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Record Early Voting In Georgia Senate Runoff Tops 1 Million Ballots Cast; China Eases Some COVID Restrictions In Response To Nationwide Protests; Experimental Drug Appears To Slow Progression Of Alzheimer's Disease In Clinical Trial But Raises Safety Concerns. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired November 30, 2022 - 21:00   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: With just six days before Georgia's Senate runoff between incumbent Democrat, Raphael Warnock, and Republican, Herschel Walker, early voting continues to be heavy.

Just in, tonight, the Secretary of State's office confirms that more than a million early ballots have been cast so far. And that's a record. High early turnout has traditionally favored Democrats. But that of course remains to be seen, in this case.

Another factor is what kind of impact recent CNN reporting will have, which showed Walker himself, revealing at a campaign appearance, where he actually lives.


HERSCHEL WALKER, (R) GEORGIA SENATE CANDIDATE: Everyone asks me, why did I decide to run for a Senate seat? Because to be honest with you, this is never something I ever, ever, ever, thought in my life I'd ever do. And that's the honest truth. But as I was sitting in my home in Texas, I was sitting in my home in Texas, and I was seeing what was going on in this country.


BERMAN: Tax records reviewed by CNN's KFILE show Walker is listed to get a homestead tax exemption, in Texas, for this year, which is only for primary residences. The Walker campaign has not responded to repeated requests for comment. Georgia Democrats are calling on state officials to investigate.

Before announcing his candidacy, all of Walker's media appearances, on Fox News, and other conservative media, around 20 in total, took place, in Texas. So there's that.

There's also the tens of millions of dollars, being spent by both sides, on ads, many of them negative. Add that to what's at stake, especially for Democrats, who want the real benefits of having 51 seats, instead of 50, and you've got quite a race to follow. More now from CNN's Dianne Gallagher.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With more than 1 million votes already cast in the Senate runoff race, as long lines continue across the State of Georgia, Democratic senator, Raphael Warnock, and Republican, Herschel Walker, are continuing to push their message, to get out the early vote, before it ends, on Friday.

WALKER: Get out and vote and tell 10 of your friends to get out and vote. If you don't have any friend, make some friends, and tell them to get out and vote.

SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): I need you to vote. You ready to vote?


WALKER: Tell all your friends to vote. Early voting goes through this Friday. I see you're holding up your voter card.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Tuesday's totals nearly topping Monday's record-breaking 303,000-plus early votes cast in a single day.

The newly compressed runoff timeframe, likely juicing those eye- popping daily numbers, but election officials say it's also indicative of continued enthusiasm, in an election-fatigued state.

GABRIEL STERLING, (R) CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE: We're the only game in town. We're the Belle of the Ball. Every political dollar in America is coming here right now, both on the left, and the right.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): More than $50 million being spent on ads that are blanketing the airwaves, and trending increasingly negative.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Warnock thought no one was watching, when his ex-wife called police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is embarrassing. Let's call it what it is. It is embarrassing.


GALLAGHER (voice-over): Or feature heavy-hitting surrogates, trying to appeal to voters, while making their final pitches, for both candidates.

GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): That's why I'm backing Herschel, and I hope you'll join me, in voting for him too.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There aren't a lot of people in Washington like Reverend Warnock. And that's exactly why we need to send him back. GALLAGHER (voice-over): Former President Barack Obama going from the screen, to on scene, this week, headlining another rally, for the incumbent, Senator Warnock, on Thursday night, just as he did, in the days before the general election.

But Walker won't be getting that same in-person boost from former President Donald Trump.

WALKER: President Trump has always been in my corner. He still is in my corner. And he's been doing other things for me, and everyone has been doing a lot of things for me.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): To the relief of many Georgia Republicans, instead of traveling to the Peach State, Trump will hold a tele rally, for Walker, sometime before Election Day.


BERMAN: And Dianne Gallagher joins us now, from Rome, Georgia, where Walker just wrapped up an event.

Dianne, aside from a cameo, from former President Obama, which you mentioned in your piece, just now, what can we expect, on the trail, from the candidates, in the final six days?

GALLAGHER: Well, so to give you an idea, tomorrow, John, at the same time that President Obama is going to be rallying, for Warnock, Herschel Walker will hold an event of his own, with Mike Pompeo, Senator Lindsey Graham, and a host of other Republican mainstays.

