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Coronavirus Spreading As 65 Cases Now Confirmed In U.S.; Dr. Sanjay Gupta Answers Coronavirus Questions; Voters Head To The Polls For The South Carolina Democratic Primary; Trump Suggests Supporters Vote In SC Democratic Primary For Weakest Candidate; Donald Trump To Nominate Representative John Ratcliffe As Intel Chief Again; Turkish Refugees Clash With Greek Border Guards; U.S. Set To Sign Historic Agreement With Taliban; New Evidence Clears Lori Loughlin And Husband In College Admissions Scandal. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired February 29, 2020 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The coronavirus continues its deadly spread.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A second corona virus case of unknown origin in California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're now learning about a patient in Oregon believed to be the third case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was no known travel exposure for this individual, so this is a case of community spread.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joe Biden is looking for a South Carolina lifeline today.

BIDEN: What America stands for is at stake right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Bernie Sanders is still in command of the race.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm asking you to bring out your friends and your co-workers and your neighbors so we can have the largest voter turnout in the history of the South Carolina primary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you. This morning, there are more cases of the coronavirus in the United States. A second patient in California with no recent travel history, no known contact with an infected person has been diagnosed with the virus. Christi Paul, CNN ANCHOR: An hour from now, polls in South Carolina are opening. Fifty-four delegates at stake here for the Democratic presidential candidates. Joe Biden counting on a win today to jump- start his campaign.

BLACKWELL: And today could offer the next step in the end of the war in Iraq, or at least in Afghanistan I should say or getting to that point. A historic peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban is set to be signed this morning.

We're starting, though, with the growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. There are now more than 85,000 confirmed cases around the world, impacting every continent except Antarctica, 65 cases here in the United States. In California, there are now two confirmed cases in which it's not known how the patients got the virus. Officials say they did not travel to a place with coronavirus and did not come in contact with any traveler or infected person.

PAUL: And we're also waiting for the CDC to confirm at least three presumptive positive cases. Presumptive meaning the persons tested positive by state health labs. It has to be confirmed through the CDC before it's official, but two of those cases are in Washington State this morning. One is a woman who recently traveled to South Korea. The other is a high school student with no travel history.

BLACKWELL: There's also a presumptive positive in Oregon. Officials there say it's considered community spread. That means that the person is believed to have contracted the virus somewhere in the community and that case is an elementary school employee and that school is now closed until Wednesday for some deep cleaning.

PAUL: So there's so --


PATRICK ALLEN, DIRECTOR, OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY: We don't know the number of close contacts being within six feet for a prolonged period of time that this individual had, we don't know how this person became infected with COVID-19. It's too soon to say what impact this case has on family, friends, co-workers or the Lake Oswego school district and other members of the community. Contact tracing is our top priority right now.


PAUL: There's still so much that we don't know about the coronavirus, so today we're asking what do we know that can help us prepare and protect ourselves and I took some of those questions to CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, beginning with what makes this virus so dangerous compared, say, to the flu?


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It has to do with the absolute numbers versus the relative risk here. With flu, you know, tens of thousands of people die every year in the United States. People may not know that, but that's true. Here's the thing to remember is that with flu, the fatality rate is 0.1 percent. So 0.1 percent of people who get the flu will end up dying from this. Coronavirus, which we now know is very contagious and spreading similar to flu in parts around the world, has a fatality ratio of 2 percent.

So if you start to get similar numbers of coronavirus as we have with flu, millions of people getting this infection with a -- with a fatality ratio that's 20 times higher, that's obviously of a much bigger concern. We're not there yet. There's lots of things being put into place to try and prevent these numbers from growing, but if they do grow with a 2 percent fatality ratio, that's, you know, a much bigger concern than flu in that case.

PAUL: And part of the problem up to this point has been the testing. This woman in San Francisco went for several days before they even tested her for coronavirus.

