Return to Transcripts main page


Outbreak Brings Drastic Changes To Everyday Life; Coronavirus Pandemic, Trump's New Travel Restrictions Hours Away; Trudeau In Isolation After Wife Tests Positive; Asia Markets Finishing Week With Steep Losses; President Trump Very Concerned About Getting Infected; U.S. Conduct Aerial Bombardment Against Iran-Backed Militia Facilities In Iraq; Israel Closes Schools And Universities For Five Weeks; Coronavirus, Impact On Sports; Separating Facts From Fiction. Aired 3- 3:30a ET

Aired March 13, 2020 - 03:00   ET



NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Back live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, thanks for being with us. I'm Natalie Allen. Next year, the new normal in the United States. No sporting events, Broadway is are dark, schools are shuttered, all in an effort to curve the spread of the coronavirus.

Another meltdown for the world's financial markets threatening to plunge the global economy into recession. And as the pandemic grows, misinformation about the virus has fueled fear and anxiety online. We separate facts from fiction.

And thank you again for joining us. The coronavirus lockdown and quarantines, from public health emergencies that have grip China and Italy are now part of daily life here in the United States. Almost every major sporting event from basketball to hockey, now on hold. Across the nation, schools have ordered children to stay home. Universities are moving classes online, weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs, canceled.

And time is running out for Americans hoping to return from Europe, as Donald Trump's new travel restrictions take effect in less than 24 hours. We just learned the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for the virus. And, U.S. stocks, suffered their worst losses since the market crash of 1987. Well, 41 Americans have died from the coronavirus and more than 1600 people in the U.S. are now infected. For more, here is CNN's Erica Hill.


ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Life, screeching to a halt across the country. As officials work to contain the spread of coronavirus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's really stressful.

HILL: In New Rochelle New York, the National Guard arriving in the nation's first containments zone. As Governor Andrew Cuomo announces, sweeping new restrictions to limit community spread.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We are going to take dramatic actions in that regard. To reduce the number of people in contagious environments, no gathering with 500 people or more.

HILL: In response, the Broadway's biggest theaters going dark for the next month starting tonight. College classes moving online. In Ohio, Governor DeWine ordering all k-12 schools in the state closed until April 3rd. Maryland also shutting down schools statewide. While other areas adapt to keep their doors open.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): Schools are essential. Staggering P.E. (ph), making sure that assemblies are canceled. Making sure that we are providing meals in the classroom or in other isolated settings.

BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR, 2020 U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The minute you take the school away, a lot of parents don't have an option, particularly for their younger kids. A lot of kids depend on school for food.

HILL: House rules preparing for a potential influx of patients. In Boston, Tufts Medical Center rescheduling non urgent appointments and elective surgeries. Social distancing now the defining policy of this pandemic.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALERGY AND INFECTOUS DISEASE: Right now, we should be doing things that separate us as best as possible from people who might be infected.

HILL: In Florida, a JetBlue passenger from New York who told airline officials that he had tested positive after landing at Palm Beach International Airport, is now in isolation.

Nearly every major sport, upended. The NCAA canceling March Madness. NASCAR announcing it will run races without fans. Major League Baseball canceling spring training, and delaying opening day. As the NHL, MLS, and tennis suspend their seasons. The NBA, the first to pause it's season Wednesday night after Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The game tonight has been postponed.

HILL: Thursday morning, the team announced a second confirmed case.

There is an increasing focus on the trickledown effect of all of these cancellations. The ban on large gatherings. This means that events that were happening over the weekend are now being canceled. And not just sporting events. Life events, Bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, large gatherings cannot happen. The people who support those, at the catering halls, at the restaurants, the concession stands at the arenas, the bars and restaurants around those areas, with no foot traffic, with no events, what will that impact the? That is something that we will be keeping an eye on in the coming weeks. In New Rochelle, I'm Erica Hill, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: To keep the virus from spreading, most travel from Europe to

the U.S. is about to come to an abrupt stop. President Trump's new travel restrictions go into effect in less than 24 hours. The surprise announcement Wednesday created a huge headache for European leaders and countless travelers. CNN's Jim Bittermann joins us now from Paris with more about what people are dealing with. Hello Jim.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi Natalie, it's not exactly chaos, but there is certainly a lot of crowds out here at the Charles de Gaulle airport, right outside of Paris. Particularly right here, because this is the Delta airlines change desk where people have to change their tickets. And there is quite a line this morning of people lining up to change their tickets.

We have talked to any number of people here have said that they in fact are worried about getting back to the United States. They want to get back as soon as they can, they have cut short their vacations, or their businesses travel, whatever. He talked to a psychologist this morning, she said, oh tis like mass hysteria, not quite at that level. But it is, you can definitely see an increase especially around the ticket change windows. I want to bring in here Emily Falkenstein (ph) from --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Boston Massachusetts.

