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New Day Saturday

Trump Hospitalized; More COVID-19 Cases in White House and Campaign. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired October 03, 2020 - 05:00   ET





DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I think I'm doing very well.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This is not a matter of politics. It's a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president dealing with mild symptoms and receiving an experimental Regeneron antibody cocktail treatment on Friday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a patient who is at risk. And they felt that they wanted to tilt the odds a little bit more in his favor by potentially using our drug.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is important to show our allies and our adversaries around the world that this president is still in charge but it's also why this White House has to give us some more information.

JEH JOHNSON, FORMER DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: The most secure American in this country gets this virus. None of us is safe.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is "NEW DAY" weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Good morning to you there, Capitol Hill. Let's take a live look outside of Walter Reed Medical Center. President Trump spent the night there.

We are following the breaking news. Sources tell us that the president is having some trouble breathing. They say he is also very tired.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Also, overnight, we've learned about more positive cases. The latest, President Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien and several others close to the president as well. BLACKWELL: The president's illness is raising national security

concerns, but the Pentagon wants to reassure you that there are no indications of an immediate threat to the U.S.

We want to start this morning with CNN's Boris Sanchez. He's outside of Walter Reed Medical Center.

We learned that the president, as I said at the top, is having some trouble breathing.

What more can you tell us?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi. Yes, what we've heard is that the president is experiencing mild symptoms related to coronavirus, that he's had a low grade fever. He's had congestion that's given him difficulty breathing and he's also been fatigued and very tired.

In spite of that the White House physician said that President Trump is in good spirits. But we're hearing from people close to the president that he was spooked by the diagnosis and by the rapid onset of symptoms.

Despite that, the president wanting to put out a public positive message. I want you to listen to this video that he sent out via Twitter shortly before being airlifted to Walter Reed. Listen.


TRUMP: I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I'm going to Walter Reed hospital. I think I'm doing very well. But we're going to make sure that things work out. The first lady is doing very well. So thank you very much. I appreciate it. I will never forget it, thank you.


SANCHEZ: Notably, the president mentioning first lady Melania Trump; from what we understand, she has had a very light cough. The president is the one who has worse symptoms.

I also want you to take a look at this tweet that the president sent out late last night. Really a shift in tone from the typical emotion that the president presents at Twitter that late at night.

Here is, quote, "Going well, I think, thank you to all, love."

Of course, people close to the president are very concerned by this, not only by the number of White House officials and journalists and Republican senators that now have tested positive for COVID-19 that have been near the White House complex in recent days but also because of how quickly this virus can become very, very serious, even deadly.

Look at prime minister Boris Johnson of the U.K. Initially, after his positive COVID test, he had mild symptoms. Days later, he wound up in the intensive care unit. So there is serious concern that the president could face more challenges in the days to come.

Notably, given the medications that he's taking -- one of them is Regeneron, it's a cocktail of antiviral drugs; it's experimental -- and also remdesivir, which was approved by the FDA to treat coronavirus.

Those two in combination are believed to have some efficacy when it comes to combating the symptoms of COVID-19.

Of course, this is a somber moment for a White House, that for weeks and weeks have not really been following CDC guidelines. The president himself telling Bob Woodward in April that he simply was not concerned with catching coronavirus.

BLACKWELL: Boris Sanchez there. Thank you so much.

PAUL: The list of people around the president who tested positive for coronavirus seems to be getting longer by the hour at this point.

BLACKWELL: Let's go through the latest names.


BLACKWELL: Campaign manager Bill Stepien, his former aide, and Kellyanne Conway, the president's former aide. And two Republican senators who were supposed to help confirm President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court.

Also, on that list, Conway, the senators along with the president and first lady, were all at the White House Rose Garden last weekend when the pick was announced. The nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, tested negative on Friday, along with Vice President Mike Pence and attorney general William Barr.

They also were at that event.

PAUL: More on the two senators who tested positive, senator Mike Lee of utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Both were at the White House event where it's not clear if the virus was contracted there for them. But senator Lindsey Graham said the hearings will continue. CNN's congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly has more.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The fallout from President Trump's positive coronavirus test and the positive tests of those around him extends all the way down to Capitol Hill.

