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Dow Plunges as Coronavirus Fears Intensify; Trump Touts His "Calming" Press Conference; CDC Confirms First U.S. Coronavirus Case of "Unknown" Origin; California Officials to Hold Briefing Momentarily; Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) Discusses About The Coronavirus Patient With Unknown Origin; Wash Post: Whistleblower Claims Workers Helped Evacuate Americans Without Proper Coronavirus Training or Gear; Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) is Interviewed About Joe Biden's Presidential Campaign. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 27, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: May he rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, free fall. The Dow plunging nearly 1,200 points about coronavirus. It is the greatest one day point drop in history. This as President Trump tonight pats himself on the back for his 'calming message'.

Plus, the CDC now racing to track down everyone who may have had contact with a woman who mysteriously contracted the deadly virus in California. Now, more than 8,000 people in the state of California are under watch for the virus.

And Charlamagne tha God, star radio host South Carolina native joins me to talk about who he is as of tonight giving a second chance in a big way. The answer is going to surprise you.

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, the coronavirus sending shockwaves through the markets. The Dow today closing down nearly 1,200 points, 1,200 points, that continues what has been market slaughter, deep red over fears the virus could threaten the entire global economy.

In the past four days, the Dow shed more than 11 percent. It is the worst decline since October of 2008, which is in the midst of the Great Recession, trillions of dollars are gone. And President Trump is upset because he thought he had been the voice of calm.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was a very good press conference. And basically it was a calming press conference. It was a conference to say we're doing well.


BURNETT: Well, doing well or not, it certainly was not calming. Maybe because what he said is not what the medical experts are saying.


TRUMP: We have it so well under control. I mean, we really have done a very good job.

DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, FORMER DIRECTOR, U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: It has become clear over the past few days, that a pandemic is inevitable.


BURNETT: It's that kind of contradiction, which is not calming.

Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live outside the White House. So Kaitlan, how upset is President Trump over this market decline? He watches almost nothing more closely than the market?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, it seems to be the primary reason that you've seen the President really try to put on a public face here when it comes to coronavirus and have that press conference yesterday. Because on his way home from Air Force One, he was essentially watching all of the coverage of this and growing frustrated.

We were being told by sources essentially feeling like his administration was being blamed for not doing enough and not being prepared enough. And a lot of that had to do as the President was keeping his eyes on these numbers.

Now, he hadn't been overly concerned about coronavirus until you started seeing on Monday when the Dow closed over 1,000 points down after it plunged there. Something the President later tried to dismiss in India as just a one off.

But then, of course, you've seen this period continue for several days now and the President has tried to blame it on a factor of things, not just the coronavirus. I mean, you saw him in the briefing room yesterday say that he believe part of it might have had to do the latest Democratic debate. Though, of course, that debate happened on Tuesday after the markets had already closed Monday and Tuesday.

But it certainly is the primary factor and what you're seeing is the President's response to this. It's really what drove him to replace Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services Secretary as the leadership of this administration's response and put Vice President Pence in charge. In addition to him going frustrated with him on other fronts. But really, it is the driving factor here.

And Erin, that is primarily because the President knows that the key to his reelection in November is going to be a strong economy. And that is something he touts time and time again at rallies like the one he's having tomorrow and South Carolina is talking to voters about the economy. So you can expect likely more of that messaging coming from the President as this is something that they are trying to keep their eye on. BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much.

And OUTFRONT now, Scott Minerd, Co-Founder and Global Chief Investment Officer at Guggenheim Partners, Dion Rabouin, Markets Editor at Axios and Jim Bianco, Economic Analyst and President of Bianco Research.

So Scott, we talked when it was down nearly a thousand points. Now, we're down significantly from there.


BURNETT: Will this get worse.

MINERD: Yes. I think ultimately, Erin, it will. I mean, I think for the moment, we may have found some near term support to give us some relief. But as the virus continues to spread, it appears that pandemic is inevitable. We've got significant more downside risk for stocks.

DION RABOUIN, MARKETS EDITOR, AXIOS: Goodness. That's not what people want to hear, Scott.

MINERD: I know.

BURNETT: I know. But I mean, I think part of the problem, Jim, is that they've been hearing different things, one thing from the CDC and the NIH, another from the President. What do you think, Jim, for where we go from here?

