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Bernie Sanders Wins Nevada Caucuses, CNN Projects; Coronavirus Outbreak; Intelligence Community Feels Immediate Impact Of Trump's Diplomatic "Disruptor"; Trump Departs For India; 2019-2020 Flu Season; Warren Attacks Bloomberg After Nevada; The Love/Hate Relationship Between Michael Bloomberg And Donald Trump. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired February 23, 2020 - 04:00   ET




GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A big win for Bernie Sanders. Plus, Joe Biden bounces back. We will break down the results of the Nevada caucuses.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Also, coronavirus cases surge. Now Italy is taking action to contain the outbreak there.

HOWELL (voice-over): And a look at what's coming up for the U.S. president in his big trip to India.

ALLEN (voice-over): We'll have a live report for you, welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. Coming to you live from Atlanta, GA. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL (voice-over): I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


ALLEN: Thank you again for joining us. We begin with election 2020. If there was any question, for right now, it's being put to rest. Bernie Sanders is the undisputed frontrunner among presidential candidates.

HOWELL: CNN projects that Sanders won the Nevada caucuses. Results show just how decisive a win it was for him. Half the votes in, Sanders has now more than doubled support of his next closest rival, Joe Biden.

And Pete Buttigieg is holding steady at third place, ahead of Elizabeth Warren.

ALLEN: Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard rounding out the field in single digits. The Vermont senator is already looking ahead and addressing supporters in Texas shortly after it became clear he won Nevada.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think all of you know we won the popular vote in Iowa. We won the New Hampshire primary. And, according to three networks and the AP, we have now won the Nevada caucus.


ALLEN: Sanders hopes his Nevada win will propel him to victory in the states to come.

HOWELL: Our Ryan Nobles is traveling with the Sanders campaign and has this.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Senator Bernie Sanders will spend his Sunday in Texas. This after being able to claim victory in the Nevada caucuses, a convincing one that will allow Sanders and his campaign to say they're three for three. They won in Iowa, New Hampshire and now in Nevada.

Sanders already thinking about the Super Tuesday states, despite the fact that the caucuses were happening in Nevada on Saturday, he spent his entire day in Texas and an event in El Paso and another in San Antonio.

Sanders making his message very clear to his supporters here, it was not just about winning one state, they plan on winning the Democratic nomination and the White House.

SANDERS: In Nevada and New Hampshire and Iowa, what we showed is that our volunteers are prepared to knock on hundreds and hundreds of thousands of doors, that no campaign has a grassroots movement like we do, which is another reason why we are going to win this election.

NOBLES: What is very important about this win in Nevada for the Sanders team is because it was the first state with a diverse set of voters casting ballots. According to the CNN entrance polls, Sanders won virtually every demographic group.

He won with black voters, Latino voters and African American voters as well, which bodes well for him as they move into these states that even are more diverse, South Carolina among them. Of course the big Super Tuesday prizes of California and here in Texas -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, San Antonio, Texas.


HOWELL: Ryan, thank you.

Now the former vice president Joe Biden is treating his distant second place finish as a comeback of sorts. Keep in mind, it is an improvement on his fourth and fifth place showings in the Iowa and New Hampshire.

ALLEN: He's trying to paint himself as the best alternative to Sanders as he eyes the next contest.


JOE BIDEN, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we're in a position now to move on in a way that we haven't been until this moment. I think we're going to go, we're going to win, we're going to win in South Carolina. And then Super Tuesday and we are on our way.



ALLEN: A similar message from the third place finisher in Nevada, Pete Buttigieg.

HOWELL: He is demanding that voters look to him as the candidate to take on Trump.


PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I congratulate Senator Sanders on a strong showing today, knowing that we celebrate many of the same ideals.

But before we rush to nominate Senator Sanders in our one shot to take on this president, let us take a sober look at what is at stake for our party, for our values and for those with the most to lose.

Senator Sanders believes in an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans. This is our shot. This is our only shot to beat Donald Trump. So I am asking Americans to make sure that we get this choice right.


ALLEN: So let's take a look at what this all means for the bigger picture. We're joined now by Natasha Lindstaedt, professor of government at University of Essex in England.

