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CDC Recommends No Gatherings Of 50+ People For The Next 8 Weeks, Doesn't Apply To School & Businesses; Biden, Sanders Clash In Debate Amid Coronavirus Crisis; 3400+ Coronavirus Cases In The U.S.; Trump Claims Total Control Over Virus. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired March 15, 2020 - 22:00   ET



JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And what's the way to do that? There should be a national standard for that. It should be coming out of the situation room right now and by the way, the single-most significant thing we can do to deal with the larger problem down the road of income inequality is get rid of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has exacerbated every single one of these problems, both the immediate urgent need and how we're going to hold people harmless for the damage done as a consequence of this virus. It's important we do both.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Vice President Biden, Senator Sanders, we want to thank you both for being here tonight under these challenging and trying circumstances. We wish both of you the best. Our thanks as well to our partners at Univision for Ilia Calderon and Dana Bash. I'm Jake Tapper, thank you so much for watching. Please stay healthy, stay safe. Our coverage of both tonight's debate and the coronavirus pandemic continues now with Anderson Cooper.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Jake, thanks very much. There you have the CNN Univision Democratic debate. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and a third unwelcome player the coronavirus.

The candidates acknowledged that the close debate and their final remarks. Also in the very beginning greeting each other with the elbow bump, not the usual handshake or hug. Then stepped up to podiums that were a few extra steps apart. Six feet apart to be exact. Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Right. Then we saw some moments where these two gentlemen seemed to be a world apart about the pandemic and how to address it. Obviously that was heavy in the air and they both said that listen, we've got to think about the coronavirus right now. We got the breaking news from the CDC, limiting the size of gatherings to 50 or under.

How does that square with having primaries, going forward? But as the debate began, we also got word from the Pentagon that the first American sailor has tested positive so we're seeing what should be expected, Anderson. It's going to grow and grow and move through every aspect of society. COOPER: Yes, it's been an extraordinary day, a momentous night of

debate unlike any we have seen. Vice President Biden committing to naming a woman as his running mate, Vice President. Sen. Sanders saying he is leaning in that direction. There's certainly a lot to talk about over the next several hours.

We'll be putting into perspective and let's start with that right now. Back with us is David Axelrod, Gloria Borger, David Chalian, Laura Barron-Lopez. David, David Axelrod, you've seen a lot of debates, haven't seen any one like quite like this though.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I don't think we've had one quite like this under these circumstances and you know, I thought that the opening of the debate which obviously focused on the crisis was the strongest, the strongest segment that we've seen from Joe Biden in 11 races.

He looked like a guy who is - who is in command, who knew what needed to be done, who spoke to the problem with clarity and self-assurance and it was it was a very, very strong hour really for him.

I think it was sort of a tale of two debates in the sense that Bernie Sanders clearly came understanding the numbers in this race. This really wasn't about the primary race in many way. It was about Bernie Sanders saying, these are the issues my people care about. How are you going to address them and bring them into the fold?

And I think that Biden was still fighting the last war in the second hour well and didn't pick up on those queues on climate change and a few other issues and so in that sense it was a missed opportunity because he could have paved the way for unifying the party, moving forward, after Tuesday, when presumably he will amass delegates enough to persuade Sanders.

But he may not to leave. It will be harder to do because you he didn't take advantage of those moments.

COOPER: Yes Gloria, Biden did seem to get off track when Sen. Sanders began more aggressively, going after his record.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. He took the bait and honestly, I don't see why he should have. He had a very strong debate. It was a substantive debate. Bernie Sanders was clearly trying to use this crisis to expose the health care system in this country and to talk about his Medicare for all and the unjustness of the society in terms of the economy.

So Sanders had a plan and he was attacking Biden and Biden should have just said go away but he did take that bait. However, I will say that I thought Biden was really strong. If people were watching for somebody they could trust in a time of crisis, somebody who understands their families, Biden is Mr. Empathy.

At the end when he tells a story about a good friend of ours, sitting outside a nursing home window, trying to make signs to her parents so she could communicate even though she is not allowed in, people understand that is going on all over the country and Biden over and over again said this is bigger than us, this is bigger than America.

This is about the world and how we interact with each other and I think that's a point that according to polling, people trust Biden on. So while I don't think this changed the race in a very dramatic way. I think he managed to reinforce a lot of what people like about him.

COOPER: David Chalian, it's rare to see more of a conversation debate. I mean there were debate moments of time being cut off and the like but it was much more of a conversation and it definitely helps Biden in terms of not stumbling over facts or figures or trying to get a point in when other people are yelling. It's - it's a format that seemed to suit him.


DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, when you get down to two people, especially two people who have a fundamental different vision, you do get a real robust conversation and having the time to be able to do that so they're not trying to of course make sure that 11 or 10 people on the stage have a fair time, it makes a big difference.

I will say in addition to the empathy piece that Gloria's talking about, the other thing I think Biden displayed in that first hour is the command of government and what it can do and how it can be deployed here.

Everything from not just what the President can do in a given moment but the use of the military, that Biden fully committed to using in a way that Sanders seemed less certain to use. So that notion of a Commander-in-Chief, somebody who's been in government and knows how to deploy it, I think was really on display.

