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Iowa Polls Show Tight Race; Brooklyn Nets Honor Kobe; U.S. Coronavirus Evacuation Plane; Hong Kong Restricts Travel. Aired 6:30- 7a ET

Aired January 30, 2020 - 06:30   ET

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


[06:30:00]

OMAR JIMENEZ CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wake up each day trying to keep pushing because Kobe and our baby girl Gigi are shining on us to light the way.

And that's grieving, just for the family, but around the world continues. So too does the investigation into why this happened in the first place.

Debris from this crash site was moved to a facility in Arizona for further inspection and storage and we are expecting a report from the NTSB in a little over a week with further details on that side of things.

Now, as for the basketball world, the game does go on, but it's not the same. They are doing so with heavy hearts and coaches from Team USA all the way to here in Los Angeles are now reflecting on what happened just days ago now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI, COACHED KOBE BRYANT ON TEAM USA: It's the last couple days that have been really emotional. You know, look, Kobe was one of my players. I coached him on three teams. He was my leader.

And for the other people involved too, are you kidding me, nine people. Horrific.

FRANK VOGEL, HEAD COACH, LOS ANGELES LAKERS: We want to represent what Kobe was about, you know, more than anything. We've always -- always wanted to make him proud. And, you know, that's not going to be any different here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JIMENEZ: Now, the Lakers are set to start playing tomorrow night. And, yes, it will be competition, but likely everyone will be united around the memories of these nine, including, of course, Kobe Bryant.

John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: No question about that. Omar, thanks so much for being out there for us. You've done terrific

work covering this story.

The impeachment trial has sidelined for Democrats from the campaign trail in Iowa with just days to go until the caucuses. What has the impact been from their absences? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: This morning, the candidates are heading into the crucial final stretch ahead of the Iowa caucuses, except for four senators who are off the trail. They are sitting on President Trump's impeachment trial. How have they been juggling the campaign with their responsibilities in the Senate?

MJ Lee here with that.

It's been interesting to watch, MJ.

MJ LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you all know that time is so incredibly precious for these presidential candidates, especially when you get this close to Iowa.

[06:35:03]

That could not been more true for these senators who have been spending a lot more time in Washington, D.C. than in Iowa.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEE (voice over): The 2020 campaign for the White House colliding with a historic impeachment trial.

In the final sprint to the Iowa caucuses, the senators running for president in limbo in Washington, required by the Constitution to serve as jurors in President Trump's impeachment hearings.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have to be here, and I will be here. I'm doing my job.

LEE: Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet, juggling their day jobs and their 2020 campaigns. Klobuchar even flying to Iowa and back Tuesday night after the Senate trial adjourned earlier than expected, squeezing in more face time with voters.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We had a little break in that trial and I'm sitting there on the Senate floor as I'm watching and they go, oh, we're done. I'm like, I'm going top Council Bluffs.

LEE: Warren calling into a tele-town hall with Iowans from Washington.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I wish we were doing an in-person town hall, but this is the best we can do. I'm here in Washington because of the impeachment. This is really serious. LEE: The class of impeachment and the 2020 election creating political

uncertainty. Candidates forced to cancel events and make last-minute scheduling changes.

SANDERS: We have had to radically change our schedule in the last week, kind of tossing it into the garbage can.

WARREN: No one thought a year ago that we were going to be in the middle of an impeachment process.

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Obviously, it's a big interruption.

LEE: They've also scrambled to come up with plan b, deploying their top political surrogates to campaign on their behalf.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Our job now is to come together.

LEE: Klobuchar handing over the controls of her Twitter account to her daughter as she filled in for her mom in Iowa. Warren unable to attend an in person interview with "The Boston Globe's" editorial board and calming in via video conference.

WARREN: There's a certain irony to the fact that you're near my home and I can't even be there.

LEE: And Sanders joining his supporters at a campaign rally by phone.

SANDERS: So let us go forward, do everything we possibly can to win the Iowa caucus. Let us defeat Donald Trump.

LEE: Voters in Iowa saying the senator's absence from their state comes at a crucial moment in the 2020 race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here is Iowa, we like to meet them face-to-face.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that they have a job to do and I'm glad that that's the most important thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's why you got boots on the ground.

