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U.S. Investigates Doping Allegations Involving Chinese Swimmers; New Hope for Alzheimer's; Labour Party Wins Control in U.K.; Julie Su is Interviewed about the June Jobs Report. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired July 05, 2024 - 09:30   ET



ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Agency said, you know, oh, OK, you know, sounds good, go ahead and compete.

Well, that didn't sit well, you know, with many, including legendary swimmer Michael Phelps. As you mentioned, he recently testified at that congressional hearing saying that athletes and WADA need to be held more accountable. So, now the top administrator of World Aquatics, he has been subpoenaed to answer questions about how all that went down with those Chinese swimmers.

This comes after a House committee on China on May 21st asked the Justice Department and the FBI to investigate the case under a federal law that allows probes into suspected doping conspiracies, even if they occur outside of the U.S.

Now, 11 of those Chinese swimmers are set to compete in Paris in three weeks. They won three gold medals in Tokyo. So, the spotlight will certainly be on them whenever they step into the pool.

But, Fredricka, you know, none of this is going to be settled before the Paris games. You know, the hope is that through investigations that the competitions can be cleaned up as the U.S. is set to host the summer games come 2028.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, one more thing to look for her during the Paris Olympic games.

Andy Scholes, thank you so much.


ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, this week the FDA approved a new medication that may help some of the nearly 1 million Americans affected by early stage Alzheimer's. For decades doctors and researchers have been trying to come up with ways to treat the condition.

CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has spent the last five years investigating the breakthroughs and putting them all together in a documentary, "The Last Alzheimer's Patient," which airs this Sunday.

Here's a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was probably only maybe three or four months into the study that I realized Mike wasn't asking repetitive questions the way he had been. And those stopped. And those have kind of stayed away.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You were a meat and potatoes kind of guy.


GUPTA: They're asking you to do a vegan diet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I'm from Kansas City. There's meat there.

GUPTA: How hard was that for you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was pretty difficult to start with. Then I just had to turn around and say, this is the best I can do to stay alive. And I want to live with my wife as long as I can.


HILL: And Sanjay joins me now.

Sanjay, one of a number of incredible stories.

So, talk to me more about this study and what was learned from it.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, for a lot of people, Erica, who receive the diagnosis of Alzheimer's, and Mike received that early onset Alzheimer's diagnosis in his mid-60s, they're often told that, look, there's nothing you can really do about this. People are told to often plan their affairs and things like that.

I think what this study showed us was that in a percentage of people, not everybody, but in a percentage of people like Mike, you can slow down, stall and maybe even reverse the diagnosis of Alzheimer's and that cognitive impairment that comes along with it. So, it's pretty incredible.

HILL: Yes.

GUPTA: And that was through lifestyle changes alone. Forty percent of cases of Alzheimer's dementia are probably preventable according to these larger studies now. And that's not something we could have said even just a few years ago. So basically, again, lifestyle changes are pretty intensive if - depending on your perspective, as Mike was sort of alluding to, but it does involve things like a vegan diet, 30 minutes of daily exercise, three times a week of strength training, an hour a day of stress relief, hourly online support sessions, things like that, which, you know, are demanding time-wise, but also very doable. I think what the study showed us is that, again, in some people you could reverse these symptoms and it can happen quickly. It was really within 20 weeks that you saw a big change in Mike.

HILL: Wow.

GUPTA: And he noticed it. His wife noticed it. He's a changed man.

HILL: It is amazing to me too, Sanjay, as you point out, that this is just with lifestyle changes. I mean that's really remarkable and that it does happen so quickly.


HILL: I also want to ask you about the FDA just this week approving a new drug for early Alzheimer's. How promising are drugs like that?

GUPTA: Well, they're promising in the sense that for a long time there were really no new medications. Then, over the last couple of years, you've seen these new FDA approvals on a few. But let me give you a little bit of context in terms of what we're talking about here.

These - these drugs, by the way, if they end with the word "mab," that's monoclonal antibody. These are medications that require infusions. And Donanemab, which is the medication you're talking about, that had a slowing of cognitive decline by about 29 percent when it came to patients in the trial. So, it's not a home run. But again, for many of these patients, they've been told there's really nothing you can do.


So, 29 percent could be significant.

Now, there were side effects with these medications. And that's always the balance. But there's something that is known as amyloid-related imaging abnormalities, ARIA, these small bleeds that typically happen in the brain. And they saw that happening definitively more in the patients who received this medication versus the placebo.

So, I'm giving you a sense, Erica, of the sort of decision matrix that the physicians and the patients, more importantly, have to sort of go through.

And also, these are just wildly expensive drugs.

