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U.S. Surgeon General says Expect More Deaths and Cases But Do Not Panic; Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is Questioned About the Coronavirus and the Economy; Sen. Kamala Harris Endorses Joe Biden; Elie Honig Answers Legal Questions in "Cross-Exam"; Italy Sets Measures to Reduce Crowds Against Coronavirus; Quarantine Center in China Collapses; Nursing Home in Washington State has Three Employees Positive for Coronavirus; Saudi Capturing Carbon Emissions in the Oil Field. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired March 8, 2020 - 17:00   ET

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


[17:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom." And the top medical officer in the United States today says the outbreak of the potentially deadly coronavirus has not yet peaked.

He warns there will be more cases, more deaths, but that does not mean people should panic. Those words from the U.S. surgeon general today, the same day the number of infected people in this country tops 500. People are testing positive for the virus in 33 states, mostly in Washington State, around Seattle, and in New York.

The northeastern suburbs of New York City, more than 20 people have died after being infected and in the coming days, about 4 million testing kits are expected to be available at centers across the country.

That's the hope, anyway, of White House officials who blame what they call a glitch for the comparatively small number of test kits that have already shipped.

And now, about those crowded cruise ships with infected people onboard. One that has been held off the coast of California might be able to dock tomorrow. And now there's another one off the coast of Florida, waiting to be told what to do. We'll have details on the status of those ships in just a moment.

CNN senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen is with us, also CNN's Lucy Kafanov is in Oakland, California. Elizabeth, first, take a listen to this. This is the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams on CNN this morning making a key distinction in how the government is now approaching this coronavirus crisis.

(BENGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Initially, we had a posture of containment so that we could give people time to prepare for where we are right now. Now, we're shifting into a mitigation phase, which means that we're helping communities understand you're going to see more cases. Unfortunately, you're going to see more deaths, but that doesn't mean that we should panic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Elizabeth, moving from containment to now mitigation. What is the difference and how does that affect people who most need to be tested?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, Ana. So we're going to be hearing these terms more often, so let's go over them. Containment means literally you're trying to contain the virus that is often done in several ways, but to a large extent through something called contact tracing.

You get your first case. You track down that person's wife, their co-- worker, their -- people they have had close contact with. You put those people in quarantine and you watch them to see if they get sick and you go from there.

You know, the sort of what underscores what Dr. Adams is saying is that we now have many more cases. Experts tell me it is harder and harder to do that kind of one by one by one contact tracing as this number of cases gets higher. It is taxing on the public health system and it becomes less and less useful the more numbers that you get.

Now, you ask, Ana, about testing. This doesn't really affect who gets tested. You know, the rules are different in different states because right now it is pretty much state health labs who are doing this, but you know, you can -- not everyone who wants to get tested will get tested.

Your doctor has to want to test you and then your doctor will have to get a hospital to test you, because this testing based on the conversation that I've been having, that testing is happening in hospitals.

It is not happening in doctor's offices because doctor's offices don't have the infection control procedures to do that kind of tests. You want to go to a hospital for it. And hospitals can't test absolutely everyone. They have to have some limits.

CABRERA: Elizabeth, stand by. I want to bring in Lucy Kafanov because we just heard from the governor of California about the status of the cruise passengers off the coast there. For people just joining us, what were the main takeaways?

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the governor confirmed that the ship is expected to come in to the port of Oakland, that's where we are right now, tomorrow. It's not clear what time yet. That's because they're going to be looking at the currents, at the weather situation to figure out a good window of time.

We have a little bit more of an update on the sequence of events. In the next hour, they are expecting to send medical staff onboard to begin the process of screening passengers, conducting interviews, getting their medical history and all of that in order to speed up the process tomorrow.

Once the boat is in port, the seriously ill passengers will be evacuated and taken to hospitals in the region. They will then proceed with evacuating the American passengers off board. There are 2,241 passengers; about a thousand of those are California residents. All of the California residents will be quarantined in the state, either at the Travis Air Base up north or at Miramar down near San Diego.

