Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Former US Marine Trevor Reed Injured Fighting In Ukraine, More Than One Year After Russian Prisoner Swap; Washington Post: Putin Appeared Paralyzed, Unable To Act Decisively During Wagner Rebellion; Interview With Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC); Bronny James, Son Of LeBron James, In Stable Condition After Suffering Cardiac Arrest; GOP Presidential Hopeful, Vivek Ramaswamy, Says He's Qualified For First Republican Primary Debate; Ozempic And Wegovy Users Report Major Side Effects, Including Stomach Paralysis. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 25, 2023 - 20:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Now the DA also said today that no remains were uncovered in the yard, which investigators did spend days digging up using ground penetrating radar, a police dog, and a backhoe to try to do an exhaustive search.

Now investigators face the gargantuan task of parsing their findings for more clues.

Thanks so much for joining us, AC 360 starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on 360: The surprising journey of former US Marine, Trevor Reed from a Russian prison to a Ukrainian battlefield and injured in the war against his former captors.

Later, Congressman Jim Clyburn joins us to discuss new Florida teaching standards that suggests there was a "personal benefit" to slavery.

Also tonight, Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the new research showing the potential side effects of wildly popular new weight loss drugs like Ozempic.

Good evening.

It has been more than a year since we last mentioned the name Trevor Reed on this broadcast. Reed was the former US Marine detained by Russia for more than two-and-a-half years until a prisoner swap was arranged by US authorities in April of last year.

His parents had worked hard to keep his plight in the public's mind and obviously, were thrilled he was finally released.

Well, today we learned that Trevor Reed at some point decided to go to Ukraine and fight against Russian troops. We don't know his motivation. Was he inspired by Ukrainians resistance to an invading army? Or did he see this as a way to strike a blow against the Russian leadership which held him unjustly in prison? Details are scant at this moment. We do know he was injured during the

fighting and has been flown to a US military hospital in Germany.

The extent of his injuries is not known. At the time of his release, Reed was said to be in poor health. His father had said he had suffered a broken rib during his captivity, also that he was coughing up blood, possibly the results of a tuberculosis infection.

Reed had also engaged in two hunger strikes to protest his treatment.

Our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto joins us now.

Do we have any more details on how or why Reed ended up in Ukraine roughly 15 months after being released from Russia?

JIM SCIUTTO CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: My understanding of this is that this was his personal choice, driven in part by him wanting to do his part to help defend Ukraine against the Russian invasion.

He is not alone in that. There are a number of former American servicemembers who have done that and former service members from other Western armies who have gone to join Ukrainians in the fight.

But I will tell you this, Anderson, that the Biden administration is deeply concerned for two reasons here. One, it does not want to give any impression that the US is sending or encouraging Americans, particularly former military -- members of the US military to go fight there, but two, also they're concerned about ongoing negotiations for Americans still held wrongfully by Russia, including Evan Gershkovich, but also, of course, Paul Whelan.

COOPER: And he is being treated at a military hospital in Germany. He wasn't in Ukraine in any official US military capacity. Why would that be the case?

SCIUTTO: Well, it appears that the US wants to do its part to help an American regardless of his decision. He was wounded, in combat there and they want to provide him the medical treatment, the best medical treatment possible, as I understand it, it's not a life-threatening wound, however, that (Whelan) wanted to get the best treatment due to the location of the wound. That better to get it from US doctors, of course, highly skilled at this than the treatment that was available in Ukraine and that was a request that the US accepted.

COOPER: You said Whelan, you meant Reed.

SCIUTTO: Reed, sorry.

COOPER: Yes. No problem. You were talking about Paul Whelan, and he's one of those Americans still being detained. You also meant mentioned, Evan Gershkovich of "The Wall Street Journal." Could this have an impact on negotiations -- (AUDIO GAP).

SCIUTTO: We don't know, because, of course, the Russians are mercurial. These negotiations are always difficult. Russia has always been guilty of changing its demands, raising its demands in the midst of negotiations.

But I will tell you this, Anderson, there is deep concern within the administration about the potential effect of this, because those negotiations are so difficult. As I said earlier, it is partly about not wanting to escalate the war in Ukraine. They don't want Russia to believe that the US is deliberately sending former servicemembers there.

But also the idea of someone being released at great effort from Russian captivity, through negotiations, a prisoner swap then going back to fight, they are concerned that Russia would use this as propaganda points, and I think you heard some of this in the statement from the administration today. Have a listen.


VERDANT PATEL, DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON, STATE DEPARTMENT: As it relates to the other American citizens who continue to be wrongfully detained in Russia, as I, as the secretary, as Matt, as Ambassador Carstens and others have said, we will continue to engage directly with the Russian Federation, calling for their release.


