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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Stock Tumble For Second Straight Day; Rodger Stone Judge: Donald Trump Attacks Are Intimidation; Democrats Brawl In Final Debate Before Super Tuesday; CDC: Not "If" Coronavirus Will Spread In U.S. But "When"; Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Reaches $1.6 Billion Settlement. Aired 3:30-4a ET

Aired February 26, 2020 - 03:30   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: A revitalized field of Democrats putting the pressure on Senator Bernie Sanders. Did they do anything to slow him down ahead of Super Tuesday?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And it's not if, it's when. The CDC says Coronavirus will spread in the United States. The President appears to be fudging facts on the health crisis in an Election Year. Well, world's matters credibility very important in a crisis. Welcome back to "Early Start." I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: And I'm Laura Jarrett. 31 minutes past the hour here in New York. It was a wild free-for-all brawl last night at the final Democratic debate before Super Tuesday. Six candidates all are trying to blunt the momentum of front-runner Bernie Sanders in Charleston now just three days before South Carolina's primary.

Candidates took aim at each other over socialism, electability, race and the issue you did not see coming a week ago, Cuba.


BLOOMBERG: Donald Trump thinks it would be better if he is President, I do not think so. Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be President of United States and that's why Russia is helping you get elected so you lose to him.

WARREN: I dug in, I did the work and then Bernie's team trashed me for it.

BUTTIGIEG: You think the last four years has been chaotic, divisive, toxic, exhausting, imagine spending the better part of 2020 with Bernie Sanders versus Donald Trump.

BIDEN: Progressive is getting things done and that's what we got done.

SANDERS: I've been hearing my name mentioned a little bit tonight. I wonder why.

WARREN: I don't care how much money Mayor Bloomberg has, the core of the Democratic Party will never trust him. At least I didn't have a boss who said to me, kill it the way that Mayor Bloomberg alleged to have said--

BLOOMBERG: I've never have said that.

WARREN: --you've said to one of his pregnant employees.

BLOOMBERG: I never said that and for the record if she was a teacher in New York City she would have never had that problem. We treated our teachers the right way.

KLOBUCHAR: Instead of just reviewing everything from the past, let's talk about where we're going to go forward.

WARREN: No, the math does not add up.

BUTTIGIEG: I think we were talking about math and it doesn't take two hours to do the math.

SANDERS: Let's talk about math.

BUTTIGIEG: So here's the math. It adds up to four more years of Donald Trump. Kevin McCarthy is Speaker of the House and the inability to get the Senate into Democratic hands. The time has come for us to stop acting like the Presidency is the only office that matters.

BIDEN: Bernie, in fact hasn't past much of anything. I'm not out of time, he spoke over time and I'm going to talk. There is the deal.

STEYER: I have worked for racial justice completely and that is an absolute unfair statement--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you Mr. Steyer.

KLOBUCHAR: All I know if we spend the next four months tearing our party apart we're going to watch Donald Trump spend the next four years tearing our country apart.

BLOOMBERG: The debt is at $20 trillion going up to 21. We just cannot afford some of the stuff people are talking about. Bernie will lose to Donald Trump and Donald Trump and the House and the Senate and some of the Statehouses will all go red and then gerrymandering and appointing judges for the next 20 to 30 years we're going to live with this catastrophe.

SANDERS: Mayor Bloomberg has a strong and solid and enthusiastic base of support. Problem is they're all billionaires.


BLOOMBERG: You read about the virus what's really happening here is the President fired the pandemic specialists in this country two years ago. So there's nobody here to figure out what the hell we should be doing.

SANDERS: Cuba made progress on education. Yes, I think, really? BUTTIGIEG: I'm not looking forward to a scenario where it comes down to Donald Trump with his nostalgia for the social order of the 1950s and Bernie Sanders with nostalgia for the revolutionary politics of the 1960s.

SANDERS: This conception and you're hearing it here tonight is what the idea some talking about are radical. They're not in one form or another they exist in countries all over the world.

BIDEN: China prevents North Korea from launching missile to take them down, and if we don't - why am I stopping? No one else stops.


BIDEN: That is my Catholic school training.


