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Surgeon General Says, Expect More Cases And Deaths But Don't Panic; Candidates Campaign As CDC Advises Older Adults Stay Home; CPAC Attendee Tests Positive For Virus Where Trump, Pence Spoke; Worries Over Coronavirus Could Dominate Trading; Thousands March To Celebrate Women, Demand Equality; Church Services Canceled Amid Growing Outbreak In Northern Italy. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired March 8, 2020 - 18:00   ET

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


[18:00:00]

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Thanks so much for joining me. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York.

And a number of people in the United States testing positive for the potentially deadly coronavirus has now top 500. It's a big jump from just 24 hours ago. And now, 33 states are reporting patients either being treated or under quarantine.

The vast majority of these cases are concentrated in the Seattle, Washington area, as well as a cluster of infections outside of New York City. Nationwide, more than 20 people have died from the outbreak.

The U.S. surgeon general telling CNN today that Americas should be prepared for that infection rate and the death toll to also rise.

A crowded cruise ship with 3,500 people on board is now headed to a port in the California Bay Area. 21 people have tested positive for the virus on board that ship. U.S. officials say they are ready to handle these people on the ship who may need help.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I recommended it very strongly in our meetings that we get those people off that ship. We don't want to have a repeat of what we saw at the Diamond Princess, where the ship became almost a hotspot of transmission. I feel strongly about getting them off there and getting them under the appropriate quarantine and/or care for those that are sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen is here, also CNN's Omar Jimenez near a nursing home in Washington State that has been linked to more than a dozen deaths from the virus.

Elizabeth, the U.S. surgeon general's message today, by and large, was don't panic. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, of course. And you know what, we should never panic. It is never good to panic. Instead, we should be smart. And speaking of being smart and sort of working with this outbreak, an interesting shift in tone from the surgeon general and other federal officials today about how to handle this coronavirus outbreak. They've been saying we're moving from containment to mitigation.

What that means is that in the beginning, we were taking each case that came in, looking at who they had close contact with, a husband, a wife, a best friend, a colleague, and quarantining those people and following them to see if they got sick and then continuing that kind of cycle. It's called contact tracing.

And it's very useful, but at a certain point when outbreaks become larger, it can become less and less useful. So the message now is an addition to doing that kind of work, doing things at a larger scale, for example, for example, canceling South by Southwest. That was done recently. Not having large gatherings, telling people to work from home. Those are the kinds of steps that we seem to be headed more towards now.

CABRERA: Omar, you're at that nursing home in the epicenter of the West Coast outbreak area. What are they saying?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana. At this point, this Life Care Center nursing facility has been at the center of this story but for all the wrong reasons. When you take just the patients and the residents that were inside, the way officials have been breaking it down here is you look at the number of patients we had when we first got a confirmed case out of this life center facility in around mid- February.

They had around 120 residents in total, between the amount of residents that had either died or been taken to the hospital. They are now down to 55 residents in less than a month. And even that number is eight less than they had yesterday.

So, now, they did mention that between all of the deaths that they have seen, 26 associated with this facility. Not all of those were coronavirus links. But of the ones that we do know coronavirus-linked at this point, it's about 16 of the 17 in this specific county, again, all stemming from this single facility.

But it's not just the residents. One of the things that officials here pointed to, and even the families of the residents here have pointed to, are the employees that are still working at this facility and again, still showing up every day and they touched on that a few moments earlier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM KILLIAN, LIFE CARE OF KIRKLAND: Once again, I can't stress enough that everyone who is working inside that facility is a hero for the work they're doing, to take care of these patients. Of the tests we're doing, we still are not testing our employees inside. We don't have test kits to do that. That's an ongoing discussion that we would continue -- we are continuing to have with the various agencies, that we would like to be able to test our employees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JIMENEZ: Now, the number of test kits that they were trying to get their hands on was also, again, a point of discussion they were going for. They now are able to test all the residents that they have, but that's important because of how depleted their numbers actually are.

You heard what he mentioned about trying to get enough for the employees. About 70 of them showing symptoms, and we learned from them earlier today that three of those 70 are now hospitalized and one has now tested positive for the novel coronavirus here in Washington, Ana.

