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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  September 29, 2020 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we're just hours away from the first debate between president trump and democratic presidential nominee joe biden in what, no doubt, will be an historic contest. we're told both men have been preparing to try to get under the other's skin, and that attacks could get very, very personal, targeting each other's children. tonight's face-off will be the first general election presidential debate in u.s. history to take place amid a pandemic. and there is breaking news. the coronavirus death toll here in the united states has now topped 205,000 people with more than 7 million known confirmed cases. and new infections are trending up right now in almost half the country. let's get straight to the scene of tonight's debate. cnn's political correspondent as
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on seat in cleveland, ohio. tell us more about how this is going to play out later tonight. >> reporter: well, wolf, after about a year of sparring against each other from afar, president trump and joe biden are set to face off here in person in cleveland. and both sides are bracing for this debate to turn personal. president trump has shown an eagerness to go after joe biden's son hunter over his business dealings in ukraine and china. but there is a possibility tonight that he brings that front and center. the biden campaign has been preparing their candidate for that possibility. and on the president's side he has also been preparing just in case biden tries to bring up his own children in this debate. another issue that is expected to be a hot topic tonight is the president's taxes after that explosive "new york times" reporting about how much he had paid in federal income tax over the past few years. the biden campaign has tried to seize on that moment over the past few days. today biden and his running mate
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kamala harris releasing last year's tax returns as they are trying to emphasize this argument that the campaign is about one between scranton middle-class values and park avenue, suggesting that the president is only caring about his own interests and those of the wealthy, while biden would argue for middle-class americans. now, this debate will look like nothing we've seen before due to the coronavirus pandemic. when biden and president trump take the stage, they will be standing socially distanced at separate podiums on that stage. they will not be shaking hands as is traditionally done at the start of a debate. the size of the audience will be much smaller this time around due to covid-19. and everyone who is in that hall will be tested for coronavirus before they enter. the debate commission taking a lot of precautions to ensure the safety and health of the candidates, the audience and also the media that are in attendance. this will be a 90-minute debate with no breaks.
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the first question will be going to president trump, no opening statements. but ultimately this night will give voters a direct contrast of these two candidates who have really been going at it from afar. and tonight here in cleveland, they will do that in person. wolf? >> yeah. normally a debate like this there would be probably a thousand people in the audience tonight. under a hundred we're told, maybe 60, 70, or 80, something like that. arlette saenz on the scene for us in cleveland. thank you. let's go to the white house right now. our chief white house correspondent jim acosta is joining us. jim, the president, he has arrived in cleveland, already a campaign official says. he's feeling confident about tonight's debate. what are you hearing? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. a senior trump campaign official said just what you said a few moments ago telling reporters earlier this afternoon the president feels confident about tonight's debate with joe biden. but a trump campaign adviser told me earlier today, wolf, the president must make up some ground tonight. the adviser pointed to some recent polls showing mr. trump
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running behind joe biden in key battleground states including the latest "washington post" abc news numbers from pennsylvania indicating the former vice president may be building up a sizeable lead in that state. this adviser said the president's mission for tonight, he needs the debate to break his way. after days of dodging questions about his tax returns, president trump is headed to the one place where he'll be pressed for answers. his first debate with democrat joe biden. >> mr. president, who do you owe money to? don't the american people deserve to know? >> reporter: the president has tried to sidestep revelations reported in the "new york times" that he's only paid hundreds of dollars in federal income taxes and could owe hundreds of millions of national debt, which is being described as a possible national security threat. >> where does the president get this money to pay back? so it's not just about who he owes it to. it's where he's going to get it to pay it back.
