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Erin Burnett Outfront

Global Cases Top 13 Million; U.S. Accounts for 25 Percent Of The World's 570,000-Plus Deaths; WH Denies It's Trying To Discredit Fauci Despite Negative Statement; CA Shutting Businesses Back Down; Trump Doubles Down On Reopening Schools As Pandemic Worsens; Study: Immunity From COVID Antibodies May Only Last Months; Judge Rules Trump's Niece Is Free To Promote Book. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired July 13, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: May they rest in peace and may their memories be a blessing.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next the breaking news, the U.S. headed for another record day of cases, more states are shutting back down. America currently going in the wrong direction as President Trump is at odds with Dr. Anthony Fauci.

And a new study suggests immunity from coronavirus antibodies may be incredibly brief. Does this mean that people who have the virus can get it again?

Plus, the President says he's getting rave reviews for commuting Roger Stone's sentence. Is it backfiring with his own party? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, a grim new milestone. The number of known coronavirus cases globally now 13 million. The number of deaths more than 570,000. And the United States with only 4 percent of the world's population makes up nearly a quarter of those deaths, 135,512 dead Americans tonight and the number of the cases in this country headed for another single day record.

As of tonight, 35 states are going in the wrong direction in case count, too, including California, the most populous state in this country just announcing rolling back measures today. And while Dr. Anthony Fauci meantime and President Trump are in completely different pages. Here's Dr. Fauci.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Here it is, it's happened. Your worst nightmare, the perfect storm. It is truly historic. We haven't even begun to see the end of it yet.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: We haven't even begun to see the end of it. That is not the

message President Trump wants you to hear. He knows it reflects poorly on his leadership at this point and highlights a failure to get the pandemic under control. That is why Trump is yelling the opposite as loudly as he can. And in this case, the opposite is blatantly untrue.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We test more than anybody by far and when you test you create cases. So we've created cases. We have the lowest mortality or just about the lowest mortality in the world. We're doing a great job.


BURNETT: As usual, it is necessary to spend some time here putting facts out there because the President did not. First, the mortality rate, right, and he says the best in the world or about. Well, that's not true. The U.S. is the ninth worst mortality rate, according to Johns Hopkins. Second, the claim that when you test you create cases, this is false.

New cases are added daily all time high, nearly 50,000 today and that vastly outpaces any increase in testing. Here are the numbers. Since June 12th, there has been a 37 percent increase in testing in the United States and over that exact same timeframe, the number of cases has gone up 152 percent. So the President's claim on testing is factually incorrect as it has been every single time he has made it.

And because he makes that claim almost every single day and it is correct at almost every single day on this program and others, at this point it is fair to say he is lying. He is not misinformed. He is not unaware on this. He is simply not telling the truth.

But his top doctor does tell the truth on the facts, the figures, the data and so even as Trump's team now tries to put out a list of mistakes Fauci has made and Trump publicly has slammed him, we're left with the reality that Fauci opens his mouth with facts and Trump opens his mouth to say anything that makes the virus seem small and not a problem.


TRUMP: Well, I think we are in a good place.

FAUCI: We're facing a serious problem now.

TRUMP: And we're almost up to 40 million in testing and 40 million people, which is unheard of.

FAUCI: I think what we do need is better screening, broader screening in the country to get a feel for really what the penetrance of this infection is.

TRUMP: If you're looking at the chart of deaths, deaths are way down.

FAUCI: It's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death.

TRUMP: So we were able to close our country, save millions of lives, open and now the trajectory is great.

FAUCI: Some states who went from shut down to complete throwing caution to the wind.


BURNETT: Talk about cognitive dissonance, except this is much more than that. This is one person sharing facts and the other not. And as for Fauci's point about some states throwing caution to the wind, take Florida, a state the President praised for reopening when it did so without meeting the White House coronavirus task force guidelines.

That State recorded more than 15,000 new cases yesterday, which is the highest number of new cases in a single day for any state at any point during this entire pandemic. Florida now has more cases than most countries on the planet.

More than 8,000 people are currently hospitalized in Florida and infectious disease expert in Miami saying, "Miami is now the epicenter of the pandemic, what we were seeing in Wuhan six months ago now we're there."

So when the President says we're doing a great job, what exactly does he mean?


Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live near the White House to begin our coverage tonight. And Kaitlan, even as we laid out, as I said, the facts and fiction here. The Trump administration is going out of its way now to discredit Fauci who is the top infectious disease doctor in the country in charge of this.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I think that's really one of the big takeaways for people sitting at home wondering when they're going back to work or when schools are going to reopen and if it's going to be safe to send their kids back is you were seeing people inside the White House go behind Dr. Fauci's back and distributed this anonymous list of things that he said publicly several months ago compared to what he's saying now.

Things like when he initially said that there wasn't guidance to wear masks, something that the Surgeon General also said and explicitly told people do not go out and buy mask. Yet those statements weren't included in that list that the White House sent around over the weekend and neither were the many false claims that the President himself has made about the virus like the one about testing that you just pointed out.

It's been pointed out to him many, many times by his own health officials that that just is not the case. And we've seen this, Erin, for months, the White House tried to deny there's any kind of tension between President Trump and Dr. Fauci. They say that they get along when they're in person. There's never raised voices when they're in the same room.

But it's pretty clear what's happening here and it's that they are trying to undermine Dr. Fauci at times by distributing statements like this that he made and then denying today at the press briefing that they were doing that.

It's one thing to do it and to just say you did it, but they are denying that they're actually pushing this out there and saying that they're just answering questions when they're not it was on background, it was not attributed to any official inside the communications shop.

And this comes as you've seen several television programs, including CNN say that they've tried many times to get Dr. Fauci to come on air so they could do an interview with him to only be rejected by the White House. And he's been doing some of these print interviews like the one he did last week where he revealed that he had not briefed the President in over two months.

So it does reveal this gulf between the President and one of his top health advisors, no matter how much the White House is trying to deny that anything is happening there.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Kaitlan. And I want to go now to our Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Jonathan Reiner, Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at GW, also, of course, advised President George W. Bush's medical team for eight years in the White House.

So Dr. Reiner, the White House has been making a concerted effort to discredit Dr. Fauci. The President and Fauci haven't spoken in months and Fauci has been left for - we just saw him there at a panel, right, these sort of panel events that universities or think tanks are holding, that's the only way we hear from him not in interviews on television.

How much does all of this concern you right now?

JONATHAN REINER, DIRECTOR OF CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION LABORATORY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: It's very destructive. Look, if you're trying to get the public to believe a fantasy, then you have to discredit the truth tellers. And that's what the President is doing.

Over the last few months, the White House coronavirus task force has really been pushed to the side. A lot of the initial functions of the task force in terms of coordinating a nationwide response have been outsourced to the states. So the states are primarily responsible for testing now.

Although the CDC and the federal government issued guidelines, really careful guidelines for opening the states, the states were given the authority to open on their timeline and the President tacitly encouraged them to speed that up. So - and we've also heard that from people like Jared Kushner that the Strategic National Stockpile is for the federal government's to use, not for the states use.

So in some ways, the coronavirus task force has become marginalized and when you see the leader of the task force, discredited by the President, it's for a purpose.

BURNETT: Sanjay, Dr. Fauci said about coronavirus today, we haven't even begun to see the end of it yet, what I just played, and he said that this is clearly the most challenging public health crisis he has ever dealt with, right, in his many decades career which has included HIV, anthrax, Zika, Ebola. But the President, obviously, doesn't care and one of the comments that the White House pointed to from Fauci as they've been trying to discredit him was this one.


FAUCI: No, right now, at this moment, there was no need to change anything that you're doing on a day by day basis.


BURNETT: That was, of course, very early on. And then he went on, Sanjay, to say this, this is what they left out, this is what he then said.


FAUCI: Right now the risk is still low, but this could change. I've said that many times even on this program. You've got to watch out because although the risk is low now, you don't need to change anything you're doing. When you start to see community spread.


FAUCI: This could change.


FAUCI: And force you to become much more attentive to doing things that would protect you from spread.


BURNETT: Sanjay, I want to make the point. That was in February, NBC still had its - promoting the Olympics, OK? He said, if you see community spread, this is all going to change. Well, guess what, we saw community spreads. So he was very clear as to what would happen for him to change his point of view.


They left that part out. How harmful is this effort to discredit Fauci?

