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Seventy-Four Coronavirus Cases Confirmed In The U.S., New Cases Announced Today In Rhode Island And Washington State; 55th Anniversary Of Bloody Sunday; Trump Announces New Coronavirus Screening Procedures In U.S.; Joe Biden Scores Huge Victory In South Carolina; China's Travel Industry Hoping Worst Is Over. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired March 1, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
We begin this hour with growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus here in the U.S. Today the President announcing new screening procedures for people arriving from high-risk countries.
This coming as health officials in the state of Washington are investigating a possible outbreak at a long-term nursing facility. Two people have tested positive and more than 50 residents and staff are now being tested after showing symptoms.
The state of Washington also confirming the first patient to die after being infected with the virus in the U.S. In this country, there are now at least 74 confirmed cases of coronavirus. In total, the CDC says 25 coronavirus cases originated in the U.S.
And today Rhode Island became the eighth state with a confirmed case of the virus.
Let's begin our coverage in Kirkland, Washington with Omar Jimenez. Omar -- what more do we know about this potential outbreak at this nursing facility in Kirkland?
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, it's something that has officials very concerned this afternoon. Now, this life care center nursing facility behind me alone, we had two people test positive for coronavirus.
You had 25 firefighters and two police officers who are now being quarantined as a result of responding to calls at this nursing facility. You have more than 50 people in total, health care workers and residents combined now being tested, and a number of individuals who are already showing respiratory symptoms and pneumonia.
So obviously officials here are treating this as a potential outbreak site both at the state and federal level. And we know that investigation is going to continue today as the CDC has also sent a team of experts out here to Washington to help support that investigation.
WHITFIELD: And Omar, are you learning any more about the first coronavirus patient to die in the U.S. there in Washington state? More about the person's condition prior to death, anything more?
JIMENEZ: that's right. This is a man who was in his 50s, and according to state health officials did have some underlying conditions as part of this coronavirus infection.
And as you mentioned, the first person in the United States to die as a result of the coronavirus. And as we learned about his case in King County here in the Seattle area, we did just learn about two new cases that just popped up literally within the past two hours from state health officials.
So obviously they're trying to get a handle on this and not have that first tide that we mentioned grow even higher than just the one where it is right now. And it is why state health officials and the CDC are treating sites like this here at the nursing facility so seriously and why they're going to continue to do so as we move forward into this week -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Omar Jimenez -- keep us posted. Thank you so much.
All right. President Trump and top U.S. health officials are scrambling to assure Americans the government has the outbreak under control. The President held a news conference on Saturday urging Americans not to panic.
And today Vice President Pence, who is in charge of the White House response to the virus, told my colleague Jake Tapper that most people who get the virus will recover, but admitted some high-risk patients could die from the outbreak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, we know there will be more cases.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And possibly more deaths?
PENCE: It is possible. I mean, the reality that Dr. Fauci and others explained to me since I took on these duties a few days ago is that for most people that contract the coronavirus, they will recover. They will deal with a respiratory illness, we'll get them treatment.
But for people that have other conditions that would militate toward a worse outcome that we could have more -- we could have more sad news. But the American people should know the risk for the average American remains low.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: CNN's Jeremy Diamond is at the White House for us. So Jeremy, what more do we know about what the President is doing to handle this outbreak?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred -- he took to Twitter this morning to announce new screening procedures. You'll remember yesterday, the President and the Vice President announced that they were increasing the travel advisory for Americans to certain parts of South Korea and Italy where there have been serious outbreaks in certain regions of both of those countries.
DIAMOND: Today the President announced that there will be additional screening now for travelers coming from those countries. A secondary screening at U.S. ports of entry when they arrive here in the U.S.
I just spoke with Katie Miller, the Vice President's press secretary, who explained that that secondary screening will typically involve health questions from DHS officials or contractors at U.S. Airports, essentially asking people if they're feeling well, unwell. If they've been to those regions in that country. And if, indeed, they do feel unwell or look like they're feeling unwell perhaps that would move to another step of health screening.
Now, amid all this they are also, by the way, Fred -- looking to do exit screenings as well for people who are leaving Italy or South Korea to have them screened on their way to the United States before they even arrive here.
