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135 People Infected with Coronavirus on Cruise Ship; WHO Advisory Organization Member, Professor Lawrence Gostin, Discusses the Coronavirus & Criticism Against China; A.G. Barr Confirms DOJ is Vetting Giuliani Information from Ukraine; Democratic Candidates Make Final Pitch to Undecided N.H. Voters; Democratic Activist Daniel Guild Discusses Reasons Why N.H. Voters Are Undecided. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired February 10, 2020 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody.

China is now reporting 97 people died in one day, yesterday, from the coronavirus. That brings the death toll worldwide to 910 people. Making the virus now deadlier than the SARS epidemic nearly two decades ago. And there are now more than 40,000 people -- 40,000 confirmed cases around the world as well.

The virus isn't showing signs of slowing down as so much of it remains unknown about it. How it really started. How it actually is spreading. How to treat it.

Today, a new effort gets under way to try to find some of the answers. The World Health Organization is finally -- has a team on the way to China.

Off the coast of Japan, we're learning more about the cruise ship under quarantine. The number of infections on board nearly doubled today.

CNN's Will Ripley is live in Tokyo. He's been following the developments.

Will, what are you hearing from the cruise ship passengers?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, people on the ship, especially those who are still untested for coronavirus, because the Japanese government says they won't test everybody, they're only going to test people who have a fever.

And so what they're -- what the cruise ship captain told passengers is the new cases -- there were 65 new cases that sprung up. He said those were people who were exposed to the virus before the quarantine began.

He said it is not the result of the quarantine failing. It's not a result of the virus coming through people's air vents and into their cabins. It's people who were actually exposed. And many of them had no idea they had coronavirus because they didn't show symptoms.

And this is something we don't report about a lot. The numbers are scary. The number of deaths continues to climb. But so far, the coronavirus this year has killed hundreds. Every single year, this seasonal flu kills hundreds of thousands.

So I spoke with Rebecca Frasure, an American woman who tested positive for coronavirus. I spoke with her at her hospital, where she's under quarantine here in Tokyo.

She was waving at me through the window because no one is allowed into her room. And she said she's feeling great. She's not even getting treated for coronavirus.

She has a couple of friends on the ship who tested positive. They're in the same situation.

And her husband, Kent, even though he was right next to her for days, he doesn't even have it. He wasn't part of this new group of people who were infected.

The vast majority of patients are going to recover. That does not stop the online trolling.

Listen to what they told me.


UNIDENTIFIED CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER: This fear of --mob mentality fear is unwarranted.

RIPLEY: Rebecca was talking about the people online and things they were saying.

UNIDENTIFIED CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER: Just today, I got a message from somebody who said don't come home.

UNIDENTIFIED CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER: A actually got a couple of really threatening messages. People can be really nasty.


RIPLEY: Yes, people told her not to come home because they're afraid there's going to be -- she's going to spread something that is going to cause an epidemic.

But the reality is that for her, this experience has been much less intense than even a cold she had recently.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely First off, that's so sad that people would be attacking them online. And secondly, this adds importantly another layer of the complex picture that is surrounding this virus, Will, that you're seeing.

Thanks so much. Appreciate it, man. Good to see you. So what about the efforts now then to curb the outbreak and the

criticism that China is facing for not being more transparent about its efforts so far, especially in the beginning?


Joining me now is Lawrence Gostin. He's a professor of global health at Georgetown University. He's also on an advisory committee for the World Health Organization.

Great to see you, Lawrence. Thank you for being here.

What are you making of the death toll now that we're talking about this reaching 910 worldwide from this virus?

LAWRENCE GOSTIN, PROFESSOR OF GLOBAL HEALTH, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY & DIRECTOR, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION COLLABORATING CENTER ON PUBLIC HEALTH LAW & HUMAN RIGHTS: We have an escalating epidemic. It could become a pandemic. Fortunately, the death rate is low. It is actually on par with flu. So it is upwards of about 3 percent death rate. So it is not very lethal.

But the number of cases is rising. And so we're going to see more deaths. We're going to see more illness. So we need to take it seriously. This is a novel coronavirus.