JIM BIANCO, ECONOMIC ANALYST: Yes, I kind of agree with Scott. I think if we start to see that this becomes a wider spread pandemic and it certainly looks that way, it's going to cause and has been a revaluation in the market. A revaluation of how businesses work, whether or not we're going to see a deglobalization, whether or not we're going to see borders closed, flights canceled, whether or not we're going to see widespread school closings here like we just saw today in Japan.


These are very destabilizing things for an economy and the fear is that we can't stop this from coming here. Fortunately, it hasn't yet, we can hope. But we don't know for sure.

BURNETT: I mean, and Dion, look, you have the President saying he's calming the markets. Almost seemingly confounded by the fact that his words alone do not seem to be calming. But saying it's under control, it's fine and then, of course, you have the CDC saying a pandemic is inevitable.

That contradiction in and of itself, how troubling is that for markets?

RABOUIN: Well, look, the markets and folks at home, regular folks at home, wanted the President to come out and say something reassuring, wanted him to come out and say something that was going to calm everyone's fears, because what's holding this economy up right now is consumer spending. It's folks feeling good about the economy, feeling good about the job market, going out spending money in restaurants, bars and the like.

When you when you have a situation like this, what you need is the President to come out and deliver a message of strength, but also one that people can believe in, one that can get people excited about going out.

BURNETT: It's honest and forthright.

RABOUIN: And it's honest and forthright and that's not what we got. And we had just heard from the CDC before the President spoke. We heard about a new case of coronavirus out in California after he spoke and people had to look at that press conference and say, I don't believe what's going on here.

BURNETT: And that's part of the problem, Scott. I mean, there have been contradiction between what the President has been saying and what the medical experts have been saying. I mean, here's just one example. This is last night on vaccines. Here's the President.


TRUMP: The vaccine is coming along well and I'm speaking to the doctors, we think this is something that we can develop fairly rapidly.


BURNETT: Now, it's not the full inaccuracy of that. It's the implication that that gives to people that there's going to be a vaccine. That means imminent when he says it that way to most people, but that is not what it actually means. Here's the Head of Infectious Diseases for the CDC on the exact same topic of the vaccine.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: At the earliest, an efficacy trial would take an additional six to eight months. So although this is the fastest we have ever gone from a sequence of a virus to a trial, it still would not be any applicable to the epidemic, unless we'd really wait about a year to a year and a half.


BURNETT: So when the President says rapidly in a vaccine, most people hearing it don't think a year to a year and a half away.

MINERD: Right. I think the President is trying to comfort people as much as he can. But it comes off like some of the comments Herbert Hoover made that the stock market was fine. That the economy was basically sound when we were on the brink of the depression.

So there's sort of this credibility gap, I think the President has in this area. And the more other experts come out and talk and the President says things that don't acknowledge how severe the problem is, the bigger the credibility gap gets.

BURNETT: So Jim, at least 2,800 people, we understand, have died globally from the coronavirus and obviously those numbers could be a bit different. There's all kinds of reporting questions now. We don't necessarily even know who had it, but that's the number we have.

The swine flu outbreak which people may have forgotten, but it was in 2009. And there was a study from the CDC that said up to 575,000 people could have died from that. All right, 575,000 people, right now we're looking at 2,800. That was just a few years ago.

When that happened, markets did fall initially, but then a month later up 11 percent, six months later up 40 percent. That was coming off a huge low for the market, I understand that. But could we see a similar bounce back this time?

BIANCO: Only I think if we see that this disease is brought under control and somewhat contained or eradicated. And I just don't mean in the United States, I mean everywhere else. I think what's bothering markets more than just what's happening in United States is every day we get more stories out of Italy, South Korea, Iran, now the rest of Europe as well, too, in Japan that their numbers are growing exponentially in terms of this disease.

The entire planet's got to get a hold of this disease, not just the United States in order for there to be some comfort. We have put together a global supply chain with just in time inventory spread out all over the world. What we did not anticipate was something like this that was just going to stop it in its tracks like it has in China and this is why it's become more of an economic story now than it did during swine flu in 2009 or SARS in 2003 or anything before it.

BURNETT: There wasn't Amazon Prime then and I don't say that lightly. People's view of what stability and comfort and daily life is, which is getting what you want exactly when you order it. It could be an impact.