Good morning to you, Natasha. What a night for Bernie Sanders. A convincing win in Nevada. The first test state that is not a majority white state. He received union support, Latino support. Talk about how he pulled this off.

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: He's just ran a very effective campaign and he's been able to do a lot of good fund-raising and has a huge war chest so he can place ads everywhere.

There was a lot of early voting and this will also play into what happens on Super Tuesday. I've heard he's really energizing in person. When he speaks, he really resonates with people. As you mention, he has a wide coalition, very diverse.

He's been able to attract not just white, liberal voters but also Hispanics, quite a big chunk of African American voters, college voters, students, younger people and even has started to chip away at some of the moderate support that would have gone to either Biden or Buttigieg.

And, you know, he just appeals to people because they think he's authentic. So for the most part, we're not that surprised that he did so well in Nevada. He did really well in Iowa and New Hampshire and he's looking ahead to Super Tuesday and campaigning a lot in California and Texas.

And he's hoping to win a ton of delegates there and we see he already spent a million on Spanish language TV ads in California. He sees that he will have to court the Hispanic vote and we can what happened in Nevada; he was able to do so.

ALLEN: Interesting to say he's been able to bring in the moderate vote. I want to talk about that. Here's a tweet from Sanders.

"I've got news for the Republican establishment. I've got news for the Democratic establishment. They can't stop us."

You know, he's had an us versus them mentality.

So what do you think the Democratic establishment, the moderates in Congress, will think about Sanders' surge?

One analyst on CNN earlier said they're freaking out.

LINDSTAEDT: I think they are freaking out. Of course, they're not going to say that publicly. But they are very concerned. We've already heard reports that the Russians want Sanders to win.

There are multiple reasons for that, not just that they don't think he can beat Donald Trump but because they also think he will create disarray in the Democratic Party and, of course, cause further polarization in the American public.

The Democrats and higher up in the Democratic leadership are concerned about him; emails that were hacked revealed that they were very concerned about him in 2016. They feel that he can't win.

Of course, he will try to prove them otherwise and disagree with what Buttigieg said, that he's not this scary socialist that is going to turn out voters. He is going to say I was someone that could have beaten Trump in 2016 and someone that was resonating with blue collar voters and people in the Midwest.

And these were some of the key states that Trump won over Clinton and that put him over the edge in the Electoral College.

ALLEN: He does have the momentum headed to South Carolina. But Joe Biden did come in second.

How does South Carolina look for Biden?

What is at stake here for him? LINDSTAEDT: Everything is at stake for Biden in South Carolina. He came in second so this is sort of a lifeline for him because he was doing so poorly in New Hampshire and Iowa. He has to win South Carolina.

Hopefully for him, he would win by a big margin but that may not happen. He absolutely has to win to shift the momentum back so he can portray himself as a viable candidate again.

He has really been hurt by the Buttigieg campaign. A lot of voters who might have voted for Biden have decided they want something new and fresh and have decided to vote for Buttigieg. The moderates themselves seem much more in disarray that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.


LINDSTAEDT: They're criticizing each other. You don't see Warren ever criticizing Bernie Sanders but you see more criticism coming from moderates of one another. And they seem to sort of be canceling each other out.

So for Biden, he has to emerge on top and to project to the American public that he is the key moderate candidate that has the best chance of beating Donald Trump.

ALLEN: We were looking at Elizabeth Warren there, talking to her supporters in Nevada as you were speaking. Warren had the momentum back in the fall.

What's happened to her campaign and what about Buttigieg moving forward?

LINDSTAEDT: Yes, Warren did have the momentum and it seemed like she would be the more progressive candidate that would emerge on top. It seemed, around the time of Bernie Sanders' health scare, things started to shift and his supporters really rallied around him.

And it wasn't that people became completely turned off by Elizabeth Warren, they just became more drawn to Bernie Sanders and that might just be to the effectiveness of his campaign and she has been hurt by that.

Buttigieg had an amazing showing in Iowa and New Hampshire. He has been effective because he's so articulate in the way that he's able to talk to voters and explain this sort of broad viewpoint of how to change America, taking a moderate path.

But we see that, in Nevada, he wasn't going to be the second candidate. He was close. But he's going to have to do better on Super Tuesday.

