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New Day Sunday

White House Sows Confusion About Trump's Condition; Biden And Harris Move Forward With Campaign; U.S. COVID-19 Cases Climb; Georgia's Dekalb County Holds Food Drives For Struggling Families; "First Ladies" Premieres Tonight On CNN; How White House Rose Garden Gathering Likely Became A Superspreader Event; COVID-19 And The NFL; "SNL" Returns With Jim Carrey Playing Joe Biden. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired October 04, 2020 - 05:00   ET





CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I can't tell you with any degree of confidence what the situation is with our president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not out of the woods. The next 48 hours or so with the history of this virus, we know can be tough.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm starting to feel good. You don't know, over the next period of a few days, I guess, that's the real test.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They threw the kitchen sink at the president at the very beginning of his illness. Either the president was extraordinarily ill or his team was extraordinarily panicked.

BOB WOODWARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, "THE WASHINGTON POST": His response has been homicidal negligence. He has failed to protect the American people.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is NEW DAY weekend.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Top of the hour. Good morning to you. Capitol Hill, you see on your screen, as a third U.S. Senator has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Now the president says he feels better. But his chief of staff says, and these are his words, the president is not out of the woods yet.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And that might be clear but the timeline of his illness is muddled here. For one, the president's doctors declined to answer basic questions, such as when the president last tested negative for the virus.

And there's confusion inside the White House. It's not clear how deeply the virus has infiltrated the building. Overnight a presidential aide who works closely with the president tested positive for the virus.

CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood is joining us.

News has come out in bits and pieces. But what little they've revealed is really causing problems inside the White House.

How are people there feeling?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning. Yes, yesterday we just saw a day of conflicting messages from this White House. The latest update we got was last night in a memo from the president's physician.

He said the president was making substantial progress since his diagnosis and he received his second dose of remdesivir without complication and headed into Saturday night without a fever.

That was after Dr. Conley contributed to a lot of the confusion we saw, starting yesterday morning when he and the president's other team of doctors held a press conference here at Walter Reed, updated reporters on the president's condition and painted a rosy picture of how President Trump has been doing since he's been hospitalized and tested positive.

But just moments after that rosy press conference ended, a source told reporters also here at Walter Reed the president had been exhibiting "very concerning" symptoms in the hours before he was hospitalized, making the president's condition sound a lot worse than what the doctors had just told reporters.

And "The New York Times" later reported that that source was White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. And last night Meadows appeared on FOX, sort of trying to square the circle between the two messages. He said the president was doing extremely well but he's not yet out of danger.


MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: And the doctor is exactly right. He is doing extremely well. In fact, I'm very, very optimistic based on the current results and as the doctor said, he's not out of the woods the next 48 hours or so with the history of this virus, we know can be, can be tough.

And but he's made unbelievable improvement from yesterday morning. When a number of us, the doctor and I were very concerned.


WESTWOOD: "The Times" reported Trump was angry at Meadows for sending mixed messages and for raising concerns that the president's health might be worse than what the White House doctors were letting the public know. And he sought to project a sense of health and wellness himself yesterday.

He tweeted out a video of himself at the hospital working. The White House also shared photographs of the president working in business clothes while at the suites here at Walter Reed.

In the video the president posted yesterday, he touted the therapeutics that he's had access to at the hospital.


TRUMP: I'm starting to feel good. If you look at the therapeutics which I'm taking right now, some of them and others are coming out soon that are looking like frankly, they're miracles, if you want to know the truth.


TRUMP: People criticize me when I say that but we have things happening that look like they're miracles coming down from God.


WESTWOOD: Dr. Conley did not provide an update on when the president might expect to be discharged from Walter Reed. He did say something of note in the press conference. He said days seven to 10 of the illness is when doctors could be concerned, about what they call the inflammatory phase of the president's illness.

So a lot of signals being sent that the worst could still be ahead for the president. There's been no date for his release but he's expected to be under observation today as well.

BLACKWELL: Sarah for us. Thank you so much.

