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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Trump And Biden Battle In Key States In Final Stretch Of Campaign; Trump, Biden Vie For Ohio With 2.5-Million-Plus Votes Already Cast; Coronavirus Cases Spiking In U.S.; Trump And Surrogates Continue To Downplay Coronavirus Deaths; England To Go Into Second National Lockdown. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired October 31, 2020 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[17:00:02]

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We're only three days from election. That will be like none we have ever seen in our lifetimes coming in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

Today, the focuses on Michigan and Pennsylvania, two states that both candidates, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, see as crucial to this election.

We're waiting to hear from both candidates as well as former President Barack Obama, who's campaigning with his former running mate in Michigan today.

And, of course, the last crucial days of this campaign are unfolding against the national nightmare of the coronavirus, the pandemic that may be raging worse than ever here in the United States. Yesterday, we saw a record number of new confirmed coronavirus cases, 99,321, while 1,030 Americans were confirmed dead from the virus just yesterday. Whoever wins this election will face the challenge of leading this country out of the crisis.

Right now, there's other breaking news we're following and brand-new CNN polling in four key states, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Arizona. These are states that are not just battlegrounds, they are critical for both candidates in this election.

Our Political Director, David Chalian, is joining us right now. So, David, we're just releasing these numbers now. What jumps out at you with these new polls released, what, just three days before the election?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. These are our round of state polls, and you are right, they are critical states, two in that Midwest region, Michigan and Wisconsin, and two in that Sun Belt region more, North Carolina and Arizona.

Let me show you our Arizona numbers first. We, in our final pre- election poll here, have Joe Biden at 50 percent, Donald Trump at 46 percent. This is a margin of error race. There is no clear leader here. There is no clear leader in this race in Arizona. This is a true toss-up race right now in Arizona. Let me show you in Michigan. It is a Biden lead, and a significant one, 53 percent for Joe Biden, 41 percent for Donald Trump.

In North Carolina, we're seeing Biden edging ahead of Donald Trump by six points here, 51 percent for Biden, 45 percent for Donald Trump.

And in Wisconsin, a critical state, Joe Biden is at 52 percent. He has an eight-point lead over Donald Trump at 44 percent.

Of course, Wolf, when you look at all four of these polls, Donald Trump won all four of these states four years ago, and you could just look at the recap of all four of them and what you see is Joe Biden at 50 percent or higher in each one of these -- in each one of these polls.

BLITZER: That's really significant. Let's dig a little bit deeper, David, into some of the key demographic groups in this poll. So, what are you seeing?

CHALIAN: So, take a look at women. Okay, female voters have been powering Joe Biden in this race, and it is not going away, at least according to these polls in the closing days here. The advantage for Biden among women in Arizona, 56 percent to 41 percent, Wisconsin, 55 percent to 40 percent, North Carolina, 59 to 37, a 22-point lead among women, and in Michigan, also a 22-point lead among women.

I will note to you, Wolf, that Joe Biden is doing better with women in all four of these states in these polls than Hillary Clinton did with women in all four of these states four years ago.

Let's look at men. We see a similar story here in terms of Biden's able to dig into Trump's advantage here. So, among men, which is a Trump category in North Carolina, he is winning, 53 percent to 42 percent. In Arizona, Trump is winning, 50 percent with men, 44 percent for Biden. In Wisconsin, it's near even, 48 percent for Trump, 47 percent for Biden. That's a huge thing that it's even because it is a big Trump advantage four years ago. And in Michigan, Joe Biden, numerically ahead, but again tied among men, 47-46.

Again, in all four of these states, Wolf, among male voters, Donald Trump's advantage is diminished here on the eve of his re-election battle than from what he had experienced in 2016.

And let me just show you a couple others, independents. Joe Biden just cleaning up with independents across all four states. In Michigan, he's winning them by 11 points, 50-39, in North Carolina, 51 Biden, 38 Trump, in Arizona, 53-37, in Wisconsin, 55-35. Again, I just want to note for you, Wolf, in 2016, in all four of these states, that Donald Trump won, he won the independent vote. He is losing it to Joe Biden and doing so significantly in each one of these four states.