I don't think he's going to do well at all in South Carolina because that has a large percentage of African American voters and he doesn't seem to be able to resonate with them. So Super Tuesday is very key for Buttigieg's campaign. ALLEN: All right. It's been an interesting evening there in Nevada

and we press on. Thanks so much, as always, for your insights, Natasha.

LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.

HOWELL: You can log on to for complete coverage of the 2020 election, from the Nevada caucus results to the campaign trail ahead. All of that at

The winner is clear but the results are still coming in. Stay with us for more continuing coverage of what is happening with these Nevada caucuses.

ALLEN: Also elsewhere, about 600 cases of coronavirus in less than a week. Not in China but South Korea now on its highest alert over the virus. A live report from there for you.







SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because I'm here in Washington, I want to talk specifically for just a minute at the top about a threat that is coming our way. And it's a big threat, not a tall one but a big one: Michael Bloomberg.


HOWELL: Elizabeth Warren there taking a shot at someone not even competing in Nevada. The votes from those caucuses were being counted.

CNN projects Warren coming in fourth behind Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. Amy Klobuchar insists her campaign remains viable after coming in fifth ahead of Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard.

We'll have much more on these results and where the candidates are headed next in the hours to come.

Now to the latest on the coronavirus. continuing to spread. And that virus seems to have gained a foothold in Europe. At least 79 cases in Italy, including two deaths; 80 percent of all the cases are in Hubei province, 95 percent of the fatalities.

ALLEN: There are nearly 80,000 cases. The vast majority, 77,000, are in China. The total number of deaths now nearing 2,500.

HOWELL: South Korea at the highest alert level over the virus. More than 600 new cases reported in less than a week and five people there have died.

CNN covering the story with our correspondents around the world. Our Ivan Watson live in Seoul, South Korea, and Blake Essig live in Tokyo and Barbie Nadeau with the latest for us in Rome.

Ivan, let's start with you there. First, to get a sense of what's happening because the number of infections, clearly seeming to rise.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's going up and now the South Korean government is announcing it's raising the crisis alert level to its highest right now in response to the outbreak.

The South Korean president Moon Jae-in came out on television saying that this is a watershed moment for the country, that the next few days will be critical, that they're trying to round up as many, identify as many of the cases of coronavirus as possible.

He repeated an appeal for people not to gather in large groups. Take a listen.


MOON JAE-IN, SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We have vividly witnessed how dangerous it is to have mass meetings in an enclosed indoor place in terms of the spread of the contagious disease.

I urge everyone to restrain themselves from group events or activities not only in indoor places but also outdoor places, which could harm others, the people of the country.


WATSON: Now President Moon defended the decision to stop prayer gatherings for a South Korean religious movement called Shincheonji; roughly half of all the more 600 infections here in South Korea are members from this religious group. And he said this has nothing to do with trying to restrict religious freedom. It's all about public health.

I'm standing in front of a building, one of the buildings in Seoul operated by this Shincheonji religious group. They run a number of the floors upstairs from here. And the building, its main entrance, as you can see here, is shuttered right now.

One of the members of the religious group came out.


WATSON: He didn't like the way his organization was coming under criticism from within South Korean society. This member said it feels like it's a 19th century witch hunt right now.

That said, the religious organization said it's shutting down all its places of worship and trying to disinfect all of these places. Additional measures being adopted, George. Schools will remained

closed for an additional week of winter break. All of these are efforts to try to stop the disease. This weekend, political protest rallies in downtown Seoul, despite a society ordinance banning those with members of thousands of members of political opposition, gathering despite that warning.

So there's some real challenges to try to enforce some of these measures to try to stop the spread of the disease here -- George.

HOWELL: Ivan Watson, live in Seoul, South Korea, thank you.

ALLEN: Now to the situation in Japan, Blake is standing by in the capital, Tokyo, with the latest.

Hello, Blake.

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Natalie. We've actually learned that 23 of the passengers who disembarked from the Diamond Princess just a couple days ago did not follow Japan's quarantine protocol.

When the protocol began on February 5th, those passengers were all tested; tested negative and taken to a hospital. Before disembarking the ship, you had to be tested again. That did not happen with these 23 passengers.

And just recently Japan's health minister came out and apologizing, expressing deep remorse, vowing that this will never happen again. Natalie, it did happen. And even though Japan's health ministry is in the process of trying to contact these 23 people to have them retested when they disembarked, they all took public transportation home.

