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Trump And Biden Make Final Push With Three Days Until Election; More Than 90 Million Ballots Cast In Early Voting; U.S. Reports Highest Ever Daily New Coronavirus Case Count; Spotlight Shines On Contentious Senate Races; Sen. Kamala Harris Stumps In Battleground Florida; Vice President Pence Speaks In North Carolina. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired October 31, 2020 - 11:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

All right. It's the home stretch in the fight for the White House. President Trump and former vice president Joe Biden taking nothing for granted. The candidates, their running mates and teams crisscrossing battleground states with just three days left until America decides.

In this last weekend before election day, Trump making four stops in Pennsylvania where he narrowly won in 2016, while Biden teams up with former president Barack Obama in the swing state of Michigan. Both states among those experiencing an upsurge in COVID cases in October.

The U.S. Marking the worst week since the pandemic began. On Friday, breaking world record for single day case count -- nearly 100,000 infections. Deaths also on the rise. More than 1,000 Americans died on Friday alone leading some health experts to warn that if the current trends hold, hospitals may be pushed well beyond capacity in the coming weeks.

Back on the campaign trail, stark contrast between the candidates on the handling of the ongoing pandemic. And it's coming at a critical time in this race.

Several states are ending in-person early voting today. That includes Virginia, as you see right here. Also, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, West Virginia and most of Florida.

A short time from now, President Trump will begin the first of four events planned today in Pennsylvania.

CNN's Joe Johns is in Bucks County as we watch live images right here of the president of the United States about to leave Joint Andrews there , about to board Air Force One.

All right. So Joe, it's a very busy day for the president and his campaign. And he is crisscrossing Pennsylvania and a good part of the country over the next three days.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: that's right, Fred. You can certainly tell this is the last weekend before election day or we might want to call it vote-counting day, because so many people across the country and the state have already voted, at least two million here in the state of Pennsylvania alone.

This is Bucks County, Pennsylvania right outside Newtown. As you said, the president has three other stops in Butler, Reading as well as Montoursville. It's going to be a very busy day for the president of the United States.

The state, of course, is critical. You can call it pivotal because this is one of the states that could certainly decide the winner of the election in the electoral college. Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes.

So the question, of course, is how is the president doing. According to the CNN poll or polls, the president is down. Joe Biden leading 51 percent to 44 percent. How is the president going to make up that difference?

For one thing, he has been downplaying the severity of the coronavirus to the extent that just now he's started even suggesting that medical professionals have a profit motive in declaring coronavirus cases.


WHITFIELD: All right. Sorry Joe, let me interrupt you real quick. Let's listen to the president.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- very interesting three days. It's going to be a very interesting Tuesday. We have a big red wave that has formed as you've probably noticed. We're doing very, very well with the African-American vote. We're doing very, very well with the Hispanic vote all over. And we're doing very well. It's going to be really something.

I want to thank the special forces. We had a tremendous event happen. And really these are incredible people that do this. But it was a tremendous event. And we'll be giving you some details in a very short period of time.

And it was something that had to get done because they were playing with American citizens. We can't let that happen. So we'll be talking to you about that at the appropriate time.

But these are great people. These are the best in the world. There's nobody like them. And you know a little bit about it. I think people have started to hear. But we'll give you the details in a little while. Ok? Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you thought a little bit about what you're doing on election night, Mr. President? [11:04:49]

TRUMP: Yes. I'll be perhaps between the White House and the hotel because, you know, we have -- I guess they have a limit. They've placed limits on the hotel, which is unfortunate. They did that yesterday in Minnesota, the governor. And I think he's paying a very big price for it.

We had thousands -- we're going to have over 25,000 people. And you saw what went on there. It was ridiculous. With all the problems that Minnesota has with riots and all the things and I saved Minneapolis and they should have called me sooner.

But we saved -- I mean, you wouldn't even have a Minneapolis right now. And I think we're going to win Minnesota. And I think what the attorney general did and what the governor did in Minnesota last night was very sad.

Thousands and thousands of people were disenfranchised. I mean they travels for miles -- many miles to get there in some cases. They were staying there. They slept over.

And then the governor makes a political move. I don't think it's going to help him. We want to win Minnesota. I think we have a really good chance and I think he frankly gave us a better chance. Ok.

