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Biden Picks Senator Kamala Harris As Running Mate; Russia Approves Coronavirus Vaccine, Experts Question Safety; Big Ten And PAC-12 Won't Play Football This Fall. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired August 11, 2020 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Chris Cuomo is off tonight. We begin with an examination of a candidacy this country has quite literally never seen before. Kamala Harris will become the first black woman as well as the first Asian-American woman on a major party presidential ticket. Praise pouring in from all quarters of the Democratic Party after Joe Biden chose her to be his running mate.

President Obama said, her own life story is one that I and so many others can see ourselves in. A story that says that no matter where you come from, what you look like, how you worship or who you love, there is a place for you here.

Hillary Clinton tweeted; I'm thrilled to welcome Kamala Harris to a historic Democratic ticket. She's already proven herself to be an incredible public servant and leader and I know she'll be a strong partner in Joe Biden. Please join me in having her back and getting her elected.

One of the most poignant messages came from Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida herself, a potential vice-presidential candidate. She wrote, for a little girl who grew up poor, black and female in the south to be considered during this process has been an incredible honor. I feel so blessed to see a black woman nominated for the first time reaffirms my faith that in America there is a place for every person to succeed no matter who they are or where they come from.

We've got multiple reports on why and how Joe Biden picked her as his running mate. We'll also speak with one of the Democrats who ran against her during the primary season and now praises the picks, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

And while we'll spend much of this broadcast on this historic nomination, we'll also bring you reports tonight of the Coronavirus including what will become of the college football season and a new study on the safest mass. We begin with Senator Harris's historic candidacy.

Let's start with how we got to this point. Joining me now is Jeff Zeleny. Let's talk about how this decision came to be.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Anderson there's, no question, it's the biggest decision of Joe Biden's presidential campaign and indeed his political life. He of course won the Democratic nomination and then said he would pick a woman as a candidate.

So, he really cast a wide net looked at 11 candidates we're told in a very deep way, extensive vetting of all those candidates. But it was Senator Harris's name who kept emerging again and again. She was seen as one of the strongest contenders at the beginning and of course at the end as well.

But I am told Anderson that she learned of this decision only 90 minutes before the announcement was made this afternoon. And during that intervening time after she said yes, you can see the photo right there, it was during a Zoom call that she had with the former Vice President who's in Delaware and she was here in Washington.

During that period of time, he was calling the others who were also finalists. Elizabeth Warren for example. Atlanta Mayor Kiesha Lance Bottoms. The Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. So, of course, the decision for Kamala Harris, I am told is based on a couple of things.

First and foremost, she has run for President before. She's tested on the national stage and the former Vice President thought it was critical to have someone who had been tested before. He's basing it on experience of course. Throughout this whole process, he was looking for his own Biden, if you will, based on his own experience as the former Vice President to Barack Obama. And at that point, he was chosen because he had experience of the national stage, so he thought that was critical.

And of course, the historical nature of this cannot be understated. That also was part of this just given what's been happening in the country for the last several months, Anderson.

COOPER: Jeff Zeleny, thanks very much. For more now on Harris's new life as the presumptive Democratic vice-presidential nominee and just where she is right now. Let's bring in Jessica Dean. Do we know Senator Harris is at her home tonight? Do we know how it today played out for her?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, great question, Anderson. We know that she was last seen here at her D.C. home on Sunday. But we had crews here as early as 6:37 this morning and no one has laid eyes on her so far today. They did see her husband Doug. He came out grabbed a cup of coffee, went back inside. But we have not seen Harris outside her home here in D.C.

I know Jeff showed you this photo before, but we know that she did speak to former Vice President Joe Biden today as you saw in that picture. They talked over video chat. He informed her that she would be the nominee and really just a moment in time right there.

We're in the middle of a global pandemic. You have the Democratic nominee informing his running mate via video chat. And of course, she's making history as well as the first person of color to be - female person of color to be nominated for Vice President Anderson.

COOPER: And so, they're going to appear tomorrow together. Do we know anything about how that's going to go down what the event is?

DEAN: Right. So, first tomorrow, we will see them together in person. They're going to give remarks in Wilmington, Delaware where former Vice President Joe Biden is located. So, she will make her way to Delaware. They will give remarks together.

We're told that that's going to be about restoring the soul of the nation, which is what we have heard Joe Biden say over and over again on the campaign trail as one of the main tenets of his candidacy. So, we will get to see them interacting with one another.

