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CNN TONIGHT

People Close To Trump Positive With COVID-19; Vice President Mike Pence Changes Mind About Using Plexiglass Barrier For Debate Tomorrow; Joe Biden Wants To Heal Division; POTUS Not Tested Multiple Times A Day; No Update On Trump's Health Status; Death Toll Could Double By Year End; All Eyes On Vice Presidential Debate Tomorrow; Joe Biden Leading In National Polls. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired October 6, 2020 - 22:00   ET

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


[22:00:00]

PHILIP BUMP, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, President Trump has done a very good job of building the sense that he has this energetic base. How many times we heard him talk about voters over the course of the year. It's a totally meaningless statistic but it's something he talks about all the time.

The real test is if you look at what we're starting to see, people lining up for early voting, they're lining up in big cities --

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Right.

BUMP: -- that people are eager to go out and vote -- that's the sort of thing that we'll watch over time and so far, it seems to be indicating this is going to be big turnout election and it may actually reinforce some of the former movements which we're seeing.

CUOMO: Got to watch. You don't have to be a pro to know that the last four weeks will matter the most, and we'll be watching. Harry Enten, Philip Bump, great to see you both. Looking well. God bless. That's all for us. Best part of the night, "CNN TONIGHT" with the man, D. Lemon right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: You know it's different. There are a couple things that are different that people aren't taking into account.

CUOMO: Do tell.

LEMON: Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton. People -- you know, this isn't me -- I'm not saying I don't like Hillary Clinton, but people, she did not have high favorability ratings. Joe Biden's favorability ratings are higher.

As you so rightly pointed out, now this president, it's not just aspiration. He has a record, right, that he's run on and that he -- most of the time continues to run into the ground. And I think that people talking about the silent majority -- you say, you know, you don't see the lawn signs or whatever.

I think that people feel that they don't have to put up lawn signs and do all those signs because the lawn sign is Trump out every day giving misinformation. And when someone -- after someone annoys you for a while, you know, you have your detractors, Chris, many of them on state television like I do. What's the best way to handle it? You just ignore it.

CUOMO: Make a joke.

LEMON: Just -- no. Just ignore them.

CUOMO: Punch them in the sternum?

LEMON: That people when you ignore people, that is the worst thing that you can do to anyone. So, I think that people are sick of -- quite frankly, sick of us talking about Trump every single night, leading with him -- you know, it's the bulk of our show. People are tired of it and they're tired of his antics and I think there's a silent majority who are just going to say you know what? I'm done.

And they're not yelling and screaming, they're not ripping their masks off. They're not yelling at people to wear masks. It quite frankly, most of them aren't the young people who are out there on the streets, although they're upset --

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: -- and will have some influence in this election. These are the steady voters, as I say, the church hat ladies who are going to vote and they are quite frankly tired of it because they think about their kids being bullied. And they don't like bullies.

CUOMO: Well, I don't know about the church hat, but we know that white women have been moving towards Biden. We know that people who don't like either candidate are breaking more towards Biden certainly to your point than Clinton. I don't see people's read on the moment the same way as you do because we're in so much crisis that I think that kind of overwhelms the Trumpness of it.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And they just need to know because this guy is at the head. But I understand what you're saying. I think the silent majority has turned into the concern of whether or not the majority gets silenced --

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: -- through all the suppression efforts with the ballots.

LEMON: Through all of this with -- you got that right. Listen, and I'm not saying -- I'm not saying Joe Biden is going to win or Donald Trump is going to win. I'm -- before people get it misconstrued -- everyone said, Don -- Don Lemon says Donald Trump is going to lose. That's not what I'm saying.

I'm saying that this isn't 2016 and people love to view this election this time through the -- through a 2016 lens. It's not that. This is 2020. Things are a lot different. We're in the middle of a pandemic. People have lost a lot of loved ones.

The president is quite frankly great at stage craft, but is he great at policy? Is he great at carrying -- doing the business of the American people? Carrying out an agenda? That's what people are going to decide on. They're not going to decide on, you know, whether this is 2016 and blah, blah, blah, blah and whatever October surprise, whatever's going to happen before the election. I think most people's minds are made up at this moment. It's baked in the cake.