And it might have more repercussions than just public health; though, obviously that is the primary concern, now that two Republican senators who were at the White House on Saturday for the ceremony for the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court, who proceeded to meet in person with Amy Coney Barrett throughout the course of the week, had been in private meetings and committee hearings as well. Thom Tillis and Mike Lee, two Republican senators, have tested

positive. One key element here, everybody is keeping an eye on. Mike Lee said he had some minor symptoms; Thom Tillis said he did not have any symptoms at all.

They are both on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee that is expected to consider Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination. The nomination that, from Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham, have made very clear they want to move quickly and an extremely compressed timetable.

They're going to need those members to actually be there to vote. The hearings are supposed to start October 12th. As it stands, both of those senators believe they will be out of quarantine in time for the hearings. There's a possibility the hearings could be held virtually.

The big question is whether or not they'll be back for the committee vote on October 22nd, the floor vote, the week after. I think that's where the uncertainty related to the virus and how they end up dealing with the virus comes into play.

Also, a big question from Republicans I'm talking to on Capitol Hill, who else is next?

Right now, it seems like more and more positives are coming, obviously a concern for everybody as they try to get their heads around what has been a head-spinning week or at least the last 24 hours -- Phil Mattingly, CNN, Capitol Hill.


BLACKWELL: Phil, thank you.

Since the president's positive test result, we know that the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's campaign has pulled all negative TV ads critical of the president. But the Trump campaign said it will not do the same.

Former vice president and his wife, Jill Biden, both tested negative yesterday and returned to campaigning in Michigan. Vice president Biden, he doubled down on his message about the virus. He said that wearing a mask is about being patriotic and doing your part.


BIDEN: My wife, Jill, and I pray that they'll make a quick and full recovery. This is not a matter of politics. It's a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously.


BLACKWELL: So, here's the question, what do the voters there in Michigan think about the latest news?

A lot of people are, of course, wishing the president a speedy recovery. It was the president's handling of the coronavirus that decided their vote, though. CNN's senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny spoke to voters in the town of Birmingham as they dropped off their ballots.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Denise Hardaway (ph) cast her ballot on Friday she had President Trump's health on her mind.

DENISE HARDAWAY, MICHIGAN VOTER: I pray for him, I home he recovers. I hope his family recovers.

ZELENY (voice-over): But she voted for Joe Biden, in part because of what she believes has been the president's mishandling of coronavirus for which she has now tested positive.

HARDAWAY: He has been denying the whole science behind coronavirus and so I hope this is a wake-up call for him. And I hope that it changes his administration's thinking and that he realizes and understands the importance of this pandemic that we're in.

ZELENY (voice-over): In Michigan, like many states, the election is already underway, with voters dropping off their ballots, even as the campaign is suddenly filled with fresh uncertainty.

BIDEN: This is not a matter of politics. It's a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously.

ZELENY (voice-over): At a stop in Grand Rapids, Biden also wished the president well, hours before the president was admitted to Walter Reed hospital.


ZELENY (voice-over): A remarkable development that put the pandemic back in the forefront in the final stretch of the campaign.

TOM ORLOVSKY (ph), MICHIGAN VOTER: I hope it turns out right for him. But he was kind of pressing the limits with a lot of things he's done recently.

ZELENY (voice-over): Tom Orlovsky (ph) has supported many Republican presidents but Friday he voted for Biden.

ZELENY: Did the president's handling of the coronavirus influence your vote this year?

ORLOVSKY (PH): Sure, sure it did. I believe, again, based on what I know, that this has been poorly handled. And a lot of it could have been eliminated. I can't help but think it's going to be, obviously, a big issue in this election. People that know people that have died or been affected by it.

ZELENY (voice-over): Four years ago, Trump narrowly won Michigan, the first Republican presidential candidate to carry the state since 1988.

TRUMP: On November 3rd, Michigan, you better vote for me. I got you so many damn car plants.

ZELENY (voice-over): His strength here in the suburbs of Detroit will help determine if he does so again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we was dealt a bad hand.

ZELENY (voice-over): Philip Brown (ph) cast his ballot for Trump and does not blame the president for how he's handled coronavirus. Yet he said he's not surprised Trump tested positive.

PHILIP BROWN (ph), MICHIGAN VOTER: A number of people have tested positive in the White House. This is a very contagious disease. I think at some point with all of the protections he would have caught it.