I want to pull that thread more about how the White House has not been transparent about the president's health. Let's start here. This is Navy commander Dr. Sean Conley yesterday.


DR. SEAN CONLEY, TRUMP WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: The president is doing very well. We remain cautiously optimistic. But he's doing great.


BLACKWELL: We heard something like that from two, three, four doctors there yesterday. But roughly 30 minutes later, the source familiar with the president's health, now identified by "The New York Times" and the Associated Press as White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, told the reporters this.

"The president's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We are still not on a clear path to a full recovery."

Yesterday we reported the president was having some difficultly breathing. So when he was asked directly if the president was given supplemental oxygen, this is what Dr. Conley said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) QUESTION: Has he ever been on supplemental oxygen?

CONLEY: Right now he is not on --

QUESTION: I know you keep saying right now.

But should we read into the fact that he had --

CONLEY: Yesterday and today he was not on oxygen.

QUESTION: So he has not been on it during his COVID treatment?


CONLEY: He is not on oxygen right now.


BLACKWELL: There was giggling there. He was coy and cagey.

This is a doctor. We are coming for facts and he is not just handing them out. Right now you heard him say. That raises questions if the president ever needed it. A source close to the White House said the president definitely has had oxygen. They said it was before he went to Walter Reed.

Dr. Conley also gave a confusing timeline on when the president was given an experimental antibody cocktail. He initially said the White House was aware of his positive test on Thursday and was given the experimental drug sometime then.

Hours after the press conference, he released a statement, saying he misspoke. This is what he said.

"The president was first diagnosed with COVID-19 on the evening of Thursday, October 1st, and received Regeneron -- although he misspelled it in the statement -- antibody cocktail on Friday, October 2nd."

The first diagnosis was Thursday evening.

What was he doing Thursday?

He was on FOX News, downplaying his close aide, Hope Hicks', positive test.


TRUMP: You know Hope well. She's fantastic and has done a great job but it's very hard when you are with people from the military or from law enforcement and they come over to you and they want to hug you and they want to kiss you because we really have done a good job for them. You get close and things happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: Hugs and kisses from the military and police, not the flight on Air Force One, not the attending the rally, not going to the Rose Garden, where nearly a half dozen people now have tested positive.

A few hours after that call, around 1:00 am, the president announced his diagnosis on Twitter.

"Tonight, FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this together."

When he was asked when the last time the president had a negative test, Dr. Conley wouldn't answer. When he was asked about the president's fever, what was it at the highest, Dr. Conley wouldn't answer.

Well, last night on FOX News, Mark Meadows said the president is making unbelievable improvements from Friday. He also said that the president had a fever and falling oxygen levels.

So what do we know about the state of the president's health?

The truth is, not much. And after we heard the recording of the president with Bob Woodward, back in the earliest part of this year, the start of the pandemic, and the president said he likes to downplay the pandemic, how much of what we're hearing can we believe?

Right now, the White House seems more interested in spinning this story than providing objective medical facts about the leader of this country.

PAUL: And former New Jersey governor Chris Christie tells CNN he checked himself into a hospital yesterday after announcing that he's tested positive for coronavirus.

BLACKWELL: He joins the growing list, you see them on your screen, of White House affiliated or related cases of coronavirus. At least eight of those, including Christie, attended the likely superspreader event, the Supreme Court announcement in the White House Rose Garden last weekend and more were part of the White House debate prep team, where Christie says masks were optional.


CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: No one was wearing masks in the room when we were prepping the period and we were -- the group was about five or six people in total.


PAUL: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are going to get back to in-person campaigning this week. They're heading first to Florida.

BLACKWELL: Not only will the candidate be ramping up his own testing. He'll release the results of the tests. Arlette Saenz has more on the vice president.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Joe Biden is moving forward with his in-person campaigning and officials say he will be tested more regularly for coronavirus.

This follows the news that President Trump has tested positive for coronavirus as well as several other people in his orbit. The Biden campaign says they will release the results of the tests each time he is tested.

