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Schools Across U.S. Suspend In-Person Classes in Response to Coronavirus Spread; U.S. Stock Market Set for Rebound After Heavy Previous Day Losses; Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is Interviewed About the Coronavirus Pandemic and the Number of Cases in New York. Aired 8- 8:30a ET
Aired March 10, 2020 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The news is not the problem.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, CNN Newsroom is next. For our U.S. viewers, big questions about how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus. NEW DAY continues right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An historic day on wall street. Measures were taken to halt trading for 15 minutes after the opening bell as stocks fell too far, too fast.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: True carnage. This was a disastrous day on the market.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The virus now in more than 30 states.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Grand Princess arriving in California.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the passengers will be tested, quarantined as appropriate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of Italy is now effectively a red zone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The worsening situation across Europe is leading to a collapse in tourism.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: And good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Tuesday, March 10th, 8:00 now in the east. A new revelation about the Trump administration's efforts to track and counter the coronavirus pandemic. Just moments ago on NEW DAY one of the president's point men could not say how many Americans have been tested for coronavirus. Here's Health Secretary Alex Azar.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: You honestly don't know? You don't know how many people have been tested?
ALEX AZAR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Because a private vendor shipped most of those 1.1 million that shipped from a private vendor selling to their customers, and those entities that use the tests do not have to report back to CDC. But we're trying to set up a reporting system where they would have to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Here are the numbers as best we know them at this hour. The death toll in the U.S. is 26. The number of cases has risen overnight to 732. That's across 36 states and Washington, D.C. Globally more than 4,000 people have died, and there are now more than 113,000 confirmed cases. This morning all of Italy is on lockdown, the country's borders effectively closed, 60 million people barred from traveling there for weeks.
BERMAN: Here in the United States, local officials are moving to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. That means social distancing. Santa Clara County, California, has banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people. In the nation's capital, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC, has told employees to work from home, and this is going on in the middle of what seems to be a bit of a financial crisis.
Ohio State University just became the latest college, look at this map, to cancel in-person classes despite, as far as we can tell, having no confirmed cases on campus. Schools from coast to coast are closing this morning to clean the classrooms. Boston just canceled its annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, which is a big deal there. Pearl Jam, Madonna, Miley Cyrus canceling concerts.
We're also keeping a very close eye on the markets after the single worst day on Wall Street since the 2008 financial crisis. But 90 minutes before the opening, things are looking up, the stock futures pointing to a big rebound. The markets appear to be reacting, at least in part, to President Trump floating the idea of a payroll tax cut and other economic relief to offset the impact of the coronavirus.
We're going to begin, though, with the health concerns this morning. Joining us, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Celine Gounder, infectious disease specialist and host of the "Epidemic" Podcast. And Sanjay, I just want to start with where you think we are this morning, the most important developments over the last 12 hours. I don't know if it is Santa Clara declaring in gatherings, more schools closing, what is it?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that these social distancing measures that are going into effect sort of being determined more at the local level, not coming from some sort of national recommendation, I think that's something that is really alerting people to what is happening here in the country. Obviously, a lot of people hearing about Italy and being reminded that in Italy, back on February 2nd, there were -- I'm sorry, February 20th, there were just a few cases and no deaths, and then a couple of weeks later you have a couple thousand people who are infected and around 50 deaths. So how quickly this can change in a place and how the social distancing measures may impact that I think is something that a lot of people are paying attention to.
In addition to your excellent interview, John, with Secretary Azar, about the lack of testing still. We have been talking about this for weeks and constantly comparing our lack of testing or decreased testing compared to places like South Korea where they have been doing thousands of tests a day. We still, according to our calculations here at CNN, total in the country have done fewer than 6,000 tests still. So I think those are some of the headlines people are hearing about today.
CAMEROTA: Dr. Gounder, Secretary Azar was just on, John just interviewed him, as you heard. So if we don't know how many people are getting tested, if the HHS doesn't know, CDC doesn't know, then how can we know how many people have the coronavirus?
DR. CELINE GOUNDER, HOST, "EPIDEMIC" PODCAST: Well, there are probably different reporting procedures for did you test positive versus were you tested by -- I have a hard time believing that LabCorp and Quest, which have completely automated reporting systems, I can log in as a provider online and pull up a patient's results. I am sure that they can provide just a total number of this many tests run, this many tested positive, this many test negative. That is not a complicated thing to do.
CAMEROTA: And wouldn't that be helpful for the government to know, to know what the coronavirus looks like in this country?
