Return to Transcripts main page

New Day Saturday

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies at 87; McConnell: Trump's Nominee to Replace Ginsburg Will get Senate Vote; Donald Trump: Coronavirus Vaccine for Every American Available by April; U.S. Nears 200,000 Deaths Linked to COVID-19. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired September 19, 2020 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning to you. The country today is mourning the death of a champion for equal rights and a liberal and feminist icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is Saturday, September 19th. I'm Victor Blackwell.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. So grateful to have you with us. I want to let you know, if you're just joining us here, that Justice Ginsburg died yesterday from complications of pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her family in Washington D.C. She was 87 years old and this morning, you're going to see flags flying at half- staff here at the White House. That same honor ordered at the Capitol and the Supreme Court as well. Now, crowds gathered for a vigil on the steps of the high court after this news broke last night.

BLACKWELL: So, we're going to be looking over, this morning, this rich legacy that she has left behind, also what's going to happen with the seat on the court. Now 45 days out from an already heated presidential election, this race has intensified. We have more on the political fights that are ahead in a -- in a moment, but we're going to start with Jessica Schneider.

PAUL: Yes. She has a look at Ginsburg's life, at this incredible grit and tenacity that she was known for which of course earned her the nickname the "Notorious RBG."


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's rise from a humble Brooklyn neighborhood to the nation's highest court was a classic American story.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: What is the difference between a bookkeeper in New York's garment district and a Supreme Court justice? Just one generation. My mother's life and mine bear witness. Where else but in America could that happen?

SCHNEIDER: She was smart, tied for first in her class at Columbia Law School, but in the late '50s and early '60s, the glass ceiling stood firm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were three strikes against her. First, she was a woman, second, she was Jewish, third, she had a young child.

SCHNEIDER: She turned to teaching law and fighting gender discrimination for the ACLU.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very much with the model of the NAACP's legal defense fund led by Thurgood Marshall, she had this idea that you have to build precedent step by step.

SCHNEIDER: In 1980, Ginsburg became a federal appellate court judge.


GINSBURG: So help me, God.

SCHNEIDER: Thirteen years later, she was named to the Supreme Court by President Clinton, the second woman on the bench. The first, Sandra Day O'Connor, was glad to see her.

SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: The minute Justice Ginsburg came to the court, we were nine justices, it wasn't seven and then the women and it was a great relief to me.

SCHNEIDER: As a justice, Ginsburg consistently voted in favor of abortion access and civil rights, perhaps her best known work on the court, writing the 1996 landmark decision to strike down the Virginia Military Institute's ban on admitting women. She was also known for her bold descents like the ones she wrote when the Court stopped the 2000 Florida ballot recount, struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act and ended the contraception mandate for some businesses under the Affordable Care Act.

GINSBURG: In our view, the Court does not comprehend or is indifferent to the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination.

SCHNEIDER: In 2007, the high court ruled against Lilly Ledbetter, a factory supervisor at a tire plant in a high-profile pay discrimination case. Ginsburg urged Congress to take up the issue in her dissent. Twenty months later, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill that President Obama signed into law. After Justice John Paul Stevens retired in 2010, Ginsburg became the most senior of her liberal colleagues, but she didn't slow down. Stephen Colbert discovered that the hard way trying to keep up with RBG's famously tough workouts.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN AND TELEVISION HOST: I'm cramping and working out with an 85-year-old woman.

SCHNEIDER: Ginsburg hired a trainer after treatment for colorectal cancer in the late '90s. In 2018, doctors treating the justice for broken ribs discovered cancerous growths on her lung. The surgery was successful, but the recovery caused Ginsburg to miss oral arguments at the Supreme Court for the first time in her career. She was also treated several times for pancreatic cancer, but always stayed up on her court work. Even after losing her husband of 56 years to cancer, Ginsburg was back on the bench the next morning.

GINSBURG: I love the work I do. I think I have the best job in the world for a lawyer.


I respect all of my colleagues and genuinely like most of them.

SCHNEIDER: Her best friend on the bench was the late Justice Antonin Scalia, her ideological opposite.

ANTONIN SCALIA, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: What's not to like? Except her views of the law of course.

SCHNEIDER: They shared a laugh about Ginsburg drinking wine before nodding off at the State of the Union.

GINSBURG: I wasn't 100 percent sober because before we went to the State of the Union, we had dinner together and Justice Kennedy brought in ...

SCALIA: Well, that's the first intelligent thing you've done.

