Return to Transcripts main page


Stocks Fall on Coronavirus Fears and Drop in Oil Prices; All of Italy Now On Lockdown, Cases in China Decline; Biden & Sanders Face Off in Six States Today; Sports Leagues Restrict Media Access. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired March 10, 2020 - 05:00   ET


LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thanks to our international viewers for joining us.


Have a great rest of your day.

For our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Wall Street dangerously close to a bear market. A year of gains wiped out. Now the president is pushing stimulus measures. Can stocks stage a badly needed come back today?

JARRETT: Broad impact from the coronavirus around the world. Italy totally shut down, freezing 60 million people in place, but in Asia, numbers appear to be declining.

ROMANS: And Bernie Sanders faces a pivotal test today if he wants to remain viable in the 2020 race. Can lightning strike twice for Sanders in Michigan?

JARRETT: Super Tuesday 2.

ROMANS: It is.

JARRETT: We're live this morning in Rome, Shanghai and London.

Good morning, and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It's Tuesday, March 10, it's 5:00 a.m. in the East.

Good morning. Get up because a lot is going on.

After an historic day on Wall Street, coronavirus fears and an oil crash sparked in just a huge selloff. The Dow tumbled more than 2,000 points, its worst point drop on record, the worst day percentage-wise since October 2008. The S&P 500 finished down a whopping 7.6 percent, so rare to see that. Only a few times in history has it done something like that. It is now 18 percent below its record high. A 20 percent decline of course will be the end of the bull market and signal a new bear market.

Numbers plummeting so quickly they triggered what's called a circuit breaker put in place after the Black Monday crash in 1987. That's an automatic pause designed to stop the panic among investors. It worked for the most part.

Wall Street on the brink of ending its decade-long bull run. President Trump needs these declines to stop. Of course, he has used the economy and the stock market in particular as his personal barometer for success since he was sworn in. The White House has invited Wall Street executives this week on the coronavirus.

The president outlined new economic measures he is considering.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am discussing a possible payroll tax cut or relief -- substantial relief -- very substantial relief, that's a big -- that's a big number. We're also going to be talking about hourly wage earners getting help.


ROMANS: Paid sick leave in particular. Will they do that? That appears to have helped for now. U.S. futures are up. They have stopped the bleeding.

Overnight in Asia, same story. Asian markets stabilized and European shares have opened higher, actually building on gains as the European session has endured here.

Trump is focusing on hourly employees because they are, of course, the most vulnerable. They ferry groceries, passengers, hot meals. They can't work from home.

There are two problems for Trump. One, Senate Republicans are pretty cool to new economic stimulus measures and, two, you know, even with a strong economy, the U.S. has done things reserved for a down economy. You know, he's cut taxes in 2007, the federal deficit is already exploding, you know, over $1 trillion.

Remember in India two weeks ago when Trump tweeted this, stock market starting to look very good to me, that was two weeks ago. Since then, stocks are down 14 percent.

JARRETT: The White House says President Trump has not been tested for coronavirus even though he came in close contact with several lawmakers who are now self-quarantined. Those lawmakers had contact with someone at a recent conservative conference, CPAC, who later tested positive for the virus.

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz rode on Air Force One with Trump on Monday as he found out about his own possible exposure to the virus after spending the weekend at Trump's Mar-a-Lago property. He made headlines just last week when he wore a gas mask onto the House floor. Congressman Doug Collins also joined Trump during a visit to the CDC on Friday. Photos from that day show the Georgia lawmaker shaking the president's hand in close proximity on the tarmac.

And the incoming White House chief of staff, Congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina, also in voluntary isolation, though he hasn't had recent close contact with the president.

Later today, the Trump campaign will announce plans to hold a rally in the coming days, insisting it is proceeding as normal during the coronavirus pandemic.

ROMANS: I wonder how many hands those guys shake in a single day, you know, it's remarkable. All of them.


ROMANS: You know, all the contacts.

JARRETT: Lots of Purell.

ROMANS: Yes, exactly.

All of Italy on lockdown this morning, the prime minister extending travel lockdowns through the entire country until April 3rd because of coronavirus. The order affects 60 million people, a response far more aggressive than the American response so far.

Let's go live to Rome and bring in CNN's Delia Gallagher.

And, you know, when you talk about study abroad students coming back or people planning travel to Italy, it's a minor inconvenience. But for the people, honestly, the people who live there, I mean, they are in lockdown.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. Let me give you a picture of what that means. They are being encouraged to stay in doors as much as possible. And even outdoors, avoid gatherings even in small groups like in a park, for example. You can imagine what that means for moms who have their kids home from school for the next month.

Pope Francis this morning bucking the trend and telling his priests to go out and be with the sick. The pope is live-streaming his private mass from his residence. Public masses are suspended.

