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State of the Union
Trump's Doctor: President's Condition "Has Continued To Improve"; Trump Family Removed Masks At Presidential Debate In Ohio; Biden Test Negative For Coronavirus After Debating Trump. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired October 04, 2020 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: And by the way, the doctors that are taking care of him again, we've looked up some of their backgrounds, excellent doctors. I don't question the medical care that he's going to receive. He's in the right place for this to be to be clear. But there is a significant level of concern. That's what they're telegraphing, when Dr. Conley said, look, I wanted to maintain an upbeat attitude. That's because there was concern and, you know, they wanted to try to make it look like a rosier picture.
It's worrisome. I mean, you know, just his age, his pre-existing conditions. Now, you add in the need for oxygen, you add in the need for steroids, you add in the fact that he had a high fever that he seemed to have a pretty significant decline over a short period of time. That's worrisome. I really hope they keep them in the hospital. They don't discharge him until they can really make sure he has cleared off these medications, has a significant period of time where he's not requiring oxygen, and has no fever, off of fever reducing medications.
It's great to have no fever. But if you're getting Tylenol on other medications, that doesn't really mean anything. That's an artificial reduction in fever.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And look, I'm the son of a doctor and a nurse. And I understand the inclination of people in the public just to believe doctors. We want to believe doctors. But we also have to note, there is a long and ugly history in this country, of presidents not being honest about their health with the American people. And doctors being used as part of that cover up 100 years ago, it was Woodrow Wilson, FDR, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and on and on and on.
It's the reason when I interviewed Joe Biden, I said, did -- I made him give a pledge what he always be upfront about all aspects of his health. In real time, we're not getting that from Donald Trump and his team right now. We are not getting all of the facts. Why?
GUPTA: Well, I you know, I'd have to say that they're hiding things, Jake. I mean, I hate to say it. But look, you know, even before this episode with this particular administration, we know that the first letter we ever saw about the President's health was dictated to the doctor. He didn't even write it. When Ronnie Jackson gave that briefing, he talked about, you know, the President's potassium levels and all these sort of esoteric things. And I said, I asked him about it, the President's cardiac scans. And it was the first time that he revealed the President had a common form of heart disease.
It wasn't in the official briefing, why would you tell us about his potassium levels, but not tell us about a very significant study that he had had on his heart? It's the same sort of thing here. They're not being fully transparent about this. And I think it's a really unfortunate position for Dr. Conley.
Like he said, everything I've heard about him has been impeccable. But clearly, he's being told what to say and what not to say and how to present things. And he should be saying, look, I want to brief people, I'm, a professional. But I -- if I'm going to brief people, I need to be able to answer all the questions, honestly, and give all the pertinent details, because it matters, you know, or don't do it at all, or don't do it at all, because it's very hard to trust or believe, or make sense of everything that he's saying because of that.
I have to I have to sit here, Jake, and translate, you know, notes afternoon. I have just all these notes that I've aggregated together to try and figure out exactly what he's saying.
TAPPER: And some things I, as a layman would like to know, for instance, I would like to know, when the President last tested negative for COVID and first tested positive. We're three days into this. We still don't know that. We still do not know. What do you want to know? Like, if you could request five or six things, facts from Commander Conley or Colonel Dooley, the doctors? What do you want to know about President Trump's health?
GUPTA: I, first of all, you know, this is a respiratory virus. We need to know the status of his lungs. You know, it's unbelievable to me that we've asked that question so many times. Does he have pneumonia? What is his chest X-ray show which he certainly had? He probably had a chest C.T. scan. These things are important. I would I would really like to know those things in terms of figuring out his overall risk right now, but you know, also his sort of likely clinical course going forward.
We know that this disease causes lots of inflammation and can affect lots of different organs in the body, not just the lungs, but the heart, other organ systems. They did say interestingly, they said his cardiac liver and kidney function are normal or improving. Well, improving from what? Because you said they were normal yesterday as well. So were they not normal at some point? I'd like to know the level of inflammation in his body. There are certain blood tests that you can monitor to give an idea of, what does that inflammation look like and is it improving or responding to some of these medications that he's getting?
I would like to know as you point out, Jake, the date of his last negative test. Because this whole story still doesn't make sense. He was diagnosed on Thursday night and had such a quick decline. Not likely, people, you know, they typically there's a few days at least after someone's diagnosed before they start to develop decline because of that incubation period. And the virus sort of replicates and starts to cause symptoms, either he had a very, very significant exposure to this virus, which caused him to get sick so quickly, or this timeline just doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense.
And, again, as a side issue, if he developed symptoms on Thursday, or whatever, Thursday day or Thursday evening, he was probably most contagious in the two to three days before that. So it's going back to Tuesday, Wednesday, maybe even Monday, so all these things sort of matter.
I'd like to know more about is oxygenation. You know, they -- again, they're still being very sort of -- they're kind of cute about it, not answering that question. And I'd like to know what the plan is going forward for him. You know, they say, we may send them home tomorrow. That makes no sense. So there's several things are specific, objective laboratory and imaging studies I'd like to know the results of but also get a better sense of what his status has been, and what the plan is going forward.