SCHNEIDER: In her later years, she gained rock star status with Millennials thanks to social media.

GINSBURG: It was beyond my wildest imagination that I would one day become the Notorious RBG.

SCHNEIDER: The nickname was a play on the name of the late rapper The Notorious B.I.G.. There were books, clothing, tattoos, even a species of praying mantis in her honor along with a recurring "SNL" sketch.


SCHNEIDER: There was a feature film on the basis of sex and a documentary produced by CNN. RBG was an unexpected box office hit and gave the Justice an even larger platform to share her lifelong mission of gender equality.

GINSBURG: People ask me sometimes, when will there be enough women on the court? And my answer is when there are nine.


PAUL: She left such a profound impact on the court itself and as we look ahead, whoever ultimately takes her seat could certainly shift the balance of the court for decades to come.

BLACKWELL: And her granddaughter told "NPR" that days before her death as she lost her strength, Justice Ginsburg dictated this statement, "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed." PAUL: The Senate isn't hesitating in kicking off a political fight here over the court and the nation's capitol debate's already raging over whether a replacement should even be nominated before the election.

BLACKWELL: Now, as word broke of Justice Ginsburg's death, the President was -- he was speaking at a rally in Minnesota, already on stage. Apparently he was not aware of the news and how this campaign has shifted. CNN's Joe Johns is at the White House and we heard from the President as soon as he left that stage.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Right. That's right and I think you can say that we really have seen at least so far, and it's only been a few hours, just a notable amount of decorum from what has been so far a norm-shattering presidency. No word from the president, no talk at least last night, about the fact that he and his administration have been planning for a long time for the eventuality that another vacancy would open up on the Supreme Court and President Trump would have to fill it.

Really over the last week or two, the President put out what has been his running list of possible nominees for the court, but last night, as you said, Victor, the President was speaking at a rally in Minnesota when the news broke, apparently did not find out about it until afterward. He spoke to reporters then and, quite frankly, ignored questions about replacing Justice Ginsburg, but did have a lot of praise for her. Listen.




TRUMP: Wow. I didn't know that. I just -- you're telling me now for the first time. She led an amazing life. What else can you say? She was an amazing woman. Whether you agreed or not, she was an amazing woman who led an amazing life. I'm actually sad to hear that. I am sad to hear that. Thank you very much.


JOHNS: The White House later put out a statement once again praising Justice Ginsburg. No talk about her replacement, but behind the scenes, it's very clear they are planning to name someone to replace her on the court.

The President has been salivating, we're told, over the possibility because there is an understanding here at the White House that naming someone who is pleasing to religious conservatives could be a big plus for the President politically just 46 days from the election, especially because religious conservatives have a top issue of overturning Roe versus Wade and that line of cases legalizing abortion over the years.

[06:10:00] Now, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, was not quite as subtle as the President and the administration. He, too, put out a statement praising Justice Ginsburg, but at the end of that statement making clear that the United States Senate will give a vote to the President's nominee to replace her. The question, of course, will be the timing on that, whether it might occur before or after the election and it's pretty clear it would be very difficult over these 46 days to get someone up.

And there's also a question, of course, about the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, some of whom are in tough re-election battles, including Senator Lindsey Graham, and how all of this might work to their favor or to their disadvantage. So we're just going to have to see what happens here at the White House. The betting, of course, is that the President will at least float a name of a nominee and we'll see how it plays out in the Senate. Back to you.

PAUL: Yes. Good point. Joe Johns, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

BLACKWELL: So we heard from the President there. Now, to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. He spoke about Ginsburg last night. He said she was fierce and unflinching in her pursuit of civil and legal rights and that her opinions will continue to shape the basis for our law for a generation.

PAUL: Candidate Biden also addressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's pledge to hold a vote for whoever President Trump nominates as a replacement, as you just heard Johns talk about. Listen to this.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Let me be clear that the voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider. This was the position of the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today and the election is only 46 days off.


PAUL: So Joe was talking about that. CNN congressional reporter Lauren Fox with us now from Capitol Hill. At least we know these two GOP senators, prior to Ginsburg passing, said there is not enough time to confirm a new justice before the election. Would McConnell even have enough support, is the question, to hold a vote on the president's replacement. Do we know that?

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, of course, you know, hypotheticals are one thing. Now that this is a reality, we're going to be keeping a close eye on some of those moderate Republicans who've made these comments in the past including Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska as well as Mitt Romney of Utah.