ZELENY (voice-over): The president's COVID-19 diagnosis is the latest bombshell of the 2020 campaign. But conversations with voters suggest it may not change many minds.

LAURA LAURAIN, MICHIGAN VOTER: I can't believe it took this long it for him to get the virus because he just didn't follow any of the rules as far as staying safe.

ZELENY (voice-over): Linda (sic) Laurain said the president should have taken the pandemic more seriously but noted that she always planned to vote for Biden.

Dave Elliston (ph) was less charitable towards Trump.

DAVE ELLISTON (ph), MICHIGAN VOTER: You should have wore a mask, dude. You didn't wear a mask and now you're going to pay the price.

ZELENY (voice-over): His words dripped with sarcasm but turned serious.

ELLISTON (PH): I don't want him to die right now. But he should get a little bit of a taste of his willingness to avoid what everybody tells him he's supposed to do and set a good example for this country.

ZELENY (voice-over): Yet not all voters here are as harsh.

STEVE, MICHIGAN VOTER: Nobody could have done anything different. Blaming him for all the deaths is ridiculous. This is something we've never experienced before ever.

ZELENY (voice-over): This Michigan doctor, who asked to be identified only as Steve, said he's leaning towards Trump because of his economic policies.

ZELENY: Will coronavirus play a role into how you vote this fall?

STEVE: No, not at all.

ZELENY: It's an open question if the president's case of COVID-19 changes the minds of any voters. But one thing is clear, coronavirus is now front and center in this campaign conversation one month before Election Day -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Birmingham, Michigan.


PAUL: And President Trump's hospitalization has a lot of people going through what-if scenarios about a possible transfer of power.

What would that look like?

How close to that might we actually be?

We're going to break that down for you. Stay close.





PAUL: Well, 17 minutes past the hour right now and the Pentagon is trying to reassure all of us around the world that the president's positive COVID-19 diagnosis isn't putting U.S. national security at risk.

BLACKWELL: Yes, they say his status does not warrant a change in defense alert levels or military posture.

"There's no change to the readiness or capability of our armed forces. Our national command and control structure is no way affected by this announcement. The U.S. military stands ready to defend our country and interests."

PAUL: The White House says there will not be a transfer of power due to President Trump's hospitalization. But if the president's condition worsens, the question is who in next in line to run the country?

We know the vice president. But what happens after that.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Brian Todd breaks down what the continuity of government in the U.S. looks like.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump's chief of staff says the president is showing, quote, "mild symptoms of coronavirus." If President Trump gets very ill, one analyst says, there will likely be considerable angst inside the West Wing if there isn't already.

LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: The White House staff and the political staff for Trump must be extremely nervous. This destroys a lot of the plans they had. You've got the health dimension, you've got the governing dimension.

TODD (voice-over): If President Trump gets too sick to govern, what happens next? The first step is determining that he is incapacitated. According to the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, Trump could make that determination himself.

JOHN HUDAK, CENTER FOR EFFECTIVE PUBLIC MANAGEMENT: He can notify Congress, the House and Senate, that he is going to be incapacitated because he'll be sedated on, a ventilator and, until he says so, that the powers of his office would be transferred to Mike Pence, who would serve as acting president until the president's health improved.

TODD (voice-over): Ronald Reagan did that when he had an operation on his colon. George W. Bush did it twice when he had colonoscopies. They each handed over power just for a few hours while they were under anesthesia.

But what if the president is so sick and incoherent that he can't make the determination himself to hand over power?

The 25th Amendment has a plan for that, too.

HUDAK: The vice president and a majority of the cabinet can notify the Congress, both the House and Senate, that the president is incapacitated. And at that point, the powers transfer from President Trump to vice president Mike Pence.

TODD (voice-over): If Pence and the cabinet don't agree with each other to take power from President Trump, a supermajority of Congress would have to vote to take power from Trump.

Pence has so far tested negative for coronavirus and his doctor says he's in good health. But COVID has infiltrated the White House and President Trump has been in close contact with Pence. If Pence gets the virus and becomes incapacitated, next in line to be acting president would be the Trump team's political arch rival, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


SABATO: I don't think they'd let it happen. They'd find a way around it. Possibly the secretary of state, someone in the Republican line, either the elective line in the Senate or the cabinet line, would take over. It's just untenable. And Nancy Pelosi would recognize that as well.

