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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is Interviewed about the Election; Vaccine Could be Ready This Year; Stocks Soar on Vaccine Hopes. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired November 10, 2020 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): They're just as scared, I guess, to go tell him the facts of what we're dealing with and how we're going to go ahead and transition peacefully.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: At best for Democrats, this would be a 50-50 Senate. At worst for Democrats it looks like 48-52.
BERMAN: I know there's Alaska out there. For these purposes let's say it's either, you know, 48, 49 or 50. I just want to establish where you're going to be on some issues that I know are important to some, not all, but some in the Democratic Party. And you've made this clear in the last 24 hours so we can run down this pretty quickly.
Ending the filibuster.
MANCHIN: Yes, we're not going to -- I'm not going to vote for that. So I'm trying to lay -- lay to rest the fears that people are using now and scare tactics in Georgia. You've got candidates running in Georgia, two Democrat candidates, who are truly qualified and, one, they understand Georgia and they want to work with it and you've got two Republican senators that are, you know, going for re-election.
With that being said, don't throw this fear tactic in that if you vote for the Democrats, we're going to throw this into chaos and it's going to be a socialist type of administration within Congress. That's not going to happen because the simple truth is it will be a 50/50 tie. And 50/50 tie means that the vice president would vote to break the tie and it would lean towards the Democrats, but there has to be a tie.
So I'm not voting for the things you've talked about. I'm not voting for -- for basically breaking the filibuster because that means that we've given up on the Senate that's supposed to work in a bipartisan way. I would never do that. On --
BERMAN: What about D.C. statehood?
MANCHIN: Well, first, let me just go with packing the courts. I'm not voting for that. That's what they're looking for right now. They're looking for basically, OK, are you going to stack the courts. No, I'm not. I'm not going to vote for that. That means there's no tie.
The D.C. statehood, I don't see the need for the D.C. statehood with the type of services that we're getting in D.C. right now. We have representation. They say no vote, you know, without representation. They have no voice, but they do. I'd have to hear more that, but right now I'm not convinced that's the way to go.
BERMAN: Puerto Rico statehood?
MANCHIN: Still not convinced that's the way to go. And I would say that with that I'm absolutely agreeing to sit down and listen to the debate. I don't believe that is the direction we should be going right now.
BERMAN: Rolling back some of the tax cuts that were passed in the last administration?
MANCHIN: Sure, I think there needs to be adjustment. I think everyone was very clear, we have a $27 trillion debt and growing every day. $27 trillion. We've accumulated more debt, John, in the last four years than ever in the history of our country since World War II on a percentage basis. That's unsustainable. I think there needs to be adjustments.
I've said from day one, we put a plan out there I thought was very workable. I never thought we should go below 25 percent of the corporate tax rate. For every 1 percent that you reduce, that's $100 billion you take out of our ability to run our government. And you can't put yourself behind an eight ball and say, well, you know, we won't make any adjustments because I was afraid -- I took a pledge not to raise taxes. Not to raise taxes, just collect the tax that should be done and quit giving away through all the loopholes that we have out there. Carried interest, John. How could anyone support.
MANCHIN: Democrats and Republicans have both said that's absolutely not needed and we still can't get rid of that. Can't we make some adjustments.
BERMAN: You just lost the hedge fund caucus.
Let me ask you, Senator, it's sort of a two-fold question. How comfortable do you feel in the Democratic Party this morning and then I'll ask a follow-up?
MANCHIN: Yes, I feel very comfortable because I'm a West Virginia Democrat. I come from a rural state, the beautiful state of West Virginia, who's really been doing the heavy lifting for 100 years providing the energy. They felt like they've been forgotten in the last decade or so. They really have. They've done everything and now things are changing and no one's making sure we have other opportunities. Joe Biden will give us those opportunities. I've talked to him. I feel very confident that we will.