Biden last received his last negative test results on Friday and told supporters that, while he wasn't tested on Saturday, he will be tested for coronavirus on Sunday morning.

Now the Biden campaign has always adhered to social distancing and safety standards at his campaign events. Officials believe that the way that they've structured these events have promoted health and safety, not just for their candidates but also those involved in the events and for the general public.

Biden is always wearing a mask when he is at these events. And they have people at social distances from each other and him. And those are protocols that they plan to move forward with as he continues to campaign in person.

On Monday, Biden is heading to South Florida and, on Thursday, he will travel to Arizona, his first visit to the battleground state and his running mate, Kamala Harris, will also be joining him.

Kamala Harris is set to face off against vice president Mike Pence in their first debate on Wednesday. We are learning there have been some changes to the way that debate will play out.

The two candidates will be seated down for that debate and originally were only slated to be seated 7 feet apart. They will now be 12 feet apart from each other as this debate plays out.

We have also learned that masks will be required for everyone in that debate hall, except for the two candidates and the moderators. This follows Tuesday night's presidential debate when many in the audience on the Trump side were not wearing masks.

But going forward, anyone who is in that debate hall must wear a mask and if they fail to do, so they will be asked to leave, just one of the many changes that is occurring in this campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic -- Arlette Saenz, CNN, Wilmington, Delaware.


Let's bring in now Dr. Jennifer Caudle.

Dr. Caudle, good morning to you.

DR. JENNIFER CAUDLE, FAMILY PHYSICIAN: Good morning. I understand -- let's start here -- because we understand that our

political leaders are human. They will contract viruses. They will get sick. They will need surgeries. They are Americans and they have some privacy rights, granted.

But how do you interpret or did you receive the handling of the news conference from the White House physician, Dr. Sean Conley, what was answered and what was glossed over intentionally?

CAUDLE: Well, I thought it was problematic myself. I know I'm not alone because I think in many cases it raised more questions than it provided answers. And I'm not the first person to say that.

One of the problems with it and you're right, that there's a separate discussion that could be had about what right do we have to this information, do we even have a right to this information?

The patient is -- the president is a patient, et cetera. That's a different conversation. But one of the problems that's come out of this press conference or at least the information is that we've realized number one, that the timeline has proven to seem inconsistent, which raises questions and really sort of brings out concerns about when the president was actually diagnosed, when he might have been contagious, if he could have infected others.

The second issue, that's an important one, we all want to know how well he's doing. And not having sort of a clear view of that or consistent message about that, not only does it make us worried. He's the president of the United States. Of course, we want him and everyone else to do well.

But it brings up a lot of anxiety. A lot of people in this country are feeling a lot of anxiety due to a number of things that have happened over the last couple days.

PAUL: So when you watched the president's address yesterday, was there anything in his demeanor, anything that you could see that stood out to you?

CAUDLE: It's hard to say that anything stood out to me.

Did he look the way he always seemed to look?

No, he didn't.

But is it difficult to judge a four-minute video or some still photos in time?

It absolutely is. We can't read a lot into that. We don't know what prep happened before the photos or videos or et cetera, if there was hair and makeup and things of that nature. I'm not implying that there was.


CAUDLE: You can't draw a lot from those. That's why the facts do matter. And again, whether we have a right to the facts is a different discussion.

But that's why the timeline and the facts matter. We know that people can spread COVID-19 48 hours before they develop symptoms or have a positive test. So with this timeline being in question and the number of events happening, political events the president was involved in and other people, it makes us worry.

Are there going to be more people that turn positive?

You talk about the Rose Garden event, these are real concerns we have not only for America but our leadership at this time.

BLACKWELL: Let's focus on that specifically and keep this picture up. This is the Rose Garden event. Those circled in red have been confirmed having COVID. You see in the yellow who's tested negative. The vice president Mike Pence.

Right behind him, senator Mike Lee, unmasked, appears to be within six feet. COVID positive. We know The vice president will be in a debate in three days and in four days he'll return to campaigning with an in- person rally in Arizona.