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>> reporter: white house officials are brushing off those concerns insisting the president is more than capable of paying off his debts. >> it's just at this point ridiculous. the president has assets all over the world and that's something that the public is aware of. there is nothing here to see in terms of any sort of a national security concern. he has put out statements that he's able to on his finances and is ready to answer questions. >> reporter: in a pre-debate document drop, biden released his own tax returns from last year showing he and his wife jill paid nearly 300,000 in federal income taxes, far surpassing what the "new york times" said trump sent off to uncle sam in 2016 and 2017. >> front line workers, you've got people who are doing god's work to protect and lift us up, paying more in taxes than the self-professed billionaire? it's inexcusable. >> reporter: the trump campaign is pointing to the president's go-to explanation for keeping his tax return a secret that
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he's under audit. the "new york times" confirmed that the president remains under audit and has been under audit for the last ten years. aides confessed the president hasn't done much preparation for this first debate. >> we had a little debate prep before we came here. i think this whole thing though is debate prep. i'm taking questions every day. >> reporter: mr. trump instead has made baseless claims about biden's mental acuity. >> i'd like to have a drug test, both of us. >> reporter: but, hold on, that's just the rerun of what the president alleged in 2016. >> we should take a drug test because i don't know what's going on with her. >> reporter: the president will also have to answer for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic that's claimed the lives of more than 200,000 americans. mr. trump has frozen out experts like dr. anthony fauci in favor of dr. scott atlas who doesn't have any expertise in expectous diseases. >> he clearly listens to a lot of people. he understands in a very common
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sense way of what the science shows and what should be done to save the american -- really american lives. that's why i'm here. i'm not here to make friends. >> reporter: former white house official olivia troye says aides to the president pressured the centers for disease control downplayed the risks of children returning to school. >> i think there are still people walking around the white house today who don't actually believe this virus is real. a lot of them disregard it. >> reporter: the president is expected to be joined by his adult children at tonight's debate. but mr. trump will be taking aim at joe biden in an attempt to drudge up claims about the vice president's son hunter. it's critical for the president to land some punches on joe biden tonight. the polls are moving in the wrong direction for the president and he's running out of time to change voters' minds. wolf? >> jim acosta reporting for us from the white house. thank you. let's get some more on all of this. democratic senator chris coons of delaware is joining us. he's a member of the judiciary committee as well as a strong supporter of joe biden.
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thanks so much, senator, for joining us. you just heard the former vice president just released his own tax returns for last year. so clearly he plans to go on the offense tonight on that specific issue. what more can you tell us about his strategy going into this first very, very important debate? >> well, wolf, what we know about donald trump is that he's a master of spectacle. he was a reality tv star. and he's someone who, as a developer, has a long history of putting forward false fronts of making misstatements even occasionally whoppers. so, i know the former vice president's prepared for donald trump to repeat baseless and uncalled for attacks on his family. what i think the average american wants to hear is instead how having joe biden in the white house will make their family safer and healthier and more prosperous next year. joe's got a strong and clear plan for how to get us out of this mess that donald trump has gotten us into. and that should be the focus of this evening's debate.
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>> clearly president trump's debate performance, they resonated in 2016. are democrats underestimating the president right now heading into tonight's debate? >> well, i certainly take president trump very seriously as a debate opponent. and i know joe biden does as well. president trump has demonstrated his mastery of the public spectacle and of his ability to distract and to change an audience's attention from what ought to be right in front of us. 200,000 americans dead, more than 7 million infected. because of president trump's bungled mishandling of the pandemic. >> how confident are you, senator, that joe biden won't be tripped up, let's say, by the president's planned personal attacks on his family, specifically his son hunter biden? >> well, joe's very close to his family. his love for his family is one of his real strengths. it's part of his character and who he's always been. and, so, anyone would resent and
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push back on attacks on their own family. i fully expect to hear donald trump once again try out disproven, baseless claims. but what really matters to the american people is what's the impact going to be on their family. so tonight's debate really shouldn't be about donald trump attacking joe biden and back and forth. it should be about who's got the better plan, who's got the experience, the credibility, the character, who listens to experts? wolf, what we just learned from the "new york times" is finally which experts donald trump does listen to. it's not doctors. it's not public health experts. it's tax accountants and lawyers who have helped him dodge paying his fair share of taxes for a decade. >> how has biden been preparing for all of this, specifically the personal attacks that almost certainly will be coming from the president? >> well, joe is someone who is motivated for public service by
