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North Carolina Lashed by Hurricane Dorian as Cat 1 Storm; A Doctor Describes the Situation in the Bahamas; Washington Post: Trump Marked Up Hurricane Map with Sharpie; Pentagon Lists Projects Being Gutted to Fund Border Wall. Aired 7-7:30a ET

Aired September 6, 2019 - 07:00   ET


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- or in a rush. Trump releases photos showing how windmills cause cancer.


SETH MEYERS, HOST, NBC'S "LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS": After this, I have to wonder if his high school report card was legit.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": Just because you sleep with somebody named Stormy does not make you a weatherman.

MOOS: The weather map expanded to show Greenland now a part of the USA.

And when the president plays golf, he can't miss.

(on camera): Ladies and gentlemen of the Internet, please cap your Sharpies. We can't take anymore.

(voice-over): No more proof of bone spurs. No more proof that Melania's happy. And definitely, no more proof the president has six- pack abs.

Jeanne Moos, CNN.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ABC'S "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!": We now have fake weather too.

MOOS: New York.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Sometimes the Internet gets it right.


CAMEROTA: Sometimes they're really funny.

BERMAN: All right. This morning Hurricane Dorian is bearing down on North Carolina. North Carolina. NEW DAY continues right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news. CAMEROTA: All right. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY, and we do have breaking weather news, because Hurricane Dorian is coming closer to landfall.

It's now about 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina. But coastal communities at this moment in the Carolinas and Virginia are already seeing that dangerous storm surge and life-threatening flash flooding that we've been been so warned about.

The storm is now a Category 1. There are wind gusts of 90 miles per hour, and more than 340,000 people are without power this morning, John.

BERMAN: We're also seeing more heartbreaking images and hearing more stories coming out of the Bahamas. Officials say there are hundreds, if not thousands, missing this morning after Dorian tore across that island nation.

The official death toll is now just at 30, but every official you speak with there says that number will soar dramatically. The relief efforts, they're hampered by limited access to the international airport on Grand Bahama island, which is so badly damaged. At least five deaths in the states are now being blamed on Dorian as the storm creeps closer to shore.

Let's get the latest from CNN's Ryan Young. He is live in Beaufort, North Carolina. Obviously, Ryan, feeling the effects of Dorian.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Absolutely, John. And you know how this feels after the week that you've had. We've been getting pounded by this wind and rain since about 2:30 this morning.

First of all, it wasn't raining very hard, and it has shifted. You could feel the wind really starting to pick up in this area. And for the last hour or so, it has picked up with wind gusts, as you said, sometimes above 65 miles per hour in this area.

As you look out in this area, as it starts to have daylight here, we can kind of see what's going on in terms of the coastline. And the trees give us sometimes our biggest indicator of how fast that wind is moving.

But it's been swirling nonstop. We've actually seen transformers popping in the distance. We know power out here has been a big concern. Over 200,000 people are without power in North Carolina.

One of the things people are not really talking about too much is the fact that this area is trying to just recover from Florence which hit last year. It's almost on the year anniversary.

This area was hit really hard. And in fact, after it was hit very hard, people were taking precaution. So this time, when the evacuation order was given, a lot of people took heed to that and got out of the way. We also traveled as a crew yesterday about 30 miles away from here,

where a tornado spawned very quickly and damaged a mobile park home. Luckily, no one was hurt in that.

So far, damage reports haven't come in so far today. So we don't think there's been any massive structural issues. But with this wind hitting so consistently for the last three or four hours, sort of worried about whether or not there will be any trees down.

The power where we are has gone in and out for a little bit of time. But the good news so far, we haven't seen any massive flooding. But you want to make sure that people don't go out, especially in the early light hours and try to drive through some of the water that was standing in some places.

That is the part that is the good news. But of course, with this pounding rain and wind that you're hitting, we have to see how it holds up for the next hour or so.

BERMAN: All right. Hang tight there, Ryan. Here you go. There's one of the gusts. Hold onto something. We'll come back to you in a little bit.

YOUNG: No doubt.

BERMAN: In the Bahamas, everywhere you look there is absolute devastation from Hurricane Dorian. The death toll, which is now officially at 30, is expected to not just rise but soar.

