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Trump: "Our Doctors Get More Money If Somebody Dies From COVID"; Biden Makes Final Push In Midwest With Drive-In Events; Trump Attacks Minnesota's A.G. Over Limiting Crowd Size. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 30, 2020 - 21:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: You are our Iron Man. Anderson, I'll be watching, and then I'd be at the ready for you until this end. Get some rest, when you can.

I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

Happy Hallowe'eve! Not that reality isn't spooky enough, right?

We do have a real monster in our midst this year. It's the virus. It's on the move. It's in the shadows. It's in the light of day. The sense of foreboding that we all feel is very real. And yet, this is no boogeyman. It's no figment of our imagination. It's not true because somebody just tells you it is. And it's not just in your head.

This has been the worst week ever for Coronavirus cases in the United States. We broke the daily case record again today. We have now surpassed 90,000 infections in one day.

I know the President keeps saying "We are rounding the corner." But be honest. Rounding the corner feels a hell of a lot more like spiraling into this complete hell of a hopscotching virus and more hospitalizations.

The five worst days we have had have been basically in the last week. Five of the last eight days have been the highest five days we've seen. Not rounding the corner. Not going to disappear. There is no need for a jump scare in this story. The virus is no surprise, only Trump's inaction is surprising.

And yet, there is good news. The monster only haunts us if we allow it to. We know what to wear and how to live. But too many, in places with spread, are being told that they don't have to, and they're choosing to believe. That's why the scariest people, this Halloween, ironically, will be the ones not wearing masks.

Everywhere we look, from the pandemic, to protests, depressed economy, to our growing depression in our ranks, we are in a bad place. We have to be better than this. We must do better than this. And I believe we can.

We're treating one another as monsters. And these are polarizing times. But we're making them that way. We could put the same energy into figuring out what we agree on, how to be together, and how to fight together. Why? It's the same energy.

At the end of the day, living angry is hard. Living to be kind is hard. We need to choose our hard. Dividing is hard. Uniting is hard. Maintaining lies is hard. Sometimes telling people the painful truth is hard. Being sick is hard. Doing what you have to do to stay healthy is hard.

As individuals, and as one country, we have to choose our hard. Now, one choice is going to take us in a direction that's going to feel like a trick. Another is sweeter. It's better. It's more who we're supposed to be. And that is much more akin to a treat.

We're not built for harshness. We're built for sweet strength. We have always been, in this country, in a battle to get to a better place. We always have been.

The question is, will that continue after Tuesday? That's what this election is about. Both campaigns know it. They're both focused in the places that matter. Today, the Midwest, and COVID is exploding all over. And you literally have a complete set of opposites in their final message.

Biden's? "You deserve better."


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Everybody knows who Donald Trump is. Let's keep showing him who we are.


BIDEN: We choose unity over division, science over fiction, and yes, we choose truth over lies.

We can do this. We're so much better than this.


CUOMO: If Trump is given four more years that may very well happen.

The mandate that goes along with Trump winning again must be to do more to fight this virus, to give more attention to science, to fund more of the solutions that states need, to deal more with the problems that he dismisses.

"We should go back to school." How? He has to own it and do more. And, of course, he has to tell the truth a hell of a lot more.


If he wins again, the mandate cannot simply be more of the same, because we have too much trouble to stay where we are. He has to attack the real threat in this society the way he attacked an imaginary one that he made up at the border.

He has to stop smearing the same people we have to trust in with our lives, to save us and him, for that matter. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID, you know that, right? I mean our doctors are very smart people. So, what they do is they say "I'm sorry but, you know, everybody dies of COVID."

But in Germany, and other places, if you have a heart attack, or if you have cancer, you're terminally ill, you catch COVID, they say you died of cancer, you died of heart attack. With us, when in doubt, choose COVID.


CUOMO: "When in doubt, choose to lie." They laugh. They nod their heads. They know no better. What he's telling you is not true.

And just think about who he's maligning this time. The men and women that we all have connected to so many of our families, who are literally putting themselves in the worst circumstance, they can out of a sense of duty, our first responders, inflating the COVID death count for cash? Seriously?

This President is letting people die by saying "It is what it is."

And to his benefit, Joe Biden shot right back.


BIDEN: The President of the United States is accusing the medical profession of making up COVID deaths, so they make more money. Doctors and nurses go to work every day to save lives. They do their jobs. Donald Trump should stop taking attacking them and do his job.


