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New Day Saturday

Trump Invites 2,000 People To Hear Him Speak From White House Balcony Today; Trump: Likely Contracted COVID-19 At One Of The Big Events At The White House; Biden Condemns Trump For Reckless Behavior; President Debate Canceled After Trump Refuses Virtual Format; Delta Now A Tropical Storm As It Lashes Louisiana Moves Into South; Several Regions Sound Alarm As U.S. Reports Most Daily Cases In Nearly Two Months. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired October 10, 2020 - 08:00   ET



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Jacqueline, thank you so much. Good reminder there.

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


REPORTER: 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.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST, CUOMO PRIME TIME: He wants to have another White House event after the last one became a super spreader event.

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

CUOMO: The faces of the men facing charges in 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.

GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): 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 not six weeks ago--

(END VIDEO CLIP) ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND, with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: You're looking at New Orleans here. Cloudy skies there, but we know more than clouds came through Louisiana overnight. We will be checking in with our team there in Southern Louisiana as Hurricane Delta, now tropical storm, hits communities that do not need more of the rain and wind after Laura was there just a few weeks ago.

Good morning to you. Today, President Trump his hosting its first public event since being hospitalized for coronavirus symptoms. He is inviting 2,000 people to the White House.

PAUL: And the President says he took another coronavirus test yesterday. This morning, the White House hasn't released the results of that test. But you're going to hear more about the state of his health in his own words.

BLACKWELL: Also this morning, the second presidential debate - well, that's been cancelled officially now. The president, as you know, refused to debate Joe Biden virtually. We're going to tell you what these candidates are scheduling instead of attending that debate.

We're going to start this hour with Sarah Westwood. She's following the developments from the White House. So, listen, you had a few hundred people at the announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as the nominee and we saw what happened there. And now the president is inviting 2,000 people to the White House. Anthony Fauci called the super spreader event problematic on the 26th of September, obviously. What's going to be different now more than just multiples of that number?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, the White House isn't being clear on what exactly they're going to do differently moving forward at this event and others to protect people who are coming in close proximity to one another, because the White House is organizing these gatherings.

We're expecting hundreds, potentially thousands of people to be on the South Lawn today. The President is expected to speak this afternoon from the White House balcony. The White House tells CNN that there will be masks. Masks will be encouraged. They'll be handed out to guests and temperature checks will be performed.

But that's not really different than the event that, as you mentioned, Dr. Anthony Fauci described as a super spreader just a few weeks ago. That rose garden ceremony that has been linked to multiple cases of coronavirus within the President's inner circle, including close ally Chris Christie, by the way, who is still battling coronavirus in the hospital and many others are recovering at home at the moment.

And we are awaiting the President's latest test results. We do not know if he has tested negative ahead of his first really big public appearance tomorrow - today, actually, and he is saying that he's not on any more medication for coronavirus. But he did reveal in an interview last night, Victor and Christi, that a lung scan showed at one point that he had congestion in his chest. That's something that he had not previously revealed.

PAUL: And in a lot of other people come into the White House. There's a lot of speculation. Today, of course, there what - about how the president contracted the virus in the first place? What is he saying about that today?

WESTWOOD: Yes. President Trump is participating in that speculation about just where he contracted the coronavirus. He has previously speculated that perhaps he caught it at an event honoring Gold Star families on the 27th. But last night, he acknowledged it was likely that he caught the virus here 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 people have contracted it all over the world. It's highly contagious.


WESTWOOD: Now last night, Trump also defended his decision last week while he was hospitalized at Walter Reed to get into the motorcade while he was sick and drive by his supporters. That joy ride, as it's been called, received a lot of criticism, but the president said that the Secret Service agents who were in the car with him were adequately protected when he was defending that move.

PAUL: All right, Sarah Westwood, so good to see you this morning. Thank you for the update.

Want to get to Jason Carroll. He's with us on the road with the Biden campaign. And Jason, the former vice president, he's been very critical of President Trump for holding these public events and his condition. What is he telling us now?