[17:05:00]

Remember, both of those bases have been hosting Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China so they are very experienced on this. The other U.S. citizens will get taken either to Texas or to Georgia. They will then be quarantined for 14 days there.

The big question, what happens with the foreigners onboard? There are 54 countries represented. The State Department, as we speak, is working out negotiations with different countries to repatriate those citizens home. They will likely be flown out on charter flights out of the Oakland airport.

But again, the governor stressing, these are private charter flights. They will not be mixed in with the general population. They are taking every step in order to make sure that these passengers are isolated from the communities here.

Now, the crew members, there's over 1,100 members of crew onboard. They will not be getting disembarked. They will be getting off the ship, pardon me. The governor saying, confirming what Vice President Mike Pence said, which is the crew will be quarantined for 14 days onboard that ship.

As soon as all the passengers are off, they are going to pull away from the port of Oakland and get that ship back out to sea, again, in order to minimize the exposure to the community here, Ana.

CABRERA: All right, Lucy Kafanov, thank you -- our thanks to Elizabeth Cohen as well. Meanwhile, we are getting really mixed messages from the Trump administration as to just how many coronavirus test kits are available right now. Each clip you are about to see is from this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

ADAMS: We have 75,000 tests available right now for folks. By early next week, tomorrow, we should have over 2 million tests available. By the end of the week, through partnerships with private industry, over 4 million test available.

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: Right now, I believe 1.1 million tests have already been sent out. By Monday, there'll be an additional 400,000, and by the end of next week, probably around 4 million. BEN CARSON, MEMBER, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: Over a

million tests were shipped out already this past week. Tomorrow, another 640,000 will be available.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

CABRERA: All kinds of different numbers there. Joining us now, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. His state is dealing with at least four cases right now. And Senator, do you feel like the U.S. is prepared to do widespread testing and really get a sense of how broad this outbreak is?

SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): Ana, I'm not sure that we're prepared in terms of having enough test kits available so I'm very concerned about the different numbers we keep hearing from the administration.

The most important thing they have to do right now is not to get caught up in the numbers, but to get the test kits out to the states so that we can do the testing, so you know the scope of the problem, and these conflicting numbers are very confusing.

The president's commentaries have added a lot more in terms of the problem. I would hope that folks out there would listen to their medical provider and would listen to the Centers for Disease Control and others who have authority to speak. But the president's comments so far have been very damaging.

CABRERA: Does Pennsylvania have what it needs right now?

CASEY: Ana, I spoke to Governor Wolf today and I think at least right now in Pennsylvania, they feel like they have enough test kits or tests available and they're testing every day. But as you just noted, we have four cases and that just happened since Friday. And we expect or I should say, I expect, based upon the information that I have, that that number will go up.

CABRERA: You're on the Finance Committee and we have seen a tremendous drop, of course, in the stock market. And it's not just the stock market where we're having issues financially, of course. As this crisis goes on, big businesses are going to take a hit. Jobs are on the line. Savings are on the online.

This administration has talked about waving fees and taxes for the travel industry. Do you believe it's time for Congress to take some kind of measure, some kind of stimulus in order to prevent a major financial crisis?

CASEY: Well, Ana, I think we should have hearings to consider that. But I think it's premature at this time to be able to have a remedy, based upon what we know so far. It's still early in terms of those economic assessments.

The most important thing that Congress did was in the last couple of days, appropriating more than $8 billion. The president signed into it law. Now, the administration has to get that -- those dollars out the door to state and local governments and health departments, as well as to make sure that the dollars are in the pipeline for a vaccine, which we know will take probably on the order of 18 months to provide.

But we have to make sure that all of the personal protective equipment that health care professionals need is there. We've got to make sure, of course, that the test kits get out. But the administration has to be very clear about numbers and about the basic information because when you have this kind of confusion, I think that just adds to the anxiety that people feel.

