Return to Transcripts main page


CDC And Medical Groups Warn Against E-Cigarette Use; Aid Groups Search For Survivors In Dorian's Aftermath; Dr. Oz Reveals Guilt Over Mother's Alzheimer's Diagnosis. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired September 11, 2019 - 07:30   ET




ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Six people in the U.S. have died from vaping-related lung disease. The CDC, the American Lung Association, and the American Medical Association are now warning people to stop using e-cigarettes.

CNN's Tom Foreman is live in Washington with more. And so, Tom, you're saying we still don't know what caused those six deaths, exactly?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, that's part of the trouble here. We don't actually know what the link is.

What we do know is that there's been this alarming rise, both in incidents and awareness, that there seems to be some kind of problem with people getting very sick and in some cases, dying after using e- cigarette devices. And that has really raised the alarm among people who are saying look, you said these were the safer alternative and maybe they really aren't.


DR. DAVID PERSEE, PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITY, HOUSTON HEALTH DEPARTMENT, HOUSTON, TEXAS: It needs to be thought of as an injury to the lungs by -- caused by something in the vaping, and it is very severe.


FOREMAN (voice-over): In Houston, doctors are sounding the alarm as three people are hospitalized after using e-cigarettes.

In New York, the Bloomberg charity is giving $160 million to fight what's being called an epidemic of vaping.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, CEO, BLOOMBERG L.P.: Kids are dying, people are dying now and getting addicted. A time line is yesterday, not tomorrow.

FOREMAN (voice-over): And in Washington, the first lady, herself, has tweeted, "I am deeply concerned." Why is the worry exploding now? In just the past few days, the Centers for Disease Control reported a huge jump in the number of people developing mysterious lung illnesses after vaping to over 450. At least a half-dozen are believed to have died.

The American Medical Association has now come out urging people to avoid the use of all e-cigarette products. And, the Food and Drug Administration has warned Juul Labs, the leading manufacturer, about misleading advertising and statements, especially to schoolkids where vaping is growing exponentially.

REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D-IL): Did the presenter call Juul quote- unquote "totally safe" more than once?


FOREMAN (voice-over): Juul says that school outreach program was ended in 2018 and the company will fully cooperate with probes into their marketing and products.

JAMES MONSEES, CO-FOUNDER, JUUL LABS: We never wanted any non- nicotine user and certainly nobody underage to ever use Juul products.

FOREMAN (voice-over): But that's not enough for the governor of New York, who is launching a state investigation, complete with subpoenas --

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): This is a frightening public health phenomenon.

FOREMAN (voice-over): -- even as reports of more serious problems keep rolling in.

ARIEL SCOTT, STUDENT: He passed out and he would not wake up. Fifteen, 16 years old, you don't want to start doing that.


FOREMAN: So, the mystery here is what is the link or is there a link between the people who are vaping and the people who are getting ill and dying that is tied to the vaping? Or is it some kind of additive that people are joining up with vaping?

The problem for medical professionals is to say we do not know the answer, but the anecdotal evidence is so strong, we need to stop this runaway industry while we sort it out, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: Well, Tom, for people who don't vape, I think that there's a lot of confusion because there are so many brands --


CAMEROTA: -- and varieties of vaping devices, and so many different things that you can put in those devices, including nicotine and cannabis oil. So, are doctors warning against all of it? FOREMAN: Yes -- in a simple word, yes. And I don't think that there's a doctor in this country who thinks that vaping in any form is necessarily something that's going to improve your health or be a good idea.

But what they're basically saying right now is as long as this question is out there and the stakes are so incredibly high, and so much of this growth is among young people whose health base is still building, yes -- they're staying just stop doing this. Get away from this, at least until they can figure it out -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK. Tom Foreman, thank you very much for all of the information.

All right. It's one of the smallest islands in the Bahamas but it sustained some of the worst devastation from Hurricane Dorian. Our CNN crew goes door-to-door with rescuers in a live report from the Bahamas, next.



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: We are getting our first look this morning at the damage wrought by Hurricane Dorian on some of the most remote parts of the Bahamas. Rescuers are going by island-by-island, house- by-house, searching for survivors.

