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Former First Lady's Star Powers First DNC; DNC Targets Voters Left, Right And Swing; Virtual DNC First Night Opinions; COVID-19 Long Haulers Grapple with Lingering Effects; Democratic National Convention. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired August 18, 2020 - 01:00   ET





NOUBAR AFEYAN, FOUNDER & CEO, FLAGSHIP PIONEERING: We're in the camp of believing that multiple vaccines is what humanity needs to fight this disease. Because none of the parties are actually going to be able to produce the quantities needed for the challenge that we're facing.

And so the best way to get there is to have multiple approaches and the vaccine get out as quickly as possible to those who need it.

The other thing I'll just address is that these vaccines may well have different performance, there may be different levels of protection and different levels of side effects, and we're not going to know that until later this fall, early this year.

And at that time, it may be too late to secure supply because obviously people are trying to secure it now. So it's a very interesting kind of multi-component optimization that people are doing.

And we're doing our best to provide them the data and the information as much as we have it.

DON LEMON, ANCHOR, "CNN TONIGHT": Welcome back, everyone. Look at this, Chris. It's our second hour already, our special

coverage of the night, night one of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

I'm Don Lemon, along with this guy you see on your screen, Chris Cuomo. And we're up late tonight. We're usually on the phone talking on our way home but now we're on television talking to you.

And tonight. Chaos, division, a total and utter lack of empathy. That is how a former first lady of the United States described the presidency of a man who succeeded her husband.

The first -- former First Lady Michelle Obama and other headliners didn't stop there.

Watch this.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FMR. FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head.

He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us.

It is what it is.



SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT): We need an unprecedented response. A movement like never before of people who are prepared to stand up and fight for democracy and decency. And against greed, oligarchy and bigotry.

The future of our democracy is at stake.


CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR "CNN TONIGHT": Now Bernie Sanders came out with a different forcefulness to his base about being on board with Biden arguably than he did in 2016.

I know the senator won't like that assessment. You can come on and talk to Don and I about it whenever you want.

The story of the night is Michelle Obama's prowess as a communicator. The problem is she's not the candidate.

So the question becomes is what she's saying powerful enough, not for a pat on the back from all the media, but to make people who are thinking about staying home, who are disaffected, who aren't really sure that they can get better out of the system, will they come out and vote?

That's the big question of this convention.

Can a great speaker like Michelle Obama get people who are like, "Yes, I like Joe Biden but I don't -- I just I don't know, I'm just so sick of everything."

Can she get those people motivated?

LEMON: You know what I think? Seriously, I think that we're a bit shell-shocked from the past four or five years that we have been covering this president.

But I do -- I think we may be looking at it with a jaundiced eye -- and I don't mean that in a negative way because we cover it, in and out, every single day, right? Two hours, sometimes more, sometimes you do one hour, two hours or more.

I think that for the people at home, Chris, it may have come across differently.

I'm getting people who are telling me, "Hey, listen. I was able to watch this in a serious way without all of the -- you broadcasters getting in the middle of it and trying shape what I think.

I actually sat and listened to the former first lady. I listened to --

CUOMO: There's an intimacy to it.

LEMON: -- to Bernie Sanders.

CUOMO: There's an intimacy to it --


CUOMO: -- that I think people have kind of gotten used to in this COVID phase.


Because, right, everything's so much more low tech.


CUOMO: But for me, the moment of the night without question was Kristin Urquiza.

LEMON: Oh, yes?

CUOMO: Because her talking about her father, she's not a politician. This is somebody who didn't need to die.

LEMON: The only pre-existing condition or whatever she said was --

CUOMO: She said was believing, trusting Donald Trump.

LEMON: Believing. There you go.

CUOMO: But he didn't need to die.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: There are too many stories like that. And now we've got our kids going back to schools with lousy plans and not enough tests.

Our country, as a metaphor, is this pandemic. It affects everything about us that's strong and weak in one. If I were the Democrats, that all I'd be talking about.

That's not all they did tonight. LEMON: Yes. Listen, I was watching and listening on the way in. And

I thought, wow, man, this is really boring. But then, I'm telling you, we could be wrong -- and I think that the audience may have gotten something different out of it. So.

CUOMO: Well, you could be wrong. I never said it was boring.

LEMON: Well, I did.

CUOMO: Don't try to put it on me. Don't throw me there in there with you.

LEMON: That's fine. All right.


