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Life Under Lockdown For 780 Million People In China; Roger Stone To Be Sentenced; Democrats Court Latino Voters Ahead Of Nevada Caucuses. Aired 5:30-6a ET
Aired February 20, 2020 - 05:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hundreds of millions of people remain on lockdown in China. Up next, an inside look at what life is like in the epicenter of the outbreak.
BERMAN: Breaking news. Ten people are dead after a gunman opened fire inside two lounges in Germany, east of Frankfurt.
Police say the shooter, a 43-year-old male, had a history of xenophobia. He and his mother were found dead inside his home after the attacks. Government officials are treating the case as an act of terrorism.
We have a team heading to the scene and we're going to have a live report coming up later on NEW DAY.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We also have breaking news on coronavirus.
Two passengers from that quarantined cruise ship have died. Health officials say both passengers were in their 80s and both had been hospitalized.
The coronavirus death toll now exceeds 2,100 people around the world and some 780 million remain on lockdown in China.
CNN's David Culver spoke with people confined to their houses in the epicenter of the outbreak and David joins us now. What are they telling you, David?
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And, Alisyn, just think about that number, 780 million. That is more than half of this country experiencing some sort of lockdown and for some, it's an extreme type of lockdown. It's all part of the containment effort to stop the spread of this virus.
And while we can't be there physically because even if we were in the city of Wuhan, we would be restricted from leaving our hotel. We'd have to say in our hotel. For the folks there, they have to stay in their homes. They portrayed to us an increasingly desperate situation and many want out.
CULVER (voice-over): Guizhen Qian gave us a video chat tour of her Wuhan apartment. It only took a few seconds to show us this small space where she has spent the past 20-plus days, unable to leave her home as part of the latest Wuhan lockdown measures.
GUIZHEN QIAN, GRANDMOTHER OF FELICITY (through translator): Since the lockdown, I've been really rationing my food so it will last longer.
CULVER (voice-over): The local government has allowed for grocery delivery but Guizhen fears opening her windows and doors could mean exposure to the novel coronavirus. She's not only protecting her own health but also that of her 2-year-old granddaughter, Felicity.
QIAN (through translator): I'm looking after this baby and the floors above and below me have confirmed coronavirus cases.
CULVER (voice-over): Felicity is a U.S. citizen. Guizhen has been raising her granddaughter as the little girl's parents are living and working in New York City. But amid the outbreak and extreme lockdown, Felicity's mother is desperately trying to get the pair out of Wuhan.
AMANDA JIANG, MOTHER OF FELICITY: I'm afraid I cannot see my daughter again. I think if they're affected, I think they will die there.
CULVER (voice-over): Fearing the worst, Amanda Jiang is pleading with the U.S. Embassy to grant her mother-in-law, a Chinese citizen, a visa so she can accompany the toddler back to the U.S.
In the meantime, she has started stockpiling supplies in her New York City apartment, hoping to ship them to Wuhan.
JIANG: We want to send this -- all these masks to our -- to my families, to my relatives, and donate some to the hospitals.
CULVER (voice-over): But she has struggled to find a carrier to deliver within the lockdown zone. There are similar fears and frustrations shared by other Hubei Province residents.
WENDY YANG, ON LOCKDOWN IN CHINA (via telephone): And now, we are totally locked out. There's no person allowed to go out.
CULVER (voice-over): By phone, Wendy Yang told us that she was on day 27 or 28 inside her apartment. She's started to lose count. She sent us photos from her window, looking out. She says she feels trapped and depressed.
YANG: So many people pass away in these long days and we are suffering.
CULVER (voice-over): Back inside Guizhen's apartment, the 61-year-old admits she's relied on cartoons to help keep Felicity entertained. QIAN (through translator): If it wasn't for Peppa Pig, there would be no way I could look after her.
CULVER (voice-over): But there's an added fear for Guizhen. She says she's also battling thyroid cancer and worries she might be more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus.
QIAN (through translator): If I get sick with this pneumonia, I have no idea what I would do with this child.