Doctor, we've been discussing the CDC guidance from the start of this pandemic. And the guidance suggests that he should quarantine. And Mike Pence is the chair of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Should he be quarantined?

Should he be on the stage on Wednesday and in Arizona on Thursday?

CAUDLE: That's right. So that's a great question. The CDC guidance says that if you've been exposed to somebody with COVID-19, you do need to quarantine for 14 days. That's what the guidance says.

One of the most important things we need to do during this time as a nation and also as we get -- try to get our political leaders through the times of illness, is following the guidelines.

The last thing we need is for more and more people to become ill. And heaven forbid vice president Pence become ill himself. The name of the game is safety. One of the things I'm hoping will come out of this, in addition to the safety of our leaders, is I'm hoping for those Americans that question the validity of the virus and question if it was a thing or if face masks worked or not.

I'm hoping their minds will be changed, that we'll all start wearing masks and social distancing, doing the right thing, following CDC guidelines. But that's what's important to do is to follow the guidelines.

PAUL: All right. Doctor -- I'm sorry.

BLACKWELL: Let me squeeze in one more time if we have time. Chris Christie tested positive, checked into a hospital. He's 58 years old, excessive weight, asthma.

What are the concerns for Governor Christie based on his profile and what we know about the virus?

CAUDLE: Sure. We know obesity tends to be a risk factor for more high risk complications from COVID. We know there were other underlying medical conditions that confer a higher risk profile as well. He has some of those. It puts him at higher risk.

I'm really glad that he is under medical care and getting appropriate care. I do want to say there are a lot of Americans in this country -- we've had over 200,000 deaths. There are a lot of Americans that are not able to get the care that some of our political leaders are getting.

I'm saying that to say I want us all to get proper care, proper monitoring, et cetera. But it goes back one step further. I want us all to be wearing masks and social distancing so we don't get in this situation if possible. But I'm glad Chris Christie is under medical care at this time.

PAUL: We all are. Yes, we want everybody to be all right here. Doctor, always grateful to have you with us. Thank you, ma'am.

CAUDLE: Thank you.

PAUL: And there is so much more to talk about with this. You're going to hear more this morning on "STATE OF THE UNION." Jake Tapper joined by the Ohio governor and Biden campaign senior adviser and Michigan governor and former Trump deputy campaign manager, today 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: We focused on the White House and those around the president and COVID-19. But in almost 2 dozen states, the numbers of diagnoses of people you do not know, those are going up. The implications for the states that are trending upward, a live report from New York.





PAUL: New this morning, at least 21 states have seen the number of new COVID-19 cases rise more than a week ago. A little more than half held steady compared with the week before. There are only three states reporting decreases.

BLACKWELL: Researchers at the University of Washington are predicting as many as 2,900 deaths a day in December. Polo Sandoval is with us from New York.

One of the states that was a success a couple months ago now seeing a slight spike?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Certainly. And before we get to that, the other concern is we are possibly going to see another spike, according to health officials, into fall and possibly into the winter. To that point, consider the numbers alone.

You're looking at 42,000 new COVID cases a day. That's the national weekly average. It's lower than what we saw during the summer peak of about 67,000. But it's 20 percent higher than what we saw in early September.

According to health officials, that is way too high, especially if we want to avoid one of the upcoming projected spikes.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): A CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University shows only three U.S. states reporting a decline in new COVID-19 cases compared to last week. As of Saturday night, new cases were down in Texas, Missouri and South Carolina.

While 21 states reported a rise in cases and a little more than half held steady compared with the week before.

Researchers at the University of Washington are predicting as many as 2,900 deaths a day in December.

DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH METRICS AND EVALUATION: The reason we think that's going to happen is the combination of people taking their foot off the brake.


MURRAY: And starting to mingle more, being less careful and then, most importantly, seasonality.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Wisconsin reported a record number of 2,892 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, including 19 deaths. The governor said on social media the surges seen across the state were not an indication that masks don't work.