TAPPER: Doctors take a Hippocratic Oath. First, do no harm. Is there any oath or obligation that physicians have when giving press conferences about the status of the most powerful person on the planet in terms of how forthcoming they have to be?
GUPTA: I don't think so, Jake. I mean, the thing is, they don't even have to do this press conference. There's no obligation that they have to share any of these details. My understanding is, you know, we've looked historically, at some of the stories that you've reminded us of, but we've looked historically, at how these things have transpired. And there is no obligation for the President to share any of these details. But when they do, they typically need to be very transparent and honest.
What happens, and this is just true with any, regardless of whether it's the patient is the President or someone else is that the patient does dictate what can be shared and what can't be shared. So it may not be a question so much in this situation, saying, go out and say this about me, it may be saying, you can go out and talk about it. But you can't talk about these things.
Like yesterday, my sense was that Dr. Conley was told, you cannot divulge that I've been on oxygen. So every time he got asked about it, he would say he's not on oxygen right this minute. I mean, it's just ridiculous. And it seems really, really juvenile, frankly, in the wake of such a serious situation to be behaving that way.
But to your question, Jake, I don't think there's an obligation. And regarding the first Hippocratic Oath, I just want to re-emphasize, I think I'm confident the president is getting good care.
TAPPER: Oh, yeah, of course.
GUPTA: I'm not questioning that. It's just a question of what they're allowing the public to know about that care and the overall status of the President.
TAPPER: I just wonder also, I want to bring in the political panel in a second. But I also just wonder, Sanjay, the fact is that in addition to the doctor patient relationship, you call them Dr. Conley and Dr. Dooley, I call them Commander Conley and Colonel Dooley, because they're in the armed forces. I believe they're in the Navy.
TAPPER: And they are also reporting to their commander-in-chief. It is not just a doctor and a patient. It is a commander and a colonel and their commander. And they cannot disregard an order from their commander. I don't know if that's at play. But that's certainly another dynamic if as you are speculating, they're being told not to give information. It's not -- they can't disobey that order. You see what I'm saying?
GUPTA: Right, right, absolutely. No question. I mean, I think as a general rule, you know, physicians are going to get consent from their patients on all things, including any information they would share with other people. But I think you're absolutely right.
There is a different dynamic at play here. And I think Dr. Conley, again, who has this impeccable record is falling prey to that. You know, look, Jake, I saw the same thing with Ronnie Jackson. You know, he came out to brief the reporters about the president's health. This is a couple years ago, and it was that same sort of thing where he was obfuscating certain details and he got the impression that he was told not to share things and he was following orders.
TAPPER: Yeah, let's bring in some others from our panel right now. Let me bring in -- who do we have with us? Dana Bash, Gloria Borger, and David Gergen.
Dana, let me start with you. Because one of the ironies here is that if you had asked people who know both Commander Conley, Dr. Conley and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, which one of them was going to be going out on Saturday, and giving the sunny, optimistic positive spin, and which one was going to be going out and giving grave and it may give offering grave serious expressions of concern about the President's health, it would be Meadows who would be spinning, and Conley who would be giving just the truth. But on Saturday, we got the exact opposite.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, because Meadows thought he was talking not for attribution. And that was blown out for lots of reasons. But let me just say I mean, Sanjay gave, you know, an explanation from the medical point of view of why when you are a doctor, you have to follow the patient's wishes which, you know, obviously we all understand.
But he's the president of the United States. And we don't need a medical briefing from a Baghdad Bob, which is effectively what we have seen certainly yesterday, less so today. But I call him that because he actually admitted, Jake, that he didn't answer the question about the President's oxygen, whether he got oxygen when he briefed first yesterday, because he didn't want to alarm anybody or he wanted to give a rosy picture. That's not what we need right now, as a nation, we need to know the reality and the truth of the President's medical condition.
This is a deadly virus, over 200,000 Americans have died. This is something that everybody, unfortunately can relate to. Because we have been, you know, saturated with news about this, or unfortunately, so many people have had to deal with this in their own lives. And the fact that we are not getting basic information is very, very troubling.
And we know the reason, Jake, the reason is because this president doesn't want to appear weak, when the reality is, he could appear human, and frankly, stronger by letting the American people know how he actually is.
TAPPER: Gloria, what do you think?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I agree with Dana. Look, the doctors, Dr. Conley in particular is supposed to be a doctor, doctor, not a spin doctor. And what he has been doing is spinning the way his patient wants him to spin. And it's clear that his patient is saying, I want you to tell people that I feel great. And I've gone on camera now and they can see that I look good, and that I'm strong and that I want to go back to the White House. And I'm going to go back to the White House.
All the questions that Sanjay was talking about still remain unanswered. And when Dr. Conley said today that Mark Meadows, I think the statement was, his statement was misconstrued. Mark Meadows statement was not misconstrued. As we learned some more of the details here today, we learned that Mark Meadows was actually telling the truth, and that the President was of course furious about it, because that is not what he wanted to give to the American people.
And I have one question here about the timeline, because it's still very fuzzy. When the President got this? Why did he go to Bedminster and give that, you know, after he knew that Hope Hicks had contracted the virus? Was he not feeling well? When did he contract the virus? They are saying that he could be discharged today, when at the same time all the doctors are saying the day seven to 10 are the worst days, the worst days when you have this virus.