Now, there is also some political controversy still swelling. And that is because the Vice President was asked today about these comments by Don Jr., the President's son, who said that he believed that Democrats hope the coronavirus kills millions of people. Listen to how the Vice President responded to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENCE: I think that was Don Jr.'s point, that there has been some very strong rhetoric directed at the President by some members of Congress --
TAPPER: You don't think that will --
PENCE: Well --
TAPPER: He said seemingly Democrats want millions of Americans to die of coronavirus.
PENCE: Responding to the kind of things that have been hurled is understandable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DIAMOND: And so you can hear there the Vice President would not condemn Don Jr.'s words and simply comparing it to the strong rhetoric on the other side. He wouldn't even call it strong rhetoric, in fact, as it relates to Don Jr. But all of that still continuing here at the White House where they are very much trying to focus on mitigating this crisis -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. Jeremy Diamond -- thank you so much, at the White House.
I want to bring in now CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Good to see you.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: So aside from that death in King County, Washington, there are now at least five other cases of coronavirus in that county alone. So what do we know about these cases, if they are in any way connected?
GUPTA: Yes. I mean that's what investigators are trying to do, trying to figure out if there is a connection between all these patients, or maybe there isn't. And this is more of that community spread.
For example, that man who died is in his 50s. He was treated at the same hospital as a woman who is a resident at this long-term facility. And then there was a worker at this long-term facility. Those are three of the patients.
We know that there is a postal worker who has tested positive who traveled from South Korea -- that could be related. Two men in their 60s who are in critical condition. One of them is stable but they're both in critical condition.
So, you know, trying to piece it all together is part of the challenge here -- Fred, as you might imagine for public health officials. There are 50 additional people now at that long-term facility who because they have some sort of symptoms now, are also being tested.
So it's a constant state of activity over there with this.
WHITFIELD: And then, you know, President Trump announced new screening measures that would include screening people from high-risk areas both before, you know, they board and after they arrive in the U.S. But, you know, this is a virus that doesn't necessarily show symptoms right away, so how effective might that be?
GUPTA: You know, I think it's one of these things where it's part of multiple steps -- things that you have to do. You know, you check people ahead of time to see if they have any symptoms, check them again.
And then they get educated that they might be at increased risk because of where they've traveled so, you know, they may be more cognizant of early symptoms. They may be more likely to isolate themselves, you know, and not get other people sick.
But to your point, I was just reading 46,000 or so air travelers have been screened as of the 23rd of February, and only one person was found to be positive. So the screenings are necessary, but they're not the only thing, and I think the education of patients after the fact, or potential patients after the fact, I think is a really important part of that as well.
WHITFIELD: Washington State and Oregon have both declared states of emergency. Listen to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar talking about taking extra measures against the virus here in the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX AZAR, U.S. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Right now it's important for people to understand, we're not advising any types of particular measures in the United States like travel restrictions or closures. State or local public health offices, which are the frontlines of response might make their own decisions to do that.
But at this point, we do not have sufficient spread in the United States that would indicate those measures, but we're not taking any of them off the table. The full range of options will always remain on the table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Will many states, however, be looking for some directives, even resources from the federal government?
GUPTA: Yes. Well, so I think that, you know, you talk about an individual level, and then you talk about it sort of at the medical level, hospital level.
GUPTA: With regard to hospitals, you know, this idea that you might start to get lots of patients -- for example, as I just mentioned, 50 patients being tested in one county in Washington state. If they come back positive. They need to be isolated. If they develop respiratory problems they need to be on a breathing machine.
Do we have the resources for that? I think that's one of the big sort of preparedness things that we need to be doing at the medical level. And I have to tell you -- Fred, it's not clear to me that these last six weeks which, you know, we bought this time because we quarantined in China, that we've been able to get that preparedness to where it needs to be.
For example, there's about 100,000 or so breathing machines in the country. There may be some more that are stockpiled, but maybe another 10,000. If we start to get lots and lots of people who develop these infections and who may be in need, a small percentage even, if they need to be on breathing machines, do we have enough and where are they located? And how do we make sure people get it?
If people need to be isolated, you can't always do that in hospitals, they might not have enough beds. So every public building potentially can now be a source of isolation, as Dr. Fauci told me. Big gyms in high schools, things like that -- that's part of preparedness. For the individual, you know, as Secretary Azar said, you know, it's kind of flu season. I would think of it the same way you think of flu season. People don't really maybe do much differently, typically but they should when it's flu season -- avoiding people who are sick, washing your hands, not touching your face.
