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CUOMO PRIME TIME

Infected Trump Back At White House, Dangerously Removes Mask Before Entering Amid Widening WH Outbreak; NYT: White House Blocks New Coronavirus Vaccine Guidelines That Would Push Authorization Past Election Day; Trump Continues To Downplay COVID-19 Despite His Condition. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 5, 2020 - 21:00   ET

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


[21:00:00]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Katie Coelho, I'm so impressed by your strength, and I appreciate you talking with us tonight.

KATIE COELHO, LOST HUSBAND TO COVID-19: Thank you. Thank you for talking about Jonathan. It's awesome. We appreciate it.

COOPER: I love talking with you about him every time. So Katie, thank you so much.

COELHO: Thank you. Thank you.

COOPER: The news continues right. Want to hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME."

Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: And that is the reality. And that is what matters. You don't matter. I don't matter. The insiders don't matter. The lawmakers don't matter. That is what and who matters, my brother.

COOPER: Yes.

CUOMO: That is who is hearing the message. That is who needs to be respected. That's what's being forgotten in all of this.

"He lies. He doesn't lie. The timeline makes sense. It doesn't make sense. He was getting tested. He's not getting tested. They're all BS," that's us. That's our frame of reference.

And then, you have people like her, and you have families like her, all over the goddamn country, and they are watching this guy, and they are shaking their head, and they are feeling insulted. They're feeling humiliated.

They get added to the, you know, just the multitudes out there who feel people don't give a damn about them. "Rip off my mask. Look how strong!" Oh, I guess her husband wasn't, right? I guess all the dead weren't, right? Or maybe they didn't have access to everything he had and abused. But that's why I love you, brother. You people - you bring people on

like that, you tell their story, and it says everything. And frankly, to me, it says everything about you too.

Anderson, I love you. Have a good night.

COOPER: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME. But more accurately, just welcome to the Land of Confusion.

Is there anything more to say? Really? Do any of you not get what's happening? I know you go to your respective partisan corners, especially at this time of night for succor, S-U-C-C-O-R, not S-U-C-K- E-R. I don't judge.

"Tell me why I'm right to hate him. Tell me why I'm right to love him." Does anybody really need to tell you anything?

There he is, hair blown majestically, reshooting the scene for his own ad. "I hold rallies, and I tell you to ignore masks, and I rip mine off, as I vanquish the virus, because I'm a leader. Fear not, COVID." What a bunch of bullshit!

Going back to the White House, if you want to know the reality, the truth, OK, the virus is the truth. The virus doesn't care about Left and Right. The virus does what's reasonable.

"You give me a chance, I'll spread. You keep away from me, you don't give me a chance, I run out of hosts. I die. I'm the truth. If you are doing the right thing, you don't see me that much. If you're doing the wrong thing, you do."

The White House is literally what we fear the most, a rash of contagion called a cluster. You want a metaphor? You've got a president, who was a drunk driver, who is pushing others to drive drunk. That's what he is. Do I want to see a drunk driver get hurt? Hell no! But I worry more about the people he hits.

And I loved seeing him do that victory lap in that limo, thank God, you know why? I knew that meant he has to be OK, not the people who were in there with him, PPE up to their nose. Now, they got to quarantine. He doesn't give a damn.

And now, I don't have to feign any extra measure of compassion, because he went out there. Whatever happens now is on him. The White House is a cluster. He returned to a cluster and took his mask off. That is COVIDiocy. He is a COVIDiot.

"Ah! You're disrespecting the President!" No, he disrespected the presidency. All that's left is the residue of outrage because that's the only emotion I have.

He does and tells you to do everything the experts say not to, even after getting the virus. See, that's the truth. There is no change. He didn't beat the virus. He is not better than anybody, who didn't beat the virus or who takes time. He's not stronger than I am.

He got every advantage. He has use of all the things he denies the rest of us. He is supposed to get tested every day with a test that you can turn around quickly and know what's going on.

Did he do them? Did he even use what's at his disposal that the rest of us are desperate for, that our kids need in our classes that he doesn't even discuss? "No" is the answer. "Why? Show us the results." His doctor, "I don't want to go backwards."

Get out of the way. Show us the results. Show us that he tested negative on Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday, because I'll tell you something. I'm no Doctor. We're about to have Tony Fauci on in the next block. He is.

[21:05:00]

You think you get sick the next day after being exposed to somebody? He would have to be so immune-compromised that he'd never get out of the hospital, God forbid. So, he was sick before, when? Why would they tell us? Why would they tell us? It's a mendacity machine.