CNN's Paula Newton traveled with them to Great Guana Cay. She joins us now live from the Bahamas. Paula, what did you see?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: What was interesting here, John, was, again, even more than a week after the storm this was an island that had not really seen any official help. A lot of private donations, a lot of help that way, but that the government couldn't get to.

And for that reason, the Bahamian government sent USAID and that great search and rescue team from Fairfax, Virginia to help them out.

Take a listen.


NEWTON (voice-over): It's tough but crucial to reach every corner and crevice of these battered islands. We touched down in the now-scarred Great Guana Cay on a mission with the United States Agency for International Development, USAID. They have tasked search and rescue from Fairfax County, Virginia to help out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And right here used to be the police station.

NEWTON (voice-over): Local residents give them some bearings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one's missing, so far, that I know of --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- so that's, I mean, really, really good news.

NEWTON (voice-over): And they get an assessment. Incredibly, no one has died here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys help them load the truck over there while we talk to the head honcho.

NEWTON (voice-over): They help stock food in the church, now a makeshift shelter; offer medical assessments; and then move on to a house-to-house search, gathering intel for the Bahamian government as they try and get a handle on the magnitude of what happened here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what we've done is I've walked around the building and assessed the building to make sure that no one's calling out, nobody's in there. So I mark it clear.

NEWTON (voice-over): The truth is, Dorian's cuts through these islands and cays were menacing. The cat-five storm path is in red and it slashed right through the Abacos. You can see Great Guana Cay just north of its path. The darker the dots, the more structures destroyed or damaged.

USAID says the first sweep of all the islands and cays is now nearly complete.

DANIEL GAJEWSKI, FAIRFAX COUNTY URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE: Lately, it has been a lot of reconnaissance, a lot of building structure. And then from there, kind of getting a pulse on the -- on the locals and what they need.

NEWTON (voice-over): Getting to isolated local residents has been a challenge and because of money and means, there has been an island divide. Places like Guana Cay are only now getting any kind of official help. It's been the wealthy patrons of the exclusive Baker's Bay Golf Club on the island that have sent private helicopters and supplies, even evacuating the injured and vulnerable, residents say.


Tom Brady, a star quarterback for the New England Patriots, posted that his family had been traveling to the Abacos for many years, adding it was "now our responsibility to help them."

CHIEF TROY ALBURY, GREAT GUANA CAY FIRE DEPARTMENT: I am not the biggest fan of Baker's Bay. I have not been. I fought them for 10 years in court because I didn't want that golf course built. But they have been our savior during this.

This is going to take a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of dedication. And I pretty much stood up in the meeting last night and cried. I said we can't do it alone. We need help -- lots of help.

NEWTON (voice-over): USAID will continue to help with recovery efforts, taking its cue from the Bahamian government. But the truth is some locals have lost everything and have no insurance. It was too expensive in recent years.

The cruelty of this storm did not distinguish between rich and poor but already, the recovery has.


NEWTON: And, you know, once people are just starting to process everything they've been through, they are, of course, now wondering where are they going to get the money to rebuild? They do have that spirit to rebuild, though.

And even in the first few hours of being here and especially now, I'm seeing that great Abaconian sense of humor and they want people like John to know -- the fire chief does that we just heard from there -- that he is a Miami Dolphins fan, John and Alisyn. He wants everyone to know that.

BERMAN: Paula, where is -- where is the money -- where is the money going to come from for people without insurance?

NEWTON: Well, you saw that. You saw the relief fund. So listen, there are many government agencies there that will continue to try and provide what they can.

The fact of the matter is, though, when you see the wealthy residents here, they've already had insurance adjusters in -- some of them. They've had reconstruction crews in.

You know, people who lost everything of different means are scattering through their belongings and debris to look for a pair of socks before they get evacuated.

They are relying on their government and considering -- and all these relief funds, of course -- but considering they haven't even seen the official help in the first days and they're only starting to get it now, they do worry that they will not be disbursed the funds that they need to actually rebuild from the ground up and really be made whole again.

