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World Health Organization Now Officially Declared Coronavirus Outbreak A Pandemic; Washington State Officially Bans Events Larger Than 250 People; Some College Students Livid Over Being Ejected From Dorms. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired March 11, 2020 - 14:00   ET



BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi there. I'm Brooke Baldwin, you're watching CNN. Thank you for being with me and welcome to our continuing coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, which the World Health Organization has now officially declared a pandemic roughly two months after the first cases appeared in China.

It is a major shift for the organization and it comes as one of the top Infectious Disease experts in the United States issued this blunt warning.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now. How much worse we'll get will depend on our ability to do two things? To contain the influx of people who are infected coming from the outside and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country. Bottom line, it's going to get worse.


BALDWIN: Dr. Anthony Fauci making that statement during a congressional hearing today as the number of us cases tops 1,000 and the number of deaths now hitting 31.

The scramble to stop the virus from spreading, forcing the cancellations of even more major events including the St. Patrick's Day parade in Chicago and the half marathon here in New York City.

In Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee is banning gatherings of more than 250 people. You have more colleges, more universities moving classes online and out of the classroom. While the IRS is considering pushing back that April 15th tax deadline.

Some 19 states have declared a state of emergency and now there's this group of Democratic senators including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who want President Trump to declare a national emergency.

An aide to Schumer telling CNN that the former declaration would allow $40 billion of disaster aid to flow to local and state governments as they fight the outbreak. CNN's Nick Watt is live in Oakland, California with more on how states

are responding to the coronavirus outbreak. Hey, Nick.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Brooke. Well, yes, we just heard from up in Washington, no big gatherings in three counties up there and four million people live in those three counties, nearly four million people in those three counties now under that new order just put out here in San Francisco just across the bay from where I am.

The city has just banned all gatherings of more than 1,000 people. The Golden State Warriors, of course play in San Francisco unclear at this point what will happen to their home games.

You know, the message really is it will get worse and we have to do more to contain it. You mentioned the W.H.O. now calling this a pandemic. You know, we at CNN had been calling it a pandemic for a few days.

The actual headline I thought out of that World Health Organization briefing was the Director General saying that he is alarmed at the level of spread and severity and also alarmed at the inaction in certain places, but he does stress it is not too late to change the course of this pandemic.

And, you know, Governor Inslee up there in Washington said, you know, we need to get ahead of the curve. That is why we are implementing these measures, which some might see as draconian but are necessary in containing, controlling, mitigating this virus -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Yes. Let's talk about Washington State. Nick, thank you very much. Washington State where as we mentioned earlier, the Governor has now banned gatherings of more than 250 people.


GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA): Starting today, I am already, ordering pursuant to my emergency powers that certain events in Kings and the whole of Mission and Pierce County with more than 250 people are prohibited by order of the Governor.

These events that are prohibited are gatherings for social, recreational, spiritual, and other matters. This prohibition could be expanded in the days to come, depending on the development of the virus.


BALDWIN: CNN's Sara Sidner is live in Seattle. And Sara, the Mayor of Seattle also talks about the magnitude of what that area is experiencing. Tell me more.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they really took, Brooke, a somber and serious note about what is happening.

Washington State has so far been hit the hardest. They have the most number of deaths, up to 24 now with about 260 people who have been infected with the coronavirus and as more testing happens, they very much expect those numbers to rise.

And we should also talk about kind of the dangers and what they have been saying to folks and saying, look, our citizens are taking this very seriously. We're happy about that. But now just like you had there, you've got the Governor saying look, we are taking some extreme measures here.


SIDNER: We are banning places -- they cannot have more than 250 people gathering in one spot, and that's going to include everything from concerts, to sporting events.

In a couple of weeks now, the home opener for the Mariners is supposed to happen here, and that we will see. But that may have to be either postponed or canceled.

These are big deals for businesses as well. We're talking restaurants as well are going to have to start looking into what they're going to do going forward.

I do want to let you listen to the Mayor of Seattle. She was very pointed that this is going to change the way of life for people not just here in Washington State, but eventually potentially around the country.


MAYOR JENNY DURKAN (D), SEATTLE: I truly believe that this outbreak may be one of the most transformative and consequential events that we've had in this region and in this country. I also believe, and no, we will get through it. It will be hard.


SIDNER: We will get through it. It will be hard. Those are probably the most poignant words that you're going to hear from an official letting people know that this is not going to be something that's short and fast and taken care of quickly.