Now, the important thing here is that early in-person voting ends on Friday. So, so much effort has been put into making sure people get out and vote early, from both Democrats and Republicans, during these five mandatory days. After that, the campaigns are going to have to make sure that they can get those voters, who didn't show up, to come on Tuesday, for Election Day.

Now, look, Senator Warnock has had a robust, very aggressive campaign schedule, with multiple stops, each day, during this runoff period.

Herschel Walker's has not been quite as aggressive. He's had a couple events, and there was even a five-day period, during this four-week runoff, where he didn't hold any public events. He is holding a couple of them a day, this week, and we expect to see the same, going through the weekend, John.

BERMAN: All right, Dianne Gallagher for us, in Rome, Georgia. Thanks so much, Dianne.

Recently, Geoff Duncan, the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Georgia said Herschel Walker was, quote, "Granted a mulligan in the form of a runoff, an extra four weeks to convince the 200,000 Georgians who pulled the lever" for Governor Brian Kemp, of course a Republican, and Senator Warnock, the Democrat, to change their minds.

The Lieutenant Governor joins us now, along with CNN Political Commentator and former South Carolina Democratic state lawmaker, Bakari Sellers.

Lieutenant Governor Duncan, let me start with you. With less than a week left, until Election Day, really six days now, do you think that Herschel Walker has convinced enough Georgians, to send him to the Senate?

LT. GOV. GEOFF DUNCAN, (R) GEORGIA: Well, there's a serious imbalance of energy, right now. The Warnock campaign seems to be gaining steam and momentum. And every time you turn on the TV, there's a Warnock ad running.

And it's not necessarily the case, at the Walker side, right? I think, as you just mentioned, there was a brief five-day period, where he was kind of absent, from the campaign trail. The ads don't seem to be as numerous. And there does not feel like there's a ton of energy.

This all came down to the suburbs. Can he convince the 200,000 people that voted for Brian Kemp, but voted for Raphael Warnock, in the general, to show up and to click on his name? And it doesn't feel like that's happening.

BERMAN: So, you told CNN, in the fall, that Walker didn't do enough, to get your respect, or your vote, in November. Will you be voting for him, next Tuesday?

DUNCAN: I showed up to vote, this morning. I was one of those folks, who got in line, and spent about an hour, waiting. And it was the most disappointing ballot I've ever stared at my entire life, since I started voting. I had two candidates that I just couldn't find anything that made sense for me to put my vote behind. And so, I walked out of that ballot box, showing up to vote, but not voting for either one of them.

BERMAN: So, you didn't vote!

Bakari, Dianne Gallagher reported, we're seeing record-breaking early vote numbers, in Georgia. So, do you think that's good news, for the Democratic campaign, here? Or because we're talking about a runoff, here, and a really compressed schedule, does sort of that conventional wisdom get thrown out of the window?

BAKARI SELLERS, (D) FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE MEMBER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, HOST, "THE BAKARI SELLERS PODCAST": No, undoubtedly, that's good news for Democrats. I mean, we've seen the trends.

Instead of having these polling data, where Republicans flood the zone, with just poor polls, what we see now is that we actually have data, we can look at. That's the early voting numbers, where they come from, in Georgia.

Lieutenant Governor Duncan is probably better than I telling you what it means, when somebody votes in Richmond County, versus Fulton County, or DeKalb County, et cetera.

But I do believe that what we're seeing is that Democrats are coming out. I mean, I think, Raphael Warnock is running the pitch-perfect campaign, for the moment.


And let me also say this. This is somewhat contentious for people, who may not be familiar, culturally, with what I'm about to say. But there's a great deal of resentment, by Black voters, for Herschel Walker.

There are many Black voters, who you speak to, who simply say that "He does not speak or represent us very well at all, from the allegations of abuse, from being inarticulate, for not understanding basic concepts. And therefore, we do not want him to represent us on the world stage, as a United States Senator, in Washington, D.C."

I expect you're going to have a large number of Black voters, come out, again for Raphael Warnock, overcoming the fatigue, and a great deal of young voters, come out, for Raphael Warnock, overcoming the fatigue as well.

BERMAN: Lieutenant Governor Duncan, I want to go back to your decision not to cast a vote, in this runoff election. Was your vote gettable, by Herschel Walker, in this runoff? Was there something he could have done? Or what is it that he could have done to get your vote today?