But of course.


They can't hold a big rally. Typically, when this is announced, we would see Kamala Harris and Joe Biden together in front of a huge crowd of screaming supporters. That's just not going to happen during this pandemic. So instead, the campaign is doing a grassroots fundraiser tomorrow evening that they're inviting all supporters to join in. And again, we'll start to get to see the dynamic between Harris and Biden play out.

COOPER: All right, Jessica Dean. Jessica, thanks very much. As we mentioned earlier, Democrats are praising the choice of Harris, includes this tweet from the only other African American Democrat in the Senate, Cory Booker of New Jersey, himself also a former presidential candidate.

He said, I'm proud to call Kamala Harris, my dear friend and sister, and next year, I'll be even more proud to call her our Vice President. This is history. Kamala is a trailblazer who will serve this country well as the first black and Asian American woman on a major party ticket.

Senator Cory Booker joins us now. Senator Booker, thanks for being with us. You and Senator Harris have a long friendship that you competed against each other during the race. When you reflect on this moment, both from a political standpoint, but also just as an American, what does it mean for the race in the country?

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): Well, I mean, I was so happy it's been one of the - it's been hard to control myself for feeling joy. I mean, you have to understand, I've known Kamala, so I know her as a friend and a sister. And even when we were campaigning against each other, I'd always remind the press, I said there may be some sibling rivalry, but don't ever lose the understanding that we're still family and so don't mess with her. And so, I just - the woman that I know, let's set aside everything about the historic nature of gender, race and more.

I'm just telling you; I've worked with her in - behind closed doors when the work is getting done and seeing how competent and qualified, how focused on the detail, how great of a negotiator she is. And then I've seen her in the larger context where America has seen her, someone who is so profoundly charismatic, so ability to connect with people, whether it's a small-town hall or a large audience of thousands. She is a gifted leader.

But now when you add that to the fact that there are - my phone is blowing up by people that are not political, by folks who just - it's like that old movie waiting to exhale, who are just like I am seeing, I am valued.

This country is including me in a way that we've just seen doors closed by, a woman, a black woman, a Howard graduate and a.k.a. who every step of her career climbing to the highest heights of a political ticket. She's had to blaze her own trail. There's been nobody before that certain a lot of her positions that was an African American woman.

So, she's just someone that I'm excited about, about the people in my life who are going to look at her and get so inspired by this being a nation where anything is possible and add that to the fact that she's just going to be the greatest wing woman you can ever imagine to Joe Biden. This is an exciting day. It's a historic day and a day as a personal pride for me of someone that I've known special since I was recruiting her to run for Senate in the first place.

COOPER: She's obviously had - she's had some tough races, going back and experience campaigning for a number of positions in San Francisco and California, obviously for President and for Senator as well. How much does that experience help her in this? I mean, running for President obviously is unlike anything else, but having run on the national stage and run at the state level and at the city level.

BOOKER: Yes, well, look, and you know this, Anderson, when you've had to actually scrape your way up, starting at a municipal level, fighting or statewide level, you've seen every kind of crowd, every kind of challenge, all kind of curve balls. And she has dealt with them extraordinarily well. She's an experienced, seasoned campaigner, just coming off a presidential campaign trail as well.

She is ready for the job of being his running mate. And then you add that to the fact that she is someone who is representing the most populous state in America, that she has foreign policy and national security experience, here in the Senate, that she has managerial experience from her statewide office in California and then even with the work she's doing now.

So, this is just somebody that is, as Joe Biden said, he wanted, somebody qualified to be president on day one should disastrously that need happen to happen. So, I just think that as America gets to know her now and the many layers to her and that she's this kind of leader and candidate that people will find approachable from so many different directions that they might be coming.


Maybe they're Indian American, maybe they're an immigrant family, maybe they're a woman. Maybe they're someone who has been a leader in organizations. There's so many things about her that people will find accessible that is just so profound. So, this to me is a day of real celebration.

And also, for me in a very personal level, I just know my ancestors, our ancestors are cheering this moment. It is one of those moments in American history that is just you feel it to a worn soul. It's feeling this moment of joy and happiness. And so, I'm very grateful.

COOPER: Do you have a sense of, I mean, how does one run a presidential campaign? How do you campaign? I mean, normally, you know, there would be a big rally tomorrow. She would be out on the trail in some locations. Vice President Biden would be out on locations, in other locations.

