Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Coronavirus Cases in U.S. Climbs to More than 500; Italy Under Lockdown; North Korea Launch Three Projectiles; Grand Princess With 21 Confirmed Cases; Public Hoards Basic Supplies Amid Coronavirus Threat; U.S. Senator Ted Cruz Self-Quarantine; Bernie Sanders Hopes to Win Michigan and Mississippi; Refugees and Migrants Treated Brutally. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 9, 2020 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers joining us here in the United States and of course, all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

Let's get started. From lockdowns in Italy to cutting out potential risks in the United States, countries around the world ramping up containment measures for the coronavirus.

Plus, North Korea is at it again, launching at least three projectiles into the sea off its coast.

We're just a day away from Super Tuesday part two in the race for the White House. Why this is a make or break moment for Bernie Sanders.

And we start with the novel coronavirus. It has infected more than 108,000 people worldwide and killed at least 3,800. Here's a look at where things stand right now.

U.S. futures are down as the number of infected here tops 560. The number of dead in the U.S. has also risen to 22. Markets have also been hurt by U.S. oil prices hitting a four-year low.

On the U.S. West Coast, passengers on board a cruise ship are waiting to dock in Oakland. The Grand Princess has at least 21 infected on board. Passengers can expect health screenings and a potentially longer quarantine once they come ashore.

Meanwhile, Italy is facing more than 7,300 cases and 366 deaths. It's putting around a quarter of its population on lockdown to contain the outbreak.

And we're covering this story from around the world. Journalist Kaori Enjoji is tracking tacking markets in Tokyo, and CNN's Delia Gallagher is in Rome for a look at Italy's lockdown. Now Lucy Kafanov is watching for the Grand Princess in Oakland. Let's start with Kaori Enjoji Tokyo. So, it was some frightening

numbers there, Kaori. Talk to us about how they're looking right now and what this could mean as we count down to the open in the United States.

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, Rosemary, a mood of panic across the Asian region today as oil prices plunged from the onset as OPEC talks deteriorated and Saudi Arabia effectively launched a price war with Russia.

The move in oil was really the trigger for an all-out sell down on Japanese equities and which rippled into other Asian markets. On top of that, you had Dow futures opening down more than 1,000 points, still down 1,200 points which really is a bad omen for the Dow which opens later on today.

And as if that were not enough, you had a near flash crash in the dollar-yen which is one of the most liquid pairs in the currency trading in currency sphere. You have a range of 101.5 to 105.5 on the dollar-yen as it whipsaws in Asian trading.

And at that point the market was already set up for a steep sell off on the equity market and the Tokyo stock market ending at its lowest point since January 2019, below the 20,000 mark. So and into the trading, the projectiles launched by North Korea barely moved the markets because it was already in panic mode.

At the same time, you had a rush to treasuries as has been the case over the last couple of weeks with a record low yields on U.S. treasuries. This is not all. We're seeing panic across the board. Australian markets, equity market there hitting its lowest level since 2008 and the Aussie dollar pushed sharply lower against a range of currency as well.

Central bankers and finance ministers have been across the world, have been trying to shore up their economies as more data emerges about the economic fallout from the coronavirus. First it was the factory shutdowns clearly moving into the corporate sphere with companies lowering guidance for their business plans.

And as the government decides what to do to try and contain the virus, they're caught in a very difficult position because they want to contain the virus. But that may mean containing the movement of people and of businesses which of course bodes well for an economic recovery with countries like Japan already halfway towards recession.

CHURCH: Yes. All very unnerving. Kaori Enjoji, many thanks to you for joining us there and bringing us up to date on the situation.

[03:05:02]

Nearly 16 million people are facing lockdown in Italy as the virus spreads. We turn to CNN's Delia Gallagher who's in Rome with the latest on this. It's a large portion of the population of Italy. Sixteen million people in lockdown. How is this going to work exactly? DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, you know,

these new government measures put in place just yesterday have caused not only a lockdown in the north but many changes for Italians throughout the country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

It was a rude awakening for Italians on Sunday morning, a government decree signed overnight has thrown their lives into confusion.

"Do you know where we can go, how we can go, what we're supposed to do," says Vimal (Ph) a regular at one of Rome's popular cafes. He says many people aren't sure what to do since the government has temporarily suspended sporting events, cinema, bingo, even weddings and funerals.