It sounds silly maybe to talk about such, you know, basic measures in the midst of an outbreak, but the reason we keep talking about them, the reason people have been talking about them for hundreds of years is because they work, if people actually implement them.
Ultimately they make it to the point where we actually talk about real social distancing. Kids staying home from school, people staying home from work, public gatherings. I don't think people should be alarmed to hear me say that or hear anybody else say that. Again, those are basic measures that we may be -- maybe recommended in certain cities.
WHITFIELD: Not right now but potentially.
WHITFIELD: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- thank you so much.
GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.
WHITFIELD: All right. So right now 2020 Democrats are gathering in Selma, Alabama to mark the 55th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. While there, they will be participating in the annual march across the Edmond Pettis Bridge. You see the bridge right there.
And we have just learned that Congressman John Lewis will be among them. Lewis, of course, was one of the activists who was beaten by police in 1965 for his participation in that voting rights march. Each year, Lewis and other civil rights leaders have reenacted the walk across the bridge.
However, this year there was doubt whether or not Lewis would be able to participate after it was disclosed that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and he has been fighting it.
Our Arlette Saenz is in Selma. And so -- Arlette, you know, news is spreading there that Lewis is going to be there. People can't wait to see him. Tell me who else has arrived there. What is being anticipated and what's the mood like?
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka -- this stop by John Lewis is going to be a big surprise for many people here. The Congressman and civil rights icon, we've learned, will be attending the commemorations here at this bridge in Selma.
It was just 55 years ago, when John Lewis was 25 years old. He was one of the leaders of this march of demonstrators who were marching for voting rights. And white police officers beat several of the black protesters who were here on site. John Lewis himself even sustaining a fracture to his skull. So it will be a very emotional moment when Congressman John Lewis appears here today as he is also undergoing treatment for stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Now, in addition to Lewis, five of the Democratic 2020 presidential contenders are here in Selma for these commemorations of Bloody Sunday.
Joe Biden right now is speaking at Brown AME Church less than a mile from where I am right now. Michael Bloomberg also spoke a short while ago. And Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar will all be participating in the march here.
But certainly the emotional high point of the day will be when Congressman John Lewis appears and these crowds that are starting to gather see him arriving for this march.
WHITFIELD: And then, you know, you mentioned a number of the candidates running for the White House. Even Tom Steyer who suspended his candidacy is apparently there in Selma. But among those -- Amy Klobuchar, you know, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden you mentioned at the Brown Chapel.
But the reception for Michael Bloomberg reportedly has not been particularly celebratory. Can you tell us what happened?
SAENZ: Well, Michael Bloomberg got a bit of a frosty reception when he was speaking at Brown AME Church just a mile from where we are right now.
And as he was speaking about his Greenwood Plan, which is a plan for economic justice for black Americans, several attendees in the church stood up and turned their backs to Michael Bloomberg.
We haven't gotten a chance to speak to those people just yet, but there have been some questions about how exactly Michael Bloomberg would perform among black voters due to his past support of initiatives like his stop and frisk policy.
And Alabama, the state that we are in, is a Super Tuesday state with a significant black voter population. Black voters made up a majority of the Democratic primary electorate back here in 2016. And Michael Bloomberg has poured significant resources into the state as it's one of the first contests where he will actually appear on the ballot.
Now also here today speaking right now is Joe Biden -- fresh off that victory in South Carolina. And he and his team are looking to states like Alabama, a lot of these southern states have significant African- American populations where they believe he performs well. And he did quite well among black voters last night in South Carolina.
So Alabama is going to be one of those critical Super Tuesday states that we're going to see how voters decide to go in this contest in just two days -- Fred. WHITFIELD: All right. Arlette Saenz -- of course, we'll check back
with you. And of course all eyes on Selma, Alabama today with this 55th year marking. And of course, people very anxious to see Congressman John Lewis there as well.
Meantime, Congressman James Clyburn, the king maker in South Carolina and also a very good friend of John Lewis -- he is now, Clyburn is speaking out more about his endorsement of Joe Biden. He says Biden was -- has his work cut out for him, and it may start with retooling his campaign, I'm quoting him on saying that. Biden responding on CNN to that -- next.