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Without question, Christi, this is some of the toughest language, I think, we've heard to date from the vice president on this issue. For Biden, it's not just about the President's professional conduct; it's about his personal conduct.

Yesterday, he was out at a campaign stop in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he basically argued that, not only has the President been reckless with his own life, but that he's been reckless with American lives. And as a result of everything that he's done, Biden argues, he's not fit to be commander in chief.


BIDEN: His reckless personal conduct since his diagnosis, the destabilizing effect it's having on 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? (END VIDEO CLIP)

CARROLL: Now when it comes to Trump holding these events, Biden also, basically at one point turned to reporters and said, "What is wrong with this guy?" He advised anyone who is planning to attend those Trump events to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

As for Biden, later today, he'll be in Erie, Pennsylvania, an area that has been hit hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs, where he'll try to make a play for some of those moderate Democrats who switched and voted for Trump in 2016. Victor, Christi?

BLACKWELL: Jason Carroll in New York. Jason, thank you.

So the second presidential debate has officially been cancelled. That's because President Trump refused to debate Joe Biden virtually. Instead, each candidate will host televised town hall that day.

ABC News will host the event with former Vice President Biden. The Trump campaign Senior Advisor Jason Miller says that the president, he will answer questions from undecided voters on multiple networks. As of right now, the third debate is scheduled to take place and it will happen in-person.

PAUL: Let's get some thoughts from CNN Political Analyst Margaret Talev, now Politics and White House Editor for Axios. Good morning to you. So glad to have you're here, Margaret. I want to read you something from the former chairman of the CCC.

He told "The New York Times" this. "In seven decades of televised presidential debates this is the first debate to be canceled. The loser is the American voter." And he said - I mean that that's the exact line that was in - that was - that we were talking about and heard so much from people after the first debate. Of what value is this second debate and the loss of it?

MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: So Christi, you're saying it's a lose, lose proposition. I mean, this is - the problem is that the debates only work if everybody who's involved in them plays by the same rules that they agreed to.

And so when a debate turns into like a trolling sort of situation or a spectacle, you are getting some of the - you're getting information as a voter, but it's not like substantive information. You're getting information about people's strategy for communications. But if you want to get actual answers to like tax policy, or how somebody would govern, you can't get it in a situation like that.

Could - can you - you can't get it in a situation where the debate doesn't exist. But for the debate to exist in person, certain safeguards have to be observed. Like, at the point that the Commission is making these decisions, nobody at the White House was able to share publicly whether or not when the last time the president had a negative test was. You have to be able to protect health and safety. The last time that campaign, including the president was not wearing masks in places where group were wearing masks. And so the on again, off again kind of like ping pong nature of this has been very hard to follow. To some extent, the two candidates are - going to give the public some version of this in these competing town halls. But, again, the moderated debate format, it almost seems like it's just from a time pass, like it only works if the rules are followed and if there's a good faith effort to follow the rules.

PAUL: Yes, that's a good point. There was an quote that said, "Debates are grounded by established rules, but also political norms and traditions. Both are only as strong as the candidate's willingness to respect them." That was from Alan Schroeder, a presidential debate historian.

So if we're not going to have a second debate, we know there will be a third one. At least that is still on the table. It's supposed to happen in Nashville. Is there any expectation that it will be different somehow?


TALEV: I don't know. I think everybody - the two campaigns and the Commission are all scrambling now to figure out what's the right course. They all have different motives and different end goals.

My instinct is there will still be this third debate. But I think you can't really count on anything anymore. And the idea that, we could go - we had a president being hospitalized, and now he's holding a large event at the White House and preparing to resume large rallies, is - just gives you a sense of, I think, how agile we have to be as journalists in figuring out how to cover this.

But for voters, the window of time for the election is continuing. People are casting ballots as we speak. And all the uncertainty, I think, could be having an impact in terms of how people are voting and when they're voting.