[17:10:06]

CABRERA: The CDC is advising older Americans to stay at home, as much as possible, to avoid crowds. Today, Dr. Fauci said those older Americans should think twice before flying long distances.

And yet it is campaign season and right now you have Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and President Trump, all in their 70s, they're crisscrossing the country, shaking hands, they're hugging people, holding these huge rallies. Do you think it's worth the risk?

CASEY: Ana, I think that everyone has to make their own decision about how to proceed, but I think the best thing to do, especially if someone is a senior citizen or has a complex medical condition or is in some way compromised, they should be very careful.

But again, they should rely upon the advice of their medical provider as well as CDC and other authorities, not on the admonitions necessarily of elected officials. But so far -- so far I think folks have taken this very seriously.

And I will say, as well, despite what the president has said and done, a lot of members of his administration I know are very concerned about this take it very seriously and are trying to get it right.

But we've got to make sure that those resources get out the door so that states and communities have help, whether it's a hospital or a state health department or a county health department as well as communities throughout the country.

CABRERA: Senator Sanders made the round on the Sunday shows today and he explained the current state of the race this way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The establishment put a great deal of pressure on Pete Buttigieg, on Amy Klobuchar, who ran really aggressive campaigns. I know both of them. They work really, really hard, but suddenly right before Super Tuesday, they announced their withdrawal.

If they had not withdrawn from the race before Super Tuesday, which is kind of a surprise to a lot of people, I suspect we would have won in Minnesota, we would have won in Maine, we would have won in Massachusetts. The turnout may have been a little bit different.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CABRERA: On top of that, senator, a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll

finds that six in 10 Sanders supporters are uncomfortable with Biden. You've thrown your support behind Joe Biden and so my question is not necessarily whether you agree with Sanders about whether there's an establishment working against him and pushing even other competitors out of the race.

I have to ask you, in your home state of Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump by less than 50,000 votes. So, you know, every vote counts. Should Biden become the nominee? How do you ensure that Sanders' supporters come out to vote in November?

CASEY: Well, Ana, I think no matter where your support lies right now, whether it's with Vice President Biden as mine has been since the day he announced or with Senator Sanders, I do think that there's a great unanimity, if I can use that word, in our party to be prepared to defeat Donald Trump.

So, I don't think there's going to be any problem with unity in our party when it comes to defeating Donald Trump because I think most Democrats or every Democrat I know knows that there's a lot at stake for our national security, for our economy, and especially on the overriding issue of health care, which will be the number one issue in Pennsylvania.

If you vote for Donald Trump in the fall, you're voting for someone who will take away protections for pre-existing conditions, for example. As demonstrated over and over again that he wants to cut Medicare and Medicaid. That's not going to work in Pennsylvania. I think both supporters of both candidates in the Democratic primary will be together united to defeat Donald Trump.

CABRERA: But didn't not voting for Trump not necessarily worked for Hillary Clinton?

CASEY: No. Look, I think that the circumstances are different now. I think there are a lot of voters, who in 2016 might have thought, well, let's try an outsider who's not part of the political system. And now we know the damage that that has wrought.

The number of uninsured is going up for the first time in years. The number of children who are uninsured has gone way up by hundreds and hundreds of thousands. And I think most people know that even as the president will talk about the stock market and some other indicators, which are really a false reading for working men and women.

They also note the same time the cost of child care is up, the cost of basic daily living expenses for middle class families are way up. So I think people know what's at stake and I think 2016 is a distant memory for a lot of voters.

CABRERA: Senator Bob Casey, thank you for your time this evening.

CASEY: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: Up next, a doctor who specializes in pathogens joins us to answer your questions about how well prepared the country is to handle this crisis and what you should be doing.

[17:14:56]

Plus, former Vice President Joe Biden picks up the endorsement of Senator Kamala Harris. Hear what she said about whether she wants to be on the ticket if he gets the nomination.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Of the more than 510 cases of coronavirus here in the U.S., there are two states with more than 100 confirmed cases in each, Washington State and New York. New York has 105, including the 16 new cases the governor announced just today in his state. He also warned residents about the risks ahead if this virus continues to spread.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK: The real danger is twofold. One, if it continues to spread, we're going to have that take drastic containment measures, which means you basically shut down everything, which is what China did. That's bad for the economy, it's bad for business, bad for society.

