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Civil Rights Icon Lying In State At U.S. Capitol; National Security Adviser Tests Positive For Coronavirus; Florida's Coronavirus Cases Up More Than 1,500 Percent Since May. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 27, 2020 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: AC360 with Anderson begins right now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: And good evening. Public viewing is now underway as Erin mentioned on the Capitol steps for the late Congressman and Civil Rights icon, John Lewis. People paying their respects lining up for a socially distant glimpse of the flag draped coffin, honoring a man we all imagined could live forever on the strength of his moral power alone.

John Lewis lived long enough in his remarkable life to see a lot including the sad reality of socially distant memorial services for so many others these last six months. We'll have more on Congressman Lewis's life and legacy tonight.

We begin though with the President who still fails to lead on coronavirus and fails to accept his responsibility for its spread even as the virus reaches right into the Oval Office.

National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien testing positive said to be showing what are described as mild symptoms, no doubt causing concern among all the senior foreign officials he met with unmasked, not socially distanced on a recent trip to Europe or the Secret Service agents, staffers and reporters accompanying him.

The President barely mentioned O'Brien today. He didn't mention today's news from ESPN that 13 players and coaches on Major League Baseball's Miami Marlins have also tested positive for the virus, or the Minnesota Vikings infection control officer has also tested positive. Let that sink in for a moment, the infection control officer.

The President also had nothing to say about Google giving employees the option to work from home until June of next year, or that his friend and staunch supporter, Herman Cain who attended the President's rally in Tulsa has been hospitalized for three weeks and is still in a hospital now on oxygen.

Nor most of all, did this self-ordained Wartime President even mention that we, as a country are about to endure the 150,000th COVID death. None of these real world real world items crossed the President's lips. For all we know they never crossed his mind. Instead today on a trip to North Carolina, he repeated the same

familiar lines from the world that he inhabits and has from the beginning.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States has conducted over 52 million tests. That's more than all of Europe put together times two. Nobody even close. Through our relentless efforts, we've completely rebuilt our stockpile, which the previous administration depleted and did not refill.

Anything they need, we send them immediately. We are totally full. We have everything we need. We get it to the states immediately.

We deal with the governors, the relationship with the governors has been very good.


COOPER: Keep in mind, as we've been hearing and debunking variations on all what he said for months now, states do not have everything they need, and they do not get it immediately.

The stockpile, whether he's referring to ventilators or PPE was never empty, except for test kits, which did not exist because the virus did not exist yet. And by the way, if it had been empty, why did this President allow it to remain empty for three years of his administration?

That said, the President still has not fully used the Defense Production Act to make companies produce enough of anything. As for testing, yes, we're now doing more because the disease is out of control in so many places in this country, which has driven demand through the roof.

We've now seen people waiting in cars all day, day after day just to get swabbed. We've reported on two-week waits to get results back from major commercial labs, which makes those tests meaningless, and we've reported on states now forced to limit testing, which the President said back in March anyone, anyone could get.


TRUMP: Anybody that needs a test can have a test. They are all set. They have them out there. In addition to that, they are making millions of more as we speak.

But as of right now and yesterday, anybody that needs a test -- that's the important thing -- and the tests are all perfect. Like the letter was perfect.


COOPER: Notice the Health and Human Services Secretary there nodding away about that. That was March 6th when only 14 people had died. It wasn't true then, it isn't true now. Nearly 150,000 American lives later, the President is still bragging about testing and still not being honest.

That's when he is not questioning the need for testing or telling a crowd of screaming unmasked, non-socially distanced supporters he ordered testing slow down. Nope, nothing about that today either.

Nothing either about something the President promised last Tuesday, likely assuming we'd all forget about it by now.


TRUMP: We are in the process of developing a strategy that's going to be very, very powerful.


COOPER: Very, very powerful, he said. Perhaps like a superhero, its power is invisibility because there's been no sign of it today, six days and 5,000 American lives since he promised it. No national strategy.

The Federal government is sending supplies and personnel to some of the worst hit areas right now. But still, no strategy from this White House, not a new one as promised, and there definitely isn't an old one and deaths are only climbing.

