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NFL Investigating Antonio Brown After Rape Lawsuit Filed; Pressure Mounts on FDA after 6th Vaping-Related Death; Biden & Warren Face Off for 1st Time on Debate Stage; Remembering 9/11. Aired 11:30a- 12p ET

Aired September 11, 2019 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: A new and disturbing twist in the series of dramatic headlines following Antonio Brown, one of the most prominent wide receivers. The league is now investigating Brown after he was accused of rape in a new lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday in Florida by Brown's former trainer, Britney Taylor. He denies the allegations.

But this is the latest problem following Brown, from a foot injury to a fight over his helmet, from the Steelers to the Raiders and now the Patriots.

The Patriots issuing a statement last night after the news broke. They said, in part, this, "We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstances the organization condones sexual violence or assault."

CNN Jason Carroll is in Foxboro for us. He has the very latest.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, as you know, as of late, there has been a lot of drama surrounding an Antonio Brown. He is facing serious, troubling allegations. His former trainer is alleging in a civil lawsuit that he sexually assaulted her twice in 2017 and raped her in May of 2018.

She released a statement saying, in part, "As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly difficult decision. I have found strength in my faith and family and from the accounts of other survivors of sexual assault. Speaking out removes the shame I have felt for the past year, and places it on the person responsible for my rape."

Now, Antonio Brown, for his part, is speaking out through his attorney. His attorney is saying that these allegations are completely untrue. He says the relationship between these two was consensual. In fact, he says he may file a countersuit of his own.

His statement says -- this coming from Darren Heitner, Brown's attorney -- says, "Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit. He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations."

We are told that the NFL is now conducting its own investigation. And the Patriots are saying, look, we will not have much to say about this until that investigation is complete.

We are here, anyway, Kate. We will be asking question we'll see if we get some answers -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: Jason Carroll. Thanks so much, Jason. I appreciate it.


Still ahead for us, a stark warning from the top medical associations about the dangers of vaping. The president of the American Medical Association is our guest, next.


BOLDUAN: Pressure is mounting on the FDA this morning after a sixth vaping-related death is reported in the United States. Now lawmakers are demanding answers and action.

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin is going so far as to say the FDA needs to act within days or the head of the agency should resign.


SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): This is not a safe alternative to tobacco. We really need the FDA to step up. They have the authority today to end the flavor pods that attracts these kids. They have the authority today to take many of these devices off the market. It's time to step up or this epidemic is going to grow.



BOLDUAN: And that's not all. Republican Senator Mitt Romney, he is calling on the FDA to consider recalling E-cigarettes until they get more answers about what is behind the illnesses and deaths.

So far, the CDC is reporting there have been more than 450 cases of lung illnesses associated with using E-cigarettes and now these six deaths associated with the very same.

Joining me right now is Dr. Patrice Harris. She is the president of the American Medical Association.

The AMA came out very strongly this week warning Americans to stop using E-cigarettes completely and also calling for an immediate ban on those flavor pods.

Dr. Harris, thank you for being here. It is not clear how or if vape is definitively, definitely linked to

these illnesses. So what is it about E-cigarettes that leads you and the association to come out with such a very clear warning this week?

DR. PATRICE HARRIS, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: Well, thank you for allowing me to opportunity to be here today.

And let me just say, at the outset, that nicotine in any form should be avoided. We need to remind everyone of the dangers of the use of nicotine in any form.

The AMA is very concerned, as are others, around the increased use of E-cigarettes and vaping in teenagers. We know there may be effects on the adolescent brain.

And so out of an abundance of caution, you noted the recent deaths and the recent hospitalizations, the AMA is asking everyone to avoid using these E-cigarettes.

BOLDUAN: Do you think the FDA is dragging its feet for some reason when it comes to regulating this booming industry?

HARRIS; Well, the AMA does support the FDA regulating these products and we hope that they begin that regulation as soon as possible. And then they will be able to get any unregulated products off the market.

BOLDUAN: Do you have any suggestion, though, that they aren't moving as expeditiously as they should be? I mean that seems to be what Dick Durbin is afraid of, that they're not moving fast enough?

HARRIS: Well, the AMA encourages the AMA -- the FDA to move expeditiously as well, again with the known health effects. What we know now -- you right -- we don't know exactly the specific cause of the recent deaths and the hospitalizations. But we do know the effects of nicotine and so we do urge the FDA to begin to regulate these products as soon as possible.

BOLDUAN: From 2011 -- just for perspective, for folks watching, from 2011 to 2018, E-cigarette use among high school kids jumped from one- half percent to 20.8 percent. That's over three million high schoolers who have been starting to use these E-cigarettes and started vaping.

And I wonder, what is more troubling to you, that kids are using E- cigarettes at an alarming rate or that we don't know what is in this stuff, in large part, that could be putting people in the hospital?

HARRIS: So both are troubling. We do not want to see a next generation of kids who become adults, of course, addicted to nicotine. So that is frightening.

And we do need to understand as quickly as possible. I know health officials are investigating the specific cause of the current deaths and the current hospitalizations. We need to know that so that we can move forward with future recommendations.

