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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Biden Speaks At Rally in Detroit After Former President Obama; President Trump Rallies in Pennsylvania; Residents Pepper-Sprayed By Police In North Carolina; U.S. Sets Global Record With 99,000-Plus New COVID-19 Cases On Friday; Lawsuits Mount Coast-To-Coast Over Mail-in Ballots. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 31, 2020 - 19:00   ET

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


[19:00:00]

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JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: What's the matter with them? Look, the people in this nation have suffered and sacrificed for nine months and not more so than our doctors on the frontline, our healthcare workers. And this president is questioning their character, their integrity and their commitment to the fellow Americans.

It's more than offensive it's a disgrace especially coming from a president whose waved the white flag to this virus. Our frontline health workers, they give it all their best to beat this virus. Many of them have died, but they have a president, we have a president, that's given up. I'll never raise the white flag of surrender. We're going to beat this virus. We're going to get it under control.

And the first step of beating this virus is beating Donald Trump. Look, Trump keeps telling us what a great president he is. The stable genius as you know. Well, did you know President Obama helped create more jobs than he said in the last three years of our administration than he did in the first three years of his before the pandemic? How about this?

Did you know Donald Trump is going to be the first president as the president said, in 90 years, who's going to finish his four years with fewer jobs under his leadership than when he started? That's a lot of presidents, man. A lot of crises. But only Trump is going to have fewer jobs at the end of his presidency than at the start.

Look, you see, I understand something Donald Trump doesn't. Wall street did not build this country. You did. People like my parents. Ordinary worker people of this country, and unions built the middle class.

That's a fact. Back when the economy was on the brink in 2009, when Detroit was on its back, Barack and I bet on all of our workers. My dad was an automobile man. And over the objective including of many like Vice President Pence, we stepped in and rescued the automobile industry and saved at least 1 million jobs.

But what you may not know is Congressman Haley Stevens was on that task force to make sure we got it done. Look, where I come from I believe we should be rewarding work, not wealth in this country. Work, not wealth. Under my plan, if you make more than - less than $400,000, I guarantee you're not going to pay a penny more in taxes, but if you make more than that, the wealthiest biggest corporations, the 91 Fortune 500 companies that paid zero income tax, you're going to start paying your fair share.

Folks, why should a firefighter, an educator, a nurse pa higher tax rate than a billionaire? That's a fact, by the way. You're a nurse, if there's any - if there's any having all nurses, male and female, man. All right. Well, God love you. I've been a significant consumer of health care and I can tell you.

I can tell you, the fact of the matter is that, that this is the God's truth. Doctors let you live. Nurses, male and female, make you want to live. And make you want to live. That comes from a guy that spent a lot of time in the hospital with two cranial aneurysms and a few other problems.

Look, you should pay - why should all of you be paying more taxes than Donald Trump, the billionaire? He deducted - he has an income, he says, he paid an income tax of $750. As they say in the south, how about y'all? What did y'all pay? $750? My Lord.

And remember when he was asked about why he only paid that much. He said it's because I'm smart. He knew how to game the system. Well, guess what, Mr. President. I'm coming for you. We won't game the system and when the system gets gamed, you all have to pay. It's not right. It's not fair. And we're going to act. We're going to act to protect healthcare.

Trump and Republicans have jammed through a Supreme Court nomination and you know why? One reason. To destroy the Affordable Care Act, to rip it out. If they get their way, 100 million Americans will lose protections for pre-existing conditions, including more than 4 million people here in Michigan. Donald Trump thinks health care is a privilege. Barack and I think it's your right.

[19:05:00]

I'll not only restore Obamacare, we'll build on it. You keep your private insurance where you can choose a Medicare-like option in the plan, we're putting together. We'll increase subsidies and lower your premiums and deductibles, out of pocket spending, reduce prescriptions prices by 60 percent.

