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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

At Least 157 U.S. Coronavirus Cases in 13 States As Death Toll Rises to 11; Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) is Interviewed About the Government's Response to the Coronavirus. Aired on 8-9p ET

Aired March 4, 2020 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[20:00:14]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.

At the end of the day of major developments in the coronavirus epidemic and seismic changes in the Democratic presidential primary, after a Super Tuesday that lived up to the name for Joe Biden.

First, the breaking news on the outbreak with the number of infections now approaching 100,000 around the world. Nationwide, at least 157 known cases in 13 states, 11 fatalities at this point in the U.S. the latest in California. The first death outside of Washington state.

And just before air time, California Governor Gavin Newsom declaring a statewide state of emergency to address the growing number of cases. Officials at the port of Los Angeles reporting that scheduled shipping traffic is down by about 25 percent in San Francisco.

A cruise ship is being scrutinized after what's called a small cluster of coronavirus cases were traced back to the vessel's previous voyage.

United Airlines became the first airline to cut domestic flights due to shrinking demand over passenger concerns about the virus.

And in Washington, the House late today passed $8.3 billion in emergency spending to deal with the virus and other related issues.

At the White House, members of the president's coronavirus task force briefed the public just hours after the vice president and CDC officials announced that any American with a doctor's order may now be tested. At the briefing, though, it quickly became clear that this change in guidelines is not yet matched by the capacity for actually doing the testing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a ways to go yet. Our objective is, in addition to those tests being available, we want to get to a place where any American who has a concern is able to go to their doctor, is able to go to a medical clinic and know that there's a coronavirus available. We think that we can get there in a matter of weeks. And in partnership with the commercial labs, we're challenging them to do just that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: We think we can get there.

The vice president and other task force members also reported that the virus seems to be deadliest to seniors and the already ill and announced a greater focus on infection control at nursing and other senior care facilities.

The head of the Center for Disease Control took a moment to praise members of the press for their part in keeping the public informed, which is why it's important to go beyond the headlines tonight and put the focus briefly on how the administration is making that job tougher by either putting out bogus information or not practicing the kind of transparency that they themselves promised just two days ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PENCE: We'll get back here every day. Get used to seeing us. We'll bring the experts in and make sure to give you the best and most high- quality real time information, from the best people in the world. So thank you all for being here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: That was the promise. That was Monday evening. Tune in tomorrow, he said. Get used to seeing us. That was the exact quote.

Guess what happened on Tuesday, the very next day. Reporters came, a task force was there, but no cameras were actually allowed to hit record. No audio was allowed to be recorded, either. You couldn't see, you couldn't hear.

Perhaps they didn't want the message to get out after all. It's unclear exactly why they did that, but in response to criticism, thankfully today, cameras were once again allowed.

And earlier today, we also got to hear the president, who never sees an opportunity for self-reflection, but who apparently sees this virus as another opportunity for attacking the previous administration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we're doing. And we undid that decision a few days ago. So that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Well, keeping 'em honest, the president is referring to a proposed rule change that never went through. An aide to a Republican senator involved in it, an expert in field, says it never happened, so does the policy expert at the Association of Public Health Laboratories. The White House had no comment when asked to explain why the president said what he said at a time when getting the truth from any official, let alone the highest official in the land, matters so much.

And this is the -- this is not the first such incident the president either outright misinforming the public or trying to sugar-coat the truth.

CNN's Jim Acosta joins us now from the Washington.

So, Jim, I understand you have some reporting with the president's claim regarding the Obama administration.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, I talked to a source close to the coronavirus task force earlier this evening, who said essentially that this claim made by the president caught members of the task force off guard. That there were members of the task force that didn't know where this president got this from.

And, obviously, our reporting is showing at this point that during the Obama administration, no such move was made that the president was talking about. It is important to point out, Anderson, that throughout this crisis, the president has either tried to politicize things by blaming the Obama administration, as he did today, or injected some uncertainty in a place where there should be absolute certainty in the field of science.

[20:05:05]

He was asking, you know, a couple of days ago, whether or not a vaccine for coronavirus could be produced in a matter of months. Dr. Anthony Fauci with the National Institutes of Health has had to repeatedly tell the president on camera, publicly, in front of him, over and over and over again that it's going to take a year to a year and a half.

And so, the president appears to want to inject politics in all of this at a time when there are even members of the task force who just don't want to see that happen. I talked to source close to task force earlier this evening who said that when the president made that claim about the Obama administration, there were members of that task force who actually winced -- Anderson.