GOUNDER: Absolutely. We would want to know where are you seeing cases, where is testing being done, where is it not being done. That would really help us target resources to the right places, especially in terms of hospital preparedness. We want to know where the cases are, and we're now hearing of N95 respirator shortages, for example, which is going to make our jobs impossible to do safely in the hospital.
BERMAN: Talk to me about schools, Sanjay. Ohio State University is just the most recent school, college, big university, to cancel classes for a period of time. But there are middle schools, junior highs, high schools across the country that are closing as well. Why, given that we know that younger people are not at high risk here, they are not the ones getting very sick?
GUPTA: Yes, no, it is a good question. And first of all, that is true that younger people, thankfully, seem to be insulated to some extent, protected from getting particularly sick from this, and we don't know entirely why.
But, as we also talked about, they can still carry the virus in their bodies, they can potentially still shed the virus and be a source of infection. So I think there is really two reasons. First of all, those are large gathering places, these big schools and big universities. And if there is an infection in an area like that, it can spread throughout a large gathering of people like that. And then they can go home or they can go be with a vulnerable group of people, and possibly spread the virus along.
So this is really about trying to break that cycle of transmission and schools, at least closing schools or closing them for a period of time and disinfecting them well could be a strategy to help break that cycle of transmission. Again, it is being decided on an ad hoc case by case basis. There is no federal mandate around this, but I think a lot of schools are being proactive in this regard. There are also schools where if someone tests positive, then the school is more reactive to that, saying OK, we're going to close down for a period of time, make sure the school is disinfected before we bring people back.
CAMEROTA: It is the ad hoc federal response that is confusing to people. I hear people all the time, are they supposed to be taking public transportation or not? Here in New York, there are now more cases in New York state than anywhere else. The head of Port Authority, which is the huge mass transit system of New York City, has just tested positive. Are people still supposed to be taking public transportation? Where are the instructions for people?
GOUNDER: Well, we heard Coronavirus.gov announced yesterday, which is actually just a shortcut to the CDC website on coronavirus, but they are, I think, compiling a lot of that guidance there. And it's a lot of the things we have been talking about -- the hand washing, the social distancing, that sort of thing.
But I do think one question I have in my mind is taking the New York City subway, it's hard to maintain sort of that two meter distance for people, maybe not so hard now because a lot of people aren't taking the subway, but some of those things are difficult to do.
CAMEROTA: There is also on surfaces, those aren't being wiped down every time people get on and off the train. I too take the subway. I look at the surfaces in a different way now than I used to. Again, we don't know what we're -- should we all know what we're doing, or is this just the fog of war, as we heard from Dr. Fauci say yesterday?
GOUNDER: I think that's part of why this is different from the flu, for example, because there is so much we still don't know. We really are learning and going on by the seat of our pants because this is something new. This is something different. And there is still a lot that we need to learn.
GUPTA: These are the printouts of some of the things that they're --
CAMEROTA: Let me read those.
BERMAN: Yes, but look, if things like wash your hands and avoid crowding, which is great advice, which is what people should be doing, but Tom Bossert, who was the Homeland Security adviser in the White House before, Sanjay, said to the extent, a lot of this is like a light from a star. Right, we are now seeing something that was actually emitted some time ago.
GUPTA: Yes. And, look, again, I don't want to belabor this point, but the fact that we haven't tested might even make that light from the star further away here. The star may have already died and we're just now seeing the light from it because we're that far behind in testing here.
What he also wrote in this op-ed for the "Washington Post" I think is a really important point with regard to what they call these NPIs, these nonpharmaceutical interventions, these social distancing mechanisms, they can be effective. We have seen evidence of that historically, going back even to the Spanish flu of 1918, two cities, Philadelphia and St. Louis, he writes about. St. Louis had much lower rates of the flu compared to Philadelphia because they took social distancing measures early. If you get beyond one percent, so in Santa Clara, a city of around 2 million, if you get beyond 20,000 people infected, the social distancing don't really have as much of an impact.
CAMEROTA: I see here, it says disinfect surfaces like door knobs, tables and handrails regularly. I'm going to take that on for the New York City subway. I'm going to be the person who does that starting this morning.
Thank you, both, very much. Dr. Gounder and Dr. Gupta. We really appreciate it.
BERMAN: U.S. stock markets poised for a big rebound this morning after yesterday's historic losses. CNN's Julia Chatterley live at the New York Stock Exchange with a preview, things looking up, but really after yesterday, not many places to go besides up.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a bounce after the plummet that we saw yesterday. John, to your point, not unexpected given the sheer scale of the fall that we saw yesterday, the worst day, in fact, trading here since 2008. A couple of things I think allowing us to bounce. One, simply that we were so beaten up after yesterday, but also, the fact that we have seen a bit of a stabilization here in oil prices as well.
