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Passions Grow In Chick-Fil-A Clash; Tracking The Hepatitis "Serial Infector"; Aurora Mourns Shooting Victims; 12 People Remain Hospitalized; Northeast Storms Kill Two, Knock Out Power; Ready To Go In London; Romney Defends Himself In London; Michelin Recalling 840,000 Tires; Romney "Roughed Up" In London
Aired July 27, 2012 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: CNN NEWSROOM begins right now.
Good morning to you. Happy Friday. Thank you for joining us. I'm Carol Costello. Passions rise higher and divisions grow deeper over Chick-Fil-A's stance against same sex marriage.
First it was Boston and then Chicago. Now San Francisco is telling Chick-Fil-A it is not welcome. The city's mayor, Edwin Lee, did that via Twitter. This is his tweet.
He says, very disappointed Chick-Fil-A doesn't share San Francisco's values and strong commitment to equality for everyone. As you know, the controversy started when Chick-Fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy said his restaurants honor biblical values and oppose same sex marriage.
Ever since the battle between conservatives who say Cathy has every right to his beliefs and gay rights activists have been at war. This protest at Chick-Fil-A's grand opening in Laguna Beach, California just one example.
Joining us now by phone, Philadelphia City Councilman James Kenney. Good morning.
JAMES KENNEY, CITY COUNCILMAN, PHILADELPHIA (via telephone): Good morning. How are you?
COSTELLO: I'm good. Thank you for joining us. You wrote a letter to Dan Cathy and said, quote, "As an American you are legally entitled to your opinion regardless of how insensitive and intolerant it may be.
But as a fellow American and an elected member of Philadelphia's city council I am entitled to express my opinion as well, so, please, take a hike and take your intolerance with you. There is no place for this type of hate in our great city of brotherly and sisterly affection."
So if Chick-Fil-A wants to open up new restaurants in your city would you fight to keep them out?
KENNEY: No. I just want people to understand what Mr. Cathy's views are, his intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination. They should make a decision, spend their money or not spend their money based on the promulgation of that information.
We talked earlier about biblical definition of marriage. Sometimes in this whole debate I feel like I'm in the middle of the wind. This is 2012 and not 1912. I do believe that people should know when an individual company decides to support organizations with their profits that put forth discrimination bigotry and they make a decision based on that information.
COSTELLO: Look, there is no evidence Chick-Fil-A discriminates against gay employees or gay clientele. As you say Mr. Cathy is entitled to his opinion so why try to destroy his business?
KENNEY: Well, I'm not trying to destroy his business. I'm trying to inform people of the fact that this kind of discrimination and bigotry is being promoted by a CEO of a major company in this country. He does have a right. I'm not trying to destroy his business. He should not be trying to destroy the civil rights of Americans based on their sexual orientation.
COSTELLO: It's not new though that Chick-Fil-A is owned by a very religious man. They don't open up on Sunday. I mean, Mr. Cathy has made no secret that he is very religious and very conservative.
KENNEY: That's his right to be so. I was not aware of the conservatism and the extent of his efforts to discriminate against gay women and men in this country. If you are a human being and a citizen of America you have a right to share in every civil right that every other person shares in.
And that includes marital rights. I disagree with him and he has a right to disagree with me, but I have also a responsibility and a right to protect people's civil rights and to inform people when folks are discriminating against them and they can decide to spend their money as they see fit.
COSTELLO: Plenty of people have expressed their opposition to gay marriage, but not many have caused the outrage that Mr. Cathy has. Why do you suppose that is? Why Mr. Cathy?
KENNEL: I don't know. Sometimes there is one person or a group of people that are the -- kind of the point where things begin to change and we have a discussion. This is not about religion.
I am not asking any religious group to sanction gay marriage. I'm not asking anybody to bless it or to do anything like that. If you are a human being, as I said.
If you are a human being in the United States of America, you have the right to share in every full right of every other American. This is about civil rights not religion.
COSTELLO: Councilman Kenney, thank you so much for joining us.
KENNEY: Thank you.