You have seen us do so in the case of Paul Whelan, Evan Gershkovich, and we will continue to remain deeply engaged on those issues.


SCIUTTO: That, of course, the diplomatic language of a public statement. I will tell you, Anderson that in private, administration officials are genuinely concerned.

COOPER: Jim Sciutto, I appreciate the update.

There is also new reporting tonight on what actually happened when Yevgeny Prigozhin launched that military assault inside Russia and started sending his troops toward Moscow, Still not clear exactly why he stopped that assault and what deal may have been made.

But tonight, we do have a clearer picture of what may have been going on in the Kremlin in the early hours of the incursion by Wagner forces.

It comes from "The Washington Post," their headline: Putin appeared paralyzed and unable to act in first hours of rebellion.

Shane Harris shares the byline of that story, he joins us now.

Shane, can you just walk us through your reporting of what happened in the Kremlin during the first hours the Prigozhin rebellion because it paints a very different picture of Vladimir Putin than people are used to seeing or believing?

SHANE HARRIS, INTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Yes, that's right, Anderson. I mean, really even to put it succinctly what happened was not what

officials were expecting to see, which is namely that Vladimir Putin was not apparently giving orders that were then traveling down the chain of the military command to local commanders and security officials who would have been trying to stop Prigozhin on this lightning strike that he was making up north to Moscow.

And as sources described it to us there was paralysis and indecision coming from Moscow and from the leadership.

CIA director, Bill Burns said last week that Russian leaders appear to be adrift as this incredible scene was playing out. So really kind of a picture not of a Russian leader in command, but one that was indecisive and potentially afraid to try to counter Prigozhin, this warlord who he has depended on so much in the war in Ukraine.

COOPER: Which is such a blow to kind of the mystique of Vladimir Putin, a mystique he himself has worked hard to try to create.

HARRIS: Yes, absolutely. And I think that's one reason why this was such a telling series of events. I mean, we all watched as Prigozhin really directly challenged and tried to undermine, I think Putin's rule and authority when he said his beef was with the military leadership and the defense establishment, but really, that's also a shot at the Russian president himself.

And now to see that essentially, there was silence and indecision, people down the chain waiting for Putin to tell us, you know, what do you want us to do after he had gone on national television and talked about trying to squelch this rebellion. It is very much at odds with that portrait that he portrays of someone who is in total command, who demands authority, who demands loyalty.

This seemed to be somebody who was, you know, on his backfoot, and really not clear on what exactly he wanted, and not even sure that he had a plan for how he wanted to counter this uprising.

COOPER: And all the more interesting because you report that he actually had some advanced warning. He had intelligence from Russian security services. Do you know how far in advance or what did he know?

HARRIS: Our sources tell us that about two days in advance, he was given a warning that something was afoot, Yevgeny Prigozhin may have been planning something and there were indications of that among Western intelligence, as well.

And there were fortifications made at key establishments in Moscow, including around the Kremlin, weapons were handed out. So at least in that initial phase, it does seem like this is someone who is getting ready for some kind of attack.

But then these orders on what to do after that never really come, and then of course, we all sort of watched as Prigozhin stopped and this deal gets hammered out with the president of Belarus.

So still things that we don't know about that, in particular, and why Prigozhin ultimately stopped. But Putin did have some warning that this person who he had come to depend on was potentially going to make a move, and as we saw, he did in the military headquarters in the south of Russia, and then turned his sights on Moscow.

COOPER: It was also interesting to see kind of the reaction, or I guess I should say, lack of reaction among local officials in some of the regions between Rostov-on-Don and Moscow.

HARRIS: Yes. I think this is where they would have been looking up the chain of command for the military headquarters in saying, essentially, what is it that you want, and with no word coming down, they were really kind of left to interpret this for themselves.

And, again, this is much more I think, in keeping with the image that we've seen, frankly, of the Russian military for more than a year now in Ukraine, where the lack of central communication, coordination that appears to be often a kind of lumbering apparatus where the left hand often doesn't know what the right is doing.

But this again, I think, does go squarely down to Putin as somebody who would have had to give orders in this kind of urgent situation for what he wanted done.

The people, the locals on the ground were just sort of left listening and waiting and trying to make it up for themselves.

COOPER: Shane Harris, it's really fascinating, your reporting. Thank you.

HARRIS: Thanks.

