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Global Markets Plunge as Coronavirus Fears Grow; Soon: Cruise Ship to Dock in Oakland with 21 Coronavirus Cases; Tensions Grow Between White House and Health Officials; U.S. Death Toll Rises to 22; 16 Million on Lockdown in Northern Italy Over Coronavirus. Aired 6- 6:30a ET

Aired March 9, 2020 - 06:00   ET

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


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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Grand Princess cruise ship is expected to dock in Oakland.

[05:59:10]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not quite prison, but it's a lot like that. This is not how we expected our cruise to be.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would be inclined to say leave everybody on the ship for a period of time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we're prioritizing is making sure the people who are sick get the medical care they need.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every single social contact between humans anywhere in the world today is a potential exposure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All these people, you just don't know who's going to die next.

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ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, March 9. It is 6 a.m. here in New York.

And breaking overnight, it is now a pandemic. The coronavirus outbreak is now spreading across countries and continents from person to person with a range and rate that clearly meets the definition. So CNN will start using that term. It is a pandemic, with one U.S. official saying we have moved past the point of containment to mitigation. More on what that means shortly.

First, breaking news on new economic fallout which this morning seems immense. Huge selloffs around the world overnight, with some of the biggest losses we've seen yet. The oil markets collapsed.

At this moment Dow futures are plummeting, pointing to another sharp drop at the open.

The death toll in the U.S. is now at 22 with 565 cases across 34 states and Washington, D.C. Look, those numbers, they keep on going up. It is frankly hard to keep track. Eight states have declared official emergencies.

Worldwide, coronavirus has killed more than 3,800 and infected more than 108,000. This morning, 16 million people in Italy are on lockdown to try to contain this.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Meanwhile, after being stuck off the coast of northern California, the Grand Princess cruise ship is expected to dock today in Oakland, California. Twenty-one people on board have tested positive for coronavirus. Nineteen are crew members. Two are passengers. All of the roughly 3,500 people on board will be quarantined.

Now, overnight Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Paul Gosar announcing they will self-quarantine after they interacted with someone who had coronavirus at the CPAC conference.

We also have new reporting about growing tension between the White House and top health officials over the administration's efforts to downplay the threat. We'll bring that to you momentarily.

We have this huge story covered from every angle. Let's begin with CNN's Christine Romans on the market selloff. Tell us what you're seeing, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT/ANCHOR: You know, this is the 11th anniversary of the official bull market. And it faces its biggest test since the financial crisis.

Let me show you the numbers here. First of all, you have futures down sharply here. S&P 500 futures had actually been down 5 percent, and they were halted. There is this self-protect mechanism. When they fall too far, too fast, they are stopped so that it's not an actual free fall. That's something really to watch here. That just shows how dangerous the selling is here.

World markets, you had big losses in Asia. You have Europe opened down, very -- these are big one-day moves for European markets. And again, you're going to see Dow futures down below the 25,000, Dow -- the Dow below the 25,000 mark when you have the opening bell ring in a few hours.

Another layer here. The oil market is crashing. We haven't seen a crash like this since 1991. This is really dramatic. And this has to do with an oil price war happening over the weekend between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

What does this mean for consumers? It means lower gas prices. What does it mean for jobs in America in the shale oil industry? Probably bankruptcies and job losses. This is a very big deal that we're seeing happening here, all at the same time. And you have the ten-year treasury yield below 0.5 percent. We have

never seen this in history. That is a flashing warning sign that the bond market is expecting slower growth, maybe even a global recession, you guys.

BERMAN: Romans, one of the things we keep hearing over the weekend -- and I've heard from people who work on Wall Street -- is there is fear that the credit markets are drying up. What exactly does that mean? What is the impact?

ROMANS: That means you have very low mortgage rates, and you want to get a mortgage, you can't. You can't get the money to get the mortgage, right? Right now, people are rushing out to try to use these lower mortgage rates, consumers. But what does this mean for industries that are already just chockfull of debt, have been foraging on this low -- these low interest rates for years now?

This is sort of a perfect storm. An oil market collapse. A stock market -- stock markets that are down in correction, down substantially from their highs. And some investors are saying until you get closer to bear market territory, down 20 percent, you won't have any satisfaction.

You put all of this against the uncertainty of the coronavirus and the White House's inconsistent response, and you see investors fleeing into safe haven assets, because they are running for cover in the global economy.

CAMEROTA: OK, Christine, we know you'll be standing by all morning for us to tell us whatever happens with the markets and beyond. Thank you very much for that.

Now to Oakland, California, where the Grand Princess cruise ship is expected to dock sometime today. At least 21 people on board have tested positive for coronavirus.

CNN's Dan Simon is live at the port with more. What's the process here, Dan?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Alisyn.