HILL: Yes.

GUPTA: I mean it's kind of mind numbing to think about if many of these patients end up on these medications how much that will cost. About $26,500 for another approved medication, Leqembi, and $32,000 for Donanemab or Kisunla, as it - as it is called.

So, you know, it's - it's - it's hopeful that you're seeing these new medications. But, frankly, again, when you look at the lifestyle changes, they're not going to work for everybody. But when it works for somebody like a Mike Carver (ph) -

HILL: Yes.

GUPTA: As you just saw in that clip, I think that also provides a significant amount of hope for people.

HILL: Yes, it does. And while it may seem like a lot, as you put that list up there, I think most people would look at it and say, this is fairly manageable, and to your point, worth a shot.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, always great to see you, my friend. Thank you.

Be sure to tune in to see Sanjay's special, "The Last Alzheimer's Patient," this Sunday, 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific right here on CNN.


WHITFIELD: All right, and just in this morning, Erica, the unemployment rate ticks up to 4.1 percent in new data out this morning. Why economists say the labor market is still strong.



WHITFIELD: All right, the U.K. has a new prime minister after the Labour Party swept the majority in the election. Former conservative leader Rishi Sunak stepped down and Labour's Keir Starmer became Britain's newest prime minister.

CNN's Nic Robertson is live outside 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's residence.

So, Nic, we heard Starmer speak just a short time ago. What was his message as the new prime minister?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: He's promised a lot while he's been campaigning and is still talking about that, about improving the economy, about working on the health care system to make it better for people improving crime and justice, trying to build more jobs in the green energy sector.

But I think what we heard from him today was really laying the framework of the party that he wants to bring to power. One that will engage with the public and win back the confidence of the - in the - of the public. Remembering that the turnout in this election, 59.9 percent, in the last century there's only ever been one turnout that's been slightly lower than that. So, actually, a low turnout. Not a lot of enthusiasm necessarily for his party. The conservatives clearly lost massively. He did get a huge majority that will certainly help him deliver on all the - all the campaign issues, or get him started on them at least.

He did, in a way, set expectations by telling people not to expect it all at once. So, this building back will take time. But he made it very, very clear that this, his government, will be a government for everyone in this country.


KEIR STARMER, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Whether you voted Labour or not, in fact especially if you did not, I say to you directly, my government will serve you. Politics can be a force for good. We will show that. We've changed the Labour Party, returned it to service, and that is how we will govern.


ROBERTSON: So, building faith of the public in politics. That's really what he feels has been missing in the country. But, of course, the nuts and bolts of doing that begin now. He has to appoint cabinet members. He's got a very strong shadow cabinet. It's expected that a lot of them will fill the primary roles here.

The chancellor of the exchequer will move into number 11, finance minister, if you will. Rachel Reeve (ph) has been the shadow chancellor of the exchequer. And if she gets appointed, as is expected, she'll be the first person in the - first female in the U.K. to take that job. She had her training and roots at the Bank of England. And in the - in terms of the business sector here, is widely respected as somebody very competent in that role. And that's exactly what Starmer wants to deliver, competency across all departments.

WHITFIELD: And more history being made.

Nic Robertson, thank you so much, in London.

All right, and this, out of control. Fireworks shooting right into crowds at a football stadium and injuring several people.

And a shootout in Yellowstone National Park. What happened as one ranger was injured and the suspect, killed.



HILL: New this morning, fresh data shows U.S. job growth cool last month, but the labor market is still strong, adding 206,000 jobs in June. That's a little bit better than what was expected. Unemployment, though, also ticking up just a bit to 4.1 percent. That is the highest since November of 2021. Economists, the Federal Reserve, the White House certainly watching the jobs market very closely.

Joining me now, Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su.

Madam Secretary, good to have you with us this morning.

So, as I noted, a little bit better than expectation in terms of jobs, 206,000 added. Unemployment, though, ticking up a little bit as well.


How are you feeling about the report?

JULIE SU, ACTING LABOR SECRETARY: That's right. We feel great about it. You know, this is another solid jobs report showing that jobs continue to grow under President Biden's leadership. This is now nearly 16 million jobs created since the president came into office.

As you noted, the unemployment rate remains at a historic low. So, prior to last month, it was at or below 4 percent for the longest stretch since Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon. It's ticked up slightly now, but it remains historically low. And labor force participation rate, especially for prime age workers, has ticked up a bit and real wages for workers continues to exceed the rate of inflation. And that is fundamental to the president's vision that when we invest in America's workers, America is stronger.