COOPER: Prior to the war, Russian operatives, including Prigogine were perhaps best known in this country for their alleged attempts to interfere in US elections and politics, tactics including using front groups who organized protests across the country like one in Houston in 2016, where a Russian troll group organized two opposing demonstrations to take place at the same time.


It now appears according to a new report, a company linked with Chinese media is doing the same.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan has that story.


(PEOPLE protesting.)

DONIE O' SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This protest in Washington, DC last summer looked like any other demonstration, but according to cyber experts at Google, all is not quite what it seems. They were reportedly hired by a PR group with links to Chinese state media.

JOHN HULTQUIST, MANDIANT CHIEF ANALYST, GOOGLE CLOUD: They're essentially a pro-PRC propaganda operation.

O'SULLIVAN (voice over): John Holmquist is chief analysts at Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm owned by Google. This week, they released a report alleging a PR firm that says its content partners include Chinese state media had hired unwitting Americans to organize protests in Washington, DC.

HULTQUIST: For a long time, they were essentially a troll factory, but they have really escalated their tactics. They were able to get a essentially roving protests to happen and ended up in front of the White House. This is a really aggressive tactic.

O'SULLIVAN: The aim of the firm according to Hultquist is to spread pro-China propaganda and stoke division in the US.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did a demonstration that dealt directly with Black Lives Matter and also pro-choice.

O'SULLIVAN: The American hired to stage a protest is Imani Wj Wright, a 24-year-old from Baltimore who told CNN he was hired through the popular freelancing website, Upwork.

IMANI WJ WRIGHT, AMERICAN HIRED TO STATE A PROTEST: It felt like no different than anything I was contracted for. You know, go to this event, get some info, take some photos, get some video, do some transcribing.

O'SULLIVAN: Wright says he was first asked to cover the International Freedom Summit as a journalist, and the protest requests came later. But he said he had no idea he was working for an entity pushing pro- China messaging.

WRIGHT: Nothing anti-American. I just want to keep stressing that. Nothing anti-America. But they said hey, what kind of demonstrations could you possibly put on? Would you be down to doing something like that? Or do you have any ideas? And I said, hey, two things that matter to me are Black Lives Matter and this abortion situation that just happened with the Supreme Court.

O'SULLIVAN: Wright is an entrepreneur, musician, and activist. He runs his own company and has even performed at the Kennedy Center.

Like many Americans working in the gig economy, he sells freelance services on platforms like Upwork, where transactions are sometimes anonymous.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): In this case, did you speak to anybody on the phone?

WRIGHT: I did not. But that's nothing out of the ordinary.

O'SULLIVAN (voice over): That ability for buyers to remain anonymous is a boom for people running covert influence operations.

HULTQUIST: I think in most cases, people just had no idea who they are working for. Covert influence has always been around. But there's really been an explosion of that capability over the last decade.

O'SULLIVAN: Three months after this protest, Wright says the same contact asked him to stage another one. This time against a US ban on goods produced in China's Xinjiang region, where China has been accused of human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims.

WRIGHT: When we were asked about that project. I personally, and a lot of people on my team felt that America was doing the right thing by stopping production in that region of the world. So what my counter was, I said, listen, unequivocally, we're not telling the story from one side. We're going to tell a neutral story about this.

And we got people to say, hey, listen, we're going to put on a reenactment of a demonstration for a B roll for a documentary,

O'SULLIVAN: Wright said he staged a fake protest to us as reenactment video for a documentary, but that documentary never came to fruition and the Chinese group posted these images to social media, making it look like a real protest.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Clearly, you're a smart guy. This whole thing about staging a protest for B roll for a documentary. Surely, something about this must not have smelled right to us.

WRIGHT: That was my idea.

O'SULLIVAN: But when they came to you and said, hey, do a demonstration that's about a policy and energy policy that relates to China and national security.

WRIGHT: No. In no way shape or form, that would sound odd to me.

O'SULLIVAN: Nothing went off in your mind to say alarm bells.

WRIGHT: No. And if it did, I wouldn't put my organization or myself in a situation that felt odd.

O'SULLIVAN: Does it matter to you if this is some kind of operation run that is tied to Beijing or not? If --

WRIGHT: Of course. If this is an organization that is anti-American, that is going to impede or disrupt or cause harm to the American people, then I 100 percent care, how can I not care?


COOPER: Donie O'Sullivan joins us now. So what is the Chinese government saying about all of this?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hey, Anderson. Yes, this appears to be a pretty sophisticated campaign. For its part, the Chinese government is denying it has anything to do with this. A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy here in DC told CNN yesterday, he was not aware of this company's report and said "I want to stress that China has always adhered to non-interference in other country's internal affairs." [20:15:15]

Upwork, the platform where Imani was hired by this group told CNN in a statement that this kind of behavior from this alleged Chinese group is a clear violation of its Terms of Service.