CULVER: And believe it or not, there are many stories just like that.
And we have been in touch with the U.S. Embassy. They're aware of this situation.
They're looking into it, but the reality is it's very complicated. It's not as simple as just getting them out of there. There are certain restrictions now, logistically there, and they'd have to coordinate several of the elements of getting somebody out with the Chinese government.
They have, though, had five flights leave. Eight hundred-plus Americans have flown back to the United States. We've covered many of those.
But, John, what stands out to me is you hear just the level of desperation and the fear, really, that's building up in their minds as they're in these confined spaces. A grandmother not even wanting to open her door or windows because she's scared that it might transmit from somebody who lives above or below her.
BERMAN: I get it. I get the concern. I get the fear.
People there know what happened on the cruise ship off Japan --
BERMAN: -- and they see how this virus can --
BERMAN: -- under certain circumstances, spread. Fear is reasonable here, albeit with the right understanding of what exactly is going on.
David Culver, you're helping, I know, millions of people around the world understand the threat and what is really to worry about with coronavirus. Thanks so much for being with us and all your reporting on this.
So, President Trump's longtime friend Roger Stone will be sentenced today. That is if the president doesn't pardon him first. What clue did the president give us overnight? That's next.
[05:40:07] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BERMAN: In just hours, President Trump's longtime friend Roger Stone will be sentenced in federal court -- honestly, if the president doesn't pardon him first, and that's an open question now.
Stone was found guilty on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction, and witness tampering related to his efforts to contact WikiLeaks and help the Trump campaign in 2016. Prosecutors initially recommended a sentence of seven to nine years but the Justice Department intervened to reduce that recommendation after criticism by President Trump.
Joining us now to talk about this, "EARLY START" anchor Laura Jarrett, who covered the Justice Department for such a long time.
Before we get into the possibility that President Trump may pardon him as soon as today, talk to me about what the sentencing situation looks like for Roger Stone. What will this look like today?
LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR, "EARLY START": Well, the big thing is that the Justice Department hasn't really said how much prison time they think he should get. Usually, they provide a recommendation.
It's obviously up to the judge -- Judge Berman Jackson, in this case, about what she ultimately thinks is most fitting for his circumstances. But they had initially said a seven- to nine-year guidelines range, as you mentioned. Now, she can sentence him below that, she can sentence him anywhere within that.
Stone thinks he should get probation. That seems pretty farfetched given the circumstances of this case, which before Bill Barr stepped in, they had laid out chapter and verse, all of the different counts which the jury found him guilty on, on all of them.
And they're pretty serious. I mean, the witness tampering, alone, charge -- that carries 20 years in prison.
CAMEROTA: Does anyone -- is anyone still debating whether or not President Trump is going to pardon Roger Stone?
JARRETT: I am. I think --
CAMEROTA: You think he might not pardon Roger Stone?
JARRETT: I think -- I think that there is a real chance that if he was going to do it he would have done it already and that he may wait until after the election. He has had advisers non-stop on Fox News telling him to do it all the time. And so, I think if he was going to he would have already. I think he sees it as politically risky.
CAMEROTA: Now, when you say advisers on Fox News --
BERMAN: It's the cabinet. CAMEROTA: -- do you mean.
BERMAN: Those are Senate-confirmed --
JARRETT: The real cabinet.
BERMAN: -- Fox News --
CAMEROTA: You mean the real advisers --
CAMEROTA: -- going on Fox News because there's also the puppet masters of Fox News that give him commands.
CAMEROTA: And that happened again last night and the president, at 2:00 in the morning, highlighted one of the Fox News hosts who was telling him to pardon Roger Stone. So it seems like he's going to pardon Roger Stone.
JARRETT: Well --
BERMAN: Well look, I can give you the hieroglyphics. This is -- we weren't going to play this full thing but this is Tucker Carlson last night. And the president tweeted this out overnight with Tucker Carlson calling on the president to pardon Roger Stone. The president tweeted this -- I think it's (ph) in the tweet.
