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Joe Biden Closes in on Democratic Nomination; One-Mile Containment Zone Ordered in New York to Curb Outbreak. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired March 11, 2020 - 06:00   ET

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


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

[06:00:20]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is a special edition of NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, March 11, 6 a.m. now in New York. And we do have breaking news on two major stories.

First, Joe Biden in command of the Democratic race for president. Firmly in command. So much so that there are questions this morning about whether Bernie Sanders will even stay in the race.

The former vice president had decisive victories in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri. Michigan, I think, the biggest and most symbolic. This is a state that Bernie Sanders did win four years ago. But overnight, Biden won with a huge margin.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: John, there are two states that have not yet been called. Those are Washington and North Dakota. Sanders was counting on a decisive victory, you'll remember, in Washington state. But they are in a virtual tie at the moment: Bernie Sanders at 32.7 percent, Joe Biden at 32.5 percent. Votes are still being counted at this hour.

In North Dakota at the moment, Sanders is ahead with 48.5 percent there.

Here's the delegate count -- delegate count right now: Biden at 787, Sanders at 647.

Bernie Sanders chose not to speak last night. This morning, the viability of his campaign is in question, John.

BERMAN: There's also breaking news on the coronavirus pandemic this morning. There are at least 1,000 cases confirmed in the United States; crossed the 1,000 threshold overnight. Thirty-one deaths. The biggest clusters are in Washington state, New York and Massachusetts.

Moments ago, "The Seattle Times" reported that the governor of Washington will ban gatherings of more than 250 people. Overnight, a state of emergency was declared in Massachusetts. At least 70 cases there are connected to one single biotech conference. One meeting, 70 cases. And the New York City of New Rochelle just outside New York City, the

governor has called in the National Guard. There is a one-mile containment area there, closing schools and all buildings.

Google this morning is telling more than 100,000 employees to work from home. The federal government is now reportedly studying how to have maybe a couple million federal employees do the same. Dr. Anthony Fauci says it bluntly, life as we know it is going to change.

We want to begin, though, with the election, the race for the White House. CNN's Phil Mattingly is live in Washington for us for a look at this big Super Tuesday 2, which was really big for Joe Biden, Phil.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no question about it, John. Joe Biden really getting into the whole Super Tuesday thing based on the last seven or eight days.

And the best way describe it right now is not just how Joe Biden won but that he won in very, very large margins. Take a look at arguably the most important state of the night. The 125 delegates in the state in Michigan. But also a state where Bernie Sanders was going to try and turn things around, shift the momentum back in his favor.

Take a look back at 2016, at what happened in this state. Bernie Sanders with a stunning upset, beating Hillary Clinton by more than a point.

And take a look at all of the light blue here. The light blue is Bernie Sanders. He crushed in rural areas, in college towns, separated Clinton from her core constituency throughout the course of the state.

Now fast forward to last night, 2020. All dark blue. All Biden blue. Every single county, the coalition coming together with echoes of what Democrats saw in the midterms of 2018. African-American voters, suburban voters. Joe Biden cutting into Bernie Sanders's advantage with white working-class voters across the state in every single county. And it was something we saw repeated in several states.

Take Missouri, another state that was extremely close back in 2016 between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton narrowly winning the state. Joe Biden crushing Bernie Sanders last night, winning every single county here, as well, and destroying Sanders when it came to the black vote. Something we've seen over the course of the last couple of days. And something we certainly saw just a couple states down here in Mississippi.

Continuing Joe Biden, what he's done across the south over the course of the last ten days. Winning every single county in Mississippi. Winning 81 percent of the vote. Perhaps most notably, keeping Bernie Sanders under 15 percent. That viability threshold to win delegates on a statewide basis. That means the 36 delegates at stake in Mississippi, the vast majority, if not all of them, will go to Joe Biden.

Joe Biden also winning Idaho, as well. And as Alisyn pointed out, there are still two states outstanding. But one of those states underscores the very real issues that Bernie Sanders has going for it.

If you look at the top line delegate map, Joe Biden up right now by 140 delegates. He's at 787 delegates. And you say, look, he needs 1,991 delegates; 787 is a long way away from that. There's still a lot of contests to go.

Well, take a look at the state of Washington, a state where right now, Bernie Sanders is narrowly ahead: 2,000 votes ahead in this state.

However, this was a state Bernie Sanders was expecting to win. Had a 17,000-voter rally just a couple of weeks ago. Had a great organization on the ground, a lot of money here. Even if Bernie Sanders wins this state in the next couple of days, if they call it based on mail-in ballots, could be a couple of days, he will only win it narrowly. Which means the delegate share here might be a delegate, might be two delegates.

