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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Nightmare in New York City; Michael Moore Weighs In; Evacuations at NYC Hospitals; Global Warming to Cause More Major Storms?
Aired October 31, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Good evening. We start with breaking news tonight, looking at a nightmare in New York City. Hundreds of thousands of people trying to fight their way onto buses, walking across bridges. Traffic an absolute standstill right outside our studio here in Columbus Circle. About 1.7 million people are still without power in New York in the wake of superstorm Sandy, a storm that killed 56 people up and down the east coast.
But the crisis is far from over. Ambulances tonight, lining up outside New York's Bellevue Hospital to evacuate 700 patients. Pumps that supply oil to the hospital's generators are under water. And in New Jersey, flames are raging through the shore town of Mantoloking but the picture of the day is going to be this. Something that would have been unthinkable just a few days ago.
The mutual admiration society between President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. This is what they saw on their tour of the Jersey Shore in Marine One. And this is what the president promised to the victims of superstorm Sandy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are here for you. And we will not forget, we will follow up to make sure that you get all of the help that you need until you rebuilt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Meanwhile with just six days to go until election day, Mitt Romney is in a must-win state of Florida tonight, striking a very new -- bipartisan tune.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I've got to be able to reach across the aisle and get good Democrats and good Republican to work together. Good Democrats love America just like good Republicans love America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Our special guest Michael Moore is here live for the whole hour tonight to react to all of the events. And to take your questions. Tweet us at pierstonight. But we begin tonight with CNN's Jason Carroll live in Manhattan's Queensborough Bridge with more on the long hard commute tonight for millions of New Yorkers.
Jason, it's a rough time for many New Yorkers tonight. It's obviously a very rough time for many people on the east coast. But in New York it seems it's almost two cities now. You have the half with power, mainly upwards of 40th Street, and you have below 40th Street a bit of a nightmare with no power. Traffic, absolutely chaos out there. I had to walk earlier because it was just complete gridlock.
What can you tell me about the subway, about power and about when New York will be back on its feet?
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, that's a question that a lot of people are asking. I think it's very obvious from what we in today it's going to take a while before New York gets to what it used to be. Today well, we witnessed thousands of people walking across the Queensborough Bridge. Some still trying to make their home early tonight, Piers. And that's basically what we've been seeing throughout the day.
Not just here at the Queensborough Bridge, but also at the Brooklyn Bridge. Saw that as well. People trying to get into and out of the city without subway service, without train service. Foot was the only way you can do it. It was just by walking. We did have the buses running but even that was a nightmare for some.
Some people telling us they waited three, four hours, Piers, to go in a bus today. And actually just about a little more than an hour ago as we were right out here at a bus stop we witnessed just a crush of people trying to get on one bus that pulled up. People have been patient all day but I think at that point, some of them had clearly lost their patience. There was some swearing going on, some pushing, a little bit of shoving, as everyone who had been lined up again for hours -- did get on. Things calmed down and the buses went on as they should have.
Tomorrow I do have a bit of encouraging news for commuters. Based on what the mayor is saying, things should look a little bit better than what we witnessed out here today. We're expecting to see restored at least in limited service, restored service on the LIRR, the Long Island Railroad, as well as on some subways.
Again, I say limited service. What commuters should really do, Piers, is go online and check with the MTA to find out which subways will be running in and which trains will be running in order to get into and out of the city.
MORGAN: Yes. I think they'll try to get as much information as they. But as I say, it is definitely a tale of two cities now in New York, and for those who have got no power they're now to day three of this. The longer this goes on I'm sure the more -- many people will be feeling angry and concerned. And it's time for the authorities to alley that concern and indeed their anger.
Jason, with a few communication problems there, but you did a great job for us as always. Thank you very much. Tonight hundreds of patients from another New York hospital being evacuated including newborn kids after the storm knocked power. It's been happening in the massive Bellevue Hospital.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta fills us with the latest.
Sanjay, this sounds like a pretty awful situation. We had yesterday NYU, and I got pretty exercised with one of their administrators, saying come on, how can you not be ready for this? You're on water and you've been through hurricanes before, and you were warned for a week this is going to be the big one. How are these generators, both at NYU and Bellevue, the backup generators, why are they failing?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me put it to you like this. I mean there's generators, so this is Bellevue, by the way, behind me. It's eerily dark. And I go by this hospital a lot. I've never seen it quite like this before, Piers. But the generators are sort of spread sporadically throughout the hospital. What the generators need, though, is fuel. And they need oil. And that fuel is often kept at lower levels, because you don't keep the fuel at -- you know, on the rooftops, for example. At least that's not what was done here at Bellevue.