CNN's Paula Newton and her team got exclusive access to one of the hardest-hit islands. And Paula, what you saw and what you heard, heart-breaking.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely heart-breaking. And all the more terrifying now. Because the people we spoke to, John, on Man-O-War and the Abaco Islands, knew and feared the worst in terms of the death toll.

Incredible how this community came together. We spent 24 hours there.

They still, John, cannot process everything that they have been through. They're so traumatized by it all.

Take a listen.


NEWTON (voice-over): It is so much worse than they had feared. The Abaco Islands forever scarred now by mass destruction. Home after home, entire rooftops blown away, debris scattered in unrecognizable heaps, boats tossed like confetti. The images belie the obvious question: How could anyone survive this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, OK, OK, OK. You're OK. It's going to be OK. We're going to be OK. NEWTON: We arrived by helicopter in Man-o-War in Abaco with Billy

Aubrey (ph), embracing his wife Shauna (ph) after days of not knowing if she was dead or alive.

Shauna (ph) hunkered down with friends in their Seaside home until the roof blew off and they all scrambled to find anything still standing.

(on camera): So Nancy, this is what kept you guys alive. This little --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This little room kept us alive. We came in and hunkered down, and Shawn was on the ground crying, and we were just trying to --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was hysterical.

NEWTON: What did it sound like in here at the time?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, there was a lot of crashing and banging and whirling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stuff, we thought, was coming through this wall.

NEWTON (voice-over): So many in the Abaco Islands lived through hours that resembled a horror movie, exposed to winds that topped 250 miles an hour like tornadoes touching down every minute.

SHERRIE ROBERTS, SURVIVOR: Words can't describe it. I don't wish it on nobody. Nobody, words can't describe it. Because they could never categorize -- categorize this, never.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My grandfather ran out in the middle.

ROBERTS: It was like an atomic bomb went off.

NEWTON: Residents here tell me their little island paradise is unrecognizable, even to them. They're resourceful and self-reliant, they say, but they could have never imagined a storm as powerful as Dorian.

(on camera): You know, there's no better way to describe to you the force of Hurricane Dorian to be right here where people rode out the storm in their living rooms and their dining rooms.

I mean, look in this. The roof blew off the house here. The entire kitchen came down. Their refrigerator ended up here on the ground. Their living room and dining room furniture is strewn all over. People describe these things being tossed around the island like projectiles. They all cowered, hovered in their bathrooms and closets, anything they could find to take shelter.

(voice-over): There are now the beginnings of recovery but only the basics: medical interactions, private helicopters to take out those who are sick, the elderly, young families. JEREMY SWEETING, ISLAND COUNCILOR: I'm sure it will never be the same

again. But I mean, the people are strong here, and we're going to try to do our best to rebuild the best way we can. But we know it will never be the same.


NEWTON: You know, the people of Abaco Islands know exactly what they're up against. John, my cameraman and I, Jerry Simonson, were on this island. We got stuck there. We didn't want to burden them, get stuck there. We said we'd sleep anywhere. They offered us their homes. Can you imagine, John?

After everything we had been through, the Cruz family let us, you know, be with them. And they're grappling, two young children, they're grappling with what a lot of people in the islands are grappling with right now.

Where do we go? Do we stay here and rebuild, when literally, the devastation is almost complete. The other issue, John, is, of course, that death toll. And anecdotally, we've heard from so many people that they can count dozens that they know that have passed away. And that is the scary thing this morning as the Bahamas tries to come to grips with everything that Dorian has taken from them.

BERMAN: Look, they tell us the official word is, is that the death toll will rise. The word they used is "drastically." And Paula, the kindness and generosity that you witnessed in the face of all of this, they're going to need that. They're going to need that in the coming days.

CAMEROTA: And Paul, I mean, your stories of just the human suffering and the human toll, they are so profoundly moving to watch. So thank you very much for being on the ground and the humanity that Paula talks about is what we continue to hear. And is the Bahamian spirit and it is going to carry them through this nightmare.

The humanitarian crisis, of course, is growing there in the Bahamas. There's an unprecedented need for relief, including food and clean drinking water.

Joining us now is Dr. Caroline Burnett-Garraway. She's the chief of staff at Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau. That is the only hospital still able to deal with critical cases.

Dr. thank you so much for taking time this morning to talk to us. So can you tell us, because you're, I think, you're the only hospital for 700 miles of that island chain, the kinds of cases that you're seeing this morning come in?