We'll talk to you later. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. The president, short and sweet there, as he's about to board Air Force One on his way to four-stop campaigning in Pennsylvania, saying it's going to be a very interesting next three days and he's anticipating a red wave.

And, of course, he also was asked where is he going to be on election night. He's going to go back and forth between the White House and his hotel in D.C. there. The mayor of D.C. reminding him that no one can gather, no more than 50 people can gather in any one place during this pandemic.

The president there making issue with the fact that there are those limitations and so thereby, he'll be going between the White House and his hotel.

All right. So Joe Biden, he's also campaigning today in the battleground state of Michigan where he will be joined by former president Barack Obama. They will hold a pair of drive-in rallies in the state where the virus is surging.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is in Flint, Michigan where the first rally is set to get under way in just a few hours. So Jeff, you know, what kind of closing message is expected from Biden and Obama?


We certainly have heard a preview of this message that the former president Barack Obama has really been giving for the last little more than a week or so, making the case against Donald Trump. Making a case for why it's time for America to move in a new direction.

But today the message, with just three days to go in this election season, is to get out and vote. What the Democratic side of this operation and the Biden campaign are trying to do is reach out to all of those people who voted for Barack Obama and Joe Biden in 2008 and again four years later and get out to vote.

They have no doubt that there are enough people if they all come out to vote and their votes are counted. But they are slightly concerned about enthusiasm and turnout and just the mechanics of voting.

So I am told that is one of the things that the former president is going to stress here in his first stop in Flint. This will be the first time that we've seen Barack Obama and Joe Biden on the campaign trail side by side. They've been doing their own thing, of course, during this pandemic.

But as you said, it's a drive-in rally. And they are, you know, making a point of doubling down on the differences between how they're campaigning and how they would govern differently as well.

And former vice president Joe Biden, he was campaigning yesterday in the Midwest. He went directly after the president's assault on Dr. Fauci and on masks. Let's listen.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Dr. Fauci, who has been not treated very well by the president, who has been with three other presidents in the same role, one of the most respected guys in the world, he's called for a mask mandate. This isn't a political statement of us wearing these masks. For God's sake, it's a patriotic duty.


ZELENY: And these presidential battlegrounds are pandemic battlegrounds indeed, Fredricka. Every state that President Trump and Joe Biden have been campaigning in have seen a rise in coronavirus cases.

That is certainly true here in Michigan as well -- a 52 percent rise in cases over last week alone, seeing record numbers virtually every day. So that is the center of this campaign and how they are campaigning is certainly key.

But the reason that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are starting here in Flint. In this county alone, Genesee County four years ago, Hillary Clinton won 26,000 fewer votes than Barack Obama and Joe Biden did four years prior, in Detroit 75,000 fewer votes. That adds up to 100,000 fewer votes, Fredricka.

Donald Trump carried this state by 10,704 votes. So the key here is trying to get those Democrats out to vote. They know they're out there. They're just trying to get them to the polls between now and next Tuesday, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Important details. Thank you so much, Jeff Zeleny.

All right. Early voting across the country has exceeded a record- breaking 90 million voters. This weekend is the final window for early voting and in some states today the last day to cast a ballot before election day.


WHITFIELD: CNN has a team of reporters on the ground with voters in key battleground states.

Let's begin with CNN's Randi Kaye in Broward County, Florida where election officials just thwarted a scheme to register deceased residents?


We're getting more details about that. Apparently, the scheme was to try and register about 50 people by mail as Democrats to vote, but law enforcement and election officials were able to uncover that scheme, put an end to it. A lot of these people were deceased, some as far back as being a century old. That's when they were born.

And they were able to figure out that these people were not alive and could not vote and should not be registering by mail. So that was the end of that.

But just two days to go for early in-person voting here in the state of Florida. Already more than eight million Floridians have voted. Registered Democrats leading registered Republicans here in the state by about 116,000 votes. It is tightening as more and more Republicans are showing up for early in-person voting.

Also another concern for Democrats, Fredricka, is the rate at which ballots are being rejected, either for missing signatures or for mismatched signatures. I'm told by Daniel Smith, the University of Florida professor who tracks all of this, that the ballots from black and Hispanic voters are being rejected at twice the rate as those of white voters. So two to one in that case.

