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Biden & Harris Appear Together For First Time As Running Mates; Coronavirus Cases Holding Steady Or Falling In 44 States; Chelsea Clinton Fights Misinformation On Vaccine Safety. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired August 12, 2020 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Good evening. Chris Cuomo is off this evening.

A big day for Democrats who finally got to see their presidential ticket live, if not in person, because of social distancing, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, sharing the same stage, a day after Biden called Harris, asking her to join the ticket, making her not only the first Black woman but also the first woman of South-Asian descent on a major Party presidential ticket.

Joe Biden spoke at length about the history-making of her nomination and how much it would mean for girls of color who can now envision themselves as future Presidents and Vice Presidents.

He also talked about why he thinks Harris is the right partner for his vision of an American future after President Trump.


JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We're at one of those inflection points, you've heard me say that before, in our history.

A life-changing election for this nation and the choice, the choice we make this November is going to decide the future of America for a very, very long time, and I had a great choice, great opportunities.

I had a great choice but I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next Vice President of the United States of America and that's Senator Kamala Harris.


COOPER: For her part, Senator Harris spent a significant amount of time hammering at President Trump's record, in particular, his failures combating the Coronavirus pandemic.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA) VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: There's a reason it has hit America worse than any other advanced nation. It's because of Trump's failure to take it seriously, from the start,

his refusal to get testing up and running, his flip-flopping on social distancing and wearing masks, his delusional belief that he knows better than the experts.

All of that is reason and the reason that an American dies of COVID-19 every 80 seconds.


COOPER: Well President Trump has already attacked Harris calling her "Nasty" and "The meanest." Today, Biden said the attacks were just proof that the President has a problem with strong women.

Joining me now is someone who knows Joe Biden well, Valerie Jarrett, former Senior Advisor to President Obama, Author of "Finding My Voice: When the Perfect Plan Crumbles, the Adventure Begins."

Jarrett, thanks so much for being with us. Some have, I heard today, describing this moment as the Obama/Biden Coalition passing the torch to the Biden/Harris Coalition. I'm not sure how anybody who was part of the Obama Coalition would feel about that.

But I'm wondering what you make of their official launch of the campaign?


It just felt so wonderful to see the two of them walk out in lockstep, to hear from both Vice President Biden and Senator Harris, the optimism I feel about the future of our country, knowing that it could be in their very capable competent hands, listening to them speak honestly and directly.

And it was so touching, I mean, the way that Senator Harris talked about working with Beau Biden, when he was the Attorney General of Delaware and she was the Attorney General of California, fighting for all of those folks who were losing their homes as a result of actions taken by the banks, the relationship they forged.

I was looking at Vice President Biden's face, while she was speaking, and you could just feel the tenderness, and I think the American people are hungry for that again, goodness, competence.

I think that we are in for a very exciting next few months, and I look forward to January 20th, and seeing the two of them sworn in.

COOPER: You saw up-close how Joe Biden was as Vice President to President Obama.

I'm wondering what you think the Biden/Harris partnership will be like, because Vice President Biden talked about wanting, just as he wanted with President Obama, to be the last person in the room when the decision was made. He said he wants that of Kamala Harris.

JARRETT: Well nobody knows better than Vice President Biden what it takes to be a good Vice President. He served for eight years.

He knows how much President Obama relied on his counsel, his advice, his taking over responsibilities for big pieces of business, from the Recovery Act, to our bringing back our troops, to ending sexual assault on college campuses, just a wide array of responsibilities that Vice President Biden had.

And I think what Vice President Biden has said is that he is - he selected Senator Harris because he knows that he will get that same wise counsel from her. And he trusts her. And she's earned that trust.

And I look forward to the two of them taking that on the road, so that the American people can see what I know, up close, having worked with them both for so long.

COOPER: You've said that one of Joe Biden's strong traits, as Vice President, was that he was willing to tell President Obama when he disagreed with him.


Do you - it's one thing to have that be able to do that when you're the Vice President to the President. As President, do you think he will want to hear that from Senator Harris, because he says he would want to hear it?

JARRETT: Oh, absolutely. And look, that's the way he was when he was in the White House. He wanted to hear from his staff and the Cabinet.

I think he has a very open mind. He's curious. And he believes, and he said this today, that he'll make more informed decisions with her advice and counsel. And he wants her to push him.

And I watched him push President Obama, and President Obama welcomed that, Anderson, because he knew that he would be smarter and make - and it would push his thinking. And when you're making decisions that affect millions of lives, you want to get it as right as possible.

