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YCQM: February 2, 2020

(WCAX)
Published: Feb. 2, 2020 at 3:03 PM EST
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DARREN: GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, I'M DARREN PERRON.

RIGHT NOW ON CHANNEL 3'S "YOU CAN QUOTE ME," NEW DETAILS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS, ITS SPREAD, AND AN UPDATES ON VERMONT STUDENTS BEING MONITORED IN CHINA AND TOLD TO LEAVE IMMEDIATELY.

ALSO GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT DISCUSSES NEWS OF THE DAY, INCLUDING THE STATE'S DEMOGRAPHIC CRISIS, YOUR MONEY, AND MUCH MORE.

PLUS JUST OVER A WEEK UNTIL THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY, WE'LL LOOK AT THE DEMOCRATIC RACE FOR PRESIDENT THERE, AND ONE DAY TO GO UNTIL THE IOWA CAUCUSES.

THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS MORNING.

THE DEMOCRATIC RACE FOR PRESIDENT COULD NOT BE HOTTER RIGHT NOW, IN BOTH NEW HAMPSHIRE AND IOWA.

IN IOWA, WE WILL KNOW THE WINNER TOMORROW.

IT'S TIGHT, VERY TIGHT.

OUR CBS NEWS POLL SHOWS BERNIE SANDERS LEADING THE PACK AT 26% SUPPORT, JOE BIDEN RIGHT BEHIND AT 25%, PETE BUTTIGIEG WITHIN STRIKING DISTANCE AT 22%, ELIZABETH WARREN HAS 15%, AND AMY KLOBUCHAR HAS 7%.

BUT BECAUSE OF THE WAY CAUCUSES WORK, IT'S ANYONE'S RACE.

WE SENT OUR ADAM SULLIVAN TO IOWA TO INVESTIGATE HOW IT'S DIFFERENT FROM A PRIMARY AND TO SEE WHERE VOTERS STAND.

>> REPORTER: CEDAR RAPIDS IS DESCRIBED BY SOME AS A SLEEPY LITTLE TOWN, EVEN THOUGH IT'S IOWA'S SECOND LARGEST CITY WITH A POPULATION OF MORE THAN 125,000 PEOPLE.

EVERY FOUR YEARS LIKE CITIES AND TOWNS ACROSS THE HAWKEYE STATE THEY GET A FRONT ROW SEAT IN PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS.

>> BETEND TO BE PRETTY LIB EARLY IN SOME REGARDS AND CONSERVATIVE IN SOME REGARDS, SO IT'S ALWAYS INTERESTING TO WATCH.

>> REPORTER: LIKE NEW HAMPSHIRE'S FIRST IN THE NATION PRIMARY, CANDIDATES COME HERE OFTEN.

>> REGARDLESS OF PARTY YOU GO WITH WHO EVER HAS THE BEST VALUES.

>> REPORTER: HELPING TO INFORM THE VOTERS, NEW STATION AS CROSS THE REGION, LIKE WCAX'S SISTER STATION, KCRG.

>> THAT'S ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT BEING IN NEWS IN IOWA, THE PEOPLE HERE ARE EXTRAORDINARILY ENGAGED.

>> REPORTER: HAD IS HIS FOURTH ELECTION CYCLE COVERING THE CAUCUS, AND THIS TIME AROUND THE CAMPAIGNING BEGAN SHORTLY AFTER PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS ELECTED IN 2016.

>> THE POLITICS ARE FRONT AND CENTER, AND HAVING REALLY INFORMED AND EDUCATED DEBATES AND DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THE ISSUES AND CANDIDATES, AND WHAT THAT MEANS FOR US HERE IN IOWA.

>> REPORTER: CAUCUS NIGHT THE STATION WILL HAVE REPORTERSLE BEDDED WITH THE TOP FOUR CANDIDATES, BERNIE SANDERS, JOE BIDEN, PETE BUTTIGIEG AND ELIZABETH WARREN.

BUT THE STORY IS ALSO ABOUT THOSE TURNING OUT TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL PRECINCTS.

IF ANY CANDIDATE DOES NOT MEET THE MINIMUM THRESHOLD OF SUPPORT, THOSE SUPPORTERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO JOIN ANOTHER CANDIDATE'S CORNER.

>> AT THE HEART OF IT THE POINT OF THE CAUCUSES IS TO BE NARROWED DOWN TO PEOPLE WHO REALLY CARE AND ARE REALLY PASSIONATE.

>> REPORTER: PEOPLE LIKE CHERYL WHO HAS NARROWED THE FIELD TO TWO.