There are pumps that pump that fuel to those generators. So for example, at Bellevue, the backup generators are on the 13th and 12th floors. When the pumps failed as a result of the water coming into the -- into the basement areas, the cavernous areas as they're called, those pumps failed and people literally have been having to carry fuel up 12 flights of stairs now since yesterday. They created these bucket per day in order to do that.
But again, Piers, the important point is you have the generators, you can place those in more secure areas, and you can try and insulate these pumps as much as possible. They use a submarine technology to try and insulate the pumps. But water still got in, and they found out today that the water got in to the point where it damaged these pumps irreparably, and that's why that evacuation occurred today, Piers.
MORGAN: I mean I think it's fair to say the staff of both of these hospitals are doing an absolutely extraordinary job under what must be desperately difficult conditions. And I really want to single them out at both those hospitals. The nurses, the doctors, all the workers down there for doing a herculean job.
But, again, I say, Sanjay, I mean, why would you plan hospitals that are near water where you have a key part of the power system in the basement? I mean it just doesn't make any sense to me.
GUPTA: Yes, you know, it's been widely discussed thing. And you know, I don't fully know the answer to that. I do know that one of the things about putting fuel in certain places in the hospital. They want to put the fuel closer to the ground. They think just because transporting it up in terms of safety could be of concern. They've encapsulated these fuel pumps and these containers in what they thought was very, very good technology and tried and keep water resistant.
But clearly, I talked to the president of this hospital, the guy who runs the show here, and they were similar to some of the answers you got last night, Piers, on your program. They said they thought they would hold. They thought the pumps would be safe. They weren't. And as a result those generators failed.
MORGAN: Yes. I just don't think it's acceptable. I'll be talking myself to the president of New York City's Health and Hospitals Corporation in just a few minutes. For now, Sanjay, thank you very much.
First, Newark Mayor Cory Booker (INAUDIBLE). He's back on the phone now on the latest in the recovery effort in the state hit hardest by Sandy.
Mr. Mayor, welcome back.
MAYOR CORY BOOKER (D), NEWARK: Piers, again, I continue to push your coverage and focus on the issue.
MORGAN: Yes, how are things in Newark? We saw the scenes with obviously Chris Christie and Barack Obama today in New Jersey. How are things where you are?
BOOKER: Well, the devastation in the southern parts of our state, you know, demand our attention, our compassion and our prayer. Here in Newark, our basic problem right now is power that's still out to half of our city. There's still so many people in very vulnerable conditions depended upon medicines that needed to be refrigerated, medical devices and others who are (INAUDIBLE) buildings where trapped, disabled, unable to come down, and worried.
And we've been delivering food and trying to get things done. And then unfortunately, you know, we announced the number of fatalities today. We've had three now in our city. One was in the immediacy form of a drowning but two, unfortunately, today young women who had a generator hooked up and died of carbon monoxide poisoning. And this is what we fear. We now have recovery going on.
And there are still hazards. And some of them are created by people who were trying to compensate for the lack of power by open flames, using their oven to heat their homes or generators. And it creates hazards from everything from fires to the carbon monoxide deaths that we've seen.
MORGAN: Yes. A very sad story. But on a positive note, Newark Airport is partially open today. And maybe fully reopened within the next day or so, do you think?
BOOKER: You know, we -- yes, first of all, we are happy that it is open and there will be more and more activity. As we get these arteries open, we had the announcement today that New Jersey transit buses are going to start running in a more limited schedule. But they will be running -- the arteries open if it begins to breathe life back into our community and people can get to and fro, they're not stranded as they have been. And we have people without power that have been stranded and unable (INAUDIBLE) to a place where they can buy food.
And again, we're a major transportation hub. So people have been flying in and out helps us to get back to business as usual, and frankly, help people who are stranded here get to where they need to go away from Newark.
MORGAN: Mayor Cory Booker, you've joined us every night live. And we really appreciate that. To give us the very latest news on what's happening in Newark. And please, stay in touch with us over the next few days. This is obviously an ongoing crisis there. And we want to do what we can to help.
BOOKER: Thank you very much, Piers. All the best to you.
MORGAN: No question about it, this storm is unprecedented. The damage is catastrophic, the death toll rising all the time. And millions of Americans right now are completely in the dark with no power. It's all unfolding just six days before the presidential election. An extraordinary situation that's never happened before.
Let's bring in my guest for the night, author and Academy-winning documentary filmmaker, Michael Moore.
Michael, this is a pretty unchartered territory. We've got a general election next Tuesday and almost nobody is talking about it at the moment. They're talking about this phenomenal storm the like of which New York has never seen before.
You were here I think when it hit on Monday. Where were you?
