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The Brief with Bianca Nobilo
The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Caused A Global Stock Market Crash; South Korea Developed A Coronavirus Test In Just A Few Weeks; Coronavirus Pandemic. Aired 5-5:30p ET
Aired March 12, 2020 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: Tonight, on THE BRIEF, the Coronavirus pandemic has caused a global stock market crash with U.S. stocks seeing their worst day
in more than 30 years. Plus, from canceled concerts to travel bans, countries around the world are taking new measures to combat the virus. And
CNN gets an exclusive look at how South Korea developed a Coronavirus test in just a few weeks.
Live from CNN headquarters in Atlanta. I'm Paula Newton. We are going to get to a very busy show at this hour with global markets continue to take a
beating. Thanks to this Coronavirus pandemic. We just saw the Dow closed more than 2300 points. Look at that, down nearly 10 percent. You might as
well call it 10. That's biggest one day percentage drop since the so-called Black Monday crash in 1987. And don't look at European stocks for any kind
of comfort. They suffered their worst day in history.
Part of that is the reaction to the U.S. announcing a travel ban on 26 European countries. Central banks trying to step into stem some of these
losses. It didn't work though. Meanwhile, the pandemic of course as it is moving west is affecting nearly every part of daily life for people right
around the world. Nearly every major sports league in the United States now has suspended its season or are playing without fans and now we have
learned. Disneyland in California is closing its doors indefinitely.
Everything, Broadway shows, schools are closing, movie releases have been put on hold, concerts, festivals, everyone is pressing the pause button
here. We want to get more though to our top story, which is the worst day for U.S. stocks in decades.
Clare Sebastian there live at the New York Stock Exchange for us. I am tempted to ask you if there is blood on the floor, Clare. I mean people
tried today right. I really got worried when the Fed moved in - the market tried to rally and just didn't work.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. What an extraordinary day of trading, the day the bull run died and what a day it was within the first
sort of six minutes of trading. We got the second halt in trading this week. There was one again on Monday when the S&P 500 fell 7 percent. That
did not really function as they had hoped. The selling continued in the wake of that. Then we got that sharp reversal around lunchtime when the Fed
said it was going to pump $1.5 trillion in liquidity into the system over the next two days. But the markets could not hold onto those gains there is
not a policy response out there at the moment that we've seen that's been able to calm these markets.
Take a look at the Dow's point drops in history, Paula. This was the biggest - the second biggest was on Monday. So, you can just see putting
into perspective that. But what about the airlines of course the trigger for the selling was that the travel ban that President Trump announced
overnight in Europe. The airlines of course have been at the frontline of this. They continue to be at the frontline of this.
IATA saying today that they expect that losses for the airlines will now exceed via $113 billion that they had previously forecasted. Norwegian
Airlines, one of the smaller airlines in Europe, they have now said that they're going to temporarily lay off 50 percent of their staff and they're
canceling 4000 flights. That was announced today. So, this is getting really real for the travel industry and the decline - well, I just want to
show you the S&P 500 so far this year down about a quarter and 16 trading sessions
NEWTON: 16 trading sessions. Look at that. It is a sheer cliff, you've come off the cliff and two good things you pointed out there Claire, one is
layoffs. This is beginning to really hurt the real economy and of course, the other thing, the policy decisions. Claire, appreciate you saying there
at the Stock Exchange for us.
We want to move on now though to those policy decisions. President Trump's shock decision to ban travel from dozens of European countries. Last night,
he announced a 30-day ban on all travel from Europe. A statement that required an immediate correction from the White House. Think about it.
Bottom-line, Mr. Trump is blaming Europe for passing the virus onto the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot
spots as a result a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe. We made a lifesaving move with early
action on China. Now we must take the same action with Europe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Now here's what's actually happening. The U.S. is banning travel from 26 European countries all in the so-called Schengen area. The ban
though does not.
Apply to American citizens or their immediate, immediate family members nor permanent residents. And this is key. It does not affect cargo. A top U.S.
doctor, meantime, warns the country is far behind where it needs to be, because its testing system for the Corona virus is absolutely broken.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, U.S. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: The system does not - is not really geared to what we need right now. What
you are asking for that is a failing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A failing, yes.
FAUCI: It is a failing. Let's admit it. The idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other country are doing it, we're not set up for
that. Do I think we should be? Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Kaitlan Collins is outside the White House for us. I mean, look, all eyes on the White House now, Kaitlan, on two very pointed issues,
right? Not just what to do in a financial sense. And if there is an actual plan to try and bail out this economy because it will need it, but also on
trying to get the U.S. finally ahead of the curve on the Coronavirus testing.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And, you know, it was so notable about that moment there and that hearing from Dr. Fauci as he was talking
about how, you know, the system here in the United States is just not equipped from that. That question was initially posed to the CDC Director,
Dr. Robert Redfield, who was seated right to his left. And they were asked who is in-charge of making sure these tests can be administered to people?