But guys, we are looking at crazy volatility on a daily basis. So just to say we're in the green at this stage premarket doesn't really give you much indication of where we go from here. I spoke to a guy earlier this week, a big money manager, and he said the only thing that will stop this volatility is seeing peak cases, a stabilization in the numbers here in the United States. And as you guys and I know pretty well at this stage, we look a fair distance away from that at this stage. We're also waiting for what President Trump can say about possible measures to support individuals who have been hit, impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, payroll tax cuts, perhaps some short-term loans as well for small businesses. But already people are saying what is simply going to be possible and what Congress will agree to today. So hope floats, at least for now. But all I can promise you is volatility. Guys? CAMEROTA: Julia, thank you very much for that update. It changes
every hour. We really appreciate you being down there for us.
New York state now has the most coronavirus cases. So we will ask Governor Andrew Cuomo what is being done in response to this pandemic. He's next.
CAMEROTA: New York now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other state.
So, joining us now with updates is New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo.
Governor, great to see you this morning.
Do you have updated numbers for us on what's going on in New York?
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We're updating them as we speak, Alisyn. And we'll get them all together so there's no confusion. But it's up. It's up about 25 since yesterday.
CAMEROTA: OK, that's troubling, obviously.
Also troubling is that the head of Port Authority, which is New York City's obviously huge mass transit system, has tested positive for coronavirus. And so, what's the message there? Should we stop taking public transportation? If he contracted it, can the rest of us contract it?
CUOMO: Well, first, the head of the Port Authority, Rick Cotton, who is doing a phenomenal job, and he's a great friend, the Port Authority in New York supervises the airports.
So he spent a lot of time at JFK Airport, just at that time when all the flights were coming in, if you remember, and getting that initial situation under control, what flights were coming in, what people were being tested, et cetera. So, he was really in the ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak.
CUOMO: And he's remarkable guy, he's a hands-on guy. We have a hands- on government. And he was there himself.
And he got exposed, our guess is, during that situation. But it's not emblematic of public transportation or anything else.
CAMEROTA: Well, yes and no, Governor? I mean, the reason I ask is because instruction seems so scattershot for what the public is supposed to be doing. I'm sure you know families. I know many, who don't know if they're supposed to be flying right now and taking their family trips. Some are canceling them because, again, I understand what you're
saying, that Rick Cotton is a hands-on guy, but he was at the airport, a lot of us go through airports. Should we be going through airports right now?
CUOMO: Yes. Couple of points, Alisyn, first, Rick Cotton was at the airport at the very beginning when people were coming back who were infected from countries all around the world. We didn't even know who was infected and who wasn't infected.
In general, the -- let's remember the bottom line here, the vulnerable populations should be taking precaution. We have this mass fear, mass hysteria. It's the vulnerable population, senior citizens, yes. Think twice before getting on a plane.
People with pre-existing conditions, yes, think twice before going to a large gathering. A person with a compromised immune system, yes, think twice before getting on a flight, going to a gathering, public transportation, et cetera. Those people, yes. General population, no.
And also, Alisyn, if we can, you had some earlier interviews that I thought were very interesting. Remember what we're doing as a society. There is only two ways to stop the spread of the virus, right? One is massive quarantine closedowns.
That's what China did, just closed everything down so people --
CAMEROTA: Italy -- Italy now.
CUOMO: Italy also. So people don't interact with each other. That's strategy A.
Strategy B is massive testing so you find people, you find who is positive, and then you isolate those people.
Our country does not have the same capacity to do the massive testing that the other countries did. China, South Korea, they were testing like 10,000 people per day, per day.
CAMEROTA: Right, right.
CUOMO: We're nowhere near that.
CAMEROTA: So, what's our answer?
CUOMO: So that's our challenge.
Well, look, what I'm saying our answer is, we have to say to our federal government, you have to increase the testing capacity dramatically, and faster than we are now increasing the testing capacity. Let's look at China, let's look at South Korea, their tests are not as
good as ours. OK. Even if that's true, they were doing 10,000 of them a day.
CUOMO: And we're doing a fraction of that.
CAMEROTA: But, Governor, I want to ask you --
CUOMO: And identifying the positive.
CAMEROTA: Yes, I just want to ask you about something else that we can do, the one thing that's in our control. We're see other communities around do it. It's harder in New York than elsewhere, but that's the social distancing.
Boston has just canceled its St. Patrick's Day parade. Should New York do that?
CUOMO: That's one of the things we're looking at. And, look, in New York, we also have a cluster in Westchester County which is outside of New York City, and that is very intense cluster. So, we're taking more dramatic actions in that cluster, right?
