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Second Person Dies from Coronavirus in U.S.; Pete Buttigieg Drops Out of Presidential Race. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired March 2, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Public health officials announce a second U.S. death from coronavirus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a large investigation going onto try to determine how it might have spread.
MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The American people can be confident that we are bringing a whole of government approach.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One day left before the big Super Tuesday contest, but, boy, has this race changed over the weekend.
PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just want to welcome all of his supporters and to urge them for joining us in the fight for real change in this country.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, March 2, 6 a.m. here in New York. And we begin with several developments in the coronavirus outbreak.
A second American has died in Washington state. He was in his 70s, and he came from a nursing facility in the Seattle area where dozens of people are sick. Health officials believe the virus has been spreading undetected in that state for weeks.
There are 89 confirmed cases in the United States. That's a 35 percent rise just over the weekend. And that includes the first cases now reported in New York, Florida, and Rhode Island. All of those are linked to recent foreign travel.
The number of deaths worldwide now tops 3,000. The spread of this disease is prompting the close of famous landmarks
around the world, including the Louvre museum in Paris. But global stocks are rebounding this morning on the belief the Fed will lower interest rates.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And we are waking up to an entirely new race for president this morning. Former Vice President Joe Biden's huge win in South Carolina has changed the dynamic of the contest before Super Tuesday, which is tomorrow, as in 24 hours from now.
For Biden the question is how much of a bounce will carry over? We just don't know.
What we do know is that his victory has already had major consequences. Former South Bend Pete Buttigieg, who won the most delegates in Iowa -- that was just one month ago -- he's now out, suspending his campaign overnight. We are watching to see if he endorses Joe Biden as soon as today. More on that in a moment.
First, though, coronavirus. Let's go live to Kirkland, Washington. Our Stephanie Elam is there.
And Stephanie, with two deaths there now, this is really the center of concern in the United States.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No doubt about it at this point, John. When you take a look at the fact that we have four new presumptive cases in King County here in Washington state and them all related to this facility here, this life-care center in Kirkland, Washington.
Obviously, officials are working to tamp down what could be an outbreak right here in their hometown.
ELAM (voice-over): A second death from coronavirus in the United States confirmed Sunday night. Health officials say the man was in his 70s and a resident of the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, where five other people have tested positive.
The Seattle and King County health department says, quote, "This number is expected to rise as more people are tested and results confirmed."
ALEX AZAR, U.S. HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Right now there's a large investigation going on. The nursing home, the hospital, contact tracing to try to determine where that disease was introduced and how it might have spread.
ELAM: The county says more than 50 residents and workers from the center are displaying symptoms and will be tested for coronavirus. The facility, however, says it is monitoring seven patients showing signs of respiratory illness.
Kim Frey drove four hours to come check on her mother here, who's been in the center for weeks.
(on camera): It sounds like you think it's possible that your family could have been infected with coronavirus. Why do you think that's a possibility?
KIM FREY, MOTHER IN LIFE CARE CENTER: Well, because we all have the same symptoms. Like, I actually had symptoms last month.
ELAM: Where would be ground zero where you all could have gotten sick?
FREY: Well, probably here. Yes, because she's been here for at least three weeks. And yes. And everybody in the whole family have been visiting her.
ELAM (voice-over): "The Washington Post" reports that analysis of samples from two patients suggests coronavirus has been spreading "over the past six weeks in Washington state." In all, the state now has 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including the two confirmed deaths.
ERIC FEIGL-DING, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: The fact that we have a death so quickly identified means this is just the tip of the iceberg. It means the epidemic was probably already spreading in the community for three to four weeks, potentially.
ELAM: The number of cases detected in the U.S. has nearly tripled since Friday, with new presumptive positive cases identified in Florida, Oregon, New York, and Rhode Island. Many of them involve recent foreign travel, including a New York City woman in her late '30s who visited Iran recently. She's being isolated in her home.
The Trump administration says it is expanding the criteria for individuals to get tested, but there is still concern the U.S. is still underprepared.