BOLDUAN: One big element of where the alarm comes from, surrounding this, is that it is so new. It is so unknown. There's so much not known about it yet. And that's where the research and transparency comes in. The World Health Organization finally has been able to have a team on its way to mainland China.

What are they going to be able to do, do you think? Could this make the difference in getting a handle on this crisis?

GOSTIN: It really all depends. First of all, they should have -- China should have invited the World Health Organization, the U.S. CDC and other experts into Wuhan and the hot zone weeks ago. This is really late.

I'm glad they have invited WHO's health emergency team in. But we don't know a lot of things. We don't know whether or not they're going to have access to full epidemiological and other public health information. We don't know if they're going to be able to independently verify anything. We don't know if they're going to have freedom of action within China.

And so I really want to know the details, what the rules of engagement are, and what the contingent of WHO and CDC personnel will be.

What they need to do is be there on the ground and help China bring this epidemic under control because China does not have it contained.

BOLDUAN: So we have seen new images just today of Chinese President Xi Jinping in public, you know, donning a mask. We see some images of it there. You told the "Washington Post" you feel you all were deceived. Are you

talking about deceived by China in terms of how serious this virus was early on or also talking about the World Health Organization here as well?

GOSTIN: Well, the World Health Organization was actually reporting the data that China was giving to them and those data turned out to be false.

First of all, we now have a pretty good idea that China held on to the information about known cases for several weeks. And that let millions of people travel outside of the hot zone in Wuhan in Hubei Province within China.

And so they were telling -- and then even when they were reporting it, they were reporting very, very low death rates, very, very low case counts.

And so the public health community was being very reassured that there would be no large-scale epidemic. And, of course, then the reports just kept coming out, coming out, escalating, escalating.


BOLDUAN: Do you still feel deceived, Lawrence?

GOSTIN: I think now we have much better idea about how significant this epidemic is. And China may be getting the message now.

But it is a very inscrutable country, China. WHO never had to deal with a country quite with the political and economic influence.

And also we're not getting unofficial data sources, which international law requires, because there's no robust civil society. Scientists, journalists are chilled in what they're going to report.

So we really have to just rely on the Chinese. And that's why I'm hoping that WHO, on the ground, can independently verify the accuracy of the data we're getting.

BOLDUAN: We'll see first and foremost what they are able to get, what access they're able to have. I'm looking forward to having you on again.

Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

GOSTIN: A pleasure. Thanks for having me.


BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, very few things can shock anymore. This one probably should. The attorney general of the United States is now just saying today that the Department of Justice is vetting some information on Ukraine from Rudy Giuliani. Why is he a source of their information? That's next.



BOLDUAN: Just into CNN, Attorney General Bill Barr confirming now the Justice Department is receiving and vetting information from the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, about his political operation in Ukraine.

But, the A.G. also notes that there seems to be taking the information with something of a grain of salt.

This acknowledgement comes after Senator Lindsey Graham revealed this -- I'll play it for you -- yesterday.


UNIDENTIFIED ANCHOR: Can you clarify, you said you talked to Attorney General Barr.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): This morning.

UNIDENTIFIED ANCHOR: This morning. Has the Department of Justice been ordered to investigate the Bidens?

GRAHAM: No. The Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of the Ukraine from Rudy.


GRAHAM: -- to see it. He told me they had created a process that Rudy could give information and would see if it is verified.


BOLDUAN: Let me bring in CNN's Evan Perez.

Evan, you were in the press conference with the attorney general just now on when this came up. What else did he say?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE REPORTER: Kate, there was quite a surprise for the -- for Lindsey Graham to make the comments. The Justice Department and particularly Bill Barr, the attorney general, have been keeping their distance from everything associated with Rudy Giuliani.

But today, the attorney general said that he confirmed that what Lindsey Graham said. He said that the Justice Department had set up a process out in the field by which the department can look at and vet the information, these allegations that Rudy Giuliani has been making dense former Vice President Biden and his son and his business dealings in Ukraine.

Take a listen to what the attorney general had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The DOJ has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant.

Any information coming in about Ukraine could be carefully scrutinized by the department and its Intelligence Community partners so that we could assess its provenance and its credibility.

And that's true for all information that comes to the department relating to the Ukraine, including anything Mr. Giuliani might provide.


PEREZ: And, Kate, as you noted, you can hear from the attorney general's words that there seems to be a lot of skepticism about the veracity of some of the claims that Rudy Giuliani and the president have been making.

You can bet people at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue might be taking a second look at what the attorney general has to say today.

BOLDUAN: Real quick, does this necessarily mean the Justice Department is investigating the Bidens?

PEREZ: No, it does not. This is a process they're trying to keep as much as possible outside the building. You can tell the attorney general doesn't believe any of this stuff.

#; It definitely seems that was uncomfortable for the attorney general to say the least.



BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Evan. Thank you very much. Really appreciate it.


BOLDUAN: We're going to have to face it, that that's what's happening at the Justice Department.

Coming up for us, New Hampshire voters are famously independent as we know. In this year's race, many are still undecided. As the Democratic candidates make their final pitch today, who is closing the deal? The view from the ground next.



BOLDUAN: On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, the Democratic campaigns are leaving everything on the field. It's been a fluid race. But all along, one certainty out of New Hampshire is a lot of voters

still haven't made up their minds. More than a quarter of Democratic voters are still undecided in latest CNN polling. So what are New Hampshire voters looking for, then?

Joining me now is, Daniel a Democratic activist in New Hampshire.

Thank you so much for joining me.

You made your decision. You'll be voting for Elizabeth Warren tomorrow. Why do you think so many of your fellow New Hampshire voters are having trouble deciding, though?

DANIEL GUILD, NEW HAMPSHIRE DEMOCRATIC ACTIVIST: I think there are three reasons. One is Donald Trump. And a lot of people have personal reactions to Donald Trump. So some think, oh, it's all the lies, therefore, I'm going to look for somebody who is honest.

To some degree, Bernie Sanders appeals to that group. He's said the same thing for 40 years, so that conveys a sense of honesty. I think others react to that saying, well, if you haven't changed your opinion in 40 years, you really don't know what's going on with the world.

The other reaction is simple competence. And the perception that everything is completely chaotic. So to people like that, I think they'll want to look for some sort of normalcy. So Joe Biden looks good to them. Maybe Amy Klobuchar looks good to them.

Some people are looking for intelligence. I think that's why Pete Buttigieg has done well over the last two months. And why I think that's why nobody really saw that coming.

Again, it goes back to my own personal opinion about how we react differently to Donald Trump.

The other pieces is there were so many candidates this time that I think people were waiting for some guidance. And I think that Iowa did that.

New Hampshire people will say Iowa never matters, but it always does. And so it's sort of limited the field.

You can roughly break the primary into two groups, and they're about 40 to 45 percent of the vote.

There's the progressive wing. That's Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Bernie has the upper hand in that argument right now, although Warren has very good ground game and could still surprise yet.


GUILD: The other 40 percent is Biden, Pete and Klobuchar. And I think --.


BOLDUAN: Let me ask you --


BOLDUAN: Let me just ask you, real quick. You mentioned the ground game. You wrote a piece for about how the campaigns were knocking on doors and have been since the summer. Who do you think has the biggest, most robust ground in New Hampshire that you've seen?


GUILD: I think Bernie and Warren do. They both benefit from being from neighboring states, so it's easier to recruit people.

BOLDUAN: That's right.

GUILD: Bernie has a lot of people that are still very committed from 2016.

I think Warren has had her own appeal. Her appeal may be a little bit more upscale and better educated than Bernie's are.

The other divide that's really in the Democratic Party is age.

BOLDUAN: Well, and that --


GUILD: There's almost two Democratic Parties.


GUILD: That's one for under 40 and --


BOLDUAN: Yes. So sorry. There seems to be a delay in our microphones, Daniel.


BOLDUAN: Sorry about that.

Thank you. We're out of time, though. But thank you so much. Everybody will be able to find out themselves tomorrow.

We'll be right back.