And the way we're going to do it is the wealthy are going to start paying their fair share so we can make sure you get a fair deal. We're going to make sure we keep the protections for people with preexisting conditions. Meanwhile, social security. Actuary and the social security, the administration said, if Donald Trump says and he said, he's going to change social security if he gets re-elected.

He said if his plan goes through, it would bankrupt social security in - by 2023. So go home and tell your parents and grandparents, what a great gift is coming, if he were to win. I'll protect social security, Medicare and Medicaid. But, folks, nothing worse to me than the way he's spoken about those who have served in uniform and those who have died.

He called them losers and suckers. Well my son Beau Biden won the bronze star and the conspicuous service medal spending time in Iraq. He wasn't a loser. He was an American patriot. And I mean it. Just like your sons and daughters, your parents and grandparents. The president likes to portray himself as a tough guy. The macho man.

But when was the last time you saw a President of the United States literally being laughed at by the world leaders of the United Nation when he got to speak? The entire U.N. laughed at him. When was the last time you saw a President of the United States attend a NATO meeting, being openly mocked by the leaders of the NATO countries making fun of him?

Tough guy my - my word. And you can believe - and you can believe - can you believe we have a president whose Vladimir Putin's puppy? Who put bounties on the heads of American soldiers in Afghanistan. Trump spoke to him six times since he knew about that and he's too scared to challenge him.

Donald Trump is not strong. He's weak. He commands virtually no respect on the international stage. This is a president who not only doesn't understand sacrifice, he doesn't understand courage, physical courage that it takes to wear that uniform. Maybe that's why six of his generals in his administration who worked in the administration and since left, said he's unfit to be Commander-in-Chief of the United States military.

That's why Joint Special Operations Commander Stanley McChrystal, commander of special operations command who oversaw Bin Laden's raid, Admiral Bill McCraven and 22 other four stars have endorsed me saying they'd be honored to have me as their Commander-in-Chief.

That's why, because they know I'll have the backs of the military wherever they are. Folks, look, folks, well, by the way, you're right. Gentleman says, what about the 545 kids who were kidnapped? That's why I announced immediately day one, I'm setting up a special commission. We're going to find those kids and we're going to unite them with their parents.

We're going to make sure that parents are together. What a total - what a total embarrassment. My God. That's why we have to support our military, that's why we have to vote for them. Look folks, we will act to meet the climate crisis as well.

The stable genius call it is a hoax. By the way, today I think he said, he is a perfect physical specimen. Maybe that's why he thought he was able to write off $70,000 on his taxes, because he needed special hair care. Seriously. $70,000 written off for hair care.

I tell you what, man. I hardly have any hair but I'd rather have what I have. Stable, perfect specimen. Whoa. You know we couldn't make this up. You know? I mean, think about it. I mean, this is - look.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why we need you Mr. Vice President.

[19:10:00]

BIDEN: Well, I tell you what. When I hear climate change, I see jobs. He says hoax. I see American workers building and installing 500,000 charging stations across our highways of this country. I see Americans switching to clean electric vehicles built here in Detroit and rebates for incentives.

I see the federal government harnessing the purchasing power to buy clean electric vehicles for an enormous fleet that we have in Washington. They're made and sourced by union jobs right here in America. This would mean 1 million good paying jobs across America in the auto industry alone. Let's hear it for those honks of the cars out there who maybe think it's made here in Michigan?

Look, and we'll act to deliver racial justice here in America. Protesting is not burning and looting. Violence must never be tolerated and it won't. But these protests are crying for justice. The names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, will not soon be forgotten because they will inspire a new wave of justice in America.

Look, I believe this country has to come together. I'm running as a proud Democrat but I will govern as an American president. I'll work as hard for those who don't support me as those who do. And you know what? In this America, in my America, there's no red state or blue state. It's everybody. That's the job of the president. The duty to care. To care for everyone.