Second, it's the vulnerable populations. Senior citizens, elderly, people with compromised immune systems and underlying illness. That is what we're trying to stop.

[17:20:02]

And the way to do that is to fight the spread. You fight the spread through containment, which is testing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Just this afternoon, New York senators Chuck Schumer and Krissten Gillibrand -- Kirsten Gillibrand I should say -- sent a letter to the CDC and the FDA asking to give local hospitals the authority to run their own tests.

And with us now is Dr. Syra Madad who is a special pathogen specialist, recently featured in a Netflix docu-series about pandemics. Doctor, really great to have you here. Is there a threat to individuals if they can't get tested?

SYRA MADAD, SPECIAL PAHOGENS SPECIALIST: So, across the nation, as we know, diagnostic testing is ramping up, and how much this is going to ramp up by the end of the week. Obviously, it's one of the guesses that is out there. But certainly, I think in terms of preparedness, there's a lot going on the national front.

Health care systems and public health are ramping up for this, obviously, situation. A lot of localities are taking a blended approach from containment and mitigation, so it's one of those things that, you know, we're just seeing how things play out over time.

CABRERA: So, if people can't get tested, though, what does that mean for the rest of us?

MADAD: So, we want to obviously increase testing as much as possible to be able to detect, you know, individuals that may have coronavirus disease, but at the same time, we know that the virus itself cannot be contained. And obviously, you're seeing a lot of community transmission.

And so very quickly, we go into the mission phase, which essentially means reducing the number of infected and employing, you know, social distancing measures because what we're trying to really at the end of the day do is slow this fast-moving train and ensure that, you know, when we hit peak time, we can kind of, you know, drag it a little bit, so that way, you know, that way health care systems are not surging exponentially.

CABRERA: The U.S. surgeon general told our colleague, Jake Tapper, this morning right now there are 75,000 tests available to the public. By next week, he hopes there should be over 2 million tests available. Have you had any trouble getting tests at the NYC health system?

MADAD: So, I mean, testing is ramping up across the board and, you know, the FDA has authorized commercial and private laboratories to be able to do testing and so a lot of them are coming online, which is great.

And so I think, you know, over the next days to weeks we will obviously see a number of cases detected, which should not be a surprise to obviously the general American public. This is something that is expected, as, you know, obviously you're detecting more cases and you're ramping up testing.

You're going to see more cases increase, but this is where we want to make sure people understand. Everybody has a role to play. One of the questions that we often get is, you know, I'm not a clinician, I'm not a health care provider, you know, what can I do to, you know, help the situation?

And this is where everyday preventative measures come into play. So when we say, obviously, cover your cough or your sneeze, you know, staying away from those that are sick. If you're sick, staying home, you know, washing your hands often. These are tried and true methods that have proven to be effective, you know, in previous outbreak. They're going to be, you know, effective in this current outbreak.

And then the way that each locality responds is different. One of the things that, you know, folks should also understand is that, you know, every incident is local and what that means is that what you're going to see play out in the state of Washington is going to be different in terms of what we're going to see in New York.

Because it's going to be depend on obviously the number of cases and how severe they are. And that will help determine the very social distancing measures that are going to be employed.

CABRERA: When the coronavirus first started to show up here in the U.S., you said in an interview that anything can go wrong will go wrong because this is something you just can't predict. Have you seen evidence of that so far?

MADAD: That's right. I mean, these types of events are, you know, unpredictable. We don't know where they're going to start or how they're going to start, but we know that they will start. It's one of those things that we know history has shown us time and time again, how vulnerable we are as, you know, not just the United States, but across the world.

