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At Least 21 Aboard Grand Princess Test Positive For Coronavirus; Vice President Pence Announces It Will Be Weeks Before Coronavirus Tests Will Be Broadly Available To The Public; President Trump Signs $8.3 Billion Coronavirus Spending Bill; Representative Mark Meadows Named White House Chief Of Staff; Joe Biden And Bernie Sanders Brace For One-On-One Battle For Democratic Nomination; London Police Seek Four Men After Racist Coronavirus Attack On East Asian Student; More Than 100,000 Now Infected With Coronavirus Worldwide; Murder Trial Underway For Real Estate Heir Robert Durst; R. Kelly's Prosecutors Delay Sex Abuse Trial In Chicago. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired March 7, 2020 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A race to trace coronavirus infections. More than 3,500 passengers and crew stranded on board the Grand Princess cruise ship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The risk of getting infected as taking the nation as a whole is low, but that could change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is like a flu on steroids.

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.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Anybody that needs a test, it's a test we -- they're there. They have the tests and the tests are beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For 2020 Democrats, it's now effectively a two- man race.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This campaign is not just a critical campaign. It is a movement of millions of people.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The press and the pundits had declared the campaign dead and we were, well, when you got to Super Tuesday it'd would be over. Well, it may be over for the other guy.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, good morning to you on this Saturday morning. I'm going to say IN honor of International Women's Day, welcome. AMARA WALKER, CNN HOST: Yes (ph). So good to be with you. I'm Amara Walker in for Victor Blackwell.

PAUL: Yes. So we are going to begin this morning with the push to contain the coronavirus here in the U.S.. There is growing concern about the passengers and the crew of this cruise ship that's in limbo off the coast of California.

WALKER: At least 21 of the 46 people tested aboard the Grand Princess have tested positive for coronavirus. A passenger tells CNN a helicopter dropping off supplies airlifted one passenger back to San Francisco for medical attention. CNN has reached out to the cruise ship's parent company for details.

PAUL: Across the U.S., there are now at least 333 cases of COVID-19. You can see the states there including Utah, Connecticut, Hawaii all seeing their first cases this morning. There's a total of 17 people who've died, the majority of them in Washington State.

WALKER: Concerns about the virus are leading to high-profile events being canceled including the popular South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas.

PAUL: And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is putting an emphasis on the danger to the elderly and people with severe chronic medical conditions, urging you, if you are one of those, to stay home as much as you possibly can.

WALKER: Meanwhile, passengers on that cruise ship are waiting to see what's next for them. They are upset that they learned about the test results for their ship from TV coverage.

PAUL: CNN's Lucy Kafanov is in San Francisco with this story.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is so much shock, so much confusion on board the Grand Princess cruise ship, the passengers there hoping that Friday's announcement would mean the end of their ordeal. Instead it looks like it might be the start of a new one. The big question on everyone's mind now, what will be the fate of the 35 or so hundred people on board?

Now, the vice president, Mike Pence, he says that the ship will be taken to a non-commercial port. It's not clear where, it's not clear when or what exactly a non-commercial port is. We know that the 1,100 or so crew members will not be allowed to disembark. The rest of the passengers, they will be tested for symptoms, they will be taken to military bases and quarantined as needed.

Again, it sounds like the administration is still working out the details of this plan. We do not know where these passengers will be taken. They themselves had had very little information, in fact finding out about the news of these test results, 46 people swabbed 21 positive results, one test result inconclusive, they found out about this like the rest of us, by watching the news. Take a look at this one clip that a passenger sent us.


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: Now, I am in touch with several passengers. They say they are confined to their rooms. They've been watching the news, they've been watching TV, they've even been given activity kits, including one woman sent us a photo of a tote bag that she's been given that she could bedazzle to pass the time. Another woman was spoke to, she posted a message on Facebook earlier joking, "Put us all in Trump properties since the president doesn't believe there's any serious danger." A bit of levity, perhaps, amid a lot of confusion. Lucy, CNN, San Francisco.

Kafanov: Lucy, thank you. Now, today, Vice President Mike Pence is meeting with cruise line executives in Florida to talk about this outbreak, but amid all the concern about the spread of coronavirus, there are mixed messages on how many tests are available right now and when they'll be available to anyone who feels the need to, you know, get checked.

