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Dow Falls 1,191 Points, The Most In History; President Trump On Coronavirus: "It's Going To Disappear"; Joe Biden Banks On South Carolina. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired February 28, 2020 - 05:30   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Looking like another rough start on Wall Street this morning. Can the market stabilize and what will the president say about it?

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: And will the firewall hold? The fate of Joe Biden's campaign hinges on tomorrow's primary in South Carolina.

Good morning, everyone. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Friday, 30 minutes past the hour.

Global markets are still struggling over the coronavirus. Taking a look right now at how Asian markets closed down sharply. European shares opened down sharply though they're off their lows a little bit, believe it or not.

The bad mood extending to U.S. futures. U.S. stock-index futures also off their lows but still pointing to another morning of losses.

It was another reckoning on Wall Street. All three major averages fell into what we call a correction. That means they fell more than 10 percent from their recent high and they did it so quickly. It really got a lot of attention.

The Dow, yesterday alone, fell 1,191 points. That's the worst one-day point drop in history. But it was a 4.4 percent decline, so percentagewise it's not in the top 20 worst declines ever because of how strong the market rally has been over the past 10 years.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both fell more than four percent as well.

Look, a strong economy is central to President Trump's reelection. Monday -- just Monday, he tweeted "Stock market starting to look very good to me" as stocks declined. They're down 3,200 points this week.

Wednesday's news conference did not inspire confidence as stocks continued to fall. Take a look at this. The Dow is still up 40 percent since the 2016 election and that's a number the president really cares about, but 36 percent -- more than a third of the Trump rally has vanished this week. Trump often uses the stock market as his personal scorecard. Just

eight days ago he claimed it was the highest stock market in history -- it was hitting records -- but stocks have declined ever since then.

As stocks decline and recession fears mount, Goldman Sachs warns this. "If the coronavirus epidemic materially affects U.S. economic growth it may increase the likelihood of Democratic victory in the 2020 election."

JARRETT: There are growing concerns this morning about the coronavirus spreading in the United States. And now, a whistleblower at the Department of Health and Human Services claims more than a dozen workers who received the first Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China were not properly trained and lacked proper protective gear.

President Trump, meanwhile, seems to be depending on the passage of time as his best weapon against the virus.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's going to disappear one day. It's like a miracle -- it will disappear. And from our shores we've -- you know, it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away.

We'll see what happens. Nobody really knows.


JARRETT: Vice President Mike Pence insists the risk of the coronavirus spreading in the U.S. remains low because of President Trump's quote "decisive action." Well, that decisive action includes the president praising himself on Twitter, blaming Democrats, and his impeachment for the virus fallout.

Kaitlan Collins is at the White House for us.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Laura and Christine, the vice president has been tapped as the new face of the administration's response to the coronavirus. And you really saw that on full display yesterday as he was leading that briefing alongside the Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar, of course, who is still technically the chairman of the task force on this. But, Pence made clear that for the chain of command, he is going to be the one leading the response on this.

And his office is also trying to take the lead on at least public statements from this because we're now being told by several sources that from now on out any officials who want to either appear on television or make a statement about coronavirus will first have to clear it through Pence's office.

Now, Pence had been facing criticism for the way he handled, of course, the HIV outbreak when he was governor of Indiana and he seems to be trying to calm some of those fears by picking a State Department specialist to help him as he's leading the response to this. She is, of course, a physician, and that is someone who is going to be helping him with this.

But the question is even as they are continuing to add more medical experts to the team, you're continuing to see President Trump downplay this virus and essentially say that he does not believe it's going to be spreading in the United States, though we know that CDC officials have said it is not a question of if but when the coronavirus outbreak is going to spread here.

So, there are still major questions facing this administration. Travel restrictions are still being weighed. We're still talking to people at the State Department. And, of course, the president himself has still got his eye on the markets and what the numbers are looking like.


ROMANS: All right, Kaitlan. Thank you. The numbers did not look good overnight. We'll see if they can try to stabilize in the U.S. this morning.

The Northern California patient infected with coronavirus from an unknown source is in bad shape. California Congressman John Garamendi tells CNN the woman is in serious condition. She has been intubated to help her breathe.

Solano County health officials say her family members are in isolation awaiting test results.

Dozens of health care workers exposed to the patient have been identified and sent home from work to be monitored for symptoms.

JARRETT: The patient is being treated at UC Davis Medical Center, not far from Travis Air Force Base where coronavirus evacuees were flown from China.


But, California Gov. Gavin Newsom says commercial air travel may also be a factor.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): Thousands and thousands of other people have come in on more traditional flights through the state of California. Some 8,400-plus are currently being monitored with 49 local jurisdictions doing those protocols and monitoring as it relates to more traditional commercial flights that came in from points of concern and potential points of contact, particularly in Asia.


