Return to Transcripts main page


11 Dead, 159 Cases of Coronavirus in U.S.; Cruise Ship Linked to Coronavirus Death Held Off California Coast; 1,000 New Yorkers Asked to Self-Quarantine after New Cluster of Virus; Elizabeth Warren Reassessing Presidential Bid. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired March 5, 2020 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A cruise ship with as many as 3,500 passengers and crew being held off the California coast so authorities can test for coronavirus.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going to be flying testing kits to the cruise ship.

MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you are a healthy American the risk of contracting the coronavirus remains low.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. That candidate is Joe Biden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The race is coming down to a choice between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Joe is running a campaign which is obviously supported by the corporate establishment.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It's Thursday, March 5, 6 a.m. here in New York. And there is major developing news in the coronavirus outbreak.

A cruise ship off San Francisco not allowed to dock this morning with more than 2,000 passengers on board. Twenty-one people on board the Princess Grand cruise ship already showing potential coronavirus symptoms. One man who traveled on the ship last month has died.

California's governor says they're air-lifting test kits to the vessel immediately. And if you do the math, upwards of more than 5,000 passengers who have traveled on that ship have potentially been exposed.

Remember, with the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan, more than 700 people caught coronavirus. At least six of them died. That's why there's so much concern this morning.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: There are now 159 known cases of the virus in the United States in 15 different states. Eleven people have died, including 10 in Washington state, which is now under a state of emergency.

Tens of thousands of children have been told to stay home today from school. That's in at least 57 schools across the country. "The New York Times" reports the school closures now apply to nearly 300 million kids worldwide.

In the Seattle area, Amazon is telling all employees to work from home until the end of this month. That's more than 50,000 people. Facebook is issuing the very same directive.

And overnight, United Airlines and JetBlue announcing they are reducing their flights. So we are starting to see these rapidly developing economic and social consequences from coronavirus. We will update you throughout the program as we get more numbers.

CNN has all of this covered for you coast to coast. Let's start with Dan Simon. He is in San Francisco. What's the situation, Dan?


I've been talking to passengers on board that Grand Princess cruise ship. Most people seem to be taking it in stride. But as you can imagine, some people are anxious not knowing what the immediate future is going to hold.

This was a 15-day voyage to the Hawaiian islands. The cruise ship was supposed to come back to San Francisco to the port of San Francisco on Saturday. Instead, it's coming back early and, in fact, will not dock at all while medical officials work to determine if anybody on board has the coronavirus.


SIMON (voice-over): The governor of California declaring a state of emergency.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D), CALIFORNIA: This is no longer isolated in just one part of our state. This is broadly shared as a burden, a responsibility up and down the state.

SIMON: Its first victim in California likely catching the coronavirus while on this Grand Princess cruise ship. Now officials are trying to locate hundreds of other passengers who may have been on the ship in the last month, after sailings to Mexico and Hawaii.

The man was on the Grand Princess ship that left San Francisco to Mexico on February 11 and returned February 21, but he was not diagnosed until ten days after he disembarked. Now that same ship has more than 20 sick crew members and passengers on board and is being held off-shore for health officials to begin testing.

NEWSOM: We are going to be flying testing kits to the cruise ship, and we are going to be sending those quickly back to the state, where we'll be able to test very quickly, within just a few hours, those samples to determine whether or not these individuals that are symptomatic just have traditional cold or flu or may have contracted the COVID-19 virus.

SIMON: The U.S. on edge this morning as the number of reported coronavirus cases continues to grow across the country.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: We have an epidemic caused by coronavirus, but we have a pandemic that is caused by fear. So I think it's very important here in New York that I provide the factual information to people so they know these are just the facts.

SIMON: The CDC, local and state governments reporting at least 159 cases. Those are in 15 states. Washington state officials in King County purchased this motel to isolate and treat coronavirus patients.

DOW CONSTANTINE, KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE: We're working with the community and hope to have it operational within days.

SIMON: And they're even building modular homes for those who need to be quarantined.

BRENDAN MCCLUSKEY, DIRECTOR, KING COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: At this point, we don't know when it's going to end. And we're thinking about, you know, weeks and more into the future of how we're going to staff here.

SIMON: Both Amazon and Facebook urging their Seattle workforce to work from home until the end of the month after each company had one employee test positive for coronavirus.

The outbreak is also having an effect on the travel industry. United Airlines cutting its domestic flight capacity by 10 percent and international flights by 20 percent. JetBlue following with a 5 percent cut to their capacity.


SIMON: Now, as far as the Grand Princess cruise ship is concerned, it's not clear what is going to happen if, in fact, somebody tests positive for the coronavirus. Will the ship go into some kind of mass quarantine like what we saw with its sister ship in Japan? Officials have not addressed that as of now.

But what we can tell you is that at least three people did test positive for the virus, the people who were on the previous voyage. And 60 people from that previous voyage are now on the current voyage, and all those people are now confined to their state rooms -- Alisyn.


CAMEROTA: Oh, boy. This is bad deja vu all over again from the first cruise ship off of Japan. Dan, thank you very much.

There are now 11 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York. Authorities are scrambling to contain the outbreak, asking about 1,000 people who were potentially exposed to self-quarantine.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is live outside of Grand Central Station, where one of the infected patients worked -- Brynn.


Yes, that infected patient, a 50-year-old lawyer from Westchester County. He remains the only person hospitalized in the state of New York with the coronavirus.

However, all of these new cases that we're seeing in the state have some sort of nexus to him, including his wife, his daughter, his son, a neighbor who drove him to the doctor's office, and a family friend, and their entire family. And they are all being isolated inside their homes this morning.

And now we're starting to really see the results of the state's investigation, not only possibly where he could have contracted this virus, but also more so, who he might have infected. As you just said, about a thousand people have been asked to self-quarantine.

We know that the schools that all of these kids who have tested positive have shut down temporarily. A college campus is shut down. The temple where this family visited and worshipped, that is shut down. And the law firm here behind me where he worked, all those employees are also being tested.

Broader picture here in New York City, of course, this is a city of 8 million people. We live and work in very close quarters. We know that the mayor is having -- or rather, the state is having the subway systems, not only just the trains but actually the stations, cleaned, disinfected with bleacher, every three days.

And also, city and state officials urging people to take control of their own precautions. Make sure you wash your hands. Make sure you cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. And really, at this point, saying please, do not panic.

John, back to you.

BERMAN: You have to listen to people when they give these instructions. It's so important not just for yourself but for your family, for your neighbors, for everyone.

Brynn Gingras at Grand Central, thank you very much.

And I just want to say, again, the numbers that struck me this morning, 50,000 people at Amazon being told to work from home right now in the Seattle area. There's a school district closing for weeks with 20,000 kids.

CAMEROTA: This is happening. This isn't theoretical anymore. This is happening in the United States. This morning it does feel different.

BERMAN: Meanwhile, the immediate concern is this cruise ship with 2,000 people not allowed to dock in San Francisco. Airlifting test kits out there. We're going to get the very latest from the cruise ship. We're trying to get in touch with someone on board. That's next.



CAMEROTA: Developing overnight, a cruise ship carrying more than 2,000 passengers is being held off the coast of San Francisco after 21 people on board showed potential coronavirus symptoms.

This comes as the outbreak across the United States continues to grow this morning. There are now 159 cases reported across 15 states. Eleven people have died.

Joining us now is Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo. She's the director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Doctor, thank you so much for joining us. You are an expert in this field, so let me just start with the news this morning about this cruise ship.

Let me give you a few more details. The few facts that we know is that this cruise ship departed San Francisco on February 11. It sailed to Mexico. It then returned to San Francisco February 21. All but 62 passengers got off the ship at that point. Then the ship left.

There were four stops in Hawaii before where we find it now, docked off the coast of San Francisco. So in other words, it is safe to say that roughly 5,000 passengers have been potentially exposed, if people on that -- as we know, some people on that ship are showing symptoms. What can be done with these passengers now?

DR. JEANNE MARRAZZO, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM: Yes, it's a great question, and thanks, Alisyn, for summarizing the situation.

I think that cruise ships are posing probably one of the biggest challenges that we're seeing in this outbreak. And I think the question is balancing taking care of the people who are essentially stuck on the cruise ship, as we saw in the Yokohama Bay situation with the other Diamond Princess cruise, versus trying to keep what might be a potent source of infection from coming back into the communities that we are concerned about, namely the West Coast, San Francisco By area.

The challenge here is that we know these cruise ships are essentially -- we've been calling them incubators, petri dishes. They're really incredibly very healthy environments for the pathogens that we're talking about. So --

CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean --

MARRAZZO: Keeping -- Right. Keeping people on the ship is a challenge.

CAMEROTA: Well, that's -- therein lie this rub. I mean, we hear that they want test kits to be sent to the ship so that people can test. But what's the point? Why don't we just assume that all 2,500 people on that ship have been exposed, and they need to be quarantined somewhere?

MARRAZZO: I think it's a very reasonable assumption. I think the challenge is that quarantining 2,500 people and assuring that their safe passage and they're not going to be exposing people when off the ship, that's really the challenge.

And I think the logistics and operations of dealing with this outbreak are really what is, you know -- the rubber is hitting the road now. And that's where folks are really, really getting challenged.

CAMEROTA: President Trump was talking about this last night. And he was talking about how it's not as bad as we think, basically, and saying that people -- a lot of people who have been exposed or even sick can continue to go to work.

So let me just play for you what he told FOX News.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work. Some of them go to work. But they get better.


CAMEROTA: That statement.

MARRAZZO: So I think the point he's trying to make is that we do know the majority of people so far who've had this infection have had mild cases. And that's probably about 80 percent. And that's come out of the Wuhan experience, where we know they had a very big in-patient hospital epidemic, right?

So I think that there are a majority of cases who are asymptomatic.

The problem is we don't know what the denominator is for this infection. So in epidemiology and infectious disease, we really care about how many people are infected and what happened to all of them.

Right now, I think we're seeing the tip of the iceberg with the people who are sick and coming forward. And until we define the bottom of that iceberg, we really can't say. I do feel comfortable saying that, in most people, this is probably

like the flu, so you will get better. You probably will be sick. Whether we want you going to work, even if you have a mild infection, is a different question entirely. Because we do know that you're going to expose people who may have more symptoms and bad outcomes of the virus.


MARRAZZO: So I would not agree with that part.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean, people are obviously looking for advice today, and the idea that, if you have symptoms, you can go to work and you'll just get better is possibly not the right advice for people today.

MARRAZZO: I -- I would agree with you wholeheartedly.

CAMEROTA: You, as I understand it, are in a unit working on a vaccine for the coronavirus. So how close are you to having one?

MARRAZZO: So the NIH is actually sponsoring a phase one vaccine trial with a vaccine candidate that's developed by a company called Moderna. This is a vaccine that has never been in humans before but shows very good promise in an animal model.

They are positioning themselves, probably, to start giving this to a small group of healthy volunteers in maybe four to six weeks.

And I want to emphasize that -- two things. One, that this is not going to be a rapid process. We have to get this into healthy people and make sure it's safe and really take a close look at how they handle the vaccine. If that looks OK, then it goes on to a larger group of several hundred people, and you start to look at markers of whether or not it's protective.

So as Dr. Fauci from the NIH emphasized very strongly over the past several days, we likely will not have a big vaccine trial until at least a year from now. So that's the first thing.

The second thing is that it's unbelievable that we just described this virus in December, and we have a genetic sequence and a vaccine derived from that genetic sequence. So the pace of this has been really remarkable.

I feel like the scientific information coming out is a little like drinking from a firehose. You really just have to sort of try to keep up and really winnow out what's -- what's valuable and what's not. But the vaccine stuff is very exciting.

CAMEROTA: Yes. We appreciate the herculean efforts you all have moved in terms of the speed of progress that you're making, but, you know, not having a vaccine for a year is still cold comfort this morning.

But Dr. Marrazzo, thank you. Thanks so much. I'm sorry we're out of time.

MARRAZZO: My pleasure.

CAMEROTA: But obviously, we'll have you back as this progresses. We really appreciate it.

MARRAZZO: OK. Thanks a lot.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

MARRAZZO: Bye, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Join us for a special CNN global town hall on coronavirus tonight hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta at 10 p.m. Eastern on CNN. They will answer all of your questions.

BERMAN: I should tell you, we are making contact with someone in self- quarantine who was on this cruise ship in question. Hopefully, we'll have that for you in a few minutes.

Also after a not so Super Tuesday, what will Elizabeth Warren do in the presidential race? Will she drop out? And if so, who might she endorse?



BERMAN: So all eyes this morning on Senator Elizabeth Warren. We are told she is reassessing the future of her presidential bid following a disappointing showing on Super Tuesday. She is scheduled to spend another day off the trail at home today in Massachusetts.

Joining us now, Anna Palmer, senior Washington correspondent for "Politico"; and John Avlon, CNN senior political analyst.

And this is the official statement from the Warren campaign. Quote, "We fell well short of our viability goals and projections, and we are disappointed in the results. Elizabeth is taking time with our team to assess the path forward. This decision is in her hands, and it's important that she has the time and space to consider what comes next."

Just so people know, I have never heard the word "assess" or "reassess," not ultimately lead to a suspension or a dropout of a campaign, Anna.

But what's behind this decision, and what do we actually think she's considering doing?

ANNA PALMER, SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, "POLITICO": I think what's behind the decision is she doesn't want to move too fast. If you saw some of the other candidates drop out and go right away to Joe Biden. And right now, she doesn't necessarily want to endorse either of these candidates.


CAMEROTA: Why not?

PALMER: I mean -- she and Joe Biden clearly have a lot of differences when it comes to policy. But she and Bernie, you might think that they would be kind of ready to have a kumbaya moment. They aren't necessarily super close. And neither of the campaigns --

CAMEROTA: I thought they were friends. I thought the whole narrative through the campaign was that they had been friends for all these years.

PALMER: I mean, all of the candidates were big friends, I think, throughout the entire primary.

CAMEROTA: But particularly those two. I'm not -- I'm not trying to be Pollyannaish. I thought that she did like Bernie and that she does support his positions. Or no?

PALMER: I think when it worked for them on the campaign trail to say, Hey, we're going to represent you, this liberal flank of the base, then it worked well for them. I think in actuality, they are not close, and I would be surprised if she's going to be a vociferous kind of defender of his on the campaign trail.


JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean, look, there was that very tense open mic moment where she said, I think you just called me a liar on national television.

Obviously, they have a lot of overlaps in their constituencies. But Elizabeth Warren, I think, really thought there was an opening somewhere between Bernie and Biden. That did not materialize. And she's run an energetic, substantive policy-driven campaign.

In the fall it looked like she very well could be the nominee. So this is tough stuff. But it could be that she might not think that Bernie Sanders would make a good president. And that's a real interesting dynamic. Because certainly, the progressive coalition wants the kind of rally around the center move that the folks on the center line made.

BERMAN: It's a heck of a statement if she doesn't endorse. I have to say, given what they -- how they've discussed issues, how they've discussed each other for months and months and how their supporters seemed to operate.


BERMAN: Wouldn't that be a statement, not to endorse?

AVLON: It would be its own statement. But I do think a lot of the supporters will organically rally around Bernie.

That said, look, a third place win in Massachusetts is tough. I mean, she only won one out of ten liberals in the state. So you know, that -- it's almost impossible to come back from coming in third in your home state.

CAMEROTA: Let's take a look at where the delegate count is, because it keeps changing, as it did all day yesterday when we were on the air. Biden at the moment is at 4 -- 509, 509. Sanders is at 449. Warren has 37 to give away. Pete Buttigieg is still at 26.

And last night, Bernie Sanders was asked what happens if no one reaches a plurality. OK, so if by the convention, what happens? And there's been all sorts of talk, as we know, about a contested convention. So here is what he told Rachel Maddow last night.


RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC ANCHOR: If at the end of the day it turns out that Vice President Biden is going to have more delegates than you do heading into the convention, will you drop out?

SANDERS: Of course, I won't drop out. He will win. We'll run through -- I suspect we will run through the process. I think people have a right to vote. But if Biden walks into the convention or at the end of the process has more votes than me, he's the winner.


CAMEROTA: Well, that's good for people to hear, because that is not what people predicted.

PALMER: I think that's a big sigh of relief that we all heard among establishment Democrats, that -- that Bernie was going to try to make this a contested convention, no matter what.

We haven't heard what Joe Biden is going to necessarily do either. That number is fluctuating. What happens in California, that divide is not going to be as big as it probably is now. And we have a couple of other Super Tuesdays where, you know, depending on what happens, Bernie might have a good night in Michigan. He might have a good night in some other places that you could see them really fighting that out till the end.

AVLON: Michigan's going to be huge next week. That's a state that Bernie shocked the world by winning over from Hillary. It's a must win for Democrats in the fall.

But look, I mean, he's applying the same standards to himself that he set on the debate stage. And that itself is notable.

BERMAN: He's got -- you know, he boxed himself in here. He said that I think whoever has a plurality going into the convention should be the nominee. He said that when he thought he would have the most delegates.

AVLON: That's right.

BERMAN: But now he's sticking to it.

AVLON: He didn't reverse himself, but the reality is the process as it's laid out is going to play out, no matter what happens.

BERMAN: I will say that Biden has said that he doesn't think the person with the plurality should be guaranteed the nominee.

AVLON: Yes, that's right.

BERMAN: He has said let the process play out. We'll see, you know, how it happens. We'll see if he changes his mind on all that soon.

Another interesting thing going on in the campaign right now, as Bernie Sanders, I think, figures out how to go forward is he's running this commercial which purports to show his close ties with former President Obama. Watch.


BARACK OBAMA (D), FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think people are ready for a call to action. They want honest leadership who cares about them. They want somebody who's going to fight for them. And they will find it in Bernie. That's right. Feel the Bern.


AVLON: I mean, come on now.

CAMEROTA: The power of editing. I mean, that wasn't all in one sitting that President Obama said that. That was splicing together different moments.

But Bloomberg tried this, too, where it sounds as though President Obama is endorsing either of these people. But he's not.

PALMER: I mean, it's pretty stunning. I'm kind of laughing a little bit, because especially when it comes to Bernie Sanders, he has been so anti-establishment, so anti-Washington, anti-where the Democratic Party is. That is who Barack Obama is.

AVLON: He even called for him to be primaried by a progressive candidate in 2012, because he thought Obama was too centrist. So I mean, this really does say that his campaign said, look. We need to make inroads to African-American voters. Our criticism of Obama and even some circuits like Cornel West's criticism of Obama on the campaign trail hasn't helped.

But this is basically a fiction they've edited together to make it sound like Bernie and Obama were always tight, and that's just not true.

BERMAN: You know, Barack Obama has not endorsed. I don't imagine he will.

One wonders, though, by putting up a picture of him in this campaign and reminding voters of him, even if his goal is to show that Obama is close to Sanders, it reminds people Joe Biden was his vice president. I'm just not so sure this ad will do what he thinks it's going to do. PALMER: I mean, I think it's -- it's unclear exactly what they're

trying -- what the result is going to be. If anybody in the two candidates that are left has the kind of actual validity to say, I am the embodiment of Obama, that is Joe Biden.

CAMEROTA: Yes, but when I hear that ad, I think that Obama.