CUOMO: And then, there's the President's son. I'm not big into getting after people's families. They are adults. And for him to say about COVID and the people who have died, to lie about the reality is just shameful.

Here is what they're saying.


DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: I went through the CDC data, because I kept hearing about new infections, but I was like, "Well why aren't they talking about this?" Oh, oh, because the number is almost nothing.


CUOMO: Ingraham couldn't even keep nodding along.

"Almost nothing?" Around a 1,000 more lives! Shame on you, Don. You know better than that. You're not ignorant. And I know it's Fox. And I know they're all nodding their heads, and they're allowing you to pass whatever BS you want as a suggestion.

But just so that everybody at home is clear, there is too much death. That average is what it has been whenever we see spikes. And remember this, simple logic, simple science. We never see deaths track the number of cases. These are all lagging indicators.

First you don't feel well. You wind up testing positive. Then god forbid, the sickness gets ahold of you, then you're in the hospital, then god forbid, you don't fight it off, which almost all of us do because we're stronger than the virus and we have amazing healthcare, and if not, god forbid, then you get your deaths.

One follows the next. The consequences lag by stage. They always have. And he knows that. And Fox knows better.

What the Trumps don't seem to understand is that the lies they're telling about COVID may be good for them, but they're making their own supporters sick. We've seen the data that after rallies, the communities that hold them have spikes. They're literally dying because of their support.

According to a "Washington Post" poll, since Trump tested positive on October 1st, COVID has killed more than 12,000 in counties that voted for him, an average of 435 a day, a congress of constituents killed.

It's not right. It's not right for the people who put stock in this President as a change agent. The only thing that changes shouldn't be the status of their health for the worse.

If Biden wins the presidency, the pandemic's not going away. And if he doesn't have a plan, he's going to have a hard time delivering on this giant promise.


BIDEN: We don't cower. And nor do I. Never will we. Unlike Donald Trump, we'll not surrender to this virus.

I'm not going to shut down the economy. I'm going to shut down the virus.


CUOMO: We'll see how, because it's all about how. No matter who wins, this pandemic will not go away unless we make it, together.


Congress needs to form a bipartisan commission, if the Democrats are in charge. Republicans will not do this, and that should tell you something. We need to find out how things went so wrong. We have to do better. We have to be better, if we want a way out.

Now, where are we looking now in the final Friday before Election Day? Let's brainstorm with David Gregory and David Axelrod.

Good to see you both.

David Gregory, they are hitting the same states, like a lot, even though when you look at the paths to victory, they're looking at different baskets of states. Explain.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think from the Vice President, what you see is offense, offense, offense.

I mean, he's taking the fight to the President in the areas where the President has to defend, where the President unexpectedly grabbed the presidency in 2016, by going to the Upper Midwest, by going to battleground Florida, by mixing into that, that extra level of aggressiveness on the part of Biden, by going to Iowa, by going to Georgia.

These are places where Democrats haven't played in such a long time. And there's a message in that, that Biden is sending to his supporters, that we've got an opportunity to win in places we haven't won before, and that we can make Trump defend in so many places when he's already cash-strapped, that he's at a disadvantage.

So, that's what I look at when I see the map. And the message piece is interesting. You talked about Coronavirus. It's a big part of what the Vice President is talking about, "We can do better. I have a different approach. How do you like how we've been handling it so far?"

I also think the Vice President - the former Vice President is really trying to emphasize character, "Mine versus his," and a return to a kind of regular, more normal order in this country, something that might feel less toxic. It's a lot of feeling in his blitz of advertising and a lot of his messaging.

CUOMO: Axe, the idea that you have cases popping up everywhere that both of these gentlemen need to win, is that going to be the dispositive factor in this election?

DAVID AXELROD, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I don't know. It certainly doesn't help the President to go and mock doctors, and mock people for wearing masks, in places where the virus is particularly on the march right now.

I mean, he thinks that this fires up his base, and he believes that this is now a mobilization campaign, and this is how he gets them out. I have a real doubt about that. And I think what he's doing is constricting his base, and firing up people who want change.

And I quite agree with David. The mark of a good campaign, a good - campaign that is on a good course, Chris, is when everything is harmonized, when the message of the candidate, and the message of his advertising, meets the moment in the country. And you can feel that. And that's what you're seeing with Biden right now.