TODD (voice-over): If Pelosi is bypassed or doesn't want the job, the rules call for the presidency to go to the Senate's president pro tempore, who, at the moment, is 87-year-old Republican Chuck Grassley.

Should Americans be scared of all these possibilities?

HUDAK: The public should absolutely not be scared. While the situation is a difficult one, we have constitutional and legal provisions in place to deal with this situation and situations much more dire and much more complicated than the current one.

TODD: But another key question is, what about the election? What if either or both of the nominees become incapacitated or die from the virus?

Nothing like that has ever happened before. So far, Joe Biden has tested negative for coronavirus. But experts say if either of the nominees has to drop out for any reason, then the Republican or Democratic National Committees would have to scramble to select a new nominee.

A dicey proposition this late in the game, since so many people have already voted -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


PAUL: We might see some different pictures coming out of the White House from this point on. We understand White House staff is taking more precautions now, including wearing masks, after the president and several of his inner circle have tested positive for COVID-19.

We're going to take a look at the president's long-held hostility to mask wearing and also tracking his movements in the days before he tested positive.





BLACKWELL: President Trump this morning waking up at Walter Reed Medical Center. Of course, being treated there for COVID-19.

And we have this from "The Washington Post." According to "The Post," the timing of the decision to take the president to Walter Reed was they wanted to do it while he could still walk to Marine One on his own.

PAUL: A White House doctor said the president completed a first dose of remdesivir, an antiviral drug used to fight Ebola, and is doing well. The president's physician said he is, quote, "doing very well" and has not required any supplemental oxygen, which is very good news.

Now sources tell CNN the president is having some trouble breathing, however. He's very tired and fatigued. The number of people in the president's inner circle who have been contracted as well has also grown.

Last night, we learned his campaign manager, Bill Stepien, and his former top aide, Kellyanne Conway, also both tested positive and both attended prep sessions apparently for Tuesday's debate with the president.

So for months, the White House has relied on frequent testing to stop the spread of COVID-19. As the president left for Walter Reed yesterday, members of the White House staff, including Kayleigh McEnany, were wearing masks.

BLACKWELL: We know that wearing a mask is an important tool in fighting the coronavirus. But as recently as Tuesday at the debate, the president publicly questioned its efficacy.


TRUMP: Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don't know, somehow, I don't see it for myself.

TRUMP: I have no problem wearing a mask. I don't know, I'm supposed to make a speech, I just don't know, should I speak in a mask. You have to tell me if that's politically correct, I don't know.

If it is I'll speak in a mask.

Your second question was -- I couldn't hear you.


TRUMP: Can you take it off because I cannot hear you.

QUESTION: I'll just speak louder, sir.

TRUMP: OK, because you want to be politically correct. Go ahead.

I though it looked OK. I looked like the Lone Ranger.

And I don't agree with the statement that if everybody wore a mask, everything disappears.

But did you ever see a man that likes a mask as much as him?

Because you know what, it gives him a feeling of security.

If I were a psychiatrist, right?

No, I'd say, I'd say this guy's got some big issues.

I wear masks when needed, when needed, I wear masks.

BIDEN: OK, let me ask --

TRUMP: I don't wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he's got a mask.

BIDEN: Masks make a big difference. His own head of the CDC said if we just wore masks between now -- if everybody wore a mask and social distanced between now and January, we'd probably save up to 100,000 lives. It matters. It matters.

TRUMP: And they've also said the opposite. They've also said --

BIDEN: No, no serious person said the opposite.


BLACKWELL: Well, President Trump has had, as the contact tracing continues now, a pretty busy couple of days before the announcement of that positive diagnosis. On Monday, he was in D.C., holding events on the South Lawn of the White House, there in the Rose Garden as well.

Tuesday, he flew to Cleveland for the debate and the back to D.C. that night.

PAUL: And on Wednesday, the president held a private fundraiser in Minneapolis; that was followed by a private campaign rally in Duluth. One of his top aides, Hope Hicks, began feeling sick that night. Now Thursday, she tested positive for coronavirus.