LEMON: Well, why don't we just see what our experts --

CUOMO: When you're right, I want to be on your side. Not right now. I don't know if you're right or not.

LEMON: Let's check out what the experts have to say about it because they know. I'm not one.

Let's bring in Paul Begala and Angela Rye. OK. Good evening to both of you.


LEMON: So, Angela, am I right. What do you think?

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It was so boring. I was thinking about how you know when you are in high school and you have these pep rallies, right?


RYE: I cannot imagine having like a virtual pep rally. Paul knows this better than me, I've only been to a few Democratic National Conventions since working on the Hill.

And what I would say is it was the time where you rah-rah the base. And I was like snooze until Michelle Obama.

So I popped on this red lip for Michelle Obama because she had to tell everybody it is what is. And that means so many different things.

Including Trump's own rendition, very recent rendition, of it is what it is. And that was his lack of regard for human life and decency as it relates to the coronavirus.

But she's telling Trump supporters, listen, you might be at home watching this too. Do not believe your guy is capable of anything more than what he's already showed us.

And I think she was super effective tonight. LEMON: Well, Paul, what do you think? Am I right on the sense that

maybe we are -- we're too close to it?

Because the people at home who I've been speaking to I thought they would say, "Oh, well, it's different, maybe it's a little bit boring." But they're saying, Hey, I got to listen to people, and I thought the seriousness fits the moment."

What do you think? Do you think it was boring, what did you think?

BEGALA: I thought it was terrific because it met the moment -- my ninth Democratic Convention, that's how old I am. Plus I've covered and attended four Republican conventions. This is my 13th convention, all in all.

And I love them, I love them. Even the Republican conventions, those people are unbelievably nice to me. They really are.

But this is not a time to stand up and scream and yell at large rallies. Even Donald Trump who's terrific at drawing big crowds can't draw flies when he tries to have these stupid rallies.

This was relatable. It was intimate. It was personal.

And when you have this combination of left and right -- conservative Republican like Kasich and a socialist like Bernie, when you have this combination of -- maybe the person in public life with the greatest star power, which is Michelle Obama -- along with Kristin Urquiza who you talked about. And these other folks -- the farmer from Pennsylvania, who talked about how his farm has been destroyed by Trump.

I just thought it was just terrific. Because people could watch that and relate. And they can't always relate to standing at a podium and speaking and orating to my fellow Americans.

So I thought that the Democrats took the new reality and really maximized it.

LEMON: I don't think Angela has a point though. I kept saying -- and Angela, this is something we can talk about a little bit later. I felt that they should've hired a sports producer and had maybe a virtual audience in there with some virtual cheering at as they've been doing --

RYE: Yes.

LEMON: -- with the NBA. Right. They should have taken some lessons from that. But hey, listen, it's not my job to produce it.

But I just want to play --

RYE: They need help.

LEMON: I want to dig in a little bit more on the former first lady's speech so you and I can talk about it. Let's play a little and then we'll discuss.


MICHELLE OBAMA: Now I understand that my message won't be heard by some people. We live in a nation that is deeply divided and I am a black woman speaking at the Democratic Convention. But enough of you know me by now.

You know that I tell you exactly what I'm feeling. You know I hate politics. But you also know that I care about this nation. You know how much I care about all of our children.

So if you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this. If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can and they will if we don't make a change in this election.


If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.


LEMON: Interesting. A senior Democratic official, Angela, is telling -- told CNN that, "If we could only hear it" -- and I'm quoting here. "If we can only hear from Michelle every night." Is that how you see it?

RYE: I think that that puts a lot of weight on her shoulders. She already told you what it was, she doesn't like politics.

I think that her speech was flawless. There was one part that really resonated with me around empathy and how empathy actually should cause us to act.

And it reminds me of lot of what my mom says, Dr. Andrea Rye, where she talks about perspective taking and how it's one of the greatest skills that we can gain in life.

And I think that's super important given the environment, again, that we are living in.

It's not just COVID, it's also racial tensions. It's racial caused by police violence. It is the economic disparities and the health disparities that are all coming to a head at the same time in the middle of these conventions.

And I think if there was any shortcoming in Michelle Obama's speech tonight is one that several of my friends have raised, she mentions that she's a black woman in the speech, but she didn't say anything about Kamala.

Of course, we know that this was recorded before Kamala was named but we should have did a little add-in.



RYE: It's too historic of a moment to miss. And Joe Biden's ticket without her -- Paul, we can fight -- but without her, it's struggling. It really is. It's hard --

LEMON: Hey, Angela --

RYE: So we need that Kamala energy.

