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Senator Bernie Sanders Drops Out Of The Presidential Race; New Model Predicts Fewer Deaths Earlier Peak In U.S.; New Model Projects 60,000 Deaths In The U.S. By August; New Model Projects Peak In The U.S. Deaths On April 12; CNN Poll: 57 Percent Of The Americans Say Federal Government Has Done A Poor Job Of Handling Coronavirus Outbreak. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired April 8, 2020 - 12:00   ET

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


[12:00:00]

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT): And because of the unacceptable levels income and wealth inequality in our economy, many of our friends and neighbors have little or no savings and are desperately trying to pay their rental, their mortgage or even put food on the table.

This reality makes it clear to me that Congress must address this unprecedented crisis in an unprecedented way that protects the health and economic well-being of the working families of our country, not just powerful special interests.

As a member of the Democratic leadership in the United States Senate and as a Senator from the state of Vermont, this is something that I intend to intensely be involved in over the next number of months, and that will require an enormous amount of work, which takes me to the state of our Presidential Campaign.

I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth, and that is that we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden, and the path toward victory is virtually impossible.

So while we are winning the ideological battle, and while we are winning the support of so many young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic Nomination will not be successful. And so, today I am announcing the suspension of my campaign.

Please know that I do not make this decision lightly. In fact, it has been a very difficult and painful decision. Over the past few weeks, Jane and I in consultation with top staff and many of our prominent supporters have made an honest assessment of the prospects for victory.

If I believed that we had a feasible path to the nomination, I would certainly continue the campaign, but it's just not there. I know that there may be some in our movement who disagree with this decision, who would like us to fight on to the last ballot cast at the Democratic Convention.

I understand that position. But as I see the crisis gripping the nation, exasperated by a President unwilling or unable to provide any leadership in the work that needs to be done to protect people in this most desperate hour, I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour.

But let me say this very emphatically. As you all know, we have never been just a campaign. We are a grassroots, multiracial, multigenerational movement which has always believed that real change never comes from the top on down but always from the bottom on up.

We have taken on Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, and the greed of the entire corporate elite. That struggle continues while this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that "The arc of a moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." The fight for justice is what our campaign has been about. The fight for justice is what our movement remains about.

Today I congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward. On a practical note, let me also say this. I will stay on the ballot in all remaining states and continue to gather delegates, but Vice President Biden will be the Nominee.

We must continue working to assemble as many delegates as possible at the Democratic Convention, where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions.

Then together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous President in modern American history, and we will fight to elect strong progressives at every level of government, from Congress to the school board.

As I hope all of you know, this race has never been about me. I ran for the Presidency because I believe that as a President, I could accelerate and institutionalize the progressive changes that we are all building together. And if we keep organizing and fighting, I have no doubt but that that is exactly what will happen.

While the path may be slower now, we will change this nation. And with like-minded friends around the globe, change the entire world. On a very personal note, speaking for Jane, myself, and our entire family, we will always carry in our hearts the memory of the extraordinary people we have met across this country.

[12:05:00]

SANDERS: We often hear about the beauty of America and this country is incredibly beautiful but to me the beauty I will remember most is on the faces of the people we have met from one corner of this nation to the other.

The compassion love and decency I've seen in them makes me so hopeful for our future. It also makes me more determined than ever to work to create a nation that reflects those values and lifts up all of our people. Please stay in this fight with me. Let us go forward together the struggle continues. Thank you all very much.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Senator Bernie Sanders there a live stream from his home in Burlington, Vermont announcing he is suspending his 2020 Presidential Campaign bowing out of the Democratic Presidential race making clear he thinks it is critical to beat President Trump.

Senator Sanders as he says goodbye to his second Presidential Campaign 2016 and now 2020 saying he believes that he and his supporters are actually winning the ideological more within the Democratic Party and within the country.

He said though he wants to continue to keep his delegate and amass as many delegates as possible even as he's now out of the race for leverage at the Democratic Convention. Ryan Nobles is with us our Political Director David Chalian our Chief Political Correspondent Dana bash.

Dana Bash to you first what struck me the most there is Senator Sanders in saying goodbye did acknowledge that Joe Biden had an insurmountable lead but he didn't say anything nice about Joe Biden? He did not say he had spoken to him. He did not say he would work with him.