At some point today, the Grand Princess will reach the port of Oakland, where healthcare workers will help disembark the more than 2,400 passengers.

From here, they will go into a mandatory 14-day quarantine. For passengers, this has really been an agonizing experience. They've been kept in isolation, wondering when they'll be able to get off the ship and reunite with their families.

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SIMON (voice-over): The Grand Princess cruise ship is expected to dock in Oakland, California, sometime today.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): For those passengers that may be watching this, we are not able to tell you exactly when the cruise ship will come into the port.

[06:05:05]

SIMON: Most passengers without symptoms will be transported to four military facilities in California, Texas and Georgia for testing and a 14-day quarantine. The ship's more than 1,000 crew members will stay on board for monitoring.

NEWSOM: This entire operation, we hope -- but this is dynamic, so do not hold us to account -- is a two-, three-day process. That's what we believe this turnaround will take. That's based on our preparation. And that's why we ask just patience.

SIMON (on camera): What's been the hardest thing about all this?

JUSTIN GRIFFIN, GRAND PRINCESS PASSENGER: The not knowing. The not knowing and the change in what you do know.

SIMON (voice-over): Justine Griffin and her husband booked the cruise to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. She says learning new information has been sporadic and slow.

GRIFFIN: We're getting information more from the news than we are from the ship.

SIMON (on camera): Are you concerned that you could be infected at all?

GRIFFIN: We're all concerned about that.

SIMON (voice-over): Of the 21 people who tested positive last week, 19 are crew members.

Overnight in Florida, the CDC cleared another cruise ship, the Regal Princess, to dock at Port Everglades after two crew members tested negative. They previously worked on the Grand Princess ship.

There are more than 560 coronavirus cases in 34 states, plus the District of Columbia, according to the CDC, state and local governments. And at least eight declaring states of emergency, including New York where coronavirus cases have risen to triple digits.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): If it continues to spread, we're going to have to take drastic containment measures.

That is what we're -- we're trying to stop. And the way to do that is to fight the spread. You fight the spread through containment, which is testing. We're testing aggressively.

SIMON: At the Kirkland, Washington, nursing home connected to at least 16 deaths, at least 70 employees are showing coronavirus symptoms and at least one has tested positive.

TIM KILLIAN, SPOKESPERSON, LIFE CARE CENTER: 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 -- we are continuing to have with the various agencies.

SIMON: The surgeon general saying the outbreak in the U.S. is entering a new phase.

DR. JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: 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.

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SIMON: As far as the Grand Princess is concerned, as you might expect, those who are most ill will get off the ship first. From there we're told it will be an orderly process, beginning first with the California passengers who make up approximately 40 percent of the ship.

Now, we should point out that passengers did get some good news last night. They were told that they were going to get a full refund. Of course, that was expected news, but nonetheless, welcome.

John, we'll send it back to you.

BERMAN: Dan, I just spoke to one passenger who's afraid it may take her several days to get off this vessel. This process will not go that quickly. And I think that's just one more step that they have to be patient through. Thanks so much for being there for us.

Developing overnight, new details about what appears to be a growing rift between the White House and the nation's top health agencies, the ones who are overseeing the coronavirus pandemic.

CNN's Kristen Holmes is live near the president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he spent the weekend.

Kristen, what can you tell us?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John.

Well, if you've been following the Trump administration's response to this virus at all, this boiling point between the administration and health officials in the health community has really seemed inevitable.

We have seen these public health officials out there, trying to paint a realistic view of what this virus looks like and help people prepare for what is going to happen.

On the other side, they've been contradicted by the administration, by the president himself, all aiming to paint a rosier picture of this.

I mean, let's talk about the fact that you're using the word "pandemic" now. On Friday, we heard two administration officials say that this was contained. Now, waking up and saying that this is a pandemic, with more than 200 cases since Friday. Now we are heard that -- we are told, excuse me, that a lot of this

positive messaging directive is coming from the president himself. He's trying to mitigate what's happening in the stock market because of coronavirus.

So where does that leave us today? Well, President Trump continues to insist that he is happy with his team's handling of all of this. But White House officials aren't being so generous.

First of all, they think that President Trump may not feel this way for a long time, given the rising numbers and the questions about how the administration handled this.

And behind closed doors, they're starting to question some of those decisions that these top health agencies made at the beginning of this outbreak, particularly surrounding the CDC, surrounding that adequate test preparation, that development of tests.

But outside of the administration, there's a chilling conversation being had by some Republicans who believe that some of this inadequate handling, botched handling of the reaction to coronavirus is political.

[06:10:06]

And I want to read you one statement here from a senior Republican official who's been involved in this response. They say, "The message is, if you are on the wrong side of this administration, you are gone. People are afraid. Either there was a terrible incompetence, or there was a heavy hand on the scale."