Also, he said that more ballots for younger people are being rejected as compared to older people. 1 percent of ballots for 18 to 23-year- olds are being rejected and if you look at those over 65, just one- fifth of a percent of the ballots are being rejected. So that is also a concern.

But the good news, he says, is that overall -- overall the rejection numbers are lower than in 2016 and people, at least for now, have a few days to still cure or fix their signatures and their ballots. But as we get closer to election day, that time will run out.

So now let's check in with my colleague, Ryan Young, in Milwaukee, Ryan. RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: -- you can see the crowds

(INAUDIBLE) the polls have been open just for a few minutes and as we look back this direction, we'll give you the up-close view. We've been allowed in as people are starting to cast their votes and the line goes all the way around the building here.

Just a half hour ago, no one was here and then they opened this up. We have Julieta Henry with us, who's the director of elections here.

You said there's been a lot of people who have been excited about getting out to vote. Tell us about the numbers so far.

JULIETTA HENRY, DIRECTOR OF ELECTIONS, MILWAUKEE COUNTY: Well, right now we have over 324,000 so 58 percent of the actual registered voters have already received an absentee ballot.

YOUNG: What has this been like. You said you've never really seen lines like this before. Talk about the people who have been showing up.

HENRY: Well, since election -- this in-person absentee voting started, the lines have been -- and this is one of the busiest sites in the state of Wisconsin -- the lines have been incredible. Individuals have come in, but they've been patient as they go through this process.

YOUNG: Now, you did say something, if you still have a ballot at home, now is not the time to mail it. Please tell people that.

HENRY: That is correct. If you have a ballot at home, you should take it to your municipal clerk's office or one of their drop boxes. Do not wait to do that until election day. Do not delay. Get out today and turn your ballot in.

YOUNG: Thank you so much.

As you see, the folks are moving in. It's been pretty fast. And they just had a cheer for a first-time voter, which is something I've never seen before in terms of this crowd, this cheering. There's a lot of excitement here.

We have seen both candidates, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, the president, come here yesterday to try to get the last bit of people to vote. The commercial, the air waves here are energetic with people trying to get more folks to kind of turn out. The line is still growing.

Of course, now it's time to check in with Suzanne Malveaux in North Carolina.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are lines here and there's also a big line at Party City that's right next door for Halloween costumes. But the enthusiasm here has really been growing throughout the day. The polling stations opening at 8:00 a.m. for early in-person polling.

Now, the deadline is 3:00 this afternoon. What's interesting about North Carolina is you can register to vote and vote on the same day. This is the last opportunity to do that. A lot of voters are taking advantage of that.

I've spoken with the election officials here who say they expect about a thousand people potentially to show up at this site alone. It's one of the most popular sites in Charlotte.

Now, just to give you a sense of the enthusiasm and the importance of North Carolina, when you look at the 7.3 million registered voters, 4.3 million have already voted. That is actually a good percentage of 49.1 percent -- rather 59.1 percent of those voters already participating, breaking all records before


MALVEAUX: I had a chance to talk to some of these voters, what is their passion, what is their priority. And the common theme here is they want to vote and are voting for someone who shares their values, whether or not that's getting the kids back into school or providing health care.

Take a listen.


REGINALD GREEN, NORTH CAROLINA VOTER: I voted for him because I was in the service. and I thought what he was going to do for the military was going to be great. but being out of the military, it's not great for everybody.


MALVEAUX: That was Reginald Green, who voted for Trump the last go- around and says that is not going to be his vote today. And just to underscore, Fred, the importance of these early voting sites, every single one of them being protected, Rockingham County -- that is where a judge has now ruled that it must reopen after a temporary closure. There were three staffers that tested positive for COVID-19. They were sent away, their co-workers quarantined. It was all shut down.

The North Carolina Democratic Party sued to get it reopened. That is now a site that has been reopened, decontaminated. But again, making sure that every one of these early voting sites is there and available for every voter before election day, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Suzanne and all of our correspondents, thank you so much.

All right. Coming up, the United States breaks a coronavirus world record reporting nearly 100,000 cases in just 24 hours. Now governors are urging their residents to take precautions.