A dose of reality which you might think would get any President's fully attention especially a self-proclaimed wartime one. Instead, here is how he spent this weekend and so many others over the weeks and months that so many Americans have been dying.


COOPER: First by the dozens, and then by the hundreds and thousands every single day. He did however, back out of throwing out the first pitch of Yankee game next month because of his, quote, "strong focus on the pandemic."

Just moments ago, "The New York Times" reported he had not even been invited to throw out the pitch in the first place. More now on all of this from CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the White House.

So Kaitlan, with a National Security Adviser testing positive for the virus. What is the White House saying about when the President O'Brien last saw each other?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: They haven't answered our questions about that, neither the White House nor the National Security Counsel's Office, and so all we know is that the President said today he has not seen Robert O'Brien lately, he said. Though, that raises some questions because it wasn't that long ago that the Press Secretary told us that they see each other sometimes twice a day and O'Brien is on half a dozen calls with the President. So it's unclear. What we do know though Anderson is that O'Brien was last here last

Thursday. He was seen on the White House grounds, then we were told that he abruptly left after receiving a phone call. It's not clear if that phone call was about his diagnosis, but Larry Kudlow, another top aide today said that he believed it was because O'Brien's daughter had tested positive for coronavirus. So they were trying to do some kind of contact tracing that way.

But another shocking thing, Anderson that we learned today as we were reporting this out is that O'Brien never told his own staff formally that he had tested positive for coronavirus. Several of the top N.S.C. staffers said they found out today from reports in the media that their boss had tested positive for COVID-19, and some people in the West Wing were even surprised to learn about the diagnosis, which is notable given that he mostly works out of his office, which is in the West Wing not too far from the Chief of Staff's office, and of course not ultimately that far from the Oval Office.

COOPER: And is the President still essentially in this biological bunker where everybody who comes to him has to be tested or I mean, is that still happening or people around him still wearing masks?

COLLINS: People in the West Wing are not wearing masks. I had a meeting back there a few weeks ago. I went back there. I was the only one wearing a mask.

So you don't often see staffers that are wearing a mask. You started to see a few more doing it today. Larry Kudlow is one person who when he speaks with reporters, after he does a TV hit, he doesn't normally wear a mask. And today, he was wearing one improperly, but he was wearing a mask, which he said was because we were wearing them.

And then you even saw some staffers getting on the plane with the President today, wearing one and you know, what it points out is that their defense for all of this for so long has been they don't need to wear a mask because they get tested every day.

Well, Robert O'Brien gets tested every day and now, he has tested positive because he came into contact with someone who had also tested positive.

So it does raise the question about that. And Robert O'Brien is someone who is around a lot of people in the West Wing, senior aides and so it does raise concerns for them about their exposure, but it really remains to be seen if it changes any of the practices going forward in the West Wing.

COOPER: Yes. Kaitlan Collins. Kaitlan, thanks. So let's get some political and medical perspective right now from "New York Times" White House correspondent and CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman; also former Harvard Medical School Professor William Haseltine, who is the Chair and President of Access Health International, the author of "A Family Guide to COVID: Questions and Answers for Parents, Grandparents, and Children."

Maggie, they're soon going to shift in how the President is approaching the pandemic, or least there has been lately. Today, instead of talking about the illness, 150,000 dead in this country or outlining a strategy to fight, he boasted about the number of tests as usual, and encouraged governors to open up their states.

Is the President's plan going forward just continue, everything is going great while so many people are continuing to die? I mean, is there actually going to be some sort of a new plan?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, Anderson, I think you've hit on what the issue is, which is that the White House in many respects is treating this, at least in terms of how the President approaches it as a messaging challenge, not as a public health challenge, and something that they need to have him address the specifics of.

They're treating him almost like a spokesman, like he goes out and he talks about the positive news, to try to sell a more positive case.

Part of that is a reflection, Anderson, to the fact that the President's advisers, political within the White House recognize that if he does not start turning around the perception of him on the coronavirus with voters that he is very likely to lose the election.