JARRETT: He stopped because it was so chaotic on that stage. Let's talk to CNN Politics Senior Writer Zack Wolf joining us live this morning from Washington. Good morning. I mean the first question the top question of the morning did anybody blunt Bernie's momentum?

WOLF: I don't know if they did. Particularly because he's been saying so much of this stuff for so long that if you've been paying any attention, none of its new. I mean, he's been offering praise--

JARRETT: But he wasn't a front-runner before and now he's legitimately the front-runner and suddenly it's caught moderates and the establishment by surprise.

WOLF: Right. And that's why it is so important that Democrats are reexamining all of these things, putting together all those proposals and seeing you know 50 or $60 trillion over ten years, these things that he's proposes like Medicare for all you know added to free college, added to Green New Deal added to free housing added.

To all these other things it would be a dramatic restructuring of the U.S. economy in such a way it is just so fanciful to think that one of these things could get through much less all of them.

So it's important that everybody is reexamining all of this, but are Democrats essentially going forward with him because they like him? Is it his base of support that likes him and expecting him not to accomplish any of this stuff? If so, then I'm not sure that last night would stop him at all.

JARRETT: Zack, obviously Bloomberg not on the ballot in South Carolina but is on the stage. He took a lot of heat last time. I think - you know he spent a lot of time preparing for this debate. Clearly not a perfect performance but I want to play for you a moment where he's trying to make a joke that doesn't quite come off.

WOLF: Oh, God.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BLOOMBERG: I really am surprised that all of these, my fellow contestants up here I guess would be the right word for it given nobody pays attention to the clock. I'm surprised they show up because I would have thought after I did such a good job beating them last week that they'd be little bit afraid to do that.

All of the new Democrats that came in, put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this President, I got them.


JARRETT: He caught himself, he caught himself though but you know at the end of day he still has these huge ad buys. And so even if the debate performance may be he is lacking in some areas. You know does it matter?

WOLF: Even during the debate you saw Michael Bloomberg commercials at least on my TV you saw Michael Bloomberg commercials and he looks a lot different in those commercials.

JARRET: He sure does.

WOLF: He's been there cuddling up next to Barack Obama and saying very inspirational things and he looks a lot different on the debate stage. I don't know ultimately if he's going to be able to - the quality of these debates is not so much in people who watch them from start to finish, it's how they sort of eke out into the either, and is that enough to--

You know we've already seen him, he was ascendant in polls and then after that first debate performance he started to crater a little bit or at least in the ones that have come out since then. He's not on a ballot until Super Tuesday and people are voting right now.

So that will be the first test just as it will be I think you know after South Carolina the true test of whether Sanders, this reexamination of him and all the things he promises, you know, if it's going to make any sort of dent in him because otherwise he could walk away with the thing.

ROMANS: Were there any missed opportunities last night? I mean, Laura was keeping track 83 minutes until anyone mentioned Coronavirus and it was Michael Bloomberg who brought that up. Two terrible down days in the stock market a President who was saying one thing speaking optimistically about Coronavirus and his CDC much more concerned. Were there missed opportunities here to sort of go after the President?

WOLF: They did mention him I think a lot more than they did in the debate last week where he was almost a nonentity and then they were just beating up on each other.


WOLF: You heard a lot more Donald Trump is winning because we're arguing with each other kind of thing and then they would go back to arguing with each other. I think part of the problem for Democrats is they are having this identity crisis in do you go with the person who has all of the momentum and the buzz but only about a quarter of the country agrees with him and Bernie Sanders?

Or do you try to pick somebody who might appeal to the middle to some of the, you know, disaffected Republicans or moderates who might be afraid of Bernie Sanders quite frankly and the things he's putting forward?

Do you pick the excitement or do you pick the safe bet, and that they have clearly not made up their minds in.

ROMANS: And there's also this subtext of can there be a Biden reset after South Carolina? A lot of people are talking about that.

JARRETT: He needs one. And obviously the endorsement of Congressman Clyburn is expected later today. We'll see who he picks it is widely expected that he would choose Biden. He could use a boost like that, but we will have the wait and see. Zack Wolf, thank you so much.

ROMANS: Nice to see you.

WOLF: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right is the President of the United States risking public health with his optimistic outlook on the Coronavirus?


