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New CNN Polls in the Democratic Race; Trump Administration's Mixed Coronavirus Message. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired March 9, 2020 - 06:30   ET




MAYOR JENNY DURKAN (D- SEATTLE, WA): So we're 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.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That there was the mayor of Seattle. But here is the kicker to that. They are telling people that if they're sending their ballots in, they're actually telling them, do not lick your ballot. Close it any other way. If you want to get some water and put your finger over it, that's fine. Use a sponge. But do not lick your ballot. They are trying to tell people, look, we don't want any way that this virus could potentially be spread. And so that's one of the bits of advice they're giving people.

But, right now, here in Washington, a lot of concern. This was the first state to have, you know, a death from the coronavirus and now it is now 19 people that have died due to the coronavirus.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You've got to think about every action you take. Every action you take now, you need to think about to try to mitigate what we can.


BERMAN: All right, Sara, thank you very much.

CNN just released a new, national poll on the state of the Democratic race. We'll show you the numbers, next.



BERMAN: Breaking moments ago, a new CNN poll on the Democratic race. Let's show you where it stands. Joe Biden now with a double-digit lead over Senator Bernie Sanders for

the Democratic nomination. As you can see, he's got 52 percent. That is now a majority. Biden has seen a huge 28-point increase since January. Voters in six states head to the polls tomorrow, including the crucial swing state of Michigan.

Joining us now with the numbers, CNN political director David Chalian.

David, what do you see here?


You're right to note the majority is key there, that 52 percent. We saw in October and November Joe Biden have double digit leads, but he now is not just overwhelmingly beating Bernie Sanders, he has the majority.

Sanders' strength comes from liberals, as you would imagine, self- identified liberals. He runs even with Biden on independents and young voters.

Take a look inside these numbers of their varying coalitions. Among 45 and younger, you see Sanders swamps Biden 57 percent to 31 percent. Forty-five and older, huge Biden category, 72 percent to 17 percent.

One thing we're noting, though, is that Joe Biden is winning across education categories. Look at both white college educated and white non-college educated voters. You see here that double digit lead of Biden over Sanders holds up. So wherever Sanders is strong, it's not strong enough to overtake Biden in a significant way.

I also want to dig into the electability issue here. You know, we have been asking, John, this whole campaign, you're looking for somebody who has a strong chance to beat Trump or someone who shares your position on the issues? This is the most -- sort of the widest gap in favor of the electable candidate. Sixty-five percent looking for a strong chance of beating Trump, 29 percent of Democrats in this poll say looking for somebody who shares your position on the issues. And look at how Joe Biden wins those electability voters. I think this is key to the coalescing we've seen around him. He -- among those that want to beat Trump, Biden supporters, 59 percent, Sanders supporters, 28 percent, right? Shares your positions, you see it's flipped flopped. Sanders supporters there, 53 percent of them are looking for someone who shares their position, but there are just fewer of them.

We also wanted to take a look at sort of the varying issues and attributes these candidates have and match them up against each other. Look at this on issues. Foreign policy, Biden winning, going away. The economy, Biden, 57 percent to Sanders' 31 percent. Immigration, Biden category. Health care, Sanders with a three-point edge, within the margin of error, and that's a competitive category. And climate crisis, Sanders also with a three-point edge.

Now, those last two categories, health care and climate crisis, two of the most important issues to Democratic voters. But, again, it's just not enough when you look at all those other Biden advantages. Take a look at some of the attributes we ask about, the candidate qualities, and you see Biden has the best chance to beat Trump.

Two-thirds of Democrats say so. Can best handle a major crisis, two- thirds of Democrats say that for Biden. Has the best chance to unite the United States, again, two-thirds of Democrats, 65 percent to Sanders' 26 percent. Agrees with you on the issues, that's a Sanders category. And best understands problems like you, that, too, is a Sanders category, a nine-point advantage there. But, again, look at those top categories. Joe Biden overwhelming Sanders.

And then, of course, I wanted to show you the general election match- ups between Biden and Trump, Sanders and Trump. Look here, when you ask voters across the country, 53 percent to 43 percent, a ten-point lead for Biden there, a similar big lead, Sanders, 52 percent, Trump, 45 percent, a seven-point lead there, those are both outside the margin of error.

But when you look at that general election match-up, guys, in the battlegrounds, the 15 states that were decided by eight points or fewer in 2016, you see a little bit of a different picture. You still see Joe Biden besting Donald Trump in -- among just the battleground states and you see Sanders numerically doing so, 49/46. But that's within the margin of error. So you see in the battleground, Biden has 51/45 advantage, but you see there Sanders in the battleground goes within the margin of error numerically edging ahead of Trump there.

BERMAN: All very interesting, David, especially as we head into these state elections tomorrow. Michigan, I think, at the forefront of our mind. We will wait to see what happens there.

Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

CHALIAN: Sure. Thanks, guys.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, the Grand Princess cruise ship is scheduled to dock in Oakland, California, today, with 21 coronavirus cases on board. Up next, we speak with a passenger about what it's been like waiting for answers.