Yes, the cases that we're seeing are merely blunt injury, partly trauma, from flying debris, roof collapsing, head injuries, fractures, limb amputations, lacerations, most of which are coming in infected now, and crush injuries and complications from that.

We also have renal disease patients coming in from Abaco that need to be dialyzed. The dialysis unit there was destroyed.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. So there are people in acute kidney distress, you're saying.

And I understand that even the people -- People are having, obviously, to be medevacked to your hospital. So even if a helicopter can get in to save people who are in critical distress, sometimes when they're medevacked to your hospital, I understand they still don't make it in time.

BURNETT-GARRAWAY: Well, so far all the patients have made it. But three have died since they were admitted to us. They were -- they were critically ill.

CAMEROTA: That's horrible. And I know that you're seeing people, even families who have been trapped because of floodwaters or have had to deal with these high winds and the floodwaters. And so what condition are they in?

BURNETT-GARRAWAY: Some of them dehydrated. They've been exposed for a while. They were in water for hours. Just -- just exhaustion. Because they were swimming, trying to save themselves.

And of course, emotionally traumatized. Some have seen family members die and friends washed away.

CAMEROTA: Oh, my gosh. Is your hospital fully functioning?

BURNETT-GARRAWAY: Our hospital is fully functioning. The first day after the storm passed, we had some issues with flooding and electricity, because we also had tropical storm conditions.

But we are fully functioning, and we're trying to flex up now to prepare for additional persons coming in from Grand Bahama. That's our sister hospital that was decimated.

So we're preparing for the worst. And teams are coming in from outside. We've had amazing international assistance and help. So field hospitals are going to be set up. And we've also sent our local physicians into the disaster zones to help.

CAMEROTA: And when you say that you're preparing for the worst, what -- what is that preparation? What might that look like?

BURNETT-GARRAWAY: So we need to -- being the only hospital, we need to prepare for patients from the disaster zones. So we understand that. We need more bed capacity. So we're increasing that.

And chronic patients are going to start coming in. So persons with diabetes, hypertension, they've lost their medication, the complications from that. And we expect those patients in the second wave. CAMEROTA: The official death toll in the Bahamas right now is at 30,

but virtually everyone understands that it could get much worse. From your vantage point, what do you think we're in for in terms of numbers?

BURNETT-GARRAWAY: But it's definitely worse than that. So obviously, we have to take care of the sick and the injured first. But we're also making preparations for the dead.

CAMEROTA: Well, Doctor Carolina Burnett-Garraway, obviously, you have your work cut out for you, as does everyone there. You point out, I mean, all of the people who have watched loved ones wash away and die, the trauma, the emotional trauma that will continue there in the Bahamas forever.

So thank you very much for taking time out of your critical day to talk to us.

BURNETT-GARRAWAY: Thank you, ma'am.

CAMEROTA: OK. So for more information about how you can help all these victims of Hurricane Dorian, please go to our website, They are obviously in desperate need of so many different kinds of assistance.

BERMAN: Everything. They really need everything. It was encouraging to hear her saying that she's getting amazing support. Let's hope that continues.

So, so much has been said this week about President Trump's self- inflicted Sharpie wound. And if this seems to you like this is just the latest episode in an increasingly erratic month, our next guest says this is not your imagination.



BERMAN: Well, as the real-life emergency continues along the East Coast from Hurricane Dorian, it seems that a priority in the White House is how to explain away President Trump's claim -- false claim, made up notion that Alabama was going to get hit hard by the storm on Sunday.

In fact, "The Washington Post" this morning reports it was the president himself who took a Sharpie to the official hurricane projection map. The president of the United States did an art project in the White House to make himself look correct.

CAMEROTA: All right. This is just the latest example that some say is a reflection of deeper chaos in the White House. A new article in "The New Yorker" puts it this way.

If it seems as if Trump is wackier and angrier, more willing to lash out, and more desperately seeking attention, that is because he is.

Joining us now is Susan Glasser, staff writer for "The New Yorker," a CNN global affairs analyst and the author of that piece.

So Susan, you actually used math. This isn't just a hunch. This isn't just a feeling. Because some people have felt like is the president getting more --

BERMAN: Some people feel meteorology, by the way, is science.

CAMEROTA: It's science, right. That -- there's also that theory.