GUPTA: I think the testing in this country in the United States sadly I think has been pretty inadequate and, you know, there's been other countries around the world which I think have been doing a better job. We're not used to saying that because the public health system in the United States is typically, you know, the best, top of the line.

[06:05:00] But in Korea, for example, Christi, they've been testing thousands of patients a day. Here we've tested maybe a thousand patients over several weeks and the problem is if you're not surveilling the community, doing good surveillance, you don't really know what you're dealing with. Luckily they caught this woman in California, but are there others out there who've traveled maybe not to China, but to Korea, to Italy, come back to the United States, they get sick, they think do I have coronavirus, they can't get tested? We don't know because, in so many places around the country, the testing just isn't available. It's only really available in 10 or 11 places right now.

PAUL: And what's interesting is in relation to the flu, we always think children are so susceptible. Is it true that adults are more susceptible in the case of coronavirus than children are?

GUPTA: It really does seem to be the case and we're not entirely sure why. Kids can get infected. There have been some children who've become ill from this, but the severity of illness, the number of infections appears to be much lower in kids. It probably has to do with the way that their immune systems are fighting against this virus, but I've talked to many researchers, they don't know the exact reason, but I think what you're saying is right. Lids seem to be somewhat protected from this for some reason.

PAUL: So for people at home who have seen and heard these conversations about you have to go to the grocery store and stock up and you might want to change your travel plans if you had plans to go travel internationally, is that merited in this case yet?

GUPTA: Well, you know, I would say with regard to stocking up and that sort of thing, I could tell you, you know, in our household we always sort of operate with that mentality in the sense that if, within the next few weeks or months or whatever, you know, there's this idea that, look, people should try and start to socially distance themselves, isolate themselves as much as possible, which is a -- which is a common thing that is recommended in the throes of an outbreak, then the question becomes look around your house.

If you were told you need to stay home basically for a week or two weeks, do you have enough supplies, food, if you have young kids, do have diapers, do you have prescription medications, whatever it might be. I think it's always a good exercise for people to go through. We certainly go through that in our own household. I don't think that's to incite panic, but it is possible as we've seen in many places now around the world where recommendations are made.

For a period of time, kids should stay out of school. Entire country of Japan just put that into place. For a period of time, people should stay home from work. We're hearing about that in places around -- in northern Italy now. So it's possible and I think it's best to just be prepared and to be in that mentality a bit.

PAUL: So real quickly, we know the symptoms are coughing, labored breathing, a fever. When should people know it's time for me to go to the doctor --

GUPTA: I think --

PAUL: -- and how can they be assured they will get tested for the coronavirus?

GUPTA: Well, with regard to the first question, I think that, you know, there's a -- there's a point where the -- if the symptoms either are lasting a long time, greater than a week or 10 days and they're getting more severe as opposed to improving, that might be the time to go to the doctor.

Keep in mind that there's no particular treatment for this, there's no vaccine. So if you're going to the doctor, it's more going to be for symptomatic therapy, giving fluids back if you've been unable to keep fluids down, providing oxygen if you're having trouble breathing, things like that. So for the most part, people don't really need to be going to the doctor unless they're getting to that level of illness.

One thing that is interesting I'll point out, and this is again based on conversations I've had with infectious disease doctors taking care of these patients, that it's very similar to flu and cold. One thing that is different is that this coronavirus seems to affect the lower part of your respiratory system more. What that practically means is that if -- is that if you have sore throat and runny nose, things like that, that's less likely to be coronavirus. Those are upper respiratory symptoms. That's more likely to be cold or flu.

But for anybody in the United States right now listening, if you have any of these symptoms at all, it's exponentially more likely to be cold or flu because while coronavirus is in this country, it's not circulating widely, thankfully, like these other things are.


PAUL: And thank you to Sanjay Gupta there. Coronavirus mobile apps, by the way, are surging in popularity in South Korea. To check out that app that tells you how close you are to someone diagnosed with coronavirus, go to our website at

BLACKWELL: Global markets are reacting to the uncertainty around the outbreak. This was Wall Street's worst week since the financial crisis in 2008.

