Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Critical Health Care Issues; Fear, Grief Grip Yale Campus; Warning to Cops Follows N.Y. Terror Raids; Police Searched Garrido's House

Aired September 15, 2009 - 13:58   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN HOST: Vice president Joe Biden's surprise visit to Iraq marred by an attack in the heavily fortified international zone. He was not wounded. Military leaders are keeping mum about his location for security purposes now. Biden is meeting with Iraq's leaders and U.S. troops.

Police are investigating the reported stabbing death of a Florida teen. It happened during a fight at Coral Gables Senior High School this morning. Local news reports say that one teen pulled out a switch blade and stabbed the other in the chest. The school was placed on lockdown and the suspect is in police custody.

Health care reform. The mantra we keep hearing, everyone gets medical coverage. It sounds good.

But guess what? There may not even be enough doctors to do that. Our next two guests are shouting code blue. They say the real emergency happening right now is the shortage of primary care doctors and the high cost of malpractice insurance. And they need the president and Congress to breathe new life into health care reform.

Joining me from a conference in Toronto, Dr. Ted Everly. He's pushing for health care reform. And also from teal, Florida retired Dr. Tara Wah.

I wanted to start with you, because you know firsthand the impact of the cost of malpractice insurance.

You actually quit being a doctor?

DR. TARA WAH, RETIRED OB-GYN: Yes, I quit practicing medicine about a year ago at sort of the peak of my career, because my malpractice insurance went over $125,000 a year. And I was taking home less salary than the brand new doctors coming out of residency, and I had been in practice 25 years. And I just couldn't make ends meet anymore with my practice. Seeing the number of patients that I wanted to see and taking care of them the way I wanted to take care of them.

PHILLIPS: And what was that like for you? I mean, you had to have been torn up, after doing this for 25 years, going through medical school and spending your whole life focus on helping people.

WAH: I spent lots of sleepless nights crying.

PHILLIPS: I'm curious, Dr. Epperly, can you relate to that? Can you relate to what Tara had to go through and still going through?

DR. TED EPPERLY, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF FAMILY PHYSICIAN: Absolutely. There are many physicians, family physicians across this country that are facing exactly what she is -- high overhead, high liability insurance, high health insurance for their employees. They're trying to make ends meet. And that's part of what's leading to the crisis, is that primary care physicians, family physicians just aren't being paid enough in this country to do the vital work that America must have.

PHILLIPS: And, Ted, you actually are president of the American Academy for Family Physicians. What are all the doctors saying about what's happening here when it comes to the high cost of, for example, malpractice insurance.

Are you afraid, or all of you afraid that we're going to see a major shortage of doctors.

EPPERLY: Yes. Certainly part of the problem is liability insurance, and there should be tort reform as we tackle health care reform. But the biggest issue is the delivery reform must happen. We must have a whole lot more family physicians, general internists, general pediatricians. They are the types of doctors that give the sorts of preventive health care, acute health care, chronic disease management that we must have for a health care system as oppose to a reactive sick care system.

PHILLIPS: And, Tara, what's your reaction to that?

And, also, if we do, indeed, see more doctors like you having to get out because you just can't make ends meet, I mean, what does that going to do for all of us who need coverage and need good doctors.

WAH: Well, we anticipate in Florida having a 20 percent shortage of physicians in the next 10 years. And a lot of physicians are leaving at the peak of their career. The baby boom doctors are retiring earlier, much earlier than anticipated just as we need us to care for our contemporaries as we age.

The malpractice insurance, for example, is not prorated based on how many hours a week you work. So when I wanted to cut back from an 80- hour week to a 40-hour week, work half time for a doctor, I would still have to pay the $125,000, $130,000 for malpractice insurance, and that was my salary. So there was no way I could do that.

PHILLIPS: Ted, you make an interesting analogy when you were talking about health care reform. You said it's like a free bus pass, but there's only two busses?

EPPERLY: Absolutely. The problem right now is that we're going to be about 40,000 family physicians short in the next ten years. And so if we give everybody health care coverage to 47 million people out there, it's like giving everybody free bus passes, but we've only got two buses to put them on. So we must have delivery reform in terms of the creation of the types of doctors. What we have right now are way, way too many sub-specialists and not enough generalists, not enough primary care doctors.