COSTELLO: This morning we also have new details on the man accused of being a serial infector of Hepatitis C. David Kwiatkowski is linked to 30 cases of the liver disease at a New Hampshire hospital and as a medical technician may have endangered thousands of people in at least eight other states.
Today new questions about how he kept working as a medical technician after one hospital fired him for drug abuse two years ago. Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is in Boston with more.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Carol, that's right. That was in Arizona. What we've learned is that while he was working for a hospital in Arizona, David Kwiatkowski was found passed out in the men's locker room.
He had syringes and needles on his person. He tested positive for marijuana and cocaine and that hospital did report him to local law enforcement authorities. It's unclear how he then went on to go work in hospitals in other states for another two years.
Well, we talked about David Kwiatkowski yesterday with the man who knew him in New Hampshire.
COHEN (voice-over): Ron Cross went in for a heart procedure in February. And now he's here at a New Hampshire Department of Health meeting, learning about hepatitis c. He might have caught it from this man, David Kwiatkowski, a technician at the hospital he went to.
RON CROSS, PATIENT: That guy was in the room, you know, he was there at my procedure.
COHEN: An FBI affidavit says Kwiatkowski who has Hepatitis C sold narcotics meant for patients like Cross and then gave the patients infected syringes. It's called drug diversion. When Cross heard there was a drug diversion problem at Exeter, he immediately thought of Kwiatkowski.
CROSS: I suspected but I never thought I would be right. I guess that was the biggest --
COHEN (on camera): So when you heard about drug diversion you thought of David.
CROSS: Almost immediately.
CROSS: His oddness. I mean, I don't have anything else to say. It's just I thought it was -- he was an odd guy.
COHEN (voice-over): Kwiatkowski was a frequent customer at the restaurant Cross owned. Cross said there was something odd about him and he told strange stories. CROSS: The story about his fiance dying in a tragic car accident five days before his wedding cautioned -- my reaction was, my God. But he had told stories about his dog having diabetes.
COHEN: Cross is now part of a class action suit against the agency that placed Kwiatkowski at Exeter Hospital. The agency declined to comment. Cross won't know for another month if he has hepatitis. For now, he can just worry and wonder why no one caught him sooner.
CROSS: This guy could fall through the cracks or seem to have beat the system if there is a system. How did this happen?
COHEN: Cross is in a county jail right now in New Hampshire. On Tuesday, he waived his right to a federal detention hearing -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Elizabeth Cohen reporting live in Boston. Thanks.
This hour friends and family are gathering in Aurora, Colorado for A.J. Boik's funeral. Boik was one of the 12 people killed in last Friday's massacre. He was 18 years old and was called the life of the party.
A friend gave us this video. That's Boik dancing. He was watching "The Dark Knight Rises" that night with his girlfriend when the shooter walked in. She says he saved her life.
Don Lemon is in Aurora, Colorado. Good morning, Don.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, good morning. It's good to see that video of him dancing, right, happier times, Carol. So sad. Can I tell you, too, that Jonathan Blunk who is 26, his body is going to be flown back to Reno. He lives in Reno, Nevada.
He served two tours in the Persian Gulf and he is in the Navy and he wanted to reenlist in the Navy, 26, father of two. His body is going to be flown back.
Then Rebecca Wingo, full service for her tonight here in Aurora, of course, 32 years old, devoted mother of two. She was in the Air Force. But some of the people, Carol, are in the hospital.
Forty five still have been treated and released. Twelve are still in the hospital. Of that, five are in critical, six are in fair condition, one in serious condition.
This community, Carol, is still trying to get back to normal. It's been one week ago since we showed up on the scene here that memorial and that theatre there over on the right shoulder, and of course, you know why we're here and why we've been here for a week.
COSTELLO: I understand some of the hospitals are absorbing some of the costs of treating these people. LEMON: Absolutely. Some of the hospitals, and that's an interesting angle because some of the folks here did not have health insurance. So the hospitals are absorbing the cost.
People are donating money to -- for their hospital bills and we're also hearing that the production company behind the -- there is so much shown here -- playing sad music here.
