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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Trump Holds First Rally since COVID-19 Diagnosis; Interview with Rep. Donna Shalala; Fauci: Trump Campaign Should Take Down Ad Featuring Him; Coronavirus Dominates Day One of Barrett Confirmation Hearing. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 12, 2020 - 20:00   ET

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


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: Trump is facing right now in this battleground state. The latest polling shows that Trump is trailing Joe Biden by 23 points among women in Pennsylvania.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Wow. Absolutely stunning. Incredible.

All right, Kate, thank you very much.

And thanks to all of you for watching. Anderson starts now.

[20:00:15]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Good evening. We begin tonight with two facts. One, as of tonight, more than 214,000 Americans died of the coronavirus. And two, on the face of that fact, the President of the United States is that the first of what could be daily mass rallies between now and Election Day.

Bear in mind, the country is now averaging nearly 50,000 new infections a day and where he is right now, Florida has a positivity rate of 11 percent. Yet, the President just a week out of the hospital and whose medical status is still largely unknown has kicked off what could be a COVID super spreader tour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I went through it. Now they say I'm immune. I can feel -- I feel so powerful. I'll walk into that audience. I'll walk in there. I'll kiss everyone in that audience.

I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women and then -- everybody, I'll just give you a big fat kiss.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Yes, but he didn't do that. He stayed far away.

The President tonight in Florida. At one point, he threw masks out into the crowd. And yes, as it's been at many of his rallies, many of the people who were on camera standing behind him did cover their faces. But not all.

In fact, mask wearing was more the exception than the rule of what was a very large crowd as you can see.

And perhaps it shouldn't surprise anyone that the President is okay with that and it was okay with these large gatherings as long as he is not anywhere close to the actual people.

Here's the head of the Coronavirus Taskforce, Vice President Pence this weekend also in Florida at a mass gathering, the state's largest retirement community. And in case there's any doubt the people around the President are also acting as if the pandemic isn't really worth bothering with or protecting others from here, here is his Chief of Staff at the Capitol today refusing to talk to CNN's Kristin Wilson unless he can take his mask off first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: That way I can take this off to talk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

MEADOWS: Well, I'm more than 10 feet away. Well, I'm not going to talk with a mask.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: So the man who has been by the President's side ever since the boss returned from Walter Reed stood on the balcony, removed his mask, then went inside where people are gathered. We hope he is taking greater care in private than he does in the Halls of Congress, if only for the sake of himself and his family.

As for the President, his tweet yesterday about his medical status got labeled by Twitter, misleading and potentially harmful. It reads if you click through, quote, "A total and complete sign off from White House doctors yesterday. That means I can't get it. Immune and can't give it." Which foreshadows what he said tonight and is only half true at best.

The CDC has issued guidance saying people can continue to test positive for months without necessarily being infectious, but -- and I'm quoting the CDC here, "This science does not imply a person is immune to reinfection with SARS-CoV-2."

As for that sign off from the President's physician, Sean Conley, he issued a paper statement this evening, read in part, "I can now share with you that he has tested negative on consecutive days using the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen card." Which is certainly good news of course.

The doctor also cited additional clinical and laboratory data and pronounced the President quote, "no longer considered a transmission risk to others." He did not ever say any of that in front of cameras or people who might ask him actual questions and given his misleading past statements, that is certainly disappointing.

That said, even if it's true, that the President is a hundred percent safe to be around, you've got to ask what about all the hundreds of thousands who gathered at each of his rallies? What about them?

Even if they can't catch it from him, they certainly can give it to one another and then spread it further from there.

The President had nothing to say about that before leaving for Florida, but the nation's leading experts certainly did when asked about it by CNN's Jake Tapper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: We know the previous Trump rallies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Minnesota have led to infections and illnesses, possibly even death. We know the Trump campaign does not require mask. They do not require distancing.

As a public health matter, how worried are you about these rallies that the President is kicking off?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: You know, Jake, I'm glad you use that word as a public health matter because put aside all of the issues of what political implications a rally has, and just put that aside and look at it purely in the context of public health.

We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that. We've seen that when you have situations of congregate settings, with a lot of people without masks. The data speak for themselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Dr. Fauci as you know, was equally blunt about the Rose Garden event last month that so many people either got infected at or spread the virus at or both. The doctor called it a super spreader event.

And today, he explained why such gatherings are so dangerous now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAUCI: It happens and now is even more so a worse time to do that. Because when you look at what's going on in the United States, it's really very troublesome. A number of states right now are having increase in test positivity, states above the Sunbelt, and states in the Sunbelt.