>> I'VE PROBABLY SEEN THE CANDIDATES FIVE OR SIX TIMES, BEFORE, WHERE I REALLY TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHO IS THE BEST CHOICE.

>> REPORTER: BUT THERE STILL CAN BE TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING.

>> A LOT OF US ARE ALWAYS HAPPY WHEN CAUCUS SEASON IS OVER.

IT'S LIKE CONSTRUCTION SEASON, WE'RE ALWAYS HAPPY WHEN IT'S OVER.

>> DARREN: ADAM JOINS ME NOW FROM OUR NEW HAMPSHIRE BUREAU, GOOD MORNING, ADAM.

>> HI, DARREN.

>> DARREN: SO PROOF THIS IS ANYONE'S RACE, WE MENTIONED CBS HAS SANDERS AHEAD, BUT ANOTHER POLL HAS BIDEN AHEAD, STILL A STATISTICAL DEAD HEAT.

BUT THIS COULD GO ANY WHICH WAY BECAUSE OF A IOWANS VOTE.

EXPLAIN THAT FOR US.

>> WELL, ONE THING I NOTICED FROM BEING IN IOWA IS THAT IOWANS TAKE THEIR POLITICS VERY SERIOUSLY, LIKE NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND THEY PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE ON ELECTION NIGHT.

BUT AS WE'VE BEEN REPORTING, IT'S REALLY A DIFFERENT FORMAT.

IN NEW HAMPSHIRE A VOTER JUST GOES TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL VOTING PLACE, THEY CAST THEIR BALLOTS AND THEN LEAVE.

BUT IN IOWA THEY LITERALLY STAND IN THE CORNER OF THEIR PREFERRED CANDIDATES, AND AGAIN IF THEY DON'T GET THAT MINIMUM OF 15% SUPPORT, THEN THEY'RE REALLY ENCOURAGED TO GO INTO ANOTHER CANDIDATE'S CORNER.

SO REALLY IT'S THOSE PASSIONATE SUPPORTERS THAT WILL PLAY A BIG ROLE ON ELECTION NIGHT.

OF COURSE CAMPAIGNS INCLUDING SENATOR SANDERS' CAMPAIGN HAVE BEEN WORKING OVERTIME TO GET THOSE GROUND GAME SUPPORTERS OUT THERE TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL PRECINCTS.

ONE OTHER THING THAT I NOTICED THAT WAS SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT ABOUT NEW HAMPSHIRE IS IOWA IS A MUCH LARGER STATE.

I SPENT A DAY WITH THE SENATOR'S CAMPAIGN IN DESMOINES, THEN I TRAVELED OVER TO CEDAR RAPIDS FOR A DAY, AND IT WAS A TWO-HOUR DRIVE, VERY FLAT, LOTS OF CORN FIELDS, LOTS OF WINDMILLS ALONG THE WAY.

SO JUST GETTING AROUND IOWA IS A LOT MORE TIME CONSUMING THAN NEW HAMPSHIRE WHERE YOU CAN PRETTY MUCH GET TO ANYWHERE IN THE STATE WITHIN A COUPLE HOURS.

>> DARREN: YOU SPENT, AS YOU MENTIONED, SEVERAL DAYS IN IOWA.

WHAT WAS YOUR BIG TAKE AWAY, WHERE DO VOTERS STAND RIGHT NOW?

>> WELL, I SAID VOTERS ARE VERY PASSIONATE, BUT IT'S ALSO SIGNIFICANT TO NOTE THAT IT DIDN'T SEEM AS THOUGH IOWANS REALLY WANTED TO TALK PUBLICLY ABOUT THEIR POLITICS.

IN NEW HAMPSHIRE YOU CAN PRETTY MUCH ASK ANYONE AND THEY'RE GLAD TO TELL YOU WHERE THEY STAND ON THE ISSUES, EVEN IF THEY'RE NOT NECESSARILY GOING TO SAY WHO THEY'RE GOING TO VOTE FOR.

BUT IN IOWA I HAD A DIFFICULT TIME GETTING PEOPLE TO SPEAK PUBLICLY ON CAMERA ABOUT THE UPCOMING RACE AND ABOUT THE ROLE THAT IOWANS PLAY.

IT'S ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT IOWA IS ACTUALLY A RED STATE.

THE GOVERNOR IS A REPUBLICAN, THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR IS A REPUBLICAN, AND BOTH SENATORS ARE REPUBLICAN.

SO THERE IS A LOT OF SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP IN IOWA.

SO SUPPORTERS OF TRUMP MAY NOT HAVE BEEN AS WILLING TO GO ON CAMERA AS WELL.

>> DARREN: ALL RIGHT.

COVERAGE OF CAMPAIGN 2020 CONTINUES.

