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FDA Gives Emergency Use Authorization for Convalescent Plasma; Video Show Kenosha Police Shooting Unarmed Jacob Blake Multiple Times in the Back; Jerry Seinfeld Op-Ed Says If You Think NYC Is Dead, You're Wrong; Serious Questions Over Trump Possibly Rushing Vaccine Approval for Election Gain. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired August 24, 2020 - 15:30   ET



DR. JEANNE MARRAZZO, DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM: It's a very large study over 35,000 people at many, many different sites. The key thing that I think people might not understand is that everybody in that paper or in that study got plasma. So there is no comparison between getting plasma and not getting plasma.

And to really understand if plasma works. Of course, you have to understand what it does relative to not using plasma. So that's a very important point. The way that they found the benefit of plasma here was to compare people who got plasma early in their illness versus later. And also compare people who had plasma that had the higher levels of those antibodies that I talked about before versus lower.

When they broke it down into the sub-groups is when they saw benefit of the plasma. So it is not a definitive study and it's a very intriguing positive signals, but only those type of data that really should inform our designing studies going forward, personally, I don't think qualify as high enough level of evidence for approval.

TAPPER: Are you disappointed that Dr. Hahn, who heads the FDA, do you think he buckled under pressure?

MARRAZZO: I think -- could say that again, sir, I think I had a little problem with my audio --

TAPPER: Dr. Stephen Hahn, who heads the FDA, he denies he buckled under pressure but I'm wondering if you share the view of other medical experts who think maybe he did?

MARRAZZO: You know, it is really hard to know. He misstated the magnitude of the benefit in the press conference last night which is something that I think people are even more upset about when he said that there was a 35 percent reduction, that 35 out of 100 people would be saved, right if they got plasma.

That is a complete misrepresentation of what the data actually showed. So when he obviously doesn't really understand or can't convey the type of benefit that this type of study showed, one has to wonder what went into his thinking about actual making this decision. So I agree, the whole thing is concerning.

TAPPER: OK, Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, thank you so much. Really appreciate it.

We're also monitoring a disturbing story out of Wisconsin. Yet another unarmed black man shot by white police officers, in this case multiple times at close range in the back in front of his three young children. Where the investigation stands now as new protests erupt. That is next.



TAPPER: In our national LEAD, a Wisconsin man, Jacob Blake, 29 years old, is fighting for his life after police shot him in the back at least seven times yesterday afternoon. His three children watching from the car as the unarmed black man was shot by white police now on administrative leave as state authorities investigate just what exactly happened.

We want to warn you, the video we're about to show you a quick clip of is graphic and disturbing.






TAPPER: It isn't clear what happened before the video recording began. Police say they were called to an address to deal with a domestic disturbance between two women his lawyer says. His lawyer also says that Jacob Blake was not party to the dispute but he was trying to break up the fight between two women.

Blake was choppered to the hospital, the latest news is he is now out of surgery. CNN's Polo Sandoval is live for us in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Polo, where does the investigation stand right now?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Well that investigation, Jake, that's been handed from the local authorities over to the state authorities. Their hope is, of course, that they can at least convey to the community that this is an objective investigation or at least that's how they're putting it here. And that is what people here have been calling really for the last 24 hours, really since those shots rang out here in part of Kenosha. We did spend time at the site of that shooting today, Jake.

I can tell you that many people there told me that they are certainly rallying behind the Blake family hoping that he pulls through so that he can then offer in essence offer his version of the story here and what took place.

Because what we have and what we've seen is albeit it is short but a very disturbing window into what actually took place during the shooting. There are many questions that are still unanswered, which is exactly what kind of disturbance was taking place?

The man who shot that video, a 22-year-old man who lives near the site of the shooting told me that this started as an argument between two females, that the victim here was not a party to it as you mention and was simply trying to break things up. But ultimately though authorities have not really expanded on that. So what they're focus now is not only on the investigation, but also on trying to keep the peace.

Last night things certainly took a violent turn around the city when a demonstration resulted in vandalism happening throughout various government buildings and also various businesses. Also, many of these large dump trucks that were set up around the city to try to block access they were actually set on fire. So what we have tonight is yet another emergency curfew that will be put in place starting at 7:00 p.m. local up until 8:00 p.m. There hope is that any protest that we see, which have seen a few today, remain peaceful as that investigation continues -- Jake.


TAPPER: All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you so much. And we'll get more from you in our next hour, plus examine the evidence revealed so far in this case with former federal prosecutor, we'll discuss it with Laura Coates.

Two tropical storms could make land fall within 48 hours of each other. The latest on that next.


TAPPER: We're keeping our eye in the national LEAD two tropical storms that are now making their way towards the Gulf Coast. Both storms could make landfall within 48 hours of each other.


CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray joins me now. Jennifer, what's the last forecast for these storms? What's the latest?

