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President Biden Visits Scotland for G-20 Summit to Discuss Climate Change; New Provisions on Prescription Drugs in Senate Reconciliation Bill May Allow It to Come to Vote in House of Representatives. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired November 01, 2021 - 08:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: That fortune grew $9.3 billion just last Friday alone, in one day. His company, Tesla, has joined the $1 trillion club, one of just six companies that big.

Over the weekend, Musk weighing, responding to someone who tweeted that CNN story "If the U.N. can show on this Twitter thread exactly how $6 billion will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it." Adding the details "must be open source accountings so the public sees precisely how the money is bent," $6 billion, FYI, as you mentioned, John, is less than two percent of musk's fortune.

Beasley later replied "Let's talk. It isn't as complicated as Falcon Heavy, but too is at stake to not at least have a conservative." Falcon Heavy, of course, the name of Musk's reusable rocket.

So is Musk serious here? We don't know. What is clear, the vast fortunes of the world's richest people only grows. The net worth of U.S. billionaires has nearly doubled during the pandemic. The U.N. World Food Program, by the way, John, won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its work on world hunger during the pandemic.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I bet the World Hunger Program could find a use for $6 billion, no doubt about that. Christine Romans, thank you so much.

NEW DAY continues right now.

Good morning to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. It is Monday, November 1st. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar. Wolf Blitzer also joins us from Scotland this morning, where President Biden has arrived at a critical stop on his visit to Europe. He's attending a climate summit in Glasgow. And while he is overseas he could be poised finally, as far as he is concerned, for a major legislative victory here at home with key votes on his domestic agenda now likely this week.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And overnight the president ruled out a long-term strategy to get the U.S. to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. There are five key things here, five key points -- 100 percent clean electricity by 2035, switching over to electric cars and buildings, helping people transition away from old, wasteful appliances, reducing emissions from super pollutants, and scaling up carbon renewal.

Of course, time is running out here. A new report from the World Meteorological Organization says record levels of greenhouse gases are propelling the planet into uncharted territory, with far-reaching repercussions for current and future generations.

Let's go now to Wolf Blitzer who is live in Edinburgh, Scotland, with more on this summit that is so important for the future of the U.S. and for the future of the world.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR, THE SITUATION ROOM: It certainly is, Brianna and John. It is really, really critical what is happening over these next several days here in Scotland. And the words will be powerful, as I keep on saying, but the deeds, the actions that follow will be so much more important if in fact the actions really do follow.

I want to bring in our chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, she's here with me in Scotland, and CNN's chief climate correspondent Bill Weir is with us as well. Kaitlan, let's talk, first of all, about the president of the United States. He has arrived, he arrived here in Edinburgh just a little while ago. He's been driving over to Glasgow where the summit is taking place. But thousands of these delegates are all over the place. They're trying to focus the world's attention on this critical issue.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And the president is trying to come here with this message that the United States is leading the world on this issue. So he'll be giving a speech in about an hour along with several other world leaders, of course, talking about what is the United States is prepared to do on this, so it is the sense of where the delivery can actually match the rhetoric, which has been a big question with all these world leaders coming here to talk about this.

But not just about what their goals are for 2050, which is often a year that you hear from so many of these world leaders, but also what they're doing in the next decade, and that has been something that the White House has been talking about, including the president's climate envoy, John Kerry, who is also traveling with him here today.

And there are kind of bringing this show of force. Several cabinet officials, a lot of lawmakers here coming. Even former president Obama is coming next week. And so when the president speaks his aides say that he is going to show that he is making a personal commitment to climate change and to fighting climate change.

And John Kerry, his climate envoy, says two of those really big things are making sure that they get a global ambition essentially when it comes to containing a rise in temperatures, and also encouraging other nations to do more, as well as reaching out to the private sector because they think that is going to be a significant aspect of this as well.

But we should note the context of how the president is entering the summit, because of course we know that part of this is convincing other world leaders to take similar steps. China and Russia, two of the world's biggest emitters, are not going to be present here, something that the president said was a disappointment to him. And of course also just what he is going to say about his own agenda back at home after we know that it is not finalized yet, but the president says he hopes it will be this week.

But we know it's already been scaled back from what it was initially, in part because of Senator Joe Manchin, the moderate from West Virginia who has ties to the fossil fuel industry. And so that will also be a question that some of these world leaders may have for President Biden.