If you look at the map with the color coding of cases and states that are going up, you see states in the northwest and the Midwest, it is going in the wrong direction right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[20:05:23]

COOPER: The President is clearly not listening to Dr. Fauci anymore. They're not using Dr. Fauci's experience and intelligence. He is, however, using Dr. Fauci, his credibility to help him get re-elected. He has edited Dr. Fauci's remarks into a campaign ad to suggest

misleadingly that Dr. Fauci endorses the President's handling of the pandemic. It is, as you'll see a bit later in the program, untrue, factually incorrect. Frankly, considering the 215,000 Americans now dead, it is far worse than just that, it is also par for the course.

Listen to Vice President today on FOX, and keep in mind again, this is the guy who is supposed to be in charge of what he likes to call the whole of government effort to defeat COVID.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Are you comfortable with rallies going forward at this point?

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I really am. We had a great rally here in Columbus, Ohio today. Lots of enthusiasm, a great outdoor rally.

And look, one of the things the American people have proved over the last eight months is people know how to put their health first, the health of their families and their neighbors first.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Now, keeping them honest, that is what Mr. Pence always does. He deflects any questions challenging his or the President's recklessness by making it seem like the questioner is actually attacking the American people.

A few of any people -- person -- a few people would get up in the morning and say, yes, today I'm going to contribute to a deadly pandemic.

The public does not lack good intentions or intelligence, what a good deal of the public lacks is information needed to help themselves, their families, friends and neighbors. They're not getting it, certainly not from this administration.

In fact, from the very people whose words carry such weight, they're getting the exact opposite. Because of that those same friends and neighbors and family members, some of them are getting sick and dying.

Our Gary Tuchman is at the President's rally. He has been talking to people there. He joins us now.

Gary, what did you hear tonight from the supporters of the rally?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, "Macho Man" by The Village People is playing right now is this rally just came to an end. Donald Trump spoke for about an hour.

Now if you thought that people would be more carefully in Trump rallies, after hearing that Donald Trump had the coronavirus, and that there was a super spreading event at the White House, you would be incorrect. Hundreds and hundreds of people lined up outside in the broiling sun

for hours today here in Sanford, Florida. There was no social distancing. And I would say about 90 percent of people did not have masks. Everyone had their temperature checked. They were given hand sanitizers, and they were also given masks, but there was no mandate to wear them.

Most of those masks were put in pockets or put in purses, never to come out again. We talked to a lot of people who decided not to wear masks, and we heard various explanations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUCHMAN: What happened at the White House recently where so many people who were outside an event got Coronavirus, including the President ended up with coronavirus, that doesn't concern you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

TUCHMAN: Why doesn't that concern you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm healthy. I have no underlying health issues. And that seems to be the people that are most prone to getting the disease if you an underlying --

TUCHMAN: The President was healthy too, though, and he had to take a helicopter to the hospital. He had good medical care, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Well --

TUCHMAN: You think you'd have care that good?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know. But I have -- I take care of myself.

TUCHMAN: Why not just put on a mask? What's the difference?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, a mask can actually do more harm than good to individuals.

TUCHMAN: It can do more harm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It can because people -- you know people can faint because there's too much carbon dioxide going back into their system.

TUCHMAN: You think there's a big problem with people fainting all over the country from masks and dropping dead?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, just enough, enough people are getting ill because they're wearing a mask.

TUCHMAN: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, yes --

TUCHMAN: Where did that come from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Commonsense.

TUCHMAN: Do you believe you won't get sick from it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't care if I do. Because I know I'm not going to die from it.

TUCHMAN: How do you know that, with all due respect?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, but if I do, I do. I'm not afraid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe in God, and that's -- I trust that if I get the virus, then that was God's will.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've also seen the numbers drop every single day.

TUCHMAN: Well, the numbers are going up now, though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this -- here?

TUCHMAN: I mean, Mr. Trump says it is disappearing, but it's not. That's not the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm debating on whether what the truth is for that, because of what I can see. It's all the numbers that I've read have been down and I'm seeing that the flu is taking more people.

TUCHMAN: So that's what you believe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

TUCHMAN: Let me ask you this, if President Trump at the rally said everyone put on their masks --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would put it on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUCHMAN: What that woman told us was very interesting, because we heard that from a lot of people that if President Trump made a request today to put on your masks, many people tell us, they would put on their masks, but Donald Trump made no such request -- Anderson.

COOPER: Gary Tuchman, thanks. Enjoy "Macho Man."

