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The Brief with Bianca Nobilo
Four Congressman Self-Quarantine After Contact With Coronavirus Patient; One Rode On Air Force One; How To Protect Yourself As The Pandemic Spreads; Any Moment: Donald Trump Expected To Join Coronavirus Briefing; Donald Trump Expected To Join Coronavirus Task Force Briefing Aired 5-6p ET
Aired March 09, 2020 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As their number one priority, Jake, is beating Donald Trump come November. Jake.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Vanessa Yurkevich, in Detroit, Michigan before the Michigan primary. Thanks so much. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram
Twitter @JakeTapper. Tweet the show @TheLeadCNN. Our coverage on CNN continues on CNN right now. Thanks for watching.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight on "The Brief," a historic sell off on Wall Street as markets around the globe reckon with coronavirus and a new oil
And sporting events and festivals are canceled over coronavirus fears, while the U.S. sees a jump in cases.
And on the border with Turkey, migrants claim Greek authorities stripped them of their clothes and their dignity.
All right. Live from New York, I am Zain Asher. Welcome to the show. I want to begin with some breaking news out of Italy. All of Italy is now on
lockdown. All of Italy is now on lockdown over the coronavirus.
Italy's Prime Minister making the announcement at news conference just a minutes ago. He said the measure was taken in order to protect the
population, especially the most vulnerable. Once again, all of Italy is now on lockdown according to the Prime Minister. We'll have more on this
breaking news story as in when we get more information.
In the meantime, the coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a major stock market selloff and today we saw history, and high anxiety for investors
here in the U.S. The Dow Jones plunged more than 2,000 points. That is how the Dow Jones ended the day. It is the biggest drop in a single day ever.
So you're witnessing history being made here. And it was the biggest percentage loss since way back in 2008.
The trouble began when Saudi Arabia blindsided the world by starting an oil price war with Russia. That caused oil prices to plummet and investors to
panic. The S&P 500 spirals. So far, that trading was briefly suspended. That happened earlier today.
First, I do want to get to Ben Wedeman, who's in Bologna, Italy on that breaking news story. As I mentioned Ben, the entire country is now on
lockdown according to Giuseppe Conte. What does this mean in practical terms for Italians on the ground?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In practical terms what this means is that all schools and universities in the entire country
will be closed until April 3rd, that movement will be highly restricted. Basically, people have to have a very good reason to move around the
country, for instance, returning to their family if they've been traveling or something like that.
Beyond that, there's a range of restrictions on for instance, opening hours for bars, cafes and restaurants. And things like shopping malls will be
closed on the weekend. Giuseppe Conte in this national address, which just ended a few minutes ago, essentially said to people, please stay at home
unless you absolutely have to go out.
And so these were measures that were announced on Sunday morning, very early in the morning for just the Lombardy region and 14 other provinces
with a population of around 16 million. Now it extends to the entire Italian peninsula with a population of over 60 million people.
And, of course, this comes as we've seen yet again, a record number of new cases of coronavirus. Almost 1,800 cases reported - new cases reported in
the last 24 hours. The number of reported cases according to the Italian Civil Protection Agency, is now 9,172.
And just to put all of this in perspective, the CNN crew arrived in Italy two weeks ago. The number of reported cases was just over 300 with only 10
dead. Now, the death toll is 463. This is a critical emergency, and the Italian government is acting decisively in the hopes that this outbreak can
be slowed down if not stopped. Zain.
ASHER: Incredible rise in terms of those numbers. Ben Wedeman, live for us there. Thank you so much on that breaking news that the whole of Italy -
the entire country is now on lockdown.
Meantime, let's turn out to Wall Street, because it has certainly been a stomach churning day, not to mention historic. Clare Sebastian is following
it all for us from New York. So Clare, the words "bloodbath" spring to mind.
CLARE SEBASTIAN: Yes, Zain, it was not pretty. Within the first five minutes of trading we saw one of the circuit breakers at the NYSE trigger,
that's when trading is halted for 15 minutes if the S&P 500 falls more than 7 percent. That happened. It stabilized things more or less for most of the
But then we saw another decline within the last few minutes of trading, ending down more than 2,000 points to the Dow's biggest points drop in
history and its worst day in terms of percentage terms since 2008. So this was really ugly.
