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President Trump and Prime Minister Modi Patting Each Other's Back; Alarming Rise of Infected People in South Korea; Italy Still Looking for Patient Zero; President Trump Welcomed by a Huge Crowd in India. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired February 24, 2020 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Live event right now in India, the U.S. president there with his Indian counterpart.
Welcome to viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Rosemary Church here at CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
And of course, right now as we said we're looking this huge crowds, 100,000 people in this cricket stadium. Cricket, of course, being the game of India. And look at all those crowds they're there to see the U.S. President, Donald Trump, and of their own Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
And this is what we saw earlier, of course. U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady arrive at the airport, greeted by the Indian prime minister. They've been traveling in the direction, they have arrived here and, of course, we are expecting both leaders to take to the stage and make some joint remarks.
HOWELL: Take a look at that stadium. This is the Motera Stadium. It holds more than 100,000 people. And it is packed at this hour. We know the president will pay a sunset visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra. The two leaders also plan to meet for formal talks Tuesday and trade is expected to be on the agenda.
CHURCH: All right. So, we do want to go to Sam Kiley now. He is there in Ahmedabad at that cricket stadium. Sam, talk to us about the whole ambience there and what we can expect to see in the next few moments going forward.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've just heard from the announcement here over the public address system that Donald Trump and Narendra Modi and their respective parties are due to be taking the stage any moment.
They are here at the stadium. There is a growing swell of sound. The thing is, they've been spotted by people on the outside of this location, which brings to mind a famous remark made by a football coach who said that soccer isn't a religion. It's much more important than that. It is the unifying sport here in India.
In many respects, it is more important than religion, but it is religion and sectarianism that has been a cause of some friction between Mr. Modi and his opponents here in India, particularly earlier on in this year.
That's why it's important for him to be seen alongside the U.S. president, who is himself a pretty popular figure here in India with support ratings in terms of his conduct on the international stage, support among Indians, 53 and 56 percent, figures that he'd be delighted with, Rosemary, if he were back or if they were reflected back in the United States.
There has been a lot of good (Inaudible), a lot of either nationalistic traditional dance and pop music through most of the morning. We are now being treated to a bit of Elton John. I'm not sure if that's one of the president's favorite singers or not. I suspect not reciprocated from Mr. Sir Elton.
But nonetheless, as he steps out any minute onto this stage here, he will be delighted, there's no question about it, the sight of an absolute wall of humanity encircling this vast stadium with a hollow top at its center.
But the center piece will most certainly be the visit of the U.S. president, who will take the stage, address the crowd alongside Mr. Modi before rapidly going on to do some tourist site visits, with a visit quite naturally to the Taj Mahal. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Yes, indeed. Both leaders enjoying the visuals there of 100,000 people crowded into that cricket stadium as we wait to hear from President Trump. And, of course, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Many thanks to Sam Kiley there.
HOWELL: And Sam pointing out there playing at Elton John, I thought that was Elton John, Rosemary, that they were playing with.
CHURCH: Yes. And he pointed out Elton John was probably not very happy about this.
HOWELL: Might not be reciprocated. Right. I think they're playing every track. I heard Elton John the last several minutes.
Anyway, let's go now to get more perspective with Kevin Liptak, Kevin in New Delhi with us. Kevin, a minute ago we saw Mr. Trump, of course, arrive here to the stadium. Talk to us about how important this relationship is between these two men who make it clear that they do like each other.
KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, it's certainly very important. The U.S. has been trying to get closer to India for decades really. They see the country as a counter weight to China. And a lot of people see Mr. Trump as sort of the best person to make that happen. He and Mr. Modi, as you said, are very close. They do have some surface-level things in common. They're both populist nationalists.
They're, of course, from different backgrounds. They have different views on the economy. But there does seem to be the (Inaudible) this friendship. And you saw that when President Trump stepped off Air Force One today. He gave Mr. Modi a big hug.
