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Helicopter Airlifts Coronavirus Test Kits to Cruise Ship with Quarantined Passengers; Pence: "We Don't Have Enough Testing Today" to meet future coronavirus screening needs; Officials: At Least 70 Coronavirus Cases in Washington State, More Than 200 Across U.S.; Trump's "Hunch" on Coronavirus Deaths Contradicts Experts; Warren Ends Presidential Bid, Delays Making Endorsement; Sanders Pushing For Bigger Turnout By Young Voters; Representative Ro Khanna Is Interviewed About The Sanders Campaign; Outbreak Hurting Cruise Ships And Airlines; Boosting Sales Of Bleach, Hand Sanitizer. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired March 5, 2020 - 17:00   ET

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


[17:00:00]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon, thank you so much. Our coverage on CNN continues right now. Our thanks to the Larkin family for participating in that story.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. We're tracking two major stories tonight, new developments in the coronavirus crisis and a huge turn of events in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Financial markets tanking today amid growing concern about the economic impact of the outbreak.

There are also new fears tonight about testing shortfalls here in the United States. Vice President Pence says there are currently not enough screening kits to meet the anticipated demand. The number of cases now stands at more 200 in the U.S. with 12 dead.

Also tonight, another major shift in the race for the Democratic nomination, Elizabeth Warren dropping her presidential bid after a deeply disappointing showing on Super Tuesday. Warren declined to immediately endorse either of her main rivals leaving supporters up for grabs.

I'll speak with Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, chief clinical officer in a major hospital group in Washington, a state where at least 70 people have the virus. And our correspondents and analysts have full coverage of today's top stories.

First, take a look at this. New testing kits being dropped off by a helicopter to a cruise ship just off the coast of San Francisco where passengers on board are showing symptoms of the virus. CNN's Lucy Kafanov is joining us right now and she's got details.

Lucy, give us the latest.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, that's right. They have dropped off those medical kits. Passengers also tell us that medical workers are now on board to help test for the coronavirus. But there are more than 2,000 people on board the ship. The question on everyone's mind is whether their ordeal is about to be over or whether this is the start of a new one.

Will they be quarantined, and where? The answers might depend on those test results.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAFANOV (voice-over): Tonight the Air National Guard air lifting coronavirus test kits to a cruise ship off the coast of California.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We have a number of passengers and crew members that have developed symptoms on this cruise.

KAFANOV: The Grand Princess was returning from it Hawaii. The voyage interrupted by the death of a 71-year-old California man, a coronavirus fatality. Health officials believe he contracted it on the same ship during a cruise to Mexico from February 11th to the 21st.

Those on board now stranded. At least 11 passengers and 10 crew members exhibiting symptoms. Less than 100 will be tested for the virus, but thousands may have been exposed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this your first Princess cruise?

SHARON LANE-SIMON: It is. Yes. And it will be the last.

KAFANOV: Last month, more than 600 cases were reported on the Diamond Princess, quarantined off the coast of Japan. Passengers on the Grand Princess fear they're next.

LANE-SIMON: We're due to go home on Saturday but obviously, we don't know whether we're going to be quarantined for two week what's happening.

KAFANOV: Thursday, lawmakers on Capitol Hill pressed Trump administration officials for answers on how they'll prevent a similar situation.

KENNETH CUCCINELLI, ACTING DEPUTY SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: We don't want to obviously use one bad example to set the rule for everything else. And that's why we have flown test kits out to the ship literally as we're speaking. That's going out so that we have greater clarity on exactly what we're contending with.

KAFANOV: Across the U.S., more than 200 cases of coronavirus reported in 17 states. The brunt of them along the West Coast with a total of 12 deaths reported, 11 in Washington State and one in California.

Cases also rising in the east, doubling overnight in New York, largely as a result of increase testing from 11 cases to 22.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): The number will continue to go up. It must because we are continuing to test more and more. The more you test, the higher number you will have.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAFANOV: Now, the CDC is working around the clock to produce and send out more test kits. They say that by end of next week, they hope to have enough to test at least 1.5 million people. Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, let's hope. Lucy Kafanov reporting for us, thank you.

Let's go to our Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta right now.