GUPTA: It's really worrisome. I mean, I think obviously that the briefings went away. That took away a certain seriousness. I think as the briefings went away, there was a lot of people who thought, well, this thing is essentially over. The states are starting to reopen. The briefings have stopped.

Same time, our reporting, we knew that people were saying, as you pointed out, wasn't that people were necessarily mad at Fauci, it was just that he reminded them of the pandemic. So it was a little bit of an out of sight, out of mind situation for a while. And now there's this act of sort of very unfair, these chop, edit, sort of things that are being released to make him look bad.

The country is confused. There's a lot of whiplash going on. People still think there's still a segment of the population think this is a hoax, they think it's over, whatever it may be, as they discredit Fauci who is saying, hey, we're still in the early days of this. You then discredit that guy. It's harmful.

We're not going in the right direction. We know that. We see the numbers. This makes it even worse.

BURNETT: So Dr. Reiner, here's what the President said today on testing in full.


TRUMP: We test more than anybody by far and when you test you create cases. So we've created cases. It is a big factor that we do, we have a lot of cases because we have a lot of testing far more than any other country in the world and it's also the best testing.


BURNETT: As I made the point, you don't create cases by testing, number one, Dr. Reiner, new cases are vastly outpacing any increase in testing. Number two, we're not testing enough, we know that. Number three, Quest Diagnostics admitted tonight, it's taking more than seven days for non-priority tests.

The former White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney actually came out today and said we still have a problem in this country because it took his son five to seven days to get results, his daughter couldn't even get a test.

According to "The New York Times," there's only 12 states actually meet the testing target and Florida, Texas, Arizona, California epicenters, none of them meet the testing criteria. How big of a problem is testing right now?

REINER: It's a big problem. All around the United States, we're seeing these significant lags in the return of tests. So you can imagine if you're trying to contain a virus and you go for a test and it takes a week to get the results back, you don't really have the ability to quarantine that person until they know they have the test.

You would hope they would do it anyway, but it doesn't really work that way often. Look, the President either lacks the cognitive ability to understand how tests work during a pandemic or he's intentionally misinforming the public. Either way, it's unacceptable.

It's like telling the country, if we did half the number of mammograms, we'd have half the amount of breast cancer. It doesn't work that way. And the big difference using that analogy is that in this case, the people that you don't diagnose are giving the disease to somebody else. Actually, on average, about two other people.

So the President really has to stop repeating that nonsense. It's nonsense and it's very destructive.


REINER: It creates this sense that testing is unneeded and overrated.

BURNETT: Right, it does. It absolutely does. And Sanjay, the President went on today to retweet a tweet. But in this tweet, he accused a whole lot of people of lying, so let me just see it.

It said, "The most outrageous lies are the ones about COVID-19. Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust."

I mean, let's take a deep breath here, Sanjay, that he is accusing doctors of lying. I don't know for what purpose, but just accusing them of going out and lying. I want to make it clear the CDC had no comment today about when the President spoke with Dr. Redfield. Obviously, he says they're lying as well. What do you make of this?

GUPTA: It's very destructive. I called the CDC, I called my source at the CDC after the President retweeted that and said, "Hey, am I missing something here? Are they referring to something in particular?" They have no idea why that tweet went out, why the President retweeted it.

It's a real problem and we are in the biggest public health crisis of our lifetime and this is the sort of stuff that's going out there. I mean, I feel for the people who are confused to some extent by this now. It's confusing if you're being told by the President that the doctors who are trying to give you the scientific information are lying. That's what he accused them of today. So it's not a medical story, Erin. This is a pure political story.

BURNETT: No, it's not. It's not. But unfortunately, it's become a political story with deep medical implications of life and death for many and that is the true tragedy.


BURNETT: And thank you both very much.

And next, the Mayor of Houston pleading with the Governor to shut back down.

Plus ...


TRUMP: School should be open. These kids want to go to school.


BURNETT: I'll speak to one teacher who is terrified to return, fearing it could put her in her husband's life in jeopardy.


And an alarming new study finds a coronavirus, the antibodies that you may have if you've had it may only last you a few weeks.



BURNETT: Tonight, the largest state in the country shutting back down. California Governor, Gavin Newsom, closing indoor restaurants, bars, movie theaters and museums across the state. And in hardest hit counties, he's shutting down gyms, salons, malls and places of worship.