WALKER: CNN White House Reporter, Sarah Westwood is in West Palm Beach, Florida and, Sarah, I mean, yes, there is some confusion about the status of these tests after what the president said at the CDC yesterday saying, look, you know, if you want a test, you can get a test.


And the vice president saying, well, actually I think there might be a shortage when it comes to demand. What do you know?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, that's right. Good morning, Amara and Christi. And yes,we have seen something of mixed messaging from this White House when it comes to the availability of the test for the coronavirus.

And that's sort of reflective of the broader disconnect in tone that we've seen between President Trump and Vice President Pence and other senior members of this administration with Trump striking sort of a rosier, more optimistic tone about the spread of coronavirus and his thoughts that perhaps it could go away in the months ahead and other officials like Vice President Mike Pence setting a bit of more realistic expectations when they speak in public about the virus. But take a listen to what President Trump said yesterday during his visit to the CDC in Atlanta about people getting tested.


TRUMP: I think, importantly, anybody right now and yesterday, anybody that needs a test, gets a test. They're there. They have the tests and the tests are beautiful. Anybody that needs a test, gets a test. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WESTWOOD: Now, that's obviously a lot different from what Vice President Mike Pence, who is coordinating the administration's coronavirus response, said. Pence suggested that perhaps there could be a shortage of tests because at the moment, the administration is not prepared for what they anticipate could be future demand. Take a listen to that.


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


WESTWOOD: Now, the White House had said they hope to have 1 million tests available by the end of this week. Spokesman for Vice President Mike Pence's office told CNN that they were on track to hit that number at the week's end.

WALKER: And Sarah, President Trump, it's pretty clear that he's concerned about how the impact of the coronavirus could hurt him or impact him politically. What has been the White House's economic response and how are they trying to stem the losses from this outbreak?

WESTWOOD: Well, it's certainly something that this administration is trying to do. They are having conversations with executives of affected industries, as you mentioned, Vice President Mike Pence meeting with cruise ship executives in hours ahead and we've also seen discussions among White House aides about how they can stem the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Now, the president yesterday signed more than $8 billion bill of emergency funding for coronavirus. It did include some small business administration loans, but that's something that the administration is looking at, ways they can combat what could be even worse economic fallout in the days ahead. Larry Kudlow, one of the president's top economic aides, told reporters yesterday that the administration is continuing to review what other economic stimulus might be necessary as this crisis potentially gets worse.

WALKER: All right. Sarah Westwood following this for us. Appreciate it. Thank you.

PAUL: So obviously there's a lot of confusion about what you should and shouldn't do to protect yourself from coronavirus when we have that kind of confusion as well. Want to give you some of the things experts are saying are necessity here. First of all, what you should avoid, and I know it probably seems obvious, but the CDC wants you to remember stay away from people who are sick and they're being very specific here. They're saying at least three feet away. That's according to the World Health Organization. Don't touch your face. That's another big point. And to that, it's so important to practice basic hygiene, particularly hand hygiene. The best way to do that, of course, wash your hands with soap and water, particularly after using the restroom, before eating, after you blow your nose, cough or sneeze and wash for at least 20 seconds. Find a song, they say, with a 20-second chorus or sing happy birthday twice. That'll keep you on track to make sure you're doing it right.

If you're not able to wash, look for a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol and there are some other preventative issues here. Cover your cough or your sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Now, I know you're thinking how do I know I'm getting it clean? The Environmental Protection Agency has a five-page list of disinfectants that it says are effective, including products from the Clorox, Lysol, Purell, Sani-Prime brands.

You can find that link to the full EPA list on the CNN website, by the way, and it is important to note what health officials are saying about using face masks because the CDC is very clear on this. They do recommend for you, if you have symptoms, to use a mask to prevent it from spreading. There's also a concern about face mask shortages, so save those for health care workers and people who are caring for someone that's in a close setting such as a nursing home or a healthcare facility. You can get more information, too, by the way, just at the CDC's (ph) Web site.


