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Biden And Sanders Focus On Michigan Despite Six States Voting Tomorrow; Cruise Ship To Dock In Oakland With 21 Coronavirus Cases; Prince Harry And Meghan To Attend Final Engagement As Royals; Woman's Mother Died At Nursing Home Grappling With Coronavirus. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired March 9, 2020 - 08:30   ET

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


[08:30:00]

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: President Trump's re-election campaign describes Biden and Bernie Sanders as two sides of the same extreme coin, with the president himself eager to pounce.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's left-wing and he's got all people that are left-wing, and in many ways he's worse than Bernie.

SAENZ: But Biden's rival for the Democratic nomination argues the former vice president isn't progressive enough.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have different records. We have a different vision. The American people will hear about it.

SAENZ: In the past week, Biden has picked up endorsements from progressive rising stars, like Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego and Michigan's Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist.

GARLIN GILCHRIST (D), LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF MICHIGAN: The easiest way to lose power is to forget that you have it.

SAENZ: Gilchrist voted for Sanders in 2016, and now supports Biden, pointing to his record and results.

GILCHRIST: I say that progressivism is about progress toward our goals, and Joe Biden has delivered progress toward our goals of expanding access to healthcare, having access to public transportation. That is a history of progressivism that I think people can trust.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAENZ: Now here in Michigan, Joe Biden is hoping to ride that wave of momentum since Super Tuesday and win in the state. The state where Bernie Sanders had that upset victory back in 2016. It's certainly going to be a hard-fought battle heading into tomorrow.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Arlette Saenz, stick around with us.

I want you to all know CNN just released a new national poll on the Democratic race. It shows Joe Biden holding a double-digit lead over Bernie Sanders, and Biden has seen a 28-point increase since January.

There's also breaking news this morning, the former vice president just received yet a new endorsement, this one coming from New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

Want to bring in David Gregory, CNN political analyst.

Let's read that endorsement off of Twitter this morning. Cory Booker writes, "The answer to hatred and division is to reignite our spirit of common purpose. Joe Biden won't only win, he'll show us that there's more that unites us than divides us."

So Booker joining this growing team, David, of former rivals to Joe Biden backing Joe Biden. What does this all mean in your mind as we head into Michigan where Arlette is which is clearly a pivotal state?

DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Pivotal state and Bernie Sanders, look at the campaigning he's done, spending the last 96 hours traversing the state making sure he hits every corner. It's do or die for him. He's making that very clear. Biden is working off the playbook that worked very well for him on Super Tuesday, which is to line up former rivals, other key Democrats in elected or former elected positions to make a new argument about momentum, about inevitability at this stage of the race, to say let's stop the fighting, let's stop the specter of a showdown at the convention. Let's coalesce, let's coalesce now.

I think the moment that we're in is so important. We have a global public health crisis. We have the markets crashing. This is a time for leadership, and I think the vice president sees a real opportunity beyond the momentum he already has to say let's finish this and focus on the important task ahead.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Arlette we just had Congresswoman Debbie Dingell of Michigan on our program. And she has her finger, obviously, on the pulse of not only her district but her state. She's the person who predicted that Bernie Sanders was going to win in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, which was a surprise. She said today that she believes it's Joe Biden's to lose. Since you're on the ground, what's your sense?

SAENZ: Well, Joe Biden certainly has the momentum going in to tomorrow's contest. Not only from those Super Tuesday wins but also that wave of endorsements that you've seen him get over the course of the past week. The endorsement from Kamala Harris and Cory Booker are both rather significant, particularly because they were both quite critical of him on the debate stage but also they represent the African-American community. That's a community that Biden will try to court here in Michigan.

Yesterday we spent time at an African-American church with the Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist. And that is a community that Biden has gone to over and over again throughout these contests as a base of support and that's something that he's hoping he can repeat here in Michigan, that he can repeat down in Mississippi, which is a state that Bernie Sanders skipped on Friday in order to pay more attention to the state of Michigan.

But Biden also has just long-time ties to the state. Remember, the auto bailout under the Obama administration. That is something that Biden has repeatedly touted over and over. I remember covering him in 2012, one of his main lines was Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive. That is something that Biden has stressed repeatedly over time and I think that's something that he's hoping that voters here will remember when they had to vote tomorrow.

[08:35:03]

BERMAN: So, David, you mentioned that now is the time for leadership and I also know you're a Washington Nationals fan so I want to throw off on the screen here a picture from over the weekend, and this is from Patrick Corbin, a pitcher for the Nationals, who says, quote, "So this happened today. Got to golf with the president."

A number of the Washington Nationals there golfing with the president on Sunday in the middle of this coronavirus outbreak. Is this the type of leadership that President Trump promised when he ran for office?