President Trump still went to Bedminster, New Jersey, for a fundraiser. The White House press secretary defended that decision.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON: It was deemed safe for the president to go. He socially distanced. It was an outdoor event. It was deemed safe.


PAUL: So when he returned to the U.S. Capitol, the president confirmed Hope Hicks' diagnosis during a phone interview with FOX News. And then the next day, he tweeted that he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19.


PAUL: We are exactly one month from the November 3rd election and the president contracting coronavirus, if you think about it, it has upended this race to some degree.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in Julian Zelizer, historian and professor at Princeton University, CNN political analyst.

Julian, good morning. Greatest threat to the health of a president in almost 40 years, since Reagan was shot. But that happened in March of '81, just a couple months into his administration. We're one month from the election.

Have we been here before?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: We've had a couple cases where presidents were ill during campaigns. FDR famously was very ill in 1944 with heart disease. George H.W. Bush had Graves' disease, which is treatable, in 1991 and 1992.

But nothing like this, nothing like going right into the election. And the president essentially not only can't campaign for a while and needs to deal with his illness but concerns about who else has it and how far this will spread.

PAUL: So you wrote an article on that's out this morning, Julian.

In it, you write, "As jarring as this moment was, it was also predictable. If you kkeep exposing yourself to the virus, the odds increase that you will get it, whether you work in the Oval Office or you live in rural Iowa."

And you also said, as we all do, you wished President Trump and the first lady well and hope they have a recovery that is very quick.

But you wrote that this is essentially a wake-up call for the country.

Do you believe that the diagnosis of the president and what we're seeing playing out right now will jolt people into reality about what this virus is?

ZELIZER: Well, it should be a wake-up call. I don't know if it will jolt people into reality. The point is that the president and the campaign has denied the reality of how severe this is and also raised questions, all the time, about the basic precautions that everyone's calling for.

As you just played a clip of all of the statements about face masks.

And the question is, does the president contracting this have the ability to change what some of the opponents of basic public health measures feel about the disease?

We don't know. It will depend if the president actually changes as he recovers in what he says about social distancing and face masks.

BLACKWELL: Julian, I think it's important to highlight how little we are hearing from this administration about the specifics of the president's condition. We're getting these vague descriptions on the record, short statements.

In 2002, when President Bush had a colonoscopy; in '01, when Cheney had heart surgery; Clinton had knee surgery, doctors came to microphones and spoke in full sentences and answered questions.

We're just not seeing that and I don't think we should glaze over how little we're hearing from the administration.

ZELIZER: Transparency is absolutely essential if the goal is to create confidence within the nation about the stability of the president and the condition of the president. You need medical officials being straight about what's going on.

Obviously, there's always going to be a certain element, where the president's team tries to protect some of the worst images, for example, from the public. But there needs to be some accounting of what's happening, especially -- again, it's not just about him. It's about many other people, who have come into contact with him.

PAUL: I don't think we can overstate, either, the importance of the optics of seeing the president yesterday walk across the lawn to Marine One. "The Washington Post" reporting this morning that that was strategic; they wanted to be able to show that earlier.

Talk to us about the significance of that moment for everybody watching.

ZELIZER: Well, I'm not sure it's going to change how people think of the president. But I do think the president wanted to convey a sense of his strength.

This is the flip side to the announcement of the Supreme Court pick, where people were not wearing masks. And it was almost a show that everyone in the White House team is healthy. I think that's what this is. They didn't want images of him looking very sickly or not able to walk.

So it sounds like they took this opportunity to convey that image. The president thinks often of COVID almost as a sign of weakness. So I think he wants to show that not only is he OK still but that he is fighting this.

BLACKWELL: You said an important element there, that's a good segue into the next question here, about the president seeing COVID as a sign of weakness, seen the wearing of a mask as a sign of weakness, as he told us back in April.


BLACKWELL: That the president is now at Walter Reed and the statement that was released said he'd be there for several days suggests how serious this must be for the president to now be at the hospital. This is an optics president, who sees much of the administration through how it will be received on television, Julian.

ZELIZER: But the thing about this virus is it doesn't care about what the president thinks or anyone thinks about how this looks or how if affects us. That's the point. This virus has been absolutely devastating. It's cost many lives and torn apart our societies, not just here but in other countries.