PENCE: Well, I -- I was informed by our team just in the last 48 hours that we're going to see 15,000 kits are in the mail. They're rolling out. We've approved a process for local testing. We think we've addressed the issue.
ELAM: Now, as far as Life Care Center is concerned, they're saying that anyone inside the facility that is showing respiratory symptoms, they are isolating them. They're monitoring them. And they will be tested for coronavirus.
On top of that, we do know that there are seven medics from Redmond, Washington, who may have had exposure to someone who's now a presumptive case of having the virus. And now they are also at this point being quarantined, John, just out of a precautionary move here. Because they don't know how this is spreading so far, and they want to make sure that it doesn't go any further.
BERMAN: I bet. All right. Stephanie Elam, please stand by for us in Kirkland, Washington, because we have other breaking news overnight. [06:05:06]
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has dropped out of the presidential race. This followed Joe Biden's big win in South Carolina and raises questions this morning about whether Buttigieg is poised to endorse Biden.
Our Jessica Dean is live in Houston, Texas.
Jessica, Texas is the second biggest delegate prize in tomorrow's Super Tuesday contest, and I know everyone in that state is waking up this morning the way the rest of us are, going, Wow. This changed quickly.
JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, what a difference a weekend makes, right?
Texas, of course, as you mentioned, one of the biggest prizes coming up tomorrow. Now just 24 hours away from Super Tuesday. And getting the news last night that former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was suspending his campaign after quite a historic run. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUTTIGIEG: So I urge everyone who supported me to continue in the cause of ensuring that we bring change to the White House and working to win the absolutely critical down-ballot races playing out across the country this year. There is simply too much at stake to retreat to the sidelines at a time like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN: Pete Buttigieg making history as the first gay candidate to receive delegates from either party. And of course, just an incredible meteoric rise from the former mayor. People couldn't even pronounce his name at the beginning. He had that CNN town hall last spring where he really caught people's attention and then began fundraising in huge numbers, drawing very large crowds.
So an incredible run for Pete Buttigieg. The question now: will he endorse before tomorrow's Super Tuesday contest? And if so, who will that be?
If you're reading the tea leaves, you see that he has really been lining up more with Joe Biden than Bernie Sanders. But we will see what happens there.
Speaking of Joe Biden, that huge win in South Carolina on Saturday that really changed the contours of this race. Just absolutely blowing it out in the Palmetto State. It is what his team always hoped for, but even this exceeded a lot of people's expectations and really changed so much about the dynamics of this race. The money now flowing into the Biden campaign.
The question: Can he take that big win on Saturday night and turn it into both momentum and more money that powers them through Super Tuesday and can make this into a two-person race?
Take a look at all of these delegates that are up for grabs tomorrow. You want to talk about a day that could really change this. It's a lot. And look at how the weekend changed the delegate race.
Bernie Sanders still leading with delegates, but Joe Biden now very close behind. And Alisyn, the "X" factor tomorrow, it's going to be the first time former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is going to be on the ballot.
Will that blunt Joe Biden's momentum? Will he win a state? Will he collect delegates? That's what everybody will be watching, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Oh, yes. It will be a very interesting day. Jessica, thank you very much for that, and we'll be talking a lot about what to expect for Super Tuesday, coming up.
All right. Meanwhile, what do you need to know about the coronavirus as it spreads. Are face masks effective? Should you be stocking up on hand sanitizer and Clorox? Dr. Sanjay Gupta is standing by with answers.
CAMEROTA: We have an update from overnight for you. A second American has died in Washington state from coronavirus.
Fears are growing this morning that the virus has been spreading undetected there for weeks. There are now 89 confirmed cases in the United States, including the first cases in Florida, Rhode Island, and New York.
CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now.
OK, Sanjay. So tell us what we need to know about these two cases in Washington state and the fear that community spread is already underway there.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it does seem like there's community spread, because you see so many of these different cases; and they're trying to find connections between all of them. But there's not clear ones.