CABRERA: It's a heartbreaking situation and such a vulnerable population to begin with. Omar Jimenez, thank you. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you as well.

The governor of Washington, Jay Inslee, was pressed earlier this morning about whether the current measures in place are enough to contain the crisis.

[18:05:05]

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA): We've asked a whole host of communities to consider whether you really need to have your events right now, and they are being canceled. The comic-cons has been postponed. We have a number of school closures.

We are contemplating some next steps, particularly to protect our vulnerable populations in our nursing homes and like, and we are looking to determine whether mandatory measures are required.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Jenny Durkan is the mayor of Seattle and joins us now.

Mayor Durkan, thanks for taking some time out, because I know it's extremely busy for you right now.

You heard the governor there talking about the possible mandatory measures. What stronger measures are you anticipating for your city?

MAYOR JENNY DURKAN (D), SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: So, Ana, thanks for having me on, and I want to emphasize to the people who are watching that all of us are very conscious of the families who have lost people here in the region and that we have a number of vulnerable populations. So we're doing everything we can to act as one government.

The state government, Governor Inslee, the local governments, to make sure that we protect our healthcare workers, our frontline providers, our first responders and our most vulnerable communities, our seniors and others who are vulnerable. So we are taking all steps based on the science that we have. The World Health Organization made one very important recommendation in dealing with these crises, having been informed by China and Italy and other places.

And that's how important it is to act as one government. And so, just today, we had a long meeting with the governor, local officials, federal officials, to make sure that we can act in concert to take all those steps the public health recommends based on where we are in the spread of the virus.

So we will be making additional announcements this week and assessing what we need to do to, one, keep this virus from spreading, but as importantly, to focus on those most vulnerable populations and do what we can to contain the virus from getting to them.

CABRERA: I know the University of Washington has moved all classes online until the end of the quarter, which is on March 20th. We've heard some residents in the Washington/Seattle area, specifically, talk about how it feels like a ghost town in certain parts of the city. What other measures are being considered at this point in terms of just, you know, really changing the way of life as we know it at the moment?

DURKAN: You know, the way of life has shifted. it shifted first with employers, and we have some of the world's most innovative companies here in Seattle who have had their employees who are working from home. The work continues. The innovation continues. But what it does is it has a huge impact on our small businesses, and we're really looking not just at the public health but the economic health of our communities and those frontline workers who will be either be out of jobs or don't have sick and safe time leave.

CABRERA: What more can you tell us about the economic impact you're seeing across the city because of this outbreak?

DURKAN: Yes. So, we are seeing -- you know, already we know that when you have that many people working from home, the first businesses that feel it are those small businesses, the restaurants and shops that operate around those places. And as you take more and more measures to have people not go out and not socialize, those are the people here, so we're working very closely with our small business community and their workers and working with the state to see if we can get a package of things to help them at the frontline.

And that's everything from increasing unemployment insurance or expediting it to helping with commercial rent or other interruption of service provisions. So, we are hoping to put together a package that relies both on what the federal government was able to pass for small businesses, what the state is doing right now, because they're in session right now in the legislative about to pass a package, and then locally, so that we can get as much help as we can to those workers who really won't have any option to work from home.

CABRERA: What's your assessment of how the federal government has handled this situation and providing the resources that are needed?

DURKAN: So, I think everyone recognizes the number one thing that has hampered our region from being able to assess the extent of the spread of the virus, and therefore, what our reaction should be, is testing. And if I were to say anything to any other city or region getting this, testing, testing, testing, implemented as quickly as possible.

I think you will see that ramp up here locally, and the federal government is finally getting ahead of that curve, we hope, because that's the number one tool that our public health people have missed, and it makes it hard to make those policy decisions on what actions we need to take to create a safer environment for everybody to be healthy.

CABRERA: Your state votes in the primary on Tuesday. Washington is key for both candidates, 89 delegates up for grabs there. What precautions are being taken for Election Day?

[18:10:00]

DURKAN: So we are a completely vote-by-mail state. So there is no polling places. People can drop their ballots off at a common place or put them in the mailbox for free. And so, we're fortunate in that there won't be any congregation in and around voting. But we hope that, you know, we still maintain that enthusiasm for the public process and as many people vote as possible.

