Return to Transcripts main page

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Dueling Campaigns In Last Day Blitz; Biden & Trump: Here, There And Everywhere Today; Trump Plans To Declare Premature Victory, Says Advisor; Court Orders USPS To Take Extraordinary Measures; Arizona Vote Pivotal To Election; Youth Voters 18-29 Vote Big And Vote Early; Women Voters May Hold Key to Election; COVID Cases Soar in U.S. as the Presidential Race Winds Down; Tracking the Global COVID-19 Threat; Actor Billy Eichner Encourages Americans to Vote. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired November 2, 2020 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:00]

BROOKE BALDWIN, ANCHOR, CNN "COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION: Former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. President Donald Trump are making final appeals to voters in key states for what's likely the most important election of our lifetime.

Millions of Americans are voting as the country battles this devastating pandemic. The U.S. logged more than 80,000 cases on Sunday.

Good to be with all of you tonight. I'm Brooke Baldwin. It is 1:00 am here on the East Coast, 10:00 pm the West Coast.

We are live, as we countdown to election day in America.

Thanks so much for being with me.

It has now been exactly four years since Donald Trump's shock win over Hillary Clinton.

And we will soon know if deeply divided America thinks he deserves a second term. Election results will start coming in just a day from now.

And the candidates, they are scrambling for every last vote.

This Monday, Democratic nominee here Joe Biden will campaign in in the battleground of Ohio and hold multiple events in Pennsylvania.

President Trump meantime will also visit that critical state that could end up deciding the election as we've discussed tonight.

He will also hit North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin all of which he won in 2016.

The president, by the way, holding this late-night rally in Miami not too long ago where thousands of people chanted, "Four more years."

A fired up Joe Biden spent most of his Sunday in Philadelphia with this scathing rebuke of the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, FMR. VICE PRESIDENT AND DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Folks, in two days we can put an end to a presidency that has failed to protect this nation.

In two days we can put an end to presidency that fanned the flames of hate.

This is not just campaign rhetoric. We choose hope over fear, we choose unity over division. We choose science over fiction.

(Cars hoot)

And yes, we choose truth over lies. The multiple lies he repeats.

(Cars hoot)

It's time to stand up. It's time to take back our democracy.

(Cars hoot)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They want to close down your factories, ship your jobs to China. Eliminate private health care, destroy the suburbs.

They want to abolish oil, coal, natural gas and send your state into a -- you know what's going to happen here, you'll have a depression.

The Biden Harris agenda's a war on workers, a war on faith and a war on our police.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Meanwhile, tonight a Trump advisor tells CNN that the president is likely to declare a premature victory on Tuesday evening. That is if he gets close to the magic number of 270 as in those key electoral votes.

That is even if a large number of ballots is still being counted.

But President Trump is denying that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: That was a false report. We'll look at what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: More than 93 million Americans have early voted. That is according to the U.S. Elections Project.

A majority of states reporting a record shattering turnout.

And also new this evening. The U.S. Postal Service is now under orders from a federal judge to take quote/unquote "extraordinary measures to get mail ballots to election offices on time."

The order comes after the Postal Service moved fewer ballots on time in critical battleground states for a third day in a row on Saturday.

The Postal Service was ordered to notify processing plant managers Sunday night to ensure delivery of every ballot by the cutoff time on election day.

So let's start there with CNN's legal analyst, Elie Honig, who's good enough to be with me on this Sunday night.

Elie, good to see you.

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You too, Brooke.

[01:05:00]

BALDWIN: So first, just your takeaways from this judge ordering some Postal Service -- these extraordinary measures as mandatory. What do you think?

HONIG: Yes. Brooke, so this is a perfect example that the federal courts could play in this election, protecting the election itself, protecting our right to vote, and protecting the right to have our vote actually counted.

And there's a couple of things that jumped out at me -- I've seen a lot of federal court rulings.

One, the specificity. You don't often see a federal district court order a federal agency to do something this specific. Use express mail, prioritize election mail.

And the second thing is the urgency, Brooke. You and I have talked over the years about how slow our court system can be.

And here we have a federal court saying do it, do it now, do it today. It's November 2nd now, Brooke, election day is tomorrow.

So it's good that courts are recognizing there's no time for foot dragging.

BALDWIN: You just had me there for a second. It is technically November 2nd.

HONIG: Yes.

BALDWIN: I guess if you are on the East Coast know that election day is tomorrow. My goodness.