JARRETT: All right, welcome back looks like the President is choosing happy talk over facts about the Coronavirus. Remember yesterday when the President said this?


TRUMP: We're fortunate so far, and we think it's going to remain that way. I think that's a problem that's going to go away.


JARRETT: Well, turns out his own government disagrees with him. One of the top officials at the CDC warned it's not a question of if but when novel Coronavirus will spread in this country. Other crucial unknown, when and how many Americans will have severe illness? The President also insisted a vaccine is close, but most experts say it's roughly a year away.

ROMANS: Including experts in his own government. Now, publicly the President is projecting optimism but sources tell CNN that privately the President is frustrated by some of the ways his administration is handling the outbreak. On Capitol Hill even some Republicans raising concerns about the lack of alarm.


KENNEDY: You're supposed to keep us safe and the American people deserve some straight answers on the Coronavirus. And I'm trying to get them from you.


KENNEDY: That's all I have Madam Chair.


ROMANS: Contrast to the administration's low-key response San Francisco has declared a state of emergency. As of now there are at least 57 Coronavirus cases in the U.S. more from Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Laura and Christine, I think as you see these numbers grow around the world in several regions around the world there's concern, I think added concern now here in the United States that these numbers are going to continue to grow here.

First of all, take a look. These are the numbers that we know. The numbers have stayed relatively small here. There are a couple of concerns. Number one, are we - are there a lot of people out there who actually are carrying the virus but don't have any symptoms or have minimal symptoms and therefore aren't getting tested?

It's possible. I mean they've tested tens of thousands people in South Korea and only hundreds here in the United States, so the numbers could be higher here in the United States. But also you know I interviewed the Head of the CDC last week and asked specifically about where was this going? Where did he predict this was going based on what we know now? And take a listen to what he said.


ROBERT R. REDFIELD, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: This virus is probably with us beyond this season or beyond this year and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community based transmission, and you can start to think of it in the sense like seasonal flu, the only difference is we don't understand this virus.


GUPTA: That's an important point. It's behaving very much like a flu virus. It's pretty transmissible, far more transmissible than the Sars virus. But if you start talking to Public Health Officials here they say obviously we want the numbers to stay low but we've got to be prepared for this community transmission.

One person gives to the three people, those three people give it to three more people and you start to get sustained transmission. Good news first, 80 percent of people who get this infection have minimal or no symptoms. That's according to a large study that came out of China.

So, you know, the vast majority of people really aren't going to get sick or have any symptoms from this, but it's obviously still a concern because you know 2 percent of the people who get this infection will die, and you're hearing now from Public Health Officials that we've got to be prepared for if this starts to spread in communities.

For individuals that means you might be told, hey, look just basically stay home for a period of time, for up to two weeks. Kids don't go to school, adults don't go to work. Do you have enough supplies in the house, things that you have to sort of think about it?

It's all about social distancing. So we're getting more and more details Laura and Christine. As we get those details we'll certainly bring them to you.

JARRETT: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta thanks so much for laying all that out. Meantime Coronavirus is not stopping preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer at least for now.

Let's go live to Tokyo and get the latest from CNN's Will Ripley. Will, you know the preparations may be going forward, but it's got to be on the minds of everyone there.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is sure is Laura. You know I lived here in Japan for four years and I have seen the blood and sweat and tears in the tens and billions of dollars that Japan has put into Tokyo 2020. This is their most important sporting event arguably since the 1964 games here in Tokyo.

And if you were to ask me if Japan would ever consider postponing or moving the games I would say it would take nothing sort of a zombie apocalypse and here we are this is now a topic of conversation a topic of serious conversation here in Japan. What do they do if this outbreak is not under control in the coming months?


RIPLEY: The Olympics are supposed to start by the end of July. You had an IOC Senior Member Dick Pound speaking with the AP saying that they're going to have to make a call here by the end of May about whether to move the games, to postpone them, to cancel them altogether if this outbreak isn't contained.

And that is absolutely the worst nightmare for Tokyo 2020 organizers who are speaking to CNN. And what they're saying is that, look, let's all calm down. There have been other Olympics in the past where there have been concerns about you know in the lead up to the games that and everything has gone smoothly and of course that's what Japanese officials are looking for.