Joining us now, two more Floridians, Dr. Aileen Marty, she is an infectious disease expert at Florida International University and Democratic Congresswoman Donna Shalala served as H.H.S. Secretary during the Clinton administration. With us, as well, CNN senior political analyst, David Gergen, who served four Presidents on both sides of the aisle.

[20:10:08]

COOPER: Dr. Marty, the positivity rate in Florida is above 11 percent. Cases are going up there. Dr. Fauci said having political rallies is asking for trouble. Just from a public health perspective, how concerned are you about rallies like this, anybody giving kind of rallies like this?

DR. AILEEN MARTY, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY: I am wounded. I am deeply, deeply wounded to see this misdirection and misinformation because these kinds of events will cause more and more cases.

We're seeing already in our hospitals, again, the admissions are going up. We're balancing those by being able to get people out of the hospital sooner than we were because we've learned a lot, but it's still happening. We're having problems with our schools, and the messaging is completely wrong.

COOPER: Congresswoman Shalala, I mean, once again, a large crowd of the President's supporters packed together at this event, most not wearing a mask. I mean, did you have any thought or hope that the President might change given the fact that, you know, he had to be helicoptered to a hospital and receive very rare treatment to bounce back from COVID?

REP. DONNA SHALALA (D-FL): Obviously not. This is now the Trump spread. He is now moving around the country having these rallies, spreading the disease, not necessarily from him personally, because he has a lot of distance. But people within these crowds not wearing masks, someone has COVID. And so it's the Trump spread now.

But the idea that he is spreading this disease as part of a political campaign is simply outrageous and immoral.

COOPER: David, just for getting elected standpoint, I mean, are big rallies like this that are essential for President Trump.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: No, maybe one, maybe two, but not this series. With these rallies, we are staggering from one obscenity to the next, and it is very clear that the rally haven't helped him very much politically. His numbers have been going down since all this nonsense started.

You know, what he really ought to do with reassess. Talk to people like Donna Shalala and go and then do his job as President. Go back home and get a deal with Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats and the Republicans to put money in people's pockets without having to wait week after week after week. Go back there and solve some of these problems and prepare the country for what's coming. This wave is coming.

Just to think there is 11 percent of the people in that audience in this rally who are likely to be positive. That's what the recent test show. So 11 percent of the people there, they are all spreaders. And this is -- you know, it is a -- it's just -- it's obscene.

COOPER: Dr. Marty, I mean, the President claims he is now immune. Just be clear, one can't say they are you are -- I don't know, can one say you're definitively immune if you've been infected once? I mean, the C.D.C. specifically cautions people not to assume they are immune or you know how long any immunity might last? MARTY: Well, Anderson, thank you for that question. It's actually a

layered question and I'm going to start with the first part that I object to which has been broadcast, which I find really very disingenuous to talk about the results of an antigen test when you are more than five days from the time at which you started your symptoms. It simply has no meaning, no value. It's simply a way to provide misinformation.

And it's tragic because the only way we would know whether or not for example the President is contagious, let's start with that is to get the CT values from RT PCR in a properly done lab from a properly taken sample. That's one.

Number two, immunity. Immunity is incredibly complex. I tell my medical students that it's usually much easier to be a brain surgeon than an immunologist. Immunology has incredible detail to it. He received an antigen -- excuse me, an antibody cocktail with two different antibodies against the SARS2 virus, the spike protein.

That by itself while he could be extremely helpful in getting the viral load down in his body for a time while those antibodies are there, in point of fact, decreases the chance that his own body is forming the types of T and B cells necessary to become immune.

So it's really quite the opposite from what's being what's being broadcast and I have no idea why the wrong message is being sent to the American public.

[20:15:00]

COOPER: You know, Congressman Shalala, it doesn't surprise me what the doctor said about you know that the tests that he received not really being the one that is definitive, Dr. Conley has been misleading in his statements.

I mean, it is one thing for a doctor to say, look, I can't talk about that. My patient doesn't want me to release that information, but he doesn't say that. He has gone out of his way to mislead on the President's condition.

The fact that we still don't know when the President actually in the time right before he got ill, when was the last time he tested negative? The fact that they actually -- they did admit they weren't testing every day as they had claimed, it seems like he is going to get away with having lied about how often he was getting tested and whether or not he was positive the day of the debate with Vice President Biden.

SHALALA: Well, the President clearly is an uncontrolled patient himself. I mean, there's no question about that. But in addition to that, Dr. Conley is not explaining these tests the way Dr. Marty just explained them, nor is he answering questions from doctors the way Dr. Fauci is whenever you can get him on, detailed questions from doctors about the treatment the President received when he got infected.