DUNCAN: Yes, I think I'm in the same spot that hundreds of thousands of other Republicans and millions across the country are in, right? We just want real leadership, to navigate us through the mess and mire of what we're seeing play out, in Washington D.C., and whatnot.

I mean, I think there's a couple of easy pieces, a low-lying fruit run, one was pushed back on Donald Trump, and the whole fake election narrative. Secondly, when Nick Fuentes did what he did with Donald Trump, and he took the dinner meeting, pushback on that, instead of hitting the mute button.

Those were ways to convince the suburbs that you were a serious player that didn't want to be Donald Trump's puppet. You wanted to be a U.S. senator that wanted to go do important things and lead, using big ideas. That didn't happen. And that's disappointing.

And I think there's a lot of finger-point starting to happen. Look, this is a lot like a locker room, right? After a couple losing seasons, or a couple of big losses, people are starting to point fingers, and there needs to be a new direction, for the Republican Party.

And I think this unfortunately, is going to be one of those moments in time, where we point back to this as a catalyst that once again allowed us to find real candidates, to stand up and win these races.

BERMAN: So Bakari, one of the things you're hearing from Republicans, the senators, who are going to campaign, for Herschel Walker, in Georgia is, "Keep us at 50-50. Don't give the Democrats 51, because it helps us, in committee strength."

Is committee strength, sort of a salient campaign pitch to voters, Republican or Democrats?

SELLERS: Well, look, I want Raphael Warnock to win this election. And my mama always would tell me to leave well enough alone. And there has been no better message than that of Lieutenant Governor Duncan, on why Raphael Warnock should probably be the next United States Senator, or the inability, better said, for Herschel Walker, to actually serve.

Let me just say that the closing message for Herschel Walker is God knows what. He's ill-fitted, he's ill-equipped to be a United States Senator. And I think that people are recognizing that. I mean, you also had the level of exhaustion that Georgia voters have. But let's add this up. Let's look at it in the balance and the totality of what it is.

Tomorrow, you have Barack Obama, who is, I would say, arguably the most popular, either current-elected or former-elected official out there, on the campaign trail, campaigning for Raphael Warnock. Whereas, you have Donald Trump doing a teleconference, I don't even know what that is, but like a tele rally, for Herschel Walker. And I think that actually goes to the point of momentum. And Raphael Warnock has the momentum going into this.

And 51-49 for Democrats is a huge advantage. And we know that. I think people know that. But you don't want to go into somebody's household, saying, "Please give me 51 votes, for committee assignments." I think Geoff Duncan and I will both agree that things like inflation, immigration, crime, et cetera, are the number one issues. It ain't "Give me the number of votes I need so that I can get this plush assignment on whatever committee it would be."

BERMAN: I think we almost may see it in history here, where a panelist abstained, or passed on a question and, deferred the answer back to the other guest here.

Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, Bakari Sellers, our thanks to both of you, I appreciate it.

DUNCAN: Thank you.

SELLERS: Thank you.

BERMAN: House Democrats made history today, electing Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Leader, or soon-to-be Minority Leader. He is the first Black leader, in either party, ever, in the first from New York, since the 1930s.

More on Nancy Pelosi's successor, as Party leader, from CNN's Eva McKend.


EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER (voice-over): After nearly a decade, on Capitol Hill, Brooklyn-bred attorney, Hakeem Jeffries, takes his own place, in history.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): I stand on the shoulders, of people, like Shirley Chisholm, and so many others, as we work to advance the ball for everyday Americans, and get stuff done, because that's what Democrats do.

MCKEND (voice-over): At 52, Jeffries' ascension marks a generational change, from 82-year-old outgoing House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

JEFFRIES: We're going to work hard.


MCKEND (voice-over): Jeffries became Democratic Caucus Chair, in 2019, and has long been known, for his advocacy, around affordable housing, and criminal justice reform, working across the aisle, in 2019, to get the First Step Act passed.

JEFFRIES: We look forward to finding opportunities to partner with the other side of the aisle, and work with them, whenever possible. But we will also push back, against extremism, whenever necessary.

MCKEND (voice-over): But it was his role, as an impeachment manager, during former President Donald Trump's first impeachment trial that was among Jeffries' most high-profile post, highlighting his background, as a lawyer, and his penchant, for weaving in the legacy of hip-hop.

JEFFRIES: That is why we are here, Mr. Sekulow. And if you don't know, now, you know.

One of my constituents said "Aren't you the congressman that shouted out Biggie Smalls, on the House floor, two years ago?"