PAUL: I mean, think about that. That's how serious it is. CNN's Alison Kosik has a look at who is taking the hardest hit here.

ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a remarkable week of outsized moves on Wall Street. The Dow tumbled more than 4,000 points in total during the week, pushing the index into a correction. That's a 10 percent decline from a recent high. Even more stunning is the speed at which it happened. The Dow moved from a record high to a correction in a matter of 10 trading days.


It took the S&P 500 just six days. For stocks, this has been the worst week since the 2008 financial crisis. To put that into perspective, global markets have shed more than $6 trillion since the massive sell- off began. All of the sectors in the S&P 500 are in a correction, but the areas hit hardest are energy down 17 percent, hotels, resorts and cruise lines down 22 percent and airlines down 19 percent.

Many I've talked with tell me there's still a lot of uncertainty and anxiety over the coronavirus and that there's not a lot of confidence in how prepared the U.S. is for an outbreak. There's a -- there's a fear of the unknown of how the virus could affect global economies around the world and how it will hurt corporate profits.

From Procter & Gamble, the biggest consumer goods company, supply chain disruptions are expected to impact the amount of diapers, paper towels and razors that will be available because the company relies on China to ship its product. Props (ph), the shoe company, says it will lose an entire quarter's worth of revenue because of the virus and MasterCard expects to see soft spending.

Supply chain disruptions are one of the biggest reasons businesses are having a hard time of it. On Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell attempted to calm the markets, releasing a statement saying the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong, but the coronavirus poses risks, that the Federal Reserve is closely monitoring developments and their impact on the economy and that they'll use tools to support the economy as appropriate, but stocks ended in the red anyway, though not as much as before, with the Dow ending Friday's session down just 357 points. Back to you.

BLACKWELL: Alison, thank you so much. Tomorrow on "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper, Vice President Mike Pence, he's on the show, also former vice president and presidential candidate Joe Biden. "STATE OF THE UNION," Sunday at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN. PAUL: Despite the growing number of new cases and these global concerns about how fast the coronavirus is spreading, President Trump is claiming Democrats are politicizing the outbreak with the intention to attack him.

BLACKWELL: And as candidates took their message to voters, Tom Steyer -- my, my, my -- took his dance moves to South Carolina. Was it enough to win votes ahead of the primary? We'll talk about this next.



BLACKWELL: All right. In about 45 minutes, polls in the South Carolina Democratic primary, they will open. There are 54 delegates available there and today marks the first primary in the South, fourth in the contest this cycle.

PAUL: Yes. Right now Bernie Sanders is leading the field, 45 pledged delegates to him. Recent polling suggests, though, the day could belong to Joe Biden. A victory for him in South Carolina, that would set up a big fight as the race heads into Super Tuesday, of course in just a couple of days. Now today, nearly every candidate is campaigning in a Super Tuesday state. Voters in 14 states and American Samoa are going to hit the polls next week.

BLACKWELL: Joining me now to talk about the race in South Carolina, Gibbs Knotts. He's a political science professor at the College of Charleston. He's also the author of "First in the South: Why South Carolina's Presidential Primary Matters." Also with us this morning, Joseph Bustos, political reporter for "The State Newspaper." Gentlemen, good morning to you.



BLACKWELL: Gibbs, let me start with you and staying with Vice President Biden. Strong debate performance, he had the endorsement from Majority Whip Clyburn, the mayor of Charleston out now campaigning for him. Biden says he will win. Now, we're three days out from Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee. What does this spread need to look like to catapult him or at least boost him heading into Super Tuesday?

KNOTTS: Yes, Victor. He needs to have a big victory. I think it needs to be double digits, but, you know, the reason the South Carolina primary has been so important is because of the southern states that come on Super Tuesday. They have a lot of similar demographic and attitudinal characteristics and so if Biden does well here, even though it's a short turnaround, it's a pretty good indicator. If you can win South Carolina, you should be pretty well in a place like North Carolina and Virginia. BLACKWELL: Joseph, Senator Sanders -- and the theory is that he does not need to -- at least what you wrote this week and discussing this with analysts, does not need to come out on top to win in South Carolina. Explain that.

