CDC director contradicts Trump on coronavirus guidance, vaccine timing

This is a rush transcript from “Special Report" September 16, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

that, I had no idea that we could produce as well as we're producing. But 
only because of what I've done with the FDA and other things can we come up 
with numbers like that. We're lucky that we don't have to, because that was 
considered fast. 

If this were an administration from the past, and I think I can say far 
beyond Obama, it was other administrations also. You wouldn't have a 
vaccine for 2-1/2, three years, and we're going to have a vaccine within, 
at most, a couple of months. OK?

President, if I could ask you about coronavirus relief. Do you support the 
Problem Solvers Caucus proposal that was put forward? Are you comfortable 
with the $500 billion for the states?

TRUMP: Something like that, yes. I like the larger amount, I've said that. 
You know, some of the Republicans disagree, but I think I can convince them 
to go along with it because I like the larger number. I want to see people 
get money, I want to see -- it wasn't their fault that this happened, it 
was China's fault. You know? People say, well, maybe you shouldn't say 
that, that's not nice. It was China's fault. 

So, I'd like to see the larger number, yes. I would like to see it. There's 
some things that I disagree with, but I'm sure they can be negotiating. 

Now, I heard Nancy Pelosi said she doesn't want to leave until we have an 
agreement. She's come a long way, that's great. If she said that, she's 
come a long way. 

I agree with her, we should have an agreement, people should be helped, and 
they should be helped as rapidly as possible. And I think it's going to 
happen; I think it's very important. 

So, the Problem Solvers came up with, it's a group of people in Congress as 
you know, you know them all, I know them all, they're very good people, I 
guess you'd consider them dead center. But in many cases, they're not, 
they're left, they're right, but they came up with this idea and I think 
they're well on their way to suggesting some pretty good things. Yes, I 
agree with a lot of it.

ROBERTS: In terms of things that you don't agree, are you comfortable with 
the $500 billion?

TRUMP: I think the things I don't agree, we can probably negotiate. But I 
think we've made some progress over the last week and I think it was 
positive that they came out with that report.

ROBERTS: Would you endorse that proposal?

TRUMP: Well, not that proposal, but we're getting closer. We're getting 
closer. I do like a lot of money getting sent to people that really were -- 
really were hurt unnecessarily by China because they could have stopped it. 
They stopped it from going into their country, they could have stopped it 
from coming to our country and from going to Europe and from going to the 
rest of the world, 188 different countries from all over the world. Please?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, the director of the CDC also testified 
today that a mask, in his estimation is guaranteed to protect the American 
public more from the coronavirus than a vaccine. You have, as detailed, 
poured a lot of resources into vaccine development. Why not devote your 
energy --

TRUMP: And to masks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But why not devote your energy now to a campaign to have 
all Americans wear a mask, something that, if more effective than a 
vaccine, would also help schools and the economy?

TRUMP: OK. Number one, it's not more effective, by any means, than a 
vaccine. And I called him about that, those were the two things that I 
discussed with him. 

And I believe that if you ask him, he would probably say that he didn't 
understand the question because I said to him, I asked him those two 
questions, the one question which we covered, and the mask question. And I 
was inaccurately covered because I was on with George last night, George 
Stephanopoulos, and I enjoyed it, I think people enjoyed it, I got -- you 
know, a lot of people said very good things about the show. 

I hope they did well, but they said a lot of good things about the show. 
But they always cut my sentences off, you know they cut it off on masks and 
masks have problems too. When I talked about the masks have to be handled 
very gently, very carefully. I see that in restaurants that people with 
masks and they're playing around with their mask and they haven't -- their 
fingers are in their mask and then they're serving with plates. I mean, I 
think there's a lot of problems with masks. 

Now, vaccine is much more effective than the masks. And if we get the 
vaccine, we have added to the fact that our numbers are going way down. You 
know, you see the numbers, I'm just reading your statistics that are from 
wherever they get them, but they're very highly qualified statistics. But 
no, the mask is not as important as the vaccine. The mask perhaps helps. 

Don't forget, a lot of people didn't like the concept of masks, initially. 
Dr. Fauci didn't like them and a lot of people didn't. And I'm not knocking 
anybody because I understand both sides of the argument, but when I called 
up Robert today, I said to him, what's with the mask? He said, I think I 
answered that question incorrectly. I think maybe he had misunderstood it. 
I mean, you know, he had two questions. Maybe he misunderstood both of 

But the answer to the one, is it's going to be a much faster distribution 
than he said. Maybe he's not aware of the distribution process. It's not 
really his thing as much as it would be, let's say, mine. But the 
distribution is going to be much faster.

As far as the mask is concerned, I hope that the vaccine is going to be a 
lot more beneficial than the masks. Because people have used the masks, but 
when I looked at that chart that we put up, if you look, you know, we were 
right, if you do the good job, they had I guess 240,000. But if you do the 
good -- if it worked out well.