GREGORY: No, and I think that, you know, the specter of a president right now who is going after Democrats, who's talking, you know, about the surgeon general complimenting him that he's in better health and doesn't need as much sleep as other people is so ridiculous. This is a time when we've got to be very serious, where we have to increase the number of tests, when you have to project confidence, not false confidence, about what we're really seeing here.

I see a parallel actually today with the financial crisis and then candidate Obama's leadership at the height of that as contrasted with Senator McCain, who wanted to cancel a debate and was more sure-footed when it came to meeting with members of Congress and other advisers to President Bush at that time. Obama seemed much steadier and I think that's really important,

if you're trying to run a race for the Democratic nomination in this larger context, I think that's important, and I don't think the president is measuring up.

CAMEROTA: Yes. I mean just because I think that it bears repeating, Donald Trump also as a candidate said that he would never have time to golf, that he would -- he often objected to President Obama golfing and he would tweet about it and he has made more than 200 days of his presidency. He's somehow made time for golf as markets, as David says, are crashing and there's a global pandemic.

BERMAN: Apparently a coronavirus outbreak gives you that opportunity. CAMEROTA: Gives you more time.

BERMAN: To get out on the golf course.

CAMEROTA: OK. All right.

BERMAN: All right. David Gregory, Arlette Saenz, thank you very much.

CAMEROTA: A cruise ship with 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus on board will dock today in California. We have a live report on what happens next for those passengers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:41:14]

BERMAN: The Grand Princess cruise ship carrying at least 21 passengers infected with coronavirus is expected to dock in California sometime today. We don't know exactly when. We just know that it's supposed to happen.

CNN's Dan Simon is live at the port in Oakland.

Dan, what can you tell us?

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hey, John. After days of idling at sea, we do know that the Grand Princess will come to the port of Oakland at some point today. We do not have a specific time, as you said. We're talking about 2400 passengers, health officials will greet them and they will begin the disembarkation process.

This has been quite an ordeal for these passengers as you can imagine. They have been isolated in their rooms.

I want you to listen now to one passenger who said he bought these cruise tickets for his wife as a Christmas present.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIMON: What have these last few days been like for you?

ARCHIE DILL, PASSENGER ON GRAND PRINCESS CRUISE: Well, it's not quite prison, but it's a lot like that.

SIMON: Have you been concerned or worried about the fact that there is coronavirus on the ship and potentially you could get it?

DILL: No, I'm not worried about that at all. I think that we're quarantined, that we're basically being protected from the crew that has it.

SIMON: This whole thing for you has just been overkill?

DILL: Absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SIMON: Well, that is one passenger's perspective. I can tell you that the cruise line did issue a full refund for all the passengers and gave them a credit for a future cruise.

Now, in terms of the way this is going to work today, as you could imagine, the most patients who have the most acute medical problems, they will be taken off the ship first, and then taken to local hospitals, and then from there, they will begin with the California passengers who make up approximately 40 percent of the ship, and as we've been reporting, the crew and we're talking about 19 of them who have tested positive for the coronavirus, they will quarantine at sea.

Alisyn, we'll send it back to you.

CAMEROTA: OK, Dan, thank you very much for the update from California.

Now to other news, in just a few hours, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will join the Queen and royal family at the Annual Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey. It's Harry and Meghan's final scheduled royal engagement before they formally step down from their royal duties this month.

CNN's Max Foster is live in London with more.

What do we expect, Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting. This is one of these big regal events that the U.K. is known for. It's a true royal moment and it will be the last moment where we see Meghan and Harry as senior royals in that context, so it's historic, but it's also gotten a lot of human interest, because everyone is looking out for any tension between the Sussexes and other members of the family.

There's inevitably some behind the scenes but I'm sure the Queen will be wanting to protect the public from that, showing a stiff upper lip and carrying on business as usual. It's been a busy few days for the Sussexes. They still do have their other charities they're supporting. The duchess was out in Dagenham yesterday for International Women's Day, marking a moment in female history in this country where sewing machinists, the fourth actually there, fought for equal rights. And she visited a school to really mark that event and that was yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGHAN, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: Thought about what I wanted to do for International Women's Day this year. For me it was incredibly important to be with the women of our future, and that is all of you young women here, as well as the young men who play a very large part in this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: A reminder there as well of really what the royal family is losing in the Sussexes, these very charismatic speakers, the people that can connect with the public, Alisyn. And they will no longer be part of this machinery. [08:45:05]

They're part of the family, not part of the firm, and that's what today is really about, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: It seems as though it's all happened so quickly, and now today is the official last day of that relationship.

