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Twenty-One People Aboard Grand Princess Test Positive For Coronavirus; American Nurses Association Calls For Collaborative Coronavirus Response; U.S. Coronavirus Testing Crunch Sparks Fierce Backlash; CDC Advises Older Americans To Stay Home As Much As Possible; Interview With Dr. Peter Hotez; Austin Officials Order Cancellation Of South By Southwest Festival; Rep. Mark Meadows Replacing Mulvaney As White House Chief Of Staff; Biden Says Campaign Raised $22 Million In Five Days; New Documentary Details Hillary Clinton's Life In Politics. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired March 7, 2020 - 11:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. And thank you so much for joining me.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

The deadly coronavirus is spreading and now the U.S. military is reporting its first case in Europe. The Pentagon says a navy sailor contracted the virus while stationed in Naples, Italy. The sailor is being quarantined as investigators determine if anyone else was exposed.

In the U.S., cases are now being reported from coast to coast. More than 330 people have been infected so far. There have been 17 U.S. deaths. And there is concern that the numbers will only rise.

Thousands of passengers, in fact, aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship remain quarantined off the California Coast. 21 people on board have now tested positive for coronavirus. One of the passengers needed to be airlifted to a San Francisco hospital.

CNN spoke to another passenger just last hour who said nearly everyone on board is being kept in the dark, including the captain.


DEBBIE LOTUS, AMERICAN QUARANTINED ON GRANDE PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP (via telephone): 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 ten minutes later, the captain came on and he said he hadn't been told either. It's all news to him.


WHITFIELD: On the East Coast of the U.S., fears are growing after new confirmed cases. Two people from New York who tested positive for the virus attended the AIPAC conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this week, potentially exposing others to the virus.

And Connecticut first confirmed coronavirus patient worked shifts at two hospitals in recent days possibly putting patients there and staff at risk.

In Washington State, seven people have died at one senior care center outside of Seattle. At least 34 people there have been infected.

And then there's Florida reporting its first two deaths last night. Both victims recently returned from international trips.

All right. Let's begin with the situation unfolding off the San Francisco coast where thousands of people on board the Grand Princess cruise ship are waiting to return to shore.

CNN's Lucy Kafanov joining me with more details on that. So Lucy -- what do we know about the passenger that was now?


It's been nail-biter of a night. We know that the captain took to the announcement speaker system to make an announcement about the fact that a helicopter was airlifting a passenger who needed medical attention. That passenger was then taken to a San Francisco hospital. No details on what the condition of that passenger was.

We also know some supplies, according to the captain's announcements, were dropped off on board the ship. But the question on everyone's minds, what happens next to the 3,500 people on board?

The Vice President saying the ship will be taken to a non-commercial port. It's not clear when. It's not clear where.

We know that the 1,100 or so crew members, they're not going to be allowed to get off that ship. They will stay on board under quarantine. The rest of the passengers will get taken to military bases. They will be tested.

It is news that came as a shock to a lot of folks on board, as you point out. Take a listen to the reaction of one of the passengers.


KAILEE HIGGINS ORT, 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 didn't say anything until 30 minutes later. And it was -- I was so shocked, I couldn't believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vice President Mike Pence announced that 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.


KAFANOV: Even the captain taken by surprise. And Fred -- one passenger texted me. She said "Feels like no one's in charge. We're comfortable but we're stuck," -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Lucy -- thank you so much. Keep us posted.

So concern is indeed growing not just on that ship but on the East Coast of the U.S. New patients are testing positive in New York and potentially exposing others in cities outside the state.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has details on that. So Polo -- what do we know about these new patients?


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey Fred -- good morning. You know, each of the last couple of days, we have seen the total number of cases in New York state double. We went from 11 to 22 to now 44. Only four of them have been confirmed here in New York City. Really a vast majority of them have been confirmed in Westchester County -- a suburb of New York City.

A majority of those have been linked to one particular patient, that being his family, his friends, those that he lived with and worshipped with. So as Governor Cuomo made very clear yesterday, that should at least serve to reassure the public that the process is working.

How you might ask? They confirmed one case, identify then isolate those that have come into contact with them. So yes, numbers have certainly grown significantly but that at least should serve as a reminder to the general public, according to officials here in the state that the process does seem to be working.