COOPER: You've been watching the administration's response to the virus very closely. I mean, we all remember the president's press conference, I guess it was last week, which is right when he got back from India, was rambling. He said that there were 15 cases, that might come to an end very soon.

Does it seem now like they have their own arms around it, now that they've got this task force?

ACOSTA: Anderson, I think the video you just played a few moments ago, featuring the vice president talking about the challenge of getting test kits out there is really at the heart of this matter, at this point. If you talked to lawmakers up on Capitol Hill, Democrats and Republicans, one of the things that they're saying that is most important to their constituents right now is that these test kits get out across the country, as soon as possible.

And while the White House is saying we'll have a million kits or a million tests available by the end of this week, some 2,500 kits, that is not going to be enough. That's not going to be enough for every American who has a cough or a sneeze who thinks they might have coronavirus to be able to go their doctor and have this test conducted. So, at this point, they are trying to keep up with events as they happen.

One thing that should be pointed out is that, as we're talking about, you know, the White House getting its message straight, there are important things that people need to know, that the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions are the most vulnerable when it comes to coronavirus. And that they don't need to go and buy these specialized masks that are needed for health professionals and all of this. The White House and the task force and members of the task force who care about the science in all of this are trying to get that message out, Anderson. Unfortunately, they're competing with the president who sometimes has a different agenda -- Anderson.

COOPER: Jim Acosta, thanks very much. Appreciate it, from the White House.

Joining us now, CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

You were at the White House the past couple of days. From what you've observed, how are they handling it?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think there's been a shift over last few days. I mean, they've brought in more people. I was with them -- I was with the vice president and members of the task force.

I mean, what's really struck me is that the public health community has known for some time that we were going to see an increase in the numbers. What happened in China with these quarantines, that bought us time. But the impression I get is that, you know, people within the administration may have thought that time actually meant that this virus was not going to spread, that this was not going to happen, despite what they've been hearing from their public health community.

So I think there's been a shift now, an acknowledgement that this is happening. The big focus has been on testing. We've talked about how it's been inadequate here and again, just for context, we've tested some 500 people in this country --

COOPER: Five hundred? That's it.

GUPTA: Five hundred people. You know, some of the people got more than one test, that's why people say there have been a couple thousand tests, but 500 people, whereas in South Korea, at one point, they were doing thousands of tests a day.

COOPER: Right, South Korea was doing 15,000 at one -- the other day when I was asked about it.

GUPTA: So, a really significant difference there. But the idea of being able to do surveillance to understand what you're dealing with is the primary pillar of public health. If you don't know what the problem is, you can't fix the problem.

Now the tests are going out. That was the big focus today, not just to university hospitals and state hospitals, but also maybe to commercial labs, at some point. And what we're going to see is the numbers are going to shoot up, because there's going to be a lot of people, like Jim was talking about, that are going to start getting tested. And so, they're now preparing for basically understanding what these numbers mean, just how much has this spread in the country.

COOPER: Sanjay, I want to bring in Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo. She's a senior scholar in the John Hopkins University Center for Health and Security.

Thanks so much for being with us. First of all, I think I just said there have been 15,000 tests in South Korea a day. I think -- I think you might have told me the number, but I might have gotten the number wrong. Was it right?

DR. JENNIFER NUZZO, SENIOR SCHOLAR, JOHN HOPKINS CENTER FOR HEALTH SECURITY: Right, they have unprecedented capacity and they are doing an extremely aggressive surveillance. So, yes, 15,000 tests a day.

COOPER: OK, good. It came from memory, I just wanted to make sure I was OK.

What do you make overall of where the response is now, yeah? Where should it be? Where is it now?

NUZZO: Well, I think you're going to see an expansion of cases, as Dr. Gupta said, and that is in part because we are finally testing people. But, you know, we're also going to hear about increasing numbers of deaths. And I think that's largely because of the outbreak that's been happening in Washington that centered around a long-term care facility.

So it's important to put those numbers into perspective. These are individuals who are unfortunately very vulnerable to severe illness and death, and the situation there is not necessarily reflective of the number of deaths we might see just in the general community.

[20:10:06]

COOPER: And, Sanjay, you see the news now from the governor in California, declaring a state of emergency. I assume that allows a certain funding or response to be kind of be triggered.