And so, having that open mind, being intellectually curious, being fact-based, focusing on science, I think that's the recipe that our country is hungry for, particularly as we've gone through these treacherous last several months, seeing one misstep after the other, by the Trump Administration, that has had real consequences in the lives of thousands and thousands, and 160,000 who've died, and all of their families who have been affected, and the disruption of our economy, and the divisions that we've seen, the racial strife.

We need leaders who can bring us together. And I am confident that those two will be able to do just that. And our country, I think, is hungry for that right now.

COOPER: Do you worry about the days ahead? I think, I don't know, 85- plus days, 90 days or so, about this kind of campaigning? I mean, it's not - it's obviously unlike anything that we've seen in our lifetimes because of social distancing, things like that. If people want to volunteer, normally, they can get involved. People want to be involved in campaigns. It's - I am sure campaigns want people to be involved. But it's a different kind of involvement. How do you see this actually playing out?

JARRETT: Well the campaign is going to have to be creative, unfortunately.

I know many of the young superstars, and not so young superstars, who are working on the campaign, and they will get creative. They're going to use social media, they're going to use technology, as a strength, and as an advantage, to get our message out.

I will tell you what I do worry about. I don't worry about their creativity. I worry about the fact that I know that we're going to see a lot of horrendous language directed primarily at Senator Harris, whether it's sexist or racist.

You know that a group of women sent a letter last week really challenging the media to say, ask yourself the question, would you describe a man in the same way as you're describing the nominee?

And we put the letter out, Anderson, ahead of the selection because we were already beginning to see signs of discrimination and racist and sexist tropes, and we wanted to call it out, and put a marker down.

Later tonight, there will be a letter by about - over 200 women leaders, from around the country, of all ages, supporting Senator Harris' selection wholeheartedly, enthusiastically, saying "Vote for her."

But we also are going to say, we're going to check people who come at her on anything other than substance. She is more than willing, in fact, looking forward to a debate on the substance.

Do not come at her with what we see as a traditional way of attacking women, stripping them down, calling them names like "Mean" and "Nasty," when we know that the intention is to diminish them. And all we want is an even playing field. That's what we're going to demand on her behalf.

COOPER: It is fascinating that President Trump continues to use that word "Nasty" in relationship to strong women.

JARRETT: Yes. It is quite old school, old-fashioned, and outdated and, I think, irritating to women. I also think it's irritating when he says what suburban housewives are going to do.

I think suburban housewives can make up their own mind about what they're going to do. And I don't think that they're worried about Black people moving next door to them.

I think they're worried about whether they can send their children back to school safely. I think they're worried about the people in their family who've come down with the COVID, because they've been getting mixed messages from the government. And governors have been forced to go on their own, and pay expensive amounts of money, for equipment that should be coordinated at the Federal level. They're worried about losing their jobs. They're worried about their livelihood. There's so much that people who live in the suburbs are worrying about.

And I think what President Trump brought up was intended, again, to create a racial divide. It was intended to send a message that was not at all subtle, dividing us along racial lines, and we're going to see the same thing along gender lines, and I'm just here to say that there is going to be an enormous pushback on all of that.

COOPER: Yes. I mean the idea of, you know, he used the term "Suburban housewives," and then, as if it wasn't obvious enough, said "And Cory Booker," a Black man, is going to be in charge of it.

JARRETT: Exactly. Exactly. It's not subtle any more.


And I think part of - part of what he's trying to do is to appeal, Anderson, to a shrinking base. And I don't think that that's going to work. But I'm also worried about the effect it's having on our country, all the more reason why we need the leadership of Vice President Biden and Senator Harris.

COOPER: Valerie Jarrett, I appreciate your time, thank you very much.

JARRETT: You're welcome. Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: Well thank you.

JARRETT: Have a great night.

COOPER: You too.

I want to bring in someone who knows Senator Harris very well. She's Beth Foster Gayle. Her late husband, Tyrone Gayle, was a Press Secretary for Senator Harris.

Thank you so much Beth for being with us, and I'm so sorry for the loss of your husband. When you saw Senator Harris speaking today, as Vice Presidential candidate, what would that have meant to Tyrone, and what did it mean to you?

BETH FOSTER GAYLE, WIFE OF THE LATE TYRONE GAYLE, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY FOR SEN. HARRIS: Anderson, first, thank you so much for having me on the show tonight. It's a real honor to be here, and it's an honor to share part of Tyrone's story.

I think it's sort of indescribable to what it would have meant to Tyrone. Tyrone deeply believed in Senator Harris and her leadership. And he would have given anything to be a part of this moment, and see her elevated to this position, which we all know she would be an incredible Vice President.