CUOMO: May be good at stage craft --

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: -- but he's got to work on witchcraft, because he's got people dropping all over the place around him.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Witchcraft.

CUOMO: The White House is a cluster.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And I agree with you.

LEMON: More than --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: The best way -- you make a really strong point about how when somebody doesn't like something sometimes, they're just quiet to it.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And I would argue that that is the second-best way to handle it.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: First way, pock style. One, two, three. Good night.

LEMON: You were right about a cluster. It's a cluster in many different ways.

CUOMO: I was going to say.

LEMON: A myriad of ways.

CUOMO: Keep us hired, Sam. I got school to pay.

LEMON: Thank you. I'll see you soon.

CUOMO: I love you, D. Lemon.

LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate it. you more, my brother. This is CNN Tonight and, I am Don Lemon.

So obviously it's breaking news -- it's breaking news every night, because there's always something when it comes to this administration. So again, as I say, I'm going to give you the facts. I'm going to give it to you straight.

And I think it's for all of us considering all the chaos in the country, just how unsettled people are, all the anxiety. So let's just remain calm. As they say, keep calm and carry on, but I'm still going to give you the facts right now, and I'm still going to talk about the failure of this White House to protect you.

[22:05:04]

To protect the country from the coronavirus, a deadly contagious virus playing out for all of us to see right now. It is right there. See that house? Right inside the halls of the White House where the president sits tonight, infected, lashing out, exposed.

Making himself feel better by recording videos and tweeting. If you're sick, man, just chill out. Just do the thing, right? You don't have to do all the antics or whatever because you're afraid. Just maybe it will help you if you just got off the stage for a moment.

Tonight, we have learned that Stephen Miller -- Stephen Miller is the president's senior adviser and speechwriter. Stephen Miller has tested positive for COVID-19. So, where does that bring us in the tally? Think about this. Think about if you went to a business and they told you anywhere, and they told you, hey, 17 people here have been positive. Would you -- would go inside that business or inside that house?

Because at least 17 people directly connected to the Trump White House currently have the virus, and I'm not even counting all the cases that could be associated with this. Just Trump staff and closely connected politicians. That's it. And then it could just fan out.

Imagine how many people those 70 people have been in contact with, and so, on and so on and so on. It's like, and they told you people remember the commercial, they told two people and so on, and so on, and so on.

Stephen Miller said this -- pay close attention -- about this virus. This was back in July, a comment that has not aged well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: What we were doing, first of all, was mounting the largest national mobilization to fight the China virus that any country has had since World War II.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: China virus. He likes to say that. Well, how well did that mobilization that he claims work? Because now the Trump White House virus -- that's what it is. It is the Trump White House virus. At least 17 people directly connected to this White House have tested positive in the past few days.

According to the Washington Post that is more cases in the last seven days than 19 countries, including Monaco, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Cambodia, more cases. And that's without even counting the journalists who have been infected.

Yet this White House still won't say when the president last tested negative for the virus. The super spreader in chief stuck in a near empty White House tonight, a victim of his own negligence.

So, take a look at this picture, OK? Everyone, I'm going to wait. I want to you take a look at this picture. Look at it. Look what they're doing. They are disinfecting the White House. White House press room in a hazmat suit. That's what they do at the president's house.

But what about you? But to you, what -- is anybody disinfecting your house professionally? Because he spews dangerous lies and tells you not to be afraid, but they are disinfecting professionally the White House, but you're not supposed to be afraid.

Nobody came over to disinfect your house professionally, did they? In a hazmat suit? That shows no fear. And get this -- the vice president now, Mike Pence, who should be quarantining, by the way, but isn't -- first agreed and then refused to have a Plexiglas barrier around him at tomorrow's vice-presidential debate. And then he agreed again.

Kamala Harris will also be able to use a barrier to protect themself -- herself, excuse me. The irony here, the irony, the wall we need now is not the border wall, Stephen Miller champions, the one he says we need so much -- it is a Plexiglas wall to protect people from this White House from this president's negligence.