So for God's sake, please, vote. If you still have an absentee ballot, get it to a drop box as soon as you can. You can also vote early until Monday afternoon or you can vote on Election Day, but just make a plan. Make a plan to vote as has been repeated many times tonight.

Go to iwillvote.com/mi. Folks, I'll never forget, the words of my colleagues in the senate who used to kid me when I'd always remind them of it. The words President Kennedy said as he promised to send us to the moon. He said we're doing it because we refuse to postpone.

Well, I refuse to postpone the incredible opportunities that the American people have available to them. There's nothing beyond our capacity. There's no limit to America's future. The only thing that can tear America apart is America itself. And that's exactly what Donald Trump's been trying to do from the very beginning of his campaign.

Dividing America. Pitting Americans against one another based on race, gender, ethnicity, national origin. It's wrong. It's not who we are. Look, folks, everybody knows who Donald Trump is. Let's show him who we are. We choose, we choose hope over fear. We choose unity over division. We choose science over fiction. And, yes, we choose truth over lie after lie after lie after lie.

So it's time to stand up. Take back our democracy. We can do this. We're so much better than we've been. We can be who we are at our best. The United States of America. God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: All right, so there's the former Vice President Joe Biden railing, railing almost screaming in his - in his attacks on the current President of the United States, and look who's right behind him right now. The former President of the United States. A little elbow bump. Maybe, no, not necessarily happening. They got their masks on.

We welcome viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. This is CNN special coverage of the countdown to Election Day. I want to bring in Michael Smerconish, the host of CNN's "SMERCONISH" to assess what's going on.

We'll get to the - we'll get to the Trump campaign shortly but Michael, what do you think of that combination Obama-Biden on this, only three days away from the election?

[19:15:00]

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: Wolf, I do a fair amount of public speaking around the country and I've often had the experience of maybe being backstage, maybe at a head table and someone else is speaking and they have an incredible gift and I say to myself oh my God, I've got to follow that and I couldn't help but think it as I was watching President Obama speak and think about how Joe Biden must have felt.

I'm not taking anything away from the vice president's speaking abilities but we got to be fair. Barack Obama has a gift and it's very hard to follow that act regardless of who you are. It's a strong tandem. I'm reminded as well the dichotomy between what you hear from Obama and Biden versus Trump today because for the former, it's all about a referendum.

A referendum on Donald Trump and yet I've been listening to a lot of the Trump speeches today and for him it's a choice. It's Donald Trump versus Joe Biden so it's a really fascinating day and I have to say, we've been at this for a long, long time but today really strikes me as sort of a high point for the campaigning.

The retail campaigning because of the pandemic that we just haven't seen up until now.

BLITZER: The Democratic nominee right now in Detroit Michigan. Michigan, a key battleground state which the Democrats lost verily back in 2016. The Republican candidate, the current President of United States, Donald Trump, he's in your state of Pennsylvania right now. We're going to hear from him shortly but give us a sense of what's going on in Pennsylvania right now. Trump won Pennsylvania four years ago.

SMERCONISH: I think we in the Commonwealth finally know what it feels like to be a resident of Iowa or New Hampshire and to have all this attention heaped on us. You know what the data says. The data says that Vice President Biden leads President Trump by a couple of percentage points.

There's some polling that suggests that enthusiasm might be on the side of President Trump. Wolf, what it all comes down to is whether there will be a repeat of the world rebellion beyond Philadelphia and the inner suburbs that can boost President Trump to where he needs to be.

I don't think that there's any doubt when you look at the data as to the party identification of those who have returned mail ballots thus far that it's almost like they're starting a basketball game in the fourth quarter on Tuesday and Joe Biden has a sig significant lead because he's already banked a big vote. You don't know how those folks voted but you can tell the party identification of who requested the ballot and the rate that they have been returned.

66 percent of those that have been returned are Democratic ballots, 22 percent are Republican ballots. I'm sure many voted for you know the other party but likely it's a strong sign that Joe Biden has a head of steam and now can that enthusiasm of Republicans who show up on Tuesday, offset that. That's what we'll find out.