Jim, the Vice President is offering a rather candid assessment of a major short coming in the coronavirus response.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. The White House point man on the coronavirus outbreak, Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged today that the administration is still working to meet the demand for testing across the country. That acknowledgment comes as President Trump is coming under intense scrutiny for comments he made about the outbreak. The President appear to suggest that people can go to work after being infected with the virus even though the CDC is warning people not to do that. But the big worry for this administration is that they don't have enough tests for this virus.

[17:05:10]

ACOSTA (voice-over): In the race against the coronavirus the Trump administration is still playing catch up to meet the demand for testing kits for people who suspect they've been infected. Vice President Mike Pence conceded to reporters that the administration is still working to make enough tests available.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We don't have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward.

ACOSTA: White House officials insist the administration will meet its goal of distributing more than 1 million tests by the end of the week. But those officials concede the government is still well behind anticipated growing demand for tests over the coming months. Earlier this week, Pence said the administration wants to have the ability to test any American.

PENCE: Any American that wants to be tested for the coronavirus on their doctor's indications can be tested.

ACOSTA: The administration is also trying to contain an outbreak of sketchy information coming from the President. He told Fox News it was his hunch that the mortality rate for the coronavirus is much lower than what's been cited by the World Health Organization.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well I think the 3.4 percent is really false number. Now, and this is just my hunch, and -- but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this. So I think that that number is very high. I think the number, personally, I would say the number is way under one percent.

ACOSTA: Contrast that with what some administration experts have said.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If you look at the cases that have come to the attention of the medical authorities in China and you just do the math, the math is about two percent.

ACOSTA: Even Mr. Trump's top allies are advising Americans to listen to the scientists.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Listen to the scientist when is it comes to numbers.

ACOSTA: The President also suggested people infected with the coronavirus could go to work.

TRUMP: So if, you know, 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.

ACOSTA: But the CDC website says don't to that, adding, "You should restrict activities outside your home except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis."

All week, the President has been playing fast and loose with the facts claiming a coronavirus vaccine could be ready in months.

TRUMP: I don't think they know what the time will be. I've heard very quick numbers, a matter of months. And I've heard pretty much a year would be an outside number.

ACOSTA: Only to be contradicted by the experts.

FAUCI: So he's asked the question, when is it going to be deployable? And that is going to be at the earliest a year to year and a half no matter how fast you go.

ACOSTA: Democrats say the President should be more careful.

REP. DONNA SHALALA (D-FL): My chief concern is that we not politicize this. You know, fear is a virus as well. And it's very important that we stick to the facts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: The White House is also advising federal workers to stay home if they are suffering from flu-like symptoms saying in an e-mail that they should not come into the office out of an abundance of caution.

In the meantime we should point out the financial markets don't appear to be encouraged by the government's response to the coronavirus outbreak. The Dow dropped just under 1,000 points, another wild swing in a very volatile week. Wolf.

BLITZER: Volatile indeed. All right, Jim Acosta, thank you very much.

Let's get some more analysis right now from an expert right at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak here in the United States. Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips is joining us. She's the chief clinical officer at the Providence St. Joseph Health hospital group. Thanks so much for joining us Dr. Compton-Phillips.

As you know better than anyone, 12 Americans have now died from coronavirus, 11 in your state of Washington alone. What are you learning about how to protect people who get this virus?

DR. AMY COMPTON-PHILLIPS, CHIEF CLINICAL OFFICER, PROVIDENCE ST. JOSEPH HEALTH: We're learning that we really need to be very cautious about how infectious this germ is because it's reasonably easily transmissible. And so we're doing everything we can not to focus on the outbreak of sketchy information, but on leveraging common sense and actually following evidence- evidence-based guidelines that say that you wash your hands often, that you use hand sanitizer, that if you're going to do anything that interacts with somebody who has the germ, that you use appropriate personal protection equipment so that you can minimize any risk of transmitting person to person.

BLITZER: Yes. Potentially life-saving advice for a lot of our viewers.

The Vice President as you just heard says the country right now doesn't have enough testing kits to meet the future demand. How does that impact hospitals like yours trying to contain the spread of the virus?

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: It's a huge impact to have insufficient tests available because we -- any time there's an outbreak, you see the tip of the iceberg. You get the people who have the most severe symptoms coming in. But those people got that infection from somewhere. And we need to figure out in order to interrupt transmission of this infection. We need to figure out where that infection is coming from, which means you need to treat the less severely impacted.

