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New Day Saturday

Trump Signs Off On A $1.8 Trillion Stimulus Counter Offer To Pelosi; Delta Now A Tropical Storm As It Lashes Louisiana, Moves Into South; Experts Sound Alarm Over U.S. COVID Cases Spike; Six Men Arraigned In Plot To Kidnap Michigan Governor; North Korean Dictator Appears Emotional At Annual Show Of Force Amid Pandemic, Natural Disasters; Federal Judge Blocks Texas Governor's Directive Limiting Ballot Drop Boxes. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 10, 2020 - 07:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The next hour of your NEW DAY starts right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do you think you got the virus?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They had some big events at the White House, perhaps, there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wants to have another White House event after the last one became a superspreader event.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He didn't take the necessary precaution to protect himself or others.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Faces of the men facing charges and an alleged domestic terror plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two of the suspects discussed detonating explosive devices to divert police from the area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not a militia; it is a domestic terror organization.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hurricane Delta has slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the last thing that southern Louisiana needs, still blue tarps from the Hurricane Laura that came through six weeks ago.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

Live look of New York, beautiful on a Saturday morning, top of the hour now. And today, turning toward Washington as many as 2,000 people could be at the White House. President Trump is hosting an event. The first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19 symptoms.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And the White House hasn't released the results of his most recent test this morning. The President says he took it yesterday. You're going to hear more about it, the state of his health, in his own words.

BLACKWELL: Also, this morning, the second presidential debate has officially been canceled. You know, the president refused to debate Joe Biden virtually. We're going to tell you what these candidates are scheduling instead of participating in that debate.

PAUL: So, CNN's Sarah Westwood is following all the developments from the White House this morning. Sarah, good to see you. So, they're expecting 2,000 people at the White House there today. Dr. Anthony Fauci had said the last White House gathering was a -- I'm quoting, superspreader event. What are they doing differently this time around?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Oh, good morning Victor and Christi. And, yes, it's not clear that they're doing really anything different. We are expecting hundreds -- potentially thousands of people together on the South Lawn today. The president is expected to speak from the White House balcony.

People are required to bring masks and temperature checks will be conducted. But it's a similar setup and it is just coming just a few weeks after a ceremony in the Rose Garden. And as you mentioned, Dr. Anthony Fauci described as a superspreader event because multiple attendees did contract coronavirus after attending that event, including some of the President's closest aides and allies like former Governor Chris Christie, who was hospitalized as he battles the virus, and others are still recovering from it as well.

Now, the president is awaiting the results of his latest test. We don't yet know if he's negative, but the doctors are laying the groundwork to clear him to head back to the campaign trail. The President expects to hold his first campaign rally since his hospitalization on Monday.

He said last night that he's no longer taking any medication to fight the virus. Although, he did reveal that a lung scan at one point showed he did have congestion. Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: So, Sarah, tell us about what the President is saying about where he thinks he contracted the virus.

WESTWOOD: Yesterday, we heard the President speculating a little bit about where he's gotten it. He's previously suggested that he perhaps contracted it at a September 27 event honoring Goldstar families. But last night, he acknowledged it was likely he caught the virus at the White House.


TRUMP: They had some big events at the White House and perhaps there. I don't really know. Nobody really knows for sure. Numerous people have contracted it. But, you know, people have contracted it all over the world. It's highly contagious.


WESTWOOD: And last night, Trump also defended his joy ride past supporters who had gathered outside Walter Reed. He said that the Secret Service agents in the car were adequately protected, even though the President was contagious at the time that he got into the motorcade. Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: Sarah Westwood for us there at the White House. Thanks so much.

PAUL: So, we hear the president saying that we shouldn't be afraid of the virus. We do want to remind you how dangerous it can be particularly as we look in and give, obviously, very good wishes to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He's still hospitalized this morning. He attended that Rose Garden event, participated in a debate prep with the president and still under close watch by doctors as he battles coronavirus.

He checked himself into a hospital last Saturday. That was a precautionary measure because he has asthma. But he's telling CNN he is being treated with remdesivir, which is one of the same drugs the President was prescribed.

BLACKWELL: Today, Joe Biden is going to be in Erie, Pennsylvania for a campaign event. Last night, he was in Las Vegas and he went after the president over his plan to host thousands of people at the White House today. He also criticized the President's recent erratic behavior.