Now, the real reason he's here, of course, is those optics. He has said he's expecting anywhere between 6 and 10 million people in Ahmedabad to view him and see him and view at him as he's coming in.
Now the population of that city is only eight million, so that's probably are going to be slightly less than he was expecting, but certainly some of the biggest crowds he's ever seen abroad.
This is a president who loves crowds. He went to three campaign rallies last week. You mentioned Elton John. That's actually the playlist from his political allies in the United States that they're playing up there at the cricket stadium here in India. So that is really what this is all about.
Now, of course, there are other issues on the table as well. Trade certainly. The president sort of downplaying the prospects that the two countries could come up with a major trade deal, but they do expect some kind of trade truce, maybe an agreement not to levy any more tariffs or reduce some of those tariffs.
Security is a big deal. The president is working to secure a deal with Afghanistan and the Taliban and reduce on ending the war there. So, there are a lot of serious substantive policy issues that are on the table for this visit, but today it's really all about those optics, the huge welcoming crowds that the president saw up where Sam was.
And that is really why the president came. He has said Mr. Modi promised him something like this. He's only staying for one night. That's a long way to go here and back, basically 36 hours. But the president was assured of these enduring crowds and that seem to be what he's getting.
HOWELL: Kevin, stand by with us, again, as we continue to monitor these images coming to us from India.
CHURCH: Yes. Let's go back to Sam Kiley who is there at that cricket stadium. I want to bring you back in, Sam, as we are waiting to hear from U.S. President Donald Trump and, of course, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Incredible pictures there. I mean, there is absolutely no way the president would be upset by the optics of all of this. He'll be able to go home after just this very short trip with all that he arrived in India to do. The only thing is there's a hope that something will be developed in terms of trade.
KILEY: Well, I think the trade talks discussions about the future relationship, the important strategic role that India plays to or could play as a bulwark in a sense against Chinese influence to the region, it's going to be substantially boosted in terms of this positive energy.
And that's no accident from Mr. Modi's point of view. I've just been looking down in the center from there where I was able to see Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump taking selfies with the crowd. This clearly is going to be something their family strap on turnout.
Our fellow correspondents have observed that Donald Trump likes a rally. He likes a big rally. And this is a very big rally and that's a very big deliberate move by the Indian organizers.
Notably, Narendra Modi who himself is no stranger to rallies and the power of populism, the power of galvanizing his political support, a bit like a rock star. Now, he lacks the charisma and indeed the rhetorical flourish to say of Donald Trump. He nonetheless has managed to assemble himself something of a cult following here in India and is at the moment, and to say the prime minister having one of the substantial majorities in the parliamentary election earlier this year.
So, there will be a little bit of star dust is going to attach to by the prime minister and the president from this rally. Then a bit of cultural polish will be added when they go on to the Taj Mahal before they get down to the nitty-gritty of politics and trade talks.
No real sense that there's going to be a major breakthrough. This side of an election Donald Trump has been talking down expectations. But there are hopes on some deals on the sides in terms of defense.
But above all, this is about cementing a relationship that the United States want and need, but so does India. Remember, in that background is a desire of India to take a seat on as a permanent member of the Security Council, for example, representing the developing world.
That is something India is the world's biggest democracy, with a population of 1.4 billion, a powerful armed forces, gaining in influence, and beginning to step out of its formally nonaligned landscape into not setting up alliances, but very much playing a much more formal and engaged role in the world, not only commercially which we've seen over the last 20 years, but diplomatically.
And this is the moment of diplomatic triumph for Narendra Modi as he takes the stage in his hometown of Ahmedabad.
CHURCH: All right, the leaders taking to the stage now. Let's just listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump. First lady of the United States of America. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reciprocating to the cheers by the spectators.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let us welcome this moment of goodwill and kinship.
We now request you all to rise for the national anthems.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We now rewrite the dynamic dedicated and determined architect of India, honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his welcome remarks.
NARENDRA MODI, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA (through translator): Long live India. Long live India. Long live India. Namaste Trump. Namaste Trump. Namaste Trump.