COOPER: What was it about her that - what did Tyrone see in her? He went to work for her as a freshman Senator?

GAYLE: Yes, absolutely.

So, Tyrone, it was coming off the loss on the Clinton campaign. He had worked for Secretary Clinton, and had the opportunity to start in Senator Harris' office in January of 2017.

And he, you know, Tyrone is this relentless optimist, and he believed that Senator Harris was someone that we needed in this era, she was someone that could take the fight to Trump.

And Tyrone believed deeply in representation. As a Black man, he really believed that nothing in this country can change until the people in power look like the people that they represent. And so, getting the opportunity to work for a Black woman, especially in this moment, was a lifelong dream of his.

Tyrone was the son of Jamaican immigrants, much like Senator Harris. And so, getting to, work with someone, that had his share of life experience, and brought that, to the policies in the work that she did, was an amazing experience for Tyrone.

COOPER: I loved seeing your wedding photos, by the way. I mean they're so beautiful. Senator Harris has spoken about Tyrone's legacy. And she described him really - it was just lovely.

She said, "For Tyrone, nothing was too small to do or too big to take on. He did this work tirelessly, always with a smile or a kind gesture. He never lost faith in our ability to do good for the people in this country."

GAYLE: Yes. I mean, hearing those words, they make me a little teary. I mean that was Tyrone to a tee.

Whether it was sort of the dark days of the Trump Administration, or when he was fighting his own battle with cancer, he always believed that tomorrow was going to be better.

And he instilled that belief in everyone around him, to the point, sometimes, of annoyance. But it was just this wonderful quality that he had.

COOPER: You both saw a side of Senator Harris that really most Americans don't get to, especially in tough times. How would you describe her when the cameras aren't on?

GAYLE: Yes, absolutely.

Well, Tyrone, a few months after he went to work for Senator Harris, his colon cancer came back. He had been in remission and it came back. And I vividly remember when he told Senator Harris about this.

And she knows all too well about this experience. Her mother passed away from colon cancer, and so she knew this journey, and this fight that Tyrone was going to have to - have to face. And she found so many ways to pick him up during his cancer battle.

She would tell him how handsome he looked even when he lost his hair and his suits were baggy. She would call him to the point where Tyrone said, she checked in on him more than some members of his family.

And she just - she found a way to treat him with so much compassion and love, but also held him to a really high standard, which Tyrone wanted and appreciated. He knew that this was his life's work. And he didn't want her to let up on him or go easy on him.


GAYLE: And, if I may, there's a story I want to share. I don't talk about it very often. It's a little bit difficult for me to talk about, but it's about the night that Tyrone died.


And, we - Tyrone's death was relatively sudden, although we had a few hours to kind of prepare. He was hospitalized at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City. And so we let friends and family know the end was near, and word reached Senator Harris.

And she dropped everything, in the middle of Congressional work period, and flew up to New York City to be with us. And she unobtrusively came into the hospital room. She held Tyrone's hand. She told funny stories about him. And she said goodbye.

And she hugged me just as everything in my entire world was falling apart. And she looked deep in my eyes and told me that she would have my back forever. And it is a moment I will never forget for as long as I live.

It's not an easy thing to go through an experience like that. It's not something I would wish on my worst enemy. But Senator Harris volunteered to be there.


GAYLE: And she volunteered to share that moment with us, for someone who she hadn't even known that long.


GAYLE: But that's the compassion that she has.

COOPER: Wow! Well it's also a testament to your husband and the loyalty that he engendered in others.

I got to go. But I know you set up a scholarship fund in Tyrone's name to help others, more young Black Americans who get into politics. How can people find out information about it?

GAYLE: Yes, absolutely.

So, if you Google the "Tyrone Gayle Scholars Program," you'll find out some information, or go to, and it is a fantastic program. It's changing the lives of Black students so.

COOPER: And that's G-A-Y-L-E.

GAYLE: Yes, yes.

COOPER: Yes, all right, awesome. Hey, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. And I'm so sorry for your loss. But thank you for sharing some of Tyrone with us tonight.

GAYLE: Thank you. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

COOPER: Beth Foster Gayle.

Coming up, the diversity of the Democratic Party versus President Trump's rhetoric on race, that discussion with Dr. Cornel West.

Also, we'll delve into the latest on the Coronavirus, and a new study about masks, what works, what doesn't, when we continue.



COOPER: We mentioned at the top of the program that as Democrats were celebrating the diversity of their Party, and the historic nomination of Kamala Harris, Donald Trump is calling her "Nasty." He also tweeted this.

"The "Suburban housewife" will be voting for me. They want safety and I - and are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood. Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Cory Booker in charge."

