Return to Transcripts main page
New Cases Of Coronavirus Reported In U.S. Over Weekend; Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Wins South Carolina Primary; Pete Buttigieg Drops Out Of Democratic Presidential Race; Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) Endorses Joe Biden; Markets Look To Rebound After Week-Long Selloff. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired March 2, 2020 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A second person in Washington state has died from coronavirus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One day left before the big Super Tuesday contest, but boy has this race changed over the weekend.
PETE BUTTIGIEG, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am making the difficult decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just want to welcome all of his supporters and to urge them to joining us in the fight for real change in this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday, March 2nd, 8:00 in the East. 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 was at a nursing facility in the Seattle area where dozens of people are sick. Health officials believe the virus has been spreading undetected in Washington state for weeks. There are 89 confirmed cases in the U.S., that's a 35 percent rise just over the weekend, and that includes the first cases now reported in New York, Florida, Rhode Island. All of those are linked to recent foreign travel.
Now, the number of deaths worldwide now tops 3,000 people. The spread of the disease prompting the close of famous landmarks around the world, including the Louvre Museum in Paris. Global stocks are struggling to recover this morning. U.S. futures are down at the moment.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we also are waking up to an entirely new race for president this morning. Former Vice President Joe Biden's big win in South Carolina really has changed the dynamic of the contest before Super Tuesday, which is tomorrow, less than 24 hours. For Biden, the question is how much of a bounce will carry over from Saturday night to tomorrow.
There has been one impact already. The South Bend mayor, former South Bend mayor, Pete Buttigieg, who won the most delegates in Iowa just one month ago, he's now out of the race. He suspended his campaign overnight. One of the things we're waiting to see today is if he endorses Joe Biden.
First, though, our top story, coronavirus concerns. We want to go live to Kirkland, Washington, and bring in Stephanie Elam. Stephanie, two deaths now where you are, so obviously, in some ways, this is the epicenter of the coronavirus concerns of the U.S.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Especially, John, when you're talking about community transmission or spreading. We're talking about people who haven't had any trouble outside of the United States, and that is part of what they are concerned about here.
What we can tell you is that over the weekend we've seen the numbers increase here in Washington state specifically, looking at that one man who lost his life. He was in his 70s. Underlying health conditions also there, just like we saw with the previous man who lost his life with coronavirus.
But these four new preemptive cases -- presumptive cases of coronavirus here related to this building on top of two more that we learned about over the weekend. And we know that five of those are residents here of this life care facility that you see behind me here in Kirkland, Washington, and one of them is a worker, a health care worker in her 40s. So obviously they are very concerned about this, so much so that we even know that there are some medics that may have been around one of these patients, and so now they are in quarantine as well.
A big concern here in Washington state, because obviously if it's out there, it has been spreading out in the community and people may not know it, so they are expecting these numbers to increase. But they are still trying to pin down who may have been around these people and how it could have ended up inside of this facility here.
Outside of Washington state, obviously, we've seen the numbers jump as well over the weekend. We've seen cases in Rhode Island, we've seen cases in New York City now. And so we are taking a look at numbers overall.
We've got 89 total patients in the United States, 44 of them came from Diamond Princess cruise, are former passengers there. We also have three who repatriated from China, and then the remaining 42 cases were detected here in the United States.
But the big thing here to keep in mind, though, is that while they have identified this, they are likely saying that it's probably already spread. You can see it's evident that people are concerned about it, John and Alisyn, because even just a pharmacy down the street, we went to look, everything that may have had anything anti- bacterial, any sort of Lysol, any wipes, any Clorox, all of that completely sold out. The shelves completely empty here in Kirkland, Washington, where we were looking.
BERMAN: I've got to say, that's all over the country. That's our local drugstore, everywhere you look right now, people are going to prepare the best that they think they can at this point. Stephanie Elam in Washington, thanks so much for that.