Now, with that, I think there's more Democrats like myself that have gone basically quiet or some of them that have gotten mad and started voting Republican. Now they're scared and they're still voting Republicans because they're believing all these -- they're hearing all these fear tactics. I'm trying to lay those to rest. That is not going to happen. I haven't changed. There's more Democrats in my caucus, there's more of them like me that just haven't spoken out yet, but I think they will.
BERMAN: So you feel comfortable in Joe Biden's Democratic Party. And just to be clear to go back to an earlier part of our conversation, what you're saying is that you're a backstop against the more progressive tendencies of parts of the Democratic Party? Is that what you're saying?
MANCHIN: Well, the progressive -- you know, they -- everyone has -- this is a big tent. You know that. And, my goodness, and Democrats, there's a lot of people from different persuasions coming on board. That's fine. You listen to them. Some of these are aspirational. It's like your conscience, OK, did we check this box, did we look at this, are we leaving anybody behind? You have the empathy and sympathy for other people. But also you have the opportunity that we want to move forward, that we believe in capitalism. I do very strongly. I believe that we should have an all in energy policy and not a new green deal that's aspirational but a great deal that basically says we're going to be the super power of the world because we're energy independent. We're going to use everything in a cleaner fashion, develop the technologies that we can use around the world to clean up the environment.
All of these things are very, very important to us, John.
But I respect everyone's position on this, I just don't agree and I believe there's more people that haven't spoken out that are still proud Democrats of whatever state they come from, especially in rural America, that basically let's take back the rural, basically, the rural Democratic Party that we know of and be proud of who you are and where you come from.
BERMAN: Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia, always a pleasure to have you on NEW DAY. Look forward to speaking with you again very soon.
MANCHIN: Thank you, John. It's all about America and we've got to come together, and we will. We truly will.
BERMAN: Well, I hope you're right.
MANCHIN: I think ---
BERMAN: You have -- you have -- you have a lot of faith right now and we'll see whether --
MANCHIN: I'm fighting for it. Well, I have a lot of faith in the voters. Look at the voters. Almost 150 -- 150 million.
BERMAN: Well, the voters have voted. The voters have cast their ballots.
BERMAN: It's beyond their control right now, at least for the next few weeks.
MANCHIN: I think that voters have spoken loudly, John, and I think basically they gave us a -- a message, let's move forward, let's move on, let's come together. We've got a president who wants to be a president of all the people, not just chastising one side.
MANCHIN: Let's accept that president and move forward.
BERMAN: Thank you very much, Senator.
MANCHIN: Thank you.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Really interesting, John. A lot of things that he said there are so interesting.
Back with us, CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip, who was listening very closely.
So Senator Manchin just seems like kind of drew a line in the sand there for what he's comfortable with, even if Democrats win back the Senate.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. You heard actually a lot of things that he said he would not support. He did -- he talked about not supporting expanding the Supreme Court, not supporting statehood for D.C. or Puerto Rico, not supporting the green new deal and I think you're going to see a lot more of this. Democrats who are in basically red states or red districts feeling more comfortable now that the election -- the presidential election is overcoming, coming forward and saying, you know, I'm not going to go that far and trying to protect their right flank because they know that down the road they've got to run in more conservative parts of this country.
And they also think -- I thought it was notable that you saw Manchin making it very clear that he believes that Joe Biden is going to be a president that is conducive to that kind of moderation. I think you're going to hear a lot more of that, too.
BERMAN: There was a lot going on in that interview if you really listened to it, too. And everyone seems to be doing their part to try to influence the election in Georgia. There's Joe Manchin somehow trying to enforce the election in Georgia by saying, I'm drawing the line. If you elect two Democrats down there it won't give you D.C. statehood, it won't give you Puerto Rican statehood, it won't end the filibuster and that's a good thing Manchin's saying. It's just -- it's just a lot to wrap your arms around, Abby.