GOVERNOR MIKE DEWINE (R), OHIO: The virus is raging throughout the state of Ohio. There's no place to hide. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: And then later, more than a million absentee ballots were cast in Georgia, and now they are all being processed. See what happens after your ballot is delivered.



WHITFIELD: A stunning and sad new record today, the U.S. reporting the highest number of daily coronavirus cases to date. A number that also broke a world record. There were more than 99,000 new infections recorded Friday and the number of cases in the United States has now surpassed nine million.

14 states have hit record high hospitalizations as well. The director of the CDC warns a silent epidemic of asymptomatic infections among people under 30 is what's fueling the spread.

CNN's Jean Casarez has this report.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Scary numbers across the country this Halloween weekend as the U.S. surpassed nine million coronavirus cases on Friday. One million of them added in just the last two weeks.

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: At the moment today, we now have one person being diagnosed of coronavirus every second. We have one American dying of coronavirus every two minutes.

CASAREZ: Officials nationwide are pleading with people to opt for public safety instead of public celebrations.

GOVERNOR TONY EVERS (D), WISCONSIN: As we head into Halloween weekend, a time when many would normally be out and about in a different sort of face mask, please stay home.

CASAREZ: The Midwest where both President Trump and former vice president Biden campaigned on Friday is seeing a particularly grim spike. And while mask wearing and social distancing guidelines were visible at all of Biden's events, Trump poked fun at a Fox News personality for following protocols at his rally in Michigan.

TRUMP: I can't recognize you. Is that a mask? No way. Are you wearing a mask? I've never seen her in a mask. Look at you. Well, she's being very politically correct.

CASAREZ: This, as the new seven-day case rate in that state is up 52 percent from last week.

In Minnesota, 3,165 new cases were announced on Friday, the first time the state has ever crossed 3,000 new cases in one day.

And Ohio reported nearly 4,000 new cases yesterday, marking its highest increase for the second day in a row.

DEWINE: The virus is raging throughout the state of Ohio. There's no place to hide.

CASAREZ: That's not just true for middle America.

DR. JONATHAN REINER, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: It's very bad and it's going to get worse until we do things differently. So what distinguishes our current outbreak from what happened initially in the spring with our so-called first wave is that the virus is all over the country now.

CASAREZ: In the northeast, New Jersey reported over 2,000 cases on Friday, marking the state's highest one-day total since May.

And out west in Utah, a statewide alert was sent to all residents on Friday as the percentage of positive tests hit a record 18.17 percent and a whopping 72.5 percent of the state's ICU beds are occupied.

In California, a Bay Area resident, someone under 65, has become the first person there to contract both coronavirus and the flu. Yet another reminder of how important it is to be vigilant this time of year.

SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: People shouldn't let their guard down. We should try to remain vigilant and be careful these last two or three months as we get through what is going to be the most difficult season.

So I would say have the same prudence around Halloween and Thanksgiving this year. We've protected people for a long period of time. We've got two or three months to go here that we need to be careful.

GOVERNOR J.B. PRITZKER (D), ILLINOIS: In the end, whatever fun you choose, please remember this virus does not make exceptions for holidays or because you want to take a break from it.


CASAREZ: So today is obviously the last day of the month and over half of our states, 31 to be precise, have said that during this last month at least on one day, they have reached the peak of their new diagnosed COVID cases.


CASAREZ: And of the 14 states that are reporting that they are maximum capacity for hospitalizations, they're states that maybe you haven't heard that much about before such as Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming.

And it just shows, Fredricka, the breadth of this virus and the pandemic is spreading, as we said in the story, all across the country.

WHITFIELD: It's fast. That's right. Jean Casarez, thank you so much. CASAREZ: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Straight ahead: the last weekend of the presidential race is right here and the candidates are blanketing the battleground states. So what is the last-minute strategy?

Plus, Vice President Mike Pence is expected to speak in North Carolina later on this hour. Our countdown to election day coverage continues in a moment.



WHITFIELD: At any moment now, Vice President Mike Pence will hold a campaign rally in the battleground state of North Carolina. That event is set to get under way in the next few minutes. And then President Trump will take to the stage in Bucks County, Pennsylvania next hour.

