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Missing in Bahamas after Dorian; Vaping-Related Illnesses; New Democratic Polls; Patriots Refuse to Comment on Brown Allegations. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired September 12, 2019 - 06:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[06:30:00]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: After Hurricane Dorian has grown to 2,500. There's also new, major environmental concerns as well.

CNN's Paula Newton live in Nassau with the very latest.

Twenty-five hundred people missing. What exactly does that mean?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is a terrifying number, isn't it, John? And that begins to give us some kind of a scope of what this storm did to the Bahamas. The good news is, is that does not mean that 2,500 people will remain missing for the next several weeks. There has been a lot of confusion. I have seen it firsthand myself where you look at that list but there are people who are fine, they just have to be counted on that government website. But it is such a good start right now for loved ones who want to try and find their family members.

I want to say as well that that includes thousands of people that evacuated directly to the United States. Why? There are thousands here with dual citizenship and (INAUDIBLE) storm and what it did to this country, they went immediately to the United States. And that has also been an issue here.

I want to talk to you about the prime minister last night. He spoke, of course, saying that there will be an official day of mourning. He didn't say when. Certainly so much to mourn in this country.

He went out of his way, though, to thank the United States. And I have to say, John, given the proximity to Florida here, had it not been for the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army, U.S. AID (ph), the prime minister basically said they could not have even begun to really think about recovery at this stage.

That oil spill, though, you know, Equanor (ph), this is an oil facility that is on Grand Bahama. As our crews who took pictures of it describe it to me, it's like taking the top off a tin can of soup and having that oil just slosh around. This is becoming more and more of a problem. The Norwegian company that handles it says that indeed they're trying to do the best they can to clean it up.

The problem is, is that it may have headed into open waters. And that will make it much more difficult. I have to tell you guys, though, that, look, there are a lot of toxic things floating around all of those islands. And that's going to be one of the things that really hamper recovery. They need to be able to sort through all of that, understand how they get rid of it and understand exactly what is toxic, and that includes, of course, the very dramatic pictures there of the oil.

OK, one other thing I want to point out is that we are still in the middle of hurricane season here. Believe me, nobody here has forgotten that. Weather looking OK for now, but, still, strong winds and rain coming in, which is just going to make recovery even worse.

Alisyn.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, no. Let's hope that they get a break with the weather.

Paula, thank you very much for all of the developments from the ground there.

There's also a big development in the epidemic of teen vaping. The Trump administration wants to ban a wide range of products, and that's upsetting a lot of people. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:36:32]

BERMAN: A major, new development that every parent will want to pay attention to as we see new reports of explosive growth in vaping among teenagers. The White House announced the FDA will impose tough, new restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes in the next several weeks. The policy will effectively ban fruit and candy flavors.

Joining us now is CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, first of all, you've been on this vaping story for a long, long time. This is a big moment in that story when the White House is stepping in and saying we're going to ban a whole class of these.

What's the impact?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it can be a significant impact. There's a lot of people, despite the fact that we've been talking about it, are waking up for the first time saying, wow, this is a much bigger deal than I realized.

This should have happened a long time ago. They should have had to get this approved before it ever went to market. That's how a lot of these things work.

You know, frankly, the FDA sort of has been kicking this can down the road saying, OK, we recognize that this is the way it should work, but you don't have to apply for these approvals for another year, for another year. So that's -- that's what's been going on. That's going to change, you know, seemingly overnight now. They're going to -- they are going to apply for these approvals, but I think what we're hearing from HHS is that those approvals for those flavorings is not going to be given.

CAMEROTA: And if you're someone who believes that vaping has been helpful because of the smoking cessation, this shouldn't affect you, right? I mean unless you're smoking cotton candy vapes --

GUPTA: Right.

CAMEROTA: OK, so there's cotton candy. There's unicorn milk. There's gummy bears. What self-respecting adult is using that, first of all? Are they --

GUPTA: I --

CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, let me -- let me not lead the witness.

BERMAN: The answer is, yes, they are.

CAMEROTA: Are they using that for smoking cessation?

GUPTA: They are -- they are -- you might imagine the thousands of e- mails I get because we do these segments all the time. And there's a lot of people who say, yes, I have been using these flavorings. Why would you take this away from me? Isn't that my right to be able to do that? But it's the same arguments you heard, you know, some time ago with big tobacco as well.

The concern has always been a very simple one. And Scott Gottlieb, who was the former FDA commissioner said, OK, even if these things do help people stop smoking, we're not sure that they do, but they might, even if they do, if it also leads to a new generation of smokers, that is simply not something we're going to tolerate.