PHILLIPS: Right. So, Tara, let me ask you this, is there anything that President Obama could do that would allow you to come back to being a doctor, and be able to afford to be a doctor?

WAH: Three things. The first one of course is liability reform. And I think that we should have a no-fault system for most medical problems, mal-occurrences. Most of them are not true malpractice, but patients need to be compensated if something disastrous happens and need help with financial recovery. But they don't need to be going after the doctor each time. It's devastating to doctors to be sued and so many are.

I think we need coverage for every man, woman and child in this country. I think we have the richest country in the world. We can do it if we decide that that's a priority for us.

PHILLIPS: Ted, final thoughts?

What do you need to hear from President Obama?

EPPERLY: I think we need to continue -- he needs to continue to push hard on the American public for the need of why we need health care reform. We've got a magic moment in time now to get this right for America and our future generations.

We need coverage. We need delivery system reform. We need insurance reform. We need cost reform. He can make it happen with Congress. Now is the time to do it.

PHILLIPS: Dr. Tara Wah, and also Dr. Ted Epperly, thank you so much for your time.

Boy, Tara, I hope you get back into the medical field because you have an incredibly compassionate heart.

Thank you, both, for your time.

EPPERLY: Thank you.

PHILLIPS: A campus united in grief and fear. A vigil at Yale draws hundreds of people remembering the life and mourning the loss of Annie Le.

Was her killer there, too?


PHILLIPS: Capitol Hill now and a passionate debate over two words, those would be "You Lie." And as you probably know, they were shouted at President Obama by South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, while the president was speaking to lawmakers late Wednesday night. Wilson apologized to the president and the president accepted, but some House Democrats say that shouldn't be the end of it. They want to pass a resolution of disapproval.


REP. HANK JOHNSON (D), GEORGIA: It did not help because of diversity and tolerance with his remarks. If I were a betting man, I would say that it instigated more racist sentiment, feeling that it's OK. You don't have to bury it now; you can bring it out and talk about it fully. And so I guess we'll probably have folks putting on white hoods and white uniforms again, and riding through the countryside intimidating people. And, you know, that's the logical conclusion if this kind of attitude is not rebuked, and if Congressman Wilson represents, if he's the face of it, and that's why I support the resolution.


PHILLIPS: House Republican says it's all political distraction from bigger issues. Even one top Democrat plans to vote against a resolution. Barney Frank says, and I quote, "I don't have to time to monitor everyone's civility."

A vote could happen any time, and you'll see it first right here on CNN.

Annie Le's cause of death expected to be released in the next two hours or so. It will be one of the few hard details that we have about the Yale grad student's murder. Connecticut and New Haven police staying pretty mum, though, they have knock down reports of an eminent arrest. That's left the campus shaken in its grief.

Here's CNN's Mary Snow.


NATALIE POWERS, ANNIE LE'S FORMER ROOMMATE: She was always kind, generous, honest, and -- oh, caring, and the list just keeps going.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Natalie Powers speaking out for the first time about her roommate, Annie Le. Yale students held a vigil just hours after authorities confirmed their worst fears. The body found Sunday lodged inside a basement wall at a Yale research facility was Le, a 24-year-old Ph.D. student who stood at 4'11" and weighed 90 pounds.

POWERS: And she was tougher than you'd think by just looking at her. That this horrible tragedy happened at all is incomprehensible, but that it happened to her, I think, is infinitely more so.

SNOW: As one professor put it, there's the sense there's a murderer among us, and Yale's president tried to assure students.

RICHARD LEVIN, YALE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT: We're doing all we can to ensure your security across the campus.

SNOW: The president of Yale said there were a limited number of people in the basement that day and they were known to authorities. To get inside the building, students tell us, I.D.s like this need to be swiped. SUMAYYA AHMAD, YALE MEDICAL SCHOOL STUDENT: Obviously, this person probably had access to the building. So, it makes you very wary of people that you're around and work with.

SNOW: But Annie Le herself wrote an article for a university magazine in February on how not to become a crime statistic in New Haven. Adding to the anxiety on campus, Yale officials say the building where Le's body was found is a newer one and had top-notch security. More than 70 cameras were trained on the building and its surroundings. Officials also say they have images of her as she walked several blocks from another building to the lab where she was killed.

But a Yale official says there were no cameras in the area where her body was found, and that has shaken some fellow graduate students.

