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Some Passengers and Crewmembers on Cruise Ship Near San Francisco Test Positive for Coronavirus; Passengers on Crew Find Out about Positive Coronavirus Tests from Media before Captain's Announcement of Same Information; Analysts Examine Readiness of U.S. Hospitals for Possible Coronavirus Spread; Former Democratic Presidential Candidates Marianne Williamson and John Delaney Discuss Endorsements for Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden Respectively; More Former Ohio State University Wrestlers Claim Former Coach and Current Congressman Jim Jordan Knew of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Team Doctor; An 11-Year-Old Syrian Girl Qualifies for 2020 Olympics. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired March 7, 2020 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to Saturday. So grateful to have you with us. It is March 7th. I'm Christi Paul.
AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Amara Walker in for Victor Blackwell. You are in the CNN Newsroom.
PAUL: So right now as we sit in our chairs, you might be at home having breakfast, there are 3,500 other people who are stuck on a cruise ship off the coast of in California because cases of coronavirus were confirmed on board.
WALKER: Tests for 21 of the 46 people swabbed on board the Grand Princess came back positive. One came back inconclusive. Passengers found out these test results only after Vice President Mike Pence briefed the media on television yesterday.
PAUL: Across the U.S. there are now at least 3,500 cases of COVID-19 spread across, as you can see on the map there, 29 states. A total of 17 people have died, 14 in Washington state alone. And breaking this morning, the first case affecting a U.S. service member stationed in Europe. A Navy sailor in Naples, Italy, tested positive. And now that service member and anyone who came in contact are in self-isolation at their residences.
WALKER: Meanwhile, as passengers on that cruise ship off California wait to see what's next for them, Vice President Mike Pence says he is working with the governor of California on a plan to bring the ship back through a noncommercial port. President Trump says he'd rather the passengers and crew stay on board.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault, and it wasn't the fault of the people on the ship neither. So I can live either way with it. I'd rather have them stay on, personally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: CNN's Lucy Kafanov is in San Francisco. Lucy, do you have any idea how these passengers are faring? Because we know that they are not happy about how they found out about these test results and where they may be headed next.
LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Christi Paul. I have been in touch with several passengers on board. They have been frustrated at the lack of information. One woman texting me earlier saying it feels like no one is charged. We're comfortable but we're stuck.
It's been a difficult evening. Overnight the captain making an announcement that a helicopter actually had to land on board the ship to drop off supplies and to pick up a passenger who needed medical attention. That passenger was then flown to a hospital in San Francisco. We don't have any more details on what was wrong with him or her. But the big question on everyone's mind, what will be the fate of the 3,500 people on board? That cruise was supposed to come to an end today. It's not clear that this is over. They were hoping that yesterday's announcement by Mike Pence, the vice president, would mean the end of their ordeal. Instead, it looks like it will be the start of a new one.
As you point out Mike Pence said the ship will be taken to a noncommercial port. It's not at all clear when or where this will be. The 1,100 or so members of crew will remain on the ship in quarantine. Everyone else will be tested. They'll be taken off to military bases we're hearing. But again, not quite clear where or when. And will these people be under quarantine for two weeks? That's a question that a lot of folks are asking.
This is a vulnerable population. A lot of people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. They have been trapped in this ship, glued to the TV because, as you point out, that's how they got the news. Take a look at the reaction of one of the passengers that we spoke to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAILEE HIGGINS OTT, AMERICAN QUARANTINED ON GRAND PRINCESS CRUISE: The person in the balcony next to us told us to watch the news. So we turned on the TV and watched the vice president tell us. The captain did not say anything until 30 minutes later. And I was so shocked, I couldn't believe it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vice president Mike Pence announced 21 people have tested positive for COVID-19. You may have heard this on the news by the media already, and we apologize but we were not given advanced notice of this announcement by the U.S. federal government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAFANOV: So the vice president there taking even the captain by surprise, but some of the other people I have been in touch with are keeping their spirits up. They had beef stew for dinner yesterday. They had been given activity kids, a bedazzling tote bag that they could decorate. So they're trying their best to pass the time in this very uncertain situation. Guys, back to you.
