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New Day Sunday

Saturday Was The Second Highest Day Of Coronavirus Cases Since The Pandemic Began; Two Senior Pence Aides Test Positive For COVID-19; Trump Denies COVID Surge Even As Virus Spreads Among Pence Advisers; Biden Heads To Georgia Tuesday In Bid To Flip State That Dems Haven't Won Since 1992; Pence To Continue On Campaign Trail Despite Outbreak In Inner Circle; Tropical Storm Zeta Forms In The Western Caribbean, Expected To Become Hurricane By Early Tuesday. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired October 25, 2020 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On Saturday, more than 83,000 Americans tested positive for COVID-19. Among them, Marc Short, the chief of staff to the vice president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now it seems that Vice President Mike Pence's bubble is also perhaps getting burst by the coronavirus.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have to lead your life and you have to get out. You have to be vigilant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's also saying on one hand that it's no big deal, and on the other hand his strategy is herd immunity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are breaking records that we don't want to break.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There's going to be a dark winter ahead unless we change our ways.

ALEC BALDWIN AS DONALD TRUMP: We're rounding the corner. In fact we've rounded so many corners we've gone all the way around the block and we're back to where we started in March.



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you on this Sunday. Nine days, yes, we are in single digits now from the election as coronavirus cases are climbing across the country. There's been another flare-up of the virus inside the White House inner circle.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And there's a flare-up across the country really yesterday was the second highest day of coronavirus cases in the United States since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 84,000 new infections were reported. That's just 39 cases shy of the all-time record reported only the day before.

PAUL: And now joining that total are two top aides to Vice President Mike Pence, the man who heads the country's coronavirus task force.

SANCHEZ: Yes, but with the campaign in the home stretch the vice president is keeping his full schedule. He's crisscrossing the country despite the outbreak among those closest to him.

CNN's Sarah Westwood joins us now live from the White House. Sarah, what are we learning about this latest outbreak and the way that the White House is handling it?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, good morning, Boris and Christi.

And, yes, we learned late last night that the vice president's chief of staff Marc Short was just the latest member of the White House's inner circle to test positive for coronavirus. That came just a few hours after the news that a close adviser to the vice president who is not a government employee but who is close to Pence, Marty Obst, had also tested positive, so two members of Pence's inner circle.

The first sign that perhaps something was amiss was the fact that the vice president got off Air Force Two last night in Washington and was wearing a mask after not wearing one for most of the day. He wasn't waving to the press like he normally does. He was about an hour behind schedule and shortly after Marine Two had lifted off and the vice president was heading home for the day, then the vice president's office released a statement confirming that Short was positive for COVID-19.

According to the "New York Times" White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows actually sought to keep that information under wraps. He did not want it to get out, that Short had tested positive so close to Election Day. Of course, this raises questions about what containment measures the White House has been taking.

Obviously, what they were doing before had proven ineffective because the virus sickened the president, the first lady, the press secretary, a number of other close advisers to the president and on the campaign so the White House had been dealing with the fallout from that.

And the vice president's office has made the controversial decision to keep Pence on the campaign trail despite his proximity to Short. They say that despite the fact that Short was considered a close contact of the vice president, they are following CDC guidelines for essential employees which say that essential employees can continue to work absent any symptoms, even if a household member or someone considered a chose contact does contract coronavirus.

But I do think it's important to note that that is different from the excuse that the vice president's office provided the last time the virus struck the White House. At that time they said it was OK for Pence to continue his schedule because he was not in close contact with anyone. Now they don't have that excuse because Short is a close contact of Pence so they're saying, well, he's an essential employee so that's why he can continue to travel this time.

He's scheduled to head to North Carolina today but Short was with the president through across the country earlier this week on Thursday and Friday. They went to Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania together, so it's unclear how many more aides also may be testing positive.

Keep in mind it was sort of a slow drip, drip, drip from the White House outbreak as we learned more and more aides were testing positive over the days after that initial test with Hope Hicks, Boris and Christi.