And look at whites without a college degree, Wolf. This is -- this is Donald Trump's base vote. This is what he is relying on in an explosive turnout with white, non-college voters on Tuesday.

[17:05:05] You can see it is advantage Trump here. It's his category. In North Carolina, he's winning them 64 to 33, Arizona, 57-39, Michigan, 55-40, Wisconsin, 51-46, that's much closer there, only a five-point margin there. What we're seeing again is that his advantage four years ago, even with this base group of white non-college, was greater four years ago than it is now. Joe Biden digging into that a little bit.

BLITZER: What's motivating voters more, David? Support for their preferred candidate or is it more voting against the other guy, the opponent?

CHALIAN: There is no doubt that Donald Trump is the factor in this election. This is a referendum on the president. And what you see among Trump likely voters across all four states, they are coming out for their guy. They are -- what is motivating them is supporting Donald Trump. Trump-likely voters in Wisconsin, 79 percent say they're voting for Trump, 18 percent against Biden. Michigan, 77 for Trump, 15 of Trump supporters say against Biden, Arizona, very similar, 77-18, North Carolina, 71-20.

You're not seeing huge numbers of Trump supporters saying, hey, I'm going to vote because I can't stand Joe Biden. The attempt to muddy up Joe Biden in the public's mind doesn't even seem to be working with Trump supporters.

But it is the flipside when you look at Biden-likely voters, okay? When you look at Biden-likely voters, what's the motivating factor here? Well, 52 percent in Wisconsin say they're for Biden, 43 percent say against Trump. 47 percent in Michigan say for Biden, 43 percent against Trump, North Carolina, 45 percent for Biden, 43 percent against Trump.

What you see here is a more even divide that about, you know, four in ten Biden supporters are being motivated by their opposition to Donald Trump, and, yes, a little bit more in these four states are coming out to express their support for Joe Biden. But you see what a motivating factor Donald Trump is for Joe Biden's supporters here as well, Wolf.

BLITZER: These four key battleground states, our final poll before the election just three days to go. David Chalian, thank you very much.

I want to bring in CNN Politics Reporter and Editor at Large, Chris Cillizza. Also joining us now, the epidemiologist, the public health expert, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed.

Chris, what do you make, first of all, of these new battleground polls that we've just seen?

CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: Well, I think David Chalian hit on a point I just want to elaborate on. There's a tendency of 2016 where most people expected Donald Trump to lose to think we're looking at a repeat here. Sure, the polls say one thing but he might win.

What you see in that data, as David went through, all four of those states are states that Donald Trump won. He is now down by double digits in a few of them, he's behind in Arizona, or at least it's close in Arizona, I'll say. This isn't a repeat of 2016.

It doesn't -- that leads know point two, Wolf. It doesn't mean Donald Trump can't win. Even without those four states, there are paths for Donald Trump. Most of them include Florida and he would have to have a run. He's not going to be able to lose a lot more than, let's say, those four states but a path does exist.

But it is important to remember, 2016 does not equal 2020. It doesn't mean Donald Trump can't win but it is not the same race.

BLITZER: You know, Dr. El-Sayed, you ran for governor of Michigan at one point. You're the former Detroit health commissioner. You know the Midwest, obviously, very well. Do you trust the polling, specifically the latest poll numbers in your state of Michigan, 53 percent Biden, 41 percent Trump?

DR. ABDUL EL-SAYED, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I do, and I'm going to give you three reasons why. Number one, one of the parts of these polls that sometimes is missed is the excitement of young people for whom the question is, am I going to vote at all? And if I do vote, I'm coming out for Biden. These folks already in early voting are eating beyond compare their vote totals in 2016 in this election cycle in 2020. That's number one.

Number two, the question right now is not just what the numbers show but what have they shown over time throughout the race, and it's pretty clear that actually this has been pretty fixed since early on. These are not new numbers. These polls aren't really changing. They've been pretty solid. And so it gives you reason to trust them.

And then the last thing that I'll say is that I really appreciated how you and David broke down the fact that, you know, women, that key swing demographic, women are predominantly for Biden and it's because we're in the midst of a global pandemic.