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: I was in my apartment on the west side of Manhattan here. And our neighborhood didn't get blacked out, so -- but I did everything that everybody else did, getting ready for it. And actually, I was -- I sat through Katrina. When Katrina happens, so I kind of have been through a little bit of this before. And -- but this is -- this -- what happened here, the scope of it, I don't think we really quite know the entire scope of it yet.
MORGAN: I think you're right. I think we're hearing all the time that the magnitude is just greater than anyone has quite grasped yet.
MOORE: Right. And this is why we really need our news media to come in. Because I think, if I may say this, that we need fewer -- when this is happening, fewer of the reporters standing in waist-high water, seeing if they're going to be blown over, and more real reporting, real news like what's really going on. People who really were --
MORGAN: No, but let me --
MOORE: Because I've heard that criticism. I don't agree with you. And I'll tell you why. When I see somebody like Ali Velshi, who's a terrific reporter. When he was standing there in Atlantic City.
MORGAN: In the middle of the boardwalk actually in water.
MOORE: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: The point of him doing that, I believe, and I agree with it, and others to do this, is there anyone mad enough to think they should be going out for a little stroll walking the dog or any of that, looks at that and thinks, I'll stay in. What is wrong with that?
MOORE: I was looking at that. I was watching Ali up there. Being blown around in Atlantic City. My first thought was, why is CNN trying to kill Ali Velshi, really? I mean --
MOORE: What did he do here?
MORGAN: Well, did I say they want to kill Ali Velshi but they -- yes, Ali -- when I saw that --
MOORE: (INAUDIBLE) for the '08 crash coverage. So why --
MORGAN: Because it is a dramatic image that fully tells the story of just how big this is and dangerous it is.
MOORE: Yes. Well, it does and it doesn't. I mean, it's -- I mean --
MORGAN: If it saves one life, isn't it worth it?
MOORE: Well, yes, but there's a lot of things you could do on CNN to save many lives. But that's -- you can do that on another show. I think the -- there was a part of Queens that burned down on Monday night.
MOORE: And people didn't know about this, while it was happening. Which is kind of odd. When you think about it. There's 130 homes. Something like that now that they've added up.
MORGAN: I think it's 110 homes. I mean --
MORGAN: Well, I was anchoring this show at 9:00 until 10:00 and at midnight until 1:00. And we weren't aware of what had happened there.
MORGAN: I found out when I woke up the following morning.
MOORE: Now why is that?
MORGAN: It's just because there's so much going on. It was like a -- it was like an apocalypse during the night.
MOORE: I know. I agree. But again, this isn't -- Manhattan Island is three miles wide. You know? That neighborhood over in Queens another five miles. That's not a long ways away.
MOORE: It were in a very condensed area and I guess I would have thought, too, with everybody with their cell phone cameras and whatever that maybe there needs to be a better mechanism. I know you guys have had this eye --
MORGAN: CNN. Yes.
MOORE: For some time and I think that's a really good thing and it is -- it was kind of shocking that something that happened, say, eight miles away nobody knew about it. And literally an entire neighborhood burned to the ground.
MORGAN: Well, we're going to come back to that. Because it's a shocking thing to happen. Listen, you know, if I'd known about it, we'd report it straight away. It was a chaotic night with so much happening.
Let's take a break. We'll come back and talk more about the storm. Also about Chris Christie and Barack Obama, this odd and new bromance that's sprouting out of this. What you make it. Do you believe it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Governor Christie throughout this process has been responsive, he's been aggressive in making sure that the state got out in front of this incredible storm.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The political odd couple. President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, standing together, side by side, surveying the damage of Hurricane Sandy. They got from adversaries to praising each other.
Back now with my special guest, Michael Moore. We're going to go to Michael. I got to clarify one thing.
We did cover the Rockaway blaze in the midnight show live on Monday night into Tuesday morning. I was anchoring that. I was toward the end. As soon as we heard about it, we were one of the first networks to actually get it on the air. And --
MOORE: Right. Right. And there was still two or three hours after it happened.
MOORE: So my point is can you imagine if a 110 homes were burning right now in Los Angeles.
MOORE: That it'd be another three hours before we heard about it.
MORGAN: But if you've got to take into context everything else that's going on in New York.
MOORE: My point is, with everything else that was going on, we're putting a lot of reporters -- in three feet of water and see how far they blow. And that is not news.
MORGAN: Yes, but hang on. I don't agree with that because actually --
MOORE: But we already covered that in the last --
MORGAN: Let me just finish. Because it's a bit -- it's an interesting debate. But when a 14-foot surge comes over the water --
MOORE: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: In lower Manhattan --
MOORE: Here it comes. Whoa. That's it.