Meantime, the mayor of Houston making an urgent plea to the Governor of Texas to shut down that state as well. Erica Hill is OUTFRONT.


ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR AND NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT(voice over): California shutting down again as cases skyrocket.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D) CALIFORNIA: We are now effectively, rather effective today, requiring all counties to close their indoor activities, their indoor operations in the following sectors; restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters and the shuttering of all bars. This is in every county in the state of California.


HILL (voice over): Miami's Mayor warning his city could be next. Florida reporting more than 15,000 new cases on Sunday, more than any state in a single day, since the pandemic began.


MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ (R), MIAMI: We have to get control of these numbers. These numbers are out of control.


HILL (voice over): It's not just Florida and California, the majority of the country moving in the wrong direction.



MAYOR STEVEN ADLER (D), AUSTIN, TEXAS: I think the lesson to be learned in Texas is you cannot open up the economy in ways that look like the economy was opened before.


HILL (voice over): Nineteen states posting their highest seven-day average for new cases on Sunday. Hospitalizations are up, ICU beds, a growing concern.


LEAH CARPENTER, MEMORIAL HOSPITAL WEST, PEMBROKE PINES, FLORIDA: We're at an ICU capacity of 103 percent and then if you just carve out the COVID ICU, it's at 180 percent. That's a 26 percent increase from last Monday.


HILL (voice over): Atlanta now moving back to phase one, which includes a stay-at-home order. The Mayor joining New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo today.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D), ATLANTA: You told us very clearly that if we didn't do things differently in our cities and states, we will find ourselves in the same situation that New York was facing and unfortunately you were correct.

TRUMP: There are things you can do now, physical distance, wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, washing hands, those things as simple as they are can turn it around.


HILL (voice over): While in the nation's former epicenter, there is one bright spot. For the first time in months, New York City did not have a single COVID-19 related death.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: It's something that should make us hopeful, but it's very hard to take a victory lap because we know we have so much more ahead.



BURNETT: Erica, just looking at that, the point you were making about New York, no death today for the first time in months. But that Mayor there, de Blasio is sounding a note of caution and I know there are concerns about new infections. What do you know about that?

HILL: Yes, absolutely. In fact, he said specifically, he's worried about 20 to 29-year-olds in the spread there and the Governor, Erin, saying very clearly this virus can travel, it's coming into the state. He put out an emergency health order today to really enforce that 14 day quarantine which impacts travelers from 19 states. When you get to an airport, you have to give them the information on where you'll be. If you don't, you're facing an immediate summons and a $2,000 fine.

BURNETT: All right. Erica, thank you very much. So next, what do teachers in some of the hardest hit states think about Trump's push to reopen schools. I'm going to speak to a teacher from Florida who has very specific fears for her health and her family.

And Trump celebrating his decision to commute Roger Stone's sentence.


TRUMP: I'm getting rave reviews for what I did for Roger Stone.


BURNETT: Former Gov. John Kasich responds.



BURNETT: President Trump doubling down on reopening schools as the pandemic worsens tonight.


TRUMP: Schools should be opened. These kids want to go to school. You're losing a lot of lives by keeping things closed.


BURNETT: The two largest school districts in California, Los Angeles and San Diego announcing they will stick with online learning in the fall. Other hotspots though, like Florida are mandating schools reopen. OUTFRONT now, Cheryl Argent, a teacher in Broward County in Florida which has the second largest number of hospitalizations in the state. And, of course, your state Cheryl currently more cases than anywhere in the world.

I know your district still have not made a decision on whether you're going to reopen even though obviously there's an order from the state to do so. Do you feel ready to return to your classroom?

CHERYL ARGENT, TERRIFIED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL TEACHING PRE-K: I do not, Erin, and I feel like with speaking to my colleagues we all feel the same way. We're very fearful of going back into the classroom at this time with the surge in cases in the State of Florida, especially in southern Florida where we are.

We had a reported surge over the weekend with record breaking cases more so than anyone in New York City during their worst numbers when they had their surge and we currently have 17,000 children diagnosed in Florida with the coronavirus today.