So there's just so much we don't know. But I put it all on the President because the President clearly is only letting certain information get out. And Dr. Conley should not be giving partial information, which he absolutely knows is partial information and misleading.

It is one thing to say my patient won't let me give that information. It's another thing to mislead the American people. This is very dangerous and very reckless.

COOPER: You know, David Gergen, you said this is -- you know, the President with the daily kind of rallies like this is, it is going from one obscenity to another. I'm wondering if it has the opposite impact on other people who are not there who are watching this.

I mean, it obviously energizes the people who are there, unless they get sick, and then their energy will be sucked from them for a time being. But I wonder if people -- other people looking at this, just view this as the President -- the administration's recklessness as a prime example. I mean, that it's a daily reminder of just the reckless disregard for people and this pandemic.

GERGEN: I think a lot depends on what news shows you're watching and what channel you're watching as to what you believe. You know, the people who were being interviewed by Gary Tuchman there tonight, you know, who believe these things that are false. They are patently false, and yet they do believe them.

And how did that happen? It happened because they were watchers, particularly of FOX and they are getting a stream of misinformation.

It's one of the things that I think that increasingly threatens our Republic, Anderson. Jefferson argued a long time ago that a democracy depends upon a well-informed public, and clearly we don't have a well- informed public or at least not to the degree we should in order to --

COOPER: Yes, David Gergen, Dr. Aileen Marty, appreciate it. Congressman Donna Shalala, as always, thank you so much.

Next, a closer look at the politics driving the President's travel plans. What it might tell about -- what both campaigns think about the state of the race.

Plus, later my conversation with the man who did not believe there even was a pandemic until it all came home to him in a tragic way.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:22:12]

COOPER: We looked in the last segment of the medical and moral dimensions of what you're seeing here. The President holding a rally in Florida tonight, part of his decision to launch what could amount to a daily series of super spreader events from now until Election Day.

David Gergen before the break referred to it as going from one obscenity to the next. Johnstown, Pennsylvania tomorrow, then stops in Iowa and North Carolina. The Vice President meantime was in Ohio today and goes to Wisconsin tomorrow, Michigan on Wednesday, Wisconsin, in particular has seen cases explode over the last several weeks.

From a pandemic standpoint, this can't be good. That said, so close to Election Day with people already voting. The question is, what about the politics of it?

Let's get some political perspective now from David Chalian, political director; and CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

David does the -- what does the campaign travel schedule by the President say about how they view the President's standing right now.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It doesn't say very good things, Anderson. It says that the President is working from a defensive position far more than an offensive position and that he has got a bit of a hole to dig out of.

Just look at that schedule of his campaigning alone that you put forth on that graphic. You've got Florida, North Carolina, and Iowa, a state that he lost by -- a state that he won by about nine points in 2016, and Pennsylvania. Only Pennsylvania, in that group of states he is traveling to this week had that sort of traditional Democratic DNA that he upended in 2016 to secure his victory.

But if you're in Iowa and you're President Trump three weeks out from Election Day, you are trying to defend turf that many in your campaign believed would have been off the table by now.

So I think if you look at the travel, you see here that the President is in the business of trying to shore up some states that actually should already just be in the bag for him.

COOPER: Gloria, what about Vice President Biden's schedule? He was in Ohio today. He is going to Florida tomorrow. His wife Jill is in Georgia today, going to Texas tomorrow. Those are all states that President Trump won in 2016. Is the is that a sign of confidence that I mean --

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Offense.

COOPER: Offense.

BORGER: One is on defense, one is on offense. I mean, you know, take a look at Ohio. Ohio, of course it's a state that no Republican has ever won the presidency without. The last time, Trump wanted by eight points. It's now very close. So Joe Biden is there.

Florida. We know all about Florida. We know that was tight last time. We know that the President won. We know Trump won, but again, very, very close.

And then look, sending Jill Biden to Georgia and to Texas? Okay, these are states which of course you would throw in the red column immediately, but not so fast this time. They are at least competitive, and I think that they believe in talking to someone in the Biden campaign about what Jill Biden can do. She could shore up support from those suburban women that is so important to the Biden campaign, and so they are sending her out to do that.

In these states, they know they may not win, but they think they have a shot at it.

[20:25:22]

COOPER: David, President Trump is down double digits in national polls. The CNN Poll of Polls says Biden leading 53 percent to 42 percent. What does it look like in terms of path to 270 electoral votes for the President? Because I mean, I look at these polls, and I think like a lot of people think, well, wasn't Hillary Clinton way ahead in these polls, too? I mean, why does that matter?

