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President Trump Cancels Visit to CDC; Passengers on Cruise Ship Near San Francisco being Tested for Coronavirus; Coronavirus Cases Confirmed on Egyptian Cruise Ship; Elizabeth Warren Drops Out of 2020 Presidential Race; Warren Drops Out of the Race But Doesn't Endorse Yet. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired March 6, 2020 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: In limbo on that cruise ship off the coast of California. Forty-five people on board have been tested for coronavirus. They will learn their results today when they come in, when the results come in. Until then, that ship will not be allowed to dock. And if they are positive, who knows what will happen with this ship.
Four California air National Guard troopers delivered the coronavirus test kits to the ship. This was a dramatic helicopter mission yesterday as you can see on your screen. There are roughly 3,500 people on board the Grand Princess ship, and now all the passengers have been told they must stay in their cabins.
We're also learning a 72-year-old man who was on a recent voyage on that same ship just died. Two other passengers from that same voyage have tested positive for coronavirus. They're in Sonoma County.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And we do have breaking news. We just learned of a coronavirus outbreak on another vessel. The World Health Organization and Egyptian health officials confirm they have 12 new cases of coronavirus aboard a Nile cruise boat. Officials say those infected are Egyptian staffers on board the vessel, and as of now, they're not showing any symptoms. But again, they have tested positive.
And there's still more breaking news. We just learned a short time ago the White House has canceled President Trump's scheduled visit to the CDC that was supposed to happen today. We're trying to figure out why.
So let's begin with CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House with that. Joe, what have you learned?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. As you know, the White House official just put out a statement a little while ago, very brief statement, after this abrupt cancellation of the trip to the CDC. I'll just read it in part. It says "The CDC has been proactive and prepared since the very beginning, and the president does not want to interfere with the CDC's mission to protect the health and welfare of their people and the agency." But does not want to interfere doesn't necessarily add up when you really think about it. The president went to the NIH, the National Institutes of Health up in Bethesda earlier this week, didn't clearly have to interfere there, but he did. Also going to Nashville today to go and talk to people about the cleanup from those tornadoes that ravaged the area, killed two dozen people. No problem interfering there.
So the president apparently deciding very much at the last moment not to go to CDC. We are also told just last night by the vice president that the president was going to sign that $8.3 billion bill that Congress passed to deal with coronavirus. He was going to sign that, according to Pence, at the CDC. That apparently is not going to happen. We've been asking questions here at the White House about where that bill will be signed. The president, by the way, also has a fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago estate tonight. Back to you.
CAMEROTA: Still a lot of questions, Joe. Thank you. Let us know when you get anything.
Now to those cruise ship passengers off the coast of California. They are awaiting the results of coronavirus tests. CNN's Dan Simon is live in San Francisco. He's been covering this all morning for us. When do we expect those results, Dan?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they should come back some time this morning pacific time. We don't have really a specific time, but sometime today we are being told. Now, that ship remains parked off the coast of the San Francisco coast. We don't really know what's in store for the Grand Princess other than the next cruise has obviously been canceled. It was supposed to leave tomorrow. Obviously, officials are still wanting to know what exactly they're dealing with. We did see the National Guard drop those testing kits on the ship yesterday. Forty-five people were tested. Again, the results coming back sometime today.
We do know that for passengers, yesterday they were still trying to take advantage of some of the leisure activities on board until the captain, rather unexpectedly, just announced on the loud speaker that everybody needed to be confined to their rooms. He didn't really say why, but said that was what the CDC was recommending. Even the meals now are coming to the rooms. Everything is now coming by room service. But one passenger texted me that she couldn't even reach room service. Just indicative of how busy the staff is. Some people approaching it, as you might imagine, with a sense of humor, but for others, they are clearly stressed about how long they're going to be on this ship. And they just want to get some clarity on the situation. John, I'll send it back to you.