Here in New York City, however, the mayor reminding (INAUDIBLE) to remain vigilant, but go about their lives. Just take those extra precautions to do (INAUDIBLE) spread throughout the community -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Polo Sandoval in New York. Keep us posted from there. Thank you.

So the American Nurses Association is now weighing in on the U.S. response to this outbreak.

CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen joining me now with details. So what -- what is this organization doing? It represents four million U.S. Nurses.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And nurses are really on the front line. I know there is a lot of concern and fear, sometimes even panic among the American public but, you know, really the people most at risk are elderly, those with underlying conditions and really health care workers. We need to protect them because they are the ones who are taking care of sick people. And so let's take a look at what the Nurses Association said. They put out a statement saying, "The current lack of supplies, testing kits, proper protective gear and a lack of universal set of guidelines all contribute to the spread of coronavirus."

So they're concerned about these shortages and they also seemed to be concerned about communication from the government, from hospitals that employ them. They want to make sure that the right steps are being taken and also that the communication is right there on target. Are the nurses being told what they need to protect patients and to protect themselves?

WHITFIELD: Right. And are they being told what to convey to people because there has kind of some uniformity --


WHITFIELD: -- to the messages to patients or people who are just concerned and worried.

COHEN: For sure. And I have been getting calls and texts from health care workers, even just friends of mine, saying I feel like I don't know what to tell patients. Every day patients are asking me questions and I don't quite know what to tell them.

And I think another thing that's unclear is that there have now been several -- many patients who've been treated -- successfully treated for coronavirus in this country but so far, most of them have not been written up in any kind of a way that doctors and nurses can read. And say oh, this is what they did with this patient. This worked, this didn't. There's a concern about a lack of communication in that regard.

WHITFIELD: All right. Elizabeth Cohen -- we will see you again throughout the afternoon. Thank you.


WHITFIELD: Appreciate it.

So amid all, you know, the concern about the spread of the coronavirus, the Trump administration continues to send out mixed messages about the outbreak. This week the President downplaying the severity of the illness.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So if, you know, we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work, some of them go to work, but they get better.


WHITFIELD: So the latest confusion centers on testing as well. The President and top members of his administration have been giving conflicting information on how many tests are available right now. When these tests will be available and to whom? Will they be available to anyone who feels that they need one?

CNN White House Reporter, Sarah Westwood is in West Palm Beach, Florida. So Sarah -- you know, what's behind the confusion? And what do we know about the availability of testing and to whom they go?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Fred -- we have been seeing some mixed signals about the availability of coronavirus tests coming out of this administration, particularly from Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump.

And that sort of reflects this broader disconnect in the tones that we've seen from these two leaders. We have seen Vice President Mike Pence have a more measured tone, set more realistic expectations about what an outbreak in the U.S. could look like. While we have had President Trump painting a bit of a rosier picture of the progression of the virus in the U.S.

But I want you to take a listen to the different things that President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence had to say about the current availability of tests this week.


TRUMP: 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.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We trust in a matter of weeks the coronavirus test will be broadly available to the public and available to any American that is symptomatic and has a concern about the possibility of having contracted the coronavirus.



WESTWOOD: So a clear difference in tone there. President Trump suggesting that wide testing -- widespread testing is available now, while Vice President Mike Pence is setting the more realistic expectation that widespread testing might not be available for a few more weeks.

Of course, the administration was criticized for being slow to test widely for the coronavirus, especially compared with other countries who have had an outbreak. The administration had planned to have one million tests available by the end of the week -- Fred. And Vice President's office tells CNN that they are on track to hit that target.

WHITFIELD: All right. Sarah Westwood -- thank you so much for that.

All right. So it has been a week since the first coronavirus death was reported in the U.S. and still health experts say there aren't enough tests, despite the President's recent comments. The Trump administration has ramped up efforts, however the U.S. response to the deadly virus lags behind other developed countries. That is what the experts are saying including CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We're going to need millions and millions and millions of tests.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The problem is more than a month after the first patient was diagnosed in the United States, we still don't have nearly enough tests.

According to our review of CDC reports, only around 1,500 people have been tested -- total. It's a big difference from other countries like South Korea where nearly 160,000 people have been tested, even in the drive-thru. And in the U.K. more than 20,000 people.