Speaking of election day, we were reporting according to sources from the Administration that Trump may very well declare this premature victory Tuesday night even if he hasn't hit that 270 threshold.

You got to call that out because a large number of ballots may not even be counted in a number of states by then. You heard the president get off the plane and refute that.

How could he do that, Elie, if he hasn't hit 270?

HONIG: Boy, I hope to high heaven he does not. I mean, if he does this, heaven help us.

First of all, let me make sure people understand. This is just wrong, this is not the way our system works.

The constitution gives the states the power to run the elections. Federal law gives actually creates a five-week, 35-day period to allow the states to finish counting their votes to to certify their election results.

So if the president does this, it's simply contrary to law. We even have some states that do not allow themselves to start counting votes until election day.

The other thing. If the president tries this everyone's going to have a real responsibility here. The media, the public has to resist this, has to push hard to let this process play out.

Politicians -- Democrats are going to fight like mad but Republicans need to stand up and say this is not how our system works, this is not how our process works.

And the courts. The courts cannot countenance this, the courts should not have any part of a early declaration victory or buy into this narrative of throwing out votes that are counted after November 3rd.

It's just not the way our system works.

BALDWIN: I appreciate you saying that and calling it out. We're all so used to answers and we want to know who's going to win election night or the wee hours of Wednesday morning. But it's OK. It's OK that it takes a couple of days to count every ballot.

I want to ask you about the supreme court tonight. We know that the court is letting some states count mail-in ballots received after election day but not others.

I know in North Carolina ballots can arrive up to nine days after election day. In Pennsylvania ballots can arrive up to three days late for now. And in Wisconsin the court said ballots must be in by election night.

And I know people are looking at this and they're confused and they want their answers. Why, Elie, why the different rulings?

HONIG: Yes, Brooke, look the supreme court has been all over the map, literally, in the way you just laid out over the last week.

I think it helps to break it down by the justices though.

Start with there are three justices, Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer, who in all of those cases have uniformly voted in favor of extended deadlines.

Then you have three justices on the other side; Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch who, in all three cases, have voted against extended deadlines.

Now that leaves us with Roberts and Kavanagh who've gone a different way in different cases really for procedural reasons. But I do think there's a concern.

Kavanagh has left some enormous bread crumbs suggesting he may be up for it if there's a dispute after the election for throwing out certain late arriving ballots after November 3rd.

And then, of course, there's the X factor of Amy Coney Barrett. She's not part of any of those prior rulings, she could tip the balance if she does weigh in.

BALDWIN: Elie Honig, we're going to leave it. Have a great night, thank you so, so much.

HONIG: Thanks very much. You too.

BALDWIN: Good to have you on.

Arizona. Arizona has emerged as a crucial swing state that threatens to derail President Trump's reelection chances.

And Joe Biden currently holds a small lead there. And if he takes it he could be in a good position to reach the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency.

So far, more than two million people in Arizona have already cast their early ballots. That is almost as many votes that were cast in 2016 in total.

And with me now, Arizona congressman Ruben Gallego live from Phoenix.

Congressman Gallego, great to have you on. Nice to see you.

REP. RUBEN GALLEGO, (D-ARIZ): Thank you for having me.

BALDWIN: First, let me start with you and just this new CNN reporting. That even if Trump doesn't hit 270 electoral votes on Tuesday night, he may be aggressive in calling it for himself, essentially. This premature victory. Again, even if -- this is not how it works. A number of states won't have counted all their ballots. What say you?

GALLEGO: He doesn't make that call. Every state has their own certification process, there are guidelines in the constitution about when this election is actually certified.

[01:10:00]

At the end of the day, he can lie to himself and lie to his followers but he will be losing and he'll be out on January 20th, one way or the other.

So I don't want to play into his fearmongering, I don't know what kind of mind games he's playing with his people but democracy will win the day. And he will be out of the White House.

BALDWIN: We'll let the people decide and we'll watch those electoral college votes very closely. We'll see which way it goes.

I want to talk to you about your key state of Arizona here. A most recent CNN poll has an extremely tight race between Biden and Trump.

And so one question this year. Does Arizona flip from red to blue?

And I was reading this article out of the "Washington Post." This is interesting.

Describing one in four voters there are non-white, an electorate that's heavily Democratic and a slim majority of voters who are college graduates. This is all according to the 2016 exit polls.

The state is ripe, as you well know, Congressman, to turn blue. But why hasn't it already? And what is your biggest worry come Tuesday?