I would say India/U.S. friendship, USA long live, long live. India/USA friendship. India/U.S. friendship. India/U.S. friendship.
Namaste. Today, a new history is being created at the Motera Stadium. Today we are also seeing history being repeated. Five months ago, I began my visit to America with the howdy Modi event in Houston. And today, my friend, President Donald Trump is beginning his historic trip to India in Ahmedabad with namaste Trump.
MODI (through translator): You can imagine he has come here directly from America. As soon as he landed in India after such a long journey, President Trump and his family went straight to the Sabarmati Ashram and after that they have come here for this program.
MODI (through translator): Welcome to all of you to the world's biggest democracy. We are gathered here in Gujarat, but the enthusiasm to welcome you is shared by all of India.
This enthusiasm, these loud cheers that the skies resound with, this whole atmosphere, from the airport to the stadium, everywhere, colors and more colors, the varied colors of India's diversity.
And in the midst of all this, the presence of President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Ivanka and Jared, the presence of President Trump here with his family imparts a new sweetness and closeness of family ties to the relations between India and the United States.
India/USA relations are no longer just another partnership. It is a far greater and closer relationship. (APPLAUSE)
MODI (through translator): The solicitation event is called namaste Trump. Namaste also has a very deep meaning. It is a word from one of the world's oldest languages, Sanskrit. It signifies that we bow not just to the individual, but also to the divinity within the person.
My grateful thanks to the people of Gujarat and to the people of other Indian states living in Gujarat for this grand event.
MODI (through translator): Mr. President, friends, not far from where we stand today thrived the planned city of Tola Vida (Ph) 5,000 years ago and also where existed the seaport Lothal, which was almost as ancient.
Today you are on the banks of the Sabarmati River which is of great significance in the story of India's independence.
You are in an India that is full of diversity where hundreds of languages are spoken and where there are hundreds of kinds of attire, several kinds of cuisine, several religions and communities.
This rich diversity of ours, unity in diversity and the vibrancy of unity is a very strong foundation for the relations between India and America. One is the land of the free, the other believes that the whole world is but one family.
One has pride in its Statue of Liberty, the other takes pride in the world's tallest statue, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Statue of Unity. There is so much that we share, shared values and ideas, a shared spirit of enterprise and innovation, shared opportunities and challenges, shared hopes and aspirations.
I'm very happy that under the leadership of President Trump friendship between India and the United States has further deepened and that is why, indeed, this visit by President marks a new chapter in our relations, a chapter which will start a new era of focus and prosperity for the people of the United States and India.
Friends, President Trump thinks big. And what he has done for realizing the American dream is well known. Today, we warmly welcome the Trump family. First Lady Melania Trump, your presence here is a great honor for us.
MODI (through translator): Your efforts for a healthy and happy America are yielding good results. What you're doing for children in your society is praise worthy. You often say be best.
HOWELL: The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi there on stage in front of a crowd of some 100,000 people alongside the U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
Then let's bring in our Sam Kiley who is in the middle of it all. Sam monitoring this event as it takes place. This namaste Trump event. And Sam, what are the takeaways from what you're hearing so far?
KILEY: Well, one of the intriguing moments just a few minutes ago was when Narendra Modi was still speaking, the Indian prime minister explained the greeting namaste to Mr. Trump. He said it's when the person making the statement, namaste, bows to the individual, but also to the divinity within the individual.
Now, what politician could resist that? On top of that, he said that the partnership between India and the United States was a great deal more than a partnership. That it was a bonded relationship of shared dreams, of shared interests and technology and meeting universal challenges.
And he's continuing in that vein. A warm reception both to Mr. Trump and to the first lady at a time when he has been himself bitterly criticized for inflaming sectarianism and nationalism at home, rather like his guest back in the United States.
But nonetheless, these are two men who have written a wave of populism to power, and demonstrating in no uncertain terms just how to go about that.
The crowd here at least 100,000 in the world's biggest cricket stadium on the first day it's been put to any public use after a tour through the town, in which Mr. Trump visited the home of -- former home of Mr. Mahatma Gandhi.
