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AT THIS HOUR
2,000 Dead, 80,000-Plus Coronavirus Cases Around World; Trump: Coronavirus to Disappear One Day, Like Miracle; WHO Warns Coronavirus Has Reached "Decisive Point," Has Potential to Become Pandemic; Concerns Over Summer Olympics after Japan Hard Hit with Coronavirus; Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Johns Hopkins' Dr. Amesh Adalja Discuss Global Coronavirus, Preparedness & Answer Viewers' Questions; Market on Track for Worst Week Since 2008 Financial Crisis over Coronavirus; Moody's V.P., William Foster, Discusses Coronavirus Impact on Markets; NYC Health Commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, Discusses the Coronavirus & City Preparedness. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired February 28, 2020 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan. Thank you so much for joining me.
The coronavirus outbreak has now reached every continent except for Antarctica at this point. More than 83,000 people in 57 countries. The total number of cases here in the United States is still at 60. But there are new concerns that cases are being underreported.
In California, dozens of health workers are being monitored after being exposed it a coronavirus patient who is in serious condition right now.
And in a new twist, an employee at the Department of Health and Human Services has filed a whistleblower complaint, claiming more than a dozen federal workers interacted with quarantined Americans without proper training or protective equipment.
For the first time, the FDA reports a drug shortage related to the coronavirus.
On Wall Street, which is another part of the story, the markets plunging once again after the Dow sank yesterday by nearly 1200 points. You see where things are standing right now. Keeping a close eye on that.
And with all of this, President Trump is still predicting a rosy outcome.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is going to disappear, one day. It is like a miracle, it will disappear. And from our shores, it could get worse before it gets better. Could maybe go away. We'll see what happens. Nobody really knows.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Let's get to the scope and scale of this crisis right now. CNN's Clarissa Ward is joining me from London.
Clarissa, so good to see you.
The situation with this virus has changed really rapidly in the past week. What are you seeing? Bring folks up to speed on how this is looking globally.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Basically, Kate, every day we see new developments, new countries coming forward in the last 24 hours, six countries now adding to that list saying that they have their first confirmed cases of coronavirus.
We also just heard from the World Health Organization saying that they now put the assessment of the risk of spread at very high on a global level.
And let me just say, Kate, there are very few places that this stage that are unaffected.
I want to start in South Korea, because outside of mainland China, that's the most serious case we're seeing. More than 2,300 people affected. Authorities trying to home in on some 3,000 members of an obscure religious group who, so far, have been evading police attempts to get them tested for the coronavirus.
More broadly speaking, though, churches across the country are saying that they will not hold any religious services on Sunday to try to prevent the spread further.
We know that five million masks are being issued daily. People are being offered subsidies to undergo their own sort of self-imposed quarantine.
Moving away from Asia, into the Middle East, we are now seeing things getting increasingly bad in Iran, with more than 30 deaths reported. And a suspicion among many health experts that there are way more cases than are actually being reported by the government.
The government did take a very rare measure today, Kate, which was to cancel Friday prayers in major cities. Some schools have also been closed. Also hookah pipes, popular with young people, are not being smoked in cafes. Things of this nature.
Saudi Arabia as well taking a very -- a historic measure, saying that they are basically canceling pilgrims traveling to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Of course, it will be the hajj later on this summer. It remains to be seen whether or not that will be lifted -- Kate? BOLDUAN: It is quite a perspective of how things are looking now.
Clarissa, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Another country, one of the countries who also has been hit hardest by the coronavirus is Japan. With more than 900 cases, including the roughly 700 from the "Diamond Princess" cruise ship. The prime minister is asking all public schools be closed for a month there. That would be starting next week.
And there are also real concerns about what this all means for the Summer Olympics that are on schedule in Tokyo.
CNN's Blake Essig is live in Tokyo looking at all of this.
Blake, how are things looking there?
BLAKE ESSIG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, I'm standing just a few hundred yards away from Japan's new national stadium, the site where, in less than five months, the opening ceremonies will be held.
But Japan's response to the coronavirus has recently come under scrutiny. And with it, the question of whether these games will take place.
ESSIG: In Japan's very first attempt at taking on the novel coronavirus, government advisers admit they got it wrong. The quarantine on board the "Diamond Princess" cruise ship was flawed from the very beginning.
(on camera): Should the crew members have continued to work? Is it fair to have continued to expose them to potentially contract this virus?
DR. NORJO CHIMACARI (ph), JAPANESE GOVERNMENT ADVISER: Strictly scientifically speaking, what needed was total isolation for the crew members. All the members.