BLITZER: All right, stand by Michael because I want you to come back to us. The current President of United States Donald Trump, the Republican nominee. He's speaking right now in your state of Pennsylvania. Let's listen to him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Price transparency starts January 1 bigger than healthcare, you watch. All set to go January 1, all signed up. Lower drug prices, even more, favored nations are going to go from the highest to the lowest price anywhere in the world. The drug companies are not good fans of President Trump.

They don't like me. They take it out more ads than Sleepy Joe about me. They're saying things about me in those ads and all I'm doing is just give me the lowest price in the world. I don't know. They come up with things, it's not good to do that. I don't know to me it's good to do that.

And we will always protect patients with preexisting conditions. America will land the first woman on the moon and the United States will be the first nation to land an astronaut on Mars, very exciting, I tell you. And don't forget that's on top of Space Force with everything else we do, Space Force. We created the first new branch.

75 years Airforce was the last one. Now we have Space Force and we never even used to talk about that at the rallies, right? I've actually done more. I really believe that I think I've done more than I promised. I may be the only politician if you call me a politician who's done more than I promised.

I think that might be a first, we'd have to check that out. Check that out. Space Force, we needed it and that is something, when I became president, I saw Russia, I saw China, I saw what was going on. I said we have to do that too and I got great help from the Republican senate and from these gentlemen right here.

And we actually had some bipartisan help, believe it or not which is not easy to get. We will stop the radical indoctrination of our students and restore patriotic education to our schools.

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We will teach our children to love our country, honor our history and always respect our great American flag. And we will live by the timeless words of our national motto, 'In God we trust.' You know at the Democratic National Convention, right?

The pledge of allegiance, they took the word God out and I watched it and I said they must have made a typo. The problem was then I heard it a second time and they said that was not a typo and the American public went crazy and all of a sudden, they put it back but that's with they're coming from, never going to happen with me, never going to happen with these guys, right?

Never going to happen with our guy, right fellas? For years, you had a president who apologized for America. Now you have a president who is standing up for America and standing up for the great people of Pennsylvania. For the last four years, you've seen me fight for you and now I'm relying on you to deliver another historic victory for our country.

On November 3, we must finish the job. Have to go out and vote. Just have to go out and vote. We're going to finish draining the swamp. It's deeper and more vicious than anybody ever thought. The swamp creatures you know it's a great - swamp you know the swamp creatures, we got them all up in Washington.

(CROWD CHANTS "DRAIN THE SWAMP")

TRUMP: So get your friends, get your family, get your neighbors, get your coworkers, grab your boss, come on boss. And you have to get out and vote, November 3. On November 3 and you want to do that. You want to pick that. You know we're doing how we're doing so well because November 3, our people, they just want to get out and vote. We're going to have a historic day.

I really believe that. We're going to have just based on what's going on throughout all these other states so but we were in Pennsylvania.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right we're going to continue to monitor the current president of United States speaking in Butler, Pennsylvania for us right now. Michael Smerconish is still with us. You know Michael, what's your thought right now about your state Pennsylvania. It looks like a very, very intense battle going on for Pennsylvania. Key battleground state between these two candidates.

SMERCONISH: So before we dipped into the president, I was talking about the data. Data that you've been presenting about how the race stands as best we know and there are two ways of looking at this when you - when you think about the fact that on the final full day of campaigning Monday, you'll have the entire Democratic ticket and spouses, right?

You'll have Vice President Biden, you'll have Senator Kamala Harris, you'll have Jill Biden, you'll have Doug Emhoff, all in Pennsylvania. Now Wolf, it's a Rorschach test, you can look at that and you can say wow, maybe they're a little nervous about Pennsylvania and they have their own question about those polls or you can say they are coming to the Commonwealth to deliver the knockout blow if they can because President Trump absolutely needs to win the Commonwealth.