It's basic surveillance. And in the United States that lack of testing has led to a lack of planning.

DR. MARIA VAN KERKHOVE, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: It's very important that there's an aggressive approach in the beginning that you look for all of those cases because as case numbers increase, systems become overwhelmed.

And so as much as can be done in the early stages of this, the better chance you have to delay and reduce and suppress transmission.

GUPTA: The test itself is similar to one done for the flu. A swab from the nose or the throat. The culture is then sent to a lab to see if there are any genetic traces of coronavirus. Takes about six hours.

So what happened here?

Many point to two issues, the initial test kit sent to state and county labs were defective. And then the initial CDC criteria limited testing only to those who had traveled to areas impacted by the epidemic or been around someone who had tested positive.

That greatly limited the number of people who qualified to get a test. On Thursday, the Vice President publicly acknowledged the U.S. effort is behind.

PENCE: We don't have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward.

GUPTA: And even Dr. Anthony Fauci is making no promises that the problem will be fixed any time soon.

DR. FAUCI: It got off to a slow start. There were some missteps. But up to this point there has been a lag in the ability to get tested.

GUPTA: Now, this is not to suggest that everyone should run out and start asking for tests. If you go to your doctor with symptoms, the doctor may say first, look, let's rule out common things first such as the cold or the flu.

If you don't have anything to explain your symptoms, this coronavirus test may be ordered at that point. It may still though take a few weeks for all of these tests that you just heard about to make their way into clinics and hospitals around the country. Back to you.


WHITFIELD: Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- thank you so much.

All right. Coronavirus -- what to do, what to avoid and when to see a doctor.

CNN's new podcast has answers. Join Dr. Sanjay Gupta for "CORONAVIRUS: FACT VERSUS FICTION". Listen whenever and wherever you get your favorite podcast.

A top vaccine doctor issued a stark warning to Congress over the coronavirus, saying the virus will be like an angel of death for elderly people. That doctor joins me to explain, next.

Plus the South by Southwest festival now cancelled. This as Coachella concerts and other big tours are now potentially reconsidering opening to the masses.

CNN's live coverage of the coronavirus continues next.



WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

In response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the CDC is now encouraging older adults to stay at home as much as possible. This as one expert tells Congress the virus is like -- and I'm quoting him now -- the angel of death for the elderly.


DR. PETER HOTEZ, DEAN, SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: In an attempt to calm public fears, you're hearing things like it's a mild illness. This is like flu.

It's not really the case, because this is an unusual virus. For many young people especially it is a mild illness, but we are seeing some devastating things.

Look what this virus did in that nursing home in Kirkland, Washington. It rolled through it like a train. So this is like the angel of death for older individuals.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: All right. Dr. Peter Hotez is here with me now. He's a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He's also the co- director of the college's coronavirus vaccine team. Doctor -- good to see you.

HOTEZ: Thanks for having me back.

WHITFIELD: So we just heard, you know, a clip of you testifying before Congress this week and health officials have been telling the public, don't panic.

But your words, angel of death, if anything it does incite, you know, some real concern. Are you concerned that people can't help but panic or feel very fearful about this virus?


HOTEZ: Well, you know, you have to remember how this virus works. We're talking a lot about case fatality rates, whether it's 1 percent or 2 percent. But that's not really the issue.

The issue, we've got the heads-up from Chinese physicians working in Wuhan, especially in patients in nursing homes, where we saw mortality of 10 percent or 15 percent among individuals over the age of 70. And that was a wake up call to us that we better get our facilities where we have large numbers of older individuals clustered together, like a nursing home or an assisted living facility, because that virus could be very dangerous.

And sure enough, this virus indeed swept through that nursing home in Kirkland, Washington. And we saw, my understanding is, 11 deaths in that one nursing home of about 100 residents. So that's about 11 percent, exactly what we saw in Wuhan.

So the point is what happened in that nursing home was both predicted and predictable. And we can't let that happen again. So it was really meant to wake people up to get our nursing facilities ready.

And there's actually been some response to that.

WHITFIELD: And what does that mean -- get ready?