PAUL: Lucy Kafanov, thank you so much.
Now Vice President Pence is meeting with cruise line executives later today to talk about stopping the spread of the virus.
WALKER: It follows his effort yesterday to reassure Americans on the availability of coronavirus tests, a message that isn't matching up perfectly with what the president is saying. CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood is in West Palm Beach, Florida. All right, Sarah, so there seems to be some confusion regarding this mixed messaging coming from the White House and the availability of these tests. We heard that about a million testing kits would be available by the end of the week. It is now past the end of the week. What do we know?
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Amara and Christine, we have seen some mixed signals out of this White House about the availability of coronavirus testing kits. Otherwise the White House has been attempting to streamline its message after a few weeks of mis- messaging coming from this administration about COVID-19.
We saw Vice President Mike Pence taking a more measured tone when he is talking about the availability of tests, setting realistic expectations about shortages that the White House might face in the future. But President Trump was painting a much rosier picture about the test. He visited the CDC in Atlanta yesterday, a trip that was taken off his schedule and then added back in the same day. And here's what he had to say about the availability of tests.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think importantly, anybody right now and yesterday, anybody that needs a test, gets a test. They're there. They have the tests, and the tests are beautiful. Anybody that needs a test, gets a test.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: I want you to listen to what Vice President Mike Pence said earlier in the week about the administration not currently being prepared to meet the anticipated future demand for COVID-19 tests.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Now, as you mentioned, Amara, the administration had said they aimed to get 1 million testing kits distributed before the end of the week. The vice president's office told CNN that they were on track to hit that target by the week's end.
PAUL: All right, so I have to ask you about the other big news coming out of the White House now. The president is changing his chief of staff. What do you know about really the timing of this change, not only who's going to be taking that role?
WESTWOOD: Well, Christi, this was a decision that has been under discussion at the White House for weeks. CNN has reported that Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was increasingly out of the loop on some of these big decisions. Mulvaney was never able to shake that acting title. The president is installing a loyalist here, Congressman Mark Meadows. His new chief of staff has been someone who has been an informal adviser to the president for a long time. This is a notable move because Meadows is someone who is very political, someone who will bring that political expertise to the position as the president heads into his re-election race, but he's not someone with a ton of management experience. So there are questions about how well he will be able to manage what is an infamous chaotic West Wing, Amara and Christi.
PAUL: Sarah Westwood, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.
WALKER: Returning now to the coronavirus outbreak, and our next guest is a passenger who gave the captain of the Grand Princess cruise ship a head's up that their test results were just revealed on TV. Joining us now on the line is Debbi Loftus. She is under quarantine on the Grand Princess right now, along with her parents who are in their 80s. Debbi, appreciate you joining us. I know your father just turned 84 on the Grand Princess. First off, how are you all holding up, including your parents knowing that there were 21 people who tested positive on that ship with the coronavirus, and perhaps you may have come into contact with those common areas that they were in?
DEBBI LOFTUS, AMERICAN QUARANTINED ON GRAND PRINCESS CRUISE (via telephone): We're holding up OK. A little nervous, but we're just trying to make the best of the situation and be positive. So far we have no symptoms. We feel great. And we're playing cards and some games and puzzles. So we're having a decent time.
PAUL: So just to clarify, you haven't been tested yet, have you, Debbi?
LOFTUS: Correct, we have not because we are healthy. But as we speak, I see a tender was just loaded down to a Coast Guard vote and we're thinking maybe test kits are being headed back to the boat as we speak.
PAUL: As you speak. So there is -- there are, you believe, test kits or something being lowered onto the boat right now?
LOFTUS: Right, from the Coast Guard's boat onto a tender, yes. WALKER: OK. So how are things -- what are the precautions that
everyone is told to take? Are you holed up in your rooms? Are passengers being allowed to go outside and get some fresh air if they don't have a balcony? And how are you getting your meals?