Plus Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar comes to the defense of President Trump and accuses lawmakers of politicizing on the coronavirus outbreak.
A senior congressman on the Armed Services Committee, joining me to respond to that. Coming up.
WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.
Joe Biden scores a huge victory in South Carolina, winning the Democratic primary contest by nearly 30 points. The former vice president telling CNN's Jake Tapper that his campaign will build off that blowout win heading into Super Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE; I think we have a long way to go. Look we just -- this is a big boost for us. I think we're going to do well in a number of states, but Super Tuesday is only three days away. And we're in a situation where we're just beginning to raise the kind of money we thought we would be able to raise in the front end. We've raised about $17 million, $18 million this month. $5 million just since the victory or during the victory in South Carolina.
TAPPER: So obviously Super Tuesday looms. You said last night that the endorsement of Congressman Jim Clyburn, the House Majority Whip and the dean of the South Carolina delegation -- you said his endorsement quote, "brought you back in South Carolina".
But I have to know, and I don't know if you know about this, but earlier in the day he told CNN that the Biden campaign needs an overhaul compete going forward, that you need to improve fundraising, that you need to improve get out the vote efforts and much more.
Listen to a brief excerpt of this.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D): We need to do some retooling in the campaign, no question about that. I did not feel free to speak out about it or to even deal with it inside because I had not committed to his candidacy. I have now. I'm all in. And I'm not going to sit idly and watch people mishandle this campaign.
TAPPER: He's saying people are mishandling your campaign. This is a supporter. I'm sure he is even more verbose behind closed doors. Are you going to overhaul your campaign?
BIDEN: Well, it's about addition, not subtraction. We're bringing on from each of these primaries and/or caucus states when they go by. We bring on more and more people of real competence and consequence.
And he's right about the fundraising. But for example, just last night, we raised $5 million online. We've raised about $18 million so far just this month. Things are beginning to change.
And he's right. I listened to his counsel and I think -- and I listened to his counsel relative to how I can get better as well. And so this is about addition, not subtraction. And going into Super Tuesday we have, in Super Tuesday states, 340 major endorsements.
We don't have the troops on the ground because we haven't had the money to get that done. But we're going to do I think better than anybody expects. And then we'll move into states where I'm confident we're going to be able to win in primaries like Florida and Georgia and other places.
So I think this is -- this is a marathon. We've got to continue to improve. That's what it's all about and I think that's what's happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Joining me to discuss now: David Swerdlick a CNN political commentator and assistant editor for the "Washington Post"; and Toluse Olorunnipa, a CNN political analyst and White House reporter for the "Washington Post". Good to see you both.
DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey -- Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right. David -- you first.
You know, Biden scored a 30-point win. So one has to wonder if that will give him the momentum to really influence, you know, voters in the next 14, you know, state races Super Tuesday and one territory -- U.S. territory.
SWERDLICK: Yes. Good afternoon -- Fred.
Yes, Biden's campaign got new life breathed into it by that big South Carolina win. And his effort in South Carolina got life breathed into it by that late endorsement from Congressman Clyburn who gave a really impassioned speech earlier in the week.
I don't think it flipped Sanders voters to Biden voters but I think it focused the minds of voters in that state who are still trying to make up their minds and gave Biden that life.
[14:24:52] SWERDLICK: But the real test is going to come on Tuesday -- Fred.
Biden has to try and win in Florida where he's ahead in polls, pick off some other southern states, but Sanders has a huge lead in those two big states -- California and Texas.
It's going to be a tough day for Biden. He's got to show that he can make some momentum out of South Carolina.
WHITFIELD: And Toluse, it's interesting. There are people who are coming out now who are suddenly endorsing him. It's almost as if they were waiting to see what would happen out of South Carolina and perhaps that breathed, you know a little hope into his campaign too.
So meantime these, you know, CNN exit polls show Biden won over 60 percent of the black vote in South Carolina while only one in five black voters supported Bernie Sanders. The Sanders campaign made a very strong effort to reach out to black voters in South Carolina this year but it didn't translate into a victory.
So, Toluse -- I mean you need to garner black vote support nationwide, you know. So what does that kind of outcome look to Bernie Sanders like?
TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. It's a tough situation for Bernie Sanders. He had a similar problem in 2016 against Hillary Clinton where he could not win over black voters, especially in the South, and she really cleaned up against him. They spent years, the Sanders campaign, Sanders and his allies really trying to reach out to black voters, really trying to making sure that Sanders tailor his message to these voters.