These infectious disease outbreaks are inevitable. If you look at some of the stats, you know, at any given year, the World Health Organization tracks over, you know, 100 or 200 outbreaks happening globally. And obviously those that warrant the attention of the global community, those are a handful.

But this really goes to show you how important preparedness is. And when we talk about preparedness, we need obviously political support and financial support. But on top of that, we need sustainability.

And so you may remember, in 2014 during the Ebola outbreak, you know, Congress, you know, allocated millions of dollars here in the United States and we developed this tiered structure of assessment hospitals, front line hospitals, Ebola treatment centers, and that funding was only for five years and it's set to expire actually, this year, just in a matter of months.

And you know, only the 10 regional centers are getting funded, not the entire tier structure. So not only do we need funding and political support, but we need sustained funding to continue this infrastructure that we've built, you know, across the nation for infectious diseases.

CABRERA: Just quickly so that people can have some tangible things on what they can do to help themselves. Some people have to travel, we've been told, you know, older people should restrict their travel, but if people have to travel, what are some best practices for them and what should they be doing?

MADAD: So, it's against the everyday measures that public health officials constantly harp upon, because again, they actually work.

[17:25:02]

So, washing your hands often, cleaning high-touch surfaces, you know, if you know that someone is sick, obviously keeping at least a six- feet distance for them if you can, things like that. So, you know, CDC has some really great information of, you know, what you can do in these types of situations, but really a lot of it falls into common sense.

CABRERA: Should they be, you know, wiping down airline trays? Should they be wearing special gloves, those types of things?

MADAD: So, again, you know, wiping down high-touch surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting those high-touch surfaces. Do you need to wear gloves? You now, I don't think that's needed, as long as you're washing your hands often. You know, at any given time, an individual can touch their face or

mucous membranes up to 20 times. So if you're washing your hands often, when you're touching these types of high-touch surfaces, those things go a long way. So it's just really, again, those common sense measures that people just need to understand that actually work and that we all have a role to play in these situations.

CABRERA: Dr. Syra Madad, thank you very much.

MADAD: Sure.

CABRERA: Up next, she went after him during a previous debate, but now Senator Kamala Harris says Joe Biden is the right choice for president.

Plus, Bernie Sanders scraps a planned speech aimed at African-American voters at the last minute. We're live on the campaign trail to find out why.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:30:00]

CABRERA: With Super Tuesday round two just days away now and 352 delegates up for grabs, former Vice President Joe Biden picks up a key endorsement from a former rival in the 2020 race. Senator Kamala Harris. The California Democrat says she'll do anything in her power to help Biden get elected starting tomorrow at a campaign rally in Detroit. And CNN caught up with Senator Harris earlier today in Selma, Alabama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do believe that he is the candidate at this point who can unify the country. There is so much at stake and we need a leader who speaks from his heart, who has compassion, who has empathy.

You can't underestimate what that means when you look at issues like the coronavirus, when you look at issues like childhood poverty, when you look at issues about working families who cannot afford to get through the end of the month.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think he'll select you as his vice president?

HARRIS: That is not at all a relevant point for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: CNN political analyst Sarah Isgur and CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip join us now. Sarah, how big is this endorsement and what do you make of the timing?

SARA ISGUR, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that the wave of endorsements we've seen for Biden are not down to any individual endorsement, but rather they reflect the momentum behind Biden. There's a reason these all came after South Carolina.

And I'm not sure in past cycles we've ever seen such a lopsided endorsement situation as we've seen now. And I do think that Harris' endorsement adds a lot, in the sense that it takes away from Bernie.

All of those who have run at this point have really endorsed Biden, and heading into Michigan, a state that goes to the core of the electability argument, heading into November and having her there help, obviously helps.

CABRERA: To that point, Abby, Biden has now secured multiple endorsements from other former 2020 candidates, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bloomberg, John Delaney, among others. How much do these endorsements hurt Senator Sanders and his prospects of winning the nomination?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: The biggest effect this has all had on the Sanders' campaign has been really the consolidation of the moderate wing of the Democratic Party. And it's always been an open question whether all of these individual candidates and their supporters added up to Joe Biden having, you know, a larger share of the Democratic electorate than Bernie Sanders did.

