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Coronavirus on Quarantined Cruise Ship; Chinese Doctor who Warned about Outbreak Dies; Trump Takes Lap After Acquittal; White House Shake-up with Mulvaney; All-Star NBA Teams Picked. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired February 7, 2020 - 06:30   ET



WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, John. And we've been speaking for a couple of days now with passengers on board the Diamond Princess. We've been asking them to take videos and send them to us, which we've showed you.

And once the news broke that the number of cases tripled overnight from 20 to 61, well, the whole mood changed. People are very concerned, saying that this ship behind them, which now has the highest concentration of coronavirus patients anywhere in the world outside of mainland China, is starting to feel like a floating prison.


RIPLEY (voice over): Another day on the Diamond Princess under quarantine.

KENT FRASURE: Looks like they're unloading additional passengers.

RIPLEY: Another day confined to their cabins, counting the ambulances, counting the number of coronavirus patients as it doubles, then more than quadruples.

K. FRASURE: And we were looking out our balcony and there are, indeed, more ambulances lining up like they were yesterday.

RIPLEY: Americans Kent and Rebecca Frasure never thought they would be on one of those ambulances until a Japanese nurse knocked on the door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, we need you to get ready. We don't know how long you have to stay in the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pack up -- pack the luggage. Go to the bathroom. And then stay in the room.

RIPLEY: Rebecca's throat swab came back positive for coronavirus.

REBECCA FRASURE, CORONAVIRUS PATIENT: I don't -- yes, I really have any symptoms, you know, other than a cough.

RIPLEY: The news is a shock to their family and friends in Oregon.

RIPLEY (on camera): What's the hardest part?

R. FRAZIER: I'd say the unknown. Like, I don't know what's going to happen an hour from now, tomorrow. Like, for all we know, we could stay quarantined on the ship for a month.

RIPLEY (voice over): Passengers say they can only go outside in small groups under close supervision for less than one hour a day. For them, this luxury liner is starting to feel like a floating prison.

GAY COURTER, FLORIDA PASSENGER: We're in a contaminated prison, possibly.

RIPLEY: Florida passengers Gay and Phillip Courter are among the lucky few with a balcony. Many of the 2,600 plus passengers are in cramped cabins, no windows, breathing air circulated throughout the ship.

COURTER: This is not a safe environment. And we don't think anybody, let alone the Japanese government, wants to be responsible for making a bad decision about quarantining us in an unsafe place.

RIPLEY: The Courters are in their mid-70s. They know the vast majority of coronavirus deaths are people older than 60. And she says the Diamond Princess is packed with retirees.

COURTER: We want off this ship and we want to go in health and not in dire medical circumstances.

RIPLEY: She even has private insurance that covers crisis extraction. But the Japanese government says they can only be extracted after the 14-day quarantine period.

And no word on whether the 14 days begins from the first reported case on February 1st, or the latest. They hope the U.S. government will do something to intervene and bring more than 400 American passengers home.


RIPLEY: We learned overnight that President Trump spoke with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping. One of China's main complaints is they feel the U.S. is sort of overreacting here. A lot of U.S. airlines have canceled flights to mainland China all together. But given the fact that there are now 31,000 -- more than 31,000 cases and 600 deaths, the U.S. feels there's certainly reason to be concerned. And that concern is felt very acutely by the people who are on that boat behind me, Poppy.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Wow, stunning to see and hear from them, especially that woman as she found out that she had contracted it.

Will Ripley, thank you for being there and for your reporting.


HARLOW: So the global death toll from coronavirus has grown now to more than 600 and the number of confirmed cases now tops 31,000.

This comes as we learn that this man, this is the doctor who blew the whistle, who first warned Chinese officials months ago about this outbreak and how deadly it was.

Our David Culver recently spoke with the doctor. He joins us now live from Beijing.

I know this is someone that you and your producers have been tracking and talking to for a long time.

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, what you begin to realize here is this is not a guy who wanted the attention. He didn't want to be a hero. He's simply somebody who early on, back in December, saw this and said, let me tell my friends about this.

Sent it through a group chat. Somebody screenshotted it. It went viral. His name was attached to it. It got him in a lot of trouble. Police essentially pulled him in, in Wuhan and said, shut up, go back to work, don't talk about this.

