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Al Gore On Trump Maintaining Assault On Science Amid Wildfires, Hurricanes And Coronavirus Pandemic; Trump Attacks Nevada Governor On Absentee Voting; Black Voter Confronts Trump Over "MAGA" Slogan. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired September 16, 2020 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Chris Cuomo joins me now. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Time with you is always time well-spent.

COOPER: You with your pretty words!

CUOMO: How many times do I have to say that? Thank you very much, my brother. Have a good night.

COOPER: All right, take care.

CUOMO: I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

Here is the reality. The Head of the CDC says that COVID vaccine will not be ready for moth - most of us, for about a year, and that your best bet, to be safe, right now, is to wear a mask.

This is not a new reckoning. Everyone involved with the making of the vaccine or on the Task Force agrees with the two propositions told to us today. And yet, the President attacked the Head of the CDC for saying so.

He said, "He must have heard the questions wrong," then forced an odd clarification from the CDC. Why?

Because the CDC Head, Dr. Redfield said what Trump doesn't want you to hear, like his other opponent, science, which he says "Doesn't know what it's talking about," this, from the man, who says herd mentality when he meant herd immunity, or maybe not.

After all, Trump's not banking on the science of immunity. He's banking on herd mentality, getting as many of you as he can to believe what his own experts reject.

"The vaccine is the magic pill. It's going to be ready before the election, and may COVID-19 go away. Masks, bad! Why?" They're proof we're in a pandemic. Pandemic is bad for the economy. Trump thinks the economy is or was his key to victory.

So, even though he knows that the vaccine is not what he says, nor when he says, he says it. And he largely ignores masks even though he knows doing so is putting people at risk, and has arguably caused much pain in this pandemic, because that's the reality of where we are and who he is.

So tonight, let's go at the reality in three ways.

Al Gore is here. Is Trump opposing science working? Polls sure are tight.

Also, the Governor, Trump took on tonight, for trying to save lives in his State, is here.

And my, and many of your biggest frustration, our kids not being in school. This government has us believing there's no better way than what's happening right now. They are wrong, and I can prove it.

Mama, happy birthday!

Let's get after it.




CUOMO: The Founder of The Climate Reality Project joins us now, former 2000 Democratic nominee, who experienced unique election drama himself.




CUOMO: Mr. Vice President Al Gore, welcome to PRIME TIME.

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, Chris. And let me add my happy birthday to your mom also.

CUOMO: Thank you very much.

So, the President has an obvious bent. "Don't listen to science. Listen to me. I will get us through this. This will disappear. Those fires out West, bad Blue state governors, can't manage their own land. That's what it's about. Forget about this, science, climate, it's getting cold."

Sounds silly, but has been effective with his base. Do you think he can win on that message? Why or why not?

GORE: Well he shouldn't win on that message, Chris, because it's just dead-wrong, and almost 200,000 Americans are dead from this Coronavirus, and most of them died unnecessarily.

But the impacts of the climate crisis are so much worse, and instead of lasting for months and years, will last for centuries and perhaps longer.

He's trying to gaslight the virus. He's trying to gaslight the climate system, and they're impervious to his words. Really, our only hope is to get the best information available, and act to protect ourselves and our civilization in response.

I mean just look at what's going on, the biggest fire in the history of California is raging right now, three of the five biggest ever are raging right now. It hadn't been that long since the same thing was happening in Australia just eight months, nine months ago.

And there probably is an area 10 times larger than the area burned in the American West being burned in Siberia and the Arctic, where the news cameras can't get there to show it to us, but this climate crisis is entering a new phase.

We need leadership. We have the solutions available to us, if we can get the politics and the misguided propagandistic messaging from the President out of it.

CUOMO: But the polls suggest a different reality. Not only is he around the number of most Presidents, somewhere around 40 percent in first term.


But even with a pandemic, even with national outcry for equality, that he opposes, and largely foments, even with an economy that has taken a huge hit because of the pandemic, he's doing very well in this race. It is very tight.

How do you explain it?

GORE: Well I'm not the best political analyst in the world, Chris, but I read the numbers a little bit differently. As I look at them, it seems to me that Joe Biden has a very durable lead, or at least it has held up for many months now, through both Party conventions.