ADAM, TELL US WHAT YOU'RE UP TO NEXT.

>> AS YOU REPORTED, THE CAUCUSES TAKE PLACE TOMORROW, DEPENDING ON HOW LONG THE PROCESS TAKES, WE WILL BE FOLLOWING THOSE RESULTS.

WE DO HAVE LIVE REPORTS EXPECTED FROM OUR SISTER STATION KCRG IN IOWA.

I'LL BE LIVE IN MANCHESTER GETTING REACTION ON THE NEW HAMPSHIRE SIDE OF THINGS AND WE WILL ALSO BE LIVE FROM THE AIRPORT ON TUESDAY MORNING, AS MANY OF THE CANDIDATES INCLUDING SENATOR SANDERS ARE EXPECTED TO FLY IN SHORTLY AFTER THEY MAKE THEIR SPEECHES ON CAUCUS NIGHT.

THEN IT'S GOING TO BE FULL STEAM AHEAD UNTIL THE FEBRUARY 11 NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY.

>> DARREN: ADAM SULLIVAN, THANK YOU.

AGAIN, AFTER IOWA, NEW HAMPSHIRE IS NEXT.

THE SECOND EARLY VOTING STATE.

THE LATEST CNN POLL SHOWS SANDERS WITH A SIZABLE LEAD IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.

HE HAS 25%.

BIDEN GETS 16%, BUTTIGIEG HAS 15%, AND WARREN IS AT 12%.

BUT THE DIRECTOR OF POLLS AT CBS SAYS THOSE NEW HAMPSHIRE NUMBERS COULD GET EVEN CLOSER, BECAUSE BIDEN IS NOW FOCUSING MORE ON BEING THE SAFE BET TO DEFEAT DONALD TRUMP.

AND HE SAYS THAT IS RESONATING WITH SOME VOTERS THERE.

ANTHONY SALVANTO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

>> THANK YOU.

>> DARREN: LET'S TALK ABOUT NEW HAMPSHIRE HERE IN OUR REGION, THE FIRST IN THE NATION PRIMARY STATE, FEBRUARY 11.

SANDERS LOOKS TO BE SURGING THERE TOO.

>> WELL, BERNIE SANDERS HAS DONE WELL IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, HE HAS DONE WELL THERE IN OUR POLLING.

AGAIN, A FAIRLY TIGHT RACE WITH HIM, BIDEN AND ELIZABETH WARREN.

THERE WE SEE MANY OF THE SAME HALLMARKS, WE SEE ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORT FOR BRRNZ.

WE SEE SUPPORTERS WHO SAY THEY ARE CONSIDERING FEWER OTHER CANDIDATES BESIDES BERNIE SANDERS.

BUN OF THE BIG QUESTIONS I HAVE THOUGH FOR THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY IS WHICH WAY WILL INDEPENDENTS VOTE AND WILL INDEPENDENTS VOTE, BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY THERE, NOW YOU'VE GOT INDEPENDENTS WHO CAN COME INTO IT THIS YEAR, MAYBE LAST TIME, MAYBE IN 2016, SOME OF THEM WENT IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY, SOME WENT IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY.

I THINK THAT'S CERTAINLY A BIG WILD CARD.

AND THE OTHER PART OF THIS IS THE ELECTABILITY FACTOR.

THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THE BIDEN CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN EMPHASIZING.

VOTERS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND ELSEWHERE HAVE BEEN TELLING US ALL ALONG THAT THE MAIN CRITERIA THEY'RE GOING TO USE IN THEIR VOTE IS SOMEBODY THEY THINK CAN DEFEAT DONALD TRUMP.

AND ON THAT MEASURE, WELL, WE'LL HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY SAY IS THE CRITERIA FOR DOING THAT.

>> DARREN: ANTHONY SALVANTO, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US, WE APPRECIATE IT.

>> THANKS.

>> DARREN: COMING UP NEXT WE TALK TO VERMONT'S GOVERNOR ABOUT WHAT HE HOPES TO ACCOMPLISH THIS YEAR, AND IS HE RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION, WE ASK.

PLUS AS CHINA LOOKS TO CONTAIN THE CORONAVIRUS, MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE TOLD TO LEAVE BEIJING.

WE GET AN UPDATE.

>> DARREN: NEW STEPS TO FIGHT THE CRITICAL NURSING SHORTAGE IN VERMONT.

THE SCOTT ADMINISTRATION IS PROPOSING WAIVING THE INCOME TAX FOR GRADUATES OF VERMONT NURSING PROGRAMS WHO STAY TO WORK HERE.

IT WOULD APPLY TO REGISTERED NURSES AND LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSES.

