, I don't want to steal the thunder of people, but there will be people resigning from the administration and there will be former administration officials that are going to come out and explain the danger of the president. There's already been a slurry of them.

CABRERA: Have they told you this firsthand?

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, absolutely. I know that firsthand and I'm in close contact with several of them. And so as it unfolds, invite me back on and we can discuss what they're doing and why they're doing it.

CABRERA: Okay.

SCARAMUCCI: But here is the thing, Ana. The news cycle is so quick that they're trying to wait until mid-October to have maximum impact.

CABRERA: Okay. So that's not too far off. That's about a month away. You just said you think the president ultimately is going to lose in November. And if you look strictly at national polling, you could be right. The latest Monmouth poll has Biden up by seven points right now. He has been consistently up for months.

But Democrats know all too well, you can win the popular vote and still lose the Electoral College.

[15:10:00]

And so take a look at some of the new data we have from the battleground states of Nevada and New Hampshire. They have Biden and Trump essentially in a statistical dead heat when you account for the margin of error. He's slightly ahead in Wisconsin, Biden is. In Florida, one of the states hit hardest by the coronavirus, Trump and Biden are tied right now. A majority there actually say they trust Trump over Biden to handle the economy and that's with a current 11 percent unemployment rate in that state.

Anthony, you're a numbers guy, of course. If Trump is still able to win one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic, if he's tight in these other battleground states as well, how do you work out that he actually loses this election?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, again, I think it's a very different election than 2016. Remember, he only won by about 100,000 or so votes in a few swing states. And so he has lost support. He's had Republicans disaffect from him. He's done nothing to expand the tent of his base.

And I think, as you think, the polls are a barometer of today. As we get closer to the end, that proverbial question, am I better off than I was four years ago, is going to be answered by the electorate with a resounding no.

And so the vice president is less polarizing than Secretary Clinton. Moreover, the vice president is more likable. I like Secretary Clinton, but at least that's how the public perceived it.

And the last point, I think this is the most important point, there are way less undecided voters and there's a lack of third-party entrance this time versus last time, Ana, to strip off a Democratic vote. So that combination of things is going to propel Joe Biden into the presidency.

CABRERA: There's a lot of anticipation for the upcoming presidential debate, now less than or a little over a few weeks away, I should say. And President Trump is baselessly claiming now that Joe Biden uses performance enhancing drugs. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think there's probably possibly drugs involved. That's what I hear. I mean, there's possibly drugs. I don't know how you can go from being so bad where you can't even get out a sentence. I mean, you saw some of those debates with the large number of people on the stage. He was -- I mean, I used to say how is it possible that he can even go forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Look, he did the same thing to Hillary Clinton, even suggesting she should take a drug test before their debate. Why does his mind go there?

SCARAMUCCI: I mean, listen, there's a lot of projection in the president's personality when he's calling people unstable nut jobs, he knows he really means that about himself. You have to ask the president, because, you know, I don't know anything for certain, but that seems like an awful lot of projection for him.

And so, obviously, the vice president and the secretary did not take drugs, but, you know, he likes doing that, he likes putting out all these lies and these factual misstatements. And remember, there's a lot of people in his base that feel disaffected by society and they feel that there's been some unfairness to them as a result of the society. And that creates the opening, Ana, for conspiracy theories.

And so he likes fueling those flames. It's a bunch of nonsense. We should really just focus on the facts.

CABRERA: Real quick, because the president is good at messaging in certain ways. He really won with that slogan Make America Great Again. This time around, it's Keep America Great, he's been saying. But if you're Joe Biden, given your experience with communications, what is your winning slogan for 2020?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I would say three things. A restoration of normalcy, the president represents lawlessness and disorder, the vice president actually can restore law and order. That's the great irony there. He has to hammer that, that he's not for defunding the police. He has to hammer that.

And then the third thing and I think the most important thing is to restore the alliances of the post-World War II order which will strengthen America again. Donald Trump has made America weaker, sicker and poorer and Joe Biden can reverse all those things and he has to hammer those three simple messages and he'll win resoundingly.

CABRERA: Anthony Scaramucci, good to have you here and we will continue our conversation another day. Thank you.

We have this just in to CNN, Vice President Mike Pence will no longer attend a fundraiser hosted by QAnon supporters. The campaign attributed this change of plans to a simple schedule adjustment, not the whole (ph) support of baseless conspiracy theories. But the vice president had been criticized for the upcoming event. Pence is now expected to hold rallies in Montana and Wisconsin instead.