Lorenzo Vani (Ph), owner of the cafe says he spent the morning trying to understand what the rules are.

"The thing that perplexes me, he says, is serving at tables. If the waiter has to stay one meter away, how can he bring the food to the table?" Vani (Ph) is also worried about paying the bills. He says there's been a steep drop in customers, and he has 100 employees to take care of.

"We have to pay the bills, lights, water, gas, and personnel. If I don't make money, I close."

People in Rome, unlike the north of Italy, still have freedom of movement. But schools, museums, and historical sites like the coliseum are closed.

Now these new restrictions are in place at least for the next three and a half weeks until April 3rd. What remains to be seen is how well Italians will be able to adapt to them. The civil protection authority has made an appeal asking Italians to change their daily habits in order to help stop the spread of the virus.

One Sunday habit for Italians is coming to St. Peter's square to see the pope at his window. But in a break with tradition, the pope spoke on this Sunday from a video screen. The Vatican says they made that choice to avoid too many people gathering in the square.

France has admitted it was strange to see a pope caged in like this.

(FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

GALLAGHER: The pope did manage away from the window saying he wanted to see people in real time. But for people in Italy today, the real times are tough. With new measures in place, there may be hope in the not-too-distant future.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GALLAGHER: And Rosemary, now we wait and see essentially for the next three and a half weeks whether this temporary disruption in the lives of Italians will have the desired effect of containing the virus. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Let's hope it does. Delia Gallagher bringing us the very latest there from Rome. Many thanks.

Well, a cruise ship that had been prevented from docking in San Francisco will now head for port in Oakland, California. At least 21 people on board the Grand Princess have coronavirus.

Lucy Kafanov reports a plan is in place to get passengers off Monday and send the ship back out to sea quickly.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the details of the plan are still being worked out by the authorities involved. But I can tell you sort of the rough sequence as we understand it from the governor of California.

We know that medical staff boarded the ship on Sunday to begin the process of interviewing the passengers, getting their medical history, getting everything ready for that disembarkation process on Monday. We know that the boat will come into the port of Oakland, this location chosen in part due to its proximity to the Travis Air Force base, where some of the people will be quarantined, at least in California residence.

It's also close to the Oakland International Airport. That might be an opportunity to get some of those international passengers out of the country but on chartered flights. The governor of California saying they're making every step possible to prevent the population of the ship from mixing with the local population with the local community here to keep that disease from spreading.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We are not prepared to tell you exactly when and for those passengers that may be watching this, we are not able to tell you exactly when the cruise ship will come in to the port as we are still working out the enormity and perplexity of making sure we prepare the site and moreover, prepare for a quick turn around and quick boarding of individuals to respective locations which I will talk about in a moment.

[03:10:07]

We want to make sure that all of that is locked in before the ship comes to port which I think would just create more anxiety for the passengers and moreover, for the general public.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAFANOV: We know that the thousand or so California residents will be split between either Travis Air Force base up north or the March Air Base near San Francisco. The rest of the U.S. citizens will be flown to either Texas or Georgia, quarantined at the two military bases there.

The big question, what to do with the hundreds of foreign citizens on board, the passengers, the crews' attendees. We know that the State Department is working out those details as we speak. They're trying to get the foreigners evacuated on private chartered flights.

Again, they will not be mixing with the general population at the airport. And then the crew members, about 1,100 of them, they will remain on the ship. They will spend 14 days in quarantine on the Grand Princess. That ship will then pull away from the port of Oakland, go back to sea, and that is where those staff members will ride out the end of the quarantine.

Lucy Kafanov, CNN, Oakland.

CHURCH: There are more than 550 cases of the coronavirus in the United States but the U.S. surgeon general believes the outbreak is being contained in certain parts of the country and the government's response is shifting into a mitigation phase.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is coming under increased scrutiny for the response to the outbreak. U.S. officials are now offering different answers on the number of test kits available.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: We have 75,000 tests available right now for folks. By early next week, tomorrow, we should have over two million tests available. By the end of the week through partnerships with private industry, over four million tests available.

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Right now, I believe 1.1 million tests have already been sent out. By Monday, there will be an additional 400,000. By the end of next week, probably around four million.