LEMON: -- let me ask you this. Because I was speaking to black women tonight. Afterwards, I said what did you think, right? My nieces and my mom, my friends are my focus, unofficial -- unscientific focus group or unofficial focus group.

So, OK. No. One of my friends said -- and that's why I said we may be too close to it. She said, "I'm going to do my best to stay up for you and Chris. Because, baby, wine during Michelle, I already" -- mean that she was drinking wine during Michelle. She said, "I already got my John Lewis T-shirt and hoops laid out for work tomorrow because 'Chelle from the South Side showed up tonight. Whoowee."

So was she a motivating factor especially for black women to get out to the polls and to encourage other people to go?

RYE: Well, is it bad if I tell you I don't think we were her audience tonight? I think that we were not.

Like I do think -- like she was the best speech to me, by far. I also don't think it felt like a pep rally, as I stated before.

I do think that there was an obligation she had to draw in the audience from all of the books she sold, right? That's not just a black woman audience.

Michelle Obama has a way of tearing down barriers by saying, "Look, y'all, this isn't political" --

LEMON: Everyman.

BEGALA: (Inaudible).

RYE: -- "let me tell you about character. Let me" -- yes. Let me just push through -- acting (inaudible) is like -- she is so skilled at doing that.

That's why they called her the closer on Obama's Campaign.



LEMON: Very good point. So let's talk about Bernie Sanders. Reached out -- Paul, reached out to supporters tonight trying to bring the left on board, the more progressive side of the party on board. Republicans like John Kasich are trying to bring the right on board,

right, or independents or really just people who think logically and who have sense in this moment. Will that work?

BEGALA: I think it worked tonight. A convention has to do two things. You have to rally the base and you have to reassure swing voters. That's a difficult thing.

Joe Biden got more votes than any Democrat in the history of our country in this primary process. He got 17,660,000. Good for him. He needs 70 million, though, to become our president.

And the road from 17.6 to 70 is full of swing voters, full of moderates. So I like -- I don't agree with John Kasich's politics, I like that he was there. Heck, I don't agree with Bernie Sanders' politics, I like that he was there.

I thought Bernie did everything he could do. And I think his movement is far more united behind Joe Biden than they ever were behind my friend, Hillary. And I'm happy about it, I don't want to whine about the past.

But I love to having a big tent. There's two kinds of churches like there two kind of parties; those who seek out converts and those who hunt down heretics.

Mr. Trump wants to hunt down heretics. OK. I think Joe Biden wants to seek out converts. He wants a big church. And I love that.

LEMON: All right. Well, Angela got her lipstick out, I don't know what you did, Paul. But --

BEGALA: I got my donkey tie out here.

LEMON: All right.

BEGALA: Isn't this great?

LEMON: We'll take it.

BEGALA: This is from my friend, Jerry Domenico (ph) in Dallas, Texas.

LEMON: I've got my convention tie on, look at that. Red, white and blue. It's either election night or convention night you get to wear this tie.

Thank you, both. It's good to see both of you. I'll see you throughout the coming week. Thanks so much.

BEGALA: Thanks, Don. Thanks, Angela.

LEMON: We'll be right back.

RYE: Bye, Paul.



SANDERS: My friends, I say to you, to everyone who supported other candidates in the primary and to those who may have voted for Donald Trump in the last election.

The future of our democracy is at stake. The future of our economy is at stake. The future of our planet is at stake.

We must come together, defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.


CUOMO: Are you feeling the burn? Were you feeling the burn? Are you going to listen to Senator Bernie Sanders? Do you believe him now?

Do you believe that you must back his former 2020 rival, former VP, Joe Biden?

Let's bring in Karen Finney and Chris Cillizza.

CUOMO: Chris Salliza first. Is that even a merit-based question? Does it matter?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & EDITOR AT LARGE: Yes, I do think it matters to some degree, Chris. I think it's a merit-based question.

I think there's going to be people who answer your question in the negative and say, "No, I just can't be for Joe Biden.


He doesn't represent what I think the Democratic Party is and should be."

In that speech, Sanders mentioned they have a disagreement, for example, about health care. They have a big disagreement there.

But if you're Biden's campaign, you have to be happy with that speech. You have to feel as though Bernie Sanders sounded genuine. He made clear, look, we don't agree on everything, not trying to paper over our disagreements.