So if they were just to discharge them tomorrow on Monday that would maybe be day five, or day six. So do we have to turn the clock back here? What are they telling us, by telling us if they're going to, perhaps let them go back to the White House?
And as Sanjay, points out, are they going to cut his remdesivir short that has to be administered in the hospital? Is he going to get it at the White House? Does he have pneumonia? You know, I'm not a doctor. But these are just normal questions that we've all learned to ask. Because we've unfortunately, learned so much about the disease. And you know, I think back to the President's interview with Bob Woodward, on February 7, where he said, Well, I don't want to panic the people. He knew so much about how this disease could be transmitted in the air. And it's the same thing. He doesn't want to panic the people except people will panic if they don't know the truth about the President's health. And they see the Vice President, by the way, decided to keep up his regular schedule, when we know that he has been exposed to the virus.
TAPPER: Not just that, but people who work in the White House going and doing events inside with no masks, as we saw happening in Iowa just yesterday.
David Gergen, hold tight, I'm going to come to you in a sec. But first, I want to go to CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta, who's live at the White House
Jim, President Trump obviously is very aware of how cable television in particular, cable news covers him. What are you hearing about how he is reacting behind the scenes?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, one thing I'm hearing, Jake, just to jump off of what Gloria is saying, I talked to a White House official earlier this morning who said, you know, keep in mind when Dr. Conley is speaking to reporters. He is essentially passing on information that the President wants to be heard by the American people. And so I think that goes to a large extent to explain what the American people were told yesterday. I mean, I think there's just no other way around it, Jake.
We were lied to about the President's health on Friday. We were lied to about the President's health yesterday. And what happened shortly after Dr. Conley statement yesterday we have Mark Meadows, the White House Chief of Staff, go to reporters and essentially give a contradictory statement to what Dr. Conley was telling reporters that things were much more dire on Friday, which Dr. Conley just admitted to a few moments ago.
My understanding is talking to our sources, Jake, is that the President is now furious with the Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for essentially telling the American people the truth that things were not going well, on Friday and things were very serious in terms of the President's health.
But in a sense, Jake, I think you could argue that the President should be furious with himself, because how else was this going to go? Of course, the truth was going to come out, as Dr. Gupta was saying just a few moments ago, when we're starting to get, you know, the basic facts of how the President is doing? What kind of medications he's being administered and so on. It paints a picture of a President who was struggling to deal with the coronavirus during the early stages of his illness.
Now, you know, as for the President being discharged tomorrow and sent back to the White House, I will tell you, I talked to it and administration source last night familiar with the situation, who said the reason why the President is at Walter Reed is because his bout with the coronavirus, could take a major turn for the worst. I mean, that is the potential with any patient, especially with his medical conditions, who's dealing with the coronavirus. You want the President to be at Walter Reed in case something very bad happens, in case you have more drops in oxygen and so on.
I thought it was very revealing at one point during Dr. Conley statement just a few moments ago, when he said that the President -- when he said that they wanted to put the President on supplemental oxygen on Friday and that the President refused. The President seems to want to be both the President and the physician at the same time when he's dealing with this deadly virus. That's obviously something that presents a dangerous situation for everybody.
TAPPER: Absolutely. And we all hope President Trump takes the doctor's orders, takes the doctor suggestions and doesn't take responsibility for his own care. Jim Acosta, thank you so much.
TAPPER: Let me bring in, David Gergen. And David, as I noted earlier, the American people have a long history of being lied to by White House officials and spun by White House physicians about the health troubles of American presidents. And it is just astounding to me that nobody seems to learn any lessons from history?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I agree with that, Jake. What our best presidents have come to understand that it's really important to share the truth to the American people. You know, Dwight Eisenhower when he had his heart attack problems, you know, he first did not want to share. He wanted to keep it all private. But over time, he realized it was important to tell Jim Hagerty, his press secretary. Anytime I get ill put it all out there, everything.
You know, to the point that they were even disclosing his stool samples and things like that it was very uncomfortable in many ways. But it was the right thing to do. Ronald Reagan went through some of that similar transformation when he was first shot. There was -- I was working in that White House and there was a real inclination not to share a lot of sensitive details, like the fact that the bullet came within an inch of his heart. But eventually, we got it out there and the Reagan people became much more, I think, open especially when we got the colon cancer.
In this case, I must say, Jake, I think increasingly, the issues may come not just does he get out of the hospital and back on his feet, make your campaign. But what is the impact on him physically? But we have people going to the polls right now who are voting, lots of people. And they're going to be a lot of people vote in the next 10 days.
The voters should have full information about the outlook for the President's health before they cast a vote. It is -- it's just say I should be unacceptable, that we have voters going in there blindsided not knowing, you know, fooled by these dance around press conferences. So that to me is increasingly important.
Boris Johnson in England, when he went through, you know, he was the leader in the parliament. And he came down with COVID. And he almost died from it yet. And so everybody celebrated when he came out. But he had all sorts of scars, from that experience, and his capacity to govern has been marred by that ever since. We need to understand just how serious is going to be for the future health of President Trump if he were to win the election.