BEN CARSON, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: Over a million tests were shipped out already this past week. Tomorrow another 640,000 will be available.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Joining me now, Ivan Hung, clinical professor and chief of the infectious disease division at the University of Hong Kong. Good to have you with us.

IVAN HUNG, CLINICAL PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: Hi. Thank you.

CHURCH: So, as we just heard there, we keep getting these mixed messages, different numbers from U.S. leaders on the coronavirus. How many test kits we can expect to be made available impacting the real number of people actually infected by this virus.

So, why do you think U.S. authorities are having so many problems staying on message and giving citizens the truth about the situation?

HUNG: Well, I think they are just moving into the mitigation phase which is very early. In Hong Kong, we're still doing very much, you know, quarantine and isolating patients as early as possible.

So, once they move into mitigation phase, then in other words, that patient who remained asymptomatic or contact cases will not have to be screened by this kit. So, I think they are now trying -- the U.S. government is just preparing and trying to get the numbers of the kits that are available for testing in order to make an offer to the public in case that they are major outbreaks in various parts of the states.

CHURCH: All right. And I want to move to the Grand Princess cruise ship. It is expected to dock in just a few hours from now in Oakland, California with at least 21 people on board infected with the coronavirus. Now, they will be taken off first. Then all U.S. passengers will be quarantined for 14 days. And the remaining international passengers, we understand, will eventually be flown home.

Now, are U.S. authorities doing all the right things when you hear this with the cruise ship certainly compared to Japan's botched effort with the Diamond Princess?

HUNG: Yes, I think the U.S. government making a correct decision to letting the passengers to go disembark and get quarantined on the ground because in Japan, passengers have been quarantined on the ship and I think a lot of passengers actually got cross-infect while they are on board.

And if they are allowing the people to get disembark, they will be able to keep the infection coefficient down to probably about 1.3 or 1.4 which will be much better than keeping people on board and basically contaminated environment.

[03:15:05]

CHURCH: Right. So, let's hope that all runs smoothly. I want to turn to Italy now where authorities are putting nearly 16 million -- 16 million -- people under lockdown across the north --

HUNG: Yes.

CHURCH: -- in an effort to contain this virus after the number of dead jumped to at least 366 with more than 7,300 infected. How effective do you think this lockdown will be in containing the virus? And why has Italy had so many more problems than other nations do you think?

HUNG: Well, I think it's correct decision, although it might be slightly late. But looking at the experience that we had with Wuhan and Hubei that once the cities lockdown they're able to stop the infection from spreading to other parts of Italy and Europe.

So, it is extremely important to isolate the people there right now. And I think the problem with Italy is that they probably are not very aware at the beginning that this virus is very contagious. And I think at the beginning people had not been, you know, isolating themselves on seeking medical help earlier on. And also, many people are actually carrying the virus while they

remain asymptomatic. So, that's why the virus was spreading very quickly in northern part of Italy before they actually noticed that they have so many patients there already, so, which is maybe already too late before they actually now are putting in this infection control measures.

CHURCH: Right. Let's hope this lockdown works for Italy. Ivan Hung, thank you so much for talking with us. I appreciate it.

HUNG: Thank you.

CHURCH: And we'll take a short break here. Still to come, North Korea launches projectiles for a second time in a week. We go live to Seoul in South Korea for the latest on what officials are saying about it.

[03:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, North Korea appears once again to be ramping up weapons tests. Both U.S. and South Korean officials confirm projectiles were fired into the waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan. South Korea says they were launched from the north sun dock area.

CNN's Ivan Watson joins us now live from Seoul in South Korea with more on this developing story. Good to see you again, Ivan. So, what more are you learning about these projectiles and what this all might mean.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are slightly different estimates coming from the U.S. military in South Korea. The South Korean joint chiefs of staff put out a statement saying, there were at least three projectiles and that they flew a distance of about 200 kilometers to an altitude of about 50 kilometers.

U.S. officials telling CNN that these launches were somewhat expected. But the South Korean military is saying that the launches were not in the spirit of a recent military agreement between the South Korea and North Korea aimed at deescalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has gone a step further. He's called these launches a threat to peace and stability. And the launches were conducted exactly a week after North Korea conducted a separate series of launches, of what the U.S. military later said were short range ballistic missiles.

Five European countries launched a four -- launched a formal protest against that condemning those launches saying they were in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Pyongyang bristled at that criticism saying that all of this, all of these military exercises that Kim Jong-un himself, the North Korean leader, has presided over are defensive in nature.