YAN HUA, YALE RESEARCH SCIENTIST: I think most of us work very hard here. We work at night and also the weekends, also. So there are not too many people around.

Mary Snow, CNN, New Haven, Connecticut.


PHILLIPS: Keep your eyes and nose open. That's what the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are telling cops around the country. The Intelligence alert a follow up to yesterday's terror raids in Queens, New York.

Members of a Joint Terrorism Task Force busted into three buildings looking for bomb making material. They didn't find any, and now the feds are warning police to be on the look out for ingredients used to cook up explosives. And some telltale signs of a bomb making shop -- a foul odor, lots of big industrial fans going and people with burns on their face, hands or arms.

Meantime, sources tell CNN that the target in New York was a terror cell of Afghan nationals suspected of plotting attacks in the city.

All right, let's push forward on these raids and the entire investigation, which we understand is far from over.

CNN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks was also a member of one of those FBI's joint terrorism task force. He's here to kind of fill us in on some of the behind-the-scenes stuff.

Why don't you -- first tell me if you have anymore insight to these raids and anything new since we began talking about it?

MIKE BROOKS, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Talking to my sources, both in D.C. and up in New York, they're saying that the investigation is far from over. Now there was one target that they were specifically looking at that they believe may have come from Denver to New York. I don't want to give away too much information, but suffice it to say, they believe and the reason they went ahead and did the warrants when they did is they believed that he was possibly there to meet someone, or to look and possible purchase some components to make improvised explosives devices.

Now I find it ironic because just late yesterday, the FBI put out that intelligence bulletin you were talking about, and it's titled "Ongoing Terrorists Interests in Home-Made Explosives." And the first line -- we've seen this information before. I call it vigilance alert for a local and state law enforcement to say, hey, look, you know --

PHILLIPS: If you see something strange --

BROOKS: Right. Be situational aware of where you are. If you see something, you know, let somebody know. But it says right in the beginning, in light of the ongoing investigation in New York City, DHS and the FBI believed it is prudent to remind our state and local partners about the variety of domestically available materials that can be use to created home-made explosives, which have been utilized in previous terrorist attacks.

And what they're talking specifically about are TATP and HMTD, which is triacetone triperoxide and hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, OK?

PHILLIPS: You have become quite the chemical expert, because you're part of the task force.


BROOKS: Well, yes, when I was going through explosives school, you know, they teach you these kind of thing. But it's very easy to make. And if we remember back to Richard Reid, the shoe bomber?


BROOKS: He had on the soles of his shoes, he had to carve them out, and basically TATP was trying to light off. And you look back in 2005 in London subway, the suicide attacks on the London subway, that's exactly what they were using also. Home-made explosives such as what they're talking about.

PHILLIPS: OK. Bottom line, I think, this is what, you know, got everybody worried...

BROOKS: Right.

PHILLIPS: ...that there could be a terror cell that is operating in other parts of the U.S. now. They found this one situation. They're investigating this.

I mean, what is -- should we be concerned? I mean, how big of a deal is this?

BROOKS: You know, when I was on the task force, people used to say, Mike, you know, what's going on? I said, and this is how you tell them, look, if you knew what I knew, sometimes, you wouldn't leave your house, you know. But, you know, is this isolated? I think they have the FBI and the JTTF had a good handle on who is involved in this. And that's the reason they went ahead. And as we say pulled the trigger, when they did and hit those three locations because they will do that if they think that someone's life or the life of the public could be in danger.

PHILLIPS: So is there any evidence of a plot or a plan or was there anything that they found that there was a sketch of they were going after a certain area or target?

BROOKS: They were going after a certain person, possibly associates of this person, or people who they believe were associates of this person without giving away too much information.


BROOKS: And it's far from over. It's a joined investigation between, you know, different agencies, as we said the joint terrorism task forces. There are over a hundred JTTFs now in the United States. There had been 71 of these added since 9/11.

You know, I was assigned to it for six years, and then worked a lot of bombings overseas. You know, the Khobar Towers bombing, the U.S. embassy bombing.

In fact, you know -- just recently, the Al Megrahi who was released and sent back to Libya. That was the last case I actually work on the JTTF. I was preparing for trial for that particular case. So I was kind of upset about that.

But, you know, the JTTF, you know, there are over 4400 members nationwide. And people should know that their tax money is being put to good use with these members because you've got experts from SWAT operators, linguist, analyst, who are putting all this together.

