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Twenty-One New Coronavirus Cases In New York, 76 Confirmed Statewide; FDA To Give Rare Saturday White House Update On Coronavirus Outbreak; Twenty-One People Aboard Grand Princess Test Positive For Coronavirus; Warren Reflects On Sexism In Race After Dropping Out; Olympic Committee Not Discussing Cancellation Or Postponement Of Summer Olympics; Real Estate Agent On Trial For Murder Of His Best Friend. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired March 7, 2020 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: So far at least 377 Americans have contracted the virus. 21 new cases just reported in New York in the last hour. Coronavirus has already claimed the lives of 17 people in the U.S.
And right now thousands of passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship remain quarantined off the California coast. 21 people on board tested positive for coronavirus. One of those passengers needed to be airlifted to a San Francisco hospital. And just a short time ago Vice President Mike Pence arriving in Florida to meet with Cruise Line executives. The travel industry has been especially hit hard as the coronavirus spreads.
The FDA is set to hold a rare Saturday press conference at the White House in the next hour to go over their efforts to contain this deadly virus. And people on the East Coast are bracing for the outbreak as more people test positive. CNN's Polo Sandoval is in New York. So Polo, the governor there just declared a state of emergency.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. That was done just a few minutes ago. Now what exactly does that do? That's a big question here for many. What we can expect, according to the governor is that that essentially would allow the state to hire more staff, particularly for some of those local health facilities. It also will make for a faster purchasing process also for testing because authorities certainly make very clear that testing is certainly key.
Now when it comes to that it's that testing that is revealed now additional cases a total of 76 across the State of New York, 11 of them here in New York City, but a bulk of them in fact, 57 of them are by West Chester County and a majority of those or at least many of those have been linked to one specific individual.
So many of those that have tested positive are those that have lived with and worship with so authorities are certainly now taking a closer look at perhaps some of the elder care facilities in and around West Chester County since that is really one of the big concerns right now for authorities, especially after what's happening in Washington State with that -- with that other facility that where they saw multiple people to die from this.
So that is why health officials are on the East Coast are certainly taking a good hard look at that, especially with these new numbers again now, 76 across the State of New York, 11 of them here in New York City and 57 in nearby Westchester County. Fred, back to you.
WHITFIELD: Yes. Scary numbers. All right. Thank you so much, Polo Sandoval. Appreciate that.
All right. Meantime, the passengers and crew on board, the Grand Princes are desperate for answers. The cruise ship was scheduled to return to San Francisco this morning. But 21 people tested positive for coronavirus. That's leaving thousands of other passengers in limbo off the coast of California. Most passengers didn't even know about the outbreak on the ship until hearing it from the vice president during a briefing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEBBIE LOFTUS, AMERICAN QUARANTINED IN GRAND PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP (via telephone): -- like passenger services.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Got it.
LOFTUS: And I said hey, I'm watching CN -- or MSNBC now and Vice President Pence is telling us that there's positive tests. So 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 he answers all news to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. There are more than 3500 people aboard the Grand Princess representing 54 nationalities. And at this point, it's unclear when and where the ship will be allowed to dock. And just a short time ago Vice President Pence arrived in South Florida. He will be meeting soon with the leaders of the cruise ship industry concerned about the impact this outbreak is having on their industry.
And in the next hour of the FDA will hold a rare Saturday update at the White House on the very latest on the coronavirus outbreak.
Sarah Westwood is in a West Palm Beach, Florida. Sarah, what are you learning about what this briefing could entail?
SARAH WESTWOOD CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Fred, we expect this to be an off-camera briefing with the FDA. Meaning we aren't going to hear sounds, see videos of it but it comes as the role of the FDA is under particular scrutiny given that this administration has been criticized for how slow it was to approve and distribute tests for coronavirus, especially when compared with some of these other countries that have experienced outbreaks like South Korea which was able to test a high number of people very, very quickly.
Now, the tests are under scrutiny as well, the test themselves because we have seen some mixed messages from President Trump, from Vice President Mike Pence. So the FDA is expected to face some questions about just what kind of capacity the administration has right now to screen people for the COVID-19 virus, Fred.
And then there is confusion, you know, about the availability of testing after what the President said at the CDC yesterday compared to what the Vice President has also said.
WESTWOOD: Exactly, Fred, we have seen some sort of conflicting signals from Vice President Pence and from President Donald Trump and that's sort of reflective of the broader disconnect in tone that we've seen between the President and the Vice President.