PAUL: You mentioned what's happening today at the White House, these 2,000 guests that have been invited. We were just talking about that. There's also a newly scheduled rally for the President on Monday, in Florida in an airport hangar outside Orlando.

We know that the President is trying to portray this picture that COVID is survivable, that it's beatable. But we cannot overstate for the 200 plus thousand families who are watching this, who have lost somebody. This is real, and it's hurtful there. There seems to be a sensitivity in the president that is missing when he talks about this.

And I'm just wondering, what kind of support does the President have for these kinds of rallies and events at this time, from even people in his inner circle? Is he being supported by them?

TALEV: Yes, I mean, Christi there - the answer is twofold, because on the one hand, there are many White House staff who are concerned both about his health, about their health, and about the wisdom of continuing with these large-scale events. But nobody is really in a posture of trying to stop him at this point. He's the president. He's always set the rules and go his own way. And that's certainly what he's continuing to do.

My colleague Jonathan Swan says this is comfort food for the president and that there's an understanding inside the White House that there's no point in trying to change his mind. The only thing to do is to try to make them as safe and successful from a political perspective as possible.

But, I don't know anyone at the White House who thinks that the last several days have been wise strategically. The problem is that the president's so locked into this strategy of showing that he can survive coronavirus and the show must go on, that if he were to stop now, from a safety perspective, or a personal health perspective, from a political perspective, changing your message in the closing days of the campaign, it's probably too late to portray yourself as a new kind of candidate.

It would - perhaps he sees it as just be a sign that that he was wrong. And that's something that he's not willing to do

PAUL: Kind of interesting take, because last weekend we were all kind of wondering if his messaging on this would change after being personally affected by it. Margaret Talev, always so grateful to have your voice in these conversations. Thank you for waking up with us.

TALEV: Thanks, Christi.

PAUL: Let's turn to our tracking of Tropical Storm Delta this morning. It's moving through Louisiana. Widespread heavy rain and flooding, the biggest threats, as it heads into Mississippi and other parts of the South this morning.


PAUL: That's what people were seeing there in the area. We're getting our first look at the damage from overnight too. More than 760,000 people in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi do not have power right now. More than half a million of those people without power are in Louisiana alone. And there are scenes like the one you see here, flooded neighborhoods and streets and you can see the wind and what that's doing with the water.

BLACKWELL: The damage left by Hurricane Laura, just six weeks ago. This is the fourth name storm to hit Louisiana this year. That is a record.


BLACKWELL: Let's go now to CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam. He is in Delcambre, Louisiana. And the sun's up there now, first shot we've had for you this morning with the sunlight. Is the water receding at all there?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good question, Victor. And what you're looking at is indeed storm surge, and it is indeed receding. Good news. But of course, now that we have our first light here in Vermilion Parish, residents are starting to wake up, get out and assess the damage and the impacts of the flooding that has clearly occurred here.

Of course, some people, more fortunate than others. Look at this house over my left shoulder, obviously on stilts, they'll be fine. Look at the home behind me. There's a submerged car, you can't see it. It's in its car garage at the moment. And of course, that home is taken on water. No one lives there.


In fact, I've spoken to some of the residents down this road that I'm currently traversing. And they said in order to actually live in Delcambre, Louisiana, where I'm located, you have to have insurance that puts stilts on your home. That is the only way you can insure your house.

Now, there were reports from some of the river gauges just upstream from here of seven to 10 feet of storm surge at the peak intensity of the storm. That is above normally dry ground, so of course that spills into the bayous and the canals around the area. And this particular region so prone to flooding, the residents here know it.

Peak storm winds in Lake Charles, 96 miles per hour reported from the National Weather Service. There was a report in Texas of 100 mile per hour winds. And of course with rainfall totaling over 14 inches in some locations, it's no wonder that people are waking up to flooding and scenes just like this this morning. Of course, we'll get the full extent of the damage here in the coming hours.

PAUL: Let's hope everybody's OK. Glad to see that you and the crew are as well. Derek Van Dam. Live for us there in Louisiana, thank you.