GALLEGO: Well, we have a very young electorate, I think people forget that. Latinos, while we make up 30 percent of the population in Arizona, the average age of a Latino in Arizona is only 25.

And so it's been a while and a lot of work and many of us have been working for at least 10 years now to make that community more active and participate in more elections.

And to date, we already have -- more Latinos have voted by mail than voted in all of 2016. That was up till last week when that occurred. So we know we're moving in the right direction.

We also had a lot of people that didn't quite understand what the danger was to, I think, a Trump presidency.

Many of us warned them, we've seen this type of action before. We've had the Sheriff Joe Arpaio's of the world, SB 1070s off the world.

We saw what was happening but there was a lot of people that didn't want to believe it. And I think now they see that. As well as the fact that COVID-19 has ravaged Arizona, it has hurt our

economy and has disproportionately hurt our people of color in the state.

So all those combined has really brought an awakening to a lot of voters that are realizing that this is not the presidency for them.

That's why we do see a surge of first-time voters happening this year that we did not see really in 2016.

BALDWIN: It'll be interesting to watch as one of the last states to close the polls on Tuesday.

But you guys actually allow counting of those early ballots early on --

GALLEGO: Yes.

BALDWIN: -- so we may have an early indicator of which way Arizona goes.

And then, lastly, of course, we've got to talk about the closely watched Senate contest that the polls show 52 percent back Democrat Mark Kelly, 45 percent back Republican incumbent, Senator Martha McSally.

This is a state, as you well know, Congressman Gallego -- gave us Mitt Romney, John McCain, Barry Goldwater. How could this be the state that elects potentially Mark Kelly over Senator McSally?

GALLEGO: Well, look, Arizona has always been a moderate state. We have been led by someone I didn't agree with all the time but a moderate Republican, John McCain. He established kind of the mold of that.

And whenever there was new candidates that came along that kind of fit that mold, we did vote for them. And this is what you saw happening in the past.

Mark Kelly fits the mold of a Democrat that can work with both sides. He has his own Western independent streak like many of us do here in the West. And I think that really fits Arizona.

Unlike Martha McSally who really has aligned herself to Donald Trump to the point where she's actually polling less than Donald Trump.

So at the end of the day, Mark Kelly fits the environment, he fits the electorate of Arizona.

He has certainly worked his tail off. I see him out there all the time working every day and that's what you see in the polling. He is really going to bring it home.

And in the process, he's going to turn the rest of the state blue.

So we're very lucky to have a great ticket with Biden Harris on top and then Mark Kelly there in second with the Senate.

BALDWIN: Appreciate your confidence. We all have to wait to see if it goes blue.

Congressman Ruben Gallego. Sir, thank you so much.

GALLEGO: Thank you.

BALDWIN: We'll all be watching Arizona so, so closely.

GALLEGO: Keep watching.

BALDWIN: And just a quick reminder to all of you -- thank you.

Our coverage continues live around the clock leading up to election day. And please tune in to CNN. You can watch it all unfold this Tuesday on "ELECTION NIGHT IN AMERICA" starting at 4:00 pm Eastern, 9:00 pm in London. Right here live on CNN.

Young people in America, young people are poised to be a huge factor in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and turn out in record numbers for early voting.

Ahead, my conversation with David Hogg, a youth activist who survived that Parkland shooting in 2018.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: I want us to be better as a country. I think there's a lot of injustice and things that need to be fixed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Move past any difficulties, move past any hurdles. Cast a vote, get it in the system. It will be safe and it will count.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:15:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: People are really starting to recognize just all of the different chaos within the political climate right now. That voting is the only real say that we can have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: I really do think it's about the character of this country, about who we vote for. So I think -- I just want my voice heard on that. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: 2020 has been a record-shattering year for early voting among young people.

Listen to this.

Nearly 9.5 million people between the ages of 18 to 29 have already cast an early vote.

That's according to data from "Catalist," a company that provides data to the Democrat party and other groups.

It remains to be seen though whether young voters will turn out in higher numbers overall or are just voting earlier this year.

Here with me now via Skype is David Hogg, an activist who survived the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

And he is voting for the very first time in the U.S. presidential election.

So David, good to have you on tonight. Welcome.

DAVID HOGG, YOUTH ACTIVIST, SURVIVOR OF MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING, 2018: Yes. Thank you for having me on.

