Return to Transcripts main page
Hala Gorani Tonight
Coronavirus Ship Quarantine Continues; China Cracks Down on Public's Response to Coronavirus; Shamima Begum Loses First Citizenship Appeal. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired February 07, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, this cruise ship, docked off the coast of Japan, has more patients with coronavirus than anywhere outside of China. We have a live report.
Then, the U.K.'s most infamous ISIS bride loses an appeal to reinstate her British citizenship. What is next for Shamima Begum?
And later, CNN is live in the battleground state of New Hampshire as Bernie Sanders takes aim at his new fellow frontrunner, Pete Buttigieg.
Cruise ships are now the latest battleground in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic. One ship, docked off the coast of Japan, now has the
single highest concentration of infections outside of China. Sixty-one people have the virus on that ship alone, a number that tripled overnight.
Another cruise ship is in limbo outside Hong Kong. Passengers are stuck, waiting for testing to be complete although no coronavirus cases have been
There are now more than 31,000 infections around the world -- as you can see -- still very much concentrated in mainland China. It is dealing with
the worst of it, at least 638 people have died there.
Will Ripley joins me now from Yokohama, Japan. That's where the Diamond Princess cruise ship is anchored. Talk to us about -- I understand a
tripling of the number of cases on board?
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And more than quadrupling from when, you know, the news first broke in just a matter of a couple of days, Hala.
So this is serious business, in terms of the rate at which we're learning about the infections of coronavirus on board that ship.
But it makes sense. Cruise ships are vulnerable to viral illness, that's why we hear about these outbreaks, because people are in such close
quarters, the air is circulated throughout the ship and people are breathing it in.
But when you're talking about a virus like this one that scientists know so little about, you can understand how it is just so frightening for the
3,700 people who are on that ship and really aren't exactly sure when they'll be able to get off.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Another day on the Diamond Princess, under quarantine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looks like they're unloading additional passengers.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Another day, confined to their cabins, counting the ambulances, counting the number of coronavirus patients as it doubles, then
more than quadruples.
KENT FRASURE, PASSENGER: When you're looking out our balcony, and there are indeed more ambulances lining up, like they were yesterday.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Americans Kent and Rebecca Frasure never thought they would be on one of those ambulances, until a Japanese nurse knocked on the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need you to get ready, we don't know how long you will have to stay in the hospital. Pack your -- pack the luggage, go to
the bathroom and then stay in the room.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Rebecca's throat swab came back positive for coronavirus.
REBECCA FRASURE, PASSENGER: I don't -- yes, I don't really have any symptoms, you know, other than a cough.
RIPLEY (voice-over): The news is a shock to their family and friends in Oregon.
RIPLEY: What's the hardest part?
R. FRASURE: I'd say the unknown. Like, I don't know what's going to happen an hour from now, tomorrow, like, for all we know, we could stay
quarantined on the ship for a month.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Passengers say they can only go outside in small groups, under close supervision, for less than one hour a day. For them,
this luxury liner is starting to feel like a floating prison.
GAY COURTER, PASSENGER: We're in a contaminated prison, possibly.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Florida passengers Gay and Philip (ph) Courter are among the lucky few with a balcony. Many of the 2,600-plus passengers are
in cramped cabins, no windows, breathing air circulated throughout the ship.
G. COURTER: This is not a safe environment, and we don't think anybody -- let along the Japanese government -- wants to be responsible for making a
bad decision about quarantining us in an unsafe place.
RIPLEY (voice-over): The Courters are in their mid-70s. They know the vast majority of coronavirus deaths are people older than 60. And she says the
Diamond Princess is packed with retirees.
G. COURTER: We want off this ship, and we want to go in health and not in dire medical circumstances.
RIPLEY (voice-over): She even has private insurance that covers crisis extraction, but the Japanese government says they can only be extracted
after the 14-day quarantine period. They hope the U.S. government will do something to intervene, and bring more than 400 American passengers home.
RIPLEY: So when does this ordeal end, Hala? Well, we really don't know. They've reset the 14 days because there were new infections reported. But
if more infections are reported, well then, guess what? That starts all over again.
So, really, people are afraid that they're going to be sitting in those rooms, literally getting cabin fever and fearing that they're going to get
something much worse. Of course, we're talking about coronavirus (ph).
GORANI: And what happen -- I mean, what happens if there's another medical emergency? What happens if, God forbid, someone has, I don't know, a heart
problem or they run out of diabetes medication or whatever the assistance they need? What are authorities planning longer-term? Because this is -- if
it resets every time someone is infected, as you said, this could go on for a very long time.
RIPLEY: I mean, you raise an excellent point. Because there were actually passengers hanging flags over the side of the ship. One of the flags, in
Japanese, said, "medicine lacking." So in fact, the lady -- one of the ladies I interviewed, she has diabetes, she's running out of her
medications and was told that they will be providing more in the coming days to try to help people out.