ESSIG (voice-over): But the crew continued to work. The infections kept climbing.
Now as they disembark, the attention turns to prevention on dry land.
Sunday's Tokyo marathon will only allow elite runners.
ESSIG: Normally, crowded baseball games will be played in empty stadiums. Rugby soccer matches all postponed. Schools nationwide asked to close on Monday to contain the spread. Japan seeks to reassure the world their Olympic teams continue to
GAKU HASHIMOTO, JAPANESE VICE MINISTER OF HEALTH: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
ESSIG: "It is important for us to have visitors feel safe and enjoy Japan while here," the vice minister of health says, "so this is a top priority for us."
ESSIG: The Japanese officials say the idea of canceling or delaying the games is just speculation.
IOC member, Dick Pound, says all options are being considered.
DICK POUND, IOC MEMBER: If the games are canceled and that's a big if at this point, it is going to be a complicated decision. My guess is that it would take more than simply a decision by the IOC and the Tokyo authorities. It would be governments and international agencies saying it is not safe to hold the games and we're a long way from that.
ESSIG: Amid fears the outbreak will turn into a global pandemic, there's only so much Japan can control.
ESSIG: Earlier this week, Pound said they're considering the option of postponing the games until 2021.
And, Kate, also, we just recently learned that the governor of Hokkaido, as a result of the spread of the coronavirus, has declared a state of emergency.
BOLDUAN: Not over, that's for sure.
Blake, thank you so much. I appreciate it.
The World Health Organization is warning now that the coronavirus has in their view reached a, quote, unquote, "decisive point" and has the potential to become a pandemic.
So for more on this, let me bring in CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and also Dr. Amesh Adalja. He is the senior scholar at Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security.
Thank you both for being here.
Sanjay, globally, laid out the specifics in almost country by country what things are looking at. Can you put in perspective, where are we now with this virus globally? DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We're seeing more
cases every day, as Clarissa was talking about, these new cases that were identified today. The World Health Organization says they have been able to connect them in some way, all of them, these new cases to that cluster in Italy.
But, you know, it is tough to get a true sense of this. You know, if there are people who are infected with this virus, but not having symptoms or having minimal symptoms, they may not get counted.
Overall, the number -- the official number is around 83,000 people. There has been around 2800 people who have died from this, most of the deaths in China.
The map you saw there for a second there, Kate, the significance of that map is there are several countries around the world where this does appear to be spreading within communities. It's another map, which we have. But there's several countries around the world where this does seem to be spreading in communities. There it is.
And that likely sounds like it is happening in the United States as well.
You've talked about this, we have been talking about it for a couple of days, the significance of this woman in California, sort of represents that.
If she got this infection by being out in the community, that means she got it from somebody else who doesn't know that they have it and that means the virus is there.
Not surprising, given that this is a -- it is a respiratory virus. This is the way that it spreads.
So that's sort of a global picture, but it is really this community spread.
Just one more thing, Kate, World Health Organization says every country in the world should expect cases. That came out of today's briefing. They should expect cases. They should learn how to treat the symptoms of these cases and make sure folks are identified, isolated, and their contacts are identified as well. That's the plan still.
BOLDUAN: Dr. Adalja, coming to that point, the initial strategy seemed to be from governments was, at the beginning, was containment. And I've seen that you say this thing was never going to be contained even from the beginning. If that's the case, what should the strategy and goal be now?
DR. AMESH ADALJA, SENIOR SCHOLAR, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: The strategy should be mitigation. We need to prepare our hospitals to deal with the surge of patients that they're going to receive. Most of those will be mild cases. But they're going to be some severe cases. So hospitals have to have
infection control protocols, protocols for how they manage their ICUs, protocols for how to manage their emergency department, look at their supply chains.
We also need to ramp up diagnostic testing in the United States. That's a problem. We aren't able to test enough people. We need to scale up vaccine development and also antiviral clinical trials and public health communications.
There's lots of tasks we need to spend our scarce public health resources.
BOLDUAN: And, Sanjay, exactly what Dr. Adalja is saying, the testing. South Korea is reporting they're testing something like 5,000 people a day.
GUPTA: That's right.
BOLDUAN: In the United States, they're testing a few hundred people a day. Does that make sense?
GUPTA: Not really. And I'll tell you, this has been something -- not even a few hundred a day. It is probably been under a thousand over several weeks that have been tested in the United States.
