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Two GOP Lawmakers Self-Quarantine After Possible Exposure; Six States To Vote Tomorrow, Biden And Sanders Focus On Michigan; Retailers Struggle To Keep Shelves Stocked As Virus Spreads; Bleacher Report; Twitter Labels Video Trump Retweeted As "Manipulated Media". Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired March 9, 2020 - 07:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Two more new developments today. CNN just learned that the top doctor on Capitol Hill is warning that several members of Congress may have been exposed to the coronavirus during the CPAC Conference. Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Paul Gosar. They are under a self-quarantine this morning as a precaution.

CNN's Lauren Fox is live on Capitol Hill with the details. Lauren, I just want to point out, that Mick Mulvaney, who was then the Acting Chief of Staff spoke at this very conference and said that the coronavirus situation was being overblown and now you have members who were in attendance and self-quarantine.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: That's exactly right. And this latest development, the Office of the Attending Physician sending a note to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, saying, that two of the members elected to self-quarantine, and that's Ted Cruz and Paul Gosar.

In a statement Cruz said quote, "Given that the interaction was 10 days ago that the average incubation period is five to six days. That the interaction was for less than a minute and I have no current symptoms. The medical authorities have advised me that the odds of transmission from the other individual to me were extremely low."

Now Paul Gosar is also saying, he and his staff, they feel fine. Everything's going fine. But they are electing to self-quarantine, because remember, up here on Capitol Hill, you have people coming and going. You have tourists, you have business entities who are coming up here to lobby Capitol Hill. You have members on Capitol Hill who are older, who are in that key demographic of people who could be seriously affected by the coronavirus.

And I will tell you that this latest note from the Office of the Attending Physician is noting that this is all a low risk situation - any interaction that members of Congress had at CPAC. But they are saying that multiple members came into contact with this individual who later contracted the coronavirus. John?

BERMAN: And Lauren, lot of people on social media were just upset they don't have more information about this CPAC Conference given that there were these questions about this attendee. Lauren Fox, thank you so much. Keep us posted throughout the morning.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: OK, joining us now is Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan. Good morning, Congresswoman.

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): Good morning, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Let's start right there. So there are these two members of Congress, as we just heard, Cruz and Gosar who are self-quarantining. However, the congressional - the top congressional doctor, I understand, just sent a letter to congressional staffs saying that the attendee at CPAC who contracted coronavirus had contact with quote "several members of Congress" during the conference. That's more than two. And so I'm just wondering, what's the level of anxiety in the halls of Congress among you and your fellow lawmakers?

DINGELL: So I would tell you that I think that there are some very serious and blunt conversations that members - I was involved in a thread yesterday that went all day between a very significant number of women members. If you're living in the State of Washington, you're in the state of California, you're seeing very high incidence of it. They're worried. They've raised the question should we be in session? Are we a human petri dish?

I think, as members returned today, there's going to be a - there are a number of members that think we shouldn't be meeting, because we don't want the capital to be - I'm not - I haven't made any comment. But they don't want the capital to be a petri dish.

People do come from all over the country. And it's very hard to map or even follow the community of all of those contexts. And it wasn't only the CPAC. There were two positive cases at APEC, which had 18,000 members attending it, too.

So, obviously, we're - we want to help in our communities. We want to make sure that we don't believe this should be political. I don't know anyone that thinks that this should be a partisan issue. We want to make sure that the resources are there. We're concerned about the testing.

And we're really worried about people who, if they have been exposed, can't afford to stay home, are afraid to get the test, don't know how they're - they can't afford to even self-quarantine, because they need that income. So there are a lot of issues we're all talking about.

CAMEROTA: And do you have any sense of which way Speaker Pelosi is going to lean in terms of calling for a longer recess to clear out that petri dish?

DINGELL: I'm waiting to have the discussion with my colleagues at the leadership meeting this afternoon and see what everybody's thinking.


DINGELL: Because we also have to - we have to lead by leading. I am the bumper. I've been trying to get everybody to bump for the last week. We have to start to use common sense. And you know, it's very hard when you go home, because people want to shake your hand. They want to hug you. And I flunked bumping at the beginning, but by Sunday, I was--


CAMEROTA: You've mastered it. I mean, I'm looking at a video of you right here. You have mastered the elbow bump, it appears. OK, let's move on to the all-important state your state of Michigan. So tomorrow, Super Tuesday II, which way is Michigan going to go in your estimation?