BIDEN: His reckless personal conduct since his diagnosis with a stabilizing effect his having in our government is unconscionable. He didn't take the necessary precautions to protect himself or others. And the longer Donald Trump is president, the more reckless he gets. How can we trust him to protect this country?


PAUL: Now, I know you've been wondering about the next presidential debate, it has been canceled. A member of the debate commission and former chairman of the FCC told the New York Times quote, "In seven decades of televised presidential debates, this is the first debate to be canceled. The loser is the American voter." Unquote.

BLACKWELL: Another reversal from the president, the stimulus talks are back on after the president called them off earlier in the week. CNN's Manu Raju has the latest.


MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump has been all over the map about whether or not to move forward with the new economic stimulus package. Just a few days ago, he said it's over, he pulled the plug. He said his negotiators should no longer talk to Nancy Pelosi and wait and then until after the November elections to come up with a plan.

Well, this came as a surprise to a lot of Republicans get criticism from Republicans, the stock market tumbled and perhaps looking at his own poll numbers too, the President has changed his tune. He's now come back and says he wants a big deal, even bigger than what Nancy Pelosi proposing, which is $2.2 trillion.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sent a proposal to Capitol Hill on Friday with $1.8 trillion. And that is a lot more than what Senate Republicans are behind. They asked to be on a $500 billion plan. And they certainly have divided about including doing anything above over a trillion dollars. But even Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, told me he supported President Trump's call from earlier in the week to punt on this issue until later.

Now, President Trump, his team, and the speaker's team, I have a lot to negotiate, even though they might think they're close on a price tag, there are a lot of details that are still yet unresolved, namely, how to deal with contact tracing, how to deal with testing, how to deal with other issues in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, those are things that they're still trying to sort out. And then you have the issue about the Republican-led Senate, will they agree to anything the Trump administration and Nancy Pelosi agreed to highly uncertain. And Mitch McConnell said just on Friday, it is unlikely any deal will come together before November 3rd.

Manu Raju, CNN, Washington.


PAUL: Thank you to Manu there.

We're tracking Delta this morning, getting our first look at the damage overnight. Look at this.

My goodness, the wind. Now, I want to tell you Delta is a tropical storm this hour. It's knocked out power to more than 700,000 people in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the wind there from Delta. You can hear it there whistling through this home in sweet Lake Louisiana. More than a half million people are without power in the Louisiana alone.

And look here, you've got the flooded street. This is from a hospital parking garage. We can see here in Lake Charles. Flash Flooding is obviously a huge concern because of the heavy rain there. And still, that storm is moving through.

And Delta is also damaging some areas that have already been hit by Hurricane Laura. That was just six weeks ago. This is the fourth name storm to hit Louisiana this year. It is a record.

PAUL: CNN Meteorologist, Derek Van Dam, has been riding the storm out in Louisiana. He's with us now from a flooded Delcambre, Louisiana. We see you there, Derek. How was it overnight and what is it like there this morning?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, Victor. Good morning, Christi. We are in Vermilion Parish and this is storm surge, seven to 10 feet. That was what was realized at some of the local gauges across the region. We are in Delcambre, Louisiana, an area that we understand, and the residents know here is so susceptible to storm surge and flooding clearly. And residents are starting to wake up this morning and assess the damage from Hurricane Delta.

Just spoke to a woman who emerged out of her house with her pets just a moment ago telling us that she's OK, but her home is also going to be impacted by some of the waters, but fortunately, her home is on stilts. You see in order to live in this particular town in Southern Louisiana, in order to have home insurance, you have to have your home on stilts.

You can see this home will actually be unscathed from the floodwaters and storm surge, but behind me, not so fortunate. In fact, what you can't see is a completely submerged vehicle there as well. I can physically see the storm surge starting to recede. Low tide is approaching. Of course, the storm has moved on here.


But as first light approaches, this morning, starts to cast that light on this area. We will be able to assess and fully understand the impacts of the storm surge and the wind damage across the area. Driving home last night from the center of the storm, we were in the middle of Hurricane Delta. We saw a lot of trees that were broken, some roof and shingles that have come off. But it really started to pick up intensity as we got home because the wind and the backside of the storm, even though it wasn't raining, was very intense. Back to you.

PAUL: All right. Derek Van Dam live for us in Louisiana. Glad you, the crew, and everybody there is OK.

BLACKWELL: All right. Still ahead, the U.S. has just reported the highest number of daily COVID-19 infections in nearly two months, and experts are worried. Find out what they're saying, next.