If he can't do that I really - I know there are a variety of different paths but it's very hard to see how he gets home without the 20 electoral votes that Pennsylvania provides.

BLITZER: Well, what are you seeing in some of those Philadelphia suburbs for example which potentially could be so critical?

SMERCONISH: I don't think that there's a question as you know if you hand me a map right now of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, I feel pretty comfortable having spent my entire life here, that I could color shade it and tell you exactly who will win which county with maybe a margin of error Wolf, of one or two.

The question is the margin. By all accounts the polling data anecdotally, I've spent my whole life in either Philadelphia or the surrounding suburbs, I mean Joe Biden is going to come out of the city of Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, the inner suburbs with an unbelievable head of steam.

Look, you have to also say that Hillary Clinton historically speaking, did what she needed to do in Pennsylvania four years ago but what lies beyond suburbia, when you move into central Pennsylvania, when you get to the northeast, when you're in Butler County in the southwestern part where you just heard the president speaking, things change and that's just a sea of red.

[19:25:00]

So that map, when John king stands at the wall Tuesday night or thereafter, it's going to be all blue in the lower right corner and then it's going to be a sea of red with very little exception.

BLITZER: We're going to watch it together with you very closely indeed Michael Smerconish as usual. Thank you very much. Pennsylvania is going to be a critical battleground state. We're going to be right back. We're watching Special Coverage right now, The Countdown To Election Day. Up next, a march to the polls turns into a clash in North Carolina. We'll share information that's just coming in when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: A disturbing scene unfolding on the streets of North Carolina today when a local group of nearly 200 residents were actually pepper sprayed by police as they peacefully marched towards their local poll.

[19:30:06]

Their intent was simple: to encourage everyone to get out. CNN's Dianne Gallagher is on the scene for us.

Dianne, so this march was also to honor George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others who have died at the hands of police. What happened? What are you learning?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so Wolf, this happened in Graham, North Carolina. That's about a halfway between where I am in Raleigh and Greensboro, North Carolina to give you a frame of reference here.

It was billed as a March to the Polls, a get-out-the-vote event that was also a protest against police brutality. And according to the police in Graham, North Carolina, the man who organized it, Reverend Greg Drumwright did not get a permit to block the streets off. But they said they wouldn't have allowed march to happen.

And then when the group paused as they got to the town center, the courthouse there, which also has a large Confederate Statue, they paused for eight minutes and 40 seconds, of course, to represent the amount of time that the knee was on the neck of George Floyd before he died. George Floyd's niece was there.

The police say traffic began backing up, and that's when they used pepper spray. They then used it again, at the event at the courthouse, according to the police there and you can see the video and kind of the chaos that ensued.

Police say they never sprayed anybody directly in the face. But people on scene as well as the people who witnessed it, including candidates for office, a candidate for North Carolina House District there have said otherwise.

Now the whole point of this was to get out the vote as well, and there was a polling place, today was the last day of early voting in North Carolina, about a block away. I talked to a poll greeter who was there and said that she actually came over to see what was going on because they had been expecting people coming. They knew about this event, they had staffed up with extra people there and said that after everything that happened, eight people were arrested, Wolf, including Reverend Drumwright.

After everything that happened, they went back to the polls. And you know, while the State Board of Elections says that it did not interfere with anybody voting, that poll greeter tells me that they didn't have any people really who came from the event. They were expecting dozens and dozens of voters and they got maybe one or two from that event.

So the North Carolina Democratic Party has condemned this -- what happened. They have said that they view it as a tactic of voter suppression. We should point out here that this did happen in Alamance County, and as almost everyone we have spoken to who was involved in this event will point it out that the sheriff there in Alamance County was reprimanded several years back by the Department of Justice for a history of racial profiling and other issues, but he was re-elected twice since then.

So someone told me that, unfortunately, they were not surprised that something like this happened while they were trying to get out the vote there.