Now, look, one death is too much. One death is too much, should have never 
happened. But the lower level was at that 240,000, between a hundred and 
something and 240,000. As far as the mask is concerned, he made a mistake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the masks, I mean, perhaps they are part of the role 
for the decrease in cases, because they are effective, as you just said. 
So, I know you've worn --

TRUMP: No, they may be effective. And I wear them when I'm in a hospital or 
what I'm in a setting with a lot-

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, my question is, why not wear them more often, or 
have the White House staff wear them more often, to set an example for the 

TRUMP: Well, I'm tested, and I'm sometimes surprised when I see somebody 
sitting and like with Joe, Joe feels very safe in a mask. I don't know, 
maybe he doesn't want to expose his face. I don't know what's going on. 

He'll be way away from people, nowhere near people. There'll be nobody with 
him. He doesn't draw any crowds. So have circles, his big circles, they'll 
be way far away.

There's no reason for him to have masks on. We get tested. I'm tested. I 
have people tested. When people come into the Oval Office, it's like a big 
deal. No matter who they are, the heads of countries, they all get tested. 

So, I'm in sort of a different position. And maybe if I wasn't in that 
position, I'd be wearing it more. But I've worn masks. And especially, I 
like to wear them when I'm in a hospital. Not for me so much as for other 
people, OK? Thanks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, Mr. President, can I just talk to you 
about --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a few questions, Mr. President. One for Dr. 
Atlas. Dr. Atlas, you mentioned minorities would be the first focus of the 
distribution. How would that exactly work in practice, when it's being 
distributed specifically to minorities? And secondly, for you Mr. --

TRUMP: Well, he didn't say minorities, he said minorities and senior 
citizens, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sure. But can you talk us through a bit more on the 
focus on distributing to minorities and how that would work? 

And then for you, Mr. President, you mentioned the drop in the poverty 
rate. Specifically, we noticed at just the news that the poverty rate for 
African-Americans hit historic lows, that the household wealth increased 
historically for African-Americans. What was driving that increase in 
wealth for African-Americans? 

And now at 2020 with the coronavirus and unemployment spiking, what would 
be your plan for the second term to improve lives for African-Americans?

TRUMP: Well, I'll go first, because your question -- I appreciate your 
question. And yes, we've had a tremendous drop in poverty for all people in 
our nation, but in particular for African-Americans. And that statistic 
came in, and it's because the African-American community, the Black 
community, has had the lowest, the best employment numbers that we've ever 
had, both employment and unemployment, depending on how you want to define 
it. But we've had the best employment numbers we've ever had. 

Now, we had the greatest employment in the country ever, almost 160 million 
people. We've never been close to that number, but we were just six months 

And yes, the -- I'm very proud of the numbers. African-Americans, Hispanic-
Americans, they had the best numbers they've ever had by far, both 
employment and unemployment, depending on definition. 

Thank you very much for that question. Scott, do you want to answer that?

what I -- to clarify, said that the first prioritization is the high-risk 
people and frontline healthcare workers. 

But just to reiterate what I said, there are 51,000 outlets for 
distribution, for vaccination. And there's over 14,000 federally qualified 
health centers that are particularly targeted to minority and low-income 
areas. So, that's a focus.

I want to point out two other things. We're also prioritizing testing 
historically black colleges and universities. And we're in the process of 
getting that finalized because we know that there's high -- you know, 
higher morbidity within certain ethnic groups.

And the last thing I would say is, it's particularly heinous and egregious 
abuse of the media to instill fear into people about taking a vaccine 
because there was no shortcut here. Everything is safe, everything is 

And for people who have particularly an influence on minority communities 
to instill fear and doubt, is a particularly -- you know, outrageous abuse 
of public policy and of leadership. These are people that have higher 

And so, I implore everyone who's in a high-risk category that when we get a 
safe, effective vaccine, they should take the vaccine.

TRUMP: I will say, this is a phenomena that only happened when they 
realized that we may very well have the vaccine prior to a certain very 
important date, namely, November 3rd. 

Once they heard that, the Democrats started, just to show you how bad the 
intention is, they started knocking the vaccine. Had nothing to do with the 
vaccine. It was totally made up. It's all disinformation, just like they 
put an ad in about football, just like they put with respect to me. I'm the 
one that got football back, and I was always against them going out. 

It was ridiculous, that Big Ten. And now, hopefully, PAC-10 goes back. And 
I say that just like even worse, they put out a totally fake ad, totally 
made up stories. It was a made-up story by a third rate magazine, where the 
head guy I guess, the head person, I have no idea who he is, I don't know 
him, but he's friends with Obama and Clinton, so they made up this horrible 
story, and then they did ads.

Well, they made up this story too. This story is very simple. They started 
knocking the vaccine, as soon as they heard that this actually may come out 
prior to election. Now it may or may not, but it'll be within a matter of 
weeks. It'll be within a matter of weeks from November. It's ready to go, 
and it's ready to for massive distribution to everybody, with a focus again 
on seniors.

