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Biden Sweeps Primaries In Arizona, Florida And Illinois; Kevin Durant Tests Positive For Coronavirus; People Helping Others Get Through The Virus Outbreak. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired March 18, 2020 - 05:30   ET



IVAN WATSON, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. spreading complete lies, claiming that the U.S. Army may have brought the coronavirus to the city of Wuhan in the first place. Both sides seem to be trying to diverting some attention here.

And, China just announced that reporters from three major U.S. publications -- "The Wall Street Journal", "The New York Times", "The Washington Post" -- are probably going to be kicked out of the country soon in response to some restrictions on Chinese state media in the U.S.

Perhaps the one thing that the Trump administration and the Chinese government agree upon is that they do not like independent critical reporting on the failures of their own leadership.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Well, I mean, we actually need transparency at this time so that is a real blow.

Ivan, thank you very much for all of that reporting.

Back here, in politics, Joe Biden sweeping all three of last night's primaries and dramatically outperforming Bernie Sanders. So, what this means for the Democratic race, next.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: New developments this morning in the coronavirus pandemic. There are now cases in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and some U.S. territories. More than 6,000 cases total, although that number is definitely higher -- that is just what we have tested -- with 112 deaths.

The White House scrambling to stabilize the economy, requesting a $1 trillion stimulus package from Congress. The administration wants $1,000 checks for many Americans. There are proposals in Congress for even more.

CNN has learned that Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin warned Republican senators that without action the unemployment rate could skyrocket to 20 percent. Those are Great Depression-era numbers.

CAMEROTA: This is also new. The United States and Canada are preparing to suspend non-essential travel between these two countries. In Northern California, a shelter-in-place order has been expanded with nearly eight million people now impacted.

New York's governor is downplaying the possibility of a similar order in his state. But at the same time, New York's mayor is urging everyone to prepare for that measure. That means that more than eight million New York City residents are living in limbo.

BERMAN: All right.

Breaking overnight, a clean sweep for Joe Biden on -- I guess some people are calling it Super Tuesday number three. I thought we'd given up calling it Super Tuesday.

CAMEROTA: Oh, no, we haven't. We still like that.

BERMAN: It was just Tuesday with some elections. There's only one Super Tuesday.

CAMEROTA: No, it was the third Tuesday.

BERMAN: There's only one Super Tuesday.

The former vice president won big in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois, giving him a commanding lead in delegates over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Our super CNN Phil Mattingly joins us now with the very latest. A super good morning to you, Phil.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A super good morning to you John, as well. Kind of a surreal Tuesday to some degree, given the fact that people were voting and given what was going on in the country with the coronavirus pandemic.

But vote they did, both in person and in early voting. And it's not just that Joe Biden swept the three states that were voting, it was the scale by which he did it -- something we've seen over the course of the last couple of weeks. He did it again.

And take a look at the biggest delegate haul of the night, Florida. Joe Biden with a crushing victory here. With 93 percent reporting, 675,000 votes ahead.

But the story is this. Look at the state. Every single county, Joe Biden won. It is Joe Biden blue across the board.

And it's the same story when you move up to Illinois. Joe Biden winning all but one county at this point in time. Another significant victory in this state, 350,000 votes ahead.

And what's most interesting guys, flip back to 2016. Bernie Sanders lost this state but it was close. Most importantly, look at all the light blue -- the light Bernie Sanders blue here. That disappeared, for the most part, last night.

The third state being Arizona. Joe Biden with another big win here. Right now, with 69 percent reporting, 60,000 votes ahead. CNN has projected he will win that as well.

Again, this wasn't a map -- going into the night -- that the Sanders campaign thought that they would do extremely well in. But this underscores the Democratic Party and the coalition that Joe Biden has formed is a winning coalition and one that has largely put this race away, and I'll explain why.

John, you talked about the delegate lead right now. Joe Biden more than 300 delegates ahead -- 1,086 delegates. The key number here, 1,991. That's what Biden needs to clinch the nomination. Already halfway there.

Take a look at the percentages right now. Biden has won 55 percent of pledged delegates. That means he can win less than half of the delegates remaining on the way of this track and he can still win the nomination. At this point in time, guys -- at this stage in the primary, no Democratic candidate has ever come back from more than 300 delegates down.

And there's also the wildcard here. There are not -- there are still very many open questions about how many primaries are left. When will people actually vote? The biggest question of all, though, what is Bernie Sanders going to do?

The biggest outstanding primary left for the Sanders campaign, probably Wisconsin in a couple of weeks. But if you look at what's happened in the Midwest over the course of the last couple of weeks -- you look at Michigan, you look at Illinois, you look at Minnesota -- those haven't been good states for Bernie Sanders.

So what's he going to do? The race looks like it's answered that question for him, Alisyn. But we're still going to have to wait for the senator, himself.

CAMEROTA: Phil, that was super helpful. Thank you very much for breaking it down for us about Super Tuesday III.

BERMAN: Can I tell you, he was super helpful last week. Do you say it's super helpful two? No, you just say it's super helpful.