There are major concerns for the health infrastructure in Italy. We spoke to the coordinator for the intensive care units in the Lombardi region where Milan is. He says they are reaching collapse. They have patients in hallways now. And doctors here in Rome told me yesterday that they were hoping for this lockdown because the regions of Lombardi were up to 9,000 cases. Now, the region of Lombardi has more than half of them, but it is one of the best health infrastructures in Italy.

So, the concern is they don't have those same kind of hospitals and if they reach those kind of numbers it will really become difficult. And yesterday, we also saw prison riots, some 22 prisons across the country. Inmates there rioting because they were not allowed -- the families have been banned from visiting them and some escaped. We are waiting to hear word if they all have been returned to their prisons -- Christine.

ROMANS: Quite a story. Delia Gallagher, thank you so much for that.

You know, Europeans everywhere, the French minister of culture has contracted the virus. He is now confined at home.

JARRETT: It's interesting how many leaders of countries have now contracted the virus.

ROMANS: Right. Somebody at the New Jersey port authority.

JARRETT: Absolutely.

ROMANS: All of these people in key positions who are talking to and shaking hands with people.

JARRETT: Which is why people are wondering why President Trump hasn't gotten tested.

ROMANS: Right.

JARRETT: All right. Still ahead, Bernie Sanders needs a big night in Michigan, no doubt, or his campaign will have a tough choice to make. Can he pull off another surprise to slow Joe Biden's momentum?



ROMANS: Coronavirus has now spread to more than 100 countries and territories. Globally, the number of coronavirus cases tops 113,000 and more than 4,000 people have died. In Asia where the outbreak began, cases appeared to be declining. South Korea reporting its lowest daily number in weeks, while China claims 19 new cases, which will be the lowest there since mid-January.

CNN's David Culver is live in Shanghai.

It's getting attention in the markets how the numbers have been tapering, David.

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And it's a little bit of optimism as we look at this, Christine, but releasing numbers is one thing. Action is another. What we're starting to see, this is something that has been much anticipated, is some pretty substantial moves coming from the government. One being what's happening now, that's President Xi Jinping himself down in the epicenter in the city of Wuhan down there meeting with military medical personnel, meeting with some other residents.

The reason that is important is because a lot of people were looking at that as a moment to suggest that things are beginning to get under control here. And that's certainly what's coming across. That's the message that state media and the government want to relay is that things are starting to stabilize a bit. Their hope is that would turn into stabilizing the economy, getting things reopened and back on track.

Another thing that we're seeing that suggests from a health care perspective, things are looking more successful is the closing of some of the field hospitals. In fact, not some of them. We just learned all 14 field hospitals that were open to accommodate the influx of patients, the thousands of people that need to be treated have been shuttered.

We just had two makeshift hospitals that were built within two weeks that are still operating and regular hospitals there tweeting folks there. So, that in and of itself is a pretty good indicator that things are trending towards a positive direction, and then the resumption of schools. I mean, talk about getting back to a place of normal. That is happening already in one province of China. In fact, high school back on Monday. It's kind of a test if you will. They're gong to phase this in different parts of the country as things try to back online.

And just anecdotally, I mean, going around places like Shanghai here, we've heard that Shanghai Disney is opening up some of their restaurants and some of their shopping. The theme park itself not yet reopened, but still they're trying this phased in approach. It was interesting noting this weekend here, I mean, brunch was a very popular thing that may sound kind of superficial if you ask folks, but the reality was we saw people craving for that sense of going back to normal. They wanted something to cling on to that suggested, all right, maybe we're getting through this.

ROMANS: Yes. In fact, a lot of people talk about what will the snapback be when everything gets back to normal and the economy starts to recover?


ROMANS: David Culver, thank you so much for that.

JARRETT: Some passengers from the coronavirus stricken Grand Princess cruise ship arrived at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, late last night. They were shuttled there in two buses and a van. As you see, all could be seen wearing facemasks.

The ship finally pulling into the port of Oakland yesterday with ambulances waiting. Thirty-five hundred passengers on board all getting an initial screening. People with acute medical needs were first off the ship. Disembarkation resumes this morning.

California residents will head to two air force bases in the city, including Travis. Other American passengers will go to bases in Texas and Georgia. All will undergo testing and a 14 day quarantine. Passengers from other countries will be flown home. The crew will stay on the ship under a 14-day quarantine.

It's interesting, Christine, Dr. Fauci from the NIH yesterday making it very clear at the White House briefing, if you are over 60, if you have an underlying medical condition, do not get on a cruise ship.

ROMANS: He said, if you're young and healthy, fine. Take -- he said he would not get on a cruise ship. He doesn't like cruises. This is from the nation's leading infectious disease expert.


But he said, if you're young and healthy, go for it for spring break. If you are over 60 with medical condition, no.

JARRETT: Consider it, yes.

ROMANS: All right. Major league sports league taking steps. Andy Scholes with the details on "The Bleacher Report", next.


