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Dow Drops Amid Global Coronavirus Fears; Chinese President Xi Postpones Visit to Japan Over Coronavirus; Olympic Committee Not Discussing Postponement of Summer Games in Tokyo; Interview with Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) about Coronavirus; Chief Justice John Roberts Condemns Chuck Schumer for Dangerous Comments. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired March 5, 2020 - 09:30   ET

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


[09:30:39]

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Let's get straight to Wall Street. Look at that. The Dow off 690 points right now. Of course responding to the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Here's the deal. It's having an economic impact. Christine Romans on it.

What are we seeing? What are the hard numbers, economic numbers, that are behind this market fall?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, you look, Goldman Sachs is saying there will be no GDP growth in the second quarter. Companies won't make any money in the first half of the year. Won't make any more money. They won't have any profit growth in the first half of the year.

The United California -- what's new is California has declared a state of emergency. That's shaking confidence. You look at airlines projected to lose $130 some billion. That's a lot of money. So companies are getting ready for what the hit will be.

Yesterday we had optimism first in the morning because of Bernie Sanders' momentum on Super Tuesday and then later in the day because of a bipartisan push to spend $8 billion on emergency coronavirus funding, that was something that investors were happy to see that bipartisanship.

HARLOW: You mean Biden momentum?

SCIUTTO: Biden momentum.

ROMANS: Biden momentum. What did I say?

HARLOW: Bernie.

ROMANS: Bernie, no. I meant Joe Biden momentum. All the Bernie Sanders supporters would be so happy that I just said that. But I'm sorry. I misspoke. And so today, you have just a reversal of that again. You know, I mean, just every day it's one step forward, one step back. With seven -- six or seven big down days in a row. Then a big up day. And then a down day. And then an up day and now, look, to the right of there, we're looking for 700 points lower. We are 700 points lower right now.

HARLOW: Just really quickly, I don't think people are talking enough about where bond yields are and we just -- history was made this week with it falling below 1 percent.

ROMANS: And the bond market way bigger than the stock market.

HARLOW: Yes.

ROMANS: And everything is tied to the bond market. The 10-year note yield is so low it's reflecting real concern about the U.S. economy.

HARLOW: Yes. Yes.

ROMANS: It also reflects that the U.S. is the best place to put your money, right?

HARLOW: Sure.

ROMANS: So people are rushing out of the stock market and other things and into the U.S. bond market.

HARLOW: Right. Well, look, the president called for negative interest rates. That's what he wants. And we'll see if we get there.

ROMANS: That's not necessarily a sign of strength to have negative interest rates.

HARLOW: No. Absolutely not.

All right, thanks, Romans.

SCIUTTO: Christine Romans, thanks very much.

The coronavirus has now spread to 82 countries outside from where it originated, mainland China. A travel group says the outbreak could cost the airline industry, as Christine was just saying, $113 billion. That's real money. And the epidemic threatens to push China, and this is key, second largest economy in the world, into recession for the first time in decades.

HARLOW: Wow. Overnight, Chinese President Xi Jinping postponed a state visit to Japan that was set for April because of this virus and worries are swirling about the fate of the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Will Ripley joins us from Tokyo with the latest. We'll get there in a moment. David Culver is in Shanghai for us.

And, David, the potential for a Chinese recession, the first in decades. How real is it? DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's unbelievable when

you think about this, Poppy and Jim. Christine mentioned the U.S.' concerns in particular. Now here in China, it is dire when they are looking at this. You've got President Xi Jinping who has come out several times now and each time, he not only mentions the efforts to contain this, but he also says we've got to stabilize the economy.

He hits that hard each and every time he's tried to get companies here to come back online. And we're starting to see figures that suggest they are. I think the most recent one was some 95 percent of factories back on line. But here's the concern. They're not up to 100 percent within each of those factories. And we know that because I've spoken to several of the folks who are running those companies and they say they don't have the workforce.

Where is their workforce? Well, within the lockdown zones. And that is where a lot of the migrant workers have been since the Chinese New Year, not been able to get out of there into the places like Shanghai and Beijing to get back into the factories.

And here's what else is very interesting. We're seeing local media report worries that some of these factories may be fabricating that they're even online. Now how would that happen? Well, essentially they look at the energy consumption and so we're hearing, it's possible that some of them are turning on the lights, turning on the computers, turning on the machines and letting it look as though the factory is online but they're not producing anything. That according to local media. So pretty concerning to hear that.

Meantime, we're also hearing, Poppy and Jim, from the U.S. embassy. And they're sending out to Americans here an alert that essentially says if you've been to any of the concerned, affected areas such as South Korea, Iran, Italy and you're trying to come into China, be prepared for a mandatory quarantine.

[09:35:05]

Interesting to see it going that direction where over the past several weeks as everyone concerned about who is coming from China, now China is concerned about who is coming into this country.

HARLOW: Yes. Absolutely. David, thank you.

Will Ripley is joining us as well.

Will, the Olympic Games, a big concern right now. What is it looking like in Tokyo?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a huge concern. And the concern is growing by the day because there is growing talk here that the Japanese government simply, one, is handling this crisis with too little, too late. A very reactive approach as opposed to proactive. But also, you know, we're learning that the country just might not be properly equipped to handle a health crisis of this magnitude. For one, we spoke with an epidemiologist today who said that the

official numbers of cases here, which just crossed over 1,000, he says don't believe them. It's probably 10 times that. OK? So that means that for every confirmed case, there's 10 cases that are not reported, which means there are people walking around probably most of them asymptomatic, but potentially spreading the virus to others. And of course that's a big concern in a country like Japan that has an aging population.

And then we also learned from a Japanese lawmaker that for the last decade, Japan has been cutting funding, slashing the budget and the personnel at their institute that is in charge of infectious diseases, including the people who are supposed to be conducting testing. So essentially Japan has now found itself in a predicament where they don't actually have the infrastructure to test all the people who need to be tested.

So what that means is that, you know, you have a country like South Korea testing 10,000 people a day. Here in Japan, they haven't tested even close to 10,000 people throughout this entire crisis. How can you tell people that it's safe to host the Olympics given all these things that are coming to light?

HARLOW: Yes. Yes. Not to mention the fact that the Japanese economy can't exactly afford this right now after such -- so many years of stagflation and dealing with what they've been dealing with.

All right, thank you, Will. Thanks, David.

SCIUTTO: Right now, top White House health officials are holding their latest coronavirus briefing. After the break, I'll be speaking with a lawmaker who will step out of that briefing to tell us what he's learning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:41:38]

SCIUTTO: Happening right now, the president's top health officials are giving House lawmakers their latest briefing on the deadly coronavirus outbreak. It started about 15 minutes ago. Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois just stepped out of that briefing to speak with us and share with you the latest information that lawmakers are getting.

Congressman, we do appreciate you taking the time this morning.

REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL): Good morning.

SCIUTTO: And I understand you are getting the latest CDC guidance. Let's go through as best we can on one point. The president seemed to imply yesterday it's OK for people to go back to work even if they have the virus. What does the CDC said?

QUIGLEY: Yes. I was just handed this form as we entered the briefing. It says avoid close contact with people who are sick. Seems obvious. And number two, stay home when you are sick. I think an obvious lesson in flu season anyway. The bottom line is, we have to be bipartisan on this. This has to be about keeping us -- our people healthy and safe and protecting our economy. But we can't have the president of the United States in conflict with leading health officials, not just in our country, but in the world.

Yesterday the House acted appropriately on a bipartisan basis. We passed the beginning of this. An $8 billion effort to confront this virus. And to cure it. And the Senate, I believe, will do the same thing today. All that being said, the president calls it a hoax. He's underfunded this, lowballed the projected numbers that are going to be needed. This sends a message to a lot of people who pay attention to him that it's OK to disregard the experts in health.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this. The president is misleading with information about this. Has the administration to this point stood in the way of necessary measures to respond to the spread of the disease? Dr. Sanjay Gupta was just telling me that early on, for instance, the standards under which people were tested for this were too tight. And, therefore, that likely missed people early on having it.

To your knowledge, has the administration in the early response not taken necessary steps?

QUIGLEY: Well, I think if you lead with the president, and I think him calling it a hoax and underfunding -- the budget he just proposed to Congress had a 18 percent -- 16 percent to 18 percent cut in the CDC. These are agencies underfunded and unfortunately seemingly unprepared.

The doctor is absolutely right. I think the limits were extremely tight on who could get tested. Those have finally opened up. And unfortunately, the early testing kits that came out of the CDC were showing inconclusive. They just weren't working. At the same time, the World Health Organization kits were working and we disregarded what they were teaching us.

This has to be an all-hands approach, interagency, bipartisan, and working with all the countries across the world to make this work. There are lives at stake and our economy is at stake.

SCIUTTO: I want to ask you about 2020. You just endorsed Joe Biden, as did other colleagues of yours from the state of Illinois. I want to ask you this because there is a division within the party. Right now you have two front runners with two very different views of the way forward. You supported -- you're supporting Joe Biden.

What message does Joe Biden need to send to more progressive Democratic voters, Bernie Sanders supporters, to try to win them over?

[09:45:07]

QUIGLEY: Well, first of all, the primary target of most Democratic voters across the country and certainly in my district is replacing the current president. And I believe every poll I've seen shows that he has the best opportunity to do that.

Number two, let's remember the Biden-Obama record. Pick a progressive issue you care about, and we got it done. Not only did we pull ourselves out of the greatest economic downturn since the Depression, we passed a health care law for the first time in history. We repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," we passed legislation to make sure that women get paid equal pay for equal work, and the list goes on.

If you want the progressive agenda completed, the first thing you have to do is replace this president. The second thing you have to do is put somebody in there who was there when we got it done for eight years.

SCIUTTO: OK. I want to ask you a final question on the president's selection for director of National Intelligence. As you know, the acting director still ambassador to Germany, someone without, many lawmakers have argued, the necessary intelligence experience for the job. And now the president has re-nominated John Ratcliffe who when he was first floated as a name last fall, many Republicans said he doesn't have the experience either.

Are you concerned and should Americans be concerned if politics are trumping national security in this key post?

QUIGLEY: Look, this is a role created post-9/11 to coordinate the intelligence agencies to avoid the mistakes that allowed 9/11, frankly, to take place. We shouldn't have amnesia about that threat. DNI Coats told us in one of his last briefings, the most important thing he does is coordinate, develop relationships. You have to understand how these agencies work. You have to -- the act says that there needs -- someone needs to have extraordinary amounts of intelligence experience.

The current DNI, acting, doesn't. This nominee doesn't. That ought to be a concern. This is what keeps us safe. It can't be about the president's goal of having people around him whose personal loyalty is the most important goal, not the nation's safety.

SCIUTTO: Congressman Mike Quigley, we do appreciate you taking the time this morning, particularly in light of the briefing you've been in. And we look forward to having you on again.

QUIGLEY: Any time. Thank you.

HARLOW: Ahead, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts with a rare rebuke of a sitting senator. He called Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's comments about his fellow justices dangerous, and now Republicans in Congress are issuing their own warnings. The details next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:52:04]

SCIUTTO: Chief Justice John Roberts issuing a rare rebuke calling comments from Senator Chuck Schumer, quote, "dangerous," this after the minority leader took aim at two conservative Supreme Court justices at an abortion rights rally. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: Well, Schumer was speaking outside of the Supreme Court as it heard arguments over this Louisiana abortion case.

Let's go to Ariane de Vogue who covers the court very closely.

So rare for the chief justice to issue these comments condemning what Schumer said and now there is a Republican in the Senate, Josh Hawley, who wants to censure Schumer over this.

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN SUPREME COURT CORRESPONDENT: Right. This has happened, Poppy, exactly once when the chief justice has issued some kind of statement, and it wasn't as if the tensions weren't already high enough yesterday. The court was hearing one of the most explosive cases of the term, it was the first time that Trump's two nominees, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, were going to hear an abortion case and while we were inside, Schumer was outside speaking at this rally. And he gave those comments.

And I think one of the reasons that Roberts was so angry is because this happened on the Supreme Court steps. It wasn't as if Schumer was across the street.

HARLOW: Yes.

DE VOGUE: Right? In his own territory. He came over to the Supreme Court to make these comments outside. And Roberts struck back, he said, "Justices know that criticism comes with the territory, but threatening statements of this sort from the highest level of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous. All members of the court will continue to do their job without fear or favor from whatever quarter."

HARLOW: Yes.

DE VOGUE: And it is worth noting, Schumer's spokesperson came back and said that he wasn't targeting the justices. He was targeting the Republicans in Congress who voted for their confirmation, but that seemed a little -- didn't seem exactly consistent with the clip you played.

HARLOW: Yes. Right.

SCIUTTO: OK. What's the principle that the chief justice is establishing here? Because, as you know, President Trump, he went after an opinion written by Justice Sotomayor. He's also gone after federal judges in the Roger Stone case. He went after a judge for his Hispanic background a number of years ago, saying he couldn't -- you know, he couldn't decide the case fairly. What is the principle? What is an acceptable attack from a sitting government official? What is not?

DE VOGUE: Well, look, In 2018, after the president had attacked some justices or some judges, not justices, Roberts did issue a written statement and he pushed back and he protected the judiciary there. But you remember, just last week, the president tweeted when Justice Sonia Sotomayor came out attacking the government in one of her opinions. But I think that Roberts might have triggered him yesterday and why he didn't speak up for the Sotomayor comment is maybe that was about an opinion.

[09:55:05]

But this is something different. He might have seen this as really a target at these two justices and he might very well, Poppy and Jim, have security and safety concerns here. So that seems to be a little bit of a line why he didn't speak up last week and why here he issued this very, very rare statement.

SCIUTTO: Understood. Well, always good to have you on the case, Ariane de Vogue. Thanks very much.

DE VOGUE: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: There are new concerns over coronavirus as health officials stop a packed cruise ship. This off the coast of San Francisco, linked to dozens of potential cases and one death as well. They're being blocked from docking. We'll bring you the latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCIUTTO: Very good Thursday morning to you. I'm Jim Sciutto.

HARLOW: And I'm Poppy Harlow. The coronavirus is spreading around the world and so is misinformation about it. We are cutting through all of it and getting you just the facts.