This country is weary. It's weary of the virus. It's weary of being divided.

I think the most powerful line he has spoken in his closing ad, and he does it in his stump speech, I think, as well, is that he's going to be a President for the people who voted for him, and the people who voted against him.

And, on the other side, you have a President who keeps who, you know, he's always believed that subtraction is somehow multiplication. And his calculus is wrong. And I think that all of this is coming together right now.

CUOMO: Well you have the President, David, outwardly just denying the reality of the hole we're in with the pandemic. As we all know, five of the worst eight days that we've had have been in the last eight days.

Today, we once again broke the record for cases. Hospitalizations are spiking. He says nothing about the truth of the status of the situation. So, his bet must be that he can beat the reality. Is there any proof he's right?

GREGORY: I don't see that proof. I mean, I'm with Axe on this. I don't see how he's getting beyond his base of support, which I think has a certain ceiling to it.

Yes, I mean I think we have to be open to the potential that people are willing to do something when they vote that they wouldn't tell a pollster, that maybe they feel even less inclined to say, "Yes, I'm for Trump despite everything that's going on with the pandemic." I think that's true. I just don't see how he's expanding the base of support.

I mean, take today, where he mocks Laura Ingraham, who has a show, of course, on Fox, who's very much part of the Trump base, because she's wearing a mask at a rally, which is an obvious review to the way he's--


CUOMO: She let his son say that a 1,000 people a day dying isn't a big deal.


She actually made a terrible point, for somebody who is a legal scholar, that "1,000 a day, but it's not tracking with the cases. So, it's probably not big a deal." She knows it's a lagging indicator. She knows you're not going to have deaths--


CUOMO: --be one-for-one with cases. She knows it takes time. So, she's doing as well as she can for him.

GREGORY: No, I get it. But all I'm saying is that for him to make that statement is even at odds to say that she's being politically correct by wearing a mask. Again, I don't see how that tracks with reality.

If you want - he's making an argument. The problem is he has no discipline about it, to say "Well the virus" or "The response to the virus is overblown. They're overlooking key facts. They're overlooking progress toward a vaccine, and better experience medically treating patients who are hospitalized."

But he's not doing that in any way that makes sense, because he spends all his time by denying something--


GREGORY: --that's just plain fact.

AXELROD: You, you can't spin a--

CUOMO: Give me a quick last word, Axe.

AXELROD: You can't - you can't spin a pandemic. I've said it a million times. You cannot spin a pandemic. And yet, he continues to try to do it four days before an election. It's insane.

CUOMO: He's trying to say that the big monster in our midst is the violence in cities, which is him turning a deaf ear to the protests that precede them in every instance.

David Axelrod, David Gregory, thank you very much, brothers. Get some rest this weekend.

GREGORY: Thanks.

CUOMO: It will be a long one.

AXELROD: See you soon.

CUOMO: Next week.

All right, outbreaks are reality, OK? The map doesn't lie. The virus doesn't lie. The cases are what they are, at a minimum, right? Some states don't report well. They underplay. They don't overplay.

Now, you look at the cases that are tied to Trump rallies, in states like Minnesota, where he campaigned again tonight, and the President says he's not happy about the cap put on his MAGA crowd size, for the purpose of keeping the people, who care about him, safe.

Minnesota's Attorney General had something to do with keeping people safe in Minnesota, even if it doesn't make the live shot as good for the President.

We'll talk to him about the reality in that state, and the reality of the legitimacy of the election, specifically the state's mail-in voting battle, next.









CUOMO: Minnesota matters, 10 electoral votes. Clinton won, but razor thin, in 2016. I think she won by a point and a half. It is a state that Donald Trump hopes to flip.

He chose, though, however, in his own interests, to risk so many others. Look at these people, tightly packed, masks not around. He spoke for about 21 minutes. A large chunk of that time was spent attacking the State's Attorney General.




CUOMO: Let's get the Attorney General himself to respond to the politics of the moment, but also the big policy battle over voting.

Keith Ellison, Mr. A.G., welcome back to PRIME TIME.


CUOMO: All right, here's what the President said.


DONALD TRUMP: Your far-left Democrat Attorney General Keith Ellison--


DONALD TRUMP: --and your Democrat Governor tried to shut down our rally.

Keith Ellison sided with flag-burning extremists.

Keith Ellison and Joe Biden want to imprison you in your homes.