PAUL: Also, 13 men accused of being domestic terrorists in an elaborate plot to kidnap Michigan's governor. Hear why one of the suspect's attorneys' questions if authorities arrested his client by mistake.



BLACKWELL: Police in Wisconsin have used tear gas on protesters as demonstrators, over the fatal police shooting of Alvin Cole entered the demonstrations, I should say ended, after a third night. PAUL: During clashes after it emerged that the officer who shot the black 17-year-old in February will not face criminal charges. Now, tensions were inflamed when Alvin's mother and sisters were arrested Thursday night. It wasn't clear why though and they've been released since without charges.

There's some new warnings from health experts here in the U.S. this morning after the country's daily new COVID cases jumped to more than 57,000 yesterday. That's the highest level in nearly two months.

BLACKWELL: One infectious disease expert tells CNN that Florida is ripe for another large outbreak and there are alarming trends across the country with just two states, Maine and Nebraska, reporting a decline in cases.

Well, now, there's a report from the New York Times it says the White House blocked what would have been the toughest federal mandate yet on stopping the spread of the virus. According to the paper, two federal health officials said the CDC drafted an order to make masks requirements on public transportation. It had the support of the HHS Secretary, but the White House coronavirus Task Force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, declined to even discuss it.

PAUL: So, yesterday, as we said, the most cases in a single day since August 14th. Polo Sandoval is in New York with the very latest. Polo, we were expecting, obviously, I think medical experts warned us to expect more cases, but that's a pretty frightening number.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's what we heard from health experts additionally, Christi, is they told us what to expect. And now what we're hearing is a clear warning, especially coming from the head of the White House coronavirus taskforce, which is it's important to take now -- take action now to try to help prevent spread when the virus takes off. That's actually the words from Dr. Deborah Birx, who says some of those actions should not just apply in public, but also in people's homes as people interact with some of their closest relatives because as the -- when you look at the outlook that's been offered by experts, it is grim.


SANDOVAL: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is out with a new warning, drawing another link between young people in some of the nation's COVID-19 hotspots. The CDC found positive test results generally started rising among people under the age of 25, about a month before a region was designated a COVID-19 hotspot.

With the study, researchers are underscoring the need to address young people helping spark outbreaks. A local survey in one Wisconsin county showed young people worried they would feel weird or get odd looks wearing a mask.

MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, AMERICAN PROFESSOR: It starts out, first of all, with college students coming back to universities and colleges, and we're seeing substantial transmission there, which then is spilling over into the older adult population. SANDOVAL: This week, the U.S. posted its highest number of single-day COVID cases in nearly two months, only a few states, those in green are reporting declines in new cases this week over last. In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine predicting a very rough winter with both hospitalizations and the average age of patients edging up.

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): Every single number is going the wrong way.

SANDOVAL: In the Northeast, the moving average of new cases from September 8th to October 8th went up, a staggering 91 percent. Dr. Deborah Birx at the White House's coronavirus task force warns one possible reason is silent, asymptomatic, viral spread among families.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: The communities that are seeing uptick, please, bring that same discipline that you're bringing to the public spaces into your household and really limit engagement with others outside of your immediate household.

SANDOVAL: Reports of New York City's Queens and Brooklyn boroughs calls for compliance are growing amid an increase in COVID clusters. This week, members of Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods protested recent restrictions put in place to curb COVID-19 spread.

Though virus vaccine is still in the works, one CDC official says, a formal plan to distribute it once it's available are on target to meet on October 16th deadline in some states and in D.C.


SANDOVAL: I want you to take back to those New York City hot -- so- called hotspots of codes, of course, health officials are seeing a positive rate about 5.4 percent compared 0.9 percent statewide and that's excluding those regions. Victor and Christi, that's one of the main reasons why New York State Health officials, right now, are scrambling to send out about 400,000 COVID rapid result tests to various health facilities. Obviously, they know that testing were the keys in trying to keep that number down.


BLACKWELL: Polo Sandoval for us in New York. Polo, thanks so much.

So, this alleged domestic terror plot to incite a civil war was dismantled just a few weeks before the election. You're going to see the place where investigators say one of the members, actually, the ringleader suspected, was planning the kidnapping attack of Michigan's democratic governor.


PAUL: Twenty-four minutes past the hour right now. And six of the 13 men accused in that massive terror plot to overthrow the government and start a civil war, also kidnap Michigan's governor, had been formally charged by the state now.