So yesterday, the United States reported more new coronavirus cases than it has in nearly two months. So right now, that means more than half the country is seeing a spike in cases. What does that mean for where we've been and where we're going with this pandemic? We'll talk about it.

BLACKWELL: Plus, we're learning some new details about one of the suspects, the FBI says, was involved in a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan



PAUL: Significant new warnings from health experts here in the U.S. The country's daily new COVID cases jumped to more than 57,000 yesterday. That's their highest level in nearly two months.

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

PAUL: And now there's a pretty frightening 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 that CDC drafted an order to make masks compulsory on public transportation. It had the support of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, but the White House Coronavirus Task Force led by Vice President Pence declined to even discuss it apparently.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is in New York with the very latest public. Polo, good morning to you. What are you hearing this morning?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Good morning to you. Back to those trends, consider that about 28 states this week saw an increase in their daily COVID cases this week over last, of course many of those in the Midwest, parts of the Northeast here.

What you hear from the experts, in spite of that mixed messaging you're getting from the White House is, experts all agree that really the outlook for the future in terms of the fight against COVID is fairly grim.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): 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 out looks wearing a mask.

MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH & POLICY, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: 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 (voice-over): 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 (voice-over): In the Northeast. The moving average of new cases from September 8th to October 8th went up a staggering 91 percent. Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House's Coronavirus Task Force warns one possible reason is silent, asymptomatic, viral spread among families.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 TASK FORCE COORDINATOR: So 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 (voice-over): In parts 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, formal plans to distribute it once it's available are on target to meet an October 16th deadline in some states and in DC.


SANDOVAL: We mentioned those New York City's so-called hotspots zip code, those are seeing an average test positivity rate of about 5.4 percent compared to about 0.9 percent statewide here in the state of New York. Of course, that is not including those hotspot regions, Victor and Christi, that's one of the many reasons why you're seeing this scramble right now to get some of these COVID rapid tests in the hands of health professionals, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, et cetera. They're sending in about 400,000 of those out this weekend.

BLACKWELL: Polo Sandoval thanks so much.

Six men accused of being domestic terrorists. They make the first court appearance over a plot to kidnap Michigan's governor and start a civil war. Let's see what investigators say the alleged ringleader was planning the attack and why the lawyer for another suspect says his client had nothing to do with it.



BLACKWELL: Six of the 13 men charged in a terror plot to kidnap Michigan's governor had been arraigned on multiple state terrorism charges.

PAUL: Yes. Federal and state officials say the alleged domestic terrorists were devising an elaborate plan to start a civil war. But an attorney from one of the suspects told CNN he believes his client may not have anything to do with the foiled scheme.


CUOMO: He was not proud about what he's connected to?

PARKER DOUGLAS, ATTORNEY FOR DANIEL HARRIS, ONE OF 13 CHARGED IN PLOT TO KIDNAP MICHIGAN GOVERNOR: Well, he had some confusion. And he's certainly not happy to be connected with the - what he's connected to. But, even reading through the complaint, I'm not sure how much of what he's connected to yet. 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. (END VIDEO CLIP)


BLACKWELL: The suspected leader of this group lived in the basement of this vacuum store. He also worked there. CNN National Correspondent Sara Sidner spoke with the owner of that store.


BRIANT TITUS, BUSINESS OWNER: I hate to say I love the kid, but I'm mad right now. I'm just shocked, mad. You helped somebody out and then they pull that stuff.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Brian Titus says one of the suspects in the alleged domestic terrorist plot was his employee.

SIDNER (on camera): The owner of his vacuum shop says Adam Fox lived here for the last couple of weeks. He says he lived behind this door and down into the basement.

SIDNER (voice-over): Down here with him his dogs, one with an emotional support collar, and a "Don't Tread On Me" tag attached to it.

TITUS: He was in militia and he got kicked out. So he started his own--

SIDNER (voice-over): One of many things that to discuss Titus says. He only became concerned when he noticed packages arriving for Fox.