GUPTA: Yes, that's exactly right. And I think it also sends a signal to hospitals. I mean, you know, we have now identified a nursing home as being a potential reservoir for this virus. We want to make sure that doesn't happen in other nursing homes around the country, as Dr. Nuzzo was just saying, that is -- that's the most vulnerable population. Those are pockets of extremely vulnerable people. And, by the way, you know, the idea that someone again could be

carrying the virus in their bodies, not have any symptoms at all, that's good. Obviously, for that person, they never get sick. But if that person visits a nursing home, then spends time with their parents or their grandparents, how do you prevent that transmission from happening?

That's the sort of focus that's going to be happening in California and in many places around the country.

COOPER: Dr. Nuzzo, how much of the prevention or the spread of this virus depends on the honor system? Most of the people in quarantine are self-quarantined. They don't have doctors or other authorities looking in on them to make sure they're not in contact with others.

Really, individuals, all of us are, you know, the front line of this thing.

NUZZO: Yes, I mean, I think the most important thing is that we focus on isolating people who are sick. Quarantines refer to restricting the movement of people who are well.

There is some question about whether people before they're sick are able to spread the virus, but by and large, it's going to be spread by people who are sick. So it's absolutely essential that people who are sick stay home.

That said, not everybody is able to do that. And so we need to, as a society, examine ways to enable people to do that. One, make sure they have food and other resources if they live by themselves. And two, eliminate barriers so people don't feel like they have to show up to work because they're worried about missing a paycheck.

COOPER: Sanjay, what's your advice? I flew on a plane today, I coughed twice into my arm. And there are other people in the plane, you know, a couple of people coughing -- I think my cough is normal, it doesn't -- but I'm asking for all of these people who are out there who may have a, you know, a seasonal cough, an allergy, whatever it may be, and get freaked out or other people around them get freaked out.

GUPTA: Yes, I mean, you know, still the likelihood that that cough, your cough was from coronavirus is exceedingly low, you know?

COOPER: I'm happy to hear you say that.

GUPTA: I feel like I've given this sort of advice before and have not always been right. As you cough.

COOPER: Sorry.

GUPTA: But the idea that it is spreading, though, I think is real and the fact that people may have symptoms -- you know, may have mild symptoms and be carrying coronavirus is real. I think that that's going to increase in numbers. I don't know. I showed you this animation before, Anderson. If we have it, I want to show it to you again. You and I have covered so many of these outbreaks.

But when you look at what was happening with H1N1 back in 2009, I don't know if we have the animation, basically at the nine-week mark, the numbers over there, of H1N1 in the coronavirus were pretty similar. And H1N1 just took off. And by the end of that first year, it was around 60 million people.

So the idea that this is pretty contagious and eventually will start to recede in many places around the country is quite possible. So I don't think your cough is due to coronavirus, but there is a pathogen that is circulating around the country. Most people won't have much in the way of symptoms, but I think a lot of people, eventually, are going to be exposed to this pathogen.

COOPER: And, Dr. Nuzzo, at this point, you know, early on they were saying, if you have been to China or overseas to somewhere or in the China adjacent, if you know somebody who was infected, then you might be concerned. At some point, it's going to be the case where, I assume, if it continues to spread, where that will no longer be the only people who should be concerned.

NUZZO: Oh, absolutely. And I fall in the camp that doesn't necessarily ascribe to the belief that we've bought ourselves time through the travel restrictions that we've implemented and the -- even the restrictions that China has implemented, simply because up until now, we haven't actually been testing people. We know that people have been traveling from the affected area for long before those restrictions were put in place, and yet while the virus was still circulating.

So, certainly, at this point, just given past pandemics caused by respiratory viruses, I think it's safe to assume that most communities will see cases, if they aren't already seeing cases. And whether or not they have cases, well, now is really going to be told to us by the increase in testing that we hope to see.

That said, I just want to caution. We very much don't want people to just rush out to try to go get tested, particularly -- well, first of all, if they are well, they shouldn't just show up to, say emergency rooms, because we're already hearing reports about that. That could put themselves at risk. That could put others at risk.

We have to wait for the public health authorities to decide who should be tested in this larger testing scheme that we're going to see, because it wouldn't be good if people started showing up in emergency rooms in masks.

[20:15:11]

This is something that happened in 2009, so I very much want to prevent that from happening this time around.

COOPER: So, I mean, people who are concerned should talk to their primary care physician?