The second patient who died is a man in his late 70s. He was treated at the same hospital as the first patient who died, who was a man in his late 50s.
Interestingly, there was another patient who tested positive that's being treated at that hospital from the same long-term care facility, which this new patient who died was at. So, you know, these are the types of connections that -- that public health investigators are trying to find.
CAMEROTA: Right. I mean, I don't want to jump to conclusions, but as a doctor, can you assume that, if at that long-term healthcare facility there are more cases now, and at the hospital there are more cases now?
GUPTA: I think they have to assume that this is obviously a contagious virus. There are people at that long-term facility who have similar symptoms. I mean, the symptoms can be vague, as you know. Cold-like or flu-like symptoms.
But still at this point, when there are people who have had coronavirus in this area, they've come in close contact with these patients, and these new patients develop symptoms, you have to at least get them tested.
BERMAN: This is good news and bad news.
BERMAN: Or bad news and good news. I'm just going to throw both of them out there. The idea it's been out there for six weeks, possibly spreading for six weeks, is of concern. But there's another side to that.
GUPTA: Yes, absolutely. So that first patient, you remember, back on January 20, the coronavirus that was actually found in that patient is genetically very similar to the coronavirus found in these other patients.
Remember the virus is constantly mutating and changing, but this was very similar. And that sort of makes the case that possibly the same coronavirus has been circulating for six weeks. And when you do the math, as some of these epidemiologists have done, that means hundreds of patients may have been exposed to this. But exactly to your point, John.
So that obviously sounds alarming. Hundreds of patients. But it also means hundreds of patients who probably didn't even know they were sick, didn't go to the hospital, didn't go to the clinic. Have not been flagged as concerns about this coronavirus.
And that sort of fits with this number that we're hearing out of China. Eighty percent of people, roughly, who get exposed to this virus have minimal or no symptoms. So that's -- that's obviously some -- a little bit reassuring.
CAMEROTA: But still, as you probably know, there's been a run this weekend on all sorts of face masks. People are rushing to Costco to buy their Clorox, to get hand sanitizers. I mean, the stores are packed.
Here's what the surgeon general said about face masks. I thought it was interesting. "Seriously people, STOP BUYING MASKS!" exclamation point. "They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching coronavirus. But if we healthcare providers cannot get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!" So what should people be doing who are concerned and want to take
GUPTA: You know, first of all, with the face masks, I could understand the concern. I mean, you know, there's not much you can feel in power to do in a situation like this. Just wash your hands, you're told. That doesn't seem like enough.
But the point, I think, the surgeon general was making and other people have made is for healthy people, it really doesn't provide protection. It may even give you a false sense of security. And touching the mask itself could actually contaminate you. So it's not really something that's good for healthy people.
I think, you know, look, we see the basic trued [SIC] and tried practices -- public health practices work in previous situations. The hand washing, the staying away from sick people.
CAMEROTA: What about the Clorox wipes? Seriously? Should you get some and wipe down surfaces? Does that work?
GUPTA: I think so. Yes. This -- you know, we will know for sure the effectiveness on this. But let me tell you that, based on how these wipes and this disinfectant work on other coronavirus, there's really no reason to assume that it wouldn't work here. It's actually a pretty flimsy virus. It's got this thin little envelope around it. So when you wipe it, that should take care of it. Obviously, hand washing should take care of it, with soap and water.
BERMAN: Sanjay, I know at the end of last week and into the weekend, you were very concerned about the testing deficiency in the United States. We were not testing nearly as much as other countries.
Vice President Mike Pence, with Jake this weekend, tried to allay some of those concerns, saying the 15,000 tests are in the mail. That's still not a lot. And in the mail, is that good enough?
GUPTA: I don't know that this is one of those things where you can catch up right? It's not like sleep where I didn't sleep for a few days and I can catch up on sleep. We -- there may be hundreds of cases, as we just were talking about in Washington state alone, that never got -- there was never surveillance around them. And there was more cases, obviously, that was spread as a result of that. That's the whole point.
When these sort of draconian measures were taking place in China. I talked to the CDC director. He said this is buying us time. This is buying us time. To do what? To get these tests out there, to be able to do proper surveillance, to actually implement these public health strategies.
I think the tests are still important to go out there. But Korea, in South Korea, they've tested 65,000 people. That's how they've been able to actually find so many of the patients who have these -- who have been, you know, diagnosed. I think once these tests go out, we're going to suddenly see this dramatic uptick in numbers. And again, that's going to scare people. Wait a second. We went from 89 people to several hundred people?
Yes, but those people have already been out there, most of them not sick. And -- and there is the good news/bad news part of this again.
CAMEROTA: Sanjay, it's great to have you here in studio. We have many more questions over the next couple of hours for you.
GUPTA: I'll be here. Thank you.
CAMEROTA: So thanks so much.
BERMAN: All right. Joe Biden's big win in South Carolina. How has it changed? Pete Buttigieg dropped out last night. Waiting to see if he endorses Joe Biden. The big question, Joe Biden's momentum. How much is it? We'll come back.
BERMAN: So what do we know about the race for president currently?
CAMEROTA: Less than we used to.
BERMAN: Exactly. Exactly. Everything has changed over the last 48 hours.
Joe Biden's huge win in South Carolina has dramatically shaken up the race. There are two fewer candidates in the race than there were 48 hours ago: Tom Steyer and then Pete Buttigieg dramatically last night. The question is how much of a bounce can Joe Biden get out of South Carolina? What will happen tomorrow?
Joining us now, CNN political commentators Joe Lockhart and Jess McIntosh. Jess was the director of communications and outreach for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.
Joe, what do we know?
JOE LOCKHART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You're right. We know less. What we -- what we're relying on now is not quantitative data anymore, because you have to throw it out. We just don't know what the impact of a bunch of developments. Biden really exceeding expectations in South Carolina. Pete Buttigieg getting out. Tom Steyer getting out, I think, has less of an impact in the race.
But you know, I think from the Biden perspective, he's got what he wanted. He's got a sense now that this is a two-person race, and it's he or Sanders. But we're going to find out tomorrow whether that's true or not. We don't know.
But take just Buttigieg dropping out. If you look at a morning consult morning poll from just last week, the Buttigieg supporters' second choices, No. 1 was Bernie Sanders. Now, it was evenly divided between Warren, Sanders and Biden. But you know, we just don't know. And again, coming back to Biden, what is happening is exactly what
they said would happen after underperforming. Now, it felt like a talking point at the time, which is all we can say is South Carolina is our firewall. We're just going to have to wait and see.
CAMEROTA: He now seems strategically brilliant.
BERMAN: I'm going to lose. Fifth and fourth.
LOCKHART: I'm going to lower expectations.
CAMEROTA: For all the weeks of people being, well, he misplayed that one. No, he didn't.
JESS MCINTOSH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, he was right. He had a firewall with the African-American vote in South Carolina. It came through for him exactly like he expected.
I think what pundits are betting on and to a certain extent candidates is what Joe was talking about. This idea that the race is coming down to the moderate lane versus the progressive lane, and we have to consolidate around the two. I don't think that voters are seeing the race in that way.
And you can tell whenever you drill down into who's your second choice that it looks like nine times out of ten the voter who claims Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden, their second choice comes from that other lane.
So I'm not sure that the winnowing is going to produce a two-man, two- lane race like we sort of cleanly assume it will. There are still other candidates in the race. We have a third of delegates up on Tuesday. These first four states are very small. They are, once you get to Nevada and South Carolina, at least a little more representative of the Democratic base.
But it's still a very small number of delegates that have been awarded and a small number of voters who have gotten speak. So now we're into the big contests where being able to be on the air matters. Being -- but you also have to have the ground game. You also have to have a message. The field is winnowing.
Tom Steyer leaving doesn't mean a huge amount, but it means a little bit. Everybody who leaves, you know, winds up consolidating amongst those who are still there.
BERMAN: Can we throw up just the map? This is Pete two or three. This is the number of all the delegates at stake in all the states that will vote tomorrow. And there really are more than a thousand delegates up for stake in all these states.
And Buttigieg, his withdrawal, what it does, it means that more candidates may cross that 15 percent threshold.
BERMAN: More candidates might be getting delegate there, which is good news for all of them, including Joe Biden.
We have seen this rush to Biden by the establishment very quickly from South Carolina. Between Terry McAuliffe and then Tim Kaine before. You know, Don Beyer, a congressman who had endorsed Buttigieg, endorsed Biden overnight. Buttigieg himself, who knows what he'll do today. It does seem that people who may have been Bloom-curious or people who are on the sidelines are getting off the sidelines.
LOCKHART: Well, I mean, there are some things that we can try to predict, but it's a prediction. It's not based in data at this point, which is, I think, important to know.
But Bloomberg got in, because he didn't think Biden was viable. South Carolina sends a message that Biden may be viable. That hurts Bloomberg and the narrative.
Secondly, on the narrative front, the so-called establishment in the Democratic Party has looked at this as Bernie Sanders -- you know, again, it all comes back to who can beat Donald Trump and that being the No. 1 goal. I think there's a lot of people in the party who thinks that Sanders, despite all the support he has and being the frontrunner, is less well-positioned to beat Trump than any of them. And they are looking to narrow this and to have a safer choice.
Again, Biden represents that in sort of an anecdotal way that you could not miss over the weekend. Terry McAuliffe, Tim Kaine, people -- Just a lot of people saying, Hey, I wasn't sure about him, but now I am. But again, this -- all of the numbers before Saturday, all of the polling, are now useless. We have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.
CAMEROTA: And just very quickly, about the exit of Pete Buttigieg, that's a loss. That's a loss of a thoughtful, calming voice that people -- you know, millions of people responded to. Even if they weren't going to vote for him, they liked his voice and his presence in the race. And so just very quickly, how did it go from him winning Iowa to weeks later dropping out?
BERMAN: That's extraordinary. That's extraordinary.
MCINTOSH: And to begin with, I doubt this is the end that we'll see for Pete Buttigieg. You know, in 20 years, he will still be a youthful presidential candidate.
BERMAN: And so he's the same age that half the candidates rare --
MCINTOSH: I would imagine that we will all have the opportunity to hear from that voice again.
I -- what I feel truly badly about is the history that these staffers, that this organization made by having the first openly gay candidate to win a presidential primary contest. And they were kind of robbed of that victory on February 3, because Iowa was as screwed up as it was. So I'm hoping that they are taking a well-deserved victory lap now.
They made history. That can never be taken away from them. And that is something that I think we as -- we as Democrats and we as the country ought to be celebrating.
BERMAN: Two things that are extraordinary. No. 1, that he was able to come from the mayor of South Bend all the way to winning the Iowa caucuses. That's an extraordinary story.
Also extraordinary, how can the winner of the Iowa caucuses be out?
LOCKHART: And again, I think Iowa for a lot of reasons is -- is, you know, sort of on very thin ice.
BERMAN: Yes. It smashed through that ice.
LOCKHART: It smashed through that ice. But it doesn't represent the Democratic Party. And the first time we saw a reflection of where the Democratic Party is, as opposed to where some people wanted to be was in South Carolina.
The base is not -- is not the revolution. The base is African- Americans, suburban women, young people. I mean, so it's part of the -- But everyone is speaking now in the Democratic Party. And that's what we have to wait and see.
BERMAN: I will say the one thing we do know -- we have to go -- Bernie Sanders is still in a very strong position.
CAMEROTA: Of course. We know nothing. Let's just end on that. OK.
BERMAN: All right. A quick programming note. CNN will have extended interviews tonight with five of the top Democratic presidential candidates. These are the ones remaining. That's starting at 8 p.m. That is ahead of tomorrow's Super Tuesday contests.
CAMEROTA: OK. The Trump administration is expanding screening procedures at airports because of the coronavirus. So what you need to know if you are traveling. Next.