CUOMO: Your response?

ELLISON: It's not true. All we're trying to do is protect people from a deadly virus that has taken the lives of about 2,400 Minnesotans, and about 230,000 Americans. So, I mean, it's too bad that he would misrepresent the truth that way. But all we are trying to do is protect people.

And we are applying the COVID restrictions even-handedly. We've done as many as 80 demand - requests for preparation - COVID preparation plans. And we asked them for one as well. We did not shut down their rally. They had their rally. And so - but we do have restrictions, on the number of people, social distancing, masks, and that's what we're going to do, in even-handed way.

As for the personal shot, I just ignore it. It's part of the job. And I certainly am going to do all I can to protect public health.

CUOMO: The common argument by the President is, "Boy, you know, they bust down on our events, but they don't bust down on those protests." That goes for your State of Minnesota.

Is that a fair criticism, that you let people protest without masks but then you bust down on the rallies?

ELLISON: No, that's not a fair criticism.

I mean, it's like if somebody is speeding down the street, and the police don't see him, and then the person the officer does catch, says "I'm giving you a ticket," and then the guy says, "Well you didn't get that other guy."

We have enforced the COVID restrictions as well as we can. Back when, at the height of the public responses to George Floyd, we just got overwhelmed at certain points, but to the degree that we can enforce it, and we do, and we do it in an even-handed way. And I can assure you of that, and assure all Minnesotans of that.

CUOMO: The President is putting a lot of money into your State. He has greatly increased his ad buy there, 1.2 million in TV advertising, in the final week of the campaign, more than it spent there, in the preceding three weeks combined.

Do you think the President has a real shot in Minnesota?

ELLISON: Honestly, yes, I do. I will tell you that I believe in our campaign workers and organizers. They are working extremely hard.

I can tell you that Minnesotans know what a problem Trump is. They know he doesn't care about their healthcare. They know all the bad things about him. But there are some folks who still are supporting him.


And so, what I tell people is if you are - is that one, he - he does have a shot, don't play it cheap, work hard for every single vote, and don't stop until 8 o'clock on November 3rd.

CUOMO: Now, theoretically, he just got a big win in this state, because the federal court's deciding that after Election Day, no ballots that are received by mail-in will be legitimate, is a big win for him because it was his electors, GOP electors, who wanted that rule changed, and they got it.

And now, we are told that the state is not planning to fight the ruling, may preserve its rights by sequestering ballots, counting the ones on Election Day, but keeping the ones after it, maybe for a later court fight. Where do things stand?

ELLISON: Well we had some very serious conversations about what to do about the Eighth Circuit's decision. It was a 2-1 decision. I believe it was wrongly decided.

But the order was to sequester the ballots. They will be counted. They will be counted. We may end up in a court battle about what happens to the sequestered ballots. But they will be counted.

And I think it's unfortunate, because all we said is that you have to - is if you have your ballot postmarked, by the end of the election period, then it will be counted. They're saying it's got to arrive by that time, which is unfair, and it's really ironic, considering what he tried to do to the mails.

So, the bottom line is that we preserve all our rights. But, for strategic reasons, as you well know, there's a new composition in the court nowadays, and we decided that the most - the best thing, the best - the smartest move was to sequester the ballots, count the ballots, and preserve our rights to litigate afterwards, if we need to.

CUOMO: And obviously, all Minnesotans, Left, Right, or reasonable, should know that if they're going to mail in a ballot, the deadline has changed. It has to be received by Election Day. Or you can play it safe.


CUOMO: Vote early, or vote on Election Day.

ELLISON: That's true. And it's unfortunate because we did have a consent decree that as long as it was postmarked by Election Day, it will be counted, even if it arrived afterward. We had an agreement on that.

And, you know, that - so it is unfortunate that the Eighth Circuit would allow people to rely, and then change the rules a few days out. That's really sad and unfortunate. And who knows, we may end up litigating this thing anyway.

But we just thought the best course of action for Minnesotans would be to urge them to get their ballots in, so they can be counted and they will be counted. And we're going to make sure every ballot lawfully submitted is counted. And that's our pledge and our promise.

CUOMO: Mr. A.G., thank you very much for joining us, good luck with all that is to follow.

ELLISON: You bet, thank you very much, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, God bless.

ELLISON: God bless.

CUOMO: Truth matters, especially in the closing days of this election.