CAMEROTA: And, Paula, we heard that so compellingly from that fire chief there of how hard it is for them to ask for help, you know? They don't normally need it. They pride themselves on self- sufficiency but now they need help.

Paula, thank you very much for all of your reporting on the ground there for us.

So, for information on how you can help those victims of Hurricane Dorian, just go to

BERMAN: All right.

He is one of the country's most recognized television doctors. Doctor Mehmet Oz opens up about his mother's battle with Alzheimer's. And the interesting things here is there were warning signs that he says he missed. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BERMAN: Dr. Mehmet Oz has revealed this week that his mother has Alzheimer's and acknowledged that he completely missed the signs until fairly late in the process.

Joining me now is Dr. Oz, host of "THE DOCTOR OZ SHOW." Doctor, thank you so much for being with us right now.

You know, it's really interesting because obviously, you look at this not just as a son but also as a doctor. What signs was your mother showing that something was going on?

DR. MEHMET OZ, HOST, "THE DOCTOR OZ SHOW": Well, the classic -- sorry -- the classic sign was stubbornness, which I think a lot of moms express as they get older. But my mom, who has always been a bit difficult to get over the finish line, became much more obstinate about stuff that I thought we could actually agree on.

And then I began noticing that she was having subtle changes in the way she would describe things -- just not using the right word -- and she's a very articulate woman.

And then I began to see that she'd make decisions that weren't right about the house. Like, she'd say OK, let's move this sofa over here and it's not going to fit over there. And there's spatial -- you know, relations just aren't intact.

Now, I saw that part of it. The part that eats at me is that those things, when I see them now, are so obvious but they're actually very subtle when they happen in real life. And the biggest lies are the ones we tell each other in our families. And within my family, we lost our truth.

My sisters were noticing she wasn't putting her makeup on right or she wasn't wearing the dresses that she normally would pick. She's a very elegant woman and would normally put it together in an organized way.

And my father was in complete denial because after 60 years of marriage he didn't want to admit this was a problem.

BERMAN: Did you miss it or consciously avoid it -- or somewhere in between?

OZ: Some of it's denial -- excellent question. I don't think it was just that I didn't understand it. I didn't want it to be true.

BERMAN: So for those of us looking for signs in people we love, what's the difference between just growing old because, you know, people grow old and lose a little bit of an edge sometimes -- what's the difference between that and dementia or Alzheimer's?

OZ: One big difference is you don't know what you don't know. You forgot that you forgot. And that ends up being a major telltale sign of Alzheimer's.

It's not just a minor inconvenience; it makes you very difficult to leave alone when you have Alzheimer's because you don't make the right decision.

My mother will go down the street and then -- not all the time, but once in a while -- will take off a piece of jewelry and give it to somebody who she doesn't know. And that -- she thinks she does know that person. And these become constant processes.

But here's the part that eats at me. What I didn't realize until I went through this process over the past few months is there's a lot we can to prevent Alzheimer's from progressing. There's not much we can do to treat it once it's happened.


BERMAN: Talk to me about that. What can we do?

OZ: Well, first off, I want to look down right now. If you see your belly -- just do it right now -- look down and if you see your belly, I can tell you that your brain is shrinking. Big belly equals small brain.

And it actually makes it much worse if you have a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's, which I have from my mom, and my mom has in double doses.

So you can't afford to have a big belly if you're at risk. And one in four of us have a big risk from their genes and the rest of us are still at risk.

The second issues is you're not doing any kind of aggressive exercise. You know, something explosive where you go as hard as you can for --

BERMAN: High-intensity training.

BERMAN: High-intensity training is how it's described. But, I mean, literally, just run as fast as you can or do as many pushups as you can or sit-ups or jumping jacks for a minute or two. Do that a couple of times a day. It's hugely beneficial because it stimulates the brain to make new connections.

And interestingly, things like meditation, prayer -- they seem to work because they deal with the stress that actually accelerates some of the degeneration in our brain, we believe.

And so, meditation is something that I'm advocating. I'm doing it in my own life. I was -- I have been for many years. Trying to get my mom to do that a bit more has been difficult.