Triggered, of course, by not only the coronavirus fears, but also the shock that we saw in oil prices. In the end, U.S. oil ended 26 percent lower.
Brent, the global benchmark ended 24 percent lower. That's after even with a problem with demand - sort of a demand drop off that we're seeing already
from the coronavirus, the Saudi Arabia and Russia, their decision really to start a price war and contribute to it to an oversupply in oil. So that has
really triggered that. That's leading to a sort of double whammy for the markets.
And we were seeing a few stocks coming out throughout the day. But in the end, all of the stocks on the Dow ended in the red. Clearly, investors not
yet willing to bet that this is the bottom.
ASHER: And a lot of people, at this point a lot of traders, assuming that the Fed is going to cut rates again. How much do you think they will
actually do to ease the pain here?
SEBASTIAN: That is the big questions, Zain. And we saw the Fed step in last week with an emergency rate cut of half a percentage point, the first time
they've done that, since the financial crisis. It didn't really calm things down. The idea of the Fed doing this, of getting ahead of it showing up in
U.S. economic data, which we haven't really seen there, is to try and avert a crisis before it happens.
Now, the market is betting that at their next meeting, which is nine days from now, they're going to cut at least by three quarters of a percent.
That'll take us very close to zero, which means not only that the Fed is sort of trying to get ahead of this crisis again, but also that they are
running out of ammunition should it get worse.
So it's a risky business, but what they're trying to avoid doing is again seeing the economic data type. But also getting to the point where the
markets have priced this in and then they disappoint. That could lead to financial tightening on the markets, if they end up doing nothing. So it is
a very delicate balancing act for them.
As you mentioned, the question is, do the Feds have enough tools in their toolbox to continue this game. Clare Sebastian, live for us there. Thank
you so much. Right. We'll have much more on the markets and the global economy in about 15 minutes from now, with Gillian Tett from "The Financial
Meantime, the World Health Organization says it can take up to six weeks to fully recover from the coronavirus. For people who become severely ill,
they say, it may take months to get better. And we're seeing more cases reported every single hour. There are now more than 111,000 cases and
nearly 4,000 deaths, most of those, by the way, are still in China. But the virus is now spreading in every continent, except Antarctica.
And the health experts we've talked who say there's ample evidence of community spread, one reason why CNN is now officially calling this a
pandemic. Coronavirus fears have prompted the cancellation of several high profile events around the world, among them, all St. Patrick's Day parades
around Ireland, including Dublin and Cork also called off.
An annual festival marking the Thai New Year and that's considered the world's biggest water fight, that's called off, and the prestigious tennis
tournament at Indian Wells California has just been canceled just before play was set to begin.
And Israel is imposing extraordinary measures on all travelers arriving from overseas. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that they will be
required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Foreign nationals who can't prove they'll be able to do that will be denied entry.
South Korea reported three more deaths from the coronavirus Monday, raising the national total to 54 deaths. The country's confirmed cases now number
more than 7,300, one of the largest outbreaks, by the way, outside Mainland China.
But in an exclusive interview with CNN's Paula Hancocks, South Korea's Minister of Health says that he hopes the country has now passed the peak
of the outbreak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARK NEUGHOO, SOUTH KOREAN HEALTH MINISTER (through translator): I'd like to say that detecting patients at an early stage is very important and we
learned a simple lesson by dealing with this virus that it is very contagious. And once it starts it spreads very quickly and in very wide
Not everybody with the virus needs to be checked into a negative pressure room. And also we learned that maybe the lockdown policy is not very
effective, because asymptomatic people can be going around and still not be detected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: The United States suffered a sharp increase in cases this weekend - 35 states plus Washington DC have now have infections and nine have
declared a state of emergency. But nowhere has been hit harder than the West Coast. 22 people have died in Washington State alone, and thousands
are about to disembark from the Grand Princess cruise ship where 21 people were infected. CNN's Nick Watt has more from California.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Barred from port for five days, at least 21 coronavirus cases on board, the Grand Princess, finally pulls
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: First of all, there are some children there who are compromised
they want to get them off.