CABRERA: So, everybody votes by mail there? You don't have any concerns about people staying home and not participating?

DURKAN: That's right, everybody votes by mail. And we don't even make them pay for the stamp. So, we're hoping that as many people can vote as possible. Obviously, this election has generated a lot of enthusiasm, but there's other things, for example, the federal census will be up and running.

I think that we, as a jurisdiction, local and state, are going to talk to the federal government about what kind of waivers we can get, because, obviously, if we have a lot of people in quarantine or are decreasing the amount of people to congregate, we want to make sure that we get a fair count for the census and keep people safe.

CABRERA: Mayor Jenny Durkan, thank you very much, the mayor of Seattle, Washington.

DURKAN: Thanks so much.

CABRERA: Up next, how the coronavirus is impacting the 2020 candidates, what they're saying about holding rallies and shaking hands in the midst of this outbreak.

Plus, Senator Sanders speaks out about a Nazi flag that a protester brought to one of his rallies this week. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:15:00]

CABRERA: Senator Bernie Sanders will hold a coronavirus roundtable with public health experts tomorrow in Detroit to discuss the outbreak and the country's response to it, but he's not canceling his rallies, at least not yet. Here's what he told our Jake Tapper this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: At what point will it not be worth the risk of having rallies?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's a good question, and all that I can tell you, Jake, is we are in communications with public health officials wherever we go.

TAPPER: More personally, sir, let me ask you, the CDC is saying older Americas should limit their travel and avoid crowds. You, President Trump, Vice President Biden, you're all older Americans. Do you think that all three of you should be limiting your travel and avoiding crowds?

SANDERS: Well, the best of all possible worlds, maybe, but right now, we're running as hard as we can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: After that interview, Sanders held a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was still shaking hands with supporters.

Meanwhile, CNN's Jessica Dean is traveling with Joe Biden. She's in Jackson, Mississippi. What we know, Biden continues his campaign events. The CDC, however, Jessica, is advising that older Americas stay at home as much as possible.

At 77 and 78 years old, Biden and Sanders both fit into that category. What is Biden planning to do about this outbreak? Is he making any changes?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, from what we can see here, it's pretty much business as usual. He came out, he held the rallies today. He did shake hands. He did not do his typical rope line, but it was -- the campaign is not saying, and we don't know if that has anything to do with coronavirus or if that has to do with time. It's unclear. But he did shake hands on his way out. it was just a much more brief amount of time that he used there.

We did talk to him earlier today about this. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: How is your campaign considering large events with coronavirus? JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're listening to the experts and the CDC and taking advice from them. Whatever advice they give me, we'll take.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: And that's also what we're hearing from the campaign, who also says that vice president and our team will lead by example in following expert advice and complying with reasonable risk mitigations. They said also at the same time though, they plan to continue running a very aggressive campaign as they work to get the nomination and ultimately beat Donald Trump in 2020.

So, the campaign is focusing on full steam ahead, Ana, but certainly, that is on a lot of people's minds. People are talking about it. But we saw pretty much business as usual here at this rally today, Ana.

CABRERA: All right. Jessica Dean, thank you. We also just got word from the Trump campaign that it will be, quote, proceeding as normal during this outbreak. I want to get straight to our David Gergen. He is, of course, a former adviser to four U.S. presidents, both Republican and Democrat.

And, David, in the midst of this crisis, should candidates change the way they're campaigning? And how do you see the coronavirus impacting the 2020 election?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I must say, Ana, that I think they should be listening more closely to Dr. Fauci in Washington and the people around him who have been arguing very, very vigorously that if you are an older person, and especially if you have underlying conditions, you are very, very vulnerable. And the fatality rate for older people who'd get this, become infected, is much higher than it is for people under 60. So, I think, frankly, after this coming Tuesday, they really, everybody ought to scale back and treat this as the national emergency it's becoming.

When you're a candidate for national office, you send -- you're a role model for others. And if you don't take this seriously, then they're not going to take it seriously, and the whole country can be put at further risk. So, I do believe that it's incumbent upon both Democratic frontrunners now, especially Biden and Sanders. And Sanders has -- you know, he just had his heart attack just a few weeks ago. I don't know what an underlying condition is, if it's not something like that. So I do think they should take it more seriously.

In the meantime, I must tell you that after the Trump administration did -- was underappreciated for what it did in the early days, when they held the Chinese away from the country -- they deserve more credit than they got. But since then, it's been chaotic, there have been a lot of tensions, they've moved slowly. And I think the way this is building now, this coronavirus as a story, as a political matter, has become more dangerous to Donald Trump than the impeachment.

CABRERA: What has he done wrong?

[18:20:00]

GERGEN: It's that he hasn't pulled it together. He, in effect, is the health commander in chief on something like that, and you need to pull together the team and give people confidence that you know what you're doing and you do it in a serious way.

For the president to go to the CDC, for example, and engage in this sort of incredible soliloquy about how much he understands mental health and how smart he is, as opposed to sort of going in and saying, listen, there are some very big differences in the way we're measuring this. The World Health Organization says there's a fatality rate of like 3.4 percent. 3.4 percent of those who become infected die. And here in the United States, we're talking about 1 percent. Why is the difference and are we doing enough to get these tests out?

You know, the administration promised us they'd have a million and a half tests in the hands and be testing people by the end of last week. They did get 400,000 out of the door, but they're nowhere close, nowhere close to the kind of testing that ought to be going on. Other countries like South Korea are doing a much better job than we are.

We were the pride of the world as a public health organization and our transparency was high. We're not telling Americas in a transparent way how many people have this and what the fatality rates are and what you really ought to be doing. And this is growing and growing. It is not going away quickly. I've talked to a number of experts who say this is not going away. It's going to get bigger before it gets better.

CABRERA: Right. And that's what we're hearing from the experts and we're also hearing from the experts, they really don't know the extent of this outbreak at this point. They don't have all the answers to be able to provide the information to the public.

GERGEN: Yes.

CABRERA: Let's, David, talk more about the 2020 race, and I just wanted to talk to you specifically about a moment that we saw this week at a Bernie Sanders rally. A man waved a swastika flag. And Sanders, as you know, is Jewish. He talked about that incident here on CNN earlier today. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: You know, we have been disrupted by various groups, some Trump people got excited and we've gotten rid of them, you know. But the idea that there was a swastika, a symbol of everything that this country stands against, we lost 400,000 people fighting that symbol, fighting Nazism. 6 million Jews were killed. Other people were killed, the most devastating war in the history of humanity. And you have in the United States of America somebody who's an anti-Semite, was yelling out vulgar things as well.

Obviously, it is unspeakable, it is disgusting. It is something, I've got to tell you, I never expected in my life as an America to see a swastika at a major political rally. It's horrible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: David, as someone from the same generation, did you ever expect to see a swastika at a major political rally in America?

GERGEN: No. And I often disagree with Senator Sanders on some of his views, but I think he hit that squarely on the head. He's absolutely right. It is unacceptable. And, you know, everybody needs to calm down and the candidates need to tell their followers to calm down. We've got a serious election ahead.

This is about serious stuff, especially when we have Americas starting to die from this virus. We need to be alert and adult-like and work together to get ourselves past this.

CABRERA: Sanders also appeared on a number of other Sunday shows, and at one point, he seemed to blame his Super Tuesday losses last week on the establishment. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDERS: 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 widthdrawn 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: It's striking to me to hear Sanders go there. This line of attack, David, seemed to start with President Trump who first claimed the primary was rigged against Sanders.

GERGEN: Yes, I agree. I don't know where he's coming from with that. There is no Democratic establishment. This is a Democratic Party. It does not have an establishment of the kind he's talking about. And, you know, he keeps looking for excuses. Losing candidates look for excuses. It's not them.

What has really hurt him was when people started comparing him to Trump as a campaigner, and they also started to look more closely at what he has been promising as a revolution. The country is not in a revolutionary mode. That's not our mood right now. We want healing. We want people to come back together. There is going to come a time when we're going to demand more progress than we're making and Sanders and Warren and others are pointing in the direction, but those are aspirational goals.

The Medicare-for-all, which is at the centerpiece of the Sanders campaign, is disapproved by, what, 60 percent of the country.

[18:25:01]

We see periodic polls that come out that show the country is just not in the mood for getting rid of all private health insurance as a way to get more people enrolled. There are better ways to do it, and Biden has had this resurgence.

But let me just say one other thing. There also is a question of relational politics and how well you get along with others as a measure of how much you can get done as president. And right now, of the people who have dropped out -- there have been eight candidates who have dropped out.

Two of them were minor candidates who have endorsed Bernie Sanders, and that's de Blasio and also Marianne Williamson. They both, you know -- bless them, they endorsed Sanders. But the other six, the mainstream candidates, who a person has endorsed Bernie Sanders. And if you look at the Senate --

CABRERA: Endorsed Joe Biden.

GERGEN: I'm sorry. No, Bernie Sanders has one endorsement in the Senate, and that is from Pat Leahy, his fellow senator from Vermont. Joe Biden has a dozen members of the Senate who have endorsed him. That says a lot about their relationship and whether they're in peer review -- I believe very strongly in peer review. People ought to be judged by their peers. In the peer review, Biden, those are not establishment people. They are people who are in politics and they want to win.

CABRERA: David Gergen, I have other questions for you, as always, but out of time tonight. Thank you for being here.

GERGEN: Okay. Thank you. It was good to talk to you again.

CABRERA: You too.

The reverend of the largest church in Washington D.C. -- maybe not the largest church -- I should say a large church in D.C., tested positive for the coronavirus and this week we learned an attendee at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference had the virus as well. Still, President Trump says he's not concerned. Hear his remarks, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:31:26]

CABRERA: There are coronavirus cases in 33 states and the District of Columbia. In fact, there is just one confirmed coronavirus case in the nation's capital, and we've learned it is the prominent leader of the historic Christ Church of Georgetown. Reverend Timothy Cole was diagnosed with the virus Saturday. Sunday services at the episcopal church were canceled today for the first time in 150 years, if you can believe it.

Meanwhile, officials with the Conservative Political Action Conference confirmed one attendee has tested positive for coronavirus. President Trump and Vice President Pence spoke at the CPAC event in Maryland a little over a week ago, and CNN's Kristen Holmes picks up the story from there. She is in West Palm Beach, Florida, near Mar-a-Lago where President Trump is spending his weekend.

Kristen, what is the White House saying about all this?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ana, the press secretary came out yesterday saying that there was no indication that Vice President Pence or President Trump had any interaction with this attendee, but you have to keep this in mind, there are still a lot of questions about who this attendee actually did come into contact with. Remember, this is a huge conservative conference here.

There were a lot of leaders of the party, including some of President Trump's most staunch allies, people who work with the White House and with the president directly all of the time, and we still aren't sure if the attendee had any interaction with any of them. But despite this, President Trump himself says he's not concerned at all, and in fact, he said he's not going to change his lifestyle because of the coronavirus.

Take a listen to what he said about it last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll have tremendous rallies and we're doing very well and we're doing a fantastic job with respect to that subject on the virus, yes. And we've had tremendous cooperation with other countries and all over the world, and we've made it very, very tough, very strong, very stringent borders.

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Say it, what?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you concerned that the virus is getting closer to the White House?

TRUMP: No, I'm not concerned at all. No, I'm not. No. We've done a great job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: So, he said he's going to continue doing everything he does. I actually asked him on Friday as well after I watched him in Tennessee shake hands with multiple people, get very close in proximity, taking photos, if that was going to change, and he said no.

But I do want to note something else the press secretary said. She said that the White House doctor, the president's doctor, as well as the Secret Service, are working with government agencies to make sure President Trump is safe, the first family is safe. And that's something to keep in mind here.

The decision might not ultimately be President Trump's if we continue to see this outbreak, if we continue to see more cases in areas that he's in, interacting with people that he is actually interacting with as well.

CABRERA: All right. Kristen Holmes, thank you for that reporting.