BLITZER: Let me get Bill Weir who covers this extensively, obviously, for all of us. Bill, what do you think? Will the strong words, and we're going to hear a lot of strong words from those leaders who have actually gathered here in Scotland, will those words be followed up with not just tens of billions but hundreds of billions of dollars in action to get the job done?

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: That is the question so many people in the global south, in developing countries, are asking, Wolf, because this summit really, as 30,000 presidents and foreign ministers and heads of environment and finance and scientists all get together, this is really a summit about trust. Can you trust the richest countries in the world, which are responsible for 80 percent of the damage done, to make good, to pick up the check for all of those poor countries that contributed nothing to the problem but are suffering the wrath of nature here?

It's about corporations that are making all these grand pledges. Are they really in it for the health of the planet, or is it trying to buy as much time, social license to keep business as usual? But what's interesting about the president's pledges to decarbonize so quickly, his plan has been watered down so dramatically in Congress, it's all carrots and no sticks. It's incentives for folks to buy electric cars, but there's no incentives for power plans to switch from coal. So you could buy a Tesla, but you may be charging it up with coal fired power, ultimately. That is Joe Manchin's doing.

And another element to this is the Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case that led by Republican states, energy states that would challenge the EPA's power to regulate planet cooking pollution right now. So every country -- and what is so disappointing for so many environmentalists coming out of the G-20 is they committed to, quote, significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions taking into account national circumstances. Well, national circumstances are why we've been kicking this can down the road for 30 years. Every nation has some excuse for why they need to keep digging coal or burning oil. India burns more coal than the United States and Europe combined. They wanted promise from the G-20 that the poorer nations would get some of that $100 billion a year before they committed to no coal. They didn't get it. Boris Johnson, who is hosting this summit here in the U.K., wants to relegate coal to history, to the age of Charles Dickens. But so far the early indications are all those competing national interests will make that really tough.

BLITZER: Yes, it certainly will. And Kaitlan, we will hear extensively from President Biden coming up fairly soon, his speech on setting the scene, actually, for what's going on here in Scotland.

Unrelated to this, but I'm just curious, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, sadly she's come down with COVID-19 herself, she's not on this trip. What is the White House saying? And I know the president has been tested almost on a daily basis to make sure he's not positive.

COLLINS: Yes, and the president was actually just tested yesterday to enter the United Kingdom. Of course, that's a requirement even for the president of the United States to get a coronavirus test. He is one who has gotten his booster shot, so it doesn't seem to be a big concern for the White House. But we did learn late last night that Jen Psaki, the press secretary, who did not come on this trip. She about the day before said that she was not coming on the trip and they instead sent her deputy in her place, remained home because members of her household had tested positive for coronavirus.

And she said and she took a test every day, and yesterday tested positive for coronavirus. And she was revealing it out of an abundance of transparency, but she said she not been around senior White House staff since Wednesday. She said she had not seen the president in person since last Tuesday. And when they did, they were outside and both wearing a mask. And so we've heard from several physicians who said it's unlikely that she could have potential infected President Biden.

But it does reveal the concerns and these cautions that these world leaders have to take. At this global climate summit even speaks to that because these world leaders were supposed to do essentially a check-in and an update on their previously commitments sooner than this, but it was delayed, of course, because of the pandemic.

BLITZER: Yes, they didn't even have the confidence last year because of the pandemic. They're having it, they're all getting together this year, but there's extensive testing going on. And they asked everyone to be fully vaccinated. But they can come if they're not fully vaccinated, provided that they're tested basically on a daily basis, and Jen Psaki is grateful that she was fully vaccinated, because she says that is going to help in her very, very speedy recovery from this COVID-19.

Guys, Brianna, John, it's windy here, it's chilly here, but the words will be very, very powerful in setting the scene for hopefully, hopefully some dramatic action in dealing with this critically important crisis.

KEILAR: Yes, it is so important, and we'll be awaiting to see what happens. Wolf, thank you so much, Kaitlan, thank you so much to you as well.

In a critical breakthrough over the weekend, House Progressives signal that they will support the bipartisan infrastructure bill as well as the social safety net bill when they both come up for a vote which could come early this week.


Let's talk about it with CNN political director and the host of the "CNN Political Briefing Podcast" David Chalian. So right now there is a furious lobbying effort, because the door isn't completely closed on this bill, right? So it seems like the place for movement is prescription drugs. Explain this possible provision to us.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Brianna, you know because you've been on the campaign trail. For years, this has been a rallying cry not just of the left actually. This has been one of the issues where Republicans have realized the popularity in campaigning on the notion of allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies to lower the prices of prescription drugs, having some sort of government negotiation.