I said "Yes, that was me."

He said, "And now I hear that you are the number-five Democrat in the House of Representatives? How did that happen?"


JEFFRIES: And the only way that I could respond, by quoting the Biggie Smalls lyric, which is "You never thought that hip-hop would take it this far."


JEFFRIES: And so, I think that Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, in many ways, you know, capture sort of the aspirational aspect of the American Dream.

MCKEND (voice-over): A former long-time staffer suggests Jeffries will pose a formidable challenge to Republicans.

MICHAEL HARDAWAY, FORMER JEFFRIES COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: He has a mind like a computer. He is absolutely brilliant. And so, he remembers every single detail of everything. For all of his speeches, we never write his speeches out. We put together the substance, and he could just go and speak for 45 minutes.

MCKEND (voice-over): And argues he is the right man for this moment.

HARDAWAY: In 2015, I said to him, I said, "You are going to be the next Speaker of the House," because the reality of our party is that we have this old faction that was destined to leave at some point. And Hakeem was the guy that could best articulate what we stood for. And we now live in an era where that matters more than most other things.

MCKEND (voice-over): But Jeffries will have to contend with the left- wing of the party, who view him as part of the Establishment. And he is poised to take the mantle with a Democratic minority.

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, FRIEND OF HAKEEM JEFFRIES: As the great philosopher Grace Jones said, "I may not be perfect. But I'm perfect for you."

So, for those, who claim he is not progressive enough, there are far less progressive people, who could stand, in his stead, and try to occupy his space. He is as progressive a figure, as is capable, of securing the broad base of the Democratic Party, in order to represent them.

MCKEND (voice-over): Eva McKend, CNN, Atlanta.


BERMAN: Our thanks to Eva, for that.

So, we're staying on the protests, in China, because there's a chance, they could be working, somewhat, to prompt change, by the Communist government, there. You'll hear from an American, who lived there, for many years, with his take.

Plus, the backlash, in New York City, after the Mayor, here, announced moves, to remove mentally-ill homeless people, from the streets. That's coming up.



BERMAN: We've been watching the remarkable protests, in China. Remarkable, because they may be forcing some change, in a police state that's been keeping many cities, under very restrictive COVID lockdowns, for a long time.

Some cities are now easing their restrictions. And the Chinese National Health Commission is even calling demands of the masses, reasonable, and saying the government should respond to them, in a timely manner.

Thoughts now, from an American, who lived in China, for eight years. Evan Osnos is Author of "Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China."

Evan, great to see you this evening. These things, we're seeing, in China now, we really haven't seen. I can't imagine you saw anything like this, in the eight years, you were there. What do you make of it?

EVAN OSNOS, SENIOR FELLOW, JOHN L. THORNTON CHINA CENTER AT BROOKINGS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, it really is striking. I mean, I covered a lot of protests, over the years. They would tend to be very isolated incidents, often in rural areas. People were kind of desperate because of local corruption, or an environmental crisis.

What's really different, in this case, John, is that you're seeing across a broad range of populations, demographics, geography, you see all kinds of different people, especially you see upper middle-class people, from Beijing and Shanghai, and students, at some of the most elite campuses, all coming out, showing their faces, chanting, asking for dignity, saying "No more lies."

I mean, this is, as you know, John, the risks, for protesting, in China are severe. They're not abstract. People know they run the risk of arrest. And the fact that they're doing it now is a sign that they have really reached the breaking point.

BERMAN: So, how much of it is a breaking point over COVID? How much of this is strictly about COVID? And how much might be about something even deeper?

OSNOS: The immediate issue is certainly that the zero-COVID policy has just pushed people too far. I mean, to give you one statistic, young people in China, today, are facing an unemployment rate of 18 percent, because of the lockdowns and the effect on the economy.

But, as you suggested, it really does run deeper than that. One of the things you heard, in the slogans, in the chanting, this week, was really interesting. People said, "I want to return to normal life." And that doesn't just mean life without COVID. It means the kind of trajectory of China that they knew before.

And let's call it what it is, in the years, before Xi Jinping came to power, in 2012, a country that had big technology companies, before Xi Jinping's government pushed out the heads of many of those companies. A place, where Chinese people were traveling abroad, they were going as tourists, they were going to students. These days, John, it's actually very difficult to get a passport in China.

All of these are the kinds of demonstrations of this relentless focus on control that has really begun to push people to the point of crying out.