BALDWIN: This is your first presidential election. You voted right when you could a couple of weeks ago. What did that feel like?

HOGG: It felt surreal, it really did.

It was incredible because I was able to see how -- I was definitely hopeful that we were going to have some changes in the White House, in the senate.

[01:20:00]

And to be able to vote and make my voice heard, it felt like a really big impact. Just knowing that -- it's just amazing to think what a big impact filling in one bubble, for example, can have on the future of our country and millions of people's lives.

It felt really amazing to be able to vote. Yes.

BALDWIN: Totally. And part of the story, David, now going into November 3rd is that we've seen this record number of early voting, specifically when it comes to young people.

And I know you have been part of this huge outreach, you were part of this virtual rally recently encouraging people across the country to vote.

Listen, I know you're very vocal about where you stand politically. But I imagine you want young people to vote no matter what.

And so I'm just curious, what are you hearing from other first-time voters? What is the issue that's getting them to vote?

HOGG: Yes. I think the issue that is getting young people to vote -- I think, frankly, is all of the issues.

I was texting a friend today that is a former board member of the organization and has done a ton of work with "March For Our Lives" in Texas.

And so I was talking to him about why do they think there was such a high voter turnout there? And they said people are just fed up, and understandably so.

We're seeing a massive amount of -- growth of inequality in our country right now being compounded by COVID. We're seeing racial injustice, gun violence and climate change happen.

And it really is basically a survival tactic for our generation because there's so many threats that we face right now. And we're voting for our survival.

It's not about liking one candidate or another. It's about the fact that one of them is actively working towards creating a future for us that is not survivable.

BALDWIN: You mention "March for Our Lives. I was there for the march covering for CNN in Washington. I've interviewed so many of you incredible young people who survived that shooting, the parents.

And so here you are. You're in this new film coming out, it's called "Us Kids." And so it's following a number of you from the "March For Our Lives" movement.

I want to ask you about it. But here's a quick clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOGG: Become involved today by voting for policies that won't get you killed tomorrow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: They're going to shoot through the window. If they kill me, they prove my point.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: You guys are being (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: The thing is people are dead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: I'm excited because I have not seen a movement like this since 1963 when 3,000 students led that movement. Change is on the horizon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Change is on the horizon. David, I just want to ask you, last question.

Why did you want to be part of this documentary? How do you hope it will inspire other young people?

HOGG: I hope the documentary inspires other young people and people generally to give them cautiously optimistic hope, I guess you could say.

With the belief that -- blindly hoping that things will change is not enough. But really, we know that things can if enough people get involved as we've seen over the past four years from the Women's March to Black Lives Matter to the Sunrise Climate Change Movement to March for Our Lives and gun violence prevention.

Everyday Americans across the country are mobilizing to save our democracy and save everyday people from these issues that have been so enacted upon by many people in power for so long.

And I just hope that the documentary shows people the power of what can happen when we vote.

Not for Democrats or Republicans but for morally just leaders that truly do care about young people and care about the future of our country. And not so much about making their special interest happy.

Because there's one issue that should be at the center of every elected official's mind. Which is the American interests of the American people.

BALDWIN: David Hogg, great to have you on. Good luck.

HOGG: Thank you.

BALDWIN: And here we are in the final stretch. Both the Trump and Biden campaigns are focusing on the must-win swing states.

One of them is Wisconsin which Trump captured in 2016.

The president will campaign there in the coming day along with the other critical battlegrounds you see there in yellow. Bill Weir, our CNN correspondent asks what's on the minds of Wisconsin

voters.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Madison, there are so many signs of a vibrant democracy even as they braced for election day like a approaching hurricane.

Some are more worried about a repeat of what happened in Kenosha, others fret more over COVID-19 tearing through the state at nightmare rates.

And the president who refuses to take it seriously with every visit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We're rounding the curve, we're rounding the corner.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BORGWARDT, WISCONSIN VOTER: I don't understand how he can downplay the serious of this. It just totally escapes me.

WEIR: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: It's wrong.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANOTHER HEASLETT, WISCONSIN VOTER: I think Biden's going to win this state. I think that it has strongly affected the way that I would vote. I think Trump has handled this abysmally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WEIR: They are among the thousands pouring through this coronavirus testing center in Madison each day.

As deaths top 2,000, new cases set records and hospitals near overflowing. [01:25:00]

But in Trump's Wisconsin, from farm country up north to the suburbs of Milwaukee there is a very level of COVID concern.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WEIR: Did it affect the way that you think about this election at all?