WALKER: Mick Mulvaney is out as President Trump's acting chief of staff. He is being replaced by North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows. He will be Trump's fourth chief of staff since he took office and it was widely known that the president wanted to replace Mulvaney. In October, Mulvaney admitted there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine and then told a reporter to get over it. Mulvaney has been named the special envoy to Northern Ireland.

PAUL: So as we talk about coronavirus and the spreading we're seeing, we are hearing growing reports of racist comments and attacks specifically against people from East Asia. We're talking to a journalist in Hong Kong about this and what she has experienced.

WALKER: Also, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders trade jabs ahead of next Tuesday's primaries. What we can expect in the next round of voting.

PAUL: And the CDC has put out some new information for older adults and those with chronic medical conditions. We're hearing as well from families of victims at that Washington nursing home now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's too late for a lot of families here. To Mike Pence, you know, there's a learning opportunity here, right? There's going to be more outbreaks like this in this country. If it continues to happen like this, there's going to be, you know, countless casualties.





PAUL: Welcome back. Fifteen minutes past the hour and the Democratic race for the White House is down to former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.

WALKER: The two are zigzagging their way across the Midwest ahead of next Tuesday's primaries. Three-hundred-and-fifty-two delegates are up for grabs with Michigan awarding the biggest prize.

PAUL: Today, Sanders is in Dearborn and Chicago. Biden is in St. Louis. CNN Correspondent, Jessica Dean has more for us.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: For 2020 Democrats, it's now effectively a two-man race. Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders looking ahead to the next round of Super Tuesday voting and its biggest prize, Michigan. Sanders cancelled his planned event in Mississippi to turn his focus to Michigan where he's added additional events.

SANDERS: We are going to win this campaign and we're going to win here in Michigan because the people of this state and of this country are sick and tired of an economy and a government that works for the 1 percent. They want an economy that works for working families.

DEAN: Biden continues to rack up key endorsements that now include Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her lieutenant governor.

GARLIN GILCHRIST, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, MICHIGAN: He's shown up over the years for the auto industry. He has been a friend of this community.

DEAN: The endorsement both Sanders and Biden want? Senator Elizabeth Warren's. She said Thursday night she wants some time to make a decision.

ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'll get up tomorrow morning and start thinking about that question.

DEAN: But Sanders isn't waiting, encouraging Warren's voters to back his campaign.

SANDERS: I think they will find many of the issues that Senator Warren campaigned on are exactly the issues that we are fighting for.

DEAN: With the Democratic field narrowed, Sanders and Biden now drawing sharper contrasts, the two candidates sparring over Social Security on Twitter and on the airwaves.

SANDERS: Well, we've got some bad news for them. We are not going to cut Social Security.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joe Biden has always been a strong supporter of Social Security. Negative ads will only help Donald Trump. It's time we bring our party together.


PAUL: And ahead this morning, CNN's Drew Griffin investigates claims that Congressman Jim Jordan, a former wrestling coach at Ohio State University, knew about the sexual abuse allegations against a teen doctor. Six former wrestlers are telling CNN that they directly told Jordan of the abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss or that Jordan was present when someone was recalling the abuse. An independent report last year determined the doctor sexually abused at least 177 male students, patients over 19 years and yesterday, Ohio State announced it had settled 11 of the 18 lawsuits that are filed by his victims.

Now, Congressman Jordan has consistently denied knowing about the abuse allegations while he was working at Ohio State. That doctor died by suicide in 2005. Drew Griffin's full investigation report, though, is coming up a little bit later this morning.

WALKER: The fallout from the coronavirus is now hitting home for sports in the U.S. College games are being played without fans, even canceled. Could a major sports league be next?




WALKER: Right now, at least 21 people on board a cruise ship floating off the coast of California have tested positive for coronavirus. Officials are working to bring that ship into port and thousands of passengers and crew are expected to be tested.

PAUL: In the meantime, a passenger tells CNN a helicopter dropping off supplies airlifted one passenger back to San Francisco for medical attention. Now, back on land, the coronavirus has continued its trek across the globe. CNN's reporting more than a 101,000 cases worldwide. This is an epidemic that's killed at least 3,400 people thus far.