MORGAN: Maybe. Maybe.
MOORE: Why do you -- why do you have to put Ali Velshi in Atlantic City hour after hour after hour after hour with him being blown around by the wind. What can I --
MORGAN: Let me just say, I think he was incredibly courageous to do what he did.
MOORE: Yes. Well --
MORGAN: It was exceptionally texting. He was there for 12 hours showing you, as we can see now, just how desperate these conditions were.
MOORE: I think --
MORGAN: The flooding -- the flooding is amazing.
MOORE: I think it was a CNN executive -- off camera with a gun to his head.
MORGAN: Michael, you can be cynical about it but I will defend Ali and the others (INAUDIBLE) an amazing reporter. And also I would defend CNN that's been bringing all the news.
MOORE: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: As fast as we get it. Now you may say, we should have guessed there would be a pile on down in that part of Queens, and we should have guessed and put it on air, that's not how news works.
MOORE: Correct -- you're right.
MORGAN: You have to react to what you hear about.
MOORE: And, and --
MORGAN: We were one of the first people to report it. And I think CNN collectively has done an incredible job on the story. You know, there's an argument about whether reporters should be in the line of fire like that or whether --
MOORE: I acknowledge the 21st century realities that CNN and all other news organization have had their budgets slashed and reporters cut. And there's a lot less people in 2012 reporting the news than there were 10 years ago.
MORGAN: We have (INAUDIBLE) of people in New York. We just couldn't second-guess where a fire would go. But look, I think we're splitting hairs.
MOORE: Yes. Yes.
MORGAN: Let's move on.
MOORE: OK. Yes.
MORGAN: Let's move on to the extraordinary relationship that's developed between Chris Christie who has spent the last year burying verbally President Obama, now side-by-side with the president in New Jersey. We know why. It's because there's been a devastating side effects from Sandy there. One of the worst, probably in the whole of America.
But what did you make of this? Did you buy it or is there a more cynical, political reasoning behind what is going on?
MOORE: Well, I'm -- firstly, I'm not a cynic. So I think -- look, I think Governor Christie and President Obama looked both very sincere and very concerned.
MORGAN: Are you skeptical that there's more political motive behind this? Is it right to even ask that question? Should we just take it completely at face value? (CROSSTALK)
MOORE: No, it's OK. Of course it's OK to ask because it was kind of shocking to see Governor Christie over and over and over again, on show after show after show, heighten his love each other he went out a different show for President Obama.
MORGAN: OK. Because if you're Mitt Romney -- let's talk about the politics of this.
MORGAN: If you're Mitt Romney, there's your right-hand guy, the guy who was the first jumped out and support you, who's been hammering Obama all year on our behalf, suddenly looking like he's his best friend. Like this (INAUDIBLE), whichever way you dress this up, divorcing it from the storm, this cannot help Mitt Romney can it?
MOORE: No. And the cynic would say, what did Mitt Romney do in the last couple of weeks to piss off Governor Chris Christie. Because this -- because he didn't -- he didn't have to go the extra mile or actually extra ten miles that he went.
MORGAN: Except he says the president went the extra mile and his first responsibility to the people of New Jersey.
MORGAN: Chris Christie's idea, I think he's a straight guy. I've got a lot to deal with him, I like him very much. I think he's a straight talker.
MORGAN: I think when he says this, he means it. And I think he's --
MOORE: That's what -- I think he looked very sincere and I think --
MORGAN: I interviewed him last night. He said that his hometown absolutely devastated.
MORGAN: Places he grew up in. And I think he's thought, you know what, stop the election, this is about this and the president is going the extra mile for me.
MOORE: Yes. I agree with that. And I saw that press conference that he conducted and I was really impressed with the couple of things that he said. He pointed out how after Irene a year ago, the hurricane, he put forward a bill in the New Jersey legislature to change like a 100- year-old law that says when the utilities are down they're fined like $100 a day. (INAUDIBLE). And he wants that -- I forgot what he said. He wanted that changed to $10,000 or $1 million a day that -- so he set this bill, there's serious fines that would tell the utilities upgrade your infrastructure, use your profits to do a better job, or you're going to be really fined if you go down. And I thought wow, he was saying that.
MORGAN: I think people who have been respectful of the incredibly difficult job the authorities have had and the politician have had. And I think all the mayors from Bloomberg to Cory Booker to obviously to the governors involved, have done a terrific job. However, there will be a tipping point for people. If they are out of power come next Tuesday, for example, this could impact on the election.
