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At This Hour

Adidas Ends Massive Deal With Kanye West Over Antisemitic Comments; Surge In Respiratory Illness Overwhelms Pediatric Hospitals; JPMorgan CEO: Geopolitical Issues Are Bigger Worry Than Recession; Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired October 25, 2022 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: At this hour, Adidas has cut off Kanye West over his series of offensive and antisemitic remarks. This ends a massive deal with the artists estimated to be worth billions of dollars. It also ends what has become a loud public campaign for Adidas to take a stand. In a statement, Adidas said in part this. That it does not tolerate antisemitism and any sort of hate speech. And also, that Ye's recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous.

Joining me right now is Jonathan Greenblatt. He's the CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League. It's good to see you, Jonathan, thank you so much for jumping on. This is a move that you have been pushing for and largely spearheaded to be quite frank, what is your reaction this morning?

JONATHAN GREENBLATT, CEO & NATIONAL DIRECTOR, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Well, as they say, you know, Kate, better late than never. I think Adidas has made a very strong statement of putting people over profits. The truth is, is that they announced two weeks ago after Kanye West wore the white lives matter T-shirt, and to be clear, white lives matter is a white supremacist slogan, that the partnership was under review the Yeezy partnership, as you said, worth an estimated $2 billion a year in gross revenue.

And yet in the days that followed, he made a series of wild vicious antisemitic rants saying he would go death con three on Jewish people. And yet for some reason, while CAA and MRC and Balenciaga, and other brands Gap which had dumped him weeks before announced they were totally moving away, Adidas said nothing, which is why ADL launched our run away from hate campaign and we were able to get thousands of letters, we engaged with the leadership, we had talks with their institutional investors, and finally, they came to the right place this morning.

Now again, I wish it had happened sooner. But this does send a strong statement that there are consequences when you express antisemitism in any form of hate. It's just not aligned with our values as a society. And I'm glad Adidas made that call clear. BOLDUAN: Look. An antisemitism, of course, is not new. The recent rise in antisemitism is something that you and I have, unfortunately, had to talk too much about -- so much about.


BOLDUAN: There does seem something new here though, to me, which is hate speech combined with Kanye's massive platform which we were just laying out.


BOLDUAN: Does it make his words and rants even more dangerous?

GREENBLATT: No, you are so right, Kate. And again, we've talked on your show over the years about the problem with people with large platforms. Kanye has hundreds of millions of fans around the world. He had 31 million followers alone on Twitter. This is one of the most visible entertainers on the planet. And so for him to use that fame and notoriety to promote dangerous myths and make threats against Jewish people, look, the freedom of expression we enjoy in this country is not the freedom to incite violence.

But all it takes is one person to say you know what if there really are, "Jewish Zionists," as he said, out to get Kanye or a Jewish underground media mafia or any of the other kind of unhinged things, all it takes is one person, Kate, to say I'm going to go do something about that. That's why we were so worried. And as you kind of alluded to, this is happening against the backdrop of the highest number of antisemitic incidents. ADL has ever tracked in the United States.

Last year, we had 2717 acts of harassment, vandalism, and violence targeting Jewish people. And we saw what happened in just -- in Los Angeles just this weekend.


GREENBLATT: White supremacists with that sign over the overpass, anti- Jewish flyers left in people's driveways all over the city. I mean, that -- it was a dangerous thing for Kanye to do at a time when the danger facing Jewish people is all too real.


BOLDUAN: You know, Mega Agent Ari Emanuel. He wrote about Kanye last week in the Financial Times and I read it with quite a bit of interest because he was also calling for businesses to break from Kanye, but he also said this, Jonathan, he said we are all capable of learning and evolving, and if West would like to be educated about the history and consequences of antisemitism and the conspiracy theories he's parroting, if he wants to reach out to religious leaders, including rabbis, Muslim leaders, Christian leaders, I'd be happy to help. Getting it kind of the learn, evolve, and redeem, right?


BOLDUAN: What do you think of that?