And we cannot forget the context here. We've got a president who has fundamentally failed to take on this pandemic. All of our lives are affected by it, predominantly people of color in particular measure. And I think folks are coming out to vote for change because they realize we can't do another four years of this.

BLITZER: You know, Dr. El-Sayed, a woman you know well, a woman I know well as well, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, she has warned about Trump. She warned about Trump winning back in 2016.

[17:10:00]

Her warnings really weren't adhered by the Hillary Clinton campaign. But now she is urging Democrats to pay more attention to Michigan union workers in this final stretch. Who will the union workers vote for in your state of Michigan?

EL-SAYED: That's right. One of the most complex and confounding aspects of 2016 is how strong union workers and communities like Macomb County and Downriver went for Donald Trump. And I think, you know, as you go to these communities, a lot of them have stuck with the president but it's becoming harder and harder to do.

And a lot of those voters are starting to peel off and realize that if we want any semblance of normality, in 2016, if we want to be able to go back to our lives, our kids go back to school, our younger ones going back to daycare, not having to worry about whether or not we're going to continue to worry about losing our jobs because of this pandemic, then the clear answer is to vote for Biden.

And so I'm seeing a lot more shift though, of course, the enthusiasm of Trump voters is pretty evident. I've got family who lives in Macomb County. We were just there a couple days ago just visiting them in a socially distant manner, and it was very clear that the folks who are for Trump are very for Trump.

But here is the thing. Enthusiasm doesn't vote, right? Whether you're holding your nose or you're voting with abandon, it's the same vote. And we've got to realize that a lot of this is going to be whether or not those who did not vote in 2016 come out to vote this time and whether or not those folks in the middle who weren't partisan either way are going to vote for Biden this time around.

CILLIZZA: And Wolf, I just --

BLITZER: Chris -- yes, go ahead, make your point, Chris, because I got a question for you. Go ahead.

CILLIZZA: Just very, very quickly, to the doctor's point, I think one thing that you're seeing in those numbers that's striking is Joe Biden, yes, some Democrats are for him but it's a binary choice. They don't want Donald Trump, and so they are going out to the polls to vote Donald Trump out and Joe Biden is the alternative. He is the other guy.

He has proven the case, I think, that he is an effective alternative. But if Donald Trump isn't that president, I think the Biden case is more complicated. It doesn't have to be, given the way Donald Trump's behaved.

Sorry, Wolf, go ahead.

BLITZER: The former president, Barack Obama, he's been campaigning with Joe Biden in Michigan today. We're going to hear from both of them very soon, later this hour, we suspect. We'll have live coverage of that.

How significant is it that the former president out there actually campaigning together with the Democratic presidential nominee?

CILLIZZA: Oh, I mean, in a state like Michigan, Wolf, remember, this is a state that no one expected Donald Trump to win in 2016 because it had been Democratic for a very long time. Barack Obama left office in 2016 extremely popular, not just in the Democratic Party but among many independents.

I think the reason that Obama is in Michigan, to make sure that the African-American vote turns out, to make sure that the Hispanic vote turns out, to make sure that affluent whites turn out, those are the people that Biden is not as well connected with as Barack Obama in terms of messaging. So he helps them there.

And, remember, this is an extremely popular Democratic politician and a very able speaker who can attest to the fact that, yes, Joe Biden was by my side for eight years, this is the right guy. So that's why they're deploying him.

It's a huge, huge advantage for Joe Biden. It's one of his strongest assets. It's, I think, in many ways, why he wound up with the nomination. People said, well, he served by Barack Obama for eight years. We want steady. We want a return to normal, as the doctor said. This -- some semblance, if we can get back to normal, well, Joe Biden is the guy that a lot of voters think can get them there and they trust Barack Obama's judgment.

BLITZER: I think almost everyone has made up his or her mind right now. The key is turnout, getting people to show up in these final three days and vote and as far as the Democratic base is concerned, no one is better at doing that than the former president, Barack Obama.