Kayleigh "I'll never lie" McEnany, that's probably the way to let someone know, you're going to lie to them the best. "I tell you, I love you, honestly." Anybody - somebody says "Honestly" to you, you know they had an inclination to not be honest.

But just saw him tonight, highly contagious. He has to be. It is the science of it. I know he was in the hospital. I know he had 24-hour care. I know they gave him two experimental treatments. But it was no big deal.

What if that young woman's husband had access to what he had access to? What about if everybody's husband and wife and kid and son and daughter and aunt and uncle and grandparents had access to that kind of care, or just tests to let them know what was going on, and give them a chance to fight? How different would our situation be?

The virus is the truth. And this president is a walking lie, or as my brilliant writer says, "Lie-ability," L-I-E-ability. Good one, Susan!

Why is he saluting? A salute is a gesture of respect. Literally, every aspect of his pandemic experience, and response, exhibits disrespect.

I am not upset because I am surprised. I am not upset because I am judging. I am upset because so many of you contact me sick, and desperate, and scared, and I can do nothing. And this man, who can do everything, does nothing.

It is killing me that we are in this place. It is. It is killing me. I feel so bad for so many of you. Long-haulers, who are forgotten, the people who called up, the floods of people all over the country, on my radio show, on my email, on my - he says it affects nobody. What about my "Fill in the blank" loved one?

"I need the testing. If I could only get tests! My kid, my son, my daughter, they can't learn at home. They have to get back to school. If only they could get the tests, if they only they contact trace and if they go on."

They're not even contact tracing in the White House. They left their own people for dead. I know it. I've spoken to five of them. "Who?" None of your damn business! It's not the point.

They only reason they want the information out there is so they can destroy those people, and I'm done with letting them destroy people. Me? Bring it. But enough, savaging everybody, so he can remain exalted.

Even after getting COVID, he insisted on not getting the reality. "It's not that bad. Feeling pretty good. Oh, I wonder why."

Maybe it's that oxygen they kept getting you - giving you that you lied about, the experimental treatments that nobody else is going to have access to for who knows how long.

"Miracle drugs we are working on," Regeneron isn't you. It's a private company. Imagine if you had capitalized Regeneron, imagine if you had used the Emergency Defense Production Act, and said, "What do you need, Len?" the Head of the company that you saw on the show the other night, then, maybe, maybe, yes, maybe.

Remdesivir, you got to be in the hospital for that. It's not easy to get a bed.

"He cuts his treatment short." "I'm too strong." No, you are not. No, you are not. You got carried. And thank God you did, because we only have one of you.

But the fact that you ignored the testing, you have access to testing every day, you didn't even use it, makes no sense that he just got it Thursday. Find a doctor who shows you it makes sense, and that person is BS.

My kids, your kids, this stupid hybrid learning, it's not learning, it's un-learning. No tests. One case, whole school closes down. Why? No resources, can't contact trace. No sophistication had thought about it, no help.

Imagine, if we had accesses to what he had access to that he ignores that he abuses, life would be totally different. He didn't just walk into the White House one time with no mask tonight.

He had his video crew capture that stupid scene again, so he could put out propaganda, fronting a lie to his people, once again, just like "Don't worry about the masks," now he says, "Don't worry about COVID. Don't let it control your life."

[21:10:00]

Just propaganda, that's all it is. I know there's sound to it. I'm not going to play it for you. Why should I? How much bullshit do you need in your life? "Don't let COVID control your life." Nobody wants it to control their

life. They don't have any choice, because you're not setting up communities with the testing that you take for granted, a hospital suite, and 24-hour care, and experimental drugs, and all the best of everything, all the time.

And I'm not saying he shouldn't have it. I'm saying you should. Isn't that his damn job is to kill himself, "You know, he loves to work." Then do the work. "A Leader, a leader would go!" A leader would go, and do everything you're not supposed to do, and force people into places where they can get sick?

"We've never had anyone get sick." Yes, tell it to the people in the Rose Garden, the only place we can reasonably contact trace. Who the hell knows who's at his rallies? How are you going to find them? You think they're going to come forward, say "I got sick in a Trump rally?"

He takes off his mask, while he's still infected, like that's some show of strength. It's as weak as it gets. Of course, you should be afraid of COVID. It's killed more than 200,000 - what - 210,000 of us.