California has now passed 16,000 deaths. In Illinois, the state reported nearly 2,500 new case in 24 hours and 31 deaths. In Tennessee 1,192 cases and 45 deaths. In South Carolina, 649 new cases and 31 deaths Saturday. The University of Washington now projecting 363,000 U.S. deaths by the end of the year.

MURRAY: Given what we know about the effectiveness of masks and given what we know about half of Americans wearing a mask when they're out, we think that about 86,000 lives can be saved if we can get mask use way up. So it's very much in our control as to what's actually going to happen.


SANDOVAL: Back here in New York City the local health officials saying they're watching at least four concerning clusters of COVID, mainly in parts of Queens, Brooklyn. The former head of the CDC last night, weighing in on that, saying currently New York is seeing some of these ongoing spreads, specifically in what we described as religious communities.

That's why that increased testing is crucial here. Just on Friday alone, New York City setting a record or the state setting a record, 130,000 tests conducted Friday.

PAUL: All right. Polo Sandoval, good to have you, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Polo.

Those September jobs numbers out this weekend show the job recovery is slowing down across the country. And that means food banks across many states, including Georgia, are seeing an increase in need from families.

PAUL: Dekalb County held three drives with events this weekend alone. Here's Natasha Chen.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first cars in this line arrived three hours before the Dekalb County monthly food drive began. Each driver got one box of vegetables and one box of meat. Meat, which has gotten more expensive in grocery stores and harder for people like Delores Rich (ph) to afford on her retirement income.

DELORES RICH, DEKALB COUNTY RESIDENT: Seems like more, I mean, they go up sky high.

CHEN (voice-over): Within the first hour of people arriving, all 700 tickets, accounting for the available boxes at one of three locations, were handed out. That's according to Michael Thurmond, the Dekalb County CEO, who hasn't seen this many people show up for a food drive since the pandemic began.

MICHAEL THURMOND, DEKALB COUNTY CEO: The number one issue I think the initial relief, federal relief has run out. People have lost the $600 supplement on their unemployment insurance.

CHEN (voice-over): The people we talked to said they had never been to a food drive before this year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel bad about it, because I've never had to do it until the pandemic. I've always been able to keep food on the table.

CHEN (voice-over): Tonya Larkins (ph) said, before the pandemic, she would have misjudged these drives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think I would have judged it wrongly. I would have judged it like as for poor people or something like that. No, it's not.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it's not. It's for people in need at this point. It's very humbling. CHEN (voice-over): Larkins (ph) used to work in child care. Her

husband drives a school bus part time. Bill Weber builds fences for people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It made it real hard as well.

CHEN: So you've seen fewer clients?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fewer clients, less people planning on doing work that they had planned on. So they cut back and said they'd call back and said, hey, we're not going to be able to do this right now, which I understood. I'm not upset at people.

CHEN (voice-over): The Georgia Chamber of Commerce said, as of August, 22 percent of Georgia businesses have not reopened, including almost a quarter of all restaurants, 40 percent of bars. Business has even been rough for people supplying the meat being given out in these boxes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're supplementing the fresh fruits and vegetables with protein. But it is also coming from a local Atlanta business that needed the business.

CHEN (voice-over): The Georgia commissioner of agriculture and local county officials worked together to use federal dollars to help pay farmers for this food while helping the people who need to eat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a Republican. And I'm a Democrat. But hunger doesn't affiliate with any party. I hope you notice the diversity of the people who came through here today, Black folk, white folk, Asian, Hispanic, Latino. Food insecurity impacts the entire community.

CHEN (voice-over): A community unsure of how long they'll need to continue this routine once a month of waking up early to ask for help they didn't need before -- Natasha Chen, CNN, Atlanta.


PAUL: Good people doing good things there.

Last week the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination were almost certain. Now three senators have COVID. That means things are looking much less certain at this point. We're going to take you to Capitol Hill and give you the latest.