WATT (voice-over): Every passenger will be screened, then treated or quarantined at military bases in California and beyond.
TERESA JOHNSON, PASSENGER ON GRAND PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP (via telephone): We may have to stay on the ship for a few more days. It's going to be quite a
WATT (voice-over): Meanwhile, off Florida a sister ship, the Caribbean Princess, now under a no sail order, because two crew members were
previously on ships with a positive case.
Up in Washington state where 19 have died at this nursing home and beyond echoes of a nationwide concern that a lack of early testing hurt
containment. Debbie de Los Angeles (ph) mother died says they're still waiting on her test result.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They said well, tests were short. There was a shortage.
WATT (voice-over): The nursing home says all remaining residents have now been tested. Colleges and school districts in Washington State, California
and New York among others closing classrooms. The Empire State now taking the initiative, using prisoners to manufacture up to 100,000 gallons of
hand sanitizer a week.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Because you can't get it on the market and when you get it, it's very, very expensive.
WATT (voice-over): Last Monday morning, there were 89 confirmed cases in this country today, we topped 600. The virus now, in more than 30 states.
FAUCI: There's still a lot that's unknown about where this is going.
WATT (voice-over): Here in Oakland, more potential positives, now stepping ashore.
DR. SAM PAGE, ST. LOUIS COUNTY EXECUTIVE: I feel like the government really didn't have a plan and they're just making this up as they go along.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATT: Now, once all of the passengers have disembark from the ship, the thousand or so crew will take that cruise ship back out to sea, where they
will serve the remainder of their 14-day quarantine, unclear exactly where that will happen.
You mentioned that the U.S. death toll now 26, because within the past hour or so, one more death here in California, a woman in her 60s and three more
deaths tied to that nursing home, up in Washington. Women in their 60s - sorry, 70s 80s and 90s up there. Which - the demographic breakdown in the
U.S., definitely people over 70 are most at risk and are mostly those people who are dying. Back to you.
ASHER: Our thoughts go out to their families. Nick Watt live for us there, thank you so much. U.S. Democratic presidential candidates are racing
around battleground states today, trying to win every last vote they can before tomorrow's crucial primaries. It is essentially Super Tuesday. Round
two. Let's get ready people. Except now, only two viable candidates are left standing.
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are competing for hundreds of delegates in six states. Both are picking up key endorsements. Former presidential contender
Cory Booker is backing Biden, while civil rights activists Jesse Jackson came out for Bernie Sanders.
The presidency is won state by state in the United States, but national polls are still a good gauge of public sentiment. As you can see from the
CNN poll, Biden is comfortably ahead nationwide. And be sure to catch the announce special live coverage as Senator Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden go
head to head in a series of key us primaries, restarting Tuesday at 4:00 pm if you are watching from the East Coast of the United States. If you are in
London, it is 8:00 pm in the evening, of course, only here on CNN.
And the U.S. is beginning to close a chapter in Afghanistan. An official tell CNN the Pentagon has begun withdrawing troops in what could be the
start of a full drawdown. At least 12,000 American forces are in Afghanistan. Under a deal with the Taliban about 4,000 will leave now with
the rest departing through next spring. The 18-year conflict known as America's longest war.
The Turkish Coast Guard announced this weekend and is actively stopping migrants attempting to cross the Aegean Sea citing the dangers of this
journey. Tensions remain high on the country's borders with Greece after Turkey opened the crossings to Europe.
EU officials have praised the Greek government and pledged nearly $800 million in aid to help Greece keep the border secure. But Greek forces are
once again accused of brutal tactics and pushing back refugees and migrants to Turkey. CNN's crochet reports from the Turkish-Greek border.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They were desperate for Europe, but Europe didn't want them, sent back to Turkey
stripped of their clothes, ID documents and their dignity.