Scenes like this that we're going to show you right now, these are the truth. Millions of you, each of you, is an act of truth, standing in ridiculously long lines, all over the country. We should be better than this. This is sending the wrong message about participation.

However, your resolve is the resiliency, is the power of what America can be. More than 86 million of you making your voice heard already. That power is bigger than any poll, any prediction, or any pundit.

It even outweighs the most powerful man on the planet pushing a dangerous lie about the illegitimacy of this election, one now being echoed from his first two appointees on the court, and by foreign adversaries alike.

Whoever thought we'd see that alliance? Supreme Court Justices saying the same thing the Russians want us to believe, that democracy will explode at 11:59 Tuesday night, if a winner isn't known.

As always, the best defense is the truth. In this case, again, you are the truth. Fact, we never have a final count on election night, period. We sometimes know who's going to win by the strength of the gap in the exit polls, and what states report to us. But, not knowing, it not being final is a fact hardwired into federal law.

December 8th is the so-called safe harbor deadline. That was the big issue in 2000, with Bush v. Gore. That's more than a month after the election. That's how long states have to sort it out before they appoint electors. The reason for that in-between period? The states won't have all the votes on Election Day.


21 states and the District of Columbia allow postmarked ballots to arrive after Election Day. That includes some key battleground states, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, which almost lost the right, and Texas. Minnesota, not going to be on that list.

The list was 22 states, until the ruling in Minnesota. So, there are a lot of states that have counting to do after the 3rd.

Now, is it possible that the counting they get done up through the 3rd creates some huge gap that they don't expect, can match the remaining ballots, that the number remaining is not as much as what they see as a gap? Maybe. But it's not certain.

The uncertainty about how the Supreme Court would rule is due to what we've seen in the last few weeks. We don't know any more in this new composition. The Supreme Court has said North Carolina can wait nine days, Pennsylvania can wait three, but Wisconsin can't wait six. The thing you need to keep in mind is there's a big difference between receiving ballots and reporting ballots, OK? New York and Alaska won't report any mail-in votes until election night. That doesn't mean you won't see those states called on Tuesday night. Why? Because journalists project the results based on multiple factors, OK?

Now, given what we saw with the polling in 2016, those projections are going to take longer this time, especially true in states where the race is going to be tighter. Where? Michigan, Pennsylvania.

Officials there are already saying it could be days before we have enough information to make those calls. Why? Well the actual counting can vary depending on the county. Not everybody does it the same way.

Example, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, solid for Trump in 2016, but officials there say they won't even start processing mail-in ballots until Wednesday. Because we know that Trump voters are expected to vote more on Election Day and Biden voters are expected to vote more by mail.

That means if it seems like Trump has an early lead on Tuesday, you'll hear a lot of talk about a Red mirage, and maybe the possibility of a Blue wave. Mirage and wave, they don't really go together but that's what it is.

That's because, early on, you're likely only going to be looking at part of the picture. It's exactly the scenario that sets up perfectly for the President and those who support him, foreign and domestic. Why? Because it's a great opportunity, with this conflicting sense, this uncertainty, to seed division.

There's a lot more at play in this election than even the White House. The true balance of power is on the line, Congress. Will Democrats succeed?

Here is what we've got to do. Got to keep cool. We have to be patient. We have to wait for things to be final. Resist predictions. And know the facts as we find them. And that's where the Wizard of Odds comes in.

Two main factors to watch that could determine the balance of power in Congress, next.









BIDEN: So honk if you want America to lead again.


BIDEN: Honk if you want Americans to trust each other again.


BIDEN: Honk if you want America to be united again.


BIDEN: Folks, we cannot afford four more years of Donald Trump.


CUOMO: It's all so weird. Isn't it? Joe Biden calling for honks instead of cheers. Why? COVID. He's got to host a drive-in rally in the Hawkeye State today, why? Because he's held to a different standard by the people, who support him.

If he held a rally, like Trump's, he would get crushed by the media, he would get crushed by Democrats, he'd get crushed by people on the Left and the fringe, they'd all crush him, and it would hurt him.

Trump does not get hurt by doing things, though he is President that are demonstrably bad for the people who support him.

So, he wanted to draw a contrast with Trump, in a state, especially that's seeing rising COVID cases. You're going to encourage people to be close together? He's trying to shore up more than just his own position. Down-ballot matters.