And the improvement was only marginal. He did not have a very significant improvement over 2016. and if you're Joe Biden, you have to really love the numbers that you saw out of South Carolina. Not only did he do very well with black voters, but he also cleaned up with upper income white voters of the more moderate, college-educated voters that he's going to need if he's going to be competitive in some of the states that are going to vote on Tuesday.
If he can replicate what happened in South Carolina, he could have a better than expected night on Tuesday night. But South Carolina is sort of one state out of the many that are going to determine what is ultimately going to happen. And we did not see that kind of turnout, we did not see that kind of support for Biden in the early two states in Iowa and New Hampshire and even in Nevada.
So it does remain to be seen whether he can replicate what happened in South Carolina. But for Sanders, he definitely needs to improve with black voters if he's going to be competitive, if he's going to be able to get a majority of delegates.
Otherwise it's going to be a two-person race and Biden will have a strong advantage with a big core of the Democratic Party that points to black voters.
WHITFIELD: And then David -- you know, Senator Bernie Sanders has made a name for himself, you know. And calling his campaign and everything he represents, you know, a push for a political revolution. But listen to what Joe Biden, you know, had to say this morning about the promises Sanders is making.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Look, people aren't looking for a revolution, in my view. What they're looking for is they're looking for results. They're looking for getting things done. And Bernie doesn't have a very good track record of getting things done in the United States Congress, the United States Senate. And much of what he's proposing is very, very much pie in the sky.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: So, David -- is that effective messaging on, you know, Joe Biden's part, or what will this inspire, you know, Bernie Sanders to start saying?
SWERDLICK: Right. I mean I think it's effective messaging to the sense that we're getting to the point where this race is narrowing down to these sort of two theories of the case. Do voters want big change or do they want just a correction back to the pre-Trump days. And that is what vice president, Biden is offering.
Just to take you back on what Toluse was saying a second ago, and I agree with everything he said, a poll in January, a Gallup poll said 67 percent of black voters described themselves as either moderate or conservative. So in South Carolina and around the country, you see that that Biden message is more receptive to a lot of black voters.
But what Sanders' campaign is looking at -- Fred, is that in South Carolina even they were neck and neck with Biden with black voters under 30 or 30 and under. And I think that's where they're going to make their play for voters of color, black and Latino, with their message saying no, we do want a revolution, we do want big change. We don't just want a return to the Obama years.
WHITFIELD: And all right. Thank you so much. We're going to leave it there for now.
Appreciate it -- David Swerdlick, Toluse Olorunnipa. I thought we had time for one more question but no, they're pulling the plug on me.
Ok. Sorry about that.
All right. Thank you so much.
All right. Coming up this week on CNN -- one day, 14 primaries. Super Tuesday is the most important test yet for the candidates and no one brings it to you like CNN.
Special live coverage starts Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. right here on CNN.
WHITFIELD: As we learn about more cases of the coronavirus here in the U.S., the Trump administration appears to be making a last-minute scramble to step up its response after the president downplayed the virus, calling it a Democratic hoax. He later said he was referring to Democrats' response to it and not to the virus itself. And today, his Health and Human Services secretary also tried to clarify that description.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX AZAR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: He's talking about the partisan sniping that we're seeing. It's unnecessary. We don't need to have this made a political issue. We're in a public health crisis here. We need to all be banding together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. Joining me right now, Democratic Congressman John Garamendi of California. He's on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Congressman, good to see you.
REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): Good to be with you, Fredericka.
WHITFIELD: All right. So your state is affected. You have positive cases in your state. I know it's a great concern to you and really to everybody across the country when you heard from Secretary Azar this morning. And even the clarification about what the president's intention was, using the word, hoax, what's your response to that and your response to the administration's actions?
GARAMENDI: Well, Azar is absolutely correct.
It should never be a political football, yet it is the president and his people who have made it a political football. And most concerning of all is the inconsistency of the messages over the last three to four weeks. That inconsistency has led to inaction in the early days, and it's led to confusion along the way.
Going forward, we really have to have a very consistent message from the federal government that lays out clearly what they are doing, what the risks are, where the problems are, where the solutions are. I was just off the phone here with the Governor Newsom's chief of staff and the State of California is geared up. The governor, the Office of Emergency Services working with all of the local agencies. All of that is in place and going to operate with or without the inconsistencies from the federal government.
