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Second Person Dies From Coronavirus In Washington State; Biden Tries To Make It A Two-Man Race With Sanders; New York Governor On First Case Of Coronavirus In New York City. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired March 2, 2020 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[07:00:00]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: All right, welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is New Day. Important developments in the coronavirus situation, two dozen new cases reported in the United States, Florida, Rhode Island, Oregon, New York. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 89, and the global death toll now tops 3,000. Which country is struggling to contain the outbreak?

Soccer matches in Italy canceled, flights to Milan canceled. We're getting new reports this morning at a school in London closed. In Paris, the Louvre is closed.

Two people have died in Washington State where there are at least six cases being linked to one nursing facility. Health officials believe the virus had been spreading undetected in that state for weeks and obviously all over the country in the United States. Shelves, these shelves tell the story. Shelves are emptied with people rushing to buy medicine, food, water and other supplies. These pictures are from Minnesota. But it really is happening all over the country.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY: Meanwhile, in politics, Super Tuesday is tomorrow. And there's also major news. Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg suspending his campaign last night following a huge win in South Carolina by Joe Biden. Buttigieg could endorse another candidate today. He's telling supporters he wants to unify the party to defeat President Trump in November.

With more than 1,300 delegates at stake tomorrow, we will find out whether Bernie Sanders emerges as a dominant frontrunner, as he appears in some polls, and whether Mike Bloomberg will make a dent on the ballot for the very first time.

But let's begin with the coronavirus outbreak. CNN's Stephanie Elam joins us from Kirkland, Washington, with our top story. What is the latest, Stephanie?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what they're really concerned about at this point here, Alisyn, is an outbreak related to this facility that is behind me right here. This is the Life Care Facility in Kirkland, Washington, where we do know that there are six related -- coronavirus related health concerns. And that is why they're really working to knock this down here.

What I can tell you is that of those new presumptive cases that they are talking about that we learned about late yesterday, that four of them are related to this building. And one of them includes a 70-year- old man who did lose his life in his battle. He had underlying health concerns is what they are telling as well. We also know of those six, one of them is a healthcare work who also works here at this facility. So that is also part of the reason why they're so concerned.

This is just in Washington State, where the only two deaths that we know about related to coronavirus have happened across the country. But, yet, when you look across the country, we've seen the numbers really go up lately.

So take a quick look across the numbers. You're seeing that we have 89 cases in the United States. 44 of those are people who came back from that Diamond Princess Cruise who came back from there. We also have three that were repatriated from China and then 42 cases that have been detected in the United States, so those community spreading ones that people are very, very concerned about.

Overall though, as you can see, it is starting to move across the country with new cases coming up in New York and in Rhode Island as well. So this is something that officials say that they expect. They also say that we are probably going to see these numbers increase simply because it is possible that this illness, this outbreak has been out there in the community among people. And that is why they're saying we may see more cases and that now we're looking at these presumptive cases, Alisyn. It is likely once the testing is done and those numbers are back that we will see these numbers increase.

CAMEROTA: Okay, Stephanie. Thank you very much for being there on the ground for us.

Joining us now is Dr. Anthony Fauci. He's the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He's a member of the president's coronavirus task force. Doctor, thank you so much for being with us.

Obviously, Americans wake up every morning. they get new numbers it causes concerns. So there are currently 89 cases.in the U.S. Two Americans have died in Washington State. And what are the most concerned things for people is this notion of community spread. So how much of that are you seeing this morning?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DESEASES: Well, we're seeing the beginning of community spread, which as you mentioned, Alisyn, it's really quite concerning. Because when you have community spread, you don't know the real source, the index case of where it's coming from which makes the idea and the concept and the implementation of contact tracing much more difficult.

[07:05:04]

So, unfortunately, this is something that we expected. Whenever you have a respiratory disease that's easily transmissible, you're going to get community spread and it's going to become difficult to pinpoint the source of each and every infection. And that's exactly what we're seeing in Washington State and now in several other states throughout the country. It's going to make our job much more challenging.

CAMEROTA: Yes, that's all you need (ph).

What's the status of the testing kits? We had said that some hospitals were not equipped with them. They felt like people were presenting with symptoms and they couldn't test them. Is it too late now? I mean, if you're worried about community spread, first of all, are hospitals getting the testing kits and are they still useful?

