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Cruise Ship Linked To Coronavirus Death Held Off California Coast; Biden Leads Delegate Race After Super Tuesday Contests. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired March 5, 2020 - 07:00   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN NEW DAY: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is New Day.

The coronavirus outbreak is growing more critical. At this hour, a cruise ship with more than 2,000 people on board is being held off the coast of San Francisco. 21 passengers are showing symptoms after a man who was on board that ship last month has died. The ship was set to dock today after trips to Hawaii and Mexico.

There are now 159 confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide with ten deaths in Washington State. Also throughout the U.S., 57 schools are closed today. A majority of those in Washington and New York. Amazon is recommending all 50,000 of its employees in the Seattle area work from home until the end of this month after an employee there tested positive. Several airlines including United and JetBlue are scaling back domestic flights. And new forecast shows the airline industry, as a whole, could lose more than $100 billion in revenue.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEW DAY: Members of the House of Representatives will have a briefing today on coronavirus. And as the number of cases grows, we continue to hear from the president using imprecise language, and sometimes flat-out, misleading or incorrect language. He has said stuff about the Obama administration that's not true. And the president also downplayed the severity of the outbreak overnight. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Well, I think the 3.4 percent is really a false number. Now, this is just my hunch. But based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people people to do this, because a lot of people are on this and it's very mild.


BERMAN: It's important to note the World Health Organization said the death rate is 3.4 percent. The president's own administration suspects it's around 2 percent. The president wishing it away somehow, thinks it could be way lower than 1 percent based on nothing other than a hunch. CNN has this story covered from coast to coast. We want to begin with Dan Simon live for us in San Francisco, where there is now this cruise ship, Dan, with more than 2,000 people on board, and real concerns about a possible sickness that's spreading.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, John. I've been talking and texting with people on board that cruise ship. They said things were business as usual last night. The bars were open. The buffet was open. But they also terminated or they canceled all of the entertainment last night. Apparently, they want to keep people away from large community gatherings.

Now, this was a 15-day voyage, left San Francisco, headed to the Hawaiian Islands. The ship was supposed to return to the port of San Francisco on Saturday. Instead it came back early, but it's not going to dock at all. It's going to remain off the coast of San Francisco while medical officials work to determine if anybody on board has the coronavirus.

Now, in terms of the logistics, in terms of how the testing is going to take place, listen to what California Governor Gavin Newsom had to say.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): 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 and primarily to Richmond Lab 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: About 20 or so people, passengers and crew members have developed symptoms.

Now, here is the thing. If anybody tests positive for the coronavirus, it's not clear what's going to happen next. Could there be some type of mass quarantine situation like what you had with its sister ship in Japan? We do know that at least three people who were on the previous two-week voyage, they developed the coronavirus. One person died. And 60 people who were on that last voyage are now on this voyage. And all of those people have been confined to their state rooms.

I spoke to a woman who has been on both cruises. She says that their attitude is as good as possibly can be, but they just don't know what's going to happen next. John?

BERMAN: One alarming fact, Dan, is we did speak to someone who was on that first cruise, the cruise with the link to the death. And that passenger who had been on board told us she wasn't told until yesterday, two weeks after she got off the boat, that there was a possible link there.

Dan Simon for us in California, please keep us posted as this develops throughout the morning.

Meanwhile, five new cases of coronavirus in New York.


That brings the total here to 11. Authorities are now asking about 1,000 people who were potentially exposed to self-quarantine.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is live outside Grand Central Terminal near where one of the infected patients worked. Brynn, what can you tell us this morning?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, John. And that infected patient, the 50-year-old lawyer from Westchester County, he is still in the hospital. The only person in New York still to be hospitalized are only to be hospitalized with the coronavirus.

Now, all of these new cases that we're seeing in New York have some sort of link to that 50-year-old man. We're talking about his wife, his daughter, his son, a neighbor who drove him to the hospital all tested positive, along with a family friend and that person's family. And as a result of this, we're really seeing the state's information unfold, trying to figure out how this man may have contracted the coronavirus, but more so what -- who he might have also infected and taking steps in that direction.

For example, as you just said, about a thousand people are being contacted by the Health Department, asking to be self-quarantined. We know that the schools where these kids who tested positive went have been shut down. The temple where this family worshipped has been shut down. Even the employees who worked at the law firm where he worked, all are being tested now for the coronavirus.