I will note though what is so fascinating to me, politically about this debate, the delegate math in this race has made clear that this race for the Democratic nomination has ended to some degree. I mean it's come to a close just by pure numbers of the delegate math.

What this debate proved to me, what I think it sort of showed to Democratic voters there is that what is entirely unclear is how this democratic nomination race actually does come to a close.

Despite the delegate math, to what David was saying about the piece of bringing the party together, when this nomination race gets down to one, when Bernie Sanders presumably is the one that departs at some point, I think that remained a mystery tonight because despite the in advance of the debate, here's an olive branch from Joe Biden.

I'm going to join Elizabeth Warren on bankruptcy. I'm going to join Bernie Sanders on free college. That - that wasn't the tone tonight. Bernie Sanders was still unloading on Joe Biden's record in a way that surprised me and Joe Biden was still engaging with Bernie Sanders and so while the delegate math maybe clear, I think actually how this race comes to an end, it is somewhat -

COOPER: Sanders was more aggressive than he thought he was.

CHALIAN: I did. I thought the whole debate was a bit harder than I thought I was going to be.

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It was aggressive. I mean he did push Biden on to me, the biggest issues was the bank - the 2005 bankruptcy bill as well as on social security and healthcare but what I found interesting was phrases that Bernie used when he said, I know your heart is in the right place, Biden.

And so he was clearly I think trying to push him policy-wise more towards where he sees his supporters line up but wasn't being - wasn't going in for the kill with Biden which is something that you may have assumed considering that he is so far down in the delegates.

And I think it's because Sanders has repeatedly said over and over again that he is going to ultimately support the nominee and there's a different tone from Sanders versus 2016.


BARRON-LOPEZ: It's very clear that Sanders views Biden in a way that he doesn't - that he didn't view Hillary Clinton. He - it's been widely reported that he considers Biden or did more of a friend when they worked in the Senate together and he felt as though Biden has constantly been kind to him.

BORGER: He liked Biden.

BARRON-LOPEZ: So it's a different dynamic that he has with him.

COOPER: Everyone, stay with us. The night really has a dual context. I want to just shift focus right now to the coronavirus and we have breaking news on that as well as the plans that each candidate laid out tonight for addressing the pandemic.

Moments before the debate, the CDC published new guidelines on limiting certain events and I'm quoting now. "CDC in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers whether groups or individuals cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States."

Throughout the whole country they're saying. We should know the guidelines do not apply to day to day operations of schools, institutes of higher learning or businesses. Still it is a big change and if in fact executed by people around the country would be a major - a major shift for a lot of people in their lives.

The backdrop to all of this, nearly 3500 cases now in this country. 65 people have died so far. With that I want to bring in our Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The CDC issued these new guidelines saying cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

Is that enough? Is that - I mean how much could that actually help contain the spread?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it can go a fair distance towards containing the spread. I think that the bigger thing here Anderson, is that we're finally getting some specifics around some of this.

You know, people have been told that social distancing is important. I think so far it's been sort of ad hoc. Big organizations, communities, even states sort of trying to figure out what that means, how to how to handle that. This is an arbitrary number. You know 50 people.

I think it goes a long way because I think it gives a sense of importance now to people who still now Anderson, have heard about the coronavirus but are really starting to pay attention, hearing what's happening with the NBA, hearing what's happening with their own schools and things like that.


Now you're hearing from the federal government, every single place in the country should not have a gathering of 50 or more people. Frankly maybe, that's still too many people you know and I and I think again, it's an arbitrary number. It's tough to figure out. The challenge with gatherings is obviously the virus can spread.

The challenge of gatherings also is then those people disperse and they go to wherever they came from and you - if somebody test positive then you got to go back and figure out who do they come in contact with the gathering and who did all those people come in contact with.

There have been several conferences now and those types of things where we have seen you know outbreaks, these mini clusters of coronavirus occur. I think that's what they're trying to address here, Anderson.

COOPER: Sanjay, also - this we're also now just learning, New York City will limit all bars and restaurants to takeout and delivery orders. All theaters, nightclubs to close. The Mayor is going to sign that executive order that goes into effect Tuesday.

So I mean again, this is just you know this has been sort of a cascading effect but this is an extraordinary thing. All restaurants and bars only able to deliver and take out. I mean, that's in New York City. That's extraordinary.

GUPTA: It's extraordinary and I think for a lot of people who live there, this will be the first time they've ever experienced something like this and obviously, it's a significant decision because of the impact on that entire food industry but Anderson, one thing that you and I have talked about now for a couple of weeks and I think bears repeating is that, this isn't a linear thing, the social distancing measures.

They don't trigger like it gets this far bad and then you trigger another thing and then this far and then you trigger another thing. If you're going to do these types of you know, social distinct - social distancing measures, you've got to do them early.

You know, there's been all sorts of studies done on this, they modeled this and basically a thing to keep on the back of the mind is, once the number of people infected in this country is around one percent, then a lot of these social distancing measures don't really work anymore or they don't work as well at least.

COOPER: Because?

GUPTA: Because you've already have too many people out there and no matter what, too many people out there who have the infection. So even if you try and sort of distance them apart, it's very hard to break the cycle of transmission. What are you trying to do with social distancing?

If you keep people a certain distance apart, the virus has a hard time moving person to person and then eventually the virus will start to Peter away. If there's so many people that have the infection then you know the impact of that social distancing diminishes.