BLACKWELL: And they could face up to 20 years in prison. The six other suspects are facing federal kidnapping charges and if they're convicted, they could face life in prison. And attorney for one of the suspects told CNN that his client was not involved.



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: He was not proud about what he's connected to?

PARKER DOUGLAS, ATTORNEY FOR DANIEL HARRIS: Well, he had some confusion and he -- he's certainly not happy to be connected with the -- what he's connected to. But, you know, even reading through the complaint, I'm not sure how much -- what he's connected to yet.

He -- the only thing he said to me was that he's a person who likes his privacy and supports the Bill of Rights, and that he doesn't really find that he belongs in one party or the other.


BLACKWELL: Investigators say the suspected leader of the group lived in the basement of this vacuum repair shop in Michigan. He also worked there, and he mapped out the alleged attack.

Shawn Turner is a CNN national security analyst and former director of communication for the U.S. National Intelligence. Shawn, welcome back.


BLACKWELL: Let's start here. FBI Director, Christopher Wray, has detailed the threat of right-wing, anti-government extremism, but you say that Michigan is a unique case, deserves special attention. Why?

TURNER: Well, you know, Victor, these militia groups, modern militia groups have been around since the late 80s, early 90s. But in most states, they sort of come and gone, the degree to which they're active is sort of -- sort of been inconsistent.

But in a few states, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, mostly states across the Midwest, what we've seen is that these groups have been able to maintain their cohesiveness over time. They stick together, they continue to work and plot and plan, in particular in Michigan, and Michigan is a place where these groups are extremely sophisticated.

So, they focus on being organized, they focused on communication, they focus on recruiting. And so, when authorities are looking at these groups, as they're sort of being reconstituted in other states across the country, what we're seeing is that those groups tend to look to Michigan to figure out exactly how to do this effectively.

So, Michigan is one of those places where because of that reputation, we know these groups exist here. We know they're sophisticated, and we know that what we're -- what's happening here in Michigan, is to some degree, being sort of experts to other states across the country.

PAUL: OK. So, the FBI was saying that more deaths were caused by domestic violence extremists than international terrorists in recent years. In fact, they say 2019 was the deadliest year for domestic extremist violence since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. How do you gauge which of these groups are truly threatening and which might not be?

TURNER: Well, you know, Christi, these groups exist on a continuum. And you -- when we look at what they're interested in, we look at everything from their anti-government views to their involvement in conspiracy theories. We recognize that they are heavily involved in firearms. And their view of the United States is not necessarily the melting pot view. So, while there's -- while there's no particular group, we have to look at the totality of these groups, because there's overlap between what these groups believe and how they operate.

What we're really concerned about when we look at the threat of these groups cause is where they are getting their information, where they're getting their guidance. Increasingly, these groups are looking to the tactics, techniques, and procedures of foreign terrorist organizations to figure out how to operate here in the United States in a way that evades detection by law enforcement.

Particularly, when we look at the sophistication of their communication, they're no longer simply picking up the cell phone and calling each other, they're using secure apps to communicate. And increasingly, they're spending some time in a particular communication app, and then they're switching to another secure app in order to seal their activities. We're looking at the way they organize, where they're trying to stay off the radar and organizing under the guise of different -- a different organizations in different groups in order to avoid detection.

So, this they're particularly sophisticated, but they exist on a continuum, lots of concern here. And as we go into this election, it's really pretty clear that these groups are going to be a real problem for the coming -- for the coming years, so.

PAUL: Oh, goodness, Shawn Turner, we so appreciate your insight. Thank you for being with us.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Shawn.

TURNER: Thanks, Christi.

BLACKWELL: So, there is no known cure for COVID-19, but the President insists the treatment that he receives, which few have access to, is the cure.

Coming up, we'll get reaction from a physician who lost her father to COVID and their sister is still battling over those lingering systems.



(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP (via telephone): This is a cure. This is a therapeutic. Call it what you want. I can tell you it's a cure, and I'm talking to you today because of it.


BLACKWELL: President Trump has called Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment a cure for COVID-19 many times. The reality is, there is no known cure for COVID.

PAUL: Regeneron is still seeking emergency use authorization, in fact, for the treatment. Now, it's one of several therapeutics the president has had access to after being hospitalized.