But look, Majority Leader McConnell making it very clear last night his plan is to have a vote within the year on the president's nominee. Now, there are two ways this could go. Either it can happen before the election or it can happen after and sources that I'm talking to say it's much more likely that this would happen during the lame duck session on Capitol Hill. That's after the election when lawmakers would return from the campaign trail, but here are some of the obstacles for that.

One of them is that what happens if the balance of power shifts in the Senate? If Democrats take the majority, Republicans will still have the votes until January, but will some moderate Republicans feel like it's inappropriate to try to rush in a nominee for the Supreme Court, change the balance of the court if they were not elected by voters? Same goes if Donald Trump loses the White House and they come back for that lame duck session.

That's why some conservatives behind the scenes, I am told, are trying to push the majority leader to do this before the election. Now, that's complicating for people like Cory Gardner running for reelection in Colorado as well as Tom Tillis in North Carolina, Susan Collins, again, in Maine running for reelection. So there are a lot of options on the table right now and McConnell is going to be having conversations with his members on the phone and in person in this upcoming week, so that's something to look for on Capitol Hill.

Now Democrats already urging Republicans to put on the breaks. Here's what Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, said yesterday on CNN.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Her wishes should be granted and she said my most fervent wish -- this was right before her death -- My most fervent wish is that it will not be replaced until a new president is installed.


FOX: And McConnell last night giving a message to his conference members. He said keep your powder dry, don't lock yourself into a position too soon and he's really, again, aiming that message at a handful of Republican senators because if they do this after the election in the lame duck and they maintain the same power that they have right now, what we expect to see is that McConnell can only lose three Republican members. If he loses a fourth, he doesn't get that nominee.

Now, that can all be complicated if something changes in Arizona.


That's a special election. The Democrat could be installed early. Then McConnell has even less room for air.

BLACKWELL: Lauren Fox for us there on Capitol Hill. Thanks so much.

We've got this breaking news out of Rochester, New York. Two people are dead, 14 are wounded. This is after a shooting on the east side of the city. According to Rochester's interim police chief, 16 people were shot. This was at a party and officers, when they arrived there, they found chaos, about 100 people running around. The shooting victims were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. Police say there are currently no suspects. Of course, non-life- threatening injuries for those 14, two dead.

PAUL: When we come back, we are covering the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of course. How her vacancy is about to set up a major fight between Democrats and Republicans as we are just 45 days, together here, until the election.




BLACKWELL: Overnight, more reaction to the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has come in. This is from President Barack Obama. This is part of his statement, "For nearly three decades as the second woman ever to sit on the highest court in the land, she was a warrior for gender equality, someone who believed that equal justice under law only had meaning if it applied to every single American."

PAUL: He went on to say this, "Justice Ginsburg helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn't about an abstract ideal of equality, that it doesn't only harm women, that it has real consequences for all of us. It's about who we are and who we can be," unquote. Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says President Trump's nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg will get a vote in the senate.

BLACKWELL: With us now to talk about that, CNN political commentator Errol Louis, CNN legal analyst Shan Wu. Good morning, gentlemen, and Errol, let me start with you and the reversal that we're seeing from Senate Republicans. We're playing one every hour. This hour, it is Lindsey Graham. This was after the confirmation of Kavanaugh before he became Chairman of Senate Judiciary. Here he is in 2018.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump's term and the primary process has started, we'll wait to the next election and I've got a pretty good chance of being the judicairy ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're on the record.



GRAHAM: Hold the tape.


BLACKWELL: We held it, Mr. Chairman. Question, Errol, what does it mean?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: What it means, I think, is that you're going to see, what I would call, synchronized backflips by many members of the Senate, including Lindsey Graham, who are going to say and do whatever it is the White House wants them to say and do. So I think the real action here is going to be from the White House, trying to figure out what nominee will most help Donald Trump get reelected.

In other words, if he floats a name of someone, possibly a woman, who conservatives love, it would be an excellent tool for him to get his base organized and enthusiastic and compared to that, the senators, including those who are up for re-election like Lindsey Graham, are going to be expected to fall in line and support that strategy and try as best they can to make the November election not about the pandemic, not about the mass unemployment, not about the uprising for racial justice that's still going on all over the country, but try and make it about the long-term conservative agenda of stacking the Supreme Court with the people who are going to do what they want to do.

So I think that's what you're going to see and compared to that large objective, getting the President reelected, getting the conservative agenda for the next generation enshrined, the fact that you can show videotape of people being absolute hypocrites I think is not going to mean very much to Republican Senators like Lindsey Graham, Victor.