He didn't answer the question and instead turned to Dr. Fauci, who gave that answer, talking about how the system is just simply not equipped for
it. But that release just a larger picture of the questions that have been facing this White House and about their credibility and their ability to be
able to respond to something like this. And that's why you saw the President give that address last night, because he wanted people to think
he was taking this seriously. But then, of course, there were those two big corrections coming out of the White House, clarifications really like the
fine print of what exactly it was that the President was announcing.
And those are important because the minute the President says he's suspending all travel from Europe, people who were in airports or people
who have trips scheduled or people who are already on those trips don't know what to do. So then when they later learned actually, doesn't apply to
you, it only applies to this group of people. It's not as extensive as the President made it sound. That is what those these airports into chaos.
NEWTON: Absolutely. I watched it boomerang Kaitlan on social media. The reaction was almost immediate. Kaitlan, before I let you go, of course
today many people heard that President Trump was with a Brazilian official who has since is back in Brazil and has tested positive for the
Coronavirus. Please get me up to date. Is he getting tested or not?
COLLINS: They have not been tested. Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence, both who were at Mar a Lago this weekend. The President
even more so because he hosted the Brazilian President and his Press Secretary for dinner. There is a photo of the President standing right next
to the Press Secretary who is now testing positive for Coronavirus just days less than a week after being around the President.
The White House says they still don't feel like he has the need to get tested. They say he's not showing these symptoms. But what's really notable
is how other people who were at that dinner are responding. People like Senator Lindsey Graham, who is also at Mar a Lago, doesn't even really
remember coming in contact, he says, with the Press Secretary. Yet he has been tested and he is self-quarantining. The President who came in contact
with him for sure, has not been tested and he is not self-quarantining at the moment.
NEWTON: Yes. Kaitlan, some stark contrast there. Appreciate you keeping us up to date. A very busy day, we hope, at The West Wing today. Kaitlan
Collins for us at the White House. Now, meantime, Kaitlan was talking about other leaders, well Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in fact,
self-isolating and working from home after his wife Sophie experienced mild flu like symptoms. The Prime Minister isn't feeling anything, but she is
being tested for the Coronavirus and is also self-isolating until she gets those test results.
Mrs. Trudeau had recently returned from a speaking engagement in London. The Prime Minister's office says the Prime Minister will continue to work
from home. And right now, I can tell you his schedule says he will be at home again tomorrow.
Meantime, French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the country earlier. He announced new precautionary measures to stem the spread of the virus.
France will be closing schools nationwide and postponing non-essential medical procedures. He also advised all elderly citizens to please stay
Meantime, the British Prime Minister says the UK can no longer hope to his words contain the virus and are now moving into what he called the delay
phase. Now, their precautions aren't as strict as elsewhere in Europe. Schools, in fact, are staying open there. And they say the progression of
their outbreak is about four weeks behind Italy. And it is, of course, by far the hardest hit country in Europe that is where we find our Melissa
Bell. I was with you at this time yesterday, Melissa. The situation, again, worsening in Italy.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Paula. What we're doing now in Italy is watching those rises in daily infection rates because they are
really what tells us weather authorities and what they're trying to do to contain the virus
Is keeping it under control, is managing to get a grip on it and for this time being, not. What we've seen since we spoke last night, Paula, is those
number of new cases. So that very important infection rate that we're looking at rising again, another day of a biggest rise that we've seen in
Italy so far. More than 2600 new cases since you and I spoke again, spoke last night. And what that means, Paula, is that these extraordinary
measures and I'd just like to show you Rome very quickly behind me.
I mean, it is something of a ghost town. Absolutely extraordinary. People are staying at home. People are being kept at home by these measures that
mean that when they're out and about, they have to be able to explain themselves, people being kept from going in and out of the country.
Everything apart from supermarkets and pharmacies now closed, all the shops being closed. It feels quite surreal.
These are extraordinary measures in a liberal democracy like Italy. People really struggling to get to terms of the ideas, a lot of questions, a lot
of concerns, a lot of worry of course, frankly, that the country has had to come to such extreme measures. And yet it is precisely because, Paula, it's
intensive care units, its health system, pretty well-funded. One of those European ones that receives a lot of public money to keep it running is now
struggling to cope. They have to get this under control.
That latest rise shows us that that is not yet the case, although the Italian Prime Minister had warned yesterday when he announced his latest
restrictive measures that this could take a couple of weeks to filter through.