And at least on Super Tuesday, the answer was yes. And so for Sanders now, he has to show momentum in his own way. He rolled out an endorsement himself today from Jesse Jackson, who in 1988 ran for president, won the state of Michigan, as he tries to regain some of the mojo that he had after, for example, the Nevada caucuses.

So, the Sanders campaign always known this would be an uphill battle, but it becomes a lot more dire now that there are no other people really fracturing that moderate wing of the Democratic Party. He's got to -- you know, Elizabeth Warren leaving the race gives him an opportunity to pull some of his supporters in, but he also has to expand his base to African-American voters and he has to prove that he can actually perform here in the industrial Midwest as well.

CABRERA: Sarah, a week from this Tuesday, Ohio voters will head to the polls and former governor of that state, John Kasich, weighed in on who he believes will resonate more in that battleground state. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think what you're going to see in Ohio is a Joe Biden who is able to appeal to many of those blue collar disaffected people in our state. And if Bernie Sanders were nominee, and I'm not here to like knock, you know, Sanders or tell you I'm Biden's campaign manager, because I am not, but as an observer, I don't think that Bernie Sanders really stood a chance in Ohio.

If Joe Biden can be the Joe Biden people know, being able to relate to blue collar independence and calming those disaffected Republicans who don't like Trump, but they don't want revolution, they want some order in Washington and the White House, I think at this point, you're going to see Joe Biden have momentum, and I think come the fall, it's going to be one heck of a battle across this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Sarah, do you agree?

ISGUR: This is why Michigan, in fact, is such a do or die for Sanders. I'm not sure the Sanders campaign -- they may still be on the race come Ohio, but they may not be in the race come Ohio.

[17:35:00]

Because Michigan was one of those states that Trump won in 2016, and I think that the Sanders' campaign has to work on the turnout problems that we saw on Super Tuesday. The youth vote that he said was going to expand his electorate was actually lower than it had been in 2016 and his share of that vote had gone down.

At the same time, I think the Biden campaign, and this goes to Michigan and Ohio, Sanders won voters who felt like this economy had left him behind. He won those voters in Minnesota and North Carolina. Those voters are very much up for grabs in a place like Michigan and in a place like Ohio.

So what we're looking for on Tuesday in Michigan is to see whether Biden can make, you know, in-runs into that, at the same time, if Sanders can't show an expansion of those voters, I'm not sure he gets to Ohio.

CABRERA: Abby, we have talked about Biden's strength with African- American voters, and that's an area where Sanders hasn't had as much success. You mentioned earlier, Reverend Jesse Jackson endorsed Sanders today, but hours before that, he was expected to give a speech tailored to the African-American community, but instead Sanders scrapped that speech and instead delivered a standard stump speech.

When asked why, a campaign spokesperson said Sanders decided it was better to let the people of color discuss their experiences. He struggled to connect with black voters, Abby. What do you make of this latest move?

PHILLIP: Yes. I have to say, Ana, it was a strange incident because just before that event, the campaign had basically told reporters, you can expect Senator Sanders to go out there and speak directly to African-American voters about why Sanders is better for the black community than Joe Biden.

And when we we're all listening to this event and watching it unfold, Bernie Sanders didn't do that at all. And it was a real question whether he would because for basically the last four years, and perhaps his entire career, Sanders' message has been pretty clear. It's been about workers and about a sort of political revolution in the way that the country operates.

And there were real questions about whether he would be willing to tailor that message to black voters. The answer last night, at least, was that he was not. The campaign says it's because they wanted the African-American leaders, local leaders, to speak for themselves.

But I think it seemed to be a missed opportunity for Sanders to finally make that case for himself. That, coupled with the fact that he canceled an event in Mississippi this weekend, which seems to be a little bit of a concession that he really can't compete in the south where Joe Biden is so strong with black voters there.

I think it really spells some trouble for Sanders as we go ahead into these Midwestern states. Yes, we oftentimes talk about the industrial Midwest, but a key part of the vote in a state like Michigan and Chicago, Illinois, where he was yesterday, is going to be, can he turn out black voters?

And I think the Sanders' campaign knows they have a lot of work to do. But what happened in Flint last night, he didn't himself make the case in an explicit way. He hasn't done that all campaign and it seems like that's not changing anytime soon.

CABRERA: Abby Phillip and Sarah Isgur, ladies, thank you.

Now, for the candidates who have dropped out, there is the question of what to do with their leftover campaign money. We'll explain what the law allows.

Plus, details on how a controversial case in front of the Supreme Court could have a big impact on abortion rights. You're live in the "CNN Newsroom."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:40:00]

CABRERA: After oral arguments this week, the Supreme Court appears divided over a controversial Louisiana abortion access law that some say would leave only one doctor in that entire state able to perform the procedure.

The law, which is currently on hold, pending appeal, would require doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Now, this case does not directly challenge Roe v. Wade. But supporters of abortion rights are fearful that this is an opportunity for the conservative majority on the bench to chip away at abortion rights.

Let's get to CNN's Elie Honig with "Cross-Exam" for you. He is a former federal and state prosecutor. Elie, this case should be decided by July as we understand. Of course, that's just as the 2020 election heats up. And one viewer asks, what will the Supreme Court's ruling on this Louisiana abortion law mean for the future of abortion rights in the United States?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, so, Ana, this is a very important decision on abortion rights coming up. As you said, at issue is a Louisiana law that requires providers of abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Now, opponents of the law argue that it will place an undue burden on the ability of women to go out and obtain an abortion. As you said, it could leave only one doctor licensed to perform abortions in the entire state of Louisiana.

But supporters of the law argue that it's necessary to protect the health and safety of the mother. Now, it's important to know, the Supreme Court struck down a very similar Texas state law back in 2016. But the Supreme Court has changed since then.

We had an open seat then. We now have Justice Gorsuch. We had justice Kennedy then who voted to strike down the Texas law. Now we have Justice Kavanaugh. So as you said, this case on its own will not strike down Roe versus Wade, but if this law is upheld, it could open the door for other states to pass their own very restrictive abortion laws like Louisiana.

CABRERA: Let's talk 2020 because this week, we saw a lot of candidates drop out of the race. One viewer wants to know, what can they do with the remaining donor money contributed to their campaign?

HONIG: So first of all, no personal use, Ana. The candidates cannot just keep that money and use to it buy the yacht that they've been eyeing up. What can they do? They can refund the money back to donors. I wouldn't count on that happening.

They also can donate without any limits to a charity, to a political party, or to their own future campaign. So if any of these candidates go on to run for governor or senate, they can essentially roll that money over. They also can donate to other presidential candidates, but only up to $2,000.

[17:45:03]

Now, what happens to these self-funded billionaires, the Tom Steyers and Michael Bloombergs? Well, they're private citizens now and they are subject to the same laws as the rest of us. They have more money than you are made, but they are subject to the same laws.

They can donate directly to a candidate, up to a max of $2,800 or they can donate without limit a super PAC, a political action committee, and I think that's where we're going to see these millions and millions of dollars go to support candidates without coordinating with candidates.

CABRERA: Yes, Bloomberg has signaled as such. This week, a federal judge sharply criticized Attorney General Bill Barr's handling of the Mueller report, saying Barr put forward a distorted and misleading account of its findings and lacked credibility on the topic. So a viewer asks, what is the practical result of this judge's finding that Barr publicly misrepresented the Mueller report?