MOORE: Well --
MORGAN: Maybe people -- you know, you could have said today benefits the president because he's been very presidential. And Mitt Romney can't get on television. But you could say by next Tuesday, if there are million so people still without power, feeling angry, you could get a protest vote, couldn't you?
MOORE: First of all, I don't think it's about Mitt Romney not being able to get on television. I think we have a president and believe me after the eight years before this president, one bumbling mistake after another, and that's being kind, to have a president who is intelligent and who is proactive and who I believe was very sincere in everything he said about Governor Christie, and everything that he did here today, I think people feel more security with Barack Obama in the White House when we have something like this happen.
We know he's going to take the reigns, get in charge of it, and get something done. And that -- you know, I'm not trying to make a statement of how that helps him in the election. I just think it helps us as American citizens to have somebody like that in the White House who isn't going to screw around and who's going to do the job we sent him there to do. That felt really good.
MORGAN: Well, I certainly -- whichever side you're on, you cannot say that President Obama has not so far done an excellent job.
Let's take a break, come back and talk about this crisis in the hospital because I feel pretty angry about this. And I'm surprised more people don't because the backup generators to fail in two of New York's biggest hospitals, unacceptable.
MORGAN: You're looking at pictures of Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan's east side, the storm knocked out power as we've been seeing. Hundreds of patients are being evacuated.
On the phone with me now is Alan Aviles. He's the president of New York's Health and Hospitals Corporation which overseas Bellevue.
Mr. Aviles, thank you for joining me.
ALAN AVILES, PRESIDENT, NYC HEALTH AND HOSPITALS CORPORATION: Good evening, Piers.
MORGAN: Let me lay my cards on the table about this. I find it quite shameful that two of New York's major hospitals have suffered complete power outages, given the fact that there've been hurricanes before, from Irene onwards, which have threatened, that they're on the water, these hospitals, there must be an ongoing threat. And then it was a week to prepare for what everybody was saying was the biggest storm New York would ever see.
How could this happen?
AVILES: Well, first of all, let's be clear. There were two hospitals next to one another. One of them not one of our public hospitals, not Bellevue Hospital, did lose total power. Bellevue, in fact, has four emergency generators up on a high floor that kicked in to power the hospital after we lost ConEd power. And remember, please, that this is an unprecedented storm based upon the projections from the National Hurricane Center even an hour before the storm hit, the storm surge projections at their highest level would not have threatened our hospital, which actually sits at a higher elevation than the hospital on the same block that actually lost total power.
So we did have power. The issue was our ability to sustain a huge complex hospital, level one trauma center, on temporary power that doesn't power all of the systems within the hospital.
MORGAN: Right. But whichever way you explain this, it doesn't change the fact that you have got hundreds of patients, many critically ill, many mothers with new born children, all being ferried on Monday night, for example, from NYU into the eye of the worst storm ever. I can't think of anything worse for a mother with a newborn child than to be ferried down nine flights of stairs by harassed nurses and then have to go out into a hurricane.
It does beg the question, if this was to happen again next year, would you have a different system than didn't have, for example, pumps with oil in the basement, which then get drowned so much you can't use them? I mean, what are the lessons that get learned here so that mothers who may be coming into these hospitals next year don't have to worry that if there's another hurricane, they're going to be out in the middle of it.
AVILES: I can't speak for NY hospital, which was the hospital that had to evacuate in the face of the storm. Our evacuation occurred afterwards. Bellevue is the longest operating hospital in the United States. It has never experienced anything like what we experienced on Sunday and Monday. Bear in mind that there is a balance of risk here. It is not risk free to transfer patients, many of whom are critically ill, and having to do that as a mass evacuation.
Again, you know, the projections in terms of the strength of this hurricane changed very rapidly, but even at its peak did not suggest that the hospital was endangered. We sheltered in place during Hurricane Irene just a year ago, and it did not come remotely close to endangering our hospital.
So this is one of these events where it's easy in hindsight to say we should have, but had we actually initiated an evacuation where one of the critically ill patients of patients on ventilators died in the transport, we would be criticized for doing that. It is not an easy decision to make.
The remarkable thing is that we had 725 patients in this hospital when the storm hit. We now have 260 there. All of the critically ill patients have been transferred already. All of them are doing fine. They're safe in other hospitals. We appreciate particularly the National Guard, which has been unbelievable in terms of their help there.
We had to have patients carried down as many as 18 flights of stairs. The National Guard did that with special sleds. They are fabulous.
MORGAN: See, here's my problem, though. I'm looking at these pictures and you have all these people being ferried around. And I'm looking at Goldman Sachs, which is downtown on the West Side there. They are lit up with full power. I'm seeing the Stock Exchange opening. And I'm thinking why would financial institutions be able to have the kind of power facilities and reserves that allow them to keep going, but hospitals are having to ferry critically ill people all over the city in the middle of this chaos.