Around the world today, massive marches in honor of International Women's Day. Up next, I'll be joined by the first female TV correspondent to ever cover the White House full time. We'll discuss how gender is impacting politics in 2020.

But first, CNN's Christine Romans has a look at the week ahead for the markets -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Ana. Volatility is here to stay. Uncertainty over the coronavirus drove violent swings of the stock market last week. Bond yields were volatile as well, and we're likely to see more wild action on Wall Street this week. Portfolio managers say investors need to think long term but should be careful about trying to buy the dips.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN BELSKI, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, BMO CAPITAL MARKETS: We think that bottoms, recessions, and structural changes in the market don't happen in three or four days. They take several days.

[18:35:01]

So if you're trying to pick the bottom or pick the top, it's a failed strategy. So we think that you should be buying longer term, holding longer term, and continuing to focus on those high-quality investments that are right here in the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Fears about coronavirus have not shown up in the economic data yet. The U.S. economy created 273,000 jobs in February, much better than expected, and the unemployment rate slipped back to 3.5 percent.

But that's a look in the rearview mirror. This week, we'll be watching weekly jobless claims and a preliminary reading on March consumer sentiment to see if coronavirus is beginning to weigh on the economy.

In New York, I'm Christine Romans.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CABRERA: Around the world today, thousands marched and held protests to honor International Women's Day and demand equality.

[18:40:05]

As women continue to push for more representation, there are some reasons to celebrate. In at least 59 nations, the glass ceiling has been broken with a woman currently holding or having held that country's highest political office.

Not in the U.S. and after Senator Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the 2020 race this week, it is now all but certain that the next president will be another man. That's something Bernie Sanders addressed this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think women have obstacles placed in front of them that men do not have. On the other hand, we have made progress in the last 40, 50 years, but the day has got to come sooner and later, that women can see themselves equally represented in Congress at half or more members of Congress, president of the United States, leaders of companies all over this country.

We're making progress, but it's too slow and we have got to get rid of all of the vestiges of sexism that exist in this country, which is still pretty rampant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: With us now is former White House correspondent for ABC News, Ann Compton, and she has a groundbreaker herself as the first woman assigned full time by a television network to cover the White House.

Ann, pleasure to have you here. You heard how Sanders answered the sexism question. Here's how Elizabeth Warren answered it on the day she dropped out of the race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know that is the trap question for every woman. If you say, yes, there was sexism in this race, everyone says, whiner. And if you say, no, there was no sexism, about a bazillion women think, what planet do you live on?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Why is it hard for Warren to answer the question? Is it always damned if you do, damned if you don't, if you're a woman in politics?

ANN COMPTON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, ABC NEWS: Well, I think it's absolutely true that women, men, we're all looking for smart answers to just the answer of why American voters have turned in this direction.

You know, it's a striking difference sitting here today from 25 years ago. I was with Hillary Clinton when she spoke at that big U.N. conference in Beijing wearing a soft pink suit, and she kind of poked her finger in the eye of the global establishment, saying, human rights are women's rights, women's rights are human rights.

But she went on to get not only elected to the United States Senate, to be secretary of State all over the globe, and she became the Democratic presidential nominee and won the popular vote. Yet still, this country has not elected a woman. And the field, as you just pointed out, this year four women senators and a congresswoman in the most diverse field of presidential candidates ever, all of them out before Super Tuesday. CABRERA: Right. Yes, and the polls suggest there is enthusiasm for, or

at least comfort with, a female candidate. As you know, women make up the majority of the electorate, but the reality is, women did not vote that way for Elizabeth Warren or Amy Klobuchar and others like Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand and Marianne Williamson. They didn't even make it to the primaries. Are you surprised?

COMPTON: Right. I'm not surprised, but there's a clue in a CNN- University of New Hampshire poll that you all did, where it talked about Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. And the poll gave them very strong marks on their positive -- their favorables. 67 percent for Warren and 50 percent something for Kamala Harris. Yet, when that -- those same voters were asked, do you like them, Elizabeth Warren was down on 5 percent and Kamala Harris 6 percent.

So, there's a likability factor here that I don't think we have really heard from American voters explaining, what is it? Why do you have a favorable position but then you don't like the person well enough to actually vote for them? It's a mystery right now.