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his concern, his compassion for all of us. he's never forgotten where he's from, from scranton, pennsylvania, and from claymont, delaware. and he fights hard for the folks who work to get by here america, the essential front line workers, the people who have come together and helped us get through this pandemic so far. i think joe is prepared by reminding us what matters most in life. >> senator coons, thank you so much for joining us. appreciate it very much. >> thank you, wolf. and stay with cnn tonight for complete coverage of this the first 2020 presidential debate. that's coming upstarting at 7:00 p.m. eastern. also coming up, we'll talk to the governor whose state is hosting tonight's debate, ohio's mike dewine, a republican, standing by to join us live. i'll ask him what president trump needs to do tonight to win over undecided ohio voters. plus, there's breaking news on a possible new treatment for covid-19. we'll share that with you. lots going on in this important
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news day. we'll be right back. eliminate who you are not first, and you're going to find yourself where you need to be. ♪ the race is never over. the journey has no port. the adventure never ends, because we are always on the way. ♪ ♪
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right now we're counting down to tonight's historic first debate between president trump and democratic presidential nominee joe biden. and we're learning about details about what we can expect later tonight. let's get some more from our chief political correspondent dana bash. dana, i know you've been doing some excellent reporting on how these candidates are preparing. what are you learning? >> well, just in terms of the approach that i'm hearing from sources in both camps starting with president trump on the one hand i'm told from people familiar with his preparation that he's being encouraged to
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really try to focus on things that he promised four years ago and that he delivered on. for example, trade. nafta was something he railed against and now today it is something that has been renegotiated. that looking back at 2016 as the president has done, he's looked at the tape of himself in 2016 and joe biden and his recent debates and that he is being encouraged to kind of stay away from the personal attacks. at the same time, wolf, i am told that he is prepared to be very specific in going after hunter biden, the former vice president's son for some lucrative business deals that he got during the former vice president's time in the obama administration. and on the flip side, as you can imagine, i'm told joe biden who has had very extensive preparations including some mock debates that he is trying to stay on course.
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and, yes, he can fact-check and lly is impossible not to. but to not be drawn into some of what they consider the president's lies so that he doesn't go off of what he wants to present as his vision for what he would do as president of the united states. and so the key is going to be whether or not what each man has practiced, i think biden certainly has been at it in a lot more intense of a way, whether or not they are going to deliver on that tonight. >> very interesting. david, does president trump face potentially a bigger challenge in tonight's debate than he actually did four years ago? >> yes, he does, paul. this is shaping up, this is probably the most important moment and the most consequential election in our lifetimes. and the pressure is on donald trump. he can't seem to find a hold on biden that really delivers it for him.
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biden's been ahead by six or seven points steadily. and donald trump has to be turning it around or time will run out on him. that's why this event is so important. he needs some humor. when holland was going for the senate and his opponent challenged him to take a drug test, and fritz said i will take a drug test the day you take an iq test. >> that was a pretty good line at that time. bakari, one of the topics, there are six tops, 15 minutes each in tonight's 90-minute debate. one of the topics is entitled race and violence in our cities. biden's been working hard to not be painted by the president as a far-left person on these issues. but does he potentially risk losing some support among black voters who will desperately need to show up this time to come out if he wants to win?
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>> first, wolf, let me just say that this is a completely ignorant and asinine topic. whoever thought coupling these things together was a good idea and needs to be removed from the presidential debate commission. that's first. second, joe biden has to come out very strong and authoritative in answering questions about race. because we do know that donald trump will attempt to gimmick his way through any questions that come up about race. we know that he's going to talk about criminal justice reform as if that's all black people want to talk about. but, donald trump has a clear line of attack or delineation. he can talk about the fact that this virus has killed disproportionate numbers of african-americans, how our businesses have been hurt. he can talk about the violence that we see perpetrated that is state-sanctioned when we talk about george floyd or breonna taylor. so i think that there is a clear delineation between him and donald trump. and he doesn't just have to get boged down in the criminal justice. he can talk about making sure that this country finally keeps its promises to people of color.