And we haven't seen the President's popularity numbers rise above where they should be for him to be re-elected since he's been in this term.

And the people like Joe Biden. They know him. They like him. At least that's the way I read this situation. And, in my faith tradition, there's the saying that "By their fruits you shall know them."

Well, we've got the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, almost 200,000 Americans dead.

We are seeing the President, in his approach, both to the climate crisis, and to the pandemic, not only not helping to deal with them, he's making both of them worse, spreading the Coronavirus in these maskless rallies with big crowds, indoors, promoting the burning of more fossil fuel.

And, by the way, the burning of fossil fuel is a precondition for a higher death rate under - from COVID-19. We know that from multiple studies in the U.S. and China and in Europe, we see it all over the world. So, we really need leadership. And instead, we're getting gaslighted.

CUOMO: And also, the pandemic, the fires, the fight for equality, there are a lot of conflation there with the three of them, especially when you look at the same community being affected adversely in all three, right?

GORE: That's--

CUOMO: Brown and poor communities more sick, more likely to have problems with the police, more likely to be where the wildfires are. No coincidence. It's as much about class and economics and opportunity as it is about science.

GORE: Absolutely. And both the pandemic and the climate crisis reveal the pre-existing inequities and injustices that have been tolerated for way too long.

And I'll count myself, among the many, who even though I felt like I understood what we needed to do, to fight against this discrimination, and inequality, and structural racism, my eyes have been opened by this, and I know of so many others, and that's why we have had this awakening in the country.

And people are not going to tolerate this anymore. You know that - you do know this, I'm quite sure, that the death rate for Black Americans is more than two times higher in the pandemic than for White Americans.

The highest infection rate is in the Navajo Nation. Hispanic Americans are affected more than others. And so yes, this is very unequal in its impact, and that's yet another reason why we desperately need the kind of steady, stable, sane leadership from the White House.

CUOMO: I saw a scary meme today, or a sad meme. Young Black guy, he's in scrubs, and he says, "Horror with a hoodie! Hero with a knife!"

As an essential worker, disproportionately minorities, they're our heroes. But, in everyday life, walking on the streets, they're a point of suspicion all too often in this country. Interesting take on the state of play!

Now, another reason I wanted you on is that you are a rare bird, Mr. Vice President. Why? Well you were Vice President, you were Democratic nominee 2000, ran against Biden in '88.

Obviously, you know the job of Vice President, you know the job of what it takes to be President and be nominee. You had an election where you won the popular vote but did not win the overall, and you had a lot of election drama within your own election. Perspective, what do you want people to know about why the gravity of

the election matters? How it is conducted matters? How it is concluded matters? GORE: Well, we have a lot of challenges in our democracy, right now, Chris. And the President, as I said, is making the pandemic and the climate crisis worse.


He is also making this challenge to our democracy worse by spreading false information, by trying to undermine the confidence in mail-in voting, which has never favored either party.

It may this year, because so many older people are more vulnerable to the pandemic and are just shocked and outraged at the horrible mishandling of the pandemic by the President.

But he's trying to sow a lack of confidence in the outcome. And when I hear him say with mock horror that we might not even know the election result, on election night, I remember another feature of the 2000 election, as it lasted 36 days before the Supreme Court decision.

And with all these mail-in ballots, it's going to take some time to count them.

And, as you know, one of the possible outcomes is that those who vote in-person on the day of the election may tilt one way. When they count this flood of mail-in ballots, it will reverse. At least that's what some of the analysts are telling us to watch out for.

So, we have to be ready for the President to double-down on his attacks on the integrity of American democracy, and we all need to be prepared to defend it. And I hope that Republicans will step up to defend our democracy as well.

CUOMO: If the signatures wind up being the hanging chad of this election, do you really still have the concerns that this President may not accept the results?

GORE: Well, it's not up to him to accept it or not accept it. The Constitution governs. And he can put up a big fight, and say all kind of crazy things, as he regularly does, but he's not the - he's not the decider on this. The Constitution is.

CUOMO: But, are you concerned about what might happen?

GORE: Well, I do believe that the institutions of our democracy have enough stability and longevity and support among the American people in both parties and independents that it will weather whatever challenge he throws at it.