So that is assumed. But A, how long can he sustain it and B, honestly actually being with people, I think are the two open questions.

COOPER: Right. And clearly, that's why you know, he has started briefing people about the coronavirus again. The scientists are not briefing.

HABERMAN: Correct.

COOPER: He is the face of this, which, given the fact that he's not going to briefings is just kind of stunning to me that the scientists are still silenced on this.

Maggie, "The Washington Post" reported that the reason the President has been unable to rise the challenge of dealing with this is because of a quote, "almost pathological unwillingness to admit error. A positive feedback loop of overly rosy assessments and data from advisers and Fox News and a penchant for magical thinking that prevented him from fully engaging with the pandemic."

None of that is really new. It's stuff we've obviously known before. But it is remarkable and that you've reported on numerous times, all those kind of individual things. It's remarkable that nothing has changed in this pandemic.

You would think if anything could lodge the President from those patterns, it would be this?


HABERMAN: Well, I think, Anderson, it's missing -- and I think that was a really well done story by Ashley Parker and Phil Rucker, I think there was one ingredient in that paragraph that is missing, which is the President's inability to see anything other than whether it impacts him or not.

And so when it started impacting him in his mind, was when his supporters started seeing COVID cases spreading in red states. Before that, the White House had been basically limiting this to a blue state problem, and I think the President does have more agency than some of that might suggest.

I think the President likes to try to see if he can convince people of his version of reality. It's not just that he earnestly believes he can, I think he wants to see if he can do it in most of these cases.

And so -- but I do think that you're absolutely right that all of these factors together are why he has been uniquely unable to meet this moment.

COOPER: Professor Haseltine, when it comes to testing, you know, the President is continuing to brag about the number of tests that the U.S. has done. If it takes two weeks to get a test or even a week to get a test, doesn't that basically render those tests meaningless?

DR. WILLIAM HASELTINE, CHAIR AND PRESIDENT, ACCESS HEALTH INTERNATIONAL: Well, there's a lot of issues with testing. First of all, in the United States, today, only the worried are tested. We know that we're missing about 90 percent, ten times as many people are actually is infected as are being tested. The reason we know that is we've done serological tests to say how many people are infected and the numbers are 10 times more than recorded.

So let's just do a little math here. Sixty thousand people a day are reported to be infected. That means 600,000 a day are actually infected. If you're infectious for five to 10 days, that means every day three to six million people are walking around, possibly infecting you in this country.

That is an epidemic out of control. I am not surprised that the President's Security Adviser was infected. If there is three to ix million people walking around breathing out this virus every day. We've got to get this under control.

Now testing is one part of it. But testing has to have action. It has to be actionable. I mean, you pointed out that if you get a test result and you have to wait five, ten or even two or three days, it's not really actionable. You can't take the action you need. We should isolate that infected person.

And then we don't have the mechanisms to isolate those infected people, even if we do find them. We certainly don't have an effective way to contact trace those people who have been infected.

So testing, as faulty as it is, even if it were perfect, would be a problem being as imperfect as it is, it just magnifies the problem. And no matter how many tests you say you're doing, you look at the number of people being infected today, and it has obviously not worked.

COOPER: Maggie, do you know in the White House, I mean, anybody who comes into contact with the President, are they tested every time, every day before they come in contact with the President?

HABERMAN: People who are going to be in close contact with the President are tested before they are around him, which I assume is -- but again, we don't know is how they found that Robert O'Brien tested positive. Obviously, nobody wants anybody to be sick.

But I will say the White House made it a real concerted effort to keep that quiet. We had been chasing it this weekend as well as other reporters, and they didn't go public with it until today, contrast that with how they treated the Vice President's spokeswoman being testing positive and they released that pretty quickly.

This is important to actually let people know what is going on and to allow people to have confidence in their government. That is not going to add to it when you have people getting sick and the White House is trying to do damage control with it.

COOPER: Professor Haseltine, just in terms of testing. We talked to Bill Gates on the Town Hall last week. He talked about -- he was a little bit more optimistic about better therapeutics by the end of the year, better diagnostics, better testing, and then ultimately in the new year, waves of vaccines in various stages.