And I will say also, the historically black colleges and universities we 
are doing at my suggestion, because they have had a difficult problem 
there. We are doing more testing there and finer testing. We have our great 
apparatus there.

But when you look at what we've done on testing in terms of the technology 
and the amount, it's been really amazing. In fact, I think we're going to 
crack a hundred million tests very soon in the very near future. We're 
going to be cracking a hundred million tests.

Now, what that does do is it shows up more cases. So if we didn't test, we 
wouldn't have cases. You would have no cases. Other countries, they don't 
test, they don't have cases. And then they say, oh, the United States. 

Well, but we're proud of it, because it shows where there may be a problem, 
and it helps people. But we're doing tremendous testing at the historically 
black colleges and universities. And that was a suggestion I made, and I 
think it's a good -- I think it's a good suggestion. Yes, please, go ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The core of Vice President Biden's argument is that you 
don't trust the scientists. You don't listen to them. And here up on the 
podium today, you're twice contradicting the director of your own CDC on 
the science who testified before Congress today.

TRUMP: No, he's contradicting himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why should the American people --

TRUMP: I think he misunderstood the questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he was testifying --

TRUMP: You know what I think? I think he misunderstood, I told you. I don't 
have to go through this. I think he misunderstood the questions. But I'm 
telling you, here's the bottom line, distribution is going to be very 
rapid. He may not know that. Maybe he's not aware of that. And maybe he's 
not dealing with the military, et cetera, like I do. 

Distribution is going to be very rapid, and the vaccine's going to be very 
powerful. It's going to solve a tremendous problem. It's going to be very 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can the American people trust you on the pandemic 
when you're contradicting the head of the CDC in your own administration?

TRUMP: Because of the great job we've done. Because of the great things 
we've done in other fields also. Because of the fact that we created 
ventilators, we built ventilators by the thousands, and now we're supplying 
to the world. Because of all of the incredible work we've done for 
governors who are on every call saying, this is incredible. This is great. 
This is great. Sometimes they're not quite as friendly at a news conference 
when you have people covering it. 

But we have done a phenomenal job on COVID-19, as they like to call it, I 
call it other things. But we have done a phenomenal job. I get calls from 
other people in other countries, they can't believe the job we've done. And 
then they'll say, is there any way that you could get us ventilators? I 
say, how many do you need? 1,000 ventilators. I said we'll be able to take 
care of it. 

We're making thousands of ventilators, very complex, very expensive, very 
difficult thing to make. We're making thousands a month.

The cupboard was bare when I got here, and I will tell you, our 
distribution is going to be very rapid, and very -- it's going to be all-
encompassing. We are going to have a focus on certain groups that have 
problems, senior citizens, etcetera, but it's a very powerful -- it's going 
to be a very powerful distribution. It's going to cover everybody, and it's 
going to cover them rapidly.

I don't know whether or not the doctor knows that, how much he covers, but 
I called him. Because I said, why did you say that long? He wasn't that 
aware of it. And the other one was the mask.

The vaccine is going to have tremendous power. It's going to be extremely 
strong. It's going to be extremely successful. We're not going to have a 

And the mask may help, and I hope it helps, and I think it probably does. 
But again, the mask is a mixed bag. There are some people, professionals, 
Scott, you would know a lot of them, but there are some people that don't 
like the mask because of the touchiness and the touching, and then you're 
touching everything else. They have -- they feel that masks have problems. 
So anyway, go ahead, in the back, please.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you have confidence in Dr. Redfield?

TRUMP: Yes, I do. I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you just said he didn't give the answers well. 
(INAUDIBLE) questions.

TRUMP: He sort of I think maybe misunderstood a question. But we're beyond 
that now. We're really in final stages of vaccines. We're getting ready to 
go phase one on distribution. And I think it might come out even sooner 
than you think.

I think the vaccine is going to be even better than people thought 
originally. I think people are going to be really surprised at the success 
of the vaccine. I think it's going to be a tremendous success.

And we're fighting a very powerful party with a poor candidate in my 
opinion. But we're fighting a very, very powerful party, and they are 
partners with the media. And because they're working together very closely. 
And they only started hitting on the vaccine.

When they hit on the vaccine, they only hit on it when they realized that, 
wow, this is amazing, they may have it even before the election. All of a 
sudden, they didn't like the vaccine so much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President -- 



TRUMP: In the back, please -- 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, Mr. President. Were you inform 
about positive coronavirus cases in the White House today?


TRUMP: I cannot hear you, I'm sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you inform about coronavirus cases, positive 
cases in the White House today?

TRUMP: About today?





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Positive cases, today, sir.


TRUMP: Say it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On your staff, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are reports of White House staff members testing 
positive -- 


TRUMP: Oh, I see. About staff? You mean, (INAUDIBLE)?