CHURCH: And Ivan, what are you able to tell us about the impact of the coronavirus on U.S.-South Korea military exercises?

WATSON: It's significant. Both militaries have found cases of coronavirus within their ranks. The South Korean military has thousands of its forces in self-isolation. And it's so extreme that some time ago, the military alliance announced it was putting joint military exercises on hold.

The U.S. army has gone so far as to ban all travel for U.S. soldiers and their families in or out of South Korea. And that's substantial when you consider there are more than 30,000 U.S. forces stationed here. The U.S. and the South Korean military say they are on alert and are monitoring North Korea's actions.

But the coronavirus has triggered a new round of tit for tat diplomatic moves for the U.S.'s key allies in the region, Japan and South Korea with South Korea just recently announcing that it would not be validating. It would be throwing out all visas that Japanese citizens may have gotten to visit South Korea.

In this equation, North Korea hasn't confirmed any cases of coronavirus on its territory yet. It has a notorious reputation for not being transparent. Some key aide organizations like Doctors Without Borders and the International Federation of the Red Cross are not taking chances.

They've gotten the U.N. to give them waivers on sanctions to get emergency medical supplies to North Korea anticipating if the outbreak hits on the north side of the demilitarized zone, it will be a major, major problem for a country with a very few resources. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes, absolutely. Our Ivan Watson bringing us the very latest there from his vantage point in Seoul, South Korea. I appreciate it.

[03:24:56]

Well, meanwhile, some women in North Korea didn't let coronavirus concerns dampen their spirits on International Women's Day. They ventured out to shops and treated themselves to flowers and cosmetics to mark the day. Though, many did wear face masks, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in North Korea as we just heard.

But outside, health officials are skeptical given the country's close proximity to China and South Korea.

Well, the duchess of Sussex started celebrating International Women's Day early this year. On Friday she was a school in London, noting it was important to spend time with the women of our future. She spoke to students and called on young men to value and appreciate women and got a lively response from the crowd.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: I'm going to go off the cuff here. Because I do think what's really key if there's one brave young man in this room who wants to come and say what he thinks the importance of International Women's Day is -- I know there's going to be one of you. Otherwise we'll be --

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She really is beautiful?

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Well, the duke and duchess of Sussex will have their last scheduled world appearance in a few hours at the Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Day services.

And if you're watching internationally, thanks for being with us. Innovate Africa is up next. If you're joining us here in the United States, do stay tuned. We have more news for you on the other side of the break.

[03:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

I want to check the headlines for you this hour.

The Grand Princess cruise ship will dock briefly in Oakland, California Monday. There are at least 21 people on board with the coronavirus. Passengers needing medical care will be taken off first. The remaining U.S. base passengers will be sent to quarantine stations for 14 days.

In Washington State, there are 137 cases of the coronavirus and 19 deaths. Most of the cases are from the Life Care Center in Kirkland. U.S. health officials have sent extra nurses and doctors to the nursing home. Fifty-five residents remain at the facility while dozens have been transferred to various hospitals.

The outbreak is battering investor confidence. Dow Futures have plunged more than a thousand points. The S&P 500 fell as much as 5 percent triggering an exchange limit. And oil prices tanked in a historic collapse after Saudi Arabia started a price war with Russia.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz has gone into soft quarantine after shaking hands with a person who has tested positive for the coronavirus. Cruz met the individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

The Texas Republican said in a statement "I'm not experiencing any symptoms, and I feel fine and healthy. To give everyone peace of mind, I have decided to remain at my home in Texas this week until a full 14 days have passed since the CPAC interaction." CPAC says the infected individual is doing better and no other attendees have tested positive for the virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MATT SCHLAPP, CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: I think he was there most of the time, and the patient did not -- you know, he -- I would say this. He didn't spend a lot of time going all over the conference. He stayed more in a small area. And anybody I know that might have had contact with the patient, if I can verify it, believe me, I've called that person.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Well, this week in the United States, Super Tuesday, round two. And a lot is on the line in the Democratic presidential race. There are 352 delegates at stake. The big prize is Michigan which was critical in 2016.

Senator Bernie Sanders narrowly won the state in that year's primary when Hillary Clinton was widely expected to win. But in the general election, Donald Trump ultimately flipped the state to his side.