And a quick programming note. Be sure to tune into CNN's special coverage of the only vice presidential debate of 2020. It starts Wednesday night at 7 pm Eastern, right here on CNN. We'll be back.




BLACKWELL: It's 33 minutes after the hour now. Three Republican senators have tested positive for coronavirus. We're not sure how that impacts the president's Supreme Court pick, Amy Coney Barrett.

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin revealed yesterday he tested positive. He said he was not at the Rose Garden event and may have started the outbreak -- that may have started the outbreak, I should say.

And Senator Mike Lee, Senator Thom Tillis. They were there and tested positive.

PAUL: Mitch McConnell has told all Republican senators to be back on the Hill by October 19th. And Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called the move, quote, "reckless and dangerous."

BLACKWELL: The president's diagnosis could very quickly impact national security but it all depends on how sick the president is. And that is not clear. White House officials say the president is still fully capable of running the country.

But how do other countries read that and could other countries take advantage of that? CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem is with us now, also former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Juliette, let's start with this tweet. I needed more than 280 characters from you on this. I'm going to put it up and read it.


BLACKWELL: "It is very likely that Russian intelligence agencies through signal and human intel sources at Walter Reed, et cetera, have more information about the president's condition than we do, though I think we all know how the president is doing. #doctorslietoo."

Expound on that for us.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So after the press conference, I had the same reaction as you, which is I still have no idea how the president is doing. Every country is going to be interested, Russia in particular.

Russian media is talking about their candidate now being sick and getting -- and trying to get transparency. I have no doubt and have been supported in that tweet by people who have been in Russian counterintelligence, that the Russians are trying to figure out what's going on in that hospital room because of the lack of transparency.

The Trump family and the White House has a lot of vulnerabilities with their phones, with their intelligence.

But the goal here, whether it's Russia, China, even our allies, is what is going to happen in the United States of America?

We know that the president is doing better than he did the day before. And we'll probably see how he's doing today.

BLACKWELL: I put this to our medical expert and I wanted to now ask this in a national security context. The president is in the hospital, will be there for several days. The vice president was at a Rose Garden event, just in front of Mike Lee. Fewer than six feet, close contact.

But he's going to debate on Wednesday night and then is going back to in-person campaigning. From a national security perspective, reconcile that with the priorities when the president is in the hospital.

KAYYEM: Right. So that's exactly the point. So Mike Pence is not just the vice president. He holds the office of the vice president. That office, from a national security perspective, is what we call our redundancy. You have a president and then a spare.

It's as simple as that. You want the vice president, especially when the president is ill, you know, he may not be very ill but especially when the president is ill, you want the vice president to protect himself because of the role he plays in America's national security, in America's transfer of power.

So I think, I wouldn't treat those two events as the same. If Mike Pence continues to test well, leading up to the debate, he probably can go to the debate because he's probably not infected.

But the rallies strike me as, outside of anything going on as careless but also particularly careless for Mike Pence, because he's -- the more people he encounters, the more vulnerable he exposes himself.

I think, whatever your politics are, from a national security perspective, the Constitution has an heir and a spare. When the heir is in the hospital, the spare should take care of himself.

BLACKWELL: Yes, it is the sole constitutional role, to be prepared in situations like this.


KAYYEM: Right.

BLACKWELL: Juliette Kayyem, thank you so much for being with us.

KAYYEM: Thank you. I'll see you later.

BLACKWELL: Last week's Supreme Court announcement of Amy Coney Barrett is looking like a possible superspreader event now that there's a number of attendees who have contracted the coronavirus.

PAUL: And we have something special for you tonight. Watch the premiere of the all new CNN original "First Ladies." This week's episode is about Michelle Obama. How she carved out her own legacy, balancing her role as a modern first lady and a mom. Here's a preview.


ROBIN WRIGHT, ACTOR (voice-over): There is, as Michelle puts it, no handbook for incoming first ladies. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The role of the first lady is a throwback. We set

up the White House as a royal court in a way. And I think, for Michelle Obama, a modern woman, a career woman, to suddenly be the great man's wife was an adjustment.