TRUMP: I heard about it this morning at a very small level. Yes, I heard 
about it this -- 




TRUMP: I don't know. We can have a report to you if you feel it's 



TRUMP: But it say small -- it's last night I heard about it for the first 
time, and it's a small number of cases. Maybe it's not even cases. Do you 
know -- do you have any idea if there's -- 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes, We're not going to confirm the identities of 
the -- 


TRUMP: Yes, that's OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. But this did not affect the events, and press was 
not around. The -- 


TRUMP: And it's not anybody that was near me. From what I heard, a very 
small number. I think you can probably give the number out later on when 
you find out what it might be. One person?


TRUMP: It was one person, OK?


TRUMP: It was one person. That's (INAUDIBLE). So, not too much, not a 
person that I was associated with. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank 
you. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you waiting -- 


BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: President Trump in the White House. 
Good evening, welcome to Washington. I'm Bret Baier. We have just watched a 
news conference from the president at the White House briefing room.

President Trump says a coronas -- coronavirus vaccine could be approved by 
October, perhaps, mid-October he said. He also said an earlier statement by 
the CDC director that it could take several more months before it's 
available to the general population is "not correct". And that Dr. Robert 
Redfield was confused about that and about a statement about masks, as well 
that he made up on Capitol Hill.

Chief White House correspondent John Roberts has the highlights tonight 
from the briefing room. John, it seems like that phone call with the CDC 
director was quite something.

mean, there's no question about it. Obviously, as you saw for the last 
hour, the vaccine and the promise of it and when it might be available and 
for whom it might be available was a big topic of conversation.

But one of the other things that President Trump addressed right at the top 
were complaints among Republicans to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who tried 
to do whatever they can to cast doubt on any coronavirus vaccine that is 
approved before the election.

Listen to President Trump here.


TRUMP: I'm calling on Biden to stop promoting his anti-vaccine theories. 
Because all they are doing is hurting the importance of what we're doing. 
And I know that if they were in this position, they'd be saying how 
wonderful it is. They recklessly endangering lives.


ROBERTS: And as you pointed out at the top Bret, the timing of a vaccine, 
when it would be released, and who it would be available for, also a topic 
of apparent disagreement within the administration itself. Watch here.


ROBERTS: On Capitol Hill today, the CDC director said a COVID vaccine will 
likely soon be available, but not for everyone.

That I think there will be vaccine that initially be available sometime 
between November and December, but very limited supply and will have to be 

ROBERTS: Dr. Robert Redfield predicting it won't be widely available to the 
general public until next summer. The press secretary tried to make the 
best of that data point.

be widely available by the end of the year. It's why we partnered with 
Sanofi, GSK, Pfizer, and now, Johnson and Johnson, with a billion-dollar 
contracts to manufacture 100 million doses. So, we still feel that we're on 
the right timeline.

ROBERTS: Masks, to prevent the spread of coronavirus also a big issue today 
after President Trump told a town hall in Philadelphia this about masks.

TRUMP: A lot of people don't want to wear a mask. There are a lot of people 
think the masks are not good. But you have -- 



TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you who those people are. Waiters, they are playing 
with the masks, and so the mask is over, and they're touching it, and put -
- and then they're touching the plate.

ROBERTS: The CDC director telling Congress today, masks are indeed good.

REDFIELD: We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our 
best defense. I might even go so far to say that this face mask is more 
guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.

ROBERTS: It was left to the press secretary to reconcile the competing 
points of view.

MCENANY: Mask wearing is good, it's recommended. The president has 
continually recommended it from this podium, but he was just pointing out 
some of the unintended consequences if not used appropriately.

ROBERTS: At the town hall, President Trump also insisting that while he was 
trying to avoid creating a panic with his public statements, behind the 
scenes, he was doing anything but playing down the threat from coronavirus.

TRUMP: I didn't downplay. It, I actually, in many ways, I up-played it in 
terms of action. My action was very strong.


JONI POWELL, RESIDENT, PITTSBURGH: Did you not admit to it yourself?

ROBERTS: He again drew comparisons to Winston Churchill, who in World War 
II, urged Brits to be calm while bombs rained down on London. But another 
statement about the potential for so-called herd immunity helping the virus 
go away, drew another clarification from the White House today.

MCENANY: Herd immunity has never been a strategy here at the White House. 
The president last night was noting, herd immunity is over a period of 
time. A country, a society can reach herd community. It's a fact.


ROBERTS: And I'm taking down my mask, Bret, because there is nobody within 
six feet of me right now. But you saw the president, also say that he 
believed that Dr. Redfield was mistaken in what he told Congress today that 
the plan is to have up to 700 million doses of the vaccine available for 
everyone in the United States who wants a vaccine by the end of the first 

That would put it at the end of March. The president, said he called Dr. 
Redfield to talk about it, asking, what was that you were trying to say 
there in Congress? Bret?

BAIER: OK, we'll find out more about that call, I'm sure in coming days. 
John Roberts, live at the White House. John, thanks.