I'm wondering if you share that slight optimism. I think he was saying he is more optimistic compared to what he was a month ago. I mean, do you see improvements in testing actually possible by then?


HASELTINE: Yes, in fact, let me first make a comment about the White House. Remember this virus isn't just droplets, it is aerosols. And there are aerosols in that White House.

You and I have been in the White House, and it's not very big. It's actually a small house with small spaces and that's exactly what you don't want somebody breathing out this virus in that space. So that's something to think about.

Now, with respect to optimism, I just wrote a story today about a new test that's been approved in India. It's a test for the virus. It takes about 30 minutes to do. It's very cheap, perhaps less than five cents to produce. And it's about 50 percent accurate in 30 minutes.

They don't assume if you're negative, you're negative. They then do a PCR test on everybody else, but it takes half of the population and identifies them right away while they're present, and then can put those people under control.

We have a test that's got an emergency use authorization like that in the U.S., which I wish we would use the same way the Indians as a prescreen, at least find the people you can find with that test, and then look for the others.

So that is something we could do tomorrow if we wanted. We have the approval for those tests. We've got the test. We can find about half the people right away. I don't know why we're not doing it. COOPER: Professor Haseltine. Appreciate it. More than that to come.

No doubt. Maggie Haberman as well. Thanks so much for your reporting.

Coming up next, Florida's Governor under fire as coronavirus burns through the state. He was so keen to reopen. The latest -- plus, the mayor of Miami Beach has got plenty to say about what is going on there.

Also, as we mentioned, remembering Congressman John Lewis, the battles he fought to make this a more perfect union.



COOPER: We are talking tonight about the President's rosy outlook on a pandemic which has affected one of his closest advisers, and as of tonight, it has taken nearly 148,000 lives in country. Though his top medical experts blame many of those deaths on states reopening too soon and the President's urging we might add, he was right back at it today.


TRUMP: I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that they're not opening, and we'll see what happens with them. But a lot will have to do with the fact that therapeutically, I think you're going to have some great answers.


COOPER: No governor has been more enthusiastic about reopening than Florida's Ron DeSantis. In a moment, the mayor of Miami Beach who blames the governor for skyrocketing cases in the state.

First, Randi Kaye joins us with more on what Florida is going through and the governor's -- what he's been up to? What's the latest in Florida -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, more than 8,800 new cases here in the State of Florida, another 77 deaths. We're now just under 6,000 deaths here in the state.

And since reopening on May 4th, the seven-day average for daily new cases has jumped 1,500 percent, Anderson; still about 9,000 people hospital realized here in the state. We have less than 19 percent of our ICU beds left statewide and dozens of hospitals say they are without any ICU beds.

In Miami-Dade, the hardest hit county, their ICU bed capacity is at 140 percent. So they are actually now converting regular beds, regular hospital rooms to ICU beds.

Meanwhile, though Anderson schools are still set to reopen next month. The Governor has been on board with that. The Florida Department of Health though now reporting that in the last eight days, we've seen a 34 percent increase in children who have tested positive and a 23 percent increase in children who have been hospitalized.

Overall Anderson, more than 31,000 children testing positive in this state and as you know five minors have died.

COOPER: And Florida obviously was supposed to host a home opener tonight. I understand that the Miami Marlins game was called off. How many players now are infected?

KAYE: Well, ESPN is reporting that 13 players and coaches have tested positive for the virus. That is the Miami Marlins players. Their home opener was supposed to be tonight. It was canceled and they also canceled their other game for tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies game was also canceled because the Marlins played in Philadelphia, so they had to cancel that as well.

But I don't know if you recall, the Governor at one point said that he thought that all of Major League Baseball could play their games here in Florida. He thought even that we could see some fan in June and July.

So he's always had this rosy outlook on the state. He said that hospitalizations are stabilizing and we have a low mortality rate. But he also talks a lot about testing at the long-term care facilities that they test every two weeks at 4,000 facilities.