BURNETT: And those children, of course, could be in schools. We're learning and I know you saw this, Cheryl, this horrible story that teacher in Arizona who died from the virus and she was teaching summer school, they were open. She shared a classroom with two other teachers. They also became infected and she died.

They say that they were all doing everything the way they were told to do. They were wearing masks. They were social distancing. Look, this is a tragedy and I know you've thought about it yourself. You've talked to your fellow teachers about it. I mean, what are they saying?

ARGENT: That is such a tragedy, that story and we all are just - our fear is we don't know what we don't know. Every day we're learning something new about this virus and I personally have lost sleep over it. I've cried over it. I cry over it a lot. It's very, very scary.

When we closed our schools in March, we had about 11 cases and we didn't know we weren't going back. But within a week, we took our spring break and we flipped our classroom into an online learning platform and we made it work. And the one thing I'm going to say, I will say online learning is not ideal, but it will keep our children safe.

BURNETT: So I know you teach pre-K and I have one of my children just finished pre-K, so I understand what you're saying here. You've said it'll be impossible for them to do very basic things like wear masks. It's obvious to anyone who's dealt with children that age. But to those who don't, perhaps it isn't. Do you think age should factor into whether children should return to school because at certain ages, they can't social distance, they can't wear masks or anything else.

ARGENT: I think that there are special populations that make it more difficult for children to wear masks, the younger children would be very difficult.


Our ESC (ph) population, we're in a very daunting position in those younger grades.


But it's not just kindergarten and pre-K. It is our kindergarten and first graders. Some of them still can't blow their nose without assistance. They can't help but sneeze. You know, I've mentioned I've been sneezed on, coughed on, I've been thrown up on.

You know, it is something teachers endure and we love our babies and we -- it's just never been deadly. The next time someone coughs in my face, it could be deadly. And no teacher, no student should be put at risk like that.

We have too many things every day we're learning something new. Is it airborne? Are there aerosols in the air? And, you know, we have, since schools reopened here for essential employees like custodians and office staff and administrators we've had over 70 cases of positive COVID tests, of people testing positive. And there are no students in those classrooms yet. BURNETT: All right. Well, Cheryl, I appreciate -- I appreciate your

time. I'm sorry about the delay. I don't mean to jump on you. But I really appreciate your time and your honesty. Thank you so much.

ARGENT: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: Now, you heard Cheryl talk about, you know, her situation in Florida. I want to go to Professor Joseph Allen. He's back with me. His group at Harvard wrote a 60-page plan on how to reopen schools safely.

So, Professor Allen, I know you've said if the things you put out there were adhered to, you would want to send your kids back to school. You know, you just heard that teacher I spoke to, though.

Her husband is vulnerable. He is terrified to go back. She is talking about the things that change every day, infections that happened even before the schools reopened when they started having custodial staff come in.

What do you say when you hear that?

JOSEPH ALLEN, WROTE OP-ED TITLED "YES KIDS SHOULD BE GOING BACK IN THE FALL": Yes. So, first, thanks for having me back on, Erin.

The first thing is thank you to the teachers. I have three kids and I know the teachers have the most important job in the world. I'd seen it firsthand. I see it firsthand every day.

I also understand the anxiety teachers have. I really do.

What I'd say is they need to demand more from our country and also all of their districts to put in the control measures we know work. You heard Fauci talk about these. The basics of hand washing, distancing where you can, mask wearing but, also, healthy building control strategies that are not always thought about.

For example, more fresh outdoor air. Better filtration. The use of portable air cleaners. These are evidence based strategies that we write about in the report.

Look, I think, you know, Trump is out there blurting these things out. Same with DeVos, same with Pence. The reality is we have to follow the scientists. Follow the Faucis out there. Look for the science.

The science is actually quite good and tells us there is a way to keep adult and kids safe in schools if -- if this country has the will to put in the control strategies that are necessary. This is not schools as usual in August and September. It has to be different.

BURNETT: So even in New Jersey where currently numbers have improved, one nurse who serves in the state's committee to reopen schools told the "New York Times" and I quote her, I'm just going to say it, it feels like we're playing Russian roulette with our kids and our staff.

You know, what do you say to that, to -- you know, a sizable group of people, parents, teachers who ask, you know, why -- why the rush?