He then tagged Fox & Friends and Fox Business Anchor, Maria Bartiromo.

Joe Biden touched on the theme of race and justice, during his speech today, mentioning that the event today took place exactly three years after a deadly far-Right rally in Charlottesville that shook the nation.


BIDEN: Remember what it felt like to see those neo-Nazis, close your eyes, and those Klansmen, White supremacists, coming out of fields, carrying lighted torches, faces contorted, bulging veins, pouring into the streets of a historic American city, spewing the same anti-Semitic bile we heard in Hitler's Germany in the '30s.

At that moment, I knew I couldn't stand by and let Donald Trump, a man who went on to say, when asked about what he thought, he said, there were very fine people on both sides, "Very fine people on both sides."

No President of the United States of America has ever said anything like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well my next guest was in Charlottesville three years ago. Joining me is Dr. Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy, Harvard Divinity School, and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University.

Dr. West, great to see you. I want to ask you about the event today with Biden and Kamala Harris.


COOPER: But I just got to talk to you about this tweet.

I mean Trump talking about the suburban housewife and invasion of low income housing orchestrated by a Black man, Cory Booker, I mean, that's not even a dog whistle. That's just - that's just blatant.

WEST: Oh yes. I mean - I mean Brother Trump is just being the gangster that he always is. But he's desperate. He's not used to losing. He's been winning all his life by means of impunity, no accountability, cold heartedness and mean spiritedness.

And I think, for the first time now, with Biden and Sister Harris that you actually have a team that might be able to win. And I hope we can push them across the winner's line because American democracy is about to go under. The Empire is in deep, deep decay.

And I salute Brother Biden for his choice, really, because I think it's probably the only way he can win. You know what I mean? You got 65 percent of White brothers who voted for Trump and 53 percent of White sisters who voted for Trump within the - those who were voting.

And so, you're going to have to have Black folk, going to have to have Brown folk, you're going to have to have Asian folk, you're going to have to have those White folk who care, you're going to have to have indigenous people pushing a fascist out of the White House.

At yet, at the same time, Brother Anderson, keep in mind, the real criteria of what was going on today was set by Curtis Mayfield with that song "Move On Up."

And he was talking about the people moving up from slavery, up from Jim Crow, up from Jane Crow, up from lynching, up from the dilapidated housing, up from the massive unemployment, up from no access to healthcare, and so forth.

And then you had our dear Sister Kamala, who got that special a.k.a. stamp of brilliance, eloquence, a charisma, in fact, much more than even Brother Biden. I think he understands that. But they're going to work that out, I guess, in their own - in their own way.

But the fundamental question is, you see, Curtis Mayfield was talking about move on up from the vantage point of the Black masses, not just the Black middle-classes, the Black masses.

[21:25:00] So, he wanted to - he wants to know, are they going to just allow for Black face in a high place once again or are they going to be able to deliver, wrestling with poverty, wrestling with Pentagon militarism, wrestling with Wall Street greed, wrestling with escalating wage stagnation and so forth.

Those are the deep courses of Martin King, of Ella Baker, of Fannie Lou Hamer. That's the real challenge of our dear - our dear Sister Kamala.

COOPER: You've been critical of Harris in the past. I know, at one point, I think you called her a centrist candidate who acts progressive.

Do you think those who've criticized her prosecutorial record, her - or maybe her record as Attorney General will be able to see past it? I mean, obviously, right now, the choices are Biden/Harris or Trump/Pence.

WEST: Right. Right. I think, right now, we've got to be part of an anti-fascist coalition of conscience. You see, our dear Sister used Martin Luther King Jr.'s language, "Coalition of conscience."

We've got to make sure Trump leave the White House one way or another, either by election or if he loses and he won't leave, then some of us will have to just go and escort the Brother. You know what I mean? You just - "It's time to go. You've done your damage."

But we can't be on an illusion. When Biden and Harris get in there, if they're still tied to Wall Street, still tied to the militarism, awfully common (ph), they still tied to not dealing with quality public education, if they're still tied to their same old neo-liberal elites, then we're just going to have another slow disaster rather than a quick catastrophe.

With Trump, you got a quick catastrophe, he's got to go. That's why I'm - myself, even as a radical - and I just want Trump people to know, I'm a radical. My dear Sister Harris is not a radical. She is a - she's a centrist and a moderate. I love the Sister. She's my a.k.a. Sister and everything.

But at the same time, I recognize that when it comes to serious class struggle that are going on, the class war of the bosses against workers, she hasn't always been on the side of the workers, neither has Biden. Neither has Biden.