JARRETT: The U.S. now faces its first coronavirus-related medication shortage. So far, the specific drug and the reason for this shortage is unknown, but the U.S. relies heavily on Chinese-made drug ingredients.

ROMANS: Meantime, the CDC is warning of far-reaching effects if the virus spreads widely in the U.S. -- schools, childcare centers, public gatherings like concerts and sporting events. It could also overtax the medical system and affect critical infrastructure like EMS, the transportation industry, and law enforcement.

Fears of a coronavirus pandemic are growing. There are more than 83,000 confirmed cases worldwide and nearly 2,900 deaths. A total of 53 countries outside Mainland China are now reporting cases of the virus, up from just 29 this time last week. More than a dozen countries reported their first cases in the last two days.

The World Health Organization says Italy, Iran, and South Korea are at decisive points in their responses.

JARRETT: The U.S. Navy has ordered all ships that have visited countries in the Pacific region to, in effect, self-quarantine, remaining at sea for two weeks.

Disney is closing its Tokyo theme parks for two weeks as the outbreak in Japan escalates. Upcoming Green Day concerts in Asia have been postponed. And the popular K-pop band BTS is canceling shows in South Korea that were expected to draw more than 200,000 people.

People are just afraid --


JARRETT: -- of being in close quarters.

ROMANS: There are some airlines that are giving you free change -- you know, change your flight plans and stuff. But, you know, you look at cruise lines and you look at any kind of concerts -- this is why these stocks have all been done so much because --

JARRETT: Yes, like a lot of (INAUDIBLE).

ROMANS: Right, because they just are worried that people don't want to gather in public places.

All right, 37 minutes past the hour. More ahead on all this and the South Carolina primary. Plus, flashbacks to Hurricane Harvey. Streets flooded, cars submerged after this water main break in Houston.



ROMANS: All right. Everything is on the line for former Vice President Joe Biden in tomorrow's South Carolina primary. Biden needs a jolt ahead of Super Tuesday where a third of the delegates are awarded. But he says he's focused on the long game.

JARRETT: To discuss, let's bring in "Washington Post" White House correspondent Toluse Olorunnipa, also a CNN political analyst. Great to see you --

ROMANS: Good morning.

JARRETT: -- my friend.


JARRETT: All right, I want to look at two different polls. Earlier in the week, Joe Biden -- he's at the top at 27, right -- 27 percent, but then he starts to do even better. By the end of this week, a South Carolina Monmouth poll shows him at 36 percent. So there's something going on here. There is an uptick.

And the conventional wisdom is that, look, he needs to do well tomorrow. Everything is riding on South Carolina. But exactly how well, in your view, does he have to do? What does the spread need to look like for him to really call it a win?

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, Joe Biden had a couple of tough races. Iowa and New Hampshire did not go well for him. He was way at the back of the pack.

He's always said South Carolina would be his firewall. He does well with African-American voters. And he does need to have a significant double-digit win in order to really catapult himself out of South Carolina into Super Tuesday, which is just three days later.

If he is in sort of a muddled race where it's him and Sanders or him and Sanders and Steyer all sort of competing for that top spot, then it's not really going to give him the kind of momentum that he needs.

You have to remember that he has not had a lot of organization and a lot of money in the Super Tuesday states. He's banking on having momentum --


OLORUNNIPA: -- coming out of South Carolina. And if he doesn't have a double-digit win where he looks like he's far clear and away ahead of the field, it may be difficult.

But this latest poll is a good indication that with the strong support he has from older voters, from African-American voters that he may do well in South Carolina, which would help him in some of the southern states that are voting on Super Tuesday.


JARRETT: Yes, especially with Bloomberg not even on the ballot --


JARRETT: -- in South Carolina. It's a big help for him.

ROMANS: He did tell our Arlette Saenz that he doesn't have the money like Bloomberg or Steyer. He's just got his message and he's like really looking at the long game.

What is the long game for Biden and for the rest of the field? It's still a crowded field.

You know, there's Super Tuesday. Past Super Tuesday, it's dropout Wednesday. And what is the long game?

OLORUNNIPA: The long game is anyone who can make themselves the top contender to Sen. Bernie Sanders who, right now, is leading the field, who has the most delegates, who has had the broadest coalition so far, but who has caused a lot of concern among mainstream Democrats who think he's too far to the left.

So if it's Biden, if it's Buttigieg, if it's Bloomberg -- anyone who can really position themselves as the top contender to Sanders, hopefully pushing out some of the other contenders who are not doing so well out of the race and making it a one-against-one race.

Sanders against whoever the moderate alternative is -- and pushing it forward through Super Tuesday, through the next Super Tuesday on March 17th and into -- deep into the spring and into the summer, and maybe all the way to the convention hoping to fight it out with Sanders, who would likely continue to have a delegate lead but may not be able to get a majority of delegates. And that would take everything to the convention and whoever has the momentum there would be able to make the case that they would be the best person to take on Donald Trump in November.