So both Trump and Biden campaigns have several rallies planned today in critical swing states. Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama are campaigning in Michigan.

President Trump will hold several rallies in Pennsylvania. And The first lady is also campaigning in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

And Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris has several campaign events scheduled in Florida today.

David Swerdlick is an assistant editor for "The Washington Post" and a CNN political commentator. Julian Zelizer is a historian and professor at Princeton University and a CNN political analyst. Good to see both of you. And also Julian is the author of "Burning Down the House, Newt Gingrich: the Fall of a Speaker and the Rise of a New Republican Party".

David, you first. The president is holding four rallies in Pennsylvania today as he campaigns at a blistering pace down the home stretch. What does that say about the status of the race?

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Fred, Pennsylvania is so important if you look at the electoral map. President Trump last night time got 306 electoral votes. That means Democrats need to claw back 37 electoral votes from him to win.

Pennsylvania has 20. The simplest way I can think to explain it is if Democrats can claw back Pennsylvania, then they've only got to win two out of the three of Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona. If they don't get Pennsylvania back, they've got to win those three, hold the rest of the Clinton map and not have any room for error.

President Trump knows that and that's why he's campaigning so hard in that state. He's stronger in western Pennsylvania, but you see that shot you just showed, he's there in Bucks County, which is in the outer reaches of the Philly part of the state and that's where Republicans want to try to boost their vote tallies right now. WHITFIELD: Julian, Biden and President Obama will be campaigning

together today at two rallies in Michigan. President Trump won that state by fewer than 11,000 votes in 2016. So how important is Michigan when we're talking about 16 electoral votes? How is it that this is pretty vital, particularly for a Biden victory or a Trump victory?

JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's very important. I think the Biden campaign is not going on the assumption they're going to win Pennsylvania, and because of that, as David said, you want to lock up states that they should win in the Midwest. They should have won in 2016 and I think that's what they're trying to assure right now.

Biden is in the lead in all the polls, but that doesn't mean Biden is going to win. So I think they're playing to cement as many states as possible.

WHITFIELD: David, more than 90 million people have already voted. Do we have any idea how this surge of early voting might impact the election outcome? Who actually shows up on election day as well?

SWERDLICK: So, Fred, in the last several national elections, high turnout has redounded to the benefit of Democrats and so right now Democrats are looking at the turnout across the country and feeling a little bit optimistic about that.

But the thing is, you still have three days to go and Republican voters have been encouraged by their side to come out strong at the end to vote on election day in person. And what this election has taught us and what the last election taught us is that no campaign can take anything for granted all the way through the end.

That's to the point that Julian just made. Democrats lost some states that they think they should have won, they probably should have won, right at the end in 2016. The margins are narrow and so neither side is going to or should take this for granted. And both sides know it.

No one is surprising anyone at this point. It's who can turn out their voters in these key states.

WHITFIELD: Julian, several Republican senators are in really tight races as the GOP is in a real fight to maintain control of the senate. How much of an impact will the presidential race have on these senators and down-ballot candidates come election day?

ZELIZER: I think the Senate is in play because of President Trump and I think many Republicans know that. And the more present that President Trump is in the final days as he's trying to shore up support in these states, it might actually hurt a lot of these Republican senators who are very vulnerable.

So I think Democrats can taste the possibility of a majority, and if they lose the presidency, that would be essential to having a check against the president. And if president Biden wins, a Democratic senate would open up the door to some months, at least, of policymaking.


WHITFIELD: All right. We'll leave it there for now.

You're looking at live pictures in Elm City, North Carolina. That is where Vice President Mike Pence will be showing up momentarily for his rally there.

Julian Zelizer, David Swerdlick, thanks to both of you. Appreciate it.

All right. It is indeed the final weekend for early voting, just three days left before election day. Massive lines are wrapped around polling stations across the country despite fears about the coronavirus pandemic. Several states are ending early voting today.

More than 90 million Americans have already voted ahead of Tuesday's historic election.

Kristen Holmes, CNN national correspondent for us is in Washington. So Kristen, you know, tallying the vote count will be tricky and it could take a lot of twists and turns election night. Why?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. There is a potential to see a skewed either way result right out of the bat on election night that will eventually shift. And here's why.