You calibrate your response to the time, and the facts and the circumstances in that place at that time. So, parades, et cetera, we look at that on a daily basis, and we look at the numbers and we look at the spread.
CAMEROTA: And you might do that? You're saying it is possible that we might see that happen here, the canceling of the St. Patrick's Day parade?
CUOMO: Well, yes, Alisyn, what you will see is the numbers will continue to increase because they have increased. Our testing is lagging the reality. We're not testing enough people to know where it is. The more we test, the more positives you're going to find.
People will think oh, my gosh, it is going up. No. It was going up anyway. You just have testing now that confirms what has been going on.
CUOMO: That number will go straight up over time.
CUOMO: I'm -- I'm worried that that's going to continue to fuel public anxiety, which already is ahead of the virus, because, remember the bottom line, while we talk about all this stuff, the testing, the quarantine --
CAMEROTA: Yes, what is let on (ph) --
CUOMO: -- if you are not a member of the vulnerable population, Alisyn, don't overstress.
But senior citizens, elderly -- the conversations I have with my mother, yes, that is a different conversation than the conversation I have with my daughters, or my colleagues.
CUOMO: And we have to keep that in focus.
CAMEROTA: That's OK.
CUOMO: And in the meantime, this country has to get better at testing and faster.
CAMEROTA: Understood. That is good advice, Governor Cuomo. Thank you very much. Nice to see you.
CUOMO: Alisyn, Andrew Cuomo, except no substitutes.
CAMEROTA: Yes. We always build in time for you to make your joke, your Cuomo joke to me, and I always appreciate it. Thanks, Governor. Great to see you.
CUOMO: Yes, bye.
CAMEROTA: Great to see you.
BERMAN: All right. So, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders face off in what Alisyn is calling Super Tuesday II.
CAMEROTA: I like it.
BERMAN: And what I think it needs a much better name.
CAMEROTA: It is catchy.
BERMAN: Six states holding primaries today. Why this is such an important moment in the campaign, next.
CAMEROTA: Americans in six states today are voting for Super Tuesday II. It just rolls off the tongue. It just rolls off the tongue.
BERMAN: There's nothing lyrical about that.
CAMEROTA: Polls are open in Michigan, Missouri, and Mississippi, North Dakota, Iowa, Washington state will open soon.
Michigan is today's biggest prize. Let's talk about what's going to happen, what we expect. Joining us now, we have CNN political correspondent MJ Lee, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist Paul Begala and CNN contributor Wajahat Ali. He's a contributing op-ed writer for "The New York Times".
Paul Begala, what are you looking for today?
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Michigan and Washington. The other states matter a lot, but these are two states Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in. Michigan is so mythic.
Politicians, they get -- they get emotional about the Michigan miracle, where Bernie beat Hillary. Now he's going to go back and it is like you had this great relationship with the high school cheerleader or the quarterback and come back for the reunion and you're, like, is the magic still there?
If it is not, he's going to be crushed. Then he goes to Washington state, like going home, where you got 72 percent last time, he goes home to his wife and she's, like, there is my new husband Joe. Come on.
CAMEROTA: I'm going to start crying. This is devastating.
BEGALA: Somewhere my wife is laughing. These things get very emotional. It's not just a place.
And Bernie Sanders has a mystical connection with Michigan. And if he loses there, it's going to break his heart.
MJ LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think we should talk about why the magic may not be there for him tonight for Bernie Sanders. I mean, the circumstances of what he was facing in 2016 and what he's facing now in 2020 are very different. I mean, namely, the person he's running against, right, the fact that he is now running against Joe Biden, it is a two-man race, Joe Biden is a person who is doing, you know, consistently very well with African-American voters.
Bernie Sanders in part won Michigan last time around with the help of black voters in the state and also we have seen Bernie Sanders, his support among working class white voters start to slip a little bit. And if he can't get the full support of working class white voters in the state of Michigan, that's bad for him for tonight. It also bodes not well for upcoming contests like in Ohio, for example, or Wisconsin. These are the states he's been trying to make the case, these are the states in the Rust Belt I can win, not only in the primaries, but in the general election as well.
BERMAN: Thank you for elevating that beyond high school. We desperately needed that.
CAMEROTA: I liked it.
BERMAN: Thanks very much.
So, Wajahat, I know you consider yourself a progressive who was supportive of Elizabeth Warren while she was still in the race. And I've been listening to what you've been saying, and it's almost as if you've been asking questions, you're asking, help me out here, help me figure out where to go and how to proceed. I want to play something that Joe Biden said last night about being a bridge. I wonder if this is --