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CNN NEWSROOM

Markets Open Higher after Worst Sell-Off; Outbreak Upends Schools, Sports and Entertainment; Drive-Thru Testing in New York; Panic Buying Empties Store Shelves. Aired 9:30-10a

Aired March 13, 2020 - 09:30   ET

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


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[09:32:10]

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that she and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are close to making a deal on a massive rescue, a stimulus package to fight the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: There's still work being done on what this will means for paid leave, sick leave, where is that going to end up for every American. We'll bring you all the details when we get them.

First, let's get the breaking news on Wall Street in terms of the market this morning.

Stocks are up 1,200 points on the Dow after the biggest sell-off since Black Monday, 1987.

Alison Kosik, she's on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans here as well.

Christine, so, markets seeming to react positively to the government about to infuse a lot of cash into the market, respond to this.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

SCIUTTO: There are also, though, concerns on the market, are there not, about a cash crunch there. I mean there are structural things in the market going on.

ROMANS: Yes.

SCIUTTO: Is this likely to be a lasting uptick here, relief? Tell us what you're hearing.

ROMANS: You know, this would be the fourth sort of snapback rally we've seen in the last few weeks and the other three have fizzled. But you had three ferocious rallies after big, big down days. So this is sort of turning out to be the pattern in the market, down real hard, and then they bounce back up. So, you know, I wouldn't read too much into one day's move. But I will say, there is a lot of talk about, will there be more

stimulus? Mohamed El-Erian (ph), Ken Rogof (ph), people who have been on this program and have been on others, a lot of economists are saying they're looking to see what the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can come up with.

Mnuchin, just moments ago, telling reporters he's confident that they're going to be able to pull something together and soon.

So we don't see it yet. It's not actually there yet. But they're at least projecting confidence in Washington, D.C.

So be careful. Tread carefully on these big up days --

HARLOW: Yes.

ROMANS: And the big down days because this is -- we are in new territory here. This is a crisis that we haven't kind of managed one like this before, slowing down and stopping the American economy, so you can get ahead of a public health -- a public health issue.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Yes.

HARLOW: Here's what the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just said on CNBC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: This is a short-term issue. It may be a couple of months, but we're going to get through this and the economy will be a little stronger than ever. You know, I look back at people who bought stocks after the crash in 1987, people who bought stocks after the financial crisis, for long-term investors, this will be a great investment opportunity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: OK. We don't know how long this is going to last.

ROMANS: No.

HARLOW: So my question to you is, it's not just the stock market. I think the bond market is being overlooked here.

ROMANS: Yes.

HARLOW: And something weird is happening because the typical flight to safety isn't happening. Gold is not going up and bond yields are not going down.

Why is that?

ROMANS: It's -- no one really knows, to be quite honest.

[09:35:01]

I mean one of the things we're seeing here is that --

HARLOW: At the same time that the market goes down.

ROMANS: Yes. The Fed is injecting or says it's going to inject all its liquidity to make sure that there isn't something in the plumbing of the markets, the plumbing of the financial system that is amiss, right? So they have said that they're going to make sure that -- but you've got multiple markets moving violently. You know, a crash in the oil market.

You've got Treasury yields at levels we have never seen before. A stock market that is clearly quite volatile. And a public health crisis that we're addressing, something we've never addressed before. Brand-new, unchartered territory.

HARLOW: Yes.

ROMANS: You have a strong economy, a strong economy, but risks of a recession because you have to pause the economy to fix the health crisis.

HARLOW: Yes. Yes.

SCIUTTO: Alison Kosik, you're on the floor of the stock exchange. Yesterday, the Fed, an extraordinary step injecting $1 trillion into the market. That's a thousand billion dollars into the market. Why did it see the need for that and why did the market go up initially and then kind of brush that off and say not enough?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: : I think there was just a lot of negative news yesterday. And then switch the calendar to today and there is more positive news, possibly some economic relief coming from Capitol Hill.

Just look at what happened before the bell rang this morning. Investors couldn't buy fast enough. Just when there are measures in place, just as there are measures in place to keep stocks from falling through the floor, there are measures in place to keep stocks from going through the roof.

So in the early morning hours, the S&P 500 jumped more than 5 percent. So then the index was limited from going any higher until the opening bell rang. We're -- we are, however, seeing the rally fizzle just a little bit as we see the Dow up about 988 points. But, still, the mood is a lot better today. I think investors had a chance to process that liquidity injection from the Fed. That is also helping to relieve the pressure. But what a sharp u-turn from yesterday --

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: Yes.

KOSIK: Where we saw the end of the 11-year bull run because the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq joined the Dow in bear market.

Back to you. HARLOW: OK, Alison, thank you.

Christine, just back to you on one thing that the president daughter's, Ivanka Trump, tweeted last night that's really important. I think a lot of people paid attention to it and I want to know what it really means.