But the production company behind the Batman movie is also making a huge donation here, which is also helping to cover some of the hospital costs -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Wow. A good voice, whoever they are.
LEMON: It's music. It's a recording she has in the back of her car over there.
COSTELLO: I understand. The movie theatre where this massacre went down, they're trying to decide what to do with it. Have you heard anything about that?
LEMON: That's still up in the air. They're trying to figure out whether they should keep the movie theatre here, if people will actually go to the movie theatre.
I should tell you there was a shooting here almost 20 years ago at a pizzeria and that pizzeria never opened. They demolished it and built something else. I talked to some people and they said they're still afraid to go.
But they're trying to decide what to do. Some people are saying, you know, we shouldn't let this guy get the best of us. This accused shooter. We should go back in that theatre and we should go to the movies there.
Others are saying it's just too sad and really quite frankly too sort of creepy to go back into a movie where so many people died.
COSTELLO: Don Lemon reporting live from Aurora this morning.
Cleanup under way in the northeast following powerful storms blamed for at least two deaths. Possible tornado touchdowns in Elmira, New York and Brookville, Pennsylvania.
And check out the spectacular lightening show over New York City. The lightning impressive, but as you know it can be deadly. A Brooklyn man died after lightning hit a church and caused scaffold to fall on top of him.
A falling tree crushed a Pennsylvania woman in her car. The storms left hundreds of thousands of customers from New York to Ohio without power.
The eyes of the world look toward London as we get set for the Olympic Games to begin in just six hours. London's famous clock Big Ben chiming for three minutes to ring in the games.
The head of the Olympics says London is ready for tonight's opening. In the meantime, Mitt Romney, who is in London, is creating quite a stir after criticizing preparations for the games and the Brits are firing back.
Several U.K. tabloids are blasting the Republican hopeful, one asking who invited the party popper? Another called him Mitt the twit. Another described Romney as devoid of charm and mildly offensive.
Of course, criticism is nothing new to the presumptive Republican nominee or any other presidential nominee. Our Piers Morgan sat down for an exclusive interview with Romney and his wife, Ann.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, HOST, CNN'S "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT": On the economy, clearly Barack Obama has decided your weakness. Your vulnerability is your record at Bain Capital.
It is a very divisive issue and quite fascinating because when I look at some of these attack ads. It's almost like he is attacking you for being successful and rich, which is not a traditional area of battleground for an American because America was founded on working hard, achievement, success and making money. How do you feel about the way you're being attacked in that way?
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think there are attacks coming for being successful. There are efforts to try and minimize people that have been able to build businesses and be successful.
I think we as a society have long encouraged our kids to do well in school, encouraged people to work hard at work and get promotions and do better and better. We value people who take individual initiative to start a business and build it.
I'm proud of the fact that at Bain the consulting firm, which I helped lead in a time of trouble and also Bain Capital, which I helped found and build, I'm proud of the fact that we were able to strengthen enterprises that now employ a lot of people. We were able to invest the money of pension funds and charities.
That's what Bain Capital did. It wasn't our money. It was other people's money we were hired to invest. We invested it well. We were able to invest in some businesses, which grew and thrived some of which have thousands upon thousands of employees.
This is very exciting and a very positive part of my record, but at this stage the key is who can get the economy going?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: If you missed last night's interview, you can catch it again. It's airs tonight at 9:00 Eastern. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COSTELLO: It's 16 minutes past the hour. Time to check this hour's headlines. There's new fallout on a Chick-Fil-A stance against same sex marriage. A city councilman in Philadelphia is joining with the mayors of three cities in telling the fast food chain that it is no longer welcomed in their towns.
But the company also has plenty of supporters. More than 250,000 people have said they will give their business to the company next Wednesday for a Chick-Fil-A appreciation day.
New information about the former lab technician accused of infecting patients with Hepatitis C. An Arizona hospital fired David Kwiatkowski two years ago after he tested positive for cocaine and marijuana. He is now charged with infecting 30 patients at a New Hampshire hospital and possibly thousands more across eight states.