Joe Biden, says President Trump refuses to take responsibility for or 
action against the coronavirus, and that he still does not have a plan. 
That was Biden's talking point today. He's talking about his own plan for a 

Correspondent Peter Doocy has that story tonight from Wilmington, Delaware.


for a lot, not delivering on a mask mandate, not being tougher on rioters. 
Now, Joe Biden, says, wait -- 

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am not the president. He is the 

DOOCY: Today, the Democratic nominee offer a sobering warning about COVID-

BIDEN: We're heading into a very dangerous autumn.

DOOCY: Biden's promised, if elected, he'll verify that any COVID vaccine 
promoted by the Trump administration is safe, then, work on distributing it 
to first responders and frontline workers, then, the general population on 
day one.

BIDEN: I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don't trust Donald 
Trump. At this moment, the American people can't either.

DOOCY: Today, Biden delivered remarks and fielded questions from a list of 
five reporters put together by the campaign. In less than two weeks, Biden 
and Trump will share a stage at the first presidential debate.

BIDEN: I have begun preparing, yes. I've been -- I've been mainly -- I 
haven't been doing mock debates very much, but I've been just making sure 
that I understand all that he has said and hasn't said.

DOOCY: As recent polls show Biden under-performing with Hispanic voters in 
places like Florida, he is trying new things and almost dancing.

BIDEN: I just have one thing to say. Hang on, here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. There you go. Dance a little bit, Joe. Come 

BIDEN: I tell you what.

DOOCY: That's a hit performed by the artist who introduced Biden. The Trump 
campaign put their own translation on it and added video.



Very slowly. I want to slowly breathe on your neck. Let me whisper in your 

DOOCY: Biden and Harris are now regularly tested for COVID-19 since they 
are regularly on the campaign trail. But it's unclear what would happen if 
either of them falls ill between now and Election Day.

get it. Anymore?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for -- 

HARRIS: I am serious.


DOOCY: Biden also said, if he wins, his lawyers believe he would have the 
legal authority to implement a national mask mandate. So, perhaps it's 
fitting today "Saturday Night Live" announced the actor playing Joe Biden 
this season will be Jim Carrey, star of The Mask. Bret?

BAIER: Well done. Peter Doocy live in Wilmington. Peter, thanks.

"BREAKING TONIGHT", what is now a downgraded Tropical Storm Sally is 
battering parts of the Gulf Coast tonight with massive amounts of rain. 
Causing flash flooding, forcing mass evacuations down there, and stranding 
entire families. It's the slowness of its progress that's really causing 
the major problems.

Correspondent -- chief correspondent Jonathan Hunt is in Mobile, Alabama 
right now. Good evening, Jonathan.

The full extent of the disaster Hurricane Sally has wrought on the Gulf 
Coast is still unfolding tonight. But what is clear is that the warnings of 
catastrophic, historic, and life-threatening flooding were no exaggeration.


HUNT: Hurricane Sally howled ashore in the early hours of Wednesday morning 
near Gulf Shores, Alabama. Bringing with it winds of 105 miles per hour. 
Winds that extended miles along both the Alabama and Florida Panhandle 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty windy, it will blow you over.


HUNT: The storm tore trees from the ground, tossed the boats from their 
moorings, ripped windows walls, and roofing from buildings, and left 
hundreds of thousands of people in the dark without power.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything is underwater. It's crazy.

HUNT: And the wind was not even the worst of Sally. Rain fell in sheets 
hours before the eye of the storm arrived, and hours after it began to move 

Pensacola, Florida is among the communities hardest hit by flooding. 
Several feet of water covered downtown streets, dozens of people have 
already been rescued from their flooded homes, and officials expect to many 
more rescues to come, and entire communities to have to evacuate with the 
waters likely to continue rising for several days.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Protecting life is the number one priority. The 
life comes first and your safety comes first.

HUNT: White House officials said the president is ready to take any action 
needed, as Mr. Trump issued emergency declarations for parts of Florida, 
Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

MCENANY: And we are coordinating with the states right now. We have a 
significant footprint in Louisiana because of Hurricane Laura. So, we are 
well postured, we're leaning into it to make sure that we meet all the 
needs of all three of those states.


HUNT: In Pensacola tonight, officials announced there will be a dusk to 
dawn curfew for the next three nights. That will extend to the rest of 
Escambia County too, and police will patrol to prevent looting.

And back here in Mobile, a curfew will go in place from 7:00 p.m. local 
time tonight. Bret.

BAIER: Jonathan Hunt, live in Mobile. Jonathan, thanks.

Up next, President Trump said last night his healthcare plan is ready to 
go. We'll take a look where is it.

First, here is what some of our Fox affiliates around the country are 
covering tonight. Fox 5 in New York, with word that Rochester police 
commanders urged city officials to hold off on publicly releasing body 
camera footage of Daniel Prude's suffocation death.

Newly released e-mails showed that commanders feared violent blowback if 
that video came out during nationwide protest over the killing -- police 
killing of George Floyd.

And this is a live look at Greensboro, North Carolina from our affiliate 
Fox 8. One of the big stories there tonight, hundreds of mail-in ballots 
had been rejected and sent back to voters across North Carolina.