She said, the president has directed the Department of Labor to allow states to amend unemployment insurance and get paid sick leave to those impacted by Covid.

What does that mean? Does that mean anyone who has to stay home from work is going to get paid their full salary by the U.S. government?

ROMANS: No. What this means -- and that's what some Democrats would like to see. They would like to see paid sick leave that they have wanted for years. There's no federally guaranteed paid sick leave.

But what Ivanka Trump is proposing, what the Department of Labor has actually announced, new guidance on this. States administer, of course, unemployment benefit insurance. They want to tap the unemployment benefit insurance for paid sick leave, meaning the states would be able to amend their rules. So, for example, if you're told not to go to work for two weeks or for three weeks, you would actually get unemployment benefits if the state agrees to do it that way --

HARLOW: OK.

ROMANS: Instead of getting paid sick leave benefit.

HARLOW: Which is, by the way, unemployment benefits are not equal to many people's salaries.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

ROMANS: That's right, it's a fraction --

HARLOW: Yes.

ROMANS: It's a share of --

HARLOW: A fraction.

ROMANS: It's a share of the salary, right.

HARLOW: Thank you, both, very, very much.

As many companies do that, and tell their employers to work from home, some of the nation's hardest working people are still, of course, going to work and doing their jobs so that you can go about your day as much as possible. They are very worried about the physical and financial risks.

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[09:42:45] HARLOW: Safe to say everyone, every American, Jim, right, impacted by this.

SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: Millions and millions of people across the country to different extents. But for those of you who do have the luxury to stay home, remember that most people don't and many, many people can't work from home.

SCIUTTO: No. Nature of the job. Do you have support at home? Do you have childcare for children?

HARLOW: Yes. Yes.

SCIUTTO: Do you have money in the bank, right, to tide you over during this period?

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: CNN's Polio Sandoval joins us now with more on how the global pandemic is impacting blue collar workers across the U.S.

Polo, tell us what you're learning because they're the ones facing really some of the biggest difficulties here.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure. They're also some of the hardest workers across the country, Poppy and Jim. And what this is, is essentially another layer of uncertainty for some of America's lower wage workers. The big question and the big dilemma that they're forced to face here, if they have to stay home to protect themselves or, worse, if they get sick, how will they pay their bills?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN DAVIS, AIRPLANE CABIN CLEANER: Every hour, every minute I'm at risk.

SANDOVAL (voice over): Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Dan Davis never really considered his job as high risk.

DAVIS: What I do is I go on board and clean the plane, right? I have to pick up the pillow cases. I have to pick up the laundry. I have to pick up the blankets.

SANDOVAL: The New Yorker is a cabin cleaner, sometimes boarding up to ten planes a shift and coming into contact with what passengers from all over the world leave behind. To Davis, that means his risk of exposure to the virus is even higher.

DAVIS: They give us band-aids, I call them, which is a mask, the gloves, the hand sanitizer.

SANDOVAL: But lately the 57-year-old worries those measures aren't enough to protect him. He only has a handful of state mandated sick days to use should he become ill. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Housekeeping.

SANDOVAL: Like most in the service industry, taking any additional leave would mean no pay.

DAVIS: A lot of people are at risk if they don't go to work. As they say, you're dammed if you do, you're dammed if you don't, you know? So some people roll the dice and go and hope and pray that they don't get sick.

SANDOVAL: Fredericka Ladelpa (ph) is afraid to go to work for the first time in her nearly 15 years cleaning facilities at JFK Airport.

She tells me she feels a greater risk coming into contact with thousands of travelers every day.

[09:45:01]

Labor statistics show nearly 34 million Americans have no access to sick leave. That means lower wage employees filling traditionally blue collar jobs may be feeling added pressure to stay on the job amid the worsening pandemic.

LANE JENSEN, RIDESHARE DRIVER: People aren't going to want to go out because they're so scared to go out. It's going to put a hurt on everybody's business right -- everybody, including myself.

SANDOVAL: Oregon (ph) ride share driver Lane Jensen is taking steps to protect himself and his passengers, while the companies he drives for takes steps of their own. Uber and Lyft are among the companies now offering some form of economic help to employees who test positive for coronavirus or who have to self-quarantine. The White House and Congress are poised to take action to help workers, including those who can't afford to stay home.

DAVIS: I wouldn't say scary. But it is alarming, right? And something has to be done about this. Corona is here. It's here for I hope not for a while, but it's here.

SANDOVAL: As some workers heed advice to stay home, others can't afford to stop clocking in.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANDOVAL: Workers in the leisure and hospitality industry particularly hit the worst. Some of those recent numbers, Jim and Poppy, showing that less than half of them can count on some form of sick leave. So it's obvious why they're still looking to Washington with this coronavirus response action for some relief. But the big question, will it still be enough?