PAUL: So, I think, the thing that complicates all of this for the president is that coronavirus is not what he wants to talk about, but he has to talk about it because it keeps infecting his inner circle somehow. What is he saying about it now?

WESTWOOD: What we've heard from the president over the past few days is sort of this false impression that the U.S. is rounding the turn on coronavirus, that we are seeing a light at end of the tunnel in terms of cases.


That just hasn't been supported by the data. The coronavirus is surging in many places across this country. And Trump's closing argument has been almost totally surrounded by this idea that people are more concerned about getting back to their daily normal lives than they are about the virus. Trump is making that gamble, and it's a hard argument for him to make when the people around him are continuing to get sick from the virus.

He very briefly addressed this yesterday as he was coming home from a weekend of campaigning. He said, Marc Short looks like he's going to be OK. He's quarantining but again this forces the conversation to move to a place that the president isn't exactly comfortable just nine days before the election.

PAUL: Yes. Good point. Sarah Westwood, I know it's a lot to take in this morning. Thank you so much for walking us through it.

SANCHEZ: Meantime, the president's opponent former Vice President Joe Biden is heading to Georgia this week. He's looking to flip a state that no Democratic presidential candidate has won since 1992.

PAUL: Yes. Biden is looking to add Florida to the win column as well sending out his top surrogate, former President Obama. CNN's Arlette Saenz has more.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Former President Barack Obama traveled here to the critical battleground state of Florida reminding voters that they helped deliver the White House for him in 2008 and 2012 and asking them to do the same for Joe Biden this time around. He also predicted that if Biden wins Florida the election will basically be over as he encouraged volunteers and supporters to keep up their work for the former vice president.

And while Obama touted the work and leadership style of his former partner, he also took aim at President Trump, slamming his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and also criticizing President Trump's behavior in office saying that it's not normal. And President Obama also talked about that upcoming interview President Trump did with "60 Minutes." Take a listen to what he had to say.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When "60 Minutes" and Lesley Stahl are too tough for you, you aren't all that tough. If you've got to walk out of a "60 Minutes" interview, then you're never going to stand up to a dictator. If you're spending all your time complaining about how mean reporters are to you, you're not going to stand up to Putin.

SAENZ: While President Obama was here in Florida Joe Biden campaigns in Pennsylvania holding a drive-in rally with musical artist Jon Bon Jovi. That event took place in Luzerne County, a county that President Obama and Joe Biden won back in 2008 and 2012 but a county that President Trump flipped in 2016. Biden trying to make a play for those Obama-Trump counties as the election nears.

And both Obama and Biden had a message when it came to early voting. They have reached that point in the campaign where the Biden campaign is really focusing on turnout as the election is now just nine days away. Arlette Saenz, CNN, North Miami, Florida.


SANCHEZ: Arlette, thank you for that.

Joining us now to discuss the latest on these two very busy campaigns is "Axios'" politics and White House editor and CNN political analyst Margaret Talev. Good morning, Margaret. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.

So we have to talk about this news coming from the White House that people close to Vice President Mike Pence have tested positive for COVID-19 and this "New York Times" reporting that the Chief of Staff Mark Meadows tried to keep it quiet. As you all know it's very difficult to keep secrets in this White House. What's your impression of the entire situation? Margaret, are you hearing me?


SANCHEZ: Yes. Can you hear me?

TALEV: I can hear you now.

SANCHEZ: There we go. Yes. Trials and tribulations of a pandemic. I was just asking about the story coming from the White House overnight that people close to Vice President Pence tested positive for COVID- 19. I wanted to get your impression on that.

TALEV: You know, Boris, this is really a problem but the White House has indicated that Vice President Pence intends to keep right on going. We know he was in Florida yesterday. He's heading to North Carolina today. They are talking about the fact that under the CDC's guidelines for essential workers he's able to travel.

But, look, this obviously raises concerns both about whether the White House has managed to get the spread of this under control internally and about top officials such as President Trump or now Vice President Pence interacting with large crowds of people. So I think in the closing days of the campaign the president and now the vice president are making clear that they are not going to stop the road show, that they think it's essential to turn out among their base to be out and about in all of the swing states, but there are now another layer of health concerns attached to this.