And he points out to us, he was one of several people who went through that. One of several whistleblowers early on.

And then going back to work, he contracted the virus. He got sick. The same virus that he was trying to warn people about ended up taking his own life.

It's an incredibly tragic story and it almost sounds like something out of a movie, except you're reminded this is real life. As you point out, this is somebody who we were speaking with and in contact with for the past couple of weeks.


My producer, Yong, who's in the studio here with me, he had a connection with him and felt that he had won his trust too because he spoke to us, foreign media. That is hugely profound. That doesn't happen very often and very easily. He knew the repercussions that could have come from that.

And yet his story has also resonated with millions of people here in China. It is exploding on social media. And you have not only the dissident and the activists who are speaking up, you have ordinary folks and you have police and other officials who are united in this rare moment saying, this is somebody who should have been listened to and things could have been very different, John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, David. David Culver for us in Beijing. Again, David, thank you so much for the work you're doing there. Please, stay on this because this appears to be getting worse or bigger than we thought even yesterday.

HARLOW: Right.

BERMAN: Some Republicans, they said they were sure the impeachment trial would teach President Trump a lesson. How do they feel this morning? Next.


BERMAN: So, today, President Trump will continue his post-acquittal tour. He's going to go to North Carolina before attending a fundraiser back in Washington tonight.


And it comes after the president really went after his political rivals in his first public comments after the trial.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We first went through Russia, Russia, Russia. It was all bullshit. Dirty cops. Bad people.

It was evil. It was corrupt.

Leakers and liars.

It was the top scum.

Had I not fired James Comey, who was a disaster, by the way, it's possible I wouldn't even be standing here right now.

I fired that sleaze bag.

And little did we know, we were running against some very, very bad and evil people.

Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person.

Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person.

But I doubt she prays at all.


BERMAN: Joining us now is CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman. She's a White House correspondent for "The New York Times."

And, Maggie, you were giving a sort of live analysis of this event as it was going on. And I just want to say, if you came from a time machine, from not just 50 years ago but from five years ago, and a human being ever said those things -- if you had pictures of a human being saying that stuff in the White House, you wouldn't believe it. You wouldn't believe it.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Look, and what's interesting is, I was thinking about the totality of what he said over those 60 some odd minutes which was really in contrast to what Bill Clinton said when -- after his impeachment where he asked for forgiveness and had some humility.

I mean this was anger, defiant. And it was also all stuff that we have heard him say at rallies or other speeches. But hearing it in the White House was something just fundamentally different. And this is going to be a version of what you will see going forward.

There -- this is some -- his advisers were happy to let him blow off steam. They knew he needed to do it. They knew he wanted to do it. Nobody was trying to stop him. He drove this whole event of giving remarks. Others did suggest it was a bad idea. They tried to keep him from doing it Wednesday.

The question is going to be how frequently he does this going forward, right, because his advisers are now facing this weird dynamic where they have to reassure people in the suburbs and independent leaning voters that he doesn't have a race issue or that he's not completely vindictive. And he undermines things that his own campaign is doing, his own White House is doing the more he talks like this.

It was -- it was really jarring. I'm -- it just was. Like, and I understand why he -- why he is upset. I understand that he is emerging from three years under investigation. His comment about how if I hadn't fired Comey maybe none of this would have happened, well, that's true. He fired the FBI director and he got a special counsel because of it.


HABERMAN: But it's not -- it's -- there's no recognition that he did anything that had to do with it and he was sort of blowing past yesterday in this bonding ritual with these individual Republican lawmakers. The fact that several lawmakers had said that they believe the House managers prove their case. They just thought that the punishment was -- in terms of removing a president from office was too extreme.

HARLOW: A number of Republicans who eventually voted to acquit the president also said they think he learned his lesson. And not for nothing, people like Susan Collins saying that, Rob Portman, right?

You bring up former President Clinton and contrition versus what we saw from the president. So let's just take a walk down memory lane and compare and contrast for a moment.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I want to say again to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was evil. It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars. And this should never, ever happen to another president, ever.


HARLOW: So what, to you, indicates that there's any world in which those Republican senators who say that could be correct, that there's a lesson learned here from the president, that his behavior changes and this was a real moment of reflection and change.