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this is a very difficult and nuanced issue because of the way that it's been coupled together. and joe biden has this propensity to retreat and say, oh, my god, please stop rioting. i want joe biden to say please stop rioting but also please stop killing black people. >> it's interesting, dana, joe biden and kamala harris, today they released their tax returns for last year, clearly gearing up for an attack on president trump later tonight. he has not released his tax returns. the "new york times" has released a lot of details though of his taxes. how do you think all of this is going to resonate tonight with voters? >> this shouldn't surprise anybody that joe biden is prepared to work in the big news over the last couple of days from the "new york times" of what they found or didn't find from the president's tax returns, or tax filings. and so that's what we expect on the biden side. on the trump side, he has been told, i am told, by sources
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familiar with the preparation to try to pivot as much as he can to what the tax policy is and should be for all americans to say he didn't do anything illegal, to say, you know, i did what i could do within the confines of the tax structure as it is. we'll see if he actually delivers on that. but that is what i am told that they have been pressing him inside his debate prep to get him to do to try to pivot as much as possible away from the story and not to get his back up. >> dana bash, david, bakari sellars, we are all going to be very, very busy throughout the course of this important and historic night. guys, thanks so much. there is more breaking news just ahead. new details just released of a study on a possible treatment for the coronavirus infections. and up next the ohio governor mike dewine, he's standing by to talk about tonight's debate in his home state. what he wants to see from president trump. we'll be right back. i'm a conservative,
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want conservative judges on the court. this may make you feel better, but i really don't care. if an opening comes in the last year of president trump's term and the primary process has started we'll wait to the next election. i want you to use my words against me. you're on the record. yeah, hold the tape. lindsey must go and the lincoln project are responsible for the content of this ad.
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ohio is hosting tonight's
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historic first debate between president trump and joe biden. ohio's republican governor mike dewine is joining us now. governor dewine, thanks so much for joining us. an important and historic night in your home state. you've expressed your support for president trump in this race. what does he need to do tonight from your perspective, governor, to convince those undecided ohio voters to back him? as you know, we used to say, ohio, ohio, ohio, a key battleground state in any presidential contest. >> well, wolf, i think he's got a great story about the economy and jobs. we've been derailed a little bit because of the virus but we're going to come back strong. we are already starting to come back in ohio. i think he's got a good story there. i spent 12 years on the senate judiciary committee with joe biden. and i think, you know, what i saw was a guy who really knows how to debate, a guy who can talk very, very well. i've seen him go after witnesses. but i've also seen him go back
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and forth with other senators, myself included. he's going to be tough. he is a very, very tough debater. i think people sometimes forget that. because they haven't seen that much in a debate format this year. and i think they sometimes forget that long history of, frankly, being very tough and very strong in that. >> well, we know the president's been sort of belittling him as far as his debate performance. we do expect biden to criticize president trump tonight for paying just $750 in taxes in his first year in the white house. $750 for supposedly a billionaire, i would imagine a lot of people in ohio probably, maybe even your -- i'm sure yourself, you pay a lot more than that in federal income tax. how do you expect this to play out on the debate stage and among the electorate,
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specifically the undecided electorate in ohio? >> well, i think biden has clearly indicated he's going to make that an issue. i really think when you get down to it, people vote with their pocket book. i think they vote, i think there's a lot of trump supporters very happy with his not only his most recent supreme court pick, judge barrett, but his other ones and also his district court and circuit court. i think there's a lot of voters who are very happy about that. i know some were not. but this is an area where he really kept a pledge that he made. he said i'm going to put conservatives on the bench, and he has done that consistently. so, i think those issues are frankly more important than, you know, a tax issue. and that'll play out, and you'll see that discussed i'm sure tonight. but i think people kind of look at it and say how well has he done in these different areas? and then for biden, i think it's
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really almost, to some extent, this may sound strange, but a reintroduction of himself to the american people. because they have not seen him for an extended period of time in a format like this 90 minutes. they've seen a lot of the president. and people have sort of made up their mind, you know, about the president. but i think biden in that sense, you know, a lot of the spotlight is on him. and i think he will be examining -- >> he certainly has an opportunity right now to reintroduce himself to 80 or 90 million americans who will be watching later tonight. >> it's a huge crowd. the president is planning we're told by some of his associates personal attacks on joe biden, specifically going after his son hunter biden. do you think that strategy will resonate with ohio voters if it gets really ugly and dirty on the debate stage?