LOFTUS: Well, we are holed up in our rooms, and I did peek my head out and got yelled at the other night. But I was able to open my door and just speak to two of the crew that were in the hallway wearing masks. And we had a nice conversation for last night. The captain did say that they will let us go up to the deck for exercise and fresh air, but then the CDC has put a hold on that. So we are still stuck into our rooms.
PAUL: Debbi, do you feel like you're getting enough updates from anybody on the ship?
LOFTUS: At this point the answer is no, and I think the captain sounded quite frustrated because I don't think he's getting the updates from the federal government or the CDC.
WALKER: Can you tell us a little bit, Debbi, about what your conversations sounded like when you did talk to the captain?
LOFTUS: I didn't talk to the captain. I called passenger services. And I said, hey, I'm watching CNN or MSNBC right now, and Vice President Pence is telling us that there's positive tests. You better get the captain on the intercom and let us know what's going on. So about 10 minutes later the captain came on, and he said he hadn't been told either. It's all news to him.
WALKER: Must be such a frustrating time, especially with all that uncertainty of not knowing exactly if and when you will be tested and when you might be getting off that ship. We do wish you all of the best, and your health along with your parents. Thank you, Debbi Loftus, for talking with us.
LOFTUS: Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you, Debbi. Good luck with everything.
WALKER: Coming up, are our hospitals ready if coronavirus spreads even further and faster. Our next guest says several hospitals have histories failing to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will discuss.
PAUL: And both former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders in the Midwest today ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries, Super Tuesday two that is. We'll tell you what's happening. Stay close.
[10:16:19] WALKER: Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the U.S. coronavirus task force, says 900,000 tests have been delivered around the country. Pence says another 200,000 are expected to be sent today and that private labs will have coronavirus tests available for distribution by Monday. But is that enough? And what more needs to be done? Are our hospitals ready if coronavirus spreads even further and faster? Joining us now to discuss is Dr. Leana Wen. She is an emergency room physician and former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, and Marshall Allen, a reporter for "ProPublica." Good morning to you, both. Thank you so much for joining us.
MARSHALL ALLEN, REPORTER, "PROPUBLICA": Good morning.
WALKER: Dr. Wen, let's first start with you, because that is the question, right? Are our hospitals ready for patients to flood in, in the possibility of outbreak or more community spread here? Are there enough ICU beds, respirators, things of that nature to make sure that hospitals can deal with such an outbreak if it happens?
DR. LEANA WEN, FORMER BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: Yes and no. If this ends up being a mild outbreak, this is what hospitals prepare for all the time, and they should be able to handle a slight increase in capacity. But we have no idea at this point. This is a new virus, this novel coronavirus. We have no idea how severe this outbreak is going to be, how many people it's going to affect. And I'm really worried about health care workers too. They're under extreme stress as it is, and patients are not walking into the ER not wearing sign that says I have coronavirus. I hope that our health care workers will not be exposed the way that they were in China, where thousands of doctors and nurses became sick.
WALKER: That's the other big question, right, how do we protect the people on the front lines, and that is our health care workers? Marshall Allen, that is where you come in. You and your team did a very important investigation, and you reviewed hundreds of hospital inspection results. It was unsettling, to say the least. You basically found out hospitals are bad at preventing infections. Here's what you wrote in the report. "American hospitals overall are so bad at preventing infections that hospital-acquired infections are considered a leading cause of death in the United States." Wow. You would think that this is where they would be preventing infections, rather than perpetuating them. What's happening in these hospitals where you saw violations in these reports?
ALLEN: If we're looking at past performance of American hospitals on infection control, we could be in trouble, because hospital acquired infections have been a massive problem in this country for decades. CDC estimated a few years ago that about 700,000 people picked up hospital-acquired infections in a single year, about 70,000 of them died. And so hospitals can be hotbeds for infections, and it's very difficult to control.