[17:10:16]

People who think they just have a cold, but they really have coronavirus. And if they happen to get around somebody that's, you know, 70 years old and has some underlying health conditions can be lethal. And so we've got to start actually testing those less severely impacted patients.

BLITZER: Yes, much worse for the elderly right now than for younger people.

Your team has been treating coronavirus patients including some from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship. Tell us more about what that treatment looks like.

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: Well, it absolutely varies on the severity. So we've had people that -- really have -- had very minimal symptoms, more like your cold or flu symptoms. And we've had people who have passed away, unfortunately. And the big challenge is that if the virus goes from having upper respiratory symptoms, so headache and fever and congestion, to having a viral pneumonia, it can really impact the ability to get oxygen in the bloodstream. And so then we have to do everything from using extra oxygen, to using a ventilator. And in China they've even had to use something called ECMO, which is like a bypass machine that can oxygenate the blood outside the body.

And so we're working hard to learn from the experience in other countries so we can apply those lessons here as rapidly as possible.

BLITZER: I'm curious, doctor, how these so-called isolation chambers, the negative pressure rooms, as they're call called, actually work.

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: They actually do work. And the reason we use those is that in a regular hospital room, if somebody coughs and then you open the door, if there's anything that's aerosolized in that room, the air can whoosh out of the room and into the hallway and infect the hospital, which is, of course, not what you want. And instead with the negative pressure room, you keep the atmospheric pressure in that room a little bit lower than the hallway.

So when you open the door air rushes in. And that air is then all filtered through a specific HEPA filter that keeps the germs from going beyond. In fact, in one of our hospitals, in our Everett Hospital, we've turned an entire floor into a negative pressure floor so that we can actually manage the influx of people who are infected.

BLITZER: Well, thank you so much for what you and your team are doing. I know you're saving lives out there. Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, appreciate it very much.

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: Thank you so much.

BLITZER: All right. A quick and very important programming though to our viewers. Later tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, CNN presents a live global town hall, Coronavirus, Facts and Fears. Join our Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta live tonight at 10:00 Eastern only here on CNN.

Up next, from today's big trop on Wall Street to the impact on Main Street and beyond, take a closer look at the financial fallout from coronavirus fears.

Plus, today's big development in the presidential campaign, Senator Elizabeth warren drops out setting up a showdown between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:17:30]

BLITZER: As reports of confirmed coronavirus cases continue to rise here in the United States, Vice President Pence says, currently there are not enough test kits to meet the anticipated demand for screenings. Let's discuss the Trump administration's response. Our political experts are here.

John Harwood, the Vice President, he'd been pretty candid about all of this saying there's not enough test kits right now. When he asked this briefings, he doesn't know the answer. He calls at Dr. Fauci or an expert to answer the questions. This is something I wouldn't anticipate the President of the United States necessarily doing.

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's extremely difficult for this President to acknowledge or admit that he doesn't know something or that things are not going well under his watch. But it is Mike Pence's job as the government's point man on this right now to be candid. He's getting some credit for Democrats for surrounding himself with good minds and conducting himself the way we should.

But as we have seen, the President rifts and puts a rosy gloss on things. That's not helpful for Mike Pence to say, yes, we need more. We are behind. It's something -- this information the public needs to know.

BLITZER: I give the Vice President credit for at least being candid with the American public and deferring to the specialists.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I do. I think he deserves a lot of credit particularly because he works for Donald Trump. And it's difficult. And I think he had a lot of incoming, not only from Democrats, but from Republicans who said keep the politicians out of this. Let the scientists speak.

And I still think there's a little bit of conflict in that because the HHS Secretary at one point didn't want Tony Fauci to speak and sort of answer the question for him. But I think in the long run, this is good for Mike Pence because he is taking over. He's acting like a governor would, and don't forget, he was a governor in time of crisis and saying let's get the experts here and let's not throw blame anywhere. You know, the President has blamed the Obama administration for delaying getting test kits because of a decision they made a while ago and that turned out not to be true. Pence doesn't address any of that.

And he was very honest in saying, look, there is a shortage right now and we have to deal with that. And that's not the kind of admission we're used to expect from this administration.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He also has experience as governor in Indiana with the opposite happening when there was an HIV crisis.

BORGER: Yes.

[17:20:00]

BASH: And things didn't go as well. And he has the benefit of learning from that. And it is very clear every single time he opens his mouth and acts as a leader in a leadership position that he has experience and he wants to use it and benefit from knowing what's wrong and doing what's right this time.

BLITZER: Sean Hannity show last night, John, the President called the mortality rate from the coronavirus, and the rate was put out by the World Health Organization, he said it was a false number and he said he has a, "hunch that the number is much, much lower."

HARWOOD: Well, look, it's not a false number. It's a calculation based on the information that the WHO has at the moment. That number will change because as we understand the large -- much larger number of people who actually have the virus than we're aware of now, the mathematics changes and the mortality rate goes down.

But the problem is the President is not willing to deal with the numbers in front of him. He argued with Sanjay Gupta at the White House the other day on what's the lethality rate of the normal flu versus coronavirus. He argued with Anthony Fauci and drug company executives a couple days ago on how fast we're going to have this vaccine available. And Fauci repeatedly had to correct him and say, no, it's going to be a year and a year and a half.

That's the kind of clear guidance that Americans need from their president in the public health crisis. They're not getting it from President Trump right now. Mike Pence is doing a better a job.

BASH: And, you know, the tolerance for political pain that comes from Donald Trump for Republicans has gotten really high because they're got either use to it now after all these years. But on this issue, there isn't seem to be much tolerance at all.

I mean, you even heard Lindsey Graham who, time after time, has given the President a pass on many, many things. Told our Manu Raju, uh-uh, the President should not be saying things like that. He should be following the science, listening to the scientists because this is not something that you can --

(Crosstalk)

HARDWOOD: And one of the reasons for that is Wall Street is not messing around.

BLITZER: What I was going to say --

BORGER: Yes.

BLITZER: What I say, Gloria, the -- what probably irritates the President as much as anything is this drop, nearly another thousand points today --

BORGER: Right.

BLITZER: -- of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

BORGER: Right. He's doing everything he can not to spook the markets. And by doing everything he can not to spook the markets, he's spooking the markets.

HARWOOD: Bingo.

BORGER: Because they are -- they believe they are not getting the truth out of him. And so in their own way, and in its own way, the markets are saying we want to hear from the scientists and if the President isn't telling us exactly what's happening, what is he hiding?

HARWOOD: And what the markets and Wall Street are telling those Republicans that Dana referred to is that we've got a major economic problem on our hands. We could be in recession by the end of the year when all those Republican House members and Republican incumbent senators are trying to win their re-election just like the President.

BLITZER: Yes. The political spill over could be enormous.

Everybody stick around, much more coming up on the coronavirus outbreak. But also coming up today's big news in the 2020 presidential race, Senator Elizabeth Warren ends her campaign, setting up a showdown between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. They are already exchanging jabs.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:28:07]

BLITZER: It's been another very consequential day in the 2020 presidential race, Senator Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the race. And for now she isn't endorsing any other candidate.

Let's go to our Senior National Correspondent Kyung Lah.

Kyung tell us more. What's the latest?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the person watching all of this very carefully, Wolf, is the man who will take the stage in just about an hour here in Phoenix, Arizona, Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders hoping for a Warren endorsement that has not yet come. Hoping for his own post-Super Tuesday boost.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): I will not be running for President in 2020. But I guarantee I will stay in the fight.

LAH: Senator Elizabeth Warren ending her campaign, but making no endorsement yet.

WARREN: Let's take a deep breath.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT): Hey, how are you?

LAH: Bernie Sanders hoping, fellow progressive, hoping to win over Warren and her supporters. Potentially uniting the left.

SANDERS: I would love to have her disappointment, but today what I'm doing is reaching out to the millions of strong supporters that she had. And to tell them that her agenda, which she fought for in the campaign, was far closer to what I am fighting for than what Joe Biden believes in.

LAH: But so far, the recent wave of endorsements have largely gone to Joe Biden. In upcoming primaries, Michigan's governor and senators from Illinois and Arizona all backed the former vice president. Sanders indicating he will continue to sharpen his attacks on Biden.

SANDERS: Political establishment was very, very nervous like consolidated around Joe Biden. And Wall Street is emptying its checkbooks to fund Joe's campaign.

[17:30:01]

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Is ridiculous, is ridiculous. Bernie, you got beaten by overwhelming support I have in African- American community. Bernie, you got beaten because of suburban women. Bernie, you got beaten because of middle class hard working folks out there. Bernie, you've raised a lot more money and I have, Bernie.