CHALIAN: That's a good question, Anderson. She was ahead in national polling. She ended up winning the national popular vote on Election Day, but as you know, that doesn't get you the presidency. And so you're right about -- to ask about the path to 270.

Donald Trump has always had a narrow path, but that path has narrowed over the course of these last eight months. As his numbers have gone down in relationship mainly to his mismanagement of the outbreak of coronavirus.

And so what you see now is if you look at our Electoral College outlook of where things stand in the race three weeks out right now, Joe Biden, if you add up all the safe Democratic states and the states leaning in his direction, he has already crossed that 270 threshold, right?

So not only does Donald Trump now need to sort of sweep all the battlegrounds of Ohio, and North Carolina, and Georgia and Florida, he actually also now needs to dig into some territory that is leaning in Joe Biden's direction. That's why Pennsylvania is something that he has to fight for, for the end, because without those 20 electoral votes, it's very hard for him to get to 270.

That whole notion of the upper Midwest: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, it looks like Joe Biden is building back up that blue wall right now, and so Donald Trump has to go hunting and find a state with enough electoral vote somewhere that is in Joe Biden's column right now and yank it back. That is a tall order.

COOPER: And Gloria, I mean, to that point, so much looking like it's not going the President's way at this point in the race, again, if you believe the polls. He has decided to hold these large rallies. I mean, does it draw -- I mean, I guess, to some people seeing this, it looks like okay, great enthusiasm for the President. President likes to see all the people and he gets to perform.

I guess other people would look at it and say, well, isn't that drawing attention to the recklessness of this administration?

BORGER: Yes, it is. But first of all, and I was talking to an outside adviser to the Trump campaign today who said to me, look, this is as much about the President's psyche as it is about anything else. He wants to do rallies. It energizes him and he believes it's what helped him win in 2016 and it's going to help him win again.

But there are people who are saying, look, this is not 2016 and these rallies as you point out, only, you know, only point to the pandemic and only point to his mishandling of it. And if you are trying to enlarge the number of people who are going to vote for you, as David Chalian is saying, why not wear a mask to that rally? Why not say, you know what, here's what I learned about COVID and I think you need to wear a mask to stay safe. He might be able, who knows, to attract back some of those undecided voters, those suburban women who are upset with him because of the way he's handled COVID and how he has learned nothing from having gotten COVID himself.

But instead, he thinks it is 2016. He thinks he may be running against Hillary Clinton, who knows. Talk about Mike Pompeo releasing her e- mails, again. The same old same old instead of trying to enlarge his base.

COOPER: And David, I mean, when you look at Vice President Biden, you know, we saw him at some event, I think it was -- I'm not sure where it was, but just a moment ago, there's no one there. You know, he is -- is there a value for him? And I mean, when he goes to a place, is it just to do local TV interviews and beyond the local markets in those places?

CHALIAN: Well, that's a huge part of it. There's no doubt about that. It is not a crowd building exercise. Clearly, he has been following these guidelines, very socially distant. Folks are really spread out that do attend and they're not trying to generate big crowds.

Anderson, it's about that local news coverage though. You know, Joe Biden's plane lands. He goes and does an event. That's very valuable coverage. And then he can do, obviously some local interviews on the ground as well.

But he also could just stop in a local store. Again, with social distance, with a mask on. He'll do that every time according to guidelines. He travels with folks who advise him on every bit of the local guidelines, state and city to make sure the campaign is following it by the letter of the law.

I mean, that is not what Donald Trump is doing.

COOPER: Yes. Gloria Borger and David Chalian, thanks very much. Interesting.

More on the President's rally coming up. I will talk with a Trump supporter who used to not wear a mask and thought the virus was a hoax. Then the virus hit him and his family in a tragic way.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:30:21]

COOPER: President Trump back on the trail time in Florida for the first time since getting coronavirus and being hospitalized. As you see supporters packed in an airport hangar not social distancing, a few mask being worn.

My next guest voted for President Trump's sports some still but has changed his mind and the pandemic. For a long time, he thought it was overblown, a hoax. He didn't wear a mask, now it's different.

[20:35:05]

Tony Green held a small family gathering in his Texas home back in June. All six people including him got sick. And it spread further in the family. A total of 14 family members got infected. Two of them died. Tony was hospitalized, he survived the -- ordeal those changed his view on the virus. He wrote this on a blog quote, try imagining someone you care about on life support. Try being the one to pick the only 10 allowed to attend a funeral. You went on to say try imagining one more thing, that pool party, the mixture of family reunion you're pushing for, resulting in you being cold and alone in a hospital bed fighting for your life. Imagine the only human contact you feels a stranger's rubber glove giving you medication, checking your vitals and changing your diaper. That is exactly what has happened to our family. Those are the words of Tony Green. He joins me tonight.

