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New Day Saturday

U.S. Reports Record Number Of New Cases As Election Looms; Trump And Biden Blitz Must-Win States 10 Days Until Election; Filmmakers Behind "Rigged" Say There's A Well-Organized Effort To Block Certain Groups From Ballot Box; White House Officials Blame Democrats For Stimulus Delay; Win Black Works To Fight Disinformation Targeting Blacks, Latinos. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 24, 2020 - 07:00   ET



ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's still moisture at the end of the day. So, it can still help combat a lot of the fires that are ongoing in numerous states, but especially in Colorado, guys, we're still be dealing with these two huge fires right here and hoping that that extra moisture will help contain these fires a little bit better.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Allison Chinchar, always appreciate you. Thank you. Second hour of NEW DAY starts now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have some breaking news, the U.S. reporting more than 80,000 new COVID-19 cases. We are now in the full search.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're rounding the turn, we're rounding the corner. It's going away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The truth of the matter is, that we're turning the corner into a tsunami.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As president our mandate mask- wearing at all federal buildings and all interstate transportation because masks save lives, period.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We really need to double down on the kind of public health measures that we've been talking about so long.

BIDEN: We don't have to be held prisoner by this administration's failure.


PAUL: Well, good morning to you on this Saturday. It is October 24th. I'm Christi Paul. And look, we woke up early.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Great to see Christi. I'm Boris Sanchez in for Victor Blackwell. We're now just 10 days until the election, and while we are, are rounding the final turn of the 2020 race, we're not, as the President continues to insist, and again on Friday, rounding the turn of the pandemic.

PAUL: Yes, the U.S. is reporting now its highest number of new coronavirus infections in one day since this pandemic started. Again, the highest number of new infections in a single day. It was more than 82,000 new cases yesterday. Well, let these numbers sink in for you for a minute here and break out some of the most important ones: hospitalizations have increased by 33 percent this month, and right now there are 41,000 people in the hospital fighting the virus. CNN Correspondent Polo Sandoval is with us from New York with the very latest. Polo, good morning to you.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, guys. You mentioned hospitalizations. Here in New York, the situation isn't that much better, really. In fact, hospitalizations the highest they've been since the summer. And when you hear from experts have forecast certainly does not look good. In fact, we heard from one last night from the Centers for Infectious Disease Research and Policy who says, we can easily hit six-digit daily figures very soon.


SANDOVAL: This DCR display is a visual representation of the lives taken by a virus it seems to be surging again. Over 223,000 dead and counting. Within eight months into the COVID crisis, hospitalizations and infections are at an all-time high in many states across the country. This week marks the first time since late July that the number of daily new cases exceeded 71,000.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, MEMBER OF THE WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: If you look at the numbers of the daily infections, the upticks on the map of more than 30 states that are having upticks, it's not going to spontaneously turn around, unless we do something about it.

SANDOVAL: As the president claims that we are rounding to turn on the pandemic, his opponent and many medical experts are warning we are only headed toward a dark winter.

DR. PETER HOTEZ, PROFESSOR AND DEAN OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: The reality is that the worst could be yet to come and that the beginning has been more or less the warm up back for what's about to hit, and we're already seeing that across the northern states. If you look at a COVID-19 heat map, the whole Northern part is lit up.

SANDOVAL: With hope hanging on a safe COVID-19 vaccine, drug maker AstraZeneca said Friday that it has the green light from the Food and Drug Administration to resume its vaccine trial in the U.S. It had been on pause in September after a volunteer in Britain developed a neurological condition. Ahead of the National Institutes of Health is growing increasingly worried that even after a safe vaccine is approved, a growing number of Americans may not be willing to take it. A recent CNN poll found 45 percent would not try to get a vaccine even if one was widely available, possibly allowing the virus to stick around for years as Dr. Francis Collins.

DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: I've been talking so optimistically about how we are likely to have a vaccine by the end of the year. But if only 50 percent of Americans are interested in taking it, we're never going to get to that point of immunity across the population where this COVID-19 goes away.