BERMAN: So, if nothing else, this shows that the idea that the president hasn't thought about pardoning Roger Stone is bull spit, as you would say, not wanting to swear. The president's claimed he hasn't thought about pardoning Roger Stone -- that's not true. He's tweeting Tucker Carlson talking about pardoning about Roger Stone.
JARRETT: Sure. But as Maggie Haberman likes to point out sometimes, you know, he gets something out of us just talking about will he or won't he so much. And so whether or not -- you know, whether it happens today or whether it happens the second week of November, right now, he's getting something out of the back-and-forth and the outrage over it.
Meantime, he's pardoned 11 other people for serious crimes that the Justice Department prosecuted.
And I think that's one of the things that we're seeing this week with the Justice Department controversy is there are prosecutors who are doing those cases and then to have it all wiped away by the president with the stroke of a pen. Now, of course, he has the right under the Constitution. But there's a whole office at the Justice Department -- the pardon attorney office -- that has just been completely obliterated by what he's doing.
CAMEROTA: And that's my prediction. What time is the sentencing? Just what time is Judge Jackson's sentencing?
JARRETT: It's later this morning.
BERMAN: It's 10:00 a.m., right?
CAMEROTA: 10:00 a.m.?
CAMEROTA: At 10:01, after he is sentenced to prison, the president will pardon Roger Stone.
JARRETT: That's your prediction?
JARRETT: All right, you heard it here first.
BERMAN: Wow, wow -- you're coming with the predictions this morning.
CAMEROTA: I'm in. I have studied this stuff for a few years. That's what it feels like is about to happen.
BERMAN: All right.
JARRETT: But remember, if even if he is sentenced today, he's not going to jail today. He's still challenging -- he wants a new trial. He says the jurors had some misconduct. So he is not going to prison today.
BERMAN: So, while we're talking about the administration -- and by that, I mean Fox News -- the president announced yesterday that he is going to appoint the ambassador to Germany, Rick Grenell, as the Acting Director of National Intelligence.
Grenell has some foreign policy experience as the ambassador to Germany. He worked at the U.N. for a while as well. But no known intelligence experience --
BERMAN: -- at all. And this is a controversial appointment, albeit it a temporary one.
JARRETT: It is because it's supposed to be a position of people who are seen as the best of the best in what they do, right? And this is someone who's really fiercely partisan. As you said, no experience.
And by all accounts, the administration seems to know that he can't get confirmed, so they're putting him in in this acting position, essentially because he is a Trump loyalist -- or perceived that way by the president. CAMEROTA: But in this day and age, what the president wants, the Republicans do go along with. So how do you know he can't get confirmed?
JARRETT: Well, it's just the reporting, at least, that we've seen so far is that even Republicans -- as John might say, establishment Republicans --
JARRETT: -- have some choice things to say about him.
And even within the Trump administration it appears as though the knives are out for him. Jim Acosta has some reporting that people say he's out of his league. So, there -- at least there is some dissension in the ranks there.
BERMAN: Rick Grenell is a bomb-thrower on Twitter.
CAMEROTA: Also a fashion maven.
BERMAN: He -- well --
CAMEROTA: He does give various journalists fashion advice.
JARRETT: When it comes to women, yes.
CAMEROTA: He gives women fashion advice via Twitter or via text or things like that.
BERMAN: Well, he attacked Rachel Maddow for --
CAMEROTA: That's right.
BERMAN: -- what she wore and make comments about Callista Gingrich as well. I don't know if it's fashion advice as much as --
CAMEROTA: And insulting.
BERMAN: -- criticizing -- yes, insulting appearances.
CAMEROTA: Yes, you can interpret it in different ways.
BERMAN: And he is seen as a bomb-thrower and fiercely partisan. And there are those who will say that the Director of National Intelligence's job is not supposed to be filled by someone who is seen as a partisan. When he was going to appoint John Ratcliffe as the DNI --
BERMAN: -- that was controversial because he's a partisan member of Congress.