So the point is that, it's not like as you go along, you wait till it gets further along to imply -to sort of apply more significant measures. If you think you're going to apply these measures at all, it's best to apply them early. In that way you know maybe it's eight weeks now as opposed to you know a longer time later on.

It's a little counter intuitive but you know it's - it's really important I think to understand that point.

COOPER: Yes Sanjay, thank you very much. I will obviously be checking with you and all our medical team all throughout the evening. There's a lot going on right now. Back now with the panel.

I mean, this is - this is unchartered waters just in not only as a society for us and on a health standpoint but also just politically for these candidates, for this upcoming race. How this affects primaries, I mean cities are saying don't gather, do people then go out and vote and stand in line and are they three to six feet apart and somebody -

AXELROD: Well, David Chalian has sensibly been asking this question just about every hour, whether these primaries can go forward. It obviously raises a question if the - if the guidance is no more than 50 people, often that number of people can gather at polling places.

What you're hearing from the governors is, well, we're - there's been so much early voting in these states that we don't expect those kind of crowds but there is - there you know, it'll be interesting to see how the next 36 hours play out.

You know one of the questions I got back from one of the governors is well, if we don't do it now, when will we do and what happens to all these - you know the millions of early votes that have been cast? Are we going to wait months to count these votes? It's a very as you say, uncharted waters.

No one knows quite what to do so that's why I think they're very eager to get this round over with. The later states have postponed their elections. CHALIAN: Yes, we've seen a couple of examples. Georgia was originally

scheduled for next Tuesday, the 24th, that's been postponed to late May. Louisiana, the democratic primary there was supposed to be later and it has been postponed to June.

So I - you are seeing some examples but to your point Anderson, about a cascading effect, I just - I find it hard to believe in this environment that we're in right now with still 36 hours to go before polls open, that the idea of proceeding as planned. It doesn't seem like anything in society is proceeding as planned right now.


I'll be surprised if these elections will as well.

COOPER: Yes, we're going to move from our team here. Want to go back to Chris in New York. Chris.

CUOMO: All right look, it's a fascinating conversation because look, just in real time as Anderson was talking with his panel, we get an alert about another huge change in life as understood by one of if not the symbolic city of this country, New York City is going to be living in a way now we've never really seen.

I got Van Jones, Kirsten Powers and Governor Terry McAuliffe. Now, when you looked at it, who made the most of the moment where we are tonight?

VAN JONES, CNN HOST: Well look, in the middle of a pandemic, the healer has real appeal and I think Biden came across as that healer. Early on, a lot of people are going to look at the first part of the debate and then they may drift off and come back for the end.

Early on he has a very strong moments. But I have to say you know, this was probably both of their best debates. You know, Bernie Sanders was able to slice and dice Biden on some really key policy points, hold him accountable for his record and try to push him.

I agree, I think that Bernie went out there with the idea, I'm going to stick up for what I believe in and I'm going to push this guy to get either acknowledge that he's not with the real change or to come closer.

I thought, if this was the last big moment for Bernie Sanders, if this thing is going to be wrapped up soon and some people say it will, some people say it won't but I think he acquited himself well but I don't think he expanded his base tonight and he needs to do that in order for it to change the math, to change the dynamics.

I don't think he did that but I think he changed the physics of this party over this past four years and that shows through tonight as well.

CUOMO: Kirsten, to me, tonight is about coronavirus. You know people in the country don't have the same year for differences in healthcare, differences in entitlements. Any kind of plan you have, if it doesn't involve keeping this virus away from me and my family and helping us deal with it, Biden talked about that a lot more and you could argue Bernie Sanders had a tough position tonight because his plan will probably lower capacity.

If you look at it, what's going to happen? You're going to get refunded on the Medicare rate. The Medicare rate is lower than rates at hospitals get now. Why? Because it's a blended rate and they get an augmentation from the private sector. He's going to get rid of the private sector.

Governor, you understand the funding mechanisms well. So he's arguing for a systemic change not only in a moment of crisis where you got to deal with right now but his fix does not address it.

KIRSTEN POWERS, FMR CLINTON ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I can't understand why. I mean, you're just going for - in a single payer system, you're just going from having private insurance companies versus just the government comes in and axes the insurance company so I don't know why that -

CUOMO: To make reimbursement changes.

POWERS: But I don't know why -

CUOMO: That's a key part of the plan.

POWERS: But they can - they can address that issue. I mean, it's not like that -

CUOMO: But in this moment right now your question - not your question, my question is capacity.


CUOMO: Help me with capacity. I'm so scared that you're not going to have enough. Bernie's talked systemic change. Biden talked I'll get it done right now. I'll deal with the big changes later. Which worked better?

POWERS: Well, I mean, I think in this moment right now what people just want is a sense of somebody who's steady. I don't think people I mean first of all, they're not going to snap their fingers and make anything happen. They would have to get a democratic senate. There's a lot of other things that would happen.

But let's just back up for a second and remember that that every single poll we've - we've had in this election and every single conversation we've had with people. The thing that people actually care about is can you beat Donald Trump? So ultimately that is what people are deciding and then I think with tonight, we have added and what are you going to do about coronavirus.