And Anderson, I just want to show you one more thing. This is a screenshot from a report on, AZ Central, that's the website of "The Arizona Republic."

This alleged Chinese group managed to get an article published on "The Arizona Republic's" website about the protest it had paid to stage in Washington, DC.

The group actually leveraged a kind of automated newswire service to get this onto a real American news website. The publication of course has since removed it and has informed the wire service of misinformation, but really a sign of some really sophisticated stuff and something to keep in mind as we go into the 2024 election campaign.

COOPER: Yes. We're going to see a lot more like this. Donie O'Sullivan, thanks so much.

Coming up next, Florida's stunning decision to teach middle schoolers and I quote, "slaves developed skills, which in some instances could be applied for their own personal benefit." We'll talk with Congressman James Clyburn, himself a former history teacher about that and more.

Also tonight, college basketball standout Bronny James, oldest son of NBA star, LeBron James hospitalized after suffering cardiac arrest on the court. What we know about his condition, ahead.



COOPER: At the White House today, President Biden signed a proclamation establishing a new national monument honoring Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. They'll be located in Mississippi where Till was murdered and at a church in Chicago where his funeral was held.

Today would have been to Emmett Till's 82nd birthday. Nearly 68 years ago in August 1955, while visiting family in Mississippi, he was accused of whistling at a White woman. He was then kidnapped, tortured, beaten and shot in the head.

His mutilated body was found days later in a river. Emmett Till was just 14 years old.

At his funeral, his mother kept his casket open saying: "Let the world see what they did to my boy." Photos of him in that casket helped spur the civil rights movement.

Months later, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus saying that it was Emmett Till's murder as the reason.

The men accused of Till's lynching were acquitted by an all-White male jury. Months later, they confessed to the murder in a magazine interview. But today, all of these years later, several states have recently taken steps to restrict or change how race or racism are taught in schools.

President Biden referenced that at today's ceremony.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At a time when there are those who seek to ban books, bury history, we're making it clear -- crystal, crystal clear -- while darkness and denialism can hide much, they erase nothing. They can hide, but they erase nothing.

We can't just choose to learn what we want to know. We have to learn what we should know. We should know about our country.

We should know everything: The good, the bad, the truth of who we are as a nation.


COOPER: But just last week, Florida announced new social studies guidelines for middle school students, students will be taught about various kinds of work that enslaved Black people were forced to perform. Some examples listed are agriculture, carpentry, and transportation.

And then it says this: "Instruction includes how slaves develop skills, which in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit."

A Florida's teachers union calls it a big step backward.

Just before airtime, I talked about it with Democratic Congressman James Clyburn, who was once a public school teacher in South Carolina.


COOPER: Congressman Clyburn, thanks for being here. As you know, Florida is requiring instruction for middle school students to include, "how slaves developed skills, which in some instances could be applied for their own personal benefit." Does that make any sense to you?

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Well, thank you very much for having me, Anderson.

First of all, absolutely none whatsoever. Unless you are looking for some way to whitewash history, I'm pretty interested in finding out what all is in that list of suggestions as to how they should teach history.

I'm wondering today, what we'll be talked about the Rosewood Massacre that had such an impact on Florida and I'm sure it would have an impact on anybody reading the history of Florida.

COOPER: The governor, I mean, Ron DeSantis, is now saying that he "wasn't involved in the new instruction requirement," but he did defend it. I want to play what he said.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), 2024 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think what they're doing is I think that they're probably going to show some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life.

But the reality is, all of that is rooted in whatever is factual.


COOPER: I mean, the idea of somebody learning some blacksmithing skills while they were enslaved, and that somehow is something they were able to parlay, it just seems a really inappropriate rewriting of history.

CLYBURN: It's a very inappropriate way to rewrite history. The leg irons, I suspect, were taken off of them, so they could turn it into gates.

I know a whole lot about blacksmithing and in Charleston, South Carolina, Philip Simmons, we celebrate him all the time. But that's not what this is. This is about whether or not people are being held against their will, irrespective of what their duties and responsibilities are to that system that they have brought into and did not ask to come into.

I've been saying for years that we should teach the full history of this country, the history of those who came here in search of freedom, as well as the history of those who came here, having lost their freedom. Those who came of their own free will, and those who came against their will. Those histories must be taught and taught truthfully, and I think that DeSantis is showing people every day why he is ill-prepared to be president of the United States


COOPER: I was just down in Mobile, Alabama in a community called Africatown which was founded by a group of enslaved Africans who were brought here on the ship, the slave ship, Clotilda. It was the last slave ship to be brought to the US in 1860, and one of the things that is clear is that many of those enslaved Africans on the Clotilda, for instance, have skills when they came here. They knew how to do plenty of stuff.