BERMAN: Right.

CAMEROTA: But you actually looked at the president's Twitter feed, his public statements, his press conferences from two years ago in August and contrasted it with this past August. And what did you find?

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, let's be clear. It's not advanced math, OK? In fact, actually, it's -- it's the crazy calculus of schoolyard insults is really the big difference.


You know, I was surprised actually. You know, a lot of people in August looked at some of the president's extreme tweeting and thought, you know, is he -- is he declining in some measurable way? And I wasn't really sure.

And then I looked at August of 2017, a very memorable month. Remember this was the month of "fire and fury" against North Korea. This was the month of Charlottesville and "good people on both sides."

And yet, I think we've become so inured to the changes in President Trump's behavior. He actually was tweeting more than twice as much in August of 2019 as he was in August of 2017. And strikingly, he turned up the volume along with the incredible number of tweets. So almost 700 tweets and retweets in August.

And, you know, there were many, many more insults of individual people. This is an angrier, more confrontational president that we're seeing. In the past, of course, he was already inveighing against fake news. Now he's calling individual journalists psycho crazy losers.

He went off 30 different tweets against the Federal Reserve and the guy he himself appointed to be the chairman. I knew that Trump was obsessed with Jay Powell, but only when you put it all together and you realize 30 different times he attacked one of the most powerful people in the world economy. He called him clueless. He said, in fact, that he was an enemy of the United States. And he asked at one point, the only question he had was whether Jay Powell was more of an enemy of America or Xi Jinping of China.

BERMAN: It's interesting. To me, the question of what does this all mean or how does this matter? And you address this. So let me give you a dramatic reading from a piece by Susan Glasser in "The New Yorker" this week. "His project has succeeded in such a confounding way that it seems as

though Americans will now believe anything and nothing at all." Now I want to explain what you mean by this, because I don't think what you're saying is that he's convinced America that he's right on these thing. It's not that. It's something bigger and perhaps more dangerous than that.

GLASSER: Well, that's exactly right. What is too nutty for you to believe and to say on CNN's morning show the president's Twitter feed just had?

We are talking right now in a segment where we're discussing Sharpie- gate, where we're discussing that the president of the United States took a pen and falsified a weather forecast in the Oval Office in order to justify a tweet. So clearly, there's a degree of plausibility at this point, not because Americans believe untruths from the president but because so many crazy things have happened in August.

After a mass shooting, the president has a photo op with the family of mass murder victims and gave a thumbs up sign.

The other day he gave a statement in which he appeared to congratulate Poland on the anniversary of the Nazi invasion in 1939.

So again, we are being asked, in almost a very Soviet way, to suspend disbelief. We -- we now no longer consider anything out of bounds, potentially. And I think that is just a dramatic change in our culture.

When I try to look at what are the things about this presidency that are different from all the other presidencies, I feel like this is something 20 years from now we're going to look back on and say this was just strikingly out of bounds in terms of any previous holder of this office.

CAMEROTA: I think that your piece is so helpful, Susan. Because, you know, folks like Anthony Scaramucci come on our air all the time and say, "It's obvious the president is in mental decline. Look at his significant mental decline," and they cite some of the things you're saying. But that's still an inference, you know. That's still an opinion.

And so when you looked at the actual numbers, that's the first time that I think that people can see sort of in black and white what has truly happened over the past two years.

And you point out that two Augusts ago, there were 14 times on Twitter that the president engaged in sort of personal invective, insulting and humiliating other -- his rivals or whoever he wanted, including at that time two years ago, Senator Lindsey Graham he called a name. Senator Mitch McConnell he called a name.

And then you fast forward. And that -- OK. So that was shocking enough two years ago. OK? You fast forward to a few weeks ago this past August that we've just lived through. And you -- the number was up to 52 of those direct insults that berated people. And that's just -- that is a real number. This is a metric that people can say, "Oh, something has gotten worse." You know, who knows why. That's still speculation. But it has gotten worse.

GLASSER: Well, that's right. And Alisyn, actually, it was to avoid the speculation, right? Constantly, you know, we're feeling like we're in a position of armchair psychanalysis, but I realized, actually, well, there are ways of -- of chronicling is there a change in our condition?


And I think, partially, it does speak to the fact that the outrage cycle demands ever and ever greater levels of outrage.