HONIG: Yes, Ana. This was a remarkable ruling. I mean, a federal judge just destroyed William Barr's credibility and independence. Now, by the way, this federal judge was appointed by George W. Bush in 2001. This dispute happened in a Freedom of Information Act, a FOIA case, where journalists are trying to get information to redacted portions of the Mueller report. And the judge said, I don't trust you, attorney general, to do this in a fair way, so I'm going to babysit this process. And the judge really excoriated the attorney general, noted inconsistencies between Barr's public statement in the Mueller report, said the attorney general lacked candor.

And the judge even raised the possibility and asked the question whether Barr had acted that way in a calculated attempt to help Donald Trump. This is a real black eye for the attorney general and the Justice Department.

CABRERA: Yes, it's a pretty shocking statement. Thank you, Elie Hionig. As always, good to see you.

HONIG: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: Up next, Italy takes drastic new measures to try to contain the coronavirus, restricting the movements of more than 10 million people and banning everything from concerts to church services.

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[17:50:00]

CABRERA: Welcome back. The deadly coronavirus outbreak, which started in China, has spread to more than 60 countries now. In Italy, major tourist sites are empty as officials announce very strict measures aimed at reducing crowds. Schools are closed in northern Italy, public events are cancelled there, even religious services.

The U.S. Army today stopping the movement of troops and their families to and from assignments in Italy as well as South Korea, military officials calling it an abundance of caution. And in southeastern China, 10 people confirmed dead today. A building being used as a coronavirus quarantine center suddenly collapsed this weekend. More than 20 people are still unaccounted for.

Back here in the U.S. now, we are getting new details about the Washington State nursing home that has been at the center of the coronavirus outbreak there. At least three employees have now tested positive. We'll take you there live. But first, CNN's John Defterios has this week's global energy challenge.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR (voice-over): In the heart of Saudi Arabia's most prolific oil field, I'm taken to the far corner of the Hawiyah gas plant where a pilot program is capturing carbon emissions.

One cannot miss the industrial lingo -- compressor, suction drum, removal filter, co2-to-pipeline, and pressure gauges galore, all used in the name of carbon capture utilization and storage, or CCUS.

Facilities manager Ahmed Harbi takes me up top to take in a wider view of what they launched five years ago. Instead of spewing emissions from this tower, it is captured, compressed in this large chamber and then sent 85 kilometers to their mega oil field.

AHMED HARBI, FACILITY MANAGER, SAUDI ARAMCO: This system right now is taking around 45 million standard cubic feet per day of co2. You know, this equates to almost 800,000 ton per year.

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): According to the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States, that is the equivalent of removing nearly 170,000 cars from the road each year.

(on camera): The acronym CCUS covers a broad spectrum, from capturing the carbon to storing it, but also utilization. Put it into products like cement and fertilizer in the early stages of this development.

(vouice-over): The chief technology officer of Aramco illustrates the process with this model at a carbon capture forum in Riyadh.

AHMAD AL-KHOWAITER, CTO SAUDI ARAMCO: Today, up to a third of our research funds are spent on sustainability technologies like this.

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): After an hour-long drive, I arrive to this oil well at the end of the long journey for the compressed co2, where it is injected into the reservoir. Field engineers explain how compressed carbon boosts efficiency of oil production and how the remainder is stored under the surface.

AL-KHOWAITER: We focus a lot on the subsurface to ensure the lowest energy required to produce each barrel. And that's through technologies that have costs, but in the long term pay back.

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): This Aramco facility is one of less than 20 large-scale projects around the world. The International Energy Agency says they are capturing 16 million tons a year and adds to help hit climate targets, 1 billion tons or a gigaton is required. It is why some in the hydrocarbon industry say financial incentives aren't needed for this to take off.

AL-KHOWAITER: So like many other technologies, solar energy, for example, today is where it is because of recognition by governments that this was an important tool and an important technology.

DEFTERIOS (voice-over): If, that is, the industry can seriously multiply what our today's pilot programs into a global standard.

[17:55:03]

John Defterios in the Ghawar field, Saudi Arabia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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[17:59:59]

CABRERA: Thanks so much for joining me. You are live in the "CNN Newsroom." I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. And the number --