Democratic challenger, you see on the screen there, Theresa Greenfield, locked in a tight race with Republican incumbent Joni Ernst. Will it work? Where do Democrat chances of flipping the Senate stand now?

The Wizard of Odds is here to answer. I am here to ask.

Harry Enten, the House, you believe, will not switch hands. So, it's about whether or not the Senate will. Chances?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: Yes, I mean, look, at this particular point, the Democrats are favored to gain back control of the United States Senate. Right now, they're at 47 seats. The forecast, right now, is for them to get up to 52.

But I should note that this race remains within the margin of error, right? So, it wouldn't shock me if Republicans hold on. But, at this point, the best guess is that Democrats will, in fact, pick up enough seats to gain that majority. CUOMO: Why? Look at the pickup chances and tell me why.

ENTEN: Yes. I mean, take a look here. This sort of gives you a pretty good understanding of why. Look, right now, these are the five best ones. Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina. They'll probably lose in Alabama, but hold on in Michigan.

But you'll note Iowa, which you were mentioning, a very, very tight race, so is North Carolina. But you get a why. Here is a big reason why.

Take a look at the presidential race in all those five states that I just mentioned, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina, and look at that - look at the presidential race, in those states, and compare it to the Senate margin.


Look, Biden is leading in all those states, and oftentimes, really with only the exception of Maine, those margins look awfully close, like in Iowa, where he was today, Biden is up by a mere point, well within the margin of error. And that's exactly how much Greenfield is up by, in the average of polls, exactly one point. So, we're basically seeing the presidential race driving the Senate results.

CUOMO: How many can they lose, and still get the Senate?

ENTEN: They can - in this particular scenario, even if they lost one of these seats on the screen, and they lost Alabama, they would still get that net gain of three, and that would allow them to pick up the Senate control, as long as Joe Biden won the presidency.

But there are a bunch of other states, where they're also competitive in, so they could lose two here, but really you want to pick up at least four of the races on your screen, right now, to have a pretty good shot at Senate control.

CUOMO: What's the conventional wisdom? If they don't win the presidency, does that mean that these races probably go sideways as well?

ENTEN: Yes, that's probably the case. I'd give you - I'll give you a quick stat here.

In 2016, it was the first year ever, in which the Democratic candidate, in all the races in which the Democratic candidate won the presidency, they also won all the Senate races. In all the states that Trump won, the Republican candidates won all of them. So, that is certainly the conventional wisdom. You probably need Biden

to win in most of these states, in order for the Democratic Senate candidate to win as well.

CUOMO: The COVID factor here, I know the President is ignoring it, and he's pushing violence in cities as kind of the monster in our midst as opposed to the virus. But to the extent that the cases are just overwhelming, the five worst

days that we've had are in the last eight days. The timing couldn't be worse for the President, especially with his strategy of lie, defy, and deny, when it comes to the COVID reality.

How is it lining up in what we see out on the hustings?

ENTEN: I mean, look at this. The 10 best Democratic Senate pickup chances, five of those, we already won over, Georgia is another two, Montana, Kansas, South Carolina, COVID cases are rising in all of them.

Especially in a state like Iowa, that's so particularly close at this point, it wouldn't be surprising to me at all that the COVID cases help drive some last-minute deciding voters into the Democratic column.

And we do know from the research that those two factors are correlated, where there are more deaths from COVID, it has been shown in some scientific literature that the Democratic chances do in fact go up because folks are blaming Donald Trump, and they trust the Democrats more on the issue of the Coronavirus.

CUOMO: I got an X-factor for you here, as we close. So, people on the Democrat side are more worried about the virus, apparently, than people on the Right.

So, if cases are worse in where you live, isn't it more likely that people on the Left will stay home, and people on the Right, who are not as afraid, of the virus, because they believe it's hype or whatever nonsense, that they will go to the polls?

ENTEN: They voted early, Chris. This is the reason. They voted by mail. They voted early. That's what Democrats wanted to do because they were afraid of the virus. And that's why you're seeing those large lead, in those vote-by-mail, in that early vote.

It's the Republicans who have to make up ground on Election Day, in pretty much all these states, and we'll see if they're able to do it. But a lot of the Democratic vote, to be honest with you, is already in.

CUOMO: And then it goes the other way, the X-factor also, the President has been bashing mail-in voting so much, how many of his own did he chill in wanting to take that route because of what he said.