But, yes, that's just one of the challenges that are -- that they're facing right now. I guess the good news, if you can call it that, is that the
Japanese government is trying to bring in more medical personnel to assist. There's actually going to be another ship brought in to house the medical
personnel to care for the people on board.
But from what we're hearing, Japan actually has stopped testing for coronavirus for now. They're basically telling people, well, if you get a
fever or any symptoms, then we'll check you out. But there are a lot of passengers on that ship who would prefer to be tested, they'd rather know
than just sitting in their rooms for 23 hours of the day, you know wondering if they're going to be OK.
GORANI: Will Ripley, thanks very much.
China's top anti-corruption agency says it will send a team to Wuhan to investigate the death of Dr. Li Wenliang. You'll remember, he's the doctor
who tried to warn others about the new coronavirus in the very early weeks of the epidemic. In fact, he was forced to sign a letter, saying that he
was spreading rumors online. Of course, he was vindicated. But he died from the virus on Friday.
And there has been an outpouring of grief and rage in some cases, on Chinese social media, over how he was treated by the police. David Culver
has our story.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An overwhelming and emotional response, surging across China. Dr. Li Wenliang died Friday in
the same Wuhan hospital in which he worked, killed by the coronavirus, the very same illness he tried to warn others about early on.
Posts flooding social media; this photo from Beijing, written in the snow. It reads, farewell, Li Wenliang. Struggling to communicate, Li spoke with
CNN briefly by phone on January 31st. You could hear the hospital machines pulsing in the background.
LI WENLIANG, CORONAVIRUS WHISTLEBLOWER: I can barely breathe.
CULVER (voice-over): It was back in late December when Li first warned friends on WeChat about a SARS-like disease going around. Li sent a groups
message, saying that a test result from a patient, quarantined at the hospital where he worked, showed a patient had a coronavirus.
But hours after hitting send, Wuhan city health officials tracked Li down, questioning where he got the information. Within days, they closed the
suspected source of the virus -- this seafood market -- and they announced the outbreak. But instead of being praised, Li got a call from Wuhan city
With Li coughing too much and breathing too poorly to speak by phone, we asked Li by text, how did you feel when this happened?
I felt a little afraid, afraid I would be detained, afraid my family would worry, Li responded.
He agreed to sign this document, admitting to spreading rumors online and severely disrupting social order. It reads, "We want you to cooperate with
the police, and listen to our reminder and stop the illegal act. Can you do that?"
Li answered, "Yes, I can."
China's supreme court later criticized Wuhan police for their keeping Li and other coronavirus whistleblowers silent. But that only came after Li
contracted the illness and state media profiled his story, making him a hero, of sorts, in the fight against the epidemic.
But his tragic death, not only evoking sympathy, but also anger. This woman, posting a message against Wuhan police, posing for a photo with her
middle finger to the camera, holding a sign, responding to the same question police asked Li: "We want you to cooperate with the police, and
listen to our reminder and stop the illegal act. Can you do that?"
Her sign, answering, "No, we cannot."
CULVER: Immediately following Li's death, the two topics trending on Weibo were, Wuhan government owes Dr. Li Wenliang an apology, and we want freedom
of speech. Both had tens of thousands of views before being censored. David Culver, CNN, Beijing.
GORANI: Let's talk more about this with someone who can help us understand what is happening inside of China right now. Robert Lawrence Kuhn is the
author of "How China's Leaders Think." He's also a longtime advisor to Chinese leaders and corporations as well. He's in Los Angeles.
Talk to me a little bit about this effort by authorities to censor some of these online posts on Weibo. They were trending topics, people have been
very angered. They believe that the -- Dr. Li Wenliang was mistreated by authorities. Wuhan government owes Dr. Li Wenliang an apology. That, for
instance, was censored on Weibo. What are authorities trying to achieve here?
ROBERT LAWRENCE KUHN, AUTHOR, HOW CHINA'S LEADERS THINK: First of all, we need to understand the whole context of the coronavirus epidemic and how
China's relating to it. China's strong government system has great competencies, and we see that in the mobilization occurring.
But it also has to deal with the flow of information, which, in this case, has become out of control because of the situation. The tragic death of Dr.
Li has highlighted that and has caused an outpouring of anger, focused on basically the local government.
The authorities always want to manage public opinion to encourage social stability and to avoid instability at all costs. And the normal reaction is
to censor anything that could cause instability or panic. But in this case, it has gotten more complicated, it has gotten a bit out of control. So
there has been some uncertainty in how you deal with it. Sometimes, they have censored; sometimes they now allow a --
GORANI: It's --
KUHN: -- broader conversation about Dr. Li to flourish, as long as the focus --
GORANI: Sure, sure.
KUHN: -- is on the local government (ph) and improving the governing system of China which, for the first time there --
GORANI: But it's not -- sorry to jump in, it's not exactly misinformation that they're censoring, or redirecting. I mean, they're censoring and
removing posts that are expressing solidarity with Dr. Li. We want freedom of speech is another one that was censored, that was one of the very
popular hashtags on Weibo as well.