Joining us now, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, look, we have two deaths now in Washington state. The number of cases, known cases, and I think that's a key word, has increased 35 percent over the last two days. What do you think the most important thing to know this morning is?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that the news that people are going to hear over the next few days is that these numbers are going to go up, and that's going to maybe alarm people. And maybe it shouldn't alarm people that much because, a couple things. First of all, that's been expected. You guys have been talking about this morning, this community spread means that there are more cases out there. Testing is now going to reveal these cases.
But two is that if they are positive and they didn't know they were positive, they're found by surveillance, that means that they weren't that sick. They can spread it. That's a concern. And they can spread it to people who could get sick, who are elderly, who have preexisting conditions, that's a concern. But still, I think there is some solace in this idea that the vast majority of people aren't going to get sick from this. I don't want to minimize this, but I think that that is an important point.
BERMAN: I think one of the things that we have to understand with coronavirus, and you've been helping us understand it, is that often good news is bad news and the bad news is good news, and I know that sounds trite, but if this has spread quickly, if more people have it than we knew before, it means that fewer are dying or very getting sick. However, if it's spreading faster than we thought or with a wider reach than we thought, it does mean that if it keeps on going like this, there will be more people who are at risk for death.
GUPTA: There's no question. I think this has reminded people, I think, a little bit of just flu in general. Even the president the other day was surprised at the conference that this many people die of flu every year. Tens of thousands of people die of flu every year. And I think that's jarring for people if they didn't recognize that.
But I think we have this animation, I want to show you for a second, just show you how quickly the various pathogens can increase in a particular area. I don't know if we have this. But yes, look at this. You compare SARS, MERS, H1N1, and coronavirus. I don't know how well you can see.
CAMEROTA: Coronavirus is the purple, the deep sort of fuchsia, right?
GUPTA: That's right. So coronavirus is the purple. Look at H1N1 took off there. And nine-week period, which is right there, you see that coronavirus is actually higher than where H1N1 was at point at nine weeks. Now, if you carry that particular graphic out further, at a year, we saw part of it, H1N1 went up to about 60 million people in the United States. There it is there. It became endemic, as they say. H1N1 became a circulating pathogen around the entire world.
CAMEROTA: Is that going to happen with coronavirus?
GUPTA: That may be what happens with the coronavirus. This may be a new pathogen that circulates around the world similar to the flu virus. H1N1 is oftentimes part of the flu shot now that people get. So coronavirus could be a new pathogen that's been introduced to the world that may be similar to the flu virus in terms of how it's transmitted.
These fatality rates are something we're still going to figure more and more about. Two percent is the number you're going to hear. You're probably going to hear that number for a while. But we don't know how many people out there that aren't getting counted. So that could bring overall fatality rate down. It's probably still going to be higher than flu, but it might be much lower than what it is.
CAMEROTA: But from having studied these other past diseases and what they look like in terms of their outbreak, what is the next week or two going to look like here in the U.S.?
GUPTA: It's interesting, because what we're going to hear about is now the testing results that are going to come back. But that's a reflection of what has happened over the last several weeks as opposed to this point in time.
CAMEROTA: It's just going to catch up.
GUPTA: It's going to catch up with us. So I think the news is going to be something that's, again, may seem jarring and alarming to people, but it's reflecting what has been happening over the last few weeks. And again, the vast majority of people who are going to be testing positive through this surveillance may not be that sick or sick at all.
BERMAN: It is interesting. You look at what's happening in Paris right now, closing, the Louvre, the La Scala Opera, flights being canceled there. I am curious as to what it would take for things like that to start happening in the United States.
GUPTA: I would not be surprised if certain communities around the country, maybe even near Seattle where we've been talking about these most recent cases, we start to hear about what are called social distancing recommendations, which is what all these closures are all about, trying to separate people so they become less of a threat or risk to each other. Schools could be closed. They have got a plan for that.
BERMAN: It's interesting. Schools, kids have not been shown to be at serious risk, but the idea is they can get it and pass it very easily.
GUPTA: That's right. They could be vectors, so to speak, in this. But the schools, workplaces, people may be encouraged to work from home as much as possible, so big mass gatherings, things like that. People are encouraged to go get their flu shot so as not to comingle the flu with this. You look around your house and you say if I need to be home for a couple of weeks, do I have everything I need in the house in terms of medications, food, water, the basics?
Again, that's not something we're used to hearing in the United States. We saw some of the largest quarantines in the history of the world just take place in China. We're not used to those draconian things here in the United States, and I don't think it will ever be that draconian. But there may be these recommendations made to distance ourselves from people.
CAMEROTA: That's the problem with airline travel. We talked about this last hour, that you're not recommending for domestic travel anybody cancel their travel plans, but if there's community spread, when I lower that tray table -- first of all, who knows what was on it to begin with, number one. And number two, when you lower the tray table with community spread, you don't know what you're getting from other passengers.
GUPTA: Correct. That's true. And that's always been the case.
GUPTA: That hasn't changed here.
BERMAN: I told you not to lick the tray table. I've always told you not to lick the tray table.
CAMEROTA: I am not careful on planes with touching all that stuff.
GUPTA: You know what, you may be more careful now, my guess is, and other people may be as well.
CAMEROTA: So you bring Clorox wipes around.
GUPTA: I do wipe the trays.
CAMEROTA: OK, on an airplane, but are you also wiping down your keyboard, are you wiping down you phone? What level are you doing this at right now?
GUPTA: I've always been pretty particular about that sort of stuff, and I think most people are not. They may be more particular now, and I do think that that stuff does help, because you touch surfaces. You touch your face. We touch our face far more than we realize.
But I think yes, we've gone through these periods of time throughout history where we become more concerned about pathogens and then become inured to it. Then we become more concerned, H1N1, H5N1, Ebola, all of sudden we had a heightened concern. That's what's happening now. And I think people are go to have to pay more attention to those things.
BERMAN: Sanjay, it's great having you here. It's so helpful understanding this, because some of it does sound alarming, and some of it is of concern, but maybe not in all the ways people think.
GUPTA: That's right. I think that's exactly right.
CAMEROTA: We're just going to have you standing by in the studio for who knows how long.
GUPTA: I'll be there to wipe your tray table.
BERMAN: He's like, oh, no, Alisyn is going to be standing by, I have to double up on the Clorox wipes.
CAMEROTA: Meanwhile, Joe Biden's win in South Carolina and Pete Buttigieg dropping out, both of these shake up the Democratic race right before Super Tuesday. We discuss all of it next.
CAMEROTA: Super Tuesday voters head to the polls tomorrow morning and former Vice President Joe Biden is hoping for momentum there after his big win in South Carolina.
We're also waiting to see if Pete Buttigieg will endorse anyone else today after he dropped out of the race last night.
Joining us now is Democratic Senator Doug Jones. He has endorsed Joe Biden. Senator, thanks so much for being with us this morning.
SEN. DOUG JONES (D-AL): It's my pleasure, Alisyn. Thanks for having me again.
CAMEROTA: You have your finger on the pulse of the electorate in Alabama. What's going to happen there tomorrow?
JONES: Well, I think Joe Biden is going to win. I've always believed that. This is his state. He has been here a lot. You know, his trip to Selma yesterday was not his first. He has been talking to people in Alabama for many, many years. He's been listening to people of Alabama.
Alabama know him. They know his heart. They know his character. And I think he's going to do very well. I think he'll win Alabama in a bar. CAMEROTA: Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race last night, as
we said, and Bernie Sanders immediately issued an invitation to Pete Buttigieg's supporters to join him. Listen to this moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to congratulate him for running a brilliant campaign. He is the first openly gay candidate for President of the United States. He did it extraordinarily well.
And tonight I just want to welcome all of his supporters into our movement and to urge them to joining us in the fight for real change in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: That's a pretty deft move, right? Just reaching out directly to them. How do you think that the absence of Pete Buttigieg will change the race?
JONES: Well, I hope it will change the race even more in Joe Biden's favorite because I think if you look at the message that Mayor Pete had, it is not one of a revolution. It is not one of a Medicare-for- All. It's a Medicare-for-All who want it.
I think that was a wonderful line, because that's essentially what Joe Biden has been saying for so many months now. And so I'm hoping that as we go forward, those moderate voices like Mayor Pete's are going to move and see how we can best win this election, who can best bring this country together, who is a healer, and uniter and I think that that's Joe Biden.
CAMEROTA: You know, we hear the conventional wisdom say that if Bernie Sanders is the nominee, it will negatively affect some down ballot races like yours, like some in swing districts or states.
But can you just explain that logic to me? How -- if voters like you and like what you've done for them, Doug Jones, why would they hold Bernie Sanders against you?
JONES: Well, look, I think that that everybody -- you know, you have to run on a ticket to the best extent you can. You know, in my race, I'm going to run as -- in my race, I'm going to run on my record, regardless of who the nominee is.
But there are any number of people who see the top of the ticket, and that's going to influence their vote for the down ballot races. They either want to support the top of the ticket or they're not.
So I think if you look what happened in 2018, and you saw the moderate voices is what caused the Democrats to take control of the House, it is the moderate voices that are out there, that want to heal people, that want to bring this country together with civility and respect.
They just don't want an extreme candidate who may not take compromising positions in order to get things done and actually move this country forward.
But I think you have to be realistic about where things are and there are any number of people that will let the top of the ticket influence their vote and down ballot races. We've seen it throughout history it is not going to change this time.
CAMEROTA: So what do you think is going to happen tomorrow beyond Alabama? What do you think is going to happen in terms of the delegate share, and who's going to win Super Tuesday?
JONES: I think it's really tough to tell because we've seen so many early voting in early voting states like California and Texas. I'm a big proponent of early voting.
But at the same time, I'm also a big proponent of telling people to just keep your powder dry for a little bit until you let this thing shake out some.
I think there are a lot of people that have already voted for Mayor Pete, they've already voted for Tom Steyer, and others, and now their votes are just really essentially not going to count.
So we'll see how it goes tomorrow. I feel like Joe Biden is going to do very, very well. I think clearly, Bernie Sanders has the advantage in some states, but I think Joe has got the wind in his back.
I think if you look at the overall votes in the contest that we've had now, I think what you're seeing now is that the voice of a Joe Biden are rising up and that is what he's going to carry the day, but we've still got to have a long way to go even after Super Tuesday, we've still got a long way to go in this contest.
CAMEROTA: Would you like to see any other candidates drop out -- I don't mean Bernie Sanders -- today? Would you like to see some of the people who have not gotten as many delegates drop out today?
JONES: Well, I think we'll probably see that tomorrow. You know, from my standpoint, I would like to see that only because as you've said, I've endorsed Joe Biden. He is my candidate.
He has been my candidate for 40 years since I first met him in law school in the 1970s. So I would like to see that, but at the same time, I have an awful lot of respect for all of those candidates.
They have really put in a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of heart. They have supporters out there too, that they don't want to let down. So we'll see how this goes tomorrow. I think you'll see the field is going to winnow down. Tomorrow is going to be a big day.
CAMEROTA: While I have you, you are a member of the committee that oversees the CDC and NIH, and so with the coronavirus concerns this morning, what we're seeing in Washington State and community spread, et cetera, do you believe that the CDC is being proactive enough? Do you think that they are giving enough of the data that they've collected on this virus to doctors and hospitals?
JONES: Well, candidly, Alisyn, I think we'll find that out tomorrow. We have a hearing tomorrow. I'm going to be -- well, actually, yes, it's tomorrow, I'm going to yet be heading back to Washington to attend that hearing, and I think we'll know a lot more.
Things have been moving very rapidly. You only have to look at the headlines this morning about the number of cases that just popped up over the weekend.
I think that the administration was slow to react in the very beginning. I don't know if it was just denying the science or what, but they were slow to react.
I think they're now doing a lot more to try to make sure they get a handle on this.
You know, I've got a good bit of confidence in the CDC and the NIH And those people are scientists, they see how things go. They're looking at this very carefully. What we've got to do is try to catch up. That's the biggest problem we've got right now. We've got to be transparent. That's -- I think the biggest problem right now is there's a lot of misinformation out there and I hope people will listen to the scientist and not to the politicians.
CAMEROTA: And we only have 10 seconds left, but do you have confidence in Vice President Pence's Task Force?
JONES: Well, I'm going to hold judgment on that right now. I have confidence in the CDC and the NIH, and if Vice President Pence lets them drive the train, then they will do find throughout this crisis. If he doesn't, and he makes this a political issue, then we're in for a long haul.
CAMEROTA: Senator Doug Jones, we really appreciate your time this morning. Thanks so much for being on NEW DAY.
JONES: You've got it. Thank you, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: Okay, quick programming note. CNN will conduct extended interviews tonight with five of the top Democratic candidates -- presidential candidates -- that starts at 8:00 p.m. This of course is ahead of Super Tuesday tomorrow.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, the Trump administration is trying to project that the coronavirus outbreak is under control. We're going to have much more of the risk of that strategy, next.
CAMEROTA: Let's get to CNN Business. Can Wall Street rebound after an awful week? CNN Business Correspondent, Christine Romans is here. How are they looking this morning, Christine? CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know,
really struggling to stabilize I would say. When you look at Asian markets, they closed mixed and then European stocks opened up, but then fell.
And now you've got U.S. futures. U.S. futures leaning lower again. I've been watching the futures market since last night at about six o'clock when S&P futures opened and they've been down and up and down and up.
So this shows you a market that is still pretty uneasy here. Look, it was a terrible week for stocks. The three major averages posted their worst weekly decline, percentage-wise, since the financial crisis.
It took the S&P 500 just six days to go from record highs to a correction. That's the fastest swing like that in more than 70 years. Now, investors are focused on the Federal Reserve and hopes that policymakers will try to come to the rescue here.
Expectations for an interest rate cut at the March meeting now pretty much baked in there. So could that help? You know, look, it's not clear.
You know, interest rates are already very low and the Fed balance sheets are already very big. There's even talk of maybe an emergency rate cut. Well, the last one that took place was in 2008. Before that it was September 11th. So that could send a scary signal to the markets.
Brand new this morning, Alisyn, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD, it is warning global growth could be cut in half if the outbreak continues to spread. The global economy already reeling from political and trade tensions, the OECD said and Goldman Sachs this morning warning U.S. GDP could be zero, John in the second quarter -- zero in the second quarter -- before hopefully bouncing back later into the year -- John.
BERMAN: All right. Christine Romans, thank you very much. This is a great segue because joining me now is Paul Krugman, "New York Times" columnist and author of the new book, "Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future."
It is always convenient to have a Nobel laureate with us to talk about things like this. Paul, what do you think the economic impact or how much of an economic impact do you think that the coronavirus outbreak will have?
PAUL KRUGMAN, COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Okay, well, we're still waiting to get a real sense of the epidemiology, just how bad is this.
People have gamed out virus scenarios, pandemic scenarios, and they are ugly. And they may be especially ugly right now, because I've been saying for a while, I don't know what the next bump in the road is. But I do know that our shocks -- our shock absorbers are shot.
We have very little room to cut interest rates. The Europeans, the Japanese have no room to cut interest rates. The normal policy offset to an adverse shock isn't there, and this -- this is -- I have to say this is a way bigger shock than anything I saw coming down the pike.
BERMAN: We don't have as many tools in the toolbox, you say, as we did in 2008. What do you mean by that?
KRUGMAN: Okay, in 2008, we had interest rates, which are on the order of five percent, and that meant that you could do the standard and in a standard recession, the Fed has cut interest rates by five percentage points.
It turns out that 2008 was a lot worse than a standard recession. So even that wasn't enough to stop a fairly severe slump.
Now, we start with interest rates at one and a half percent. It's just we've got only 30 percent in the room to cut that we have in the face of an ordinary garden-variety recession. And this could be a lot worse than a garden-variety recession.