THEIR FIRST YEAR OUT OF SCHOOL, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY ANY INCOME TAX ON WAGES THEY EARNED FROM NURSING.

THE NEXT YEAR, 70% WOULD BE EXEMPT, AND THE THIRD YEAR THEY WOULD ONLY PAY INCOME TAX ON HALF.

THE PLAN IS ESTIMATED TO COST A MILLION DOLLARS.

LAWMAKERS STILL NEED TO APPROVE IT.

IT'S JUST ONE IDEA THE GOVERNOR IS PITCHING TO ADDRESS WHAT HE CALLS A DEMOGRAPHIC CRISIS.

GAIL TALKS TO THE GOVERNOR ABOUT THAT AND OTHER ISSUES FACING VERMONT.

>> WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE DEMOGRAPHIC CRISIS, AS YOU CALLED IT IN YOUR STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WORKS FOR OTHER POPULATIONS WITHIN VERMONT TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO STAY HERE OR COME HERE?

>> YES, WE'RE DOING A LOT IN THAT REGARD, TRYING TO DO MORE WITH APPRENTICESHIPS AS WELL, TRADES TRAINING AND SO FORTH WITH OUR TECH SCHOOLS.

THE REMOTE WORKER PROGRAM AND THE RELOCATION PROGRAM THAT WE PUT INTO PLACE, IT'S A LITTLE CONTROVERSIAL, BUT IT'S NECESSARY IN ORDER FOR US TO ATTRACT MORE PEOPLE INTO THE STATE.

THE STAY TO STAY WEEKENDS WHERE WE HAVE PEOPLE COME TO VISIT AND EXTEND THEIR VACATIONS SO WE CAN SHOW THEM THE COMMUNITIES, THE JOB OPPORTUNITIES, THE HOUSING AND SO FORTH THAT WE HAVE.

SO WE'RE TAKING A LOT OF DIFFERENT APPROACHES, IT'S NOT ONE SINGLE EAFNLTS BUT WITH 2.3% UNEMPLOYMENT, THE LOWEST IN THE COUNTRY, WE HAVE THOUSANDS OF JOBS OPEN, BUT WE DON'T HAVE THE PEOPLE TO FILL THEM.

SO IT'S INCUMBENT UPON US AS LEADERS AND THOSE LEGISLATORS AND SO FORTH TO PUT PARTISANSHIP ASIDE AND WORK TOWARDS THIS COMMON GOAL OF BRINGING MORE PEOPLE AND PUTTING MORE WORKERS INTO PLACE.

>> WHERE DID THOSE RESOURCES COME FROM AND HOW DID THAT CONVERSATION COME UP BETWEEN LAWMAKERS OF DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS?

>> THEY'VE COME A LONG WAYS, AND I GIVE GREAT CREDIT.

THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE IN THE SENATE CAME UP WITH A PROPOSAL OF THE REMOTE WORKER PROGRAM LAST YEAR.

I WAS A LITTLE SKEPTICAL AT FIRST, BUT IT PROVED TO BE REALLY ESSENTIAL AND WELL MEANING, AND IT BROUGHT ABOUT 384 PEOPLE INTO THE STATE.

AVERAGE WAGE IS ABOUT $70,000, I BELIEVE.

AND THE AVERAGE AGE IS ABOUT 37.

SO IT'S AGAIN, NOT THE WHOLE ANSWER FOR THAT 500,000-DOLLAR INVESTMENT.

WE PREDICT THAT THERE WILL BE ABOUT A MILLION DOLLARS IN RETURN.

SO TWO TO ONE RETURN ON INVESTMENT, WHICH IN MY WORLD IS PRETTY GOOD.

IF WE CAN KEEP DOING INITIATIVES LIKE THAT AND USE SOME CREATIVE THINKING, WE CAN SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.

BUT ALL OF US HAVE TO PULL IN THE SAME DIRECTION IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THAT.

>> IN YOUR STATE OF THE STATE YOU MENTIONED THE CAPITAL BILL AND 1.5 MILLION PROPOSED SENDING TO NEWPORT WHICH IS STILL DEALING WITH FALL YOUTH FROM THE ED5 CASE, THE HOLE IN THE MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN.

WHERE DO YOU HOPE THAT MONEY GOES AND HOW DO YOU HOPE TO WORK WITH LOCAL LAWMAKERS THERE TO MAKE SURE THAT MONEY IS USED EFFECTIVELY TO BOOST THE ECONOMY?

>> WE'RE WORKING WITH THE LOCAL OFFICIALS AS WELL AS LOCAL LAWMAKERS IN THAT REGION.