And the answer has to be, doesn't it, a lack of resource or a lack of planning or a lack of infrastructure.
AVILES: No, because, Piers, as I said, we are on emergency power at Bellevue Hospital. It is one thing to keep the computers going so you --
MORGAN: But it is not enough emergency power, clearly, if you are evacuating people.
AVILES: Right, because hospitals are so much more complex. Absolutely that is the case. But the fact is --
MORGAN: If I may jump in, is it not your job as the president of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation to think the unthinkable? And isn't this just part of the unthinkable, another words a major attack through water. You are based near the water there. It can hardly be that unthinkable. But it has come in and has affected your power system to the extent that you have to evacuate hundreds of people. That is part of your job, isn't it?
AVILES: It is very easy to make that judgement from a ring side seat. But when you are in the arena and you do have to balance the risks involved in even doing something like an evacuation -- as I said, this has never been experienced here before. We do have backup systems that are quite robust. There are four emergency generators that are on the 13th floor.
We still don't know exactly what occurred in terms of outages to many of the electrical circuits that go through a distribution panel, as well as what happened to the fuel pump, which were -- although they were below grade, encased in sealed enclosure with what are called submarine doors, with rubber gaskets and nine levers.
MORGAN: Let me bring in Michael Moore for a quick reaction here. Michael, what do you think of this?
MOORE: You make valid points. But I guess I want to say something in defense of the hospitals. In the interest of full disclosure, I had a loved one who was in NYU Hospital. And that is an accident hospital. The staff, everybody was an absolutely wonderful hospital.
MORGAN: But none of this is about the level of care. I know that the staff there and the nurses and so on are doing an unbelievable job. I'm talking about the system and the infrastructure.
MOORE: The infrastructure is set up -- the reason why those generators and the oil and everything is in the basement to keep it going is because New York does have a history of black outs. But the black out doesn't come actually into the hospital from the river. It happens to the Con Ed system. And those generators were put there so that the hospitals, when we have these black outs or brown outs, the hospitals keep going there. And they have.
Nobody has experienced this, as he said before. But this is -- what I want to point out that you say it unprecedented. It may be unprecedented, but -- when he says it is unprecedented, but it is going to set the precedent because this is what we are going to see from here on out. Unless we're will to talk -- and you said you want to talk about this later, climate change and global warming -- that is what has changed here.
This is not going to be a freak incident, what happened here in New York and New Jersey this week. We have been seeing crazy weather for the last few years, the drought that took place this summer, this --
MORGAN: Hold this thought. I want to get to climate change. We'll go to climate change after this break. For now, let me thank Allen Aviles. I appreciate you coming on. I think you know that I was going to be critical. I respect the fact that you have come on and explained yourself in the way that you have. Thank you very much. We will be back after the break, Michael, to talk about voter turnout and about global warming.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: I think it would be short sighted. And I think we need to anticipate more of these extreme weather type situations in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: Your Governor Andrew Cuomo making it clear that America will see more superstorms like Sandy. Are they being caused by global warming? Back with my special guest, Michael Moore. I heard Michael Bloomberg saying the same thing, that he in all his time in New York had never known a more unstable year for weather. And he believed very firmly it is about global warming. Not enough is being done about this and it will get worse. What do you think?.
MOORE: I think it already has gotten worse. I think we are way down the road here. We are -- we are in big trouble. And we're still having a debate in Congress as to whether or not there really is global warming. This is -- this is -- I'm -- the people, and it's the majority of Americans -- the majority of Americans believe that we've got a climate problem. And the majority of Americans believe in science.
MOORE: We've allowed the ignoramuses to run the show on this. And this storm should really put an end to that.
MORGAN: Could it possibly be that the fact that we've only been measuring weather since 1898 -- could it just be a global cyclical weather thing that is going down, that actually it's not warming? It's something that may have happened 500 years ago, 1,000 years ago? You get pockets of this. And we don't have the records to back that up?
Could it be that?
MOORE: I will answer the way that Mayor Bloomberg answered this afternoon. Yeah, it could be that. You want to take the risk? You want to take the risk of that?
What if you are wrong? What if you're wrong and we're not prepared, like we weren't prepared for this. And we won't be prepared for the next thing. We weren't prepared for the drought this summer. How many times do we have to get punched in the face before we realize, you know what, somebody is punching me in the face.
MORGAN: Let's bring somebody who is used to taking the blow, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. Chad, you've been in this game nearly three decades. Is this global warming that we're seeing? From a meteorological point of view, is there any other explanation?