LEE: As Trump's impeachment trial dominates Capitol Hill, other Democratic candidates, like Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, making the most of their opportunity on the ground.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks for being part of this and I'll see you on the trail.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEE: Now, just to give you a sense of how fluid things are, Senators Klobuchar and Warren had events scheduled for today. They have been canceled. And Bernie Sanders was asked yesterday on Capitol Hill where he will be on caucus night. He said he doesn't know.

Guys. ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: MJ, thank you very much for that update.

So what the latest polls say about who will win in Iowa. Harry Enten here to break down the numbers, next.

BERMAN: That's not Harry Enten. That's Pete Buttigieg. Just so you know.

CAMEROTA: Oh, OK. Yes, you're right.

BERMAN: That's Joe Biden. That' snot Harry Enten.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:42:05]

BERMAN: We have some brand new polling out of Iowa, just four days before the caucuses. And now we have a real sense of the trends, where this is headed.

So let's get right to CNN's senior politics writer and analyst Harry Enten.

Harry.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: Shalom, everybody.

Oh, and we're going here today. Beautiful.

So let's take a look at this new poll that we got in the last 24 hours, a Monmouth University poll. Here's the key numbers to keep an eye on. Look at how close Biden and Sanders are at the top. Biden down just a smidge. Sanders up. Pretty much everyone else stable. Klobuchar perhaps the exception.

But when we put this into the context of the averages, and this is always what we're about, looking at the averages, what do we see here? We see compared to before this poll came in the average, that, again, the key number here, Sanders now, it does seem, in the average of polls, has the slightest, slightest of edges on Joe Biden. He's at 22 percent, Biden, 18, Buttigieg, 17, Warren, 16, Klobuchar back at eight.

But this, of course, is the trend that we've been seeing all along over the past few weeks, and that is Sanders does seem to be gaining a little bit of ground.

CAMEROTA: OK, so Sanders is going to win?

ENTEN: I wouldn't put it that way.

BERMAN: You just violated like every single standard that we have.

CAMEROTA: I know. I know that. ENTEN: No, no. The way that I would say is we're still uncertain. Polls are becoming more predictive as we're getting closer. But, look here, Sanders' chance of winning based off of Iowa polling past and where we are right now is a 7.5 out of 20. So still very much less than a 50 percent chance of winning. Joe Biden at a five in 20 chance of winning. Buttigieg, Warren, Klobuchar, less than that. You know Klobuchar way down.

But the point is here, is that even though Sanders is the favorite to win, he's not the overwhelming favorite. He's still very much less than a 50 percent chance favorite. The fact is, a lot still to be determined in Iowa.

BERMAN: There is -- there are some things in these new polls, which might be of concern to Bernie Sanders, yes?

ENTEN: Yes. This, I think, is important. So in that Monmouth poll that showed Sanders climbing a little bit, take a look at the net favorability rating. That's your favorable rating minus your unfavorable rating. This, to me, is a somewhat worrisome trend for Bernie Sanders. He was at plus 48. Plus 48 in early January. Look where he is now. Plus 29. That's a drop of 19 percentage points.

CAMEROTA: That makes no sense since he's the leading candidate there.

ENTEN: Right. If you are, in fact, cannibalizing that very liberal lane while alienating everybody else, your vote percentage in the top choice may go up. But, remember, Iowa, remember, you have to have those second choice, because, remember, there's the viability threshold that you have to meet, 15 percent. Then people who don't meet the viability threshold, perhaps like a Klobuchar, they, in fact, may fall down a little bit. And so what's so key here is recognizing that perhaps this is a sign that maybe the ground may be shifting underneath Sanders even if the top line is getting better for her.

BERMAN: If people start believing you might win --

CAMEROTA: Really interesting.

BERMAN: They might get concerned and that favorability does flip there.

CAMEROTA: Really interesting.

ENTEN: Yes.

[06:45:00]

Another thing, you know, we're paying so much attention to Iowa right now and I think it's important to put it into context historically what's exactly been going on. So this is the electoral fates of Iowa winners since 1980 in non-incumbent contests. And what we should point out is, there are a number of people, even on the Democratic side, who won the Iowa caucus but didn't win the nomination. And look on the Republican side the last three times, where the person who won the Iowa caucuses didn't go on to win the nomination. So even if you win Iowa, it does increase your chances of winning nationwide, winning the primary, but it's far from a guarantee.