I mean, Dion, Trump likes to take credit for the market. He views the stock market as a linchpin of his success, frankly, and he says that that is why he should be reelected, because he's the guy who brings the market up. Here he is.


TRUMP: One of the reasons the stock market's gone up so much in the last few days is people think we're doing so well.

After I win the election, I think the stock market is going to boom like it's never boomed before. Just like it did, by the way, after I won the last election.


[19:10:00] BURNETT: This is how he defines himself.

RABOUIN: Yes. No, and look, that is the risk you run, the risk you take when you start putting everything on the stock market. The stock market give it and the stock market take it away. It can be very volatile. And we've seen that, obviously, over the last three days.

We've seen right now what I think looks like the fastest 10 percent correction in the history of the market over just the past six sessions. So this is not something that's a small thing to market, clearly having a very major reaction and it doesn't seem like the President is helping things.

And then you've got the Democrats now, Bernie Sanders and all starting to pile on here, pointing out the flaws in what Trump is doing and that can't be helping things either.

BURNETT: In confidence. Scott, before we go, I know you're on the advisory board for the New York Fed.

MINERD: Right.

BURNETT: Usually they don't call you about things. It's always linked to meetings. Have they called you about this?

MINERD: They called today. And, look, they're gathering information. Chairman Powell, a lot of people don't realize is hosting a conference this weekend with other central bankers from around the world in Europe. There is going to be some kind of a discussion or statement regarding some sort of monetary coordination. That's not something the Fed is telling me. That's just my intuition.

BURNETT: That's your intuition based on what they were asking you.

MINERD: Right.

BURNETT: Which, obviously, would be a very significant for a lot of things. Last time we've had something like that, of course, was the Great Recession.

MINERD: Well, that's right. And the one thing I would say here is in some ways, this is actually, I think worse than the Great Recession. So if the pandemic actually takes hold and we reach numbers of people talking about, perhaps, a billion people infected, it's going to disrupt the economy everywhere in the world.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much.

And next, a woman mysteriously contracting the coronavirus. Now the CDC is on the ground in California and they're trying to locate anyone who may have had contact with her. But her situation is a huge question mark as to whether this is a turning point for the epidemic in the United States.

And a Harvard epidemiologist who predicts up to 70 percent of the world's adults could be become infected with Corona virus is OUTFRONT. He will explain exactly how he comes up with that number and what it means.

And he doesn't hold back when he's interviewing the Democratic candidates. Tonight, radio host Charlamagne tha God weighs in on who he says has the best message for black voters. You'll want to hear this.



BURNETT: Breaking news, California Solano County declaring an emergency due to coronavirus. The CDC now sending nearly a dozen officials to Solano County after a woman mysteriously contracted the virus. It is the first case in the United States with a patient didn't travel anywhere known to have the virus and wasn't exposed to anyone else known to be infected.

So official say that she had been out, doing things for a number of days before she had symptoms such that she went and sought care. The challenge for officials now is how did she get it and tracking down anyone may have had contact with her.

Stephanie Elam is OUTFRONT in Solano County. And Stephanie, what more are you learning?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. So what we do know at this point now, Erin, is that Solano County is taking a step further with a proclamation of local emergency. That's what they're about to have a press conference about shortly here in a few minutes to discuss.

And what that means is that they're going to be working harder to identify anyone who may have come in contact with this person, identifying them and then screening them. And then from there, following up to make sure that they know who may have been exposed to this woman.

We also know that this person first sought care here in Solano County at Vacaville at a hospital there. She was there for three days and when her symptoms got worse, that's when they asked for further treatment for her to be moved to UC Davis in Sacramento, which is about 20 miles away or so. And then the testing that was done because of her worsening condition led them to figure that out.

So here is where things stand in Solano County, anyone who is working or may have come in contact with this woman as she was transferred by ambulance, they are now looking at anyone who came in contact and they now have taken them and have them self-treating, self-monitoring at home to make sure that doesn't spread any further.

The other thing that's notable about this as well, Erin, is that this is also the home of Travis Air Force Base where we know some of those big flights were brought here. They're saying that from China, they're saying that this woman, they have no reason to believe that she came in contact with any of those people who were quarantined there, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Stephanie. This California patient is in Democratic Congressman John Garamendi's

district and he is OUTFRONT now.

And Congressman, look, I know you just spoke to someone who's administrating care to the patient. What did you learn?