DINGELL: So four years ago, I predicted that Hillary Clinton could be in trouble or thought she was in trouble. I think Senator Sanders is going to win my district. I would almost be willing to bet on that. He's been all over it. 10,000 people in Ann Arbor last night in Diag. There was a very significant rally in Dearborn, my hometown on Saturday, people like him.

But - and by the way, when people are saying today's polls shows Joe Biden up by 24 points, I think it is - that still - Hillary was up 25 points on the Monday poll before the Tuesday election. But I do think that the ground has been shifting in other districts, particularly in Detroit where people stayed home and didn't vote.

And if I - I think it is now Joe Biden's to lose. The Senator has been working up very hard. Young people are excited. Young people are going to support Senator Sanders. I'm neutral. I love both men. I have very unique stories with both of them. And what I fear is that we can't come out of this divided by November. We've got to come back together to remember what our goal is, and that is what I'm focused on, which is winning in November.

CAMEROTA: Yes. And I know, obviously, you haven't endorsed anybody. And I think that it is touching that you say that you love both men, you have long histories with both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. But who do you think would be better or whose policies do you think would be better for Michigan?

DINGELL: Well, you know, this gets complicated, because first of all, Joe Biden was one of John's dearest friends and they worked on auto issues for 30 years. He gave the eulogy at John's funeral. But I got to tell him, my family - and I love Joe. So I that's - this is my tear.

But I'm a Medicare for All person. My father in law wrote Social Security and was called a Communist and a Socialist when he was pushing Social Security. He was the first person to introduce universal health care in the 40s. The first Medicare for all bill was the Murray-Dingell-Wagner Bill. So it's a subject that's personal to me. So I love both men.

I'm going to keep working for Medicare for all for no matter what happens. I know that the Vice President Biden will listen to me and the things that I think, but so will Senator Sanders. So I think we've got talent in both people. And what I'm focused on is I'm going to be somebody that's going to work to bring them together again. CAMEROTA: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, thank you for explaining why this is complicated for you. As we know it is for many voters as well. Thanks so much. Great to talk to you.

DINGELL: Thank you.


BERMAN: It's interesting she did say she does think it's now Joe Biden's to lose and she undersold what she did four years ago. She predicted Bernie Sanders would win in Michigan, one of the very few who saw that coming so she has her ear to the ground. I think.


BERMAN: All right. You've likely seen pictures like this lately or you've lived it. I mean, if you've gone into a store lately and seen the empty shells. Huge demand for hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies. We have a live report next.



BERMAN: All right. This morning this is one of the things on so many people's minds. If you've been to a supermarket or a drugstore you no doubt have seen the empty shelves. It is very hard, if not impossible, to find hand sanitizer or some cleaning essentials just anywhere. CNN's Polo Sandoval live in New York City with the very latest on this. Polo.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, you've probably seen it in your local neighborhood. We've seen it here in New York. And this coming week, you'll certainly not be surprised if you see yet another wave of the so called panic buying here. And it's fueled, in part, by the not knowing here, the uncertainty about coronavirus. And we hear from experts that say it's also a couple things that fear about possible supply shortages and possible disruptions to daily life.


SANDOVAL (voice-over): 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 fast than the virus itself. Residents in one Austin neighborhood may only have this homemade hand sanitizer stand to turn to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He started to make it and we thought how about we sell it, because since it's sold out everywhere.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): 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 preventative. This Milwaukee pharmacy, they're quickly running out. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are hoarding them, and there's no reason for it.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): 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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think people have a right to be worried. 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 any chances on her or her family's health.

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

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Consumers also facing the threat of inflated prices from third party retailers. Amazon saying it's removed over 1 million products for price gouging 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 of protecting against the virus. Though, the increase in testing has revealed a spike in cases across the country, your chances of contracting the virus haven't changed.

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

DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, CDC DIRECTOR: You know, the overall risk to the American public does remain low.

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


SANDOVAL: It's what you continue to hear from officials. Now panic buying aside, and to be fair, of course, we have heard from experts recommending that people do take reasonable steps to prepare. What does that mean John and Alisyn?

Well, if you go to the Web site of Department of Homeland Security, they say that preparing for a possible pandemic means simply having two weeks of food on hand as well as some of those essentials - the over the counter and those prescription meds, should social distancing be necessary, guys.