WALKER: And here in the U.S., 333 cases have been counted across 28 states and officials are linking 17 deaths to the virus.

PAUL: Mainland China is the largest area impacted. That's where more than 80,600 cases have been reported and at least 3,000 people have died.

WALKER: Joining me now to discuss is Yuli Yang. Yuli formerly lived in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. She is a former CNN producer who now lives in Hong Kong and we appreciate you joining us this morning, Yuli.


WALKER: You know, we talked about this about a month or so ago, you and I, here on this program, my concerns, your concerns as an Asian person about racism spreading across the globe over fears, people blaming the coronavirus outbreak on anyone who looks Asian or just assuming that you may have the virus.

I do want to point to a case, a recent case, and London Metropolitan Police are investigating what they are calling a racially aggravated assault. I want to show you a photo of this 23-year-old man, a Singaporean man who was in London studying. His name is Jonathan Mok and he wrote on Facebook that he was attacked by a stranger in a busy shopping area in the heart of London and he said on Facebook that he got kicked, he was sucker-punched and that person told him I don't want your coronavirus in my country.

And you can see the injuries to his face. Apparently he's saying that he's got a few fractures and may need reconstructive surgery.


So that is just one case we're talking about. Our concerns are coming true, Yuli. What are your thoughts about this?

YANG: Yes. I've also seen that news and it's -- as a Chinese person and simply as a -- as a human being, it's really sad to see it and it's really worrying as well and in a way, it's also fascinating to realize that, in a way, this virus has kind of outsmart some of us within the human species with the fact that the virus knows that we are one human species. The virus does not discriminate against us because of our skin tone, because of our political beliefs or what brands of clothes that we wear. It attacks all of us.

It's important, I think, for us all to realize that this is a fight between the virus and us as a species. It doesn't take a army general, you know, to tell us that when you are in the middle of a fight, first of all, you kind of need unity within yourselves. It's not a fight against man versus man. We need to come together and cases like this, it's really sad and it's really worrying and I think it's really important that we do talk about it and we make sure that people --


YANG: -- realize the real consequences of it.

WALKER: Yes. Absolutely. I mean, an anecdote from me. I was just in the airport a few days ago and I was in the women's restroom and I was walking by a woman who was wearing a mask and coincidence or not, I mean, as I was walking by, she abruptly, you know, turned her back on me and kind of moved away and I noticed that, but I wasn't sure if that was because, you know, the coronavirus, me being Asian. But again, I mean, these are the kinds of incidents that, you know, you become sensitive to. Your family --

YANG: Yes.

WALKER: -- is from Wuhan, you're from Wuhan, your mother is there, your uncle is there. They have been under lockdown for how long now? Many, many weeks and they're adjusting to this new life. What is life like for them right now?

YANG: Yes. So all my family members are back home in Wuhan and I message them and I talk to them almost every day and for the past few weeks, they have gotten into kind of a new normal. It's not to say that everything is fine now, but they have gotten started, there a (ph) new routine, they have figured out where to find their food supplies, where to source their grocery supplies, they have started new routine for every day and it's difficult.

Like my grandmother who's in her 80s, she had to cut down her medicine for her chronic diseases because, you know, it's difficult to find new supplies and it takes time. So she needs to pace her intake of medicine and my mom, she loves walking in this small park that's just downstairs from her apartment. Now she can only look at that park and look at how spring like slowly unfolds right outside her window and she cannot go outside, but I haven't heard any complaints from them --

WALKER: Your uncle as well, right? I mean, your uncle is in the healthcare work as well and he's not living at home, he's at the hospital?

YANG: Yes. That's right. So one of my uncles, he works in the hospital. He's not working on the front line, but because of the fact that she works in a hospital, not wanting to potentially expose virus and danger to the family members and also restrictions of individual's movement within Wuhan, she has -- he has been living in the hospital, like all of his colleagues, for the past one month.


YANG: More than one month now.

WALKER: Yes. That's a drastically different life they're adjusting to right now. On a positive note, you started this #GoLuhan and people have been responding by the -- by the tens of thousands. This was you encouraging people to send a digital get well card to the people impacted by those who are living in the epicenter of this coronavirus. What has the response been?