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): Well, first of all, this patient is in serious condition and our prayers go out to her and to her family. Beyond that, there is a very serious probability that this virus is in the community and the steps that have been taken by Solano County to try to identify, to try to do the normal public health track down of people that may have been exposed, absolutely essential.

But there's a critical element that is missing in this and this lays it directly on the CDC and that is the testing. This lady was denied testing for at least three days and quite possibly longer than that. And the CDC's protocol prohibited her from being tested because she did not fit their protocol of ...

BURNETT: Having traveled or interacted with someone who had, basically.



GARAMENDI: Now today, testing is not rapidly available in California even though California does have two laboratories that can do very rapid testing. The CDC has refused to certify those laboratories so that they could be used for this process. Beyond that, we do know that testing kits are not readily available. They're very, very limited in supply and there are questions as to their efficacy.

We know that Korea has developed a rapid testing program. They're able to test thousands of people a day. There's a company that can produce 100,000 test kits a day. Those test kits could be in California tomorrow. If the CDC would allow it. It is a major question. All of this work is being done by the public health folks ultimately will require testing of those people that might have been infected.

BURNETT: I know you're pointing out one, there's an issue of their willingness to get the supply, but two, their willingness to test because of fitting the profile.



BURNETT: So on this crucial point, because you just heard Stephanie Elam say this is the county where those flights came in.


BURNETT: But from everything that they understand and then of trace from this particular individual, she had no contact with anyone related to any of those flights. So do you have any information on how this disease was transmitted? How she may have contracted coronavirus?

GARAMENDI: Well, the answer is no. That is what the county is doing now. The public health resources are going around doing the tracking down of individuals that may have come in contact with this person. Whether this person can actually talk or not is a question. She's been incubated and so may not be in a position to discuss it.

Even if they're able to follow who she was with, where they were, the test is essential to understand who and whether those individuals are infected. There's no way, no quick, easy, available way today because of the CDC protocols and the unwillingness of CDC to allow the state of California that does have laboratories that can do this quickly and rapidly to do those laboratory tests.

And beyond that, we really ought to be bringing from Korea test kits that are proven to be working South Korea right now.

BURNETT: Right. Now, look, I hear this and it's like when you talk about the global nature of this crisis, a hundred thousand a day is a lot and I hear you, but there's going to be a need possibly for more than that. Just in California alone, your governor today said 8,400 people just in California are now being monitored for the virus.

Now, I'm just asking you how in the world can you monitor 8,400 people? Never mind getting to the point of testing and what does that mean for how broad this could be in the United States right now?

GARAMENDI: Well, let me stick with this testing for a while.


GARAMENDI: If we have the testing facilities available, we could go to each one of those 8,400 people in probably a day or maybe two days of effort, and we could test whether they are infected. If they're not infected, then we don't need to be continuing to monitor those people, they can go back to work, carry on their normal tasks.

But until we know whether they are or are not affected, they will be quarantined. We know that there was, perhaps, 84 healthcare workers at the facility that are not there today, because they came in some sort of contact with the affected - infected individual. So those people are not being tested, even though they are now been sent home for self-quarantine.

So it's really a situation where the CDC needs to get its act together for whatever reason. We have known, America has known, certainly the CDC has known for two months that this was an epidemic in China, that the effort to contain it in China was not working, that it would be in America. So where, CDC, did you ever come up with a protocol that was restricted to people that only traveled to China?

I mean, come on. This is now around the world and we know that it is in our community. We can deal with this. This is not a time for panic. It's a time for CDC to get up and get its job done. Why they're not doing this is a very, very important question.

BURNETT: All right. Well, sir, I appreciate your time. Congressman Garamendi, thank you.

GARAMENDI: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, a whistleblower says HHS workers who evacuated Americans from the epicenter of the coronavirus and outbreak in China did not have protective gear or proper training. How could that be?

Plus, Joe Biden says he needs to win South Carolina but it's not just a win, it's a big win. How much in order to have the momentum to win Super Tuesday?



BURNETT: Breaking News, The Washington Post reporting tonight that HHS staffers who helped evacuate the first Americans from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China did not have suitable protective gear or proper training. This information is coming from a whistleblower in the department, has filed a complaint.