Meantime, a key coronavirus model has just updated its forecast and it's not good, now projecting the U.S. death toll will reach 415,000 by January 1st, an increase from what it predicted just last week. Why this number keeps increasing, even as our cases trend downward, and what we can do to avoid this dire projection. That's just ahead.

Plus, we'll take you live out west where nearly the entire west coast is under an air quality alert as fires continue to burn out of control.

[15:15:00]

And at a time when the world is so uncertain, how about reliving a tale of true love defeating hate? The cast of the beloved film, The Princess Bride, reunites ahead of a historic election. Director Rob Reiner and Cary Elwes are here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: President Trump will head to California on Monday, one of the states grappling with these devastating wildfires right now. Up and down the west coast, crews are trying to contain 100 separate fires.

This fire, you see here, is burning northeast of Fresno. Statewide, some of the wildfires are the largest and most destructive in California's recorded history. And it is not just acreage and property that is lost. At least 27 people that we know of have died in the fires in California, as well as Oregon, and there are fires burning in Washington and elsewhere.

CNN's Paul Vercammen joins us from Monrovia, California, not far from Los Angeles. Paul, what is happening there right now?

[15:20:01]

It's obviously super smoky. The air quality is horrific. What are you seeing?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, exactly as you described it, smoky air quality, neighbors here are in pins and needles. This is a neighborhood under an evacuation warning from the Bobcat fire. We can tell you that the smoke, not only is it unhealthy up and down the west coast, it's impeding the fire fight. What they have to do is wait for it to clear on many instances (ph) to drop water.

So behind me, there is active flames, you just can't see it. So what do they have to do? In some instances, they go ahead and light backfires. We've got this video of a crew from the National Forest Service fighting fire with fire, using that mixture of diesel and gasoline to cut off the path of the fire.

And what the fire chief here is telling me in this forest, the system is just taxed. They don't have enough firefighters. Usually, they would have somewhere around 1,500 firefighters in a place like this, 20,000 acres. Now, they only have 500. So they've taken the extraordinary step of closing down all of the national forests in California to help with this dramatic firefight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FIRE CHIEF ROBERT GARCIA, ANGELEST NATIONAL FOREST: We saw the unprecedented fire growth up on the creek fire that rapidly grew and impacted our ability to evacuate and move people out of the way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERCAMMEN: And from what we understand, there are some 29,000 firefighters battling blazes in the west, in California, in Oregon, in Washington and other states. And it's unfathomable to think that that's just not enough as these fires continue to haunt the west coast. Back to you, Ana.

CABRERA: Truly horrific. Paul Vercammen, thank you for that reporting. Please stay safe.

Breaking news right now of a different sort, Mother Nature bearing down another tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, this time it's Tropical Storm Sally, the 18th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Sally is expected to strengthen steadily throughout the weekend and is forecast to become a hurricane by Monday night, prior to making landfall around the Louisiana/Mississippi border. We're tracking that and we'll bring you new updates here in the CNN Newsroom.

If politics these days has you feeling like you're trapped in the fire swamp, fear not. Some special guests are here to guide you out. We have legendary director Rob Reiner and Cary Elwes, the star of The Princess Bride, joining us live with the special cast reunion happening just of this year's election. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:25:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUTTERCUP: I'll never succeed. We might as well die here.

WESTLEY: No, no. We have already succeeded. I mean, what are the three terrors of the fire swamp? One, the flame spurt, no problem. There's a popping sound preceding each, we can avoid that. Two, the lightning sand, which you were clever enough to discover what that looks like, so in the future we can avoid that too.

BUTTERCUP: Westley, what about the ROUSs?

WESTLEY: Rodents of unusual size? I don't think they exist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Oh, I know you're just talking along with me there. Fire spurts, lightning sand, rodents of unusual size. Somehow navigating the fire swamp in The Princess Bride seems only slightly more terrifying than navigating politics these days.

And so the cast of that beloved 1987 film is reuniting tomorrow for a virtual table read of the script and their goal is to raise money for Wisconsin's Democratic Party in an effort to help Joe Biden carry the swing state on Election Day.

And joining us now is legendary director, Rob Reiner and Princess Bride Star, Cary Elwes, who, of course, played that swashbuckling hero, Westley, in the movie. It is so great to have both of you with us. Thank you so much.

And I just have to say, as inconceivable as it may sound, this is one of my favorite movies, watched it over and over and over again growing up to the point where I used to tease my younger brother and call him farm boy. At my wedding, he made some joke passing off that title to my husband, which was 15 years ago. So, thank you, again, it's an honor to have you with us.

ROBERT REINER, DIRECTOR, THE PRINCESS BRIDE: Thank you.

CARY ELWES, ACTOR, THE PRINCESS BRIDE: It's great to be here.