MICHELLE ANDERSON, WISCONSIN VOTER: No, not at all. Just stay safe, they have lots of hand sanitizer and they have alcohol wipes. They have glass protection. It's very safe. My biggest reason for voting for Trump is Biden -- I believe he's going to live that long. And I am a female but I just -- I'm not real comfortable with two females in office. And I don't care for Nancy. So.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Donald Trump waved the white flag, surrendered to the virus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WEIR: After nearly two million absentee ballots were sent out, less than 200,000 are still outstanding. But those could mean the difference.

So both sides wonder how many are stuck in the mail?

Election mail had gotten so slow in Wisconsin, a federal judge this week ordered the Postal Service to do a statewide sweep starting tonight. And if they find any ballots, take extraordinary measures to get them in on time.

But that's just getting them in. Back in April 23,000 absentee ballots were rejected because the voter didn't know to sign the envelope or put the address of their witness on.

Now at actual polling places like this, there are friendly folks to help you avoid mistakes.

But Donald Trump won Wisconsin by less than 23,000 votes. So mistakes matter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN WIKLER, CHAIR, DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF WISCONSIN: The thing is that because we had a dress rehearsal in Wisconsin of how to do a pandemic election, we know how to do it now.

And I think we're going to see a much more effective election apparatus than our state has ever seen in these final two days.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WEIR: And for those worried about Tuesday's crowds, take heart. After testing a quarter million people so far not a single worker here caught the virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: On any given day, one of our testers is probably exposed to about 80 positive cases and they're wearing a mask and a face shield. And that's keeping them safe. So.

WEIR: So knowing that, what do you think when you see these big political rallies with thousands of people without masks?

I worry whenever I see a large gathering without masks because I know the virus is going to spread in that community. And I worry for them.

I wish that people would just wear masks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So nice to hear from a variety of voters there. Bill Weir, thank you in Wisconsin.

Speaking of Joe Biden, his message is resonating with more women then President Trump's campaign. That's according to CNN's latest poll.

Ahead, how women voters may hold the key to picking the next U.S. president.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(CNN CEO VISION)

ALEXANDRE RICARD, CHAIRMAN & CEO, PERNOD RICARD: There's been quite a lot of innovation in terms of hometainment, in terms of Zoom drinks.

It's a way people discover to share something together when they're not in the same place. When they're in different cities, different countries, when it's the birthday of one of your close relatives living on the other side of the world.

But at the end of the day, people really need to connect together in great bars, restaurants and pubs.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:31:07]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People should realize how extremely important it is to vote. We think one little vote may not make a difference, but it makes a lot of difference.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It felt good. It felt like I was somebody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Those are some wise women. Listen, there's a lot to suggest that female voters hold the key to this election. In CNN's latest poll, men are evenly split between President Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Joe Biden. But women favor Biden by 61 percent.

Stacey Vernallis is the founder of Progress PA, a political group that helps Democratic candidates get elected in western Pennsylvania. She formed a group after President Trump won in 2016. And Stacey, we should also point out that, you know, you voted Republican for a number of years. So my, how the tables have turned. Nice to have you on.

STACEY VERNALLIS, PROGRESS PA: My pleasure Brooke.

BALDWIN: Listen, you know, I had read that you had never had the kind of desire to do something yourself when it comes to politics. That it was more, you know, let it be another person's job. You are merely a meager voter. What changed for you?

VERNALLIS: Well, I'll tell you, I woke up the morning after the 2016 election and had five really important reasons. I have three children, two stepchildren that I adore, and I saw a future that I didn't recognize the America. It wasn't the America I signed up for and certainly not the one I had hoped to give to them.

BALDWIN: Now let's remind everyone though, jogging back just to 2016, you know, the 53 percent of women who voted. 41 percent voted for Trump, you know, 41 percent.

Do you get the sense in your key battleground state of Pennsylvania, there you are in western PA. You get the sense this year that that number will change?

VERNALLIS: I most definitely do, Brooke. And I'm going to tell you why. Shortly after the Women's March in 2017 there was a boiling throughout southwestern PA and across Pennsylvania of women who had been ignited in their desire.

You see Brooke, I think they took the polls too seriously. If you recall in 2016 about this time Hillary Clinton was seven points up in Pennsylvania. Many people -- many women went to bed on election night thinking that they had this one in the bag only to wake up and realize that there was maybe something else that hadn't been done. That we weren't being asked to do.

