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CDC: Four Out Of Five Pregnancy-Related Deaths In U.S. Are Preventable; Task Force Proposes Directive To Screen For Anxiety In Adults; FDA Warns Against Cooking Chicken In Nyquil; Interview With Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX); Fed Expected To Make Another Aggressive Rate Hike Tomorrow; Gas Prices Fall For 98th Day Straight After Peaking In June; Pro-Separatist Officials In Occupied Areas Of Ukraine Set Referendums For Joining Russia. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired September 20, 2022 - 14:30   ET




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: A new CDC report found that four out of five pregnancy related deaths are preventable. Researchers found that most deaths among women who died during pregnancy, delivery, or within one year of giving birth could have been avoided with reasonable changes.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: CNN medical correspondent, Dr. Tara Narula, joins us now.

Doctor, what changes could have saved lives?

DR. TARA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think there's a lot we could do to improve the statistics. Seven hundred die each year of pregnancy or pregnancy-related complications.

And we have to look at this from beginning to end. So there's a lot we can do preconception to get a woman's health optimized.

Before she conceives the baby, we should make sure she has a healthy diet, exercises, that any chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes are well controlled.

During pregnancy, we want her to get routine care to pick up on things like infections that could put her at risk later or conditions like, for example, placenta accreta, which could result in hemorrhage, one of the causes of death or cardiovascular disease.

Also, the CDC has a campaign called "Hear Her," that teaches women to recognize warning signs and symptoms.

So a lot of times, it's simply about getting treated early, getting treated quickly, if you start to have some of the symptoMs.

Finally -- and this is, I think, really a big point -- is what happens in that post-partum period. Fifty -- over 50 percent of the deaths are happening between one week postpartum and one year. What happens after you deliver is, usually, many women get lost to

follow-up. They see their doctor once at a four-to-six-week interval point of time and that's it.

We could be doing better to support women emotionally, mentally, physically in that period of time and tailor care to them or whatever their chronic conditions are.

BLACKWELL: So important.

There's now, for the first time, a U.S. task force that is suggesting that adults be tested for anxiety. How significant is that?

NARULA: I think this is wonderful. We know that lifetime prevalence of anxiety for men in the country is around 26 percent. For women it's around 40 percent. So this is something that affects millions of Americans.

It tends to fly under the radar in many cases because, often people don't come in and say, I have anxiety, I need help. They may say, my stomach is hurting, I have chronic pain, I'm not sleeping well, I've been having headaches.

It goes undiagnosed in people for years. In fact, on average, we're talking about 23 years before individuals begin to get treatment.

And typically, anxiety presents in a younger population. The median age is around 11. In fact, in those with generalized anxiety disorder, only 40 percent are getting treatment.

I think this can go a long way because we have effective therapies, whether psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy or medications.

A lot of people are suffering needlessly in this very quiet way. I think with anxiety we don't often talk about. This is really great that they've come out with this.

CAMEROTA: We need to talk about this crazy FDA warning. The FDA has felt the need for some reason to come out and warn, I guess, kids and teenagers, not to cook chicken in Nyquil. Why are people cooking chicken in Nyquil?

NARULA: I can't believe that we have to address this headline, but it's really a warning for parents as well.

This is one of those social media challenge things that we keep seeing pop up in different forms. And unfortunately, it plays on kids in their impulsivity, their want for, quote, "likes," the need to feel validated or get attention.

And over-the-counter medications like Nyquil or prescription meds can be dangerous when used in an improper way.

CAMEROTA: But how is this dangerous?

BLACKWELL: Why are they using pliers? (CROSSTALK)

BLACKWELL: None of this makes sense

CAMEROTA: Why are they basting it with more Nyquil? Why is that dangerous?

NARULA: Any time you're using a medication like Nyquil or anything over the counter in an improper way, you're potentially exposing yourself to that drug at levels that may not be appropriate or at times when you don't need it.

This is really important to counsel parents, keep the drugs out of the hands of your kids if you can.


Find out what's going on with them and their social media, have conversations, and have basic conversations around the dangers of using medication even ones that they may think are harmless.

CAMEROTA: I mean, are they doing it just to make blue chicken? Is that what's happening?



CAMEROTA: Dr Tara Narula, thank you very much.

So investors are holding their breath as the Fed meets today to decide whether to hike rates again. What this means for all of us, just ahead.