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>> well, look, each candidate's going to do what they're going to do. but i do think, i'll go back to what i said, wolf. ohioans vote their pocket book a lot. i think you have a lot of voters who are concerned about who is on the court. i think, as people try to assess where am i going to be, am i going to be better off with one guy or better off with the other one? i think it comes down to bread and butter issues and basic issues, such as the court. and i think people will make those decisions to a great extent on that. >> and we know that's one issue that clearly is uppermost in your mind, the future of the supreme court. that's an important issue for you and why you've supported president trump. >> it is. >> even though over these past few months you've been critical of some of his decisions on the coronavirus. we've discussed that plenty. but we don't have time, unfortunately, to discuss more of that right now. >> we got good news yesterday. that was really good news yesterday though, his announcement in regard to these
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rapid tests. it could be a game changer for us in ohio and other states. it's a lot of them. we're going to deploy them to nursing homes and schools and try to make sure that we keep kids in schools. >> it's really important. >> governor dewine, as usual, thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. >> your home state hosting this important debate tonight. i appreciate it very much. >> we're honored to host it. there's more break news coming up next here in "the situation room." promising results just released from tests of an antibody cocktail to fight coronavirus. we'll share that information with you. plus, disney, get this, just announcing tens of thousands of layoffs because of the coronavirus pandemic. look, this isn't my first rodeo
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we're following breaking pandemic news as well. the coronavirus death toll here in the united states now climbing past 205,000 with more than 7 million known cases and new infections are actually trending up right now in almost half the country. let's get some late-breaking developments. brian todd is joining us. i understand we're just getting some positive news about a possible new treatment? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. the biotech company regeneron has just released some early results of tests using its antibody cocktail on some coronavirus patients. the company says those early results are promising, seeming to reduce the levels of virus
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and improve the symptoms in some of the patients. but this does come as we're hearing new concerns tonight across the country and especially in new york city about students returning to school. teachers greet students in queens on an anxious first day back to in-person learning in new york city. the nation's largest school district opened today for hundreds of thousands of students in kindergarten through middle school. high school students will come in later. some teachers are nervous. >> i live in a state of fear, forcing this very large school system to go back to normal is kind of forcing a square peg into a round hole. >> reporter: adding to the trepidation, the city has a daily coronavirus positivity rate above 3% for the first time in months, clusters in brooklyn and queens worrying city officials. the governor making a solemn promise to parents. >> i say to every parent the city of new york, if those
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schools are not safe, i will not allow them to operate, period. >> reporter: this comes as the white house is accused of putting political pressure on the cdc to minimize the reported risk of re-opening schools for in-person learning. olivia troye, a former homeland security adviser to vice president mike pence, says she was in important meetings where people were pressured to make it seem less grim than it really was. >> people within the white house specifically tasking more junior-level staff to try to find alternate data, data that fit the narrative that they wanted, which was it only affects, you know, people above the age of 75, and it doesn't affect younger schoolchildren. it was all part of the narrative of we need to open up these schools, we need to open them up now. >> reporter: contacted by cnn, a white house spokesman said all of the president's top health officials, quote, agree that it is in the public health interest to safely reopen schools and that the relative risks posed by the virus to young people are