NUZZO: Absolutely. Absolutely. And, you know, for the most part, the first emphasis is going to be on testing people who are quite ill, because those are the ones that we need to have that information about the most. For most people, 82 percent are probably going to have mild stops symptoms, more like a bad cold. And that's not necessarily right now our first priority for testing.

That said, we will have to do tests in the population to better understand where the infection is and how many are out there?

COOPER: Also, Dr. Gupta, I want you to give your advice to folks out there right now. But also, again, we have talked about this before, not that the flu has anything to do with the coronavirus, but half of the people in America do not get a flu shot and the flu right now is far deadlier. So if you're freaked out at all about the coronavirus, you should be more concerned about the flu. And you can actually do something about it and get a flu shot.

GUPTA: Fifteen thousand people, roughly, have already died of the flu this season. A couple years ago, 60,000 people died of the flu.

This coronavirus may have a higher fatality rate than the flu does. But the flu, we have a vaccine for the flu. Half the country doesn't get it. Hopefully, that will change because of this.

COOPER: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you. Dr. Nuzzo, thank you.

Dr. Gupta is going to join me tomorrow. Sanjay is going to join me tomorrow for a CNN global town hall on the outbreak, "Coronavirus: Facts and Fears," we'll be talking to top medical and public health experts answering questions so many people have. It gets underway tomorrow evening 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Coming up next for us tonight, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy with his view on whether the administration is doing enough on testing as well as transparency. What his concerns are about the outbreak.

Plus, a remarkable day in the presidential race. Former Vice President Biden savoring his Super Tuesday victories. Michael Bloomberg out already. Elizabeth Warren weighing her options. Senator Bernie Sanders regrouping.

A lot to talk about. More ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:21:22]

COOPER: With all that's being reported right now about the coronavirus outbreak, including the state of emergency just now declared in California, and the growing number of cases nationwide, now 158 in 14 states, signs are this will get worse before it gets better. As experts have pointed out, including Dr. Gupta before the break, testing in this country has lagged far behind other parts of the world and there have been logistical problems as well as policy problems surrounding the effort. On top of that, there are mixed messages coming from the president and the expert, not to mention some outright misinformation on the president's part.

I want to talk about what he views of the crisis at this point. Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut.

Senator, how confident are you that the administration, this Coronavirus Task Force, that they have their arms around this problem?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Well, I think the administration was very, very late to understand the significance of this epidemic. Back in early February, the administration came to brief us and in that meeting, several of us essentially begged the administration to come to Congress for emergency funding. Many of us saw that this was going to take some pretty substantial resources in order to get testing ready, in order to get a head start on a vaccine, in order to get money out to local public health directors who were going to be on the front lines.

And, you know, in early February, the administration was telling us that they didn't need any money. That they were going to be able to handle this with existing resources. And then later that month, they asked for a paltry amount of money, relative to the threat, $1.5 billion.

And luckily, this week, Congress in a bipartisan way is going to pass a $7.5 billion emergency funding bill. But, unfortunately, it's a little late in the game to be putting this emergency funding in. And the administration really should have been there at the earliest stages, understanding that they weren't going to be able to do this with the money that they had available.

But I think it's good news that this week, Republicans and Democrats, together, are going to pass this emergency funding bill. And that will get us moving in the right direction.

COOPER: You know, today, we played earlier the president blamed the administration for what he said was a decision on testing, saying it slowed down his administration's ability to test people for the coronavirus.

You know, obviously, the president loves to blame President Obama. Unlike many presidents, he loves to go back and attack prior administrations for just about everything. It's -- I mean, there is no evidence, in fact, everybody we have talked to about this, said that what he said is just not true. And that people even on the task force were surprised by this.

I mean, it's kind of ridiculous in the midst of this he's doing this.

(CROSSTALK)

MURPHY: Yes, I mean, there are a lot of days in which you can laugh away the president's lies. You know, it's the theater of the absurd, often. But this is different. This is a moment of real peril for the country. Yes, it is true that it's still a relatively low-level risk for

Americans, but the risk is growing and the threat is growing.

And the fact that the president can't get his facts straight, blaming the Obama administration with claims that seem to come out of thin air, suggestions that a vaccine is just around the corner, when we all know that a vaccine is not going to arrive for another year and a half, you know, that really makes it difficult for people to do their job.

