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An Olympic Organizer Voices Concerns About The Coronavirus; NASA Astronaut Hopes Her New Record Will Be Broken. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired February 7, 2020 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. This is CNN 10, and Fridays are awesome.

We`re not giving you the silent treatment. We`ve got a lot to talk about today, starting with a story concerning the Olympics.

The Summer Games are in Japan this year. Opening ceremonies are set for Friday, awesome, July 24th and the Paralympics will follow on August 25th.

But a member of the Tokyo organizing committee says he`s worried that the games could be impacted by the Wuhan coronavirus which has spread from

China to 25 other countries, including Japan.

There were some rumors floating around online that the Tokyo Games would be cancelled because of the virus. That`s fake news. Those rumors are not

true. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the games will go on as planned and that Japan would take, quote, appropriate measures to make sure

planning for the games isn`t affected by the virus.

While the country is hoping that the Olympics will bring more tourists to Japan throughout the year, it`s having to balance that with efforts to keep

the disease from spreading.

This week, a cruise ship was quarantined off the coast of Yokohama, not far from Tokyo, because an infected passenger had spent a few days aboard it.

Of the 3,700 others on the Princess Cruises Diamond Princess, at least 20 have been confirmed to have caught the Wuhan coronavirus, and now, the rest

of the passengers and crew are all being held on the ship in quarantine for at least two weeks.

Part of the reason for this is because scientists don`t know exactly how the coronavirus spreads or how infectious it is. For instance, let`s say

someone is carrying the virus but doesn`t know it because he has no symptoms. Could he still spread it to someone else? Researchers don`t know

yet. What is known is that the Wuhan coronavirus has infected more than 28,000 people since mid-December and killed more than 560 of them. The vast

majority of the patients are in China.


DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fourteen days in and we were headed out.

Checking out after two weeks of quarantine, the whole team feeling good, continuing on.

How the three of us, CNN photojournalist Natalie Thomas (ph), producer Yong Chun (ph) and I ended up here is because of where we were two weeks

earlier, a far more stressful hotel check out.

This was our 3:30 a.m. scramble to the train station. We`d planned for a few days in Wuhan, but 29 hours in, the phone rang, the city was going on

lockdown and we needed to get out.

In the moment, we really could not imagine how big this would get. Millions under lockdown restrictions, rapidly rising death tolls, tens of thousands

infected and mainland China essentially isolated from the rest of the world, and we were at the epicenter.

CNN decided we should return to Beijing and immediately limit our exposure to others, but we still wanted to tell the story and we have 350 square

feet to do it.

So, not a bad commute from my bedroom to the living room or our studios essentially, can even do it in slippers. This is the backdrop that we`ve

got over here, snowing today. We, in between live reports, have doing a lot of research.

Yung, our producer, but on the phone a lot, working his sources in Wuhan and Hubei bay province, in particular, in between some of our reports.

Natalie behind the camera there, doing the same.

When we weren`t on air, we were consumed with getting the story right.

Sure, mic check, one, two, three.

But, truthfully, we`re still feeling a bit guilty that we`ve walked away from the people of Wuhan. It especially weighed on Yung and Natalie -- Yung

being Chinese and Natalie having called this country home for nearly a decade. For them, it was personal.

So, we worked all hours, either video chatting or calling dozens of people still in Wuhan. Yung focusing his efforts on a doctor who tried to sound

the alarm early on, Natalie learning from health care workers about the dire need for supplies.

The big decision.

Our meals, room service, but just to be safe, for the entire stay, we didn`t let hotel staff come into our rooms and, well, they seemed good with

that. As soon as they knocked, we opened and they bolted down the hall.

Even with just a few hours of sleep each night, we were fueled by adrenaline to keep on. To be honest, Natalie and Yung motivated me.

Until our time was up, day 14 --

All right, everything back to the way it was and we now head out into snowy Beijing, but mass on this time.

Stepping out into the frigid Beijing air, hopping in the car and continuing our pursuit of this story.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Which of these astronauts holds the U.S. record for spending the most total time in space?

Scott Kelly, Peggy Whitson, Neil Armstrong or Sally Ride?

Scott Kelly had the longest single space flight, but Peggy Whitson has logged the most total time in space.


AZUZ: That total time being 665 days.

Peggy Whitson held another record as well, the longest single space flight for a woman at 289 days.

But that record was just broken. Astronaut Christina Koch recently returned to earth from a mission that lasted 328 days. That`s just 12 days short of

Scott Kelly`s single spaceflight record.

During Koch`s time on the International Space Station, NASA says she circled the Earth more than 5,200 times, traveled 139 million miles,

carried out six spacewalks, and that included the historic ones she conducted with fellow astronaut Jessica Meir in October. The two of them

completed the first all-female spacewalk.

Before Koch got back on terra firma, she spoke to CNN`s Christi Paul about her accomplishments and one interesting things the astronaut said about her

record is that she doesn`t want to keep it.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: How are you feeling knowing that you are going to be the -- you`re going to break the record for the woman who has spent

the most time in space thus far?

CHRISTINA KOCH, NASA ASTRONAUT: Well, having the opportunity to do that and to be up here for so long is truly an honor and Peggy in particular is

one of my heroines and she`s been a mentor to me. So, it`s a great reminder to try to make her proud and then also to do mentorship when I get home to

sort of pay that back.

I hope that breaking the record is both, you know, good for outreach and also inspiration. Outreach because it kind of gets the conversation going

about state of the art where we are in human exploration, and inspiring because I think kind of as a milestone, it can motivate people.

I know for me, personally, it motivates me every single day, you know, on those rough days, remembering that, yes, this might be hard because it

hasn`t been done before, and I do have to bring my best to every single day. And on that point, I like to think of the record as, you know, it`s

not so much how many days you`re up here, but what you bring to each day.

So, another great reminder to just bring your best. It`s a wonderful thing for science. You know, we see another aspect of how the human body is

affected by microgravity for the long-term and that`s really important for our future spaceflight plans going forward to the moon and to Mars.

You know, overall though, I have to say that my biggest hope for the record is that it succeeded as soon as possible again and that`s because it just

would mean we`re continuing to push those boundaries.

PAUL: Floating in space, anything cool that you can show us.

Oh my goodness.

KOCH: Well, I did think about conducting the entire interview upside down but I thought that could be a little bit confusing.


PAUL: Well, astronaut Christina Koch -- thank you so much for taking time for us and congratulations.


AZUZ: The fox and the hound, Milo and Otis, Oliver & Company, good things can happen when animals team up. So, today, we present the coyote and the

badger. This is real though unusual footage captured near a pipe in California. We don`t know where they`ve been, where they`re going or how on

earth they became apparent companions.

But animal experts say it`s likely they were going to hunt together and that they`d be good at it, because when it comes to whatever they`re

hunting, one could badger it inside its den while the other could bark it up. One could dig it while the other could dog it, one could give it the

yips (ph) while the other could pelt it, and one could weasel its way in while the other could wolf it on its way out. So, whatever they`re after,

better pray.

Anderson High School in Anderson, Indiana, we`re saluting the Indians today. Thanks for subscribing and commenting on our official YouTube


For CNN 10, I`m Carl Azuz.