And so we looked at inspection reports for five years for some of the hospitals that should be most prepared, the hospitals around the Ebola list of treatment centers, and we found many infection control problems. There are problems with people wearing masks. There are problems with people in isolation or not being in isolation the way they should be, problems training staff, not enough supplies, sanitation problems.
And the problem is hospitals are run on a shoestring budget. They're short-staffed. The workers are already under a lot of stress. And so a potential crisis like this could create a lot of problems. So we're either in the midst of a big disaster preparedness drill and we may dodge a bullet, or things could get bad within hospitals if this crisis continues.
WALKER: Just frankly speaking, Dr. Wen, obviously what we just heard from Marshall and his investigative reporting, it's the reality. It's sobering, but it's also deeply concerning. You were on the front lines. You're an ER physician, Dr. Wen. How concerned are you about getting infected and anecdotally talking to other colleagues at other hospitals, not particularly just yours, are you hearing about mask shortages and other equipment being in supply?
WEN: I think it depends on the location. But yes, I am hearing from colleagues around the country who are worried about the supply that we have. We may have enough right now, but what happens if the health care system gets overwhelmed when more testing is being done and we find out that hundreds, thousands, maybe even more cases of coronavirus are in our communities?
And I also worry too about the so-called worried well, as to the people who are just concerned themselves about symptoms. Coronavirus symptoms are the same symptoms as cold and flu. And there are a lot of people who are just concerned themselves. And my advice for everyone watching is, please do not come into the ER or the hospital if you are not going to be coming in anyway, as if you're very sick, you should be coming into the ER, but if you're just coming in because you're worried about coronavirus, please don't, because you can be infected with other things. You can also infect other people. And you're taking up valuable space for someone who has another type of emergency, heart attacks, trauma, and so forth.
WALKER: Yes, that's absolutely pertinent advice. Back to you, Marshall, because just reading your report is pretty surprising. One of the lines that stuck out to me was that among the violations, staff did not wear and dispose of masks according to federal guidelines, short staffing caused scores of patients to go without respiratory treatments. There were sewage leaks in operating rooms. But you also report that some hospitals are better equipped than others. Tell us more about that, how vast are these differences?
ALLEN: Well, we are hearing from scores of health care workers and hundreds of people on the front lines of attacking this coronavirus crisis, and we encourage people to respond to us and tell us what they're seeing by going to Propublica.org/coronavirus. And what they're saying is they're very worried, and people on the front lines, like EMTs, paramedics, it's not just people within the hospitals. It's people throughout the health care system who are very concerned about the response. And I do think some hospitals are better resourced than others, some
people better trained than others. But every expert I talked to, even if they said they think certain hospitals are prepared, it's all dependent on very carefully following infection control protocols. It's not easy to don the protective gear in the right way. It's not easy to make sure that every family member is trained so that they know how to follow infection control passages when a patient is in isolation. It's very complicated. We have never seen anything like this before, and so there is reason to be concerned.
WALKER: Just in one word, Marshall, U.S. hospitals are not ready in the event of an outbreak if there were a high capacity of patients coming in?
ALLEN: We have a health care system that's been built based on profit and based on making money, and preparing for public health is an expense, not something that makes a lot of money. So we are seeing a test of our system, and so far the system has not shown itself to be ready.
WALKER: Dr. Leana Wen, Marshall Allen, appreciate you both. Thank you.
ALLEN: Thank you.
WEN: Thank you.
PAUL: Former presidential candidates Marianne Williamson and John Delaney are with us here on the other side of the break. One of them supports and endorses Joe Biden, the other endorses Bernie Sanders. You know it's going to be a lively conversation. We'll be right back.
PAUL: It's 28 minutes past the hour right now. The Democratic race for the White House essentially down to former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.
WALKER: Both candidates are campaigning in the Midwest today ahead of next Tuesday's contest, 352 delegates are up for grabs, with Michigan awarding the biggest prize.