And, you know, this was the danger of the Trump presidency from the beginning. When there was a real crisis, a national security crisis or a public health crisis, the president's lies and his inability to square with the truth was going to threaten the safety of Americans. And I do think we're at that moment. And I hope that he lets his scientists speak and he takes a backseat.

[20:25:00]

COOPER: It's also incredible just -- I mean, as you said, it's easy, sometimes, to let these lies, the -- the sort of -- the rambling thoughts, you know, to laugh at it or just ignore it or just say, oh, that's what he does. You don't have to necessarily listen to the facts of what he's saying, but as you say, in the midst of -- with an actual health emergency, it does take on a whole another tone.

I just want to play something that -- I keep coming back to this and I can't sort of get over that he said this. And that it didn't get as much pickup as I kind of thought it would. This is him last week talking about the virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: It's going to disappear. One day, it's like a miracle, it will disappear. And from our shores, you know, it could get worse before it gets better. Could maybe go away. We'll see what happens. Nobody really knows.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: I mean, in the midst of this, with, you know, fatalities already having occurred, for him to be saying sort of, it's just like a miracle, it's just going to go away. And to have, I guess it was Diamond and Silk, so-called, who were, you know, saying amen to that very quickly. It's just -- I find it kind of stunning that this is where we're at.

MURPHY: It would be better if the president didn't make statements about the coronavirus. It would be better if he remained silent and he let medical experts carry the message, because there are good people in this administration --

COOPER: Yes.

MURPHY: -- who are working to try to combat this epidemic. And I just really fear that the misinformation coming from the

president is going to counteract the truth coming from scientists and medical professionals in his administration, because, you know, there is a cult of personality around the president. There are a lot of people who believe everything that he says.

And in this case, that could cost lives. So, let the experts talk. That's my hope for what happens moving forward.

COOPER: Senator Murphy, appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up next, the political comeback of Vice President Joe Biden and the political maneuvering in the wake of it. Bernie Sanders' chances, Michael Bloomberg's departure, some late reporting on what could happen next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:31:34]

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: More breaking news tonight. There's a new delegate count for the Democratic presidential race after Super Tuesday. Joe Biden has the lead with 509 delegates, Bernie Sanders is at 449 and Elizabeth Warren has 37.

Also breaking tonight, "The Washington Post" reporting that aides for both Warren and Sanders are in the early stages of discussions to unite and push a common liberal agenda if Warren withdraws from the race. Annie Linskey shares the byline. She joins us now by phone.

Annie, what's -- Annie, what are you reporting?

ANNIE LINSKEY, REPORTER, "WASHINGTON POST" (on the phone): "The Washington Post" reported today that allies of both Bernie Sanders' team and Joe Biden's team were in touch with Warren's camp today about a possible endorsement, if she does drop out, which is becoming something that at least people around the Biden and Sanders teams, they're beginning to expect.

COOPER: So both the Biden team and the Sanders team campaigns have contacted Warren?

LINSKEY: It's allies to both, so it's not actually the actual camp is getting in touch. Certainly in terms of the Sanders' outreach, there are members of Congress who have endorsed Sanders who are reaching out.

There have members of Congress who endorsed Warren to say, look, what's the path forward here? Is there a way that we can make sure we keep this progressive agenda and progressive energy, you know, alive in the event that Warren does decide to drop out of the presidential race?

COOPER: And is it known anything about what Warren's thinking is?

LINSKEY: You know, what we've reported is that she is considering her options, that she has not yet made a decision about what to do, but she's -- the signals that are coming from the campaign are that she is, you know, very heavily leaning towards suspending her campaign.

COOPER: And is it known which way she would lean? Obviously as a progressive you would think Sanders, but maybe not.

LINSKEY: No, that is the big question. It's not known. You know, both camps have strong arguments to make. She clearly aligns ideologically far closer with Sanders, but she's also been campaigning for the last two months, three months as a unity candidate.

COOPER: Yes.

LINSKEY: And that would sort of suggest a different outcome. So those are -- that will be one of the biggest, you know, questions in the race in the next two days, if she does drop out.

COOPER: Annie Linskey, appreciate it. Thank you.

LINSKEY: Thank you.

COOPER: Let's get more perspective now. Joining us is Alexander Rojas, a Sanders' supporter and Executive Director of Justice Democrats, Angela Rye, the former Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, both CNN Political Commentators, and former Vermont Governor, a Democratic presidential candidate, Howard Dean.