And so I really believe that we are in a situation where many women got to work beginning in 2017 to keep this 2020 election in the crosses.

BALDWIN: Yes. Yes. It was a reckoning for a lot of women having, you know, covered the Women's March and then the years afterwards in talking to so many women, it just feels like it would be an oversimplification to say it was just because of Trump that really, you know, got women fired up.

I read about you in this amazing "New York Times" piece that characterized women like you like this. Let me read this for you, Stacey. "Before the Trump era, these women were hardly radical. Many had voted for Republicans including George W. Bush. They represent not just the kind of feminist activism that Mr. Trump's victory ignited but the particular had it up to here with my Republican neighbors' anger of suburban western Pennsylvania where dozens of similar groups have cropped up in the past four years."

You know, here's my final question for you as we are on TV late at night. Just us talking, you know. Compare the woman who woke up the day after the election in 2016 with those five pits in her stomach to the woman I'm talking to live on TV today. What is the biggest change in you?

[01:34:50]

VERNALLIS: The biggest change is learning how broad and deep the network of women are across southwestern Pennsylvania and western Pennsylvania. You know Progress PA isn't Stacey Vernallis. Progress PA is a group of women who have reached a certain age and a few younger ones with great talents who made a decision that we were not going to let the movement that began in 2017 sputter out of control.

And we realize that all of the women in Pennsylvania needed a motherboard. They need a helping hand. Because they're going to be doing different things. Our organization was going to help capacity-build other organizations.

And some of the organizations we were helping to build were going to be working on getting out the vote or recruiting candidates or raising money or all of the above.

So really what we found is that we had lots of talents that were unrecognized and unrealized and ready to be put to work outside the Democratic committee structure.

BALDWIN: It's extraordinary what can happen when a lot of women lean on one another to get -- to get amazing things done. I'm literally writing a book about it right now.

Stacey Vernallis, thank so much. Good luck to you.

VERNALLIS: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: Thank you.

Election day hours away.

COVID-19 is making people nervous about going to the polls this Tuesday. So let's talk to an expert about how you can stay as safe as possible.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:39:52]

BALDWIN: We are back live here on CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being up with me.

For the first time President Donald Trump has publicly suggested he might, emphasis on might, fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S.

You hear it for yourself. This is the exchange with supporters at a rally in Florida just a little while ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWD: Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci. Fire Fauci.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don't tell anybody but let me wait until a little bit after the election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: That was just earlier this evening. I don't have to tell you this. You know the president has a contentious relationship with Dr. Fauci. And while the president insists the country is quote, "turning the corner" the doctor just said this weekend that we are in for quote, "a whole lot of hurt".

It comes with COVID-19 rates soaring in the U.S. and experts warn the worst is yet to come.

November started off with the most cases ever reported on a single -- more than 80,000. Midwestern states in particular are seeing more hospitalizations as the presidential race comes down to the wire.

So there are understandable worries about how to make sure people stay safe when they go to the polls this Tuesday.

CNN contributor Erin Bromage joins me live from West Port, Massachusetts. He's a biology professor at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

So Erin, nice to have you on. Thanks for hanging out with me this late night.

ERIN BROMAGE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: No problem at all. How are you tonight?

BALDWIN: I'm doing all right. You know, we've got a little bit going on in this country. And so I just want to focus first just on COVID. You know, the U.S. just plain flat is not on the right path.

I just mentioned Sunday, the 1st of November here saw the most coronavirus cases that were reported on a Sunday. And it was the ninth highest day total of the pandemic.

Just flat out question to you. Does the U.S. need to consider another lockdown like countries are in Europe?

BROMAGE: We need to do something to get this under control. The spread, the community spread at the moment is just out of control. It's burning very, very hard amongst the 15 to 40-year-olds and it's only a matter of time before it does get into that sentinel population of all the people.

So we either have to come up with stronger public health measures or something along the lines of closing down those businesses that are responsible for the largest amount of transmission.

BALDWIN: And of course, businesses hate hearing that. You know, it's colder out. People want to gather inside. Indoor dining depending on where you are in the U.S. is allowed or it's a certain, you know, small percentage. Is there a -- is there a safe way to gather this winter in small groups?

BROMAGE: There is. I mean this should not be an all or nothing approach. It can't be abstinence or just open up. There is a middle ground.