SIDNER (on camera): What was he getting from Amazon?

TITUS: Like MREs food, stuff like that?

SIDNER (on camera): So survival stuff did he...?

TITUS: Yes, he is buying more like attachments for like an AR-15 and he was buying like food. And I'm not stupid. I was in the Marine Corps, so that I told him he had to go

SIDNER (voice-over): But before he left, Fox and 12 others were arrested in FBI raids. We found several suspects ranting against the government online. One suspect calling President Trump an enemy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is not your friend dude.

SIDNER (voice-over): While another had praise for the president, tweeting, "Keep up the good work chief. We the People love your work."

The FBI says, the alleged plot centered around a plan to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whose coronavirus restrictions have been railed against by armed groups at the Capitol.

According to the complaint, they did surveillance on her vacation home. Two of the suspects discussed detonating explosive devices to divert police from the area. One suspect said in an encrypted chat, "the fear will be manifested through bullets." Fox allegedly response, "Copy that boys, loud and clear."

WHITMER: These are the types of things you hear from groups like ISIS. This is not a militia. It is a domestic terror organization.

DANA NESSEL (D) MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL: What we're seeing here in Michigan right now, it's not just a Michigan problem, it's an American problem. And I think there's going to be more incidences to come.

SIDNER (voice-over): A problem forewarned by Frank Meeink, a former Neo-Nazi himself, convicted in the 90s for a politically motivated kidnapping. I spoke to him days before the alleged Michigan plot was known to the public.

SIDNER (on camera): What's the scenario in this election that would create, what you're calling the potential of a race war?

FRANK MEEINK, FORMER NEO-NAZI: I'm telling you the - this is going to happen. States like Michigan, states like Wisconsin, the Northern states have some wilderness area. There have been militias from other states training up there. They are waiting and hoping that something does go wrong, because they want to hold up in them hills and they want to say we don't want the federal government up here no more.

SIDNER (voice-over): He says President Donald Trump's rhetoric has emboldened extremists. Whitmer agrees.

WHITMER: Of course, we know every time that this White House identifies me or takes a shot at me, we see an increase in rhetoric online, a violent rhetoric and so there's always a connection and certainly, it's something that we've been watching. But this took it to a whole new level.


BLACKWELL: Thanks to Sara Sidner. Let's go to Louisiana now which is waking up to flooding and lot of damage from what is now a Tropical Storm Delta. More than a half million people in the state have no power.

PAUL: Now, we know this is just weeks after Hurricane Laura, and it hit the same region there.

BLACKWELL: Our next guest is helping people in that part of the state deal with the toll of these storms, while dealing with the storm himself. Most recently after Hurricane Laura, he helped feed evacuees.

PAUL: Andrius Vitto aka chef AD (ph) joins us from Gramercy, Louisiana. Chef, thank you so much. Andrius, we appreciate you being here. I first want to find out if you're doing OK and if your family is doing OK. I understand that they were in one of the areas that was hit. Have you been able to speak with him yet?

ANDRIUS VITTO, HELPED FEED EVACUEES AFTER HURRICANE LAURA: Well, we in Gramercy, Louisiana, we had a lot of wind, little rain, little trees here and there, but in New Iberia, I haven't spoke with my family yet. I got word that they lost power last night and that a lot of trees a lot of lines done. So I'm still here waiting on a phone call back to see they're OK.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And we hope, of course, that that you get that. Listen, you have - I've read that you called this one of the worst years that you have experienced. I'm sure there are a lot of people saying amen to that this morning after what we've all gone through in 2020, but especially for you with the weather there. And really a lot of what we've seen coronavirus started the debate, we've not watched a lot of what's happened after Hurricane Laura. But how has the pandemic paired with the storms impacted people where you are in that part of that state?


VITTO: It's mindboggling because all - it's like, here in the South we're known for getting out and socializing and now everywhere you go, you got to you got to cover your face. You go places, you in a store with people that you grew up with, and you can't recognize them, because you're hiding behind a face - behind a mask due to the coronavirus. And I mean, I appreciate people out there doing the safe precaution. But, like I said, it is it touches - it touch a lot of people out here in the South, man.