ALLEN: Yes, I'd say if you think about your role as playing Russian roulette and you're on a committee to reopen schools, you probably shouldn't be on that committee because no one should be playing Russian roulette with teachers, or kids, or administrators. What I am talking about in our report are scientific-based strategies to keep kids and adults safe that can be put in place.

This is not Russian roulette. I've done forensic investigations of sick buildings for over a decade, including schools where kids and adults had been getting sick. We know how to put controls into schools to keep people safe.

This is not a chance. We're not rolling the dice here. But we're rolling the dice if we just say we'll go back to schools the way we've done it in the past.


ALLEN: That can't be the case either. We have to -- have to put in these stringent controls.

BURNETT: All right. Professor Allen, thank you very much. It's good to have you on again.

ALLEN: Thanks for having me, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. And next, a new study suggests coronavirus antibodies could start fading within weeks. So does this mean people can get the virus more than once?

And the president trying to muzzle his niece who is out with the tell all. It comes out tomorrow. A new ruling tonight says he cannot keep her quiet.



BURNETT: Tonight, immunity may not last. A new U.K. study suggests those infected with coronavirus could see their immunity decline within months, with antibodies starting to fade 20 to 30 days following the first sign of symptoms. And it comes on the heels of a Spanish study which suggests the antibodies disappear after a few weeks.

All of this of course raising questions about how protected you are once you've had it against getting it again.

OUTFRONT now, William Haseltine. He's a former professor at Harvard Medical School and the school of public health and author of "A Family Guide to COVID."

And, Professor, I really appreciate your time. You have been looking at studies like these. How significant are these sorts of conclusions? WILLIAM HASELTINE, FORMER PROFESSOR, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL & HARVARD

SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: These are very significant for the future of this epidemic. What they show is something we suspected but had not really known until now and that is this, like its sister coronaviruses, the ones that give us colds, are very different from the childhood viruses. Those things like measles and mumps you get them once, you're protected for life.

We know with the cold viruses, it's different. You get them and you forget them. Your body forgets they were ever infected and they come back and get you again every year. You can be re-infected by the same cold virus every year and get the same cold.

We didn't know that was happening with this virus but there was an early study from China and now there are two studies. One from Spain and one from the U.K. that actually measures the virus in people and the antibodies and watch the immunity decline. That is what we were afraid of.

BURNETT: And, obviously, these time frames they're talking about are pretty incredible. A few weeks, 20 to 30 days. We've all been told you may only get a few years of immunity but it was assumed you would have some. This is really quite different than what people had been hearing.


You know, professor, one clinic in New York City in the neighborhood that was particularly hard hit by the virus had 68 percent of its antibody tests come back positive. Now, obviously, those are people who actually went in and got the tests.

So, it wouldn't be 68 percent if the whole community having had it, but it was a lot and it had people talking about herd immunity, right? Once you get to herd immunity, you know, that many people had it, is essentially the same as vaccinating everybody and you're good. This thing is gone.

You say herd immunity will never likely be achieved for this coronavirus. How come?

HASELTINE: Well, first of all, if you -- herd immunity depends on long lasting immunity. If it doesn't exist, you can't get herd immunity.

So we don't have herd immunity for the cold viruses that are coronaviruses. We know that already. This looks just like its brothers and sisters except a lot nastier. But it doesn't look different in the sense it makes your immune system react any more strongly. It just doesn't seem to be. Your immunity seems to fade away.

In fact, we knew from the very beginning your immunity was odd with this virus because some people get over it and you can't find any antibodies. So it is a very strange virus that is messing with our immune system in very interesting and unusual ways but ways that are very concerning for anybody who thinks that herd immunity is a good idea. It isn't and it won't happen. Individually that means if you had it, you have to be just as careful

as if you didn't have it because you might get it again and it might cause exactly the same disease as it caused the first time or worse.

BURNETT: Which, OK. So look. This is all really sobering. What does it mean, then, I guess you're left with therapies that may work but also this concept of a vaccine. And so many people are now just betting on a vaccine as a sure thing and a matter of time and even in this country, hundreds of millions of doses ready by the end of the year even before they found out if the vaccines work because they want to be sure they're ready if they do work.


BURNETT: Do you think a vaccine will work? Obviously, we don't have one for the other coronaviruses. They are not as deadly. We never felt the need to. But do you think a vaccine is a sure thing or not?