Are they -- is this a blow to them? Are they concerned that this could be a challenge to the central government, this whole coronavirus epidemic and
KUHN: The whole crisis is absolutely a potential existential crisis. It is very different than in Hong Kong. Western media -- we outside -- have sort
of equated the Hong Kong situation as threatening to China, but that was never -- from the mainland point of view, that was never an issue.
This is a major issue, gigantic issue. And so there has been uncertainty about how they manage public opinion -- as they would put it -- to
encourage stability. And the trend now is that they cannot fully censor this. They will censor some things like freedom of speech, of course, but
they have now embraced Dr. Li as a folk (ph) --
GORANI: I think we just lost our connection there, with Robert Kuhn. But there, we got a few questions in, thankfully, about the reaction of Chinese
authority. Robert Kuhn, who wrote the book, "How China's Leaders Think," saying that this particular crisis, this particular epidemic is something
that the central authorities are having a hard time necessarily managing, especially with the outpouring online of grief and anger surrounding the
death of Dr. Li.
All right. We'll revisit coronavirus a little bit later in the program, but I want to bring you this story. A former ISIS bride has just lost her first
legal appeal over her citizenship.
Shamima Begum left home in Britain to join the terrorist group when she was only 15. She was stripped of her U.K. citizenship when she tried to come
back. The reason? She was deemed a threat to national security.
And Begum, who is now 20 and is held at a camp in Syria, is fighting against that decision.
Phil Black joins me now with more. So what exactly is it -- what is the setback for Begum here, what did she lose exactly?
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it was a couple of key points that her legal team were hoping to get quick positive judgments on because
they felt they were so clearly in their favor.
One is the fact that they argue she's now been effectively left stateless. By losing her U.K. citizenship, she has no country to call home. That's not
allowed under international law.
GORANI: Yes, right.
BLACK: But the tribunal found, as the government has maintained all along, that she is also entitled by right to Bangladeshi citizenship because
that's where her parents were born. Even though she's never been there, never sought to formalize that citizenship and indeed, recently, the
Bangladeshi government has said she's not welcome, it's not our problem, this is not something that we should be involved in.
GORANI: So she is, in effect, stateless then?
BLACK: Well, it comes down to legal letter of the law versus what it actually means to be trapped in a refugee camp in northern Syria today, I
The other point is, they argue because she is trapped in northern Syria. It means that she cannot fairly (ph) effectively be part of the legal process
here, it's pretty much impossible to be engaged --
BLACK: -- properly.
On that point, interestingly, the court actually agreed and said, you're right. But that cannot automatically mean that your appeal is successful.
And so, now, her legal team say they will appeal this pretty urgently. It's likely there's going to be a much bigger, broader, more detailed appeal as
well. They're looking to find and pursue every possible option to try and bring her back to the country of her birth.
GORANI: And she's spoken to the media, she spoke to some our colleagues at "Sky News" last year -- very unapologetic, by the way, about her decision
to join ISIS. This is what she said at the time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAMIMA BEGUM, ISIS BRIDE: Yeah, I knew about those things and I was OK with it. That's (ph) because, you know, I wanted (ph) -- I started become
religious just before I left, you know, from what (ph) I heard, that Islamically that is all allowed, so I was OK with it.
I don't regret it because it's changed me as a person, it's made me stronger, tougher. You know, I married my husband, I wouldn't have found
someone like him back in the U.K. I had my kids, you know. I did have a good time there. It's just that then things got harder and I couldn't take
it anymore, I had to leave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: This isn't going to help her case, obviously.
BLACK: No. I mean, there's no doubt there's not a lot sympathy for her in this country --
BLACK: -- because of those sorts of comments and so forth. But she is at the center of something of a polarizing public and political debate where,
on one side, you do have people who argue very strongly that she's picked her side, that side happened to be against everything that the U.K. stands
for, she is an enemy of the state, the U.K. owes her nothing, she should not be allowed back.
On the other side, there are those who clearly have a problem with some of the decisions that she's made and the lifestyle choices and so forth. But
they say she is a British responsibility --
BLACK: -- she was born here, raised here, radicalized here. She should be brought back, dealt with, if necessary prosecuted and punished. But also
learned from, to try and ensure that these sorts of radicalization cases -- particularly targeting young people, as she was at the time -- couldn't be
GORANI: Yes. Because where do you draw the line? I mean, this is a crime, embracing -- joining a terrorist organization. But do you remove someone's
citizenship for that but not other crimes? You know, I mean, where do -- how do you decide?
BLACK: Removing citizenship is a powerful blunt instrument, there is no doubt. And there are some people who would argue that under no
circumstances should it be removed.
But the government is saying -- has always painted her to be someone, regardless of what role she played in ISIS -- and she says she was just a
housewife who raised children, who ultimately died, sadly -- regardless of the role that people played, they say that these are people who supported a
terrorist organization, an organization that was absolutely opposed to everything that Britain stands for, and so they shouldn't be allowed back.
GORANI: Yes. Well, and as you mentioned, those people who believe she should keep her citizenship and be prosecuted here, are not arguing she did
a good thing. It's just that she should face justice in her country.