Chris Cillizza, thank you, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, David Chalian, of course, we appreciate these new poll numbers from CNN.

Let's get out to the campaign trail right now, the two nominees hammering states they need very, very desperately as the final days tick down to Election Day. CNN's Arlette Saenz is joining us from Detroit. CNN's Ryan Nobles is in Butler, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburgh.

Arlette, the former vice president got a strong in-person endorsement on stage today, very important. Tell us about it.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. Joe Biden today in the state of Michigan joined by his former boss and really most powerful surrogate, former President Barack Obama. The two of them appeared together earlier today in Flint, Michigan. They also made another stop at a canvas kickoff. And in just a short while, they will be here in Detroit for one of those drive-in style events.

And you heard the former president talk about Joe Biden in very personal terms, talking about their time in office and how he witnessed Joe Biden operate during those two terms in the White House. And former President Obama also presented this stark contrast between Joe Biden and the current occupant of the White House, President Trump. He criticized the president's leadership style and also the approach that he has taken to the coronavirus pandemic, including, as you are starting to see, cases rise in Midwestern states like here in Michigan.

[17:15:11]

And the former president talked about how some of those rallies that the president has been holding, focusing on crowd sizes, and contrasting that to Biden's approach. Take a listen to what he said earlier today in Flint, Michigan. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our country is going through a pandemic. That's not what you're supposed to be worrying about. And that's the difference between Joe Biden and Trump right there. Trump cares about feeding his ego. Joe cares about keeping you and your family safe. And he's less interested in feeding his ego with having big crowds than he is making sure he's not going around making more and more people sick. That's what you should expect from a president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAENZ: So that was a bit of the message you heard from Obama as the two were reprising their campaign road show. And they are here in the all-important state of Michigan with just three days to go until the election. One of their key messages was simply for voters to get out there and vote heading into Tuesday. They do not want to repeat any of the mistakes that were made back in 2016 when Democrats lost here in the state by about 10,000 votes.

So, they are focusing, putting the work in on the ground here in Michigan, including at this rally that they're about to hold. We just heard Stevie Wonder is taking the stage now, as he is also trying to help get out those votes in these final days. Wolf?

BLITZER: Yes, turnout will be so critical.

Ryan Nobles have in Butler, Pennsylvania, for us right now. Ryan, this is one of President Trump's four, not one, not two, not three, but four appearances in Pennsylvania today, underscores how important the state is. Tell our viewers about turnout and what about the intense barnstorming. What does this say about the president's need for that state, Pennsylvania?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, you cannot overstate the importance of Pennsylvania in terms of the president's path to victory. He needs a win here. He got a win here four years ago, which surprised many, and he's hoping he can bring a win home again in 2020.

Now, the big difference here for President Trump is that he is dealing with a lack of resources to get up on television and get his message out through T.V. ads. So, instead, his campaign is focusing on an intense ground game. And these rallies, the one that I'm at right now, are part of that effort.

What they do, Wolf, is that they target each and every person that enters into this rally space. They find out where they are, they find out where they live, and then they track whether or not they have voted. They then have their volunteers and paid staff reach out to the folks that show up to these rallies who haven't voted yet and make sure that they do. They will call, check in on them, even knock on their doors if they have to.

Now, the Trump campaign believes that this ground game, which they've invested more than $300 million in, and began building shortly after President Trump was elected, could be the difference in some of these key battlegrounds, Pennsylvania among them. But you also mentioned those states that David Chalian just outlined in our recent polling like Arizona, Wisconsin, others where the margin, North Carolina, is very close, also in Florida.

The key though, Wolf, is that in order for the ground game to make a difference, they need to keep the race close. And that's why President Trump has gone just on a massive swing across all these battleground states.

He's expected to make at least 14 different rally stops between now and Election Day in every single one of these important battlegrounds. And not only will they be able to use these rallies as a way to figure out where their voters are, it also garners significant local media attention. It gets the president's message out there. It gets his voters to the polls.

So, Wolf, the president's campaign certainly playing like they're the underdog, despite the fact that he's the incumbent, but they firmly believe that he has a path to victory and these rallies and these events in the closing days of the campaign are going to be a key toward that end. Wolf?