These men from Pakistan, Morocco and Syria say they were violently pushed back by Greek security forces. We can't verify the conditions in which this
video from Turkish state broadcaster TRT was filmed, but human rights groups have documented dozens of similar testimonies from refugees in
KARADSHEH (on-camera): Thousands of have made it across this river to Greece. Many of them have come back with shocking accounts of what they've
KARADSHEH (voice-over): 20-year-old Abdulaziz (ph) has been walking for hours barefoot. We found him and his friends on the road in the Turkish
border city of Edirne. They say Greek security forces caught them shortly after they crossed into Greece illegally.
It was the military or police, he tells us, they were carrying weapons. They took all our clothes. We were left in our underwear. They took our
phones, our money in documents, they burnt the IDs and clothes he tells us. He claims they were beaten up, lined up on the ground and kicked with
Greek authorities have repeatedly denied using these brutal push back methods or excessive force. The government says Greece has the right to
defend its borders from illegal crossings. It's also doing so on behalf of Europe.
During our time at the border, we heard many similar stories.
KARADSHEH (on-camera): Everybody from Afghanistan?
KARADSHEH (voice-over): We met this group of Afghan refugees, exhausted, yet determined. Hameed carried his baby boy through the river and fields.
After walking for five hours, he says, they were caught by Greek security.
HAMEED, AFGHAN REFUGEE: They beat us with some, like - it was a stick and then they deport us back.
KARADSHEH (on-camera): Did they beat you up.
HAMEED: Yes. My, my wife, they this person.
KARADSHEH (on-camera): So they hit you and they hit your wife.
HAMEED: Yes, yes, everything.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): Hameed, says people don't choose to become refugees.
HAMEED: We want to - my children, they become big and the good area and have good life.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): In their pursuit of that good life, thousands have found themselves pawns on a political chessboard between Turkey and the EU.
HAMZA, PAKISTANI REFUGEE: Turkey army is say go Greece, I try one time but Greek army say us go back, go back Istanbul - they take all our money,
mobiles. We come here only underwear. What is this? We are all like ball and both countries are like a bat. They are playing games with us.
KARADSHEH (voice-over): No one here knows how this game will end, but they say nothing will stop them from trying to make it to Europe Jomana
Karadsheh, CNN on the Turkish-Greek border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: And still to come here on "The Brief" global stock markets are tanking and it's not just because of the coronavirus pandemic. Historic
crash oil prices is making that as a whole lot worse. Right after this short break
ASHER: The coronavirus pandemic was already pulling down the global stock markets before today, but markets were dragged down even further, Monday,
by a historic collapse in oil prices. Saudi Arabia is launching a price war against Russia. Gillian Tett is the Chair of the Editorial Board for "The
Financial Times." She joins us live now for today's "Debrief."
So, Gillian, you and I were speaking earlier. How long can Saudi Arabia and Russia continue this price war before, at least Russia's economy causes its
side to capitulate?
GILLIAN TETT, CHAIR OF THE EDITORIAL BOARD, FINANCIAL TIMES: Well, the important thing to know is that the Russian government thinks it can
withstand it a lot longer than Saudi Arabia. We have a big piece of analysis just up on the "Financial Times" website. And one of the crucial
things to realize is that Russia has $150 billion sovereign wealth fund that it has already said it's going to dip into and use to soften the blow
in the coming months.
What we've had for some time now is a campaign from Rosneft, and people like Igor Sechin, who is very close to President Putin, who runs Rosneft,
essentially saying, "why are we engage in these OPEC style controls? All they're doing is helping the U.S. shale gas industry. They're preventing us
in Russia from getting proper market share. We should exit and grab market share," and that's very much what's driving it right now.
ASHER: So when you look at the Russian economy, though, just give us the lay of the land in terms of how much is being crippled by debt and of
TETT: Well, the important thing to understand is that Russia has already had one dress rehearsal for this or drill, if you like back in 2014, and
back then what happened was very damaging. But since then, it has been essentially trying to plan and prepare for exactly this kind of shock.
And it estimates that it can now balance its budget at an oil price of about $42 a barrel, which is about half Saudi Arabia's reported breakeven
point. It's got 570 billion in foreign currency reserves compared to Saudi Arabia is 502 billion.
Now, no one should forget that it's going to be very painful for Russia, and in spite of all these bold words, certainly there will be people asking
just how long can Putin withstand this. But the key point is that right now, the Russian leadership and importantly, groups like Rosneft, do
believe that they can actually withstand it better than Saudi Arabia, and certainly better than the U.S. shale gas producers.
