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Nearly 98,000 Coronavirus Cases, With Almost 3400 Deaths; Vice President Pence Admits U.S. Shortage Of Coronavirus Test Kits; Trump Flubs Facts As His Administration Plays Cath-Up; Attack At Kabul Ceremony, Top Afghan Leader Present; Airline Stocks Tumble Amid New Travel Warnings; Elizabeth Warren Ends Presidential Bid; Oil Producers Face Historic Drop In Demand; Harry's Stepping Out; Space Tourism; U.S. Congress Approves Budget for Coronavirus Task Force; Pleas Fell into Deaf Ears; Another Cruise Ship Now Being Quarantined; Manufacturers Control Face Masks Supply; Ceasefire Agreed Between Russia and Turkey. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 6, 2020 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause. You are watching CNN Newsroom live from studio at CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta.

Ordered to stay at sea. A cruise ship off the California coast now dealing with the coronavirus outbreak as the number of confirmed cases worldwide approaches 100,000.

A controversial execution. The state of Alabama puts an inmate to death for the shooting of three police officers, but he did not pull the trigger.

Plus, inside a humanitarian crisis in Syria where a ceasefire is leading to new hopes for families stuck in a war zone.

Around the world the coronavirus is spreading faster than containment measures can be put in place. In less than three months the virus has reached more than 80 countries and regions.

The U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warn the United States does not currently have enough testing kits. Almost 98,000 cases are confirmed worldwide, most are in China. Nearly 3,400 people have died so far.

Italy is dealing with the biggest outbreak in Europe and it's committed more than seven billion euros to cushion the impact to businesses.

In the United States, Congress has approved more than $8 billion to try and deal with the disease as well. And off the coast of California passengers on board the Grand Princess cruise ship are being told to stay in their rooms while crew members are tested for the coronavirus.

We get the latest now from CNN's Lucy Kafanov.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Air National Guard lifting coronavirus test kits to a cruise ship off the coast of California.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAFANOV: The Grand Princess was returning from 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 of 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.

(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this your first Princess cruise?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is, yes. And it will be the last.

(END VOICE CLIP)

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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're due to go home on Saturday, but obviously, we don't know whether we're going to be quarantined for two weeks or what's happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEN CUCCINELLI, ACTING DEPUTY SECRETARY, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY: We don't want to obviously use one bad example to set the rule for everything else and that's why we 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 are contending with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAFANOV: Across the U.S., more than 200 cases of coronavirus, 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 increased testing from 11 cases to 22.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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 VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Well, Lucy Kafanov with that report. And since she filed report the death toll in the United States has risen to 14.

South Korea now reports nearly 6,300 people infected with the coronavirus, that's the largest cluster outside of China. More than 40 people there have died.

CNN's Ivan Watson has more now reporting in from Seoul.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The South Korean government has announced a new plan to try to ensure that everybody in the country can get a mask to protect themself in this public health crisis.

The South Korean president this week publicly apologized for shortages of masks which have led to scenes of long, long lines of people trying to purchase these things.

Now the finance minister says all exports of masks would be suspended as of Friday. And come Monday, they'll try to implement a new system which will try to ration two masks per person, per week with, computer tracking of the sales and to try and ensure that there is not a rush on any store that is selling them.

[03:05:04]

They're using national I.D. numbers to indicate which days of the week you can go and try to purchase your mask. They are also trying to keep the prices of masks to be limited to around 1,501, that's about $1.27, the equivalent of each.

Meanwhile, the authorities also announcing that schools will not be reopened here in Korean until at least March 3rd they have been closed. And this goes into a trend that UNESCO has seen. At least 13 countries around the world have closed schools, nationwide, many more countries have closed schools partially, leading to nearly 300 million children not getting day-to-day education.

And that is imposing, unquantifiable costs on economies. As parents now have to take care of their children and that may block them from working normally as well. Another major challenge as more and more countries are caught up in the coronavirus epidemic.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Seoul. VAUSE: Well, Japan is sparking in diplomatic row with Seoul over

travel restrictions. They're putting travelers from some regions of South Korea under a two-week quarantine, following others from highly infected region.