And the president has been saying he can't get it the again. So it's great he can get out there and campaign but now you've got this encroaching closer to the vice president's circle.

SANCHEZ: Yes. We'll see how the president tries to clean this up as he continues on the campaign trail. And speaking of cleaning up, I want to ask you about something that former Vice President Biden has felt the need to clean up over and over since the debate on Thursday. His answer about fossil fuels. I want you to listen to something that he said on the road in Pennsylvania yesterday.


BIDEN: And by the way, let me get something straight her in coal country. I will not ban fracking. Period. I'll protect Pennsylvania jobs. Period. No matter how many times Donald Trump says it.


SANCHEZ: Yes. I think it's clear from the regularity of his clarification that he thinks that this is a potential weakness.

TALEV: Yes. I mean, he sort of opened himself up to this in that last debate. This is a nuanced argument. I mean, look, economies, oil companies are moving in the direction of looking to renewable energy. It's already happening.

But that doesn't fit neatly into a sound bite and Biden is in a situation now where obviously this is a crucial part of vote potentially in some swing states but at the same time energizing turnout among younger voters and more progressive voters by saying, hey, I'm not, you know, putting all my money on fossil fuels, it's time to move on is also important.

I think -- I don't think he was acting as strategically in the debate. I think he was just answering quickly a question that he's answered with more nuance before and it's created a ready-made sound bite that now, you know, President Trump is trying to use against him. So he understands he's made himself vulnerable. He has to clean it up. But when you're nine days out and you're trying to re-explain what your actual record is it's become a bit of a drag on his final message perhaps in a couple of states.

SANCHEZ: Yes. We're very short on time, Margaret, but I did want to ask you about something you wrote on Monday or rather wrote on Friday in Axios about Biden traveling to Georgia on Monday. Kind of a surprise that the former vice president is heading there.

You wrote -- quote -- "Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year not only to Trump versus Biden but also to whether the Democrats take control of the Senate."

Could this prove to be a pivotal moment not just in this election but future elections if Biden wins Georgia and the Senate races there go that direction as well?

TALEV: For sure. And I mean, look, Georgia is in this unique position. There's two Senate seats up because of the special election in the second seat. Georgia has been a potential tipping point for a few cycles now. It's never quite gotten there, the Stacey Abrams race attracted a lot of attention but this is different.

We're seeing huge early turnout from all voters, but particularly among African-Americans, Hispanic voters, Asian-American voters and because of Georgia's particularly rules they have runoff rules if no candidate gets to 50 percent it goes to runoff on January 5th.

So if the balance of everything depends on Georgia, guess what, it could be January before we know what's happened. This is being very closely watched. It is a prime example of why turnout is so important to what is going to happen in both the presidential race and control of the Senate.

SANCHEZ: Yes. If it falls in Joe Biden's column then the Trump campaign will have a lot of electoral math juggling to do at that point. Margaret Talev, thank you so much for spending a bit of your weekend with us. We appreciate it.

TALEV: Thanks, Boris.

SANCHEZ: And a quick programming note. In just a couple of hours on "STATE OF THE UNION WITH JAKE TAPPER" Jake is going to sit down with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, a lot of news about him this morning, and Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. You will not want to miss those conversations. "STATE OF THE UNION" airs at 9:00 a.m. right here on CNN.

PAUL: We've had Mixed messages from the president as he downplays concern about the spike in coronavirus infections, but there are new cases that aren't the only trends heading in the wrong direction right now. We have a look at the big steps some states are taking to curb the spread and keep hospitals from getting overwhelmed.




PAUL: This is in Rome, Italy. What you're looking at here are protests and what happened during those protest after a curfew was imposed overnight because of the coronavirus pandemic. The clashes were breaking out between supporters of a far right group there in Italy and riot police. Now, tear gas was used to break up the crowd as the police were hit by bottles.