Because the other thing to realize is that the Russian oligarchs think that if this move essentially puts the U.S. shale gas industry into a zombie
status, if you like, where they can't keep investing to the future, they think they're going to benefit.
ASHER: But can there be any winners in all of this? Obviously, the U.S. President seems to think that, low gas prices will benefit average
Americans, between shale producers, between energy companies, whose share prices are getting hammered. The Russians, the Saudis can never really be
TETT: Well, classically, the assumption is that when you get this kind of oil price fall, there is essentially an economic transfer from the
producers to the consumers. Of course, one problem right now is that consumers may not feel like going out and speaking anything given the
coronavirus panic, and they may not be able to travel, which, of course, is supposed to be one of the great advantages in the U.S. economy of cheap
gas. People go hit the road and go travel and that may will be constrained anyway.
But, yes, in theory, this certainly should help consumers and should provide some kind of boost to oil consuming economies. But unfortunately,
the levels of market turmoil that's been associated with this dramatic shock, are likely to work against that by depressing sentiment.
ASHER: A lot of people seem to think the Fed is going to cut interest rates again. Do you think that an interest rate cut from the Fed - I mean, given
that a lot of the problems are supply chain issues and that sort of thing? Can another rate cut have the intended and desired effect? What are your
TETT: Well, what we're seeing right now, in some ways, is reverse of what we saw in 2008, or '09, which is that, 2008 or '09 we had a financial
crisis, which then started to bleed into a real economic crisis.
Now what we're seeing is a potential economic shock from the virus and from things like the oil price dramas, starting to raise questions about finance
and the markets. And we've seen a very dramatic move in market today, the seventh biggest fall in the stock market since World War II. I mean, that
is an extraordinary figure.
Now, the Fed is going to be under pressure from the President, amongst others, to act, to be seen to be acting. And yes, it's entirely likely that
they will cut rates again when they next meet. But they don't want to go below zero. They're getting perilously close to zero. They really do not
want to go copy the Japanese and Europeans by going below zero.
So if they are under pressure to do more things, it would be either through the repo operations, which are some rather arcane money market operations
that are very important to the system. They may expand - go back into buying direct assets from the market like bonds, and they may try and ease
some regulations in financial system.
Just a few minutes ago, the Fed announced that it would let banks, essentially, offer more help to consumers and companies in order to deal
with this virus.
ASHER: Who've been impacted by the coronavirus, right?
TETT: Yes. So they are doing things like that. But the very, very, very clear message from the Fed right now and all the other big Western central
banks is actually it's up for governments to step up. And probably it's going to be about short term fiscal measures, and longer term fiscal
measures too maybe as well.
ASHER: All right, Gillian Tett, have to leave it there. Thank you so much.
TETT: Thank you.
ASHER: We'll have much more than "The Brief," after this short break.
ASHER: Cast your mind back to a beautiful day in Windsor, England. Thousands of people lining the streets as a horse drawn carriage carried a
beaming bride and groom along the procession route. It was everything you would imagine a fairy tale to be. That was all less than two years ago. The
last few months have been far from a fairy tale.
Today. We saw Harry and Meghan make their last - their final official engagement before leaving frontline royal duties. They at Westminster Abbey
for the Commonwealth day service, a staple in the world calendar along with other senior Royals, as well.
Harry and Meghan's decision and the worldwide furor of course, tumbled the monarchy into a full on crisis mode. They will now branch out on their own,
minus the royal trappings. The intense media spotlight, though is sure to keep on following them.
All right. It is "The Brief." I'm Zain Asher. You are of course watching CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, the U.S. Coronavirus Task Force is holding a briefing any moment announcement now. We do expect President Trump is
going to be speaking at this meeting it let's send you to our colleagues in Washington with more.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Although is there is to be any now but they now just came over the Speaker here in the room said it's
actually going to b at 6:00, so about another half hour before we're going to have this briefing get s started.