TAPPER: It's really that simple, if you don't want to disclose that much information about your ailments don't run for president. I mean, it's pretty simple. We're going to squeeze a quick break in. We'll be right back, stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SEAN CONLEY, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PHYSICIAN: Friday morning when I returned to the bedside, President had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%. Given these two developments, I was concerned for possible rapid progression of the illness. I recommended the President we try some supplemental oxygen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: The White House physician acknowledging today a question that he refused to answer directly yesterday that the President did in fact receive supplemental oxygen on Friday. Today's press conference by the President's doctors is raising some other questions and we're back with our panel joining us, Susan Glasser.
Susan, the doctor has tried to clear up some contradictory information they offered yesterday but there was still just, a smog of obfuscation. What was your reaction?
SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, you know, Jake, having spent a few years in Russia, it reminded me of, you know, sort of Kremlinology that we're all plunged int. You know, what did we make of this omission? What do we make of the fact that they're admitting now that his condition was much worse on Friday. But they didn't tell us that on Friday. It's a sort of an official disinformation campaign unfortunately around the President's health, which I find very worrisome because we're at the early days of the President's illness.
And, you know, they already don't have a credible messenger on basic questions of the President's medical situation. And given that this is going to go on for some time, that's a huge problem. There's literally no one who can speak with authority and credibility already. In this situation, as you pointed out, when did this illness even start? In order to try to evaluate the medical situation, they haven't provided us with basic information, days into a national and international crisis.
TAPPER: I forgot that you and your husband, Peter Baker writes for the New York Times, also, were in Russia, I forgot that relevant aspect. I was thinking also about your expertise, because you too, have a new book about James Baker, who was Chief of Staff for Ronald Reagan. And in fact, there were questions during Baker's time as chief of staff in the White House about how much information and what he did to disclose everything when Ronald Reagan was shot, which is obviously a very different, but also health crisis for a president of the United States.
GLASSER: Well, that's right. The first instinct of, you know political advisors to a president is to try to minimize the situation. They were very worried that Reagan's assassination would bring up questions about his age and his fitness to govern. Baker described her as ducking into a broom closet at George Washington University Hospital and making a decision on the fly with two other Advisors to President Reagan that they would not invoke the 25th amendment, even though he was going to be under sedation for an operation.
And, you know, that decision has been criticized. And he told us he acknowledged that probably possibly correctly, criticized by history. There's a long history of political advisors to a president shading the truth.
I think what's worrisome here is, we now see the doctor, the medical doctors at Walter Reed, who seem to be playing along with essentially a highly politicized version of talking points to the American public about the President's health. These are the doctors. These are not the White House officials. So that's very worrisome, Jake.
TAPPER: Yeah. The book is called, The Man Who Ran Washington by Susan Glasser and Peter Baker. Susan, stay with us. I want to bring in the rest of our panel.
Sanjay, let me -- are you still there? OK, you're there. Sanjay, let me ask you. The White House, I mean, we're still, I guess this is -- where the third day into this now. President Trump went there on Friday, Saturday, Sunday?
GUPTA: We don't even know.
TAPPER: Yeah, well, exactly. And we don't even know when they learned he contracted the virus. We don't even know that. You noted that he might have had it on Tuesday when he was in Ohio for the presidential debate.
I interviewed Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today on State of the Union. And he said that the White House did not contact him to let him know that President Trump, Hope Hicks, First Lady, Melania Trump had tested positive even though they had been in his state just a few days before. And that's that no one had reached out to him to begin the process of contact tracing, to make sure that any Ohioans that theoretically could have been infected. And we know the disdain that the President and his team have for wearing masks and basic guidelines that they expect the rest of us schmucks to uphold. The idea that nobody had reached out to him to contact trace, are you surprised by that?
GUPTA: No, I'm not surprised by it. Because I think that there was this, you know, I think there was this A, lack of seriousness about this, which is really, really concerning. But B, you know, Jake, as we're hearing more and more of these details now about what happened over the past several days, including, you know, trying -- giving the President this experimental therapy in the White House, and not disclosing that right away, you're not telling us ahead of time that this was going to happen? It's increasingly sounding like they were trying to hide things. I mean, I hate to say it, because I know that's a serious thing to say. But that that is becoming increasingly clear.
I think they were hoping that they could just -- that they wouldn't necessarily have to disclose this. Obviously, if you go back to Ohio, and you say, there's been this positive test, you need to start contact tracing that was going to, you know, alert everybody as to who had been tested as positive.
So you had a situation where he clearly was starting to become symptomatic. We know in the few days before you're symptomatic, you're likely the most contagious. We still don't know exactly when he -- when his last negative test was. All these things I think are because there was this desire to say, hey, maybe we could skip by without needing to do anything here, give a little monoclonal antibody, maybe he'll improve not really become symptomatic, and, you know, we'll go with that. And then he got sick. And then his oxygenation dropped. He developed a fever and I'm sure Sean Conley got understandably worried.
He said, well, this is going absolutely the wrong direction. We're dealing with a 74-year-old man with, you know, pre-existing conditions and risk factors. And he just developed, spiked a fever, dropped his oxygenation. There's something going on in his lungs. He's mounting a significant immune response. We got to get him to the hospital.
And he's essentially medevac at that point. And now these details still coming out slowly but coming out. So, does it surprise me? No. Is it shocking and reckless? Yes.