HOTEZ: My understanding is --

WHITFIELD: Yes, because I mean I think, of course, think of those elder parents, you know, and patients. I think about my 87-year-old mother, you know, and her vulnerability.

HOTEZ: Absolutely -- and my 90-year-old mother is in a nursing home outside of Brooklyn, Massachusetts.

WHITFIELD: Yes. So then -- what are the actions whether it's nursing homes, you know, senior centers, you know, -- what kind of action should they be taking? And what about at home? I mean how long can your elderly parents stay at home and out of, you know, the public contact? HOTEZ: Well, I think there's two different things we're talking about.

In terms of staying at home, I think, you want to be also not to over- isolate our older individuals, right. We know the downside of preventing them from socializing and that could have a damaging impact as well.

So what I'm mainly concerned about is in areas where we know community transmission is under way. That's when we have to be extra careful for our older populations and our nursing facilities.

And exactly what we -- do we really need some guidance now from the CDC and local health departments. Should we, in places where community transmission is under way, should we restrict the number of visitors? How should we focus our testing?

You know, right now it's clear we're not going to have a million kits available for a couple of weeks. How do we ration those kits? And I would argue that because our nursing home facilities are so vulnerable, that's where we should prioritize making testing available for people coming in and out of the facility.

So it's things like that to be a little more strategic, not just aspire to do testing for the whole population at once, but let's look at our two most vulnerable populations. One of them are older individuals in nursing facilities. We know that's a red flag. We've seen it, right.

We saw it in Wuhan. We have seen it in Kirkland, Washington. It could happen any other nursing home in a place for community transmission, but also our health care professionals.

We heard that segment about the nursing association.

WHITFIELD: Right. There were concerns.

HOTEZ: They're absolutely right. They're absolutely right. And we saw in Wuhan where there were a thousand health care professionals got sick.

But the other piece to that is 15 percent not only got sick but were severely ill and many of them were in ICUs. So you had this tragic situation where colleagues were taking care of colleagues in an ICU setting.

We saw that with ebola in Dallas in 2014. I was on the commission that looked into that. We don't want to have that situation.

So we have to be very -- and it's not a matter of panic. It's just saying look, to come out and say these are two big concerns and here's what we're going to do about it.

WHITFIELD: So then I would love to hear your thoughts after listening to senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who, you know, put it this way about the nation's response to the coronavirus, and whether there's a threat or not. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: What I am pleased to report is that the 14 deaths so far that are completely tragic and very sad in this country shows that this is being contained because the President took action. And a lot of you criticized him from doing that. He was called a xenophobe and a racist for saying no more air travel to China and going to and from. And that worked.

LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: Frankly, so far it looks relatively contained. And we don't think most people -- I mean the vast majority of Americans are not at risk for this virus.


WHITFIELD: So when you hear officials say it's relatively contained, that signals to me and everyone else, right, don't really worry.

HOTEZ: Yes. I mean the White House doesn't help its case by making a blanket statement like that, that's not substantiated by data. It doesn't help them either in terms of making people feel comfortable.


HOTEZ: Look, here's what we need to do, the kinds of things we're talking about today. What we need is the Vice President or whoever wants to be -- whoever's been appointed as the spokesperson, maybe Dr. Burks (ph), come out and say, look, these are our three big concerns right now.

We've seen already how this virus can cause a lot of destruction in nursing facilities. This is what we're doing to protect our nursing facilities. We're concerned about health care workers. We saw what happened in Wuhan. We have every reason to believe our health care providers are vulnerable. Here's what we're doing about also our first responders, that's the third population.

The point being you're far more effective, you can say look, here's my top three concerns to the American public. We're aware of it. We're working to solve this problem.

Here's our plan so far. We don't exactly know how this is going to unfold because it's a new virus agent.

The American people understand that. We've been through anthrax. We've been through SARS 1 in 2003. We've been through Zika. We've been through ebola. We've been through H1N1.

We know that these pandemic threats are very destabilizing. But we've always been successful by having a frank discussion on what our concerns and seeing what we're going to do about it.

WHITFIELD: And then quickly, I wonder if you feel that, you know, the current state of affairs now gives impetus to the kind of funding that you need for the vaccine that you and your team have been working on since 2016. Do you believe that you'll be able to get the funding now in order to come up with a vaccine perhaps within a year or so?

HOTEZ: Well, that would be the hope. You know, we have a prototype vaccine that we developed in 2016. We're also working on a second generation one.

One of them is already manufactured and ready to move into the clinical trials if we can get that funding. So we're certainly trying to look into every avenue.

I think the other message that we have to be careful about is we're seeing some inflated claims by some of the biotechs and other organizations saying we're going to have a vaccine in a few weeks. It doesn't work like that.

Vaccines, among the pharmaceuticals we have, vaccines are the most thoroughly tested for safety. It could take one year, two years, sometimes longer. And that's also something we also have to have a frank discussion about. We will not have a vaccine, I don't think, in time for this epidemic.

We might in the out years maybe for stockpiling but we're going to have to fight this epidemic without a vaccine, unfortunately.

WHITFIELD: All right. Also vitally important. All right. Dr. Peter Hotez -- thank you so much for your perspective. Appreciate it.

All right. Still to come -- from concerts to sporting events, concerns are rising from both organizers and fans over whether planned events should go on.

Next, the latest list of cancellations.



WHITFIELD: Welcome back.

Officials in Austin, Texas have forced the cancellation of a hugely popular South by Southwest festival because of fears of coronavirus. The music and arts festival which normally draws more than 400,000 visitors was scheduled to begin next week. It is the first time in the festival's 34-year history that it is seeing a cancelation.

Earlier this week Miami canceled two of its music festivals set for later on this month.

Natasha Chen is here with me. So Natasha -- let's talk about the huge disappointment to a lot of the fans and exorbitant amount of money that would be lost from the cancellations.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And we should say there was a petition to ask for South by Southwest to be canceled. But a lot of fans feel differently about this. There are a lot of independent artists like musicians, filmmakers who really rely on this event to make some money.

So what we are seeing on social media is actually a lot of people trying to rally around those folks saying, you know, support your local artists in other ways if they can't be at South by Southwest. Go see their movies, buy their music.

And then you have others who are actually trying to start fund-raisers to support the service workers who were also relying on a lot of money coming in.


CHEN: There are events, unofficial events that go around South by Southwest. Some of them are still going on. So people are trying to work that out and figure out how to get refunds and such.

And the South by Southwest team said that it brought in $335 million to the Austin metro area last year.

WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh. That's a lot of money.

CHEN: So this is a big economic hit. I talked to the U.S. Travel Association this morning and they say they wish that events like this would still continue because it is a big detractor to commerce and the economy right now.

WHITFIELD: Oh my goodness. So a lot of people, yes, were looking forward to those extra paychecks, you know, surrounding this kind of event.

So there are other big events on the horizon. Coachella being one of them. People are anxiously awaiting even though it's in April.

CHEN: A lot of people are asking about it. So far we have not seen the organizers say that they're going to change any plans with Coachella. But there's a list right there of events that have been canceled: the Ultra Music Festival, Green Day, Mariah Carey, the Metropolitan Opera.

And I should say that we've also heard of other large events continuing, large trade shows are still going on. And then there's another group of events that are just postponing things until the fall, hoping to see how this plays out. So a lot of unknowns.

The NBA saying the show may go on but without a live audience. Right, they're saying make plans to potentially play with no one in the stands. And of course, Lebron James said after Friday's game that he's not going to do that because he plays for his teammates and the fans. And if the fans are not there, he says he's not playing.


WHITFIELD: He says no fans, I'm not playing. That's how he put it.

All right. Keep us posted on all these big events. Thank you so much -- Natasha.

CHEN: Thanks.

WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, Trump names a fourth chief of staff. Mick Mulvaney is out, Mark Meadows in.

We'll talk about that next.


WHITFIELD: President Trump is making another staff change at the White House. Call it M Squared. Mick Mulvaney is out as the President's acting chief of staff. He's being replaced by North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows. He will be Trump's fourth chief of staff since Trump took office.

Mulvaney has been named the special enjoy to Northern Ireland now.

Catherine Lucey is a White House reporter for "Wall Street Journal" and Stef Kight is a political reporter for Axios. Good to see you both.


WHITFIELD: All right. So Catherine -- you first. You know, what do you make of the timing of this announcement, particularly as this administration is in the midst of handling the coronavirus outbreak?

CATHERINE LUCEY, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, obviously, the administration is in a crisis moment trying to deal with the outbreak. But for a lot of people the only thing surprising about this timing was that it came on a Friday night -- kind of out of the blue. This was a long-expected announcement. You know, the President is very close with Meadows. His relationship with Mulvaney has cooled. These talks have been under way for a long time.

And this also comes as a part of a broader sachet (ph) cup. You've seen the President bringing in some people he see as loyal. Former staffer Hope Hicks, for example, is coming back.

And he's really trying to assemble a team that he trusts and he feels close with heading into his re-election campaign.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Particularly the staff shake up post his, you know, acquittal. So staff, you know, I guess it was kind of in the cards for Mulvaney, particularly after this display last October?


MICK MULVANEY, OUTGOING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: But he also mentioned to me in the past that the corruption related to the DNC server? Absolutely -- no question about that. But that's it. That's why we held up the money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be clear, what you just described is a quid pro quo. It is funding will not flow unless the investigation is that a Democratic server happened as well.

MULVANEY: We do that all the time with foreign policy.

I have news for everybody, get over it. There's going to be political influence in foreign policy.


WHITFIELD: So Stef -- at first the President seemed ok with that but clearly he wasn't ok with that moment.

STEF KIGHT, POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS: Yes, that moment really was a crucial moment for Mulvaney when he did come out and kind of say, yes, the President did have a quid pro quo in his dealings with Ukraine. And so that was a big moment.

This is something that the President has been thinking about. Mulvaney has said himself, as Axios has reported, that this was a transition that President Trump was looking at for a long time and, of course, he wanted to be very careful to do anything while the senate impeachment trial was still ongoing to avoid any bad optics there.

But as Catherine is saying, this is expected in one sense and something that does not surprise people entirely. But of course, it was surprising to see it announced via tweet on a Friday night.

WHITFIELD: And so Catherine -- you know, why Mark Meadows? I mean yes, he said he's not going to seek re-election. He's a fourth, you know, term congressman. He seemed very loyal to the President during the impeachment, you know, proceedings but why would Mark Meadows want this gig?

And it would be acting chief of staff or is there an expectation that there will actually be some confirmation hearings involved this go- around?

LUCEY: My understanding is he will be chief of staff. And it's one the interesting thing with Mick Mulvaney that he never lost that acting title in front of his job, which is something that he tried to downplay but was an issue for him at times in the West Wing.

I think that the President and Meadows have really built a very close relationship. Meadows was a key part of the President's defense team during the impeachment trial. He's known to talk to the President regularly everyday, offers a lot of political advice.

And so he's seen as -- already a de facto key adviser to the President from the outside. And so for some people the only question was exactly what kind of West Wing job he was going to get.

The thing that we really need to watch now I think is how will he make this job his own? They're saying that in this role you can either be the chief to the staff of chief or take care of staff. And for him we've seen this before with Kelly, he really tried to control the President more, control aspects to him.

with Mulvaney, he really said he was going to let Trump be Trump. And that worked for a while. But the President now is really looking for somebody a little more aggressive. Meadows comes into this with more swagger, with political relationships, strong ties on the Hill.

I was talking to someone last night and he said that the President really likes the idea that Meadows has strong relationships with the grassroots. And that he thought that that was really important heading into the campaign.

WHITFIELD: All right. So, Stef -- you know, coronavirus outbreak. You know, that is front and center particularly for the White House and for the U.S. But it also is making an impact on the U.S. economy. How does the President manage this when he has been touting the economy, you know, right up to yesterday? How will he continue to be able to do that when you've got this crisis?

KIGHT: Yes, I think you can see by the way the President has been reacting to the news about the coronavirus, he is trying to calm people down. He's trying to prevent people from panicking and prevent fear by kind of playing down the impact of the coronavirus, playing down how much it is spreading, playing down its deadliness, even at times questioning facts that are coming from the CDC and experts in this field.


KIGHT: It does matter, you know, we even heard from some officials told Axios that the fact that Mulvaney was actually out of town while this coronavirus news was happening was very frustrating to the President and could have played a role in the decision there.

WHITFIELD: All right. We'll leave it there for now. Ladies -- thank you so much. Stef Kight, Catherine Lucey -- appreciate it.

And now the lawnmower stops. Isn't that usually the way it goes? But you hung in there -- Catherine. I think it was from your vantage where that was happening.

All right. We'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: Joe Biden says his campaign raised $22 million in five days following big wins in South Carolina and Super Tuesday. The former vice president just announcing a $12 million ad buy after teasing a major endorsement and warning against negativity from the Bernie brothers.

CNN's Abby Phillip joining me right now from Chicago where Bernie Sanders will be campaigning later on this afternoon.

So Abby -- what are you learning?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joe Biden seemed to be coining a new turn of phrase here -- the Bernie brothers. I think what he's referring to is this idea of the Bernie Bros. and he's tried to use it as an election strategy against the Bernie Sanders campaign, essentially saying that Sanders is responsible for the sort of negativity of his supporters online and elsewhere.

But the Sanders campaign is firing back today in a statement from Bernie Sanders' spokesman Mike Casca, really criticizing Joe Biden for focusing on the small stuff. Casca says tens of millions of uninsured are uninsured while coronavirus spreads, the planet is warming at an accelerating rate, working people haven't 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.

It is clear though -- Fred, that things are heating up between these two campaigns as they head into yet another major election night on Tuesday. And they're battling it out in Michigan in particular where Bernie Sanders has been criticizing Joe Biden over his support of trade deals in the past.

But now Biden I think is taking a different strategy and really making this campaign, as far as he's concerned, about the tone of the Sanders campaign and Sanders' supporters.

It is not clear how that will shake out, but that's a sign clearly of rising tensions between the two campaigns which are soon to be the last ones standing going into yet another election night.

WHITFIELD: All right. Lots heating up just in time for Super Tuesday.

All right. Abby Phillip in Chicago -- thank you so much.

All right. Up next, Hillary Clinton in her own words. The former first lady and secretary of state is opening up about some of the most personal moments in her life.



WHITFIELD: Hillary Clinton has been a mainstay in American politics for nearly 30 years. And now the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee is opening up about how some of the most personal moments in her life played out in public.

CNN's Tom Foreman has more on how hurtful the Lewinsky affair was for the former first lady.


HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I was just devastated. I could not believe it. I was so, you know, personally just hurt and, you know. I can't believe this. I can't believe you lied.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than 20 years after sordid revelations about President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky, here's the former first couple laying bare their painful, personal details.

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I said I have no defense. It is inexcusable what I did.

H. CLINTON: I said if this is going to be public, you have got to go tell Chelsea.

B. CLINTON: So I did that, which was awful.

FOREMAN: In explanation he says this.

B. CLINTON: Everybody's life had pressures and disappointments and terrors, fears of whatever. The things I did to manage my anxiety for years, I am a totally different person than I was.

I feel terrible about the fact that Monica Lewinsky's life was defined by it, unfairly I think.

FOREAN: There is of course, much more to that story and many others in the docuseries "Hillary", four hours tracing Hillary Clinton's decades-long journey with her husband through the Arkansas statehouse into the White House, the Senate, the State Department, and presidential bids of her own.

Battling stereotypes, mistrust and her own limitations, she's at times on the attack, for example, when she sums up the Senate record of her challenger for the Democratic nod, Bernie Sanders.

H. CLINTON: Honestly, Bernie just drove my crazy. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him. He got nothing done.

FOREMAN: Even more so when she discusses her Republican challenger, Donald Trump.

H. CLINTON: Nobody was going to hold him accountable except for me.

FOREMAN: Fans will take comments as simple truths, foes take others as glib denials.

H. CLINTON: I am the most investigated innocent person in America.

FOREMAN: And anyone can see her final defeat on election night 2016 was crushing.

H. CLINTON: Obama called me and he said, you know, I'm really sorry. He said, you know, I'm really sorry. And he said, but you know, you probably should concede. I said I'm not going to concede until the morning. I said I can't. He said you need to call Trump. Oh brother -- I was totally emotionally wrecked.


FOREMAN: In some ways, this really is an epic about what the nation has been going through, about changing views on morality and sexuality and truth, partisanship and women. It probably won't change anyone's view about any of that. But then these days, what does?

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.