I don't want to be Pollyannaish about it, but I feel pretty confident that we'll get through this. But let me say to everyone out there, make a plan to vote, vote early, vote at the earliest possible opportunity, and make sure you're registered.

Take somebody else to the polls with you, because one sure fire-way to avoid whatever mess the President wants to make of it is to have a big margin of victory in rejecting the kind of craziness that he's brought to the oval office.

This is not normal, Chris. You know that. I think most people know that. It's nuts what he's doing.

And the very fact that he has been able to get as many people, a distinct minority, for sure, but the fact that he's been able to get as many as he has, to follow him, if he says jump off a cliff, they jump off a cliff, that's troubling.

But the overwhelming majority of Americans are not in that camp, and I hope that will be evident when the votes are counted.

CUOMO: Well he's got people on his side of the line on his side, the Republican leadership, the rank and file, they're all behind him. They don't correct him. They don't check him.

You got Lindsey Graham and his race saying that he wants to see his opponent's tax records. He doesn't think that Trump had to show his. So, they're in line.

What do you think Biden's best defense is to the main knock against him, by Trump supporters, and Trump himself, which is "This guy is proof of the problem. Trump is fighting the problem. Gore ran against him in '88. This guy has been around forever. They were senators together."

You know him from there.

"He is the problems with our culture. He was there for all of it, all the institutional problems, the problems with the elections, the problems with the CDC, all of it's Biden's fault, because he's been there all these years. I'm the change agent."

GORE: Well, Joe and I both ran in that '88 race. That much of it is right. We've been close friends for many years. And I know him to be a man of absolute integrity and, as everyone will tell you, the nicest guy in the world, super competent.

And all of that adds up to the kind of experience that will come in handy in trying to straighten out the huge mess that Trump has made here.

No, I think he is the right person for this job at the right time. I think he inspires confidence.

There's some people in the Democratic Party, who think that he's too willing to get along with Republicans. I think that's a good thing, particularly right now. He won't compromise principles.


But to promote a bipartisan approach, that's yet another approach that we need right now. And Joe Biden represents that kind of spirit in American democracy.

CUOMO: Former VP Al Gore, a whole list of plaudits come your way, and rightly so. Thank you for making the case for science and exercising your common sense about the election, tonight. Appreciate it.

GORE: Thank you, Chris. Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, God bless, be well, you and the family.

GORE: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, so as we were discussing there, at the end, the President's other powerful tool, in my opinion, in this election, is to convince you that the election he hopes to win will be rigged.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The biggest threat to this election is these unsolicited ballots sent out by the millions, controlled by governors, like in Nevada.


CUOMO: Now, I broke down for you already how this is not true. The numbers aren't right. The process isn't right. The reality isn't right. But is it effective?

The Nevada Governor is here, the man the President just mentioned, to tell us what impact Trump's "Be afraid" campaign is having, next.









CUOMO: What is it?

All right, the President is spewing more BS about the election, this time, taking direct aim at Nevada, and its Governor, listen.


TRUMP: The biggest threat to this election is these unsolicited ballots sent out by the millions, controlled by governors, like in Nevada, who is a political person, very political, far beyond being governor.

And in the case of Nevada, they don't even want verification of the signature. It's a disgrace. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Now, look, this much we know.

One, the governor doesn't run the election in any state, let alone Nevada. The Secretary of State does, in every state. And the Secretary of State in Nevada is a Republican, OK?

And yes, you do have to verify signatures. But it's very interesting. They do have signature verification in a way that you do not get verified when you go in person, for what it's worth. Now, who checks those? The same Republican Secretary of State will be checking and said they will be checking.

But since the President is calling him out, we have Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak here to respond.




CUOMO: Governor, thank you for being with us. Respect you having the mask.

GOV. STEVE SISOLAK (D-NV): Thanks for having me, Chris. I really appreciate the opportunity.

CUOMO: So, we have learned something in this election, Gov.

Facts have a hard time against feelings. And the President is doing a good job, as you probably know, in your State, which has a pretty good partisan mix, that people are getting scared about what he's saying about these ballots. What do you want them to know?

SISOLAK: Well, first off, his misinformation is dangerous. He can tell the lies over and over again, they don't change the fact that they're lies. He is working to undermine the integrity of our election, which is extremely offensive.