CAMEROTA: A record number of migrants are trying to cross the southern U.S. border. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, agents have encountered or arrested more than two million migrants this fiscal year alone, which breaks previous records.

Officials say an influx of desperate people from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cubs are driving the numbers up.

Lawyers for one group of migrants, the ones recently flown from Texas to Martha's Vineyard, say their clients were duped into traveling under false pretenses.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis defends the flights and vows to continue sending migrants from Texas to Democrat-run cities and states.

Moments ago, we learned that Delaware is preparing for possible migrant arrivals after reports of a new flight from San Antonio.

Let's bring in Congresswoman Veronica Escobar. She's a Democrat from Texas. Her district borders Mexico.

Congresswoman, thank you so much for being here.

I know you're here to talk ability solutions, which are desperately needed. But let's spell out the problem first.

So we have a bar graph of what this year looks like compared to recent years. You can see it has just gone way up in terms of encounters that Customs and Border Patrol agents are having at the border, as we said, more than two million migrants this fiscal year alone.

Do you consider this a crisis?

REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR (D-TX): Well, Alisyn, thanks so much for having me on.

And I -- first, I think it's really important for the American public to know that, since Title 42 was put in place under the Trump administration, the policy to rapidly expel migrants, that means that two million encounters is not necessarily two million people.

It's how many times people have attempted to cross the border and have been encountered. So most -- about 30 to 40 percent of those are repeat attempts.


CAMEROTA: And is that -- and is that -- I mean, is that -- is that comforting? Is that better than --

ESCOBAR: No. No, no. I will say that doesn't mean that this is not unsustainable. That doesn't mean that this is a significant challenge.

I think it's really important, though, that we understand what is really going on and what are the policies that exacerbate the issue.

But here is what's happening. In El Paso, for example, we have gone from seeing Central American refugees to seeing Haitian refugees, to now really mostly Venezuelan refugees.

All of whom or most of whom are applying for asylum, which is legal. The system was not set up to deal with this many people all at once. So we have to focus on solutions.


ESCOBAR: I know my Republican colleagues prefer to simply complain about it, but my view is there's a lot of work that has been done under the Biden administration. It's going to take some time for it to bear fruit.

But there's so much more that needs to be done and that work starts with Congress.

CAMEROTA: Let's talk about that. Yes, let's talk about that. I know, a year ago, you introduced a Reimagining Asylum Processing

Act. And that's for migrants seeking political asylum, like so many of these are now. Basically, it would create more processing centers for people seeking asylum.

But how would that help? I mean, the feeling of being -- of Customs and Border Patrol agents feeling overrun and people in border states feeling overrun.

And wouldn't Republican critics say you're incentivizing more people by making it easier to seek asylum?

ESCOBAR: I'll start by addressing the last part first, Alisyn.

We have, as a country, built walls, separated families under the Trump administration, rapidly expelled migrants. Nothing has slowed things down or eliminated migration.

For the last couple decades, we've tried it the Republican way. Our country has. By addressing migration solely at the border. That has been a failure of policy and imagination.

We need a multifaceted approach. My bill is one facet of what we need to do. We need to change the way we process people at the border.

Right now, it is mostly these processing centers are mostly run by Border Patrol agents taking them off the line, taking them away from the roles and responsibilities they were trained to do to care for vulnerable populations.

My bill would get them back to their job and replace them in these processing centers with federal civilian personnel. I think it's a really commonsense approach that helps address morale and helps get Border Patrol agents back to doing the work that they need to do.

But we need to do more than just that. We have, over the last 30 years, as a country, tried it the Republican way, and we've shrunken legal pathways.

When you shrink or eliminate legal pathways, you're going to see more irregular migration. So Congress needs to reform outdated laws.


Also, we need to do in-country processing so that vulnerable populations aren't coming to the nation's front door in order to seek asylum. We had in-country processing. It was eliminated by the Trump administration. We need to reinstate that.

There are lots of different things we have to do, Alisyn. And we can accomplish those in the House with our Democratic majority. But there aren't enough Democrats in the Senate to have a true majority.

And for Republicans, they want to see as much misery as possible so they can run on it during election season. CAMEROTA: Thank you for suggesting these solutions that I know you've

been working on. Obviously, this is not going away and we'll continue to explore it.

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, thank you for your time.

ESCOBAR: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Some good news now. Gas prices have fallen for the last 98 days straight. How low can these prices go? We'll have more on that ahead.