COOPER: Well it's interesting because--

WEST: You got Biden linked to the major mass incarceration regime in the modern world. He helped - he helped create that. You know what I mean? So that - we have to tell the truth about even those we vote for.

That's why I don't endorse them. I vote for them because I try to stay true to Curtis Mayfield's music. When he's talking about moving on up, he's talking about integrity, honesty, decency. He's talking about vision. He's talking about courage. He's talking about generosity. He's not just talking about winning the next election.

It's in our musicians, it's in our artists, that they set the standards. And when they play Curtis, I say, "Oooh, they're, oooh, they're messing with a genius from Chicago now. They're messing with the great Black musical tradition now."

COOPER: I know.

WEST: So, this is not a play thing. And yet, I do think, at this moment, we've got to push for those too.

Even though I love my Green Party folk and I love my movement folk, people's party that we're going to be wrestling with, with nickers (ph) in the end, I don't think the Democratic Party is going to be strong enough as an institution to really follow through on the kind of things that William Barber--


WEST: --and the others are talking about, in terms of fighting poverty and keeping alive the legacy of Martin King, Fannie Lou Hamer.

COOPER: It is - I mean, there was something about seeing her speak today. When you think about the history of the Democratic Party and--

WEST: Yes.

COOPER: --how the Democratic Party has depended on Black Americans as its backbone--

WEST: Absolutely.

COOPER: --maybe taken for granted, and particularly Black women. And to - I think for--

WEST: That's correct.

COOPER: --who have not gotten their due in the Civil Rights Movement, and today.

WEST: Absolutely. In fact, the Black Freedom Movement has been the leaven in the American Democratic loaf. The loaf could not expand without the Black Freedom Movement.

Because our freedom fighters have always said, "We fight first for those on the chocolate side of town, and then it spills over," just like Curtis Mayfield's music. It spills over and touches the soul of everybody.

Democratic Party did that from the '30s thereafter. Black folk did that for the Republican Party after Lincoln. So, in that regard, the best of the American tradition has been the best of the Black freedom struggle.

And yet, we can't settle just for symbol, the symbolic blow against White supremacy, the symbolic blow against male supremacy. Magnificent! Let's see the substance. By your fruits, you shall know them.

So, after we push Trump out, then we're going to have to put such tremendous pressure on Biden, tremendous pressure on Sister Harris, because they're going to fall right back into their centrist ways again, friendly with Wall Street, letting them get away with their greed, the militarism, with military budgets that they themselves have voted for, over and over again.


They have voted for Trump's military budgets. Wait a minute, where's the coalition of conscience here? You know what I mean?

And the same is true, even Anderson, in terms of the issues that we struggle with over the Palestinian thing. How can you be part of a coalition of conscience and not be concerned about any occupation. It could be Kashmir, it could be Gaza or the West Bank.

How are you going to be a "Coalition of conscience" in a morally consistent way and not be critical of your Jewish brothers and sisters, some of whom are in solidarity with the Palestinians, and some of whom are tied to a Trump-like figure, Brother Netanyahu himself.

Now, how are you going to be against Trump here, and tight with a Trump-like figure there? How do you do that in such a way that you never ever allow for any kind of anti-Jewish hatred, anti-Jewish sentiment, but rather based on Jewish value, justice.

"Justice shall you pursue," that's what Rabbi Hazelwood (ph) taught us. That's what the best of the great Jewish prophets have taught us. That's also part of a "Coalition of Conscience," and that's going to be a challenge to Biden and Harris.


WEST: Because, at the moment, they tend to be so tied to the deeply conservative lobbies.


WEST: They don't want to take seriously the humanity of Palestinian brothers and sisters.

COOPER: I got to end here. But, before we go, you mentioned Curtis Mayfield. I'm a big Nina Simone fan. If you had to pick a Nina Simone song--

WEST: Ooh, Nina too, Nina too.

COOPER: --what--

WEST: Oh "Mississippi God Mm." Now, we won't say it on television. We'll say it on television. But it--

COOPER: I've been listening to Obeah Woman. (CROSSTALK)

WEST: --say love.

COOPER: I don't know if you know this song, Obeah Woman, that she sings. And it's a live performance, and it's incredible.

WEST: Ooh, I'm going to listen to that tonight with my daughter.


WEST: But how's Brother Wyatt doing?

COOPER: He's--

WEST: Is he going on all right?

COOPER: --he's doing well. He's listening to Nina Simone lately.

WEST: Yes.

COOPER: So, he's doing well. I'm trying to teach him early, you know.

Cornel West, always a pleasure, thank you.

WEST: Indeed, love you much, brother.