He said it was impaired to beat President Trump but there was no big embrace of Joe Biden. He said nice things about Joe Biden back during some of the Democratic Debates than he said in saying goodbye.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It was a really noteworthy that that was not part of his message at all. In fact it's funny you say that as he was speaking I was texting with people in and around Joe Biden asking if he had gotten a phone call because it was so glaringly absent from Bernie Sanders' speech.

But it was very clear sort of understanding Bernie Sanders covering him for years as all of us here have that he wanted to make this about his accomplishments. About the accomplishments of the movement's have to use Ryan Nobles term that he rightly so is very proud of building.

And I think it's also in keeping with the understanding that he has of that movement. And that if he did it right out of the back as he is letting them down a big warm embrace of Joe Biden it might be counterproductive in the ultimate goal that he has which is getting Donald Trump out of the White House and that means helping Joe Biden.

So that seems to be I think probably a big part of why Bernie Sanders didn't do that big warm embrace. The other quick thing I want to say another point is that now things are different in a lot of ways.

Yes, this was assumed for a long time but one of the big things that we might see very soon is Barack Obama and Michelle Obama who have been very loudly on the sidelines and we're going to let Joe Biden do this on their own. It will be counterproductive if we jump in. Now they can jump in and likely will and that could and should make a big difference for Joe Biden as he goes forward from now until November.

KING: That's an excellent point both from a party unity standpoint both from an African-American base stand point which Clinton Campaign had some issues with in turn out. We are at it - we're turning a page we're turning a big page in the Presidential Campaign at an odd time in the middle of this Coronavirus fight.

Ryan Nobles if someone who has coming to cover the Sanders Campaign I made note of the fact that he was not terribly warm and fuzzy there in talking about Joe Biden. He was just clinical in saying the math is the math and Joe Biden is going to be your nominee in saying I want to keep all my delegates to have leverage and build even more delegates if you can leverage at the Convention.

You know some in the Biden Campaign might feel that's a little bit of a brush back pitch. I do though want to get to the point that what he does tomorrow next day and next week will decide how this chapter continues? But he's a very proud man. He's very stubborn and I say that as a compliment to run in Presidential politics to have the tenacity he has had in two campaigns.

So it seems they made a calculated choice. We're going to make this about us about our supporters about what we've accomplished and if we have to do the olive branch and more of a hug will do that later.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I think that's strategic John. I don't think that's just Bernie Sanders pride. First of all he's not a very warm person under any circumstances even at the end of a Presidential Campaign. But I do think that this offers his supporters especially if you're Bernie Sanders supporter and you're in a state that hasn't been able to cast a ballot yet and you're passionately behind his campaign and you were dreaming up the idea of being able to vote for him.

Sanders' is still giving that group of supporters an opportunity here. And like we talked about before I think if there is a serious effort here by the Sanders Campaign to make sure their supporters know that they're leaving it all out on the table.

[12:10:00]

NOBLES: And if they go into that convention with "X" amount of delegates that gives them leveraging the platform committee that gives him a prominent speaking position during the Convention. If the Convention goes off in any sort of traditional fashion that is all part of a longer and bigger strategy to make sure that these Sanders supporters get behind Joe Biden.

And if at any point there's a sense that he's just kind of handing the thing over to Joe Biden. I think that's where you start to see someone of a revolt from the progressive movement. You know I think that the other thing I wouldn't down play here as well is that there is a little bit of an anticipation building set up here right? That he doesn't come out with a full throated endorsement yet and perhaps they wait until maybe even after the Convention where they can do something a little bit more conventional where they can be arm in arm or where there can be a big crowd there, were there can be all the pomp and circumstance.

Well, a lot of this is just theater right it's just the strategic effort of maximizing this support from Sanders to Biden. But what you heard there in that even though it wasn't a full throated endorsement he made it very clear that he is going to support Joe Biden and his campaign for President that they are going to all unite together with a very specific goal of beating Donald Trump in the fall.

And this is something that he said from the very beginning. And he's been very consistent in that message. And you know I think that these divert Sanders supporters they - these social cues are something that are very important to them. They want the ability to be able to cast their vote for Sanders.