WHITFIELD: And so far, California, your state, is one of the worst affected.
GARAMENDI: Yes. WHITFIELD: And your district includes one of the military bases where evacuees from China are being quarantined. So what are health officials telling you about the resources they have, the preparedness, the response, all of that?
GARAMENDI: Well, here is another example of inconsistencies. The president has been saying in recent days that he saved the United States by closing the borders. Well, perhaps he did, but he specifically brought into my district at Travis Air Force Base and Fairfield, Vacaville area a couple thousand people from a highly infected area, Wuhan, China, and also from the cruise ship that was stuck off the coast of Japan. Some of those people were infected. We were concerned at the outset that there was -- the preparation to deal with those people was rushed and quite probably not satisfactory.
In addition to that, many of those people were released after 14 days. There is a big question of whether they were tested. We know that at the time of their release, tests were not readily available. And so they went back all across America, maybe, well, let's just say, untested.
So there's enormous concern in our community. Fortunately, the state government is now prepared. The testing in California was delayed for at least a week, quite possibly somewhere like two weeks because the Center for Disease Control would not authorize the laboratories in California to do testing.
So here we are. Going forward, we're prepared in California. The Governor's Office, the counties, they're geared up, they're ready to go. We need to have a consistent, strong message from the administration, and we're going to need a lot of money.
WHITFIELD: Okay. The vice president said also that test kits are in the mail, and then I wonder if you have any strong points of view about whether the test kits will assist, whether there is direct assistance coming from the CDC at all to help these specific states, including yours, California.
GARAMENDI: Well, here's, again, the inconsistency, the inconsistency about the tests not being allowed, now being allowed. Earlier, just two days ago, they said there would be test kits available in California at the end of this week, now they're saying there's 75,000 available. The fact of the matter from the state's view is that test kits are now in hand in California, and that is really, really good news, because you cannot do the work of the public health without knowing who is infected or not infected. Fortunately, that is -- those tests are now available in California. We are all very thankful for that.
WHITFIELD: Okay. Let's talk 2020 race for the White House. You were on this program not long ago where you actually endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden. He is enjoying an incredible win in South Carolina. How much of an impact do you believe it might make on the Super Tuesday states, including California? Do you think he's winning new support from perhaps voters who were undecided or maybe those who are willing to change their minds as a result of his results in South Carolina?
GARAMENDI: Oh, this is really, really good news for those of us that want a president that really has experience, that really understands what good can be done by government and has the international experience to repair the damage that has occurred during the Trump administration with our allies. This is Joe Biden. He has the big momentum.
Let me just give you an example. Yesterday, my wife was talking to her friends, and they were saying, oh, I don't know, but I was about to put my ballot in the mail, and I brought it back out, and I'm going to put in Biden because now he is viable. Now he can win. He's the man I always wanted, but there was a chance where he wasn't going to be even viable. He is viable. He is on a roll. I think it's going to have an enormous impact in California as people go to the polls.
Unfortunately, for Biden, a lot of people voted early during that period of time when there was a concern that he would not be able to be viable. He is viable, he is strong, he is on a roll, he's got the big momentum.
WHITFIELD: All right. Congressman John Garamendi, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it. Good luck on Super Tuesday in your state.
GARAMENDI: Thank you. For all of us.
Still ahead, as President Trump announces new screening procedures for the coronavirus, we'll take a closer look at what that really means for travelers.
WHITFIELD: As health officials in the State of Washington investigate a possible outbreak in a nursing home, concerns are growing over the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. And President Trump today announcing new travel restrictions for people arriving in the U.S., travelers from high-risk areas will now be subject to an extra level of screening.
CNN's Brynn Gingras is at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
So, Brynn, tell us about these extra measures.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. The president making that announcement on Twitter in addition to what we learned from that rare press conference that they held just yesterday. Essentially, what they're saying is the administration is going to be adding extra measures, making sure that travelers who are coming into the United States from those high-risk countries. We're talking parts of Italy, we're talking about South Korea, Iran,
China, they're going to go through screening before they even board the plane. And then they're going to receive another screening once they get stateside here in the United States.