BUSTOS: Well, I think if he does -- if he comes in within single digits in a state that isn't -- that he didn't -- he lost by 50 points or nearly 50 points in 2016 to Hillary Clinton, if he comes in within single digits this time around, it will show that maybe he has probably improved amongst African-American voters, but we'll see. I mean, it will help him get some delegates out of South Carolina and then will propel them into states in Super Tuesday like California, in Texas where he could possibly gain even more delegates.

BLACKWELL: Gibbs, Mayor Buttigieg came in first in Iowa, second in New Hampshire and second in the delegate count now. What's on the line for him? Because unlike Senator Sanders, not winning and, you know, coming in second, there could be a win for him there. What's a win for Buttigieg?

KNOTTS: You know, I think if Buttigieg got in double digits, that would be good. Iowa and New Hampshire are just very different, over 90 percent white across the state. South Carolina's 30 percent African- American and we expect Democratic primary voters to be over 60 percent African-American. So just a very different environment. Also a little bit more moderate voter in the South Carolina Democratic primary compared to Democrats nationally.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about what we heard from the president last night. He was there in North Charleston as he has held a rally ahead of every contest the Democrats have held thus far, he held with the pattern.

[06:20:02] Here's what he said about what Republicans should do potentially today.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: By the way, are the Republicans allowed to vote anyway even though -- let's do it together. I assume this is OK from a campaign finance standpoint I assume. Lindsey, Tim, our great congressmen, are we allowed to do this? So am I allowed to request -- first we have to figure out who would be the weakest candidate against President Trump. So I don't know what the record attendance is in this arena, but I was told that we broke it by a lot and you get the people outside. Are we allowed to tell them who we would like them to vote for?


BLACKWELL: So we've heard about this Operation Chaos, trying to get Republicans to cross over into the Democratic primary to get them to sway the numbers. Gibbs, any evidence that this type of some call it sabotage has had an impact in the past and could have an impact this time around? KNOTTS: There's not a lot of evidence. This is an open primary, so anybody who's a registered voter is allowed to vote, but it just takes a massive coordination effort and it's also risky to figure out who the weakest candidate is. A lot of people thought Donald Trump was the weakest candidate in 2016 and he's now sitting in the White House.

So I think it's hard to do. I don't like it. I think it's undemocratic to try to go in and cause chaos and try to figure out like how you can advantage your particular candidate, but, you know, I just don't think that's going to happen. There could also be a lot of moderates, people that may have voted for Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio back in 2016, that are to come out and maybe support somebody like a Biden or a Klobuchar.

BLACKWELL: All right. And Joseph, before we let you go, we know you had a late night at the Steyer event.


BLACKWELL: Juve the Great there as well as Yolanda Adams and others, DJ Jazzy Jeff. Let's play the video here and this is --

PAUL: You just want to see it again.

BLACKWELL: -- this is Steyer up on stage with Juvenile. Now, how did this go over in the room?

BUSTOS: Well, I think everyone was thrilled to see the acts that Tom Steyer brought to Allen University last night, which is a historically black university, an HBCU, which he has promised to try to bring billions of dollars to, HBCUs that he wants to bring billions of dollars to them, as part of his presidency if he's elected. So it did play very well. It was a hyped -- the crowd was hyped up last night at this Get out the Vote rally.

BLACKWELL: Yes. so Tom Steyer on stage dancing to "Back That Ass Up" with Juvenile closing out the South Carolina primary. Gentlemen, thank you. Gibbs Knotts, Joseph Bustos, good to have you both.

KNOTTS: Thanks.

BUSTOS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right. Be sure to watch CNN for coverage of the South Carolina Primary. Our special live coverage starts today at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

PAUL: So keeping with tradition, President Trump held a rally in South Carolina last night. You just saw part of that right there. He's made a habit of traveling to a state right before a presidential primary or a caucus is held.