BERMAN: So, Xi Jinping just secured his third term in office. And who knows if that will be it, frankly! So, what do you see him doing here? Does he have options, or even options he would choose to take?


OSNOS: He's in a very tricky situation. I think this is the biggest challenge that he has faced, since coming into office, a decade ago, because the authoritarian playbook tells him, "You clamp down."

Because, what he wants to do is prevent more of these kinds of protests. But that will simply not get rid of this growing reservoir of anger, of real frustration that the expectations people had of China, have not been fulfilled. It hasn't been the country they wanted it to be.

So, the other thing he can do is make concessions, by another name, essentially begin to recognize. As you mentioned, in the beginning, they are beginning to give some sign that they have to change course on COVID. They're beginning to say, "We'll do lockdowns, more sporadically. We'll try to figure out, when, we have to do testing more carefully," and try to get rid of the arbitrariness.

But the underlying issue, John is that he has adopted a mode of governance, a mode of control that does not focus on giving people the dynamism they want in the economy and in their lives. And as long as he's attached, as much as he is, to that level of intrusive control in people's lives, this problem is not going away.

BERMAN: Evan Osnos, great to see you tonight. Thank you so much.

OSNOS: My pleasure. Thanks, John.

BERMAN: Next, the sweeping plan, announced in New York City, to deal with mental illness, and homelessness, a very controversial one. A plan to hospitalize some New Yorkers, involuntarily, and the pushback to it, when 360 continues.



BERMAN: Amid a national debate, about rising crime, policing, and homelessness, the Mayor of New York City has issued a directive, for law enforcement and emergency workers, to begin hospitalizing more mentally-ill people, on the streets, and subways, involuntarily, not just for the safety of others, but for their own welfare.


MAYOR ERIC ADAMS, (D) NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: It is not acceptable for us to see someone, who clearly needs help, and walk past.

No more walking by or looking away. No more passing the buck.


BERMAN: So, this has been getting some pushback.

More now from CNN's Brynn Gingras.


BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New York City has had enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Growing up in New York City, reminds me of the 90s.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is difficult watching the crime. But mental health is scapegoated.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Mayor Eric Adams is grappling with an issue that is not unique to the city, and coming up with a controversial plan, which gives first responders, the green light, to involuntarily commit people, suffering a mental health crisis.

ADAMS: The previous plan was, wait until they do something that endangers the life of themselves, or others. We're saying no, to that plan.

GINGRAS (voice-over): The move comes as Adams faces pressure, to make New York City, feel safer, particularly after a string of crimes, involving suspects, allegedly suffering from mental illness, like the murder of Michelle Go, a woman pushed in front of an oncoming train, or in this case, where the victim survived.

ANDREW BERSHAD, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: These are definitely issues that need to be addressed.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Retired NYPD detective, Andrew Bershad, says it shouldn't fall, on first responders, to decide the care of individuals, experiencing a mental health crisis.

BERSHAD: I think you're potentially putting up a problem. And then, as soon as they want to resist, now where does the liability form, on the uniformed officer.

GINGRAS (voice-over): The City says first responders will receive more training, and get help from medical professionals, in real-time. It'll be up to medical staff, to ensure care continues, after hospitalization.

ADAMS: This plan represents a major shift in how we care for our fellow New Yorkers in crisis.

GINGRAS (voice-over): When it comes to the NYPD, it's unclear what additional training, officers will receive.

A statement from the department notes, "NYPD is currently in the process of aligning its policy, guidance, and training in conformance with the Mayor's directive," pointing out that it first received the directive Tuesday, same day of the Mayor's public announcement.

BERSHAD: I just don't see this being a fix-all, especially in the immediate future.

GINGRAS (on camera): Because someone can easily slip through the cracks, and the problem just persists?

BERSHAD: Slipping through the cracks would be an understatement.

GINGRAS (voice-over): And that's the feeling of many, who deal with the crisis on the front lines. Some argue there are alternative ways to tackling this issue.

JACQUELYN SIMONE, COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS: The City really needs to approach this more from a health and housing lens, rather than focusing on involuntary removals and policing.


BERMAN: And Brynn Gingras joins us now.

So Brynn, what's the Mayor saying to critics?

GINGRAS: Yes, I mean, listen, John, the Mayor truly believes that this is going to help those, who need these services. He says this is an issue that persists, and at least this is trying to address this issue.