HASELTINE: It's definitely not a sure thing but it is also not a sure thing that it won't work. I tell you, it gets a little complicated (AUDIO GAP) when a virus is messing with your immune system. It has its own tools, when it goes in, it changes your immune system. When it leaves it doesn't leave much trace.

A vaccine doesn't have all of those tools. A vaccine is just a tiny part of the virus, most of the time. And so, it might not do that. On the other hand, if you have a (AUDIO GAP) the virus comes in and uses its tools to make you forget you ever saw the virus it could be a different situation. We're left again with an uncertainty and one thing we all hate is uncertainty. But that is our life today.

BURNETT: All right. Professor Haseltine I appreciate your time. Thank you.

HASELTINE: You're welcome.

BURNETT: A sobering but an important one.

And next, the breaking news. The president who has been trying to silence his niece, she is out with the bombshell book tomorrow. Well, tonight, judge late says, guess what? No gag order. She is free to talk.

And will Trump be able to block Jeff Sessions from getting his old Senate seat back?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Jeff Sessions was a disaster as attorney general.



[19:47:20] BURNETT: Breaking news, a judge in New York ruling that President Trump's niece is free to promote her tell all book about the president which publishes tomorrow. It comes after the Trump family tried to block the book arguing it violated a nearly 20-year-old confidentiality agreement signed by Mary Trump.

OUTFRONT now, John Kasich, former governor of Ohio and our senior commentator.

So, Governor, the president tried to block the book but it is publishing tomorrow. Her restraining order has been lifted. Can't believe we're using words like this about a book. But this is it.

Michael Cohen, the president's former lawyer, is in jail, again, following a dispute over his book, right? They said if you stop writing it we'll let you stay out. He said no, so he is back in.

Does this president take muzzling critics to a different level?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, no one wants their family writing a book or telling tales on them, so I can understand why they're concerned about it. I mean, in terms of Mary Trump, it just illustrates that, unfortunately, and sadly, the dysfunction that exists inside of that family.

You know, I wrote a book after I had run against Donald Trump called "Two Paths" and the one thing I didn't want to do was use that book to just trash him. I didn't. I can state my opinions and my disagreements with him, but I don't want to get into the trashing mode.

Frankly, I haven't read any of those books. They're just not -- I've got other books I'm reading and you only have so much time in life to read and those are not the books that I'm spending my time on to be honest with you, Erin.

BURNETT: So the president was asked earlier about Roger Stone and whether his decision to commute the sentence of Roger Stone, right, a long time political confidante kind of inner circle in that sense for the president as to whether his decision to commute this undermined law enforcement because a jury of our peers in this country convicted him.

This is what the president said.


TRUMP: I'm getting rave reviews for what I did for Roger Stone. Roger Stone was treated very unfairly in my opinion.


BURNETT: Rave reviews. Is that what you're hearing from people in your party? Obviously I know people like Mitt Romney have spoken out just one example.

KASICH: Yeah, not many people are talking about this but I don't think this is a game changer nor is the Mary Trump book a game changer in terms of electoral votes.

I mean, when you think about Roger Stone, and the fact that this was commuted, the Trump people are probably saying, great, because of the Russia investigation was a hoax and other people are just paying no attention to it. And the same is true with Mary Trump. I think in that case people, you know, who like him are going to just say she's crazy and the people that don't, that is not what is going to change things.

What's changed things here in my view, Erin, is the fact that he has bungled the coronavirus and continues to even today, even at this point, even attacking Fauci.


This is very personal to people. This is not some amorphous book on the bestseller list. This is about my health, my life, my family. And I think he's blown that.

The same is true on the issue of race. But I must tell you, Erin --


KASICH: -- as I got a new bicycle today. I was out riding and I still saw some flags out there.

Look, people are going to leave Trump because of these things. The question is, will they cross the Rubicon and vote for Biden?


BURNETT: Well, this is a real crucial question. You've talked about the flags. I've seen a lot more flags this time than I did last, you know, I don't know whether those are people who show how they feel and felt that way last time but I hear you on that. The point about coronavirus that you make, because in places key to Trump's reelection, you have seen a surge now.