That said, we need to focus on the bigger fight here. And the bigger fight here is Donald Trump. That any Democrat, including Joe Biden, is better than Donald Trump.

So from my perspective, if you are on the Biden Campaign that's a hurdle you needed to get over, right? The Sanders' speech.

And I think that Bernie Sanders sort of gave as much as you could expect him to give. And to Paul Begala's point in the last segment, certainly it was a more warm endorsement than he gave to Hillary Clinton four years ago.

CUOMO: A convention will not bring the 'Cats together. Karen.


CUOMO: All of the 'Cats, AKA the Democrats, the "Democats" because herding a group of categories is what you guys are like. And I've been getting a lot of heat for this. But I grew up in Democrat politics.

You guys love your purity tests. You come at each other, you slice each other up in a way the Republicans don't. They fall in line. Democrats do not fall in line.

How are you feeling about the state of coalescing within your ranks?

FINNEY: I think we're doing quite well. And tonight was a great -- you heard me say this earlier.

Tonight was the opening night of this conversation we're trying to have with the American people about what's at stake.

And Senator Sanders, I thought, did a very effective job of a couple of things.

Number one, the critique on Donald Trump. He went after him on some of the substantive policy issues in a way that was very effective, not just for progressives who supported Senator Sanders -- that's really important.

But don't forget in 2016 we had those voters who were some of the Obama, Bernie, Trump voters. And those are some of the swing voters who are coming back our way. So his message was also geared towards those people.

And it was important, I think, to say to people -- and this is something as a party I think we're always trying to make this point -- we have shared values and core values.

We don't have to agree on everything but certainly we're agreeing on where we're trying to get to. We may not agree on how we get there but, in general, we agree on some pretty basic, fundamental, core values.

And look, we will elect Joe Biden and the struggle will continue, the work will continue. And organizations that do different types of work, they will continue to hold a Biden Harris administration accountable to the issues that they care about.

That's a very important message to say to people in this moment.

CUOMO: So first, Chris. I want to play a little bit of a mash up for the people at home that didn't watch all of the virtual convention. Here is a mash-up of Joe Biden's primary opponents --


CUOMO: -- speaking about him tonight.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald Trump does not understand who we are as Americans. Really doesn't.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a guy that blames everyone for everything.

He blames the City of Baltimore. He blames the country of Denmark. He blames the prime minister of Canada for cutting him out of the Canadian version of "Home Alone 2." Who does that?



BETO O'ROURKE (D), FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's the kind of leader that brings other leaders in.



SEN. CORY BOOKER, (D-N.J.): This is a guy that's going to walk into the Oval Office and not have to find his way around.


CUOMO: Now, Chris, first. What's your take on that?

CILLIZZA: Yes. Well, first of all, they had 24 candidates to choose from so a they lot of voices that they could pick from.

But out of all of the sort of pre-taped stuff, the round tables which I didn't particularly love, the round tables, i thought that was the best pre-taped thing.

I'm not counting the speeches because obviously Michelle Obama's was pre-taped. But I thought that was actually very effective.

And Cory Booker, who was playing at the end there, he tells the story of he and Biden are going at it during a debate. And then in a commercial break, Biden comes over to him and says, "Hey, I really like your ideas. You add a lot to this stage."

The decency of Joe Biden is what needs to be sold here. I don't think he's the most charismatic. I think he'll give a perfectly fine speech, I think he'll be okay in the debates. But the fundamental decency of the man is what is trying to be sold here.

And who better to serve as -- people who can testify than his opponents? People who tried to beat him and are now behind him. I actually thought that was pretty well done.

CUOMO: I actually I think it's no surprise, Karen, that the moment that stuck out tonight -- look, who knows, it's all subjective. Everybody takes different things from it.

But when you're looking online to the people who aren't just fire breathers --


-- the reason that Kristin Urquiza -- of course, people are going to give lots of kudos to Michelle Obama and she deserves it. She's a great communicator, good for her. She's just not your candidate. But the reason Urquiza resonated --

FINNEY: You love to say that.


CILLIZZA: It is true.

CUOMO: She's not your candidate.


CUOMO: How much can you spend time saying how great she is, she's not running. That's all I'm saying.

It's like Jordan comes out before the game, you're like "Oh, he's the best." Yes. Too bad he's not on the court.


FINNEY: (Inaudible).

CUOMO: So here's what I'm saying. Urquiza resonated because you play the ball where it lies in politics. And sometimes you would've won if it were a different time.