But when you think about the fact that you're going to have hundreds of thousands of people and athletes from 200 plus countries all converging on Tokyo and staying in very close quarters for a period of few weeks commingling and whatnot that is like the situation on the Diamond Princess times thousands.

When you're talking about the potential for a real outbreak to take place which is why frankly because the situation is changing by the day they just don't know right now what's going to happen. But they are trying to assure people that they're in constant communication with all the relevant authorities to try to prevent a situation where there's going to be a public health crisis.

But of course they're priority is to do everything they can to keep Tokyo 2020 going on as planned, Laura.

JARRETT: Sure. Well, they still have a couple of months left to go. Thanks so much Will.

ROMANS: All right, the biggest story in money today can stocks stabilizes after two awful, awful days? CNN business has the global markets and the details next.



ROMANS: Opioids manufacturer Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals has reached to $1.6 billion settlement with attorney general in 47 states. Now this proposed deal would resolve all Opioids related claims against the company Plaintiffs receiving payments over an 8-year period to cover the cause of addiction treatment and other needs. Mallinckrodt considered the largest manufacturer of generic Opioids in the United States.

JARRETT: Members of the 1980 miracle on Ice Olympic Hockey Team now facing backlash for wearing "Keep America Great Hats" at a rally for President Trump. Team captain Mike Eruzione says he and his teammates were not trying to make any kind of political statement and he regrets doing it.

Eruzione says the team was in Las Vegas as part of the 40th Anniversary Celebration of their historic win over the Soviets. The Trump Campaign invited them to take a photo with the President who invited them on stage and they were given the hats.

ROMANS: Everything is a photo-op for re-election.

JERRETT: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this morning the Coronavirus still weighing on global markets. I want to look on what's happening right now European shares have opened lower. Those are significant losses in Frankfurt and you can see Asian markets continue their losses.

ROMANS: All right new this morning Hong Kong announced a $15 billion relief package to help save its slump in economy. Hong Kong's Financial Secretary said the spread of Coronavirus has dealt, "A severe blow to economic activities and sentiment in Hong Kong".

Back on Wall Street, Futures have been wobbling they're lower again right now. You want to see them stabilize after two big down days in which just really having trouble finding its footing here in U.S. stocks another reckoning on Wall Street Tuesday that they out finished 879 points lower. Coronavirus fears sparking a second day of huge losses the DOW is now

down more than 8 percent from its recent high. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ also down sharply. The S&P has wiped out about $1.7 trillion in value in just two days. And quickly the Barn Market is telling us there are big concerns about global growth. The ten year bench mark note a record low yield there.

Major business news, one of the biggest CEO changes of a generation. Bob Iger is leaving the top spot over at Disney. Effective immediately Disney's CEO becomes Executive Chairman and Head of the Company's Creative Endeavors.

He's set to stay on through the length of his contract through 2021. He took over for Michael Eisner back in 2005 and boy he oversaw the acquisition of Marvel Studios, Pixar and Lucas Film all of which are shattering box office records.

He says with the successful launch of streaming service Disney Plus this is the right time for change. Iger says he'll work closely to transition with Disney's new CEO Bob Chapek. Until yesterday he was Chairman of Disney's Parks and Resorts Division.

JARRETT: Big question about what he's going to do next. Lucky for us Stephen Colbert was up late with instant reaction to the Democratic debate. Here is what happened while you were sleeping.


STEPHEN COLBERT, CNN HOST: 7 candidates, 5 moderators, two hours and one powerful message for America.


It's going to be tough to fit on a bumper sticker after a question about the cost of Bernie's Medicare for all program things got a little shouty.

BUTTIGIEG: I think we were talking about math and it doesn't take two hours to do the math.

SANDERS: Let's talk about math.

BUTTIGIEG: Let's talk about math in deed.

COLBERT: Let's talk about math baby. Let's talk about health for free. Let's tax the 1 percent and bring an end to poverty. Let's talk about math.


JARRETT: Coherently nails the Bernie Sanders voice there.

ROMANS: He has really got that right that is very well done.

JARRETT: "Early Start" continues right now a revitalized field of Democrats putting the pressure on Bernie Sanders. Did they do anything to slow him down ahead of Super Tuesday?