JARRETT: Toluse, we also wanted to get your thoughts on the coronavirus response from the administration. You've been doing some great reporting in "The Washington Post" about what's going on behind the scenes.

It appears as though the president has tapped Pence to deal with this mostly to contain the messaging of it, kind of clamping down --



JARRETT: -- on who can talk about what because earlier in the week there were a lot of mixed messages. The CDC was saying one thing and obviously, he didn't like some of the more dire, sobering predictions.

What is going on there?

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, now that Pence is on control the messages that have come out of the government have all been positive. They've all been crediting President Trump with taking decisive actions, in the word of Vice President Pence.


OLORUNNIPA: We're not hearing some of those dire warnings from the experts; we're hearing from the political figures who are defending President Trump and making sure that he is receiving some political cover as he faces reelection -- as he wants to show the country that he's taken the right actions to protect the country.

But we're not hearing from some of the officials who are experts in this area who had spoken out before and said that the American people need to get prepared, need to take precautions, and need to be prepared for a worsening crisis. Instead, we're getting sort of more sunny talk from people who have the president's political interests at heart. That may come back to bite the administration if this virus continues to spread -- if we continue to hear more bad news.

But it does seem that President Trump chose Vice President Pence, in part, because he wanted to control --

ROMANS: Right.

OLORUNNIPA: -- the messaging and have a much more optimistic message coming out of the government.

ROMANS: Well, you can try to control the messaging all you want but if the public doesn't believe you -- if you've lost your credibility that's a real problem in a global health crisis. It really is. I mean, you can try to project competence and confidence but if you're --

JARRETT: Talking about miracles.

ROMANS -- if you're talking about a miracle fixing it that's not helpful, Toluse.

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, that's exactly right. President Trump wants that kind of messaging to come out of the government but it's not really helping.

You look at the markets. The markets are not confident after the president came out and appointed Vice President Pence.


OLORUNNIPA: And the president didn't say anything about this new case that was alerted in Northern California.


OLORUNNIPA: Instead, he just said we're expecting everything to be fine and there are only a few cases. And the market's dropped significantly.


OLORUNNIPA: And the selection of Pence has not helped the president when it comes to trying to govern and protect the markets from dropping right before his reelection.

ROMANS: I think that the constant cheerleading of the past three years has really turned around and has now bit him, honestly.

Because Larry Kudlow, the president's chief economic adviser, on Monday told "The Washington Post" long-term investors should try to buy the stock. Larry's losses are now eight percent, you know. And the president -- the president said the stock market looks pretty good to him. The stock market's down eight percent since then.

So the cheerleading -- I think they -- I think that's really turned around and bit him.

JARRETT: We'll see.

ROMANS: We shall see.

Toluse --

JARRETT: All right, good to see you this morning, my friend.

OLORUNNIPA: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, one more quick check of markets this morning still struggling over the coronavirus. I want to show you quickly. Asian shares closed down -- closed down sharply. European shares have opened and their final trading day of the week down sharply.

The mood has spread to Wall Street again. U.S. stock-index futures are down about one percent. Believe it or not, this is off the low. This is an improvement from the earlier tone.

The Dow fell 1,191 points yesterday, the worst one-day point drop in history. The S&P and the Nasdaq both fell more than four percent. Stocks on track now for their worst week since the financial crisis.

And multiple industries are reporting that they're feeling the weight of the outbreak. Facebook is canceling F8 -- that's its biggest event -- over concerns about the coronavirus. It was supposed to take place in San Jose, California in early May.

It's also affecting how the world does business. Nestle, the world's largest food company, telling its employees do not travel internationally for business until the middle of March.

Marriott has seen a drop in demand for hotel rooms in China. It has big exposure in Asia -- China, its top international market.

And, Amazon is cracking down on price gouging -- the cost of face masks spiking online. Reuters reports Amazon has removed tens of thousands of deals from sellers it accused of charging customers unfair prices.

One more quick note for you. Yesterday, we reported the facial recognition company Clearview AI said its entire customer list was hacked. That is correct, but our banner erroneously said the company lost quote "billions of photos."

The company says the customer list was stolen, not the photos. We apologize for that error.

We'll be right back.



JARRETT: The five employees killed at the Molson Coors complex in Milwaukee have now been identified. Police say the victims were 33- year-old Jesus Valle, 31-year-old Gennady Levshetz, 33-year-old Trevor Wetselaar, 57-year-old Dana Walk, and 60-year-old Dale Hudson.

Another co-worker says a split-second decision to grab new work gloves in a different part of the complex may have saved his life.