Many people feel prescription drugs are too high in this country, and so this is something year after year, every politician is promising they're going to work on, and it hasn't come to fruition. And so you say the door's still open. The door is still open because the timeline keeps slipping. And so with the door still open we learn from our Lauren Fox this morning that Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, and Kyrsten Sinema, one of those holdout senators, the moderates in the Senate, were meeting on this very issue because Sinema has been sort of the roadblock throughout this process of getting a more robust version of prescription drugs into this bill.

But seemingly is apparently open to maybe somewhat of a scaled back version, and of course Pelosi would love to turn to her caucus and say we're able to get this in, that we thought it was out.

KEILAR: And I think people can understand what a scaled back version looks like. We just had Congressman Dan Kildee, who is the chief deputy whip, on, and it's looking like it would be drugs that have been on the market long enough that they would be generic. I think everyone is familiar, a new drug comes out, super expensive. They have exclusivity, there is no generic. This would mean that not all drugs get to be negotiated, but generics are. So progressives aren't getting everything they want here.

CHALIAN: Without a doubt. This would not be everything, and I'm sure you'll see an effort because there's been such an industry around this in politics to take another bite at the apple down the road on a more robust program. But again, progressives who have been sort of holding out and dealing with disappointment that many of their priorities had gotten out of this bill, even though this bill would be transformative and would be such a big win for the Democrats at the end of the day when they get it across the finish line, this I think would go some distance to assuage some of that progressive disappointment that some of their priorities were left out.

KEILAR: You said when, because the outlook is good. Just big picture here, this is a huge deal.

CHALIAN: Really big deal. Think about this. Joe Biden is president and he's got a Democratic majority in the House and the Senate, slim, slim majorities in both. But this is really his best opportunity to enact long-lasting agenda items. And presidents usually try to frontload their presidencies to do that. And that's what Joe Biden is doing with this. This is the core of what he campaigned on, this notion of both the hard infrastructure and bringing the parties together and being able to do something positive for the country, as well as these social safety net spending priorities -- universal pre- k, home health care, even getting some aid, hearing aids to seniors or what have you.

So this is, there are key components in here, the extension of the child care tax credit, that would be really transformational for many, many Americans. As Joe Biden likes to say, it would give them maybe a little bit of breathing room. But you've got to remember, likelihood, history suggests Democrats may lose one or both of these chambers in next year's midterm elections. So this really does represent the best moment in time for Joe Biden to try and get through a big ticket item like this, and he's on the cusp of doing so.

KEILAR: So many slipped deadlines, it's almost easy to forget how big a deal this is, because we keep looking at it. But this will define his legacy. David, thank you so much.

CHALIAN: Sure, no problem.

KEILAR: It is a race to the finish for tomorrow's big elections in Virginia and New Jersey. One of the candidates on the ballot is going to join us next.

And Alec Baldwin breaking his silence for the first time since the deadly shooting on his film set. Why his exchange with reporters got heated.

BERMAN: Plus, what is former president Trump trying to hide from January 6th investigators? Turns out it's a very long list.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Polls close tomorrow in key governor's races in New Jersey and Virginia, the results of which could offer the first clues about what's in store for next year's midterms.

In New Jersey Democratic Governor Phil Murphy is facing Republican Jack Ciattarelli and history may not be on his side. If Murphy wins re-election, he'd be the first Democrat to do it since 1977.

Joining us now is New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. Governor, thank you so much for being with us. Look, I know you just want to keep your job. That's what you are concentrating on between today and tomorrow. But what do you think the results of this election and to a lesser extent, a different extent for you and for Virginia as well, what do you think the results of this election will tell us?

GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): Good to be with you John. Listen, my nose is pressed against the Jersey glass, so I've got less of a perspective nationally or more specifically to Virginia. I wish my friend Terry McAuliffe all the best.

I think it says in New Jersey if we win, and that's what we're trying to do that what we've been doing for the past four years is working and that folks want to see more of it. We talked about a stronger, fairer New Jersey that works not just for some but for everybody, and that's everything from raising the minimum wage to a millionaire's tax to allow us to give the middle class a tax break, to a strong environmental and gun safety policies, strong union state.

There is a whole mix of things that we've done toward that objective of a stronger, fairer state. If we win, I think people will say, you know what, we like what we've seen and want to see more of it.

BERMAN: What is the impact been of the President's popularity on your race -- his popularity, which frankly has been sagging nationally lately?