BITTERMANN: Boston Massachusetts. She is on her way home, and Emily, you've had to cut your trip short?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. My dad 70th birthday trip we are supposed to leave this coming Monday.

BITTERMANN: And now you are leaving today?


BITTERMANN: Right and how do you feel about that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very sad. Disappointed. I was supposed to run in a race here.

BITTERMANN: Oh, you were on the marathon?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I can't, the 5 K.

BIDEN: But so that -- it has affected your travel plans. Were you confused at all by the messaging?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, which meant that he meant either Thursday or Friday midnight.

BITTERMANN: Yes. Exactly, that was one thing, is it tonight, or is it yesterday, or last night? And so -- what about the idea of what you are going to face at the other end? Do you have any idea what you are going to be -- ? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think quarantine, sadly.

BITTERMANN: You (inaudible) for that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I work from home, and I read books, and stuff like that.

BITTERMANN: I see. What do you do for a living?


BITTERMANN: OK, so, you can probably do that from home a little bit.


BITTERMANN: I bet you will. OK. So, have you encountered other people that have had a problem having to change their flights or are worried about going back to United States?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not that I have spoken to, but I have met them in the Lion Air France yesterday.

BITTERMANN: And what is their biggest worry? What are they worried about? Because President Trump said Americans can come back?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think probably the germs on the plane. Because we are all going to be together.

BITTERMANN: I see. Have you taken any measures, do you have any masks or anything like that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I have Clorox wipes.

BITTERMANN: Very practical.

Well, Emily, thank you very much, and have a good trip, bon voyage as we say in French.


BITTERMANN: So, Natali, you can see that in fact this has basically changed a lot of plans, we have talked to a lot of people this morning, who said that they had to cut their vacations or their business travel short by one or 2 days. The fact is though, one of the things that should be pointed out, they've closed so many things here in Paris and in France, that there really, there's not a whole lot for tourists anyway to go to. Natalie?

ALLEN: All right. Wm good interview there. Maybe we can catch up with Emily when she gets back to Boston and see how that flight went for her. All right, Jim. Thank you so much. Jim Bittermann for us there in Paris.

Well, we turned now to the financial markets and another day of losses in Asia, you can see Tokyo's Nikkei finishing down 6 percent. This whole Crosby off a 3 and a half percent. U.S. futures starting a day deep in the red that manage to (inaudible) a comeback. That follows the single biggest one day drop for the DOW on Thursday. Let's get more on the numbers from Asia now with our journalist Kaori Enjoji live from Tokyo with this, Kaori, hello.

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Hi, Natalie, wild swings on the equity markets here in Asia with the markets going basically into free fall in the first couple of hours of trading. Key benchmarks are being sliced or 18,000, 17,000, at one point, the Tokyo market was down 1800 points plus. That has not happened since the economic bubble burst here 30 years ago.

But then, the U.S. futures as you pointed out, started to turn around. And they try to make up for the gains, but still, down 6 percent on the day for the Nikkei 225. There are expectations and because the government is huddling with the central bank that maybe the bank of Japan, the central bank will do something when it meets next week, but it has very few in its arsenal right now that it can do.

Because interest rates are already zero or negative in some cases. The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, had a 15 minute telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump. They did discuss the Olympics, but they said that they are working hard to try and put the coronavirus -- to try and contain this coronavirus.

I think with the shock that spread throughout the world with this travel ban, Japan wants to ensure that it is on the same page with their U.S. counterpart -- with the U.S. I think, right now, the focus now is on fresh stimulus from the central bank, but with disappointment from the ECB last night, I think there is growing concern that there might be limited options for many central bankers around the world.


Since we are going into the weekend here in Asia, a lot of traders are saying they don't want to get caught with positions skewed either way, because of the volatility that we are seeing in the markets. And given the spreads, which means that the people are offering to buy a stock and the people asking whether or not that stock is available, that spread is widening.

Which means the market is thin, which tends to make things even more volatile than they usually are. One exception today, this compared to the rest of the week, has been the strength of the dollar. This is very atypical for the dollar to move up so sharply when the equity market is falling like this and there are expectations of further interest rate cuts. But this goes to show again that the volatility in the markets continues today here in Asia. Natalie, back to you.

ALLEN: Economic woes and health woes and of course, Japan's got to figure out those Olympics. My goodness, Kaori Enjoji, thank you as always.