The time is a pandemic. It's a pandemic that was ignored. People are dying, they're sick, our kids can't go to school and all of us know that this is a bad result. We didn't need to be here.

FINNEY: That's true.

CUOMO: And people are angry about that now. Clinton had to deal with people being angry about different things; cultural things, systemic things, political things. And the disaffection is real and warranted.

But I believe now it's overshadowed by a moment in time that we will never forget.

The more this election is about our reality -- you don't have to dress it up. It's ugly and obvious and everyone knows it.

It's also ugly and obvious that I'm over time. I've got to get to break.

Karen Finney, I love you. Chris Cillizza, always a pleasure to see you. Thank you both for being with me tonight, especially (inaudible) time. I appreciate it.

CILLIZZA: Thank you, my friend.

CUOMO: Now look, as all of you know, I was very open and I will try to maintain being open with you about COVID.

Why do I say try? I'll tell you why.

It was easier for me to show you what I was dealing with when I was sick than for me to be honest about you -- with you about what I'm learning about, what I'm dealing with and what so many people who have had COVID are dealing with now.

I am honestly trying to figure out not how not to scare the hell out of you because I don't have good answers for things.

But I will tell you this -- and you can just look it up online. Stick to the science and the developing science.

There's a growing number of us who had this virus, even mild cases, even young people, who are dealing with a term that is called long- hauling symptoms. You'll hear about long haulers, long-haul symptoms.

Why? This thing does not go away.

I want you to meet one of doctors leading the global fight to solve the mystery of why this virus that's supposed to be kind of like other viruses is kicking our arses in ways that we have never seen before.




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: The reason that I argue to you that this election is about the pandemic is because it encompasses all of our challenges as a country. The least of which is something that you haven't really heard about yet, OK?

You know COVID. You know what it's like when you get it. You know what a really bad case is like. You know what a moderate case is like. You know what this asymptomatic thing is about and how that's tricky.

But here's the part that I think may matter the most over time. It's what it's going to be termed, I think at least for now, long-haul syndrome. And what that basically means is that it does not go away.

For instance, I had it what -- four months ago, ok? It is not gone. I had two plus weeks of fever and the fatigue and all that nastiness, right. Losing all the weight. I'd rather go through that again than what I've been dealing with since.

I'll tell you why because I don't know if it's going to end. I don't breathe the same way that I did. I have brain fog in a way that is noticeable to me and it doesn't matter if you guys notice on TV or people know. I know it.

I know that to me I don't have word recall the way I used to especially when I get tired. That's why this was challenging tonight. I had to really get up for this. Had to prep. I had to caffeinate in a way I normally wouldn't because I'm just not the same at night.

I have depression. I'm not sad. You don't tell me feel better. Thank you for the kind words, I appreciate it. But it's like wishing away my fever. You know, tell me feel better, don't have a fever.

I can't help it that you just get waves of negativity, waves of emotion that you can't control. And I never had it before COVID.

Now, here's the worst part. I am lucky. I am meeting all of these people from all over the country and please don't stop. I want to talk to you on the radio show. I want to use the information about you there and hear.

I will not let you be forgotten; I promise you that. Not because it's personal, but because it's professionally responsible. So many are dealing with so much worse. People who are marathon runners who now can't run a few miles. They've got weird stuff going on in their lungs, weird stuff with hypertension, weird stuff with their stomachs.

I mean this is weird, ok? And we don't understand so called long- haulers. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My stomach is not what it used to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been treated as COVID for 97 days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm pretty much in the throes of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I don't have control pretty much over the left side of my face and some issues with memory loss.


CUOMO: Let's bring in Dr. Michael Marks, ok. He is an infectious disease expert, but what matters about what he's doing is he is applying his energy to studying the long term effects of COVID.

It's a tough task because there is so much to learn. You know, so it's not like we're just going to pop up for answers. It's are we asking the right questions together?

He joins us from London, very early Tuesday morning. Thank you for joining us, Doc.


Now first, just in terms of getting us on the same page and please be very frank about it.

Am I exaggerating the breadth and the concerns about the unknown and the range of what we are hearing that fits this long haul symptom basket?

DR. MARKS: No. I mean in our clinic that we run in London, we see a lot of patients who've had COVID and who now three, four or five months are definitely not back to what was normal for them. People, you know who would run five or ten kilometers a day and who are now, you know, really struggling with their activities of daily living.