WE RECOGNIZE THAT THEY HAVE AN UPHILL CLIMB, AND MAYBE RURAL PARTS OF OUR STATE.

SO WE'RE FOCUSING ON THAT.

THERE IS THE HOLE THERE, AND WE'RE ATTEMPTING TO UTILIZE THAT MONEY.

I'D LIKE TO CONVINCE THE LEGISLATURE TO GO ALONG WITH US TO PURCHASE THE LAND THERE.

WE NEED A NEW COURTHOUSE SOMEWHERE.

THAT COULD BE INCORPORATED INTO THE PLAN.

BUT WE'RE WILLING TO LISTEN TO THEM AS WELL.

AND WE ARE SOME OTHER PROPERTY THERE.

SO WHATEVER WORKS BEST FOR THEM AND US, AND BRINGS THE REVITALIZATION OF THE DOWNTOWN TO THE FOREFRONT, I THINK WOULD BE BEST FOR ALL OF US.

>> WE'RE ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT BRINGING PEOPLE HERE, BRINGING MORE YOUNG WORKERS HERE.

MANY PARTS OF THE STATE DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO BROAD BAND INTERNET OR CELL COVERAGE AND THAT'S A BIG STICKING POINT FOR SOME PEOPLE.

WHAT'S BEING DONE TO ADDRESS THAT AND CAN WE AFFORD IT?

WE'VE REPORTED IT COULD COST HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS.

>> E YES, WE'VE HAD TWO FORMER GOVERNORS PROMISE THAT WE'D HAVE BROAD BAND AND CELL SERVICE BY A CERTAIN DATE AND HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO DELIVER BECAUSE OF THE COST AND THE DIFFICULTY OF THAT.

I DID NOT PROMISE THAT.

BUT WE ARE FOCUSING ON THAT.

WE HAVE COMMUNITY BASED GRANTS THAT WE PUT INTO PLACE LAST YEAR.

THERE ARE A LOT OF INCENTIVES THAT WE'RE UTILIZING, MORE OF A GRASS ROOTS SUPPORT, FINDING OUT WHERE WE NEED THAT IN SOME OF THE DOWNTOWNS AND SO FORTH TO BRING BROAD BAND TO DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE STATE.

GETTING BROAD BAND TO LAST MILE IS GOING TO BE DIFFICULT, BUT AGAIN THIS APPROACH, PEOPLE HAVE BEEN RECEPTIVE IN UTILIZING THE MONEY WE PUT FORWARD FOR PLANNING.

SO I'M OPTIMISTIC THAT WE CAN MAKE SOME GAINS IN THIS AREA.

BUT THAT'S NOT THE TOTAL ANSWER, EITHER.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE HIGHEST SPEED, HIGHEST CAPACITY BROAD BAND IN THE STATE, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT AREAS LIKE BRATTLEBORO AND SPRINGFIELD AND NEWPORT AND HANCOCK AND SO FORTH.

NOT EXACTLY THRIVING ECONOMIC CENTERS OF THE STATE.

SO WE NEED MORE THAN THAT.

SO A COMBINATION OF A LOT OF DIFFERENT FACTORS FOCUSING ON AREAS OUTSIDE OF CHIT EN CHITTENDEN COUNTY.

BECAUSE THERE'S TWO DIFFERENT ECONOMIES IN VERMONT.

WE HAVE THE GREATER BURLINGTON AREA AND THEN WE HAVE THE REST OF VERMONT, AND WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THE REST OF VERMONT BECAUSE THEY'RE STRUGGLING AND THEY'RE CHALLENGED.

>> NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT THE LEGAL MARIJUANA MARKET DISCUSSION.

IT WAS SOMETHING THAT DIDN'T MAKE IT THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE LAST SESSION.

YOU WERE OPPOSED TO IT IF IT DIDN'T HAVE CERTAIN STIPULATIONS IN IT.

WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR YOU TO SIGN ON NOW?

>> I STILL HAVE MY SAME AREAS THAT I'M CONCERNED ABOUT, THREE CONDITIONS REALLY.

MORE EDUCATION FOR OUR KIDS, MAKE SURE WE IMPLEMENT THAT BEFORE --

>> TAX REVENUE GOES THAT WAY?

>> REGARDLESS WHERE WE GET IT FROM, WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THAT.

AS WELL AS HAVING A PROVISION SO THAT COMMUNITIES CAN OPT IN TO A RETAIL MARKET, SO NOT OPT OUT BUT OPT IN.

THEY HAVE TO TAKE AN AFFIRMATIVE VOTE TO DO THAT.

AS WELL AS THE TESTING I THINK IS IMPORTANT.

THOSE ARE MY THREE CONDITIONS.

I'M NOT PHILOSOPHICALLY OPPOSED TO IT, BUT I THINK TO PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES AND MAKE SURE THAT WE RESPECT THEIR FEELINGS AS WELL, THOSE CONDITIONS NEED TO BE MET.

>> ANOTHER BIG ISSUE THAT A L. VERMONTERS CARE ABOUT, ACT 46, ENFORCED SCHOOL MERGERS, SOME DISTRICTS ARE SUING THE STATE, INCLUDING A COMMUNITY IN MOORETOWN.

IS THERE AS ALTERNATIVE AND HOW DOES YOUR OFFICE APPROACH THESE ISSUES?

>> IT'S DIFFICULT, BECAUSE THIS WAS A LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVE BEFORE I CAME INTO OFFICE.

WE INHERITED IT AND THEN WE HAD TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ADHERED TO THE LAW.

SO WE'VE BEEN FORCED TO MAKE SURE THAT IT WAS IMPLEMENTED IN REGARDS TO WHAT THE STATUTE SAYS.

SO WE DID THAT.

AND IT'S BEEN DIFFICULT.

I WOULD HAVE DONE THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY IF I COULD HAVE, MAYBE A LITTLE MORE LATITUDE.

BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS.

SO WE'VE SUCCESSFULLY BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT AND WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD FROM THERE.

THE FACT IS WE HAVE 30,000 FEWER KIDS THAN WE HAD 20 YEARS AGO.

THAT'S A PROBLEM.

AND WE'RE SPENDING A BILLION EIGHT THIS YEAR.

THE PROJECTED SPENDING THIS YEAR IS UP $87 MILLION OVER LAST YEAR.

AND WE HAVE FEWER KIDS IN OUR SCHOOLS.

SO THIS IS A BIG DEAL, IT'S A BIG ISSUE.

AND WE NEED TO FOCUS ON IT.

>> LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DAVID ZUCKERMAN HAS ANNOUNCED HE'S RUNNING FOR THE GOVERNOR'S SEAT.

YOU HAVE SAID YOU'RE NOT GOING TO FOCUS ON A CAMPAIGN, BUT WE DO KNOW YOU'RE FUNDRAISING FOR A POTENTIAL RE-ELECTION BID.

WHEN DO YOU FEEL YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO ANNOUNCE?

>> I ALWAYS WANT TO BE PREPARED FOR WHATEVER COMES IN THE FUTURE.

I'M GOING TO STICK TO WHAT VOTERS HIRED ME TO DO, AND I WAS JUST SWORN INTO OFFICE ABOUT 12 MONTHS AGO.

SO I'M JUST GOING TO FOCUS ON THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS FROM THERE, AND THEN SOMETIME IN THE SPRING MAKE MY DECISION.

>> ALL RIGHT, GOVERNOR SCOTT, THANK YOU SO MUCH MORE BEING HERE.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.

>> DARREN: FORMER EDUCATION SECRETARY REBECCA HOLCOMBE IS RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR, AS A DEMOCRAT, AND IF HE RUNS SCOTT WILL HAVE A PRIMARY CHALLENGER, AND THAT'S REPUBLICAN JOHN CLAR.

NEXT, MORE FALLOUT FROM THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS, WE'VE GOT THE LATEST.

>> DARREN: CONTINUING COVERAGE OF THE CORONAVIRUS THIS MORNING.

THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION DECLARED THE OUTBREAK A GLOBAL HEALTH EMERGENCY.

JUST AS WE LEARNED TWO POTENTIAL CASES NEAR US TESTED NEGATIVE FOR THE VIRUS.

TWO PEOPLE WHO TRAVELED TO WUHAN CITY IN CHINA WERE ADMITTED TO HOSPITALS IN LITTLETON AND CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE.

THE C.D.C. TESTED THEIR SAMPLES AND NOW SAY THOSE PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE CORONAVIRUS.

AND HEALTH OFFICIALS TELL US BOTH OF THEM HAVE FULLY RECOVERED.

THAT DOESN'T MEAN MORE POTENTIAL CASES WILL NOT COME TO THIS AREA.

SO HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE WARNING PEOPLE TO TAKE SIMILAR HEALTH PRECAUTIONS, AS THEY DO DURING THE FLU SEASON.

GALEN TALKED TO OUR STATE EPIDEMIOLOGIST ABOUT THAT.

>> WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN GET THIS VIRUS IS BY BEING IN CONTACT, PRETTY CLOSE CONTACT WITH A PERSON WHO HAS IT.

SO BY TRAVELING TO CHINA OR OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD WHERE THERE IS TRANSMISSION HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, OR BY BEING IN CONTACT WITH A CASE IN THE U.S.