For more on that, we're joined by CNN's Blake Essig, he's live in Tokyo. So, Blake, what are the details here? Because this is citing a lot of concern, a lot of angst among the South Koreans.

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John. You know, it's actually not even just South Korea. Starting next Monday Prime Minister Abe is essentially requesting visitors from Hong Kong, Macau, all of China, and South Korea, to quarantine themselves for 14 days once they come to Japan.

Again, this is an ask, this is not a demand or unforced, this is an ask. What they're being asked to do is if they're visitors, 14 days in a hotel, if they live here but they've come from one of those locations, 14 days in their home.

Now, Chinese officials have come out and said that they understand that these tougher measures that Japan is taking, as far as immigration is consumed. But South Korea has come out on the other side of this actually very upset about this decision, saying that they will not only protest the decision, but will also consider taking some of their own measures against visitors coming in from Japan.

Now all of this while Japan's government is still working on legislation to create a state of emergency here in Japan. But again, that state of emergency is just another asked by the Japanese government. Whether it would allow its municipalities to ask residents to stay indoors.

Now it would allow municipalities to close schools, as well as other public facilities. But again, that decision is not from the Japanese government, it's from local municipalities, individual municipalities across the country.

So at this point, you know, for weeks, especially after what happened on board the Diamond Princess, a lot of criticism of Japan's government in the buildup, you know, to these Olympic Games, and what you are seeing right now is a lot of measures being taken in order to try to regain the confidence of the people in the effort to contain and prevent the spread of the coronavirus here in Japan, John.

VAUSE: Yes. It should be noted just a few months until the Olympics actually start in July, so a lot of work between then and now. They are (Inaudible) causes the virus.

Blake, thank you for being with us. Blake Essig there live in Tokyo.

And fears over the spread of coronavirus have sparked panic buying of much-needed medical supplies. Now manufacturers are being force to make some tough calls on who gets what.

CNN's Clare Sebastian explains. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL EINHORN, PRESIDENT, DEALMED MEDICAL SUPPLIES: These are all our face masks. We store them in a secure room.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For medical supply company Dealmed this is part of a new reality at their New Jersey distribution center. They also added armed security outside.

EINHORN: These people they keep coming in from the street, knocking on the door, trying to take product.

SEBASTIAN: Masks are the biggest concern here as demand spikes because of fears over the spread of the novel coronavirus and supplies run short. Dealmed like many others in this industry sources its masks from China.

EINHORN: The only production that we're told it's happening right now is a production in China which is staying domestic for the Chinese government.

SEBASTIAN: So, you're going to run out?

EINHORN: We're absolutely going to run out. But we have contingency plans in place. We're trying to do the best we can for our customers.

SEBASTIAN: Dealmed can no longer sell base on demand alone. Every day they hold a meeting to make potentially life-changing decisions about who should get their limited stock.

EINHORN: So, it's going to the actual hospital, what do you want to do, Chuck?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten boxes.

EINHORN: Let's do 10 today, we'll talk tomorrow again. We'll put them on the list for tomorrow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEBASTIAN: Ten boxes is just 200 masks, Dealmed tells us that the hospital had requested six times that. Supply issues are mounting.

[03:10:03]

China, the world's biggest manufacturer of medical face masks says it's not imposing any export restrictions but several western companies tell us they have not been receiving orders. Countries from Germany to Thailand have banned exports, and the French authorities announced this week they are taking control of all medical masks to distribute to health professionals.