TAPPER: It's shocking and reckless that they -- I mean, this is now out. We all know, and the idea that the White House isn't now working with Governor DeWine of Ohio, or Governor Murphy of New Jersey, to figure out in contact trace, so that anybody that may have been infected by the President and his team in Ohio, in New Jersey, can isolate themselves, can get the medical care they need. It's just remarkably reckless.
And Gloria, I have to say, Sanjay talks about how this appears to be an effort at the very least, to hide something. The story first came out because Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News reported that Hope Hicks had tested positive for the virus. I believe that was on Thursday.
I'm not sure when she tested positive, whether it was Wednesday or Thursday. But do you think it's possible that if Jennifer Jacobs hadn't broken that news, we might not know about any of this? BORGER: Yes. I absolutely do. I mean, and obviously, they were trying to hide things and hoping that, of course, the President of the United States, and the First Lady would not contract the virus. I believe that if he had just sort of stayed with Hope, that they wouldn't have said anything to anyone. There are people inside the White House who are saying they aren't even getting any e-mails about procedure and contact tracing from this White House.
And you know them, Jake. I think, yes, they would have tried to hide it. And even when the President did contract the virus now, as we all know, they tried to underplay it. They tried to kind of say, you know, he's fine, he's doing well, he's great. And then you have a doctor standing out there today -- and this is something that I'm really confused about, actually -- the doctor standing out there today saying that the reason he gave misinformation, the reason he lied yesterday was he said that he didn't want to steer the course of illness in another direction. That was the reason he gave for not telling the truth.
How can the truth steer the course of illness in another direction? Maybe he's thinking the President was would watch TV and would take a turn for the worse if he knew how really bad it was. I don't have any idea what that means. And it's kind of all of these paints a portrait of a White House that, you know, a, is either incompetent or out of control, or trying to cover up or, you know, whatever you want to say, but even the doctor, even the doctor now, is saying that, you know, he wanted to give an upbeat attitude and he didn't want to steer the course of the illness, which I don't really understand. Is there a medical reason for that? I can't imagine.
TAPPER: Yes, that -- it's -- I didn't go to medical school, but conveying an upbeat attitude --
TAPPER: -- is not a class at Harvard Med, I'm quite sure.
Dana, there is still time for the Trump White House to come out and give all the information and be factual and honest about everything. But I think it's unmistakable that in terms of communications and being forthright, this has been botched from the very beginning.
BASH: Very botched. And the reason is pretty obvious, Jake. It's because it gets to the question you just asked Gloria, whether or not if the President had not actually gotten sick, to the point where he clearly couldn't go to the rally he was supposed to go to or do the basic functions in public of the presidency, whether we would have ever known about this.
The fact that they tweeted at it 1:00 in the morning suggests, and this is actually just a question that we need answered that maybe that was the point they realized, oh, he can't do his day tomorrow. We got to get this out there. And so, if you -- and then, again, if you go back in time, Tuesday, at the debate, Chris Wallace, the moderator, revealed a couple days ago that it was the honor system, getting tests. And then he got there late, the President. And we don't know whether or not he took a test. Did he? Did he not? I mean, the key question that Sanjay keeps hitting on over and over again is when was the President's last negative test? The flip side of that question is when was the President's first positive test? And that is really, really something that we don't know.
TAPPER: We still don't know.
BASH: I'm hopefully we will eventually.
TAPPER: We still don't know. The President has been in the hospital for three days.
BASH: Exactly. And that's about public consumption and public information. But it's also about what Mike DeWine told you this morning, the Governor of Ohio. It's about contact tracing.
BASH: All of these people from New Jersey to Minnesota, to all the people at the White House --
BASH: -- have not been -- and even of nearest and dearest, people who helped him in his debate from Rudy Giuliani to Chris Christie, Jake, they weren't even called to --
TAPPER: Right. Chris Christie now in a hospital in New Jersey. Chris Christie now in a hospital in New Jersey and my hearts go out to the bartenders and housekeepers at Bedminster, this notion of an honor system.
TAPPER: That is a vestige of a bygone era. There's no way an honor system works in the system we have right now. Thanks so much to all of you.
The President's diagnosis set off a scramble among people in several states, worried that they might have been exposed to the virus by President Trump and his team. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and senior adviser to nominee Joe Biden, Symone Sanders will join me next. Stay with us.
TAPPER: Welcome back "State of the Union", I'm Jake Tapper. One of the states that President Trump visited this week was Ohio, where he debated Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Now, it is unclear whether the President was contagious at that time. But my next guest met recently with the President in that home state, though he's tested negative for the virus.
My next guest, met recently with the President in his home state but has tested negative for the coronavirus. Joining us now, Ohio Governor, Republican Governor, Mike DeWine. Governor DeWine --
GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): Good morning, Jake.
TAPPER: -- thanks so much for joining us. So --
DEWINE: Thank you.
TAPPER: -- President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, top aide Hope Hicks, they all now have coronavirus. They may have been contagious when they arrived in Ohio for Tuesday night's debate. The White House is now telling me, the senior administration official telling me that they think that the time that all these people got it was at the event two Saturdays ago at the White House, the Supreme Court event.