Tony, can you just walk us through what happened how your family got affected?

TONY GREEN, COVID SURVIVOR: Yes, it was actually the six of us that got together on the weekend of June 12th. My parents, my partner's parents, so the two of us just, you know, at home kind of get together.

COOPER: You were pretty skeptical of the whole pandemic at around that time.

GREEN: Actually, before that. You know, so much misinformation that's out there. And, you know, you get trapped going down a rabbit hole with people, not necessarily just, you know, media, per se, but everybody that's within your circle. You know, you start hearing a bunch of chatter and you know, you form your opinions based on what you're hearing. And a little bit to do with what you hope to hear.

COOPER: So you got together. You had a nice weekend, the six of you. You ended up in the hospital from COVID-19. I understand you started feeling sick even that weekend.

GREEN: Yes, yes. We, we were all experiencing symptoms of some kind, within about a 72-hour period of time.

COOPER: Wow.

GREEN: And during that period of time, we'd obviously had some (INAUDIBLE), some of us had had other interactions with other people within the family. So it began to spread very quickly.

COOPER: Yes, I know you ended up in the hospital, your father-in-law, his mom were also hospitalized at the same time. And in total, 14 of your family members got sick.

GREEN: That's correct.

COOPER: So that includes others who hadn't even being at the house. Your father-in-law know, was on a ventilator. And what happened?

GREEN: You know, it's weird, because, you know, we had a great relationship, always on the phone with one another in each other's presence. But during the period of time that he was in the hospital, you know, we both went in the same day, I ended up out and like three or four days, they had saved me from having a stroke, and it attacked my, you know, my nervous system. And they kept me for observation. I was trying to figure out, you know, where he was at in the hospital. That was the same location, you know, which floor are you on, you know, all the details, and we just communicate back and forth. And he just seemed like he was gaining his energy. He was positive, looking forward to going home. But he's joking around with me on the phone at 1:00 on this Sunday afternoon. And by 5 or 6:00 that afternoon, he was on a ventilator. I mean, it was completely just blindsided.

COOPER: And he didn't get off the ventilator, he died.

GREEN: No. That's right.

COOPER: The -- you've written about this, and you talk about, you know, at some level of guilt over, you know, pushing it to have the get together. I'm wondering how you see it now and why you wanted to speak about it.

GREEN: The feeling that I have Anderson is kind of like what I would say, a drunk driver would have if they killed their family. You know, I mean, it was unintentional. You know, this was my home. This is where it happened. So, you know, there's a sense of responsibility, even though I'm pragmatic enough to know that we don't know who had it. It may have been him, my father-in-law, and he may have given it to his mother, had we not have gotten together and the same results would have happened, just fewer infected. We don't know that.

COOPER: I know you. You voted for President Trump. And I'm wondering what you made of, of the White House the administration's response to this overall?

GREEN: Yes, fair question. You know, I am -- I'm looking at the totality of his presidency. Some of the things that he's done that are very special and very important. This is a major blunder. And I'm saying that with full sincerity. Yes, I consider it when I consider, you know, who's the candidate that, you know, deserves my vote. And, you know, I don't really have a lot of excuses for failure. You know, it was a big failure. There should have been more mitigation that was done in the beginning, it should have been taken more seriously by the administration.

There should have been more conformity within the panel or the ones that were spearheading this and roundtable and coming up with protocols and things. I think that should have been a lot more uniform with people's responses. It seemed like they'd be behind the President and they'd be at a press conference or briefing. They they'd have an agreement between one another before that something, but they would leave the podium and instantly go and say something that contradicted somebody that was standing next to the President, that made it very, very hard to not only follow but digest.

[20:40:32]

COOPER: Let me ask because I think your perspective is really interesting and really important. Do you think if the President had clearly said, I'm going to wear a mask, everybody should wear a mask. It's the patriotic thing to do. And actually did that you as a supporter of his would that have made a difference? Maybe, maybe wouldn't, but I'm just curious.

GREEN: With me, you know, I mean, it was a lot of things, but I think yes, it would have been convincing to have that. I think that that's a very fair question. And yes, I if he were asking me, I tell him the same in person, I do think that maybe left a lot of people open to getting an infection that they could have maybe avoided. So, I can do that one.

COOPER: The bottom line, though, your message to people right now who are watching who, you know, might wear masks might not. And think it's overblown and a hoax.

GREEN: All I can do is just say, you know, I have to be the example. We have to be the example to, I guess, bring awareness, but also tell people, hey, you know, whatever it is that you've got in the works, you know, we're coming up on Thanksgiving, we're coming up on Christmas. It's a hard time for people, I understand that. But just take a little bit of extra precaution. When you're around others, you know, try to have your events in larger homes or outside if the weather's permitting or just -- if you're nervous about it. I don't say don't be afraid of it. I think that you've got a reason to be afraid of it. I think you should, you know, maybe bow out this year if there are legitimate concerns for that. So.

COOPER: Well, Tony, it's difficult thing to talk about, and I really appreciate what you wrote about it and what you said today, and thank you very much. I wish you and your family the best.

GREEN: Very much. Thank you.

COOPER: Well, still to come tonight. Breaking news on Dr. Fauci's reaction to his words being used and twisted in a Trump campaign ad when "360" returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:46:12]

COOPER: Breaking news on the politics the coronavirus on CNET Dr. Anthony Fauci said President Trump's campaign should take down a highly misleading campaign ad featuring Dr. Fauci. The ad, which the President's defending is running the battleground state of Michigan, not only did the campaign not received Dr. Fauci's permission, Trump's team clip Fauci's comments in such a way as to suggest that famously non-partisan doctor was praising President Trump. In reality, he was praising public health officials. This would Dr. Fauci told my colleague, Jake Tapper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Should the Trump campaign take this ad down?

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIAID: You know, I think so. Jake. I think it's really unfortunate and really disappointing that they did that. It's so clear that I'm not a political person. And I have never either directly or indirectly endorsed the political candidate. And to take it completely out of context statement and put it in, which is obviously a political campaign, I thought was really very disappointing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Fauci was also asked by Jake, what his opinion would be if the Trump campaign ran another ad featuring him, Fauci said that might actually come back to backfire on them.

Joining me now, former CDC director, Dr. Thomas Frieden. Dr. Frieden, I mean, it's obviously dishonest. I'm wondering, is it dangerous that the Trump campaign is using Dr. Fauci's words out of context? Because certainly, for somebody who has a high level of credibility, it seems to undermine that?

THOMAS FRIEDEN, FMR CDC DIRECTOR: Well, Anderson, I can't comment on the politics of it. But if we just look at factually, it's very clear that what Dr. Fauci was saying is not what the campaign wants that to be construed as. You really can't say, with a straight face that the administration has done everything it could to stop COVID no one who understands public health, or COVID would say that.

In fact, the record of this administration is a colossal failure, even now, eight months in, there's no national plan. There's no common understanding of where we are. And there's not the existence of frank and effective communication. Those are the three most important things to run the response to an epidemic, and all three of them have been really lacking in the federal response.

So it's clear, whatever the politics of it that Dr. Fauci's comment, there's not refer to actually the performance of the federal government, which sadly has been such a tragedy that we've had over 100,000 of the more than 200,000 deaths that probably didn't need to happen.

COOPER: It's also remarkable and particularly hypocritical, when Dr. Fauci has been sidelined. I mean, you know, Dr. Birx, Dr. Fauci, the people who actually have long experience dealing with pandemics and as, you know, epidemiologists, and experts, they've been sidelined and yet, the President's campaign clearly wants to use Fauci's credibility in order to bolster his own campaign in the campaign ad. So he doesn't use him to actually get the benefit of his scientific knowledge. He uses him for his credibility to advance himself. FRIEDEN: And you know, Anderson what's fascinating about this also is if you look at what Dr. Messonnier in January and February, it was that disruption to everyday life, it may be severe, it was -- that this is going to be a pandemic. And really what the President was telling Bob Woodward was not so far off. But when Dr. Messonnier said that to the American people she was hardly ever heard from again.

I think the bottom line is, we do trust Americans to do the right thing if we give the information in a frank and open way, as long as you're credible. You give people concrete information, you tell people what you know, when you know it, how you know it, what you don't know and how you're trying to find it out. You'll have a much better response to this pandemic. So the reality of being frank with people, good news and bad what we know what we don't know, that's the essence of an effective response. Credibility is key.