The Michelin Company is voluntarily recalling about 841,000 of its B.F. Goodrich and Uniroyal tires. They say the belts in the tires could separate and cause a blowout. No deaths or injuries are reported, but the company says the condition could increase the risk of a crash.
In money news, guys, everything you need for your man cave in one spot. A New York grocery store now has a man aisle stocked with things like beer and chips, steak, barbecue sauce, deodorant, soap, and more. The store hopes to open man aisles in other locations.
Now to politics. This morning, Mitt Romney may be longing for home sweet home. The Republican presidential candidate is having to back pedal from several gaffes in a botched good will mission to London.
For millions of Brits that famous stiff upper lip turned to a sneer after this photo op meeting with Britain's prime minister when Romney questioned London's readiness for the summer games.
It wasn't just David Cameron firing back. "The Daily Mail" screams this question. "Who Invited Party-Pooper Romney?" "The Sun" was even more blunt and calls him "Mitt The Twit."
And the "Telegraph" says Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive.
John Brabender is a Republican political consultant. He served as the senior strategist to former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum. He joins us now from Washington. Good morning.
JOHN BRABENDER, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL CONSULTANT: Good morning. Thank you for having me.
COSTELLO: Thanks for being here. So you are a strategist. You know how campaigns work. How is the Romney campaign looking at this trip to London?
BRABENDER: Well, I'm sure this morning or whatever time it is over there five hours' difference, that they're a little disappointed. Certainly, this time of a campaign, a presidential campaign is a tough one to get the type of press you want.
You pretty much have to wait until the convention. So they put this trip together to make Romney look very presidential, very international in stature. They're waking up to some very disappointing headlines.
I'm not really sure I agree that it was Romney's fault. All he did was really reiterate a lot of the criticism that was -- the Brits were having about themselves, but there was a certain sensitivity.
He got beat up for it and so right now I'm sure that a lot of the Romney camp are a little bit disappointed and hoping they can turn the trip around.
COSTELLO: Because, you know, visits overseas, you know, they're a rite of passage for presidential candidates. They're meant to burnish foreign policy credentials and it's only been one day. What do you think this trip has done for Mitt Romney? I mean, is it lasting damage or is it just a flash in the pan?
BRABENDER: I think this is extremely short term. To be honest with you I can't help but point out sort of an interesting contrast. You have Romney sort of getting beat up for being very honest on security issues regarding one of our allies.
Just a few months ago, you have the president of the United States whispering into the ear privately to one of our adversaries about he is going to be more flexible on missile defense and you don't hear much of a flap at all.
And so I do think that this is just something where it makes interesting newspaper copy, but I think the American people get it. And I think in some sense people think that Romney at least has the courage to stand up. And when he sees a securities concern he is not going to be afraid to talk about it.
COSTELLO: But when you say your opponent is lousy when it comes to foreign policy, don't you have to show up more than up for the job if you're Mitt Romney?
BRABENDER: Well, again, I think what -- there is a certain sensitivity. Look, there is no doubt that when you host the Olympics that it's a great thing for a country. There's an incredible amount of pride.
And probably there should have been more sensitivity to understanding that. You know, I do not think that in any way Mitt Romney's intent was to insult. I think it was purely to point out that what he had read has caused him some concerns. I think that it grew into something much bigger than really it was.
COSTELLO: John Brabender, thanks so much for joining us this morning.
BRABENDER: Thank you. I appreciate you having me.
COSTELLO: One week later after prayers and sorrow we're asking where was God in Aurora? It's our talk back question today.
COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning where was God in Aurora?
I know. It's not the kind of thing you can solve in two minutes, but a lot of you and I felt the need to talk about it. We have a lot of things about God after the Colorado shooting.