SANDOVAL: This week and updated motto published in the Journal Nature forecasts some possible grim scenarios, suggesting that we could see up to a million COVID deaths in the U.S. by the end of February if social distancing mandates are east, and only about half the population wears masks in public. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top Infectious Disease Expert tells CNN, he thinks the U.S. should just mandate mask use.

FAUCI: I get the argument say, well, if you mandate a mask, then you're going to have to enforce it and that'll create more of a problem. Well, if people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it.


SANDOVAL: This weekend, big 10 football is back, prompting some of the mayors and college towns involved to ask the conference for help fighting the spread of the virus. The mayors wrote that football games "generate a lot of activities, social gatherings and the consumption of alcohol. These activities within our communities have also been associated with an increased spread of COVID-19."


SANDOVAL: And this morning, still a lot of theories about who or what could be feeling this latest spike. As for the who, we've previously discussed that research that directly links the behavior of some young people to increase infection rates among older adults. As for the what, well, it does seem to be that small gathering certainly could be feeling this, specifically those family events, Boris and Christi. In fact, Maryland's governor this week said that that was their number one source of transmission, second was house parties.

PAUL: All right. Polo Sandoval, great wrap up for us there, thank you.

SANDOVAL: Thanks, guys.

SANCHEZ: No question that the pandemic is going to be on the minds of voters in just a few days as they cast their ballots, many of them early. Today, both campaigns are busy in the battleground states; President Trump heading to North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin. Meantime, Vice President Mike Pence hitting two stops in Florida.

PAUL: And Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, has two events in Pennsylvania today. His running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, is going to be next door, in Ohio. And Former President Barack Obama is stumping for Biden in South Florida. Our reporters are out on the trail this morning: CNN's M.J. Lee, following the Biden campaign in Philadelphia. We do want to start with CNN Sarah Westwood, though, she's with the President in West Palm Beach.

SANCHEZ: And good morning, Sarah, the president starting his day there in Florida, his big rallies planned, coincidentally in three COVID hotspots later, but he has a big item on the agenda first.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Good morning, Boris and Christi. And yes, a very busy day for President Trump starts here in West Palm Beach where he'll wake up at his Mar-a- Lago club for the first time since early March. So, the pandemic has kept him away, obviously, for months, a lot has changed since the last time we all were here. But the first item on his agenda is voting, presumably for himself here in Florida, where he is still registered to vote. And he's encouraged his supporters to vote in person, and not necessarily trust the vote by mail system.

So, perhaps a symbolic gesture from the President going to his early voting polling location in person, then he has a very busy campaign schedule with rallies in North Carolina, Wisconsin and Ohio. As you mentioned, those are three crucial battleground states and three states that the President did carry in 2016.

But where he's either trailing Joe Biden or where the margin for him is very, very thin. So, he's working to shore up support it in those key states. Now, at rallies yesterday, we heard the President promote a level of optimism about the end of the pandemic that just isn't rooted in the data, because we are seeing infections spike across this country. Let's take a listen to what he said in Pensacola.


TRUMP: A safe vaccine that quickly ends this horrible pandemic, and we're rounding the turn. With or without the vaccine we have the vaccines, they're going to be great. But with or without and we're rounding the turn. Normal life, which all we want, fully resuming. We want normal life to fully resume, and that's happening.


WESTWOOD: Now, of course, we've heard local officials and public health experts warn against the president convening gatherings of this size across the country in, as you mentioned, Boris, COVID hotspots. And we have seen images of a few guests wearing masks and few guests adhering to social distancing guidelines at some of these events. But at a different campaign event here in Florida yesterday, the President expressed some ambivalence about adhering to social distancing guidelines.


TRUMP: Know what some people want to stay in, and that's good. Do it, do it. Don't -- you know, I'm sort of like, lead your life, right. And some people agree with me some people, but if you want to stay in, if you want to do what you're doing, you do it. If you want to get out, you want to be careful and socially distance and all of the things, and you can wear a mask if you can't socially distance, but there are a lot of things you can do. But some people want to stay in.