We have this record number of early votes. When you break that down, since the beginning of the pandemic, Biden supporters have shown a strong preference for early voting and for mail-in voting, whereas Trump supporters, they have shown a preference for voting in person on election day.

Where it gets complicated is that in many of these states, and particularly these states that we're watching so carefully, the swing states, they don't count those ballots altogether. They have different systems, some in which they count early ballots first and release those numbers. Others in which they count the day of votes in first and then release mail-in later.

So you're looking at a situation in which you could see what they're calling a red or blue mirage. So let's talk about a red mirage, for example. That is what we are expecting to see in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin. That's because they are not allowed to start counting those mail-in ballots until 7 a.m. on election day. And most of the counties outside of the big cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, they're going to start by putting out their in-person election day numbers, which will likely be Trump supporters. That is what we are tracking here based on all of the data that we have.

Later, they will start to put in those ballots that are getting mailed in when those come in. Then you'll start to see an evening out and even possibly a shift towards Biden. That, of course, is unpredictable at this time.

But that's what we're looking at here when you see states that show a huge number skewed in one direction that are usually swing states, you can likely suspect that it's either a blue or a red mirage. WHITFIELD: Kristen Holmes -- all right, thank you so much for that.

All right. After a race like no other, it all ends here.

Join us for special live coverage the way only CNN can bring it to you from the first votes to the critical count. Understand what is happening in your state and across the country.

"ELECTION NIGHT IN AMERICA", our special coverage starts Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time.

All right. Coming up, President Trump is campaigning in Pennsylvania today. He's expected to speak to a crowd in Reading this afternoon. CNN team coverage continues in just a moment.

Plus, the United Kingdom is considering whether to impose a new national lockdown. Is the United States next?



WHITFIELD: The U.S. is now reporting the highest number of coronavirus cases ever in a single day. Almost 100,000 cases on Friday and the total number of reported cases has soared past nine million. The month of October has been particularly devastating with at least 31 states reporting single-day new case records.

Dr. Leana Wen is a CNN medical analyst and a former Baltimore health commissioner. Good to see you, Doctor. You're also raising concerns about the high positivity rates in some states. Why is that number so important?

DR. WEN: Good morning, Fred. So positivity rate is what indicates if a hundred people end up getting tested, how many people end up testing positive. The higher the number, it means that we're not detecting nearly enough cases.

So you look at a state like South Dakota where the test positivity rate is almost 50 percent. So one in two people getting tested actually have COVID-19. So you wonder how many other cases are out there that are spreading asymptomatically, such that when you have one case that's detected, you may have 10, 20 other cases that are spreading in the community. No one knows about it and there are many other chains of transmission and outbreaks that are happening.

WHITFIELD: All right. This is a global problem, you know.

Let's talk about the British government now and that it is meeting today to consider a possible national lockdown because of a surge in cases there. Is that something that you think the U.S. should soon consider?

DR. WEN: I really hope not, and I do believe right now that we have a narrow window of opportunity. We are seeing COVID-19 hot spots raging all over the country, and right now we have an opportunity to implement targeted measures, like universal mask wearing, like making sure that our high risk businesses like bars in certain areas, indoor bars are shut down, like instructing the public that we should be avoiding social gatherings of extended family and friends because those are high risk, too.

But if we don't do these things now, we're going to be overwhelming our health systems and then a lockdown may be necessary. Otherwise, we'll have a total collapse of our systems and no one will be able to get medical care, even for things like heart attacks and strokes.

WHITFIELD: Wow. All right. Now there's a case in California, the first person known to have contracted coronavirus and the flu simultaneously. What do you want learned from this case?

DR. WEN: Well, I think there will be cases of co-infection when people get multiple infections at the same time. But I'm actually less worried about the individual who is getting both things at the same time as much as I'm worried about this on a population level. Because every year we already have hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations from the flu.


DR. WEN: You add on top of that everything else for COVID-19 and again, we could have a collapse of our health care system. And we don't have nearly enough testing.

The same symptoms of fever, cost, shortness of breath, body aches -- they could be the cold, a flu, COVID-19. We need far more testing or else we're not going to know who has what illness.