Governor Dean, you know better than what is -- that anyone what it's like to have a comeback during a presidential primary. What do you make of Joe Biden's near-sweep, 10 out of 14 states as of now last night?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: I'm still in some shock. And I must say, and you know everybody is talking about this all the time. This race is far from over. The number of delegates being awarded a week from yesterday is almost as many as were awarded this past Tuesday. So, we've still got a very, very long way to go here. And I'm -- I wouldn't be counting the confetti just yet for anybody.

COOPER: Angela, I mean, we mentioned "The Washington Post" reporting about talks between Sanders and Warren allies, obviously, the Biden campaign reaching out to -- or kind of probing about Warren. If Senator Warren gets out and endorses Sanders, how much could that offset, you know, the coalescing of Bloomberg, Klobuchar, Buttigieg around Biden?

[20:35:05]

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it could make a tremendous difference. If we go back to a debate altercation that they had just a few debates ago where Elizabeth Warren was challenging Bernie Sanders about him telling her that he didn't believe a woman could win this election. So there's, I think, a tiff that exists and a riff that exists that I they really have to overcome.

And I think her saying that she can look beyond that, which is major, is a really big deal, I think, especially, Anderson, when you consider the graphic that was just up. It had Biden, it had Sanders, and it had Bloomberg. One of the three has dropped out of the race and Warren was nowhere to be found on that map from yesterday, right?

And so I think that one thing that Elizabeth Warren could do if she's not ready to drop out is say that I'm here for all women, so that the voices of women are not silenced in this process and to ensure that my power going into this convention is strong enough to say, hey, you all still need me and you can't silence me. I'm going to make sure there's a woman on this stage. And even if I don't win, I'll put up a hell of a fight.

COOPER: Alexandra, I'm wondering your thoughts about last night. I mean, one of the arguments that Senator Sanders has been making is that, you know, we need a bigger voter turnout than ever before in history. And he's been, you know, hoping a lot on young people showing up, propelling him to victory.

You know, certainly last night, that wasn't the case in many of these places and the senator acknowledged that himself today. It's not something anyone can blame on big money, because Biden hardly had any. What do you -- where are you today in terms of what happened last night and what needs to happen for the Sanders' campaign moving forward?

ALEXANDRA ROJAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, I think, you know, I think particularly on young people, just because they're not turning out, I think that the Democratic Party leader should see this as an existential crisis to the Democratic Party. It should not be swept under the rug that young people aren't coming out and drove. That's not just a concern for Bernie Sanders, it should be a concern for the whole party. But I think what we saw is that right now voters are concerned about electability and defeating Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders has a strong case to make here.

Joe Biden just a month ago, people were worried about his campaign and his ability to even be able to compete. And so it was a strong night for Joe, but let's remember the context at which this is. We saw party leaders, this is very reminiscent of 2016, stepping in and signaling very clearly to Democratic voters who they think should be the nominee and who they think should not be the nominee.

And right now, I think that it's absolutely critical that as a party we focus on drawing the strongest possible contrasts to Donald Trump. We don't want to have the same mistakes repeated from 2016. You know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

And it's pretty clear from private conversations I've had, from even the folks that have endorsed Joe Biden that he has run a lackluster campaign, that he has been a flawed candidate. And so, I think it's really, really critical that especially right now, in looking at how we defeat Donald Trump, that we talk about making the strongest possible contrast to him.

COOPER: Yes. Governor Dean, I mean, you obviously know Bernie Sanders from Vermont and you know Joe Biden, as well. The idea that Sanders has not been able to grow his core support and, you know, young people not showing up, and as Alexandra said, it's a problem for the Democratic Party, it's certainly a problem for Joe Biden, because they're certainly not showing up for him. But they're certainly not showing up for Sanders in the volume that he had hoped would propel him forward. What do you make -- I mean, how do you explain things?

DEAN: OK. So there are three groups that are the core of our party. Young people are one of them, people of color are the other, and women are the third. Women did show up. African-Americans showed up in huge numbers, and Bernie has brought huge numbers of Latinos out, as he did in Nevada, especially, was very impressive, and in California, as well. So the one piece we really do have to, I agree, is we've got to figure out how to get young people out.

You know, I'm neutral in this race because I'm doing this big data project for whoever wins. But I would -- and I don't like to give advice on television, but I do think that if Joe Biden becomes the nominee, he's going to -- he's not going to adopt Bernie's rhetoric, because I think that's one reason he's succeeding a little bit.

I think Bernie's -- I know a number of women who switched from Warren to Biden yesterday in the California primary, which shocked me, but it's not because it's not the ideology, it's that they just want piece and quiet after four years of having a lunatic in the White House.

So, but I think Biden is going to start talking about income and equality. And I think Biden is going to start. If he doesn't want to talk about Medicare for All, he better have something pretty good so everybody has coverage. And he's going to actually have to move towards the more progressive position if he's going to be the nominee and beat Trump, I think.

COOPER: Angela, he's certainly not going to be able to out-sanders Sanders --

DEAN: No, no, no.

COOPER: Right.

DEAN: No. They shouldn't try to do that.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, that would just come off as false, obviously.

RYE: Right.

COOPER: But it is a real issue. I mean, his -- I hope that's not the Biden campaign calling right now for you.

[20:40:06]

COOPER: That wasn't my phone. Nice try, Anderson.

COOPER: OK. I don't know whose it was. But -- I mean, how does Joe Biden handle this? Because I mean, to Alexandra's point, he has -- it was been a lackluster, to say the least, campaign thus far. RYE: Yes. And one of the things that I think is so important in leadership, Anderson, and I think would go far to what Joe Biden is known for, and that is the diplomacy bona fides, he needs to demonstrate that he can listen, right? That he can listen and pivot. And it's really hard to get someone who's had a win like that, like we saw last night to a point of listening.

But Alexandra is right, we have a situation where not that many young people are turning out. We have a situation where there aren't that many people feeling Joe Biden. They want to see something very different from this candidate. That means he has to listen to people who are not just supporters, who are not just yes people on his campaign and they're interested in winning this election. That requires him to grow his base and to be a part of the big tent party.

COOPER: Thanks, everybody. Appreciate it.

Straight ahead, I'm going to talk with one of Michael Bloomberg's senior advisers about the decision to drop out and what lies ahead.

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COOPER: Michael Bloomberg spent hundreds of millions of dollars of his personal fortune, hired an estimated staff of more 2,400 people, and flooded national and local televisions with campaign ads.

[20:45:03]

Last night, he only won in American Samoa. Earlier today, he dropped out of the Democratic presidential race, promised all of his support to former Vice President Joe Biden.

Joining me now is senior Bloomberg adviser, Tim O'Brien. Tim, thanks so much for being with us. How does the mayor --

TIM O'BRIEN, SENIOR ADVISER, BLOOMBERG 2020: Thanks, Anderson.

COOPER: -- look at what happened last night? I mean, is it obviously, you know, he got in the race late? Wasn't campaigning in those first states? You know, he spent the money he spent, the tough debate performances. How does he see what happened?

O'BRIEN: Well, you know, he got in the race in the beginning, Anderson. I think he saw the entire -- his entire effort as the culmination of his life's work. Mike Bloomberg is an accomplished businessman, philanthropist, and public servant. And he sees Donald Trump essentially as a five-alarm fire. And he wanted to do everything he could do to make sure Donald Trump is not in the White House come next November. And he's going to continue to do that.

I think the campaign -- you know, he came from, I think, you know, zero percent in the polls in early December. He was polling first and second for a big chunk of the time that he was in the race. He had a bad debate performance. That set him back.

I think we're in a season where voters are being very practical and Mike is not selfish enough or arrogant enough not to respect where voters are. I mean, he got 2 million votes. But there's a clear preference now, I think, for Joe Biden. And Mike has said from the beginning, he doesn't want to do anything to damage the party or whoever the ultimate nominee is. And I think his actions bear all of that out.

COOPER: President Trump, obviously, you know, so concerned about the coronavirus that he's able to tweet not only just about Mike Bloomberg, but about you as well. Tweeting earlier today, "Mini Mike Bloomberg will now fire Tim O'Brien and all the fools and truly dumb people who got him into this mess. This has been the worst, and most embarrassing experience of his life, and now on to Sleepy Joe."

Obviously you and the President have history. He -- you know, you deposed him. He unsuccessfully sued you for libel over a biography. You know more about his personal finances than anybody. You've actually seen the receipts. Does -- obviously -- yes, I'm wondering what you make over the President's gleefulness over this?

O'BRIEN: Well, you know, I think it's always interesting when the President falls off of his tricycle in the Oval Office and has time to tweet at me rather than focus on the fact that the coronavirus might become a global pandemic. The stock market is on a roller coaster, there are lots of vulnerable Americans who don't have affordable health care, housing, or education, and he's spending his time focused on me.