Part of it -- part of the concern has been that the criteria, which you can see there up until yesterday, has been too stringent. You had to have had travel from a particular area of the world, have certain symptoms or known contact with someone who is infected.
Problem is that, you know, that's not really surveillance. You know, one of the primary pillars of public health is to understand what you're dealing with, and that is done through surveillance.
So I think that the concern is, and I think this is what you're -- the point you're making, is we don't have a full picture of how widespread this is in the United States.
Now, look, I mean, that sounds scary, and I can understand, but it means there are a lot of people out there who may have been infected but may not be any symptoms or mild symptoms so they're not getting tested, they don't have any reason to believe they have coronavirus.
But I think this is probably more widespread than we think. There's only, I think, in total 11 places in the country right now where you can get tested. Seven public health facilities, three DOD facilities and the CDC.
GUPTA: I get calls all the time. I've got calls waiting for this live shot, Kate, people who say, I just came back from Italy, I just came back from Korea, I don't feel well, I went to the doctor, I'm worried about this, they say, well, you can't get tested right now.
GUPTA: So they're going to scale up, as the doctor was just saying, by the end of next week --
BOLDUAN: That's great. But on the most basic level, you can't count if you don't know, right?
GUPTA: That's right.
BOLDUAN: Like the former Ebola czar said to Jake Tapper yesterday, Ron Klain, he said, if you don't test, you don't know how widespread it is.
That's not to scare people. It is simply, you need to know what you need to know in order to actually mitigate this as we're talking about.
I want to get to, you're getting phone calls, a lot of phone calls. I know, we have been getting thousands of questions from viewers. I want to run through a couple of them with you both as we continue to try to do this as much as we can.
One that we have been getting a lot is, can the virus, because the -- most hard hit is China. Could the virus be transmitted via mailed products from China?
Sanjay, there's -- maybe a lot of this is unknown thing, but what are you hearing or think?
GUPTA: Unknown is probably right. But I think the likelihood of this is very, very low. These viruses can live on surfaces. Different temperatures, different humidity, there's different things that affect it.
The idea of the virus living on a cardboard box, for example, being shipped in the mail, and someone getting it, I don't think that's ever happened, and I just don't think that's a source of worry for people.
BOLDUAN: So, Dr. Adalja, one of the suggestions is get back to the basics, which is washing your hands and wearing them for longer than you think you should be washing your hands, as we tell our children all the time.
But this was a question we were also getting from a lot of folks, which is, how long should I be wiping down surfaces. Is one swipe enough? And what would you recommend for cleaning surfaces? Is it soap and water, alcohol, something else?
Again, there's a lot not known about this virus but, Doctor, what would you suggest?
ADALJA: We know a lot about coronavirus in general. Remember, they're part of a group of viruses, the family, they cause 25 percent of our common cold. All those household products that you wipe down during winter respiratory virus season, that's going to work very similarly.
This isn't a hardy virus. It has an envelope around it. It's not something that sticks around like those cruise ship viruses, the norovirus. You can clean it with a lot of the normal standard household products, and soap and water will work, all of that type of stuff should work.
People shouldn't be panicked too much about this because it is from the same family that causes the common cold.
BOLDUAN: Even when we have these -- these are simple and important questions, I really -- it does bring some comfort hearing you both weigh in on this.
Thank you guys both so much. I appreciate it.
GUPTA: You've got it. Thank you, Kate.
BOLDUAN: Coming up, stocks are on pace for worst week since the 2008 financial crisis in the face of all of this. What is driving it? What is behind it? And where does it go from here? As the spread of the virus as we now know is expected to get worse before it gets better. We'll go live to the New York Stock Exchange. That's next.
BOLDUAN: The markets are plummeting once again over the coronavirus and fears of the coronavirus. Right now, the Dow is down 788 points. This is the seventh day of the same picture with the index yesterday suffering its worst single day point drop in history.
CNN's Julia Chatterley is at the New York Stock Exchange.
Julia, help everyone understand what is happening today.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: I'll do my best, Kate. Great to be with you.
Uncertainty, that's what's continuing to drive what we're seeing in these markets. And it is a global story. I can show you the United States, markets here further into correction territory. So more than it 12 percent down from recent highs.
It is the speed of the shift we have seen. A week ago, as we have been saying all week, we were talking record highs, now we're talking about correction. That's what is jarring global investors.
Europe, also having another tough session. They're also in correction territory.
I think the big question here is, what is going to hold us in here. At some point, we'll say, look, we moved too far, we've priced in the coronavirus risks and investors watch it spread around the world. But it is tough to get the feel that we're at that point now when we have a lack of information.