It's why you understand, guys, that 140 delegates at this stage in the race is a very, very serious deficit, particularly going into the next Super Tuesday, where Joe Biden has real advantages in Ohio, Illinois and Florida. Should be a fight in Arizona. But guys, no question about it. Joe Biden is now firmly in command of this race.

CAMEROTA: Phil, that's really helpful to understand just how the math works and how much Bernie Sanders would have to sweep the next steps in order to get close to that number, the final number.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is getting closer to the Democratic nomination. And questions this morning about what Bernie Sanders will do next. CNN's Arlette Saenz is live in Philadelphia with more. I imagine that the mood last night was festive.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it surely was, Alisyn. Joe Biden had a lot to celebrate last night as he has now taken command of this Democratic primary race.

And it's really hard to understate the remarkable turn of events that Joe Biden has seen over the course of the past ten days. After losing those first three nominating contests, and now he is very clearly on the march to the Democratic nomination.

And he -- yesterday he beat Bernie Sanders in Mississippi and Missouri and Idaho, a state he didn't even campaign in, and Michigan, which really dealt a decisive blow to Bernie Sanders, who won there in 2016 and was hoping for a repeat last night.

But here in Philadelphia, Joe Biden turned to this message of unity, just steps away from Independence Hall, arguing that he is the candidate that can not only unite the Democratic Party but also the nation. Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need you. We want you. There's a place in our campaign for each of you. And I want to thank Bernie Sanders and his supporters for their tireless energy and their passion. We share a common goal. And together, we'll defeat Donald Trump. We'll defeat him together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAENZ: So Joe Biden extending a little bit of an olive branch to Bernie Sanders and his supporters there. And the former vice president also talked about his comeback.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Many have -- the pundits declared that this candidacy was dead. Now we're very much alive. The character of the candidates, the character of the nation is on the ballot. It's more than a comeback in my view, our campaign. It's a comeback for the soul of this nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SAENZ: Now, the question now is where does Bernie Sanders go from here? An adviser says that he's eager to debate Joe Biden on Sunday. But there are certainly questions about the future of his campaign as this race was quickly turn to Joe Biden's side -- John.

BERMAN: And again, Bernie Sanders chose not to speak overnight. So we are really waiting to hear from him today. He's due to be on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon tonight in New York City. We'll see if that still happens. Arlette Saenz for us in Philadelphia. Thank you very much.

Major new developments in the coronavirus pandemic. Thirty-one people have now died in the United States. More than 1,000 confirmed cases from the coronavirus. That's in 38 states and Washington, D.C., at this point.

"The Seattle Times" is reporting this morning that the governor of Washington state is going to ban gatherings of more than 250 people.

In New York, the governor has called in the National Guard to contain an outbreak of more than 100 cases outside New York City.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is live just outside the containment zone in the city of New Rochelle. Brynn, what's the latest from there?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John. It's a containment, not a lockdown. That's a distinction that local and state health officials really want to make clear. People will be able to move in and out of the zone unless they are under an order of a quarantine.

But as you said, the National Guard is coming in tomorrow. This town is going to look very different. People here, they're very much aware of that. They've been taking their own precautions. And they are concerned with the fact that the number of cases in New York has nearly doubled since Sunday. A majority of those cases are here in New Rochelle, where thousands of people are also under quarantine.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GINGRAS (voice-over): Just outside New York City, the governor launching an emergency effort to stop a rapidly growing number of coronavirus cases.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): It is a dramatic action, but it is the largest cluster in the country. And this is literally a matter of life and death.

GINGRAS: Creating a one-mile containment zone in the city of New Rochelle, surrounding the apparent center of the outbreak cluster.

MAYOR NOAM BRAMSON (D), NEW ROCHELLE, NEW YORK: It is very important to clarify that this is not an exclusion or quarantine zone. No one is prohibited from entering or leaving the area.

[06:10:10]

GINGRAS: Here, places like schools and houses of worship will be closed for two weeks, the governor deploying the National Guard to assist with cleaning public spaces within the area.

DAVID LYERLY, NEW ROCHELLE RESIDENT: I think it's prudent, because as we see in other countries, they have taken measures to do containment. And it seems to be effective.

GINGRAS: Westchester County, which contains New Rochelle, has at least 108 reported coronavirus cases so far, with most believed to be connected to a 50-year-old lawyer who tested positive last week. Two days later, his wife, two children, and several others connected to the man also testing positive. By March 7, 23 other people infected.

CUOMO: There were then a number of convenings in that community that brought several hundred people together for celebrations. And it took off like fire through dry grass.

GINGRAS: There are at least 1,000 coronavirus cases across 38 states and the District of Columbia, according to the CDC, state, and local governments. And officials warn, this is just the beginning.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: It doesn't matter if you're in a state that has no cases or one case. You have to start taking seriously what you can do now that, if and when the infections will come. And they will come.

GINGRAS: Even as voters cast their ballots on Super Tuesday, both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders canceled their primary night events over virus concerns. The White House task force hesitant to say whether future political rallies should be put on hold, including President Trump's next campaign event in Wisconsin next week.

MIKE PENCE (R), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm very confident that the campaign will -- will take the very best information and make the very best decision going forward.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GINGRAS: And CNN has learned that the president will meet with top executives from Wall Street and others to discuss how to deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus -- Alisyn. CAMEROTA: OK, Brynn, thank you very much for that update. We will have New York's Governor Cuomo on the program later to see what the new numbers are and what the plan is.

All right. So where does Bernie Sanders go from here? We discuss that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:16:32]

CAMEROTA: We're about to take a live look at the delegate board. I mean, does it switch in real-time, like by the second, John? Do we --

BERMAN: There it is!

CAMEROTA: There it is!

Oh, my gosh, look. Are they live right now, looking at us?

BERMAN: It is live. Honest to God, we actually add the delegates as they are calculated and come in. So it could change at any minute.

CAMEROTA: Right now?

BERMAN: It could change at any minute as more votes come in. The important thing here --

CAMEROTA: Yes?

BERMAN: -- as you're looking at these two numbers --

CAMEROTA: You're not saying that Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are awake right now, looking at us. They're not -- that's not a live shot of them.

BERMAN: That's not a live shot of them. It's a live shot of the count.

CAMEROTA: OK. I understood.

BERMAN: And the count is changing, and the count has spread. Joe Biden is extending his delegate lead substantially over Bernie Sanders overnight with big wins in Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho and Missouri.

CAMEROTA: OK, I guess that is the important part. Thank you for really zeroing -- for really zeroing in on -- on that.

The votes are still being counted in Washington state. That was one that he was -- that Bernie Sanders had hoped to win decisively.

Joining us now, John Avlon, CNN senior political analyst; Jess McIntosh, CNN political commentator and former director of outreach for Clinton's 2016 campaign; and CNN political commentator Dr. Abdul El-Sayed. He's the -- he has endorsed Bernie Sanders.

BERMAN: This is a live look at all three of them, by the way. JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.

BERMAN: In case you're wondering.

CAMEROTA: I lost the thread on that.

Jess, it must be interesting for you to watch what has happened, particularly in Michigan last night, because flashbacks from 2016, it went so differently --

JESS MCINTOSH, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.

CAMEROTA: -- for Bernie Sanders. Are you surprised by the numbers THAT you're seeing here where it looks like, at the moment, Joe Biden has sort of swept the board?

MCINTOSH: I think even the people who have been Joe Biden boosters this entire time are surprised by what's happened in the last couple of weeks. So you can count me as surprised, as well.

There are a lot of people who are really enthusiastic about voting for Joe Biden. I -- I was one of the people who said I didn't see a lot of enthusiasm around the vice president's candidacy. People had a lot of respect for him; people had a lot of love for him. But I didn't see a lot of people clamoring to make him president.

They turned out. They turned out in really large numbers. We're beating 2016 records. We're setting new records. So either I was wrong, there are a lot of people who do feel really enthusiastic about Joe Biden's candidacy, or Democrats are so united in the idea of defeating Donald Trump that it simply doesn't matter and they're out to do it. Either way, I think it's good news. It's good news for the party.

BERMAN: I mean, look, Joe Biden is winning among white voters. He's winning among black voters. He's winning among voters that Hillary Clinton won in 2016, and he won in counties that Bernie Sanders won in 2016. That is an ingredient for a blowout on Super Tuesday 2. And that's what it was overnight, John. So where does that leave the race this morning?

AVLON: Look, first of all, the margins are massive in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi. I mean, this is unlike anything we saw in 2016.

Look, I think it means that Bernie Sanders, in fact, he didn't give a talk last night. He did not give remarks last night. That presumably was not scripted. The margins were difficult enough that he's got to -- he's got to recalculate his own path forward. And it's tough to see. Because next Tuesday's map is not particularly in his favor. It's more -- more what you would consider Biden territory, arguably Arizona because Bernie Sanders did an extraordinary job building a Latino coalition in this election.

But it's going to be a very path forward -- difficult path forward for him. And the Biden camp has really shocked the world over these past two weeks with the margins they've been able to put together. In these states you see that are pivotal, that, you know, Bernie Sanders only narrowly won Michigan last time, but it changed the race. This time it was just every single county.

[06:20:11]

MCINTOSH: And Biden's got work to do getting the -- the part of the Bernie coalition that has been so supportive of him. The young people and the Latino vote especially. He really -- Bernie really owned that. He inspired them. He got people into the fold --

CAMEROTA: He still does.

MCINTOSH: -- who wouldn't be otherwise. And Biden is going to need to -- to shift and really make the case to them, because he hasn't quite yet.