BLACKWELL: And just as he has in New Hampshire, the president suggested to supporters, as we discussed, vote for a Democrat today. Republicans there can do that because this is an open primary. Here now is White House reporter Sarah Westwood. Sarah, good morning to you. Not only is the president encouraging his supporters to vote today, he wants them to pick who and why?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, good morning, Victor and Christi. And yes, this is something that we've heard from President Trump, heard from his allies increasingly over the past few weeks. They are focusing on Senator Bernie Sanders. There is a sense among the president's allies within the campaign that perhaps Sanders could be the easiest candidate to beat among those running for president on the Democratic side.

There are some polls that suggest that President Trump would over- perform in head-to-head match-ups with Bernie Sanders in some of those key states, particularly in the Midwest, that he needs to win to stay in the White House. He would perform better against Sanders than some of those other Democratic candidates.

There's also a sense that perhaps Sanders would be a better foil for the president's message. There's been this effort from the president and his allies to sort of project socialism on to the entirety of the Democratic Party even though there are a lot of diverse viewpoints running for president. Sanders would really bring that to the forefront. They're hoping that they could make his message of democratic socialism just not palatable to those Midwest voters that are really both sides will be competing to win in November.

PAUL: Sarah, talk to us about this allegation that the president made regarding the coronavirus and the Democrats, saying that the Democrats are playing politics when it comes to this virus.

WESTWOOD: That's right. We saw President Trump at his rally in South Carolina last night describe the hysteria, the frenzy over coronavirus as a new hoax. He claimed that Democrats and the media are trying to politicize the coronavirus and his administration's handling of it in order to have a new avenue of attacking him now that the Russia investigation and impeachment have ended.


Take a listen to what he said last night.


TRUMP: The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. You know that, right? Coronavirus. They're politicizing it. Whether it's the virus that we're talking about or many other public health threats, the Democrat policy of open borders is a direct threat to the health and well-being of all Americans. Now you see it with the coronavirus. You see it. You see it with the coronavirus, you know. You see that. When you have this virus or any other virus or any other problem coming in, it's not the only thing that comes in through the border and we're setting records now at the border.

One of my people came up to me and said Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. that didn't work out too well. They couldn't do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation and this is their new hoax.


WESTWOOD: Now, as you guys mentioned, this was in keeping with the president's practice of holding rallies in caucus or primary states just before Democrats go to vote. We saw that in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, now South Carolina and that is a practice we are likely to see continue, Victor and Christi, as President Trump ramps up his re- election bid.

BLACKWELL: All right. Sarah Westwood there for us in Washington. Thank you so much. And just for my fourth grade teacher watching in Chocowinity, North Carolina, it should have been whom at the top of that. I said who instead of whom and I know she's going to send me a nastygram.

PAUL: And it was going to bother him unless he got it out.

BLACKWELL: All day long unless I shared that. Thank you for the indulgence. President Trump says that he will nominate Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe as the permanent director of National Intelligence.

PAUL: Yes. The choice suggests that the president's looking to surround himself with a team of loyalists here. Now, this is the second time Ratcliffe's been nominated for the post after lawmakers from both parties raised questions about his qualifications over the summer, that was the first time. At that point, he withdrew from consideration.

BLACKWELL: Now, we will see if Senate Republicans will push him through confirmation hearings. The White House is hopeful he will be confirmed this time around.

PAUL: There are hundreds of Syrian refugees desperate to escape violence in the region. Look at some of these pictures we're getting in and they're flooding into Turkey this morning. Will they be allowed to enter the E.U. is the question. We're live with you from the border crossing next.



PAUL: So, right now, there are hundreds of refugees at Turkey's border with Greece. They're looking to cross into the European Union, and many of the migrants are trying to escape, increasing violence between Turkish forces and Syrian Troops.