Meanwhile, we're just confirming nearly a hundred cases at a facility outside Orlando, half the residents practically have tested positive there. Sixty six residents have tested positive and 30 staff members, so certainly, it doesn't sound like things are fully under control there and of course, the testing here getting the results still takes weeks those contact tracers, Anderson, in many of the communities that need the most still very hard to find.

COOPER: Yes, Randi, appreciate it. Thank you. Now, the mayor of Miami Beach, Dan Gelber, who recently wrote to the governor criticizing him and his administration for the surge in cases in his area, quote, "A large part of the blame," he writes, "... falls on an unprepared and understaffed contact tracing operation."

Mayor Gelber joins us now. Mayor, thanks so much for being with us. I'm sorry, it's under these circumstances. Governor DeSantis said to reporters back in May, you've got a lot of people in your profession who wax poetically for weeks and weeks, but how Florida was going to be just like New York.

Florida now sadly has overtaken New York in the number of cases nearly surpassing California. Do you -- do you point to the governor's decisions on this?

MAYOR DAN GELBER (D), MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: Well, I think certainly when it comes to the contact tracing I do, because in Dade County -- Miami-Dade County in Florida, the Department of Health who works for the governor does all the local health. There are no health departments in the county or the city. They're all reporting to the governor and the C.D.C. said, you don't open up unless you have very good contact tracing.


GELBER: It was a, quote, "a core state responsibility." And it was the first thing they mentioned as the state responsibility. We have found, we've learned and we had to coax it out of the local Department of Health folks that the level of connection they were making with people who tested positive was obscenely low, as low as seven percent sometimes.

And if you think about what a contact tracer does, and they're not giving that information to somebody who has tested positive, then you can understand why there would be this spread of disease, unconstrained in our community.

COOPER: So let me let me just understand, in some cases, contact tracers in Miami-Dade County were only able to reach seven percent of the contacts of people who were infected?

GELBER: Yes, you know, I sit on a call in the mornings with Mayor Suarez from Miami and we're sort of like a study group. And we asked the Department of Health employees, what's going on? And we had been getting these high percentages and then we started to really test it in question.

And then, about two weeks ago, we learned that 17 percent on a particularly big day were all the number of people that had been connected with and then we said that's terrible because that means 83 percent never got a call from the Department of Health, telling them to quarantine, telling them to go to their -- who else might have been contacted to finding their closed contacts.

In New York, Anderson, they literally call you up. They offer you a hotel room. They get you your groceries and then they call you every day to make sure you're quarantining.

Here, we weren't calling, or even reaching over 80 percent of the people and then we just got the number on Friday over the last two weeks, the average was 18 percent of connections of people who had tested positive, so you've got to call you're a positive and that's the last thing you heard from the State of Florida.

COOPER: That's not contact tracing. I mean, that's completely -- I mean, that's -- I won't say useless. But I mean, that's just awful. Is it a manpower issue?

GELBER: Well, it was a couple things. Number one, I mean, the C.D.C. lays it out and there are standards -- industry standards. You're supposed to have 30 for every hundred thousand people. We should have had 800 here in Dade County, when we started. Remember we sheltered in place, which means people lost their jobs, they went on -- they were -- you know, they really -- it was terrible, they lost their businesses.

We got out with very little virus in our community, and then it just started to go up so rapidly and now we think we know why, which is nobody was doing what they were supposed to do, which is sort of amazing given the fact that there's so many unemployed in Florida right now you would think you could find 800 people to do this job, which just takes a few days of training.

COOPER: You know, do you see your area returning to a stay-at-home order? Would that become necessary, do you think?

GELBER: You know, goodness, so many people don't want to do that for the obvious economic repercussions. But, we see the virus slowing down in terms of its trajectory upward. But right now, it's hovering at a level that's multiples of where it was when we last sheltered in place.

So right now, I mean, I think of it this way every day, 150 to 200 people are hospitalized in our county, 20 to 30 of them will die. Half of them will be an ICU for two weeks. We are sort of beginning to normalize something that should never be normalized.

And I don't know whatever we're going to do to lower the virus, if we don't have contact tracing to at least stop it and cabin it and control it surging, we're just going to -- it's going to become the sort of Groundhog Day for us where we're just going to do whatever we can to destroy the economy, lower the virus and then end up coming right back. This is really malpractice from the state.