WESTWOOD: Now, as we've kind of seen the President's closing argument here appears to be based on trying to put a rosy spin on the virus, trying to promise a return to normal life, even though we are still seeing those rising cases of coronavirus. And we're seeing the death toll in the U.S. continue to climb. And we do expect the President to pursue a similarly packed schedule basically every day from now until Election Day. We're 10 days out and the President has been hitting multiple states a day in that final sprint for us and Christi.

SANCHEZ: Yes, you've got to lead your life, is pretty much how you wind up with a record number of new infections in a single day, months after the pandemic began. Sarah Westwood with the President in West Palm Beach, Florida. Thanks so much.


PAUL: We'll go from Sarah, M.J. Lee, she's with us from Pennsylvania, whereas we said Jill and Joe Biden are going to be campaigning today. So, we know M.J. that winning Pennsylvania is a priority for the Biden campaign. What do you know is going to happen today?

M.J. LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in these final days, guys, the Biden campaign is promising that the Former Vice President will have a robust campaign schedule. And that brings them here to the state of Pennsylvania today, they're first going to be campaigning in the Philadelphia suburbs.

And you're absolutely right, everybody would acknowledge that this is a critical state. Keep in mind, this is a state that President Trump narrowly won back in 2016. And these days, the polls coming out of the state have looked very good for the former Vice President, a CNN poll earlier this week show the vice president, former vice president, with a 10-point lead over the president.

So, clearly, this is a state that they want to put in their victory column. And very important to note too, that in terms of just his, his closing message that we are seeing in these final days, clearly COVID- 19, and what Biden plans on doing to contain this virus is going to be so central to what he wants voters to hear from him in these final days. Yesterday, we saw him make a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, it was sort of a comprehensive speech that hit on all the different topics that we've heard him talk about in these final weeks.

He talked about sort of what his plan would be to try to keep this virus in check if he were to be president, including talking about the enforcement of mask wearing, how he would hand out vaccines and PPE. And of course, going after what he sees as the President's failures in dealing with this virus, or even pointedly saying that he believes the President has quit on the American people. And one thing that was kind of interesting was that Biden over and over again, sort of ask the American people to imagine a better future under his own presidency. Take a listen.


BIDEN: We don't have to be held prisoner by this administration's failures. We can choose a different path. Imagine a day in the not too distant future when you can enjoy dinner with your friends and your family, maybe even go out to a movie; when you can celebrate your birthday, weddings, graduation surrounded by your nearest and dearest friends.


LEE: Now, we get a sense of just how close we are to election day just by seeing what kinds of surrogates are campaigning this weekend for Joe Biden. We have former President Barak Obama, as you mentioned in Miami today; and we also have Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate, campaigning in the state of Ohio. We have Bernie Sanders in Western Pennsylvania and celebrities too. We are going to be seeing Cher in Las Vegas. And finally, Jon Bon Jovi will be campaigning with Joe and Jill Biden later today in Luzerne County, guys.

PAUL: All right. M.J. Lee. It's quite a lineup. Thank you so much.

SANCHEZ: We have plenty to discuss. Unfortunately, we have a great voice to share some perspective. Let's bring in the Washington Post's White House Reporter and CNN Political Analyst Toluse Olorunnipa. Toluse, good morning. Always great to see you, sir. I want to pull up that map of where all the candidates are going, the candidates and their surrogates because the map often tells the story of where things are in the campaign.

We heard from M.J. there, Biden is camping out in Pennsylvania today. A lot of projections have Pennsylvania essentially deciding the winner of this election. President Trump, though, blitzing the campaign trail rallies in three different swing states. When you look at this map, what does that say to you to live?