BLACKWELL: And Turkey says it cannot handle the influx of new refugees alone, and it's opened its side of the border with Greece. So, our senior international correspondent Arwa Damon is at the border crossing. Arwa, tell us what you're seeing there.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. This is really about what happens when people's misery ends up being turned into something of a political weapon. I mean, just look around us. All of these people come -- came up, many of them (INAUDIBLE) and overnight, it was raining. It was absolutely miserable.

But they came because Turkey had opened its border. And they thought, they hoped that they would be able to cross into Europe. Of course, the Greek side of the border is still closed. There has been quite a bit of teargas that has come across as some of the youth who are here have tried to push their way through.

But Turkey is angry at Europe and at the west because it feels like it has been left on its own to shoulder the burden of the refugee crisis. It is home to some 3.5 million refugees, and if we go down, you realize it's not just the space up here, but actually people have camped out throughout, down the hill and deep into this forested area. But Turkey is, as I was saying, is very angry at the EU, very angry at the west because it has been left alone when it comes to shouldering this refugee crisis.

And also because it has been left on its own when it comes to dealing with the situation inside Idlib. Turkey for quite some time has been threatening to open its border to refugees who want to cross into Europe. And now, it is making good on that threat. The problem, though, is that these people came here because they weren't able to survive in Turkey.

Many of them who we're talking to are saying that it is very hard to make money, to find jobs, to be able to actually build a future for themselves. They do want to be able to move on. They are aware of the politics of all of this. But many of them will tell you what choice do we have, we're being abandoned at every single level. And they're aware right now that they are being used as political pawns.

PAUL: That is just so -- it's disturbing and it's sad. I mean, you saw the double stroller there, and it really highlights the desperation of these people. Arwa Damon, thank you for bringing us this story, it's important to watch it and to know what's happening.

BLACKWELL: Representatives of the United States and the Taliban are expected to sign a historic agreement today.

PAUL: Under the agreement, American forces in Afghanistan would be reduced over the course of the next 135 days. All troops would eventually be withdrawn if certain conditions are met.


Now, this would allow the Taliban and the Afghan government to begin peace talks. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Qatar for the signing.

BLACKWELL: And while Defense Secretary, Mark Esper is in Afghanistan, he's meeting with leaders there, more than 18 years this war has been going on in Afghanistan. It's the longest fought conflict in American history. In this week's "Legal Brief", Harvey Weinstein's conviction, what it means for the Me Too movement, why this is about more than just one man.


PAUL: Topping this morning's Legal Brief, and good morning to you. Harvey Weinstein is facing up to 29 years in prison after being convicted this week in New York. The injury found him guilty of two felony sex crimes, acquitting him of the most serious charges in the case. But his conviction is seen by some as a key moment in the Me Too movement. Areva Martin; a civil rights attorney and CNN legal analyst is with us now.

Areva, so good to have you here, thank you. I wanted to ask you about --

The implications of this trial and its outcome to others, high profile. Particularly R. Kelly. We know that he's obviously in federal custody in New York on charges. He's also facing sexual assault charges in Chicago. Does this set any sort of precedent for him?

AREVA MARTIN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: I think it does, and I think it sets a precedent for future rape cases going forward, particularly when you look at the complicated fact pattern in this Harvey Weinstein trial. What the jurors had to do in this case were look at a set of facts including facts that is -- demonstrated that these women continue to have intimate relationships with Harvey Weinstein after the attacks occurred.

And that really changes I think the narrative and it shifts the paradigm in terms of how we think about rape. We used to have this notion about what a rape victim look like. It was someone that went immediately to the police. It was someone that could establish that there was physical force involved, and that there was some kind of forensic evidence.

In the case of Harvey Weinstein, in this conviction, we didn't have physical force, we had these victims come forward much later after the attacks had occurred. And we had them have this ongoing relationship with Harvey Weinstein. And for many years prior to the Me Too movement, cases like this probably would not have even been brought by a prosecutor because the thinking would have been that they didn't fit the typical mold of how a rape victim acts.