Recently I dined in a restaurant that had eight or nine different mitigation strategies put into the restaurant to make the indoor dining experience safe. That is the first time I've been indoors dining since February. And I felt wonderfully safe inside this environment.

You can invest --

BALDWIN: Tell me what you mean. How was it different? What were the mitigation strategies?

BROMAGE: So temperature checks when they came in. Not great but they're ok. But then they put in germicidal UVC (ph). They put in high level of filtration into their ducted system. They had HEPA filters on the floor. They made these incredible barriers out of old tables from the restaurant between each of the tables so that there was a physical barrier between each of them.

The employees were in N-95s and white gloves. It was just layer upon layer upon layer of protection for both employees and the guests in the restaurant.

BALDWIN: So maybe taking some of the mitigation strategies, I'm wondering for everyone watching some people if they haven't already earlier voted, they want to head to the polls on Tuesday, people are kind of, you know, freaked out for lack of a better term just of the possibility of getting sick. What do you tell people to do?

BROMAGE: Well, with voting, you are spending a lot of time waiting for voting but thankfully that waiting is outside. So we know outside is less risky than indoors. But we still need to keep our distance and if we can't maintain distance properly, we need to make sure we have masks on as well. Masks are probably just a good idea when you're lining up anyway.

When we get to the polls or get to the inside portion, what we are aiming to do is lower the duration, the time that you spend inside there because duration is really important. So things that you can do to make it faster when you are inside is know what the ballot looks like. Look at a sample ballot online.

Know the way that you're going to vote before you get in there. So when you do get in there it's as quick as possible before you get out.

[01:44:49]

BROMAGE: And then most of all, just mind your interactions. Keep them at six feet. Make sure that they are masked, and don't get into any sort of verbal confrontations or anything like that when you are in the line or voting.

BALDWIN: Get in, get out and practice that --

BROMAGE: Yes.

BALDWIN: -- bubbling ahead of time.

Erin Bromage, great tips. Thank you so much. Great to have you on again.

BROMAGE: Thank you, Brooke.

BALDWIN: All right. Listen, this is obviously certainly not isolated to the United States. The coronavirus is raging in other countries as well. Europe, in particular, is seeing a dangerous resurgence. So let's get the latest updates from around the world. Europe, in particular, is seeing dangerous resurgence. Let's get the latest updates from around the world.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: I am Max Foster in Newbury, England where a second national lockdown is due to take effect from Thursday to prevent hospitals becoming overrun with coronavirus patients.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to confirm his plans in an address to parliament on Monday. It would mean that people could only leave their homes for specific purposes -- work, education, or to buy essential items, for example.

He said the plan was to have a lockdown lasting four weeks. But on Sunday, senior minister Michael Gove told Sky News that it could be extended if necessary. Opposition leader, Keir Starmer, said a lockdown should have been imposed weeks ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Melissa Bell in Paris on Day 3 of a partial nationwide lockdown that essentially means that people have to stay at home. They can only leave their apartments if they stay within less than a mile of them and go out for less than an hour unless they are equipped with a special piece of paper, explaining why their outing is necessary.

Partial lockdown is now also in place in Belgium, Germany, Austria, Portugal, as the E.U. tries to bring those surging COVID-19 figures back under control.

Some positivity rates like here in France above 20 percent. Hospitalizations in many countries up substantially. And some ICUs, running out of capacity in certain European cities.

This is a second wave that has surprised and is looking worse than the first for Europe with the virus spreading faster and wider than it did the first time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matt Rivers, in Mexico City where Mexicans spent the weekend celebrating the traditional Day of the Dead holiday, a holiday where families remember their loved ones that have passed on.

The holiday takes on extra importance this year though as roughly 92,000 people have lost their lives as a result of the coronavirus. The government officially declared Saturday, Sunday and Monday as days of national mourning to remember those victims.

And inside of the national palace behind me, government officials set up "ofrendas" or traditional altars that are used by Mexicans to remember their dead. Though critics would say the government's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic is at least partly the reason why Mexico's death toll is so high.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Thanks to all of you.

And this evening, new reports out of the U.K. indicate that Prince William tested positive for coronavirus earlier this year. "The Sun" newspaper said the Prince told an observer at a function that he didn't go public because there are important things going on and that he did not want to worry anyone.

William's father, Prince Charles, got the virus in late March and self-isolated in Scotland for a week. Kensington Palace has not commented yet on those reports.