JARRETT: Biden versus Sanders facing off in Super Tuesday 2 with primaries today in six states. Bernie Sanders got a major bump in Michigan back in 2016. A surprise win that foreshadowed Democrats' struggles to lure working class voters. Today's result could make or break Sanders 2020 campaign.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny is in Detroit.



JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONENT: Christine and Laura, the final rally here for Joe Biden before the Michigan primary. He had a bit of company on stage, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, evidence the Biden bandwagon is indeed growing. He is trying to use that momentum to push into the primary today here in Michigan, as well as Missouri, Washington state, Mississippi, trying to make the case that it's time for Democrats to coalesce around Joe Biden.

Bernie Sanders, of course, is saying not so fast, drawing major distinctions with Joe Biden here in Michigan. Far more is at stake here than when 125 delegates, the biggest prize of all today. It is one of the last best places to make his argument that he is for working people, that he is for younger people across the industrial Midwest.

The calendar does not get easier for Bernie Sanders in the coming weeks after Michigan. In fact, Ohio, Illinois next week. Next month, it's Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. So, clearly, Bernie Sanders, to keep going, knows he needs to show strength here.

Joe Biden trying to close out this campaign in Michigan and move onto the matter at hand with Donald Trump.

There's no question the Democrats are eager to coalesce around one candidate. Let's see how Michigan votes today to see how fast the goes -- Christine and Laura.


ROMANS: All right. Jeff Zeleny, thank you for that, Jeff.

All right. The four major professional sports leagues currently in action closing their locker rooms to the media as a response to the coronavirus -- closing the locker rooms to the media.

Andy Scholes, he's got more in this morning's "Bleacher Report".

Hey, Andy.


You know, this is the first time this has ever happened. The NBA, Major League Baseball, NHL and MLS putting out a joint statement and the leagues coming together to make the announcement about closing their locker rooms to the media.

Here's the full statement. After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts and given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre and post-game settings, all team locker rooms and clubhouses will be open to only players and essential employees of teams and team facilities until further notice. Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting.

Now, the changes that go into effect today. According to ESPN, NBA owners are holding a conference call. The league did send out a memo over the weekend to say prepare to play without fans in the arena, but the league will be the ones to make that decision. We reach out to NCAA and asked about plans for March Madness, and right now, they told us their advisory panel continues to not recommend any cancellation of events.

Now in the meantime, Santa Clara County in California has put a ban on gatherings larger than 1,000 people for the rest of the month. That will impact three upcoming San Jose Shark hockey games. Stanford hosting the NCAA women's tournament and San Jose Earthquakes soccer game. The Sharks saying they're reviewing what to do and they're going to have an update. Their next home game is one week from today.

All right. So far, the Tokyo Olympics in Japan have not been affected by coronavirus, but the media summit that was scheduled to start Sunday in Los Angeles has been postponed. The four-day event was to provide access for the media to over 100 team USA hopefuls and for the U.S. Olympics -- for the Olympics and Paralympic Games, I should say.

The U.S. Olympic Committee announcing the move was made out of an abundance of caution. And the traditional torch-lighting ceremony in Greece that kicks off

the Olympics, it will be staged without spectators on Thursday in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Following Thursday's ceremony the Olympic torch will begin a seven day rely that will culminate with a handover ceremony in Greece and the torch will be flown to Japan.

And, Christine, the Olympics opening ceremony, July 24th. There are so many people, including all those athletes that worked their whole life for this moment.

ROMANS: I know.

SCHOLES: They're just praying and hoping that the Olympics go on as planned.

ROMANS: It's why, you know, they're not taking these decisions lightly, because, you now, hopes and dreams pegged on all of this.

All right. Andy Scholes, thank you so much.

Laura, what's coming up.

JARRETT: All right, Christine.

What do Wall Street and Bernie Sanders have in common? Both need comebacks in a big way today. Markets looking to rebound from an historic dive and Sanders needs a win in Michigan to breathe some life in his campaign.



ROMANS: Two U.S. service members have been killed in Iraq. Their names have not been released pending family notification. The Pentagon says they were killed while helping Iraqi security forces on a mission in ISIS. Four other soldiers were injured.

The Islamic State lost its territory and lost its leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi who's killed by the U.S. in October. But ISIS still manages to recruit new soldiers to its cause.

JARRETT: American troop withdrawals have begun in Afghanistan. The move is part of an agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban last month. The deal gives the U.S. 135 days to reduce troop levels from about 13,000 to 8,600. The initial draw down continues as the Taliban continues to conduct dozens of attacks against the Afghan allies.

EARLY START continues right now.


JARRETT: Wall Street dangerously close to a bear market. A year of gains wiped out. Now the president is pushing the stimulus measures. Can stage a badly needed comeback today?

ROMANS: A broad impact from the virus around the world.