CABRERA: Right. And somebody who knows a lot about that, it's Hillary Clinton, right? And how she had to deal with that same issue. And she's talking about it in a new docuseries. Let's listen to this clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everybody has a motivation. The motivation can be petty, it can be ideological. In my case, it could be partisan. But that can't affect your core, about who you are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You being a woman president, I've heard it before said about you, what if she makes a decision based on emotion?

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my goodness.

CLINTON: A lot of people don't even think I have any.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: And again, you've covered Hillary Clinton. You've spent a lot of time as a female journalist in Washington. What have you observed about the women who have been able to break through in the male- dominated world of politics?

[18:45:06]

COMPTON: That's a great question, because the role models are out there. There are women -- men and women in public life that Americans admire, but somehow, breaking through the idea that they're going to vote for them, it just doesn't seem to happen. You know, I have four little granddaughters. And when you're

preschool, you don't know much about voting, but they know who they idolize, strong, impressive, young women like Anna and Elsa in "Frozen" and Mulan and the Moana, and they know when they see somebody that they admire who is strong and brave.

I think maybe what all of us in this country need is a few more -- taking account of a few more role models in real life who show us how they can act in public life, their example, and that's still a very, very strong magnet that will help turn some voters' minds.

CABRERA: All right, Ann Compton, I appreciate the conversation. Thanks so much for being here.

COMPTON: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: Up next, Italy takes drastic, new measures to try to contain the coronavirus, even suspending church services. And CNN is on the ground with a look at how it's impacting that deeply religious country.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:50:48]

CABRERA: Millions of people in northern Italy are on lockdown as health officials struggle to contain the spread of coronavirus. The entire Lombardy region and 14 other provinces in the so-called red zone are subject to strict measures. In some areas, church services have even been cancelled for weeks now.

CNN's Ben Wedeman attended one of the last funerals held in Milan before this ban took effect.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROTHER MARCELLO LONGHI, CAPUCHIN ORDER: Bon journo. Bon journo.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Father Marcello greets the first arrivals at a Milan soup kitchen. Every day at 11:30 in the morning, volunteers hand out more than a thousand meals to those in need. The avoid a crowd they now pass through, get their bagged lunch, and leave.

The rhythm of church life has changed for Marcello and the other brothers of Capuchin Order at Chiesa del Sacro Cuore di Gesu, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As the cloud of the virus that hovers over Italy grows ever darker, he sees a silver lining.

This is a back in reality, says Brother Marcello. It's a moment of great humility because we're reminded that we're humans. We're not omnipotent. We are fragile. We become sick. But what's beautiful is that we see how much we need one another.

The last mass here was February 22nd. How does he feel when he sees the church empty on Sunday? Not well, he repeats four times. Sometimes it said priests, the clergy

and church are our power. At this moment it's clear to us, what is a priest without his flock?

Perhaps priorities are shifting back to basics.

This is an opportunity, says worshipper Eros Tavernar. To reflect, to think, to be with your family, and more than anything to slow down our lives which I think are going by too fast.

Later Brother Marcello reaches out to a fellow Capuchin, Alberto, in the red zone, where the outbreak is most intense and exit and entry are tightly controlled. Brother Alberto is in quarantine with a fever but has yet to be tested for the virus.

First of all, I am sorry, says Marcello. Yet Alberto's spirits seem high. He jokes that with all the couples staying home there will be many new babies to baptize.

In the afternoon a rare gathering in the church for the funeral of a 67-year-old man. He did not die, we're told, from the virus. The number of mourners is modest but large by today's new standard.

So much is changing in this Italy's time of trial.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Milan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: Thoughts with all those affected tonight.

Up next, we will go live to California, where a crowded cruise ship is expected to dock tomorrow with several confirmed cases of coronavirus on board. Details on where those patients will go next.

[18:55:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMARA WALKER, CNN HOST: Hi, everyone, you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Amara Walker in Atlanta.

The top medical officer in the United States, the surgeon general, tells CNN today the outbreak of the potentially deadly coronavirus has not yet peaked. He warns there will be more cases and more deaths but that does not mean people should panic.