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Pelosi: Trump's Response to Coronavirus "Chaotic" & Congress Close to Bipartisan Funding Deal; CDC Considers Expanding Airport Health Screenings; Nicolo Vezzoso, of Milan, Describes Living Near Red Zone in Italy During Coronavirus Outbreak; News Bipartisan Bill Broadens Meaning of "Service"; Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) Discusses their Support of Bipartisan Bill that Broadens Meaning of "Service". Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired February 27, 2020 - 13:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: The president has been trying to take a bit of a victory lap over the handling of the coronavirus. Democrats are not allowing that.

Leaders are questioning what they call his "chaotic response" to the outbreak that has now reached the U.S. They say his funding proposals fall short, and he is more worried about politics than public health.

Lauren Fox is on Capitol Hill.

Lauren, tell us what you're hearing there.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Basically, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, has made it very clear she's been frustrated with the president in terms of his response.

And part of that is the fact that Republicans, and I will tell you Democrats as well, feel a real disconnect from what they're hearing from public health officials in the CDC and HHS and what they're hearing from President Trump on the podium.

Basically, their concern is he cares a little bit more about what the markets are doing than he cares about preparing the public for what they could experience here in the U.S.

Here's what Nancy Pelosi had to say earlier today.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Unfortunately, up until now, the Trump administration has made a chaotic response to this outbreak. We're coming close to a bipartisan agreement in the Congress with how we can go forward with the numbers.

That is a good start but we don't know how much we will need. Hopefully, not so much more because prevention will work. (END VIDEO CLIP)

FOX: And, of course, a bright spot, Brianna, has been the fact that appropriators, Republicans and Democrats, are working hard behind the scenes. They're having conversations with HHS about what they should do on the ground, whether it comes to developing a vaccine, whether it comes to reallocating money to local governments as they deal with the coronavirus. Those conversations are going well I'm told.

The number they're aiming for will not be the 8.5 billion that Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, has suggested. It also will not fall to $2.5 billion that the Trump administration had suggested. But it will fall somewhere in-between And I'm told the conversations are ongoing and will continue through the weekend -- Brianna?

KEILAR: All right, we'll be looking for the results of that.

Lauren Fox, thank you.

Right now, airports in the U.S. are screening only passengers who are flying in and out of China. But now after this first confirmed report of a person contracting the virus without travel linked to an infected area, these screening rules could change.

We have CNN correspondent, Martin Savidge, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Martin, give us a sense of the changes we're talking about what this is going to mean for travelers.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now, we should stress there's only one country to which passengers are either being screened or they're travelers. As you just said, it was China.

There is talk that perhaps the list could be expanded. And the impact for international travel could be significant. There were talk and questions asked of the president last night about expanding that medical check list to include to South Korea and Italy, and they said they're thinking about it but, as of yet, that's not going to happen.


In fact, the CDC is still only monitoring passengers from China.

Let's talk about what happened. This airport here is one of 11 national ports of entry where the medical screenings takes place. When a passenger arrives, they are checked with a thermometer. They are also checked to see if they exhibit any symptoms of the coronavirus. If they pass that, then they're allowed to move on.

There's a travel restriction. If you're a foreign national and you've been in China the last few weeks and you're attempting to come to the U.S., you will be denied entry.

But if you're an American resident or citizen, you will be allowed to proceed if you pass those checks. It's possible you could be asked to self-quarantine, but that's on a

case-by-case basis.

So right now, the impact is only one country. Some say the checks could expand. If it did, the impact on the travel industry and for all of us would be huge -- Brianna?

KEILAR: It would be gigantic. And on the economy as well.

Martin Savidge, thank you so much.

Empty schools, shops, empty streets. What it's like in or near a red zone during the coronavirus outbreak. I'll be speaking live to someone in Italy who is very close to one.

Plus, Joe Biden's emotional answer on losing a loved one and what his son's dying wishes were.



KEILAR: Iran is also dealing with a coronavirus outbreak and this includes government officials. Iran says its vice president of women and family affairs has tested positive for the virus. And her positive result comes just hours after she attended a cabinet meeting on Wednesday where she sat feet away from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Because of this exposure, everyone that was at that cabinet meeting is being tested and Iran say it will announce the results this weekend.

But even before this newest case, Iran's health minister had already tested positive. His results came one day after he was seen profusely sweating. You see him dabbing his face at a news conference about the virus.

There's two members of parliament who have also been diagnosed with the virus. And a top Iranian cleric has died.

There are now more than 82,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world. There's nearly 3,000 people in mainland China who have died from it.

In Europe, 11 countries have confirmed cases of coronavirus, some of which trace back to an outbreak in Italy's northern region where there are more than 500 confirmed cases.

My next guest, Nicolo Vezzoso, joins us from Milan.

Nicolo, just give people some perspective here, you are outside Italy's red zone, outside Milan where outbreaks -- this is an area where it is the worst. So you are outside of that, but daily life has certainly been clearly affected for you.

Tell us about what you are dealing with as your sort of red zone neighbors have a 14-day quarantine and things that are obviously more extreme. What are you dealing with?


First of all, I would like to send a positive message. I live in the center of Milan, so the red zone is around 40 miles out. What I have to say is that the government has been taking some precautions, precaution measures to make sure that we don't have a huge contagion as well in the Milan area.

Obviously, we're going through some restrictions. So in my area, we don't have, you know, very significant ones in the sense that at this moment. They've been closing some bars, pubs and movie theaters and theaters in general.

What also the government is trying to do is to sort of avoid having people gather in places where it's quite crowded, so to make sure the contagion doesn't get worse. So --

KEILAR: We're seeing pictures of places outside of Milan where normally you would expect more people to be gathered. Is it strange to see the streets emptier than they are?

And give us a sense of how worried are you at this point in time and if you feel like -- yes, just how worried are you at this point in time?

VEZZOSO: I think the people here in Milan are a little bit worried in the sense that, obviously, we follow the news and try to see how the situation is evolving.

But in the end, you see people walking in the streets. It's not like Milan is a ghost town. Not at all. People are trying to live almost as normal.

Also we're changing a little our behaviors. You don't see a lot of people using public transportation. You see people wearing masks. You see these sorts of things.

But I would say, in general, we feel like, obviously, this is going to be -- we have some restrictions, and they will be temporary. We just have to go through this period of time.


But no one -- you don't see, like, any sort of panic around. Everyone is -- I mean, we also have to think about the fact that, in general, we know that the people with the virus, we're talking about less than .01 percent of the population that is currently in quarantine.

So we're not talking about huge numbers, so people are worried but no one is panicking.

And now, as we get here, we know that the government and all the doctors are trying to take care of the situation here in the north of Italy. We're slowly trying to adapt to these new situations. So, for example, this weekend -- last weekend, many sports events, for

example, were canceled. Right now, many gyms are closed as well. And companies are asking employees to work from home if they can.

So this is sort of a new situation for us, and we're trying to adjust to it.


VEZZOSO: But I would say that really there's no -- nothing to really panic. People are worried, obviously, but we hoped we would get back to a regular and normal situation.

KEILAR: As you said, worried but not panicking.


KEILAR: Nicolo Vezzoso, thank you, joining s from Milan.

VEZZOSO: Thank you.

And we have some new details on the deadly shooting inside a plant in Wisconsin. What we know about the moments that lead up to this attack.

Plus, teachers and children among those killed during airstrikes on nearly a dozen schools and a hospital in Syria. CNN reports, ahead.



KEILAR: It is a divisive time in American politics, but there are four lawmakers who have crossed party lines to get Americans out of their homes and into their communities. They have introduced a bill that would provide in-state tuition for AmeriCorps. volunteers, their spouses and their children, and an opportunity that is already offered to military families.

The proposal also offers hiring incentives for those willing to serve, the military, yes, but it also means the government, philanthropic and faith-based groups as well.

Let's bring in two of these four members of Congress to talk about this legislation. We have Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, an Air Force veteran, who worked through Teach for America, and Congressman Michael Waltz, who is a combat decorated Marine Green Beret, the first Green Beret in Congress.

Thank you so much to both of you for coming on to talk about this.

You clearly, as you broaden this idea of service here beyond the military, beyond military service, are stressing that there isn't enough service. And I wonder why you think that is a problem that you want to change.

Congressman Waltz, to you first. REP. MICHAEL WALTZ (R-FL): Well, look, I think there's all kinds of goodness that came from previous generations that came from the draft. This bill does not propose to make it mandatory. We're incentivizing it in ways that you laid out, Brianna.

But what did young people learn in the past? They learned leadership, powership (ph), teamwork, discipline. And importantly, it helped us see past our differences in that you brought together all aspects of American society, whether you were from the inner city or a farm in Indiana or a Jewish kid from Brooklyn. You didn't see race, religion, creed. You certainly don't in the foxhole.

How do we broaden that to where, whether you're serving in national parks or in inner-city tutoring to get back to that goodness that we had in previous generations?

KEILAR: Congresswoman Houlahan, it's so interesting to hear from you on this because you have served in the military and also in other ways.

REP. CHRISSY HOULAHAN (D-PA): I think service comes in all forms, and it couldn't be more important right now where our nation really needs some healing and to be brought together that we recognize that military service is not the only way to help people.

And I did serve through Teach for America. I was a chemistry teacher. And my analogy is that molecules need to collide in order to react with one another. Right now, we're not colliding with each other at all in our society. We're largely sitting on our couches in our cyber bubbles, and we're not able to see that everybody is really genuinely pretty much the same. And we all need to be more mission focused rather than divisive in our politics.


KEILAR: And Congresswoman --


KEILAR: Yes --


WALTZ: If I could just add to that, this really came home to me when a veteran that I became very close with, an older veteran, coming from the segregated south, told me that the first African-American, the first black man he ever spoke to in his life was his bunk mate in the Navy, right? And then they became lifelong friends.

Again, it's that forcing function in our society that we've gotten away from now that we've moved away from the draft. I don't think we should go back to that. But how do we incentivize all Americans to come together?

HOULAHAN: It's also not just good for the individual. I think I'm a much better person. And I'm a much better servant because I grew up in a military and served and served again in Teach for America and now I serve in Congress.

The multiplying effect of that individual person of service, but the other lives they touch as they reach out to their communities, is impactful for the nation at large.

KEILAR: I agree with you on that. I am part of a military family myself. I am a better citizen and a better journalist because of being part of that.

We appreciate you both for coming on to talk about this. Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, Congressman Michael Waltz, thank you, guys.

WALTZ: Thank you so much. HOULAHAN: Thank you for having us.

KEILAR: If you have a comment or a story idea for "Home Front,' please e-mail them to me at That is my column on CNN where we talk about military families and military issues.

The Dow is falling again over coronavirus fears as markets are on track for their worst week since the financial crisis.


After Bernie Sanders refused to release his full medical records despite recently having a heart attack, Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, released new information about his heart. We have that ahead.



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being here.