We also learned that a 60-year-old female who did follow the quarantine protocol has since returned home, developed symptoms and tested positive for the coronavirus, making her the first person to follow Japan's protocol all the way through and test positive upon returning home.

And when you look at the bigger picture, these two issues, what this speaks to is the reality of what we've heard from infectious disease specialists and Japanese residents and countries all over the world, who've expressed concern and called into question just how effective the quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess actually was -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Also indicates how one person who slips through can cause a threat. Blake in Tokyo, thank you.

Back to George.

HOWELL: Now CNN live in Rome with our Barbie Nadeau.

Tell us more about what is happening; the spread of the virus resulting in some towns being locked down in the north of the country.

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We're just getting new figures from the government and the total number of confirmed cases is now over 100. And, yes, 89 alone in Lombardi and that's one of the hot spots.

The outbreak we have been hearing about for the last 24 hours essentially all tied to a hospital in that area that had one case. And they've completely locked down 10 towns and villages, which means the trains don't stop when they roll through.

Church services are suspended and soccer games are suspended and there's to be no movement and they actually ordered a quite draconian response to this. You risk three months in jail if you defy the movement ban or various fines and things like that.

So the government is taking this very seriously. One of the reasons the numbers increased this morning because they are testing more people who've had contact with people who have already been confirmed and they are doing everything they can to contain the spread of the virus, which is turning out to be quite a challenge -- George.

HOWELL: Barbie Nadeau in Rome, thank you.

ALLEN: The results from the Nevada caucuses are still coming in. When we return, we find out who is ahead in the delegate count.

HOWELL: Plus what is ahead for the agenda for President Trump's first-ever official visit to India. CNN is live in New Delhi with that report. Stay with us.






SANDERS: Based on what I have seen today in Texas, we're here now in El Paso, don't tell, don't tell anybody. I don't want to get them nervous. We are going to win the Democratic primary of Texas.


ALLEN: He is in Texas, talking it up. Bernie Sanders already looking toward future contests after emerging as the projected winner of the Nevada caucuses. Here's a look at the numbers. Joe Biden coming in second, Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren third and fourth. Klobuchar and Steyer and Gabbard not even breaking 5 percent. More results coming in.

HOWELL: Now to the U.S. president. His acting Director of National Intelligence may be trying to clean house.

ALLEN: Richard Grenell ousted the number two official at DNI Friday and many observers predict the purge may not end there. Kylie Atwood has more about it.


KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY ANALYST: Some top intelligence officials are looking to leave the office of the Director of National Intelligence. Sources tell CNN, this comes as there has been an upheaval at that office.

This is the office that oversees all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. Just this week, the director of that office, the acting director, was fired from his post. And President Trump put in his place Rick Grenell.

Ambassador Rick Grenell is seen as an ally to President Trump, someone who does not have very much intelligence experience. As he came into the role this week, he immediately fired the number two at this office.

There are fears within the intelligence community, that other folks might also be forced out. One of those is Shelby Pierson. She is in charge of overseeing the assessments of election security.


ATWOOD: She was the one who provided an intelligence briefing behind closed doors to lawmakers just last week. One of the things that she revealed in that briefing was the intelligence assessment that Russia is trying to help President Trump in his presidential election campaign.

And so that was not met well by President Trump. He has come out and said that that is not true, it is a hoax. But that is the intelligence assessment.

And there are fears that because Shelby Pierson was the person who provided that assessment, she might be forced out as well. There are also questions about how Rick Grenell is going to be as a leader at this office.

I'm told that sources within the office made phone calls to those they knew at the U.S. embassy in Germany, asking them what it was like to work with Rick Grenell.

So there are a lot of developments that we are watching. But so far Shelby Pierson is still in her job and there is the expectation that some folks are going to leave or be forced out in the coming days -- Kylie Atwood, CNN, Washington.


HOWELL: Kylie, thank you.

In the meantime, India is preparing to roll out the red carpet for President Trump. The president set to arrive there Monday for what will be his first ever visit as the U.S. president.

The agenda is focused on trade likely. Those talks comes amid tension over tariffs and diverging economic policies. Our senior international correspondent Sam Kiley is live on the story.