SANCHEZ: The curfew kicked in overnight due to an increase in coronavirus cases there. The restrictions are being imposed for 30 days and they prohibit any travel except for health or work reasons or emergencies.

PAUL: Back here in the U.S., I mean, states are really trying to reconcile what measures they need to take to curb the ongoing surge of coronavirus cases we've been seeing as well as trying to keep hospitals from getting overwhelmed.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Take a look at the numbers. The U.S. reported more than 83,000 new infections yesterday, the second highest number yet during this pandemic, just short of the record that was set on Friday the previous day. The number of new cases are not the only trend heading in the wrong direction right now. Let's bring in CNN's Polo Sandoval. He's following this.


And, Polo, there's more bad news in the latest data, enough that some officials are starting to take action.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And some of those officials, Boris, speaking over the weekend saying that social gatherings, many of those moving indoors to try to avoid this cool weather could potentially be fueling the spike, it's something that authorities, of course, had feared. Meanwhile, when you look at those alarming patterns, some of the numbers you just shared with viewers, Boris and Christi, it certainly tells a very different story from what the president is sharing on the campaign trail, that we are rounding the turn.


TRUMP: Did you hear him the other night? It's going to be a cold dark winter.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): While the commander-in-chief is making light of his opponent's warning the pandemic is worsening health experts are not laughing at the increase in infection rates or at the sight of so much red on this map. It's clear the predicted fall COVID-19 surge is in full effect. In Texas the governor is requesting an army hospital take in non-COVID patients after El Paso surpassed 1,000 infections on Thursday. State officials say it's putting a strain on hospital capacity in the region.

Facing record COVID-19 cases, three Tennessee counties reinstated mask mandates that were previously allowed to expire. And on Saturday New Jersey saw its highest daily new COVID case count since May. Governor Phil Murphy pleading with citizens to stay vigilant writing on Twitter, "This virus has not gone away simply because we are tired of it."

DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DEAN, EMORY UNIVERSITY MEDICAL SCHOOL: We have grossly mishandled the pandemic and the fact that it's taken off again just reminds us how we're not learning from our mistakes, and we could have avoided this by doing the right thing but we don't seem to learn.

SANDOVAL: The director at the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy fears we may soon hit six-digit daily numbers, that's ahead of several holidays when experts worry more Americans could let their guard down and opt to visit family and friends possibly driving surges into the new year.

DR. MATTHEW HEINZ, HOSPITAL PHYSICIAN AND INTERNIST: We have to get people to the point where they're comfortable taking a COVID vaccine once those are FDA approved and available and making sure that we can get to a level where it can't spread around rampantly like it is right now.

SANDOVAL: COVID related deaths while not at level seen during the summer spike are starting to climb again. The most recent weekly national death average was recorded at 771 people, the highest it's been in a month.


SANDOVAL: Bringing it back here to New York a couple of regions downstate show some slow signs of improvement according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Really one of the concerning spots right now are a couple of regions near the state's border with Pennsylvania. Authorities here in New York using this new micro cluster approach to try to address those, Boris and Christi.

PAUL: All right. Polo Sandoval, great wrap up. Thank you so much.

SANCHEZ: Up next, CNN's Kate Bolduan takes a look at the push to mobilize black women voters in a key battleground of Michigan ahead of the election.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump says often that he has done more for the black communities.


BOLDUAN: No, I don't even need to finish.

BLANCHARD: He is full of (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You know what I'm saying? He has not done -- nothing. I've had people say, well, he's not my president. I didn't vote. I said, well, did you vote at all. They say, no, I didn't. Well, I say, if you did not vote, you did vote for him.




PAUL: Well, breaking overnight Tropical Storm Zeta has just formed in the Caribbean is expected to become a hurricane by Tuesday.

SANCHEZ: Allison Chinchar is tracking the storm for us. Good morning, Allison. What are you seeing?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We're seeing a very, very slow moving storm right now, guys. In fact take a look. Tropical Storm Zeta moving at one-mile-an-hour. You could actually walk faster than this storm is moving. The sustained winds are about 40 miles per hour gusting up to 50 but this thing is expected to pick up speed over the next 24 to 48 hours.