"Don't be afraid of COVID!" 10,000 have died in the last 13 days. "Don't be afraid of COVID!" It just took down the most powerful and protected person in the world. He had to go to the hospital. His continued recklessness makes it impossible to be sympathetic. I feel for his wife. I don't even know how she's doing. They only talk about him.

He has been covering up the reality from jump. He admitted it himself on a recording that he was covering it up.

And now the Vice President, just when you think, "Maybe they get it, maybe we can all get on the same goddamn page," the Head of the White House, the Head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force says, "I'm going to do the rallies. I'm going to go do the rallies." He's going to do the same thing that got the other guy sick? It is the definition of insanity.

The White House Press Secretary now has COVID. I wish her well. I wish her well. "Why?" Why wouldn't I? "Well she deserves it." Nobody deserves to be sick. "Ah, she asked for it," maybe so. "She lies a lot. Even her statement there seems so layered to kind of hide what's true." I know.

But one, I try very hard not to become what I oppose. And two, nobody benefits from somebody else getting sick. But she was out there maskless, exposed to multiple people with the virus. That's why she said to you, in her statement, she wasn't.

Some context, I want you to listen to something that Trump said in 2014, when doctors and reporters came back from Africa, where Ebola was raging. Listen to this carefully.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I consider that doctor extremely selfish, who came back, and then he toured New York.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

TRUMP: And then he went on crowded subways during rush hour, had dinner in Brooklyn, went to a bowling alley and bowled, and went all over the place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.

TRUMP: I think he's a very selfish person frankly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well they--

TRUMP: They were supposed to be home, self-quarantine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

TRUMP: Except they decided to go out and you know have a good time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: "Oh, well, he wasn't a, you know, he wasn't" - what? It's hypocrisy. That's all it is. He is the President now. That very selfish person he was talking about, it's you.

Now, what do I suggest we do in this moment? Listen, man, just going after what is obvious about him is a waste of our time. We have to understand that he's not getting us where we need to be. We should not be as sick as we still are. Our kids should not be as compromised.

I say, and the White House agreed to let Tony Fauci come on the show tonight. This is a man who has been quiet too much, especially over the last few days, because while we're worrying about Trump, when it seemed pretty early on, he was going to be OK, listen, I was being slow on it also.

God forbid. God forbid. I didn't - what our decency tells all of us? "I don't want to compromise a guy when he's in a bad way." But now he's not in a bad way.

And look, and if the virus takes him down, and makes him sicker again, that's on him. He is a drunk driver who tells other people to drive drunk, it's not a big deal. I do not have the sympathy for him. I don't want him to be sick, but I don't care about him. I care about everybody else who listens to him, and gets infected.

And Dr. Fauci is here. And we need to discuss what the realty is with this President. He's got to worry about long-haul. Now, the doctor is not managing his case, which is weird, by the way.

[21:15:00]

But long-haul, now, what's the concern? Vaccine, what's the real? Schools, testing, why don't we have better? Why isn't there more and better? That's what we have, OK? Dr. Fauci is here to have that discussion with all of us. So, there he is. I will tease him. Let you see his handsomeness. And we will discuss - I know Tony can't hear me, because he'd be smiling if he heard me call him "Handsome."

Let's take a break. And when we come back, we will discuss - there it is. We will discuss what matters in this country to you and me and our families. He knows what's going on, and he will be straight with us, I give you my word, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Now, what matters? Well, the vaccine matters.

[21:20:00]

Why did the White House/the Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, who we don't know what his testing situation is, he came out with no mask, to talk to the media, before he posed as an anonymous source, before contradicting Trump's Doctor, why is he telling the FDA they can't slow down the process of authorizing the vaccine, so that it doesn't make it here in time for the election? How is that OK?

Let's talk about protocols, where we are with the vaccine, schools, testing, what our future looks like. Dr. Anthony Fauci joins us now.

Welcome back to PRIME TIME.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: ONE ON ONE.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: It's good to have you, Doctor, as always.

And just to be clear, I'm not asking you about Trump's treatment, because am I right to suggest you didn't have anything to do with his treatment?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: That's correct, Chris. I did not. I'm not involved in his primary care. CUOMO: OK. Just one step forward, in terms of concern about our Commander-in-Chief, even if he is getting better, you're going to have to keep him, well not you, they will have to keep monitoring him, right? Just to make sure there's no residual, or secondary, or long- haul?

I mean even if you have a quick spell with great experimental treatment, you still got to be a little worried there, right?

FAUCI: Yes. Well Chris, rather than worrying about the long-haul, he looks fine, as you can see the way he looked, when he came out of the hospital.