Now, this is also another step the administration is taking, is expanding that travel ban to Iran. So, essentially, foreign national who are traveling to People who have traveled to Iran within the last 14 days are not going to be allowed into the United States. This is much like the measure that was taken, of course, once this coronavirus outbreak started with China, so it's expanding on that.
Also, we're learning the administration is raising the travel advisory to its highest level, level 4, to parts of Italy and South Korea as well, urging Americans to not travel to those countries while this coronavirus outbreak is continuing to go up. As a result of that, American airlines, we have learned, has canceled some of its flights, or all of its flights, rather, to Milan, Italy, and it will just be a matter of time. We're hearing it's possible that other airlines are going to follow suit. Fred?
WHITFIELD: Yes, it's going to cost these airlines and people, travelers, a lot of money, a lot of resources. Brynn Gingras, thank you so much, at Newark Airport in New Jersey.
All right, still ahead, after weeks of quarantine, small signs of life returning to normal in parts of China. We'll take you there, next.
WHITFIELD: Pope Francis says a cold he's come down with will force him to miss more public events, including a week-long spiritual retreat south of Rome. Speaking from his window above St. Peters Square, Sunday, the 80-year-old talked about his condition while addressing the crowd below, struggling with a cough at times during his speech. Earlier this week, the Vatican said the pope would cancel all public events but would hold private meetings at his residence.
The coronavirus has spread from China to more than 60 countries now with more than 87,000 confirmed cases worldwide. Its economic impact, nothing short or profound for the Chinese travel industry.
CNN International Correspondent, David Culver takes us inside China's largest online travel company whose leaders are starting to see a turnaround after some devastating weeks.
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You are inside the network operations center for Asia's largest online travel agent, Trip.com. CEO Jane Sun mapping out the data, showing us the devastating impact the novel coronavirus outbreak is having on travel.
Year-over-year, this is able to show you it's still down. JANE SUN, CEO, TRIP.COM: Yes, quite (INAUDIBLE).
CULVER: You can see sales compared with last year plummeting from yellow down roughly 40 percent, to red, down 100 percent. But in recent days as the virus has spread rapidly to other countries, a glimmer of hope here it all started, within China.
It's picking back up again.
CULVER: Is this close to normal or not quite?
SUN: Not quite. Right now, it's about 10 to 20 percent of the normal level.
And moving over here, this is high speed railway tickets, and as you can see, it's getting busier and busier.
CULVER: But outside China, Trip.com is tracking a decline in a travel demand. That's in part because of the travel restrictions imposed against China by multiple countries, including the United States.
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: It greatly slowed the spread of the virus to the United States.
CULVER: But the World Health Organization says China's internal containment efforts methods are effective, including the extreme lockdown zones. And amide plummeting global stock markets, the WHO supports China's resuming of business in phases.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But if countries create barriers between themselves and China in terms of travel or trade, it is only going to compromise everyone's ability to get this done.
SUN: You cannot really isolate one country anymore. It takes global efforts.
CULVER: Back at Trip.com, Jane Sun believes countries can strategically ease travel restrictions, limiting the spread of the virus while allowing the flow of business once again.
SUN: I hope different countries and airlines will lift their travel bans to the people outside of Wuhan, because the number has shown they're healthy people, they have buying power. I think the industry needs to be recovered.
CULVER: Sun is also encouraging new workplace habits within her own company as roughly 40,000 employees have slowly returned to the office. Masks are required and they pass through temperature checkpoints daily.
Even the boss has to do it.
SUN: Yes, everyone. CULVER: And Sun's customer service centers are working overtime, handling millions of cancellations and refunds, something she's had to convince business partners to agree to.
SUN: So I reached out to all the CEOs for hotel chains, for the airlines, for local tour operators and yesterday was the cruise CEOs. Everyone needs to be brought into the frontline.
CULVER: Sun says much of her time is focused on reassuring others around the world, her business partners, customers and employees.
SUN: If we work together, we'll find a way to fight this through.
The person I admire very much, Churchill and Roosevelt, even during these darkest moments, they have the courage to encourage the global community and says, we never give up. We fight to the end.
WHITFIELD: All right. History in the making now as 2020 Democrats are gathering in Selma, Alabama to mark the 55th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. We're now learning Congressman John Lewis, who has been battling pancreatic cancer will participate in this occasion.
CNN is live on the scene, next.