You would be out there; others would be out there. Do you have a sense of how this will work? I mean, you talk about energizing people that people are energized, normally they might volunteer to work on a campaign. Will that - does that even happen now?

BOOKER: One of my team members said this to me because I've had hundreds probably, I don't think I'm exaggerating that number of Zoom calls since this pandemic. In addition to fundraisers, I'm on the ballot in New Jersey, for example.

And one of the ones that my staff loved the most was the one that Kamala and I did together, which was a Zoom campaign event. And it was funny. It was fun. It was - I think it was one of those folks where people felt connected, even though we were socially distanced by thousands of miles.

Kamala is good. And this kind of campaigning, she will be excellent. And so, I'm not worried. Donald Trump has the same challenges too, in fact, this is a guy that relies on we saw in Oklahoma rallies to the point where he was willing to put other lives at risk.

He now has to deal with the same playing field that this - our tickets is going to have to do. And I will put the energy, the excitement, the enthusiasm, the ability to connect of Kamala Harris against Vice President Pence any day of the week. And I'll put my heart and spirit on Kamala, bet on her every day.

COOPER: It's interesting because to see the President in the White House today sort of trying to figure out what's the line of attack on her. I mean, yes, the President said, she was mean to Judge Kavanaugh during the confirmation hearing. He said, she was nasty, a word obviously he seems to use often for strong women or people who ask questions or challenge him.

Do you - I mean, do you think it's a smart choice in that sense of, for those who - he will say that Vice President wants to defund police? It's hard to see Kamala Harris as somebody who has worked in the criminal justice system as a prosecutor and a district attorney in that position.

BOOKER: Well, I'm smiling because if there's anything I know and Kamala is too humble to ever say this, but she has now joined the pantheon of great black women in history. And I know what they've tried to do to great black women in history. They've always tried to destroy them. Ella Baker, Harriet Tubman, I can go through them. And as one great black woman wrote so eloquently, and it applies to Donald Trump and Kamala Harris.

You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies. You may try me out in the very dirt, but still like dust, I rise. And this black woman, a.k.a. Howard graduate, is used to men coming at her with the same viciousness, cruelty, and meanness. And she has risen every step of her career. And so, she's not worried about Donald Trump. Donald Trump should be worried about Kamala Harris.

COOPER: Senator Cory Booker, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.

BOOKER: All right. Thank you.

COOPER: Still to come, another Senate colleague, Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, joins us to talk about the work she inherited on the Judiciary Committee where they - well, as we just discussed, talk to ask questions of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Attorney General William Barr. And later, the Coronavirus pandemic, how it may affect whether there'll be a college football season ahead.



COOPER: Our breaking news tonight, Joe Biden has picked Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. Large part of Senator Harris's national profile was built upon her work on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where the newly named Democratic vice-presidential nominee received praise from Democrats for her intense questioning of nominees like Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Attorney General William Barr.

It's also where our next guest got to know Senator Harris. Joining us now is her fellow Judiciary Committee member, Senator Mazie Hirono. Senator Hirono, thanks for being with us.

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): Aloha, Anderson.

COOPER: Aloha. You're wondering what your reaction is to this pick.

HIRONO: I was delighted, actually, the first words out of my mouth were yippie, I do know that the other senators are my friends and of course, all the other potential candidates who are people I deeply admire. But Kamala, I've got to know, particularly sitting on the Judiciary Committee and you just heard from Cory Booker, the three of us sit next to each other on the Judiciary Committee and Kamala refers us as people of color on the Democratic side of that committee. So, we often vote together, and we clearly are on the same page on so many issues.

And yes, her questioning Barr, I was very delighted with her because the way Kamala questions our witnesses, she brings a prosecutorial experience to it. So, I enjoy watching her. But of course, I was there because both of us were going after Barr that day. And Joe Biden was looking for somebody tough, smart, ready to lead. And he got that from Kamala, in Kamila.

COOPER: President Trump actually attacked her today for her questioning during then Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing. I just want to play what President Trump said today and then also play some of her exchange with Judge Kavanaugh.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She was extraordinarily nasty to Kavanaugh. That was a horrible event. I thought it was terrible for her. I thought it was terrible for our nation. I thought she was the meanest, the most.


The most horrible, most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate.

KAMALA HARRIS, JOE BIDEN'S VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Kassovitz, Benson and Torez, which is the law firm founded by Mark Kassovitz, who is President Trump's personal lawyer. Have you had any conversation about Robert Mueller or his investigation with anyone at that firm? Yes or no?