And, again, we live in New York City. This is a city of 8 million people. I'm outside Grand Central Terminal where a lot of people commute to work. And, of course, a lot of people live here in very close quarters. The city is taking steps itself having the subway systems and subway stops cleaned, disinfected with bleach every three days. Even still, state and local health officials are asking everyone in the city not to panic. Listen.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We have an epidemic caused by coronavirus. But we have a pandemic that is caused by fear.


GINGRAS: And, again, they're just asking everyone to take their own precautions. Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. Alisyn, back to you.

CAMEROTA: Okay, Brynn. Thank you very much for the update about New York.

Let's get back to that developing situation with the cruise ship that is being held off the San Francisco coast. 21 passengers and crew are showing symptoms of coronavirus. One man who was on that ship last month has died.

Joining us now is CNN National Security Analyst Lisa Monaco. She served as President Obama's Homeland Security adviser. Lisa, it's great to have you here.

You say coronavirus is a national security issue. And so if you were still Homeland Security adviser right now, what would you do about that cruise ship that is off San Francisco?

LISA MONACO, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, look, I think Governor Newsom has been taking the right steps. They're going to try and get these test kits out, as we saw in the previous piece, out to the ship.

What this displays here, and he's also declared a state of emergency, which people should understand, that is appropriate preparation, right? He's trying to make sure that they're going to have the right resources and personnel available as this thing spreads.

What the ship really shows is the scale and the scope of the challenge of contact tracing. So this is -- think of this as investigation, right? These are public health officials who have to go out and figure out who had contact with potentially infected people.

CAMEROTA: It seems overwhelming, to be quite honest. Because they have -- you know, as John said, we spoke to somebody on the ship. She's self-quarantining. She just got an email yesterday. This was two weeks when she got off the ship.

And so I guess my point is, okay, they're sending testing kits. How is that going to help? There're 2,500 people onboard the ship? Are they all going to stay on board the ship, like we saw with Japan, where every day, more and more people were getting sick? Should they be taken off right now and sent to an army barracks to quarantine on land? I mean, what should happen here?

MONACO: I think what you're going to see is you're going to see these testing kits go out. They're going to try and understand what is the state of the situation on the ship. And then you're likely going to see what happened with the last ship, which is getting those people, once they come off, into another quarantine facility. I suspect that's what you're going to see.

Because what we seem to know thus far, and I think we should be very humble about what we know and don't about this virus, what we seem to know is it has a lengthy incubation period. And so you'd likely see those folks have to be in another quarantine situation.

CAMEROTA: Do you have faith in Vice President Mike Pence and the task force that he's leading?

MONACO: Well, look, I think this was -- we're seeing some good steps recently. One is he's talked about now making test kits and getting test kits out to communities a priority. That's a good thing. But we are woefully behind when it comes to our ability to test. We have done -- as a country, we have done a mere fraction of the testing that other countries, much smaller countries, like the U.K. and South Korea, have done.

And the numbers that you cited at the top of this segment, it's good to give people information but people need to understand those numbers that you cited, very likely a substantial undercount.


Once the testing gets rolling, we are going to see a real spike in more cases. That is going to mean likely people starting to panic, but they should be anticipating hearing a lot higher numbers coming from you and others. But they should be getting prepared for that from their leadership.

CAMEROTA: I think that people would feel better not about testing but about containment. It's one thing to know the numbers, it's another thing to think that it's not still running rampant somewhere. And do you have a sense of what the administration is doing about containment?

MONACO: Well, look, the focus, I think, originally on this was to try and keep it out, right? So you hear the president and others talking about how will we stop people coming from China. There should have been a lot more effort to get us prepared for what we're seeing now, right? Needing more test kits, needing more personal protective gear for all of the hospital workers, understanding what type of hospital bed capacity equipment like ventilators, do we have that capacity, where is that going?

All of those are steps that the administration should have been taking, frankly, months ago in December when we saw this emanating from China. It's the kind of work that we try to do doing the transition of administrations to help.

CAMEROTA: And I do want to ask you about that in one second. But, first, I just want to ask you, President Trump's messaging is confusing. He said last night that it's more mild than people think and that people can even still go to work. Here is the president.


TRUMP: We have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better who just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work. Some of them go to work. But they get better.


CAMEROTA: Is that the right message that people should go to work with symptoms?

MONACO: No. People should be listening to their healthcare professionals. They should be listening to the experts. And it's not helpful, I think, for anybody, least of all the president, to be speculating about the science here, the information he put out about the mortality rate here. people need to be listening to the experts, listening to their healthcare professionals, exercising common sense if they have symptoms to stay home, to talk to their doctors, to do all of the things, washing their hands, exercising good common sense.

CAMEROTA: Very quickly, I know that before President Trump took office, after he was elected, but before he took office, you were involved in this simulation of sorts where you had the Trump folks come in into the White House where you basically simulated what would happen if there was a global pandemic that started affecting world markets, that started disrupting travel, and for which there was no vaccine. Here we are. And though it was hypothetical then, now it's real, did you have a sense of confidence from them or did they get it?

And now when you hear President Trump somehow trying to blame President Obama for this, your reaction?

MONACO: Look. We did do that simulation. And I specifically required that we added a pandemic scenario to that simulation because we knew and we believed then, as we have seen now, that pandemic disease is a national security threat. That was a simulation where outgoing national security officials like myself and my colleagues from the Obama administration sat side by side with the incoming Trump team to just give them a sense of lessons that we have learned.

CAMEROTA: And did they absorb it?

MONACO: Hard to tell. I mean, they were engaged during the discussion. And, obviously, there's lots of turnover. People who were in that room, many of whom are not in the administration today --

CAMEROTA: S you were trying to be helpful. And now I don't know if you've heard the comments from President Trump, but he blames a lot of things on President Obama, including I'm not sure how he thinks that this current coronavirus could have been stopped by Obama.

MONACO: Right. That actually doesn't make any sense. The new Novel coronavirus that we're dealing with today, it is, as the name states, novel, it was not present during the Obama administration. Look, the claims you made yesterday have been debunked and we didn't encounter testing problems like we're seeing now with the Ebola epidemic that I did help and in any event. We shouldn't be playing the blame game. We need to be providing information to people that they can rely on.

CAMEROTA: Lisa Monaco, we really appreciate your information. Thank you very much for coming in.

All right, join us for a special CNN global town hall on coronavirus tonight. It's hosted by Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. That's 10:00 P.M. only on CNN.

BERMAN: So a new endorsement in the race for president from a key battleground state. Find out who it's coming from after the break.


[07:15:00] BERMAN: So at this moment, votes in California still being counted. You can see Senator Bernie Sanders still in the lead there. Former Vice President Joe Biden is the overall leader in the delegate race with 509. You can see Bernie Sanders has 449. Still, key races ahead this month, maybe the biggest in Florida on March 17th.

So joining me now, Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida. Congresswoman, it is a pleasure to have you on this morning.

Up until now, you have not endorsed in the race for president. My understanding is that's about to change.

REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): Well, good morning, John. It's great to be with you. And, look, let me just start this way. As a former social worker, a former career law enforcement officer, and a former police chief, I've seen the best of America and I've seen the worst of America. But what I do know is America is always at its best when people have the opportunity to succeed. And we have leaders in place who understand that. That's why I am so proud this morning to endorse Joe Biden for the next president of the United States.

You know, my husband likes to say the best indicator of future performance is to look at past performance.


And if we look at Vice President Biden's record, he has been there in the trenches fighting for those things that are important to the American people.

So I'm excited about this opportunity. I'm excited about the upcoming primary in Florida and let's get this done.

BERMAN: why did you wait? And by that I mean, what was it That you felt like you needed to See from Vice President Biden Before you endorsed in this Race?

DEMING: well, John, let me just say this. As you know, I served as one of the House impeachment managers and I know you as well as your viewers remember that, unfortunately, the Bidens became a major part of that investigation. I certainly would not have endorsed Vice President Biden during that time. I think it would have undermined the work that we were doing.

But, you know, we're getting ready for the Florida primary. I think momentum is very, very important. And, of course, even while I served as a House manager, I have been watching very, very closely.

And like I said, you know, a lot of people talk about what they're going to do. We certainly heard a lot of talk from the current occupant of the White House. But if we look at the records, if we look at what Vice President Biden has done, he has walked the walk and not just talked the talk. And we're building the momentum, I think this endorsement comes at the right time as we prepare for the Florida primary. BERMAN: You brought up the impeachment investigation. You also know that as far as some Republicans are concerned, in their minds it's not over. At least they're going to use it. You already hear people in the Senate talking about they want to hear more from Hunter Biden or they want to hear more about Burisma.

Based on what you saw, what impact will that have or what would the impact be?

DEMINGS: No, I don't think it will have any impact at all. And I'm very disappointed in the U.S. Senate for, quite frankly, even talking about doing the work that the president of the United States could not get Ukraine to do. I mean, Isn't that amazing, that Ukraine refused to announce or even to engage in bogus investigations, yet members of the U.S. Senate are talking about engaging in bogus investigations.

But, look, the American people are paying attention, as we've seen on Super Tuesday. And, look, they want people who are committed to making their lives better and easier. People who have to go to work every day want to experience the American dream as well. And it would be great if the members of the Senate would spend that time trying to make the American people, especially those who have to go to work every day, life better.

BERMAN: Back to the Democratic race for president. Senator Bernie Sanders trying to reach out to younger voters. There are younger voters in Florida. It's a misconception that is just an aging state. There are plenty of young people.

DEMINGS: It certainly is. Thank you.

BERMAN: Just younger voters just like you as well as --

DEMINGS: I love that.

BERMAN: -- city and Miami. How do you think Senator Sanders' message will resonate with Florida voters in two weeks?

DEMINGS: Well, I actually represent Orlando. And certainly, if you look at what happened on Super Tuesday, Vice President Biden was able to get every demographic. And I think that is so important, John, because if we look at the state of America right now, we're so divided. And that's the result of the concerted effort by the president of the United States current to divide us.

But the Vice President got every demographic. He got older voters, younger voters, black voters, white voters. He crossed men, women, every demographic. And I think that's so -- a great indication though.

BERMAN: Not Latino and not the youngest.

DEMINGS: Right. But I think that's a great indication though that people want something different and I think they spoke overwhelmingly the other night.

BERMAN: All right, Congresswoman. I know I'm not the first person to ask you this and I know it won't be the last, but I trust I'm the one you'll answer hear. So what happens if Vice President Biden calls you in a month or two and says, Congresswoman, I want you to be my running mate. What's your answer?

DEMINGS: John, let me say this. I am endorsing Vice President Biden this morning. I'm very, very excited about that. But he needs to be the nominee. We need to do everything we can to make sure that Vice President Biden is the nominee.

So I would just say to you, let us keep our eyes on the ball and we will cross that bridge when we get there.

BERMAN: I can't help but notice there wasn't an answer to that question.

DEMINGS: That's absolutely correct.

BERMAN: So are you ruling out the possibility of being on the ticket?

DEMINGS: I am going to do everything that I possibly can to make sure that Vice President Biden is the next president of the United States, because four more years of what we currently have, I don't think we would survive. We'd certainly would not be the same nation that we've come to love.

BERMAN: I know you're a humble person, but why do you think it is that your name has come up in some of the speculations about a possible running mate with you then (ph)?

DEMINGS: I am very humbled by that.


I mean, I'm the daughter of a maid and a janitor. And we think about the American dream, I've had some pretty amazing opportunities. I think I am a product of the American dream and what can happen when people have opportunities to succeed and to live up to their full potential. And I am just honored and, you're right, humbled by people adding my name to that list.

BERMAN: Congresswoman Val Demings, we appreciate you being with us this morning. We appreciate you taking if not exactly answering that last question. But I'm sure we'll have a chance to ask you again in the future. Thanks.

DEMINGS: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: I tried. I tried. And she didn't say no. I will say --

CAMEROTA: Not a no.

BERMAN: -- look, I've done this for a long time and asked a lot of people this very question. There are ways to say no and that wasn't in the universe of no.

CAMEROTA: Your ears were perked up. All right, we'll take that. One big question today is what is Elizabeth Warren's plan? Will she drop out? Will she press on? She seems to be struggling to endorse one of her rivals either way. We'll talk about that.



CAMEROTA: As of this morning, Senator Bernie Sanders is in second place.