COOPER: Malpractice. I mean, there was concern in last week in California on who is making decisions amongst officials, whether it's state or county or local public health officials.

I know you said that it's the governor's folks who are responsible for the contact tracing. I mean, in Miami Beach, do you have the power to make decisions that could affect the health of your citizens or does that pretty much fall to the state?

GELBER: Well, in Florida, what we've been doing is local cities or counties have been making decisions. We were the first city to shelter in place in Florida, the first city to require masks, along with the City of Miami around the same time.

So we've really been trying to be ahead of and we're the last city to reopen. We didn't feel comfortable given the amount of gathering that happens in a city like ours. We're a hospitality city, and you could understand why.

But we don't have any health officials here. So, I don't mind making these decisions. I think they're important decisions, but I wish we had a Health Department that reported to us and I don't know that the State Department of Health and certainly the CDC is providing absolutely no direction our upgrade help right now.

COOPER: Mayor Dan Gelber, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

GELBER: Thanks Anderson.

COOPER: Just ahead, a milestone day in the hunt for coronavirus vaccine. The details about the first mass trial of a vaccine praised by Dr. Anthony Fauci along with a personal story the very first person to receive it, when we continue.


COOPER: Hearing on CNN just short time ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke about the first mass trial of a coronavirus vaccine, which began today. He said he's cautiously optimistic that we'll have a vaccine that works. It was his words.


The vaccine was developed by Moderna and Dr. Fauci's agency, the National Institutes of Health, about 30,000 will ultimately participate in the phase three trial either by receiving the vaccine or placebo, not just a among health officials is there a lot of excitement for those participating in the trials as well.

Our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen spoke with the very first person to receive the vaccine about why this milestone is so important to her.


DAWN BAKER, VACCINE TRIAL PARTICIPANT: (INAUDIBLE) I'm Dawn Baker. We have that breaking news. We're following out of Hinesville tonight --

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dawn Baker usually delivers the news. But Monday morning, this television anchor in Savannah, Georgia made news made history as the first person in the United States to participate in a phase three clinical trial for a vaccine against COVID-19.

(on-camera): Big Day.

BAKER: Certainly is. It's really exciting to me that I could be a part of saving lives eventually. I mean instead of just being scared and praying after Dawn's injection study leader Dr. Paul Bradley called Moderna, the company that makes the vaccine.

PAUL BRADLEY, INTERNAL MEDICINE SPECIALIST: (INAUDIBLE) I have amazing news. We dose the first patient.

COHEN (voice-over): The National Institutes of Health is collaborating on the trial. Dr. Anthony Fauci marked the day on a call with the media.

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIAID: I can tell you absolutely The first one was at 6:45 this morning in Savannah, Georgia. Indeed, we are participating today, in the launching of a truly historic event in the history of vaccinology.

COHEN (voice-over): There are nearly 90 study sites across the country for this vaccine, and phase three trials are underway for four other vaccines, three of those in China and one in the United Kingdom.

Scientists hope the results of Moderna's trial will be clear in a few months and the vaccine on the market by the end of this year or the beginning of next, but that's if the vaccine is proven safe and effective, which is not a given.

(on-camera): Let me explain how the Moderna vaccine trial works. This is the vaccine and about 15,000 people nationwide will get injected with this during the clinical trial. Now, this works similar to the vaccine, but actually it's a placebo. It doesn't do anything, it's just sailing, and another 15,000 people will be injected with this. And then afterwards, doctors will compare who gets sick with COVID-19 and who doesn't.

(voice-over): Doctors are recruiting study subjects who live in communities where they're most likely to get COVID. So they can see if the vaccine truly works.

BRADLEY: We want people who are going to be exposed out there in the community, living their lives, whether they're, say a healthcare worker, where unfortunately we get exposed frequently. Maybe they're working in a grocery store, but we want people that are unfortunately at risk.

COHEN (voice-over): That's why doctors are recruiting heavily among the African-American and Latino communities where COVID rates are especially high, but it's a challenge because historically those communities have been abused in medical research.