And in that complaint it says, "Appropriate steps were not taken to quarantine, monitor, or test(the workers) during their deployment and upon their return home." This comes as a top epidemiologist warns that 40 percent to 70 percent of adults around the world could be infected with the coronavirus in the coming year.

OUTFRONT now, the Professor who is making that projection, Marc Lipsitch. He's a Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard, also working with Chinese researchers to fight and study the coronavirus.

And I really appreciate your time, Marc. So I want to just understand you say 40 percent to 70 percent of adults, explain how you got to that number.

MARC LIPSITCH, PROFESSOR OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, HARVARD T.H. CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: I got to that number by a combination of models and (INAUDIBLE) to previous viral infections that we can learn from. So the mathematical models are ways that we use to study the spread of diseases.

And what we need to put into those mathematical models to understand the likely course is mainly something called the basic (INAUDIBLE) called. That number which is estimated somewhere between one and a half and about three and (INAUDIBLE) people for this virus, a big range (INAUDIBLE) our population (INAUDIBLE) before it runs out of (INAUDIBLE) and it does that before (INAUDIBLE) because of the way the dynamics work.


LIPSITCH: So that's one sort of piece of ...

BURNETT: ... yes. So when you say 40 percent to 70 percent with the math that you're doing and I understand that as you track a spread, how does that compare people coming down with the flu? I mean, when people hear that, it's a terrifying headline, frankly. I mean, are you talking about something that is civilization threatening or are you talking about something that you see as more like the flu? Where does this 40 to 70 fall in that spectrum?

LIPSITCH: Yes. So thank you for that question.


The other evidence that -- very broad range is experience with pandemic flu. So, we had three pandemics of the influenza virus in 20th century, 1918, 1957 and 1968, and one in 2009 as well.

And based on those pandemics which had a slightly lower reproductive number than this virus, maybe a little -- maybe considerably lower -- the number of people who got sick with those was in the 25 percent to 35 percent range. And so, by assuming that the infectiousness is a little bit higher and also by accounting for those who are not sick but are just infected or not very sick at all, that's where the 40 percent to 70 percent came to.

So, spread, I think it's a little bit -- we would expect for a flu pandemic. And the severity is also somewhat higher than -- that people alive today have experienced.

So, it's a very serious matter, but it's not civilization-ending as you said in the sense that we think that around 1 to 3 people who get sick with it which is a subset of those who get infected will die. So, it's not even 1 to 3 percent of those 40 percent to 70 (AUDIO GAP) number. And what we don't know is the lower number.

We don't know what proportion of people escape being sick at all and of course they don't present for medical care and they don't -- so it's a very fluid situation. It's certainly something to be very concerned about. It is not civilization ending.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: So, I want to ask you a question. We did ask viewers for questions. One of the ones we received from our viewers was with asymptomatic carriers and long incubation period -- and we know both of those are true. We don't know how long the incubation period. It seems we'd be getting mixed information on that.

Their question is, how can we thwart the spread?

LIPSITCH: The most significant part of the possibility for carriers who transmit, and we know that this is possible, at least pre- symptomatic transmission is possible. We don't know yet how frequent it is, but we suspect (AUDIO GAP).

The implication of that is eventually the methods that are places with small numbers of cases like the United States, follow up every contact and every case. Those methods eventually can't go on. And instead, they -- we have to work on methods that involve stopping the contact with one another.

BURNETT: OK. I'm sorry to jump in. I apologize to our viewers as well. For some reason we're taking some -- it's impossible to understand you on that answer because we're taking so many hits to the transmission. I apologize to you, Doctor, and to our viewers as well.

We are going to take a brief break. When we come back, Joe Biden, how important South Carolina is for him. He has bet everything on South Carolina, everything. And that hasn't left anything over for Super Tuesday.

Plus, Charlamagne Da God, his radio show, a place candidates have gone for interviews, he thought Pete Buttigieg had the best bet for black voters. But that has changed. Who does he think is best? He's my guest.



BURNETT: Tonight, we're just five days away from Super Tuesday where more than half of the delegates are up for grabs in the Democratic primary. Joe Biden is the last to spend money on TV in Super Tuesday states. Why? Because Biden is betting everything on winning South Carolina first.

Arlette Saenz is OUTFRONT.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER (voice-over): After three straight losses, Joe Biden is now banking on a state he's called his firewall.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Are you going to win?