The issue is that he is still early enough in the disease that it's no secret that if you look at the clinical course of people, sometimes when you are five days to eight days in, you could have a reversal. His physicians know - reversal meaning, going in the wrong direction, and get in to trouble.

It's unlikely that it will happen. But they need to be heads-up for it. He knows it. The physicians know it. So, they're going to keep an eye out on it. They're going to try and do that within the confines of the White House as opposed to in the hospital.

But yes, you're not out of it until you have gone several days out and doing well. But he certainly does look very well. I mean, you don't need me to tell you that. You saw the way he came out of the helicopter into there. He looked like he was in pretty good shape.

CUOMO: I love that he took the victory lap. I know you - I know no clinician would like it. But it made me know that he can't be that sick, so that made me feel better for him, and for the sake of being hyper-sympathetic.

Let me ask you something.

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: How big are you now on the Regeneron treatment? Because something helped this guy beat the curve.

FAUCI: Yes. It very well could have been that. I mean, the monoclonal antibodies, Chris are one of the things that we really are - really quite optimistic about. We've had experience with other diseases.

Regeneron, monoclonal antibodies was one of the two types of antibodies that was very successful with Ebola, and the very fact that it was successful in Ebola, and other very serious viral infection had us be cautiously optimistic that monoclonal antibodies, which are a very specific protein--

CUOMO: Right.

FAUCI: --that the body makes that you could produce in very large amounts and infuse it in to an individual by an IV infusion. Has the potential to really be something very, very important in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The President got that as a "Compassionate use." And whether or not it was that that got him better, I'm strongly suspicious that it was, but obviously you can't prove that until you do a number of studies to show--

CUOMO: But what else--

FAUCI: --that it actually works.

CUOMO: --could it be?

FAUCI: Well it could have been he was naturally going to turn around anyway. But when you see that kind of a--

CUOMO: 74-years-old--

FAUCI: --strong turnout, you remember, he was also--

CUOMO: --in his general fitness?

FAUCI: Yes. Yes. And you also, you remember, he was on Remdesivir. I mean, if you are asking me my opinion--

CUOMO: Yes. Yes.

FAUCI: --I think it made a difference. But whenever you have an N equals one, you can't prove it.

But I think that the monoclonal antibody made a difference. And it is in clinical trial now to try and prove definitively if it works. I hope it works as well as we think it is. But I know from experience that we had, in Africa, with Ebola, that monoclonal antibodies can really do a knockout punch to a virus.

CUOMO: Well good, I'm just saying, look, people need stuff out here. That's all I'm saying. If it was safe enough to give to him, I know "Compassionate use."

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: But he's the President. It was really "Presidential use." I just hope that it creates emergency.

Now, on the urgency side, Doctor, I don't understand, if the FDA says, everybody said "The FDA gets to do what it wants to do. The FDA won't be compromised by politics, yada, yada, yada."

Now, the White House says, "Do not slow down the authorization." These new guidelines that might make it not approved--

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: --before the election, "No good, it's got to go." What happened to the FDA gets to do what it thinks is right?

FAUCI: Well, it isn't over till it's over. The FDA has not actually said they're going to slow down.

I mean this is one of those things that the FDA has good reasons for doing what they're doing. They have career scientists who develop this kind of models of what you need to do, to assure safety and to assure efficacy. And right now, this is what they said, and we'll see what happens.

[21:25:00]

CUOMO: The vaccine, there is a politicizing that goes on with it, to be understood, it was going to happen. Nobody has expected it.

But the idea that I'm going to be able, or my kids will be able to get this vaccine, any time around the New Year is just poppycock. Even if you have some doses, it's going to be for super-vulnerable, and it's probably not a one-dose vaccine, in its current iteration from what I understand--

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: --from people around Operation Warp Speed. So, what's the reality, Doc?

FAUCI: Yes. So, let me tell it like it is, Chris, thanks for the opportunity.

So right now, you have five candidates that are in Phase 3 advanced trials, two of which went in to Phase 3, which is a large trial of thousands and thousands of people to determine if it's safe and effective. Two of those went in to Phase 3 on July 27th, the Moderna product and the product from Pfizer.

We project that by the time we get to November, December, maybe early, I don't think it's going to be earlier. But it's still possible it would be earlier, but I think, comfortably around November or December, we'll know whether or not the vaccine is safe and effective.

I actually am cautiously optimistic from what I've seen about preliminary data in Phase 1 that there's a very good chance, we'll have a safe and effective vaccine.