So much so that it's going to enter into the Gulf of Mexico and likely strengthen into a hurricane as it continues that trek up to the north and west. From there it will start to edge closer into the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. where it will likely make landfall. Now, where landfall point is that's still up for debate. A lot of the models here are still pretty much spread right there along the Gulf Coast anywhere safe from the panhandle of Florida all the way over towards Central Louisiana.

Even our two most prominent models really don't have a good grasp on this. The American model really kind of putting it just south of Mobile whereas the European model leaning much more towards say Central Louisiana coastline. So, again, this is going to be something we'll have to keep an eye on over the next couple of days.

But regardless, heavy rainfall is still going to be probably the biggest factor with this particular storm. Along the Gulf Coast widespread, likely about four inches of rain. There will be a few isolated pockets of slightly higher.

But, again, Boris and Christi, one thing to note is this would be -- we've already had four named storms make landfall in Louisiana. This would be the fifth. That would tie Florida for the most landfalls of any state in one year.


PAUL: Oh, my goodness. We hope not. Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.

So in 2016 Donald Trump won Michigan by less than 11,000 votes. This year that battleground state could come down to the critical voice of black voters.

SANCHEZ: And in Detroit one woman is on a personal mission to make sure that voters do not sit this one out. CNN's Kate Bolduan sat down with her.


WENDY CALDWELL-LIDDELL, FOUNDER, MOBILIZE DETROIT: OK. So let's say you aren't registered. So let's get you registered OK?

I think that the apathy has just grown and has just become so pervasive in our communities, because people are just trying to survive that we have to get back to empowering people.

Let's cycle back this way.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Twenty-nine-year-old Wendy Caldwell-Liddell is a woman with no shortage of energy.


CALDWELL-LIDDELL: Hey didn't she talk to you already?

BOLDUAN: She doesn't work for any campaign. But since August, she says she spend three days a week every week between her full time job and taking care of two kids using that energy to try and convince fellow Detroiters their vote matters.

CALDWELL-LIDDELL: At this point, this is our survival now. What happens politically is a part of our survival, and there's no escaping that.

BOLDUAN: 10,704. What does that number mean to you?

CALDWELL-LIDDELL: Is that how many votes Trump won by?

BOLDUAN: That's exactly how many votes.

CALDWELL-LIDDELL: So that number, it hurts. It hurts.

BOLDUAN: Wayne County, which includes Detroit, went for Hillary Clinton by a wide margin in 2016, but she got about 76,000 fewer votes there than Obama did in 2012. Remember, Trump won the entire state by just 10,704 votes.

Are you voting for Joe Biden, or are you more investigate against Donald Trump?

CALDWELL-LIDDELL: 80 percent against Donald Trump and 20 percent for Joe Biden, I would say that.

BOLDUAN: What does that mean?

CALDWELL-LIDDELL: It means that I know that as a voter and as a black woman that there is a job that I have to do in order to get a representative who will come close to protecting my people in office, but I'm not necessarily excited about having another representative there who really does not inherently understand the needs of our communities.

BOLDUAN: Marketa Blanchard, like Wendy, has lived in Detroit her whole life. But at 63 years old she sees the choice this election a bit differently.

MARKETA BLANCHARD, JOE BIDEN'S SUPPORTER: I'm 100 percent voting for Biden.

BOLDUAN: Does Biden make you excited?

BLANCHARD: Yes, yes, yes, yes, he does. His enthusiasm, his past record, it's like a charge.

BOLDUAN: President Trump says often that he has done more for the black community --

BLANCHARD: That's -- go ahead.

BOLDUAN: No, I don't even need to finish.

BLANCHARD: He's full of (BLEEP). You know what I'm saying? He has not done nothing. I've had people say, well, he's not my president. I didn't vote. I said well did you vote at all? They say, no, I didn't vote. I said, well, if you did not vote, you did vote for him.