BLITZER: At the rally where you are, Ryan, I don't see any social distancing. I see a large, large, very enthusiastic crowd. Are they at least wearing masks?

NOBLES: Wolf, they're not. Nothing has changed from that perspective at all. The president made the decision basically at the end of June that he was going to continue to hold these rallies. He has not stopped, and they have not really changed their behavior at all. People here are packed in, shoulder to shoulder. There are very few, if any, masks being worn. They're doing, you know, somewhat of window dressing. They take people's temperatures as they're coming in. They offer masks but they don't require anyone to wear them.

And, Wolf, we should point out, while the Trump campaign believes that there's a net benefit to having these rallies, there is certainly a risk that there is the perception that these rallies are a problem with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and there is a concern there could be blowback as a result of it.

[17:20:00]

But Republican officials believe this is the only way the president can win, so they're going to continue down this path right through Election Day. Wolf?

BLITZER: Yes, nearly 100,000 Americans were diagnosed with coronavirus just yesterday. More than 1,000 Americans died just yesterday from coronavirus. Ryan and Arlette, we'll get back to you. Thank you very, very much.

A reminder to our viewers, we're expecting President Trump, former President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, all of them will be speaking soon. Stay with CNN, much more of our coverage on that, that's coming up as well.

And as we mentioned, both campaigns are making a big push across several swing states today. Take a look at this, live pictures once again coming in for President Trump's rally in Butler, Pennsylvania. He's expected to speak later. Former President Barack Obama in Michigan, campaigning for former running mate, Joe Biden, they'll speak soon as well to voters in Detroit. We'll have live coverage. Much more coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:25:00]

BLITZER: Stevie Wonder performing in Detroit at the Obama rally with Joe Biden over there. Let's listen in a little bit more to Stevie Wonder. I love Stevie Wonder.

Stevie Wonder doing a great job, and he's performing. Pretty soon we're going to be hearing from former Vice President Biden and former President Obama at this rally in Detroit, Michigan, a key, key battleground state. More than 2.5 million votes have already been cast in some of the key battleground states, including in Ohio, shattering all previous records and with 18 electoral votes up for grabs. Republicans in Ohio are banking on a repeat of 2016, while Democrats are hoping to flip the state and put an early end to an election night uncertainty.

CNN's Gary Tuchman is joining us now. Gary, where do things stand this hour in Ohio?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Extremely busy, early voting all throughout the Buckeye State. Right now, I'm standing next to the ballot drop box in Cleveland, Ohio, and I said, the, purposely, because this is the only ballot drop box in Cleveland, Ohio, the only ballot drop box in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. You can see this woman right here casting her vote. Did you vote for Reagan or Jimmy Carter?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Carter.

TUCHMAN: We don't want to get too personal with people here, but you can see there's actually traffic jam, you can come around this one, you can see there are cars waiting to come to this ballot drop box to drop off their votes.

Now, you may be saying, why is there only one. Well, this building I'm standing next to right now is the only early voting election precinct right here. The Cuyahoga County board of elections closed at 4:00 Eastern Time. It was very busy today. Hundreds of people were in line all the day to get inside and vote. And one of the reasons it's so crowded is because it's the only one in the county. All 88 counties are only allowed under Ohio law to have one location. So that's been a problem for locations.

But there have been lots of days for early voting, Wolf. This is the 22nd day of early voting in the Buckeye State. There will be more early voting tomorrow for a 23rd day and even Monday for a 24th day. So, because of all the days, because of the nature of this election, the turnout here has been very high. Ohio, too close to call, that's what the polls show right now. It's a swing state, but it's also the ultimate bellwether state.

For 14 straight elections, Buckeye voters have picked the winning presidential candidate. The last time they picked a loser was back in 1960 when they picked Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy, and before that, 1944, when they picked Thomas Dewey over FDR. Since the civil war, Ohio has only missed four times, so it's very close.