WESTWOOD: We've seen Vice President Pence consistently have a more measured tone. He's been setting more realistic expectations for what an outbreak in the U.S. could look like and President Trump has painted a much rosier picture about the spread of coronavirus throughout. But I want you to take a listen to the different things that Trump and Pence said this week about the availability of the coronavirus test.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Anybody right now and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. We -- 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 of the coronavirus.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Now some mixed signals there obviously President Trump suggesting that people can be tested on a widespread basis immediately with Vice President Pence saying there that it could be a couple of weeks before tests are available broadly. He also said that right now, the administration is not prepared to meet what they anticipate will be future demand. And the administration had said by the end of the week, they expected to have distributed one million tests for coronavirus.
The vice president's office told CNN that they were earlier this week on track to hit that target, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, Sarah Westwood. Thank you so much. We'll check back with you next hour.
All right. Meantime, health experts are sounding the alarm right now. We're told millions and millions of tests are needed as the number of cases continues to rise. CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen Joining me now. So Elizabeth, the U.S. seems to be lagging behind other developed countries in terms of testing or, you know, readiness. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, exactly. As you know, we just heard they -- in South Korea, they were able to ramp up and test many, many thousands of people very, very quickly in the U.S. there continues to be a shortage of test kits and tests for people to use. And here's part of the problem is that at this point, there are many more tests out than even just days ago. But how efficient is it?
Doctors who I've been talking to across the country say, yes, sure. Right now my state health department lab has a test. That's an improvement over having to go all the way to the CDC in Atlanta. But still, it is days to make arrangements to get the tests and then days to get the test results. When you have an elderly person very, very ill with pneumonia. You don't want to wait days and days to find out what the cause of that pneumonia is. And I think right now, that seems to be the key problem.
WHITFIELD: Uh-hmm. And we heard from the infectious disease, you know, expert, Dr. Fauci who said millions and millions of, you know, tests are needed because, you know, there's no telling where this virus is going. So the American Nurses Association is also weighing in on their concerns to what --
COHEN: Right. The -- right. The American Nursing Association -- Nurses Association is -- has written the letter and that letter expresses concern about a lack of kits, a lack of protective gear for their nurses, and they have said we need communication from our employers, the hospitals, we communication from the government. And Fred, I think this is a super important point that we all need to remember.
There's a lot of concern among healthy young people about coronavirus, and that's fine. We shall be concerned. But really we need to think about who are the most vulnerable. That's the elderly people with underlying conditions and healthcare workers. Healthcare workers are literally in these patients faces for hours, sometimes on end, and they're the ones who we really need to work hard to protect. Get them the right equipment and get them the testing.
WHITFIELD: And part of the problem is it's unclear whether most healthcare facilities that people who are on the front line have the proper equipment.
COHEN: Right. And not to mention negative pressure room. So what those are is a room that you put someone with a dangerous infectious disease so that the disease stayed, the virus of the bacteria stays in the room and doesn't get out into the hallway and the rest of the hospitals into other hospital rooms. And that's really a problem. We don't have an unlimited supply of those. There's a big question now whether we have enough of those rooms for people with coronavirus.
That's where they're supposed to go where and small hospitals sometimes don't have any and even big hospitals have a limited number. Since the elderly are considered the most vulnerable as it pertains to this coronavirus, is it enough protection to be advising them to stay at home or is that really just the most common sense thing to do at this juncture?
COHEN: Right. That's actually relatively new guidance from the CDC. It's really a different tune. And really, I think a turning point in this outbreak, the CDC for a long time was not giving any particular advice, any particular groups of people about how they ought to carry on their lives. Now they're saying to people who are older and to people with severe underlying medical conditions, stay home as much as possible.
You know, all of us have people, older people or you know, very sick people in our lives and we want to make sure that they're OK. So the CDC is not being specific about what stay home as much as possible means, but I did speak with infectious disease experts with ties to the government. So these are people very much in the know. And actually the doctors I talked to are over 60 themselves.
COHEN: So I said, what are you doing? And they said, you know what, we're not going to the movies. We're not going to concerts. We're flying not at all or as little as possible.
COHEN: One of them said my wife loves bridge and she goes to this big bridge club with dozens of people, you know, once a week. She's not doing that anymore. She'll maybe have three friends come over and play bridge, but she's not going to go into a room with dozens of people.
WHITFIELD: Right. All right. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much.
