Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

NHL, NBA, MLS, ATP, MLB All Stopping Play; Top Infectious Disease Doctor Says U.S. Failing on Testing; Brazilian Official Tests Positive After Meeting Trump Days Ago; Promoters Postpone Large Concert Events Through March; Ohio Closes All K-12 Schools Next 3 Weeks. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired March 12, 2020 - 15:30   ET

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


[15:30:00]

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: This is not about rescheduling and figuring out when are all these games going to be played. This is about the NBA finding out how many people are infected in the league. How widespread this illness is within the Utah Jazz locker room.

I've spoken to a couple of players within the league who tell me that they want to be tested. You know, that this is something that is making them anxious. There're just like a lot of Americans who are kind of wondering what the future is here. So that's where we are right now.

BALDWIN: All right. I appreciate it. I was talking to Jay Williams of the Chicago Bulls went to Duke. We were talking March Madness. He was guessing that it's not just a matter of if but when March Madness gets postponed.

Carolyn Manno, thank you. Also coming in and fast and furious all these headlines on coronavirus. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has now announced that the state will close all public schools for the next three weeks. Again, that's the state of Ohio. All of this happening as we're watching the markets continuing to fall despite the Fed pumping billions and billions of dollars into the financial system. What this means for all of us. Stay here.

[15:35:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Here's the thing. In this coronavirus outbreak the issue right now is getting Americans tested. Just for context in South Korea, for example, they are issuing 11,000 tests per day and when Alisyn Camerota this morning on "NEW DAY" asked the Vice President Mike Pence this morning how many tests would you say have been done? His response was I would leave that to the experts.

The thing is, the Vice President is the head of the White House's coronavirus task force and the scientific expert Dr. Anthony Fauci put it this way today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INDECTIOUS DISEASES: The system does not -- is not really geared to what we need right now. What you are asking for. That is a failing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A failing. Yes.

FAUCI: It is a failing. Let's admit it. The ides of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we're not set up for that. Do I think we should be? Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Failing. When President Trump addressed this from the White House again this morning, he used phrases like testing is going smoothly and the markets are going to be just fine. All the while you're watching the striking split screen of the Dow. You see the numbers right there in free fall.

Listen, Americans are officially afraid. It's understandable. Our worlds are disrupted. Sports seasons cancelled. Universities or schools closing its doors. St. Patrick's Day parades off. Houses of worship closed. America's beloved actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson sick. And you know how he knows he's coronavirus positive. He's in Australia. If he were here in America that may not be the case.

China by the way is seeing its numbers fall dramatically after taking drastic measures. We have some serious questions to be asking ourselves. And to this White House, Mr. President, Americans need two things right now. Coronavirus testing, and leadership.

Juliette Kayyem is a former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. She's a CNN national security analyst, and Dr. Roshini Raj is an associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health.

Ladies, thank you for being here. When you hear Dr. Fauci saying, failing, are we failing? To either of you.

DR. ROSHINI RAJ, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE AT NYU LANGONE HEALTH: Yes. I mean I think the point is we do not have an adequate number of tests.

BALDWIN: Why not?

RAJ: Well, this is a novel virus, so that's something that had to be created as we learned about the virus, the testing and we are lagging behind. And it's not clear why in other countries they were able to develop that number of tests so quickly and we weren't.

BALDWIN: I mean the word that a doc at Yale used with me the last hour is that they were proactive.

RAJ: Yes. JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes. It's not good. And yet we move on. Because what we need to do is make sure now because of the failings of the testing that our needs do not bump up against our capacity. So, shut it down. We knew this moment would come. We were hoping we had more time because we would be able to contain. And so, but we're not there.

And so, you just literally in the last 36 hours, every single governor, every single institution shut it down. Florida just did it. We just got to get our heads around it. I'm not a therapist. This is just what we have to do.

BALDWIN: Help us though from your perch in national security, get our heads around it, because you wrote -- I remember that it was the first -- your second to the last graph in your piece in "The Atlantic" it was just like seared in my mind as basically Americans brace for impact.

KAYYEM: And brace for impact.

BALDWIN: What does it mean?

KAYYEM: So, it means, I mean, well, we're feeling it now, right. So, it means basically that we are now part -- we're now first responders. We're now part of the response. We're the heroes. Right.

Because there's three ways that we're going to curb -- you know it's basically stop the flow, stop the spread. It's going to be personal behavior. Washing the hands, all things that the doctors are recommending.

[15:40:00]

It is going to be institutions that we've seen from NLB to NCAA, universities, colleges, museum, shut it down.