But listen, he has been the Mayor, since January, right? We know from his team that he has been on the city streets, talking to people, trying to find solutions. It started with breaking up those encampments of homeless people, trying to get them the services they need, also stopping people, from sleeping on train.

So, this is sort of the next evolution, as he calls it, in that process. But he admits it's an evolution. There needs to be tweaks to that. He hopes to get that feedback, and continue to address this very sensitive topic, in New York City. That's really not just alone in New York City, as you know, John, of course, all across this nation.

BERMAN: Yes. We're going to talk about that.

Brynn Gingras, thank you very much for that report.

Dennis Culhane joins us now. He's a Social Science Researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, with primary expertise in the area of homelessness and assisted housing policy.

And Professor, Brynn just alluded to this. New York City, obviously, isn't the only city, dealing with homelessness. So, what do you think is driving this particular plan, from Mayor Adams? And what's your view of it?

DENNIS CULHANE, PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL POLICY, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Well, I can appreciate that folks are desperate, and the Mayor and others would like to have a very quick solution.

But this is a deep systemic problem, from years and years of neglect, of the Safety Net. We're talking about mental health system that cannot serve adequately that people, who are actually voluntarily trying to get treatment.


There are not enough beds, for folks, to be placed in, let alone of course, hospitalization is not an end in of itself. People just get discharged, in many cases, from these hospital stays, placed right back into shelters, and on the streets, and then of course, they decompensate, and the cycle repeats.

So, there has to be a housing solution. There has to be more adequate income, for folks, so that they can sustain, and take care of themselves. And there have to be the support services. So, we have a lot of underlying issues here that really need to be addressed, even for this policy to be successful.

BERMAN: You bring up some excellent points, there. What happens if there aren't enough beds? Or what happens if there are beds, the person goes in, and is then discharged? Any sense of how that would even work?

CULHANE: Well, we know already. We have people every day, who are discharged, who then involuntarily placed in the hospital, because they have been a danger, to themselves or others, and they are discharged back into shelters, back onto the streets.

So, we already have a situation, where that is a failure. And people are not being properly served, and provided with the adequate resources, to be able to be housed. And that's the fundamental problem, here. You can't actively and effectively treat people, without having them in a place, where they can take care of themselves.

BERMAN: What do you do? I mean, if this isn't the solution, what is?

CULHANE: Well, we have to fix a broken Federal Safety Net. We have a system -- we had a system in place, which is to provide adequate income, through SSI, from Social Security, and to have Medicaid pay for services.

But neither of those programs is actually effectively working, for this population. The income, people receive, is way too low. I mean, they're effectively destitute. And the services are not reaching folks, because there's just too few providers.

BERMAN: What do police do here? What do you see as the role of law enforcement, in this?

CULHANE: I'm concerned about having police be the first responders here. When a person's in crisis, having an officer in uniform, who's armed, could easily escalate the situation. And they have tragic consequences. We've seen that happen, in our country, many other times.

So, I don't think it's an appropriate role for the police to be doing this. We have outreach teams. The City of New York has outreach teams, who are already working, and know many of these folks. There should be trained mental health professionals, making these decisions. And, it's not a fair burden to the police as well.

BERMAN: What do you see as lacking, in the political discussion, about this, now? Because, obviously, so much, of this was, just, a major campaign issue.

CULHANE: Well, ultimately, this is about resources. Too few, only about one out of every five people, who need some kind of supported housing, and is homeless, is getting it.

So, there's just too few resources. And that's really the political issue, is that our legislature, the governor, they have to go, and find the resources, to serve folks. And lacking that, we're just going to have repeating this problem over and over.

BERMAN: Dennis Culhane, an important discussion. Thank you so much, for being with us, tonight.

CULHANE: Thank you.

BERMAN: Next, what to make of a new study, of an experimental drug, designed to treat Alzheimer's, and what to make specifically, of the word being used, to describe it? That word is "Potential."



BERMAN: For anyone, with a loved one, coping with Alzheimer's, this next story brings perhaps the most perishable yet still badly-needed commodity there is. It brings hope. Guarded hope, to be sure, but hope all the same.

Data from a long-awaited trial, of the experimental drug, Lecanemab, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows it has potential, as a treatment, for the disease.

That said, the news comes with a long list of ifs and buts and questions to ask, which is why we're glad to be joined tonight by CNN Medical Correspondent, Dr. Tara Narula.