And let's not forget there have been nearly 7.5 million Americans infected with this virus. They are victims of this president's negligence too. There are more than 210,000 Americans who are dead now. You know who talked about them today?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[22:10:02]

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's estimated that nearly another 210,000 Americans could lose their lives by the end of the year, enough. No more. Let's set partisanship aside. Let's end the politics and follow the science.

Wearing a mask -- wearing a mask is not a political statement. It's a scientific recommendation. Social distancing isn't a political statement. It's a scientific recommendation. Testing, tracing, the development and all approval and distribution of a vaccine isn't a political statement. It is a science-based decision. We can't undo what has been done. We can't go back. We can do so much better.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: As he stands up for an America that could be so much better than this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: As I look across America today, I'm concerned. The country is in a dangerous place. Our trust in each other is ebbing. Hope seems elusive. Too many Americans see our public life not as an arena for mediation of our differences, but rather they see it as an occasion for total unrelenting partisan warfare.

And instead of treating each other's party as the opposition, we treat them as the enemy. This must end. We need to revive the spirit of bipartisanship in this country, a spirit of being able to work with one another.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, let's just be honest here. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican or independent or whatever, nothing at all, this is not about ideology, this is about leadership. That is what you want to hear from a leader, a call for this country to unite. Not fight each other. That's -- that's a message America needs to hear.

A message we just won't hear from this White House, where this president, ignoring the pain, quite frankly, of millions of unemployed Americans, abruptly scraps efforts to get a new stimulus package and leaves all those Americans without a lifeline. It is stunning. It's incredible. He has been blaming the stalled stimulus on, the deal on Nancy Pelosi.

Now the president announces to the world that he is -- he is the one who's scrapping this deal. They won't come to a deal for you, but they'll vow to come and vote their new justice, vote in their new justice, even as multiple senators are infected with a deadly contagious virus. Never mind millions of deaths for Americans.

That millions of deaths for Americans will risk COVID infection to confirm a justice before the election. They will ignore them, but they will do that to confirm a justice, even though a majority of Americans think that is unfair.

I know you're exhausted. So, many of us are just exhausted. It's been a long road even before this virus. Let's just listen to the former first lady Michelle Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Seven months later he still doesn't have a plan for this virus. Seven months later he still won't wear a mask consistently and encourage others to do the same, even when those simple actions could save countless lives.

Instead he continues to gaslight the American people by acting like this pandemic is not a real threat. And yet, even in the face of all this incompetence, Americans keep digging deeper, finding new reserves of strength, doing whatever it takes to get through this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Calm. Not hyperbolic. Calm. Remain calm, everyone. The former first lady going on to say this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Let's be honest, right now our country is in chaos because of a president who isn't up to the job, and if we want to regain any kind of stability, we've got to ensure that every eligible voter is informed and engaged in this election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And that's what -- that's really what this is about. That's what we're supposed to do here is to inform voters to make sure that we have an informed electorate. And so, I said this before, you have the final word in all of this and that word is your vote.

[22:15:04]

It may be harder to vote this year. That's what the president wants. He wants you to think that your vote does not count. But every single vote counts. You can vote early. You can vote by mail. You can go to the polls on election day -- just 28 days away. But vote. Everything depends on it.

Our White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins is here as she is every evening as of late. It appears the last four years she's been our lead story. Kaitlan, thank you very much. I appreciate you joining us tonight.

The New York Times is reporting that the president was not tested every day according to two people who are familiar with this. This is significant because for one thing we still don't know when his last negative test was.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: no, we don't, and notice that we did not hear from the president's doctor today, someone that we've heard from every single day since he was put in the hospital starting on Saturday. Today now that he's back at the White House, Dr. Conley did not brief reporters or answer questions.

And so, you look at that New York Times reporting tonight, it makes me think about what the president said in July when Kayleigh McEnany in a briefing the president was tested multiple times a day, but then later when he came out and spoke with reporters he conceded that it was actually maybe once every two to three days.

So, of course, it is raising questions. And Don, you got to think that if the president was tested every single day they could easily say, he was last tested last Thursday morning.

LEMON: Right.