CAMEROTA: Why do you hate on alliteration? I mean, why can't you just go --

BERMAN: I just think -- it's not alliteration.

CAMEROTA: It is alliteration -- it's a tease.

BERMAN: Super Tuesday III?

CAMEROTA: Three, yes. BERMAN: You don't say Super Tuesday tree.


CAMEROTA: Maybe I'm going to say super Thursday, next. You just don't know.

Meanwhile, after another bruising night -- or whatever you want to call it -- what are Bernie Sanders' next steps? We'll discuss, next.


CAMEROTA: OK, while you were sleeping, we have a new delegate count. Here is where it stands right now after Joe Biden picked up big wins in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois. The primaries in those states went on as planned yesterday despite the growing coronavirus pandemic. Exit polls out of Illinois show that voters there are overwhelmingly concerned about coronavirus.

Joining us now is Wajahat Ali, CNN contributor and contributing opinion writer for "The New York Times". And, Paul Begala, CNN political commentator and Democratic strategist. Your home looks fabulous, Paul.

OK, let's --


PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR (via Cisco Webex): This is my bedroom. I slept -- I slept -- Berman knows that because of our many slumber parties.

CAMEROTA: Disturbing.

BERMAN: This took a turn.

CAMEROTA: Yes -- OK --

BEGALA: Good morning.

WAJAHAT ALI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, CONTRIBUTING OP-ED WRITER, THE NEW YORK TIMES (via Cisco Webex): I learned things -- I learned things today. I learned things.

CAMEROTA: As do we all.

Paul, how much do you think the coronavirus played a role in these primaries yesterday? And by that, I mean do you think that Joe Biden sort of successfully convinced people that he would be the leader to best handle a crisis or were they always going to vote for him in those three states?

BEGALA: Things were already moving Biden's way, but I think you're right that the virus heightens the importance of the election. I think this has always been the Democrats' interest. Trump wins when voters view democracy as a spectator sport. Well, it's

a reality show. It's just him up there performing, and he's quite a performer.

Now we know politics can be a life and death thing, right?

Donald Trump cut the CDC budget for pandemic response by 80 percent. He pulled us out of 39 of the 49 countries who were operating in it, including China. He fired all of the pandemic response people who were in the White House on the -- on the National Security Council staff. He cut the State Department's emergency fund for pandemics. So this matters.

And so, the things that maybe people were worried about with Joe -- his experience, his drive for moderation, his age -- this actually looks really good now. He looks like he's a guy that actually could run things.

BERMAN: So, Waj, you are a self-proclaimed progressive voter. What do you think that Bernie Sanders should do now? And I ask this question under the light of this crisis we're in -- this coronavirus pandemic. Should that weigh on him -- on his decision about whether to stay or get out of this race?

ALI: Yes. So, if I'm Bernie Sanders -- if I'm a progressive, I have to realize that an inanimate carbon rod is better than Donald Trump to lead this country during this festinate crisis. That according to the Imperial war college study that came out early this week, best-case estimate says that 500,000 people will die in Great Britain and about a 1.2 in the United States of America.

But as we have seen, it's a bittersweet victory, really, for Bernie Sanders because the progressive policies that he has championed that were deemed so radical are the policies, if you are paying attention, that are -- seem to be championed by both Republicans and Democrats right now, right?

We're talking about paid sick leave. We're talking about strengthening food stamps. We're talking about strengthening our health care system. These -- we're talking about universal basic income -- $1,000 to $2,000.

So, Biden seems to be the trusted shepherd. Most Americans, as Paul said, want to see him lead America through this crisis. But the policies that will actually help us in the present situation and in the long run seem to be progressive policies. So I would -- if I were him, I would champion these policies.

And we've seen Joe Biden actually respond, right? He's adopted Elizabeth Warren's bankruptcy plan. He's adopted the education plan. So he should keep pushing for it and kind of have Joe Biden embrace them.

The one thing Joe Biden said yesterday was I'm listening to you, progressives. I hear you. I'm here to unify the party. But now, he has to show it by embracing the policies and by really emboldening this new progressive wave, and I think he can pull it off.

CAMEROTA: That's really interesting, Waj.

And so, Paul, does that mean that Bernie Sanders' work is done? I mean, what are the options now for Bernie Sanders? Either he gets out of the race or with his 772 delegates he, what, can stay in until the convention and have some power or impact on the party platform?

BEGALA: His power and impact doesn't just come from having 700 delegates. I think -- I really hate to call on anybody to get out of the race. But I think remaining in the race is not in Bernie's interest because he's just going to look continually weaker as he loses every single county in states like Arizona, Florida. He carried only one county in Illinois.

The far better course is to listen to Waj. You hear a lot of Sanders supporters say -- and I think they're right -- that this is not a campaign, it's a movement. Well, that's right. The movement continues but the campaign ends.

And so, I -- it is true that he's had some real success pushing the Democratic Party in a more progressive era. He should accept that victory but also understand that most voters, as Biden says, want results, not a revolution.

And this could really come together. It begins with Bernie -- it really does. Bernie Sanders' voters are going to listen to Bernie Sanders first.

I supported Hillary Clinton. When Barack Obama beat her she called me up. She called me into her office.

She said I want you to endorse Obama. I want you to send him money. I said happy to -- I'm happy to.

And then, Obama reached out to the Clinton people as well. So you need both.

Biden is doing a good job of reaching out right now. Senator Sanders has got to do a good job of saying our movement continues but our campaign has to end.


BERMAN: All right. Paul, Waj, great to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us. Hopefully, we'll be seeing a lot of you. Home- broadcasting at its best here.

ALI: Take care, everyone.

BERMAN: You, too.

CAMEROTA: You, too.

BERMAN: So, in the dark days of this pandemic there is sunshine -- random acts of kindness that really are popping up everywhere. We'll bring some of them to you, next.


CAMEROTA: Four players for the Brooklyn Nets have tested positive for coronavirus, including superstar Kevin Durant.


Andy Scholes has more in the Bleacher Report. Andy, what's the latest?


So, the four Nets players now make it seven total NBA players to test positive for coronavirus. Kevin Durant, he hasn't played all season long but he's been with the team here and there, and he was with them as they took on the Lakers in Los Angeles. And, Shams Charania of "The Athletic" broke the news that Durant did test positive and added that Durant told him that he's feeling fine.

Now, the Nets' last game was against the Lakers on March 10th. That was the day before the league suspended operation.

In a statement, the Lakers say they have notified all of their players of the Nets' positive tests and they're taking the next steps. ESPN is reporting that the Lakers will all be tested for COVID-19 today.

Now, certainly weird times in the world right now. Adding to it, Tom Brady is going to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. The six-time Super Bowl champ saying goodbye to New England yesterday.

According to multiple reports, Brady picking the Bucs over the Chargers. And here's a look at him in a Bucs uniform next to his new targets, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

I texted you about this yesterday, John. Twenty-four hours later, has this sunk in now that Tom Brady is going to play for Tampa Bay?

BERMAN: Look, more than half my life, practically, he's been with the Patriots. It hurts, but Tom Brady has earned the right to do whatever he wants to do. If he wants to play football in Tampa and that makes him happy, he doesn't owe us anything. He gave us everything.

SCHOLES: Interesting -- the Super Bowl is in Tampa this year. The home team has never played in a Super Bowl.


SCHOLES: So we'll see if he can make it happen.

BERMAN: I suspect he'll be watching from the stands. Tampa is not that good -- but we'll see.

Andy, thank you very much.

SCHOLES: All right. BERMAN: So, coronavirus has altered life in this country as we know it, but the worst of times has brought out the best in so many. CNN's Martin Savidge shows us how.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These may feel like dark days with headlines of contagion, fear, and hoarding, but human sunshine still exists. Random acts of corona kindness are everywhere.

Like a front porch in Columbus, Ohio where a young brother and sister put on a concert for a 78-year-old neighbor who had shut herself off from the virus and the world. Dressed in their best, the 6- and 9- year-old delighted their audience of one.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): In Italy, where so many have died and so many more are isolated, they sing to each other from balconies. At night, voices echo through the streets with canine accompaniment.

In Spain, where they're also suffering, to say thank you to doctors and nurses battling to save lives, people step outside and applaud everywhere.

In Houston, at Irma's Southwest restaurant, now ordered closed, a couple left something behind -- a $9,400 tip. "To pay your guys over the next few weeks," the anonymous note said.

JANET MONTEZ, ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER, IRMA'S SOUTHWEST: This is beyond. I mean, I don't even have words for it. I just really don't.

LOUIS GALVAN, OWNER IRMA'S SOUTHWEST: We have to let our staff know that we may be off work for 15 to 30 days, depending on how long that is. But the gift we got today should help soften the blow.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): At a Cleveland watering hole, also closing, a customer added a little something extra to his less-than-$30.00 bill -- $2,500 for the staff.

When the NBA stopped the games, Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star Kevin Love started thinking about the arena staff without work. He donated $100,000 from his foundation to them, hoping others would follow his lead in their towns. They did.

Teachers may not be rich like athletes but they have a wealth of knowledge. And on Facebook, many are sharing it to answer questions and help others learn.

Elsewhere, the elderly are on the minds of many. People offer to grocery shop for those who cannot or may not want to leave their homes. Stores have begun allowing older customers their own exclusive shopping hours to limit exposure to crowds.

And when coronavirus concerns prevented her from going into a North Carolina nursing home to show her grandfather something, a young woman stood at his window, simply pointing to the engagement ring.

The virus forcing us apart seems also to be bringing us together -- closer than we've been in a long while.

Martin Savidge, CNN.


BERMAN: There are a lot of people who need help, so look around. And if you do need help, ask for it.

CAMEROTA: Those are beautiful stories, John.

OK. Meanwhile, are Americans heeding the warnings over the coronavirus pandemic? NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The federal government, the White House, and the Congress needs to focus on states. Send supplies and money. We are the ones on the front lines.