Doctor, it's great to see you. So, how significant is this research? And how exactly does this drug work?

DR. TARA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I love that you talked about guarded hope. And that really is where we're at. 6 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, in this country. And for anyone, who's cared for a loved one, or who's watched someone sort of disappear, you feel helpless.

And, for so long, in this community, we haven't had a drug, that has shown any ability, to change the progression, or the course, of the disease. In fact, the most recent drug that was approved, last year, Aduhelm, which was the first one, since 2003, was surrounded by controversy.

So, existing drugs really targets symptoms. But this drug, Lecanemab, is the first one, to show a slowing of that cognitive decline. It is a monoclonal antibody, similar to Aduhelm that's given as an IV infusion, once every two weeks, and it also targets those amyloid plaques, in the brain, with the hope that by removing them, you can potentially again reduce that decline in cognitive function.

BERMAN: So, talk to us about the study that was done here, and how it worked.

NARULA: Yes. So, this was a global study, published, as you said, in the New England Journal of Medicine. Took place in about 250 sites, around the world. 1,800 patients, ages between 50 and 90, who had either mild cognitive impairment, or early Alzheimer's, dementia, they were followed for about 18 months.

And they were basically given a scale to grade their clinical functioning, their mental functioning. And that scale goes from zero to 18, with 18 being the worst, and zero being the best. They all started out around a three. The group, that got Lecanemab, their score worsened by about 1.2 points. The placebo group, the score worsened by about 1.6 points. So, you can see John, there's not a huge difference between 1.6 and 1.2.


NARULA: We're talking about less than a point difference. But that was statistically significant, and really translated into a 27 percent reduction or slowing of that clinical cognitive decline.

They also looked at plaques in the brain. Not surprisingly, the group that got the drug, the plaques decreased. The group that did not get the drug, plaques increased.

BERMAN: There's still a decline in cognitive ability, but a slower--

NARULA: Exactly. Exactly.

BERMAN: --decline, for people on the drug.

All right, the risks--


BERMAN: --and side effects here are important.

NARULA: So, really important to talk about this. We always, in medicine, are weighing the risks and the benefits.

And there were some adverse and side effects associated with Lecanemab that we should point out. The most common was infusion reactions. But they also saw an increase in brain edema or swelling in the Lecanemab group compared to the placebo group, as well as brain hemorrhage or bleeding.


Now, most of these were mild and asymptomatic, and got better. However, brain bleeding and swelling can cause headache, confusion, visual changes, hospitalization, and have a longer-term impact.

When you compare the overall adverse effects that were serious, again, higher percentage in the Lecanemab group, more people dropped out of the study, because of side effects, in Lecanemab group. Death rates, about the same, in both groups.

But again, it's going to end up being really a discussion with the doctor, the patient and the family, if this gets approved, and to really weigh those risk benefits. And it may not be applicable to people, who are on blood thinners, because of the bleeding issue.

BERMAN: Because there are -- these side effects are very real.

NARULA: Exactly.

BERMAN: OK. So, what's the process now?

NARULA: Yes. So, I mean, at this point, I think, if it gets approved? So, the drug company is hoping that it will get accelerated approval, in January, and then they will apply for full approval, by April.

Then, the big question is going to be what happens when you roll it out in the real world? Does that one-point difference actually translate into something meaningful, for patients and families? And some might argue, it may, right? Giving somebody one more month, two more months, those are precious time periods, where a person can function, where you can be with them, where they can recognize you.

But we're also going to have to see what happens in the real world. Those patients, in the real world, are different from clinical trials. They have other medical issues. They're on different medications. They're not followed as closely.

In addition, it may be costly, John. I mean, with Aduhelm, that was about $28,000 a year in cost. And patients have to come in for these infusions. So, it's hard to know what this is going to mean. And again, it may be an individualized decision.

I think, big picture, and we talk about this a lot, is we need really a multi-faceted approach, to Alzheimer's, where we're targeting different aspects, of the aging brain, not just the amyloid plaques. And in fact, now, about 70 percent of the drugs that are being studied are targeting, and looking at other areas, so. But there's hope, guarded hope, but hope.

BERMAN: Hope, a beginning, may be a beginning. We'll see.


BERMAN: Dr. Tara Narula, thank you so much, for helping us understand this. It means so much, to so many people.