Residents can fix errors and submit those ballots again. The most common 
error, by the way, is the witness form on the envelope being filled out 

That's tonight's live look "OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY" from SPECIAL REPORT. We'll 
be right back.


BAIER:  Arizona Republican Congressman Andy Biggs plans to hold a special 
order on the House floor today to allow several colleagues to address this 
summer's rioting and the sources of its funding. 

Meantime, "Axios" reports the rioting following the George Floyd death will 
be the most expensive such event in recent history for the insurance 
industry. The current estimate is up to $2 billion of payouts. 

Also, the "Minneapolis Star Tribune" reports the city council there is 
pressing the police chief for a plan to address crime in their wards. The 
council president says her constituents tell her officers say they are not 
enforcing the laws and that bloodshed will continue unless more police are 
hired. Just for context here, this is the same Minneapolis city council 
that two months ago led an effort to defund and dismantle the police 
department and replace it with a community-based system of public safety.

Authorities in southern Virginia are hunting for a gunman who shot a police 
car three times. ABC News tonight reporting and the officer driving the 
vehicle was, fortunately, unhurt. 

The president has said for several months that a new healthcare promise was 
coming, was weeks away, was coming very soon. At the town hall last night, 
the president said it's now ready. Correspondent Kevin Corke reports on a 
long-awaited healthcare policy and if it, in fact, will be rolled out 
before election day. 


KEVIN CORKE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  He's said it before in March. 


CORKE:  And July.

TRUMP:  Within two weeks, a full and complete healthcare plan. 

CORKE:  And in August. 

TRUMP:  We are going to be introducing a tremendous healthcare plan 
sometime prior, hopefully prior to the end of the month. 

CORKE:  Repeatedly President Trump has promised to unveil a new healthcare 
plan. In fact, he did so again during last night's townhall on ABC. 

TRUMP:  We're going to be doing a healthcare plan very strongly, and 
protect people with preexisting conditions. 

I have it already. I have it already.

CORKE:  If it's ready, that would appear to be news to several top 
healthcare officials in the administration, many of whom said today in 
testimony on Capitol Hill that they were unaware of any specifics involving 
a plan principally to replace the Affordable Care Act. Said Admiral Brett 
Giroir, "I don't know what that is." Added Dr. Robert Kadlec, "Not in my 
portfolio," and Dr. Robert Redfield said "Not in my lane, but I'm not aware 
of one."

But over at the White House today Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said 
multiple stakeholders were working on the plan, including the Domestic 
Policy Council. 

already come out, like the telemedicine plan, the drug importation EO. 
There's more that will be forthcoming. 

CORKE:  White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says the new plan be rolled 
out before the November 3rd election. He blamed the delay, at least in 
part, on gridlock on Capitol Hill.

MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF:  It's more of an executive action 
with a legislative component that is more visionary.

CORKE:  A vision shrouded in secrecy and deception, argued Democrats. Joe 
Biden's deputy campaign manager saying "After eight months of letting the 
worst public health crisis in 100 years spiral out of control, that not 
only does he not have a plan -- he doesn't have a clue." 


CORKE:  And that is typical Washington left and right. 

Meanwhile, Bret, the Justice Department is backing a case brought by the 
state attorneys general that the Supreme Court will hear in November. It 
alleges that the legislation's individual mandate provision was made 
unconstitutional when its penalty was set to zero dollars under the 
president's 2017 tax overhaul. Bret? 

BAIER:  Kevin, thank you. We'll continue to ask questions about that. 

On the markets today, the Dow gained 37, the S&P lost 16, the Nasdaq fell 

Up next, the co-chairs of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus on their 
efforts to try to get more coronavirus relief passed through Congress to 



amount. I've said that. Some of the Republicans disagree, but I think I can 
convince them to go along with that, because I like the larger number. I 
want to see people get money. It wasn't their fault that this happened. It 
was China's fault. 


BAIER:  President Trump a few moments ago talking about the Problem Solvers 
Caucus bill, or proposal, I should say, a bipartisan group pushing for this 
new coronavirus relief package. They're called Problem Solvers, there's 
Democrats and Republicans. 

Joining us tonight, the leaders of that group, Democrat Josh Gottheimer of 
New Jersey, and Republican Tom Reed of New York. Thank you both for being 

Congressman Gottheimer, first to you. The White House is saying that Nancy 
Pelosi is not moving off of this bigger figure that the House passed early 
on and that the negotiations seem stalled on that front. Do you think that 
your bill can move the ball? 

heard the speaker say just today that she and Senator Schumer are eager to 
get back to the table, and that we're not leaving town until we get 
something done. So I think both sides now appear to be eager to get 
something done. There have been issues where they've been stuck now for 
months. The American people want results. And our framework is just to 
provide to try to help get past some of the hurdles with Democrats and 
Republicans where they've been stuck and get folks back to the table and 
get something done. So I'm optimistic.

BAIER:  But Congressman Gottheimer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not been a 
proponent of your plan. She says it's not good enough. 