CAMEROTA: OK, Polo. That's helpful. Thank you very much.

Top tennis tournament called off because of the coronavirus. This is the first big us sporting event to be canceled because of the outbreak. Andy Scholes has more in our "Bleacher Report." So Andy, what's latest?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. Indian Wells is the largest International Tennis Tournament outside of the Grand Slams, and it was scheduled to start on Wednesday, but it's now been canceled due to the coronavirus. Tournament officials ultimately deciding to call it off after a case of coronavirus was confirmed in the Coachella Valley yesterday, and local officials declared a public health emergency.

Coco Gauff, one of the people disappointed about it all. She tweeted, "So sad to hear about that news, because of the postponing of the tournament." She was excited to make her debut there at Indian Wells. Now tournament officials did say they do hope that they can hold the tournament later this year. But rescheduling would be tough.

All right. On International Women's Day, the U.S. women's national team was victorious. They beat Spain 1 to nothing in the "SheBelieves Cup." It was a great game. The team, as they continue to play on the field, they also continue their fight for equal pay off of it. A rep for the team calling a letter sent out by the U.S. Soccer Federation over the weekend, "misleading and riddled with falsehoods." And Megan Rapinoe, she spoke to CNN after their game about their continued fight for equal pay.


MEGAN RAPINOE, U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM MIDFIELDER: We're trying to prepare for the Olympics and win this tournament and be as good as we can be. And now we got to put effort towards this.

REPORTER: What is offered (ph) for that May 5th trial?

RAPINOE: I mean, an actual offer for equal pay and, you know, some considerable damages as well. So I don't think we're anywhere close to that right now, though.


SCHOLES: Yes, and as you heard Rapinoe say, it seems like the women's team guys and the US Soccer Federation still very far apart in these negotiations. It certainly seems like we're headed to a trial on May 5th.

BERMAN: And they've shown they can multitask, Andy. They won a World Cup with these questions lingering. I think there'll be fun Heading into the Olympics, and I wish them the best of luck in their struggles.

CAMEROTA: Thanks Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

CAMEROTA: You might notice something new on your Twitter feed, how the social media company is trying to police some misleading videos, including one tweeted by the President.



BERMAN: Breaking overnight a video that President Trump retweeted is the first to be labeled, "manipulated media" by Twitter. The video was edited to make it look like Democratic candidate Joe Biden was endorsing the President. He wasn't. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan, here with much more on this. Donie what went on?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: So what happened over the weekend, John, was Dan Scavino, the White House Social Media Director tweeted a video appearing to show Vice President Joe Biden endorsing Donald Trump's reelection campaign.

The video that Scavino tweeted is from a speech over the weekend that Biden gave, where Biden said we can only reelect Donald Trump and then the video cuts there. But Biden actually said was we can only reelect Donald Trump if we get involved in a negative type of campaign. So he was basically calling for a Democratic Party unity.

That video went viral, got 5 million views on Twitter over the weekend, got retweeted by the President. And the Biden campaign came back and said it's not surprising that Trump's reelection campaign is resorting to more disinformation about the Vice President. After all, Trump himself is so panicked about Joe Biden that he got himself impeached trying to force a foreign country to lie about him.

What does Twitter - what are the social media platforms doing about this? Well, as you mentioned, Twitter has brought in this new rule, this new labeling system in trying to respond to deep fakes and all types of manipulated media. And for the first time they have stuck a label on this video, which is really extraordinary when it's a video that had been retweeted by the President. I will say the label is pretty small. The video is still up there. It is not being removed. So it's still being shared and circulated.

BERMAN: So they labeled it smally (ph) and didn't take it down. That's Twitter's big move here.

O'SULLIVAN: That is Twitter's big move here.

BERMAN: All right. The Biden campaign, I understand is also very disappointed with Facebook this morning.

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, so the video also was going viral on Facebook. Up till last night it had 1 million views on Facebook. Facebook has wax- poetic quite a bit about their fact checking process. Overnight, they fact checked the video. But, again, the video stays up on the platform. It gets a little label to say that it's false.

The Biden campaign really coming out hard against Facebook, telling our colleague Sarah Mucha, "Facebook's malfeasance when it comes to trafficking and blatantly false information is a national crisis and disrespect." And they said that it's a platform to spread vile lies. So if Biden does make it into the White House, Facebook will not have a friend there.