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes! All right. Because South Carolina is the trajectory to winning the Democratic nomination.

SAENZ: The former vice president betting his long-time ties to South Carolina and his African-American community will pay off. A new Monmouth University poll shows Biden with a double digit lead over his rivals here, with the backing of 45 percent of black voters, who made up a majority of the Democratic Party primary electorate in 2016.

TOMI GREENE, BIDEN SUPORTER, SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: He understands people. He's dealt with death. He's dealt with single parenting. You know, he really feels people. And especially what we, as black people, feel at times.

SAENZ: Days before the primary, Biden picking up a key endorsement from Congressman Jim Clyburn who says the former vice president needs to win by a substantial margin.

REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): One point may be a win, but I don't think it's a propeller that we need. I want to see a much bigger victory.

SAENZ: The 77-year-old Biden leaning heavily into a service alongside the nation's first black president.

BIDEN: I was incredibly proud to serve with Barack Obama, incredibly proud to be his friend.

SAENZ: For some undecided voters, that is a huge plus.

LAVONDA GREEN, UNDECIDED SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: A lot of people associate him with Obama, and I think that they believe that he still believe in some of the things that Obama fought for and believed in.

SAENZ: Jaymes McCloud is deciding between Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. He says older voter mace feel safe with Biden, but young voters want a closer look.

JAYMES MCCLOUD, UNDECIDED SOUTH CAROLINA VOTER: We don't know Joe from a can of beans, so, it's not safe for us to walk into this. It's just different, it's just 100 percent different.

SAENZ: After South Carolina, a quick turn to Super Tuesday three days later.

(on camera): A lot of your rivals are spending time on the ground in Super Tuesday states. They're outspending you on the air waves. How do you plan to catch up with them in these three days?

BIDEN: You can't catch up with them with money.


You know, I don't have Steyer's money. I don't have the billion dollars he has or I don't have the money that Bloomberg has. But just since the debate we've raised $2 million online. So, we're in the best run we have. I think if we do well here, we'll be able to compete across the board in terms of the money we need to be able to compete.

SAENZ (voice-over): Biden predicting he could win in states like North Carolina and Texas.

BIDEN: I think, you know, the good news for me is the vast majority of people in those states think they know me. I've been around. They know my record. They know I'm pretty straight with what I tell them I'm going to do. So, I feel good about it.


BURNETT: That was Arlette Saenz reporting from South Carolina.

And OUTFRONT now, Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware. He is a supporter of Joe Biden.

Senator, good to have you back.

Look, we all know Joe Biden needs to win South Carolina. When you ask him what he's going to do if he doesn't win it, his response is: I am winning South Carolina.

The question though, of course, is what Mr. Clyburn raised there, right, where he said one point is not enough. It needs to be a big win. How much does Biden need to win by to get the momentum that he needs,

Senator Coons, for Super Tuesday?

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Well, Erin, I'm optimistic we're going to see a big win by Joe on Saturday. Last night in the CNN town hall, Joe Biden once again showed the heart, the character, the leadership.

There was some particularly powerful moment where he connected with an Episcopal priest whose wife was murdered at the AME Church in Charleston. He spoke to his leadership record on combating the pandemic of Ebola as part of the Obama/Biden administration. He spoke to how to take on the NRA and won in terms of combating the epidemic of gun violence in our country. But more than anything, he anchored that town hall with his heart.

So, I think he will win, and I think he will win in a way that will catapult him to a bigger win in Super Tuesday across a half dozen states.

Congressman Clyburn's endorsement is a big deal.


COONS: And I think Joe Biden's recovery which began in Nevada is going to strengthen with a significant win in South Carolina on Saturday.

BURNETT: So, he talks about the $2 million he raised since the campaign, right? I mean, I'm sorry, since the debate -- but campaigns also, you know, they end when you run out of money, right? That's how it goes, if not before. But that's when they end.

Right now, you know, Biden is very open about it, massively outspent by his opponents on advertising in Super Tuesday states. He hasn't spent a single dollar in the biggest prize -- California.

He says, well, people know who I am. Do you worry that he has the resources he needs to compete?

COONS: Well, let's be clear, Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, is spending hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars introducing himself to people around the country. Bernie Sanders is spending significantly to promote his vision and his priorities.