GOTTHEIMER:  I think if you actually look what's in our plan, all the 
priorities that the Democrats and all of us have been pushing are in the 
plan. And it's a shorter timeframe to get us through the inauguration, and 
both sides, I think, no one has said they love everything. That's kind of 
how a deal gets sone. But the key is just to get folks back to the table. 
We all hear back home, as you might imagine, I know Tom the same way, is 
from families to small businesses to our local governments, they are just 
dying for help here because the crisis affected jobs and affected the 
economy. They just want us to get something done, and it's unconscionable 
for us to go home without a deal. 

BAIER:  Let me put up on the screen what you have in this bill and as it's 
proposed. It's roughly $1.53 trillion, this blueprint. The state and local 
on the list here $500 billion, that's really the sticking point for many 
Republicans and the White House. Here is Chief of Staff Mark Meadows 
talking about your bill and where the sticking point is. 


Caucus initiative, it was some $500 billion. But there was a caveat there 
that was based on real revenue losses. And that caveat gives me hope that 
if we're willing to look at real facts and real losses that hopefully we 
can get to something that actually makes sense. 


BAIER:  So Congressman Reed, what about that caveat? Can you tie it to 
cities and states that are not in a financial position that they were 
before COVID? 

REP. TOM REED, (R-NY) PROBLEM SOLVERS CAUCUS:  Absolutely. That's what 
brought people together on this issue, Republicans and Democrats. And this 
has been a sticking point, state and local. But it is clear that state and 
local governments have been impacted by the COVID-19 situation. And if you 
have the revenue loss Based on documented actual revenue loss, not 
projected, not multiyear projections, but actual revenue loss, you can find 
bipartisan agreement. 

And then the other component of state and local expenses that brought 
people together in our conversations, Democrat and Republicans, was actual 
expenses. It was more like a FEMA situation, more like a natural disaster 
where you had past and future COVID-19 related actual expenses, where you 
had receipts and you turned those into the federal government. Then we 
stand with our local community, we stand with our states communities to say 
we can reimburse those expenses. That type of good governance, these are 
American taxpayer dollars that we need to be accountable to. That type of 
common sense type of approach brought people together on this issue. 

BAIER:  Common sense usually goes out the window weeks before an election. 
It just happens, because both sides want to stay ground and make the other 
side look bad. Congressman Gottheimer, can you assure the American public 
that something is going to get done before November 3rd? 

GOTTHEIMER:  I feel that we are now, we're really following now, and the 
negotiation are going to, I'm really confident, get going again. I think 
what everyone is hearing back home, which I think is affecting what's 
happening here, is that folks need help. And our small businesses need 
help, our schools need help, we need more testing. So all these pieces are 
coming together. It's, again, not going to be everything everybody wants, 
but the bottom line is it's going to really help. We have got to get 
through the inauguration here, and that's the key where you saw Democrats 
and Republicans came together. And I'm optimistic, because we have to get 
something done.

BAIER:  Congressman Reed, there was some suggestion on the Democratic side 
that they might get a better deal after the election. President Trump is 
saying he would call people to the Oval Office if a deal is imminent. Do 
you think one can get done before Election Day? 

REED:  It needs to get done. Why would you put the people through that, 
because you want to wait for an election result? This has been four months 
of gridlock. You should not put the American people in the middle of this 
political race. That is why the Problem Solvers Caucus is filled with 
members that want to put country first, the American people first. And I 
tell you, the silent majority of America believes the way we do. Stop 
playing politics with American lives. We're in a crisis, we're in a 
pandemic, we're in an emergency. It's time to lead. Kudos to the Problem 
Solvers Caucus members like Dean Phillips, like Abigail Spanberger, like 
Dusty Johnson and Anthony Gonzalez that led this charge out of the Problem 
Solvers Caucus with Josh and I to say enough is enough. It's time to put 
the American people first.

BAIER:  It is a good name. The chairman of the Problem Solvers Caucus, we 
just all hope that you can solve the problem. 

GOTTHEIMER:  We're going to get it done. 

BAIER:  Thank you, gentlemen.

GOTTHEIMER:  Thank you.

BAIER:  When we come back, the panel on the president and Joe Biden arguing 
over a coronavirus vaccine.  



I think there will be a vaccine that will initially be available sometime 
between November and December, but very limited supply and will have to be 
prioritized. If you're asking me when is it going to be generally available 
to the American public, I think we are probably looking at late second 
quarter, third quarter 2021. 

mistake when he said that. It's just incorrect information. 

Really to the general public immediately. When we go, we go. 

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I trust vaccines. I trust 
scientists. But I don't trust Donald Trump. 


BAIER:  Joe Biden today, the CDC director up on Capitol Hill, and the 
president, you heard him here at that White House press briefing just a 
short time ago, obviously a disparity there. 

Let's bring in our panel, Byron York, chief political correspondent for the 
"Washington Examiner, former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr., who is 
currently the chairman of RX Saver, and Tom Bevan, Real Clear Politics co-
founder and president.