Nevada runs the best elections in the country. We have a Republican Secretary of State, who I have total confidence in that this election will be run smoothly.

I do not handle the ballots, count the ballots, send out the ballots, print the ballots. It's not in my purview. It's the Republican Secretary of State. And I have total confidence that she will run a fair and transparent election.

CUOMO: So, here's the pushback.

"I don't know. It's dicey. Hanging chads, one election, now it's going to be signatures. 6,700 ballots weren't counted in Nevada's June primary over signatures not matching. Sounds like a problem." SISOLAK: Well if the signatures didn't match, they shouldn't count. That's what prevents the fraud from happening. You've got a president - first off, he can't pronounce the name of the state correctly.

We run proficient elections here. He can keep spreading lies. He is working to undermine the integrity of this election. It's just not good for our people.

But then again, he doesn't care about the citizens in this State. He didn't care when he had his rally. He doesn't care when he's spouting misinformation that are just lies to undermine the integrity of our election. He only cares about himself.

CUOMO: But Gov, not only do the polls show that something's working for him because first term, with a pandemic on your watch, a national outcry for equality that you seem to be fomenting, and in opposition to, an economy that's gone down south, except for the stock market, you think he'd be 15 points behind where he is.

And in terms of his phonics, pronouncing Nevada as Nevada, this is a guy who said "Yo, Semite" Park, who pronounced Thailand, "Thighland," who said--


CUOMO: --herd mentality instead of herd immunity. You think phonics is going to get in his way?

SISOLAK: No, I don't think anything is going to get in his way.

And he has a group of supporters, some of whom are so committed to him, when he said early on that he could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue, and nobody would accuse him of a crime, he meant that.

And he has a certain group of followers that will follow him, as the Vice President said, right off a cliff, if that's where he tells them to go.

But I am confident that the citizens in our country are going to see what's right and what's wrong. It doesn't matter how many times you tell it. You can't make a lie a truth.

George Washington said, "You never tell - always tell the truth, never tell a lie," and President Trump is just "Always tell a lie."

CUOMO: So ultimately, what is your biggest concern about - you are going to have a lot of ballots. They are expecting 80 million ballots of this form are going to be put out.


Most of the states are allowing it for COVID purposes, not all. You do have states that put them out, like yours, in perfunctory manner, and you have run elections that way, as you pointed out.

What's your biggest concern? SISOLAK: My biggest concern is that someone tries to intimidate voters that can't exercise their right to vote. You should not have to choose between your health and between exercising your right to vote when it comes to this election.

No one should have to make that choice. We had an all-mail-in ballot in the primary that we had in June. It went absolutely fine. This one's going to go fine.

My concern is that he keeps putting this misinformation out there, and that's dangerous. It's absolutely dangerous that he does that. And to attempt to undermine something as sacred as our election system is really problematic.

CUOMO: You worried for what he means for you at home, by attacking you?

SISOLAK: Well I'm worried to a certain extent. But I mean he's attacked me before.

I mean you get on a conference call, with the Vice President and his Task Force, they say one thing, and do something completely different. That's why I had to reach out with a letter today to the Vice President.

I am worried that people continue to listen to what he says when he's just not speaking the truth.

CUOMO: All right, Governor--

SISOLAK: And it risks lives - he puts lives at risk, that's the biggest issue.

CUOMO: There's no question about it.

SISOLAK: People will die as a result of some of his behavior.

CUOMO: Well God forbid, but that's the concern, why is it taking us so long in this country to get where so many others have.

Governor Steve Sisolak, thank you very much for weighing in tonight. Appreciate it.

SISOLAK: Thanks for having me, and happy birthday to your mom.

CUOMO: Thank you very much, best news I've had in a long time.


CUOMO: Be well.


CUOMO: All right, so yes, testing has always been the key. We've said it here. You've heard it plenty of times. But how? You've heard that here also, right? Not only do we not test

enough, we don't test the right way in the right places. And that's part of why I won't let this kids-in-school thing go. They should be in school.

"Wait, but how? You said you don't have the testing." But that shouldn't be the case. We should have found a better way, and there is a better way.