CAMEROTA: All eyes on the Federal Reserve tomorrow. That's when the central bank will announce its next rate move as it attempts to bring down inflation without causing a recession.

Many economists predict a third historic rate hike. Markets have dipped in recent weeks amid fears the Fed will continue its aggressive intervention strategy.

BLACKWELL: CNN business correspondent, Rahel Solomon, is with us now.

Rahel, what is the expectation?

RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: So the large expectation is three quarters of a percent, which, if that sounds familiar at home, it is because it would be the third consecutive rate hike of that magnitude.

I want to show you what the Fed has been doing this year. If it feels like they have been raising rates, well, yes, they have, but they are coming from a place of practically zero. So that's what the Fed has been doing.

But this comes as both the Federal Reserve but also 12 major central banks around the world meet this week to try to put a lid on global inflation. So it is not just here in the U.S.

But we know every time the Fed raises rates, that increases borrowing costs for us consumers for credit cards, mortgage loans, car loan, student loan, all sorts of things.

So we will likely see more of the same. Because remember, we're at about 8.3 percent consumer inflation. The Fed's target is 2 percent. So there are more meetings later this year and we expect the hikes to continue.

CAMEROTA: It's been amazing to watch what's been happening with gas prices. We're almost at the 100th day of falling gas prices.


CAMEROTA: Something that, 100 days ago, we didn't know was possible. Is that helping inflation? Is it making a dent?

SOLOMON: Absolutely. We've seen it in all of the inflation data for the last two months or so, right? Rates have been going up but gas prices have been going down.

Here is the thing. AAA is saying we're at about $3.67 a gallon today, slightly better than yesterday, but a quarter less than a month ago. Still higher, however, from a year ago.

Here's the thing. AAA is saying that the decline we've seen over the last weeks, is the smallest decline we've seen in months, which means we could be stopping here.

BLACKWELL: All right.



BLACKWELL: I mean, my question is, when will it be a buck 99 a gallon? It is a while off.

Rahel Solomon, thank you so much.,

Well, with Russia losing territory on the battlefield, separatist regions are calling for a quick vote on whether they should be part of Russia. How Ukraine is responding.



CAMEROTA: Pro-Russian officials in occupied parts of Ukraine announced plans today to hold referendum votes on whether to join Russia. The announcement comes as Putin's forces lose more ground on the battlefield.

BLACKWELL: Ukraine has condemned the planned votes as illegal and says that they stem from fear of defeat.

CNN's Ben Wedeman joins us live from Kharkiv.

Ben, these votes could happen within days. If they pass, what happens next?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what happens is that it is expected that they will vote, in all four of these areas, in favor of joining Russia. And Russian officials have already said that they will look favorably upon their accession to Russia.

And therefore, what is important to point out is these areas where the war has been raging most fiercely will become, technically, as far as Russia is concerned, Russia itself. And the citizens within them, according to the Russians, will be Russian citizens. So it will no longer be a war within Ukraine. It will be a war between

Russia and Ukraine, which could possibly mean that the rules of engagement for Russia will completely change.

It perhaps will no longer be a so-called Special Military Operation, but, rather, a war, which would give the government broader powers for a mobilization, for the war effort.

We've seen, obviously, in recent weeks, the Russians haven't been faring very well on the battlefield. This would allow them to bring in more manpower, perhaps weapons we haven't seen yet on the battlefield.

But it could represent a dramatic change, despite the recent losses Russian forces have experienced in this part of the country, the Kharkiv region -- Victor?

BLACKWELL: Ben Wedeman, thank you for the reporting.

U.K. TV channels are reporting historic viewership for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. Britain's official audience-monitoring board said more than 26.2 million people on average viewed the state funeral service yesterday.

CAMEROTA: That's remarkable. What an incredible number. That represents 95 percent of the channel's reach. And it did not even include the worldwide audience.

We also learned that roughly 250,000 mourners visited the queen lying in state at Westminster Hall in the days before her funeral.

BLACKWELL: Top of a brand-new hour on CNN NEWSROOM. Good to have you. I'm Victor Blackwell.

CAMEROTA: And I'm Alisyn Camerota.

The hearing by the special master has just ended. That's the independent overseer of evidence in the case of those classified documents found at Donald Trump's home in Florida.


BLACKWELL: CNN's Kara Scannell is outside the federal courthouse in New York. Also here, CNN senior legal analyst, Elie Honig.

So, Kara, let's start with you.

What happened?