All right, coming up, a legendary singer, and songwriter, from one of the most popular bands, really, of all time, has passed away. Remembering the legacy of "Songbird" Christine McVie, that's next.



Oh no, no you can't disguise (You can't disguise, no you can't disguise) Tell me lies Tell me sweet little lies (END VIDEO CLIP)



BERMAN: Music lost a legend, today, one of the great songwriters from one of the most famous bands, beloved by millions, including a former president, Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie.

Bill Clinton, tonight said, her song "Don't Stop," which was used as his 1992 campaign theme, quote, "Captured the mood of a nation eager for better days."

Tonight, Christine McVie's legacy lives on.




You woo me until the sun comes up And you say that you love me


BERMAN (voice-over): Killer hooks, sincere lyrics, and a soulful voice. That's how critics have defined Christine McVie's contributions, to the legendary band, Fleetwood Mac, as one of music's great singers and songwriters.

Her family said she died at a hospital, after a short illness, and called her an incredible human being, and revered musician.

Fleetwood Mac also released a statement. Quote, "She was truly one-of- a-kind, special and talented beyond measure." She was one of the best musicians "anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life."

In a statement, bandmate Stevie Nicks called McVie, her "Best friend." Drummer Mick Fleetwood called McVie, a "Songbird," after one of her most famous songs, and said that quote, "Part of my heart has flown away today."

McVie was born for music. Her father was a music teacher. And after brief jobs as a teacher herself, and a window dresser, in a department store, she joined a band called Chicken Shack. That band became friends, and would open for a very young, very different-looking Fleetwood Mac. Once that band's legendary guitarist, Peter Green, left, she says the band asked if she would join. Being a fan, she said, yes.

That's also where she would meet John McVie, Fleetwood Mac's bassist, and soon to be her husband. Earlier this year, she told "The Guardian" that after the wedding, there was no real honeymoon.

At one point, they went to the hotel bar, and got plastered, with someone else, who happened to be staying at the hotel, legendary vocalist, Joe Cocker. It would be one of many wild nights, for McVie, and her bandmates. Especially once Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined several years later, a new band was formed, according to McVie, over Mexican food and margaritas.

In 1975, they would put out the band's self-titled album, which sold millions. Two years later, came Rumours, which has sold in the tens of millions, and is one of the best-selling albums of all time. It contains one of her best love songs, "Songbird."



For you, there'll be no more crying


BERMAN (voice-over): McVie says it took her only 30 minutes to write, but as she explained in a BBC interview, last year, that was only the half of it.


CHRISTINE MCVIE, MUSICIAN: That's the one and only song I wrote and finished in half an hour.


MCVIE: In the middle of the night. It was the middle of the night, and I woke up, and I happened to have a little piano in my room. But no tape recorder. No means to record it on. But I, but I had the lyrics, the vocal, the melody, the chords, everything done in half an hour. But it was about 3 in the morning, so I had to stay up all night playing it so I didn't forget it.


BERMAN (voice-over): With the fame and success, of course came legendary tales of substance abuse. McVie, owned up to her share of vexes (ph) in interviews, but she says she was one of the more grounded in the band.

She told Harper's Bazaar that she was the good girl in the group, and that she didn't do anything terribly outrageous, quote, "Except I once threw a cake out the window which landed on top of a taxi."


Another defining trait of Fleetwood Mac? The combustible relationships, which became fodder, for their nearly autobiographical songs.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I think tension was one of the -- one of the themes, really. But, you know?

MCVIE: Probably lot of water has gone under the bridge since then though, I mean, you know?


MCVIE: We've been divorced for how long?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Years, really (ph).

MCVIE: Years.



Tell me lies Tell me sweet little lies


BERMAN (voice-over): Members of Fleetwood Mac would leave then return. In fact, during one performance, they played for President Bill Clinton's inauguration, in 1993. One of their classics had become the official campaign song, for Clinton's 1992 campaign, "Don't Stop," McVie classic.



Just think what tomorrow will do Don't stop thinking about tomorrow Don't stop, it'll soon be here It'll be better than before


BERMAN (voice-over): Looking back on her career, McVie told Harper's Bazaar that when she started writing, she wasn't very good, but that thanks to the encouragement of drummer Mick Fleetwood, she says, quote, "Eventually, I wrote a few good songs."

Christine McVie was 79.


BERMAN: A few good songs indeed!

The news continues, with Laura Coates, and "CNN TONIGHT," right after a short break.