See, they keep telling you and me, "We got to wait when we get more tests." What kind of tests? How are they being processed? Where are you getting them? Who's helping you? The answers start to fall away. But we have them, and you have to push for them.

And I'm going to give them to you out of the mouth of the main expert, next.









CUOMO: Trump has said many times, schools should open. Yes, everybody thinks that, the experts, you, me, everybody.

The question is how, and we haven't gotten that right largely because of lack of federal guidance. You hear it from the governors. You hear it from the experts. We still have a hodgepodge of approaches around the country.

What is stopping schools from reopening completely? Why did they shut down so quickly? Because we don't know how to do the testing the right way. And we don't know how to contact-trace. And we don't have a good uniform plan. We don't even have enough tests for kids. The turnaround time for results is too slow.

And here's the big point, why I'm doing this tonight, all right? I don't think we're using the right tests. Yep, the tests used most widely are too sensitive. "What does that mean, like too accurate, they're too good?"

No, they are so-called PCR tests. Fancy acronym! Scientists! Polymerase Chain Reaction, it's about the method you use to extract DNA to see what you're dealing with, OK? And that's what they're doing here. Now, that's what this real thing, this real test is that you're seeing here, OK? This is the real deal. They look for traces of the virus in genetic samples in a series of cycles. I say that slowly because it's the key, OK?

So basically, how does it work? If you have a lot of virus in your system, it's going to find it on fewer cycles, because there's more of it, all right? But when they put a higher threshold cycle that means they're looking longer and deeper into your system, which means what? They can catch other things, other than live virus.

"Well what else would they?" Dead virus, different other kinds of derivative material. So, the lower the threshold, the more virus, you have in your system, the more contagious you're likely to be, OK?

So, what's our problem? The tests we use now don't tell us what the viral load is. It's a yes or no, on whether you have it. But because the cycle threshold is never included in the results sent to doctors and COVID patients, it's usually very high, like 40 cycles, OK?

Now, 40 cycles, you're positive, doesn't tell you're positive for what, live virus or dead virus. You had dead virus, are you really infectious? No. You have live virus, are you really infectious? Maybe. So, it matters.

A review last month from "The New York Times" showed that in three sets of testing data, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York, and Nevada, 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus. Is the takeaway "Forget testing?" No. You must test the right way and test smart.

"The Times" reports, "If the rate of contagiousness in Massachusetts and New York were to apply nationwide, then perhaps only 4,500 of the roughly 46,000 COVID-positive people may actually need to isolate and submit to contact-tracing."


You see, the test is too sensitive. Think about what that means for schools. How many of you have heard the following scenario? "Oh yes, they went back in, someone popped a case, now that whole class/whole school/whole grade is home."

Why? Because we don't have enough tests, we're not using the right kinds of tests, and we don't know how to contact-trace. We've got to be smarter. We need more rapid tests, for quicker results, but the right kind of tests.

We need to know how contagious people are when they actually test positive, how much of the virus is in their system, live virus?

Getting it right on those cycle thresholds and knowing just how many patients are actually infectious, that's the key. That's how you stop the slowdowns in the system. That's how we get back to school. It's just common sense. Forget about the acronyms and the Polymerase and all these things, and

the cycles, you isolate those who are more contagious faster. Period! Why aren't we doing it? Cut down on tracing people, who aren't putting others at risk, use the resources more wisely.

A single COVID case at a school shuts down the whole thing? The fear of a single case has you and me becoming teachers, in addition to our real job, trying to keep kids on a schedule, staring at a screen, for five hours a day? Entire schools and universities less likely to close down, if they knew the level of risk.

I'm frustrated, man! I shouldn't have to be the one figuring this out for you. You shouldn't have to be the one figuring it out. You're going to see - hear what I just said, and be like, "Why aren't we doing that?" I'm saying the same thing.

So, let's bring in someone who knows the risks well, has been making this argument, and knows why we are not doing it the right way, especially for schools.

A brilliant medical mind, get past the handsome part, it's not what it's about, Dr. Mina next.









CUOMO: All right, so-called PCR tests are the most widely used COVID tests that we have right now. But as I just argued, I think they're too slow and I think they're too sensitive.

And nine months into this, the federal government still doesn't have them up to scale. There is a better way, there is a faster way, there is a doable way that we've seen in other countries, even in their schools with very different results.