They have already started to produce doses way before we'll know whether the vaccine is safe and effective. So, by the time we get to the end of November, December, there should be some doses that are available for distribution.

You are absolutely right. When you have a limited number of doses, like we'll have in November, December, we'll have more in January, more in February, more in March and April, etcetera.

But early on, there'll be a prioritization that is essentially from advisory committees that say that certain types of people, for good reasons, should have priorities. One of them will be healthcare workers. Others will be those individuals that have underlying conditions that put them at a higher risk for getting a serious outcome. Sooner or later, when you get months down the pike, you likely will

have enough to get to the normal everyday healthy citizen who wants to be protected. That won't be for a few months thereafter.

Even though there will be vaccines there, by the time you get them out, logistically, and vaccinate people, it will be several months after that. But there will be vaccines available likely, for some people, limited amount, by the end of this calendar year, the beginning of 2021.

CUOMO: Right.

FAUCI: That's a fact.

CUOMO: I'm just saying, if we are trying to elate people's fears about Coronavirus, because there's going to be a vaccine, to make it easier for "Us," "Us" is a very defined term, that's all I'm saying, in terms of on the short-side.

FAUCI: Right, yes.

CUOMO: And even then, it's not one shot. It's two shots, right? Am I right about that?

FAUCI: Right. Right. Well there - most of the candidates are a prime and a boost. One of them, the Janssen product, is just a single-shot. But the vast majority of them are a prime and a boost, separated by anywhere from 21-28 days.

CUOMO: And do you have enough for the boost on that first group?

FAUCI: Yes.

CUOMO: All right, good.

FAUCI: Yes, yes, yes. Absolutely we do.

CUOMO: All right, so the next concern. The strategy, and I have not seen a redoubling of any effort to improve and increase testing capacity from the federal government, and a specific example will be schools. In reporting all around the country--

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: --to random school districts, which I do, literally on my own time, they are not hearing anything from the federal government. They are closing down schools--

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: --for one or two cases. The states are trying to give them resources. But they don't know what you guys know. When will the push come--

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: --to make it so that my kids aren't teaching themselves at home in a situation that sucks, Tony?

FAUCI: Right. Right. Yes. Well Chris, what's happened now is something that I'm not sure you are totally aware of, but that, the federal government is essentially now going to make 150 million of those new Abbott Binax.

They look like a credit card, point-of-care, about $5, about 15 minutes to get the result, much more widely available for schools, for nursing homes. Several thousand - tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands are already going out there.

But the ultimate goal will be 150 million purchase. And I think there'll be more after that. I'm going to be pushing for more. But the initial one they've already committed to is 150 million of these point-of-care credit card type tests that will be available to do the kind of surveillance that you want to do, in schools, places like that.

CUOMO: Now, I appreciate it. I was aware of it. I heard that it has been about to go out and put on hold, more than once by the White House, and I am told that Abbott had them.

[21:30:00]

It wasn't that "Well we had to scale up. We had to get there. We weren't ready." They were actually looking for a capital infusion, they say, they could have gotten there sooner, according to my sources.

So again, what's taken so long?

FAUCI: Well, we've discussed the testing situation a bunch of times, Chris.

CUOMO: Yes, it still stinks, Tony.

FAUCI: I mean there was an infusion in the beginning. It's gotten better and better.

CUOMO: That's why I'm still asking you.

FAUCI: Yes. Yes. I know. I know. But I hope that when we get those 150 million out there, and even more, you know Chris, I've been saying that we need to flood the system with testing.

They have a couple of kinds of testing. There's the testing you do when you want to do identification, isolation, contact tracing, to know that a specific person is or is not infected.

Then there's another very important kind of testing, surveillance testing, getting out there, getting it to the community, and finding out what the level of infection is, in the community, and doing it on a broad scale, whether you do it in schools--

CUOMO: Yes.

FAUCI: --whether you do it in colleges, whether you do it in factories. That's what we need to do.

CUOMO: I'm with you. It's just not happening. And I also think that now--

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: --I'm studying these other countries, and I know you know this stuff, Tony. I mean, I respect your expertise, without qualification. And I know you have a great team.

And I know you are seeing these same studies, and hearing these other people, from around the world, who say, the amount of cycles they do they go too deep. They are picking up all this live virus, but also dead virus and DNA detritus, and they're getting a positive.

If they reduce the cycles, meaning they didn't look as deeply, they'd get less positives, and that's how they got people back in school, and they do better with schools than we have done and it's very frustrating. Because even the 150 million, who knows how long it takes to get them out there? And it seems like--

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: --it could be better if the federal government wanted it to be better, and I don't understand what's going on.