It wasn't as if the people who enslaved them were teaching them anything. They were enslaving them, they were preventing them from using their talents for their own benefit.

CLYBURN: Absolutely. In fact, we just recently opened the International African American Museum down in Charleston and the biggest exhibit, one of the biggest exhibits in there is called Carolina Gold, it is a room dedicated to what made the Charleston economy the biggest economy in this country, and it was rice.

And the people who knew how to do rice, how to harvest rice, how to build the rice paddies, that skill came to this country, in the heads of those enslaved people. They brought it from Africa with them.

COOPER: You attended President Biden's proclamation signing ceremony today establishing the Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument. And I know, you tweeted,. you said: "Just as Mamie Till- Mobley refused to let the world shy away from the truth of what happened to her son, we must fight efforts to erase this country's history."

What happened? I mean, you are a student of history. You and I have talked about history a lot throughout the years. What do you think happens if history is erased or glossed over in this way?

CLYBURN: Well, we will so weaken this country until we lose respect around the world, it will be the end of not just this democracy, but it will be the end of this country as we know it.

And I think it's high time for people of goodwill to begin to speak up about this. You remember, Martin Luther King, Jr. in this letter from the Birmingham Jail told us that he was coming to the conclusion that the people of ill will, in our society, we're making a much better use of time than the people of goodwill.

And the people of goodwill must begin to you make better use of their times to fight off these foolish things coming from people who are looking to make political hay out of the misfortunes, families that are still suffering from that today.

COOPER: Congressman Clyburn, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

CLYBURN: Thank you.


COOPER: Just ahead, the latest on LeBron James's son, Bronny James, a day after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a basketball practice. We'll have medical analysis, plus conversation with legendary coach, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse University who helped coach two of the Olympics teams that LeBron played on.



COOPER: Bronny James, the oldest son of NBA superstar, LeBron James, is out of the intensive care unit and in stable condition. That's according to a statement from his family. Bronny suffered a cardiac arrest while participating in a practice in the University of Southern California where he's an incoming freshman.

His father, the NBA's most famous player and one of the greatest of all time, has been quoted as saying that he plans to stay in the NBA so that he can play one year on the same team with his son.

I'm joined now by CNN medical analyst, Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He's also director of the cardiac catheterization lab at George Washington University Hospital. Dr. Reiner, good to have you on.

How common is cardiac arrest and young athlete?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: It's very rare, actually. All -- you know, all told in the United States every year there probably only between 2,000 and 5,000 cardiac arrests of people under the age of 25. And -- but we see this in competitive athletes. There are about 100 or 150 competitive -- young competitive athletes who will die during competition every year.

And while that number seems, you know, relatively low, that's an athlete dying every, you know, two to three days. So we see this. And even though it's rare, these are young people. So every one of these events is really a catastrophe.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, that seems -- actually that number seems really high to me. Just so people know, what is the difference between cardiac arrest and a heart attack?

REINER: Right. So a heart attack is basically an injury to heart muscle that's typically caused by a clot that blocks the flow of blood in an artery that supplies blood to the heart muscle. A cardiac arrest is basically the sudden cessation of cardiac heart movement.

Now, a heart attack, you know, caused by a blood clot can cause a cardiac arrest. But not every cardiac arrest is caused by a heart attack. And a heart attack, in an otherwise vigorously healthy 18- year-old athlete like Bronny James, would be extraordinarily unlikely.

And typically, the causes of a cardiac arrest in an athlete have much more of a genetic and primary sort of a rhythmic cause.

COOPER: We saw what happened to Damar Hamlin, the football player after being -- after a collision that resulted in a -- in a cardiac arrest. So assuming we don't know if there's -- there was a collision or not involving something that actually his heart was actually physically hit, you said it could be a genetic thing. What in the -- what in the genetics and is that something that can be screened for?

REINER: Right. So the Damar Hamlin episode was basically a one-off event, you know, a one in 10 million kind of thing that happened to him when he got hit in just the right place, just the wrong time.

When an athlete like Bronny James has what -- at least what little we know about a cardiac arrest during practice, that is more commonly a -- an outcome of a genetic predisposition to something like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is the thickening of the heart muscle that can predispose a heart to beat a radically and chaotically and essentially cease contracting during vigorous exercise, or some athletes have a primary sort of cellular predisposition for arrhythmias. COOPER: Is there a chance he could play again? Or ever a chance he wouldn't play again? I mean, it's something that has long-term effects?