BERMAN: Better for Democrats. Democrats have a better record in Iowa winning the nomination than the Republicans.

ENTEN: That's true, although this year, given that Joe Biden has that strong African-American support and there's so few of them in Iowa, perhaps this is a year, if you were to lose the Iowa caucuses, where there's a greater chance than normal that the nominee isn't the one who wins the Iowa caucus.

BERMAN: All right, what's the shakeup you're looking at?

ENTEN: Yes, so, here's -- I think this -- you know, this is -- we -- I wanted to hit on this slide one last time on the importance of Iowa, that is, winners in Iowa get a median 7 percentage point bounce in the national polls. But expectations are so important. Right now the expectations, I feel like for Bernie Sanders, are almost running ahead of where his poll numbers are. And if he were, in fact, to lose in Iowa, given what we've seen historically, given expectations, I wouldn't be surprised if Bernie Sanders really fell in the polls, if he were to lose, which he very well could.

CAMEROTA: We have 30 second left. What would you like to tell us?

ENTEN: I just -- two last things. In 1980, you know, we're talking about winning Iowa and not necessarily winning the nomination, Gephardt won in Iowa in 1988, but it was Michael Dukakis who was in third place in the Iowa polls at this point who actually became the nominee.

And one last thing, folks, shopping is impossible. I just want to point this out. Shopping's impossible. I was trying to search for some peppers in the grocery aisle --

CAMEROTA: Yes.

ENTEN: It -- in the produce aisle and I couldn't tell the difference between a pablano and an anaheim, because the fact is they don't label the stupid produce aisle well enough. It's very confusing. I want to just stay home and order in from now on because it was a terrifying experience.

CAMEROTA: I can see that. You're traumatized.

ENTEN: I'm very traumatized. It was way too much time spent and lost.

CAMEROTA: Wow.

BERMAN: Speaking of which, that's 45 seconds of our lives we'll never get back.

CAMEROTA: I know.

Thank you very much, Harry, for that strange kicker.

ENTEN: Thank you. CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving getting very emotional at a special tribute for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Hi, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning, Alisyn and John.

You know, Kobe and his daughter Gigi attended a Nets game in Brooklyn in December right before Christmas and the video of Kobe and Gigi discussing the game from those seats, it's been seen many, many times since then. And the team actually played that video on the Jumbotron before shining a light on those exact seat that stayed empty with purple and yellow flowers on them.

The team then announced the names of all of those who died in the crash before holding a 24 second moment of silence. And Kobe's friend Kyrie Irving getting very emotional during that time. Kyrie considered Kobe a mentor and said that their relationship was much deeper than basketball.

Now, here in Miami, preparations continue for Super Bowl LIV. NFL Commission Roger Goodell saying yesterday that the league will honor Kobe in some fashion during the game. But he did not offer any details on that.

Now, one of the few players in this game with Super Bowl experience is the 49ers Richard Sherman. He played in this game twice with the Seahawks. Now Sherman's son Raven's fifth birthday is just three days after the Super Bowl. And he actually asked his dad for a championship ring for his birthday. Well, I asked Sherman yesterday, how much more special is this Super Bowl experience for him now that his son can understand what's going on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD SHERMAN, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS CORNERBACK: It's unbelievable. I mean that's one of the best parts about this experience, you know. And that's what makes it so much different and so much -- and it gives you so much more perspective because he's so aware of it. He's fully aware. He's like, hey, that's a Super Bowl helmet. Hey, you guys are in the Super Bowl. If you win, he got the championship trophy. Like he fully understands it. And that's -- that's what's so cool to me.

It really gives you something to fight for. It gives you something to go out there and it will be a special memory and something he'll remember forever, and forever if we get it done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Yes. I tell you what, if the 49ers win, John, and Richard brings home a championship ring to his son, Raven Sherman (ph) will be winning show and tell for the foreseeable future.

BERMAN: That's a pretty good show and tell. That's a pretty good show and tell.

CAMEROTA: I mean that sound like an advantage. I really hope somebody on the Chiefs has a son because otherwise he's winning. That's what I think.

BERMAN: Andy, thanks very much.

SCHOLES: All right.