FAUCI: Right. I'm not sure I can explain because you said a couple of different things there, one about the different cycles to show that someone might not be infected, even though they have a cycle that looks like it's positive, it really isn't positive, because there's not a lot of live virus there.

CUOMO: Right.

FAUCI: That's just a different story from what we're talking about right now, Chris.

When you are talking about is why don't we have the level of testing that we have always wanted? And the multiple times that I've been on, I've said, we are doing better and better, which is what we are.

But we are not exactly, where it is you think we should be and where, quite frankly, I think we should be. But it is getting better and better, as much as that sounds like another excuse. The fact is we're better off now than we were a couple of months ago. That's for sure.

CUOMO: Let's talk horizon. I know your time is short. What does Thanksgiving look like?

FAUCI: Yes, it depends on where you are, Chris. I mean I've always said I have an issue here because I'll level a baseline number of cases per day as higher than I want to see it. It's about - it's stuck at 40,000.

There are regions of the country that are looking good. They've done fine. But what we're starting to see now, and we can't run away from it, we're starting to see the Midwest and the Northwest, an uptick in test positivity, which tends to be a predictor that you're going to have surges.

When you go into the fall and the winter, the weather is colder. You tend to be indoors. When you are indoors, it becomes more problematic to be able to block the transmission of infection.

So, what I'm saying is that you ask me what do I see for Thanksgiving? It depends. You divide the country in to multiple ways, depending upon the amount of infection.

There's dark green zones and green zones, which are really good. In other words, the level of infection is so low you are probably with some mild precautions do well.

Then there's areas of the country that very well might be hot. They may be red zones, where there's enough infection around that you really better be careful when you congregate people, particularly indoors.

So, I say that some people in this country are going to be able to have a relatively normal type of a Thanksgiving.

But in other areas of the country, it's going to be you better may hold off, and maybe just have immediate family, make sure you do it in a way that people wear masks where they have, and you don't have large crowds of people.

I'd like to say that everything is going to be great, by Thanksgiving. But honestly, Chris, I'm not so sure it is. We've got to get that baseline of infection down. We're stuck at 40,000. We got to go below 10,000, way below 10,000, throughout the country. And we got to do it uniformly.

I mean I feel like I preach this all the time that we'll get there, if we do uniform wearing of masks, keeping distance, avoiding crowds, indoor-outdoors, much more than indoors, and washing your hands. I have been with you on this show multiple times.

CUOMO: Not enough.

FAUCI: And I say that over and over again. I know. And if as a country, we actually did it--

CUOMO: Right.

FAUCI: --we wouldn't be in the position we're in right now, for sure.

[21:35:00]

CUOMO: Well, let me tell you, when you have the President of the United States taking his mask off, I know you're not here to talk about it, I know you're not a politician, but - you're too honest.

But when he comes and he takes his mask off, as he's entering a cluster facility, the White House, and says, "Yes, don't let COVID control your life. It's all pretty good. I feel better than I did 20 years ago," we wonder why we're stuck at 40,000 cases. How could we not be? We're lucky it's not 50,000.

But Dr. Fauci, I appreciate your candor. I appreciate you coming on to set people straight. We are literally desperate for information that we can believe. Thank you very much. You are always welcome.

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: I'll keep asking.

FAUCI: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, Tony Fauci, it's good to be with you. We need you.

FAUCI: Thank you, Chris. Stay healthy. Thank you for having me.

CUOMO: Always. We'll be right back.

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CUOMO: Lies - lives are in danger because the White House is covering up the risk posed by the President. He is still contagious at a minimum. I hope he is well. But it's a cover up, nonetheless and it began the moment Hope Hicks tested positive.

This isn't just the close to two dozen positives that we know about. It can't be even close to that. All - what 90 full-time employees at the White House residence were at risk.

Not just the big names. How about the people who hold their chairs? How about the people who clean the bathroom? How about the people who're giving their drinks, who go home to their families?

The eight or nine Secret Service agents who flew on his trips to five states before you get to those locked and the sealed limo with him the other day, or the marines who fly in his helicopter?

The thousands that packed his rallies, while he was contagious, all the VIPs, who stood on tarmacs to greet him? The Gold Star families he packed into an event in the East Room? All those people, before you talk about him holding press conferences, a member of the White House Press Corps tested positive. Has anybody contacted him to be contact traced? Is anybody reaching out to the people who've been sick or in the hospital? How about the debate, where he skipped the planned test, where people then wound up being sick afterwards.