YANG: Yes. Yes. Thanks so much for asking, Amara. I am very grateful to report that for the past one month, we have received so many loving, compassionate messages from all around the world. We have received prayers in all different kinds -- from all different kinds of religious backgrounds. We have received pictures of artworks made by children sent in to us by their parents in support of people in Wuhan and we have received pictures of cute koala from Australia man who tried to cheer Wuhan up.

And we have translated those messages and put them on Chinese social media and as of now, those messages have been read over 3 million times inside China and -- WALKER: Wow. That's impressive.

YANG: -- really grateful for all of that.


WALKER: Well, we are encouraged by your inspiration and by your wisdom, and we do wish you strength in the coming days and weeks. Yuli Yang, thank you so much for joining me.

YANG: Thank you, Amara.

PAUL: Now, the CDC did release new guidelines, saying older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions should stay home as much as possible. The department says older people of course may have a weaker immune systems and are more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope and recover from illness.

The daughter of one of the victims though at that nursing home in Washington is speaking out. Yesterday, she says she doesn't even know if her mom died from coronavirus.


PAT HERRICK, MOTHER DIED IN LIFE CARE CENTER: My mom loved to give roses to each one of the mothers in this place including the staff members every Mother's Day. She loved to make sure -- make sure that they got Christmas gifts, too. As far as we knew she wasn't sick. So I was surprised.


PAUL: She was surprised they didn't test her, she was saying. And speaking of moms, the March of Dimes also put out new guidelines saying, if you're pregnant, your immune system is not as quick to respond to illness. So, you're more likely to become sick. And they say miscarriage and still-birth have been observed with other infections during pregnancy. It's not known whether a pregnant woman now with coronavirus can transmit the virus to her baby.

WALKER: Robert Durst, the subject of a hit "HBO" documentary is now on trial for murder. Coming up in our "LEGAL BRIEF", why his attorneys say clips from "The Jinx" are misleading.

PAUL: Friends turned enemies, a party divided. It is an epic four-way race. The election of 1912 shows how far some will go to get what they want in the race for the White House. That's tomorrow night at 9:00 right here on CNN.



WALKER: Prosecutors have begun building their case against millionaire murder suspect Robert Durst. He was a subject of the "HBO" documentary "The Jinx". PAUL: Yes, the film helped lead to his arrest in 2015. And prosecutors

have really built their case around evidence from that series. That includes audio of Durst muttering that he, quote, "had killed them all." Now, Durst is accused of murdering his friend, Susan Berman in 2000. But investigators also believe he killed his wife, Kathleen, back in 1982. Here's CNN's Paul Vercammen.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Robert Durst, the subject of the "HBO" series "The Jinx" turned 77 years old in April and has undergone a series of surgeries. The real estate tycoon lives here, medical unit 29A, twin towers jail. Durst fixed his hearing aids when the prosecutor began his opening statement, laying out that Durst killed his longtime confidante, Susan Berman in 2000.

JOHN LEWIN, PROSECUTOR: He pulled out a 9-millimeter handgun, and he executed her. He shot her point-blank, the back of her head.

VERCAMMEN: Prosecutor John Lewin is a specialist in cold cases with an array of clips including raw interviews with Durst for "The Jinx". Lewin painted a dark picture of Durst as a serial rule-breaker, liar, and killer of three people. But Durst is charged with just one murder here, accused of killing Berman in her Beverly Hills home.

LEWIN: Evidence is going to show that she basically kind of adopted the idea of, you know, kind of within the mafia that you -- you're loyal to your friends to the extreme.

VERCAMMEN: So extreme, Lewin stated, Berman the daughter of a mobster, allegedly helped Durst cover up the disappearance and suspected murder of his wife Kathy in 1982.

LEWIN: Susan Berman, although loyal, was not the best at keeping secrets.

VERCAMMEN: And that got Berman murdered. The prosecutor told the jury, because Durst was afraid she was going to reveal his deep secret about the vanishing of Kathy. Lewin's lengthy opening statement also included the infamous cadaver note which both legal teams stipulated the defendant wrote. This paper pointed police to Berman's body before anyone knew she'd been murdered.