COLLINS: That's the last time he got a negative result. But, Don, they have not said that.

LEMON: That would be very easy to do. That's not so hard. It's not so hard if the information is there. Just say when it happened. What are they hiding? What's the problem? I don't know. Let's talk about contact tracing. Because tonight they sent out an e-mail, I understand, Kaitlan, saying that they have completed contact tracing. As every day we learn about more new positive cases. So, what's going on over there?

COLLINS: Yes. So, someone showed this e-mail to my colleague Vivian. And she looked at it. And it basically said, we finished contact tracing. If you have not been contacted yet and you believe that you did come into close contact with someone who does have coronavirus reach out to the White House medical office.

But one White House official told CNN they did just that because they had not been contacted so they reached out and said they actually were around someone who tested positive, and yet, Don, they did not get any further instructions on how to proceed or what to do next.

And so, it just goes to show that this has been incomplete at best. And so many White House officials have been finding out that their colleagues were testing positive from reports in the media. I think Stephen Miller was one where they actually had a coordinated statement ready to go out about the details about that.

Every single other official that we've reported on that tested positive first showed up in the media instead of being disclosed by the White House staff. So, it does make you wonder if they are doing contact tracing, what are they recommending and how thorough is that?

Because last week they told Kayleigh McEnany she was a contact of Hope Hicks and yet she did not quarantine. She instead continued to come to work, as other officials have done as well.

LEMON: Hubris. Thank you very much. I appreciate it, Kaitlan Collins.

Now we find out that the president wasn't tested every day the way the White House has claimed. Right? That is according to sources at the New York Times. how deep is this coverup? What don't they want you to know? Anthony Scaramucci definitely is going to have something to say about all this. He's here next.

[22:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, here's the deal -- the president and his top aides spent months downplaying the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and look at what is happening now. At least 11 people inside the White House tested positive, including the president himself.

And now, tonight, Stephen Miller, a top aide, and let's widen the circle, OK? To include Trump allies outside the White House who tested positive as well, such as Chris Christie, three Republican senators, Johnson, Tillis, and Lee. Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, former aide Kellyanne Conway, and RNC chair Ronna McDaniel. That's a lot of folks.

The president's doctors are refusing to say when he last tested negative for COVID. That should be an easy answer. If he tested every day as White House aides said he was doing. But now the New York Times are reporting that White House officials are now conceding that Trump is not tested every day. They say he was tested regularly. Trump said as much -- as much, I should say, back in July.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You sometimes take more than one test a day. Why is that?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Well, I don't know about more than one. I do take probably on average a test every two days, three days. I don't know of any time I've taken two tests in one day. But I could see that happening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, listen, let's bring in Anthony Scaramucci now. He's a former Trump White House communications director. Anthony, thank you so much. Lots to talk about.

So, let me get your -- what you think about "The New York Times," your opinion on the New York Times reporting that the president was not tested every day as they said he was the White House -- I think they're in full coverup mode right now. Are we going to find out that he wasn't tested before that debate?

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Well, you'll probably find that out, but I think you got to step back and look at the culture in the White House because it's set by the president. And so, he made it very clear he didn't like people wearing masks in meetings. He made it very clear that he frowned upon testing.

He went to these rallies and said that the problem in the United States is the testing. If we didn't do the testing, you're not going to have the cases. It was all sort of this illogical false science and all of this weird science frankly.

So, yes. I mean, of course there's a coverup, and of course they didn't handle it right. And this is what cabinet officials, you know, I had a cabinet official in my office last year say, it's going to be a huge crisis. The president has no managerial skills. There's no coordination with the rest of the executive branch. You know, the cabinets and sub agencies, et cetera.

Moreover, everybody's fearful of a tweet or being humiliated by the president. If they get on the wrong side of him, they'll fire him impetuously or fire them immediately.

[22:25:01]

And so, everybody is frozen. Nobody is moving. He is his own comms director. His own chief of staff, his own doctor --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: And they're willing to get coronavirus over all of this as well, it seems like?