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it shows that Biden has a large number of paths to victory, while Trump needs to essentially play defense for the map that he won four years ago. The President needs to win Florida. If he loses Florida, essentially, that means this race is over. He needs to do well in the upper Midwest and Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. He's spending some time in some of those states. But the fact that states like Ohio and Georgia and even Iowa are in the mix shows that President Trump is playing defense and he would really need to draw an inside straight and beat the polls in order to win again.

Right now, it seems like his, his path to victory is incredibly narrow, while Joe Biden and a lot of his surrogates are looking at a widening path to victory, including looking at some of these conservative and red states like Georgia, even Texas, where they see things in the early voting numbers that show that they may be competitive there.

So, it does show that the race continues to trend in Biden's favor. But the you know, what's going to happen on election day with a lot of President Trump's voters coming out could ultimately shape the, the outcome of the race, but right now it seems like President Trump is fighting an uphill battle.

SANCHEZ: Yes, certainly the polls have been showing that they've been remarkably consistent throughout this race, especially in key swing states, many of them not even within the margin of error the way that they were in 2016. And nationally, Biden, looks to be up some 10 points. Is there anything right now in this race with so many ballots already cast that you think might change the dynamic?


OLORUNNIPA: Well, the debate earlier this week was really the last time for either candidate to speak to a large, large national audience of tens of millions of people. And I don't think that debate really changed the trajectory of the race. So, right now, President Trump is trying to recreate what he did in 2016, which was barnstorming the country, trying to stay on message in the final days of the race, and meet as many voters as possible to try to shave down the margins and see if he can eke out of victory.

But in terms of major national events, you know, you know, you always have to expect the unexpected, especially this year, and especially under this presidency. But in terms of changing the actual contours of the race. It does seem like this race has been incredibly steady over the past several months.

SANCHEZ: Yes, expect the unexpected. That's, that's certainly an understatement, as you all know. I want to zoom in on, on Georgia very quickly. It hasn't gone for a democrat since Bill Clinton in 1992. And yet, it appears it will be competitive in this race, ultimately, what is it going to take for Biden to win?

OLORUNNIPA: Well, if you look at 2018, there was a relatively competitive governor's race and it really energized Democrats Biden needs to build on that he needs to do slightly better than Stacey Abrams did with white voters. And he needs to juice turnout in the Atlanta suburbs and do incredibly well when it comes to people coming out to vote in this early voting period.

And on Election Day, and make sure that he holds down the margins in the rural parts of the state. So, he has a shot at winning Georgia, it seems like the early vote numbers show that Democrats are fired up if, if Biden can keep it very close on Election Day, then he could eke out a win there and if he wins Georgia, it's hard to see President Trump winning re-election.

SANCHEZ: And even if he doesn't win, just having to have the Trump campaign dedicate resources there is sort of a victory in itself. Toluse Olorunnipa, thank you so much for joining us and sharing part of your weekend with us.

OLORUNNIPA: Thank you.

PAUL: So, still to come. Dr. Anthony Fauci says a quote considerable number of lives could have been saved if public health measures had been followed.

SANCHEZ: Plus, we're learning that a 19-year-old heavily armed man is in federal custody after he researched Joe Biden's home and came within miles of his doorstep. More details ahead.



PAUL: Glad to have you with us on the Saturday morning. So, Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned yesterday that this week, the U.S. could see the highest number of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

SANCHEZ: Yes, and he wound up being right. Yesterday, the United States reporting a record at 83,000 new cases in a single day. Here's Dr. Anthony Fauci on the impact of following public health measures.


FAUCI: I don't want to put a number on it because you know, that's a model study. But I feel quite confident that if we had uniformly done the things that I was talking about just a moment ago, that certainly considerable number of lives could have been saved.


PAUL: Listen, I know that it is hard to hear this every week as this pandemic kind of wears on here. It's hard to talk about it, quite honestly. Health experts, though, are warning us that we need to be aware of quarantine fatigue.

SANCHEZ: Yes, I spoke to Dr. Saju Mathew last hour about the need to stay vigilant. Here's part of that conversation.