BAKER: Very suspicious. So maybe, you know, since I was at least bold enough to come forward right now that might change that.

COHEN (voice-over): Coming forward to play a part in ending a pandemic that has brought the world to its knees.

(on-camera): You are the first person in the United States to get a shot in a phase three COVID trial. What does that feel like?

BAKER: It is very exciting. I'm very anxious about it. I just hope that they're really, really good at good results. I know a lot of people are doing a lot of different vaccine trials and things are going on, but I want, I feel so proud to be (INAUDIBLE).


COOPER: Elizabeth Cohen joins us. Now Elizabeth, phase three obviously it's a big step. How much confidence is there that that this will work?

COHEN: Now, as Dr. Fauci said he and others are cautiously optimistic. That's because Anderson they've already tried this vaccine out in dozens of people in earlier trials. And what they found was that they got a good immune response. They looked at the patient's blood, it looked good. They were good antibodies that theoretically and I stress the word theoretically should fight off COVID-19. But now, this is the real world. They're going to vaccinate these people, put them out into the world and see if it works. This Anderson is the real test.

COOPER: Yes, Elizabeth Cohen. Thanks very much. Appreciate it.

Just ahead, our friend and colleague of civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis, joins us. Democratic Majority Whip James Clyburn on the legacy of Lewis. And President Trump's refusal to visit -- to pay respects to him at the Capitol today.



COOPER: Civil rights icon and former Georgia Congressman John Lewis lies in state at the U.S. Capitol this moment, however, President Trump told reporters today he would not be paying his respects there. The casket will lie today, there today and tomorrow as well. Vice President Pence and his wife Karen's a short time ago visited, earlier Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden did as well. They made time to pay their respects to man who gave his body and blood to the civil rights movement. Attacks as a freedom rider in the early '60s, his skull was broken by the clubs of white police officers in 1965. Were trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, because he wouldn't get -- he would give anything, his own life even to defeat racism.

His courage, his willingness to face violence and not strike back was extraordinary. He told marchers he helped organize in Washington in 1963 that change cannot wait.


REP. JOHN LEWIS (D-GA) CIVIL RIGHTS ICON: Those who have said, be patient and wait, we have long said that we cannot be patient. We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now. We are tired. We are tired of being beaten by policeman. We are tired of seeing our people locked up in jail over and over again. And then you holler, be patient. How long can we patient? We want our freedom and we want it now.


COOPER: Earlier I spoke with friend and colleague of John Lewis, Majority Whip James Clyburn, who delivered the benediction at the rotunda service for Lewis today about the congressman's legacy.



REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D) MAJORITY WHIP: To accept the things I cannot --

COOPER (on-camera): Congressman Clyburn, first of all, I am so sorry for the loss of your friend and longtime colleague. You met I think back in 1960, colleagues for decades, obviously on Capitol Hill. As you were honoring Congressman Lewis at the rotunda, I'm wondering what was going through your mind and through your heart?

CLYBURN: Well, you know, I'm going to remember much about what was going on there today. I spent a lot of time the last several days reflecting on my relationship with John Lewis and the goals that we set out for ourselves back in 1960, when we were 20, something heels. Again, its SNCC organized. And of course, the last conversation we had in person conversation was on the floor of the House when we started comparing what was going on with Black Lives Matter today, compared to that was with us back in 1960 with SNCC. And we had -- we were both kind of anxious about it. We didn't want to see.

This very successful effort that's taking place today with Black Lives Matter, get derailed. The way our ever got derailed back in 1960. We were doing great things, and the great powers, desegregating schools. We were doing stuff. Then all of a sudden we woke up one morning, and there was this big headline, burn, baby burn. And it destroyed our movement. John spoke out against defund the police. And so did I, because we felt that kind of slogan there it could do for Black Lives Matter of what it did for us back in 1960.

COOPER (on-camera): Yes, I mean, he would go places where he knew the likelihood of violence was great and violence where and he would get hurt. And yet he went anyway and he in the face of being beaten, he didn't strike back, which is something I think it's just hard to imagine being able to do that time and time again.