BERMAN: Yes. And to be clear, you're doing a lot of this because you went and had yourself tested. You found out that you have one of the genes that makes you more susceptible to it. So I can understand why you've changed some of the things in your life. I do want to put on the screen here so people can see it -- and you've identified them -- six early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. You can see them right there.

Challenges in planning, difficulty completing tasks, confusing time and place, problems with words, trouble understanding visuals, misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.

This is what we should be watching for?

OZ: Yes, and I emphasize that first one, difficulty with planning, because that's how they'll often present. You'll say, "Hey, mom, let's do this." And she won't decide or can't decide or won't really understand what you're getting at, but will just push back because that's what she's always done.

That's a slippery little symptom that I think a lot of people miss that could be really helpful.

BERMAN: How has this changed you -- last question?

OZ: Well, it's the humility that comes along with making a mistake of this magnitude. My mom always told me to be kind and I think a lot of the reasons that I've been successful in medicine -- in my clinical practice -- is because I got that from my mom. You don't learn that in medical school.

But she didn't always teach me to realize is being kind sometimes means not being nice. It means putting your hands up and saying, "Hey, listen, something's not right here. I'm going to be disagreeable about this. I'm going to mess up our Thanksgiving meal or our holiday event, but there's -- this is not right. We've got to fix it."

And I've been passionate about this on the show this season. It's our 11th year.

It's the power of one. It doesn't make any difference. You have the ability to change the world around you but only if you take action, be brave, and say what needs to be said. I wish I had done that more in my own family. I'd encourage many others in America who suspect things are not right to do the same.

BERMAN: Dr. Oz, this is an important message. It's great to have you out there talking about it. And we can only hope for progress in the medical community, and the research continues.

OZ: The love helps, the love helps.

BERMAN: All right, thanks, doctor. Appreciate it.

CAMEROTA: What an important conversation.

All right, thanks to our international viewers for watching. For you, "CNN NEWSROOM WITH MAX FOSTER" is next.

For our U.S. viewers, the winner of the special election in North Carolina joins us live. NEW DAY continues right now.



JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR, "INSIDE POLITICS": North Carolina Nine will stay in Republican hands. A very close race in a district President Trump carried by 12 points.

DAN MCCREADY (D), CANDIDATE, NORTH CAROLINA'S NINTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Democrats should not be playing in this district.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not a swing district. This should not be a competitive district at all.

CAMEROTA: The narrow margin of victory underscores the challenges that they are facing with suburban voters.

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI (D-CA): Nobody lasts long in the chaos of the Trump administration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: John Bolton and his policy interests and his policy positions deviated quite dramatically from President Trump's.

MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: The president's entitled to the staff that he wants. He should have people that he trusts and values.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

CAMEROTA: And good morning, everyone. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, September 11th, 8:00 in the East.

It has been 18 years since the terror attacks that changed all of our lives. So this morning, our nation honors the victims and heroes of that fateful day when we lost 3,000 Americans. And we hope that you'll stick around for the moment of silence. We'll bring you that live in just minutes.

BERMAN: You know, it's interesting. I gaze out of our window, we can see the Freedom Tower from where we are right now. And there was this layer of clouds over the top of the Freedom Tower almost somberly marking this moment in sadness there. There is the Freedom Tower right now.

CAMEROTA: I mean, so many powerful feelings this morning thinking back to it. I actually try not to think about it, other than this day, because it can bring up so much emotion again. I mean, you can just -- it's been 18 years but you -- I can go right back to that moment of the terror and the sadness and the loss pretty easily.

BERMAN: And sometimes I think it helps to think about one person. Think about one person that was lost and the impact that has had on one family, and I think it helps to put it all in perspective. CAMEROTA: I think that's a great exercise.

All right, but first, Republican Dan Bishop narrowly defeated Democrat Dan McCready in North Carolina's special election last night. President Trump made an eleventh hour trip there to campaign for Bishop and that may have helped the Republican win.

But this election also holds some warning signs for President Trump and congressional Republicans heading into the 2020 election.

Also, a new CNN poll just out shows that.