PHILLIP: Yes, I mean, look, the Republicans are making the opposite argument, which is that if you give Democrats the two more seats and they have a majority with the vice president, then you will have, you know, whatever, socialist government, all of this other stuff. And so Manchin is trying to make the case, and I think, you know, this is a debate amongst Democrats right now about how much rhetoric matters. And I think you're seeing Manchin saying it does matter. It does matter whether voters believe that this is a party where there is moderation that is allowed.
And I think that you're going to hear more Democrats saying that. You've already heard the House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn being very clear that he believes that they -- they lost several of these seats in the south, South Carolina and Alabama and in Mississippi because of what he called sloganeering, people using language like defund the police, scare mongering in his view voters into thinking that a Democratic majority would be too radical for them. So I think you're going to hear more Democrats trying to make that case as we approach that -- those special elections in January.
BERMAN: All right, Abby, thanks so much for being here with us and helping us understand everything we've been hearing. Really appreciate it.
So Pfizer says it's coronavirus vaccine is more than 90 percent effective so far. Really when will this be available for most of us? Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the answers, next.
BERMAN: What an awful moment in the coronavirus pandemic. The numbers are staggering. More than 111,000 new cases reported in the United States, the fifth highest day on record. More than 59,000 Americans hospitalized. That is near an all-time record. You could just see by the curve, it really looks like they get much higher still. And this comes amid the good news, admittedly good news, about the prospects of a vaccine being 90 percent effective.
Joining us now again, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Let's start with the good if we can, Sanjay. Obviously the Pfizer vaccine reporting 90 percent effective. Dr. Anthony Fauci commented on what great news this is.
One other thing he alluded to is what this means for the possibility of other vaccines, the possibility that Pfizer might not be alone and why that would be so important.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, you know, you've got to keep in mind that this particular type of vaccine, this genetic mRNA vaccine, it's the first time this has really been done. So, you know, up until, you know, pretty recently we didn't really know whether or not this was even going to work. So the fact that there's early data, early interim data, we still have to verify this data in, you know, the next several weeks, I think is very promising. And Moderna, which is another vaccine, sort of that same sort of platform, is also something that has been showing quite a bit of promise. So there's going to be other vaccine candidates.
I will say this, that, you know, those are both two-shot vaccines. They require very cold storage. All the things that we've been talking about for several weeks. The idea that you could have an effective vaccine at preventing the disease, a single shot, didn't need to be in cold storage, all those things would obviously make it a lot easier. And there are a couple candidates that may sort of fit that bill as well in the pipeline. So hopefully within the next, you know, few weeks, few months we're going to hear more about those vaccines as well.
CAMEROTA: But, I mean, until then, Sanjay, it does sound like we should sort of temper our optimism because of what you just said. I mean I didn't realize that this particular vaccine has to be stored at 100 -- at minus 103 Fahrenheit, which is 50 degrees colder than any other vaccine, and that doctors' offices and pharmacies don't have freezers that go that low. So that sounds like it's going to take a herculean effort to get it distributed to everybody.
GUPTA: Yes, I mean, it really is -- would be one of the most remarkable distribution programs really in the world because, you know, this is a pandemic, so we have to think about how would you get a vaccine like that to hard to reach, hard to access areas all over the world? I mean it's something that people have been thinking about, even creating new technologies to transport these vaccines. You have football fields full of refrigerators right now in cities across America that are getting ready to basically store this vaccine. It becomes unstable if it -- if the temperature warms up. So there's all these considerations. And it's going to make it quite challenging.
I do think, again, this idea that there may be single-dose, more stable vaccines in the pipeline, we're keeping an eye on some of those, that may show quite a bit of promise, is going to be a big deal. Pfizer's first out of the gate with some of this early interim data but even they would say that the other trials are continuing and we may get some good data out of those as well sometime soon.
BERMAN: If we can look at the darker side of where things are right now, Sanjay, I want to put the hospitalization numbers back up on the screen because we are approaching record hospitalizations in the United States right now. And this is the one data point that just doesn't lie. I mean this is the number of sick people in the United States and this is a real issue. Hopefully you're OK, Sanjay, get a drink of water if you need it.