I want to bring in a top Epidemiologist, from Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mina.

Doc, thank you for joining us.

DR. MICHAEL MINA, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, HARVARD T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Thanks a lot, happy to be here. CUOMO: So Doc, did I get the primer basically right? Did I explain the different components about the test and how it absorbs DNA and how the high number of cycles creates a range of sensitivity that may be overshooting our needs?

MINA: I think, in general, it's - I want it to be clear that it's not necessarily showing false positives. What it's actually often showing--

CUOMO: Right.

MINA: --is that those people with the very high numbers might have been infectious, but probably were maybe a last week or two weeks or three weeks ago, so they were infectious at one point.

CUOMO: Right. So, the positive is - means something. You have the viral material.

MINA: Absolutely.

CUOMO: But the way that we're measuring it, in the number of cycles, which is a number - another way of just saying sensitivity, how deeply you look into somebody, you wind up capturing a lot of people as positive, who are not necessarily contagious, right?

MINA: That's correct. A lot of the positives that we find are likely people that maybe were contagious last week, or a few weeks ago, but no longer are, but these tests can still pick up essentially the remnants of the previous infection.

CUOMO: But that has huge implications, because it would change the face of our schooling, would it not, because right now, we have one kid test positive, and the whole school shuts down, the whole class shuts down. No need for that.

MINA: Well, if the child, I agree to an extent, if the child is positive, it's likely that there might be more children. He may have actually infected other people, say a week ago.

And so, I think that sensitivity is good, but we have to be really careful about how exactly we're using these very sensitive tests, who is the right person to say, quarantine at the right time, if we really want to be defeating this virus.

CUOMO: Yes. So, what's the better way to do it than we are doing it right now?

MINA: Well I think we can either keep going with PCR.

And I think, if we do that, which PCR is a great test, but we can use the Ct values, and we can incorporate the actual viral load data with all of its caveats that, I don't time to go into here, into the public health programs, but there's a different way as well.

And I think that a different approach is to have the country produce large numbers of these rapid tests and tests work the best, when we get results immediately.


MINA: And there's paper strip tests that can actually be deployed, produced and deployed at much greater numbers with much greater efficiency for public health use than the PCR tests.

CUOMO: Now, I was reading - when I was reading into what your thoughts are - were about - are about this situation, COVID-tongue, I was thinking "Great, I'm going to go really hard that the Administration has to make good on its promise of these 150 million rapid tests that they were going to deploy to the states." You say, "Not so fast, all rapid tests are not the same."

You're not a particular fan of the rapid tests that the Administration was going to buy or started buying with these 150 million that they waived over our head, how so?

MINA: Oh no, I think - so the test itself is a great test.

What I think needs to change, though, is those tests are going to be for medical purposes. They have a medical diagnostic claim. They need to - they have to have somebody do the test, but these tests are pretty simple to do.


So, what I would really like to see is for a much larger number of tests, say 10 million or 20 million of these be used every day by Americans in their home. And only when we do it in their home, that means people brush their teeth, they put in their contact lenses, and they use a test.

And if they're positive, then they don't go out. And that serves to stop transmission chains before they even get started. You can sever them in the process, because every transmission you can stop, potentially stops hundreds of transmissions down the line.

And we can actually serve to suppress the virus overall, if we get these out into the hotspots, for example, have large fractions of the population, doesn't need to be everyone.

But I'll say half of a community, where there's a large epidemic, can use these. And it can serve almost in lieu of vaccines to have herd effects and suppress the virus in an overall community.

CUOMO: So, why isn't it happening?

MINA: Well, I think - I think for the volume of tests that we might need to have these programs work, say 10 million a day, 20 million a day, I think the federal government really needs to be manufacturing these tests, needs to take it upon themselves, to actually start producing them, not just buy 150 million of them over the next three months, but start making 20 million of them a day.

And - but only the federal government, I think, has the capacity to really do that, and push them out into individual State Departments of Health and out to the counties to be distributed out to the communities. But--

CUOMO: So, what's your best bet on why this hasn't happened, because you've been arguing this for a long time, and so have others.

I don't want to pitch you against the Administration. I don't want the President to come after you. But we got to speak truth to power right now, because we're so long into this, and this is not a new idea.