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outweighed by the risks of keeping children out of school indefinitely. meantime, questions tonight over whether some portions of the country are ready for re-opening, specifically the midwest. chicago's mayor is easing restrictions on certain businesses, re-opening bars for indoor service. but in neighboring wisconsin, a new surge in cases has a local hospital official in the northeastern part of the state saying his hospital system is about to be overflowing with patients. >> over the last three weeks we have had remarkable surge in covid patients after being down to one patient in the first part of june. >> reporter: wisconsin, one of more than 20 states seeing an uptick in cases as america and the world hit a grim milestone. the global death toll from coronavirus has just crossed 1 million, and the u.s. ranks at the top in the percentage of those reported deaths, more than 20%. >> in september of 2020, we still can't test, trace, and
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isolate. we still have problems with testing, testing availability. we still don't have the ability to contact trace every case. we still have people that are not taking this seriously. >> reporter: we have this just in, some more terrible economic news regarding the pandemic. disney has just announced it's laying off 28,000 u.s. employees at its theme parks. the pandemic clearly just hammering disney's theme park business. the company says 67% of those will be part-time workers, wolf. >> the economic pain from the coronavirus clearly continues as well. brian todd reporting for us, thanks very much. let's get some more on all of the breaking news developments. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is with us as well as doctor and ceo and co-founder of regeneron. thank you so much for joining us. tell us more of what brian was just telling us about this encouraging new development, this cocktail of antibodies from your company regeneron. what have the early trials
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shown? and how significant potentially could this be? >> right, wolf. well, thanks very much for having us on. i think we learned some very important facts. the first thing we learn sthad when people are infected with the coronavirus, a race starts. and the race is between the virus taking over the body and the person's immune system taking over the virus. the consequences of losing that race are dire. you can get sick, you can go into the hospital. you can have long-term problems and you can even die. the consequences of winning the race is that your virus levels go down quickly. your symptoms go away and you make a quick recovery. what we found in studying patients with the disease is that there are these two types of people. those winning the race and those losing the race. we hypothesized that those losing the race are the ones we could help because their immune system wasn't doing what it should be doing, and we could basically give them an immune response in a vial in the form of a drug, and that drug could equalize the race and hopefully
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win the race. and that's exactly what we saw. we saw evidence, we looked at the first 275 patients of nearly a thousand that we've already enrolled to get an idea of what was going on, we saw these two types of people, people winning the race, people losing the race. and we saw that we could help people, and the more you were losing the race, it turned out the more we could help you. the more you were losing the race, the higher your virus levels were, and the more rapidly this cocktail could knock those virus levels down. so we were very encouraged by this initial, and we're very excited. we'll talk to the fda about it and keep going. >> sanjay, you obviously know a lot more about all this stuff than i do. i know you have some questions for him. go ahead. yeah. and we are talking about monoclonal antibody therapy here, just in case that hadn't been mentioned yet. one of the quick questions.
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so are you applying for an emergency use authorization now for this treatment? is that what today's announcement is about? >> i think what today's announcement is about is informing the entire community of how important -- were because i think they have implications for others as well as for those working the vaccine field, as well as what are the actual implications of our data. is an emergency use authorization appropriate? we're going to be in contact with the fda very quickly, i'm sure by tonight or tomorrow and we'll be talking with them about it and seeing what they think. we've already, as you know, started manufacturing the product under a contract with the department of defense. we've set up a relationship with roche so that we can manufacture even more over time. so we're well prepared. the data are exciting, they're encouraging and we'll go through the appropriate processes. >> i looked at the study as you point out early data, doctor.