And now is being introduced by the Indian prime minister, leader of the BJP Party, as his guest of honor.
MODI (through translator): Namaste Trump.
KILEY: Namaste Trump, bowing to the individual and to the divinity within the individual, as the prime minister put it there, and reinforced with a brotherly hug. A continuing bromance. Now the president is going to speak.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Namaste. Namaste.
TRUMP: And hello to India. And hello to India. This is such a great honor.
Let me begin by expressing my profound gratitude to an exceptional leader, a great champion of India, a man who works night and day for his country and a man I am proud to call my true friend, Prime Minister Modi.
TRUMP: The first lady and I have just traveled 8,000 miles around the globe to deliver a message to every citizen across this nation. America loves India. America respects India. And America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people.
TRUMP: Five months ago, the United States welcomed your great prime minister at a giant football stadium in Texas. And today, India welcomes us at the world's largest cricket stadium right here in Ahmedabad.
TRUMP: It is a profound honor to be the beautiful new stadium to be here with you. Motera Stadium, so beautiful.
TRUMP: And joined by so many distinguished guests from all across your nation and all across the world. To the hundreds of thousands of everyday citizens who come out and line the streets in a stunning display of Indian culture and kindness, and to the 125,000 people in this great stadium today, thank you for the spectacular welcome.
TRUMP: To your significant country. You have done a great honor to the American people. Melania, my family, we will always remember this remarkable hospitality. We will remember it forever.
TRUMP: From this day on, India will always hold a very special place in our hearts.
TRUMP: The life of Prime Minister Modi underscored the limitless promise of this great nation. He started out by his father's side as a chai wala, a tea seller.
TRUMP: When he was a young man, he worked at a cafeteria in this city. Stand up.
TRUMP: Everybody loves him, but I will tell you this. He's very tough.
(APPLAUSE) TRUMP: Today, Prime Minister Modi is the tremendously successful leader of this vast Indian republic. Last year more than 600 million people went to the polls and gave him a landslide victory like no other in the largest Democratic election ever held anywhere on the face of the earth.
TRUMP: Prime Minister Modi, you are not just the pride of Gujarat, you are living proof that with hard work and devotion, Indians can accomplish anything, anything at all, anything they want.
TRUMP: The prime minister has a moving story of an incredible rise. And so, does this entire nation. Your nation is doing so well. We are very, very proud of India.
The story of the Indian nation is a tale of astounding progress, a miracle of democracy, extraordinary diversity and, above all, a strong and noble people. India gives hope to all of humanity.
In just 70 years, India has become an economic giant, the largest democracy ever to exist, and one of the most amazing nations anywhere in the world.
TRUMP: Since the turn of the century, India's economy has grown more than six times in size. In a single decade, India has lifted over 270 million people out of poverty. Under Prime Minister Modi, for the first time in history, every village in India now has access to electricity.
TRUMP: Three hundred twenty million people, more Indians are right now connected to the internet.
TRUMP: The pace of highway construction has more than doubled. Over 70 million more households, think of this, 70 million more households have access to cooking fuel, 600 million more people have access to basic sanitation and incredibly 12 Indian citizens are lifted out of extreme poverty every single minute of every single day.
TRUMP: India will soon be the home of the biggest middle class anywhere in the world, and within less than 10 years, extreme poverty in your country is projected to completely disappear.
(APPLAUSE) TRUMP: The potential for India is absolutely incredible. India's rise as a prosperous and independent nation is an example to every nation all over the world and one of the most outstanding achievements of our century.
It is all the more inspiring because you have done it as a democratic country. You have done it as a peaceful country. You have done it as a tolerant country. And you have done it as a great free country.
TRUMP: There is all the difference in the world between a nation that seeks power through coercion, intimidation and aggression, and a nation that rises by setting its people free and unleashing them to chase their dreams. And that is India.
