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Deadly Suspected Fugal Infections In Texas Linked to Mexico Surgeries; Exercise Could Reduce Your Risk Of Death From Flu And Pneumonia; Abortion Pill Appeal To Be Heard By 3 GOP-Nominated Judges; U.N.: Earth Likely To Pass 1.5-Degree Warming Threshold Within 5 Years. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired May 17, 2023 - 15:30   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: An urgent health warning now. The CDC has issued a travel advisory after five people in Texas became ill with suspected fungal meningitis after traveling to the border town of Matamoros, Mexico. At least one person died from this. Four others are hospitalized.

And health officials are now trying to figure out if the cases are linked and if there are more infections. We have CNN Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, who is following this story. Elizabeth, why were these residents in Matamoros in for the first place?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, this has been happening more and more that folks who live in Texas or really anywhere. They find out that procedures in Mexico are much less expensive and they often have a shorter wait time.

So, as you mentioned, we have four people in the hospital, one person who has died. These people were in their 30s, 40s and 50s, and CDC is issuing a very brunt piece of advice. Cancel any appointments that you might have to get an epidural for an anesthetic in Mexico.

Now if anything sounds familiar, it's because 11 years ago something very similar happened. People in the United States getting care in the United States were getting fungal infection from epidurals. More than 60 people died -- Brianna.

KEILAR: What are the signs of fungal meningitis? Because they are looking to see if there are more people with this.

COHEN: Right. So, the CDC and other health officials are saying if you've been to Matamoros, if you've gotten this procedure. You should be on the lookdown for a headache, for fever, for nausea, for vomiting. If you're experiencing any of those and you had that procedure, you should definitely seek medical attention.

KEILAR: All right, that is very good to know. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you for that report -- Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: All right, so here's another reason to add fitness to your routine. [15:35:00]

New research shows that getting enough exercise could keep you from dying from the flu and pneumonia. CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard joins us now. So, Jacqueline, I mean, we know exercise is good for you, leads to lower health risks for a whole host of stuff, but why specifically flu and pneumonia?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Yes, Jim, I mean, we've known for some time that regular exercise is associated with better immune health, reduced inflammation. So, it kind of makes sense if you keep up with exercising regularly, that means you'll have a stronger immune system that can fight off flu infections easier.

And in this particular study researchers looked at data on more than 577,000 adults -- that's from 1998 through 2018. They found that compared with the adults who did not get the recommended amount of exercise each week, those who did have a 48 percent lower risk of dying from flu and pneumonia. And even the adults who got the recommended amount of aerobic exercise, but maybe didn't do as much strength training, they had a 36 percent lower risk of dying from flu and pneumonia.

So, this study shows that getting regular exercise does have those benefits. And what I mean by the recommended amount, it's recommended for adults to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week, as well as two days of strength training -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: So, Jacqueline, what qualifies as aerobic activity? and does standing in the studio falling under that category?

HOWARD: Sadly, it doesn't. But I'll tell you that aerobic exercise is the same as cardio, so moderate aerobic exercise includes brisk walking. So, when you walk from one studio to the other, Jim, that counts, as well, if you play doubles tennis or do water aerobics.

Now the vigorous exercise is running or jogging, playing basketball, playing singles tennis, swimming lapses. So those are differences. If you do tend to do more vigorous exercise, it's recommended to get at least 75 minutes of vigorous, at least 150 of moderate each week.

Jacqueline, thanks so much. Boris, you noticed they said playing basketball. So, the challenge you went to last hour, I accept.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: We've got to get a rim in here. We've got to get a rim in here. Find a space for it. But we will. Thanks Jim.

Happening now, an appeals court hearing about a widely used abortion pill and whether the FDA has the authority to approve it. It's a case that could end up before the Supreme Court. More on that, straight ahead.


SANCHEZ: It is a critical day in the battle over reproductive rights, with the fate of abortion access on the line in state legislatures and federal court. Right now, in South Carolina, a fierce debate over a six-week abortion ban. Democrats have turned it into an endurance test, attaching roughly a thousand amendments to the bill, a delay tactic to make this take as long as possible.