People praying for God to save them. Heroes acting Godly as they sacrifice themselves to save others. Survivor Pierce O'Farrill told us his belief in God and Jesus Christ as well as prayers saved him that day and because of his faith he has forgiven the accused gunman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERCE O'FARRILL, SHOOTING SURVIVOR: I feel sorrow for him because I can't imagine living that way. And I know there's a chance people might be angry at me for saying that, you know, for not being angry at him because I have already forgiven him in my heart. I can honestly say I can sit across the table from him and look him in the eye. And just talk to him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: This week we heard many questions about God's role in Aurora like why did he let this happen or did he? Our belief blog posted this question online and got thousands of starkly different responses.
On Twitter, this church leader in Bethune, Colorado wrote, in short, God was in complete control exercising his will. That riled the trivia jockey who tweeted, if that was God's will, God is definitely not deserving of my worship.
I guess it depends on how you view the issue of God's sovereignty versus human free will and the question, does God have a plan for everything or does he just let things happen as they happen?
So the talk back question today, where was God in Aurora? Facebook.com/carolcnn. I'll read your responses later this hour.
COSTELLO: Just about 30 minutes past the hour. There is new fallout in Chick-Fil-A's stance against same sex marriage. Protesters gathered outside this new Chick-Fil-A store in Laguna Hills, California. So the company sent home fans of the chain who camp out for the prizes that normally accompany the store's grand opening. The company also has plenty of online supporters in its stance.
More than 250,000 people have said they will give their business to the company next Wednesday for a Chick-Fil-A appreciation day.
In weather news, cleanup under way in the northeast following powerful storms blamed for at least two deaths. Elmira, New York and Brookville, Pennsylvania also reported possible tornadoes touching down. The storm snapped trees and power lines and left hundreds of thousands of customers from New York to Ohio without power.
And Big Ben in London greets visitors from across the globe. We're just hours away now from the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, which will take place over the next 17 days.
For the past 11 weeks the Olympic flame has been carried all over the United Kingdom. Later today that journey will end.
So who will carry the flame in the opening ceremony? That's a big deal. Rob Marciano joins us from Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park. Know anything I don't know?
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, I know this, that 8,000 people have already carried the thing. A 70-day journey. It's actually gone out three times. So each of those three times it had to be relit by the mother flame which kind of -- is carried along with it.
But I think the smart money is on Roger Bannister, Carol, who is a -- is an English athlete born in the '20s and was the first runner to ever break the four-minute mile. So if you're a betting man that's the money to go to. You may remember back in 1996 Muhammed Ali lit the cauldron here in Atlanta. So in that way he was the odds-on favorite. So if I had to place a bet it will be on Roger Bannister.
COSTELLO: What's all that screaming going on behind you?
MARCIANO: Well, you know this place. We're right outside -- how many spots, Carol, how many networks out there have an Olympic park right outside their worldwide headquarters? Nobody, all right? NBC's got nothing on us. We've got to -- well the kids, obviously.
You know the kids come here in the summer time to enjoy the Olympic rings which are the fountains that cool everybody off. So that's the screaming. And an entire bus load more is about to come in.
So in the 90s right now here. You know it's been hot over there in London but now it's finally getting to be more -- more English. Take a look at some of the weather that they have going over there. It's not too often I toss you a satellite photo right over the U.K. from across the pond. Temperatures there tonight will be in the 60s. They had some showers earlier. It probably will be dry tonight and the next few days will be more -- more London-like with a chance for showers and temperatures in the 60s. That's your Olympic update.
Carol back to you.
COSTELLO: I love those kids. It looks like so much fun. I'm going to go out and join them after the show.
MARCIANO: It does. I may have to jump in myself.
COSTELLO: See you Rob.
COSTELLO: Let's head out to London now and check in with Zain Verjee. She's in the middle of all the fun. Good morning, Zain.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Good morning to you, Carol. Yes, it is a lot of fun. You know the suits are coming off. And the Lycra (ph) is coming on in a few hours. So why not.
The Olympic Stadium right behind me. A few little secrets that I want to share with you. It's going to be a ceremony about wonderment and it's going to be something fantastical. You're going to see Mary Poppins floating down and about 30 umbrellas, so 30 of them. There's also going to be 007 in there, there's going to be some kind of a parachuting appearance.