CUOMO: They kind of go together though right? Because, this is probably President Trump's biggest vulnerability today.

POWERS: Sure, but it also depends a lot on you know, I think there are people I think how are you going to go up against Donald Trump in a debate and I think some people had some concerns about Joe Biden on that front. I think tonight he laid those concerns to rest.

CUOMO: Really?



POWERS: I think that he - I just think that he was very strong. He was very clear. In the past he has had some stumbles. He didn't have any of that I think, were really particularly catastrophic tonight and - and this was a very intense two hours, right?

This wasn't just him having a disagreement with one person. This was - Bernie was really going after him so I think he acquitted himself well on that front and I think that he's probably met the bar. I agree.

I think Bernie had a good night as well. I don't know what benefit comes from relitigating the past though over and over and over. Like we've done this and what really matters is what people believe today. It's not - doesn't matter as much as what they believed 30 years ago.

CUOMO: Right. I - I would have - I probably would have asked you a follow up question about well why three weeks ago but I'm with you a 100 percent right now because of the moment we're living, governor.

You know and it's not that you know look, we're - we've all been making a concerted effort at CNN. It's not about panic. Be reasonable, surrender the me to the we, and we will get through this more quickly. They're living a moment right now. People are looking at Trump differently right now because of the exigencies that are real, it's not theoretical. That was the floor of the debate.


How did each gentleman handle it in your opinion?

TERRY MCAULIFFE, ENDORSED BIDEN: Clearly Biden won that debate. He looked presidential tonight. You know, I like what he said, I'm going to commit the military, we're going to come out and use the military to build hospitals.

So he had concrete ideas. Senator Sanders kept getting try to get back to Medicare for all, getting on different healthcare rabbit holes. People are sitting at home today. I'm terrified of Covid-19. I don't know what to do. Restaurants, bars are closing. I go to the grocery store, all of the aisles are empty. I don't know what to do.

So they want to see who is going to continue to talk about and give them hope and leadership on the issue of coronavirus and clearly Biden did that tonight and listen, I've done a lot of debates. I've done debates where I've been leading the race and I've been going and done debates where I wasn't leading.

They both did what they had to do. Joe Biden won and clearly is the leader and you deflect, you look like you're the winner and you don't get yourself caught into any of the positions that's going to bother you and Senator Sanders had to really you know, go after different issues.

I think the problem with Sen. Sanders is you know, we got the damn coronavirus going on today and nobody cares about a vote that happened 20 years ago and I also like that he brought women, that he committed that he would have a woman as V. P.

They were 53 percent of the vote in 2016. We had great women candidates running for president this time. So I thought for Joe Biden, this was a great debate leading into the four gigantic contests and Tuesday could be the end of the campaign.

CUOMO: Although the contests - that maybe the end because the contests go against the CDC recommendation of not having groupings of more than 50 people. I mean this is a weird mix messaging we have going on. Give me a quick take and I want to go to Sanjay.

JONES: The only thing I would say is that I do think that Biden, if you think about Biden up against Trump. Biden's pride of his record gets in the way. Listen, when - when Bernie Sanders throwing those lessons, those right at you, you can sit there and try to defend- defend or you can just say you know what, I have learned and I have changed and here's what I think now.

His refusal to do that, I think does give me some pause about him up against Trump, who's going to go much harder after his record than did Bernie tonight.

CUOMO: Fair point. Let me just bring in the Chief Dr. Sanjay Gupta here for a second. Sanjay, I know that once again the nation is looking to you for perspective on what's going on here and your understanding of what's going on with the government.

The change from New York City, the recommendation from CDC is right in line with people's fear of the unknown. I knew this would get worse. I know - I knew they were going to close it down. They're going to quarantine as we're all going to have -

How do you handle expectations when the information is moving in the direction of more and more closures?

GUPTA: Well, it's a fair point Chris and I think that one thing to keep in mind is that a lot of these things that are being proposed and what Anthony Fauci's been talking about for some time are in some ways designed to prevent this from getting worse.

It's not necessary that we've gotten worse therefore this goes into action. If we get this far worse, this goes into action. It's - it's more of an idea that look, we see sort of how things are unfolding and we've modeled it. We know how this can turn and here's what can possibly make a big difference and there's two things about that.

First of all, the social distancing mechanisms, whether they come in the form of closing down you know restaurants and creating at takeout food or delivery food only in New York versus all the way to you know a more national sort of lock down of a country. If you're going to do these things, they have to be done early Chris, because if you wait too long, they really don't have the impact.

So some people say, it's a huge measure that means that things have gotten really bad, not necessarily. I mean - I'm not - I'm not - I don't want to minimize this but what I'm saying is that if you're going to do these types of things at all, you typically want to do them early and we're still early in this.

But you get beyond a percent of the country being infected and then you know, many of these mechanisms don't work as well.

CUOMO: You know, I have to tell you, you're also making - you're making a point substantively and also stylistically, messaging matters. When you say it that way, I'm better with it than when I read the two releases from the CDC and from the city of New York because you know, you can look at it one way or the other.

Oh, this means it's worse or this will keep it from being worse. Sanjay, thank you very much as always.

GUPTA: You got it.

CUOMO: Let's take a quick break because we got Senator Bernie Sanders right after the debate, ready to be interviewed. Stay with us.