Why do you think they haven't put their arms around it?

MINA: Well, I honestly, I don't know. I think it's a good idea. I think we need some more data.

We have to show that people will behave appropriately. So, we don't want this to be a certificate that allows people to go party. We need people to keep using masks, keep social distancing, and also use these as another step.

But I can't say. I think that we should have been - we need to be treating this virus as though it's a war, and we should be putting the type of resources into it that we would put into any war, and that might be billions and billions or trillions of dollars, and this could be a fraction of that cost to get these up and running.

And I just hope that they're listening now to hear that this is something that they can do, they can own, and could push out to the American people.

I think people want tests that they can take at home, because right now there's just, most of America still has not had a test. If you have a test, you don't get a result back for seven days, in a lot of the United States so.

CUOMO: Right

MINA: And it's a - it's been a disaster in terms of testing here.

CUOMO: It will get our kids back in school. Other countries have done it this way. They've done it in their schools. They've had better results than we're seeing even early on.

Dr. Michael Mina, thank you very much for putting it in context. I know I'm oversimplifying, and thank you for clarifying it, to understand the parameters. It's not simple, but it's doable. Thank you, Doc.

MINA: Thanks a lot.

CUOMO: I'm telling you, we can get the kids back to school sooner than we are doing it this way. That is as important to us as anything. Let's be honest. They are who we want to protect. It's not just about whether or not they get sick. It's about how are they doing when they're well.

Candidate Trump's pitch to Black America was "Vote for me. What do you have to lose?"

Maybe this!


TRUMP: Well, I hope there's not a race problem. I can tell you, there's none with me.


CUOMO: The Pastor who challenged the President's MAGA mindset last night isn't happy with the answers he's got. But he's not happy with a lot of things. This is a much more nuanced situation than "He's good, he's bad."

Let's talk to the Pastor, next.









CUOMO: "Make America Great Again!" This is the President's clarion call, right? But think about it in terms of perspective. When have we been greater than we are today? When have we been more free? Now, that applies particularly to Black people.

One undecided voter challenged POTUS on this idea at a Town Hall last night. Listen.




DAY: When has America been great for African-Americans in the ghetto of America? Are you aware of how tone-deaf that comes off to African- American community?

TRUMP: Well, I can say this. We have tremendous African-American support. You've probably seen it in the polls. We're doing extremely well with African-American, Hispanic-American, at levels that you've rarely seen a Republican have.

DAY: Quite frankly, under your administration, under the Obama's administration, under the Bush, under the Clinton, the very same things happen, and the very same systems and cycles continue to - they continue to ensue.

And we need to see, because you say again, we need to see when was that great, because that pushes us back to a time in which we cannot identify with such greatness. And I mean, you've said everything else about choking and everything else, but you have yet to address and acknowledge--


DAY: --that there's been a race problem in America.

TRUMP: So, if you go - well, I hope there's not a race problem. I can tell you, there's none with me, because I have great respect for all races, for everybody. This country is great because of it.

But when you go back six months and you take a look at what was happening, you can't even compare that with past administrations.


CUOMO: That's Pastor Carl Day, of Philadelphia. To be honest, I don't really understand the President's answer. But he is now with us on PRIME TIME. Maybe he can help us explain.

Pastor, thank you for joining us. Love what's behind you. You are the Hulk of Pastors. I have heard that many times. It's good to have you here.

What did you make of the President's answer in terms of satisfaction?

DAY: Amen, thank you for having me, Chris.

Well, I wasn't satisfied at all. But the one thing that I will say is that he pretty much did what was expected, and he couldn't find an answer, because, quite frankly, the honest truth is African-Americans here, in America, the situations and our circumstances have never been great.


So, I expected him to pretty much dance around it. And he did exactly that and even admitted that pretty much about six months before COVID hit was when Black Americans, African-Americans had actual great experience here.

So, 2016, to sit there and really run with that tagline about "Making America Great Again," he was revealing in his own answer that it really wasn't great until allegedly he made it great six months before the COVID.

CUOMO: Certainly any idea of any time past as being an improved situation for people of color is absurd on its face. We have a long way to go. We have to have our eyes in the present and going forward.