REINER: Most of the -- many of the conditions that would predispose an event like Bronny James are lifelong events. The risk doesn't go away. Many people who survive a cardiac arrest and, you know, I want to say that if you had a full-on cardiac arrest yesterday, enormous credit has to be given to the staff at USC for promptly reacting, probably doing CPR and defibrillating him, but his risk will continue.

And many people with -- who survived a cardiac arrest, I would say probably the vast majority of people, will require something like an implantable defibrillator that is probably not professional sports and particularly the NBA with its extremely high, you know, activity is not the kind of sport that someone would with a defibrillator would likely play.

COOPER: We certainly wish him and his family the best and a speedy recovery. Dr. Jonathan Reiner, appreciate it. Thank you.

I want to get some perspective now on the game and the physical toll that Dr. Reiner's point it can take on young men from the legendary basketball coach himself, he's Jim Boeheim, who won a national championship at Syracuse University. He's member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was an assistant coach on the 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams that included LeBron James. He also understands the family aspect of basketball, having coached two of his own sons at Syracuse.

Coach Boeheim, I appreciate you being on. I'm sorry under these circumstances. In your time coaching young men, young people in this sport, is this something you've seen before? Is it something you, as a coach, were concerned about?

JIM BOEHEIM, FORMER HEAD BASKETBALL COACH, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY: Well, I think it goes back to Hank Gathers really at Loyola Marymount, when they didn't have the defibrillator there.

COOPER: It was 1990.

BOEHEIM: And he didn't -- yes. And he didn't make it. Today, we're much better prepared. We all have trainers and defibrillators. So I'm sure the USC people did a great job.

My heart's kind of broken right now after listening to the doctor. Because, you know, we're all thinking -- coaches, we think positively. We think that this is going to work out. And Bronny is going to be back.

The thing with Bronny that I always was impressed with, he never took anything for granted. He never used his name. He was -- I thought a very good player a couple of years ago, but he has made himself into a really, really good basketball player. And when LeBron first started talking about playing together, I said, well, LeBron, is going to be 41 and LeBron -- and Bronny is going to be a freshman or sophomore. I thought, well, this isn't going to happen. But when you watch LeBron James, he is going to do a Tom Brady, if he wants to. He's going to play until he's 43 or 44, if he wants to. And his son would be able to play with him.

I think the one thing that always impressed me with LeBron and his wife, Savannah, they just were around us in the Olympics two times, and they just are great parents. You know, they have their kids' best interests at heart. And they're always trying to do things to help their kids. That's what you saw.

And, you know, when you have two sons like I did that play for you, you know, you just want them to be healthy.


BOEHEIM: That's what you worry about. And I think the basketball community right now is scared to death, particularly after listening to Dr. Reiner because Bronny has worked so hard. He has never been given anything. He has really developed himself into a tremendous basketball player. And a guy that has a chance. You know, it's hard to play in the NBA. It's really hard.

COOPER: Well, we should also --

BOEHEIM: I've never seen LeBron -- I saw LeBron when he was 17. There wasn't any doubt, he was going to play in the NBA. He was --

COOPER: Uh-huh.

BOEHEIM: -- six-nine, 250 pounds. But Bronny has made himself into a player that has a chance.


BOEHEIM: And his parents have been unbelievable in his development and working with him.

COOPER: Well, I also want to point out, we don't know the details of what happened. We don't know how severe it was. So, you know, I know Dr. Reiner expressed, you know, positive possibilities. So I just want to, you know -- let's wait till we actually find out more information. We certainly are hoping for the best for his entire family, obviously and for him.

Jim Boeheim, I so appreciate you being on. Thank you so much.

BOEHEIM: Thank you. Appreciate it.

COOPER: Coming up next, back to politics, to look at what happened when Republican presidential hopefuls Vivek Ramaswamy were looking for support in a place full of Trump voters, ahead.


COOPER: We're less than a month away from the first Republican presidential primary debate of the 2024 campaign. As we've been reporting, former President Trump is ahead in the polls and Republican newcomer, Vivek Ramaswamy, is in single digits.

Over the weekend though, he announced he met the donor and polling thresholds to qualify for the debate. Recently, Ramaswamy found some strong backing in a room full of Trump supporters. CNN's Elle Reeve reports.


ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Vivek Ramaswamy is a 37- year-old, extremely wealthy pharmaceutical entrepreneur, running for president as a Republican. He captured conservatives' attention after writing a book on wokeness and tweeting a lot.