So, I think for R. Kelly and others who are going to be facing very serious rape charges, there's probably a new day in terms of the kinds of evidence that will be presented and how jurors will look at that evidence.

PAUL: All right, I want to talk to you, too, about the college admission scandal because there's been some movement there. Attorneys for actress Lori Loughin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli claims that there's new evidence proving their innocence. Loughlin and Giuliani are -- Giannulli, excuse me, are accused of paying half a million dollars as part of a scheme to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as members of the crew team.

Here's the kicker -- the daughters did not participate in crew in any way. So this week, prosecutors turned over these notes written by the admitted ringleader of the admission scandal claiming that the parents truly believed that these were legitimate donations, they weren't bribes. But that doesn't negate obviously, Areva, the accusation that they tried to get their daughters into the school by claiming they played a sport that they did not. Where does that leave them?

MARTIN: Yes, this was kind of a bombshell allegation made against these prosecutors. We've been hearing for months that the prosecutors had this ironclad case against, you know, Lori Loughlin and her husband. And that they -- you know, Lori and her husband refused to accept the plea deal as we watch many people in their orbit accept, you know, plea deals from the prosecutors.

Now, they're alleging that the prosecutors withheld essentially information and evidence that could exonerate Lori and her husband. Now, of course, the prosecutors pushed back on that and said, no, this information does not exonerate them. It doesn't, you know, excuse the fact that they created these fake athletic profiles, and that there was still a quid pro quo involved in their interactions with Rick Singer, the ringleader.

The judge refused to delay the trial when he further set a trial date for this Fall. And basically said to both sides, come into court, file your briefs, so let's -- you know, argue about this allegation of prosecutorial misconduct. And the judge has set a pretrial motion in July to let the parties, you know, hash out what happened with respect to these notes and makes some determination.

But so far, the judge has indicated that this case is going to stay on track for trial. So likely to be some outcome, not likely that this case gets dismissed in July, and Lori and her husband probably faces a jury in the Fall.

PAUL: That will be something. Areva Martin, so grateful to have you here. Thank you.

MARTIN: Thank you.

PAUL: Sure.

BLACKWELL: Schools across the country right now are considering how they can protect students if the coronavirus spreads in their community. We'll tell you what districts are doing to keep the kids safe and tell you about the preps happening right now in case classes have to be canceled.



BLACKWELL: There are more than 85,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus around the world. And now in some countries at least, it's starting to impact daily life.

PAUL: Yes, let's talk about Japan for instance, with more than 900 confirmed cases in that country, at least two cherry blossom festivals have been canceled. And cherry blossoms are a big tourist draw for this country. Japan's Prime Minister has also ordered all public schools closed, at least until April. Which makes you think, oh, my goodness, what if my kids' school here would face canceled classes like that.

BLACKWELL: And CNN's Martin Savidge has a look at the preparations happening now in districts across the U.S.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let me start with good news. First, it appears the coronavirus is not as severe for kids as it is for adults. And also, if there's any entity that has practiced for just about any eventuality, it's the American school. To that end, many of those schools have plans in place for a contagion, and they're simply updating them for the coronavirus.


Right now, they're giving out information to the students and parents across the country, basically warning them about what the risks are, which still remain low. And also reminding them of good hygiene such as, you know, wash your hands, cover a cough and sneeze, and don't come to school if you're sick. Behind the scenes though, they're planning for the more severe possibilities which could include a quarantine that could shut down the school or maybe an entire district.

For instance, Miami, they're putting together 200,000 laptops and tablets that they could give to students so they could continue learning online. In other districts where they don't have that kind of money or technology, they're going old school, putting together study packets that students could take home with them.

Experts actually say it's the higher areas of education, the colleges and universities that could be more vulnerable because they've got large populations in very close quarters. And a lot of those students and faculty travel overseas to study or to teach or to do research. To that end, many of those programs are starting to change.

For instance, the University of Georgia at the end of January stopped all travel to China, and just this week canceled its study abroad program with South Korea. But they may have to make changes domestically such as scaling back or even canceling large gatherings on campus, say sporting events or concerts. And they might even have to close entire college campuses.