BLITZER: Unfortunate, indeed. Dianne Gallagher in Raleigh, North Carolina for us. Thank you very much.

Meanwhile, both President Trump and Joe Biden speaking to voters across key battleground states today, but with the election, only three days away, the U.S. is breaking new records when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.

What may lie ahead? Stay with us. We have new information.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:37:36]

BLITZER: The United States has just set an appalling record, 99,321 new confirmed cases of coronavirus reported on Friday alone. That's a single day global record for new confirmed coronavirus infections. It eclipses India's September record high of more than 97,000 new cases in just one day. CNN medical analyst Dr. Seema Yasmin is joining us right now. She is a former C.D.C. disease detective. Dr. Yasmin, did you really ever expect to see cases reach once again a hundred thousand per day here in the United States?

DR. SEEMA YASMIN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: This is not the news we wanted to hear, Wolf with the records now breaking the records that were set with both the spring surge in the northeast and the summer surge in the south.

But actually what's happening now as awful as it is, is quite predictable because we haven't seen a robust national program. We haven't seen testing rolled out to the scale that it should have been and we haven't seen contact tracing and follow up isolating happening in the way that it should.

So you look at other developed nations, they have had a better response, especially in Asia. Here, unfortunately, we've been on track for this. And if we continue, we are set to triple the daily COVID-19 death rate. That's if things don't change, and I really hope that they do.

BLITZER: Yes, the last several days, a thousand Americans have been dying almost every single day from this virus.

Just a little while ago, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a second national shutdown in England that will start on Thursday. Do you think that is what perhaps we should be bracing for here in the United States as well? YASMIN: Well, Boris Johnson has had to do that because the numbers in

the U.K. are horrific and the projections are really bad in terms of overwhelming the National Health System. The issue with a lockdown is it is a good short term stopgap measure.

On its own, it is not enough to deal with this pandemic because a lockdown is really effective at reducing the number of interactions within people. And so that does lower the COVID rate for a while. However, then if you just reopen, especially if you reopen too early, the numbers rise again.

The whole point of a lockdown is to have a period of time that basically buys the government time to roll out a national testing, tracing and isolating program. So my worry is that in the U.S., even if we did have a national lockdown. What happens if we just repeat what happened in the spring this year, which is where the government squandered that golden opportunity to use that time of public sacrifice, people staying at home and schools closing down, but they didn't use that time to have a national response that was a really good one to ramp up testing?

So that's a problem. Lockdowns alone are not sufficient. You need to use that time to build a good response.

[19:40:27]

BLITZER: In the waning days of this campaign, Dr. Yasmin, President Trump and his surrogates for that matter have made claims that are clearly not based, in fact, at all. Here is what he said about the virus today while he was at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are rounding the turn. They hate it when I say it. You know, we're coming up with the vaccines. The therapeutics are incredible. Here I am. I mean, you know.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

TRUMP: I am sure I wouldn't have been healed without the therapeutics because as you can see I'm in perfect physical shape.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

TRUMP: And I'm extremely young. So I'm young and I'm a perfect physical specimen.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

TRUMP: No, I'm sure I could have beat it without -- but something happened when I took that sucker and it was gone. It was gone. I woke up the next morning and I ripped off my shirt. I said, Doctor, let me the hell out of here.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE] (END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: He clearly belittles the whole coronavirus pandemic, you know, I don't know if he realizes how many people have died from this pandemic over these months here in the United States. He says we are rounding the turn. It's not getting better. It's getting a whole lot worse right now.

YASMIN: It is and also his comments about his recovery and his access to world class experimental treatments that are very expensive. That's a slap in the face to the more than 80 million Americans who are either uninsured or underinsured, people who have been dying at home in Houston, Texas, because they can't even get to a healthcare facility to get any kind of treatment for COVID-19.