GREENBLATT: So important. I mean, Jewish people just celebrated, you know, the Rosh Hashanah holiday and the Yom Kippur holiday.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

GREENBLATT: And Yom Kippur is as hot as all about redemption. We ask for forgiveness because we all sin, we all air, we all make mistakes. And you know, I think Ari Emanuel had it exactly right, Kate. And I don't believe in cancel culture, I believe in council culture. You need to embrace the sinner and help them understand why what they did offends, so they won't do it again and they're enlightened as a result.

That's how as a society we move forward, which is why what Kanye did was so problematic because when offered, for example, to visit the Holocaust Museum, or when individuals like me or Ari Emanuel or others said, hey, let's work together. He not only rejected them, he used those as opportunities to spout even more antisemitic toxins. So, look, whether it's happening, you know, on the public stage, on a college campus, you know, at the voting booth, antisemitism and hate should never be tolerated no matter what the source.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Jonathan, thank you for coming on.

GREENBLATT: Thank you so much for having me.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. Thank you.

So as RSV surges among children across the country, one father has this warning for other parents.


STEPHEN BALKA, FATHER OF CHILD WITH RSV: Don't wait. Do not wait. If you feel as if something is wrong with your child, you know your child better than anyone does. Get your child help immediately.


BOLDUAN: The chief pediatrician at America's largest children's hospital joins us next.



BOLDUAN: Cases of a dangerous respiratory infection are surging across America right now. The CDC reports at 15 percent of PCR tests in the last week were positive for RSV. This is overwhelming some hospitals with nearly three-quarters of pediatric hospital beds in the United States now in use.

Joining me right now with some important perspective is Dr. Jim Versalovic. He's the chief pediatrician at Texas Children's Hospital, the largest pediatric hospital in the country. Doctor, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. What are you seeing at your hospital right now?

DR. JIM VERSALOVIC, CHIEF PEDIATRICIAN, TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: Well, good morning, Kate. We are certainly very busy here at Texas Children's, the largest integrated pediatric healthcare system in the United States and in one of the four largest metropolitan areas in the country. We're very busy. We have a census now of more than 40 children in our hospital with RSV infection. We have seen a steady rise of RSV during September and October. And this is the second wave of RSV in 2022. It's totally out of season. It's not predicted -- has not been predictable. And that has been part of the challenge.

Chiefly, RSV affects infants and toddlers. We have seen more well, over 100 -- over 150 cases per week recently and a hospitalization rate for children, that is exceeding now 50 percent. And so that's notable. RSV is serious business, and we're here in the business of protecting children, their airways, and just giving them a chance to breathe easily. And that's the challenge now with RSV and with influenza A as well.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. It's the combination of it all that is -- it is why it is so -- it is so striking right now. What do you think parents and caregivers should know as we don't know when this is going to peak?

VERSALOVIC: Well, that's true. RSV has continued to climb. We are not sure if we're even close to the peak or at the peak right now here in the latter half of October. And influenza has -- the flu has been rising rapidly just over the past several weeks here in the month of October. So both viruses are spreading rapidly among children, of course, among adults as well, and in households.

I think the most important point is that parents need to be attuned to their children, families need to be watching each other and in the schools, of course, teachers and adults need to be mindful of this. If a child is -- has respiratory symptoms and may have a fever or may have other symptoms, of course, cough, difficulty breathing, breathing more rapidly, having difficulty getting enough energy, if these symptoms are progressive, it can be, of course, a troublesome sign.


And that can happen rapidly. And so importantly, these symptoms can be difficult to -- for -- to distinguish between different viruses. So, a key point is that parents need to consult a pediatrician as quickly as possible when they see anything that may be troubling in terms of their respiratory status and then getting the child tested. It's so important. We can easily distinguish these viruses via testing.

We've known about influenza for more than a century, we've known about RSV for more than 60 years, and now we're very familiar with COVID. So, the good news is that we know what we're dealing with. And we have the testing, the ability to diagnose rapidly, and then to provide proper care for these children to get excellent outcomes.

BOLDUAN: That's a great point -- that's a great point. You know, I spoke to -- I spoke to Dr. Paul Offit yesterday about this and he said that what we may be looking at, at least in part is an immunity gap from COVID measures that we had to take isolating children during the pandemic. What do you think the lesson is there?