YOU CAN'T JUST GET IT BECAUSE THERE'S A CASE 10 MILES AWAY.

AND THERE ARE ONLY, WELL, THERE ARE SEVERAL DOZEN CASES UNDER INVESTIGATION CURRENTLY IN THE U.S. ACROSS THE WHOLE COUNTRY.

THERE ARE STILL ONLY FIVE CONFIRMED CASES.

SO THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN GET IT IS IF YOU'RE CLOSE TO A PERSON WHO HAS IT.

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION FOR SOMEBODY HERE IN TERMS OF PREVENTION?

>> SO, PREVENTION, FIRST OF ALL IF YOU PLAN TO TRAVEL TO CHINA OR AN AREA OF THE WORLD WHERE THIS IS BEING SPREAD FROM PERSON TO PERSON, CHECK THE C.D.C. OR STATE DEPARTMENT TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS BEFORE YOU GO.

THAT'S THE FIRST THING.

THE OTHER THING IS, YOU KNOW, TAKE CARE TO AVOID SPREADING RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES.

THERE'S LOTS OF RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES IN VERMONT RIGHT NOW, ESPECIALLY FLU, BUT COLDS AND OTHER THINGS.

SO WE'RE ASKING VERMONTERS TO WASH THEIR HANDS FREQUENTLY, PRACTICE RESPIRATORY ETIQUETTE, COVER YOUR NOSE AND MOUTH IF YOU COUGH OR SNEEZE.

AND STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK AND COUGHING, BUT ALSO IF YOU'RE SICK, STAY HOME.

THE SAME THINGS THAT WILL PREVENT FLU WILL PREVENT YOU CATCHING THIS VIRUS, IF IT IS AROUND IN THE U.S.

>> WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE POTENTIAL FOR CORONAVIRUS TO MUTATE AND EVOLVE?

>> THAT'S ALWAYS A QUESTION WITH VIRUSES, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY DO.

BUT THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT RELEASED THE ENTIRE GENETIC SEQUENCE OF THIS VIRUS SEVERAL WEEKS AGO, WHEN IT WAS FIRST BECAME KNOWN TO BE A PROBLEM.

AND THAT'S WHY C.D.C. WAS ABLE TO SO QUICKLY DEVELOP A TEST FOR IT.

THE C.D.C. HAS SINCE SEQUENCED VIRUS FROM TWO OF THE FIVE CONFIRMED U.S. CASESES AND THEY SAID THAT THE VIRUS HASN'T CHANGED OR MUTATED VERY MUCH.

SO THAT'S GOOD NEWS.

THAT COULD CHANGE OVER TIME.

>> ANY OUR BIG TAKE AWAYS FOR PEOPLE WATCHING HERE IN OUR AREA, WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS, ANY OTHER THINGS THEY SHOULD KNOW ABOUT IT?

>> IT'S A NEW VIRUS TO US, SO, TO THE WORLD, SO THERE ARE THINGS WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT AND IT THAT CAN MAKE IT A LITTLE BIT SCARY.

WE DON'T KNOW FOR SURE IF YOU CAN TRANSMIT BEFORE YOU'RE SYMPTOMATIC.

WE DON'T KNOW FOR SURE THE SCOPE OF ILLNESS THAT IT CAUSES.

WE FLOE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF CASES AND SOME DEATHS IN CHINA.

BUT WHAT WE DON'T KNOW IS HOW MANY PEOPLE MAY HAVE A MILDER ILLNESS, BECAUSE THOSE PEOPLE AREN'T BEING COUNTED AS CASES, THEY'RE NOT SEEKING HEALTH CARE IN CHINA OR ELSEWHERE.

SO WE DON'T KNOW, IT MAY BE THAT THIS IS A PARTICULARLY SEVERE VIRUS THAT MAKES MOST PEOPLE PRETTY SICK, OR IT MIGHT BE A VIRUS THAT MAKES MOST PEOPLE HAVE MILD SYMPTOMS.

THAT TYPE OF INFORMATION WE JUST DON'T KNOW YET.

SO STAY TUNED, WATCH THE NEWS, GET MORE INFORMATION.

BUT RIGHT NOW THERE'S NO TRANSMISSION HAPPENING IN THIS COUNTRY.

>> SO IT COULD HAVE A WIDE SPECTRUM IN TERMS OF IMPACT?

>> IT COULD, WE JUST DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT IT YET.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE AND LENDING YOUR EXPERTISE.

>> YOU'RE WELCOME.

>> DARREN: MEANWHILE, THE FIRST CASE OF HUMAN TO HUMAN TRANSMISSION OF THE VIRUS IN THE U.S. IS CONFIRMED.