BERMAN: But, you know, we're at November 10th, right? We're not even at the coldest of the cold. We're at the very beginning. The cusp of the cold season when people are going indoors. So when you see we're at near record hospitalizations, Sanjay, I just don't know where this stops. Where do you see this headed?
GUPTA: You know, it's tough to sort of predict exactly, but I spent a fair amount of time over the last week looking at these models, talking to epidemiologists and there's a lot of concern here. There's no question about it.
I think hospitalizations are the truest most consistent measure because, you know, there's -- we know that the people who are becoming infected with this COVID-19, they are younger now than they were back in some of those other trend lines we saw earlier and we've gotten better at being able to treat some of these patients as well. So hopefully, you know, the death rate, the death proportion will come down.
But hospitalizations, hospitals that become overwhelmed, hospitals that no longer have regional support because they've used all that regional support, they're putting up tents as we've seen in Wisconsin, looking at convention centers as we've heard about in El Paso, that's a -- that's a real concern. I think that's going to drive everything else, I guess to your point. I mean that may be -- you know, we keep saying, well, we're not going to shut down, we're not going to put mask mandates in place, we're not going to do all these things. We may not have a choice as a result of hospitalizations.
Where do I think things are going? I think that the apex of this curve, it's still going up. I think that the measures that we put in place now will determine how quickly we come off that apex. Do we get up there and just flatten at an unacceptably high level for a period of time or do we start to come down? And there's definitely strategies within our power right now short of a vaccine that can make a huge difference.
CAMEROTA: OK, Sanjay, thank you very much. Great to talk to you, as always.
GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.
CAMEROTA: New revelations about sexual abuse at the highest levels of the Catholic Church. What the Vatican says Pope John Paul Ii knew. That's next.
BERMAN: We do have breaking news.
So the Vatican just admitted that Pope John Paul II was warned decades ago about allegations of sexual abuse against former Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, but still promoted him to cardinal. Last year McCarrick became the highest ranking church figure to be defrocked over sexual abuse. The Vatican's own two-year investigation found that a series of bishops and cardinals downplayed or dismissed reports about McCarrick.
The report sort of spares Pope Francis, saying that he thought rumors of McCarrick's abuse had already been reviewed and rejected by his predecessor. CAMEROTA: All right, investors are looking ahead to life after the pandemic. Vaccine news boosted stocks but the economy still needs help.
Chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us now.
What are you seeing, Christine?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, Pfizer's news was just so great for Wall Street, Alisyn, showing that there is optimism, a post-coronavirus economy is in sight. The Dow, yesterday, finished up 834 points. That's nearly 3 percent. It had been up 6 percent, though it closed there 29,157. That's short of its February closing high.
The best gains were in the areas hit hardest by the pandemic. Look at AMC Theaters. Remember it said last month it could run out of money by the end of the year. Well, the stock rose 51 percent.
There were big gains in the travel industry, cruise lines like Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean soared. Shares of the major airlines also rose.
It's because a vaccine is critical to getting back to a new kind of normal where you have full planes and you have restaurants that are full and you have cruise ships that are sailing.
But there is a disconnect between Wall Street and Wall Street highs and main street. Stimulus is still needed to keep the economic recovery going. Hopes for a deal in a lame duck session are fading this morning. Republicans and Democrats still divided on how much money to spend. And the need for more stimulus is amplified by the cases here right now, the rise in coronavirus cases. Failure to act on more aid could mean lasting economic damage. S&P global ratings said even if a vaccine is widely available in the second half of 2021, the hotel industry won't experience a solid recovery until the year 2023.
And, right now, at this moment, there is still a jobs crisis. The economy is down 10 million jobs since February. Economists at Goldman Sachs say the jobs market probably won't recover fully, Alisyn, until 2024.
CAMEROTA: That's a long way away.
ROMANS: We've got work to do.
CAMEROTA: Christine, thank you very much.
All right, CNN's coverage continues, next.