And, you know, when a case like this starts, Kyra, it can start with just somebody saying something to someone else. And that's why when we talk about this, we talk about situational awareness. And if someone sees something that they think is out of place, you know, don't just, you know, pooh-pooh it. Let somebody know about it, because it could be something.

You know, everybody, the cops and the agency, they're not the only ones out there who need to be vigilant. Citizens do. And sometimes this is what it takes.


Absolutely. You know, sometimes they always say that sometimes Americans need to be poked with a stick to get their head out of the sand, and to realize what's going on around them, and to be situationally aware themselves.

PHILLIPS: Well, let's hope this is --


BROOKS: I hope so, too.

PHILLIPS: Thanks, Mike.

BROOKS: But this is far from over. We're going to be hearing more about this.

PHILLIPS: All right, we'll follow up.

BROOKS: Absolutely.


BROOKS: Thanks.

PHILLIPS: He says don't call him a hero, but that's just what John Finn is. He was in the Navy at Pearl Harbor, the day the Japanese attacked. And he'll gradually tell you what he did to be honored with the nation's highest military medal.

You're going to hear from him.


PHILLIPS: It's about 20 past the hour. Some of your top stories now.

Explosions in Baghdad, not what Vice President Joe Biden expected when he arrived in the Iraqi capital today. Those blast occurred in the International Zone, the location of the U.S. Embassy. Biden was not hurt. In fact, it's not even clear if he was near the impact area. He's actually there to meet with top Iraqi government officials and U.S. military commanders.

And then talk about good news. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says the recession is probably over. He uses the word probably. But don't rush around on a spending spree just yet. Bernanke says that while the economy is probably growing now, it's not enough to prevent the unemployment rate which is now almost at 10 percent from going higher.

Now, they would rather not, but a judge has ordered the feuding children of Martin Luther King Jr. to sit down together and discussed their father's estates. The Kings have launched duelling lawsuits over governing their dad's and mom's estates.


PHILLIPS: In East Texas, a tragic death as floodwaters rise. A blind woman died after she was swept away while walking to a relative's home. That woman was trying to cross a bridge and didn't realize the water was so high. Some road workers try to save her by throwing her a rope, but they say she wasn't strong enough to hold on to it.

More heavy rain today in parts of Texas and the southeast.

Chad Myers is tracking it for us in the CNN weather center.

Boy, that's just heart wrenching, Chad, to read about that death in east Texas.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. We talked about last hour, the two ladies that drove into the water, Sunday morning. They were rescued, and this lady obviously wasn't, walking over bridge that had flooded, because she couldn't see it.


PHILLIPS: All right, Chad, thanks so much.

MYERS: You're welcome.

PHILLIPS: Well, a golden anniversary under the golden arches. In Crestwood, Missouri, Leonard Romberg just celebrated 50 years on the job. The 68-year-old has worked at the same McDonald's since he got out of high school. And he says he's proud of the job he's always done, bussing tables. The restaurant actually threw him a huge party, and wouldn't you know it, Romberg actually cleaned up after his own celebration.

That's something that's not right about that.

Well, straight ahead. New searches today at the home of Phillip and Nancy Garrido. The couple charged the Jaycee Dugard kidnapping. We understand that police are looking for any evidence related to other missing persons cases. A live news conference expected to begin momentarily. CNN will bring it to you live as soon as it starts.


PHILLIPS: We're going to take you to a live news conference that's just about to begin with regard to the Phillip Garrido Case.

If you have been watching CNN, you have seen live pictures and also video like this from affiliate KGO of authorities once again going through the backyard of Phillip and Nancy Garrido's home. We are watching throughout the day, monitoring what they were doing via this helicopter cam.

They were actually raking up, again, some fences. They were doing some digging in the backyard. They were taking a bunch of pictures. They were putting together sketches. As you know, police have been looking for any evidence related to other missing person's cases. And we understand from this live press, you may hear about another connection to another missing person.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Each one of them will be making a statement, and then after that we'll have some Q&A, and then we'll just see how long that goes and then we'll wrap it up some point. Like I also mentioned, we're going to try to get you guys closer up here in this designated press area once those trucks have moved out, OK?

With that, I want to introduce Hayward Lieutenant Chris Orrey.