SCARAMUCCI: No, they're not. You see, that's the tragedy of it. They actually don't want to get coronavirus, but they are frozen in this suspended animation of Trump world. And so, they don't know what to do, they don't want to counter him, he is the commander in chief, and the leader of the free world. They swore to go help the country and the Constitution.

So, they don't know what to do. So, they are stuck there. But you know, the real thing is you left people out like, you know, there are family members and children --

LEMON: Yes.

SCARAMUCCI: -- of the president's aides and former aides that are now sick with coronavirus. So, he is a covidiot. Right?

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: And not to mention --

SCARAMUCCI: He is an idiot that has COVID. He is a full blown covidiot.

LEMON: Not to mention the White House staff, you know, the folks who work in the residence and all of that who he has come in contact with. And people who, you know, that's their jobs. They didn't come, they weren't voted in, you know, appointed. Their job is to -- their job is to work at the White House. And now, they are possibly exposed because of this president.

SCARAMUCCI: So, this is very powerful symbolism. And this is the pylon, why the polls are going to widen further, Don. Because the symbolism is, I can't protect my staff, I can't protect my family. I can't protect the family members of my staff, or the servants inside the White House, and therefore I cannot protect the country.

LEMON: Yes.

SCARAMUCCI: I am four years into my incompetence and malpractice. And that's the symbolism. And people vote on that feeling, Don.

LEMON: Well, let me get -- I want to make sure I get this in because, they put out a couple of propaganda videos last night, they apparently filmed another video tonight when he was coming back, that was being filmed, as I understand, as a campaign or propaganda video. Is this why he needed to get back to the White House, to infect more people? To make some videos here?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I think the videos are a part of it, it's a show of strength. He is going to try to get out there to the rallies and say, I alone can fix the virus. I got the virus, and survived it. So even though I am a super spreader, I'm the superman over the virus. It's all this nonsense.

I've got buddies of mine in the military that are looking at those videos and said, wow, I've seen those movies in the Middle East. I have seen those movies in Eastern Europe. But it's like a satire at this point. It's like an Eastern European dictator, and a satirical movie that Sacha Baron Cohen is directing.

LEMON: I was just going to say, is that what --

(CROSSTALK)

SCARAMUCCI: So, I don't know --

LEMON: -- is that what he thinks that strength -- because those that make him look strong? I mean, it just made him look weak. I mean, as I was watching, and I think for most people.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, that's the insecurity. That's the insecurity, that's the great irony. Anybody that stood up to him in the White House is gone. And anybody that was in there that had a backbone would say, wow. I cannot believe how insecure this guy is.

So, those videos are a representation of his over blaster, his overbite and his over compensation.

LEMON: Hey, Anthony --

SCARAMUCCI: It's all coming out, though, you know? That's the good news about it, Don.

LEMON: One quick thing, I just want you to respond. I don't know if you can see them. You probably saw them, if we have the pictures of them disinfecting the White House, a professional team disinfecting the White House.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARAMUCCI: I did see it, yes.

LEMON: And yes, the folks at home don't get that. He is saying, this isn't a big deal. You can live with it. Don't let it, don't be afraid. Did you get your house professionally disinfected? Do you know anyone, you know, just an average American who is getting their professionals?

(CROSSTALK)

SCARAMUCCI: It's a bad "Ghost Busters" movie, man. It looks like a bad "Ghost Busters" movie. You know, I mean, the whole thing though plays perfectly into the vice president, just a big message to the vice president, stay away from this guy. Make sure there is a barrier on that debate stage. If he actually shows up at the debate, Mr. Vice President, stay away from the guy. He is a super spreader, and he likes chaos. So just make sure you have like a marginal line something there to

protect you from this guy. You'll beat him again in the debate, but you don't want to get the thing from him, he is highly infectious.

LEMON: Yes. Well, that's the wall they needed at the debate, not the one that they are trying to erect on the border. Thank you, Anthony. I appreciate it. Thank you.

SCARAMUCCI: Thank you. Good to be here.

LEMON: Dr. Fauci warning the U.S. could see as many as 400,000 deaths from coronavirus cases this winter as cases rise across the country after months of decline. We're going to bring you the latest.