Lewin also showed the end of "The Jinx" when Durst set off camera, but on a hot microphone, "killed them all of course."

LEWIN: The first thing Bob Durst says is, "there it is, you're caught." Then the door closes. Then you hear all the other things, and then you hear very clearly, kill them all, of course."

VERCAMMEN: But Durst lawyer's mantra is a lack of evidence is evidence in this case of his innocence. There's no DNA, no witnesses placing Durst at or near the crime scene.

DICK DEGUERIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He did not kill Susan Berman, and he doesn't know who did. VERCAMMEN: Dick DeGuerin helped Durst get acquitted of the murder of

his neighbor Morris Black Galveston in 2003.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury find the defendant, Robert Durst, not guilty.

VERCAMMEN: The Texas attorney objected loudly to many of the L.A. prosecutor's tactics.

DEGUERIN: I ask they not cherry-pick from hours and hours and hours of interviews. You presented what you want to present, and I'll present what I want to present, OK?

VERCAMMEN: Judge Mark Windham calmed down the rival lawyers with California cool. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley Hastings Law School, and offered this advice.


MARK WINDHAM, JUDGE: He took an opportunity to meditate during the lunch hour, and I recommend it to anyone who can find a space for that.

VERCAMMEN (on camera): The jury is made up of eight women and four men and 11 alternates. Why so many? Because the past has shown in Los Angeles with sensational murder trials, they burn through jurors. In the O.J. Simpson case, for example, Judge Lance Ito dismissed so many of these jurors that just two of 12 alternates remained at the end. Back to you now, Christi, Amara.


PAUL: Paul, thank you so much. I want to talk to former New York City homicide prosecutor and CNN Legal Analyst, Paul Callan.

Paul, good morning to you, thanks for --


PAUL: Getting up so early --

CALLAN: Good morning, Christi --

PAUL: Especially to talk about something like this. Let's listen to this evidence that they're using -- this particular piece of evidence from "The Jinx", the "HBO" documentary. It was shot, this was after the final -- but Durst went into the bathroom again, and did not realize his mic was on. Here's part of what he said --


ROBERT DURST, ACCUSED OF MURDER: There it is, you're caught, what the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: OK, so he says there it is, you're caught. What the hell did I

do? Killed them all, of course. Now the defense is asserting that they can show the statements were heavily edited, that they weren't uttered in the succession that they appeared to be in. Is it valid? I mean, what do you deduce from those statements? Can they be -- can they be manipulated?

CALLAN: Well, I think we know enough about technology now that any statement can be manipulated. It can be -- you can cut out a portion of it, you can slice it to another portion. So it's theoretically possible to do that. However, I think they're going to be hard pressed to show that, that was done in this case. I mean, essentially he said -- the one thing that's clear is he said "I killed them all."

So, if that's true, that certainly -- and of course, the documentary had included references to Susan Berman. The prosecutors here in L.A. have a legitimate right to say that's -- she was included in what he was referring to. And of course, Christi, that's not the only evidence against him in this case. There's yet another witness, a friend of his, who had dinner with him who says that Durst confessed to him as well.

Berman was considered to be a key witness to be used against Durst in the killing of his wife. And so prosecutors say that he had a strong motive to kill her because she was a key link to a prior murder case. And we'll see if they establish it to the satisfaction of this jury.

PAUL: Yes, no doubt. I want to ask you about R. Kelly because there's been some movement in that case. Prosecutors say they need more time to build their case against him. The singer's sexual abuse trial was scheduled to begin in Chicago, April 27th. Prosecutors say they need to analyze hundreds of electronic devices that were seized from his properties.

He's facing charges of sexual abuse in Illinois as well as New York, and pending charges in Minnesota. He's also charged with multiple counts of child pornography and other crimes as well. So, when you look at that -- I mean, this is a complicated case. How likely is it that what happens in one state will follow him to some degree in another, Paul?

CALLAN: I think we're seeing, you know, a lot of these celebrity trials lately. And the truth of the matter is that jurors know about the prior trials even though they're not supposed to. And it's very hard to pick unbiased jurors in these cases because of that. Now he's got a case coming up here in New York, in Brooklyn, which will be tried presumably before the Chicago case.