So this is deeply chilling and disturbing, this idea that President Trump's obsession post-impeachment with loyalty might play a factor in all of this and how they've handled it, particularly given at a point where now we are calling this a pandemic Democratic and there are dozens, if not hundreds of people here in the U.S. who are trying to get answers as this continues to spread, John.

BERMAN: All right. Kristen Holmes in -- reporting from Florida. Thanks so much for being with us.

Kristen reported that people are warning you don't want to get on the wrong side of the president. What's the right side? Apparently, the fairway. I want to show you a picture of what the president was doing this weekend as the coronavirus reached pandemic levels. He went golfing.

CAMEROTA: Well, I guess I'm not surprised. The people who crunch these numbers --

BERMAN: There's other pictures of this.

He's golfing with members of the Washington Nationals. He golfed with baseball players this weekend, is what he did.

CAMEROTA: Apparently, the people who look at this say that he has spent 264 days on a golf course. You'll remember Donald Trump didn't like it when President Obama golfed. In fact, there's a tweet for everything.

He said then in 2014, "President Obama has a major meeting on the New York City Ebola outbreak with people flying in from all over the country, but decided to play golf!"

It's funny how things turn around.

BERMAN: I will say, it may be that public health officials would rather have him on the golf course, rather than in places like the CDC where he was last Friday, and I think he alarmed people with his comments there.

CAMEROTA: CNN is now officially calling the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is going to join us next to explain why the change.

BERMAN: CNN also just released a new national poll showing where things stand in the Democratic race. We will tell you those numbers coming up.

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[06:16:13]

CAMEROTA: Twenty-two deaths now reported in the U.S. from coronavirus. There are 565 confirmed cases in 34 different states and Washington, D.C. Obviously, those numbers continue to go up.

Globally, the numbers are staggering: more than 3,80 deaths, more than 108,000 coronavirus infections.

CNN is now calling the outbreak a global pandemic. Our senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us to explain why. What makes it a pandemic, Sanjay?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, there are criteria that are somewhat defined to call something a pandemic. And let me just preface by saying, you know, this -- this terminology that we're going to start using now isn't so much to cause panic but, rather, to really cause a focus on preparedness.

Here's the criteria you can see there. A virus, a new virus that causes illness or death. We know that has been happening.

Sustained person-to-person transmission -- transmission. Again, for several weeks now, we know that that can happen. That means not only does one person spread it to two or three others, but then they spread it to two or three others; and this goes on for at least four to five generations. We know that is happening, and that is happening around the world.

So these three criteria really do seem to be met. Understand -- we understand the World Health Organization has not called this a pandemic as of yet. There's probably this balance between, again, not wanting to cause panic and trying to look at the data.

But when we look at these numbers now and look at what's happening around the world, it's -- it's important, I think, to call this a pandemic. We understand, again, that that's going to cause certain changes and certain new strategies around the world, which we think are important.

BERMAN: But it is important to use the right words so people can respond in the right ways, and they have a full understanding of what's going on, Sanjay. So we appreciate your explanation for why this is happening.

I'm wondering if you can also explain something we heard over the weekend from the surgeon general, who suggested we are no longer in a posture of just containment. We've moved to mitigation. What does that mean and why?

GUPTA: Well, this is really, I think, what makes calling this a pandemic, not just a semantic sort of thing. When we're in containment, it's still sort of this daily tally of numbers, trying to figure out exactly how to contain the virus and not recognizing, I think, as clearly how much it is spreading.

When you say you're in mitigation phase, it's more recognition that this is spreading. It doesn't mean that you can't still try to contain the virus in certain areas around the country, but you've got to recognize that it is spreading and prepare for it.

And let me tell you specifically what that means. And I think this is the most urgent issue now, as opposed again, to the daily tally, the numbers that we keep hearing.

Take a look at what a pandemic might look like if it is even a moderate pandemic in terms of the requirements on the health care system.

On the left is a moderate scenario. Thirty-eight million people possibly needing medical care. A million hospitalizations, 200,000 needing ICU care. If you look at a very serious scenario, it's almost tenfold that. But just focus on the moderate scenario.

And if you think of those numbers, let me tell you that, in the United States, we have about 100,000 intensive care unit beds, give or take. That's half of what we possibly need.

We have about 62,000 breathing machines or ventilators, and we know that with a moderate scenario, we'll need about 64,000. The ones in the bottom, 62,000 plus 10,000 in the stockpile. Many of them are being used because we're in flu season.

So this idea of calling something a pandemic. This idea of acknowledging that the virus is spreading, that we are now more in mitigation phase means that we need to address those issues now. Because there will be some tough decisions that will have to be made in hospitals. That's how to best care for patients if we have inadequate resources, if we have inadequate staff and inadequate, you know, things like breathing machines.

[06:20:11]

That's the real significance of this change in -- change in the dialogue.

CAMEROTA: But Sanjay, is the thinking still, the people who will need those beds in ICU and those ventilators are 70 or older?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, I think that we have a -- we have a good idea who the most vulnerable populations are. It is people who are elderly, people in their 70s and 80s in particular, and people who do have these pre-existing medical conditions.

Let me define those for a second. Heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and hypertension. If you look at the studies coming out of China and say who are the people that were most at risk, it really falls into those categories: the elderly and people with those specific medical conditions.

But Alisyn, if you, again, look at the numbers, look at the resources that we currently have, we need to make sure that we're prepared for this. This is -- you know, when we say that we have bought time since the middle of January, going on two months now, this is what the time was for, to prepare for something like this.

We've sort of -- we've sort of flattened the curve. So instead of a huge number of cases that would have come about, you know, at the end of January and February, we've been able to sort of slow down the progression of those cases.

But it does clearly mean that they're still coming. And there's no reason to believe that wasn't what has -- what has happened around the world in other places like China, like Italy, like South Korea. There's no reason to believe that we won't start seeing some of the same numbers here.

BERMAN: I've got to say, we're not totally even sure we've flattened it in the United States because of how limiting -- our testing regimen has been.

GUPTA: That's true. That's true. No, that's very true. I mean, we will get a better idea over the next week or so as to how significant the numbers are, but you know -- but the preparation, I think, that is clear.

BERMAN: Sanjay, look, thank you so much for being with us this morning. Thank you so much for explaining why we are now calling it a pandemic, because I think people are going to wake up to that news this morning, and I think it will raise some eyebrows. Thanks so much for being with us.

GUPTA: You've got it. Thank you. BERMAN: All right, 16 million people now on lockdown in Italy as the cases there and the deaths skyrocket overnight. We have a live report next.

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[06:26:34]

BERMAN: New this morning, a country in lockdown. Nearly 16 million people in northern Italy -- that is a quarter of that country's population -- are under this new state as the government there imposes unprecedented measures to try to contain the outbreak. The number of infections in Italy has surged, and there are now 366 deaths. That number shot up overnight.

CNN's Delia Gallagher live in Rome with the very latest on this. This is such an important region, not just to the economy in Italy, but all of Europe.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, John. And that's why this lockdown is really creating concern. You know, you risk a fine of up to $200, and even up to three months in prison if you are moving around those regions without a good work or health reason.

In Venice, cruise ships are not being allowed to let tourists disembark to visit the city. So there is a major lockdown happening in the north of Italy. But even in the rest of the country where there's not a lockdown, museums are closed. The Coliseum is closed. Any social engagement that you had for the next three weeks has been canceled.

And people are being encouraged to stand three feet away from each other when they're out in public. Let me give you an example of what that means. In a restaurant in Rome yesterday, the owner was saying, How are my waiters going to bring food to the table if they have to stay three feet away?

And then he said, Well, actually nobody is really coming to the restaurant.

So there are major economic concerns, as well, especially for the tourism industry, the restaurant industry and so on. In fact, just a few hours ago, the finance ministry said that they will be putting in place some measures to help support those industries in what is hopefully a temporarily economic downturn -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Yes, everybody is hoping this is a temporary economic downturn.

Delia, thank you very much for the update from Italy.

Well, the U.S. death toll from coronavirus has climbed to 22 people overnight. The latest was another patient in Washington state. Nineteen people have now died in that state. Sixteen of those are linked to that nursing home in the Seattle area.

And CNN's Sara Sidner joins us from that nursing home. What's the latest, Sara?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, here at the Life Care Center, obviously, sadness. Sixteen people of the 19 in this state in total have died. And that's because of what happened here.

We should also talk about the fact that one of the first responders speaking to Jake Tapper talked about the -- what's happening inside the facility.

Early last week, what they saw when they came into the facility, they said there were only three staffers available for about 90 patients inside the facility. The facility has not responded to that.

Since then, we have heard from a spokesman of this facility that, indeed, the CDC has now sent in nurses and practitioners, doctors, to this facility to help with the staffing.

They also noticed that there wasn't adequate gear to try and protect those who were taking care of so many of these patients. Part of the reason why the death toll is so high here is because there is an extremely vulnerable elderly population here at this facility.

And while they're dealing with this situation which is really the epicenter of the deaths here, there is also the bigger picture here in Washington. We are going into what is going to be a primary tomorrow, the election tomorrow. But the good thing is that this state has actually saved itself because of how it does its primary elections.

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MAYOR JENNY DURKAN (D), SEATTLE: So we're a completely vote-by-mail state. So there's no polling places. People can drop their ballots --

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