BERMAN: Yes, you could say so. The punishments and the restrictions these companies are leveling right now, not sure they're going to be restrictive. All right, Donie, thank you very much. Alisyn?


CAMEROTA: All right, John, facing a growing pandemic, President Trump and his administration are resorting to misinformation, as, well, you've heard throughout the programs. John Avlon has our "Reality Check." But first, here's some good advice from not only a doctor, but New York City's first Ebola patient.


DR. CRAIG SPENCER, NEW YORK CITY'S FIRST EBOLA PATIENT: People need clear, concise evidence based messaging. And right now, I think, people have this disconnect between what they're hearing from public health authorities and what they're hearing by tweet.


JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: That was Dr. Craig Spencer at the CNN Coronavirus Town Hall. And as Ali said, he contracted Ebola in 2014, so he knows of what he speaks. And right now there is a lot of misinformation about coronavirus.

The W.H.O. is calling it an "infodemic," false claims and false cures circulating on social media. But adding to the misinformation are the President of United States and key members of his administration.

Since February 24th, When Trump tweeted that the coronavirus is very much under control in the USA, the disease has spread to 34 states with more than 550 cases. It's more than twice as many as just three days ago. So when Kellyanne Conway says something like this.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE U.S. PRESIDENT: This is being contained, because the President took action.


AVLON: And Larry Kudlow says this.




AVLON: They're not leveling with the American people, and they're contradicting experts who point out that we are past the point of containment. But of course tone comes from the top. Just look at Trump on Friday at the CDC talking about the Grand Princess Cruise Ship with 21 people on board testing positive for coronavirus.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They would like to have the people come off. I'd rather have the people stay, because I like the numbers being where they are. I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault.


AVLON: But not having the boat dock doesn't change reality. Or how about Washington State, home to 19 of the country's 22 deaths to date where Vice President Pence praised the governor's response.


TRUMP: I told Mike not to be complimentary of the governor, because that governor is a snake.


AVLON: A snake? This is a governor trying to contain an epidemic in his state. But Trump has a tendency to make it all about him.


TRUMP: Anybody that needs a test, gets a test. The tests are all perfect. Like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect, right? This was not as perfect as that, but pretty good.


AVLON: OK, he's comparing the accuracy of the coronavirus test kits, to his call with the Ukrainian president that got him impeached. But there may be some unintentional honesty here, because the call was not perfect and neither were the tests, with the evidence that the early testing has been botched, with the administration admitting that just under 1,600 patients have been tested by the CDC so far.

And as Niall Ferguson argues in the Wall Street Journal, "The number of known cases in the United States must be off by at least an order of magnitude in more likely to simply because of the disastrous shortage of test kits." Even the Surgeon General could give our Jake Tapper a ballpark for how many tests had been conducted. But his credibility wasn't exactly enhanced when he said --


JEROME ADAMS, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: President, he sleeps less than I do, and he's healthier than what I am.


AVLON: President may very well sleep less than Adams, but it's hard to imagine a Surgeon General in his mid-40s is less healthy than an objectively obese 73-year-old. But in some ways, that's the problem. That members of the administration contorting themselves to curry favor with the President and back up baseless claims, even when they're contradicted by the evidence.

But panic doesn't solve problems. But we're always safer when we confront reality. And then there's President Trump.


TRUMP: Every one of these doctors said, how do you know so much about this? Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for President.


AVLON: And that's your "Reality Check."

BERMAN: John, I have to say, that that news conference or his appearance at the CDC, I think is contributing to the market turmoil this morning. Our investors are looking at this saying, if that's the leadership we're getting, we are in tough shape right now.

AVLON: That's the leadership we have.

CAMEROTA: It was head slapping, as well as your "Reality Check." Thank you very much, John.

All right. Thanks for international viewers for watching for you CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster is next. For our U.S. viewers, major developments on the coronavirus. New Day continuous now.

The Grand Princess cruise ship is expected to dock today in Oakland, California.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not quite prison, but it's a lot like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not how we expected our crews to be.

TRUMP: 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 people who were sick get the medical care that 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 is going to diagnose.

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


BERMAN: All right. Good morning and welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Monday March 9th. It is 8:00 o'clock in the East and the breaking news, the coronavirus outbreak, it is now a pandemic.