BOLDUAN: Amber Davis is one of those Detroiters who voted for Obama in 2012, then didn't vote at all in 2016.

Why didn't you vote in 2016?

AMBER DAVIS, DETROIT RESIDENT: I didn't want Trump and I didn't want Hillary. I didn't really care who won that election.

BOLDUAN: So what's your plan this election?

DAVIS: I don't like Biden but I'm voting for Biden. This coronavirus, everything that's going on, it's just horrible. So he's got to go.

BOLDUAN: One path to flipping Michigan blue again and the critical pursuit of the Biden campaign is getting those voters who sat out four years ago to show up this time. And a sign the Trump campaign knows this, it has an office right down the road from the Democrats specifically targeting black voters in Detroit.

How unusual is that that? Because you see -- forget Trump, but a Republican presidential campaign an opened in the west side of it?


BOLDUAN: What does it tell you?

SHEFFIELD: The importance of not only Michigan but Detroit in the black vote because the parties -- both parties need us, really.

CALDWELL-LIDDELL: Are you going to help me?

BOLDUAN: Everyone always talks about on T.V. -- it always talks about how black women are the backbone of the Democratic Party.

CALDWELL-LIDDELL: We are. We are. Black women are the backbone.

BOLDUAN: But do you think the Democratic Party takes you for granted?

CALDWELL-LIDDELL: Absolutely. Absolutely, they take us for granted. Because they know that black women are going to help them get the big wins they need where it matters, but they also know that they -- that they can give us the bare minimum knowing that we aren't going to choose the other side.

BOLDUAN: What does that say about the country?

CALDWELL-LIDDELL: It says we've still got a long way to go when the backbone of the country is the most neglected.


SANCHEZ: A powerful story there from Kate Bolduan.

Shifting gears here, a final vote on President Trump's Supreme Court nominee is expected tomorrow despite attempts by Democrats to delay it.

PAUL: Yes. Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia is planning to vote despite two staffers testing positive for COVID-19. Her office says she has tested negative.

Now, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski also revealed yesterday she will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The Alaska Senator still argues, the Senate shouldn't take up a Supreme Court nominee so close to the election, but says she cannot overlook Judge Barrett's qualifications.

SANCHEZ: Now, Republicans have enough votes to confirm Judge Barrett. Only one Republican Senator, Susan Collins of Maine, is expected to vote against the nomination.

PUAL: Still to come, Saturday Night Live returns. Alec Baldwin, Jim Carey taking the stage on the final presidential debate, their interpretations it and the best moments ahead.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, sure, there's been a tiny coronavirus spike in Florida and a teensy spike in Arizona and a toonsy-woonsy in North Dakota. But who cares? A lot of people don't notice but we've got another Dakota there somewhere.



PAUL: 39 minutes past 6:00. Maybe you're up early with us this morning because you weren't up late enough last night to watch Saturday Night Live, so let us fill you in. [06:40:04]

Because this weekend, singer Adele was host and she joked about her recent weight loss. Look at her there. That is Adele, and also the U.K.'s COVID of restrictions.

SANCHEZ: And meantime, Alec Baldwin's President Trump went head-to- head with Jim Carey's Joe Biden in the final presidential debate among the topics up for discussion, who is to blame for coronavirus in the United States. Here is a clip.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and not take full responsibility for the coronavirus, even though it came from China on the plane, piloted by Nancy Pelosi filled with Mexicans which we shot down over pedo island.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, don't fall for that, America. And I hate to curse in front of a woman, but that's a bunch of malarkey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we have our first malarkey. If you're playing Biden bingo at home, take a shot.


SANCHEZ: Joining us now is CNN Chief Media Correspondent and Anchor of Reliable Source, Brian Stelter.