FAUCI: Yes, absolutely, these testing kits are still useful. And the situation has changed and is changing rapidly. Many, many more tests are now becoming available. You're correct. Early on there was a lag and a porosity (ph) of tests. But now, the tests are becoming much more readily available.

CAMEROTA: The CDC is collecting and gathering data on how patients get better. What are the best techniques and medicines for helping people get better from coronavirus? Are -- is the CDC sharing that information with doctors around the country right now?

FAUCI: Well, I'm not sure how much information needs to be shared. There was no direct antiviral drug for the coronavirus. So it isn't as if you have a specific therapy. What you do is you give supportive therapy to people. The vast majority of people, about 80 percent, will do well without any specific intervention. Obviously, it's an illness. They generally and almost always recover. But then there's a percentage, 15 percent to 20 percent who get advanced disease requiring, in cases sometimes, intensive care therapy, which we all is involving helping people with breathing, with oxygen and even intubation at times.

So there is no specific treatment that anyone knows about. It's the underlying supportive care for these people.

CAMEROTA: I want to zero in on the New York -- a new New York case, because maybe it's a microcosm of what's happening in terms of the spread. There's a woman, she's in her 30s. She contracted the virus while traveling to Iran. She has come back home. The governor of New York says she is self-quarantined in her home. What about everybody on the plane that she came in contact with? What about people at the airport? Is there a feeling that with just that one case, that's where community spread could happen?

FAUCI: Well, exactly. And that's the reason why you do contact tracing. So what the state and local authorities will be doing is making a contact tracing on people that she clearly came into contact with for any reasonable period of time. That's what contact tracing is all about.

But, Alisyn, as you know, when you have a lot of people who are in the situation of community spread, it becomes logistically much more difficult to do that.

CAMEROTA: Absolutely. I mean, this seems like it would require a herculean effort. And so, Dr. Fauci, what will the next week or two look like? What do you predict is going to happen in terms of the cases in these states as well, I mean, just around the country?

FAUCI: Well, Alisyn, you know, it's always dangerous to make predictions, definitive predictions. But I'm concerned that you're going to see a lot more cases. I mean, certainly when you have a number of cases that you've identified and they've been in the community for a while, you're going to wind up seeing a lot more cases than you would have predicted. So my concern is as the next week or two or three go by, we're going to see a lot more community-related cases, and that's a great concern.

CAMEROTA: So what should people do? What do you want people to do? I mean, beyond washing their hands.as you know, there's been a run on Clorox wipes, on hand sanitizers, on masks. Is this stuff helpful? Should every American have these in their kit?

FAUCI: Not really. There really is no reason right now for people to run out and buy masks and wear masks. I mean, obviously, there are cases that we've discussed right now. What people should really do, and I know it sounds simplistic, is that what they need to do the normal pulmonary or lung hygiene things that they do for influenza. I mean, we are still in the middle of an influenza season.

We say it and people sometimes shrug their shoulders, but wash your hands as frequently as you can. If you cough, cough in your elbow and not on your hands. And try to stay away from crowded places where there are a lot of people who are coughing and sneezing. Those are the common sense easy things to do right now.

CAMEROTA: President Trump, as you know, you know, couple of weeks ago had expressed a sort of a rosy picture about what he thought would happen come spring. He felt that maybe the virus will go away in the warmer months. Have you been keeping him updated?

[07:10:01]

Has he changed his position in terms of his level of optimism about this?

FAUCI: Well, we keep him updated really very frequently. When we have a task force call in the morning. A task force meeting in the afternoon. And not infrequently, we go right from the task force meeting over it into the Oval Office and talk to him and give him a briefing. And certainly we do that with the higher staff, Mick Mulvaney, as well as Secretary Azar. So we're doing a lot of briefing of people.

CAMEROTA: And has he changed his opinion about it or his viewpoint?

FAUCI: No. I think he's getting a realistic picture of things right now, I mean, because we do that very frequently as I mentioned. CAMEROTA: Got it. Dr. Anthony Fauci, we really appreciate your time. It's so helpful to have an update from you in the morning for our viewers. Thank you.

FAUCI: Good to be with you.

BERMAN: Wash your hands. I mean, honestly --

CAMEROTA: I'm leaving right now to go wash my hands.

BERMAN: -- it is the best advice any doctor can give. And it's so important, it sounds simple, but it's crucial.

CAMEROTA: All right.

BERMAN: All right. We have major political news this morning. 14 states will vote tomorrow. Super Tuesday with 1,300 delegates at stake. It comes after Joe Biden's huge win in South Carolina already having big ripple effects. The biggest ripple, Pete Buttigieg ended his campaign last night.

Joining us now is CNN Chief Political Correspondent, Dana Bash, CNN Political Commentator, Karen Finney, and CNN Contributor, Wajahat Ali.

I just want to play some of Pete Buttigieg's announcement last night and he was ending his campaign, in case people went to sleep early, because this is a big moment in the campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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)

BERMAN: We're going to have a chance to talk about Buttigieg, his impact in his decision in a second, Dana, but, to me, this is a side effect of what is the bigger story here, which is that the entire dynamic of this race has changed in the last 48 hours. Joe Biden's huge win in South Carolina really shakes things up. So what are you looking for? What are the stakes heading into for tomorrow?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: They're so high. For Joe Biden, for Bernie Sanders, and, really, a big question mark about what Mike Bloomberg is going to do. What Pete Buttigieg did was try to lead the way, that he's saying, without using his words, I'm the guy who won Iowa. I came from nowhere with a name nobody could pronounce, with no national base, with, you know, no national and natural fundraising base, and look at how far I came. And yet I understand the reality of math. I don't see a path forward. And so the signal he is giving to others, including somebody with a lot of money, the deepest pockets in the world, Mike Bloomberg, is, okay, guys, it's time. Let's pull back. Let's get -- he's not actually endorsing Joe Biden. I can tell you that there is a lot of encouragement, people begging him to do so from around Biden world. But he's making clear that it's time to consolidate.

CAMEROTA: Waj, I know that you have been telling us for a couple of days now. Nobody knows anything. And I'm just wondering if given these developments you'd like to expound on that.

WAJAHAT ALI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. I mean, Joe Biden became president apparently yesterday and Kamala Harris is his V.P. in last week. Bernie Sanders, of course, welcomed the socialist state. And a week before that, we welcomed Mike Bloomberg's oligarchy. So nobody does know anything until after Super Tuesday, at after tomorrow, as a third of the delegates are going to be decided, 14 states and American Samoa.

But what we do know now is the lane is narrowing, right? And Pete Buttigieg did the math and he realized he could not win over people of color. We keep saying, you know, Karen and I say, hey, Iowa and New Hampshire is fantastic, two of the whitest states should not have that much influence on the Democratic nomination. You saw in Nevada. Bernie Sanders brought in the multicultural coalition, especially Hispanic voters. Guess what, Joe Biden brought in African-American voters. Jim Clyburn delivered and now you have a race after Super Tuesday, though it seems that realistically looking at the math right now, Bernie Sanders is going to get a lot, Biden is going to get a lot.

Bloomberg really has to make a decision here. You know, he's put in half a billion dollars. Is he going to win a state? And Elizabeth Warren has already said she's going to go to a brokered convention. Can she win her state?

And then the question really is for, I think, Amy Klobuchar, because if Pete Buttigieg made this decision, strategic decision, and you know, what's the calculus right now for Amy Klobuchar? Is she going to come in and do the same thing and help, let's be honest, Joe Biden, and say I'm going to stick in, I'll win Minnesota, I've heard some people say that she's saying, hey, I'm going to protect Minnesota from Bernie Sanders, and then I will drop out after Tuesday to give the edge to the candidate that a lot of the moderates are consolidating around? We'll see after tomorrow. Until then, I will keep making wild predictions about who the next president is.

[07:15:00]

BERMAN: Stand by. Karen do you want to jump in here?

KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure. look, I think couple of things, I agree completely with Dana. Tomorrow is a big day. It's going to give us a lot of information not just because the delegate count, which as you know, what I've also been saying, it's about the delegates. You got to pay attention to that. And obviously with Biden's win on Saturday in South Carolina, we see what a big difference one big night can actually make. Let's see how many places, whether it's Senator Sanders or Joe Biden or maybe Mike Bloomberg? I'm feeling less sure about that after what we saw in the exit polls in terms of people, African-Americans saying they're just not buying what he's selling.

But I think the other piece of it is we'll have a picture of which candidates are strong in which communities. So far, we've had four states. But after Super Tuesday, come Wednesday, we'll have a much bigger picture in terms of suburban voters, white voters, rural voters, African-American, Latinos, Asian-Americans, women, men, because we'll have much more data to look at.

And that is important to voters when you're thinking about who can beat Donald Trump. You're also looking at where -- you know, can they win in the places that we know we need to win. And so I think that will be really critical.

The last thing I would say is, don't forget that, you know, Pete Buttigieg, he has delegates to give. He has his endorsement, but he also -- it will be interesting to see when he makes his decision, what will he do with his delegates. Will he free them to say, go and do whatever -- support whoever you want. So there would be -- then they would be unpledged delegates, or do you ask them to, you know, make their way behind Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, or Mike Bloomberg.

CAMEROTA: You know, I also think that sometimes voters are strategic, as you all are describing. And sometimes they just vote with their hearts. I talked to voters in California a lot, and they're wrestling with this. They're wrestling with their vote for tomorrow. And what I hear some of them say is, I really like Amy Klobuchar. I really like Elizabeth Warren. You know, some of them are going to vote for who they really like as opposed to, you know, all of us in the punditry that think that we know -- that they're being strategic and they'll just vote for Biden or they'll just vote for Bernie Sanders.

BASH: The question is whether that's going to change after South Carolina. I totally agree. I hear the same thing from voters, Alisyn. The question is -- just anecdotally, I've met voters in a lot of the early states and I've gotten their numbers and had them text me. Just one example, somebody who voted for Amy Klobuchar in New Hampshire, it now texted me saying he's going to give money to Joe Biden just because he wants a Democrat who can win.

And the question is whether or not Californians to haven't voted yet, many have already voted in early voting, we'll see what happened in South Carolina and feel like they want to get on the Joe Biden train or just vote their heart. And if it's not Joe Biden to say, you know, we'll see what happens.

BERMAN: But that's one of the reason the margin matter in South Carolina. And I'm not saying Terry McAuliffe, who was former Governor of Virginia, the same figure. I'm not saying he is your average voter. But he decided to endorse Joe Biden after he saw the margin in South Carolina. He decided it was time to get off the bench. He felt that you needed to make that choice and make it publicly. And I'm just wondering if it's possible as you look forward, Waj, that that could be the way the Biden is hoping for. Whether it materializes or not, I don't know.

ALI: Yes. I remember I was last week when we said -- I said, I think Joe Biden needs to win by at least eight points, and he won by a crushing 28 points.

CAMEROTA: You did say that. He heard you.

ALI: Yes. And nothing succeeds like success, right? And so Joe Biden's campaign was -- let's be honest, it was not that impressive. He just picked up $10 million. He has some money now. He has a momentum and we still don't know what's going to happen. I mean, this race is still very fluid.

I'll give you one example. Amy Klobuchar, for example. She did so well in the New Hampshire debates. As a result to that performance, she jumped up ten points and landed in third, right? Everyone thought that Pete Buttigieg would at least last until Super Tuesday. He just dropped out. So there's still a lot of undecided voters, there's of number two voter.

We still don't even know who's the number two voter pick for Pete Buttigieg supporters, right? Is it going to Bernie? Is it going to go Elizabeth Warren?

So I would say for those watching, vote with your heart. Vote for the candidate who inspires you. Don't do the math in your head. It's all going to work itself out. Really, whoever inspires you, vote for that candidate, support them. We'll find out more by Wednesday.

CAMEROTA: Guys, we could talk to you all day. They're yelling at us in our ears that we have to go. We have a very busy rest of the program. Thank you, all, for your take on this.

BERMAN: All right. We have a very quick, because everything is very quick, programming note. CNN will conduct extended interviews tonight with five of the top Democratic presidential candidates, the ones still in. It all starts at 8:00 P.M. ahead of Super Tuesday's contest.

CAMEROTA: Okay. Then the first case of coronavirus has been reported here in New York. What is the state doing to keep the outbreak from spreading? New York's governor joins us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:20:00]

BERMAN: Breaking overnight, the first case of coronavirus here in New York City. Joining us now to discuss this, the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. Governor, thanks so much for being with us.

This is a medical worker, a healthcare worker returning from Iran. What can you tell us about her case?

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Yes. That's exactly right. Good morning to you, John, and all of your viewers.

A healthcare worker, 39 years old, who's returning from Iran and was very aware of the situation, obviously. And that turns out to be good news in this case, because she took precautions. She basically was isolated at home, went for a test. The test came back positive and she's isolated in her home again and being treated.

I don't think there's any great shocking surprise here. I've been saying for many days it's not if but when. We're in New York. This is a global situation. And what the state government is now doing on is -- focusing on mobilizing the public health system to contain the spread. That's what we're doing.

We now have the ability to do tests. We're increasing the number of tests and our testing capacity. And it's all about containing the spread.

BERMAN: I understand that this was a healthcare worker, as you said. She did smart things when she got to the United States.

[07:25:01]

But what about on the way here? Contact tracing is a huge part of trying to stop outbreaks. What do you know about the people who were on the plane with her? What do you know about the people who greeted her at the airport when she landed in the United States?

CUOMO: Yes. She wasn't symptomatic when she was on the plane and she didn't take public transportation. So, again, she is a healthcare worker. She's very sophisticated in this area. And either coincidentally or purposefully, she took precautions that actually turned out to be very advantageous.

BERMAN: Now, I'm not trying to unduly alarm people, but you know that you can pass this on. The research has shown that you don't need to be symptomatic necessarily to pass on this virus. So has there been tracing of the people even though she wasn't symptomatic that she didn't come in contact with on the plane and upon arrival?

CUOMO: Yes. We're going through that exercise now. But at this point, we have no reason for concern. Given where she was, when she came back and when the test was actually completed. But we're going through that exercise now. But we know, again, John, she was not on any public transportation. She has been in her home virtually isolated and she's isolated once again. So in this case, because of those circumstances, because of her knowledge, she actually acted in a way, a textbook way, if you would.

BERMAN: That's good news. I do know there are a couple of other cases being monitored right now. I wonder if you could tell us about that. And also tell us about your concerns about the possibility community spread here in New York. Have you seen any evidence of that yet?

CUOMO: Yes. John, I think we are -- if we take half a step back, we, on the two cases that are still pending, they're still pending, we have no further information. We will be testing for community spread. I fully expect to find community spread. You can't have it in this many places on the globe and in this many places in the country and not be in New York. So that is going to happen.

What I am concerned about, if anything, more than a health issue, is the perception issue and the fear issue. I understand diligence and I understand anxiety. Let's do everything we can. But you can't allow the fear to outpace reality, right? And people have to appreciate the facts here about what we're dealing with. This will -- there will be community spread. I believe it's inevitable. We'll be testing forward, we'll find it and then we'll get to the containment phase. But you're going to see this going on.

But put this in some perspective. This is not the first time we've dealt with this situation. We've had the H1N1, we had the swine flu, we had the avian flu, we went through Ebola, we went through MERS, we went through SARS. We've dealt with this before. The lethality rate, mortality rate here with this virus is going to be more on the senior citizens and the immune compromised. And that's where we have to focus our efforts.

But it's deep breath time, John.

BERMAN: Deep breath time, I understand that. I understand wanting to put it in perspective. So put it in perspective for the people in your state. What do you want them to do this morning?

CUOMO: Be diligent. Wash your hands. We'll be taking some additional precautions. And if you feel that you have symptoms, and it's tricky because this is flu season, right, but if you feel that you have symptoms that could suggest this, go to a healthcare professional and let them do a diagnosis. And then, we have the testing capacity. We'll be ramping up our testing capacity.

Again, we expect to find people who test positive. And then you isolate to reduce the spread the best you can, knowing that you can't really control the spread, but then making sure people understand that this is going to come. It is -- we're going to have to go through it. But keep it all in focus.

BERMAN: I have to let you go. The answer -- you do have testing down in New York. This was something that didn't exist before, but this is a change over the last three or four days, correct?

CUOMO: And this is a big deal. I spoke to Vice President Pence about this last week. All the tests had to go through CDC, John, and that was a terrible bottleneck. New York now being able to do the tests are how we found this case and how we can actually now be testing for community spread.

BERMAN: That is good news. Governor Andrew Cuomo, thank you so much for being with us. And as you say, helping put this in perspective, so people have the right concerns for all of this. I appreciate your time.

CUOMO: Right. Thanks, John. BERMAN: So more states race to track cases of coronavirus. A new report is raising concerns about contamination at the lab that makes the test kits or the early round of test kits.

[07:30:03]

We're going to have the reporter on who broke this story next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END