COOPER: Well, a debate like none we have seen so far. Two candidates, at some points as far apart on the issues as they were on the stage. Their confrontation happened at a vital moment for the country and the world.

Before we bring in Sen. Bernie Sanders who's here with me, I want to play the first moment from the debate. The subject was the coronavirus. Here's what Sen. Sanders had to say.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: First thing we have got to do, whether or not I'm President, is to shut this President up right now because he is undermining the doctors and the scientists who are trying to help the American people.

It is unacceptable for him to be blabbering with unfactual information which is confusing the general public.


COOPER: I asked Anthony Fauci the other night, who should people listen to? The President's saying one thing and you know, he didn't say don't listen to the President and he didn't use your words but he said you know, listen to the scientists and that's your advice. SANDERS: He's saying - look, we should all be proud that we have

public servants like Dr. Fauci and many others. They are the heroes and the heroines of the moment. And of course, he has to be diplomatic because he's dealing with the President of the United States.

But the truth of the matter is you got a president who is arrogant, who is ignorant, who is literally as I said undermining the good work of scientists, who keeps making these absurd remarks and in fact he underestimated, diminished the initial threat facing this country.

A president who had a brain in his head would have brought the scientists together and said, look, how serious is this threat? What do we do? What we do now? Not talk about well, I have - what was this thing? I have an unusual ability to understand the issue or it's going to all clear up in a hunch. You know, this is not what the people of this country or the world need.

[22:30:00] So he has done harm in delaying the kind of -

COOPER: You think it's cost people their lives because initially, he said look, there's 15 cases but they're all getting better and it may just go away. It can miraculously -

SANDERS: What a serious president dealing with serious scientist would have said, whoa, we have a potential crisis here. We have to prepare for the worst case possibilities. We got to get moving on this.

Maybe, it won't be that bad but we got to prepare for the worst and clearly his thing was, you know, I'm on top of it. I think he's still talking about being on top of it. Not going to be such a serious problem and that -

COOPER: He essentially said they had it under control today.

SANDERS: Yes, they got it under control. I mean, the scientists are talking about hundreds of thousands of people dying, he has it under control.

COOPER: You know for many of us who spent time overseas in some places where you know terrible things that happened, there's conflicts but there's a lot of their citizens who have not experienced anything remotely like this, not seen grocery stores empty, not seen restaurants shut down, not seen you know potential pandemic which has a potential for serious damages.

It's not very - I think this is an opportunity for sort of a realization of the importance of citizenship and taking care of myself is actually taking care of somebody else and I'm not going to buy all the hand sanitizer because - even if I can find it because it does matter if I have it all.

If my friend over here doesn't have it, I'm - it's dangerous to me too.

SANDERS: I mean, I think we're just saying Anderson is that if there has ever been a moment when we're in this together, not just philosophically or from a moral perspective, but from a reality perspective, if I'm sick and I tough you, guess what? You're going to get sick.

Your job is to make sure that I don't get sick. I get the treatment that I need but it really - the point that I try to make tonight in the debate is to why we have to move incredibly aggressively in terms of the coronavirus while we have to move very aggressively in terms of the economic fallouts especially for working people, for small businesses, for the children, for the elderly.

How are people going to eat? What happens when you lose your job? How are you going to get income? We got to deal with that and my view is that we make everybody whole, that's what we got to and not worry about just the oil companies on Wall Street, we have to worry about all of our people.

But it's also a time for reflection. I think that what happens after this crisis is over and it will be over. Are we satisfied with the health care system which is not a system. I mean at the end of the day, we have 87 million people who are really nervous about whether they can afford to go to the doctor or not.

We have a complicated system. You know people saying OK, well, we're going to pay for treatment. Well, maybe yes, maybe not. Where do I get the treatment? We do not have the health care system. That's indisputable and I hope and I believe that people understand that when we spend so much money for healthcare and we're so unprepared and so many people are uninsured.

And we have pharmaceutical companies right now thinking, oh man, how can I make a fortune on this one? How disgusting is that? So it gets back, I think the kind of point to make - what kind of nation do we want to be? Do we want to be a nation where we work together to address the problems facing the country or a nation where the people on top continue to make huge amounts of money to greed and corruption?

COOPER: I want to play something that Vice President Biden said along these lines and have you respond to what he said.


BIDEN: We have problems we have to solve now, now. What's a revolution going to do? Disrupt everything in the meantime. Look, Bernie talks about excuse me, Senator talks about his Medicare for all. He still hasn't told you how he's going to ever get it passes. He hasn't told you how in fact there's any possibility of that happening.

He hadn't told you how much it's going to cost. He hasn't told you how it's going to apply. It's kicking for four years even after it passes. We want a revolution. Let's act now. Pass the Biden healthcare plan which takes Obamacare, restores all the cuts made to it, subsidizes further, provides for lower drug prices, makes sure that there's no hidden bills, make sure that we invest - I want to invest $50 billion in dealing with underlying diseases that are of great consequence. Diabetes, Alzheimer's and cancer. Make sure that we have a Medicare

option that's in - in a public option providing Medicare for us. We can do that now. I can get that passed. I can get that done if I'm President of United States of America. That would be a fundamental change and it happens now.