[22:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The coronavirus outbreak in the White House getting bigger by the hour, as top aide Stephen Miller tests positive. Vice President Pence preparing for his debate with Kamala Harris tomorrow even though he was at the White House ceremony that may have been critical in this outbreak, the one that people are calling a super spreader event.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany trying to defend that event today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It was an event outside. Some people wore masks, notably several photographers there wore masks and they all tested positive, so within the event you take a certain amount of risk --

MARTHA MACCALLUM, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS: That's interesting.

MCENANY: -- but nominating a Supreme Court justice --

(CROSSTALK)

MACCALLUM: That's true.

MCENANY: -- article two section two power that's an obligation of the president to do this and will continue to fulfill his constitutional duties.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So sad what happened. That is so deceptive, not telling the full story. It is ridiculous because they also held an indoor reception as you can see in this picture, there you go, and when they were outdoors, they milled and mingled around maskless, face-to-face, hugging and touching each other.

So why would with the video and the pictures and all the people who have tested positive, how could Kayleigh McEnany even fix her mouth to say such outrageous misinformation?

Let's discuss now. Former Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. She was on air that day and knows the truth. Dr. Wen, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

[22:34:55]

As a doctor, you -- you knew that the -- that hot spots are dangerous, right, how dangerous that event was. But here's the thing, everyone else knew too and they did it anyway and now so many people are paying the price here.

LEANA WEN, FORMER BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: That's right. The White House has turned into the epicenter of what is clearly a major outbreak, and I just cannot believe that at this point we're not doing the right thing, which is contact tracing.

The right thing to do back then was to not have the event at all, or if they were going to have an event, absolutely make sure it's only outdoors, everybody is wearing masks, observing social distancing.

It's too late now, but it's not too late to do contact tracing because there are many individuals who may have gotten infected at that event or subsequently. The individuals we know in the White House are very mobile, they've been to many places during the time that they were potentially contagious.

There are possibly, almost certainly, people all around the country who have infections stemming from the White House. We need to do contact tracing to protect them and their loved ones.

LEMON: Meanwhile, people like Mike Pence haven't been in quarantine. He's going to debate Kamala Harris tomorrow and his team now agreeing, now agreeing to a Plexiglas barrier after earlier objecting to it. It shows how much risk this White House is willing to take and really how -- how they're willing to cover for the president. Because if, I believe, what's behind it is, if Mike Pence, if it happens to the vice president, then they are going to say, well maybe the president, the same thing should happen. So, any way.

WEN: I mean, the vice-presidential debate, frankly, should not happen in person at all.

LEMON: Really?

WEN: And Vice President Pence is in the window -- well, it could happen virtually, but it should not happen in person because Vice President Pence should be quarantining. He had clearly close contact with likely multiple individuals who were who subsequently tested positive. We know that the protocol is 14 days of quarantine, no exceptions.

I mean, it's hard enough for us doctors and public health officials to tell patients to quarantine for 14 days. They talk about missing wages at work, about the difficulty of quarantining at home if they are living in a multigenerational household. We have to help our patients do that because it's the right thing for them and their families.

If the vice president is out there traveling, exposing Secret Service agents, wait staff, aides, then how are we going to be telling our patients otherwise?

LEMON: Yes. Well, let's talk about the presidential debate. Because Joe Biden, Dr. Wen, is saying that there shouldn't be an October 15th debate if the president is still infectious. Here's something.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Well, I think if he still has COVID, we shouldn't have a debate, in a debate. By the way, I think we're going to have to follow very strict guidelines. Too many people have been infected, and it's a very serious problem and so I'll be guided by the guidelines of the Cleveland Clinic and what the docs say is the right thing to do if and when he shows up for a debate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, given what we know about the president's condition, which isn't much, could he still be infectious by October 15th?

WEN: Well, it's an interesting question, because technically if day one of the president's symptoms was last Thursday, he actually would be out of the 10-day period. They are for isolation purposes. If you have COVID-19 you could be finished with your isolation 10 days after the onset of your symptoms if you don't have a fever.

