tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN September 21, 2020 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
their memories be a blessing. i'm wolf blitzer. follow me on twitter and instagram @wolfblitzer and always tweet the show. thanks very much for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. outfront next the united states nears 200,000 coronavirus deaths. the president guives him an a plus for his handling as his supporters boo an official who stands up at a trump rally to tell them the importance of wearing masks. plus trump with his finalists to replace ruth bader ginsburg. new details this hour. the department of justice labeling portland and seattle anarchy jurisdictions threatening to take federal funding. why weren't any swing state cities included? the new york attorney general is my guest. let's go outfront.
good evening. i'm erin burnett outfront tonight 200,000 dead americans. the united states could cross that grim once unthinkable milestone at any moment. the number has been ticking up all day. we are now just 200 deaths shy of the heart breaking and as i said even eight months ago completely unimaginable number 200,000 deaths in this country from coronavirus. it's a huge number. we all know that, right? but to put it into perspective it is like losing every single person in this football stadium at the university of texas twice. twice. that's how many lives have been lost in just half a year in this country. the united states death toll is the highest in the world. when it comes to deaths per 100,000 people, the united states is much higher than countries like germany, france, canada, australia. in fact, the united states which
makes up only 4% of the world's population accounts for about 21% of the deaths from the virus. yet given these grim statistics, looking at an image like that of that stadium, every one of those people an individual life, a soul, president trump congratulates himself calling himself phenomenal and a plus. >> we're rounding the corner. with or without a vaccine. they hate it when i say that but that's the way it is. we're rounding the corner on the pandemic, and we've done a phenomenal job, not just a good job, a phenomenal job. on the job, itself, we've taken a plus. >> grading himself phenomenal a plus. just not ways to talk about this when you are the president and 200,000 americans have died during your tenure from a communicable disease. there are words that at best lack any sense of the magnitude of the loss, the tragedy of the moment but over the top self-congratulations is what trump has done since day one of
this virus. here he is on day one. at that time the u.s. death toll was one. until now. >> that decision has been now given very good grades like an a plus, plus, plus. >> on a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your response to this crisis? >> i'd rate it a 10. i give ourselves an a. but the grade is incomplete and i'll tell you why. if we come up with the vaccines and therapeutics, then i give myself an a plus. somebody said, what grade would you give yourself? i said a plus. >> there is something so powerful and sobering about what you just saw there. you know, you go through the death toll relative to other countries, right, this is no a plus. it is not just that the deaths kept surging and to even talk about that is so utterly inappropriate. it is just the facts, right? when you look at day one when
there was one death in the united states there was also one death in south korea. it reported its first death to the w.h.o. on the same day. their total death toll today is 385 people. we are 200 people shy of 200,000. in south korea their economy and schools are way more open. school is back because the leadership took the virus seriously. people took note. masks were universal. you know the drill. whereas trump while giving himself a plus has refused to wear a mask and given declarations regarding the virus completely false from the start. just listen. >> we have it totally under control. it's one person coming in from china. it is going to be just fine. >> looks like by april you know in theory when it gets a little warmer it miraculously goes away. >> i would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by easter.
then i see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that. by injection, inside, or almost a cleaning. what do you have to lose? take it. >> wrong. wrong. wrong, and wrong. every single one of those statements was wrong. telling the american people things that were totally false and giving a totally false sense of how serious this was and how we should be handling it. those are just a few examples. ryan nobles is out front live in swanton, ohio where the president is about to speak. ryan, the president has not yet talked about the virus or the horrific human toll it's taken on this country. instead, you know, repeatedly grading his performance as recently as today as a plus phenomenal. >> reporter: that's right, erin. having covered quite a few of these rallies the president regularly touts his response to the coronavirus pandemic saying
that his administration has done a phenomenal job to stop the spread of the virus and he often leaves out that huge death toll and how it compares to other countries around the world. it's also worth pointing out that while the president touts his administration's response he also completely ignores the directives put out by his own centers for disease control as evidenced by these rallies taking place. two of them today alone. one that he just wrapped up outside dayton and this one that is about to happen just outside toledo. as we've said many times, erin, these are thousands of people packed shoulder to shoulder. there are almost no masks. they didn't hand out hand sanitizer or take temperatures before hand but most of these very specific guidelines by the cdc are completely ignored at these events. further this is resonating with the folks that attend these rallies. they firmly believe that president trump has done a very good job containing the threat of the coronavirus. they also believe some of the
treatments that he suggested such as hydroxychloroquine are good ideas and good ways to treat the virus despite the fact there's been pushback by health professionals as a result of all this. the other thing to point out, erin, it is also bleeding into the state response as well. the governor of ohio, mike dewine, who is a republican, this is someone who is a supporter of president trump, but has had very serious and very serious approach to the coronavirus pandemic, there are folks at this rally outside of toledo suggesting he should be impeached. so just all over the map as it comes to the president's response to this very, very deadly virus. >> all right. thank you very much, ryan. i want to go now to dr. sanjay gupta cnn's chief medical correspondent. dr. richard boeser former cdc acting director under president obama. sanjay, there we are again another rally violate go-to cdc, violating what is right, what we all know to be right.
and now you heard ryan saying some saying they wanted to impeach the republican governor of ohio. supporter of the president's because he took this seriously. you know, what the president had said has gotten in the psyche of so many people. and it is fair to say, right, that it has affected the death toll in this country. >> yeah. i mean, what we've seen so far by no means was inevitable. i think that sometimes is the perception that was this bad virus, we did all we could, and this was inevitable. it is obviously not the case. you just need to look around the world. i'm not saying that to unfairly criticize. i think it is a very legitimate criticism at this point so many months in to look at what's happened in the united states and then look at other countries around the world where people were diagnosed around the same time, the first deaths were around the same time. and recognize they didn't have anything we didn't have. but they have a much lower death toll sometimes measured in the dozens or the hundreds versus the hundreds of thousands.