WHITFIELD: Appreciate that. All right. The travel industry also facing a potentially catastrophic hit from the coronavirus outbreak as Richard Quest explains some parts of the industry are already racking up big losses.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: The travel industry has faced shocks before. However, this is on a different level.
SCOTT SOLOMBRINO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GLOBAL BUSINESS TRAVEL ASSOCIATION: The last time I'm seeing anything close to this was post 911.
QUEST: Hotels, airlines, tourist attractions are all feeling the pain as the public worried about the virus cancels vacations and business trips. United Airlines is reducing its North American flights by 10 percent, Jet Blue five percent, the German airline group Lufthansa is planning to cut capacity by up to 50 percent after drastic declines in bookings. One industry estimates airlines could lose a staggering $113 billion because of the crisis. And those who are still traveling are taking precautions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think everybody's pretty nervous about it. Most -- well, a lot of people have mask on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
QUEST: Firing the coronavirus outbreak on the diamond princess cruise ships that led to the deaths of at least six passengers. Cruise lines are facing cancellations and sharp reductions in new bookings. Now the same cruise lines facing another outbreak on board the Grand Princess, the ship is sitting off the coast of California after a passenger from a previous cruise became ill and died.
Shares in Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean are all down roughly 40 percent since the Diamond Princess incident. All told more than $25 billion has been wiped off their combined market value.
BRIAN SALERNO, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MARITIME POLICY, CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION: We are adjusting itineraries minimizing risk to the extent possible and even repurposing ships. There's two for example that are doing humanitarian missions just to use that capacity.
QUEST: If people aren't traveling, it means they aren't staying at hotels, dining out attending conferences. Wynn Resorts is warning its casinos could lose money. If international travelers don't come to Las Vegas. Disney has shut three theme parks in Asia and in Italy, Venice's famous St. Mark's Square is practically deserted. Virus cancellations have already pushed a small struggling airline and regional cruise line out of business.
Experts are predicting tens of thousands of airline staff will likely be out of work, at least temporarily.
BRIAN SUMERS, SENIOR AVIATION BUSINESS EDITOR, SKIFT: But I suspect in the United States within a few months, we're going to be seeing a lot of empty airplanes.
QUEST: Several years of good profits means that the U.S. airline industry is in a much better position to weather this storm. Even so, the airlines are seeking help from the government. The White House has confirmed to CNN that it is considering giving assistance to the industry. Richard Quest, CNN, New York.
WHITFIELD: All right. Coronavirus, what to do, what to avoid and when to see a doctor? CNN new podcast has answers. Join Dr. Sanjay Gupta for coronavirus fact versus fiction. Listen wherever you get your favorite podcasts.
All right. Joe Biden is back on top and flush with cash after launching his largest ad by ever but can he keep up the so-called Joementum?
Plus, Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks out about her failed campaign, why sexism might have been a factor she thinks.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [13:18:29]
WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Following two big wins in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden is raking in the cash. Raising a whopping $22 million in just five days. This as the Biden campaign has just announced a $12 million ad by ahead of next week's contest.
Joining me right now is Bill Nigut, senior executive producer for Georgia Public Broadcasting and the host of GPB's political rewind. Bill. Good to see you.
BILL NIGUT, SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, GEORGIA PUBLIC BROADCASTING: Nice day for you.
WHITFIELD: So Biden needed, you know, this big boost, not just after South Carolina but after Super Tuesday. And now Super Tuesday --
NIGUT: Super Tuesday --
WHITFIELD: -- part two.
NIGUT: Right, exactly. We got a mini Super Tuesday coming up.
WHITFIELD: Six states.
NIGUT: Yes. The one that I think everybody is going to focus on is Michigan. 125 delegates --
WHITFIELD: Why? Just because 125 delegates?
WHITFIELD: So something else that it's symbolizes.
NIGUT: It's a -- it's a working -- it's a state of many working people. It's important to put it in historical perspective. In 2016, Hillary Clinton was well on her way to winning the Democratic nomination and kind of knocking Bernie Sanders out of the race. She was way ahead in the polls in Michigan leading up to the primary there. He ended up shocking her. He beat her by a point and a half and it allowed him to stay in the race until the end.
And it suggested that his support among working people was powerful and meaningful. We're going to watch that matchup this time around.
WHITFIELD: So it'll be particularly contentious with Joe Biden, who historically has appealed to Blue Collar workers.
WHITFIELD: Bernie Sanders has been able to boast of doing the same, but this will be a real contest. Now, there's endorsement, you know, coming Biden's way from some, you know, fairly prominent Michigan people. Lieutenant governor sitting -- Lieutenant Governor and a Former Governor Jennifer Granholm.
NIGUT: And the -- and the governor, the Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
WHITFIELD: How meaningful, how important is that? Influential.
NIGUT: It's -- it -- I think it's important in this case because it contributes to this notion that Joe Biden's on a roll. And that's everything as you know in politics is, does it feel -- you've heard the expression now, Joementum. Does he -- does he feel like the candidate who's going to move forward here? So I think the endorsements are important. Amy Klobuchar has been in Michigan. I think she's there today actually.
NIGUT: Talking to women voters on his behalf. So things are moving in his direction. But Sanders has appeal in that stake.
WHITFIELD: Bernie Sanders has tried to be very critical of the former vice president as of late and then the Vice President's campus has said look, you know going negative is really not what we want to be a part of. But it's, you know, down to the wire.
WHITFIELD: Is it just inevitable that, you know, it'll get -- both candidates will get into the mud?
NIGUT: Here's -- Biden was quoted yesterday I think it was saying I'm going to get a lot of advice about how I should attack Bernie Sanders. That's not the way I want this race to go. It's one thing to think about how he behaves on the stump. It's another when you start seeing ads that his campaign will release being very critical of Bernie Sanders.
WHITFIELD: And what do you think we'll see in those ads from the Biden camp?
NIGUT: I -- it's -- I think that a lot of what they're going to have -- they're going to be careful. You know, the Republican attack on Bernie is all about he's a socialist, he's a communist. But the Biden people really can't afford to go in to closer in that direction because the Republicans and Donald Trump are going to label all Democrat socialists in the general election campaign.
WHITFIELD: Do you think in the Biden ads, you'll also see, you know, the most popular Democrat there is right now. You know, Barack Obama, just as you saw Barack Obama making his appearance is in a number of the other candidates' ads, even though the former president has not endorsed anybody.
NIGUT: Yes. The President has not indict -- you're right. There's a Bernie Sanders ad that came out right after Super Tuesday signaling sort of a change in his approach.
WHITFIELD: -- Mike Bloomberg.
NIGUT: And Joe Biden talks of course about the Obama-Biden agenda and White House all the time. So we'll see if Barack Obama is a presence in the edge.
WHITFIELD: Right. Vice President Joe Biden, you know, he will be taking on Bernie Sanders, nearly one on one, you know, on the debate stage. How much will that also be a measuring stick of success?
NIGUT: I think that's a really great question. Because here's the thing, even though Biden had a very -- I mean, historic success in Super Tuesday states, he's still Joe Biden. I mean, he still finds a way to lose focus during public appearances. He's still kind of meanders.
WHITFIELD: Some of the things that people used to find endearing and really liked about him. But then now you also hear a cacophony of, you know, folks who say, that part kind of makes them nervous.
NIGUT: Well, that's right. And I think Democrats are nervous about that aspect of him. So he's going to go up in a debate against Bernie Sanders one on one on March 15th. When Sanders is a -- is a fierce debater, he's a -- he can be an angry debater, and Biden's going to have to find a way to come back at him using his own tone but trying to be successful against him.
WHITFIELD: What about the Elizabeth Warren factor? You know, this week when she, you know, suspended her campaign, she also said, you know, I'm thinking things over in terms of answering the question, will you endorse anybody. And then just yesterday, she told the Boston Globe, you know, what, why do I have I really -- I'm paraphrasing. Why do I have to endorse anybody? You know, is everybody -- is every former presidential candidate asked of that?
And the answer is yes, they usually are. But what if she says, you know what, I'm refraining altogether. I'm not going to endorse anybody. Where will her supporters go?
NIGUT: I think they'll be split between Sanders and Biden because there will be things about each candidate that are appealing them. Look at this also, in historic light, in 2016, all of the women in the United States and the Democrats got together and they gave a big endorsement to Hillary Clinton. Elizabeth Warren was the only one who wasn't part of that, she didn't endorse Hillary Clinton until Clinton had secured the nomination. There's no reason -- there may be no advantage to her jumping into this thing now.
WHITFIELD: All right. Bill Nigut, always good to see you. Thank you so much.
NIGUT: Good to see you.
WHITFIELD: We're giving elbow shake. Cool. Thank you.
All right, straight ahead. We had a record of female candidates running for president this year, but now there's only one remaining. Our Americans ready for a female president.
WHITFIELD: We'll talk about it next.
WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back. Six women made history this year as they fought to become the nation's first female president. But the so-called Pink Wave has ended with one woman remaining Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is still in the race even though she has only two pledged delegates and has not qualified for the next debate On Thursday, when Senator Elizabeth Warren called it quits. She spoke candidly about sexism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Gender in this race, you know that is the trap question for everyone. If you say, yes, there was sexism in this race, everyone says whiner. And if you say, no, there was no sexism, about a bazillion women think, what planet do you live on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Here to talk more, Michelle Cottle, of "The New York Times" editorial board.
Michelle, good to see you.
Those are powerful words coming from Elizabeth Warren. You could hear the defeat in her voice as well.
So that she is out, five other women who were in, all together now that were in, are now out of the six in totality at the start. Does this say that America still is just not ready for a female president?
MICHELLE COTTLE, EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER, "NEW YORK TIMES": Not quite. I think America is ready. And you know, people point out all the time, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote last time around.
But it is still enough novelty that it requires special circumstances. Just like electing Barack Obama kind of cooked the perfect candidate, it will take a very special circumstance and the right candidate for women to clear the last hurdles of gender bias that absolutely still plague them. WHITFIELD: In your opinion piece in "New York Times," you write, "This
is one of the vexing realities that plague highly accomplished female candidates like Ms. Warren or Hillary Clinton, women whose resumes outstrip those of many of their male rivals. They have been told all their lives they have to outwork and outperform the men in order to be taken seriously, only to discover that it's not enough."
What is the message to little girls? You heard Senator Warren say she had a message for little girls, to continue to think big. But when you see defeats like this, spelled out in your opinion piece, very accomplished women, women with amazing credentials, and they still are not able to fully clench the victory.
COTTLE: Exactly. I've heard from readers that have daughters and they're very upset because what kind of message does this send to people's daughters.
I think you have to look at the bright side on some level, which is, when I was coming up, women didn't even think about running. And in 2016 you had the first nominee, but there still a lot of candidates that had run. This time we had more, they were taken seriously. It is kind of a baby steps situation.
That said, it is beyond time. It is frustrating. A lot of people don't recognize some of their own unconscious gender bias, if you talk about the number of people that would say that Elizabeth Warren is too strident, too inflexible, too this, too that.
My only response to that is, I'm sorry, Bernie Sanders? Do we have a candidate out there that's been more strident than shouty?
WHITFIELD: One word that was thrown out for Elizabeth Warren is crazy, she scares me.
COTTLE: She made a lot of people nervous because they said she was too extreme. Again, not compared to a lot of the other guys out there who are running.
Also, one thing this time around, people were extremely concerned about electability, and there was a lot of debate whether a woman candidate was risky. You can say oh, no, why would that matter.
But if you look at all of the research and look at a lot of polls, gender plays a big role how people view electability and they weren't willing to take a risk.
That goes for men and women. This is not just sexist men clinging to traditional values or their own prerogatives, women face the same anxiety about oh, is my neighbor ready to elect a woman, will this be too risky, that sort of thing.
WHITFIELD: In all due respect to Tulsi Gabbard, who is still in the race, if it is down to a two-man race between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, does their electability gain stock by selecting perhaps a woman to be a vice president, a running mate?
COTTLE: I think it is a disgrace if a woman doesn't wind up on the ticket. We're talking here about the Democratic Party. This is supposed to be the party of progress and the future and diversity. And there are a lot of strong women options out there that would be great balance on the ticket.
So I think that would be a good step forward. People talk about lack of a -- you need women Senators. A woman vice-presidential candidate would be a big step forward as well and would add a sense of enthusiasm.
Especially if Biden winds up the nominee, the wrap on him is he is not generating enough excitement, enthusiasm. Certainly having a younger, vibrant female vice-presidential candidate would help with that.
WHITFIELD: Perhaps enthusiasm and acknowledgment, right, acknowledgement --
WHITFIELD: -- especially since you had historically six women running.
COTTLE: It would help with a lot of frustration and disappointment.
All right, Michelle Cottle, we'll leave it there for now. Thank you so much.
WHITFIELD: Coming up, L.A. Lakers forward, Lebron James, says he won't play without fans in the stadium but that could be the reality for the NBA as fears over coronavirus continues to grow. The latest actions the league is taking to protect both the players and fans.
WHITFIELD: The NBA is now urging teams to prepare to play games without fans over the coronavirus. The league office sending a memo Friday night, advising teams to have contingency plans in place in case the virus continues to spread.
NBA star, Lebron James, said after a game last night, no fans -- I'm quoting now -- "I ain't playing."
The league is also encouraging teams to be prepared to implement temperature checks on players and staff.
The Golden State Warriors are set to play a game at their arena in California tonight, despite health officials in health officials recommending all nonessential large gatherings in the city be cancelled or postponed.
The Warriors releasing a statement saying, "The health and safety of our employees, fans, players and the community at large has been and always will be a priority for us. We have existing health and safety protocols in place that we will continue to prioritize."
The team says it is following CDC guidelines and asking anyone who is sick not to show up at the game.
The International Olympic Committee is not yet discussing the possibility of cancelling or postponing the 2020 summer games in Tokyo. This, as South Korea raises its travel alert level, and says Japan has shown weak response to the coronavirus outbreak.
CNN's Will Ripley has more on why experts are raising concerns.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Vomota (ph) has been a vocal critic of the Japanese government's decision to dramatically downsize its National Institute of Infectious Diseases, slashing its budget and personnel for more than a decade.
"This is a dangerous situation," Vomota (ph) says.
(on camera): A lot of people will look at the chart, think it makes absolutely no sense for the Japanese government to cut funding when you're going to have visitors and potentially diseases coming into the country in a matter of months.
(voice-over): "Scary. It is scary," she says. "These cuts created a critical situation."
RIPLEY: Those cuts, even as Japan spends tens of billions preparing to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Doctor Masahiro Kami says the games should be called off.
(on camera): Do you think is any chance we'll hold the Olympics in Japan?
DR. MASAHIRO KAMI, MEDICAL GOVERNMENT RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Should they be postponed next year, this is possible, because the coronavirus will become a pandemic in the world.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Tokyo 2020 organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they remain confident the games will go on in late July as planned. That's assuming the Olympic teams and spectators still want to go.
But they won't rule out postponing the Olympics if the outbreak intensifies, putting lives at risk.
Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.
WHITFIELD: So much more straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.
But first, in this week's "LIVING TO 100," Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains how decluttering your home can lead to a long, healthy life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Marie Kondo is this "New York Times" best-selling author. She wrote this book called "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up," asking people to hold items they are thinking of getting rid of and ask does this bring you joy, if it doesn't, get rid of it.
The method has become the KonMari method. It has become synonymous with decluttering.
I think one of the things that spoke to people is the idea that you get a sense of accomplishment when you actually tidy up, when you declutter. Even if you don't enjoy it at the time, the anticipation of accomplishment is worthwhile. It helps people improve their mood. So it's good for your psychological wellbeing in ways maybe you don't even recognize.
People talk about this concept of visual noise. You think about auditory noise and things that distract you. But how can you think about visual noise, things in your environment that the eye is distracted by even if you don't recognize it consciously. If you declutter, you get rid of visual noise.
I read the book, went through the method. I still remember I opened my drawer -- I had been wanting to clean the drawer out a long time. And I picked up objects. A lot of these objects didn't spark joy. What did spark joy was getting rid of them. I felt a lot better afterward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Welcome back. It's a 20-year-old case getting new examinations. Three deaths that prosecutors say led back to just one man, Robert Durst, an eccentric millionaire real estate tycoon.
He is now on trial for murdering his best friend, publicist, Susan Berman, in 2000. Investigators say Durst wanted to keep her quiet about the death of his wife, who disappeared two decades earlier.
They also say Durst's fears over being charged with murdering his wife led him to kill and dismember his neighbor in 2001. He was eventually acquitted of his neighbor's murder.
Some of the most damning evidence against Durst comes from Durst himself in the HBO documentary about the case, called "The Jinx," which aired in 2015. In it, Durst is caught speaking on a hot mic after being confronted by
the film makers with a letter Dust wrote to Berman, that he had nearly identical handwriting to an anonymous note sent to police, leading them to her body.
Here is what that jaw-dropping moment, when Durst mutters to himself, and appears to confess.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT DURST, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER: There it is. You're caught. What the hell did I do? I killed them all, of course.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Here to weigh in on the high- profile case, civil rights attorneys and law professors, Avery Friedman and Richard Herman, a criminal defense attorney and -- I said law professors plural. You're both that.
Anyway, good to see you.
RICHARD HERMAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Hey, Fred.
AVERY FRIEDMAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you, too, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Let's begin with one of the most-explosive pieces of evidence at this trial, that audio recording of Durst in that "Jinx" documentary, pretty damming evidence. But Durst's attorneys are going to argue that the tape was heavily edited and misleading.
Richard, how successful might that line of defense be?
HERMAN: That's the thing, Fred, you have a case and the government stands and they tell you what the road map is and what they're going to approve, and the defense stands up and says, guess what, there's a second side to this coin.
And they can play all they want in a documentary TV show, in which they have a muttering by Durst, and the defense will say, listen, he may have been medicated -- he certainly sounded like he was medicated. He says he was medicated at the time. The filmmakers are alleged to have manipulated the video and the audio.
So again, everything is subject to cross-examination, Fred, and the credibility is what the jury has to determine. They already have preconceived ideas about Durst because of how --
HERMAN: -- he is looked at in life. But he deserved a fair trial. And he has two of the most brilliant defense lawyers in the country representing him.
FRIEDMAN: He'll need them.
HERMAN: So he's going to get the best defense he can.
And this case is four to five months. It's a marathon. It's not a sprint. There will be highs and lows. But it is the credible evidence that counts, not anything in the media. And not --
FRIEDMAN: Credible is right.
WHITFIELD: So, Avery, even of that audio, right from "The Jinx?" Why not, I mean, or will just raw tapes be entered so people can tell for themselves, was it highly edited? You know, is there real, you know, credibility and credence to what we heard in the documentary?
FRIEDMAN: Well, I mean, whether it's going to be a raw tape or whether there's an edit, you're going to hear it. Even during cross- examination. They want to hear the raw tape, fine. He still says the same thing. It is untouchable in my judgment.
And you know what, couple it with other things. The jury is going to learn about that Texas dismemberment. He got mad at a neighbor, and he wasn't convicted of murder, he was acquitted.
FRIEDMAN: He was convicted of dismembering him, if you can imagine it.
And on top of that, there was a note that surfaced after the death of Susan Berman, from her step-son, the so-called cadaver note.
You know what, there's --
WHITFIELD: And that is potentially incriminating evidence.
FRIEDMAN: Oh, my goodness, of course, it is.
FRIEDMAN: In December of 2019, Fredricka --
FRIEDMAN: -- the lawyers for Durst admitted he wrote the note. So there's, frankly overwhelming evidence.
And granted, I don't agree that they he is entitled to a free trial - I mean, to a fair trial. Of course.
But the fact, the evidence, in this case, along with an admission by his best friend, that he, Durst, told him that he committed the murders, this is going be a very, very difficult one for the defense lawyers to succeed in. HERMAN: Fred --
WHITFIELD: Richard, what do you think? Especially about that letter.
HERMAN: Well, there's no physical or scientific evidence tying Durst into this murder, number one.
And number two, the testimony by the so-called witnesses, this is revisionist history, Fred. None of this testimony was provided to law enforcement contemporaneously with the death of Ms. Berman.
HERMAN: It is years later that the recollections come into play, maybe manipulated by media or whatever.
So again --
WHITFIELD: And you think that's problematic?
HERMAN: -- subject to cross-examination, Fred.
HERMAN: Don't take what you're hearing straight up by the government right now. This is a long process. It's going to be a marathon. And we'll be revisiting this case several times, I think.
WHITFIELD: Avery, last word?
FRIEDMAN: Very quickly, you got a malignant, unhinged guy. You've got a criminal history. You've got overwhelming evidence. I don't --
HERMAN: No criminal history.
FRIEDMAN: -- Fredricka. At the end of the day, you're looking for a conviction.
WHITFIELD: All right, Avery, Richard, we will leave it there for now.
Good to see you both.
HERMAN: Good to see you.
FRIEDMAN: Take care.
WHITFIELD: Thank you.
FRIEDMAN: All the best. Bye-bye.
WHITFIELD: Still ahead, we're waiting to get an update from the White House with the FDA on the latest efforts to battle the coronavirus. We'll talk about that next.
WHITFIELD: Hello, again, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.
Starting this hour with the furious fight to stop coronavirus. Moments from now, the FDA will hold a rare Saturday press conference at the White House, to go over efforts to contain this deadly virus.
At least 377 Americans have contracted coronavirus, with 21 new cases just reported in New York.