In polls, he's competitive with seasoned politicians.


REEVE: We asked people what they liked about him at a Turning Point Action Conference where he was speaking. The event was attended by some 6,000 conservatives, most of whom cheered wildly for the headliner, Donald Trump.

Tell me what you think about Vivek Ramaswamy.

KAREN COLBY, CONFERENCE ATTENDEE: I'm excited by Vivek because I see a newness in him. I like his goals. I like his values. I like what he says.

MICHAEL FRANCHEK, CONFERENCE ATTENDEE: I first really came to know Vivek from the speech he gave at the NRA convention. Trump had spoken at that same conference, and he was, yes, how to put, it was very Trumpy.

Vivek came in and had a real direct appeal. It was not about him. It was about the audience.

RAMASWAMY: I came here to tell you why I became a gun owner.

REEVE: He's getting praised among supporters of Donald Trump who is promised a pardon if elected. And he says he'll further Trump's America first agenda.


So they've got a wall here where people can put post-it notes about what they think about each candidate, some say nice things, some say bad things. We can't even tell this is Trump's head anymore. Daddy, handsome. Save us. You're our last hope.

So here we have Mike Pence, generally negative tone. We've got a traitor, you lost, loser. So Vivek, we've got a whole variety. We've got, Vivek have my children. Vivek is brilliant, future president. I like you but you'll never win, possibly VP.

Tell me what you read on the post-it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the Vivek post-it?

REEVE: Mm-hmm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wrote, great guy, great VP.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not sure that he's seasoned enough yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Trump is going to win, but I'm voting for Vivek Ramaswamy.

REEVE: And what is your path to the nomination aside from Trump, for whatever reason, dropping out of the race?

RAMASWAMY: The path is very similar to the trajectory that he took as an outsider the last time coming in. I'm pulling ahead of where he was in June of 2015. The debates haven't even started. I think the debate stage is going to be critical.

JASON BREWSTER, CONFERENCE ATTENDEE: I think that both him and Trump have a fighting chance.

REEVE: Do you think he'd do well on a debate?

Brewster: I think he'd sweep the floor with Ron DeSantis. That's for sure.

Reeve: DeSantis has fallen out of favor with some in this crowd, but that didn't kill their appetite for a campaign against wokeness.

RAMASWAMY: Woke capitalism is bad for capitalism, but it's also bad for American democracy.

REEVE: A big part of Ramaswamy's message has been against woke corporations that he says are promoting messages of diversity that hurt their own profits.

REEVE: So what do you think about Ramaswamy's campaigned against woke capitalism?

DOLAN BAIR, CONFERENCE ATTENDEE: I think a lot of these big companies like Disney, they do push more liberal agendas. I'm not thinking like Apple or like Google. Even though they are private companies, they are so large that you can't just avoid them. They also give all these -- they give Pride Month, you know.

REEVE: So, what do you think of the argument that gay people were historically marginalized, oppressed can even have their own bars, they got raided all the time. And so Pride Month now exists to not to give them a leg up, but to say, yes, you are equal members of society.

BAIR: I think that's a fair point that, you know, they were treated unfairly throughout history. But at what point does Pride Month go away? When does Pride Month become two months? When does it become pride year?

REEVE: Ramaswamy is known for giving a lot of interviews.

RAMASWAMY: Let's talk about woke capitalism.

This new sort of we'll call it the woke left.

They blow that's what I call woke smoke.

REEVE: When you talk about anti-wokeism, like, my objection to it is not that --

RAMASWAMY: I'm going to stop you right there.


RAMASWAMY: Because you -- I feel like you keep putting words in my mouth.

REEVE: OK. When you --

RAMASWAMY: I never talked about anti-wokeism.

REEVE: Sorry, sorry, sorry.

RAMASWAMY: I talk about national identity.

REEVE: When you talk about wokeism as a negative thing, my objection to --

RAMASWAMY: That's a symptom of a deeper cancer.

REEVE: OK. Well, a symptom of cancer is not a positive thing.

RAMASWAMY: No, but isn't about how I would talk about. It's a symptom.

REEVE: My objection is not that there's not annoying people on Twitter, like, of course, there are.

RAMASWAMY: Yes, let's put that to one side.

REEVE: But there are problems of racism in this country. And I have concerns that what you're telling the audience is like, actually, no, there isn't. There's no more problems. There's nothing that needs to be addressed. There are no more disparities. You don't have to worry about that anymore. And you can even be angry that someone asked you to worry about that.