And we may not have a very long night here in Ohio no matter who wins because these votes that are being put right now this box and the boxes of 87 other counties and the other early voting that's taking place, well, they're being processed as we speak. At 7:30, when the polls close, they start getting counted. So the earliest votes we'll see in Ohio will be the early voting and the absentee ballots. Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: All right. We'll watch Ohio. Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, as they say. Thanks very much, Gary Tuchman, for that.

And joining us now, the former Republican governor of Ohio, CNN Senior Political Commentator John Kasich, he is now supporting Joe Biden in this election. Governor Kasich, thank you so much for joining us.

So, what do you think? You know your state about as well as anyone. What's happening?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, well, he said it, Wolf. It's too close to call. And, again, I always think about Ohio as a hockey stick. You know, the western part of the state is very strong Republican. The southern part of the state is also very strong Republican. But then it's the middle that is going to matter so much. And what's interesting is what he had to say out of Cleveland.

The real question is it's all about turnout. And as we started this segment, you were talking about Barack Obama being in Detroit. I think that we're going to look back on this, and I think you're going to see that Barack Obama had a major influence in this election. He's really working hard in terms of African-American turnout, and so it's interesting. What are we seeing in Cleveland? Are we seeing a significant African-American turnout?

But I would have said to you, Wolf, a couple months ago, that President Trump was going to be easily re-elected. I am not so sure. I think it is literally too close to call and we're going to have to watch turnout. Now, with early voting, it's two and a half times the amount that we saw in the last election.

[17:30:02]

One other thing, Wolf. I kind of look at this election at this point like I look at 2018. The Republicans suffered a lot of loses in 2018.

Now we move into 2020. I don't think the situation has changed much for the president. But there's one other thing that has happened. And that is a more significant African-American turnout.

And over the last two years, you have to ask yourself, did Donald Trump do anything to help himself. I'm not so sure.

Now, I'm not -- I'm for Joe Biden, but I'm not giving you these numbers or these statistics because I'm kind of weighing in on his side. I'm just telling you what I think. I'm calling them like I see them.

BLITZER: What does it say to you, Governor, that the two candidates seem to be spending a lot more time in other states, like Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, for example, than they're spending time in Ohio right now?

KASICH: Well, I mean, what it looks like is that, you know, for example, they want to win Michigan. So, that's why they're -- the president, the vice president, is in Michigan.

Florida, always. You know, too close to call again.

You know, and they're going to the places where they -- where they really think that they can make a difference.

You've seen a lot of activity, for example, in North Carolina. You've seen a lot of activity in Arizona.

I think it's been kind of conventional wisdom that Ohio has gone red. And that is really because the Democrat mechanisms in the state have been ground down.

They don't have a very effective mechanism or infrastructure in Ohio. The Democrats have been wiped out a couple elections, including the one that I won re-election, winning 86 out of 88 counties.

But because of this tremendous turnout, it gives everybody hope.

So, it's not as though Ohio has been ignored. But it's more in play than people would have thought just a couple months ago.

And they're coming. They come. And they spend some time here.

BLITZER: We'll see what happens on Tuesday.

All right, Governor Kasich, as usual, thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate it.

KASICH: All right, Wolf, thank you.

BLITZER: Both President Trump and Joe Biden speaking to voters across key states today. But with the election only three days away, the U.S. is breaking all sorts of new records when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. What may lie ahead. We have new information. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:36:47] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Stevie Wonder performing in Detroit at a Biden campaign rally. The former president, Barack Obama, expected to speak shortly, followed by Biden.

Stevie Wonder there trying to generate support for the former vice president, the Democratic presidential nominee. We'll stand by. We'll have live coverage of that.

In the meantime, let's get to the horrible news involving the coronavirus here in the United States. The U.S. has just set an appalling record, 99,321 new confirmed cases of coronavirus reported on Friday alone, just yesterday.

That's a single-day global, not just U.S., but the global record for new confirmed COVID infections. It eclipses India's September record, a high of more than 97,000 new confirmed cases in one day.

CNN medical analyst, Dr. Leana Wen, is joining us now.

Dr. Wen, nearly 100,000 -- not nearly, almost exactly 100,000 new confirmed cases in a single day here in the United States. This is not where we wanted to be as winter approaches.