Brian, some of the biggest last lines of the night were sort of anchored in reality, some of the absurdities that President Trump has said about rounding the corner. He's been saying that for a month now and we're still breaking records when it comes to new COVID infections.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Right. Coronavirus is a very hard topic to laugh about. It's a hard topic for comedians to joke about. But I think Saturday Night Live got to something really serious, very real, about the president's response to the virus with this moment from Alex Baldwin saying that he's bored of the virus. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The coronavirus, so boring, right? I mean, but we're doing terrific. We're rounding the corner. In fact, we've rounded so many corners, we've gone all the way around the block and we're back at where we started in March.



STELTER: A sad but true statement there by Baldwin playing Trump.

PAUL: So I want to ask you about actor Brad Pitt, because we know he narrated this ad for Joe Biden's campaign last night. I want to play a clip of it here real quick.



BRAD PITT, AMERICAN ACTOR: America is a place for everyone, those who chose this country, those who fought for it, some Republicans some Democrats and most just somewhere in between.


PAUL: Stelter, is there a gauge of the value and the effectiveness of the celebrity voice in an endorsement?

STELTER: Yes, I think this is an important ad. And I guess on one level, the celebrity voice matters. It was Sam Elliott narrating an ad for Biden earlier this week, now it's Brad Pitt, so, you know, when you hear or recognizable voice that does make a difference.

I think what's even more important about these Biden ads is that they are positive appeals to American identity and American values. They barely talk about Joe Biden at all until the end of these minute-long ads. They are about trying to transcend the divisions and polarization in politics.

Pitt in the narration there says most Americans aren't Democrats or Republicans. They are somewhere in between. People's political affiliations are complicated and what they want out of politics is complicated, and these ads get to that.

It's really notable that Biden is spending millions of dollars on these World Series ads. Partly, it's notable because it means he has the money to do it. And we've heard about the Trump campaign's cash crunch. Biden campaign doesn't have that problem right now. They are spending several million per World Series games on these minute long ads.

And I really didn't make break through all the noise of this campaign season. So much of the advertising on local T.V. is negative, especially coming from the Trump side. So in this final stretch, it's notable to see the Biden campaign swinging high, going for that positive feeling about America and Americana in these really expensive campaign ads.

PAUL: Yes, it's striking. It's strikingly different than what we've seen in past campaigns.

STELTER: Yes, it is, yes.

PAUL: Yes. Brian Stelter, always good to see you, sir. Thank you.

STELTER: Thanks.

PAUL: And you can see more of him, by the way, he's coming up on Reliable Sources later today at 11:00. SANCHEZ: And as we head into the second wave of COVID-19, Asian- Americans are worried that few are taking notice of their skyrocketing unemployment numbers and rising racial tensions. We're back after a quick break.



SANCHEZ: Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, and many small businesses are still hurting financially. But as COVID-19 has spread, so has racism and xenophobia.

PAUL: A growing number of Asian-Americans say they are facing a double-whammy of historic unemployment and discrimination.

CNN Correspondent Amara Walker spoke with one Chinese business owner who admits he's really struggling.


AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lunchtime at this Chinese restaurant is typically a busy hour. That was before the pandemic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fried rice, please.

WALKER: Now, at canton house in Atlanta, it's mostly empty tables and an unusually quiet dining room.

CAM VUONG, RESTAURANT OWNER: My God, the business dropped 98 percent.

WALKER: The restaurant industry was among the hardest hit during the coronavirus business. But Owner Cam Vuong is facing a struggle unique to Asian-Americans, a double-whammy of historic unemployment and discrimination.


VUONG: At the time we closed, we do have -- our window was broken and with a hammer without any reason, whatsoever. At that time, we really think that's really racism.

WALKER: As COVID-19 has spread, so has the racism and xenophobia. Members of the United Nations Committee on Discrimination recently expressed concern over an alarming level of racially motivated incidents against Asian-Americans, saying, President Trump's rhetoric seems to play a role in legitimizing the hate crimes.

60-year-old Vuong reopened his dining room in May. Business it still down 50 percent. He wonders if discrimination is slowing down recovery.

VUONG: When the first opening, I do have a feeling that the -- people were saying, don't go to a Chinese restaurant.