Experts say we're in a lull right now which is a perfect time for educators to plan and prepare. Which is why in Chicago on Friday, the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest teachers union in the country, got together in a leadership to plan how to protect the 1.7 million members, and how to keep all those students that rely on them learning even if the coronavirus were to close their classroom. Back to you.

BLACKWELL: Martin Savidge, thank you. So, this is an amazing job interview that people get to watch on television.

PAUL: Yes, is that not unnerving? Right, if you went in for a job interview, what would you feel about -- how would you feel about if there was a camera there and it was just streaming it out to everybody?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Everybody watching, exactly right. Talking about the NFL combine, right? It's the job opportunity of a lifetime. A lot of nerves. I've been in it, I'm going to share some insight and tell you what these guys are going through, and we'll show you some of the highlights, who stood out coming up after the break.



PAUL: All right, the NFL dreams are coming true this weekend. The draft combine in Indianapolis. Some may be broken, too, let's be honest.

BLACKWELL: Why did you say it like that?


Coy's here. High pressure, strange job interview.

WIRE: It really is. I mean, I was in the NFL combine. And you know what it feels like, it feels like you're in a cattle auction, and you have this random number slapped on you, you are paraded around in your underwear and scouts are standing there with a clipboard sizing you up.

PAUL: Kind of like a pageant?

WIRE: Like a pageant. There is not another job interview anywhere on earth like the NFL Combine. Yesterday, it was some of the biggest, most athletic beings on the planet turning heads. We're talking about the offensive linemen -- and take a look at Mekhi Becton out of Louisville in the middle there, 364 pounds.

The largest man at the Combine, weighing more than two of the receivers for example, who were there, and he ran this 5.10 in the 40- yard dash. That's a Combine record for someone over 350. Tom Brady ran a 5.28 in the 40. And this dude --

PAUL: Wow --

WIRE: Is 150 pounds heavier than he was. Now how about Iowa's Tristan Wirfs, a svelte 320 pounder. He had this insane 36.5 inch vertical leap, it's an offensive lineman record. He jumped higher than all, but 15 of the wide receivers, you know, the most athletic guys at the Combine this year. Now, let's go somewhere else today on to the pitch.

Major League Soccer is kicking off its 25th season today. The league's popularity is booming. Nashville S.C. and Inter-Miami playing their first ever games this weekend. And Inter-Miami team co-owner, David Beckham, he's the soccer icon, former world's sexiest man, right, Mr. Posh Spice -- well, he sat down with us to share why this is so special for him. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID BECKHAM, CO-OWNER, INTER-MIAMI CF: There're so many things I love about American culture. You know, when we first moved to L.A. in 2007 as a family, we were so excited, and we were welcomed with open arms. Being part of the MLS and also being part of, you know, a country like America, you know, for me was very important.


WIRE: All right, let's go to one last incredible moment here from Spring training. A young fan holding up a sign that says "all I want for chemo is for Fernando Tatis to sign my bald head."

PAUL: Wow --

WIRE: How could he not, maybe the most meaningful autograph the 21- year-old Padres superstar will ever give. This is what it's all about. Using your platform to share some positivity in the life of someone who needs it --


PAUL: Awesome --

BLACKWELL: Fantastic --

PAUL: Coy, thank you.

BLACKWELL: Thank you, Coy.

PAUL: There's a new episode of "THE WINDSORS: INSIDE THE ROYAL DYNASTY" tomorrow. Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On coronation day, crowds lined the streets hoping for a glimpse of their queen. And across the nation, people gather to watch it live on television.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, like a great seventh wave, the cheering grows to its climax. Into the forecourts of the palace comes the gilded coach bearing the young queen to her crown.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were waiting in Westminster Abbey, and we suddenly hear this roar, and then suddenly around the corner came this golden coach. It was like sort of a Disney film, fascinating, extraordinary.