DR. SAJU MATHEW, FAMILY MEDICINE: Learn from history, I was reading about the Spanish flu pandemic back in 1918, where 500 million people, a third of the world's population was affected, and 15 million people died. And guess when most of the people died, they died at the beginning of that second peak in October, November of the year 1918. You know, it's almost a dark, sobering thought that we are exactly kind of at that same place. Now, at that time, it was in the middle of the war, and the soldiers were carrying the virus with them. People were living in tight spaces.

But guess what, quarantine fatigue hit these people. They took off the masks went in the streets, and that's when most people died. And unfortunately, we are at that point right now. We've got people who are saying, I'm done with this pandemic, I thought that all I had to do was to follow these measures for three months.

You know, we don't have a vaccine, I want to live my life. And what I would urge most Americans at this point, Boris, is to not give up. This is the time to hunker down. And listen, just follow the simple guidelines: wear the mask, wash your hands, watch that distance, and make decisions about not going into indoor activities and large public gatherings. It's actually fairly simple.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANCHEZ: Yes, the next hour, we're going to speak with Tracy Nixon,

the Chief Nursing Officer of the University of Utah Health Center, she's going to tell us why this recent rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations around the country is a dangerous sign.

PAUL: Yes, coming from somebody who is a nurse and who lives in it so we can get her perspective. And I know there are these long lines in some places, and there's a lot of uncertainty. But you know, more than 52 million people have already voted in this year's election. Coming up, some of the challenges though, that voters are facing when they do go to the polls.


SANCHEZ: And for the first time in more than 150 years, Santa Claus will not be coming to town, at least not to Macy's. Why there sadly will not be a miracle on 34th Street this year?


SANCHEZ: A man who was arrested in North Carolina on child pornography charges also research Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden.

PAUL: We're talking about 19-year-old, Alexander Triesman. He searched for Biden's address, apparently online, and eventually ended up within four miles of Biden's home and Delaware. Now, federal court documents say police found Triesman's van filled with multiple guns of explosive materials.

SANCHEZ: Yes, so far, he's not been charged in relation to the weapons that were in his possession. It's also unclear if he's going to face additional charges related to his research on Biden.

Meantime, Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that mail ballots cannot be challenged or rejected for signatures that don't match versions that are already on file. And the Texas Supreme Court this week ruled the drive through voting in the state's largest county where Houston is located can continue.

The Republican Party of Texas argued those Harris County polling places were violating election law. Election law experts have counted over 200 lawsuits filed in the lead up to the start of early voting,


PAUL: The filmmakers behind Rigged: The Voter Suppression handbook as it's called, say there's a well-organized effort to block certain groups from the ballot box. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: '08 was the beginning of the whole demographic tide. The first election where we could see the demographics impacting. And if we continue to underperform in this multi-racial world, that is going to be America, the white voters are going to be clear minority. The Republican Party will cease to exist. (END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Tim Smith is with us. He's the executive producer of the film. Tim, we're glad to have you here. Thank you very much.


PAUL: So, we have record numbers of people voting by mail already, and that is because in large part of this pandemic, people afraid to go to the polls. I know that you say some of the additional security measures are a form of voter suppression. What evidence do you have of that?

SMITH: Well, we sort of started our detective work in 2016. And back then, president or then-candidate Trump was talking about rigged elections, as he is talking now, President Trump, about rigged elections.

Back in 2016, when we started our filming, he focused on the polling places that -- you know, it would be rigged in the polling places. Now, he's talking about vote by mail fraud.

The reality is there is no, you know, justification, there's been a lots of studies done that, you know, vote by mail, it is -- has any fraud, and it's just, you know, it's just totally fallacious. But, you know, it's the same sort of tactics he used back then.

You're also seeing it in number of states. You mentioned Texas. There's only one drop-off box per county in Texas. Now, some counties only have a few thousand people, but Harris County in Houston has more than 2.5 million voters. So, you know, it's just -- in Ohio, there's only one polling place per county -- early polling place.