[20:50:10]

COOPER: I mean, Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci had been sidelined to such an extent that you wouldn't even really know that a, that there still a coronavirus taskforce and b, that they're actually still on it. Tonight, Dr. Fauci, you know, there was reporting the doctor a few weeks ago, Dr. Birx was questioning how long she could remain on the task force. Dr. Fauci told CNBC, there's no chance that he would walk away. What does it say to you that, you know, Dr. Fauci who's, again, just dedicated his life to fighting infectious diseases are put in these positions, and regardless of, you know, being kneecapped, or sidelined or ignored and, you know, attacked and threatened, is still willing to, and still, you know, feels it's important to do what he can.

FRIEDEN: I think we're you see through the federal government, and Tony is a friend, I've known him for many years. You see this in the scientists at CDC, is their commitment is not to a political party. It's not to a politician. It's to the American people. And the commitment is to do the best job they can to save as many lives as possible to provide open and transparent information and to hope that they're allowed to do their job and that their role is not misused or abused by anyone.

COOPER: Just finally, when you look at the pictures from the President's rally in Sanford, Florida, it seems like there's going to be rally like this every day or as many days as possible. The President has his wager and the rest of this campaign. Just what concerns you most in the short term given that this is just one week after he left Walter Reed?

FRIEDEN: Well, outdoors is much safer than indoors. So the more things that are outdoors, the better. Masks are safer than no masks. So you'd really like either indoors with masks on everyone, and distance, if possible, or outdoors, ideally with masks, but less important have masks outdoors. I think the bigger challenge here is really the understanding that they failed to stop a cluster at the White House. And we're failing to stop clusters all over the country. The same day the President became infected, about 200,000 other Americans became infected, and about 1000 of them will die from this. Each day, we're seeing around 1,000 deaths in the U.S.

COOPER: Yes.

FRIEDEN: And that is a preventable and shocking tragedy.

COOPER: Yes. Dr. Tom Frieden, appreciate it as always. Thank you.

COOPER: Just ahead, go to Capitol Hill the effects the coronavirus on day one of the Supreme Court nomination hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:56:47]

COOPER: Two Republican senators who are physically absent but virtually present for the first day of Supreme Court confirmation hearings tell CNN they will be there in-person tomorrow. Ted Cruz was quarantining out of precaution, Thom Tillis announced his positive test 10 days ago and while bigger fireworks may be expected in the coming days. Today was the virus in the Election Day that helps set the tone for this four-day event. More now from our Phil Mattingly.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Let's remember. The world is watching.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A potential generational shift for the highest court in the land.

GRAHAM: Yes, I'm going take it off here. OK. Thank you. Thank you.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Playing out amid a once in a century pandemic and a presidential election.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D) VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This hearing should have been postponed. The decision to hold this hearing now is reckless and places facilities workers, janitorial staff and congressional aides and Capitol Police at risk.

GRAHAM: In judging --

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court spending most of the day watching.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R) JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Judge Barrett brings impeccable credentials and judicial temperament and a faithfulness to the law.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Waiting.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D) JUDICIARY COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: Healthcare coverage for millions of Americans is at stake with this nomination.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): And then making her own case for her confirmation. AMY CONEY BARRETT, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: The policy decisions and value judgments of government must be made by the political branches elected by and accountable to the people. The public should not expect courts to do so and courts should not try.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): As senators laid out the battle lines for her nomination in the days ahead. All while they grappled with a health crisis in their own chamber, likely caused by Barrett's nomination event.

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D) JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: We should not be holding this hearing was planned and safe to do so. Two members of this committee just now emerging from quarantine after testing positive.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Two GOP senators at the Rose Garden event tested positive for COVID-19. Senator Mike Lee back on the (INAUDIBLE) less than two weeks later.

SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): Even in those circumstances.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Much of the time without a mask. Lee posted a letter from the capitals attending physician saying that he had quote met the criteria to end COVID-19 isolation.

SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): She was an inspirational model and role model.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Senator Thom Tillis, who also tested positive started the hearing remotely but plans to return in person later in the week.

GRAHAM: You can't demand that all of your colleagues be tested before you go to work if there's no reason,

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Senator Lindsey Graham rejected Democratic calls for each committee member to test negative before the hearings got underway.

GRAHAM: So, we're running this hearing safely has been set up CDC compliant, and we'll move forward.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Even as for some like White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, who has been by President Trump's side throughout his battle with COVID staying mask is a bridge too far.

MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Let me pull this away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Just pull it.

MEADOWS: And then that way I can take this off (INAUDIBLE). Well, I'm more than 10 feet away. I'm not -- well, I'm not going to talk through a mask.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Phil Mattingly soon Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE) [21:00:02]

COOPER: Tomorrow be day two of the Barrett hearing. Don't miss a full day of coverage here on CNN.

The news continues when I hand it over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME." Chris.