So the president can't totally control this. And I think there is a reality moment right now, where a campaign, that has defied the reality of what this virus has done, now has the top person, the president of the United States, in the hospital, struggling.

At any level, you're struggling to survive, to get healthy. And that's what everyone has been dealing with for months and months. And that's where the nation is in 2020, going into this election.

BLACKWELL: Mitch McConnell said that the next presidential debate, which is scheduled for the 15th, should go on. Now he said maybe virtually. That was before the president checked into the hospital.

And it might solve some of the format issues that the commission was trying to fix after Tuesday's debate. But it eliminates so many variables that viewers prioritized in watching the two candidates face to face. Your thoughts on potentially a virtual debate, even if it's not the 15th, if there's one later in the month. ZELIZER: Well, a virtual debate would be fine. We have now lived where

we have tried every format for everything, from television to schools. So why not?

But I think Senator McConnell hasn't gotten the message. The message should be that President Trump needs to get better and recover before he can plan on what a debate will look like.

Of course, if he was healthy and he's doing OK, why not do a virtual debate?

We just had virtual conventions and many people thought they went pretty well.

BLACKWELL: Julian Zelizer, thank you, sir.

ZELIZER: Thank you.

PAUL: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Up next, the CEO of the company behind the experimental drug President Trump is being treated with explains what it is, how it works and risks associated with using it.





PAUL: Almost half the country, at least 24 states, are reporting a surge in new coronavirus cases this week.

BLACKWELL: Now there are record numbers of hospitalizations in some of those states, record numbers of deaths in others. CNN's Polo Sandoval shows us the trend.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump, working from Maryland's Walter Reed Medical Center, where he was flown Friday night in an abundance of caution, according to the White House. The president dealing with mild symptoms, according to officials, and received an experimental Regeneron antibody cocktail treatment on Friday.

His infection coming as half of the states in the U.S. from Vermont to nvvda are experiencing upward trends in the virus. Wisconsin, where Trump was supposed to hold a rally today, now cancelled, reported more than 2,700 new cases on friday.

The state also set a record of nearly 2,900 new cases on Thursday.

Farther west, Colorado experiencing its highest rate of hospitalization since August. And in Ohio, the site of Tuesday's presidential debate, an alarming rise in daily cases, according to governor Mike DeWine, with more than 1,000 new cases per day for the past four days.

The Republican governor describing the president's diagnosis as a reminder the virus does not discriminate.

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): The president of the United States can get this, the first lady can get this, we can get it, too. And we just got to be very, very careful.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): And in New York City, 12 hot spot neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn are a cause for concern for officials, who say the infection rates in those areas are more than 4 percentage points higher than the rest of the city.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY), NEW YORK CITY: We have a lot to do because we're seeing a serious uptick in multiple neighborhoods simultaneously. And it's something we have to address with a very aggressive public health effort right away.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Across the river in New Jersey, contact tracing is underway in connection to President Trump's Thursday Bedminster fundraiser, according to governor Phil Murphy. That's the last event commander in chief attended before receiving his diagnosis -- Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


PAUL: The White House says President Trump has received an experimental antibody therapy to treat his COVID-19. The company, Regeneron, only started testing this cocktail back in June. So far, it's been shown to be safe. Regeneron CEO Leonard Schleifer spoke to our Chris Cuomo.


DR. LEN SCHLEIFER, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, REGENERON: We are trying to learn about it. And we're trying to figure out how good the evidence is.

And we released the initial batch of evidence, and it was pretty strong. This came out Tuesday. I assume that the White House has its experts, and that they saw our information. They read about it.


SCHLEIFER: They knew that monoclonal antibodies make sense, we can talk about why, in a second.

And they wanted to try it under a certain provision in the FDA that, if you are not in a clinical trial, you can get what is called "compassionate use." It's really a single-patient experiment.

These are proteins. They're not cells we're giving. They're monoclonal antibodies. They are proteins, whose job it is, in a very specific way, to glom onto that virus and help your body win the race.

And people felt that this was a reasonable thing to try and they applied for permission from the FDA to do so and they received it. And we were happy to supply the product and we hope it helps.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: So Dr. John Mellors, head of infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, says this.

"Why would you give the president of the United States an experimental therapy that could make things worse?

Why would you do that?