CUOMO: And there seems to be this kind of mismatch of well, I didn't have that bad a case but now I'm dealing with a very tough set of symptoms. Are you seeing that? That's it's not necessarily a correspondence -- correlation of really bad case, really bad later symptoms?

DR. MARKS: I think we see patients both who've been in hospital, some of whom are getting better but many of whom are having a long term recovery but you're definitely right that we're patients who in the community with what one might, you know, quote-unquote, "have caught a mild case of COVID" who are still unwell quite some time after their initial illness.

CUOMO: So what are you making of it. Why? Why this virus? Why is this doing to us in ways that we're not used to seeing?

DR. MARKS: Sure, I think there are two answers to that. I mean the first one is one you gave which is the way we're already learning.

The second is that we do see some or many of these symptoms after other severe illnesses, but the thing that you also alluded to is just the huge number of people that have been infected with coronavirus all at one point in time.

And so even if it's only a small percentage of cases who go on to have these long-hauler symptoms, in absolute numbers, you could be talking tens or hundreds of thousands of people because if you've got 5, 10, 15 million cases in the U.S., you know, that could be 50, 100, 150,000 people who develop these long-haul symptoms even if it's only 1 percent.

CUOMO: And so, the mystery is, well what is it about, why is it doing it? But then the real question, the only question that matters is what do we do about it? What I keep getting is an answer and, you know, God love all the people who're trying to help me -- time. That's all I get. You know, make sure that you're healthy, store up your immune systems, shore it up if you can -- time. There are no treatments. Do you think that will change?

DR. MARKS: Yes. And I think also, a large part of getting the treatment right is getting the assessment right. So for example in our clinic that we run in London, we have infection doctors, we have pulmonologists, we have our respiratory physiotherapist in the clinic so that when you are assessed, you can be given guidance about reconditioning because a lot of people have been very health and they've lost muscle mass. They've lost cardiovascular fitness.

But we also bring in hematologists, neurologists, cardiologists because each person's breathlessness may not be the same. Some people may be breathless because they've got permanent lung scarring. Some people maybe breathless because they've got problems with their respiratory muscles. Some people maybe breathless because their hear isn't pumping correctly.

And the treatment and the guidance and the rehabilitation from those different things which all presented breathlessness are different.

CUOMO: Right. And that is just one basket of symptoms. Like this brain fog thing is something else. And what people deal with in terms of their sense of smell and taste, that's another thing.

Look, it's going to be a journey we're all on together, but if anybody needed more reason to wear a mask, you do not want to be dealing with any of these things that I am or any of these other people are.

You don't want to meet Dr. Michael Marks this way. But I'm very happy to have you on the show. Thank you very much for opening people's eyes to the realities. And thank you for working on understanding how to get us better. Thank you, Doctor.

DR. MARKS: Thanks Chris.

CUOMO: All right. We'll be right back. [01:38:27]


DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Four Republicans took the virtual stage for night one of the DNC. It's not unprecedented. We've seen party lines crossed before a conventions, but given the polarized nature of our politics, the question is whether someone like a John Kasich or others will change any minds about 2020.

So let's bring in now, a former Republican congressman and that is none other than Charlie Dent. It's so good to see you. I haven't spoken to you in a while. So, good to have you on tonight.

Coming to us from Pennsylvania, by the way, which is, you know, going to be a very pivotal state in this election. Congressman, good evening or morning depending on where you are -- where you are watching from, I know it's good morning where we are. Donald Trump on Air Force One issued his verdict on John Kasich, even before seeing the speech, calling him a loser. How much weight does someone like John Kasich -- some like Kasich still have within the party?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think THAT John Kasich has some weight with people who might be considering themselves somewhere between center right and center left on the political spectrum. Maybe his -- he doesn't have a lot of punch in the party at the moment, but I think he has some punch for those swing voters.

And I think -- and what I think was interesting about John Kasich's appeal, as well as the other three women who spoke that -- you know, their appeal really wasn't based on policy or ideology. It was based on something larger -- larger principles.

How about stability? You know, there's rule of law? Normalcy? Things that people have taken for granted for years but now, you know, we kind of lost that with this administration. So I think that was the appeal of what those folks have said today, especially Governor Kasich that we want to get back to something more normal, something more stable, something more decent.

And you can set aside your ideology and your particular policy preferences for the moment and think about something larger.

LEMON: Listen, I said it wasn't unprecedented but I don't remember this early on and having members of the opposite party being elevated so much on the first night, right. And John Kasich given more time than prominent Democrats. So listen, I thought it was fascinating. I thought that part for me, I thought, was unprecedented.

But we are seeing a growing number of Republicans for Biden groups. But does that extend from beyond the higher levels of the party down to the -- to actual Republican voters?

DENT: I believe it's happening. Don, what we often see are these polls saying that 85 or 90 percent of Republicans support the President. What they don't tell you was that that base has diminished.

These are people who self-identify as Republicans. There are a lot of folks who previously did identify as Republicans who are now either Independents or Democrats. And so, again Governor Kasich and the others who spoke tonight, the other Republicans who spoke, are speaking to many of those people, those soft Trump voters, you know, who have doubts.


DENT: And you know what, I'm going to use a term tonight Don, you probably haven't heard before, but "double haters". You know, in the last election in 2016, we had people who really hated Donald Trump and hated Hillary Clinton, but Donald Trump won those people by a significant margin.

The opposite is going to happen this time. They're going to be double haters. People who are going to dislike Joe Biden and Donald Trump -- Biden is going to win them. So I think partly what they're doing is speaking to those people who aren't happy about either candidate, for one reason or another but showing them that maybe Joe Biden is a safer, more stable choice going forward.

LEMON: Do you think those people were watching the Democratic convention tonight?

DENT: Well, I'm not sure. But you know what's even more interesting Don, I'm curious to see how many Democrats will be speaking at the Republican convention next week other than Rob Blagojevich. I mean, I don't know who could they possibly have. I mean we don't have anybody.

So, you know, again like this format tonight -- it was a two-hour infomercial. It's a virtual convention. I'm not sure people are going to watch that or watch Netflix on a night like this. But I suspect on the first night and perhaps the last night of the convention some people are tune in, at least enough will.

LEMON: Yes. Well look, you talk about the -- you said it was double haters or double dislike? What did you call them?

DENT: Double haters.

LEMON: Double haters.

DENT: Yes. I call them double haters. Double haters, you know --

LEMON: I know about that. A lot of them watch me every single night.

DENT: That's why -- that's why you get paid the big bucks. You've got a thick hide. You can take it.

LEMON: Hey listen, it's good to see you, Charlie Dent. Thank you so much. I appreciate your time.

DENT: Good to see you, Don.

LEMON: Thank you.

We will be right back.

DENT: You got it.



CUOMO: No mystery what the right message is in the middle of a pandemic, D. Lemon?

LEMON: What the right message is in the middle of a pandemic?

CUOMO: Right. LEMON: Yes. Well, the message for the Democrats is, they will tell you is to get on that and to show, you know, how the President has not handled it properly.

If you're talking to Republicans, they're going to say well, it's being overblown and that we can get through this and the economy needs to reopen. Although you have Democrats who say the economy needs to reopen but when do you do it smartly? So.

CUOMO: Yes. Listen, I think it is all lose for anybody that tries to mitigate the pandemic.

LEMON: You do?

CUOMO: Yes. Because we've all learned a collective lesson now which is don't talk to me about reopening the economy. We all want to reopen the economy.

LEMON: Of course.

CUOMO: We all want to reopen schools. But if you don't handle the health part, we cannot do any of this. You lied to us. You told us we could open up and the other stuff would follow.

LEMON: Guess what, we would be able to open up now.

CUOMO: That's right.

LEMON: If we had -- if we had done it properly. If we had shut down. If we had social distanced. And if we had more buy in from the American public. Am I wrong?

CUOMO: You are 100 percent right. And you will see a lot of sourpusses now amongst all of your friends with kids. Because they are now angry. And they are angry because it is sinking into them that, hey, we didn't need to be here. You had months to figure this out.

If we had rapid tests that we could give our kids every day, every other day, we could be back in school. If we had taken masks more seriously in these places like Georgia and Florida where they hid cases around the July 4th, they say no, it was a mistake. Please. Please, ok?

LEMON: Oklahoma.

CUOMO: Prove to me that it was a mistake. Until that, it's what it looks like which is you were hiding cases. And we know why you are hiding cases.

And if we had just done it the right way but we got the signature of American stupid situation of it's wrong because I say so. It's politics. If I were the Democrats, I'd talk about nothing else at this convention because it's nonpartisan.

LEMON: Right on. Right on.

CUOMO: Kristin Urquiza --


CUOMO: That's America.

"My father's gone. My life is compromised. Things are wrong and they didn't have to be. You let me down because you didn't do your damn job." That's where we are.