I can tell you from experience being a significant consumer healthcare with my sons, my family, all the things we've gone through. What people want is hope and they need it now, not four years from now and Bernie's still hasn't told us how he's going to pay for it.

We're talking about -

SANDERS: Not quite true.

BIDEN: - 30 plus trillion dollar plan.


COOPER: He's saying essentially you know people don't want a revolution.

SANDERS: People overwhelmingly, in this country understand that healthcare is right and that was pretty effective, I think on his part. He slaughtered truthfully everything that I'm trying to do here.

Is it a revolution to do what every other country on earth does and guarantee healthcare for all people? Is that a revolution? Is it a revolution to say to the drug companies - you know what, can't charge is ten times more for the same exact drugs as you're charging Canada or in other countries.

Is it a revolution to say that if you work 40 hours a week in the richest country on earth, you should not live in property? Is it a revolution and by the way, what - you know to say that in the year 2020, when we talk about public education, it should include making public colleges and universities tuition free and canceling all student debt.

Now what's interesting is that you know Biden has adopted some of you know, this is what always happens. Suddenly today, Joe Biden is a free spending socialist, my God and hey, we are going to pay for everything?

COOPER: But he wouldn't say -

SANDERS: Yes, you know, that's what he was saying. No problem. But at the end of the day, that a whole rhetoric from Biden that he can get it done, what is he getting done? Basically after all was said and done maintaining the status quo in healthcare, that's what he's doing, minor changes.

And you know what the status quo is, he's talking about how I'm going to pay for it. Study after study showed the Medicare for all will cost less than the status quo. His will cost $50 trillion over 10 years. I was about $47 trillion. Under his proposal, which is not going to change the average American

and the family of $60000 pays $12,000 a year for healthcare. That is unbelievable. Our plan is substantially lower.

COOPER: At this point though, I hate to talk about your politics for this, but we are in the presidential race and in spite of this it continues. At this stage, what is the path ahead for you?

SANDERS: Well, the path ahead is to bring as many people who do not traditionally vote into the political process and that is young people, it's working class people who understand that we have a corrupt political system in which billionaires buy elections and make it easier for the wealthy to become richer while working class people are struggling.

COOPER: That's been the argument you've made understandably and - and the idea of we're going to have this massive voter turnout, people who haven't been in the process and in some cases you may able to do that.

Latino voters coming in Nevada and elsewhere. Young people not coming out in the numbers, it's been disappointing clearly.

SANDERS: Young people - I mean, I think the media hasn't gotten quite right. Young people are voting in a higher numbers, not as high in some states as the general population. Older people vote in very large numbers but let me -

COOPER: Because that is what the vice President was saying tonight. He's like there has been people coming out but it's been older people.

SANDERS: But let me rephrase that and say this. Two things again. I think we are winning the ideological struggle and we won it tonight. There's Joe Biden suddenly echoing a lot of adopted - I would go further but -

COOPER: But you're making the argument that the road ahead for you is bringing more people into the process. Is that those people, bring them in to then vote for Biden?

SANDERS: No, they're not going to vote for Biden. That's a different situation. What you have politically is God bless them, older people vote in large numbers. Unfortunately, young people who are voting for us overwhelmingly 70-80 percent do not vote in large numbers.

Now this takes you to the general election, all right? So it's one thing to get people to vote in the primary but when you have not what I call non-traditional voters. People who say I don't know, they're going to vote in the primary. They will more likely vote in a general election.

How do you beat Trump if you don't have a huge voter turnout? How do you have a huge voter turnout if you're not bringing young people in, if you're not bringing working class people who have begun to see through the lies of Donald Trump. I think we're better positioned to do that than Joe Biden. COOPER: But or is your hope, if you can't be the person, you can't be

the nominee, to at least get Biden to come to in order to appeal to the young people coming out for you to get well, Biden to come to at least embrace more of your position.

SANDERS: You know it's a funny thing. I mean, I think, you have heard media and others talking about. Isn't it remarkable how when we had 18 candidates to begin this process, so many of them have moved so far of where we were for years. You just heard this tonight.

Yesterday Biden basically saying, yes I voted for that bankruptcy bill. Bad idea, I'm going to adopt those with Warren's position. That's a good bill. OK. Today he says, oh, I think we should make public colleges and universities tuition free, up to a certain level.

Yes, we have what Biden said - now, I will see how real it is but I think, people have got to make a choice about whether they want the real thing, something that I've been fighting for years, for years or somebody who just changed his views last two days.


COOPER: And finally CDC's now put out a recommendation saying that any grouping of more than 50 people should not take place. I mean, should there be a primary on Tuesday?

SANDERS: That is a very good question and as you know Louisiana, Georgia and Puerto Rico have delayed their elections, postponed their dates for the future. Look, you know, elections dates are very, very important. We don't be getting into the habit of messing around with them but you remember and I just researched this.

911, you know there was a primary in New York City, do you remember that?

COOPER: I don't. No.

SANDERS: There was a primary and it was canceled for obvious reasons of New York city and it was rescheduled two weeks later. I would hope that governors listen to the public health experts and what they are saying is, you just indicated, we don't want gatherings of more than 50 people.

I'm thinking about some of the elderly people sitting behind the desk, registering people, doing all that stuff, does not make a lot of sense? I'm not sure that it does.

COOPER: Sen. Bernie Sanders, Appreciate it very much.

SANDERS: Thank you.

COOPER: Just ahead, a Democrat who has also been there on the debate stage. Andrew yang joins us when our debate coverage continues.



CUOMO: All right, we have more now on what you just heard Bernie Sanders say, about his path to victory, about his performance tonight and how the coronavirus has affected this nominating process apart from just the lack of a live studio audience. Former candidate Andrew Yang joins us now and first quickly, let me play you Andrew, a moment from tonight.

This is Biden questioning whether Sanders' Medicare for all plan would really be suited for the moment we're facing.


Biden: With all due respect to Medicare for all, you have a single payer system in Italy. It didn't work there. It has nothing to do with Medicare for all. That would not solve the problem at all. We can take care of that right now by making sure that no one has to pay for treatment. Period. Because of the crisis.

No one has to pay for whatever drugs are needed. Period. Because of the crisis. No one has to pay for hospitalization because of the crisis. Period. That is a national emergency and that's how it's handled. It is not working in Italy right now where they have a single payer system.


CUOMO: Andrew Yang joins us. You know him as the head of the Yang gang, also the newly minted CNN political commentator who has endorsed Joe Biden. How did you feel about your man's answer there?

ANDREW YANG, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, ENDORSED BIDEN: Well, I think Joe had a great point but then he also missed Bernie's point so he had a great point where it's a capacity problem right now.

We're not sure we have the hospital beds, the protective equipment, the facilities or the healthcare providers in order to actually serve everyone who's going to come in and so it'll be - Italy is an example where you have single payer healthcare and they have capacity issues and Joe was right in saying, we need to build capacity.

But Bernie was also right in that millions of Americans right now are completely steering clear of the healthcare system because they don't think they can pay for it. They're not even sure if they have a provider to go to and so this is heightening anxiety around how we're going to respond to coronavirus, where millions of Americans don't even know how they're going to go about getting tested or whether they can see a doctor.

So Joe had a point but Bernie had a point as well.

CUOMO: Andrew, do you think that they recognized the moment they're in enough tonight?

YANG: You know, I don't think they did honestly and - and despite the fact that they both talked about the coronavirus for quite some time but if you look at the CDC's announcement, where they think that we shouldn't have gatherings of 50 plus for eight weeks.

That's two months and you live in New York City, Chris. You know what closing all the restaurants and bars will mean for tens of thousands of bartenders, waitresses, parking attendants, cooks, security guards. These are not people who can go home and just sit around for weeks or months on end.

We need to have a dramatic economic stimulus and they talked about making workers whole, even as these workers are losing wages or jobs. There's no way we can make these workers whole without actually just sending checks or putting money into people's hands.

And I wish that one or both of them had just come clean inside look, if we're going to do this, we actually have to put money to work in a very different and dramatic way.

CUOMO: Now what do you think it means? Let's move off the politics and just talk practicality for a second. Bernie Sanders seemed uncomfortable with the idea of delaying primaries, moving them back, now you can either see that as just an authentic answer or yes, works for him.

The more time he has, the better before primaries because it's looking bad for him right now but in terms of the process and the pressure to keep people from big groups, it is tough to argue at the same time that you should be holding primaries on one level or is it not?

YANG: It is really hard. I mean they had a debate to an empty room. They've canceled all rallies and so saying that people should turn out in droves in these states and wait in lines, though I get will say if you vote, the lines will probably be pretty short, so maybe you do show up.

Like it might not actually be much of a risk that way but the states are moving forward on Tuesday even though some other states have pushed it back and the fundamental dynamics of this race are probably just about frozen in place as David Axelrod was saying because of the fact that the public's attention has turned to the coronavirus.


YANG: And you're going to see voting turn out in all likelihood plummet, upcoming because people are staying at home.

CUOMO: Well, especially when you have CDC guidance saying don't be groups more than 50 and every polling place is certainly going to have more than that except in remote counties. What's your best sense, Andrew of whether or not one or both of the gentlemen change their faiths tonight?

YANG: I think Bernie had a very strong night. He presented himself as a very steady, consistent messenger. I think Joe engaged with Bernie more than I thought he would. I thought he was going to be Trump - Trump - Trump. It was like pivot to the general as much as possible.

[22:50:00] I also think Joe really missed an opportunity to speak to young people when questioned about it. Instead, he just talked about how he was winning anyway and I thought that was a missed opportunity but the fact is Bernie needed a complete transformation of the dynamic of the race tonight and that required not just for Bernie to have a great night which he did have but it required Joe to do something truly self-sabotaging which he did not do and so I think this race is going to continue to have Joe as prohibitive favorite.

CUOMO: Andrew Yang, always a pleasure. Let's go back to the panel so Gov, you and I were talking about this. Bernie Sanders' argument is this. Listen, the young people are with me. We see it all the time. Look at the rallies. Look at the polls. They don't vote in primaries.

That is an unfair judgment standard for me. In the general, I will bring them out in a way that Joe Biden could not. That's why I'm still in this race.

MCAULIFFE: That just hasn't happened. Now we've had about 13 percent of the younger voter now but you know what, but listen, the point and I disagree with my -

CUOMO: They'll come in the general.