BLACKWELL: Joining me is Dr. Chris T Pernell, public health physician at Newark University Hospital, who intimately knows the threat of this virus. We'll talk about that in just a moment. But, Dr. Pernell, first, are you as optimistic as we've stipulated there is no cure? But are you as optimistic about this monoclonal antibody therapy as the president appears to be?


DR. CHRIS T. PERNELL, PUBLIC HEALTH PHYSICIAN, NEWARK UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Good morning, Victor. I'm vigilant. There's a difference. And when I say I'm vigilant, it means, I'm eagerly anticipating a peer review trial. We haven't had that yet. At best, we've just had a phase one trial and a limited number of people, which showed some favorable results. But to go around and saying in a cure -- it's a cure, we're not there yet.

BLACKWELL: I want you to listen to part of the president's interview with Fox News on how he sees his health.


TRUMP: I have been retested, and I haven't even found out numbers or anything yet, but I've been retested, and I know I'm at either the bottom of the scale or free.

MARC SIEGEL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: When is your next test going to be?

TRUMP: I don't know. Probably tomorrow, Marc. They test every couple of days, I guess, but it's really at a level now that's been great. Great to see it disappear.


BLACKWELL: Make that make sense for us, please.

PERNELL: Frankly, I don't know what the president is talking about. As what we don't know is what -- when was the president's last negative test before he started to display symptoms? Is the president talking about a test that he has access to that can quantify his viral load? That's the best that I can make of that. But that test isn't widely available or used across the American public. So, once again, President Trump is exaggerating. Once again, President Trump is using hyperbole when we need to settle down, settle into the science, settle into the facts, and allow that to do the speaking for us.

BLACKWELL: Dr. Pernell, we offer our condolences at the loss of your father to the coronavirus. You have written that President Trump spit on your father's grave. To this point, we've talked about medicine. But tell me what you found of the president's actions and his words to be so offensive?

PERNELL: Over 214,000 Americans are dead. That's more than practically every world war we've participated in, except for World War II which we're unfortunately approaching, and the American Civil War.

For the president to mock -- to mock just how devastating that this disease has been, that's why I said, it felt like he spit on my father's grave. And look, some people didn't like that I said that. Some people said that I was unprofessional, some people said that was unethical. But I'm standing by that statement.

I get contacted by people all over the United States, and saying, thanks for speaking up for me. Thanks for speaking up for my parents who didn't have a fighting chance against this virus. And that was caution to the president and cautioned to the White House that your words matter. How you connect with the American public is truly important. Especially, at such a pivotal time when we're still fighting a pandemic.

BLACKWELL: And the president has said that it impacts virtually nobody that 99 percent of cases are totally harmless. And we know by the numbers that are alongside the screen right now that, that just objectively is not true.

Your father was a scientist.


BLACKWELL: And you were participating in phase three of a vaccine trial at Rutgers. Is there a correlation? Did you -- did you -- are you participating in part because of your father's loss and his, his career?

PERNELL: Most certainly, I grew up with my father, saying follow the data, follow the science. And I smile because I say, daddy, I have become the data.

My father was a black man who was settled against Jim Crow. My father was a man who fought for others to have opportunity in science, and he taught us the power of science.

And so, this was my way of being a part of the solution. Especially, because black and brown communities have been hit so hard. And you know, Victor, that's why it's just so disgraceful for the president to say, don't let covet dominate you, it really isn't that bad. When we can see how Blacks and Latinos have shouldered this burden disproportionately, there's a stat that's just so sobering. Over 40,000 black people have died because of the COVID pandemic. If black people died at the same rate as white people, approximately, 20,000 of them would still be alive. How can it not dominate our lives?

BLACKWELL: Well said and we'll leave it there, Dr. Chris T. Pernell. Again, our condolences for the loss of your father. We understand your sister's also dealing with some long-haul symptoms as well.


BLACKWELL: Thank you for your time and your personal insight into what this virus can do to a family. Thank you again.

PERNELL: Thank you.


PAUL: Yes. Something does think about there, isn't it?



PAUL: And we're three weeks from the November election. And a judge has blocked a controversial order, limiting ballot drop boxes in Texas. The potential impact on voting, that's coming up with Joey Jackson in our "LEGAL BRIEF".

And also, there was a national disaster, we're in a pandemic, and we're seeing the leader of North Korea in a way we have never seen him before. He appears to be choking up while addressing a large crowd at a military parade. We'll tell you what's happening. Stay close.