Harry Enten, well-argued and appreciated.

ENTEN: My pleasure, my friend.

CUOMO: Thank you.

On this closing week of the race, we're going to dive deeper into the closing arguments on policy. Who is offering what that should matter to you? The debate, next.









CUOMO: Quattro mas (ph) four more days to go. Biden and Trump crisscrossing the country, making closing arguments on everything from COVID-19 to their plans for Black Americans.

Trump's Coronavirus plan relies heavily on Operation Warp Speed, which focuses on developing Coronavirus vaccines. In real-time, however, the President's strategy is to ignore the reality.

He said nothing on the hustings about the fact that we have set all new bad records just this week. He doesn't even lay out the simple guidance that's put out by his own Task Force. He doesn't discuss wearing masks. He doesn't discuss how to fight the virus on our own.

Biden's plan is the complete opposite. He's talking science and scientists. The President is bashing them. He's saying we can do this together, and we have to do the right things. The President is saying the only option other than what we're doing now is to shut everything back down. Biden disagrees.

So, on the points that matter, let's take those strategies to Van Jones, and Rick Santorum.

Gentlemen, to you and your families, both, thank you for being with me, thank you for being with me all along in this process, and in the days to come. God bless you both.



CUOMO: All right, Van, Biden has - I want to get it right - seven- point COVID plan, necessities like more, right?

Testing, PPE production, working with the CDC, to get more guidance, investing $25 billion in the vaccines, so to keep that part in the distribution intact, protecting vulnerable populations better, and more what, like, elderly, and people of color, restoring the White House Office, responsible for monitoring these kinds of risks, encouraging universal masking via governors and lawmakers.

Now, it's not the most specific thing in the world. So, why is this, the best sell?

JONES: Well it's the best sell because he believes he might actually do it, and put his heart into it, and not undermine it with his own comments, and his own conduct. And so, that's important.

The other thing is, you do believe you'll see a Joe Biden reach out to both sides, bring people to the table, bring in the governors, bring in the Republicans, sit down, and have a whole-of-government approach to this thing, and not treat it like it's a nuisance that he has to worry about, as Obama says, kind of competing with his own media ratings.


It's not just the - it's not just the content. It's the conduct of the character of the man that gives you more confidence in Biden.

CUOMO: Now, I'm not going to hang you, Rick, with a plan that the President didn't put out. But are you worried that this COVID-Schmovid strategy, "Doctors are liars, and they're lying to you about the numbers, and this is really no big deal, it will go away," you worried about that?

SANTORUM: No. I - look, Joe Biden has just proven that Donald Trump's plan is the right plan, because Joe Biden's plan is Donald Trump's plan.

There really isn't a dime's worth of difference between what Biden is suggesting and what Trump is already doing. So, I agree with Van that it's more of a - of a message, you know, who's the messenger as opposed to what the plan is.

But I think there's actually a twist on this that could be very, very - and I think Biden is reacting to the twist, which is as these cases go up, I think a lot of people are concerned that there will be another shutdown, and if they elect a Democrat, just like they're doing in Europe, and if you want to look at what the Democrats will do, well, look at what Europe is doing.

They want us to be more like Europe. Well, Europe is in the process of shutting down right now. And I know a lot of single moms, who are out there, worried about their kids not being able to go to school, or wage-earners, who are going to have their jobs shut down again, and that's the point that Trump is making.

And I think Biden is sort of panicked a little bit, saying, "No, no, I'm not going to shut down," but, you know, that's not what - that's not what his buddies over in Europe are doing, and I think that's what a lot of Americans are afraid of right now.

CUOMO: Let's move on. But, to be clear, every poll shows that this President is not trusted on the pandemic, and largely because he doesn't say what science suggests he should.

And there are more parents who aren't sending their kids to school right now because they know it's not safe than those who are worried about what happens if it becomes--

SANTORUM: But it--


CUOMO: But--

SANTORUM: Look, there's all sorts of - you want to talk about science, Chris, the study - the science on schools is rock-solid. I mean, everywhere, there is just simply no indication that there's any spread going on. That's from the CDC.

CUOMO: Well there are cases. The problem is the problem isn't the kids.

SANTORUM: There is very, very few.

CUOMO: The problem isn't the kids.

SANTORUM: Much, much less than anywhere else.

JONES: They don't study what happens in those homes. But let's move on. People know enough on this.