WRIGHT (voice-over): She describes the role as a strange kind of sidecar to the presidency.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first lady's not a job. Hillary Clinton learned that when she turned it into a job. We don't want that. That's going too far.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said the one that she took the greatest inspiration from was Laura Bush.

WRIGHT (voice-over): After a bruising campaign, Michelle is determined to control her own message. She starts with a simple statement, deeper than it first appears.

QUESTION: How would you define your role as first lady?

MICHELLE OBAMA, FORMER FIRST LADY: I joke that my first job is going to be mom in chief, because, with little kids, I have to make sure that their feet are on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obviously she's going to be mom in chief.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's not shy about being the mom in chief.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's starting to define her role more as first lady.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was concerned about her daughters but it was also just a very savvy way of saying don't worry.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This isn't a two-for. I'm not here to make policy, despite my executive experience.

feminism If I want to play the traditional first lady role, I can play the traditional first lady role. But don't be fooled. In a country that consistently demonizes Black mothers, Black women as welfare queens, Black women as drugged addicts, black women as b of the decline of the Black family, a statement as simple as I'm first mom and that's my priority is something that is profound, because it's something that's been denied to Black women for so long.


PAUL: "First Ladies" premieres tonight at 10 Eastern. We'll be right back.



BLACKWELL: It's 43 minutes after the hour. We're seeing an alarming number of people close to the president test positive for COVID-19.

PAUL: Over the past couple days, lawmakers, White House advisers, a university president, they've all been diagnosed with coronavirus. Here's our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What you're looking at is the origins of a likely superspreader event. At least eight people, including President Donald Trump himself, are now infected. And that is among those who have had the ability to actually get tested.

GUPTA: You can't see the virus but what is happening during a superspreading event?

DR. ERIN BROMAGE, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: You know, it's a very rough analogy. But if we think of a campfire and say that that's a person who is infected and releasing virus, it's not like it's the ring around the person that is actually going to be the risk.

It's those that are on the side where more of the virus is being projected, either through big talking or through the breeze, the air that's blowing it there.

GUPTA (voice-over): But it was also these moments that caught CNN medical analyst Erin Bromage's eye.

BROMAGE: When the event finished, when they're all coming up and hugging and shaking hands and saying congratulations.


BROMAGE: That's where -- if I was a betting person, I would be putting my money on of where this occurred.

GUPTA (voice-over): We know that the safety protocol for the event was to test anyone in close proximity to the president. But it wasn't required for everyone attending the ceremony. And it clearly wasn't foolproof.

Again, take a look here, where the people who were diagnosed as positive were sitting not next to each other, which leads us to again look at what happened right before and right after.

Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, closely leaning in to speak with attorney general William Barr. Lots of people closely interacting with their guard down. It can be difficult to pinpoint these superspreader events.

This one ceremony, though, is giving us a look at the anatomy of how it happens all the time, not just here but anytime people aggregate together in large groups in the middle of a pandemic.

BROMAGE: There's no doubt that there has been transmission at the protests, the political rallies. It's just a fact that the virus doesn't discriminate.

Just because we haven't documented it, doesn't mean it hasn't happened. It's just that we've got an event now that is very visible, well documented, well tested and we're seeing the outcome from it.


GUPTA: So Christi, Victor, you get an idea of how a superspreader event like that can occur. But also keep in mind, as they said, usually it's not the singular event itself. There could be smaller meetings indoors; sometimes people get together afterward.

That's the challenge for the contact tracers, to not only look at that event but then look at the whereabouts of people afterward and see if there's any other connections. It's also why the question to the when was the president's last negative test, why it's so important.

It establishes the timeline. So, for example, if someone becomes symptomatic on Friday, as we heard the president did, when did the exposure likely occur?

Probably several days before that. And also if you look at the timeline, if you look at the bottom line there, if someone is symptomatic on Friday, it's usually two or three days before that where they are most contagious. Right?

So Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday.

Where was the president during those days?

Who was he coming in contact with?

That's the job the contact tracers have for an event like this. It's laborious and important work but that's how you start to take control of a pandemic.

BLACKWELL: Sanjay, thank you.

The NFL, their coronavirus problem is spreading. The Patriots and Chiefs, the game is on hold. But the league says the case, this one is different than others.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know who has got my support for president? NBA commissioner Adam Silver. He somehow built a bubble better than anything our government could come up with.

Instead of stopping the bubble when the season ends, why don't they just slowly expand it until it covers the whole country?




PAUL: It's 51 minutes past the hour. Patriots quarterback Cam Newton has tested positive for coronavirus.

BLACKWELL: The NFL is postponing the New England game with the Chiefs. The second game postponed this weekend.

Coy Wire, good to see you this morning.

Do we know when this game might be played?

COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We're getting there. Good morning to you.

The NFL says it's hopeful the Patriots-Chiefs game could be played tomorrow or Tuesday but it depends on the results of other players' tests. The Patriots will be without Cam Newton, placed on the reserve COVID list yesterday, as first reported by ESPN and the NFL Network.

Now I spoke to a high-ranking NFL official, who told me Newton was tested Friday morning, went through an entire day of meetings and practice and then the team learned of the positive test early Saturday morning.

While we have seen other games go on even though a player tested positive earlier in the week, the league source tells me this game was postponed due to the nature of the quarterback position.

This comes as the outbreak on the Titans swelled to 16 people, eight players and eight personnel. Their game against the Steelers has been pushed back to later this month.

Now the big day of college football that it was. Fans were seen across the country in the stands, including in Dallas, where SMU campus police were forced to clear out the student section in the middle of their upset win over number 25 Memphis.

The school telling CNN the students kicked out were refusing to wear masks and maintain social distance.

Up to 20,000 fans were in attendance for Georgia hosting Auburn. And they were loud. Fans were required to wear masks while entering the stadium and within the concourse areas. But they could remove the masks once they got to their seats. That's according to the school.

The Bulldogs office stomping all over the Tigers. Racking up 200 yards on the ground and the defense dominant. UGA wins its fourth straight in the series 27-4. It was the first upset Saturday of the season.

Six top 25 teams going down all to unranked opponents. None bigger than TCU over Texas. And the game ball is going to go to Horned Frogs' quarterback Max Duggan. In August he discovered he had a heart condition during COVID testing and wasn't sure he'd ever play again.

After recovering from surgery, he shined (sic) last night. Two running touchdowns, 300 yards of offense. His defense made sure the fairy tale ending came through, forcing a fumble at the goal line late in the fourth to secure the 33-31 win. An incredible day of football. And another one coming up potentially with the NFL games just hours away.

PAUL: All right. Coy Wire, always good to see you. Thank you.

WIRE: You, too. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thanks, Coy.


BLACKWELL: So with all that's happened this week, "Saturday Night Live" had a lot of material to kick off the 46th season last night. Host Chris Rock, entertainment, made him a stallion, first show in the studio with a live audience since the coronavirus pandemic forced them to go remote in March.

PAUL: Given the uncertainty around President Trump's health, there was a tricky tone. Alec Baldwin returned as the president. Jim Carrey debuted as Joe Biden, impersonating what brings his uniqueness, athleticism.


BECK BENNETT, COMEDIAN, "CHRIS WALLACE": So let's now welcome the Democratic candidate.

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR, "DONALD TRUMP": Boo. Here comes the booing.

"WALLACE": Former vice President of the United States.

"TRUMP": Allegedly.

"WALLACE": And senator from Delaware --

"TRUMP": Not even a real state.

"WALLACE": Joe Biden.


"WALLACE": Mr. Vice President.

JIM CARREY, COMEDIAN, "JOE BIDEN": Just one second, Chris.



"WALLACE": It looks like you're ready to debate, Joe.

"BIDEN": Absolutely not. But I've got the beginning of 46 fantastic ideas I may or may not have access to. Now let's do this. I'm holding my bladder. Let's get at 'er.