So, in theory, the president could actually be not infectious at that point and able to go to the debate, but there's another reason the president should not be going, which is that it's for his own health. I mean, this is a man who was just -- who just left the hospital, who was on multiple medications including a medication given only to people with severe or critical illness who needed oxygen.

I would not recommend for him to be traveling anywhere for his own health. And for that reason and that reason alone I really don't think that we should be having in-person presidential debates either.

LEMON: Dr. Wen, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

The only vice-presidential debate just hours away. What to expect. That's next.

[22:40:00]

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LEMON: The Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris are set to face-off in the first and only vice-presidential debate tomorrow night. It should be a far less chaotic scene than the one we saw on stage between President Trump and Joe Biden during last week's disaster of a debate. But is it safe?

Pence, Harris, and moderator Susan Page will be surrounded by a Plexiglas barrier as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus, but Pence who as the head of the Coronavirus Task Force should be isolating now, debating waffled on the idea, right? He's like, he wasn't sure. Agreeing and then disagreeing and then finally agreeing again.

Do you think that that might make sense to do everything possible to protect the candidates? But that's not what this White House is about, clearly.

So, let's discuss now with more on what to expect at tomorrow night's debate. CNN senior political analyst and anchor John Avlon, and CNN's political commentator Bakari Sellers.

Gentleman, good evening. Whoa, it's been a long time, Bakari, how are you doing? John, I see you all the time. Good to see you.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good to see you.

LEMON: But, John, simple question -- is this debate safe?

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST & ANCHOR: Yes, I think it will be safe knowing what we know now, despite the fact that the Trump White House is a COVID hot zone, and I think it's important it goes forward, because I think this is going to be one of the most consequential vice-presidential debates we've ever seen in the United States.

We've got a president with COVID in the White House with a total veil over what's really going on with him. So, the vice president is going to be representing the administration. But with a lot more scrutiny and Kamala Harris has enormously high expectations because of her reputation from being a real sharp debater. This is going to be a fiery and consequential debate.

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LEMON: Bakari, how does she handle this issue tomorrow night?

SELLERS: Well, first of all, I think she's just focused on the debate. I mean, they'll let the Cleveland Clinic decide whether or not the debate goes on and what type of protocols are put in place. She's been focused, she's been in Utah with her team and very comfortable preparing for this debate. So that's first and foremost.

I have to push back on my friend John a little bit about the expectation level. She's a very, very good debater. So, as Mike Pence, though. And for those individuals who think she's going to go out there and eviscerate Mike Pence, I don't think that's going to be the case at all.

I think what you'll see, though, is someone who's magnanimous, someone who is presidential. She is going to go on stage and I think the word of the evening is going to be magnanimous.

Because at the end of the day you have to hang around the head of the COVID task force -- 200,000 deaths, an economy that stopped, a pandemic that is still spiraling out of control, and hell, his boss even got COVID, so how well did you do the job? And that's going to be on Mike Pence's neck. But it's really going to be a very good debate tomorrow between two very good debaters.

LEMON: The president, John, is tweeting that he is ready for next week's debate. But I mean, let's hold on a minute here. He may still have a virus or be contagious. How can this debate go forward?

AVLON: Look, this is one of the great mysteries, and I think folks are just waiting to get to the other side of the V.P. debate to deal with the reality that the president is remotely contagious. This debate isn't going to happen. Not in person, anyway. And by the way, the White House might not want him to be debating given the fact that he seems to be kind of erratic.

LEMON: Wow. Bakari, with all these questions still out there, if you were on the Biden campaign, would you allow Biden to come anywhere near Donald Trump?

SELLERS: Hell, no. I mean, listen. He can't -- he can't -- you can't have Joe Biden getting near somebody that's contagious with COVID. I mean, what are we -- what are we talking about here? And someone who is -- you know, Donald Trump may try to walk up and hug you. I mean, that's not -- this is not something that's going to happen.

You know, I think that next week's debate is not something that will probably happen. I know that the mayor in South Florida doesn't even want him near there. You have 23 people, I believe in the White House or close to the president who have been -- who have contracted this virus, and that's just -- I mean, I don't know if that number is including Chris Christie and others that are in the orbit of the president.