GORANI: Thanks very much, Phil Black. Have a great weekend.
Still to come tonight, a shocking rape case in India, this time on the grounds of the U.S. embassy in New Delhi. We'll have the details, after the
GORANI: The White House confirms the death of Qasim al-Rimi, the leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. CNN reported last week that the U.S. led
an airstrike targeting Rimi.
The White House says Rimi's death further degrades the group's terrorist movement and that the U.S. and its allies, quote, "are safer as a result,"
unquote. Rimi's death follows recent successful U.S. military efforts to remove high-profile organization -- terror organization leaders in that
part of the world.
India is dealing with another shocking high-profile rape case. The victim - - it's even hard to say -- five years old, a five-year-old girl. Police have arrested a suspect, saying he lured the child when she was playing on
the grounds of the U.S. embassy in New Delhi. Vedika Sud has the details.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCER: A five-year-old girl living with her parents in the staff quarters of the U.S. embassy compound in New Delhi was raped last
week. The girl is the daughter of a housekeeper who works for the American embassy here.
The incident took place on February the 1st, according to the Delhi police officials. They added that the girl was playing when she was lured and
raped by a 25-year-old man who was also a neighbor.
The American embassy is located in a highly secure area, and is surrounded by other foreign missions. According to a statement issued by a U.S.
embassy spokesperson, they were -- and I quote them here -- "deeply disturbed to learn of allegations of a sexual assault of a child on the
embassy compound," unquote.
The statement added that the embassy had taken swift action by reporting the incident to the police and obtaining medical assistance for the girl.
The police confirmed to CNN that the accused was arrested the next day, after the victim was able to identify him. He was arrested under the
Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act, and charged with rape. He's currently in custody. A court date has not yet been set.
Now, sexual violence against women in India remains a problem. The latest data released by the government indicates there are roughly 91 rapes each
day in the country. Following the horrific 2012 gang rape of a 23-yaer-old woman on a bus in Delhi, a number of legal reforms and stricter penalties
Given that the girl is a minor and under the age of 12, if found guilty, the accused could be sentenced to up to 20 years or life imprisonment. In
some cases, even the death penalty can be handed down.
Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.
GORANI: Shocking case there.
Now, in the United States, it was -- it has to be said -- a good week for Donald Trump and it was capped by a strong January U.S. jobs report that
beat expectations. The economy added more than 200,000 jobs last month, as the steady pace of hiring continues in America, and there was a surge of
people looking for work in January.
Now, more than 61 percent of Americans, aged 16 and older, have a job. That's the highest level for employment within the employment population
ratio in more than a decade.
Now, January's strong jobs report is just the latest headline in a week of pretty good news for the U.S. president, Donald Trump. CNN's politics
editor at large Chris Cillizza joins me now from Washington.
And it wasn't only that, it was also the Iowa debacle that the president --
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS EDITOR AT LARGE: Yes.
GORANI: -- reveled in, the impeachment acquittal, a Gallup poll showing he's at his highest approval rating since he took office. Talk to us a
little bit about Trump's week and how he's capitalizing on it.
CILLIZZA: Yes. I mean, look, for someone who tends to get in his own way oftentimes, with a tweet or an impolitic statement, even Donald Trump
really couldn't stop the momentum he had this week. Obviously, the huge thing, history-wise, will be his acquittal, on largely party line votes, on
both articles of impeachment.
But you did have, on Monday, and honestly throughout the week, what happened in Iowa. This is the first vote of the Democratic Party to find
out who will run against Donald Trump. And it wound up being -- as everyone would, no matter Republican, Democrat, no party -- a real, real problem. We
still don't have a declared winner. We may not ever know exactly whether the vote is accurate or not.
Donald Trump thrives in chaos. He loves it, it's what he is most known for, it's what he kind of -- it's his natural state. And you saw a ton of that
on the Democratic side this week, not only in Iowa but also given Joe Biden's performance.
Everyone thought Joe Biden was going to be the nominee against Donald Trump, three months ago. Well, now, Joe Biden has finished fourth in Iowa
and is fighting for his political life, going into New Hampshire.
GORANI: And the Republican Party approval rating is just --
GORANI: -- incredible, 93 percent. I mean, this Republican Party has become the party of Trump, and you saw it in the White House yesterday --
GORANI: -- during his victory lap. You had these big top-level Republican lawmakers all laughing and cheering, applauding their president as this
kind of, like, almost messiah of the Republican Party in the United States. It's truly become that, hasn't it?
CILLIZZA: Yes, it's -- he conducted what is effectively a hostile takeover of the Republican Party in 2016. They didn't want him to be their leader,
he kind of took it by force. But at this point, it is a cult of personality, particularly among elected leaders in Washington.
Look, you're right, they were laughing and joking it up. And the content wasn't exactly funny. Donald Trump was calling his political opponents evil
-- his word -- he was questioning the religious commitments of Mitt Romney, a Republican senator from Utah -- who, by the way, was the party's 2012
Republican presidential nominee -- and Nancy Pelosi.