BERMAN: They want information as fast as they can, Dan, which is why they are awaiting these test results. I don't think they have any idea what's going to happen after this. No one does. Dan, appreciate you being with us this morning.
There is another breaking angle on all of this. The World Health Organization and Egyptian health officials confirmed they have 12 new cases of coronavirus aboard a Nile cruise vessel heading to the city of Luxor. CNN's Nina Dos Santos joins us now with the very latest on this. Nina, what can you tell us?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: Good morning to you, John.
Well, so far as you said, we know from Egyptian authorities and the World Health Organization coordinating this response that it appears as though 12 members of staff, workers aboard one of these cruise ships heading along the Nile towards the city of Aswan, or from the city Aswan towards Luxor, really important tourist destinations here, have tested positive for the coronavirus. It's believed that the origins of this investigation may have been a Taiwanese American citizen who was recently on board that cruise ship. And these 12 workers who tested positive have been moved from the vessel and put into an isolation facility to try and quarantine them and contain the potential spread of this issue.
The problem, obviously, for Egyptian authorities is to try and make sure that we don't have a repeat of the situations that we saw with the cruise ships like the Princess cruise ship in Japan, where obviously the larger scale quarantine operation there ended up being a rather significant failure. I should point out that some of these cruise ship vessels that go up and down the Nile are much smaller in their dimensions, so the potential for the spread of this disease is less significant among passengers.
Having said that, though, there are more than -- there are already more than about eight countries across the Middle East that are already reported cases of coronavirus to various degrees of severity, Iran, of course, being the epicenter there. And so authorities will be keeping a close eye on this. It's important as well to mention that tourism is a significant foreign exchange revenue driver for Egypt, and about 8.3 million people visited this country in 2018. And as a result, obviously authorities want to do the best to contain this. John and Alisyn?
CAMEROTA: Nina Dos Santos, thank you very much for helping us with that breaking news.
Joining us now is CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Let's start with the cruise ship of 3,500 or more people off the coast of San Francisco. Forty-five tests were air lifted, basically dropped, I should say, onto the ship. As we heard, they are waiting for the results. They'll be getting them at some point today. Then what? What happens if some of those 45 are positive? Everybody stays on that ship for weeks?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think they learned some valuable lessons, obviously, from the Diamond cruise ship, but I don't think that we've heard exactly what their plan is going to be. To be clear, a quarantine is for people who are presumably -- may have been exposed. They may be positive, but they're not confirmed to be positive. Isolation is when someone has been confirmed to be positive. They may have a situation where they have both people who are isolated and quarantined on the same ship, which kind of defeats the purpose. And that sort of was proven out with the Diamond. So hopefully they'll be able to bring people back and at least try to keep people who have not been infected safe.
BERMAN: But they haven't tested anyone else yet. All they've done is tested the people who are suspected to have coronavirus. So they might be in a situation, if they test positive, you have got to test 3,000 other people?
GUPTA: I think so. And look, this is a microcosm of a larger issue for the country, frankly, or at least in several communities around the country. It's the exact issue, we don't know. We have not been able to do this sort of surveillance. Maybe on the cruise ship they will because it's a smaller number overall compared to the country, but, still, we are learning real time about this. I think we are going through a process that we have not really gone through before in public health, at least in this country.
CAMEROTA: That leads us to your town hall last night. You had a really interesting town hall about this trying to answer questions. You had Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is part of the president's task force, and he made a lot of news. Let me just play one portion of what he said about the testing last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I've been an advocate of much more proactive testing, not only testing when physicians ask for a test, but testing to determine where we are and what level is under the radar. And for that reason, we're going to need millions and millions and millions of tests.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Manufacturing those millions and millions of tests right now?
GUPTA: Starting to. This is in process. But I think the idea that the tests are there and caught up with the messaging around the tests, which is people can now get them, go to your doctor. Your doctor can order them, you can get them. That's not possible yet still. I get a lot of calls from my friends who say patients come to their offices and they're told they can now order the test but the test is not available.