PAUL: All right, so real quickly, you said that you finally feel like you're operating in your calling when you're able to pass out food. Real quickly, we only have a couple of seconds, but what does that really mean to you?

VITTO: Well, I grew up with a family that was always feeding anybody that comes to the house. So if I have it, I'm going to share it. And right now me my family, we can go out and share food or clothes or item that people need, especially in this time right now with the storms and the COVID, and whatever.

PAUL: Yes.

VITTO: Yes, ma'am.

PAUL: Andrius Vitto, we appreciate what you're doing. We appreciate you for taking time to talk to us and we are keeping our fingers, crossed everything as well with your family. Thank you, sir.

VITTO: Thank you. Appreciate you guys.

BLACKWELL: Certainly, back to you.

VITTO: Appreciate you back.

BLACKWELL: Still ahead, the White House puts forward its largest offer for economic relief yet, but the president's flip-flopping has it already risked any progress or growth. That's next.

PAUL: Also through scandal and tragedy Jackie Kennedy's strength inspired America. The new CNN Original Series "FIRST LADIES" profiles Jackie Kennedy. Tomorrow night 10:00 Eastern right here on CNN.



BLACKWELL: So the White House has floated a $1.8 trillion stimulus offer. This was after scrambling to revive talks President Trump called off just a few days ago. The president is appeared to - want to undercut the stimulus offer, telling Rush Limbaugh this on Friday.


TRUMP: I would like to see a bigger stimulus package, frankly, than either the Democrats or the Republicans are offering.


BLACKWELL: CNN Business and Politics Corresponded Cristina Alesci is in New York. So the President has gone from I want a big package with checks for individuals, to the talks are off, to maybe individual pieces, to now 1.8, but more than 1.8. It's difficult to follow, because there seems to be no strategy. Is this damaging the - obviously the talks, but the economy?

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor, it's as simple as this. We had seen that the previous round of stimulus helped companies stay in business and rehire workers. Every day and week that goes by, makes that reconnection, reestablishing that worker to employer relationship, it makes it harder.

Take a look at this chart, you'll see that while companies have been rehiring workers, since the depths of our job depression back in April, the inside bar on this bar chart shows you that the permanent job losses have actually been increasing over the last several months.

And now we have 4.5 million people who are permanently out of work. That is double the number back in April, so that is just stunning. And without jobs, and you guys have been - you and Christi have been covering this over the weeks, people will find it more difficult, obviously to pay rent and mortgages.

Just this week, the Census Bureau put out numbers that show 8.3 million Americans are going to find it difficult to pay their rent over the next couple of months. And that number has essentially not changed since August. This is not a good sign for the American people who have been through whiplash this week with the president not being able to decide what he really wants and not knowing what will come next, Victor.

BLACKWELL: So what are the chances for a stimulus or rescue bill at this point?

ALESCI: Well, with the election just 25 days away, there's almost no chance that a stimulus gets done before the election. Now, even though the White House has proposed this $1.8 trillion, it's still $400 billion off of what the Democrats have asked for. So not only are they far apart on the top line number, but there are very critical issues like funding to state and local governments and protections that the Republicans want for companies to protect companies from getting sued when they recall workers back to work. Those kinds of issues still have to be hashed out.


And then you have Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans who need to get on board and they seem right now way more focused on, obviously, confirming Amy Coney Barrett. Mitch McConnell saying this week, "The situation is kind of murky. I think the murkiness is the result of the proximity to the election. Everybody is trying to elbow for political advantage. I'd like to see us rise above that, like we did back in March and April. But I think that's unlikely in the next three weeks." Victor?

BLACKWELL: Yes. So that murkiness is the fault of the president. Cristina Alesci for us there in New York. Thank you

PAUL: Now, keeping a child interested in reading is critical. Finding a book that has main characters who are black, it's not easy.