PAUL: Michigan is a crucial battleground state here. Sanders narrowly won the primary there in 2016 against Hillary Clinton. CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip is in the Chicago with the latest. So Abby, what is standing out to you today?
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Amara, as you pointed out, Michigan is a really crucial state for Bernie Sanders. It is where he beat Hillary Clinton narrowly in 2016. So it really puts a lot of focus on that state as we head into Tuesday. But there's also a new dynamic emerging in this primary contest as it has narrowed down to Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. The two are starting to engage with each other much more aggressively. And at a fundraiser this week, Joe Biden called in and told his supporters that he expected the Sanders campaign to go sharply negative. He said he's going to throw the kitchen sink at him and dishwasher as well.
But in response to that, the Sanders campaign actually fired back at Joe Biden, essentially bringing up the issue of health care, saying this, tens of millions are uninsured while coronavirus spreads. The planet is warming at an accelerating rate. Working people have not seen a real raise in decades, and Joe Biden is worried about some damn tweets. Let's try to stay focused on the big issues.
Now this is really an allusion to a lot of talk about the so-called Bernie bros, who Joe Biden this week called the Bernie brothers. But it reflects a growing dynamic here where the Biden campaign is actually trying to weaponize the narrative about negativity in the ranks of the Sanders supporters against him. How that unfolds I think remains to be seen, but it is something that the Sanders campaign is basically denouncing as being a trivial issue compared to some of the bigger issues in this race, including health care.
WALKER: Abby Phillip in Chicago, thank you very much.
PAUL: So Joe Biden is chalking up endorsements from his one-time rivals in the Democratic Presidential race. Just this week Senator Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and one of my guests, former Congressman John Delaney, said that Biden is their pick for president. So Bernie Sanders supporters think there's a concerted effort, though, within the party to keep him from winning the nomination. With me, two former Democratic candidates Marianne Williamson, and John Delaney, former congressman. Of course, Marianne, an author and a activist. We thank you both for being here.
MARIANNE WILLIAMSON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.
JOHN DELANEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks for having me.
PAUL: Absolutely. So Congressman Delaney, you have endorsed Joe Biden. Marianne, you have endorsed Bernie Sanders. Earlier this week you called endorsements a coup. I know that you backed off of that language, but you did tell Erin Burnett, and I want to quote this, get this right, "The moderates are consolidating and it's a huge stop Bernie movement." So just for clarity, are you saying that you believe there is a conspiracy within the Democratic Party to keep Bernie Sanders off the ticket?
WILLIAMSON: We don't need to use a word like "conspiracy," but is there a massive effort among certain establishment forces to make sure that Bernie is not the candidate? That's obvious to everybody, I think.
PAUL: OK, and what is your response to that, congressman?
DELANEY: I don't think it's about Bernie. I actually think we believe Joe Biden is the best person to defeat Donald Trump, which is by far the most important thing. He's the best person to walk into the White House and actually be able to govern and get things done for the American people. And I also think he is by far the best person to address the central challenge we have as a nation, which is how divided we are. And he is the person who I think -- because he is an individual of such high character, and his campaign has been predicated on this notion of restoring the soul of the nation, he is the person who I think can bring us together.
So I tend to think this is less about, quote, stopping Bernie Sanders. We have two candidates left, and we're all stepping in and thinking who the best person is. And I think we all think Joe Biden by any measure is the best person to take on Trump, govern, and actually bring unity back to this country.
PAUL: So you are saying that there is no degree of hesitation or fear in the Democratic Party that Bernie Sanders, if Bernie Sanders was at the top of this ticket?