They still haven't confirmed this to the President but we should not that Seal is still there so we will likely be hearing from him soon. Clearly
they want a little bit more time before the President does comes out and makes appearance that he wasn't initially scheduled to make.
This comes of course as we should also note today the White House is really focused on the economic aspect of all this, not just the health care
aspect. We were told by sources that the President was going to be briefed essentially by aides and presented with options that they think can help
blunt the fallout that you're seeing from this outbreak across not only the United States they're seeing not only but the entire world.
Whether or not the President is going to make any statements on this front is still something that' to be determined. We know he was really provided
with a wide range of options and that's been something he was focused on over the last several days rather than other aspects.
So it's still going to be determined when they get in here whether or not they have announcements on that front
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: And you know Gloria, this is an important moment right now. A lot of people are worried right now as someone has spent seven
years as a White House Correspondent I know when they put the Presidential seal on the lectern that means the President will be speaking. Not the Vice
President, the President will be speaking.
GLORIA BORGER., CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I was asking some people today, don't you think this is the time that a President should speak to
the country because you have this crisis with Coronavirus. You have an economic crisis with Wall Street having its worst tumble ever. And you put
those two together, and it's combustible. And this is when you want to hear from a President saying, this is what we're going to do. This is how we're
And up until now he has put the Vice President in charge while he was in Florida over the weekend. And so, I'm just wondering whether the President,
who believes he is his own best spokesman, believes that this is the time - he and only he can calm the country. We'll have to see what he does.
BLITZER: Stand by, everybody stand by. Once again, we expect to hear directly from the President of the United States fairly soon, right at the
top of the hour. We're now told the President will be coming into White House briefing or making a statement. We assume he'll be joined by the Vice
President and the Coronavirus Task Force. They'll speak, answer reporter' questions. Our live coverage continues right after this.
BLITZER: Start of today's White House Coronavirus Task Force. The briefing we're now told - you can see from the Presidential seal on that lectern,
the President is now expected to walk in, make a statement. Let's see if he answers reporters' questions together with the Vice President and other
member of the Coronavirus Task Force.
Our political and medical experts are here to discuss all of today's dramatic developments. One of the most dramatic developments is that four
member of Congress and I'll name them Matt Gaetz of Florida Representative, four Republicans Doug Collins, Paul Gosar of Arizona and Senator Ted Cruz
they all came into contact with someone at the conservative political action conference CPAC here in Washington last week, who came down with the
They all come - now all tour four of them are in what's being described as self-quarantine. But what's significant is that Matt Gaetz Republican
Congressman from Florida was aboard air force one today in the past few hours with the President on the flight from Florida back to joint base
Andrews outside of Washington.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS AT LATGE: And road in the beast, the car that the President - the armored vehicle that the President travels in with the
President. I defer to the two doctors in terms of exposure and what all that means.
Again to be clear Matt Gaetz was exposed to someone who had it in the self- quarantining himself. We know nothing about that situation; you know I do think this is Matt Gaetz of him wearing the gas mask on the House floor to
vote for the money appropriated to help deal with the Coronavirus $8 million.
This Donald Trump who has repeatedly dismissed it, said it might get worse it might not. If you watched any of his press conferences on Friday night
after touring the CDC, some other things he said, there he called Jay Inslee the Governor of Washington State a snake.
He referenced that the really knows a lot about this and everyone he talks to says, how do you know so much? The doctors he talks to. It's a laugh to
keep from crying situation in some of the ways, he is saying it's not just not Presidential it is concerning that this is the person who is in charge.
CILLIZZA: I know Mike Pence had those harsh words with President still President who was in charge of directing the way in which we respond to
something like this. And I think he is very much focused on the political end of it. And there are political consequences the economy goes down 2,000
But more important thing is as we have heard from everyone who's a medical expert - containment and sort of figuring out how to best deal with people
who have it and how to keep from getting it.
Blitzer: So Sanjay, Matt Gaetz the Congressman he was in the Presidential limousine with the President driving to the airport in Florida. The aboard
Air Force One, I've done Air Force one I don't know if you have but it's a big plane, but it is relatively tight borders on Air Force one.