PAUL: I want to show nice this scene in North Korea overnight. And we saw a very different Kim Jong-un than the one that we've seen in the past. He apparently started getting emotional when he spoke to the crowd there.


BLACKWELL: Let's go to Will Ripley, who is watching this for us from Hong Kong.

Will, listen, we can't know if that emotion was genuine or not, but at least, the display is very rare.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Discussions I've had with North Korean contacts, Victor, have basically summed it up as this. 2020 has been a tough year for everyone around the world, especially, a country like North Korea, which has such limited resources, and it has essentially sealed off their borders since January, which means all of the goods and items that they rely on to come in from China have not come in.

And you add on top of that -- the hardship from that, a natural disaster. You had a typhoon, you've had major flooding. You had the coronavirus pandemic, which North Korea claims they don't have a single case.

And it was striking to see in the crowd, you're talking about tens of thousands of people. People both in the parade and also cheering on for the parade, we couldn't see hardly any masks. People weren't wearing them. There wasn't social distancing. And that is really striking in a country, because around the world, while masks are mandatory, North Korea claims that it has effectively prevented COVID- 19 from entering its borders. A claim that some skeptics say they don't really believe.

But Kim Jong-un sobbing there, standing at the podium, and crying, and thanking his people, and thanking his party, and his military for getting through these hard times really does indicate what a difficult situation it is right now in North Korea, a country that is more isolated than ever because foreign diplomats have left.

And then, of course, all the usual military accoutrements, we're still seeing the weapons being -- the broadcast actually happening as we speak. I've been to several of these but never seen one like this.

Also interesting that they filmed it at night. These broadcasts are not live. So, you have to wonder, did they do it in the middle of the night? Did they do it the day before? And we just don't have the information because no foreign reporters were allowed in this year because the North Korean borders remain closed.

BLACKWELL: All right. Will Ripley, thanks so much.

PAUL: All right, let's get to our "LEGAL BRIEF". A federal judge has blocked an order from the governor of Texas that would limit ballot drop boxes to just one per county. I want to put that in perspective for you.

First of all, Harris County where Houston is located has a population of 4.7 million people. That's according to the census bureau. Under Governor Abbott's order, Harris County would have one, one dropbox.

That's the same as Loving County that has a population of 169 people. Just so you understand the disparity that we're talking about here, Joey Jackson, of course, with us. CNN legal -- CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney.

So, Joey, it's -- thank you for waking up early for us. We're 25 days from the election, how solid is this -- is this blocking of this directive? Is there time for it to change again?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Christi, good morning to you. So, there's always time, and you know, we never like to make predictions, what a year, wow, right? And so, from a legal perspective, certainly there could be more challenges. We, of course, having a very complicated appellate process. Not so complicated, but certainly allows for an appeal.

But I think the essence of the decision in terms of its legal reasoning, Christi is very solid. And so, just briefly as it relates to that, you have an executive order which attempts to really disenfranchise voters, right?

When you have absentee balloting, when you have mail-in balloting, what you want to do is you want to allow for access. You want to allow for those people who are older, it's defined as 65 years of age or older, not seeming so old to me, but that's what the law says.

In addition to that, you have people who may be absent from the jurisdiction at the time of early voting or on voting day. And you have people who are sick or otherwise disabled. That's the qualified group we're talking about.

And so, in essence, when you have Texas that has 254 counties, and some of those counties certainly the distances are long between them, you want to allow for access. And so, though there's one particular say, board of directions -- of elections area where a ballot can go to, what county and local officials did was say, hey, let's expand it.

So, for example, in Harris County where you have the most populous in terms of people of color, you had 12 centers that were there. Well, the governor says, we're only going to have one. And it's because of this voter fraud issue.

Well, what voter fraud, said the court? What security are you trying to do? What measures are you really taking? And this is a pretext to limit and disenfranchise voters.

And so, the court essentially said that there was no showing or evidence that there was fraud, no showing of evidence that you're doing this for security purposes, you're really limiting people's access. And on that basis, on the basis of the equal protection clause, everyone being allowed to vote, treating people similarly, we believe that this is not proper, therefore, the -- of course, the court struck it down, could be appealed.

But, I think, on the legal basis, it's very sound very solid reasoning and should stand.


PAUL: OK, good to know. I want to get to no-knock warrants real quick before we can let you go. A growing number of cities banning or kind of reining in the use of no-knock warrants since the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, of course, in Louisville, Kentucky.

We even had the Illinois Governor Pritzker, pushing ahead with legislation to ban them which would affect Chicago obviously, a very big city. How significant is this at the end of the day, Joey?

JACKSON: I think it's very significant because of the issue of danger. And so, when you look at no-knock warrant, you first ask, well, what is that all about? Well, what happens is, is when you have officials who have what's called probable cause, reason to believe that this criminality in a particular location, they can go to a court, Christi, and they could swear out a warrant by giving specific facts as to what they believe to be occurring there.

When you have a no-knock warrant, it means what it says. It means that police are authorized just to go into the location, oftentimes, guns are blazing, and certainly, you know, security protocols, you know, are in place for the police. But the occupants of the home may misconstrue what's occurring and it could be very dangerous.

And so, what you want to do is have a knock and announce warrant. These are police, open up, people are informed in the inside of the apartment or the household. Police are there. And the essence of that is that is to make it less dangerous.

And so, you're seeing predicated upon Breonna Taylor, of course, in other instances across the country that are not so popular as Breonna Taylor, that we want to curtail that.

The government has an interest in saying, look, execute your warrant, determine where the criminality is, really do your job, but you have to do it in a safer basis.

So, I think it's very significant, should also point out, Christi, that the federal government was looking at legislatively doing it on a federal level. But I think, state by state, they're examining it, whatever you can do to make people's lives safer, both officers and occupants of apartments or residents. I think it's a good look.

PAUL: Joey Jackson, your perspective is always appreciated. Thank you, sir.

JACKSON: Thank you, Christi.

PAUL: Of course.

BLACKWELL: So, this pandemic has sent the world into a global health crisis -- a health care crisis. It is also raising awareness about the need to take care of mental health. We'll talk about that next.



PAUL: You know, today is World Mental Health Day. The pandemic has forced so many of us to focus on critical medical challenges that we face, right? Well, mental health issues need to be highlighted as well.

BLACKWELL: Right. CNN Health Reporter, Jacqueline Howard has more on the rise of the number of people who are looking for professional help and where they can find it.


SHELBY ROWE, MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE: What if one of us gets sick? What if something happens?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: The moment Shelby Rowe's son was rushed to the hospital with COVID-19 is when the fear and anxiety set in.

ROWE: That fear that I could lose my child and not be able to visit him. That definitely affected my mental health.

HOWARD: Shelby has overcome a lot over the years, surviving a suicide attempt, living with PTSD. She is now a mental health advocate, but COVID-19 was a challenge unlike any.

ROWE: The pandemic has brought a lot more uncertainty and fear, where life which is affected, and given me more anxiety than I think I've ever experienced.

HOWARD: Shelby is not alone. Isolation, job losses, deaths, the pandemic continues to take a toll on America.

DR. JOSHUA GORDON, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH: When any given time in the United States, about one-fifth of Americans have a diagnosable mental illness. It does appear that the rates of reporting of symptoms have increased from that baseline.

So, that we're seeing as much as 30 or 40 percent of Americans reporting symptoms. This represents a two to three-fold increase over what we might have expected before the pandemic.

HOWARD: You should get professional help if you need it, and there are additional ways to keep yourself mentally healthy.

DR. PATRICIA HARRIS, FORMER PRESIDENT, AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: None of us are helpless against this. We can act. What can we do? We can call on our usual coping skills. If you use yoga, if you use meditation, if you went to church, if you prayed, certainly, activity, getting physical activity is important.

HOWARD: As for Shelby, a bead artist, she focused on her beadwork, turned to her Native American community, stayed connected with friends. She continues her work with suicide prevention in Oklahoma. Her son has gotten better, and in these uncertain times, Shelby holds on to hope for the future.

ROWE: We're suffering some real stuff, but I see people in communities coming together like they haven't before. Groups like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, crisis text line. Being there to talk with people about their issues 24 hours a day, those services are being utilized like never before.

HOWARD: And that's what gives you hope?

ROWE: That gives me hope because people are reaching out.


HOWARD: And if you need help but don't know where to go, here's some places to find providers. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Alliance on Mental Illness are start.

Like Shelby said, people reaching out for help is what gives her hope. Christi, Victor?


PAUL: Jacqueline, thank you so much. They've reminded there.

BLACKWELL: Your next hour of your NEW DAY starts now.


SIEGEL: Where do you think you got the virus?

TRUMP: They had some big events at the White House, perhaps there.