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The Brief with Bianca Nobilo
World Health Organization Sends Advance Team Of Experts To China; Chinese President Takes Tour Of Medical Facilities; Tokyo Hospital Quarantines U.S. Cruise Ship Passenger; Tech Companies Drop Out Of Annual Conference Due To Virus; U.S. Charges Four Members Of Chinese Military With Equifax Hack; Turkey: Five Soldiers Killed, Five Wounded By Syrian Forces In Idlib; Pentagon: 109 U.S. Troops Diagnosed With Traumatic Brain Injuries; Merkel Protege Drops Out Of Race For Chancellor; "Parasite" Makes History With Best Picture Win; Democrats Intensify Attacks Ahead Of Crucial Primary. Aired 5-5:30p ET
Aired February 10, 2020 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight on THE BRIEF, the Wuhan coronavirus marks its deadliest day as China's president makes an important public
appearance. The race for the White House gets feisty. Democrats prepare for critical votes in the State of New Hampshire.
And an election shocker in Ireland, the left wing Nationalist Party, Sinn Fein spores a major upset.
We're live from London. I'm Cyril Vanier in for Bianca tonight. Welcome to the show. China has just suffered its deadliest day so far in the
coronavirus outbreak. 97 people died on Sunday alone. The government say that they're confident that they can stamp out this virus, even as they
move towards some semblance of normalcy.
Millions are now heading back to work after an extended Lunar New Year holiday, but with strict quarantine guidelines in place, many has to work
from home. An advanced team of medical experts from the World Health Organization has arrived in China. The WHO says that, though, the global
danger from the virus is real, it is also not too late to turn it around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: In recent days, we have seen some concerning instances of
onward transmission from people with no travel history to China. Like the cases reported in France yesterday, and the United Kingdom today.
The detection of these small number of cases could be the spark that becomes a bigger fire. But for now, it's only a spark. Our objective
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: The numbers are alarming. More than 40,000 people around the world have been infected, the vast majority of them in Eastern China where the
outbreak began, and at least 910 people have died.
In Hong Kong, health officials have partially evacuated an apartment block that's been traced to two patients. A researcher says that they're trying
to rule out the possibility that coronavirus may have been transmitted through the building's piping system.
So far, President Xi Jinping has mostly stayed out of the public eye during this crisis, but now he's showing up on state TV. So I asked David Culver
what message Mr. Xi is trying to set.
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Cyril, state media here is focusing heavily on the images of President Xi Jinping out on the front
lines as they portray this really. He was out in the local community here in Beijing. He also went to a hospital and to a disease control center.
He, like most of us, when leaving our homes or offices wearing a mask, and his intention was to, for the first time really publicly show himself as
the leader in this crisis and trying to battle this epidemic. This has been portrayed really as a military act in going against what has been a growing
Now, the President also made mention of the economy. It was something that he focused heavily on, in addition to supporting the medical workers and
making sure that they have the resources needed to combat this virus.
With regards to the economy, he said companies simply need to prevent large scale layoffs and need to stabilize as best as possible. Here are some of
the words he shared with the public.
XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT: We will fight with great confidence. We will fight for people. We must build confidence. We will absolutely win.
CULVER: And it's worth noting that he was seen in public, because the reality is, in recent weeks, the question has been raised Where is
President Xi? And it's something that foreign media, certainly, has focused on. We at CNN have reported it. And it's something that's gotten a lot of
pushback from state media and from government officials, in particular.
They don't seem to like that characterization, saying that, just because you don't see him publicly out in front of this, doesn't mean he's not
doing a lot of work behind the scenes, handling the deployment and coordination efforts to contain this growing virus. Cyril.
VANIER: David Culver reporting there from Beijing. And the number of coronavirus cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship has nearly doubled
overnight. From 70 cases on Sunday to 135 as we speak. The ship is docked in Japan. Thousands of people are stuck on board, waiting for the
quarantine to end. Will Ripley talks to some of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The death toll from the coronavirus jumps again. The number of--
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Headlines are grim. Each day seems to bring more bad news.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A grim milestone for the coronavirus.