How concerned should the President be right now that he was in contact with someone who was in contact with another individual who actually came down
DR.SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I think it would be a much bigger concern, obviously, if Matt Gaetz was diagnosed
as actually carrying the Coronavirus. There's obviously a concern that he was potentially at risk because he came into contact with this other
So now we're talking about second-generation spread, potentially, but we don't know if in fact he has it. I'm talking about Matt Gaetz whether or
not he is at clearly, but it's I think it's a big difference as to whether or not he's actually is diagnosed with the virus versus not. This is new
territory to some extent.
Wolf, where this is a novel Coronavirus. We're getting a lot of knowledge about how it transmits. We know it can be transmissible to some extent even
by somebody who's not showing symptoms.
So I think it would be curious to see if they are doing testing, doing some sort of regular testing on these people in quarantine and figuring out if
any of them are positive, including the Congressman who was in close proximity to the President.
Right now, I don't know that there's more you can say about that or that you can do anything differently based on what I'm hearing so far.
BLITZER: Yes, interesting. Dr. Wokes, I want to wait in as well. But we're going the take another quick break. Once again we're waiting for the
President of the United States and the Vice President.
The Coronavirus Task Force to go into the White House press briefing room. We'll see what the President has the say about his encounter with
Representative Matt Gaetz about Air Force One. The President was all of this melt a long time germaphobe.
He has got serious issues. We'll see how he reacted when he was told to aboard Air Force One that Matt Gaetz was going into self-quarantine. We'll
be right back. .
BLITZER: Once again we're waiting for the briefing to begin over at the White House. The Vice President of the Coronavirus Task Forces is expected
to show up and now we see the President of United State will come in as well. The Presidential seal is on the lectern in there and that means the
President will make the statement. We'll see if he sticks around answers to reporters' questions. We'll have live coverage of that coming up.
Also tonight as the Coronavirus pandemic spreads illness and fear many Americans they have questions they want answered about how to protect
themselves. And what happens if they became infected. Brian Todd has been looking into this for us.
Brian a lot of - there was a lot of information and misinformation out there. Give us the facts.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Wolf there is a lot of guidance out there form public health officials on what we should be doing and not
doing. There were also lot hysterias. So we talk to public health experts who have monitored this crisis and who have been n charge of public health
during other crisis to boil it down to the basics.
During this pandemic public health experts say when we are out in public we should all become germophobes for a while.
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ERIC FEIGL-DING, PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERT, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Well, we have to focus on is making sure whatever you touch as hygienic as possible.
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TODD: So what are the simple steps most of us should be taking as a matter of habit washing your hands for one? But it has to be done the right way.
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CHRIS MEEKINS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, HHS: Washing your hands for 20 seconds most people do it less than 5 to 10.
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TODD: Experts also say proper hand washing is even more nuanced.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Scrub in between your fingers and especially under your finger nails. Under the finger nails are some of the dirtiest of a finger
it is really the in between the fingers and under your rings are actually a lot germs can kind. After 20 seconds of the scrubbing under fingers you
rinse out and after you dry it make sure you turn it off because this was dirty with a paper towel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: We're advised to use a paper cloth when we touch door handles. Use our elbows or the backs of our hands to touch elevator buttons. What about
shaking hands? Experts say fist bumping is a good alternative but we can't always avoid shaking hands.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEEKINS: It is just important after you do that because you don't know if they may have a cold. To wash your hand after that or use hand sanitizers
and let the hand sanitizer dry.
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TODD: And as for that no.
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ERIC FEIGL-DING DEMIOLOGIST HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: I think hand sanitizers are useful when you're out and about, running around, meeting
people, but I don't think these should be the end-all, be-all, because in many ways soap is far superior. The properties of soap actually help break
up the virus particle itself.
(END VIDO CLIP)
TODD: And a cardinal rule of personal hygiene during an outbreak--
MEEKINS: Not touching your face, not touching your eyes if you haven't washed your hands recently.
TODD: If you've got travel, experts say those few inches of space right around you are critical.
MEEKINS: Whenever you get into a cab plane or train sometimes it might be helpful to wipe down the area around you.
TODD: What those short extortions many of us take socially.
