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Tampa Police Release Video; Trump to Declare Crisis; Border Wall Samples; Father Talks about Opioid Crisis; Trump Announces Public Health Emergency. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired October 26, 2017 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:08] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Hi there. I'm Brooke Baldwin. You're watching CNN. Thank you so much for being with me.
Live pictures there of the White House. We are watching and waiting to see the president of the United States expected to declare America's opioid epidemic a public health emergency. We should also be hearing as well from the first lady, Melania Trump. So stand by for that. We'll bring it to you in just a moment.
But I want to begin with some breaking news out of Tampa, Florida, in the search for a possible serial killer after several murders.
Moments ago, police released new video showing who they've dubbed this person of interest. This person is seen running on camera -- here you go -- mere seconds after a 22-year-old was shot and killed in front of his home. He is one of three people murdered in the Seminal Heights neighborhood over the past two weeks.
Kaylee Hartung is all over this for us from Tampa. She's at police headquarters.
And so we see the video. We see him running. How important is this video in figuring out who this is and catching him?
KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, as Police Chief Brian Dugan explained to us, this video shows us why they are so interested in speaking with the person who was in the video previously released on October 12th. Now, these videos, both taken on October 9th, the night of Benjamin Mitchell's murder, where you first saw him, that individual, he or she, the police chief stressed to say, walking towards the scene of Benjamin Mitchell's murder. Just seconds later, we now see the video of that individual running away from the scene.
The police chief wouldn't give us an exact proximity of where that was shot in relation to the scene of Benjamin Mitchell's murder, except to say that it was close. He couldn't specify either if all of those camera angles came from home surveillance cameras. But he has explained to us that home surveillance cameras in that neighborhood have been so critical through the process of this investigation.
The chief really stressed he doesn't want to limit anyone in their thinking of who this individual could be. That's why they're being so forthcoming with information. Why they are circulating these videos far and wide so that maybe someone sees something in this video that could jog their memory, something that may not have seemed important before, but that this video could trigger.
Now, when the police chief sees this video, here's how he explained what he sees.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF BRIAN DUGAN, TAMPA POLICE: There are probably -- I've come up with four reasons why this person is running. One, they may be late for dinner. Two, they're out exercising. Three, they heard gunshots. And number four, they just murdered Benjamin Mitchell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARTUNG: Police have been going door to door in this Seminal Heights neighborhood. A neighborhood of about 1,900 homes. Among the questions they are asking members of that community as they speak to them is, do you have a home surveillance camera? If you do, they want you to register it with authorities so that information like this could come forward, Brooke.
But, again, let's stress, not a suspect in that video, but a person very important for this police department to speak with.
BALDWIN: Got it. I imagine people in Tampa are frightened and want to obviously get this guy caught. Hopefully this will help them. Kaylee Hartung, thank you so much, from Tampa for us.
Again, let's take you back to the White House here as we're waiting from this major, major announcement from President Trump about the deadly opioid crisis sweeping the nation. Packed room here. This is going to begin momentarily, where he's expected to declare the crisis as a public health emergency. The wording is important here on this, and we'll get to that in a second. But what this does is it sets off a series of moves to attack the epidemic.
Of course, you know, the president campaigned very hard on a promise to stop the devastation afflicting thousands upon thousands of American families here in this country. This was his strategy, meeting about it back in August with cabinet leaders. He had pledged to declare a national emergency on opioids. But now it is changing course.
The first lady, Melania Trump, she's also going to be involved here. We'll be hearing from her from the White House speaking today. Remember last month she hosted a policy roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis. She has been meeting with several families who have been personally affected. Remember, she visited those itty bitty babies in West Virginia where, you know, they had been born to mothers who were addicted to opioids. So this, in a sense, has become a personal plight of hers.
Let's go to CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, to talk us through what we're about to see. But the wording here is important and I want you to explain that to me, the difference between declaring this a national disaster decoration under the Stafford Act, which is what the president initially said he would declare, and a public health emergency. What's the difference?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Right. Yes, and a lot of people have been using those terms, I think maybe even the president, interchangeably, national disaster, national emergency, public health emergency. They're different things. And what we're hearing this is going to be is a public health emergency.
[14:05:08] The big difference here, Brooke, really has to do with the size and scope of what we're -- what we're calling it here. With the public health emergency, first of all, it's not -- there's not federal dollars being sort of let loose for this sort of thing. This is really going to the agencies, specifically HHS, which doesn't have a permanent secretary in place as you know, but going to them and saying, hey, this is the priority, do what you need to do. If you need to take moneys from other projects even, this is the priority. So that's basically what it's saying.