And I think that's what his goal here is by saying that it's going to stay on the ballot at least until the Convention.

KING: Big breaking political news in the middle of this global pandemic. Ryan Nobles, Dana Bash, David Chalian appreciate it before we go to break. First I just want to - Elizabeth Warren while Senator Sanders was speaking, tweeting "Thank you Bernie Sanders you were fighting so relentlessly" She went on to say "We'll continue that fight in the Senate".

The President of the United States Donald Trump also weighing in as he likes to do Bernie Sanders is out. Thank you to Elizabeth Warren if not for her Bernie would have won almost every state on Super Tuesday. That sounded just like the Democrats and the DNC wanted again President Trump suggesting there is something crooked going on its called Democracy.

Joe Biden won by winning primaries and racking up delegates there's nothing crooked about that Mr. President. Still ahead for us we'll look back to our Coronavirus coverage including the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo moments away from his daily Coronavirus update. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:15:00]

KING: Standing by to hear the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just moments from now we will get our daily Coronavirus update from him. The Governor of the State hardest hit that amid some news that is less discouraging hard to call anything encouraging but less discouraging news about the Coronavirus pandemic.

The U. S. now has nearly 400,000 cases nearly 13,000 Americans have died but the prediction models are shifting. The University of Washington Model now projects the U. S. deaths will hit about 60,000 by August that is down from the 82,000 deaths that were projected in a previous model released just in the last day or two.

Joining me now Emily Gurley she's an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Thank you for being with us Emily. Why it is your sense that the projections I can't find the right words they are less discouraging certainly the fact the 60,000 Americans may pass is by no means better news?

EMILY GURLEY, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EPIDEMIOLOGIST: Well, there are certain things you have to understand about models. One is that there's a lot of uncertainty in the estimates. So the estimates we're saying today are still going to change.

They're going to be updated based on what we continue to learn about the virus? But also what we continue to do? So these models are tools for action and we're acting. So we should see updates to the models based on what we've done.

But they're important assumptions here they're also good to remember. The assumptions of these estimates are that states that have not implemented strict social distancing measures will do so very quickly. And that we're all going to maintain these through the beginning of June.

So I don't know anyone who is committed to that yet but those are the assumptions under this current production.

KING: It's a very important point you make because the current White House guidelines are in effect through the end of the month. Some states are mostly on the same page some states are going ahead and canceled school through the rest of the year.

But the American people - we ask this question on our new poll. I wanted to get us some medical numbers first. But you raised this point it's very important. Would you feel comfortable returning to routine if social distancing ends at the end of the month on April 30th?

37 percent of Americans said yes, they would feel comfortable. 6 in 10 Americans said no they would not feel comfortable that tells me that a good majority healthy majority of Americans are paying attention to the experts like you who are warning them if you give up too soon if you let your guard down too soon this will come surging back.

But from the political leadership you do feel the pressure from the President himself ambitiously saying we need to get the country open as soon as possible. Do you think that would be a tragic mistake?

GURLEY: I think that we have to go with what the evidence says there's a lot of pressure there's a lot of sacrifices being made right now for the stay-at-home measures. But we can see from the projections is that they work. And until we have something better in place nationally to track infections and stop the spread we've got to stick with what works even though it's a huge sacrifice.

KING: And so help the lay people out there. You have a science mind and so when you look at some of the staff I just want to show you the daily increases state to state in cases and deaths. This is Monday to Tuesday.

You look at Georgia the cases up 21 percent the deaths up 44 percent. Connecticut up 13 percent in cases 35 percent in death. Michigan up 10 percent in cases 16 percent in death. And you go down here one of my questions and you hear this from members of the President's team is that you know so you say we're going to hear from Governor Cuomo in a minute.

New York may have reached its peak and maybe now is it appeared to plateau but we have 50 states and some of them are in a different timetable if you will.

[12:20:00]

KING: As you watch these things, how worried are you that they're going to be - you know, we go through the first wave, which is New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, but there will be another wave and another wave and another wave?

GURLEY: Absolutely. We expect that and our fates are linked together as a country, but each of these outbreaks is happening on its own timeline. And again, part of that is driven by when states are taking measures to prevent infections? So, we're going to see it play out in different time frames across the country, that's for sure.