So, where does this leave you as an undecided voter? You just heard the President say to you, "I want your vote. I don't think there is a race problem. I really hope there isn't." Can that man get your vote?

DAY: No, he definitely can't get my vote. I'll tell you that from the door.

Any president that is failing to acknowledge the history of racial atrocities in America, especially in this current climate, where African-Americans still have to prove that we matter, we have to - we have to rally, we have to protest, we have to march. And some people then expressed themselves through - buildings have to

maybe get burned down just for people's voices to be heard, I would definitely think that it's pretty absurd to say "We don't have an issue of race."

People have to go through such radicalism just to be able to be heard and seen in America, so it kind of rings back to us almost being valued as three-fifths of a person again.

So, you hear President say that he don't think we have an issue over race, he won't acknowledge one, I think it's disaster, especially to people of color, who are in limbo, who live in American ghettos where those areas are very impoverished, underserved, under recourse (ph), it scares people.


DAY: Definitely sends a message to us.

CUOMO: OK, I hear you, and I appreciate it. And yet, your posture going into last night is kind of what the President is banking on.

If he can get Blacks undecided, maybe not wanting to vote, he's in great shape, because the truth of it is in his suggestion to you about how well he's doing with Black voters, and Brown voters, Latino voters.

Yes, in like the low teens, because what he needs is just enough of you to turn on Biden, as an alternative, and he may win by attrition, especially, as we know, we're all about demographics now these days with voting, right, because we don't have enough big buy-in, if we voted at 80 percent, 90 percent of our country, we wouldn't have to slice into these demographic levels we do.

But, right now, we look at the Black community, you look at Black women, 45 and over, are the key to the Democratic wins in big national elections. He's hoping to peel a little bit of that off it may mean the difference for him.

You think he can do it?

DAY: I don't think he can do it. And, quite frankly, I don't really think, I think when people say that they're undecided, all I speak for is myself right now, but I can speak for my communities, because I'm heavily entrenched.

When I talk about the ghetto specifically, when I talk about the hood, my city, Philadelphia, they acknowledge me as a pastor of the hood, because I'm legitimately always fighting for the injustices of the oppressed people.

With that being said, the temperature is more so for me saying undecided. Nobody is really considering Trump to be a viable candidate.

But what they've yet to hear from the other parties, and I know people said there ain't just say it's no third party, but in reality there's a third party, but the third party may not really count statistically, when it comes to the size and the magnitude of the election. We get that.

But again, most people are still trying to see where is the plan that's set in place for African-Americans in these strategically systemically set-up design areas and pockets, in which we live in that were set up for us to fail, what is the plan to help remove us out of those conditions?

Because, as I stated to the President, and to be quite honest, the sense has been throughout the past 40 years, 50 years, Chris, not much has changed.

CUOMO: Yes, I hear you.

DAY: You know, in regards--

CUOMO: I hear you.

DAY: --in regards to those major, major statistics. The President talks polls and stuff. But one thing he never dropped on us was actual sources that we can actually cite.

But with that, we're trying to hear the plan. And it's like a lot of this can come off as pandering. And this is what a lot of people in our community feels like, to a degree we've been pandered to, we feel like we've been put in positions where we just have to make a choice.


DAY: And it's like "Give us a plan." You know what I'm saying? So like I don't (ph) believe that Trump is not even an option for people that come from where I come from.

But at the same time, when we say undecided, we want people to actually work for this vote, lay something out.

We don't want to continue to hear about protests, the trending topics of defund - defund the police, but when do we get back to the sources and the root of these issues that have raised these symptoms in our community.

CUOMO: I hear you. And I understand the frustration. Why vote if things don't change? And look, just because somebody says something doesn't mean they're going to do something. But if they don't say anything, nothing is ever going to happen.

But Pastor, thank you very much.

DAY: Absolutely.

CUOMO: I appreciate you being honest with us. God bless going forward.

DAY: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. Pastor Carl Day. September 16 today, very special day in my life. It is the day that my mama was born. Matilda Nancy Raffa Cuomo. Look at her there. She looks even better today. I love you, momma. Happy birthday. Enjoy being 51.

Thank you for watching. "CNN TONIGHT" with its big star, D. Lemon starts right now.