That there are going to have to be some changes in your personal life and changes in the way government and businesses run as well -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: No, it will be hard. I appreciate the honesty from the Mayor. Sara, thank you in Seattle and from Washington State to New York State where there are now close to 200 cases.

Most -- many if not most of those infected are in this New Rochelle area, which about 24 hours ago became the first coronavirus containment zone in the nation.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has deployed the National Guard just to help deliver food and help clean public spaces. CNN's Brynn Gingras is live in New Rochelle and Brynn, the Governor has been stressing today that this is not a -- it's a containment. It's not a quarantine zone. Explain the difference for me.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the biggest difference, Brooke, is that people will be allowed to come and go outside of this containment zone.

The idea here really is to get rid of those large gatherings, and the focus is on that one mile radius around the synagogue.

Before I tell you more, I want to let you know that in my other ear, we're listening to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He is updating us on what's going on, and he said that there are now 13 more cases in Westchester County, bringing the state's total to 121 positive cases.

Now, this is no surprise. The Governor even said on "New Day" this morning that there were going to be more positive tests coming back. Part of the reason why he is having this containment zone.

And a little bit more about that, you've laid it out nicely for your viewers, but essentially this means that in this radius around a synagogue where if you remember, Brooke, a 50-year-old lawyer from New Rochelle visited that synagogue, went to services, had other movements around the state prior to being diagnosed with coronavirus.

He didn't know he had it and that's where a majority of these cases are stemming from here in this area. That's why the Governor has said this is one of the biggest clusters in the entire state.

So that's why around that synagogue, a mile radius, some schools are being shut down. Some 5,500 students are being affected, places of worship. Again, large gathering places are being closed. And the National Guard is going to be here tomorrow to help out with this process that's going to last about two weeks.

We've also talked to some small businesses who say that they are shutting down just because there's no demand. People are really staying inside their homes at this point.

So we'll see how this goes. People we've talked to, Brooke, there's mixed feelings. Some say, you know, maybe more should be done like my kids' school isn't in that containment zone, but it's just outside of it and maybe it should be closed for cleaning.

Others say, you know what? I'm just going on business as usual taking the precautions I've been taking all along like washing my hands.

BALDWIN: I've got two lovely ladies waiting in the wings in New Rochelle. Let's ask them how they're feeling, Brynn. Thank you very much.

Mary McAdam, and her daughter, Maggie Sullivan live inside that containment zone right on the line there in New Rochelle. So ladies, thank you both for being with me and Mary, let me start with you because I saw a note from my producer you say, you're not a worrier? How is -- how are you -- how are you feeling today? MARY MCADAM, LIVES INSIDE NEW ROCHELLE CONTAINMENT ZONE: I'm feeling

very nervous and very concerned. I've never worried about anything in my life.


MCADAM: I have hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes sitting at my front door, you cannot get past the threshold, unless you sanitize.

SULLIVAN: That's true.

MCADAM: Maggie, how are you feeling? Are you glad your mom is stockpiling that stuff?

SULLIVAN: I mean, yes, it's definitely nice to take that precaution, but I don't necessarily feel scared. I'm still trying to just live my daily life and just be smart, but not really, like, limit myself and not live in fear.

But definitely be smarter about where I'm going and what I'm touching.

BALDWIN: Mom, let me go back over to you, Mary. I mean, I hear I hear the nervousness in your voice and if you're not a worrier, tell me what's the thing that makes you frightened the most then?


MCADAM: I think what frightens me the most is all of this unknown. It's unprecedented. It's, you know, it's like living in a movie that you say, well, that could never happen and it's bizarre.

And my other fear is if I'm infected, I feel very healthy. My daughter is young, she's healthy.

I have fear of infecting other people. We have a trip planned to the beginning of April to visit my 98-year-old aunt and my 92-year-old mother-in-law in Florida, and one lives in a senior living home filled with people 90 to a hundred years old. What if we're carrying something? Should we cancel our trip now?

BALDWIN: Right. Right, so you're being, you know, selfless, I'm sure you want to go to Florida, but you don't want to get them sick, heaven forbid, and that's certainly something that I'm hearing from a lot of people.

It's like, well, I feel fine, but I'm worried about my parents, my older parents. What about just between the two of you because it's my understanding you live right along the line of that containment zone. Are you all --

MCADAM: Yes, I think we're right inside.


BALDWIN: You're right inside. So are you -- MCADAM: I think we're kind of right inside of it.

BALDWIN: You're allowed to move out, you know, head out and about, are you choosing to do so or are you hunkering down right where you are?

MCADAM: In between. We're not -- we're not hunkering down. We just feel if we don't need to go somewhere, we're not going to go.

BALDWIN: Where have you been and are people giving you looks? Or what?

MCADAM: No, because they're out there, too.

SULLIVAN: Yes. Or like I went to the gym earlier this morning and it's definitely less crowded. But everyone who is there is doing the same thing and not really limiting themselves.

BALDWIN: Would you -- if you wanted to come -- if you -- Costco right? Can't pass up a good Costco trip, no matter what.

MCADAM: I have to tell you, I need to give a shout out to Costco, and to Chico's. They have people outside these -- some of these stores wiping down the carts for you, the handles you know, so ...

BALDWIN: No kidding.

MCADAM: They're taking precautions. Yes, they're being really good. The community is -- you can see the community pulling together, smiling at each other. Like let's just all stay clean and go out and get along.

BALDWIN: If you wanted to, which by the way you could and you can move out and about, would you feel comfortable taking the train let's say into Manhattan?

SULLIVAN: Yes. So I actually work in Manhattan and this is my first day working from home. I'm fortunate enough that I'm able to do that, but I've been commuting every day up until now.

And I've also noticed a lot less people in the trains, people wearing masks, but I haven't felt like nervous or scared too at all.

MCADAM: I would not take the train.

SULLIVAN: She's different.


MCADAM: Yes. Well, I mean, here's the thing, if I had to, I would. I wouldn't be afraid. I would take precautions, but I'm not going to put myself at a higher risk. That's anything you do once you leave your house, you are putting yourself at some type of risk, right?

BALDWIN: Spoken like a true smart mom. No, I know. Last quick question to both you ladies and that is, since you are in New Rochelle, right? Are you feeling like -- all right, the inevitable may happen, I may get sick, but I'm feeling healthy so I know I'll be okay. Or are you doing everything you can so that you don't get it?


SULLIVAN: Bingo, yes.

BALDWIN: Okay, that's -- Mary and Maggie, stay well, ladies. Hey you've got each other.


MCADAM: Thanks.

BALDWIN: There you go. You've got Costco.



BALDWIN: Ladies, thank you very much.


MCADAM: And to Chico's.

SULLIVAN: We always have Costco.

BALDWIN: Thank you. Thank you, ladies. Be well, please.

More schools across the country are canceling classes and even -- this is how some students perceive it, evicting students from campus housing, leaving serious questions about where they can go and how long they will be left without a place to stay or study.

Plus, it is 10 times more lethal than the flu. That is the new warning today from the Coronavirus Task Force.

A medical expert joins us to take your questions on how you can protect yourself.

And more and more concerts and festivals and big events are getting canceled. We'll talk to the President of Live Nation coming up.

You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. We'll be right back.



BALDWIN: Just in to CNN, the San Francisco Giants have announced that they are canceling their exhibition game against the Oakland A's at Oracle Park that was set from March 24th.

This is all of course in the wake of the city's decision to ban public gatherings of more than a thousand people. The Giants are scheduled to start the regular season on the road and they're not slated to host their first regular season game until April 3rd. As the country's top Infectious Disease doctor warns that this

outbreak will get worse, more and more schools are closing their doors, including major college campuses across the country.

Harvard is among those universities canceling in-person classes and having students leave their dorm rooms.

Carrington Walsh is a senior at Harvard majoring in Economics. So Carrington, thank you so much for being here.


BALDWIN: Obviously, Harvard is thinking about, you know, your health and your safety, but I've read that some students feel like they're getting evicted. How do you feel? How are you told you had to get out?

WALSH: Yes, it was -- it was very sudden. It was -- I was sitting at breakfast at 8:45, when you know, most college students aren't even awake, and we get an e-mail that said, you have to be out by Sunday at five, which is just five days for people to get out.

And our spring break is supposed to start on Saturday. So a lot of people had actually already booked flights that would be leaving tomorrow or Friday.

So for a lot of people, that was an eviction of two to three days. So it's really hard to kind of rally your whole life in that period of time.

BALDWIN: And then I was reading "The Crimson," the student paper where they were saying that more than 20 percent of students at Harvard are on full financial aid.

So you know, a number of students that not only rely on Harvard's housing, they rely on their off campus jobs. Can you tell me more about whether it's your situation or your friends who just really can relate in that way?


WALSH: Yes, I mean, I have three on-campus jobs, all of which are now you know, gone for me. So I'll be looking to go home and hopefully find something else.