WHITFIELD: Dr. Leana Wen, thank you so much. Good to see you. Stay well.

DR. WEN: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Still to come, the U.S. Senate in the spotlight. We'll take a look at the down-ballot races that could change the balance of power.



WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

We are just three days away from election day. And beyond the presidential race, there are a number of U.S. Senate races in the spotlight. Races that could drastically change the balance of power in Washington.

Our Phil Mattingly takes a look.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Heading into the 2020 cycle, Democrats said they had multiple pathways in the United States Senate to retaking the majority for the first time since 2014. It's not necessarily true that they all believed it.

Now Democrats believe it. And the reason why is over the course of the last several months, over the course of tens of millions of dollars flowing into the campaign coffers, Democrats feel like they have multiple opportunities. Not just frontline seats like Martha McSally in Arizona, like Cory Gardner in Colorado, like Susan Collins in Maine but also seeping deeper into a firewall.

Talking about potentially Joni Ernst in the state of Iowa, taking about potentially even John Cornyn in the state of Texas, even Dan Sullivan in the state of Alaska. Certainly North Carolina with Thom Tillis, considered a very real pick up opportunity. All of these types of races are in play.

You know what else is in play? Potentially South Carolina, where Jamie Harrison broke every fundraising record imaginable in his race to try and take out Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham.

Everything remains in the margin of error as you head to election night. However, Republicans come election night feel like they have two legitimate pick-up shots. First, Alabama -- Doug Jones won a special election. Shocked the world when a Democrat winning in ruby red Alabama. Republicans believe that race is almost in the bag already for them. That would be one pick-up.

They're also targeting the state of Michigan. Gary Peters running for his second term in a tough re-election battle with John James. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said multiple times, it's basically turned into a street fight at this point.

But Democrats hope everything will tip at the same time in their direction and make Chuck Schumer no longer minority leader, potentially majority leader.

Republicans however, acknowledge that while it will be close, while there's a very real possibility they lose their majority, they still have an opportunity to maintain it. Everything will play out on election night in some very, very tight races across the country.


WHITFIELD: Phil Mattingly, thank you so much for that.

All right. This just in to CNN. The University of Wisconsin has just confirmed 22 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those people, 12 student athletes have tested positive. The school will decide on Tuesday whether the Badgers can play their next scheduled game on November 7th at home against Purdue.

Our countdown to election coverage continues in a moment.

But first, here's a live look at a rally for Senator Kamala Harris where she is expected to speak at any moment. Florida is one of several battleground states the candidates are visiting before election day which is now three days away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. When I was deployed --



WHITFIELD: All right. In this final weekend before election day, the running mates are also crisscrossing the states. You see a jogging Vice President Mike Pence there in Elm City, North Carolina to a crowd awaiting there.

And then you see a dancing Kamala Harris, running mate of Joe Biden, there to the right. She is in Miami.

We're going to listen in right now to Kamala Harris.



So there's so much at stake, guys. So much at stake and Florida has been so hard hit. You know, I think that we're dealing right now with four crises that have all happened at the same time.

We're dealing with this coronavirus, this pandemic, right? Which at this point has killed over 225,000 people in just the last several months. People who tragically in many cases were alone because of the nature of the virus. Couldn't have family with them to hold their hands in their last hours and minutes on earth.

This pandemic that has afflicted nine million people in our country who, by the way, will likely experience long-term health impacts. Doctors are talking about things like lung scarring.

We are looking at a moment where there has been such tragedy in terms of loss of life. A mass casualty event that can only be compared to World War II.

And here's the thing. The president of the United States who is also the commander in chief, and it's important to point out, everything Sergeant Cruz said about the responsibility that comes with what we give that person to become that, including that their first priority should be the health and safety of the American people.

WHITFIELD: Senator Kamala Harris there in Miami. Now to Vice President Mike Pence who is in Elm City, North Carolina. Let's listen in.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- an economy that was struggling to break out of the slowest recovery since the great depression, terrorism was on the rise around the world, and we witnessed a steady assault on our most cherished values. But in three short years, we rebuilt our military. We revived our economy. We secured our border, supported law enforcement, stood for life and liberty and the constitution of the United States.


WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much, everyone, for joining me today.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield.