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Trump Restricts Travel from Europe for 30 Days; Coronavirus Changes Everyday Life Indefinitely; Italy's Coronavirus Cases Increase Again. Aired 6-6:30a ET
Aired March 12, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: It is ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): There's only two ways that countries have reduced their numbers. Massive quarantine or massive testing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He misspoke about the intensity of this ban.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Important clarification in a statement later on, saying that it was going to suspend the entry of most foreign nationals. This did not apply to legal permanent residents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NBA has announced that the play for the remainder of the year will be suspended.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a serious situation.
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Thursday, March 12, 6 a.m. here in New York. And we begin with major developments here in the U.S. on the coronavirus.
Last night President Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from 26 European countries into the U.S. He also called the coronavirus outbreak a foreign virus.
The president's primetime address seemed to cause confusion. Around the world, it did little to calm the financial markets. U.S. stock futures are down sharply at this higher. And overseas markets are way down, as well.
The president's actions and conversations have not seemed to quell any fears of this global economic slowdown.
The number of coronavirus cases here in the U.S. continues to grow. There are now 1,274 confirmed cases across the country. Thirty-eight Americans have died.
BERMAN: Look, I think the most important thing to acknowledge this morning, that we all have to come to terms with, is that life has changed in America. And for the next 30 to 60 days will be different than anything we have seen.
Overnight, the NBA suspended its season because a player tested positive for coronavirus. For now, March Madness games will go on, but in empty arenas, no fans.
"Education Week" reports that more than 1,500 schools nationwide have closed or will close. That's roughly one million kids, ages K through 12, home for who knows how long.
At least 61 colleges and universities in 20 states have canceled in- person classes. I have to tell you, that is a low-end estimate.
California, Oregon and Washington state have banned events and gatherings of more than 250 people. That's games, concerts, meetings, rallies. Washington's governor says people shouldn't even sit shoulder to shoulder in bars.
Officials in Ohio say a ban there is imminent. You have to imagine more states will surely follow.
Actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, they announced they have tested positive for coronavirus while shooting a film in Australia. This truly a pandemic with global reach, and we will all feel the consequences.
We have a lot to cover. We're going to begin with CNN's Joe Johns, live at the White House with the president's Oval Office address and major administration cleanup after the address, Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. Yes, that's absolutely true. The president clearly was trying to change his tone on the outbreak, but he did frame the virus as a foreign threat instead of a global pandemic and also made a series of misstatements that had to be cleaned up after the address.
JOHNS (voice-over): President Trump ramping up his response to the coronavirus outbreak, but instead of reassuring the public, he caused more confusion than calm. Like this statement.
TRUMP: We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings.
JOHNS: The Department of Homeland Security quickly clarifying, assuring the travel restrictions will not apply to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and some of their family members. The ban, instead, would only apply to foreign nationals.
Still, this announcement blindsiding the officials of affected European countries. Several European ambassadors telling CNN they were not notified of the new policy ahead of time. The travel industry reportedly was not consulted either.
Trump also blamed Europe, without evidence, for the rising numbers in the U.S.
TRUMP: The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.
JOHNS: Trump caused more uncertainty when he said the restriction would apply to trade.
TRUMP: Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing. These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom.
JOHNS: But Trump took to Twitter to clear up that statement, writing, "It is very important for all countries and businesses to know that trade will, in no way, be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe. The restriction stops people, not goods."
President Trump further jumbled the message when he addressed the healthcare costs associated with coronavirus.
TRUMP: Earlier this week I met with the leaders of health insurance industry who have agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing.
JOHNS: A White House official later corrected the notion, saying co- payments would be waived only for coronavirus tests, not for treatments of the disease.
JOHNS: Now, the White House canceled several public events on Wednesday after the speech. The White House saying they did that out of an abundance of caution -- Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: OK, Joe. Please keep us posted from the White House as more develops.
The coronavirus outbreak is going to get worse. That's the message from America's top infectious disease doctor to Congress. Everyday life across the U.S. is already changing as schools and businesses close and major events are canceled. [06:05:02]
CNN's Brynn Gingras is live outside the containment zone in one New York City suburb where authorities are attempting to contain that large coronavirus outbreak there.
What's the latest, Brynn?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Alisyn, well, later today, we're going to start seeing National Guard trucks coming through these streets, trying to provide resources to this area to help stop the spread.
It's this state's next step in trying to really contain this virus. But of course, there are steps being taken from coast to coast by communities and by Americans who are changing their lives daily, making tough decisions in order to battle this pandemic.
GINGRAS (voice-over): In New Rochelle, New York, the governor deploying the National Guard to enforce a one-mile containment zone to help stop an outbreak.
CUOMO: There's only two ways that countries have reduced the numbers. Massive quarantine or massive testing.
GINGRAS: Washington's governor banning social gatherings of more than 250 people near Seattle. The state has the highest rate of coronavirus cases in the country.
GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA): This demands a response consistent with the nature of the threat. These events that are prohibited are gatherings for social, recreational, spiritual and other matters.
GINGRAS: And the number of cases is expected to rise as nearly every U.S. state is now affected.
FAUCI: We will see more cases, and things will get worse than they are right now.
GINGRAS: In Colorado, a drive-through testing facility launched in Denver. And for the passengers previously on the Grand Princess cruise ship, two weeks under quarantine.
CAROLYN WYLER, GRAND PRINCESS PASSENGER: I want to cry, and they do, too. And the next minute, we're friendly and laughing about stuff.
GINGRAS: Isolation a reality for many as companies shift their employees to work from home. For over a million kindergarten through 12th grade students, schools already are preparing to close, and hundreds of colleges nationwide moving to online classes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clearly, the game right now is a little bit of a delay. GINGRAS: The NBA put on hold indefinitely after a player tested
positive for the coronavirus shortly before their game Wednesday night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The game tonight has been postponed. You're all safe.
GINGRAS: The league telling CNN it "will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward."
MARK CUBAN, OWNER, DALLAS MAVERICKS: I'm a lot more worried about my kids and my mom, who's 82 years old, you know, and talking to her and telling her to stay in the house than I am about when we play our next game.
GINGRAS: With March Madness just days away, the NCAA's president announcing it will still go on, but without spectators.
Daytime television shows like ABC'S "The View" suspending studio audiences over the growing number of cases in New York City.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": This is unprecedented.
GINGRAS: Officials saying social distancing is a necessary move.
FAUCI: As a public health official, anything that has large crowds is something that would give a risk to spread.
GINGRAS: And officials say that is the goal of this containment zone here in New Rochelle, to stop those large gatherings.
Now, we've heard all those stories about how people are having a hard time trying to get tested when they want to. Well, this particular containment zone for the next two weeks is going to have its own testing facility. Now with that, of course, that means officials expect the numbers of cases to spike in an area which is already considered to have one of the largest clusters in the entire country -- John.
BERMAN: All right. Brynn Gingras for us in New Rochelle. Bryn, thank you very much. You're doing great work up there.
Look, I know this isn't about us, but my kids' schools canceled. I know yours.
CAMEROTA: Mine, too.
BERMAN: I mean, this is --
CAMEROTA: As of last night. They just canceled it.
BERMAN: A million kids out of school right now, again, for who knows how long. We're getting so many developments this morning on the coronavirus
pandemic. Fresh information into the newsroom on what the travel restrictions mean for you and how, frankly, we need to decode this presidential address. That's next.
BERMAN: All right. Developing overnight, President Trump announced restrictions on travel from 26 European countries to the United States. The president's rare primetime address prompted confusion, with the administration later forced to clarify a number of the measures that he laid out. It was remarkable, frankly.
Joining us now, CNN political analyst Margaret Talev. She's the politics and White House editor for Axios. And CNN senior political analyst John Avlon.
Look, we will talk about the president's proposals and whether they meet the moment, John. But first, I think we just have to talk about the moment, because every day it changes. And when you see the NBA suspending its season, when you see a million kids out of school, and that number will grow even more, you have to acknowledge that America today has changed.
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. And changed rapidly.
But I think we also need to remember that this is something that previous generations of Americans have had to deal with some echo this. Last century, there was the Spanish influenza epidemic that was far more deadly that has been, really, wiped from our imagination.
Other generations have had to deal with things like a polio epidemic.
We have been relatively sheltered from public health crises. We've had to deal with other things, like terrorism. But this is going to require a recalibration of that balance between American individualism and a sense of the community, and a sense of the obligations to the community that we have. And we're out of practice with that.
So when we're being told that an NBA season is being canceled, that's a shock to people. It's going to resonate with some people more than the news has been to date.
When kids are being -- schools are being shut down, when people are being told to self-quarantine, all these things are going to require discipline on people, thinking about the community ahead of their own instincts and interests.
That's going to be one of the many changes we face. This is going to get worse before it gets better.
CAMEROTA: And you know what would be really helpful, Margaret? Is some sort of clarity from the White House or from our federal government about the response. And last night, how is it that the president of the United States can make a scripted, teleprompter speech -- so, in other words, it's been written. I assume somebody looked it over. And two of the major announcements then have to be clarified within the next -- like, corrections need to be issued within the next hour.
This is about the travel ban, which was not as restrictive as the president said in his speech. And he also said that all cargo was going to be banned. No. He then had to clarify that within an hour. How does that happen?
MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, well, good morning, Alisyn and John.
I -- look, I mean, the president has -- his instincts on the fly are always to talk about American exceptionalism and strength and kind of swiftness and fierceness of response, whatever the issue is.
And the problem is that, when you're trying to kind of even slightly ad lib what a policy is going to do on an issue like this, it's important to be very specific and accurate, because the markets are going to read things. Foreign governments are going to read things. Americans in Europe, who think, Hey, maybe my return home will be affected, are going to read things.
And the fact of the matter is that the travel restrictions they are putting in place are significant and do send significant signals about U.S. efforts to contain the virus. But they are certainly not as drastic as you suggested.
And -- and in fact, explicitly, he said cargo is not cargo. So when you saw DHS come out and clarify last night, when you saw the president himself, in his tweets, come out and clarify, there seemed to be an immediate understanding by the White House that they needed to use the specific language that was accurate.
But I think, you know, there are a couple of things going on here. And one is that the president has recognized that his initial response did not reflect what the rest of the country is seeing. Whether it was his own health officials, his own vice president, colleges, universities, schools, public health administrators, businesses, the NBA. And then he needed to recalibrate that.
But then the other one was the president's instinct to look for ways to explain why this wasn't his failing. And he looked to China.
TALEV: He looked to Europe. We see Congress now -- and this is the moment that we're in. Congress and the White House, the Democratic-led House and the White House, trying to figure out whether they can agree to some legislation that's going to get passed.
And we will see in the next day whether the rubber can meet the road in terms of actually addressing the immediate needs now. AVLON: Yes. Look, a couple things. As a former speechwriter myself,
I've got to say, I have no idea how you have a scripted speech in a teleprompter that needs to be immediately corrected on matters of specific policy.
CAMEROTA: Thank you, John. Thank you. I'm so glad that you're --
AVLON: Boggles my mind.
CAMEROTA: -- from your experience you're speaking like this. Because it had Steven Miller's fingerprints all over this. And so basically, you're saying that he didn't vet it with DHS or --
BERMAN: Look, it's possible the president blew it. It's possible the president misread out loud or couldn't read out loud.
CAMEROTA: Didn't seem like that.
AVLON: It is possible. But that didn't seem like the president freelancing. That was not freewheeling Donald Trump.
Moreover, this is a matter of policy that has enormous implications for the economy and people at a time of maximum peril for the country. And this is part of the problem of the moment we're living in, is those kind of moments where Americans are being called on to sacrifice for the common good require trust and leadership and accompanying government.
BERMAN: Two things. No. 1, and we can talk more about this. I know we will over the course of the show. Banning travel from Europe, maybe it will keep people who have coronavirus out of the United States.
But it doesn't do anything for the fact that it's already here.
BERMAN: And growing in some places exponentially. It's here. It's here. Keeping Europeans out isn't going to keep it from getting here because it's here.
No. 2, one of the things that is required during a public health crisis is public trust. Margaret talked about the president's initial response to this not being the -- It wasn't the initial response. It was his first, second, third, and fourth response. This is S-12. I think you should all listen to how the president has talked about this over the last three weeks compared to things said last night. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When you have 15 people and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done.
This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history.
(via phone): We have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work.
(on camera): If you are sick or not feeling well, stay home.
Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus.
We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship and unify together as one nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Meanwhile, this is a guy who proudly still shakes hands and hasn't canceled political rallies, Margaret. You know, the president needs to be serious about this. And maybe last night was the beginning, but how will we know?
TALEV: Well, look, there's two markers, two other book marks put on everyone's radar screen. No. 1 is the performance of the stock market in recent days, which reflects widespread, widespread changes to business.
And the second is the 2020 presidential election, which is also unfolding before our eyes. Joe Biden signaling the other night that he was going to give a national coronavirus address. And the president's timing of his address, of course, made sure that at least the president of the United States got to speak before his most likely rival this fall.
You know, look, this is moving very quickly. Everybody gets that. But it's important for the president to be setting a tone for the rest of the country to follow, to understand the real risks here with this disease. And the White House has been playing catchup on this.
AVLON: Yes, and it would be helpful, then, if the president is responsible for that tone, if he got the facts right the first time or the second time. But instead he contradicts himself a great deal.
Look, the other thing is he didn't mention testing. And testing is key to all of this. And we have been on the backfoot significantly. And that's something you can't just ignore. That's not a sin of omission. That's central.
BERMAN: It's also not Europe's fault.
BERMAN: It's not China's fault that we haven't tested. There are American tests that aren't going on.
CAMEROTA: One last thing. I mean, this is more than tone. It's facts, and he's being misleading. He's been saying misleading things for weeks.
Margaret, John, thank you very much. Obviously, we will talk about all of that and continue to fact check throughout the program. BERMAN: All right. We have the vice president of the United States,
Mike Pence. He will join us to talk about the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.
CAMEROTA: I look so forward to talking to him to try to get the facts and information.
BERMAN: Meanwhile, Italy has tightened its lockdown after the death toll surged there. More than 30 percent in 24 hours. We have a live report from Rome next.
BERMAN: And the NBA has suspended its entire season because of coronavirus. Why? What happened in this bizarre, bizarre scene in Oklahoma City last night?
CAMEROTA: The death toll in Italy rising again overnight: 827 people in that country have now died. More than 12,000 people are infected. Italy responding by tightening its unprecedented lockdown, closing virtually all shops, restaurants and bars.
CNN's Melissa Bell is live in Rome with more. So what does it look like today, Melissa?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, it is an extraordinary lockdown situation here already. People having to explain why they're having to leave the country, why they're wanting to come into it. People's travel restricted within Italy, as well. And now these extra measures, a real sense of everything changing in Italy as the country hunkers down to try and get this outbreak under control.
And it is by no means under control. We've seen, even as those numbers appear to get -- get brought under control over in Asia, here that massive rise again. The biggest rise yet since the start of the outbreak in the terms of numbers of deaths and, hence, these new measures.
But up in the north of the country, remember, where this outbreak began, and which is ahead of the rest of the country in terms of its response and its death rates, there are calls from politicians there for the government to go even further by locking down companies, all businesses. Really putting the country to sleep.
Now, the whole world, of course, looking here at Italy to see how efforts to bring the outbreak are working; what has worked, what has not worked, since it is simply a few days or a couple of weeks ahead of what other western liberal democracies are likely to go through if the spread continues unchecked.
What -- whether this lockdown will work is, of course, a question. The prime minister warning us, even as he announced those latest measures, that it would probably take a couple of weeks for them to be able to show. So what that means is that you're likely to see the situation and the numbers get worse before they get better.
One last thing from Italy, though. We do know one thing that they did try that has not worked was that early travel ban. You'll remember that Italy was the first country in Europe to ban flights from and to China. That did not prevent it becoming the worst-hit country -- John.
BERMAN: All right. Melissa Bell in Rome for us. Thank you so much for giving us the most current information about Italy.
And I want Americans to know why we need to look at Italy so closely. We have a chart I want to show you that shows how similar the timelines are between the United States and Italy.
You can see right there comparing the U.S. and Italy. Just eight days after Italy reported its first coronavirus death on February 22, the number of reported cases surpassed the 1,000 mark. Just four days after that, Italy closed all schools nationwide.
Compare that to the U.S. It took eight days to go from nine deaths on March 4 to more than 1,000 reported cases yesterday. And today more than 1,500 schools nationwide have closed or are scheduled to close.
In other words, again, our growth chart very similar to Italy's. Italy has now more than 800 deaths. I hope we do not get there. But that's why we need to look and be careful that that's not what happens here.
In the meantime, President Trump has warned elderly Americans about the risk of coronavirus. This happened in his primetime address last night.
So what should you be doing to keep yourself, if you're older, and your family safe, if you're younger?
Joining me now is Dr. Sean Morrison, chair of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital here in New York.
Dr. Morrison, thank you once again for being with us. People have so many questions.
DR. SEAN MORRISON, CHAIR, GERIATRICS AND PALLIATIVE MEDICINE, MT. SINAI HOSPITAL: Absolutely.
BERMAN: And you're getting so many questions. So I'm just going to dive into some of the questions you say you're getting, largely from older Americans.
No. 1, so many people who are older have home healthcare aides. They have people coming into their house to help them every day. What should you do?
MORRISON: That's a very good question. The reason that many older Americans have home health aides is they have chronic medical conditions. They may have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. They may have trouble preparing their meals. They may have trouble eating their meals. And a home health aide there is to assist them with the activities of their daily living. What should they do? One of my patients said to me, Should I have a stranger be coming into
the house? And it is -- it's a risk/benefit analysis. So yes, they should, because they need the help at home. We don't want them abandoned. And we don't want them to not eat.