BYRON JOHNSON, EMPLOYEE, MOLSON COORS: A second-shift employee comes in and he was like did you see what happened downstairs? I'm like, no, what happened? I just came up and I didn't see anything. He says there's a -- there's a guy who has an open wound and he's bleeding out on the floor.

The fact that I needed new work gloves and I decided to grab those work gloves before I went back to doing the next part of the project. I felt like that was the best time to go because it might have gotten busy later.



Police have identified the shooter as 51-year-old Anthony Ferrill, an electrician who worked there for more than a decade. Police say they found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Well, a huge water main break in Houston causing major flooding that submerged streets, freeways, and vehicles. Houston's mayor says the main provides as much as 50 percent of the city's water supply. A boil water notice was issued for all Houston residents.

The mayor says private contractors were working on the 35-year-old eight-foot main when it burst.


The Jungle Cruise at Disney World's Magic Kingdom turned into a scare ride when the boat suddenly started taking on water. A passenger who was onboard Thursday said the boat went from floating to sunk in about a minute. A Disney spokesperson says everyone was able to get off the boat safely and there were no injuries. The ride is a fan-favorite and one of the park's most iconic attractions.

Human remains discovered inside the lion enclosure at a zoo in Pakistan. An official with the Lahore Safari Zoo confirms the body of Muhammad Bilal, an 18-year-old gardener who worked at the facility. Police are not sure if he wandered into the enclosure or someone threw his body in there. An investigation is now ongoing.

Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are expected to stand trial starting October fifth for their alleged involvement in the college admission scandal. Six other parents will be tried alongside them. Loughlin and her husband face conspiracy counts charging fraud, bribery, and money laundering.

An Oregon man has been arrested for allegedly using counterfeit cash to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies outside of a Walmart. Thirteen- year-old Ava Brown says she knew the twenty-dollar bill she received was fake because it wouldn't bend, but she accepted it because the man who gave it to her had a large knife strapped to his belt. Ava's mom called police. The suspect, 35-year-old Camden Ducharme, says -- he was arrested a few days later and charged with forgery and two counts of third-degree theft.

Well, more dangerous weather in the Great Lakes with blizzard warnings still in effect, and another snowy system is churning in the Midwest. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the latest.


DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good Friday morning, Laura and Christine.

The big weather story for us is certainly the big snow totals taking place downwind from the Great Lakes. We have the lake-effect snow machine kicking into high gear. Here's some of the latest totals across Upstate New York. Over a foot of snow for Redfield already.

And guess what? There's more snow to come. Thanks to the direction of the wind, the fetch over the water, and the amount of moisture available here we do have the potential for an additional 12 to 18 inches of snow in some of those favored areas just downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. That's why we have blizzard warnings in effect for those regions.

And you see winter weather advisories lining the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. That's where we have one to three inches of snow possible in those higher elevations today as a weak system moves through.

Here's our snowfall totals. Again, you can see some of the localized amounts. Depending on exactly where that snow band sets up, we could easily pick up over a foot and a half.

What a difference a day makes. We're talking about temperatures well below average for the east coast of the U.S. Take a look at the temperatures through the weekend. A warmup in store by Sunday for most.

Back to you.


JARRETT: I'll always take a warmup, Derek. Thanks so much for that.

Well, even a shark can get scammed sometimes. "SHARK TANK" star Barbara Corcoran confirms she was duped out of nearly $400,000 in an elaborate e-mail scheme.

Someone pretending to be Corcoran's assistant billed her bookkeeper this week for a renovation payment. The bookkeeper then wired $388,000 to the person she thought was Corcoran's assistant, but the e-mail address was one letter off from the assistant's real e-mail address.

Corcoran says the scammer has vanished and that money is lost.

It is payback, literally. A Texas teacher, Stacy Bailey, was suspended after a parent complained about her quote "promoting a homosexual agenda." Why? Well, Bailey showed students a picture of her future wife.

Now, a federal judge ruled her suspension was unconstitutional and she has been awarded a $100,000 settlement from the Mansfield Independent School District. The district will also provide mandatory training on LGBTQ issues and counseling for staff in its schools.

Thanks so much for joining us this morning. I'm Laura Jarrett. Have a great weekend. "NEW DAY" starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Friday, February 28th. It's 6:00 here in New York.

Alisyn is off. Erica Hills joins me this morning.

And we do have breaking news. Major developments in the coronavirus crisis hitting the world and your wallet. Global markets hemorrhaging overnight -- major losses across the continents. Look at all that red.

At this moment here in the United States, Dow futures down sharply, about 231 points. It's been down as much as 400 this morning.

This, after the Dow suffered its biggest one-day point drop ever, down nearly 1,200 points yesterday. That now puts it in correction territory, which means at least a 10 percent drop. And it happened so fast -- basically, a week of trading.

And for the record, the market is down now about 2,200 points.