So, they really are looking for ways to sort of, you know, impact the growing demographic tide of black and brown voters, you know, which has really sort of started as we made clear in our film in 2008 when Obama won.

And the Republicans had to sort of -- you know, had to -- one of two choices. Either they could suppress these new voters or they could kind of appeal to them in terms of policies. They, you know, chose the former route and they have been doing it ever since. It is sort of spread across, you know, not only the legislatures with, you know, restricted voting laws but also increasingly in the courts where, you know, The Republican Senate and Trump have appointed, appointed a number of Republican -- or not Republican but judges. And 25 percent of the new federal judges are, you know, Trump appointees.

SANCHEZ: Tim, you talk specifically about Texas and the situation there, so I want to ask you about that. The governor, Greg Abbott, he's still fighting in court to keep ballot drop boxes to one per county.

He's argues that he's expanded access and opportunities to voting in different ways, by expanding early voting by six days and allowing hand delivering of mail-in ballots. Do you not see that as a fair tradeoff?

SMITH: Well, the other thing he did for -- they've kept that only people over 65 and people who have, you know, what they call legitimate illnesses, and they don't qualify COVID as legitimate illnesses, can do vote by mail. So, you know, he's kind of trying to play it both ways.

And you know, they also have voter I.D. in Texas which, you know, that Supreme Court has struck down, and then it came back, you know after Shelby versus Holder was passed.

So, people in Texas, for instance, college I.D.s can be used. But, you know, gun permits can for your I.D. to vote. So, you know, they're sort of focusing on the type of voters, you know, via this voter I.D. that they want to get to the polls.

PAUL: So, if somebody feels like they're being held back or that there is some sort of voter suppression in their area, is there anything they can do about that?

SMITH: Yes, there's this wonderful organization. 1-800-our-vote, which you can call. And they have 24-hour lawyers on call. And they -- and they have call centers, one of them, we actually shot during the 2016 in Washington, D.C., where they'll take your call, and, you know, try and resolve your issue.

You know, whether your poll has been closed, there have been 21,000 polls closed since 2016 that it won't be open this year.

So, if you go to your old polling place and it's closed, you can call this number and, you know, they'll tell you, well, where do you live? And you'll say, you know, XYZ Street. And they'll say, well, you're polling place is now here.

PAUL: Alrighty, Tim Smith, good to have you with us this morning. Thank you, sir.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much.

SMITH: Thank you.


SANCHEZ: Of course. Still ahead, earlier this year, they helped keep families afloat, but can Washington agree to a new deal on stimulus checks? We'll be right back after a quick break.


PAUL: Here, there are so many people, families right now, they're pinning their hopes on a stimulus deal that could be reached in Washington. The question is, is there any possibility it could happen before the election? What 10 days out?


SANCHEZ: Yes, the prospects don't look great. For the latest, let's bring in Cristina Alesci in New York.

Cristina, the prospects aren't great because it's not just that the White House has to come up with a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Democrats, but also they have to come up with a deal that Republicans in the Senate are also going to support. Where do things stand right now?

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Boris. And we have not even cleared that first. Hurdle Nancy Pelosi's spokesperson on Tweeter, saying late yesterday that at some point, Pelosi will speak to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. And once they reach an agreement, to your point, they have to go to the Senate. All of that seems very unlikely 10 days before, you know, all of those parties coming together, 10 days before the election seems very unlikely.

But no one's willing to actually walk away from the talks, because they know politically, they face a backlash from the public if they do that. And the White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow tried to dance around this issue just yesterday, Boris.


LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Now, the clock is ticking though, as you know. The election's 12 days away or whatever it is, and it's going to be very hard to get it done.

We have -- but I just want to defend my friend, Secretary Mnuchin, and POTUS on this.



KUDLOW: We have tried very hard to narrow the gap, very hard. But we just can't leap the final hurdles on policy disagreements.