HABERMAN: So I think it's unlikely that he's going to duplicate what he did with Ukraine specifically, right?


HABERMAN: I think in the same way that he did realize he had touched some hot stove when he fired Comey, which is why even though he talked about firing Robert Mueller a number of times, he never actually did because I think he realized it would trigger other events. So I don't think you're going to see specifically what you saw in terms of the Ukraine matter.

But that there's no -- there's been -- there's never been any reason to believe in three years that the president is changing. If anything, he pushes boundaries to see what he can get away with it. And if he gets away with something, he will keep doing it.

So I don't -- and I don't have a reason to -- I mean maybe Susan Collins was being sincere when she said that, but she didn't really point to anything. I think it seems much likelier that senators were coming up with things to say to explain their votes to just get out of this trial that they wanted to have over.

BERMAN: It's funny, yesterday seemed to me like, after you're in a long car trip with your kids, they're all cramped up in the back seat for four hours, you need to let them outside, blow off some steam, run around a little bit.

HABERMAN: But he -- but the thing with the president, with the steam, is it's kind of self-fueling, right? I mean, like, and it's true, he blows off steam, he vents, and then -- and he's -- he is known for sort of yelling and getting angry and then he blows off steam and runs very hot and cold.


But it will run hot again. And then I -- I don't think this is going to dissipate for him. I don't think yesterday changes it.

HARLOW: Not for nothing, Maggie, in the middle of all of this, he is enjoying the highest approval rating of his presidency.

HABERMAN: Right. I mean it's -- I just -- my asterisk on that -- and he definitely is. And he is clearly -- especially given his last three years, had a pretty solid period of unalloyed good news this week --


HABERMAN: Between his poll number, the acquittal vote, and what's happening in Iowa with the Democrats, which is obviously a mess. And which, of course, in his favor, at least just by a contrast.

Part of what is driving those approval numbers is the fact that Republicans really coalesced around him, especially in the final days of this vote. So he could take that and he could do something to try to keep it going. But history does not indicate that he ever takes these moments and just stays the course.

But I would say, the State of the Union is a reminder of something that we saw in the final weeks of the election in 2016. When his back is against the wall, when he has to be disciplined, absolutely has to be, he can. It's just not something that you see consistently. And when there's a big time lag, it's less likely that he does it.

BERMAN: And yesterday wasn't disciplined. It was the opposite of the State of the Union.

HABERMAN: No, yesterday -- well --

BERMAN: So the question is --

HABERMAN: It was disciplined to what he wanted to do, right?

BERMAN: Right.

HABERMAN: I mean there was no -- there was -- there was some effort at drafting remarks, but this was all sort of a train that he was driving.

I think we just don't know where it leads, but we know that he is very angry and wants other people to pay some penalty for what happened.

HARLOW: That's clear. We'll talk more about that ahead.

Maggie, thank you so much.

Coming up, brand new reporting about a potential shakeup at the White House after the president's acquittal. We'll let you know who may be headed out the door, next.


HARLOW: All right, new this morning, CNN is learning about a potential shakeup in the West Wing now that the president has been acquitted.


It involves one of the president's closest advisers.

Let's get straight to our Kristen Holmes. She's live in Washington with details.

Who are we talking about?


Well, now that that impeachment dust is starting to settle, White House officials tell us that Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's future is once again in question.

Now, we have been reporting for months that the president had effectively lost confidence in Mulvaney. We know that he was privately enraged after that now-infamous press conference in which Mick Mulvaney essentially confirmed a quid pro quo and then told reporters to get over it.

So we have learned that, as you said, that because of this process that -- excuse me, because of the impeachment process, he was told not to act on this. He was told not to act on his rage towards Mick Mulvaney. They didn't want to add more chaos to an already chaotic situation.

Instead, it's over now. And so we've learned from sources Mick Mulvaney says that he is also unhappy in this role. He knows it's been diminished. He knows that he doesn't have a lot of standing.

But the big question remains, who would actually fill that role? This would be the forth chief of staff.

Now, people familiar with that conversation tell us that President Trump continues to suggest that Mark Meadows, the retiring congressman from North Carolina, is his first number one choice. The two of them have grown increasingly close.