you know, erin, i think to your point we're still in this. you know, sometimes we're saying, well look. this is this 200,000 people have died and what could have gone different. we could talk about that. there are still a lot of things that can be done. there are people living today who may not be living by the end of the year because of public health measures that can still take place. >> that is the thing. you look at the projections still out there the white house model which has been wrong because it has been too conservative is still forecasting the possibility of 400,000 deaths by december, the end of december. when you think about that, it is currently unthinkable. and yet here we are. the president was, we just showed that rally and he had another one earlier today that our reporter referenced also in ohio. the state lieutenant governor was there trying to talk them up, president supporter, talking to them about wearing a mask. actually had the nerve to say, to thousands of people gathered in a room, that they should do so. this was the response. >> but if you go into a grocery
store where you got to wear one. all right? hang on. hang on. just listen up. just listen up. all right. i get it. >> so he's trying to laugh at it but he is out there trying to do the right thing, right, not being political. what, i'm a republican. i say you should wear a mask. that's what he is doing. at a trump rally and yet you hear all those boos, complete and utter disdain as if the whole thing is a joke. how disturbing is it to hear that? >> i find it absolutely frightening. you know, as sanjay was saying, this is a time not to look backwards but to look ahead and say, what can we do as a nation to come together so we're not talking about 300,000 deaths and 400,000 deaths? it is not something that's predetermined. if we come together as a nation and there are republican governors who are trying to do the right thing in their states
but without the president modeling the behavior that we want everyone to follow, it's going to be very, very challenging to keep the numbers down, to keep them going in the direction we want them to go. and to have this same experience with this virus that so many countries around the world are having and that's one of control and a gradual reopening of the economy >> i think that is the key. the thing the president has wanted and what i've never understood. if he could just have said hey i got it wrong on the mask which he could have said five months ago we would be -- it would be so different now for life and for the economy. sanjay, today the cdc backtracking. it posted on its website, a posting went up the virus commonly spreads to the air. this aerosol thing. just like you leave a room and a long time after that someone walks in and there it is. so cnn notices that this had been up there and then it's gone. it gets taken down. the cdc releases a statement
saying a draft version of proposed changes to the recommendations was posted in error to the agency's official website. what happened here? >> well, i have talked to several folks at the cdc. you know, the track record as you know is not good. there's been several errors made on the website. this one really does seem at least according to people i talk to seems to have been one that was an accidental -- wasn't supposed to have gone up yet but it did go up. having said that, what they had on the website for a short period of time, we can put that up on the screen for a second, really does reflect the science that we have now really sort of learned over the last several months this can spread not only through respiratory droplets or small particles but also through these aerosols. so, you know, you have the viral particles are very small. anything less than 50 microns can stay suspended in the air. this is closer to less than one micron in size.
it's been the suspicion for sometime it could linger in the air as you mention in certain settings especially indoors. you could be further than 6 feet away and still be potentially infected. what the guidance was really saying was it was about transmission but what it was really about was masks. you need to wear masks especially indoors, especially in poorly ventilated areas. that reflects the science. we heard about the choirs where many people were infected. they were further than #of fe-- 6 feet away. weddings. that wouldn't happen if it was just close contact. it made total sense. maybe they'll put it back up. it is a mess to understand what's happening right now at the cdc. >> doctor, what does that say to you? you are the former director of the cdc. it is a mess. nobody knows. there are medical professionals out there now unsure what to trust or not from the cdc because they're worried about political influence. this has to be painful for you.
>> i have been hearing the same things from folks at cdc that sanjay is reporting that this was an example of an error but it feeds into the issue of trust. once you have trust that's been broken it is extremely hard to get that back. i worry about that. i worry about people questioning great science cdc puts out because they are not sure what is great science and what has the fingerprints of politics all over it. that's very, very concerning. if cdc were having a daily briefing and we've talked about this before, they'd be able to explain the error in terms of this going up and they would also be able to answer questions like the ones sanjay is raising about, well, if aerosols can be one of the ways this is transmitted what does it mean in terms of control efforts, ventilation in schools, and other things. without that contact it just feeds into this issue of distrust and concern that no one is really in charge. >> right. that makes it harder for things
to open because nobody trusts the restrictions put out there. thank you both. next the department of justice labeling new york, seattle, portland anarchy cities. that is a quote. threatening to pull funding. the new york attorney general says it is purely a political ploy and she is preparing to sue. she is my guest. a top republican said this in 2016. >> to visit with people about what's on their mind and then there is a little way you can do a poll during the telephone town hall meeting and 88% of the people of wyoming agree with senator grassley, agree with senator enzi and with me about the next supreme court justice and giving the people a voice. now, democrats want to turn this all around. >> how does he explain that now? senator john barrasso is my guest plus amy coney barrett meeting with the president at the white house today. what do we know about her? >> ginsburg and friar are much more firmly in the camp of the
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projected federal help to stop rising crime and civil unrest following this summer's protests over racial injustice. yet cities in minnesota and wisconsin two states that also experienced unrest but happened to be competitive in the presidential election were not included so is this political? outfront now the new york attorney general leticia james. i appreciate your time. you say the president is trying to distract from his handling of the coronavirus. to you when you look at minnesota and wisconsin not on the list, new york city, portland, seattle on the list, you see this as political. >> the federal government cannot issue orders to the city and/or a state.