Medicom, a Canadian manufacturer of masks and other medical supplies says as of late January, three Chinese factories are prioritizing local demand. They're not yet sure what will happen to their factory in France, and here in Augusta, Georgia they are ramping up as fast as possible.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GUILLAUME LAVERDURE, GROUP COO AND PRESIDENT NORTH AMERICA, MEDICOM: We -- we're basically doubling the capacity of the factory over the period of four to six months between additional shifts, additional equipment. But additional equipment takes a lot of time, these are custom-made machines.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEBASTIAN: They are also not taking on new customers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAVERDURE: We decided from day one to go on allocation to only distribute to existing customers, the history called demand to avoid any speculation, stockpiling, additional stock which is a big destruction.

EINHORN: They have wipes.

LAVERDURE: Yes.

EINHORN: Gloves as an example.

SEBASTIAN: Yes.

EINHORN: These are other products that are increasing in terms of demand.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEBASTIAN: The Dealmed staff are also working extra hours, three new team members have been hired and they are starting to feel the pressure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EINHORN: There's a terrible situation right now what's going on right now. II mean, it's terrifying. And we have healthcare workers they go around in face masks. It's a terrifying situation to be in.

But we feel that it's our obligation, and our responsibility for the industry to work with our customers and be the calming voice during these crazy, crazy times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEBASTIAN: A calming voice in the face of unprecedented demand and dwindling supplies.

Clare Sebastian, CNN, Lakewood, New Jersey.

VAUSE: Well, it should be a hopeful sign for millions of civilians living in fear in Syria's last rebel-held stronghold. But, is it a ceasefire between Russia and Turkey has now gone into effect?

The two presidents agreed to freeze the advance of Russian-backed Syrian forces in the region which spark the humanitarian crisis that started back in December.

For more now, CNN's Arwa Damon is live this hour from Hatay in Turkey. So, you know, my first response to this deal, the ceasefire was, how long will that last? Because it's the past that any indication the entry is not long.

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And that's exactly why, John, people when they heard about this were angered rather than feeling hopeful. Because if we look at just what we know about the ceasefire, it freezes the front lines in place, it's negotiated some sort of joint patrols along key highways between the Russians and the Turks but there's no real substance to it.

At least none that's been made public that deals with issues like what happens if there is a violation of the ceasefire. What kind of guarantees are there that the Assad regime that the Russians will not target the civilian population? What are those who have been displaced nearly a million since December supposed to do since, although in theory they are told that they can go back home.

For the vast majority of them their homes are now under regime control. And no one who you talk to inside or at least we have spoken to over the last two years is willing to go and live under regime control because they are absolutely convinced that the regime will either kill them, detain them, or that they will somehow disappear because that's what they said is the regime's track record.

So, while on the one hand, yes, maybe there is a tiny little bit of relief from this relentless sort of violence. This is not something that is necessarily guaranteed to lead to any sort of long- term solution, any sort of guaranteed safe life, and it's not even guaranteed to end what has become a daily struggle for every single person inside Idlib province, John. And that is how long can they continue to cheat death?

VAUSE: To be clear, this ceasefire, in no way, is an indication that Assad, the dictator in Syria, and his Russian friend have given up on their desire to retake every last inch of Idlib, right? That is still the ultimate goal.

DAMON: Yes, it is, John. And what the ceasefire I think is, is an indication of Turkey and Russia's relationship. Look, these two countries have been quite good at compartmentalizing their differences, and compartmentalizing where they continue to want to cooperate together. And that is on the economic and defense front.

Turkey has been touting the ceasefire as being an indication of how Turkey actually doesn't need NATO, it doesn't need the U.S., it doesn't need the west when it comes to at least military assistance.

[03:14:59] Because they say that they've managed to prove that they can go in, they can take on the regime, and they can force the Russians into this sort of a negotiation.

But at the end of the day when it comes to this 3.5 million people trapped inside, John, not a lot has changed for them, not just yet.

VAUSE: And it is unlikely to change. If it does change, it's usually for the worse. Arwa, thank you. Arwa Damon live for us there in southern Turkey.

We'll take a short break. When we come back, despite all the appeals from the stars and the A-listers the executioner in Alabama went ahead. We'll have details after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Despite a nationwide outcry and pleas from celebrities for clemency, Alabama went ahead and executed an inmate on Thursday for his involvement in the murder of three police officers back in 2004. But here's the catch. He didn't actually kill any of them.