Sam, look, we heard the U.S. president say that he really likes the prime minister. Both men had been criticized for creating division within their countries, against Muslims in particular there.

What are some of the similarities and what are some of the differences?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, in many ways, one might describe the Indian prime minister as Donald Trump's Indian guru since he really pioneered the sort of nationalist, his critics will say xenophobic, populist politics that galvanized support behind Donald Trump during his campaign for the presidency and ever since his election.

Now Mr. Modi has been accused of far greater levels of fomentation of sectarian divisions, particularly earlier this year, with him facing widespread protests across the country, not just from within Muslim groups but from the Congress Party, traditionally if you like the party of the Gandhi-ist establishment against what has been described by its opponents as anti-Muslim legislation, particularly requiring refugees from neighboring countries to prove their non-Muslim background before they can apply for Indian nationality.

But at the same time, there's been a macho politics, a highly aggressive sort of rhetoric that they both share. And Mr. Modi knows Trump likes a jolly good turnout in favor of him at his rallies. And there's participation tomorrow not from the Indian perspective for a turnout of some 10 million people, probably knock a couple zeros off that.

But there's an anticipation that Donald Trump when he gets to the start of his tour here, just 36-hour tour, that he will be richly welcomed in Mr. Modi's home state -- George.

HOWELL: Sam, also, the president mentioned that he believes India has done the U.S. wrong with trade.

What does that talk look like between these two leaders?

Can they find common ground?

KILEY: Yes, I mean in the past, India had a preferential trade deal worth some $5.6 billion in terms of exports. And that was suspended by the Trump administration in an attempt to try from their perspective level the playing field.

That playing field is still -- the rules of the game for the sport that they're going to play on that playing field is under discussion and no anticipation that there will be a significant breakthrough. Trump playing down any hope for a free trade deal until after the November elections in the United States.

There may be some small deals suggested on the sides, possibly the announcement of a significant sale of arms to India. But that in itself is quite a sore point with the Indian purchase of the highly efficient but controversial Russian anti-missile program, the S-400, which, as you recall, also sold to NATO member, Turkey.


KILEY: But there is a strong, personal relationship between these two leaders and it'll be that really that both sides are trying to cement and exploit. And Modi has been under bitter criticism for his nationalistic policies. And this could be the first last foreign trip before the polls in November.

And he will want to see MAGA flag waving supporters here in India. Opinion polls show he is pretty popular. More than 50 percent of Indians support him and his policies as far as they understand them -- George.

HOWELL: We do know the president does enjoy big crowds. Sam Kiley live in New Delhi, thank you for the report.

ALLEN: It is only February and already toy sellers are worried about their Christmas inventory because China, of course, makes most of those toys. And the coronavirus has slowed or stopped many factories. We'll have a report for you right after this.

HOWELL: Plus, the full extent of Bernie Sanders' Nevada victory is coming into focus as the caucus results continue to roll in. CNN on top of this story for you. Stay with us.





SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As usual, I think we have exceeded expectations. I always note that a lot of people didn't even think that I would still be standing at this point. They didn't think I'd make it through that speech in the snow. They didn't think I'd make it to the debate floor.

But time and time again, because of all of you and because of the people around the country that want something different than the guy in the White House, we have won.



HOWELL: Amy Klobuchar there putting a positive spin on a distant fifth place finish in Nevada. CNN projects Bernie Sanders winning that contest and Joe Biden in second place, his best finish so far. And Pete Buttigieg in third. Klobuchar did manage to beat out Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard.

ALLEN: China is considered the factory of the world, where everything from lighters to gloves to iPhones roll out every hour of every day. HOWELL: Now the coronavirus has thrown a wrench into that. While it's

only February, toys for this upcoming Christmas may be in short supply. Kristie Lu Stout has this report from Hong Kong.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Big eyes, crazy hair and those layers and layers of packaging. For whatever reason LOL Surprise is one of the most coveted toys on the planet. But they could be harder to find this holiday season.

ISAAC LARIAN, CEO, MGA ENTERTAINMENT: There's going to be a major shortage of LOL come these holidays worldwide because of the coronavirus epidemic that we have right now.