Also with the public health emergency, it lasts 90 days as opposed to with the national -- emergency national disaster. That's a year. Now, the president can renew that 90 days from now, can renew it, you know, several times, but that's -- it's a shorter emergency and it's not one that really has new money, at least, an attached to it, Brooke.
BALDWIN: So what will it mean? Would it mean less money or do we not quite know?
GUPTA: It might mean -- it might mean more money for the opioid epidemic, but coming from existing dollars somewhere, not new organization dollars. So HHS would say, we're going to essentially rob peter to pay paul, if you will.
BALDWIN: Got it. Got it.
GUPTA: You know, taking money from one area and putting it in another. And also for them to set up priorities. You know, what exactly are they going to do with those dollars? What do they think is going to work? What's going to make a dent? That's part of this as well.
I mean right now it's been a very fragmented approach. You've got many people sighting different solutions out there. One thing a thing like this does is certainly puts it -- you know, makes it a priority for all these agencies to work together.
I should point out as well, Brooke, you know, you and I have been talking about this for a long time and I think, you know, many people have known for years now what a big problem this is, but there are people who are waking up today saying, I had no idea how gigantic a problem this is. I -- you know, the president's talking about it. This may be the first time for some people that they're realizing the scope of this problem, that these drug overdoses are the number one cause of unintentional death in America today. It's incredible. You know, and all the advancements we make in medicine, all the things we do to prolong life and save lives, something like this, which is a totally manufactured problem, can erase all those gains in health care. So it's a big deal.
BALDWIN: Yes. People may be waking up and not realizing how devastating this has been. We're about to talk to a father who knows all too well, losing his son here to the opioid crisis in this country.
Sanjay, do me a favor. Stand by as we wait for not only the president, as we mentioned, but the first lady as well to speak about this.
And, you know, when we've been listening to the president for months really talking about this crisis in this country. In the same sentence often times he brings up the border.
So happening right now, along the U.S./Mexico border, you have eight different prototypes for President Trump's proposed border wall. They're now complete. Some are made of chunks of concrete. Some are made of steel. They all stand 30 feet high. And the price tag? About half a million dollars each.
Miguel Marquez is live now along the U.S./Mexico board there in southern California.
So, Miguel, talk to me about these prototypes and might this be, you know, the blueprint for the president's vision?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that is the huge question. These are the examples, the contestants, if you will, that the president staked his candidacy and now his presidency on. They've been officially turned over from the engineers and builders to the Customs and Border Protection Service.
I want to show you, this is the U.S. side. This would be the Mexican side. That's actually Mexico there. We're actually on the border. So they're building them sort of in the real situation. That's the existing barrier between the U.S. and Mexico. And one of these contest walls could be the winner.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): President Trump said he wanted a big, fat, beautiful wall. These are his 30 by 30 foot options.
MARQUEZ (on camera): One of these eight contestants could soon stretch 2,000 miles across the border.
CARLOS DIAZ, SPOKESMAN, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION: There's a chance that one of them gets selected. Eight of them get selected, or a mix of their characteristics get selected for construction.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): They sit like giant tomb stones just east of San Diego in the no man's land right on the U.S./Mexico border. The president has consistently said a wall will be built along the entire border.
MARQUEZ (on camera): He says 2,000 miles of border wall. You say we'll put it up where we need it. DIAZ: Well, there's testimony already out there. There was a testimony
by the former chief of Homeland Security, which was General Kelly, in which he in testimony said that you won't see a wall from sea to shining sea. We will put the wall where it makes sense.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): Customs and Border Patrol deferring to the same John Kelly who is now the president's chief of staff. The cost for just these test walls, $20 million. Building anyone of them across the entire 2,000 mile border could cost more than $20 billion.
[14:10:11] MARQUEZ (on camera): Beyond this, whether the 20 billion to build the entire wall comes, that's for another day.
DIAZ: So right now our focus is to complete the process of construction of the prototypes.
MARQUEZ: So the prototypes, or the contestants, for the president's big, beautiful wall, they're done. But it's going to take another month for the cement to dry and for the walls to settle before they can be tested. And then they'll go at them, seeing whether they can be scaled, climbed, dug under or breached.
You will test these walls to their maximum?
MARQUEZ (voice-over): On the Mexican side of the border, building of the prototypes met with disbelief.
MARQUEZ (on camera): So when you see these, what do they represent to you?
VICTOR CLARK-ALFARO, PROFESSOR OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY: Well, for our country, we think it's an insult.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): victor Clark-Alfaro, a Mexican citizen who teaches border issues at San Diego State University, says a 30-foot wall would deter migrants, but not everything.