CNN's Martin Savidge has more on this controversial execution and why the state went through with it.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: June 17th, 2004, three Birmingham police officers are gunned down attempting to serve a misdemeanor warrant on Woods at a home in the city's westside.

[03:20:01]

Woods had surrendered to police, when another man in the house, Kerry Spencer opened fire with an assault rifle, killing officers Charles Bennett, Carlos Owen, and Harley Chisolm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never in my life have I ever imagined going to three funerals in two days and feeling the pain and hurt that we've all experienced.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: The shocking murders left a city grieving. Spencer confessed to the shootings and said soon after his arrest that he had acted alone. He was convicted of the murders and sits on Alabama's death row.

But for prosecutors, one conviction wasn't enough. They charged Woods with three counts of capital murder, accusing him of conspiring or being complicit in the killing of the officers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAUREN FARAINO, NATHANIEL WOODS' ATTORNEY: In order for a person to be convicted on complicity, they have to be involved in a plan or a scheme to kill.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: Prosecutors allege a calculating Woods intentionally lured the officers into the home where Spencer was waiting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FARAINO: Absolutely not. He was terrified when they came into the house.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: Woods was found guilty. And even though he hadn't fired a single shot he was sentenced to death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAMELA WOODS, NATHANIEL WOODS' SISTER: He thought it was the craziest thing in the world. He is like, how? How? Because, you know, he didn't do anything wrong.

SAVIDGE: How much do you think race played a role in this case?

FARAINO: I think it did play a role. I mean, I think that if you look at the victims, it's three white officers. And if you look at the people who are sitting in death row, it's two black men.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: Woods' current defense team says his conviction was just one of many legal wrongs, including years of bungled appeals by other attorneys. We wanted to know what the families of the murdered police officers thought of Woods. We reached two of them who said they either couldn't or wouldn't talk to us.

But in a local radio interview last year the granddaughter of Officer Carlos Owen reflected on his loss and the hole its left in all of their lives.

(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)

EMMA OWEN, CARLOS OWEN'S GRANDDAUGHTER: I remember how special he used to make each of his grandkids feel. That was something that he was so good at, making others feel loved and special.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAVIDGE: What would you say to the families of the officers who died?

FARAINO: We are deeply, deeply sorry for what happened that day. But the murderer of their family members is sitting on death row, he has confessed, he is being punished, they don't need an innocent man's blood as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SAVIDGE: Martin Savidge, CNN, Birmingham, Alabama.

VAUSE: Well, let's go to Los Angeles and CNN's legal analyst and civil rights attorney Areva Martin. So, Areva, just looking at the facts of this case, we know the authorities in Alabama say that there was a fair trial, he was convicted by a jury of his peers, notably 10 out of the 12, it wasn't unanimous but he was found guilty.

He didn't actually need to pull the trigger. He just had to be there in case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. How do you see, where does the law stand on this? Who is in the right and who is wrong?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, I think, John, the reason this case is, you know, invokes such emotions and why you've seen civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King III and others come forward to, you know, Woods' defense is that he didn't pull the trigger. And the trigger man, Spencer in this case, has admitted that Woods had nothing to do with it. That there wasn't complicity, that he didn't know Spencer was going to pull the trigger.

The law in Alabama at the time that this horrific, and they are horrific murders occurred, said that you could be charged with capital murder if you aid and abet or if you are involved in a scheme or plot to commit murder, and that's what he was convicted of.

Now what Woods as his defense all has been is that he wasn't told that he had an ineffective attorney at the trial stage and that his attorney led him to believe that because he was not the trigger man, that he could not be convicted of capital murder.

And according to Woods, there was a plea deal offered of 20 to 25 years that he would've taken had he known that he could be convicted of capital murder and face the death penalty.