KING: And as we do - I'm sorry.

GURLEY: We know the states coming behind us can learn from other places. Sorry.

KING: It was my fault. Technical issues are a part of our new normal here. To that point, the projected peaks in deaths by states - I can't believe I'm speaking these sentences, but the projected peaks in deaths by state New York this week on Friday, Michigan on Friday, New Jersey on Sunday, Illinois on Sunday and then California on April 15th.

So, that gets you to the projected peak in deaths. Then you start to come down the slope on the other side. But to the point where you would feel comfortable, where are we from a testing paradigm in place, where you would feel comfortable that as we start to come down, that we have enough data to at least start having the conversation about relaxing?

GURLEY: We're not even close. And so, we need a number of things. One is improved testing, increased testing for everybody who's symptomatic. Right now testing is only going to the most severely ill. So we need the capacity to test everyone who is symptomatic.

We need the human resources to follow up with those cases and identify their contacts and quarantine them. Those are - that's basic public health measures that can help keep this under control. But right now we don't have the resources to do that.

We also need tests to understand who's been infected already. Those have not been rolled out at all in the United States. It would be great to see a national effort about getting together these basic testing and public health measures tool kit so that we can start to think about opening up again. But right now we don't have them.

KING: Right now we don't have them part when you hear that day after day after day after day, and you don't have a sense of clear progress, it gets pretty frustrating. Emily Gurley, I really appreciate your insights and expertise as we try to wander through this.

GURLEY: My pleasure.

KING: Thank you very much.

GURLEY: Stay home.

KING: Up next for us, a majority of Americans now say the Federal Government has done a poor job fighting this pandemic. Some new CNN poll numbers, just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[12:25:00]

KING: Joe Biden reacting just moments ago to news his Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, now suspending his Presidential bid. Sanders, in his live-stream address from Vermont, called Biden a decent man, said he now wants to work with - to move our progressive ideas forward.

Biden tweeting just moments ago, praising Sanders and his political revolution, saying "He hasn't just run a campaign, he's created a movement make no mistake about it", the Former Vice President says "I believe it is a movement that is as powerful today as it was yesterday. It's a great thing for our nation and our future," that the first reaction from Former Vice President Joe Biden now the presumptive Democratic Nominee.

Today an assessment of what the Americans think of the government's Coronavirus fight so far, and a clear shift that the President's not going to like. Let's look at our poll numbers from our CNN Poll.

Number one, how is the Federal Government doing in preventing the Coronavirus spread? 57 percent of Americans nearly 6 in 10 say the Federal Government is doing a poor job of preventing the virus from spreading. 4 in 10 39 percent say the Federal Government is doing a good job.

What about the President personally? The President's handling of the Coronavirus outbreak. You see the purple over here, a majority, 54 percent disapprove of the President's handling of the Coronavirus outbreak. 44 percent say they approve of the President's performance.

Let's take a closer look at the President's approval. Polarization even in a pandemic look at these numbers 88 percent of Republicans approve of the President's handling of the Coronavirus outbreak. 85 percent of Democrats disapprove. Among Independents, a majority, just a bare majority, 52 percent disapprove, 45 percent approve of the President. But you just see the polarization in our politics carries over into the President's handling of this pandemic.

Let's look a little bit closer at the views of the President. Is he doing everything he can to fight the outbreak? 42 percent of registered voters say yes. 56 percent say he could be doing more. Again, look at the partisan breakdown.

79 percent of Republicans say President Trump is doing everything he can here in this fight. 84 percent of Democrats say he could be doing more. Among Independents, more of a split, but a majority, 54 percent say the President could be doing more.

So the poll numbers trending away from the President, if you will when it comes to the politics of the Coronavirus to listen to the President, though, he says he and his team are on top of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a monster we're fighting, but signs are that our strategy is totally working. Every American has a role to play in winning this war. And we're going to be winning it, and we're going to be winning is powerfully. We're down to numbers that are incredible.

And as we wage medical war on the virus, we're also speeding economic relief to our people. It's incredible. Well, we want to open up. We want to get it open soon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)