Our correspondents bringing you the very latest from the campaign trail. Abby Phillip is with Bernie Sanders in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But we start with Jessica Dean traveling with the Biden campaign in Jackson, Mississippi.

JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Former Vice President Joe Biden turning his attention to the next round of Super Tuesday voting. He spent the day in Mississippi where he's hoping to shore up support here especially among African-American voters who have continued to show up very strongly for the former vice president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The reason I am the comeback kid, I'm not there yet. But if I'm the comeback kid, there's only one reason I've come back, the African-American community all around the country.

(APPLAUSE)

Folks, I think we are in position for a new awakening. I think we're at a second inflection point. This election, we can take the country back. And heal what's wrong in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN: And we saw him do very well in southern states last Tuesday. He's certainly hoping to repeat it this coming Tuesday. From here he's going to head to Michigan. It's the biggest prize of this next round of voting. Bernie Sanders won it narrowly back in 2016. Biden hoping to put Michigan in his win column this go around. And he's going to have help from a former rival.

Senator Kamala Harris announcing her endorsement of Biden on Sunday. We learned from a source that she did not want to do anything until Elizabeth Warren exited the race. She didn't want to go against Warren or Senator Amy Klobuchar. But she came to that decision late Saturday night to endorse Biden. We're told she will be getting out the vote with him, rallying with him in Detroit, Michigan on Monday.

In Jackson, Mississippi, Jessica Dean, CNN.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is make or break for Bernie Sanders' campaign here in Michigan. On Tuesday when Michigan voters go to the polls, they really hold the future of the Sanders campaign in their hands.

[03:35:07]

Now Sanders is trying to regain momentum that he lost after a disappointing Super Tuesday finish. He's got to prove that he can bring out his voters, that he can appeal to working class voters in the middle of the country and the industrial Midwest and that he can appeal to African-American voters.

And to that end he rolled out a major endorsement from Jesse Jackson, the civil rights icon who put his support behind Sanders at a rally in Grand Rapids on Sunday. And here is how Jackson framed why he was supporting Sanders.

JESSE JACKSON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: A lot of talk this is not Democratic socialism, what does all that mean? The (Inaudible) is Democracy all for and by the people. Bernie can win, will win, must win. Bernie wins, health care wins.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIP: Now, that endorsement comes at a time that Sanders is sharpening his attacks against Joe Biden trying to make the case to voters in the industrial Midwest that Biden was wrong on issues like trade, even arguing that Biden voted the wrong way on issues of abortion rights in this country.

But one of the big challenges for Bernie Sanders is going to be can he improve his standing with African-American voters? They're a big chunk of the Democratic electorate here in Michigan. In Flint over the weekend, Sanders did a round table with African-American leaders. And that's a message that they're hoping that the Jackson endorsement can help them with.

The question is, is there enough time between now and Tuesday for Sanders to make that change. Well, he's been making the argument to his supporters that what he needs them to do is get out to the polls and do not count him out yet. He says this election is not over yet. They are still in it to win it.

Abby Phillip, CNN, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

CHURCH: With me now to talk more U.S. politics is Natasha Lindstaedt, professor of government at the University of Essex. Thanks so much for joining us.

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Thanks for having me. CHURCH: All right. So, counting down to the next Super Tuesday

contest, now a two-man race between front runner Joe Biden and rival Bernie Sanders, what is the likely outcome of this next race particularly in Michigan?

LINDSTAEDT: Well, the Michigan contest is really interesting because before Super Tuesday results and where Biden had made this miraculous comeback, the polls looked like Sanders was going to win Michigan. But then another poll that came out after Super Tuesday results showed Biden six points ahead.

So, if we look at that and what the trajectory has been as of late, the momentum that Joe Biden has, it's possible he's going to win Michigan. And then we would expect him to win Mississippi and Missouri.

Sanders is likely to win Washington even though they moved from caucus to primary and he's likely to win North Dakota and Idaho. But those have less delegate counts. Michigan is the big prize with 125 delegates. And it's also a key state that you want to win in the 2020 election.

That was the state as the report already mentioned. That flipped for Trump, that Hillary Clinton ended up losing by a small margin. And these states in the rust belt and in the Midwest are really critical to whatever, whoever is going to win in the 2020 contest.