MURPHY: Listen, I will always stand by this President. We go way back. He was New Jersey's third senator for decades. He was in New Jersey a week ago today and I was proud to stand by his side. In fact, we did two events. One was pre-K expansion where New Jersey is expanding it unlike any other American state. The other was a hard infrastructure event, the Portal North Bridge, which is a game changer for our commuters, and it was not a coincidence because we're doing a lot of the stuff that's getting debated in Congress, and it is working.


MURPHY: It's not speculative. You know, you'd have to wonder whether or not this stuff works. It's actually happening and working in New Jersey, and I was proud to stand with him.

BERMAN: Right. That doesn't really address my question, though, which about whether or not his popularity has had any impact on your race? You clearly are a big supporter of Joe Biden. Why is it do you think that the rest of the country isn't it seeing it quite like you are right now with his popularity right around 43 percent?

MURPHY: Again, John, my nose is pressed against the jersey glass. But if I had to guess it's the following. In Washington, it's, hey, what do we think will happen if we do X or Y? If we fund this program or that program? In New Jersey, we're doing it. We know what will happen. People benefit. People love it when you are all in on climate resiliency, on gun safety, on expanding pre-K and expanding childcare to cover for our moms, especially our single moms, making college more affordable, making healthcare more affordable.

It's not speculation here, we're doing it and folks are reacting to it. And they say, you know what we like what we see.

BERMAN: What's the role of the former President in this race? Former President Trump? How much do you think he is weighing on voters' minds or should? MURPHY: Listen, I'm running against the guy who has got a very

extreme right-wing set of all season promises, which is very inconsistent, by the way with the history of New Jersey, including of the Republican Party. We've had Republican governors fairly regularly in New Jersey, but they have invariably been moderate.

You know, I think, one of my mentors Governor Tom Kane, Sr., Christine Todd Whitman, to pick two examples. These are not radical right politicians. So for whatever reason, my opponent has got really deep right stuff. He spoke at a Stoop the Steal rally, he wants to loosen gun safety. He is not going to protect women's health. He thinks early in-person voting was a bad idea.

I'm on the side of opening up democracy. He is wishy washy on vaccines mandate and masking. I see the influence of the former President through those policies. I frankly, don't get it. I don't think it's consistent with where we are as a state.

But listen, that's why we play the game. We're going to know tomorrow night.

BERMAN: How much do you still think that Trump is on voters' minds in New Jersey?

MURPHY: Well, I think it's on the minds of the folks who are supporting my opponent, and I think it's probably on the minds of a lot of folks who are on our side who don't want to go back to that us versus them reality that tore us apart.

So I suspect a fair amount, depending on which side of the fence you're on.

BERMAN: Governor Phil Murphy trying to make history, as we said, to be the first Democrat re-elected since 1977. Appreciate you being with us this morning.

MURPHY: Thanks for having me, John.

BERMAN: So what is the former President trying to hide from January 6th investigators? Here's a hint, it includes a White House daily diary.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And happening today, the Supreme Court is about to hear oral arguments on the Texas abortion ban potentially sealing the fate for Roe v Wade.



KEILAR: Time now for five things to know for your NEW DAY. President Biden arriving moments ago at the site of the Global Climate Summit in Glasgow. He is expected to speak later today trying to convince world leaders the U.S. is prepared to lead on climate.

BERMAN: It's still not a done deal, but President Biden's domestic agenda is a big step closer to reality. Most House progressives have signaled a willingness to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the larger social safety net bill. Both are likely -- likely we're now told to come up for a vote this week.

KEILAR: And White House press secretary Jen Psaki is suffering mild symptoms after testing positive for coronavirus. Psaki is not traveling with the President and last saw him on Tuesday and Biden has tested negative.

BERMAN: Man dressed in a joker costume has been arrested in Tokyo after brandishing a knife and starting a fire on a commuter train. Police say the incident left at least 17 people injured as one man was stabbed in the chest and panic passengers scrambled to escape.

KEILAR: And cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins who was fatally shot on the set of the "Rust" film in New Mexico was laid to rest in a private funeral on Sunday. Alec Baldwin has spoken publicly for the first time on camera about the accidental shooting.


ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: She was my friend. She was my friend. There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time, but nothing like this. This is a one in a trillion episode.


BERMAN: That's five things to know for your NEW DAY. More on these stories all day on CNN and, and don't forget to download "The Five Things" Podcast every morning. Go to You can also find it wherever you get your podcasts.