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275 patients sick but not hospitalized, average age of 45. now, are those the types of patients that you think would be going and getting these antibody therapy? because 45 years old is pretty young, they're not in the hospital. how do you think this will matter for the average person out there who may get sick or develop some symptoms of covid? >> sure. so, we're developing the drug in three different settings. the setting we're talking about today is treating the outpatient, helping their symptoms go away faster, and hopefully as they were hinting in the data preventing them from going into the hospital or needing more medical care. we're also studying it in household contacts. so if somebody in your family has it and you have an elderly person in that family, we hope we can prevent that person from getting infected from the person who already has it. and then, finally, we're also studying it in patients in the hospital. and what we already know from that study just looking at the
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base line information is that people in the hospital are actually losing that race. their viral levels are even higher. they're not lower, they're higher than people who are in outpatient. so we hope that our cocktail will work in that setting as well. we hope to get results across the board. but you're right to raise the issue of where to best deploy this cocktail because we won't have enough to give it to everybody, whether we want to use it as a preventive, whether we want to outpatient or whether we want to treat hospitalized patients, high at-histpatients. how much product we can supply. >> we're out of time. but best case scenario assuming the government approves what you're doing right now and they grant you emergency use authorization, what is the time line when americans who are infected with coronavirus will start to be able to get this drug? >> yeah. so we're in the midst of a contract which would produce somewhere in the neighborhood of
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3 or 400,000 doses. we've already produced a significant fraction of that i think in the neighborhood of between 50 and 80,000 doses already on hand. so, we could start pretty quickly, almost immediately after an eua were granted, if it were to be granted. >> let's hope this works because it potentially could save a lot of people, a lot of problems from this coronavirus if it works. but it's still early, let's continue with your work as you always dr. doctor, thanks to regeneron for everything you're doing. sanjay, thanks as well. president trump's war on voting. will he launch new attacks during tonight's debate? we'll be right back. and get matched with a customized plan. the assessment takes into account the things that matter to you the most. on my plan, whole wheat pasta and potatoes are zero points. on the app, we love the personalized recipes. we found so many new favorites! with 24/7 live coaching,
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ahead of tonight's debate, president trump has been escalating unfounded claims of mail-in voting fraud and slamming the integrity of ballots. pamela brown has a closer look. >> at tonight's first presidential debate, president trump is expected to continue his attacks on the election
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itself. >> this is really a recipe for chaos. you can forget about november 3rd. >> reporter: it's one of six topics he and joe biden are expected to be asked about tonight. a source close to the campaign tells cnn trump plans to amplify cases of alleged voter fraud arguing that even one case is too much. which he's already started hammering. >> we have a big problem, and you see it every day. you see it happening every day with ballots. >> reporter: but there's no proof of that so-called big problem. instead, trump's rhetoric equates minor voting issues to massive voter fraud where isolated incidents issue exploited. >> these are baseless attacks and part of the national playbook that we've been seeing around the country. >> reporter: in brooklyn, a new york city board of elections spokesperson says nearly 100,000 voters received absentee ballots in the wrong return envelopes. the voter i.d. and address on the envelope didn't match the ballot inside. the board says it was a printing error made by the vendor and new corrected ballots will be sent
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out. >> they have to fix this immediately. this is appalling. it is so easy to avoid this mistake, and it is very easy to fix this mistake. >> reporter: and pennsylvania, republicans are going to the u.s. supreme court over absentee ballots after a lower court ruled ballots could be counted up to three days after the election. as long as they are postmarked by election day. and the president has seized on that, too. >> the only way they can win pennsylvania, franckly is to cheat on the ballots. >> reporter: the gop lawyers say the extended deadline opens the door for people to cast ballots after election day saying it would, quote, inject chaos into the system. and in north carolina, minorities are having their ballots rejected at an alarmingly high rate. hispanic and black voters have had more than 3% and 4% of their ballots rejected compared to a little over 1% for white voters. in many cases, voters can still fix the errors like missing witness signatures.
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but rejected ballots can sway a close election. and if president trump continues his war on mail-in voting tonight, he'd be going against this bipartisan senate intel report warning officials to use the greatest amount of restraint when questioning the validity of the election because of grave consequences. wolf? >> pamela brown reporting, thanks very much. much more news right after this. look here, it's your very own all-in-one
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magnificent. xfinity x1 just got even better, with peacock premium included at no additional cost. no strings attached. more dangerous and corrupt president than trump. he's harming our basic values, giving rise to hate, and he's selling out america to big corporations. i'm working to protect immigrants, women, communities of color, and lgbtq people. and i'm making corporations like pg&e and insurance companies play by our rules. we need experienced leadership to wipe away trump's stain on america for good. 4. this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here

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