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EARLY START

Trump Announces Travel Ban from Most of Europe for 30 Days; European Countries Surprised by Trump's Travel Ban; Trump Refers to "Foreign Virus" in His Oval Office Address; 60 Million Italians on Lockdown. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired March 12, 2020 - 04:30   ET

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


[04:31:54]

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: An extraordinary move to curve the spread of coronavirus. Why the White House had to walk back some of that back moments later.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: The president's plan did not soothe the markets. Futures are way down a day after the bull market ended its 11-year run.

JARRETT: The effects are getting big and just getting bigger and bigger. A million students are out of school. The NBA season on hold, March Madness will have no fans and Tom Hanks -- Tom Hanks has coronavirus.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 32 minutes past the hour here in New York.

Breaking overnight, President Trump taking drastic steps to curb the spread of coronavirus in the United States. Until now, he has repeatedly downplayed the coronavirus, contradicting his public officials, even claiming it will just go away. With the cases in the U.S. now almost 1300, the president delivered a somber Oval Office address finally acknowledging the gravity of the situation, and yet at the same time mischaracterizing his own policies even though he was reading from a teleprompter and he didn't answer the most basic questions about a path forward.

JARRETT: He put the blame for global problems squarely on countries overseas. He falsely claimed insurers would waive all co-pays for treatment and failed to give any real update on testing nationwide, the thing everyone really wants to know about, and how hospitals would deal with overcrowding. The president's boldest move sharply restricting travel to the U.S. from more than two dozen European countries.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: But within minutes the administration was forced to admit the restrictions are not quite as extreme as the president made out. Overnight the State Department raised the worldwide travel advisory level urging all-Americans to reconsider travel abroad. The president's announcement caused major havoc for travelers already at airports.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aer Lingus is going to probably come out with a commercial policy like most international carriers at some point in the next 24 hours. The only thing that we really can do here for you is that if you really don't want to go, listen, we're not going to make you go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: President Trump's address was the highest level reaction to a public health crisis that has engulfed this White House, caused global turmoil in financial markets and disrupted everyday life.

Kaitlan Collins is at the White House for us.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Laura and Christine. The president spoke for about 11 minutes in the Oval Office last night talking about his administration's response to the coronavirus in what really was his first acknowledgment of what a crisis it truly has become not only here in the United States but also around the globe.

But one of the president's most restrictive measures that he announced, that he was banning all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days starting at midnight on Friday, had to later be clarified by his DHS secretary who said it wasn't that extensive.

[04:35:03]

Really essentially offering us the fine print in a statement later on, saying that it was going to suspend the entry of most foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries leading up to the two weeks before their arrival here in the United States. But they said this did not apply to legal permanent residents, generally immediate family members of U.S. citizens and other individuals identified in the proclamation.

So a really important clarification for people who aren't sure whether or not they should be traveling, how soon they should be returning to the United States. But also, the president seemed to be saying, when he was talking about that, that trade flowing between Europe and the United States was also going to be affected, something he later had to respond to in a tweet, saying it was not going to be part of this. It only applied to human beings, not goods, which of course, is incredibly important, as you know, Christine, for how these markets are going to react to the president's speech.

Now he went on to say several other measures -- talking about how he wanted the Small Business Administration to be doling out loans. There were going to be tax payment deferrals. He wants to take emergency action to make sure people who aren't getting paychecks because they can't go to work are still getting those paychecks. So we'll be waiting to see what exactly the president has to say about this.

But overall, it was this 11-minute speech where the president sought to reassure Americans, hoping, continuing to say that this is going to have a deadline on it, though health experts still say that's unclear, what the president is saying, you know, this is just one moment in time. This is not a financial crisis, though. Of course, it really remains to be seen just how widespread the effects of this are going to be, not given what they already are.

ROMANS: All right, Kaitlan, thank you for that.

Those 11 minutes from the president did nothing to soothe the market. In fact, the opposite. Global markets dropping after President Trump announced the 30-day European travel restrictions surprising our allies and not coordinated at all.

Take a look at markets around the world. You can Asian markets closed lower. European shares are open and they're down more than 5 percent. That is a big one-day move again. Wall Street pointing to more trouble ahead this morning. A huge almost 5 percent decline in Dow Futures bringing it below 23,000. A year -- almost a year and a half of gains have been wiped away.

Even proposed payroll tax relief to keep money in people's pockets did not help. You know, bull market confidence here is shattered. The Dow's 11-year bull market came to an end, finishing more than 20 percent down from its high in February. A remarkably swift unraveling in the markets. The S&P 500 hanging on briefly, reaching bear market territory on midday. It looks like it will hit it today.

Now the market reaction in the weeks coronavirus headlines confirm a new reality, more cases, social distancing, cancellations, school closures. These are things that grind an economy to a halt. The president tried to sound a unifying tone last night but his claims the last few weeks have been anything but.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We're doing a great job with it and it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.

It's blindsided the world and I think we've handled it very, very well.

We have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work, some of them going to work, but they get better.

Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus.

When you have 15 people and the 15 within a couple of days, it's going to be down to close to zero.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: After weeks of those upbeat assessments, the White House is catching up now to the markets. More than half of the S&P's gains since Trump took office are gone. Airlines and cruise lines cut in half. At Amtrak, future bookings down 50 percent. Cancellations are up 300 percent.

Boeing, the bluest of the blue chip stocks, lost 18 percent yesterday. Already facing 737 MAX troubles, now the plunging oil prices reduces incentive for airlines to buy more fuel efficient Boeing planes. And once Boeing misses delivery deadlines by a year, airlines can cancel or delay purchases with no penalty.

Vicious selloffs, treasury bonds signaling a global recession. Goldman Sachs says the 11-year-old bull market is over. Coronavirus is here.

JARRETT: European officials say they were completely blindsided by President Trump's announcement on new travel restrictions.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is live in Berlin with more.

Fred, what are you hearing from European officials this morning?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Laura. Well, both blindsided and to a certain extent also shocked about the extent of these travel restrictions that are going to be in place on Europeans going to America but then of course also Americans who are coming back to the United States as well, needing that clean bill of health and a medical check to actually get back into the country.

And of course one of the things that European officials are quite worried about is the fact that this could, indeed, have big problems for the economy and for trade as well. Of course, one of the things that President Trump said, he said that the movement of goods would not be impacted. But of course, as we all know, that's only part of the story as far as international trade is concerned.

If you look at a lot of these Transatlantic companies, both American companies who do business in Europe but then also European companies that do business in America like Mercedes, like BMW, like other German automakers as well. [04:40:09]

They send specialists back and forth between the U.S. and Europe all the time. And of course part of that can be mitigated by teleconferencing but certainly not all of it, if you're talking, to highly skilled engineers. So one of the things that European companies have been doing is they have already been cutting down on non- essential travel. And the problem that you're probably going to have now as far as travel is concerned is how much longer are airlines going to be servicing these Transatlantic routes.

It's quite interesting because yesterday Lufthansa, the German flag carrier, said it would cancel 23,000 flights until the end of April. Some of that is within Europe but, of course, the Transatlantic routes also very much impacted as well. And now with this new travel ban in place, certainly European officials are going to be looking at a lot of those things coming forward as well, guys.

JARRETT: Just huge implications. Fred Pleitgen, thanks so much for all of your reporting.

ROMANS: All right. The spread of coronavirus up ending everyday life in so many ways. A stunning move by the NBA putting the season on hold after one of its players tested positive for coronavirus.

Last night's game between the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was the first casualty. The teams were on the court. Fans in the stands when the game was abruptly postponed just before tipoff. Look at the reaction of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watching his team play elsewhere when he saw the news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK CUBAN, OWNER OF DALLAS MAVERICKS: This is something out of a movie and you just don't expect it to happen in real life, but that's the randomness of the world we live in and so it's stunning but we are where we are and we have to be smart in how we respond.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: LeBron James weighing in on Twitter as well, "Man, canceling sporting events, school, office work, et cetera, et cetera. What we really need to cancel is 2020. Damn, it's been a rough three months. God bless and stay safe."

And a major blow to March Madness, it will go on, but without fans in the stands. That, of course, is a huge revenue loss for the tournament venues across the country. Only essential staff and family members will be allowed to attend.

ROMANS: The World Health Organization now calling the spread of coronavirus a pandemic. Overnight California joined Washington state in banning gatherings of more than 250 people.

Oscar winner Tom Hanks revealing he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, tested positive for coronavirus. In an Instagram post Hanks said they contracted it in Australia. He's there for pre-production on a film about Elvis Presley.

Now the virus disrupting the work lives of millions. Twitter now requiring its nearly 5,000 employees to work from home. Other big companies inside and outside the hot spots have done the same.

JARRETT: Overnight Starbucks told customers in some stores it will begin limiting seating to improve social distancing and in some cases only the drive through will be open.

A D.C. staffer from the office of Washington Senator Maria Cantwell has tested positive, becoming the first publicly known case among congressional staffers.

Late-night comics like Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Trevor Noah and Samantha Bee, all announced they will tape without live studio audiences.

St. Patrick's Day Parades in Boston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C., all called off. New York City's parade was postponed but a new date has not been announced. Same in Chicago where officials say the city's parades and iconic river dying will move to a later date.

ROMANS: All right. Even well-intentioned moves like closing offices and schools can leave millions stranded. Some parents don't have paid sick leave. Plenty of students rely on school for housing and meals. "Education Week" reports more than 1500 schools have been closed affecting more than a million K-12 students.

In Framingham, Massachusetts, a school let out early after a parent tested positive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I kind of feel scared and I also don't want to go in the bus just in case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope nothing worse can happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JARRETT: Colleges also face big decisions. The number of those either moving classes online or canceling them altogether is growing. Some are asking students not to come back from spring break. Schools with high numbers of students living in shared quarters on camper are a perfect Petri dish for the disease and it's creating a new layer of uncertainty for students. Some live in infected countries. Some are low income and rely on financial aid for their housing and some simply don't have Internet at home if remote classes are needed to graduate.

ROMANS: I've been thinking about the number of students around the country, children, who rely on school for most of the calories they consume every day.

JARRETT: For lunch, yes. ROMANS: Some of these schools are still doing a pickup sack lunch, you

know, so parents can -- kids can go and get the food that they're going to need. You know, it's a reminder by a Child (INAUDIBLE) America.

JARRETT: Yes, a basic need.

ROMANS: All right. The draconian lockdown in Italy even gets tighter. CNN live in Rome.

[04:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JARRETT: Breaking overnight, breaking overnight, President Trump sharply restricting travel to the U.S. from more than two dozen European countries as a measure to help contain the coronavirus. After the president said he was suspending all travel for the next 30 days, the White House later had to clarify the ban only applies to foreign nationals, mirroring restrictions applied to China just last month.

ROMANS: The president also framed the outbreak as a foreign virus, trying to pin blame for it elsewhere. But now the original epicenter of the outbreak, Hubei Province in China, is reporting its lowest number of new deaths and cases in months.

CNN's David Culver is live in Shanghai -- David.

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christine, incredible to think about the turnaround within Hubei Province, the epicenter of all of this, and its capital, Wuhan. The number of death that have been reported in the past 24 hours has now dropped to eight -- rather 10, and eight new cases. So you kind of think about that in perspective with what we were seeing a few weeks ago. It was in the hundreds, even thousands. So an incredible turnaround there.

Now you mentioned where the president put it seems to be blame, or at least focus on this being a foreign virus.

[04:50:02]

A lot of attention has been made about this coming from China, and that's increasing amongst even White House administration officials, including the National Security adviser who spoke at the Heritage Foundation, Robert O'Brien. And he said that essentially the coverup that happened within China is the reason that the world is some two months behind in responding to this.

Now we should say we have been reporting extensively on coverup allegations at the local level. So within Hubei and within Wuhan early on in this. I mean, go back seven weeks when we started reporting from Wuhan and that's something that came to our attention and we reported about that.

However when the central government stepped in here and President Xi Jinping took control, we saw that several local leaders were fired. It became a military-like operation handled from the central government. They started setting up field hospitals, they started setting up several other quarantine zones for people to be placed in, and of course they set up the extreme lockdowns that are still in place.