So, yes, I think some of that is a function of they live in fear of Donald Trump because he has shown a willingness to go after them if they cross
him. Also, I think impeachment has helped him rally the Republican base even more.
It is seen as a heavily partisan endeavor. You saw his approval rating among Republicans go from 87, 88 up into the mid-90s. I don't know that he
has that much more room to grow. I can't see him getting 100 percent approval among Republicans, but I probably wouldn't have expected him to be
in the mid-90seiher.
So if you are looking today, Donald Trump is in the best shape to win a second term that he has been, I think, since he won back in 2016.
GORANI: And internationally, what people are most interested in is this question. Is Donald Trump going to win re-election --
GORANI: -- in 2020? Because -- because for -- and as you know, you know, around the world, they see Donald Trump kind of as just this very baffling
phenomenon. As you said, a hijacking of the Republican Party, saying things that are brash, that are sometimes, you know -- he used the word BS
yesterday, during his rambling --
CILLIZZA: Yes, except he didn't say that --
GORANI: -- address at the White House.
CILLIZZA: -- exactly.
GORANI: He said -- yes. Well, I won't say it. But -- we ran the sound bite, so people know what I'm talking about.
So what -- how do you explain to international viewers --
GORANI: -- the Trump phenomenon, almost four years in -- or three years in?
CILLIZZA: Yes. Well, I'll add, it's not the question -- it's not just a question internationally, it's the biggest question domestically too. Will
Donald Trump win.
How do you explain it? He was elected as a change agent. People were sick of Washington, sick of politicians of both parties. And he -- by his very
nature, his tone, his willingness to break accepted norms -- he was change.
I think his appeal as it is now is sort of anti-political correctness, so he runs down the elites and Democrats and the media, and how they tell
Republicans in this country to think.
And then also that the economy is doing pretty well, it's not terribly complicated that what you played at the beginning, 225,000 jobs created,
unemployment rate is at 3.6 percent. There's a lot of best-evers or best- in-a-long-times related to the economy. And the American voter -- probably like a lot of voters, but certainly the American voter -- is motivated
largely by kitchen table, their pocketbook. What --
GORANI: But --
CILLIZZA: -- do they feel like they have more money now?
GORANI: They're choosing --
CILLIZZA: And they are willing to look past --
CILLIZZA: -- many of the things that he does -- and this is the thing about people, always get -- again, domestically and internationally, people
always come back to. What they're doing -- for people who support him -- they are prioritizing their own personal economic situation, their sense of
the broader economy over what is by anyone's estimation an abnormal presidency.
He has broken the mold of how we typically in America expect our presidents to acct, speak and yes, tweet.
GORANI: Yes. And you say they've chosen to look past. I mean, every single day, there's an article. Today, it was "The Washington Post," you know,
detailing the payment that the Secret Service and therefore U.S. --
CILLIZZA: Secret Service, yes.
GORANI: -- taxpayer money goes to Trump resorts. Because when he travels, the Secret Service travels with him. So they're choosing to look past some
of these extremely unusual and potentially ethically questionable practices by the president.
CILLIZZA: Well, and just remember, here, Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate, the Republican-controlled Senate. But lots of those senators,
Republicans, said, I don't think he -- I think he did something wrong, I just don't think it was impeachable.
Remember, that's a far cry from the there-was-no-qui-pro-quo, he didn't break any rules, this is just a partisan witch hunt. It is a remarkable
phenomenon, the extent to which people, including the Republican elected leadership in Washington, are willing to say, oh, yes, all of that stuff is
OK, because he's popular among our base, and the economy is pretty good.
There's a whole lot of all that other stuff over these first three years and there's going to be more. The question is, does the total weight of all
of that balance out, outweigh, under weigh people's desire for economic certainty, economic optimism, and we don't know the answer to that yet,
But there's no question that right now, he has to feel pretty good about where he is. Not just because of his standing among in the Republican Party
and with the public, but also because there is chaos in the democratic side right now. It may settle down over these next few months. It probably will.
But right now, it looks chaotic.
GORANI: Yes. Chris Cillizza, thanks very much. Appreciate it.
CILLIZZA: Thank you.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, life in quarantine. A conversation with a football player who fled the coronavirus but is still waiting to get home.
We'll be right back.
GORANI: Just a short time ago, the U.S. Secretary of State announced new financial support to fight the coronavirus. In a tweet, Mike Pompeo said
the U.S. was pledging an additional $100 million of existing funds to help China's battle against the virus. Pompeo said the pledge demonstrates,
quote, strong U.S. leadership in efforts to curb the outbreak.
Well, the U.S. State Department has chartered evacuation flights bringing hundreds of Americans home from the epicenter of the virus in Wuhan, China.
Once they arrived, they are being placed in quarantine.
And joining me now via Skype is one of them, he's Jarred Evans, the professional football player for a team in Wuhan. He's currently under
quarantine in California. Jarred, thanks for joining us.
You've been speaking to us throughout this quarantine experience. How many days do you have left?
JARRED EVANS, QUARANTINED AFTER RETURNING FROM CHINA: Yes. So we're definitely counting down right now. I have about five days left until I get
home to my family.
GORANI: How has it been?
EVANS: It's been great. I mean, they're taking care of us very well. Providing all our needs. And, you know, they're still taking major
precautions by giving us our fever checks and giving us updates daily at 10:00 a.m.
GORANI: Has anyone fallen ill? Has anyone contracted the virus or is everyone healthy?
EVANS: Everyone is healthy here on our base right now.
GORANI: And the reason it's two weeks is because that's the incubation period? That's how long it takes for the first symptoms to appear?
EVANS: Correct. That is the first -- 14 days is from what the CDC has evaluated along any kind of symptoms can be tested.
GORANI: Where are you exactly? This kind of looks like a resort, frankly. We're seeing images and video of exactly? This kind of looks like a resort,
frankly. We're seeing images and video of big lush green parks and a nice building. Where is it?
EVANS: Yes. So we're in Riverside, California, actually. I mean, right now, it's beautiful weather. Kids are outside playing. We just had a trivia game
at 12:30. So we're keeping busy as much as possible, and trying to -- we're all ready to get home to our families.
GORANI: And you can actually, you know, sort of interact with other people on the grounds. Right? It's not like you're isolated in your own room like
those people on the cruise ships?
EVANS: Yes, correct. We are interacting, but we're still taking precautions by wearing our masks on a daily basis, because, you know, just in case you
have any kind of cold or anything like that, you still want to be safe and healthy before you leave this base.
GORANI: All right. How has it been not seeing your family for all this time?
EVANS: Well, personally, I haven't seen my family for about a year and a half now. But I thank God for iPhones though. It's definitely been helping
us. But, you know, it's got kind of worse now that I'm in this kind of situation. Mainly because it's a worrying for my mother and, you know, moms
are the biggest nurturers of all time.
So they're doing fine. As long as I'm in high spirits and healthy, they're OK.
GORANI: All right. Great. Well, Jarred, five more days to go. Maybe we'll be able to speak to you one more time before you are released from the
facility in Riverside. Thanks very much. Good luck to you.
EVANS: Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
GORANI: Fear of the coronavirus has led to worldwide shortages of face masks. Is that fear justified? Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay
Gupta joins me now.
And by the way, Sanjay, the cost of face masks has also gone up. Just an ordinary pharmacies very far from the epicenter in China. People are really
worried. Are they right to be worried?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, within Wuhan and the province of Hubei, there was a -- there was a blanket recommendation
made that people there should wear face masks. But I think -- you know, we've heard pretty clearly from public health officials and other places
around the world that they're not really necessary.
I mean, this is -- this is understandably people's fears outpacing the science, I think a little bit here, Hala. I will point out, you know, and
maybe this is obvious. You know, you put one of these face masks on, unless they're a respirator face mask, viral particles can still get around the
It is a good reminder when people wear face masks, people should stay away from that person, they may be ill. And for they themselves not to touch
their mouth and their nose, which is one of the ways that viruses can be transmitted.
But, yes, I think, you know, again, understandable in terms of people's concerns but not really necessary outside of that particular area.
GORANI: So I guess it is encouraging that we're hearing that the number of new cases is going down, that we're not seeing any kind of rapid
acceleration. How encouraging is that?
GUPTA: Yes. I think it's definitely encouraging. And to your point, you're seeing a decline in the pace at which this has been accelerating. The
numbers themselves are still going up just not as quickly as in the past.
You know, it's interesting. If you look at the worldwide map and I'll -- and I'm going to give you some context for this here. You can see how these
cases have sort of spread around the world. When you look at it more closely this map, you'll also notice that most of the cases are in the
Now, that's relevant, because of -- just think about this seasonally. We went back, Hala, and looked at SARS. Interestingly, this seems to have
started early December, late November as did SARS back in 2002.
SARS peaked in March of 2003 and then sort of -- you know, the tail end of it was over the summer. That sort of fit a seasonal pattern for that
coronavirus, and we may see that sort of seasonal pattern here as well.
So, again, that peaked in March. We're, you know, mid-February now. So if it fits that same pattern, we should start to see this peak and then this
sort of tailing off.
GORANI: Let's hope so. You've been obviously following what's going on on these cruise ships. And I wonder, is it the best idea to keep people
confined in tiny cabins without windows where they're breathing the same air, you know, as people in some cases that are sick?
So sometimes, you have a couple where one has contracted the virus, and the other hasn't. Is that a good idea?
GUPTA: Well, that situation that you described where someone has contracted, someone has not in the same confined space, that's probably not
a good idea. Because, you know, we know the human to human transmissions, for example, here in the United States have been typically partners living
in the same -- you know, the same space as someone who's subsequently has found to be infected.
And look, my heart goes out to the people. I've been on one cruise in my life, and to be confined in a cabin like that has got to be tough no matter
how you look at it. But maybe this provides a little bit of solace.