Between those three who I think are the main candidates at this point, Joe Biden is the Democrat. He's someone who has the former vice president for eight years, is well and widely known. I think his record, I think his ideas, and I think his ability to deliver results for America's middle class and to actually put forward plans that can be achieved is what's going to make him a successful candidate on Tuesday.

Of course, I wish he had more financial resources. I hope that folks who are looking at this field will ask themselves a question: in Nevada and in South Carolina, you have an electorate that looks like America, that's diverse. If you cannot win, if you cannot have a significant showing among the African-American and Latino populations of these two states, how could you win the Democratic nomination?

BURNETT: A quick final question to you, right? This could end up a very splintered process, right, where the person with the most delegates doesn't have the majority of delegates. And, in part, that may be because people don't get out early.

Do you think that people should start thinking about getting out now?

I mean, Elizabeth Warren says she's in until the end. Michael Bloomberg says he's in until the end no matter what.

Is that a problem?

COONS: I do think that candidates should be asking themselves, how do I have a path to winning? And my hope, my expectation is that some of the folks whose polling is already showing them getting less than double digits, they need to -- they need to make some hard choices in the best interest of the country.

BURNETT: All right. I appreciate your time. Senator, thank you very much as always.

COONS: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, Trump's campaign trying to court black voters by reportedly selling hats and shirts with the word "Woke". Radio host Charlamagne Tha God learns about that on his show and responds.

Plus, Elizabeth Warren shocks Stephen Colbert when it comes to her drink of choice.




BURNETT: The Democratic presidential candidates blanketing South Carolina just two days away from that crucial primary, trying to appeal to the key demographic of black voters who made up 60 percent of the vote in the 2016 Democratic primary.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The African- American, Latino, Native American communities that have been hit the hardest by the war on drugs.

BIDEN: The African-American community, the most loyal support that exists in the Democratic Party.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The next generation of African-American doctors, nurses, and researchers need to be supported. TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe that we are very

far from racial justice in the United States of America.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT now, Charlamagne Tha God, host of the radio show "The Breakfast Club." He's been interviewing the candidates on the show, also a South Carolina native.

And you've been spending a lot of time down there.


BURNETT: OK. So, recently, when you and I spoke, you were talking about mayor Pete and you were saying sure he hadn't been showing the numbers yet in the black community, but you felt he had the best agenda. You were pointing people out to his agenda.

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Yes, I do like the Douglass plan. That has since changed. I like the Greenwood Initiative that Mayor Bloomberg is presenting as far as black Africans, but I still like the Douglass Plan though.

BURNETT: OK. But then let's -- obviously, Bloomberg is not on the ballot there, but do you now think -- I mean, originally, you've been saying, you are moving towards Mayor Pete. Is that changing too?


CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: I wasn't moving toward Mayor Pete. I never fully endorsed Mayor Pete.


CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: But I think Mayor Pete stands as good a chance as anybody in South Carolina. You know, I do think that this week, I think he spent too much time attacking Bernie, especially on the debate stage, as opposed to telling America and telling South Carolinians why they should go out and vote for him. I think a lot of them on that stage did that, not just Mayor Pete, though.

BURNETT: So talk to me about Bloomberg, because obviously he's come under immense criticism for stop and frisk, and whether he intended that as a racist policy and his response to that. Why is it that you think he has the best agenda then for African Americans?

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: I mean, listen, all criticism is deserving. You know, I give him criticism when it comes to things like the stop-and- frisk policy, there are still people being affected by that today. So, you know, you always have to hold him accountable for that. But I'm just going off the fact that I'm voting for my interests in 2020. My interest is black people.

So, when I look at the Greenwood Initiative, you know, he wants to create 100,000 new black-owned business, and he wants a million new black homeowners, and he wants to put a $70 billion into the poorest and most disenfranchised neighborhoods in the country. I have to look at that as a black man and say, you know what, that would be good for our people.

Now, do I trust he is going to do it? I don't know. But I just like the actual initiative, because I'm voting my interest, and that's it. And I'm not one of the black people that Mayor Bloomberg bought off, by the way. I'm just speaking from the fact.

BURNETT: Well, you're speaking -- you're looking at the policy and that's what you see.


BURNETT: So, Congressman James Clyburn, of course, has been the most powerful endorsement in South Carolina Democratic politics --


BURNETT: -- for a long time.