VERSALOVIC: Well, it's a -- it's a very good point. The children born in 2019, and 2020, right, just before in the early phase of this current COVID pandemic would have been exposed very differently to viruses than children born previously, and that's an important point. We were thinking now that there may be altered development of the immune system early in life due to this pandemic, and the necessary changes in human behaviors and the necessary isolation of children early on.

Now, children are mingling, more closely together, more openly, we want children to grow and thrive and play, of course, but it's also important to note that viruses too have something to say about this. These are RNA viruses, all three, we think of the big three COVID, flu, and RSV currently, they mutate rapidly, they're evolving, they're changing. We've seen this with the variants of COVID. We're seeing this with flu A, B. We're now seeing this with RSV as well.

Last year we saw RSV B. This year, the children are seeing a different type of RSV, RSV A. We've seen two waves in 2022 versus a single wave in 2021. And we think it's both the human host and the virus behaviors have changed. As the children were more isolated, the viruses have been evolving differently, and of course, mingling in some cases causing co0infections that are new to us. And so it's created a challenge. We're hoping to get to an equilibrium. A new steady state at some point in the near future but right now, it's just impossible to predict.

BOLDUAN: Yes. That's why we need great doctors and pediatricians like you. Dr. Versalovic, thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate your time.

VERSALOVIC: Thank you very much.

BOLDUAN: JPMorgan's CEO says a recession is likely coming but that's not what is worrying him most about the economy right now. CNN's Richard Quest has this fascinating conversation with him. Richard joins us next.



BOLDUAN: The CEO of one of America's biggest banks issuing a new warning. It's not about the possibility of a recession. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says everything -- it's everything else that's worrying him most that's going on in the world that worries him even more than the possible recession.


JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JPMORGAN CHASE: I think the most important thing is the -- is the geopolitics was going in Russia, Ukraine, America, China, you know the relationships of the -- of the Western world. And that would have to be far more concerned than whether it's a mild or slightly severe recession.


BOLDUAN: Jamie Dimon laying all of that out in a conversation today with CNN's business editor at large, Richard Quest, who joins us now. Richard, what else did Jamie Dimon tell you?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR AT LARGE: He said he's not worried too much about the recession because it's things like Russia, Ukraine, that's worrying him. It's worry -- he's worried about the inability of -- in political circumstances to reach compromise, to come to decisions, to move things forward.

So,I think what we have from all the people who are on the panel is yes, there's going to be a recession and we know the reasons why and we know how difficult it might or might not be in different parts of the world. But the existential crisis of climate change, the possibility of you know nuclear exchange with Russia, Ukraine, the disagreement between the U.S. and China, which is sort of roiled supply chains, even the Saudi-U.S. tensions to some extent, those are the things which have serious long-term implications that they're worried about.

BOLDUAN: You also important conversation as part of that with the CEO of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon, what did he have to say about this about a possible recession, and what it really will mean for the economy?

QUEST: Yes. David Solomon was clear that he does not think there will be a recession. They all think it will be relatively mild, you know it won't be the 1980s all over again. But when you ask them what do you wish would happen? What's the one thing you wish? David Solomon talked about coming together, compromise, political discourse on both sides, bipartisanship, and I think that's a similarity from both of the two major banking CEOs from the U.S. They both said the same idea that they wish there could be more bipartisanship, more meeting in the middle.

BOLDUAN: Yes, really interesting conversations. It's great to see you, Rich, and great to have you -- to have you there. Thank you so much.

QUEST: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Before we go, I want to note the passing of two important figures from two very different fields, of course. Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. He died today at the age of 68. His family says that he died after suffering a sudden cardiac event. Carter served during the final two years of the Obama administration.


And in a very different field, the world is also remembering the beloved actor, comedian, and Instagram star, Leslie Jordan. He died Monday in a car crash in Los Angeles after apparently experiencing a medical emergency. He's perhaps best known for his Emmy-winning role on "WILL & GRACE." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEVERLY LESLIE, FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Karen Walker, I thought I smelled gin and regret.

KAREN WALKER, FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Do you have any, Leslie? You look more like a woman every time I see you.


BOLDUAN: Jordan also found new fame during the pandemic, of course, making all of us laugh with daily videos of pandemic life that both humored and made us feel connected again, even in isolation somehow. Leslie Jordan was just 67 years old.