CHURCH: Right. And it is fascinating, isn't it? I mean, I'd like to ask you what you think changed Joe Biden's sudden political fortunes from almost being written out of the race to being the new Democratic front runner? Do you think it is the voters have decided look, we're just -- Democratic voters at least have thought we just need the person who can beat Trump? Is that what this is about?

LINDSTAEDT: That is what it is about, that they're looking at electability. And you have voters that are voting strategically. So, some of them may not be as moderate, in the moderate lane. They may even be more progressive. But they're worried that if they end up voting for Sanders, then that could be a big risk and that Trump would probably prefer to go against Sanders even though he tried to say on TV that he wouldn't.

We know that he sees Biden as the main competitor. That's why he tried to undermine the 2020 election by trying to get him investigated.

To answer the question about the change in momentum, early on in the early primaries and caucuses, Biden's campaign wasn't very effective. He was coming in fourth and fifth places in some cases and just didn't look like a winner.

When he had the endorsement from African-American Representative James Clyburn, that seemed to change things and he had such a huge victory in South Carolina it changed the way people viewed him. He was no longer someone who had this horrible campaign that he was sort of dead on arrival. He looked like a winner and people then changed the way they saw the race. And that obviously changed the results on Super Tuesday.

[03:40:00]

He also had a pretty good debate performance going into Super Tuesday. I think all of these factors really changed the way people were thinking about how they should vote.

CHURCH: Yes, just changed everything, didn't it? And I did want to ask you this because some critics are questioning President Trump's handling of the coronavirus in the United States.

Some suggesting he hasn't been completely honest and transparent about the real number of infections and the way tests are being conducted. What might the political consequences be of suggestions he mishandled this?

LINDSTAEDT: Well, there are big political consequences to this because now all over the media we're seeing stories about coronavirus and how Trump is handling this.

We have to recall that in 2018 he cut 80 percent of the CDC or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That makes it much more difficult for the U.S. to conduct these tests. When they can't conduct the test, we don't know how many people have the virus.

And so, their response has been poor which has also been poor is the communication. He's been on Fox News saying that some people can go to work with the virus. So, he clearly doesn't know how infectious it is and what people should be doing. They should be self-isolating if they have the virus or have these types of symptoms.

And he was also miscommunicating on whether or not people could be tested. He said well everybody could be tested. As it turned out, that wasn't the case.

CHURCH: Yes. I'm a little confused about when there might be a vaccine. But we need more answers here, don't we? Thank you so much, Natasha Lindstaedt. I appreciate it.

LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.

CHURCH: And next here on CNN Newsroom, refugees kicked out of Greece with no clothes and no I.D. The migrant crisis on the Turkish-Greek border takes a brutal turn. We'll take a look when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: The Turkish coast guard announced this weekend it is actively stopping migrants attempting to cross the Aegean Sea, citing the dangers of this journey.

[03:45:00]

Now this comes as tensions remain high on the country's borders with Greece after Turkey opened the crossings to those trying to get to Europe. Last week, E.U. officials praised the Greek government and pledged nearly $800 million in aid to help Greece keep the border secure. But Greek forces are once again accused of brutal tactics in pushing back refugees and migrants to Turkey.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports from the Turkish Greek border.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They were desperate for Europe, but Europe didn't want them. Sent back to Turkey stripped of their clothes, I.D. documents, and their dignity.

These men from Pakistan, Morocco and Syria say they were violently pushed back by Greek security forces. We can't verify the conditions in which this video from Turkey's state broadcaster TRT was filmed, but human rights groups have documented dozens of similar testimonies from refugees in recent years.

Thousands have made it across this river to Greece. Many of them have come back with shocking accounts of what they've been through.

Twenty-year-old Abdul-Aziz (Ph) has been walking for hours, barefoot. We found him and his friends on the road in the Turkish border city of Edirne. They say Greek security forces caught them shortly after they crossed into Greece illegally.

"It was the military or police," he tells us. "They were carrying weapons. They took all our clothes. We were left in our underwear. They took our phones, our money, and documents. They burnt the I.D.s and tokens," he tells us. He claims they were beaten up, lined up on the ground, and kicked with combat boots.

Greek authorities have repeatedly denied using these pushback methods or excessive force. The government says Greece has the right to defend its borders from illegal crossings. It's also doing so on behalf of Europe. During our time at the border, we heard many similar stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody from Afghanistan?