CUOMO: That's where we are.

LEMON: And I have the family on -- I believe the family was the La Joya -- I don't want to get it wrong. My producer Zach is in my ear.

But they had a father and a son. So it was the dad -- their dad and their grandfather, both positions in Florida. Both of them caught COVID, were hospitalize within five days at the same time within five days of each other.

And they came on this program -- my program, I shouldn't say this program -- and they begged for people to take it seriously, to wear masks, to social distance.

CUOMO: And then they're partying their asses off in Georgia.

LEMON: And they're -- and so if you want -- you can have -- your kids can go back to school, Chris if you shut bars down, right? Or had shut bars down in the beginning and had done it properly.

If you weren't going to the super spreading events. You could have -- you could have kids going back to school. And I know people who say -- it's so frustrating when people say, why are you guys talking about, you know, what's happening in Georgia and in schools, but you did not do it with the protesters? Yes we did. We talked about the protests.

CUOMO: And why do we have to upset these things?

LEMON: Yes. What does one have to do with the other and --

CUOMO: Protesting raised the risk of transmission.

LEMON: Of course, it did.

CUOMO: I don't know how many masked and how many didn't.


CUOMO: But it raised risks. That's not what those protests were about. When you're just having a party because you don't want to believe in COVID --


CUOMO: -- that is something that is COVID specific. Protests are about systemic racism, that existed pandemic or not.

These parties are just a fool -- what I call covidiots -- covidiots, ok. I wanted to say it slowly. I'm not just saying just an idiot. You're being a covidiot.


CUOMO: You're being stupid about this disease.


CUOMO: And it's killing us. Where is the President pointing out that video and saying, don't do this?

LEMON: Yes. Yes.

CUOMO: Don't do this. That's the kind of leadership we need. And I'll make it easier for you. I'll give you the tests. I'm going to have a moonshot on testing. Where is that?


LEMON: Yes. By the way, it was the Viejo family. So sorry about that.

But listen. What I want to say is -- and I said this last week. If you believe that you've made America great again and people love you so much, you should be encouraging as many people to vote as possible. You should be sending people ballots with stamps on them if you really believe in that.

And so I think you are right in this moment when you have a pandemic where many people are going to be afraid to go to the polls, right? Afraid to send their kids back to school, afraid of entering an office buildings in the way that they once were, afraid of going to a shopping mall, and so on and so forth.

If you really believe that, then you should be sending ballots out. But also if you are the Democrats, Chris, right on, you should be hammering that message home if you want to win that election. Because that is what is real in people's lives right now.

CUOMO: Yes. That was Michelle's strongest point. Michelle Obama's strongest point --

LEMON: Telling people to go and vote. Do it early.

CUOMO: -- was telling people to act.

LEMON: As you said when we discussed this --

CUOMO: And I think you should act no matter who you want to vote for.

LEMON: -- call to action. You called it a call to action on our call before this. And you are absolutely right. That was the only one I really heard that resonated. CUOMO: Yes. I mean look, that's where we are as a country. I mean we

don't have to fake it. You don't have to make up problems. You know how sometimes politicians try to make you think something matters more than you actually -- you don't have to do that with the pandemic.

It's killing us everywhere. It just is. But I'll tell you what, it's only night one. Let's see what they can get done this week and next week.

LEMON: Give it a chance -- give the unconventional convention a chance. I know that sometimes I have to convince -- using you're trying to convince me to be a glass half full. I'm trying going to convince you tonight. Give it a chance. I think it's a different way of doing it, but I think that this may resonate with people that meets -- in a way that meets the moment than obviously at any other time.

CUOMO: I'm just saying they don't need a lot of creative thinking.


CUOMO: We are living the crisis.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: The pandemic is everything.

LEMON: You're right.

CUOMO: This is a referendum on how the President handled it.

LEMON: You won't hear me say that often. You're right.

CUOMO: Well, I hope you say that the next time I ask you to pick up the check.

LEMON: You're wrong.

CUOMO: Listen, I love doing this with you. I think we should do it again.

LEMON: I think we should. What about tomorrow?

CUOMO: Done.

LEMON: All right.

CUOMO: I have no other plans. Snap, snap, snap.

LEMON: I love you, C. Cuomo.

CUOMO: I love you D. Lemon. I love you D. Lemon.

Thanks for being with Don and with me. Thank you for watching.

Stay tuned because the news continues here on CNN.

LEMON: Goodnight.