MARQUEZ (on camera): Will a 30 foot wall 2,000 miles long stop drugs coming into the U.S.?
CLARK-ALFARO: Well, drugs enter to the U.S. in different ways. Through port of entries, through sea, by land.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): And tunnels. Lots of them.
MARQUEZ (on camera): If we could take a picture of the land, of the ground underneath us, what would it look like?
CLARK-ALFARO: With a lot of tunnels, obviously. And probably in this moment somebody's building a tunnel.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): At least some of these walls come with tunnel deterrence too. Big, beautiful walls above and below ground.
MARQUEZ: Now, the Customs and Border Protection says that they requested $1.6 billion for next year. Not only for the wall, but all the ancillary cameras and roads that go with building a wall. It's not clear that they will get that funding. But these eight examples may be the beginning of President Trump's big, beautiful wall.
BALDWIN: Big, beautiful wall above and below ground. Miguel Marquez along the border there. Thank you, sir, very much.
Again, watching and waiting to hear from the president of the United States. Along his side will be the first lady, declaring the opioid crisis in this country a public health emergency. Waiting for them live. A quick break. Back in a flash.
[14:16:43] BALDWIN: Live pictures here inside the White House. People waiting to see both the president and the first lady. This is the big moment. He's been talking about the opioid crisis in this country all on the campaign trail. And now officially designate it a public health emergency here. And so that's happening momentarily. We'll take it as soon as it begins.
But what's happening today may be too little too late for one former ardent Trump supporter. Craig Moss (ph) from upstate New York says he feels, in a word, betrayed. Moss (ph) lost his 24-year-old son Rob to a heroin overdose three years ago and so he decided to quit his job to stump for then candidate Donald Trump because he believed his campaign promise to stop the opioid epidemic. Here was their exchange at a rally last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The heroin is really tough because they say once you get hooked it's really tough. In all fairness to your son, it's a tough thing. Some very, very strong people have not been able to get off it. So we have to work with people to get off it.
And the biggest thing we can do in honor of your son, actually, and the people that did have problems, big problems, we have to be able to stop it.
I know what you went through. And he's a great father, I can see it. And your son is proud of you. Your son is proud of you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: That father, Kraig Moss, once known as the Trump troubadour, has soured on the president because of the proposed Republican health care bill that would end mandatory Medicaid coverage for addiction treatment in Moss' home state of New York and could lead to dramatic cuts in treatment services. And so Craig Moss is good enough to join me live.
And, again, my most profound condolences to losing your son Rob. But I appreciate you taking the time here to shed light on something so important.
KRAIG MOSS, FORMER TRUMP SUPPORT WHO LOST SON TO HEROIN OVERDOSE: Thank you, Brooke.
BALDWIN: Tell me, as we're waiting to hear from the president, sir, how are you feeling ahead of this big announcement?
MOSS: Well, you know, after hearing that byte again, in honor of my son, President Trump first tried to eliminate Medicaid, and now he's trying to strip the funding from it. And he declared a national disaster and provided no funding for it in honor of my son. And now in honor of my son it seems as though, you know, we're going to declare a national emergency, which is good for about three months, and still no funding. I've been waiting since he declared it, it's been, what, a couple months.
And I just -- that's what I think about as far as of in honor of my son. And I think about the comments that President Trump made about the infested den of heroin addicts in New Hampshire and in honor of them, you know, we've done nothing but delay funding for this. It's a tragic thing and it's a national emergency. Yes, we've got to -- we've got to hit it. And it takes money. And the funding is just not going to be here for this.
BALDWIN: He -- my understanding, and you're absolutely right in pointing out, it's the funding issue. And I think had it actually been a national disaster declaration, it would have been more immediate. It would have been -- the scope would have been totally different. Hopefully there will be some funding, but it's for a finite period of time, as you point out. Do you -- do you, as a result of that, doubt the sincerity of the president? I mean today he is doing something.
[14:20:06] MOSS: Well, let's look at the history. You know, when the pressure came on the president in order -- in regards to the opioid crisis, he stood up to the plate and declared a national disaster. Now, remind you, it wouldn't be the first time that the White House and Congress have dipped into funds that were designated for other areas of disaster. But the money would have been immediate had he stuck to his word with that.
I've lost faith. I can only hope that something good comes about this. The joining of the folks in conjunction with the opioid crisis and what this is going to provide. But the fund's just not going to be there. I'm disappointed.
BALDWIN: He -- I'm listening to you and he is in the room and here is the first lady, Melania Trump, at the podium.
Kraig Moss, stand by. Thank you for your words. Let's take a moment now to listen in to the first lady.
MELANIA TRUMP, FIRST LADY: Thank you. Please sit. Thank you.