These flavorings do target children. And there was other examples that we've been reporting on, on this program, where they target young people clearly through social media, through these flavorings. They can say, hey, it's not just for kids. It doesn't fit with the rest of the pattern that they've used to basically target children. And so if it helps people stop smoking, fine. But people who start vaping and then transition to combustible cigarettes, that is real. That is happening. That's the problem.

BERMAN: Two separate issues right now catching everyone's attention. Right now, vaping-related illnesses.

GUPTA: Yes.

BERMAN: And there have been a number of cases of that and that is alarming to a lot of people. That's one thing. But we're also seeing just these new numbers in the explosive growth -- and I mean explosive growth among teenagers vaping.

GUPTA: I mean we -- I think when we first started reporting on it, we were reporting on that 11.7 percent, 12 percent number. And the numbers just continue to go up. I mean, look, you said it in the lead, every parent needs to be thinking about this. This is topic number one. Whenever my kids friends' come over, I mean I'm -- I'm now the -- you know, the vaping sort of guy and they -- they know that I'm going to talk about this. But they say that, look, it's -- it's everywhere in these schools if they're just being totally candid. They're designed to be concealed. They're designed to not give smoke. They're designed -- people are doing this in classrooms in front of teachers. So --

CAMEROTA: So you can vape and you don't exhale anything that's visible?

[06:40:01]

GUPTA: You could -- yes, there's -- there's not smoke. There's a vapor.

CAMEROTA: Right no smoke but there's a vapor.

GUPTA: You know, there's a vapor that might go up, but it can be concealed.

CAMEROTA: Right. But you can conceal that.

GUPTA: Yes.

CAMEROTA: So, you know, as we've been reporting all week, people are dying. Six people now, six deaths, and they haven't figured out why?

GUPTA: Right. And I think you're going to hear from the American Vaping Association. That -- that's not us. That's people who are using illegal products, sticking them into our devices. That's not our problem. That's what they're going to say.

It is their problem because their device is the one that's taking these products, breaking them down into their various molecules. People are inhaling that into their lungs. And when these molecules recongeal, causing this inflammatory reaction in the lungs and people are dying.

Now, again, they're going to say, you know, those are rogue characters.

CAMEROTA: But do we know that? Has it been proven? I mean have we definitively figured out what is killing people?

GUPTA: We don't know for sure what it is and we don't know for sure that it's not these legitimate products either. It does seem to be, in fairness, these -- these products that are -- that are more black market products. Typically cannabis, THC containing products that have this component known as vitamin e acetate. It's a thickener. You have these liquids. They're thick. You break them down. That's the problem.

BERMAN: And we're going to talk much more about this. But the big problem here is that we don't have the science on it just yet. The science isn't behind it yet. But, meanwhile, these products have been on the market, and that's what makes it so dangerous.

GUPTA: I -- you know, I'm no -- I'm no fan of over-regulation, but how is it that you allow a product like this that you don't know is safe, you don't know how the molecules change when you actually superheat it, you don't know what happens when it gets into the body, how do you allow that to be on the market knowing full well, for three years now, that kids are increasingly doing this?

You know, I think, in this case, we sort of step down on the job a bit and we've -- and we've had a precedent for this before.

CAMEROTA: And, Sanjay, I know that you'll be back to talk to one of our guests coming up who is very pro-vaping, believes that it really helps people, is very unhappy about the administration's announcement. So you'll be back when we talk to him.

GUPTA: Is against prohibition. It's going to sound like a familiar -- familiar debate.

CAMEROTA: It's going to be an interesting segment.

GUPTA: All right.

CAMEROTA: All right, we'll see you in a minute.

OK, so Elizabeth Warren is gaining on Joe Biden in the polls, but his support among one crucial voting bloc remains very solid. So Harry Enten is going to break down our new poll numbers, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:46:27]

CAMEROTA: All right, we are just hours away from the next Democratic debate. So let's get "The Forecast" with CNN's senior politics writer and analyst, Harry Enten.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICS WRITER AND ANALYST: Hey!

CAMEROTA: Hi, Fonzie.

ENTEN: It's debate day!

CAMEROTA: Wow. You've turned into the Fonz.

ENTEN: I am so excited.

BERMAN: That don't make me Potsie. No one wants to be Potsie.

CAMEROTA: So --

BERMAN: Go ahead.

CAMEROTA: All right, so tell us where we -- they stand right now.

ENTEN: Right. So obviously we had a CNN poll that came out yesterday and essentially we had Biden barely in first place at 24 percent, Warren at 18 percent, and Sanders at 17.

CAMEROTA: How is that barely first place?