And if you want to talk about a little bit of an indication here, yesterday, in that lengthy press conference, that acquittal speech, President Trump singled out Mark Meadows, among other congressman, but he said he was an extraordinary guy. He was a very special person. Someone he didn't single out who was also in that room, of course, was Mick Mulvaney.

So whether or not Meadows take this job is really up in the air right now. If he chooses not to do that, we hear that Mick Mulvaney might actually stay in office. President Trump does not want a repeat of what happened back in 2018.


BERMAN: All right, Kristen, keep us posted on this.

Where do Democrats go from here after the acquittal? CNN's Anderson Cooper sat down with the seven House impeachment managers, all of them, to talk about what's next and whether they still want to hear from former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We reached out to John Bolton through his counsel after the senators voted down his testimony, to see whether he would be willing to submit an affidavit under oath, that would still be valuable during the trial.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Even if he wasn't coming to testify --

SCHIFF: Even if he wasn't going to come to testify.

COOPER: A sworn affidavit.

SCHIFF: A sworn affidavit. And he refused.

Now, he will have to explain at some point why he is willing to put this in a book but not in an affidavit under oath, but willing to --

COOPER: He's making paid speeches as well in which he drops sort of comments as well.

SCHIFF: Yes. You know, it is fairly inexplicable. But, you know, frankly, it's more inexplicable that when he was willing to come forward before the Senate, that the senators did not want to hear what he had to say. And for those senators, and there have been a few, to say, we didn't need to hear from John Bolton because basically the House proved the president guilty, even without him, and we should let the voters decide, they could not explain why they don't want the voters to know the full facts.

COOPER: Did Bolton's attorneys explain to you why he would not even submit an affidavit?

SCHIFF: Not that I'm aware of, no. Nor why he would distinguish between testimony in the House versus the Senate.


BERMAN: That book, hope to achieve what John Bolton wants it to.

More of Anderson's exclusive interview. It airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. on "AC 360."

HARLOW: The rosters are set for next weekend's NBA all-star game, which includes, of course, a special tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Details next in the "Bleacher Report "



BERMAN: A public memorial for Kobe Bryant and the eight other helicopter crash victims set to be held on February 24th. Tributes will be part of the all-star weekend, which is coming up soon. And lineups for that game are now set.

Coy Wire has more in the "Bleacher Report."

Hey, Coy.


Next weekend's all-star game will be special. I'm sure it will be tough, too. Team Captain Giannis Antetokounmpo's entire team will wear Kobe's number 24, while Team LeBron will all wear number two for Kobe's daughter, Gigi.

Now, the captains got to choose their teammates last night live on our sister network TNT. LeBron taking his Lakers teammate Anthony Davis first overall, while Giannis took Sixers star Joel Embiid first.

Here's the starting five. And it's interesting that every guy voted as a west starter ended up with western captain LeBron. And all the east starters ended up with Giannis. The game is next Sunday on TNT.

All right, put your coffee down unless you want some tears in it. Harlem Globetrotters turned a sweet photo op for one young girl into an unforgettable moment. Watch this.

Air Force Staff Sergeant Deandrea Proctor had been deployed in Kuwait for seven months. Her daughter, who's three years old, and her boyfriend weren't sure when they'd see mom again, but they certainly didn't know that she was going to sneak into this photo op with the Harlem Globetrotters last night.

Now, her daughter and boyfriend, they see it and look at the daughter. She says mama. She's here? The boyfriend is in shock. He runs away. But, John, look at the girl's face and this moment here. This is what it's all about.


WIRE: Yes. And we wanted to be sure to share this to start our Friday off right. How sweet is that?

BERMAN: That is awesome, Coy.

HARLOW: Nothing better.

BERMAN: Thanks very much.

You know, my favorite part about the all-star draft, by the way, was when Giannis said he wasn't going to take James Harden because he wanted someone who was going to pass.

WIRE: Pass the ball. Yes.

BERMAN: And it was -- it was cruel, funny, and true.

WIRE: A little dig there.


WIRE: True.

HARLOW: Team player.

BERMAN: Coy, appreciate it.

So the drama continues in Iowa now, even with 100 percent of the precincts reporting.


How can there not be a winner?

NEW DAY continues right now.