ALESCI: So, there you have it. They can't leap the final hurdles on policy disagreements. Meanwhile, hundreds of million -- hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to file for initial unemployment benefits, Boris. This is just stunning. You know, we have seen a flattening of this number from March and throughout the summer.

But this needs context because not everyone who came off of this chart -- not all of the people who are no longer, on initial unemployment, go back to work. They either have extinguished or their benefits have expired, and they've gone on another program. And some of them have gone back to work, but it's very tough to tell based on that data alone just how healthy the American worker is at this point. And we know we have seen, you know, food and insecurity, worries about eviction, all of that facing the American worker.

PAUL: You know, I've seen people try to soothe this in some way by looking ahead at the holidays. I've seen people putting Christmas stuff up already because it just brings you a little bit of joy or a little bit of comfort.


PAUL: And now, I cannot believe I have to say that we are getting word, Santa Claus is not going to be at Macy's for the first time in 160 years. Is that true?

ALESCI: That is true. No miracle on 34th Street, at least, physically, Macy's saying that they'll do virtual Santa visits. This is just one example of how American life is not back to normal despite what the president keeps on touting on the campaign trail. No one feels normal at this point, and even worse on the economic front.

Americans are expecting leaner holidays this year. A recent survey this week showed that 38 percent of people are looking to spend less this year than they did last year. We haven't seen levels of that response to that question since the great recession. Christi?

PAUL: Wow.

SANCHEZ: Yes, Santa Claus certainly hits a couple of those risk factors for COVID. It's probably best if he spends the holidays hanging around the North Pole.

Cristina Alesci, thank you so much.

ALESCI: Thank you.

PAUL: So, you know, every Saturday, we're highlighting cities across the U.S. with resources to help you if you need help right now. So, grab your phone or a pen and a piece of paper, write down this information, for you or for somebody that you may know if they need it.

First of all, let's go to Massachusetts together here this morning. Today and next Saturday, the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation is having a drive-through food bank. It's from a Cape Cod Community College parking lot. It's happening from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00. And to register, just go to the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation web site.

To Maryland now, the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel has been repurposed as a triage, respite, and isolation center for individuals and families who are affected by COVID-19. So, it's intended for people who are not sick enough to be hospitalized, but those who cannot self- isolate at home.

Residents are going to be offered free room and board for the duration of their stay, and clinical staff on-site is performing health check- ins. They're open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

And then in Maine, the Augusta Food Bank Is having a free food giveaway. They'll distribute 1,200 boxes of food, including 12 to 14- pound frozen turkeys, milk, fruit. It's happening this Thursday, October 29th, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00. And it's at the Augusta Civic Center. There are no income restrictions, by the way, or proof of residency that are required. But as always, we do recommend that you call each of these locations before you go, just to confirm service hours and requirements. And we hope that, that, that helps you.


SANCHEZ: Such important information to get out there.

Still to come, there are online campaigns to mislead Black and Latino communities this election, similar to what happened with the Russian interference during the 2016 election. One organization is fighting to stop the disinformation. The founder joins us next.



PAUL: So, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have made these efforts to dismantle disinformation campaigns online during this election. One organization says they just aren't doing enough to fight against the disinformation that specifically targets black and brown communities.

So, now, they're using their own tactics to identify where disinformation starts and stop the spread.

I want to bring in, co-founder of Win Black, Andre Banks with us now. Mr. Brank - Banks, thank you for being here.

ANDRE BANKS, CO-FOUNDER, WIN BLACK: Thank you for having me.

PAUL: Absolutely. So, what specifically are you doing to do your part to try to stop some of this disinformation?

BANKS: You know we're doing the best that we can to make sure that voters are informed all across this country. So, we've built a network of more than 100 organizations working to educate and turn out voters for this election. And we've also been working with researchers monitoring misinformation, looking for the worst misinformation that's happening, and finding, and creating great content to counter it on people's feeds all over the nation.

PAUL: So, I want to look at what happened in 2016. There was this fake community page allegedly created by the Russians, it's an activist group called Blacktivist -- is what they call themselves. We've got to full screen up in here that we can show you what it looks like.