This is a deadly virus and, these individuals, both of them, are up in age. And so, this is not -- this is not something to play with, although the President of the United States seems to be playing with it.

LEMON: Gentleman, thank you. I appreciate it. I'll see you soon.

SELLERS: Thank you.

LEMON: And be safe, for sure, be safe.

AVLON: Thank you.

LEMON: Make sure you tune in, the only vice-presidential debate of 2020 airs tomorrow night on CNN with special coverage starting at 7 Eastern.

A brand-new poll shows Joe Biden leading the president by 16 points nationally. And the thing is, Biden is also leading the president in some important battleground states.

John King breaks it down for us, next.

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LEMON: One month to go until election day, and Joe Biden is opening up a big lead. CNN's new poll shows him leading by 16 points, 57 percent to 41 percent for president Trump.

Let's get more now on the state of the race as we count down to the election from CNN's Chief National Correspondent, John King. He's at the magic wall. John?

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, four weeks from tonight, we will be counting the votes. A lot can change in four weeks. But right now, Joe Biden has a lead that is growing and frankly, is quite overwhelming.

Let's take a look at our new poll. And the headline number is this. This is a wow, the largest lead of the race for Joe Biden, 57 percent for the Democrat, the former vice president, 41 percent for President Trump. A 16-point spread, big anyway all the more important because Joe Biden is so well above 50 percent. That's your goal in politics, to get above 50.

Donald Trump getting just 4 in 10 votes right now nationally across the United States. Why? Well, voters have taken a giant turn to Joe Biden on the big issues. Look at the gaps here, look at the gaps, not just the lead, but the gap. Who can best handle racial inequality? Wow. Who can best handle the number one issue in the country right now? Joe Biden, more than 20 points. Who is better to handle your healthcare? Twenty points.

Crime and safety, the president is trying to make law and order a big issue. A big advantage. Twelve points for Joe Biden. Even the economy the two candidates essentially split there, a slight edge for Biden. That's essentially a statistical tie when it comes to the issues that matter to voters a big edge for Joe Biden.

That translates into a big edge when you ask them who are you going to vote for. But it's not just the issues, it's who you want as a leader. The personal characteristics, Don, look at these numbers. Who would best unite the country? Lopsided for Joe Biden.

Who is honest and trustworthy? A 25-point advantage. People don't trust the incumbent President of the United States in the middle of a pandemic, a 25-point advantage on honest and trustworthy. Same a 20- point advantage which candidate more cares about you, the issues that matter to you, big edge for Biden, you might call that the empathy factor.

Plans, plans to address the country's problems. Again, 15-point lead, 16 points for Joe Biden there and even on keeping the United States safe, whether we're talking about law and order domestically, commander in chief, Joe Biden, a 12-point edge over the president.

So, Trump supporters are saying this is a national poll. Remember 2016, we picked president state by state. Well, they would be right. Number one, that's a big national lead. Number two, and the battleground state poll also overwhelmingly coming in to show a Biden advantage.

Brand new Pennsylvania poll today. Twelve points in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Donald Trump flipped that state four years ago, critical to his 2020 chances.

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Joe Biden enters the last four weeks with a big lead in Pennsylvania where he campaigned today. Arizona that was red in 2016. Not since Bill Clinton as a Democrat won Arizona. Comfortable, Biden lead in Arizona. Florida, the battleground of all battlegrounds, always very close that's a close race but advantage Biden in a state the president has to win.

Donald Trump, the president has to win Florida. Donald Trump does. Joe Biden doesn't need it. But look, a lead there in Ohio, no Republican has won the White House without Ohio in modern terms. It's a tie right now, a tie in the state of Ohio. A state again, Joe Biden doesn't need it. The president does and he is competitive.

So, Don, I'll close just by going back to this. Yes, it's a national poll but it's the biggest lead of the race heading into the final four weeks, a lot can happen. You have to say advantage, overwhelming advantage. Biden.

LEMON: Mr. John King at the magic call, thank you, sir. I appreciate that.

Joe Biden hitting the trail today with the message of unity in the face of the pandemic, while the president is hold up in a near empty White House tonight. Stay with us.

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