HARLOW: Yes. And what -- what can all of us do? What can people with more means do for those that don't have it? We talked about food banks yesterday. Where else can you give and help those that are going to struggle here for a long time.

Polo, great reporting. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Yes. We're all in this together, right?

HARLOW: Yes. Yes.

SCIUTTO: It is time to lend a hand.

As the number of coronavirus cases go up, people are stocking up. You recognize this scene here, store shelves empty across the country. Limits on what you can purchase. Does this make sense? Is it necessary? We're going to discuss.

HARLOW: That's a great question.

And Sunday night Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will debate in the midst of all of this. It is the CNN and Univision Democratic presidential debate. It airs Sunday, 8:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

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[09:51:28]

SCIUTTO: The first public drive-through testing facility on the East Coast will begin testing for the coronavirus in New York today. That's, of course, a step -- we've seen, Poppy, in South Korea. They've done it broadly.

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: And it really helped them ramp up tests far more quickly, by an order of magnitude, than the U.S. has. We'll see if it's replicated elsewhere.

HARLOW: You're so right.

Let's go to our Brynn Gingras. She joins us again today from where they're doing that. This is in New Rochelle.

And, Brynn, I know you're sort of right outside the containment zone, but hopefully this will be incredibly helpful to stemming the tide of the spread.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and that's -- that is the hope. This was one of the many steps that the governor has taken to try to get this containment, you know, figured out. Let's get these numbers down. That's really the goal here, in addition to the large gatherings and all of that.

Now I'm going to get out of the way because I want you to see what's behind me.

Now, this is a bridge that leads over to an island, Glen Island Park here in New Rochelle. You can see the state police here at the entrance. Only people who are qualified for a test, meaning they called their doctor's office and they are part of that containment zone, they were under quarantine to begin with, because they are going to be a priority, those are the people that are going to be allowed to drive onto the island and take this test. You can see no pedestrians, the road's closed. You've got state police here making sure you fit those qualifications.

We know that the governor is going to be here shortly to give us more details about the testing process. But I did get a little bit of information. Essentially what's going to happen is people who are going to drive -- that we've already seen some cars do that, they're going to go onto the island with their car windows shut, and they are going to open their windows a little bit.

There are going to be health care officials on the ground under a tent, and they're going to be in full protective suits. They're going to swab them through the car window. They're going to bring those windows up and they're going to drive off. So it's going to be a very secure situation, is what we're being told, to get this testing figured out.

So many questions we've got to ask the governor. And, again, that's going to happen about 10:30 today, Poppy.

HARLOW: Yes.

GINGRAS: You asked me a good one before we came on the air, how long until they get those results?

HARLOW: Yes.

GINGRAS: Those are things we're going to be asking.

HARLOW: OK.

GINGRAS: But this is a big deal. Testing can be done. We're hearing hundreds a day, testing capability at this site alone.

HARLOW: That's great to see. Brynn, thank you. Appreciate it.

GINGRAS: Yes.

HARLOW: So, Jim, have you been to the grocery store lately? I went last night. Two hours. No paper towels. No toilet paper. No pasta. But do you really need to stock up on and what is overkill?

SCIUTTO: Yes, that's a real question. There's panic buying. Is there any evidence that the panic buying is necessary?

HARLOW: Yes.

SCIUTTO: CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich, she's in New York, just one city where this has set in.

And, Vanessa, I'm curious, you know, is this something that is necessary or is it an overreaction?

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Jim and Poppy. Well, the owner of this Morton Williams store here in the upper west

side of Manhattan said buy what you need, but don't go crazy. But, clearly, people in the bread aisle are going a little bit crazy, buying a ton of bread. This is one of the empty aisles here. This is the bread section. Also toilet paper section, as you mentioned, Poppy, that's empty. The meat section as well is also empty.

But I want to show you, this area just got restocked. So this is bread that just came in. But as you can see, there are gaps here. The distributor who came in said that he wasn't able to fill this area. And look at this new stocking technique. This is supposed to be double right here. They don't have enough bread to make it to the back of the shelf.

And we spoke to the owner here of this Morton Williams. He said that yesterday alone they saw a 300 percent increase in foot traffic.

[09:55:03]

It's a little slower now here in the morning, but after work, it was a madhouse here.

But the owner of this store said that he has a couple concerns. One is supply chain. Right now the supply chain is OK, but he's also concerned about his employees, because can his employees get to work in order to be able to do their job to provide food here?

Another word of caution from the owner of this Morton Williams store -- don't panic. Do not go out and buy the whole shelf of bread. Maybe buy a couple, whatever you may need, to get you through the next week, Jim and Poppy.

SCIUTTO: Good advice.

Vanessa Yurkevich, thanks very much.

The big question, of course, where are the tests? How do people know if they, their family members, have this virus? It's been very slow. We're going to bring you the latest information.

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[10:00:05]

HARLOW: Top of the hour. Good morning, everyone, I'm Poppy Harlow.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto.