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Hala Gorani Tonight

Coronavirus Spreads In Italy; Trump To Give Coronavirus Press Conference; For First Time, More Cases Reported Outside China Than Inside; Sporting Events Being Cancelled In Many Countries; Biotech Firm, Moderna, Ships Out Experimental Vaccine; India Grapples With Deadly Communal Violence; Researcher Tests Ant Species As Natural Pest Control; Frontrunner Bernie Sanders Attacked In Fiery Debate. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired February 26, 2020 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Good evening, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Isa Soares in for Hala Gorani.

Tonight, fear and uncertainty grow as the coronavirus outbreak spreads, spanning across six continents.

Plus, U.S. President Donald Trump says his administration's doing a great job in handling the coronavirus, but some would disagree.

And a raucous debate in South Carolina, U.S. Democratic presidential candidates take aim at each other in the race for 2020.

But first, the coronavirus has now touched every continent in the world except Antarctica. It's affecting nearly every part of life from the global

economy to stock markets and business to sporting events to travel, as well as recreation. We're going to break it all down for you this hour.

But first, let me bring you the big picture. More than 81,000 people have been infected with the virus, more than 2,700 people have died. The worst

of it is still in mainland China, but there are new epicenters really popping out elsewhere and really threatening entire regions.

And that is what's happening in Italy right now, with 400 cases and 12 deaths. That country has the worst outbreak in Europe, as you can see

there, and the effects really are spreading outward: Croatia, Austria, Greece and Switzerland, even Brazil in South America have all reported


Now to Italy. The country's government is struggling to contain the virus. They're suspending all public events in much of the northern regions of the

country, those are the regions most affected and they're urging people to work from home.

Melissa Bell shows us how people caught in the middle of Italy's outbreak are responding. Take a look.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As in Asian countries before it, Italy is now in the grips of a coronavirus frenzy. Newspaper headlines

scream of a country under siege as politicians pounce on the fear it is sparking.

MATTEO SALVINI, FEDERAL SECRETARY OF THE NORTHERN LEAGUE (through translator): If someone were to have controlled or closed -- not now but

in January, when we first said it, we probably would have avoided some problems.

BELL (voice-over): At pharmacies in Venice, protective masks have sold out, the result of days of panic buying.

STEFANO BEJOR, PHARMACIST: We sold more than 2,000 masks in three, four days. We have at least things (ph) the government gave us. There have been

advice like keep hands cleaning, avoid crowded and public places.

BELL (voice-over): And protective gear isn't all that Italians in the north of the country have been buying. Some supermarkets in Milan are

running low on other supplies as well as citizens prepare for the worst.

But what is the truth of it? How scared should people really be? We spoke to one virologist here in the Veneto region of Italy who's working on the

outbreak, who told us that too little was really known. He said that as far as he was concerned the fear for the time being really was far greater than

the actual danger. And that message of reassurance has also been coming from the World Health Organization.

HANS KLUGE, REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: There is indeed no need for a panic, and for trust by the people in what the

government in Italy is doing. We are ready to scale up the capacity together, to ensure that all regions in the country are equally prepared.

BELL (voice-over): Little comfort for the estimated 100,000 residents living under lockdown in the at least 10 villages and towns in which they

are confined.

Despite fears around public gatherings, these masked pilgrims flocked to the Vatican to hear Pope Francis extend his prayers to those affected.

For now, though, even outside the quarantine zones, cities like Venice are feeling the pain. One of the greatest tourist spots in the world, much

quieter than normal with many tourists staying away and many Italians staying at home.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Venice.


SOARES: Let me take you from Venice to Rome. That's where we find our Barbie Nadeau. Barbie, is there a sense, at least in Rome, that the Italian

authorities have this under control, at least among those you've spoken to?


BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, no, there's really not a sense. I think as long as we keep getting these updates with new numbers -- we're at

(ph) 400 now -- there is a sense that the Italians are still struggling to contain the virus.

Now, this -- there's a couple reasons for that. I think one is, Italians in general don't always trust their government, and so they're not going to

trust them necessarily in a situation like this. But we have seen something incredible here, which is the transparency and the effort with which the

Italian authorities are going to try to tell everyone what's happening, the extent of the spread, where the -- you know, where the new cases are and

things like that. And that has done a little bit, I think, in terms of the trust level for the government here so far.

SOARES: Barbie Nadeau there for us, thanks very much, Barbie, good to see you.

Well, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is watching the situation closely. Sergio Brusin is the ECDC's principal expert for

response and emergency operation. He joins me now from Sweden.

Sergio, I'm not sure if you heard our correspondent there in Rome, basically saying that from those she has spoken to, that Italians don't

feel that they can trust the authorities in dealing with this virus. What is -- what do you make of the way it is spreading to the newest hotspots

here in Europe?

SERGIO BRUSIN, EUROPEAN CENTRE FOR DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL: Well, what we are seeing is something that we sort of forecasted a couple of

weeks ago. The spreading of this virus, it's something that is not really taking us by surprise. We couldn't really forecast where it would happen,

but that something like this would happen was pretty sure.

And then the real important thing is to be prepared. Because then when you are prepared and these things happens, your response is much more


SOARES: So it hasn't taken you by surprise. But having said that, Sergio, is there a sense that perhaps that -- is Europe prepared? I mean, what is

the overall risk to Europe, would you say?

BRUSIN: Well, the -- our estimation of the risk is medium to high. And Europe is quite well prepared. It's quite well prepared, the pandemic plans

are ready in all countries, we checked that. Of course, some countries are more prepared than others but there's a whole network of responders, ready

to coordinate their response.

So it is a fairly well prepared continent, and the European Union is well prepared. But this, you have to take into account, is a completely new

virus. And so we are not completely sure how it behaves.

SOARES: You were saying that the pandemic plan, what does that pandemic plan look like and would you call it a pandemic? Because I know, you know,

we've heard from various authorities, saying we shouldn't go as far as calling it a pandemic. Where do you see it?

BRUSIN: Well, the World Health Organization has warned us that we are approaching a pandemic. They are still reluctant to call it a pandemic, but

it's going to go there pretty soon. It's not something that is not coming. It is coming. We have to be prepared.

And you know, the moment you get into the pandemic mode, you are not really trying to contain the actual outbreak, but you want to mitigate the effects

of the outbreak. It's a shift in mentality, a shift in response that we want to be prepared for. It's something that is going to happen. Not here

today, but is going to come pretty soon.

SOARES: Yes. Maybe it's just a question of semantics. For our viewers right around the world, though, Sergio, the pandemic plan that Europe is

working or has in place, what does that actually mean?

BRUSIN: Well, it means the same thing that happened during the H1N1, the great pandemic flu of 2009. The measures are not then to isolate people,

but to try to mitigate the effect. You ask people to have less social contact, you ask the hospitals to have more beds available, you give

information to the people and to the health services on how to behave differently so that the health services don't get overwhelmed by the number

of cases that they will have to treat.

It's a simple answer, really --



BRUSIN: -- you know, wash more your hands, be ready with enough protective equipment, be ready with some additional hand-washing equipment, be ready

for a surge in cases so that there's a surge capacity and all the various health workers don't run out of doctors straight away. Protect your health

service people so that they don't get sick and they are able to look after the people.

SOARES: Sergio Brusin, thank you very much, sir, for taking the time to speak to us here.

BRUSIN: Thank you.

SOARES: Now, Iran has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East, and it is growing at a very fast rate, take a look at this. In addition,

we're seeing new cases in Kuwait as well as Bahrain, have been traced now to Iran. Now, Russia is suspending visas to Iranians.

The country is taking precautions, they're closing schools. As you can see there, really scrubbing down public buses. President Hassan Rouhani is

accusing the U.S. of fearmongering with the virus. The U.S. says Iran isn't being transparent.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is in neighboring Turkey for us. And, Jomana, we are seeing this spread, really, to all these new hotspots in the Middle East.

Talk us through the measures that are being taken to try and contain the spread of the virus. We saw some video there out of Iran, of buses being

cleaned. But what else is being done?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, you've got different countries putting different measures in place. As you mentioned, for

example, you've got Kuwait and Bahrain that have announced that they've got more cases that have tested positive, all that can be traced back to people

who visited Iran and what they're doing.

In that case it's that they are suspending schools in these countries, they're asking people to self-quarantine. If you look at also other

countries in the region, basically cutting down the number of flights, cutting down flights to Iran. Neighboring countries, shutting their borders

like for example Armenia, announcing that they've closed their border with Iran.

You've got also Turkey doing the same. And, really, they're not taking any chances here. The country so far, according to the health ministry, has no

cases of coronavirus, but they're also taking all these preventative measures.

They had a plane yesterday, for example, that is evacuating Turkish nationals out of Iran, and they had some suspected cases on board. So what

they did, they didn't bring them to Istanbul, they diverted them to Ankara, they screened people on board. They say they've all tested negative, but

they've kept people in quarantine for 14 days, they've also set up a field station on the border with Iran, where people coming across will also be

kept there for 14 days.

And you've got different countries doing different things in this region, really concerned about what they're seeing taking place in Iran, and

concerns about whether Iran is doing enough to try and contain the outbreak.

So while you do have countries in this region that might be equipped to deal with this, Isa, the concern is for countries that may not be able to

deal with this, more vulnerable countries, you know. Countries that -- where the health care system has been devastated by years of war, for

example: Yemen, Syria and Iraq to a certain extent. So there's a lot of concern here in this region about where this is all headed right now.

SOARES: Yes, which is what the -- you know, what the health organizer, World Health Organization warned right from day one, that those countries

that are most vulnerable, they don't have the medical infrastructure in place, those are the ones they're most worried about.

Jomana Karadsheh there for us in Istanbul, Turkey, thanks very much, Jomana, good to see you.

Now, South Korean authorities are trying to contain the coronavirus outbreak as the number of cases really skyrockets. The cases have spread

beyond civilians into the South Korean military, and now a U.S. soldier stationed in the country has tested positive for the virus.

CNN's Ivan Watson reports from outside a U.S. military base in South Korea. Take a look.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Isa, the coronavirus outbreak has exploded, surging from double digits a week ago to now at

least 1,261 cases, which have also claimed the lives of at least 12 people. And now, coronavirus has also spread to the substantial U.S. military

presence, stationed here in Korea.

Right now, I'm outside the largest U.S. military installation overseas, outside of the U.S. And this is where a one -- 23-year-old American soldier

is currently being treated after he was moved from his camp, near that southern Korean city of Daegu, which has really been the epicenter of the

outbreak -- to here, where he's been placed in isolation.

The U.S. military says there are an additional 15 individuals -- 10 active duty soldiers, four Korean troops that are attacked to American military

units, and a civilian -- who are also in isolation here.


And the commander of this U.S. military city has published statements on Facebook, basically trying to explain the situation to the huge population

of American military and dependents stationed here in the Korean Peninsula.

MICHAEL TREMBLAY, U.S. ARMY GARRISON COMMANDER, CAMP HUMPHREYS: That is our first case, positive case, as confirmed this morning in Daegu. We have

since taken an ambulance and transported the one positive case to B (ph) Dock (ph) to be put in negative pressure isolation here on Camp Humphreys.

WATSON: Now, the U.S. military has issued a threat level of high to roughly 30,000 service personnel stationed here, and they've banned those

troops from going to movie theaters, bars, clubs, sit-down restaurants, any place with a gathering of more than 20 people.

And of course, the coronavirus has spread into other sectors of Korean society, to the Korean military, which has confirmed at least 20 cases of

the virus, of course across all four branches of the military, and of course into Korean society as well.

And the Korean National Assembly has just passed laws -- after the assembly building itself was disinfected for some 24 hours, shutting down operations

there -- passed three laws that tightened the punishment for breaking quarantine in Korea. You can now face up to a year in prison, and the

equivalent of more than $8,000 fine if you break quarantine, another sign of how Korea itself is trying to struggle with this public health crisis --


SOARES: Thanks very much.

So now, you know how coronavirus is (ph) spread, what can you do to prepare -- indeed, protect -- your family as well as livelihoods? I want to send --

ask you to send me your questions. Tweet me at @ISACNN. We'll put them to our senior medical correspondent later this hour.

If you're a business traveler, what do you want to know? Do you need to wear a mask? Does it make any difference? Should you be traveling? Or is

this is just alarmist? Or any questions that you have from a medical perspective, as a business traveler, send me your questions @ISACNN on

Twitter, and I'll put this to our medical team later on this hour, in about 20 minutes or so from now.

Still to come right here on the show, U.S. President Donald Trump is due to address the nation, just hours from now, about the coronavirus threat.

We're live in Washington with what to expect.

And from travel to global markets, we'll take a look at how the coronavirus is impacting business sectors right around the world. Richard Quest joins

me, next.



MANU RAJU, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Coronavirus is under control, according to the president. Your reaction to that?


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I don't think the president knows what he's talking about. Once again.


SOARES: Well, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi there, with a blistering critique of Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus threat. She said the

president's response is anemic, far too little, too late.

Well, Mr. Trump could soon answer critics who say his administration is not prepared for a possible outbreak that could spread across the United

States. The president has indeed announced he will hold a news conference this evening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this

about the threat today, take a listen.


ANNE SCHUCHAT, PRICIPAL DEPUTY DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: We now have outbreaks in Europe, outbreaks in other countries, in Asia. And we

recognize that our very strong measures here in the United States to contain the virus, to keep it limited to very low numbers, may not hold for

the long haul. We don't know exactly what will occur here, but the transmissibility has us wanting to be prepared.

We also know that the virus is not as severe as we first feared in the reports out of Hubei Province.


SOARES: Let's bring in CNN's John Harwood, live at the White House. And, John, all week as stock markets fell, we really saw members of the Trump

administration -- including President Trump, may I add, himself -- really downplaying the significance of this outbreak. It's such a different

message from what we've been hearing from the CDC. What should we expect to hear from the president today?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I think, Isa, we're going to hear a recalibration from the president. As you mentioned, he's offered a

sunny message over the last couple days: It's under control, don't worry about the stock market drop, we've got this.

On the other hand, the technical officials within the government have been cautioning -- including Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious disease

expert in the United States today -- this could become a pandemic, it's going to hit us hard.

The challenge is getting the tone right. This may not be, as Anne Schuchat was saying in that bite that you just played, might not be as severe as

first thought. But nevertheless, it's going to have an impact economically. There's some risk that --


HARWOOD: -- because of the economic fallout in China, we could go into a global recession. So the president's got to get the right tone. And members

of his own party are urging him to express more urgency about this than he has so far, and invest more resources.

SOARES: And we'll talk about the economic angles in just a minute with our Richard Quest. But as President Trump downplays this, we've also heard

bipartisan concern regarding the preparations. Nancy Pelosi, we played a sound (ph) -- a bit (ph) of her, saying that not only late and anemic. What

do Democrats want to see from the president here?

HARWOOD: Well, they want a couple of things. First of all, they want a more robust response. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, has

proposed a much larger infusion of money for the issue. They also want to take a bite politically out of the president. The president is seeking re-

election, the economy generally has been good and they're trying to make the case that this president is not a good steward of this potential

national crisis.

So it is a mix of political and substantive goals that Democrats have. But as I mentioned a moment ago, Republicans started grilling the president's

aides yesterday on Capitol Hill. They want a stronger response as well, so this is bipartisan at this point.

SOARES: When you say they want a stronger response, are they backing, also, this $8.5 billion in emergency funds that Senate Minority Leader

Chuck Schumer's been asking for?

HARWOOD: No, not backing off. I'm saying yesterday, the -- Richard Shelby, the chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the Senate, was chiding

administration officials, saying they had not asked for enough money. That is an indication that he is thinking along the same lines that Chuck

Schumer is.

And John Kennedy, a senator from Louisiana, went very hard at the acting DHS secretary, one of many positions within the administration that is not

filled by a permanent official. And what he said to the acting secretary was, the American public needs answers and you're not giving us answers.

We'll see if we get some this afternoon.

SOARES: And John Harwood, thanks very much for us, there in Washington.

HARWOOD: You bet.

SOARES: Important to point out that President Trump's speaking at 6:00 p.m. Eastern, that's 11:00 p.m. here in Europe. And that's after the stock

markets close in the U.S.

And talking of stock markets, it's been pretty volatile. It's still volatile (ph) to the concerns of the coronavirus. As you can see the chart

there, down just a quarter of a percent. But look, it's gone from a pretty good start to slightly in the red, bouncing around. All three major indices

opened high initially, swinging back and forth. Markets really all over the place, so much volatility after the sharp sell-off of the past two days

that we brought (ph) you here in the show, when the Dow lost more than 1,900 points.

Now, several major U.S. companies said that coronavirus is threatening their businesses. Apple is warning of potential iPhone shortages, and Coca-

Cola says its artificial sweeteners from China could be in short supply. Then you have United Airlines saying demand for flights to China is down to

zero, and Mastercard says it's on alert for softer spending.


We'll talk about companies in just a moment, but let's get the broader picture from Richard Quest, the host of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS," who joins

me now from New York.

Richard, in the space of a week, we've gone from record highs to now really volatility, almost correction territory. How much is this paralyzing

investors, this uncertainty?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: I think the surprise is that the market woke up to this on Monday, when it's been around for so long. But

having woken up to it, the two days of sharp falls -- primarily driven by coronavirus, but there may be other things as well in here. There may be,

for example, Bernie Sanders and the possibility of him becoming the Democratic nominee, following on from the weekend caucuses.

But the primary goal here, of course, is to -- for the market to get certainty on coronavirus. And that there simply is not.

So you get these two days of very sharp falls, and then you get a rebound. But today's rebound started off well, we were up nearly 450, nearly 500

points. And then, Isa, it just disappeared. And now, as you can see, the Dow is down, the other markets are barely holding onto their gains. With

the exception of the Nasdaq on technology grounds.

SOARES: Talk us through, Richard, the sectors that are being most impacted by coronavirus. What are CEOs, what are companies telling you?

QUEST: At its most obvious, it's the travel companies, it's the airlines. Today, Lufthansa and KLM both announced that they were taking strong

measures to cut costs. There would be a hiring freeze, there was going to be -- some people, they were looking for voluntary layoffs, or at least

short-term stay-at-homes, they were cutting costs with aircraft on the ground. That's why you're seeing Lufthansa off 2.2 percent.

Then, you've got the border issues, you've got the hotels, which are also suffering. The cruise lines, for obvious reasons, after the -- the

Princess, Diamond Princess story. But it's going to get bigger. It's going to get bigger as car companies don't get their parts from China. It's going

to get bigger as Italy, for example, potentially grinds to a halt. And all the industries that are involved out of Italy, and that spreads further.

So we are at the tip of the iceberg here. The potential and the risk is on the downside.

SOARES: Richard Quest, there for us in New York. He'll have much more on the coronavirus, how it's infecting the markets, in about half an hour from

now. Thanks very much, Richard.

QUEST: Thank you.

SOARES: Still to come tonight, Japan is preparing for an Olympics that may never happen, a look at how the coronavirus could affect the biggest

sporting event in the world.


And what is a sporting event without any fans? The coronavirus is forcing some teams to consider unusual solutions. Bring you that story in just a




SOARES: Welcome back. For the first time in the outbreak, there are more cases reported today outside of China than inside. For example, there are

now six confirmed cases from coronavirus in Japan. Four of them come from Japanese citizens who were in the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Officials

have announced 14 new cases of the virus from Diamond Princess' passengers and crew. The total number of infected people from the ship now stands at


Elsewhere in Japan, preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are going on as planned despite growing fears about how the outbreak could impact this

huge event. And even though organizers say countermeasures are in place, one official warns there is a chance that Summer Olympic Games should be


CNN's Matt Rivers for you.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Five months to go until Tokyo 2020 and rehearsals are in full swing, a practice torch run

outside Tokyo, though the flame hasn't arrived yet.

Some crowds, cheers, corporate sponsors.

RIVERS (on-camera): This is the fun stuff. This is what organizers want to be practicing for want to be preparing for, but given what's going on in

this part of the world, they're also preparing for something else.

RIVERS (voice-over): Specifically the coronavirus outbreak. Dozens of cases have been reported in Japan, as Japanese officials tried to stop it spread

safe to say they're worried about crowds. The new Emperor's birthday celebration canceled, March 1st Tokyo marathon called off for all but elite

runners. So the natural question, is the Olympics next?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no case for any contingency plans of canceling the games or moving the games.

RIVERS: Officials with the International Olympic Committee say they based that decision on guidance from the World Health Organization, which has

told them as of now, there's no reason to cancel.

RIVERS (on-camera): IOC officials have already set up a virus task force and are working closely with Japanese health authorities. But for those

people who have prepared their entire lives for this summer, the athletes who will stay in this village behind me, any thought of the games possibly

being interrupted is tough to think about, so they're staying positive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn't look bad now, but I think by them knowing that the Olympic game is coming into the country that, you know, they have

everything under control.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hopefully they have everything figured out and by then.

RIVERS (voice-over): Here in Japan, ping pong practice goes on unabated, the virus thread loops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm worried about whether Japan can actually host international guests if this infection keeps spreading.

RIVERS: But Japanese officials say that's currently their top priorities.

It's important for us to have visitors feel safe and enjoy Japan while here, the Vice Health Minister says, so this is our big focus.

Japan wants the games to be safe and successful, but only so much is in their control. A lot is still unknown about the coronavirus. And who knows

what happens between now and the July kickoff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know how far it's going to spread. And we don't know if it spreads how long that will last. Could that put the Olympics at

risk? Yes, I have tickets though, and I'm not giving them up.

RIVERS: Nobody wants a virus to ruin the games. The Olympic flame, after all, is designed to not go out. I hope that this rehearsal turns into the

real thing by the end of July.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Tokyo.


SOARES: Well, efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus are impacting the world, the sports world really in a pretty big way, sports stadiums,

thousands of fans packed into tight quarters. As you can imagine there are major concern for health officials. Matches are being canceled all across

Asia and Thursday's Europa League football match between clubs from Italy and Bulgaria is going to be played without fans in an empty stadium.

CNN's "WORLD SPORT'S" Don Riddell joins us now.

Don, let's start with these games being cancelled, or postponed or being played without fans. What kind of impact does that have on the football

league, for example, Europa League here?

DON RIDDELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, I mean, I would say being able to play the games in any condition doesn't have too much impact.

Obviously, the fans can't go to see the games and the atmosphere won't be quite as good if you're watching on television, but at least the games can

go ahead.

Serie A did kind of panic a little bit last weekend by actually canceling a load of games. This weekend, they're going to try and play those games, but

six will be played behind closed doors including the top of the table clash between Juventus and Inter Milan, a game featuring Cristiano Ronaldo.

And just to get him a sense of the magnitude of the impact now, Isa, look at all these spots that have in one way or another, been impacted. I can't

possibly go through all of those and explain to you what they are.


But some of them are major international events, track and field, the World Athletics Indoor Championships, postponed, a number of European and LPGA

Tour golf events. The Chinese Grand Prix in Formula One, the Table Tennis World Championships.

So these are big events that are now being impacted. And we have just heard today that the Six Nations Rugby Championship has also been impacted, the

game being played, and the first weekend of March between Ireland and Italy has now been postponed. That is a really big deal for this tournament.

Ireland's Minister of Health, Simon Harris, said they really didn't feel as though they had much of a choice.


SIMON HARRIS, MINISTER FOR HEALTH, IRELAND: I know this is going to be as sort of a great disappointment to so many rugby fans right across their own

country and indeed beyond in relation to the impact on the Six Nations. But I think it's the right decision. I don't think any minister will ever

regret following the advice of our public health experts. And quite frankly, I think it's what the Irish people would expect of me.


RIDDELL: So, Isa, the game the following weekend between Italy and England in Rome must also now be in doubt you would expect. Italy has really become

ground zero for the outbreak of this virus in Europe with now 400 cases and 12 people having lost their lives in Italy.

SOARES: Indeed. Don Riddell there for us. Thanks very much, Don.

Now an American biotech company says its experimental coronavirus vaccine is ready for initial testing. Moderna has shipped samples to U.S.

government researchers, just six weeks after starting development.

But one of the country's leading neurologists told CNN earlier that a vaccine won't be all that helpful in the short term. Take a listen.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The confusion again is we're close to starting a phase one trial

to determine safety. We're going to do that in about one and a half to two months. But that doesn't mean you have a vaccine in order to get a vaccine

that's practically deployable for people to use. It's going to be at least a year to a year and a half, at best.


SOARES: So how can you prepare for the virus? Senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, joins us now from Atlanta.

And, Elizabeth, we've seen so many people asking, in fact, even on Twitter, and I'll have some questions for you from many people on Twitter, who are

business travelers who want to know exactly what they ought to be doing.

But what should they be doing? Is it safe to travel at this stage?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think that you have to make that decision based on your own circumstances, number one,

and number two, where you're going. So, for example, would you go to Italy if it is just you and you're in good health, and you're prepared to take

certain precautions? Maybe, maybe. But would you bring your mother who is elderly and has underlying health conditions? Maybe not. You really have to

look at your own situation and where you're going.

SOARES: Let me ask you some more here. I've got great Gregory saying how does the coronavirus survive under heat? Does it change anything?

COHEN: You know, I don't think I have to worry about tremendous heat given that it's February but, you know, it's -- they don't know the level of that

detail. But basically, it's going from person to person. So that's not really such an issue.

SOARES: What about wearing a mask because I've got lots of people asking me whether wearing a mask on a long haul flight makes any difference.

COHEN: You know, what experts have been saying is if you want to, you can wear a mask, but use a mask that not sort of the surgical kind of ones that

you can get just anywhere. There are masks that can be fitted to your face, they look a little bit different. And many of the pieces of video that we

have, you can see they're not the regular kind of mask. You want to make sure that it's fitted to your face properly. It should have some

instructions that go with it.

SOARES: And another personal interest is asking me, does this flu shot give you any sort of protection?

COHEN: No. Flu is for the flu.

SOARES: None at all?


SOARES: And what about -- go ahead, go ahead.

COHEN: I mean, let me stop you because flu, you know, it's good to get a flu shot, right? You don't want to get the flu.

SOARES: Yes, absolutely.

COHEN: Yes. And the other thing is, is if you get a flu shot, it decreases your chances of getting the flu. If you do get the flu and you're traveling

around, someone might look at you and say, gee, you're feverish, and you're coughing. We think you have coronavirus, we're going to isolate you in a

hospital. And it turns out you have the flu.

So just to keep yourself healthy from the flu and to avoid confusion, get a flu shot. You should have already.

SOARES: Very quickly, we've got one gentleman who works for an airline, the cabin crew. What precautions should they be taking?

COHEN: You know, I think when you work on an airline, it is a whole different set of rules and you really have to consult your employer. And if

you're in a union, consult your union. I mean, that is a -- that is a different -- a different ball of wax as we say here in the United States,

maybe in other countries too, because you are in much closer proximity with people for a very long period of time.

It doesn't mean anything terrible is going to happen to you. But I think that that people that there are different instructions, you want to pay

attention to what your employer says.


SOARES: But still continue the washing hands, that's still very important. Continue doing what we all have to do. Right?

COHEN: Right.

SOARES: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you very much for joining us and for talking us through all these -- all these questions that viewers here have been

sending us. Appreciate it. And thank you --

COHEN: Thanks.

SOARES: -- to you viewers as well for sending me your questions. Keep them send -- keep them coming, and we'll put them through today and tomorrow to

our medical experts. Thanks. Thanks very much, Elizabeth.

COHEN: Thanks.

SOARES: Still to come tonight, chaos in Delhi as India grapples with hateful undercurrents rising to the surface. We'll bring you that story,



SOARES: Now ants are often misunderstood creature. They frequently overlooked, stepped on, or even seen as a pest. But one young scientific

researcher in Mozambique is testing how a particular species of ant can be used as a form of pest control themselves and it's changing our

understanding of the ecosystem right around us.

Eleni Giokos has more for you.


ELENI GIOKOS, CNN BUSINESS AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: Norena Vicente is a pioneer in bringing Africa's biodiversity science to farming.

NORENA VICENTE, RESEARCHER, GORONGOSA NATIONAL PARK: I am doing a research about biological control using weaver ants to reduce the pests in


GIOKOS: That's right, ants. They're often seen as pests themselves, but ants are the cleaners and engineers of the ecosystem. Vicente is testing

whether these insects can actually be used as a natural pest control for coffee plants.

VICENTE: Their community use chemicals to control the insects, but what they don't realize it's using chemicals. They are not just killing the

pests, but also, they are killing those that provide a good ecosystem service.

GIOKOS: She does a research at the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory in Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park, working alongside local coffee

growers. Her study involves relocating entire colonies of ants to coffee plantations, then collecting data on how effective they are at removing

insects like caterpillars and stink bugs.

From her research, she found that the weaver ants is perfect for helping cashew and coffee crops because they provide a shady environments that ants

thrive in when building their colony and spring the nutrients in the ground to the surface of the soil.

Vicente is fascinated by science and is now working towards her master's degree.

VICENTE: The main reason that I want to get deep in science, it's because I want not just tell the people the importance of the ants, but also solve

problems and also help in terms of conservation of these species.

GIOKOS: She hopes that through research like hers, we can preserve and conserve the ecosystem while being an inspiration for many young innovators

in her community and around the world.


VICENTE: I'm really proud to be a scientist using science. We cannot just discover a new species, not just discover habitats, but also, you can

understand how the entire ecosystem work.

Eleni Giokos, CNN.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, a slugfest in South Carolina. U.S. democratic presidential candidates come out swinging in the final debate

before Saturday's crucial primary. We break it down for you, next.


SOARES: Egypt held a military funeral in Cairo for former President, Hosni Mubarak. He died on Tuesday, age 91, after undergoing surgery last month.

The current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attended the funeral as the country observes three days of mourning.

Mubarak's iron fisted ruled of Egypt lasted nearly 30 years until he was forced from power during the 2011 Arab Spring. He was convicted then later

acquitted of killing protesters.

And medical relief groups says at least 21 civilians were killed by a string of airstrikes and ground attacks in northwestern Syria on Tuesday.

Dozens more were reportedly wounded.

Now, the Syrian government is pushing for full control of Idlib province. It contains the last rebel held territory in the country. Nine years, if

you remember, into brutal civil war. But the Turkish president said he has no intention of leaving them at the Syrian regime's mercy. Take a listen.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): We are not going to take even a little step back in Idlib and push the regime forces

out of the area that we designated and looked at people returned back to their houses.


SOARES: For many of these civilians caught in the crossfire, frustration is manifesting itself in protest. You can see there up to three million

civilians have trapped between the advancing offensive and the close Turkish border and humanitarian groups lack the resources to support

anywhere near that number of people.

The Indian capital is playing host to a shocking wave of community violence largely against Muslim minorities. At least 24 people are now confirmed

dead in New Delhi since Monday. With that number likely to rise.

The unrest began around the same time as a state visit from U.S. President Donald Trump. In his brief time there, he touted the country's religious

freedom as well as tolerance. But recent events suggest a far more troubling portrayed as our Sam Kiley now reports.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rioters desecrate the minaret of a Delhi mosque with a flag bearing the Simeon

image of Hanuman, the Hindu God of power, it's calculated to insults and enflamed.

The mosque itself torched on the third day of communal violence that has killed at least 21 people and injured goes more. This is what remains of

Khurseed's rickshaw. I asked Khurseed, how will you make a living now?

He said, when there is nothing left, how will we earn? We will steal and then drink poison and die. He told me that a mob attacked the mosque in

this mostly Hindu neighborhood 24 hours earlier. They moved on to smash and burn Muslim homes around it.

KILEY (on-camera): This has been not only burned, but the toilet has been smashed. The shower rendered useless. This is what communal violence really

looks like.


KILEY (on-camera): Violence erupted after a powerful Hindu politician from the ruling BJP party published a video demanding that antigovernment

protests be stopped. He warned that if the police did not stop the demonstrations, we will take to the streets. Soon, rival mobs clashed in

riots that spread across the northeast of Delhi.

Victims from both communities ended up side by side in the local morgue. Yasmin waits for the release of her brother-in-law's body.

She said people came from behind and we're shouting Jai Shri Ram, hail, Lord Ram. They took Metap (ph) away. Then we got an anonymous call that

Metap have been set on fire.

Hamir saying a Hindu lost his nephew.

KILEY (on-camera): Do you think that the policies of Mr. Modi have contributed to this?

That is true. If they didn't make this law, that would not have happened. That the law is right from his perspective. He is our Prime Minister. And

people shouldn't riot like this, he said.

The Indian P.M. has appealed for calm, but schools have died and riots and protests this year across India, and the bloodletting looks far from over.

Sam Kiley, CNN in New Delhi.


SOARES: Now to the democratic race for the White House, candidates were back on the campaign trail, bright and early today, after really what was a

pretty bruising fight last night. Front runner Bernie Sanders came under attack from all sides in South Carolina as his rivals portrayed him as a

risky radical choice. You could sink their party's chances in November.

The candidates repeatedly interrupted each other, as you can hear there, and blew past their time limits battling to gain some final blows before

Saturday's crucial primary. Take a look at this.


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States and that's why Russia

is Helping you get elected so...


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me tell you how many nickels and dimes we're talking about, nearly $60 trillion. Do you know how

much that is for all of his programs? That is three times the American economy.

PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: 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.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Getting a progressive agenda enacted, is going to be really hard. And it's going to take someone

who digs into the details to make it happen.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Bernie, in fact, hasn't passed much of anything.

I'm not out of time. He spoke over time, and I'm going to talk. Here's the deal.

TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am scared. If we cannot pull this party together, if we go to one of those extremes, we take a terrible risk

of reelecting Donald Trump.

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


SOARES: Let's bring in CNN Political Commentator, Maria Cardona. She is a democratic strategist.

Maria, great to have you on the show.

Look, what we just played out --


SOARES: -- really showing the jabs and the squibs and really seems that Bernie Sanders really took the brunt of those attacks yesterday. Candidates

clearly trying to slow him down. How did he fare?

CARDONA: You know what? I actually think he fared okay. I think there were two things that work last night. Number one is what you said that for the

very first time, Bernie Sanders found himself in the role of frontrunner, which is great for him on the one hand, but it also demonstrated that it is

not a role he is used to playing, because with frontrunner status also comes a huge target on your back, no matter who you are, really.

And the second thing that we saw itself play out is that everybody else was very aggressive because they know that they had to leave everything on that

stage if they are, in fact, going to slow Bernie down.

And the fact of the matter is, is that right now it's Bernie against really the rest of the field, because the rest of the field, as we saw with their

comments, were focused on the nervousness and the fear of many Democrats who believe that Bernie Sanders is actually the one that Trump wants to run

against, because he believes he will be the one that's easiest to beat.

The question is whether that is actually conventional wisdom, or whether Bernie Sanders theory of the campaign is right, which is that he's going to

be able to be the one to mobilize a lot of the young people, the multicultural coalition that he has, the millennials and that that is going

to be enough to beat Donald Trump.

SOARES: We shall see, of course, that in South Carolina, but you know, there was -- it was a risk for everyone. There's so much to play for last

night for everyone, in particular Joe Biden whose performance perhaps wasn't -- was somehow slightly more mediocre than previous occasions. How

important was it for him that really he do well?


CARDONA: There was no other more important debate than the one from last night for Joe Biden, especially because he has not fared as well in the

primaries and the caucuses that have happened up until now, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, he came in second, which he needed to do.

He is always -- his campaign has always said that South Carolina is what we call a firewall, meaning that that is going to be the state where he's

going to make his stand, where he's going to come in first. And then he's going to revive his campaign, and then go on to what they hope will be Joe

Biden as the alternative to a Bernie Sanders campaign and perhaps nomination.

And so I think he did what he needed to do. He showed himself more aggressive, more robust, more alive than he has been before. And going into

South Carolina, he showed South Carolina voters the majority of which are African-American, that if they have put their hopes in him that it was the

right thing to do.

SOARES: And critically too, Maria, you know, he's now won a crucial endorsement from the highest ranking African American Congress. Take a

listen to this.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): I can't think of no one that the tech integrity -- no one more committed to the fundamental principles to make this country

what it is that my good friend, my late wise great friend, Joe Biden.



SOARES: Maria, how important is this endorsement ahead of South Carolina's primary?

CARDONA: I don't think we can overstate the importance of it. That is how critical it is. And the reason for that is because Congressman Clyburn is a

political icon, both in South Carolina and nationally. And especially, he has seen -- he is seen as a leader, as a legend, frankly, in the African-

American community. And there are many African-Americans in South Carolina who really will look to him for guidance, and will follow his lead.

And the fact that he gave the -- his -- the sign of his confidence to Joe Biden at a critical point in Joe Biden's campaign going into a critical

state, I think is great for Joe Biden. I'm sure he was thrilled to have it.

And he also indicated the importance of that personal connection with communities of color that given Joe -- you know, if Joe -- if Clyburn says

that Joe Biden is that man, then many people will agree with him.

SOARES: Yes. Maria Cardona, always great to get your insight. Thanks very much.

CARDONA: Thank you so much.

Soares: And that does it for us for today. Thanks very much for watching. Do stay right here with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard Quest is

up next.