TRUMP: This is why India's accomplishment over the last 70 years is completely unrivalled no matter where you go. It is your faith in the strength of a free society, your confidence in your own people, your trust in your own citizens, and your respect for the dignity of every person that makes the United States and India such a natural, beautiful, enduring friendship.
TRUMP: While our nations have many differences, they are both defined and propelled by a fundamental truth, the truth that both of us are blessed with divine light and every person is endowed with a sacred soul.
As the great religious teacher Swami Vivekananda once said
TRUMP: -- the moment I stand in reference before every human being -- and she got in him, that moment I am free.
TRUMP: In America and in India, we all know we were born for a higher purpose to reach toward our fullest potential to work toward excellence and perfection and to give all glory to God.
TRUMP: Powered by this spirit, Indians and Americans are always striving to be greater. Our people are always seeking to be better. And so, our nations have become thriving centers of culture and commerce and civilization, giving light and vitality to all of the world.
This is the country that produces nearly 2,000 movies a year from the hub of genius and creativity known as Bollywood.
TRUMP: All over the planet people take great joy and scenes of bhangra music dance, romance, and drama, and classic Indian films like DDLJ and Sholay.
TRUMP: This is the country where your people cheer on some of the world's greatest cricket players from Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli.
TRUMP: The greatest in the world.
This is the country that built the tallest statue on the face of the earth to honor the namesake of this stadium, the great Indian patriot and native of this state Sardar Patel.
TRUMP: India is the country where hundreds of millions of light candles to celebrate the triumph of good over evil at Diwali.
TRUMP: And it's where just days from now, Indians of all faiths will pour out onto the streets to celebrate the beautiful festival of Holi.
TRUMP: India is a country that proudly embraces freedom, liberty, individual rights, the rule of law, and the dignity of every human being. Your nation has always been admired around the earth as the place where millions upon millions of Hindus and Muslims and Sikhs and Jains, Buddhist Christians and Jews worship side by side in harmony.
TRUMP: Where you speak more than 100 languages and come from more than two dozen states, yet you have always stood strong as one great Indian nation.
TRUMP: Your unity is an inspiration to the world. In America we have come to know the splendor of Indian culture personally through the four million Indian-Americans living in the United States as our wonderful friends, colleagues and neighbors, they are truly spectacular people.
Indian-Americans enrich every aspect of our national life. They are titans of business, the biggest, the best, pioneers of science, masters of the art, and innovation of technology like few people have been able to see no matter where you go. Anywhere in this universe. Nearly one in four Indian-Americans trace their roots right here in
TRUMP: Gujarat is a special place.
So, on behalf of the entire American people, thank you, and thank you all for the contributions your culture and traditions have made to my beloved country.
TRUMP: Americans are eager to strengthen these beautiful ties between our two people. This is truly an exciting time in the United States.
Our economy is booming like never before. Our people are prospering, and spirits are soaring. There is tremendous love, tremendous like. We like and we love everybody.
Unemployment has hit historic lows and small business confidence has hit an all-time record high in the history of our country. Our military has been completely rebuilt. It is now stronger than ever before, and we are quickly revitalizing our alliances and friendships all around the world.
We have spent $2.5 trillion on rebuilding our military. It's the most powerful military anywhere in the world by far.
TRUMP: That is why I have come here to India in the spirit of fondness and goodwill, to expand our cherished partnership of incredible power and potential.
The first lady and I have just had a pleasure of visiting Mahatma Gandhi's Ashram a few miles from here where he launched the famous Salt March.
TRUMP: And tomorrow in Delhi, we will lay a wreath, plant a tree at Raj Ghat in honor of this leader who is revered --
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: All right. U.S. President Donald Trump pledging respect and loyalty to India and the Indian people, and then, of course, before that the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, saying that this relationship between India and the United States is greater, closer and deeper than ever before.