PAUL: Senator Ted Cruz spoke about this last night and what he believes the President should do. Here's what he said.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX) TEXAS: I believe that the President should, next week, nominate a successor to the court and I think it is critical that the Senate takes up and confirms that successor before Election Day.


PAUL: Shan, how realistic is that timeline he's proposing?

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they have the power to do that. I think it's going to be a little bit of a crunch to do it actually before Election Day, but I mean they've got the votes to do it and they have the power to do it, so they could push it through.

BLACKWELL: Shan, let me stay with you and you told our producer about the impact of the dissension, the dissent from Justice Ginsburg and that will be, in many ways, what she is remembered for. Expound that, please.

WU: Yes. Well, you know, she was a very brilliant advocate herself before she got on the court at all. She used a brilliant stratagem of pushing for women's rights through trying to advocate for male rights, situations like where social security benefited the females because they felt they couldn't earn enough. So when she got on the court, of course her seminal decision that she made was the Virginia Military Academy decision where she basically struck their single-sex policy down as unconstitutional.

But like you said, Victor, it was her dissents that really resonate, I think will resonate through the ages. In the Ledbetter case for fair pay, she dissented very strongly from Justice Scalia, saying that it made no sense that the clock began running on that only when the employee discovered that it should be when the employee discovered the pay discrimination rather than just the moment they got their first paycheck.


Similarly, when she was dissenting about the Shelby case, which really eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, she also gave a very strong statement there, in fact invoking Martin Luther King. Ledbetter, she very unusually called out the Congress, saying Congress can act and they did because the Fair Pay Act was the first bill that President Obama signed.

PAUL: So Errol, we're all waking up this morning to a very delicate balance of the bench that did not exist 24 hours ago. How likely is it and is there a sense that Democrats may try to expand the number of justices on the bench dependent on what happens in the election and in any potential nomination here?

LOUIS: Extraordinary move, but it will be up to the Democratic leadership to decide if the peril of losing a majority, a supermajority really, for a long, long time is worth the disruption that would follow. It would be tremendously disruptive not just to the legal system, but to the political system to suddenly expand or pack the court.

It would, I think, complete the transformation of the Supreme Court into one more political branch of government and you would then expect the number of justices to go up or down depending on who was in charge of the -- of the court and who was in charge of the Senate and it would be a step that you really can't come back from.

So what we've relied on up until now, Christi, has been for both parties to nominate people and to approve justices who are something in the -- somewhat in the middle of the road, something that people can agree with, well, more conservative than I'd like, more liberal than I'd like, but generally there to support the institution as we've known it for generations.

I'd be very surprised if Democrats were willing to overturn that particular apple cart and move forward, especially if Democrats win the White House. That's a pretty big prize. There'll be lots of jobs to go around. I think their political energy will then focus on that as opposed to expanding the Supreme Court.

BLACKWELL: Errol, does this help the President? I mean, we know it'll energize his base, but does it help the President with the voters he needs to excite and energize beyond Evangelicals? I'm talking white women without a college degree, white women in the suburbs. Are they energized by this fight? LOUIS: Those are the poll numbers that I want to see, Victor. I think you've put your finger right on it. Will stoking the base around some of these cultural issues in particular up be what saves the President's currently flagging campaign? That is the question. Will people come out? You know, and look, we know that Republicans generally have supported the President in huge numbers in part because of the Supreme Court.

He himself, of course, is not a cultural conservative by his acts or his deeds or his biography, but he has certainly named judge after judge by the dozens, possibly by the hundreds depending on how you count it, who are very -- who are -- who are delightful to the Republican base. So will this help get them out? It's entirely unclear.

On the other hand, Victor, you know, the kind of folks that you're talking about who aren't necessarily affected by any particular Supreme Court decision, they can be affected by the ads that are paid for by the cultural conservatives, many of whom are quite wealthy who want to pour tens of millions of dollars into pushing for this not because they particularly care about any -- beyond a narrow band of issues, but that can help tilt this election and that's what we're going to probably see in the next few weeks.

PAUL: Errol Louis, Shan Wu, we are always grateful to have your voices on with us. Thank you, gentlemen.

WU: Thanks.

LOUIS: You too (ph).

BLACKWELL: Now, coming up after the break, we're going to hear from the other justices there on the bench of the Supreme Court, how they are remembering their late colleague.






GINSBURG: So help me God.