How much worse should we expect it to get?

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Things are going to get a lot worse, Wolf, and that's because we're on the verge of exponential explosive spread here.

We look at the critical number of test positivity, and that number is far too high. It means that we are missing many infections that are going under the radar because of asymptomatic spread.

Actually, we're estimating that we are missing up to five times the number of infections that's actually reported,.

So instead of having 100,000 cases of new infections yesterday, we could have had 500,000 new infections. We're just not detecting it.

So imagine what that translates to in terms of hospitalizations, ICUs. Our health systems could very well become overwhelmed soon.

BLITZER: You know, with nearly 1,000 Americans dying from COVID almost every single day, including just yesterday.

The president and his surrogates are continuing to campaign on very, very serious and dangerous disinformation. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP JR, SON OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: I went through the CDC data because I kept hearing about new infections. But I was like, why aren't they talking about this? Oh, Oh, because the number is almost nothing.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our doctors get more money if somebody dies from COVID. You know that, right?

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: I mean, our doctors, they're very smart people. So what they do is they say, I'm sorry, but everybody dies of COVID.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: So, what goes through your mind, Dr. Wen, when you hear outrageous statements like that?

WEN: Well, first of all, it is completely false. It is insulting. It's offensive. And it's incredibly disrespectful.

I mean, it's disrespectful to the 230,000 Americans who have died from coronavirus. The many hundreds of thousands of people who will be living with the long-term effects of this disease.

And it's disrespectful to healthcare workers. Already in this pandemic, over 1,000 frontline health professionals have lost their lives. Some of them are people whom I know and have worked with.

[17:40:97]

And we, as healthcare workers, we're on the front lines, we're risking our lives, we're also trying our best under very trying circumstances.

It's not our fault that this pandemic has spiraled out of control. It's actually the lack of action by the Trump administration.

And I wish that President Trump and his entire family will visit our E.R.s, our ICU, our hospitals, so they can see the exact toll of this pandemic on Americans.

BLITZER: Yes, I don't think I've ever heard a president of the United States smear the nation's doctors like the president of the United States just did, like President Trump just did, and his son, suggesting that there are almost nothing when it comes to new deaths.

Just to be precise, 1,000 Americans died yesterday. In fact, over the past four days, 4,000 Americans died. That's a thousand more that died on 9/11. And 3,000 died on 9/11. And he's saying that the number is almost nothing.

Have you ever heard anything like that before from a president or a top surrogate of a president smearing what's going on and distorting what's going on right now?

WEN: No, I have not. And those types of misleading statements are exactly why we are in the position that we are.

Because by trying to downplay the threat of the virus, we're also -- the president is also then not encouraging people to take the actions that they need to in order to save lives.

Because the trajectory of where we could be, because by the end of this winter, we could be at more than half a million Americans dying from coronavirus.

We don't have to get there. There are actually things that we can do right now to protect ourselves, avoiding crowds, for example, wearing masks, making sure that we keep social distancing. We can do these things and save lives.

But the president's words and actions really matter. And they're actually discouraging people from taking these life-saving measures.

BLITZER: Yes, he says the number is almost nothing.

You tell that to the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of the thousands of Americans who have died in the past few days and the 230 -- more than 230,000 Americans who have died since this pandemic erupted in January.

Dr. Leana Wen, thank you very, very much.

Take a look at this. Back to the campaign trail. These are live pictures coming in from the campaign trail this hour.

President Trump is in the key state of Pennsylvania where polls show a very tight race.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is joined by former President Barack Obama. They'll be speaking live shortly. We'll bring it to you live. That's coming up. Stay tuned.

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[17:45:44]

BLITZER: Three days until America picks its president. Right now, both candidates are battling it out in the so-called Rust Belt.

Joe Biden is trying to rebuild the so-called blue wall that President Trump tore down. President Trump's mission is to retrace his 2016 path to victory.

Our senior political analyst, Mark Preston, is joining us right now.