Has the White House called you? And if so, when to let you know that they potentially were carriers of the virus and did not abide by safety protocols when they came into the great state of Ohio?
DEWINE: Well, no, but I think the basic facts are pretty well known what happened.
TAPPER: They didn't call you?
DEWINE: Yes. Well, I wasn't there for the debate. So I was there, you know, when the President came into Dayton and when the President came in Toledo -- I met -- but the plane in Dayton, we went up in the plane for probably seven, eight, nine minutes, 10 minutes with the President. So, I was not at the debate at all.
TAPPER: No, I know that. But they flew into your state of Ohio, and they likely were contagious, they likely had the virus. I'm glad that you're OK and I know that you weren't at the debate itself or -- and you didn't meet him around the debate. But, I mean, has the White House reached out to you to coordinate with the White House on contact tracing to make sure that anyone that they came in touch with whether on the staff of the Cleveland Clinic or any other Ohio and that they're paying attention to them and they're making sure that the -- that they don't get the virus or if they do, they get the medical care they need?
DEWINE: Well, they've not reached out to me. Now I know that -- I talked to the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic the other day, who gave me an update, gave me a report. So I don't know whether they've reached out to Cleveland Clinic or not. They've not talked to me about it. No.
TAPPER: Well, I have to say, Governor, the President and his team were -- I mean, empirically, they were reckless. In all likelihood, they brought the virus into your state, you have been working so hard. You have been on the show many times to talk about it, to try to help save lives in your state and to contain the spread.
The President didn't get tested before entering the hall, even though he was supposed to. Some on his team turned down masks offered to them by Cleveland Clinic officials. His members of his family who walked in with masks took the masks off during the debate. You're the Governor of the state of Ohio, does it bother you that the President and his team put your citizens at risk?
DEWINE: Well, I think it's important what the President has done. The President went to the hospital, that could not have been an easy thing for him to do. I'm sure he didn't want to go the hospital. What made the right decision? You know, they put up two videos of the President talking to the people of this country. I think that is very positive.
And I think, look, this is what I said at a press conference I did the other day. This is should be kind of a alert to everybody, that anybody can get the virus, even the President of the United States can get the virus. And so, we ought to use this and simply just, you know, learn from it. And so, people who -- maybe who have not worn mask in the past, you know, I'm hoping that they'll look at this and say, look, the President can get it, I can get it. It can happen to anybody.
And, you know, I hope that that's what happens and that's what comes out of this. And we --
DEWINE: -- you know, we pray for the President. And we pray for the First Lady and everybody else who, you know, who has the virus.
TAPPER: I hear you and, of course, we all praying for the President and the First Lady and anyone who has the virus. Of course, we're all concerned about the President's health. But I'm asking you, as the Governor of Ohio, whether you resent individuals coming into your state and recklessly risking the health of the citizens you were elected to protect whether at rallies, which the President staged and masks were not required, and there was no social distancing or at the debate in Cleveland, doesn't that upset you?
I mean, it's really a pretty simple question. You were elected to protect the citizens of Ohio and the President and his team were putting them at risk.
DEWINE: Look, the President's team recommended people wear masks at these rallies. There were some masks, I believe handed out. If you saw everybody on the stage behind the President, they were all given mask, they were all told to have the mask on. So, you know, this is something that we've been dealing with, not only in Ohio, but in this country, is that we have people who don't think that they should be wearing a mask.
And what we've tried to talk to everyone about is that if you do wear a mask, you just -- you're going to cut down this spread, and you're doing it for other people. And so, we're going to continue, Jake, we're going to continue to message this and talk about this because we know it does, in fact, make a huge, huge difference. TAPPER: It's not --
DEWINE: So I'm not --
TAPPER: It's not just the people --
DEWINE: I'm not resentful --
TAPPER: It's not just that people --
DEWINE: Go ahead.
TAPPER: -- people aren't wearing masks. The President has been leading the charge mocking people who wear masks. In fact, your own lieutenant governor, encouraging individuals -- again, you have been responsible, your administration in Ohio has been responsible. But you're -- you -- the crowd openly booed your own lieutenant governor, when he tried to encourage them to wear masks, take a listen.
DEWINE: Yes, that look that would --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON HUSTED, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, OHIO: Hang on, hang on, just listen up. Just listen up.
All right, I get it, you could at least say that you're trying to save the country by wearing one of President Donald Trump mask, right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Is that not the consequence of the President's rhetoric against wearing masks?
DEWINE: Look, we talked to the President, I've talked to the President and, you know, that's not what he wanted to see. You know, he's been very supportive of us. We just, this week, and this has not got reported very much because the President's illness, but we're going to be getting into, you know, hundreds of thousands of the new tasks, and they're going to come to Michigan, they're going to come across this country.
You know, the Vice President has been -- on behalf of the President -- meets with us virtually every single week as governor. So these are things that people don't see, Jake. And there are things that don't get covered, understandably. But it shows I think, what the President and what the White House has been doing to try to help states in regard to dealing with this with this problem.
TAPPER: With all due respect --
DEWINE: What you saw on the video --
DEWINE: -- what you saw on the video, you know, my Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted was up there talking to a crowd. And, look, this was not a -- obviously, this is not a pro, generally, not a pro-mask crowd. And we have people not only in Ohio, but across the country who, you know, don't wear a mask. What I hope is that what we've seen with the President is a cautionary tale for people and people will understand that, look, it can happen to the President, it can happen to you, it can happen to your family, and you wear a mask to help other people.