MCAULIFFE: You're not going to show up in the primary but you're going to show up in the general, I guess you could say that. You know on the Wizard of Oz too. I mean, you know you've got primaries. Your job is to energize people to get them to come out and vote for you now and then you got to go out and get other people to build your coalition.

I've been saying this on CNN now for eight months. Who can build that broad coalition? Today you know, Biden's been able to show up but we'll see but I do disagree with my good friend Andy.

I thought Biden tonight on climate change, on the issue of college and other issues that he talked about, the bankruptcy bill, I think he moved on a lot of Bernie's issues today and Bernie didn't want to take a win at him, I think a lot of his supporters are watching it tonight.

So I do think Joe Biden talked about a lot of issues that young - resonate with the young people. You know free college under $125,000, spent a lot of time on the issues of climate change, talked about the bankruptcy bill, Elizabeth Warren so I disagree with Andy.

I thought he did put a message out there to get young people energized.

CUOMO: Now you will feel the grief of the Yang gang. Enjoy every piece of the grief coming your way.

JONES: Yang gang people.

CUOMO: What do you think about the state of play after this?

POWERS: Yes, I do think that Joe Biden is the prohibitive favorite and he didn't do anything to harm himself tonight and - and Bernie didn't do anything to necessarily change the trajectory. I don't think Biden did enough to reach out to the Bernie voters, which is something that his campaign has sort of been signaling, he's - he's trying to do.

And certainly on the policies, he did mention some things but this was a much more combative debate than I was expecting and so you know, I think if you are trying to win over you know, if you're sure trying to pivot, if your Biden, you're trying to win over those people that support Bernie.

I don't know that he was really doing anything in terms of the tone, in the way he's interacting, even as Bernie's saying things to him and he's kind of chuckling and laughing and it's a little condescending. That's not going to win over any of the Sanders' supporters.

That doesn't mean they can't ultimately be won over but I don't think he did much tonight.

CUOMO: You were right about the Yang gang. They are - they're passionate. They love him and the ideas. They are the least nasty of any coalition that I've had to deal with going forward but what do you think about this?

JONES: I agree. Well, I think a couple of things. First of all, you know, when you're - you did - you did have Yang on. I thought he made a good point which is that if we're going to be honest, the only way to keep the economy from going into a complete free fall now is to put money directly into the hands of people.

And that is you know Yang sort of you know, UBI, Universal Basic Income that repurposed in a crisis, can make a huge difference. It would have been smart - you're trying to figure out how to put stuff together if Biden had come out and said that, he might have inherited a big chunk of the Yang gang, that's some energy and some smart stuff.

I think the other thing I would say is that, this process now that Biden has to go through of expanding his own coalition to include as many people from Sanders as will come along, assuming that things keep going where they're going, it's tough because it's not just the policies, it's also this other stuff, these intangibles.

So for instance, Hillary tried this with Bernie as well. Hillary also adopted a bunch of platform plank proposals from Bernie but she never signaled the respect. She never signaled that she really got where these people were coming from and appreciated what Bernie had done and what Bernie meant.

And so I think that tonight, Biden fell into that, a little bit but both of them were kind of missing the levellers. Every now and again, Biden would try to say a little nice thing to Bernie and Bernie would miss the point.

So some of that stuff was going on but I think that, we're now in a process by which Biden's got to figure out how not just from a policy point of view, but from the personal and tangible point of view, he signals, I get you and I want you. CUOMO: I don't know - maybe I'm missing something Gov. You tell me.

But we - they were six feet apart tonight because CNN is respecting the idea about social contact and these are two older people, right?

Coronavirus was in the space between the two of them and I really believe that every time they engage with each other about anything else, you know Kirsten and I were talking about how single payer works with Bernie in the break. That's good journalism.


Not on the podium when everyone watching is worried about one thing. And I don't think they made enough of it. What does that mean, going forward?

MCAULIFFE: Well, in the second part of that question is it's not only the health implications of coronavirus, it's what's going to damage our economy.

CUOMO: Right.

MCAULIFFE: And for Trump, the only thing that's held him up with all of the foolishness and all of the insanity and all these tweets and every crazy thing he does, is that people's 401Ks dropped and they said, well, you know first of all, President Obama left him a great economy but -

I'm here now and I've given you a great economy. That stool - that leg of that stool is gone. I mean, we'll see what happens. The future's up 9 percent this weekend. We'll see what happens on Monday but clearly trillions have been knocked off the stock market so it's a huge problem for Trump because it's not only the economy, let's remember, he hasn't solved the testing issue which we all talk about every single day.

South Korea is 20 percent of our population when you think of that. They're doing 12,000 tests today. We have down 28,000 total in the United States of America.

CUOMO: And look, anybody who says we're going to catch up, it's going to happen, they're not telling you guys, the truth. We have to take a break but just you know, as a matter of fact here, you're - you're not going to catch up with testing.

That's not going to happen. The futures with all due respect to the governor are in the tank right now. They're expecting the market to open up about somewhere between 1000 to 1200 points down.

So let's take a break and I hear what you're saying about wanting to have known more and you're more desperate for leadership on coronavirus. Tell the candidates because they're the ones who control the conversation. After this we're going to talk to a representative of the Biden campaign about the former VP's night. Stay with us.