CAMEROTA: Abdul, I know that this is not necessarily an easy morning for people who have endorsed Bernie Sanders like yourself and who support him. So what are your thoughts today?

DR. ABDUL EL-SAYED, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I'll say this. We know that the Biden support has sort of been a comfort vote. And there are a lot of things that make people fearful, whether it's Donald Trump or coronavirus, or Donald Trump and coronavirus. And I think there's a -- a moment where people are like, Look, Joe Biden is comfortable. You know, he's got that picture with the aviators and the ice cream. He was Barack Obama's vice president and wing guy. And so this is a comfort vote.

The question, however, for all of us, is how do we beat Donald Trump? Let's not forget that that's the goal in -- in November.

But beyond that, to do that, to get young folks, to get Latinos excited, you've got to be able to articulate what the after Trump looks like. That we're actually going to take on serious inequality, that we're going to guarantee people health care in a way that doesn't hit them on the front end and the back end when it comes to cost. That we're going to invest in taking on a climate crisis that is barreling down on us.

If he can articulate that, there's a way forward. And let's not forget, this race is not over. I think we've got to -- we've got to remember that there's a debate this Sunday, and there's many more votes to go.

BERMAN: There's still a debate this Sunday for now. And I mean that. The Sanders campaign last night put out a statement that says he's still going to debate.

AVLON: Yes.

BERMAN: But we have not heard from Bernie Sanders yet. We just haven't. And Sanders was asked directly before last night about what he would do if he didn't have a clear path to the nomination. Listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: If it becomes clear, though, in the next month that you cannot get a plurality, you will not be heading to the convention with a lead, will you drop out, or take this all the way to the convention?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, we will fight for every vote that we can as we're -- as we try to win this election. I'm not a masochist who wants to stay in a race that can't be won.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: He said on Sunday, "I'm not a masochist who will stay in a race that won't be won." Which is honestly a different-sounding Bernie Sanders than I think we heard four years ago. I think that was the signal of what might happen in the next few days.

AVLON: Yes. I think he has sounded very differently than in 2016. You'll get very different accounts from the Bernie and Hillary camp about how much he helped unify the party in 2016.

But there's been a lot of personal affection and respect between these two men on a personal level, even as their supporters have been really often at each other's throats. And he has been, I think, showing a sincere desire to unite the party.

So again, actions matter more than words. And we're going to have to see what he does. But that coalition he's hoped to turn out hasn't materialized behind Bernie Sanders this time.

CAMEROTA: Obviously, this morning is very important. Obviously, we're standing by for any sort of word or update. And we will bring that to you. Thanks so much to our panel.

BERMAN: All right. We do have major new developments in the coronavirus outbreak. There is a containment zone in one New York City. We're going to talk to a local health official about this and about what's happening around the country, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:27:43]

CAMEROTA: We are following some major developments with the coronavirus for you. There are at least 1,000 cases across 38 states and the District of Columbia. Thirty-one people in the U.S. have died.

Overnight, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that there is more to come.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAUCI: As a nation, we can't be doing the kinds of things we were doing a few months ago. That it doesn't matter if you're in a state that has no cases or one case. You have to start taking seriously what you can do now that, if and when the infections will come -- and they will come. Sorry to say, sad to say, they will.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: This morning, there are several notable cases of coronavirus. The British health minister, a member of Parliament there. The president of the European Parliament. The leader of a political party in Italy. The culture minister of France. The secretary general of the Vox Party in Spain. They have all tested positive for coronavirus or are in self-quarantine.

And life in the United States, we are seeing major changes. This morning in Washington state, "The Seattle Times" is reporting that the governor will announce a ban on gatherings of more than 250 people. The Washington Post" reports that the Trump administration is developing plans for hundreds of thousands of federal employees. There are more than two million federal employees. Hundreds of thousands of them or more, plans to have them work from home.

Major companies across the country are telling employees not to come into work, to work from home. Thousands of students across the country have been sent home from school, districts in Georgia, Fulton County, Fairfax, Virginia. At least 59 colleges and universities in 19 states have now canceled in-person classes.

Nineteen states are under states of emergency, including New York, for at least 108 cases have been confirmed. The National Guard is being deployed to New Rochelle, which is just outside New York City. That is a hotspot, and a one-mile containment zone has been set up.

Joining me now is Dr. Sherlita Amler. She is the health commissioner of Westchester County, where that outbreak is taking place.

I should note, I am a Westchester resident, so this is something I care deeply about, Doctor. Thank you so much for being with us. What's the goal of this containment zone?

DR. SHERLITA AMLER, HEALTH COMMISSIONER, WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK: Well, the goal is to prevent exposure. Because if there is no exposure, there is no risk. So if we can reduce people's --