It may start to change. LabCorp, which is one of the largest lab testing companies in the country, just announced last night that they're going to start being able to take samples so people can do the nasal swabs, send them to LabCorp, three to four days later get a response.
But one thing about Dr. Fauci there, and he's subtle in this regard, but he said I have been advocating for proactive testing for some time. I've been talking to him about this from the start. This is one of the splits, I think, a little bit between what has been asked for and what has been done. Dr. Fauci has been saying we should have broadened the testing criteria early on, we should have made testing more widely available early on. That wasn't done.
GUPTA: I don't know. It's a curious question. Was it because we had some flawed tests in the beginning? We didn't have enough tests, therefore, the criteria was narrowed then to fit what was possible? Or was it something else? I don't know. This has been a really tough thing to sort of nail down because you're hearing from the administration different things. It's not just the administration versus non-administration. Within the public health community in the administration, there have been deep divides on this issue. And I think we're starting to see the manifestations of that now.
BERMAN: The president has canceled his scheduled visit to the CDC later today. We're not exactly clear why. The statement from the White House suggests he doesn't want to get in the way of the work of the CDC. Do you have any information on this?
GUPTA: I've been working our sources all morning long at the CDC. That's what we're hearing as well. Some have said, look, this will allow us to continue our work. We want to just heads down, keep doing this sort of work. But we don't have anything more tangible on that.
BERMAN: I don't know if it's a medical issue. It could be a messaging issue as much as anything, because the president's messaging on it has not been as concise as others in the administration. There will be time to talk about that. But while we have you here, Sanjay, I think the stuff from the town hall last night, there's a lot of talk about how there will be a lot of people who get this who are asymptomatic. This is going to spread, and it's not going to be deadly or damaging for them. But you do make the point, we have to focus on the percentage of people for whom this is a great risk. And Alisyn had a really terrific interview with Dr. Peter Hotez, that was his name, from Houston who was saying how dangerous this can be for certain communities.
GUPTA: I think we have now -- there's a lot we don't know about this, but one thing that has been consistent is that there is a vulnerable population out there. During the town hall last night, I remember thinking about my parents all of a sudden and thinking, we keep saying 80 percent of people are going to be just fine. And I wondered what my parents were thinking. What about us? You keep saying the elderly. People who have preexisting medical conditions. It's a really fair point. And that nursing home in Washington state ended up becoming a reservoir for this virus spreading around there to a vulnerable population.
We have to be doing things where places are that we know these vulnerable populations live. Some of that is starting to happen. There's going to be an increased regulation around nursing homes. If you try to visit someone at an extended care facility, you may be screened almost like you're going into a different country to make sure you're not, or try to make sure you're not, I should say, carrying the virus. It's hard to do because you could be asymptomatic. So some of that is starting to change. But the problem is, like you're saying, because of that asymptomatic
spread this can really spiral. If I can, let me just show you an animation real quick that will give you some idea of just how fast this can move. This will compare, if we have it, SARS, Ebola -- OK. This animation is a little different. This is actually showing what the virus does once it gets into the body. OK. Here. We're going to switch to this one. So we've got H1N1 on top, MERS, Ebola, and coronavirus. Take a look. The purple line is coronavirus. Right now it's flat. That's the time that we bought. About the nine-week mark it starts to really start to accelerate, and there it actually surpasses H1N1 at this point over here.
CAMEROTA: That's a projection? That's what really is happening?
GUPTA: That is right. That's at this current point. But watch what happens to H1N1 because of how contagious that was. And this is by the one-year mark. H1N1 in this country had been exposed, infected 60 million people.
BERMAN: Are you suggesting, Sanjay, that if coronavirus is already spreading faster than H1N1, we should be concerned that it's going to spread even more than H1N1?
GUPTA: I think we have to. We have projections and modeling. We've seen what something that was around the same level of contagiousness, H1N1, as coronavirus can do. And we don't have an idea. We keep saying whatever few thousand people, maybe 1,500 tests have been performed by the CDC. Look at those numbers and we'll give you an estimate of what this could look like at the end of the year.