Healthcare, Rick, Biden wants to build on the ACA. Trump wants the plan bearing his predecessor's name gone without offering any replacement over the entirety of his first term. Is get rid of this a good enough plan for all the people who are worried about what would replace it?

CUOMO: No, I think Donald Trump is messaged incredibly poorly on this.

Look, he's done a lot to improve the ACA. He's actually done more to make the ACA work than Obama did. And, as a result, during his term, premiums have come down, and copays have come down, and there's more plans available in - ACA plans available as a result of the things that he's done.

But he has not supported a broad-based plan, and I think that's a huge mistake. As you know, Chris, I've been working on one. We've tried to get the Administration to endorse it, and they haven't.

The difference is that Biden is not just saying "Oh we need more, you know, improve the ACA," he wants a public option. And anyone, who's looked at a public option, will tell you that is going to have a huge impact, in the private market, and there will be a huge decline in the number of people with private insurance.


JONES: Well listen, I think that choice is a good thing.

I think if people want to continue to give their money, to insurance companies that discriminate against them, mistreat them, try not to give them service, and pay their bureaucrats a lot of money, people should have the right to continue to give their money to these insurance companies.

But they should also have the right to buy into, to Medicare, and have a government program that is so popular that nobody wants to take it apart.

And so, to give the American people a choice, you can be with these terrible insurance companies, if you want to, you also can be with the government program that works, I think is good. And it's incredibly popular.

What we're not talking about is the fact that no matter what Donald Trump says, his deeds, his words, are trying to destroy Obamacare and destroy the protections for people who have pre-existing conditions.

And that is somewhere between 50 million and a 100 million Americans, who are in the sights of Donald Trump. If you take a pill every day, if you know anybody who takes a pill every day, Donald Trump is trying to throw them under the bus. That's his deeds, not his words.

CUOMO: Make a quick point.

SANTORUM: Well can I just--

CUOMO: Because I want to get to Black policy.

SANTORUM: OK, can I just say - I have to say one thing.

CUOMO: Please.

SANTORUM: Look, Donald Trump has said in every situation, and there's not a single Republican, who is going to vote against a pre-existing condition. Besides that's a--

JONES: Well--

SANTORUM: --that's a complete red herring. And what - and one final - one final point.

Look, when you give the public option, we're not talking about - we're talking about employers dropping coverages. That's what's going to happen, if there's some public option out there, is that they will choose not to provide insurance, and put people on the public golem (ph) that's the problem.

CUOMO: We're not going to have time to go through the merits. So let's do this. Van?


CUOMO: What is the biggest reason that Black Americans should vote for Biden? And then, Rick, I'll give you the same chance.

JONES: Well, I mean, first of all, what you can count on Biden is he's part of a political party that has a very long history of supporting African-American causes.


For instance, both of these candidates say they are for criminal justice reform. The reality is that the Department of Justice, under Trump, has done tremendous damage to that cause, even though Trump has done well on legislative side.

You will have a Department of Justice, under Biden, that is every day aggressively reforming criminal justice which is not--

CUOMO: Right.

JONES: --which is not what Barr is doing. And you'll also have - you'll have the opportunity, under a Biden administration, to see real advances in housing and other issues, like you're trying to cut me off, so I'll let - I'll let Rick have his turn.

CUOMO: Rick, same time.

SANTORUM: Yes, real quick. Yes, this is the first Republican President, in my lifetime, who has actually worked, to reach out, to the Black community, and not just talk to them and work with them, but actually do things like Black colleges, like criminal justice reform, like entrepreneur - Opportunity Zones, like the Platinum Plan and other.

This is a - this is someone, who is making a serious play, and working in that community. And whether he's successful or not, I have to give - I have to tip my hat and thank him for doing the work that Republicans all along should have been doing.

CUOMO: Well and if he has anyone to blame, it's not the plans. It's what's come out of his mouth.

SANTORUM: Yes, agree (ph).

CUOMO: Van Jones, Rick Santorum, thank you both. And again, bless both your families. We'll be right back.









CUOMO: Times are tough, the situation is heavy, I know. The key is always the same. We will get through it together. Good, bad and ugly. Thank you for giving us an opportunity on CUOMO PRIME TIME. Time for the big show, with the big star, "CNN TONIGHT" with D. Lemon right now.

Ooh, look at that mask!