KARADSHEH: We met this group of Afghan refugees, exhausted yet determined. Hameed (Ph) carried his baby boy through the river and fields. After walking for five hours, he says they were caught by Greek security.

HAMEED, AFGHAN REFUGEE: They beat us. It sounds like it was a stick and then they deport us back.

KARADSHEH: Did they beat you up?

HAMEED: Yes. My wife, they beat this --

KARADSHEH: So, they hit you and they hit your wife?

HAMEED: Yes, yes, everything.

KARADSHEH: Hameed says people don't choose to become refugees.

HAMEED: We want to and my children become big in the good area and have good life.

KARADSHEH: In their pursuit of that good life, thousands have found themselves pawns on a political chess board between Turkey and the E.U.

HAMZA, PAKISTAN REFUGEE (on-screen text): Turkey army is saying go Greece, I tried one time but the Greek army say us go back, go back to Istanbul. They take all our money, mobiles. We come here with only underwear. What is this? We are like ball and both countries are like a bat. They're playing games with us.

KARADSHEH: No one here knows how this game will end, but they say nothing will stop them from trying to make it to Europe.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN on the Turkish-Greek border.

CHURCH: Empty shelves, long lines, and frustrated shoppers. How fears over the coronavirus are causing people to stock pile supplies. Back with that in just a moment.

[03:50:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: In Washington State, the governor says mandatory measures to reduce public activities may require to fight the spread of coronavirus. Washington has at least 137 cases including 19 deaths, more than any other state.

(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 cancelled. Comic-Con has been postponed. We have a number of school closures. We are contemplating some next steps, particularly to protect our vulnerable populations and our nursing homes and like. And we are looking to determine whether mandatory measures are required.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And store shelves are being emptied as people stockpile supplies amid coronavirus fears. And as Polo Sandoval shows us panic buying is happening despite officials saying there's no need.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From California to Maine, it's not getting any easier for shoppers to get their hands on the overwhelmingly popular hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes. They're among the products wiped clean from many store shelves as coronavirus fears seem to spread faster than the virus itself.

Residents in one Austin neighborhood may only have this homemade hand sanitizer stand to turn to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MILES BARKER, SELLING HOMEMADE SANITIZER: We started to make it and

we thought how about we sell it because since it's sold out everywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: Face masks are also in high demand despite the country's top doctor asking people to stop buying them saying they are not an effective preventive. At this Milwaukee pharmacy, they're quickly running out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are hoarding them and there's no reason for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: Empty food shelves are also becoming the norm at some brick and mortar stores. Economists believe the fear of supply shortages and possible disruptions to daily life are prompting people to stock up, even clearing out toilet paper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think people have a right to be worried.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I also think people should live their lives and not sit home and be scared.

SANDOVAL: This California mother undergoing chemo for cancer says she's not taking chances on her or her family's health.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[03:54:59]

JACKIE SOARES, CANCER PATIENT: I'm just stock piling some things because my health is important. I don't want my kids to be impacted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: Consumers also facing the threat of inflated prices from third party retailers. Amazon saying it removed over one million products for price gauging or falsely advertising against the virus. The buying frenzy coming as officials remind the public that hand washing is still one of the best ways to protecting against the virus. Though the increase in testing has reveal a spike in cases across the country. Your chances of contracting the virus haven't changed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Because the risk across the country of infection is quite low.

ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: You know, the overall risk to the American public does remain low.

MICHAEL PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The risk to the American public of contracting the coronavirus remains low.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.

CHURCH: Keep calm and carry on. So, what are the best ways to protect yourself against the coronavirus? The World Health Organization says wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is really the best way to prevent the spread of infection. In between hand washing you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Next, if you cough or sneeze, remember to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or of course you can sneeze and cough into your elbow. Avoid close contact with anyone who has flu-like symptoms. And practice food safety. Thoroughly cook meat and eggs. Use different cutting boards and knives for raw meat and wash your hands after handling it. That is key.

Well, CNN's new podcast also has answers about the coronavirus, what to do, what to avoid, and when to see a doctor. Join our Dr. Sanjay Gupta for coronavirus fact versus fiction and listen wherever you get your favorite podcast.

And thanks so much for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Early Start is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END