REINER: It's great to be here and happy anniversary.

CABRERA: Well, thank you so much. I just celebrate it this week.

I have to ask, Cary, why now and why Wisconsin to bring this movie back to life?

ELWES: Well, Wisconsin, as you know, is an important battleground state and we need to win Wisconsin in order to remove this president from office. So we decided to put all of our focus and effort on trying to help Wisconsin turn blue in November.

CABRERA: And why do you feel like this is going to help that cause?

ELWES: Well, we're certainly going to raise a lot of money, but we also want to raise awareness to what Wisconsin is going through. Even before the pandemic, the state led the nation in foreign bankruptcies.

[15:30:00]

One in seven people in Wisconsin now have lost their jobs, and along with it their health insurance. Suicide rates are up by 40 percent.

There's nothing this administration has done to help the majority of people of that state.

And so we want to make that clear to people so that when they go out and vote, they understand that a vote for Biden will get rid of all of this chaos and confusion and corruption. And bring jobs back to the state.

CABRERA: You talk about chaos.

And, Rob, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said this: "The 2020 election is just like 'The Princess Bride,'" he says. "Giants -- you have giants, monsters, chases, escapes and miracles."

Does it feel that way to you sometimes?

REINER: It feels worse. I mean, you said at the beginning that the political landscape is not as scary or as difficult to navigate as the fire swamp. I would suggest that it is.

We're in a fight, as Joe Biden says, for the soul of the nation and also for the life or death of democracy. This is -- the stakes are enormous.

And when people talk about, you know, this is the election of your life, this is t an election of the -- in the history of the country there has never been as big an election, except maybe during the Civil War. We've got a lot at stake.

And I was listening to Anthony Scaramucci earlier when he was talking about the fact that he felt that Biden would win. And I do believe that Biden will win. And we're working very hard for Biden to win.

But you can't look at the same metrics that you used to look at back in 2016 and apply that here.

Because what's happening now, even though Trump won by less than 80,000 votes in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, he has the levers of government now. And he didn't have that then.

And the way in which they're using disinformation is on steroids now compared to where we were then.

So we have to mobilize in droves. We have to get out the vote in droves because he's not growing his base, he's not making, you know, any outreach to anybody else.

We have to get our people out. Because if we don't, very simply put, we will see the end of 244-year experiment in self-rule.

So there's an enormous amount at stake. And Wisconsin is right smack dap in the center of this.

CABRERA: Are either of you directly connected to Wisconsin?

ELWES: So I actually have a friend of mine from --

(CROSSTALK)

REINER: No.

ELWES: Go ahead, Rob.

REINER: No, no. I mean, I was just saying not me. But I'm hearing Cary saying he does have a friend there.

ELWES: Yes, I have a friend, named Sara Huff (ph) and she is connected to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and we really came up with this idea together.

Because both Rob and I watch the news a lot. Obviously, we watch your show. And we're extremely aware of how important Wisconsin is.

And I called her and said, what can we do.

(CROSSTALK)

ELWES: She said maybe we can get the old band back together and that's what we're doing. So people can go to --

(CROSSTALK)

ELWES: Yes, go ahead.

CABRERA: Sorry, I think there's a little delay, so I apologize for that awkwardness when we step on each other a little bit.

I want to bring up this line in the movie because it seems especially relevant now amid the pandemic. Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP):

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You're quick.

ELWES: You are, too.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Why are you wearing a mask? Waiting for a (INAUDIBLE) or something like that?

ELWES: Oh, no. It's just they're terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: I think everyone will be wearing them in the future. How precious is that line?

REINER: Boy, oh boy.

(LAUGHTER)

ELWES: I know. Bill Coleman (ph) way ahead of his time.

REINER: Yes, yes.

CABRERA: Cary, you invoked the movie trying to inspire people to wear masks and you tweeted: "Hello. My name is coronavirus. You don't want to wear a mask, prepare to die." What kind of reaction did you get?

ELWES: Well, you know, every time I tweet any lines from "Princess Bride," it gets a lot of awareness.

Because Rob gave me the blessing of this role that happened to be a character that wears a mask, I took it upon myself to try and use that celebrity of that character to try and encourage people to wear masks, knowing how important was.

I was starting to wear a mask in February. February when the president already knew how dangerous this pandemic was, what this virus was, and knew that it was airborne and that was an aerosol, and yet, made fun of people wearing masks. I find that just unconscionable.

We're up to 200,000 -- how many people have died now, 200,000 people?

CABRERA: Almost 200,000.