I am not blaming him, but it can't help, right?

Let's talk the messaging, the power of the politics here. We got Dr. Sanjay Gupta for the medicine, Anthony Scaramucci, and David Gregory, for what works here and what doesn't and why.

So Doctor, how dangerous is it--

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You bet.

CUOMO: --to have the most powerful man, come out and say to the broadest audience, "Look at me, told you!"

GUPTA: Well, I think there's two things that really struck me. One is just sort of the clear sort of problem that he might have with people at the White House.

He is walking around inside, without a mask on. He's got the - he's got the disease. He's got COVID-19. We know that. So, he's got a contagious, potentially deadly disease, and he is not doing what he should be doing, basic public health thing to protect those around him.

So, I watched that video over and over again, walks inside the White - he walks up to the balcony, then takes off his mask, does the photos, and then walks inside. I don't think put his mask back on.

I mean that's just, I think everybody sort of knows that by now that that's the way that you could spread the virus. Other people are wearing masks. They are protecting him from them primarily, but he, who has the disease, is not protecting them.

But the other thing, Chris, I think, maybe to your question is that he is - he writes this tweet, says, "You don't have to fear COVID," it really struck me, because this idea that this sort of - this sort of idea that you're propagating a herd immunity strategy, "You don't have to fear it. Go ahead and get it. I got it. I'm fine," is a really dangerous strategy.

And we've been talking about this for so many months. Everybody agrees it's dangerous.

Doctor Atlas talks about it. But when he's interviewed about it, he says "No, no, I wouldn't advocate that," even though he advocates it in other ways, in his writings and things like that.

It could possibly lead to the death of close to 2 million people, overwhelm hospitals. We have to fear COVID. It is a contagious deadly disease. We will get

through it. But we have to treat it with the fear that it deserves, so that we don't inadvertently get too many people infected.

So, it was reckless, but almost absurd, at the end, Chris, when he just walks in without his mask on. He has this disease, and he could spread it to others.

CUOMO: David, fear is a choice. Danger is real. Now, in politics, perception is often reality. He went in to the hospital. He came out in no time. Yes, yes, yes, you can explain it by he got a lot of - but whatever. He still came out, takes his mask off, because he's tougher than COVID.

What do you do with the power of that messaging, if you are running against this President? Is he not Superman?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, AUTHOR, "HOW'S YOUR FAITH?": Well, I mean, the point is, that the President is trying to convey strength, which, I don't think anybody but his most ardent supporters is going to think is real.

When the absurdity of spending time, saying, "Well Joe Biden is in the basement, therefore, he is weak," now the President has been hospitalized with COVID, the President who wants to make this about the strength of the economy, this campaign, this election that's a month away, it's now all about COVID, because now he has COVID, after not taking it seriously enough.

And he's undercut his message about reopening the economy or trying to get schools to reopen because people don't know what to believe.

I mean, Sanjay is right about the absurdity. He knows the medicine. How about this fact?

[21:45:00]

How about the fact that you are talking to the top infectious disease specialist in America, and certainly one in the world, and he has to tiptoe around the fact of the absurdity of this day because he wants to keep his job, because he wants to be able to still fight this virus and not be completely marginalized by a president who won't brook anything other than total loyalty?

That's what's been cultivated over the past four years. And the message that the President sends is not one of strength. He is losing this opportunity to say "Look, I'm doing OK. I'm the President."

It's important to convey that the President of the United States is doing OK, and that America is secure. That's fine. But we still have to cultivate a sense of community, if we're going to bring the deaths and the number of cases to an acceptable level, which helps everybody, and by the way, would be good politics.

But in his mind, it's only what can he do in a limited amount of time. The White House is in disarray. And the President is desperate, and he is listening to nobody but himself, and directing everyone else, despite whatever they say to him.

CUOMO: The White House is a case cluster. That should be case closed. But it isn't. Why? Glad you asked! We'll take a break. When we come back, Anthony Scaramucci has unique insight into how people in Trump's fold are responding to this, and what it tells us, next.

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CUOMO: Anthony Scaramucci is with us tonight, so that you can have a little insight into the conversations that I would bet, already on breakfast that I will now bet lunch, he and I have both had today, me by the dozen, him by the dozens.

And it goes like this. "I told you Anthony. This guy, he is the real deal. He went in there. He knocked COVID on its ass. He comes out. He is the man. This was the bounce we were looking for. Masks, COVID, it's all weak. It all bows to him. He can get us through it."