Why would you give the president of the United States an experimental medicine that is unproven and could cause more severe illness?"

SCHLEIFER: Right. Well, Dr. Mellors is a well-known infectious disease expert and he's skeptical.

And you know what?

That's good. Scientists need to be skeptical. That's our stock in trade.

I don't think he was being a guinea pig at all. I think it was an appropriate choice, when you weighed the potential benefit versus the risks. The downsides are very low here, because we have not seen any safety concern. And as I said, this class of drugs is an extremely safe class.

What he's saying is that there's some potential way that you could have a bad reaction to the drug or it could make you worse. But we see no evidence of that. And it hasn't happened in any way that one would be concerned about in thousands of patient trials.


BLACKWELL: So the president was allowed to use this under compassionate use. And the Regeneron CEO, they want the FDA to authorize this for emergency use as well. By the way, there are at least 70 antibody treatments for COVID-19 under investigation right now.

PAUL: Yes.

And the final jobs market reading before the presidential election is out, as you know. We're going to tell you more about what the economy is looking like as President Trump is hospitalized for coronavirus and what is ahead. Stay close.





ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Victor. Positive coronavirus tests for President Trump and the first lady rattling stocks. The diagnoses injecting even more uncertainty into the financial markets as we get closer to the election, now just 31 days away.

The Dow initially tumbled more than 400 points on the news of the president contracting COVID-19. But stocks pared their losses after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued statements, calling for airlines to hold off on furloughs and firings, promising that Congress is working on a relief measure for airline workers.

This comes as United and American Airlines cut 32,000 jobs. A first round of federal aid for the airlines required no job cuts until October 1st. Now the airlines ahve indicated they will roll back the cuts if another aid package is passed. But they warned it would have to come in the coming days, not weeks.

Wall Street was already on edge heading into the election, worried about a possible contested result that could trigger weeks of uncertainty. The major averages all fell in September, posting their first down month since March.

That's as we just got another snapshot of the economy, with the last jobs report before the election. The U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September. Government jobs took the biggest hit during the month, losing 216,000. Most of those losses were in the education sector.

Leisure and hospitality led the job gains with 318,000, while retail added 142,000. So jobs were added to the economy. But the pace of the jobs recovery is slowing. The unemployment rate remains elevated even after falling from to 7.9 percent from 8.2 percent.

Now investors will not only be focusing on economic data, they'll also be looking for medical updates about President Trump as they try to figure out what the president's diagnosis means and whether it will impact the possibility of more economic stimulus from Washington -- Christi and Victor, back to you.


BLACKWELL: Alison, thanks.

Leaders around the world are responding to the president's diagnosis. Some of them have had the virus themselves.

PAUL: Yes, a small group of presidents and prime ministers have also downplayed the virus and then caught it.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Nic Robertson has the report.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I've taken the test. That has come out positive. NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: When Boris Johnson

tested positive for COVID-19 late March, there was little surprise. But the lessons of his infection are worth reviewing.

I shook hands with everybody.

For weeks before his positive test, Johnson seemed slow to acknowledge COVID's dangers.

How is the prime minister, please?

Other government ministers got it, too?

But as they recovered, Johnson got worse. Nine days after his positive test, he was taken to hospital. Shocking the nation, when he was moved into ICU.

I have today left hospital after a week in which the NHS has saved my life. No question. Thank you from me. From all of us.

By contrast, Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro barely seemed fazed when he got COVID-19 this summer. All along, he loudly plays down its dangers. His resilience reinforced his messaging. Johnson's near death experience won him a popularity boost, the nation willing him well again.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Within weeks of leaving the hospital, his ratings plummeted back as the nation's pandemic problems persisted. The other big takeaways from his brush with death was the rosy optimism coaching his office's pronouncements on his health and his struggle to get back to full strength. 56 years old and overweight, Johnson took two weeks off after leaving hospital. His much younger pregnant partner Carrie Symonds said she had COVID symptoms, too. Bounced back more readily. Soon having a son. The couple naming their child after the doctor Johnson credits with saving his life.

I start the day by going for a run with the dog.

Johnson took up jogging, shedding some of his 68 weight. COVID's lasting impact on him and the nation, a push to get fitter to aid survival and hold the pandemic at bay. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.