Bad news in terms of numbers, but as we've talked about on this show all along, it's not all bad news in the sense that many of those people were -- did not even know they were sick, did not know they needed to be tested and were overall pretty healthy. But we have got to focus on these vulnerable populations now.
CAMEROTA: Sanjay Gupta, thank you very much. We appreciate all of your information in the morning.
GUPTA: Thank you.
BERMAN: So Senator Elizabeth Warren is no longer a 2020 presidential candidate, but will she play the role of kingmaker in this race? Why no decision yet on an endorsement from her? That's next.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Senator Elizabeth Warren, she is out of the 2020 race, but she's in a powerful position to influence the campaign, if she decides to endorse either Senator Bernie Sanders or Vice President Joe Biden.
Joining us now, the best looking panel in morning television. Bakari Sellers, former South Carolina House member, and Chris Cillizza, CNN politics reporter and editor at large.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR AT LARGE: Most like 85 percent Bakari, 15 percent --
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN COMMENTATOR: I believe in you, though.
BERMAN: Why don't you think Elizabeth Warren has endorsed yet. What does it tell you that she hasn't?
SELLERS: Well, she has an insane amount of leverage. But I also don't think Elizabeth Warren will endorse. I think she plays this role in the party of unifier.
Her relationships with Bernie Sanders is a bit frosty. And after this past Super Tuesday and possibly next Super Tuesday, if Bernie Sanders is still lagging behind, why would you endorse someone that doesn't have a path to the nomination?
But speaking of which, her relationship with Joe Biden is even frostier. I mean, it goes way back to credit card and bankruptcy bills. It goes -- they have an extensive history together of being antagonistic towards each other.
I think, though, if she does come out at some point and endorses somebody like Joe Biden, she can play the role everybody thought she was going to play with Hillary Clinton which means having a role and an impact with who you appoint, Who gets what position in the cabinet, being somewhat of a queenmaker, which she put herself in a position to do.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Just tell me more about that insane amount of leverage. Why is she so powerful right now?
CILLIZZA: Because she came into the race as a known commodity and a well-liked commodity, and she leaves the race as something similar.
Again, if she was the most powerful figure in the Democratic Party, she wouldn't have gotten out of the race.
I mean, so -- but at the same time, I think Bakari is right. I also think it's important to note that whereas like a Pete Buttigieg, 38- year-old guy, gets in for Biden right away. You know, maybe there's something for him in the cabinet. Same thing with Amy Klobuchar potentially. She also wants to preserve herself.
But Elizabeth Warren came in with a power base. Maybe she runs for president again. Maybe she doesn't. She doesn't need to endorse anyone in order to maintain a status both within the party and nationally. She had it before. She'll have it after.
Yes, it's not the same thing as being president of the United States. But she has an elevation a lot of the other ones don't have.
BERMAN: Let's look at what's at stake next Tuesday. I don't know if we're calling this a Super Tuesday or Tuesday --
CILLIZZA: Super Tuesday 2.
CILLIZZA: Great minds.
BERMAN: Bigger Tuesdays.
BERMAN: The point is, as you look at this map, Bakari, I think a lot of people are looking at Michigan as a pivot point in this campaign. You say Elizabeth Warren is waiting to decide whether she endorses. She may be looking at Michigan to see what happens there. Bernie Sanders won Michigan in 2016.
How important is it this time?
SELLERS: Actually, I think on that map, Michigan is important, but Mississippi may be more important.
BERMAN: I actually think -- I don't want to correct you, but I think Michigan is important because we know what's going to happen in Mississippi whereas Joe Biden is going to stretch out --
SELLERS: That's the thing. I mean, the question I have is, does Bernie Sanders even reach viability in Mississippi? Because if the numbers are close in Michigan, and nobody is going to run away with Michigan. If Joe Biden wins by five points or Bernie Sanders wins it by five points, the delegate share is going to be decently narrow coming out.