STOUT: The coronavirus outbreak has sparked a health crisis and an economic mess as it exposes major vulnerabilities in the global supply chain for all the sectors that reach deep into China.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Numerous companies -- Apple another one, of course, impacted here.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Under Armour's warning that the coronavirus outbreak --

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hyundai, the South Korean carmakers -- as you said -- that they are suspending production.

STOUT: Retailers are also feeling the impact. Anticipating a supply slow down, Amazon is stockpiling certain made in China products. In the statement Amazon says, "Out of an abundance of caution, we are working with suppliers to secure additional inventory to ensure we maintain our selection for customers.

LOL Surprise dolls are designed by MGA Entertainment in California and made in China. The CEO says before the outbreak they produced a million dolls a day. Now they are at a standstill as China struggles to get back to work.

LARIAN: What people don't understand is that even if the factory is open they're not able to get all the workers back. And then to make matters worse, what happens is the factory just needs its raw material.

STOUT: For multi-national firms, this is not the first time their Asian supply chains have been tested. In 2011 the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan hit the high tech supply chain, pushing back the launch of new devices.

Later that year, devastating floods in Thailand rattled both the tech and auto industries as production stalled. But the current crisis in China is different given the unprecedented measures in place to stop the virus and the world's reliance on China as a manufacturing machine. China accounts for more than 80 percent of all global toy production, so could the outbreak prompt a rethink about China as the factory of the world?

PETER LEWIS, CHINA ANALYST: People were already thinking about their supply chains as a result of the trade war between the U.S. and China. And we're thinking about not being dependent so much on just one country but the impact of this is much bigger than the U.S.-China trade war. And if this goes on for a long time then companies will have to think about relocating their supply chains.

LARIAN: I don't think frankly any company is going to be able to replace China. China is the factory of the world. We have to accept it. We have to face it.

They are great at what they do. The quality, the discipline, the infrastructure, the workforce that they have. It's going to be years before somebody else can replicate it.

STOUT: In the long run, the maker of LOL Surprise toys is hopeful for the future but this year he's bracing for a lackluster Christmas, a Christmas without enough of his toys under the tree.

LARIAN: It really makes me sad because for us the happiness, the smile of children is magical, is so important.

STOUT: Smiles that may be harder to capture after the coronavirus -- Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.


ALLEN: We'll continue to bring you all the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak here on CNN and, of course, at

HOWELL: Now as the coronavirus spreads around the world, a much more common virus is proving to be an even more and serious threat in the United States.

ALLEN: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here in Atlanta says more than 100 children have already died this season from the more common strains of the flu, of influenza. And Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us the overall death toll from the flu is enormous.



SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: When public health officials described this flu season so far, they're describing it as having started early, early as in September as opposed to typically in October and also being particularly hard on kids.

We've been talking a lot about the coronavirus this year, but let me show you flu numbers so far this flu season.

In the United States alone, some 29 million illnesses, 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths. When you look at that hospitalization number, the most hospitalizations occur in people who are 65 and older, but the next biggest category is newborns to four years old.

So this flu can be particularly hard on kids and this year so far has been the worst year for kids. If you take out 2009, which was the h1n1 flu pandemic, this now becomes one of the worst years on record for kids with regard to the flu.

I want to show you just quickly looking at the flu numbers here, which I just shared with you and coronavirus, again, because we've been talking about coronavirus so much. On the left, those are U.S. numbers.

On the right are global numbers for coronavirus. And you can see obviously flu does cause a lot more illness and a lot more death in the United States and around the world.

The reason there continues to be such concern about coronavirus is because it is a new virus and whenever you have a new virus you are not exactly sure how it's going to behave, how it's going to trend, or if it's going to continue to mutate.

So those are things that researchers are keeping an eye on, but certainly here in the United States, we've got to keep an eye on flu as well, can't take our eye off the ball. And it's still not too late to get the flu shot, something we talk about a lot. Back to you.


ALLEN: The Nevada caucuses have cemented Bernie Sanders as the Democratic frontrunner.

What do the results mean for candidates like Elizabeth Warren?

We'll look into that next.






JOE BIDEN, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Y'all did it for me. (INAUDIBLE). Now we're going on to South Carolina and win and then we're going to take this back.