Max Foster, thank you very much.

BERMAN: I have to say also ice water in Max Foster's veins there.

CAMEROTA: I know.

BERMAN: Because clearly some kind of demonstration --

CAMEROTA: Could somebody stop yelling behind Max?

BERMAN: He can take it. He can handle it.

CAMEROTA: If you can make that happen.

BERMAN: He can handle it.

All right. Most of the coronavirus deaths in the United States linked to a nursing home in Washington state. One woman who lost her mother shares her story, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[08:50:24]

BERMAN: The death toll in the United States from coronavirus now stands at 22. 19 of those deaths are in Washington state, 16 of them linked to a nursing home in the Seattle area.

Joining me now is Debbie de los Angeles, whose mother died at the Life Care nursing home last week.

Debbie, first of all, thanks so much for being with us and we are so sorry for your loss this morning. You first got word, what, it was last Tuesday that your mother was ill and she passed away less than 24 hours after that. Walk us through what happened.

DEBBIE DE LOS ANGELES, MOTHER DIED AT LIFE CARE NURSING HOME LAST WEEK: Yes, she -- I got a call from the nursing home on Tuesday, early morning. It was about 4:00 I think, and they told me that she had 104 fever and they suspected coronavirus. They were just treating her with -- you know, treating the symptoms of fever.

She had stopped eating and drinking, so they were having to, you know, take care -- you know what I mean, they had to take care of her with the Tylenol that other way, so, yes, and then I got a call again that wanted to know if the treatment plan was still the same, which my mom had a DNR on file, and no life saving measures. And that she was declining pretty quickly, and then Tuesday late

afternoon, I got another call that she was declining very rapidly and her vitals were declining. And then about, it was 2:10 -- 2:39, I'm sorry, in the morning, when I got a call from the nursing home again, and the nurse told me that mom had passed at 2:10 a.m. And I missed the call, so I woke up and I called right back, and they told me that she had passed, so.

BERMAN: Again, we're so sorry.

DE LOS ANGELES: Yes. It was -- it was just so fast. Thank you.

BERMAN: Yes, less than 24 hours from when you first got the call. Now, during that time, they had never actually tested her for coronavirus, correct?

DE LOS ANGELES: No, they didn't test anybody in the facility. Anybody that was tested were people that had gone out to the hospital. Evergreen Hospital is the closest one right there, so anybody that was tested were out of the -- went to the hospital. I'm sorry. And --

BERMAN: And you still don't have official word, do you? You still don't have official word about whether or not she had coronavirus, correct?

DE LOS ANGELES: No, I'm hoping to find out today. The medical examiner told me to check today back and see. They tested her postmortem and there is I think a couple others that they're waiting on results to. There was another lady that had similar circumstances where she got the call that, you know, she had the fever.

BERMAN: Right.

DE LOS ANGELES: And then 24 hours later she's passed, so.

BERMAN: You say, Debbie, that you --

DE LOS ANGELES: Mom --

BERMAN: Go ahead.

DE LOS ANGELES: No, you go ahead.

BERMAN: I was going to say, you say that you're of the mind that things maybe could have been handled better at the Life Center, and I'm wondering why you say that.

DE LOS ANGELES: Well, I just think that Life Care being the epicenter around here for the virus, I mean, you figure the majority of the cases have come out of there, even one death that wasn't a resident, he just -- he visited there, that I think a priority should have been given to get tests in there to those residents, and they just, you know, they said well, tests were short, there was a shortage, and you know.

[08:55:09] And the staff, you know, I mean, I have to hand it to the staff, they were way overworked and understaffed, because staff had been getting sick and were out. Mom's nurse, you know, she just kept coming to work because she said our patients need us, you know, even though it was really walking into a dangerous situation really every day.

BERMAN: Takes a lot for --

DE LOS ANGELES: So I think --

BERMAN: It takes a lot of courage to walk in and show up when you know what's going on there.

Listen, Debbie de los Angeles, we again --

DE LOS ANGELES: Yes.

BERMAN: We're really sorry for your loss. We know this has been a very difficult few weeks. It's been a difficult several months if not years for you. I know this has been trying. So we appreciate your time this morning.

DE LOS ANGELES: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Those jobs are demanding on a good day. On a good day working at a nursing home and caring for folks like Debbie's mom and then in a situation like this? And they're getting sick themselves? And then hearing her talk, and she's not the only one, about how rapid the decline is. Once somebody gets sick who is that age how fast it can just fall apart.

BERMAN: Imagine that, 104 temperature she had.

CAMEROTA: Meanwhile stock futures plunged so low overnight it triggered a circuit breaker to keep them from falling further.

CNN's coverage continues next.

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