COOPER: All right.

WEST: Stay strong.

COOPER: You take care.

Ahead, new study on face masks, and the ones that do and don't work, that, and the latest on where the virus is on the rise, and where there's progress. We'll be right back.



COOPER: New tonight, the Big East Conference has announced it's postponing its fall sports due to Coronavirus, following the steps of other conferences. Meanwhile, nationally, the number of new COVID-19 cases is falling. That's the good news. The death count remains high.

With all the new developments on the pandemic, here's CNN's Athena Jones.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, new Coronavirus infections, holding steady, or falling, in 44 states, the U.S. averaging just under 53,000 new cases a day for the last seven days, a 11 percent drop from the previous week, but still far too high. DR. MICHAEL MINA, DEPARTMENT OF IMMUNOLOGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES, HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: We should not settle for having 50,000 new cases per day. Any cases anywhere, really keep risk pretty high, all across the entirety of the United States.

JONES (voice-over): With COVID deaths nationwide still surging, averaging more than a 1,000 a day, for 16 straight days, Florida and Georgia hitting new records for daily deaths Tuesday. Those states also lead the country in new cases per capita over the past seven days.

And infections are surging in states like Indiana, up about 18 percent over last week, and North Dakota with about 20 percent more cases this week.

Data from the Health Department in Louisiana, another State where daily deaths are climbing, show some of the risks associated with reopening the economy. 835 cases trace back to bars, restaurants or casinos.

DR. COLLEEN KRAFT, ASSOCIATE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, EMORY UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: We are now going to be living with COVID for a long time because of the sluggish response in the United States.

JONES (voice-over): There is new information about the toll COVID-19 is taking on healthcare workers. A database developed by Kaiser Health News and The Guardian newspaper showing more than 900 have reportedly died from the virus.

And amid often conflicting messages, on masks, new guidance from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

DR. ATUL GROVER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AAMC RESEARCH AND ACTION INSTITUTE: Not enough people are following these guidelines.

JONES (voice-over): Urging people to wear face coverings in indoor public settings over the nose and chin, minimizing any gaps. It says cloth masks should have at least two layers of fabric, preferably three.

Meanwhile, dozens of COVID cases now servicing in schools in Georgia, Indiana, and Mississippi, affecting plans everywhere. Some 400 teachers in Elizabeth, New Jersey, refusing to return to in-person instruction, forcing the district to begin the school year virtually.

ASHLEY DELCUETO, SENIOR, FRANK J. CICARELL ACADEMY: I'm a little disappointed in that. But I'm also concerned for the safety of my classmates and myself.

JONES (voice-over): Concerns about community spread also threatening college sports, with the Big Ten, the Pac-12, the Mountain West, and the Mid-American conferences all postponing the fall season, even as the Big 12 plans to play.

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, FORMER U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: What was true in the spring is still true today, that the road to reopening sports, schools and the economy lies in dramatically reducing rates of infection in the community.


JONES: And just to drive home what a mess some of these communities that opened schools - reopened schools are facing, at least three Georgia schools have been forced to temporarily close due to COVID cases.

One of them is North Paulding High School, that school of the famous viral photo of the crowded hallway. They are now going to be doing hybrid learning with students alternating days on campus, Anderson.

COOPER: Athena Jones, Athena, thanks for the report.

More now on masks, we heard about the new guidance from a top medical group in Athena's report, at least two lawyers, and tight fitting, but some masks are far more effective than others, according to a new study. The question is which one should we be wearing, which are best to stay away from?

I want to bring in one of the researchers behind the test, Professor Martin Fischer with Duke University.

Professor thanks so much for being with us. Let's just talk about--


COOPER: --what you did. You did - you did research on masks. Were you - how did you go about doing this?


FISCHER: So, we developed a simple technique to visualize the effect of the mask reducing those droplets that you emit by speaking. It's a very simple technique. It's a laser-based technique that we hope gets out there in the community for other people to build this and test those masks themselves.

COOPER: So what - you made the headlines with talking about neck gaiters because that part of your study, it's gotten a lot of attention. So, let's just get that out of the way. You tested, I believe, they were single-layer gaiters. What did you find?

FISCHER: Right. So, the ones we tested were single-layer polyester spandex gaiter. It was pretty thin. So, if you held this up to the light, you could actually see through it. It was very easy to breathe through.

And, of course, keep in mind, these - there's a tradeoff between breathability and protection. If you can easily breathe through, the droplets will have an easier time getting through.