And of course, his name has been all over the newspapers with these charges. And they always seem to relate to him having sex with minors, with children, young women. And so, I think it would be hard pressed to find jurors who aren't at least generally familiar with the charges against him.

PAUL: Yes, we'll be watching. I think that trial starts in New York in July, as of right now. Paul Callan, always appreciate you taking time for us, thank you, sir.

CALLAN: Thank you, Christi.

WALKER: All the two best teams and two best players in the NBA square off. Coy Wire is here.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Good morning, Amara and Christi, we're talking MVP front-runners, maybe even an NBA finals preview. LeBron and the Lakers, Giannis and the Bucks, they didn't disappoint. But who staked their claim as the best in the game? We'll show you coming up on NEW DAY.



PAUL: Big win for LeBron James and the Lakers. And a game between the NBA's two best teams.

WALKER: Coy Wire is here. And Coy, I mean, it sounds like this has the potential of a championship preview.

WIRE: Yes, these are the two teams that are Vegas favorites to win the title. But within that, you have this clash of the two MVP front- runners. So, it was a -- had a lot of hype and it lived up to it. Let's get you to the highlights. The Lakers, LeBron James, the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo. And Giannis reminding everyone why he is the reigning MVP, 32 points on the night.

He didn't have much help from the shooters around him. So, he's just shouldering the load on his own most of the night. The game tied at halftime, but at 35 years old, LeBron may have just taken back the MVP crown. Mean mugging -- reminded everyone why he is still king. Nobody could stop him.

Bully ball, 37 points. Some say there's a change in the guard in the NBA. But just this past week, LeBron handed else(ph) to Giannis and the Bucks, jar and Grizz and Zion and the Pelicans. King James officially locking L.A. into their first playoff spot since 2013.


LEBRON JAMES, FORWARD, LOS ANGELES LAKERS: I came here to put this team and put the franchise back where it needed to be. The league is not what it is if the Lakers are not winning. And that was one of my responsibilities and one of my goals when I came here.



WIRE: All right, now, some of the best WNBA and NBA players gathered in Chicago recently, sharing their love of the game with the next generation. Our Andy Scholes finds out how these difference makers are making a bigger impact off the court through the NBA cares initiative.


AARON GORDON, FORWARD, ORLANDO MAGIC: This is what it's about. This is the future of basketball. And it's great to see everybody enjoying themselves. I see so many smiles out here, that's really what it's about. Just having a good time.

MARTIN DEMPSEY, RETIRED U.S. ARMY GENERAL: It's about blending, you know, physical skills and wellness with life skills, responsibility, discipline and team work. I mean, and it just doesn't get any better than that.

NNEKA OGWUMIKE, FORWARD, LOS ANGELES SPARKS: We have to leave the league and the world better than, you know, how we entered it. And if I can be, you know, a figurehead that communicates that to the world, and I will be.

MARKELLE FULTZ, GUARD, ORLANDO MAGIC: To show that, you know, if people that may not believe in you that come back and interact with you, you know, it means the world, you know, more than you think it does.

GORDON: I was fortunate enough to be given so much when I was younger. It's only right. You know, with great abundance comes great generosity. I've always believed that.

KHRIS MIDDLETON, FORWARD, MILWAUKEE BUCKS: Believe in your dream and follow it no matter, if it's just game of basketball here or you want to be a doctor, a president, whatever. Just follow your dreams, and believe it can come true with just hard work.


WIRE: I just loved seeing the smiles on the faces of those kids. But also of the players. As a former NFL player --

PAUL: Yes --

WIRE: That was one of my favorite memories and will always be, giving back to the community, seeing those young kids light up.

PAUL: It's awesome. Everyone is --


WIRE: Yes --

PAUL: You guys are role models. OK, Coy --

WIRE: All right --

PAUL: Coy, thank you for that.

WALKER: Thanks, Coy.

PAUL: All right, ready, set, mush. Just a few hours from now, hundreds of sled dogs are going to race through the streets of Anchorage, Alaska. But the temperatures will be cold, and guess what we're hearing that the snow will be epic. Stay with us for more.