In North Carolina, Republicans voted to override the Democratic governor's veto of new abortion restrictions. So, beginning in July, most abortions after 12 weeks will be illegal in that state. And nationally, a ban on the widely used abortion pill mifepristone is again being weighed by the courts.

The medication has been on the market for more than two decades, and it's become the most common method of abortion in the United States. Three Republican-appointed federal judges are now hearing those arguments.

CNN's Jake Tapper is covering all of this on the next hour on "The Lead." He joins me now. Jake, abortion medication being tried in front of the most conservative court --


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE LEAD": In New Orleans, yes. And the -- it's a three-judge panel at the 5th Circuit Court. One of the judges, a Trump a appointee named James Ho, has in the past referred to abortion as a moral tragedy. So, it is -- I mean, who knows what's going to happen. But it does not seem likely that they are going to side on those who want mifepristone to be available nationally.

It's, look, I mean for those who support abortion rights and access to abortion, it's a very difficult time for them right now. Conservatives are passing abortion bans all over the country. You mentioned North Carolina and you mentioned South Carolina. There's also Nebraska.

They are attaching an abortion ban of sorts to a bill that has to do with banning transgender health care, puberty blockers and the like, to minors. And of course, and then you have the mifepristone issue. We're going to be talking about this with Congresswoman Nancy Mace. She is a Republican from South Carolina.

She calls herself pro-life, but she is also somebody who thinks that Republicans are going too far in these bans. So, we'll be talking to her about that.

SANCHEZ: And we saw Republicans face challenges in midterm elections, because Democrats ran on this issue successfully. And there is still concerns among many Republicans that for the future, this isn't a winning issue for them even though they are having success passing these laws.

TAPPER: Yes, I mean, we have seen -- there was an abortion issue that was rejected by Kansans last year. We saw that Wisconsin Supreme Court race that a lot of people -- a lot of political experts think abortion rights had to do with the more liberal candidate winning there.

And look, ultimately, a lot of these abortion bans are not popular.


Certainly not on a national level, but even state by state. So, I mean, Democrats are predicting this could help them in the elections. We will see. It certainly depends on the state and depends on the ban. Because there is more public support for some of these, you know, 12- week, or 15 week bans as opposed to a six-week ban -- like you're talking about in South Carolina or in Florida. That's before some women even know they are pregnant.

SANCHEZ: Yes, and still even know there is that sort of national popular consensus, not much support for Senator Lindsey Graham. Who is trying to pass this 15 week nationwide --

TAPPER: Including in his own state of South Carolina where there passing the six-week ban.

SANCHEZ: Right, an important conversation still to come on "THE LEAD" starting at 4:00. Jake Tapper, thanks so much.

TAPPER: Thank you so much.


SCIUTTO: Well, the U.N. is now warning not only are we going to cross a critical climate threshold, but we're going to do it much sooner than expected.

And it could soon be free to file your taxes. We're going to tell you what the IRS is working on.



KEILAR: An alarming U.N. climate report today warning the earth is likely to cross a key temperature red line much sooner than expected. It says that in the next five years there is a 66 percent chance our planet will experience a year that's 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than our pre-industrial period.

That is a temperature threshold that scientists are extremely concerned about. CNN's Bill Weir is joining us now to explain this. Bill, walk us through this. What do you make of this?

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, keep in mind, Brianna, that the last -- the big events we've seen from Europe to Africa to North America as well, all happened during a La Nina cooling year, a cooler than near Pacific.

El Nino is coming now coming, which is going to ramp up the heat as well. So, they're saying chances are 98 percent we're going to set a new record. Break the 2016 record for the highest record ever recorded. And then the five-year period going forward is 98 percent chance that will be the hottest five years ever. We just had the seven hottest years ever recorded as well. But it's important to remember that 1.5 number that we've trying to

avoid with the Paris Accord, that's the long-term trend. We could cross it. Maybe go to 1.8 in the next couple years and then come back. And it wouldn't mean that we've gone past the point of no return. It could take decades for the long-time trend line to get past that one point.