LT. CHRIS ORREY, HAYWARD POLICE DEPT.: Good morning and thanks very much for your patience.

On November 19, 1988, in South Hayward, California, nine-year-old Michaela Gerecht was abducted by a stranger in front of the Rainbow Market. That case has been investigated for over 20 years, the Hayward Police Department has investigated over 13,000 leads and unfortunately the case has remained unsolved.

On August 27, along with the rest of the world, we learned about the break in the Jaycee Dugard abduction. As we learned about that case, we saw more and more similarities to our own abduction in 1988. These similarities included the physical appearance and ages of the victims, the manner of the abduction, that they were taken in a very brazen manner in broad daylight in a public place;, the similar vehicle descriptions between the vehicle uses in 1988 and the vehicle towed off the Garrido property recently. As well as the description of Phillip Garrido in the late '70s, early '80s, pictures we have obtained of him in that time in comparison to the police artist sketch done in 1988 by the witness to Michaela's abduction.

For those reasons we obtained a search warrant for the property that had been inhabited by the Garridos, on Walnut Avenue, in unincorporated Antioch, as well as the adjacent property that Phillip Garrido had access to.

Our operation today is being conducted jointly with the Dublin Police Department, with the assistance of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department and the FBI. Our aim is to methodically and systematically and very thoroughly search the properties with our own cases in mind, knowing what we're looking for in our cases.

The original agencies that were on the property searching were not familiar with our cases, so we're taking another shot at the property to see what we can find.

I would like to thank the agencies involved in this operation. We could not do it alone. Hayward is a medium-sized police organization and it's only with the resources of the Alameda County Sheriff, Contra Costa County Sheriff and the FBI that we're able to take on such a huge undertaking. We understand that there's a lot of debris and property to go through on these two properties. We expect the operation to take days, possibly even into next week.

At this afternoon's briefing for the media at 4:30 p.m., Sharon Murch, the mother of Michaela Gerecht will be present, to address the media. And I'm going to turn it over now Lieutenant John Savoy to address the Dublin's Police Department's case.

LT. KURT VON SAVOY, DUBLIN POLICE DEPT.: On January 30th of 1989, 13- year-old Ilene Mischeloff never returned home from school. For 20 years we have been attempting to determine what happened to Ilene Mischeloff. There is no eye witness that can say with certainty that she was abducted and the physical evidence, to date, has been limited. The Dublin Police Services has pursued hundreds of leads into this investigation in an attempt to locate Ilene and find out what happened to her.

Recently, the investigation and arrest of Phillip and Nancy Garrido for the 1991 kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard came to light and our investigators immediately started looking into the possibility that the Garridos had some connection to the Ilene Mischeloff disappearance. As a result of our investigation, we found enough similarities to obtain a search warrant for the Walnut Avenue property of the Garrido's, as well as the neighboring property.

We based that on a vehicle that was seen by a witness at the time of Eileen's disappearance, a witness reported seeing her get into it. That vehicle description was similar to a vehicle which has been removed from this property in the previous search of the property.

Additionally, we know that based on the Dugard investigation as well as Mr. Garrido's history, these people -people who commit these offenses, tend to be predatory, and tend to have multiple victims. So based on that we will be executing a search warrant of this residence and property along with the Hayward Police Department.

We'll be looking for any items of evidence that may possibly connect the Garridos to Ilene Mischeloff. At this point we can't say that the Garridos are with certainty suspects in the case. But certainly we have been unable to eliminate them as suspects in the case.

Phillip Garrido was not in custody at the time of Ilene's disappearance and in fact had been released only a few months prior to Ilene's disappearance. Also the proximity of his residence in Antioch to the city of Dublin would give him access to come into our city and possibly be involved, somehow, in the disappearance of Ilene.

We anticipate being here for at least a few days, as Lieutenant Orrey explained, it's going to be a very thorough, methodical search of the property, which is a large piece of property. And it required numerous personnel from the Dublin Police Services, Hayward Police Department as well as support from Alameda County Sheriff's office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alameda County Sheriff's Crime Lab and the Contra Costa County Sheriff's office.

So I would like to thank all of those allied agencies for their assistance and support in this investigation. We will, as Lieutenant Orrey said, have another press briefing at 4:30 this afternoon. And I think we can follow up with any questions that you may have at this point.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don't we just do questions one at a time. So the lieutenants can just come up here and take the questions.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: (OFF MIC) It is not the van, no.

VON SAVOY: It is not the van, no.

ORREY: It's the sedan. And I understand it is the same vehicle for both cases.

SAVOY: Correct.


ORREY: I don't know about the specifics of the Dugard investigation.


VON SAVOY: You would have to ask El Dorado County, we don't have that particular information if it was used in Jaycee Dugard's.


VON SAVOY: we -- you would -- to determine with certainty if it is a human bone, you would have to contact the Contra Costa County Sheriff's office. But certainly the fact that a possibly human bone was located on that property is part of the reason that we are searching here today.

And, yes, it does include the residence next door. However, the resident of that property is in no way a suspect of our investigation. It is our understanding that the Garridos, for a time, were caretakers of that property.

QUESTION: (OFF MIC) ... questioned Garrido yet? Have you questioned him?

VON SAVOY: We have not questioned him as of yet. And certainly because of -he is in custody and he's been arrested, he has certain protections under the law that would make it very difficult for us to speak with him.

QUESTION: (OFF MIC): Why was there a delay in searching the property? (OFF MIC) Why the time lag? Is because of legal proceedings? (OFF MIC) There's been a property search a couple of times. Is it because you were not sure you could go in there and find evidence?

ORREY: It was a combination of things. I can speak for Hayward PD. A lot of the information we got in the beginning came from the media and had to be verified through official law enforcement channels. We also had an investigation into a lot of different avenues at the same time. We had to obtain the search warrant. And then as you can see, this is a pretty large-scale operation, where we needed a lot of personnel that we needed to coordinate. So we did it as soon as we could logistically and in keeping with the investigation.


ORREY: It is a concern, but we had to weigh our ability to do this operation correctly, in a fashion in accordance with forensic standards and investigative standards, we had to weigh that against the possibility of people having access. We know that the home was very secure and boarded up and that there was a large fence around the property.


ORREY: Not in the Hayward police investigation, at this point, no. QUESTION: (OFF MIC):

VON SAVOY: Yes, we have had investigators working the Mischeloff disappearance for over 20 years, and I don't know that I'm prepared to say this is the single strongest lead, but it is one of literally hundreds of leads that we have followed up on and pursued over the course of that 20 plus years.

ORREY: For the Hayward case, we have always had at least one investigator assigned, many more in the beginning. It's adjusted as different tips have come in over the years. Again, we have looked at over 13,000 tips from the public and other law enforcement agencies. From what I know of the tips that have come in this is one of the strongest leads we persuaded thus far.


ORREY: We are going to be bringing in some specialized equipment that was not used in initial searches. Some equipment that allows us to do some subterranean looks at the ground to see if there's any disturbances in the ground.

QUESTION: (OFF MIC): Are you going to be using radar?

ORREY: That is one that we're looking at, yes.


ORREY: We're looking for any physical evidence that links Phillip Garrido or Nancy Garrido to either of our cases, it could be items of clothing that the victims wore at the time they were abduct ed. It could be DNA, it could be, unfortunately remains. There's any number of things that might connect them to these cases.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: The good news here is that two more families may have peace of mind just knowing what happened to their little girls. The bad news, and the sad news, is that once again, it looks like two more disappearance cases might be linked to Phillip and Nancy Garrido.

In light of the recent arrest of them for the 1991 kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard, the Dublin police, as you just heard, has been monitoring that investigation, now trying to determine if there could be a connection between the Garridos and the 1989 disappearance of 13- year-old Ilene Mischeloff. At this point Dublin police have not been able to eliminate the Garridos as possible suspects in her disappearance.

And now just looking at the case of Jaycee Dugard, the age, the description, when it all happened, matching up when Garrido was in and out of prison, they now think that possibly the Garridos could be responsible for her disappearance.

Also you just heard, another police department, the Hayward police department obtained a search warrant as well, to come out and look at the property. They are now seeing a possible link between the Garridos and the November 1988 abduction of Michaela Gerecht. We have a sketch of her. That case going back to 1988. So two more cases possibly being linked to Philip and Nancy Garrido.

And as you heard, there, from the Hayward Police Department, they're going to be bringing in some special equipment to survey the backyard there, in addition to the yard next to the Garridos home. Because they had access over that yard for a number of years as well. They're going to be basically looking for anymore clues, possibly human remains, bones, and will be looking at that in the next couple of days. So we'll keep you updated on these two other cases of young girls disappearing in the past -- since 1988, actually, and if they're indeed linked to the Garridos.

Also this is just in, the new vaccine, or the new swine flu vaccine, rather, has received FDA approval, health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius just made that announcement to Congress. And that now means that the first doses of the vaccine could be distributed by early next month. The H1N1 virus is being blamed for nearly 600 deaths in the U.S. now. More than 9,000 people have been hospitalized. And worldwide more than 2,800 people have died from that virus. Some 254,000 others have been infected.

Secretary Sebelius says the bulk of the new vaccine will start arriving October 15 and it should eventually be available at 90,000 sites around the country.

Mail to the Chief, your questions on the economy, health care, unemployment, we're going to take them straight to the senior White House advisor live, right after the break.


PHILLIPS: Live talk on the economy from the President Obama today. But did you hear the answer to your questions? You have been sending them to us through Mail to the Chief. And the chief economic advisor to Vice President Biden, Jared Bernstein joining us live from the White House to answer all of them.

And Jared, I'll get to them, but just real quickly any update you want to share about the vice president there in Iraq? We, of course, reported the attack on the international zone. Is he safe? Is he sound?

JARED BERNSTEIN, VICE PRESIDENT'S CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISOR: I don't have any comments on the vice president's trip to Iraq, but sure, safe and sound.

PHILLIPS: OK. Good deal. Let's get right to the questions. We have Tweets, we have e-mails, Jared, this one coming from Sun Devil Sal, wanting to know, "Ask the economic advisor why jobless rate is 9.7 percent when president said it wouldn't go past 8 percent. Also, if you could ask him, why the deficit projection is now at $9 trillion from $7 trillion?

Go ahead, Jared.

BERNSTEIN: Good question, Sun.

The forecast by the White House for the unemployment rate, right now, after a mid-session review from a couple of weeks ago, is actually about 10 percent, later this year. Around 9.7 percent right now. So we're just about where the unemployment rate is. The 8 percent comes from an earlier forecast that the White House made back in last December and January, before we really had the kind of information we needed to recognize how deeply the economy had fallen into recession.

Back then, 8 percent was the mid-range forecast among the professional forecasters, so that was right in the middle. After the economy kind of fell off a cliff, we're looking at. of course, higher rates and that's what we forecast.

I think the important point there is that thanks to the Recovery Act, that unemployment rate is going to be lower and come down faster than it would otherwise.

Now, on the deficit, you are citing the 10-year deficit figure. And, again, the reason why we are looking at such large deficits are two fold. One, we were met with a $1.3 trillion deficit when we unlocked the doors to that building White House behind me. But secondly, we were also met with the deepest recession since the Great Depression. And offsetting that meant some temporary deficit spending to help get the economy back from the brink and ultimately growing again.

PHILLIPS: All right. This viewer via Twitter asked Jared, "What will it take to reduce unemployment? Where are the energy jobs? And why is the recession deepening?"

Maybe we can tackle where are the energy jobs?

BERNSTEIN: First, let me just tackle why is the recession deepening? In fact, the recession has become significantly less severe. The economy was contracting at a rate faster than 6 percent in the first quarter of this year. In the second quarter it contracted at a rate of 1 percent. And private sector forecasts -and by the way, Ben Bernanke mentioned this today - suggests that maybe the economy is expanding in a GDP sense. From the perspective of the president and the vice president, it's all about jobs, wages and incomes, we're not there yet.

Now as far as energy jobs go, that's a really important part of the Recovery Act. Remember, about one-third of the Recovery Act is obligated or spent out at this point. That means there's about two- thirds left. And much of that spending focuses on energy efficiency, on investments in solar, wind, hydroelectric, high speed rail, the smart grid, advanced battery technology, that's going to spin off lots of good, non-tradable jobs in the green sector.

PHILLIPS: Jared, one more: Veritaz (ph) asking, "China owns a lot of USA debt. Will we ever be able to take them off the most-favored- nation status so they will have to compete fairly?" BERNSTEIN: Well, I think the important point there is that there are rules of the road in terms of trade and competition between countries. And China, most typically adheres to those rules as do all of our other trading partners.