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, Jake, we do have Marco that's going to be making landfall later this evening. 40 miles per hour moving to the northwest at 6. This one is weakening. Of course we also have this storm's going to be pushing to the west over the coming days bringing rainfall to the south Louisiana area.

And then we have Laura that's continuing to push to the north. And this is the one that we need to watch. This one could rapidly intensify once it enters the Gulf of Mexico which will happen during the overnight hours, could possibly make landfall as a Cat two or three, Jake, in coming days.

TAPPER: All right, Jennifer Gray, thanks so much.

Jerry Seinfeld spreading the news that New York City is not going anywhere as the consequences of the most deadly coronavirus outbreak still stings the city. Stay with us.



TAPPER: Prominent New Yorker Jerry Seinfeld is criticizing those who are saying that New York City is dead. Writing an op-ed, quote, energy, attitude and personality cannot be remoted through even the best fiberoptic lines.

That's the whole reason many of us moved to New York in the first place. Feeling sorry for yourself because you can't go to the theater for a while is not the essential element of character that made New York the brilliant diamond of activity it will one day be again, unquote.

But despite a new record low COVID rate, the city has a long way to go still as CNN's Jason Carroll now reports.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY): We New Yorkers take on challenges all the time and we overcome them.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But there are troubling signs of more challenges the city faces, more than 5,000 businesses closed since March. The number of people shot up by a staggering 84 percent compared to last year. And real estate sales stalled. The number of homes on the market, up 87 percent in Manhattan. Headlines declaring New York City dead forever.

LORI CHEEK, FORMER NEW YORKER: So New York will come back on some level, but it's not going to have that magic that I wanted to pay so much money to live there for.

CARROLL: After 25 years in this city, Lori Cheek, a 47-year-old dating app creator packed up and moved home to Louisville, Kentucky, initially to live with her parents now in her own place with no regrets.

CHEEK: I did it and I was in New York City through 9/11 and Sandy and the recession and I wasn't about to give up on New York. But there was something about this that was completely different.

CARROLL: Interest in moving out of the city has doubled compared to last year according to United Van Lines. The governor has called for people who left to return.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): You got to come back. When are you coming back? We'll go to dinner. I'll buy you a drink. Come over. I'll cook. CARROLL: But even for self-described die-hard New Yorkers, patience

is running out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I say who's going to come back to this? I was here in the '70s when things were really, really rough and people are afraid that we're heading back to that.

CARROLL: Increasing calls from New Yorkers to do more about the homeless in the wake of the pandemic.

CHRIS O'CONNOR, NEW YORK RESIDENT: There's incidents that are troubling. You know, there's a man masturbating in front of the National History Museum. There's reported drugs being sold and used more commonly now.

CARROLL: According to the city's Department of Social Services more than 10,000 people have been moved from group shelters to hotels due to the pandemic.

OLIVIA BAILEY, NEW YORK RESIDENT: I definitely think New York City is going to survive and come out of this. We went through 9/11. I was actually working in one of the towers when that happened. You know, we're very resilient. We can get through anything.

CARROLL: Mayor Bill de Blasio agrees but says the city will need time to recover.

DE BLASIO: What we got hit with was an absolute perfect storm, a health care crisis, an economic crisis, a budget crisis, a social justice crisis, a crime uptick all at once. And all interrelated. But this too shall pass.

CARROLL: Restaurants such as Extra Virgin in the West Village weathering that storm for now.

JOSIP RASPUDIC, GENERAL MANAGER, EXTRA VIRGIN RESTAURANT: I don't think the city is dying. I think the city is definitely going through a phase where we need to adjust and adapt to new things.

CARROLL: And that meant laying off most of the staff, and table service only outside until further notice.

RASPUDIC: I'm only worried about my job and this restaurant and my life personally. When it comes to the city, I think it's going to be a quiet summer. It's going to be a more quieter winter.

CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


TAPPER: And our thanks to Jason Carroll for that report.

Coming up next, reopening the entire country largely rests on the quest for a vaccine. But is President Trump putting pressure on the process in order to score political points? Plus, how President Trump renewed his crazy claim of a rigged election

as he kicked off the Republican National Convention today. That's next.



TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We begin this hour with the health LEAD, the coronavirus death toll in the United States stands at more than 177,000 dead with an average of almost 1,000 Americans continuing to die every day from this virus.

Multiple moves by the Trump administration are now raising serious questions about whether the President is pressuring the medical community to deliver news that he can sell to voters to help him even if such moves violate scientific protocol.

The President pushing the Food and Drug Administration, for example, to authorize a potential coronavirus treatment. And the President accusing members of the fabled "deep state" within the FDA of slowing down the search for a vaccine until after election day, a charge for which of course there is zero evidence.

In fact, the evidence of politicizing the science is on the other side with two sources telling CNN that Trump advisers have raised the possibility of approving a vaccine before Phase III trials are completed, and also before the November election.

President Trump this afternoon in a surprise appearance at the Republican National Convention even bragged that there will be a vaccine sooner than what might have happened.