And so, if anything good could come out of this tragedy, the President in the White House, you know, we hope just people will look at that and say we need to wear a mask. And this is what we need to do to slow this thing down.
TAPPER: Yes. I just don't understand the reluctance to, state the obvious, which is, President Trump has been mocking people who wear masks. And now there are a lot of Republicans who won't wear mask.
DEWINE: Look, do I wish the President had worn mask all the time? Of course. You know, of course. You know, when people go vote, there's a lot -- there's other things, you know, besides that. I think the President has done a very good job as I just detailed and trying to get us the things that we need, the testing that we need --
DEWINE: -- in the PPE that we need and that doesn't, frankly, a lot of times get reported. And --
TAPPER: Well, because the number one thing right now to help stop the spread, according to the President's own health experts, is for people to wear masks and no one has been more undermining of that than President Trump, who you and I both wish well.
Governor DeWine, thank you so much for your time today. I appreciate it.
DEWINE: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Democratic nominee Joe Biden's campaign is pulled all of its negative advertising after the President's diagnosis this week. His campaign, the Trump's campaign has not. But Biden himself is back on the trail as he tries to balance expressions of sympathy for the President and the First Lady with the obvious point that Mr. Trump's battle with coronavirus is a glaring symbol of Mr. Trump's own spectacular failures.
Joining me now, Biden campaign's manager, Symone Sanders. Symone, thanks for joining us. It's now been at least three days since President Trump, his wife, top aide Hope Hicks and others have tested positive for coronavirus. At this point, has anyone from the White House or from the Trump campaign reached out to anyone on the Biden campaign about who may have been infected with the debate to ensure that everyone on your team takes the property precautions.
SYMONE SANDERS, BIDEN CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: Thank you for having me this morning, Jake. I want to first by start -- start by saying, you know, we extend our thoughts and prayers to President Trump and the First Lady. You know, we are sincerely hoping that the President makes a very quick recovery and we can see him back out on the campaign trail very soon. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, the folks at the White House, and frankly, anyone that's been exposed as of late to this virus.
No, we haven't heard, to my knowledge, from the Trump campaign or the White House. But the reality is that Vice President Biden was not exposed. You know, according to CDC guidance, you -- less than 6 feet away is dangerous. Vice President Biden was always more than 6 feet away from President Trump. You know, we have been adhering to public health guidance from the beginning of this onset of this pandemic.
And Vice President Biden has tested negative. Our traveling staff has tested negative. I'd like to note that both Dr. Biden, Vice President Biden, Senator Harris, Mr. Emhoff, they all traveled on Friday, but not one person got on the plane until we were sure that everyone was negative.
SANDERS: So, we're going to continue to adhere to the public health guidelines, Jake.
TAPPER: So, I mean, the 6 feet is guidelines, but it's not like foolproof. And we have seen pep (ph) cases, there have been studies of people who, you know, got the virus from somebody sitting on the complete other side of the restaurant. Biden was tested twice on Friday, and both times he received a negative result. We're grateful for that. But we know this virus can take several days to appear after an individual is exposed. Biden told reporters he was not tested yesterday on Saturday. Why isn't he being tested daily?
SANDERS: Well, Jake, I think in that same conversation, I think it was a gaggle where the vice President was going into a building and the reporters were shouting, they're very good questions might I add. The Vice President also noted that he would be tested today.
SANDERS: So, he's going to be tested today. We are tested regularly. But, Jake, I want to remind folks at home that our campaign has been adhering to CDC guidelines. On the debate stage, President Trump mocked Vice President Biden for his wearing of a mask. Many folks have mocked, our events, our 6 feet circles, a little white circles on the ground. Those are there to keep folks safe.
We hold events outside.
SANDERS: When our events are not outside. We adhere to public health guidance about how many folks can be inside a building. And so, what I want to communicate is that we are not concerned because we are being safe. TAPPER: OK. But why isn't he being tested every day? Shouldn't he be tested every day? I mean, he was in a room with a -- with the, you know, with Donald Trump, who in all probability had coronavirus at the time. And we don't know if he was contagious at that time or not, but he certainly has the virus now.
SANDERS: Well, Jake, we are being tested regularly. Vice President Biden, Dr. Biden, Senator Harris, Mr. Emhoff, and our staff is also tested regularly. And we're going to continue to adhere to public health guidelines.
TAPPER: Right. But what is regularly mean though?
SANDERS: According to CDC guidelines, Jake, Vice President Biden was not exposed. You know, he was well over 6 feet away from President Trump. And so regularly is, look, he was tested on Friday. He's going to be tested again today and he's tested before we travel.
TAPPER: Right. Simone. The Vice President didn't do anything wrong here. I'm not trying to be like, blame him for being in the room with somebody who was -- and irresponsible. But, I mean, I think you say he's tested regularly, but he's not tested every day. And he was clearly in a room with somebody who had the virus if not more than someone, somebody I don't know exactly sure who was in that room.
Does the Biden-Harris campaign? Do you have a contingency plan in place, in case, God forbid, Biden were to test positive between now and Election Day? What would you do?
SANDERS: Well, Jake, much like I wouldn't discuss our security plans here on national television. I'm not going to talk about our inner workings of our health plans, if you will. But let me tell you this. We're adhering to CDC guidance. We are listening to the public health experts and we are taking every single precaution, our staff are wearing masks and our social distancing.
Everywhere, when planes and cars inside events, outside events. Jake, I have my mask right here. I had it on, right up until --
SANDERS: -- you know, the folks came to me and we're wearing the masks that are keeping us safe. So, I think what's most important here is that look, if this, again, our thoughts and prayers are with the President and the First Lady, but this is a glaring reminder that this virus is real. And because the virus is real, it is incumbent upon everyone to take this seriously. You know, on the debate stage the other night, the President also asserted that Dr. Fauci agreed with not wearing a mask.
And the reality is that his own CDC Director Dr. Fauci and others have noted that wearing this mask, Jake, is the best thing we can do to keep people safe.
TAPPER: So let me -- SANDERS: Between now and the end of the year, we can save nearly
100,000 people. And so, what I'm telling you is, look, again, we're tested regularly. We have released our negatives --
TAPPER: What is regularly mean? That's my question, Symone, like how -- when you say that -- when you say Mr. Biden, Vice President Biden is tested regularly, what does that mean? That's not like a specific number that could be every week it could be every month and why not every day.
SANDERS: He's tested before we travel, Jake.
TAPPER: Than before travel, OK.
SANDERS: He's tested before we travel J. That was OK. He is he is absolutely receiving a test before we travel.
TAPPER: OK. The next presidential debate is scheduled for October 15th. If before that date, President Trump's physician says that he's recovered, he's no longer contagious, would Joe Biden go forward with that debate? Or would that not be enough assurance for you and your campaign?
SANDERS: Well, Jake, we're looking forward to the debate on October 15th in Miami at the town hall. And, as you know, Vice President Biden loves a good town hall. And we are hoping that President Trump can participate. We hope -- we're hoping that he's medically able to participate. You know, that's up to his doctors to clear him, but Joe Biden will be at that debate.
TAPPER: All right, Symone Sanders, thank you so much for your time. Stay healthy, we appreciate it. Put that mask back on, I think you still have it in your hands.
SANDERS: I've got the mask.
TAPPER: Many Americans are likely feeling both sympathy and anger, today, emotions that don't necessarily mix well. Sympathy for all of those suffering, including President Trump, who remains at Walter Reed Medical Center, but also anger, because so much, so much of all this pain could have been avoided
So many of us since March, have been doing everything we can to preserve the health of not only ourselves and our families, but our communities, our neighbors, you. Social distancing, wearing masks, holding events remotely. Weddings have been canceled, jobs lost. Children are missing out on in-person education and their ability to see friends.
It's a real crisis, it's going to leave scars. 208,000 Americans have died. Thousands of Americans have lost loved ones without being able to properly mourn, or even say goodbye. But we're in the middle of a once in a century pandemic. Health experts say this is what we need to do in order to get to the other side. Regardless of the sympathy we may feel, we also know the President has been undermining these efforts expressing disdain for health regulations and those who abide by them. Do you remember this?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Can you take it up because I cannot hear you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll just speak louder, sir.
TRUMP: OK, because you want to be politically correct. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir, just want to earn (ph) that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TAPPER: Politically correct.
The Americans who don't listen to science or medicine, who think masks are too intrusive, who pack bars, who wilfully risked spreading the virus, you are making it worse for all of us. You are extending how long this pandemic will last. And it is tragic to say, many if not most of you, are taking your cues from the leader of the free world.
Last weekend, at an event held both inside and outside, but with no masks required and no distancing, President Trump introduced a Supreme Court nominee. So far, at least eight attendees of that event have tested positive for the virus.
Look at Senator Mike Lee at this event. My God, how our future generations going to try to make sense of these images of the Republican leaders of the nation acting like this during a once in a century pandemic, with more than 200,000 Americans dead. I wish every one of these leaders, Senator Lee, President Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Chris Christie, I wish you all a full and speedy recovery.
But do you not see? It's not just through failed leadership, or setting bad examples, you are all now literally risking spreading the virus yourselves. The President and his team have been behaving as if the pandemic is over. This callous indifference to the well-being of the citizens, the President swore to protect. It's no longer just theoretical, it's no longer -- well, they might get the violence.
After finding out Hope Hicks, a top aide with whom the President had been in close contact, after learning she was sick with the virus and actually showing symptoms. The President flew to a fundraiser in New Jersey and mingled. Did anyone in the White House or on the Trump campaign consider at all the housekeepers and bartenders at Bedminster, the naval aviators who flew them there on Air Force One, the young interns or old donors with whom the President came in contact? Anyone? Anyone at all?
I wish you all health and recovery and a long life. But we have to note the tragedy here. It is horrible and awful and profound. Sick and in isolation, Mr. President, you have become a symbol of your own failures, failures of recklessness, ignorance, arrogance, the same failures you have been inflicting on the rest have us. Get well. And please, for the rest of us, who don't get to go to Walter Reed, get well and get it together.
Thanks for spending your Sunday with us. The news continues next.