Now, we'll see what happens in a couple months, it comes back down, depends where you are on the curve. Who knows? But CBS News has Joe Biden leading in Florida, 48-42. Trump up one point in Texas tied with Biden in Arizona, majority of voters saying efforts to contain the virus are going badly.

Does -- is this a wakeup call for him at all?

KASICH: I don't really know if he's going to say, oh, yes, this is a problem. I mean, I saw he wore a mask and a doctor I talked to today said it was good he did it. And I don't think he's leveling with people about this and I think in those states -- first of all, he'll win Texas. But if you have to spend time in Texas, you know, you really have a problem.

What Joe Biden has to be careful of, Erin, is this, if people think that, you know, AOC is going to run the country and they're going to have some hard left agenda if Joe Biden wins, that's a real problem. That is what Trump is going to seize upon to try to get reelected. Biden has to diffuse that because people are saying, OK, I don't like

Trump but wow, you mean I got to cross over and vote for a Democrat in Joe Biden and they're going to be radical and he's going to have to calm that down. His people are going to have to settle that down.


KASICH: Because people don't want hard left. They like things that are pretty much in the middle. They don't like Trump, many people don't like him but, you know, the problem is Biden is going to have to let people know who he is and he's going to come across as a measured and thoughtful guy who can bring the country together.

BURNETT: Governor, as always, thank you.

KASICH: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, can Trump keep his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions from getting his old Senate seat back? Well, he is trying. We'll see because Election Day is now hours away.



BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, can the president keep his former attorney general from going back to the Senate? Jeff Sessions is up against former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville for his own Senate seat.

Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jeff Sessions has never lost a political race.

JEFF SESSIONS, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: What I'm saying to the people of Alabama is, I can represent you best.

ZELENY: Yet in the fight to get his old job back as senator from Alabama, he's the clear underdog. A Republican primary against former auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville would be hard enough.

TOMMY TUBERVILLE (R), ALABAMA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Jeff Sessions quit on the president and failed Alabama.

ZELENY: But it's made even harder when the real enemy is President Trump.

TRUMP: Jeff Sessions was a disaster as attorney general.

ZELENY: The president still carries a grudge against Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe. He's been obsessively tweeting about the Senate race, including this weekend missive with the president fuming: We don't want him back in Washington.


ZELENY: The Alabama Senate race is all about Trump.

SESSIONS: I'll keep fighting for President Trump and his agenda.

TUBERVILLE: God sent us Donald Trump because God knew we were in trouble.

ZELENY: In deep red Alabama, loyalty to Trump is paramount.

SESSIONS: Donald, welcome to my hometown.

ZELENY: And Sessions reminds voters five years ago he was one of the only U.S. senators to take seriously Trump's White House bid.

But through more than a million dollars in TV ads, Tuberville is blasting Sessions for being exiled from the administration, and in a bit of towel snapping locker room talk for being weak.

TUBERVILLE: You're either strong or you're not, and Jeff Sessions, he's not. He wasn't man enough to stand with president Trump when things got tough.

ZELENY: Sessions has returned fire.

SESSIONS: This is no fresh face. This is a 65-year-old former football coach who finished 4-8 at Cincinnati and was terminated. This person does not have a record of political conviction.

ZELENY: Sessions drawing criticism last week for a comment he made about Henry Louis Gates Jr., the celebrated black Harvard scholar. Sessions called him some criminal in a "New York Times" magazine story, referring to a 2009 incident where gates was wrongfully arrested trying to enter his home.

President Obama later invited the professor and the police officer to the White House for a beer summit. Watching it all is Democratic Senator Doug Jones, who narrowly won in a 2017 special election. In November, it's still an uphill battle for Democrats to hold the seat.

The Republican runoff will test Trump's ability to influence a race or show whether old loyalties hold more value.

SESSIONS: Donald Trump is not on the ballot this time, Tommy Tuberville is. The choice is between Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville.


ZELENY: Campaigning today on the eve of the election, Sessions said that people of Alabama will decide the race, not those in Washington. So certainly a bit of a dig there at the president, but it is the president standing here that is also on the ballot. It will be a test to see if he can pull Tuberville over the finish line -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Jeff, thank you very much. And thanks very much to all of you for joining us as always. "AC360"

with Anderson starts now.