So, what we saw in these masks was that there seemed to be more droplets coming out, and we attribute this to the bigger droplets being broken down into a bunch of smaller droplets. And of course what makes this somewhat problematic is that the smaller

particles have an easier time being carried away by the air, the rest of big ones would just drop down to the ground.

COOPER: So, the only - I know that you tested based on the masks that you had around. So, you didn't test like double-layer neck gaiters. What about bandannas?

FISCHER: Right. I mean, not all bandannas, not all neck gaiters are bad, right? As you said, Anderson, we tested a single-layer. If you double them up, I'm sure this would get better. If you use a different material, I'm sure it could get better.

The bandanna we tested was also a standard bandanna. It was - it was very thin. We had a double-layer, nice triangle shape, and that blocked about 50 percent of the particles. We saw a reduction of 50 percent, which is definitely better than nothing.

COOPER: And so, what would you recommend in terms of - if you were picking a mask, knowing what you know now, what would you look for?

FISCHER: So, I personally use a cotton mask, because it's a - it's a good compromise between comfort and protection. The cotton mask - all the cotton masks we tried had about 80 percent reduction in particles and, for everyday use, for the general public, this is perfectly fine.

It doesn't have to be a perfect mask. It doesn't have to be an N95 mask to be helpful. In fact, we recommend that the N95 masks are really reserved for people who need it, for example, healthcare workers, so people who have a condition that really requires them to have this extra special protection.

COOPER: So, cotton masks, and two layers is better than one obviously.

FISCHER: Well so we didn't do a systematic study of those.


FISCHER: So, we can't recommend the number of layers, but the more the better. Again, if it gets too thick, you won't be able to breathe through it, and then people might not wear them because it might not be comfortable enough. So, it's your level of comfort really.

COOPER: And wear a mask, no matter what. Even if you think it's not--


COOPER: --doing much, it's better than nothing?

FISCHER: We always recommend people wearing masks, of course, in combination with the social distancing, and the proper hygiene, like hand-washing--


FISCHER: --goes by itself. COOPER: Professor Martin Fischer, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

FISCHER: Thanks for having me, Anderson.

COOPER: Up next, a new name joins the fight against Coronavirus and misinformation. Chelsea Clinton talks to CNN about pushing back on conspiracy theories and the personal clash she had with an anti- vaxxer.



COOPER: The FDA says there's at least 270 active trials in this country for Coronavirus treatment. 28 vaccines are in the human trial stage worldwide. But even if one breaks through, and is proven safe, there is another barrier it will face, which is fear.

While many families are honestly worried about the pros and cons of taking a vaccine, others are exploiting that fear and spreading misinformation.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen, tonight, has more.


MONCEF SLAOUI, HEAD OF OPERATION WARP SPEED: I think it will be a very effective vaccine. That's my prediction.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Head of Operation Warp Speed, the government's program to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, says the vaccine could be 90 percent effective or higher, and could be on the market as early as December for those at high risk. But what if people refuse to get it?

A recent CNN poll found that one-third of Americans said they would not try to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus, even if the vaccine is widely available and low cost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't need the vaccination.

COHEN (voice-over): Some anti-vaccine advocates have been working hard, creating fear of a future Coronavirus vaccine.

And anti-vaccine lies are appearing online that the vaccine will leave an invisible digital trackable tattoo that Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leader in the vaccine effort is actually Satan, that the vaccine is part of a CIA-Illuminati conspiracy to control the world, and it will turn you into this.

So now, former first daughter, Chelsea Clinton, is sounding the alarm.

COHEN (on camera): Polling has shown that many Americans say they won't get the COVID vaccine when it comes out. Does that worry you?

CHELSEA CLINTON, VACCINE ADVOCATE: Oh my Gosh, it terrifies me.

COHEN (voice-over): Through the Clinton Foundation and through international speeches, Clinton has become a leading vaccine advocate.

COHEN (on camera): Have anti-vaxxers called you hateful names?

CLINTON: I've been called a murderer and a fear monger. I get quite a bit of hate.

COHEN (voice-over): Clinton knows personally how strongly anti-vaxxers feel. When she was pregnant with her first child, a woman approached her in a coffee shop.

CLINTON: She looked like it was like deep into my eyes and she just said like, "Please tell me you won't vaccinate your child," like "Please don't do that," and I was so taken aback, and I said, "No, well of course I'm going to vaccinate my child." She said something along the lines of, "Their death or damage will be on your head."

COHEN (voice-over): She says the government needs to act fast to combat this anti-vaccine sentiment.

COHEN (on camera): I mean, what do you think of the job that the CDC is doing in the area?


CLINTON: Well they're not doing a job. I mean, they're not doing a job. Nothing really is happening in our country on this front at a coordinated level, from our government, kind of from the CDC, who is one of the natural and the historic leader in these areas.

COHEN (voice-over): The CDC did not respond to request from CNN for comment.

Its parent agency, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says their public health information campaign will soon focus on vaccine safety, efficacy and hesitancy.

Clinton says this should have been done months ago, and the message needs to be loud and clear.

CLINTON: It isn't like I like iced coffee and my husband likes iced tea like this is not a debate about opinions. This is literally a debate about life and death.

COHEN (voice-over): Elizabeth Cohen, CNN reporting.


COOPER: With now is Dr. Tina Hartert, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Hartert, when it comes to people not getting vaccinated, I'm sure - I don't know, you must encounter this from time to time. What do you say to people to try to convince them of the scientific evidence? DR. TINA HARTERT, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: We certainly see this all the time. I think the best example that probably everyone has experienced is people telling you they get the flu vaccine, and then they get the flu or they get a cold.

And, in fact, we actually have extremely good randomized controlled trials that were done, where people who got the active vaccine compared to the placebo were asked about these side effects. And, in fact, more people in the placebo group actually reported getting a cold or getting sick after the placebo vaccine.

And so, it's the power of these individual stories, countered by our ability to explain to people, proven science.

And this ability of us to communicate, just like the last story that you had from Chelsea Clinton, it is tremendously important for us to be able to effectively communicate, not only proven science, but to counter conspiracy theories, and even just the individual incredibly compelling stories that parents tell, and associate what happens with the vaccine to their child.

This type of communication is extremely important. It takes a tremendous amount of time and resource to effectively communicate and it takes tremendous trust in who the communicators are.

And I think, unfortunately, we've really just had a chronic under- funding and recognition of the importance of, and even respect for public health in the United States.

And public health, I mean, we realize now how absolutely essential public health is, in response to every single nation's response to this pandemic. But public health is absolutely essential in non- pandemic times too, to provide this vetted factual information and also to debunk bad information.

COOPER: Yes. I mean they've been able to almost eliminate polio in the world, the Gates Foundation and others. And yet, people view that as some sort of a global conspiracy. I mean it's so anti-science, and just it defies logic in many cases.

I understand a lot of parents just have very understandable fears and concerns.

When it comes to kids, there's a new survey out from Orlando Health, a large not-for-profit healthcare organization, found 84 percent of parents believed vaccines are the best way to protect their kids from infectious diseases, but two-thirds are nervous to take their children to their pediatrician's office because of COVID-19.

How important is it to get for kids to get vaccines as they head back to school?

HARTERT: It's absolutely essential. And this is something else we have to message about. And if we haven't been doing it yet, we have got to start. We knew we would face this as a problem. And we know, in the past century, what's happened when groups of

people have not been vaccinated. We've had outbreaks of measles, we've had epidemics of whooping cough, not just in the U.S., but other countries of the world.

It's absolutely essential that we get this proven information out to families, so that they understand how critically important it is for them to vaccinate their children, against these communicable diseases.

COOPER: Yes. What do you fear will happen if the number of kids getting vaccinations continues to decline, and even the idea of finally we get a vaccine for COVID-19, and people decide not to take it?

HARTERT: Right. It's the same thing about communicating. People will have a choice. And it's a matter of whether their choice is listening to these individual very compelling stories, or their choice is listening to communication about proven science.

And it's a challenging thing to do. It takes time. It takes resources. We should have started on this, months ago. But it's never too late to start this important messaging.



HARTERT: Because otherwise, the messaging parents will listen to is a story of one child from another parent.

COOPER: Well it's--

HARTERT: And there's--

COOPER: Yes - sorry go ahead. Yes. Dr. Tina Hartert, I really appreciate all you're doing. Thank you very much.

HARTERT: Thank you.

COOPER: Well more news ahead. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Reminder, don't miss Full Circle, our digital news show that gives us a chance to dig into some important topics and have in-depth conversations.

You can catch it Monday, Tuesday as well as Friday, 6:00 P.M. Eastern at, or you can watch it there, or on CNN app, any time on-demand. Also, you can get alerts via the CNN app on every episode.

That's it for us. Want to turn things over right now. The news continues, Don Lemon, and "CNN TONIGHT."

TEXT: CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON. DON LEMON, CNN HOST, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: Hello everyone, this is CNN TONIGHT. I am Don Lemon. Thank you so much for joining.

As I have said many nights, on this program, the United States battling two deadly viruses, COVID-19 and race.

Well today, America's got their first taste of how a potential Administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris would attack those viruses, as compared to the 3.5-year track record of Donald Trump.