People that I speak to here are saying, look, the conversation is evolving to action, leadership. We need to hear more from the White House. We need to hear perhaps stuff from central banks here. Does the Federal Reserve, Jay Powell, come out this weekend and say, look, we stand ready?
I think for people watching the screens, watching the red, context here is important. You and I were talking about Larry Kudlow earlier this week, White House adviser, saying buy the dips.
Today, he came out and said a short-term plunge like this won't have a long-term effect. History is on his side. With big events like this, markets end up being be much higher in a year's time.
But that doesn't help us today, Kate. More pressure.
BOLDUAN: History is hard to keep in perspective when you look at a week like this.
BOLDUAN: Julia, great to see you. Thank you so much.
Joining me now with more perspective, William Foster, vice president and lead U.S. investment analyst at Moody's Investment Service.
Its' great to see you, Bill. Thank you being here. Thanks for coming in.
We knew last week there was a coronavirus. What changed this week? What surprised you?
WILLIAM FOSTER, VICE PRESIDENT & LEAD INVESTMENT ANALYST, MOODY'S INVESTMENT SERVICE: Well, what changed we thought it would be isolated to China. And now it's gone global. And there's the risk of a global pandemic. In the worst-case scenario, that can lead potentially to a recession. And so that was not priced in last week --
FOSTER: -- in the markets. And it is being severely priced in.
BOLDUAN: It's also the speed, right? Not just how steep the drop off has been. It has been the speed that seems to be concerning everyone.
FOSTER: The speed is very abrupt. There are multiple factors. Coming off such highs.
FOSTER: Profit taking, a whole bunch of factors contributing. There's also structural features in the market, too. Market changed in terms of the players in the market. There's a lot of machine-based trading (CROSSTALK)
FOSTER: Fear controls more markets. That probably has something to with it. But this is fear. This fear and the uncertainty of the global implications of the whole economic ramifications of a pandemic.
BOLDUAN: It also shines a bright spotlight on how many American companies depend on China, depend on China in a huge way.
Some of the information that was coming out today, the FDA is reporting a shortage of an -- yet to be named, an unnamed drug due to production issues in China because of the virus. Apple's forecasting iPhone shortages, Coca-Cola saying artificial sweetener is now in short supply.
I'm sitting here reading the headlines and thinking, is there any sector not getting hit like this?
FOSTER: There are few. Most are. G.M., Nike, the entire tourism industry. This has major global ramifications.
Now, it's not just China. Korea announced it will be shutting down some factories, Japan shutting down schools. This is really impacting the global supply chain. And that has major ramifications for global economy.
I want to play something for you. This gets to everyone sits there and says, what do I do about -- what do I do with this information, rather than just watching the numbers.
The president's acting chief of staff, he offered up this advice this morning when he was asked about this. Let me play this, real quick. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: I got a note today from a reporter saying, what are you going to do today to calm the markets? Really, what I might to do to calm in the markets is tell people to turn their televisions off for 24 hours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: Mick Mulvaney, that might his attempt at humor. Would that do the trick?
FOSTER: That's the trick, turn it off, that's one option, sure. But I think, most importantly, is people need to stay safe and healthy, right?
BOLDUAN: That's exactly right.
FOSTER: That's the most important thing.
BOLDUAN: We talk about markets, and impact on investment. I think first and foremost, is getting the right information out. Don't turn your televisions off.
FOSTER: Yes. Maybe not travel to where you intended to travel before but be precautious.
BOLDUAN: Be precautious.
Thank you for coming in, Bill. Good to have your perspective.
FOSTER: Thank you.
BOLDUAN: Thank you.
Coming up for us, as the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. cities are the front line of defense here. Are they prepared? We'll ask the New York City health commissioner, next.
BOLDUAN: With 83,000 cases of coronavirus reported worldwide, and governments across the globe trying to find a way to slow and stop the spread, the people on the front lines of all of this are state and local officials.
Take New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo. He is offering up this morning to residents. He says, quote, "It is highly probable that you will see a continuing spread of this virus. It is highly probable that we will have people in New York State who test positive."
So with that in mind, are folks prepared?
Joining me now is the health commissioner for New York City, Dr. Oxiris Barbot.
Thank you so much for being here.
DR. OXIRIS BARBOT, NEW YORK CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: Thank you for having me.
BOLDUAN: Thank you, Commissioner.
So before we get to preparations and where stand right there, you did announce yesterday there is one person in New York who recently traveled to Italy that is being tested. When do you expect the results back?