Let's go back to our Sam Kiley in Ahmedabad. He is there at the cricket stadium listening in, and what a P.R. job this is for both leaders. Just extraordinary, promoting each other. SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, an
extraordinary speech coming from Donald Trump. He's just wrapping up now. But it could have been an election speech for Narendra Modi outlining the economic miracles that Modi's government of the BJP lays claim to over the last 10 years, of lifting people out of poverty, extending access to electricity, roads, highways.
He listed too many to remember frankly. A huge number of achievements of the Modi government. He continued to insist that this was a profoundly important bond both personally and strategically.
I have to also say, Rosemary, that there may be some few -- anti- personal minds were laid in his speech that he managed to more or less navigate in a form of a large number of very unpronounceable Indian names being named checked with a mix results by Donald Trump.
Not many people can get their tongues around Sachin Tendulkar, the great Indian cricketer, for example. Donald Trump made a pretty good fist of it. But nonetheless, while he's been speaking, I can report that behind the cameras, the numbers of people at the rally now are dwindling as people leave, presumably to get ahead of the crowds as they try to make their way home.
But he is a popular figure here in Gujarat and across the whole subcontinent of India with more than 50 percent of Indians suggesting that they believe he is uniting himself effectively on the world stage.
But this is at the moment, unmistakably a loving with early run the Indian prime minister explaining the term namaste, saying that it was a bowing to -- in respect to the individual, but also in respect to the divinity within the individual, something that he has been at pains to point out as he continues to describe this event as the namaste Trump event, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Both leaders definitely receiving major points on each side as they promote each other. And, of course, the optics of this event just extraordinary as we see 100,000 people there gathered, although they're starting to dwindle out now. Gathered at that cricket stadium as they listened to the stronger, deeper, greater relationship that Narendra Modi speaks of between the United States and India.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Let's take a moment here to listen in to the president of the United States on the stadium -- on the podium.
TRUMP: In the United States we've also made clear that while our country will always welcome newcomers who share our values and love our people, our borders will always be closed to terrorists and terrorism, and to any form of extremism.
That is why we have taken historic steps to improve --
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOWELL: Live pictures in India where the U.S. President Donald Trump is currently speaking in what seems to be like a campaign-style rally, you could describe it. The president there alongside his Indian counterpart, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
I want to talk just a bit more about what is taking place right now to get some context around it. Let's bring in Jacob Parakilas. Jacob, an associate at LSE Ideas, a foreign policy think tank at the London School of Economics. It's good to have you with us.
Jacob, so, you have been able to listen, I'm sure, to a bit of what the U.S. president has had to say here at the podium, also to what Narendra Modi has had to say. What are your takeaways so far?
JACOB PARAKILAS, ASSOCIATE, LSE IDEAS: Well, from Trump it was a very traditional Trump speech. He said some kind words. He made his way through some Indian names as your correspondent said, with mixed success and pronunciation.
He talked about the enduring friendship between the Indian and American people and then moved into the traditional Trump campaign speech talking about how well the economy is doing, saying the U.S. border would always be closed to immigration and so on -- immigration from terrorists and so on and so forth.
The thing that I thought was interesting was his mention of immigration. Because that's an area where his administration is really clamp down not only on immigration from, as he put as terrorists, but also in general, making it more difficult for residents of a variety of countries to come to the U.S.
I think that's one area where the India and U.S. might find themselves at log ahead because he's happy talking notwithstanding, I don't really see, you know, given the direction of travel that his administration has taken on immigration policy.
I don't see it getting easier for Indian citizens to get visas to the United States under a Trump administration. And so that might be a sticking point underneath this (AUDIO GAP) between India and Trump.
HOWELL: Jacob, you pointed out immigration there, the U.S. president speaking about that. And also, Narendra Modi, heard him speaking earlier about the diversity of his nation. Keeping in mind that both of these figures are controversial in their own countries when it comes to those specific issues.
So, what are your takeaways from that, given that this is one of the themes that they're hitting on this very big stage?
PARAKILAS: Well, I think it's a little bit -- I mean, I think for both men it is very much a type of event to reinforce existing (Technical difficulty) actions.
If you're of a mind to think that Modi and Trump represent coming together of two -- probably not a supporter of Modi, probably not a supporter of Trump, if you believe that the two of them are bringing forth a nation (Technical difficulty) I don't think anyone is going to be convinced by this event.
I don't know how it will play Indian politics. In American politics it will probably lead to a fairly favorable (Technical difficulty) or maybe two for Trump. But with everything else that's going on, I don't see it having much of a lasting effect.
HOWELL: Jacob Parakilas giving a perspective there. Jacob, thank you again for your time. And again, for our viewers, you've been watching these live images of the U.S. President Donald Trump in India, alongside the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, both expressing the relationship between these two nations.
CHURCH: Well, countries around the world are scrambling as the novel coronavirus spreads beyond mainland China.
I want to take a look at the latest information we have. And South Korea is reporting a massive jump in cases and raising its crisis alert to the highest level. There are now more than 760 cases with seven deaths. Most are in Daegu and Cheongdo in the country's southeast.
HOWELL: And in the United States officials tell CNN the White House is set to ask Congress for emergency funds to help fight the coronavirus.
In the meantime, Italy has now got the largest number of infections outside of Asia. More than 150 with at least three deaths. Venice is spending its popular carnival to -- suspending, rather, its popular carnival to halt the spread of the virus.
CHURCH: And Iran is also grappling with the outbreak. There are at least 43 cases and 8 deaths there. Countries like Turkey, Iraq, and Afghanistan are closing their borders with Iran in response.
So, let's go to Barbie Nadeau in Rome. She has the latest information on this. So, Barbie, do authorities have there in Italy any leads on how this outbreak started in the north of the country and how difficult it is to track -- or you know, talk to us how difficult it is to track down patient zero. How do they do that and what are they doing to try to do that?
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that is the main concern here, this patient zero, that's the first person who would have inflicted the coronavirus on the first patient in the north of Italy is unidentified. And because the first patient to have the -- to test positive for the virus didn't have any contact with mainland China, had not been there and had only contact with somebody who had been there who did not test positive.
And authorities, without being able to confirm who this patient zero is, they can't really predict the outbreak. They can't understand if this person maybe is traveling throughout the country or whatnot. And that is the biggest concern right now. And containment of the virus in these areas in the north of Italy is a
priority. Ten towns are under lockdown. People can't go out of their homes without risking a three-month jail sentence. And as you mentioned, in Venice they're taking such precautions to contain the virus there. There are two people that tested positive in that city.
You know, we've seen across the country a sort of panic and we've just been able to confirm the fourth death. But it must be, must be noted that the people who have died so far in Italy are all elderly people with preexisting medical conditions. The fourth person who died was an 84-year-old man who had been in the hospital for other reasons, Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right, Barbie Nadeau bringing us the very latest there. A real concern, joining us from Rome. Many thanks.
HOWELL: All right. We want to just wrap you the show by getting the very latest from our Sam Kiley. Sam following this event that's taking place right now in India. Sam?
KILEY: Well, we've seen both two speeches now from -- one from Narendra Modi, the host here in Ahmedabad at the Motera Stadium, which is the world's largest cricket stadium in the world being inaugurated for the first time.
And then Donald Trump, each of them giving well, effectively, been campaign speeches for the other, particularly Donald Trump outlining the successes, the enormous successes, as he would put it, of the Modi government over the last 10 years or so and expanding access to electricity, highways, lifting 12 people a minute out of poverty and so on.
Now for his part, Mr. Modi saying that this was a great deal more than a partnership. That it's going to be an abiding and deepening relationship. Donald Trump adding that he hopes to achieve what he called a good or even great trade deal between the two nations, perhaps starting it in the beginning of negotiations tomorrow.
HOWELL: Sam Kiley live for us following this event. Sam, thank you so much. Again, President Donald Trump and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Certainly, on the podium at this point speaking, you know, talking about this relationship between the two countries.
CHURCH: Yes, enjoying the optics and the public relations for sure.
Thank you so much --
CHURCH: -- for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. Early Start is next.
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