RIPLEY (voice over): Often overlooked in Wuhan coronavirus hysteria, patients like Rebecca Frasure from Oregon.
REBECCA FRASURE, CORONAVIRUS PATIENT: This is the door--
RIPLEY (voice over): Frasure is one of a growing number of Americans to test positive for coronavirus on this cruise ship, the Diamond Princess,
under quarantine in Yokohama. Japan has coronavirus patients under quarantine at hospitals nationwide, including this one in Tokyo.
RIPLEY: We think we know where Rebecca's room is. In fact, there she is. She's standing in the window right now, Rebecca. Here we are. Hi. How are
R. FRASURE: Hi.
RIPLEY (voice over): Turns out, she's doing just fine. Barely has any symptoms. The majority of coronavirus patients don't end up dead or
seriously ill. They majority recover.
RIPLEY: Do you know what they're giving you for coronavirus? What kind of treatment they're giving you?
R. FRASURE: They have not given me any actual medication or any fluids or anything for the virus.
RIPLEY (voice over): She says the hardest part is being away from her husband, Kent. That's him waving at us from their quarantine cabin. Kent
take his temperature every day - every day, he still does not have the virus.
KENT FRASURE, CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER: That is 37.3. I really don't have that much concern over it right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In addition of the six cases--
RIPLEY (voice over): The number of sick passengers on the Diamond Princess grows by the day, including two of their close friends on the ship, a
couple they saw up to five times a day, both with barely any symptoms.
K. FRASURE: This fear of - mob mentality sort of fear is just unwarranted.
RIPLEY: Rebecca was talking about the people online and the things they were saying.
K. FRASURE: Just today I got a message from somebody who had said, don't come home.
R. FRASURE: I've actually got the couple of like really frightening messages. People can be really nasty.
RIPLEY (voice over): She says they can also be really nice, flooding her phone with messages of love and support, a welcome distraction when she's
stuck in a place like this.
RIPLEY: If you were going to choose between being on the cruise ship or being in the hospital room, which would you say is the better place to kind
of hang out for these next 14 days?
R. FRASURE: Well, I would say definitely the cruise ship still.
RIPLEY: You'd rather be on the cruise ship.
She says people need to take the virus seriously. They also need to keep things in perspective. This year Wuhan coronavirus has killed hundreds.
Every year seasonal flu kills hundreds of thousands.
K. FRASURE: Just take care of yourself, but there's no reason to panic.
RIPLEY: And wash those hands.
K. FRASURE: Wash those hands. Absolutely.
RIPLEY: The Frasures say it's time to stop living in fear, even as they live on the frontlines of a global health emergency
VANIER: Fantastic reporting there from Will Ripley. We can't get on board that cruise ship. But that is the next best thing.
Now, several tech giants are dropping out of the one of the world's biggest annual business conferences over concerns about the outbreak. Amazon and
Sony are just the latest companies to pull out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month. Others have already pulled out and those
include Ericsson, LG Electronics.
Now organizers say the event will go on as planned, but they will have more safety precautions, including screening travelers who have been in China.
The U.S. says it believes four members of China's military are responsible for stealing the personal information of nearly 150 million Americans back
in 2017. A federal grand jury has charged them with breaching Equifax, a major credit agency, in one of the largest hacks on a record.
CNN's Evan Perez is in Washington Evan, explain what they're alleged to have done, and also how likely they are to face justice?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR U.S. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Cyril, what they are alleged to have done is stolen the information of nearly half of all
Americans. This is a one of the major - Equifax is one of the major credit reporting agencies in the United States.
And the data that they gather on every single U.S. resident is just expensive. They have everything from data, birth, social security numbers,
credit card reporting information, driver's license, all of this is what - according to the FBI, according to the Justice Department, is what the
Chinese government has been trying to collect on Americans with a with a series of hacks targeting major companies, including Marriott, a health
care provider named Anthem, as well as the data from personnel files of U.S. government employees.