JARRETT: Right, and it seems as though Maguire, who is now out of the job, was not perceived as being loyal enough. And so if that's the litmus test, then it's really anybody's guess about who could be nominated to be the permanent DNI.
CAMEROTA: Laura Jarrett, always great to have you on.
JARRETT: Thanks, guys.
CAMEROTA: Thanks so much.
All right, the Democratic contenders working to win over Latino voters in Nevada. How are they doing that? That's next.
CAMEROTA: Democrats stepping up their ground game in Nevada ahead of Saturday's caucuses. The state is the first test of which candidates can win over Latino voters.
We get more now from CNN's Miguel Marquez in Las Vegas.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Silver State Latinos celebrated and courted by all the Democratic contenders.
MARQUEZ (on camera): Who do you like amongst the Democrats?
GUSTAVO MEDRANO, UNDECIDED VOTER: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Many Latinos here still undecided --
SPANISH-LANGUAGE POLITICAL ADS.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): -- and being bombarded with Spanish-language ads.
SPANISH-LANGUAGE POLITICAL ADS.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Nevada crucial as candidates begin to broaden their messages and appeal to minority voters.
PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (Speaking Spanish).
MARTA ARANZAMDI, BIDEN SUPPORTER: We have a lot of Hispanic people here. We come here to work, we come here for a better life, and we are supporting all this.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Latinos here have helped turn the Silver State blue. In 2004, their share of the presidential vote, 10 percent. In 2016, nearly double that with Latino voters breaking for Democratic over Republican candidates by roughly two to one. Sen. Bernie Sanders narrowly lost the Nevada caucuses to Hillary Clinton four years ago, besting her among Latinos by eight points. And he's looked to make inroads with many young Latinos through his proposals for free health care and college, and he's called for immigration reform.
KEVIN GARCIA, SANDERS SUPPORTER: He's more comprehensive on the immigration issue. He's the only candidate that's actually been able to tell us, like, a solid yes.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): No matter which candidate they support, for many Latinos here the top priority is preventing Donald Trump from winning a second term.
MARQUEZ (on camera): Do you have a sense of how powerful the Latino vote is here?
ERIK SANCHEZ, BUTTIGIEG SUPPORTER: Yes, and believe me, all the Latinos here, they -- they're willing to vote for anybody, but not a second term for the current president.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Miguel Marquez, CNN, Las Vegas.
BERMAN: All right, thanks to Miguel for that.
Big debate in Las Vegas last night that told us a lot about the candidates on stage. Where they are and where they think they need to be over the next few days. NEW DAY continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Bloomberg went in as the Titanic. Titanic, meet iceberg, Elizabeth Warren.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are giving a voice to people who are saying we are sick and tired of billionaires like Mr. Bloomberg.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The former mayor was completely out of his realm.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've been very lucky, made a lot of money, and I'm giving it all away to make this country better.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In terms of being able to beat Donald Trump, I'm better positioned than anybody else.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they're going to make the electability argument, you can't just say it. You have to show it. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, February 20th, 6:00 here in New York.
BERMAN: We're just getting warmed up --
CAMEROTA: We are just getting warmed --
BERMAN: -- like Bloomberg, apparently, according to his campaign.
CAMEROTA: This morning, Mike Bloomberg is hoping what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas -- um-hum. The general feeling is that he got battered and bruised during last night's Democratic debate. The former New York City mayor had not been on a debate stage in more than a decade and his rivals attacked him over the policing of minorities, over his treatment of women, and his billionaire status.
Many of the blows came from an energized Elizabeth Warren. She fought like she had nothing to lose after less than stellar results in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Front-runner Bernie Sanders was also on the defensive at times over his health, his wealth, and the ugly tactics used by some of his online supporters.
BERMAN: So, the Bloomberg campaign all but admitted that his performance was lacking and needs improvement, and they say, literally, he was just warming up. So, what impact will that showing have on the Bloom curious?
And then there was the bitter standoff between Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar that culminated with her asking if he was calling her dumb.
And my question is what do they see that makes them think they need to run through each other to win the nomination?