BLACKWELL: So there's a couple in Chicago that's created this nonprofit to help open the eyes and minds of all children. It's called "Young, Black & Lit."


KRENICE ROSEMAN, CO-FOUNDER YOUNG, BLACK & LIT: When a child sees themselves reflected in the books that they read, when the books are a mirror to them, they feel valued. It wasn't something I really thought about until my niece came around, and it really kind of saddened me that there were bookstores that she would walk into and not be able to feel seen.

Young, Black & Lit is a nonprofit organization based in the Chicagoland area. Our mission is to provide children's books to youth featuring black characters at no cost to the youth or their families.

DERRICK RAMSEY, CO-FOUNDER YOUNG, BLACK & LIT: Since 2018, we provided over 5,000 books to community centers, organizations, schools and directly to students homes.

KAREEM WILSON, AMIR'S FATHER: It was just always a challenge finding the ones for his age. They introduced the program to the school. He was pretty excited about it. Show them the (inaudible).

AMIR WILSON: Other people say they can't do stuff, and they prove them wrong.

RAMSEY: We try not to just focus on historical figures, though we value their importance, but we also try to focus on some of the simple everyday life activities that you would go through. But we also have books around getting a haircut.

A. WILSON: Is Miles Morales, the best Spider Man ever? His suit is better than all the others suits and he has powers.

WILSON: He thinks he is Spider Man, yes.

A. WILSON: Yes, I do.




PAUL: We know COVID literally halted our world right? Not for the first responders, of course, their world was pushed into overdrive. But for the rest of us, we found ourselves at home alone or isolated or surrounded by our families, and we hadn't seen that much of in months, or working from home or we're not working at all. And we don't have those face to face meetings.

Quarantine, compounded with the fear of COVID changed everything. Here's the question. How did it change you? Well, I'm asking people that question, hoping that we can learn something from each other, maybe not feel so alone. And one of those people is actress Jane Seymour, who got her first dose of this new reality when she was asked to go shoot a movie in Australia about eight weeks ago. And she was under strict quarantine in a hotel when she arrived.


JANE SEYMOUR, ACTRESS: Never saw a human being for two weeks, couldn't open a window, nothing. And then I made a movie for three weeks. Everyone was masked, no one got COVID. We lived to tell the tale. So I have actually done things that other people haven't done. I have traveled. I've been in empty airplanes, in empty airports, empty hotels. And I have tried to let life go on.


PAUL: She said that once she sat down and realized what was happening, her first instinct was, how can I help?


SEYMOUR: I've taken this as this extraordinary opportunity to have the time to connect in a way that I don't normally get to. And I take the time out. I have the conversations that are meaningful. The conversations we never normally have. I was doing all these paintings during COVID, especially when I was locked up in Australia. I put these paintings up on auction for the COVID charities through the Open Heart Foundation, and we raised $75,000.


PAUL: Pretty incredible, right? Her second thought was what happens from here and that brought her to a reset, as I call it, a perspective that she's practicing now every day.


SEYMOUR: I think the real issue is that I keep hearing some people when we go back to normal. There is no normal. Normal doesn't exist. So I feel my recommendation for everyone with resetting is do not live in fear. Although, I understand you will feel fear, but just don't live there. Live in the present moment. Live in your gratitude, and look at your abundance and how you can help others that really need you right now.


PAUL: Finding our abundance and sharing it even when we feel like we don't have a lot of that to go around. Right?

Tell me what you've learned from COVID, and quarantine now, there were eight months in. I want to hear from you. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. But what you have to say is important, and I want to hear it. I want to know about your reset. So thank you for sharing it when you do.

BLACKWELL: We can certainly, certainly learn from just a moment of reflection, and how we - even if we don't have a lot, we can share with someone else.

PAUL: Amen to that.

BLACKWELL: That's the idea.

PAUL: Amen Victor.


BLACKWELL: Thanks so much for joining us this morning.



MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: Twenty-four days and counting, time to crunch the numbers. I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia.