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CNN NEWSROOM

More Than 400 Cases Of Coronavirus, 19 Deaths Reported; Biden Says Campaign Raised $22 Million In Five Days; Mulvaney Out, Meadows In As Trump's Chief Of Staff; Bill & Hillary Clinton Open Up On Monica Lewinsky Affair; First Lady Defends Tweet On White House Tennis Pavilion Construction Amid Coronavirus Outbreak; Pence Press Conference On Coronavirus Response; Trump Said Warren Lost Because She's "Mean" But Compliments Warren On Taking Out Bloomberg; Pelosi Laments Being Most Powerful Woman In Politics. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired March 7, 2020 - 16:00   ET

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


[16:00:00]

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel this intense responsibility to help these animals and really this is what I was put on this earth to do. Yay!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You can nominate someone you think should be a CNN Hero at CNNheroes.com.

(MUSIC)

CABRERA: Hello. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. You're live in a CNN NEWSROOM.

And new tonight, health emergency officials here in the United States are facing a coronavirus death toll that is still climbing. It jumped again in just the past few hours and now, 19 people have died, most of them in Washington state.

And in a White House briefing just a short time ago, the Centers for Disease Control says not even 6,000 tests in this country have been completed. That's it. But CDC officials say private makers of the test kits are preparing to release thousands and thousands more in the coming week.

In the meantime, the governor of New York declared a state of emergency today after confirming 21 new cases of the virus. That brings New York's statewide toll to 76. Governor Andrew Cuomo warning businesses today against taking advantage of this crisis to make a quick buck.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We have reports of stores selling hand sanitizer for $80 a bottle. It is not worth it to the store owner. You can lose your license. And we are very serious about this. For the few dollars that you're going to make during this situation, it's not worth your while. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Nationally, the U.S. now has 400-plus confirmed cases and counting. As we also learn of some high profile cancellations, the wildly popular music and film festival South by Southwest won't go on after officials in Austin, Texas, declared a local state of disaster, and now, the NBA is asking teams to begin making contingency plans if they have to play games without any fans present, something superstar LeBron James he wouldn't be willing to do.

Add to that, the billions of dollars cruise ships and airlines are now facing losing with many people too afraid to travel. And look at this -- a tiny moment of exhilaration in the middle of this crisis. This is in China, a rescuer there bringing a tiny infant to safety after a hotel being used as a coronavirus quarantine shelter suddenly collapsed.

Back in this country, Vice President Mike Pence met with officials today from the cruise line industry in Florida. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me say again, while the risk to the average American of contracting this coronavirus remains low, it is -- it is essential that we find ways to mitigate that risk, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen is with us.

So, Elizabeth, the vice president just said the risk to, quote, the average American, is low. Explain what he means by that term and is he right?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Ana, I think what he means is, if you look at the United States as a whole, not King County, Washington, not parts of California, on the whole, any one of us has a low risk of encountering coronavirus.

But here's the issue. If someone is older, if someone who has an underlying, severe medical condition, like a lung condition or a heart condition, does get coronavirus, they could be in trouble. The death rates for people in those categories are much higher than for young, healthy people.

And that is why the CDC did something really, I think, that's unprecedented. On Thursday, they very quietly, but they put on their website that people in those categories, again, older people, they didn't give an age, but older people and people with underlying severe conditions, should stay home also much as possible.

That, I think, represents a real turning point in this outbreak, to give out that kind of advice.

CABRERA: Do you have the sense, Elizabeth, that the testing is now on track?

COHEN: Well, on track, maybe a little bit strong, but certainly, more tests are coming out all the time. At a briefing just hours ago, federal officials saying by Monday, the CDC will have sent out 850,000 -- enough tests to test 850,000 people to public health labs, state, county, city labs, all over the United States.

But it was interesting, Ana, because a reporter asked, so, does that mean right now, if my doctor wants me to be tested, can I get tested? And a federal official answered, there's no reason why you wouldn't be able to get tested. But doctors and hospital officials telling CNN, you know what, it is difficult sometimes to order these tests, it is time consuming, the results sometimes can take days to get back to us.

That is not good when you're treating an older person who is very ill with pneumonia.

[16:05:02]

CABRERA: And stand by, Elizabeth, CNN's Kristen Holmes is in West Palm Beach with the president.

Kristen, the White House has been facing criticism over some mixed messaging about the availability for testing for this virus. What more can you tell us?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, it's not just the testing. I mean, if you look at how this has unfolded overall, we've seen President Trump really having conflicting messaging with his top health officials over and over. First, vaccines, the timing of that, and then, of course, with this testing.

Now, just yesterday, President Trump went to the CDC, he talked to these health officials and we asked him what the latest was on the testing. Take a listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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)

HOLMES: OK, so, there's still a lot of confusion about this one. Of course, you heard what Elizabeth just said about the access to the tests and how limited they are.

But also, when that reporter asked, the head of the HHS, Secretary Azar, said, well, of course, you have to go through a doctor. So, you have to get a doctor to write a note to take that test. He said, that's how it works with any of this stuff. But that's not what the president was saying.

And when you look at what the president was saying, it conflicts with what the vice president said just the day before. He had said that there just wasn't going to be enough tests, that they didn't believe they were going to be able to meet the demand.

And so, this number, this constant backtracking, saying, it's going to be a million, it's going to be 400,000, saying private labs can do it, but then we learned from private labs they haven't developed a test, this has caused an enormous amount of frustration for people inside the administration and for everyday Americans who are just trying to figure out what exactly they are supposed to be doing.

CABRERA: All right. Kristen Holmes, in a windy West Palm Beach, thank you.

Elizabeth Cohen in Atlanta for us, thank you.

In the meantime, all eyes are on a cruise ship located off the coast of San Francisco. The Grand Princess, and dramatic video captured the National Guard air-dropping testing kits to that ship. We now know 21 people onboard have tested positive for coronavirus, raising the questions about what that means for the other 3,500 people onboard.

Well, the president didn't mince words about what he'd like to see happen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If it were up to me, I'd be inclined to say, leave everybody on the ship for a period of time and you use the ship as your base, but a lot of people would rather do it a different way, they'd rather quarantine people on the land. Now, when they do that, our numbers are going to go up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: CNN's Lucy Kafanov is in San Francisco.

Lucy, what more can you tell us about what's going on with that ship?

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, the passengers are still waiting for new announcements. I was texting with one woman just before we went on air, she said, nothing from the captain yet. They've been all over the place. It looks like the ship is kind of moving around in circles.

She sent us photos of her lunch, chicken cacciatore and strawberry shortcake. She said the food is delicious. I asked her how she's spending her time. She said she's been watching "Avengers" movies and they dropped off activity kits for passengers. She said she got a Sudoku games.

Now, on a more serious note, the captain had been keeping folks briefed. Earlier this morning, he mentioned a passenger who was taken off the ship because of a medical emergency, not related to the coronavirus, but he also tried to keep the passengers spirits up.

Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHIP CAPTAIN, GRAND PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP: 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 advance notice of this announcement by the U.S. federal government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAFANOV: The captain there also taken off-guard, also not knowing what happens next. Vice President Mike Pence said the ship will be taken to a noncommercial port. We know that everyone onboard will get tested, so the number of coronavirus cases could rise.

The 1,100 or so crew members, they will not be allowed to disembark. They will be under a mandatory quarantine on that ship. The rest of the people will get taken to military bases and potentially quarantined as needed -- Ana.

CABRERA: OK, Lucy, thank you. Keep us posted on that situation.

Meantime, let's turn some breaking news out of China right now, where a hotel that was being used as a coronavirus quarantine center has collapsed. And now, 43 of the 70 people trapped have been rescued from the debris and look at this image. This is an infant pulled from that rubble and this happened about 600 miles away from the epicenter in China, Wuhan. Of course, that's where the coronavirus outbreak began.

Heavy search and rescue operations are still under way. Twenty-seven people remain unaccounted for.

Let's get right to CNN's Steven Jiang, he's following this for us in Beijing.

Stephen, any word on what might have caused that collapse?

[16:10:03]

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU SENIOR PRODUCER: Not yet, Ana, but some local media reports have reported that this hotel building had experienced structural problems since its opening back in 2013. Now, it was converted into this hotel space about three years ago and some local media reports citing insiders, of construction company related to this project, saying they were not surprised by this collapse.

But still as you mentioned, right now, the focus is on this ongoing search and rescue operation at the scene, with more than 700 firefighters, along with other emergency responders still trying fanatically to pull more lives from this collapsed building in this city in southeastern China.

Now, many of these rescuers and firefighters, of course, are in protective gear, as well, masks, goggles and protective suit because of the nature of this hotel being used as a quarantine facility. Now, so far, as we mentioned, they pulled some 43 people out of the debris, the rubble. They are trying to save more lives, but as the hours go by, of course, people are getting more nervous in terms of whether or not they are able to save more lives and to find more survivors under this collapsed hotel -- Ana.

CABRERA: OK, Steven, thank you for giving us that update.

Coming up, Michigan or bust. Why all eyes are on that state as the Biden/Sanders showdown gets set for another Super Tuesday.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:15:33]

CABRERA: Following 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 buy ahead of next week's contests.

Meanwhile, Senator Bernie Sanders canceled a planned rally in Mississippi last night to focus on the Midwest, in particular, the state of Michigan, where he held a rally this morning.

Now, in 2016, the state gave him a narrow win over Hillary Clinton and this afternoon, he headed to Chicago, where a huge crowd showed up for him, and that's where you can see him now.

Joining us to discuss, former spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, Karen Finney. Alexandra Rojas, executive director for Justice Democrats, a progressive political action committee. April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks. And Bill Kristol, the director of Defending Democracy and editor at large for "The Bulwark".

So, Karen, Sanders won Michigan in 2016, but it's looking very tight there. If he can't win it this time, is that an ominous sign?

KAREN FINNEY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think it depends. What's going to matter most, or what I'm really looking for is to see what the results look like coming out of Michigan in terms of not just the numbers, but where, where does -- where does Senator Sanders take votes, where does Joe Biden take votes. It's one of the most interesting things we saw out of last Tuesday, from our own CNN analysis, was there were places in the Midwest of the country where Senator Sanders' support decreased, Joe Biden won.

It wasn't just suburban voters. It was also, you know, others white non-college educated voters. So, curious to see that. Obviously, Joe Biden goes in -- trade is a big issue, but so is the fact that the Obama administration saved the auto industry. So, how much will those issues play out?

CABRERA: That's right.

Alexandra, Joe Biden has seen huge momentum since Jim Clyburn's endorsement in South Carolina. Elizabeth Warren hasn't endorsed either candidate yet. Could her endorsement carry that kind of weight?

ALEXANDRA ROJAS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JUSTICE DEMOCRATS: Look, I think that there's definitely been a lot of momentum behind Joe Biden's campaign. Party leaders really revived what two weeks ago we were saying, his campaign was basically moot, running a lackluster campaign and continues to kind of have gas and having trouble, I think, going on shows like this.

But I think Elizabeth Warren is going to take her time. She's an extremely logical person. As a young person, as a Latina, I think that, you know, it would be in line with the policies that she has fought for her entire career to align with someone like Bernie Sanders, especially when, you know, our future is on the line, having a vision forward for not just bog to the past before Obama, but talking about not only how we're going to defeat Donald Trump, but actually get to the root causes of a lot of the existential crisis that are facing our nation.

So, again, as a young person, as a Latina, I hope that she chooses the candidate that has the vision of the future, and not one of the past, which I think is a lot of what Joe Biden represents.

CABRERA: April, there's an interesting op-ed in "The Washington Post" saying Biden could seize momentum and he should announce his running mate as soon as possible. What do you think of that idea?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Wow. Well, let me say this. That is a great idea, because one, the Democratic Party right now, particularly those in leadership at the DNC, are looking for a diverse ticket.

Now, what does that look like? Not just diverse meaning gender diverse, but maybe even racially. So, there are candidates right now, well, not candidates, but there are people who are vying for that number two spot. People that are pushing, like Senator Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, as well as Val Demings.

You have a lot of other people who want that position, but right now, with diversity, racial diversity at stake and the black community realizes the weight that they carry in this party, if Joe Biden did look that way, he's got three top women to pick from and it would -- it would give him more momentum than he had from the past Super Tuesday.

CABRERA: What do you think about that, Bill? Because I know, as somebody yourself who is a never Trumper and would be considering, I guess, a disaffected Republican going into this election, does the VP pick have the potential to impact whether the Democratic ticket can pull over other disaffected Republicans?

[16:20:11]

BILL KRISTOL, DIRECTOR, DEFENDING DEMOCRACY: I think the VP pick will be interesting and important, especially for a 77-year-old man, obviously, that would be the case for either Sanders or Biden. But I think it's better to wait and see the situation is as you get closer to the convention.

But you mentioned that I'm a disaffected Republicans, there are quite, there are some of them Republicans. Most Republicans are with Trump.

But it's interesting. Last time in Michigan, 2016, Sanders won by a little less than two percentage points, 52 to 38, 1.2 million people voted in the Democratic primary, 1.1 million people voted in the Republican Party that day which was quite heavily contested. Trump won it.

Let's say five percent of the Republicans are anti-Trump voters, would vote for a Democrat, but almost would prefer Biden to Sanders, that's 50,000 people. It's percent of the Republicans, if it's 10 percent, it's 100,000.

That -- if they come over and vote for Joe Biden, it's an open primary in Michigan. And they're doing it sincerely, they're not messing up the other party, they really want Joe Biden to be the nominee so they can vote for a Democrat they agree with more than Bernie Sanders, that could help make a difference.

In Virginia, northern Virginia, where I live, the number, the turnout was huge in northern Virginia and just if you look at the numbers, it can't just have been Democrats, there were plenty of, let's say, Kasich, Romney, McCain type Republicans voting for Biden.

So, in a close race, and it was very close, as you said, Ana, last time, you know, that could give Biden an extra 2 percent, 3 percent, 5 percent points.

CABRERA: Karen, amid this heated battle, you have former National Security Council official, Fiona Hill, speaking out, and she said Russian President Vladimir Putin has the U.S. exactly where he wants it. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FIONA HILL, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL OFFICIAL: The Russians didn't invent parties on divides. The Russians didn't invent racism in the United States. But the Russians understand a lot of those divisions and they understand how to exploit them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Karen, what divisions do you think the Russians are looking to exploit this time around?

FINNEY: Well, no question, as they did in 2016, targeting African- American voters, targeting Latino voters, I would expect this time. The divides between, you know, around sexism and men and women, no question.

And we've heard that before from our national security experts that what the Russians are very good at, they actually even did it during the '60s during the civil rights movement. They understand how to exploit our fractures. I suspect they will also, frankly, look to exploit any opportunity for

misinformation. I mean, there are fears going on right now around coronavirus. I mean, there are any number of issues where any time there's a divide or misinformation or, you know, just exploiting people's fears -- and, look, the Trump team knows how to do it well, as well, and the Russians clearly know how to piggy back on that.

And, look, I think it's a travesty that we are in this situation and our government is not doing a thing about it. Not, you know, not Mitch McConnell in the Senate, not Donald Trump in the White House, the Democrats in the House have been trying, but again, we need some leadership from the president, and it's not going to happen.

CABRERA: Let's go back to the divide, just among the Democrats right now. Hillary Clinton sat down with our Fareed Zakaria. His full interview airs tomorrow.

I just want to play a clip from that interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: If Bernie Sanders is the Democratic nominee, will you campaign for him?

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I will support the nominee of the Democratic Party.

ZAKARIA: But will you campaign for him?

CLINTON: I don't know if he would ask me to campaign for him, Fareed, because I have no idea what he is thinking about for a general election campaign. As I've said many times, I do not think he's our strongest nominee against Donald Trump.

ZAKARIA: Is that an endorsement of Joe Biden?

CLINTON: I'm not endorsing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Alexandra, do you think Senator Sanders would ask Hillary Clinton to campaign for him?

ROJAS: Look, I think the question right now is, are we going to be able to defeat Donald Trump? And quite frankly, I think we need to get away from talking about 2016 and start talking about how we're going to defeat him right now. And I think --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: I'm not talking about 2016, I'm talking about this year and the campaign, though.

ROJAS: Yes, I mean, I think that anyone that wants to campaign and defeat Donald Trump should -- I can't speak for the Bernie Sanders campaign, but I think that everybody right now, whether you're Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, wants to be able to make the best case to defeat Donald Trump and have a united Democratic Party to do that.

But we have to get through the primary first. And, so, to be able to present the strongest possible contrast to someone like Donald Trump is going to require when, you know, the Republicans are fighting to take away all of our health care, we need to, as Democrats, we need to be for universal health care coverage and not repeat the same mistakes that we made in 2016 that ultimately led to Donald Trump, you know -- having four years of Donald Trump in the first place.

So, I would caution as Democratic voters in looking at the electability argument, who is going to have that strongest contrast and I think that most folks will find that someone like Bernie Sanders will.

[16:25:03]

CABRERA: A lot of people were surprised to see Bernie Sanders release an ad, really embracing President Obama.

April, for someone who has been very critical of President Obama in the past, for him to be putting out this kind of an ad, what does that tell you about the state of his campaign?

RYAN: By any means necessary, pointing a phrase from Malcolm X.

President Obama, no matter what this president says about him, is still considered the most popular, one of the most successful modern- day presidents. And to stand next to this iconic president is good, particularly when you are not considered a traditional Democrat because of your ideologies and your affiliations years ago.

So, -- and that's one of the reasons why President Obama said cease and desist using my image, because you are putting out a false narrative. So, President Obama, at the end of the day, when there is a nominee, will stand by the nominee, but he wants a clear playing field, and the person who actually did stand beside him was Joe Biden. And basically, it's haterade for Bernie Sanders against Joe Biden, because everyone's somewhat jealous of Joe Biden, being able to stand next to President Obama for eight years and they didn't stand with him like that.

So, they are trying to get in on that picture, as well.

CABRERA: Right, we had Michael Bloomberg putting out ads. We had Bernie Sanders.

Bill, you were vocal in saying Obama should have been campaigning for Joe Biden before South Carolina. Does Biden still need him at this point?

KRISTOL: I'm not sure I was that vocal, but it turned out, you know who the most important person in this race who is not a candidate, the most important single figure over the last two months? It's been Jim Clyburn.

So, Jim Clyburn did what Barack Obama might have done, honestly, but since he is actually from South Carolina, it probably had even more impact. I think Biden is helped hugely by a support from African- Americans at the grassroots, elected officials and maybe he doesn't need President Obama if he's got congressmen from various states and others, mayors, supporting him.

I think that's a key part of his coalition. He has an unusual -- maybe it's not unusual, coalition of African-Americans, basically, and suburbanites who have put off by Sanders's radicalism and a little bit of an ability to reach into the working class, to white working class, white non-college educated more. It seems that Hillary Clinton had in 2016.

That is the winning Democratic coalition for the general election. Strong African-American turnout, not letting Trump dominate the white working class too much and big college educated suburban turnout, especially among women. And so far, you've got to say, Biden looks like he can do it in the primaries, and I think that's a pretty good sign for Biden in the general election.

HERERA: Everybody, stand by, please.

Coming up, Bill and Hillary Clinton like you never heard them before. Both of them opening up about the Lewinsky affair.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: She said, well, you have to go tell your daughter. She said, that's worse than me. And so, I did that, which was awful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:32:32]

CABRERA: And we're back with the lightning round for some of the other big political headlines in the news today.

So, everyone, 30 seconds or less, please.

April, I'll start with you.

President Trump has a brand-new chief of staff. Mick Mulvaney is out. Conservative Congressman Mark Meadows is in. Will that have a big impact on the day-to-day at the White House?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, because right now, President Trump likes Mark Meadows. He has not liked Mick Mulvaney for a long time. And the public evidence of after this was when President Trump spoke about the impeachment and was thanking everyone and Mick Mulvaney's name was not mentioned.

CABRERA: Bill, RNC, Reince Priebus, retired general, John Kelly, OMB director, Mick Mulvaney, when you look at all the people who have previously held this job, is Meadows better suited? KRISTOL: No, I mean, I think Kelly, to some degree, tried to check the

president and he was part of a group with Jim Mattis and others who tried to do so. The guardrails are gone. No one is trying to check hem. They're indulging him.

And that is why, I think, we have a very rough six or eight months ahead and if he were elected, very rough second term.

CABRERA: Karen, I have to ask you about the unbelievably candid interview Bill and Hillary Clinton gave to Hulu regarding the Monica Lewinsky affair. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I told her exactly what happened, when it happened. I said, I feel terrible about it. I said, you know, we've been through quite a bit in the last few years. I have no defense. this is inexcusable, what I did.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D), FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE & FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Karen, what do you think of them being so honest, so raw, about one of the worst times in their marriage?

FINNEY: Well, you know, Ana, I actually lived through that period, and it was devastating and heartbreaking. And I appreciate how raw and honest they were.

And I thought one of the things that Hillary also talked about that really is heartbreaking, when you look at it, when they went to Martha's Vineyard that summer and Chelsea took both of their hands and she says, in the interview, you know, she was really trying to hold us together. And that's really true.

You know, people have criticized Hillary. I have always thought that it took a tremendous amount of courage knowing that, no matter what you did, the world was watching and going to criticize you for it.

[16:35:10]

And she had more on her plate to make the decision than just her marriage, which, obviously, was core to her. It's her family, it's the country, I mean, there was a lot at stake.

And I applaud President Clinton for being so open and honest. I appreciate that he said, look, there's just not a good answer.

CABRERA: Yes.

FINNEY: Because there wasn't and you can't rationalize it away.

And those of us who have supported them really had to make peace with all of that.

CABRERA: Alexandra, in the meantime, first lady, Melania Trump, is defending a tweet she sent out about construction on the White House tennis pavilion, which some have criticized as tone deaf amid the coronavirus outbreak.

She tweeted, "I encourage everyone who chooses to be negative and question my work at the White House to take time and contribute something good and productive in their own communities."

What do you think of that response?

ROJAS: I mean, I think it is tone deaf right now, when we're on the verge of a pandemic. And I think what this is showing with the coronavirus is all of the gaps that America currently has right now within our health care system, within our economic system.

You have people -- you know, this is not a country that has paid sick leave for people that are infected. And I think that, you know, the fact that we have limited testing right now is really scary for a lot of people that are looking for answers.

And we're just really not prepared to meet this moment, even despite being one of the richest nations on earth.

So, I think that it is incredibly tone deaf. And it falls in line with what this administration has continued to do, which is try and sweep things like this under the rug, to talk about how great they are.

And right now, it's not -- you know, they're not responding to this crisis adequately and should be really focused on that.

CABRERA: Alexandra Rojas, Karen Finney, April Ryan, Bill Kristol, thank you.

Now, as we go to break, a quick programming note. Catch a brand-new episode of "THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE," the epic four-way race of 1912. That's tomorrow at 9:00, right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:41:06]

CABRERA: Welcome back. We want to take you to a press conference happening right now with the vice president in Florida, updating all of us on the coronavirus.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: -- working with the industry as they develop a plan to move any patients that contract the coronavirus or otherwise become seriously ill to land-based facilities.

Again, let me say, this will be an industry-led effort. But over the next 72 hours, I have instructed Department of Homeland Security, Coast Guard and CDC to work closely with industry leaders to fashion this industry-led plan. And we anticipate early next week that the cruise line industry and

our administration will be able to announce a significant -- significant progress in ensuring that we're doing all that we can to protect the health and well-being of the passengers of our cruise lines, the cruise, and just as importantly, the communities to which they return in our nation, as a whole.

The president wanted us to engage the industry once again, because the American people value our cruise line industry. It brings great joy. It's a great entertainment value for Americans.

And we want to ensure that the American people can continue, as we deal with the coronavirus, to enjoy the opportunities in the cruise line industry and be confident that the industry and our government at every level are working in concert to ensure their health and well- being.

As the president has said often, we're all in this together.

And on behalf of President Trump, I want to express my appreciation to the leadership of the cruise line industry for the progress that we made today. We look forward to reaching an agreement on substantive changes.

But I can assure you, whether it be the cruise line industry or any other aspect of the coronavirus response, under this president, with our state partners, with our partners at the federal level, with health care officials, we're going to continue to put the health of America first.

Adam?

CABRERA: That was the vice president following a meeting with the cruise line industry. You can see in the room, as well, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida also Senator Rick Scott. We understand Marco Rubio is also in that room.

We heard, as we were bumping in there, the vice president addressing plans that are in the works to get the cruise ship, I believe the one in California he's referencing that's off the coast of San Francisco, to a port and able to disembark. We know that particular cruise ship has at least 21 people onboard who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

And, of course, the cruise ship industry at large has taken a pretty big hit. All the travel industry has taken a big hit following this outbreak. And as we are in the midst of this outbreak. So, he talked about coming together, working together across industries to handle this situation with the health and safety of the American people at top of mind.

We'll, of course, keep you updated on anymore news we learn this weekend, especially right here in the CNN NEWSROOM as we continue this afternoon.

[16:44:15] We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think lack of talent was her problem. She had a tremendous lack of talent. She was a good debater. She destroyed Mike Bloomberg very quickly. Like it was nothing. It was easy for her.

But people don't like her. She's a very mean person and people don't like her. People don't want that. They like a person like me, that's not mean.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: That was President Trump offering his take on whether sexism played a role in Elizabeth Warren's recent departure from the 2020 race. Warren supporters will surely have a thing or two to say about his definition of "mean."

But let's focus on the one compliment that he threw in there, that she took out Michael Bloomberg's much-feared half-billion-dollar campaign. Yet it didn't convince enough voters that she could take on Trump.

Why? Did gender have something to do with it?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): You know, that is the trap question for every woman. If you say, yes, there was sexism in this race, everyone say 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)

CABRERA: After the Warren announcement, the "New York Times" asked this: Was it always going to be the last men standing? And from "The Atlantic," America punished Elizabeth Warren from her competence.

[16:50:07]

The comedians on late night offered a similar take.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT": The one- time frontrunner Warren made the classic campaign mistake of being able to finish a coherent sentence.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED LATE-NIGHT HOST: Warren was incredibly competent, pragmatic, intelligent and well-spoken. In other words, she never had a chance.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Joining us now, S.E. Cupp, the host of "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED," at top of the hour at 6:00.

S.E., regardless about how you feel about Warren policies, her exit from the race all but confirms that it will not -- we will not have a woman elected president in 2020. How big of a role do you think gender played here and the battle against stereotypes?

S.E. CUPP, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I think -- you have to be careful when you're looking at this. Warren's right, there's no -- there's no complete way to answer that question, because you have to be real specific.

Where do you think sexism is coming from? Is it institutional in the way the parties are set up and the primaries are set up? Is it from the media? Did the media treat women differently than they treated the men candidates? Are you talking about voters? Are you talking about sexism among Democratic primary voters?

Polls indicate that's not the case. A vast majority of Americans are comfortable with a woman president.

But it's hard to deny that there's sexism in politics. Every woman who has run for anything has faced it.

I think the measure is, did we hold Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris or Amy Klobuchar to a higher or different standard than we held her male counterparts. I'm not sure that we did.

I don't think we asked more of Warren than we did of Biden. We praised her for her specificity and her plans. And we rightly asked Bernie Sanders for more information, more on your medical records, more on the cost of your health care plan.

So, unless we can talk about and point to an area where she was held to a different standard, I'm just not sure I saw the evidence specifically of sexism in her exit.

CABRERA: Well, let me ask you, though, about the reaction to that debate in Nevada and how she sort of picked apart Michael Bloomberg. Why wasn't the reaction, you know, wow, look what she did to Bloomberg, wait until we see what she does to Trump. Why wasn't it that, versus, wow, look what she did to Bloomberg, that's going to really help Joe Biden.

CUPP: Yes, I can't answer that. I mean, there was some satisfaction in watching her to do that to Bloomberg, because I think a lot of people thought he parachuted in and tried to buy this race. And I think they were really offended by that. I heard that a lot from Democrats.

So, I think there was sort of a separate, you know, excitement and enthusiasm over watching Warren dismantle Bloomberg that didn't, you know, necessarily mean she was going to pick up, you know, the prize for that, that she was going to get the votes or the donations that you want to follow a great moment like that.

Reminder, Kamala Harris didn't benefit from that big Joe Biden moment she had, either.

CABRERA: She did in the polls, at least initially, but --

(CROSSTALK)

CUPP: Yes, but it didn't -- it didn't --

(CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: It didn't stick.

CUPP; It didn't lift her enough. Those debate moments might not be as motivating as we tend to view them as in the moment.

CABRERA: I want you to listen to what Nancy Pelosi said about Elizabeth Warren's exit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Every time I get introduced as the most- powerful woman in the world, I almost cry, because I think, I wish that were not true. I so wish that we had a woman president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do think Democratic voters were afraid that a woman candidate would lose to President Trump.

PELOSI: No. No, I don't think so. I don't think so. I think anybody can beat President Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: She dismissed the idea there that voters specifically wanted a man to take on Trump.

CUPP: Yes.

CABRERA: Do you agree with her?

CUPP: Well, I think some people probably do. Again, is that sexist? Maybe, a little.

I think some probably thought, well, I don't want -- I've seen what Donald Trump does to women and I don't want Donald Trump to do that to Elizabeth Warren or my favorite female candidate.

But I think largely Pelosi's right. I don't think that was the fear.

Frankly, I think Elizabeth Warren came off as a lecturing, sometimes condescending professor, and I don't know that that's what voters are looking for.

And I would say the same about Bernie Sanders' demeanor, as well. He's always angry and yelling at me.

I don't know if that's what voters are into. And I think that was actually more of a factor for Warren than some of these other things.

CABRERA: Klobuchar, Harris, obviously, there are other women in this race.

CUPP: Yes.

CABRERA: And none of them had the staying power that Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders had --

CUPP: That's true.

CABRERA: -- at least to this point.

Thank you, S.E.

CUPP: We'll have to wait at least another four years.

CABRERA: We'll see.

CUPP: Yes.

CABRERA: Good to have you here. S.E.

CUPP: Thanks.

[16:55:00]

CABRERA: And be sure to catch S.E. and her show, "S.E. CUPP UNFILTERED." Again, that airs tonight at 6:00, right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Thanks for staying with me. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera, in New York.

Top U.S. officials from the FDA to the White House providing updates today on the spread of and battle against the deadly coronavirus.

[17:00:02]

Massachusetts now adding to the latest number of people confirmed to have the virus. And 13 now in that state. That's up from eight just this morning.