So, there is some disputes. The district attorney says they don't know anything about this alleged plea deal, and that it was clear, you know, the law has always been clear that if he was involved, if there was aiding and abetting, or if he is somehow help to lure these police officers into the home so that they could be shot by Spencer that he could in fact be charged.

I think it's just hard for us lay people, as well as civil rights lawyers like myself to wrap our minds around the fact that someone can be executed when they don't actually pull the trigger.

VAUSE: If Woods, I hate to ask this question, if Woods was white, would he be dead now?

MARTIN: Great question, John. We know that the death penalty in this country is applied in a disproportionate fact -- disproportionate manner and that African- Americans, particularly African-American men are overrepresented on death row, and are overrepresented in terms of the people who are executed in this country.

[03:25:06] It does matter the race of the victim, as well as the race of the defendant. Again, I think that's why you've seen such an outpouring of support from civil rights leaders and from others with respect to Woods.

And the case is troubling on many levels, and there was this legal drama that happened today. There was this brief stay granted by the U.S. Supreme Court, but later the U.S. Supreme Court, you know, refused to ultimately stay the execution.

So, I think the family thought, you know, thought for a minute that there was going to be some additional legal proceedings, and perhaps been a new trial.

VAUSE: Does the Supreme Court explain, you know, why there was a stay and then why they kind of -- it was very brief then they refused to get involved?

MARTIN: No explanation. Just a brief statement by the court saying initially, the execution and then later, you know, refusing to stay the execution any further. And we know that there were repeated pleas made to the governor of the state for clemency, and those requests were also, you know, rejected by the governor.

Again, there was a video circulating of the family when they got the first word from the Supreme Court, they thought it was a reprieve, they thought again there was going to be some additional hearings, perhaps even a new trial when new evidence could be presented.

And the other troubling piece about this case, John, that we should talk about is the attorneys involved.

VAUSE: Yes.

MARTIN: Members of the BAR, court appointed attorneys, apparently the first attorney or the trial attorney had never tried a capital murder case before. Again, Woods claiming that he wasn't given accurately and complete information from that attorney. And apparently, a lot of mistakes were made with respect to filing dates and --

(CROSSTALK)

VAUSE: Missed dates and deadlines. Look, we are out of time, Areva. I'm terribly sorry to interrupt there. I just have to -- we'll have to leave it there. But you are correct, there were so many mistakes made along the way. This guy never had a chance the same. Areva, thank you. Areva Martin there for us in Los Angeles.

For our viewers internationally, thank you for being with us. African Voices Change Makers is up next. If you're joining us here in the United States, please stay with us. A lot more news after a very short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:30:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everybody. Just gone 3:30 here

in the morning on the East Coast. (Inaudible) in United States. You're watching CNN Newsroom, I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

The coronavirus has now affected close to 98,000 people around the world, nearly 3400 people had died. The vast majority are in China. But more than 80 countries and territories have confirmed cases with the biggest outbreaks in South Korea, Italy and Iran. California National Guard used a helicopter to air drop coronavirus test kits to the Grand Princess cruise ship on Thursday. A passenger at an earlier voyage died after returning home. All passengers have been told to stay in their cabins until further notice.

And one of the leading disease expert predicts the U.S. will eventually need millions of coronavirus test kits. The U.S. Vice President Mike Pence who head the admiration coronavirus task force acknowledge on Thursday that the United States currently does not have enough to meet demands. The U.S. has nearly 230 confirmed cases at the moment. At least 14 people have died.

When it comes to the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. There's what the president is saying and then there's real information from scientist and experts. More now from CNN's Jim Acosta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: 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 test available.

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

ACOSTA: White House officials insist the administration will meet its goal of distributing more than 1 million test by the end of the week, but those officials concede the government is still well behind the 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 who told Fox News it was his crunch 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 a false number now. And this is just my hunch. And but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people to do this. So, I think that that number is very high. I think the number personally I would say the numbers weigh under 1 percent.

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

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALERGY AND INFECTOUS DISEASE: If you look in the cases that had come to the attention of the medical authorities in China and you just do the math. The math is about 2 percent.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll listen to the scientist when it comes to the 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 now, 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 do that adding, you should restrict activities outside your home, except from getting medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas, avoid using public transportation, ridesharing 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 would be. I've heard very quick numbers, a matter of months and I've heard pretty much year would be an outside number.

ACOSTA: Only to be contradicted by the experts.

FAUCI: (Inaudible) that is going to be at the earliest a year to a 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 here is a virus as well and it's very important that we stick to the facts.

ACOSTA: The White House is also advising federal workers to stay home if their suffering from flulike symptoms saying in an email that they should not come into the office out of an abundance of caution. Jim Acosta, CNN the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[03:35:05]

VAUSE: Breaking news this hour from Afghanistan. Gun fire has erupted at a ceremony in the capital Kabul, one of Afghanistan's most senior political leaders was there at the time. We get more details now from CNN's Nic Robertson, live in London. So, Nic, you've been in contact with the other people out there, what are they telling you?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think, one of the sort of surprising things here, John, is that there was an attack at the same event last year, the clues to who may be responsible for the attack lie with the event itself. It's an event commemorating a Hazara figure. Hazara, an ethnic minority inside Afghanistan, but they are mostly old sheers.

The attack last year was attributed to ISIS and the attack this year may well be ISIS again. Gunmen hiding out in high towers around the location of the ceremony. Senior figures there, one of the senior Hazara politicians was there. A very powerful figure really was there. But also attending the event was the chief executive officer of Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. He is fine after the incident and has told people that his impression is that it was a small attack to the previous year.

But I think it does just highlight how precarious the situation is in Afghanistan with this cease-fire all reduction in violence I think is a better -- is the better terminology that's being used between the Afghan government U.S. forces and the Taliban. That seems to be hanging by a thread at the moment in the incident at this event in Kabul today is only going to heighten the tensions around that.

But at the moment, no major casualties as far as we understand. No senior political figures in the country injured and the indications are that this the early indications are that this wasn't Taliban and therefore shouldn't be sort of counted into the equation on, are they holding to the reduction in violence or not. Given the airstrikes by U.S. forces against Taliban positions for breaking the terms of that reduction in violence earlier in the week.

VAUSE: I understand from your reporting to the Taliban have denied involvement in this, which is significant as well. Nic, thank you. Nic Robertson live for us this hour in London.

We'll take a break. When we comeback, a bleak prediction for the airline industry amid the coronavirus epidemic. As more government issuing travel warnings from both Europe and Asia. Also ahead, Elizabeth Warren, in to her presidential campaign, how her exit is shifting to the dynamics in the race for the White House, everything old is new again.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:40:00]

VAUSE: The more things change the more they stay the same with Senator Elizabeth Warren, the latest candidate and her bid for the White House now means the race is between two old white men. Here's CNN's Kyung Lah.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), 2020 U.S. DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: I will not be running for president in 2020, but I guarantee I will stay in the fight.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Senator Elizabeth Warren, ending her campaign, making no endorsement yet.

WARREN: Let's take a deep breath.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT), U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hi, how are you?

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

SANDERS: (inaudible), but today what I'm doing is reaching out to 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 your right believes in.

LAH: But so far the recent wave of endorsement have largely gone to Joe Biden. In upcoming primaries, Michigan governor and senators from Illinois and Arizona all back the former Vice President. Sanders indicating he will continue to sharpen his attacks on Biden.

SANDERS: Political establishment was very, very nervous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible)?

SANDERS: Joe Biden? And Wall Street is emptying its checkbooks who fund Joe's campaign.

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: -- is ridiculous. Is ridiculous. Bernie, you got beaten by overwhelming support I have an African-American community, Bernie. You've got beaten because of suburban women, Bernie. You've got beaten because the middle class hard-working folks out there, Bernie. You raise a lot more money than I have, Bernie.

LAH: 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 will be able to answer those question.

LAH: Biden is dismissing those attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think as your political fortunes rise, they are coming after you more?

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

LAH: A reminder and a little context about what this back and forth is about the president's attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, his political rival were central to his impeachment trial. So, trump and his allies have repeatedly pushed forward false and unfounded claims that the Biden's acted corruptly in the Ukraine. Kyung Lah, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.

VAUSE: Joining us now from Washington, Nathan Gonzales. CNN political analyst as well as the editor and publisher of Inside Elections. You've been very close to (inaudible). OK, so Democrats have a choice now for president comes down to Bernie Sanders, a 78 year-old white straight man. And Joe Biden, a 77 year-old straight white man. And here is the sample of a reaction to Elizabeth Warren's decision to suspend her campaign. The headline in the Atlantic, America punished Elizabeth Warren for her competence. Over at the Hill, women asked if not now when, and according to the nation sexism sank Elizabeth Warren.

Warren was a brilliant candidate they write who could make a great president, the problem she is a woman and she isn't perfect. Well, at Slate, they take a closer look at the anguish of the Clinton-Warren supporters. You should know that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, but lost the electoral college and that seems to end wake to this question precisely how qualified, how smart, how much of the woman they did to do to be elected president in this country?

NATHAN GONZALES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, well, that's a -- it's a great question and I think that -- one of the lessons from 2016, I think the lesson should not have been that our country is not ready to a (inaudible), the country was not ready to elect him or to make that distinction, but you know, we have to look at this race and say there were multiple qualified women on the Democratic side who are not going to be the nominee and I think what it comes down, I mean the Democratic Party is embracing diversity across the board on multiple different -- a multiple different issues.

[03:45:11]

But think for the Democratic Party now you have a segment who love Bernie Sanders message and they want the revolution and they want -- they want that change. And you have other segment of the Democratic Party who I think want diversity but they also want to defeat President Trump even more that that is the priority and in this case and it's clear that, you know, whether its Senators Klobuchar, Warren, Kamala Harris, you know they've gotten squeezed out.

VAUSE: Yes. There is this question about sexism and Elizabeth Warren was asked about that and impact to her on campaign and she kind of dodge and (inaudible), here she is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN: You know, that is threat question for everyone. 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?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: you know, Hillary Clinton told about smashing the glass ceiling, Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says, it's more like a marble ceiling. In other words, you know the perception is, it's getting harder and harder to crack that ceiling, not easier.

GONZALES: Yes, and you know, I'm not going to be -- sit here as a man and try to explain --

(CROSSTALK)

-- a woman to run for office. What I would -- what I would, I think it would be interesting in this campaign, if Senator Warren would have taken on Bernie Sanders earlier in the race. You know that the rhetoric that she used to contrast herself with Bernie Sanders over the last few weeks. If she had done that six months ago, would that made a difference and I'm not saying that she would had been the nominee, but I think she should could appeal the way some voters who like to -- like Bernie Sanders message, but they also want a little bit of pragmatism and but, you know, we can go back and redo it, but I -- that's one of the what if moments in my mind.

VAUSE: Yes. I guess and this is a question of whether or not they are ready to elect a woman. It just seems like way too much of a broad brush statement. You know, Nancy Pelosi came out on Thursday and she is highest like female official in the United States and she told by an element of misogyny in the demise of Elizabeth Warren. This is what she said, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PELOSI: I so wish, every time I get introduce as the most powerful woman, remember I almost cried because I think, I wish that were not true. I so wish that we have a woman president of the United States. And we came very close to doing that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And you touch on this, at this time of this Democrat primary, there are at least, five women running for the nomination of, you know, who were in with a chance, maybe not Tulsi Gabbard, but you know, you know what I mean. So, you know, the question is how do we end up with two old white guys and was this just not the right time for any of those women who are running? For another woman who had run, had a greater appeal would be in a different position now?

GONZALES: Yes, and you know, I think that the -- I believe we are going to have a Warren president in our lifetime. The question is, you know, when -- what's the opportunity that arises and look, we went from one woman in Hillary Clinton running to now five plus women including multiple United States Senators. You know, if that had field, had been more narrow would they -- would one of them be able to consolidate voters who for them that is a priority.

Again, we can't go back and redo that and I think that the thing is, you know, this is just going to -- the more women we have in elected office, you know, it broadens the bench potential presidential candidates and I think it continuously. We are just going to see more and more women running for president just like we are going to see more and more women running for office this up and down the ballot.

VAUSE: Nathan, good to see you. Thanks for coming in.

GONZALES: No problem.

VAUSE: Well, fear over the coronavirus has spot the biggest drop ever in the demand for oil. So after the break, to cut or not to cut production. OPEC and non-OPEC states can agree on what to do next?

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VAUSE: Friday look to be another bad day on the stock market, the futures say, it could be down 295 points before the open. The DOW actually finished almost a thousand points lower on Thursday. That's 3.5 percent there, you see closing out just over 26,000 points. A big loss of ratings and all the gains from a day earlier. Now OPEC is looking to slash production crude oil after the biggest fall in demand on record. CNN's John Defterios, joins us now from Vienna, Austria. Also, John, the question is isn't just what OPEC plans to do, but what the group known as OPEC Plus agrees to do.

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: You're exactly right, John. OPEC Plus led by Russia, which is the largest non-OPEC producer in this group of 23 producers. For a sense of play its right OPEC headquarters and the ministers are arriving now for a meeting that's going to start in 5 minutes. And they see the writing on the wall, if I can (inaudible), John because of the coronavirus and what has done to demand for jet fuel, for trucking, for manufacturing.

And the pressure is on. We're below $50 a barrel in the international benchmark. So, the Saudi minister, who is the defacto leader of this group came out with a bolder proposal to cut 1.5 million barrels a day. Now through the end of the year, taken their total cuts over the last year, the 3.6 million barrels, John. That matches the drop that we've seen, because of the dropping demand from China and the other Asian countries right now.

And we have a look at the barrel market in terms of prices, we've loss and we've talk about a correction on Wall Street about 10 percent over all, maybe 12 percent, it's double that in the oil market. That's why they need to move. The wildcard as you were suggesting, the lead into me, John is Russia itself. They believe and that's in the top of Vladimir Putin. They are giving too much space at the OPEC Plus and the discussions to the U.S. producers, Norway and Brazil. The U.S. is about 13 million barrels a day, they are not cutting production, but the idea stability going forward, they recalled back in 2016, John.

From prices plummeted to $30 a barrel. Nobody wants to go through that yet again and that's why the Saudis said, look, we'll cut now 1.5 for the first part of the year and then they went back into a meeting last night and said, look, let's not play games, let's do it for all 2020. So, it is a day of reckoning if you will. I don't think that the OPEC Plus will fall apart from 2016 when they put it together. It's important to stabilize the market. They just have to find a compromise.

[03:55:09] VAUSE: Yes. Compromise is a good word. We will see what happens, John

Defterios there, live for us in Vienna. We'll see what happens. Thanks, John, I appreciate it.

Well, weeks after announcing that his stepping down from royalty. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are back in London where they attended an event to honor wounded soldiers. Their first official appearance since they announced they are stepping down as senior members of the royal family. They have a lot more events appeared at least before ending their royal duties in March 31st.

Well, (inaudible) on the International Space Station could have some visitors next year. Hi, I'm coming in. Elon Musk SpaceX struck a deal with Aerospace Axiom Space for their tourist, researchers and other very wealthy people to the orbiting platform. A four mete wide spacecraft would transport three passages for each trip, other they trained flight commander as well. The first mission could launch as soon as the second half of next year. The visitor would spend at least eight days on the station doing what? Returning to earth that is enough.

Thank you for watching CNN Newsroom, I'm John Vause. Early Start is up next with Christine Romans and Phil Mattingly.

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