Well, the coronavirus is getting uncomfortably close to the Oval Office. And that is worrying the U.S. president apparently. A source tells CNN Mr. Trump is very concerned about catching the virus. This follows an event as you can see right here, where he came in contact with a member of the Brazilian president's team who is later confirmed to be infected. Shasta Darlington report on this from Sao Paulo.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The press secretary for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, just five days after posting pictures of himself next to American president Donald Trump. This was during a bilateral visit in Mar-a-Lago with the Brazilian President Bolsonaro, with Trump, and meeting, a dinner, as a result, all members of the Brazilian delegation have now been testing for coronavirus, including President Bolsonaro himself, who expects the results at the latest on Friday.

In the meantime, according to a tweet that his son sent out, he is not showing any of the symptoms, although during a Facebook live on Thursday night, he appeared on camera next to the health minister, both of them wearing masks, talking about the need to control the spread of coronavirus and provide an appropriate response, so that you wouldn't get an explosion of cases. This is really hammering home just how big a crisis this could be in Brazil on Thursday. There were just 77 confirmed cases, but authorities warned, that could begin to rise quickly. Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.


ALLEN: All right. From Sao Paulo, we take you to Canada where the Prime Minister there, Justin Trudeau, says he is self-isolating for two weeks and working from home after his wife tested positive for the virus. Sophie Gregoire Trudeau will also remain in isolation in a tweet, Mr. Trudeau says, she has mild symptoms and is following her doctor's advice. The Prime Minister himself has no symptoms, but he is still working the phones, even discussing the virus with the fight on Thursday with President Trump.

The United States has carried out air strikes in Iraq against Iranian backed militia site south of Baghdad. A U.S. official says five weapons storage facilities were targeted as a way to reduce future attacks on coalition forces. The Pentagon says, it's a response to the rocket attack Wednesday which killed two American and one British service members.

The coronavirus pandemic has the world of sports on the ropes, and as more and more competitions are being canceled, its stunning impact is being felt, we'll dig into that part of the story, coming next here.



ALLEN: We continue to bring you the latest on how countries all over the world are being impacted. Now, we want to talk about Israel. It is closing all schools and universities for at least five weeks in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak. This comes as the country confirms 109 cases. Our Oren Liebermann is following the story now from Jerusalem. How concerning is that number there for Israel, Oren? OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORESPONDENT: Well, Israel has been concerned

here. The health and expert have been concerned as the number grows, it will continue to grow, not only steadily, but much more quickly, and that's -- it appears we are seeing here as the numbers start growing by more than just a couple of day into the dozens per day. The latest number at least this morning is that there are 126 confirmed cases in Israel.

The country has been, or at least has tried to be on the front edge of steps taken to try to prevent the spread of coronavirus. And we saw more of those last night, coming from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a primetime address. He said, schools and universities will be closed until after the Passover break, which is into mid or late April. And that starts immediately. There are a few exceptions here, boarding school, special education schools, and kindergartens. But there are already rumors circulating that by next week, those may be closed as well.

Meanwhile, less than a week ago, we've got public gatherings were limited to 5,000 people. Now they are limited to 100 people. As Netanyahu urged citizens not to shake hands, not to get into close contact. And basically, to do everything possible to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Israel has not yet had any confirmed deaths of coronavirus, but certainly at this stage, that is the fear, it is also worth noting there are 31 confirmed cases in the Palestinian authority, mostly focusing on Bethlehem.

In terms of what we are seeing on the economic end, Israel's airline, (inaudible), has already suspended most of its services or rather will begin suspending services starting next week to most of its destinations. There will be a few flights open to the East Coast of the United States, to Paris, to London and to a few other destinations, but most of that will be scaled back as well as airport work.

Meanwhile hotels here and the hospitality industry are getting ready for a major hit. On the political front, Netanyahu now calling for a national emergency government to deal with the coronavirus and as this continues, and it gets worse frankly here that looks increasingly likely at this stage. Natalie?

ALLEN: Yet another example of the breadth of this pandemic. Oren Liebermann for us in Jerusalem. Oren, thank you.

Well, one of golf's most popular tournament, The Player's Championship, has now been canceled after the first round, due to the virus. This is just the latest in a series of events that have stunned the sports world. Including word now that a coach in England's Premier League has contracted the virus. We get more from CNN World Sports, Patrick's Snell.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: English premiere Leagues Arsenal Football Club have confirmed their 37-year-old Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the coronavirus. Now the statement the club is saying, all club personnel who had recent closed contact with Mikel will now self-isolate in line with government health guidelines. And Arteta himself quote to be saying, this is really disappointing, but I took the test after feeling poorly. I will be at work, as soon as I'm allowed.