So what these four PLA members - these are People Liberation Army hackers are accused of doing is, essentially exploiting a vulnerability in software
that belongs to Equifax. And in so doing, they were able to basically hack and steal millions of - reams of data belonging to millions of Americans.
Now, the question you asked is, what is the likelihood that these people will ever see the inside of a U.S. court room? I'd say it's very, very
minimal chance of that. What this does is it simply - by naming these people, the Justice Department is hoping that this is going to send a
message to the Chinese that it knows who these hackers are. And, of course, now if they ever leave China and go to a place where they could be turned
over to the United States, perhaps that then they can be arrested.
VANIER: Evan Perez reporting for us from Washington. Thank you very much, Evan.
VANIER: Turkey's Defense Ministry says five of its soldiers were killed and five more were wounded by the Syrian regime in Idlib province. Now look
closely there and you will see the helicopter carrying the wounded soldiers, transferring them to hospital near the Turkish border.
As part of the de-escalation agreement with Russia Turkish forces patrol the last rebel held area in Northwestern Syria. But the Syrian government
has been advancing into Idlib, reclaiming territory with an intense air campaign. Monday's attacks mark the second confrontation between the two
sides just in the last week.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports civilians are fleeing the province amid the surge of violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Syrian regime is claiming more and more territory over the past few days. But according to observers, they
say, overall, since this operation by the Syrian regime that is backed by the Russian military began in April-May of last year, they haven't taken
much of the actual province. The City of Idlib and other parts of it are still under the control of these rebel forces.
But the real concern right now is - at least, what we are seeing is this unfolding humanitarian disaster on the border with Turkey because people in
the hundreds of thousands, since this advanced began by this Syrian regime and also in the past couple of months, hundreds of thousands have fled
their homes in fear. They have nowhere else left to go. This is the last rebel controlled territory in Syria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Jomana Karadsheh reporting there from Turkey. The Pentagon now confirms 109 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain
injuries following an Iranian missile attack in Iraq.
Officials and President Donald Trump initially had said that no service members were injured in that attack on January 8th. But in the weeks that
followed, officials gradually increased the number of brain injuries and at the end of January, they said that there had been 64 people diagnosed.
President Trump has downplayed the severity of the injuries.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things. But I would say - and I can report,
it is not very serious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: A well-known veterans group demanded that President Trump apologize for those comments. He has not done so.
In Germany, fresh political uncertainty after the woman tapped to lead the country when Angela Merkel steps down, pulled out of the race. This is
Merkel says that she will not run again when her term expires next year. After 15 years in power and her handpicked protege, Annegret Kramp-
Karrenbauer is also giving up her role as leader of the Christian Democratic Union. With her succession plan in tatters, Angela Merkel had
this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR: I received knowledge of this decision today with the utmost respect, I must also say, with regrets. I can imagine
that this wasn't easy. I thank her for being ready to furtherly the process of choosing a new Chancellor candidate as party leader.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: The Chancellor is asking her to stay on as Defense Minister.
Hollywood's biggest nights at the 92nd Academy Awards had a few surprises and a historic honor. The South Korean film "Parasite" dominated the
evening, winning four Awards, including Best Picture. CNN's Paula Hancocks is in South Korea with more on why this was so important.
JANE FONDA, AMERICAN ACTRESS: And the Oscar goes to "Parasite".
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The moment "Parasite" made history, the first non-English language film to win Best Picture in 92
years of the Oscars.
It's a scathing view of class inequality in South Korea, a black comedy that won four Oscars, more than any other film. Accepting Best Director
Bong Joon Ho gave a shout out to the director whose films he says he studied at school.
BONG JOON HO, WON BEST DIRECTOR, "PARASITE": That quote is from our great Martin Scorsese.
HANCOCKS (voice over): And the thanks to fellow director Quentin Tarantino.
HO: Tarantino I love you.
Four times - crazy. Thank you. So unbelievable night. It's very hard to believe. It's such a great honor.
HANCOCKS: Congratulations are flooding in for the director, cast and crew from all around the world. Praise from the South Korean President and pride
from fans on the streets of Seoul.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): It's hard to win an award in a foreign country with a foreign picture. So it feels like it's overcome obstacles.
It's a meaningful and special day for the Korean film industry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): I'm so happy that the movie has won the Best Picture.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via translator): I feel very proud watching the director and actors winning the awards and making speeches. It was a proud
moment as a Korean watching them at the Oscars.
MARTIN SCORSESE, AMERICAN FILM DIRECTOR: "Parasite".
HANCOCKS (voice over): "Parasite" has been winning accolades around the world this award season. The story of a poor family inserting themselves
into a rich family's household and lives with devastating results. As for what comes next for Bong.
HO: I'm ready to drink tonight. So --
HO: Until next morning. Thank you.
HANCOCKS (voice over): Paula Hancocks, CNN, Pyeongchang, South Korea.
VANIER: Still ahead Democrats running for the White House are racing around the U.S. State of New Hampshire, escalating their attacks on each other
with a crucial primary just hours away.
VANIER: We're just hours away from a high stakes primary election and the U.S. State of New Hampshire. Democrats running for the White House are
making their last minute pitches to voters and sharpening their attacks against each other, as they try to stand out from this crowded pack. Pete
Buttigieg is a top target at the moment after his better than expected showing in the Iowa caucuses. But the Mayor of South Bend Indiana can also
give as good as he gets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We cannot risk alienating Americans is this critical moment and that's where I part ways
with my friend, Senator Sanders. This is a moment for bringing as many people as we can into the picture. But a picture where your only choices
are between a revolution or the status quo is a picture where most of us don't see ourselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Bernie Sanders is once again taking aim at the funding of Buttigieg's campaign, pointing out that he is supported by billionaire
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Even in the newspapers today, you could see candidates conferring with that donors. You are my
donors. We don't go to rich people's homes and get advice from millionaires and billionaires who are raising all kinds of money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Let's check the latest poll. The final CNN tracking poll in New Hampshire. Sanders is the candidate to beat followed by Buttigieg. Joe
Biden, Elizabeth Warren came in respectively third and fourth - quite a distance behind the first two.
President Donald Trump wants to get in on the New Hampshire action and he is heading there for a rally of his own, tweeting earlier today, that he
wants to quote, "shake up the Dems a little bit. They have a really boring deal going on," his words.
CNN Political Commentator, Hilary Rosen is going to debrief us on New Hampshire, meaning the importance, what could happen. She's a Democratic
strategist. Thank you very much, Hilary for joining us.
HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hi, Cyril.
VANIER: First off for our international audience, New Hampshire is tiny. It doesn't carry many delegates. You could say, also, is not very
representative of the U.S. voter population at large. Why are Democratic nomination candidates spending so much time and money there?
ROSEN: I think our primary system must look really crazy to international audience, because, you know you have these what are called the sort of the
first all-important four states where candidates literally spend kind of the majority of their money and the majority of their time for a year prior
to these primary elections, trying to convince people in these four relatively small states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada,
to help them with their launching pad to the Democratic nomination.
And several years ago, the Democratic Committee added South Carolina and Nevada because the two states - they originally picked Iowa and New
Hampshire, just mostly white voters, and that's not really representative of the party anymore.
So now you've got New Hampshire. Iowa showed one thing, which was sort of a bunching of these top four candidates. New Hampshire, it's actually
expanded a little bit. We have Senator Amy Klobuchar now actually in the hunt in New Hampshire.
And the real issue is, can any of these other candidates beat Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire and states to come? Because he, you know, much
like we saw with President Trump in 2016, has a very loyal base. You know, he has a fixed 25 to 30 percent of the Democratic Party. It doesn't seem to
grow very much, but it never shrinks. And so the rest of the Democrats are sort of looking for a home now, among one of these other candidates.
VANIER: OK. So I want to take some boxes with you and run through some scenarios. So Bernie Sanders, if he's - if he comes out on top in New
Hampshire, he'll be the man to be going forward, right?
VANIER: How far can that momentum carry him? Because he lost - he won New Hampshire by a big margin against Hillary Clinton, and then he lost the
nomination, of course.
ROSEN: Yes. And the question is whether he's learned from his 2016 experience to try and create a bigger tent. You know, Bernie Sanders - his
supporters like him because he hasn't changed and 40 years. But sometimes people need to grow, they need to expand their thinking, they need to let
other people into the party.
You saw that very deliberate message from Pete Buttigieg who, you know, two years ago nobody ever heard of and now is, a leading contender for the
nomination, because he is very forward thinking and very expansive.
And so, there is this dichotomy in the in the Republican - in the Democratic Party, where the most important thing to Democrats in the U.S.
right now is to beat Donald Trump. But they want inspiration to do so. They want to think about the future. They want to know that something positive
and good is going to happen.
VANIER: Scenario to Pete Buttigieg wins. Same question, does he become then the standard bearer for the moderate wing of the Democratic Party?
ROSEN: Well, tomorrow's not going to decide anything. Let's just be clear on that. There, there won't likely be any one of these top five candidates
dropping until we get to March 3rd, which is the primary where over 1,000 delegates are going to be chosen.
So in the course of these current four weeks, we've only got about 140 delegates or something chosen. And so we're going to every - all of these
candidates are going to go on to March 3rd, and keep fighting it out. So I think what we're going to see tomorrow is, is there a narrowing of
financial resources, do you end up getting the media patina of being either a loser or a winner? So the pundit class will have a field day after
tomorrow, but it won't change the candidates' views.
VANIER: If you're Joe Biden, and you place a distant third or even fourth as the polls currently predict in New Hampshire, how worried are you after
ROSEN: Well, I think he's worried now. You know, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren states are, you know, right next to New Hampshire, so
they're expected to do well. I think, Warren, honestly, has more to lose. Senator Warren has more to lose if from a poor showing in New Hampshire,
then Senator Biden does.
People always thought that South Carolina, more racially diverse state, more African-Americans was going to be the Biden firewall. You know, but
now he's just hoping that the momentum of other winners doesn't turn that firewall into a burning building.
VANIER: Hilary Rosen, thank you so much for joining us today. We'll check back in with the results and find out what that means once we get them.
ROSEN: OK, Cyril.
VANIER: And a reminder that our special coverage of the New Hampshire primary begins Tuesday at 4:00 pm. Eastern that is 9:00 pm if you're here
When THE BRIEF returns, politics around the world has seen change over the last few years. This weekend. It was Ireland's turn. We'll tell you why
VANIER: It has been a seismic weekend in Ireland after left wing Republican Party, Sinn Fein ripped apart 100 years of history and surged in the
election and here's why that matters. First, we have to take a quick look at history.
For a century, two parties have controlled Irish politics, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. The two have swapped power throughout that time. Sinn Fein were
very much the fringes, a controversial party seen as the political wing of the IRA, a charge, of course, that they have repeatedly denied.
A politician once said that they would rise with a ballot paper in one hand and a gun in the other. But a rebranding has seen Sinn Fein aim to shake
off elements of its past and become a populist alternative and Ireland was ready for change. They were ready for that change.
They latched on to grassroots issues voters cared about housing, homelessness, health care. Meaning, established parties, including Leo
Varadkar's Fine Gael lost significant ground. Sinn Fein's
Sinn Fein's raison d'etre is to see the island of Ireland united. Their name literally translates as "we ourselves." That issue could be a headache
for Boris Johnson and become a touchstone in the tricky Brexit negotiations ahead.
And that is THE BRIEF for today. I'm Cyril Vanier: "WORLD SPORT" is up next.