So, what you're going to see perhaps happening elsewhere, a few weeks behind, is no doubt going to mirror what's happening here. Extreme measures
necessary to try and get the virus under control, Paula.
NEWTON: And that is the issue. You've done such a good job of showing us Italy, what do the other European countries do through the days and the
weeks as this virus progresses? Melissa Bell for us again in Rome, thank you.
Meantime, the NBA Major League Soccer, the NHL, yes, they're just a few of the sporting organizations literally suspending games. That's it. The whole
league's on pause because of the Coronavirus. The NBA decided to suspend the rest of its season Wednesday night after Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert
tested positive for the Coronavirus.
Now, at a Monday news conference, he was seen. You see it there, playfully touching reporters' microphones as sort of a joke about new social
distancing rules, the NBA had enacted. Yes, I kid you not.
Despite all the cancellations, the 2020 summer games in Tokyo are still on scheduled to go on, though there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding
that global sporting event. Such an important one. Patrick Snell has been following this all day along with us. It's breathtaking. I really don't
even know what to ask you or what to say. I have never seen anything like this so transformative in the world of sport.
PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Paula, you're quite right. Really? I've seen nothing like this at all. It is really is what we're seeing,
everything changing almost by the hour, updates, even updates on updates. And to that list that you just referenced a short while ago, Major League
Baseball as well, delaying the start of its Season 4 as of right now, two weeks, that major league soccer part, I would add to that, a 30-day on hold
program for that at the moment.
But I do want to broaden this out, internationalize it, if you like, and home in on the European football scene and something that certainly caught
our eye earlier this day, the fact that two of next week's high profile, UEFA Champions League fixtures now suspended the matches involving
Manchester City and Real Madrid and Juventus and Lyon as well. Those both postponed and the Real Madrid story as well. Just to broaden this out.
La Liga, the topflight professional league in Spain, now on hold for a couple of weeks as of right now, at least this because Real Madrid players
from both the football team and the basketball team in quarantine as well, after one of the basketball players tested positive for Coronavirus. And of
course, the big question we're also seeing in the world of sports, what is happening to the Australian Grand Prix. This is in Formula One, the season
opener scheduled as of right now to take place this weekend in Melbourne.
Six-time world champions from England, Lewis Hamilton, even expressing his shock. He actually used the word shocking, referencing the fact that they
were even there in the first place when you see what else is going on right now in the world of sport, it's Friday already as we speak in Australia.
So, we're certainly awaiting update on that. It's a really surreal situation here, as you said it. Paula, no question about that.
NEWTON: Yes, absolutely, Patrick. Many people throwing in the towel on this Coronavirus and hoping things get much better in the near future. Patrick,
of course, you will have a full report on World Sport at the bottom of the hour and you will have a full wrap on everything going on in the sporting
Meantime, South Korea is among the world's most affected countries with almost
8000 Coronavirus cases. The high number could partly be due to their aggressive approach in testing. Before there were any cases confirmed in
South Korea, before the virus was even named, one of the country's biotech firms started making testing kits so important. CNN's Ivan Watson got
exclusive access to its facilities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, South Korea has aggressively tested for the disease
with the help of drive through testing facilities that speed up the process. South Korea has already tested more than 220,000 people. The quick
rollout made possible, thanks to fast work by Korean biotech companies like Seegene, which gave CNN exclusive access to its research facilities.
This is the laboratory where a team of scientists came up with the test kit for diagnosing Coronavirus. And they did it in under three weeks.
CHUN JONG-YOON, FOUNDER AND CEO, SEEGENE: When we started, we did not expect that this kind of pandemic outbreak happened in Korea and nobody
expected at all.
WATSON: Chun Jong-yoon is the founder and CEO of Seegene, a company that designs and sells test kits that identify dozens of different kinds of
In mid-January, Chun says he first instructed his researchers to invent a new test for Coronavirus, which was then starting its deadly spread across
So, you guys were already working on Coronavirus before the first confirmed case of the illness in South Korea.
LEE DAE-HOON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SEEGENE Yes, just hearing the news from China. We thought it will be impact on the Korean Peninsula. So, we thought
that is emergency cases.
WATSON: The molecular microbiologists got to work without ever having a physical sample of the virus. Instead, they relied on a genetic blueprint
of the new virus distributed by the World Health Organization and health officials in China, highlighting three specific genes, Seegene's scientists
then had to come up with a way of spotting those Coronavirus genes in future samples taken from patients.
Was there more pressure than usual?
DAE-HOON: Yes, because it's an emergency case regularly spreading the Coronavirus into our countries.
WATSON: Not long ago it would have taken Seegene two to three months to come up with a test.
But using artificial intelligence, you were able to come up with a test in less than two weeks.
WATSON: That's pretty quick.