HARRIS: I'm asking you a very direct question. Who did you talk to?

KAVANAUGH: I don't think - I'm not remembering.

HARRIS: You have an impeccable memory. You've been speaking for almost eight hours; I think more with this committee about all sorts of things you remember.


COOPER: You're in that hearing, I'm wondering when I mean, again, the President uses the term nasty seems mostly only, but certainly mostly for women who are strong and stand up to him.

HIRONO: The President can't handle strong women because in that same proceeding, he's called me nasty and vicious regarding Kavanaugh. So that's what the President does. He calls people names. He thinks that that's how he can handle the situation. But, of course, in Kamala, he's got more than he can handle. And he's just lucky that that Pence is going to be debating Kamala and not him.

COOPER: You've worked together recently on an effort to push back on anti-Asian discrimination in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak. I'm wondering, what do you think Senator Harris brings on these defining issues of 2020, racial justice, the pandemic writ large.

HIRONO: In all of those issues because its history making, that she is the first black woman to be part of this ticket in this - as Vice President. But she's also very strong on AAPI Asian American Pacific Islander issues. And we have worked together on immigration reform bills and also to condemn the racial attacks against Asian Americans because the President continues to refer to this virus as the China virus. And we know why he does it. It's for specific purposes. It's more than a dog whistle. It's a bull horn.

And so, she very much cares about AAPI issues. And in fact, she was the first presidential candidate to have an AAPI platform. And so, immigration issues are of major concern to her. She was also one of the first senators, as I recall, to raise the alarm about the pandemic, because there are people in California, hunters who were coming down with this virus, and she wanted us to address issues.

So, she's definitely forward leaning. She is a leader. And she's going to help to put this country back together because after the chaos of the Trump administration, we're going to need a strong team, people with integrity and a commitment to people to lead our country. And that would be the Biden-Harris team.

COOPER: Senator Mazie Hirono. I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.

HIRONO: Thank you.

COOPER: I want to bring in Aisha C. Mills, Karen Finney, Dana Bash and David Chalian, I sure you tweeted in part today, let's ensure this moment transcends tokenism and that her presence translates into power for black people. Can you talk about what you mean?

AISHA C. MILLS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. So, first of all, congratulations to Senator Harris, this is indeed exciting and historic for black women all over this country. Now, the Democratic Party, which I have been a member of, particularly my whole life essentially has always benefited from the labor of black women who are out there getting people excited about campaigns and certainly from our vote, which really make or break elections.

And so, it is about time that we have a black woman who is near the top of the ticket. But here's what I hope to see beyond this. We know the Senator Harris is prepared in the right person for the job and the right person to ultimately become POTUS one day.

I want to see the Democratic Party value black women, value policies that lift up black people and really put now this image that we've created around a historical moment and putting someone in leadership who really reflects the soul of the party to transcend that optics, to make sure that our policies are reflective of what we need in order to lift up black Americans.

We are in the middle of a Black Lives Matter moment. We are constantly seeing issues around police brutality, the wealth gap, variety of things that the African American community in this country cares about. And so, I am hopeful that the party and certainly president to be Biden prioritizes all of the policy issues that matter to our community. And don't just say, hey, well, we've got a VP and kind of walk away from black lives.

COOPER: Karen, you've been through two running mate selections yourself. Can you explain what happens now? I mean, how Kamala Harris's life will change? Because obviously the general election is a whole new level of politics, even for somebody who has been through many campaigns like Senator Harris.



The general election in progress. And so, you know, certainly I would imagine that shortly after she received the exciting news and got to share it with her family, you get right to work, frankly, because remember, she's got to be ready tomorrow basically to hit the airwaves or whatever it is that the campaign may need of her. I know there'll be some fundraising coming up. And then in a week, a week from Wednesday night, she's got to deliver one of the biggest speeches of her career.

And so, it's all about preparation and getting ready to - and being ready, frankly, to be the running mate and to fight the good fight. I mean, I don't think any one of us is, under the impression that this isn't going to be a dogfight. I think Donald Trump made that very clear. The attacks are already coming. But I just want to underscore what as a black woman and as someone who has worked very hard behind the scenes with a number of other black women to get us to this moment, this is - I cannot oversee how important this moment is.