A WOMAN IN HER 60'S WHO TRAVELED TO WUHAN RETURNED TO CHICAGO AND INFECTED HER HUSBAND.

HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY BOTH ARE HOSPITALIZED IN STABLE CONDITION.

IN CHINA THERE ARE NOW MORE THAN 7800 CASES OF CORONAVIRUS, MORE THAN 170 PEOPLE HAVE DIED.

WE'VE ALSO BEEN TOLD 100 PEOPLE HAVE RECOVERED AND ARE OUT OF THE HOSPITAL.

THE C.D.C. ISSUED ITS HIGHEST TRAVEL ALERT, TELLING AMERICANS TO AVOID ALL NONESSENTIAL TRAVEL TO CHINA, AND DELTA AND AMERICAN AIRLINES ARE SUSPENDING ALL CHINA FLIGHTS ON FEBRUARY 6.

WITH AIRLINES CANCELING FLIGHTS, SOME VERMONT STUDENTS ALREADY IN CHINA HAVE SPENT THE LAST SEVERAL DAYS TRYING TO GET OUT.

>> WHAT WE'RE WORRIED ABOUT MOSTLY IS THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS.

>> DARREN: BENJAMIN IS ONE OF NINE MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE STUDENTS STUDYING A BROAD IN CHINA, HE'S IN BEIJING NOW, IN STUDENT HOUSING, TALKING TO US BY SKYPE.

BUT THERE ARE NO CLASSES AT HIS SCHOOL, CAPITAL NORMAL UNIVERSITY.

HIS COURSE IS ON HOLD, IN FACT ALL SCHOOLS THERE ARE CLOSED.

PRE-K TO COLLEGE.

AS THE COUNTRY STRUGGLES TO CONTAIN THE CORONAVIRUS.

>> NO ONE REALLY KNOWS HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE UNTIL SCHOOL RESUMES AGAIN.

AND IT SEEMS THAT EVERYONE IS JUST SHELTERING IN PLACE IN THEIR HOUSE FOR NOW.

>> DARREN: HE AND A FEW OTHER STUDENTS ARE BEING MONITORED FOR THE ILLNESS.

HIS TEMPERATURE CHECKED THREE TIMES A DAY BY DORM STAFF.

THAT'S BECAUSE THE STUDENTS TRAVELED TO THE NORTHERN PART OF THE COUNTRY.

THEY JUST CUT THEIR TRIP SHORT AS THE VIRUS BEGAN TO SPREAD AND CHINA BEGAN LIMITING OR HALTING TRANSPORTATION.

>> WE WERE WORRIED THAT THE TRAINS WOULD SHUT DOWN OR WE WERE WORRIED THAT MAJOR TRANSPORT LINKS COULD SHUT DOWN.

INNER CITY BUSES IN THE BEIJING AREA HAVE BEEN SHUT DOWN, AND THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT WILL GO OUT TO FURTHER PROVINCES OR CITIES.

JUST SPENDING TIME OUT IN THE OPEN, THE GOVERNMENT HAS TRIED TO LIMIT ALL INTERACTIONS ESSENTIALLY WITH PEOPLE.

>> DARREN: HE WEARS A MASK AT ALL TIMES IF HE LEAVES THE DORM.

>> THIS REALLY ODD EERIE FEELING.

>> DARREN: IF STUDENTS DO LEAVE, GUARDS ARE NOW DEMANDING IDENTIFICATION, TRAVEL PLANS AND PHONE NUMBERS.

>> I THINK THEY'RE JUST TRYING TO TRACK EVERY MOVEMENT OF SOMEONE, YOU KNOW, JUST IN CASE THEY'RE INFECTED.

>> DARREN: SOME STUDENTS THOUGH ARE HOLED UP IN THEIR ROOMS AND NOT GOING ANYWHERE, WORRIED ABOUT THE VIRUS.

>> NEVERTHELESS I THINK WE ARE PRACTICING OUR UTMOST HEALTH PRECAUTIONS TO ENSURE OUR SAFETY.

>> DARREN: WE JUST LEARNED THAT HE WAS ONE OF THE LAST STUDENTS THERE TO GET ON A FLIGHT LAST NIGHT.

AFTER HIS DORM TOLD THEM THEY HAD TO LEAVE.

MIDDLEBURY HAD BEEN URGING THE STUDENTS TO COME HOME.

AND THE SCHOOL JUST CANCELED ITS SPRING SEMESTER STUDY ABRD ABROAD PROGRAM IN CHINA WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO START NEXT MONTH WITH ABOUT 40 STUDENTS ATTENDING.

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