All right, Mark, so how are the Midwest and the Rust Belt for that matter, how are they unfolding in the contest to get to the 270 electoral college votes necessary to be elected?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Wolf, they are certainly key and perhaps be the key to winning this election, whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump wins. Let's take a quick look. Let's look at the map from 2016. This is how

it all shook out at the end. Look at all the sea of red, kind of enveloped a little bit by some blue, the blue wall.

But part of the blue wall that collapsed was right here, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. It stopped right there at Minnesota. Minnesota held for Hillary Clinton back in 2016.

Hugely important right there. Because if you look at it this way, Wolf, if you look at where Donald Trump had 306 electoral votes.

And then you change that to -- change this here -- well, clear this out. Change this. Change that. And change that to toss-ups. Donald Trump no longer is in the lead at this point.

Now, we saw some good news for Joe Biden. What Joe Biden's campaign did today. New polls out of Michigan and Wisconsin show that he has leads right there.

But this is why they're spending so much time there. Michigan right now, Wolf, if you look at Michigan, Donald Trump won that by less than half a percentage point.

We see that in Pennsylvania, less than a percentage point. Wisconsin, less than a percentage point.

So that's why, when you see where Donald Trump went today. We saw him one, two, three, four, five times in Pennsylvania.

We saw his daughter in Ohio, which still very strong for Republicans, but still, but still, part of that Rust Belt.

We saw his son, Don Jr, up here in Michigan. And Tiffany Trump, rather, over here in Minnesota.

So, if you look at that right here, let's give those to Joe Biden. Clear that out right here. You give Pennsylvania to Joe Biden. He gets up to 252 votes.

Let's roll right into Michigan. He is now two votes away -- two electoral votes away from winning.

And then you add in Wisconsin and there you have it right there, Joe Biden wins.

So when we talk about this right here, this area, this is extremely important to the election, election night.

And in fact, we've seen Donald Trump's schedule for the next couple days. He's going to spend a lot of time in Michigan. We're going to see him here. And we're going to see him in Pennsylvania, Wolf.

The Midwest, the Democrats are trying to rebuild that blue wall that collapsed back in 2016.

BLITZER: Yes, that blue wall is so, so critical in the next few days. Three days precisely.

Mark Preston, thank you very much.

Any moment now, former President Obama will be speaking at a rally for Joe Biden in Detroit. You're looking at live pictures coming in. We'll have coverage of that.

[17:48:51]

We're also monitoring news out of the U.K. where the prime minister has just announced a lockdown after a very sharp spike in cases of the coronavirus. We'll go there. We have details when we come back.

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[17:54:01]

BLITZER: Much like the United States, Europe is also battling a dangerous surge in new coronavirus cases. The United Kingdom announcing today a four-week nationwide lockdown set to begin next week in England as cases are spiking.

CNN's Max Foster joins us live from London.

Max, what more can you tell us?

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: More than a million cases now in the United Kingdom. An extraordinary turnaround from Boris Johnson, who had resisted a national lockdown. Stead, preferring to focus on local lockdowns. But they haven't worked effectively.

What Boris Johnson has had to do is look at his advice from his scientific advisers, look at hospital admissions, in particular. He had to accept there's a real risk that the British National Health Service could collapse under the pressure.

Listen to how he put that on earlier, Wolf?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The huge exponential growth in the number of patients, mainly all of them elderly, by the way, that would mean that doctors and nurses would be forced to choose which patients to treat, who would get oxygen and who wouldn't, who would live and who would die.

[17:55:15]

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Scientific advisers to the government saying there was a real risk that this second wave could be twice as bad as the first wave.

So, a four-week lockdown starting on Thursday, assuming parliament approves it. Everyone thinks that they will.

Non-essential shops will have to close. Non-essential travel is banned. But schools will remain opened, Wolf.

Boris Johnson very aware the mental health benefits of keeping it opened.

BLITZER: It's certainly getting worse here in so much of Europe. Getting worse here in the United States.

Max Foster, in London, we'll stay in close touch with you.

Any moment now, the former president of the United States, Barack Obama, will speak at a rally for Joe Biden in Detroit. We'll have live coverage from the campaign trail when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:00:09]

BLITZER: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world, I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.