Now, the back story to all this, just bear in mind as well, that earlier in the week, the Arsenal Manchester City Premiere League fixture was postponed with several gunners' players going into in self-isolation. This after an emerge of the Nottingham Forest owner, Evangelos Marinakis had contracted the coronavirus. Marinakis had reportedly mixed and mingle with some of the clubs players after the recent Europa league fixture between the gunners and the Greek side. Arsenal, due to play Brighton on Saturday, but the Seagulls have just tweeted that the match will be postponed following the Arteta news and this is going to be key moving forward.


Because later on this Friday, we can tell you, the English Premier League will convene an emergency club meeting to discuss this weekend's fixtures. Well, that was not long after the league has said it would hold games this weekend as scheduled.

Now, in the meantime, in another key development this Friday. It is now been confirmed Formula One season opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne SASSER: been cancelled given the current coronavirus situation. Speculation over the race has already been swirling with six time world champion from England Louise Hamilton, very publicly questioning, even the possibility of it going ahead. It follows the news that on the McLaren team member had tested positive for the virus, with the team withdrawing from the race as a result. I'm Patrick Snell, back to you.


ALLEN: Coming up here, fear maybe proving more contagious than the virus itself.


ALLEN: As the coronavirus continues to spread, so does fear and misinformation. And many health experts find themselves battling myth, as well as the disease. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout, sorts through it all for us.


KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To separate fear from fact, I sat down with two infectious disease experts in Hong Kong. The coronavirus is man-made.

DR. IVAN HUNG, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: If you look at the virus itself, if you look at the followed genetic traits. We find that basically the virus pops very nicely in between the (inaudible) from the viruses and the (inaudible) viruses. So, we believe that this is actually a natural evolutions of this novel coronavirus.

LU STOUT: So, it didn't come from China, this wasn't by bio engineered?

HUNG: Unlikely.

LU STOUT: Since the outbreak began, there has been a (inaudible) of misinformation prompting this open letter by scientists in the land set. Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumors, prejudice that jeopardize our global collaboration in the fight against this virus.

My pets can give me the virus, because we know that a pet here in Hong Kong has tested positive for the new coronavirus. The pet has been released in quarantine.

DR. SARAH BORWEIN, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT: It is very unlikely. More likely the dog has been environmentally contaminated.

HUNG: Even though it is contaminated, you won't get a very high (inaudible) and very unlikely that you can actually be transmitted from the pets to you. It is very unlikely.

LU STOUT: Now, this is a big one, wearing a mask will not protect me from the virus. Because you have the U.S. surgeon general telling people you do not need to buy a masks. It is not effective. Is it?

HUNG: If you look at the data, in Hong Kong, wearing masks is probably the most important thing in terms of (inaudible). It will not only bring down the, you know, the cases of coronavirus. It also brings down the influenza. In fact, this is now the influenza season. And we hardly seen any influenza cases. And that is because the mask actually protects not only against the coronavirus but also against influenza viruses as well.


LU STOUT: The coronavirus is less deadly than the flu. How did they compare?

HUNG: If you look at the thousand cases being reported by the first generation, in internal medicine, it basically, the mortality rate is around 1.4 percent. Well, probably even going to go lower is the denominator getting better. So, still about 1 percent. For influenza, it is 0.1 percent or even lower. It depends on what season you are. So, it is still 10 times more deadly, compared to influenza.

LU STOUT: The virus will go away in April.

We have heard that for many people. We have heard it from U.S. President Donald Trump. Is that to be believed?

BORWEIN: Yes. It is very speculative, I see people partly say that because SARS kind of went away in April, May, but when it is warm here. It's going to be cold somewhere else. We've got the southern hemisphere to. HUNG: In SARS, only affected fewer countries, but this time, it's

really a pandemic scale. So, basically it can come back, especially with the Southern hemisphere and then, you know, alternate with the Northern hemisphere.


ALLEN: All right, well that was helpful. We hope for you. One of the most frequently asked questions about the coronavirus is whether it is safe to fly. CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper hosted a coronavirus in global town hall, Thursday. They asked one of the world's most prominent infectious disease experts how safe he would feel flying.


FAUCI: You know, it depends on what the issue was. I mean, if I had to do something that was absolutely important, as you know, Sanjay, you know me, I'm pretty healthy guy. For 79. So, yeah, I may take a second thought. I wouldn't do anything that is unnecessary. I certainly wouldn't get on a plane for a pleasure trip. It would have to be something that was really urgent. My job is the public health. If it had to do with the public health. And I needed to do something for the public health. I might do that, because I am quite healthy. However, if it was just for fun. No way I would do it.


ALLEN: All right, then. That is a portion of our town hall, you can watch it in its entirety, about 30 minutes from now, 8:00 a.m. in London, 4:00 p.m. in Hong Kong.

Thank you for watching CNN Newsroom, follow me on Twitter @allencnn or Instagram @NatalieAllenCNN. I will be right back, with our top stories.