HILL: In terms of Americas workers, in terms Americans full stop, the issue, as I'm sure you know, is that Americans are not feeling this necessarily despite the rosy picture that you're painting. Why is that?

SU: I think that even some of those workers sentiment surveys are changing. But one of the things that we have to make sure that we do, and that we are doing in this administration, is to drown out the noise and focus on the work. We have a strategy. The president has been clear about that from day one. Invest in America, fix roads and bridges, make sure that every family who turns on the faucet gets clean drinking water, make sure every community has access to high- speed, reliable internet. All of those require work. They're also reversing decades of disinvestment and underinvestment in America's communities and in America's workers.

The changes will not be done overnight, but we are making significant progress. We are on the right track and we need to continue doing the work.

And when I travel the country, I've got a good job summer tour going across all communities to talk about the importance of a good jobs. I see that working people and working families are feeling that bit of breathing room. They're seeing an opportunity in their community they didn't have before. Those are all fundamental to what we are trying to do to make life better for America's workers.

HILL: As we know, there's so much talk about housing and the housing issue and the expense, the cost of housing, whether it's rental or buying. And that tends to bring a focus on the Fed and what may or may not happen at the September meeting. The Fed wasn't expecting unemployment, as I understand it, to go above 4 percent until next year. So that coupled with this report, which was a little strong in terms of jobs added, but still shows a little bit of cooling, do you think that these combined could be leading us perhaps to a rate cut?

SU: I mean, we don't speak about Fed policy, but, remember, most people said that the unemployment rate would not get below 4 percent for a long time. And instead, again, since 2021, when the president came into office, the unemployment rate has gone down from - remember where it was in July this exact day in 2020? It was nearly 12 percent. And people were being told, stay home for July 4th, stay away from other people. And we're in a very different moment right now. And it did not happen by accident. It did not happen - you know, it was not inevitable. It happened because this president had a national strategy that did not exist in 2020. And we are continuing to put that strategy into place.

HILL: Before I let you go, speaking of the president, I'm curious when your last interaction was with President Biden, and whether you have noticed, in that last interaction or the last couple of months, any evidence of cognitive decline or any concerns about his mental fitness.

SU: I see no evidence of that. I'm not concerned. Your question about what I'm concerned about, I'm concerned about the same things the president's concerned about. I want to make sure that workers get a fair shake. I want to help him to combat the massive gap between CEO pay and frontline worker pay, where a worker has to work for years to make what the CEO makes in a week. We're concerned about retirement security, forgiving student loan debt so people can look forward to their futures with hope, making sure that we bring down the cost of prescription drugs. Those are the things that concern us. Those are the things we're working on. And we have a strategy for - to do it. This is President Biden's vision for this country that we are putting into place. We know we have more work to do and we're laser-focused on it.

HILL: Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su, appreciate your time this morning. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, on our radar this morning, a park ranger was injured in a July 4th shooting at Yellowstone National Park. And it happened near lodges known as Canyon Village. Authorities say they responded to a call of a person making threats. And when rangers arrived to the area, the suspect opened fire. Then rangers fired back. The suspected shooter was killed. Park rangers, park officials, rather, say there is no active threat to the public right now.

Some pretty scary moments at a Fourth of July celebration in Utah.


Fireworks flew into the crowd, hitting one person in the face and injuring several more. It happened right after a jet fly over. The event on the campus of Brigham Young University was headlined by the Jonas Brothers. Organizers say the pyrotechnics were thoroughly checked before the show and rechecked after the incident.

And a new record and a new champion at Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in New York. First reigning women's champion Miki Sudo won for a tenth time at broke the women's record by gulping down 51 hot dogs and buns. And on the men's side, Patrick Bertoletti is the new king, taking home the mustard belt after scuffing down 58 hot dogs and buns in just ten minutes yesterday.

How many hot dogs did you have yesterday?

HILL: I had zero yesterday. How about you?

WHITFIELD: I had one because Harry Enten brought some in.

HILL: As he should. And, you know what, Harr should feed us more often, actually.

WHITFIELD: Yes. He's perfectly delightful.

HILL: Even though we know he's a Carvel (ph) guys.

WHITFIELD: And very generous.

HILL: It was great.

So nice to hang with you this morning too my friend.

WHITFIELD: It's been fun.

HILL: Always nice to see you.

WHITFIELD: Happy holiday weekend.

HILL: Happy holiday weekend.

WHITFIELD: We're still in it.

HILL: We are still at it.


HILL: We're going to go start it now.

WHITFIELD: OK. That's good.

HILL: Thanks so much to all of you for joining us here on CNN NEWS CENTRAL. Stay tuned, "CNN NEWSROOM" with Jim Sciutto is up next.