BLACKWELL: You see former President Bill Clinton there over the late justice's shoulder. He nominated her in 1993. His statement on her passing, "we have lost one of the most extraordinary justices ever to serve on the Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life and landmark opinions moved us closer to a more perfect union, and a powerful dissents reminded us that we walk away from our constitution's promise at our peril."

PAUL: And as a fighter for justice actually, was established before her appointment to the Supreme Court. She worked of course, as a lawyer, an appellate court judge, brought to your attention Bill Clinton and CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley has more for us on that.


DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: She was extraordinary fighter for women's rights and, you know, Anderson, when Bill Clinton selected her, nobody thought, you know, she would be picked in 1993. You know, they were looking with -- when Byron White was going to be retiring and the thought was it would be Breyer, and nobody thought about Ginsburg, but Hillary Clinton knew all about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was so influenced by Hillary Clinton, and she told her husband, President Bill Clinton, really look at her, she is something extraordinary.


And there's a funny story because Bill Clinton didn't want the press seeing it, but -- so they told Ginsburg to come in on a Sunday evening to the White House, but be kind of incognito, wear just, you know, regular clothes, it was to be informal. And there was Bill Clinton watching a football game all dressed in a suit and tie, and she was like in lounge clothes, and she was deeply embarrassed. But it took Bill Clinton about ten minutes to realize that Hillary Clinton was right that this was the winner. And he went to bat for her. And we have to remember when Bill Clinton picked Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there had been Republicans in the White House for the 12 prior years, but this was a big thing.

And every year really, month by month, she's -- as a Supreme Court Justice, just grew into the legend we know. And President Clinton told me not that long ago over the Summer that when he had her once come to the Clinton library in Arkansas, they -- she had so many people waiting, like 15,000, fans in Arkansas, that they had to move her from the presidential library to get a sports arena because of her popularity was so great. So when we look at one -- some of Bill Clinton's great moves as president, picking her, surely was one of them.


PAUL: Ariane de Vogue is live at the Supreme Court now. Ariane, you know, if she knew gender inequality and discrimination well, that is the reason that maybe she fought so hard, and I know as a woman and a lot of women now watching, looking at the court, you really feel her absence. Help us understand the enormity of that.

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Right, you're absolutely right because even before she made it to the Supreme Court, she was this legal pioneer when it came to general -- gender discrimination. As a young woman, she'd go across the country and she'd knock out these laws that treated men and women differently. That was her key. It's much like what Thurgood Marshall did for race. But also I mean, I've covered her for over a decade as a young mother, and I would listen to her message over and over again, and the message was -- is, women can have it all, but maybe not all at the same time. She really pressed that forward over the years.

At times, it's been difficult to keep up with her, I have to say, because she really did a lot of these appearances. She wanted women to see her not only on the bench, but to engage conversations. And last night, I was talking to a lot of her clerks and they said, you know, working for her was so interesting because of course, she was a night owl. She'd stay up all night sometimes, once she wrote an opinion and it got released the next morning. But she was very clear with her clerks, many of them who were raising small children to figure out the system that worked for her. And of course, she became this iconic person, and that doesn't happen with justices very often.

There were teachers who said you can't have the truth without Ruth, and I remember interviewing a woman who had her image tattooed on her. That's how much she meant to her. She was nominated in 1993 by Bill Clinton. She became that senior most liberal vote on the court on issues like abortion, affirmative action.

She was most proud of -- and a majority opinion when she struck down an all-male admissions policy at a state university. She cared about Lilly Ledbetter, remember, that was the case about pay discrimination. She cared about voting rights. These last two were dissents because she was often in dissent. But it was very powerful when the majority struck down a major portion of the Voting Rights Act. And of course, she inspired people.

And what's interesting is, that started on the court. I saw Justice Elena Kagan with stars in her eyes talking about what Ruth Bader Ginsburg had done for Kagan because of course, Kagan didn't have the struggles coming up in the law that Ruth Bader Ginsburg did. And last night, Chief Justice John Roberts, he issued a statement about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and it's so strong. He said, "our nation has lost a jurist of historic stature.

We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today, we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice." That's what the Chief Justice said last night in announcing her passing.

BLACKWELL: All right, Ariane de Vogue there at the Supreme Court, thanks so much.

PAUL: And do stay with us, we have more for you on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I want to let you listen here to her talking about her mother who passed away when she was just 17 years old.



GINSBURG: My mother died when I was 17. I wish I could have had her longer. She had two lessons that she repeated over and over. Be a lady. And be independent. Don't allow yourself to be overcome by useless emotions like anger. And by independence, she meant it would be fine if you met Prince Charming and lived happily ever after. But be able to fend for yourself.