Now Chinese media, interestingly enough, Christine, is firing back and suggesting that this virus did not originate in Wuhan. Perhaps it's not even from China. They're not saying where it originated but this seems to be the beginning of a back and forth politically between these two countries as the rest of the world tries to figure out how to handle this.

ROMANS: Yes. The president of the United States last night calling it a foreign virus. And there are some on Capitol Hill who have been saying it's the China virus or the Wuhan virus.

CULVER: Right.

ROMANS: Interesting there. All right. David Culver, thank you so much.

JARRETT: Meanwhile, Italy remains on lockdown this morning. The Piazza del Duomo in Milan clearly showing the effects. A busy town square before and after. You can see there. Now Italy is tightening the shutdown even further nationwide.

CNN's Melissa Bell joins us live from the airport in Rome.

Melissa, how are the citizens, how are Italian citizens dealing with these tight restrictions?

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a very surreal atmosphere. And there are so many questions and concerns, and people are sort of almost struggling with the idea of the amount of restrictions that have been placed on their daily life. Not just restrictions to leave out of airports like this one here in Rome, the international airport, or to come back in.

You have to prove why you're leaving or prove why you need to come in. But once you're here, restrictions on your movements, restrictions on where you go, all kinds of ways of stopping you in the streets to check that you've got papers confirming that you are able to leave your home and why it is you're doing so. This is what would be considered in any other time an extraordinary infringements of one's rights in Western liberal democracy like Italy.

But people are really understanding that this is necessary. You were just hearing those figures from David Culver a moment ago just as Italy's -- China's numbers have gone down, Italy's have shot up. Since yesterday we've seen a massive rise in the number of deaths. The largest since the outbreak so far. A massive rise in the number of cases reported, more than 2,000. And that tells you really, Christine, that this situation here in Italy is not under control.

Now last night the prime minister announced that extra set of restrictions. All the trades, all the businesses here in Italy are to be shut down apart from supermarkets and pharmacies. And that he warns will take some time to filter through. He said our numbers will continue to go up. It's going to take a couple of weeks for these measures to have any effect.

Will they have any effect, that's the big question. Will they bring the situation under control as they did so spectacularly in China? That is the big question for Italian authorities. One thing is certain, that their early approach to this, when the Italians became the first European country to ban flights in and out of China did not work. They still became the European center for the outbreak.

So many questions here about this travel ban in the United States and whether that is likely to bring the situation under control there.

JARRETT: That's a really great point you raised. The travel ban did not work, at least for them.

All right, Melissa Bell, thank you so much for that.

We'll be right back.

[04:58:14]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: All right. It's official, the bull market is dead and a new bear market is here. The Dow has cratered more than 20 percent down from its highs in February. That makes it an official bear market. The S&P 500 barely hanging on, briefly dropping more than 20 percent midday from its high. But taking a look at markets around the world, the S&P will join the Dow in a new bear market when the opening bell rings this morning.

Look at Asian shares, down sharply. Europe has opened with 5 percent and 6 percent losses. Those are big moves. And in the U.S. you've got the markets down 5 percent for the Dow briefly touching that. You'll see probably some halts in some of these shares if they touch 5 percent lower here until the opening bell.

Now the Trump administration will delay the April 15th tax filing deadline for almost all individuals and small business. More on all that in just a few moments. But the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted supply chains for nearly 75 percent of U.S. companies so far. Production out of China fell to an all-time low. Freight and shipping has drastically slowed. This is according to a new ISM manufacturing survey. And 80 percent of companies said they expect more disruptions next quarter.

JARRETT: Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexual abuse and rape. Before the sentencing the 67-year-old disgraced movie mogul told the judge he feels remorse, but then he said he and men generally are, quote, "confused about all of these issues." The accusations against Weinstein fueled the global Me Too Movement.

One of his accusers Miriam Haley told the court she's relieved to know he's not above the law and that women out there are safer because he's not out there.

Hours later Weinstein was moved to the prison ward at a Manhattan hospital after experiencing chest pains.

EARLY START continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We will be suspending all --

[05:00:00]