I mean, Joe Biden, in selecting Kamala Harris and Kamala Harris by becoming our vice-presidential nominee. This is a new chapter in the history of black women in this country. When Geraldine Ferraro was added to the ticket, black women were not even considered. So, I don't want us to lose sight of how important this moment is and what a bold choice this was from Joe Biden.

COOPER: Dana, there's been a lot of talk about suburban voters and how they'll be a critical piece to anyone's path to victory in November. What do you - just on about political sense, what do you think Senator Harris adds to the ticket?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know how Senator Harris does on a national level in the suburbs because she dropped out of the presidential race before any of the votes were taken. But what we do know is that strategically her campaign thought had they stayed in that, that would be a good place for her to go. And that was kind of one of her focus is about women in particular, but even more broadly, suburban voters.

So, clearly, she is hoping - she's going to hope to translate that. And the Biden campaign is going to hope to do that as well, because as much as this is going to be a turnout election and everything else that we have been talking about, it is still going to come back to the suburbs in so many and all of these swing states, from Pennsylvania to Michigan to Wisconsin and beyond, it is the suburbs making sure if you're the Biden campaign, that those voters who went for Democrats in 2018 and helped give Democrats the majority in the House, that they are going to continue on that path. And the hope is that not just by having a woman, but a woman, specifically, Kamala Harris, that that will help Joe Biden achieve that.

COOPER: And David Chalian, I mean, in terms of the future of the Democratic Party, obviously, look, if they win, questions remain or has been raised whether Joe Biden would seek out a second term again if he wins the first term. But certainly, Kamala Harris is somebody who you would imagine would want to, if having served as Vice President, would want to continue, and try to run for President.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, and having already run for President. Right. She actually already has sought that office and made it clear that she is interested in that. I mean, Anderson, I think it's such an important point about this pick. Joe Biden has just put Kamala Harris right to the front of the line in terms of the leadership of the Democratic Party in America going forward.

Now, I don't know, obviously, if Joe Biden is going to win in November. And like you said, yes, because of his age, maybe he will be only a one term president if he wins. If that's the case, you know, basically, as soon as Vice President Harris would sort of leave the Capitol on Inauguration Day, she's going to be catapulted into this position of being the front runner for the 2024 Democratic nomination.

And how she balances her governing partnership with Joe Biden with the political reality that will take place around her will certainly be something to watch. But in this pick, Joe Biden is putting his stamp on the future of the Democratic Party.

COOPER: Aisha, I think you spoke I think what you said is really interesting about giving due to the people who have provided, you know, time after time after time the backbone for the Democratic Party, black women in terms of, you know, younger, younger people who have been taking part in the protest movement, Black Lives Matter. How does Kamala Harris, do you think, how is she viewed?

Because obviously she has a background in criminal justice, a district attorney, both San Francisco and in California.


For anybody who wants to attack Joe Biden, like vice like President Trump on that, claiming he wants to defund police, which he says he does not, certainly Kamala Harris is a bulwark against that. But for the Left of the Democratic Party, how do you think she performs?

MILLS: Well, I'll say this about Senator Harris is that she has demonstrated leadership and evolution. Certainly 15, 20 years ago when she was a prosecutor. She may have been on a different side of criminal justice reform. Her ideas may have been different. A prosecutor, the role that she was able to play in her position looked different than when she became a legislator in the United States Senate.

She has been very reflective, very thoughtful, and also very responsive to the activity in the streets. And she has proven that she is willing to evolve her own thinking, but also be extremely receptive to young people. And certainly, she considers herself to be a progressive and supports progressive values and progressive ideals.

What we want in a leader, what young people want in a leader, is somebody who is going to not be afraid to say, you know what, I rethought that and you know what, I can do better. And that is the spirit that she brings. I think that everybody can coalesce around that. And it is not loss on us that she is also a possibility model, as Laverne Cox says, when we need one.

I mean, black women have always supported the Democratic Party. And the last thing that we need is for black people to be disenchanted come November, given all that's going on and for us to be ambivalent about whether or not we want to vote. And I think that putting her on the ticket is certainly going to rile some folks up and to get people excited.

COOPER: Karen, what does this campaign even look like? I mean, for both sides, frankly, I mean, I ask Corey Booker this, but I mean, is it all Zoom fundraising events and appearances on cable news and broadcast news?