BERMAN: Happening now, the Grand Princess cruise ship carrying approximately 3,400 passengers and crew is preparing to dock. We are told it will happen at some point today. Twenty-one people on board have tested positive for coronavirus. Just before air I spoke with one of the passengers on board, Teresa Johnson. This is what she told me.


BERMAN: So, Teresa, what have you been told about what to expect today when this cruise ship finally reaches port?

TERESA JOHNSON, PASSENGER ON GRAND PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP: Well, we don't have an actual time yet. I think they're still waiting on some authority to tell them what time we can enter the port. We're going to the Port of Oakland. They're going to have a health screening person come on board to look at all the guests and determine which guests require medical treatment and hospitalization. And those guests will be transferred to a local hospital.

Then they're going to off-load the California residents who don't require medical care and let them go to a -- what they call a federally operated facility within California.

Outside of California, we may have to stay on the ship for a few more days.


It's going to be quite a lengthy process. I know there are well over 1,000 guests on board from the California area. So I'm sure that is going to take a long process by itself. I don't expect they're going to get started and finished with that tomorrow.

We are going to be transported over to Dobbins Air Force Base I guess. And I understand there's some 34 people from Georgia that are being transferred to Dobbins. And I believe there's some others that are going to Texas. The timing on that is undetermined at this point simply because we don't know.

BERMAN: You --

JOHNSON: We get the information kind of spontaneously, and it's a very fluid situation.

BERMAN: I bet it's a very fluid situation. And I know it's been like that for several days. You've been pretty much hold up in your room with your husband. What's that like?

JOHNSON: Well, he's a pretty decent guy, so I don't mind his company. This is our 27th wedding anniversary trip. So, you know, we kind of enjoy being together.

We are probably one of the most fortunate couples on board, to be honest, because my husband has some medical issues which require us to have an accessible room, an accessible cabin. And it's a little larger than most cabins on board. We also have a balcony. So we've been able to look out the window and open the door and step out for a minute and catch some fresh air, being careful not to break the social distance protocol that's been set in place. And we've watched movies. We like Marvel movies. So we've watched quite a few Marvel movies.

BERMAN: How do you feel?

JOHNSON: I actually feel pretty good. I've had a little bit of a cough for the past couple of days. I do have some allergies. And I'm always prepared with my allergy medications when I come on board. And I saw my doctor before I left to get clearance to make the trip. And he said I was fine. So I -- it has picked up the past couple of days. I've talked to medical about that. I've been checking my own temperature and self-monitoring in my room. I really think it's more allergies than -- than -- I'm not concerned about the virus. They are going to test for that. I'm thankful that they're going to test for that.

BERMAN: The State Department just issued new guidelines going forward saying really that -- that Americans shouldn't take cruises right now. Do you think that makes sense?

JOHNSON: I saw that.

You know, I love to cruise. We started our marriage with a cruise. We went on the honeymoon cruise. We've been to a lot of fun places and seen a lot of wonderful things. But at this particular time, I don't -- I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

BERMAN: You have a 14-day quarantine in store for you when you do get off this. How are you looking forward to that?

JOHNSON: I think it's going to be a lot different than a luxury cruise ship.


JOHNSON: I don't really quite know what the circumstances are going to be for that. I don't know if the 14 days count until we actually arrive at that facility. So we don't know if that's going to be another four or five days and on the ship and here or if we're going to get off sooner. And then they have to transport us there. So it's giving us a lot more time away from our family.

I have two sons and a granddaughter and a daughter-in-law and I would love to, you know, see my family. However, I also know there's a lot of concerns from a lot of people and so my approach is, I think it's the right thing to do. I think quarantining everybody for those 14 days is in the best interest of other people and their health.

BERMAN: Teresa, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us this morning. Please give our best to your husband. Enjoy "The Avengers." I know this has been an ordeal. Just -- you sound like you've been incredibly patient. Thanks so much for everything you've done.

JOHNSON: Thank you. I really enjoyed talking to you. And your team has been great.


CAMEROTA: She has a great attitude.

BERMAN: She does, but she doesn't know what's in store. She doesn't know how many days she's going to be on the boat. She doesn't know what's going to happen when she heads to quarantine. A lot more of the unknown ahead for her.

CAMEROTA: I mean the lesson I take away, like your spouse, you know?

BERMAN: Yes, that helps.

CAMEROTA: If you're going to be trapped in an eight by ten foot room that really helps.

BERMAN: It helps.

CAMEROTA: She made that point clear.

All right, so how many Americans have actually been tested at this point for coronavirus? Well, the White House does not seem to know. Our next guest has been crunching the numbers, and what he found may shock you.




JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Can you tell us how many people have been tested in the United States?

JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERA: The numbers are tough because they're changing minute by minute.

TAPPER: You can't give -- just a yes or no, you can't give me even a rough number of how many Americans have been tested? We don't know?

ADAMS: I would defer you to the CDC for that because, again, the numbers change so rapidly, I don't want to give you a number that can change.

TAPPER: We took it off the website how many people have been tested. They removed it from the website.

ADAMS: Well, actually, I would direct you to the transcript from the conversation that FDA Commissioner Steve Hahn had yesterday where he gave very specific numbers.


BERMAN: Seems like a basic question, how many people in the United States have been tested for coronavirus. The U.S. surgeon general just struggling to come up with any answer to that question. Federal officials, they really haven't given a concrete number, but they claim that by the end of the week 4 million testing kits will have been sent out.

Our next guest, Robinson Meyer, a writer for "The Atlantic," he has been attempting to crunch the numbers. He wrote a piece arguing that the United States is botching the coronavirus testing.

Robinson, thanks so much for being with us.

Why can't we get a clear answer to what seems like a very basic question?

ROBINSON MEYER, STAFF WRITER, "THE ATLANTIC": Well, thank you for having me. So as of last week, the CDC, as you heard during the clip, stopped

posting on the website of negative -- the number of negative tests on its website. And since then, if you wanted to figure out how many tests have been conducted in the U.S., you've got to do what we've done, which is, you know, gone state by state and just asked, how many tests have you conducted, ask them to put it on their website, and then add all those numbers together to get kind of the best rough estimate we have of how many people have been tested.


But right now that's all you can do. The federal government, which publishes negative test results for all kinds of other diseases, including the flu, isn't doing it for this disease.

BERMAN: And the number you came up with is somewhere north of 3,000 at this point, correct?

MEYER: Yes. So as of this morning, we did another revisit overnight. As of this morning it is north of 4,000. But it's not much higher than that. We think it's about 4,100.

BERMAN: So why does it matter? Why does the number of tests matter? Why are you looking for this?

MYERS: Yes, because right now we're only finding the disease in the places we look. I mean it sounds so basic but that's the issue, right? Like we don't know who is sick. We don't know the number of people who is sick. And right now the number of places where there are the most cases, which are Washington state and California, are also the two states that have conducted the most tests. And so until you test more widely, we really don't know how many people out there have something they think is pneumonia or flu but is actually this disease.

BERMAN: So compare the U.S. response in terms of the number of tests to other countries like, say, South Korea? And I think when you do that, which I'll let you do in a second, it explains why there's such alarm here.

MEYER: Yes, exactly. So it's been 11 days since we first found the first case of coronavirus spreading person-to-person in the U.S. And in that time, as I said, we've tested 4,200 people. Within a week of South Korea finding its first person-to-person spread within the country, it had tested 66,000 people and it was testing 10,000 people a day. So South Korea was testing within a week of the community transmission more people per day than we have tested overall. And we found the first case of person-to-person spread almost two weeks ago.

BERMAN: I want to play some of the sound, the type of thing the president has been saying about the testing.

Let's listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Anybody right now and yesterday, anybody that needs a test, gets a test. We -- they're there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful. Anybody that needs a test, gets a test.


BERMAN: Is that -- is that true?

MEYER: I would say right now it has not been the experience of just about anyone we've talked to. I was talking to a woman yesterday who lives outside Austin. She's been sick for a few weeks. Her husband has also been sick. They have symptoms very similar to coronavirus symptoms but they have not been able to get tested. And that has turned all these kind of normal decisions you face when you're sick into really agonizing trials for them because they don't know, for instance, if they send their kids to school who don't have a fever, are their kids going to be infecting other students? Are they -- are those students going to affect other adults? It turns -- it has not been what we have observed.

BERMAN: Right.

MEYER: And, you know, right now, you know, many states are limiting their tests only to, for instance, people who are hospitalized or people who have been out of the country. It's just not the case that we've heard that this is something that doctors have at their fingertips.

BERMAN: So explain to me then what exactly it means when administration officials say that by the end of this week 4 million kits will have been sent out. And in that explanation -- we've got a minute left -- also explain, I think, what people need to hear, which is, to a certain extent, the ship has sailed here. If testing was going to be important on a mass scale for containment, it needed to happen two weeks ago.

MEYER: I think that's exactly right. So even in the best case, testing is kind of a lagging week behind indicator of how many people would be sick because you get sick and then about seven days later you develop symptoms and you would also show a positive on a test. So we need to test, yes, exactly, a week or two ago to kind of know how big the initial outbreaks were in the U.S. and work to contain them.

At this point, we've -- it's been so long -- like, our lack of a response to the coronavirus has become its own response. And we need to start assuming, for instance, that there are many more sick people out there that we're just not catching. And politicians need to understand that, too.

I think when they say the tests have gone out, to your earlier question, each test kit does contain many, you know -- many -- like kits for each person. So it's not just that like 4 million is 4 million people. But we've heard these promises from the administration. We haven't seen them pan out in practice yet. So we'll be watching to see how much they're able to scale up.

BERMAN: Robinson Meyer, thank you so much for joining us this morning. Thank you for asking the questions and looking for these answers because they're important to millions of people in the United States this morning.

MEYER: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

BERMAN: All right, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: All right, John, U.S. stock futures are tumbling. They're pointing to another sharp drop at the open.

And NEW DAY continues right now.


CAMEROTA: More than 100,000 global cases of coronavirus now confirmed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a great deal of anxiety in the air. No one expected that the epicenter outside of Asia would be in northern Italy.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we're doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down.

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


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This has been contained because the president took action.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's been the hardest thing about all of this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The not knowing and the change in what you do know.