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NEW DAY

Stores Running Low On Masks, Hand Sanitizers & Cleaning Wipes; How To Protect You And Your Family From Coronavirus; Report: Lab For Coronavirus Test Kits May Have Been Contaminated; U.S. And Taliban Sign Historic Agreement; Israel Vote In Unprecedented Third General Election In A Year; LeBron Outduels Zion In Lakers-Pelican Showdown. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired March 2, 2020 - 07:30   ET

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


[07:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Two Americans have died of coronavirus in the Seattle area from so called community spread and new cases linked to recent foreign travel are popping up across the country. What can you do to protect yourself today and your family?

Joining us now CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. So Sanjay, we're always trying to inform people without alarming them but when you hear that there are new cases and there's community spread happening in Seattle, of course people are alarmed.

Let's just go through it. One of the comforting things you've tried to tell us is the vast majority of people who might contract this will be fine. They will have what? Flu like symptoms and then get over in the space of a week, few days? What - what happens if you - what's the recovery like once you have this?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Yes and so for a lot of people, they may have no symptoms at all or just mild symptoms. If they get flu like symptoms which are more serious, usually a week to 10 days of symptoms and they recover and this was an important point because there were some reports coming out that said people can become re-infected at some point.

Dr. Faucci was asked about this specifically and he said, there's no evidence of that. So once you're infected with something, typically it's kind of like getting the vaccine to it, right?

[07:35:00]

CAMEROTA: You have some immunity.

GUPTA: You have your immunity that's built up. There was question of whether that was true with coronavirus initially. Dr. Faucci said it is true so that's good news as well. As we get exposed, we're going to develop its native immunity.

CAMEROTA: The people who are dying have already had compromised respiratory systems or they are elderly. Yes or no?

GUPTA: Primarily. I've looked at the data. The biggest study obviously coming out of China, some 70,000 patients and you can see the graph and you know there are some - few deaths, people in their fifties but the vast majority of people are in their seventies or eighties and many of them with pre-existing conditions, including cardiac disease, lung disease, diabetes and obesity. Those are the big ones.

CAMEROTA: There's been a run on Clorox at different stores, on hand sanitizer, on facemask. Should people have these at home just as a precaution right now?

GUPTA: I think that sterilizing things you know, the Clorox, whatever bleach to try and clean, there's pretty good evidence that works on coronaviruses. There's a family of viruses, we don't know for sure with this one but there's no reason to suspect that that wouldn't work.

There's a lot of debate back and forth on the masks and I think this is going to be a growing debate. What you're hearing from public health officials is that if you're healthy, you really don't need the mask. If you're - if you're somebody who has symptoms, you're wearing the mask to protect other people from you.

The only healthy people they say that should be wearing these masks are health care workers because they're coming in direct contact with very sick people but you know, this idea that the healthy people wear and it could actually giving them a false sense of comfort, I think it's probably true you know.

So for the time being at least, if it starts to spread really robustly within communities, maybe that recommendation will change but for now healthy people shouldn't wear.

CAMEROTA: They're also using the face masks that health care workers need. There aren't enough of them at the moment being manufactured or whatever, in storage.

GUPTA: Yes, they say they're going to start making 35 million a month. 3M IS. They're going to start that now. But yes, for the time being, we don't have enough.

CAMEROTA: Hand sanitizers like Purell, does that work?

GUPTA: Yes, it seems to work. I mean you know these alcohol based sanitizers. I mean, hand washing is probably the best just because you're doing it for a longer period of time but again this virus, if you look at it it's a pretty flimsy virus thankfully.

So most of these types of sanitizers will probably be good.

CAMEROTA: Very quickly, we only have 5 seconds. Should people be canceling their airline - airline travel?

GUPTA: Not yet, not domestically. You know, there's certain areas around the world which are getting travel advisories but I'm flying later on today.

CAMEROTA: OK, if it's good enough for Sanjay Gupta. It's good enough for John Berman.

GUPTA: What about you though?

CAMEROTA: No, I'll be staying home.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: I have a flight to Seattle. That's a different story all of it.

CAMEROTA: I was on a plane yesterday, it's fine, I think.

BERMAN: Yes, exactly.

GUPTA: You look healthy.

CAMEROTA: Sanjay, thank you very much for all the information.

BERMAN: All right, we've been talking about this. Testing has been one of the major areas of concern here. A new report is raising even more concerns about contamination at an Atlanta lab that produced the government test kits for coronavirus.

Axios reports that a top federal scientist sounded the alarm, prompting an investigation at CDC facility. Joining me now, the reporter who broke the story, Jonathan Swan from Axios. Jonathan, great to have you here. What did you find?

JONATHAN SWAN, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS: So on February 22, we found the Food and Drug Administration's Regulator at Timothy Stenzel, who is a diagnostics expert and a scientist.

He was sent to the Center for Disease Control's Atlanta laboratory to help them figure out what was going wrong because you've seen the government talk about problems with the diagnostic test kits.

Obviously, the United States is well behind South Korea, China, other countries in mass producing and getting these tests out to market for coronavirus. So we've heard about you know, potentially problems with reagents and other things. This FDA regulator gets to the laboratory and was alarmed by what he saw there in terms of the procedures and possible contamination in the laboratory.

He reported this back to the government. It was escalated to the highest levels and was discussed in a conference call on Thursday afternoon, interagency conference call that included the Department of Health and Human Services, FDA and CDC.

Now what they've told us - they are still not telling us what exactly this FDA regulator observed in the lab. What the nature of the contaminant was but they were sufficiently concerned.

They've moved the development of these testing kits and the manufacturing out of this laboratory. They've told us. And they've got a third party contractor involved. They're not saying who it is or where it is but they're developing the kits away from this laboratory.

They're also - they've told us doing an independent investigation into what exactly went on in this laboratory.

BERMAN: I have to say Dr. Sanjay Gupta pointed out one of the problems with this testing deficiency or delay has been you can't retroactively go, test people who may have come in contact two or three weeks ago. It may be that you missed the chance.

[07:40:00]

SWAN: Exactly. Yes.

BERMAN: To test people out there and I was listening very closely to Mike Pence and other political leaders as we can talk about testing and you can tell I think Jonathan, that they know that there is a concern out there.

They know that they're playing catch up in a way that may be impossible to ever achieve.

SWAN: That exactly the right point. It's that - it's what we've already lost with this delay and I can just tell you from the conversations I've had with senior administration officials, there is extreme frustration at the top level of government about how long it has taken to mass producing, get these testing kits out into the community.

Extreme frustration and the Secretary of HHS Alex Azar has been under huge pressure to sort of get this going.

BERMAN: Different subject that you've been doing some reporting on Jonathan and that's the Peace deal between the United States and the Taliban. There are a lot of aspects of this but one you point out, is the discussion of prisoners being released, Taliban prisoners being released.

Up to 5000. Now there's some dispute about what exactly was promised or not but the fact that this was even discussed, you point out, imagine a universe that this happened during the Obama administration, imagine what Republicans would be saying if President Obama promised to release 5000 Taliban prisoners. Why'd you raise that?

SWAN: Well, I mean, just think back to private citizen Donald J. Trump and the fact that for a couple of years, berated Barack Obama for the release of five Taliban prisoners and so 5000, I mean, it's sort of it's - it's really kind of thought experiment because we all know what the answer is but it's also another good indication of the control that President Trump wheels over the Republican Party because the dispute and challenging of this peace agreement was so muted.

You saw some like Liz Cheney in the House of Representatives and a few other Republican sound alarms. You saw John Bolton, most - probably the most aggressive but he has nothing to lose.

You know, Trump got rid of him and he's got a book coming out. He said it was an Obama like deal but for the most part, even ultra-hawks like Lindsey Graham who would have been beating the hell out of Obama if he did this deal, they've been pretty quiet and well behaved.

BERMAN: Do you think there's a long leash on this because you do hear from some national security Republicans like Mark Wallace, congressman from Florida, when it comes to mind, he has expressed concern and I wonder if the slightest thing turned south on this, that the volume will increase.

SWAN: So you are saying look, to Mike Pompeo's credit, he has been cautious in his language describing this deal and you know, there's a lot of conditionality built into it. You know if the Taliban don't meet certain conditions.

I think the real question - certainly the question I'm hearing when I talk to administration officials is, is doubt over whether Donald Trump who of course Pompeo reports to will be willing to re-engage in Afghanistan if the Taliban don't agree to these commitments because Trump just wants to get out.

He thinks it was a disaster in the first place, never should have gone in so the idea that he would reconnect is - it does strain the imagination.

BERMAN: Hey Jonathan, thanks so much for joining us this morning and talking to us about a range, the whole range of your reporting. Great to have you on.

SWAN: Thanks for having me.

BERMAN: Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK John, developing right now a critical election under way in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting to remain in power. We have a live report from Israel for you. Next.

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[07:45:00]

CAMEROTA: Israelis are voting today in an unprecedented third general election in the space of one year. The vote coming just two weeks before the start of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is live in Tel Aviv with more. Well, this will be an interesting day, Oren.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It certainly will be. The question is will it be any different than the last two times. We're here just outside of Likud election night headquarters where there are two big pictures of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

One, over to my right for him. The other behind me here against him and what is becoming a furious race to the finish here with just about 7:00 hours of voting to go. With everything this election has against it, that is voter apathy, some fears of coronavirus and all of the last election polls suggesting ongoing political deadlock for Israel, as of noon today, just a few hours ago, voter turnout is actually up.

One percent to the highest level seen at that hour in more than 20 years so despite all of that, Israelis still care and at least as of right now, they are coming out to vote in a number will keep an eye on.

Of course voter turnout is significant to every party but it has been the crux of Netanyahu's campaign saying he needs 300,000 Likud voters to show up today that didn't show up back in September.

If he gets that, that's his victory so he may look at the increased voter turnout and see this day maybe going the way he wants it to but that's not the only party expecting a boost today. Arab voter turnout is also expected to go up and we saw that the last round of opinion polls released on Friday.

They're expected to strengthen their 13 seats to 14 or perhaps even 15 seats which would be one of their strongest ever showings. If it's easier to vote against something you hate than for something you like, then they've been given something to hate in the Trump administration's plan for Middle East peace.

John, we're going to keep an eye on voter turnout number. We're about seven hours away from polls closing and the exit polls will be released, giving us the first projection of a possible result and the answer to the question, is Israel's political deadlock stuck once again?

BERMAN: Absolutely extraordinary. They're going through this all again. Oren Liebermann, thanks so much for being with us this morning. So it it's become a must see TV, Zion Williamson, every time he plays, you got to watch and last night he may not have won but still, man, was it exciting to see as he took on LeBron James.

Andy Scholes has more on the Bleacher report. Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning John. This is the second time these two stars have faced off and you know, each time it kind of has that Jordan Kobe feel to it.

[07:50:00]

The present of the NBA taking on the future and keep in mind, this was Zion's, just his fifteenth game of his career. LeBron meanwhile in his seventeenth season and in the second quarter these two found each other on the court and LeBron taking Zion right to the hole for the reverse lay-in.

Later Zion though showing his power, watch him just go into the lane and throw down the one-handed slam, a 19 year old with a career high of 35 points in the game. Right after that, dunk though, watch what LeBron did. He pulls up from nearly half-court for three with plenty of time on the clock.

LeBron just showing off there, he had 30 points - 34 point triple double in this game as he led the Lakers to 122-114 win.

All right, over the weekend, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Jimmy Fallon attended the Syracuse North Carolina game and watch Edelman on camera.

He starts saying he's coming back. Brady then mouths, he's not. Later to further fuel the fire that Brady is going to leave the Patriots, the two appeared to be face timing Brady's former teammate and current Titans head coach, Mike Vrabel.

Now guys, Edelman and Brady well aware of what they're doing there. I kind of think they were just trolling everybody John, and now I actually believe Brady is going to go back to the Patriots.

CAMEROTA: I don't know what your heavy sigh means?

BERMAN: Well, my heavy sign means was that you know, I was invited to go to the game but -

CAMEROTA: You turned it down?

BERMAN: I only regret that I couldn't make it because I had to you know, I had to watch my kids' basketball game instead.

SCHOLES: Priorities.

BERMAN: Andy, I don't know what to think. I don't know what to think but it upsets me even when I start to think about it.

CAMEROTA: Thanks Andy. All right, what's the first word that pops into your head when you think of the presidential candidates. We have the eye opening result of a new survey that some of the candidates might not want to hear.

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[07:55:00]

CAMEROTA: So there's this new poll from the Associated Press that asked Americans to name one word that comes to mind when they think of the top presidential candidates. CNN senior political analyst, John Avlon has the revealing results. John, these are fascinating.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Let's start with President Trump, OK? He's a presidential candidate as well and they asked Democrats, independents and Republicans the one word that comes to mind. Let's put it up on the screen. Democrats say jerk, bumbling and liar. OK. Republicans say President, good, bumbling and jerk.

AVLON: So we have agreement, people. Bumbling and jerk is the consensus description of our president. Notably, liar works for Democrats and independents but not Republicans.

CAMEROTA: That is interesting.

AVLON: But racist and won't vote for is got to hurt with the independents.

CAMEROTA: With the independents for sure. OK, now let's move on to how they see Joe Biden. These are interesting. Well, OK. Democrats.

AVLON: We got a consensus of the top two.

CAMEROTA: Look at the consensus. Everyone says old. He's not the oldest.

AVLON: He's in fact not the oldest. He actually is you know, I believe the youngest Democrat male running in the race right now but you see that Biden's got a perception problem. Across the cohort, everyone first word considers him old.

That is what you call a challenge in perception, people but break it down below that, it's actually pretty interesting. You see some of the impact of Fox news and the President's attacks on the Republican cohort.

CAMEROTA: And independents, corrupt. I mean corrupt pops out.

AVLON: Exactly.

CAMEROTA: From the word cloud that pops up so that's interesting. OK. Michael Bloomberg. Interesting what people identify him with most. Democrats, independents and Republicans, number one word rich.

AVLON: Muy Rico. And you know, in fairness Captain Obvious would agree that Mike Bloomberg is indeed very rich but again you see this fascinating thing liar on the Republican side.

Those are not words that you know pop up on the Democrat side so you see again, this sort of you know, projection of some of the negative but you know again, as much as Biden is old, Bloomberg is apparently rich.

CAMEROTA: The one word that pops up everywhere, or there's actually two words that pop up everywhere with Bernie Sanders, among independents, Republicans and Democrats, old and socialist.

AVLON: Both things that are true but what's fascinating here is you don't see liar on the Republican side but you do see communist. Good person, also a flow through on the - for Democrats and independents in the word association.

CAMEROTA: OK, let's look at - let's go to Amy Klobuchar. I want to see what people are saying about her.

AVLON: This is fascinating.

CAMEROTA: This is fascinating. This is really interesting so Democrats say smart, okay. That is - I don't know what that means, centrist. Independents say woman. Also honest, bumbling, more of that and Republicans say centrist, okay and liberal. What do you see here?

AVLON: So it's fascinating. This is the least negative assessment across cohorts is for Amy Klobuchar. Again okay, is not exactly you know there's -

CAMEROTA: Ringing endorsement?

AVLON: There's a soaring dullness behind that but what strikes me is independents, woman is the best they could not come up with. I feel like that Captain Obvious. She deserves better than that but of all the candidates asked about, the least negative association.

CAMEROTA: That's really interesting. OK. John Avlon, thank you very much. Quirky. Thanks for international viewers for watching. For you CNN News Room is next with Max Foster. For our U.S. viewers, coronavirus is spreading in the U. S. and it continues right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A second person in Washington State has died from coronavirus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a large investigation going on to try to determine how it might have spread.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American people can be confident that we are bringing a whole of government approach.

(END VIDEO CLIP)