BOLDUAN: When folks say E-cigarettes are the safe alternative to regular cigarettes, what do you say to them?

HARRIS: There's no evidence to support that E-cigarettes are a safe alternative. And that is why, again, we support the FDA stepping up its efforts to regulate these products. Of course, we support further research on the issue.

But at this point, there are FDA-regulated products on the market to help those who want to quit smoking and we encourage patients to talk with their physicians about those FDA-regulated products.

BOLDUAN: Dr. Harris, there's an American Vaping Association and they are coming out after you all.

In a statement, they say that you are fear mongering. And also what they said is that, "You should be ashamed of yourselves for playing politics with people's health and protecting the profits of drug dealers by coming out with your statement warning of about E- cigarettes."

Would you like to respond to that?

HARRIS: At the AMA, we follow the evidence and we follow the science. And so at this point, again, we don't know the specific cause of the current lung illnesses, but we do know the effects of nicotine, the negative long-term and short-term health effects of nicotine.


So we are just making these recommendations out of an abundance of caution with, of course, the patients and the public health in mind.

BOLDUAN: Dr. Patrice Harris, thank you so much for your time.

HARRIS: You are welcome. Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, Democrats are gearing up for another big debate. What we are learning about how Joe Biden, what he is planning, who he is planning to take on, and how he is going to do it when he gets -- when they get to the stage. That's next.



BOLDUAN: On the eve of the next Democratic presidential debate, we're getting new details on Joe Biden's plan of attack. For the first time, all of the top-tier candidates will be sharing the debate stage at the same time. Aids to Biden tell CNN he's likely to use the moment to argue that Democrats need a nominee who can offer the nominee more than just plans.

Hard to imagine that isn't an attack on Elizabeth Warren, whose tag line has become, "I've got a plan for that."

Warren was asked about this possible line of attack and had this to say. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): I think that we start with a plan and then we get out there and fight for it. To me, that's what being president is all about.


BOLDUAN: CNN political reporter, Arlette Saenz, has the reporting on this.

It's great to see you, Arlette.

What else are you learning about Biden's plan ahead of this debate?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Kate, Joe Biden has been huddling with his advisors off the trail for the last few days, leading up to this next debate in Houston tomorrow.

His advisors have really tried to downplay this head-to-head matchup between Biden and Warren, saying there's going to be 10 candidates on that stage, not just two and that Biden is focused on running his own race.

But an advisor that I spoke with yesterday did say that the former vice president plans to say that Democrats need to select a nominee who offers more than just plans. They need someone who delivers.

They're pointing to Biden's past experience when it comes to passing an assault weapons ban, his work on the Affordable Care Act, also his work on climate.

The Biden campaign is also arguing that while he's often painted as the moderate among this group of candidates, they argue that he is, in fact, progressive. They dispute notions that he's not. So that's another line that Biden may be talking about in this debate tomorrow.

So far, you really haven't seen Biden and Warren directly engage each other. When they've been asked about this upcoming debate, they simply say they're going to be up there showing their message.

Biden told me a few weeks ago he would present his message, Warren would present hers, and then voters would decide.

But of course, it's not going to be just the two of them on that debate stage. We're going to have eight other candidates, including Bernie Sanders, who's at the top of the polls with Biden and Warren. Biden will be standing between those two candidates at the debate.

For those other seven candidates, they're really trying to find standout moments and try to sustain that momentum heading out of this debate -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: A lot at stake tomorrow night. Let us see what happens.

Great to see you, Arlette. Thank you so much. Coming up for us, it had been 18 years since the September 11th attacks. And 2,977 lives lost in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on this day. We remember them and honor them next.







UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ivan Kenulose Fairbanks Barbosa (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keith George Fairbanks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sandra Bahardo Smith (ph).


BOLDUAN: Eighteen years have passed since the country was changed forever. September 11, 2001, is a day that the world, of course, will never forget. And it's an anniversary where we take the time to stop and to remember the victims, the families, and the first responders of that fateful day.

Events are being held here in New York, of course. Another remembrance is also held in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Vice President Mike Pence spoke. And President Trump and the first lady attended the ceremony at the Pentagon this morning, where the president made remarks.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is joining me now from lower Manhattan, where some of the ceremonies are taking place this morning.

Brynn, it never gets easier.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It really doesn't, Kate, especially for those families. You just had some video there of people reading the names. That's still going on. It started after the first moment of silence at 8:43 this morning. It's going to go on for another 20 minutes or so. Three and a half hours of reading the names of lives lost on 9/11.

I know so many people can sit here who lived through this and say, I know where I was at this moment when this happened. The president even did that during his speech at the Pentagon.

However, if you focus in and listen to those names and the stories that come out of the readings, that's, I think, the most impactful. There was one woman who read her husband's name who she lost. And she

said, we've learned to live without you these past 18 years but we will never forget you.

There was a little girl who's never met her uncle because she wasn't even alive. She read her uncle's name and said he helps her score a goal on the soccer field from time to time.

Those are the stories we remember. And you can feel that down here at the memorial site.

Again, this will wrap up soon but members of the public will be able to pay their respects as well throughout the day -- Kate?