CLYBURN: What you can, if it become you, but most of us, it was just a tactic that John, it was his way of life. He bought into it. He believed in living by the Scripture. I tell everybody one of my favorite verses of the Bible is Micah 6:8, and that's it, you know, do it justice, loving mercy and walking humbly. It must be John's as well, because of this anybody (ph) that ever lived out Micah 6:8, it was John Lewis. He believe in doing justly. He was very mercifully and he was as humble as anybody I've ever met.

COOPER (on-camera): President Trump said today he won't be paying his respects to Congressman Lewis as he lies in stated at the Capitol. We don't know if the Lewis family asked him not to come. I know the Vice President and his wife are scheduled to go. I'm wondering what that says to you, if anything?

CLYBURN: Well, you know, if I can learn anything new about this president, you know, you might have come here to pay respects. He could he tweets about everything else, tweet about the life and legacy of John Lewis. But words, you know, if I might rely on Scripture again, you know, John was a minister and I'm a son of one. And Scripture means a lot to me. So, it's not the words that met, it's your deeds. So I'm going to pay a whole lot of attention to what anybody really says. Let me see what you're doing. And this president has demonstrated time and time again, that he has very low regard for people of color. It's just that simple.

If you don't rent your apartment to a person of color, if you go out and try to organize judicial activities against innocent people of color, if you look in a camera and refer to it African-American woman as a dog, this man has a very low regard for people of color. And so I'm not too sure that anybody is surprised that he would not have enough regard for John Lewis, to at least tweet out respect, if you don't see well.

COOPER (on-camera): Congressman Clyburn, I'm sorry, we're talking to the circumstances, but I appreciate your time. And again, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend and this extraordinary role model for so many. Thank you.

CLYBURN: Thank you.



COOPER: Up next, we have more breaking news. A major announcement about the fate of the NFL preseason. All or details on that ahead.


COOPER: We began the evening with news of COVID infections in Major League Baseball in the National Football League. There's more just moments ago, CNN sports obtained details of a letter from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing the cancellation of all preseason games. Commissioner Goodell writing quote, the NFL in 2020 will not look like other years, he called the adjustments necessary to reduce risk for everyone involved.

Let's check in with Chris, see what he's working on for "CUOMO PRIMETIME", Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: I don't know why we have to keep learning the same lesson. You know, the virus spares nobody in any context. So, you're going to see people getting sick, wherever they gather, even if they take precautions. And this is troubling for us with sports. So many of us are so relieved for that little taste of normal.

But what does it mean for schools? What does it mean for people go back to places of work in the fall, if they do? And that's what we have to start thinking about and hopefully it raises an urgency about that. That's how we're going to deal with it tonight. With a couple of different experts, we're looking at exactly that.


We're also going to look at what happened in Austin. This is a bizarre set of circumstances at this BLM protest, Anderson. Yes, you have a protester walking with an AK-47, known to do that actually. What happened? Why was he shot and killed? Was it reasonable? You don't even understand your ground. And why are the people who are responsible for shooting at him not in jail? What is that about? This is a Rorschach test for where we are in the movement. We'll take it on tonight.

COOPER: All right, Chris. I will see you just a couple minutes from now, about four minutes from now.

Up next, more breaking news. CNN has just obtained William Barr's opening remarks for his congressional testimony tomorrow. What he says about the Russia investigation, his relationship with the President, when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: More breaking news to report now. Preview what appears to be a combative opening statement from William General -- Attorney General William Barr. He appears before the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow. In his prepared remarks, he calls allegations about President Trump's ties to Russia quote bogus or defending himself and his independence from the President. He also calls the calls the nightly protests in Portland, Oregon, quote, an assault on the government of the United States. He lashes out at the media and city government for blaming the federal government's reaction.

Last week, Portland's mayor was on 360 said, that the response by the federal government quote significantly escalated what was already a very tense situation. We'll see more of his testimony tomorrow. You can of course watch all of it starting at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning right here on CNN.


Tonight, we get Chris Cuomo in "CUOMO PRIMETIME". Chris?