ENTEN: Well, I mean, he -- look at -- look at this trend. This is the trend. if you compare this to our last poll, what did we see? We saw that Biden was up by 14 points over Sanders. And I think the important trend line here, though, just generally speaking, is that Warren was only at 7 percent in late May in our CNN poll and she's kind of gone up 14, 15, 14, and 18 is the highest she's ever been in a CNN poll.

BERMAN: And you have some thoughts about where she may be making those gains.

ENTEN: Yes. So I think that this is the very important thing to sort of point out, which is, all along this primary has been about electability, which is more important, a strong chance of beating Trump or shared positions on the issues? And what we see is, 55 percent say a strong chance of beating Trump. And take a look here. I think this is important because if you prefer the candidate -- if -- on that last question, do you prefer the candidate who can beat Trump, if that's more important to you, look at where we were in August. Biden was leading that group with 35 percent, Warren was way back at 15. Now look, today, and what you see is that lead for Biden has been cut down to five points. Warren up to 21 percent. so it seems to me, folks, that she's making some inroads on the electability argument, which is very key in this primary.

CAMEROTA: Is that what you would expect -- would have expected as the race got closer, or is this unusual?

ENTEN: I think that this is somewhat unusual, especially given the fact that, you know, if you look, there was a poll out sort of in the general election from ABC New/"Washington Post" yesterday and we see that Biden's leading Trump by 15 points, while Warren's only leading him by 7. So, to me, when I'm looking at the polling, and then I see how the voters are reacting, I'm a little surprised how they're reacting, but sometimes voters surprise us.

BERMAN: We're going to watch that.

The one thing that remains consistent and is a positive find for Joe Biden is where his support is coming from.

ENTEN: Yes, so we had some large sample sizes so we can actually break this down.

Look. Elizabeth Warren leads among white voters, barely, 23 percent to 21 percent. But look at African-American voters. Biden's up there with 42 percent. Warren is all the way back at 10 percent. And, obviously, with South Carolina being the fourth in the nation contest and more than African-Americans making up to 20 percent to 25 percent of the Democratic electorate, we have to see if Elizabeth Warren can actually build upon her support that she has with white voters and actually get them with Hispanics, where she's running fourth, or with black voters, where she's running all the way down at 10 percent.

BERMAN: After you get past Iowa and New Hampshire, you cannot win the Democratic primaries without doing better than 10 percent among African-Americans.

ENTEN: You -- she has to do better than this. And this has been the thing all along that I've been harping on is, can Elizabeth Warren break out from her concentrated support among white college educated voters, especially those who are very liberal, and actually reach some other parts of the Democratic electorate. Because if she can't, she's going to get up to 20 percent of the Democratic vote and then she's just going to end up like say Howard Dean or Gary Hart or any of -- or Bill -- even Bill Bradley.

CAMEROTA: Just, very quickly, Bernie Sanders with Hispanics at 24 percent, do you find that significant?

ENTEN: I -- I do find it interesting. I will say, they tend to be younger and they tend to be more liberal than the other Democratic voters. So I think that's what's really going on there.

BERMAN: We talk about ideology, whether Democrats want a moderate or a liberal. You have some polling on that.

ENTEN: Yes, so I think that this is also sort of why I think Joe Biden still is in the best position to win the Democratic primary. We said, do you feel that -- this was a great question we asked, do you feel that the Democratic nominee will be too liberal or --

BERMAN: Do you fear.

ENTEN: Fear. Do you fear they'll be too liberal or not liberal enough? Forty-nine percent said they feared it would be too liberal.

[06:50:02]

And Biden, of course, is the only moderate really running in the top lane right now. So, to me, this is good news for him and it matches up with the fact that more self -- more Democrats self-identify as either moderate or conservative.

CAMEROTA: OK, tell us by age.

ENTEN: And I just -- I just love this, which is, look at this. Look at this. This is amazing. Sanders 18 to 29, 32 percent, 65 plus, 5 percent. Biden, the opposite, 8 percent and then -- on 18 to 29 year olds, and 35 percent, 65 plus.

BERMAN: Who votes normally?

ENTEN: Older folks, which is why Biden is ahead.

BERMAN: There's a message of optimism you want to give us today.

ENTEN: I just -- I just want to say, it's the National Day of Encouragement, everybody. Let's have a great show.

BERMAN: You're doing a great job, Harry.

ENTEN: Thank you. You two as well. BERMAN: Thank you, Harry.

CAMEROTA: Thank you.

ENTEN: We've just got to keep giving each other applause.

CAMEROTA: That's beautiful. That's really nicely done.

BERMAN: Thanks, Harry.

ENTEN: It's lovely, isn't it?

CAMEROTA: It is lovely.