And as the U.S. election is in its final stretch, Hollywood's biggest stars are encouraging Americans to get out and vote. We will hear from actor and comedian, Billy Eichner about the issues he thinks matter the most in this race.

[01:48:10]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Across the U.S., celebrities have been urging Americans to cast their ballots in this crucial election. Among them actor and comedian Billy Eichner, who spent Sunday phone banking for Pennsylvania. On Twitter he encouraged people to make their voices heard saying that it's shameful just how close this election has been.

Billy Eichner joins me now. He is the senior adviser of Swing Left, a group that's focused on flipping Senate seats from red to blue. He is also a Biden/Harris supporter.

Billy Eichner, good to have you on. Welcome.

BILLY EICHNER, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

BALDWIN: Listen, we have a lot to go through. I know you are fired up and have spent quite a bit of time on your Instagram, you know. And we'll get to the issues here in just a second.

But --

EICHNER: Yes.

BALDWIN: -- I don't know if you've heard this, but CNN has just learned that the Trump campaign plans to be very aggressive on election night and it's prepared to declare victory, Billy, even if the president is close to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win, that is even if large numbers of ballots have yet to be counted. What is your reaction to that?

EICHNER: My reaction to that is he is a pathological liar, and he is a sociopath -- always has been, always will be. So I'm not surprised at all.

Democrats and pundits at large for the past year have been predicting that he would do this. He knows he is behind, and like everything else in his life that he has ever done, he knows the only way he can give people the optics that he wants, give people the image of winning, is by cheating, right.

That is what he has done his whole life, right. He cheated on his taxes. He cheats, he lies. This is what he does. And honestly, it's worked for him a lot, to a really disgusting, shameful degree that our culture allowed it too. But it is not going to work this time.

BALDWIN: Listen, it's not just about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for you. I know it is about the issues, you know, between the Supreme Court, gay marriage, women's rights, health care. Fill in the blank, Billy. What is the most important issue for you?

EICHNER: Look, there are so many, I am part of the LGBTQ community, a very proud gay person. So when I see someone with the history of homophobia like Amy Coney Barrett get a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court, of course, that gets me and my community deeply scared in terms of having our rights rolled back.

But if I'm being completely honest, in addition to women's rights and criminal justice reform and Black Lives Matter, the thing that is on my mind, that affects everyone -- Democrats, Republicans, everyone -- is health care, affordable health care.

We are nothing without our health. And there are people with pre- existing conditions who are only able to get health care because of Obamacare. And Obamacare is not perfect but it allowed 20 million more people, especially those with pre-existing conditions, to finally get affordable health care.

[01:54:56]

EICHNER: And now it's time to improve upon that and you have Trump and a Supreme Court potentially, and certainly Republicans in the Senate, who want to take away that health care.

I don't understand. It affects their own constituents too. It is our health. And it is our mental health.

BALDWIN: I hear how critical you are of this president. Here is what I wonder because I know you have been, you know, working the phones, phone banking. Have you talked to any Trump supporters? And are you concerned that a number of people will be voting for Trump, but just not saying it out loud or telling pollsters?

EICHNER: There is absolutely some of that that will happen. But my focus is not on Trump voters. There is no way, in the next 48 hours, I'm going to miraculously get someone who is racist to, you know, be not racist. You know, that's not going to happen.

So, this is my whole focus, right now. And this is the most important message. And as you can tell, I'm very passionate about this. I have been phone banking all day with hundreds of other people.

If you're someone like me in a blue state, or even if you're someone in a red state that wants to see Trump gone and you feel helpless, the best thing you can do right now, in addition to voting, of course. But the best thing you can do, what we need everyone to do is to help us phone bank.

You can go to SwingLeft.org/phonebank. We're going to be phone banking in Pennsylvania. I did it all day today with lots of other people all over -- Ohio, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Wisconsin. We need people to get on the phones.

BALDWIN: All right. Billy Eichner working the phones, still working the phones. Good luck to you. Thank you so much for spending the evening with us --

EICHNER: Thank you.

BALDWIN: -- just for a couple of minutes, Billy. Thank you.

EICHNER: Thank you.

BALDWIN: And thank you for spending your evening with me.

Hey, just this quick note. We at CNN, of course, we want everyone to vote -- Republican, Democrat, third party, it does not matter. Just please exercise your right.

You've been watching CNN's live coverage of the countdown to election day in America.

I'm Brooke Baldwin.

The news continues next with my colleague, Kate Bolduan.

[01:56:54]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)