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, FOUNDER, SKYBRIDGE CAPITAL: Well, you left out, what they're going to say, "I alone can fix it because I alone have now had this great personal experience with COVID."

CUOMO: But you've been hearing it right?

SCARAMUCCI: Look, I'm not--

CUOMO: People saying "Look, how he did this!"

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, of course. No look--

CUOMO: It's all hype.

SCARAMUCCI: Of course. That's going to be their whole bumper sticker. That's going to be their whole manipulation.

But yes, there's a couple of things going on that has to worry them though. The morale inside the White House, all-time low, Secret Service is super upset. You've got staff inside the White House that I know personally that are very sick, and that are very upset about it.

You've got young children involved. The White House Press Secretary has a young child. She's now got COVID, as a result of listening to this nonsense from the President.

So, the thing that worries me the most, Chris, and your soliloquy, in the beginning, was great, but what about the people that are helping him? I mean, a demagogue can only be powerful if they have willing accomplices.

And so, what does it say for guys like Mitch McConnell, who won't come on your show, Kevin McCarthy, won't come on your show, what are you guys doing?

You swore an oath to the Constitution of the United States, and to protect the American citizens. And you've got, you know, I don't know, the American-Mussolini standing on the balcony. We've never had a president stand on that balcony and do what he just did.

So, we got to beat him, Chris though. I mean we are definitely going to beat him because he has done a great job.

It's an unbelievable fact about President Trump he is a uniter, Chris. He just happens to be uniting all of us against him. I mean I'm teamed up with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at this point in my life. And I just want you to think of that ideological bandwidth.

And so, we're going to knock him right out of the White House on November 3rd. We're chipping away in local markets. We're doing local radio, local television. We're doing Zoom calls into local markets. Some of us will be visiting those areas.

He's going to lose, OK? And that's why he is acting the way he's acting. It's a combination of maybe those steroids, and it's a combination of the full-on panic that he knows this thing is closing out.

CUOMO: Do you think that maybe your emotions have kind of overtaken your intellect in terms of this degree of confidence you have that you are going to beat somebody who has weathered every kind of mistake that has brought down any other politician ever, and not only does it not take him down, but he grows?

This guy just got sick with a pandemic, told people don't worry about it, came out of the hospital, took his mask off, contagious, in a place that's completely infected, and they are cheering him all over the country.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I would say to you, Chris, that my emotions got the best of me when I was working for him. And so you know, when your pride and ego are involved, your emotions are going up, and your intelligence going down.

But that's not the case right now. I'm actually fairly detached from it and fairly unemotional about it. I am operating the Steve Bannon game plan, my arch nemesis.

What was that game plan? Let's hive off 3 percent to 5 percent of these Republicans. There are normal, rational Republicans out there that do not like what is going on. And let's explain to them that there really isn't a culture war going on.

All that nonsense and that narrative about there being a culture war, and people who live in the cities are going to take away your guns in the Midwest or the - or the West, all of that stuff is a lie, Chris.

And so, we're going to be out there, telling that story. And the Vice President's poll numbers really have not moved that much to the negative. In fact, if anything, he opened up a gap, after the last debate.

How is the President going to debate him live on October 15th? That's the question.

CUOMO: Pushing--

SCARAMUCCI: And what are they going to do? Put each in Plexiglas booths?

CUOMO: But should they? Should they even debate?

SCARAMUCCI: How are they going to do it?

[21:55:00]

CUOMO: We got to get some answers about that. It will be very interesting call to see what is made there. I also want to see some polls after this event. Let's see where the minds and hearts of the country are right now.

Anthony Scaramucci, always appreciate the straight take. Thank you for being on the show.

SCARAMUCCI: Thank you. Thank you.

CUOMO: All right. We'll be right back.

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CUOMO: What an interesting time to be alive. People suffering all over the country. No real messaging from the top that makes sense of any of it. We just all collectively watched an unbelievable spectacle.

The White House is a case cluster from a pandemic that they say is not a big deal. The President had to be put in the hospital, put on two different experimental treatments, came out, took his mask off, says "COVID is no big deal."

Put him in the hospital, two experimental treatments, he is supposed to get tested every day. They won't tell us if he was. They won't show us that he was. How can you make sense of any of this? I just don't know. I'll be honest. I watch it all in real-time. I study it. But I don't understand it.

But I'll tell you someone who will try to make sense of it. D. Lemon right now on "CNN TONIGHT." There he is.