BALDWIN: We should mention you're a mom, two kids, literally in commercial break you're dealing with cancelled SATs --

KAYYEM: Canceled university and canceled SAT. Get your head around it. That's all I do. Just brace for impact. Look, it's not like this is forever. I guess I should say that too.

BALDWIN: Yes.

KAYYEM: This is for a period of time until we can get the kits, get the testing, all the things that doctors are recommending. And then the third, of course, a state and local actor. So, you're seeing mayors and governors fill a gap that the White House and the President are simply incapable of filling right now and I'm just being blunt here. It's just that leadership gap. And so, you know, thank goodness for federalism. That's all I'll say.

BALDWIN: On the President, we know that the President of Brazil's press secretary has tested positive for coronavirus. We know that this person was with President Trump over the weekend at Mar-a-Lago and out and about at a birthday party.

And so, this is what Stephanie Grisham said in response to that. Both the President and Vice President had almost no interactions with the individual who tested positive and do not require being tested at this time.

Here's the photo. President in the middle, Vice President to the right, this press secretary of the President of Brazil who tested positive to his left. My question to you is this should the President be tested and even if not should he self-quarantine? If he says he's fine.

RAJ: Yes. Right now, the recommendation for testing -- and part of this is because we're so limited that we need to ration the test -- is that if you've had prolonged exposure. So it's not just standing next to somebody for 30 seconds. But longer than a few minutes. And if you are within 6 feet, which clearly, he was given that photo. Then you should be tested. If it's someone who has a known case.

We don't know if it was prolonged exposure. He hasn't really released how long he was him. But his doctors are saying he really wasn't. And he's saying he has no symptoms. Now if you lived with someone or spent a long period of time with someone who was positive absolutely you should self-quarantine.

I don't know how realistic that is for someone in his position. On the other hand, he absolutely needs to be extremely careful about the way he's interacting with people right now.

BALDWIN: OK. We saw -- we were sitting here listening to Senator Bernie Sanders and how he addressed coronavirus. We heard from former Vice President Joe Biden making a speech today on what he thinks needs to be done address this crisis. Here's the former Vice President.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Every senior center, our vulnerable population has to have easy access to the test. And we should establish hundreds of mobile testing sites, at least ten per state and drive through testing centers to speed testing to protect the health of our workers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: I think most people would agree that would be ideal, but is it feasible to have ten testing sites in each state?

KAYYEM: Look, I talked to a lot of governors, I do a lot of advising to governors and mayors, Republican and Democrats. So, what they're doing right now is they are determining what their capacity is and what their plan B is.

One of the challenges right now is one state thought that the sister state next door could help them in a crisis, say a flood or hurricane. No states are going to help each other under these mutual aid agreements. So every state on their own. So, they just are looking at their capacity right now and seeing how

much they can build in the absence of federal guidance. Right? In other words, the lack of federal guidance about what these governors and mayors should do and when have been surprising. Look, we --

BALDWIN: Do you think they should declare a national emergency?

KAYYEM: I don't even know what that means for this -- look, I mean, it's like our 12th, like I mean at this stage it's been so muted. What we need from the President, you know, can I be honest with you?

BALDWIN: Get real with me.

KAYYEM: We're going to deal with a crisis with the President we have not with the one we need. He will not change. Last night was proof of that. So, every governor and mayor is now President. And so, you just -- we just have to make those decisions and shut it down for a period of time. But the idea that we three years later let alone six weeks later are looking at this White House and this President like get over it. It ain't going to happen.

And so, let's just try to minimize the damage and be grateful that, you know, a CEO, sports leaders, actors and actresses, the Prime Minister of Canada --

BALDWIN: Are doing the right thing.

KAYYEM: -- are taking care of us.

BALDWIN: I appreciate your candor.

KAYYEM: Sorry, I'm not normally that political.

BALDWIN: Don't apologize.

KAYYEM: It ain't going to happen.

BALDWIN: Don't apologize, Juliette Kayyem and Dr. Roshini Raj, ladies, I appreciate you both very, very much and all of that.

Again, the news keeps coming in. We are now hearing several live entertainment organizers such as Live Nation and AEG have just announced they are postponing concerts and other events through the end of March. Also, Ohio has just become the first state in the country to close all schools. All schools. We'll be right back.

[15:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: School districts in at least five states are announcing long-term public-school closures due to this coronavirus pandemic. That means more than 400,000 students K through 12 will be out of school in the coming days. And I just mentioned a second ago in Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine just announced that starting Monday he is closing all K-12 schools, public, private, charter for three weeks. A quote from him is, we have a responsibility to save lives.

Here's a working list of the major colleges and universities that are shut down. No in-person classes, no campus activities, dorms locked tight in so many of these cases.

[15:50:00]

Shannon Watts is the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. So she, of course is a mom. She has a couple kids. Three of whom are in college, who were attending classes until this week. And so, Shannon, thank you so much for jumping on with me. And I mean, is this just a total logistical nightmare?

SHANNON WATTS, MOTHER OF THREE COLLEGE KIDS WHO AREN'T IN SCHOOL: It is. It really is. You know, I am hearing information, hourly updates about what's going to happen first. We thought they would wait and see and then we found out that, in fact, classes would go online.

Then after that, we are being told, you know, we need to come get our kids and get everything out of their dorms and they may not come back. So, it's a lack of information made worse by a government and an administration that is exacerbating the problem.

You know, the President is relying on fixing the stock market. He is not focused on saving lives and that's very concerning to me as a parent. And I can I only imagine how confused and concerned parents are, who may be struggling financially. Who may not have the resources to quickly drop everything, and to get their kids. Or who are worried about their kids coming home to live with grandparents.

So you know, Moms Demand Action is all in for Joe Biden and we are really hopeful in 2020, we'll have a president that believes in science.

BALDWIN: I am -- you mentioned kids on financial aid. I'm particularly mindful of just students who are working several jobs and suddenly feel evicted from school. I was talking just yesterday to a senior at Harvard, who said an official at the financial aid office was just sitting there in the cafeteria, like whipping out the university credit card and buying students flights home. Here she was.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARRINGTON WALSH, HARVARD SENIOR: 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Do you know, Shannon, when your kids will then go back to school? Has that been determined?

WATTS: No, I have no idea. I honestly don't know. I think that's what's most concerning to all parents. You know, we're being told maybe April. But I don't think any of us really believe that.

And it comes back to this lack of information. And as you've mentioned, I lead a gun violence prevention organization, I can only hope the President will take this public health crisis more serious than he takes gun violence. 100,000 Americans have been shot and killed since he was elected President. We can't wait for lives to be lost. We need the President to act, to act based on science and to give more information to families like mine who are concerned and confused about what's next for our kids.

BALDWIN: Shannon Watts, be well, stay healthy, to you and your entire family. Thank you for coming on.

WATTS; Thank you.

BALDWIN: The headlines are coming in so quickly. That the start of major league baseball is delayed now by two weeks. Broadway theaters here in New York have suspended all their performances. We are seven minutes before the closing bell. The Dow down about 2,000 points. We'll be right back.

[15:55:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Before I let you go, I've got to tell you this story out of Italy, but to do that, the video in this story is really disturbing. But it's important just to get a first-hand account of how the dire situation there is for Italians.

This Italian actor just posted this video in the wake of his sister's death from coronavirus and you can actually see his 47-year-old sister lying lifeless behind him. It took him more than 36 hours just to find a funeral home that was willing to come by and pick her up and bury her.

He said, quote, I cannot give her the honor she deserves because the institutions have abandoned me. That stark account comes as Italy's sweeping nationwide lockdown intensifies even further. The country has now ordered all businesses with the exception of pharmacies, grocery stores and the banks to close until further notice.

It is the most dramatic measures we have seen taken by any government as the European nation and world's eighth largest economy contends with this crisis. Today Italy reported it largest ever one-day jump in the number of cases. More than 2,600 new cases in 24 hours.

I should remind you tonight on CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta will join Anderson Cooper to answer your questions about this coronavirus pandemic. Do not miss it. It's the "GLOBAL TOWN HALL, CORONAVIRUS, FACTS AND FEARS." 10:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper. And we begin with breaking news.

The Dow is about to close momentarily. It has plunged around 2,000 points today after another sheer bloodletting on Wall Street. This was the second time this week that the so-called circuit breaker needed to be tripped. The Dow dropping so dramatically today that trading had to be halted for 15 minutes, so as to prevent a freefall.

CNN's Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange for us. And, Alison, is this just the new normal until the world and the United States begin to emerge from this pandemic?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, hopefully, the circuit breaker kicking in for the second time this week. Hopefully, that doesn't become the new normal. But these thousand point moves in the Dow, they certainly feel like the new normal. At least until investors become more confident that the Trump administration has a handle on the coronavirus crisis.

And it's coronavirus fears that really drove the action today, that's as these fears grow as you see the U.S. economy come to a screeching halt. Whether it's conferences or cruises or NBA games.