Tom, I think it might have been an interesting phone call from the 
president to the CDC director about his testimony up on Capitol Hill. What 
do you make of that and where the political fallout is on that? 

TOM BEVAN, REAL CLEAR POLITICS CO-FOUNDER:  Well, it's never good to not be 
on the same page as the boss. And so I think he probably got a talking to. 
Trump tried to clean that up and straighten it out. I don't think it's a 
big deal overall. But I think Trump definitely wants everybody in the 
administration to be singing from the same sheet of music, especially on 
the distribution plan, that when this vaccine comes, and whether it comes 
before the election or after the election, that it is going to be 
distributed rapidly across the country, prioritized, but also out to the 
general public as fast as humanly possible. 

And so I am not sure there is going to be much political fallout from this. 
But, again, we are talking can the coronavirus. That's an issue that has 
been a bit of a sticking point for Donald Trump vis-a-vis the way the 
public feels he's been handling this. 

BAIER:  Harold, one would think the CDC director was in the loop on the 
vaccination deployment. There was also this disparity about masks. Take a 


I might even go so far as to say that this facemask is more guaranteed to 
protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine. 

effective by any means than any vaccine. And I called him about that. I 
believe that if you ask him, he would probably say that he didn't 
understand the question. 


BAIER:  OK, and just 10 minutes ago we heard from the CDC director on 
Twitter. And he says "The best defense we currently have against the virus 
are the important mitigation efforts of wearing a mask, washing your hands, 
social distancing, and being careful about crowds. I 100 percent believe in 
the importance of vaccines and the importance of in particularly of a 
COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccine is the thing that will get Americans 
back to normal everyday life." Thoughts, Harold?

me. I think a couple things. When it comes to medicine and science, I'm 
probably like most Americans going to listen to the CDC chief. In that 
statement he put out there, he didn't say he didn't hear the question 
correctly nor did he renounce his answer. He just reiterated the points he 
made during the panel there. 

I think the more the president sows confusion around what we should be 
doing, it makes it harder for me like me who in many ways are rooting for 
him, his administration, his team, and our amazing health private sector to 
find a vaccine. Those who have doubts about whether there's efficacy 
challenges or safety challenges or concerns only have those doubts raised 
when they hear this kind of back and forth between the CDC chief and the 

Perhaps the most encouraging thing I've heard today is what just happened 
on your show. It's not your question, but to watch the Problem Solvers 
Caucus, you would wish that every member of Congress is a member of that 
caucus. But to say that they might be close to finding a bipartisan 
proposal that might be acceptable to both parties and both sides of the 
legislative branch, that may be the most encouraging thing I've heard 

BAIER:  All right, Byron? 

look, the president and his top officials should be on the same page about 
this. And the first thing they should saying is this is really fast. Go 
back to April and people were talking about a year-and-a-half for a 
vaccine. We are talking late 2021. Now they are talking about having it in 
a month or two, only in very limited supplies, and only for frontline 
medical workers. That is still particularly good. 

It doesn't do the president any good to be overpromising in this case. It's 
much better to be realistic about it, and if it comes faster thought, it's 
must faster than was predicted earlier. 

BAIER:  Tom, to Harold's point, we just had that interview, the Problem 
Solvers Caucus. That bill was literally poo-pooed by Nancy Pelosi, said 
that's not going to work for her. But the White House and Mark Meadows 
saying maybe there is a chance we can get something around here. Do you 
think this is going to get across the finish line? 

BEVAN:  Before the election, I'm a cynic when it comes to this stuff. I 
doubt it because I don't know the Democrats -- they are very reticent to 
give the president a win on this. But I think it's a good proposal. And by 
the way, you can trace it all the way back to the Democrats here in the 
state of Illinois who initially back in April asked for $41 billion 
including $10 billion to bail out our unfunded pension liabilities, which 
sent Republicans into a panic about the government bailing out all these 
cities and states around the country that have been horribly mismanaged 
above and beyond the pandemic. 

BAIER:  All right, gentlemen, they'll be much more to talk about in coming 
days. Thanks a lot. 

When we come back, tributes to heroes. 


BAIER:  Finally tonight, some powerful tributes. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is for you being a great member of this community, 
OK? I appreciate it. Thank you very much. 



BAIER:  After saving a mother and her three children from a burning vehicle 
in Connecticut, 18-year-old Justin Gavin was honored by law enforcement 
there for his heroism. One week ago, Gavin ran to the scene of an accident, 
pulled four people from that blaze, and authorities decided to recognize 
him for it today. Good job. 

And wearing his Marine hat with the American flag, Sam Jones waved to 
family and friends celebrating his 100th birthday. First responders, fellow 
Marines, and others honored the World War II veteran with a touching 
tribute in Carmel, Indiana. Mr. Jones, thank you for your service to the 

And thank you for inviting us into your home tonight. That's it for this 
SPECIAL REPORT, fair, balanced, and unafraid. "The Story" hosted by Martha 
MacCallum starts right now. 

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