Now when - I suspect what motivated this question is the recent case over the exports of Chinese tires our country. When those rules of the road are violated, or suspected to be so, we have institutions in place that do the kinds of investigations to make sure that those rules of the road are adhered to.

And in this case, it's the International Trade Commission; looked at that case, recognized that there was a surge in Chinese exports that disrupted our markets and recommended appropriate action. The president has weighed in on this. And I think we're going to continue to have free, open, very successful trade flows between us and all of our trade partners.

PHILLIPS: We sure hope. Jared Bernstein, good to see you.

He says don't call me hero, but that's just what John Finn is. He was in the Navy, at Pearl Harbor, the day the Japanese attacked. He grudgingly tells you what he did to be honored with the nation's highest military medal.


PHILLIPS: They were simply doing their jobs, American servicemen and women risking their lives and often dying to save their buddies. For their uncommon bravery in combat some were awarded medals. But to a man and a woman they will tell you, they are not heroes. To them, their comrades who don't come home are the only heroes. Here's Barbara Starr with the story of one who did make it home.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): On this wind swept hillside just north of San Diego, California, one man's lifetime of treasures.

JOHN FINN, MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT: I feel all right. I have never been much of a sickly guy - in fact, the only time I ever went to the hospital was after December 7.

STARR: December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan. John Finn was there serving in the Navy he loved. John enlisted as soon as he turned 17. The year, 1926. We'll do the math for you. John Finn just turned 100. He lives here, on what he calls his ranch, recalling in detail the day that still lives in infamy.

FINN: The morning of the attacks, see the Japs got there early, and they rudely awakened us. And they kicked the living hell out of us and burned us all up; and then left. See? They didn't hang around there. That Jap admiral, he knew his business, he went there to do one thing, and he did it.

STARR: John was an ordinance specialist, within minutes, he was manning a machine-gun, a one-man counter attack.

FINN: There were Japanese fighter plane pilots, I can remember seeing some cases where I can see their faces.

STARR: John suffered multiple wounds to his hand, arm, head, and foot. But he refused to leave.

FINN: Medical help comes later. If you're busy shooting a machine- gun or a rifle or a pistol, or doing anything, you can't worry about getting medical attention. My job was right there. And it was -- it was all I had to do was wait. And at some point during that attack, there would come an opportunity to me to actually shoot at a Japanese plane.

STARR: For his actions that day, John Finn received the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military recognition. His citation details how, after being ordered to get first aid, he returned to the fight," obviously suffering much pain and moving with great difficulty, he returned to the squadron area and actively supervised the rearming of returning planes."

But the nation's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, recently assisted by the young president of the United States, bristles at the notion he was a hero.

FINN: Oh, that damn hero stuff is a bunch of crap, I guess. Well, it is one thing that I think any man, that is in that -- you got to be in the position, you got to understand that there's all kinds of heroes, but they never get a chance to be in the hero's position.


PHILLIPS: OK, Barbara Starr, I think we all fell in love with John Finn today, tell us about these other recipients there at the Medal of Honor reception.

STARR: Kyra, we're here at Soldier's Field in Chicago where there are about 50 living Medal of Honor recipients, men who served years in POW camps, in North Vietnam, veterans of the War in Korea, of World War II. John Finn is here in Chicago.

What is extraordinary, though, is what about today's heroes? Now, a number of Medal of Honors have been awarded posthumously to young men who risked their lives, above and beyond the call of duty, in Iraq and Afghanistan; but there are yet, not living Medal of Honor awardees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Worth remembering, though, for everyone who served they are a hero to their families, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: We lift them all up. Barbara Starr, thank you so much. What a great way to wrap up our hour here. We'll see you back here tomorrow, Rick Sanchez picks it up from here.

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM (voice over): We have several CNN teams drilling down, right now, on exactly what was found in the New York City terror raids. Congress has been briefed. So we're talking to them.

Congress also voting to discipline Joe Wilson for his admitted incivility.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.


SANCHEZ: But was Wilson right? Did the president lie? And what's Wilson's connection to white supremacists?

Is he a shakedown artist as accused?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor Blagojevich has taken us to a truly new low.

Or is he just another politician trying to fund his campaign?

Expect fireworks when I confront Rod Blagojevich, live.

Speaking of fireworks. Is that a bus on fire? Rolling down the freeway? That's a talker. Your national conversation for Tuesday, September 15, 2009, begins right now.