ELWES: Two Hiroshimas. That's two Hiroshimas of people, Americans dead, because this man decided to politicize a health issue. It's just unconscionable.

CABRERA: Rob, I know you have been a political activist for decades and you've been outspoken about the fact that you believe this president has completely mishandled the pandemic.

[15:34:59]

You tweeted, "This is no longer about politics. This is a matter of life and death. It's time for those who have influence and a heart to step forward and ask Donald Trump to resign."

I mean, clearly, you're very concerned right now. And you talked a little bit about what you think is on the line in this upcoming election.

I just wonder, with a little more than 40 percent of Americans approving of the job this president is doing, do you worry at all that people will be less receptive to your message when you use language as strong as that, saying if you have a heart, ask Trump to resign.

Could it result in exciting his base even more?

REINER: You know something? I don't need to do anything to excite his base. His base is there. It's impossible to move them.

What I'm trying to do is energize our base because ultimately we are in a Civil War. We're in a 21st century version of a Civil War. And the country is more divided than it's ever been.

And we have to decide whether or not we want to live in a country where we respect the rule of law, where we respect the Constitution, and we respect each other in terms of race and all of that.

So this is a battle for the soul of the nation. And we need to get our base out and we need to drive them out and make sure that we overwhelm the other side at the polls.

We're in a Civil War. There's no question about it. And just like -- the only difference is, instead of Abraham Lincoln in the White House, we've got Jefferson Davis now in the White House. And it's a very, very scary prospect if he wins again.

CABRERA: When you talk about the partisan divide, Cary, you got some attention or jousting online with Republican Senator and "Princess Bride" super fan, Ted Cruz, who expressed his dismay for the fact that this money was being used to raise money for the Democratic Party.

To which you replied, "If you would leave the fire swamp, you could join us. Dump Trumperdink."

I guess, at the end of the day, if there's one movie that could bring people together regardless of politics, is it this one?

ELWES: Well, look, Ted Cruz represents in my humble opinion the whole problem with the fire swamp of Washington, you know.

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Why do you say that?

ELWES: Because, you know, every single Republican has tied their lot to this president for some reason.

In private, they share their dismay at the man but, in public, they support everything he does, no matter how insane.

And so I was trying to express to Senator Cruz that if he actually would share his real thoughts about this man, like he did when he was running against him, and this president who made fun of his wife, you know, who made fun of his father and mocked them, you know, this man has no -- the president has no morals.

And yet, somehow all, these Republicans have decided, after realizing what this man was -- Lindsey Graham, all of them, they all knew what they were getting into, have all sided with him and are destroying this nation.

And they know it. They're well aware of it. It's a tragedy.

CABRERA: What do you tell somebody, Cary, who is hearing you right now and is saying that's spoken like a true elitist?

ELWES: No, I just think that -- look, I have a daughter, she's 8 years old. I mean, when she was in eighth grade, rather -- she's 13 now. When eighth grade, she understood that this president was a bully. In eighth grade, OK?

And she understood right away that this virus was -- could be caught through the air. So she started wearing a mask, as did everybody that we know. The only people who don't wear them are the president, his administration, and every Republican that supports him.

And we now know that the Sturgis rally has now created 40 percent of the possible surge in the pandemic. I mean, it's just irresponsible.

If you knew as a president that this was a dangerous virus, it's an aerosol that could be transmitted through the air and, yet, you hold these rallies with all these people and don't encourage them and don't make them, rather, wear masks, and take off stickers on seats at your rallies to get rid of social distancing.

It's irresponsible to the point of criminal.

CABRERA: Rob, it has affected --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: It has affected every --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: -- single person's life in this country.

And as a filmmaker, I have to ask you about movie theatres. You know, they're starting to open back up again after being closed for several months. The filmmaking industry and the film showing industry has obviously taken a huge hit.

Do you ever see it returning to what it once was?

[15:40:01]

REINER: You know, we won't know that for quite a while. Because if you listen to what Anthony Fauci says, which is in direction contradiction to what the president says, we won't have a virus before the election -- excuse me, a vaccine before the election.

We won't have a vaccine until the end of the year or the beginning of next year.

And that means that, the way he suggested, that life won't be back to normal until at earliest the middle of next year until the end of next year.

So we won't know until then whether or not we will get back to normal and whether or not people will come back to the theatres. So we'll have to find out about this.

We know that small businesses have been closed and lost forever. This has dramatically impacted the economy to the point where we don't know how we're going to come out of this.

But we do know we will at some point. And we're going to need somebody with a steady hand to guide us back to some kind of normalcy. And that's Joe Biden.

So this --

(CROSSTALK)

REINER: There couldn't be more at stake than what we have right now.

CABRERA: All right, guys, thank you so much.

ELWES: We actually need a president with a plan, Ana, an actual plan to deal with this pandemic. That would help. And I think that, thankfully, former Vice President Biden has a plan.

CABRERA: Cary Elwes and Rob Reiner, a pleasure to talk with both of you. I appreciate your perspective. Thanks for taking the time.

Good luck tomorrow night. Break a leg.

REINER: Thank you.

ELWES: Thank you so much, Ana.

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Actually, I should say have fun storming the castle.

(CROSSTALK)

ELWES: Can I tell people where to go? If they go to wisdom.org/princessbride, they can -- for any amount of donation, they can buy a ticket.

And this will be the last time this will ever happen. There's no chance of getting the cast back together.

CABRERA: OK. OK. Thank you, again, guys. Good luck.

ELWES: Thank you, Ana.

CABRERA: All next week, CNN will be highlighting people who are making a difference in this world through innovation and determination. These "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE" came up with fresh solutions to a big problem.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

NARRATOR: All next week on CNN, every step moves us forward --

(SINGING)

NARRATOR: -- bringing us together.

(MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have neighbors helping neighbors.

NARRATOR: Sparking action and innovation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My mission is to build homes that are earthquake proof and hurricane proof.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not just giving back. He's also educating in the process.

(SINGING)

NARRATOR: Follow along with those walking the walk.

(SINGING)

NARRATOR: Change makers --

(SINGING)

NARRATOR: -- leading the charge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hard to make a difference if you don't disrupt the status quo.

NARRATOR: And inspiring others.

(SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a door opening for a new life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody here is a champion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's amazing to see people's lives change.

(SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are our hero.

NARRATOR: "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE," all next week on CNN.

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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[15:47:11]

CABRERA: A prominent coronavirus model has updated its forecast again, and the numbers are startling. It is now predicting a most likely scenario of 415,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. by January. That is more than twice the number of people we have lost over the past six months.

This model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington lays out multiple possibilities. And in the worst-case scenario we could see more than 10,000 deaths a day in December alone.

CNN Medical Analyst, Celine Gounder, is joining us. She's the former New York City assistant commissioner of health.

Dr. Gounder, why does the number keep increasing? And what needs to be done right now to reach a best-case scenario? DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, Ana, the numbers keep

increasing because we still have not contained transmission of the coronavirus.

Our numbers are unacceptably high for a developed nation. If you compare us to countries like Canada or South Korea, we have twice as many deaths for the size of our population as Canada. And 100 times as many deaths as South Korea.

And it's because we haven't gotten our act together on the basics like mask wearing and social distancing.

CABRERA: The CDC says the COVID-19 death rate is under 1 percent for everyone except people over 70.

So could we potentially implement a strategic shelter-in-place strategy with low risk groups, you know, allowed to go out, the high- risk groups told to stay in?

GOUNDER: Well, there's two major problems with that. One is that people over the age of 70 don't all live together on an island separate from everybody else. We do interact with people over the age of 70 for any number of reasons.

And then, secondly, people under the age of 70, if all of them get infected or even a substantial portion of them get infected, 1 percent of that is still many thousands of people who would be dying from coronavirus.

CABRERA: As we look at our behavior, this caught my eye. A CDC study this week said that adults with COVID-19 reported they were twice as likely to say that they have dined at a restaurant.

Why? And does it apply to eating inside and outside a restaurant?

GOUNDER: Well, I think this really points to the risks of being indoors. This is really about indoor dining where you cannot wear a mask, where you are not going to be as socially distanced.

So, again, I think this points to, again, further evidence that if you wear a mask, if you are outside, if you remain six feet or more apart from other people, you can dramatically reduce your risk of getting coronavirus.

CABRERA: Dr. Celine Gounder, as always, thank you. And thanks for all you do.

[15:49:57]

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Heading back to school has been complicated for many parents in America but maybe even more challenging for many of the 400,000 young people in foster care who don't have adequate support or resources.

The 2013 "CNN Hero" Danielle Gletow, grants wishes to foster youth to make sure they don't get left behind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[15:54:59]

DANIEL GLETOW, CNN HERO: We immediately created a COVID-19 response fund and started focusing on the things that we knew our young people were going to need.

Those being laptops and other technology to keep them current with remote learning as well as basic essentials, like food and assistance with rent or utility payments.

We've seen an over 300 percent increase in needs coming from our kids and young adults.

If you have ever been in foster care and you're struggling right now, please don't be ashamed to ask for help.

We just want to make sure everyone has a sense of support at a time when the whole world feels completely out of control.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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