You know, he gave an emotional endorsement of his long-time friend Joe Biden. It wasn't a surprise to anybody that he did it. But he did it in a very meaningful way.

Here is part of what he said.


REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): As I stand before you today, I am fearful for the future of this country. No one more committed to the fundamental principles that make this country what it is, than my good friend, my late wife's great friend, Joe Biden.


BURNETT: I mean, you know, it gives you goose bumps to hear it. It's obviously very heartfelt.

How much will that endorsement matter?

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Oh, it's going to matter a lot in South Carolina. I love O.J. Clyburn. You know, his wife is from my hometown, Emily Clyburn.

But I just don't understand the hype behind Joe Biden. You know, to quote Tupac, when I see Joe Biden, I mean, you really ain't without your homeboy, because without Barack Obama, I don't see where all the hype is about Joe Biden.

They talk about him being the most electable candidate, and he is the only person that can beat Trump. How? He hasn't even proven he can beat Bernie Sanders in a primary yet. So, what makes them think he could beat Donald Trump?

I'm just -- I know a lot of older voters in South Carolina are probably going to vote for Joe Biden. But I would hope that a lot of the younger voters in South Carolina, a lot of those new registered voters decide to turn out on Saturday as well and maybe shake things up a little bit.

BURNETT: So President Trump is ruling out, you know, community centers in 15 major cities to engage with black voters. He has identified this group as a crucial group for him. He touts the African-American unemployment rate. They're going sell hats and sweatshirts embroidered according to "Politico" with the word "woke".

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: Oh, good, first of all, I hate the word "woke". I think those folks need some sleep because they're still tired. They just need some rest because they just, they say anything and always mouthing off for no reason.

BURNETT: Will that get any traction? President Trump?

CHARLAMAGNE THA GOD: I don't know, because that's such pandering. To label things with the word "woke." but everybody is pandering. I see Bernie Sanders on stage with Public Enemy. Everybody is doing their own little version of pandering.

I just really hate the word woke. The word woke turns me off. As soon as I see the word woke, I'm going sleep. I need rest from the word woke.

BURNETT: I love seeing you, Charlamagne. Thank you.


BURNETT: Charlamagne tha God, thanks.

And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne on Elizabeth Warren's introduction to Charleston cuisine.



BURNETT: Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Stephen Colbert evidently wasn't familiar with Elizabeth Warren's favorite adult beverage.

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: Let's have two bourbon and whatever the senator wants.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'll try one of what he's having.

MOOS: The two slurped oysters and battled over ribs. But when they transferred to the bar --

COLBERT: What do you drink? What's your poison? WARREN: Michelob Ultra.

COLBERT: Michelob Ultra?

MOOS: Uh-oh.

COLBERT: Cheers!

WARREN: Cheers!

MOOS: Don't do it, Senator. Remember what happened the last time?

WARREN: Hold on a sec, I'm going to get me a beer.

MOOS: The infamous beer in the kitchen video that Warren Instagramed back when she was announced she was exploring a presidential run.

WARREN: You want a beer?

BRUCE MANN, SEN. WARREN'S HUSBAND: I'll pass on a beer for now.

WARREN: So this is my sweetie.

MANN: Hello.

WARREN: He's the best.

MOOS: Not the best was the reaction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is one of the top five cringe-worthy moments.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just obvious she is inauthentic in everything she does.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It seemed very authentic to me.

MOOS: President Trump called it her beer catastrophe. Don Jr. tweeted wow, so woke and genuine. She really is one of us, said no one ever.

But Senator Warren stuck by her low call, low-key Michelob Ultra. Go ahead, Fox News. Use it as an excuse to recommend bolder tasting craft beers.

Senator Warren calls Michelob Ultra --

WARREN: The club soda of beers.

MOOS: Her website now sells four-back can Koozies, including one that place off the senator's slogan.

WARREN: And I've got a plan for that.

MOOS: Warren has a can for that.

Her fans treasure photo, even blurry ones of the senator sipping her beloved Michelob Ultra.

Colbert may make jokes.

COLBERT: Why is Michelob Ultra like making love in a canoe?


COLBERT: Because they're both so (EXPLETIVE DELETED) close to water.

MOOS: But it allowed us to get so ultra close to a candidate we could hear her gulp. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: Thanks for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.