BERMAN: So an interview with one of the Americans who was evacuated from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. What he says it was like on board the plane. That next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:55:00]

BERMAN: Developing overnight, the White House announced the creation of a coronavirus task force to deal with the threat here in the United States. And we just learned the United States is planning additional evacuation flights for Americans in Wuhan in China next week. More than 200 Americans evacuated from China on a charter flight already, they'll stay at a military base in southern California for at least the next three days as they are monitored for symptoms.

We have all the latest developments in this outbreak, starting with Kyung Lah in Riverside, California.

Kyung, you spoke to one of the passengers on the evacuation flight.

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. He's one of the approximately 200 people who are aboard that flight. And he was describing the people who are boarded. Children to seniors into their 60s. And he's someone who says that it was just filled with relief as they were taking off because what they were leading was a city filled with fear. And he describes that journey.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAH (voice over): You are inside the emergency plane evacuating Americans out of Wuhan, China, a military cargo plane escaping what is ground zero for the coronavirus.

New York native Jarred Evans captured his journey out of the city where he had been trapped.

JARRED EVANS, PASSENGER: When you're there and there's no transportation, no trains, no subways, no planes, the military is blocking off each and every aspect of the road, you think to yourself, like, is this real? Is this a movie? Is this a nightmare? What's going on here?

LAH: Wuhan was gripped if fear of the fast spreading and sometimes fatal virus that's already killed more than 100 and affected thousands worldwide. Evans, who moved to Wuhan to play American football in a Chinese

league, says he stayed inside his apartment for a week and a half, food running low. Then came the notice from the U.S. embassy. He had just five hours to get to the airport.

LAH (on camera): What did you think as you're watching people in suits walk around you? What was that like?

EVANS: It was -- it was weird, because I'd never seen someone in a hazmat suit before. And he was suited up. And on the plane we got checked. And then two hours later we got checked. And then another three hours we got checked. All we wanted was safety for each -- each other to get home to our families and friends. We were excited. We actually did the wave a couple of times throughout the flight.

LAH: What was it like when the plane landed?

EVANS: Cheers. Straight cheers. Straight cheers. Everyone clapping. No one shaking hands, that's for sure. Nobody shaking hand. But we were clapping.

LAH: If people aren't shaking hands, is there a concern that somebody on that flight might have been sick?

EVANS: Sometimes you don't know, you don't show symptoms. And sometimes you know there's a lot going on with this virus that even scientists don't know.

LAH (voice over): That's why Evans is video chatting with us. He expects to be at March Air Reserve Base for at least 72 hours.

Evans worries about his Chinese friends and looks forward to seeing them again.

LAH (on camera): You're going to go right back?

EVANS: After everything is cleared and I can go back to Wuhan, I'm going to go back to Wuhan, yes.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAH: So how long will it be before he can go back to Wuhan? He has no idea.

In the meantime, he is looking forward to going back to his family and seeing them here in the United States.

He doesn't know exactly how long, though, John. He's describing 72 hours inside the airbase here, constant medical checks. Everyone's being looked at almost every few hours, John. So -- Alisyn, excuse me.

And one other thing, Alisyn, one family did tell Evans that they were planning on staying here longer than 72 hours because they want to just make sure that they're not contagious before they leave the airbase. CAMEROTA: Understood. I mean there's so much uncertainty. It's hard to

know how long you're supposed to stay quarantined for lack of a better word. But what an ordeal for everybody.

Kyung, thank you very much for that reporting.

And we have an update now on the numbers. More than 7,700 coronavirus cases in China, 170 people have died. Hong Kong plans to restrict travel to mainland China.

CNN's Will Ripley is live in Hong Kong where -- are the streets deserted today?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Alisyn, if there's one way to clear up a protest, it would be creating the possibility of -- for what Hong Kong would be a nightmare scenario, a repeat of the coronavirus outbreak here. The SARS outbreak of 2003, that for the generation who lived through it and survived, they described those months like Hong Kong's version of 9/11, except that the enemy was invisible and in the air and nobody knew what was going to happen next.

Almost 300 people died in this city because of SARS, which explains why we saw a three-hour wait outside of one of the few stores in town that still had face masks left. The surgical face masks that people are wearing, because it gives them some feeling, at least, of protection against this, even though health officials aren't exactly sure how effective those masks are.

[07:00:00]

But for Hong Kongers who, you know, lived through an epidemic, an outbreak, that shut down this city's economy 17 years ago, they know how real and how -