LAH (voice-over): The Biden campaign will also have to brace for President Trump. He says, of Hunter Biden's work in Ukraine --

TRUMP: That will be a major issue in the campaign. I will bring that up all the time, because I don't see any way out. But I don't believe they'll be able to answer those questions.

LAH (voice-over): Biden is dismissing those attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that as your political fortunes rise --

BIDEN: Come on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- they're coming after you more?

BIDEN: Of course, there's nothing there there. Look, Donald Trump has corrupted the soul this country, Donald Trump has pummeled the middle class.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAH: A little bit of context and a reminder about this back and forth. The President's attempts to Pressure Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden and Joe Biden his father, also Trump's political rival, they were at the center of the President's impeachment trial. So all of this Trump and his allies have repeatedly made false and unfounded claims alleging that the Bidens acted corruptly in Ukraine, Wolf?

BLITZER: All right. Kyung Lah on the scene for us, thanks very much.

Joining us now, Democratic Congressman Ro Khanna of California. He's a national co-chair of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Congressman, thanks so much for joining us. Let's get to some of these issues. You say the Sanders campaign needs to do better on turnout, the next primary contest, there are five primaries, one caucus next Tuesday. You say the campaign needs to do it, especially among younger voters. So what sort of changes are in the works?

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Well, there's no doubt we need higher turnout among young voters, not just for Bernie Sanders, but for the Democratic Party. We've seen suburban turnout go through the roof, but the young voters need to come out. We're going to have a concerted effort on digital to target them, which we haven't done as much as we should have been doing. We're going to have more direct organizers at these rallies, talking to young people about not just marching, not just showing up to rallies but filling out their ballots going to vote.

BLITZER: Six states, as I mentioned, will vote next Tuesday, a sort of mini Super Tuesday. What sort of showing does Bernie Sanders need to stay competitive? And I asked the question in part because I see he canceled a trip to Mississippi. The assumption being he's given up on Mississippi to spend more time in Michigan.

KHANNA: Well Wolf when all is said and done after Super Tuesday in my home state of California is counted, I think we're going to be about 30 delegates back from Joe Biden. So we're very much in the hunt. It's neck and neck.

He needs a strong showing on Tuesday. He's going all in on Michigan in terms of spending his time there. That's a state he won in the past. It's a state his message for working class folks who have been left out, a resonate, and he's going to talk about how he is going to bring jobs back and not let jobs go offshore. He's also going to win Washington, I believe, and he's going to win Democrats abroad.

But at the end of Tuesday, we're still going to be very close with delegates. And I actually think this is going to come down to a debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders laying out very different visions for the future of the party.

BLITZER: Yes, the next debate will be a CNN debate in Arizona, March 15. And then Florida comes up on March 17th. That's going to be a huge prize potentially as well for these two remaining candidates. Were you surprised, Congressman, that Senator Warren is holding off on making an endorsement?

KHANNA: I'm not. I have tremendous admiration for her. She was the intellectual leader in the 2020 cycle. She came out with great proposals. I don't think her voice, frankly, was often recognized enough and I think we have to give her some time, give her supporters time, acknowledge her contributions, but I don't think anyone should be expected to drop out and endorse on the same day.

BLITZER: Are you confident that your campaign eventually will get her endorsement?

KHANNA: I can't say that. I mean, I certainly haven't had a direct conversation with Senator Warren. But I'm confident that our campaign will win a lot of her supporters. Because we both campaigned on Medicare for All, we both believe in free public college, we both believe in expanding Social Security. So when you look at her policy platforms, there's a huge overlap with Senator Sanders's platform, but it's for our campaign to earn those votes. It's not going to be automatic. We need to make the case.

BLITZER: All this started off, as you remember, Congressman, as one of the most diverse group of candidates in American history. What does it say about the Democratic Party right now that voters are left with two white male candidates who are 77 and 78 years old?

KHANNA: Well, this was an extraordinary diverse field. Three African- Americans, two Asian Americans, a gay veteran.

[17:35:05]

When I was growing up, I never imagined that kind of diversity but it just shows that it still takes time. We are -- I have no doubt going to have women and people of color as our nominees and future cycles. It's a process and hopefully in future cycles that will happen.

BLITZER: Whoever does get the Democratic nomination, let's say it's Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden, the assumption is that a woman will be the vice presidential running mate, but we shall see that sooner probably rather than later.

Representative Ro Khanna as usual, thanks so much for joining us.

KHANNA: Thanks for always having me on, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Up next, as Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders prepare to square off, President Trump promises to make Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and Ukraine a major issue in the campaign. We'll share new information when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:40:28]

BLITZER: Right now we're following a major development of the presidential race. Elizabeth Warren ending her campaign today setting up a showdown between former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Let's bring back our political experts. Dana, she made it clear she needs some time to think about who she's going to endorse. What does that say to you, because the other candidates who are dropping out, they immediately jumped on board for Biden.

BASH: Yes. I mean, it was a very different dynamic. The other two who dropped out, it happened right before Super Tuesday with the stakes could not be higher. And their endorsements, obviously, in totality especially made a huge, huge difference. I think it's pretty human of Elizabeth Warren to just take a breath and wait. She has a lot -- she was the first major candidate in, she's been doing it since New Year's Eve a year ago. And she also has -- doesn't have a clear cut ideological bent. I mean, yes, people look at her as a progressive alternative to Bernie Sanders, but she doesn't look at herself that way. She looks at herself as kind of a combination of Sanders and Biden. And so, you know, it's understandable and it is possible that she doesn't endorse at all.

BLITZER: You think -- where do you think she'll wind up which came out today for that brief little news conference, she seemed pretty exhausted.

BORGER: She seemed exhausted and, you know, with good reason. It's exhausting to run for president. It's probably even more exhausting to make the decision that you have to leave the race. It's hard to know where she's going to wind up.

It's very clear that both of Biden and Sanders want her. And she does have supporters, many of whom would say to her, you know, you got to endorse Bernie because he's like you. He's progressive like you. And then she's got these supporters who are suburban women who say, don't endorse Bernie Sanders, you've got to endorse Biden. Question also, if Biden were to become the nominee, could she run with Biden? Would it be a way for Biden to kind of reach out to that wing of the party?

If Sanders were to become the nominee, could he say, well, I kind of need your help with those suburban women? Could she run with Sanders? So she's being courted? She's got an awful lot of leverage right now. Maybe she wants to see how next week goes, because she can say to whomever the likely nominee is. You know, here's what I want in the platform. Here's what you need to do for me.

And Joe Biden says he wants free community college, she wants free college. Maybe there's some way they could work that out. So I think she is probably all about getting as much as she can before she endorses.

BLITZER: You know, the -- as we mentioned earlier, Sabrina, the Democratic contest started off with an incredibly diverse group of candidates now, two older white guys are left 170-177 of the incumbent president. The Republican candidate Donald Trump is 73 years old. I want you to listen to Senator Elizabeth Warren today and Senator Kamala Harris talking about the issue of gender in this presidential contest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN: Gender in this race, you know, that is the trap question for every woman. If you say, yes, there was sexism in this race, everyone says whiner. And if you say no, there was no sexism, about a bazillion women think, what planet do you live on?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): The reality is that there's still a lot of work to be done to make it very clear that women are exceptionally qualified and capable of being the commander in chief of the United States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: So Sabrina, what do you think about all that?

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think that there are a number of Democrats who are doing some soul searching today because this was not only a historically diverse field, but there was a record number of women who were seeking the nomination. And as you pointed out, this has now evolved into a two-person contest between two older white men. And no one is arguing that gender or sexism is the only reason why these women were forced out of the race.

But I think the question that Senator Harris raised and I talked to Senator Gillibrand, she brought up the same issue, is do we hold women candidates to different standards. And that's a problem that they feel they've seen, not just in how they're covered, but also how they're then perceived by voters.

And one of the examples they gave is you look at someone like former Vice President Joe Biden. He has been given many, many lifelines during the course of this election, the opportunity to stumble to come back.

[17:45:05]

And the way I heard it, or the way it was characterized me by a former aide to Senator Harris says, how can we do not root for women to come back? Why is it that they have a one strike --

BASH: Yes.

BORGER: Yes.

SIDDIQUI: -- and you're out rule.

BORGER: Well, and Amy Klobuchar has made that argument during the campaign, which is if a mare, if a woman were a mare of South Bend, Indiana, and were 38 years old, would she have gotten as far as a guy.

BASH: And that was one of the things that was most different. There were actually several things, even though they have a long way to go and they have legitimate complaints, the female now former candidates, they leaned into it and called out sexism when they saw more than we ever heard before. Both Amy Klobuchar -- that great example -- and Elizabeth Warren, she called out Joe Biden when she thought he said things that he wouldn't say about a man, about her.

BLITZER: I think a lot of us know assumed that whoever the Democratic nominee is, a woman will be the vice presidential nominee, but we shall see relatively soon.

Coming up, a closer look at the major impact coronavirus is having on the travel industry here in the United States. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

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[17:51:09] BLITZER: The coronavirus outbreak is having a major impact on the business world. The airline and cruise ship industry is facing billions of dollars in losses and the Dow plunging nearly 1,000 points once again today. Brian Todd has been looking into all of these for us. So Brian, what are you learning?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we have another cruise ship crisis tonight. The Grand Princess is being held off San Francisco while passengers are tested for coronavirus. Just days after a passenger from an earlier cruise on that same ship died from the virus. This comes on the heels of the Diamond Princess disaster off Japan where at least six passengers died from the virus. Analysts say these are hits that the cruise industry may not recover from anytime soon.

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TODD (voice-over): With passengers now abandoning bookings in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, cruise lines are feeling the pinch. Three major companies seeing their stock values drop around 20 percent last week.

ANDREW COGGINS, TRAVEL INDUSTRY ANALYST, PACE UNIVERSITY: The cruise industry is in uncharted territory. The impact of the COVID-19 will probably be quite similar to that of 911. However, the recovery may be a bit more difficult.

TODD (voice-over): The airlines are being punished as well. United Airlines says it will cut its international schedule by 20 percent next month, its domestic flights by 10 percent. Jet Blue is cutting its schedule by 5 percent. And Southwest Airlines says it may have to follow suit. Its CEO calling the hit two airline bookings, quote, a gut punch.

Airline CEOs met with President Trump at the White House to try to find ways to reassure the public that planes are being cleaned. The President, a well-known germaphobe himself assuring that flying is safe.

TRUMP: Large portions of the world are very safe to fly. So we don't want to say anything other than that.

TODD (voice-over): But one air travel lobby says the airline industry worldwide could lose between $63 and $113 billion in 2020. Analysts say the hotel industry will feel the ripple effect.

COGGINS: The resort areas. If people decide they don't want to travel, the occupancy will plunge in those areas.

TODD (voice-over): As for the companies who aren't hurting, Clorox, Purell, the makers of cleaning products and hand sanitizers. Their market value has spiked and chains like CVS and Walgreens can't keep their products on the shelves. Companies that make pantry goods like peanut butter are benefiting. Peloton, the maker of home exercise bikes has also seen sales go up. JACOB KIRKEGAARD, PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: You actually work out at home rather than go to the gym. And you basically avoid, you know, areas where you have interaction with other people, which is what you need to do with an airborne virus like this.

TODD (voice-over): Meanwhile, the decision makers in the film industry have some tough calls to make.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't know what this is?

TODD (voice-over): The makers of the new James Bond film, "No Time To Die" have delayed the release of the movie for seven months from April to November. They didn't specify that coronavirus was the reason, but cited their, quote, evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: History isn't kind to men who play God.

TODD (voice-over): Is that an overreaction?

KIRKEGAARD: Once you release the film, it's out there. It's over. You don't get the first crucial two to three weeks of box office revenue from it in a given large market. If you have a movie that has the word die in the title, it may not be so smart in the middle of potential pandemic.

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TODD: Experts say this outbreak has the potential to change the world economy if not forever, then at least for years or even decades. How? Well they say this virus is a shock to mobility that companies are going to have a different mindset about the countries they do business with, who they outsource to, and where to send their employees to live or conduct transactions, always mindful of where the coronavirus hit the hardest, Wolf?

BLITZER: Brian, what can the cruise industry do to try to recover from this disaster?

TODD: Not going to be easy, Wolf. One cruise industry analysts told us the cruise lines are going to probably have to start moving their ships from the areas where coronavirus has hit to other areas of high demand.

[17:55:06]

He says during the SARS outbreak in 2003, cruise bookings out of Hong Kong dried up so cruise lines move their ships from there to Australia. You might see a lot of that in the weeks ahead.

BLITZER: We'll see how that works out. Brian Todd, good report. Thanks very much.

Coming up, more of the threat of coronavirus in America's largest city. I'll speak live with the New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM and we're following breaking news.