It's so offensive. It's appalling. And also, his comments have been full of lies. His son's comments, too, saying that we are turning the corner. The numbers are nearly zero. More than a thousand Americans dying each day from COVID-19 is not nearly zero. That's more than a thousand people whose lives could be saved if this government had rolled out a solid pandemic response.

So, I think this just continues to hurt the country. It rubs salt into the wound, and especially to those Americans who do not have access to good healthcare.

BLITZER: Yes, his son, Donald Trump, Jr. said as far as deaths are concerned, the number is almost nothing -- almost nothing. a direct quote from Donald Trump Jr. Tell that to the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of those who have died over these, not just the, you know, months, but over the past few days. Four thousand deaths in the last four days alone here in the United States.

Dr. Yasmin, thank you so much for what you're doing. Thanks so much for joining us.

Coming up: the election is just three days away here in the United States, but the legal challenges over which ballots will be counted are mounting. And now Republicans in one state are seeking to throw out nearly 100,000 ballots. We have details when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:47:22]

BLITZER: Between drive-thru voting to mail-in voting to early in- person voting, we are seeing lawsuits mount across the country surrounding this election only three days away.

CNN's Jessica Schneider is following all the late breaking developments for us. Jessica, let's start with Texas. Walk us through the legal battle that's brewing there right now.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the fate of more than 100,000 ballots in Texas is in flux right now. A Federal Judge has just set an emergency hearing for Monday morning. This is about a Republican lawsuit looking to toss more than 100,000 ballots cast through drive-thru voting.

Now, this is new to Harris County, Texas, home of Houston, and it's all because of COVID. This drive-thru voting that's happening in this county. It's where people drive up in their cars, they roll down their windows, and they hand over their ballots to election workers without ever getting out of their car.

This is only happening in Harris County. It's the only county in Texas. It is home to 2.4 million voters. But Republicans are trying to stop it. They say that it's illegal. They say that it unfairly benefits Democrats. They say that in nine of the 10 locations where this is set up that those locations alone favor Democrats.

Now the Texas State Supreme Court, they have weighed in on this, and they have said that it is legal and it can continue. But this is a Federal Court challenge that we will hear this emergency hearing on Monday morning. And of course, Texas, it usually leans to Republican, but we've seen in the polls, it could be a toss-up. That's why these Republicans are fighting so hard for it.

Then we have Nevada where Republicans there are trying to stop the count of early voting. They say that their observers haven't been allowed to be close enough. They also say that some of the software that analyzes the signature, it isn't stringent enough.

So Wolf, these challenges are still ongoing. But of course, we've seen a varying degree of rulings in other states. In Minnesota, a Federal Appeals Court has said that November 3rd is the absolute last time that these absentee ballots can be received. But then on the flip side, we saw the U.S. Supreme Court last week, let voters in Pennsylvania and North Carolina have a little bit more time. Voters have three days in Pennsylvania, that's been the extension there. In North Carolina, it's nine days to receive those ballots.

A word of warning about those two states though, while those ballots can still be received, it is possible that people could go back later and challenge those ballots. And that's why tonight, Wolf, officials in all of these states are saying if you absolutely want your vote counted at this point, you should not rely on the mail, you should go in person or you should actually go in person to hand over your ballot.

A lot at stake, and so a lot of legal challenges pending tonight -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Well, yes, too late to rely on the mail right now. Just do it in person or make sure you drop it in one of those mail-in boxes as opposed to just dropping it off at the Post Office or anything like that.

[19:50:09]

BLITZER: Jessica Schneider, thank you very, very much. And remember only three days remain until Election Day and more than 90 million Americans have voted already. But the Trump and Biden campaigns still are making a last-minute push to core key swing state voters. We'll take a closer look at the state of the race when we come back.

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BLITZER: We are just three days until the election, the state of the race can be measured not just by where each candidate is doing well, but where they are not necessarily doing well. Our senior political writer and analyst, Harry Enten is joining us right now.