But it'll be definitely interesting considering most of my friends who are away at college are all coming back, so I'm guessing it'll be a lot of people all looking for jobs at a weird part of the year. So I don't know how that kind of job market is going to look.

But yes, definitely financial like constraints are a big concern, and I know the Financial Aid Office was literally sitting in the dining hall today just swiping the credit card and buying flights for people because they knew that a lot of people couldn't.

BALDWIN: No kidding.

WALSH: Yes, a lot of people just can't afford to fly home.

BALDWIN: Wow. Well, that's something -- that's something incredibly generous, especially just given how expensive things are for folks there.

WALSH: Yes, exactly.

BALDWIN: And just a bigger picture -- bigger picture, Carrington. I know enough cases in Massachusetts has doubled just in the past day, 70 of them really linked to this corporate meeting in a Boston hotel.

So I know not, you know, not Cambridge not Harvard, but nevertheless has that, for lack of a better word, freaked people out where you are.

WALSH: To be honest, I think people are a little just to shell shocked to be freaked out just yet. I think a lot of people especially me, I'm in my senior year, a lot of people are trying to squeeze senior year into three days and it becomes this like, everyone's trying to do all the fun party events we were trying to do throughout the whole year and trying to do senior week and even commencement events within three days.

So I think people are trying to think about how they want to you know, remember their friendships instead of whether or not corona is a concern on campus. If that makes sense.

BALDWIN: I mean, it does make sense and I'm just sitting there thinking A, that you're obviously smart enough to get into Harvard that you have pulled out four years there, but you're about to graduate and you're having to squeeze it all in.


BALDWIN: Do you -- is this going to affect graduation ceremonies? Have you heard?

WALSH: I mean, yes, so I'm on the 2020 class committee, and we're kind of in charge of arranging a lot of the commencement events, and we haven't officially heard anything just yet.

The university right now, I believe is waiting to make a decision on commencement. They're waiting until everyone is kind of off campus and they've dealt with the first big issue and then what I've heard is that they're giving themselves like a 10-day deadline to figure out what to do with commencement.

BALDWIN: So what would you like?

WALSH: So the big issue, we get like 40 -- I mean, this is this is hard because I want to be safe and I want everyone else to be safe as well.

So I would understand if they postponed commencement, but I absolutely would not want for it to be canceled and I don't think they would do that anyway. I think they want everyone to feel celebrated and feel like they got a

proper sending off. So I think a postponing would probably be the best situation.

Of course, if they could keep it at the same date, we can all come back late May, hey, that would be amazing, but we'll see.

BALDWIN: Right. Now, you all deserve a big old victory lap, so many graduating seniors, so I hope you get that. Stay healthy. Carrington Walsh, my best to you and congratulations almost for graduating college.

WALSH: Thank you. Thank you so much.

BALDWIN: Thank you so much. And let me remind all of you, join Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta for a second CNN Global Town Hall.

I know you have all kinds of questions about coronavirus. We have the answers. You can watch "Coronavirus: Facts and Fears" tomorrow night at 10 o'clock Eastern.

The new warning from a top doctor on the Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci telling Congress just moments ago that the virus is 10 times more lethal than the flu.

We'll take your questions about how to stay safe and healthy.

Also, just in, we're getting worried that the President may be planning an Oval Office address in the wake of this outbreak. So standby.



BALDWIN: More breaking news. The NBA's Golden State Warriors have announced that they will play tomorrow night's game without fans after San Francisco banned events with more than a thousand people.

So with me now, Marc Stein with "The New York Times." Mark, you have the scoop. Tell me what you heard exactly.

MARC STEIN, SPORTS REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" (via phone): Well, basically earlier today, in San Francisco, all gatherings of more than a thousand people were banned. So that was really the signal that the Warriors hand was going to be forced here.

So this is the first step. I mean, throughout the NBA, the league and the teams have been weighing options. Do we play games with no fans? Do we try to move to venues where there is yet to be an outbreak of the virus? Do we postpone games entirely?

These are the things that the league is weighing, and later this afternoon, in two or three hours, the league owners will be on a conference call with the league office to kind of work through some of these issues.

But because of the way this has been trending in San Francisco, you had a strong feeling that the Warriors were going to be the first team affected by this and they have now confirmed that Thursday, they are going to try to play a game in an empty arena and see how that approach works.

BALDWIN: What about March Madness, Marc? I mean, so far that was supposed to go on, as usual, but if this is happening with the Warriors, are you hearing anything about the NCAA tournament?

STEIN: I think throughout the sporting landscape and beyond U.S. borders, every major sport in the world is kind of weighing at options.