Also and you may want to -- you may like this, Carol, there's going to be a lot of livestock running around the Olympic Stadium -- sheep, cattle, goats, chickens as well.
VERJEE: It's supposed to cultivate the idea of an idyllic Britain in the past, the farming. Then they're going to go through the industrial era, the Victorian era and then social media and the crazy modern era.
COSTELLO: Well, I'm glad they're honoring farmers because I grew up on a farm. So that's a good thing.
I understand you're learning about one of the toughest sports in the Olympics.
VERJEE: Yes, rowing. It's about passion and power and most of the Olympics sports are really, but rowing is one of the toughest ones. And I went out with a trainer early yesterday morning just to see how tough it is to work some of those muscles out, some of those gluts that athletes need to make sure that got going on for when they row.
Just listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENDAN MCCARTHY, TRAINER: Allegedly this is the most physically demanding activity of any sport. All right, we're going to do 30 jumping squats on and off the silver disk.
VERJEE: Why do rowers need that?
MCCARTHY: Because when you're pushing in the boat you are -- the first push comes from the glute.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERJEE: Well Carol I thought I'd try. I've got to work on that core a little bit here, you know.
VERJEE: But 10,500 athletes will be in the stadium behind me all in significantly higher quality shape. But you know, they're looking forward to the ceremonies and we're looking forward to the games as well. 60,000 spectators will be there, too.
COSTELLO: I can't believe he made you do 30. He could have said ten. Then you would have felt like super woman.
VERJEE: I know. I know. I'm in pain. Don't make me walk.
COSTELLO: I bet you are. Thank you, Zain.
We invite you to get in on the excitement in London. Piers Morgan will be anchoring CNN NEWSROOM live from the games. It'll start at noon Eastern. And you can follow the games on Twitter, too, or tell us what you thought about the opening ceremonies. Just make sure you put CNN Olympics in your tweet.
Madonna gets a big French kiss off. Why concert goers got so mad they pelted the stage with bottles.
COSTELLO: Madonna gets an earful from the French that needs no translation -- lots and lots of boos. "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" host A.J. Hammer joins us now. People were actually throwing bottles on the stage?
A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Yes. This was a small, last-minute concert, Carol, that was billed as an intimate event at Paris's Olympia Club and some fans were pretty upset when the show wrapped up after just 45 minutes. I guess by small Madonna meant short. So the crowd did let their feelings be known by throwing things up on stage and chanting for a refund when they realized that the show was actually over.
Some of the concert goers of course have been venting their frustration on Twitter. They're complaining that they paid between 80 and 280 Euro for the quickie concert. The show is actually being rebroadcast today on YouTube. Every hour on the hour, if you want to see it.
Not surprisingly the comments section has been disabled with more than 13,000 dislikes as opposed to just 11,000 likes.
And also not surprisingly, Carol, the concert recording that's been posted ends when Madonna finishes her performance but before you see the fans getting upset.
COSTELLO: Yes. Yes I can sort of understand that if you're Madonna, of course. You're also following a potential meeting between Conrad Murray and Michael Jackson's mother Katherine.
HAMMER: Yes. We're going to look at this as more of an invitation right now anyway. Conrad Murray is letting it be known that he would be happy to sit down with Katherine in prison, of course.
He released a statement to CNN through his lawyers. And this is what he's saying "I've been told that she has a desire to speak with me before she departs this life. Seeing that she is up in age and in questionable health and the fact that she is the mother of a very dear departed friend, it would give me great pleasure to sit with her one- on-one and answer any questions she might have."
Well, I don't think Katherine Jackson is going to be headed to Murray's jail cell anytime soon. A representative for Katherine tells CNN that he will present the offer to her, Carol, but he doubted that she would accept.
And really, after the week that the Jacksons have had with all the family battles playing out so publicly, it's probably the last thing any of them want to hear right now.
COSTELLO: I bet you're right about that, too.
A.J. Hammer, many thanks. If you want information on everything breaking in the entertainment world, A.J.'s got it tonight on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" at 11:00 eastern on HLN.