BERMAN: All right, not as encouraging of a story, Antonio Brown, one of the biggest stars in sports, is facing rape accusations. His current team, the New England Patriots, are letting him play for now. We'll discuss after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:55:06]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL BELICHICK, HEAD COACH, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: On Antonio's situation, both Antonio and his representatives have made statements. And so I'm not going to be expanding on any of those. They are what they are.

QUESTION: Do you have any comment on the Antonio Brown allegations that are out there?

TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: No.

QUESTION: Not a word to say?

BRADY: Didn't I just answer that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: You're getting nothing. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick refusing to comment about the controversy surrounding star wide receiver Antonio Brown. Brown took part in practice yesterday.

CAMEROTA: That was significant, John, because you told us to watch for what would happen at practice and that would tell us maybe what's happening this weekend.

BERMAN: I think it was the key question, was he going to practice or not. The Patriots let him on the field. So right now they are sitting and waiting to find out what happens. There is a civil lawsuit accusing Brown of rape. The NFL says it is investigating.

Laura Coates, our legal analyst, joins us now. Again, just to remind people, it's a civil lawsuit. There are no criminal charges. And as far as we know, not any criminal investigation. We saw Antonio Brown practice yesterday. The key request is, will the NFL put Brown on the exempt list, which means he can't play.

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: And he can't practice.

BERMAN: While the investigation goes on.

What do you think the considerations are?

COATES: Well, it's either a public relations nightmare, the idea of somebody who's been accused, albeit in a civil suit, which has a lower standard of evidence, it's more likely than not that it happened, as opposed to beyond a reasonable doubt.

BERMAN: If they find -- indeed find --

COATES: If they found -- if they find. That's the standard. So it's a different -- a different set of facts, versus the idea of due process. Now, remember, this is an accusation at this point in time. It's an allegation. You have not had the discovery process that says let the person explain or defend or prove their cases or defend against it.

So the NFL, right now, is in this process of saying, are we going to elevate due process and let this all play out, or are we going to say, listen, along with the Me Too movement, of the notion of the presumption of believing in an alleged victim or at least giving (INAUDIBLE) opportunity for that person to be heard, can they actually accomplish that and still allow the person accused of this of playing?

Now, they have a long time that can decide this process. They don't have to have a deadline of when they can put Antonio Brown on an exempt list or otherwise. I suspect it will happen, if they decide to do something (INAUDIBLE) after he plays this coming Sunday because we know that the NFL has an obvious financial incentive in allowing this person, who is a star, to continue to play. What that says for the NFL is a very big question.

But, ultimately, you have a little bit of a precedent here. Remember, there's not a whole -- there's no one I can think of who has ever been put on the exempt list if they have a civil lawsuit instituted against them. There have been instances --

CAMEROTA: Rather than a criminal.

COATES: Rather than criminal. Adrian Peterson had a criminal action against him. Greg Hardy had a criminal action against him that ultimately ended up in a civil suit for an ex-girlfriend and ended up in a settlement, we believe, and his case was dismissed. So the idea of reversing course and saying the civil suit, without a criminal prosecution, is not to exempt them is odd.

One final point. Robert Kraft is the owner of the New England Patriots. He himself has had a little bit of a turn in the criminal justice system recently. He also has been involved with the rapper Meek Mill in talking about a -- the -- about due process considerations and criminal justice reform. It may be he's speaking volumes right now by saying, just as my own case I demanded to have played out, I'm going to allow the same thing happen here.

CAMEROTA: So it sounds like he's going to play this weekend. That's your -- today that's your prediction?

COATES: I think he -- it is my prediction. Well, you know, if I ask Belichick, he'll just say no. If I ask Tom Brady he'll just say no. But I think he will play. I think they will let this play out. How long it will take is anyone's guess.

BERMAN: The NFL says they're going to interview Britney Taylor, who's making the accusation, next week. So soon.

COATES: After Sunday, right?

BERMAN: After Sunday.

COATES: OK.

BERMAN: Interesting to see, Laura. Thanks very much.

CAMEROTA: Thanks, Laura.

All right, a big day in the 2020 race. NEW DAY continues right now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Ten Democratic candidates qualified for this debate, and it will mean, for the first time, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are on stage together.

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Biden's strategy from the beginning has been to posit (ph) himself as the guy who's taking on Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elizabeth Warren's numbers on electability have been going up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The White House is calling for a ban on nearly all flavored e-cigarettes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has always been a problem. Usage of vaping products has been progressively rising over the last ten years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Banning substances has not worked out so well for Americans or American history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No child should ever use a vaping or e-cigarette product. It is that simple.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman. CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY.

And the top ten Democrats in the 2020 race will take the debate stage tonight in Houston. The focus for pundits at least will be on former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

[07:00:04]

They are facing off for the very first time. Biden is still the front runner in a new CNN national poll, but