Thank you all for being here today. It touches my heart to see the many familiar faces of the people I have been lucky to get to know over the last few months. Thank you for the time and strength it takes for each of you to tell your stories.
We are here today because of your courage.
The opioid epidemic has affected more than 2 million Americans nationwide, and sadly, the number continues to rise. We lose 175 Americans to overdoses every day, and millions more are struggling with addiction.
As many of you know, addiction affects children in many different ways, and I have recently taken a larger interest in what I can do to help fight this epidemic.
I have been participating in meetings and listening sessions, and I have been visiting with people who have been affected by this disease. I want to take a moment now to tell you what I have learned from the men and women on the front lines of this epidemic.
Don Holman (ph) talked to me about his son Garrett (ph), who took medication for ADHD and suffered from depression and anxiety. He explained that social media played a part in his son's erratic moods and behaviors.
Garrett (ph) started to buy synthetics opioids online, and self- medicated for his depression, passing away from an overdose just eight days before his 31st birthday.
Don Holman (ph) taught me that the stigma of drug addiction must be normalized, and talking about it is the only way to do that.
Coach David McKee (ph) talked about his friend who become addicted after his pain medication were prescribed for sports injury. His friend died from an overdose, and through his tragic loss, Coach McKee (ph) taught me how important it is to educate kids, athletes and parents, because his friend was not weak-minded. In fact, like so many of our kids today, he was competitive and strong- willed.
Sabran Jean Callas (ph), who is now in her tenth year of recovery, helped me learn that drug addiction is an effective (ph) disease, but with the proper support and medical attention a person could move on to live a healthy and happy life. We are so proud of you for all that you have overcome, Sabran (ph). And pray for you as you continue on this journey. Where are you, Sabran (ph)? Hello.
When I had the honor of visiting Lily's Place in West Virginia, a recovery center for infants born addicted to drugs, I learned that to help babies succeed, we must have their parents succeed. By placing the priority of the whole family, Lily's Place is giving infants the best opportunity to try, because their parents are being given the support and tools they need to succeed.
I want to thank Rebecca Crowder and the staff at Lily's Place for their heroic efforts. Thank you.
I have learned so much from those brave enough to talk about this epidemic, and I know there are many more stories to tell. But what I found to be the common theme in all of the stories is that this can happen to any of us. Drug addiction can take your friends, neighbors or your family. No state has been spared, and no demographic has been untouched.
Which is why my husband and his administration has dedicated itself to combating this health crisis by using every resource available. I'm so proud to support him today as he sees this commitment through. I look forward to continue my work on behalf of children across the country, and hope that citizens everywhere will join forces with this administration to help end this health crisis.
Thank you very much for being here with us today. God bless you all and God bless the United States of America.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you, Melania, for your moving words and for your devotion.
And it's a very deep devotion -- I can tell you that -- to our nation, and its children.
Thank you also to members of Congress, my Cabinet, governors, members of Congress, state local leaders, first responders and health care professionals gathered here today. We have some truly incredible people in this room, that I can tell you.
Most importantly, we acknowledge the families present who have lost a cherished loved one.
As you all know from personal experience, families, communities and citizens across our country are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in American history and even, if you really think about it, world history. This is all throughout the world. The fact is that this is a worldwide problem. This crisis of drug use, addiction and overdose deaths in many years -- it's just been so long in the making. Addressing it will require all of our effort and it will require us to confront the crisis in all of its very real complexity.
Last year we lost at least 64,000 Americans to overdoses. That's 175 lost American lives per day. That's seven lost lives per hour in our country.
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States by far. More people are dying from drug overdoses today than from gun homicides and motor vehicles combined. Think of it, motor vehicle crashes, gun homicides; more people by far from drug overdoses.
These overdoses are driven by a massive increase in addiction to prescription painkillers, heroin and other opioids.
Last year almost 1 million Americans used heroin and more than 11 million abused prescription opioids. The United States by far is the largest consumer of these drugs, using more opioid pills per person than any other country by far in the world.
Opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999 and now account for the majority of fatal drug overdoses. Who would have thought?
No part of our society, not young or old, rich or poor, urban or rural, has been spared this plague of drug addiction and this horrible, horrible, situation that's taken place with opioids.
In West Virginia -- a truly great state, great people -- there is a hospital nursery where one in every five babies spends its first days in agony because these precious babies were exposed to opioids or other drugs in the womb. They endure nausea, pain, anxiety, sleeplessness and trouble in eating just the same as adults undergoing detox.
[14:30:02] Some of these children will likely lose one or both of their parents to drug addiction and overdose. They will join the growing ranks of America's opioid orphans.