MEEKINS: At an average restaurant we should be bringing out w would be bringing wipes with us to take them out rubbing the table off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think if it's a lower end restaurant I would be very careful and I would wipe it around the areas in which you're using your
utensils and knifes because that is really, really a point of infection.
TODD: The consistent advice is that in public we should be careful but not afraid.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think anyone should be paranoid I think people should be mindful of what they touch and most importantly remember to clean
their hands after you touch anything.
TODD: Now what about self-quarantining those of us who might need to do that. Public health experts say for many of us who share a home with other
people you should secludes yourself from those other people if you don't have your own room, one should be set up four you of that is possible and
if you can't avoid sharing a bathroom,
Experts say you've got to avoid contact with other people in your home for a couple of weeks and don't even pet your dog or cat. Wolf.
BLITZER: Excellent, excellent advice. Brian Todd, thank you very much our political and medical experts are still with us. Kaitlan Collins you're
over at the White House getting ready for this briefing and as you reported the Presidential seal is now on the lectern, so we expect the President to
make an opening statement.
We'll see if he sticks around and answers reporters' questions. But set the scene for us right because there are a lot of new developments that have
folded into the last couple of hours.
COLLINS: Yes, Wolf, we haven't heard from the President since Saturday night, so this is going to be the first time for him to comment on all of
these developments that have happened. Some just here in the last few hour including about these number of Republican lawmakers who are choosing to
self-quarantine after they were told that they did in fact come in contact with that person who attended a political conference in recent days outside
Washington and has now tested positive for Coronavirus.
Of course, two of the lawmakers interacted with the President extensively. One of them, Matt Gaetz of Florida, who road on Air force with president
today, was in the beast with him, spent the weekend at President's Mar-a- Lago club.
But also, Doug Collins of Georgia who shook hands with the President, we have a photo of him actually shaking hands with the Trump on the tarmac in
Georgia on Friday, and then went to the CDC with the President for that visit where they were in a lab talking about mitigating the spread of this
And so the question now is going to be of course how the President feels about this. Wolf our sources who have been speaking with the President when
he was at Palm Beach over the weekend said that did not seem to be taking it too seriously. They were a little surprised that he wasn't taking any
extra precautions. Of course he is someone who is self-described as a germaphobe, but they said really largely it was just business as usual for
Would have looked like his average weekend if there wasn't an epidemic spreading across the country where he made remarks at a fund raiser. He
went golfing with major league baseball players and even hosted the Brazilian President for dinner with a bunch of his friends there.
As well as, in between a few briefings that he did received from the Vice President while he was there. So we're waiting to see what it is that the
President has to say about those members of Congress that he has come in contact with who came in contact with someone who has Coronavirus.
BLITZER: That's important to hear what the President has the say about that. And a whole bunch of other question as well. The breaking news
continues next. The White House Coronavirus briefing beginning in just a few minutes we're told with the President of the United States now expected
BLITZER: We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer here on the Situation Room. And we're
following breaking news we're expecting President Trump to join a briefing by the Coronavirus Task Force any minute now it is expected to begin as the
death toll from the virus has just jumped once again here in the United States to 26.
Also breaking right now historic losses on Wall Street as the Coronavirus fears collide with a crash in oil prices the DOW plunging more than 2000
points it is the worst one day point drop on record.
And we're also monitoring a cruise ship that just docked in California with at least 21 people infected with a virus 35000 people are on board that
ship right now. Let's go to CNN"s Kaitlan Collins, she is over at the White House briefing room. Kaitlan set the scene for us the President we expect
momentarily to walk into the briefing room.
COLLINS: Yes, Wolf, he wasn't supposed to come to this briefing it is certainly wasn't on his schedule. We were expecting to see the Vice
President and other members of the Coronavirus Task Force, but just a few moments ago they came in the swapped out the seal and now there is the
Presidential seal on this lectern, as we're now expecting to see the President any minute now.
And of course this is going to be his first public appearance since that that news broke that several lawmakers who attended that political
conference the same on the President also spoke at are now self quarantining because someone there has tested positive for Coronavirus and
they are set to have interacted with that person.
Of course, 2 of those lawmakers are people who have interacted extensively with the President--