WALKER: The Iditarod dog sled race needs at least three things: dogs, mushers, and snow, of course. And they've got it all, but could there actually be too much snow this year?

PAUL: You know what? It doesn't matter for Allison Chinchar. I have to read you a text that she sent me this morning. "I'm so sorry I missed you this morning in hair and make-up. I just wanted to wish you a happy Iditarod day." She lives for this day.

WALKER: This is where there'll be the most exciting --

PAUL: And the epic amounts of snow --

WALKER: That you're going to talk about --

PAUL: Yes --

WALKER: Right?


PAUL: I mean, is this really problematic?

CHINCHAR: It can be, yes. So especially when you're talking excessive amounts or epic amounts of snow. And keep in mind, it's not just that, it's also been a really cold in some spots, too. In fact, this was the coldest February for all of Alaska in 21 years. More so than that, in Anchorage, they had their sixth snowiest February on record. Also note that the last two weeks, they haven't had a high temperature above freezing.

So, a lot of that snow is still on the ground. Now, the ceremonial start for the Iditarod takes place today in Anchorage. They've got about a 60 percent chance of snow in the forecast for today. The restart takes place in Willow tomorrow, where they have an even higher chance, but an 80 percent chance of snow in the forecast. They will go from there all the way to Nome following the northern route this year.

And again, we're talking about a ton of snow that is already on the ground. This is current snow map. This is what's already on the ground now. Widespread amounts of at least one foot. Some spots, you're talking four, even 5 feet of snow. And we're going to be adding more on top of it. The short-term forecast for the first half of the trial, you can see here a lot of various, 6, 8, even 10 inches of snow in the forecast.

Then when we get to the back half of the forecast, maybe at least say about a week from now, you're also talking about more snow as the next system begins to push in. Here you could be talking about an additional foot of snow on top of what's already there. So, the question becomes, what are the ideal conditions for the Iditarod.

Well, it depends on the type of trail that you're talking about. Now, in some spots where it's basically just dirt or gravel, you need about six inches minimum for it to be able to go through the trail. Some spots even that, maybe about a foot higher. Now, once you start getting more rocky, mountainous terrain, you need at least three feet, and in some spots, four or five feet would be more ideal. But the good news, guys, is that's really what we've been dealing with.

This year, a lot of the spots, Christi and Amara, are at least five- feet high. Now, one downfall with this, is it does slow the teams down. I would like to point out the dogs handle these conditions much better than us humans do. Not only the cold, but also the deep snow. But it will likely slow some of the teams down at times. So traditionally, most of the teams finish in about nine to 11 days.

This year could be one of those years where it takes them a little bit longer to finish.

PAUL: I wonder, what is the recovery for those dogs?

WALKER: Lots of --

PAUL: I mean, after -- after that --


PAUL: Lots of meat.


WALKER: Lots of steak or some really good human food.

PAUL: I mean, that's hard.

WALKER: Yes --

PAUL: And especially in the kind of snow --

WALKER: In the kind of snow --

PAUL: You're talking about, Allison.

CHINCHAR: It is -- no, not all of them go every day. Most of these teams have about, you know, 10, 12, even as many as 15 dogs per team. But a lot of times when they're crossing the finish line, only five of those dogs are actually finishing. So, keep in mind, they're not working 24/7 every single day while they go through this.

PAUL: Alli, I think you're going to need a parka because it's snowing where you are.



PAUL: Be careful out there. Thank you to our Iditarod expert, Allison Chinchar --

CHINCHAR: You're welcome --

WALKER: Enthusiast.

PAUL: Yes, oh, my God --

WALKER: Thank you, Allison --

PAUL: I love her passion for this.

WALKER: For sure --

PAUL: I love it --

WALKER: She's so excited about it.

PAUL: And she did put me at ease with the dogs. I mean --

WALKER: There you go --

PAUL: I know you care about the snow, I'm a dog person, what can I say?


PAUL: Alli, thank you so much. So, listen, we are -- have some more coverage coming up for you here about the coronavirus outbreak. Some developments that have happened there.

WALKER: Right, and the latest on the White House response.