When you start to look at the science of this, it does appear to spread through close contact. What does that mean? Three to six feet. It means
that the respiratory droplets in the air are typically how this is spread. Those droplets fall to the ground. They don't last really more than several
hours on the ground.
So the idea of them then getting into the ventilation, spreading around the entire cruise ship and possibly infecting lots of people is low. I mean,
that's just -- that's just looking at the nature of this virus. Is it possible? Yes. And we know that viruses -- other types of viruses have
spread through cruise ships quickly such as norovirus, for example.
But this particular virus, I guess if there's a little bit of good news, I know it's going to be very tough for those folks, but if there's a little
bit of good news, it's that the idea of a widespread on the -- on the ship is not likely to happen.
GORANI: Well, that is good news. I feel for the people who are in cabins without windows. Imagine that.
GUPTA: I know. They got to be on stir crazy.
GORANI: Tiny little boxes. Thanks very much for that, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.
GORANI: Fears of the coronavirus spreading are not stopping thousands of couples from tying the knot. Tens of thousands have flocked to watch a mass
wedding ceremony at the Unification Church in South Korea. Staff not taking any chances, they were checking people's temperatures, handing out hand
sanitizers, and many brides and grooms married in matching face masks for protection. Hoping their marriages thrive in sickness and in health.
Still to come, it is their last big chance to separate themselves from the pack before critical primary in New Hampshire. We'll preview tonight's
democratic presidential debate now just a few hours away.
And then the escalating fight between the most powerful House Democrat and President Donald Trump. We'll see why he's now accusing her of breaking the
law. We'll be right back.
GORANI: There is a lot at stake tonight when seven democratic candidates for U.S. president take the stage in New Hampshire. They're squaring off in
a televised debate looking for a breakout moment as they make last minute pitches to voters before the state's primary on Tuesday.
Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are hoping to build on their momentum from Iowa. That state finally reported caucus results from 100 percent of
its precincts. And Buttigieg was actually on stage, at a CNN town hall, when he heard this news last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Iowa Democratic Party just released the final batch of results from the caucuses. 100 percent of precincts reporting. You are
holding a narrow lead of a 10th of a percentage point over Senator Sanders on the state delegate equivalence, which is the metric that we use to
determine a winner. What is your reaction?
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D-IN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, it's fantastic news to hear that we won. Senator Sanders clearly had a great night too.
And I congratulate him and his supporters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Bernie Sanders took aim at Pete Buttigieg and the campaign staff today. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I'm reading some headlines from newspapers about Pete Buttigieg. Pete Buttigieg has most
exclusive billionaire donors of any Democrat. I like Pete Buttigieg. Nice guy. But we are in a moment where billionaires control not only our economy
but our political life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Iowa may be in the rear-view mirror, but technically, it's still not over yet. The state Democratic Party is giving campaigns until
Monday to challenge the caucus results.
Let's go live now to New Hampshire. Our Kyung Lah joins us from Manchester, the site of tonight's debate.
Bernie Sanders is tweeting Pete Buttigieg's billionaires. You know, he's trying to sort of cast him as a candidate that's taking money from big
This is a very interesting situation now that the two front-runners are -- it appears after Iowa at least Sanders and Buttigieg, and Biden is fourth.
At least at this stage.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At this stage, at least. With just the Iowa caucuses under our belts here.
But let's step back and first look at how rare this used to be. Because it looks like it's a whole new state of play. Bernie Sanders didn't ever call
out people by name all that often. And to certainly have this -- a hashtag suddenly pop up, Pete's billionaires, is a very direct attack.
So I think what you're starting to see here now, Hala, is with these two men at the very, very top, you have the progressive wing of the Democrats
and the moderate wing of the Democrats. There is going to be this evening a war of the moderates versus the progressives. And you have one person
representing the moderates and one person representing the progressives at least for right now.
But don't forget, if you look at the breakdown of the Iowa caucuses, there is no clear frontrunner. So, yes, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders at the
top. But then right behind them, you have Elizabeth Warren and falling a bit further behind is Joe Biden. So it is still very tight and no decisive
frontrunner as of yet.
GORANI: But what I find interesting too is that as a result of Iowa, Sanders' fundraising is on fire. I don't know about Buttigieg's numbers,
but I presume that he's attracting more donors now. Is this spelling trouble for Joe Biden? Because no one expected him to win Iowa, but is this
kind of quote, unquote, distant fourth place for him trouble or not yet?
LAH: Well, it doesn't -- it doesn't help. I mean, if you look at the numbers themselves, they tell quite a story. Because of where he is, not
just in fourth place. It had been a much closer fourth place. You'd hear people saying well, you know, perhaps he can come back. He had been down
playing how he was going to do. He still has the best chance looking towards Nevada, South Carolina, without having the black vote behind him.
Whoever the nominee is, he or she, is going to have a very tough time winning the nomination and having a true umbrella of various coalitions
come together in order to get them to defeat Donald Trump. So right now, Joe Biden still has that, but still has that.