But it also seems to complement reporting that is coming from inside the White House, from reporters like Maggie Haberman and others, Suggesting that the president himself has been angrier in the course of August, that he is feeling defensive and boxed in.

And again, if you just look at this -- tweets and put them all together, you might have a sense that he insults people. But when you see the scale and nature of it, coming directly from the Oval Office and the president of the United States, there is something different going on here. And it seems that, if he was feeling constrained in the past from not going full bore against his enemies real and perceived, he now feels much less constrained to attack them.

CAMEROTA: Susan Glasser, we recommend everybody read your piece in "The New Yorker." Thank you.

BERMAN: It's so interesting. I think you took major headlines out of it, and I took something completely else out of it, which is that the president is trying to create an environment where there is no truth. And what's the lasting impact of that? That's not to say you're wrong. I think you're totally right, too. But just it's a sign of a good article if there's so much that comes out of it. It makes you think.

CAMEROTA: Yes. There is a lot to gnaw on in that article.

All right. Meanwhile, there are millions of dollars in funding for military projects in the U.S. and abroad that are now being diverted to pay for President Trump's promised border wall. So what are those projects? What projects will no longer be happening?

CNN's Alex Marquardt joins us live from Washington. So what -- what are the sacrifices that are going to be made in these projects, Alex?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, there are quite a few. And when you look at the number and the scope of those military projects that are going to be defunded to pay for just part of the president's wall, it's really all over the place.

Almost half the states -- Puerto Rico, as well as 19 countries are affected. Projects like defense against Russia, recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and schools.

So to get a sense of the impact, we visited Norfolk, Virginia, which is, as you know, a place with a long and proud military legacy. And there we found frustration, anger, and fear. Not just what it means for the local economy but for national security, as well.


MARQUARDT (voice-over): Norfolk, Virginia, is home to the U.S. Navy's Atlantic fleet and the largest naval base in the world. The area's central and vital role of military operations and national security hasn't stopped the Trump administration from naming four different military projects here whose almost $80 million in funding will now be diverted to pay for the border wall.

REP. BOBBY SCOTT (D), VIRGINIA: All of these projects are being lost for a wall that makes no sense, and everybody knows it.

MARQUARDT: Democratic Congressman Bobby Scott has represented the district for almost three decades and says President Trump's decision is costing his constituents jobs.

SCOTT: It means that the jobs that could have come to the area won't come to the area. Tens of millions of dollars' worth of -- worth of construction. That's a lot of economic impact to this area that we're going to lose for a wall that is not needed.

MARQUARDT: In all, $3.6 billion in military funds are being taken to help pay for the wall: 127 projects, from firing ranges, to aircraft hangers, to child care, both at home and abroad, whose budgets are being gutted.

In Virginia, the four that are losing $77 million in funding are a naval ship maintenance facility, two hazardous materials warehouse projects, and a cyber operations facility.

In a place with such an historic and important military heritage, where 40 percent of the economy is related to military funding, that hurts both financially and emotionally.

COL. BRUCE STURK (RET.), DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL FACILITIES SUPPORT, HAMPTON, VIRGINIA: Our community is a fabric built on military veterans and very healthy military population here in the Hampton region. So I think there's a general sense of disappointment.

MARQUARDT: Bruce Sturk retired from the Air Force as a colonel, last serving at Langley Air Force Base, which is now being stripped of $10 million for that cyber operations and training facility, at a time when cyber-attacks are one of the greatest threats to national security, along with others that will now be ignored, says Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria, a retired naval commander whose district is also affected.

REP. ELAINE LURIA (D), VIRGINIA: I know firsthand from having spoken to the commanders at the bases where this impact is going to happen, that it is going to impact our mission and our security. MARQUARDT: Not just the security of the nation, but those serving it,

whose priorities now may not be addressed.

LURIA: It's like your husband. It's your neighbor. It's your wife who's going on a deployment, and you don't want to think that, you know, their ship wasn't maintained properly or they didn't have the right tools that they needed to go do their job.

So it hits home a lot in a community like this, where everyone is so tied to the military.


MARQUARDT: Now the Pentagon is emphasizing that these projects are just being delayed or deferred. But this money had been specifically appropriated by Congress. Democrats are saying this is exactly why you have congressional approval. So now to get those projects back on --