ALLEN: All right. Joe Biden still fighting spirit there. We continue to check in on the results so far from the Nevada caucuses. Bernie Sanders the projected winner and he has a commanding lead with half the precincts reporting. And Joe Biden, his next closest rival, and then Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren.

HOWELL: Speaking of Warren. She's taking a different approach from Biden and Buttigieg; instead of attacking the clear front-runner, Bernie Sanders, Warren is going after a candidate who's not even on the Nevada ballot.

ALLEN: Think you know who that is after this week. M.J. Lee has that story.


M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Senator Elizabeth Warren addressed thousands of supporters here in Seattle, Washington, after a disappointing showing in Nevada.

As soon as she took the stage, she congratulated her colleague, senator Bernie Sanders and then went on the attack against Michael Bloomberg, clearly her campaign recognizing that her strategy of going negative on Bloomberg has been helpful to her campaign. Take a listen.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to talk specifically for just a minute at the top about a threat that is coming our way. And it's a big threat, not a tall one, but a big one: Michael Bloomberg.

Now this is important to pay attention to now because he has skipped the first four states and he plans to come in on Super Tuesday and, immediately afterwards here in Washington, drop hundreds of millions of dollars and buy this election.


LEE: Now speaking of Michael Bloomberg, his campaign senior adviser telling CNN today that they worry that, given the pace at which Bernie Sanders is currently amassing delegates, that they worry no Democrat can catch up to Bernie Sanders. One more sign with the concern within the Democratic Party about how well Bernie Sanders is currently doing in this Democratic primary.

And turning back to Senator Warren, the campaign is focusing on the strategy for Super Tuesday contests and beyond in March. The campaign says they feel very good about the last debate that she had in Las Vegas and that they are feeling very good about the fund-raising boost that the senator was able to get after that debate as well.

So clearly, this is a campaign, even though they had a very disappointing showing in Nevada, they are trying to look forward and say they still have a path forward in the 2020 race. Back to you.


ALLEN: Yes, Michael Bloomberg not feeling the love from Senator Warren in that debate and continuing. HOWELL: It's interesting to see what happens with this. The thing is,

a story that caught fire is Bloomberg feeling the love for Donald Trump. That is the question. Jeanne Moos investigates for us.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was more like a Valentine's Day card than a headline. Did Mike Bloomberg really say to Donald Trump, yes, Donald, I do love you?

It was enough to make some swear off Bloomberg, two peas in a pod. Next!

Actually two peas of such different sizes probably wouldn't fit in the same pod.

It was Bloomberg himself who described the love quote. He said it happened about a month after President Trump was elected. Trump noted he saw Bloomberg talk about him at the Democratic convention.

BLOOMBERG: I'm a New Yorker and I know a con when I see one.

MOOS: After mentioning the speech, Trump said --

BLOOMBERG: Bt you really do love me, don't you? And I said, yes, Donald, I love you.

MOOS (on camera): Hold the presses. Proclamation of love looks bad for Bloomberg.


MOOS (voice-over): Until you hear the line after the headline.

BLOOMBERG: And I said, yes, Donald, I do love you. I just disagree with everything you've ever said. And we had -- we had a good laugh.

MOOS: Sort of like the photo Bernie Sanders tweeted that made Trump and Bloomberg look chummy.

Bloomberg went on to say --

BLOOMBERG: If you sat and had dinner with Donald Trump, you'd probably walk away saying, everything he said is bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED), he can't be doing that, but you'd have a good time.

MOOS: Public declarations of love can be perilous. Remember Kim Jong- un?

TRUMP: And then we fell in love, OK?

MOOS: Better to express love for the masses.

TRUMP: I love the evangelicals. I love the poorly educated.

MOOS: And safest of all, to proclaim love for inanimate objects. TRUMP: I always loved trucks, I still do. Even when I was a little boy at 4 years old.

MOOS: Nobody is going to make a headline out of that. That comes back to knock you out -- Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


HOWELL: All right. And then a show that many people love, that is the "Friends" cast, they are getting back together.

ALLEN: It'll be available on Warner Media's HBO Max streaming service in May. One executive said, you can call it the one where they all got back together. You know how beloved this cast is, my son's favorite.

And Warner Media is the parent company of CNN.

Today's top stories are just ahead. We're not going anywhere. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell. We'll be right back after the break. Stay with us.