BLACKWELL: This morning, the U.S. is getting closer to 200,000 deaths linked to COVID-19. Almost 30 states reported an increase in new coronavirus cases this week.

PAUL: And there's this increase in concern that political pressure may be driving the development of a vaccine. Here's CNN's Natasha Chen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll have manufactured at least 100 million vaccine doses before the end of the year.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump made a jaw-dropping declaration from the White House on Friday.

TRUMP: And likely much more than that.

CHEN: Despite no proven vaccine yet, he even went further promising enough for all Americans by April.

TRUMP: The vaccines are going through the gold standard of clinical trials and very heavy emphasis placed on safety. Three vaccines are already in the final stage. Joe Biden's anti-vaccine theories are putting a lot of lives at risk and they're only doing it for political reasons, it's very foolish.

CHEN: Trump's timeline contradicts the one given earlier in the week by Dr. Robert Redfield; director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Redfield said there wouldn't be widespread vaccination until late Spring or Summer of next year.

JOE BIDEN, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FOR 2020: I can't think of any president who has ever acted, in my view, so selfishly about his own re-election instead of a sworn obligation to protect and defend the American people.

CHEN: In the meantime, the U.S. will soon hit 200,000 deaths since the COVID-19 pandemic began outpacing all other countries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We grow numb to the numbers.

CHEN: And behind each number is a person and family struggling. Justin Vine(ph) recently woke up from a medically-induced coma 56 days after being put on a ventilator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it definitely changed my perspective on like life and you know, now I see this in a more real way. I knew it was serious before, but this is -- this is a real -- I see everybody pretty differently about my life, but that's about life. It's just -- you know, the time we have is precious.

CHEN: For nearly two months while he was in a coma, the seven-day average of new cases saw an overall decline around the country, but in recent days, it has ticked slightly upward along with a seven-day average of new deaths.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's going to be a major step on both sides, OK?

CHEN: This is happening in every region of the country, including the northeast which had quashed its initial outbreak in the Spring.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're being cautious, but probably, a lot of kids coming back from all over the country. The college has a little bit of an impact.

CHEN: Outbreaks among the college population in Boulder, Colorado, prompted new testing sites to be set up there and two college football games this weekend have been postponed due to athletes testing positive. The Kansas City Chiefs, one of the few NFL teams to allow fans in the stadium in the first week had a fan test positive after its September 10th game. Now, ten others who were in close contact have to quarantine. On Friday, the CDC updated its guidance to once again emphasize that anyone who has been in contact with an infected person should be tested, even if there are no symptoms. Natasha Chen, CNN, Atlanta.


PAUL: Now, obviously, she had a lot of health challenges but Justice Ginsburg was known for her commitment to fitness. And we're going to show you something that you might have forgotten about, a very different look and side to the justice with Comedian Stephen Colbert, of course.






BLACKWELL: The Justice Ginsburg was known for her perseverance despite years of health challenges. Remember her appearance on the Stephen Colbert show? And showing off her fitness.



GINSBURG: I would never exercise to that noise. Let's shut it off.

COLBERT: Do you ever listen to anything a little more exciting like the sound of rain? Am I doing this right, right now? How strong are you on the Second Amendment because welcome to the gun show. Boom!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you on your knees?

COLBERT: What? I'm cramping and I'm working out with an 85-year-old woman. Can I ask you a question? And I want you to give me an honest answer. Are you juicing?



PAUL: See, look, there's one, what?


PAUL: What are you talking about?


Listen, her work out routines were notoriously tough. And you saw them there, daily push-ups, planks which are none too easy, and during her 86th birthday last year, looking at this, people celebrating her strength with a plank challenge outside the Supreme Court.


PAUL: You know, tonight, CNN is re-airing the award-winning documentary "RBG". Take a look.



GINSBURG: I loved to do the things that boys did when I was growing up. One of my favorite things was climbing garage roofs from one roof to another, leaping. Leaping over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justice Ginsburg, we cannot call Ruth.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was beautiful. Big beautiful blue eyes which you really can't see very well behind her glasses. Very soft brown hair.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had this kind of quiet magnetism, even though she was not effusive. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You always thought that she wasn't listening and

she didn't know what was going on, but she knew what was going on, right --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And she didn't --




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no small talk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And she didn't do girl chat. I mean, she didn't --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get on the phone and talk with us about what happened on the weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's a deep thinker.


PAUL: "RBG" airs tonight at 10:00 on CNN.