A bridge in Greenland washed away all because of a huge and I mean huge ice melt. Conditions not seen like this since the late 1800s. We're talking climate change, next.
COSTELLO: There is new fallout on Chick-Fil-A's stance against same sex marriage. A city councilman in Philadelphia now joining with the mayors of three cities in telling the fast food chain it's no longer welcome in their towns. But the company has plenty of supporters. More than 250,000 people have said they will give their business to the company next Wednesday for a Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.
New information about the former lab technician accused of infecting patients with hepatitis C. An Arizona hospital fired David Kwiatkowski two years ago after he tested positive for cocaine and marijuana. He's now charged with infecting 30 patients at a New Hampshire hospital and possibly thousands more across eight states.
In weather news this morning, cleanup under way in the northeast following powerful storms blamed for at least two deaths. Elmira, New York and Brookville, Pennsylvania also reported possible tornadoes touching down. The storm snapped trees and power lines and left hundreds of thousands of customers from New York to Ohio without power.
And check this out -- a spectacular lightning show in New York City. Flashes of lightning filled the night sky after it finally stopped raining. I-Reporters in New York have been sending us amazing pictures like this one that shows that dramatic lightning strike over the skyline.
Many scientists say our world is in a weather crisis. We're not just talking about last night's severe storm. There were also record highs recorded in the south and right now extreme heat on the East Coast.
And don't forget about last year when NOAA noted that 2011 had the most extreme weather in history. Floods, hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, snow storms, tornadoes, and it's expensive, too. Remember when FEMA nearly ran out of money last fall after all those natural disasters?
Yet climate change is such a sensitive subject many are loathe to talk about it. But not Bill Nye. Bill Nye "The Science Guy" is in Los Angeles. Good morning.
BILL NYE, "THE SCIENCE GUY": Good morning, good morning.
COSTELLO: Thanks for being here.
Bill, we were struck by this image. I'm sure you've seen it. It shows nearly all of Greenland's ice sheet melting. NASA was so stunned by these images they thought they made a mistake. Help us understand why this is so significant.
NYE: Well, the climate models, these are mathematical computer models of what happens to a planet like ours. You expect the poles near the North and South Pole to show signs of this kind of warming first or sooner.
And I think this is so extraordinary it took everybody off guard a little bit. But Greenland always melts a little bit every summer but this year it melted almost completely and that was stunning or surprising. But what it means to me is that the climate models associated with climate change are true at least at this level and so we should all be very concerned.
COSTELLO: These pictures we're seeing now, this is what resulted from all of that ice melting. There was this bridge in Greenland in an area around Summit Station. NASA says again it hasn't seen this kind of sudden change since 1889. So is this kind of thing likely to continue and can we predict that? NYE: Well, in the world of climate science, people claim that they are predicting it, that this is consistent with the climate models. And it's also worthy of noting that Summer Station is a pretty high altitude. You may see snow on top of mountains and so on. So even at this high altitude the ice was melting.
This is extraordinary and we had tornadoes in the northeast last night and extraordinarily hot temperatures. These things are consistent with climate models. And our problem has been people point to one datum, one fact from 1889 and say that invalidates the whole idea. I don't think that is especially good science.
The thing is, this is an opportunity. We could all be addressing this problem. We could be moving forward and be the world leader in new technologies to help us use energy more efficiently and have a better quality of life for everyone.
COSTELLO: But you know, Bill, there is zero talk of climate change by our politicians in 2012. Of course that's a far cry from what President Obama said, you know, back when he ran in 2008. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's time to refocus our efforts on al Qaeda's leadership, on Afghanistan, and rally the world against the common threats of the 21st century -- terrorism and nuclear weapons, climate change and poverty, genocide and disease. That's what change is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: So we have these raging wildfires and severe storms, severe droughts. Are you disappointed that Mr. Obama has let this issue die?
NYE: Well, if I'm disappointed, everybody, it's at you guys. I think if the media asked him, asked both of these people who are running for president of the United States about climate change, they'd have to respond.