FINNEY: Largely, yes. And also, we've seen the campaign do events via Zoom, sort of Zoom town halls. So, it will be reaching out to voters. Obviously, that's part of what makes this not just historic, but unprecedented because we're in such an unprecedented moment. So, yes, it'll be Zoom calls. It will be Zoom town halls. It'll be, finding new ways to try to reach out to people, whether that's through interviews, through other platforms on social media.

I think you'll see a lot of that. I think you will see a lot of activity, frankly, on social media to sort of particularly because we know having been up against Donald Trump before, I can tell you, get ready because it's coming. And I think the campaign is prepared for that and prepared to do battle.

And hopefully, if there is a point in time where the candidates can actually be - do in-person events, I don't know that we'll see that before November. But if that becomes possible, hopefully we'll see that. I do think someone said this is the first time. I'm kind of - I'm really missing the balloon drop at the convention, because I really would love to see Kamala Harris on the stage, but those balloons and all that confetti.

COOPER: Well, it'll be much cheaper, you have like 20 balloons in the ceiling of the room on the Zoom call and that'll be it, that'll have to do. I want to thank you all. Appreciate it. Really interesting conversation. Thank you very much.

Ahead, we spoke in the last hour with the man helping bankroll the Coronavirus vaccine being created in Russia. That's grabbed the world's attention. And some skepticism, of course, made a lot of claims about the underlying data and how the vaccine works. Sanjay is back to talk about what he heard from the interview and his perspective ahead. We'll be right back.



COOPER: Dr. Anthony Fauci is throwing cold water on the news of a vaccine from Russia.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE MEMBER: Having a vaccine, Deborah, and proving that a vaccine is safe and effective are two different things. I hope that the Russians have actually definitively proven that the vaccine is safe and effective. I seriously doubt that they've done that.


COOPER: Well, we just spoke last hour to a Russian bankrolling, the vaccine ever that Putin says has been approved.


KIRIL DMITRIEV, CEO, RUSSIA DIRECT INVESTMENT FUND: We'll start massive vaccination operations in October, this vaccine will be available to other countries around November and we know the technology works and we will publish the data in August and September to demonstrate that.

So, the gradual rollout in August and September will give, of course, some additional data. But our Minister of Health, our bureaucrats would not have approved it unless they were absolutely confident that technology works.


COOPER: There's, of course, a lot of skepticism about that. Proof of its effectiveness has not been presented. We want to bring in Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, you were part of that conversation. It's - I mean, the more we talk to him, it seems clear that they haven't had phase 3 trials. There, in fact, just going to - they say they've done phase 1 and phase 2, and they're just going to start injecting people with this, right?

We're lost, Sanjay. We've lost your audio, I'm afraid so we're going to have to try to get that back.


COOPER: Now I hear you.

GUPTA: Check, check, can you hear me?

COOPER: Sorry about that. So, you're right. So, they're basically talking about trying to begin phase 3 trials, which, as you know, Anderson, some of the other vaccine companies that we've been talking to, some of the people we've interviewed, they've started those trials already. So, this is something they are saying they're going to start as well.

But I think we would be right to be pretty skeptical, maybe even more so after that last interview. And here's why. Even the phase 1 and phase 2 data has not been presented yet. I mean, we're looking for that early data to sort of determine what is the likelihood that this is safe, what is the likelihood that it has what are called some efficacy signals, some signals that it's going to work? We haven't seen any of that data yet.

And remember, you're giving vaccine to healthy people. I also, I think it was very interesting that Mr. Dmitriev and I guess other people there, including scientists who've worked on this, have given themselves this vaccine.


Mr. Dmitriev said he gave it to his parents who were in their 70s. I mean, that's not science. That's audacity. I mean, you're giving something that is unproven could potentially be harmful to people without really any data behind it. So that made me even more suspicious.

And then finally, when you're talking about these trials, he's saying, look, we're going to give it to high risk people, people who are health care workers. And that is not an unreasonable thing. But a couple of thousand health care workers are not a phase 3 clinical trial.

You need to get people of different backgrounds, different age groups, different demographics in an area where the virus is rapidly circulating. So, you can determine, is it working? And the people who are vaccinated as compared to those who aren't and doesn't even sound like they're going to be doing that.

COOPER: Yes, it was really interesting to me that, he actually said that they had not done phase 3 because that's basically when they announced they have this vaccine, you assume, oh, well, they've done all these things, but they haven't. They're essentially where other companies are. They're just saying, we know this works and we're going to start injecting people with it. I want to play a little bit more of what he said.


DMITRIEV: According to Russian law, when you have a pandemic, when you have epidemic like this, you can do phase 3 concurrently with launching the vaccine to high risk groups, which we are doing. We believe that's exactly the right approach and this approach makes sense.


COOPER: The other thing he was saying is that well, Russia was advanced because they had already been working on a vaccine for Ebola and I think he said, MERS, there are a lot of other people who have been working on vaccines for Ebola and MERS, weren't there? GUPTA: Yes, there were, and I covered Ebola quite extensively, even back going into 2014, 2015. This sounds like a familiar narrative because even back then, we were hearing from the Russian government that they had a very effective vaccine against Ebola. And I believe this was 2015. As it turns out, at that time, there wasn't a vaccine that we could find any sort of phase 3 data for. So, how they were arriving at this conclusion, going back five years now, five or six years was a bit mystifying even back then. So, this sounds like a familiar story, Anderson.

I will tell you this. You have these platforms. This is a human adenoviruses platform, and he's right in that there are other companies that are trying human adenovirus. It's a cold virus. You basically take out the genetic machinery of that virus and you put in the genetic machinery of this Coronavirus and you basically put it in the body and hope that the body then in response to that makes antibodies, which will protect you in the future.

It's a good theory. There are other companies that are doing this. But again, we have no idea if it works. It's a theory and there's a lot of theories out there. There's tons of these vaccine platforms that are in clinical trials right now.

The worst-case scenario, and it's not an unreasonable thing to really think about, is that this could cause harm. It could be harmful. Maybe it doesn't work. And that would be deeply embarrassing. But if it causes harm, that would obviously be a huge problem. Again, we're talking about giving this to healthy people, not people who are sick.

COOPER: Sanjay, thanks very much. Appreciate it. And thanks for taking part of that interview. Up next, the Big Ten and PAC-12 conferences both voting to postpone college football and other sports of the Coronavirus. ESPN is reporting one of the concerns for them and other conferences is a rare heart condition linked Coronavirus and seen in some athletes, we have details on that ahead.



COOPER: Two of the biggest college football conferences, the Big Ten in PAC-12 are postponing all full sports, including football, due to Coronavirus. This comes as President Trump continues to press for football this fall. ESPN reports one of the areas of concern for all the major conferences is a rare and dangerous heart condition linked to COVID-19. ESPN says some college athletes have been diagnosed with it.

Joining me now is Dr. Jonathan Drezner, who advises the NCAA on cardiac issue and is the Director of the UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology in Seattle. He's also the team physician for the UW Huskies, Seattle Seahawks, and Seattle Reign. Dr. Drezner, thanks for being with us.

So, you see the cancellations from the Big Ten in PAC-12. You'll hear President Trump downplaying concerns. I want to play a bit of what he said today.


TRUMP: These are young, strong people. They won't have a big problem with the China virus. So, we want to see college football start and hopefully a lot of great people are going to be out there. They're going to be out there playing football and they'll be able to fight it off.


COOPER: So, what are the problems we're seeing with athletes in this way?

DR. JONATHAN DREZNER, TEAM PHYSICIAN, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, SEATTLE REIGN, UW HUSKIES: Thanks for having me, Anderson. And I agree, these are young athletes, are young and strong, but this can be a serious problem and it's our job to keep them safe on the playing field.

We learned early on in the pandemic that COVID-19 can affect the heart. And about one in four hospitalized patients have heart injury and raise a lot of questions and concerns about patients who weren't in the hospital. Would patients who have mild symptoms or no symptoms have heart injury?

And this is particularly important for our athletes who put themselves through quite a bit of exertional stress on the playing field, where exercise can be a trigger for something like an arrhythmia or cardiac arrest if there is inflammation, the heart muscle called myocarditis.

More recently, we've been learning that some college and professional athletes are inflicted with myocarditis from COVID-19. And I think we're just learning about this issue in our athletes and it's definitely raised our concern.

COOPER: So, somebody can be asymptomatic or just have a very mild case that they don't need to go to the hospital for and yet still have potential long-term heart damage.

DREZNER: That's correct, and we don't know how long-term that is.


Yet. This is still all very new. But we are learning that some athletes who really had no symptoms and go through subsequent testing are being diagnosed with myocarditis. And the treatment of that short- term is rest in recovery and usually through guidelines, three to six months later, most of those athletes can return to play safely. There are some rare circumstances where the heart muscle is enough infected that it loses some function. There could be elements of heart failure and it could cause more long-term damage.