MARLENE KIM, ECONOMICS PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS: People were avoiding Asian businesses because they thought they would get the coronavirus from these businesses.

WALKER: An economics professor at the University of Massachusetts says, COVID-19 has taken a heavy economic toll on Asian-Americans. According to government statistics from February to June, Asian- American unemployment rates increased by more than 450 percent.

KIM: Asians typically have among the lowest unemployment rates, and it's really shot up during COVID.

WALKER: A visit to Atlanta's Chinatown underscores the struggle. This gift shop is closing at the end of the month. Other businesses here tell us they are just trying to survive. Yet Kim says few are taking notice.

KIM: I think it's been overlooked because people don't think that Asians have problems. People think of Asians as a model minority.

VUONG: No, we are not just fine. We are struggling.

WALKER: But, Vuong, who came to the United States as a refugee from Vietnam, remains hopeful. He says he's been living the American dream for 40 years and hopes for 40 more.

VUONG: We have a dream to get to business, to have a house, to have a stable life, peaceful life, have a family and then raise our kids. But, hopefully, our dream is not broken because of this COVID-19.


WALKER: Vuong tells me that he just started breaking even, so he's got quite a ways to go still. He is concerned about a second wave of COVID-19 hurting his business. But he says he is the most concerned about the outcome of the presidential election and whether that will inflame racial tensions. Back to you.

PAUL: Amara, thank you so much. His dreams sounded awfully familiar, didn't it, to most of us.

So listen, if you missed sports for all of these long months, yesterday may have been worth the wait. Two incredible games, two absolutely wild endings. Of course, Coy Wire is back with us in sports in a moment.



SANCHEZ: It was one of the wildest, most incredible endings to not just the World Series game but any baseball game I've ever seen. The Tampa Bay Rays are right back in the World Series.

PAUL: Yes, and they needed this win, didn't they, Coy Wire?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Boris, you are right on. Good to see you, Christi, as well. Coming in the Dodgers were up 2-1 and only six teams have ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a World Series, only one since '85. So, yes, this was exceptionally a must-win game, Christi.

Bottom of the night, Rays down 7-6 with two outs, runners on first and second. Three-time All Star Kenley Jansen on the mound, at the play, backup outfielder Brett Phillips. Here is how the moment sounded to fans around the world.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a swing and a ball lined into right center, a base hit. Kiermaier rounds third.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arozarena scores and the Rays have won the game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Rays have won. Oh, My.


WIRE: Wow, my goodness. Brett Phillips, who had only two career at- bats in the playoffs and zero playoff hits before that at-bat notching his first career playoff knock, a wild walk off. He is your hero. Rays win 8-7.


BRETT PHILLIPS, TAMPA BAY RAYS OUTFIELD: I'm having a hard time putting my emotions into words. You know, honestly, it's hard to believe right now that things are going, like that just happened. Once I saw Randy slipped, I was like, oh, shoot, at least we tied it up, and then he missed the ball. I don't know what happened, but then he scored. The next thing I know, I'm airplaning around the outfield and I get dog piled.


WIRE: What a game. What a series. It's tied at two now. Game five is tonight.

Let's go to college football, another wild finish. Eighth-ranked Penn State up one at Indiana, all they had to do was let the time run out. But Devyn Ford runs it in. The Hoosiers are letting him do it. Penn State Coach James Franklin is living (ph), because now the Hoosiers have a chance to tie it. Well, the Hoosiers would tie it and go into double overtime, where after an outstanding pass and catch for the touchdown, Hoosiers Coach Tom Allen decides, we're going for two, we're going for the win.

And Michael Penix has to run on his own. He dives but does he get in? The officials say, yes. Rules say, as soon as that pylon touches the -- the ball touches the pylon and no part of the runner is down or out of bounds, it's a score. And Penix diving and stretching for maybe the closest call you'll ever see. After a four-minute review, it is a score. Hoosiers win 36-35, snapping a 41-game losing streak to top ten teams, their first win against a top ten opponent since 1987.


Imagine the scene in the locker room.