But if that does happen, what we're worried about is ice sheet collapse. And we're worried about methane being released from the permafrost up in the arctic. And coral loss -- a lot of coral around the world would be lost between 1.5 to 2.

And there is time to stop this warming, especially by going after methane -- the main ingredient for natural gas. That is a much more potent heat trapping pollution than carbon dioxide, much easier to capture and easier to control in the near-term.

KEILAR: I mean, these are very alarming things. We're also learning, Bill, that California, Arizona and Nevada appear to be close to a deal on how to share the water supply coming from the Colorado River. Can you tell us the latest on that?

WEIR: Yes, Brianna, there's been sort of a standoff between California and the other six Colorado basin states recently over voluntary cuts. It's no secret everybody has had to cut even after all the snowpack that we've had this winter here. There going to be -- need to be conservation.

It looks like now California, Arizona and Nevada may have reached a deal with the federal government to leave a lot of water, millions of acres feed into Lake Powell and Lake Mead in exchange for billions of dollars of federal money. Actually, around a billion dollars over four years.

But the upper basin states have to agree to this. They have to work out timing and compensation. But it is good news that there is dialogue that seems to be getting progress. And all that snow has given people some breathing room. It hasn't ended the drought but has certainly made it less bad in the near-term.

KEILAR: All right, Bill Weir, thank you very much. So important. We do appreciate it -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Always important to get those updates. Well, now to some of the headlines we are following this hour as well.

Expect record travel this Memorial Day weekend. AAA says more than 42 million Americans will be flying or driving during the holiday. That is close to 3 million more people traveling than the same time last year.

Also, the IRS will be testing for the first time a free online tax filing system next year. The pilot program comes after an agency report found that 72 percent of taxpayers would be interested in a free electronic service provided by the government. And dramatic new video out of northern Italy. Coast guard crews

helping rescue a pregnant woman from rising waters there. Check this out. Torrential rains have triggered dangerous flooding and landslides in the region. Officials say at least eight people are dead -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: Coming up, it's arguably the most iconic tag line in movie history and it turns out it almost didn't happen. We're going to tell you what it is right after this. We'll be back.






SCIUTTO: You could say it's a movie line that made Schwarzenegger's career, but that line almost didn't happen. In a new interview with the "Hollywood Reporter," the action star details the conversations he had on the set in 1984 of the "Terminator" with director James Cameron.

Schwarzenegger says, quote, he was not comfortable with saying "I'll." I said I think it's stronger to say, I will be back. So, James Cameron says, "Arnold, you think it sounds weird. It doesn't. What makes it great is that you sound different than me or Charlie over there. That's what makes it work.

I mean, "I'll be back." It's classic. By the way, it happens to be Brianna's tagline as well.


KEILAR: I do like it. But the way they got around it was James Cameron had him do different ways. Which was just the way of just picking the way he what he wanted in the end. Right?

SANCHEZ: As someone who's not a native English Speaker, I'm going to be honest, sometimes I get insecure saying certain words. I said "chef" wrong on TV for the first like five years of my career. I thought it was "cheff." Because that's what everybody in my household said it that way. I can relate to Arnold on that.


So, I'll be back -- I mean, I will be back. It doesn't work. I mean, it's sort of like I will return, you know. It's got to be tough. It's got to be short.

KEILAR: I don't know. It kind of works, but it's not my favorite one. My favorite is "it's not a tuma, it's not."

SANCHEZ: It's a great one.

SCIUTTO: I mean, there is also "come with me if you want to live." You know.

SANCHEZ: Who is your daddy and what does he do? That's the eternal question.

KEILAR: I love that one.

SCIUTTO: He says he doesn't know English perfectly --

SANCHEZ: We're working on it. We're working on it.

SCIUTTO: Ladies and gentlemen, the great Boris Sanchez. We'll toss it now to the great Jake Tapper. Thanks for joining.