It's after each one of these contests, if he continues to be in fourth place, it is going to be harder and harder for him to make the argument
that he is the front runner, that he is the one who's going to be able to win these contests. And notably, to get out the vote.
The vote was not that great in Iowa. The turnout was lower than expected. So that certainly, all of this combined, spells trouble for the former vice
GORANI: All right. And, of course, in a few weeks we'll get Bloomberg entering the race. So we'll see how that changes things up.
Thanks very much, Kyung Lah, for that.
LAH: You bet.
GORANI: It was a snub, for sure, but did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi break the law with her dramatic act of defiance at the end of President Trump's
State of the Union Address this week? Mr. Trump is taking their feud to a whole new level with this claim today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I thought it was a terrible thing when she ripped up the speech. First of all, it's an official
document. You're not allowed. It's illegal what she did. She broke the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. Pelosi had a copy of Mr. Trump's address. Not the original document and legal experts say that means her shredding of the
speech was not illegal. Still, the snub has escalated into a full-on feud as our Jeanne Moos reports.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Round two in the post State of the Union slugfest, in this corner, Donald Trump, hail to the
TRUMP: Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person.
MOOS: And in this corner, Nancy the ripper Pelosi, the two started fighting about prayer at, yes, at prayer breakfast, amen.
TRUMP: Nor do I like people who say I pray for you when they know that that's not so.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I pray hard for him, because he's so off the track.
TRUMP: I pray for the president. She doesn't pray. She may pray, but she prays for the opposite. But I doubt she prays at all.
MOOS: They tear into each other. She tears up his speech, and now Pelosi is being ripped for allegedly pre-ripping that speech. The theory being it
would be easier to dramatically tear it up at the end of the president's address. Critics pointed out little notches on the pages as they sat on the
The Trump war room tweeted this moment when Pelosi appeared to take pages behind the desk and fiddle with them.
TRUMP: Here tonight is a special man.
MOOS: Trump supporters erupted. She pre-tore them. Nancy, really, your antics are done, missy. Pre-meditated political theater, but Pelosi's
spokesman said it was not preplanned. The speaker notched several pages in order to denote falsehoods in the speech as she went along.
Didn't she have a pen we wondered? I do not believe that she did, was the response, and we didn't see one on the desk.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): She disgraced the House of Representatives.
MOOS: Florida Republican, Matt Gaetz, filed an ethics complaint against Speaker Pelosi which won't go far in the democratically controlled House.
And talk about notches, you can count on these two to keep on taking each other down more than a notch.
TRUMP: He's a horrible person.
PELOSI: He's so off the track.
MOOS: JEANNE MOOS, CNN, NEW YORK.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, evacuating the coronavirus epicenter. What it's like to flee a city on lockdown.
GORANI: Australian firefighters are battling those disastrous bushfires are finally getting some much-needed rain. Heavy downpours in New South Wales
have reduced the number of wildfires in the region by almost a third which is great news. With 42 active fires still burning in the state. Officials
are hoping that the rainfall continues.
Fires in Australia have killed more than 20 people since they began in July. And they have destroyed millions of acres of land and killed about
this number is incredible, a billion animals.
A Russian Dutch citizen decided to document the process of leaving the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus virus outbreak.
Vladimir Markov. His latest video shows life in a Siberian hospital where he's being quarantined for 14 days. Before that, he filmed his final days
in Wuhan ahead of his evacuation to Russia. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR MARKOV, RUSSIAN-DUTCH CITIZEN LIVING IN WUHAN: Hello. My name is Vladimir Markov. I am originally from Russia then I moved to Netherlands.
And I am working in Wuhan. I'm currently located in Wuhan.
Wuhan, around 5:00 p.m. Sunday on a street. You can see only fake people. Fake people here. Fake people there. You can see people are still on the
streets. You can buy some fruits, vegetables, food. Currently, grocery shops are already closed. They work until 4:00.
When I first heard first time that the city was locked down, it was a big disappointment, because I planned my vacation during the Chinese New Year
in Vietnam. So I supposed to be on the beach, nice weather, and suddenly you look down, in your apartment you're afraid to go out.
Of course, there is a lot of panic everywhere. I missed my chance to be evacuated by Dutch embassy. It was two days ago. I have second chance to be
evacuated by Russian embassy. And currently today, they were making a list of people who will be evacuated. So the numbers of confirmed cases are
still quite scary, and it's raising -- rising every day quite a lot. That's why I decided to still to be evacuated to Russia.
Currently, my evacuation has started. I'm going to the bus. Provided by Russian embassy. Now I can say goodbye to friendly Wuhan animals. There's
plenty of them. So this is the bus. And then we're going to airport directly and flight is scheduled around 1:00 a.m., after midnight.
Currently, I'm alone in the bus. Here's the bus driver. It's quite a luxury vacation. The whole bus is mine. Actually, I was expecting a lot of people,
but maybe we all will meet in the airport. Bye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Vladimir Markov, the bus to himself and it looked like the city to himself.
Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. If it's your weekend, have a great one. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.