RAMASWAMY: I think the right way to deal with what I view as the last final burning embers of racism is to let the quietly burnout rather than trying to put that fire out by accidentally thrown kerosene on it.

REEVE: But those embers don't always go out quietly, which was evident even at this conference.

We have a little bit of the dark side here. We have a Star of David crossed out that says, soon. Now, that's a 4chan joke, saying there'll be another holocaust. We also have 1488. That is also a Nazi joke. So we've got two Nazi jokes here. Everything else so pretty positive.

When CNN pointed out these notes, a Turning Point spokesman took them down.

You're not responsible for the people who put that up, but it was just a very stark reminder that that kind of bigotry still exists. And it isn't a lot of places that you wouldn't expect.

RAMASWAMY: I can't speak to that particular instance. I'll tell you my experience in this country. Have I experienced racism? Yes, I have. But I reject the myth that hardship is the same thing as victimhood.

That is why we led affirmative action in every sphere of American life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Running against Donald Trump is a death of shot for any political campaign. However, Vivek is someone who was getting name recognition by running.

BAIR: I don't know that he should be the next president, but I think he does have a place in politics.

REEVE: Like what would that place be them?

BAIR: I think particularly like an adviser to Trump, I think he's got some good America first ideas.

Elle Reeve, CNN, West Palm Beach.


COOPER: Well, coming up, doctors are warning about possible new side effects from popular weight loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy. We'll tell you what they're concerned about, next.



COOPER: You've obviously heard about the new diabetes and weight loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy. They've recently skyrocket in popularity for their dramatic results. But now doctors are raising concerns over some potential new side effects.

The FDA says they've received reports of users experiencing stomach paralysis. And some users tell CNN they're still living with side effects almost a year after they stopped taking it. According to the latest data from the maker of Ozempic, doctors were writing around 60,000 new weekly prescriptions for the medication as of April. CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me now.

So, what more do we know about these new concerns?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That 60,000 new prescriptions. I mean, that is -- that is just a remarkable number, the popularity, unbelievable.

But, you know, one of the things about these drugs, the way they work is they're known as GLP drugs. Basically, they're trying to mimic something known as glucagon, and that stimulates the body to produce insulin. That's why it's a diabetes drug. That part we get.

But what it also does, as far as hunger and appetite, it slows down how quickly your stomach empties. That means you feel full longer and you don't want to eat as much. So you have two sort of effects there, one for diabetes, one for hunger.


The concern is that even after a while of taking this drug, it slows down your stomach emptying a lot. This is what a study showed. This new study that five weeks, some people are taking these drugs, and the time that the food actually takes to clear the stomach with the drug, about 70 minutes. And to give you context, with a placebo, and that same -- it took about four minutes.

So in part, that's how the medications are supposed to work. That's how it curbs appetite. But for some people, it's just taking too long. It's just taking too long for the food to actually get out of the stomach. The stomach is becoming increasingly paralyzed. And that's become a problem for folks.

COOPER: What happens when food is in the stomach for too long?

GUPTA: So, you know, if the food is not clear after a certain amount of time, that is known as gastroparesis or stomach paralysis. That's essentially what it is.

But what they found, and they looked at both these drugs, Ozempic and Wegovy, and they found that they had symptoms of nausea and vomiting. That's typically what people -- they don't feel well. With Ozempic, about 20 percent nausea, 9 percent vomiting. Wegovy, higher, 44 percent nausea, 24 percent vomiting.

Again, that is the specifics of the types of symptoms that people are complaining about. But it all relates to the same thing. It all relates to that decreased emptying of the stomach.

COOPER: And what's the FDA and drug companies saying?

GUPTA: So the FDA, at this point, is saying, yes, we know about this. There's been a lot of reports. What they're trying to weigh is the risk versus the reward. Does there -- is there still enough of a reward of this medication in terms of its effect on diabetes, in terms of its effect on weight loss to outweigh the risks? And that's something the FDA is talking about.

Now, one thing I will say is that diabetes itself can also cause gastroparesis or stomach paralysis. So how much of it is the drug? How much of it is diabetes? That's something else the FDA is going to look at.

At a practical level though, anesthesiologists have weighed in on this. You know, you're not supposed to eat before you have surgery, right? The reason you don't eat is because you don't want food in your stomach.

What the anesthesiologist, the American Society of Anesthesiology is saying, you should stop these medications at least a week before surgery, so that you're not accumulating food essentially in your stomach that you could potentially aspirate during an operation. So that's a practical note there.

COOPER: All right. Sanjay, appreciate it. Thank you.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COOPER: We'll be right back.


COOPER: That's it for us. The news continues. "THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS" starts now.