Harry interesting, the Des Moines Register just released their final poll for the State of Iowa. That same poll showed that the race tied back in September, but now President Trump, according to the latest poll has a seven-point lead. What changed?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: I mean, look, he is simply doing better. And I should note that this is the type of poll that should scare Democrats a little bit. Right? It's one poll. It's one poll.

Most of the polls show that Joe Biden is doing well in the swing states and nationally. But this is the same exact result that the Iowa poll showed, the Des Moines Register poll showed four years ago at this point, and it was a bit of an outlier. So it's one poll, but this is the type of poll that perhaps Democrats might go, this is a little bit concerning.

BLITZER: Who is looking stronger right now in these final days?

ENTEN: I mean, there's no doubt it is Joe Biden who is looking stronger. He is doing better in the polls right now than Hillary Clinton was four years ago at this point. You just look across the swing states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Biden holds leads of five points or more in all of that.

But this right here, you know, if you want to get an understanding; in Florida, you take a look here among Hispanics, you see that Joe Biden is doing worse than Hillary Clinton and Florida is going to be a very, very tight state. And this is the type of thing that if it occurs on Election Day, and Joe Biden does worse among Hispanics and loses the State of Florida. This is the reason why.

BLITZER: Yes, we all know that it is very unlikely. And I think you'll agree with me that Trump can win the election if he loses Florida, right?

ENTEN: It's very, very difficult. The same is true in Iowa. Biden needs neither of those states, but he would like both of them.

BLITZER: Harry Enten, thank you very, very much. I want to bring in our national political reporter, Maeve Reston right now Maeve, the former President Barack Obama, he was out campaigning for Joe Biden today in Michigan, trying to recreate some of that magic of their joint runs in 2008 and 2012. How do you see this unfolding?

MAEVE RESTON, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, obviously, President Obama is the strongest surrogate that Joe Biden has. And we really saw that today, as he was out there sort of touching off those zingers on Trump and really getting the crowd engaged, urging them to get out and vote in these final days and making the case that this has to be a race where Democrats out hustle Republicans so that there's no doubt about the outcome of the election.

And it was a really interesting contrast to what we saw earlier today with President Trump, where he was in Pennsylvania at four stops today. He is continuing to raise questions about vote by mail ballots, suggesting that there will be widespread voter fraud, which we know there's absolutely no evidence of, and really kind of making President Obama's point that Democrats are going to need big margins as they go into what looks like it could be a grueling conflict in the days after the election as votes are counted -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Do you see either campaign as showing any sense of overconfidence right now, Maeve?

RESTON: Neither one has been showing a sense of overconfidence, but what has been interesting in the last couple of days, just talking to Republican sources is that they do feel like while Joe Biden had really been on offense in states like Georgia and Texas and Iowa, that they are starting to see more of a tightening now and that they also are seeing more of their voters turn in ballots, whereas at the beginning, we saw a lot more Democrats turning in vote by mail ballots, for example.

So they are confident that that President Trump could pull this out. And of course, while his path is much more difficult, he does have paths to re-election. And you see him really hammering home his closing argument in Pennsylvania today, which of course, could be the tipping point that everyone is watching -- Wolf.

BLITZER: We see the Biden campaign actually holding events in Georgia and Texas. Are those states really in play for the Democrats?

RESTON: I think that Democrats really believe that Georgia is in play in part because there has been so much work that has gone into registering new voters and non-voters over the last decade or so, nonprofits doing a lot of that work.

The question now is whether all of those people have turned out, you know, folks close to the Trump campaign feel much more confident that President Trump will be able to pull that out in the end, but you do have those hot Senate races there and so it's a little bit of a wild card -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Lots of wild cards out there right now, Maeve Reston. Thank you very much.

RESTON: Thank you.

BLITZER: I am Wolf Blitzer here in Washington. Anderson Cooper picks up CNN's special coverage of the countdown to Election Day and that starts right now.

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