So I look forward to the debate. I think this will -- with the proper prompting from the media, from the press, we can get answers to this. I think everybody as a voter and taxpayer, every citizen, should want to know how politicians stand in every office that you vote for, find out where they stand on the environment.
The environment is a very, very important issue. I guess if I understand this it's fallen by the wayside for a few months while we talk about the economy. But I hope during -- especially during the presidential debates as the school year revs up again and we get ready to vote in November, I hope we ask questions of all politicians. How do you feel about the environment? How does it fit into your economic plan in general?
I will claim, and I don't think this is extraordinary, when your quality of your environment goes down, your quality of life goes down. And especially the economics. When you can't get water to cool power plants, when you can't get water to water your crops and feed people, it stresses everybody. It makes the economy not do as well.
So it was an opportunity. Let's find out, let's say when the debates start at the end of the summer we'll find out how everybody stands on the environment and climate change.
COSTELLO: Bill Nye "The Science Guy", thanks so much for joining us this morning.
NYE: Thank you, Carol. Good morning.
COSTELLO: Mitt Romney is hoping to raise his profile on his trip to London but he is also hitting back at people attacking his success.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Dividing America based on who has money and who hasn't; who is successful and who is less successful -- that is not the American way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Hear more of what the Republican hopeful told our Piers Morgan in a CNN exclusive interview, coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. LISA MASTERSON, CO-HOST, "THE DOCTORS": You cannot take it too lightly when you're trying to think about how to rev up that spark in your relationship. And food can actually really help. You know, celery actually emits a hormone in men's sweat that actually attracts women. Oysters have zinc in them which also is very powerful to increase libido. Pomegranate high in anti-oxidants so very good to keep all of that vitality going. Avocados are high in folic acid; again those will help rev up that libido. Nuts are really great. I just say go nuts because it has a L-Arginnin which actually helps the blood flow and can actually stimulate libido as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is in London to raise cash and to build his foreign policy credentials. Today he and his wife Ann will watch the Olympics' opening ceremony.
But Mr. Romney found the time to sit down with Piers Morgan and talk about his remarkable business success.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: There are people who are trying to attack success and are trying to attack our success. That is not going to be successful. When you attack success you have less of it. That's what we've seen in our economy over the last three years.
Dividing America based on who has money and who hasn't; who is successful and who is less successful, that is not the American way. We are a nation -- you know, I heard Marco Rubio the other day. He said, you know, we were poor living in Miami. We saw these big homes across town. My parents never said to us, gee, why don't those people give us some of what they have? They said, instead, aren't we lucky to live in a country where with education and hard work we might be able to achieve that ourselves?
We are an achievement celebrating oriented nation. That's what's lifted us and will continue to do so and the attacks that come by people who are trying to knock down my business career or my Olympic experience or our success, those attacks are not going to be successful. People want more success. They don't want less success.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: More of this exclusive interview with Piers Morgan. That's tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN.
COSTELLO: Our "Talk Back" question today: "Where was God in Aurora?"
This from Marilyn. "The premise of your question is wrong to begin with. There is no God. It has never been proved. The sooner people accept the fact they can move on with their lives without relying on an unreliable deity in the sky."
This from Lisa. "God loved us so much that he gave us free will. Free will was what the gunman was exercising when he entered that theater in Aurora. People forget that without evil there can be no good."
This from Mackenzie. "God was weeping. He was looking at the scene and wondering what the hell just happened like the rest of us. This was not God's will or divine plan. This was the solo act of a mad man."
This from Bob. "I don't care if you believe in religion or not. It's all about a person's desire to act in a sick and twisted way. People try to over complicate human behavior when they bring religion into the mix."
And this from Scott. "What many people seem to be ignoring is the act of forgiveness Pierce O'Farrill is displaying. Forgiveness in the face of this violence is a step towards healing."
Please keep the conversation going -- Facebook.com/Carol CNN. We had a massive amount comments today and I can't wait to go read them all because it's just a fascinating line of conversation.
I'm Carol Costello. Thank you for joining me today.
"CNN NEWSROOM" continues right now with Kyra Phillips.