How many examples of something like this are you seeing now in 2020?

BANKS: You know, we're seeing quite a few. And you know -- you know, Blacktivist was one of the biggest in 2016, but, you know, you have to remember when the Senate did a report on Russian interference in 2017, after that election, it found that the number one target of Russian interference were Black Americans. So, you know, there is been a lot of misinformation. Since then, and we see a lot of that popping up: bots, trolls, other bad actors doing everything from putting up billboards to making confusing communities online, and even masquerading as Black or Latino people in order to confuse or misinform voters.

PAUL: Have they evolved in any specific way from 2016 to 2020?

BANKS: Oh, absolutely. They've become much more sophisticated actually. And, you know, one of the things you said at the top of the segment, you know, the platforms you know, where we are -- where we are every day are just not doing enough to actually catch up to how clever these groups have become.

So, they always seem to be one step behind actually, and that's why we have to do so much on our own to make sure that our friends, our family, our communities are informed.

PAUL: So, educate us. What do we need to watch out for and how can we help the people that we know and love who are wanting to go vote and make an educated vote? How do we help them do so?

BANKS: There's a couple of things that I would suggest. You know, first of all, one thing I like to remind people is that, you know, this fight is happening on your own feeds. And sometimes even good people have bad information. So, you know, we always say fact check that family group chat, you know, where you see people saying something that may not be true or that seems questionable. You know, talk about it. Really give people a chance to get a different piece of information.

We also say, only argue online with your friends. There's some stranger Internet who's a person on -- who person on the Internet who's cranky and they seem to be dragging you into a fight, that might be a paid troll, that might be a bot. So, just avoid those folks all together.

And most importantly, you know, we have plenty of information at about, you know, how you can find your polling place, how you can make a voting plan, and most importantly, make that plan, and follow-through, and make sure you take your friends and family with you.

PAUL: Andre Banks, it has been such a pleasure. Great information. Thank you so much.

BANKS: Thank you.

PAUL: Absolutely. We'll be right back.



PAUL: So, after years of making America laugh in movies and on stage, Kevin Hart's trying something new. Tonight, the actor and comedian will host the first Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon since 2015. And his famous friends are along for this virtual event.

CNN's Chloe Melas spoke with Hart, who's stepping into the shoes and big shoes to fill here of late legendary comedian Jerry Lewis.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: I spoke with actor and comedian Kevin Hart about hosting the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Telethon that was hosted for decades by the late Jerry Lewis.


KEVIN HART, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: It's just an amazing opportunity. As I mentioned before, you know, with Jerry Lewis, I mean, the man's history speaks for itself. What he was able to do with this telethon and the money that he was able to raise was -- it was unbelievable. The numbers are astronomical.

To have the opportunity to revive it, change it, and still, of course, fulfill the cause at hand, but as well as bring some awareness to other things that are going on, I just felt that it was just -- it was a great moment.

Laughter, I feel it heals all wounds. And during that moment when you laugh regardless what you're going through in life is forgotten. So, whether it's five seconds, 10 seconds, two minutes, five minutes, laughing is powerful.

So, being able to provide that and do it all over the globe is a significant blessing and one that I do not take for granted.


MELAS: The two-hour live stream event is going to take place tonight, and there are going to be so many of Kevin Hart's celebrity friends, from Don Cheadle, we have David Beckham, Robin Thicke. Even Gabrielle Union-Wade. So, it is going to be a who's who of Hollywood, and it's going to be streaming everywhere. So, you won't be able to miss it.

SANCHEZ: And Chloe Melas, thank you for that.

Still ahead, CNN is live in line with voters as they take advantage of early voting with 10 days to go before the 2020 elections.

Plus, how nurses are bracing for a surge as the U.S. sets a new coronavirus record. The next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.


SANCHEZ: We have some breaking news, the U.S. reporting more than 80,000 new COVID-19 cases.