JONG-YOON: Very quick.
WATSON: Chun says on February 12th, the Korean government fast tracked approval of the new Coronavirus test kit less than a month after Seegene
started working on it.
These six vials, some of which only contain a teardrop worth of solution are what you need to conduct tests on 100 patients for Coronavirus and that
can be completed in just four hours.
Seegene is now working overtime, even drafting scientists with PhD to work on the assembly line. That's how much demand there is, right now?
DAE-HOON: Yes. Crazy demand. Not only from domestic market, also from the overseas market.
WATSON: The demand is urgent because identifying Coronavirus is one of the best ways to stop the spread of this disease. Ivan Watson, CNN, Seoul.
NEWTON: Countries right around the world are taking drastic measures to try and stop the Coronavirus. The European Center for Disease Prevention and
Control is warning nations that now is the time for a rapid, proactive and comprehensive strategy. But what's the appropriate response? Right. That
question is at the center of the Netflix documentary series Pandemic, How to Prevent an Outbreak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Within one month, the virus can spread throughout the country. A month after the widespread throughout the world, the next
pandemic is going to start. And we just don't know where or how, but we know it well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That poses an existential threat to us as a species.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Dr. Sheri Fink joins me now. She's the executive producer of that show Pandemic on Netflix and also a correspondent for The New York Times.
So prescient, unfortunately for all of us, in a way, you really saw this coming in terms of having seen this and researched this. Where do we go
SHERI FINK, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, PANDEMIC: Well, yes. These are - there are people around the world who have been expecting this for a long time, and
where we go now, I think is that we've recognized that this virus is everywhere and that we all have a role in trying to stop it through our
individual actions and through the actions that we take as societies.
NEWTON: And yet you've done some brilliant investigative work in The New York Times, really looking at what happened here in the United States.
Right. And their response, why and how was the U.S. emergency response, and response to testing so compromised and how can the U.S. really mitigate the
effects of it now?
FINK: Yes. Well, there's no question that we faltered that the rollout of testing in this country has been slow. Still having problems, still patchy
in different areas of the country as to whether you can get a test, or your doctor can get you a test in a timely manner. So, where we go now is too.
I've been talking to experts today who say we have to assume that there is community spread in many parts of the U.S.
So, assuming that, the decisions that we make, whether it is that we wash our hands, absolutely don't go out if we have signs of illness as well as
those more forceful efforts that may be recommended locally, like not gathering in large gatherings, closing schools, even those need to be made
community-by-community. But it is really for sure time to take this seriously and take those steps which can have still have an impact, even
though we are not where we want to be, where we would have liked to have contained that when the numbers of infections were much smaller.
NEWTON: So, you know, we're behind the curve, at least on this continent right now in terms of gaming out scenarios here. I mean, I know that you've
had a good look at this. What are authorities really trying to mitigate here in terms of hospital beds? Impact to the public? ICU beds,
FINK: Yes. I mean, we're just coming off of flu season and hospitals are run very efficiently in the U.S. now for cost reasons. So, there are not a
lot of beds as we've been hearing about. There's not a lot of extra intensive care unit beds. So, if there are a significant number of people
who get a pneumonia, which this virus can cause in the severe cases, then we have reason to worry. And all we have to do; we don't even need the
number projections. All we have to do is look at what's happening in Italy where there are reports of rationing ventilators.
So that's something we really need to take note. And this is why we need to take actions to protect ourselves and others. Even if we're in the low risk
categories as individuals, we need to think about our whole society.
NEWTON: Yes. And we will continue to do all of that with the lockdowns just happening right around the world at a very, very frightening rate, really.
Dr. Fink, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
NEWTON: When THE BRIEF returns, millions of people are facing a very different world than they did a month ago. We look at how things have
changed so much in just a matter of weeks.
NEWTON: So, as we've shown you, of course, throughout the show, Coronavirus is changing the world literally hour-by-hour, day-by-day. Health, business,
sport, entertainment, politics. Nothing is untouched. I don't have to tell you that it is hard to keep up.
So, let's take a step back here. One month ago, we were talking about Coronavirus, but it was focused very much in Asia. At that time, there were
just 441 cases outside of China. Think about that. And only one death. The number since have spiked a month ago, the markets were soaring. The Dow was
closing in on 30,000 points. Today was their worst day since 1987.
The NBA was leading into a thrilling season. Europe's Champion's League was in full swing. Now, both, along with so many other sporting events,
absolutely decimated. U.S. travel bans where Coronavirus was centered in China. Now the vast majority of Europe is also banned. So that is where we
are right now. Where we were, where are we going? You and I both know no one knows. For tonight, though, that is THE BRIEF.
I'm Paula Newton. World Sport is up next.