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is the prime suspect. I don't have another one. I mean, maybe particulates in the air, so the rain drops can -- the moisture can get on the drops and get bigger. But I'll tell you what, I think probably Sandy would have existed without global warming. Don't get me wrong. But the water was warmer. The water is one degree warmer now than it was in 1970. That one degree warmer probably made the strong 10 percent stronger.
Now that doesn't sound like a big deal. But if you take that 10 percent, you realize that if you double the wind speed from 20 to 40 miles per hour. You have now raised the force of that wind by four times. And then you go 40 to 80. And now all of a sudden, you are not just doubled. You are now 16 times where you were on 20 to 80. So that 10 percent seems like a small number. But that 10 percent was enough of an increase to make the whole thing a superstorm.
Then you have to get into was there a blocking high over Greenland because there's no sea ice up there this year? And that's a whole other thing. But without that blocking high, this storm turns out into the ocean.
MORGAN: Michael's chomping at the bit to get in about what you said.
MOORE: Chad, I want to ask you a question. We've had 50 degree weather here in New York this week during this storm. I have never heard of a hurricane occurring in 50 degree weather. I mean, what -- I mean, seriously, if people are just thinking this is a freak accident of nature, I just think that is a dangerous road to go down.
MYERS: Yes. Sandy developed in the tropics. Sometimes the tropics and the mid-latitudes -- sometimes they don't get together. And what should have, could have happened, had that blocking high not been there, it would have turned out to sea and it would have been a big gutter ball. But that blocking high was there, turned it back to the United States. And then the cold air that you talked about, Michael, gets sucked up into this thing, even enhances it more. And we have ourselves what we called Superstorm Sandy.
MOORE: Just in case anybody missed it, Chad's last comment, he mentioned that the sea ice in Greenland is gone. It's gone this summer, melted.
MORGAN: Do you believe the science is now incontrovertible?
MOORE: Absolutely, absolutely.
MORGAN: And when you hear mainly Republicans, it must be said, say the science is just a load of bunk, what do you say to them?
MOORE: These are the same people that say that Adam and Eve road on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago. OK. I consider the source. And what I would say to them is what I just said to you. Let's say that, you know, maybe you are right, but do you want to take the chance that maybe you are not right? Because what is the harm in preparing or changing our way of life so that we don't destroy the planet? We are destroying the planet
And as the emerging third world buys cars and builds cars and does things, they are going to want the same thing we have had. And that atmosphere of our isn't going to take it.
MORGAN: Chad Myers, thank you very much for now. We will be back after the break. We are going to go to Gary Tuchman, who is in Hoboken, New Jersey, from a quick update from there, some terrible scenes there. And I will be back to talk to Michael also about voter turnout, a big cause of yours. Ninety million Americans won't vote next Tuesday. You want them to and you'll explain why.
MORGAN: Back with breaking news on Hurricane Sandy. I want to go live now to Gary Tuchman in Hoboken, New Jersey. Gary, you are at the eye of one of the worst parts of this storm there. We hear that maybe as many as 20,000 people in Hoboken are still trapped. Is that what you are hearing?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Piers, the news is much more encouraging today than when I talked to you last night because what we have found is this, the National Guard has arrived, 45 members of the National Guard with 18 vehicles.
We went with them behind me through the city for 90 minutes tonight. What we can tell you is the water has receded greatly. And yes, there's thousands of people in these buildings, but most them are here because they want to stay. The water no more than a foot or two deep right now. Old people, elderly people, people who are infirm are still in buildings. We went with the National Guard into these buildings. They asked people if they wanted to leave. And the people said, no, we're happy playing cards, we're happy playing dominoes.
They didn't want to leave. Young people, able bodied people able now to walk out on foot. So the situation here is no longer dire. We do not regard it right now as a life-threatening situation in Hoboken, New Jersey.
MORGAN: That's great to hear. Gary, thank you very much.
That's great to hear, Michael. There's something about the stoicism of people in these kinds of situations. It's just always pretty awe inspiring actually. New Yorkers have it. I think New Jersey people have it. A lot of people in America have it and around the world. But when these things happen, it really is inspiring to see how people react, isn't it?
MOORE: Yes. I think that is a very American thing to do, to pull together. In your first segment, your reporter -- was it Jason? Was that his name?
MOORE: -- mentioned that there were people fighting to get on the buses here today. And I've noticed other people said this. There's a little more of an edge today than say there was the few days after 9/11, where nobody would push or shove or yell at anybody. Nobody would honk a horn.
And I think with this -- at least with 9/11, we knew there was an enemy. There was somebody who did this, al Qaeda, bin Laden, whatever. But who did this? Who did this to me? Why am I having to walk 10 miles to work or fighting to get on this bus? Where does my anger go? It is not going to go toward Mother Nature. I'm not going to really be able to deal with that.
MORGAN: Do you think, from everything you've seen and heard, that the authorities have done enough? Were they prepared enough for this?
MOORE: Well, they weren't prepared, but only in the sense that they haven't accepted that we are going to have more and more of this because of the climate change. Until they all get together on that and then work very hard -- but also, our infrastructure needs to be upgraded. This hasn't happened.
MORGAN: I heard Elliot Spitzer today on Christianne Amanpour, a very interesting interview, saying -- and he included himself in part of the blame game, that successive mayors and governors, and indeed in New Jersey and other places, had just not done enough to invest in infrastructure to prevent the unthinkable like this. And actually if they had done, then maybe the barriers wouldn't have been broken. Maybe hospitals wouldn't be evacuated.
MOORE: Let me throw something else out there, too. Why in this country do we have private, profit making corporations as our utilities? Why would you put the profit motive in a utility? And they have a monopoly. If you are going to have capitalism, then have competing utilities. But if you are not going to do that, then why isn't it a government-run operation?
Because any time you put an entity that has to think about the bottom line, they are trying to think about how to spend as little money as possible. And that's why they are not upgrading. That's why we're still in the 19th and 20th century with our electrical -- our grid and the whole infrastructure.
What is their incentive? Because they have no competition. They're a monopoly. I think that has to change. I think that we have to get -- not allow a corporation to be able to control something that affects all our lives.
MORGAN: A lot of people will be thinking this. Certainly if they're out of power for another week, they'll be really thinking it.
Let's just turn one of the reasons you think this is so important right now in relation to the election, which is the voting, that 90 million Americans simply may not vote next week. And your analysis of this is that the vast majority of those, if they did vote, would probably vote for Barack Obama. It could cost him the election, is your argument.
MOORE: Not just my analysis. "USA Today" did a poll in August. And that's where they came up with the number -- prediction of 90 million are not going to vote next Tuesday. But when they ask these people who aren't going to vote, if you had to vote for somebody, who would you vote for? And I think the number was something like 43 percent said they would vote for Obama, and 18 percent said they would vote for Romney.
So clearly the non-voters are easily two to one or three to one in favor of Obama. So the real challenge I think -- this is what I thought. I sent this out to my Twitter followers and Facebook and all this. And I've got -- between my mailing list, my email list, I have five million people on these various social media things. And I just said to all of them today, can you do me the favor? In the next five or six days, identify one person that you know -- and we all know somebody -- who isn't planning on voting, and convince them to vote?
Get them to vote. If we all took that as our mission for the next six days, I'm going to get one non-voter to vote -- and I think that this could add easily another million votes for Obama. It's -- we always talk about the likely voters in these polls. We don't talk about the unlikely voters. And I would look at this, if I were a politician, and say, wow, there's 90 million untapped votes there; what can I do.
MORGAN: That's an amazing statistic. Let's take a final break. Stick around. We'll be back after this.
MORGAN: Back with Michael Moore. We've got some breaking news for you, Michael. We have a special guest on the phone who you said earlier CNN was trying to kill. Ali Velshi, welcome.
VELSHI: Hi, Piers, thank you for your spirited defense. Michael, thank you for your remarkable concern. I want you to know, and I Tweeted this to you, Michael, CNN didn't instruct me to be anywhere. I and my team did what we could to get the story out as well as we could.
And this is not our first rodeo. We paid close attention to the safety concerns our there.
MOORE: People are watching Ali right now on the screen. They're seeing you. And this is where it -- it wasn't -- this is like it looks like the first hour or two. And you look like you were really into it.
But I was watching you in the fourth and fifth hour, and you really had -- I just felt so bad for you. Did you draw the short straw, here at CNN? Who did you upset?
And I'm thinking also, because you're such a great business reporter, what I really want to know this week is, what is on those tax returns that Mitt Romney won't show us? I think that's what America wants to know. Get me Heidi (ph).
MORGAN: If I may have the last word, that's the great thing about Ali Velshi is that, he will tell us that as well. He's a guy who is outstandingly courageous for us on Monday, and he'll tell you about the tax returns on Friday. That's the kind of guy he is.
Ali, thanks for calling in.
Michael, we've got to go. We're running late. Anderson's waiting.
MOORE: Ali, I'll give you a job. If you don't like it here, come work for me. MORGAN: That's got to be worse than standing in the water in Atlantic City. Great to see you, Michael Moore.
MOORE: More dangerous, that's correct.
MORGAN: Anderson Cooper, right now.