The fact is we're not going away. We're throwing our weight behind Joe Biden's candidacy. We are going to beat Donald Trump in November. I think the reason that Mike Bloomberg is still in Donald Trump's head is that he knows Mike Bloomberg will continue to be a force to be reckoned with and he's frankly scared of that.

And if the best he can do is get up in the morning and tweet at me, then he's got his work cut out for him over the next several months, because we're going to focus on the things that really matter to voters.

COOPER: Yes, so let's drill down on that. Mike Bloomberg is not going away in terms of wanting Donald Trump out of office. How much of his resources is he now going to devote to the Biden campaign? I mean, I've heard a lot about from Andrew Yang about this sort of data effort that Mike Bloomberg has set up, this state of the art. Is all of that directed to Biden? Do you know how much money? What's going to happen?

O'BRIEN: Well, you know, Mike will, to the fullest extent possible, back Joe Biden's campaign. We have a huge ground operation. I think there's been something of a myth that this was only an ad-driven campaign. You know, Mike rose in the polls because he had a great story to tell, but we also had a very sophisticated job -- ground operation.

Hawkfish is an enormously successful voter identification and turnout tool. We have great field offices across the country. Those are going to stay open in the battleground states. And there's a lot we can continue to do on advertising to support what's right for the American people, what's right for Joe Biden, and create a firewall between Donald Trump and the torching of the constitution.

COOPER: Yes. Tim O'Brien, appreciate you talking to us tonight. Thank you.

O'BRIEN: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Just ahead, remembering one of the pioneers in this business and the familiar part of the day for millions of viewers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOBBIE BATTISTA, CNN ANCHOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to "TalkBack Live." Well, the recount continues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:53:45]

COOPER: Between coronavirus and presidential politics, a very busy night already. Let's check in with Chris to see what he's working on for "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Well, like you've been doing, we've been banging on the federal government, specifically the White House, overseeing the CDC, to have more testing. Let states test. Why? Because it's the only way you get your hands around the situation.

The reason it's so scary to hear the World Health Organization put out a death rate like 3.4 percent is because so many places aren't testing, so you're only dealing with the most severe cases. We've got to get the real numbers in this country.

We have Ron Klain who dealt with Ebola for Obama. We have Zeke Emanuel and, of course, Sanjay Gupta here about what the statuses of testing. When we'll know the real deal? What are the realities going forward?

We also have someone who is self-quarantined at home. Wait until you hear her story, Coop. Man, she up against it. She got it visiting her elderly mother. The father who's old too was with her and now he's in the hospital. Now, she's self-quarantined. She can't get tested. It's the whole mess going on in Washington. We'll take that on and what the political realities are after Biden's big night tonight.

COOPER: All right, a lot to look forward to. Chris, see you then in about five minutes from now.

Coming up, remembering a T.V. news trail blazer, CNN's own Bobbie Battista.

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[20:58:36]

COOPER: Bobbie Battista was a CNN original. She first worked at headline news and then CNN where she really became a household name and recognizeable around the world. She dedicated 20 years of her life to this network and this Tuesday she lost a four-year battle with cervical cancer.

What a career she had. She started at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1976. She was hired here in 1981, soon after the network first began. She was based in Atlanta and over the years anchored some of the most important moments, the 1980s and 1990s, including the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BATTISTA: Hello, I'm Bobbie Battista. A lot has happened since Churchill's warning 44 years ago. The communist regimes in Eastern Europe have all but collapsed in the past year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: In many ways to many people, she was the face of CNN. She was a pioneer, hosting the first interactive talk show, "TalkBack Live." Back then it was a new format where audience members and viewers were able to ask questions on live television to the guests and newsmakers on the show that day. The program aired for three years.

Right before her final appearance as host of "TalkBack Live" in 2001, Bobbie participated in an online CNN chat room. She said she believed that CNN was the greatest news network in the world and said, "I expect them to carry on with all the integrity and the highest journalistic standards."

As a teenager, I watched Bobbie Battista, dreamed of working in a place like CNN. She is remembered here with love and respect and our thoughts are with her family and her friends. Thank you, Bobbie, for all you did for this network. Bobbie Batista was 67 years old.

And that's it for us. The news continues. I want to hand it over to Chris for "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?