But if Bernie Sanders doesn't reach viability, if he doesn't reach 15 percent in Mississippi, that's a huge haul. That means all the delegates from that state go directly to Joe Biden. So, it's going to be an interesting day next week and Missouri is also very important because we want to see who can play in these states that either are swing states or used to be swing states.
And Gretchen Whitmer and Jennifer Granholm, I don't know if you were there for the breaking news --
CAMEROTA: Right, when she endorsed right here on our set --
SELLERS: Yes, on your show, you were there.
So, you know, Jennifer Granholm and Gretchen Whitmer are putting together this, you know, this amazing coalition, the establishment that's going to be hard to overcome.
CILLIZA: Just one thing about Michigan. First of all, I think Bakari is right. How did Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton? It wasn't necessarily in really close. It was in a lot of places in the February 2008 where he runs up on her so she gets a delegate -- he gets a delegate lead she can't overcome.
The one I'll say about Michigan -- remember Michigan in 2016. It was, in many ways, being portrayed as this one is, big battleground. Everyone thought Hillary was going to win. Bernie ekes it out. And by eking it out, not that he made up enough delegates but by eking out, he essentially buys himself another three plus months, two months of the race and runs through June.
That may be more than the delegate numbers. That may be what's at stake here. I think if Joe Biden wins, even if it's 49-48, the pressure on Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders is more immune to pressure from the party than most because he's not going to have a lot of party support but if he does not win there, the path symbolically gets difficult.
SELLERS: Chris is actually -- he hit the nail on the head right there. I mean, Michigan is the wind beneath Bernie Sanders' wings.
SELLERS: Like if he goes in and does like --
BERMAN: Did I ever tell you, you're my hero?
CILLIZZA: I thought Bakari was going to sing that.
SELLERS: We should go out with that. So, no, I think it is the wind beneath his wings, because if he gets beat in Michigan with blue collar workers, the labor there, which is the essence of who Bernie Sanders is, then it's going to be very difficult as you go forward. For Super Tuesday three which is coming --
CILLIZZA: St. Patrick's Day Tuesday. I've got names for all of them.
SELLERS: We'll be here.
CAMEROTA: Sequel. That's so great.
BERMAN: You can fly higher than an eagle.
SELLERS: There you go.
CILLIZZA: You are the wind beneath my -- Bakari and I do a little singing on the sides.
SELLERS: We're versatile.
CILLIZZA: That's in -- that's in the fifth hour. We'll see.
CAMEROTA: Don't give them any suggestions.
SELLERS: I don't know if we'll be invited back, Chris.
CAMEROTA: Chris, Bakari, thank you very much for that.
All right. Former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are talking candidly about his affair with Monica Lewinsky and other things. This is in a new documentary. What both of them say happened right after President Clinton revealed that affair. That's next.
CAMEROTA: Former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton opening up about the president's affair with Monica Lewinsky and other delegate topics in this revealing new interviews, interviews plural.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I can't believe this. I can't believe you lied. It just, anyway, was horrible. And I said, if this is going to be public, you have got to go tell Chelsea.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: She said, well, you have to go tell your daughter. She said that's worse. So I did that, which was awful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Well, that is a clip from a four-part documentary called "Hillary" which is streaming on Hulu.
Joining us now is the director, Nanette Burstein.
Nanette, great to have you here.
NANETTE BURSTEIN, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: As I've said, you're making quite a splash with this.
Tell us how this happened. How did you get them to agree, not only to this sit-down interview, but to open up about something so sensitive and personal?
BURSTEIN: Well, I mean, this is the first time that Secretary Clinton is not running for office in almost her entire adult life. She became first lady of Arkansas in her early 30s. So, suddenly, she is not being judged, she doesn't have to worry about something being taken out of context in a way that has been done to her, as you can see watching the series, throughout her entire life.
So I think she was ready. I think she was ready to open up.