DELANEY: I think there's a lot of concern if Senator Sanders is our nominee -- and I think all of us have made it very clear that we will support the nominee, whoever that is. But that doesn't mean we can't step forward and say we think one of our remaining two candidates is much better at accomplishing the mission, which is beating Donald Trump. There's tremendous concern -- I had a big event with some of my former colleagues in the House just last week, where I was catching up with them after my race and there were dozens of them there. And there is deep concerns in the House, in the ranks of the House, particularly those seats that were flipped from Republican to Democratic seats and gave the speakership to Nancy Pelosi, which has been so important to our democracy. There's deep concern that if Senator Sanders is at the top of the ticket, that he won't be the person who can actually give the kind of election results we need not only to keep the House but also to flip the Senate. So there is concern about that, of course.
PAUL: First of all, I certainly agree with John that the important thing for all of us to remember is that either Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden would be an infinitely better president than Donald Trump.
WILLIAMSON: So we all agree about that.
But just as John has said that some have a deep concern about Sanders as the nominee, there are others of us who have deep concern about Joe Biden as the nominee. He mentioned healing the soul of America. I literally wrote the book. But you don't heal without naming what's wrong. You have to do some radical truth-telling. And even when you talked about the fact we won the House back, we won the house back because of all of the candidates actually stood for what the Democratic Party has traditionally stood for, and that is Bernie in the presidential race.
The idea -- we need more than an alternative to Donald Trump. We need an alternative to the dominant economic and political and social ethos in this country by which too much wealth and power in concentrated in the hands of a very few people. That ignites passion. We need to ignite passion that is equal in intensity to the passion of this Trump juggernaut and phenomenon.
And Bernie does ignite passion. I'm sorry, Biden, I like Joe. He's a good man. He does not ignite this kind of passion. We need more than passion against Trump. We need passion for a new possibility in the United States, which is a return to a more traditional way of really recognizing that in a society where all are deemed equal, all are deemed deserving and having the right to equal opportunity in their lives, that means a fundamental shift back to a time when there was a greater economic justice and more people in this country had the opportunity to soar. That is what universal education will give, higher education. That is what universal health care will give. That is all that Bernie Sanders stands for. And people are passionate about the idea of having a greater shot at the American dream.
PAUL: So Marianne, let me ask you this, and Congressman, I promise I am going to get back to you in a minute. Tomorrow, of course, is International Women's Day. Their theme is an equal world is an enabled world. Elizabeth Warren spoke about her frustration with the lack that she has seen on the campaign trail for the support of women. Let's listen to what she said here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): 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? I promise you this, I will have a lot more to say on that subject later on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Marianne, what did you have to say on that subject? Did you get the same sense when you were on the campaign trail?
WILLIAMSON: Oh, yes, she's 100 percent connect. Misogyny is a deeply rooted prejudice inside the consciousness of people. And I'm afraid to say it's deeply rooted in the consciousness of many women as well. We are mocked, we are trivialized, we are diminished, talked about in ways that people would not talk about men. And like I said, unfortunately, that's among too many women as well.
PAUL: Congressman, there were six women vying for this ticket, for this nomination. There is one left, technically, Tulsi Gabbard is still in the race. But how essential do you think it is for vice president, or for Biden to choose a female vice president? And who should it be?
DELANEY: Well, listen, it's up to the vice president. First of all, he has to actually win the nomination, which is what we're all focused on. Secondly, he has to make the decision as to who he thinks is in a position to be the president day one, because that's really the decision you make. It has to be someone who gets along well with him, who can be a productive member of his team.
PAUL: How likely would it be female?
DELANEY: I certainly would encourage him to choose a woman because I think it's incredibly important. I think the six women who ran, including my friend Marianne, who's on television here with me, I think it was tremendous, right, that our field represented the beautiful diversity of who we are as a country. We all know we have to do more. I agree entirely with the comments Senator Warren just made.
And so I think it would be incredibly important for the Democratic ticket to have as the vice president a woman. I think that's important. That would be my recommendation. But ultimately, of course, it is up to the nominee to choose the person that in their judgment works best on their team, just the way President Obama chose Vice President Biden, which obviously turned out to be a tremendously productive relationship between the two. And it's got to be someone who could be president. But I would encourage the team to choose a woman as the vice president, absolutely.
PAUL: Marianne, who do you think would best complement Bernie Sanders in the V.P. seat, and would you volunteer for the job?
WILLIAMSON: Who would be my choice, you say?
PAUL: Would you volunteer for the job?
WILLIAMSON: As John said, that is the decision to be made by the nominee. And I agreed with everything that John said. I think having a woman on the ticket is very, very important, and it has to be a woman that he nominee feels he has chemistry with, or she has chemistry with. And Tulsi will perhaps be on the debate stage.
And what is important is that it be someone who represents the diversity, and this diversity, gender diversity is so important at this time. The aspiration to see a woman on that ticket is so great. And I think that whether it's Biden or Bernie, they know that. This is going to happen. And we have many good women to choose from. And it will be exciting.
PAUL: Real quickly, I only have a couple of seconds, but Congressman, I wanted to get this from you, because people are waiting, of course, to see who Elizabeth Warren endorses. She told "The Boston Globe," "Why would I owe anybody an endorsement? Is that a question they asked everybody else when they dropped out of the race?" Most likely think did ask everybody else, but despite that, does she have a responsibility, do you think, to endorse anyone?
DELANEY: I don't think she has responsibility. Listen, I have enormous respect for Senator Warren, and I think she will do what she thinks is ultimately in the best interest of the Democratic Party. I'm entirely comfortable with that.
And she will make whatever her decision she feels at the right moment of time where her voice and her opinions can be heard and be part of the debate, and where she can shape the future of this party and the future of this country. And she will do that in the Senate, and I suspect she will do that in this campaign at some point in time.
PAUL: Marianne Williamson, John Delaney, always a pleasure to have both of you here. Thank you for taking the time for us.
DELANEY: Thank you.
PAUL: We'll be right back.
WALKER: Six former wrestlers at Ohio State University tell CNN that they directly told Congressman Jim Jordan about sexual abuse at the hands of Dr. Richard Strauss.
PAUL: Jordan has consistent denied knowing about the abuse allegations while he was working at Ohio State. Dr. Strauss, remember, died by suicide in 2005. Here's CNN's Drew Griffin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He calls them all liars, but more and more former Ohio State University wrestlers are coming forward to say their former assistant coach, Congressman Jim Jordan, knew student athletes were being sexually abused and are dumbfounded to understand how Jordan can deny it.
TITO VAZQUEZ, FORMER OSU WRESTLER: That's a lie, he's lying.
VAZQUEZ: Period. He's a liar.
GRIFFIN: Tito Vazquez is the latest, a walk-on wrestler in 1989 who took an elbow to the nose, sent to team doctor Richard Strauss to stop a nosebleed, the doctor fondled his genitals.
VAZQUEZ: There were some wrestlers with Jordan over to my left-hand side, and I said something to the effect that doc's hands are freezing, and that he examined me thoroughly, extremely thoroughly, my private parts. And everybody was just like kind of snickering. Jordan said, I have nothing to do with this.
GRIFFIN: But Jordan heard what you said?
VAZQUEZ: He heard what I said.
GRIFFIN: Vazquez, a public schoolteacher for the past 27 years, is the sixth former Ohio State wrestler to tell CNN they directly told Jim Jordan of the abuse or Jim Jordan was present when someone was recalling abuse by the team's doctor. Eight more former wrestlers tell CNN the abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss was such a routine topic of conversation that it's inconceivable Jordan did not know. Yet Jordan, now a powerful Republican congressman, refuses to budge.
We have six former Ohio state wrestlers who absolutely say you knew about Dr. Strauss because they either told you at the time, or you were there and heard it. REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): You guys are still asking about this after the
Perkins Coie law firm investigated this and didn't even mention my name once?
GRIFFIN: They didn't mention you name, but they mentioned and 20 coaches knew about it.
JORDAN: Every single coach has said the same thing I have. All kinds of athletes have said the same thing I have. And the reason they've all said that is because it's the truth. Look, if I had known there was some kind of problem, some kind of abuse, I would have helped out our athletes. What they're saying is just not true.
GRIFFIN: Richard Strauss killed himself this 2005. Last year an independent investigation concluded while Dr. Strauss worked at OSU over two decades, he sexually abused at least 177 male student patients. Jim Jordan called the report a vindication because it did not name him. The report did not name any wrestling coach at Ohio state, did not find documentary evidence coaches were aware of complaints against Strauss, but 22 coaches confirmed to investigative team that they were aware of rumors and/or complaints about Strauss. Former OSU wrestler Dunyasha Yetts said Jordan is one of the coaches who knew because he told him. In January of 1993, Yetts went to see Strauss for a thumb sprain, and the doctor tried to pull down his pants. Yetts says he kicked open the doctor's door to escape, and Jordan was right outside next to an ice machine.
DUNYASHA YETTS, FORMER OSU WRESTLER: He jumped up like what's going on? I said, coach, he just tried to give me a physical exam for my thumb injury. It looks like a baseball, it's swelled up. And he was like, man, if he ever tried that that, I would kill him.
GRIFFIN: Jordan supporters say Yetts can't be trusted because of a past conviction for fraud, but two other wrestlers told CNN they witnessed the encounter.
DAN RITCHIE, FORMER OSU WRESTLER: What Dr. Strauss took from me that day was not dignity.
GRIFFIN: Last year, former wrestlers Dan Ritchie and Mike Flusche told the Ohio legislature, that among athletes and coaches, Strauss' sexual abuse was an open discussion.
RITCHIE: I do recall somebody bringing up something to one of the assistant coaches, and his response was simply, well, if he ever tried that with me, I'd snap his neck like a stick of dry balsa wood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I remember the exact phrase, if that happened to me, I would break his neck.
GRIFFIN: The coach who talked about breaking Strauss's neck was Jim Jordan according to both Ritchie and Flusche, who didn't name him in front of the legislature but have since confirmed it to CNN.
JORDAN: What they're saying now is just not accurate.
GRIFFIN: Mike Flusche, Dan Ritchie, you don't remember telling them you would break the guy's neck if he did that to you?
GRIFFIN: What is odd to the wrestlers we spoke with is that almost to a man they liked and admired Jordan as a coach, a friend, and even a mentor, but tell us they could not keep silent and allow the congressman to lie about what was an open secret at Ohio State.
Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
PAUL: Drew, thank you.
So an 11-year-old girl from Syria is poised to make history on the world stage.
WALKER: Coming up, the youngest athlete to qualify for this year's Olympic Games.
PAUL: So today we introduce you to our first CNN Hero of 2020. Growing up in Maine, Lynda Doughty developed a passion for marine life, and now she's focusing on rescuing seals.
LYNDA DOUGHTY, CNN HERO: Releasing a seal is really bittersweet. And as much as I'm excited to see that animal be released, it's also hard in the sense of seeing that animal now gone.
You guys know that you're going back to the ocean?
So any seal that we rescue, the ultimate goal is for that animal to be released back into the ocean. I feel this intense responsibility to help these animals and really this is what I was put on this earth to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Nominate someone you think should be a CNN Hero. We would love to meet them at CNNHeroes.com.
WALKER: And another hero of sorts, an 11-year-old Syrian girl is set to become one of the youngest Olympians of all time.
PAUL: Hend Zaza is her name. She qualified for the 2020 Tokyo games after winning a tournament in Jordan last week. Zaza, who was born in 2009, will become the youngest athlete to compete at this year's game.
WALKER: Look at her powerful hit. The Olympics are scheduled to begin July 24th.
By the way, the youngest documented Olympic medalist was a Greek gymnast who won Bronze in 1896 at the age of 10 years-old. We will be rooting for you.
PAUL: No doubt.
Thank you so much for spending time with us this morning. We hope you make good memories today.
WALKER: Fredricka Whitfield starts after the break.