COOPER: And myocarditis, you said its inflammation of the heart or what exactly is it?

DREZNER: Yes, myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle and it can lead to scar tissue in the heart. And that scar tissue can be a focus of an arrhythmia or abnormal electrical signal within the heart that could cause something like cardiac arrest.

COOPER: And I mean, obviously the asymptomatic nature of Coronavirus complicates the job of keeping athletes safe, because unless they're being tested rigorously, you don't know that they have it.

DREZNER: That's exactly right. It really raises quite a bit of a challenge to understand who has this and who is at risk for this. And I think it's important as we think about why some colleges are pushing back fall sports. It's not just the heart issues, but what's been really important is that we don't want our athletes to get infected.

And so if the pandemic is out of control in certain cities, if we don't have adequate testing in certain cities to ensure that when they aren't physically distancing on the playing field and that they're not going to be infecting each other, it's hard to move forward with college sports. And what we're learning now about the heart and the athletes has just raised that bar.

COOPER: So, in terms of what we still need to learn before people can really return to sport safely at the college level, I mean, is it just a vaccine or is there hope that even without a vaccine, just learning more about this down the road will improve chances?

DREZNER: I think there is hope without a vaccine. If everyone does the right thing and wears a mask and the numbers fall and we meet some metrics by public health standards where we can begin to open up and then the risk declines. And if you can combine that with some frequency of testing to root out some of the athletes that might have infections, that you don't want them to spread it amongst their teammates.

I do think there is a pathway forward for sports and it doesn't necessarily include a vaccine. I think when the pandemic is more under control, we have better testing and we know more about the long-term health outcomes that I do think we'll be able to resume sports.

COOPER: Yes, it's really fascinating and good to know about. Even if you're asymptomatic, you might have a condition it's important for people to know. Dr. Jonathan Drezner really appreciate it. Thank you.

DREZNER: Thank you so much. The wait is over, Joe Biden, his new vice- presidential pick, will appear together tomorrow for the first time as the Democratic ticket. A lot more interesting in Kamala Harris, her credentials, also, her life will shine light on someone who is often at her side on the campaign trail, her husband, next.



COOPER: Douglas Emhoff, you may not recognize that name, but you'll be hearing a lot more soon. He's the husband of California Senator Kamala Harris, the new vice-presidential hopeful, Biden's running mate. CNN's Kyung Lah tonight has more. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's her plus one, Douglas Emhoff husband to Kamala Harris, the supporting member in her presidential campaign, often standing in the back of the room as she takes the stage or appears on television.

DOUGLAS EMHOFF, HUSBAND OF VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE KAMALA HARRIS: And I'm married to the next President of the United States

JIMMY KIMMEL, JIMMY KIMMEL HOST: I don't know if we're ready for a First Lady named Doug.

HARRIS: He's fully actualized person you ever met.

LAH: And unafraid to tweet his dad moves.

HARRIS: I waited to get married. And I think that one should marry somebody who will be your best friend and with whom you can laugh and be comfortable. And that's who he is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I look at them, I see America. I see a biracial marriage. I see a blended family.

LAH: He's a powerful presence, says Barbara Perry, not just for who he is, but for his unexpected action on the trail. When a woman became faint at a Harris fundraiser at Emhoff jumped to help carry her away. Oh, hey. And when a protester got this close to her as the female moderator stepped in between.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, sir.

LAH: Then one of the three men drag him away was Emhoff. The look on his face, unmistakable Twitter bestowed Emhoff an entertainment lawyer with his own hashtag, Doug Hive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of Americans like to see that that he was protecting her, he had her interests at heart. He will help to humanize her and kind of soften that image, which will be important for her in the public domain.

LAH: He's a millionaire, elevating Harris's public servant salary into the one percent.

HARRIS: The thing that I love about my husband, Doug, he's he has a great sense of humor. He also is he's not pretending to be anything he's not.

LAH: Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.


COOPER: A quick programming note. Don't miss full circle or digital news show that gives us a chance to some important topics, have in- depth conversations and catch it. Streaming live Monday, Tuesday, Friday, six p.m. Eastern, or watch it there. And on the CNN app at any time on demand, news continues. Let's turn things over now to Don Lemon for CNN tonight.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon, and thank you so much for joining us. We're going to do something a little bit unorthodox here. It's a very interesting day for me. Today would have been my sister's 61st.